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UBT: Joseph’s Letter

laterIf you’ve spent any time on reconciliation boards, you’re familiar with Joseph’s Letter. It was written by a member of a defunct forum “BAN”, but appears at Surviving Infidelity and Marriage Builders.

It’s a plea from a man (Joseph) to his wayward wife to please answer questions about her affair instead of doing the ol’ rug sweep. “I don’t remember” or “Let’s stop bringing this up and move forward” or “Telling you would only hurt you more.” Rug sweeping is the nice word for it. Minimizing, lying, and mindfucking are other terms. We don’t really know what kind of mindfuckery is going on in Joseph’s marriage, only that Joseph’s wife has been less than forthcoming and it’s torturing the poor guy.

Joseph’s letter is invoked as as sort of holy relic in unicorn circles. A resource by which chumps should model themselves when approaching “waywards.” (The nice word for cheater. Fuckwit, liar, fraud are other terms.) That is to say, approach with deference. Assume the very best qualities in your cheater — that deep down they’re good people who love you as much as you love them, and are every bit as invested in the marriage. Acknowledge that the cheater’s pain is equal to your pain. Tell them how much you love them.

Joseph’s letter is quintessentially chumpy — kind and forgiving, and glazed with more spackle than an army of dry wallers. When I read it, my heart breaks for the man. He clearly has a big heart and he’s trying to share it with someone he delusionally assumes cares for him.

But it also makes me want to slap Joseph. “DUDE! SHE DOESN’T WANT TO TELL YOU BECAUSE SHE PREFERS YOU DON’T KNOW!” That’s what her ACTIONS say. Know why she doesn’t tell you the details? Because she doesn’t want you to know them. It’s that simple.

But Joseph persists. Maybe if I explain this thing like a jigsaw puzzle missing a few pieces, she’ll understand! Because that’s what she lacks — insight! Did it every occur to Joseph that maybe his wife prefers the power seat of knowledge over him? That talking about it makes her uncomfortable, or calls into question her self regard, so she puts avoiding her discomfort over his pain? Did it ever occur to Joseph that his wife is a selfish bitch?

So today I thought I’d put Joseph’s letter through the patented Universal Bullshit Translator.

To Whomever,
I know you are feeling the pain of guilt and confusion.

Joseph, your cheater isn’t “confused.” She knows exactly what she’s doing. Does her guilt pain her? Perhaps, but not as much as you knowing about her affair and nattering on about it pains her.

I understand that you wish all this never happened and that you wish it would just go away. I can even believe that you truly love me and that your indiscretion hurts you emotionally much the same way it hurts me.

Put down the spackle, Joe. Her affair doesn’t pain her the way it pains you — it’s NOT EVEN CLOSE. She enjoyed the affair — that’s why she did it. And went back for seconds and thirds. Ego kibbles and cake are awesome. That’s what her actions say — she had an affair because she wanted it, not because it “pained” her.

I think in your chumpy little brain you have to imagine your wife is in the same kind of pain you are, so there is some kind of justice. Gee, it’s all just one big clusterfuck and we’re all hurting! NO — she DID THIS TO YOU. And yes, herself. But for her to want understanding for her self-inflicted pain is like the guy who murdered his parents wanting clemency from the court for being an orphan. Fuck her, Joe.

I understand your apprehension to me discovering little by little, everything that led up to your indiscretion, everything that happened that night, and everything that happened afterwards. I understand. No one wants to have a mistake or misjudgment thrown in his or her face repeatedly.

Well, that’s true. No one wants their mistakes thrown in their face. But this wasn’t a mistake (singular) or misjudgment (singular) — this was an affair. It’s betrayal. It was completely pre-meditated, unlike a mistake — which is spilling wine accidentally on a friend’s sofa. You pay the cleaning bill, and yes, you hope no one mentions it again. But what you’ve got Joe is a much bigger mess to clean up. If you want to reconcile, she’s going to have face it (excuse me “have it thrown in her face”) for YEARS — because that’s how long it takes to heal. If it ever heals in reconciliation. (The Universal Bullshit Translator is very skeptical.)

No one wants to be forced to ‘look’ at the thing that caused all their pain over and over again.

“Their” pain, Joe? There you go assuming again that she feels pain the way you feel it.

I can actually see, that through your eyes, you are viewing this whole thing as something that just needs to go away, something that is over, that he/she doesn’t mean anything to you, so why is it such a big issue? I can understand you wondering why I torture myself with this continuously, and thinking, doesn’t he/she know by now that I love him/her? I can see how you can feel this way and how frustrating it must be. But for the remainder of this letter I’m going to ask you to view my reality through my eyes.

And there’s your problem, Joe. She will NOT view reality through your eyes. To do that she’d have to have EMPATHY, which she just demonstrated through an affair that she is lacking. Now, I know to reconcile, you have to believe that this lapse in empathy was temporary, brought about by the fun of naughty sex and such, but consider that it might go deeper, that lack of empathy might be who she IS. That’s her character. And character changes very slowly and painfully and isn’t brought about by heartfelt letters, but things like consequences. The most empathy deficient? Consequences don’t even get through to those idiots. They keep doing the same stupid shit over and over again.

You were there. There is no detail left out from your point of view. Like a puzzle, you have all the pieces and you are able to reconstruct them and be able to understand the whole picture, the whole message, or the whole meaning. You know exactly what that picture is and what it means to you and if it can effect your life and whether or not it continues to stir your feelings. You have the pieces, the tools, and the knowledge.

You can move through your life with 100% of the picture you compiled. If you have any doubts, then at least you’re carrying all the information in your mind and you can use it to derive conclusions or answers to your doubts or question. You carry all the ‘STUFF’ to figure out OUR reality. There isn’t really any information, or pieces to the puzzle that you don’t have.

Joe, you don’t share a reality, or values, or much else. There is her reality and your reality. She’s looking at this through the lens of ME, and you want her to see her world through a lens of OURS. She doesn’t do that. She’s got her own agenda. Not telling you the truth is about her gaining advantage over you. It’s for her own protection, so you won’t know the full truth about your life and what she did, so then you won’t impose consequences.

Now let’s enter my reality. Let’s both agree that this affects our lives equally.

Let’s agree that leprechauns run the state lotteries. Let’s agree that I’m Baroness Penelope Snootypants and I live in a castle. Let’s agree that Tori Spelling is a Rhodes scholar.

The outcome no matter what it is will affect us both. Our future and our present circumstances are every bit as important to me as it is to you. So, why then is it okay for me to be left in the dark? Do I not deserve to know as much about the night that nearly destroyed our relationship as you do? Just like you, I am also able to discern the meaning of certain particulars and innuendoes of that night and just like you, I deserve to be given the opportunity to understand what nearly brought our relationship down.

Of course you deserve to know, Joe. It’s just that your wife (as you dimly suspect) doesn’t think you deserve to know, because you’re a lesser being. A chump. Not the sort of fabulous, deserving person she is. This isn’t a contest of equals here.

Also, you’ve got to let go of the idea that it was “a night” — singular. Where’d you get that nugget? Let me guess — the wife who’s lying to you and not filling you in on the particulars, right?

To assume that I can move forward and accept everything at face value is unrealistic and unless we stop thinking unrealistically I doubt our lives will ever ‘feel’ complete. You have given me a puzzle. It is a 1000 piece puzzle and 400 random pieces are missing. You expect me to assemble the puzzle without the benefit of looking at the picture on the box. You expect me to be able to discern what I am looking at and to appreciate it in the same context as you. You want me to be as comfortable with what I see in the picture as you are.

No, she doesn’t expect you to be able to “discern what you are looking at” or “appreciate its context.” That’s spackle for SHE IS STILL LYING TO YOU.

What she expects is for you to shut up about it already.

When I ask if there was a tree in such and such area of the picture you tell me don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask whether there were any animals in my puzzle you say don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask if there was a lake in that big empty spot in my puzzle you say, what’s the difference, it’s not important.

The puzzle is a nice metaphor, but this isn’t a children’s game. You’re not seeing a tree or animals. You’re not seeing unprotected sex, or multiple partners, or all the emails where she tells her affair partner what an asshole you are.

Then later when I’m expected to understand the picture in my puzzle you fail to understand my disorientation and confusion. You expect me to feel the same way about the picture as you do but deny me the same view as you. When I express this problem you feel compelled to admonish me for not understanding it, for not seeing it the way you see it.

You wonder why I can’t just accept whatever you chose to describe to me about the picture and then be able to feel the same way you feel about it.

She doesn’t care how you feel about it. You aren’t expected to understand the puzzle. That’s the POINT.

So, you want me to be okay with everything.

Now you’re getting it, Joe. Keep connecting those dots.

You think you deserve to know and I deserve to wonder.

Yes, that’s it exactly.

You may honestly feel that the whole picture, everything that happened is insignificant because in your heart you know it was a mistake and wish it never happened. But how can I know that? Faith? Because you told me so? Would you have faith if the tables were turned? Don’t you understand that I want to believe you completely? But how can I? I can never know what is truly in your mind and heart.

Oh, she totally understands that you want to believe her completely. That’s how you manipulate chumps and abuse their trust. They want to believe.

I can only observe you actions, and what information I have acquired and slowly, over time rebuild my faith in your feelings. I truly wish it were easier.

So, there it is, as best as I can put it. That is why I ask questions. That is where my need to know is derived from. And that is why it is unfair for you to think that we can effectively move forward and unfair for you to accuse me of dwelling on the past. My need to know stems from my desire to hold our world together.

It doesn’t come from jealousy, it doesn’t come from spitefulness, and it doesn’t come from a desire to make you suffer.

Joe, it’s not jealousy when your wife is fucking another man. That’s righteous anger at being betrayed. Who told you those feelings were “spiteful”? You deserve to be in a marriage where your wife isn’t fucking another man in secret. You don’t have a desire to make her suffer? Well, she sure as hell doesn’t care if YOU suffer.

It comes from the fact that I love you. Why else would I put myself through this?

Because you’re a chump and you’ve got spackle issues.

Wouldn’t it be easier for me to walk away?

Walking away isn’t “easier.” It takes a huge amount of guts. Keeping your 401K and your family together is the societally accepted path. But I’ll give you this, doing what you’re doing is self-inflicted torture and much more painful. You should consider walking away for your sanity and self respect.

Wouldn’t it be easier to consider our relationship a bad mistake in my life and to move on to better horizons?

Easier? No. Healthier? Yes.

Of course it would, but I can’t and the reason I can’t is because I love you and that reason in itself makes all the difference in the world.

Love the all-powerful spackle. Joe, some love isn’t good for us. Some relationships are toxic and it doesn’t matter how much you love the person, you need to walk away, because they don’t love you back with mutuality and respect. They love you as a superior loves an inferior. They love that you’re of use to them. They love the kibbles.

Love yourself more, Joe and burn this letter. Stop spilling your guts to a woman who demonstrably doesn’t give a shit about you. You’re better than this.

This column ran previously.

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  • How many of us wrote just such a letter to our cheaters? I wrote numerous ones as that’s the only way I’d get to air my feelings. He always bombarded me with empty, useless, hurtful words. Spun the poor me so beautifully, that I was convinced that I was the whole problem in the marriage. Convinced me that it was my flaws that led to all the “indiscretions”. I picked me danced and pretzelized for two years all while he carried on his affair in my face. Talked about his whore-how funny she was, how hard she worked, what a fantastic mother she was, how she “got” him, how she advised him on how to save our marriage. Ain’t that a kick in the teeth? She was advising him on how to save his marriage to me.

    I was so beaten down by years of devaluing that I took all this as normal and that I had to be the one to change to make him happy. I wish I could say that the night I first tried to kill myself was the turning point for me, but it wasn’t. He knew how low I had gotten, but went to her anyway. Told her he thought I might be suicidal and together they decided I was just being “dramatic”. It took me another attempt with him in the damn room to finally wake me up and realize that I meant nothing. That our life together was just image management for him. My kids were so much smarter, two cut him off before I did. My youngest is still trying to get his dad’s attention.

    I still have copies of those damned letters and pull them out occasionally. They let me see how very far I have come. How weak I was and how strong I am becoming. Never Again will I allow anyone to make feel that insignificant! I am not at meh, but it is closer every single day.

    • Read your own letter again. What I read is a woman who was married to a very dangerous man. He did not shoot you or stab you with a knife but make no mistake, your suicide attempts were orchestrated by him. He just used thousands of pin pricks as he watched you slowly bleed to death.
      Congratulations on getting to Tuesday. Meh is when someone tells you he was badly hurt and you say, “Who?”.

      • Dear Let Go, I honestly never thought of it that way. But your words really gave me an aha moment. He did want the house and custody of the kids, what better way to get them-and sympathy-than for me to die? And he could spin it anyway he wanted because I told no one about what was going on in our home. Damn, I was so very stupid and chumpy. Best day of my life was the one he moved out. Started to see much more clearly the emotional, financial and psychological abuse we had been living under.

        Thank you so much for your words. It is people like you on this site, that care, that have helped me so tremendously. Wish I had found this so much earlier. Hugs to you!

        • SSH, what LetGo said is just so true! So happy for you that you had a aha moment today. My ex orchestrated me “going crazy.” After Dday, he remained his normal cool, collective, emotionless self. I on the other hand, gradually spun out of control when he just wouldn’t leave the marital home, even though he knew he was driving me crazy with his presence. This is EVIL behavior from a dangerous man. Big hugs to you.

          • A psychologist told a friend of mine that it only takes about a week to drive a close family member crazy.
            Bad guy/bad gal, “I need for you to stop/start doing _______”
            Chump, “I did/did not do_______”
            Bg/bg, “Yes/no you did/didn’t.”
            Chump, “Honestly I did/did not”
            Bg, “I am tired of you always______. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I going out with my friends”
            Next day when Chump brings it up as being accused of something the bg/bg says they never said that. When the Chump yells, cries etc. and says that they had the conversation yesterday the bg says, “Sometimes I think you are crazy.”
            Manipulation of people who trust you is as easy as breathing.

            • Wow, just one week. I held my shit together for about six months and the I lost it when his mommy accused me at church of, “Now you are keeping the children away from the grandparents and their father!?” Something I never would do. She couldn’t handle the fact that both of our kids chose on their own to spend Easter with me. And then a few days later she denied THREE TIMES that she ever said that to me. I lost it and I was done with his family and him! I was done with people saying, “I never said/did tgat.” I put up with that shit for years and I’m not putting up with it anymore!

              • Martha, Narcs always blame shift and play the victim. Sounds like not only was your husband a narc, but so is his mother. Good riddance. Glad to here that your kids see him for what he is.

              • Yep! My ex is the victim for sure. Even though he was the one who cheated on me and had many, many women “friends” behind my back. And also, he lies so much (even about stupid stuff) that it made my head spin.

                Yeah, I’ve thought the same about his mom, too. She highly manipulative, great at the guilt treatment and I’ve heard her say a few doozy lies over the years. The fact that she denied three times saying that to my face, is all I need to know that she’s a safe person to be in a relationship with. Even when she came over after she said this to me at church, she pointed her finger at me and said, “The problem with YOU, is that YOU CAN’T FORGIVE AND YOU CAN’T FORGET!” She has no fucking clue how much fucking stuff I forgave her “perfect and special” son of. I would have FORGOTTEN if he wouldn’t have kept doing the same cheating and lying over and over and over again. That’s on him. Not me. She’s a bitch and she can go be with her fake family and friends. I bent over backwards for that woman for years and finally for the first time in 25 years I stood up for myself, well, mommy didn’t like that and her mask fell and I saw her for who she truly is. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and her spawn is just like her.

              • Fuck that old bat mil of yours, Martha. You don’t have to forgive or forget a damn thing. And fuck her loser spawn too

              • I am happy to hear that, Martha. Thank you.

                I have to laugh when I think back on how offended by profanity ex was when we discussed his whoring. I guess it’s okay to be out fucking whores as long as you can dress it up with some pretty language, like making love, sleeping together, being intimate. The euphemisms never end.

                I don’t like that “nasty language” on the reconciliation boards either LOL got reprimanded a few times there. Fuck them too.

              • I truly understand about ex and ex’s mother both being narcs. His mother said something to me, not in confidence, that I shared with ex. He went to his mother to ask about it and the crazy bitch said, “I never said that.” I’m waiting for a phone call from her next month as she will be trying to kiss my ass so she can come down here and stay with me in FL for the winter from RI. FREEZE YOUR ASS OFF, ICE QUEEN!

              • LOL, Nomoreskankboy. You will have to let us know when you get the call from her. 🙂 My exes mommy sent me a card summer of 2015 after I had some surgery. Never opened it. Burned it (truly I burned it — lol.) She lied to me three times and said, “I didn’t say that.” She’s not safe. She’s fake. A few times over the years she said to me, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I seriously had no clue what that meant, because if someone was my enemy or was against me, I certainly wouldn’t want them close to me! But now I see it. She wanted to be all fake and “I love you” to keep me close, so she could manipulate, use and control me. So she could still be “in” on things with me. Fuck that shit. I don’t need unsafe and fake people in my life.

              • Martha: Just pull a David Mamet on Mommy Dearest: She said “Your problem is you can’t forgive and forget!!”, merely reply, “Co-rect.”

              • Tempest, you lost me on David Mamet, but oh how I love Mommy Dearest! I will be using that from now on. Thank you! “No wire hangers!” lol

              • Late to the thread, Martha, but this jumped out at me:

                The fact that she denied three times saying that to my face, is all I need to know that she’s [not] a safe person to be in a relationship with.

                I think your MIL needs to reread Matthew 26:69 wherein Peter denies Jesus three times before the cock crows. And then turn around, go back into church, and ask his forgiveness (Jesus’ forgiveness, not Matthew’s).

          • Well, from a legal standpoint if he leaves he looses his share of the investment so, he had a good reason to stay.

    • I did not realize just how beaten down I was…not even when he pulled out a loaded automatic and stuck it in my face screaming “you’re not of God”! “you’re not of God”! He was a Jesus Cheater. I had just confronted him about his cheating and he began the gaslighting in earnest…I would not back down and went into my room to cool off. When I came back out to the living room, he was sitting in the recliner with a blanket on his lap. The argument ensued…that is when he whipped off the blanket and put that gun straight into my face. He was drunk (another mistake I made confronting a drunk…but when was he not drunk after work?).

      I felt nothing…no fear…nothing. I told him to either give me the gun, or I was going to call 911. He did nothing, so I went to the phone and called the Sheriff, telling them that there was a domestic going down in my home. He, perhaps realizing that his opportunity to shoot me and hide my body had come and gone since the Sheriff had already been alerted, threw the gun down and he got up on top of our house to hide. Coward…too smart or afraid to murder me??

      The deputy came, and I told them that the X was no longer in the house and that I felt safe (since I now had the gun…the tables were turned). X got down off the roof after they left and went to bed…he could sleep like a baby regardless. The next morning when I confronted him about the gun incident, he totally denied it. I asked him what he was doing on the roof…and where was his gun??? Crickets.

      Then I realized that TRUTH was not a part of who he is. It took me four years to extricate myself from him…I had no regard for the danger I was living in, but made plans and slowly lined up my ducks. The point is, that all the gas lighting/lies/blame shifting he had done over the years had the effect of making me completely NUMB. I simply did not care what happened to me, figuring that he could only kill me once and my problems would be over…fortunately, there were no children living in our home (all grown and gone).

      In hindsight, I could have had him deported…but I did not know that at the time. THAT is my only regret.

      • Holy crap, what a loon. Glad you are safe and sound. And out. That could have gone so wrong in so many ways.

      • Special snowflake and Sweetz…..
        I read hear daily. This is my first comment.
        I am a chump supreme and am just figuring out I have been such for 15 years.
        I am finally finding my voice and strength. Finally realizing that this abuse is not normal.
        Both of your posts have rung true on so many levels. How many times I was gaslighted into thinking it was all my fault. How often I am triangulate with these whores with stories of their greatness and that they are nothing but friends. And, how many times my life was in danger at the hands of a drunken cheater.

        And I thought it was normal.

        I had no idea how far he has beaten me down.

        Reading chump nation every day has opened my eyes. It is giving me strength and hope.
        Some day I will tell my whole story.
        For now, I just wanted to say thank you for telling yours. Thank you for helping me.

        Today is my birthday, and I have yet to receive a “happy birthday” from him. And it hurts. But today it hurts not because he didn’t give me “affection” but because I know I deserve so much more. I deserve love and affection not emotional, and mental abuse on my birthday.

        Thank you chump nation for helping me to see this.

          • Happy birthday from me too! Your gift to yourself is clarity of mind – and I am wishing for you strength to follow through! ??

        • Happy birthday! May all the rest of them be safe, happy and loving!

          Yes, read here daily, as it strengthens us all to see that we are not alone in the crazy making shit our cheaters had made of our lives. Everyone of us on this blog can point to a post and say “yep, been there, done that” and God, it helps! Big hugs to you! Thank God you are safe and have the ability to heal!

        • Happy Birthday. I hope that something wonderful and amazing finds you today, even if it is something small.

          I, too, lurked here and read most of the archives for a few months. CN is why I finally decided to go “no contact” except for making arrangements to see the kids. Best. Thing. Ever. After a couple months I was able to recognize the sad sausage, blame shifting, projecting, gaslighting, and passive aggressive statements he constantly makes (even though most of it is done through texts). The beauty is that when I don’t respond or engage, it does not mess up my sense of reality anymore. Stop expecting things from him and trust he sucks. Keep reading. Keep getting stronger. You will get there.

          “The truth is still blurry, but the lies are getting clearer.”

        • Happy Birthday, qadahp!

          Blow out the candles on Sylvia’s and geekmom’s posts above (I can’t do icons), and … Make TWO wishes!

        • Happy Birthday! I know exactly how hurtful the deliberate act of ignoring your birthday is. Will someday be my ex did the same, always ignoring my birthday (anniversary, Christmas, Mother’s Day) and NEVER teaching our sons to celebrate with “mom”, even though I always made an effort to take them shopping for his special occasions.

          I hope find a way to enjoy yourself, and show no emotion to acknowledge that you are upset by his omission. Remember, they are most bothered when you find joy. Remember how much we all care about you.

          • Happy Birthday to you! My STBX did that do me this year too – moved out 2 days before my birthday and no acknowledgment from him. Then nothing on Mother’s Day or our anniversary (24 yrs) either. It hurt TERRIBLY at the time, but as I get more distance from his bullshit and have as little contact with him as possible (16-yr-old son together and just started the divorce process) I trust that he sucks and choose NOT to let his assholeness hurt me anymore.

          • They do this on purpose???

            That is my biggest problem….”trusting that he sucks”
            I just can not wrap my head around this evilness.
            How can you just knowingly chose to ignore a special event to make someone feel like shit??? EVIL! EVIL! EVIL!

            I will never never understand this.

            I need bigger bitch boots I think!

        • Qada

          I never knew him until I went no contact, threw him out, and filed.

          That is when you get your power back. Knowing and staying depletes your strength every single day. Clarity is painful.

          Beware, narcs have little insight yet somehow know when we see through the mask. Be safe. Have an immediate exit plan just in case. Welcome.

        • Happy Birthday!

          “I know I deserve so much more. I deserve love and affection not emotional, and mental abuse on my birthday.”

          Don’t lose this thought! Once you re strong enough to get out and go No Contact, the path to the truth and the light, you will see so much more. It will hurt but then it will get better. I promise you are worth so much more and once you are able to stand alone with No Contact, your life will improve by leaps and bounds.

          • Thank you for this.

            I keep telling myself this over and over.
            I deserve more.

            It’s weird that I flinch to see someone else say it to. But, I am a good person. I know it.
            I don’t need his validation. I am getting to the place I need to be.

        • I was married 20+ years and not one of those years included a “Happy Birthday.”

          It also never included a Merry Christmas, Happy Anniversary, Happy Morher’s Day…No gift or mention of Valentine’s Day…

          Not one gift or verbal expression in all those years.

          I wasn’t quite prepared for a divorce but I did have some time to get a few dicks in a row.

          I made it a point to have him served divorce papers on my birthday. I waffled between my (our) anniversary or my birthday or HIS birthday. I ended up picking my birthday because from that day forward, life was about me and my kids.

          It was the best gift I ever gave myself.

          I was already at MEH but it did give me great satisfaction to stand up for myself when I had never done it before.

          I just had a birthday the other day and now they are fabulous days.

          You will get to the other side. One day, the switch will flip and there will be no stopping you.

          Give yourself a birthday gift you’ll keep forever….your freedom.

          Happy Burthday!!

          AND many, many, more!!

          Also, because my husband never bought me a birthday gift or acknowledged my birthday in any way, I always bought myself a piece of silver jewelry. Nothing too expensive but something I liked. I have A LOT of silver jewelry! Lol.

          Best of luck!!

            • Thank you!

              I am getting my ducks lined up. That is a huge step for me.

              And happy belated bday to you too!
              I love silver jewelry too! This is an awesome idea! And there is an amazing little silver jeweler close to my house. Might just have to take a walk this weekend!

        • Qadahp, welcome, and happy birthday. Keep reading, post when you feel connection, like today. Once again, I am thankful for CL and CN, I have found strength here, like you and many others. I am so glad that you are finding your strength.

      • He is a coward. Hiding on the roof…what a clown. Not the big bad thug when the cops were coming, was he?

        When someone points a loaded gun at you, it is over. No further analysis needed. I can say that with 100% certainty.

        But I know being with an abuser changes your brain chemistry. Him adding in the ” You are not of God” part remind me of Jim Jones. You have been brain washed.

        You would be better off living with a field mouse than this abomination. I hope you have escaped.
        Sending you positive energy, Sweetz.

    • This rings a bell. “But I needed someone to talk to about our marriage. She is so wise. She tried to help us. Then we just couldn’t help falling in love” Riiiiiight. Funny I didn’t have that problem. Somehow I knew that the only people you talk to about your marriage are your spouse and your marriage counselor. (Was it ethics? Common sense?)

    • Talked about his whore-how funny she was, how hard she worked, what a fantastic mother she was, how she “got” him,

      I had to listen to this dribble as well, hair done, nails done, worships at his feet, bondage bitch sex slave the most perfect woman ever!

      Thats why she threw him out four times and has a new boyfriend but still hoovers for asswipe. I may be a chump but i know two very deserving assholes when i see them. Heres to a cheater free life! Fucking pods.

      • Kar Marie,
        Would he talk about this whore in glowing terms while he was still living with you? It is too much. It is torture. Did he think you did not care?

        Small mercies…my X denied everything down to the ground until he realized I would never forgive him. He said all these women were “crazy and he did not care if a group of men ran a train on them.” Nice.

        You have vast reserves of self control as I would have become extremely violent if my X has praised a whore he cheated on me with…..I would be in prison.

        • Yes sylvia he did praise and praise her over and over while demeaning me. I took it for about a month and packed his bag and threw him out. He find out she aint so damn perfect. Haha. She found out not so damn wonderful. Shes the type can never be without a man. Loser. She has a new boyfriend but hoovering asswipe. Losers. I have a temper beyond the pale but i learned long ago how to control my anger. Italian irish i was doomed to a temper but i learned how to deal with it. In thirty years asswipe saw me lose my shit four times in the first six months of his crap two violently. Scared the piss out of him hed never seen that side of me. Now while i still got angry at him i would simply flip my hair give him a smiling fuck you fuck face and walk away. I refused and still do to allow him a win. Fuck him. He now likes to fight let him fight with others. He hates it cause i wont engage. He also detests yelling unless hes the one doing it then its ok. Do as i say not as i do he really was a bad example of character for my kids. Come on house closing!

          • He is a straight out Punisher. He likes pain in the bed and he likes to cause other mental pain.
            Other’s pain gives him pleasure. This, to me, is very close to a serial killer.
            I can’t get off unless someone is howling in agony.

            His cake mix was blended with motor oil, not Crisco Canola Oil, and the badness is baked in.

            He can’t be fixed.

            • Yes i agree. He yells at injustice on the tv, he yells when he sees women being raped or beaten he yells about liars and lying. He can protray a very decent pod but only when it suits his needs. He claims he loves and adores women yet wants to control them and guide them to what he wants. Punish bad behavior. What a jackass. The shit i heard come out of his mouth the last three years is unbelievable. Yhe women are useful if they make him look good, have money, be a sex slave, kiss his ass and feet. Very different than who i got involved with after the mask fell. He told me he didnt tell me the truth cause he wanted to see how long he could get away with it! Get over on me make me a fool. That is not a good guy. A pod. Did tge same thing with whore juice and then deliberately told her some truths so she would toss him out. Sad sausage delusional fuck face is what this pod is.

          • Ritual humiliation. Whore praising. Guns pressed into a human being’s flesh. I’m gonna go out on a limb here: They’re not much different from stone cold killers. I suspect they just happen not to like blood. Or prison.

            Sylvia, commenting on Kar Marie’s heinous POD (that’s for you, KM), noted that the pleasure derived from inflicting pain made him “very close to a serial killer.”

            And yet, I read the other day on a mostly-bearable site that almost NONE of these cheaters has a disordered character or personality, and that to believe so or even be with diagnosis in hand hurts the victim and helps the cheater. And that, basically, we are ALL capable of abuse and cheating.

            That’s from a mostly compassionate site. (I hesitate to name it because it’s one of the few non-RIC sites out there.)

            No. We are not all capable of sustained emotional and psychological abuse. We are not all capable of cheating. We are not all capable of obscene selfishness seasoned with taunts and guns. We may theoretically all be born capable. I don’t know. But I do know that we have not all developed a character that is capable of and/or happy to indulge in sustained harm.

            I’d like the experts and spouses or partners in the RIC community, Gottmans included for not shouting their PD-disclaimer through a megaphone, to be subject to an experiment like the Stanford prison one.

            Substitute spouses encouraged to cheat and given LOTS of opportunity and plentiful supply for prison guards. Substitute RIC experts for prisoners, and make them watch partners’ interactions. Substitute Doug Snyder or [___] for Zimbardo. (Zimbardo was both the warden and the originator of the experiment.)


            I figure if these experts can experiment on us (often with really bad to zero science), produce the Josephs of the world, boondoggle and make physically ill this chump (me) for awhile — well, they ought to be willing to endure their own methods and prescriptions.

            Epidemic of cheating? How about: Epidemic of colluders.

            • I will know after the 13th of oct. Its my home stretch. I will post closing date here. I cant stand the wait but its coming. Yippee and thank you.

              • So, so anxiously awaiting the 13th, Kar Marie. I can’t wait to hear your stories once your free from the pod!

              • Thanks ian i have some doozies! I will know when the closing date is around or just after the 13th. Its been a lond time coming. Thanks what i get for being decent to the asswipe. I will never put myself in this position again. Its adios to that motherfucker and freedom to me!!!

        • Sylvia, not a good idea….then you would have to get tatoos, pierce every body part, do some head banging, sell drugs and post on FB about all the hoes who are jealous of you! Seems like too much work.

      • Hey Kar Marie, are you the chump who said ages ago that you were pretending to be nice to your cheater until the divorce was done? That you were being so effective that your cheater even defended you to his AP?

        I was trying to remember who it was who said that, as I wondered how that was working out.

        I feel like telling my cheater to fuck of all of the time, and telling him what I think of him, but I vary between friendly formality and those awful no-contact fails of emotional exposure “how could you do that” Etc etc. I wondered whether being nice was working?

        • Yes i believe that would be me. This fuckface pod is vindictive so i decided to play the nice card even though looking at his ugly lying pod face makes me want to puke. I have only done it to get what i want. Its sickening but effective. My house should close oct nov the latest then adios motherfucker now i get what i want. I am totally indiffetent to him neither love nor hate him. Thats too much work. But being indifferent is easy i no longer care about this pod for any reason he is nothing to me, absolutely nothing.

          • Ok, I will try to channel you from now on! When I either want to call him out on his shittiness, or when I become overcome with increduality and emotionally despairing, I’ll channel Kar Marie “play the nice card; get what you want”. If it has worked for you, I will try it and stick to it!

            I’m wary of going too nice though – lest he thinks I’ve forgiven him. Or is that the point??

            • Oh i never go too nice. I laugh at his moans and groans and pains. I agree with him all the time, yep your right bucko! He knows better but what can he do complain i agree with him? Haha damn fool. He knows i dont agree with him and wont engage in a fight drives him nuts. If he talks to me in that stupid downgrading cadence i give it back. How he treats me i treat him back only with a big smile on my face. Yep dude whatever. He cant bait me threaten me or order me around and he knows it. Not your wife, dude, not your gf dude, not your friend dude. Find someone who gives a shit. When i yreat him how he treats me he understands that but when im being me im a maron. Go figure but its worked for me. I wont let him get under my skin. Big smile soft voice whatever dude. And im getting what i want. It kills me cause i just want to punch his face every day but its getting me what i want away from here and forever away from him. Channel me honey and i will be there right next to you big shit eating grin on my face for your asswipe.

              • By the way let the fucker think what he wants you and i know the truth. I havent forgiven him hes aware. And he thinks after i move we are gonna still be great friends, hang out, date, fuck whatever. Not gonna happen but let his little pea brained convaluted pod brain think what it wants. Asswipe is in for a big awakening.

              • Love it! Ok, I’m going to take your advice. I’m also looking forward to getting away from him and where we used to live together. Shitbox is currently trying to borrow 5 grand from me before the house is sold. I want to tell him to fuck right off, but I’m going to play it cool. It could be useful for negotiating purposes. I won’t be doing anything without an iron-clad legal agreement, but still, the audacity of approaching ME of all people for a loan… He’s so lucky I’ve been so chilled so far.

              • Tell him you cant you will need it for your new life. Asswipe asked me for a loan i said no i need it for the future of mine you destroyed and asswipe will never pay it back thats how he deals with non traditional loans. Told him go get it from whore juice or have the sex slaves chip in. Im not investing another penny or second in you asswipe for your betterment. Now fuck off!

              • Ive been divorced almost a year. Now im waiting for some paperwork for the house closing date. I got the house in divorce he wants it hes buying it from me then i pick up my stuff my dogs and adios mofo five hours from here!

            • This is to Off The Crazy Train. I’m a long time lurker ( two years). I am planning on writing my story in the next month. Just want to say that CL and CN saved me. Thought I was going crazy and multiple MCs were no help.
              I can attest to the fact that playing the game and getting ducks in row is the best path. Despite being in a “no fault” state, I got EVERYTHING!!! The house ( no buying out), all my pension and all 401k. I make $40000 more than him, no alimony. Son in college and he has to pay half!
              CL and CN saved my sanity and being able to retire! And I thank TRACY AND ALL For your gift of sharing. Please never stop!! You’re saving more lives than you know❤️

              • Yay, Chumpalongtime!! What a settlement. I can’t wait to hear your story. You sound very mighty so far!

              • Thank you. Not a great texted And working lots, thus writing next month. Btw it wasn’t just my life but my friend’s also…and her friend! Chumpalongtime cubed!!! One day I hope CL asks us lurkers to chime in- she is going to be surprised on the number of lives she’s saved. And if you extrapolate that out to children that have a new sane parent- well it brings tears to my eyes. Love and light to all who share every day!!!

              • I wish I could be a lurker, but I don’t think it’s in my nature. I have to say something several times a day, minimum, lol

              • Love to hear from lurkers as you call yourselves. I recommend chumplady to everyone I know facing this crap. They go but may not comment. I even recommended it to the MC… before I dumped her. CL and CN are literally saving lives. My one regret will always be not having stuck to my promise to myself re infidelity and leaving at the first sign. Everything after that was not worth it. Instead of having yo console one child I have to console two. Two children who at 8 and 6 want to know why they could not have gotten a better father.

              • Chumpalongtime, I can only imagine how many lurkers there are out there. Maybe CL can already tell as this is her website and I’m sure she see how many people log on every day? But yeah, it’s always nice to see someone say, “I’ve been reading for a long time.” Have a good day! 🙂

    • Special Snowflake, it is so hard for us chumps to comprehend the level of manipulation and disordered thinking these predators have. They mess up our minds. It takes getting away from them to be able to see their behavior and words for what they are. Congrats on getting clear (even if you aren’t all the way there yet). I am FINALLY starting to have moments of JOY again even if they are brief. I didn’t realize how little there was while I was still with him. The devalue was that great. Keep marching on…it takes a long time, but life without them is definitely worth it.

    • All my ex’s APs tried to give him advice on saving our marriage. I think it’s because the basis for their relationship was that he would act all sad and unhappily married and verbalize a need for female perspective. He actually admitted to me that he would be in a good mood all day, until he would run into his mark (he always cheated with customers on his route at work), then he would force himself into a sullen and beaten-down mood, sometimes mustering up a couple of tears just before he would go in. He would pretend we had just had an argument and that I was impossible to please. I wonder how many of these Other Women try to offer advice for saving the marriage. I would guess more than half.

      • JBaby, what was his occupation? Delivery, contractor, Serviceman, etc. I noticed some try to do their dirt during the day to avoid suspicion…

        • Delivery driver. He was (is) so stupid though. Used his phone to cheat EVERY time. It’s like he wanted to get caught.

      • JBABY-

        He is positively deranged.
        Imagine…. happy, driving singing along to Hotel California or something, then as his approaches APs work..Ok, gotta get sad.

        Adjusts face….mopey, tries to work up tears, musses his own hair.

        Talk about the mask of sanity slipping. And he told you this.

        • May I, agog, rewrite that nice little sentence of yours, Sylvia?

          AND he told you?

          Man alive, what I would have given to have a witness like he when I was a litigator. Criminally stupid. Stupidly criminal? Whatever the hell it is, it goes right along with marriage advice from an AP. The hell???

      • JBaby, Wow, wow, wow. And then to admit to you that he manipulated AP’s while on his route?! Who are these people?!

        Man, I have been just so darn naïve over the years. My ex telling me nothing was going on with anyone when I was pregnant with our second. All the while he had “signs” he was cheating on me. I kept thinking, “He’s a married man. Why would any woman want a married man?” That was me putting my values onto them. Lots of women want a married man I guess. It’s just sick. And they probably knew I was pregnant, too. I truly hope the karma bus hit each one of them some day.

        • They want a married man cause they think they are stable trustworthy honest and true. And marriage material. And they can get things. Hahahahahahaha. I almost choked saying that! Cheater gonna cheat liar gonna lie. Anyone who sleeps with a married man is a big of a low life as them!

        • I was naive in the same way. My ex made it known everywhere he went that he was married and had children. I thought this made me safe. I even said out loud, 2 weeks before Dday #1, that no woman would mess with him because he announces his status to everyone. I didn’t realize that it was part of his routine and that there is no shortage of disgusting women out there. Something he knew for years before I woke up.

          • I just don’t understand these truly horrible women who have affairs with married men. I’ll never understand it. And to break-up a family? I told my ex just after Dday, that Tim Whore-ton Coffee Snatch is a women of truly horrible character. She knew EXACTLY what she was doing when she went out for drinks and probably more until 1:30 in the morning. In over 20 yrs being with my ex, I never once went for coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks with any other man. I never texted another man. I emailed two guys from high school before our reunion, but the emails came right to our family home email address and he even knew about it. I had nothing to hide. People who hide encounters, texts, emails, etc are up to no good. Whore-ton and Dahmer deserve each other. And if it doesn’t work out with her, I’m sure there are a lot of other sluts he’s kept in contact with over the years, so he’s got a long list of supply out there to choose from.

    • First time in my life I got close to that suicidal feeling 3 months after DD, I wrote the traitor a letter, explained how on our way back from MC we had been caught on the road, unable to get home because of a flooded stream. I wanted to wade across the torrent to walk the last couple of kms home to get the truck to tow us across. He wouldn’t let me. I wrote that I had felt I had nothing to lose if I got carried away, nothing to go home for anymore. He waited 2 weeks for the next MC session to mention it and then it was all about how I had ambushed him with that letter, how cruel it was TO HIM.
      Fast forward 8 more months of his gaslighting me while the affair goes on although he claims to have stopped and we are still in MC. He has in fact been going to see the whore a couple of times a week while I am at work or when he pretends to be looking after her grandmother! He tricks me to go to MC where I have said I will only go to work on the relationship, announces there that all he wants now is to mediate the break up and the financials in MC. Again I say that losing our family means losing all I have to live for (the children are his, I have had six miscarriages with him, I kept telling him the only thing that kept me going through those was telling myself I was lucky to have him and our family). I walk out of the MC and go home. The next day I go to town to pick up his and the whore’s son to bring him home for the weekend as usual. I found out a week later from looking up the phone logs, that he spent an hour on the phone with the whore while I was out. When I came home that night he said he had gone on my computer, looked on the browser history and found I had been looking at suicide info (how to do it and not fail), and called the MC and psych services. Turns out he did call the MC for a couple of minutes, then it was all with the whore. Tells me he’s worried I might be dangerous to their son while I am suicidal. Thanks for caring. Still they let dangerous me carry on with the usual routine of driving 160 kms every week to pick up said son for another 5 months, teach another son to drive, buy him a car blah, blah. Cos I am soooo dangerous… Around the same time, I found ChumpLady and started reading about narcissists. That’s when I got it. I didn’t completely stop feeling suicidal, in fact I came very close in January this year; real close, suicide note written, means obtained, date chosen etc. But he doesn’t know. During this period, from October last year I had a VAR and started learning exactly what those 2 were up to. They discussed how I was pretending to be suicidal among other things like how they would turn their kid against me. While the traitor was pretending to me that he had been getting legal advice on how to ensure I would have access to the little boy if we split up. That was a pack of lies too. I found his paper work hidden in the woolshed, he had a lawyer since July to attack the farm trust, nothing about access to his son and he was getting the mail sent to the whore’s grandmother’s house.
      I had a choice of staying suicidal or getting angry. Thanks to CL I got angry and I am still here.
      That person, the monster who used to sleep in the same bed, was my next of kin, would have decided my fate if I was in a coma, no doubt after discussing it with the whore.
      The most dangerous persons I have ever met: my ex and his second ex/mistress.
      I had nothing to do with their breakup, it happened 6 months before I even met him. I haven’t seen their son since April, he went from our home to school one morning as usual and never came back. X told me he wouldn’t be coming back that evening. After nine years of caring for this boy, teaching him to ride a push bike and to swim, doing homework with him every week, home cooked food his mother never did, teaching him to use a knife and fork and eat on a plate because he was living like an animal at his mum’s. I am not exaggerating, she didn’t even have a bathroom there, the boy never showered except in our home. But she had 20 cats and he’s even had fleas! And she has a good job as a nurse and makes more money than we did. Imagine a nurse who doesn’t shower next time you have to go to hospital. Yuck!
      I am surprised I survived all this and got past the suicidal feeling, it really went away when the traitor finally left. I didn’t want him to , but when he did, a dark cloud lifted. Someone here said once rejection is God’s protection. True.

      • I lost all contact with my stepson of 5 years when his mother left me. I hear the way some folks talk about their step kids and it drives me wild that I was so willing and invested and things ended the way they did. I’m sorry you’re experiencing this too.

        • Yes it’s a horrible feeling. I never said I love him like my own son simply because I haven’t had the privilege of having children, so I will never know what that means. But I know I gave him all the love and care I have in me and I was also careful to always say that he has a mother and I am not here to replace her. Inside I knew how much I despised the way she treated him but I believed she loved him. After she left him with me while she was fucking my partner I realised she didn’t care what happened to him. The boy and I are just tools and toys to these people. I guess it was the same for you, the family life was just a marketing gimmick for your ex, to sell you an illusion. And your heart just a door mat to wipe her feet on. Sorry this happened to you too.

      • You are MIGHTY, Kiwichump! I’m happy you found CL and you are feeling better!!! CL saved my life, too. My depression turned into anger the more and more I read. Yes, I agree with you: Mans rejection is God’s protection. I’m 100% convinced God woke me up the night Jeffrey Dahmer was out on secret drinks date with Tim Whore-tons Coffee Snatch. My sister has said again and again to me, “Martha, you just don’t know what else God is protecting your from.” He’s such a pathological liar, that who knows what else he’s got cooking behind the scenes. Hugs to you.

        • Yes we have been spared worse things that would surely have happened if they had stayed. I really mean it when I say CL saved my life. No wonder Tracy looks so young in her birthday photo, kindness+intelligence =beauty and youth

    • Special snowflake, “…all the gas lighting/lies/blame shifting he had done over the years had the effect of making me completely NUMB. I simply did not care what happened to me …”

      ^^^^THIS.^^^^ This is one of the best explanations I’ve seen of where you were, and where others are or have been. I am SO glad you got out. And yes, I think you were mirroring what you saw. Emotional and psychological abuse like that has been described as “soul murder” for a reason. Almost to meh? You give me heart. And what you wrote is so brave.

      I highlighted what you said because, from experience, I worry sometimes about lurkers or one-time posters. (Skip to last paragraph if you wish.) JUST LIKE being the victim of a cheater, being driven by an abuser to robotically numb or suicidal or paralyzed is its own singularly unfathomable hell.

      I’ve been there twice. Once at 25, from which I rallied with lots of work. And though too confused to admit it at the time, I was there about three months before D-day. Despite plenty of earlier experience with escaping crazy, I had no idea what was wrong with me.

      I’d taken two devastating “hits” in other realms, did not yet know about 5-year OW. I DID know that waking up for 30 days straight to the dreads, and with the matter-of-fact thought, “I’d rather be dead,” wasn’t safe.

      Went to a therapist. So tired. She kept at me with kindness, sometimes a little too much. A couple of weeks before D-Day, she suggested I should go to a hospital. “Out of nowhere” I startled us both.

      I sat up, an electrified zombie, and declared, “Oh, HELL NO. I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with me. But I do know that I didn’t create this crazy. That I have fought back against the crazy I could pinpoint. That I am fucking exhausted. And that whoever concocted the rest of this shit, probably with my ignorant consent, is NOT going to win.”

      Not my most mature moment. But one of my most profound. I slumped back in the chair. I wept silent, incessant, terrifying tears — the awful quiet of a psyche undone. Her immediate response: “I am SO sorry. I made a mistake. You present as a survivor. I let my worry trump what you needed. [Namely, not yet to be confronted with being a victim.] I’m so sorry.” I nodded. She meant well. She is wise, kind, generous, brilliant.

      When D-day hit two weeks later, she said, “Your intuition has been right all along. You do not need a hospital. HE’s abusive. He’s crazy-making. And he’s good. Had me believing you were relapsing because of your family.”

      (I couldn’t drive for awhile. I let him take me to the second appointment. He asked if he could talk to her a bit. I didn’t care. He counted on that, i.e. that I didn’t care in the sense of utter indifference, and didn’t care because I stupidly figured my life-long willfullness would protect me.)

      This long story, inspired by Special snowflake, Sweetz, qadahp, and others, is intended to be a backdrop. [*Cringe. Be brave, Claire*] I lurked for months, intimidated. I don’t intimidate easily. Today ISN’T one with comments that trouble me. I’ll seize the undisturbed space. I want to alert, gently, the good-hearted but sometimes unknowing commenters who might not recognize or be able to imagine this particular situation (suicidal paralysis, call it what you want). Though not objectively “wrong,” sometimes I saw/see comments that deploy tough love a bit too early … that trumpet “Run, NOW” a bit insistently … or without qualification such as “if you can.” If you don’t care whether or not you’re dead; if you are hollow zombie; if you are paralytically numb; that small part of you who might be reached probably can’t hear what the “strong” chump does. (Hell, I’ve commented too close to not-so-helpful myself a couple of times, and I know better.) Finally, to others who identify with what Special snowflake wrote: YOU AREN’T ALONE. We care. Sending love — Claire.

      • I had that suicidal stuff for about a year. Then i got very very angry. Now mind you im still pissed at that asswipe but i will not let it dictate my life. Fuck him and everything he stuck that sorry limp old dick in. I have moments of sorrow now again hey i with with that pod a long time. Now it gonna be about me. And your life should be about you. His loss. Fuck the cheater assholes. Big huge giant hugs to you girlie!

        • .You’re sweet.

          You’re right, as is kiwichump: anger can literally be a life saver. The pre D-day “Oh hell no I’m not going to the hospital because whoever is behind this crazy will NOT win” was my anger waking up.

          (Please don’t get me wrong. Hospitals saved my siblings. And me, at 25, though it was a “regular” hospital ER.)

          I don’t talk about my current get-out-of-jail-plan existence very often and then, with only one friend (it CAN’T get out, and people can’t help themselves). The other day I wondered aloud whether or not I would change radically from fury, would become bitter and cynical and misanthropic.

          She laughed at me. For a long time. I’ve had to bite back rage for almost five months, so I was slightly astonished.

          But she had an interesting answer. “Claire, it’s like selfishness. Selfish people don’t ask if they’re selfish. Generous people do. If generous people err, it’s on the side of too much giving. So stop. I’ve seen your fury save lives. Save your own. I’ll let you know if you become unfairly bitter. And the misanthrope thing?”

          Off she went again into peals of laughter. Kind of refreshing in a bewildering sort of way. Caught her breath. “Do you think Rotten will ever NOT be a slick sicko? No? There are your odds.”

          I dunno. Too often I find myself ensnared in my own tangle: I’d give just about anything to have even one day of normal … but pity parties are useless and if wishes were horses then beggars would ride.

          • I takes awhile you will get there. I still cry once in awhile for what happened i could never do this to someone i love but the asswipe had no remorse or care about doing it to me. If only i would have gotten a bit more honesty. But no hes an asshole who no idea how to love only to pretend to get what he wants til the next…and the next time and so on. I loved a soul less no empathy black hearted pod who hasnt a clue the damage hes done. I will never forgive him but i will forgive me. Never will i wrap my head around the how and why but i walk away knowing i kept my promise i kept my vows and i am a better person than he can ever hope to be. Him and his low life whore can crash burn and die i just dont care. And you ate a better person than your asswipe too. How long has it been for you? Im three years out and i still feel the pain.

      • Wow. Claire S. That was impactful for me. Although I was not suicidal, in the worst of the worst of the emotional abuse I was so numb. I did try to think and research ways to disappear, like go off-grid, completely shed myself from that fucking abusive asshole, his enabling family and everything that goes with years of devalue, gaslighting , manipulation etc.

        But I stood my ground because that fucker and his family were NOT ever going to have my kids. I just became defiant and did whatever the fuck I wanted with my kids without the nest of vipers and the creep I married. Still do 🙂

        It still angers me obviously. These creeps think we will crumble and submit and give a thumbs up. Most of us spackled. What a relief to ditch the trowel and throw the curtain back from these disordered assholes. It’s not normal. The relationship was never normal and it’s a sucky relationship model for your kids.

        • Yes great posts, thank you so much for being so open about those suicidal and zombie feelings. It helps to hear that my reactions were normal. I knew it instinctively but didn’t feel I could tell anyone or I’d end up sectioned while the whore took over my life. This CN is so full of truly mature and insightful contributions. Thank you fellow chumps.
          That poor Joseph’s letter reads like someone pleading for his life at gunpoint. Thank goodness we got past that.

    • My ex told me she “hated” how she “enjoyed every minute with him”. Was like a knife twisting in my heart, it was just amazing the hurtful things she said with absolutely no regard for my feelings. Of course now looking back I can see it a lot clearer and am so embarrassed how I begged her to stay but I’m so pleased to read that what I did is what nearly every other chimp did as well. I def don’t miss theit thinking I was crazy/being mind fucked for the whole 13 years, and I’m lucky, I moved out with our daughter, bought myself a home, discarded idiot friends (Switzerland! Ha!!!), reconnected with old ones who even a year later let me rant and vent. I didn’t even know I could go No contact coz I share a child (10 year old spends weekends at crazy mums), coz it would have helped my healing. But since being away from the ex, I have realised I’m not useless, and I pretty much looked after her the whole marriage. She just dropped off our daughter and the ex told me she was going to the Drs because she’s been pissing her bed… when she shut the door I pissed myself with laughter! Mean I know, she’s only 37, but had beena cheating on my off and on for 5 years with rich old men, I busted her, I wasn’t perfect, but never mean, always faithful, polite, a good father, provider. I just didn’t “worship” her enough. When I busted her that’s what she said about him “he worshipped me.”

  • It’s interesting how when you start enforcing boundaries who goes by the wayside. One friend of mine, turns out not only is she fair weather, but a bit jealous and nasty with it. Would never have picked it. Another new friendship is about to be put on the back burner as I expect more effort and respect from those I give my time to. One positive to come away with from the infidelity shitstorm are the lessons learnt.

  • Wow, SSH! You endured some hell there. So glad you’re on this forum and free of the cheater. I hope you are feeling much better these days. Their opinions mean nothing. Disordered and evil, they are. Stay mighty!

    Tracy, I hope someday you are awarded a medal for all your service to humanity. I will be forever grateful that someone directed me to your site within a week of Dday #2. That whole letter makes me hate the RIC with an intense loathing. Thank God for your voice of reason and truth.

  • Thanks for this post today. I’m a BH and although I love love love your site, I like seeing the BH perspective talked about more. THANK YOU!

    • Howdy, ChumpedDude. I saw you post the other day. I am glad you posted again. There is a small cadre of us guy chumps about. If you feel up to it perhaps post in the forum. We will give you support if you need it. I first found Chump Lady, and I could read my own feelings in the lady’s words. But I had a few specific dynamic I didn’t see covered, so I wrote a letter to Chump Lady and submitted it directly to her. She answered it, and I was off the the no-contact races.

      You aren’t a BH, ChumpedDude. You are a victim. Become a survivor. Become a chump. Get away from that bitch. It’s better here, in Chump Nation, dude.

      • Thanks for the welcome Ian. Long long time lurker (6 months?). You’re right about being the victim, of course! And I think it’s harder for us guys. Because of our egos, we don’t want to admit what happened and so suffer in silence. After telling a couple of friends what happened to me, I was shocked to find one of them had been chumped a decade ago! And so many have the assumption that it’s our fault our wives cheated.

        And I agree that Tracy is fantastic. She’s very kind and generous when you interact with her on line. Extremely supportive and has such a refreshingly honest point go view. Love her!

        Thanks again for the welcome. Us men need to hang together! ?

        • No, you can mix and mingle, co ed style. No one will bite you.
          Unless you wanted them to.

        • We females are here for you too and we should all hang out. Being lied to and deceived is awful and i know full well guys hurt and get hurt too. Hugs to you.

          • Thanks for commenting, Chumped Dude. I have a local guy friend who was chumped and in the beginning we emailed a lot. It was and still is so nice to talk with him and I think he enjoys sharing his pain and anger with me. I’m always sad to see how many chumps are on the site, but it’s always nice to see a guy post. I know how much my local friend hurt and still hurts, so us chumps have to be here for each other and support each other.

  • Hugs, Special. I know that feeling well. I was there but never acted on it because I had responsibilities to kids and pets and I couldn’t just leave, as much I wanted to.

    In retrospect, it wasn’t as much about dying, as it was about making the pain stop. Then I got angry and it became clear the pain was all about keeping a cheating fuckwit in my life. I had done my damnedest to make the marriage work, and cheater ex had effectively declared war. I was emotionally done and set about extricating myself and my kids, which took a while. Anger can be a great push when you need it.

    Good for you for dumping your cheater. He was a cruel, selfish person, and I’m glad you no longer have to put up with his crap on a daily basis.

    May the karma bus find him!

    • Hi Tessie, yes, that is it exactly, I wanted, needed the pain to stop. The only thing that ended up having me vomiting up the pills was the knowledge that I would be leaving my kids with him. And now I am so very, very angry.

      I think a lot of us get to that point, whether we admit to it or not. We tried so hard throughout the marriage to make them happy, our needs becoming non existent, that when it blows up, there is nothing left inside of us to fight back. And then survival finally kicks in and we get angry. That is what finally propels us to stop dancing, to stop taking shit and start taking control of OUR LIVES.

      I’m sorry that you, too, were brought so low (hugs). And now that they are out of our daily lives, I keep praying daily that God, karma, the universe….will make them pay for the harm that they have perpetuated on us and our children.

    • Yes this is how it felt for me as well. It just came to a point where I all I wanted was to make the pain STOP. Didn’t care about the What or How – I just want to put an end to my suffering. I felt so drained dealing with his cheating that the thought of doing the ‘reconciliation’ work felt like my body was not giving me permission to suffer more and it kept screaming, “NO MORE!!!”. Finally I told him I’m leaving and went ahead to establish MC a few days later. Back then the Cheater even had the gall to wonder why I was able say good bye “so easily”.

      Never looked back since – and now I’m feeling better.

      • I can definitely relate to your comment, CeliA -‘It just came to a point where I all I wanted was to make the pain go away.
        I wonder how many of us have been this close when blindsided, rug pulled out, and life as we knew it was suddenly over.
        The pain is so tremendous, I know I just wanted it to stop.
        I saw no other way to make it quit and I was really at the bottom of my life.

        And, I looked at my dogs ‘the morning after’, and suddenly, I wondered what would happen to them. I thought of all the support people that had been in touch and helped me, and how many cared so deeply, and slowly got out of that emotional rabbit-hole. If it wasn’t for accepting the support, and knowing defenseless ones only had me looking after them…and C/L, it saved my life. Thank God we get over that state of crazy!!
        Upset over a CHEATER! harrumph, now.

  • My favorite on lying:

    It’s quite long, starts out: “I hate being lied to. Short of violence, it is the worst thing you can do to me. Not because of God, or the Ten Commandments, or any universal moral precepts. The reason that I hate lies is because, like you, I wish to navigate carefully through life, and to do so I must be able to calculate my true position. When you lie to me, you know your position but you have given me false data which obscures mine.”

    • I read the article on lying – it summarized exactly how I feel.

      After a few DDays, the STBXH told me that he deliberately withheld information from me because he knew I wouldn’t like it. I made all of the major decisions in my life (where to live, what to do with my career, and whether to have children) based on deliberately falsified information. Talk about having the rug pulled out from underneath you when you find out the truth (or at least as much as you’ve discovered).

    • One of the best ethical analyses of infidelity I have ever read. I just shared it with many friends.

      This: “When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened,” says St. Augustine (quoted by Bok), “all things will remain doubtful.”

      • +100
        And it can never be repaired.

        St. Augustine is an interesting fellow to read about, too. He was torn by animal lust and spiritual cleanlines clashes.

    • Yep. That’s why it’s cheating. Uneven playing field. Unfair advantage. He could see my cards but I couldn’t see his. And I didn’t know this was the case. Cheating.

  • Oh and one more thing, then I’ll shut up, and listen….er….read. To all the loving, kind wonderful male chumps out there, hugs to you also. Reading about your struggles here has helped me so much. I love your wit, your compassion, your wisdom and your character. It has helped me see a much more balanced picture when it comes to my perception of men in general. I was raised by a malignant narc father and married two cluster “B’s” which gave me a pretty skewed view of men in general. You guys are awesome and thank you for helping me realize that there are a bunch of really good guys out there.

    • Yep, thanks to the male chumps. I really distrust most men these days, but the male chumps help me believe that not all men are cheaters and liars.

      • But a whole lot of them are. They also cover for each other. Like nothing women would do.
        Most women would be breaking their neck to “rat out” another female.
        Not so with men. There is a code of silence they honor.

        Don’t believe me? Take an anti nausea pill and go to a strip club. Watch.

        You will never be the same.

        • I’ve seen that code of silence all too often. Those are the ones who think with their other heads. Those are the guys to watch out for.

        • Oh, yes. They sure do cover for each other. My exes best man cheated on his then girlfriend (now his wife) during their college days. Did the best man judge or saying anything bad to my ex after Dday? Nope! My ex couldn’t believe I was “judging” him since best man didn’t say he did anything wrong. Wouldn’t be the bit surprised if ever cheats on his wife.

          • Yes. It is like secret society. Once you find out, it makes you feel very sick.

            Men who don’t cover and lie are not considered part of this club. Even if the men do not like the other men, they will lie for him.

            My X had a friend who tried to warn me, but he liked me. When I confronted my X, the “friend” turned on me like a rapid Raccoon. And was bowing at my X’s feet.

            I want WOMEN to stick up for each like the men do. (I do this). But, most women do not.

        • You’d be surprised Sylvia. My wife had at least 3 girlfriends/female colleagues (that I know of) that covered for her, gave her advice on what to do, and helped her hide her A.

          Heck, these women hung out with us when she’d bring her COW AP (and his wife) around me and our kids. I have no idea what they thought about the whole scene. I’d love to ask them someday. That kind of situation would be way too awkward and sad for me to witness if it were one of my friends. But they watched it go down week after week. I suppose they thought it was a spectacle worth seeing, good theater or something juicy to gossip about. I have no idea about women vs. men overall, but I just know what I personally witnessed.

          • Yeah, you are right, Blindside. I happened to know of one case of adultery that happened in the last year and the adulteress bff knew what she was doing and went along with it. So, I know it’s not just guys. If it was me, I’d tell the chump. The chump has the right to know the truth.

    • I was also thinking about the male chumps the other day… I think it must be so rough, so unjust to have to pay your ex-cheater wife spousal maintenance, or only get to see your children at weekends, when it’s her doing. My thought was triggered by the meme from the other day “my favourite weekend dad”. While this is absolutely apt in my case, Shitbox just sees the children on weekends, and only on the weekends he can (sometimes its weeks between), I can also see another side to that meme. For all the chump fathers who are also weekend dads, but not through their own choosing, it must be awful. To be cheated on and only get to see your children every few days, and have to pay child and spousal maintenance (if you are the higher earner – I know it works both ways). I really feel for you.

      • And some of us get to pay financial support to our cheating ex wives only to see it used for the household now including a former affair partner, who sees our kids more than us. Tens of thousands of dollars over many years. #cherryontop

    • Thanks for that Tessie, your posts are amazing. I remember having this epiphany one morning soon after my cheating whore left me and our daughter, I shot out of bed and wrote this long rambling email much like this letter, but more of me accepting blame for her cheating and how I’m going to improve myself and so much pick me dancing I could’ve been on that damn dance show..anyway I didn’t send it for some reason..but I kept the draft…Thank God! I’ve pulled that draft up over the last couple years and can’t believe how far I’ve come. I’m thankful I never sent it but I’m sure she would’ve just read “blah blah blah” anyways or even read it in bed and laughed with her AP…I feel sorry for this topics letter writer but I get where his mind is at. It takes time to detach and fall out of love but thankfully with NC and support like CN and CL peace is attainable!

    • Thanks, Tessie. It’s hard for us chumped guys too. There’s so much anger out there from women who’ve been cheated on and who extrapolate to all men are evil. Easier that way I guess than to see the nuance. Just witness comment after comment on this thread alone! It’s no wonder we stay hidden. Anyway, that’s for the acknowledgement

      • It’s easy to conflate character with gender, especially when you’re raw. Guilty myself. But I can also tell you in my experience, it was “Chicks before Dicks”. XW wasn’t out whoring around by herself, and ALL her gal pals in the loop covered for her. Including the one I confronted point blank. She just lied to my face (I already had proof) . Of course they were all cheaters too. Like attracts like. I don’t cover for my cheater guy friends…because I don’t have any (anymore…yay boundaries).

      • ChumpedDude, Tessie listed the qualities of SO many men on this site. I, too, want to send a shout out to them. You, and these other wonderful ‘dudes’, are my beacons of hope.

        Lying and cheating is about character deficiency, not gender. Hence, innumerable examples of flawed men AND women. If a shark was approaching during my leisurely dip, the least of my concerns would be gender.

        All the Best.

        • I really like reading everyone’s experiences. Not like-like because it all sucks. It’s important for women who have never known decent men in their lives that THERE ARE DECENT MEN. Why our pickers succumbed to the love bombing is our own work.

          Knowing there are decent men and having been around them my entire life, it has been a shocking 2×4 to my ego and head that I married a complete asshole. And had kids with the creep.

          The BEST part is that I raised these 4 awesome kids without his involved presence- he was too busy fucking ho’s, looking for ho’s, drinking excessively when he was home or passed out on the couch on the weekends. I am raising decent men and women, without the influence of his sick family and without him.

          • To all the men chumps on this site- you are very much appreciated. Society trains women to talk about and share our burdens with others, you poor men are taught the exact opposite. It is wonderful to hear from y’all. To get your perspective. You may actually, in many ways, hurt worse than us female chumps as you have been taught since babyhood to suck it up and “be a man” and deny that you feel anything. What a waste. yiu give me hope that decent, honorable men exist. And I hope you realize that not all women are shallow, materialistic bitches!

            I’m glad that each of you are here and that we can all support each other. Cause it sucks, no matter the gender. Hugs to you all!

  • CL, can you attend court with me? Speak some chumpese to my lawyer? Rent out the UBT? You are the voice of reality and reason for us addled, head spun, mindfucked, lip vibrating, chumpy chumps.

    • Lightbulb! How about a new line of work: infidelity survivor advocates? Just like DV advocates? Or, how about a CN movement to demand that the DV advocate community recognize infidelity as domestic violence? The physical harm is worse in most cases (Id take a black eye and broken arm over HIV, HSV, HPV, sphyllis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia any day), the emotional harm is at least as bad, and the financial harm as well.

      What do you chumps think? How to go about this? Start a lobbying foundation? I’m very interested in this.

      • I think it’s a great idea, but I’m not great at leading or movements. Lobby congress? Petition congress? There’s a lot of cheaters and liars in politics, so I’m not sure they’d be too keen on the idea….

        • Maybe the best place to start since there are so many of us is with a national org that supports and has answers and resources and then can attempt to educaye the courts and the public?

          • I really want to start a local support group for people like us after i get moved and settled.

  • ” I can even believe that … your indiscretion hurts you emotionally much the same way it hurts me.”

    Exactly what I thought! The pain of betrayal after D-day was JUST like a stream of multiple orgasms, such as someone might ‘suffer’ during an affair!!

    • I think he probably means the aftermath, the impact on the marriage, the guilt … all those ramifications chumps think about but cheaters don’t. Ever. Because they don’t care and chumps do. Cheaters suck.

    • Yes…those blow jobs from random 20 somethings…I know you were writhing in pain.

      It was just like me vomiting over the trash can after you told me about it, and then shouted at me, “You drove me to it!!!”

      Kismet, I say!

      • The last words from the nh’s mouth, “Remember, you started this “! What? Now, he is gone and we are going through a divorce. This blog helps me so much, every day. I , too, was ready to see the nh ‘s response to living with you is such hell, I ‘d rather died. He showed no emotion and would have loved it if I had done it. Yes, the n can drive you to suicide. Thankfully, he abandoned me. The discard though painful saved my life.

        • +100% “Thankfully, he abandoned me. The discard though painful saved my life.” I’m my case SHE abandoned me.

          • I think a lot of them do wish we would kill ourselves. They want the evidence of what they have done to disappear, the reflection of their foul character to vanish. It would be so convenient if we did it. ‘See, I told you Chump was crazy!’

  • I can’t tell you how those infidelity boards and forums held me back – giving me false hope and constantly searching for answers. (So did my therapist who gave me zero insight on what was going on with my lying, cheating husband.)

    I feel sorry for that guy. Grasping at straws and trying to make sense of her betrayal. Been there and wish I hadn’t wasted so much time.

    • I acknowledge wreckonciliation is a waste of time and holds false hope, but for me it was really important. I wasn’t ready or prepared to deal with the deception.

      I wouldn’t have bought Tracy’s book and filed and got rid of him for good if I hadn’t have done the humiliating pickmedance first. My family meant everything to me, and I was fully committed to fighting for it!

      I didn’t realize then that I had nothing to work with. I was very clueless that my cheater had agency and his actions were telling me all I needed to know. I kept thinking of our history and looking at it as equity. Here you call it sunk costs. I get that. It was just a huge, shocking learning curve for me.

      I can’t change how I handled his betrayal and endured his discard , and I admit I am a slow learner. Now I just choose to say I tried everything and gave my very best. I didn’t know people could be so treacherous. Now I do.

      • This: “I acknowledge wreckonciliation is a waste of time and holds false hope, but for me it was really important. I wasn’t ready or prepared to deal with the deception.”

        Right there with you, neverwouldhaveimagined. I had to learn the hard way, so I’m perversely glad for the two short-lived wreckonciliation. When he left the second time, I had no spackle left.

    • Oh, I feel you on the therapist. I’m a chump there, too: “Oh, she’s a professional, so if I’m going to her for help and not getting better, it’s because I’m just so fucked up.”

      The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was my therapist saying that she hoped I’d be able to stop and talk to my ex if we ran across each other, to make amends for my part in the demise of the relationship. Yeah, she can fuck off with that. Haven’t been back and won’t be.

      • That is horrible, bizarre advice. Just disregard that freak. That is like asking you to go up and have a cuddle with someone who mugged you.

        If you want to, look at this:
        This is where I had my counseling. It is also called the Institute.

        About The Institute:
        The Institute is a rapidly growing body of people seeking to impact public education surrounding issues related to pathology, personality disorders, and psychopathy.

        I don’t know if your X falls into this group of the disordered, but mine did. You have to take tests, and it is a bit hard to get “in”, but once you do….they help you see how disordered the person is.

        It does not take the pain away, WWDSG, but it HAS helped me stay no contact, along with this website and the kind people who post. And I craved my X like a drug. Hearing his truck in my driveway was like….I had found bliss, won the lottery. (What a farce).

        But The Institute…they are hardcore. No sympathy for the disordered there. You can go and explore their website for free, and they have SUPER free podcasts.

        • Yes, their podcasts are excellent! Stay no contact, Sylvia! We are rooting for you!! I know you know this, but your brain is addicted to your X and you are just going thru withdrawals. Hang tight. It’ll get better. 🙂

          • I can’t in good conscience recommend MC. Unless it is the one telling you to cut your losses. For all of their studying how do they not class these freaks? Do they think they are all institutionalized? One thought she’d pray the spirit of lust out of him. The other told me we had both been selfish: me for studying and him for cheating. He told me to give reconciliation some thought. I near yanked my hand from his! My thoughts were” you didn’t have to live with him!”. I’ve never been back to any. I found a lady from an association for abused women and she gets it., The cycle of abuse. I’ll be seeing her. Fuck these piss ass MC . They are fucking people over. You can’t fix crazy. You don’t give medical treatment to the family of the ill. Why you trying to treat the spouse of the disordered? Most annoyed. My DD 8years old told her father that she was uncomfortable when he had his former co worker/ next victim over. He shut dd down accusing me of having fed her that narrative. Truth is dd had not even mentioned her visits to me because she did not want to upset me. My ds6 asked does daddy think we are stupid? My reply: yes

  • I would add, that whenever you have to explain basic decency to someone or beg them for empathy? You’ve got a non-starter. This whole letter is Joe trying to explain and plead for empathy from someone who doesn’t have any.

    • I kept doing this, pleading for empathy and asking why he wasn’t showing remorse. He usually retorted one of three things:

      1 – just because I’m not showing remorse or guilt doesn’t mean I don’t feel it.
      2 – what do you expect me to do? What remorse or empathy do you want me to show – what does it look like to you?
      3 – oh, here we go with this remorse and empathy thing again. You always go on about it.

      He always reflected my words back at me; “yes I feel remorse / guilt / empathy / compassion”, but didn’t undertake the ACTIONS that demonstrate those words. It was when he asked me what remorseful behaviour looks like that I started to become a bit creeped out. He wanted me to explain what remorseful behaviour is? What, so he could copy it? Box ticked, human emotion successfully acted out!

      • My ex behaved in a very similar manner. The best he could do was to say “I’m sorry, you didn’t deserve that.” Although he is correct on the surface (I didn’t deserve it), it always rang hollow and never sat right with me. Empathy and heartfelt apologies don’t focus on the degree to which the victim deserved it. He wasn’t sorry because he did a wrong thing in the absolute, he’s sorry that his choices had an impact on my relative deservedness….for existing? Trying to enforce boundaries? Birthing a baby? Wanting things like a stable, loving spouse? I don’t know. He was more interested in to what degree I had brought it on myself. I wanted him to stand in front of a mirror and decide for himself how he felt about his behavior, but instead he projected his decisions onto me, and used that reflection to weigh his guilt.

        When someone is more interested in whether or not you deserved it, they are NOT sorry.

        • I think that is a crappy character thing. False equivalencies. So if you’d been a crappy spouse, apparently you would have ‘deserved’ being cheated on. Nuts.

        • I can’t tell you how many times my STBX has said “I don’t deserve you.” Instead of changing his behaviors to be deserving, he continues with the lying and cheating. This line is about one thing only and that is to make you feel sorry for them and guilty that you have made them feel undeserving. It is gaslighting at its finest.

          • I can’t tell you how many times my ex said, “You are out of my league.” or “You are too good for me.” Not sure if he was love bombing me or if he knew what he was up to behind the scenes and knew I was too good for him. And now he says, “You never took good care of me.” Jerk

      • +1!!!!! B I N G O!!!! We have a winner!
        I got that exact same thing.
        Just add regarding the remorse/ empathy ” you don’t know what’s going on in my head!”.
        No shit, Sherlock! You NEVER TALK TO ME! I’m not fucking psychic or a mind reader. You actually have to open your fucking pie hole and say something! All he can talk about is anything mundane, or work, the kids, the weather……a human emotion or something that’s bothering him? NADA. It’s been over 2 years now. Still nothing. I’m just sitting here now with no more fucks to give. We sleep in the same bed and I couldn’t care less. I have more ducks to line up and then the hammer will get dropped. We haven’t had sex, said I love you, or kissed in over 1 1/2 years.
        He honestly thinks everything is OK since I don’t bring anything up anymore, get angry, don’t use those ugly digs, etc. I told him in early April 2015 when he had over 6 months to TRY to show me that he actually cared or gave a shit, and had very little to show for it that I was DONE. I’m the kind of person that I MEAN what I say. To this day, he thinks that our shear proximity is going to make me love and trust him again. Um, no. If anything, I trust more than anything that he sucks, he’s always sucked, and I was a fool. I stopped trusting myself. I fell for his bullshit and made MY needs smaller and smaller. His downfall came when I NEEDED him. I told him that I NEEDED him and he didn’t deliver. I realized at that exact moment that he was a selfish coward, had always been one, and now know that he always will be. I have to say, he wasn’t a cheater ( given time, he would’ve been, he was escalating that common pattern at an alarming rate. He had built up his entitlement to unprecedented proportions, and had devalued me to almost an afterthought in his mind). I realized that he IS a covert Narc. I grew up with a grandiose Narc. I now know that that set me up to be the perfect prey for him. Our relationship, once I finally accepted it ( I broke up with him 3 times. I fell for the love bombing, ugh), felt normal and completely comfortable. Douche. I found my mighty. I don’t fall for his sad sausage. Once I’m ready, B O O M!!!! I’ll NEVER look back.

        • I hear you on the 3x’s rule. And just like you, no more chances, just GOODBYE… Not worth hitting your head against the wall. Covert Narcs will never get it. Unless by some miracle, they have an ounce of humanity and willingness to change. So rare… Practically impossible odds. Good for you on discovering yourself again…

        • Use your anger to move quickly. You are mighty! There is a life after you leave him.

        • Same for me with the not speaking about what’s on his mind. He’s moving out in two days and still cries and stuff and says “You don’t know how torn I am or you think I’m happy about this.” Well yeah. I do. Because you STILL don’t say Jack fucking shit about how you feel! The whole reason our marriage EVER had issues is that he NEVER SPOKE THE FUCK UP about what bothered him! I tried! But I had a hard time. And I didn’t get resentful that he couldn’t make me my happiest because I knew I wasn’t telling him WHAT I wanted!

    • So, so true and I wish I’d figured this out years ago. When you find yourself explaining basic decency to a grown-up, RUN.

  • I have finally arrived at the place where I am wholeheartedly grateful that my cheating ex-husband just walked out when he was busted. For over a decade, I grieved that fact, stuck in a narrative that he just didn’t care enough. Well, sure he didn’t! Leaving wasn’t the proof of that; cheating was! But his leaving was truly a gift from the universe! It saved me years of my life, I am certain, as well as a boat load of emotional
    abuse. I am so thankful!

  • Amazing timing on this. I wrote a similar letter – and that was before I had even heard of “Joseph’s Letter.” It was a cathartic action for me, if anything. And I even had a similar plea to understand the past (that she knew about, but I didn’t – and still don’t). I wrote mine about a year ago and I was just reading over the letter yesterday to remind me of the place I was emotionally vs. where I am today.

    I made the same mistake as Joseph of projecting my emotions, thoughts, feelings, and values onto my wife for too long. I couldn’t understand how or why she would hate me so much as to do the things she did. I thought she must absolutely hate my guts because that is what it would take for me to have done those actions to her. And to hate me that badly and for that long?? To carry on an A behind my back for years??? I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. I tried to figure it out with a therapist. I know I wasn’t perfect, but there are certainly way, way worse guys out there than me (including the married OM AP who lied to her and led her on for so long). What could I have possibly done to cause her to carry on a separate life behind my back for all those years??

    Sadly to say, once I finally fell out of love with her (and it took her continuing to hook up with the OM past Dday, show no remorse to me and just flat out continue to disrespect me to do this), I started looking at her actions more dispassionately and I finally figured out that she was just not the person I thought she was. She didn’t hate me. She just doesn’t give a shit about anybody but herself. Not me, not our kids. She had no idea how the A affected me, or if it affected me at all. Why? Because she didn’t care to know. My pain was my problem because this was all my fault anyway, right? For her, running around with other guys made her happy, feel younger, and was something she deserved. I couldn’t match that happiness after being married with kids for several years (who could?), and so in her view, I wasn’t deserving of her anymore.

    We’re getting divorced now. And I think I still have issues here and there with projecting myself onto her. When she’s depressed, I think she feels bad for what’s happening, and regrets losing the marriage. But that’s not what it is. I have to remind myself that she’s still hanging out with the OM (to this day), so it’s probably more about her feeling sorry for herself (and the fact that apparently the OM has no intentions of leaving his wife for her) rather than any remorse for the pain she’s inflicted on our kids or me, or the fact that we’re basically dismantling our lives so she can one day be “happy”.

    One of the most important things I’ve learned in this forum, on other infidelity boards, and now through my personal experience, is that we often misjudge people by projecting ourselves onto others. We think that they will act, feel, and think as we do. That we share the same values. That they will feel empathy and not go out of their way to screw somebody over. That they’ll react the same in a given situation as we would. But that’s just not the case. Watch a person’s actions, and do it without applying your emotions or values. Just watch them. That will help you understand what kind of a person they really are.

    • Blindside, I agree with you completely. I also projected my feelings onto my spouse and couldn’t understand what I did that make him hate me so much. But he, like your wife, was always pursuing the next thing he said would make him happy. However, whenever he attained whatever goal he’d set, he just move the goal post further away and claim that he’d finally be happy when he’d attained the next thing. I came to understand that he was happiest when working towards something he thought would make him happy (like convincing his married coworker to leave her family). He enjoyed the pursuit of things more than the possession of things.

      • Lyn,
        I call them the Fence Peekers. They are always peeking over the fence, to see what is better.
        What is newer? Can I upgrade? What am I missing?

        It is meaningless, foolish way to live. They never stand still and value what they have.

        That is why I do not get into the comparing game. There is always going to be someone prettier then me, uglier, richer, poorer, fatter, thinner, smarter, more dumb.

        It would never end. It is quicksand of misery. When Rasputin Shit Head called me three weeks ago, he said:

        “Well, there is sure nothing out there, is there, Babe?”

        I guess he was looking. It is like a dagger to my heart. But he can keep looking. Because they are like sharks, never satisfied, always hunting new meat. It is a horrible existence, to be yoked up with one of the Fence Peekers.

        Never again.

      • Lyn,
        You are spot on! I’d bet that many cheaters have a ton of “stuff” they have acquired in the pursuit of happiness. For men …guns, cars, collections. For women designer bags, jewlery etc. They have all the material things they could want. They have a devoted spouse and beautiful children. They make a good living and travel too. STILL NOT ENOUGH! They are easily bored and seek out om or ow like they do everything else. They are never happy. You could have an awesome weekend with a cheater. Or at least you feel it was fun and enjoyable and then come to find out its not really what they wanted to do. I always tried to point out how great of time we had on this or that occasion. Then crickets from him or he would say I didnt get to do what I wanted. News to looked happy and acted happy. Wtf?

        • Lyn, Sylvia, Snowflake14 – Exactly. You all described Cheese Fries too. He was always comparing himself to other people and deciding that he’d be happy if the had what THEY had. If he had something, then there must be something better out there. Last year, I had the sickening realization he was applying that same thought pattern to ME. There must be someone out there younger, thinner, sexier, more exciting, with a career he could brag about (instead of a boring SAHM who does all the shit he doesn’t value), and who likes all the same books, movies, TV shows, and music that he does. Someone who would, in his words, “bring the fun.” Let me tell you how much freaking FUN he brought in the last decade of our marriage … oh yeah, he was an ass who brought nothing but anger and resentment.

          And the weekend thing is spot on. After D-Day, when he was heavily into rewriting history, he brought up a couple of weekend trips we’d taken twenty years ago to a quaint little seaside town. He claimed he’d never enjoyed those trips, they were “not his thing.” Funny, he sure acted like he was having fun. But now he was hanging out with people who skydive and rock climb and jet off to exotic countries for their weekend trips, so quaint little seaside towns were bor-ring and he must not have enjoyed them after all because he’s the kind of guy who thrives on high-octane excitement. (That he chose to spend a whole lot of nights playing video games with his friends must have been my fault too.)

          But I did notice when I went through all our photos recently, that he looks unhappy and miserable in all of them. He’d like that to be my fault (trapped with the wrong woman! another women would have made me happy!), but I know he’s still unhappy and still blaming it on the people around him. I guess there are people in the world who lack the capacity for happiness.

          • OMG! My STBX was a total hermit and blamed me for not telling him I wanted him to take me out more. Except all the times I BEGGED to do something fun! So I hung around with him inside playing PlayStation or on his phone because I LOVED the fucker! And missed out on our life together to save for our house and car and now he’s tearing it all down the cunt! What was the point of that?! And then I got blamed for not making the marriage more fun! FUCK YOU! I’m the fucking FUNNEST! You are a GD AGUA FIESTA you grande dick head! GRRRR! WTF?!

    • Thank you for this post. This mirrors my experience (except AP wasn’t married) and was exactly my mindset too. I realized I am a sucker for the charm channel. And he kept saying he loved me and he’d change, but his actions kept showing me differently. I simply was not new. He wanted new and to feel young and free. That’s all on him. And it’s an illusion. He destroyed a great, devoted family for his shallow, selfish needs.

    • Beautifully said. It’s a wonderful thing when you finally look dispassionately at the cheater and accept the truth.

    • STBX totally projected his rejection onto me making me not love him in his head. Really?! He had a little melt down last night when he realized how much I still love him. Apparently all the shit I did and all those times I said it weren’t really about love ? I 10,000% feel the part about dismantling our life to “be happy one day” well let me tell you buddy your disfunctional whoremat is NOT the answer to happiness! Real true happiness is you making a life and enjoying what you have and can build. Tearing it all down is not the answer!

  • This is the crap society teaches and expects from us. Why not the cheater? They are the ones truly at fault. CL helped me realize how screwed up this type of logic is! I deep down felt I wasn’t at fault but had heard all the BS society spew out. The I did something to cause it and was at least partially to blame. But that’s all a lie! I worked to be the best person I could be while she stayed entitled and immature. In the end I decided she was a screwed up person and I needed to send her away on her own and quit trying to save her. Now she can live with the consequences of her actions. I’m done with her and those like her!

    • That’s what I did, lostntx… I quit trying to save him and let him deal with his own crappy choices. If you cheat, the consequences will be rendered. No more mercy from me with people that don’t give a damn about me and show me in the most hurtful ways. No one deserves to be treated like a piece of dirt. It’s so hard to realize the reality of how we were reallllly treated and what relationship we reallllly had. It’s humbling in a really fu-ked up way. It really just made me appreciate my loved ones and nurture those relationships even more and get away from people who are takers and not givers.

    • No doubt.

      If we’re not beating ourselves up for reasons to justify their behavior or looking for a way to blame ourselves for what they do, then we’re mentally crafting other excuses to somehow exonerate their shitty behavior.

      We need to realize that they aren’t interested in whether or not we can rationalize their behavior, they’ve already rationalized it to themselves, and that’s all that matters in their world.

      • Exactly… If we mattered to them, none of this would have ever happened… Before we ever find out, they’ve already built that narrative that YOU are the piece of crap they are stuck with.

    • Always good to hear from you LostnTX, my brother from the same state and another mother.

      She got hers. Over and over again. And she liked it. Now – consequences, bitch.

        • I just takes time. Main consequences for mine:
          Had new boyfriend within weeks. Just found out police had to remove him from house when she wanted him out.
          Have 2 teenage daughters. They spend 80-90% of time with me.
          She can’t find real job. Has had a couple minimum wage jobs she lasted a couple of months. Has college degree and certification in college field.
          No one to fix issues. Car, house, any adult trouble leaves her spinning.
          Loss of my family. She has only a mom and dad left.
          Reputation – she’s a Jesus cheater and I tell everyone now.
          Retirement – I was the working one and she bought old house with her 1/2. It came our my retirement and she has to pay IRS tax on it as well.
          Insurance – I have amazing health insurance and she was always broken down. She has to pay now.
          Health – about the same as before but no one to take care of her. I rehabbed her through 2 shoulder surgeries, back injections and foot surgery. Just to name a few.
          Those are just the ones I can think of right now. Sylvia, they will come but you may not even know about them. I won’t know about most of these if it weren’t my for kids and her continuing to text me. I’m NC, so I don’t really get why she informs me of a lot of it. I would block her except my kids are still teenagers. Once they are out of college, she gets blocked.

            • My ex hasn’t worked in over 2 years according to our daughter (im totally nc with her as our kids are adults..much much better)…if her new mr wonderful has to support her cheating ass more power to him. She got canned from her job she had for 17 years soon after she cheated and left, I’m thinking they forced her out because they didn’t like the “new” her either. Oh well, im residing in our house with our daughter as she works and completes school (she’s a vet tech) and my ex lives in a shitty apartment on the busiest street in town. Oh and I’m off next week, taking my daughter to the ocean for vacay! Yes, life is strange how once the cheater is exposed and disposed of you CAN survive and find happiness…(I’ve also been in daily contact with a fellow chump who’s husband decided to fuck their babysitter and leave her and the kids..I knew her years ago and we’ve reconnected ..taking things nice and slow but really refreshing to talk to someone again and joke back and forth etc..)

              • My kids are 8 and 6. I blocked asshole. Before WhatsApp there was landline And snail mail. I think he is lucky that I allow email And cellphone calls. If he pisses me the fuck off it will be third party.

  • Man, can I see myself in his letter. It’s heartbreaking to read, because I can now see how my ex withheld so much information and he did it for his benefit. The only truth I know, is the truth that I just happen to find out.

    On a side note. I’d just like to share this at CN, because I’m not going to bring it up to family or friends, as I’m sure they are sick of me living in the past. I know my friends her at CN wont’ mind me sharing my story and tell me to “get over it.”

    Today is the 25th anniversary of the biggest mistake of my life. 25 years ago I moved from WI to NY to be with the man of my dreams. You see, we had a long distance Love Letter relationship. I had been with him in person quite a few times, but I fell in love with him in the letters he wrote me. He told me all those wonderful love bombing things — “you are my soulmate, you are the love of my life, you are perfect for me, we are going to grow old and gray together, I can’t wait until we get married, etc.” I fell for the whole thing! We just clicked together and I truly believed everything he said to me.

    So I move 650 miles away from my family and friends. Nine months after I moved here, I found Love Letters in his bedroom (he still lived with his parents) from a woman who joined the military and got stationed in England. She said, “If you come visit me, we can spend the whole night together and have sex.” And yes, he did go visit her, but went with a male college friend. I was devastated when I read the letters. When he came back from England, I just asked him what was going on with this woman and he said they were “just friends.” I stupidly believed him, because I so wanted to believe all the wonderful things he said to me were true. That was the start of me spackling. Three months after this, he started his first big job out of college. He went off for training in Rochester for two weeks and he turned from loving boyfriend to mean and cold boyfriend. This was the first of many devalues and almost discards. My gut told me to move back to WI, but his mommy talked me out of it. I could go on and on, but I won’t.

    I just wanted to share as I’m feeling a bit sad and mad at myself for not trusting myself in the first place. Thank you for listening.

    • Martha,
      I told someone the other day, that I would give up my cute house and my Mercedes (that I worked three jobs to buy both of them for several years)….I would give them away…if I had certain knowledge BACK THEN……..I HAVE NOW.

      It is just this trick about life. We don’t have a crystal ball. We are working with very limited info. When someone is so disordered to spend vast amounts of time writing you long letters like John Keats …all evidence would point to deep feelings. It would take a sophisticated, savvy character to shake you by the shoulders and say: But the letter to the girl in England. That is the “tell.” That’s your answer.

      We did not have a CL to whisper in our ear. We had people who all had an iron in the fire, and their advice is usually biased, tainted or just misguided.

      We want to be in “love”…one of the most thrilling experiences on earth. When someone acts like they are too…..we cannot accept that they are so disordered and freakish that they are using us for some twisted game in their minds. We did not know we were on the tennis court.

      I know this is an extreme case, but pain is pain is pain and so is loss. In 1941-2, my grandmother was told by a trusted family friend that were rumblings coming out of Germany about a lunatic and his ilk who hated Jews. This person told them to leave everything and go. This was in Austria. Her whole family poo poo(ed) it as unthinkable. We know how that ended.

      Our minds reject the horrible. We don’t have all the information or evidence and we go on “feelings” or we substitute what WE would do. You said you “did not trust yourself in the first place”. I don’t think women are taught to trust themselves. We are told to look to others for guidance.

      I hope there is some gold to be gleaned from all of this pain and loss. A deeper knowledge of sociopaths? An encyclopedic awareness of red flags? An appreciation of lying in bed on a rainy day with three dogs who are incapable of deceit? Just to be alive and living in truth…albeit alone, but by God…not being played by some sly son of bitch who is spinning women like plates on a stick?


      • My grandmother on my moms side was from Austria, too, but moved here before WWII. 🙂

        Tempest said something yesterday, that I thought was really wise. She said that if I didn’t marry Jeffrey Dahmer, I would have married someone similar. It’s totally true. My picker is/was broken. I’m learning what healthy is. I’m learning all the signs that you are dating a narc. I didn’t know so many of the things he said and did to me in the beginning of our relationship were red flags. He has all ten signs of being a narc sociopath from the website “Love Fraud.” I did not know what I was dealing with and I failed to trust myself. Never again.

      • What the fuck are you talking about, Ian Dubito? I was not the OW. My ex and I had a long distance relationship. He declared his love to me and begged me to move to NY. But of course being the cheater he is, he started up the writing of love letters after his friend that he worked at the movie theater joined the military. She joined and moved in August and I moved here in September. As far as I know, they were “just friends.” But my ex needs to keeps all his sources of supply open, so he started writing letters to her or maybe she wrote to him first. I honestly don’t know who started what first, but I do know the letters he sent to me and what he wrote, so it wouldn’t surprise me that he was writing the same or similar letters to her. We were together for 25 years, married 20. I don’t appreciate you insinuating I was the OW. He was with me. He proposed to me , made vows to me and he married me. What you said is totally ridiculous.

        • Martha,

          I had the facts wrong. I am sorry. I thought you knew about his girlfriend when you moved.

          When I was 19 I cheated on my high-school sweetheart of two years. I had been having sex with my girlfriend for a couple of years. I went away to band camp, and I held hands, kissed, and fingered a girl. I didn’t tell my girlfriend. One of my girlfriend’s girlfriends knew what I had done. She kept it a secret.

          This is all long since been disclosed. My high-school sweetheart and I are cool. She married my drummer and roommate of many years a long time ago.

          I remember how badly I felt. But not bad enough to tell her at the time. It was one of those defining moments in my life. I resolved never to be such an evil stereotype again.

          Last I polled, there were at least 10 former cheaters, OW, or OM in our ranks. We are all here trying to recover. It’s not a safe space (Chump Lady herself is a unicorn slayer). So, I don’t cast stones. But I ask questions. It makes me less likable. I can live with that.

          • Ian,

            Yes, I did know about his friend either before or after I moved here (I’m sorry that I can’t remember the timing perfectly, because it’s been 25 years.) She was a friend from work. I know they went to the fair together before she left as he told me and he showed me something he bought while he was there. I thought nothing of his friendship and I had no reason not trust him. She wasn’t even on the radar screen as a possible love interest of him until I found the letters she sent him (he was in England visiting her at the time, and like I said, he went with male friend to visit her.) I was too embarrassed to tell him why I thought there was something going on with her (that I read his private letters), so I didn’t tell him the truth as to why I thought there was more than what he was telling me. He could have done the biggest favor to me in the world and told me the truth (that he was writing her love letters), but he lied of course. And I was a fool for not trusting what I read and trusting my gut.

            I’m happy you learned something from when you cheated on your girlfriend. That’s the best thing we can do when we mess-up. The problem with serial cheaters, is that they don’t learn, because they don’t think what they did was wrong. They are entitled and the deserve to be “happy” even though their actions cause mass destruction.

              • Oh, no. I moved myself and kids into an apartment over a year ago (he wouldn’t move out of our marital home and was driving me crazy with his presence. Divorce was final in June.

          • I’m sorry for swearing at you, Ian. I just didn’t like being called the OW when I never was. I can see the misunderstanding. It’s sometimes hard to keep the stories clear. Thanks for calling me mighty! You are too and you make me laugh with your funny posts and memes. 🙂

    • We’re always here to listen. I really feel for you. It may be in your past, but it’s always with you in your memories. Knowing what you know now, try to view those memories with your clear eyes. Yes, we all made massive mistakes not seeing the truth, but we were lied to, so they aren’t really mistakes. As my brother has told me, I loved too much and she took advantage of that. My family tried to tell me but I was too in love to listen. That is not a bad thing. It means I’m capable of love. and loving again some day. I hope all of us in CN find the right person to love again some day.

  • Well, I’m thankful I did not write anything like this. I may have let ex stay in my life when I shouldn’t have but any communication I had with him about his whoring was very negative, along the I hate your guts, you are a cheating nasty lying whoremonger line. I didn’t take well to that shit at all. I was only hanging around for my child, and he knew that and used it to his advantage.

  • I know a dumb ass girl who wrote a long letter to her cheater….wait, that is me. The letter is sitting on my desk top. It is not as nice as Joseph’s, however. But, the intent is the same:

    I just can’t believe he did not value what we had. That fucking nasty women was more important than my heart. But it was.

    My cheater has never made one grand gesture to even try and apologize. And he knows how to make the grand gesture. When he wants something to happen- it happens, by hook or crook.

    I am not sure why it so hard for me to swallow that he *just does not give shit.* Perhaps because I would never treat someone this way? I keep thinking that I want him to grasp what he has done.

    I did not WANT to be with anyone else. I wanted our life, as flawed as it was. Because when it was good, it was amazing. I would have limped along with him for years…but never would I stand for cheating. It is my deal breaker.

    And he knew that. And he did it deliberately. Looking back, he was setting it up for a long while…the minute I did something he perceived as a wrong to him…nagging him about using drugs. (Hard drugs).

    Do you know what this is? A big diarrhea deli sandwich. A shitty stew. A crap filled canolli. And I love canolli. And some days you can put a smiley face on, and some days you can’t.

    Today, I can’t. I want to smash his face in with my fists.

      • Kat Marie, I believe you! You are a touchstone of kindness.
        For some reason, I always imagine you living in a fishing village in Nova Scotia. Why is that?
        I see you looking at the ocean. Why do I think that?

    • Sylvia, believe it or not, I can tell you are making progress. You have progressed to the “big questions.” How can we live in this world? How can he be evil?

      For me, I came to realize that I projected a lot on to Match Girl. I saw reflected from her my best self. Sylvia, you are obviously brilliant and compassionate, and yet you don’t take shit off of nobody – except him. He used you. But because he knew cheating was a deal breaker, yes, he did it intentionally. You served your purpose. You are no longer worth his time because you are too difficult. Once he saw he could no longer control you, he had to be rid of you. Other people remain in his orbit under his spell because they are not as tough or smart as you. Think of it as a badge of honor that he had to flee from you. It’s because you saw behind the mask that he can no longer be with you. He hasn’t made the grand gesture because he knows it would be futile. You, as much as he, know it is over. It’s excruciatingly painful. And it takes an eternity to stop hurting. But, if you just don’t kill him, and live through this. You never have to hurt this way again. Ever. That’s not all rainbows and butterflies. But you don’t seem like the kind of person who wants smoke blown up her keister. It sucks. He sucks. But do this right, and you will see the world through new eyes, and you will remember the time you finally stood up and said, “no.” I will no longer suffer; I choose me.

      • Ian,
        That was remarkably helpful. And preternaturally correct. He *knows* I will never forgive him. It is dead.

        I laughed out loud, because the biggest threat right now is me harming him and being arrested. He is a bit afraid of me as I can be out of control when I get mad. He is much much stronger than me, but I am wild when I am angry. I pick up household items and start swinging. It is not admirable but no one else has ever made me that nuts.

        You threw me a life jacket. I am strapping it on. It fits.

        • Ian Dubito – so glad for your reflections here!

          “Sylvia, you are obviously brilliant and compassionate, and yet you don’t take shit off of nobody – except him. He used you. But because he knew cheating was a deal breaker, yes, he did it intentionally. You served your purpose. You are no longer worth his time because you are too difficult. Once he saw he could no longer control you, he had to be rid of you”.

          This was totally me! I didn’t take his BS very often because he WAS a bully, but dammit, I was a good opponent. I have a very strong will and good Ukranian temperament and not afraid to express it. I left home early and he was a coddled Mama’s boy – so he had his hands full with me. Cheating was definitely a deal breaker since we both met each other after our partners cheated.

          When I started dog-showing (MY life-long dream), meeting new ppl, he could no longer control me – found his escape, and away the fucker went, grabbing one of the dog sluts with him on his way out – AFTER I kicked him to the curb.
          Finally having power again feels wonderful and I am so glad I made that difficult decision to file for D. I was devastated signing those papers, but – later – OH the POWER it gives you to be so far ahead of his game. And, I was stealthy about it.

          But, not one regret anymore!

          BTW – I have an idea C/L! How about we give one day on this site for just the men to talk and no women can answer, we just listen??

          • Sylvia – ‘He is much much stronger than me, but I am wild when I am angry. I pick up household items and start swinging. It is not admirable but no one else has ever made me that nuts.’

            You sound JUST like me and I’m not even Irish/Italian! *you did good by restraining yourself*

            I am 2nd generation Eastern European with a strict grandmother to prove it – she was mean!.
            And, my sweet English side, who never had or talked about ‘issues’. All was polite.

            I got the Ukranian side!
            Anyway, he would make me so angry by trying to control me that I did start swing my arms around and spin in a circle, just to keep him away until I could gather my thoughts about the fight. I always had to think about a fight rather than engage further to analyze it on the spot, like he wanted.
            I threw things around a few times- non-toxic things, like bananas, sometimes aiming at his head – never hitting him.
            But, I think he did a few George Bushes with dodging fruit a few times. (he was supposed to catch them)

            Sometimes, I’d go into the pantry and throw everything out of it onto the floor (don’t remember why) but I was SO freaking frustrated by him. He always left my messes for me to clean up, and I’ll give him that he was always very respectful (dare I say scared?) when he’d piss me off.
            I was a free spirt – he tried to control me and eventually exceeded quite well.
            No wonder I feel so good these days.
            I’m back to being me and I haven’t thrown one banana at anybody’s head since.

      • Excellent words for Sylvia, Ian. You are so spot on in your analysis. After Dday, my ex headed right to our pastor to confess what he did to me. He was afraid. Truly afraid that while he was gone at work that day, I would get the kids in the car and leave for WI. Now, I never would do that, but all my yelling the night before, handing him back my wedding rings and telling him it was over convinced him that I’d be gone the next day.

        Well, after 20+ years of keeping my mouth shut to EVERYONE, including my sisters and mom, I started talking. I started with the pastor the next day myself. And I called my sisters and my brother. And then I invited my exes mommy over before work and told her all the horrible things about her son. She believed me and was on my side in the beginning. And I told his aunt. And I told close work friends. I kept all his dark secrets to myself all those years and I was done keeping my mouth shut and I was done with carrying the burden all by myself.

        I truly believe he knew the gig was up and then the mask fell. I truly believe he needs to find another Martha he can sparkle for and then he can cheat on her when he needs more supply.

        What Ian said to you, “You are no longer worth his time because you are too difficult. Once he saw he could no longer control you, he had to be rid of you. Other people remain in his orbit under his spell because they are not as tough or smart as you. Think of it as a badge of honor that he had to flee from you. It’s because you saw behind the mask that he can no longer be with you.”

        My ex has made me feel stupid and less than our entire relationship. It was all very subtle. Well, Martha has gotten smarter and smarter as the years have gone by. Martha wasn’t falling for his lies the last few years of our marriage. Instead of thinking that I was the crazy one, I realized he was the one who was lying to me and making me feel crazy. Never again.

    • One of the hardest things for me was thinking so badly of someone I once loved so much. In a way, it felt like admitting the truth was betraying him. I know this makes no logical sense, but I’m trying to describe my fucked-up thought process last year when I was in the worst of the shock and pain. It was hard to believe that, in the final analysis, the man I loved with all my heart and soul is a self-centered, entitled asshole. Now that more time has passed, it’s hard to believe I thought he was anything but.

      You’ll get there. And you’ll wonder how you ever thought he’d value your life together or thought he’d give a shit … because you’ll have accepted who he truly is.

    • Sylvia me too! I WANT him to care and he does seem to (lots of crying!) but I just can’t decide how real it is. Not that real because he’s moving in with the whoremat this weekend. I LOVED out tiny life together. Us and our cat in our little condo. It wasn’t amazing but it was enough for me! My best friend and it was us against the world. But now he’s really my mortal enemy and its me all alone. I’m so fucking terrified! We hardly had a lot to get by on together and I cannot make it financially on my own. I even had an anxiety attack in the grocery store with full on flop sweat and dry heaving last week when I had to get cat food, kibble and litter by myself and I didn’t have someone to help me carry it all. I know its ridiculous but I feel like I’ll never be whole again. And even if it’s all his fault I want him to be the one to fix it. Fix himself and choose me. Be the unicorn not the ass with an empty toilet paper roll duct taped to his forehead! Sometimes enough is ENOUGH but he wants magic sparkles with someone so fucked up he’s willing to forget ten years and a life built together for fairyland

  • Joseph’s Letter was one of the fisrt things I stumbled across during my zombie stage after DDay. I clung to it because it explained everything I was feeling about being cheated on. It was mentally staggering to me that my X had this whole other life going on simultaneously with the only life I thought there was. It is so disconcerting when you are finally faced with the fact that your spouse is a stranger to you and that life as you knew it ceases to exist.

    I remember questioning my own sanity along with his and hating myself for being so blind and trusting. There were moments – just like Special Snowflake said above – when I just didn’t want to live anymore. Not because I found out my husband was a giant fraud, but because I just hated the world. I couldn’t abide knowing that so many people were just evil at their core.

    Back to Joseph’s Letter. I thought that if my X could understand where I was coming from, by showing him this letter, he could ease the pain somewhat. It is so terribly heart-wrenching when you try to appeal to someone’s empathy when they have none to give. We chumps assume everyone thinks and feels how we do, but when you are looking into the blank discs that masquerade as the eyes of the character disordered, it sends shivers down your spine.

    I began devouring everything I could find on Narcissism and found out more than I ever wanted to know about my X. Then by serendipity I found Chump Lady and all of the wonderful chumps who came before me. I got good and angry at what was done to me by this selfish man and Meh was just a few steps away. Now when I read Joseph’s Letter, I put an “asshole” at the end of every sentence. Just remember, the “asshole” is silent. What once clutched at my heart now makes me laugh.

    • Lol. This little addition sure changes the tone of the letter from naive chump to righteous chump. Love it!

    • “I put an “asshole” at the end of every sentence. Just remember, the “asshole” is silent.”

      Ha ha, Uneffingbelievable!! You made me laugh out loud. On a very bad day!! Well done, girl. I could put that silent “asshole” after a lot of my mushy, sad thoughts about MoFaux.

      Am thinking of changing his name to Dirtbag because MoFaux just sounds too soft, even though it means Fake plus Motherfucker. Or just call him motherfucker, but that is an insult to all mothers and other motherfuckers and all fuckers of any stripe. Suggestions welcome. And I’m thinking of not capitalizing his name anymore because he is an improper noun!!!!!

      • Virago – glad I made you laugh! It was one of those days for me as well. I vote for the following new names for your ex:

        – Assbag
        – Douche Nozzle
        – (and my new favorite?). Pissflaps. ( I read that one the other day somewhere and almost spit out my coffee!)

        Have a great night!

  • Tracis post today is the asswipe to a tee in his attitude to what he did. Never talk about, dont ask, act like nothing happened, hes perfect, hes fine. Get over it, just forget it, shit happens. But we will still be great friends right? Snort! I think not!

    • Exactly!

      Asswipe: Forget the lying and cheating. Forget I was screwing ho-worker in the condo you and your mom were rehabbing for my invid mother. Forget I brought the slut to our church while we were still married and you were teaching religion classes. Forget I’ve taken you back to court 3 times and lost each time, forcing you to pay almost one year’s worth of college tuition in legal fees. Forget I just threatened to take you court again. Now that our son is 18 and asking questions, let’s be friends!

      Me @ meh: —

  • Speaking of empathy. Some MCs are so freaking bad, or is it most of them? When I spoke privately with our MC about the FACT that asshole not only had no empathy, she said “a lot of people have trouble with this at first, he’ll come around” srsly. he had admitted he could not do the exercises because he could not put himself in my shoes when I was wrong. He clearly could not do it. MC ended for me soon after. Don’t go to an MC with an abuser, not ever.

    • This is standard in the CSAT model. Don’t expect any empathy from your Sex Addict partner for 2-3 years. And don’t pressure them to be empathetic. They might go into their pit of shame and then…

      At 57 years old Dr. Crazy would learn empathy from the therapists even though 20+ years as a physician hadn’t accomplished that???

      I didn’t buy it either.

  • I remember something that both helps and concerns me that was triggered by Joseph’s letter.

    When I was 26, I ran off to live in Bali, Indonesia. I was just buck wild. There was an older, stable, wealthy lawyer who was head over heels in love with me. He just could not let me go. I will call him John.

    While in Bali, I took up with a long haired wanna be rock singer, part Dutch, part Indonesian. Reckless, exotic, thrilling. We were in mad lust. And while I had not said I would be faithful, it was sort of presumed I would be.

    I remember being in my rented room, living with some other random girl, and John calling. He would want to “analyze” our relationship, just like Joseph’s letter. He was never mean. He was pleading.

    And I remember thinking: Would you PLEASE shut up!!!??? I remember Mindy (my roomie ) and I shouting, My God, would he stop calling? We would take the phone off the hook. We would laugh at him. He was a nuisance.

    I did not care. I did not care he was running up thousands of dollars of phone bills (this was before long distance was cheap) that he was clearly losing his mind, that he was calling my mother obsessed over me. I just wanted to run wild and be with my rock star boyfriend and explore Bali in his Jeep.

    I remember my mind set. John’s concerns, while they would give me a slight tinge of guilt, were in NO WAY going to stop me from seeing my exotic new man. I just pushed his well being away, like a mosquito buzzing.

    If this, my friends…is even 1/10 of how these cheaters think….writing any letters is as meaningless as whispering Arabic to my cat. It does not penetrate. It does not matter.

    I need to remember that. I hope it helps someone reading who has not posted. Or a fool like me who wanted to send a Joseph style letter. Joseph’s letter triggered that memory. John truly loved me…but he was so much older, and I wanted to roll around in the sand in my bikini and be wild in Bali.

    His crying, pleading, reasoning, coaxing was only an annoyance to be born (if I even answered the phone) before I ran back to Bali man.

    I was 26, with no parental guidance and about as wise as snail. Still no excuse. *But if these grown men (and gals) are even as half as ……..uncaring as I was ……a cargo ship full of letters will not move their heart. *

    Now, I feel horrible about the pain I caused John. But not then. It was irrelevant. I did not give a damn. And I did not see myself as a monster. I just wanted to be free of him so I could do what I wanted. Period.

    Maybe I do have the knowledge I need. I just need to access it …like deep RAM in a computer.

  • While it took me three months to go no-contact after D-Day, I never tried to get her back. There was no doubt in my mind we could never fix what she broke. I was a one-and-done guy from the day we met.

    Joseph’s letter is so painful to read. I hope he dragged her as to court and won big. Fucking bitch.

    • Yep, me too. Read it again with asshole or bitch on the end of every sentence. Awesome, Uneffingbelievable!

  • There is one caution I would give to the would be Joseph’s out there — and believe me, I was a Joseph, too — there is a price to pay for knowledge. The faster you can get to the point where you just trust that they suck, the better off you are. I wanted to understand. I wanted to see if there was any true regret, any redemption possible. I wanted to find a way to forgive, if it was possible, to move forward and regain the happiness I felt at the start of the relationship(s). What I read over and over again in the responses of Chump Nation is that we all had a point of no return. We may have arrived at different times, with different amounts of information, but we all arrived at that point. Our education system trains our minds to process information and to come to conclusions. We are better off when we finally come to the conclusion — that is our closure. The price we pay is extracted from the amount of time we have in our life to feel good. The longer we take, and the more we must know — the longer we feel bad.

    The other issue is that there are some things I now know that I wish I did not know. There are things I found out that are truly disgusting, and while these things reinforce my decision to walk away and rebuild my life, the images blazed into my memory bank have subtly changed the way I look at the world, and other people. I accept that I cannot change the world and I can not change what I perceive as the depravity that passes for sexual pleasure with the dysfunctional. It still bothers me, though. I was in love with and completely fooled by someone who was a completely different person than who I believed he was. That undermines my own ability to judge others, and take care of myself, as well as what it means to be in a relationship with someone. All my pre-conceived notions about values and morals and responsibilities were shaken to the core. Not only did I lose a love — I also lost faith in my ability to choose love, and my belief in the structure we construct as a society to keep it from collapsing.

    The price is loss of innocence. The more details we know about the things they did, the more depravity you become aware of, the more altered your belief in reality is. Sometimes, some level of ignorance is truly bliss. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Wow! Perfectly stated and completely true. When you have made the decision to leave, don’t ask for more information. Trust that he sucks and one certainly doesn’t need to know the extent of a stranger’s depravity.

      • Sometimes it’s not so much that I ask for or search out more information, it’s that, when away from the crazy, my mind frantically works to piece it all together – the obviously cruel facts, the suspicions, the intuitions and the little details I purposely or subconsciously ignored. And the devastation hits again like a tidal wave, with an even more accurate picture of the awful reality I was living.

    • This is just exactly excellence.
      Portia, what is the solution to this loss of innocence?

      I hope there is one. You talk about the price of knowledge. Without commenting on any religious attachments and using it as an allegory, the Price of eating from the Tree of Knowledge was expulsion from paradise, and death.

      I am changed as well, for the worse. I used to be a lover. Now, I feel like a fighter. And fighting is exhausting.

      • Taking the “Tree of Knowledge” as strictly allegorical ( you’ve read Ishmael, right? Daniel Quinn – “Ishmael” )

        The Tree of Knowledge as allegory – you’ve taken the knowledge in to your body. Now you know what you couldn’t see before. We have always been fighters; we created love (and gods) only after we stood upright and created tools. Embrace the fight.

        • That is quite clever.

          I am tired of fighting. I just want to love. The good thing…I am really NOT fighting him, as I have no contact with him. It is all in my mind.

          Simplistic, but true. This peculiar knowledge does change you.

          I still wish I was ignorant. I wish I was still bright eyed and hopeful. My X used to marvel how I would wake up every morning, big huge smile on my face, eyes sparkling, happy.

          I want it back.

          • I started going to a support group and we went around the room and each stated our biggest loss in divorce. Mine was JOY. The way I look at life and the world is now tainted and I hate it. It has been 10 months since he left (while I was pregnant). I spent the first 7 months or so really messed up. Then the last few months I have started to stabilize some emotionally. Last weekend, I was shopping with my daughters (13 and 7 months) and the little one started to get fussy. There was music playing in the store so I started dancing and singing in front of her stroller. Embarrassed the 13 year old but got the little one to smile. Then the 13 year old smiled. Not just at the baby but at me. And there it was…a moment of JOY. I have enjoyed myself and laughed at times over the last few months, but this was different. I felt it all the way through. It was brief but it was there. That brief joy started a small flicker of hope. I know that I will still have bad days as I have to deal with STBX as I try to push through the divorce and we have children together, but I now have some hope that more moments of JOY will come.

            It will come back, Sylvia. It is who you are. Once healing starts to take hold, it will start to flicker again. The wounds will remain but they won’t dominate your life unless you want them to.

            • Nice to hear you got a little spark of joy, there will be many more as time marches on through the shitstorm these fuckers cause. Take care

      • I don’t believe you can regain your innocence any more than you can regain your virginity. (All jokes aside – like the old one about Southern Women’s ability to become a virgin again after they break up with one “fiancé” and start dating another)

        However, we weren’t expelled from paradise, because we were not in paradise. We were in a mirage of the mind, one of our own making, where we lived with a fellow we thought was wonderful. Then the mirage faded away, and all we were left with was the residual dreams of golden days gone by. We cannot be innocent enough again to believe in the mirage, we have lost our innocence and gained the truth. The truth is worth the price, no doubt, but pain is real, and battle scars gained from the fight you speak of stay with you for the rest of your life.

        • That is right. We were in Mordor (Lord of the Rings). Not paradise.

          Do you think any of those golden days had any value? In the moment? Because, my God, he was a good actor.

          But, that might be a dangerous road for me to travel. To assign any value to someone who had two women (1….2…..) living with him, maybe before I even pulled the trigger. But definitely a few days afterward. DAYS.

          • Have you ever been an actress yourself? I did a lot of stuff in school and in little theater after I graduated. There is a bit of joy in being someone else. I enjoyed a few golden days and dreams being someone else. The difference is that I was not acting in the times I think of as golden with him, and I didn’t know he was. When you go to the theater, everyone there suspends reality and agrees to dream. I loved certain moments in particular — certain parts I played resonated with me. I’ve cried watching others say and do things — and I learned from them, so that was real to me — but I knew the play was a fantasy. So there was a value in the things I learned, the things which made me laugh, the things which made me cry — but not in him, because he was false. He pretended to be the real thing in real life — he doesn’t get a stage pass from me. I have value in my son’s — they came from their father, too, but what I have with them is real in a way he will never know. His focus on himself and being whoever he needs to be to get what he wants is so all encompassing that he is unable to truly connect to another human — even his own children. The children and I have value — he has the illusion of value.
            You knew moments of joy while you were with him — but the joy came from you– not from him. You only thought you needed him there to be joyful, that was your mistake.

            • I’m reading this very late but wow, wow, this analogy really helps me. I’m doing well overall (11months out from a massive DDay), but I struggle with the length and depth of the deceptions (37 years). It can feel like he stole my whole life. Thanks for this – it helps a bit.

    • One day I was lamenting the loss of my belief in the goodness of people. It had been bothering me that I used to be a very compassionate person, but now I’m much more skeptical. One day I sat down to write about it in my journal, and came to the conclusion that without the loss of innocence, I wouldn’t have gained the strength I have now. After thinking about it that way, I realized it was more a transformation than a loss. After that, I felt better about the change.

  • That letter could have been written by me two years ago. In Feb 2015 I found Chump Lady. I had been scouring the web for something that made sense although I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I was blinded by all the promises of a Unicorn for only $299, which I knew that was crap, but couldn’t find the answer. Eureka! I found CL–my life changed. I sure hope Joseph has found CL. This is a tough journey but at least I am now on the right road.

  • I did easy wife for 9 years – post dd#1 and started pulling more of me away about 3 years ago. I was getting so little from the marriage and that little bit was more than offset by temper tantrums and passive bullshit.

  • After my last D-day in 2014, when Mr. Sparkles left me and our family for the OW, I crashed and burned hard. I lost 70lbs in 90 days, sobbed daily, and wondered “what could I have done differently to make him love me and our family?”

    Thanks heavens for my therapist who mentioned the word “narcissist” and the Internet. I learned everything I could and through that knowledge came some great wisdom.

    Like Joseph, I thought I had to stay in my marriage after the first couple of D-days (discovering online profiles, Craiglist personals emails, video porn subscriptions, hotel room receipts)… BECAUSE I LOVED HIM.

    But the truth was: the “him” I LOVED did not exist. The man I loved was the one I spackled. The man who existed was the one who could look me in the eye and say “I’m going out to shoot pool.” and then go to a hotel instead.

    I was “IN LOVE” with the barbed-wire monkey. So is Joseph.

    I am so grateful to God for removing Mr. Sparkles from my life by giving him an OW… because I would still be spackling otherwise.

    Last night was our son’s birthday and he came over to celebrate. After two years of gray rock contact, it was like meeting a stranger. All he did was talk about himself… AND I WAS BORED OUT OF MY FUCKING MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But, it took getting away from him and his sparkles to have that clarity.

    SO – Joseph… if you can’t give her up because you love her… why not try a separation and some no contact and come back in a year with fresh eyes. I doubt you’ll see her the same. And, I doubt you’ll be able to tell yourself it was ever “love”.

    Rock on Chump Nation.

    • Meh-
      That you were bored…this give me great hope! Did you used to be in knots over this person?

      I remember sitting at a party with my X, and watching him smoke a cigarette and I was captivated by him. I had my legs over his lap, and I was so proud to be his girl…with him. It felt like a prize. (Insanity!).

      He was supremely sexy and funny to me. I would watch him eat with my chin in my hand.

      Please let him become boring! He is sociopath (according to the Institute and my own “learnings”) and he is charming and soooooo dang smooth. A card board cut out, glossy on the outside and rotten pus on the inside.

      • SIS – I had to retrain my brain for when I’m with him. When he speaks, I think to myself “He’s a pathological liar. Trust nothing he says.” When I look at him, I see him with different eyes “Oh look… there’s the man who likes anonymous sex with men/couples/groups”…. “Boy, his pores are getting bigger… almost as big as his bald spot”… “Wow, for a guy who goes to the gym 3-5 times a week, he doesn’t look anymore fit”.

        I consciously have to work at it. Read up on Cognitive Dissonance… you need new muscle memory about your X. Use your own words above… when you see him… visualize the puss oozing out of his ears, eyes, and mouth. Remember he CHOSE to hurt you. Don’t hug, let alone love, the barbed-wire monkey.

        You’ve got this.

    • If you’ve ever read Francis Mayes’ “Under the Tuscan Sun,” (forget the movie; it’s not like the book AT ALL), there’s a brief passage toward the end describing her encounter with her ex-husband at her daughter’s engagement party.

      She was so Meh that she actually walked up to him as he entered the room, shook his hand, and introduced herself to him as the bride’s mother – then was taken aback when he responded with “I know, I’m her father.”

      That’s exactly what I’m – we! – all are working toward. Godspeed, Chump Nation!

    • The last time I saw my ex was a few weeks ago……at church. Doing the big old praising the Lord and holding up his hands in the air. Stuff he never did the entire time we were together. Hypocrite.

      About a year ago I saw him at my sons meet. I approached him as I needed to talk to him about our house. I saw the big flash of fake charm smile. He did this once before when I dropped something off at the house (I had already moved out.) Big, fake charming smile. Found out the next day when I opened the mail that he took close to $12,000 out of our joint checking account. Thief behind my back. Smiling fake person to my face. So when I saw him at my sons meet, I remembered the smile he gave me when he knew he stole money out of our account. I met his smile with a stone face. Like Icanseethemehcoming said, it was like looking into the face of a stranger. My ex is not the person I married. Or better said, he’s not the person I thought he was. He’s a stranger to me.

      • Smile back next time. Make him wonder what the hell you are up to. They love to feel they have one up
        My stbx got very agitated I’m conversation when he realized that he was doing all the talking ams divulging while I said nothing. He stopped mid sentence and said but you’re not telling me what you plan to do! Well…truth is I had no great scheme but my silence seemed to imply to him I did
        Since then silence and smirks a la narc. their own medicine tastes like the shit it is.

  • I had tons of evidence glaring at me but still continually apologized to my ex about making him feel bad. How twisted is that?

    • I believe it is a type of temporary insanity that only no contact can cure. (Not being glib).

      Being around cruel pathological liars makes us lose our common sense and self preservation instincts.

      If we were cave women, and we had to rely on a person to go out and kill the meat, and bring it back to our cave, so we or our off spring would not starve, our minds laser focused on this person’s reliability.

      And if we saw him sneaking meat over to some other women’s cave, we would know several things rapidly, and with no analysis, websites or hand wringing needed.

      We would know that winter is coming, and that perhaps we had small mouths to feed, and unless we got rid of this man, we would starve. We would need someone who would commit to OUR CAVE and bring us meat so we could live.
      Keep our fires burning, so we would not freeze. Fight off the saber tooth tigers so our guts would not be ripped out.

      I bet we would not take one day to move on to another mate, one who we could “trust” with our lives. We would know….IMMEDIATELY…Og is not on our side. Need new Og. Now.

      Modern society has blurred all those ancient instincts with self help books and FB/ selfie culture, sliding moral relativity and “anything goes” ethics.

      But we are still animals, and I believe that is why cheating evokes such a primitive rage.

      I was a “twisted sister” right there with you. But we are clawing back to sanity, aren’t we? 😉

      • That’s a great way to explain things. Adultery has become more acceptable over the years. And the rage? I’ve always been a pretty easygoing and patient person. The anger I feel right now is not something I’m used to. Hoping that it will go away soon!

        • Cricket, the rage will go away. I raged for a little over a year. One day the switch was turned on (the Easter my exes mommy got in my face at church) and it took a lot of venting to get rid of it. I’m not “angry” anymore. Things can still bug me, but the rage is gone. I’m a pretty laid-back person most of the time, too, so it was a bit scary to see myself like this. But it’s normal. I do hope all the people my ex told I was crazy get betrayed some day. And I don’t mean cheated on. I mean betrayed right down to your core. Maybe they’ll understand why I acted the way I acted. But they decided to believe the cheater and liar instead. Funny how they forgot about all the cake, cookies and holiday dishes I made for them. Karma bus…

    • I think it is betrayal blindness. There are some books on this. Some people attach to their abuser. Its quite common.

  • Joe’s letter is cringe-inducing. It reminds me of my own pitiful efforts to reason with my ex wife, although I was nowhere near as supplicating as this guy.

    Pleading with you spouse doesn’t make her want to be with you. Approaching her with reason and logic will no more lead to the truth than will emotional wailing and melodramatic gestures. And trust, once destroyed, can only be rebuilt in the rarest of circumstances–with a regretful, newly over-responsible, caring, shamed, mortified, daily-sick-to-her-stomach-and-groveling-at-your-feet spouse. Does that sound like your cheating wife, Joey-Boy?

    You want her to stay with you? Then your best bet is to shut the fuck up.

    You want a marriage based on trust and respect? Look elsewhere.

    • My ex looked me in the face and yelled “The only way I will give you another chance is if you never talk about the prostitutes and the woman from my work.” It was obvious that he would never understand the hurt he had caused or quit his affairs. The next day, I packed up my things and left with my kids.

      • My ex was the same way. Why do you bring up naked lap dancers? That was years ago! Why do you bring up how I treated you when you were pregnant? Ummmmm, because you are lying to my face RIGHT NOW and you haven’t changed. There’s a pattern here….

        Good for you, Cricket, for packing up and leaving!

        • My ex also treated me like crap while I was pregnant. I cried the entire time when it’s supposed to be one of the best moments in your life.

      • ? what A collosal ass! His head is so far up his ass he is spewing shit. Also says a whole lot about how he views you. Nothing to save there. You are not his emotional dumping ground.

  • What is disturbing is the pattern that almost every single person here describes. The devaluing the leaving , the lack of remorse, the ability to tell bold faced lies and the ability to demonize the people that they are doing all of this to. The “friends” that help out the cheaters and cover for them, and that lie to you as well. Then how almost every single one of these people leave and go right to the OM/OW and how each of the cheaters believe that this is their “soul mate” and that they are so “special” that they will not get cheated on (or cheat again themselves) once they are together. It boggles my mind, how all of us can in our gut know that there is something going on but not point to what it was. How these people can literally sit across the able from you at a restaurant and have a conversation with you while texting another married person they are having an affair with. It is all so odd.

    • Yes the commonalities are staggering. But selfishness has but few paths…deceit lies theft cheating abuse greed. The goal is always self for these people. That so many are willing to cover speaks to our hands off approach to lots of things. Kids who tell are tattle tales and adults who tell are snitches or whistle blowers. Never truth tellers.

  • CL, I send my reluctant thanks for your UBT treatment of Joseph’s Letter. The letter, not known to me previously, and recent events have triggered me to such an extent that I can hardly type.

    I see my ‘mental’ pleadings (I did not verbalize too much to MoFaux because he had moved to Fort Self Absorption by the time I found out and because he KNEW that an affair would be an ultimate ‘end’ for me) in most of his words. Pure anguish. I had all my eggs in one basket. Scrambled.

    I have accomplished significant improvements in my life since August 3, 2015, but there is shrapnel that I carry for life. He didn’t just blow up OUR lives. There was a lot of collateral damage. (I started to list them, but this group knows). Something about the letter really brought that home today. The shrapnel moved and caused fresh damage. I usually see such an occurrence as being necessary for some new teaching. But today it just pisses me off, as I was starting to feel better.

    The letter piggy backs on the arrival of the info that he has a new girlfriend. The AP ditched him 2 months after I found out about them. Not as much fun without the hypotenuse or he was way too needy ~~ both contributors, no doubt. So, he’s been shopping for a new appliance . . . I know I’m to see it this way. And that resonates with a lot of truth.

    But the pain is indescribable and baffling. I don’t want to be with him. I’ve lost respect and don’t trust him. I know he lies and cheats. I know he does not embody the ideals that I projected onto him. But there is an inexplicable longing that is STILL present. Different from the immediate detox symptoms. Deeper. Irresistible. Relentless. Powerful. Sickening.

    I think that all of my skills of evaluation have been bombed, as well. I chose the wrong men before him and then decided he was one of the most decent men I would ever know. Missed all signs of covert narcissism. How vast is the flaw in my judgement? Portia alluded to this above, much more eloquently. Losing trust in Self is much more devastating that losing trust in MoFaux.

    Well, guts all over the floor. Sorry CN. I made a mess. Heh. I’m clearly on probation in the school of life. I’m adopting the saying, ’No guts No glory’. It either means I am courageous or a suicidal maniac! Time will tell.

    • Virago,

      I figured you’d come back because kings were bad. Sorry to hear that. Your writing is masterful, as always. I don’t have a lot of strength today, obviously. But I hear you. I see you. You are suffering from that festering schrapnel he left in you. So long apart and yet you still fell no pull. I am sorry, dear-heart. You are going to survive. “Losing trust in self,” you said. Well, without a cheater around you, you have a fighting chance to regain the trust in yourself. You sought treatment when younneeded it. Trust that.

      • I had to look up the expression “kings are bad’, thinking it was one of your preternaturally clever references to urban slang/a movie/a wildly popular song that I have no idea about. Then it dawned on me that it was “things were bad”. Ha! See how easily I am fooled????? Argh.

        I came back because things were good. I felt so grateful to Tracy and CN that I wanted to contribute. And then this overwhelming emotional shit storm erupted. Maybe I had to be back so that I would have some people around who had my back. THANKS for that, dear One. You are mighty, dependable, hysterical (in the not screaming and crying way) and smart. And have felt pretty strong love yourself. Your comments are welcome and most appreciated.

        • I will always come here. Ive been saved by this site and have aquired a wonderful friend. I want to help after what i have been through. And start up a local group because only those who have walked in our shoes get it and we need a movement.

    • Big hugs, Virago. That pain and anguish is the measure of the depth of love you hold. We’re dealing with major grief and loss, complicated by betrayal, and that’s going to take awhile time to work all the way through. You’re going to be okay.

      Our D-Days were pretty close (mine was May 2015) and last Saturday was my older son’s birthday party. We do these together so I spent a few hours watching him flirt with the friend of one of the other moms, despite his girlfriend (who was not present and hasn’t stopped him from his usual online tricks). At the time, I was almost amused at this new confirmation of what a disrespectful, boundaryless idiot he is. But that night, I collapsed into endless tears, sobbing over and over, “He never loved me!” No one who’d ever truly loved me would have flirted with someone else in front of me … or, you know, cheated on me and walked away. The next day, I was fine.

      Feel that grief … and let it pass. We’ll all be at Meh someday.

      • Thanks, BetterDays, you are so kind. I am so sorry that he is an immature twit without a shred of self awareness. I suspect that flirting and setting out bait is just a natural behaviour that is simply automatic. Like a default. I’m sad that he hurt you. Sending you Tsunami Strength. You are showing signs of Meh by your quick recovery, girl. I love to hear that.

        I walked and walked and walked today. Had to talk to myself and cry quite a bit. Just MUST realize that MoFaux only ever really cared about himself and that he was like a hunter, practicing most of it unethically. Always on the move and setting lots of traps, laying bait, creating deceptively inviting decoys, disrespectful, reckless and lawless, no sense of fair chase, harassing ‘the game’ intentionally to stress and wear down. The hunt is never ending so as to maximize the number of catches.

        I really have to get over longing for THAT. Thanks for your words of wisdom, BetterDays. A great balm for all of the shrapnel wounds!!

        • Pity we yearn so much for them. Cause I don’t know of any who end well. Not that redemption is not possible for them but the consequences are unavoidable. Mine has upped grooming on his next victim. A more Christian woman there was not! I won’t be saying a word to her. She tampered with the sacred…she will get what she deserves. He is close to forty. There is no correcting this defects. How do I feel about the new victim. In this case as you can tell no compassion. Were she completely new I’d be more sympathetic. Even so not my monkey not my circus. He will be the same person wherever he goes…how can I genuinely feel badly about losing that chaos. I suppose the rejection seems more final for you. This is his next ‘serious’ relationship but…it won’t be his last. If it weren’t her it would be someone else. She just took the bait.

          • “it won’t be his last. If it weren’t her it would be someone else. She just took the bait.” <<<< Truth!! My ex is a predator and Tim Whore-ton Coffee Snatch took the bait. She's one of many, many women he keeps track of. She took the bait, but she's no catch as she's a character flawed person just like him.

          • I suppose you are right, Mandie101. It won’t be his last. There is so much more bait to be put out. And more decoys to paint. Thx for your thoughts.

    • “Losing trust in Self is much more devastating that losing trust in MoFaux.”

      YES and YES and YES.
      Thank you for saying this. I miss so much the idea that I had a working intuition. I do not trust myself, with anyone, anymore.

      • crushed, we still have our intuition, I hope. I just need a better working relationship with it.

        Don’t give up. I’m just being a bit whiny right now. We CAN do this.

    • Virago, I always think of Frodo in Lord of the Rings – when the anniversary of his almost-fatal wounding came around, he cried out in pain. There are some wounds that won’t heal.

      I guess the thing is not to be surprised at the pain when the shrapnel moves. We don’t stop being human.

      Jedi hugs. Thanks for being honest enough to come back and show your vulnerabilities here. We love you just the way you are, wounds and all.

      • Oh Lola, that is such a heart wrenching moment with Frodo. I forgot that.

        Some days I think it isn’t worth the struggle, but living with less stress and moving shrapnel trumps living with the madness of a cluster B. I just could not have kept that going.

        My shrapnel and I have to haul ass to my fitness class. Thanks for the encouragement. And the unconditionality of your acceptance ~~ that is delicious.

        • We will always have the scars. They will heal over eventually but visable scars will always be there. Im gonna wear mine proudly. I survived an asswipe and lived to tell the tale. carpe diem!!!!

          • OK, Kar marie, I’ll try to be proud of them. Currently covering them up!!

            I agree totally with your earlier comment that we need a MOVEMENT. A massive, organized, wide reaching, march-through-the-streets wave that teaches, destroys myths and unacceptable cultural beliefs. And it will probably have to start small.

            Much Love & Support, Km.

            • Virago – ‘I agree totally with your earlier comment that we need a MOVEMENT. ‘

              I actually posted this very thing a few episodes ago that we NEED a group out here.
              There isn’t even one divorce-group in our town and I want to take a divorce group, based on C/L’s principles (that she would provide materials for) and get something started.

              It’s fucking time this pendulum started to swing back to, at least, center as most folks have young children to raise into adults.

              I’m sure onboard!

              • As soon as i can move from the god forsaken turned whore house former marital home and get settled in. I want to start a chump lady type group for the benefit of myself and others. This site is a life saving but in addition would be so nice to have a group with people who get it and understand and have chump meetups good way to start healing and getting back to a better life.

            • I want that movement! These cheaters and destroyers of homes and families need to be called out. Pods need to know its not acceptable behavior and the pods who cheat with them, help them, cover for them, see absolutely nothing wrong with it need 2 by 4 across the head. Judges, lawyers counselers all need to be put on notice and get with the program. No fault divorce in every state needs to go bye bye. Hugs to you.

              • If there was a rally on this issue – you bet I’ll be there!
                I don’t care where it is.
                I’ll even drive all the way back to Pine Bluff, Ark if I have to.
                San Fransisco would get the most coverage – or even Berkley (cheaper to fly into).

                Dammit – I want a fucking movement about no-fault divorce!!!

              • Starting with injustice of no fault divorces.

                Make it a crime to give your spouse an std because riding bareback with strange is the in thing when said douchebag or douchebagette had unprotected sex with whatever and then had sex with you without mentioning the slimy act first allowing you a choice.

                Letting you know in the beginning you cant keep it in your pants or your legs closed for anyone and allowing the person the choice of not being with you.

                These motherfuckerd both sexes make choices for us give us no choice. But honey shes clean cause shes nice, makes me laugh, gets me. Fuck that noise.

                Allow these bastards and bitches access to our kids to do whatever they want without informing us or us granting permission.

                Giving marital assets to these whores behind our backs!

                Omg the list goes on and on. How do we get a movement started damn it!?

                Im gone have more coffee one of the many stressed out nights i wont sleep tonight might as well wite up.

              • Kat Marie – you know what a movement starts with?
                People like you who say this – ‘Make it a crime to give your spouse an std because riding bareback with strange is the in thing when said douchebag or douchebagette had unprotected sex with whatever and then had sex with you without mentioning the slimy act first allowing you a choice.’

                I have a feeling there would be a lot more added to your list, including the damage to children, pets, credit, debit, families…
                The STD’s who can give your wife cancer.
                Pregnancies who get aborted!

                We could have a lot of signs made up for each one!

                And, of course, you need very compassionate people behind this.
                Like I say, count me in!

              • Yes i do have much much more. Many more all should be crimes perpatraded as fraud. Asswipe should have been jailed for taking my car i bought registerd and insured to me only and gave it to his whore to drive without my permission. I went nuts. I gave permission for him to drive it not her. How the hell can you loan or give something that does not belong to you to someone else. Its insane! I threatened to report it stolen since i didnt know where it was and finally one day when he was here i went and took the plates off, dropped the insurance and told him get that effing tainted car off my property! My son yelled at him my daughter yelled at him to no avail deaf ears. How does this shit. A crazy person she made and makes ten times the money he does. I told him let her buy her own damn car! The car wasnt worth much and between the two of them they destroyed it. It wasnt until afterwards he realized how stupid that was. He let that cunt yes i said cunt drive it and im responsible. Its lunacy! She let anyone who wanted to drive it drive it. I told him its a good thing there were no accidents i would have said that c stole it. I couldnt believe how stupid he was and is. Punish me more! It happened with my credit cards, she was doing our personal bank deposits with my paychecks. Un freaking believeable! He took a chance for over months hiding this shit from me. I found out in dribs and drabs all this info. Then i get a credit card bill maxed out 14,000 dollars and went wtf! Called the company to find out he added her on it to fix her credit yeah right and she put over 13,000 on it in six weeks! I was beside myself i never thought he would jepordize the credit we had kept perfect all those years. He lost his mind and then i lost my shit. I told him im putting the house up for sale, pack up the rest of your shit now, get it out and you have thirty days to move your business or im calling the scrap guys!!! He stood in the middle of my kitchen dumbfounded looking at me like i had two heads with my screaming get the fuck out of my house!! And he just stood there like an asshole. I grabbed his man bag hit him with it and pushed him out the side door. Hes way bigger than me but i pushed his ass out. Next day he shows up like nothing happened. Big talk he will buy the house just be patient blah, blah, blah and chumpy stupid me agreed. And this is just the very tip of the iceberg there is so much more. If i knew then what i know now thanks to this site the outcome would have been different. Our stories need to get out and told and not glorified as society seems to want to do. And as much as asswipe drove me nuts so many of the stories ive read here way way worse than my own. Heartbreaking. Ive cried so often for the pain here. These stories need to be told. Oh yeah dude you think you friend is kool well this is what he did to hus wufe and kids. Same for the women slime. The courts need to pay attention, the lawyers, the neighbors the friends. I want to move first and leave this nightmare far behind me and help others and tell them get out now, cut them loose, remove them from your life, let the courts decide visitation, save yourself they are just not worth it.

              • I meant the cheaters being glorified. Sorry i cant sleep and two much coffee. Excuse my spelling. And the next fucking person who says well what did you do to drive him to cheat will get a tongue lashing beyond the pale. I really want to punch them in the face but i dont want to go to prison. Our stories need to get out maybe just maybe they could save someone in the future. Anyone other than traci write here. Me i ramble, im a good artist but a bad writer, maybe tales from the chumped or something. I see this shit everywhere its epidemic. It disgusting and deplorable.

  • I know this is not a popular goal, but I want the truth, too – even though we divorced.

    Even though we don’t talk, I’m sure someday he will want something from me – because our daughters reject him.
    I will never allow even a “hello, how are you?” without a load of truth out of him first.

    Not apologies, not excuses or rationalizations but simple facts. My boundary.

    I deserve that. In any relationship I engage in, respect is a base line. Being lied to is not respect.

    I know he is not man enough to ever deliver that – so I know I will never have a conversation with xh ever again. He has become a compulsive liar, thief and cheater. It is such a sad change from the man I thought I knew – it still hurts when I miss him, but I will never lower myself to giving him what he wants (invitations, help with kids) without facts. I don’t even care if he’s sorry.

    That is how I’m getting to my “meh”.

    • Mag, you and I are sharing a seat in the same lifeboat; I feel EXACTLY the same way.

      I still want the truth although I know it will likely open new wounds and tear the scabs off the old ones. Maybe it’s “closure,” maybe it’s just needing that last little bit of reinforcement that yes, he really IS such a deceitful bastard. However I also have the good sense to know this will never happen as telling me the truth will be admitting he did wrong and HE’S NOT WRONG!

      I also believe he’s rewritten “the truth” in his mind so thoroughly, and really believes his new narrative down to the marrow of his bones, that he no longer knows WHAT “the truth” actually was.

      I know someday – in the misty future – he will want something from me and be forced into contact. That’s how all his relationships worked anyway: you don’t exist until he needs something, then he’s the best parent/friend/ex-inlaw ever!!!

      At this moment I hope the anticipated request will be along the lines of needing help with some lifesaving procedure just so I CAN tell him, to his face, to fuck off and actually die. ?

      But when that moment actually does come, I hope I’m so Meh I don’t even recognize his name.

      • Well, mine left me with a STV – so I get cancer screenings (had cancer screenings) every 6 months for years. It would be helpful to know when I was potentially exposed – symptoms last 2 – 8 years – if you are lucky enough not to catch the really threatening strand(s).

        Do I get the benefit of even having a view of how long these may last? Hell no.

        I let myself have this desire (that I will not deal UNTILL I have the truth) because I know he is never going to tell it – even if he wanted to. There is no chance I will ever speak to him again.

        (we have an old “beat the dead horse”issue” in the past.) I have said to him. I know you are lying – YOU know you are lying, so why do you just not admit you took the items from my car?
        — dead stare, dead silence. I thought he may actually cave… He finally said:
        “I have told you that I have said all I am going to about the matter.” Like I was being ridiculous.

        — lying piece of shit.

  • Josephs letter struck a chord with me. Because the secrecy adds another layer of betrayal. While my cheater was messing around with his sister in law, our marriage was an open book. Every time we argued or an issue with my family came up, he blabbed about it to his family and friends. It was embarassing and I felt exposed, like we had no privacy! But everything about his relationship with HER he kept very close to the vest. He told me NOTHING. Its hard to forgive when he admits nothing. Why is her privacy more important than mine? Later the subject of an affair came up…not his. The affair couple broke up. He said something about it…I cant remember his exact words…but the gist of it was ” They may not be together but they will always have their memories and their secrets”. Asshole

  • Brilliant: “But for her to want understanding for her self-inflicted pain is like the guy who murdered his parents wanting clemency from the court for being an orphan.”

    I do think cheaters have some pain from the affair, but it has nothing to do with the pain of the chump. It has to do with the AP not following through and being a better AP. It has to do with the messy logistics of being stuck between two potential landing pads. But in the end, their pain is all about them and the chump’s pain doesn’t really register.

  • Yep in the final throws of getting out of my 2.5 year ordeal. my soon to be ex wife loves to play the victim , um not sure what off? her on stupidity…. I of course chumped along for about 12 months , then started lining ducks up, while pretending to play chump. Things do sure take for ever, but it’s important to hold your tongue sometimes, when really you feel so angry , better to just start ydeep breathing and walk away is def key. When I found out she was pregnant and then had an abortion, I kept all this information under my cap and played chump. After I got all ducks lined up then started dropping them on the narcissistic bitch. I have forgiven her, but the facts don’t lie. Shout out to the chumps pain , that’s what’s real.#chunps , boo to fuckery and lies and cheating scums. I hope they die a bit on the inside when our kids oneday understand the truth and what it means, then she can eat her own shit sandwich for a change.d

    • I hear ya!

      I never had to deal with an actual pregnancy, but there were a few times she was late and took a pregnancy test. The first time, I didn’t know I might not have been the reason for her lateness, although I was thinking that had not had sex in over a month and she gas-lighted me and said we had sex 2 or 3 weeks ago.

      The second time, during reconciliation, I also later found out she had been in contact with the guy. So yeah, these are huge stressors and traumatic events for a husband to endure. (Anger Rising as I recall)

    • Getting pregnant through an affair and putting herself in a situation where she has to have an abortion is proof that she is deranged beyond the usual selfishness of these cheaters. Glad you are out of this Manchump. Hope she didn’t give you any STDs.

      • STBX whoremat got pregnant after they slept together once. And then she knew she was pregnant because missed a period after less than a week ??? yeah. Manipulative much?! She miscarried after 4 weeks and I thought wreckonciliation was going forward but now STBX is moving in with her in two days. Because they are in love. * BARF* desperately want the karma bus to come NOW!

  • I’m new here. Still freshly devastated. One of the first sites I found was survinginfidelity. Do you guys sometimes feel like that site is pro-reconciliation? Or maybe it was just the mood of the posters at the time that I was reading it? I found that site after I had already moved out and told my STBX that I needed space. I mean, he lied about visiting out of town relatives when he actually flew out to “get closure” from his ex-girlfriend…6 days of closure.

    I moved back to my mom’s home cause I’m pregnant with out first child and my support system is here. I, of course, was having doubts and after reading that SI website and stuff like this Joseph’s letter and the rest of the healing library I started to really question if I did the right thing. Plus, my STBX kept saying things like I’m responsible for the end of our relationship cause I moved several states away. My friends and even lawyers said I did the right thing, but I didn’t believe it. And then SI website said that you should do this 180, get out of infidelity but not physically move out. It all just makes me really question what I did. It even got me believing that I’m sealing the deal on the end of our relationship because I left to be with my family. But really, it’s his continuing to date his ex-girlfriend while we were supposed to be in a committed relationship that ended it. I sometimes forget that.

  • Chumpedpreggo! Sounds over to me. I can only comment as a faithful loyal husband with 3 children to a narc bitch! Yes I started at all these bullshit reconciliation websites too. Wasted a good 12 months of my life, doing 180’s and 360’s, and for what? The sake of the children! My children will be fine because I’m the role model my kids need me to be. And I now live by the policy once a cheeta always a cheetah. If I smell a rat my intuition is normally right , I was just lucky by the time she got pregnant to the other man I had turned a massive corner and was not sleeping with her lying arse . When ever I think about sleeping with my ex that song comes to mind, “max don’t have sex with your ex, it’ll make your life complex” haha. I’m sorry your in this position sounds to me but there is nothing but a scumbag to go back too. So you keep moving forward, if you start slipping and you will , always work on you first ok! Because your the most important thing in your whole life and then your baby , this man should be dead to you in your mind. The hardest thing you might have to do Is come face to face with your scumbag, and say , you know what I was the best thing that ever happened to you and you fucked it all up, but you can’t go backwards , yes your prob going to have to coparent as well and that’s a shit sandwich too. Always stay positive and find the good things that come from bad situations in your life. Good luck with your baby , if your a decent person your baby will be fine.

    • Well said manchump. I always love the guys input here. Big hug for being a good guy. We are mighty warriors!

    • You’re right. I should think of him as a scumbag. It’s nice to have the viewpoint of a faithful man. I wish my man were faithful, but he wasn’t, even starting with our first date! Apparently when we went on our first date years ago, this ex-girlfriend was living with him. She knew he was dating other people; I had no idea he had a live in girlfriend! It actually took a little over a year after that first date for me to actually get involved with him. I wasn’t sure for so long, but then when I decided to give it a real chance I fell hard for him. Little did I know he was taking trips with this ex and she was flying out to visit him. Probably shacking up when I was working nights.

      Logistically it was pretty easy to leave him. My family came right away and packed me up. I was on the road about 10 days after I found out about the affair. I wasn’t even planning on leaving at first but my family convinced me to come back home and I met with a lawyer who pretty much said the same thing as my family: leave before my baby is born. But now I’m starting over and pregnant, hormonal and emotional. It’s tough. And he’s tugging at my heart strings by saying how excited he was to be a father and I’m making it hard for him. That he’s so hurt because I’m taking away the pregnancy and child from him. That I abandoned him! All my ex wants is for me to come back. But I never said I’ll keep my baby away from him or deny him visits. I just won’t buy him a plane ticket to come visit. He has to do that on his own.

      One positive out of all this is my child. I know my baby will be loved. My son is one of the main reasons I left my ex so quickly. I don’t want him to grow up to be a man like his father.

      • You did the right thing. Your son needs a father and this guy is a pod. Dont make it easy for him if he really wants to be a dad type make him do it. But any guy or girl who puts their slong or vajaja over their own kid doesnt deserve to have them. We are all here for you. You are so lucky for family support lots of us here had none and noone. Big hugs you will be fine.

  • I know some of us do not believe in karma but i for one do.

    Here is a public service announcement from the karma bus!!!

    Here ye here ye! One and all!

    All in one weeks time the asswipe has been repeatedly hit by the karma bus!
    Very hard and very nasty. One hoovering whore he walked on on me for is pick me dancing once again to get him back while shes has a new boyfriend she wont leave asswipe alone.

    The state is auditing his business. He is in big trouble here.

    And he needs a complete hip replacement with no medical ins.

    The karma bus has answered my requests and couldnt happen to a nicer pod and the hoovering whore!

    I take this as a big win for me and chump nation!

    Please join me in hysterical laughter and joy this cheater fuck is taking it up the ass. Pray with me there will be more to come!

    This ends my public service announcement.

    If this sounds mean to some too bad music to my ears. Hes done this shit to every woman hes ever been with short or long term except for whore juice i dedicate this small victory to the fucked over ones. Maybe not all cheaters deserve this bad but this asswipe does.

    And if im seeing correctly more is coming!

  • Kar Marie, let this just be the start of the plagues of Egypt for him. Very happy to hear that the karma bus does come sometimes.

    • The karma bus is a beautiful site to behold. May it hit that creep over and over!