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Dear Chump Lady, My cheating wife wants to come back

Dear Chump Lady,

You had tried reconciliation with your ex, and up until recently I too had hoped for that. In fact, three or so weeks ago she called me in tears asking to come back home. This was five days before her scheduled move-in date with her affair partner (AP), and she tells me that up until then, moving in with him seemed like an abstract thing. But since the AP’s wife kicked him out, AP thought the smart thing to do was get a place together.

The apartment was beyond their means, in fact she was the one who had to get the cash advance on her credit card to move in. She told me that she wasn’t sure she was in love with him, but she and I had something “deep.”

Well, at first I’m thinking this is just what I’ve been waiting for, but then the next morning she backtracks, and the next day a little more…. so she ends up moving in with him.

Since then I’ve cut off all non-essential contact with her and am proceeding with divorce . My gut tells me that sometime soon she may try to come crawling back. Why? They are in heavy debt, no health insurance, and he’s on four prescriptions plus a sleep apnea machine (it’s like a nursing home over there), his Cialis is out of pocket, he pays $800.00/month child support, and lots towards his medical expenses. Neither of them make much money (she doesn’t even make $10K a year).  My wife is a gym rat, in great shape. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s unsustainable.

Thing is, having my daughter pulls at me. I think about her having her family back. What was it that made you decide to give your husband another try? And how should I respond to my wife if and when she asks to return? In my heart I know I need to move on without her, and I want to be strong, not show any weakness and say the right things to her.

Dear Jeff,

She thought moving in with him was an ABSTRACT thing? How is she enjoying the theoretical debt she is incurring? (Are they imaginary numbers?) Or her soulmate’s erectile dysfunction? And sleep apnea machine? Seriously?

Wow, and she’s thinking about leaving that Dreamboat and coming home?

Here’s how I read your situation. She leaves you, then says she wants back. That is YOUR cue to do the Humiliating Dance  of Pick Me! Try harder to win back the wonderfulness that is her. <snort> Here is where you lose me — she doesn’t come home because…… you said go fuck yourself?  (Please tell me you told her to go fuck herself, which she must make a habit of, as he can’t get it up). No, she moves in with him for the stated reason…. The AP “THOUGHT IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.”

That howler had to come from her, right? Along with the something “deep” she feels for you? You realize this is a play for CAKE, don’t you? The deep thing she feels for you is in your back pocket, where you keep your wallet. She wants to keep you as the Mr. Fall Back Plan and the personal financier of her fuck ups.

I hope you’ve got a kickass lawyer, Jeff, because my first fear for you is that somehow you’re on the line for all this debt she’s running up. My next thought is, it sounds like she moved out, so I hope you have her for abandonment of the home and your daughter. Please solidify your position. Keep her out the home. Her problems with the AP (financial, penile, and otherwise) are not your concern. They are her karma.

You asked: What was it that made you decide to give your husband another try? Stupidity, Jeff. I have a long post about it, which sums it up. Five things that keep you stuck with a cheater. That was me. He did a lot of what I thought at the time were convincing dramatics about How Sorry He Was, but his actions said otherwise.

And look, even if I believed in reconciliation (I’m highly skeptical), you have NOTHING to reconcile with. Her actions are screaming loud and clear that she’s a cake eater — she lives with her affair partner. She walked out on her daughter. She wanted to come home so badly (and eat cake) that she… went to go live with him. But hey, it’s not like a for real thing — she just meant it in the “abstract” sense. She’s not truly screwing you over, Jeff. It’s abstract. Does your pain feel abstract, Jeff? Or does it feel real?

I understand that you want a family for your daughter. Grieve that. Grieve your marriage with this woman and what you thought it would be. Then take a very hard look at what it is — toxic. Your little girl should not grow up having this kind of dysfunction modeled to her. You can have a family — either create one yourself with the family you have and dear friends, or hold out for the real possibility that you will love again, and reinvent. You’ll have an authentic relationship with someone worthy of your love and loyalty. Which will be a blessing for your daughter and you.

As to how should you respond to your wife if she asks to return?

Direct her to your attorney. Don’t listen to her nonsense, her Hail Mary plays for forgiveness. Don’t put your head in the blender, by which I mean don’t talk about your relationship or the deep bullshit she feels for you. NC. NC. NC!

It’s hard stuff. Get some support from the CL forum, a therapist, or check out the resources section here for some useful books. But stay strong, Jeff. Do NOT take her back. There is a good life waiting for you here on the other side of divorcing her broke, toned, gym-rat ass.

This column ran previously. Postscript — Jeff found her on Ashley Madison, and pushed forward with the divorce.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Brilliant response, CL!

    Jeff, you have a daughter to raise alone now. Please don’t make the mistake of teaching her (by your actions) that it’s acceptable to be treated like dirt. Ask me how I know.

    Close all joint credit cards and bank accounts and protect your retirement investments (take her name off them ASAP) so she can’t ruin you and your daughter financially. Ask me how I know.

    Hugs. This is the hard part. But it gets better, and you’ll be counting your lucky stars she’s out of your orbit soon enough. Come back to this site often. It will keep you sane. Ask me how I know. 🙂

    • ChutesandLadders:

      I completely agree on separating out joint bank accounts; don’t give the one who bailed out the privilege of using your hard-earned money any longer than necessary. And for those of us with business-related bank accounts where the business owner may have, in good faith, installed their cheating spouse as an authorized signer (giving them free access to all of those business assets without question), remove them immediately!

      Credit cards held in joint name are a different matter… obviously, if there are no outstanding balances on a particular credit card, shut that account down ASAP so neither party can ever use it again (you can do what I did and first apply for a new credit card in your own name with that same card issuer). But if there are outstanding credit card balances, it gets trickier. If your joint bank accounts have enough cash to support the total payoff of a joint-name credit card, do so right away and then close it. But if there isn’t enough liquid cash, then both spouses would either have to jointly agree to stop using the card until the balance can be paid off and the account closed, or wait until there is a written agreement (i.e. a separation agreement, divorce decree, etc.) detailing how that outstanding debt will be split.

      As for retirement assets, different rules apply depending on the state you live in. In community property states, you need your spouse’s signature to remove them as your IRA beneficiary and replace them with someone else. And if there are distributions required by the final settlement (moving money from one IRA to another IRA to even things up), then the retirement plan administrator/custodian requires legal documentation before they can proceed with the transfer of assets (i.e. Divorce Decree, Decree of Dissolution, QDRO).

  • Yay, Jeff! Dump that skank!

    My thoughts on “affair partners”, and this just boils down to the fact that they are always Downgrades, is that cheaters enter into these relationships (ughhhh, they aren’t really that, so I’ll call them Situations) with people they would not ordinarily look at twice. But since it never advances any further than sneaking around 97% of the time, that isn’t a concern. They can pretend in their minds that their 50+ year old crack whore is really a 17 year old prom Queen or King.

    Jeff’s wife’s affair partner got busted cause his wife threw him out. That cleared them to Live The Dream. What catches! One chick who cheats and abandons her child. One old broke, sick cheater. I bet he would crash the server at Our Time dating service if he got in there. Not.

    But seriously, I do believe they realize how bad they fucked up (by getting caught) and would love to continue to dine on yummy cake. Uh, I mean, stay married…

      • I love this! My ex has a penchant for going after very out and proud lesbians. He’s on his 3rd that I know of in 2 years. These women are the kind of lesbians that have been married and had children with their previous women partners. His current one receives child support from her ex partner. It’s just the weirdest thing ever. Why on earth would a guy continue to seek out lesbians? He’s such a one-man freak show. So glad we are divorced and I have sole custody of our children.

        • Seducing lesbians is his particular brand of predatory fuckedupness. It seems that your ex skews towards the sociopathic end of the cheater spectrum.

        • Kelli, mine did too! I have not seen or heard of this before, so I was interested in your response. I don’t think my ex ever thought he would get caught and now he fakes like she is his twu luv and they have a normal relationship, but she still ducks in the car and hides her face even though we have been divorced for over a year. He’s a senior VP of major company in town and she is out and proud all over the internet. WTF!!

    • The never trade up is so true in my case. AP was unemployed and drug user. Boyfriend after divorce had to move in with X in order to not be homeless. Even though he has a mother and grown kids. Police had to remove him from house when she wanted him to leave and then she let him come back. Last I heard he’s in rehab and she works for slightly more that minimum wage.

  • I REALLY needed this today, I’m having a hard time of it this week. I need that kick up the arse to get on with my life and push on with the divorce. My ex is playing on my good nature, pleading poverty that she doesn’t have the cash to hire a lawyer…I actually find myself believing her, even feeling sorry for her. Then I remember the fact she has nice vacations, a new car, $400+ plus coats, bags and botox treatments…Boyfriend may well be paying for these, i don’t know, nor should I care.

    What she’s actually doing is simply taking the piss! I know I will never take her back, I maybe good hearted and a bit of a soft touch, but on the stuff that really matters to marriage, family and my kids i am resolute.

    But it is really, really hard. You are not alone Jeff.

    We got this!

    • My wife’s “broke” too. Not so broke that she can’t constantly buy new clothes, new shoes, new jackets, get plastic surgery, join multiple gyms, get a personal trainer, stash away money, and be Amazon’s #1 customer for the 5th consecutive year….but alas, she’s still broke.

      • Wow, they appear to all have the same manuel that they read and follow, child support all but ruined his life and he struggles to pay it or tries not to but takes multiple vacations every year, pays no mortgage (lives off family), has a a company vehicle that he doesn’t have to pay for, and on and on I go. I seriously hate him ? But have to laugh, absolutely ridiculous what these lying cheating assholes will do and what lengths they will go to and I love how it’s not gender specific – cheaters are truly all bottomfeeders.

        • You have the opposite problem from us. Sorry you have a bum for an X. I have no problem supporting my kids but when they use it for their lifestyle, that is beyond selfish. Courts should take into account who is the responsible parent before making final decisions. I don’t know the answer on how to get deadbeats to pay, maybe put them to work on a federal chain-gang and deposit their wages in the responsible parents account.

          • Always a lot of debate on that one. Child support in the form of food vouchers, health insurance payments for the kids only, children clothing only vouchers, college education vouchers, might help ensure it is only for the children.

      • Blindside,

        I feel it also. My ex wife is also “broke”…

        She is financially broke…
        She is emotionally broke…
        She is psychologically broke…
        She is mentally broke…
        She is morally broke…
        She broke her vows….
        She broke the kids…

        Trash pick up is Tuesday.

        • Love this! Cheaters described perfectly. Tuesday really is trash pick up day here–what a great way to weekly remind myself of what I got rid of. Here’s to another Happy Tuesday!

          • Trash day is also tomorrow (Tuesday) for me too! Doesn’t Chumplady always say about something about Tuesdays???

            – You’ll find MEH on Tuesday
            – The Karma bus will arrive on a Tuesday
            – Put the cheater out in the trash…on Tuesday

            • Mickey, don’t forget this one….

              “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” – Wimpy (from Popeye)

              I just can’t wait until tomorrow!!

            • This really put a smile on me “Tuesday”. I use it all the time looking in forward looking statements; especially with ex-wife….LOL

              I love Tuesdays!!! So looking forward to when I find MEH!

              Have a great day CN/CL.

        • So maddening when their actions risk breaking the kids, too. Happy that your children have one strong, sane, nurturing parent.

    • NO CONTACT! It is the only way. You have to detach and because of your personality, you can’t until you cut them off. I tried the friendly until the final lie. Then I cut her off totally. They use you for their gain and good. Not yours. By cut off, I didn’t reply to any texts or phone calls. We do have kids together, but they were never about their safety, etc. They were always trying to rope me back in and fell guilty for her. Either was money or some emotional crisis of hers. Well, she needs to ask the ap’s or boyfriend not me. And just to show you how hard the line is. She took me back into the home for about a week after I was in a major accident. Like I don’t even remember 99% of being there. I thanked her the day she took me home and haven’t spoken to her since. Does that make me an asshole? I don’t really care and also don’t care what others think. People I care about know the truth. The truth to why she took me has come out since. My daughters wanted that since they were too young to take care of me. She also thought it would get her back in my good graces. Finally, access to my credit card. So, as you see, they always have a motive. Break free with NC!

    • MickeyBlueEyes, you’re brave to note that you feel both resolute and conflicted at times.

      She doesn’t deserve to mess with your mind, heart, and hard-won resoluteness. Enough already! It’s manipulative as hell. I’d like to tell her to go there. And take her Prada bag.

      She pleads poverty? Selfishness on steroids. And another lie. (Just looked up average price of Botox. Every three months, $600.) Since when does a woman who betrayed you and destroyed two families deserve YOU to fix her phony or self-created financial woes?

      I’m sorry you’ve been having a hard time of it. You are definitely a fighter, though! Add to that a good heart and a soft touch? I admire you.

      • Thanks you ClaireS, CN is a great place to vent and get support and remind you that they just plain and simply suck!

        It’s astounding, I could sort of understand it more if she was stashing money away somewhere. But to blatantly walk around in all designers clothes, bags, beauty treatments, vacations, watches and a new car is just un-believable that she can plead poverty.

        It’s a constant mindf*ck!

            • you’re allowed to break grey rock occasionally to get a solid punch in. It has to be a single shot though!

              • I’m sorry to disagree. If you’re going to break grey rock rules, triple tap. Two to the gut, one to the head. Knocks a man down and kills him dead.

              • Breaking grey rock for a solid punch!!! That’s perfect TX. And so timely, since Dr. Crazy sent his girlfriend an hour across state lines to attend my support group meeting the other day.

    • Hey Mickeyblueeyes,

      I just got back from a work conference that I extended into a vacation. I bought some fabulous clothes and spent nights at hotels costing over $250.00 per night. Now I’m a little strapped for cash. How about a loan?

      No? Let me tell you a little secret about some women (my deceased mother being one of them). Some women will always look for a man to bail them out. No matter how irresponsible or harmful their behavior, they look to others for support and help. It doesn’t matter if it’s lack of money, getting a black eye from her AP, getting thrown out of the AP’s house and making a frantic call from the gas station, or a thousand other consequences from their own choices and they try to suck you back in to the nothingness that is their soul.

      Now another little secret. She is a grown woman responsible for her own choices. She is no longer your problem and her finances are not your concern any more than mine are your concern. You don’t know me and you never really new her. You owe both of us NOTHING. Divorce the bitch and let her drown in the choices that were hers to make.

      Oh, and P.S. I really don’t need a loan. Yes I did have a good time and spent way too much money, but I only spent what I could afford. Let her learn that little lesson courtesy of your divorce lawyer.

      • I love your straight shooting style, Annie. You always nail it. Welcome back, we missed you while you were out of town.

        • Thanks. I still read but I’ve had less time to write snarky comments. I love being missed. Thanks.

      • Thanks Annie,

        Thanks for the reply, all sounds very familiar, everyone tells me the same, but sometimes its hard to get out of the routine of the last 25+ years and have to remind myself she ain’t my responsibility anymore. I don’t want my kids to think I’m being unfair on their mother, but at the same time I know they can’t see me being a push over either.

        Funny you mention her needing a man to bail her out. Before me it was her father that used to run around after her, bailing her out, picking her up in a drunken mess from a party in a dodgy area of town and so on. Her brother tells me that when she was a child up until 21 (when i met her) She had her parents, and her dad especially wrapped around her little finger. Even now he’s pushing 82 and he comes down and cuts her lawn, gardens, taxi’s her to various places on a night out with the Gal’s.

        Email was sent to my lawyer this morning to push things along regardless of my STBXW predicament.

        • It’s unbelievably hard. That’s what the 2×4 is for. I still have nightmares I wish would go away. But I can’t do anything about that except give it time.

          If you are a fair man, your kids will never think otherwise. You have the responsibility to yourself AND your children to look out for yourself and your future. Just because you are looking out for your mental, physical, and financial well-being does not mean that you are the bad guy.

          Put yourself first and take care of you. You can’t take the best care of your kids unless you do. They will get it.

        • Some of us need to remember the same applies to deadbeat men. Mine had me paying for his bills when he blew up his business, paying for the 4 properties we owned, smokes, booze, expensive dinners( the ones where I ate an appetizer and had no alcohol so we could afford his expensive meal—chump supreme!!). Wackjob AND loser!!

        • Sounds like my ex-wife mickeyblueeyes. Married 20 plus dated 5 years and two daughter. My ex father in law whose in his late 70’s is bailing her out as well…cuts grass, plumbing, etc. I’m divorce now 18 months, each step its gets better, but the divorce isn’t the end.

  • The best gift you can give your daughter is a sane, stable family. Reuniting with a woman who chooses to cheat, who chooses debt, who chooses a potential “step-father” for her that doesn’t seem to have much ability to parent her–all demonstrate that your wife has no ability or intention of sustaining a sane, stable family for your daughter. That makes it all your job (congratulations and my condolences–it is a tough job but worth it).

    Reuniting with your wife would not give your daughter a great family back; it would expose her to more years of insecurity (and who knows what else).

    Divorcing your wife and drawing firm boundaries is the best thing you can do for your child. Will it be hard for her to have her family fall apart–yes, but the alternative is worse. And that is not your fault. It is your wife who fractured the family, who forced you to choose between two less than ideal family situations for your daughter. But it is you who can choose to be a great dad for your daughter–a sane, safe, stable, loving parent–one that she can always count on no matter what her wingnut mother is doing or who she’s hanging out with.

    You are wise to see the request to return rising on the horizon. Plan your response now. It will be easier to hold your boundaries if you’ve got that response scripted and waiting to be delivered. And short is good–if she asks to return, you can just say, “No. I am not interested in reconciling. I am proceeding with a divorce.”

    It can be really hard for chumps to do anything that might be labeled as “mean” or “rude” or “unforgiving.” Expect your EX to label you with whatever terms she knows you are susceptible to–it doesn’t matter how ridiculous they are; if she knows you hate or fear being perceived as “hasty” or “rigid” or “chauvinistic” or “unChristian,” then she’ll use those terms to try and manipulate you after you deliver your refusal to reconcile. This is why you need a short, scripted response; after you give it hang up the phone or close the front door or remove yourself from the situation as necessary.

  • I’m glad Jeff divorced her. She sounds like a real winner.

    Honestly, my POS hoish-half will likely try to come back eventually. He’s living in his car after being kicked out by the AP. His AP has been married three times and was married when they started porking. Of course, her husband didn’t take too kindly to it and threatened to stop paying the mortgage.

    That ho is never coming back here. He allowed his AP to call me a bad mother and insinuate that I only have my son to get money out of the ho. That’s rich, that ho is broke. So yeah, he can sleep under a bridge for all I care.

    • Consequences!!! Hey, he didn’t think about those. Love that the Karma bus has hit and one day it will hit the AP as well. Best wishes on the cheater free life!

      • I just can’t get it into my head how these losers don’t think about consequences??? They must be missing that part of the brain. OH, wait, they aren’t using the head that is on top of the shoulders. NEVERMIND! (erase, erase)

        • It’s mind boggling. My X said, when he was leaving: “I don’t care if I have no money.” A couple of weeks later, after talking to the lawyers, I reminded him he said that and he said, “I didn’t think it would actually be no money!” They’re so bold when the consequences haven’t hit yet. PS. It’s not no money, I know you spend plenty on drugs and gambling– but you can’t pay your required portion for our little girl’s dance class. Right.

          • Yeah, it’s like all the other stuff that doesn’t register as reality. The responsible person is no longer going to support me and my stupid habits? Who would’ve thought!

        • It was a joke between me and Hannibal that he DIDN’T seem to learn from consequences.

          I’d love to brain scan cheaters to see if their nucleus accumbens is all shriveled up, rendering basic rat-like operant learning impossible.

          • Tempest, isn’t a definition of mental illness doing things the same way over and over but expecting to get a different result? I just found out Dr. Crazy moved #7 in less than 3 months after I dumped him for good. I can only think that any learning and growing he might have done is confined to how to “better” choose a victim, groom her into submission and hide his disorder.

          • Pavlov should have really used the Cock with his meat powder and left the dog at home. That would have explained it all.

          • I have no doubt that if brain scans were done on these cheaters and narcissists that there would be similarities. There is no way that they can be mentally right.

  • These are the days I’m thankful I got one that left and didn’t look back. We did a little of this the first few months but the min I told his affair partner that he would cheat on her too….and he already was…..with me, he washed his hands of being my BFF. Whatever.
    I called him out on all his shit, he would never think circling back to me was an option. I’m glad….no contact is the way to get your life back and affair partners give you that. When they decided to go play house with them… are free.
    Let her go. She sucks.

  • No sane person goes out to the curb, removes a leaking, rancid bag of trash from the can, and brings it back into the house to share the bed.

  • Jeff, here’s an artist’s rendering of your abstract pain. How’s it feel?

    Your wife is evil, see?

    Here’s a photo of her with her new love. You’re better off alone, bro. Happy Halloween!

    • I wish I knew how to post stuff like this, or even a picture (of random stuff of course). Is there some kind of code?

      • Blindside, the easiest method I have found is at

        Once you Generate the meme/gif or just upload an image (it is easy, just follow along and use the ‘More Options’ to create exactly what you want), then you highlight ‘Image html’ to copy it and paste that into your comment.

        Voila. Have fun. Experiment.
        ps I am the least techie person alive and I found it completely user friendly, V

      • If you get a free account, you simply upload your image to the site, then it gives you multiple “share” methods. Just choose the little “chain link” looking icon and highlight and copy the html code in the box that pops up.

        Then come here and simply paste it into the comment box and click submit. It’s actually probably easier than I made it sound and can be accomplished from start to post in less than a minute or two.

        Hope this helps! Looking forward to the memes you’ll post!

    • Thanks Ian, you’ve perfectly illustrated the abstractness of my pain LOL.

      Happy Halloween!

    • Holy shit Ian! Hilarious. I have to nibble on some of those paint chips also!

    • Ian,

      Challenge accepted. Tonight when I sit on the porch and hand out candy I’m going to be eating pizza, drinking Dos Equis, smoking, and tossing my knives in the air. Once I’m properly buzzed (2 beers because I’m a light weight) I will hit the skateboard. Hope no one gets hurt.

      • I hope you made it out relatively unscathed after your triple-tap halloween debauchery.

        • Those little 4 foot clowns coming to the door took some risk, but all ended well. I love having conversations with the kids. They’re so darn cute. The teenager who showed up as V was a little taken aback by my sister asking, “Who are you.” The answer did not please so the teen was asked about the 5th of November. Confused, she was given candy and told next year she would get a full bar or perhaps an entire bag if she could remember the speech or just say, “You may call me V.” Given the audience, the speech may or may not be appropriate, so I’ve included it.

          Evey: Who are you?
          V. : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.
          Evey: Well I can see that.
          V. : Of course you can, I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
          Evey: Oh, right.
          V. : But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
          The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
          Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.
          Evey: Are you like a crazy person?
          V. : I’m quite sure they will say so.

          Remember remember the fifth of November
          Gunpowder, treason and plot.
          I know of no reason why gunpowder, treason
          Should ever be forgot…

  • Jeff, look at it this way. They are going to keep their dream alive but with your money.

  • I feel you Jeff. I feel now like my whole purpose in my marriage was just to be a meal ticket – and a safety net until my wife found a better “situation.” The sad thing is, I’m still going to serve in that role to a certain extent with the spousal support I’ll be paying. It’s bad enough to feel used by your spouse at the end of your marriage – but then they get to still use you after it’s over.

    • Same here. And she used it for 18 years out of a 24 year marriage. The last 4 with an affair partner that was mentally unable to work and sucking money out of the government. He still lived in a crappy rental mobile home and his kids can’t stand him. So, she stayed while I bought her a new car and remodeled the house. Now she has them both and they are paid for with my retirement. But she still lacks a soul and my daughter lives with me 90% of the time! How ironic is it that teenage daughters live with dad instead of their whore disney mom. BTW, I didn’t know about the affair until she had eyes on a new man and wanted a divorce. I gave her one. And can’t wait to give her the Christmas present this year. A court notice that I’m going to quit paying child support and am suing her for it!

      • Lostntx,

        That’s so badass awesomesauce, Mighty Chump!!!

        Tell the slunt CN sends her their best:

         photo Middle Finger 31102016091034_zps1ebluo4d.jpg

      • Oh, Lostntx, that is some of the most amazing news I’ve heard in a long time! May justice prevail and I hope you feel CN cheering for you all the way! Merry Christmas in the most spectacular fashion. I love it.

  • Hi ChumpLady —

    Do you think this whole Weiner saga is a good warning story about what can happen with Wreckconciliation?

    Evidently Weiner had been given three chances to be a good boy, that are publicly known, each of them two years apart. Now his inherent self-centeredness is known world-wide and is tearing apart the election season.

    Why to go Weiner-boy.

    Anyway, I would love to read your take on Cheater-Weiner and how not kicking his sorry ass to the curb sooner would have prevented this election meltdown.

    • I know! Weiner, like all cheaters, had to be central, so he illegally co-opted his wife’s classified emails and may have brought down the republic.

      • Now I’m of two minds–he’s a narc, so may have wanted revenge on Huma by stealing her emails. But then he didn’t think he’d get caught, nor his computer confiscated….hmm.

          • Not American myself, but would anyone have ever guessed in the dying days of the American election campaign that narcissist, sext-cheater extraordinaire, ex-politician, Anthony Weiner, a non-political player at this point, could so drastically alter the course of American politics, because doesn’t understand that undermining his wife is not a politically astute tactic? Defies logic. But then, the musings of a malignant narcissist defy logic. Only now, the consequences are at a much higher level.

    • All of America wishes she had just left him after she first discovered his infidelity. Weiner is the perfect example of how cheaters never change. His wife has been supporting the entire family and this is how he expresses his gratitude? What a sleaze ball!

    • I have thought about writing something from that angle. Anthony Weiner is loathsome. How many more innocents must suffer from Anthony Weiner’s dick?

      I warn against taking serial cheaters back, but geez, even I could not have foreseen what a clusterfuck he’d cause.

      • I think in almost all cases, the truth eventually surfaces. Usually not when or where you expect it, but eventually.

        I know of two separate incidents in my family within the last month or so where things that were lied about and appeared to be buried years ago came right back up to the surface. Thank you, Facebook, lol.

        And in the case of HC and her emails, if she hadn’t made the choices that she did, Weiner’s computer wouldn’t have been relevant. It’s another case where the truth comes back and bites you in the ass, no matter who you are. And I’m not trying to advance any political agenda, but HC set the wheels in motion herself, in my personal opinion.

        • The saying “Everything eventually comes out in the wash” rings so true in this case.

          • I had the truth about a family “secret” regarding me come out almost 30 years later. You never know when something like that will happen, even decades later.

      • Oh, pretty please, let’s not go to actual politics, I don’t want to have to stop reading. Can we keep it to the Weiner discussion? (aaaaaaand THERE’s another quote for the day… 🙂 )

    • From what I understand, he illegally obtained those emails. Also, the FBI did as well. Part of me wonders if he didn’t keep those emails as a way to gain leverage over his wife.

      • I thought of that as well. He wanted to hurt Huma and get leverage. It’s a classic from the serial cheater freak handbook.

      • I don’t think it was for leverage over his wife. He’s brilliant! A mastermind of politics and strategy! He is (da da da da…) ANTHONY WEINER. Huma had lots to learn from him (in his mind); he co-opted the emails to be able to give her tips and keep himself central. After all, he is a victim! of the system, of hackers. A fabulous political mind like his should not go to waste! He should not be relegated to toddler-watching as a SAHD when he is so much more clever than everyone else in Washington….. [and that, folks, is a glimpse into the mind of Anthony Weiner. You shouldn’t only have to have a glimpse of his erect family jewels, ya know].

      • I am wondering whether he fraudulently obtained access to his wife’s email (like keylogging her own machine and getting her passwords) and will end up in even more trouble himself. Again, a chapter from the cheater handbook, to spy on the chump.

  • Jeff, quit wishing to be strong and do it! That means divorce and no-contact starting today. You have to take a step each day to detach. With time you will question why you put up with the abuse so long. If she ask to come back, respond with silence like every attempt at communication from this day forward.

  • Jeff,

    I saw the postscript to your letter and wanted to let you know that I too have Ashley Madison to thank for slapping some sense into me. I don’t know why three APs didn’t do what one cheating whore app did but once I saw that charge on his credit card I knew my pick-me-dancing days were over. I was done. Someone stop this tilt-a-wheel ride because I’m finally getting off! I turned in my tap shoes for running shoes and I ran, straight to a divorce attorney’s office.

    It’s not easy. It’s not always puppies and kittens. But finding your value again, without having the life squeezed out of you by someone who only thinks of you as a one-stop kibble shop, well there’s nothing quite like that freedom to keep you moving forward and into a better life.

  • CL, thank you for the update on Jeff’s status. And for a comprehensive rendering of the truth of his situation.

    Jeff, the writing was on the wall before the Ashley Madison discovery. Your ONLY recourse is to proceed with the dissolution of this marriage for which she shows no respect. I’ve been schooled in the field of wingnuttery and the only cure for exposure is to liberally apply No Contact for all eternity. Recovery can be slow with occasional exacerbation of symptoms, but the prognosis is excellent.

    Your daughter will need you to provide some immunization against exposure to wingnut mom, so be all that you can be, Jeff. Your conduct suggests you got the mighty gene, V

    • Virago, “I’ve been schooled in the field of wingnuttery…”

      THAT is an unobtrusive but perfect little gem of a sentence. May I borrow it?

      On topic because that revealing phrase describes what’s in play here: Jeff and many / most / all of us are getting schooled similarly. Thank God part of that schooling is here.

      As you once wrote in a beautiful post not long ago (to which I still have a draft reply I was too shy to post!) you’re not often “serious” on here, by which you meant that you rarely discuss what led you to CL. You are not alone.

      Knowing just a little of what you reckoned with — you have indeed been schooled … your ability to learn is a sign of grace and unbelievable strength. You can also deploy wicked humor and creative memes. Fierce!

      • ClaireS, thank you. Your words touched my crusty little heart today!

        Never be too shy to post, ClaireS. We very much need your contribution. We hold each other up! V

  • Jeff, if you’re still out there, I’d love to hear how things turned out for you after you proceeded with the divorce.

    I’ll add that when when cheaters say things seemed abstract (as my ex also claimed), it’s because they’re mentally skimming the situation. It’s not abstract to them, it’s that they only want to focus on the tasty bits that float to the top. The rest of the flotsam and jetsam of life are a buzzkill and don’t fit the fantasy, so they’re flat out ignored. Life can’t be about skimming the top. What lies below isn’t abstract, it is inconvenient, and therefore relegated to the “fuck it” category. Spouse? Fuck it. Kids? Fuck it. Loving in-laws? Fuck it. Quickie on work time? Ooohhhhh, SKIM. None of it is the least bit abstract.

  • Jeff,

    It completely sucks for your daughter. But it would completely suck if she mirrored her mother’s behavior because she thought that is how wives are suppose to act. You need to teach her what marriage looks like, what a great parent looks like, what a person who stands up for themselves looks like. So that when face with this situation in her adult life, she will know how to act.

    Do as the CL and CN say. These wonderful people helped me to keep my sanity.

  • I get the confusion. Things got clearer for me when I decided to look at his A TIONS rather than the junk coming from his mouth. I’d encourage you to do the same. My ex did a cruel game of the blaming me for not being enthusiastic about ideas of taking him back. I’d say-show me you are serious. His response would be see, I knew you never really loved me. What a twisted response? I know you don’t love me because I can’t totally screw you over and have you jumping up and down for joy at any kibble he’d throw my way.

    It’s so hard to let go, I’m sure mainly for your daughter and the family unit. I know how heavy that weighs. But it helped me to think about what it would take for me to heal. I knew I would try to mend if in my heart I really thought he meant it and knew what he wanted. I really would have. I had to trust myself and know that I wasn’t going that route because I knew he didn’t mean it. How did I know? Because he still wasn’t interested in ME. It was all about him. He wasn’t really sorry. Maybe he was scared but not sorry. I’ll stop ranting but I’ll say I later found text proof of all his shinannigams and could see how I was just one of many people he plays with like toys. Pushing our buttons. Listen to your instincts and don’t feel guilty! If she has a real change of heart and is willing to do the work, you can address that then but for now, trust your gut. Take care of yourself and your child. You can be whole and know what you need and be focused. That’s a way bigger gift to her than choking your own self esteem down to cater to someone who isn’t respecting you. Don’t beat yourself up for having a backbone and for wanting to be loved and respected.

    • “Things got clearer for me when I decided to look at his ACTIONS rather than the junk coming from his mouth.”

      ^^Abso-fucking-loutely THIS!^^

    • There is no change of heart, only a different angle by which to abuse further. I wish I could say that there would be some glimmer of hope, but it’s like the mirage in the desert that looks so good from far away, but up close….. not so much. Jeff, leave that bitch and don’t look back ever or else you’ll turn to stone! 🙂

    • My STBX did the same thing to me, told me I’d laughed at his “attempts” to reconcile, therefore it was my fault we couldn’t reconcile – during the months after the THIRD D-DAY, mind you, when I had already given him plenty of chances after DDays 1 and 2! I told him I laughed because his “attempts” were making the statement that he hadn’t given up on our marriage, made out of the blue, after weeks of no communication except about the kids or money, while his whore spent every weekend with him. Uh, think not, asshole.

  • Jeff,

    As to how should you respond to your wife if she asks to return?

    May I recommend a “deep” and “abstract” concept?…..No Contact. Let silence do the talking for you.

    Follow your heart. Use your strength to find resolve. Focus on your daughter. Your daughter has you and that is more than enough. Your love for your daughter is admirable. Tell your daughter how much you love her. Tell your wife nothing.

    • I agree. Besides, talking to her would be like talking to a brick wall. Nothing will ever get through. Best way to deal with a narc is indifference.

  • You can do this, Jeff. We’re all rooting for you. Tough as hell but it gets better, I promise!

  • “She and I had something deep”. Sounds like she meant your pockets, Jeff.

    My chump partner tried wreckconciliation back in the day, and he ended up sleeping on the sofa just so he could see his kids to sleep each night. He finally had to leave when Whore Wife said she was going to move AP into their house … But that Chump could buy the house next door and still be able to see the kids.

    These folks have twisted minds. Strangely, Chump still says he “cannot say a word against her because she is the mother of my children”. I just step outside and bay at the moon when he says stupid shit like that.

    As a result, Whore Wife continues to control the narrative by rewriting history, and to listen to her, you’d think Chump,was the one at fault.
    Nice karma though, we heard recently she’s “struggling” with her cheating AP.

    • They really are a special kind of special. The sun shines out of their arses at just the perfect angle to illuminate us. So of course we all must accommodate their schedules and their plans. It’s only right…

  • They don’t miss YOU. They miss what they HAD. Two tough pills to swallow for the chump especially when they come crawling back. Cheaters do not attach to people, they attach to things. They are sentimental about material possessions. Personal comfort. You, the chump, is something they have to PUT UP WITH to get them. I am still getting cards from my life stealing lying sack of shit talking about the good “old days”. Little vignettes of remembrance of how “nice” it was. Fucker is alone and the end of his life span is fast approaching. Prostitutes do not provide the joys of family and hearth. I pray for him and all the drug addicts I know. Keep up the good work CL. Whenever I feel weak I come running back.

    • Please do come back. I know I do because this forum keeps me so grounded and understood.
      Sad that we end up becoming “psychologists” in a way trying to figure out wth is going on… “They don’t miss YOU. They miss what they HAD. Two tough pills to swallow for the chump” So true…

      • Calamity Jane: So very true. Indeed, a hard pill to swallow, that you’re not loved for who you are, but for whatever creature comforts you can offer. Our well-being, our thoughts and deepest desires are of no consequence to a cheater. They couldn’t give a shit. That a partner should be deserving of emotional reciprocity is as strange to a cheater as watching an elephant ride a bicycle.

        • @Tflan386, This 100%. Never Forget it!

          “Our well-being, our thoughts and deepest desires are of no consequence to a cheater. They couldn’t give a shit. That a partner should be deserving of emotional reciprocity is as strange to a cheater as watching an elephant ride a bicycle.”

    • Stay strong, CalamityJ!! Jerk needs someone by his bedside at the end of his life? Let him pay someone; he’s used to that.

  • Wow, I’m glad that Jeff decided to continue with the divorce! Thank you, CL, for repeating this entry, as it affirms the need to trust that they suck.

    While my CheaterX hasn’t come back to me, whining about how he and I had “something deep,” I get that a lot of cheaters do slither back. I think their motives can be summed up in one word: consequences.

    What’s so important for us Chumps to remember is just how easily our Cheaters lied to us while they were sneaking around in the first place. Given that kind of history, why would we ever believe that they’d change?

    Jeff, wherever you are now, I hope that your life is drama-free, that your child is doing well, and you are taking back your life.

    • kb- “to remember is just how easily our Cheaters lied to us while they were sneaking around in the first place. Given that kind of history, why would we ever believe that they’d change?”

      How come I keep forgetting this. It’s so frustrating the temptation to believe that THIS time they are being truthful. That hopium thing I guess.

      Yes. They lied before. They will again.

  • I’m glad to see Jeff pushed forward with the divorce! I haven’t read all the comments, but wanted to add a note for any chumps who are wavering about taking the cheater back so that you get your kids back full-time.

    I was there. In fact, that was one of the big reasons for last year’s holiday wreckonciliation, after which he left again because he “needs the validation of other women too much to ever not cheat.” Even after that jaw-dropping line and my subsequent filing for divorce, I felt vulnerable for months. I was scared that if he circled back, the chumpy part of me would take over and spackle like mad. I HATE that I’ve lost my kids half the time. I miss them like crazy when they’re with him. A big, happy, intact family was the most important thing in the world to me and he stole that. I knew that dream was going to die hard.

    If you’re wavering, stay the course. Your brain knows, like mine did, that what you’d be modeling to your kids is much worse than divorce. Eventually your heart, like mine did, will catch up to your head. I still hate that I’ve lost my kids half the time, but I’m bearing it. There is no way in hell I’d take him back. I could list all sorts of logical reasons for that, but the strongest factor is that solid emotional “No!” that grew inside me after months of mostly no contact, detachment, and allowing myself to see him for what he is.

  • I emailed Jeff and he wrote back this update:

    I’m still single and contentedly so, I have peace. Even after 4-1/2 years I’m not able to trust, but I’m not concerned and have no desire for a relationship at this time. As far as my ex, in July she and the man she left me for messily broke up. She ended up having to change the locks on her apartment and I couldn’t allow my daughter to go over there due to his drinking and belligerent behavior. A real shocker 😉

    • Sorry Jeff, what a mess. Glad you’re divorced but sorry for your daughter. I hope you have good friends and a supportive extended family. She needs it. You’re doing great keeping you both as removed from this train wreck as you legally can.

    • Bravo Jeff! I’m sorry for your daughter’s sake, but it sounds like you are at meh.. did it arrive on a Tuesday?

      • ChumpLady can you add a dictionary of terms to your site. I searched but couldn’t find one. I learned cake in this post but what is med? Commenters: you are nothing short of amazing.

    • Thank you for protecting your innocent daughter, Jeff. I hope you will trust yourself to find a good woman again, maybe a fellow chump. We’ve walked that road, and we get it. Chumps have a lot of love to give and receive.

  • Jeff is a role model. I took my ex back four times until I finally gave up and filed for divorce. He was as financially unfaithful and untrustworthy with money and doing the right thing at the end as he was with cheating. He did not break up with the OW and sometimes, when I am really down, I do imagine they have this happy life together that they got by stepping on my back. But in my head (not my heart) I know better. The thing is- had I taken the hint the first time- I would have saved myself ten long years of doing the pick me dance and heartbreak. Jeff, you are wise.

  • Jeff, I was a-wishin’ and a-hopin’ that my husband would have an “Oh shit, what have I done” moment, realize my true value, leave his whore-of-a-married-coworker behind and come home. I did the Pick Me dance for 6 months before I finally came to my senses and asked myself why would I want him back? He lied. He cheated. He exposed me to disease. He took advantage of my loyalty. He betrayed my trust. He left me to clean up his messes. He demonstrated to our 3 sons that it’s A-OK for men to mistreat and disrespect their wives as long as it makes them “happy”. Now that I’m 4 years into this journey, I can honestly say that his leaving to water the OW’s greener grass was the best gift he ever gave me.

    Not that my opinion matters, but I think you’ve done exactly the right thing: close the door to reconciliation with someone who has purely selfish motives, protect your daughter with a vengeance, and move down the road to your own peace. Best of luck to you.

    • My red sandals.

      I have copied your post to read in my weaker, second guessing moments.
      Perfectly stated. Brilliant.

    • “I was a-wishin’ and a-hopin’ that my husband would have an “Oh shit, what have I done” moment, realize my true value, leave his whore-of-a-married-coworker behind and come home. I did the Pick Me dance for 6 months before I finally came to my senses and asked myself why would I want him back? He lied. He cheated. He exposed me to disease. He took advantage of my loyalty. He betrayed my trust.”

      +1, MyRed.

      Perfectly stated.

      • +1 here, too. I could have written that paragraph. I daresay it’s true for nearly all of us.

        And the bewilderment that no matter what you say, they just don’t get it? Nothing gets through? The shark eyes, the body snatcher affect? Crazy.

        Then one day it hits you–no, that’s the real them. They really actually don’t care. They never did.

        • So true!! I am so glad I found CL and CN. If I hadn’t heard how common the whole “shark eyes, body snatcher” thing is, I think I would have lost my mind. It is so mind boggling how they change into these pods. Knowing I am in good company is very comforting!

  • Chumplady,

    Love your cartoon, even though it looks exactly like my ex-wife. How did you know what she looks like? Hehe.

  • Like the name implies, There is a sucker born everyday! Leave that life behind, Jeff and all of my beloved Chumps, Live by the rule, when they come clawing back, NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MONKEYS”! Thats’s what they created, a circus of our lives as a self imposed ring master/mistress. Leave the arena and rip them a new one on the way out!

  • I found out about Ashley Madison and AFF accounts a couple years after my divorce, at one of those “Have I Been Hacked” websites before the site was closed. I found the discovery to be satisfying. It confirmed what I already knew–that The Coward is a scumbag–and that I am supremely grateful for the divorce and my independence. The discovery propelled me much closer to “meh,” as well. Either he opened those accounts after moving in with Twat Troll, OR, he did it while married to me, then claiming that Twat Troll was some sort of divine fate. Either way, he’s disgusting, and no longer my problem.

    I remember a couple of summers ago, I sat at the breakfast table as my youngest son explained to a friend of his what Ashley Madison is–he’d read about the hack in the press, and was aghast that anyone would be so duplicitous. My tongue BLED that day. I never let on that I’d discovered that his father was the sort of pig who had an AM account. Not. One. Word. Just a glitter in my eye.

    • I would have told him right there and then, when the association with his disgust was strongest and just expressed in front of his friend. Vaccinate against that shit whenever you get a chance. Why lie by omission?

  • New guy in town.
    Two weeks ago I found out my wife is having an affair. She was distant over the holidays and went back home without me. Other side of Iowa . When she got back I had a bad vibe. Asked over the phone if there was someone else. She said yes. My heart dropped. I told her she must stop seeing him. She said she didn’t want to. I rushed home from work. Tried to talk. All I got was “I like him, I like him a lot ” followed by her telling me that I wasn’t happy for a long time. It was true but we both just moved and started new jobs so I though the stress would work it’s way out. Hell I just bought her a new ring for our anniversaries the month before. Used my savings and credit because I wanted her to have something special and I knew that lately we were tough on each other. Anyways. Wrote her a live letter and told her we could work it out. But he must be out of the equation 100%. By Sunday deadline. Saturday she called to tell me she wasn’t coming home. I packed my shit and am living at a motel that you stay by the month. House in her name cuz my credit was stretched. I have nothing. No friends in this new town. No home. Shit I don’t have my dogs anymore. Apparently her bf is moving in. See my ex made more money than me, apparently she feels I contributed nothing and she deserves all of our stuff. I don’t know how irrelevant I will be when she has to pay all the bills on her own. Guess the new bf will find himself in a great spot paying the bills I used to. Anyways. I’m sad. Hurt. Lonely. Scared. Etc. but I’ve been reading these forums and that bitch can eat a shit sandwich. How dare I let her make me feel so worthless. I loved her. Worked hard on working class salary and gave her more than I could afford. I treated her like a princess. All so she could hookup with a high school classmate from 25 yrs ago via Facebook. Facebook is the devils workshop and mzny demons troll it.

    • Hey Will. You wrote on an old post so no one would have seen this posting.
      Send again on a new posting then everyone will read it.
      Sorry for what you are going through right now but stay strong.
      The CN team will help you through this tough time.
      Hugs to you.

    • Will: First, I’m very sorry for what you are going through; it hurts like nothing else. I would strongly advise you to see a lawyer pronto, who may advise you to move back in. Iowa is an equitable distribution state, which means you may not get 50% of marital assets but you are certainly owed more than she is offering. I know you probably want to curl up in a ball right now, but you need to take immediate action. Obtain a credit report on both of you to see what assets she has, or may have hidden. You will feel much more empowered if you don’t let her steamroll you financially (even though she has steamrolled you emotionally).

      Post your story on a more recent post, fur more feedback and help (and also in the forums–sign up via the top Right corner of the CL page. Most experienced people access the Private: General forums. Hugs to you.

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