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The Pep Talk You Would Give Yourself at D-Day

baddaysInstead of our usual snarking, today’s Friday Challenge is to think back to your first (or 15th) D-Day and give yourself a pep talk.

I know, I know… you might be four weeks since D-Day and can’t imagine anything as rousing as “perhaps I will drink that entire can of Ensure.” But trust me, however wobbly you feel, you’re far mightier than you know. And everyone who is reading this is ahead of some other chump somewhere, just by virtue of the fact that you KNOW.

My husband told me I should do this for myself. I replied that would just be too incredibly weird. I mean, talk about a trajectory. But okay, if I’m asking you to do it, I’ll do it.

Dear Tracy, 

Stop vomiting for a moment and listen to the Ghost of Your Future Self here. Hey, it’s 10 years later. That sociopathic bozo you’re married to? You feel absolutely nothing for, except a general sense of regretful WTFishness. No pain. No heaving sobs. No murderous revenge fantasies. In fact the only time you’ll be reminded of the bozo is during that idiotic reality TV series Storage Wars (sorry, reality TV is a Thing). That redneck Darrell with the hairy shoulders? You’ll shudder. That’s it. 

But here’s the CRAZY thing — your resilience living through this shit? You won’t ever forget that. Because even though you’re stranded right now, jobless, worried sick about your child, and months from a second divorce? You were triumphant. You rose above it all. You were a bad ass. You escaped. Okay, you fucked up a few times. There were some failed reconciliation attempts, but you learned from it. You made a new home. Got a new job. Found a passion for writing full-time. Your son turns out GREAT (except he’s a business major… I’m sorry, all those violin lessons never convert him to liberal arts) — and that second divorce? Middle-aged loser fear? You remarry.

No REALLY. You meet this wonderful man and he’s a fellow chump, and you’re HAPPY. But you were happy before too! This whole chump thing gives you a clarity you never had before on who’s a waste of space and who’s worth investing in. You discover reciprocity! It’s life changing! 

Okay, it gets crazier! You write about the chump experience, and draw cartoons about it, and start a blog and millions of people read it and you get a literary agent and a book, and then a Hollywood agent…(I don’t know what’s going to happen there — talk the ghost of 20 Years in the Future). Anyway, you’ll find that you’re not alone. That millions of people have been mindfucked and fucked fucked in identical ways — and rose above it. You just take the time to write about it and foment a bit of chump revolution. 

The pain is finite, Tracy. But your potential is infinite. Invest there.

— Future Tracy

Your turn!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Dear ANC,
    Quit beating yourself up by not listening to your gut during your red-banner waving marriage (yup, no red flags for you…just a big fucking banner).

    You KNOW you are resilient and resourceful- hell you were drop-kicked into a few foreign countries along the way, including the unusual places in the US. You figured.it.out. You learned and adapted to the unknown. You will be ok. Your kids will be ok.

    Speaking about your kids…your RIGHTEOUS ANGER over their endangerment is healthy and just. Asshat and his fuckbuddies poked the wrong bear. Be THANKFUL the creep wasn’t around much during their crucial developmental years. They have your moral compass, your conviction to personal integrity and are developing into fine human beings. That’s all you.

    The guilt you feel about NOT being able to support them they way you wished you could have during the years of extreme emotional abuse is simply a fact. This is something you will talk about with your older kids and then give all of your kids new skills to listen to their guts and trust their instincts. If it smells like shit, it usually IS shit even shit covered in gold glitter.

    This will NOT define you. It is a chapter in your personal history. You will grow and learn from it, resulting in a better life you never thought was possible.

    Love,
    ANC

  • Dear Kimhopes,

    It has now been 9 months since d-day. You were totally blindsided by the lying, cheating and theft, but you never lost your empathy, compassion and positive outlook. When ex-husband (you can’t divorce till January, but as you are never reconciling he is already gone from your heart) stayed in the house for 9 weeks after you discovered his betrayal, you used that time wisely to collect evidence of his emotional infidelity, his attempted physical infidelity, and his thieving of joint funds to pay for credits on Anastasiadate and send money to overseas scam artists.

    You felt your emotions, grieved appropriately, but didn’t stay stuck. You joined a few Meet-up groups, maintained all of your friendships, and made new friends. You exuded true class by pretending to still be married when your mother-in-law took ill, so that she might spend her last months in peace. When she died in May you were at the funeral. When your father had a major car accident in June you flew to his side. Knowing he was going to be okay, you went on your holiday in July to Phuket, so your first birthday post break-up was awesome, and you not only have the memory of a great time, but the knowledge you are perfectly capable of travelling on your own as you did many times before marriage.

    Finally, you dated, and at the moment have started a lovely, intimate friendship with a younger man. You are not hung up on what will be, you are confident and secure and continue to work on yourself with your life coach. You don’t know what the future holds, you just know that whatever it is, you can handle it.

    Well done. Love future Kimhopes.

  • Dear UXworld —

    So now you know. You’ve given KK every opportunity to demonstrate (not state, not verbalize — DEMONSTRATE) that she is invested in this marriage, and she’s purposely shit on you at every turn.

    Put aside her arranging for extramarital sex via text while the two of you were ‘celebrating’ your 15th wedding anniversary. Forget for a moment that she brought someone into your home and marital bed for sex only minutes after your daughters got on the bus for school — twice.

    If nothing else, sear this into your brain forever: she sent a photo of herself with a black eye, obtained via rough sex with her BDSM partner, to the Carrot Singer and told him that YOU gave it to her. And when Carrot Singer called you a cowardly piece of shit and told KK she should leave the house with your daughters, she did NOTHING to dissuade him of that notion.

    This is a woman that is finally proving to be exactly the type of person you were secretly fearing she had the potential of being for years now.

    Get a hold of yourself and follow your instincts. They have always served you well and they will continue to do so. Bring your family in on what’s going on — you’ll feel incredibly ashamed and embarrassed as you confess your situation, but you know damn well they will be there for you and support you 100% in any and every way you need.

    Follow the advice of 4a.m. 4ever — she has been there monitoring this fucked up situation since the beginning, has listened non-judgementally and has always been spot on with her comments. She has said to you: FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD, IT’S ALL ABOUT UXWORLD. KK does not deserve any deference or consideration on any action or matter. You now answer only to yourself — be smart about it, but be brave and unapologetic.

    The courts are going to be involved — act as if every attorney, judge and official who will be involved with your case is watching you at every moment of every day. (This should be relatively easy — your an honest and thoughtful person, so you won’t be needing to learn any new skills in this regard.) You’ll make mistakes — you’re only human — but the goal is not perfection; the goal is to increase the time between slips.

    Above all else, remember that your girls will be looking to you to not only be a safe, sane and ‘present’ parent for their immediate needs, but also to model the type of person they want to find in their own future relationships. You’ve always done this, but it’s imperative that you continue to do so now, as the world and homelife as they know it is about to become unhinged.

    This is not the life you expected. You thought you were going to get through this life with comparatively little rain falling. You were wrong. You’ve invested 20 years and a 15-year marriage in a fraud and a cunt. Accept that now, because nothing is going to change those facts. Now’s the time to show the world what you’re really made of.

    Go get ’em.

    • Brilliant, UXworld. With only a few minor word-replacements (for example, Piece of Shit for Carrot Singer), you told my story to a T and gave my four-year-ago self the words of strength I needed.

    • This is a woman that is finally proving to be exactly the type of person you were secretly fearing she had the potential of being for years now.

      yes, this x100…thank you for putting it succinctly, it would have taken me 1000 words

      • “This is a man that is finally proving to be exactly the type of person you were secretly fearing he had the potential of being for years now.”

        OMG me too, I too was just hoping for the best and the best came, but it was all destroyed by what I feared he *may* have the potential to do. And after being together for nearly 7 years together, 5 living together we married and 4 months after the wedding he started an full blown affair.

    • One sentence shines out like a brilliant diamond, UXworld. “This is not the life you expected.” So often we get stuck in that hamster wheel of “it wasn’t supposed to be that way, it’s not fair!” This is not the life we expected, any of us. But it can end up being much better than we expected. Keep on truckin’ UXworld.

    • Inspirational, motivating, honest punch in the gut.

      Thank you UXworld.

      I need to take care of myself.

      I need to Go Get ‘Em!

    • Behave as the Courts are watching…..spot on.
      This is not the life you expected…
      Spot on.
      This person has now become the person you feared for years….
      SPOT ON.

      Perfect post. I also enjoyed fraud and cunt.

      You are mighty for sure!! I ❤ Chump Nation!!

      • +1, awesome letter UXworld, and you are reading my mind Tracy, your comments were my running thoughts almost word for word, viva Chump Nation :)!

    • UXWorld can I ask you – what is her relationship with your kids?

      She can’t be a great Mom if she treated her own husband with such eye watering disrespect.

      Have the kids seen through her?

      • She is acting much more like she wants to be the ‘cool older sister’ than the mom. The girls have become conditioned I think to just make the most of whatever time they have with her. There’s no explicit neglect or abuse — she’s just acting like a woman with a new life beyond the home.

        I can’t help but think they know exactly what’s going on, but they understandably don’t want to make any more waves than already exist. I’m just hoping the GAL has seen through her act.

  • Dear Freeholder,

    3 years later, all you have to worry about is money. I know it is hard to believe since this is starting off with you being in county jail, but people do hear your tapes eventually. She can’t keep her crazy hidden from people who are tipped off. Her craziness becomes obvious to everyone after she remarries and has 2 more kids after the accusations of being kept pregnant by you. Your reputation will be trashed. Her lies convince alot of people but not everyone and especially not the courts. Family on both sides will stay with you. A few friends stick with you also. You make new friends. The kids will have a rough few months but in the end, you get 100 percent custody and will some day ask how many days it is until your new lady friend (who is very nice and caring) becomes their stepmom. It will be expensive. Hang in there it is worth it.

    • Freeholder….
      Omg….my Ex had me in the county jail….framed me for a gun. I had a text message I saved that he had put the gun in my car and asked me to “put it in a safe place”
      I did….and from there….those innocently place fingerprints…I walked thru hell.

      Stay mighty….

  • Dear Me,

    I know it hurts right now. He’s finally admitted to “indiscretions” 21 of your 25 years together. You thought he was an honorable man. You had 3 kids together. All those months during wreckonciliation where you were bombarded by your “failures”, your “crazy” and how you weren’t “looking at the situation right” led you to take a handful of pills. And he didn’t even notice that you were fading. Too busy texting his whore….RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! Glad you decided to LIVE that night.

    It’s been a year and a half and he’s gone. You still have to get thru the divorce and all his BS thru that, but you are strong. You discovered that all you did during those 25 years was bend, twist and pretzelize to make him happy and look good to the world. You look back over those years and see that YOU did all the heavy lifting. You took care of him, the kids, his family and your own without any real help from him. You stayed employed, you were at the hospitals caring for all the relatives, you took the kids to all events, you sat thru every play, concert, ballgame, match etc.

    You had been with him your entire adult life and he drained you. Made you think you couldn’t function without him. But you already were functioning without him. You were stronger than him. And he hated you for it. Deep down in his tiny reptilian brain-he resented how strong you were. And he cheated. His lose.

    You no longer jump at his least little comment designed to make you feel unworthy. You look at him and see a stranger.

    You have gotten over him walking out and turning off the utilities. You have gotten over him not paying child support or the mortgage. What did you do? You took care of business. You got a 2nd job. You pay the bills. You love your kids.

    Him- well, he’s with a whore. He has no contact at all with one child, little with another and one that was so desperate for dad’s attention that he will eat those shit sandwiches for now. At the end of the day, he’s lost everything that made him look good. You, you gained friendships, self respect and esteem, confidence and YOUR LIFE BACK.

    You got this…..it gets so much better down the road. Don’t look back and don’t give him the time of day.

    • Made you think you couldn’t function without him. But you already were functioning without him. You were stronger than him. And he hated you for it. Deep down in his tiny reptilian brain-he resented how strong you were. And he cheated. His loss.

      You no longer jump at his least little comment designed to make you feel unworthy. You look at him and see a stranger.
      Special Snowflake, well said. He had me believe the same BS but really I was strong because I managed to function WITH HIM. It is so much easier to function without him. Having him around and tiptoeing around his ego was a full time job!

  • Dear Luzy,
    It’s okay to cut your losses. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay that you loved and trusted, but take care of your OWN now and he has demonstrated you mean nothing to him.

    Don’t smooth over his exit. If she wants his sweaty pannicula, mediocre bank clerk ass, she can have him. Yesterday. Everyone at their job needs to know, their dignity is something they gave away. This isn’t True Love. It won’t last three months once the sparkly linoleum of secrecy is stripped away. But the implications of their stupidity will affect others for years to come. They don’t get to frame that pitch.

    When your MMA trained nephews offer to come and supervise his involuntary ejection from the marital home to which he has no claim, let them. Don’t suffer two more weeks while he flaunts texting the Sluterus in front of you and has the wheels of his spectacularly bad choices financially greased by his elderly father. Let him pick up that overseas wire transfer from the Sluterus’ ghetto apartment, while her kids receive stuttering explanations why a strange married man is sleeping in Mom’s bed.

    In short, kindness does not mean suffering fools.

  • Dear Comic,

    Stop being afraid that being alone will be worse than staying. Stop being afraid that your children will be damaged by the end of the family as they know it. Stop being afraid that you will always regret leaving your lying cheater.

    I promise you that in less than two years you will meet someone much better. I promise you that in less than two years, even if you hadn’t met him, you’d still be much happier on your own. I promise that having your life back with integrity will give you peace you could not have imagined right now.

    Trust me on this, and stop being afraid!

    • Fear of leaving is a horrible thing. If I could speak to me previous self, here is what I would say.
      Leave the asshole. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
      Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) American columnist, lecturer and humanitarian.

  • Dear neverwouldhaveimagined,

    I know you cannot believe this is happening. You are appalled and panicked. It’s going to get worse, and then it will get better. He is a phony and a fake. I’m sorry. You will be better off without him. You are amazing, powerful, and resilient in ways no one knows but you. You were a good mate, are an amazing mom, and could not have predicted this because you believe the best of everyone and would never deceive or betray others. You will move forward, let this and all of your regret go, and recover. I love you.

      • If this were a letter to someone else, I would totally write that so why not. Thanks. For a long time, I felt I should have been able to prevent this horrible destruction of our family but could not. No, he kept important information from me, and now I know this is not my fault. Also, just because he did not love me doesn’t mean I am unloveable.

    • I love this. Adding “I love you” was beautiful. I think we sometimes forget to forget to love ourselves because, at first, we feel unloveable.

    • Oh, this is beautiful and what I needed tonight after finding more proof of what he hasn’t the courage to admit to, still. Neverwouldhaveimagined, thank you. I hope it’s okay that I screen-shotted to keep and reread as needed.

  • Dear LovedAJackass,

    First, listen to that little voice that’s telling you that this horrific pain won’t last forever. It will get better. And you are right to think that they key to changing your life is to keep walking through that pain without medicating yourself with a new relationship. For once, don’t collapse into yet another relationship with yet another man until you put a couple of years together as a single woman and figure out how to be a whole person on your own.

    Part of that transformation will be something called “fixing your picker” and you will learn about it on a wonderful website for people who have been betrayed by jackasses. There, you will also start reading about disordered people with Cluster B personality disorders and recognize that you were “spackling” a lot of jackassy disordered character traits when you picked Jackass. It’s not just the alcoholics and substance abusers you have to avoid. But instead of just making a list of people to avoid, fix yourself this time. Become the kind of person that drunks and jackasses avoid, just as you’ve trained not to be present yourself as a potential victim for someone looking to snatch your purse, or worse. And you know that Pinterest account you started a year ago and just went back to? It will be a major tool for self-reflection and change.

    Years ago, a cute college boy told you to take advantage of every opportunity. You will have a couple of opportunities come your way that will seem strange and risky to you. You’ll find the money (in one case) and the courage (in the other) to test yourself with something new. And you will transform your body and also find something precious that the world wouldn’t let you have as a kid, just because your were a girl. You will have moments of transcendent happiness as a result. You will also meet a bunch of new people who become good friends, including a Very Kind Man.

    Be grateful for what you have right now, even though your world is in rubble at your feet. Your best friend will travel 2,000 miles to get you back on your feet. Yoga, exercise, meditation and your work will sustain you. There will be days when you cry on your yoga mat and all through Mass. And there will be days when you want a Jackass back in your life and the people who love you will gently remind you that there’s no room for that in your new life. Three years later, there are new struggles and challenges but you survive financially and you find not only resilience in the face of change but you will have experienced genuinely transformative post-traumatic growth. You will like yourself a lot more than you do right now. And you will take grateful care of “your one wild and precious life.”

  • Hey Done4Good,

    Yeah, you there, curled up in a tight ball on the floor with the swollen, red eyes, paralyzed with the numbed feeling of disbelief that this simply can’t be happening to you again. Well, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but yes, it is. But here’s the good news. You survive. In fact you don’t just survive, you grow stronger and find your true self again. That emotional beating you just took rocked your world but in time you’re going to realize that the empty shell of a person you dedicated over a decade to actually did you a favor. For years you weren’t really living, you were just existing. Trying to build a future with someone that not only seemed to always have one foot out the door but who never really resided on the same plane of reality that normal, well-adjusted, loving human beings do. You deserve better than that and so does your daughter.

    Eventually, you‘re going to pick yourself up off the floor, shake yourself off and start making changes in your life. Initially you’re going to tell yourself that these changes are to improve yourself to try and save your marriage which proves to be an exercise in futility. That’s okay, because these changes are positive ones. They help propel you in the right direction to move forward with your life and begin to value yourself again. You’ll eventually realize you really don’t care anymore about how little he values you or whether or not he’ll ever realize what he had or what he’s lost.

    You’ll still have days of doubt and loss and longing but those moments of sadness and regret will grow shorter and eventually fade. You think that you won’t ever be able to go on without him or stop the pain in your chest whenever you think about him, but one day soon you’ll come across this wonderful website with people just like you who will show you that you are not alone and that you can do this. Reading their words will help give you strength to do what you need to do to gain back your freedom and your life.

    Never give up Done4Good. For your daughter. For yourself. For your life. Because you’re worth it.

    • “You’ll eventually realize you really don’t care anymore about how little he values you or whether or not he’ll ever realize what he had or what he’s lost.”

      Amen to that!

    • This is so, so true: “Trying to build a future with someone that not only seemed to always have one foot out the door but who never really resided on the same plane of reality that normal, well-adjusted, loving human beings do. You deserve better than that and so does your daughter.”

      Glad you’re out of that!

  • Dear Blindside,

    She sucks. You need to believe this now and take it as a fact. She really lied to you, she really cheated on you, she is still using you, and she’s not going to change. Don’t wait around for an apology, don’t wait around for her to come to her senses, don’t wait around to try and figure it all out. There will never be remorse. There will never be an explanation. You’ll just waste even more of your life waiting around for her to change back. The fact is she was always this way, she never changed to begin with because this is who she is, you just gave her the benefit of the doubt because you loved her.

    File now and don’t flush another 2 years of your life down the toilet. You’ll have plenty of support and understanding from your friends and family. You will not be alone. Trust me.

    • They are who they are and don’t change is so true! If we had just known and believed that back then. I’m am guilty of thinking that exact thought, many times.

      • I am very happy in my new life but I find it incredible how much time I still invest in wondering how I never saw what I now know, I can’t believe I lived that and never understood how fucked up it was.

        • So true, paintwidow. I thought we made it 18 years and then, the morning I woke up to say, ” Happy Anniversary “, he replied, “What “? I said, ” Today is our 18 Anniversary “. He responded, ” Well, you’re the longest one that I have been married to”. That was it. My friends all say that he a drunk and a serial divorce person, along with the narcissistic traits. I know that I was too good for him and too good to him. The divorce is finally in settlement and I hope I never see his ass again. Me: You made some bad choices. Don’t beat yourself up. Yes, you hid from people for over a year allowed him to show his true self, while you cried, laid in bed, couldn’t eat. You locked yourself away to learn who you are and to learn how to be happy alone. You separated yourself from flying monkeys and went no contact. Girl, you are strong and even in your older age of life, after being a SAHW, you can see light at the end of the tunnel. You have a future, true friends and your freedom. Don’t look back. Love, live and laugh today. You love yourself and get your smile back.

          • saw – ‘You have a future, true friends and your freedom.’

            I grasped ‘future’, ‘true friends’, but the ‘freedom’ thing actually took me a long time to realize how much I hadn’t been free.
            Absolute years of him being in control of everything in our lives.
            Our first yr of marriage was a disaster because I was a wild child.
            I was a hippie, he was a businessman.
            Well, didn’t take him long to manage that and change me.

            Here I am, after living in my new (old) little abode by myself for the past 10 months (my very own place!), the freedom part has still been evading me. This is too weird. It’s almost like being in prison for years and something happens and you are let free. This has taken me a very long time to accept. You mean, I can just go buy new sheets, without permission? You mean, I can go to a doctor without a full blown explanation of why I went. You mean, I can accept any new friends without your permission?! The list goes on.

            But, the more I have been adjusting, the more this freedom thing is hitting me.
            It seems so powerful and I’m a bit afraid of it.
            Not that I’ll go off the deep end and spend like a maniac. (I’m the opposite – frugal)

            But just to be able to choose and decide what *I* want is some freedom I have not felt since I was a single independent woman at 21.

            Now, the end is here. I have chosen NOT to wish him a happy 60th b’day! Thanks to the forums.
            I don’t give a shit about him.
            I’m FREE from guilt!

            • Shechump, “It’s almost like being in prison for years and something happens and you are let free.”

              You had the “I can buy new sheets” and I had the “I can turn the thermostat up or down anytime I want” and not feel guilty……. How in the hell did I end up like that.

              • I had the “I can go anywhere I want without asking permission and checking in every few min” – it’s damn near impossible to explain how it ever got that way, and the liberation is nearly indescribable too. I celebrate it every day

            • “the freedom part has still been evading me. This is too weird. It’s almost like being in prison for years and something happens and you are let free.”

              I can really related to this. Having freedom can be scary. I started doing little things that STBX prevented me from doing in the past. And the little things have been turning into bigger things. I hope to get back in touch with the free spirited girl I was when I was younger. Hopefully one day I will.

    • These cheaters are very much alike, but then so are we chumps. The disbelief that the person you love could really be this way kept me around another 2 years, too.

  • Dear Lulu,

    No, you’re not reading into this the wrong way.

    No, there’s nothing innocent about this.

    DON’T listen to his bullshit.

    Yes, this is going to happen again… and again… and again!

    I know you want to believe the best of him, but you’re wasting your time… time that you’re going to regret losing when it’s more difficult to have children.

    Please listen to your family, especially your uncle, because they’re right. It’s going to overwhelm you how much they love and support you when you finally walk out the door.

    It seems like life will be harder, but it will easier. You won’t ever have to wait on him hand and foot. You’ll never have to see his toxic family ever again!

    You will only have to take care of yourself. The physical beauty and lust for life you thought you lost will return in abundance. You feel like you just purged yourself of parasites and feel silly for letting them feed on you for so long.

    You think you will have never loved anyone or be attracted to anyone as much as him, but trust me… you’re going to meet your true love. He is a handsome, sexy man of impeccable character who’s intelligent, creative, and hardworking… the kind of guy you probably think (because your self esteem is currently in the gutter) is out of your paygrade.

    This man is going to care for you and adore you so wholeheartedly that you’re going to kick yourself for ever uttering the phrase, “Marriage is HARD, marriage takes WORK”, because, with the right person, it’s stunning how nearly EFFORTLESS it can be, even during the worst of times.

    I bet you’re wondering: “But Future Lulu, what will happen to HIM?” Sorry, but I lost track of him shortly after the papers were filed. I don’t know how or what he’s doing, and frankly, I don’t care!

    Future Lulu

  • WOW, that is some shit, isn’t it? You feel like you’re in that Indiana Jones movie where the bad guy rips out some no-name character’s heart and shows it to him right before he dies. You’re standing there, looking at that asshole holding your heart, outside your body and he’s squeezing it in an almost joyous manner. as you’re about to die. Spoiler Alert, you don’t die.

    If fact you come out better than ever. a year and a half from now you will be as close to on top of the world as you can being financially well off. And you get there because you’re strong, stronger than you’ve ever had to be, stronger than you can imagine. So put down the jar of Nutella and crawl out from under your desk so I can tell you how this is going to work.

    You’re going to find an attorney, go over your options and file for divorce. You’ll give that asshole a chance to explain himself but he won’t so you sign the papers and serve his ass. Then you work, every spare moment you have getting your papers together and lining up your ducks until they are ready to march. First lucky break, the attorney your friend recommends is good, and she likes your attitude. Her paralegal likes that you are organized. You team up to roll that divorce through in five months, not two years which is the normal, but five months. Do you see how strong you are? In the end you have your son most of the time, keep the house, your car, your retirement.

    Here’s the wild part you can’t even conceive of. After that you start to work on you. You admit you need help, the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You find an therapist and join a group, yes, with other people. You learn from them and start to understand how you got where you are. Then you change the things in your life that need to change. Don’t freak out, but you meet a really neat guy in group. You have a lot of similar interests. You’re both scared at first because you don’t know if you have feelings for each other or it’s just the time you spend spilling your guts to each other in group. You go out a few times and loop in the therapists who talks to both of you individually and says don’t rush into anything but you might want to explore the option of dating. Turns out he’s an amazing man who is wonderfully reciprocal so you agree to take things very slow, but it works for both of you and it’s eye opening to see what you missed out of.

    I know its hard right now, the hardest thing you have ever done but I’m here to tell you there will be occasional set backs and bad days but, IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER!

    • I am not yet ready to write such a letter to myself. I have done little more than take care of my kids and simply survive. However, reading these POWERFUL letters gives me so much hope!! I am not at Meh yet, so I do wonder how the cheaters referenced in the letters would feel about what you awesome chumps have to say to your future selves Would they be angry? Hurt? Sorry? Regretful? I cannot WAIT for the day that I no longer care. Rock on CN and many thanks to all of you!!!!

      • You will get to meh, heck I don’t even consider myself at meh yet.
        As for the cheaters, the disordered fuckwits wouldn’t feel a thing, because that’s just it, they don’t feel. Keep moving forward and remember, No Contact is the path to the truth and the light.

        • Yes, you will get to meh, everyone gets there on a different Tuesday. I’m renting a place there myself. Looking forward to buying my own Meh Cottage one day! Hey, why don’t you do a few vacation rentals there — a day, a weekend, maybe a week — get to know the place as a tourist. Once you taste a bit of meh, you will keep coming back for more!

          • Fifi. That is an awesome way to look at it!! ???. I can’t see it at all yet but I have heard great travel reviews and know I will get to hang out there all the time one sunny Tuesday….or a rainy Tuesday…I’m living in Wales so I’m working on webbed feet…

      • “Spoiler alert” – love it!
        How I wish we could give every new chump that spoiler alert! God I remember tho how hard it is to hear that or see that when you’re in the thick of it. But still, these stories from the other side are truly lifesaving

  • Dear Flower,
    Though you don’t want to believe it, THIS is who he really is. This cold, callous stranger is the person you married. Whether he has become this person or has always been this person doesn’t matter. He is never going to be the partner you need. Whether he won’t be or can’t be doesn’t matter.
    Save yourself time, agony, and money. Start and follow through with the divorce now.
    It will suck, but I can make you some promises:
    -you are strong and always have been
    -you will get your kids through this like you have gotten them through everything else
    -listen to your sisters and your friends, even when it is hard
    -unbelievable as it seems, you will be able to patronize this little Vietnamese restaurant again
    -you will meet someone who makes you laugh and orgasm a lot

    No mud, no lotus.
    Lotus time, baby.

  • Dear GOYSACA,

    It’s October 2011. You are an emotional wreck right now. Your husband of over a decade has suddenly been cruel and so distant for many months. He picks fights and even said he wants to separate, even though he was won’t say why. He takes it back that he wants a separation, though he’s never clear about what this back & forth game is all about. You feel like you are losing your mind and best friend. I’d like to make this very clear to you… this man is NOT your friend. You are going to learn firsthand about gaslighting, cake, and the Pick Me dance you don’t realize you’re dancing to right now. There is a reason your friends and family ask you, “Could he be cheating?” He will not tell you the truth but someday you will have proof, believe me. He can’t be the bad guy, so he has to tell lies as to why he no longer wears his wedding ring. Take one more good look at his fakebook posts, do you really not see what’s happening? He is going to block you soon so look now, if you can stomach it. Divorce is coming…

    I know, you cannot even fathom it, but in five years this will be a shrug of the shoulders for you. The only explanation you’re ever going to get out of his mouth was he just didn’t want to be married anymore. Never mind he very quickly remarries to someone you didn’t have a clue existed. Is this too much info? I am sorry, I know you’re reeling but think of this: he’s a liar, a coward and a cheat. He has no integrity. This is a dangerous type of person to head into your golden years with. Better now, when you are stronger.

    You don’t feel strong? It’s coming, sister…

  • Dear Maree,

    Nearly 47 years ago you met an awkward 18 year old who would become your husband and the father of your children. He was or seemed to be a very honourable and decent young man and if he wasn’t he would never had a chance with you. But what you didn’t know is what lurked behind that quiet exterior. You thought that you had met one of the best young men possible and eventually the 2 of you marry. With your lack of worldly experience or understanding of many things, that so called wonderful young man started to devalue and betray you right from the get go. Sadly 37 years later it all came to a crashing end and you were discarded when you were planning your retirement with the person you had loved for so long but who had never really loved you. Your whole identity as a wife and a mother which you cherished was gone. In your sheer desperation and grief you stumble on a life saving site called Chump Lady and as they say, the rest is history. It is hard to believe that you have come so far. On DDay and many days there after you constantly thought that you dying was the only solution to the never ending and unbearable pain that you were going through by losing your whole family in one foul swoop. Sure, you cried and carried on and had many pity parties for one because you are a very solitary person who relies only on yourself to get through any challenges that life throws your way. You struggle and fall down but you always get back up and you always will. You haven’t changed in 65 years except to grow older and hopefully wiser. You are still loyal and loving to those you hold dearest in your heart and mind and you are a very decent and kind person and never, ever forget that. You were left wondering why you were rejected by the children you raised almost by yourself but you have now found peace with that and maybe one day you will see their beautiful faces and hear their lovely voices once more but you know to live your life and if your wish comes true that will be wonderful. You will stop obsessing over your ex and if he is happy, safe and healthy. That is no longer your job to worry about him because in your heart you know that he never cared about you for one moment. Stop being afraid of living and enjoy the time you have left. You are a terrific person and never forget that.

    • My story exactly. 40 years together. He moved directly from our home to home of his still married white trash whore. I am 5 months out from d day. I am glad you shared your hope. Some days are good. A lot of days are still bad.

      • We all get it Lori. Most days the sun does shine but now and again a cloud hovers overhead but not for long. My ex now lives in SE Asia with a 24 prostitute and her 2 kids. His choices leave me shaking my head in absolute disbelief but it is the reality of the life he has chosen and he is happy. Nothing more to be said.

      • Lori, 5 months since DDay is a very short time for you and you will grieve very much and allow yourself to do so because it will be your path to recovery. Every Chump who posts on this site have all grieved and lived through some terrible circumstances. I sometimes feel that I got off lightly compared to some of the horror stories I have read. Please stay with us here and you will receive wonderful support from a very caring community. They will hold you up when you need it. (((HUGS to you Lori))) xo

        • Thank you. I am struggling. I tried to take my own life in August. My family is losing patience with me. My friends however have been very supportive. My husband was a deacon in our church. Taught marriage classes for Sunday school, led small groups and did premarriage counseling right up to the day he got caught in a local park with his hands down her pants by my best friends daughter. I was completely blindsided. She was an employee and they screwed in the back of service vans at work or at seedy rent by the hour hotels on the other side of town in the afternoons. He was home every night and every weekend. I am so upset with myself that I can’t just let it go and move on. My head says I can. My heart says no way.

          • Lori I am so very sorry for what you have been put through, your pain and the fact that you were so low to try and take your life. Lean on your dear friends for support as well as Chump Nation. As for your husband, I am lost for words. Interesting that you said he was home every night and weekends. So was mine and I blindly thought that I was lucky but there were times when I did doubt him but I brushed that doubt aside. They are snakes who charmed us and then discarded us after we finished being of use to them. Please be gentle with yourself as you come to terms with your betrayal and discard. I no it is hard to believe but in due course your heart and head will agree that it is time to be free of the torment he has caused you. It will happen of that you can be certain. Give yourself time Lori. (((HUGS & VERY BEST WISHES to you Lori))) xo

          • Huge hugs to you Lori. It will get better. Time does heal. I cannot say that life will ever be as sweet and secure as it once seemed but I think the day will come when we feel like life is worth living. In my experience, I had a few of those moments about 13 months after DDay. I’ve had more of those good moments when I’ve been no contact for awhile, when something positive has happened in the divorce or my newly focused career.

            Come to the CL forum every couple of hours and you’ll get the support you need. That’s what I do.

            What he did to you was evil, outrageous, abusive, and robbed you of your basic human rights. It wounds to the very core. I also suffered this same trauma although the details may be a bit different. Most of us here did too. We are in this together trying to heal.

            You are not alone. ???

          • Lori, we are here to tell you that you WILL survive this. We know how much pain you are in. Pain that you think you are going to die from, that you want to die so it will stop hurting.

            But you will get through this. Just see our footsteps in the road you are walking down. We have walked the road and we are just ahead of you. Life does and will get better. Promise.

      • Lori–I’m sorry; the pain is unbearable for many days the first 6-8 months. Once the worst is over, you will still have days of heightened emotion and disbelief (the rage, when it hits, will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced). The trick is (a) time, (b) social support–ASK for help, and (c) 10 minutes of self-care every day. It can be a bubble bath, a cup of tea outside, anything that just centers you in the moment. Huge hugs!

      • Lori, I was blindsided too, although my marriage was shorter in duration. My world imploded inside, yet I had to be there for our 8 year old kiddo. My then-husband is a highly successful and respected professional in his field and I knew that many of my dearest friends and mentors would not believe the level of duplicity I was uncovering.

        There are no good options when faced with the reality that you married an intelligent fraud. If your spouse is powerful, his/her word might be believed over yours no matter the amount of evidence you have in your possession. That has been my experience, and that reality decimated my core believe in our world’s fairness and equity system, leading to me to a level of desperation I had never experienced before.

        The only choice is to build a new life out of his area of influence. This is an extremely difficult task, but the more you stay No Contact with your X and his minions, the more you connect with people who get what you are going through in person and here at CN, the faster you will be able to distance yourself from the injustice that will be part of your recovery journey.

        I am two years out, at 5 months, I didn’t know which way was up anymore, I kept on going because I was not going to let him poison the mind of our kiddo. Go no contact, learn from CN (and Divorce Minister) and use your anger to distance yourself from your toxic environment. Step by step, day by day, build your future community until you can see your X and his defenders for what they are.

        Forge on Lori, it gets better, I promise!

        (((((Lori)))))

        • I gathered you had to build a life outside of his influence, Chumptitude. That rings true for me and many others here I think.

    • Oh Maree, my heart goes out to you . . . I am so sorry to hear about the experience you’ve had with your children. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. I hate to even ask and please feel free to take a pass on answering, but can you share what it was your X did to alienate your children from you? You are so MIGHTY to have been able to come to any semblance of peace with it . . .

      • Other Kat, I raised the kids was we were on our own much of the time. The ex was always at work and he wasn’t interested in them and now he is raising the prostitutes 2 little children which does not sit well with me but it is not my circus and not my monkey anymore. I was the so called “bad cop” parent because I was the everything most single parents are, I was the disciplinarian as I firmly believe that kids need boundaries and to be taught right from wrong, good manners, being good contributing members of society etc. I achieved a great result because they really have turned into great young adults except they prefer the “good cop” their dad as he never so much as said boo. I can honestly say that I have no idea what has taken place or been said as the ex is very covert. He set the narrative right from the get go and they have sided with their dad because they like him far more than me. When people don’t speak to you and just push you out and close the door you are left to wonder what happened and why. I may never know why the kids no longer want me in their lives and I respect that but it still hurts but what hurts me more is that they have welcomed the prostitute and her 2 kids into the family and are friends with her on Facebook and vice versa and I have been painted from history. All I can do is sit and wait as I have all the time in the world. Maybe one day …………… !

        • Maree
          I was a child of divorce. My dad left us for another woman when I was ten. As a kid I didn’t understand my moms struggle. Dad seemed amazing as he would swoop in every now and then and take my brother and I on trips and buy us stuff. He was also emotionally unavailable but that made me frantic to be loved by him even more. I think I just accepted that my mom would look after us (she was disordered too unfortunately, she didn’t want kids and never stopped telling us how much of a chore we were. No empathy there.).
          But I idolised my dad for YEARS. I was spakling hard as a child to cover up his inconsistency his lack of interest his complete indifference really.
          Wasnt until I had my own children that I began to see him clearly and understood my childhood history better.
          I now don’t have contact with either – it was the only way to keep myself safe.
          Please know that what your kids may be feeling is not a reflection on you and keep on living a great life for your own sake. I hope they find their way back to you.
          Hugs.

          • Thank you for your response Capricorn. The more I learn and understand, it seems to me that there is not one functional family on earth. The are varying forms/grades of dysfunction. I came from a terrible background and upbringing but my parents were my parents and I loved and respected them. Maybe it is the era I was born in, I don’t know. I was a very good Mother. I know like every person on the planet I have faults and weaknesses and I am not perfect but I protected my children from the type of life I had known and that is how it should be. Now that I reflect back, my ex was physically and emotionally unavailable not only to me but also our kids. Can I tell you, the dentist, the school teachers, the dance teacher, the basketball teacher, the swimming teach etc actually didn’t know that the kids had a father because they had never met him. It was always me doing and taking them everywhere. Maybe it is easier for my kids as things stand and I have to accept that but it doesn’t mean it is right or fair. I may never see them or hear from them again but they will always be my kids and I will always be their Mother. Each and everyone of us gets through this the best we know how and when I read the terribly sad, tragic and horrific stories on this site I consider I got off lightly. As long as my kids are happy, healthy and safe then I am happy for them. I just want them to have good lives and if that means ignoring me, I am okay with that but I still and will always miss them.

            • Maree – I feel sure that your kids will eventually see through your ex. Like your husband – mine would be more like the grandfather than the father. The kids always waited for him to come from travelling – they adored him. After I found out about his affair – he tried to alienate the kids, telling them it was all my fault. They believed him at first. Then after catching him in countless lies – they knew they couldn’t count on him. His slut always came first. If there was a conflict – she would win. What I didn’t realize was that behind my back – he was telling the kids’ I wouldn’t allow him to attend the event. He was blaming me for the choices he was making. After 28 years of marriage – I am realizing he was always disparaging me behind my back with the kids. My eyes have been opened and I realize my kids and I deserve so much better!

  • Lost,
    You are going to survive and thrive! You gave 28 years of your life to someone that abused you in the end. You made the decision early on to love this person even though there wasn’t a hollywood fall in love moment for you. You had kids with this person but they have turned out to be amazing young women. They also have to deal with the crazy but you teach them what it looks like and that they can’t control it. You will find out who really cares about you. People you didn’t even consider good friends will show up for you. You will restore your close relationship with your siblings. Most importantly, your kids need you as the sane parent to help them navigate this craze world. The future can only be brighter compared to what you’ve been through. Have patience and learn to appreciate the small moments and build real relationships. Amazingly, you will find an internet community that gets it. People share their struggles and you know you aren’t some crazy person. This happens way more than it should. The community is a life saver for many, not just you! Now, go out and live your life!

  • Dearest Ms. Machete,

    It’s been four years since he left you pregnant and devastated, promising to come back and take your baby because “You are a psycho and will be institutionalized anyway.” You can stop worrying.

    In this moment, and for many after, you think you will never heal or find your way back to the woman you were.

    You’re half right. On your journey to heal and to make this world safe for your daughter, you do eventually approach the woman you were.. and you blow right by her.

    Four years later, you are so whole, your baby girl is safe and thriving, you are gainfully self-employed (having started your own business when he threatened to take your child when you went back to work), you are nearly finished with your master’s program in clinical mental health counseling, and will be starting your doctoral program next fall.

    Things are good, Machete. Really good.

    Love you, lady.

  • Dear beautiful, sweet, kind, loving, me.

    You fell in love with and married a monster – but that does not make you one.

    You welcomed his children as your own and it turns out, you had the be the sane parent to them because their Mom was as fucked up as their Dad (Mr. Sparkles). While the two of them continued to have sex after he married you and the kids came to live with you, you gave those kids an example of a different life – one that is led with integrity, compassion, and grit.

    This is not your failure. You stayed after your first d-day because your son was only 3 at the time. You stayed and took the abuse for another 6 years so that you didn’t have to suffer the 50/50 custody knowing the damage that Mr. Sparkles would’ve have wrought on your son. You took the emotional and spiritual punches. And look at you – YOU’RE STILL HERE. And even better, you have an amazing son who thrives in school, knows how to build solid friendships, tells you everything running around in his head, and loves going on adventure travels with you. YOU DID THAT.

    I know your pain is real. I see you sitting in the corner of the bedroom at night after putting your son to bed. I see you crying, cowering, trembling. I hear you talking to God and to your Mom (in heaven). You get a good therapist and rely on amazing, unwavering friends. YOU FEEL EVERYTHING NOW – and YOU SURVIVE IT.

    You file first. You charge him and the OW with adultery because guess what… it was… and you deserve the truth on the record. He’s still stringing out the divorce, but there will be an end there too. It was expensive – but sometimes, freedom is.

    Two years since D-day, you’re anchored in your career and doing well. You can live without the child support check, which is good because it is always late and always $$ short. You’ve been to Hawaii TWICE – which was a dream you had before Mr. Sparkles… and it was a great way to spend the money you got from selling your engagement ring. You are no longer burdened by the financial responsibility of 3 stepchildren that are struggling young adults.

    OH – and the OW… yeah, they broke up… just like everyone told you they would.

    You still have more work to do on you. Have patience with yourself. Life isn’t a sprint… it’s a marathon.

    And remember the very very wise words of CL… give it time… give it time.

    Your life doesn’t look like you thought it would at 50. So be it. This is the life you have nonetheless. Go live it. You are loved and you are a blessed child of God.

    • ICSTMC our stories are so similar! Now it seems I dodged a bullet having six miscarriages with the traitor and no child. At least I don’t have to share custody with him and the ex he always cheated with. She’s a nasty nut job. I can’t see meh coming but have to trust CN that it will come.

  • Dear violet,

    Your world has just fallen apart. Your story is all over the press, you called your daughter away at college minutes before the internet exploded. Your husband is lying to you about everything and will continue to lie to you at every opportunity. Stop listening to him right now. What you have learned is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

    The OW wants your money. This is strictly a money grab for her, so immediately begin protecting your assets. Husband is still trying to cover his tracks. Use this opportunity to get your financial house in order and transfer everything to a trust. Husband does not love you. He loves the image of a close family. Do not give him one more opportunity to hurt you.

    You and the kids are going to be fine. No, you are going to be better than fine. Six years later, your oldest daughter will be out of school with a great new career. Your son will be about to graduate from college and “the baby” will be excelling at university. You will be amazed at how resilient your children are! The kids are alright…and so are you.

    • Wow, violet. Publicity makes it a thousand times harder. You can’t even grieve in private. Sheesh. At least I could hide out in my new apartment among the moving boxes, and nobody bothered me. Congrats on surviving and raising good kids.

  • Amiisfree,

    I’m here from the future to share a few things you learned later to help you learn them earlier.

    First, you own your life and all of its experiences. If sex is great, it’s because YOU are amazing, not because the other person is amazing. If you’re good at something, it’s because YOU are good at it, not because somebody else taught it to you. If you are a good person, it’s because of who YOU are, not because you are a better person if you are with someone else. If you are beautiful, it’s because YOU were designed by God to be the perfect you, inside and out, and no other person’s perception can validate that because it’s YOURS.

    And, all these memories that feel so painful because they are good and they also include him? His role in them will fade in time, and the parts of the memories that pertain to you will always be yours. You remain amazing, and good, and capable, and a complete set of all the things you have learned and enjoyed. You just keep getting better, forever. You are complete.

    Second, life is waaaaaaaaay better without an asshole cluttering it up with lies, betrayals, ridiculous and useless competition, and pervasive negativity. There is no amount of companionship or money that is better than an authentic life surrounded by your own self care and beings who are worthy of your time and gifts. He deserves the BS life he has built for himself. You, though? You deserve the authentic life you can finally build now without him around shitting on your new construction all the time.

    Third, any person worth your intimate energy will answer your questions fully, honor your life experiences — including your anxieties — with forthcoming honesty, transparency, and reassurance, and consistently offer you warmth and affection. He will speak respectfully to you even if he feels anxious, angry, or defensive. He will apologize, and mean it, and take action for change, if he sees that he is hurting you. If you can do it, others can do it. Anyone who can’t or won’t do it doesn’t qualify at your level.

    And, finally, you don’t need a partner, and it’s better to be alone if there isn’t a person in your life who fits you completely. Settling isn’t for you. You just aren’t made that way. You are authentic, so BS isn’t an option. Get really good at being alone and work on your picker AND your patience. Don’t commit until you’re sure, and don’t marry before a few years have gone by. It takes time for people to settle in enough to let their baseline show, and it takes some bad times to show you a person’s mettle. Shiny looks pretty, but it’s the shell. Wait until the egg cracks and see (smell?) what’s inside before you decide what’s really in there.

    I love you, Girl, and I am here for you. Now stop fucking around and go get your real life started. You’re a bona fide superhero. Start acting like it.

    Love,

    Amiisfree

    • Ami,

      Beautiful post. I especially liked

      “You deserve the authentic life you can finally build now without him around shitting on your new construction all the time.”

      • I know we use a lot of metaphor here, but I once remodeled a bathroom and I think H1 felt insecure over my success and when the very last detail was drying, he told me “this better be done by tomorrow or I will go in there and rip everything apart. No metaphor of destroyed construction, it was real, and he meant it. asshole

        • What jerks the x’s are or were. the x would not let me paint our house. Once I painted the bathroom and he got “upset”, he wasn’t “happy” until I painted the damn thing white again, asshole. I come to find out that he painted the living room diarrhea brown, something more suited to painting the outside of your southwestern style home. Ugly and dark just like the x.

  • Dear Mehmehdancer,
    I know that you are faking it till U make it, filing after DDay, getting up every morning and gg to work, doing ur mum duties, sticking to no contact but respectfully co-parenting for the sake ok the kids. Some days R hard – crying in the car on the way to work, on the way home after work. 19 years of memories , 3 homes, 2 kids . The anger faded to sadness to loneliness. U are stronger now after 4 months but U know the sense of loss and how much was lost and how it hits you in the gut . Cry no more tears for this hollow cheater . U know that U will get thru this . There are 8 billion people on this earth – let the Ass$&@? Go . Even if your inlaws accept his choice, even if your own mother rains blame and guilt trips U , even if the whole world shows no sympathy , know that U really dun need it . U will uphold your own standards in this amoral world . U will live on your own terms .

    • You get to rest on the victory that your ‘fake it til you make it’ is about a million times better than any cheater bs you had to deal with. It’s real, you are making it, you rock

    • You have a support system right here, Meh. Finding out your life with a cheater was a lie is devestating.

      Cheaters detach easily and typically devalue us to others years before we ever knew they were leading a double life.

      Making it at this point begins with filing. It took strength to do this. Regardless of what anyone else believes, you know the truth. Now it’s time to fight for your financial future. Regardless of who he has in his camp fight for everything you are entitled to in terms of assets.

      You are not alone.

  • Dear Dixie,

    Today you have finally learned the horrible truth that you were nothing but a useful beard for a gay man in denial. For thirty years. All those confusing lies about strange things are finally all completely understood. Yes, you feel foolish on top of hurt, disgusted, and angry. So ask yourself this simple question: Would you rather live another 30 years not knowing the truth and being used just to avoid this one very painful moment in your life? No, I didn’t think so.

    I can only report to you from 6 months into the future, but you are doing great. He’s out of the house, the settlement is written and signed, and you are merely waiting for the formality of a judge’s signature. Your child is doing great and having a wonderful freshman year and you have the rest of high school to enjoy the rest of your parenting gig while you heal and figure out the big “what’s next?”

    Even today, D-day, you already know that you can handle the occasional loneliness and the responsibility of being on your own, because that has been your reality on some level for a good 20 years. That dream of retiring to the South Carolina low country? Of having multiple irish setters and golden retrievers? Of spending time each day on the back of a beautiful horse? Of seeing the sun rise and set over the marsh? That dream is still alive and well and now there is no one telling you that it isn’t what he wants or is impractical or not in the budget. You just lost the 185 pound cheating, lying anchor that was holding your dreams hostage.

    And in 6 months, you are going to have an amazing group of online friends and a cute new nickname. Today was a sad but necessary step towards a much better life. So go cry a few tears and then get busy. You have a lot of living still left in you and the time to wait for cheater to stop being an ass is over. Thank goodness.

    • Dixie
      “So go cry a few tears and then get busy. You have a lot of living still left in you and the time to wait for cheater to stop being an ass is over.”

      I liked this very much. One of those little snippets that hits home and changes the way you see things. Thank you.

  • Dear GetMeFree,

    Your husband just spoke volumes as to his character and his love for you and your children. This is not a simple mistake in judgement. It is exactly in line with the way he thinks.

    He has been lying to you, cheating on you, and hiding parts of his life for years. Stop trying to fight for your marriage. There is no true marriage. Stop trying to hold your family intact. You and your kids are and will continue to be a complete family. Let the shithead go. He doesn’t deserve you. He doesn’t deserve your home and family. Never has. Never will. It was all just an illusion anyways.

    Your life and your kids’ lives will have so much more peace without dealing with his disordered ways on a daily basis. You will be able to teach them about distancing themselves from toxic people. You will be able to reinforce moral values without trying to hide or excuse away their father’s behavior and choices. Life will be so much easier when you no longer have to worry about trying to make him happy, make him want to spend time with his family, or deal with the consequences of his drinking, gambling, and cheating.

    You will NEVER make him happy because he is too busy chasing the quick hits of pleasure. So stop trying. Instead focus on happiness for yourself and your kids. The four of you know what is truly important in life. Focus on that…not on him.

    Time to set yourself free. It may take some time, but life will get so much better without his disordered behavior and thinking around.

    Love,
    SimplyFree

    • I love this!

      Wouldn’t change a word.

      Might print it out to read when I have one of those “did I make the right decision” days.

      (Thankfully they are fewer & farther between as time goes by!)

      • Youu have probably spent way more time agonizing over this decision than he agonized over the decision to cheat.

      • I have seriously asked myself this very question for a long time and formulated snippets of an answer but never wrote it all out. This was a great exercise and I gained a lot from reading others’ stories. Yes, thanks for this opportunity.

  • Rob,

    She told you she loved you the morning of discovery. She blindsided you. She was cruel. Mask-off.

    Deep in your soul you always knew something wasn’t right with her.

    Agency starts to permeate in the air.

    Shoe-string on finger, no contact in person-mind-soul will propel you to gain the life you so deserve.

    Stay on the path of truth and light. It is genuine and bright. Resolve and resilience starts to dominate. It’s your time to shine, now spread your wings.

    Gratefulness, acceptance and living in the moment facilitates your joy. Aahhh, serenity knocks. Hybrid parent? Who would of known. You sing with your 3 little birds, and off, off we all go. AhhMeh.n – Life is good.

    • “Gratefulness, acceptance and living in the moment facilitates your joy. Aahhh, serenity knocks. Hybrid parent? Who would of known. You sing with your 3 little birds, and off, off we all go. AhhMeh.n – Life is good.”

      This is so lyrically written that there are tears in my eyes. Beautiful.

        • Yes Ian, yes. I never referred to my 3 kids as my “3 little birds” until right after dday. My young daughter at the time sensed I was down. On her hand-made bday card to me her words verbatim, “Dad we will always be your 3 little birds.” Ahh melt. My “brown eyed girl” loves Marley as I do. Her wordd were unprovoked. I keep that card in my jeep to this day and always gaze at it.

  • Hey girl, quit vomiting and shaking for a second and listen to me. I am you from the future…I am here to give you a choice. Remember in The Matrix the hot Keanu character has to choose between the red pill and the blue pill, well so do you. Regardless of what you pick, you will be OK, but for hub, it wil mean the difference in heaven or hell, so the real question is, do you really believe what you say that you believe?

    You wont remember this when you wake up, but before you decide, I will tell you that this emotional affair you caught him in, no. Its a full blown monkey-sex physical affair and he is convinced he is in love with her. There is more. He has been cheating on you for your entire marriage.

    All those times when he acted odd and quirky and you told yourself that he was just a unique person, no, he was living a double life and the cognitive dissonance of doing so made him crazier and crazier. His flat out cold hearted meanness was because he needed a reason to justify his actions and he decided a LONG time ago that you deserved this. Nothing you can do or say will change him, he is as bad as you ever feared he was and worse.

    He never had the maturity or sanity to follow through with the vows he made on your wedding day and he has shit on what little bonds of marriage you ever had. You can walk away now, God gave you free will that you can act on just as God gave him free will. Your prayers are sweet, but they will never make him the husband you hoped for.

    The other shocking piece of info is that hub’s days are numbered. 7 is the number of completion and in 7 years he will die. Your Church teaches that a spouses job is to get their counterpart to Heaven and that is why God chose you as his wife. I know you thought that a Christian marriage would bring you happiness, well that was mostly modern evangelical BS, you arent in happy clappy land, you are in misery with the saints and martyrs.

    You can leave him now and save yourself 7 years of pain and misery. The kids will struggle at first but you will figure things out and do well. He, however, will lose the last thread that holds him close to God. He will act like a triumphant asshole and live brashly but his soul will dive further into darkness and on the night he dies, he goes to Hell.

    You can stay and not knowing what I told you tonight you will keep hoping, praying and trying. He will have very brief sparkily spurts of decency but mostly he will act like the selfish ass he is and you will grieve deeply and hurt for a long time. Your presence and intercession will, however keep him connected to God just enough that his soul wont be in mortal sin when he dies. He will go to Purgatory and spend quite a bit of time debriefing his life.

    In this second option, you will grieve deeply at first but you will eventually get the Truth you asked for and will be pissed as shit at him. You will build a new life that isnt just good, its great. Remember that life insurance policy he just bought because he was planning to leave you? Well it was in effect when he dies and you will never again live the sorts of financial peril you are in now with his selfish, shortsighted decisions.

    Right now your fondest hope is that you and he will go with you to your Church and recommit to the vows he now says he never meant. Regardless of which plan you choose, he will never do that with you. You will go to that Church with a man and marry, but it wont be with him. If you leave now, you will get one spouse I have picked for you, but if you stay, you will reconnect with a person from your past who is right now suffering also.

    This choice will be hard and you are free to do either thing. You will question yourself either way. Your sons will both have life altering mental health crisis in the future and if you leave now you will mistakenly think that they would have been better if you had stayed. If you stay you will have more resources to help them with but either way its gonna suck.

    You need to stop allowing his selfish, twisted, fucked up, blame shifting, gas lighting self hurt you. You are great and will accomplish great things in life. Your dream of making a difference in the lives of bereaved parents will come to be in bigger ways than you ever imagined…your work will be known throughout the world, no shit.

    This all hurts like a fucker and its not over…either path will hurt and be really hard. So if you choose to stay, its like the red pill, you know the true nature of the Matrix. The blue pill leaves him to the path of destruction he freely chose that you arent responsible for. So which do you choose?

    • To my fellow Chumps…even though I really believe that this was my real experience, please dont take it as a judgement for what you chose. We are all in different situations and Im positive that God frequently leads people OUT of abusive relationships and to Truth. My situation was mine alone and had to be lived in its uniqueness.

      I come here daily and bemoan the fact that I didnt leave, but a closer look reveals that on some level, I chose my path and deep in my soul, I know it . I think my endless griping has more to do with the fact that Im mad that is was hard.

      • “I come here daily and bemoan the fact that I didn’t leave, but a closer look reveals that on some level, I chose my path and deep in my soul, I know it” .

        unicornomore, this is what I still beat myself up about even to this day. I did chose my path but I stuck steadfastly to it until it ended. We are safer now, moreso than we were when living with the enemy even though we ignored the signs.

        • Yes, for so long my struggle was in learning the truth. That shifted to a time if deep self doubt for why I did what I did under the circumstances I was living in and why I refused to see the red flags flying.

          Maybe that is why this is such a good exercise for us…to face ourselves and the decisions we made.

          When me and newhub went to our marriage prep for the church, they separated out the “never marrieds” and “previously marrieds” for a special session.

          The therapist ask us a question that was posed very differently from my loud, incessant interior self talk. I had been thinking endlessly about what I learned about deadhusband and his betrayal…but the therapist said “In your experience in your previous marriage, what did you learn about YOU?”

          Well THAT was a horse of a different color. What had I learned about me? I could list stuff, but really, most of it was good…I acted valiantly in the face of betrayal and disappointment. It was an invitation to quite beating myself up over how I reacted to his abuse. I invite you to ask yourself this same question.

          • I love the last paragraph and I am on to it. Two things I truly did learn about myself is that I have a backbone made of steel and I have the willpower to never give up. There I go bragging again but if I don’t say it, nobody else will. I am slowly learning to give myself compliments and accept them as well !! 🙂

      • I think that was the Hopium talking while you are doing the PickMeDance jig. Forgiving ourselves is the hardest thing.

      • Unicornnomore, I understand completely. You did the right thing for the best reasons, and God has shown you that. Thank you for your courage.

  • So Calm….life has bottomed out for you. You are in free fall, desperate to snag a hand hold on the way down to mitigate the destruction when you meet the ground.
    Except it’s not what you think. Your heart may look like Dresden after WWII, and your future is a blank slate…..but your future is a blank slate. Think about that Calm.
    And you do, you will. You are proactive. You will do research on potential careers. You will enroll in school and tou will shine. Your house looks like shit and all 4 of the kids are depressed. But they are going to make it. You are going to make it.
    Stop taking the blame for this. Stop believing anything and everything he says. He is not your hero anymore. He hasn’t been for a long time. And if you were being honest, he really never was.
    Buckle up, Calm. He is going to continue lying. He is going to throw you to the wolves to protect CFMD. he is going to give you full custody to keep her. Whatever you thought if him, it is so much worse. Every new low will not be the lowest he will sink. Do not trust him. Do not give him one benefit of the doubt.
    But do know that you are lived and liked. By your kids, family, friends and even very kind chumps you will find on the internet.
    Work hard Calm, and you will be in a much better place in 6 months. I can’t wait to hear what our 1 year future self has to say to us.

  • Dear Sylvia,

    I see you. I am watching you, as you dry heave over the sink. I see you clawing through all the prescriptions you ever had, and taking as many as you dare, to sleep through the day. So this pain will just be a tooth ache for a moment. Not a serrated stab wound in the guts. As you were unconscious, your dogs laid near your mouth, and when you stopped breathing, their little paws would pad your face, confused.

    But you woke up. That pain came roaring back, making everything else recede, the world like the voice of Charlie’s Brown teacher. You are a Dingo, on the streets of screaming Manhattan, crazed and dry mouthed. You are doing risky things in the name of revenge that we both wish you could erase. That have caused you problems in the future. It is okay. It will be all right. I know you could not stop.

    You are as close to insane as you have ever been.

    But each day, you will keep waking up. You will do the things that keep little hearts beating and happy. I saw you carry the bags of dog food by yourself in the boiling sun. I saw you sit on the floor with a knife and pick balls of dog hair out of the vacuum. I saw you play throw the monkey toy when you wanted to sleep for many weeks.

    And still he did not call. The flowers never came, did they, Babe? That No Contact thing….you never dreamed it would be effortless for him, did you? What a shitty revelation. There are more to come.

    Do you know why? Because he did not love you. He had a drug whore at the ready, weeks or months before you found your actual evidence. It is hell.

    And you still took the drugs, some prescribed and some not. You still cry in the middle of the day, the sounds of someone who lost their way, entirely. Of someone who does not believe in the good of the world anymore. Who has to change songs rapidly for fear of the memories they trigger. But you keep getting up, and paying bills, buying Clorox wipes, making money, brushing your teeth and breathing.

    I cannot promise you that life is not going to suck at times. It still does. You messed up recently. It was such a small thing, an innocent impulse to share a moment with Jasen. Remember Sylvia, you can’t regard him as human. He will never met your needs. He does not give a damn IF you have needs. He would shrug and then gossip if you killed yourself. Let that nugget sink in as you calculate doses to unconsciousness.

    As you lay in the bed, and wonder if this breading thing is overrated, I want you to know that this never had any other ending. From the moment you entered his orbit- you were doomed. He is incapable by choice of being faithful or honest. He does not want to be decent and kind. Stop thinking about the good times you had. The pain he inflicts is too monstrous for those few snatched moments of ecstasy.

    But, knowing me, knowing us, I have to be honest. I can’t let you lay there in your sweat and tangled hair without telling you this: Part of this is your fault.

    The rage in your eyes when I say that is the only thing that has sliced through the pain, but hold fast and listen. You saw all the signs. You did. You know it was not normal to burst into tears around a man for no reason. Your body knew his ruthless nature. You know men who are not hiding something do not have whores calling their phones. You know you can’t trust a drug addict.

    Why did you? What can we do to fix that girl who always picks the meanest puppy in the basket and thinks she can fix them?

    I am not trying to hurt your feelings. By taking responsibility, know that you are not a victim of the world- entirely. The Universe or Spirt or perpetually underrated Common Sense kept tapping you, kicking you, pulling your hair, whispering in your ear: HEY! THIS GUY IS SCARY!!! and you still tucked under his arm in Lowes Hardware like teenagers, and made him pancakes.

    This is one of the hardest things you will ever face. No kidding. It has torn you down to rubble. It made you shrink from the world. You hid in your pretty house and read books like a mad woman. Weeks slipped through your hands. But, you are being remade.

    When his round house kick to your brain did not knock all the sanity out of your head in one fell swoop, some little bird of hope braced herself and did not fly away. She clasped her perch in your mind, and never left you.

    Don’t let him win. Don’t let a stupid redneck criminal drug addict steam roll you. He did steal your joy. Get it back! We just have this one shot, and you have wasted precious years on someone who does not care if you live or die. This can’t be your fate. This is not the woman you were born to be. Self pity is a thankless route. At the end of your life, all you will have is a handful of dust. ” I coulda been a contender” moments. There is reason why that line is so heartbreaking.

    Thank you for all the animals you save, all the money you spend on blind cats, crazy dogs and cows that fell off the slaughter truck. Can you love yourself like you love them? Just a little?

    Look at the past, but stop staring at it. No one is going to save you. Prince Charming is a lie. Even if you live a life of celibate calm order, it is a far better existence than with a sociopath.

    I know I never say this, but I am trying to love you. I love the way you never back down. I love the way you tell the truth. I love the way you don’t flinch when a homeless person meets your eye and you say hello. I love the way you stick by animals that the world steps over. I love the way you can cook anything from nothing. I love the way you can be fearless in chaos. I love the way you listen to people. I love the way you don’t gossip.

    If I don’t start loving you properly , no one else will.

    Wash your face, take a deep breath and take a baby step. Stop medicating to be numb. The baby steps are going to walk you out of hell, my girl. Right up out of hell and into the Light.

    • Sylvia, there is a saying, “when you are going through Hell, keep going”. You will be fine dear girl. Give yourself as much time as it takes to mend. You will get there. ((HUGS)) 🙂

    • “Thank you for all the animals you save, all the money you spend on blind cats, crazy dogs and cows that fell off the slaughter truck. Can you love yourself like you love them? Just a little?”
      Let me say this to you, too. You’re such a loving person. Love yourself too, like you love those blind cats, crazy dogs, and escaping cows.

      • A wonderful response LaJ to a lovely young woman who deserves much love and kindness herself. Be as gentle, kind and loving with yourself Sylvia as you are to all the animals.

      • LAJ,
        I love to read your thoughts. Like big time. Thank you. I recently took in a foster cat that was born with no eyes. If I told you what she was capable of, it would amaze you. (Or you might know).
        She plays, snuggles, runs and finds her food bowl. My dogs and cat Ernie think she is the best thing since Catsup and Fries.

        The vet who asked me to take her said, What a relief- we know she now had a home for life. (Supposed to be a foster).

        I have a neighbor who borders on rude and cruel commenting that I have no children. Looks at me with pity that all I have are animals. ( I can’t have them, you harpee). But, she recently confided in me that her husband gave her herpes from cheating.

        I could not resist because she is so smug and insensitive. I said:

        “Yes…funny thing about my animals….they never made me have to go on Valtrex.”

        • Ha – beautiful come back. I myself have 2 cats, 1 hamster and a couple of goldfish. We had 4 cats but old age took 2 over the years. I’d have more but money is tight now. But my daughter is learning how to love and care for animals. I often thought if my ex had learned the same at a young age he might have been a different person.

          • Yes, they are missing that compassion chip. Jasen put on a HUGE SHOW of loving my boys and my recently passed Roxie Music. And guess what? He has never checked on them once.

            Your X may have hurt an animal as a child. I read Dahmer did that.

            Yes, just wait on the dog. They are like having children. You have to arrange for care if you want to even stay out late. They are not like cats. Cats “sort of” care if you stay away over night, but sort of yawn and stare at the ghosts or spirits we can’t detect.

            And, I don’t ever say anything lightly: You are a wonderful mother. Your little girl is going to thrive because of your nurturing. Be sure and make her know that your X’s treatment of her is no reflection of her worth- NADA. Tell her young and often.

            There is a book, Daughters Without Dads. I think your little girl is 5 or 6, and some of the concepts might be over her head. I know he is in your life somewhat…but not really, is he? Work on those issues now…so she does not end up like me.

    • Sylvia, you are one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever read at any site. May the love you begin to give to yourself flourish as beautifully as your talents.

      You will get there, girl. 😉

      • That is a wonderful thing to say. Thank you so very much. It means even more coming to someone who has been wallowing in the bed for days, indulging in homicidal ideation, with a big tumbleweed of bed hair and eyes red from crying.

        Maybe I can write my way out of this.

        After I wrote my letter to myself, I did feel better. I can’t be snarky about my experience yet. It is like being snarky about the death of a loved one. I hope one day to think of him as I would dryer lint.

    • Remember this Sylvia, forever and always. He did not deserve you.

      None of THEM deserved any of US. If I could, I’d stand on top of my desk right now and shout that at the top of the my lungs.

      Never apologize for being who you are. Compassion and loyalty are not weaknesses. You’re still here because you are strong. Your strength is what THEY fear so much and what makes no contact for them a necessity because they cannot face our strength. I know this because I have seen that fear in my cheater’s own eyes.

      • To my Friends Maree, Loved a Jackass, GotOutYoSeat and Done4Good,

        Well, you can’t know what your responses mean to me. Or maybe you do.

        I recently made a terrible mistake. I found out something about his parents, (who are dead) and I called him. It was just a horrible but human impulse. Anyone would want to know about their parents.

        The pain on the other end of that phone put me in bed for days. He had a harem with him, not just one, but also the one that he slept with while with me. He allowed her to grab the phone and cuss me out. Me out? I was the one being betrayed. I have never experienced something so….surreal.
        He is as brutal as a third world dictator. He could have walked away from his harem, listened to my news and then got on with his partying.

        After this cunt screamed at me, she then hung up. I did not get to respond. The only thing that does make me smile, is she was hysterical “HOW DID YOU GET HIS NEW NUMBER?”

        He sent it to me, bitch! *HE IS TRIANGULATING HER AS HE DID ME*

        It made me wild. It made me sick. I hate myself for messing up after so much NC. I never contacted him since Mother’s Day! This was a person I used to speak to 7-10 times a day. It was just a weak moment. I was excited to tell him about what I found about his parents. It was just by accident. (Going through old documents).

        I don’t know. I don’t know when I will COMPLETELY understand that this monster just does not give a shit if I live or die. He treated me like a blow fly when I called…an annoyance..I was replaced with 27 year old drug addict.

        Who is about as smart as a bag of hair.

        I just have to keep living. I am not sure what to do with my mind right now. What a set back.

        I recently ordered the Big Book for Alcoholics. Not because I drink, but I have a problem where I cannot truly ACCEPT that this person is like Ebola. That I can’t fix this.

        My mother (the withholder of all things compassionate) did say: it was just a normal thing to do to tell someone about their parents but you never grasped he is not normal.

        Without of trace of exaggeration, the people on here who must see the AP, my heart bleeds out for you. Hearing her snarled up, dumb voice, and knowing they were chumping me while I made him homemade potato salad and gave him sex on demand, fixed his banking problems and washed his clothes….my friends…it is *almost* too much to bear.

        I have been asleep for two days, aside from taking care of the munchkins. I have to get up. I have to baby step. Thank you, and thank you and thank you, Amen.

      • Done4Gone,
        I just pictured you like Sally Fields in Norma Rae, gracefully climbing up on your desk and shouting out the truth! This is a great image. I copied your post and stuck it to my bulletin board.

        He did not deserve me. My God, I would be better off living in a ditch with a wombat than him. He is, like your X, pathologically disordered. And, just cruel.

        He never got what it meant to love someone. To love them with devotion and constancy that no one could have talked me out of. Not 10,000 men. And he never will.

        • My fav actress in one of my fav movies. You gave me the best compliment ever.

          Sylvia, you’re caring, compassionate and deserve happiness. Keep reminding yourself that. No matter who or what my ex throws my way I just keep telling myself that he doesn’t get to have any significant role in my life anymore.

          Your life force is precious. Don’t waste a single microcosm of it on him. He doesn’t deserve it. He never did.

          You will get through this. If you have to, stand on something and shout that out loud until you believe it.

          • Places in the Heart, too! I can’t take it. I love love love that movie!

            I want to live on the farm with them, and help pick the cotton, and help John M. weave the chairs. (I would also help him with other things?)

            You see? What attracts us to those movies? Nobility. Strength. Loyalty. Love. All the things these sons of bitches took and shat all over.

            That is one thing that comforts me at 3AM: No one will ever respect him. No one does. No one trusts him. They might make small talk with him, or ask him for money, but no one would want him in their home, or in their family, or break bread with him.

            I have a key to every house in my development, 9 houses. Because they can trust me. He will never have that.

            See, even my movie analysis and love of Sally Fields is hijacked by my hatred of him.

            ***My love is turning to hatred. Not Meh but a dangerous, menacing thuggish hatred that is without mercy. I hope I keep in check. He better hope I can. I have these intrusive thoughts….they ain’t pretty. They are medieval and brutal. These thoughts make me smile, but there is no light in my eyes.

            • Sylvia – ‘***My love is turning to hatred. Not Meh but a dangerous, menacing thuggish hatred that is without mercy. I hope I keep in check. He better hope I can. I have these intrusive thoughts….they ain’t pretty. They are medieval and brutal. These thoughts make me smile, but there is no light in my eyes.’

              Well, how about a Chump Dart?
              You are still madly in love with this guy, Darlin’.

              No, it is as far from Meh as you can get. You are having intrusive thoughts of hatred because, well, you still seem madly in love.
              I found the more I ‘loved’ the X, the more I hated him for what he was doing.
              And, it was deep deep hatred.

              So, when I got to the ‘indifference’ stage (more towards meh), I realized I wasn’t thinking about him much anymore.
              I certainly lost my anger somewhere in the time that passed, so he became really nothing to me.
              He is just not worth any head space.
              Filling it up with revenge with ‘no light in your eyes’ could possibly destroy you emotionally and mentally.

              It’s time to quit thinking about HIM and about how fantastic YOU are and what the title of your book will be.
              Really, you have a wonderful and talented way of writing and expressing yourself.
              The Axe-Murderer really doesn’t suit the Sweet Sylvia is Sad.

              • I actually don’t think hate is just a cover for love. So many examples spring to mind–I hate Boko Haram for kidnapping those teenage girls, but I never loved them, nor could I. A person could vehemently hate the person who beat them and stole their wallet, without the hate indicating love. Especially for the justice-oriented, hatred is the response to a violation of a great moral code, and/or a huge personal insult (especially one that leaves us feeling helpless).

                And that hatred is a natural part of the healing process after infidelity. You can’t skip it, you can’t mitigate it, you can’t suppress it, without grave harm to yourself and your recovery. Furthermore, rage and hatred are justified after what happened to all of us chumps.

                When I was in my period of blackest rage, I pictured a hurdy gurdy monkey on my shoulder who would hiss and spit and throw peanuts. He showed no indication of calming down, or going away, so I ‘invited’ him to use my guest room. After a few months, the monkey would have hours where he just observed passersby (no hissing), and occasionally would feed me a peanut. Take care of your monkey.

              • Of course, I agree Tempest.
                I think we all went through that period of extreme hate towards our spouses.
                (I do think a physcopath falls into the same category of hate/love towards his victims)
                But, for me – I believe the hate when as deep as the love.
                Once I got rid of the love, the hate seemed to dissipate rapidly. As did the anger. (too much of my energy)

                I probably didn’t realize Sylvia is still so raw in this. I apologize, Sylvia.
                I do believe it’s a totally necessary step to get through.
                Face it and I think we had a thread here once where everybody got out exactly what they wanted to do to their spouses during the hate stage.
                Some folks here are pretty creative!

            • Tempest’s Hurdy-gurdy monkey was/is key to my healing. Rage is not an emotion men can express freely. Well, they shouldn’t. Well, I can’t. Well, 2016 is a horrible example.

              Nevertheless, I felt the rage seething after Match Girl victimized me. I came to Chump Lady, and in the early months, I spewed some of that venom on people here. (I think better here than on a hapless person in real life.) My words were so toxic that I daren’t speak them to even my closest flesh-suited confidante. So Chump Nation bore the brunt. And, I never wavered in my confidence that it would abate. And it has. Only because I never unleashed it, and I never ignored it. (I also never medicated it due to my particular circumstances.) Another one of the small graces that Chump Lady has provided is to “meet” some other intellectual equals who gave me free reign to explore that rage in a non-harmful way.

              Now that monkey is back in his cage, and I am free to find my next monkey.

    • I missed you, Sylvia. I was wondering what happened to you as you haven’t posted in awhile.

      You are a beautiful and talented writer.

      Your comment on your hair struck me. I’m not a model or anything like that, but I think I’m pretty. I’ve been told I’m beautiful. I’m not sure if it’s true or not. What my ex did to me took my beauty away. I’ve had hair like you described. For almost two years, I just don’t care anymore about my appearance. I’ve never been like this my entire life. I’m afraid I’m going to be like this forever. 🙁

      • Martha O Mine,

        You are depressed. When we are depressed, our looks do not matter. If you can muster up the power, it really helps to try and just look nice. But not for any man. Just for you!

        I had to get super dressed up about two weeks ago for a meeting. Heels, make up, etc. And even though I sat in the parking lot of my Singles Meet Up and never went in (fail) I did go to a restaurant by myself.

        As shallow as it is, the over the top male attention I received did make me feel like this: maybe I will not be alone the rest of my life. I felt like Jennifer Aniston. Granted, I was at a chain restaurant, but I *knew* I looked good. Clinical depression and loss of appetite have resulted in a 37 pound weight loss. That is A LOT for me.

        So, Martha of Mine, you will NOT feel like this forever BUT there is a “fake it till you make it” component. Just start by getting highlights and a trim. Or a blow out. Or a new tube of lipstick. A mani/pedi. But let me tell you….looking bad never made anyone feel better.

        I say focus all that energy you focused on your piece of shit husband on YOU. Looks, yoga, eating, moving, reading…all those things are energy that sustain, not diminish you.

        People who move around a lot look good: surfers, people who do manual labor. It gives them a glow. That glow is sexy. And even if we were in a convent, it feels good to move and be healthy and feel juicy.

        I bet you are beautiful and pretty- don’t let that motherless fuck steal that from you. Get it back and rock it out. Fuck his skank ass to hell and back. YOU can outshine him. ?

        • Hello, Sylvia. Thanks for reply back. 🙂 You are so right. I know I’m depressed, but I’m doing things that make me more depressed, like not taking care of myself and my looks. I’m off all my prescription meds now, including antidepressants (they have added to unwanted weight gain and another symptom that I don’t like at all.)

          I’m going to print out what you wrote and put it on my fridge. I need a kick-in-the-butt reminder every day to be good to myself. No one else will do it for me!

          I’m happy you are back at Chump Lady. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I hope you are doing kind things for yourself, too. ((((HUGS)))) to you. 🙂

          • Martha: Go to the Forums and find or set up a Chump Meetup in your area. You have no idea how soothing it is to meet other people who get it, and who, as soon as you start to describe your situation, can finish your sentences for you. The biggest antidote to depression is social support. NOTHING else equals it.

            And for today–get thee to a drug store for some bubble bath and a scented candle for 15 minutes of self-care tonight. Hugs!

            • That is true, (I need to do it) AND Martha O Mine, even if you have to charge it- go get a massage. Post haste.
              Not being touched makes us feel bereft and panicked. Massage releases all sorts of feel good chemicals and it makes me feel so much better.

              I will post in the forum one day a hilarious story that happened right after DDay where I was wild & I picked a massage therapist off CraigsList and…it was interesting. Let’s just say, I could of had all a different type of release. 😉

              Don’t worry- that was me being nuts not realizing most “normal” massage places don’t have Sunday appointments at night. I was in a fugue state.

              But do it this week! Baby steps. If you are adding weight and it makes you sad, just skip meals (unless you have low blood sugar or medical issues). I just sort of stopped eating and the weight falls off of me. Remember, the three meals a day thing was for farm and manual labor. There is so much food around that is…cheap, available food with that dangerous triangle of fat, salt and sugar (real addictions) and it is just too many calories unless you are roofing a house or something. Not eating as much does not sell books and products, but it works.

              I could easily go the other way and become a small, sturdy house, but for now, I need to NOT feel like a wildebeest.

              Also, MOVE AROUND! Dance and sing in your house. El momento es vida-

              Movement is life.

    • “He would shrug and then gossip if you killed yourself. Let that nugget sink in as you calculate doses to unconsciousness”.
      Precisely. Been there too, Sylvia. In the end, I didn’t trust anyone else to look after my dogs, and I found CN. That’s why I am still here.

      • Hi Hi Hi SheChump,

        I am laughing, because you are so……on it. Yes, I am still deeply in love with Jasen. I wish I wasn’t. It is a toxic stew of love and hate. Like Tempest put most righteously, it IS part of the process. But, I am in quicksand.

        I want to kiss him and then bite his arm like a rabid Rottweiler, pulling out chunks of that beautiful skin. I want him to beg me for forgiveness so I can kick in his teeth. I want to lock him in a room so I can watch him.

        Never one to mince words, I was not the most stable gal before I tangled with this sociopath. That is why I keep patiently but desperately telling everyone that knows me: Can you help me? I can’t get better. I have intrusive thoughts that will result in me wearing corn rows and having to go down on dirty women for Little Debbie Cakes at the Commissary, or have nude fights in the prison shower. But, people are fatigued of this topic. Hell, I am tired of it.

        It feels self indulgent.

        But, my mind, like Tempest spoke of: I have monkey mind. Some Buddhist texts say to simply observe the Monkey Mind, don’t judge her, and let her fling her feces and howl. Tempest let her’s stay in the guest room. This was clever.

        I do not have this self control. My Monkey shakes me awake, and hisses at me: Do you remember the time you sang Come on Eileen in his ear, and you snuggled like puppies in a tent, and all the orgasms he gave you? The way you would kiss in the kitchen? The way he would call and say “Hey Babe” and your heart would leap like teen age love? Seeing his face and feeling like you won the lottery? Do you remember that a drug whore was talking about her pussy to him?

        This is what pops my eyes open in full dark, and makes me still gag over the sink: that OCEAN of feeling I have for the son of a bitch.

        From someone who was raised in two religions, to a reader of Hitchens and Dawkins…..to someone who simply does not know what is out there in the void….I get down on my knees….*down on my knees* and pray two things:

        -to be released from this pain that colors every thought
        -and that he will beg me for forgiveness.

        It’s a big ole ball of crazy. I am terrified.

        • Sylvia, what would you do if he did beg you for forgiveness. Forget all the pain that he has put you through, like you never experienced it, like he never did things to you that made you experience that searing, soul shattering pain? You would remember that all those times that he was lying and betraying you, he was using the love that you had for him against you. You can’t unlearn that.
          You just have to start to see him for the sparkly, gold glitter encrusted turd that he is. He may be shaped in an eye pleasing configuration, but he still is just a turd. You don’t need that in your life.
          I liked that one of the chumps once commented that there was no going back like it was before, no matter if the cheater begs forgiveness. You now know that this person is capable of hurting you to your very core and that they just did not give a damn about you when they did it. You would not be getting “back” the person that you had started out with and that person that you started out with probably wasn’t the person that he/she told you they were in the first place. You are no longer the person you were in the beginning either. You are stronger and smarter than you used to be, even though you think you are about as strong as a soap bubble at times.
          CL says that we are not in the broken winged sparrow fixing business, if the sparrow comes to you complaining or even begging for forgiveness, you threaten to break its other wing and send it on its way.
          You are mighty Sylvia, don’t let those intrusive thoughts get in your way. You will get through this and you will see what a blessing in disguise that new p*ssy girl was to you in a really f*ed up way.

          • Flutterby,
            Your post is dear to me and I am so grateful- I would give you a foot rub if I could get to you. Because you are just right.

            “Sparkly gold glitter encrusted turd”…This image will power me through. I pasted your writing in my “Don’t Lose Your Mind” journal because it directs me back to the bottom line: I would never forgive him, even if he sincerely asked.

            What would we talk about? Hey, how’d you like that ole nasty drug pussy?

            I was having a conversation with him (imaginary, the chair was him) and I was free associating and I said:

            “I never knew you anyway, did I?”

      • KiwiChump,
        Well, I am right there with you. I would never leave my boys. One of my best friends gave me the runt of the litter, cross eyed Shih Tzu about three years ago that was deemed not “breed standard”. (Who cares?)
        She knew what she was doing. This was before Jasen, but I realized when she gave him to me, that I had to stick around on this mortal plain a much longer time so my little Joji would always have a mommy that anticipates his every need.

        I don’t even trust dog kennels.

        And, by God, we just can’t let these motherfucker’s win, can we. This life will be over much, much quicker than we know. Wouldn’t it be the worst irony to kill yourself over someone who thought of us with the same reverence he/she did a blowfly?

        • Sylvia, I get by every day on “can’t let the bastards win” too. It works to keep me on my feet. I also dream of him begging me to forgive him, of making him suffer but forgiving him and getting back the man I thought was my man. Of us banishing the whore and her pack together.
          Letter to my DDAY self?
          Dear Kiwichump, in a couple of months, in MC you will wish for the blue pill while wailing that he has no empathy, he has been replaced by an alien. You will still hang on while he lies and preps the family against you. He will lawyer up with the whore behind your back. He will continue to use you to raise his kids and her kid. He will run the farm into the ground. When he finally leaves he will admit he knew he didn’t love you 8 years ago. He lied to you through six miscarriages. They used you. Everything you suspect, it’s worse. But you will discover when he is gone that you are competent on the farm, resourceful, and respected by your farming neighbours. A lot of people will help. You will learn that you love this job that you had never done until 8 years ago. You will get a shit job off farm on minimum wage to save the business. You will work so much you will often have to choose between eating and sleeping. You have found your true calling. He is still trying to take it from you. So throw him out now and start fighting. He hates you for being capable and that will not change unless you spend your life pretending you’re an idiot and a whore. That’s the ex whore’s job.

    • Sylvia, amazing writing.

      Yes, we women GET OURSELVES into these messes. We think we have the power to change them, to love them better, to fill up that hole within them. Who do we think we are, with this incredible power to Impact Life? God?

      Is is our outward focus, trying to source love outside of ourselves who will love us and make us feel loved, our lack of self care, our lack of clarity (‘is this acceptable to me?’ the ultimate CL definition), our lack of calling a thing a thing ….

      we brought it on ourselves. We invited it. We allowed it. We didn’t love ourselves first.

      That isn’t a hating on self, it is taking responsibility.

      • Right on, Patsy. I have to take responsibility. One of the strangest moments of my life was when I went to a man’s house to pick up money that was owed to Jasen.

        There was a husband/wife carpenter team (very kool!) doing the floors. The woman said, Are you Jasen’s wife? I said, No, engaged though.

        She said something to her husband and they both looked at me with REAL ALARM and the woman said:

        ***”You have a lot more guts than I do”***

        I did allow it. I was blatantly and willfully blind to the Universe shaking me by the shoulders. I am 40, and I had never wanted to share my life with anyone before, not like this.

        He was a core shaker, but real love, good love…is not scary and does not need to be FIXIN’. Hair styles and small wardrobe changes are about as far as it goes in terms of changing a partner, and even that might be a struggle.

  • Hey you. It’s bad right now now no question. Only four months ish since this thing you have discovered people call D-Day. You now know a lot about cheating and lying and deceit and emotional pain that you didn’t know before. But you knew one thing straight away, that it wasn’t anything that reflected badly on you. You trusted, were kind and committed. You are decent and loyal. You loved so much.
    You have so much fear but you are learning that facing it and taking small steps into it is ok and makes it smaller.
    You know that there is a voice inside you somewhere that is you. It’s faint but it’s determined. It is yelling at you – that this is your chance for your life, this is your time, you can do this, you will soar, trust me, hang on. Keep listening to this voice until it is only whispering because you are there, in your new life.
    Just keep going. Keep listening. ❤️

  • Jojobee (the younger),

    He doesn’t love you at all. Really. It’s not that he grew up in a different “style of family,” isn’t “used to showing affection,” or “just needs lots of friends and time alone.” It’s because he really doesn’t love you. CAN’T love you–because he is not a person (in the sense that you and all loving good people define person). He understands what he is doing to you and he ENJOYS it. Believe it. He is a sadistic POS.

    Take care of your kids and yourself,

    Jojobee (the elder)

    • He doesn’t love you at all. Really. It’s not that he grew up in a different “style of family,” isn’t “used to showing affection,” or “just needs lots of friends and time alone.” It’s because he really doesn’t love you. CAN’T love you–because he is not a person (in the sense that you and all loving good people define person). He understands what he is doing to you and he ENJOYS it. Believe it. He is a sadistic POS.

      WOW… this was my life. I could have written this myself… Well… There’s my letter to me! Thanks JOJOBEE!

        • No, I know he loved me as much as he was able. But it wasn’t enough for my needs, and trying to make my needs smaller and smaller damn near killed me.

          Then, when my dissatisfaction became to shrill, that is when the discard and looking for a new appliance (whilst keeping the old appliance because it was of use) happened.

          • True love never materializes with people like this… I know what you mean about trying to compensate for lack of love/affection, Patsy. It does make us so unhappy… Our needs not being met.

  • Dear NewHere from 2 years ago,

    Congratulations, girl. You did it. You stuck to your guns and followed your zero tolerance policy on infidelity. You hired the PI, put a tracker on the vehicle you both owned, downloaded the contents of his cell phone in the middle of the night, Meryl Streeped your way through 5 weeks of pretending life was normal while your lawyer did his thing, and sat calmly watching Kansas City win the World Series while he was at his AP’s house getting served. You were ALL KINDS of awesome! Sure there were some valleys. You cried at inappropriate times (including at work), you had to take a vacation day to get drunk on what should have been your 25th wedding anniversary, you had to change your route to work for a year so you wouldn’t drive past the AP’s house when he moved in with her, you said some things to the kids that they probably already knew but didn’t need to hear from you, but you got through it. All those people who told you, “it gets better” were right! Now look at you. You got your concealed carry permit, you learned to push mow ¾ of an acre of rocky, hilly “yard”, you run and workout with weights regularly and look better than you did when you got married, you have interesting hobbies, you have an incredible support system, you are rockin’ it! You’re rockin’ it so much that ONLY 2 YEARS LATER, the anniversary of tag day (the day he got served by surprise) came and went, and you didn’t even notice. Is that meh? Damn right it is! You always knew you were mighty. The loser just gave you a chance to show it. Thanks, loser. REALLY REALLY great job, NewHere!

  • Dear Snakebit….

    Patience. Patience. Patience.

    Snake is going to fuck with you, he won’t let you have your freedom easily, but you will get there. While you are stuck in limbo, you’re going to have some good times, reconnect with old friends, and make the best of things. You’re lucky. At the end of the day, when the divorce is final, you won’t have as much money as you thought you’d have, but that’s okay, it’s only money. You won’t have the new house you thought you’d be able to afford, but the older house you do find is still perfectly acceptable, and probably a better fit for you and your four dogs. Yes, I said four. You pick up two more rescues, who bring you love that is endless and joy that is priceless. You could do this because the snake isn’t around to piss and moan and complain about you being a loving and caring human being….

    You’re going to find the courage to date again. Unreal, right? You never thought you could care about anyone else, never thought you could find any man as sexy as the fucking snake, but you were wrong. After half a lifetime with a snake, you will stumble in the dating arena, you will be taken in by some wrong dudes, and you will be hurt again, but you’ll pick yourself back up, because surviving is what you fucking do these days.

    Oh, and you know those antidepressants and other psych meds you thought you were destined to take the rest of your life? You’re free of those. Once you got out of eggshell and gaslighting land, you started to feel better every single fucking day….

    You and your daughter connect on levels that snake doesn’t dominate. At some point, she’ll see that you are happy and off your meds and possibly realize how toxic her father was for you. If she doesn’t, that’s okay too, the two of you get along and that’s what matters.

    You’ll eventually be living your life as you please, and I can’t say whether a man will be worthy of joining your journey, but no matter what, life is better. You just have to handle snake being an asshole and dragging the divorce out for a while.

  • Dear Fifi,
    You’re sitting at your computer in 2016, feeling happier than you have in a long time. Surprisingly, happiness doesn’t depend on having money, or a man in your life, or any number of circumstances arranged just the way you thought they had to be in order to survive J’s betrayal, divorce, and subsequent remarriage to the Ho He Rode Out On.

    Back in 2014, you don’t want those fucking growth opportunities, and I understand that completely. You’re going to drink too much wine much too often for awhile, and watch Downton Abbey every single night for an entire year. I get that too. You’ll wonder why you’re such a loser that he never once tries to contact you. Realizations of lies told and disrespect shown will explode periodically in your head like grenades, and you’ll clutch the edges of the sink and cry until you puke. You’ll feel scared of facing old age alone, and broke.

    Just know the next two years will be ones of tremendous growth, not showy but deep. Right now you’re desperate to fill the gaping hole in your heart and psyche. In two years you’ll have moved from desperate to content, even though nothing big has changed in the circumstances of your life. You’ll start running (really, I ain’t lyin’!). You’ll learn to be ok with not knowing what the future will bring. You’ll realize you’re an amazing person — strong, kind, generous, funny, and smart. I wish I could tell you about all the inner adventures you’ll have, that will build the foundation for you to get back out in the world and have some fun! Don’t despair. Trust the process. Trust yourself. You got this!

    • The “Ho He Rode Out On” — hahahahahahaha.

      And for me, instead of Downton Abbey, it was Frasier reruns. Every night. For a year. 🙂

      • I love you, BetterDays! Frasier was an excellent choice!! DA was my dirty little secret. I was ashamed to tell anyone for the longest time. We’re so silly about ourselves sometimes.

      • I know right, the ho he rode out on, killed me! One of the best ones I’ve seen on here. Will be laughing at that one for days… 😀

        • If you like Downton, watch Poldark. Not the 70s one, but the new one. It is now in Season Two, so savor each one.

          The leading man is amazing to watch for many reasons, (he is so sexy you squirm watching him) but the story line is gripping and wonderful.

          Another series that will take you away is 6 Feet Under. It is older, but give it a chance. It never takes the easy way out, and the characters are rich and complex. (But it will break your heart a bit).

          Another good one (you can see I do this too) is the OLD Twilight zones on Amazon. Excellent writing and thoughtful premises. If you like SciFi, those are hard to match.

          • Sylvia, good recommendations! I like the old and the new Poldark, for different reasons. But I’m behind a season on the new one. After my Dad died, I binge-watched Six Feet Under. What a difficult, amazing show. Don’t know if I could watch it again, but at the time it was exactly what I needed. Just finished Grace and Frankie, which I like partly because women chumps in their 70s who are intelligent, active, resourceful and sexual are a rarity on TV.

            Arlo, you’ve gotten some good ones on these threads yourself! Might as well laugh, right?

            • Another genre I am obsessed with is North Korean Non Fiction Escape Literature. Not to revel in their pain, but to know that this is happening *right now*…it is heartbreaking. It infuriates me no one helps them. I would rip that smug fat fuck Kim Jong Il apart with my bare hands.

              Once you dive into it, your problems will recede while you read. Learning about how people (just like you and me) have to get up and scour the forests for bark and pine needles to make soup….you will go look at your pantry and marvel at the riches you have.

              Starvation is theme of most of them. This is from a book called: Every Falling Star by SungJu Lee.

              When one boy confronts another about stealing:

              “Morality is a great song a person sings when he or she has never been hungry. You can walk the noble road, SungJu. But, if you die because of it, nobody will remember you were a noble person. Just a fool. Our enemy is death now.”

              And, how infantile, disgusting, selfish and deluded am I- that I would rather fight starvation WITH Jasen, together, than face what he did, and how he did it. I would rather have been a team and faced down the horrors of hell than for him to have been so utterly sub human.

              But, maybe that is because I have never starved.

              Either way, these survivor books are just as absorbing as binge watching.

              Note:The Walking Dead also rocks. And, of course, the Sopranos is the best TV show ever acted and written, but so many cheating triggers and misogynistic. I have also found it makes me feel more violent and curse more.

              • Sylvia – ‘Another genre I am obsessed with is North Korean Non Fiction Escape Literature.’

                Me too! Oddly enough. I have read many books on some of their stories, which these people risked their lives to tell.
                Yes, it makes you realize how these atrocities are going on around us daily.
                Certainly it helps us understand their plight and how lucky so many of us are in the rest of the world.
                Not sure why I have a fascination with N Korea as well as the Holocaust.

              • SheChump,
                I am not sure where this will show up because I could not find the reply button under your post- I hope you see it.

                I think we are focusing on suffering because we have suffered terribly. It might give us some perspective on suffering (Eating hair soup would be worse!)
                and it makes us commiserate with people who have been unfairly and horrendously treated.

                So, you might as well go for it and rent Shoah. I *believe* it is 10 hours long. It is the best film on the Holocaust….ever. It is a documentary and took many years to complete. You can usually find it at public libraries.

                Be prepared.

              • Wow Sylvia – you certainly nailed it. I never thought about it that way, that we are relating to people who have suffered great injustices and how we can somewhat relate to that. Perfect.

                I also appreciate the movie recommendation. I haven’t heard of Shoah but I’m going to look it up right now. And, here I thought I’d seen most every movie on the Holocaust.

              • Heya Sylvia – I just wanted you to know I just got a 6 disc set of Shoah in the mail (love 2 day delivery).
                It was extremely hard to find and I had to search for version with English subtitles.
                It’s not avail on so many sites – even Amazon.

                But, I got it, it cost me a big nickel – but for 6 discs and 70 hrs of viewing, I think it was worth it.
                I understand the quality on these newly produced discs is pretty decent…

                ok – going away for 70+ hours now…

  • Dear Bliss,

    I’m writing to you from your future to tell you to dry those tears and kick that fear, no terror, to the curb. He is either a closet gay or has an extreme attachment disorder. You can’t fix him and it’s time to get free. You’ve wasted enough years of your precious life on him. How about you spend some of that lavish care on yourself? Life is going to be so beautiful. You are going to soar and inspire many. Live that joy, that freedom, that bliss. Your kids are going to love you even more. They will actually ask you what took you so long?

    Prepare to find your tribe, Bliss. People who understand, who know exactly what the pain is like, who help you to understand what was happening all those years. They will give you the vocabulary and tools to get free and become your best self. You will love them like family. You will see the world with new eyes, and it will amaze you with its beauty.

    Hang in there, Bliss. The best years of your life are still ahead. He never could snuff out your candle. Keep on shining.

  • Three points for the younger, more foolish JC:

    (1) Know your worth. You’ll find a group that repeats this phrase often. And that’s because it’s valid. You didn’t cause this mess; neither did “issues” in the marriage. All marriages have issues. You can work through them, leave, or cheat. Your wife–the person who stood in front of your entire family and swore to be faithful to you–has chosen door #3. She doesn’t respect you and has been lying to you longer than you know. Think about it, if you are discovering this today, that means that she made a series of decisions over the course of months, at least, that led to this moment. You don’t deserve this.

    (2) You will be better after this. You will be stronger, and a more well-rounded person–more willing to face fears and make difficult choices. That may seem like a long way off, and in a sense it is. But each hour, each day, that you stand by what you know to be right, stand up for yourself, and do what’s best for you will be a step in that direction.

    (3) Think about your family and the values with which you were raised. You used to believe that your wife shared those values. She doesn’t. Begin TODAY the process of accepting who she really is–take off your blinders to her tremendous fault laid bare today, and know that she was always, and will always be, this selfish person.

    This all sucks. It will throw your life into chaos for a couple of years. But, you’ll make new friends, become closer to your family, and find life again as your own person. It’s time to worry about yourself, and not about her.

  • Dear KathleenK,

    I know you are at the end of your rope and you can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t function. You drink vodka to numb the pain (but in moderation – always worried about the alcoholism in your family. Even in extremis you are a wise woman). You can’t stop shaking for weeks and have to take sleeping pills just to get a little rest. You are shattered, head spinning, unbelieving – you are on the floor. You believe it will never get better, that your life is over, that everything is ruined forever.
    Hey, but guess what? You WILL NOT believe this. You healed! Two years later you are divorced and No Contact. Thank you Chump Lady.
    The sufferfest 25 lbs you lost? Yeah you kept that off (silver linings!!) and you look awesome. Your house is happy – full of laughter and music. You know who your true friends are. And the non-true friends? It hurts surprisingly less than you would imagine when they go by the wayside.
    You have a deeper connection to life, you notice other people’s sufferings and have deep empathy. You are more awake and alive and can take incredible amounts of pleasure in the smallest of things. A cup of tea, a smile from a stranger, a dog in your lap, the sun through the window. Suffering can be a blessing if it opens you up to life and the little moments. That’s all we’ve got; one moment after another. It’s a beautiful world and I am part of it. Believe it because it is the truth. This will happen to you.

    • “That’s all we’ve got; one moment after another.”

      This is it.

      Each moment I waste on pondering his cruel heart can never be recaptured. I must burn this on my brain.

  • Hey Girl, I brought you a caramel latte. Yes, it’s future me – you – 9 years from today. What a shit show the past 2 weeks have been! I heard that Short-pants (XH) finally told you about Unibrow (OW#2) or some modest version of the truth – and – that you actually met with Unibrow in your living room. Wow, that one sure has some balls.

    I have to tell you a few things. Firstly, your gut was right. You aren’t crazy. He’s been lying to you forever. Secondly, keep going. Use that anger. Don’t worry so much about being fair and understanding everything. Your lawyer is awesome. Thirdly, he’s never going to apologize and he’s never going to do the right thing. (Still waiting nine years later.) This is your ace. Finally, start saying ‘no, thank you’ especially to him. (e.g., No, he can’t have a key to your house. No thanks, he can’t take you out for a drink for your birthday.) Be friendly and pleasant but that is it. No more accommodating. He’s going to waffle a lot. He’s the one who isn’t going to let go. It’s part of the mindf**k he’s being doing for a while. Pay no attention to it. He’s playing games.

    I am not going to sugar-coat it. It is going to hurt like a motherf**ker for a while. You have permission to feel everything: be angry, cry, grieve, whatever – for a full year. You need this time to heal. Go back to the therapist, she’s a god send. This part is really important.

    I know you are smarting because Unibrow is 26 and Short-pants is 41. You feel discarded and fat and unsuccessful and old-as-dirt. Girl, Short-pants has really done a number on your self-esteem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Listen, you are going to have sex again – and most importantly – you are going to fall in love. Don’t freak out when I say this, but there are going to be a few really great relationships that show you how great you really are and how much you offer.

    There’s a whole bunch of other stuff but these bits are the most important for you to become grounded, stronger and evolve. Girl, you transform and get better. Short-pants doesn’t. (I hear he feels miserable and trapped.) Keep going Girl! You are going to be fine.

    Guess what? Short-pants and Unibrow don’t last more than 6 months!

  • NWB,

    You know a soft and gentle touch isn’t my style, so first comes the news which is both good and bad:

    You are not going to die.

    You are going to WANT to die, many many times, but you aren’t going to. Because, whether you know it or not, you are made of stronger stuff and the world is not finished with you yet. You are going to think about trying to cheat the world through one method of suicide or another — because who wants to live in a world where THIS sort of thing can happen, not only XH’s betrayal but also your former friends’ (and the world at large’s) condoning of his behavior? — but you aren’t ever going to do it. On those days, you are going to phone a friend and talk yourself down (and most of those friends won’t even know that’s what they’re doing, because the words “suicide,” “kill” and “death” are never mentioned), and you will go on.

    So you might as well get started now. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’… You aren’t dyin’, so livin’ it is.

    It’s going to be a lot of work with a lot of heartache — that two year rule? Yeah, that’s kinda true. Don’t expect too much of yourself. But you still have to get up, get dressed, care for the dogs, go to work, pay your bills, etc.

    Here’s the good news. You know that shitty thing he said to you, “Whatever HAPPENED to you?” — You will find out that you were always you. You were always strong and honest and faithful and loyal. And he was none of those things. And it was you trying to squeeze yourself into that mold of “perfect happy shiny person” that made you not yourself for a while. But here you are, out the other side, and you’re you. And you’re pretty awesome. And the friends that stuck around? They’re much better than those other friends you lost, who you also (let’s face it) never felt “good enough” to hang out with either anyway.

    I don’t know what’s in store for us. But we’re doing okay. And those gut problems you’ve been struggling with for the past ten years? Gone. — Funny, huh?

    You don’t belong with him. He’s bad for you. He’s bad for OW, also, but that’s her problem. — Your priority is you. You will not die. And that will turn out to be, not your punishment as you think it is now, but your reward.

    –Future NWB

    ps. Also, anything that comes at you from this point forward will not ever again knock you down. You have become bulletproof. Go dust off your cape and let’s get going.

    • “Go dust off your cape and let’s get going.”

      Love it, NWB!! (And newcomers–the 2-year rule she mentioned is absolutely correct. 2 years + 1 week exactly, for me. Time, and crafting a new life, are your friends.)

  • paula-

    You are getting ready to go through the most painful days of your life. You feel as if you story has been taken from you and the disbelief is crushing. The agony has made everything pointless.

    Here is what you need to know. These next couple of years will bring you face-to-face with the bravest and strongest and healthiest you. You will read more and meditate more and practice more yoga and hike more miles of mountain trails than you ever would have imagined. You will find love and support from the most unlikely places and be embraced by the most caring circle.

    You have been thrust back into your life.

    You will witness your children first grappling with, then coming to a lovely peace with their new family configuration.

    You will find great romantic love because you will have done the hard hard work of fixing your picker. This will bring a level of satisfaction you have never dreamed possible.

    And you will realize that this has been a grand gift bestowed by the universe.

    Namaste baby,
    paula

  • MissDeltaGirl,
    I know that right now you feel like the bottom has dropped out from you. You are seeing your life flashing before your eyes. Everything you have known to be true is proven a lie.
    You will survive this. It will get worse before it gets better, but in the long term you will not only survive, you will thrive.
    I need to warn you. Not only has your husband betrayed and abandoned you, but you will find yourself betrayed and abandoned by family and “friends.” Some of those losses will bewilder you more than your husband’s adultery. Don’t be shocked. It is a part of the process. Your life is on the line and now you know who you can truly trust. The list will be very, very short. But this knowledge is invaluable and will help you protect yourself and your children.
    Now that your eyes have been opened to the truth, you can never “unknow” what you have learned. This hurts like hell. But trust, me. This knowledge is power. And you will be okay.
    As more people learn about your situation, you will hear lots of “advice.” Most of it is from people who have watched too many RomComs or who are cheater apologists. Here you are, bewildered and confused, turning to the people you have trusted your entire life, and getting horrible advice either intentionally (cheaters/cheater apologists) or innocently (clueless romantics.) You are going to have to go deep, deep inside of yourself on this one. Consider reaching out only to those who have walked in your shoes and come out okay.
    Take care of those babies, trust yourself, and let your old life die. When you can’t stop yourself from clinging to your dream of your old life, ask God to lift it from you. Let yourself fall, fall, fall into the future.
    I’m not going to tell you what’s in store for you. It’s not all wonderful. But you do become — and continue to become — your best self.

    • P.S.
      And you know how you have had night terrors for all of your adult life? You know what? The night terrors will never return now that X is gone. Even you will need a little help from the Ambien to sleep through the night at first, you will never have another night terror. Could that have been your gut trying to tell you something all along? Never again will you not trust your gut.
      And you know how your husband, parents and others are saying that you are fully or partly responsible for driving him into OW’s arms? Fuck that shit. You might not have been a perfect wife but you were damn near close to it. All those times you “hen pecked him” turned out to be times you were so close to uncovering a lie, but you just caught the tip of the ice berg and he would gaslight you to keep you focused on the tip so you would not realize what was lurking beneath. Guess what? It will take you 10 years but you will eventually learn that he has been cheating on you for the entire 16 years of your marriage and possibly before. You never had a chance. Don’t think for one second that you had anything to do with this. This is Who He Is.
      And you know how right now you are burst out crying at the most inopportune times, panic attacks, etc? Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself permission to feel these feelings. People say, take it one day at a time. But consider taking life 10 minutes at a time. Do what you have to do to get through the next 10 minutes. And then the next 10 minutes. Eventually, maybe you can stretch it to 30 min. Then an hour. Your pain means you loved hard. You believed in your life. You were All In. It’s proper to grieve for that very real loss, even if other folks are ready for you to be Over It Already. Enough.
      I can see how sad you are. To give you some encouragement, here is a sneak peak to your future:
      In just three short months, you will meet the love of your life. You won’t be ready to date just yet. But you will meet and you will become friends and eventually, when the time is right, you will marry. And you know how worried you are about those kids growing up in a divorced home? Well, not only will you rock this divorce, but 8 years from now you will rock that custody agreement and use your leverage to remove X’s parental rights, and your new hubby will formally adopt the kids.
      And the best part about your future is your attitude. You may be a crying, sniffling begging helpless victim right now. But you will get up. Over and over you get up. You emerge from this mess a fierce protector of your children; a calm, cool and collected Boss who takes shit from no one. I am proud to be you.

    • I really like this, MissDG. It is exactly what anyone new to this shit needs to hear. It is so accurate and resonant with the experience of betrayal that I can hear your voice. It is measured. It is honest. It is sincere. Pure gold. Thanks.

  • DreamerPisces,

    The next 3 months will be hard. You will cry almost everyday, you’ll barely sleep, you’ll barely eat and you will lose almost 25 pounds (not the way you thought you would lose the weight). You will be confused and wonder what lies ahead in your future. Yes, this isn’t easy but know that you will have wonderful family and friends to help you through. Keep smiling and take it one day at a time.

    p.s. You should work on no contact and learning to say no.

  • Dear Lyn,

    First of all, stop thinking about jumping off the balcony. I know you think that physically hurting yourself will numb the tremendous emotional pain you’re experiencing, but he’s not worth it. Let him go.

    Come back to yourself. Your friends will circle their wagons, your family will cheer you on. You’ll rediscover the young girl you were in college, the one who was excited about life. You’ll rediscover the person you were before you tied your wagon to that runaway horse.

    You will rekindle your love of music and dancing. You will learn to speak in public and even win contests. People will call you inspirational. This will shock you to your core.

    A long time acquaintance will become your companion. You will help each other and have a lot of fun together. He will think you’re everything your husband said you’re not. He’ll be grateful that your husband was an idiot.

    You will finally learn to depend on the One who will never leave you or forsake you. This will give you security and courage that you’ve been looking for all your life.

    You are stronger than you believe.

    Love,
    Myself

    • Lyn-

      I do know the feeling of wanting to jump off the balcony. In my case or at least my balcony was at ground level. Pheeeew!

      Glad to see you have found serenity.

  • Ian, hey Ian?!? Dude, it’s you. I’m you but 11 months from now. Yeah, bro. You aren’t going to die. You aren’t going to kill her, and you won’t give a squirt of piss about his dumb ass. Yeah, she really did it. She fucked him. She’s exactly what you just screamed in her face last night: namely a bitch, a whore, and a fucking cunt. It’s going to take you a while to really get that. Don’t let her words get in your head.

    Everything she has said for at least the last three months has been a lie. And for the last week or so, she’s been planning your demise. You don’t realize it now, but she’s been chatting with him on the phone outside while walking the dog and allegedly reconnecting with her sister. Yeah, man. She’s the worst. THE WORST.

    Listen, you’re in such a state right now that I’mma just gonna ask you to believe your dis-believing eyes. I am here to tell you that you are going to find a website that is going to help you make sense of this crippling event.

    “Say what?” you might say.

    That’s right. A website is out there right now that is going to set your mind straight. Hard to believe it, but google is your friend. Just get on the internet and search for some crazy-ass shit like “reconciliation sex.” (Oh, and never stick your dick in her diseased gaping pussy again. Those boobies ain’t what they used to be, and you got the best days from them. Let her take that saggy ass on to him. You good.)

    So anyway, there’s this thing called CHUMPLADY DOT COM. It’s great. She’s one of those women who doesn’t believe in lying to her partner about fucking other people. I know. I know. Every single woman on the face of the earth is a gold digging bitch. But it ain’t so, bro.

    Check it our. There are hilarious brilliant folk just waiting to take you in. They will remind you that Match Girl is the crazy one. That integrity, loyalty, and monogamy aren’t for squares. They’re for people who want to live their best life and work toward becoming their highest selves. Just like you. So go find them.

    You are going to wish you were dead for days on end. But don’t let her win. Every time you think about how she humiliated you in public by beating you at the Metro hours after you found out she fucked him, just remember that you will survive. Every time you get another court document where she fights you tooth and nail because, despite her alleged feminism, even though you sacrificed for *her* career she now twists it around and makes you feel lacking, just remember that you will survive.

    You will survive, and you never have to live that way again.

    • “That integrity, loyalty, and monogamy aren’t for squares. They’re for people who want to live their best life and work toward becoming their highest selves.” Well said Ian!

      And you won’t survive, you will THRIVE, and you will do so armed with new knowledge, and a mightiness that will act as a repellent against MG and women of her kind.

      Forge on Ian!

  • Dear Vulcanized,

    You are still Vulcanized and hoping to work thru his terrible ‘mistake’. You are still desperately posting on the site that tells you not to expose or confront. You are dancing like a fucking fool. And losing your mind.

    You haven’t yet meet the friends that change you to Waffles. You haven’t yet learned that vulcanization is the process by which rubber (in this case, you) becomes stronger. You haven’t yet learned that xhole did fuck your ‘good friend’ for 2 years. Or that cocksocket is actually OW5.

    You leave shortly out of the gate. You slowly rebuild. You wait for an apology that never comes. You start doing things you used to do, but that xhole forbade. You meet the friends who christen you Waffles. Almost 5 years later, you wind up dating one of them. You wonder how you’ll ever be able to trust, yet, it comes so naturally.

    You worried that you’d never have a child. 6 years post DD, you find you’re preganant, at 45. And your ecstatic. You lose the baby at 10 weeks. Your SO is there, really and truly there to help you deal with it all. You realize xhole would have never been capable of being there for you. You realize xhole was NEVER there, in any real capacity.

    7 years post DD, 3.5 years post D, you move in with SO. You are happier than you’ve ever been. You now know what it feels like to be loved by a man, not a narcopath.

    Remember this, V: il amo tuo destino. Love your fate and never let an asshole be the defining moment of your life.

  • Dear MGM,

    You know how you keep crying and apologizing to your Mom and your friends that “Someday I promise I will be able to talk about *something* other than this $hit.”?

    You will. Entire DAYS will go by and you won’t even think of that POS once. Eventually even a week! You can’t see it now, but some day you’ll be talking about a beautiful new life. And he’ll still be the same POS, just to add to your total reassurance that you made the right decision, even though it was hard.

    By the way, the kids will discover the truth at some point, too, and they’ll come to the same right conclusions on their own, so don’t sweat it that he’s playing Disney Dad while you’re clipping coupons. They’ll actually start standing up and defending you, so don’t get too annoyed when they’re struggling to pick sides between Fun Dad and Responsible Mom.

    Hang in there. You’re going to be just fine!

    MGM

  • KibbleFree_MightyMe – hey, yes. I’m you, just three years out from this horrible D-Day. You have NO idea what “kibble” and “mighty” nor “free” will mean, but just hang on. Breathe. Listen.

    You’re going to do a series of kickass things isn’t the next year, and even bigger kickass things in the next three. Just keep buying waterproof makeup and don’t worry about what anyone thinks of your puffy eyes and massive rapid weight loss. These next months will be a time for you to find YOU again. You’ve wondered over the years where you were, and why that douchebag was detached. You have felt so alone for the past decade. What happened is that you wasted 23 years of your youth, life, love, and energy on a serial-cheating asshole. I know it’s all you’ve known since you were 16. I know that fucker is half of the reason why you struggled as a teen parent. But you’re the safe one in this. All these years that you’ve worked on your career and continued education to numb the pain of feeling alone in that marriage, while he was fucking around (which is why you felt alone…) is about pay off in a massive way.

    I know you can’t breathe, eat, sleep, or function except on autopilot, and you feel like you’re coming out of your skin with the constant uncontrollable sobbing. What you’re experiencing is called PTSD. You’ll suffer with these symptoms for about 10 months, but most of them taper. You will want that weighted pillow on your chest when you sleep for a very long time. You still use it. It grounds you and is why it makes you feel safe. It’s not crazy; you’re not crazy. That rapid heart racing stuff and night sweats coupled with horrible dreams about that fucker? They still show up sometimes if a trigger happens, and you’ll learn what those are one-at-a-time, and no, you’re still not crazy.

    Do what your instinct is telling you to do.

    Document everything on your iPad. Change all of your passwords and get the lockdown on things. He’s going to abandon you and his own child, your beautiful 13 year-old daughter in the next few months and move in with that married whore and play daddy to her very young piglets. Do what you’re going to anyway: don’t say a word, don’t yell, and don’t let him know you’re filing for divorce. Just do it in the next few weeks. You actually waited for 8 months because you thought he would “wake-up” and realize he can’t throw away a 23-year investment. He does throw it away. So please file in the next month so you don’t live in fear of when that fucker will just decide to use the home as a glorified shower and laundry hall. He doens’t take one damn thing from the home. He just abandons. Not even one single photo of your two kids together, or his new baby grandson. He’s disordered, and what you don’t know is that he’s violent and ends up in jail in the next 20 months with three felonies, so do not get near him.

    Spiritual: You’re going to be on your knees in church every single work day at noon for the next 20 months, and continue going on weekends as always. Cry that out every day. It’s why you have so much waterproof makeup. It’s fine to plead for mercy from the pain, because this is confusing and hurts, and the injustice of it all is what’s the worst, but what I want you to do is shift your perspective much sooner than you do if I don’t tell you this. Give that pain to Christ in thanks for his suffering for you. Then it’s not for nothing in your heart and mind. He knows betrayal. Keep going to Confession every week. Your priest actually becomes your friend and spiritual advisor and counselor. You become friends, and he’ll help you with the annulment when you’re ready. He has a full picture of the disorderd freakjob that you evidently married. It wasn’t a true marriage, starting at the altar. You just didn’t know it.

    Physical: Keep coaching your daughter’s high school soccer team like you’ve always done. Your players’ love and hugs and acceptance of you is gold. They won’t know you’re crying behind your sunglasses as you collect balls during breaks. Don’t quit. Also, I know you’ve never done more than a few miles, but you’re going to run two half marathons in the next 18 months. Yes, from today. You’re still not crazy, and I’m not joking. This repetitive physical movement on those farm roads in the dead of winter, coupled with wearing out your body and mind will take you thorugh much of the pain. No one is out there with you, and you aren’t doing it for any social aspect of running. You’ll do it because your running from the douche, from the past, from the wasted 23 years, from the pain. BUT…You’re running TO a new life, and it begins to feel beautiful. Every finish line is a starting line. Your legs and lungs hurt. Your tears freeze. Only cows hear your yells of pain at mile 10 (yes, you can do this). You’re still not crazy. You’re healing yourself and setting your pace for mightiness. Volunteer with your daughter’s marching band. It’s some of the best memories you’ll have, and she loves you being there and asks for you to help. You’ll also volunteer to help in a teen parent program so help them become mighty as they grow-up.

    Mental: Outside of running, find your counselor now. She will become a dear friend, and she will also become a beautiful friend for your daughter. It’s been 3 years and you both still see her every month. Not so much for what you’re dealing with today, but regular life stuff. Bigger, this counselor will be ready to go to bat for your daughter when the restraining order and full custody amendment happens in the next 20 months.

    Restraining order? Ok – I also know one of the things you worry about is whether you should get back at that whore and tell on them at their work. You’re having bad thoughts you didn’t know you were capable of. You’re still not crazy. These whores have hurt your children, and destroyed your family’s legacy. You end up not bothering, and you shouldn’t because these f-tards actually have first-class tickets for a kharma freight train.

    This should ease your pain a bit: within 18 months of him finally abandoning you, both whores are already cheating on each other. You’re going to get 3 phone calls from a number you don’t know. It’s him calling from the county jail. You’ve been no contact for a year at this point, but he wants your help getting a phone number for an attorney. You’ll tell him to get his whore to do it, but alas, they’re broken up. You tell him he’s not your problem anymore and to grow the hell up and you hang up on him. Turns out the whore kicked him out, and immediately picked-up with another married guy with two small kids (police reports are detailed!). The xDouchebag “drives by” her house and uses an extra key to her door she doesn’t know about. Enters the whorehouse (felony), goes into the bedroom, and begins wailing on the new married douchebag. While kicking him in the head (two more felonies) he repeatedly, he yells, “I have nothing to lose! I have nothing to lose!”

    See, he’s squatting in an empty rental home we had with nothing in it, and he still does today because the foreclosure process can take years and he knows it. He gets fired, and people are starting to understand what a whore she is at work. He’s right about one thing: he has NOTHING to lose because he’s lost it all by CHOICE. He is not the person you married, and the guy you married isn’t the person you thought you married.

    Within two days of that jail call, you have a restraining order so your daughter won’t have to see him. It ends up being the catalyst for her not having to ever see him again. Now he has a TEN YEAR deferred sentence and belongs to the court system for child support, and these felonies. You only provided safety, love, security, support, children, a home. What you didn’t provide was chaos, and that’s all he knows now. Your oldest son together doens’t speak to him at all, and he doesn’t know your grandson. You and your grandson are tight buddies and explore things together, and you teach him about nature, books, music, love, and consistency. You thrive at work and earn awards. Because of all the continued education you invested, you take care of everything financially (he can’t give support without a job), and your daughter, and you don’t lose anything: home/car.

    You’re 40 when the decree is signed, but take my advice and do it soon, so you’re not still tethered to that douche on your 40th. You have zero sense of urgency to “start a family” or get educated because you’ve done those chapters, so you begin to feel real freedom. Now all you have to do is continue investing in your healing, your family, your parents, and God will bring someone to you.

    If you hear or remember nothing about this conversation, then only remember this: chumplady.com

    Thanks, Tracy. This was therapeutic.
    Xoxo

    • “Give that pain to Christ in thanks for his suffering for you. Then it’s not for nothing in your heart and mind. He knows betrayal. ”

      I found the words of the Mass “…On the night He was betrayed…” so comforting. Yes, He knew betrayal. We had kinship and commonality right there in that moment.

      Daily Mass was the glue that kept me together for a LONG time. I once went and prayed in the front pew with my eyes closed to hard and so long that when I finally opened them, there was a funeral going on around me, and there I was, stuck in the front row !!! haha

      I knew that God often led people out of abuse so why did He give me deep consolation but in the very moment I looked for the strength & direction to leave the message never came. I never imagined it was because I would eventually stand in that very church at his funeral. There was a plan all along.

      I have to step away from my “kharma train” fantasies and have some mercy when I think of what it may have been like for him to know how devoted I was to him how much I prayed for his soul while he was so selfish and abusive, virtually forgetting that I was even a person. I cant even imagine that much regret.

      Kudos for you for getting out and having that marriage declared null…it probably felt vindicating.

      • Unicornomore – how foretelling, you sitting in the front row of a funeral you weren’t planning on, invited to, or a part of. Just like when those DDays happened, and the days following.

        I’ve read many of your comments over the months and get a sense that you’re healing has been ongoing for a good while, and you’ve taken so many steps to get better. Can you tell me – because especially at the beginning – I often wondered if the pain of the betrayal and abandonment was WORSE than if he had just died because he was still bebopping around acting like he didn’t cause any suffering for me or our children at all.

        IS the pain of actual death worse than the betrayal and abandonment, or is it worse when they’re still alive and around?

  • Dear BetterDays,

    The morning after D-Day #3, you’re sitting in your parked car in the Kohl’s parking lot crying over your Dunkin’ Donuts coffee because you know your marriage is over. There’s no going back from what you discovered yesterday, but you can’t imagine your life without him and you don’t know how you’re going to survive the pain of losing the man you loved with all your heart and soul. Soon you’ll find a wonderful blog community where a wise woman says: “It will hurt like a motherfucker, but the pain is finite.”

    Amidst the tears and rage and shock, as you’re forcing yourself out of bed every morning and living with a boulder of grief constricting your breath, you’ll find out very soon that you are not the antisocial homebody he’s convinced you is the truth about yourself. Friends and family will rally around you and you’ll hardly be alone in the next six weeks. And when you take your first baby steps in this single life you don’t want, you’ll find that you’re alone but not lonely. Loneliness was what you felt in your marriage. Every day without him is more peaceful and is dotted with moments of joy because he is not there.

    Over the next few months, you’ll make new friends, you’ll rediscover the things you love, you’ll have new experiences, and you’ll make memories with your kids. You’ll still rage and cry and journal and feel as if you’re losing your mind, but you WILL NOT BE NUMB any longer. And those pesky health problems? Gone immediately. The stress of living with him caused them.

    Nine months from now, you’ll wake up one morning and realize you’re no longer in love with him. You’ll fight him in the divorce and you’ll get a settlement good enough to royally piss him off. You’ll move to a lovely new house. You’ll find your self-respect and your confidence and you’ll wonder how you never saw that he is an arrogant, entitled, self-centered asshole.

    Seventeen months from now, you’ll unexpectedly hit meh. Way before you ever thought it would be possible and in a way you never would have imagined. Your father has abandoned your mentally ill, completely dependent mother. He just walks away, with no notice. You and your brother rush to their hometown, united in a family effort to do what needs to be done. And you find out that your father is a stone-cold cheating bastard. His actions are so callous, so heinous, that he loses his entire family and all his friends in one stroke. In the midst of this crisis, Cheese Fries will send you a text that no one with an ounce of empathy would ever send to someone in your situation. You’ve held it together for six harrowing days and this text brings you to your knees.

    But you’re not down there for long. Because now your life is filled with people who lift you up instead of tearing you down. His asshattery is neutralized and you all decide to go out for chocolate milkshakes.

    Two days later you’re back home and he drops the kids off. You look at him … and for the first time, you feel absolutely nothing. He’s clearly in one of his angry huffs while you have stepped out of the dance. His pettiness and childishness is evident and does not touch you all. You wonder how it ever did. You’re glad that his toxic shallowness is not a part of life. You’re at meh, honey, and you embrace both the good things and the bad things that will comprise the next chapter.

    XO,
    Your seventeen-months-older self

      • Thanks, Done4Good! Despite the chaos and crisis of the last week, I’m sitting here sipping tea out of my meh mug (literally, I bought a mug that says “meh” so I could have a cup of meh everyday) and feeling surprisingly peaceful.

  • Dear NoMore,

    Get out of bed, eat something, drink something, take a shower already or you will draw flies. We both know how much you hate bugs. Gotta tell ya girl how proud I was watching you finally face the truth. You had your suspicions, believed his lies, then that DDay morning you confronted him and told him to “GET THE FUCK OUT!” Damn sistah, where did you get those kahunas? I loved the part where you ripped the covers off of him, told him to gather the bills then grabbed his stuff, threw it in Hefty bags and tossed them into the garage! Remind me to never piss you off!
    Gee, somehow you made it through the first year, took care of the house, bills, got a raise, met new friends, got closer to you family, took up new hobbies, went back to church, eating healthier, bought a brand new car. May I ask, where did your depression and anxiety go? I looked under the bed and only found dust bunnies.
    What is that on your face? I googled it and it says that is a smile, not just any smile but a non-shit eating smile.
    Trust me, you were praying to just survive, but looky you….YOU ARE THRIVING! Damn good job, woman….keep moving forward, I am so very proud of you!

      • NMSB

        “take a shower already or you will draw flies. We both know how much you hate bugs.”

        You always make me smile.

        • This is only for the clinically depressed as it is so basic, but I have this little saying to help:

          *If in doubt, shower it out.*

          When want to hide under the covers, in your sleep funky jamies, and read or binge watch, just get up, brush your teeth and a take a long shower. It can be the difference between wallowing in your bed of agony or going in the world, and maybe, just maybe, meeting someone who values you. Someone who is NOT Ted Bundyish.

          And even if you don’t go out, you can change your sheets and put on a fresh nightgown and feel half human. This is triage….but close to DDay you can forget how to take care of yourself. I did.

          The siren song of endless sleep is very strong when being awake is a nightmare.

  • I’ve read most of the posts and, while I know we end up mighty, we have swum an ocean of pain to get to the other side. For ourselves and for our kids.

    There are so many of us here at ChumpNation. And there must be millions more out in the world. And I’m shocked by the inhumanity of cheaters’ choices.

    I am forever changed. I think about the pain less and less. Life moves on. But tonight, I reflect back on a journey, that should not have been.

    • Agreed, NorthLondon. It was all so pointless, wasn’t it? Why blow up people’s worlds, esteem, psyche? An ocean of pain, indeed, for what? The altar of cheap thrills–of conquests, of subterfuge, of orgasms, upon which they sacrificed people who loved them.

      And the best we can do is comfort people after the fact, not prevent their tragedies.

      That said, I am in awe of the courageous men and women here who have salvaged the jewels from the shipwreck.

      • Thank you Tempest for that wonderful visual of salvaged jewels from the shipwreck! I stand with you in awe of the courageous men and women we are in touch with, thanks to CL.

    • *I reflect back on a journey, that should not have been.*

      NorthLondon, this is what stops me in my tracks. What we lost. What they threw away. For what? I try to understand this mindset of people who gleefully blow up other’s lives, but I cannot get there.

      What would be worse than this? Terminal disease. Living in North KoreaI reflect back on a journey, that should not have been.. Losing a child.

      Comparing pain is not wise, but I am stuck in the rut of sheer disbelief that this man, and other cheaters, bashed and stomped down the house that was lovingly built.

      It is an emotional mugging, a crime. A type of violence. Trauma.

      And then the constant thread the all the posts: I wait for the apology that never comes.

      Why doesn’t it come?

      Because they don’t give a damn. Is it that simple? Yes.

      • Correction
        After Living in North Korea, I wrote Losing a Child and then my new feline assistant Manilow (after Barry Manilow!) helped out with a copy and paste.

        (Having a new blind cat, she is fascinated with the clicking of keys on a laptop and likes to investigate)

  • Yo Dat, stop beating yourself up, you don’t have to pack that suitcase. No matter what the attorney says, or everyone else says, you’re going to win that protective order, but you knew it didn’t you? You will keep your cats, it won’t even occur to him he could use them to get your house. You will keep your house and you will find friends. One day you’ll feel safe enough to walk around the block without locking the door to your house. And here in the future, people you don’t know will offer you a ride to dinner when you can’t see in the dark. Don’t cry, I’m doing that for you, I’m doing that for the me who was you. Jedi hugs are hard to give to yourself.

  • Dear self:

    A lot of people will bombard you with hollow platitudes about this all being for the best. You’ll stretch your brain and your self-worth to figure out how you can save both your marriage and yourself from the brink. There will be words words words, many of them utter bullshit, many of them authentic and piercing, flying at you from all directions. It will be grueling and soul crushing and impossibly impossible. But two things will come from this:

    1. You will learn that there is no way to make what you know to be true untrue; and

    2. This is where you learn to say “no.” You’ve said it lots of times in the past, but now you’re learning how to mean it. This is a skill that will steel your spine, bolster your confidence, and amplify your intuition. This is the moment that you cease revolving around others and evaluate what needs to revolve around you. This is your moment to take your stand, and you will, and you will succeed. Now: onward.

  • Dear POM,

    You have endured a really rough time and as a result you are so much stronger, wiser, and happier. What you thought you were losing, really turned out to be a blessing, because it released you to receive something greater.

    The twins are 12 years old now and thriving. All the fears you had about your son and daughter not having a strong man in the home was for nothing. Not only did they get a strong man who loves them unconditionally (Dad) you got an amazing Husband that adores you. You learned how to really love yourself and let go of ….what’s his name?…oh yeah…him!

    Your birthday’s are now filled with joy instead of the painful memory of your Husband leaving you!

    All the pain was worth it! You overcame and life is so sweet!!

    Cheers to a GREAT LIFE!

  • Dear One Step,
    I know just 2 short years ago the earth fell out from under your feet. I know you wonder if life is worth living. I know you can’t comprehend how the person with whom you shared your soul for 30+ years is the one who rips your heart out of your chest.

    BUT it is true. He has found “true love”. Your heart is shattered, but please know that this is not your fault. There is nothing you did except to love with your whole heart and give everything you had to him. He did not “suddenly realize that he didn’t love you anymore”. He was perfectly happy until she came along.

    When she came along, he showed you what he was made of. He showed you that he can lie, cheat, and make you feel responsible. He showed you he could walk out on his family and never once think about the damage he would cause.

    But here is the good news, One Step! You are going to be ok!! Recovery from this hell will not be a straight path. There will be 2 steps forward and one step back. There will be days of pure hell that will eventually happen less frequently. One morning you will wake up and realize that you didn’t even dream about him. One night you will go to bed and realize you didn’t think about him the whole day.

    When you attend your son’s wedding, you will look at him and see a stranger. You will wonder what you ever saw in him. You will look at him and OWife and realize that they got exactly what they deserved…each other.

    But here is the best news of all, One Step. You will find a life-line on a site called Chump Lady. You will read everything you can find on this site. It will confirm all the things you are feeling. You will feel like you have found the well of life because no one understands like fellow chumps.

    But it gets even better. One day you will realize that Chump Lady does not have to be the first thing you read each day and the last thing you read each night. Of course, you will still check in frequently and always find wonderful information and support. But, by God, there is a life out there and you are trying to live it. Keep it up, One Step. It is ok to have moments, but never let those moments stop you from moving forward. Always keep taking one step at a time. You will be ok! I promise.

    Love,
    Me

  • You were NOT going crazy; you were right.

    That skeevy email exchange you just found between him and his infantile, dimwitted, work whore is exactly what you needed to see in all its typos and middle school melodrama to finally understand that he is 100% NOT your type. They deserve each other. Horrible people!

    Buck up; he’s shocked and beyond pissed that you stood up to his bullying, so he’s going to push every low self-esteem button he knows you have. He’s going to call you names, transfer his shortcomings and accuse you of being frigid and an alcoholic, lie to your kids, malign you to his family and embarrass you in the courts. He’s going to steal a lot of money from you now as well as your retirement money, which will force you to accept financial aid from the state until you get on your feet. The whole combo is going to crush you like a motherfucker, because deep down, you believe you were never worth anything.

    But it will be temporary, and you’re going to experience incredible kindness and grace from others. It will make you a more humble woman.

    Sadly, now that you’re no longer a target, he’s going to focus on emotionally abusing and neglecting your kids for sport. Believe it or not, this will help you find your voice and strengthen your backbone. NOBODY fucks with your sons. There will be consequences for his boorish treatment of your kids.

    You’re going to wake up four years later with the crushing rocks feeling off your chest and wonder what’s different. Then it will hit you. That man you thought you married was a blood-sucking vampire who tried to kill you. You made it out alive. And it’s a beautiful day full of possibilities.

    You will have a far better life without him than the one you would have had if you stayed married to him. Life will unfold.

  • Annie,

    No, it wasn’t supposed to end. In the movies and books they live happily ever after. You’re now wondering where your “happily ever after is” and why this is happening to you. You have devoted more than half your life to your family and to the service of others. So then how can the one person you placed all your faith, trust, and heart into betray you so horribly? Simply, he not worthy of you.

    In just over two years from DD you will be sitting in a bar in Saratoga Springs after a wonderful days adventure. You will find pleasure in your own company and interest in chatting with strangers. You will sometimes be lonely, but never as lonely as you were in your marriage. To answer the question of where your “happily ever after is, it’s still where it always was. It’s in your faith in your abilities to survive, your trust in your courage to pick yourself up, and your heart to be open to love others. Your happily ever after is just beginning.

  • Dear DoingMe

    Remember the day (third and final) you were told, I found someone else and want a divorce?

    You cried so much you thought you were going to go blind and lost 41 pounds.

    You believed you were broken beyond repair. The pain was so great.

    The day came when you had enough and decided to file despite the fear of letting go.

    Two years to recover?

    You believed he would get half your retirement. He didn’t.

    You believed he would turn your children against you. He tried and failed.

    After a 27 month journey you will look at him, see his alcoholic red face, tired eyes and sad sad puppy dog face and know all the hard work you did was not in vain.

    You will gain the very life you deserve.

  • Dear arlo,
    Hey tweety, put down down that drink, get a bite to eat, wash your face and listen up. It’s been what a year and some? Idk, we stopped counting, it doesn’t matter. You’re fine, you’re whole, the kid is better than fine, stop freaking out, be the sane parent.
    Tell your people what you are going thru, they love you, they want to know. They can help, you aren’t alone. You aren’t the only clown at this rodeo.
    Tell your coworkers what’s on your plate, they got your back. There’s cakepops and silly post-it notes in your near future. You’re going to throw yourself into your work and it’s going to payoff big-time, so lean on them. Lean in. It’s time.
    You’re gonna date yourself for awhile. Be patient, get to know yourself. You don’t much about yourself, but its totally worthwhile. Give yourself time, it’s gonna work out. You’re the one.
    Throw away all that old shit. It’s holding you back. Lose it. Except the fat pants. Keep those, you’re gonna gain that weight back and need those again.
    No contact is the path to freedom and happiness. The only path.
    Ok, you can drink a little, just get some sleep, exercise, eat right, breathe. Time heals all wounds. I love you.
    Sincerely,
    arlo

  • Hi old Chumpy self!

    There are two things you can do right now to save yourself a ton of heartache, anxiety, and time wasted playing marriage police. The problem isn’t that your future X is gay, it’s that he’s a narcissist, and it’s his narcissism that drove him to a) lie to you about being straight in the interests of forging his image as a loving husband, father, and family man and b) cheat on you with other men. He is no different from any other garden-variety lying, narcissistic cheater, so please stop thinking that if you can compile enough evidence that he’s gay you will somehow receive a get-out-of-marriage-free card. You won’t.

    The second thing you can do is to stop being so intimidated by him. Like every other narcissist on the planet, he traffics in shame, but you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or to apologize for. Have faith in knowing that when you start standing up to him, he will start standing down. Know, too, that he will beg, plead, and bluster his way through various attempts to bully you into staying married, agreeing to a settlement without attorneys, and entering into mediation, until, ultimately, he will get his ass handed to him by your pit-bull attorney.

  • ChumpSaidBuhBye,

    you don’t feel like it now, but in less than two years there will be days at a time when you never even think about him and when you do, it will pass quickly. He’s just the lingering but fading odor of a turd you flushed out of your life. You’ll wrinkle up your nose in disgust for a second, then go about your business.

    It’s okay that you are choosing to give him the chance to try and make things right, don’t kick yourself over it. We both know that deep down you always knew it was a deal breaker, but you, being you, had to give him enough rope to hang himself with so that you could go forward without ever wondering “what if”?

    When the time comes, you do good. Real good. You probably don’t think you have the will and strength to remove him from your life and go total no contact in one fell swoop, but you find it. You’re gonna reach inside yourself and harness that white hot rage and indignation over busting him in that last lie and channel it into strength and determination.

    It’s going to be a rough ride afterwards. Your health is going to crater and you will find yourself in a really scary place for a while before it gets sorted out. But without him sucking away at your spirit, you’ll put you first and know that you have the strength to face whatever life throws at you.

    You’ll make it through this and you will be at peace again.

    And him? You won’t fucking care what ever happened to him.

    • He’s just the lingering but fading odor of a turd you flushed out of your life. You’ll wrinkle up your nose in disgust for a second, then go about your business.

      Love this so much!! Great way to describe it, Chumpsaidbuhbye. That’s exactly how I feel about it, too. Lmao!!!

  • I don’t really regret a lot of how I reacted that night. I was totally, thoroughly, surprised at my reaction, while deeply shocked, that I thought I could forgive enough to try again, that was not a part of my personality. That is possibly my one query. Maybe I knew myself better than I gave myself credit for. We tried for more than five years to fix what he broke. He was really very lovely in those years, he did all the things that most of the cheaters discussed on this site do NOT. As he had been for the prior 22. He is a cheater, he cheated. For fifteen months, he chose that, not a drunken fuck up (as if that is any better …) I know, and I know the selfishness of a cheater. But, he is genuinely remorseful, for the last seven and a half years he deeply regrets and is truly sorry, ad worked his arse off to try to rebuild trust and help me to heal – himself too. However, I regret buying into society’s “love conquers all” bullshit. No it doesn’t. It doesn’t fix a broken heart. It doesn’t cure STIs. It doesn’t prevent an 18kg sudden weight loss. Or being prescribed antidepressants that caused most of the weight to pile back on again over two years later. It doesn’t prevent the mind movies of them raping me, still, seven and a half years later, and single. It doesn’t prevent the vomiting that went on for months, or the vomiting that still went on during and after sex until I stopped trying anymore, five years later, and called it. It does not allow for dangerous, selfish and destructive behaviour, no matter how out of character, or unwell he was. It did not make the essential culling of huge amounts of Switzerland friends and family any easier to bear. It does not ‘replace’ any of those friendships with better ones. I also think because the OW was a “friend” I wanted to “show her” how much we loved, and how her letting me know they had an (ended, by him) affair was NOT going to get her what she wanted, us to split. So, in order to “show her” I worked bloody hard to try to change who I really am. I really am a person who does not and can not tolerate disloyalty. And it doesn’t make everything okay when it is all over and you choose to leave and make a new life. That new life is not better, don’t think it ever will be, just different, just without the love I once really did have. But I know it IS over, no regrets there.

  • Yeah…should have left him after the first D-day, even though the ink was barely dry on the marriage license. You didn’t fail. He lacked character.

    Don’t be afraid to go it alone with a preschooler and one on the way. You’ve been doing all the heavy lifting all along. Friends and family will support you.

  • To my Self on D-Day #1, 2.5 years ago,
    Life will be much harder in many ways, you will quit the job you took out of necessity (in a scary environment) just two months after starting it. You will then not earn any money to support your young children. You will have lost most of your life savings of over 40 years because STBX filed for divorce and took you to court over a dozen times in two years although he is the one who cheated, filed, and abused spouse both before and after separation. Thank God Grandma and Grandpa are alive, able and willing to help.

    Overall, you will feel better not living with abuser-cheater. You revitalize your friendship with a man you met over 30 years ago and you start the healthiest happy romantic relationship you have ever had. This relationship feels ‘easy.’

  • Dear FBO,
    I promise you everything is going to be 100% ok, not just ok but so much better than you can even imagine! It seems hopeless now, I know, as you struggle to keep your 7up down, mourning the loss of your 16 year career and so afraid of what you will do now that your unemployment has run out and your husband has abandoned you and your daughter while he’s stifling laughter and blatantly revelling in your pain. I know you’re waking up in the middle of the night wandering the house crying and wondering if any of the last 14 years of your life were even real. They were real, you were real, and you were amazing.

    One year from now you are going to have the best job you’ve ever had in your life. Your house will be a home, your daughter will be happy again and you will be living your life on your terms. You will be joyful, and strong and beautiful. Despite the pain you feel now, you have to believe me that this is all happening at the perfect time for reasons that will become clear to you in 12 short months. It truly is, and God is hearing your prayers and laying a new path for you that leads to more joy and fulfillment than you’ve ever imagined possible. Just 12 months away. Hang on tight to yourself and your daughter and your dog, let yourself feel the pain and purge the despair.

    He is all smiles now, but in 1 year he will be miserable and beg your forgiveness and you will not give a flying fuck about him. You fight the good fight and You Win! And He Loses.

  • I know being rejected by your Dad hurts. And the confusion you feel at being abandoned after being his closest confidant is real. He has now unfriended and blocked you on Facebook, and you have not had a working email or phone number for years. The silence is complete, consider him dead today. The truth: he never accepted you, he never loved you for you. This is why you always felt threatened by kids who loved to play music, because you knew he would fawn over them – and blow off anything you had to share. This is why he always thanked your bullies for “being gracious,” instead of telling them off for abusing you in front of him. His reason? “If you assume the best, then you can convince them to be better.” Your needs? Your feelings? Did not matter. The truth is, all those confidences he told you were an abuse of healthy boundaries. His abandoning you when you were homeless with three babies is proof of that. Recognize, that in a year, you won’t even realize your Dad is gone. You will be promoted, have a baby, and shine with happiness and new friendships – like you never have before. You will realize you have healed completely when a client comments on “how happy you are this year.” Shine with light, you are free – and the man who made you, does not define the woman you are.

  • That is so true. The funny thing is that he always indicated or pointed out that I was the “bad” parent. And I was stupid enough to believe him. The shock of my life was when I realized a year after he moved out that I was much happier; and I have been much happier ever since. I still commit those pesky sins of omission and commission; I am not perfect. But feeling comfortable with myself has led me onto paths I could never have imagined. I am angry that he does not want a relationship with his grandchildren because I don’t want them to feel rejected or that it is somehow their fault. He is really missing out.

  • Ahhh Virago. I am you 15 months hence. Yes, it is true. He did that. And you’ll find out that he did more than that. He’ll tell you this to be ‘transparent’ but it will be to brag. He is proud of himself. I know, that IS revolting.

    I know. You love MoFaux with your entire being. You love everything about being in a long term committed relationship. You even like the difficult bits because they feel like an integral part of the investment. And you love that you are stretched to accommodate another, to give generously, to provide for and to be lifted out of self-centeredness. Well, darlin’, you got a bit too good at that. And he was always good at taking.

    Okay, scream for a bit.

    You defend him. He never loved you ~~ he love bombed you, Virago, into delirium and its’ effect lasts even while discarding you. He loves two things: looking good and not being found out.

    You have wondered why you didn’t feel included in his decision making. Why he took the side of everyone BUT you. Why he kept accusing you of keeping him from seeing his kids. Why almost everything had to be his way. Why he said you were interrupting if you tried to talk during a conversation. Why he seemed embarrassed about being with you. Why you couldn’t seem to please him. Why you lost interest in intimacy in spite of a good libido. Why the people that you spent time with were cheaters or cheater apologists. Why his family tried to alienate you. Why he didn’t shut that family shit-behaviour down?

    These wonderings are your intuitive self speaking. He was controlling you. Over many years. Narrowing everything down to you and him. And he was the Master. You were the appliance. And you were such a good one (like a Maytag). He barely had to lift a finger. And when he did, it was done begrudgingly. He helped to get rid of your friends. He liked to embarrass you in front of his family and HIS friends to keep you ashamed and under control. And then he began a long and progressive discard that has lasted for years. Yes. I’m sorry.

    No more, my dear one. I am here to tell you he is not your friend. He likely cheated throughout the 22 years you were together. His wife (before you) said he started that shit in their first year of marriage. No Contact will help you. You will gradually get past screaming in the car, sobbing and throwing up! And you will get your groove back. You’ll rediscover rock and roll, love of driving your car and dancing, dressing in ways that please you, getting rid of everything that reminds you of him. And you’ll be held together by a snarky, smart, funny, fucking amazing group of characters from all over the world. Never mind. I’ll explain that later. It will be a massive trip. But, you will survive and thrive. I promise. Okay. Go ahead. Scream a bit more.

  • Don’t worry Sweetz…
    That peaceful calm that you had when you found out that Cheater was up to it again? Well, here it is two years later and the peace is STILL there isn’t it? Don’t worry, it will not leave you just because he is the one who filed, left, and then ghosted you upon discovery. Aren’t you glad that you ghosted him too?

    Nothing will change…everything of value is still fully intact. You just keep on doing what you have always done…minus 260lbs of deceit attempting to rape your brain cells.
    No, you are not “numb” with grief nor are you suffering from PTSD…you are just righteously FINISHED. You twisted inside of the entire kaleidoscope of human and animal emotions throughout ten years of marriage policing and are simply d.o.n.e. It’s all good. I like your smile.

    Now you know what true peace feels like in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Cheater. It’s not “numb” as in what is typical of those who have experienced a sudden trauma. Your trauma was the marriage itself (you found that out within the first year) and you are now on the opposite side of it. Enjoy.

    Alone again at 62? So what? Who says we want or have to be coupled? All is well…God is REAL and has delivered you. What a fine job of it He did for you…very clever and strategic…a soft landing. You are not really “alone” after all…never have been.

  • Dear Jumper,
    Now it is just numbness. There are no feelings, no way to even conjure up the rage. I think that is a good sign, you are moving on. It has been 27 months, it is time, and I know you are tired.

    He controlled you with his anger, you know that now. It will never happen again.

    You kicked his ass to the curb four hours after you discovered his secret, and that was pretty amazing for someone who was afraid to move in bed at night. And you have stayed the course, you have not let him come back (as much as he wants to), and you have made a life for yourself (actually, you always had a life, he didn’t). You have family and friends that love and support you. You have become the Matriarch of the family business, and he is no longer involved.

    I am so proud of you, 44 years of marriage is a lifetime together, and you have moved forward from this horrible betrayal. You were an awesome wife, mother, playmate, and business partner. He knows what he has lost, and you have gained a life.

    Thank you CL and CN for helping me get there.

  • Hi Lola

    Right now you feel like an unloveable, neurotic, fat frump. You have been frantically spinning your wheels, trying to shoehorn yourself into this manchild’s idea of a perfect woman, only to find that really, anyone but you would be preferable.

    You know that nervous jittery fake brightness you seem to put on automatically when he’s around?

    And the mysterious crying jags that seem to follow when you’re alone?

    And you know how you lose your temper when he shows an obvious preference for spending time and effort on someone who isn’t you?

    There are reasons for all these feelings. You’re not crazy, and it isn’t just menopause.

    Close your eyes. I want you to imagine that you are in the future.

    You are 47. And you are single, and happier than you can possibly imagine.

    You are dressing and looking better than ever. Your career is going places. You have been overseas in the last 12 months to a place you’ve yearned for. You walk with your head held high, and men look at you!

    And that nervous jittery feeling, crying jags, brittle brightness, and sense of utter hopelessness?

    GONE. Along with him.

    So stand up and walk proud. You are going to have the time of your life.

    Love Lola.

    PS. You can paint. Did you know that?

  • Oh J, my sweet, unicorn, rainbow and magic butterfly believing girl… yes I know you are 43, but marrying that sicko you met when just a child means you’re still a girl. I know you just want to be hit by a truck. I know you think it must all be a nightmare you will awaken from. I know you are devastated that having 2 children means suicide is not an option. I know because I am you, almost 15 months from now… it’s time to grow up baby. Your gonna stay sweet and loving but it’s time to stop believing in fairytales and unicorns.

    It is going to worse sweetie, so much worse, before it gets better. But a web site and a therapist are going to save your life and make you stop wishing for death.

    That “emotional” affair 8 years ago… yeah that was a real affair. He lied to you and the therapist for all those months. He didn’t “find God” either. Duh, you kind of knew that right? No more fairytales, remember? And if we’re really being honest, you knew all the travel could’t have been all for work, the hotels calling were not accidents, the woman who called while you nursed your son wasn’t a jealous colleague, the way he ignored you during the first pregnancy that he asked for, punched walls and the fucking refrigerator because you cried that he blew off the glucose test and ultrasounds then coming home drunk at midnight with no call or explanation…. yeah he was sleeping with another co-worker. He did not “grow up” after having a child, he just become a better liar. He wasn’t “concerned about money” when he was vile and mean when you were having the second, very planned baby. He was fucking another woman. And another and another, and some strangers in hotel lobbies, and clients, and co-workers, and strangers. Yeah, it is over 100.

    Soon you’re gonna try to convince him that the marriage and he are both “fixable” and they’re not. You will be stuck in the house with him for over a year. He is going to punch the door and break his hand a centimeter from your face the first time you stand up to him and tell him you know he is a pathological liar. That’s nothing compared to the 3 times he will damn near rape you and grope you and bite you because he is so sexually frustrated. He will threaten you physically, abuse you even more verbally and emotionally. He will call you horrible names, jerk off on your bed (his is in the guest room) in front of you while watching porn on his iPad while telling you he had to seek sex outside the marriage because you are prude. Guess what, you aren’t bad in bed or a prude. You are actually really sexy! You don’t need the breast implants he swears you need, you don’t have to weigh 105 pounds, and you don’t have to agree to group sex to be sexy! A man from your past teaches you this. (You, yes innocent little Pollyanna you, have a fling that teaches you this beautiful fact. You also learn that sex really is fun and playful and intimate and you get kissed properly for the first time at age 43!) No, you can’t date seriously yet of course because you are really fucked up from 26 years of mindfucks, but please stop feeling old and ugly and undesirable. It turns out that you’re not… and some men think you are actually “hot.” Crazy right?!

    This is gonna hurt too, but your Mother in law, the one who “adopted you” because you have no family of your own really fucks you over. She is so flattered that Snarc is actually being nice to her and giving her attention that she sells you down the river. She tells him everything you tell her, she gets info from you and the kids and reports back, she even talked to her finance people and lawyers and strategizes ways to screw you financially. Let her go… You don’t need family after all because you have amazing friends. You are gong to meet some AMAZING people. some causal acquaintances become real friends, you sort through your other friends and learn who is real and who is not, practical strangers help you emotionally and an anonymous stranger at job #2 leaves you $200 one day. (Don’t cry over that and feel ashamed because you know you will pay that one forward one day.) It’s beautiful, but pathetic that the need is even there.

    You’re pretty screwed financially. He really does a number on you there and because you are SO emotionally screwed up you let it happen. He has lawyers while he has forbidden you to get one, he has family, financial planners, a big secret raise, and secret money. BUT, you’ll learn money doesn’t matter as much as you thought. You were poor as a kid, you can do poor. You have enough to survive and make sure the kids survive. You learn a very import thing— Peace has value!!! You lost the house you personally remodeled with your own blood sweat and tears. It hurts, but not nearly as bad as you think it will. It’s full of ghosts and bad memories and it’s better for you and the kids to leave that shit behind. Peace has value!! And the shitty little rental you’re in now is a healing magical place where laughter lingers and pain is numbed. And there you will suddenly remember from your childhood that stuff is nothing.

    You’re still scared as hell, but it is not why you think now. You’re scared abut money and the kids’ emotional well being still but you don’t care one crap about Snarc- you don’t love, respect, or care about him a bit. Weird right?! You don’t know him. At. All. He never graduated from college, he never played D1 basketball, His entire life since you met him when he was 25 has been a lie. After all those years of worrying and babying him; his health, his mind, his demons, his fragile ego, you don’t give 2 shits now. He was a decent sperm doner and that’s his entire value to you now. You are not scared of being alone. You don’t care if you are alone because you will never be as lonely as you were in that fascide of a marriage. You kind of like being alone in fact! You are not embarrassed to be a divorcee’ or having been cheated on– heck you tell practical strangers your story if you think it will comfort them.

    Stop the obsession over who the whore is this time; it doesn’t matter (its 2 whores not 1 this time anyway) because “the whore” is just a faceless and nameless blank that will morph in to he next one just as she has since you met him 26 years ago.

    You are working 80 hours a week baby, it is seriously hard, worse than putting yourself through college at night and full-time employment during the day was. And you’re making crap money. But you are okay… the work is fun and you are around good people and lovely men that prove to you that it’s not men that suck, just Snarc. The important thing is you filed for a divorce that is stamped and official in 6 days. Right now you want to get hit by a truck, but in a little over a year you truly KNOW it will all going to be okay – and maybe even better than okay.

  • Dear Marci,
    All I can say to you on this d-day is that, like any grieving process, recovery takes time, and you cannot speed it up.

    What is important now is to recognise that, for the next few months, even a couple of years, you will need to take care in the decisions you make and the way you treat other people.

    1. Go as No Contact as possible to get the drip feed of toxicity from the cheater.
    2. Get the paperwork dealt with promptly, but accept that divorce takes time, so compartmentalise those issues and visualise putting them in a box when not dealing with them. Unfinished business is a huge stressor, so get it done!
    3. Take care of other practicalities and get yourself settled in your new living conditions. Get rid of sentimental things that attach you to cheater, so you don’t use them as an excuse to revert to old lovin’ thoughts or to break No Contact.
    4. Focus on loving yourself and your children. Be kind and gentle inside your own head. Don’t give cheater any headspace, but develop some “going to sleep” visualisations to distract yourself.
    5. Accept that grief sucks your energy. Just practice good eating and exercise habits in the sure knowledge that they will be a huge benefit when you look back later. Don’t get all hypochondriacal…there is nothing wrong with you besides having been emotionally sucker punched and taunted by bullies. This can and will be overcome.
    6. Avoid thoughts of revenge. Karma does work in many ways. Just make lists of why you are now better off, and enjoy being grateful.
    7. Seek new things and friends and interests that are yours alone. Soon you will be on a path you never imagined.

  • Dear me (DD – Dec. 31/13 – well kind of because he continues to deny it – WTF ???)

    You don’t know it now but the foundation that you built your life on for the past 18 years is a fraud and a complete lie. That foundation will be rocked and it will be comparable to an earthquake that you will not feel that you can survive from . . . but you have to because you have a child with this waste of space of a person. Your child will confide in you and seek your guidance and will look at you will love in his eyes that will melt your heart.
    You will kick Fucktard out of your dream home and then will leave with your child. But before doing that you will cry and beg him to get help for the gambling addiction and demand that he cut off his emotional affair with his deceased brother’s wife and he will refuse to acknowledge the issues and you will beg and plead with him to get help and tell him you will stand by him at any cost to save your family. He will be vicious and deny any problems (and then come storming into your home and demand that you leave with our son). You will stare him down for the first time in 18 years and look him dead in the eyes and say “over my dead body will I leave this house with our child, how about you leave, I will even help you pack your shit.” You will throw everything in garbage bags and leave it on the front steps and he will leave and you will sell your dream home, but he will continue to threaten you and tells you that he will take your child away and you will continue to undergo verbal abuse and financial abuse for over two years that would force the strongest person in this world to their knees.
    You will do what is best for your child and you will buy a home close to his school and will keep his life as normal as possible (sans Fucktard). You will be forced into darkness that makes you question every belief and moral you have and you start to think that you can’t do this and you still encourage a relationship between Fucktard and your child, because at this point the only good thing in your life is your son who is the best of you and you feel a moral obligation to do so. You are still reeling from what Fucktard has done because you could never do what he has done to someone you love or your child. You will carry that shame for years.
    Two months later after denied – DD, you will learn that your mom – your best friend is dying. You will go to the oncologist appointment with her and they will tell your mom that there isn’t much they can do and to cherish every day. You will blink back tears and hug your mom in disbelief and your father a man you have never seen cry in your 38 years cry and leave the room refusing to acknowledge that the women he has loved for over 40 years is fighting for her life. You will comfort him reeling from the reality that you are going to lose your mom – you are the strong one after all and everything else falls away.

    You will allow Fucktard to cake eat and reconcile with him for a few months later in 2014 because this is all you have known and you have never loved another man. It will last two months before he turns his rage on you again that breaks whatever you have left of your shattered soul. Your child who was the protected one becomes the protector and he will ask if you are ok and tell you that he loves you and then he hugs you and you have tears streaming down your face and you swear to yourself never again will I allow this for me and my child.
    You will drive to work and cry and cry at night while your child is sleeping. You will scour the web for answers and you will find a life changing website called Chump Lady. Every morning before you leave the house with your coffee and child in tow for a ten hour day, you will read Chump Lady and laugh out loud and weep silently on the inside because now you know that you are not alone and there are others out there. With every laugh and tear you grow stronger until one day Fucktard calls you and rages at you again.
    This will be the last time he does this because you are ready and have no problem putting his balls in a vice until he is ready to pass out from the pain. You retain a lawyer and dump a shitload of papers on his desk and 800 pages of text messages which show the hell you have been living for the past two years. As you speak to your lawyer your tears slowly dry up and you find your voice and this will be the last day you cry for Fucktard. As you explain everything to your lawyer a light bulb goes off in your head and for once, time is actually on your side – you have established de facto primary residential custody of the only thing that matters. You instruct your lawyer to sue Fucktard and go no contact cold turkey. He will ramp up the threats and will then panic like the little bitch that he is when he realizes that his power over you is gone – repeat after me “not my monkey not my circus.” His panic will again turn to rage and the mask falls off again because the monster that you know hides under the surface and only comes out when being challenged with reason and accountability. You will continue to do no contact and every day you grow stronger.

    You don’t think you can do it and then one month turns into four months and before you know it, it is the day before your court date and you are not backing down – Fucktard blinks and you pull the knife from your back and use it to cut the cord that has you attached to him and you settle for everything that you were demanding.
    You will no longer accept that Fucktard left you and your child for his deceased brother’s wife who spent the last two years at your home grieving on your couch slowly trying to become you. She buys the same truck, the same dog and the same house two doors down making the transition – slowly morphing into the doormat person you were and now fucktard has an easy out to leave your family and responsibility behind. In your specifically crafted court agreement Fucktard signs off on grieving widow whore not being able to attend anything to do with your son (sports, school, etc.) and he accepts every other weekend and is enraged – must have been a tough conversation with his lawyer who he paid A LOT of money to because he is well aware that I did not play all my cards and have a few in my back pocket for a later date, dare he rear his lying, cheating, fugly face at a later date. Document document document – I salute you Chump Lady He is fucked two ways from Sunday and has to accept defeat or go bankrupt on a battle that I will never stop fighting.
    You show up at court the next day so your lawyer can tell the family court judge that an agreement has been reached. Mean (totally awesome judge btw) clucks her tongue and seems a little pissed that Fucktard did not show up. I show up though because this is ONLY my life and I want it back. More clucking of tongue and she shakes her head when she looks at his income and asks if that is ALL he has to pay for child support and repeats herself before signing off on the court order that Fucktard’s lawyer signed and then she demands that my lawyer file our full separation agreement with the court “in case someone changes his mind in at a later date.” Tee hee! I have could of screeched in delight but instead sat there nodding and smiling thinking “Boom that just happened” and the only sadness I felt that day was Fucktard not being present to witness the judges distain and bitchiness which I was in awe of.

    Your child support doubles which covers your entire mortgage and a good chunk of your living expenses. Fucktard is pissed and does the math and figures you and your son are living a better quality of life then him and his deceased brother’s whore – cleary the child support system is broken. Ha . . . Not!!!

    You answer the phone for the last time and he tells you he will never forgive you and you laugh and say “betrayal is a bitch – you will get over it – I did”, before hanging up on him for the last time.
    You now smile a lot and cherish every day that you have with your sick mother and child as Fucktard is still in hell trying to escape his fucked up depressing life and not realizing that by being the way he was to me, he took the biggest gamble of his life and lost it all for a washed out widowed whore that was married to his brother – explain that one to the kids??? So hypothetically if Fucktard had a kid with washed up whore would that make the kid a half brother/half sister/half cousin with our son. OMG I just threw up in my mouth, a Jerry Springer dream come true. There is a special place in hell for them, but I am pretty sure they are living it. Hahahahah!!! Checkmate – Fucktard!! Please don’t go away mad just go away and crawl back to the rock you came from under!! Oh, who am I kidding? Let’s be real – I hope you are forever haunted by your brother and the child you abandoned.

    Life is good from this side of the greener grass I must say 🙂

      • Awww thank you neverwouldhaveimagined. We are all mighty just on different levels at different times because we are all here for the same unfortunate reason and are trying to heal one mighty step at a time even if we have to crawl to get there.

        It seems like a forever process, amazing would be if these Fucktards could just be decent moral humans but us chumps know that is never going to happen, so here we are.

        What is truly amazing is this site and Chump Lady because no matter what point you are at in the process, this gives us an outlet to vent and slowly come out of the fog. What better place to be then around people that are walking the same nightmare as you and who truly understand? There isn’t one. 🙂

  • Dear Ugh No of the distant past,

    You know how you’re standing in front of your open freezer and deciding to forgo that pint of Ben & Jerry’s because the calories not consumed might help the situation?
    Eat all the ice cream. All of it.

    Then unbutton your jeans and call this lawyer, trust me, he’s worth the money:)

  • My Dear Martha,

    Hello, beautiful pregnant woman. I see you crying every day. I see you trying your best to keep things together for your one year old son; trying your best to be a great mom to him every. single. day.

    I know you don’t really know what’s going on, but your husband is cheating on you. This is why he’s acting so cold, mean and angry towards you. It’s not your imagination. Also, when he goes to Canada on business trips, he’s going to Strip Clubs and getting 100% totally naked lap dances. He’s gone at least ten times. Did you know in Canada that you can also get bj’s and sex for extra money? Your future husband will tell you that there’s “no touching”, but that’s just another lie that he’ll tell you if you stay with him.

    So, when you husband said to you while you were pregnant with his second child, “You and the kids will be financially fine without me.” LEAVE! RUN! Don’t stay with this cheater. He will never, ever change! He’ll just get better at hiding his cheating. And he will lie, gaslight and make you feel crazy at times. This man is not worth it.

    Martha, you don’t deserve to be treated like this. You deserve to be with someone who cherishes you. Someone who takes the time to celebrate your birthday. Someone who actually acknowledges that you are a mom and wishes you Happy Mother’s Day, gets you a card and flowers. You deserve to have a husband who spends time with you. Your current husband does nothing for you, but he finds lots and lots of time to make all the women at work feel special to him.

    Martha, leave now. Take your two kids and leave. He wants nothing to do with you or them. He will not fight for any custody, because he doesn’t want the kids. He shows it in his daily actions. Leave now and you will save yourself 15 years of doing the Pick Me Dance.

    Love,
    Martha

  • Hi Julier, well I wanted to say just hang in there, the fucktard and slunt May appear to have it all, the big house, each other, your beautiful son (50/50) the perfect family, but that will change, they will become bored with each other but you, you will still have your self and your son. Fucktard will whine, send threatening emails be more concerned with how much money you want than the welfare of his own child, but you will be strong you will find your way and you will again believe there are good people in the world. I know it doesn’t seem like that now, but there are. Be strong for your son, he needs you more than ever at the moment, but I can tell you he will get through this because of you xxx

  • Thanks for this post! I am new to CN and 3 weeks post DD. I was married for 17 years and have 3 children when I noticed something off with my marriage. I would push it to the side as he came home from work and was home on weekends. Then the paying extra attention to their appearance happened, the always in the bathroom on the phone and the mean treatment began. He would confide is unhappiness to our children but not to me. After a month of arguing and denying the affair I put him out and changed the locks. He immediately started staying with a friend and no one has seen him except to pick up personal items. He has made no effort to contact me or the children and we are all depressed and devastated. My older 2 children are young adults and we’re close with him and they are very angry at me. They have accepted their fathers rewrite of history despite his current behavior. My 16 year old is introverted, but I know he hurt too. I feel like I have lost everything and tried to take pills last weekend. I don’t know how to get though this. It hurts that we have all been discarded

    • Heart broken –

      I am so glad you found CN early in your post-cheater recovery! The discard is beyond painful for chumps, please take good care of yourself, and first and foremost, please find a therapist that is specialized in trauma/complex PTSD/narcissistic recovery.

      I found the following books very grounding when I was deep in despair:
      “why does he do that?” from Lundy Bancroft
      “get out of control: how to leae a control freak” by honesty and friends
      “women who love psychopath” by Sandra Brown

      Also, Chumplady’s book has been like a northstar to me, the snarky humour and stories and stories of dynamics that were so similar to mine were transformational in my ability to divorce my cheater and build my next chapter.

      This is going to hurt, big time, there will be brigther and darker days along the way, please keep reading CL, please join the forums so you can learn more and get support, and most of all, please forge on, you can do this!

    • HB, your heart is almost broken but not completely and it will mend itself with time. Right now you need this club no one wants to join like life support. Many here have attempted suicide or come very close, but we are still here. You will make it. Focus on getting through one day at a time. All the practical stuff that seems so scary, you will handle it bit by bit. Write down every little thing you manage to cope with and pat yourself on the back. Soon it will amount to a whole lot and you will be surprised at how competent and confident you become. The cheaters don’t want us to realise how strong we are so they do everything possible to make us feel weak. It’s a trick, you are strong. You survived living with a sociopath. It can only get better. Tune into CN every day. Big hug.

  • Heart Broken, HUGS!!!! You are going through a shit storm right now, please hang on! Please take this over to the forum and start your own thread so there will be more people to give you individual advice, attention and love. Right now this needs to be about YOU, your children and how to navigate the waters! We are here for you!

      • HB, at the top of the CL page you will see a tab Forum. Log in and start reading the posts, archives, and post your own story as NMSB suggested.

        I am so glad you found chumplady, we all can relate to your pain and you will find wonderful support here. As we always say, welcome to the club nobody wants to join.

  • Dear CS in 2010-

    That niggling little voice that you’ve been ignoring is right. He is having an affair so that’s why he’s been treating you like crap for the last year. I know you’ve been feeling guilty because you’ve thinking about divorcing him; gone as far as checking out the price of condos close to where you work. No need to feel guilty. He’s not being an asshat because of work stress, he’s just an asshat plain and simple.

    Here’s the hard part. I’d love to talk you out of staying with him because that’s what you’re going to do. Though it is a tremendous waste of three years of your precious life, it’s not without merit. You will see him through a different lens during that time; you will see the real him. The coward. He’s going to blame this on you. Don’t accept the blame. You didn’t make him cheat. You didn’t mold him into the coward he is; that’s all on him.

    You’re going to be afraid to leave but you will find the courage eventually. You’re going to go straight into that scary abyss of unknowns and learn to embrace the change. It will help you to appreciate what you have in this moment because you realize now more than ever that life can change with every breath you take. This road won’t be without challenges but there is accomplishment, new friends and joy on the other side. Though you may not believe it now, you will come to realize that this was your get out of jail free card.

    Oh yeah, and in a few years you will stumble on this great website called The Chumplady. She is fabulous and so is her group of followers that she refers to as Chump Nation. This lady does not sugar coat anything! Just straight up truth and a swift 2’4 that every chump needs. Yeah girl, you’re a chump but you will learn to embrace that; not because you intend to stay a chump but because you can’t fix the problem until you admit you have one. She starts her website in 2012 so look for it and read her archives. You will find one in particular that helps you to envision leaving and finding a better life on the other side.

    That’s it for now. As one wise lady has said many times, this pain is finite. You might not believe that now but it is true.

    • At this point, I suspect she would just flagellate her younger self. (There was a spell when I could relate to that desire–[whip] stupid, stupid Tempest, what were you thinking??? [whip])

      • “Dear younger Huma,

        It’s time to plan a family vacation to the Grand Canyon and accidentally-on-purpose give Weiner a wee shove from the edge. Oops, so clumsy! Problem solved. You’re welcome, America.”

        Huma, if you’re lurking out there, just know this: you GOT this, girl.

        (Also, I just spent way too long deciding whether to go with the cultural vernacular of “you got this” or the grammatically appropriate “you’ve got this.” I’m uncomfortable with both forms for different reasons, and also slightly embarrassed that I feel the need to write an explanatory post script. But that’s my brain in a nutshell.)

      • Huma was likely thinking while self-flagellating, “why didn’t anybody tell me there were such evil people walking the face of this planet?” (Since I am childfree, I don’t know whether that is something a parent can actually teach a child without a real life example, e.g., leaving a cheater.)

        (“You/You’ve” is everything, Vixen.)

  • Hey there Chumptitude,

    Those hands shaking so hard you can’t hold your phone up? Yeah, that is the sign that the emails you just saw are real. Your husband has been sending hundreds of emails to a gradwhore half his age, and yes they have been fucking for over a year. Yes, this is your husband, the guy you told your story to, the guy who knew you had ended your previous relationship because of your other X’s cheating. The guy who had empathized with you about how despicable the other guy was… And has now done 10x worse… And is the father of your sweet kiddo. Yes, it is all true, and yes less than two hours after finding this out, you are now on your way to a job interview.

    And you know what? You’re gonna ace that job interview, because you will need that health insurance for you and your kiddo.

    And you are going to call your friends, and in 48H they will have sent you a list of 20 things you need to do to protect yourself, double login-protection, copies of all financial records, take the passports to a safety box, get an apartment, contact the 5 lawyers they recommended, contact the therapists they suggested. Three weeks from now you will have the job you interviewed for, and that it not all. You will be moved out, choosing to live in the building next door to make it easier for your kiddo to go between parents. You will have secured a lawyer, and with have a temporary custody arrangement in place, and 1/2 of all liquid assets moved to your own accounts.

    And yes, your cheater will turn nasty. That first glimpse at his duplicity and his true nature are who he is. Once you stop believing his words, his actions will be very revealing. And devastating. Yes, he will say that he wants what’s best for our kiddo, but he will also do anything and everything he can to make you feel horrible about yourself, because to him, the cause of divorce is not his cheating, we are divorcing because you chumptitude have trust issues. He hates that you sing like a canary about his adultery.

    And it will get worse, a lot worse before it gets better. He will try everything to slow down the divorce process, refusing to participate in the discovery process, and of course, his girltress will move in with him four months later, forcing you to let your kiddo spend 50% of the time with the cheating POS and his slunt.

    You will doubt you can endure that level of pain, but you will. Not only this, but you will stumble upon an online community that will change everything. You will find the chumplady site and you will find out that you are a textbook chump, that hopium and your addiction to potential were the hooks your cheater used to manipulate you with for over a decade.

    And you will turn the tables on him, you will learn how to choose your battles and turn his disorder against him. You will get your divorce through, and you will be free. Yes, this will cost you a boatload in divorce fees, yes you will leave money on the table and take a deal that will leave him off the hook financially related to your kid’s needs, but you will be free, and able to get your kid the help she needs. And you will find a new job, and travel, and slowly, very slowly, the swings between despair and searing anger will decrease in intensity, you will find that the smoke and ashes that are where your heart used to be have stopped hurting as much. There will still be a long road of parallel parenting with a disordered cheater, but there will be moments of peace. Like now, where you are typing while your kiddo is making friendship bracelet, while listening to some silly pop songs she likes. And there, in that moment, you will feel grateful to be a member of CN, and at peace with your choice to divorce your cheater. Meh, and it’s not even going to be a Tuesday.

    So go ahead, ace that interview, and keep forging on, you got this!

    • Chumptitiude, thanks for your kind words.

      Two things that I have always related to in your story bear repeating for any newbies. 1. You made it absolutely clear when you started your relationship with your now-X that you had been chumped before, it had damaged you, you would not stand for even the slightest deviation from monogamy. (That’s more than two!)

      And, “He will try everything to slow down the divorce process, refusing to participate in the discovery process.” This is a reminder to chumps out there that divorce is a marathon. Protect your children and your assets. You may not be able to get that quick remorseful settlement, but there is still hope to survive and thrive. Thanks as always, Chumptitude.

  • I have not commented in a long time, but this one inspires me because I hope my post will help a new chump like the posts did for me when I first stumbled across it and said, yes- this is the truth.

    Hey free2beme,
    I need you to get up off the floor and look up. You only have to believe that the pain you feel today is finite. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this is actually not even close to your hardest day his adultery has caused. In fact, this is going to be the hardest 3 years of your beautiful life. You will learn things about your husband that will make you sick and wonder how he could be “this guy” with the evidence in your face, when you thought he was “that guy” you were building a life and a family and a future with. He does not love you or respect you and you will need to remind yourself of that- his words and some good past actions are not the focus. Watch his behavior, his actions and what he is scheming to do to you. Stay in the present and stop going over the past. It won’t help you heal, but looking forward will.

    You will battle hard to gain a life, and take him down by just standing up. You will have diginity and truth and friends on your side. Your 4 kids who know who you are and who you were all love you. They will need you to keep on being strong and confident. You will fake it till you make it. He will hound you with hateful and vile texts and emails. You will eventually block him and put up healthy boundaries.You will leave teaching because you need more money… because you will get no child support after a year despite his earning $250,000 the last 5 years of the marriage. He will “lose” his job. It won’t matter. Your faith will be tested and strengthened. Doors will open and you will get a good job with a chance (after just 10 months) for a promotion. You’re going to have assets in the bank because you settle for a larger chuck of the assets you accumulated over 26 years. You convince your attorney to go for a lump sum. It’s a good move because your hunch that he will do anything to screw you financially our of alimony and child support was spot on. You will see that your instincts are good and never to be questioned again and you will learn that you are going to be fine and thrive.

    He will never look you in the eye again; he will make up lies and you will have to be taken to court and questioned on a stand twice. Every single time you do things despite the fear you feel, you gain courage, you grow and you get stronger. You will value the truth, honesty and integrity in yourself and demand it of others from now on. You will grow in compassion and learn to accept this new life (plan B) is not a tragedy or less than what you “had.” It was part of the plan all along and what Ex planned for your destruction, God has used and will continue to use for your and the kids’ good .

    You will find a blog called Chump Lady and it will embolden you, advise you, support you and commiserate with you when you are low. The best thing you did was get up and sell that FL house and move within 4 months back to TN, so don’t beat yourself up for that decision. It will be years before you feel true peace, but there will be plateaus where you can catch your breath. Don’t get discouraged when you have to fight again. Round 2 in the courts exists- this time it is to get the pension he stole becuase court orders mean nothing to him. You know you are dealing with a wolf now, not a sheep, and you will handle that too- it will cost more $, but you get much more than it costs you and it is what the MDA ordered. He crossed another Boundary and you said hell, no, it’s not ok. You are a fighter, not becuase you wanted to be one, or because it is your true nature, but because for this season you are called to it.

    You will eventually let down your guard and relax because the battle is over. He has no power over you. You learn to forgive and have compassion for all he did, but you find a way to reclaim your story too. Nobody can rewrite your history because it is still your story. Not one day can be changed of your life, memories and joyful moments with him because they were real to you and that is all that matters now. You eventually meet another chump who gets it- and you’re moving into a new and exciting relationship with true intimacy. No matter what comes tomorrow, you will handle it, and deal with it, and get through it. Just remember to enjoy the good times with the kids through these years. He is going to keep stealing your life only in the sense of what BS he puts you throught with the divorce and how he manipulates you and the kids. DO NOT GIVE UP, because it is your resilience and hope that will be what get you through. You are mighty, even as you are on that marble bathroom floor in the fetal position and crying now. Trust me, because no matter what I know now, I still want to go back to you then-THAT girl who had her world shatter in a day. You were mighty and did not even know it because you got up and went to work the next day! You copied documents and secured funds, and still took care of the kids because you were mighty enough to take a step everyday. That day was the hardest because it was your first step. There will be harder days, but you will have all the other days to remind you of what you have already been through, so in that way, it will be easier. Hugs to you, beautiful woman. You did not deserve any of this, but don’t waste time asking why me? You have work to do. Stand up.

  • Dear NewAdventures,

    It’s D-Day number 3. Deep down you blamed yourself for the state of your unhappy marriage. You thought the distance and discontent were your fault. After all, he “has never been so in love” and you’re his “best friend”. Now that you know the truth you have a choice to make. You can stay with an emotionally abusive cheater or you can start over and face the unknown. I know it’s scary to start over after spending more than half your life with Abusive Asshole but you can and will do it. You are so much stronger than you realize.

    Just remember to trust yourself. Not trusting yourself and your instincts are what got you here in the first place. Do you remember how much effort, love, patience and support you gave to Abusive Asshole? Take that and pour it into yourself. Use it to build yourself back up. Be your own best friend.

    Don’t be afaid to ask for support when you need it. People can be trusted and they won’t all hurt you like he did. You will find the most supportive people in unexpected places. Let them know that you are not okay. That you are going through something incredibly painful and private. Then let them know how they can help you if they ask. You’ll also find that some people don’t have your best interests at heart. It’s your job to protect yourself. Give yourself the space to heal.

    Your life will change dramatically in a year from D-day. You will go from being completely dependant on Abusive Asshole to earning your grad degree and getting your dream job fresh out of grad school. The turn around will feel so dramatic that you will tell anyone who asks that it was the best year of your life. And it all started when you decided to start over.

    -Love always, Me

  • Dear Lunachick,

    Here, let me help you get your jaw and broken heart off of the ground. OK there we go. Yeah, you really didn’t see this coming. No one did. You thought your marriage was fine until one day it wasn’t. You are sitting in the bleachers, watching your marriage go up flames like a mushroom cloud, and you couldn’t do a damn thing but just watch, dumbstruck. Deep down you knew he was a bit distant the last few months of your marriage, but you thought he was just tired from work. Now it’s clear that sadly he was always distant with you. He never really gave a shit. And now he’s gone as if he died in a car accident. 14 years, gone.

    But you have never lost who you are. You always have had a healthy sense of self, and you have always been fiercely independent, which he didn’t like so much. In fact, that was supposedly a reason he “fell out of love.”

    You are hurting now, trying to make sense of what just happened. You’re worried that you make only 1/3 of the salary he makes, and that you think that you’ll have to sell everything, including the house. I’m here to tell you that your hard work WILL pay off and you will get that promotion. You won’t believe it, but your ex will hand over the house without paying him out, and he will sell his car to get your name off of the loan. So while your ex will always be a garbage person, he was a total douchecanoe with the settlement.

    I hate to say that your life will take another huge detour, but it will. 2 days after you refinance the house in your name, you’ll fall from a ladder and shatter both heel bones, and you’ll be bedridden for 4 months and physical therapy for 6 months, and you’ll realize that will truly be the worst part of your life and your feet won’t be the same again. I know. Broken heart AND broken bones. A lot of loss you have to deal with.

    So your life is going to suck a lot of ass for a while. 3 surgeries and a lot of pain and suffering. But once you get your life back again, and you will, I promise you that despite still healing from both traumas, overall you will appreciate life more than you will ever expect, and not only will you prevail, you will realize how much this douche was holding you back, and he did you a huge favor. I know you only half believe me now, but he really did.

    You will get a new life out of this. You found Chump Lady at the right time so you didn’t waste a single second more with that moron. Your new life will consist of a beautiful home, a great job, a supportive tribe and two sweet (loud) beagle hounds.

    This is me almost 4 years from now, and although I do have more healing to do, trust me, you’re on the road to a good life.

    Stay strong,
    Lunachick

  • Dear Jojo,

    It’s been 13 months since D Day and you are still alive! you should congratulate yourself for managing to get out of that marriage and have enough hope and faith in God to not live up on life. Even though you seriously have had moments (a few, admit it) where you thought death could possibly be better than going through what you are going through. You will spend 2 months pretty much just surviving. Not feeling, trying to not spend every second of the day crying while you work and take care of the child he “sent away” so he can go on dates w/ his whore. Then you will decide that you can’t take the commute anymore and living with your parents (who you are thankful for but who ultimately can’t understand what you go through) and you will decide to move out to a spanking new apartment. To start your new life as a single mom. There will be hard days. Many many hard days where you feel like nothing is working out for you. You will wonder if in your past life, you were some awful person and that’s why this life is so hard. You will have to defend your intentions, your emails, your words, you will lose friends who were “sisters” to you but now support your ex who is an alcoholic cheater. Who is still dating the very girl you accused him of cheating on you with (one of many you now know about through Uber, phone and other records). You will be an investigator, your own PI, you will be your own secretary, you will internet stalk him and her and then months later, decide it only hurts you. You will have moments where you still can not believe this is your life. That he chose these things for himself, you and your child. You will hurt, physically hurt, when your child mentions “dad” and every time you see a family. Especially a dad who is attentive to their child and playing w/ them. Be at a park, grocery store, pumpkin patch, etc. Cuz your ex NEVER did anything w/ you guys. You will feel bad when your child’s friend comes over to your apartment and vocally says over and over that your apartment is “so small”. You will know that the kid doesn’t mean bad by his words but you wonder if your child will be embarrassed of his home when he’s older. The home you work so hard to keep for yourself and him. You will share a bedroom and love hearing your son sleep. You will spend many nights praying over him and asking God to make sure he doesn’t grow up to be a narcissist asshole like his dad. You will pray that he will know right from wrong. You will pray that you will someday be rid of your ex (is there anything worse than having to see him every other weekend and hearing his voice when he calls his son so his whore can hear him “play dad”). You will do your best and some days it will hurt like hell. It will feel like no one understands what it’s like to always be on high alert. To always have PTSD checking your email for an email from him, from your attorney, etc. You will never get your closure. His parents will never apologize for raising an asshole son. You will feel bad for your own parents who are embarrassed to tell their friends their daughter is divorced. You will feel bad that they need to help you occasionally to babysit while you go to court (yet again). You will just pray for the divorce to be over but also, worry how you’ll really feel when it is. Will you be sad that all that you had hoped when you got married, is never ever going to happen for you or are you going to just feel relief? You will know he’ll always be in your life cuz you share a child. You will want him to die but know that somehow, even having a narcissist, alcoholic, inattentive dad is better than having none? at least that’s what people tell you. But you will stand. You will wake up everyday and try your best. Not for you but for your son. And hope and pray that he will be a better man. You will feel proud somedays that you are superwoman. And other days, you’ll feel like the biggest failure. But you are a child of God. Not perfect, no way, no one is. But you will hope that someday, karma will bite him in the ass and you’ll have a front row seat to the show.

    • Hugs JoJo – thank you for sharing your story – you are strong and a survivor and your little man is lucky to have you as his mama!!

  • I am only four weeks out of D-Day 2 – 18 months after D-Day 1. I will never know if THIS D-Day was about a full blown affair or not. I only heard the words “I have noticed myself starting to notice women again.” And I knew it was sunk. The past four weeks there has been some trickle truth but I have stopped asking, and as much as I care and feel like shit I have told him to move out and he leaves tomorrow.

    All of these comments above have made me sit here in tears. I know I am at the bottom of the mountain (or maybe not, I think that was 18 months ago), but I feel resolute in my decision he is a bad man who will never change. I don’t really want him to anymore. I don’t care enough.

    I want to stop drowning, I want to stop suffocating, I want to stop feeling relief when he leaves for work in the morning. I want to stop checking EVERYTHING obsessively all of the time because it’s the only way I feel remotely “safe” and know that even THAT is an illusion. I want to stop shrinking in to shadows as I walk down the street, sit in restaurants while he eye f*cks everything under 25. I want to stop feeling embarrassed and ashamed of my pervy middle aged husband, I want to stop living with hate and fear in my heart. I want to stop smoking myself to death, I want to stop feeling paralysed to the point I can’t move, I want to stop feeling the house is the only place I feel safe, and only when he’s NOT HERE. I want to stop the puzzling and ruminating, I want to stop trying to figure out why he is such a massive ASS CLOWN and just accept that he is. I want to never see him again (although I desperately fear that), I want to stop being so controlling and shrewish because I’m so afraid. I want to be held by someone someday without my skin crawling, I want to be with someone I admire and respect – and accept that may well be just me. I want to smile again – PROPERLY. I want to live in my body again and get out of living just in my dissociative head. I want to feel some peace. I want to heal, I want to let go of the junk that he is in my veins, I want to live again. I want to find me again.

    I want all of these things and a whole bunch of the things you crew outline and because of that I will soldier on one day at a time until I get there.

    And I will never stop having my own back again as long as I breathe.

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