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What Did You Lose By Reconciling?

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i-never-make-the-same-mistake-twice-ecard Somewhere this week Huma Abedin is bitchslapping herself. If anyone ever was a good example of a bad example for reconciling with a serial cheating fuckwit, it’s her. How much worse could it be? Oh, hey, your husband’s wandering dick and penchant for underage sexting could could trigger an FBI investigation and influence an election. But whatever! 

How many more innocents must suffer because of Anthony Weiner’s weiner?

Okay, with all the dire warnings I give about reconciling, even I could not have foreseen such a clusterfuck. But the situation does underscore an unpleasant truth about reconciling — you will pay a serious price for staying.

Now, the conventional wisdom on this is I’m glad I did it anyway. I had to be sure. I didn’t want to be a quitter. Those aren’t my values. I wanted to save my family.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I said those things myself. And maybe I believe them, or once did. However the further out I get from it all, the more I wish I had just bolted at the first D-Day. I marvel at my chumpdom and the colossal spackle edifices I built, and I cringe. Thus this site. You all have the benefit of my stupidity.

It’s funny I’ve never asked this before — but today let’s list what the costs were of staying. Did you lose more money? A job opportunity? Your last chance to have kids?

Was it worse than you knew? At what cost did you stay?

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  • And PLEASE let’s not get political. Just keep it to the dynamics of marriage with a fuckwit, and serial cheating.

    I’ve managed to get through this ugly election without wading deep into the cess pool. If you want more on my political views, follow me on twitter. @chumplady

      • Me too. I got let go at the buzzer. Xhole had me served the day before my 43rd birthday. He picked up a young schmoopie, so he gave himself about 9 additional years to choose to be a parent. He told family/friends that he left because he wanted kids and I didn’t (actually, I had wanted kids, he didn’t). Any how, he and Schmoops have been married for 1 1/2 years, and no little pitter patter of feet to date.

        • I lost my reproductive years too. It is heart breaking to me. We got married when I was 41.5 and I knew on my 42nd birthday that he was screwing the 25 year old slut puppet musician that he he had been working with in my home for the past year. As soon as we got married, he turned absolutely awful. In hind sight, he had many side sluts and always kept a constant harem of sext hose who I have no doubt were hook ups too. I should have dumped him when I found out about Bambi when we are our dream vacation in Hawaii 2 months after we got engaged. But he had explanations for how it wasn’t really him getting the bj in our attic, they were not believe able but I soooooo wanted to believe him, and I wanted the dream he sold me on. So I sex addict spackled, insisted on therapy, which he lied about attending, barely could make it through our wedding without getting busted again. Once the wedding was official, the abuse, devalue and discard began. I held on for another year while he used my money for the car I was paying for, which he used to take him and slut puppet all over the country on a fuck fest (they put 50k miles on it in one year), used the $10k I gave him (he said he had to get his guitars out from hock, why he would need to hock anything when he had everything paid for he couldn’t explain) to finance the fuck fest, used my rental property to engage in another life with the slut for a couple of months (unbeknownst to me) while It was on the market, and, this is the final kicker, all the while his mom was living with “us” in the home I paid for, so I took care of her while he was gone on his fuck fest for 6 months. I am 4 months out from divorce where I ended up giving him money just to go away, and I know I have no interest in dating for a long, long time, if ever. So no, I will never have any biological children, thanks to him.
          When I still had contact with him, I was crying about that to him one day. He coldly said that he couldn’t have bio kids anyway. This after we had been trying for a few years and him talking all the time about the babies he wanted with me. All a lie to use me and take all he could. It was a shocker to him that I filed for divorce though. You see, he wanted to stay married so his mom would be comfortable, I would pay for his life with slut puppet, and he could come back when he “forgave me” for whatever he could say disappointed him. Durt even almost manipulated me into buying a house as a rental property that he had picked out with slut puppet. Lying all along that they weren’t together and I was imagining things, even on the day he finally moved him and his mom out to go live with the slut puppet in a house he had bamboozled a female groupie he was probably doing on the side of the side slut.
          Sick, sick monster. So is slut puppet as she was complicit in the lies. Joke is on her though. She got a sociopath, liar, serial cheater who continues his habits even though it is twu wuv. She wins the stupid prize because she KNOWS what he is capable of, and is throwing her life away for the dream he wove. He no doubt promised her babies and a beautiful life together too. Maybe the face that he cheated on his newly wed wife with her would be a clue that he is not the dreamboat she thinks. Nope. Too stupid.
          I hate them both, although I am glad she got him off my hands before I wasted anymore of my life, my love and my money with that hell.
          Please excuse any typos.

          • Dude, you are misogynistic as hell. She didn’t have any obligation to consider you. He did. He made vows, she didn’t. Concentrate on him.

            • Actually, as part of the social contract, other men/women DO bear some responsibility for mate-poaching, betrayal, fucking around, whatever you want to call it. Even 5 year olds know lying and using resources that belong to other people are wrong.

            • He’s never going to leave her for you, holycrap. You’re just another hole to him. Congratulations, you’re a whore.

              • In Texas, they call it “fraud on the community.” The courts have awarded damages against the adultery partner. Ditto North Carolina and some other states.

            • Holycrap-that is horseshit! Yes, the spouse made the vows but anyone that engages in blowing up a marriage or family is complicit, period. Also, she did not have use Hopium’s properties, vehicles and money to support her affair. However, I’m rather sure these two cheating defects belong together and Hopium can move on to a better life.

            • Sometimes the OW will smile and grin in your face that she “took” something that belonged to you and she’s proud. Ask me how I know….NOT a good feeling. Unless she didn’t know about the wife, she’s just as culpable and selfish as he is. Sure, he’s cheating, but he can’t do that without her.

              • Susan – ‘I lost the future I thought I had’.

                Susan, I tend to disagree and believe HE gave away his secure future.

                Your future has just shifted.
                Yes, the earth has moved beneath your feet like an earthquake.
                But, you’re still standing with your head held high.
                YOU have nothing to be ashamed of.

                I can’t tell you how much I’ve realized this.
                Yes, I’ve lost a lot of Switzerland ‘couple friends’ and some of his family, but in the end, I have the full respect of the small community I live in. People instinctively know who is the rat.
                And, it’s not you.

                You will gather all the strength you have to get your new future working for you.
                He, on the other hand, never thought about his future and the consequences.
                He’s weak and not prepared, believe me.
                Since they weren’t gaslighted, lied to, cheated on and stolen from, they don’t have the backbone we’ve developed entering into our new futures.

                We’re tough and mighty with what we know.
                They are simple minded and probably caught very off guard.

                Especially, like me and others here; when you show your strength by starting the divorce process on grounds of adultery and shocking the shit out of them when you surprise them by serving papers.

                My tough X went from a domineering, mean-spirited, controlling, double-crossing liar to a whimpering troll when he realized how expensive the attorneys and divorce was. HA!

                And absolutely flipped when he heard I’d been trailing him for 2 yrs electronically.
                Too late buddy.

                (sorry if I rambled there)

      • I lost 18 more months, tens of thousands of dollars on living expenses, MC abuse, gave him time to line up his lawyer with the whore while I was pick me dancing, my sanity, almost my life. Yesterday I ran into a woman I met on a course last year. She immediately commented I look radiant. She didn’t know anything about what has been happening over the past two years. Note that I have been working 60-70 hours a week since April and I am exhausted after lambing! She’s right, I look like a huge weight has been lifted. Turns out she went through the same thing as I am, and lost huge money to a similar bastard. Gave me great encouragement, hang in there, every day I stay on the farm I get to do my thing, keep fighting and do what I love. When I am on my own I only make a mistake once. Awesome woman. I lost months not talking to other chumps and getting brainwashed instead. But I was determined I would not be the one destroying our relationship. It was not in my interest to do what I did, but I did it with integrity.

    • Wow. Just started reading you today—- and I am so giddy! I have been a chump/chump for 33 years! Spoke with an awesome divorce attorney recently, who told me to “sit tight” (waiting on 2 inheritances to come my husbands way)! My husband is not only a sex addict, he’s also a sexual anorexic—- and I have put up with his passive-aggressive self all these years…. what have I lost? I guess the worst of it is any sense of being a sexual being… and both my breasts to breast cancer (Lefty at age 39 and Righty at age 44)— that the SOB never, ever cupped, kissed or fondled them before I lost them. I cannot tell you the degree of chumpness I am… but by golly, I am proud to have kicked his sorry ass out Nov 1 — 18 days shy of our 33 anniversary. I am free of the lies, gaslighting, and the pathetic, unsincere words he has spoken to me all these years. Free at last, free at last, good God almighty, free at last!!!! …… Clarity!!!!!! I have lost nothing!!!! I have gained myself back!

      • Welcome Braveheart – you fit right in!
        I know that feeling of never having your breasts fondled (and other parts) and that was before and after plastic surgery. (waste of money as I thought he’d like them then).
        I’m so sorry you lost yours to ugly cancer.
        I got it in my right breast and had them remove both implants, but I didn’t need the actual breasts removed. {{Hugs}} to you.

        You are the same age as the majority around here.
        I thought it was a 7 yr itch.
        Turns out it’s more like a 35yr old itch – got dumped her for a woman 10 yr younger, and the X is an old fart who needs a nurse.

        You seem like you are very far ahead of the ‘game’, but probably still in deep pain.
        We are here for you and have your back.

        I like you Name!

  • I filed in 2010. Took him back and spent the next four years playing the “Pick Me Polka” until early 2015 when the divorce was finalized.

    I lost me.

  • I reconciled after Affair #1, and it cost me so much of my kids’ childhoods and their well-being.

    I was living in a non-reciprocal relationship with an entitled, crabby, negative, critical guy. I was so preoccupied with that roller coaster, I was a far less attentive, less patient mother than I should have been.

    I gave my kids the on-going stress of a home where there was frequent friction and conflict, and where they constantly saw the example of a relationship where one person gives, and the other takes, and takes, and takes. Where one person makes efforts, and the other takes the easy route. Where one person is disrespectful and hurtful, and the other takes it.

    I gave my not-always-easy daughter the example of her father; you can be mean and nit-picky and selfish, and still have people around who love you and care for you. I gave my son lots of time with a father who really didn’t like or appreciate him, because he is so different from his dad.

    Six years later, there was Affair #2, and I kicked him out. For the first year or so, I felt glad that I had tried reconciliation; at least I knew I had done everything I could to save that relationship, and my kids’ intact family.

    But as we got happier and happier without their dad around (of course he was also one of those dads who spends less and less time with his kids, post-divorce), I realized how much damage had been done, by my staying. Now I regret it very much. I should have had deal-breakers, and I should have provided a much healthier home for my kids to grow up in.

        • Me three. Except I didn’t find out about the skank until we were in the process of divorce. But the years he treated me like shit and I allowed him to are on me. Fear kept me in a bad marriage.

      • I could have wrote that story..I stayed way way too long. Signed papers yesterday at my lawyers office..hiring a lawyer for mediation was the best advice ever! I almost went without a lawyer b/c my ex was insisting and threatening “no separate lawyers!” After reading the CL article mediation is for suckers..I quickly canceled the appointment and lawyered up. Thanks, CL..you ROCK!!!

    • KarenE you are telling my story.

      I’m on a train after a job interview. I am so afraid. I’ll file shortly and I am scared as he has been financially controlling. I’m still looking for work. 2 years. What if I can’t pay our bills? My savings are enough for maybe a couple of months. He may stop paying during the process. What if he drags us to court? I cannot afford it. I wish I could cry right now yet the whole world is here.

      Your post helps me stay focused, even though the fear in me is so high. Tired of my son seeing the same things. Tired of being impatient and at times unloving to my son due to the energy being sucked out. That cheaters tactics to ppiss me off, trying not to react yet having to deal with the anxiety and fear. He wants me to feel scared, and I am. Just need to not show it.

      • Honey, try not to worry. You are so much stronger than you know. The money will work out one way or another. It always does. Sit up straight and tall … so tall that you almost have to duck your head to get out of that train. Hugs.

      • What you can’t afford is just to take the settlement he is willing to give you. Right now, it’s not that he is controlling the finances, it’s that your default is that he gets to control them. I’m not sure where you are geographically, but going to court (as in filing for divorce, child support, spousal support and expecting a reasonable settlement) should be the place where he stops controlling.

      • Ask your lawyer about a status quo order. It means if he is paying the bills now, the order makes him continue.

      • You’re going to do great. Don’t worry too much. I know it’s stressful looking for working, especially if you’ve been out of the workforce for awhile, but remember something: You’ve got something to bring to the table. They call you, that means they think you are qualified. No one takes the time to call someone if they don’t think they can do the job. Even if they don’t bite remember that someone out there is going to want you to work for them, you just have to find that person.

        Good luck to you

    • KarenE, you wrote my story too only it was 4 years in between instead of 6. God, the damage those years did to my kids… If only I had known. The damage those years did to my pride and to my ability to love myself are untold. We are all better, happier people without him. I REALLY wish I’d known that.

    • I didn’t reconcile, but I did live a marriage as KarenE described while X was having his affair. It was torture, and I didn’t have the benefit of knowing why our marriage was circling the drain. If I had, I wouldn’t have worked so hard at trying to fix it. So when DDay occurred, it explained a lot of the two previous years. By then I was so worn out and disgusted by his abusive behavior that I knew I couldn’t voluteer for that again.

      • ^^ This ^^
        “I didn’t have the benefit of knowing why our marriage was circling the drain. If I had, I wouldn’t have worked so hard at trying to fix it.”

        All the lies & lies, & the only-while-he-was-@-home negativity, & the mean irrational irritability… were finally revealed (by the AP) to actually be 3 long years of utter betrayal… as meanwhile, I had been trying from every angle to “make our marriage better” & he lied & lied thru every single day. Ugh! Such an empty & angry user.

        For me, there was just no ‘Reconciliation Menu’ possible to follow that heaping 3 year platter of shit & entitled contempt for me & for our loving & fantastic children.

        • Yup. Luckily, mine wasn’t clever enough to keep this up for years. I assume he thought his AP wouldn’t rat him out. Took six months of him claiming depression and the old ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you’ shit, until the AP had evidently had enough of him coming home to me.

          I thankfully found chump lady within 4 weeks of the pick me dance. From that, I’ve blocked him on everything, and heard nothing since.

          I’m so very hurt, and the seasons changing is reminding me of the time he told me he didn’t love me. I will take a long time to recover, but I come from a family of strong women, and I know I will be okay.

          I just hope karma finds its way, and I’m so so so grateful that I found CL’s blog and CN so quickly!! Four weeks. I am seeing from your posts that four weeks is a blessing. I couldn’t have done it so quickly without you guys. This needs to be recognised by the whole world!

          Those who’s stories I have read of regretting years of reconcile- I am sorry, your kind natures did not deserve such abuse. However, your efforts were not wasted if you look at it in regards to helping other people with your story. You saved potentially years of my life. I thank you eternally xx

    • Yes Karen this! This was my story and then I added another year of pick me dance and more humiliation of groveling after we separated.

      It’s been 5 years since I moved out and 3 since the divorce was final. My adult children and I are just now starting to talk about how he infected their lives and we are getting closer. They all have just about cut the ties with him and seem to be crawling out of the bomb he dropped on their life.

      I look back at the chaos, insecurity and selfish behavior he created under a cloak of smoke and mirrors and see crystal clearly now how I wasted most of my lifetime and my children’s lifetime pick me dancing with my kids dancing next to me.

      I have to say for others reading this, looking for answers, we now are really doing better and healing, individually and as a family. My adult kids are beginning to explore how their fathers narcissism interferred with their lives and are recognizing it. We have the rest of our lives to live, not without challenges because of the narc, but to truly live happily and authentically is so much better! Everyday further away is like being able to breathe a little more deeply with a little more happiness seeping in and the promise of more to come.

      My son told me recently “mom, I am glad you’re doing well because the better you are, the better the three of us kids are”

      • “My son told me recently “mom, I am glad you’re doing well because the better you are, the better the three of us kids are” – Job well done Overcomer!

    • That pretty much sums it up, KarenE I stayed for the kids, and if I could do it again, I’d leave much earlier for the kids.

      I’d also be better off financially, and I would have had more of my youth (and here I’m using the term “youth” pretty broadly) to spend in better ways.

      • Yes- exactly what I was thinking too. My career years gone (I was a SAHM the last 17 years because he had to be more successful than me. I made more money and was in management before him at the same company and I’m 7 years younger. I thought quitting would give him the confidence he needed to be nice.)

        I thought the kids would be better coming from an in-tact family. Wrong. We were a disgunctional, walk on eggshells, cowering to Dad family.

        My youth gone (sounds shallow I know, but my body, mind, chance at having other children had I wanted to…)

        My retirement and financial stability because Indodnt work and he pissed away so much money on his hobbies while I felt guilty spending a dine on me. As a SAHM I only wore hand-me downs from his mom and niece, hair cuts at great clips…. Him you ask? New car lease every 3 years, designer cloths only, hair cuts, massages at the best places, he “works and needs to keep his appearance” Actually all that was for the serial cheater to attract women.

        Sorry about type-o’s — phone typing is not my thing.

    • Karen E, I was tempted to quite your whole post because yea, that was my life.

      I ended up in a totally unbalanced marriage where he acted like a spoiled ass.

      The kids lived knowing there were unspoken secrets.

      My sons had a dad around who didn’t seem to appreciate them. My daughter learned that a person could be a giant pain in the ass and people would coddle them…huge mistake. I don’t know that any of my kids will ever make good partners.

      I think that one thing that happened at DDay was that he thought his giant multi-decade lie (that he was a serial adulterer) was unraveling and I would learn all. He scrambled, backpedalled and stonewalled and the big lie didn’t come out. I had been living in a false reality and it continued…I thought I was participating in a marriage that had a chance…it wasn’t a marriage (it was a manipulation) and it had no chance.

      I lost a chance to live a real life.

      It is an interesting to consider if he would have kept the same life insurance if we had divorced. My guess is that he would have…it was all set up and would run through 2025 (in case he dropped in his prime earning years). I hate that my life is easier with him gone, that is tragic in its own right.

      • I hate that life is easier with him gone, that is tragic in its own right. Know we can move on with our lives, not living there lies.

        • It’s so sad, isn’t it? All we wanted, all along, was to be happier WITH him. But what we got was to be happier without him. The price of our happiness was getting the man I loved, the father they loved, out of our lives. Tragic.

          • I was just thinking this same thing today.
            Now that all the dust is settled, the rage and anger are mostly gone….it seems to come down to what a shame all this had to happen.
            It wasn’t necessary and I really do think, now that it’s hit him, that he wished he hadn’t been so flippant about being in love and needing a different life.
            My gut tells me he is not happy. For, how could he be? He was a hound for adoration from his family, his co-workers and his friends.
            All but his co-workers (clients) are so disappointed in him.
            His family doesn’t seem to pay much attention to him anymore (they liked me) and he lost so many friends that I almost feel sorry for him now.
            Even his mom keeps praying for him. (he needs it)

            Like in Fargo, the cop at the end says….’and all for what? A little money.’
            (as she’s almost ready to drop a baby)

            That’s how I feel.
            All that history, down the drain. All for a fling he thought was true love.
            And, they’re not even together anymore.
            He lives in a trailer in a trailer park.

    • You have also written my story. Especially the self blame where it comes to the example you set for your kids. However, you forgot the most important bit. Reaching that final aha moment. Your ‘not always easy’ daughter knows there is a moment where people will say enough, and simply walk away. And your son has seen and learned, that ‘the good guys’ (ie you), come through in the end.
      My kids are 19 and 14, and the positions are reversed (not always easy son, and more laid back daughter, with Fucktard favouring our daughter also). What I did, was apologise to my son for me not having made better choices when he was younger, and although I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping the family together, but not looking out for me, it had impacted negatively on him, especially. It’s taken a few years, (puberty is such a bitch!) but as he’s maturing and we talk more and more (even when he doesn’t want to lol) I can see that most of his difficult (ie like his father) behaviours have been learned, and although he’ll have a disrespectful flare up from time to time, those negative, nit picky, critical aspects are diminishing greatly and rapidly. He chose to go pretty much nc with his father just after his 18th Birthday – his father had love bombed him to the stage where it was impossible to continue with him living in the house, so I sent him to live with him. Was a huge gamble, but as soon as my son stopped being what his father wanted him to be, and could see I wasn’t the enemy here, he made his own choices….especially as his own father’s d&d of him was brutal.

    • You would not know this had you not been through it. Lesson learned the hard way but good you’re overcoming it and happier for it

    • Oh my. I just had DDay #1 eight weeks ago (though I suspect there was something else going on a couple years back that I never officially found out about, and of course he denies it). I’m glad to be reading this because, no matter how pumped up I get feeling about calling it quits for good and not wasting my time in therapy (he won’t even stop seeing his affair partner, he claims he doesn’t believe that our relationships have to be mutually exclusive) with him when he clearly has no remorse, which for me is a deal breaker since there is no relationship of any kind between us that can be salvaged if he doesn’t even take accountability for the royal fuckup and how badly his actions have hurt me and his children.

      BUT…somehow I get these sentimental moments where I wonder if it’s really the right thing for the kids for me to walk away without going to therapy (even though he is still seeing AP). Like maybe if we were in therapy and me and the therapist said he had to stop seeing her, he would and then everything would change and the unicorns would start galloping in…it’s SO delusional, I know this. But the fantasy carries me away because I so struggle with how this is hurting my kids and I’m still attached to my vision of an intact family.

      Reading what you write here though, it’s life saving! This is what I need to hear to have the courage to end this. It’s not whats right for my kids. I feel so much better and freer without him around (he left three weeks ago for a separation before we’re supposed to start therapy in January). He is so hard on my oldest child who is very sensitive, and the other two have very little connection with him. I know it’s not a healthy dynamic, I just get all confused and think maybe it will change and I will never know if it could be unless I try. But I did. And he’s the one not trying here. (Except for trying to have cake).

      I’ve got to stick with what I know! I’ve got to get out and get a better life for me and my kids because we deserve it, before I lose their precious growing up time and any of the happiness I have in growing up with them. I feel for your pain in having lost that, and I feel so thankful for your sharing so that a poor chump like me can learn!

      • Get. Out. Now. I wasted 25 years of my life on that roller-coaster smoking the hopium pipe desperate to keep my family intact. Guess what?? The (30 year) marriage crumbled anyway and I cannot get those years back. Starting over @49 and back to school to support myself has been surreal. Zero closure on the breakup..he has a great education and job..got a new gf immediately and it’s like we (his 4 kids) don’t exist. Unbelievable. Run. You will be doing your kids a favor. He is a grown man..either he wants you or he doesn’t. You don’t need therapy to figure this out. #cakeeater

  • Time. I lost time.

    And self worth.

    Now that I am dating again, I see what an impact he had on me. I’m struggling with trust and other essential things for building a relationship.

    But it could have been worse, I could have lost my life.

  • We did a trial “separation,” which is really just code for he didn’t want to hear any “emotional outbursts” after D-day. It was only a few months, because I didn’t want to be a quitter.

    In those three months, I was a SAHM, raising our then 1 and 2 year old. Little did I know, the ex stopped paying the mortgage and car note.

    3 months later, after finding out that my ex conceived a child with a ho-worker (on my kid’s second birthday, when she had chicken pox, no less), I filed for divorce.

    Two weeks after filing for divorce, I got a letter that my house was going into foreclosure. And my car was about to be repossessed.

    The ex was a firm believer in “You can’t make me!” Whether it was mortgage companies, car financiers, his wife, human decency, or a judge, no one or nothing could make him do something he didn’t want to do.

    Had I only filed when we first separated, I may have been able to get court orders and garnishment to make him pay the bills, child support, spousal support, etc., and saved myself a two year battle over money.

    Oh, and dignity. There’s that, too. 🙂

    • Oh my good God Kelli-what is it with these f’ers?!? My ex used the EXACT same description of my crying jags (“emotional outbursts”).

      • Don’t you know “emotional outbursts” are really just you “venting your anger” at your spouse? Mine told me that. And some authority who he wouldn’t name (counselor?) told him so, so it’s true.

        • When I was still upset 2 months after D-day (24 year relationship; 19 year marriage, 2 kids), then-H said he couldn’t consider continuing the marriage if I continued to be “broken.”

          Just the push I needed to file the next day ; ). Now, I ain’t broken, I’m ebullient!

          • I was accused of being “broken” too, yet here I am, with sole custody of the children, house, job (making more money than he does), and happy in my Meh.

            Meanwhile, he has had his medical field licenses revoked, car repossessed, and living in a house owned by a friend of his with his self-identifying lesbian girlfriend, and sells used cars at a car lot owned by his mom’s boyfriend because he couldn’t get a job anywhere else…

            If I’m the broken one, I’ll happily own it.

            But, to those of you who are newly minted chumps, just know that the Karma Bus does eventually come to town. It may take its slow, sweet time getting around to it, but it does come. A person can’t be that morally bankrupt without it eventually catching up with him or her.

          • I heard the same thing, along with “unstable”to describe me.
            “He was seriously concerned for my mental health,”

            So concerned he leaves me for someone 10-20 years younger who he has more in common with. More in common than our 20 years of marriage, a child, and 25 years of memories…

            • brit, the rats all bring out the old ‘unstable’ or ‘mental health’ card. We get it because that is their only escape clause after years of our devotion, love and loyalty and their years of neglect. How else can they justify throwing away their good, decent and supportive wives and destroying their families?

            • Yea heard he was concerned for my mental health…while leaving the children with me and wanting us to be friends and trying to ask me favours. Of course he only has these concerns after I refused to take him back and said no to his ridiculous requests and called him on his shit at every turn. He is actually the one who has mental issues but hey…why face reality…ever?!

        • I wish he was calling it “emotional outbursts!” Hehe!

          He put on his tweed jacket with the leather elbow patches, lit up a cigar and sat in his Dime Store Psychology Center and pondered for awhile.

          His diagnosis was that I was suffering from “bipolar rage.”

          According to his diagnosis, I should have bludgeoned him to death a long time ago!

          When I mentioned this possible error in his diagnosis, he said I watch too much Investigation Discovery.

            • Mine told me I was too angry and, because of the things I said to her after DDay (and the things I called her), we had no chance of reconciling or even being friends. OK. Who needs friends that do that?

              • Of course, though, she brought candy over to my house for me to hand out on Halloween, and wanted to chit chat about whether it was a busy night or not. I thanked her for the candy, but shut down any further bullshit right away.

          • Sometimes mine would come into the room sometimes and I started watching that show where women killed their husbands. I didn’t know he was having an affair at the time. It must have made him nervous.

            • Bwaha – Annie. I used to watch those all the time.
              He used to ask me why I was watching such ‘junk’.
              Well, I think that junk alerted me to danger when it came knocking at my door and, by God, I was prepared for it.
              It could have happened to me once we were in the heat of things and it got very ugly.

              • I would make comments about how stupid the women were for their method of murder, use of a second party, leaving traceable evidence, etc. I would say that even though there’s no perfect crime, they made it too easy to get caught. He doesn’t have anything to worry about though. He’s not worth the effort.

      • The ex used to call anything that resembled a negative reaction to something an “emotional outburst.” Like it was some kind of irrational response.

        Ummm, I’m sorry, but when you find out through some phone text snooping that your husband of 4 years has been having all of the sex with several women–because he is the kind who likes to video it–and you see a sonogram picture sent via text from his co-worker (hooray–the fetal heart rate was 165!), and you ask him to leave your home because you can’t stand the sight of him, that is a perfectly rational response in my opinion…

        In his opinion, I was being a “crazy cunt bitch.”

        We agree to disagree.

  • Oh I lost an awful lot that I now realise was preventable if I hadn’t hing in there and tried and begged so many times for it to stop!! So on that note the first has got to be my dignity. Weight and lots of it. Half of the profit made from my parents inheritance when I was forced to sell the home my children and I loved. The life my parents had wanted for me, happiness with loving people around me. Much much more but hey fuck it!! Onwards and upwards. My lesson to anyone going through that….don’t ever hang around if you have the strength to get out. I promise you all once you discover what’s actually going on it will send you insane postponing the inevitable.
    Love to you all x

  • I regret so much especially giving him chance after chance. I was just a pawn in his game and that’s what hurt the most. I lost so much in that year. I was so focused on him that I lost myself. But with him gone and divorce in sight I see so much clearer. It was a rough road but I’m getting there.

    • Marisa, you totally described how I felt by giving him several chances, “just a pawn in his game.” Yep!!!! But so thankful that I finally woke up, got out, and have never looked back.

  • It took two weeks between my suspicions of an affair and his confirmation. Until the confirmation, I didn’t want to believe and tried to fix whatever it was that we had. Once I got confirmation, I filed and never looked back. I did lose some dignity when he brought his mother over to stay with us for 2 months and I practically erased myself from my children’s lives, my home and my ‘family’ in order to ‘keep the peace’. Worst mistake of the whole ordeal. I should have called the cops on her when she assaulted me in my own home. And then let him figure out living arrangements. Live and learn…

    • Better Alone- I love your name!
      So much truth in it.
      So sorry about all you went through (and the violent in-law, UGH!)
      Sounds like you got smart pretty quickly, though. ?

  • Count me among those who is glad he tried reconciliation. Lost about 10 pounds, countless hours of sleep, and a few thousand extra dollars in her illicit credit card charges, but gained knowledge that I was stronger and capable of far more compassion and forgiveness than I thought. Until I discovered yet another affair, still ongoing. Of course, I only invested in the Ponzi scheme of reconciliation for about 10 days. I don’t see how anyone counterbalances larger losses. STDs, the loss of childbearing years, homelessness, etc.

    They say you shouldn’t invest anything in individual stocks that you’re not prepared to lose. I’d say the same about investing in reconciliation.

  • OK…so Hillary stayed too. Just saying.

    In my case, I knew date 3. We went to an internet cafe and I looked him up online. He was there when I did it. It was meant to be a joke but a whole other wife was discovered as was a protection order. He was so angry. He had reasons to lie….good reasons…he stormed out of the date and stonewalled me for 24 hours. Flipped the script so the next 6 years we talked about “my trust” issues.

    I empathize with everyone who gets mindfucked that way. Every time I see him doing it to my kids, I get sad. Weiner and bill and trump are sociopaths.

  • I didn’t reconcile – She had one chance with me and she blew it, I won’t be second best to anyone and certainly not the cheating fuckwit she hooked up with.

    • Me too. Only took me one D-day.
      Now I totally give that credit to CL & CN which I found within hours of the actual discovery. Would I have reconciled if I had not landed here? Tough to say. I might have because the road to freedom was so perilous that I am not sure I could have done it without the love and support I found here.

      • Congrats!

        It took me two D-Days. The second one was ongoing with the first and that’s when I clearly saw how f*cked up everything is. The first ho-worker even knew about this and was pick-me-dancing with the 2nd. Gross!!!

      • My d-day was 6 weeks ago and its my first. Im 27weeks pregnant with our 4th child and am trying so hard to stay strong but my ‘perfect family bubble’ and future family picture keeps holding me here. He cheated only twice and it was online dating not an affair as such, i know that sounds like im defending him but he is doing everything right which makes my decision harder. The kids pull at my heart strings and ask if we can get back together, too young to know what their father has done at 8,6&4 this makes me want to fall on the sword for them but i know in the long run i need to stay strong for all of us and learn to live in this foreign world

    • mickeyblueeyes, no reconciliation for me, either. Had a 9 day holiday together and three days later got told on the phone enough to know he was dating. We lived in different cities at the time. The next morning more info in an email. A fucking email. Fucking coward. Apologies. I am curiously furious of late!

      There was no mightiness in me at that time. He was just totally moved on and I was meant to deal with it. In truth, however, I was instantly done. And he knew that. I had, in discussions over 22 years, expressed that cheating was the crossing of the Rubicon for me. Everything was instantly clarified. So much light shed on a shady situation that it was blinding.

      In the nanosecond that this was revealed I was struck with the tsunami of waste over those years together. The loss of money (he was expensive), self respect, my friends, my home & contents, my story, my future as I saw it, any chance of a long term/solid/sustaining relationship (I am old!!) and my mind. I miss my mind the most!

      Sorry for the rant. There must be a better way to learn, V

  • I knew who he was, saw behind the mask and could not stop seeing behind it, over 2 years before I finally decided on divorce. I stayed out of obligation until I knew beyond plausible deniability that there was no way to negotiate a relationship with him. I didn’t understand about disordered patterns and didn’t recognize the layers of abuse. I recognized the raging, the overt put downs, the denial of my wants, lack of choices, that was how I was raised. I didn’t understand the deep damage happening to me psychologically during those 2 years I stayed.

    I now wish I had pulled $20K out of my retirement savings, left him with little to no contact and filed through an attorney.

  • For me, I lost about a week. That was a week I could have spent looking for a job, so it does have a cost. I am grateful that my marriage fell apart pretty quick after DDay. If it had dragged itself out, I think I’d be out more money than I already am. I’d likely be stuck with more bills too.

    It was during my second week of drama that I found this site. There was an article in which CL admonished all chumps to lawyer up which led me to read the comments. The horror stories contained within convinced me to stop playing around. I lawyered up that day. While I am still looking for a job, I know things will be ok now.

    Don’t take them back. Don’t waste any more time on them guys! Dump that ass and take care of yourself.

  • I didn’t lose much…because I didn’t stay long enough to do so. From my first suspicion, through D-Day, to leaving her and filing, it took 6 months.

    So, minor and temporary losses:

    –respect from clients when I showed up reeling if bourban to work one morning,

    –respect from friends who from first hint of the affair said to leave my wife

    –a few hundred bucks in a sublet that I rented trying to “make a point” to my wife about what she was taking for granted (i.e. me).

    –time.

    It all happened so fast that these all would have happened anyway. There were three “reconciliations” thrown in those 6 months, but my wife was so terrible at lying and so insistent on having me play whack-a-mole that those reconciliations were short-lived.

    I’m thankful for that now, although at the time I wasn’t.

    • You know, the funny thing about “friends” is that they forget to be friends when it counts. 6 months is NOT a long time to break away from a relationship you are invested in, emotionally and otherwise. People get on their high horse until it happens to them… ask them if they get nosebleeds up there.

  • My biggest regret about staying was that I spent time, energy, and effort, among other things, that I should have spent on my child on Wreckconciliaton with a whore mongering fuck wit.

    Even at the time, I would cringe when I read advice to spend less time and effort on your children, cause that caused the cheating, don’t ya know? Children NEVER cause cheating. Why did I entertain that lunacy for even one second? This is precious time I will never get back as a mother.

  • I lost another year, on top of the already wasted 14. I lost more of my dignity as I thought we were trying to reconcile and he just thought it was fun time to play me and the OW against one another. I lost my sanity there for a few months trying to play marriage police when we didn’t even live together at that point (late night drive bys, email hacking, cyber stalking the OW). I lost money hiring a PI to tell me what I already knew. I lost more of my self worth feeling less than the beautiful OW and he knew it and endured another year of him running hot and cold on me with no rhyme or reason, the passive aggressive put downs, the silent treatments when things weren’t going his way and allowing myself to be degraded and disrespected.

    All of this to just to reinforce what I knew in my heart but didn’t want to acknowledge, he is a selfish, disordered, mean, untrustworthy jerk. I say good luck to the OW, her nightmare is just beginning and mine, thankfully, is over.

    • Beach my story too with PI. They didn’t catch him as the operatives lost him. I already know I want out. So stop wasting money for hard evidence.

    • I’m sorry for your pain. OMG I thought this was a post I had written, it is EXACTLY what was going on in my toxic world. I cant even describe his sick mind. He doesn’t want to reconcile NOW, but he’s keeping me hanging on JUST IN CASE, he’s off on a “solo journey to find himself” but he wants to “walk on the beach with me and cry” cos it always makes us feel better. Wanted me to be polyamory cos he LOVED BOTH OF US. WTF sick shit is THAT? I’ve been no contact for a couple of months. Best thing I’ve done. Divorce halfway through. 25 years down the drain. Done and done. I tried, I really did. But he wants what he wants and doesn’t care how it hurts his family. My therapist says he has ZERO empathy and it’s all about him. NARCISSIST and more, but NO more. We have a 7 month grandson who will never know him. Who discards their entire family like that?

      • Sick disordered people, that’s who. Mine too loves the “poor me” routine and lamenting about HIS pain, HIS suffering, how nothing in his life goes right but just can’t seem to recognize his life is a wreck because of his own selfish entitled self serving actions. They are all cut from the same cloth.

        • Yes, Beach, it’s only ever about them. When my STBXH sent me an email begging to reconcile after the first D-day, after reading it several times, I realized it was all about HIM. That he felt lonely, that he couldn’t sleep, that he was struggling…. in the whole letter, he never even asked me how I was doing or if I was okay. It was so blatantly selfish…but I was in the stage CL mentioned above about feeling like giving the marriage a fair chance to succeed and I was still trama-bonded in love with him at that point, so I ignored the obvious red flags and proceeded with the wreckconciliation. I lost my mind!!!!!

          • Yes. I met in December of2015 after separation to speak to mine. We have two young children. He sits rotating his thumbs telling me how his life is derailed,how he has no control over anything: his job ,his work and least of all me. How he figures we could as well get back together for the children.
            As I sat listening to him, not once did he mention the pain he caused us. Not once did he as how was I doing or the children. It was all him him him. In that moment I said fcuk this shit! I listened and left.

        • Yes! My stbx has totally lost his moral compass. I wonder if his poor character was there all along just lying dormant. We have known each other for 29 years, married for 20. Sad for my children and for my broken dreams. Working on rebuilding

    • Dignity. Shout it louder: DIGNITY. I lost my dignity in enduring his explanation of why he preferred prostitutes to me–“Of course I want to have sex with them. They’re 19 and thin.” And I danced. Thirty pounds worth of dancing and anti-depressants and and high blood pressure—but mostly I danced away my dignity.

  • Much the same as others:
    Lost time
    Self worth/health
    Money

    I had a small window of opportunity where XH felt guilty and would have signed over his share of the farm. I was busy trying to save the marriage and he changed his tune. I spent a year in court but eventually won a decent settlement.

    I have to admit I feel lucky I had a stone cold abandonment cheater. A true sociopath. He left, never looked back and never played me for more ddays. It could have been a lot worse and a lot more expensive. Oh well. I’m free now!

    • Me too SOSG…I had a stone cold abandoner. He never looked back. Not even when I made the ONE attempt and emailed him. His response was a show of concern for his “friend” at work and not me. I had already asked him to leave the night before. He got a hotel near her house the night he left. He didn’t play me, never tried to reconcile.

      Before making him leave, I lost:

      My dignity. I told him that since he was “depressed” he didn’t have to say he loved me. I told him I wanted him to mean it when he said it.

      My sense of security: I saw the beginning of my life as I knew it falling apart.

      I experienced what it’s like for someone to fake loving you.I made the mistake of wanting the person who hurt me to comfort me. He could not even hug me and mean it. It grossed him out and I never want to experience that again.

      After he left, I lost:

      My self esteem. I forgot that I was beautiful and desireable. Well, it came to the front of my mind. He didn’t treat me as if I was.

      I lost a lot of tears. I cried. I mourned for myself. I cried for my son.

      I would say I suffered financially but that was no different than before he left.

      I felt desperate to be coupled and that took a toll on my heart and sanity. I dated men that were not good for me and it set me back in my healing and moving on.

      I may have lost those things but I have gained SO MUCH MORE. I am stronger and persistent. I won in court. He will pay what he owes me. I have a very healthy relationship with my son. I’ve taken a break from dating….because I don’t need to! LOL

      • “I experienced what it’s like for someone to fake loving you.I made the mistake of wanting the person who hurt me to comfort me. He could not even hug me and mean it. It grossed him out and I never want to experience that again.”

        I did this too. That and the hysterical bonding sex were two of the most humiliating experiences of my life.

  • Sigh…I put up with his affair for 3 years. Yes. Three. Years. I lost my dignity. In my small town, he paraded her around and all I gained was pity.

    I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I thought he would “snap out of it.” Honestly I was scared of D Day, he went in full blown psychopath after instead of it just simmering on the surface.

  • My ex is business partners with his brother. His sociopath brother saw the writing on the wall and did a major business restructure during the extra time I stayed. I lost a LOT of money. A VERY great deal of money.

    But even worse than that? My kids had extra damage from spending more time with an NPD father. The differences between my youngest and my oldest are striking. I don’t even care all that much about the money, but I deeply regret what staying did to my kids. I thought I was trying to work it out for the sake of my children. Little did I know that staying was the worst possible thing I could do for them.

    • Elizabeth, you make a great point. People typically say that it’s better for the kids to stay in an intact family. Once I separated from my ex, I noticed that older son actually became more popular at school (his birthday party invitations doubled that year), and, in general, my younger son (who has had less exposure to his moody, NPD ex) is much more carefree than his older brother. People frequently remark on how happy he seems (often laughing and joking around).

  • My chumptitude was huge. BUT I have to say, knowing what I know now v.s. what I knew then, I don’t blame myself for trying. I spent years spackeling, for exactly what, or the reasons for it – I didn’t know. Mid Life Crisis/depression are very passive aggressive, nasty customers for all involved- especially the spouse and children who depend on MLCer. It was about 6 years of up and down before he finally had the (first?) physical affair and left.

    At the first physical BD, when XH had decided to leave his family for “The love of his life, a real woman of caliber” – I had no chance for reconciliation, but I only “pick me danced” for about 3 weeks.

    Pros:
    I wanted to stay with him. I loved him.
    I wanted my gals to have an intact family.
    I have no regrets, I tried my best. Improved a lot and grew.
    It was painful at BD – it would have been just as painful 6 years earlier. Probably messier with child support.
    In that 6 years, his 401K grew HUGE (at the crash, 401K was way lower – house would have been a $150,000 negative balance in those years) – helped me get a new house.

    Cons:
    Wasted 6 years of my life being labeled as a villain to his victim.
    I COULD have had a authentic relationship – with someone new – based on truth (even those hard truths to swallow) – but instead I was fed smoke and lies, lead to believe things were “good”. Psycho.

    This might be sacrilege here, but I don’t think all cheaters are Snidely Whiplash personified – (many are).
    People are mentally/emotionally healthy and unhealthy. XH took a nosedive and face planted in (what I describe as) a mid life crisis. He face planted (we know where) and has his own consequences to deal with based on his actions. His consequences are really just starting…

    I am climbing out of my “divorce consequences” most of them undeserved – but I’m dusting off, and looking around. I think I landed quite well – albeit shaky ground today.

    • I don’t think they’re all Snidely Whiplash. My point is at what cost are you going to gamble on their character/unhappiness/mental health issues improving?

      People with integrity work things through — HARD things. People with crap life skills don’t. To reconcile, both sides have to be fully committed — the cheater even more so. Infidelity means being checked out. They’re already at a “commitment” disadvantage — and entitlement feels great. So what are the odds they’re going to turn that shit around?

      • I could never quite reconcile in my brain his response and follow up actions to my discovery of his cheating. Once I read your book and reference to cheating as a form of “entitlement” it was my light bulb moment. From that moment on, it was like a domino effect for me and I began to see just how one-sided our relationship had been from the beginning. I will always be grateful for that brutal honesty and kick in the butt. Up to that point it felt like I was drowning and no one else understood what I was going through.

      • Little to none – at least with what I see.
        I hope XH can pull his %^&%^ together enough to become a father of substance to our girls that he basically abandoned for OW.

        Today, I gathered pertinent documents: Settled 403B, House/Mortgage appraisal (WOW!) and I hand wrote a document specifically calling out my wishes – if anything should happen to me. I included final health decisions (to my doctor/daughter) and final division of material assets (to my most fair and even tempered one.).

        I added a personal note for them to “not screw this up.” they both know my wishes pretty well.
        Since I have heard nightmare stories about bio kids vs step parents. I included that these directives/desires would remain intact, even in the event of remarriage.

        BOY! It was very satisfying to write that. It put a positive perspective on my day, because I can see it on the horizon as a real possibility.

      • “People with integrity work things through — HARD things. People with crap life skills don’t.”

        My parents had very difficult times when I was a kid, but they stayed together. Because of their example, it really never occurred to me to just check out and leave just because there were problems. Looking back, though, I see that my ex always bailed when the going got rough. My oldest son once said, “When things get hard Dad runs away.” I didn’t really understand that until I looked back on our relationship, though.

        • So true!! The way we were raised..with values and sticking it out the way our parents did, well.. I would never regret that I did to try to salvage my marriage, the worst was getting my daughter (traumatized by abandonment) at the tender age of 14, ready for an infrequent “visit” and me, having fuckwit and his whore make out on our driveway while waiting for me to send her out the door. All that while finding out after a vaca in Hawaii 2 weeks later. oh the humanity?! I spent 3 years rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic until I went no contact. 21 trays of marriage but I’m doing a lot better now! My heart aches for any decent chump out there! God bless this site, I spent 4 years with RCR and she’s posting a pic of him (looking like he will leave again, with their 3 little adopted kids, she, all smiles)…sigh..I wish them well…

    • However, the midlife crisis is a myth. If it is anything, it is people’s poor impulse control and immaturity finally coming home to roost. Character, not crisis due to aging:

      http://www.livescience.com/12930-midlife-crisis-total-myth.html

      I also had a friend describe my X’s affair as an existential crisis–X had achieved career success, financial success, had a lovely family, but thought “is this all there is?” Let me call bullshit on that, too. Hannibal turned out to have been a serial cheater in 2 long-term marriages, and had never been faithful to anyone he dated seriously. “Existential angst” is a great term to bandy about after you’ve had one too many mixed drinks at the bar, but it doesn’t get you off a lifetime of victimizing other people with infidelity and emotional abuse.

      • That’s an opinion piece, not science.

        BUT I agree that, like a short dog’s tail – to chase that subject down spins you in circles and ends up futile anyway.
        Actions are the only thing that really means anything in the end.

      • Whether it’s opinion or proven science, when the entitled, impulsive, selfish cheater asks themselves the question, “is this all there is”, that just confirms their audacious bad character.

        Chumps dont ask themselves that question. The fine line of the two is nobility.

        Cheaters arent noble. They are empty.

        • THIS! Or at least if a Chump asks themselves ‘is that all there is?’, and decides they want more out of life, they try to get that ‘more’ WITHIN their relationship, without betraying and abandoning their romantic partner and the rest of their family. A Chump might change careers, or figure out a way to travel more, or take up a new sport, or make more friends, or even liven up their sex life with their partner. What they will NOT do in response to a MLC is fuck other people, eat cake, and lie about it!

        • ” when the entitled, impulsive, selfish cheater asks themselves the question, “is this all there is”, that just confirms their audacious bad character.”
          Hear hear!

      • I used to me a Midlife Crisis believer but Im not any more. I think those folks have longstanding poor coping and spouses who are amazing spacklers…but at some point the process (even if it functions for decades) decompensates and shit hits critical mass and they look like the have a sudden melt down but in reality its not that sudden.

  • Fifteen years and a chance to put down roots somewhere I wanted to be. We always moved for his jobs. All the while I would start over every time, leaving friends and family behind. His salaries kept going up and mine flattened out. Of course when we finally divorced he had lost yet another job, and so I didn’t even get a decent long term support settlement.

    I wish I could have those years back.

  • Didn’t really get the chance. Mine told me about affair when pushing me for a divorce. I tried about a month to get her to reconsider before I caught her in another lie that took advantage of my chump nature towards her. That day I cut her off completely and shortly thereafter found chump lady. Honestly, saved me and prevented me from reverting back to comfortable which would have been pursuing a dead relationship and emotionally dead person!

  • I lost a lot but maybe not as much as some.

    I know I lost self-respect, time, money, the possibility of more children and just overall happiness. I let him rob me of so much, including all those years of having a relationship with someone who actually loved me and wanted to build a real life with me.

    There were so many clues and red flags telling me that he wasn’t good for me but I pushed forward anyway like a silly, lovesick school girl who didn’t know any better. But I did know better. Especially after the first D-Day. So I accept that I held on way too long. He may have been a wolf in sheep’s clothing but I was the one who kept on pretending he was something he wasn’t. I was the one who had convinced myself that he loved me no matter what. I just wasn’t ready to accept that he never loved me. I wish it hadn’t taken me so many years to realize that fact, but it is what it is.

    The good thing about us Chumps is that not only are we loving and loyal but we are strong and resilient which is why we are all still here pushing through the bad to get to the good. That’s what helps to keep me going every day.

    • D4G, your thoughts echo mine.

      I attempted wreckociliation with my disordered wife for 5 years after D day 1, despite many years of red flags that she lacked empathy and was entitled previous to that. We had a beautiful daughter during this time, while both in our 40s. Our third child.

      Then came D day 2 in March 2016, with revelations about two long term AP. One of of which was and still is current. Admist trickle truth, gaslight, and lies, I did stay in the house for another 5 months hoping for the best. I’m a slow learner.

      My story is still unraveling and I expect that I won’t know the full extent of what I will lose financially, but I am prepared to accept that it may mean starting over at financially at 48. It’s good thing that I love my life’s work.

      Most of all is that I lost my innocence. Which is embarrassing to say at my age. But, I didn’t realize people could be so fucked up and so callously devalue and discard their family and biggest supporters.

      While i have days i get bitter about the loss of investment she represents, i try my damnest to focus on the upsides – finding myself again, my amazing kids and dogs, the beautiful place i live, and my research and teaching students.

      Freedom has its price, and I choose to focus on the rest of my life and all the positives I have been blessed with as much as I can.

      • Perfect description. I still cannot fathom making the choices he has made and treating the people he claimed to love the way he has his wife and children. That disbelief is what kept me around for so long. And I, too, have a third kid as an unexpected result of wreckonciliation. I am choosing to focus on the blessings I have. The losses are just that. Lost.

      • I’m 45 and I totally get what you’re saying about a loss of innocence, Forest. I believed I would be married one time and for the rest of my life. And then he removed his mask. I can’t unsee him and I can’t unknow what I now know about cheaters. And I do not wish it on anyone.

      • I agree the loss of innocence and faith in humanity are the worst for me.
        Quite a few posters said they lost their dignity and self respect. I don’t agree with that. I think fighting for your relationship and being loyal to the end is always dignified. Don’t beat yourselves up with that one, chumps.
        Brienne of Tarth rules. Loyal and brave!

        • Forest, I’m sorry. For all that you’ve been through. But I have to say I’m happy you have your daughter, and all of your kids. I have read so many things on here these last few weeks that feel like they could have been written by me…word for word with feelings, things that happened, actions, “cheater script”. Please do not say you feel embarrassed for your loss of innocence. I think most, if not all, of us here love the way we do because of that. Who thought we’d ever not keep our marriages/relationships and spouses/partners? We meant our vows. We trust. I agree with you and GetMeFree completely…I never even fathomed how incredibly fucked up the person you loved the most can be. I still don’t, and now understand I never will…discarding your “best friend” like a nonchalant piece of shit.
          One of my favorite quotes lately is “Oh sweetie, monsters are real and they look like people”
          But I also wholeheartedly agree with and thank you both for saying you focus on the good you have in your life…it’s hard sometimes when you get swallowed by the “black hole” as I like to call it, but I try to do that everyday. I too, have my beloved dog, and I DO NOT know how I would continue to fight everyday without her, especially given that my parents and brother and his family do not live in the same town as I do. I have my own house now, too, amazingly wonderful family and friends and coworkers. So many beautiful things. I like how GetMeFree says the losses are just that…lost. But like Conniered said…I don’t wish this pain on ANYONE…except my XH and his OW! Whom he is still with. And KiwiChump…thank you for saying that those of us who fought for our relationships after DDay, however futile it was, should not beat ourselves up, because I have done that IMMENSELY, and still continue to do that to myself. I appreciate you saying it’s dignified that our loyalty, in the face of massive shit sandwiches, still never waned. Until it needed to. Brienne of Tarth is the role model for us all! And Arya, feisty little thing that she is 🙂 I wish I had found all of you 18 months ago, but I’m so grateful for you now

    • I could have written this, word for word.

      I cannot believe the amount of sparkling I did for over 20 years.

      And you are right. We are capable of being living and loyal. 🙂

  • I almost lost my job of 28 years. I was one of the idiots who signed up with Ashley Madison with a fake profile to check to see if my cheating hub was on there. I used a dummy email to sign up but when they required a backup email address, I stupidly gave them my work email. It was published and I embarrassed the agency that I work for. I lost the respect of my supervisors. I had to be counseled after years of a perfect work history. I will never get over it. Cheating husband is gone and his reputation is intact, but mine was wrecked.

  • I lost 18, yes, EIGHTEEN, years of my life. The best years of my life…30-48. I was young and attractive. I could have found love again. Now, I’m not sure about that and I’ve given up on the idea. I’ve probably lost my ability to retire with ease, because I spent those 18 years incorrectly assuming that I could count on him to contribute to retirement expenses. I wish with every fiber of my being that I’d just cut my losses at the first D-Day, 3 years into the marriage.

    • I’m in that same category Carol. Married at 32, now 46. I figured those were my best years. I’m hoping that’s not the case. I’m back into shape again. New hair style. Feeling better about myself. Almost finished with my MBA. My retirement plans are shot because of him but I still have time to turn it around I think.

      First D-day was three years in as well.

      • Lots of parallels in our stories D4G and Carol.

        For me it was 9 years in before D-day 1. D-day 2&3 came 5 years later at age 47 for me, 44 for her.

        I too fret a bit about how my retirement is likely not going to be studying monkeys and manatees in Belize. But, you know, that’s okay. I can adjust my expectations – as chumps we excel at that!

        Personally, I am grateful that I probably have time to rebuild financially and I don’t mind the idea of working through my 60s if need be. Better to come to terms with our spouses disorderness now than waste another 5-10-15 years. I feel so sorry for all the chumps that have this baloney served to them on the eve of their planned retirement.

        My kids and I are going to be mentally and physically healthier with her out of our lives for the most part. And, sad to say, that is priceless.

  • I lost whatever dignity I had left. Only lasted 2 whole months – ok fine . . . One month and then one more month just to make it look good for our kid who was devastated all over again. Worst decision of my life. And of course money, Fucktard always got what he thought he was entitled to but that’s ok, I can make more money, he however is eternally marked as an immoral lying cheating bastard – I win!! And by him leaving I truly do mean – I win!

  • Good thread today. I haven’t really thought that much about what I lost. At the time, I couldn’t imagine doing anything but trying to keep the family together. The thought of my kids going through divorce and then having to grow up in two houses was just so repulsive to me that I would and did do just about anything to try to keep that from happening. It took me a long time (three years) and three more DDays to accept that reality. Like so many others in CN, I had to file because she didn’t want to be the “bad guy” (HA!)

    So I guess I lost time that I could have spent recovering from the trauma. I could have been much further along in my recovery sooner. That would have been great for me and my kids.

    But I think, had I filed sooner and not given my ex more time to show her true serial-cheating self, it wouldn’t have worked out as well for me as a father. I doubt I would have kept the family home or been able to get 50/50 custody of my kids. So I paid a price in time and suffering, but think it was probably worth it in the end.

    • “The thought of my kids going through divorce and then having to grow up in two houses was just so repulsive to me that I would and did do just about anything to try to keep that from happening. ” yes, this

      I was convinced that a divorce (especially if he went with that OW) would be the worst thing that could happen on planet earth and I reacted as such.

      It was a LONG time until I realized that living in a bad wreckonciliation was worse.

      Me & Col Greatguy met Twinsdad in DC at the booklaunch…Tempest and Chumptitude to my left and Twinsdad to my right …yes you should be jealous because they were all AWESOME.

  • I lost my kids. In the first three years of our marriage X screwed every “friend ” I had. He is an alcoholic. He sobered up, blamed the cheating on the drinking. 30 plus years later I find out he never stopped cheating when he ran off with our best friends wife. My adult kids watched his devaluation of me and my spackling and learned well. I didn’t just lose a husband, I lost my whole family. Everything I thought was real isn’t. Everyone I loved was just using me. Still can’t wrap my head around this. Feels like a twilight zone episode.

      • Twilight zone indeed. Perfect.

        I still visit there, but less so this week than last week, and less last week than the week previous to to that, and so on…

    • newdaydawning, I do understand your situation completely sadly. I too lost my 2 adult children to the 64 year old ex and his 24 year old prostitute who they have welcomed into the family with open arms. As you say, everyone you loved was just using you. That applies to me as well and I can’t wrap me head around this just like you. Having said that, you have to keep going and learn to be kind, like and also love yourself. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do but I have found peace in my complete abandonment. I had to or I wouldn’t be here today. My very best to you and I hope it gets better and easier for you. (((HUGS)))
      P.S. – If it is of any consolation, there are quite a few betrayed and discarded mums on this site. Cheaters appear to win at most things it seems. I know my ex has and continues to to do. He is covered in teflon
      because nothing sticks.

        • Thanks Maree and Ian. I lost both my parents in my twenties, a sibling and a son later. My family was everything and they knew it. The divorce was a knife to the back, the kids betrayal is a knife to the heart.

          • ndd, I get over mostly everything that has been thrown at me in the last 65 years but my kids betrayal I will never get over. I have learned to accept it and hope one day I will see them again but the damage that has been done I feel may be too great. I hope not but as you say it is a knife to the heart. Just remember this, your kids and mine only have one Mum and we can never be replaced.

        • Ian, thanks for your support. You are a breath of fresh air for us here at CN and you always manage to make me laugh. I think I have said it before to you but your soon to be ex wife doesn’t know what she has thrown away. She will one day but it is now all over red rover / too late. I sincerely hope that one day you will find a true love. A love that will last you for all of your days. 🙂

          • Maree, I too have lost what I thought was my family. He has turned his kids against me and this was my only family. He always called them his social capital and rubbed my nose into the fact that I don’t have any after 9 miscarriages in total. I try to focus on the fact that he fooled me for 9 years when we were living and working together, so unsurprisingly he is fooling every one else. I think of your situation a lot, and your resilience, to give myself a little courage. If you can do it, so can I. You’re an inspiration.

            • kiwichump, I am so very sorry for your miscarriages. One is traumatic enough but 9 is terribly sad for you. You are such a strong woman to have come through all of that and survived. Your ex along with mine will rot in Hell, sooner rather than later and I never wish harm on anybody but there are days when my own mother would be disappointed in me. Also, you are the inspiration not me of that you can be certain. (((HUGS)))

              • Maree, you are just lovely! I believe your children may be fooled by your X now, but that doesn’t mean they will never see through him. I will keep hoping for you and them.

  • Mine’s from a different angle. I’ve had the “joy” of living with the scumbag that is my STBX for 6 months now (as of today), because of stupid state laws. He’s gone from a somewhat detached, but I thought still loving husband, to a raving lunatic. He’s screamed in my face, he’s broken in to my room, he’s rifled through my personal stuff, he’s been showing me zero respect by being on the phone to the OW WHILE THE KIDS AND I ARE STILL AWAKE! He has shown me what an utter piece of shit he is. He has no respect for me what so ever. So, thanks to us having to live under the same roof for 6 months, it’s killed any feelings of love I might have for this man. I have a maximum of 17 more days, before everything is entered in to court. I. Cannot. Wait. I am so, so, SO tired. But at the same time, thankful that the asshole helped kill any feeling of love and respect I might have towards him. I know, there will NEVER be a wreckonciliation.

    • I’m sorry, CrazyDogLady. Living with the fucktard who has gone further bat-shit crazy cannot be good for one’s mental health. I’m glad there is at least a finite limit on how long you have to tolerate him, and as you say, there’s no ambiguity about who he is now.

    • CDL,

      If I ruled the world this would be one of the first things I’d change – any law that requires you to live under the same roof with a cheating fuckwit for one moment longer than you want to, would be stricken from the books. SUCH a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea! I’m glad you’re almost to the end. Keep on being mighty!

  • I didn’t reconcile after DD#1. We were in a “trial” separation but really, it was more access to cake. I didn’t know he was cheating during this time (he’d been cheating well over a year), and he lied in therapy and to everybody. Once I discovered the truth and that he’d taken his gross AP into our home, that was it. Done. However, I did need the police to take his drunk ass away when I told him the marriage was done.

    I lost myself being married to him. He was rarely home, obsessed with work and himself. He was not a supportive, caring husband. He used my vulnerabilities against me and made them worse. My mental and physical health was declining when I was with him. He became more cruel when he knew cake was over and he showed his true colours. It was a tough go afterwards trying to protect my daughter from him.

    Now my physical and mental health have improved dramatically. I find myself enjoying a quiet life and a healthy home. As others have said here, I find I’m a better Mother, friend and person now that he’s gone and I don’t have to deal with his mindfuck games. Honestly, had I stayed I think I would have ended up very sick. I’m so glad he’s gone.

  • Oh boy where do I begin? Half of my retirement savings because he conned me out of it during wreckonciliation. Almost my sanity as the verbal mental and emotional abuse escalated. My peace of mind. My happiness although I wasn’t really happy before the affair I just spackled really well. He went into a long discard and I paid his way…ugghh they really suck but hey I got a trip to New York and a fake second wedding out of it!

  • I so wish I had found this site before putting myself through a year of absolute hell. I think I can win the chump of the year award. Here is my wreckoncillation story…

    My husband and I got married in 2014 after being together for over 7 years and living together 5 years. Four months after our wedding unbeknownst to me he started to have a physical/emotional affair with some else behind my back. Husband would tell me he was working late or going to the gym when he really was going to the AP’s apartment. It took five months before I became suspicious and went on his laptop and found all the emails, photos and proof of what had been going on. I confronted him and he promised me that he would stop all this and we started marriage counseling. We made some agreements on temporary transparency and things were OK and slowly improving (or so I thought) for three months and then he started seeing the AP once again behind my back. Nearly a month later it came out and I was so pissed I told him to go live with the AP. He did and then proceeded to get his own apartment.

    To say I was devastated is the understatement of the year. It was the most horrible, debilitating emotional pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. Our friends and families were shocked and dismayed at this revelation and couldn’t believe what was happening as everyone saw how much love we had between us. Everyone saw us as the perfect couple, as we got along so well and had so much in common and love many of the same things. I was just as shocked as everyone else.

    Because I loved him so much I decided to continue working on the marriage even though we were living separately. We continued in marriage counseling however he absolutely refused to stop seeing the AP and decided he now wanted a polyamorous relationship where he would see me three days a week and see his AP three days a week. Our marriage counselor convinced me to play along, that the AP would go away in time. Neither AP nor I was happy about this and the AP asked my husband on more than one occasion to leave me for him, as I also was asking him to stop seeing the AP. Husband always refused us both, he wanted his cake and to eat it to. We had to do things like split up the holidays and alternate weekend days, it was absolutely horrible. But I wanted to give it a year because I made a vow to him and even though he broke his, I wasn’t going to do the same, at least temporarily.

    Early in 2016 things really did start looking up for us. Husband an I were vacationing together again. His AP was absolutely furious that we were traveling together, we’re only married after all. In May of this year the AP gave my husband and ultimatum and dumped him. We continued working for two months more on our marriage but one year after he left home he still refused to come back home and live together. He was so depressed after losing the AP. I had enough and our divorce is clearly going to be messy. He is back with the AP now. Never again will I put myself through this.

    • This is a story/scenario that will not bode well for your cheater. During the affair he also played the OW, pissed her off and made her miserable on many occasions no doubt. While at times you may not have had a clue and were blissfully ignorant, she was well aware of the situation. At all times. He went home to you, spent holidays with you and that must have eaten her up. Yup, she’ll hang in there while the divorce goes through and may even end up married to him. But……OW will not have purged the resentment she had for him while he was acting/playing husband to you and making her feel like second best, like the whore she actually is, so that will fester, big time. Remember, this OW already had issues to pursue a married man and take a back seat to you and his nonsense. I’m guessing she is at best a borderline. So she is going to make his life hell, count on it. Won’t even go into how other family/friends/acquaintances will shun them. So your STBX will suffer, count on it. In any case good riddance to bad garbage.

      • Thank you all for your responses. As for reporting the marriage counselor he claimed he was “poly friendly” and had counseled many married couples through their transition to polyamorous marriages. So I don’t think he did anything “reportedly” wrong per se, and he did think we were going to make it through this. However I would never go through that nonsense again, polyamory one-sided or otherwise is not what I want in a marriage.

        KB22-You are so right. My husband told me that his AP was so nervous when my husband was with me that there were times that she picked at her toenails so hard that they would come off. I’m not exaggerating or making that up, that came out in marriage counseling. My husband said “I hate when she does that”. Really, imagine that? The AP had never had a serious relationship before and she is in her 30’s. She is also $100,000 in student loan and credit card debt compared to us having no debt except for a mortgage. It really makes no sense what so ever to me or anyone else.

        His mother and sister called me every week to make sure I was OK and to tell me how much they loved me and are so hoping he comes to his senses and comes home. Now that we are getting a divorce he has lost all of our closest mutual friends, some of these friends were his friends long before we met, since he was a teenager. They have all sided with me and we remain friends today. They all have unfriended him on Facebook to show their alliance to me and their disgust with how he made a complete mockery of the institution of marriage. Starting the affair four months after we had a huge wedding. We do have some Switzerland friends, but these were not long-term friends.

        I will cherish the wonderful memories of the many good years we had, but boy the pain of the bad couple of years was so intense that I don’t ever want to experience that again. I have little doubt that I will move on and love again someday with someone who deserves my love.

        • A truly ‘poly-friendly’ counsellor would KNOW something about poly-amory, including that is MUST be based on trust and mutuality. It cannot be something that a partner who wants to be monogamous accepts so as not to lose an already-lying-and-cheating partner.

          Counselling a couple who BOTH want to try poly-amory is a very different kettle of fish than helping a liar abuse his partner. THAT’s the unethical part of what the counsellor did with you. And don’t forget that while some couple’s counsellors are just clueless about infidelity and betrayal, others are cheaters or cheater-apologists themselves.

        • BHU, you are so well rid of your cheater. What a weak, pathetic man. And the OW! OMG, what a nutcase! Picked her toenails off??! Yuck. Totally bizarre. So yes, I would imagine their “relationship” should become rather interesting, if not amusing. Your idiot ex more than likely loved the full on, crazy/obsessed attention he received from OW but that will grow very old very quick. So hope that they do last for some time and know there is only misery in that relationship. You now have the chance to move on, meet someone wonderful (if you choose) and have a great life. I know that within two years you’ll look back and breathe a sigh of relief that this marriage ended.

        • BHU your cheating husband and the MC bullied bullied you into putting up with a menage a trois you didn’t want and had not signed up for when you got married. I am sorry those two ganged up on you. Glad you sound confident that things will get better and you will find real love. You are mighty.

        • 1. That is a flamingly fucked up counselor. Please report the emotional abuse to whatever licensing agencies she/he reports to.

          2. Polyamory is not a relational architecture that is decided post hoc discovery of an affair. Any form of ethical non-monogamy is decided prior to the inclusion of other partners or at the outset of the relationship. Breaking an agreement of a monogamous relationship without the consent of both parties is cheating. Breaking the agreements of any relational architecture is cheating. Yes, there are polyamorous and swinging cheaters. Cheating is about lying, betrayal, and control. Its not about multiple partners.

          What a massive douche.

  • I didn’t reconcile after D-day because I felt I had put up with enough shit already to last 3 lifetimes. Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, though, I think I needed my children’s approval to file, given how much divorce was going to disrupt their lives. One daughter came around as soon as she found out that Hannibal had screwed a student decades younger than himself & cut off all contact with him. Oldest daughter watched from afar as things played out, and fielded some teary phone calls from me, before saying, “Mom, he lied to you for 8 years,” and then “Just file already, Mom.”

    However, I did stay after several episodes of key emotional abuse. The worst episode (which also counts as physical abuse) was the day after daughter #2 was born. He convinced me to come home from the hospital a day early because he was sick of watching daughter #1 by himself. He then harangued me to the point of hysteria that I needed to go into the icy cold basement (middle of a snowstorm) to clean up toys from daughter #1 from before I went into labor. The twist was that I had had an episiotomy, was not supposed to use stairs for 2 weeks, and no one was going to be in that cold basement anyway. That was my turning point–I hated him at that moment and never recovered my love for him in the same way, nor did I ever feel emotionally safe with him again.

    In hindsight, I realize he knew with a second child, Hannibal was about to lose more narc supply and thus ramped up his power play to compensate.

    Staying those extra years gave me more financial security when I finally did divorce him, but cost me a good deal of mental health from the extra emotional abuse.

      • No, I told that story for the first time on CL (in the forums) about a year ago. It was my secret for 14 years.

        Like the vast majority of us here, I hid the abuse to keep the marriage together, ‘for the children.’ I’ve come to hate that phrase, and am now adamantly opposed to people thinking it is beneficial to children to stay together when one partner is emotionally abusive. It didn’t help me & my siblings that my mother stayed with my narc father, and it wasn’t beneficial to my children to see how he treated people.

        • Oh, Tempest, it’s taken me a long time to understand what emotional abuse is and that victims hide it to protect the family, and the abuser. They are also embarrassed it is happening to them. I am so sorry. When we start talking to other people we get feedback on what is acceptable or totally beyond the pale. Guess you learned from your mother to tolerate high levels of emotional abuse when you were a kid.
          Thank Goodness Tracy started this blog. Having so much open and mature discussions with other chumps really fast tracked understanding for me.

  • The first thing that came to my mind as I read this wasn’t what I lost – but what my stepson lost because I stayed.

    He was 12 when he came to live with us. He wanted to be with his Dad (and his Mom definitely had some mental health issues). And, instead of finding a loving and supporting person, he got to witness first-hand his father’s duplicity. His mother told him about me… “you don’t need to listen to her -she isn’t your MOM”… while I was the daily caregiver – laundry doer, sports mom, grocery shopper, pick out his senior ring and portraits, clothes buyer… while she paid ZERO in child support for him and couldn’t even send him a card on his birthday. But, he was taught to disregard me by her and eventually by Mr. Sparkles. I can only imagine what conflict that created in him and how it made it WANT for his Dad even more. (You could argue that even back then, I was the only sane “parent”.)

    Compound that with his Dad… ah, Mr. Sparkles… the guy who divorced his Mom, but was going to visit them in another state every month – didn’t last. The guy who was going build a car with his son when he reached 16… didn’t happen (I had to sign him up for driving lessons!)… the guy who was going to take him camping and to paintball battles and hiking, and only went to paintball once… the guy who didn’t teach his son about applying yourself to your studies and working to learn how to manage money (and suggested to him that I had no opinion to offer even though I was the only one who had gone to a four year college and owned their own home!)… the guy who laid down no rules about underage drinking (while I had to take off work to go to court with my stepson). The guy… who made his son complicit in his cheating.

    You see, I travel a fair amount for work. My first d-day was in 2008. My stepson came to live with us shortly thereafter and became the excuse for why Mr. Sparkles couldn’t take weekends away with me… why we couldn’t take family vacations (because my stepson was conflicted)… and when I was on business trips… he would leave our young son in the care of my stepson so he could go out on dates and to bars and wherever (I would later learn).

    To quote my stepson as they were moving out in 2014 (a day to which the kids were given 3 days notice by Mr. Sparkles)… “I knew he was doing something wrong when he didn’t come home until 2 or 3 in the morning, ICSTMC, I just didn’t know how to tell you.” My heart broke for losing my marriage and family, no doubt… but my heart broke even more in that moment for this poor lost boy.

    Now, my stepson (21), is a casualty of this disordered fuckwit. He moved back home with his Mom because Dad basically abandoned to chase after the OW full-time. And, now he’s struggling at community college (when he should’ve been at a 4-year on a scholarship)… he’s using drugs and hanging with kids who own guns… and he’s lost. He’s lost and Mr. Sparkles is still on the hunt for the next victim and doesn’t give a shit “He’s an adult now. He can make his own choices.”

    I know I’ll be ok. I know I’m the sane parent to my son. But the damage wrought on my stepchildren – especially my stepson, I don’t know if it would have been better or worse for him if I had left after the first D-day… but I do know it is hard to watch someone you love be in pain because of selfish, fucked up parents.

    • I wonder how my former stepson is doing. My ex announced that she was leaving me and then got up early the next day and took her 15 year-old son out of state to see his dad. She was completely moved out by the time he came back and I haven’t seen or heard from him since.

      He’d already had a stepdad before me. I loved being a mentor to him and wonder if I mattered to him and if I had any effect on his life. I wonder if my ex even took him into account when deciding to destroy our family. When she and I would argue, he’d encourage her to settle down because he didn’t want to move again.

      Losing step children isn’t a added level of suck in this whole ordeal.

      • Of COURSE you will be fondly remembered by that kid, as the sane parent. He’ll find you to let you know one day, too.
        And you know you were a good dad. That is gold.

  • Too much.

    I was strong, booted him out the very day of D Day (lucky we were still a couple months from the wedding, no kids). Then my life took a bad turn six months later and of course he was there, all sparkle and charm, to pick me back up and hand me the hopium pipe.

    Cue one week later, I bring up the affair and we find ourselves standing in a street where he’s screaming that I’m a slut that isn’t worth love. He never loved me and nobody else will bother to either. Why should they, I’m only good to fuck and forget?

    In short, I set my healing back not by six months, but probably by a lot of therapy, crying jags and I’m hoping not too many years.

  • My story matches many of those above – several years of making it work against what I’m pretty sure was “sporatic” serial cheating. Always taking him back because he was sorry and loved me, and I fell for excuses like depression and addiction issues, but after awhile, the excuses were that I “couldn’t let go of the past” and he “just wanted peace” – hard to let go of the past and be at peace, when the past keeps becoming the new present.
    What did I lose? 8 years of my life. I gained a house I never would have afforded on my own but can probably now keep, and I’m hoping (still negotiating) I don’t lose much more money aside from what I spent on gas, software, GPS subscriptions and a PI, playing marriage police for the last 7 years. I did enjoy our time together and I’m missing the company as he just moved out 3 weeks ago, but the biggest loss during that 8 years was my fertility and the chance to be a mom. We tried, but I think the stress was just too much – and God’s will – He knew better than to bring a baby into that toxicity.

      • SureChumpedaLot reminded me – I’ve lost my passion for life too, now and then…. Yes, I have a positive outlook because I’m strong and I know it, I have a sense of humour, and I’ve been here before. and because this has gotten old and I’m ready for better times ahead. But then I get depressed – in spurts – and lose my desire to do things that I used to enjoy. It comes and goes and I know from experience it will get better. but it sucks at this age going through this again/ still.

  • I was one of those frozen chumps at DD#1, so honestly it wasn’t really reconciliation. Although, fast forward 5 years to a couple of reconciliations prior to DD#2 – when XH said he needed space/time and moved out – yadda yadda yadda – and then came back.

    What I lost in that time of inertia was the opportunity to have my own biological kids.

    At DD#1, I really believed I was old, fat and unattractive and wouldn’t be able to find someone. I was in my early 30’s! By DD#2, what I lost was a lot of myself and 90% of my self esteem.

  • Time. How much time depends on how you define DDay. DDay minor #1 and #2 cost me 20 years. The real DDay major cost me 24 hours. But the result of the lies was a full 30 years of simply not knowing. One thing I did not lose was ME. Someone once tried to insult me on a different blog by called me a Shit Kicker From Virginia … ha ha … I own that name baby and proud of it.

    • Can I just say that adding (The Demure) to your moniker amuses me greatly! (having seen your posts on here for months, let’s just say that the nickname from the other blog probably suits you more, and I mean that as a compliment!)

  • I truly lost me. Even though I did love my ex husband once, I can honestly say that I stayed way too long because of my children but I became a complete nonentity in my children eyes as well as the ex. Sadly I think I actually taught them to use me as a door mat because I acted like one. From a vivacious, happy go lucky and attractive young woman who once was never without a smile on her face I became a shell of that young woman. I am now me once again albeit a sadder version of my younger self.

    • You are still so beautiful. I am always hoping that happiness catches up with you sooner rather than later.

    • Maree-

      I empathize with “truly lost me”. I posted just below on that exact.

      I wish you could see what we all see. Your words speak your beauty over and over and over.

      That vivacious, happy go lucky, attractive and smiley gal is still there. It just hasn’t seen the daylight in quite some time.

      Just remember that your “shell” isn’t made of titanium, it’s only made of a durable but yet extremely fragile eggshell.

      Time to get cracking doll. 🙂

      • SCA, I humbly accept and appreciate your kind, kind words. This site together with every wonderful Chump here has kept me afloat when I thought I was drowning with nowhere to turn. I have read your post below and it brought tears to my eyes. I really hope you are doing well and finding the peace of mind so many of us were robbed of. ((HUGS))

        • Thanks Maree, you are sweet. I can honestly tell you with every genuine cell in my body that I am doing absolutely fantastic! Thanks for asking.

          My “peace of mind” allows me to share the depths of my experience to all of CN with zero triggers.

          But I have to ask you….did you accidentally misspell peace/piece in “peace of mind”? If not, you are brilliant. If so, you are brilliant. I’m stealing that one from you Maree!

          • Maree, well I learned something today. You taught me the correct way on how to spell “peace of mind”.

            For whatever reason I always thought it was spelled “piece of mind”. Damn Chicago Public Schools!

            Well anyways, I still think you are brilliant!

            • The homonym portion of my brain must of been effected by all that leaded paint I ate as a child in Chicago Public Schools. 🙂

    • IHH, you never lost your dignity and self respect, your ex did. You are a class act and don’t you ever forget it. 🙂

  • I just couldn’t put the bullet in the thing I loved the most, which was our family. It all happened so suddenly and was such a shock to me, it took awhile for me to adjust to the new reality. I had to prove to myself there was nothing I could do to save the sinking ship. It was gut wrenching, but I believe I needed that time to come to grips with what was happening. My self esteem was pretty much destroyed by then, but had been on life support for years. I’m not sorry I stayed those few months, but once he pulled the trigger I went NC and moved out. NC saved my life. If he’d been honest about being involved with his married coworker, it would have been much more clear. It took me awhile to discover the depths of their involvement.

    • Lyn-

      “nothing I could do to save the sinking ship”

      -Little we knew then, that the hole in the ship was put there intentionally from a malicious and cruel wannabe captain, endangering the lives of all on that ship.

      #timetowalktheplank”el-capitan”

  • In five months of reconciliation I lost a lot of sleep, my naivety, my faith in humanity and all respect for the man I had loved for 20 years. As painful as that was I’d do it again because I gained a lot of knowledge, some clarity and saw real proof that he didn’t give a shit about me. I needed that kick in the pants to wake up and move forward without him.

    • “In five months of reconciliation I lost a lot of sleep, my naivety, my faith in humanity and all respect for the man I had loved for 20 years.”

      The same for me, Disillusioned. All of it: 5 month reconciliation, 20 year relationship, loss of sleep, naivety and respect for the man I was married to.

  • Tracy asks….“At what cost did you stay?”

    What cost me the most by staying was not becoming who *I thought* I was meant to be….

    It also cost me:

    My trust. I was not meant to think that I would have to experience more than one DDay.

    My integrity. I was not meant to be the Marriage Gestapo thereafter wrecko.

    My sanity. I was not meant to Google, “water boarding” in thinking this was the only way to get the truth from her on subsequent affairs.

    My inner-strength. I was not meant to be frail on the inside all the while portraying a Teflon exterior.

    My emotional well-being. I was not meant to be sitting in an empty parking lot, sobbing uncontrollably frequently.

    My self-worth & confidence. I was not meant to be talking to anyone that would listen, “What is wrong with me?”

    My passion for life. I was not meant to be having thoughts about the most honorable way to leave this earth.

    My dream of a loving wife with an intact family. I was not meant to be living a life of an illusion.

    My story ends well though, as I have been blessed to have become who I *truly* was meant to be, A Dad that is grateful to have gained the life that he and his 3 little birds so deserved, it now just doesn’t include a cheater.

    • What a heartfelt post, that captures so well what we all lived through in the days/weeks/years after D-day.

      (Looking up “waterboarding” to tease the truth out of cheater, though, did give me a chuckle.)

      • My current sanity allows me to also chuckle at this Tempest.

        This was a long time ago and I do remember when I googled it, I actually went into “dream-mode” and replayed how my stbxw (at that time) was being strapped down on a water logged, termite infested and rotting table, with nothing but drip, drip, drip, drip, drip right between her lying eyes. One can wish right?

        • If I’m honest, it appeals to me now! I’d love to strap Hannibal to a termite infested table and drip water between his eyes until he cried for mercy and told me the answers to all my questions about gradwhore, and when he started his affair with last AP/now current GF. Oh, the fun we can have!

  • I potentially lost my reputation on a background check. Schmoopie liked competing, but only when the competition didn’t know. Once I found out, I exposed them to everyone. She filed an injunction against harassment against me (no biggie), but he filed an Order of Protection. That one will stay with me forever when I apply for a job. I couldn’t do a damn thing about it because if I lost, it would be a criminal charge, instead of civil. His allegations like: I yelled at him in front of our neighbors when he had me served with divorce papers and then threw the papers at him (all 2 un-crumpeled sheets) were laughable. I cannot imagine what a wienie he appeared to be in front of a female judge.

    Oh well. I’ll just explain that he was in an affair did this at the urging of his demented affair partner, if ever asked.

  • I can see I am one of the ‘lucky’ ones that found CL fairly early on after DDay 3. I still spent a few weeks wading through the reconciliation sites and ordering books and paying for online resources but my growing frustration and anger and refusal to consider ‘forgiving’ ‘listening without anger’ and to consider ‘what issues I brought to his cheating’ meant that CL became the ONLY site I read. Here I learned from all the stories and paid attention. So huge thanks to all who ever had the guts, honesty and selfless impulse to post their stories to help other chumps because for me it means that I have not lost anything in reconciling because it wasn’t a thing I ever seriously considered.

    I lost the what might have beens from before I discovered the cheating but nothing to reconciliation. (Filed after 3 months).

    So this site makes a real and tangible difference to lives. To my life. I come back to this site loads of times still to set me right every time I have a panic or wobble or panic attack or worries about kids or money or revenge fantasies.

    Hopefully the more success this site has the more a critical mass of opinion can be created and the RIC can be toppled because I believe they do real damage to real people who are already under attack from personality disordered crapheads.
    Society needs to change its approach to cheating and cheaters.
    (Where did that soapbox come from…..?).

    CL was the only site that said it like it felt.
    So no reconciliation loss here (just the general losses that go with cheating) thanks to all who came before.

    Literally thanks for saving me from what many of you went through. It means such a lot to me and my three boys. Nice to know that although there are cheaters and crapheads about there are also others who will help you navigate through the dark days and be with you every step of the journey.
    I’m going to need a tissue soon……cue violins…
    Just hard to say how much this site means to new chumps.

    • Welcome, and thanks. We really like you too! Thanks for adding your unique voice to the mighty Chump Nation.

  • I had always wondered if my husband was faithful during our 33 years of marriage. But I ignored those feelings and on a certain level things were okay. But when I discovered another woman and then looked at his computer and discovered others, I was devastated. I immediately said we would have to separate. Where I think I hurt myself further was that we did separate, but I let him call me, email and drop in and he talked about his other women. He also told me stories of women over the years. And for some reason I don’t understand, I let him! I let this go on for three years. I was functioning on the surface, but underneath, was a total mess. Then one day he bragged he was sleeping with 3 women at the same time and something inside finally cracked and I told him he was a disgusting human being and I went NC. It was about a month later that I discovered Chump Lady. So, that was over 2 years ago and my inner healing could finally begin. I expect this destructive “relationship” we had after D day is like what happens when people decide to reconcile. There is nothing positive to build on and only more hurt piled on. Now after 2 years of NC and with some counselling and friend support (and a divorce), I can see everything clearly and just shake my head at how I could have ever listened to someone who is so sick. I read once that when you deal with a narcissist, some very abnormal behaviours become normal. I think that happened. But now I see what is normal and healthy and will never ever let myself be around someone like that again. Thank you to Chump Lady for helping us all get clear on what normal and healthy really is.

  • My fiance cheated on me during our engagement back in 1980. I was 22 then and bought his line about how “if I were only a little more educated (OW had a master’s degree, I didn’t) and a little better at blow jobs”, then he might have not strayed.

    It was the intervention of his mother that ended the affair and allowed our wedding to continue. I couldn’t face the public and family humiliation of dumping the asshole. I remember walking down the aisle at my wedding and thinking how much I loathed him, and how some day I would get “my own back”. What an attitude!

    The mindfuck was so subtle through the 29 years we were married. MIL used the “I saved your marriage” leverage to get what she wanted, and that was control of our life. My husband the “you’d better be good enough” over my head at every turn of our life. Funny how I just saw them as “strong people” rather than the abusers they were. Any time I pushed back and demanded our nuclear family take precedence, I was ostracized by the outlaw clan until I pulled back on themstraight and narrow.

    My heart aches for the young people who now may be in similar situations to mine. My own mother used to implore me to leave the marriage, but I thought she was just jealous of the affluence the marriage brought me. Bless her, I wish she were still alive to,see I finally saw the light.

    Thankfully when I did decide to leave, I patiently planned my exit. I saved my money in separate accounts, thought long and hard about a separate life, so that when multiple d-days happened, I focussed on my future and on the fact I had a plan that was slowly falling into place. I let him get on with his ego trips, watched the inlaws die, and then made my graceful exit. I took nothing of their affluence, it all goes to my kids, but at least I am FREE.

    The price of reconciliation is a slow grinding mistrust that will eat you alive unless you cut free.

    • can’t believe you married him but you were young and I probably would have too. Mine screwed around 3 weeks after proposing to me, and I stayed another 3 years.

  • By him feigning reconciliation, I got more of his drama, more fake tears, more bullshit from him, and then an even worse discard because my hopes had been so high for this to work. I wished I had found this column and kicked him out on D-day. Instead I read those sites of how to save your marriage. In tears, I told him, “I spent 50 dollars on a book to save our marriage” and he said, “Well, at least I’m worth THAT much!” In hindsight, he wasn’t worth that much.

    By doing the pick-me dance, and by reconciling, I’m that much further behind in my life financially … but from the knowledge I gained about him during that time, I have a stronger hold on what I want, and it ain’t him!!!

  • First Dday. I found out he was cheating shortly after we married nd I moved to Germany with him in 1993 with my 3-year-old son. Xhole lied, said there was not a affair. His family lied, even though my sister-in-law was the one to break the news to me, they told me she was crazy and I hated her for years afterwards because I thought she made it up.

    Second Dday. Bimbo shows up at my door drunk to claim her prize, I let Xhole again convince me she was crazy and that nothing had happened. I begged him to just tell me the truth. He said, “Get over it, or get over me.”

    1999I finally decided to leave after his crazy behavior and abuse was escalating and turning towards my oldest son. I asked him to leave, went to the JAG office (I worked for the DoD and was still in Germany with no friends or family for support) and thought I was finally free from his abuse, but he went to a clinic for anger management for a month. I let his friends, family and even the therapist talk me into letting him back in. He was different, he wanted to be my friend. He begged me to talk to him. He promised things would be better. It was less than a year before the abuse slowly started again. But still I tried.

    In 2004 I was offered a job back in the states. I knew that would give me the opportunity to take over the finances, and have a support system back in the states in case he got too abusive again. We all moved to Texas. It didn’t take long for the abuse to get worse.

    I did find help at the local church. We started counseling again. The abuse came to a head in 2008 between him and my oldest son. I had asked him to leave two more times, but he would come back, without permission. He changed his bank accounts to withhold what money he did provide. The elders at church believed his stories that my teenage son was the problem.

    One MC kept giving me hope to keep trying, knock his socks off in bed, he said, try to ward off the crazy episodes and abuse by changing my behavior. I prayed, I tried. I felt like I wanted to just die already so I would have piece again.

    There are too many episodes and reconciliations to touch on them all but in 2010, I thought we had finally got our marriage together. He was nice to me again and seemed to enjoy our marriage. Less than a year it last until the chaos started again. He hated me. Wouldn’t tell me he loved me. Yelled at me for no reason.

    Third Dday (that I know of but I am sure there were more), right before thanksgiving, and our 20th wedding anniversary, he decided to go on a cruise with his old girlfriend. I finally just couldn’t take anymore. But after so long and so much abuse it would be three more years until I filed for divorce.

    I wished I had left the first DDay. I should have not let him back in 1999. The divorce wasn’t final until 2015. So many wasted years, but really, my only regret is that the kids had to suffer so much. We could have had a life of peace and love without him. But I thought, was told by everyone to keep trying, I had to keep the family together. It was all a crock.

    • Wow, Max, you lived a life like I did, just dealing with the stream of abuse and control, being demeaned and spackling it all. This is why, post divorce, I fiercely guard my independence as all of should have fom the start. You still have good years ahead of you, as do I, and we would be well advised to see each day as reason to celebrate our freedom. It’s not wasted time, you raised a family and hopefully those kids are still nearby for you to love and celebrate with.

      • Marci,
        I am very happy to be out and survived. Now I am still dealing with the trauma and PTSD. The kids know the truth, but I will always feel guilty that I didn’t get out sooner and give them a saner home life. Sorry you went throught the same thing. It is amazing that there are so many of us out there.

        And about the independence, wow, I could never go back to not having my independence. I am in a relationship now, but I make it very clear how I need my independence and do not have the capicity to live like that again.

  • I didn’t “reconcile” because Jackass took the discard option. But during the period between the beginning of the discard and D-Day, I was doing all the things we all do to save a relationship, up to and including waiting around for calls and texts that never came. What I was afraid I would lose was my sanity, because the gaslighting was so severe and the discard so abrupt that even my very sharp therapist said, “Give him time.” So for me, D-Day was true liberation. I knew what was going on. Things made sense again. And while I was reeling emotionally and in a lot of pain, I didn’t feel crazy or disoriented.

    So what I lost in the deal was time and a little money. But staying might have cost me a great deal as the “crazy” that I felt impacted my health and my work. And that was only for 3-4 months. I can’t imagine living like that for years.

    • LAJ, I felt crazy in the end too. My ex was saying such contradictory things it made my head want to explode. At time he was hugging me and and saying he loved me, then a little bit later telling me he wanted a divorce. Next, he’d say our marriage wasn’t hopeless, but he’d give no concrete steps to work on it. He refused to go to marriage counseling. Now that I’ve been out of the relationship for 4 years, I realize he left me many years before in his mind.

      • Mine was talking reconciliation to me while trying to convince her to sell her our and buy me out, move down to the city to live with him, asking what she wanted for her upcoming birthday, discussing his annual vacation next May and that she’d be going with him…and ending each conversation with “love you too…” Talk about mind games.

  • I powered on through the first affair! I was 30 years old, we had just moved across the country, we had a three and four year old, and no money. We put everything we had into a new business. My Dday was stunning! The husband of his new, young employee showed up at our new home, pulled him out the front door and beat the shit out of him in the grass with the children and I looking on in disbelief. The employe’s Hubbie finished him off with throwing him back on the ground and HOLLERING (by now we have amassed a group of neighborhood children) “if you ever touch my wife again, I will kill you!!”
    Thirty years later I had another Dday which was equally as stunning.
    He lived a complete secret and second life.
    I threw him out immediately and filed for divorce. The question is what did you lose by reconciling…
    Let me count the ways!
    My entire life was a sham.
    I could have perhaps loved and married another who would have authentically loved me.
    I spent my entire life taking care of a “man” who simply used me.
    I lost me…in the end, I look back and realize my needs were non existent.
    I am 70 years old and find myself recreating a new life. I am trying to work through an amazing amount of information and emotions.
    I cannot state strongly enough to those of you who are struggling with reconciling….these people are “not right!” Please do not waste your entire life, as I did. They do not change…once they have crossed that boundary, it so easy for them to go there again.

    • Blown away, that’s a pretty stunning way to find out your husband is having an affair! Hugs to you. Now you’re free and you can live the rest of your life in peace.

    • Blown away I was stunned by your post. Not because of the story – the deceit, the abuse, the trauma or the depths of pain you must be experiencing. I am stunned by your courage. I am stunned by the poise that your post demonstrates. I am stunned by the capacity of those that love and trust to suffer the worst and then write

      “I am 70 years old and find myself recreating a new life. I am trying to work through an amazing amount of information and emotions”

      And then give advice to others.

      You are inspiring and courageous. Now I bet you can take all that kindness and goodness and effort that you have put into others over the years and pour it all into yourself. I am truly sorry for what you have been through but I remember CL saying that there is no shame in loving and trusting with your whole heart – it’s just that now it has to be your turn to receive all that love.
      Good luck and let us know how it goes. I’m just divorcing and I felt it was the end of the world at 50. You make me a bit ashamed now ! If you can be this determined and brace at 70 then I can bloody well do the same.
      Big hugs to you.

    • I am sorry for the pain he caused you, Blown Away. You are mighty.

      But I must admit I got a little bit aroused imagining that cheating asshole of yours get his ass beat by the AP’s husband.

    • Blown Away,

      Your post absolutely breaks my heart. You are good and kind to offer your advice to the younger chumps and I pray that they will take heed. And I have to agree with Ian … so few of us ever get to witness a fucker getting a well-deserved ass kicking. I hope the sun is shining warmly in your life now.

      • Thank you to all of you!!!! I threw him out, found an attorney and went NC immediately. I knew innately that is what I needed to do….and then I found CL and though it has been the worst chapter of my life, CL and CN validated what I did and where I was going. I am almost three years out from the “second” DDay and I am still taking it one step at a time…meh is close and I am grateful to all of you who have carried me here. Likely I am the oldest chump, but I don’t give a rats ass…you all have been my life line for almost three years!! Bless you all…I promise it gets better!!

          • Love that Dixie! I never ever thought I’d get to 60 this fast and here I am.
            Suddenly I feel young, and 70 sure doesn’t seem old to me at all!
            I feel the same physically, mentally and personality-wise as I did at 30, 40 and 50!
            You can’t stop me and I am going to be proud of my age no matter what it is.

    • You are amazing, Blown Away. Thank you for sharing your story.

      I admit I had some fantasies of the OW’s husbands beating the shit out of my cowardly ex.

      Best wishes for your powerful new life of learning, adventures, and loving yourself.

  • Lost my happiness ,peace of mind,dignity and self respect,not to mention my innocence.
    I was so completely traumatised that I felt my soul was crushed.
    To be honest those abstract things caused me more suffering than any of the material things I lost.Those I could get over more readily than having my spirit destroyed by a stone cold sociopath with a squalid,seedy double life he managed to conceal behind a mask of normalcy for years.

    • “To be honest those abstract things caused me more suffering than any of the material things I lost” So true deedee, so true.

  • Like so many, I have to say dignity is at the top of my list. Oh, the begging and the pleading and the frantic bonding sex that characterized my version of the “Pick Me Dance”… And then when he told me he “was not going to have contact with her again” and that I was the love of his life and his top priority was our marriage and our children… she is… wait for it… pregnant.
    Forget about the part where she’s 47 years old and was allegedly using one of those 99% effective birth control implants…

    And even though it was over and he was committed to our marriage and family, he already loved and felt an attachment to this baby and would do anything to be a part of his or her life.

    And I went along with that.

    In my desperation I followed all of the advice about demanding no contact, and flat out refused to let him go to the first doctor’s appointment with her. She vowed that he would never have a role in the baby’s life, that he should consider them both dead to him. He vowed to do whatever it took, spend whatever money on lawyers to fight her.

    And I went along with that, even going so far as to accompany him to meet with a family law attorney to go over our options.

    Then, wouldn’t you know, at 12 weeks she goes to visit her father, who deeply disapproves of her relationship with my ex and the pregnancy. My ex is despondent, because he fears her father will pressure her into having an abortion. Which she does.

    Forget the part where her father lives in a south american country where abortions are illegal and can land a woman in prison.

    Ex is so despondent about the loss of this supposed child (we’ll never know for sure because I wouldn’t let him go to the damn ultrasound!), destroyed by this so called “greatest tragedy of his life,” that all effort into our relationship ceases as I sit, paralyzed on the sidelines trying to do everything I can to help him with his grief and bring him back to our relationship.
    But it’s too much. The grief has fundamentally changed him, and he’s no longer the person he once was, a person who can be married to me.
    But he’s totally the person who can leave his marriage to be in a relationship with the coworker who supposedly aborted his child and created the “greatest tragedy of his life”…

    Oh, and I also lost a lot of money paying for programs that promised to save my marriage.

    Since then I have reclaimed my dignity by taking the high road in our divorce and keeping the kids in a happy, safe, and stable situation. I know I will never allow myself to sink down to that desperate person who was so terrified by the unknown future that she was willing to be a stepparent to her husband’s child with another woman. I’m looking forward to a new year with a clean slate, and much better times ahead. Or if not better, at least “meh.”

    • Are you sure she was actually pregnant? I know you can still get pregnant at 47 but usually not without (expensive) medical help.

      • That is s whole other level of fuckedupedness. I’m soory for all you have been through.

        Keep your eyes off the rear view mirror while traveling the high road.

      • yeah, the timing of the revelation – right after we “reconciled” – plus the other circumstances of the pregnancy’s end (I mean, seriously, who goes to Peru to have an abortion??) have always left me questioning. But again, because I decided to assert my boundaries and didn’t allow him to go to the dr’s appointment, we’ll never know. then again she could have “miscarried” before that… The mystery shall remain unsolved. In any case, he’s a person who will play fast and loose with his own body and others’, including mine, in the pursuit of kibbles. And that’s not someone I should be giving my time, effort, and emotional energy to.

        • Oh, that whore was never pregnant, I’d bet money. And her father pressures her into an abortion? If he is stupid enough to believe that, he deserves what he gets. She’s a psychopathic drama queen.

  • Wow, CIT, that’s a pick-me dance I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s so draining to look back at how we danced for our disordered partners. Well done for getting away from that.

    My greatest weapon in staying No Contact was to diarize some notes about how I felt at the worst times, because believe it or not, one does forget. Five years out, I am only just able to re-read those diaries, and it takes me right back to the same feelings. Reaching meh is fantastic because it shows you how far you’ve come and what wisdom you’ve gained through the pain.

    • Wow, Marci. I know a lot of us can’t wait to get to that place. One foot in front of the other. Forge on fellow chumps!

  • I lost 50% rights to my children. After D-Day 1 and before D-Day 2, while I was trying my hardest to become perfect for my wife who picked me after the pick me dance of my life for 8 months, I had her name added to our young children’s birth certificates when same-sex marriage became legal. I fought for her to be on those birth certificates……a six hour fight in which I refused to leave the office vital statistics. Yay for the *chump* that won that day……I strutted my stuff as a woman that believed in my wife, family and our children….first birth certificates in our state issued to a same-sex couple. It isn’t even possible to do now…..only 20 were done this way. Now you have to go through a legal adoption process. But by doing this, I made her a legal parent. I know lots of people would say that is what is right but she is not a good parent. She carried on her affairs in our home with the children. The boys were in the home when sexual activity was taking place. They went on countless dates with more than a couple of straight, married women while I was at work. She now ditches them with her parents or ****the new wife**** that she dated maybe 4 months before marrying. She will not even give me this woman’s name let alone allow me to meet her yet my ex leaves them with her while she is having fun with her Jeep and her “Jeeple” (rolling my eyes). The kids don’t even want to leave with her now that she has moved from her parents’ house to the new wife’s house…..which happens to be located outside the county against our divorce decree. I did this to my children. I have altered their little lives by allowing her to have the ability to get them 50-50, no child support (that fucker always wins, it seems). I feel like by trying to save my marriage, I sold my children’s’ souls. I can’t even sleep at night……

    • SouthernShine74,

      You did what you felt was the right thing at the time. Is there a reason that after same-sex marriage was legalized some birth certificates were allowed to be amended without court intervention, and later ones were not? I’d check that out. Maybe the adoption rules changed or maybe they just weren’t enforced. If there is any reason that the procedure you used might not be effective, you’d want to know that. Options are always good. Even if that means challenging our own actions which were done under duress at a shaky time in a marriage. Good luck to you!

      • I checked with the legal department with the Office of Vital Statistics and they say as far as they are concerned the 20 issued are legit. My attorney thinks otherwise but feels that I lost my ability to argue that point when we went through the divorce process several months ago. My attorney and I are sitting and waiting (documenting every detail) for her to make a big mistake and argue the children (that I birthed) should be with me primarily and her for visitation only. I will never get child support bc I make so much more money than she does but I don’t even want her money. She can spend it all she wants on her now about $50k Jeep (modifications, modifications, modifications)……I just want my kids. I want them safe. I want them to grow up and be ok. I want them not confused by the parade of women in and out of their lives. I want them to feel like they have a sense of home…..not rotated between 3 households. I don’t want them to see women/people as disposable items or grow up being little assholes like her. I feel like a complete failure as a mother to allow this to happen.

        • I’m glad you’ve got an attorney on it. I’m hoping the situation is temporary. It may be that your ex loses interest in parenting when it cuts too deeply into her lifestyle, which sounds to be more about stuff and fun than raising children. Stay strong. I know waiting is hard.

    • Katrina – That’s exactly what I did.
      A total, complete deal breaker.
      I didn’t even want to know the details.

  • I lost another year of my life, the home I’d built, over $100k in mysteriously disappearing assets, and even my job (after Fucktard ex took to calling my employers and accusing them of cheating with me). I lost the life I thought I’d had, and my hope to have a child. I gained a night in jail (after Fucktard ex called 911 and accused me of assaulting him, then made a citizen’s arrest himself when the cops refused to arrest me on his word and with no evidence). But more importantly, I found that backbone I’d lost over the years and enough righteous anger to see me clear of that train wreck and not stop to watch the burning wreckage or lend any aid.

    I will add that I am one of those chumps who had to give it the old college try. That year told me everything I needed to know and had me wishing it was the first year instead of the sixteenth when I wised up. For those here who are newly minted chumps, I’d recommend that you not waste your time and energy trying to fix a disordered partner. You can’t herd cats, and you can’t nail jello to a tree. Find your courage and your anger and get busy creating a life of your choice. Forget that list of pros and cons – make it a list of your priorities. And be patient. It could take you a minute to remember what you most want if you haven’t let yourself consider that for a while.

    • We all have heard about wives filing false battery charges on their husbands but I have heard and know of several instances where the narc husband has had the wife thrown in jail during discard. Assault is usually the charge. I’m curious as to how common this is during narc discard. Also, the cheating accusations are part of Narc Discard 101 so par for the course.

      • It’s all about control. I wasn’t prosecuted, but introduced to domestic abuse advocates. And the next time the Fucktard got physical with me, he drew blood and got his own trip to the Pokey, and I’ve got to say I felt a bit of poetic justice. He weaseled his way out of that charge by claiming mutual combat or some such crap, but he wasn’t allowed back into the house until I was ready to leave the following year. The cheating accusations were just projection or hopeful justification on his part, but not so good for my career at the time.

        PS The Fucktard ex was a nationally acclaimed clinical psychologist. He probably wrote the Playbook, or at least the current edition at that time. Standing up to a revered sociopath and surviving that ordeal still makes me proud. Especially since I went unarmed to a gunfight.

        • My story is a bit like Survivor’s–my STBX used to all the police, accusing ME and my father of doinng the crimes HE was doing (to me, the children, and others). Hope. He dies soon so that we (innocent relatives) never have to deal with that type of abuse ever again. For several months, my main forms of protection were scissors/screwdriver and phone under a pillow in my kids’ room barricaded with boxes so that STBX couldn’t get in late at night to harm me (or our kids)–even though he was cheating on me and threatening divorce (as opposed to me cheating on him/threatening him with divorce. I should never have put up with his abusive criminal behavior. I think that I inadvertently sent the message that it was ok to anise RockStarWife.

          Must go now–it’s time to meet STBX and his new, attractive, fit, young foreign girlfriend at child exchange. STBX took new girlfriend on vacation (from the Far East, where she lives) to the U.S. west coast and Hawaii) although he claims that he is too poor to pay child support (in arrears). He publicly bashes me for being a terrible parent (although I work 65+ hours/week to support kids) while he pays for frequent wardrobe additions along with vacations out of our kids’ money. Angry doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.

          • RockStarWife,

            Angry can be good. It can help to maintain clarity and provide motivation. Document your deadbeat STBX’s antics, and most important, keep yourself and your kids safe. Consequences may show up late, but sooner or later dirtbags like your STBX lose credibility and start to circle the drain when they don’t have a loyal chump to keep them looking good.

  • I think about this every day, especially in light of stupid Anthony Weiner. Most probably I lost my reproductive years to more than one fuckwit. I lost two much-cherished and hope for pregnancies. I lost my dignity. I lost the respect of others and myself. I lost friends. I lost work opportunities and pride in my work because I was so distracted by aforementioned fuckwits. I lost a LOT of $$. I lost my mental health during a few very dark periods (which almost caused me to lose my life). More than anything else, I lost myself. I’ve recouped a lot of things, but time is something you can never get back. The ability to have a child may be the most permanent consequence, and nothing really makes that better. It can’t be silver-lined. It’s a consequence of my choices I may just have to accept. Yes, I know there is adoption and whatnot, but more than anything I wanted to be pregnant, to make a baby with someone I truly loved. That is something I mourn every day. I’m 41 and single, I guess it could still happen, but to move forward I have to accept that it may not. Hopium has never really worked out for me.

    • K,

      The silver lining is not having to coparent with a fuckwit. And at 41, I do believe it still may be possible to make a withdrawal from the sperm bank. I’ve heard that friendly donations and a turkey baster can work as well for those on a budget.

      • Survivor, that is a very good point. I do know lots of folks co-parenting with fuckwits, and I am relieved I don’t have to do that with my ex-fuckwit.

  • I lost out on 6 months of joy with my kids. My son was just a baby and I was too stressed out to really enjoy my time with him. Also, my Dad recently passed away. I feel like reconciling with my ex robbed me of precious time I should have been spending with my Dad. Thankfully, I left my ex soon enough that I was still able to focus on my Dad.

  • I lost my youth, my health and passed up on my dream job for the good of the family. The Chump icing on the cake… we separated for over a year after D-day. I gave her 18 years to get her shit together and she just resorted back to her entitled checked out ways. The price of not giving up on her was too great. If Chump Nation was around in 98 I would have known better. I want my sons to see me as strong again and not this emotional mess that they barely recognize anymore.

  • I lost my dignity in the pick me dance. I lost and am still losing time that should be spent being happy vs sad. I try to fight it and read all the self help books that I can, but I still can’t seem to cope with how much this man and the women he cheated on me with hurt me. It’s like my outlook on life has changed because I know evil exists and I crossed paths with it. I haven’t given up hope and I’m determined (most days) to win, but it’s a battle. I’m in my late 40’s and just feel so depleted knowing that I’m still stuck being sad and all of them have moved on with their lives.

    • My new daughter in law told me(in August) at their wedding dinner celebration for our immediate family that she and my son love my husband’s new gf. And wished she could have been at this private dinner to help them celebrate. I was faithfully married 30 years raised 4 kids, gave up my career.. to a lying cheating grumpy sob. His gf has been around maybe a few months? My dil also told me I needed to move on and get a life as my husband already has..we are currently still married..just got the legal separation yesterday..divorce will finalize next October because of insurance issues. My dil also accused me of sitting on my ass for past 30 years. Talk about a slap in the face. Flying monkeys suck and karma is a bitch. Take your time and go day by day…you will eventually have a new life and it will be better than ever.

      • Good grief! How nice to discover such a ‘lovely’ young DIL!
        N.O.T!
        She sounds crazy and I’m sorry you’re gonna have to be around that crazy if you want to see your son.
        Please, do NOT listen to another word this crazy says out of her f*cked up mouth.

        I’m so sorry.

      • Dee – Thanks for your caring response. Your daughter-in-law sounds very insensitive and I’m sorry there is one more mental drain suck in your life. I’ve often found many people just don’t get it because they haven’t had to live through the mental abuse (gaslighting) and cruelty of a cheater; they can easily shrug it off and say “move on” without realizing it’s just not that easy!!! What happened to us is way more than just cheating and the resulting effects on a virtuous person is life altering. Your DIL is ignorant on many levels and I hope one day very soon, she recognizes she was wrong in what she said to you. I also hope you gain strength everyday and find more joy in life than the painful reflection on the past. With love…

      • Dee, I’m betting your DIL will be a cheater very soon. If she isn’t already.

        I don’t really know where she thinks she has the right to talk to you like that. I would shut it down immediately. And I would not refer to her as “daughter in law” either. I would call her my “son’s wife”.

        I know she thinks she has power over you, thru her son, but that is extremely disrespectful. Hope she is gone before they have kids. What a nasty bitch.

  • Time and money is all I lost, and in the grand scheme, not enough to call my life ruined. And most of that time and money was spent before D-Day, so I can’t even blame the 2.5 years of false reconciliation.

    That said, I wish I had just told everyone what happened and left instead of sitting at home crying while he planned “secret” outings with the OW. I wish my anger rose up sooner, and that I had greeted it as a friend instead of stuffing it down for all of those painful months.

    Oh, and I lost about 10 pounds, which left me underweight, sick, and weak. I put on 15 since the divorce, and can honestly say that I have never felt better.

  • I gave my daughter a terrible example of love and marriage. She was very interested in a seemingly wonderful young man, who was simply not available, emotionally. When I didn’t give husband the heave-ho, she let Mr. No-Show get too close, when she had been previously able to resist him (pre D-Day), and they wound up in a difficult and protracted relationship, mirroring mine.

    Oh! And X-hole? He smirked upon learning that daughter hadn’t promptly dumped Mr. No-Show.

  • Reconcilliation cost me years of my life. I recall a therapist saying,”You were never a princess,” years ago. That was an understatement. Loving unconditionally, giving and forgiving the manchild I loved cost me my soul.

    Admitting my weaknesses and working on myself made me vulnerable to more abuse. Instead of supporting me he used it to his advantage.

    What consequences are sufficient to reconcile with a cheater? I can’t think of one.

  • I didn’t go that route: reconciliation. And it doesn’t feel like I’m a winner either.
    My family, my home, those dreams and hopes are all gone…

    We had agree to separate for 3 months to calm down and be able to communicate better. I was naive. I had no idea those conflicts we had were staged by him.
    First he told me after 1 month that he’s not coming back. Because of me. That I am such and such.
    After another month I paid a detective to confirm my suspicions. I was naive… He was not only seeing the babysitter, he was living with her.
    But hold on, I kept digging and though I had the information, it took a while for me to get it. Who is looking for a babysitter near his office?
    Reading this I know I must look like a complete idiot. If trusting your spouse, your other half for a decade is being idiot, so be it!
    It all dates 2 years back…it wasn’t me or my depression.
    But that depression….that was 10 years late (my first relationship has been with a total narcissistic fucked up that used me and made me a reputation behind my back!). That depression during which I learned a lot about toxic people, personality disorders and other kinds of creeps, that depression somehow prepared me for this hell of a discovery. To figure out that I was living next to a fraud, not a man! I went for divorce, custody and for our assets. I got everything I could. I am the winner here. It just doesn’t feel like winning… It feels scary that I must start from scratch. Just like 10 years ago. I just hope that something good will come my way. I pray for something good…

  • Hands down, my dignity. There are few things more demoralizing than doing the “pick me dance.” The only thing that comes close is keeping quiet and letting a cheater blame you for their shitty choices and believing that somehow you compelled them to cheat by (insert absurd, blame shifting reason here). In addition to my dignity, I lost three precious years of my 40s with someone who had zero respect or love for me.

    Finally, I probably lost some money. He was in a pretty giving mood right after dday, which I didn’t realize was a phenomenon of sorts. I probably would have gotten a bigger settlement if I left immediately.

    Since it’s an experience I lived through and I can’t change it; the best I can do is try to see the silver lining. I’m not so much happy I gave it a “solid try” as I am that I started to believe who he was during that three year period of reconciliation. Once I put down the spackle and started seeing the forest through the trees, staying with him was excruciating and if I’m honest, a little gross. And now that my vision is crystal clear when it comes to him, there is absolutely no doubt that I did the right thing. That being said, I do suspect once I removed myself from his orbit entirely, my thinking would have cleared either way but like I said, I can’t change the events of my past now.

    The best I can do is learn from those experiences and hope that some newly minted chump reads what we all have to say and thinks twice before attempting to find that elusive unicorn of reconciliation!

  • I lost myself
    I lost my self worth
    I lost my belief in love
    I lost my belief in trust
    I lost my will to live

    2 years later I am healing. To live knowing that the person who “loved” you for over 30 years was able to look you straight in the eye and promise you he would never hurt you again while already planning his next fuck session kills a part of you. I will never be the same person. Im different now. I know it. Now I live for me first before any man. Maybe some day that will change. But first and foremost I belong to me now.

  • There was no reconciliation because when I called him on his shit from the first year of our marriage, I could easily see that he minimized and gaslighted, so there was no starting over point to jump FROM. Reconciliation supposes that a couple have a common interest in fixing what was broken…but he would never admit to having broken anything. He is 64yrs old…we lasted 10 years.

    What there WAS however, was me getting my ducks in a row while letting him think that he got away with all his shit. He had taken all the money I had when we first married ($100K)…and I was NOT leaving until I got it all back with “interest”. I lived my life as usual on an everyday basis except:
    I started “collecting” lots of cash from his business since I worked there helping him run it…then, I opened my own business and bank account in my name only…I got thousands of dollars of dental work done…I collected more cash and loaded up on business inventory (he even helped me to do that). We purchased a house (cash) on beautiful property and fixed it up to a tee (it took 1.5yrs because we just about rebuilt it). Because I knew he was a “runner” (judging from what I learned about his past and the way he rolls when the going gets tough), I knew that I would end up keeping the house especially since he would never lift a finger to help maintain it. I furnished the house and landscaped it with everything I loved knowing full well that he would easily walk away from it because he never valued anything that he did not put effort into…such as the marriage. Sex dwindled down to nothing…but he did not seem to care since he instinctively KNEW why I was not interested since he preferred Porn from the get go.

    All of this took several YEARS. I had NO HOPE to ever think that he would/could change since I found out that he was a serial cheater in his last marriage too. When he got caught again in an EA (trying hard to move it to the next level) two years ago, HE decided that HE wanted a divorce because he said that I had grown “cold”. By then, I was ready for it in spades. So I found him a furnished rental house just a couple blocks away from his business and he left behind everything we ever had. We got all the legal paperwork signed pronto and he kept his business, I kept mine and the house with everything in it (I am buying him out). He ghosted me since the day he left…but I already knew he would and I prefer it that way. I have no clue as to how he is doing.

    What did I lose? I really don’t know that I lost anything worth grieving for or mentioning. There was never really anything there except a mirage…and I learned VERY early on that this was a man/child who could never be trusted.

    • Sweetz, I bow down to your mightyness. That is some putting-your-ducks-in-order story. I could not hold out that long.

  • Reading all of these stories just breaks my heart. I truly hope that all the unfortunate new chumps are reading this post and can learn from our mistakes. A common theme among all of us is a sense that we lost our dignity…. but my fellow chumps, whether you feel it right now or not- you are all incredibly full of dignity! Just look at what you have overcome! You have been to hell and back, and you are all mighty! You all deeply care about your children and your families. You all ate shit sandwiches over and over to try and save your marriage. There is nothing undignified about that. And you are all willing to share your deepest regrets to help others who are in the same situation, or even better perhaps save someone else a whole lot of heartache by learning from your mistakes. Not one of you has lost your dignity. This is one of the most dignified group of people I know!

    I did lose myself for four horrible years of wreckonciliation. I regret that I did not get out immediately after DDay1. But after DDay4 I finally wised up and kicked that fucker to the curb. I am proud that I have made a beautiful little home for me and my daughter, and I’m doing it all on my own. I was so terribly afraid of not being able to make it on my own- all those years of fear for nothing. I was paralyzed by the thought of “losing my family,” but I didn’t lose my family… it just got a little smaller, and that’s okay. And, oh yeah- I found myself again. It just took some time, a divorce, and a whole lot of NO CONTACT. My wish for all the new chumps out there… learn from our mistakes, put your fears aside, and get out now. You can do this!

  • I think my biggest regret was that I was a kick-arse woman who took no shit (at least on the outside! I was moosh and love and shit on the inside) throughout our then 22 years together – they were bloody great years, except the weirdness of the last, when he was still lovely, but ‘something’ was off … And I was pretty damn surprised I didn’t kick him out straight away. Shocked, even. So, I stayed another seven years. Seven years where he did everything he could to be a better person, to try to fix the crap he rained down on us. Counselling, leaving when I asked, empathising with my pain, yaddah, yaddah … In those seven years, I realised that he could be the fucking bee’s knees, the duck’s nuts and everything else from hereon in, but the shit splatter of his choices would never be waterblasted from my mind, and life. I lost the will to live a couple of times, literally. I lost the ability to believe in humans. I lost my spark. I am irrecoverably changed, not totally ruined, but pretty damn panel beaten from what I once was. I don’t believe I will ever recover fully, whatever that is. This is who I am now, and that just has to be okay, it almost is.

  • You are a perfect testimony as to the “why” God allows for divorce especially when cheating is involved…and also why the RIC is so damaging. Regardless of your X being the “Unicorn” that most here had hoped for, sometimes it simply is not going to be enough even so. You gave it an additional seven years to find that out…he changed something in your soul, but let that be only where HE is concerned. Why, oh why do you let him take your joy after you finally took your leave of him? Yes, he tainted your outlook on humanity…but have you considered that he was never supposed to be your “God” and your “all in all” to begin with? Every relationship comes with risks of some sort…every person can try and do/be better even after what these cheaters have done…a very small number of them may actually change internally because of what they lost…but WE are under no obligation to give them a second crack at us regardless of their changes.

    I hope that your X can deeply learn the lesson that YOU paid so dearly for…and I hope that you can eventually find the peace of mind in letting him go that you could not find by keeping him. I am right where you are except that I already knew when my X cheated for the last time that I would never marry/date again…too much risk now days as our culture circles down the moral drain. There are many other ways to find joy in life…for me, having a man is just not going to be one of them. For me, recovery looks like finding joy in life again. It will come if you pursue it especially in the quiet places of the heart. Ask me how I know.

    • Thanks Sweetz. I know. I am the most independent woman I know. I never dreamed of a wedding, or a picket fence. Not at all. I just fell in love with a lovely guy, and I honestly thought we had it all. We were so good at communicating, we loved hard, we laughed, we worked our arses off. He was my bestie. I don’t – and have never – needed a man. I have not changed in that respect. I have no desire to have another relationship, despite loving when I was in love. I don’t even think it is totally about him cheating. I think it is just that I hate being reliant on anyone else.

      I don’t for a minute believe I ‘let him take my joy’ – it was mine, and no one but me is in charge of that. I have just fought so hard to regain it and keep missing the mark every time. I am okay, not totally miserable, but not the joyous being I used to be. I felt so much. I feel little now. I find satisfaction in things, like topping my university department for my undergrad degree, like winning every scholarship, bar one huge national one that I was shortlisted and interviewed for, that I have applied for. Like seeing these kids grow up and be just awesome people, with real information about what “love” looked like for their parents, what selfishness looks like, what mental ill health can do if you don’t ask for help, or admit that you are unwell, without ruining their own hopes and optimism. That we all still get on really amazingly well, and there is no acrimony, only his very real remorse and sorrow at what he did, and my grief at the potential he threw away. I think when they are just out and out arseholes, narcissitic, self-absorbed fucktards, you walk away with a lot more certainty, and once over the worst of the divorce process, life makes sense again, you grow and realise you dodged a bullet. I had to leave a ‘good guy’ because he fucked up badly, and I could never live with the results, despite trying to convince myself that ‘worse things happen’ – yep.

      I was one who was pretty sure cheating was a deal breaker, and we talked often about it, he had been cheated on (by same OW) and I was confident we were on the same page. Hmmm.

      I don’t do gods, and he certainly was never that. But I did love him dearly, and felt dearly loved by him. As far as “it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” goes – bollocks to that shit!

      • I’m with you. I still have a hard time reconciling who my stbxh is with who he was for 29 years of our marriage. There were many signs that I just spackled over because we were by and large happy. I don’t even know if he was cheating in those years. It is likely he was (lots of opportunities since he was rarely home). I do know the last 5 years were a nightmare. .and I’m changed forever. If I meet a decent man I will think about re-marriage but feel those are a rare breed these days..I am 56 and will be fine on my own. I have my kids my sister’s and my friends and pets..he is still the nasty POS he is. No personality transplant there…it doesn’t make it any less sad but onward and upward.

      • “I don’t – and have never – needed a man. I have not changed in that respect. I have no desire to have another relationship, despite loving when I was in love. I don’t even think it is totally about him cheating. I think it is just that I hate being reliant on anyone else.”

        I can totally relate to this horsesrcumin, as I met my Pod at age 27, fully independent and not worried about being single. We married when I was 32. I thought I was being smart waiting for the “right one.” Letting our relationship mature over time. I guess I was blinded by love or at least the illusion of his love for me.

        Now that I’m single again and rebuilding my life I am starting to feel the way I did before I met the Pod. I don’t need anybody to make me feel whole. He is just the opposite of me, trying to constantly fill a black void with whatever space junk he comes across. I see that now and instead of making me feel like I need to compete against the garbage he puts in front of me I feel completely turned off by his weakness and attraction to such low character. I know if I were to ever to find love again, it would be with someone with much stronger character.

        • I understand, Done4Good. I really do. You feel you did your homework, sifted out the dickwads, the ones you didn’t want, and it happened anyway. I don’t for a minute believe my picker was off. He is mostly a decent human being. For 51 of his nearly 53 years, he has done the right thing, and I believe he did it happily, without resentment or feeling like he was missing out on anything. He liked ‘us’ as much as I did. But yeah, the weakness (if you can call mental ill health that – and I am reluctant to, as I know a little of its ways) of choosing to fuck other people’s lives up by being a selfish fuck … that is shitty character as well as having a fucking breakdown, surely.

  • Chiming in late, but I will post for the newbies who have joined us and are faithfully reading every entry. That was me back in the day!
    I will start out by saying that I gained two wonderful children who would not be here if I had not “lost” something, so in the grand scheme it is a win.

    Very brief background: I first suspected my spouse was cheating after less than five yrs of marriage; I was gaslighted into believing it was the obsession of grad school colleague; it happened again 11 years later; third time– spouse basically said marriage was over but could not say the word divorce, three months of false marriage counseling and spouse admitted to being in love with the OW (though she had nothing to do with the marriage… it was long over!).
    We were together 23 yrs, married 18; so much for high school sweethearts.

    What did I lose…
    *I lost my sense of trust
    *I lost my sense of equilibrium– things seemed off, but spouse kept saying nothing was wrong
    *I lost an understanding of reciprocity and love– I was doing all the work (date nights, etc) and took spouse on his word, but failed to see his actions (or lack thereof!) for what they were
    *I lost my sense of peace and joy– the end result of the divorce has been a highly anxious and severely depressed teenager– hospitalized twice for self harm attempts/ideation; and the fear of cancer after ex admitted to unprotected sex with at least one of the APs.
    * I lost living in a part of the world I wanted to reside in because my ex wanted to stay close to his family (and guess who now lives 2,000 miles away!)
    * I lost almost 15 years of my life in a marriage where apparently I, and my compromises/sacrifices for the family/spouse, did not matter

    What else did I lose?
    * I lost a passive lump who (apparently) dragged me down!
    * I lost the lazy, lying, selfish coward

    These are gains…. along with my children!
    I am bummed that I am in my mid 40s with no sign of meeting someone special– too focused on the full time job and doing everything I can for my kids (ex moved far away!)
    But most days– that’s ok.

  • I did not reconcile after the full story came to light. I left him, moved to a new apartment, did not tell him my new location (he asked, i told him it was not his business), and went no contact. However, for what mindfuckery i experienced in the relationship, and the spackle i produced in one year of an emotionally abusive relationship to explain what i did know about, my decision to stay cost me about 2 years of sanity, some prime reproductive years, much self esteem and self respect, career development, and thousands of dollars of therapy, and financial stability in my 30s.

    I have no doubt he is a horrible person, and after my grieving was complete, the thought of talking to him again has no appeal. I ran into his dating profile on the same site i use. It was pretty traumatic, but really interesting to see how whiny and sleazy he came off. I read through briefly to make sure it was him, and immediately blocked him. After over 3 years of complete no contact, its just nice to be able to close the door on the past.

  • I gave up 40 years of my life… I did get 3 wonderful sons out of the deal, but that doesn’t change the fact that my youth is gone. When we met in college at age 19, I was bold, sassy, smart and vivacious, with a beautiful body. Over the years, thanks to his emotional abuse and expert gaslighting, I’d become a 1-dimensional cardboard cutout of someone I didn’t recognize. Then he left me to be with someone (his married coworker) who was “more like him”. Poor thing, I’m sure she has no idea what her badge number really is (his full disclosure to our marriage counselor identified her as OW #14) and just how temporary her tenure is likely to be.

    Now 4 years into this post-DDay journey, I feel incredibly blessed that he didn’t stay; knowing I could easily have wasted whatever precious years I have left trying to make it work with him still scares me! His departure was actually the most wonderful gift he ever gave me.

    The best part is… the bold, sassy, smart and vivacious me is back! OK, so I’m older, wiser, more seasoned, with a body that’s been through 61 years of living, but I am healthy, happy and independent; today, all is well with my soul. Still, hopeless romantic that I am, I continue to believe in love and commitment (but with much higher standards).

  • I am intrigued by how Hillary has stayed with Huma tooth and nail with her erstwhile liability called Wiener. From what I’ve read, Wiener was interested in Huma and Hillary encouraged the relationship. I wonder how much truth there is to that?

    I hear that with a lot of employers there is an unspoken rule that they look over the employee’s family –spouse included– before giving them a senior position.

    With the way Hillary is holding on to Huma, it would be difficult for her to fairly fire any other employee who has close wayward family members as well.

  • Bill Clinton was the one who married Abedin and Weiner.

    That’s right: a serial adulterer who had repeatedly humiliated his wife on a national scale in the worst possible way performed the Abedin-Weiner wedding.

    I realize that she has known the Clintons since she was a White House intern at age 19, and I realize they are like parents to her and she is like a daughter to them.

    Still, not really surprised that this whole mess is turning out like this.

  • I lost the opportunity to join the peers in applying to graduate school after finishing my program because I was so chumpy that I agreed (under duress) to a cross-country move (for his sake) the same month as my school entrance exam. I was depressed and isolated, so I did not do well on the exam the second time I took it either. I then found out I was harboring gonorrhea for months from my ex-, which has led to ongoing complications that may result inevitably in surgery, though I hope to God not. Inevitably, I moved away from him and said bye bye. I took my entrance exam a third time and succeeded! I still suffer from physical issues left over from that bad bout of gonorrhea (one year later, ugh), but at least I’ve lined up interviews at graduate schools! Meanwhile my peers in my preparatory program are in their second years of graduate studies … no one to blame but myself for my chump-itude, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson to GET OUT even if it’s scary and horrible and super imperfect-seeming.

  • It was one and done for me. Over the next few months I found out about the whole double life he had been living during 20 years of being together. I’d also had awesome therapy and researched narcissism. So when he did come sniffing around about a year later, it was easy to say #thanksnothanks. His narc rage since then (almost three years ?) Has been spectacular! And his life collapse even more so. You folks that are new to this – work on you, strengthen your relationships with your kids – the karma bus is real! Might take a while, but it’s worth it. Even more so when you can view it dispassionately through the lens of Meh!

  • I originally thought it was good to have given my marriage a chance after the first DD and to go through MC to make sure that it wouldn’t work. I had invested 26 years of my life in my marriage and I didn’t just want to throw that away. Funny thing was, I wasn’t the one who threw it away. Now I’m of the belief that I should have kept my dignity and not let him back into the house. It was 11 more months of my life wasted. The worst thing was having sex with him again. That’s something I regret more than anything else. I knew better but wasn’t ready to set down the hopium pipe.

    For any newbies that are wondering what to do, you will only have real hope that your life will be genuine and happy when you rid yourself everything that wants to cause you harm. NO ONE who loves you will ever intentionally cause you harm. Therefore a cheater does not, nor will they ever, love you.

    • I hung in there too because I had invested so much time and energy in my husband. When I finally kicked him out and filed for divorce, he got angry at me for throwing away our marriage. He still doesn’t see why I won’t give it another shot (after he cheated on me for ten years). Idiot.

  • I lost, among many things already mentioned above, the pleasure to breastfeed my last baby…I wanted to be available as fast as possible for my husband in the middle of his affair with OW.
    It is with a great shame that I confess this, only here I feel safe to say.

    • Loulotte–I’m sorry; I have two children and know how much that must have meant to you. The fuckwit robbed you of a wonderful extra experience with your child. They alter our lives in seemingly-small ways (at the time), but we look back and realize the cheater has robbed us of hugely significant events. For nought; none of our efforts deterred them from their betrayal, and we are left stranded with regrets. It truly breaks my heart to read what chumps have given up for cheaters.

      Please know that you were a good mother to your youngest, even without breastfeeding. You supplied the love and nurturing and stimulation that a baby and a toddler and a child need, and I’m sure your child grew up (is growing up) to be a wonderful human being. Hugs!

      • Thank you, Tempest…He is in fact a very lively and beautiful 4 year-old boy !
        I’m in the process of divorcing the fuckwit, it takes a looong time here in France. I have to manage now the damage he has done to my older children (boy 16 and girl 14), but thanks to CL and CN, I have many advices

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