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Your Best No Contact Strategies

Today’s fun Friday challenge to all you clever chumps out there is to tell CN your best no contact strategies. Oh, I know it’s simple to delete a phone number or unfriend someone on social media — I’m talking about the mental discipline that keeps your itchy trigger finger from hitting “send” on that 14-page, single-spaced diatribe on their narcissism you’ve written.

How did you talk yourself down off the cliff of “Maybe she still cares?” What insulting do name do you call her on your contact list? Ring-tone? Who’s your dial-a-friend when you get wobbly?

For those of us chumps who bred with a fuckwit, I know pure no contact is not possible yet, so how do you minimize interactions? What’s your criteria for “do I really need to deal with your shit?”

Help all the newbies out who might be struggling with the no contact basics. We can always use a primer on that grey rock thing. Or some spray…

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I ask myself repeatedly- is it worth the aggravation? How will this help the situation? Why do I want this (these) toxic people in my life? Then I pull out a glass pour some wine and celebrate a victory. I have successfully had no contact that didn’t involve a simple pay this bill in 1 glorious year.

    • A full year is worthy of celebration itself.
      That right there is living in the peace and the light!
      When it comes to No Contact, even at nearly two years out I am still driven by anger, only now it’s habit.

  • First, I blocked all of her calls/texts in my phone. I told her I would reply to nothing but emails and snail mail (Document, document…)

    Then I changed her contact photo to some evil clown. Then to a photo of dried, crumbling concrete.

    Those first few months of the divorce, whenever she sent me reminders of our relationship via snail mail (like old love letters she had sent to me years earlier), I threw them out without reading them.

    I avoided the street where she lives (my old marital home).

    As time went by, I gave up on mutual “friends” who “didn’t want to pick sides.”

    Each step gave her less of an excuse to be I touch.

      • “We don’t want to take sides.”

        My ex kicked thru front door…left kids in car on a hot summer day and picked up child neglect charges…got me 60k into debt.”

        If they weren’t standing AGAINST that behavior, they were allowed no contact with me and kids.

        Otherwise you live in the land of apologist let it go bs.

        • I understand what you’re saying, especially surrounding your case. I would not have any difficulty choosing sides. However, what if it’s only about the cheating? The lying? it bothers me to no avail to see friends (who know the circumstances) and even a few relatives on my side of the family, engage in small talk with him. Maybe I’m being petty or vindictive or controlling.

          • “only about the cheating” – stop minimizing this. Then it becomes very clear why you have a problem with relatives chatting. They have picked his side. Tsk tsk they don’t approve of his behavior, but why should we all be uncomfortable? Chatting with them is making them feel better – at your expense. Felt invisible before? Now you can feel like you don’t matter all over again. This is an EASY ONE. The divorce with sides. EASY. You are the good guy. The honest guy. The unshakable values guy. You don’t hang out with blurry edges people. That’s who those relatives are. No courage of their convictions. They aren’t like you. The cheater is “petty or vindictive or controlling” – and the cheater needs to face those consequences. Stupid relatives.

            • i must be royally messed up then. My ex-husband took our boys for an after-hockey burger after their game. Apparently my brother and his son went as well. (Both my brother and ex coach the team). I was so upset that my brother chose to go. I was told to swallow it, that he did it for his son, probably, who wanted to be in the company of my kids (they are 15 and 16). No other adults but my ex and brother were there. I felt betrayed all over again. Would you feel that way too?

              • I have relatives who do things with my cheater. One is a cheater himself. Either you’re for me or against me. My relatives who betray me get the cold shoulder.

              • That would be hard. If you felt hurt, you were hurt.
                “When a person tells you that you hurt them you don’t get to say that they didn’t.” Louis CK
                Acknowledging and expressing feelings is healthy. You can tell your brother that you swallowed it for long enough in your marriage. Maybe he will hear that…

              • My parents are still in contact with X-hole, my dad actually will call him! They invited him to where they live so he could help them hang some pictures, which luckily didn’t happen. My parents don’t realize he is using them to get info on me. Plus, the new guy in my life, my mom doesn’t like him. She doesn’t really have a good reason, like he isn’t abusive or cheat or lie to me, whatever. Never had a good relationship with them anyway. My brother warned them that their behavior will hurt their relationship with me, shows you what kind of people my parents are.

              • If the kids wanted to spend time together, your brother didn’t have to join. He could have picked his son up later after he burgers 🙂
                Not wanting to make a choice IS making a choice . He is your borther and should have your back.

              • I would cold shoulder any sibling of mine who willingly went out to eat with my X. Nuh-uh. It’s one thing if they are civil to him at some family function (e.g., a graduation), but to socialize with him? That’s a betrayal.

              • Oh yes, I would be upset with your brother. Yes he did it for his child and in the moment didn’t have the courage to say no. Let him know you do not approve and why.

                I stopped seeing my sister for two years because she continued to us his service.

                After not being invited to Thanksgiving dinner or going to her house on christmas she asked me why and I told her.

                She’s my sister and after what he did to me I don’t do Switzerland.

              • Oh hell yes, that would definitely upset me. Listen, this is where you learn to draw and enforce boundaries. YOU decide what feels like betrayal. YOU decide what hurts. YOU decide what you’re not OK with. You don’t need anyone’s permission to decide that someone’s behavior toward you was unacceptable. Please, start trusting your own judgment. I didn’t trust my own judgment after d-day, either. Having your feelings and needs minimized for years pounds you into a pulp. I remember reading comments here and wishing I could be like these confident, self-assured people who take no shit. Turns out that’s a learned behavior, and the more I hung around with Chump Nation, the more I learned it. I’m pretty good at it after all.

                I have confidence in you to know deep down what is not OK with you. Start there, and then keep going.

              • I found out my brother talks with X after I specifically asked him not to.
                While X and I were married they barely talked to each other.
                I will never speak with him again, I couldn’t imagine befriending someone who tried to destroy him.
                My brother is just as much a narc/sociopath as X.

              • I think your situation is a bit different. If your son wants to hang out with his cousin, is your brother just supposed to refuse to let them hang out together because of what your ex did? Is your brother supposed to abdicate supervising his son in your ex’s presence?

                I’d say that so long as your brother’s interaction with your ex is limited to being around the kids, that’s acceptable. If they’re getting beers together, that’s different.

              • Thanks Traffic_Spiral. I do see your point and here lies my frustration. ge is after all, the father of my children. If I put myself in my kids shoes, while they are not happy and proud of what he did to our family, he is still their dad. I wouldn’t like everyone shunning my father despite what he did. I would feel badly for him. And how long do you do this? The rest of his life? It’s bloody hard for the person cheated on/left but what I feel I have to do is accept (as hard as it is) that I can’t control everyone’s actions. If neighbors and friends stop talking to him, then I drop them too? It would make for a lonely and bitter world for me.

          • You aren’t.
            My mom and her husband attend the same church as my ex and his affair partner.
            I heard one day when my mom was a greeter that she said hello to him.
            I about lost my shit.
            He abandoned the wife who loved him and broke the kids who trusted him. Anybody from my camp that has ANYTHING to do with that is out of my world….no discussion.
            I talked to my mom and she now understands what the deal is.
            If that’s messed up to anybody, so be it. It’s my policy, end of story.

            • Paintwindow, I understand where your mom is coming from. If I were your mom and saw your ex, I would at least be civil to him. Why? Because maybe if I snubbed him then he might get angry and take it out on you and the kids.He might accuse you of badmouthing him and make things harder on you. Why not keep the peace. Its not like shes inviting him for coffee.

              • Yo, you’re assuming that being reasonable and polite will keep the cheater from doing those nasty things. That is an incorrect assumption. Most cheaters will make accusations of badmouthing, even when you don’t say a word about them or speak only the dry facts. Most will get angry even when you are always civil (they don’t like consequences). Most will take that anger out on you, and will disregard the children’s well-being, no matter what you do.

                You can’t nice them into being nice, you can’t reasonable them into being reasonable. And you CAN’T keep tip-toeing around and bending over backwards to try to manage their behaviour. It doesn’t work, and it makes us ill and unhappy.

              • I do understand what you are saying.
                What he does is not that.
                He parades his affair partner and the replacement kids in front of my mother just to stir it up, sure that she will tell me.
                It’s not like he sees my mother and says ” please tell paintwidow I’m sorry everyday for what I did to her and the kids.”
                It’s more that he has to make sure that it gets back to me and our kids that he’s so happy with the new family.
                As for my mom, she said she didn’t know what to do in that situation.
                I told her to ignore him and tell anybody that asked that you were uncomfortable because he cheated on your daughter with the other member of the congregation.
                I’m sure they would understand.

              • How about this for a greeting? ” Welcome, adulterous sinner, have you come to repent?

          • I have relatives like that: my mother and she is a hell of a narc.
            Over the years I figured it’s not about whomever she befriends. It’s about what she can squeeze against me. I don’t care anymore what she says or thinks. Cold shoulder/No contact is the cure. These days I don’t give her the power to upset me: I don’t give her my info, my time or my attention.

          • Wow I was worried there was something wrong with me. You know I’m angry, I’m bitter blah blah blah.relieved here to lean that I am actually enforcing boundaries. Woo hoo good on me. Switzerland friends weren’t shining nearly so bright for me anymore so I picked. I want people in my life that share the same values and moral I have for myself.
            If you want to be friends with a Cheater and stay at our family cabin with Stbx and his latest fling when our kids didn’t even know skank would be there then I am not willing to give you the time of day. I settled for 23 years, I don’t anymore.

        • You’re so much better off without those people. They’re more like your ex than you. They are probably cheaters themselves – in more ways than one. Time to clean house!

          • That is so true! The only friends or relatives that are ok being around the ex/cheater are cheaters themselves even if you don’t know it yet!!

        • I have a long time neighbor and their family who we have been close to for over 20 years. She said to me ” Gaslighter ran over you with a fully loaded semi truck, backed over you again and left you in the ditch”. Then she got mad when Gaslighter ignored her at an event (he is scared of her, and was with Schmoopie) so neighbor went over and said hi to him and went in for a hug! He didn’t hug her, just pattet her on the arm and got out of there fast. Then she made small talk at the grocery store.. I asked her why she would give him the time of day? He lived in their guest house for 8 months after I kicked him out, never offered a dime or help with utilities, or took them for dinner in thanks. When they were making rumblings about charging him rent, he schmoozed his way back to our guest House (don’t get me started down that path…) She says she loves my sons and he is their Dad and she will be civil. Her husband has had a few beers with him and had him over for a game once. Now she is livid with me because I called her a Switzerland friend. I asked her husband and her to choose, and she thinks its not fair. We barely speak now. She knows all the horrific details of what he has done. Its mind blowing. Its weird, because she doesnt like that Gaslighter is wary of her. She is doing her own ” pick me dance!”

          • Bingo! “She is doing her own ” pick me dance!”
            She’s either a pleaser or an idiot. Can you imagine the chats she has with him? She probably approves of him too. This is a person without a spine.
            I think your x is the one who acts normal in the situation.

        • That is such a clear line to draw in the sand. I appealed on many levels of crappy behaviour that I could not believe the Switzerland lot would let go by. but they did; the 2 years of planning to leave and the financial ravaging he organised so me and the kids would be left with nothing?!! Stealing the kids savings accounts then insisting – it was or them anyway to pay school fees….and now letting the mortgage lapse so the house could foreclose… yep those friends are just enjoying the show and cannot bring themselves to make a moral decision – they are still invested in the image.

      • Hi MJo. Over time, I realized that I can’t be friends with people who want to put on blinders and pretend my ex-wife was/is a different person than her actions conveyed. Initially, they all heard lies from her about “what happened” in our marriage, so they “didn’t pick sides” because they thought I was lying (or heavily exaggerating) about her cheating.

        But, after I left my cheating wife and filed for divorce, she stayed with her AP…while he got engaged…and got married…to his girlfriend of 10 years and mother of his child…who quit her job and sold her house and moved across the country to be with him after the wedding. And EW stayed with her AP through that marriage and helped to destroy it. Eventually, EW realized she needed a way to “legitimize” her two-year hidden relationship with her AP. So, she “came clean” to her friends and family, admitted to portions of what I had insisted was true years earlier, etc. (As FreeVixen notes, EW didn’t come clean to me, or to FV, so this was another self-serving move, not genuine repentance.) A year later…while the AP’s divorce was still proceeding, they purposefully got pregnant, and now they have a baby.

        I’m a chump, even now. But given the above paragraph, there is NO WAY that any mutual friend can honestly claim that my wife “was unhappy in her marriage to JC, so she made a mistake.” No. All of her major life decisions since she first starting cheating on me were selfish and destructive, showing no integrity or underlying quality of character. Those friends are not mutual anymore — I stopped replying to their emails and texts, and soon enough they stopped writing them (because it’s easier for them his way, too).

        I’ve rarely been put in a position in which I had to so directly and explicitly judge the value systems of friends. But my EW put me in that position, and those friends didn’t pass muster.

        • JC, you are mighty! Your successful efforts to get and keep her out of your life are smart and necessary. She is toxic.

        • I find you incredibly brave. I don’t have the self-respect (yet, I guess) to do that. My ex-husband moved only a few blocks away unfortunately, the kids are still teenagers and it’s suburbia small-town…

          • It shakes itself out eventually. You will drift away from the people who don’t want to choose sides simply because, by not doing so, they are actively Not Choosing You. Stick with the people who choose you. All of CN chooses you. We get you.

            • Thanks Loiuflower…your replies actually really hit a nerve. I am paralyses by all this still. My case isn’t like the others tho. It’s not like he cheated and I kicked him out (which I see a lot on NC). Mine was unhappy for many years, did nothing to make it better, I got angry, he blamed our failures on my anger, he stopped talking…found a friend then lover st the gym and a year later asked for a divorce. Said there was no affair and stayed in our house for four more months (while I withered away) while his house down the street was ready. And surprise, surprise, started “dating” coincidentally the woman from the gym. He’s convinced people he left because the marriage was bad. Which I know sounds weird, but it feels like it’s all my fault as in I should have tried harder. I know, I am very messed up.

              • MJo, I think your case is actually really similar to a lot of ours. My ex told everyone that he was “just unhappy”. He told me he “lost us”. And we had only been married for three years! Meanwhile he was actually going behind my back and dating multiple women while lying to me and making me believe everything was perfectly fine. It’s minimizing what happened and it’s a form of manipulating us who feel responsible for another’s happiness. But you said it yourself he wouldn’t do anything to make himself happier. That’s on him!

                For me, getting rid of the friends and family that were still talking to him and also minimizing what he did helped SO much. The fact that they were still talking to him made me constantly question whether he was really as bad as I thought he was. And if I was wrong about that then maybe I was the one who was so awful that he just had to leave me. Why else would they all be on his side? It’s all a bunch of tricks your mind is playing on you though. You did everything you could and the sooner you can cut out the triggers that are still making you feel like crap the better you’ll feel.

                And you are not messed up I’m pretty sure every single person here felt like you at some point!

              • MJo – I don’t think you are messed up. I think you are struggling with the very same things we all have been. We struggle with the new narrative that is written about our lives by our X’s. If he tells people that he left because the marriage was bad, and this doesn’t seem like the reality you have experienced, it’s super upsetting. Very very upsetting! You are wondering why he left out the part about the lies. You are upset because your brother was friendly to someone who has hurt you terribly. Of course you are upset!
                The tough part is figuring out how to move forward, but keep reading here and things will get clearer for you.

              • MJo
                Well you are messed up in one way but not another. You are messed up because you have been lied to and gaslighted by a total creep. YOU however are not messed up in yourself. As soon as you become stronger as you crawl out from underneath all the crap he had dumped on you, you will find that your essential loving, trusting self was there all along. He messed you up.
                And none of us make a lovely job of exiting from our relationships with these fuckwits. It’s messy and painful and we all mess up multiple times but we keep coming back here for some plain talking and sense and finally we get out.
                Dealing with fuckwit is one huge thing in itself, dealing with other assholes in your life takes more time still. Be like Johnny Cash. Make a list, get to each one when you are ready.
                Nothing about this can be rushed. The head and heart are not synchronised for a long time which is unnerving. Just keep taking care of yourself and incrementally strengthening your boundaries and you will get there. It’s not a race, this is the rest of your life.
                Hang in there. We are all here!
                And in a year or more you will take all you have learned and will plough it all back into the new newbies at chump lady.

              • You are not messed. Your feelings are real. Many of us have felt this way. I am rooting for you!

              • MJo, he’s a cheater! If he was unhappy in your marriage, he didn’t need to cheat and lie and craft a hidden life to unveil–voila!–when you separated or divorced.

                It’s not your fault. He’s a cheater and a liar. You aren’t. If you can, find a good therapist and do some work on getting past blaming yourself. That will help you build your new life on a solid foundation.

              • You’re describing the classic cheater narrative and standard chump response. So no, your story is neither different nor unusual insofar as you got blamed for things for which your ex needed to take personal responsibility. Anger is a *normal* response to living with a cold, brooding, miserable spouse who both refuses your attempts to help and refuses to seek a solution. My ex loves to blame his affair on my anger with him, but refuses to acknowledge that I was angry because he was cheating, or that cheating is something worth being mad about. Don’t believe that shit. HE chose to be miserable and not involve you in getting better. HE chose to lie to you and withhold partnership. HE chose to cheat. HE chose to blame it on you because you’ve probably been so good at carrying his burdens for so long already, and guilt is a very inconvenient feeling. Stop believing what he’s trying to tell you about who you are and how you should value yourself. He is full of shit, friend.

              • None of his cheating is your fault!! None!!

                In my marriage, I wasn’t perfect. Near the end (web before the affair), our intimacy had waned. And I should have done something to address that.

                But while that could have contributed to my wife’s alleged unhappiness (which she only claimed post-D-Day), that didn’t make her cheat.

                Unhappiness doesn’t make people cheat. Shitty character and lack of integrity make people cheat.

                You don’t control your spouse or his actions. Those are ALL on him

              • He could have been an adult. He could have worked on it or left. So many of us have heard “but I was so unhappy.” Other people’s happiness is their job – not yours. He was awful and you did not deserve to be treated that way. You are in no way responsible for his cheating. Stick around. You will find your strength and your momentum.

              • MJo –

                What you went through sounds like the classic Cluster B relationship cycle (Idealize, devalue discard), it is one of the most painful, destabilizing and cruel dynamic there is with a lover/spouse.

                You tried your best, but you were played in a game where the rules were changed without you being aware of that.

                Many at CN have been right where you are, myself included. This is why No Contact and individual therapy is so important, both will help you detach and recover your own sense of identity, including reinterpreting your story from your own perspective, not what your X wants you to believe.

                There are great resources out there to start your recovery here at CN, CL’s book is a gem to get started with. I also found Lundy Bancroft’s work and book “why does he do that” super helpful.

                Also, this radio segment on why he is already with someone else was super helpful to me – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/relational-harm-reduction/2014/10/24/after-a-pathological-love-relationship-hes-moved-on-and-is-with-someone-new

                Start with small steps, take good care of the basics (nutritious food, exercise, as much sleep as you can), and educate yourself about cluster Bs and their relationship cycles.

                It is a long road to Meh, you got this, and we are here for you every step of the way…

                (((MJo)))

          • Yes, everyone’s situation is different. My wife and I didn’t have kids, and we lived in a large city. Even though she was only a mile away (I’ve since moved), I had the option of not seeing her and making new friends.

            You will figure out who in your life is worthy of keeping, and who you have to let go. It took me 2 years to figure out that aspect. I wish you the best!

            • I wish I could reply to each of you to say thank you but for some reason there is no “reply box”after each and every comment (not sure why)….wow, I am listening and am in awe with everyone’s wisdom and time you took to respond and help me. I read all the messages over and over and it’s giving me strength. I certainly don’t feel alone in this now. It’s comforting to be surrounded by others who’ve been so fucking (sorry) hurt by this like me. What I don’t want to do is stay bitter. I want to forgive one day to move on for my sake and I hope to find the perfect middle between all those feelings that race inside me. You guys are the best..I hope you can all see this response. <3

        • JC, so with you on dumping the Switzerland-folk immediately. They are just as toxic as the Exes. My STBX told everyone that I had decided to leave him, and that he was “heartbroken over her decision.” This was after he went batshit-psycho-crazy on me, kicked a door almost in, and raged at me to “get out of my house” so I had to call the police.

          Stayed at my office until I finally told a good friend and stayed at her house until I could get temp support and an apartment. Two weeks later he had a woman moved into my house, which was found out when I brought friends to help me pack my things and get them out. He deliberately left clear evidence to show me what he had been doing in my house and in my bed. I’m guessing that this had been going on for a while prior to his meltdown.

          I told a few mutual friends about this and his years of narcissistic abuse; most of those discarded him immediately. One, even after hearing about what had happened, decided to continue contact with STBX, and I told him in no uncertain terms why I would not be speaking with him ever again. There were also many people in a meetup group whom I just didn’t even pursue because I knew how STBX probably slanted things and they just weren’t worth it to me.

          The harder part was facing the enabling that STBX’s father and stepmother did and will likely continue until the divorce goes through. Over time I had realized that their family pattern is to enable the (numerous) narcissists and walk on eggshells so as not to “disturb” them. I guess it should have been no surprise when they defended him and his abuse as I filed for a fault divorce. However, it was a double betrayal because I *had* told them about several huge issues (drug & porn addictions/verbal & emotional abuse/financial abuse) over the recent years while they made supportive and sympathetic noises to me as I was making secret plans to try and get out.

          IMHO, these people who stand back, defend, deflect, blameshift, or refuse to acknowledge abusive behavior are sick, dangerous, and no different from those who stood back and did nothing while Hitler came into power. There is no longer room in my life for even one iota of dysfunction in any area and I have no trouble cutting people out to keep my life safe and work back toward health. No contact, no contact, no contact.

        • I concur with the others; you are mighty! I’ve gone through a pretty similar thing, and really I just had to apply the best-friend test: if this was happening to my best friend, would I make excuses for it? Would I defend the aggressor? Of course I couldn’t, and wouldn’t. Anybody who normalizes or minimizes my ex’s behavior, ESPECIALLY the drunk driving with my kid in the vehicle (which continues) and the embezzling money from me, but even if it was just deciding to give me an STD while pregnant, is not a human being who I consider to be remotely safe.

          • exactly – I do not know to what level some would actually suck up to ex fuctards behaviour in order to exclaim – ‘well he seems happier’ – of course he seems happier – he dumped his financial and family obligations and is entertaining new meat in order to feel better about himself and his disasterous mistakes. It seems like everyone has an opinion of the relationship breakdown as to whether the one leaving the party is happier and more fulfilled. Great!! nothing about loyalty, morals or fairness.

    • A while ago a friend of mine was talking about a friend of his who was divorced (due to adultery) and he also mentioned that he was cordial to both his friend and his friend’s spouse. I asked him “Why” and his reply was, “I didn’t live their lives. I don’t take sides.” At the time I was dumbfounded and didn’t know what to say so I didn’t say anything. My ex-hole cheated on me for years making me doubt myself. I was really F***ed up in the head. I’ve gone no-contact for two years now and I’m happy to say that I’m much, much better! We have children together and so I must keep his phone number in my cell phone but his picture is an image of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Anyway, my brother and I were recently talking and he casually mentioned that if he ever saw my ex that he’d be ‘chatty’ with him. I had since had the chance to reflect on the before-mentioned friend who wouldn’t ‘take sides’, and my brother ended up getting it with both barrels. I got on his case and said, “Oh ain’t that just F***ing noble of you!!! You don’t take sides!! What you’re essentially telling my ex when you remain friends with him is, ‘It’s okay, D***, you can screw my sister over for years and it’s okay. Why you could do it again and again and I’ll still be okay with it.'” I was pissed! I told my brother that to remain friends with the ex-hole was to condone his behavior! And to remain friends with the ex-hole was telling me that he thinks it was fine with him to have his sister F***ed over, that betrayal was just fine! I don’t think my brother ever thought about it until his sister made him blatantly see, with outrage and profanity, that not only was I betrayed by my ex-dick, but that he would be betraying me as well. Sometimes you have to spell it out, and if necessary, spell it out loudly.

  • His contact photo is a pile of dog shit.
    Very early on I had to say, via e-mail, any discussion will be through attorneys.
    My response motto to anything he says via text or e-mail is “CRICKETS” — meaning nothing (and I’m not even tempted to engage with him) — the reasons being he’s a life suck to the nth degree.

    I was a slow learner, a major Chump. But, once I “got it.” By God, I got it. No Contact really is the path to the truth and light (thank you AOOK and, of course, CL). It is so key to allowing all the toxicity to seep from your brain so that you can see, with clarity, how things really are. And the reality is that these are some amazingly twisted, disordered, fucked up reptiles posing as nice, normal human beings that have the power to bring you to your knees if you do not disengage from them. Yea, they’re that bad.

    • “His contact photo is a pile of dog shit”, I laughed my ass off! Thank you for that Nikki Lynn, I needed a good laugh. I wish I could make mine appear as a pile a dog shit in my phone too, but my kids will see it and I can’t think up a good enough reason to tell them why their dad’s pic is now a steaming pile of dog turd. Can’t even put the poo emoji, they’ll wonder why ??

      • Every time I am in Walmart and see that “pile of shit” emoticon throw pillow, I am tempted to get it as a instant reminder of what a piece of shit my ex was. It just seems like a good idea! ?

        • Hmmm, DancesWithMeh, my thought is that would be an excellent house warming gift for my stbxpos! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

      • Oh, glad I could provide you with that, LHATA! Btw, I enjoyed reading your story the other day. Best I can remember you are one might chump for how you went about devising your plan and patiently waiting still you, well … LHATA! Well done, sister.

        • Hey Nikki Lynn, thank you! I was afraid my story would paint me as one cold, calculated b*tch (the Chump in me, I guess, is worried what people might think of me), because it’s actually not in my nature to be like that. I had a lot of internal, moral conflict going on when I was in the midst of it, as it was WAY out of character for me to be so “devious” (my counsellor prefers to call it “survival tactics”). But after D-day, I really had to grow a pair quickly and be smart about how to leave him. Other things were at stake, among them the constant threat from him that if I ever left him he would take the kids and place them in his elderly mother’s care in his home country, and I would never see them again. You threatened the wrong b*tch, mother***ker. So, yeah…I had to put serious plans in place. Hence the very sneaky “just going on my regular holiday” departure when I left him at the airport. I know it might make me look like a devious person. I really am not. It was WAY out of character for me. I was like a mother hen – don’t you dare touch my chicks, I will peck your eyes out!! I went into survival mode for 4months. It was necessary. I’m still so chumpy, haha, listen to me here justifying why I did what I did. Oh, chumpy me just won’t go away, will you chumpy ?

          • Girl, you don’t have to justify anything with me. I understand completely. While I don’t have kids myself I can certainly imagine that Momma bear attitude that you had to have. I agree with what your counselor said “survival tactic.” With no kids and having a job I didn’t have to handle as many factors as so many women have to deal with like yourself. I have all the admiration in the world for those of you who strategically devise a plan (as sneaky as need be!!!!) to GTFO!!!!! Props to you.

    • Good for you Nikki Lynn!!!!!
      Left him, there are about 7.5 billion people on this planet and over 7 billion have never heard of you or your cheater. Go ahead and make some new friends so you stop caring what the old ones think…..of anything.

  • My contact picture of him was removed over time and he has been re-named many times (a#&hole, creep, douche are a few of my favorites). Currently his name (no picture) is “Drop it – Leave it – Let it go”. He doesn’t text often anymore (whew – sick of all those “Good Morning – I will always love you” BS texts) but when he does, it takes me a second or two to realize its him! Then I delete it and go on with my day.

    Happy Friday everyone!

    • OMG – I changed mine to lying cheating asshole – & I actually got a text from him one time saying my alimony check would be late . I had to stop and think who it was then I burst out laughing then I call my lawyer . I received my alimony check the next day

    • Yeah….when he leaves the family for the much younger affair partner it makes no contact easy and not getting “I miss u” texts a certainty.
      The AP wouldnt even let him get anything from my house without her. Lol
      I love that I haven’t seen him in person in a year and a half, but I also have to laugh at her insecurity. Guess she realizes if he will do it with her, he will do it to her.

  • For those unfortunates like me who have a cheater who (a) refuses to leave the home and (b) tries to force verbal interaction at every opportunity, I have a very simple method of enduring long rants of rage, self-pity, and minimalization.

    Whenever there is a stop to take a breath, simply say: “Are you finished?” and go back to whatever you were doing.

    (In one encounter, I said it 6 times to KK before she finally gave up and walked away.)

    The verbal abuse can definitely get ratcheted up as they get frustrated at their lack of success, but it WILL wear them out eventually — much like dealing with spoiled infants, which of course they are.

    Heres a potentially satisfying specialized bonus — if in their ranting they demand that you acknowledge them, simply say “OK, here you go” and raise your middle finger.

    • UX, I have all the respect in the world for all of you who have to continue to have contact moving through the process. You, no doubt, are building mental toughness that is off the charts! Best to you.

    • One of my favorite memories is when the lawyer told us that the divorce couldn’t continue until he moved out of the house. His face was priceless! I’d been trying to get him out for months.

      As a bonus, he went NC with me because I insisted he honor the terms of our divorce settlement. I had to start sending things registered mail. Then I emailed him at work one time (he’s currently works with Child Protective Services which is hysterical according to our kids) and he sent me a snippy email saying that I shouldn’t email him there because if he is subpoenaed his email becomes part of the court records. I immediately said that I understood but if he took longer than I thought necessary to reply to an email or text, I WOULD use his work email. He immediately contacted me to let me know he had unblocked my number in his phone and unblocked my email.

      Actually, it really steamed me that he would go NC when all of the problems arose from his behavior. But he and his twu wuv are “happily” married and busy doing damage control to her career (they were both pastors).

      • Jesus Cheaters…low form of life…universally hated here.

        My deadcheater’s OW was fired from a job for her affair with him (she was a vendor and he was a government purchaser) he got her a new job and I was ready to email her at work possibly putting that job at risk. Giving him credit, some sociopaths would have just beat me up/threatened me not to do it, but he had 3 decent molecules in his body and realized that if I wanted to contact her, I would. He then gave me her private email address.

        Watching his face when he was deciding about giving his wife his girlfriends email address was priceless.

    • And this is why Ux is the king of inspiration for those of us who had to live with our cheaters for months on end after D-Day and finding.

  • Clearing out all of x’s stuff, every last bit is both cathartic and rids your space of unconscious reminders. When ever I get the urge to call Mr Sour, I go through my support list and either bith about him are talk about gardening, travel, even politics. I talk less about Mr Sour these days.
    Recently I’ve began self examination and acceptance that his tactics hurt and it wasn’t cool, or fair or just. But I also remind myself of my blessings, my maintenence and this life from now own is up to me cheater free.
    Hope for a better life keeps me going one step at a time.

    • This is super helpful, thanks. I took down all the photos (am in the early process of filing) but I just feel like there are reminders everywhere I look.

      • One of the first things I did was reprint my room, get a new bed, new sheets, towels, etc. so I could have a sanctuary that was free of Narkles the Clown, a place I wanted to wake up, a place where I could smile freely without unconscious Narkles theClown everywhere. Slowly I redid the rest of the house too and removed any pics of him, signs of him, things he owned or gave me. I didn’t want to jar the kids with a clean sweep but it had to be done.

        • Me too. The gifts I had received over the course of my marriage were very few. And he doesn’t have very good taste, so that part was easy!

  • I realized he couldn’t hear me while we were still married. Why waste my time and effort on someone who can’t/won’t listen to me?

    I added a photo of a flying monkey to his name on my contact list. So if he calls, all I see is a flying monkey. Nobody wants to talk to that!

    • Yes, this. He stopped paying attention or really caring about anything I said years ago. I believe fucking other people allows you to easily disregard what your spouse is saying.

    • ^This. I wasted my breath and time for so many years trying to get the lightbulb to go on in his head over his shitty behavior. I have finally accepted the fact that there is not a good core in him that I can somehow reach with the right words or actions. Why waste another minute of my time?

      Maybe dealing with the mounds of documentation that I have compiled and hopefully paying more than he wants in support once the divorce is finalized will get through;-)

    • Wow ” couldn’t hear me while we were still married ” what a profound statement
      I never thought of it that way

      • Yeah – this. Stbx hasn’t listened to me for years. Became apparent after literally seeing the surprise on his face that the renos on our house was to set us up for retirement and so he could finish work sooner as he said he wanted. Yes, I was listening! And yes, talked about this ad naseum. I thought. After he asked for separation and at this point had successfully chumped me, the fuck. Meanwhile, while I’m here working 7 days a week on our house, and him working away in another state, he was romancing, falling in love and setting up their lovely future. He did this for over a year. His betrayal was profound. I since found out about the usual – 15-20 years of prostitutes, hook ups, flirty fun dates, and untold number of affair partners. After 20 years of being ‘out there’ my husband finally found someone to settle down with. Nice.

        CN its so good to not have to explain how these discoveries felt.

        He just stopped paying attention. He decided not to hear me. Of course, he no longer loved me. Just waiting to find the love of his life to save him from the horror of his marriage. Sad sausage.

    • Great observation. I think you’re right they don’t hear us…..until we get mighty and find a lawyer to do a little of the talking.
      Sure, then they want to talk.
      Another beautiful moment to have No Contact, the path to the truth and the light. It’s a really big way of saying, no, you had your chance.

  • I had the funeral march as his ring tone as this made me laugh. I then went completely no contact by slamming the car door on my phone, this wiped its memory (if only mine could be wiped so easily) and I did not have his number any more nor did I reinstate it.

  • My ex refuses to text. Says his phone cannot do it when I know he has an iPhone 6. Anyway, the ringer on my phone for his contact is set to “The Asshole Song” by Jimmy Buffett. I do not answer the phone, he can leave a message.

    I have to go out of my way to avoid him when we are at mutual events for the kids. It is awkward to say the least. I have to leave either before or after he does to avoid a confrontation in the parking lot because of his craziness. You don’t know what personality you will get, fakey, fakey gooey nice or pissed off argumentative jerk.

    If it is important paperwork, I send him a certified letter, that way I have a paper trail.

    It is sad it is like this, it has been going on eight years and because of his personality disorder, I don’t foresee it getting any better.

    I feel terrible for the kids, they are stuck in the middle of his craziness.

  • I started a letter to X on my computer at work and cut/pasted all the snarky tidbits I’d read here — CN says it so much better than I could! The letter grew and grew. Finally divorced last January, I printed off the letter and addressed it to X & Twu Luv and carried it around with me for months. This past fall, I discovered an old friend was going through the same problem and over the course of a dinner, she asked me for coping techniques. Remembering the letter, I gave it to her to read and then to keep. She’s cut out snippets and pasted them on her fridge for days when she’s overcome. I always thought I’d mail that thing, but this was a much better use for it and has given her solace and laughs. Of course, I also directed her to this website!

    • I have an entire file folder on my computer with notes I have written and never sent. The words just keep spinning in my head because I want to say them but know it won’t help. After I type them up and save them, it stops the merry-go round in my head (or at least slows it or interrupts it for while) so I can focus on the other million things that need my attention (like my job, my kids, my pets, my house, my car, etc)

      • GetMeFree, this one helped so much! Lots of responses to his idiocy, said every single thing I wanted to say, but never sent to him.
        ‘Cause what would be the point? It’s not like I ever got through to him over 14 ys together – why would that change now?

        • Definitely a lesson learned. If you keep repeating yourself over and over with another adult and they don’t adjust anything, then it is not that they don’t hear you, it is that they don’t care.

    • Mom9193, awwwwh that is so beautiful. I love this story!! You carried the letter around all that time, and it ended up helping somebody else in need. Love it!! This is something truly lovely. I too wrote a LONG letter to drop on him outlining the hell he put me through. But after reading CL and CN a lot, I realise it’s not going to help him understand what he did. Because he’ll never get it. And I don’t wanna give him any power, or give him the satisfaction of thinking he’s ruined my life. So for now, the letter sits saved on my phone. I love what you did with your letter. Just perfect. Well done! ?

      • I wrote a letter (long) about the many many betrayals and abuse. This was just 4 months after Dday. I worked on that letter for four more months. I was like a possessed author/writer…it was my go to when I felt overwhelmed. I never sent it to him. I am returning to therapy after a year and a half break and I gave it to my new therapist for “background!” I do regret now that I did not journal (it was simply too painful to put it on paper then), but that letter could receive awards!!

  • I try to follow the BIFF principle when contact must happen with narcissist ex as we do have young kids together. Keep my emails (that’s the only way we communicate) Brief, Informative, Factual and Friendly….it is hard when he attacks your parenting, when the tone is demeaning, when HE (the cheater) is angry, when he is the perfect parent etc…..I try to read the emails looking for “is there a question or fact about kids”. If the answer is no, I don’t respond.

    • I married the same guy. Unfortunately I don’t have the wisdom you have to not engage bad got myself in a lot of back and forth with him that could have been avoided if I kept it factual. Lesson learned (but my crushed heart so eagerly wants to tell him off).

      • I will still vent to my closest friends and at times write my “fantasy email” where I really tell him off….but NEVER send it. Engaging with a narcissist is a useless battle. It just feeds their ego. I found the book “Narc Decoder” very helpful as it’s full of examples from an ex and how she responds to them if response is needed. I only email when ABSOLUTELY necessary and only regarding the children. It’s been almost five years and it’s still a struggle at times.

  • My cheater has the same first name as my beloved father. The latter is from Pittsburgh. I didn’t delete cheater’s number from my phone, as I want to make sure I can identify him if he calls or texts. So to prevent any mistakes, I changed his name to “Jagoff” (a frequently slung insult in PGH) in my phone.

  • Blocking him only encouraged him more to reach out. Finally, I texted him and said, I really can’t be in touch with you — it’s not you, it’s me. I have nightmares every time we are in touch. It was true. I had to start believing that my sleep was more important than anything he might have to say to me. And believe it or not, this worked!!!! 🙂

  • I like to confuse him when I have the time (for example, the “42 is the answer” text) but my favorite is using GIFs to respond. No words, just pictures (seriously-themed ones are my favorite). Both methods make him go away frustrated, leaves me alone for a few days, and I feel better for having a bit of a laugh at his nonsense.

  • I was a bit slow on the learning curve. When I moved first moved out I was trying to keep the peace so as not to upset the settlement apple cart. He’d call me three or four times a week at work. All because he wasn’t finished using me: a conclusion I could only reach once I implemented no contact.

    When (during one of his phone calls) he asked me out for our officially defunct anniversary, I finally snapped and told him the “favor train” was permanently leaving chump station. (this only after my mediator informed me that barring fraud or us getting back together, since we had been to court and signed the papers the settlement was final.)

    It took some practice after that. I still got tangled in a few text and email wars. When I would falter I would start over and then keep track of my days without contact like companies keep track of days without an accident. It worked! When he sent me a Happy Birthday text I had gone about 4 or 5 months with no contact and I realized what a manipulative piece of shit he actually was. That birthday wish was nothing more than image management.

    I had recently learned that with an iphone you could block a person from your phone without having to block them from your account. (Both kids are on my account) so I did that. His email address was relegated to “junk mail” in 2 of my 3 accounts, leaving only one for him to use regarding the kids. He’s only used it once.

    Our children are adults and contact is not necessary at all. It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve had anything to do with him and I can’t tell you how much clarity I got when I stepped away from that crazy! All out of Kibble is so right. No contact truly is the path to truth and light. It’s like any other habit though. It takes time to establish. You just have to stick with it, get right back on the horse when you falter and eventually it is as easy as breathing. I highly recommend it!

  • If crossing paths (ie, kid’s school or sporting event) is unavoidable, I blow right by him and don’t even make eye contact. Sometimes he lowers his head and mutters hi. He’s pathetic.

    The longer I maintained NC, the more I began to heal, and the strong desire to text him started to dissipate and finally went away. Now, I don’t want to contact him at all anymore. It took about 6 months for the intense feeling for a connection with him to fade. Seeing him with the other woman on the final DDay helped me to detach, but we had built a life together and I was true to our vows so it was still hard.

  • Strategy 1: I carried around text and email exchanges from the X (or at that time, STBX) that illustrated his profound mastery of mindfuckery and evidence of his not-giving-a-shit about me. Cleared up any temptation I had to contact him.

    Strategy 2, when he kept circling back wanting contact via email: Wrote a VERY snarky email, and signed it “Toodles, Tempest” so that he decided HE didn’t want to contact me because I had become nasty and vile and he no longer recognized me. Arrivederci, jerk.

    • Tempest, if I can ever get legally untangled from this pos, I may have to employ your #2. Otherwise, it’s looking like I’m going to get the period circling back mindfuck via the lame ass texting indefinitely (never mind the e-mail, that’s waaaaaay to much effort and thought for mine to put into it) — Fuckwit does not need anymore than a few words that can easily be texted, “Ms you” “Sorry” “I dream about you every night”, and my favorite . . . “Good Morning” — WTAF?!!!

      • Sadly, most of these narcs will continue to circle back even if you’re rude to them. My snarky email worked because (a) my X is an arrogant ass, and so would never deign to pretend he wanted contact (he always had plausible excuses for contacting me post-divorce); and (b) he is SO power-oriented, that he needed to turn the tables on me. I had informed him 3 times I did not want any contact with him and would never forgive him; having to discuss who claimed oldest daughter on our taxes gave him a way to say he didn’t want contact. It was the old, “You can’t fire me, I quit.”

    • I do strategy #1. I also have a document titled “Disordered Statements” detailing the most extreme and messed up statements he has made over the past year. Anytime I start questioning if he and the situation is really as bad as I think it it, I just do a quick read.

  • I think my most effective mantra is the one I referenced yesterday — it won’t do any good to communicate with him because he isn’t who he appears to be. He doesn’t actually care and hurting me deeply isn’t a motivator for him. When he acts sad about losing me, he’s easy about what he is losing that makes his life easier.

    So, I would remind myself those things, then look through the proof of his lies and multitudinous bisexual affairs (nothing against bisexuality – it’s his dishonesty that’s the problem, not who he was with while dishonest) to remind myself of the depth of deception and potential harm he put me through.

    That’s the stuff that strengthened my resolve. (This was all before mobile phones – that immediacy would have made it harder.)

  • 1) Block on all social networks.
    2) Delete number. If you need to keep the number saved (kids involved et cetera), you replace the name with this: “- – – – – – – – -“.
    3) Get rid of friends ‘on the fence’. (“If you can’t choose, I’ll choose for you.”) Sadly, these friends can be dangerous to your recovery process: becoming an informant et cetera.
    4) Block in real life. “Hello” (for cordiality)… move on. What you do in person reinforces (or weakens) what you do in cyberspace.

    • Lol, naming my ex wasteman on my phone had repercussions when the kids saw it. Oh well, it’s back to his name now

      • I put Dorian Gray. My son saw when he called and asked him who is Dorian Gray? I had to change it to his initial.

  • When I first discovered his cheating I found his then-whores Facebook page with pictures of the two of them. I copied lots of it for evidence for later, but I kept one of the pics in my phone photo album. Whenever I’m tempted to contact him or feel sorry for him I just look at that picture of their smug, smiling faces and remind myself of who he really is. Bring on the righteous anger!

  • I forward emails. To my sisters and bff if it is “really good” (i.e. whiny, rude, demanding or otherwise manipulative). I usually add a few lines to the forwarded email. That satisfies the initial urge to reply. They give me funny and critical feedback as they are able.
    Texts, I respond to minimally and factually, if at all.

    For those of you new to this, practice makes perfect. The above is what I do now. I used to engage, argue, debate, etc.
    Then I progressed to writing but not sending (!!) replies.
    Now I forward as needed.
    And it gets easier! I promise!
    The other day, 2/3 kids did not want to go with their dad during “his time.” (Divorce in process and I have the backing of each of their individual therapists that “forcing them” to go is harmful to them.) He is still pissed off that I will no longer let him visit at my house (it has been 2 months since I shut that shit show down). He texted that I was “blocking access to the kids” because only one wanted to go. For a nanosecond I thought about replying, but the urge was over before my fingers touched the key pad, and I set the phone down and kept doing what I had been doing. It was only later that I realized it was a Mighty Moment! Then I did a little dance. The Gray Rock Shake.
    Practice! Forgive yourself when you screw up! Try other strategies! Celebrate when you get it right!

    • I love the dance of the grey rock shake! I have a koozie that says ” I didn’t say it was your fault. I said that I was going to blame you “. I always keep it in sight ??. Small things are fantastic. I take photos of quotes on my phone to remind myself that he never cared for anyone. My divorce is waiting for the paperwork to be discussed and signed. I am basically free. I have found a small cabin in the mountains and am close to town, but not too close. ??❤️?

  • I changed his contact name to Horny Goat Shallow Hal. His ringtone sounds like a tiptoeing rat.

    I finally stopped emailing him when I realized that he Just.Did.Not.GAF about anything but himself.

    And when I realized that yes, people are capable of destroying a marriage, and moving on without even a backwards glance. Let alone any type of “sorry I blindsided you and never mentioned I was unhappy”.

    These fuckers don’t deserve the head space.

    • YES. DivineLife, you just said it so beautifully. I always take a bit of truth away from comments like yours. I flippin’ love the name you chose. My son is learning to read, so I put mine in the phone as FAA (Family Abandoning Asshat). When he Skypes our children (cuz he only GAF about himself and moved to the opposite coast for his stripper affair partner) I see FAA and laugh. Or cringe. Or throw up a little in my mouth. One of those reactions.

      My ex gets the better of me but not for the reasons that most chumps list on this forum. He would never say an unkind word or raise his voice. He’s so syrupy and false it makes me physically sick. It’s enraging and ridiculous. I just want to say, ‘Look, man, You shivved your family in the back and dropped us in the gutter, maybe just give the good guy schtick a damn REST.’

      But he’s pathologically committed to looking like the good guy, And I’m pathologically committed to trying to call him out on it. It’s not good. I think maybe it’s because it was all smiles and supposed happy marriage until he took a packed bag and walked out on me with 2 babies in diapers. I never got my say, he just ghosted us. So I’m always trying to spray him with my sarcasm skunk, and he’s always ducking the stinkbomb and acting the victim.

      Sadly, since we share 2 young children, NC is not an option for me. So my method for dealing with the insane unfairness of it all is walk away from the text and blog instead. I write an anonymous blog (just click my name above to read) and it’s been incredibly cathartic and healing for me. I can say whatever I want, often written out as if it’s to him. My blog is my proxy; a stand-in for his clueless face. I can make fun of the neck-tattoo he got of schmoopies name. I can mock her insane hypocrisy for hating cheaters and yet being the biggest home wrecker on earth. And, I can look back to 2014 when I started writing and see that, yes, there has been healing and growth. And if it helps others who can relate to this particular agony, I can at least feel that our pain has a purpose.

      Best to you!!

  • For a long time no contact was something I had to white knuckle my way through.Because of the callous way he discarded me, I think I had PTSD and was trauma bonded to him.I would do NC for weeks,or a couple of months and then be overwhelmed by a desire to lash out via text or email.It was akin to battling an addiction.
    I educated myself about narcissism and sociopathy and began to realise that these personality disordered types want you to stay enmeshed and engaged with them,even if it is angry , negative attention.The thing they hate most of all is your indifference and detachment/ disengagement.They hate the idea that they can no longer evoke any emotion in you.It took me so long to get to that place though and the internal battle was the worst.
    He has had many names in my phone….but now he’s Arseface and the only reason he’s listed at all is so I can block him.
    No contact is the greatest healing tool IMO.

    • deedee, yes! I have had, and still do occasionally have that overwhelming desire to tear her down via text. Actually, the desire is still pretty much constant, but it’s NOT overwhelming like it used to be. I know it’s no good, mostly because she DGAF about me, and just gets off on my misery. So fuck that, NC for me. I have conquered those impulses.

      • Good for you Oaktree ,but trust me I know how difficult that battle is.
        Now I couldn’t care less what he’s doing,where he is or who he’s doing.We all get there in the end.Time and no contact,or grey rock if you have to interact.

    • I’ll jump in here because XH never reached out to me. I used to feel sad about that, but after reading all the nightmares of people who have to co-manage kids or share a home or somehow remain in any sort of contact with this cretins, I’ve changed my tune and am grateful to have gotten away with (as CL says) “a light sentence.”

      Nevertheless, I wanted to write to him. Many many many many times. I had so much to say, so many questions to ask. — So I did. I wrote to him. But I never ever sent any of those missives and many of them are still saved on this computer somewhere. I’m hoping someday (maybe even soon) I may go back and read them and realize how much better off I am (I already do, but it’s never a bad idea to have more evidence of my own pain and heartbreak). — So, my key to NC was to go ahead and write the nastygrams, just don’t send them.

      • Oh, NWBiblio, you did better than I did. I wrote and sent a couple of them. Cringeworthy but at the time, in the middle of being mysteriously discarded, I had things to say. So I said them and sent them. We did have some business to resolve but I also used that business to “reach out,” hoping Jackass had seen the light…what I got back was cruel, and nasty. That cured me for good. No contact became my guiding star. But in the early days of the unexplained slow-motion discard, I finally couldn’t stand the absence of texts and phone calls (when there used to be many every day). So I started out with “Do Not Call or Text” as his contact name so that if I wanted to call, I got a reminder not to. A few weeks after D-Day, I blocked his number and deleted all the old texts. I still have the FB messages I suppose–I used that after D-Day because that FB page is where I caught him.

        I went through a stage where I wrote about what happened a lot but just for myself. I even sent myself a Mother’s Day letter (always tough for me, with a deceased narcissist mother and no kids myself). I needed a lot of bucking up in those days. But I just tossed a bunch of sad poems I wrote in the trash. Kept the good ones, though.

        • For me, it just helped to let it pour out into a letter. Got it out of me, somehow, to write it down. (Also a good tip for To-Do lists, as long as I don’t lose the list, because now it’s no longer in my head — that’s why I wrote it down. I digress.)

          I did have to exchange a few emails with XH in early days, and I had the same reaction as you. As a veterinarian, I sometimes have to reach into a cage or carrier to retrieve a cat or dog hunkered down in the corner. Mostly, they’re just fearful but sometimes they’re downright nasty. With XH, I felt like I reached into that cage and heard a nasty guttural growl and hiss, and slowly withdrew my hand, “Oh, okay, now we’re being nasty, are we?” Let’s have no more of that nonsense, then, shall we? No contact, coming right up.

      • I have done that too, NWBiblio. I’ve posted many letters to him in the ‘dead letter’ section of my blog. It’s the idea of being able to say it that matters; their response is almost irrelevant. Because not only would nothing we say change their thinking, it would likely produce a response that we’d over-analyze or be hurt by. All that does is put them in the power position when what we really need to do is see them for what they truly are: something foul stuck to the bottom of our shoe.

  • Once the financial settlement was signed 6 months after D day I immediately went NC. At first when I wanted to tear him a new one I loudly said ‘no contact tell the cat” and duly told the cat. After a while it wasn’t out loud and now almost 18m in I don’t wish to say anything to him.

    I deleted him number at beginning of NC and changed his contact name to cheating cunt which then updated all emails ever sent to the same so as soon as I noticed changed it to just his name. He didn’t like NC and let his OW call the police on my son and I citing death threats and malicious emails (haven’t done a thing) denied it to the police and while police were in my lounge I told them about his embezzling that I had been informed about. He’s a police officer!!

    He also then sent a solicitors letter saying because of my malicious acts he wasn’t going to honour our financial agreement. Luckily the agreement had staged lump sums so they now pay what he owes each month. He did that a week before the next lump sum was due. What a div – he must have thought I would still pay it. Lol.

    It was challenging when he disowned our son and when he ignored him entirely for hours one day. When he didn’t wish him happy Xmas or happy 21st this month. I want to send a vile text or email and the cat has now died of old age but I’m in the habit now. It’s been 11.5 months since I communicated with him bar the solicitors letter reply. I no longer think that way.

  • Here is the list of questions and reminded I go through when STBX and family try to draw me into responding.

    1. Is what they are saying/doing an attempt to instigate a reaction? If yes, do I want to hand them the power by responding? (Side note, ex’s brother is constantly belittling my teen girls on social media when they post anything about women’s equality (shocking, not really). I have chosen not to block this person so I can monitor, document and talk to my girls about it.
    2. Will my reaction change their view point? (Rarely in history has anyone ever changed someone’s mind by telling them they are wrong)
    3. Does what they think matter?
    4. If someone thinks being Switzerland is the morally superior approach to horrendous behavior, our views on morality are mismatched and they are someone to keep at arms length.

    Finally, I am the one who holds the power over my reactions, I will not give that power away to halfwits whom would live nothing more than to suck the joy out of me. My energy is more well spent on focusing on my life, instead of trying to understand the morally twisted minds of those who are not in my corner.

    • This….

      2. Will my reaction change their view point? (Rarely in history has anyone ever changed someone’s mind by telling them they are wrong)

      3. Does what they think matter?

    • Your daughters can hide their posts from the uncle without unfriending him. Go to the privacy function and start to “block”–a prompt will come up that suggests not allowing him to see posts rather than “block” or unfriend a relative. I would suggest taking that step as it is abusive for an adult to belittle young people in public or on social media. And he will see that he is still a “friend” but the girls will have none of the drawbacks of either allowing him access to their posts or unfriending or blocking him.

      • Not clear to me why they wouldn’t want to unfriend wacky-uncle, though. Berating them for believing in women’s rights on Facebook? That’s abusive from an adult. Sorry, Bubba, you just lost access to my soccer game pictures, too.

  • A few things: (1) 24 hour response rule to all emails and text messages – fucktard’s emergency is NOT my emergency; (2) when I get REALLY worked up, I draft the response I want to send fucktard but then send it to my best friend with the comment “This is what I really want to send but I’m not. See how nice I am?”; (3) I’ve also gotten to the point where I don’t even read his emails until the following morning (I hate getting worked up at night and kid is with me 90% of the time so I know there is no kid-related emergency); and (4) I don’t ever look at him or respond to him in any way during kid exchanges. Ever. He is NOT worth my time.

    • Right on, blondebarrister. I’m lucky that I don’t have to even see her during kid exchanges, my son just walks out the door and gets in her car.

    • Yes, yes to this. I pull around a certain spot so my car is perpendicular and my kids just jump out and walk behind into his and then they drive right off. I never even see him. Whew. That reduced a lot of stress and triggering for me. Now, I think it’s funny that if I would ever accidentally catch a glimpse of him, it would only be in my rear view mirror. That seems perfect to me.

      NO exchanges at the house. EVER. Shut that down. I could not handle him at what was now MY house.

  • I got sucked back in to text contact when he was left off a sports team email list and was pissed at DD. So I had him added as I’m on the board. I then forwarded schedules etc. I should have stopped there….but found myself texting asking if he wanted to handle one of 3 all day events that require our child to miss school. When he asked if our child would be spending the night (the events happen on my custody days) I replied no. And politely said I was just giving him the opportunity to attend and volunteer. After several back and forth texts he replies he may attend all three but since they are my custody days I’m responsible for volunteering. My last text was great, let me know as if he did decide to attend he needs to volunteer and that DD would enjoy having him there.

    In the middle I was so pissed I contacted my friend who is a divorce lawyer and she said ‘why are you being his secretary?’ I was being a chump and trying to play nice. Never again. In the future she advised me that as an adult he can contact sports teams etc for schedules.

    I had been no contact except for the custody calendar for a year. Chumpy habits of ‘playing nice’ are hard to break. Even a couple of years out. Moving forward I’m just sending one line texts regarding info that needs to be shared.

    Thanks for this article today. I needed it.

  • During the divorce when I still had to talk to him I made the decision to treat him like a coworker I don’t like. We didn’t use lawyers so I couldn’t just go through them (we’re young, both have jobs and didn’t have that many assets or kids to fight about and he wanted to get rid of me as painlessly as possible so he could get rid of the reminder of how bad a person he is so this worked for us). All communication was through email and when I did have to talk to him I awkward laughed and was sickeningly sweet.

    I also had a go to person to talk to whenever I felt like I would otherwise have gone to XH for support. For me it was my mom but it could be a good friend or sibling. My mom also went through a similar situation so she lets me babble forever. Not everyone will do that so find that person!

    Once the divorce was over I blocked every single person that could lead me back to him on social media. I had my sister passcode getting to Instagram since both him and his AP have public Instagram accounts and they’re still together. Once you see those pictures you can’t unsee them! I also told every single one of my friends that can still see his stuff (they don’t talk to him) that I don’t want to know anything about him or his family.

    • I agree with your plan. I checked out the AP on Facebook and the first time I saw her face it tore me up. It didn’t help that she was pretty and super fit. Over the course of the next months I looked her up again probably about ten times. One day, I was going to open her page again and I got a sick feeling in my stomach. At that moment, I asked myself, didn’t he hurt you enough? Why are you hurting yourself now? So I stopped and never looked her up again.

      • In my H case, the OW is ugly. Like really bad ugly. I feel so completely embarrassed that he was attracted to it, because it is his howorker so our friends and family know what it looks like. It has completely disgusted me and has helped to see what trash he really is.

  • My XH just took off one late Nov day while I was at work after 26 years of history, never glancing back at the life we built. Now looking back, I realize as traumatic as it was, I was lucky. Once I had the signed divorce agreement in hand, I knew I had to enforce NC if I was to ever move forward as I couldn’t seem to get out from under my sadness. Every contact leading up to it – texts, FB postings, etc – set me back for days. I changed his profile pic/name to the “Cowardly Lion”, blocked him on social media, and when the urge to reach out hit, I channeled it through my journal and re-reading a list I put on my phone of every horrible thing he had done over our years together. This would stop me in my tracks from hitting ‘send’.

    It also helped that I was surrounded by an incredible outpouring of love and support from family and friends. XH side of the family knew what an a-hole he was as well but I’ve had to carefully navigate those relationships…you quickly learn blood is still thicker than water.

  • I use the same techniques as Louisville Flower. Write and write emails to X and don’t send them. I address them to me in case somehow I inadvertently hit send. The writing is cathartic. I don’t want to send it as it would simply add to his narrative how I can’t move on and I am a bitter ex wife. My draft mailbox has about 50 unsent emails. It’s kind of empowering to go back and read earlier ones to see how far I have come.

    When he writes me one of his charming smarmy emails I put it through my own UBT. I space it out and put my snarky comments in a deep dark red in a much bigger font. (Thank you CL for teaching me the joys of the UBT) The pleasure this gives me is indescribable. I also forward lots of things to my sister so we can laugh together. (FYI, I am 3 years out from DDay so I can laugh a bit – did not laugh that first year.)

    I encourage all new chumps to write! It’s hard to find people who really get it if they haven’t been through it. When you speak your story over and over through writing to yourself something really profound happens. You can validate yourself because you will never get validation from your cheaters.

    • My unsent writing (to Fucktard, to DiscoCuntOW, and to WretchedSwitzerlandFriend totals 650 pages. And yes, it’s truly therapeutic.

      • Chchchchump – Hahahaha you have inspired me to start therapeutically writing my WretchedSwitzerlandFriends tonight!
        Won’t send it but great way to let out some well deserved anger. And I do love the word wretched.

  • Ah gray rock. True story of a recent incident… waiting at court for final divorce judgement and Mr. Sparkles and his attorney are a no show. Judge calls them both and orders them to appear pronto. Attorney arrives first and proceeds to bad mouth her client to my attorney in my presence. Mr. Sparkles finally comes strutting along and his attorney asks me not to repeat what I’ve heard. I tell her, no worries, I’m gray rock with regard to him. You didn’t say anything I didn’t already know. She looked puzzled. I told her to read up on Narcissists before she represents one again.

    Gray rock is my mental safe space. It is that realm where I have super powers and only my brain is allowed to engage. My heart and all emotions and sentimentality do not exist there. When I’m dealing with Mr. Sparkles it is the place I must choose to operate from or I will need to scrub myself down with a wire brush (think Meryl Streep in Silkwood) to get his narc napalm off of myself after interacting.

    Gray rock is mostly yes and no answers. Yes, I will go to the Monday theater performance so you and OW can go on Tuesday. No, it is not acceptable that delay my child support payment. No, I do not want to meet your new girlfriend. Yes, you need to get your shit out of my house or I’ll put it to the curb.

    To Mr. Sparkles, gray rock is my Bitch mode. So be it. I know I am loving and caring and generous, just not to him. He lost that when he cheated and walked out. He doesn’t get it back.

    We are raising an 11yo son together. I will not call it co-parenting, but rather parallel parenting. I do not try to control what he does when he has our son. I stay in contact directly with my son through a cell phone. As long as Mr. Sparkles feeds my son and keeps him safe from harm, I let it go.

    It isn’t always easy, but being married to a pathological lying cheater was fathoms harder.

    • Amazing!
      STBX’s lawyer hates him too. He has told that to my attorney on several occasions. STBX has no clue.

  • I cheates. Not my husband is cheating. I admitted, confessed, changed. I am a unicorn. He won’t admit, blames me for his “friend” – says Inpushed him into it. He left for 4 months and came back. Intold him not to return unless he wanted to work on the marriage. He has done nothing bu fuck up our daughters’ heads. Wtf am I supposed to do?

    • I cheated. Now my husband is cheating. I admitted, confessed, changed. I am a unicorn. He won’t admit, blames me for his “friend” – says Inpushed him into it. He left for 4 months and came back. Intold him not to return unless he wanted to work on the marriage. He has done nothing bu fuck up our daughters’ heads. Wtf am I supposed to do?

      • You divorce him… something you should have done before you decided to fuck your affair partner. Give your sham vows a death certificate.

        • I didn’t have sex with anyone. I was texting. Not sexting. I came clean and apologized and really worked on me. I never ever blamed him. He is blaming me fkr frcing him to behave this way. Yes, I was wrong and I made a mistake. But I learned my lesson.

          • You can’t make someone else want to work on the marriage. What you had was an Emotional Affair, which can be just as damaging as a physical affair to the betrayed partner. I’m sorry, but your husband has checked out already. Best to move along yourself, and put a fork in the official marriage by divorcing. Limbo does children no good at all.

            • I can’t let go. I am totally pathetic. There are couples that recover from this. I am just not ready to give up.

              • Keep coming back and reading the columns… like addicts, you just haven’t hit your bottom yet.

                And, for what it is worth, knowing your own self worth and setting appropriate boundaries to protect yourself and your kids isn’t giving up… it is the most courageous thing you can do. Staying with a cheater is giving up.

              • “Staying with a cheater is giving up.”
                ABSOLUTELY!
                It’s giving up on YOU. You deserve so much more.

                keep coming back to CL & CN & learn to love yourself.

      • Sounds like your marriage is a sham, but judging for you for cheating is not what this is about.

        People can make mistakes, and feel remorse then do the work to fix and change the situation. That is what normal people do. They take responsibility and do the work.

        Your husband is blaming you. That is what messed up selfish people do.

        • So now what? We have to amazing kids that he just mindfucked by coming home. I am so lost and so hurt. I don’t know what to do. If I wait for him maybe he will love me again? He tears me apart 1 minute then hugs me and still shares the bed the next. I can’t make heads or tails of the mixed messages. I don’t want to lose him and I don’t want our family destroyed.

          • what does his actions say? my x-hole kept telling me he loved me with all his heart, but screwed other women the whole time. I finally set up a mantra in my head “he doesn’t love me, his actions speak louder than his words.” it’s hard work, but worth it in the end. you are torturing yourself for someone that doesn’t care. get you and you kids into a healthier environment. My only regret is that I didn’t divorce him sooner.

          • Dear SBW, you texted with another man? Shared personal details of yourself and your marriage? That is an emotional affair. Your husband retaliated by having a physical affair. Sorry, but the marriage is over and done.

            Please find a good therapist to help you understand what you were lacking in your marriage and why you engaged in an emotional affair. Fix yourself. We all need help with that occasionally. Get your girls into counseling, as well.

            What your husband is doing now is manipulative and hurtful. And, I suspect, the way it’s always been in your marriage. Be the grownup and put an end to it by filing for divorce.

            Hugs to you

            • Thank you for taking the time to reply.
              What was lacking was within me, not my marriage. Now that I understand that, I want a life and a future with my husband. We have been together since 13 and 15 (albeit on and of), and have never been able to be apart for very long. I feel a divorce will be a huge mistake and we will cause hurt and pain…and just end up together.
              I have talen responsibility and done the work. I don’t want to quit my family.

              • Dear SBW,

                By having the actual physical affair, your husband has checked out of the marriage. You say you have been together since you were teenagers. That’s part of the problem. Neither of you have learned how to deal with each other in a mature, healthy way.

                It sounds like you both need to step away from the marriage and each other. Do the work, individually, with a therapist to learn what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. Right now, neither of you are providing a stable, emotionally safe environment for your girls.

                Ask yourself if this is the kind of relationship you want them to have in their futures; Off/on again, no trust, honesty or true commitment. That should give you your answer on what you need to do.

                Hugs to you

      • I had a long discussion with my IC about this SBW. And that is, cheating is SO ANNHIALATING that if you cheat and decide it is a really bad idea and stop, you should keep your guilt to yourself and not tell.

        When people cheat they are thinking about themselves and not anyone else. If you are not personality disordered and pull yourself back, then that guilt is yours to bear for the rest of your days. This is not something to offload on anyone else because the hurt is too huge and the damage too great.

        Learning of my betrayal was absolutely the worst pain of my life. Had he suffered remorse and reconnected with me as a valued person, I would rather not have known. Being personality disordered that was never an option and I caught him.

        Your marriage died when you told him. You don’t sound like a bad person, your sharing your guilt was your downfall. Now he is in a revenge affair and probably throttled up the selfishness that made you look for affirmation in the first place. Nothing you can do SBW, its over.

        • I think the lying is worse even than the cheating. If I do something wrong to someone I care about, I think the right thing to do is to tell them, apologize, and honour their right to know what is going on in their life, and make their own choices about how to go forward.

          I think keeping it a secret forever is immoral, and saying it is to ‘protect’ the chump is a cop-out, where the main goal is to avoid consequences for the cheater.

  • I’ve been completely NC with my whore-fucking ex husband for nearly two years now, so I think I’m pretty much in the clear. Every now and then the urge to say something to him screams at me. I write it in the memo app in my phone. It doesn’t get sent anywhere, but at least I type it out of my brain.

    In the early days, when (when I broke NC with regularity, thinking something I might say might smack him back into reality) (spoiler: it didn’t), I took a quote from chump lady’s book, wrote it out in multi colored sharpies and hung it on my fridge. The quote was “Nothing says “Fuck Off” to a narcissist louder than silence” (Or something along those lines) I spent many nights in tears, reading and rereading and rereading that piece of paper.

    Another thing I did early on was send vicious, horrible, all-hours-of-the-night texts to a very good, platonic male friend of mine who had been chumped by his wife years earlier. I would write whatever I wanted to say to my ex and text it off to my friend. I would always get words of love and support back from him, and that was a whole lot better than any reply I may (or may not have) gotten from the person who those words were really meant for.

    I hope maybe these techniques will be helpful for someone out there…..

    • I love this! I like the idea of sending the messages you really want to send to your ex to a good friend. I tend to write them out and keep them in my drafts folder on my phone, and i’m always terrified after a few too many glasses of wine I may accidentally press send. I’m going to start sending these to my sister- thank you!!

  • My phone contact just says father of my children with the poop emoji. When you ask siri to text him, she says “what do you want to say to father of my children smiling pile of poo! its so funny!

  • At my final DDay I discovered photos of SpinDoctor on vacation with one, then having sex with another one a week later. I suspected that vacation babe didn’t know about me or the other women I discovered. Using his phone, I send vacation babe a photo of him having sex with the other woman. Vacation babe called moments later and we had a revealing conversation.
    By the time SpinDoctor woke up from his drunken stupor, I had downloaded contacts, including some photos, of the other women. When he wouldn’t get tested for STDs, I told him I’d be contacting them. I did and all but one made reality based decisions not to be with him.
    I’m mighty and he should know that now. I doubt I’ll hear from him again, because he’s scared of me.

    • Awesome!

      I got a call pretty close to the end (my time was before mobile phones) from a lady who was super worried about him because she hasn’t heard from him in weeks. She knew he wasn’t supposed to call during the day but thought it was just because he would be at work. She didn’t know he was married or that he had loads of APs.

      When I answered the phone, she hesitated, then asked for him. I knew he had been in a certain town, so I said “no, he isn’t here. Are you in town A, by chance?” She said, “yes, how did you know?” I said “I’m Amiisfree, Cheater’s wife. I was pretty sure he was with someone while he was there. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you aren’t even close to the only one, my friend.”

      We talked for about an hour. I learned a lot about his M.O. and that enabled me to find loads more evidence with minimal effort. She thought he was serious about her and her three year old son. All he was serious about was her contribution to the smorgasbord of strange.

      She said her son was asking about him and she didn’t know what to do. I told her I would suggest that she remove him from her life as though he had died because he would cause her nothing but heartache. I told her that I know he appears sincere, and I know he has a good answer for everything, but he’s not who he appears to be.

      He came home that day and asked how my day was. I said, “I had a nice talk with Ladyname today.” He looked at me and froze. I said, “Could you at least pick people who don’t have children so you aren’t hurting kids with your bullshit too?” He didn’t answer. I don’t know how it ended with her.

      For me, it ended in a divorce two months later. He is a monster.

  • The phone and Facebook cut-off was immediate. He tried to reach out twice, two months apart, by text. The number wasn’t listed in my contacts anymore, but by context I knew it was him. A dear friend of mine said I needed to put my foot down and helped me craft an email to tell him to fuck off. Part of that email was a promise that *HE* would never have to hear from *ME* again. That promise has kept me steady.

  • I have to communicate with my XW regarding my children. I always try my best never to send more than one email or text per day unless there is no way to avoid it. I never include any person attacks or respond to any personal attacks. Less is more when you are dealing with a Narc

    • I used this, also, when an IRS issue came up about a year ago (and dragged on and on and on…). Even two years after Dday, I could feel myself getting ramped up by his flippant blow-offs (“Yeah, don’t worry about that, I’ve got it covered.”) But instead of responding to anything more than I absolutely had to, I would just call the IRS agent directly and also paid my accountant to deal with him so I didn’t have to. — I did, ultimately, have to talk to him when his plan was to pay the IRS the penalty (due to his shady business accountant) in $50/month increments, and since my name was tucked into it, I thought, “Well, hell, no, we are not going to do it this way.” So I paid the penalty without telling him. He found out and actually sent me a check to pay me back. (shocking) It turns out he didn’t want to pay in full because he was buying OW a huge engagement ring. Ouch. — The point is, don’t engage with anything more that the minimum required to complete the business at hand.

  • I just pretended he was dead. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I also requested that he be seated in a separate conference room when he came to my attorney’s office. The attorneys shuttled between rooms while we negotiated.

    • Wow. Dr. ICBIaC. Look at you getting all creative with the keyboard – that’s perfect. And so is pretending he’s dead. I’ve said “you’re dead to me” in my mind a.lot.

      And, I’m still grappling with whether I will sit with him in the mediation room this coming Monday! I can’t decide!!!!

      • There really is no finer satisfaction than seeing the soon-to-be-ex through the cracks in the blinds reach for the door handle to the conference room like he is going to strut in and your attorney blocking him. The best way you can tell someone to go to hell is with indifference.

        My primary reason for keeping the rooms separate is because I considered our negotiations to be a business transaction. I needed to make clear decisions about my legal rights and assets without being distracted by an ass-clown.

      • I recommend having another separate room available and seeing how you feel. Signal or write a note to your attorney when you need a break or want to be separated.
        Don’t do anything that makes you more uncomfortable. Guard yourself.
        Hugs!

      • Nikki Lynn, I did shuttle mediation with attorneys present. Never even saw stbx going in or out- totally NC. It was terrific to have privacy from him. I could get all the advice I needed and no judgement or shenanigans from him and no revealing my feelings or strategy to a person who would twist them (he tried the shenanigans with the mediator who shut it down). Also, in my state we were able to submit a pre mediation case letter. Mine was 30pages chock full of evidence about his cheating, lying, misuse of funds, and voluntary underemployment (I am the earner and am having to pay him to get out of the marriage). His doc was a few pages of “alternative facts”. I don’t think the mediator had much sympathy for him. I would say use the process to your advantage…my attorney routinely reminded me no need to respond to random shit he tossed out.
        Funny thing is, mediator said stbx thinks my attorney is dastardly. I said “well he hates me too”. And the mediator said,” no just her. He likes you.” That made me laugh on sooo many levels. Good luck to you.

  • I’m completely NC with my ex since our kids are adults. The divorce was final a couple of days before Thanksgiving last year so I wasn’t surprised when I still got Christmas cards addressed to Mr and Mrs. from his friends and family. I didn’t open them, just put them in an envelope and forwarded them to him. But this year? Cmon, it’s been over a year! So rather than breaking NC and forwarding them on like I did last year, I sent everyone from “his side” that I got a Mr. and Mrs. card from a copy of the letter that went in the cards I mailed out to people who didn’t know what had gone on. The letter included a little blurb about my daughter also changing her last name to my maiden name. I had fun wondering what his people would make of that. I also scratched out my contact info (I sold the marital home and bought my own place) and added his. I refrained from adding any commentary, I figured the news that we’d been divorced for over a year and one of his two children repudiated him to the point of legally changing her last name would be sufficient to get the message across. 🙂

  • 1. Crickets ring tone for the XW’s phone number;

    2. Whenever I think of her or her behavior, and I start to get angry and I want to lash out, I conjure up the image of a dog returning to his vomit and I stop; and

    3. I keep in mind CL’s comment about how absurd cheaters are, and I just start laughing when the XW makes her absurd comments or takes an absurd point of view because it is absurd.

  • Changing their name to “assclown” or something similar on your phone always works. There’s nothing like seeing an incoming call or text labelled “Stupid Turd” to make me smile and press delete.

  • I haven’t had time to read all the responses, so apologize if I am repeating something already said. The first couple of years I was separated, I was so shattered that I lost all sense of my value as a person. But, I got help through several avenues and over time started to love myself again. Then for quite awhile I was very angry at how I had been treated. This contributed to my healing. I also realized when I became angry that my Ex was toxic and every time I saw him or heard from him, I fell back into a black hole. So, this was before I discovered CL, but I knew I had to go NC if I was to move forward. I stopped answering texts, emails, etc. He came to my door twice and I answered the first time, but did not invite him in and made it clear I did not wish to talk with him. The second time, I saw his car in my driveway and didn’t answer the door. He got the message. But, I don’t think I would have had this strength if I hadn’t started to see myself as a worthwhile person and that I had the right to say “no” to someone else. I ended two freindships with people who were critical of me through this process and with a couple of others, I told them we could only continue as friends if they did not bring my Ex up in conversation. I became very choosy about who I would share my feelings with. I think it is hard to go NC if you are still fully enmeshed and co-dependent with your Ex. But over time, you can get yourself back and then setting boundaries becomes possible. You may falter, but each tiny step backwards for me led to giant steps forward. Everyone on this site is a worthwhile human, with every right to choose a good fulfilling life free of anyone who does not truly respect them.

  • First time contributor, but have been following this blog since D day. My situation is a little more unique, but equally traumatizing. just over 6 months ago I found out, out of the blue, that my fiance of 4 years had been hiring hookers, direct messaging porn stars and messaging with a slew of married women. It cost a lot of money, but I called off my wedding, swallowed some non-refundable deposits, broke my lease and moved into a relative’s basement.
    I finally achieved no contact back in September. I blocked him on social media, blocked his number etc.. I kept screen shots of the disgusting messages he exchanged with hookers, picked out a few that really sting, and every time I feel a little weak I pull up the messages again and go from feeling bad to wanting to punch him in the throat. I also have my go to girlfriend who if I text her anytime day or night, will remind me what a disgusting pig he is and how I could have contracted an STD and died.
    I also told him if he tries to contact me ever again, i’ll call his mom and/or post on social media and shout from the rooftops what a pervy little creep he is. I’d never do that, but the threat is enough to terrify him. Egotistical little fu*k.
    Logistically being able to cut ties was much easier without being married and/or having kids together. But it was still the hardest thing I hope to say I’ve ever done.

      • Yep, no matter how much money you “lost” cancelling the wedding, you’ll more than make up for it in savings on therapy bills, divorce lawyers and just general all-around heartache.

    • Your heart was still broken. Divorce is messy, but any break up with a cheater is a mess.
      As to outing him, practice what you would say to his mom or what you would want to post. Just getting those words and feelings out without sharing or posting them can be so satisfying and therapeutic.

    • chumpgirl52, you are who I wish I was like in 1994 when I got married. After finding out my now ex went to Canada for “part 2” on his bachelors party. “Part 1” was a golf outing with family and friends. Looked so nice and Christian-like. “Part 2” was the real him. When I found out, he was laying in our future marital bed, hungover. I so wanted to walk away. I was so disgusted by him. But our wedding was a week away. Everything was pretty much paid for and my family had already invested money in dresses, etc. I so wish I trusted my gut. You are one mighty woman! You are my hero!

      • That sounds like an awful situation- I’m sorry you had to go through that. Looking back red flags were flying for years, but I ignored it until I found the sext messages.
        It’s embarrassing for sure but i’m glad I called it off.

  • This may be a long explanation but I was inspired by Chump Lady’s encouragement to share to help the newbies who are dealing with this. Firstly if you are a newbie and hurting, I’m sorry but it really is for the best and here’s why, it protects YOU. In my case it’s easy to want to stay gray rock with my stbxh. He’s simply not the man I married. He changed so much when the ” midlife crisis ” hit that he could literally be a different person. I’m not the only person who knew him before who could see these changes also. Including his own Mom calling him Middle Aged Crazy. Now that I have been watching a lot of Sam Vaknin videos on YouTube I realize that this isn’t a midlife crisis. That narcissists are about as close as you can get to multiple personality disorder. They literally disassociate their true self from what the narc self does. In his case you can actually see the change in him, and hear it in his voice. It’s as Sam Vaknin says, ” eerie. ” Sure I’ve tried talking to him in the past thinking it would make a difference. But it won’t, and what I know now from those videos is that a narcissist NEVER gets out of their ” midlife crisis. ” They’re so disassociated from their true selves to ” protect ” them from what he, ( Sam Vaknin ) calls narcissistic injury. In other words he is in some ways a good man who wants to do good. But he’s also an addict who wanted exciting sex with prostitutes and other women and to drink a lot. The two don’t go together, so he split off into another persona that you can’t guilt into doing different as you can a moral man with a conscience. It’s how he dealt with his shame. Narcs have a lot of shame and they are fragile people and can’t deal with it in a healthy way.

    You can say enough about the narc what about you? Well, when you realize all of that, it’s highly effective in keeping you gray rock as there is nothing more to be said or done. He’s crazy, he’s with someone else, there’s no reaching him or helping him to see health. There’s no reason to talk to him. In fact it just makes me angry to talk with him now. I try to be polite but dealing with someone that messed up that you used to love and admire for his good qualities ( he was a covert narc ). It just makes you angry about the situation. I can’t even really be angry at him because he’s mentally ill and was made that way by childhood trauma. If I have learned my lessons right then we chumps may have had childhood trauma too and it made us into co-dependents. Theirs made them into narcissists. Ours is actually the better situation, as ours is treatable, theirs isn’t, because they won’t even acknowledge something is wrong. Or if they do as he has, they shrug and won’t do anything to change, that’s the addiction. An addict will do anything to stay with their addiction, in his case another woman is filling that need and she’s just as messed up as he is and left her marriage too. They just blame you and leave, as he did. The beauty part is that they won’t be happy together as they are both crazy in the same way. Doesn’t work, you have to have a co-dependent and a narc not two narcs/borderlines together. So I don’t have revenge fantasies, since their being together is all the revenge I need. Just knowing how that relationship will be in time makes me laugh. lol

    I am just angry that this whole thing happened and has left me alone at this time in my life and I am having to deal with that, I don’t want him back. It’s better that, than having to deal with an addict/narc for anymore of my life. So that’s how I stay no contact. Self education is the key to keeping you away from their sickness. Staying away is the best thing you can do for you. Because if they can suck you in they get a kick out of it. They aren’t happy people and they can’t stand it that you have the potential to be actually happy and loving and good and kind. Let go of them and embrace your new life and concentrate on growing that. Embrace your loving self. It’s hard because you feel devalued, but know that was their problem, not yours. You are more than just a reflection in some narcs eyes. You are yourself on your own now, it will eventually feel comfortable and even good with time. Educate yourself so it doesn’t happen again in your next relationship. Time really does heal all wounds, so be patient and loving with yourself. Best wishes and positive energy to all of you.

    • WishTuesCameSooner , you said this all very well. I have a difficult time watching Sam Vatkin (not that he’s not excellent), but it’s more the accent which is hard for me to understand him. Anyway, I’ve been a student of YouTube videos since last summer I think. That and reading books like Psychopath Free, among others. Education is the way to figure out what happened to us and how to insure we never make this mistake again! Your post made me cry, because it’s so point on. I’m going to copy it and post it to where I keep things I want to read again. Your post will most certainly be helpful to some chumps out there in the future.

      I never knew what I was dealing with my ex. He had me so convinced that there was something lacking in me. He never said that to my face at all. I just always sensed and knew he was always out there looking for other “friends.” I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me that I was enough for him. This lead to over 20 years of trying harder, doing more, dancing for him to make him notice me or spend time with me.

      I could never understand how one day he was acting in love with me and happy with me. And then it seemed like the next day he hated me and was done with me. Now knowing all I know about narcs — this has made sense of what my marriage was.

      And like you, my ex had/has good qualities. Qualities that I admired and loved. But he also has an evil, twisted side. I now trust he sucks. He’s a narc and narcs suck. They suck all the life out of you. Make you feel like you are worthless and then they throw you away like garbage. Normal people don’t act like this. Thank you for your post.

    • Great post – thank you for this! I have not heard of those videos on YouTube – will have to check them out.

  • I can’t quite go NC with X, as I entered a bankruptcy WITH him, about a year before the divorce. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I forgive myself, I was being mightily abused, but what a mess. Guess who paid the whole thing? Not him, delicate flower that he is, who can’t work much of the time because of anxiety. Now that I have paid it off, which took years, I still need his cooperation to sign papers, and mail them back, so I have found being nice, and brief, to be the only way I can keep him cooperating. Plus, we have adult sons together, so I just want to be able to see him and be reasonable at the occasional event! I’m very glad I live 900 miles away from him. I hope no other Chumps get tangled up in this financial mess, like I did. That was a constant theme through our marriage- he would mess up our finances, and I would try to fix them, it was exhausting.

    • Oh God, I hear you. Mine has us in debt to the IRS. Still trying to resolve that in the divorce. Every time that jackass was laid off or the kids needed something “extra”, it was on me to pony up more funds. Work the second job. Whatever necessary to pay the bills.

      Btw, he is in my home as Miserable Vomitus Mass and his ring tone is So What (na na na). The picture next to his name is Stay Real, Stay Loyal or Stay the Fuck Away from Me.

    • I work for a tax accountant, and today a woman called looking for an accountant for her fiance, who apparently has tax problems going back seven years! All I could do was pass her call to my boss, but I so wanted to be a movie or tv receptionist talking to her so I could say something like “Girl, what are you doing?! Get away from this man-boy who can’t or won’t take care of his own shit. You are dipping your foot into a lake of fire and stench! Step back before you fall in!

      But I couldn’t do that, and I feel that it wouldn’t have been appreciated if I had. I wish her luck, whoever she was.

  • Mine would call me everyday to find out the kids schedule. So, I made a shared iCalendar with alerts, events, etc. I send him info about any sport team group page…and remind him that I won’t be adding this separate calendar to our shared calendar. Then, whenever he would call to ask, I would simply say “it is on the calendar”. He eventually stopped asking.
    I simply have him listed on my phone as “X”….I was more creative early on…I think my fav was “re-Dick-ulous”

    • Yes,the poor helpless one, er…..clueless one.
      I spent the first year after divorce texting the phrase “as it states in the divorce decree…”
      Eventually he went an entire month without seeing the son because he hadn’t read the decree, and texted me “how can I go an entire month without seeing my son?” I should have kept my mouth shut but instead I said “read the decree and find out.”
      That’s when he read it and was angry that he could have seen the boy on quite a few of those days he missed but he’s stopped the nonsense and now doesn’t ask stupid questions.

  • Even though your fiance is a whoremongering pig,you are still grieving the loss of the man you thought he was.You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.
    Apart from that CG52, you handled it all brilliantly.Narcs fear exposure and are all about impression management so your threat will probably keep him away from you.
    When the heartache goes,you’re going to look back and be grateful you weren’t married to and parenting with this turd.You will get past the horrible trauma.

    • Thank you! It was almost an out of body experience, I just went through the motions and listened to my family (who of course he insisted “didn’t know how strong our love was”)
      You hit the nail on the head when you said I’m grieving the loss of the man I THOUGHT he was.

  • Thankfully, he doesn’t usually try to contact me. He still thinks that he is completely innocent. After all, he’s “only human” and “our marriage was in trouble”, even though I didn’t know it was in trouble. Neither did the kids. Or family. Or friends.
    Anyway, I’ve cut him out of my social media. I’m still friends with his family on FB, but I’ve stopped following them so that they don’t come up in my feed. I’ve gotten rid of as much as I can in the house that reminds me of him. Whenever I find something new, it goes straight to the trash, Goodwill bin, etc.
    I’ve also changed his pic on my phone to a hand making the “loser” sign. That helps… a LOT.
    I try not to respond to emails or texts right away. I think through my response and ask myself 1) what outcome do I really want for me and the kids? and 2) is my response effective in moving me toward what I want?
    And yes, we talk only about the kids. I find that I miss him sometimes when I’m up late working, but I tell myself it’s just because I’m tired and not thinking straight. Sure enough, by morning, I remember what an ass-clown he is and how much better my future will be without him. One day at a time.

  • I cannot go No Clmtsct with my STBX as we have mutual minor children and are in the third year of our divorce (awaiting trial). I think of dealing with my STBX the way I imagine I might deal with cleaning up the results of a nuclear accident–Try to clean up what I must wearing a Haat suit and stay far away from the site when I don’t need to do clean up duty.

    I am working on minimizing the length of my interaction with STBX. Time is momey. I realize that the shorter my messages to my attorney, the lower my fee. The same is true, albeit it not as directly, regarding my STBX. The more time I spend interacting with him, the less time I have to develop professionally, prepare lunches for my kids, maintain my health (which results in fewer doctor visits), all of which lead to earning and saving money. (Life of minimal contact is way more pleasant, too.) Like the old game show Name that Tune, in which the winner is the contestant who can name the tune hearing the fewest notes, I win by minimizing the number of words I waste on STBX.

  • I bred with a fuckwit, so can’t go NC. However, the thing that has saved my sanity has been our parenting consultant. We were referred by our mediator during the divorce, and we still see her from time to time 3 years later. It seems important to my ex that he looks good to the parenting consultant. So I can say something, and he’ll call it ridiculous. She says the same exact thing, and he says OK. I am incredibly thankful that he is still willing to go when things get bad.

    That said, he’s been really, really hard to deal with. He changes plans constantly and is generally a huge asshole. I have some friends who have been super helpful keeping me focused on what matters and helping to prevent me from engaging. I try to arrange things as much as possible that I don’t have to ask him for anything, and we have our custody schedule set for the next 12 months. If he asks me anything, I don’t agree unless I get a significant benefit out of it. But he changes so much, that it has to be very compelling for me to agree. It’s just not worth it otherwise.

  • Me Fab gave me the silent treatment which was simpler-I won’t say easier. I also have 100% custody and live on another continent, so perhaps what I am saying is more academic than it might be for coparenting Chumps. MrFab is not strictly a deadbeat, more a minimalist for whom any contact or $ is a gift. So, mostly Meh.

    1- If you have kids, it is a long game. Every sentence I have sent him in the past 3 years has had Kiddo’s name in it.

    2-Reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce- If he sent 100 words, I returned five (This took practice). Reuse-I have stock phrases, literally copy and paste: “Here are reciepts for Kiddo’s therapy, please remit as usual”. Recycle-if and only if an alternative fact is offered. Quote bullshit. Say no. State consequences. Ignore.

    3- Use intermediaries if you have them. I got so much crap after sending a therapists bill, I just asked her to send receipts to us both my email. Good insulation. I also involve a friend who proof reads for me.

    4-Just don’t. Resist the addiction. It is a mindfulness thing. I am four years out and Mr Fab STILL takes energy. I have to make a conscious effort to re-center and take a sanity minute.

    5-Help other Chumps-even if you are still at the Dragging your Ass off the Kitchen Floor Stage, reach back to others, who might be at the Truman Show Stage, or huffing the hopium, you can help others, which in turn helps you get it straight.

    Kiddo asked the other day if I would contact her dad to buy half her ticket to go see him this summer. We just went through all the FAFSA stuff, and she is 18 in 9 months. She had to make a statement about her dad’s financial contribution, she also knows how much he has shortchanged her by in order to get back at me. She is aware that he will want her to do a pick me dance for any financial help, but then her relationship with him is her business.

    So I said ‘Nope, I am done. That’s a Dad question.’

    Her reply-‘Meh. What is for dinner?’

    Tuesday is coming, keep walking.

    X-Meh

    • Mephista, great insights, love the reduce, reuse, recycle one!

      Like many chumps, I share custody with the X, and my munchkin is in elementary school, so it is a long game.

      During the divorce process, I made the mistake to ask questions and try and collaborate with him. I learned fast that this was not going to work, so I researched custody plans, and worked through an iron-clad one that has 2 to 3 layers of if… then… statements for pretty much every possible situation. My lawyer and custody advisor warned me that complicated plans like these are hard to enforce. Going against their advice and insisting on spelling everything out was the best possible thing I could have done. There is a contingency for pretty much everything, except 3 things (and guess which 3 things are recurring issues he tried to bait me with…??)

      During exchanges, I don’t say hello to him, I focus on my kiddo. All contacts I have with the X is via our parenting software or text messages for logistical changes. Every email I send, I use the BIFF method from Bill Eddie, and I don’t ask questions, I just share if… then… statements about what I will do. I write each email in a way that if he does not answer, the result goes to my preferred course of action.

      Do I feel tempted to email him and let it rip when he tries to re-write history? Yep… But then I remind myself that each email could be read in public in a court of law… Every time, I keep it BIFF and move on.

      Does my anger get triggered when he is not doing what he is supposed to or tries to bait me? Yep! And then I remember all I have learned here from fellow chumps… Especially that to cluster Bs, silence from their Xs feels like the loudest F* you!

      One thing I have realized though… Even with all this in place, being as NC as possible does not mean that sharing custody with a cheater remains painfully exhausting and a path filled with setbacks in my chump recovery.

      I am really addicted to potential, and see around me how others co-parent in harmony… I am diligently working to keep detaching from what that co-parenting could be, and stay focused on what it is. I am also working on becoming more compassionate towards myself… Especially forgiving myself for having chosen him as the father of my kiddo.

      There are many challenges ahead, but at least I am no longer being married to a lying cheating coward.

  • I had 2 children with one ex, none with the other. I still hear from both of them periodically, even though the boys are grown men now. I am polite, but distant. I generally let their calls go to voice mail so I can decide if I want to talk to them, and when. Neither seem to know how to do snail mail, and/or email. One can text. They contact me when they want/need something. They pretend to be concerned for my welfare — but they are only concerned that they lost the comforts I provided and that I am no longer useful to them. Except for child or business related things, I just did not initiate contact after the divorces. I now live in a much calmer, peaceful place, and my life is comfortable. I actually have found new friends and am able to enjoy things I love (music, travel, movies, etc). It is amazing — a metamorphosis from a miserable caterpillar to a free flying butterfly. All because I changed the environment I lived in, because I stopped living with negativity, because I stopped trying to fix the unfixable. I chose my happiness above theirs. I hear about them on occasion. They are still liars, still making bad choices, they are still living a miserable life. One has married a younger Asian woman, and he tries very hard to use her like a servant. He is in his 70’s now, and has had a minor stroke. I don’t know how much fooling around on the side he can actually accomplish now. One has been through countless women, telling each one that he was looking for “one” perfect soul mate that he could live with on an eternal honeymoon. Neither will never ever be happy, because they make their own misery. I am just glad I got away.
    The last time I saw the father of my sons, I could feel the anger start to rise inside me. Before it got too bad, I told him I had to leave. When I drove home I thanked God that I had divorced him when I did, and that I could go home to my peaceful place. My son’s understand that I can only take minimal contact with him. If they choose to marry, I can stand being there with him if they choose to have a wedding instead of elope. I can go safe in the knowledge that I will go home to peace and he will still be an Ass. Always and Forever, Amen!
    Whatever it takes to get your mind free — do it. Use humor, use your lawyer and the courts, use moving and changing your phone number. Whatever you need — use it. Meh is a wonderful place.

  • Mehphista
    Thank you for writing all of that so clearly. I am very much the opposite of no contact at the moment as he is back in the house for a month but then will be off back on another continent. He is not a good communicator with me or boys so that will make it easier I hope. I am not good at NC yet. It will take me a long time. I have no family of my own and we were married 21 years. We were best friends (ha ha) who talked multiple times a day. It will take me time to grow a new social support system. But I am forgiving myself for taking it slow. This list will help.

    • Megahugs, Capricorn. I was wondering how you were getting on with your sentence….

      Your little uns will have to learn to manage their relationship with their dad-your job of compensating for your ex is over. You will likely be pleasantly surprised to find you overestimate your ex and underestimate your kids.

      ???

  • When I used to have the urge I reminded myself that I would be sharing with the person who least understands me on the entire planet….and who cares about me the least…..and will apply narc twisting to every word I say

  • Tbe Limited paired up with a wacko he used as his mouth piece as he’s passive aggressive. She harassed me repeatedly in public, taunted me, and because there were no threats to bodily harm I could do nothing.

    I called security on her, filed with the state police to leave a paper trail and she then made false claims against me. The claims said I broke into MY daughters home. He used her address for over two years illegally. My daughter was pissed as I have a key to HER home to let her dog out.

    The officer laughed when I said it wasn’t his residence. She alleged I had done things to their vehicles and broke into their home destroying property. I’ve never stepped into the dumpy apartment and had no idea what type of car she drove.

    Last February she ran me off the road driving at an excessive speed. Luckily, I was on the phone with my daughter.. It was the Limited’s slunT in her new car waiting at a red light. She was flipping me off bouncing up and down in the drivers seat. I filed charges and that was what it took to keep her away from me once and for all.

    #hesstuckwithit

  • Dr. Skankenstein is a master of the pregnant pause…”I haven’t made any plans for Christmas…” “Father’s Day is coming up…” “That movie about (something that I like) looks good…” “I wish the kids would answer my texts…” For some reason he is still under the impression that although he blew up our lives we are an intact family unit except that he is allowed to live in his own apartment, have porn star worthy escapades with strange women, AND be master of my domain and our adult kids. At first I would bite because I am a bleeding heart chump and need to save every earthling from pain. It took me a long time to realize that I am also in pain, I need saving, and his involvement in my life made all of that so much worse. I don’t owe him family-time, so I practiced saying ‘No.” Obnoxious driver trying to muscle into my lane? No! Co-worker needs help yet again because she spent the workday yacking on the phone? No! Pushy sales person? No! Kids sitting around but they need help with something that is mundane? No! I practiced that a lot. So the next time he called I was ready. “The kids birthdays are coming up…” No, I will not make gift suggestions because you are too self-involved to pay attention and figure out what they like. No, I will not go in half and do all the shopping. No, you can sign your own effing card. No, I will not make arrangements for you for a cursory celebration when you can spare an hour. No, no, no!!! Saying no empowered me and gave me back my agency. Saying no meant I could be loving and giving to people worthy of it, not every soul-sucking louse who would never reciprocate. Saying no meant I denied him emotional power over me. Saying no meant that saying YES meant something again!

    • “At first I would bite because I am a bleeding heart chump and need to save every earthling from pain” — Boy, if that ain’t the truth!

      I learned to stop “answering” things that weren’t a question. Honestly, that started before Dday and probably was one of the “bitchy” things I did that “pushed” him into OW’s arms/legs/whatever.

      “We don’t really have anything in the fridge for dinner….”
      “I think we’re low on laundry detergent….”

      Sorry (not sorry), is there a question in there? Just silence. Works like a charm.

      • Yes NWB, yes! He never could master pronouns either! “We” always meant “you!” As in:

        “We should have gone shopping over the weekend after I finished golfing and taking a nap and we finished cleaning the entire house by yourself. (er, ourselves?)”

        “We need to do something about the kids always horning in on our (my) time.”

        “We should think about having an open marriage.”

        I however, know exactly to whom I am referring:

        “We (the kids and I)” kicked your (Douche Canoe’s) ass to the curb because you (the aforementioned water flotation device) are full of shit.”

        “We” are doing just fine, without your constant need for adoration sucking up our time and energy.

        “We” really do genuinely love each other in a non-sparkly, kinda messy, “have each other’s backs” kinda way. You? Not so much.

      • OMG my ex did this ALL THE TIME!!!! The comment followed by pregnant pause …. At one point I got so fed up w/the lack of reciprocity that I decided I would require him to make an actual request, rather than jumping in to fulfill all his needs and wishes. Plus of course the last few fights we’d had, he’d been telling me that all the little things I did for him meant NOTHING.
        Late one Sunday he was sighing about how tired he was, then started ironing his shirts for the week (that he had refused to get done at our local laundry, of course!). I saw him sighing and glancing at me as I had FINALLY sat down to read a book, after running off my feet all day. I remember saying to myself ‘if he actually asks me, I will iron for him’. Nope, just sighing and glancing.

        After DDay #2 and my kicking him out, this incident was one of his justifications for cheating. Uh huh. ‘Cause that’s how he knew I didn’t love him anymore. Jeeeez, if that meant no more love, that man had NEVER loved me after the first few months of love bombing.

        NC, the path to the truth and the light, has allowed me to see what a lazy selfish asshole he was.

  • I am fortunate that I had a clean break divorce with no children. At the end of the year we sorted out the last few little bits of business quite briefly via text and the divorce was legal/final/done on 12/31. We will literally never speak again. I was chatting with a girlfriend and she asked me now that it’s done and I have nothing to lose if I wanted to see if I could get the truth out of him. I admitted that I would love to send him text that says: “Just admit it… you fucked her.” (he’s always stuck with the just friends line). Occasionally I have the urge to mention some thing I saw that reminded me of our 15 years together. But then I remember:

    1) he lies… he lies like he breathes, so no matter what he answered I would have no way to know it is the truth. He doesn’t even know the truth. there is nothing to gain.
    2) I see little things that remind me of people that I like all the time. College friends, former coworkers. I don’t stop what I’m doing to get the attention of that person and say “I saw this thing about pandas and I thought of you.”… I MIGHT think that I should try to get together with said person… but mostly I just get on with my day. WHY would contact someone that I hate and kind of destroyed my life because I saw something funny on the internet. Again there is nothing to gain.
    3) I never, ever, ever want him to think what he did is OK and he is forgiven. He will never be forgiven. He will justify and revise history and lie, but not on my watch. Sure I will move on and it won’t define my life, but in no uncertain terms he’s a piece of shit. I know he’s a narcissist so he won’t ever really care, but mine is a bit more human that some, and I suspect that he will have a bit of nagging guilt about what he has done. I don’t want to try to normalize our relationship as a friendly set of ex’s. He’s a piece of garbage. We don’t speak. Full stop.
    4) If you are unfortunate enough to have an Ex that will not leave you alone (mine leaves me alone), I would say just remember that their motivations are not about trying to fix things or improve your relationship… they are about feeding their personality disorder. Image management, cake, attention, got dumped my shmoopie. If they were good people who had good intentions, they never would have done what they did. Really knowing that your Ex is a garbage person and has nothing to offer you will help you remember that this is not a person that you should want in your life. You deserve better.

    • it just seems such a colossal waste of time that it took 20 years to find out you didnt need them in your life – and they want you destroyed into the bargin. That fact has taken me a year to get over. But really the ‘nothing to offer YOU’ is the point. Jut read the Rick Parfitt (status quo) guy who F@@ked his last wife on his litteral deathbed and thought – narcissist… these people never stop!!

  • A No Contact Strategy. I image him naked, kissing and having sex with his nasty, shovel faced HO while I sat at home and prayed he would call me. I see him ignoring my calls, and focusing on her shit life. Painful, but effective.

    • Clara
      I do the same. Imagining the physical intimacy he shared with his three OW’s is a sure fire way for me to hurt the most and so remember what he did and who he is.
      Some say they don’t ‘mind’ so much about the sex but I do. It’s just as painful to me as all the other intimacies and betrayals. Sometimes more.

      • Geeze Cap, I completely understand. The mind movies are the absolute worst. I found masturbation videos he exchanged with several women on his work phone. So freaking wreckless, pathetic, and unbelievably hurtful when I am forced to acknowledge that he valued strangers over his family. I had to wheedle and cajole and beg him to call while he was travelling if only to let me know he was safe, but he had all the time in the world for them apparently as most of the videos were taken in hotels around the world. And to think that he came home afterward and either acted as if nothing happened or even took his guilt out on us. I can’t even.

        • YDM, this ‘I don’t have to tell you where I am’!!!

          I was NEVER given flight schedules, hotels or when he would be back. I found out it wasn’t personal, he never told anyone else either (staff etc).

          Apparently this is a very narc thing, this inability to be connected to other people and understand that their need to be connected should be met.

          Other wives never had this problem. Their husbands would be in close touch. Hell, some even wanted their wives to join them on conferences. That hurt, but I was in too much denial to admit what it really meant, that I was married to a narcissist with no connection.

      • Me too, Capricorn. It leaves me stumped, because we had wonderful sex. I know I did not imagine that. X Rated Alert: I remember him going down on me, talking about how looking at me made his mouth water, dropping to his knees spontaneously and yanking my panties down in the living room.
        Who was he performing for? Was it all fake? Why? I used to put my hand down his pants in a movie. But, I stopped worshipping at his alter when he blew $50,000 in three months. Loaning money to morons. Wasting money on cars that should have been in the junk yard. I Questioned jaw dropping business decisions. He never valued my mind. He listened to men who have no proven life successes, always over me. He was actually a chauvinistic mysoginist.
        Our sex and affection was one of the great treasures of my life. It meant nothing to him. I hate him, and my heart is decimated.

          • I do the same thing. The minute I start to feel sorry I imagine him inviting a hooker into the home we shared, and then I pull up the nasty pictures I found of the lady of the night. It’s an awful thing to imagine but it works every time.

            • I hate remember our intimacy now I know it was never intimate. The memories of physical contact with the same man who was touching that whore make me want to vomit.
              I used to love sex. Don’t know if I ever will again.

        • Clara, “Our sex and affection was one of the great treasures of my life. It meant nothing to him … my heart is decimated.” you speak for me too. All those things. I thought our vows and what we shared were sacred, until I found they weren’t. That hurt so much. It wasn’t special at all.

          IC confirmed misogyny. Affairs are very hostile and aggressive things.

  • I really don’t have to worry about contact with the X-husband. The OW has him on a very short leash. During our divorce process she had him on the phone 24/7. Even throughout the night. My soon-to-be X went to jail for 3 months for a parole violation. The OW left her 4 young kids in Tx and came to Wis. to haunt me. She had to be sure I wasn’t visiting Numb nuts in jail. In our divorce court she sent his mom and dad with him to make sure he followed the game plan. All of it a plus for me. I had already started dating and found a man with a good true heart. My X would of never made it in the door.

    My issues revolved around our adult son. My X was a drug user and an alcoholic. My adult son had followed his lead. I had put my son through many rehabs and had him on track. He had been drug free 4 yrs and was working doing well. He started visiting his dad in Mich. That’s all it took. I cut contact with my son about 1 1/2 yrs ago. Didn’t need the drama , lies , drugs and alcohol. Today my son had court on drug charges. I am done with rehabs and bail money. He is on his own. “Call your father”, would be my advice to him now. Of course I’m a bad Mom now for not bailing him out, paying his fines and catching him up on rent. I’ll be 60 yrs old soon. Why should I pay because a person wishes to be stupid? It was difficult breaking the habit to “fix things”. But they have to learn consequences. Time to put my money into myself and my needs. Lord knows I don’t see my X-husband helping our son.

    I have not talked to my X-husband since Sept 2011. Our divorce final on Aug 30, 2012. My Husband stated he desired to go after many sexual conquests since he felt he had been short changed by only being with few women. He divorced me to do this and instead ended up with the OW right away and never did get to pursue his sexual dreams. Like I said, she keeps him on a short leash. Usually in a relationship the main “bloom” of lust and love lasts about 2 yrs. He’s been with her since 2011 so his “bloom” done wilted by now. Maybe if I throw some compost on him it will freshen him up.

    • I’m sorry you are having such a hard time with your son. But you are doing the right thing… for him and for you by saying no more. Addiction is a mean mistress. It is demanding and unrelenting. Just like you couldn’t stand by and allow your ExH to abuse you and continue to see his literal mistress, you can’t stand by and let your son abuse you in service to his figurative mistress.

      I’m sure it is hard to see your son go down the same road as your ExH… but he does have half of his DNA. I think a lot of us really struggle with understanding that some of these folks are just wired differently than the rest of us. They fundamentally experience the world in a different way. It’s hard to appreciate when you are in the weeds of trying to live day-to-day life, but it’s shocking when you take a step back to appreciate how fucked up their world view is. They are owed everything. They are special. The rules don’ apply. Most professionals admit that folks with narcissism are basically impossible to “cure” because they don’t see anything wrong with their behavior. They also fundamentally lack empathy… so they don’t care that they are being hurtful.

      I hope your son can tap into the parts of himself that you gave him (kindness, understanding, reasonableness) to find his way to a healthy happy life.

  • Everyone today is hilarious….my two cents, plus, my first post. My ex’s nickname has changed a few times, from Arnie, short for Arnold Schwarzenegger and currently to Donkey (Think Shrek) I struggle with calling him by his real name, which doesn’t exist for me anymore. So, if my phone should ring, and it is “Donkey” calling that is exactly what it says, and a very large, unattractive picture of a Donkey. “hee haw”! If we should cross paths I “ghost” him and if he pulls up I say “Uber” is here. It helps. 🙂

    • Hello, 4000jordan, Yeah, I like everyone’s posts about what their cheaters name and picture in the phone is. Lots of good laughs with that! I like you, I will not say his name unless I have to. In my phone he’s “sociopath.” I like what my phone tells me the sociopath texted me. It makes me laugh when I hear it. I still need to find the perfect picture for his contact photo. And that’s funny about “Uber.” 🙂

  • I kept coming back and laughing at the cartoon. It is giving me a boost because it captures how gross these cheaters all are. Look at her eyes and mouth and then the Lysol can. I love it. Better than the New Yorker cartoons. And her curly mullet. All business on top, party in the back!!!

  • Because contact causes me to have a trauma response I treat contact with X like I would treat exposure to radiation. We have minor children but with some creativity I’ve handled it just fine: For the bigger shared kid expenses I set it up so that the monthly payments will come 80% from his bank account and 20% for mine so that I don’t have to chase him. I hired a teenaged driving babysitter to handle all visitation transitions so that I don’t have to have anything to do with that. It’s worth the $20 for that peace of mind!

    Of course I have all social media blocked and texting is blocked and phone calls. My children all have cell phones so they can call me and text me if needed. I have folders so that any emails that come from him so that I don’t have to see it in my inbox . I try to do all communications through counsel. Because that costs money it limits communications to only the essentials.

    Again, my take away his been that if I limit exposure my brain functions. If not, I am in a horrible fog and subject to the abuse blame shifting and mindfucking. He is just like toxic waste, as dangerous for my well being as mercury or radiation. I try to be my own best friend and protect myself because no one else will. It’s working! Meh is on the horizon!

  • Nice challenge! A positive one!
    I have moments when I nearly shed a tear, when I think that we had 10 years…
    Then I tell myself “Stop thinking!” That was in the past, I need to live in the present and think of the future. It’s scary, the unknown, but I try to find comfort in the idea that something better awaits me.
    I’ve been through tough times before. Looking back, I now know it was best that I lost what I wanted. Something better, brighter than I could have imagined happened in my life.
    So I try to stay positive, live in the present, try to enjoy every moment of the journey. I am healthy, I am fine, life is good!

    • Amen! Blessings to you as you stay the course. I can relate. What I thought I wanted is nothing compared to the good things that are coming.

  • #MotherChumper: I second that! It is like exposure to radiation. My strategies have been retuning to my hometown to live (where X refused to live; apparently beneath his ratpacking, slovenly behind), purging the playlist (no songs that he liked or that remind me of him) and getting a new job with zero memories of him there. I also limit my contact with his relatives or old acquaintances from the marriage, and won’t go near the house we lived in. And I make a list every day of what I am thankful for – my daughter actually saw one of my lists and laughed because the title was I’m Happier Because, and on the list was, “No one is screwing me over, financially or otherwise.”. Hey, I can find a bright side to everything, and having The Dark One gone is a List Topper, I must say.

    • Your list made me smile too.
      Very good philosophy: find the bright side to everything.
      It think there is wisdom in the yin and yang symbols: how could we tell the bright side if we didn’t meet the dark side? Makes you appreciate more the good things in your life, no matter how small they may seem.

  • mine lives in another country. Easy peasy. This next one will be harder, but we haven’t been together long so just blocking on social media and phone should do it. If he stays in this town i might see him around. Ugh.

  • Best way to keep no contact? Refer back to this site when you weaken. That’s what I did and do when I want a reality check. Reread CL archives, keep her book next to your bed and stay in the present moment. The past was a lie, the future is an unknown, but the now is YOUR truth. YOUR life.

    Do not let the lying selfish cheating motherfucker cocksucker mess with your truth, anymore. It ends with NO CONTACT.

    • Amen! It’s still hard to accept that it was all a lie, but I was living the truth even though he wasn’t. And I’m still living the truth, even though my life is messy and hard at times. I will never associate with a liar again.

  • Only contact is about kids, and minimal with that. Any time I get overwhelmed I make a list of what I don’t miss…
    1) erectile disfunction.
    2) porn addition
    3) Noel Biderman
    4) affair with skank
    5) financial ruin
    6) massive credit card debt
    7) narcissism

    Then a list of what I have gained
    1) my freedom
    2) my house
    3) control of my finances
    4) love and respect of my kids.
    5) new job
    6) new dog
    7) no more settling and waiting.
    8) my future

    I can’t control him, his crazy, his demands. I can control me and what I choose to do about dealing with him. Never would go back. Crazy journey but I am so thankful for my divorce!

    • exactly – totally need to imprint on your brain what crazy crap you had to put up with. otherwise you default to qualities you sustained in the love bomb. even though it was 20+ years ago I still kept all those letters and when ever i mentioned them he would screw up his face in ‘mock’ disgust. I thought it was mature self deprecation but now realise he didnt mean it in the first place…Make a list stick it on the bathroom mirror and repeat all his insults so it sticks like a new record. Actions/words

  • My non-response in the forms of blank facial expression, unresponded texts, emails, & phone calls—drives him nuts!!!; I’m more than happy to oblige.?

  • My 70 year old Mum came with a code name for the OW – Lenore, the whore… she’s not a whore… well, yes she is. Was a friend, awork colleague of mine and about to have a baby with fuckwit and I’m only 8 months from D-Day…

    He’s trying to do a solo pick me dance but I’m not playning the game anymore. He doesn’t want to be with her, he will do anything for the boys etc etc. He is still with her and constantly lets the boys down.

    No contact is really difficult Due to the kids but always much better when I do get my rock on!

  • Well, actual literal death has been an effective tool although a friend who sometimes gets “messages from beyond” twice told me he was trying to reach me…and that in some etherial way there was a great “cost” to him doing so. What evs, Im not terribly impressed.

    Oldsters know that I learned of the worst of the cheating after he died, so he never dealt with full repercussions while on earth…Im sure God is working that out.

    There is this place in my yard where I “felt” his presence after he died…it wasnt where I thought that would happen…if I go near that part of my yard I lean in that direction and say something disparaging.

    I have recurring dreams (had one last night) and in the dreams he is very menacing…much moreso than I perceived him to be when he was alive. I have dreams where he is alive and were still married and Im trying to figure out how to escape.

    Ive said it here before, but his betrayal and his abuse were worse than his death, but please dont tell actual widows that, they wont understand and you will look like a heartless ass for saying that with nothing gained from the interaction. Look at it this way, our former spouses were horrid, the chances we will find “better” (as in not narc sociopath) are reasonable…I had one friend say “your first H set the bar so low, everyone is going to look good compared to him”. If they had a good one, they likely already exhausted their quota and likely will never find as good a love again, so dont wish ill on them.

    • Unicornomore, I have those dreams too. My ex was rarely in my dreams when we were married. But now he shows up and we are married, but he’s leaving even though we are happy. Very twisted dreams. I’ve read that when we dream, we are processing what’s on our mind during the day.

      Last night I had the most horrific dream. I won’t get into it and I don’t even think my ex was in it. I kept waking up from the dream, shaking each time. And I’d go back to sleep and the dream would start-up again. I couldn’t escape from it! Finally around 3:00am I woke-up shaking and I stayed up for a good half hour to get my brain off of it. This will sound weird, but I felt this evil feeling around me. Kinda like how you felt your cheaters presence after he did. I’ve never had that happened to me before.

      “your first H set the bar so low, everyone is going to look good compared to him”. Yes, exactly! I have no idea what it feels like to be cherished and taken care of. I do remember the early love bombing stage, but after that, he threw me scraps of attention. I have no idea what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone who treats me right. I didn’t date much before I got married, and all of my ex-boyfriends were very self-centered like my narc ex-husband. If I ever meet someone normal and healthy, I think I’ll be amazed how nice it feels to be with a good partner!

      • Happy Saturday Martha & Unicorn & CN, I have X dreams as well. I am so disturbed by them I asked my mom to ask her psychiatrist what they mean, as I have no health insurance. It infuriates me to start off my day with a dream about him. I hope someone will chime in and shed some light on what this means, please.

        And, I just joined eHarmony. Last night. Fingers crossed. I do think my picker is getting fixed. See what you think. I met a man at through a set up by a friend. We Face Timed. This is our first virtual date. He did not shower, he had just left the gym and he was doing his extensive food prep, which is sort of a turn off alone, during our FaceTime.
        I was not his focus. First meeting. Chopping, slicing, fiddling with his stupid Tupperware containers, sweating and in his gym clothes. He fancies himself one of those Crossfit /Paleo guys.
        I felt that sinking feeling and then I said, I have to go. I have ignored 2 texts. No more. My XH used to make me feel like I was not important by yakking on the phone non stop and ignoring me. I had done full get ready date for this FaceTime. Please let eHarmony have someone who is not a mutant.

      • This is my experience – i was processing some seriously F##ked up stuff . I woke up very disturbed and I really believe your brain and body hold onto stuff until you choose to drop it from your consciousness.

        • I have a very different opinion on dreams. They don’t rule my life. But they surely tell us the truth. We just need to pay attention.
          Some dreams we’ll remember even after decades. But most we don’t, so it’s a good habit to record them in a notebook and re-read from time to time.
          I was shocked to re-read a journal after many years, and read a dream: it was years before the actual thing happened, months before I met that person…and the dream was a very well chosen piece of the experience, was enough to ring my alarms.
          How did I end up actually living the horrid experience? By shutting off all the gut feelings, ignoring all the red flags. Yeah, I learned the hard way.
          Dreams are not the only way we can get in tune with the Universe and ourselves: those moments we sense something, when our gut is telling us one thing, or even weird moments. I had those. Of course I could not make much sense logically, but the symbolism was spot on. If only I had given those messages a second thought…

    • I get that UNM. I can absolutely get that betrayal and abuse is worth than death. There was this discussion, and people who had experienced, terrible things – said that their betrayal was worse.

      Hard to write that, but that is what they said.

  • I guess according to what I’ve read here at CL and CN, I’ve done most things wrong. I’ve read the posts about writing letters or emails, but not sending them. Well…….I sent them. I didn’t send them to change his mind. I sent them to tell him that I was connecting the dots. Finding things out via a friend. I stuffed so much down for years and years. I barely had any evidence over the years, but finally I had some; I needed to let him know I was onto him and I figured him out. I sent the emails while we were still married, so I felt like I had every right to tell him what was on my mind.

    So now we are divorced and I’m as much no contact as possible with kids. All communication is via email and the occasional text. I’m looking forward to the day that I don’t need to communicate with him at all, but that won’t be for a few years. If I feel angry, I now write out the email but don’t send it. It’s my way of journaling. I need to get it out of my brain and down into words. I then sleep on the email and delete it the next day. Writing has really helped with my healing. This includes writing here at CN.

    This is off topic, but yesterday I was talking with a co-worker. She’s been with me from the beginning of D-day. Yesterday I told her the story about my daughters birth as we got to talking about childbirth. About a month ago I realized my daughters birthday was all about power and control with my ex. Like I have shared her so many times — I think my ex was having an affair when I was pregnant with her. Plus he was going to the strip clubs in Canada.

    My husband said to me, “If the baby is born on it’s due date. I won’t be able to take time off work, because it’s busy season.” What kind of man tells his wife that he won’t be able to be there for the birth of his child, because he has to work?!” So what did I do? I asked my doctor if there were any natural ways to induce labor a few weeks early. She said I could get my membranes stripped and take castor oil.

    So chumpy me had my membranes stripped and took castor oil to induce labor early. I started crying tell my co-worker this. Just another example of the emotional and psychological abuse I endured for him. He controlled everything with his job for over 20 years. He even controlled when our daughter was born. Yes, I know it was me who asked the doctor. But I was already so depressed, because he was treating me like shit while I was pregnant. I didn’t want to have the baby alone and I wanted him to be able to take a few days off when she was born. So I did what I thought I needed to do at the time. And then after she was born, we couldn’t decide on a name for her. And he yelled at me, “You got to name son. I think I should be able to name daughter!” It’s not true about me naming son. We decided on it together, but he was rewriting history. So I allowed him to name our daughter. And her name is not spelled the most common way. He HAD TO spell it like one of his ho-workers. I wouldn’t be surprised she’s named after the person he was having an affair with or one of his other “friends.” Nothing would surprise me anymore. Thanks for listening.

    • You were involved with a man who is obviously scary disordered. When I was reading about your labor, I felt ill for you. If you have insurance, I would seek out therapy to help move past the trauma. I know that sounds like stating the obvious, but I am about to do the same. I don’t know how I will pay for it, but I need help.
      And I did want to tell you this, Martha. If I thought my XH would read my letters, I would type until my fingers bled. But, I know better. If it is longer than a few sentences, or he reads anything negative about him, he will stop reading. He simply does not care. It is hopeless to reach out to him. He knows what he did. And he never tried to make it right. What do we do in the face of such reckless hate? And I do think it is hatred toward us. No Contact is all we have.

      • Thanks, Clara. That’s so good you are seeking treatment. I’ve been to a few counselors and a psychiatrist (meds doctor). I’m unsure if I still need to go to therapy. I feel like I worked through so much from the past, including emotional and physical abuse as a child. My childbirth story just came to me a month or so ago and I recognized it for what it was — emotional abuse. In the past when I’d think about that pregnancy and my daughters birth, I’d get sad or angry at what I put up with from him. It never occurred to me that it was abuse until recently. For me, I get a memory flashback and then I can now look at it with a different set of eyes. Wisdom knowing I was involved with a seriously disordered person and what he did to me was abusive.

        Yes, I agree with you about the letter or email writing. Like I said, I no longer do that and won’t do it anymore. I just NEEDED to do it. I have no clue if he read everything I wrote. I personally think he did, because of how the divorce process went (long story).

        And I agree with you that they hate us. I saw a meme on Facebook yesterday. It was a picture of a light switch on a wall. The meme said, “Normal, healthy adult do not have this switch.” If the switch was in the up position it read “You’re my soulmate.” The switch down said, “You no longer exist.” That’s my relationship with my ex in a nutshell. He could switch how he felt for me like that light switch. That’s not normal behavior. And each time he switched his behavior, I had no clue what I did wrong! I didn’t do anything wrong! It was him all the time!

        This was way over a year ago, but I finally saw him for the fake person that he truly is. Before I moved out with the kids, we were fighting all the time. Well, it was me starting it, but I had so much anger and rage towards him. I did and said things to him that I never had done to anyone my entire life! So when I moved out, things were not friendly between us. Long story short, I saw his fake, charming smile for what it truly was. A big act. Twice I saw the loving face of my now ex-husband. The way he used to look at me. He was able to do it again, even after all the things I said to him and did to him. I will never fall for that fake person again. I know he hates me and I hate him. And I know if I ever see him at future kids events, he’ll be the “nice guy” so everyone thinks he’s this great guy. Well, I know the truth about him. Family and friends know the truth. Chump Nation knows the truth. Everything I’ve shared with CN, family and friends is 100% truth from how I’m remembering things from years ago. My ex is rewriting history and his band of flying monkeys are believing him, because he’s such a “nice guy.” No one wants to believe that it could possibly be him that has some major problems. Thank you for listening. Sometimes I just need to write what’s going on in my head. Thanks CN!

        • I saved copies of the many email I sent him…they are a journal of sorts…I keep them in a drawer with a copy of the love letter to OW I found on his computer, the hotel reciepts and the military orders that were printed out BEFORE he left on his trip clearly stating his intent to take personal days in the middle of his business trip. (He had told me it wasnt planned, it was happenstance they found themselves together….happenstance my ass.

          In the end, what newbies need to know is: If you need to explain decency to your spouse and tell them they should abuse you, then you have already lost the game.

          My dreams dont bother me any more…Im always so relieved to wake up and he isnt there.

        • (((Martha))).
          Such sad stories and such true insights. Traitor is wired to that switch too.
          Clara and UNM, right on again.

  • Snake never got the memo about hovering (hurray!) but in case he did, his ringtone is “Keep Away” by Godsmack, and his name in my phone is “Whatever” – also a Godsmack song, but a reminder of the attitude to take if he ever did try to contact me.

  • I am 3 months post DD and my ex went NC as soon as I put him out. We have 3 children and they are young adults still living at home and he has went NC with our sons but occasionally texts our oldest which is our 24 Y/O DD. They were close more like brother and sister than dad and daughter and she had been placed in a parenting role due to his immaturity. It has come to my attention that he would tell her things about our marriage like he was sick of my complaints and controlling ways or that I never wanted to go anywhere and she would agree and never come to my defense or tell him she did not want to be in the middle. I love her dearly but I am not sure she knows how hurt I am by this. She is afraid to confront her dad as she does not want to lose contact. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

    • No – you’re not wrong about feeling the way you do. Opinions are like belly buttons – everybody gets one. Which brings up the question for those with adult children – How do we feel about Switzerlandishness when it comes to them? Why is it recommended that we cut off all contact with those that don’t fully support us, yet we are expected to be “just fine” with our kids who still embrace a relationship the EX, and accept the AP because they don’t want to be in the middle? If bad character is to be reviled, why can biology override?

      • Because the love a parent has for their child is the strongest bond in human nature. But you don’t have to be “just fine” with their bad behavior.

      • I would not be “just fine” with my children playing Switzerland morally. My oldest daughter keeps in touch with cheater-dad because they do have a history together & he pays her out-of-state tuition. But she has openly been on my side morally; I would not cope well if a child was morally on the fence about cheating.

  • The biggest and best way of stopping contact is radical acceptance. That THEY DON’T CARE. They really don’t.
    Therefore, anything you do or do not do, say or do not say, makes any difference at all. Stop it! They don’t care. No amount of compassion, outrage, sark, trying to be amicable or any other thing is anything other than a complete waste of psychic energy.
    Indifference and inaction and non response is the only way. And that takes true and complete acceptance that ‘you’ mean nothing to them.

  • When people have told me, “You’re too sensitive,” I used to believe them. Now I just shrug and say, “You’re too IN.sensitive” (and walk away…)

  • I bred with a fuckwit, but my Meh Power is Strong. Grey rocked in the early days, but I’m so over it now the necessary coparent contact doesn’t even phase me.

    That being said no-contact in the beginning was key to recovery. iPhone tools were great, Do Not Disturb except Favorites, forced all calls to voicemail, then Siri types out the voice message so I never had to hear his voice. Assigned a silent ring tone. He got the hint pretty quickly. Met at public parking lots for kid transfer. I never, ever wanted to contact him myself for any try-to-understand or wreckonciliation nonsense because from the very beginning I viewed him as nothing but a monster who destroyed his family in exchange for random pussy. That was actually enough for me to cut him out of my heart forever.

    Now that he’s paid his CS for a year without complaint, does his part for our daughter and caused no drama I can even be in the same room with him when necessary and it’s not terribly difficult.

    I know others have it so much worse than me. I am so very sad for chumps who still care about their abusers and especially sad for chumps with malicious exes.

  • If we didn’t have 3 children together there would be no contact. But I only communicate with her about child support or the children… And I see her at work often, because we work in the same hospital. But I don’t even speak to her at work. I just smile and nod!!!

  • I have used a number of strategies that many have mentioned to go and stay gray rock (still have to parent with him).

    1) to start, I wrote up my own “stupid shit cheaters say”of all the horrible and outrageous things he said to me over the years. And it was a freakin long list. That helped early on. Then I stopped looking at it cuz I wanted to keep that stuff out of my head.
    2) I forward absurd things he says or texts to my sister and my chump friends. My sister has my back and we share the same sense of humor. We both enjoy making snarky fun of him. My chump friends get it and validate me cuz like CN they have lived it.
    3) I Replay the image and feeling I had when I leaned into his face and said “I am completely done with you” and knew that I meant it.
    4) I use email only, and only wrt kids. No verbal contact. He wins when it’s talky talky- that’s his manipulation wheelhouse. I win when facts are in writing. And knowing that this IRKS him pleases me.
    5) I remember the nude photo I found a week before mediation on the family camera of a skank he posed spread eagle in a big heart on the floor of my children’s playroom. The exact same heart he had posed my adorable children in, with himself in the middle, and then sent to me as my Valentine’s Day card from the children! Thoughtful!
    6) remembering how good it feels not to beat my head-against the brick wall of “If only I can get him to see my POV”. If in doubt, review number 5 above.
    7) CIMBS therapy. Amazing!
    8) got a good attorney
    9) this site!
    10) reminding myself that there’s a contractual date in the future where I will never have to give him another dime.
    11) experiencing the joy of a fog-free brain again

    • Good for you, mighty me! I especially like your #6, because I still struggle with this, although it is less and less these days. My version of Meh is reminding myself, with a shake mental head shake: he’s flat out crazy, bless his little heart. And moving on. Like that meme that used to be shared on Facebook, in paraphrase: He’s crazy…And just when you think you’ve reached the bottom of his crazy – (then) there’s a crazy underground garage!! And it’s so fitting and true. Also sad, at times, but only because I bred with this moron. But we will all overcome!!

  • I had to break NC many times to finally GET it..I think everyone’s different but I won’t make that mistake again if I ever decide to get back into another relationship. I’ve learned complete NC as soon as it’s over is the quickest route to healing and inner peace. I’ve lost track when the last time I communicated with my ex, I know it’s over a year and some change, I just finally don’t give a shit anymore…and it was torture in the early days..the only way I got there was completely cutting her off

  • I have a photo of garbage that comes up when emails or texts show up.

    He is listed as “D” for douchebag, but the kids think it means “dad.” Whatever.

    Before I hit send, I ask myself what is my goal. If it has nothing to do with helping my kids, I delete it. I had one email in the draft folder for months before I deleted it. But in the end, it wouldn’t have helped my kids.

    It still makes my stomach drop to see a message waiting from him. I don’t think that will ever change.

  • @ChutesandLadders – love the D for Douchebag. Mine is Z for Zero on phone and email contacts. And yep I still get that stomach drop. Just simply because I dont want to deal with him at all, but you have to when you have kids.

    My best no contact strategy, the one that REALLY got things moving in the No contact way – is a 24 hour ban on reply to text/emails where possible. I work on controlling my reaction and working back to what is the actual question here that I need to respond to? If there is really no question, if its just a nasty fishing expedition No response required.

  • I think most of us have had to learn that NC Is The Path to the Truth and the Light by breaking it. I am no exception. It’s so hard to let go of wanting to put them straight, or wanting to have the last word.

    Boy, I learned it though.

    I’ve also now learned the following in terms of long-term NC:

    – Silence is the best last word.

    – Depriving them of as much information as possible (information = oxygen for image managers) is the best last word.

    – Depriving yourself of as much post-breakup information as possible (no Facebook stalking, for example) is the best last word. This one seems counter-intuitive because so many of us wait for the karma bus to hit, but that just means the person still occupies too much of your mental real estate.

    – Living well is the best last word.

    – Being happy is the best last word.

    – Having a life for yourself that doesn’t include them in any way is the best last word.

  • When I called my older sister about my D day, she immediately went into stealth protection mode. She found this website and was my voice of reasoning when I wanted to jump and/or murder him. She was my compass in the heavy fog induced first months. We are so NC I’ve often wonder if he’s still alive, hoping he’s not.(The karma bus has slammed into him more times then I can count in the past two years) fortunately we don’t speak much as he’s abandoned his only daughter, but when he does text me, his name comes through as ass clown sperm donor with a photo of a bloody looking sperm. When we had to do mediation I sat in the same room with him and took FULL advantage to say a lot of shit about him in a dry dead tone of voice in front of the mediator. Since I stated how my daughter refused to sleep in his bed while he slept on the couch, she asked why. I very calmly said, because she refuses to sleep in a bed he’s fucked many slutty women in. He didn’t say a word. I smiled politely to her. Tuesday I get to see his lovely pathetic face and smile at the judge as he explains why he can’t keep steady employment, and can’t pay his court ordered child support. I’ll smile at him as the court scolds him with a threat of contempt of court and a promise of Jail. Karma bus again. Honk honk

  • After DDay, I tried for months to get through to him and get him to find his lost integrity again. It wasn’t lost, I had just imagined it was there.
    After he left, it was easy to overcome the urge to write and plead, or lecture, or just rant. All I need to do is play back his phone calls to the whore while I was looking after their son, or his other sons. Listening to them scheme how they would re introduce her to his family after a few months as if it had just happened after we split up; how they would estrange me from his kids, what diversion tactics and bribes they would use. Listen to them discuss what he had found in my browser history (suicide methods) and dismiss me.
    I have absolutely no urge to try and make him understand anything. If I have any wisdom (?) he is the last person in the world who deserves to hear it. Pearls before swine.
    I rant here, thank you CN!

  • First Caller ID pic and name I had for ex-husband #2 was a oic of an x-ray of a hand with the middle finger extended/name was The Evil One…his ring tone was that country sing, “Cheater Cheater”…,

    I later changed his ID pic to the picture you can find in Google— search “Sparkles McGee bitches…” and it should come up easily, lololol… so now his ID name is “Sparkles McGee ______” thank you, ChumpLady for that moniker! !!! His ring tone was the tuba music from Christmas Vacation for Uncle Eddie when he announced, “Shitters full!!!” …Now his ring tone is one of those “warning! Warning!” Alarm sound.
    Over the last month or so, he will text me stupid shit like, “I heard there was a car wreck by the (notice “the” instead of *your* as in MINE) house, everything OK?” He did this TWICE…the first time he sent me a text at 9:00 one Monday night, called twice left voicemails, even messaged my son, and closest friends on facebook asking if DD was OK!? Whyyyy do you ask? Because he heard a little 9-year-old girl died mm in a car crash that Friday night near my house…who does that!?!?! By the way, DD is 8.Honestly, I didnt see his text, or missed phone calls until the next morning, and i set out to respond, … then i remembered all of those nights he was out with *her*, out trolling for strange, or out all night without answering my calls or responding to my texts…so, I then went about my day and had a Coke and a smile!!! Now, heres the best part— my friend on Facebook told him Monday night at 9 :00 that all was fine, fucking idiot…then, Tuesday afternoon he texted me saying, “Nice of you to respond to me checking on my daughter, I had to hear it from someone else she’s OK”…again, fucking idiot…I felt so mighty ignoring his ass.
    Honestly, going no contact at first was hard as hell to not for any reason to not contact him. When he contacts me, unless its about pick-up or drop-off, i dont respond. I havent peeped on his Facebook in over a year, although I have urges occasionally. ..the best strategy I can suggest is find a sounding board, my saving grace was here— the mighty Chump Nation!!!
    Also, I used Facebook friends and friends in real life that I relied on.
    Going no contact with DD still connecting us hurt and angered me sssoooo much at first, now I’m grateful— he has Mrs. Dumb-Ass/OWife and her kids to occupy his time and energy.
    I am 18++ months out and *now* he starts bitchin about how I dont respond to his lame ass attempts at contact. Sucks to be you, asshole.

  • Woo! I was lucky enough not have bred with that douche bag. Once I was mentally prepared to end it, I left him, lied about when my moving van was coming, van was actually coming at 3 but I told him 5 because that’s the kind of “bitch i am”. I knew he was the kind of pussy that would wait till the very last minute to make a scene. I knew he wouldn’t try to get me to break my contact, so I warned all of my friends he knew not to let him use them. I can proudly say it’s been more than a year since that fuck wit has heard my voice or seen my fabulous behind. Even though we have friends in common, i chose not to attend social gatherings. No contact is hard. But totally worth it. It’s the ultimate form of “no f***ks given*. Again they will try to get you to break no contact. Your job is stay strong even if it means giving up a few friendships!

  • I’ve been 3 weeks no contact. First week he blew up my email, texts with..how could you just ignore me? Are you ok? You’ve never done this to me before. “I wasn’t you back, I screwed up, I miss you,love you” etc etc. This is my 4 or 5th go around x with him leaving me crumpled on the floor. Something definately clicked this time and the light came on. I don’t know him. I’m sick of it, his words don’t mean shit. FINALLY! I have been happy being alone this time. I realize Ive been putting off the inevitable…putting my life back in order after the terrible destruction I allowed. That moment when the fog lifts for good. I could a had a v8. I’m at the point where I know talking to him is like talking to a rock. Pointless. He uses other people’s phones to call which I ignore. It’s the texting he does from other numbers that I’m having problems just swiping away before reading. I want to be THERE. Where I don’t want to hear anything from him. Where curiosity doesn’t get the best of me. I found out long ago he’d been on dating sites and he’d sworn he didn’t do it anymore. Today I pulled up Explorer on my phone and HIS email account pops up. I’d forgotten he gave me his password a few months,ago and I’d checked it out. Well..so much progress down the drain. I scooped. And low and behold he has been mass messaging women for the last month. When I clicked on one to read the message thinking it wouldn’t let me , it took me right into his dating site profile. Eeek! I spent 4 hours devouring all the messages and they were very vulgar hook up texts. I then went on to changing his profile to cheating lying scumbag of the earth. Along with a very horrible picture of him picking his nose (I’d gotten that one while back without him knowing) my question is..4 hours? I wasted my precious time on this ..got all riled up, went from finally having peace to wanting to cuss him out again. Instead of just deleting it all, and staying in my peace, I’ve somehow opened a hornets nest again. Writing this here instead of texting or emailing him all things things,I’ve found and want to say. Now he is in my head again. I know I should delete delete delete. But I can’t bring myself to. Help!

    • I’ve also came up with a great reason to stay no contact. Revealing to him all that I have learned and figured out now..I really don’t want him to know that I was that stupid!

  • I’ve been 3 weeks no contact. First week he blew up my email, texts with..how could you just ignore me? Are you ok? You’ve never done this to me before. “I wasn’t you back, I screwed up, I miss you,love you” etc etc. This is my 4 or 5th go around x with him leaving me crumpled on the floor. Something definately clicked this time and the light came on. I don’t know him. I’m sick of it, his words don’t mean shit. FINALLY! I have been happy being alone this time. I realize Ive been putting off the inevitable…putting my life back in order after the terrible destruction I allowed. That moment when the fog lifts for good. I could a had a v8. I’m at the point where I know talking to him is like talking to a rock. Pointless. He uses other people’s phones to call which I ignore. It’s the texting he does from other numbers that I’m having problems just swiping away before reading. I want to be THERE. Where I don’t want to hear anything from him. Where curiosity doesn’t get the best of me. I found out long ago he’d been on dating sites and he’d sworn he didn’t do it anymore. Today I pulled up Explorer on my phone and HIS email account pops up. I’d forgotten he gave me his password a few months,ago and I’d checked it out. Well..so much progress down the drain. I scooped. And low and behold he has been mass messaging women for the last month. When I clicked on one to read the message thinking it wouldn’t let me , it took me right into his dating site profile. Eeek! I spent 4 hours devouring all the messages and they were very vulgar hook up texts. I then went on to changing his profile to cheating lying scumbag of the earth. Along with a very horrible picture of him picking his nose (I’d gotten that one while back without him knowing) my question is..4 hours? I wasted my precious time on this ..got all riled up, went from finally having peace to wanting to cuss him out again. Instead of just deleting it all, and staying in my peace, I’ve somehow opened a hornets nest again. Writing this here instead of texting or emailing him all things things,I’ve found and want to say. Now he is in my head again. I know I should delete delete delete. But I can’t bring myself to. Help!

  • Down the rabbit hole.
    Download ‘How to go no contact like a boss’ excellent.
    Lots of stuff on YouTube also.
    Years ago I moved state to go NC was totally amazing at getting over my first love, took about 3 weeks, can’t do that now but at the end of each day I write in my diary NC it’s a challenge but you will never get them to vilidate you, they are contemptuous and ego drive.

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