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Dear Chump Lady, When does this get easier?

Dear Chump Lady,

A month ago was My D-Day where I found out my wife of 5 years (partner for 10) and mother of my two beautiful girls aged 4 and 1, had been having an emotional and physical affair with a co-worker. If you would have told me 12 months ago that this would happen I would say it was impossible, she didn’t seem the type.

Back in August 2016 I suddenly got a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. She started coming home from work a bit later, bought teeth whitening strips, started painting her nails every other day and was constantly shaving her body parts more and seemed to look more glowing. I asked her if she was having an affair, she denied it of course, told me I was jealous and controlling (I’m not either usually).

She deflected me too by telling my mother at a family barbecue that I was accusing her wrongfully. My mother told me that I needed to stop accusing her. I was made out to be the bad guy again.

Then in October she left her Facebook account open, I checked her search history on it and she was consistently viewing the co-worker’s account. I analysed the times and they coincided with when she was with me on holiday, in the local pub, at home, in bed together (me asleep).

I confronted her again about this co-worker. She said they were just friends, he had phoned her several times but just as friends and I was again just being controlling and jealous. She gaslighted me so much looking back. She told me that he was a family man, a good father. It was me who had the issues. I tried to put it out of my mind.

I wanted to believe her but I couldn’t let go. My gut told me I was definitely on to something.

I started to notice everything. Breath mints in her car, underwear going straight to the washing machine, coordinates in her sat nav next to hotels, phone buzzing in early hours of morning, the increased grooming, the phone superglued to her hand, her asking me to drive a certain way home (past the location of his house that she didn’t realise I knew about) the pass locks on her phone, evidence of new email addresses.

In the last few weeks I had almost lost all sanity. She convinced me I had a mental illness, I had started to believe it, I was depressed and worn out due to the gaslighting I suffered. I went to the doctors and was prescribed ADs and offered counselling for morbid jealousy. She asked me one night ‘do you think you need that counselling?’.

She was cold and distant.She refused all attempts at sex. I was at my lowest point and I am usually a strong character.

Eventually things came to a head. She left the kids with my parents who look after them while we work and phoned me saying she was just about to go in to a meeting at work. That night I found receipts showing she was in a different location around the exact time of this meeting.

She lost it and called me abusive. She told me to leave again which by now was almost a daily statement.

She called me a freak and a pathetic weasel. I knew I was right, why couldn’t she finally admit it.

Well two days later after I had asked to see her new email account that she didn’t think I knew about she finally told me.

“There has been someone else. It’s who you think it was all along. It’s been going on since May. We met in the car a few times and kissed, that’s all. He was nice to me. You weren’t meeting my emotional needs”. (I’ve not had full disclosure and don’t want it but she’s conceded she was having sex with him).

My world fell apart. I had not been cracking up, I did not need the ADs. I sent loverboy a message on Facebook and also his wife(I had done quite a bit of homework on him before D Day). I then drove to his house less than 5 mins away and confronted him. He was the snivelling pathetic weasel I had been made out to be, he refused to face me, looked grey in colour like his world had just ended and he threatened to call police and begged me not to inform his father in law who on cue arrived to collect the scumbags daughter. “Of course I won’t tell him…yeah right.”

I left after telling the father in law that his daughters husband had been fucking my wife. I’ve not seen him since.

The wife left for her mothers. Took the kids initially but they came back to stay with me on the first couple of days. Several days later she tried to get me to leave our home. I refused. She tried to guilt me but I won’t be budged. We are having 50/50 at the minute, I have put the house on the market and am seeing a divorce lawyer tomorrow. She has shown nothing but anger towards me saying it’s my fault, I caused it, I never deserved her, that she warned me I wasn’t meeting her needs (she didn’t). I’ve had only two brief outward showings her being sorry. She texted me yesterday to say she misses me. She also did similar and apologised (although with blame attached to me still) via text about two weeks from D-Day.

I hate what she has done to our two little girls. I hate what she’s done to me. She picked him over me, stole my reality for months, risked my health, put on the good nature of grandparents. I now get the feeling she’s coming round to realising what she’s done and what devastation she’s caused.

My little girl who is 4 told me the other day that people now think she hasn’t got a mummy (if she’s with daddy) and vice versa. She also said that daddy made mummy leave home. I hate the impact this has had on them and for what? Pathetic weasel is still living at the marital home. I’m not sure if my wife still in contact with him, to be honest I don’t care. She’s destroyed everything that I hold dear.

Tell me this will get easier?

Keep up the good work, your book and website have kept me sane this past month and given me the strength to do what I have always known since D-Day is right however hard that path is.


Dear Jamie,

You’re in the early days, Jamie. Right now it hurts like a motherfucker. I’m sorry, this stage feels like it will go on forever, but I promise it’s finite. When does the pain stop? My standard line is “Tuesday.” I don’t know which Tuesday, I just know it’s out there for you.

This shit doesn’t get easier until you get her out of your life. Period. Lawyer up, document what she’s been doing with the co-worker, freeze the credit cards, gather your financials, document how much of the childcare you and your parents do, get a temporary custody schedule in place, and go NO CONTACT except through scheduling software and your attorney.

The very worst thing you can do at this stage is communicate with her or see her. That’s just turning the Mindfuck telly on. (See cartoon.) Class, we all know what the three mindfuck channels after discovery are, right? Rage, charm, and self-pity.

You don’t need her half-assed, blameshifting “apologies.” You don’t need her pathetic “I miss you” come-ons. You don’t need the emotional whiplash of “I’m sorry. Now come here closer so I can blame you.”

There’s no point in sticking your head in that blender. Don’t invite more pain. Cut off contact. You have all the evidence you need that this marriage is over. She’s given you absolutely nothing to work with. She was perfectly okay to let you believe you were mentally ill so she could fuck her co-worker. She was okay with you MEDICATING yourself to accommodate her gaslighting.

She can’t walk that back. She gambled her children’s home life and your well-being for kibbles and Crest Whitening Strips. That’s who she is. She’s going to do her damnedest now to convince you otherwise so she can get back to beautiful, beautiful cake and avoid the consequences. She’ll try to convince you this is your fault. (Pick me dance! Fight to win me!) She’ll try to tell you you’re a horrible father for divorcing her. (Consider the children!) You’re not responding, but if you were you could tell her she should’ve thought of the children when she was fucking Harry McWeasel. She’ll do the Hail Mary play of “remorse.” (Okay, mistakes were made! Mistakes you drove me to.) And there will be a lot of snot and tears and running mascara.

You want to heal? You want easier? AVOID THAT. Go straight to consequences. She can communicate her “sorry” with a fair divorce settlement. Sorry is as sorry does.

Jamie, I know it is a terrible, terrible injustice that your daughters don’t get to grow up with you 100 percent of the time. That scary situation has driven a lot of chumps into reconciliation For The Children. Please don’t do this. Please don’t model dysfunction to them. Go invest in a new, better life and be mighty. Be a happy man free of mindfuckery. Be the sane parent for them. Go find a good woman who will love you right — they’re out there.

My little girl who is 4 told me the other day that people now think she hasn’t got a mummy (if she’s with daddy) and vice versa.

Tell her she has a mummy and a daddy both. Four year olds don’t have a lot of perspective. Tell her you love her. Tell her none of this is her fault. (Children often think it is.)

She also said that daddy made mummy leave home.

No, mummy had to leave because she had a boyfriend. Mummy lied to daddy, and broke a trust, and sadly there are consequences. Tell her she’s going to be okay. Tell her you’re going to be okay. Everyone is going to be sad for awhile, but it will get better. Children take their cues from you. Be the rock. Be the sane parent. Let her know you’ve got her back.

As for your gaslighting, weasel-fucking, POS wife — when you hand her the papers, tell her sorry it’s come to this, but she’s not been meeting your emotional needs. But you hope her teeth are whiter now.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Jamie, trust Chump Lady when she says it will get better. In the year after cheater X walked out on me and our 3 kids, I couldn’t see how life could ever be OK, how we could live without him. But we did. It SUCKED at first, but then time went by, and friends pointed out where I was compared to where I had been months before, and life was SO MUCH BETTER! Have faith in yourself, and follow Tracy’s advice – it works. No contact especially will give you the distance required for clarity, and each day away from the disordered not only helps you see the reality of what they are, it gives you your power back. You can do this!

  • This could have been my story. My goodness, the similarities Jamie…! I was told a variety of lines that you were, especially the “you don’t meet my needs” line. In time you will hopefully learn that this is her disordered bullshit shining through in all its glory. All of it. Hopefully soon, one Tuesday, you’ll arrive at a wry smile when you see the evidence of her bullshit heaping up and when this no longer affects you in an emotional sense.

    But right now, I know, it feels like you married and had kids with a heap of bullshit, and that bullshit is what feels like it’s landed on you. Like Biff in Back to the Future. You didn’t ask for this. Not in ANY way.

    I hope I’m not coming off flippant, because I truly don’t mean to. But I wish for you, the clarity that comes with a little more time and a whole lot of anger. USE that anger. Make it work for you, and do what CL says and tell your kids the age-appropriate truth.

    I hate to say ‘my’, but the my ex walked when my three were 4, 2 and nearly 1. I didn’t meet his “needs.” I had “been warned” and when I started pick-me dancing, I was told that it was “too late.”


    Best wishes Jamie

  • Anyone get the feeling Jaimie’s wife is emotionally abusing-manipulating the 4 yr old?

    My spidey-sense is screaming that your 4yo’s comments sound a bit sophisticated for a pre schooler. What better way to get at YOU than through your kids. That’s another indicator of fucked up- using kids as pawns.

    Go NC with this nutjob. Find an excellent counselor for you and your kids to navigate the shitstorm. Be the sane parent because being a cheater DOES NOT MAKE YOU A GOOD PARENT. Document your daughter’s feelings and comments. It may highlight she is parroting your ‘wife’ after having contact with that mess.

    • I thoughts same thing. She is pulling a sad sausage on the four year old blaming daddy. Despicable.

      • Jamie, I can’t say how important it is for you to get the 4-year old into age-appropriate counseling with a therapist who understands gaslighting and parental alienation. You know yourself that she had YOU, an adult, questioning your sanity. As terrible as infidelity is, the gaslighting is worse. It’s evil. It undermines victims’ faith in their own perceptions and in their own sanity. You do not want your 4-year old’s reality shaped by a narcissistic liar who uses gaslighting to cover up her various misdeeds and to control others.

        Follow CL’s script. Tell the truth to your daughter in the age-appropriate way she lays out. And do the same for the little one. And make sure your attorney is calling her out on the parental alienation issue. She’s the cheater. You don’t need to call her names or demean her verbally. Just tell the truth. Mommy has a boyfriend and married people can’t do that. She broke the rules. And there are always consequences when you break rules.

        • I agree that this woman is clearly trying to alienate Jamie’s daughter from him. Please follow the advice here about how to counter it and research parental alienation syndrome if you haven’t already–unfortunately, it’s often very misunderstood by the legal system, so it’s good to arm yourself with as much information as possible.

          One good piece of advice I read, too, is that the parent who is being targeted should try to engage as many family and friends as they can in social gatherings with their child present. Let the child see that you are loved and appreciated by the people who know you best so they can begin to see for themselves that the other parent’s smears against your character don’t add up.

          • Other Kat – Great advice!

            My stbx has said awful things about me – I can tell he fills our child’s head with crap by the things she says to me that aren’t from her mind set – but his.

            I take her to my workplace sometimes, and as we run into my coworkers they tell her how much they love me and how great it is to work with me.

            She notices.

            It’s hard for her because that’s her dad. He plays sad sausage to the hilt, and she was hating me for being so ‘mean’ that he had to leave and move in with coworker half his age. (I was ‘mean’ behind closed doors, he said, since she never saw me be ‘mean.’) She confronted him and he was like – yep, I did what I did because I was unhappy – I said I was sorry – what more do you want…. ugh

            My family is in another state and most of my friends have moved away, though we comminicate often. So I don’t socialize much. Don’t feel like it anyway.

            But, yeah, I relate to this. When I confronted the beast he told me I was insecure – he wasn’t cheating, and our child would never know what it was like to be from a broken family.

            And if I “researched” him, he would leave me!!!

            What a tool.

            I made my daughter have a total tool for a dad. I hate that. I wanted my child to have a strong male figure for a father…and got a tool.

            Yep. They are evil.

        • Jamie, Least there be any question inyour mind, here’s Word straight outta the dictionary:

          abuse v 1 to use improperly; 2 to hurt, maltreat; 3 to rail at, upbraid
          abusive adj //SYN vilify, reproach, revile, defame, slander, malign, transduce, ill-use

          Calling phenomena by their correct name is the antithesis of gaslighting: It’s gaslighting kryptonite. You have an established abuser as a STBX, Full Stop. Your primary responsibilities are now focused solely on your welfare and that of your children. PERIOD. Kids need one sane parent if they can’t have two, and you’re it buddy. You may have a Bunny Boiler here so please, please follow through with all the advice and suggestions everyone has made and I will add only one more: MOVE QUICKLY on all Legal Proceedings. What ya wanna do is an ambush to the extent possible and ensure you hit your adversary on multiple fronts simultaneously: Legal Dissolution, Custody, physical- ohhellyeahyou can demand full physical-with joint legal, Visitation, Child Support, gather every last piece of documentary evidence you can find and put it where it can not be found (make copies please just in case,) refuse to engage in any way aside from text/email: If it hasn’t been written it hasn’t been said. Keep your headset in Rational, do not engage Emotional. Expect to be hit hard and fast on every emotional button imaginable, every vile allegation, every despicable re-write of her-story etc. and *DNR to any of her provocations.* She wants to provoke a reaction, ANY reaction. NO: She is NOT “sorry,” Jamie. She’s busted.

          The primary reason why moving quickly and globally is imperative is because you don’t want her to have an opportunity to armor up. A frontal attack on an enemy’s fortified position is costly in lives lost and a last resort only. By opening on multiple fronts simultaneously it places her in having to react reflexively rather than tactically. Nothing says “I will allow you to *expose yourelf* for the POS you are” like decisive action. While she’s out recruiting “friends and family” to her side and screaming “Victim,” keep all your focus on vanquishing the opposition, not the shit show she’s gonna start on the side to deflect and divert your and everyone else’s attention. You can do this, Jamie. She is no longer your “wife” or your children’s “mother;” she is a post-partum parasite and you’re delivering the correct medicine to rid yourself and the kids of a known threat/pestilence, ‘K? You will conduct yourself in such a way to ensure your place in Valhalla, the Hero to your Children, the Master of your Life. And fergawdssakes, once ya get ’em down, drive the stake through; otherwise you’ll create a nightmare of a Zombie. The “stuff to do” will help keep your mind less focused on the pain you’re feeling right now. I promise, the way you feel today is NOT the way you’re gonna feel forever.

          We’ll mop up the blood later: For right now, it’s headset, not heart-set.
          I think I became a real “groan up” the day I made a gut wrenching decision based on my head regardless of the emotional cost to me. It will be worth every last bit of pain and sorrow you have to set aside right now, Jamie. Once you open the door to Awareness you can’t shut it closed and decide not to step over the threshold: You already have.

          I’m sorry, Jamie. Abuse of this type isn’t really personal because it would not have mattered what kind of man you were, any guy would have been treated just as despicably regardless of who they were. Her behavior really is NOT about you. OTOH, it’s intensely personal because it’s abuse perpetrated by an abuser you thought you knew and tailored just for you.
          Everyone’s here for ya and so are your family and real friends. Just know you’re not alone.
          Now go forth prepared to demonstrate you be as Mighty as you already are!

          • Tundra Woman: you are spot on with every morsel of advice you are dispensing to Jamie.

          • That is one hell of a good reply and it perfectly summarizes what should be your war strategy to get through this.

            Do this in, and you will find yourself in and amazingly better place down the road.

            I’ve walked in your shoes.

          • Totally on point. Excellent. You nailed it.

            They feel nothing for you.

            Only themselves.

            Exposing them drives them to destroy you and claim they are the victim. I’m living it for the 2nd time. And it sucks. My only consolation is knowing that they destroy themselves in the process.

            They are not that bright, really. People that feed on mind fucking others are not that smart – or wise. They come at you with all kinds of accusations and evil. Remain calm and factual. They cannot take it when you don’t react.

            They feed on drama. Wisdom and integrity are absent.

            “Expect every vile accusation and rewrite of history.”


            My thoughts and prayers for everyone here.

        • “As terrible as infidelity is, the gaslighting is worse. It’s evil. It undermines victims’ faith in their own perceptions and in their own sanity. ”
          What Jamie went on ADs for “morbid jealousy” and had a serious adverse reaction (some may lead to suicide in the first weeks of going on SSRIs). I think when a partner lies to you and drives you to taking medication to deal with “your issues” when they are gaslighting you should be able to prosecuted them for damages. Same if they give you an STD. She is a despicable POS.
          Trust CL’s wise words Jamie. Big hugs to you, sorry you have to deal with this evil creature. You will get through this, but it often takes a long time and it feels never ending. It isn’t, especially if you go NC. Things will get better sooner if you cut her out of your life as much as possible with children together. Also cut out any of her friends and supporters. Anyone who so much as hints you might be partially responsible for this, out!

        • Sadly I am learning about parental alienation too late. I didn’t realize my exh was doing this to our daughter until this past summer when he isolated her from me for a month (no contact at all). When she was returned to me, she was distant, disliked me, said I neglected her, and she wants to live with him. I would’ve never thought my daughter would say these things. She used to be such a happy child. I’m heartbroken. He’s winning the custody battle. I’m trying to piece together when the mindfuckery started. She’s 12. She was only 9 when we divorced. Back then, she had clarity and would call him out on his lies. Somewhere along the line, that changed.

          • Mmmhmm – Yes!! My daughter realized 10 months after her dad left he had been lying to her – but he plays the sad sausage role ad nauseum that she is torn and confused and has been so angry at me, saying she hates me….

            I took her to a counselor who explained to her about emotional abuse. Her dad having her lie to me about the pregnant girlfriend he moved in with a few weeks after he left – not acceptable.

            No matter how bad our marriage – her dad was not allowed to bring in a third party and run off to make another life for himself without being up front with me and ending things first.

            I hate the mindfuck he plays on our daughter. My honor roll girl is sinking in her grades.

            He doesn’t care. He blames me. He ridicules me for having no boyfriend – only my dogs.

            I’m still married dumbass.

            I will not model that for my kid.

            They are stupid.

            I hate the word stupid. But it fits.

        • I agree with the recommendation of starting the 4-year old in some form of age appropriate therapy… She won’t be able to verbalize much at this point, but through play therapy with a trained professional will enable you Jamie to accumulate evidence of maternal manipulation that in time you can bring to court if necessary…

          These early days are pure hell, keep forging on Jamie, so you can build the best post-cheater life for yourself and as the sane parent to your kids.


    • I’m confident that mom is manipulating the kids. Its what this woman does. The only way she knows how to operate. However, I’m not so sure that Jamie’s daughter’s quote exemplifies this.
      My daughter was 3.5 and my son one week old when I got the “bomb” dropped on me out of the blue. A few months later, when she was Jamie’s daughter’s age (4), my daughter said to me, “Mommy, we have a BAD family.” My heart sinking, I said, “Why do you say that, honey?” Her reply: “We used to have a Mama Bear, a Papa Bear, and a Baby Bear (her). But now we just have a Mama Bear, a Baby Bear (her baby brother) and a Big Sister Bear. But we don’t have a Papa Bear any more in our family.”
      I just hugged her and didn’t try to correct her. It was true. I had stayed in our family home and her dad didn’t live there anymore. She had to visit him at his apartment. Comparing our life to the story of the Three Bears was her own way of processing that information. I felt like I needed to honor my daughter’s way of making sense of things. Instead of correcting her, I doubled down on ways to stay connected with her (and her baby brother) when they were gone. I called every single night (when they were at X’s) at the same time to check in and say goodnight. Of course, this meant letting him call them when they were with me, but it was worth it. We had a set time for daily calls that we tried to honor at both homes. I called every time. X did at first, but after divorce was final it dwindled down. If X didn’t answer phone for me to talk to kids, I could show my daughter my phone and my outgoing calls where I had tried to reach her. Also, on the few times that he played games with me and didn’t let me talk to her, I would record a little message (nowadays you could even do a little video) on my on phone for her to play when she got back. “It’s Saturday and I’m cooking spaghetti for dinner. I know how you love it so I’m going to make extra and we’ll have again the night you come home. I hope you are having a great weekend. I love and miss you and can’t wait to see you and your brother soon. Hugs and kisses, Mommy!” That way she knew I still made my daily call even if her dad didn’t pick up the phone. Plus I could document it for the court that I called and he didn’t honor our agreement. (it never came up but if I needed it it was there). Fortunately for me, most times he picked up.
      Another thing I did shortly after the separation was to establish rituals with the kids, a pattern of being with me that was predictable, comforting and loving. I wanted them to feel enveloped in love and warmth when they were with me and to be able to carry that feeling with them even when they were not with me. We had bedtime rituals of bedtime bath, storybooks and I gave each child a special item to hold in their hand overnight. In my daughter’s case it was a palm cross carved from olive wood and I wrote a special message to her on the cross. She kept it in her bag and took it with her between both homes. It wouldn’t have to be a cross it could be another object. Something that she can hold overnight and feel comforted. We followed storytime with prayer time, kind of a mini version of St. Ignatious’s Examen. We did some silent deep breathing and then took turns sharing what one thing that day we felt brought us closest to God, and what that day took us farthest from God. (if not religious you could adapt to deep breathing mediation followed by sharing what took you “closest to my true self, farthest from my true self, or Highest/Lowest, or what made me feel Best vs. Worst.) Before the baby could talk my daughter got to do his for him based on what she thought it might be. We would do some reading and bible verses, and I helped both kids memorize the 23rd Psalm, the Lords Prayer, and parts of the 91st psalm: words of comfort that they could recite in my presence – or more importantly — when away from me.
      We started each morning taking turns sharing what we were grateful for. The whole ride to nursery school each morning we would take turns naming things for which we were thankful. Again, my daughter would stand in for her brother: “milk,” “getting my diaper changed,” etc. until he could speak for himself. It was just a great way to start the day and a habit I was trying to build in them knowing I would not be with them part of the time.
      I would always remind them, you can choose to do these things even if Mom’s not there. Either aloud or even silently if that is better for you.
      Another thing I did was make sure that each of my children always had at least two adults (besides parents) that they could trust and felt like they could talk with about anything. For my daughter that person was the school counselor and her best friend’s mom. We recently moved to a new town and my daughter is now in high school. On her own, she identified two friends’ moms in whom she felt like she could confide and trust after we had been here several months and she had spent some time with them.
      I didn’t mean to go on and on — just sharing this here in case it would be helpful to Jamie and anyone else trying to rebuild from scratch. I am 12 years out and my kids have done so very well and are emotionally mature and really advanced in this area compared to most of their friends including those from intact families. So I did something right somewhere along the line!!

    • I’m not Jaime, but in a very similar situation I keep trying NC but I hate being away from the kids. It’s only been a week. I finally came back and spent the night when all the kids were out of school to hang out and try to get some normalcy with them. She ended up leaving to hang out with other guy.

  • Jamie-

    It will get better but only when you go as no contact as humanly possibly. Like CL said, use your lawyer and scheduling software to communicate. Sell the house and get away from her and her daily mind fuck. It is amazing the clarity you get about their true character when you get away.

    Cheaters suck and the good news is they’re not incredibly inventive. They really do seem to be reading from a handbook they all share but this gives you a little bit of an advantage as you can know what to expect. If your stbx was truly sorry she wouldn’t have immediately blamed you for her actions. She’s a typical cheater and knowing that she’s really not sorry can help you can recognize her pathetic attempts at showing faux remorse for what they really are: A plea for more kibbles or her trying to make you plan B.

    Her plans are in flux now. The scum bag she was cheating with was outed and his wife left him. What happens in his life will directly affect what happens in your stbx’s life. If scumbag’s wife eats the shit sandwich and takes him back, he’ll dump your stbx. If scumbag’s wife dumps scumbag then the “twu wuv schmoopie’s” will try to make a go of it.

    You want the latter, trust me. Your stbx will have a new supply of kibbles and this will be the closest she ever is to showing true remorse in a divorce settlement. You can take advantage of her kibble rush and get what’s rightfully yours. It’s a shockingly narrow window however so be ready to pounce if it ever opens.

    I understand that this sucks but it will suck more if you don’t take action now. She has shown you who she is, now your job is to believe her the first time. Only then will this get better and Chump Lady is right…it’s on a Tuesday!

    • That is very good advice. They do like to look GENEROUS when they are in a twu wuv with schmoopie sort of situation.

      Take advantage of that small window if you have the chance!

      • Jamie, decide what you want in the settlement. The less time a child spends with cheaters the better. Go for physical custody and a 60/40 split in your favor. Decide what you want with your lawyer and hold your ground. Put a lot of contingencies in the settlement regarding overnights and having men sleeping over while your children are present. Even if it ends up 50/50 the court will be aware of your concerns and she will be exposed for future reference with the court. This asshole allowed you to believe you were mentally ill? Trust that she has had a hold on the narrative for a very long time. Go no contact. Document everything.

    • Great advice! TWU LOVE occurred in my case and I took advantage of that narrow window. I ended up with the house, my furniture, and my retirement assets. He got his skank (who also gave up her family). Two years later I am free in my head. The gaslighting has stopped and I can see the dick for who he is. But it took NO CONTACT for a very long time. I was too co-dependent. Now I’m healthy. Stay strong, stay no contact, and trust those of us that have walked in your shoes.

    • “If scumbag’s wife dumps scumbag then the “twu wuv schmoopie’s” will try to make a go of it.

      You want the latter, trust me. Your stbx will have a new supply of kibbles and this will be the closest she ever is to showing true remorse in a divorce settlement. You can take advantage of her kibble rush and get what’s rightfully yours. It’s a shockingly narrow window however so be ready to pounce if it ever opens.”

      YES YES AND YES! This is a very important cheater phenomenon that merits further discussion. I learned this very well– my ex was still entangled with his schmoopie (and gallingly enough, wanted to rush into marrying her), so while he didn’t give me the moon, he gave me a settlement that my lawyer was pretty happy with, and I got the custody that I think was best for my children. He was so desperate to get away from me AND to act as though he was making amends for his heinous behavior and that he was a “good guy,” that he didn’t give me a hard time about very much.

      Be warned– that comes later. Once the glitter sloughs off of the “twu wuv,” expect that your ex-cheater will be disrespectful and difficult at every turn. Once my ex married this OW, we were no longer co-parents who were doing our best to get along for the sake of our kids. He became my enemy, and he tries to create drama out of every little thing and to push against me because he wants me to know that I’m not the boss of him. I keep my distance and communicate only the minimum as needed because he’s become so toxic. So, take advantage of that grace period where your ex is still in “love” with her cheater partner and wants to show her faux remorse for you so that she looks like a good person. It’s all about image management, so use it while it lasts to get what you want for both you and your children.

      • Mmmhmm – Yes!! My daughter realized 10 months after her dad left he had been lying to her – but he plays the sad sausage role ad nauseum that she is torn and confused and has been so angry at me, saying she hates me….

        I took her to a counselor who explained to her about emotional abuse. Her dad having her lie to me about the pregnant girlfriend he moved in with a few weeks after he left – not acceptable.

        No matter how bad our marriage – her dad was not allowed to bring in a third party and run off to make another life for himself without being up front with me and ending things first.

        I hate the mindfuck he plays on our daughter. My honor roll girl is sinking in her grades.

        He doesn’t care. He blames me. He ridicules me for having no boyfriend – only my dogs.

        I’m still married dumbass.

        I will not model that for my kid.

        They are stupid.

        I hate the word stupid. But it fits.

  • Jamie, I’m so sorry she is such a liar and a fake. She has a lot of nerve making you and, apparently, a therapist, think you were crazy. You were right to trust your gut.

    Stay close to the kids. She may be so disordered (or get a lot worse now that things are falling apart) that she cannot be a sound parent, and the kids will need you to step up. Do NOT leave the home. Others can offer advice on how to make that work if needed, but for legal reasons, do NOT leave no matter what.

    And with her high level of deception and dishonest, consider DNA testing for the kids, at least the little one. So sorry to suggest that, but she is vile and devious, and things are usually worse than you even thought.

    These early days seem unbelievable and unbearable. It does get better. It takes a while. Right now, you have a lot to do. You need to get divorced. Cheaters suck.

  • Amen to what Tracy said.

    Jamie, I went through something fairly similar except my kids are older. We are almost completed with the divorce. Haven’t looked back. Life is so much better when you ditch the skank

  • I know it’s scary right now but you can (and will) pull through. Your ‘wife’ sounds a lot like mine, completely unrepentant, cake eating, gaslighting, whole nine yards. Be sure to get a good counselor and please make sure your daughters are taken care of. They need your support more than ever right now. Chumplady is right, it is so important not to model a dysfunctional relationship to them. Be strong and come back for as much support as you need.

  • Sudden interest in tooth whitening … such a sure sign it should be admissible in court.

    So sorry, Jamie. Your STBX sounds particularly heartless … I cannot imagine allowing someone to take brain altering chemicals just to avoid confessing an affair. Losing her is no loss. The real pain comes from losing your family as you knew it. All those birthdays, Christmas mornings, first days of school, the tooth fairy … and on and on. Every single aspect and joy of raising children has now been altered. Not ruined … just altered. When will it get better? When you gently let yourself set aside all the reasonable and cherished expectations you had for what family life was supposed to be and establish a new way to be a family with your precious kids. The three of you, when you are together, can and will be a wonderful loving family and will create memories and traditions for a lifetime. And you won’t have a skank sitting over there on the couch furtively texting on her phone instead of genuinely being a part of the fun, and yes, sometimes the sad and hard times.

    Please fight for as much custody time with your kids as you can possibly get. You don’t deserve to have them ripped away from you because of her selfish, horrible behavior. They are the lasting and good part of your marriage … you can dump the bad and keep the best. And that is how everything can and will be better for you. So sorry you are going through this pain. Hugs.

    • // , Men get less custody than women, more often than not, regardless of the facts of the case.

      Weekends seem do-able, though.

      • I think that depends a lot on the jurisdiction. Where I am, in Western Canada, the default is shared custody.

      • Not really. Statistically men don’t ask for custody as often and aren’t the primary caretakers. But a man who’s a primary or equal caretaker that asks for custody has just a good a chance of getting it – if not better.

    • Great post Dixie… Jamie… you have a great opportunity to create the family you want… a new normal without a disordered narcissist partner. It does get better.

    • This >>”And you won’t have a skank sitting over there on the couch furtively texting on her phone instead of genuinely being a part of the fun, and yes, sometimes the sad and hard times.”

      My now x-narc-husband was totally the above person. Totally checked out of our lives almost the entire 20 years. He’d make his hello to the family at dinner and that was always nice, but then he’d take off after dinner and “work.” Pretty much ignoring me and the kids unless we asked something of him. Checked out “working” most weekends until maybe the last five years where he pretty much stopped “working” on Sunday. HOWEVER, he always had that cell phone on him and those 40 minute bathroom breaks where he’d take the Bible in the bathroom with him, but the bookmark never seemed to move…..hmmmmm

      I regret not leaving my cheater the first time. Kids were zero and one years old, but cheaters never change. They just get better at hiding it and you have to put up with that horrible feeling the rest of your marriage, wondering if they’ll cheat again or have an “emotional affair.”

      • “Cheaters never change. They just get better at hiding it and you have to put up with that horrible feeling the rest of your marriage, wondering if they’ll cheat again or have an “emotional affair.”

        I lived with dread you are speaking about
        for 4 years after discovering an “emotional affair” that had been over for a year because her husband found out. (He sent me a FB message that I didn’t see for a year. It was like a landline waiting to be stepped on.)

        He admitted to one physical affair when our daughter was 3. Every family picture taken after that was a lie to me. Went to marriage counseling, where he withheld and lied. I now think he was having an another affair while we were going through counseling.

        Discovered another affair a year ago. My 14yo daughter is crushed and feels he’s choosing AP over her. He feels I’m alienating her — it can’t be his betrayal now, cannot? After all, he cheated on me, not her… Thank she’s not buying that BS.

        I am finally moving on, but I will never forgive. This is the person who vowed to be my partner. It’s pure evil, manipulation and gaslighting.

        • Giddy Eagle- Keep a close eye on your 14yo daughter, and find a good therapist for her. When my daughter was 14 she hid her pain well, and attempted suicide. My ex, as you say, blamed ME, saying she was fine when she visited for the summer, etc. Daughter planned another attempt 6 months later, but told me and her doctor of her plans. It breaks my heart to hear you talk of her pain and how she hates feeling this way…
          She is now 16. Better, though we still have bad weeks.

          And our cheaters could be brothers– I accused mine of cheating pre children, he denied (OW pursued him, was obsessed, etc; typical gaslighting. I fell for it, as I could not imagine anyone doing that to something they claimed to care for… We went to MC, as I figured it could not hurt; he lied the entire time, and 12 years later admitted there was an affair all those years before….

    • “When will it get better? When you gently let yourself set aside all the reasonable and cherished expectations you had for what family life was supposed to be and establish a new way to be a family with your precious kids. The three of you, when you are together, can and will be a wonderful loving family and will create memories and traditions for a lifetime. And you won’t have a skank sitting over there on the couch furtively texting on her phone instead of genuinely being a part of the fun, and yes, sometimes the sad and hard times.”

      Spot on, Dixie!!

      And… “Sudden interest in tooth whitening … such a sure sign it should be admissible in court.”

      YES!! It’s the shallow ‘concerned with appearance’ taken to the extreme! When I briefly saw him before the divorce, I asked him, “What? Are you still whitening your teeth? It’s looks like white-out!”

  • I went through the same BS with my cheating ex-wife. Your gut instinct, and CL’s analysis are all pretty spot-on, with one exception:

    “I now get the feeling she’s coming round to realising what she’s done and what devastation she’s caused.”

    She won’t ever realize what she has done. She’s not deep enough to do that.

    • They never “realize” what they’ve done, they just try to convince you they have. A person who would stand by and watch as you are taking psychotropic drugs, which can have very serious side effects for some people, has no conscience. Just as she manipulated you, Jamie, she is now manipulating your young children, who are in no way able to understand what she is doing.

      It is going to hurt for some time in the same way it hurts while you are healing from any significant injury. But focusing on your own well-being and that of your children will help you heal faster. Please seek maximum time sharing and even primary custody of your children. Many states now have presumptions of shared parental responsibility. If she tries to pull the mental fitness card, make sure the judge knows exactly what she was up to during that time.

      Grief, anger and confusion are not your enemies. In fact, these emotions help you on your journey to meh, so long as you maintain healthy ways to process those emotions. After DDay, I was a walking zombie; I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to be alive. But my kids needed me, just like your kids need you. They had been through so much and I was determined to make sure they were going to be okay. While I grieved, I also made sure I wasn’t getting screwed financially. See a lawyer immediately to make sure you and your kids are protected.

      It gets better, the pain diminishes, but it takes time. Not a day, not a month and, for some of us, not even a year is enough time to process the pain. But it does happen, so long as you open yourself up to the possibility of a cheater free life. And I promise you, that life is wonderful.

    • She will realize what she did to lose her cake-eating and kibble-snarfing double life. That’s what she realizes. That the husband she devalued in order to cheat caught her at it and is levying consequences. That’s what she realizes.

      Jamie, Just don’t confuse that reaction to the consequences with remorse for what she did to you, to the kids. to another man’s family, etc. She has zero empathy.

      • This is true. Cheaters’ “remorse” is nothing more than realizing that they have lost the ability to have their cake and eat it too. And hey, more is better. They love the idea that their clueless chump is providing for them 24/7 while they do whatever they want with whomever they want behind said chump’s back. How sad it is to lose all that.

        So don’t be surprised, Jamie, if she tries (many times) to restore the old status quo. The correct answer is No. You will recover from her ruthless betrayal, but you need distance from that shit to heal.

        • Exactly… they are getting looked after while they are ‘looking elsewhere’. … mine had the fxxing nerve to say he’d miss my cooking after he walked . Charming but maybe true since that is what he’d reduced me to in his twisted self absorbed mummy issues tpye way .

      • Exactly! It’s the consequences you’re enforcing and remorse is not that what she did was wrong. Narcissists are never wrong, just careless. She’s just learned how to hide her fucking other people better. [Burner phone. CHECK Fake fakebook account. CHECK Squirrel-away cash and store on a hidden debit-card. CHECK Only fuck single men (no fallback option). CHECK … ]

        They never “realize” what they’ve done, they just try to convince you they have.” – Narcissists are really good at mirroring the emotions they’re supposed to show for any given occasion; like wearing the appropriate shoes (if it’s raining, wear your rubbers). It’s how they lull their empathy-addled chumps into a false sense of helpfulness before striking.

  • I was where you are now only a few months ago. I had trouble believing it was going to get easier but it definitely has. I’m sorry for your kids but I agree that you need to be the rock for them. I’m the rock for my boys and it was hard at first, given that I was going through all the pain myself, but I knew they needed one parent to be sane and not bullshit to them. Obviously that responsibility falls on you. You can do it. It WILL get easier.

  • “…when you hand her the papers, tell her sorry it’s come to this, but she’s not been meeting your emotional needs. But you hope her teeth are whiter now.”

    What an acerbic killer closing paragraph.

    @Jamie: admire your clarity, and strength only one month in. It’s easier to live without the mindfuckery. And in time you will adjust to the other challenges that a single parent brings. Keep moving forward.

  • It’s all true, just as CL writes it here. No contact is the only way to sanity. Well, that and a great therapist. Be honest with the 4-year-old. I told my kids … “It’s gonna suck. It’s gonna suck for a while, but we’re gonna be okay. I don’t know how, but we’re gonna be okay.” It DID suck and we are better than okay. When they asked questions I couldn’t answer I old them “I don’t know” and when they asked “Why?” I often answered “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Daddy.” I also let them know it was the judge upholding the law when he had to leave due to a PFA, not me making him leave.

  • Hi Jamie, Chump Lady is 100% right. Avoid her, avoid all that crap. It will suck for a while, then it will get better. No pain lasts forever. On my D Day, I was sure I would have spent the rest of my life crying in bed. I was wrong. Life without a cheater is better. If there is something I have learned, it is that being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. I was more lonely when I was still with my ex. I know it sucks. It sucks thinking that you did everything right and still you are the one paying the highest fee. I know. I have been there. I remember keep telling one of my friends that it was not fair. It’s not. But, on the long run I am the one that is getting the biggest reward. When the pain is over, when that Tuesday is getting closer you will start to see your life with different eyes. U will be stronger and healthier. My ex spared me the “gaslight” and the “sorry” time… he left. At the moment I was devastated. I was keep saying.. “I am not worth enough.. I am so awful that I do not deserve anything, not even a fair chance to win him back”. Right now I think I was lucky. He spared me the pick me dance. The pain is pain. There is not an easier way to deal with it. For me two years passed and from time to time I find myself remembering emotions connected with my ex. Feelings and memories. Like a car ride, a vacation. I am starting to forgetting his voice. And I am grateful for it. I keep looking at the Tuesday and planning my life. Does it get any better? Sometimes. sometimes it does. Sometimes it sucks. Still. But, would I ever go back with ex? No. Never. Don’t miss the lies and the manipulative behaviors at all.
    stay strong… quoting Game of thrones… “Tuesday is coming”.

  • It’s the tooth whitening bit. Shallow much? You know that saying “hiding in plain sight”? She was. You just met the real her. I love old sayings because they are from truth. “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” comes to mind.
    My brother’s first wife was in his life much longer but their marriage was about the same length as yours. The disordered just can’t hold it together much longer then that.

    • “The disordered just can’t hold it together much longer than that…”

      So true… for Mr. Sparkles, it’s about eighteen months before he starts the devalue process… the discard for both Wife #1 and me (Wife #2) was almost 10 years to the day.

      Patterns don’t lie. People do.

  • She’s shown you who she is, accept, that she was never the person you thought you married.
    “Trust that they suck” is the only thing you can believe when it comes to your X.

    • This.

      I didn’t trust that he sucked the first time around. He left me and our 2 children-4 y.o. and 2 y.o.-so he could run off into the sunset with the ho-worker. Apparently it wasn’t all he thought it would be and begged to come back after the house was sold and the kids and I were moving on. Unfortunately I let him, falling for the genuine remorse.

      This time around he left for our daughter’s 20-something y.o. assistant high school soccer coach. Nothing like shitting where you eat for the whole family. Nice bit of embarrassment for the kids and the wife. But hey, it’s more important that he be happy than the family. Nothing can beat twu wuv.

      I filed this time and didn’t look back. What would be next? There is apparently nothing off limits for his pursuit of happiness. I can see the future–our son’s one day fiance? Our daughter’s one day college roommate? I don’t have the capacity nor desire to marriage police this sparkly turd. If someone is paying him some attention and telling him how wonderful he is, then it must be twu wuv.

      Don’t wait around to see what’s next. Trust that she sucks Jamie–for the kids.

  • Jamie, I can relate in terms of the gaslighting. The echoes of “You’re being paranoid” are clear as day, but the memory of finding proof is clear too. I really feel for you as the level of gaslighting here is one of the sickest I’ve heard. Encouraging you to seek counseling and get medicated, all to elaborately pull off some misdirection? Gross. She’s the one who’s ill, and she’ll have to live with herself and her own clear need for drama, for the rest of her life. I have a small child too, and I send my well wishes and solidarity to you right now. Some days it will feel impossible, like the cheater undoes every good thing you do for your children. But remember, many children do not even have the luxury of even one sane and stable household. Long after the chaos of this year is forgotten by the kids, they will remember that they are always safe at your house, that they are always loved at your house, that they are always cared for at your house, and that you don’t make any grown-up problems the center of their lives or heap those concerns on them. At your house, you make sure they’re fed. You dress them, talk with them, play with them. You do fun things together, and you do the hard stuff together too (like discipline, bedtime during daylight saving, waaaaaah). No amount of being the shiny Disney parent, or whatever she fashions herself as at this moment, will combat the years of stability you will give them. As adults they will remember who was there for them, versus who used them as drama pawns whenever it pleased her and ignored them otherwise. Trust that the ex sucks, and that the kids are smart and will eventually see that on their own, and trust that your love for them will shine through no matter what swirls around outside of it. Thank you for putting them first and providing a safe environment for them.

    • “Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of Facebook, and head to Activity Log. from there, click the “More” button in the left sidebar to reveal the “Search” option. Click on it to view your search history. If you want to erase it, there’s a button in the upper right-hand corner to do just that.” – who knew? Not me!

  • Jaime,

    My wife said and did the exact same things as yours both before and after D-day. All the same behaviors, warning signs, turning accusations around and gaslighting. Your wife’s OM and my wife’s OM sound like clones too (married COW with no spines).

    As was already said, don’t wait for any rational explanation, don’t wait for any full disclosure of truth, don’t wait for it to make sense, and don’t wait for any remorse. It’s not coming. If the blameshifting game is already on, then you need to get away from her. Any time you sit around waiting for some kind of sense to be made of this mindfuck is just a waste of your time. You’ll just get an endless rotation of charm, self-pity, and rage — all with frequent visits from the blameshifting fairy mixed in.

    It sounds like you are much farther along than I was, it took me a couple of years to finally end it. Go to the lawyer and get out now. You’ll heal much faster once you are away from her. Trust us.

  • Thank you so much Tracy for putting my story up, I am humbled that people out there have such deep and kind regard for others. After D Day I tried to make sense of what happened by looking online at other people’s experiences. Whilst respectful of people who want to reconcile and who can accept this in marriage, I knew then, and know now for me cheating is a deal breaker. Its the lies, deceit and emotional abuse that I will never be able to accept or comprehend as much as the physical and emotional side of it. I’m strong minded, have a great job, great friends and an awesome family. Already, I feel refocused and determined to make something good out of this and know that with the passage of time and reflection I will find my ‘meh’ . Thanks for all your advice. I love my girls more than anything in the world and will make sure that they are taken care of and get the best out of this sad situation. I only have contact with my wife over arrangements for the girls and house arrangements. Anything outside of these parameters and I just ignore her. To answer your question yoyo about Facebook search, just click on the search bar and click edit at the side. This brings up a list of searches time and date stamped.
    Thanks again to all of you for your kind and helpful advice. As I put in my original post this site and Tracy’s book have kept me sane and given me strength. The advice given here and outlook on cheating make perfect sense to me.

    Thank you all again.


    • You ROCK! You will come through this better off by far. 10 years from DDay #1, 6 years post divorce and I am blissfully happy with my new life.

    • Jamie, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I was also severely gaslighted and honestly, it’s left me feeling very broken in many ways. You were betrayed and then lied to – over and over and over again. It takes a toll. Please take good care of yourself. You sound like a super guy, and I have a feeling that when your Tuesday of feeling better comes, you will hit the ground running.

    • Sorry that you’re having to deal with this.

      Thanks for the pointer on finding search activity in FB.

      To find recent activity, including posts, go to settings and then click on activity log.

      I just highlight this as finding the search history versus activity are two different things , and each one can yield information you cannot find the other

      Hang in there you are taking all the right steps and glad you found us.

    • Jamie,

      Follow the advice here!!!

      I really did think I was crazy….10 months of therapy…then I trusted my gut and discovered the truth that my then wife took up with her co-worker. 20+ yrs.. two girls 19 and 14 at the time.

      So unreal….I made a lot mistakes…!!!!!!! Not with my girls – though I should have fought for custody of the 14 yr old.

      I was pretty much a ZOMBIE for almost two years….. So far it sounds like you’re doing great! Keep your head up and keep moving forward (Do not trust a word she says…its all about her)… RUN.

      • Me too. “I was… a ZOMBIE for two years.” Long term marriage too. Three beautiful young adults, blindsided same as me. One day he was normal (a great actor, ex) and the next he was not. I was actually afraid of him the entire time it took us to divorce (I realized too late that he intended on leaving us financially destroyed). Men, please pursue 50/50 custody of your children. You are their sane parent. Children need that. Most courts recognize that children need both parents and will not address infidelity, I believe this is what blows most marriages up. Unscrupulous lawyers will push the drama though (infidelity is full of it) because your money is of value to them…so be proactive. Some will tell you crap to keep you embroiled and spinning your wheels, So know what you need, what’s equitable re your particular circumstances (the Internet has all the formulas and case law), be sure to consult a CDFA, address financial responsibilities (who pays what, a pro rata division seems fair but is rarely done), and knock out the MSA soon. Submit to other party with a deadline. In the two years it took me to divorce Fucktard he had effectively dumped our dream home (this from someone who had never missed a mortgage payment in 19+ years) and then vandalized it to prevent me from receiving money to move. He had been absent for two years by then. (The bank negotiated with me, recognizing I had no control over ex’s priorities and my salary was a quarter of what he brought home.) So for those with crazy do your homework. And make your lawyer work, that is what you are paying them for. Jamie, you are way ahead of the game here. Years invested. Just prioritize you and your needs now. Enjoy your children. One day the right woman will scoop you up and you will recognize that a normal relationship never makes you feel less than. She doesn’t deserve you. Looking back ex made me feel like I was missing out. When he was away from home my children and I had so much fun. He wasn’t happy with us, he saw too much responsibility. Like it was holding him back. He had it all, and still wasn’t happy. I don’t believe cheaters ever are.

    • With regards to Facebook, once I was able to ummm… “gain entry” to my Ex’s Facebook I printed ALL the messaging between him and Schmoopie (yes,I had to buy TONS of printer paper and ink)! I then went in and copied every damn thing I could find from all the “cheerleaders” who helped these two fucktards facilitate true love! Then my youngest daughter did some detective work using Ex’s nickname and Schmoopie’s nickname and lo and behold there was a second, post bomb drop, Facebook page with some very interesting “plans” made by the cheaters and thier exclusive fan club throwing in suggestions also! I was flabbergasted because these “friends” were people from all over the U.S. that I knew for certain did not know me or my husband or Schmoopie. They were just a bunch of crack pots who stumbled into the soap opera and wanted to live the day to day drama. It was maddening and heartbreaking! My point: I found tons of things that the cheaters didn’t know I had and I used them to leverage a great settlement. I then changed his passwords so he had no access to his own Facebook pages and shut them down! When he went nuts I just acted as if I knew nothing! It was great watching him go ape shit!

  • “As for your gaslighting, weasel-fucking, POS wife — when you hand her the papers, tell her sorry it’s come to this, but she’s not been meeting your emotional needs. But you hope her teeth are whiter now”.

    Oh my God – this is just too funny!! How I wish I had found your blog when I found out, today’s advice is again, pure gold for a newbie.

    Jamie, please take this advice. I did the opposite of all the advice given here when I found out, and all I got was 3 more years of Mindfuck. You are young, you can rebuild your life. The only advice I will also tell you, is don’t even think about dating until 1. the divorce is final and 2. you feel that you are healed. You don’t want to attract the same type of woman again.

    Stay strong, and remember: No Contact = No New Hurt

    • I have a different perspective on waiting to date. I started dating someine about six months after our separation and it’s been a source of great strength for me. I am being treated with kindness and respect and having tender, loving sex. It shows me what I’ve been missing. I am full of regret for wasting three DECADES of my life on the scumbag, but am heartened that there are good men out there. I don’t expect this relationship will be long term, but it’s a gift for as long as it works for the two of us.

  • “If you would have told me 12 months ago that this would happen I would say it was impossible, she didn’t seem the type.”

    I asked and told myself the same things. Some days I still do. I didn’t think my (ex) boyfriend was the type to lie and cheat. He wasn’t this way when when first started dating. He told me over 7 months ago he had been cheating for 5 years and left to continue a fling with OW #2. When I think back, he did some of the things your wife did. Grooming, staying out late, hand glued to the phone, cold and distant, refused sex, denied any cheating. I even found pics of OW #1 (which happened to be an ex co-worker) on his phone and he convinced me they were just friends.


    Listen to CL. I have struggled with no contact for the past 7 months and it’s only causing me more grief. Staying in contact with them only continues the cycle of pain they are causing you. You will never get the full truth from her. I’ve tried to get the truth from my ex and he either gives me bits and pieces or refuses to do so. I still try to convince myself that he’s not this person and he can change. Unfortunately, I have yet to see it. I will admit that I am better than I was when I first found out but if I would’ve stayed no contact, I’d be much further along than I am right now.

  • Don’t you just love the accusations that chumps are “controlling”. I got that all the time. I was “controlling” because I wanted my ex-husband to quit going out all the time, sometimes not even coming home until the next morning. I was “controlling” because I wanted to know what the fuck my husband was up to when I was obviously being disrespected and lied to. One day, he came home and he was still drunk from the night before. As he was walking up the stairs, staring at me, he said, “You stupid bitch, this whole time you thought you were in control, but *I* was the one in control.”

    That’s the thing about these disordered assholes. They dump all their crap onto you. Like Jamie and other chumps, I took it all in. It did make me crazy for a while. I think that is the most insidious thing they do. Fucking is just fucking, but the mind fuck they put us through is plain evil.

    I had a head start on healing because of what I learned about detaching from al-anon meetings. See, my ex is a cheater AND an alcoholic. Lucky me!

    Stay strong Jamie. No contact is the way to get your strength back. I am sorry you have to deal with her with your children, but follow CL’s advice and use your lawyer to communicate through the divorce and scheduling software for issues after with the kids. I does get easier with time and no contact. Promise.

    • I got the “you had all the control” and “I wanted control over my life” deal too. Control? Hell I don’t think we even had any influence over them, let alone control.

      If we really controlled them, would they be lying to us, hiding money, ignoring us, blaming us for all of their problems, sleeping with other people, etc.? If I had any control over my spouse, I’m quite sure I would have used that control to make sure she wasn’t sleeping with another guy for years on end.

      I’m not sure where they got the “control” argument at, because they do not appear to be under anyone’s control, including their own.

      • Blindside, I agree 100%!! The “you were controlling” excuse is straight out of the cheater’s handbook. And you are so right when you say, “…they do not appear to be under anyone’s control, including their own.”

    • I’m still trying to “control” him off the side of a bridge. No luck so far …

      • When you figure out how that works let me know. I also heard from some guy on Twitter that he’s looking for the keys to his “go back and undo every mistake” machine so when I get my turn I’ll let you have a try too

  • Jamie, I’m so glad you’re on this site. Also, that you’ve got a great head on your shoulders, you’ve lawyered up, and you didn’t abandon your children in the face of all of this abuse that you suffered. I absolutely promise you it will get better. Better than you can even imagine. I can totally relate to the mind fuckery you’ve been suffering– it’s psychological abuse plain and simple but absolutely devastating. I will echo what everyone has said above: go as absolutely no contact as you can. Try to make it a competition how many days can you go without contact, for instance. Connect with one of the other chump guys on this site, tempest can hook you up, and agreed to text each other before you contact her when you WILL be tempted to do it.

    Do not try to unwind the skein of her fuckedupedness. You will want to, because your brain wants to learn from what happened, but just remember that funny little thing and think of the ball of yarn that’s impossible to unwind. Better to throw it out and waste your time trying to figure out the answers to why why why why why ?????? Decent normal people like us project ourselves on them and we find we cannot reconcile what they’ve done–that’s because they’re not normal. They’re not like us. They don’t feel like we do about others, they don’t have conscience like we do…..”Trust that she sucks” is where you could tell yourself every time you try to. It helps.

    Read absolutely everything on this site, post in the private general forum as much as you can to get the support that you will get from those of us who know exactly the abuse you have been suffering.

    I predict that your life will be wonderful. You will have a happy life with your children. They will love you and respect you. You will find a mate who treats you with respect and who adores you and only you. One who is trustworthy and loyal. One who is incapable of this kind of abuse. In one year you won’t even recognize yourself. In two years, your life will be beyond what you can even fathom right now, and it will only get better from there.

    Huge hugs to you!

    P. S. For proof that I know what I’m talking about and that I can totally relate and empathize go ahead and click on my name and you can see a lot of my story and my posts. Suffice it to say I suffer the same kind of abuse that you have been suffering.

  • It doesn’t get easier for a while. But follow CL’s steps, and easier will come sooner.

    Your wife claims she told you that you weren’t meeting her needs?!? Who cares whether she told you or not!!

    When your needs for her fidelity weren’t being met, did you go and fuck other people because she wasn’t “meeting your needs”?


    Because just because someone is (allegedly) unhappy doesn’t give him/her permission to fuck other people. CL has used several other life examples to show just how ridiculous this rationalization is: my personal favorite is the employee who justifies embezzling money from his company because his boss makes him unhappy. A has NOTHING to do with B.

    Your wife is a piece of shit. (My ex wife used a lot of similiar manipulations. She did not advocate medicating me, but she accused me of “Not wanting [her] to have any male friends at work” and being too jealous/controlling. This was at the time that I thought she was having an emotional affair, which was actually physical the entire time.)

    Get away from this loser. She’s going to live a long and unhappy life. Your life, on the other hand, will get much better.

    • Also, didn’t you say your baby was 1? You must have been meeting some major needs for you two to decide to have another child together? Regardless, she should have confided in you, sought counseling, got help, anything besides running off and sleeping with someone else!!!

      • Yeah, so look at the timing: Aug. is when he first started his inquiries. The baby is about 6 mo. old and the other child is 3/4. How convenient the fuck buddy works with the slure.

        What I wanna know is when the hell was the laundry getting done, the meals prepared, the house picked up, the well baby medical appointments attended, the grocery shopping done, the feedings at all hours/diaper changes etc. plus time left over to shove a toothbrush in your mouth never mind stop by the store to spend big bucks on white strips and wax/shaving supplies? And ya got a toddler running around. Sleep? What sleep. She’s bouncing off table mattresses in the break room and he’s bouncing off the wall because she decides he’s “controlling.” Ths one with the “control problem” is she of the Philandering Poo-Tang Pooty.

        My cup runneth over with empathy for him and contempt for her. Sounds like she has post partum obsession marked by severe symptoms of FallOverEveryCock-itis. The only sure cure is a large injection to the ass with a bovine sized rusty spike of Divorce Satisfaction.

  • Jamie, the wretched sense of loss is the hardest part. Remember to see things clearly-CL called her a POS. That is what she is. We flush shit. We don’t moon or mourn over it.

    This experiences humbles us. I have been taken down so many notches. Dressing your guinea pig, orthopedic lift shoe, lazy eye, strange smell? If you are kind and honest, I am grateful and will be your friend. I don’t care what the world thinks anymore.

    Vigorous exercise. Our minds misbehave at night. If we are so tired that we are falling asleep as we brush our teeth- this is the best plan. Also, it does all sorts of wonderful things to the chemicals in our brains.

    Get outside. After this happened to me, my therapist gave me this list of things to do. I went back and said, Well, I can’t get out of bed…so I did not accomplish any of the goals.

    She said, Oh! That’s my fault! Not yours. You have to go outside to get started. Depression and being outside don’t live well together. They hate each other. Go outside…everyday. Buy a good rain coat and Wellies (galoshes). No matter what the weather- go outside for one hour everyday.

    And, I know you may not be ready- but when the word get outs that there is a responsible, sane, faithful male with a romantic heart available- the women will be lining up and submitting head shots to date you. You will have a whole separate beautiful life. If you stay No Contact.

    But if you break NC- If you limp and struggle along with her, start untangling her skein of fuck up, analyzing her WHY, reheating that steaming shit sandwich in the microwave for your dinner…. all those beautiful choices will be lost to you.

    • Love the humor here — who dresses guinea pigs, this is a thing? But yes, I can vouch for the get outside thing. Walking around the block helped me a lot in those early days. Just purposeful striding… with no actual purpose. But eventually the purpose came — I left.

      • I had a dog and a strong support network with the other dog walking parents I knew from the dog park.

        I can say with some certainty that getting out there in nature and just walking forward with the support of my “pack” kept me sane throughout much of the divorce.

        Nature and the outdoors is one of the best things for your head at a time like this, or any time really!

        • I took a job walking dogs.. 2-3 hours a day of crying yelling(on the trails where nobody could hear me) general venting and mourning. It was cathartic and the pooches were always ready for hugging. Got me through the first horrible 6 months

          • What a great plan. And what a potential money-maker for those who are struggling financially. Walk dogs! Or do pet-sitting!

    • Omg THIS: “But if you break NC- If you limp and struggle along with her, start untangling her skein of fuck up, analyzing her WHY, reheating that steaming shit sandwich in the microwave for your dinner…. all those beautiful choices will be lost to you.”

    • THIS.

      “Get outside. After this happened to me, my therapist gave me this list of things to do. I went back and said, Well, I can’t get out of bed…so I did not accomplish any of the goals.

      She said, Oh! That’s my fault! Not yours. You have to go outside to get started. Depression and being outside don’t live well together. They hate each other. Go outside…everyday. Buy a good rain coat and Wellies (galoshes). No matter what the weather- go outside for one hour everyday.”

      Words to live by!

      And Jaime, so sorry for what you are suffering. But you have tapped the mother-lode of great advice here in Chump Nation.

    • Absolutely yes for getting outside. And I had a friend who dressed her concrete goose … she had fancy little outfits for each major holiday including fancy hats. That damn goose dresses better than most people! Humans are odd. 🙂

    • I find the idea that ladies will be lining up once word gets out harmful. What if they aren’t? Does that mean his and all of our exes were right about our value? Of course not, but when we’re already down, anything and everything can look like confirmation.

      I’m two and a half years out and have been on three dates. The likelihood of meeting a new partner is slim to none, and every time I read that people should be lining up I feel broken all over again. This might just be me, and if so, I apologize. I’m too sensitive for my own good.

      • I’m sorry you feel broken up and I hope you feel better soon. Other people desiring us can make us feel great, but, as you already know, it’s a feeling that is fleeting. Still, I wish you find a lovely partner with whom to share your life.

      • WhichWay,

        You need to focus on yourself before you’ll be ready for or open to another serious relationship. For some of us, that takes years. Literally, years. I went on a few dates after my divorce, but I wasn’t in a place to commit to anything for a long time. I preferred to run with my packs of friends and enjoy myself by myself. Make my life mine again instead of always putting myself last. That will change when you have reclaimed every molecule of yourself and like what you see. Then you may be surprised how attractive you are to others. They will admire the same attributes you had before your soul was ransacked, and also your strength.

        Give yourself time, our friend.

      • I’m not ready for ANYTHING like that (as evidenced by the last 6 days in a row I’ve spent sobbing non-stop) but that is my fear too. It’s not that I’m not a worthy person or that I NEED a man but it just feels like (for me) what is the point to life if you don’t have love? I’m young (enough) and pretty (enough) and smart (enough) and funny (AF) but the whole point of marriage was that I didn’t WANT to look around and play the freaking pick me dance with strangers and people my age (the older end of the Millennials) are assholes or married and having babies. I feel like such a freak! I’m too old to be dating and too young to be starting over. And I’m so fucking ANGRY. I’m the fucking She-Hulk! I barely liked or trusted people before this and now I’m just a total train wreck! HELP ME! ? I know. I’ll get through. Some day. In about 97 years I’ll be at meh (or dead and it won’t matter anymore).

        • You will feel that a) After what you’ve been through it will be a cold day in hell before you’d want to get into a relationship again; b) Even if by some miracle you did want to be in a relationship again, you wouldn’t trust yourself to pick someone who is not another narc, so forget it.

          Then lo and behold, a few years down the road, without even trying, someone comes into your life who is so clearly not the way the last one was, and you are elated… both knowing there are ones who aren’t asses like your ex, and that your picker is fixed enough to know the difference.

          Ask me how I know.

          I wasn’t looking and I wasn’t ready. But an old school acquaintance appeared. He’d been through a divorce too. He came along about 2 years after D-Day. We’ve been living together for a year and couldn’t be happier. And he doesn’t lock his phone! Lol!

          I never thought I’d want to be in a relationship again. Now I’m just grateful the other one screwed me over so I could move on and spend the rest of my life in a real relationship and very happy.

          Give it time. That’s all I’m saying. But don’t try to force things. Just let them happen in their own time.

        • Shelby, look right above at what I said for WhichWay. You were beaten senseless by the person you trusted most. Take some time for Yourself. See what you like to hear in music, what you like to watch in movies, what you like to eat for dinner. Find new paint that matches your taste. Get out with our friends if you can. Make your life as good as you can and don’t worry about comparisons to other people. Take a cool trip with a group that enjoys what you do. You have to build yourself back up, so have some fun doing that, my friend.

  • No contact is unbelievably important. If I had found this blog right after Dday I would have saved myself a lot of mental atress. as you have already found out the mindfuckery will make you doubt your sanity. I felt like a hostage being tortured as I was bombarded with so much anger and accusations that it was my fault. Stay as no contact as possible and let her shit roll off your back. This is all on her and she knows it. Document what your child is telling you. Parental alienation is a big no no in court. I’m glad you have a good support system, that makes it a lot easier. Stay strong and keep reading here. I had a lot of aha moments of clarity In the stories shared here.

  • Jamie, it sounds like you have your act together. Do yourself a favor and start using scheduling software. I once read a book where a character advises another, “Begin as you mean to go on.” If you make contact about the kids formal, and use the software program to do that, you will avoid having contact or confusion over custody transfers, holidays, kids’ games and activities, etc. You want your contact with her to be as distant and formal as possible, without avenues for gaslighting and manipulation. Her life will not get better. She peaked with you and the kids. It gets harder and harder for them to keep the mask on as they get older, and of course the kids will grow up and see what she is as well. Scheduling software allows you to parallel parent, to turn information into textual form without personal contact on your mobile devices or email. It also creates a record of all contacts for the court, which will either force her to civility or reveal her jackass side to the court. Wean her away from phone and text to email for house-related stuff. I so admire that you put the thing up for sale and just moved on.

    There’s nothing worse than gaslighting. Now you know what it looks like. It’s worth thinking about how little she really felt for the OM because look what she was willing to do to stay married–she was willing to destroy your sanity and sense of reality because she had no desire to leave you, at all. The OM was a nothing to her, just as the OW in my case was nothing to Jackass. What she loves is the triangle. Being central to 2 men. She loves knowing what you don’t know, knowing what the OM’s wife doesn’t know. She loves the sneaking and the secrets. She loves the “you aren’t the boss of me.” And she loved abusing you through the gaslighting. When she says that you didn’t meet her “emotional needs,” understand that she doesn’t mean the emotional needs that normal people have. She means these needs for sneaking and secrecy and taking unfair advantage of others. She means the need to have the playing field always tilted her way. She means the need to have both your money, the childcare your family provides, the social power of marriage AND the excitement of cheating. If it had been about some normal emotion, she would have dragged out the Amazon marriage books and talked about “date nights.”

    • You know, LAJ, I never thought of it from this perspective before. XH left me for OW, he is marrying OW. In some (miniscule) ways, that’s actually of some comfort to me, that he left me for someone he did actually go on to marry. — These cheaters who cycle through partners, it isn’t even the value of the other person which is the prize: it’s the manipulation and adoration from multiple venues simultaneously. How incredibly fucked up!

      • Oh, and I am willing to bet that he is marrying the OW because he is dying for that triangle. It’s just not as sweet when you are cheating on a GF who can just walk away… Once we get it that their emotional needs are for this f***ed up stuff (triangles, cheater thrills, “I’ve got a secret”), then it’s clear that we could have done nothing to avoid the inevitable marital collapse. They need stuff that is not at all compatible with actual marriage. But he can fool OWife for a decade or so, maybe. Or perhaps she is so much further down the levels of human consciousness that she will tolerate whatever he does. Either way, I hope you are comforted by being rid of someone who is not capable of meeting you on the same level.

        • Yeah I agree with you. I don’t think that the OWife is anything special. She’s still a dumb whore. She’s just a dumb whore married to a cheater. She’ll get hers in the end too

        • LAJ, Always relevant, your responses, and Straight up truth. Ex married “his” AP and created a vacancy. Glad I am no longer part of crazy.

  • Jamie
    Sounds like you are quite advanced in the process and thinking straight. That’s great. I was still reeling after a month. Not coherent and in shock but I was blindsided all at once with three affairs over four years. 22 year marriage gone in an instant.
    You now can be sure you can trust your gut feelings. You were right to suspect. You knew.
    As you are already in possession of CL’s book and know to come here, you will know all the right steps to take.
    I just want to add that when you hit a rough patch and you will unfortunately ( it takes a while for your heart to get the message that your head is trying to send) then please know it will pass, you will get through. No matter what you encounter there will be someone here who has been through similar or can help.
    I have learned to embrace my terrible days as when I emerge again I am further along in my healing. Painful days are the mental equivalent of eating your vegetables – not fun but good for you in the end.
    It is probably going to be the kids that is the hardest part but again, much help here.
    Hugs and good luck.

    • “Painful days are the mental equivalent of eating your vegetables – not fun but good for you in the end.”

      This will be my shorthand phrase from now on: “How ya doin’, NWB?” “Just eatin’ my vegetables today!” True words.

  • Jamie, I watched a TED talk by Ashley Judd who said that insults(and I add gaslighting and lying) actually change your brain. The fight or flight response pours hormones into your system. They are quick to act and hours to dissipate. They are great from running from a bear but hell on you if you get the usual shit thrown at you daily. No contact is for a reason. It helps you heal. It gives your brain time to get rid of toxins. I have read enough to know that you will have a switch that sort of “clicks” and that day will be Tuesday. That is when “meh” is what you get. Nothing. You will feel nothing for her. Wait for that. Then you are free.

    • Let go, thanks for this. It’s so important for people to learn that gaslighting and other manipulation tactics actually impact the brain and the hormonal system. And no contact allows for the healing.

      • You know that old saying, “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on”? This concept was my knot: the body.

        As a doctor (veterinarian), I believe in the body and what it needs and how it heals. So learning about how the brain perpetuates pathways through repetition, and how if we want to change our thoughts, then we have to .. well, change our thoughts AND behaviors, and keep at it, to create NEW pathways.

        Similarly, there was a TED talk I heard the other day about empowerment, and it said there’s physical evidence that assuming a power-stance (like Wonder Woman: legs apart, hands on hips) for two minutes actually increases the same sorts of hormones in the blood stream found in highly confident people. So, even if you don’t FEEL confident, you can MAKE yourself be more confident. “Fake it until you make it,” indeed!

  • Jamie – very sorry about your situation. Hurts like a bitch – for a while. Sometimes for a long while…but then it starts to hurt less, and less. You’ll never forget it. But you’ll move past it. Trust everyone here. There’s people at all stages of this situation. Many have kids, young and old. We’re all lucky to have this community and give many thanks to CL for creating such a forum.

    There will be good days and bad….soon the bad days will become less and less. Your kids are lucky to have atleast one loving parent who puts them first. Hopefully they can help you along the way.
    Hang in there.

  • Jamie,

    I am sorry this is happening to you and to your daughters. You don’t deserve this – but I’m sure you realize by now that you married someone who doesn’t have the same values as you. She doesn’t protect and honor her marriage vows, she doesn’t protect and honor her husband, she doesn’t protect and honor her children, she doesn’t honor the boundaries of another person’s marriage. Her morals are not your morals.

    In the beginning, it took everything I had to stay functioning. I put myself on auto-pilot for the daily life routines – keeping my son’s routine in tact was invaluable to buffer the chaos coming down around us. I did the pick me dance for a year after D-day … it took me that long to realize, learn, understand what was really happening to me… how I was being ABUSED.

    But then one day, I put on my big girl panties and got a lawyer. I filed first and I charged him and the OW with adultery. I did everything through the LEGAL CHANNELS. If it wasn’t being discussed in front of attorneys or a mediator, it wasn’t happening.

    I got myself an amazing therapist. And, when the time came, my son went to counseling too. I told him age appropriate information – “no, it wasn’t your fault AND it wasn’t my fault”… “married people shouldn’t get girlfriends when they are on their family vacations”… “lying is wrong and hurtful”. I kept it simple… 3 years later, still do. And, as a result, I have amazing conversations with my son on all sorts of topics… we’ve built that trust together.

    Time. Time, a lawyer, and a counselor who understands narcissistic abuse… these were the stepping stones for me to move forward.

    I cried, sobbed, screamed the first year.
    I focused on the divorce and my son the second year.
    And now, I’m working on accepting that I was abused so I can process it and get past it.

    An amazing future awaits everyone here who has the courage to go No Contact (or Grey Rock if we’ve bred with the fuckers). But the ones who go back for more abuse, the only future that awaits them is reliving the past – because these entitled, disordered fuckwits DO. NOT. CHANGE.

    XO – You’ve got this.

    • “the only future that awaits them is reliving the past”–so true. Dday 2 was, in microcosm, exactly like Dday one. Even the weeks leading up to it were exactly like the previous year, only speeded up and on steroids.

      So glad I am free of that mindfuckery!

    • Great post, ICanSeeTheMehComing. One minor quibble:

      “these entitled, disordered fuckwits DO. NOT. CHANGE.”

      Actually, I think they do. Given enough time, they get better at gaslighting, blameshifting, and putting themselves and their needs ahead of everyone and everything else in their world. So if one tries to stay, it may get even worse, much worse.


      • I agree, my X is getting even better at gaslighting, blameshifting, and image control. At first he was, on the surface, very sorry. He said all the right words (but his actions never matched). Now even his words have changed and he has slowly, in the last year, rewritten history so that in his new narrative he is now the hero of the story!! The new story? I stayed so long in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the kids.
        It took him a year to come up with the new story and he loves it. He’s now playing the hero all over town. Such commitment to his children! It’s an odd story though because my daughter has gone complete NC and my son sees him for a quick dinner every 2 weeks. He’s working on the newest chapter in which I have poisoned the kids against him. Again, as hero, he will never give up to win them back!! The bullshit is so outrageous and it’s my last hurdle. I do need to get to meh about whatever his current story is.

  • Dear Jamie,

    My heart goes out to you and your two little ones. Your story is my story as well, with the exceptions of a gender reversal, kids were 3 and under 1 and a shorter mindfuck period (I found the itinerary to Punta Cana with both their names on it that was for the same weekend he was going to be away on a “business trip in Florida”, which rather convinced me…once I called Expedia pretending to be her to confirm the itinerary. Conspiracies from your loved ones will drive you a teensy bit crazy.)

    Other than a few plot differences, same crappy Lifetime movie spouse: 10 years together (5 married, found out last June that he was fucking his co-worker, and turned out that (shockingly) wasn’t even close to the first episode of cheating. He was also someone who I would have before dday said would never, ever do something like this. However, when it got to be enough for even me to get suspicious (found his wedding ring in his pants pocket, for the second time, coupled with charges on our debit account that didn’t correspond with where he had said he was) he denied everything, started deleting everything, started gaslighting…you unfortunately know the drill. Once the hard evidence was incontrovertible (see itinerary), it became my all my fault. When I wasn’t buying that, it became only half my fault, because “mistakes were made on both sides”. Soooooo much passive tense in his “apology” texts. (Jamie: please realize how lame and half-assed it is to try for an apology like this by TEXT.)

    What I’m trying to say is that I know this creature. I’m divorcing it right now, and it does not reform. Your wife is not, nor will she ever be, sorry for anything except being caught. The only person she feels sorry for is herself, everything else is your fault. Is this crazy? Yes. Unjust? Hells yes! But once you accept that this is just how they think, and they cannot think any other way no matter how much logic or reason you pelt them with, you stop trying to change their mind and their crazy starts to roll of your back like water off a duck.

    What helped me the most was accepting:
    1.) He is not the person I thought he was. I was wrong, I was fooled. What made it better was that everyone else I know was fooled too. I wasn’t a complete idiot, he is just a really good liar. You need time to grieve the ‘death’ of the person you thought they were. This comic kinda summed it up for me: (minus the honest attempts at apologies…)
    2.) I may have devoted my whole everything to him, but I never matter all that much to him. This one is extremely painful to come to terms with, but it was my energy barrier to moving forward. Point number two needs to come tightly coupled to: Just because someone doesn’t value you, does not mean you aren’t valuable. It means that that person you had devoted your life to is an unrepentant, unrecoverable asshat.

    Get therapy. Get your kids therapy. Get a lawyer. Get divorced. Find every means you can to cut The Crazy out of your life. I imagine it as building a fortress around that person, they can live their life but I am out of the reach of most of the slings and arrows of their crazy. Lean on your friends, your family, anyone who is there for you. Your life has just burned down around you, it’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to need time to brush off the ashes and start building everything back up again.

    You will have to share your wonderful kids with this person. It’s incredibly unfair. I’m sorry to have to share this shit sandwich with you, it’s awful. But you can manage this too. Set up boundaries, keep them firm. Put them in writing in the divorce settlement. During the negotiation process, don’t give up the farm, but don’t fight over things that don’t really matter. I know, it’s nearly useless advice, since it’s so hard in the middle of everything to decide what falls into which category. Do your best. I would bet good money that it’s plenty good enough.

    Come here for your daily dose of support and good sense. I still do. It does get better, a lot better. I am happier (and much less anxious) now than I ever was before, and I haven’t even finished the divorce mediation yet. (Mediation with a known liar and con isn’t generally a great idea, but we have no assets to speak of, hence I can’t afford to do this all through my great lawyer, and I know I will be very proud of myself when everything is said and done.) You will find yourself through this, it’s a shit way to do it, but it’s effective. Focus on healing yourself, on being there for your kids. After my sons’ overnight at their dad’s, I always take my oldest to a cafe before dropping him off at daycare, he loves the one on one time. Ask them how their doing. Listen to them. This will be hard on all of you, but you will all be better off for having less interaction with The Crazy. Think of the divorce as putting a down payment on the rest of your and your kids’ lives. (I forget who on this site I’m stealing that phrase from, but I loved it, thanks!)

    This is already too long, but just know that you are not alone in this. CN gets it, even when no one else does. Let us know of your successes (daily showering counts!) or your missteps (any conversations with the cheater involving feelings is just a recipe for pain). Take it one step at a time, we are all cheering you on to your Tuesday!

  • Dear Jamie,

    Me too on the antidepressants and the counseling for my “self-esteem and trust” issues. All the while he was gaslighting me, lying to me and starting a smear campaign behind my back to his ho-workers, telling them I’m “crazy.” He *knew* that the antidepressants would cause a very bad side-effect on me (happened when we first got married and I went on antidepressants due to him withholding sex and ignoring me), but he encouraged me to go on them anyway.

    Anyway…..I’m happy you found CL and her book so fast! I wish I did too as I made so many mistakes! I’m happy you are proceeding with the divorce; cheaters don’t change. My best to you and your kids.

  • Well, happy March 15th, the Ides of March, Someone famous got stabbed in the back that day too, should be National Chump Day. We can eat unicorn sandwiches, drink Bullshit-Shakes, and ride the blame-shift rollercoaster. 🙂

  • Jamie, from your reply post, it seems like you’re on the right track. You’re here at CL, for one thing, and there’s no shortage of support on the forums for those little everyday things that creep up on you. Whenever you want to reach out to STBX, post here at CL instead. It seems there’s always someone awake to reply and cast you a lifeline.

    Lots of good advice here already. I will say that it seems men are better about getting on the road to recovery sooner than we women are; either that, or cultural differences are more supportive of us discussing it in public. You’ll find lots of support here, since, regardless of gender, it sucks to be a chump.

    I just have to say, your wife is real piece of work. Denying, denying, denying, and then… Poof! Nope, it’s all true, and it always was. And then she’s going to parade around as if SHE’S the wronged one? She has a lot of nerve, to say the least. — As someone above said, you weren’t getting YOUR needs met, either, and did you cheat? No, you did not.

    In my universe, people of quality work for what they believe in, and clearly your wife wasn’t willing to do that. To me, that alone is reason to not want to spend the rest of your life with her — when the going gets tough (as it ALWAYS does), where will she be? If you get sick, will she be sitting by your side holding your hand, or across town fucking some random dude because your cancer is SUCH a downer for her!!!

    I’m much happier alone and no longer care if I find another person. I’m open to it, but far less frantic about it as I was in the immediate aftermath of Dday. But that’s my own path. You’ll find yours, and you’ll be fine. We all are, eventually. It’s just a horribly painful road to get to Fine, and this particular website is most excellent for helping ease that pain.

    (Also, your mother owes you an apology.)

  • Damn, Jamie. You are one tough MoFo. Weasel, my ass. You trusted your gut in SPITE of all the lies, gaslighting, blameshifting, and despite being on emotion-numbing antidepressants. You still followed that little voice inside. So many of us Chumps have shut down that voice, smothered it with a pillow in fact, rationalized with it even in the face of much more damning evidence than yours, anything to deny even the possibility of betrayal by our partner. You are a very intuitive person. Panties straight to the washer? Who would have thought of that? And yet you thought to notice that and other subtle signals. You wife is very devious and conniving and yet YOU outsmarted her. Keep yourself on high alert throughout divorce proceedings. Her world is falling apart and now she is going to do everything she can to preserve her way of life or scrap and claw out a new life for herself. She is always looking for the advantage. Don’t let her know that you are onto her. Even after divorce is final you will have to watch things like a hawk because sometimes these folks will reemerge time and time again to push for more custody, more child support, make false accusations, etc. Document the shit out of EVERYTHING until your youngest turns 18. I’m not kidding.

  • I think one of the reason’s we chumps have a hard time “changing the channel” when we are being lied to and cheated on is that we just don’t think the way that our cheating partners do. I never understood why anyone would want to be in a relationship in name only — until I started to understand how USEFUL I was to my X’s. The affair partner is a big secret — a FU to all the responsibilities of the world. Time spent with AP is stolen away from the world at large, and the cheater’s never imagine they will have to endure negative consequences for those choices. They also believe they are SOOO smart that we will never figure out what is going on, and that is sooo wonderful for them, too. It is a twilight zone of negative illusions being regarded in a positive light. It is twisted and crazy, and normal, healthy, sane people don’t make those choices.

    I think that is one of the reason’s why the cheater and the AP think they can get rid of the spouse, and suddenly life will be a bed of roses for them. They cannot imagine that they are not “Special” and that the rules that apply to everyone else would ever apply to them. They don’t imagine that their new “twu luv” will ever tire of them, or cheat on them, or steal from them. Oh, no — they believe they are “above” all the chumps in the world, sexier and smarter than we will ever hope to be. Chumps are for cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, paying bills, contacting the family members when needed, and making sure you have everything you need to get to work on time. Chumps can get the car repaired, mow the grass, weed the garden — annoying and tedious tasks are all chumps are good for, don’t you know? Because cheaters must use any spare time they have from being magnificent in general, to cheat and get little extra goodies from the AP. That is the world they live in. Is it any wonder that we cannot imagine this world, or that we do not believe in it even when our instinct’s tell us to WAKE UP!!!!

    • Good point, Portia. My husband actually said, “I don’t have to follow society’s rules, I can make my own rules.”

    • Portia, are you my cheater husband?!
      I was convinced, while reading you definitions of chumps and cheaters, it was him. He actually threw these exact words at me. How I was such a black and white and boring but great at details and doing tedious routine work. While he is a curious life-and-people loving sparkling and fearless personality that should be given all the freedom to “explore” the world. “I set the strategy, you take care of the tactics” was his favorite to excuse him of any household or child rearing chorus. “I will take care of your fun times once a year. I suck at routine. You are so good at it. I only keep the big picture in my head.”

      And as a kibble, he would add “But I chose YOU!” “I graced YOU with marriage” “You conformed to my highest standards as a wife!”
      And the chump was happy.

  • Hub cheated after 25 years, wanted me to become polyamory because he “loved both of us” ME for 25 years, HER for about 2 weeks. When I said no, he ended up leaving to “find his own solo identity” but he keeps messing with my mind because he wants to be friends and still “cares about me”. I filed for divorce and he says he feels like he “needs to be divorced” but wants to start over with me after. WTF is he doing to my mind? I don’t even know if he’s ever seen her again as she lives 3000 miles away. I went NC for a long time but because of the divorce and now taxes, I have to have some communication. Let me tell you that it’s best to go completely NC so you don’t have to deal with the ongoing litany of rage, pity, fake charm. It’s still all about him, he doesn’t want to come home, (not an option anyway) but in the next breath he’s accusing me of blackmail and extortion (that would be his whore, not me, since she worked for him for a brief period of time and could still get him in a lot of trouble. He claims he never did anything wrong, HE JUST NEEDED TO TAKE A DIFFERENT LIFE PATH and I should have unconditional love and understanding. FYI, he’s got testosterone levels of 100-in the danger zone, and the markers for prostate cancer were positive, so he has a slow growing prostate cancer. His wandering dick doesn’t work anyway, hadn’t for a long time, but I was the supportive wife who would have stood by her man no matter what. Well, except for infidelity and an open marriage. He thought he had managed me down, diminished me so much over the years that I’d say YES just to have little crumbs of him from time to time. But I said no and can’t wait until the day the divorce is over and from that day forward he will be dead to me.

    • Aw yes the different life path. Funny how it always ends up in a strange vagina.

    • Keep up the good work. I hope you get the information you need for your taxes soon and can return to NC. I hope you don’t just ignore but also laugh at the “unconditional love” crap. He is welcome to continue his “unconditional love” for you from a great distance with no communication, if it means so much to him. And you can practice your version in your own way! Since there are no conditions, who is he to judge how you express it! (I personally vote for a cleansing fire that consumes all memorabilia associated with him, which you will enjoy with a nice glass of wine and a few friends.)

      • “Since there are no conditions, who is he to judge how you express it! (I personally vote for a cleansing fire that consumes all memorabilia associated with him, which you will enjoy with a nice glass of wine and a few friends.)’
        Love it Eilonwy, what a great comeback!

  • Jamie,

    Sorry to hear your story. Others have given you plenty of great advice on what to do going forward, so I’m going to focus on something else.

    The kids are in bed. You’ve cleaned up a bit, prepared for tomorrow, and done whatever else you do before bed. Then you get into bed, and in those quiet moments before sleep, the doubts and worries creep up.

    “Maybe I didn’t meet her emotional needs. What could I have done differently to keep her in love with me?” Stop. This isn’t on you. If you weren’t meeting her emotional needs, it is HER responsibility to talk to you, to tell you her problem. (Unless you are psychic, and can read minds. If that’s the case, you should have known she was unhappy, ….) She chose not to talk to you, and instead chose an emotional and physical affair. That’s on her. If she valued your feelings, if she valued stability in her children’s lives, she would have acted differently.

    It was not your job to be a perfect spouse. That is not humanly possible. It was your job to be the best spouse you can, and if she didn’t tell you about her problems, that’s on her, not on you. Further, instead of being honest with you about the budding affair, she blamed you, deflecting attention from what she now claims was the actual problem. Realistically, the actual problem is that she doesn’t give a flying fuck about the feelings of her partner of 10 years or her two children.

    One of your jobs now is to truly believe, in your head, that this is not your fault. It’s hard to do, especially when she’s been gaslighting you, blame shifting, and generally being deceptive. The words of people we care about carry weight, and you can’t just turn that off like flipping a light switch. Consciously, it’s easy to say that she’s in the wrong here, but emotionally, it takes work to get there, and no amount of righteous anger or conscious knowledge can do that work for you in isolation. You need to also reflect on the things you do well, with the kids, in your work, in the fact that your suspicions were justified, and in how you act going forward, putting the interests of the kids and yourself first and foremost. Take the high road, and be proud of it; it’s not only the right thing to do, it has immense healing power.

    Oh, and document, document, document. STBX may pull BS accusations out of her ass during the divorce process, she may claim you were abusive, she likely will claim that you were depressed as diagnosed by a therapist and on medication, she may claim she spends more time with the kids, that you are a insensitive workaholic who is always gone, yada yada yada. Get all your ducks in a row, with things written down on paper, that you can present as evidence in court. Saying you came home after work is one thing, showing a list of times you came home, with concrete evidence that backs it up, is much more convincing. Set clear goals with your attorney, what you want out of the divorce, and so forth.

    Not that it’s your problem, or even your concern, but things with her and her AP are probably getting out of control. Suspect AP’s marriage is in deep doo-doo, and things will be very stressful at work for both of them. So while she raged around you (after d-day, before NC), in her head she’s probably either in complete denial, or feeling so much guilt that she can’t face it. She doesn’t have an easy road either. But at least her emotional pain is properly earned, she deserves it. You don’t deserve yours, and your kids don’t deserve theirs.

    “She has shown nothing but anger towards me saying it’s my fault, I caused it,” – Complete bullshit. She chose to do it, not you. Even AP isn’t responsible, it could have been anyone. Her fault.

    “… I never deserved her,” – if she feels you never deserved her, then she shouldn’t have stayed with you 10 years, married you, or had two kids with you.

    “…that she warned me I wasn’t meeting her needs (she didn’t).” – if it comes up again, and you talk to her [don’t talk to her], make it quite clear that you would have listened if she said something like that, and that you don’t appreciate her trying to rewrite history.

    “I’ve had only two brief outward showings her being sorry. She texted me yesterday to say she misses me.” – Switching to the sorry pity channel. Don’t reply. In your head, ask yourself if she was missing you when she came home late from work because she was with weasel. Think to yourself, I miss having a loving wife that I can trust. I mourn the death of what I thought was a good marriage to a good person. But I don’t miss the person I know you are now.

    “She also did similar and apologised (although with blame attached to me still) via text about two weeks from D-Day.” – so, she said something like, ‘I’m sorry but it’s your fault.’ That isn’t an apology. Don’t reply. In your head, think ‘I’m sorry she’s an amoral, abusive whore.’ ‘I’m sorry she’s putting my children through hell because she thought her emotional needs were unmet.’ Those aren’t apologies either, but they are way more honest than the stuff she’s spouting at you.

    She moves her lips and tongue, and noises come out of her mouth. She wiggles her fingers over her phone, and messages fly out. All of that is less connected with truth and communication, and more connected with filling her needs. You need No Contact. Block her text number. Change your cell number, or make it clear that she can only contact you if it involves an emergency with the kids.

    And take great comfort in the big picture. You’re not that old (I assume, from the ages of your kids, etc.), and you have plenty of time to build a good life for yourself and your girls. As MightyAgain says, finalize the divorce, and give yourself time to heal. There are plenty of good women out there who would love to be with someone with your sense of marital fidelity. You can find one and have a great life going forward, maybe with your kids and her kids from another relationship, or maybe some the two of you bring into the world. Most women are not like your STBX. It will get better, much better. I’d be willing to bet that in a decade, you will be so happy that you got out of this marriage. There will still be some baggage, but you’ll be in a much, much better place than you were.

    Good luck, from all of us here at CN.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.

  • I’ve found it does get “easier”…but “easier” is still fucking hard sometimes.

    Jamie, keep doing what your doing. Don’t give up on yourself or feel that you need validation from anyone else that what you are doing by divorcing her. She did an awful thing to you and your kids, you might relapse occasionally and fall for her “Charm” or react to her “Rage” and feel sorry for her when she plays the “Pity” card. If that happens, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again. You sound like you’ve started off on the right foot and only communicate with her about the kids and keep that business like.

    I’m glad you told her family, I did the same and this provoked serious rage from YoYo knickers. Once their mask slips and the image is damaged this causes a big injury to their ego’s and they hate it.

    Your story will sound very familiar to people on here, especially wondering what happened to the person you married and fell in love with. They never seem to be the “Type” to do what they did, but they did and you need to remind yourself of some of the shitty things she’s done and will continue to do to you.

    Keep posting on here, stay strong my friend, best of luck


  • Wow. How did your spouse live with herself when she saw you taking medication for depression THAT SHE WAS INDUCING!?!? That’s some next-level disordered sh*t. I mean, truly, truly mentally ill. No normal person could obfuscate the truth and twist the narrative in their head enough to justify that.

    OP, I, too, had a hard time contending with the reality that people like this exist. It’s just so far from what you or I would consider ethical behavior. We wouldn’t be able to function with the guilt!

    I’m glad you realized that the finger pointing at you was ridiculous. (Also, why is her mom fighting her battles?) She is mentally ill, she is duplicitous, she is insecure … she is all the things SHE said YOU were.

    And now, you get to be the sane parent, as Chump Lady said. I think you’ll take like a duck to water in this department since you seem to have a level head and a big heart. Be you, stand strong, and know that all of us here at Chump Nation love and support you <3

    • Gay and Mono – ‘Wow. How did your spouse live with herself when she saw you taking medication for depression THAT SHE WAS INDUCING!?!? That’s some next-level disordered sh*t. I mean, truly, truly mentally ill.’

      Ha ha, could it get any worse? The X saw me start private therapy, shake all day uncontrollably, all the way to the doctor who prescribed medication that I definitely needed at the time.
      He knew I was an emotional mess since I had found out a month earlier about his nefarious-ism. (is that a word?).
      Then he turned it on me when he stole all the gold out of the house.
      He told his lawyer and my lawyer that he didn’t trust it would be safe in our ‘safe’ in our ‘vault’ (built for just this reason) – Because – tada. I was unstable because I took this medication!

      He’s damn lucky I didn’t call the cops on him when he was on his way back to his trailer (yanno, the really safe trailer to store gold). It would have been very satisfying to see him spend a night in jail…and be charged with a real crime. He’s the one that needed serious help.

  • I just want to repeat what others have said: document, document, document.

    You’ve got good evidence that she is very disturbed. She was willing to let you seek medical treatment and take medications to continue her cover up. She’s telling your oldest daughter lies to cultivate her own image. She is not concerned with the mental or physical health of people who interfere with her desires.

    Consequently, there is good reason to think that she’ll lie and manipulate to get whatever custody she wants.

    You need to prepare for that by keeping a daily log of your interactions with your kids. If they see doctors or attend preschool or are in any other activities, make sure you are part of those routines. If you buy stuff for them–from diapers to toys to socks, keep the receipts. It will be a pain in the neck, but if you need it, you’ll be very glad you have it. And if you are prepared this way, your divorce lawyer will probably be more supportive of a request for 50% or more of the custody.

  • Omg! This sounds so similar to my D-Day two years ago. Fast forward to now and he is continually trying to get me back. I told the little Worm that once upon a time that would have made me happy, but now I just want him out of my life. These worms all just want what they can’t have. And what is it with the shaving? Every time the Worm asked me to shave his back, I knew he was going to see his Pookie. Once he said he was going to wash the car, and went to brush his teeth. It’s really insulting that they think we’re that stupid!!!
    But I digress, it took me many tries, a Hawaiian Vacation without him, a bucket of dirty mop water dumped on my head, and a 60 day detox to see the light. It’s coming for you too. Stay away! Far away from her, stay busy, meet new friends, hang out with old friends, vent, see a counselor, and love yourself! You got this and we’re here for you!

  • Jamie,

    Sorry you’re going through this bro. Don’t worry it will get exponentially better with time. The advices you’re getting are spot on, especially NO CONTACT, which is like taking antibiotics for an infection. Your ex is not your friend, and the longer you go no contact with her, the more you realize that you have literally been sleeping with the enemy. She will NEVER change, because change is difficult, and she won’t see the need to be a better person because most cheaters use twisted logic to make themselves magnificent in their own mind.

    Run, don’t walk, from the crazy. File as fast as you possibly can and do everything to protect your interests. Your heart is weak right now, but it won’t be that way forever. You will be very happy again, if you give yourself the chance. For perspective, I’m about 5 months out from the last Dday and 3 months out from the divorce. Just last month I was still missing traces of my ex. Now I can’t imagine ever having had her in my life…’s almost like recalling a horror movie with me in the role of the one being abused. And with time, you will grow and fill in the gap that your ex left behind (fill it with personal growth, not another person). And trust me, you may not feel this way now, but the future without your cheater ex gets incredibly brighter each day.

    Best wishes Jaime. You got it bro!

  • Jamie’s story really brings home what I think for many of us is the worst aspect of infidelity…the gaslighting and other assorted mental abuse. Personally, if there had been a one-time sexual indiscretion and none of the above, I probably could have forgiven that. But the other stuff? HELL no. It’s what takes the longest to get over, in my opinion. It’s those words that rattle around your head and make even sane, secure people doubt themselves. That’s why it’s called “crazymaking” behavior. Jamie, when you get enough time and perspective, I swear to you, you will find all these words absolutely ridiculous and even laughable.

    • I agree, K. It’s the manipulation that makes you feel crazy that’s the hardest to get over. It still amazes me when I think about it.

  • Wait a minute. Your STBX is a “mother” of a preschooler and a baby. Perhaps birth-giver is the better term. Where in her 168 hours a week could she possibly find time for an affair? What a completely self-centered, egotistical, conceited mess of an individual. How was she not completely wrapped up/exhausted/enamored and/or charmed by her two babies?

    Working too? It sounds like her total focus was her own physical hygiene and adultery. Where is her character? So better off without that hideously selfish wreck in your life, Jamie. The universe has done you a favor. Get the best attorney you can afford as quickly as you can. Be good to your girls and be gone from this woman.

  • Dear Jamie-
    Like so many, your story could be mine. People will tell you “it gets easier,” and it does. You need to know, it gets harder, too. I’m almost four years from d-day and not even a year from the end of the divorce-from-hell. Listen to Chump Lady and be smart, lawyer up, play the game right. It is a game. Keep your sweet children away from it as much as you can. No one in the family court system cares about who did what to whom unless there was substance abuse or physical abuse (potential exposure to stds doesn’t count). Do NOT trust the family court system to be fair. Find some GOOD advocates in “the system”‘ who understand infidelity and the impact it has on children and their families and get them on your side. You are lost and heartbroken, but in a battle for your future. Take a deep breath, buck-it-up, and go battle with a good attorney. Then… hopefully, at the end of the day it will get easier.

  • Jamie, thank you for your letter! It sucks that you even had to write it and that this unbelievable shit is happening to you and your daughters. The advice you have received is amazing and take all of it! You have no idea how much you opening up and sharing your story has helped me (and probably many many others). For a guy whose DDay was a month ago, you have incredible clarity!! As hard as it is, NO CONTACT is the only way to go… I broke it yesterday to deal with closing the sale of our house and feel like I have taken a big step back… your ex is a master manipulator (like most) don’t give her the opportunity to hurt you. Stay strong and be the model your baby girls deserve and need!! To answer your question, when does it get easier? I am only 3 months in and it is not easy yet, but I am hopeful that Tuesday will come 🙂 Chin up, Jamie. We got your back!!!

  • Jamie, you are lucky. Believe me. You have CL and CN and your own insight. My father was not. Tricked into marrying due to false pregnancy, raised a daughter who was not his, run into debt, isolation and dispor in his old age by a woman like your ex. You are young and Tuesday WILL arrive. Take Care.

  • Jamie…please take care.

    Your wife is a complete pro at gaslighting. She broke not one house, but two…

    Also, your youngest child is too young, but your 4 year old is perfect puppet for miming whatever mummy tells her. Please be kind on yourself, but please ensure that you are completely clear and communicative with both of your kids.

    I hope you are able to file soon.

  • Also, please don’t ever go soft on her. Keep your evidences/documentation intact, and don’t divulge anything with her beyond necessary. She is a predator.

  • I would just add, do not expect any respect to be shown wrt the divorce.
    Once they realise you really mean it, they turn very nasty, very quickly.
    Be prepared.
    They do not love you, and never have.
    The only person they care about is themselves.
    I doubt her commitment to your girls is very strong, so I would bet that over time she will see less and less of them. The “drudgery” of child rearing is not exciting enough, she is too special.

  • My story is so similar to Jamie’s. I also thought I had serious jealousy and insecurity issues. Turned out the coworker I suspected (one of several throughout the years) really WAS having an affair with my husband. That was the worst/best day of my life because it finally became clear I wasn’t crazy.

    The hardest thing to deal with is realizing you were played for a fool for so long. That they really don’t care what they are doing to you.

    They keep telling you they’ll be happy if you’ll let them do x, y, and z, but when you agree they just keep moving the goal posts. Then, when the shit hits the fan they tell you it’s all your fault. If you had just done x, y, and z they wouldn’t have fallen in love with someone else. It doesn’t matter that they never told you they wanted these things out loud. You’re just supposed to know. Now it’s your fault that you didn’t know, even when you begged them to talk to you.

    Chumplady saved me when I stumbled across her blog and realized that the shame/blame cheaters heap on your head is not your fault. My eyes were opened to what emotional abuse is when I started reading fellow chump stories. I was able to crawl out of bed and start making a new life when I realized I hadn’t single-handedly destroyed my life.

    Jamie, what you’re going through hurts really bad but it will get better. You will put one foot in front of the other until you are in a better place. Surround yourself with friends, get a great counselor, do things that bring you joy. Even if it’s just a little bit of joy. The more you give yourself the love you wanted from her, the better you’ll feel. Hang in there!

  • This post was sure a flashback for me. Almost everything said was what the XPOS I was with did to me. Jamie, we were all where you are now. The hurt and pain WILL go away.
    For me, all that is gone but I’m now stuck with the hate for a while; it’s lasting as long if not longer than the grief.

  • I. get. it. I am on day 42 and ended up having to subpoena records to get the womans name bc my husband is too much of a pussy to tell me. I sent him 11 pages of interrogatories to answer to…he plans on being with her when the divorce is over which cracks me up…as if he can wait to get screwed that long. 90 day waiting period in the state and if she is married (I think she is) it will be enough time to tell her spouse what she has done.
    Hang in there and remember…it’s not about US. WE didnt DO this. This guy is saving my life right now in moving foward. this is a good one.

  • Dude it sucks & she sucks period BUT you have a higher calling. Take care of those kids & love them as hard as you can. I can promise you this, if you continue to do the next right thing every day your life will turn out roses and hers will be a steaming pile of dog shit.

  • Hi I’m new here. I’m 2 months from D-day. I like you can’t see an end to the pain and devastation he has caused. I am 29 weeks pregnant with a 2 year old to look after. I would love to go no contact but I don’t know how that would be possible. I’m surviving most days but when I know I have to see him it’s awful. Any ideas of how to I can go no contact. My husband left me and his child for the OW/teenager (she’s 19) Of course it was all my fault because of his unhappiness. This couldn’t have had anything to do with his gambling addiction and him lying to me for the last year to cover up said addiction. If was because he hasn’t been happy for 2 years due to me neglecting him and not wanting him. Obviously none of this was mentioned to me until after D-day. He had been acting like a stand up father, husband and Christian man. Who actively wanted and encouraged his wife to have another baby with him. Turns out he is none of those things. I questioned him on so many things in the last few months but he would just lie and tell me he loves me and our son. I have been well and truely manipulated and chumped but because he has always acted like a good person people are finding it hard to believe that he is capable of such things. I’m glad I found this sight as it’s really hard to talk to people who haven’t been in this situation. They don’t understand what is is like to have your heart ripped out from your chest and stamped all over by the person who promised to love you and protect you forever.

  • Emma
    It is well nigh impossible to go NC when you have very small children.
    Luckily for me my youngest was 9 when this hideous nightmare began. After an initial huffing and puffing it quickly became clear that my ex did not really want custody. What he wanted was to just have fun and zero responsibility,
    A gambling addict does not sound like a potentially good father.He sounds like someone who will quickly ditch his kids.
    Go for full custody asap, document all evidence of his gambling etc and hope he loses interest.
    A 19 year old does not want to look after 2 kids either.
    So sorry he has ruined your family, but don’t let him maintain the narrative. You are young, and have years to write a much better story for your life.
    In time you will realise he has done you a favour.

  • Thank you I have already filled for divorce. I have a verbal agreement about maintenance and custodybut my lawyer says I could put that in a court order because of his gambling. I have seen on here that others have had problems with court orders. I’m in the UK so not sure if that makes a difference. I think he is enjoying acting like a teenager again and then just seeing his child a few times a week. I think things will change when I have baby #2. I’m not going to want him coming over all the time to see his baby and play happy family which is what I think he is going to try and do.

  • I am in the UK too. Court orders are pieces of paper. That is it. Do not rely on them. In my experience (year 5) enforcement is v difficult, and wrt children I have friends with little kids, courts have been USELESS.

    Your ex will be a hopeless father, unless he really changes, so you need to sort out what YOU want and if he does not like it, he will have to take you to court.

    Highly likely he will not bother. Even if he does, enforcing it is a joke. Be strong, set it all up from the very beginning as you want things, and do not EVER rely on him. If you need childcare, organise a sitter.

    Sort out the finances asap.At least with a court order you can at least try enforcement. If he has no assets/ money you will struggle to get it though. It is taken from salary, and usually these idiots snuffle it away,hide it, pretend they earn nothing etc and have no problems lying in court.

    If you can ask for more assets, a clean break, my advice is go for that. Do not rely on him ever paying up. Child maintenance you can chase through the CMS. Phone them.

    Good Luck.

    • Thank you he won’t be able to afford to take me to court because he has such high debts from the gambling, I guess he could get into more debt if he was desperate. We have agreed a maintenance amount but I’m not holding my breath that I’ll get that every month especially when he wants to get a place to live with the OW. I’m lucky I have good family around so I don’t have to rely on him to help with childcare. I still trying to process everything he has done and why but I know that I’ll never get the answers I need because he just continues to lie to me and now I can’t believe a single thing he says.

      • Not sure we’re you live but in Aus you can elect that it is taken straight from their wages rather than relying on them handing it over which was not going to happen consistently in my case because he would think his expenses are more important. Look into it.

  • Dear Jamie,

    we so know what pain and confusion you are in. The gut punch of the cruelty and injustice brings you on to your knees.

    In narcissistic discard there is choosing the sparkles and a hell of a lot of projection of internal issues onto us, the Chump.
    The hard thing is that we are extremely sensitive to these projections. They aren’t real but they HURT like a mofo.

    Our task is to focus on ourselves and our self care, and to be a good parent to our children. My STBX was told clearly in therapy ‘this is not about your wife or your marriage, this is about the way you think, your traumatic childhood and your relationship with your mother’ [strangely he didn’t want to continue with therapy after that].

    I just want to tell you that ‘If you are going through hell, keep on going’ (Winston Churchill). It takes a long time and a lot of pain, but it DOES get better. You DO see that this was about her and not about you. The frustration of breeding with a fuckwit never really goes away, but when you look back she was always selfish, you always gave more and you were always a little walking on eggshells.

    It is a huge relief and sense of peace when you just don’t have to deal with that any more. There are a lot of lovely women out there who will give you their hearts. Have faith and keep on one day at a time.

    PS it isn’t you.

  • Just an update really. I saw a solicitor last week and will be filing in the next day or so. She continues to try and manipulate me by going through rage, charm, blame shifting, victim routine etc. She’s text me to say that I’m not prepared to have a grown up conversation for the sake of the kids (she wasn’t prepared to honour her vows for the sake of the kids) and still keeps rolling out the victim card..,emotional needs, lack of cuddles blah blah blah. She has tried to manipulate the kids by asking my 4 year old when collecting her who she wants to be with on that day. I pointed out her abuse and told her family too. She’s not pulling that shit on the kids. She told me I was angry and unstable (well I must confess I am still very fucking angry).I’m getting stronger daily. I’m trying to keep to NC but she keeps texting me bullshit. Nonetheless the longer I keep away from her the better I am feeling. All the advice given to me on the site is appreciated and continues to give me strength to keep pushing on, one foot in front of the other. After telling me I had been a bad father for the last 5 weeks (more of her gas lighting bullshit) she’s finally conceded that she has noticed how much I have stepped up with the kids. I haven’t stepped up, I’m just doing the same as I always have…putting them first and not putting my own selfish needs over theirs. She should continue to take notice. She will soon be faced with the paperwork spelling out the consequences of her sickness. Thanks again to all on here.

    • Also, note. Everything she texts you or says to you are the hallucinations of an insane person. Treat them as such. Good job buddy. We are with you.

  • Hi Jamie. I haven’t posted here in a while, or told my story yet, but I had to respond to you. Your situation is a lot like mine, almost exactly. My two boys were 5 and 3. The answer to when does it get better? For me? It got better the first fuckin fraction of a step I took in the direction away from her. I opened my own checking account. Felt free. I had her served immediately, felt mighty and free. Once we had separate living arrangements? I immediately felt whole again. I was whole and happy and free from abuse and gaslighting and blameshifting and insanity. Ask yourself this… what mother (say that word again MOTHER) of her own one year old walks out and fucks up her own little girls family? A fucking insane person who cannot care about her newborn offspring. Animals care for their offspring. Get free of this. Chump lady helped me immensely with understanding everything, as well as the recommended books on borderline personality disorder. But my advice is same as chump ladies, get away, run as fast as you can, every step you take feels better. And trust me. A woman that would do that to her one year old is not going to be a good parent. Ask me how I know? My boys are 10 and 7 now, and can see the difference between a normal nurturing home and a crazy angry home. Having the two homes has helped them tremendously. They figure it out, I didn’t have to tell them anything. Oh, and if you feel you have the resources, ask for primary custody (what we call it in Texas) because she is not stable enough to raise children. I get a nice child support check from my ex every month, and she gets the kids every other weekend. Run and don’t look back. If you want more abuse to mess yourself up, then have contact with her. If you want to heal yourself, NO CONTACT is a goddamn beautiful thing. Believe in yourself, run the fuck away from her, she is mentally ill.

    (Sorry if this sounded misogynistic, just telling the story from my gender perspective)

  • Have only just seen this as relatively new on here…but WOW its like my life on someone else page….even the dates of everything happening are exactly the same…except thankfully our children are grown…and I am the wife who has had it done to her..its like we are mirror images ..I have been 5weeks nc and it is hard ,have tried reconciliation four times since he left on New Years Day, he just kept going back and forth playing the pick me game…so I broke all contact and it hurts like a b****rd but I know I am doing the right thing ,one day I will find (I hope ) someone with the same morals in life as me and loves and respects ONLY me…you deserve the same so please (and god I know its hard) but try and stay strong because you and your girls genuinely deserve so much than this woman could ever offer

  • It sounds like you have a narcissist on your hands. I did, too, and I’ve put together an informal case study on the psychopathology and how to divorce the person with it. You will note huge similarities between this case and mine. Please visit my blog at If nothing else, no matter how crappy your situation makes you feel, no matter how cruelly your ex treats you, please know that you’re not alone.

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