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Dear Chump Lady, My husband ran off with the nanny and it’s my fault?

Dear Chump Lady,

My ex-husband cheated and ran off with the nanny. According to my ‘friends’ and family, it’s all my fault and they knew all along that this was coming. I feel like I’m being abused and cheated on all over again when they say these things. Can you please please put these sentences through the UBT? Here are the response I wish I could fling in their face, if I was brave enough.

“Well I would never hire somebody else to take care of my children. See what comes of it.”
– Because working men never cheat on their SAHM wives.
– Aren’t you lucky you have a husband with a steady job and no disabilities.

“I knew something was fishy 5 years ago.”
– So you are a co-conspirator?
– Funny you are only mentioning it now.

“What did you think would happen if you left him home with the nanny all day?”
– Do I control his actions and dictate that he should stay home instead working outside of home, as was the plan?
– Should I have quit my job and let the family starve to death so I could watch him all day and make sure he wasn’t cheating.
– What did you think would happen if I worked with men all day (which I do). Somehow I’ve managed never to cheat with any of them. Weird, how did I manage that?

Your webpage is my lifeline these days!

Chompingchump

Dear Chompingchump,

What an odious assortment of Switzerland friends you have there. I don’t think you need me. Your internal UBT is pretty awesome. What you do need is COURAGE to respond. I know we live in a world in which we’re supposed to take offense at factual truths, but fuck that noise. Look, if these people can have the slack-jawed NERVE to blame you for your own abandonment? Then you can summon the self-respect to respond with basic common sense. Every reply you gave there was a rational statement, not an insult.

Yes, men can cheat on stay-at-home mothers just as easily as working-outside-the-home mothers.

Yes, people exist in a world with millions of attractive people — and even work along side some of them! and manage not to cheat on their partners.

Yes, I committed no crime hiring a childcare worker.

Why are you finding it hard to speak truth to stupid? I understand that this sort of blameshifting broadsides chumps. It’s hard to think on your feet. But it’s also hard to respond if you’ve internalized any of the cultural messages that say this shit IS our fault. We could’ve prevented it. We weren’t trying hard enough. We missed a spot. Or if we’re just being too damn chumpy — well, I wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings with a tart remark. Really? Because this person just sputtered absolute crap with ZERO consideration of YOUR feelings.

Change the narrative, chumps. Speak UP. If someone blame shifts infidelity on to you? RETURN TO SENDER. Do NOT accept delivery.

When I explain the phenomenon of Switzerland friends and family, I usually couch it with insights like “they’re afraid.” If they can assign blame, then they won’t feel vulnerable themselves.

But really people, this is just shitty behavior. If someone takes your heartbreak as an opportunity to score superiority points (“Well, I would never leave my child with a nanny”), cut them out of your life. At the very least, speak up. Yes, you may as well exhort a lamppost, but you will also telegraph that you are NOT accepting the blame.

Okay, let’s UBT those sentences and be much bitchier this time.

“Well I would never hire somebody else to take care of my children. See what comes of it.”

Yes, hiring childcare… see what comes of it. I get a career. My children get food on the table and a roof over their heads. I’m financially independent of the abandoning fuckwit in my life. I have better life choices. Horrors, this is what comes of daycare — self-supporting women.

I’m so glad YOU would never put yourself in a position to be cheated on. Knowing that you’re exceptional is so very comforting.

#fuckoffanddie

“I knew something was fishy 5 years ago.”

Unsaid, you think I didn’t know something was off? So what? You were ahead of the curve? You could NEVER be deceived, because you have awesome powers of observation that I lack — which you’d like to share with me now. Five. Years. After. The. Fact.

#mondaymorningquarterbacking

“What did you think would happen if you left him home with the nanny all day?”

Sex orgies. White slavery. Fucking right there on the Pack N’ Play. Carnal abandonment with tinker toys.

Oh I know I shouldn’t leave my children in such over-sexed surroundings, but I forgot to tether my husband to a post that morning, and well, mistakes happen. (Turns out, posts and tethering just turn nannies on.)

#lessonlearned

Chompingchump — Please dump these people from your life.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I once ran into a friend who tried to blameshift me. I then reminded her that her first husband cheated on her. That shut her up immediately. Good bye forever ?.

  • I knew who would be in my corner from the second things went down. I focused my energy (what energy I had at the time) on those people.
    If you have anybody in your circle that you can say you don’t know where they may fall in your break up then that’s probably all you need to know.
    When I see ” mutual acquaintances” like firefighters that work with my ex I keep it to ” hi there” and make sure I came off as happier than ever incase it gets reported back.
    I stick to my stock answer when people ask me why we aren’t together anymore ” he wouldn’t stop dating.”
    Anybody that would question if I had a responsibility in getting cheated on would just be gone from my life, no response necessary.

    • Hi Paintwidow 🙂
      Love the ” make sure I seem happier than ever in case it gets reported back”

    • Look, if I can say 100% that I stood with my own brother’s ex wife when he decided to be a turd, anyone can stand with a friend. Sadly, she has since returned the favor, and has been my strongest support in being chumped myself. Neither of us deserved it.

      • After a 30-year marriage, all of my in-laws, to include my mother-in-law, turned their backs on me even though they knew my ex was a cheater. At the time I was emotionally a basket case. Their abandonment only messed with my head even more reinforcing the erroneous thought that there was something wrong with me. I can say that 2 1/2 years later I am so fortunate to have lost all of those in-laws. I’m so glad you can still be friend’s with your former sister-in-law. It’s especially hard when it’s a member of your own family that behaves so atrociously. There are still decent people in the world. I’m glad for you that your former sister-in-law is one of them.

        • I never knew that people were capable of looking you in the eye, telling you they love you and are always there for you, then disappearing completely.

          I felt very betrayed by my in laws too. I never meant anything to them and I was shocked that I was so wrong for 30 years. Crushed. I was knocked off my pedestal as far as they were concerned, and I was erased from their lives.

          One sister in law wrote me a one line email that said she loved me and that I could always reach her, no matter what. It meant the world to me and it was true.

          I was heartbroken on so many levels.

          • Yup. In the same club. It’s been a while now and I am happy NOT to associate with that nest of liars, cheaters, thieves and enablers. My kids still have a relationship with them though, and if any of my nieces or nephews needed something from me, I would always open my home to them.

            • Another club member here. 29 years married, kids, ha, I hired a nanny too and got the usual grief for it from the in-laws. They thought it was “atrocious” that I could make more than their son, and wasn’t giving up my six figure income. Good thing I stuck to my guns, because it’s those hard earned savings that sustain me now.

              My in-laws all ghosted me when the ugly truth emerged…his old girlfriend turned out to be the OW, and now she is with him, front and centre in all the facebook photos, embracing the in-laws.

              I was a good wife, mother, helpful DIL, always cheerful, earned a good living…and my reward? Banished, ignored, forgotten, when the former GF reappeared to claim her “prize”. She’s welcome to him.

              Strangely, my only remaining friend from those days is the nanny, still friends after 30 years!

              • I felt my heart was beyond any further damage until my inlaws gave me crickets. 25 years of closeness. 25 years of viewing them as my parents too. My beloved mother had died suddenly 9 years before D-day. I guess i had hoped for a hug. At least. I got folded arms and ‘are the kids okay.’ We were in wreckonciliation. And still no support. #evenmoredevastated. But I do view it as revealing. They never cared about me when i loved them. I was obviously just a broodmare, producing their grandchildren. Go me!

        • Me too! I kept in touch with my MIL just about everyday after dday & the quick exit of the cheater ex. About 3 months after dday I had my first of 2 nervous breakdowns & was hospitalized both times. I never heard from any of my in-laws since the first breakdown & that was 7 years ago.

          There was one lame attempt a few years ago to contact me when an out of state aunt passed away & I received a sympathy card from MIl/FIL & another from cheater ex. WTF? Don’t even know how they heard about her death. I immediately shredded both cards. I remember myself gasping when I saw cheater ex’s handwriting & was paralyzed a bit before opening it.

          A few weeks later when the hated weed whacker conked out, I felt a fury of rage & marched into the house & sent cheater ex an email (first one since NC) that read, “you & your family need to stay out of my life – a beautiful life that was ruined.” Minutes later he replied with, “OK, didn’t mean to upset you, was sympathic to your loss, won’the happen again.” And it never did & that was 4 years ago.

          • Kibbles, that’s what he was after. Glad you wised up and put some boundaries in place.
            I know what depression feels like, I cannot fathom a breakdown, and you’ve been through 2! I’m sending you good vibes.

            • My take on the viciousness of the drop is that it is a family institution type of group think that they are all that shallow and can switch off overnight. Even after 26 years the inlaws and even the friends of them have ‘ghosted’ as they say. I think i would have contemplated suicide if i hadnt educated myself dam quick on how these narcissistic families create a hell on earth for all they come into contact with. They shut up shop as soon as you are persona non gratis and then you slowly realise your trusted partner of so long was in fact bad mouthing you behind your back especially to family because how are they going to have full support with their frightening exit which no doubt involves decimated finances from a upper middle class life he pulls the rug on me and the kids to leave us with not one $ . Then has the nerve to pull the victim card on the kids for the pity party they need . Narc abuse is THE definition of frustration. I have to remind myself everyday i got suckered in to a lfetime of deception diguised as husband and father of the year. I dont think ill ever get over the shock of realising i had been played. People are still coming out of the woodwork to give me the truth about fuckhead character assisinating me for YEARS tobhis work buddies. But who knows. ..it explains why none of our friends spontaneously got in touch with me . It took 6 months to re contact some who were sooo odd with me it took anothrt 6 months to work out i had been painted as the bitch long suffering sociopath had to put up with . It never ends a week out from the divorce and 17months from d day and even laying eyes on him . Its like all your nightmares came at once.

      • What kind of fucked up reality is that where the victim “deserved it”?
        How does that mesh with the “don’t judge” mantra of many so called cosmopolitan people?
        It doesn’t! It makes no sense! These people make no sense and don’t have any common sense.
        Please make way!

    • Paintwidow
      Kudos to you for knowing right out of the gate. I should have but didn’t.
      I’m wondering at this stage if I ever actually learn anything! In ten years I’ll be on a ‘My ex got hit by lightning then run over eight times’ website run by Trauma Lady and I will be talking about how many friends I lost……and wondering…..

      • Capricorn….my friend.
        While I was so emotionally leveled I couldn’t even tie my shoes, I will say that one thing was very clear to me. If the person I loved most in the world , that I thought loved me as much, could discard me that way after I was a good and loyal wife to him for 17 yrs, then I don’t put bad behavior past anybody. My immediate family and a couple close friends sit at my table…..that’s it. I’m very social, have many ” friends” but very few will ever be close enough to me for it to hurt like that again…..shields up.
        I have a very nice boyfriend and I love the relationship. I adore him and we have a great time together…..that’s it. If he left me tomorrow or I left him it would be sad…..but momentarily. I make sure that I’m always aware now that relationships can just be over in the blink of an eye.
        If I encounter anybody in mycircle that projectets anything that could be sympathy or being okay with my ex than that is fine, they just will no longer have any relationship with me. That’s their choice. I’ve made many mistakes, but choosing good members of my tribe wasn’t one of them.

        • Paintwidow

          You are awesome. I love you in a very CL appropriate non-weird way! ❤
          I am so not like this……yet.

        • Paintwidow, I truly hope one day you’ll find the strength to trust humanity again.
          It’s good to protect yourself, but is it okay to shield up like a fortress?

          For me it has been a learning experience, in that I learned to read people. I listen more to my inner voice nowadays. Those kind of people unravel fast right before my eyes. They come and go. Good people get to stay. It takes time to build trust and that’s ok. It’s slow, but real.
          I’m sending you hugs.

    • I hear ya, Paintwidow! You certainly are mighty!! I dread seeing my soon-to-be ex husband’s colleagues (he is a firefighter too) and their sorry looks… I am going to take your advice and say “hello” in an extra happy way and in my head I will be saying a big “FU!!” It has only been 3 months since DDay so I can say I will be as composed when someone asks, “What happened?” But my plan is to try. I have been playing a losing game of impression management for 17 years… no longer. My ex told our bank manager that ‘we decided’ to separate. When my dad heard this when he went to the bank, he set the story straight! Lol

      • Letting go,
        Your story and mine are veeerrrryyy similar. Not that any of us are immune, but I’m finding many firefighter/ police ex wives that are in this boat.
        If there’s one thing I’m certain of it’s that she will be me one day, if she isn’t already. She can have that shit. I wait patiently for the karma bus, it could take years.
        I don’t know where you live but 17 is the magic number for some of these dickheads. I’m in Florida and 17 is long term marriage here ( for the moment).
        Stay strong, lawyer up, go NC and learn from the posts of anybody that has fallen off that wagon that no good EVER comes from talking to them…..EVER.

        Capricorn, I ❤ U too. My chump family means the world to me.
        Stay strong. H

  • I dumped the swiss cheese friends (I called them switchy bitches). Yes occasionally my kids get dragged around them occasionally when wifey #4 and puss man have them by court ordered hostage. But guess who has the $ for Disney and the fancy camps this summer? Guess who clothes them and sends a bag of old clothes over every 6 months,( BC my hand me downs are generally pretty good). My current batch of friends is totally awesome. Clean out the weeds!

    My favorite weed was a “best friend” who allowed puss to pick up two hanggliders and hide them out. BC I would have been “abusive” if I had found out (about the affair and the money that he clearly wasn’t earning or spending on the family).

  • Chompingchump,
    You have this all on your own!
    Just open your mouth and say those clever things you wrote.
    You can even go back after the fact and have that conversation with those ‘friends’ and family members….”I was thinking about what you said the other day”.
    Some may say to just shut them out of your life. I believe that if it gives you some satisfaction, go back and say those things to their faces. And THEN shut them out of your life.
    CL is correct. You do not need anyone in your life, family, friend or foe, who says those things!
    You have sass and that will get you far away.
    There are so many good, supportive people out there who will help you through this. This is the best place to start.

  • My Switzerland friends would say
    1. There are 2 sides to every story
    2. He is such a good guy, he just made a mistake
    3. You need to look at what part you played in his affair
    4. You made a vow to God to love forever

    My responses
    1. My side of the story is HE CHEATED for 2 years
    2. His mistake was HE CHEATED
    3. My part I WAS CHEATED ON
    4. I kept my vow to God while HE CHEATED

    • “There’s two sides to every story,” uttered in any context, makes my blood boil. My stock response is to look the speaker directly in the eyes and say “oh really? What’s the other side of the Holocaust?!??”

      • Love it. I got the “there’s two sides to the story” comment too. The response I wanted to give was “Actually there’s ten sides. There’s the story about what happened – he cheated with the nanny. And then there are the nine versions he tells depending on who is listening and how much lying can get away with.”

        • Hi

          I have to pile on the “two sides to every story” comment. My PLASTIC, arrogant, selfish ex-father in law made that comment a week after my Ex-husband walked out of a 12 year marriage. It seems as though while I was traveling and working hard to help build for retirement with him, he was diddling his matronly, homely secretary in our bed, all the while sending me loving emails telling me that he loved me, missed me and was proud of my professional accomplishments. My ex locked me out (his parents were responsible for this at one property) of 2 of our 3 properties and moved his whore in after a week. Can someone tell me what the other side of that story is? I can……your son is a narcissist, serial cheater and terrible husband, who cares for no one but himself and his perceived needs. How’s that for the other side of the story?

          #Plastic Dilusional People
          #Enablers of Immorality
          #Shame on You

      • DirtyWater,

        I have to disagree partially on this one. For example:

        “What’s the other side of the Holocaust?!??”

        Hitler needed to unite the German people, so he blamed the Jews and other undesirable elements for Germany losing World War One and the worldwide depression of the 1930’s, tapping into deep seated anti-semitism. He seized this hatred and rose to power, pushing the envelope on a campaign of genocide, and basically caused the deaths of about 60 million people (12 million in the camps, 8 million Russian soldiers, 5 million German soldiers, etc. See Wikipedia for a complete breakdown.)

        There are always two sides to the story. Sometimes, one of them is so evil we don’t have words in English to describe it adequately.

        My stock response to the “two sides to every story” comment is to reply that her side of the story is based on different values than my side. Hopeful sums it up nicely above, and Jojobee below. Sometimes the other side of the story is one that shouldn’t be told.

        All that said, I understand where you’re coming from. The issue isn’t in two sides to the story, it’s in the blind assumption that both sides are equally legitimate and morally sound.

        Hugs. Respect. Peace.
        aeronaut

        • I wouldn’t consider that ‘another side to thé story’, I consider it thé ‘same side, even worse than you thought’.

          Of course, on their own more modest scale, we also often get ‘same side, even worse than you thought’ with our cheaters, over time, too….

        • Well, that kinda proves the point, doesn’t it? When people say “there’s two sides to every story,” what they mean is “there’s reasons that make what the other side did justifiable,” when in reality, sometimes the other side of the story is “he was a shitty person who didn’t care who he hurt so long as he got what he wanted.”

      • Great line! I got a comment from my brother’s ex-wife when I told her Drunky McSlut cheated on me for over 10 years. She said, “Well, what’s in the past, is in the past”. I told her, “the past may be gone, but the STD he gave me will live forever.” Shut her right the hell up.

    • Yes, there ARE two sides to every story, but what pisses me off is that this implies that BOTH sides are equally, good, fair, and true. They aren’t. These people are buying a different version of the false equivalency. My side: He lied, abused, gaslighted, and cheated on me endangering my very life. His side: he felt for some time that I didn’t love him and he could tell this because I gained ten pounds after giving birth twice and became upset when he didn’t come home at night. Yeah there are two sides, but his is all rationalization justifying his super shitty behavior. One side of this is not as valid a response to actions as the other–and people who act like it is really piss me off!

      • In other words, yes, there are at least 2 sides to every story. In this case, one of those sides is based on lies and deceptions. The other side is being lied to and deceived. Same coin, two sides.

      • They fail to understand both sides didn’t cheat. All couple have disagreements, either you let it go or come to an agreement of compromise. There’s no excuse for the ultimate betrayal of cheating, lying and being an asshole.

    • “2. He is such a good guy, he just made a mistake”

      I feel I need to add “2a” to this, and that would be “MADE POOR CHOICES”. I see those words a lot on here, but lately I feel they’re just a sub category of “mistake”. As in, starts with good intentions, but ends with bad results. But we all know cheating is never a mistake. My superficially remorseful STBX has stopped using the word “mistake”—-probably bc I jumped on it immediately—and has started replacing it with “made poor choices”. No! Just hell to fuck no! I think “poor choices” removes the agency from the cheater’s actions.

      Another one is “stupid”. My stbx says “what I did was stupid”.

      No, not stupid, you dirty snatch fucker. It was EVIL.

      • Onward, LMAO at dirty snat– f-er! And yes, very EVIL and cold…
        I got the same thing from my XH during his supposed “confession”. He said and I quote…I did a lot of stupid sh-t. Wow, thanks for revealing that nugget now that we are done… Really helping me with details of what exactly that all was, how long you have been lying to me and exposing me to other female cro-ch diseases. This is the same guy who would ask me to dinner to see if there was a way we could work things out after 7 years of “stupid sh-t” Eyeroll

    • “2. He is such a good guy, he just made a mistake”

      I feel I need to add “2a” to this, and that would be “MADE POOR CHOICES”. I see those words a lot on here, but lately I feel they’re just a sub category of “mistake”. As in, starts with good intentions, but ends with bad results. But we all know cheating is never a mistake. My superficially remorseful STBX has stopped using the word “mistake”—-probably bc I jumped on it immediately—and has started replacing it with “made poor choices”. No! Just hell to fuck no! I think “poor choices” removes the agency from the cheater’s actions.

      Another one is “stupid”. My stbx says “what I did was stupid”.

      No, not stupid, you dirty snatch fucker. It was EVIL.

    • Chumptastic,

      Love it!!!
      Will absolutely use your words!!
      6 years later I still get the same stuff.
      I still get blamed for ending a 30 yr, what was, a good marriage.

  • All the comments obscure the fact that he had agency and chose poorly. They are suggestive as if this was inevitable when the appropriate assumption was to assume your husband would ACT on his COMMITMENT to forsake all others (including nannies). It is a lie that this was inevitable or couldn’t have ended differently. He could have been honorable and kept his vow to you. It is not on you for taking him at his vow.

    Finally, I would encourage you to let go of the impulse to need their support or control their opinions/beliefs. We do not have the power to force people to agree. Just be secure in what you know is the truth. You control what YOU believe! Validation and support is nice and important…but get that here and from others that truly care and understand.

    Blessings to you, CC!

    • Thank you Divorce Minister. That is probably the biggest thing I’m learning from this – not to take offense at people’s thoughtless comments but instead just pity them for their mistaken beliefs. I was once ignorant and innocent too and now I’ve had the chance to learn.

    • Great advice, Divorce Minister. As tempting as it is to lash out at such inane comments, you are correct that we cannot change the mentality. People are going to believe whatever they want to believe…., probably out of self protection. Validation won’t come from an ignoramus. It only comes from those who have walked in the same shoes.

  • Part of “gaining a life” is gaining a better class of friends. It’s tough, because loyalty to those who don’t deserve it is typical Chump behavior. Break the habit–weed your garden, folks!

    • Amen to that! Since I unchumped myself I’ve cut a number of people out of my life.
      Part of gaining a life is firming up your boundaries .Better to have a few loyal,supportive,trustworthy and real friends than people who you thought were friends who bring you down.

  • Friends and family can be assholes. Someone them certainly make you feel like it’s your fault.

    I am currently going through a nasty divorce (very long and ongoing)…and a relative told me I was becoming a victim.

    I HATE that. I didn’t ask my STBX to cheat during his unhappiness. I BEGGED him to talk to me. For months. He ignored me. Started an affair and exited that way. And now we are in a major divorce battle. Stop playing the victim?

    I think what I see is they want us to be strong and not hurt. But you can’t just turn the light switch off and stop hurting.

    I know I’m off-subject with this post….in regards to that,
    I think our supporters have good intentions but can be awfully awkward at times.

    • Well, Relative, welcome to the point.

      News flash for your idiot relative: you have been victimized by a person who intended to harm you. That person made choices that harmed you. You aren’t “becoming a victim”. You are acknowledging what happened, and your ignorant relative is too immature to handle the truth.

    • Relative–you are exactly on point. The fact of the matter is that we all entered a marriage thinking it was a UNION; that the other person in the relationship had our best interests at heart, too. But they used deception to turn the tables on us, and harm us psychologically, physically, and financially. We WERE victims–emotional rape victims. Yes, we can try to get back to baseline, gain a new life, and all that, and thus not behave like victims. But victims we were, and it’s hard to claw one’s way back to equilibrium when still entangled in the divorce mess that was FOISTED upon us. Hang in there.

    • This is a very helpful post for me. I have been concerned about being and appearing to be a victim here. I worry that others might perceive me as a week person because of how devastated I am and because it is so difficult for me to just get over it all and move on. He has been a jerk to me, so why do I still care? Why do I still let knew discoveries crush my heart and why am I still caught off guard by those new discoveries anyway? Why can’t I be grateful that he is gone? Why can’t I be continuously chipper and happy for the kid’s sake? Why do I still cry so much? I also don’t want people to think I am “playing the victim” and not acknowledging my own shortcomings. The stupid part is that in my case everyone has been pretty darn supportive of me. I am the one being hard on myself for being the victim and/or entertaining the possibility that he isn’t just a jerk. I am doing this to myself. Well, darn it I am a victim and I have good reason to feel like one. I will get strong and recover and move on but it takes time and I need to allow myself that time. And yes he really does suck and that isn’t my fault.

      • (((((((Chumpinrecovery)))))))

        It takes time and NC to get clear and start healing…it takes as long as it takes. Take good care of yourself. Don’t let him get the best of you. Don’t let his actions define you. You are a valuable, wonderful person and you are worth loving. Your x is a soulless monster. That is not on you, its on him.

        🙂 It gets better and better, I promise 🙂

          • Dear Precious Chumpinrecovery!

            Have you been over to Shida Arabi’s site, selfcarehaven,com? If not, please go there, read and maybe even order a book or two.
            Excellent resources for all who have been abused & traumatized by the disordered.

            Hugs to you as you ForgeOn!

          • You are welcome Chumpinrecovery 🙂 But, it is really just the truth 🙂 You are a valuable, wonderful person and you are worth loving. 🙂 Trust that cause it’s true.

            Going through it was harder than just about anything I’ve ever lived through and I truly didn’t think I’d survive, and mostly didn’t want to…true…but, finally out the other side and free 🙂 SUNSHINE AND FRESH AIR and that better life Chump Lady tells us about (spoiler alert 🙂 ) IT’S TRUE! 🙂 And it is all yours to do with as you wish and to invite into it those that you wish 🙂 And you will learn to love YOU first and smile and glide gracefully away from those that do not give you the love, respect and reciprocity you deserve without so much as a backward glance 🙂 Cause, hey, you are worth it and will no longer accept less than you give 🙂 Yep 🙂 Sayin!

            You got this (((((((Chumpinrecovery))))))) 🙂 Here, lean on us, your tribe 🙂 CN

            • Hi, been watching for a while, but never commented before so feeling a bit nervous about it…but here goes. It’s been nearly 15 months for me. CL and CN has been an absolute godsend for me (a huge thank you to you all). I am living and working away from my home country (Australia), have made a couple of friends here at post who have been great but it’s been sooo hard being so far from long term besties and family. Ex left me (the pull of those 20 year younger Thai girls was just too much for him to resist…prick….I’m 58 so that really did a job on my self esteem) in the first year of arriving here. He broke my heart and never looked back. My posting finishes at the end of the year and I so hope by then I can return to Oz strong and proud.
              When I read how far a lot of you have come it gives me such hope. All I want is to stop thinking about him and what happened, to be happy and enjoy life…..not really big asks are they? JeepTess yours cheered me no end, and for this I want to thank you. There are some truly amazing and inspirational (and extremely funny) people on this site.

              • I’ll Be There Soon – thanks for posting! Sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders – it must be hard to be so far away from your closest friends during this. I’m 3 years out (6 months divorced) and doing pretty well. If you can afford some therapy, I highly recommend it – it helped me move through the process a bit quicker. It’s a tough road and I do love reading the posts of people who are squarely in the land of meh – inspirational!!!!
                Hang in there and good luck! 🙂

              • Thank you I’ll be there soon! 🙂 And you are welcome! 🙂

                It is the truth! You got this and you are worth it! 🙂

      • It takes time… but you will get there, I promise. As CL said many times, it will happen on a Tuesday. You ex was an abusive asshole, a narc with no respect. Yeah, you miss him, you miss what you had before. I missed mine as well… for months I was running home thinking to find him in front of my door with flower a “ready-to-use” excuse. I was missing a picture, the image of a future I had in my mind. Sometimes I still feel myself full of anger … but it is getting better. I know I am close to meh, it’s there, right around the corner. And if it is not, I want to believe it is. And one more thing, you are not playing the victim… you are a victim. You are hurt, your world collapsed… give yourself the time you need to grieve it. It is ok to be sad. It took me a while to understand it, but ehy… this life is mine… if I want to spend a night eating ice cream and binge watching youtube video, I can do it. I give myself permission to be not at 100% all the time. Society doesn’t like it? Not. My. Problem.
        Emm@

        • Emm@… I’m with you… I’d much rather believe that MEH is right around the corner than waste another minute believing my fucktard X is going to find his soul and change. Rock on.

      • Hi Chumpinrecovery,

        “I have been concerned about being and appearing to be a victim here.”

        When you wrote “here” it made me wonder about it being the Chump Lady blog or just “here” in general.

        Please know that you have support, understanding and encouragement HERE (Chump Lady blog). You don’t have to worry about “looking stupid” or whatever HERE with us!

          • Before all this I really prided myself on being tough. I didn’t need help, I was a tough independent woman, I liked that. I liked being that way, it was important to me to be able to handle things myself. NOW I’m a mess. I’m a big baby. I cry all the time. Anytime. Wherever. Whenever. I just cry.

            At the beginning I was so worried about everyone knowing and seeing and judging. But now. It’s enough. It’s good enough. You are good enough. Showing up is good enough. Give yourself time.

            If your house burned down or your husband died or you found out you had cancer you’d be kind to yourself. Don’t believe the hype. Cheating isn’t easy to get over unless you are the heartless cheater. Be kind to you. It’s not a popular narrative but being betrayed is traumatic. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a traumatized friend, be your own supportive friend and don’t give yourself a hard time. There’s enough against you already.

          • Chumpinrecovery – when you mention that you still cry a lot, that’s a pretty good indication that you may still be in the earlier stages of grief. Make sure to learn as much as you can about those 5 stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) because it may answer your questions about the feelings you have, such as the ones you ask above. Know though, that just because these stages exist, it does not mean you’re destined to hit each one. Example: I skipped over depression and went from bargaining to acceptance after I filed. It doesn’t mean that after reaching acceptance that I didn’t cry on some days, or even still struggle with mini-waves of anger when triggered, but it all lessened over time.

            Now, if you’re pretty far out from DDay and still crying like it was the first weeks/months, then you might be concerned, but see where you might be in the grief journey, and it might begin to make more sense. Remember also that each of us is so different emotionally, and with the situations we’ve been forced into and the variables involved, that your time won’t look or feel like anyone else’s. (((Hugs, girl.))) You’ve got this.

            • I certainly hope to avoid serious depression because I really don’t have time for that. I know I have mild depression because I am tired all of the time and I am not as focused on work as I should be (spending a lot of time on this blog), but so far I am at least functional and still hitting my deadlines. I am still available to my kids too when they need me and come looking for me.

              • Hey, chickie – that is SOOoooOOO normal. For about 6 months after DDay I’d go into a tiny closet bathroom close to my office, turn out the lights, run the water and cry with my hands around my eyes in a corner. Then I’d go back to my desk. Or I’d go out to my car, cry it out for 5 minutes, regroup, then go back in. I’d also cry everyday on the way home and to work. I wish I had purchased stock in waterproof mascara, eye liner, and Kleenex.

                This is some hard stuff, and I was suffering symptoms of PTSD for about 10 months. But you’re doing it, and Chump Lady always says it’s in the small things we achieve everyday that make us mighty as we pull through to the other side. You got dressed and to work today? Gold Star! You’re hitting your deadlines? Gold Stars!! You’re available to your babies? Platinum Stars!

                You’re doing ALL of this all the while you’re suffering a great loss. Don’t be scared of the sadness. It means you know how to love and trust with your whole heart. It also means that if you move through the grief and heal, you’ll be more mighty than before.

                Part of my healing for 15 months also included counseling (still in it), daily cryouts in church during my lunchtime & weekly visits with my priest, and half-marathon training. I needed the good chemicals and thoughts moving through my system to offset the toxic thoughts and chemicals of the sadness, so I covered all three: mental, spiritual, physical. I recommend this recipie to any Chump.

                Chumps never “get over it.” BUT, we can move THROUGH the grief and anger to the other side. You’ll see. Xoxo

      • You’re in mourning for what you thought you had with him.

        He didn’t die, but your relationship and what you held in your heart for your future died because of him. You can know you’re better off without him but you still have to go through that process of giving up that dream. It can be pretty intense.

        So let yourself grieve, cry as much and whenever you need to. You aren’t a feelingless automaton.

      • Chumpinrecovery – Don’t be hard on yourself. I am three years out, (no kids), and I still think about my ex’s cruel discard vs. his pretend nice guy self a lot. I have casually dated other people, but I still haven’t gotten rid of this gnawing ache that seems to be a part of me now.

        What you said is so timely. I foolishly looked at his social media this morning, because sometimes I delude myself into thinking that someone will tag pictures of him being tarred and feathered. HAH. I know that wasn’t a wise thing to do, and I have been NC for almost two years otherwise.

        What I saw though was a picture of him on a vacation with the guys (two of whom I am sure know he cheated), looking like the world was his oyster. He seems to be invigorated without me, and I feel like I went from feeling and looking healthy, happy and fit, to looking like someone who is just…sad.

        Big hugs to you. I know that what I wrote doesn’t sound really optimistic, but trust me, for at least the first year and a half, I would cry for HOURS each day. I really thought I may lose my job, because I could not stop crying. Suffice it to say, while everything isn’t sunshine for me yet, I have come so far. I feel like a lot of my friends and family, while supportive have made comments about “letting it go” and “seeing my counselor again”. While it hurts, I know how far I have come, and I won’t let those well meaning, but uninformed comments get me down. We will both get there in our own time!

        • Precious Blerg!
          I reminded Chumpinrecovery of this resource:

          https://selfcarehaven.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/5-powerful-self-care-tips-for-abuse-and-trauma-survivors/

          Sounds like you could benefit from this, as well. Please explore her site. Her books and articles have made a dramatic difference for me in working thru the trauma and understanding that we do not “just get over it”. (Oh, how I hate that line!!)

          All the knowledge and tools you will need to deal with this aspect of being cheated on by a lunatic are here, either in her writings or in the links & resources she recommends.

          Love to all at ChumpNation as we all ForgeOn!

        • Dear Blerg, I am 7 years out and 5 years divorced and only last night I had yet another nightmare where he found my new home (I haven’t actually moved) and got a key and moved back in. I had the police there and was hurling things at him (in my dreams) but as you can see he still gives me nightmares. And unlike so many people on this site, I thanked the good Lord when he left because he was a violent bastard. So yeah I still look at his Facebook profile but do you think he would ever post any of the bad stuff? Of course not. I lived with that bastard for 26 years and 95% of it was bad so on FB I am only seeing the 5%. To be honest it makes me laugh – all the posed selfies of him and Schmoopie – all I can see when I look at him are the translucent sticky out ears when the sun is behind him and I send up a prayer thanking God he’s is no longer my problem. Mostly the nightmares are over, and I consider it progress to think that I no longer wish him dead! So please don’t take Facebook at “Facebook value”! Hugs to you.

          • Attie-you are so right. I am terribly terribly sorry that your POS ex was violent towards you. There are no words, and I will wish him dead in your place! You are amazing to have walked through that hell and to have emerged on the other side. You give me hope. Thank you and big hugs!

          • I am glad he no longer plagues your life. Whatever my own problems, there are those on this blog who have been through and survived worse and I am inspired by those survival stories.

        • I totally get that comment about just being sad. Hence my name. I’m just so sad. I mean I get angry and I’m hurt. But I’m just sad. I too cry a lot. And I was worried I’d lose my job too. I’m still hanging on but know that he’s probably NOT happy because he can’t actually BE happy. If he was able to feel that he would never have cheated and treated you that way. Not that it helps you with your cheater but mine has gotten SO FAT since d-day and he lives in a cheap apartment with the whoremat, her kid (NOT his) and a bunch of bugs. Meanwhile I’ve been told I look better than ever (thanks infidelity diet for helping me lose 20 pounds). I’m sure you will get through eventually. I’m cheering you on!

          • Thank you Sad Shelby! At first I had the anger, sadness and hurt all mixed in one, but I have somehow just let go of the anger and passed on to the hurt/sadness stage only. I am hoping meh is next. It has been long enough for me! Come on heart!

            Unfortunately, my ex actually looks great. Ain’t that a kick in the pants. I mean, at first he looked like HELL, but now he looks so happy and healthy. I know looks can be deceiving. I just feel so beaten down sometimes that I think I may be imagining things to be better than they are for him. I sometimes feel foolish/naive for even saying these things. Ummm…hello chumpy me.

            I am thrilled that you look awesome, and I am so glad your ex doesn’t though! Bwahahahahah!

            • Looks can be deceiving. He may appear happy and healthy but he is a master of disguise. He is still a man without substance, without a soul. The manikins in the window look happy an healthy too.

        • Part of what you are feeling is the discard, Blerg. You meant nothing… It’s totally NOT true. You are a better person than he will ever be and he will always be searching for happiness in the wrong places. Screw him, you are so much better without him! He’s the one that lost and is trying to use Fakebook to manage his image. YOU matter. HE SUCKS.

      • D-Day 1 was last July, but I had a mini follow-up D-Day last weekend which opened old wounds and is why I have been so emotional this week. I have been wanting to post this but the topic hasn’t been right. But heck I am going to post it anyway. Meanwhile thank you all for your support and your stories that have been so helpful to me. I hope to return the favor to others more in the future when I am doing better myself.

        On Sunday I received another blow to the heart when I discovered that the affair I thought had cooled or was at least on hold until after the divorce has started up again in full force (he just couldn’t wait). I would like to say that I took this revelation with dignity, but alas no. Chumpinrecovery became chumpinapuddleonthefloor. Then I blew my stack. I chewed out STBX demanding back every penny he spent on her and then laid into him for everything else I had been holding in. My daughter overheard and now knows about Schmoopie. She is upset with Dad and she witnessed Mom going ape shit. He went ahead and told the boys too (I did not join him for that because I didn’t want them to see ape shit Mom). I don’t regret the kids knowing about Schmoopie as I now know for a fact that she really is the reason our marriage is over and they should know that too, but I do regret the timing and I do regret the kids seeing me lose it when I have been working so hard to be the “sane” parent. I also feel bad because my daughter had three exams the next day including physics and she struggles enough in that class. This was a major blow to her. If I had kept my cool perhaps we could have told the kids in a more controlled way. Now I just want the pain to end. I want to get the divorce over as quickly as possible in the hopes that at least then I won’t have to witness his affair (it will always be an affair) up close and personal. I so wanted to make STBX understand what he is putting me through so he would stop twisting the knife (and I would stop losing my cool). I decided to write him a letter so I could take time to edit it and not sound hysterical. By the time I was done writing the letter, however, I realized it wouldn’t do any good to give it to him as he will never understand why what he is doing is so wrong. Instead, I decided to post it here because I know that Chump Nation will get it even if he doesn’t so here goes:

        Not so Dear STBX,

        How do I make you understand my pain? You may have imagined that you were unloved and resented the time I gave to the children you so desperately wanted and to my career that is now paying half the bills, but at least you never had to witness me wooing and being obviously smitten by another man. You never had to witness me doing things to show my love and affection for another man that I used to do for you. You have never had to face the feelings associated with being betrayed, devalued and discarded by the one who promised to “love, honor and cherish” you until “death do us part” because I imagined that another man could do the job better. Divorce is painful enough but it is that much harder when you have to face not only the pain of being left but also the pain of being replaced. It is especially hard when it is in your face in ways that cannot be ignored.

        I was not looking for trouble when I discovered that charge for the Valentine’s Day flowers. I was just trying to sort out our finances and get a handle on the budget and where our money is going in preparation for our pending divorce. Imagine my pain on discovering that she got flowers for Valentine’s Day, I didn’t, and I paid for half those flowers. Can you understand how much that hurts? And then I saw the charges for dinner out and theater tickets. It’s been years since you took me to the theater. You spent upwards of $350 in less than a month on her. That’s my money too. I am being forced to pay for gifts to the woman who conspired with you to tear my family apart. How is that fair?

        STBX, this is why you are supposed to end one relationship before you even start looking for the next one. Perhaps you can’t change how your relationship started, but you could change the present course. I understand that you have a right to be happy, but is it really necessary to be “happy” right now? Is instantaneous gratification really necessary here? Couldn’t you do the honorable thing and put that relationship (or at least the monetary aspects) on hold for a few more months while we complete the job of disentangling our marriage and finances? Then at least I won’t have to have a front row seat to and be financing your adultery. She was cheated on by her STBX and so understands the pain and the indignity of financing an affair out of marital funds. You have told me she is a kind hearted person who “thinks the world” of me, so surely she will be willing to wait for you in order to spare me additional pain. There is no reason why she should want a man who would continue to inflict so much hurt on his soon to be ex wife anyway. The only kind of woman who would think that way would be one who might get a thrill out of knowing that she is so special that her man is willing to leave his wife and kids for her no matter how much pain and suffering and financial strain it causes. You would not want a woman like that now would you?

        No longer yours,

        Chumpinrecovery

        • So sorry that happened to you. Devastating. But having written it, don’t send it. NC is your friend. He doesn’t deserve to see your honesty and naked pain.

            • I agree, DEFINITELY don’t send it. It is a reasonable, kind you showing that monster how much he has hurt you – and he will probably only take pleasure in it AND use it against you to twist the knife again. Hugs to you – and one day soon you will realize what a narrow escape you are having (and he will hopefully realize just what he lost – but hey tough shit asshole (him not you)).

              • I don’t know if he ever will, but I hope to not care anymore as soon as I can. It is fun to fantasize about it now, however.

        • Hi ChumpinRecovery: I can feel your pain coming through the letter. I just had to reply and let you know that your anguish did not go unnoticed.

          It sounds as though your kids are older and may even have had a crush or boy/girlfriend, so may have an inkling about relationships. They may be able to put what your STBX crudely told them in some sort of context. I don’t condone what he did by any means – surely there are better ways to handle this than he did – but like many here on CL, I advocate telling the truth in an age appropriate manner. My son, who is now a teenager, knew pretty early on why Cheater #1 and I divorced – because he kept asking why we weren’t together when all the other parents in his class were married. I tailored the answer to his maturity level and tried to keep my voice and explanation neutral. That was easy, since I’m fifteen years out from discovery with Cheater #1.

          Cheater #2 was a different story. Junior witnessed the end of a melt down I had about Skinny Skank. He did ask later if that was why she was no longer invited to the house (she was a family “friend”) and I answered shortly and honestly: yes. He never asked about her again. I imagine it may come up in the future, and I’ll try not to editorialize.

          What I’ve found in both cases is that questions come in fits and spurts based on whatever else is happening at the time. I find it gratifying, and even comforting in some ways, that Junior feels he can ask me about infidelity, adult relationships and yes, even sex (GASP!!!!) and I’ll answer him honestly. I *know* for a fact he doesn’t ask his father (Cheater #1) this stuff because even he has figured out at 14 that dear old dad is a big effn liar. Let’s just say he’s no longer close to Cheater #2.

          Regarding your letter, I’ve written more than one of those and not sent it. Elsewhere on the site, you’ll see advice about writing but not sending because it gives these narcs a big thrill that they’ve hurt you and gotten under your skin. Don’t give that rat bastard the satisfaction.

          • Thanks. My children are 11, 14, and 16. The 16 year old had already suspected but was still devastated to have it confirmed. The 14 and even the 11 year old are old enough to understand what infidelity is and why it is wrong. FWIW STBX just told them that he has been unfaithful and that is the reason why he moved out last fall and that what he is doing is wrong (not that he is going to stop doing it of course). At least he wasn’t trying to justify it. Our kids are smarter than that and he knows it.

        • Chumpinrecovery, thanks for sharing this letter with us. I can feel your pain. I have been there, like everybody else here. You did good not to send it to him. He would have not undestand… I mean how can a ‘creature’ with the empathy of a vermin undestand your pain? They really cannot… they are too focused on the ‘me- me -me’ tantrum. Ehy, they deserve to be happy… no matter if their happinness will just pass over you and whatever you have built together in the past. I cannot do much more than reply to you, but I am hear. I have read it and I can relate. I did send a letter to my ex. I am not happy about it but as an excuse i did not know CN yet in those days. Mine as not so delicate. Was hurt and broken. And well… he did not get the point. He replied to me saying something horribly stupid like ‘but i did love you, now i deserve to be happy, why can’t you be happy for me?’. Two days later i deleted all the pictures we had, trashed his belongings and well.. I burnt a polaroid of us together. On the balcony… smoking and crying like a baby. Lmaooo… was my funeral for him. Or for us. I did some pretty stupid stuff on my fisr six months (I am two years and half through it)… and some cool one. He won’t undestand them… he never will. Don’t waste one more second on your time on him. Think about you and your children. Take a trip together after your oldest finish her exams (by the way, hope everything went fine). Go to the beach… Sign up for a kickboxing class, attach your ex picture on one of the punch bags and start having fun … Send u big hugs.
          Emm@

          • Thank you. That is why I posed it here. I know that you all will understand, sympathize and even empathize because so many of you have been through the same, similar or worse.

        • Chumpinrecovery, you are so brave and smart posting your letter here for chump nation. Knowing the devastation of his selfish, entitled choices for you and your children seems unbearable and it can be a relief to get it off your chest. But you trust that he sucks and know it’s pointless to send. And Schmoopie sucks too. When you have children, you make sacrifices for them and put their happiness above all. Instead he chose his dick. Will he one day regret his shitty choices? Maybe, but you will be so ‘meh’ you won’t notice.

        • Chump In Recovery~
          This will help you feel even more comfort as to why this man does not deserve your graceful, reasonable and well written letter.

          In my career, I interact with men who have life prison sentences with no possibility of parole. I recently had a candid conversation with a man who choked his wife to death in his prized customized van because she was “giving him shit.”

          When he was reliving the details, and described how he saw the blood vessels pop out in the whites of her eyes, face turning blue & purple- he said with righteous indignation and plain ole anger:

          “That bitch kicked out my windshield!!!”

          Let that sink in, deep in your bones. Narcs and the disordered are on spectrum, but they are all on the same graph line.

        • What your children saw was your raw, real, & honest pain! I do not believe that was a bad thing – – they deserve to know that you hurt too & see the truth! Although it is very painful for you and them, they know the truth (at least some of it). Healing can begin now!
          ?You mentioned that you let your X tell some of your children without your presence, that sent up a red flag for me. My X was the one who told one of our older kids privately….For nearly a year that child felt sorry for X and kept me at arms length.
          During a college break, we finally had an opportunity to sit down and talk. I learned that the story X told was nowhere near the truth!! (I should not have been surprised) Please consider having your children tell you exactly what their father told them! I wish I had done so sooner for my child’s sake… One Dday is bad enough, this child had Dday all over again & has had the hardest time of all of them healing from their father’s betrayals!

          • Thanks. The youngest told me that he had said that what he was doing was wrong so I don’t think he was badmouthing me. To date he has not gone around badmouthing me to other people, at least not those who know me (including his family). That is the one thing that makes him better than some of the other narcs on here. Of course even that is really just part of his image management. It also makes it harder for me to tell people the truth about what is going on because, after all, he doesn’t go around saying bad things about me so I shouldn’t say bad things about him either right? I need to get over that.

            • Telling people your STBX is a cheater is NOT bad mouthing him. It is the truth. If he doesn’t want anyone to know he shouldn’t have committed the act. Running around saying I hate him he’s an ass etc makes you look bad to those who may not know you well, but honestly telling people you are divorcing because he is a cheater is not bad mouthing him.

    • The real question here is why does our society HATE victims instead of perpetrators? We were VICTIMIZED as Tempest points out. Why is the vitriol in this culture reserved for the people who get hurt rather than the people who hurt?

      • The good news is that people’s tolerance of infidelity is decreasing, based on polls. Next step is to get them to realize this IS a victim-aggressor crime.

    • ‘Stop playing the victim?!’ REALLY?! What a moron! You are a victim! Tell that relative of yours to pull his head out of his butt and instead of slamming you with such inanity, to be supportive. Tell him that you have already called yourself stupid and certainly don’t need anymore stupidity slander from him too. When I stood up to my brother who said, “I don’t take sides,” I said, “Really?! REALLY?! So it’s OKAY with you that your sister gets cheated on over and over again?! Aren’t YOU the noble one! When you say ‘I don’t take sides’, you’re saying, “It’s okay, Dave. It’s okay to be a lying cheating prick to my sister. She deserves to be treated like crap.” After I ripped his throat out a little more, he realized his stupidity and acknowledged that I was right. However, not everyone is going to realize this. I hope your relative does and becomes more supportive. But do yourself a favor and stand up to such stupidity else you remain a victim.

  • Why do people say such hurtful things? I have unfortunately concluded that it is to make themselves feel better.”My house may in foreclosure, but at least my husband didn’t cheat on me!” It’s why some people love to spread hurtful gossip, to use another person’s pain to convince themselves that their lives aren’t so bad

    I believe Oscar Wilde once said, “There is something in the discomfort of others that does not displease us.” I have remembered this comment many times during my journey, to remind myself that I am not obliged to accept their assessment of my life and my choices. I have concluded that I have no time for the haters, gawkers and rubberneckers to my pain. Want to help in some meaningful fashion? I’m all in. Want to commiserate or try to “let me know” what X or OW are up to? Sorry, I’m late for a colonoscopy!

    Have I lost some so-called friends? You’re damn right I have. What is more important to me, though, is the number of friends who have remained, who genuinely care about me and my kids, Granted, there are not many of them, but their love and support have carried me through. I would rather have one true friend than many fair weather friends, and that is what infidelity does to us and for us. It takes the blinders off, and allows us to discover what real friendship is. All the rest of the people who were there for the ride are just “someone that I used to know.” They are not deserving of my time or my concern.

    • Violet.
      Well said. I agree. As we moved a lot and I was mostly on my own with the kids I didn’t have any really close friends or family, just lots of people I saw at the school or people I trained with on the counselling course. I was very ill about 18 months before I discovered the cheating and at that time my STBX disappeared back abroad after two weeks and no one of my friends stepped in to actually help. Some sort of helped when I was forced to ask for help but I and they knew it was a favour owed. I learned a lot then about lonliness. When the cheating happened and I was unable to keep a lid on my telling then these same people were full of sympathy (although as he worked abroad in Asia the implication that of course he cheated was often there) but that sympathy was matched by a vicarious thrill and shallow offers of ‘getting together for coffee sometime’.
      Three friends showed much more support and although one has disappeared again she was there for a while.
      Like the cheating this made me question what kind of friend I was. Thing is I was always there for them through difficulties with their kids, illnesses and just generally being around for them and hands on helping. It made me feel chumped again in a small way. Still irks me. I go to collect my youngest, see them all but feel unable to be truthful with any about how I am in case they are bored with the whole thing now.
      No one has said anything hurtful to me but their lack of genuine concern or interest hurts just the same. Surely I was worth just taking out for one cup of coffee, or taking one walk. Two very close friends I thought I had from the counselling course were no where to be seen despite my repeatedly reaching out. That cut deep as we knew so much about each other from the course.
      It’s hard and it’s why I am here a lot.
      But as you say Violet it is better in the end to know your true friends. I know I am strong and can get through. I’m glad I discovered the cheating and I’m glad I know what real friends look like. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the two people I can rely on are chumps too.
      In the end I am learning where best to invest my time and energy and I’m now much higher on the list. All those ‘friends’ I used to have can no longer steal my time and energy under false pretences.

      • Cap, I’m so sorry you had to go through your difficult times with so little support. But what I hear in this is what I call ‘nice girl syndrome’ (and yes, ‘nice guy syndrome’ is the same, and maybe in honour of CL’s insights, we should call it ‘kind person syndrome’). This is the belief that if WE are good, kind, caring, and make our needs small, then when we finally do have a need, others will jump to meet it, just as we would jump to meet theirs.

        But the reality is, when we behave so consistently kindly to others AND expect nothing in return, we cultivate relationships where nothing is exactly what we will get. I think we both attract people who have no real intention of reciprocating, and spoil others who might have reciprocated better if we hadn’t taught them that we have no needs. (Of course we will sometimes luck out and fall in with a fellow chumpy-type person, who WILL be there when we need them – and thank heaven for that!)

        I think in ALL our relationships, we have to be a bit demanding. We will give, and care, and help, of course, because we are Chumps, but we have to consistently and fairly frequently, and right from the start, also ask and expect and require; take. Probably not as much as we give, because giving is truly a pleasure! But we must take, too. Because people DO lose respect for those who never take, who bend over backwards too often, and they get very used to not giving to us.

        And of course, how do I know all this??? The usual way ….. Too soon old, too late smart!

      • My circle of friendships shrank drastically with the discard. Neighbors for the last 15 or more years I considered close friends, we had children around the same age who grew up together took the stance of we aren’t choosing sides, it takes two.. “friends” who I found out later were having coffee with Cheater, going to dinner, and hanging out.
        I tried to see things from their perspective and at first thought was understanding but as time went on and hearing them say, no one knows what goes on in a marriage, or say something that implied I wasn’t telling the truth an X wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t true. That was it, I had to believe what my intuition was telling me all along is to end these friendships.
        Now they no longer have to play both sides, and lie to me and more importantly I no longer have to be around people who aren’t sincere.

        Karen, you’re absolutely right we have cultivated friendships much like our marriage putting far more into it than we have received. I have been thinking about how I’ve been suffering from the “nice girl” syndrome all my life always putting in the extra effort and not expecting anything in return. I have a difficult time taking, which is something I’m working on. We do lose respect if we continue to bend over backwards for people. Our CN education and knowing now that I can’t trust everyone and people to avoid will help me not to be a doormat in the future. I’ve had a tendency to be a pollyanna and think there’s good in everyone and that being nice will bring out nice in other people. I learned late and like you Karen, I learned the hard way. Too soon old, too late smart.. is the story of my life.

    • Violet, I love this! “Sorry, I’m late for a colonoscopy.” How very Meh. I’ll save this to use if anyone tries to spew reconciliation garbage. Thanks for posting.

      • “Sorry, I’m late for a colonoscopy.” Love it. I’ve been itching to use the line “Sorry, I’d have coffee with you but I was planning to alphabetize my sock drawer that afternoon.” Maybe I’ll get up the courage to use these.

  • He is an adult and therefore the only one responsible for his choices. So many people have been amazingly supportive of my family during this crisis. If people think I’m somehow responsible, they are keeping that to themselves (for which I am thankful). In general, the comments I get are that he should have valued his family and that he must be crazy.

  • My all-purpose come back for any and all outrageous comments like these is a deadpan “Why on earth would you say/ask something like that?” along with arched eyebrows and an expectant pause. Then watch them turn themselves inside out trying to squirm out of it. Great fun!

    • Great reply!

      My bigger problem is the people I know have been convinced by my X that my failings were so large that it caused marital problems, and then led him to make “a mistake.” They don’t want to talk about the divorce anymore, and thus have effectively shut out my side of the story. Call them Glossover Switzerland Friends. I’ve decided to cut them out of my life, but the sense of helplessness that they have bought X’s huge can of lies and that I have no recourse to counter those lies, drives me to distraction many days.

      • Tempest
        I can see how that would hurt but really what have you lost? If they have bought his crock of shit then that’s what they deserve. If they didn’t know you well enough to know or to find out your side then they were a lost cause well before you had to let them go. They were a mirage just like he was.
        You are beloved by a whole nation of chumps and I think we both know the genuineness of the people here.
        And your sense of helplessness is not accurate. They have shut you down. Their lack of decency says everything about them and absolutely nothing about you.
        To know you is to love you. We know you by your words here. ❤

        • Thank you, Capricorn. My sense of justice and adherence to the truth is not serving me well, here. I demand truth, dammit! I admit to a touch of obsessiveness : 0, and have a strong desire to preach the truth to these Switzerland friends, even though I know just phasing them out of my life should be sufficient. The same trait that makes me want to stand up for chumps and victims in general is working against me at just letting these friends fall by the wayside. Perhaps duct tape over my mouth will help?

          • This is exactly my struggle Tempest. Exactly. My sense of fairness and deep desire for the truth is making my life more difficult. Just like beating my head against the wall would. And yes, I am driven to distraction by the thought of it many days. I consider it my last hurdle – I will speak up for myself and for the truth, but need to be more thoughtful and consider the listener. I need to manage the situation better and have a strong filter which is hard for me – I am more of an authentic blurter-outer.

      • I battle this, too. It rankles. But, every day, I remind myself that their ideas about me don’t actually have any power at all over my life. I know the truth. My kids know it. True friends know it. That’s what I get, and it is enough. It has to be, because that’s all we ever get, but it’s also by far the more powerful position. Not one thing that I am doing now or will do during the (gosh, I hope) get a life stage is at all influenced by what people I do not really know, care about, or have any interaction with might think. If they chose to take up brain real estate with thoughts of me, the I guess they don’t have much else of worth to do. Anyway, calming that rankling is challenging, but I know it will ultimately pass away entirely, and good riddance to it.

      • This bothers me as well. I’ve run into situations where mutual friends and acquaintances begin to look at me differently. At that point, I know that they’ve heard his rendition of what happened. It’s very isolating and it makes me feel helpless too.

        • My hairdresser once asked me to step outside where she introduced me to a friend of hers who drank at the same bar occasionally with my ex. He was explaining to her how sorry he felt for my ex because “his wife (i.e. me) attacks him every night when he gets home”! When she told me that, in front of her friend, I was so shocked I just burst out laughing. I have quite an infectious laugh so she started laughing too – and you should have heard the “clunk” as his jaw hit the ground! Now THAT was poetic justice!

      • Tempest, I read a blog site from HG Tudor, the people you describe are his “lieutenants” and sadly, they buy into his narcissistic shit , they keep those people in line just for such purposes. You can’t explain yourself to those people, they are under his “spell” if you will.

          • Tempest, the name comes from being involved with the poor man’s Charlie Sheen for years 🙂 I was going to fix him, help him, exorcise those demons! Spoiler alert, I didn’t! But thanks to this site and Knowing the Narcissist, I am so MEH…..

      • Tempest – I have, at times, shared your frustration that people have been fed lies that they believe (or just simply love to sit on the sidelines and judge – what fun!!). JUST.WALK.AWAY. Find a new friend. One new friend who supports you is better than a country club full of lifelong Switzerland friends. It is so not fair. So NOT fair. But you cannot fix this and it damages your psyche every time you try. We must not do the pick me dance with our former spouses OR our Switzerland friends, neighbours, work colleagues or anyone else who cannot smell bullshit or who has demonstrated no interest in figuring out the truth. I recommend Arlo’s all-purpose “why on earth would you said a thing like that” while you configure your facial expression to appear as if you have smelled an offensive odour. Then – see above instructions about walking away.

    • The arched eyebrows. Great idea. My 9 yr old is an expert at this – I should take a page out of her book. “Seriously?” + that look.

  • ChompingChump,
    Ditch the “friends.” Think of this as an opportunity to find out who actually has your back, and will provide support in bad times, and who is just a nice lunch date. You’ll make new ones.
    If it makes you feel better, we had a nanny for years, and someone *I* was able to resist screwing them.

    For what it’s worth, I used to say things like what you suggest (though not nearly as witty!), probably because I had no filter, and that put an end to those comments. And then I ditched those people.

  • Silence. Just staring in silence at the person speaking. You will eventually get a reaction. It will be negative but you won’t care. Just stone, dead silence. They will leave. If you are in their home then you leave, still in silence.
    This is verbal diarrhea. Treat it as such.

  • I learned really quick who was in my corner.I swore in the beginning of this shit storm that I would carry myself with grace and dignity.
    Thank god for my small support group that have let me cry and rant and rave at the injustice of it all.
    As far as his flying monkey family and switzerland friends…fuck them!
    I shut them down and off, they now see whats its like to be discarded, left to scratch there heads, what happened? Why wont she speak to me?
    Ex sociopath and followers can’t gossip because they have never heard a peep about me or from me.
    I did hear from the wife of a old friend of his thru social media, she was very sweet and supportive but i kept it a very surface, I told her that our conversation would not include ex or his family and my children were off limits. Like she was meeting Me, just Me for the first time, if she could not respect my privacy there would be no further communication.
    We exchanged small talk and that was it.
    Boundries are very important for healing, NC is the only way to have peace…..

    • You’ve got something there, Red.

      I moved back from Australia to the US after my divorce. It took probably a few weeks for those who DID support me to equalize from the news, though from their comments that they could never really see what a girl like me was doing with an idiot like that anyway, these people had an innate sense of right and wrong. I think it took them a few weeks because they weren’t expecting it suddenly like that, and they had to let things digest a little. It was like they were in the same shock I was in.

      But these people, most of whom I knew from the dog park (dog lovers tend to go with their gut, so this may explain things), opened their homes and hearts to me, listened patiently and gave good practical, logistical advice on how to untangle myself from the mess.

      Then there were the others. My ex mother in law, who I had nursed back to health from a broken leg, while the narc was over in Thailand playing with 16 year old prostitutes, and always said she considered me her daughter… but when the chips were down, accused ME of cheating on HIM!

      The friends who were more of the Switzerland style said things like, “All men cheat. Just deal with it and get over it.” I thought that was just charming. I later read that narcissists are unhappy people who will surround themselves with other unhappy people to make themselves feel better. I decided those were his people, not mine, and as I looked around I realized it was true that ALL of them were really unhappy, stuck in places in their lives they really didn’t want to be. They could all have each other.

      A friend who had been in a divorce but not due to cheating told me that once you leave town, the ex will eventually turn all the Switzerland friends against you, so you pretty much are better off not looking back and just letting them go. I was smart enough to take his advice.

      I still run across them online every once in awhile. Their profiles pop up in things like LinkedIn and Facebook, despite my not being friends with them anymore, many I had business dealings and things with, so they sort of stay linked to me as people I might want to (Re) friend.

      Yeah, no thanks on the refriending! But I do glance long enough to notice that each and every one of them is stuck in their same old unhappy situation and not moving forward in their lives in any way. It confirms for me that miserable narcs stick together in their misery, and makes me feel good that I got away from all of them and their mess!

    • little red riding hood,

      “I swore in the beginning of this shit storm that I would carry myself with grace and dignity.”

      Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I tried to do this too, but never articulated it so clearly. Well done.

      Peace.
      aeronaut

      • I often thought of Jennifer Aniston and how she carried herself after being cheated on and left for the Ow for the whole world to see.
        She inspired me with her grace and dignity .
        And I think we all know how Brad and Angelina’s karma fairytale ended…

  • People who think there is a need for hypervigilance to avoid infidelity are living in a different reality. People who think the person who was harmed was responsible to control the perpetrator are people who have been living life surrounded by gaslighters and sociopaths. Their “normal” is skewed away from the healthy, mature life we can live if our surroundings are occupied by healthy, mature, compassionate adults.

    You can’t have a sane conversation with people who are living in a non-issue mental framework. It’s like trying to play basketball on a baseball field. You’re both holding a type of ball, sure, but the games and the conditions around them aren’t anywhere near the same.

    • On the issue of hypervigilance. I’m nearly one year out of the marital home, nearly 1.5 years divorced. I wrote in the forums a few weeks ago that my CheaterX texted and called me to say that the Schmoopie OWife told him she’s filing for divorce (hasn’t happened yet, by the way, lol!), and that he’d like to sit down after the dust settles to find out where “we” go from there. Of course, “we” aren’t going anywhere. I like where I am. 😉

      Anyway, he said to call back on the one phone, as Schmoopie monitors his other phone. I guess she knows from personal experience just how much he can be trusted.

      • The gall of the “man” – “where WE go from here”. There’s gotta be a good come-back for that, but I’m a bit stumped, apart from “well you can go to hell and back in a hand cart”!

      • My mouth is dropped open! He’s trying to get you to come back after his schmoopie wife he left you for is leaving him?! (Maybe I’m misunderstanding this) THE NERVE! Your response should be YOU can go to Hell. I’ll stay right here, thank you very much!

      • Stay strong, kb. You aren’t that favorite old pair of comfortable shoes your ex just rediscovered in the closet. You aren’t Plan B. And you are correct. There is no “we.” You don’t need to respond to the fuckwit in any way. Where he goes from his next ruined relationship is not your problem. Not now, and not ever.

      • “where “we” go from there.”

        I think Bender from futurama said this one best: “Aahahahahaa… oh wait, you’re serious. Let me laugh even harder. HAHAHAHAHAHA.”

  • I hate how everyone acts like cheaters are two years old. What did you think would happen when you left him alone with a nanny all day is not the same as What did you think would happen if you left a two year old alone with a box of cookies. These are grown ass adults! We should not have to remove all temptation from their environment. If leaving them alone with a nanny guarantees he will connect with her, why didn’t he connect with his wife? I’m sure he spent a lot of time with her also.

    • “If leaving them alone with a nanny guarantees he will connect with her, why didn’t he connect with his wife? I’m sure he spent a lot of time with her also” YES THIS

  • I just looked at your meme again and realized those things come from real life.
    A woman in North Carolina just got 29 years for killing her husband, another man and a woman. She found them all in the bed together. The couple was living in a No Tell Motel so the cops aren’t sure how the man met them. Well, he was probably trolling for prostitutes and got a twofer, or in this case a threefer, as it were. Nothing new under the sun.

  • Apparently he was to disabled to take care of his children but not to disabled to fuck the nanny. Funny how that works.

    • My ultimate chumpdom is that he told me a year before he left that we couldn’t have sex anymore because of his disabilities. And I stuck with him. What he really meant was “I prefer having sex with the nanny, but I’m happy to have you continue to pay the bills for me.” Eventually I wised up and threw out nanny. And then he left with her.

      • Yup cheater husband (bit of a bum I take it?) and the nanny without morals……..talk about your future train wreck. Stinks but consider this your ticket to getting away from idiot relatives/friends and your defect of a husband.

  • Yes! Absolutely go no-contact with these “friends”. I had a lot of Switzerland friends. It was actually harder to let them go than my ex (they were, to me, the last vestige of my old life or something.) But, I also had some pretty amazing friends left too. The ones I kept never questioned, never judged, and never took his side. I believe the ones I kicked out were getting some sick schadenfraude from the whole mess. These were people who encouraged me to:

    -Tell them my “secret” to my amazing weight loss
    -Let him keep one of the dogs
    -Get over it already
    -Stop being crazy/”really losing it” by cutting them all out
    -Invest in condoms since “I’d need them”
    -Be civil at a birthday party we were both invited to so as not to make anyone else feel uncomfortable

    I had my mind made up about the Lizard King immediately. But, once I finally realized these people weren’t my friends, do you think I felt bad that I kicked them out? Hell no! My only regret is that I didn’t tell enough of them to go fuck themselves.

    Surround yourself with people who can see the pain this caused you and empathize. AND, reaccess them once you start getting your shit together. Real friends support you through the bad times AND clap for you when you win. You will find that getting rid of the bad ones also makes room for new and better friends. Keep your head up and know that you do what is best for your children because you are capable of caring for someone other than yourself. You have our support!

      • Haha! Thanks-but, really he only operates from the reptilian part of his brain. No emotions, no heart, no sensitivity. I believe he and his whole family are, in fact, Lizard people…

  • Cutting the Switzerland friends and inlaws is easy or hard or challenging. Cutting the Switzerland blood-relations is awful and necessary.

    That’s been disappointing for me.

  • The so called narrative of the society… if I recall correctly yesterday we kind of touch this topic as well. Chumpychump, I really think you are ready to tell this people were they should go… You are brave and you own yourself . You do not need them, as you do not need their fake support. There was a Ted 4 talk that help me… bare with me, ok? It was about happiness. Basically the guy was stating that our brains can produce happiness. We can convince ourselves we are happy, even after going through the worst situation. After my breakup, I was devastated. I was feeling this void inside, this huge hole, this blackness… and I had no idea how to fill it. People, the Switzerland friends, were not helping. Most of them left me alone, others just blamed me for my “misfortune”. In the long term they did me a favor. I start to heal. I get stronger . I start to like myself. I fall in love with me. And yeah, I started to feel happy again. I understood that the void was an illusion. There is no void. I am complete. I do not need that society (the Switzerland friends give me permission of feeling complete… I know I am )… The narrative of a society that wants me tamed and “in my place” does not belong to me. I am free from it. I was giving to them the power to hurt me, cause I believed in their words. When I stop believing them, their lost any power on me. I even stopped to ask myself why they were so bad with me. I don’t care… they are cause they are human, they are weak… most of them settled down, others are scared… others are jelly … who knows 🙂 Even today, when it happens that someone says something hurtful… I feel detached. It does not affect me cause I know who I am. And this reminds me of the myth of Medusa… few knows that Medusa (the woman with the snakes instead of hair) was actually a positive myth in the ancient times. She was beautiful and intelligent, but men were trying to abuse her, so Athena to protect her gave her the power of strength. when she died, killed by a men, Pegasus jumped in the sky, spreading on earth the beauty that was born from Medusa. Medusa later on was transformed into a monster, through the same narrative that today transforms Chumps into harpies that forced their husband to cheat and leave (soooo original)… It is the same voice, the same attitude… just different tools are used. We are free to believe it (Medusa is an ugly monster), or not. Maybe if we stop believing them, maybe if we look at Medusa straight in the eyes we will discover that she is no monster, she is beautiful and she is laughing (last images like the Medusa metaphor is taken from the analysis of Hélène Cixous). Love you all
    Emm@

    • It is a powerful story about happiness. I feel myself getting there bit by bit. Though I also wish at times could transform ex and nanny into stone with my gaze 🙂

      • Well, if it’s a cemetary headstone you’d be thinking of, this has been known to happen. Just sayin. (How much you wanna spend?!)

        CC, I promise it’ll get different. The way you’re feeling today is so normal it’s normal. These frenimies are terribly disappointing-and it hurts. A lot. They’re such Stepford Wives I keep looking over their shoulder to see where the wind up mechanism is located in their back: I’ve found it to be located in the same spot as the knife they’re trying to bury in your’s.

        Burn victims are victims. MVA victims are victims. And Drive-By Marital Shootings leave
        the bodies of their victims in their wake as well. Calling phenomena by their factual definition is a sign of mental health: That person is oriented x3 and their Reality Testing is intact. It’s the people who refuse to acknowledge reality that are the designated crazies. If you have anyone in your life with a stopwatch running on your grief time or parceling out “fault” like it’s your earthquake, get rid of them.
        Please remember, this is a Marathon, not a Sprint.

        (And Emm, that is so cool-thanks!)

  • CC – I haven’t lost any friends from my divorce, I can still see them in my rearview mirror. True friends never leave your side, and many times… mine were dragging me forward. You’ve got this!

  • These aren’t Switzerland friends, Chump Lady… these friends/family members are the Axis Powers!

    I think you should cut these people out of your life. If that’s not entirely possible, then minimize whatever you contact you have with them and don’t share any details about your feelings, your life, or your ex.

  • “I knew something was fishy 5 years ago.”

    Answer: “Well Nostradamus, why the fuck didn’t you write me a quatrain to give me a heads up that my marriage was headed for an apocalypse?”

    • “Well I never liked him” Okay. Cool. Thanks for that.

      It’s so easy for people to just say that shit. To me it’s all the same as, “Well, MY husband would never cheat!” It’s all just bullshit designed to keep the blinders on and believe that “everything happens for a reason” “I’m such a great/smart/sexy/loving/cool person my husband would NEVER do that”

      It’s the illusion of control. My life, everyone’s life is Jurassic fucking Park. I’m literally running around freaking the fuck out, trying not to become Tyrannosaurus shit! The difference is we’ve just seen that the power can fail and the dinosaurs will get out and run rampant.

  • How fucking ODIOUS! The cheating is EXTRA disgusting as:

    HE was sitting around all day living off you too “disabled” to work, yet hale and hearty enough to fuck the household help … with the children in the house!

    Nanny Cunt was earning money from YOU to watch the children, yet instead fucked your husband while she was supposed to be doing her job.

    I can just imagine the kids knocking on the locked door while they were fucking, “I’m hungry Daddy and Nanny Cunt … why won’t you come out? Why are you making all those noises in there?”

    Then for you to get those jackass comments from your friends and family trying to make it all your fault! Bastards!

    Well now Nanny Cunt has to be the breadwinner and nanny other children. With any luck, he will spend his disability check on a subscription to Adult Fuck Finder and cheat on her with a lonely housewife while she’s toiling for peanuts as a servant in someone else’s house.

    You’re well rid of that ungrateful piece of shit!

    • Either that or she will screw the next clients husband. Either way, somebody gets hit with karma.

    • You said it! I’ve been learning over the last year how many other married men nanny was pursuing at the same time… so I certainly see karma coming to my ex. She had a backup plan – spelled out in an email that I got to read when she accidentally left herself logged in on my computer. If she couldn’t get my ex, she would marry the 80 yr old man across the street for a green card and then continue to cheat with my husband.

      • Sorry that was confusing. I meant: “If she couldn’t get my husband away from me, then she would marry the 80 yr old man across the street instead for a green card and then continue to cheat with my husband.”

      • This reminds me of an episode of one of my favorite old shows, “Absolutely Fabulous.” Patsy and Edina are the witnesses for a wedding between a scheming nurse and a wheelchair bound barely alive elderly rich man. The nurse is trying desperately to keep him alive until they are pronounced husband and wife.

        See 16:32 of this video:

        https://youtu.be/l1HHwmhh4zk

  • The I knew something was fishy 5 years ago is just like saying that you should have known somehow. Just like how Bernie Madoff’s victims should have known…
    It’s interesting what we find out about how people really are when our eyes are open and we are paying attention. Every few years, or during significant life events, we really see who shows up to the scene of the crime to help us sift through the ashes. I had some family members who weren’t nearly as supportive as some of my friends. That hurt more than anything, but at least you know when push comes to shove, what the deal is… Sometimes chumps are so busy giving, we miss that people just take… no giving in return. Thankfully through this site and my life experiences, I’m starting to weed my garden much faster these days and saving my energy for those who truly deserve it…

    • I should add how absolutely appalling it is that you had to find out about someone taking care of your CHILDREN in your OWN HOME f-cking YOUR HUSBAND. They are truly POS and those that take delight in thinking that they have a better perspective about your situation and would have seen it all coming can just F-CK right OFF. How dare all of them. I would tell them off and then discard their asses for being hurtful, unfeeling jacka-sses. Time to do some cutting and slashing in your life and rid yourself of those unsupportive a-holes in your life… You’ll feel so much better Chomping…

    • And where are people preaching that Madoff’s victims should “forgive” him? ….crickets…right. Yet, when the person you pledged your life to (and vice versa) stabs you in the back, you’re supposed to forgive and forget. smh

  • ChompingChump, Nomar is right about weeding your garden. There are people who will drift away in discomfort, hoping you won’t expect anything of them. Let them go. There are others who will rush to get first row seats to watch the drama, often so they can share their insider information with other gossipmongers. Let them go, too. The keepers are the ones who will listen and lend a hand without being asked or keeping score. They will still be there when the dust settles and the sun shines again. They are gold.

    Nobody needs “friends” who don’t have their back when the going gets tough. Good luck to you.

  • Each of these has been used as an an opposite and equally BS blame-shift.

    If it’s your fault for hiring a nanny, it would have also been your fault for not hiring a nanny. “You put too much of your energy and focus on your kids and let yourself go. You should have hired someone to help you.”

    If it’s your fault for missing the signs 5 years ago, it would have also been your fault for seeing the signs 5 years ago and staying. “You knew the whole time, so what did you expect?”

    If it’s your fault for leaving him with the nanny all day, it would have also been your fault for being controlling and emasculating by checking on them, or installing a nanny cam, or otherwise monitoring his fidelity. “You drove him to it by being so controlling and suspicious.”

    People seek to blame the victim for their own abuse. The reason they are supposedly to blame is irrelevant, and if circumstances were different then the blame would be different.

    My favorite uncle told me my ex probably cheated because I still had extra baby weight. (I haven’t spoken to him much since then, which sucks.) Gosh, it’s just shocking that working full time, taking care of a baby on my own (ex lived in another state), planning a wedding on my own, and packing and selling my house on my own, and making ex my focus when he was in town didn’t result in a better figure. But if I had worked hard to lose the weight, I would have been blamed for putting myself first, not being an attentitive enough mom, letting things slip, not being on top of things. Gosh, she’s so self-absorbed, what did she expect? Of course he cheated!

    It’s a no-win situation, because it’s rigged for the chump to lose no matter what they do.

    • Free Vixen, as I commented yesterday, I am in great shape, yet the “hole” he decided to fall into is fat and slovenly,and smelly so it doesn’t matter, it’s all about the “strange” to these man whores

      • That happened to a friend of mine, too. She’s beautiful and smart, and her husband cheated with a much older woman who couldn’t hold a candle to my friend. There’s a reason why people say that cheaters “affair down;” it’s really not about looks.

    • You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! And that is the thing to recognize when it comes to blameshifting… that there is no end to it. If you had done something different, the blame simply would have been different. People who are actively looking for a reason to blame you will ALWAYS find one. And if they can’t find one, they will make one up.

    • This is a very profound insight. I twisted my head in knots trying to argue with my ex until I finally figured out he was making up nonsense, preferably with maximum emotion content to throw me off and there was no point in arguing. ” I’m going downhill. I haven’t got my time to enjoy life. I want to spend money now because life is short.” He wanted to randomly buy cars and electronics and didn’t care if it left us bankrupt and the kids without college funds. His disease – multiple sclerosis – only shortened his life expectancy by three years, and he would have major medical expenses and need to pay for help over the next four decades. Was he going to jump off a cliff once we ran out of money and push us all off with him? Meanwhile I was in a wheelchair from pelvic joint injuries sustained having our children so it’s not like I didn’t understand what disability is like and losing the ability to walk. I was living it myself. I wasn’t flinging money away and cheating. I was working full time. From a wheelchair. Luckily I finally found a good surgeon and recovered. Karma.

      • Any sane person faced with an existential crisis (whether real or imagined) would throw themselves into making sure their family was secure rather than blowing through resources for their own indulgence and to soothe their sense of self-pity. I like your analogy of pushing you all off a cliff when the resources run out. It’s clear that you see through his garbage, so good on you for ditching this creep. I would bet that the MS had nothing to do with the cheating, but provided highly convenient cover. Assholes come in every size and packaging imaginable.

        I also twisted myself in knots trying to argue with my ex until I realized that the sole purpose of anything that comes out of his mouth is to manipulate. He wants me to feel responsible, he wants me to feel sorry for him, he wants me to make my needs and wants disappear, he wants me to shovel feed him kibbles. He speaks with the intent to create or influence an outcome, not with the intention to communicate.

      • It’s a difficult conversation to have when someone has a chronic disease. You would think that he’d be interested in having experiences with you and the kids while he could — rather than cars and electronics. Wow, he is so self-absorbed.

        • I think you are trying to assume the asswipe is capable of treasuring his family. He’s shown he’s not. He values only himself. Instead of making happy memories with the people he probably fully expected to care for him long into the future, he ran out to buy stuff he couldn’t afford and came home to hump the nanny. Neither was in his best interest or that of his family, but hey, it made him feel good, which is all that matters to the disordered.

          On the bright side, ChompingChump, you are off the hook for a future as a nurse with a purse.

      • chompingchump, talk about MS, my aunt’s husband became disabled by MS
        several years after they married.

        She met him 3-4 years after he cheated on his 1st wife and destroyed their family (3 kids).

        My aunt eventually married him, but never fully trusted him due to him being a lady’s man and a cheater in the past.

        They were in a small city in the South and he was supposedly a catch … handsome, wealthy, charming, high society family (for that small city). Women threw themselves at him. Once they went out to dinner and right in front of my aunt the flirty waitress gave him her phone number.

        I know that’s no excuse IF he ever had been found to have cheated on my aunt, but I just wanted to illustrate the environment filled with predatory and completely shameless side dishes.

        So anyway she was out working her ass off to make sure he had the best health insurance possible, so he needed someone to look after him at home as it wasn’t safe for him to be alone anymore.

        She hired an agency to provide caregivers and she told them her number one instruction was to only send the UGLIEST people!

        LMAO! Once he even asked, “Why are they all so ugly?”

        Could you imagine working at that agency and seeing, “Client insists that we only send the ugliest people to care for her husband!”??

        So the moral of the story is:

        Hire only the UGLIEST OF THE UGLY for your household help!

        (The real moral of the story is dump a disordered cheating dirtbag who fucks the help no matter what the help looks like!)

    • Free Vixen

      Amen to what you say. You gave fabulous examples of how you cannot win at the blame game. First – the blame is invalid and the blamers are not in a neutral, informed position to assign blame. People who judge – and that is most people – make their assessments against their own value systems (they cheat themselves), their own fears (they’re worried they could be cheated on), and a sense of superiority (that would never happen to be because I am smarter, prettier, younger etc). As Chump Lady. says, we have to shut that shit down. Don’t argue with these people who judge, don’t try to convince anyone – it can’t be done. Just rebut the offensive blame remark (lots of good examples on this page) and then end the conversation. I am no longer afraid to let go of people who give me less than the 100% support I deserve. Buh-bye. Everyone needs a friend like you Free Vixen, to remind them that the blame game cannot be won and that it will never end so lob a (verbal) grenade and run the other way.

    • Slightly off topic, but on blame-shifting:

      My ex claims the cats gave me an STD.

      His family believes all animals are dirty and diseased. I can’t argue with him on this one because I just keep laughing. They are even indoor cats.

  • ChompingChump,

    From what I’ve gathered here, you were out in the world working, and hired a nanny, while your X stayed at home too? The fishy part is ‘why wasn’t your X capable of watching the kids himself while looking for work?’

    Bottom line, he’s gone, nanny is gone, hopefully kids are with you most of the time.

    To give you another data point – during a lot of my first marriage, I was in school, and my X was pursuing her painting career, and we had four different nannies over several years (she had family money). Remarkably (well, not really), I managed not to have sex with any of the nannies. Never kissed any of them, never any inappropriate behavior at all.

    The people who are second guessing you, saying they knew something was fishy, etc., are really tapping into something more along the lines of, ‘we kind of knew that your X wasn’t one to be trusted alone with a woman like that.’ That’s really more of a statement that they claim (with 20/20 hindsight) about him, not about you. The simple reply – ‘Well, I thought our marriage vows meant something. I thought I could trust my spouse. Turns out I was wrong.’

    The one that bothers me the most is ‘I would never hire someone else to take care of my children.’ Really. So you’re with your kids 24/7? They are clearly home schooled, right, cause letting a mere public school teacher watch your little treasures is an invitation for disaster. And you wouldn’t send them to summer camp, or to visit a relative, or let them hang out with friends. Hiring a babysitter, ridiculous, would never do that.

    Get real. Hillary was right, it takes a village. And children wind up more well rounded and capable from the experience of growing up in many different environments (home, school, camp, relatives houses, sleepovers, etc.) Given an out of work husband, and you working, perhaps I might have suggested that hubby take care of the kids until he could find work and then you could pay the nanny. But if you had a nanny you liked and didn’t want to lose her (seems he felt perhaps too strongly about that), I could see reduced hours or something to bridge you.

    Don’t second guess your choices about that. Second guess your choices of friends who would say hurtful things like that to you.

    Hugs. Peace.
    aeronaut

    • Very true! Thanks, aeronaut. We both had injuries/illnesses for about 2 years, but still we could have managed with much less help. Indeed he was the one who wanted her around as much as possible, of course!

  • People want to think that it could never happen to them. It’s one of our fears in any relationship–being cheated on, publicly humiliated, rejected, stolen from, not chosen, alone. So we look for ways that it could never happen to us. And we catalog the ways, and we learn from others, and we differentiate ourselves from those who were cheated on, and that way we immunize ourselves–it could never happen to me, because I would never leave my children with the nanny. I wear dresses and makeup. I didn’t marry a preening womanizer. I’m not crazy. I say nice things to and about my husband. I cook and I clean.

    I’ve said before that I was one of those women who was 100% confident that I would be married forever to the father of my children, and, frankly, I was downright arrogant and smug about it, and condescending toward women who obviously weren’t as smart and savvy as I was. And then my husband told me he never loved me and was sleeping with the love of his life, and then the bottom fell out of mine.

    Toot-toot! Karma bus!

    So now, I giggle a little when women cluck about why it would never happen to them, or figure out what the victim did to deserve their fate. I know they are a little bit nervous that it COULD happen to them. I have been SHOCKED by couples I’ve known who dissolved bonds. SHOCKED. Others in my community were SHOCKED by my divorce–we seemingly had it all!

    I do believe there are couples who are not vulnerable; they both are mature and loving, and both have good character. I love them for it. I really do. I’m hoping my new relationship is one of those. It feels different, for sure.

    I do have to practice keeping a glint in my eye and a knowing smile on my lips. I’ll be ready the first time someone blames me. Because I know now. I know that nothing I did or didn’t do caused The Coward to cheat and discard. Nothing. I made a mistake coupling with a very flawed man, but I was young and naive and inexperienced, and I forgive myself for believing in his good.

    • Yup. Some of the best couples in our circle, good people, nearing empty nest, divorced after we did. I think most had spouses who were interested in others and were in professions/had friends that encouraged it. Life is too short and all that YOLO crap. Looking for that fountain of youth or a totally different reality. I wonder how many regret their choices. Ex sells his fairytale on Fakebook to all. Barf.

      • I was 1,050% sure my husband would NEVER CHEAT. If you asked me up until the SECOND the words came out of his mouth, with a loaded gun to my head and a finger on the trigger I would have sworn he could NEVER cheat. He couldn’t even stand when people on TV or in movies cheated. He HATED when I watched Scandal because he was so disgusted by the cheating. But here I am.

        I fully believe that cheaters and people that just randomly divorce are encouraged by others in their lives. STBX was never “unhappy” until he started chatting with the whoremat. But because SHE was SOOOOOO UNHAPPY it encouraged him to be unhappy and cheat. People in okay marriages see divorcees living a new/different life and think “OoOo! Different!” I’m apparently the most boring person ever because calm, steady and comfortable made me happy. If I wanted different experiences I wanted to experience them with my STBX. The people you love give your life deeper meaning, at least that’s how it’s supposed to be.

        I read that something like 80% of people regret divorcing. I’m assuming that’s in a regular divorce situation rather than cheating situations.

  • People really say crap things. IMO a man who isn’t working and can’t/won’t take care of his kids — but can regularly screw the nanny is a Douche. It’s just SO gross.

    It’s disappointing that those close to you can’t/won’t see this. CL is correct. Distance yourself from people that don’t have your back. Find some good friends or a community like this one that ‘gets it’.

    On that, please get a really good attorney. There must be some way to prove that if he can screw the nanny — he can also support himself.

    Hugs

  • Dear Chompingchump,

    I am a homeshooling stay at home mom, and guess what? While I stayed home and taught my kids, my STBXH was out cheating with other women for years and lying to me about it. Leaving your kids with a nanny did not cause your husband to cheat any more than my homeschooling did. Your husband and my husband both cheated because they have no morals. They thought only of themselves, felt entitled, and took whatever opportunity presented itself. If it hadn’t been the nanny, it would have been someone else. It wasn’t a matter of who; it was only a matter of when. Drop those “friends” immediately because putting any of the blame for his abuse on you is just additional abuse. Hugs to you!!

  • Today I choose carefully who is close to me. If I even get a whiff of blameshifter’s or gaslighters they are out of my inner circle. I treat myself like my own best friend. I’m precious and I deserve people who understand me and support me unequivocally. This is the one and only life I have and I do not have time for any abusers or abuse apologists.

  • Switzerland friends and others will drop you like you’re hot after this experience, mostly because I believe, they’re afraid this shit might be contagious. So many people just can’t believe the things we’re saying are true–apparently it’s easier to believe that “crazy” people like us just say these things, rather than that cheaters really ARE that diabolical. This is a form of denial I just don’t have time for anymore. I bled friends after my cheater devastated my life, and my attitude towards them now is generally “fuck ’em.” However, there are a couple who still get under my skin from time to time, people I know are good and caring but still really support the cheater. WHY?! I will never be able to fully untangle that skein. That they found him more credible than me. But you know, that’s their karma and not mine. Most days, I know that.

    As for the hatred heaped on “victims,” that’s a real head scratcher. I believe many people would rather identify with the perpetrator than the victim; there’s so much victim shaming out there that really does compound our trauma. My identity is not as a victim, but fact is I WAS victimized. This site and this community has been so empowering to me, partly because it validates us and doesn’t attempt to blame us for our experience of being unwitting victims. No I am not a mindreader, I didn’t have a glass ball and powers of fortune telling. I was straight hoodwinked by a disordered person. Like we all were. I don’t think we can really heal until we acknowledge the hurt and the loss of control that comes from being victimized. Only then can we empower ourselves to heal; our healing, we have control over. Our experience of victimization, we did not.

  • Cheaters cheat. Here’s what I would say: If he had been off working in an office, he would have cheated with someone there–from the boss to the secretary to a client to a female behind the coffee shop counter. Whoever was at hand. It’s not that he was left with the nanny–with the KIDS IN THE HOUSE. It’s that he is a cheating jackass with poor character and no empathy.

    That said, most people can only go into any problem to the first degree. That is, faced with a negative event, they will blame it on the easiest and most obvious cause. H cheats with a nanny? It was because you hired a nanny. Where the deeper question is: What kind of man cheats with an employee responsible for his kids, in his own home, with the kids right there? There’s the question. And for the #mondaymorningquarterbacks: how’s come you didn’t see that H was a hollowed-out, characterless, empathy-challenged hyena?

    I removed myself from anyone who didn’t understand the devastation of the betrayal or my need to fix my picker. That’s the extent of our responsibility. We need to learn to recognize abuse when we experience it and abusers when we encounter them, even in our own homes. And we need the courage to leave. Any friend who didn’t help on that journey–Bye.

    • And on the subject of family. One lesson I learned on the way to DDay came from dealing with my narcissist mother. My therapist recommended that I remove myself from the emotional side of my relationship to her. That is, I could visit, make phone calls, and so on–but I shouldn’t share any of the important details of my life with her because those were weapons she could use to hurt me. Some of these Switzerland family members may be well-meaning or just ignorant. They may be caught up in the belief that the marriage is more important than the abused human inside of it. That doesn’t mean chumps should continue to feed them information, details and emotional “content” that can be turned around and used as weapons. Call up. Say hi. Talk about the kids and the dog. Hang up. If Switzerland family members mention the divorce, say: “I don’t want to talk about that WITH YOU.” And then hang up, walk away, change the subject. Repeat as often as necessary. And stretch the interval of contact if they don’t honor the request for no discussion. We teach people how to treat us. Time to re-teach the enablers of our abuse.

      One of the most important things chumps do in the wake of DDay is to figure out who makes up their true support system. I had 2-3 friends, and only one who was there at every point. Once I was well along, I brought my cousin on board. And of course I told lots of other people on the periphery of my life, from the plumber to the hairdresser because in those moments, they were helpful.

  • Wowwww! Food for thought, as usual, LAJ!

    “They may be caught up in the belief that the marriage is more important than the abused human inside of it.”

  • I don’t follow popular culture but it does get shoved in my face occasionally. Anyway, see what happened to Bradjolina? He decided to step out on his wife and screw a woman-who wore a vial of her ex-lover’s blood around her neck. Now, I know there are red flags that can be seen from the Hubble Telescope and some people are just color blind but when someone decides they’re gonna have a specially made piece of jewelry to contain someone else’s bodily fluids so they can wear it around their neck and proudly advertise they are a Blood Sucking Zombie, why would you not believe them?

    So. In this barnyard tale of unbridled vaginal varmint and penis pump action we now have “NannyGoat.” And that is exactly the term I would use to refer to “what happened.”
    PS: Was his name “Arnold” by any chance?

  • Chomping chump
    What comes to mind are two things my mom used to say– ” with friends like that you don’t need enemies” and also
    ” what do you expect from a pig but a grunt?”
    This advice has served me well over the years !!!!

  • I was the nanny that got hit on. I told on hubby immediately. I was married, for heaven’s sake, not some hot young kid. I left not long after that simply because the kids grew up and stayed friends until she went off the deep end politically. Decent nannies do NOT want to screw the boss.

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