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Dear Chump Lady, I’ll leave him after I lose 20 lbs

Dear Chump Lady —

I know this is ridiculous, but somehow I am stuck on this point. I’ve been waiting to lose 20 pounds to dump my long, long, long-term boyfriend (neither of us wanted to marry because of family situations), who cheated on me. (He won’t admit it, but I am 95 percent sure, but the 5 percent possibility that he didn’t just kills me. I want him to admit it!)

Anyway besides that (and more to the point), I know he preferred me thinner and somehow, somewhere I’m thinking he will feel more like he lost something valuable (me), if I look the way he likes me to look when I break up with him. I know it’s an excuse and it’s pathetic. I know it! However, I can’t let go of it. Please help.

Sincerely,

Wait Watcher

Dear Wait,

Who cares what he prefers? I’m sure you’d prefer him to be 95 percent less shady. What self-improvement kick is he throwing himself at to be worthy of YOU? He’s the person who threw a spanner into this relationship. Where is his pick-me dance?

Oh right. He’s not doing it. You’re doing it because you’re the chump. You’ve given him the power of validating your worth. You say you want to lose the weight so he’ll care more when you dump him. If you lost weight, THEN you’d matter to him.

Okay, let’s say your hypothesis is correct and there is a direct correlation between how much you weigh and how much he cares. Do you want to live that way? Are you just one cookie away from a break up? Shall you get an eating disorder to ensure his fidelity?

Betrayal is terrifying. The bottom drops out of our presumed well-ordered and secure lives. As I write here often, when that happens, control is a very seductive commodity. Well, if only I had done X or Y or Z, this wouldn’t have happened!  Your “if only” is if only I weighed 20 pounds less, he wouldn’t have cheated. He liked me better thin. I know! I’ll lose the weight and THEN I’ll dump him! HA! Revenge!

(This too is a fantasy. I don’t think you intend to dump him at all. If you did, you would’ve dumped him already. There would be no far-off some-day-I’ll-dump-him conditionality.)

You want to matter to him. That’s your problem.

Sorry Wait, you don’t matter to him. Exhibit A — long, long, long-term boyfriend that never solidifies into a permanent commitment. Not sure what those “family situations” are you’re referring to. Are you both already married? (If you are, I’m sorry I answered your letter.) Anything else is spackling over your long, long, long-term pick me dance.

Exhibit B — he cheated on you. People capable of deep love and commitment don’t casually fuck around on their partners. Shallow, uninvested people do that.

Quit waiting to be found worthy. Start living life on YOUR terms. You want to lose 20 pounds? Do it for YOU, not him. Today, right now, ask yourself — is this relationship acceptable to me? Do I want a man I find 95 percent untrustworthy?

You can keep pick me dancing, (maybe all that tapping and shuffling will help you shed a few pounds), or you can hang up your dance shoes and start a new life.

I vote new life.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Though it may sound like it’s aerobic, the pick-me-dance is neither aerobic nor healthy. The pick me dance is what you’re doing if you think that trimming 20lbs is going to make him see the light and be sorry about what he’s lost.

    Cheaters move goal posts all the time. If you lose 20 lbs, he’ll tell you that he cheated because you weren’t spending enough time fawning over him; or he thinks you should lose 20 more, or get breast implants, or WTF ever. Whatever reaction you’re hoping to get from him, he’s going to disappoint you.

    You’re not married and that’s a blessing. Less entanglement. You can cut him loose in a heartbeat and never look back. Then focus on you. If 20 lbs is what it takes to get you in the healthy weight zone, then lose that weight for your health. If you think it will make you feel better about yourself, then lose the weight for YOU. Don’t do it for the cheater. Dump the cheater!

    Then like nic said, you’ll lose 190lbs in an instant.

    • Agreed. After my divorce, co-workers commented repeatedly on my appearance–very sweet compliments. Losing 200 lbs of dead weight will do wonders for you spiritually, emotionally, and yes, physically!

    • The moving goal posts! that was so my experience, and if I “fixed” anything he hated it. His petty complaints were his justification for treating me badly, cheating on me, and abandoning. He always came up with new things about me to hate though, so don’t think you can ever fix yourself enough!

      • The moving goal posts!! I decided to drop 15lbs or so after my youngest graduated high school, and I did it easily, going back to good clean eating and exercise. This PISSED him off no end! Then he would say “I certainly didn’t need to lose any MORE weight” (I looked awesome). Then the most ridiculous comment, He “didn’t like my bras”… Oh, um, where is that gift card to Victoria’s secret??… I then realized how ridiculous this situation was and it would ALWAYS be something. He commented on my breasts still being ‘relatively perky’, and my ass ‘certainly didn’t belong to a 55yr old woman”… I felt very objectified for the first time in my long marriage. He was clearly comparing me to the other options/twats he was considering.
        I’m So Fucking Done.

      • This. I didn’t make enough money — so I went to college (to increase my earning capability). After I graduated and made better money, it still wasn’t enough (read: it wasn’t enough that he could quit his job and stay home to watch porn, play video games, and find some strange). So, he hated my degree. When I worked harder to make more money, I wasn’t doing enough around the house and didn’t spend enough time with him.

        Moving goalposts. You cannot win.

        • Once they make up their minds to cheat, that’s it.

          We shouldn’t even try and search for goalposts because they’re mirages.

          As for any self-improvement, do it for yourself.

          It’s not going to make the cheater shape up. It will just make them think of another supposed defect of yours you need to fix that “you should own as your part” in the destruction of the marriage.

          • Absolutely. Ah, how I wish I would have found CL years ago … the clarity of a good 2×4 (“clue by four”) is invaluable to getting out of the huge mindfuck you don’t even realize you are drowning in.

    • “Or WTF ever”😂

      “Moving goalposts” of your defects, and yes

      “Getting out of the huge mindfuck you don’t even realize you are drowning in.”

      All this.^^^ And Kimsoverit, I hope you have or plan to go find someone who truly appreciates your hot, 55 year old self. I am 51 and have never looked better and I now have a man that loves and appreciates me so much more than Fwit ever did. Go for it!

  • Well identified issues: non-commitment, cheating, keeps you jumping through loops – if only you were x, y, z-er. The guy is a commitment phob.
    The problem that I see here is that you don’t value yourself. You are placing your whole worth on -20 pounds. Please, for your own good, make a habit to identify daily, what are your qualities. What you do well. What you love doing. You are great, you just have to see it.

    • My weight has been up and down, thin to dumpy to fat.
      I can tell you I was no happier being thin just my clothes felt better.
      It comes from within.

      • This ^. I lost and gained 100+ over 10 year and nothing mattered. It was all about him. It was always the same as always. When I finally lost the 20lbs it was for me. No one else.

  • However thin or not thin I am, I was (possibly still am) perfect cake proportions for my STBX.
    The point of me was not my weight (nor my looks, nor my cooking/cleaning/child caring abilities etc). The point of me was to love him, trust him and take care of most stuff.
    As long as his wife appliance was functioning I don’t think he gave a shit what it looked like. In fact if I had been fat and unhappy about it he could have drawn me in deeper by pretending to love everything about me so I would love him more for not caring about my weight like I did.
    He just needed me be to be unaware and clueless about his extracurricular activities.

    Funny thing was he is unhealthy and very overweight and I didn’t care. Now I do. I love to keep fit and active and it was something we never were able to share. It became a bit of a dig that I was permanently exercising to dissipate my anxiety. The next funny thing is, my general anxiety is coming down and I can now exercise without fear of ridicule and consequently enjoy it more.

    The truth is, now I care what I look like for me. Certainly not for him and not for anyone else either. The freeing thing about losing a cheat and getting that life thing I have found is the sudden desire to say “fuck it” to quite a few things I had previously stressed about. Surviving this shirstorm has given me more confidence that losing 20lb’s ever did.
    …..although that would still be nice …?

    That particular mindfuck in a room full of smoke and mirrors can go fuck itself. They only care what your weak spots are. If it’s not weight it’s something else. They sniff out vulnerability and use it to control you. Cool thing is, once you figure out that you can actually decide this stuff for yourself then you can tell them to shove it.

    • Wow, Capricorn, you’re spot on today. You said, “As long as his wife appliance was functioning I don’t think he gave a shit what it looked like.”. The ex would never compliment my appearance. One time, I cut my very long hair short, dyed it red, and changed my makeup. I then asked him how he liked the changes. “Why, did you do something?” was his only response. Not only do they not care what you look like as long as you are functioning in the spouse appliance role they’ve assigned you, but because they know it would mean a lot to you to hear a compliment or words of validation, they deliberately withhold any kind words. These sick POS’ know exactly what they are doing. Only crumbs for you–go back to your assigned spot now and keep dancing.

      • ^^^^ OMG Finding Bliss this ^^^^^ I cannot remember 1 compliment in the last 10 years with that POS. So glad he’s someone else’s problem now.

        • Yes. Relate. New haircut everyone noticed but X. What an ass. I was the fully functioning wife appliance.

    • Well said thank you, some days I feel unstoppable and have that ‘fuck it, why not attitude’ some days not so much.
      Best revenge, ditch their ass and rock your life in honesty, truth and light and leave the weeds in the shade.
      Get you shit together and give them the big middle finger.
      Their life is always going to be lies and chaos.

    • Capricorn you always have such great insight! My situation is kind of flipped. My STBX is neurotic about eating and eating well and staying fit. I like good food and I eat well, but I don’t beat myself up over not having a salad everyday. I’m trim and healthy and I feel great. I don’t complain about my weight (or his), but I like walking and getting out and doing something physical every now and then. My STBX NEVER misses an opportunity to let me know that he doesn’t approve of what I eat, the way I eat it or how I choose or don’t choose to exercise. I’m convinced that it wouldn’t matter what I did, he’ll find anything to chide me about. They get off on that and I can tell he gets a sadistic pleasure in making sure that he pulls me down so that he is the superior in EVERYTHING. Having a hamburger isn’t a crime. Additionally, I’ll have a Dr. Pepper every damn day if I want. It’s my life, I’m an adult and thankfully I’ve realized that I don’t need a stand in father who claims he’s my husband.

    • Yes! I couldn’t see my dancing clearly until pretty recently. Couldn’t see it at all during the several years of reconciliation. Couldn’t see it for what it was even after our final split. I mistook my dancing for “normal feelings of a reconciliation”. Tried to do and be my best self until those negative feelings and memories passed..

      But now, almost 3 years after leaving him, I have flashbacks of myself crying alone in the shower while he played with our dog in the living room b’c we just didn’t feel right anymore.
      Feeling like as hard as I tried to play happy home again, and as much genuine connection and fun we did still have together, the most silent yet most important part of US was obviously missing – trust had been broken like a mirror.

      That daily realization that we would most likely always be fragmented was deeply sad.. but on the surface we were great.
      That whole inner turmoil was SO incredibly stressful that I looked worse then. Even though I was younger and thinner than I am now, I looked stressed all of the time. After leaving my marriage, I still looked bad for a good year.. even lost hair and more weight from anxiety and depression. But all of that has improved so much now.
      I feel good inside now. Peace and joy shows physically. I recommend leaving to anyone still sitting on the fence!

    • Cap, this is a great insight.

      I was always required to be perfect to match his awesomeness. So I excercised, was on a weight loss mission and all that for him. Took up more languages. Cooked and entertained all the time. Cleaned, shopped, did all the household chores. Did that keep him from straying?

      I always liked dressing up and had jobs requiring a presentable look but he would enjoy putting me down re what I eat, how I dress, how I walk/talk/look/cook etc. Always negative with some occasional kibbles not to starve me completely.

      The last 3 years the cheater started building up muscles. He was never athletic and neither overweight, but the sudden interest and obsession with his looks, 2 hrs at the gym every day and his new interest in cooking made me suspicious. Yet, I recall how he screamed at me if I jokingly asked him if he had any other interests on the side. “What kind of a perverted mind you have, Longtime! Instead of being happy that your husband is healthy and is interested in cooking!”

      Only these habits started after he moved my son and I out of country so I never enjoyed his cooking while he kept reporting that he had a group of new friends over for sushi or couscous HE made almost weekly. And it fucking hurt. Here I was in another country finding a school for son, apartment to live, buying furniture, finding a job, doing all the single parenting, making new friends, arranging playdates, you name it – while my husband was enjoying his bachelor life with new friends and working out 2 hours a day. That alone was a sufficient reason to leave. I lasted like this for 6 years fed by his occasional promises that he would soon “move” in with us. Until he announced he had actually liked the setup and wanted to continue like that with 2 visits a year. I think that’s when I started noticing stuff.

      After DDay my looks were suddenly ok. Actually, he started complementing me for looks, choice of outfit, career advancements, etc. I did not need to lose weight anymore. He told me that I looked good and lost weight when I went for a visit last December while in fact I had put on 15 extra pounds and looked pretty exhausted from all this turmoil. He also changed his life plans. Now it was ok for us to move back to live with him. But of course I had to start from zero again: job; school: and he was negotiating more freedom for himself like separate vacations, night outs (which he had anyways)

      Cheaters will change cheater-speak depending on what they want. At that point he wanted a reconciliation number 2 so he had to throw some kibbles.

      I look forward to my graduation date with the CL degree. He threw me off balance a few times this past month and yesterday but he will be leaving tomorrow. A couple more months to regroup for me, find a lawyer and file by the time he is back in the summer. Good riddance!

  • I think it is good, WW, that you have a clear window into what is keeping you stuck. You have started grasping the surface level of it – but you’re still resisting the deeper message, which is pretty common for chumps like us until we learn a new approach.

    CL is on point. Whatever it is that makes you 95% sure he is cheating is likely behavioral. He is doing things that aren’t trustworthy in some way. And, whatever he has said to you has made you feel you are only likeable to him if you weigh less (and I am confident that isn’t the only topic where he has made it clear that you are not good enough.)

    And YOU are giving him all of your power.

    – You want to make him “admit” a thing
    – You want to make him feel a certain way
    – You want to become something different from what you are because that’s “how he likes you”
    – You want to influence how he perceives you leaving the relationship

    WW, you are not being clear and you are not taking good care of yourself. You are currently owned by his negative perception of you. The thing is, though, only YOU own YOU.

    CL is spot on. If you don’t feel supported, loved authentically, and safe in a relationship, leaving it makes sense, and you can’t control the other person’s thoughts, feelings, or perceptions.

    Get some support (I like counseling, personally), get free, and learn how to be better to yourself, says me. You don’t have to play this game.

  • I was heavy off and on during my 17 year marriage. After I suspected affair #3 I had a gastric bypass and list over 150lbs thinking it would help me feel better about myself and make me better in the marriage and if I was “hot” heceoyjdnt want to step out on me.
    I lost 150lbs and he left me for mistress #5 ( who was also mistress #2) .
    When I was heavy, it’s that I wasn’t attractive. Then it was that I was jealous, insecure, spent too much time with our kids and that made me tired and made him feel undesired.
    Everybody here is so right, you better keep your eyes on that goalpost, it’s always moving.

    • Hey Paintwidow,

      It’s quite something isn’t it how susceptible to this weight thing we all can be. It’s also amazing how much we let them control how we feel about ourselves. The positive is that afterwards we can decide for ourselves for a change what we decide to give a fuck about.
      Nice to see you ❤

      • Agreed.
        Here is something everybody here can take to the bank, IT WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING.
        It’ll be your weight or your attitude, or your mood, or the color you painted the bathroom….they will always be blaming you…..always.

        • Yes, IT WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING. I checked everything off his Wish List the first year. And then there was a *new* Wish List. Everything I did was NEVER ENOUGH. All of it tied to my outer appearance. And I’m already a beautiful, healthy woman. But what I *wasn’t* — that he wanted — was an anorexic porn star who he could “throw around” to feel more macho. Figuring out that is was HIS insecurity driving the whole thing rather than MY inadequacy was incredibly enlightening. So whenever he complained about my body/appearance, I started telling him to fuck off.

          It still scarred me, though. I felt like I was in a lose/lose situation as far as being thin. If I lost a few pounds, he would say, “See, if you had done that earlier we would still be married.” If I didn’t lose a few pounds, he would say, “See, that’s the reason you’re so unlovable.” I’m still clinging to the truth and getting healed from his mindfuck.

          Hang in there, Wait Watcher! It gets better.

          • Exactly that! I went through all being bad and not enough to all being good and enough (during wreckonciliation) to another Dday and now, which is “I (cheater) am just different, please try to understand, I like other people and monogamy’s not natural!”

            First they make us dance – this is the longest period. Then, during reconciliation, they blameshift, rage or charm. Then, confronted with the chump’s sudden composure and decision to leave, they throw in a new age-ly language about openness and inclusion and acceptance.

            Yes, cheater. I accepted that you are a POS! I don’t accept to continue being married to a POS!

        • In case anyone thinks Paintwidow is exaggerating mine, in his rambling laundry lists of complaints about me, often mentioned the color I painted his office.

      • I was never particularly overweight but I remember one night shortly before D-Day when he thought I was asleep and I felt him feeling around my middle pinching my flesh like he was looking for love handles or something. I was sucking it in for all I was worth. I am embarrassed by that now. I should have let it all hang out.

        Now I am 10 lbs lighter and at my ideal weight. Meanwhile he has gained a bunch since moving out.

      • Nice comments Capricorn! For those out there that think they would not get cheated on if they were thinner, kept a cleaner house, made more money, kept better control of your teens & preteens….wouldn’t have stopped them, please advise yourself! Change you “if only’s” to “If only he weren’t such an Ahole”. That is the only thing that would have made a difference.
        Most women Narcs cheat with are not as good looking as you are, and obviously have other character flaws-they are cheating aren’t they? You are a Goddess in comparison, believe me.

  • Break up with him now and lose the weight as part of your breakup self-care afterwards.

    True story – my friend lost 80 lbs on a “Fuck You, Ex” post breakup diet and workout plan. It took about a year and a serious overhaul of her diet and exercise habits, but it made her much happier and healthier (plus with no set end-date in mind, she didn’t worry as much about peaking and backsliding).

    • Or don’t lose any weight, if that’s what you prefer. However, if you do want to start losing weight, you’ll find that it’ll be easier post-breakup: more free time for exercise and you don’t have to worry about what he wants when you plan your meals. So yeah, dump today, lose weight tomorrow.

      • To speak to this…..being healthy and working out post dickhead leaving became my therapy. Even though I had had gastric bypass I had found ways to cheat the system and in the last few years before he left I gained some weight back. I lost 80lbs after he left. Some because I was grief stricken and couldn’t eat, but most of it because as I woke up from the dysfunctional coma of my failed marriage, the stress of living with him was gone and I could find myself again.
        I’m so happy he’s not in my life anymore.

    • I’m enjoying having a cup of tea for dinner because I’m not hungry rather than feeling like I have to cook a meal and damn for a skinny guy he ate a lot, my bin is never full anymore.

  • I toyed with the idea of getting back together with my XH even after the divorce was final (go ahead and slap me). At one point I gave him my demands: go 100% NC with OW #1 and OW #2 and check himself into therapy.

    He replied that I needed to change X, Y, and Z first, before he did any of that, and prove to him that there was something worth coming back to. In other words, he wanted me to do the “Pick Me!” dance before he would even think about getting back together with me. He also said, “Let me know some places for therapy and I’ll check them out.” Oh, AND I have to do the work of finding a therapist for you? No thank you.

    • Rarity thank the lord you didn’t you kick some ass!
      Therapy yes mine was always too busy to fit it in or read that book, would get a chapter in and think nah,!
      It’s not a priority for them.
      His life is a mess does he go to free therapy his work provides, no.
      Oh the last therapist he went to he didn’t tell them about his PA said it was an EA,
      “You can ignore reality but you cannot escape the consequences of it”

        • Yep. My dad always said “you will always find the time and the money to do the things in life, you really want to do”

        • So true!

          My jaw literally dropped at your first comment, with his list of demands. So damned pompous! Good for you for not putting up with that!

          Yes, we are definitely not a priority to these low-lifes. I see it all the time still in coparenting.

          • Yup. The stuff I wanted was entirely reasonable, too. But it really pissed me off that he seemed to think I was the one who needed to do work before he would change even a single thing about himself. Not even simultaneously (“Okay, I will go NC with them and see a therapist if you’ll do X, Y, and Z”); before.

            So glad I checked myself out of that gaslighting.

            • Fun, huh? Mine told people the reason he wouldn’t go to therapy was that “she (me) wouldn’t ever change.” And this was reason #2, after he’d told people that he’d asked me several time to go with him and I refused – a complete fabrication.

              For someone who couldn’t remember to pick up milk on the way home from work, he seems to have a prodigious capacity to remember to whom he told what story. Maybe he keeps a spreadsheet.

    • What a jerk. Dance baby dance, then I might condescend to throw you a kibble or two. You sure showed him. You make your own kibbles now and they taste much better than what he had to offer.

      I wanted STBX to go to therapy too (for his sake not mine). When he decided to move out he said he planned to do that but he never made the call. I actually did send him a list. Still no call. At one point he tried to use that as a bargaining chip to be allowed to continue his relationship with Schmoopie unhindered before he moved out (it took him three months to move out after he decided to do so). I said no to that deal. Of course he continued to sneak off and see her anyway, but still no call to a counselor. He finally admitted the other day that it’s never going to happen.

      • Chumpinrecovery

        Mine same except for admitting it’s never going to happen. He actually asked me what he should go for, as in what did he say he had to talk about. When I suggested work issues (being partly sarcastic but also recognising he is seriously clueless) he agreed. I guess cheating on your 22 year wife for four years, devastating her and your three sons, getting divorced and having everyone hate you, in some way didn’t occur to him to be something that might require some unpicking. ??‍♀️

        • My therapist told me that narcissists rarely seek out therapy, and when they do they don’t stick with it very long. The reason is their self esteem is actually so low they do not have the fortitude or the resources to examine themselves.

          Back in my pick-me days, I was trying to get my x to come to counselling with me, and he said, “You go, you’re the one who’s unhappy. I don’t have any problems… well anyway I’m too busy.”

          • My XH was always extremely resistant to any kind of therapy.

            When he first asked for a divorce in 2004, I demanded marriage counseling first. After much strong-arming on my part, he came. We did all of two sessions. He was a total asshole the entire time, giving the most minimal answers to every question asked and just generally not participating. At the second session, we were asked to say on a scale of 1 to 10 how much we wanted to save the marriage, I said “10” and he said “Zero.” The therapist then said she couldn’t help us.

            Obviously we reconciled, but fast forward to 2012. Idiot’s boss overheard him threatening to kill himself at work. He was put on unpaid medical leave and couldn’t come back until he got therapy. We had no money or insurance, so I tried to sign him up for therapy with my graduate school counseling center at a discounted rate. He was given an introductory questionnaire. A few days later, we received a letter from the counseling center saying his problems and issues were beyond their means and he needed to seek help elsewhere. To this day, I do not know whether he answered the question as weirdly as possible to provoke that response, or whether he really is that screwed up. Either one is bad.

            When I was pregnant with my son, my family practice doctor urged me to invite him in to see if we could broker a kind of therapy session to discuss my concerns with his emotional affair with the ho-worker. The entire time, he said nothing more than, “I’m not going to answer that,” and “I don’t want to talk about that.” It was just embarrassing.

            Maybe his narcissism was the reason. Not that I care anymore, I’m just surprised I didn’t see these things as blazing red flags.

          • I think he won’t get IC because he is a coward. He doesn’t want to face himself. Before D-Day I had been wondering for a year or two if I should suggest MC, but I was afraid to ask because I did not think he would go. I was thrilled when he suggested it because I thought it would give us a chance to fix things (I didn’t know about his Schmooopies yet).

            It turns out he only thought it was a good idea because Schmoopie 2.0 suggested it. I am not sure if that was before or after the PA started, but she certainly did her best to scuttle it after we started. In any case I think he lost interest in the MC as soon as he discovered that it wasn’t just all about fixing me, that he would have to work on himself too. Bleah, can’t have that.

  • dump him, be so sad/stressed/depressed that you loose that weight without even trying. It will be so much easier to loose the weight, trust me. And over time you’ll feel better, meet a great new guy and he’ll really be jealous of the new you then!

  • My Xhole told me when we were first married that he would divorce me if I got fat. I thought he was kidding, but I still spent the next 20 years making sure I stayed in shape and looked good for him. Even after the kids were born, I happily lost all weight, like I thought I was keeping him happy.

    But he cheated the whole 20 years – With fat women, ugly women, women that looked much older than me, some were younger. It really didn’t matter.

    If they can’t commit and want to cheat, there is really nothing you can do to change them or stop them.

    Now I gain or lose weight as I choose. And yes, losing his 190 pounds of dead weight was the best thing I ever did!

    • CTTM; Same point I was making, a cheater CHEATS! Get it out of your head you can stop it. I believe it is a defense mechanism to (real) humans to want to take stock of what they could have done to change the course of things that occur in life, especially the painful ones. We are sensitive to our own perceived flaws.
      This control they can have over you is part of their high of having not 1 but 2 human beings trying to please them. No matter how much they are hurting you, it is them that matters! They are on Kibble Kryptonite, draining your energy and transferring it to themselves.

      • Yes indeed, Regina. I forgot to mention his 30lb weight. He would gain, then do insane diets to lose it. It was weird and compulsive, much like our marriage.

        They don’t have flaws, just everyone else!

    • Haha CttM! My x told me never to get fat too! And this was before we were married. In fact, he proposed a weight limit that if I ever reached “we would be all over.” I laughed at the time but it was just another red flag in my face I failed to see.

      I never reached that weight limit, but he felt entitled to cheat anyway, like you say.

      • Mine was always making comments that made it quite clear that he thought overweight women were disgusting. The message was always that I had better not pack on the pounds or that ridicule would be focused on me. Of course over the course of our 12 year marriage he gained more and more weight, the shirt sizes went up every year, the pants had get bigger. He did crash diets and would lose some weight, but he never stuck with it and gained it back. He dressed like a slob and didn’t really take care of himself. Now I don’t need my guy to look like an underwear model, but come one… at least try. But of course I was supposed to be constant burning with desire to fuck him in spite of the fact that not only was he not taking care of himself, but he was an asshole to me as well.

        But thing is – I never gained weight. It’s a combination of good genes (my people are pretty trim), good discipline (I don’t really care anything about food most of the time), and I enjoy being fit and healthy. I can enjoy my life more when I have the physical stamina to enjoy a long hike or easily schelp a suitcase across Europe. So he could never cut me down about weight. Instead it was the constant little digs at my appearance. We would watch a make-over show and he would say “we should see if we can get you on this show”. He was always saying things like “If I get a bonus you can get your boobs done.” Once I was flat on my back with a back problem for a few days. We didn’t know exactly what the problem was, but I remember he said “well, if you have to get surgery, maybe you can get your boobs done.” Yes, your wife is nearly incapacitated with pain but lets do think about the fact that you would like to fuck someone with bigger boobs. And boobs thing always drove me crazy. I would say “if you want me to be skinny, that means everything has less fat… including the boobs. You can’t have it both ways.”

        Of course… I’m just too sensitive and can’t take a joke.

        • Even if you had your boobs done, CAGal, then he would want you butt done too. Mine complained that I didn’t fold his socks right, I realized even I had, then it would be something else. They just need something to pick on, because getting their spouse to jump threw hoops and dance in circles trying to please them is all that matters to them.

    • Hahaha. That reminds me of what I thought was my boundary discussion with the con man before we got married. It was very important to me that he know that cheating, addiction and abuse were deal breakers in our marriage. He laughed and said, well, I guess those are mine too with one other…just don’t get fat.

      Why, why, why did I marry that asshole!!!!!?!?!?!?

      He told me who he was with that one comment and I spackled it over (as I did even much worse) as a “boys will be boys” comment.
      Sigh.

  • Does anyone know anyone who lost weight to please a cheating or otherwise abusive partner and it saved their marriage? The Weight-Loss-Will-Save-My-Marriage Elf may not be quite as elusive as the unicorn, but they certainly are not common critters. I’ve never seen one.

    I have a friend whose wife demanded he lose 40 pounds, have eye surgery, and stop drinking (although she was the one who drank until she passed out). So he did. Then she divorced him in order to move on to her new man. He did find himself a nice girlfriend after she left though, so I guess her demands had some sort of an upside in terms of imbuing him with some self-confidence.

    My weight has never made me nearly as unhappy as my bad spouse did. There are lots of good reasons to pay attention to your health, but the idea that doing so will make an uncommitted and roaming partner suddenly grow a set of values is not one of them.

    • i thought i posted this earlier but i don’t see it. Am I the only one here who admits to watching “Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Diet’? Changing her entire appearance was not enough to get her husband’s complete attention even after she rescued him when he od’d in a brothel. And now you can watch others change their bodies on ‘Entertainment TV” in the hope that it will bring them happiness or a partner. Sadly, this is the crazy mindset we are bombarded with. I wish the writer every happiness with or without your 20 lbs simply because you deserve it.

  • Here’s an idea: dump him, THEN lose the weight, then have friends put up pictures of you on their social media of how good you look. (You can put pictures up on your page, but cut him out/delist him/defriend him right away). Let your revenge be him having to see what he lost.

  • Wow, the weight issue is really a common tread with these narcs. Mine said he wanted to make a pact when we were married that neither of us would ever gain more than 15lbs from our marriage weight(other than pregnancy. I never did but he was up 25 to 30 at times and he wasn’t pregnant. He brought up this pact many times in our 26 years. When he was in the process of abandoning me last May, he told me latest mistress was heavier than me. I reminded him of the 15 lb agreement and he said he was only kidding. Bullshit, he never laughed about it or said I would love you no matter what all those years. Anyway, it was just another control thing.

    After he left, I lost 15 lbs and am about 8 lbs under marriage weight because of the shock. My friends are all telling me to gain which I am working on.

    Just remember that the weight loss is just more of the narc controlling you. Don’t give him the satisfaction. You are beautiful and he doesn’t deserve you no matter how you look! You will be even more beautiful and fun to be with without him. He is the weight you need to lose!!!

    • Ain’t that the truth! I was told massive weight gain was unattractive so I watched my weight while he plumped. I didn’t care. I still loved him.
      After D-day I dropped 25 pounds in a few weeks. Friends worried about me. I couldn’t eat anything but Rice Krispies and milk. Eventually I got back to a healthy weight, but mostly I was happy to lose the 190 pounds of crappy human being I was married to.
      Drop the cheater ASAP. Then work on yourself both mentally and physically.

  • If you want to lose 20 pounds, go for it. But do all that work for you. For your health, self-satisfaction, the endorphins from exercise. Hey! New clothes. Retail therapy!

    But don’t do it to make him feel bad when you tell him to get the hell out. You can’t gain revenge on someone who doesn’t care. He won’t notice, won’t care. There’s no room in his head or heart for anyone but himself.

    If he does notice, he’ll take it as kibble for himself.

    Unless his schmoopie arrangement falls through and he needs to go back to you. Then the mindfuck will begin. But it will under that scenario whether you lose weight or not.

  • Wait, I can see so much of myself in your story! I have been dumped three months before wedding from my long long long boyfriend. He told me he cheated on me when he was absolutely sure that THAT was the point of no return (to make it short, I am confident that if we would have postponed the wedding we would have been still together… me, him and a bunch of other women). He told me that he did not love me any more cause I was not skinny as before, young as before, naive as before (what a surprise!!!!!!). CL and CN are right. A man who loves you commits to you. U don’t need his validation at all. Dump him right now, go to the gym and loose weight if you want to… but for yourself and your beautiful life. Not for an asshole! I am telling u my story. After we broke up (at the phone cause he did not have the guts of telling me everything face to face)… I signed in to the gym and two years and an half later I lost more than 20 kg. My life is no perfect, I still have lots of issues to face (betrayal is a bad beast… I feel like my faith in humanity is gone for good from time to time), BUT I am working on them. For me. Cause I do matter. I am enough. I deserve to be happy and I do not need any validation. And you too. You are great and you deserve to be happy. Get rid of him, grieve your story, start to built the future you want. Life is too short for the pick me dance!!! Love
    Emm@

    • A cancelled wedding is cheaper than divorcing a fuckwit any day of the week… and you’re spared from having bred with him.

      Give yourself time to grieve – but in the end, you will see, you dodged a bullet.

  • My ex only liked me if I was 92lbs. or less. I remember going one week without eating so I could please him. This is no way to live! It will mess with your mind and your self confidence. You are wonderful just as you are now. Be kind and loving to yourself by leaving him.

    • Yep. My dad always said “you will always find the time and the money to do the things in life, you really want to do”

  • During the FIRST year of marriage:

    “I like fat curly hair”: I kept getting perms because my hair is naturally straight.
    “I like shiny hair”: I stopped perms because it dried out and broke my hair off.
    “I like bony knees”: I wore pants to cover my knee caps so as not to offend him.
    “I like fluffy tits”: I considered implants but switched to push up bra’s instead.
    “I like olive skin”: I went to spray tanning booths because I am a white Norwegian.
    “I like a big bush”: I used Brown Betty to dye my light pubic hair and make it look like more.
    “I like long nails”: I got acrylic nails for ten years that ruined my natural ones.
    “Your hair does not grow much”: I got hair extensions that were 18 in long…he never noticed.
    “I like money”: I participated in getting loan after loan until we were $270K in credit card debt.
    “I like skinny jeans and boots”: I invested and wore them…no compliments.
    “I like beautiful teeth”: I went to Mexico and had a full mouth teeth reconstruction.’
    “I like Aimee…you’d like her too if you knew her”: I told him to leave and he did…for once, he did something that I liked.

    • Wow. Yes. Painful, but spot on.

      Only now do I realize exactly how often his statements to me began with “I want” or “I need.” My own wants and needs were irrelevant, and shrank to the point of almost disappearing entirely.

      Anyway, Sweetz, you’ve reminded me of a poem by Anna Akhmatova. Was originally in Russian, and has been translated in many versions. Here is one:

      He loved three things:
      white peacocks, evensong,
      and antique maps of America.
      He hated crying children,
      raspberry jam with his tea,
      female hysterics.
      And I was his wife.

      • Thank you Cashmere. I quickly figured out that I was never really anything to him but an appliance and source of money. We are in our 60’s and it just goes to show that some things will never change w/o him having a complete heart rewiring. It is so true when it is said that they keep moving the goal post. Me, I am back to my normal self and I still have the beautiful teeth/smile. My hair is long and shiny too…but all I had to do was stop messing with it.

        I did not even mention the sexual demands that were degrading…compliments of his never ending Porn influence.

        He loved three things:
        Variety
        Strange
        The forbidden.
        He hated his wife,
        lifting a finger,
        and controlling his impulses.

      • I like this thread…

        He loved three things:
        Gaslighting
        Craigslist
        Pity.
        He hated my love,
        my spyware,
        and my filing first.
        And now I’m free.

        • He loved three things:
          money,
          secrecy,
          and above all himself.
          He hated being told what to do,
          splitting the assets,
          and marriage.
          And I was his wife.

        • I like this thread too

          He loved three things
          Secretly spending on himself
          Porn which fuelled increasingly self-focused demands
          Kibbles virtual and in person
          I love
          Lawyering up
          Choosing to look after myself
          Going no contact
          I am an STBX wife

      • STBX wanted a cross between June Cleaver and Glam Girl and instead he got me (an employed engineer with no fashion sense).

    • My STBX complained that my hair was too poofy (huh? It was poofy when he married me too). Most people like my hair and I get constant compliments it, but because of his comment, I spent a number of years frustrated with my hair because I can’t keep it from poofing.

  • Thank you, CL, for answering my question. You’re right if I was planning to dump him I would have done it already — losing weight is an excuse, because, honestly, the more I think about dumping him, the more weight I gain. I’m using it as a way to stop me from doing what I know I need to do.

    Rest assured, neither one of us is married. I have a volatile, narcissistic ex and my child had some issues and my boyfriend (of 10 years) hasn’t wanted to take that on and I always thought it would be best not to make things more difficult (for my child) by bringing someone into the mix. But maybe this has been an excuse too….?

    I do let outside things validate my worth. Despite having good qualities, deep down I guess I don’t feel worthy of much. I had a terrible upbringing and at one time i felt like he was the first person to accept and love me. That’s probably why I want him to really want me again. (And what’s even worse, is that i’m thinking I need to lose weight for him to want me and I’m actually at what would be considered an ok weight now — just not model material for him.)

    And yes, I have control issues in general. Somewhere I feel like I need to figure this out — hence the 5% possibility that he didn’t cheat holding me back and the wanting him to admit he cheated. I feel like if I knew for sure what happened I could make sense of everything and somehow that would put me back in control again and make it better. And, if I’m honest, there’s part of me that thinks if I can understand this and put all the pieces in place I could maybe move forward with him — and I know I shouldn’t.

    Thank you for printing my letter. Seeing what I’m thinking in writing actually makes me see how sad and ridiculous what I’m thinking/doing is. It’s going to be so hard, but I need to make a change.

    To all the people who responded: Thank you for all the wise comments. They’re extremely helpful too and are making me consider things I hadn’t thought of yet.

    I’m unavailable because of work for most of the day today but promise to come back tonight to further respond. Thank you all!

    • Ugh — I used a name as opposed to “wait watcher”. I am the original letter writer. Claire and Wait Watcher are the same person.

    • He doesn’t want to take on your child? After 10 years together? Fuck him.

      That’s not acceptable. You’re a package deal, and relationships in mid-life often mean accommodating children. Why would you tolerate this limbo commitment status?

      My (now dead) grandmother once told me when I divorced my son’s father that I would “die alone” and “you can’t expect another man to love your child.”

      That was a cruel lie. It’s many years later and my son has an awesome stepfather who loves us both. (And I’m blessed to be a stepmom to two fine young men too.)

      It sounds like your child is another reason he gives (or implies) why you’re not “good enough.”

      • It’s sad about the children. Years ago, I worked with a woman who had gotten pregnant in her last year of high school… she was 17 at the time. She had her son, and her boyfriend took off and never acknowledged nor cared for the child. Fast forward several years, and she was dating a very handsome, articulate man. She was living with her mom and her son at the time down in Georgia. They started to talk about getting engaged, and he flat out told her (in the nicest way possible..ugh) that though her six year old son was very sweet, he had no desire to raise “someone else’s son”..so, he told her that if they were to get married, she would have to leave her son with her mom to raise… and you guessed it, she did…left Georgia, moved to New York, and proceeded to have two boys with her new husband. When she told me this story, I was horrified. I could not imagine that someone would compel you to pick them or your child. I do think, to this day, that she did it because she was all of 23 years old, single and with a young child, and I really do believe she thought she could never get anyone else….it’s just awful

        • She is a sociopath. Choosing dick over her son?

          If a man told me he did not like my cat, I would show him the door and then kick him in the ass as he left.

          • Well at least she didn’t go Susan Smith on her son …. she at least let him live!

            Look on the bright side! What bright side is abandoning your child on? Oh nevermind…

          • Totally agree, Butterbean. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t “like” animals or dislikes a particular kind of animal (barring something like being mauled and now being afraid). Bigger than that, if my animals didn’t like the person, THEY had to hit the bricks. I trust my critter’s judgement. 🙂

        • QueenB, you call her “a woman”. Why? She’s something else, we can all agree.

          After a few years of living, I can say it’s time to call these people out on their shit! Otherwise, they may think it’s ok and repeat the same behaviour. No, it’s not ok to dump your children, not even with grandparents! They are not orphans!

    • Weight Watcher / Clair

      Well take comfort in that you are one step ahead of me. You feel you need to lose the weight for him to want you. I feel like I need to lose more weight to want myself! I too have family of origin issues and I always think that I always felt I took up too much space in the world. I was too visible and being visible to my mother especially was not a good thing. My cousin who lived with us for a while developed anorexia. I think she had the same feelings.
      I wanted to make not just my needs small but myself small. Four years ago (around about the time the cheating started and he was working abroad) I got to my ideal weight – not for health just a number I thought I should be as I remembered weighing it when I was 17 and had always struggled to get back to. I did feel happier about being tiny and fitting into things but the effort required to stay there was punitive. I’m about 20lbs heavier than that now and I have not managed to not care about that number. Weight can be a complicated issue but for you it’s more simple.
      Weight aside you maybe would be better off thinking about your emotional well being, your acceptance of less than a good relationship, disrespect and not much love. You and your child surely deserve better?
      Read stuff here in the archives. Take time to reflect. Post in the forum. I wish you luck. We have all been through or are going through this particularly excruciating wringer so you are amongst friends. ❤

    • Hi Claire,

      It’s good that you came here. Sorry that you’re in this situation. It sucks.

      Breaking up is awful. It is such a roller-coaster of emotions and self-doubt. Your self-esteem will take a hit, but you WILL feel better in the end. You’ll look back and feel grateful for doing what is best for yourself and your child. You’ll be stronger, freer, and feel younger than you have in years.

      Trust your intuition, and come to terms that he is not the person you want him to be. You loved an illusion. Don’t waste your time looking for sense or control.

      Once he is out of your daily life, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

    • Oh honey – I got really stuck on the whole “If I just have the whole story I make an informed decision” trap for a while there. To this day – I don’t actually KNOW he fucked his whore. I mean – I know he fucked her, but he never admitted it and I never actually caught them in the act. When you trust and love, there is always that little part of you that thinks “well maybe they really are just hanging out watching TV for a few hours on Friday afternoon when he thinks I’m still at work.” Or you know, he’s a cheating liar who lies and cheats!

      … and that ties in with us doing the “pick me dance”. Your pick me dance is losing this weight. His actions have said that he doesn’t value you (and your child). So you think “well, it’s just this one thing, my weight. And I will lose the weight and skies will clear and he will commit to me and our life. This bad feeling I have (your 95% that he cheated) will all go away and everything will be better. I’ve just got to lose the weight”.

      But you know that’s not what is going to happen. It’s about him being a disordered fuckwit and feeling like he is entitled to do whatever he wants. You could look like a super model and he would justify his cheating with “well you could have any guy you want so I figured you didn’t really love me.”

      Trust that he sucks, disentangle yourself and your child from his disorder, and get on with life.

  • Hi Wait Watcher:

    Listen to CL and your fellow Chumps. It’s not your weight; it’s your partner’s lousy morals. We can all tell you that it’s very stressful to take those steps to break away from your Cheater, but once you make the move, you see that you can take your life back and live it on your terms.

    Weight is one of those. Weight loss is successful only if you want to do it for YOU. Otherwise, it’s hard to keep up the motivation to maintain discipline with your food choices.

    But remember that cheating isn’t about your appearance. It’s about his entitlement. Look at all the celebrities whose spouses have cheated on them. If they’re getting cheated on, then we can see that physical appearance has zero to do with the decision to cheat.

    My CheaterX didn’t make a whole lot of negative comments about my weight. He had a thing about red hair (mine’s a dark blonde that goes lighter and gets gold highlights in the summer). He liked long hair (mine is quite short). All those things existed well before we were married. Over the course of the marriage, I gained about 50 lbs. Once, he mentioned that both of us could stand to lose weight. I did notice that he’d gained a small paunch. I thought it was cute.

    When I found out he was cheating, I realized I needed a better job in order to support myself. At my weight at that time, I looked more bloated than like a Big Beautiful Woman. I lost the weight, but it was for me.

    And you know what? He started complaining that I looked too skinny!

    So it’s not at all about weight. It is all about character. Dump him. He doesn’t deserve you.

    • I just figure we’re in pretty neat company: just start with Sandra Bullock. Elizabeth Hurley.

      Just proves it’s their sense of entitlement, misogyny and self-indulgence. It’s not how we look. It’s how they think they look.

  • Guess I should have used “wait watcher” as my pen name. I’m new to the web board thing. I am the original letter writer though.

  • Wait Watcher

    One thing I know about the disordered is that they aren’t particular in their other women. Infidelity has more to do with power, control and availability. This is what he ‘likes’. Oh, if only you could see what the OW the Limited ended up with after years of cheating.

    It has nothing to do with age, weight, looks, or intelligence. They sink to their level, always. You have nothing to prove to an asshole.

    • BOOM; there it is! Infidelity is about CONTROL. Mr. Sparkles rolled from our marriage into a “relationship” with the AP. She dumped his ass when she realized he had lied to her and cheated on her too. He was in a new “relationship” within days. As CL says in her book… they aren’t choosy, they’re SLUTTY.

      I actually feel sorry for this newest victim, but I already pulled one woman out of Ted Bundy’s car. It is time to get on with my life.

      • “BOOM; there it is! Infidelity is about CONTROL.” Wow, yes!! That explains a lot! I can’t believe I never realized this.

        My x always had to have his own way or he would sulk and throw tantrums. I always had to be the one to step up and apologize (half the time I never knew what I was apologizing for). We always had to do what HE wanted—go on vacation where he wanted, eat out where he wanted, watch the TV shows he wanted, buy the house that he wanted, the car he wanted, etc. I could only get what I wanted if it also happened to be what he wanted. But we lived together, were a family, had friends, a social life, etc.

        His current relationship is QUITE a bit different. They don’t live together. He sees her on his terms, and is proud of it. He takes vacations whenever he wants, and only occasionally brings her along, usually on holidays such as Thanksgiving, when he knows our adult kids will shun him and be with me. They are rarely seen going out together, it’s almost like their relationship is still a secret. He has never introduced her to our kids, or his own family, and I doubt he ever will. I was a wife appliance for him; she is a 50-something matronly sex appliance.

        I don’t know what kind of woman would put up with that in her relationship. But I doubt she will ever dump him because he has money, she does not, and she probably hopes some day he will marry her. I would say that’s highly improbable—I already got half of everything, he’s not going to share any more! But in the meantime she has to sublimate her own desires and personality even more than I did.

        I guess I would call that some pretty good karma, come to think of it.

    • Yep yep. Control.

      I heard, “The bed must have clean, crisp, just out of the dryer sheets on them for me to sleep.” So I laundered sheets. Every. single. day.
      “You have to learn how to shoot as well as I do, if you’re going to be on my team.” So I spent hours practicing, and other interests fell away.
      “Your weight has to stay the same, so I can lift you when we’re having sex in the shower.” (don’t ask. it’s the only time he’d ever have sex. only position, only place)
      “I can’t kiss you anymore because you don’t do it right.” I’ve kissed you the same way for years, what’s wrong with how I do it? Oh. Whore does it different.

      I could go on. It’s never about you, weight watcher. it’s about them. I started to understand that this was also a diversionary tactic as well. If they keep you off balance and focused on what is wrong with YOU, you don’t see what is wrong with THEM.

      I had a friend who was involved with a married guy some years ago. We all told her this was a huge mistake, be we were really young and she thought she knew it all. But another thing was she struggled with her weight for her whole life. He used that. He would encourage her and tell her how proud he was of her for entering runs and those mud challenges and stuff like that. He was always gushing about her and building her up.

      that’s great. Terrific. But why aren’t you leaving your wife like you promised her you would? oh. Because his wife is crazy and might hurt their kids. Because he wants to get a better job so she’ll be proud to be with him. Because his family really loves his wife and he can’t disappoint them.

      It’s a horrible thing, what she did. She had serious self esteem issues, still does. She went through a marriage of her own, still talking to this asshole, comparing his gushy, over the top statements to how her NORMAL, kind, loyal and stable husband. And guess what. Loyal, kind, stable husband had enough of her bullshit, telling her if she wanted over the top guy, then go.

      She divorced and guess what. Asshole guy moved the goalposts yet again. Now it was he wasn’t leaving his wife until his kids were over 18. Please wait for me. I have never loved anybody like I love you. Blahblahfuckityblah. We all heard this crap from her for over 10 years.

      Know when he wanted to be with my (now former) friend? After his wife found out he’d been fucking around for 20 some years with at least 5 other women, not including my friend…and kicked him to the curb.

      NOW it was “we can finally be together!”

      They will only want you when all other options are exhausted. THAT is when you “might” get a commitment from him. And even then? There will always be something newer, shinier, and more appealing right around the corner.

      DUMP HIM.

  • Back when I was a Chump, it used to feel like I had a daily guest pass to my own relationship. On top of that, it felt like ‘one strike and you’re out” (with “out” meaning on his sh!t list)

    Exhausting.

    Hooray those days are over. Mighty feels much better.

  • I am completely over guys who are mostly interested in my appearance. I think if I date again I’m not going to try to focus on that. If you lose weight to get a guy and if he dumps you when you gain some , you haven’t really lost anything but a superficial creep. He will not be there for you when you need him.

  • This is exactly what I need to talk about today. I think about my weight all the time. During the marriage, the ex constantly told me how fat I was, even when I wasn’t. During the marriage, I gained like 70 pounds. I am still overweight and need to lose about 50 pounds. I am going to the gym and working out and keeping on a diet. I am active and I don’t feel unattractive even though I am not at the weight I want to be. The OW he finally left me for is thin and yes, this was something he constantly hammered me about. Why won’t you lose weight for me? I’ve been on a diet my whole life. Up and down. Thin and fat. But I am a good person. A smart person. A good mother. I was a good wife. I have a lot of friends and I am kind and loyal and a bit funny. Recently, after being divorced almost a year I started online dating. I noticed that the men I am interested in are not interested in me. I am certain it is because my photo shows that I am overweight. I am not beastly and I consider myself attractive. I am attracting some real nutcases and some scam artists. So even the men I don’t know are judging me on my weight and not on my heart and character. I would like to hear from some of you out there about this as I have been a warrior. I have risen from the ashes of a 36 year relationship of abuse and cheating and lying and gaslighting and have reclaimed my life. Now I would like to find a partner who will love me for me. But it seems that my weight is again the issue.

    • Stop looking for men online… join groups that interest you and meet someone on a shared common ground instead where they see ALL OF YOU and not just your photo on a web site.

      XO

      • I cannot agree with ICanSee’s advice strongly enough. Garlic, a crucifix and a wooden stake to online dating! Hell to the No!!!

        It is peering into the abyss. There may be outliers ( but my cousin’s best friend’s brother met his wife on Match!).

        These men are shallow and want you to look like a porn star…while they look like Cliff from Cheers, or live in a shed or sleep with their shoes on, or eat dinner from gas stations. I find many to also be super competitive about money and life goals. Especially the ones who have not whipped life like they thought they would as young bucks.

        No experience online dating has ever left me happy. And I was available mentally to date all kinds of men and wide open to love. I have spoken with rude construction workers and physicians who, in person…had horrible painted on brown eye brows like a corpse. GAG.

        Here’s what to do. What is your passion? I mean…what makes you just so happy inside you smile to think about it ? Coding, knitting, mountain climbing, bonsai trees, horses, making desserts for the homeless?

        Then do that. Get out there in the world and meet your tribe.

        And like ICanSee said you will meet someone who SEE YOU, & shares a common interest and can see YOU in action, frosting a cake or climbing a hill or grooming a gelding.

        They will also be someone who gets out of the house and is not yelling from their moldly basement for their Mom to bring them some nachos and a Dew. (At age 53)

        I would do you no favors to sugar coat it. Do these clowns care about weight and age on online dating above all else? YES.

        Are they any type of prize that you should deny yourself ONE scone dripping with real cream and raspberry jam or bowl of cheesy pasta for?

        NO.

        I am so over the weight thing….forever. Move around a lot, drink water and eat home grown vegetables. Don’t develop the deadly triad: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and High Blood Fats.

        Be able to touch your toes. Be able to walk around a fun city for hours without the need to rent on of those carts. If someone fell down a rocky knoll, could you pull them up?

        (*This recently happened to me and I pulled a drunk man up from a steep culvert…while young people gazed at me with mild interest like I was the freak and started pulling out their cell phones to record it.)

        Can you run and catch the bus? Are you clean and well groomed? Do you smell great?

        Then Fuck ‘Em! If someone does not like me because I am not a Size 6, then they are missing out on one more fun time. I’d bet the farm the same goes for you 😉

    • Don’t be so quick to assign all of that (online) rejection to “weightism”. “Ageism” is very much alive and well, too. It’s (almost) hilarious how men think that women their own fatness level and age are soo much fatter and older than they are!! And thus, of course, unacceptable…or only booty call material! I’m very athletic and in shape, and get it all the time. They don’t like competent and athletic either!

      • Well 3x, you wouldn’t want them to “settle,” would you?

        Oh no, the short, tubby, bald, smelly, rude, dopey, semi-literate man who lives in mama’s basement deserves nothing less than a supermodel, brain surgeon, heiress all wrapped up into one!

      • I’ve read dating profiles on Match.com, maybe it’s me but I have a difficult time taking them seriously. I can’t help but laugh at the many divorced men who claim to enjoying sunsets, weekend getaways, walks on the beach, home shows. They live to please that special someone.
        Surprised at how many women pleasing men found themselves divorced.

        Makes me nauseas reading the slimy middle aged divorced male profile looking for a female 15+ years younger than him. uhh.., no thanks
        I’d rather be alone,

  • Lose him. When I discovered the affair, I lost 40 pounds on top of the 210 I lost when he left. Do I think he cares how I look now? Nope, not at all.

  • Body shaming–subtle, implied, or direct and vicious–is often part of the devalue and discard. I think it is imperative body acceptance and even confidence to be part of the overall picture of self-love and mental health. At various weights, I have appreciated my body. It is strong and supple. It can work outside all day long. It can push, pull, lift, carry, balance, stretch, dance. It can walk for miles. It can appreciate and respond to gentle breezes, strong winds, sun showers, midnight downpours. It can hug, soothe, hold, rock, repair, make love.

    The affairs were a brutal attack on self-esteem and body image. I have lost weight for a variety of reasons, good and bad. Stress and anxiety have played a big role, but relief is also there. The weight of secrets and lies was lifted, and my body responded to that, as well. Still, I think if I had not always regarded my own body with appreciation and some wonder–this body brewed babies, survived illnesses, lifted its face to rain, made countless snow angels, floated in pools at night, under the stars–then I would have been too crushed to make my way (slowly and haltingly. maybe, but with determination and hope) down the long and lonely road of recovery. We can never be comfortable in our own skin if we regard that skin with disgust, contempt, shame.

    It has troubled me to see the impact of cheater’s messages on our daughter. He has always paid too much attention to her appearance, and his choice of a much younger affair partner clearly communicates that a woman’s value is strictly as object of pleasure for the male gaze. In the wake of dday, I have watched and guided as she has struggled to come to terms with a body that is becomingly womanly as opposed to girlish in a world that overvalues and sexualizes youth.

    I do think that one of the greatest gifts any woman can pass to a daughter is unshakable body confidence. That is a hard thing to achieve in an image driven and porn saturated world, and many of us do not get that gift. Dads play a huge role, here. Their love should be the sort that sees deeply, and does not shift with weight, acne, awkwardness, budding sexuality, and so on. If we aren’t blessed with that kind of parents–and not many are–then we have to build that for ourselves. It’s challenging, but not impossible.

    Caring for ourselves unconditionally is the first task. Moving, working, and just daily appreciating the miraculous feats our bodies routinely achieve is one step towards that. Giving ourselves the gift of pampering and tender loving care is another. Yes to fresh flowers, shampoos and soaps that lift our spirits, the occasional massage, a nap out in the fresh air, or whatever self-care things, large or small, that bring joy.

    And I think yes to realizing that we have the power, within reason, to alter and strengthen our bodies, but no to doing that in shallow ways directed toward others and designed to win their approval. Better to be twenty or more pounds overweight and secure in yourself than to be self-destructively bent on achieving impossible standards that are, in any case, fleeting.

    • I worry about our daughter too. She has severe acne, as did STBX at her age. But oh no, it’s not genetics. He was telling her that it would go away if she just ate a better diet, drank more fluids, got more exercise and washed her pillow case more often. Now I am not saying that some of those suggestions would not be good for her for other reasons, but they aren’t going to make the acne go away, and the acne isn’t her fault.

      • I’m a big believer in visiting the dermatologist for severe acne. Being a teen is hard enough without that. A good doc can help clear it up or at least make it much less problematic fairly quickly, and then help keep it in check and prevent and treat scarring thereafter. Very worthwhile.

          • Ex was on acutane too but I would worry about reports that it can cause depression. I guess you have to monitor it properly.

            • And there are lots of options–other antibiotics, topical prescriptions, birth control for girls. No reason ever to blame them for hormones and genetics, and no reason for them to suffer needlessly. If OTC stuff does not do the trick, strength of character, though nice, sure won’t. I don’t mind helping the derm buy a new sports car or send a kid to college if it means our kids don’t have to deal with the daily distraction and even downright bullying acne can bring. The medicines help, so I am all for them.

          • Accutane was a GOD SEND. Amazing stuff! I was on it back in 1982 when is just got FDA clearance. Unfortunately a few years ago it was removed from the market because of the concern with depression. Also, for women their is a strong likelihood of severe birth defects if you get pregnant. You would either have to go out of the country to get it now or talk to a dermatologist about the next best option.

        • We did take her to a dermatologist and she did get a prescription. It didn’t work. I don’t remember exactly what it was (STBX took her as he was still playing stay at home Dad at the time). I might want to look into that, however, as she does also suffer from depression as well. I think STBX was disappointed that the dermatologist didn’t make all of the same suggestions he did. STBX’s aunt also sent her something that apparently works on celebrities, but not on her.

          Of course she has such nice facial features otherwise that she is beautiful in spite of it. And her weight is just fine too.

          • Both my kids were on Accutane as kids. They’re 25 and 27 now and have beautiful skin. I was hesitant, but I asked the dermo (he was a family friend and my daughter’s basketball coach) if he would put his kids on it, and he said yes, absolutely, in fact his kids WERE on it. So that was enough for me. It was a miracle drug for them.

      • My ex was a scrawny runt with a big nose, flabby lips, weighed 112 lb (I kid you not) AND he had cystic acne. And I didn’t care. I have never cared about looks, but I was good looking and got more than my share of comments when I married him. Thankfully the kids got my skin but my ex used to come out with all the crap your ex is telling your daughter. I’m not sure what would help although his skin has cleared somewhat over the years. Make sure your daughter visits a dermatologist regularly though. And it damn well is genetic – I guess he just doesn’t want to admit it. I was always slim, even after putting on a ton of weight during my pregnancies BUT after menopause I put on 16 kg so I am uncomfortable. Mr. Perfect (aka acne faced skinny runt) looked at me the last time he saw me and said “you’ve put on weight”. I just said “funny that, you still haven’t”.

        • Oh and I have to add, that when I got with my partner after ex left, it was so lovely to have something to cuddle up to at night rather than a bag of bones!

      • This doesn’t cost anthing:

        Try dropping ALL DAIRY (and whey) products.

        If this doesn’t clear up the skin problems, then drop ALL WHEAT (rye, spelt, etc grains).

        If this doesn’t clear up the skin, drop all CORN products and derivitives.

        But usually it is the dairy.

    • ??❤️this! strong, healthy, and character, worthy of deep love. Not the shallow surface kind that comes with Cheaters.

  • I think you are somehow trying to justify his lack of character and his cheating and his devaluing of you to your weight. This is a self-imposed fallacy on your part. He would still be a selfish jerk of low character even if you were a Victorias Secret runway model. There is no correlation or causation between your weight and his value for you or his decision to screw other people. You and your weight are not responsible for how he values you or what he does with his dick.

  • Now that being said, if you still want to lose weight for YOU, I think you should pack up and move out TODAY!

    Breaking up and starting a new life can be a great weight loss program in and of itself.

    I’ve known people who have lost 20 lbs and more during break ups without even trying.

    It’s a win-win LOL 😀

  • I find it interesting that most studies I’ve heard of say married people are happier and healthier, but in most real life situations I have observed the freed chump gets healthier and is much happier. That is my personal experience –the reduction in stress alone was like a miracle cure! Maybe the studies are of Happily Married people. I don’t know many of those either.
    At any rate, I also have a question for the nation — why is it that when we first meet and get to know one another, we seem to take care with our appearance and our courtesy and manners, but once we have a relationship these nice things tend to slip away? I learned long ago to groom and watch my weight and health for my own benefit (to be happy in my body). I don’t think it is NPD that is to blame — I may be wrong — but for me and the women I work with I have observed the men tend to get big bellies and don’t seem to care how they dress, they belch and fart at will, and they never give a compliment, or show any manners or consideration after they achieve “relationship” status. They complain about sex, but they don’t do sexy things (like date night, or taking out the trash without being begged, or opening doors) anymore, They seem to forget about the art of seduction — they knew about it during courtship — what happens???
    This woman is worried about her weight — wonder what her “boyfriend” with an expiration date looks like? My X’s were no prizes, believe me — One was overweight, one would not stay employed, both had ED and watched porn, neither was considerate and both were selfish. Note they did not start out that way — and no doubt I had a defective picker, but I stayed attractive, attentive, and was not selfish, I was employed full time and did the lions share of housework and childcare. What is the deal?

    • Portia —

      I’ve been healthy and slim, energetic all my life. Then I was discarded. I was so sad and lonely, and I ate too many cookies, and I’m getting chubby now.

      I’m mid-50’s. The divorce is in process. I would like to lose 15 – 20 pounds.

  • Having been overweight all of my life, I’m fascinated to hear about people in relationships where they are manipulated or their value is measured by a scale. What if your spouse was in an accident and became a paraplegic – do you dump them because something about their physical self has changed?

    The thing with these cheaters is that they aren’t CONNECTED to us. They don’t concern themselves with things like honesty and loyalty and commitment… the things that root most of us to one another. They expect it from us, but they do not offer it to us. They are more like air plants – they have no root and survive off the discards of those around them.

    I may lose weight, I may not. I’m 50. I’m rediscovering my life. If I meet someone to share the journey, great. But I WILL NOT CHANGE FOR ANYONE – BUT ME.

    • My mom was overweight, and my dad was insane about her. So I am used to seeing larger ladies get love, and thought the ex was very shallow for saying he cheated because I gained weight and that NO ONE would want to have sex with me. Sorry, dude, I’m better in bed than you will ever be, fat, skinny, whatever…

      • One more thing, my first creepy ex husband also told me no one would want me when I was 15 years younger and a perfect size 6. So it’s all just a mind fuck ad they say.

    • Amen ICSTMC!

      They unrealistically expected:

      -our loyalty
      -unconditional love
      -staying thin & young
      -want and have sex on demand (oh and offer variety and keep it new)
      -agree with them
      -bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan.

      Meanwhile they could:

      -watch porn, hire prostitutes, have affairs
      -objectify us, control us and move their goal posts we were expected to happily reach and still not love us
      -gain weight and age
      -be too tired for or disinterested in having sex with us much
      -could disagree with us and use gaslighting, blame shifting or manipulation to put us in our place/control us
      -could start business/have them fail, change jobs if they were unhappy and not have time for domestic chores as they were too busy.

      I don’t miss his yardstick or him. I lost 50 lbs, (with his 250 gone, that’s a serious reduction ?) am doing my best to kick cancer to the curb literally and figuratively and kicked ass in the divorce process while going through cancer surgeries and treatment.

      Never let a lying, cheating, disease carrying goal post mover define or affect your self worth or life.

      Kick the loser out!

  • Hah! The Worm kept saying I was too thin…..trust me, they are never satisfied. Just when you think you have it all figured out he will move the goal post. It’s part of the mind fuck. The Worm would also tell me how lazy I was, but if I added more hours I wasn’t home enough. Then he’d tell me I had no friends, but start arguments if I wanted to meet my friends for dinner or make insinuations when I came home. And no one would ever want to date me.
    It’s part of their sad sick little game to keep you in place.
    It took me less than three months to find someone who accepts me as is…..go figure!
    Dump the garbage and start living life again. It takes a while but it’s so worth it!

  • Well I always said if I could bottle the divorce/break-up diet I would be rich! I guess there are a few exceptions, but most people I know drop weight like a 1 ton wrecking ball when going through divorce. It’s getting rid of garbage and weight… all in one package! BONUS! …

    But wait… there’s more! You’ll also gain a life, self-respect and newfound ability for bullshit translation!

    You can’t get all of that with your current situation! So call today…. your moving up and on day!

    These statements have been tried and tested by the Chump community… you have weight to lose and a life to gain!

    • Due to the stress of the break up I have lost 8 kgs. I have gained energy because my life is not spent arguing with wing nut because he is a malcontent. I am happier and no longer drink alcohol. I was drinking half a bottle of wine a few nights a week in 2016. He was only around 7 nights out of 14 for work.
      I can honestly tell you I look and feel ten years younger. I am doing yoga four times a week which is an amazing physical and emotional release.
      Basically in three months I have become the person he used to nag me about becoming. I was soo worn down with him and his constant neediness. Me me me I I I.
      No help with kids or around the house, glued to his phone.
      House is cleaner, bills are lower. I have more time and my mind feels free from mindfuckery. Love my house and my boys light up my world.
      Him working his ass of to pay debt he got into as cheaters do because they have impulse issues.
      Oh well looks like I’m getting the better deal here.

  • Claire/Wait Watcher,

    Do you know the tree, the Strangler Fig?

    The Strangler Fig seeds are deposited from bird droppings. The Fig immediately implants deep, concrete like roots around a healthy tree. The Fig first starting siphoning the vital nutrients and water way from its target tree.

    It then grows up around the normal strong tree, like a mahogany tree, with an iron like limbs. Like a steel corset ,the healthy tree can never escape the death hug of the Strangler Fig.

    The Strangler kills what it embraces, while they grow like gang busters, always reaching toward the sunlight toward the top of the jungle canopy.

    The Strangler Figs are like these cheaters. You are the unsuspecting Mahogany Tree, being choked by the Fig.

    You wrote to CL:

    ” I’m thinking he will feel more like he lost something valuable (me), if I look the way he likes me to look when I break up with him.”

    Your whole decision tree is prefaced on what HE likes? The cheater? The liar? Mr. 95% Slim Shady?

    The instant he decided to chase other women, or inject insecurity in your relationship, he did not value you. That ship has sailed. You are not valuable to him. We protect, nurture and cherish what we value. That stings like a million hornets. I know.

    You could embark on a manic campaign to be a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model.

    These Narcs are mud puddle shallow. He might be enthralled for a hot minute. But, he would soon seek to triangulate you with some other female. Or say you looked plastic. Or say he wanted someone deeper all along! The ways they can betray you are endless and no holds are barred.

    His presence has so warped your thinking that you are actually playing a game with your life (which is so brief) based on his whimsical preferences…the person who put you in this soul sapping limbo.

    CL always brings a fascinating angle: Why isn’t HE pick me dancing? I never thought of that, either, when I was discarded. But Scuzzy Soul Sucker was not looking into Zoom teeth whitening to win me back. He was bonking a subhuman. With abandon. My pain was not on his radar.

    You, the wronged party, are calculating and putting your life on hold because you state you want to inflict pain on him. That a mere 20 lbs gone will make him weep for you. It won’t. That is not how they are wired.

    Maybe a small part of you believes that if you lose some weight, he will straighten up and fly right. Whether it be for revenge or redemption, your plan is doomed, because you are playing it with an amoral ass wipe. There are no rules in Cheaterville, on the corner of Hell and West Agony Avenue.

    His sickness has hijacked your rationale thought, and it happened to me to. It is part of the trap. Stay with him another 10 years, and you will be locked in a cage of iron, dying…while he eats cake and basks in the sun, like the Strangler Fig.

    The chain saw is running. Start cutting!

  • I had gained 70 pounds over the course of 10 or 12 years, after our kids were born – I struggled for years trying to figure out why I felt so lousy (fatigued/depressed/foggy) and couldn’t lose the weight. My STBX was horribly unsupportive – at one point he actually called me fat and lazy. But he made no secret about how he felt even when he didn’t use those words precisely. The ironic thing is – I finally figured out what was going on with my health and started losing weight and feeling like myself again about 6 months before his “exit affair”. By the time he left me for his AP I had already lost 40 pounds. Five months later – I’m now down a total of 60 pounds. I saw OW recently – funny thing is now I’m “skinnier” than she is. I remember thinking when he first left – “but I wanted you to be proud of me – look at all this weight I lost!”

    I went through all those emotions over this divorce and being “replaced” by a younger woman – feeling unworthy and not good enough. I love what CL wrote to you: “You’ve given him the power of validating your worth.” I did the same thing! But you need to stop! That man does not define your worth! Your character, your choices, your actions – THESE define your worth. YOU are worth more than he will ever see. The hardest thing I’ve had to do thru my divorce is sever that emotional attachment I had to the man who, whether intentional or not, did all that was in him to crush my spirit and take away every ounce of self-worth I had. If I can get to the point of severing such an attachment (and believe me, after a 30-year relationship and 22 years of marriage, I was deeply invested in this man) – I feel like surely YOU can. Just trust that he sucks. And trust that you are strong, and you are worth it. Your child is worth it. Take care of yourself. Don’t worry what the scale says. You will find peace and happiness away from this toxic relationship.

    • DumpedChump
      This is a perfect reply to the post.
      Mine was a nice guy cheater who always spoke well to me and of me and always seemed to love the essential me despite what my weight was doing.
      I was a lot more concerned about my weight than he was.
      Severing that emotional attachment to him who I thought knew and loved the real me is so very hard. It’s a process that is underway but is nowhere near complete but I’m ok with waiting. I’m very patient. The fact that it is hard to sever this attachment shows me I can attach deeply, I can love, I can trust.
      We all might be battered and bruised but there is basically not much wrong with us that a bit of self belief and self confidence wouldn’t fix. Along with that wonky picker.

      • Capricorn, I love that – yes we can and do attach deeply and love and trust! And you’re so right that severing the emotional attachment is a process. My previous comment sounds as though I’m 100% detached but in truth I know I’m still healing even though I’ve come a long way so far. Our cheaters don’t need a forum like this because they lack that ability to love and trust and attach deeply. That’s why we’re all here to begin with! It was never about us not being good enough for them. I think it can be summed up as a difference between a “give” way of living vs. a “get” way of living. I’m nowhere near being 100% giving, but I do know meaningful, loving relationships require a deep level of selflessness.

        Let’s get on with fixing our pickers and focusing on those things and people in our lives that really do matter! Our cheaters do not deserve our emotional energy and in time we will all reach the state of Meh toward them for good.

      • I based my self worth on my Cheater, I helped him reach his career goals sacrificing mine unknowingly at the same time sacrificing myself.
        I trusted that working on his career was work towards our future that we were a team.
        With my encouragement, support and building his self esteem he reached his career goals and is earning the income “we” looked forward to. Despite all my sacrifices, and all the promises made and repeatedly telling me during the lean years to remember “the light at the end of the tunnel” he without remorse abandoned me. X wouldn’t be where he is if it weren’t for me.
        He’s living the life we looked forward to with someone who most likely wouldn’t have had any thing to do with him if she had met him during the early years of our marriage, when we were struggling to survive. He was fat, depressed and unemployed.
        Learning to value myself is a work in progress.

        • brit I really feel for you. I can relate on certain points for sure. When our children were born, we made a mutual decision that I would stay home. But through the years he never appreciated or valued my role. It was always about him – I would listen to all his concerns and issues about work etc yet he never bothered to show interest in me or my welfare. And somehow I “never supported” him. Yet there I was by his side as he bought new cars, changed jobs, decided to move house, took on ridiculously expensive hobbies – whatever it took to try and fill up that black hole as he searched for happiness. Now he is an upper-level executive with a girlfriend (AP) 16 years younger than himself (oh and a sports car, and spray-on tan and expensive designer clothes). And I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for 12 years. He’s chomping at the bit for me to get a job so he can lower his spousal support payments.

          When he first left me for OW, I was beside myself that somehow he was giving the best of himself to OW – after treating me like a door mat (or at the best of times, a security blanket) for 22 years. But you see, he just wanted us both to “be happy” (insert tears here). Funny enough, he recently admitted he’s in fact still searching. Still not actually happy. Imagine my surprise. They never change.

          Try not to focus on the money and “success” that you helped him to build. Most likely, without you to lift him up and support him, it will all start to crumble. Even if he continues in monetary success, he’s still the same old turd you were married to. He’s not suddenly a better person. BUT, on the upside, you now have a chance at true happiness away from that cheater. Trust that you are worth it. Trust that you have great happiness in your future. Learn from the past and look forward to your new life! Oh – and that wealth that you helped to build – that is half yours, so I hope you have a good lawyer and get all that you deserve from that turd.

  • When I went to therapy after we separated, I was feeling rejected and had low self-esteem. I remember telling my therapist about a personality test I had recently taken and justifying the rejection based on the result of the test (basically trying to make sense of the craziness).

    She interrupted my defeatist spiel and said, “No! That’s not how it works. You shouldn’t have to change who you are for the person you’re with. You are fine as you are. You need to be nicer to you.”

    That snapped me back to reality. And it made me angry at my cheater for making me feel less-than.

    Regardless of your physical features or your personality, marriage is about trust and respect. When that is lost, move on.

  • From a practical point of view, you should dump him first and then lose the weight.

    1. When I was contemplating getting braces as an adult, I wondered if I should stop smoking first or get the braces first. Quitting smoking was goin really slowly. But as soon as I got those braces, I wanted to quit really badly. And did so with no further ado.

    2. Most women agree that they eat more when they have a partner around.

    3…….. and exercise less when they have a partner around.

    4. there are lots of sports activities that will introduce you to other men…….

    what on earth are you waiting for?!

  • Dear Wait,

    There is no amount of weight loss that will make any difference. My XH is a lifetime fatty, and I was always slender. I gained weight in recent years, and now have lost 40 lbs. My weight has made absolutely no difference in his adultery. He cheated on me when I was thin and cheated on me when I was overweight. Now that I have lost weight, he still tells that I am fat and I don’t measure up to his affair partners. (His APs are hysterically butt ugly). Don’t think about your weight. LEAVE.

    • “hysterically butt ugly” is so good.

      Scuzzy’s OW looks like a walking rotted stump come to life, so I am with you, Sister. It is not about weight, looks or age. It is about…CAKE! But not the good kind. Not the kind with butter creme frosting.

      The kind with “lifelong fatties” (Hahaha! Back at them, Scuzzy looks like a potato famine victim) who think they have the right to act on every feeling that skeeters across their lizard brains.

    • Amen! My ex was skinny and athletic when I met him, and over the years he gained a tremendous amount of weight. My weight has always been in the normal range. The last few years of marriage I had to spend much effort catering to his “diet du jour.” As a former vegetarian, I couldn’t stomach his Atkins diet obsession–so much meat! My weight was the last thing on my mind when I left him, but I certainly enjoy eating my “poverty diet” of beans, veggies and rice. I rarely weigh myself, but at a doctor’s appointment, they forced me to get weighed, and I was 15 pounds lighter. My daughters and I haven’t seen him in person in about a year, but I understand he is still overweight and possibly on blood pressure meds.

      Don’t worry about the weight–if it’s that important to you, you can still lose it after you’ve lost your cheater. And the stress of being in a bad relationship can’t be good for your health!

  • Here’s some irony for you. My chump experience was a brutal discard, so he wouldn’t have noticed whether I lost weight or started wearing an eye patch and traveling with a parrot on my shoulder. But still as I worked to get in better health and top physical shape, I felt that becoming my best self was in fact my best revenge. Lost the 20-25 pounds my doctor recommended, got a new wardrobe, updated hair, etc. And certainly I looked more rested and happy (once I got over that part after DDay when I looked like I had crawled out of the crypt). And every day I felt like he would be “sorry” he lost awesome, pulled together me. But truth is, the (former) MOW was and still is overweight and his new Schmoopie is short, considerably overweigh and not all that attractive (although word on the street is that she’s a good person and therefore likely to get her heart broken). Jackass always said XW#1 was stupid and lacked ambition and XW#2 was a fat harpy. There’s a certain type of male narcissistic cheater that actually prefers women to be a bit overweight, to lack self-confidence, to be less educated, to make less money, to have fewer life options. Or at least they need to tell themseves that they are better than their female partner and some random OW is an upgrade. @DumpedChump, if the woman starts to lose weight or goes back to school or goes for a promotion at work, this Jackass will undermine her.

    Remember, what narcissists need from us is narcissistic supply. That means they extract something from us that makes them feel like an actual person. Maybe some of these Jackasses need a supermodel for the right type of kibbles, but most of the time they want to feel superior. So the chump pays a price for self-improvement.

    I regret every second I spent even thinking about what he thought of me or would ever think of me. It would be more useful to ask what the TV remote thinks of me.

    • WOW!

      ^^^
      1000+

      “There’s a certain type of male narcissistic cheater that actually prefers women to be a bit overweight, to lack self-confidence, to be less educated, to make less money, to have fewer life options.”

      LAJ- Listen to this. Your insights are eerie.

      I was sitting on the couch with Scuzzy, and it was all going to hell. In a moment of just sheer sorrow, I grabbed his hand(and he is missing some of his fingers and I still ADORED him) and said:

      Why? Why would you let someone that low class and bad in our life? Why? WHY??? Tears streaming down my face.

      He stared into space and we did not speak for a while. He then said:” I don’t know…I don’t know why I go around these dummies.”

      A rare moment of honesty.

      Massive Gross Alert: In that same session, he licked tears and mucus off my face from my hysterical crying. I am sorry…I had to divulge it. It just shows how disordered they are. I hope no one was eating.

  • Some people are delusional.

    I dated a man ten years older for a few months last year,his true colors started to show and I dropped him like a hot potato.

    We met in person but I saw his Christian Mingle profile and burst out laughing. He’s looking for a physically and emotionally healthy woman yet he is neither-a good 50-70 lbs. overweight (his doctor suggested weight management and pre-diabetes classes),has sleep apnea and wears a c.p.a.p. machine,suffers from e.d. and needs hearing aids but procrastinates about seeing an audiologist.

    On the emotional front-learned that he cheated on wife #1 with prostitutes after his firstborn arrived (got arrested as part of a sting operation) and wife #2 posted the following on her Facebook page when their divorce was finalized “When the wrong people leave your life,the right things start happening” Wife #2 has vulvar cancer and he claims her first husband infected her due to his cheating…whatever.

    I’m so glad I insisted he wear a condom the few times we had sex. I tossed that rotten fish back in the sea.

    I know a couple of women who lost weight once they extricated themselves from abusive marriages. My cousin was married to a real charmer-he liked to scream in her face. She is lighter and much happier now and her ex “Mr. Business Executive-I make all the money in this marriage” keeps packing on the pounds. One of my mother’s friends was married to a serial philanderer who finally died of pancreatic cancer after fifty plus years of marriage but not before wreaking havoc in the lives of his wife and three children. A real narc-after his lucrative career in advertising he pursued acting and went so far as to get a facelift in his late seventies. His wife stayed for the lifestyle but was obese/morbidly obese for most of their marriage and developed fibromyalgia. Since her husband died ? She has lost a lot of weight and doesn’t suffer very many symptoms anymore. The end of her life is going much more smoothly without the abusive albatross.

  • After dday I was throwing up, didnt eat, cried All the time, stayed inside mostly and guess what, I lost all kinds of weight. Severe depresion does that. The dumbass told me I was looking hot. Utterly ridiculous. So if I had Cancer and went to chemo, lost weight Id be more sexy. 1+1=3 What? Guess what he cheated again even with the new thinner me. Btw he is a fat ass!

  • This brings back memories for me. My husband had an affair because I’m overweight! To be fair he did warn me before hand that I had to loose weight but alas, I didn’t, and neither did I think he would be unfaithful but he went and had a 5 year affair with a married mother of 5 kids! Still, she was slim so that’s alright then!

  • When I finally got divorced, I lost 310 pounds of mean, ugly, selfish fat! Ironically, my XH started cheating after I had lost weight and outshone him as a parent & in my career. He resented my success. A big weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

  • I have always felt like the 20 extra pounds I have carried around was somehow holding me back. Like losing the weight would be both the key (and the evidence) that my “Best Self” was unlocked. Like this “Best Self” would be shinny and obvious to me and everyone…especially my husband. Like once this “Best Self” was revealed, everything would come together and I would be unstoppable.

    Post DDay, I am on the path to unstoppable and to my Best Self, but losing 20 lbs wasn’t the key. (I did lose it once….instead of noticing how skinny fabulous I was, he simply noticed other things to complain about (and then went back to complaining about my weight when I regained it). The key was finally realizing that the payoff he was after wasn’t that I would fix what he was complaining about. The payoff was that I was downgraded in order for him to feel superior and to justify his cheating. I could never be my Best Self under those conditions, 20 lbs or not.

    • ^^^
      “The payoff was that I was downgraded in order for him to feel superior and to justify his cheating. I could never be my Best Self under those conditions, 20 lbs or not.”

      NextTimeMan-Bot-they will come up with an endless list of complaints to excuse themselves and justify their cheating.
      How often do you hear of a cheater reading books and researching online on how to save their marriage?

  • “I have control issues in general. Somewhere I feel like I need to figure this out …”

    There’s a difference between being controlling and making sense of the unknown. We’re trying to control chaos … and sometimes that chaos is insidious caused by lying and cheating or them just being an assclown, you don’t know it’s happening, there’s a disconnect but you can’t put your finger on it. In my opinion, that can make you more and more anxious, needing to find balance. It’s not the same as being “controlling”. Us chumps analyze everything … wanting someone to act normal is absolutely alright, but we beat ourselves up about whether we were too demanding, too “controlling”. Don’t beat yourself up.

    And just to weigh in here (pun intended), my ex left me, all 120 pounds of me, for a ditzy, boozing broad with money. She’s got big droopy boobs. I lost 180 pounds, and he gained 200 … each!!!

  • I guess I go against the grain a bit here, but I think we make our list of ducks to line up before leaving, or even confronting – and getting fit/healthy is part of that. I had those same feelings of doing it for revenge, but that’s really just the bonus (if indeed the cheater even pays attention or cares).

    I tried almost 2yrs of reconciliation,but the whole time I was building plan B, which I called “Me First”. Putting $ aside, getting everything in order & taking care of myself after the devastation. When I’d work my ass off at the gym I’d keep saying it in over & over my head, “For Me” – it helped push me thru when I wanted to quit.
    When cheater ex took a shine to my results & voiced his approval, I made damn sure he knew it wasn’t for him. This,in fact, became his gripe at our next counsing session. Poor Sausage, wifey didn’t get pretty for him. (Nevermind that his fitness crusade years prior was all about his sexploits)

    Ultimately we have to move our own goal posts & line up those ducks for a confident fresh start. It’s ok (IMHO) to make appearance one of them. BUT, you have to meet that goal just like the others. No waiting for the right time or for the 5% chance -which is total bullshit- to prove itself out.
    His feelings/ reaction are secondary. You must make your list & everything on it has ti be done FOR YOU.

  • I think the worst part of his affair was the fact she was older than me, not a drop of class in her, no personality, and very unattractive. I was dumbfounded. But she worshipped him. So now I get it.

  • My ex actually told me that my outward appearance was directly related to how I felt about him.

    I’m 5’10”..i got a bit jiggly at 160 and he whipped that phrase out on me as he was disappointed I wasn’t looking like a model for him. The same guy that would get extremely chubby over the winter as he was on unemployment.

    My appearance was directly related to how HE felt about ME..not the other way around.

  • I’m not sure if this question will be taken seriously, but I ask it seriously. Here goes.

    Is being alone worse than being with a cheater, if by alone you mean something like “alone for at least the next 20 years”?

    Part of me thinks that despite my (wayward) partner’s flaws, the alternative is not to be with anyone at all. Not all of us are blessed enough to look like magazine material. And even if that’s unrealistic, I know what my past experience with the opposite sex has been–desperate. I had to work my ass off just to get the (wayward) one I have. Like the song says, I took what I could get. Not everyone can get the perfect spouse, just like not everyone can get the perfect job. A lot of people will say that this is just low self-esteem, but that’s bull: if you’re incompetent, employers will not hire you or keep you for long if they do. If you’re unattractive, the opposite sex won’t even notice you.

    Whether I try to convince myself that I’m really a catch (ignoring the reactions of others in the past) or not, the reaction of the opposite sex will be the same regardless. The vast majority of people either find you attractive, or they do not. Last I heard Susan Boyle was still a virgin even after all of her fame. And hitting the gym didn’t really have any effect on interest from the opposite sex; I’ve gotten negative comments about my appearance from the opposite sex even when I was in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and the person making the comment was not.

    So please don’t throw platitudes my way about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and just stick with your thoughts about whether people should stay or go when they have no other options (or might have other options, but would have to work full-time just trying to find someone else that would reciprocate their interest–assuming that we rule out trying to date someone that you don’t find attractive yourself, which can only end in disaster). Does a cheater, like old age, beat the alternative?

    • For me being alone is freedom and can’t even be compared to living a life like a hostage of someone who won’t even think twice sticking a knife on my back while I sleep.

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