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The Ones Who Just Leave

A lot of the advice I give here is on no contact, or assessing the sincerity of a cheater’s remorse, or of decoding the mindfuckery of a cheater after discovery. But what about the ones who just go without a fight? Who just abandon? Who never come back?

There’s no need to go no contact because they never contact you. Instead, you live with another kind of mindfuck — you weren’t even worth fighting for. One day you’re living in what you thought was a secure reality with this person, the next day they’re gone without explanation. Without remorse.

Maybe you got a blank stare. A vague excuse. A lawyer’s letter.

As someone who got operatic remorse, crocodile tears, and a stalking freakazoid who wouldn’t leave me alone, I want to be flippant and tell you guys you got the better end of the deal — the cheater who just left. The cheater who didn’t play you for more D-Days, who didn’t toy with your heart, and get a kibble contact high off your grief. Nope, you got a tidy little sociopath who recognized that the jig was up and it was time to move on.

Which is worse, really? Hard to say and this isn’t the pain Olympics. But I do have some thoughts on the abandoning cheaters who just go poof.

1. Take it as a perverse compliment. Seriously, all you people who were abandoned, I want you to reframe this. Your cheater knew they couldn’t keep chumping you. They sensed your strength, and being the lazy, cheating fucks that they are, they needed an easier source of kibbles. You weren’t going to be that person. You were going to put up some resistance. They anticipated that and took the path of least resistance — a cowardly exit.

I can see how you would take it as you didn’t mean anything to them. You weren’t worth so much as a goodbye, but that’s not it. Disordered people don’t connect. You never meant to them what they meant to you.

They knew that they couldn’t keep extracting value from you with the same ease. And that’s because you’re not as chumpy as your average chump. Manipulators suss you well — they assessed your moxie, and they scampered away.

2. These people are really lazy. Cake is so nice when cake is undiscovered. All the control! All the perks! But once that nice situation is blown to pieces by the truth… fuck. They need to do some mental calculus. Work really, really hard at mindfucking you back into complacency, do the “sorry” kabuki theater of long emotional talks and therapy, give you some kibbles for a change to win you back… or… they could just exit for their soul mate schmoopie, find another hypotenuse, and have the joys of undiscovered cake again.

Which is easier?

3. These people are really entitled. You don’t deserve an explanation because it was never about you. Surely, you must know that the Most Important Thing Is Their Happiness? They’re happier over here in this new place. You? You have a mess to clean up? You’re heart broken? God, that’s a buzz kill. They don’t have to listen to you whinge. They’ll just set your volume to “mute.”

4. These people are really cold. Not that the operatic remorse, crocodile tear cheaters aren’t cold too, but the abandoning cheaters are polar-vortex-Lake-Michigan-in-February-ice-ice-baby COLD. I know you see this walking out with no remorse as a big fuck you, a huge rejection of the wonderfulness that is you, but that would be assuming that they give a shit. They do not. It’s not personal. These people are COLD. You mistook this ice cube for a human being. It happens. Maybe you bred with the ice cube. I’m sorry.

But they seem so warm and human for other people!

Yes, of course they do. See item #2. They need new undiscovered sources of cake. They will appear all nice and human-like until their cake situation is restored. Then what does the new person get? Laziness, entitlement, and ice ice cold baby.

What do you get?

A new, improved cheater-free life.

This column ran previously.

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  • Taking a detached, distant, experienced view of this… I would happily have swapped my situation. That’s now.

    But I remember thinking at the time, that my X was actually looking to leave with her fuckbuddy…. If they could have done it. And it scared the shit out of me that this POS could just one day turn on a dime (so far as her relationship with me), show up and tell me it was over. It was actually one of the reasons I didn’t stay with her – because she could be THAT cold.

    But it was terrifying at the time.

    Now – omg … I am so happy to have her gone and just wish I could completely remove her stain on my existence (we have kids… and memories).

    But I really feel for people who don’t get to go through the motions of working out their cheater is a total fuck not worthy of you. Seeing them live makes it easier to see their shitiness.

    • Yes. This is something that I had always struggled with — the fact that I didn’t get to “go through the motions” and have more time to process what was happening and ultimately, who he really was. It all happened so quickly. We were together ten years. Then he disconnected completely, and never looked back. I used to continually replay the few short weeks from D-day to NC — that’s all I had to go on.

      That said, I am coming up on three years since the divorce and I can say with genuine honesty that life has taken such a wonderful turn — thoughts of him are very far and in-between. I love Meh. So much.

      For those of you who aren’t at meh yet, YOU WILL GET THERE. I promise.

      • Thank you Gia. I look forward to Meh. It’s only been 2 months since x left with no explanation. Luckily 5 days later I found evidence of 4 year affair which made it easier in a way. At least there was a reason. It is always better to know the truth no matter how hard. Of course preparations had been underway. Telling his family we hadn’t been getting on which wasn’t true. Playing the victim saying I kicked him out which wasn’t true. Anyway I have plenty of friends and family so I don’t need his. He doesn’t have many of either. Presents as ‘a nice guy’ but now I realise not very deep. I have had a lot of support and am determined to get to meh and be happy.

        • Mine did the same 18 months ago. He had been prepping our mutual friends (on his side) and family with his tales of woe… how he was at “breaking point” in our relationship (news to me)… must have been hard working maintaining a double life, poor diddums. After it was all out in the open, he had the audacity to tell people our “break up was for the best.” Break up? You had a 2 year affair and walked out cold when I uncovered it! Honestly so happy to be past the mindfuck. His constant need to be the “nice guy” when his SOUL is not nice. Not one bit. He demonstrated that. He was a sad sack of shit. Not yet at meh, but everyday getting stronger and more resilient (and mightier).

          • X did the prepping with our mutual friends, his family, with his sorrowful tales, he just “couldn’t take it anymore” and had tried everything, sadly I was uncooperative.
            He played the victim well, his suffering from my instability and mental illness was finally coming to a close.
            He suffered in silence all these years and never thought to tell me?
            Who gave him the authority to diagnose my having a mental illness?
            All blatant lies and insinuations, half truths, twisting stories, he’s full of shit.
            X has a “nice guy,” image, claims to be a man of integrity.
            He’s a sad sausage, woe is me.
            I’d be much further to meh if he wasn’t bringing me back to court to reduce my support, claiming disability, not paying my full support. Relentless torment.

            • X claims to never have been happier since leaving. I’m wondering who he’s trying to convince,

              • Brit and Feelings,

                Same thing here….Ex told his nephew last weekend, “I have never been as happy as I am right now.” Funny thing is, he said that to me when we met 11 years ago and were married a year after. There are no words for the narcissists and disordered of this world. So happy to have moved on to meh and wish that feeling for everyone who has lived through this trauma/drama.

              • I have actually said this to my therapist. How can ALL of our stories have so much in common? Like I told my son: I ALWAYS knew there was just something “not right” about him. Just never knew that when you put it all together it equals Sociopath! I am not meh yet. Hoping to get there someday.

        • Georgie — Yes, the narrative to their family/friends must fit in with the “nice guy” image they’re trying so desperately to uphold. I was heartbroken when he told his family we were secretly unhappy — all lies. We had just gone on two romantic weekends that same month. It’s pathetic really. You are building a new life. Many good things to come. And remember — the people that matter will know the truth.

          I’m so happy you found CL. Chump Nation is in your corner, always. xx

    • Same situation here. Mine had replacement lined up and they moved in together 1 month after divorce. Would have been sooner but I had a good attorney that put no overnight visits in temporary order. Karma bus has already hit btw. He didn’t ever work and was in rehab last I heard. Hope you get an awesome life to make up for lost time!

    • “But I really feel for people who don’t get to go through the motions of working out their cheater is a total fuck not worthy of you. Seeing them live makes it easier to see their shitiness”

      I think this statement is really important and often gets missed. Part of recovering from all this whether you’re dealing with a serial cheater or abandoner is fully embracing “trust that they suck”. This is really hard to do when you don’t get to see them play out their shitiness, lies, stupid choices, asinine justifications in plain view.

      It’s a real leap when someone hits the eject button and goes NC on you to not internalize that and think you must be the worst person in the world for someone to do that. I’m still really working on this nearly 4 years post abandonment and slowly getting to the place where I’m starting to see it says more about him than me.

      • The other end of the shit sandwich is when it’s your fault and you drove them to it. That’s me, no sorry, no tears, just you should look at yourself and how it was my fault for not meeting his needs.
        How does, fuck off sound!

        • @LadyB – exactly what mine claimed too. Because I was so awful and did not meet his needs and MAKE HIM HAPPY the only recourse was to abandon house, home, hearth, wife, child, pets, finances, etc.

          • It told me that he was leaving me for the AF in order to be “his most vibrant self” and that it was impossible to be that with me … all my fault, you see. I was such a downer! But the AF. Oh! They made them feel ALIVE. VIBRANT. Yes, lying and fucking around is sooooo vibrant! hahah. Hilarious expect it was hell on earth at the time.

            He said that he couldn’t possibly talk to me… but upon developing this relationship with the AF realised, “it didn’t have to be that way” (PRAISE! All my fault again… god darn it. I am really am awful arent I? Lucky he got away. Poor sausage).

            He said that I took away his agency and disempowered him… projection much? How about my agency not to be in a polygamous/affair relationship? Every time he had sex with me over the 2 years of his affair I consider a form of sexual abuse. I did NOT consent to that arrangement. He did NOT have my permission to do that to me. I thought I was having sex with my partner in a long-term monogamous relationship. I wasn’t. I was the one who had my agency denied. But NC changed that, motherfucker.

            Him walking out on me, our house, our furniture, our bills, our friends, everything was the greatest blessing in disguise.

            • I agree with you NeverlLookingBack. Consensual sex requires *Informed* consent. If one doesn’t realize that one’s partner has been sharing the “marital tackle” (as Aeronaut humorously put it yesterday), then informed consent is not possible. I, for one, would have chosen NOT to have sex with my X had I known about his affairs.

              Thus, I consider every time we had sex the last 8 years of the marriage (post-gradwhore affair) to have been rape. (And to be honest, it was probably rape from the 3rd month of the marriage to serial cheater, given what I now know.)

              • NeverLookingBack & Tempest, thank you so much for putting into words issue I have been struggling with. I felt so sick but wasn’t able to word it.
                I don’t really know if Marvin Merchants cheated me or not, but I know that he quietly blamed his erectile dysfunction on me, pretended to be loving and caring boyfriend, and had sex with me anyway (and abused my love and kindness in many other ways). It makes my stomach turn when I type it. What a gross and immoral thing to do, these narcs truly USE people.

            • Vibrant self?? I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I suppose I was judged by X as not being vibrant. When he was with me he didn’t feel “butterflies.”
              Were not in 8th grade.., X told me he looked around at other couples and they seemed so much in love unlike us. I didn’t understand what he was talking about.
              I assume he was comparing his feeling butterflies with his exciting and new AP to me the the dullard he’s been married to for 20 years.
              Maybe I’m naive or out of touch but really how often do you see middle aged married couples acting like teenagers and feeling butterflies? in public? I don’t think it’s anything I’d care to watch.

              • Glad you could laugh. It’s pretty wanky, huh. I can laugh too… now I’m not in the thick of it!

                Feeling pretty vibrant myself actually, living free of a lying, manipulating, abusive cheating spouse!

                It was mid-30s trying to be early 20s… going out drinking late, taking drugs etc. I didn’t live that lifestyle, but I never told him how to live his life. I didn’t judge him if he wanted to binge drink, smoke weed, take ecstasy. I thought if that’s what he needs to do because he never did that as a young person. He lived with his mother until 26 and I was his first girlfriend. Man, I know ho wto pick them huh. The emotionally stunted dude – I’ll have him!

                Anyway, that’s how he got away with affairs for so long. Coming home at 3am and I wouldn’t blink an eye… I was secure. I didn’t need to worry. He can do what he likes and I’M THE COOL SPOUSE IE. CHUMP CITY.

                You’re right, we’re not in 8 grade. But what you said made me realise that something about these cheaters brains/emotional regulation is developmentally stunted.

                It’s like they don’t go through the typical developmental processes emotionally and socially to mature into adults.

                They are teenagers in adult bodies/faces. Just in the sense that they are so selfish.

                And that’s kind of being mean to teenagers, because not even all teenagers go around destroying other people’s lives with reckless abandon

            • Same shit different day with these creeps. Mine used to harass me for sex. I wasn’t a prude but it was like some weird stress release for him. Some nights when I was dog tired, working Mum here with partner / father that did fuck all around the house I was afraid to go to sleep as the harassing and then the arguing would start which made me want to have sex less. How the fuck I put up with it I don’t know.
              Every morning he would just have his hands all over me not in a gentle way in a weird needy way,. Soo fucking don’t miss that. I wake up in peace and hear the birdies in the trees.
              I look back now and it was sexual intimation all the ranting, so confusing. What a fucker.

              • Oh and yeah his cheating is all my fault and one day I will understand that, keep walking fucker.

        • Raising my hand. I was apparently in the “sucked as a wife” group so Hannibal Lecher had NO choice but to cheat with myriad students. His last email to me encouraged me to own my part in the demise of the marriage.

          Numeral Uno predictor of a serial cheater? Blameshifting. That’s who they are.

          • I also received the verdict that I “made” him miserable and “made” him serially cheat (of course he hid those little details from me and pretended all was well– until he was discovered and challenged. Then the rage and blameshifting and re-writing history began.

            I couldn’t MAKE him put his socks in the hamper instead of the floor right next to the hamper! I certainly don’t have the power to make him cheat, lie, blame me, abandon…. or any of the other things he accuses me of.

            • We’re magical don’t you know?
              Somehow I made The Worm miserable before I left and I continue to ruin his life now that I’ve been gone for four months.
              We have skills beyond comprehension! Supreme life ruiners!?

          • OMG, Tempest, mine actually said same, I needed to “own my part”. What was that, said I? Cooking, cleaning, buying the house; working full time up until the day I delivered our daughter (he was cheating the entire pregnancy I found out); handling all the finances????

            He actually said to me a couple years after DDay, you know, you need to treat me with respect!
            I LAUGHED OUT LOUD IN HIS FACE, “are you kidding me??? I will NEVER respect you nor treat you with respect, you destroyed everything and BLAMED ME!” You essentially tossed the kids, the house, our life and financial security out of the moving truck driving away. Right, my part.

            Yes, I was the bad wife, actually said “you didn’t appreciate me, you never thanked me for taking out the trash”. Hey asshole, you never thanked me for that C Section!!!!

            God, the level of insanity in these jerks has no end.

            • Same story for me Patience, cluster b fucktards! I feel for my kids having to deal with a soulless shell of a narc father.

            • I thanked mine often — for working so hard, doing menial crap around the house, etc. Near the end, he raged that I didn’t appreciate him. I said, “What about all of those “thank yous”? His response: “It didn’t sound like you meant it.”

              So, even with something so ridiculous, the goalposts perpetually move.

              And, your point about the C-Section is spot-on. The entitled ones demand insane levels of appreciation for simply acting responsible on occasion, but it’s a burden to ask for any level of appreciation from them.

              I’m at the point that I genuinely know–and feel–that life is better without asshat, but coming here helps to reiterate that fact. I love this tribe. 🙂

              • Ah, yes, so much better without them, but damn if it didn’t take too long to actually feel and believe it. Now, when he says Dec 1 that he has no money for child support, I just smile and say, Ok. No reaction to the taunt. The money actually appears 2 days later. I have learned, believe me, the hard way, that no reaction is the only thing they understand. Once I stopped spinning like a top every time he pulled the string, he stopped pulling the string. Pick up kids, smile, drive away. Drop off kids, smile, drive away. No emotion, no cares, really don’t care enough to get angry anymore, at anything. It’s lovely!

                funny thing now is the kids come home and tell me about the new toy; church going and trying to “save” him, trying to get him to stop smoking (hahaha), start doing yoga (belly laugh), eating at the kitchen table…kids had to clear it off of his crap before she arrived; stop drinking soda, start riding a bike. I told my son, well, it probably won’t work out, you gotta take em as you find em and she’s already trying to change him so, hang on. He laughed and said ya, mom, I thought the same thing. We never eat at the table! Sad sac. At least my son can laugh about it and not cry like he used to. Bastards.

            • He handled finances, but here is the thing, he didn’t. All unknown to me. But guess who’s fault it is? Mine. Seriously. I will own up to my mistakes. I trusted, I enabled and I spackled. I married an immoral, idiot that can’t own his truth. He lied and cheated on me. I no longer need him to realize how worthless he is but, seriously, pay your bills and the money you owe me. Amazing how much he likes being the victim. So grateful to be divorced. So thankful for chump lady and chump nation. Until you live it, you can’t possibly fathom the mindset of these horrible exes. We are all mighty and have a much brighter future in store.

            • After my sixty year old ex moved to his mother’s, within TWO days I was told that “all I did was cook, go to work, go to bed early…. after raising two successful sons (three if you count the ex), keeping a beautiful house, and never complaining. Wow, am I bad. My exMIL said that I “had a bad house” and everytime she was with my ex he told her how unhappy he was. Really on the Monday before he left (on Thursday), after sex, he told me how “hot” I was. He also left notes that said “it’s about us”, “let’s make this work” and “maybe we can date”! Talk about royal mindfuck! (And yes…out there, he is such a nice guy!)

          • I’m in the same bad wife club, I didn’t appreciate his emptying the trash. He spent hours at the gym to “look good for me” and I never complimented his physique. Being the chump that I am I started to thank him for everything he did and complimented his physique. I failed, not good enough, I was only patronizing him.
            I also did all the cooking, cleaning, shopping for groceries, volunteered at the schools, took care of all our appointments, car maintenance called repairman if needed.
            Took care of holidays, birthdays, his family for these occasions and when they came to visit made sure they had the food they preferred wouldn’t want to upset that already miserable group.
            X? he spent 3 hours at the gym every morning working out to look good for me.
            If I were to ask for help for anything, his response would be, Brit, you’re never happy..,
            are you bitching again??
            I was happy, I just asked for help taking out the garbage or changing a light bulb.
            Evidently these were cause for his leaving.
            In retrospect he was planning his exit far in advance. The angry outbursts over nothing, the somber face, the huge sighs, the forlorn looks, pouting, the dark cloud that seemed to enter the room when he did. I felt like I was living with teenage girl with a hormonal imbalance.
            I’d ask if anything was bothering him, he’d respond with a huge sigh.., looking out into the distance, no, why?

            • Brit, so true. In case anyone wonders why the wife didn’t know the husband was cheating, it’s because they are usually too damn busy to breathe, much less “spy” on their husband. Especially if they have children. I was doing everything myself. The work of husband and wife. Father and mother.

              • I was doing the work of husband, wife , father and mother. He was too busy thinking of himself. He never thought of doing things with his son or think of things to do around the house or look around at what needed to be done.
                If I were to suggest helping me with something such as helping me carry groceries inside, he’d say looks like you have it under control, or if I were to ask for help with moving something heavy from one room to another his response was always “not right now” I’d wait a couple weeks and ask again, then he’d say, I told you I would do it, just not right now.
                I made him cheat by asking again when he told me two weeks ago he would move the box, he’d say “I only wanted to see him jump through hoops” this triggered his cheating, “we weren’t getting along,” those were the only disagreements we had and they weren’t arguments. I accepted what he said, I knew better than to waste my time arguing. I was making all the effort while lowering my expectations as he increased his expectations of me.

              • Wow, Brit, maybe we were married to the same guy. He did nothing other than go to work, which apparently consisted of texting whore, emailing whore, treating whore to lunches and dates, and of course Quick Visits on the way home. All the while acting like doing anything for or with his wife and child was just too much effort.

            • Gees you just summed up by 2016 living with him before I found out about his ongoing affair, living with a moody teenager who threw little fits of rage and had his iphone glued to his head. Not missing that shit.

            • I didn’t do all the cooking or the cleaning as you guys are saying here. He did a fair bit of it. I did a fair bit of it too. He always said he loved to cook after work as it was “relaxing” and his “passion.” He would cook whilst watching Masterchef. And yes, with cleaning, he did do a bit of it.

              I would initiate conversation about sharing chores, expectations of timeframes, how detailed etc. He said he was happy to do it whilst I was studying full time for another career. I was happy for him to do it, as a female we seem to always be lumped with unpaid domestic duties? A guy that’s happy to clean? I thought i had hit the JACKPOT.

              However, this detail was used against me… as I discovered poor sausage had been controlling the narrative and writing to friends about how he was “doing all the cooking and cleaning” and was “at breaking point.” Boo hoo. How come he never came to me to talk about it? Oh that’s right. I’m such a monster, he couldn’t possible have an adult conversation. Fucker.

              On another level, if I had of been doing all the cooking, and some of the cleaning – as he did – no one would have blinked an eye. Because I’m a woman. But a man… a man doing these things? PROPOSTEROUS.

              • Wow Brit, I love “I was making all the effort while lowering my expectations as he increased his expectations of me.” I now realize that I got to the point where I had NO EXPECTATIONS!

            • Wow. Just wow. If anything helps me trust that he’s a grade a narc who sucks, it’s this post. I got the same moody silences, the same whining that i didn’t appreciate him, the same anger if I dared to ask for help with anything. When he left, i was blindsided. It wasn’t until two months later that i found out he was cheating with a mutual friend… And he was sooo angry that i had discovered the messages he threatened me with legal action. Dick.

              • Things we don’t miss:
                1) The moody silences… God. It used to do that to me for 3-4 days at a time. Chumpy me used to excuse it’s behavior because “he was tired” and “busy at work.”
                2) Asking “what’s wrong?” and being told “nothing” but then… see 1).
                3) Our appreciation & love & support never being enough… they are black holes that can never be filled.
                4) Being blindsighted by cheating and double lives. That’s one hell of a fuck fest, ain’t it?! What do they say… ‘whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ 😉
                5) Being threatened. Legally. Physically. Financially. In terms of our reputations. Full stop.

            • difference for me: I would say what’s wrong, and his response would be, “I was much happier right before I got home”

              your POS sounds just like my POS!! Just can’t wait to get past the pain, heart ache and confusion. I had the emotional roller coaster I’m still on. love this blog!

          • I just got that last month…2 years after the separation/divorce. And douche is already married to someone else, but you still want to rehash our shit, wanting me to own up to my part of our marital problems?

            What difference does it make? Shouldn’t you be focusing on child bride #2????

          • Ew. I just called it “mine.” No… not mine. The person that I thought they were was a lie. That’s not my fault. Nothing about that thing or that experience was mine. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.. susceptible to con artists.

      • Chiral
        Not sure if this will help but my dad was a guy who abandoned my mother and two kids. We found out indirectly (when he didn’t come home from work) that he had got a job and moved to Germany with the OW who he later married (18m after divorce). She had abandoned her husband and two boys. That was it. They worked abroad for years then moved back. I went off to Uni but my brother, his wife and their kids, and one of her sons, his wives and kids (chaotic life) saw them quite often for years. Then as they approached retirement they just upped and left again.
        I have seen my dad possibly 20 times in 40 years, my longest time without contact 14 years. He is just not wired right and as CL says these people are ice cold. The confusing thing is when you are with him he is charming and fun and twinkly a life and soul kind of guy.
        It helps me to realise that he is like a person with no memory or ability to form them. If you are in front of him he switches on and becomes this person, if you are not in front of him he switches off. His OWife is the same. Life and soul -flick- nothing.
        I can’t deny it doesn’t hurt sometimes that I got the crappy robot dad but there is nothing I can do to change it. What I can do is live my life fully and make it as happy as I can.
        Now my STBX has revealed himself to be a narc of a different flavour I suddenly have an advantage. Yes 22 years of being married to someone who could cheat was not great to realise but I know I have to accept who he is. I survived one narc (in fact my mom was one too!) so that’s two I have survived, three should be a walk in the park! If you can survive shitty parents you can survive anything.

        I think it’s difficult to accept who they are regardless of if they go suddenly or hang about making trouble.

        I really hope you are helped by today’s posts and can recognise and value your worth rather than outsourcing it to someone who clearly doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Be mighty. ❤️

        • Thank you Capricorn for your post. Your description of your dad really hit home for me as my Ex also presented as the “charming and fun and twinkly life and soul kind of guy,” at least if you were part of his inner circle. It’s very confusing and bizarre, as apparently now we are all supposed to vaporize and go away like we ceased to exist.

          I’m so sorry you went through this yourself as child. The abandonment has been exceptionally hard on my daughter as he was really a pretty good dad until he just walked away. What a total mindfuck that no kid should have to go through.

          • chirral
            It took me years to see who he was. I did not understand he didn’t care about me for years. I don’t think you can as a child. I used to say that my mother who was a cold loveless person was the one who hurt me the most as she did damage on a daily basis whereas my dad just neglected me. Later on though after I went NC with my mother for my own well being, it struck me that I had indeed been harmed by my dads complete lack of interest in me. Now of course when I’m feeling robust enough I speculate about how much my dad being unavailable and unloving primed me as narc bait for my covert narc STBX. Trying to change history. My STBX’s working abroad for years is such a huge red flag in hindsight. Talk about unavailable and neglect.
            Perhaps for your daughter the situation is more positive as you know all about this kind of narc and perhaps have the language and ideas to help her negotiate this part of her life much more effectively than I did.
            And I should also add that I feel like a pretty good mom myself possibly because I just knew how to love and be there for the boys. Didn’t want them to experience anything like my childhood.
            Sometimes it is just accepting the way things are that lets you move forward.
            Good luck to you both. ❤️

            • You write for a lot of us, Cap.

              This working abroad/on shifts/on an oil rig etc I was told is a classic way that people who cannot cope with intimacy/have ambivalent or avoidant attachment use to manage distance.

              My mother modelled staying with a cheater and them ending up their twilight years as best friends….

              guess who got her bitterness and rage though

              I tried to follow that model until I just couldn’t. My IC said to me ‘you and Mr Patsy have taught me a lot about affairs and insult to injury, and you, Patsy, have a very high tolerance to insult’. I was trying so hard to keep the family together. Took me another 2 years to get it!!!

          • I met my cheater at age 19 and he was w me while I had to witness the horrific breakup of my parents . I thought of him as my knight in shining armor , for over 40 years trusted him , loved him , we raised 3 beautiful daughters , he was a great dad .. I discovered his cheating at his hospital bed after I found him in his 3rd diabetic coma and rushed him to the hospital – I opened his phone to call his boss and there were messages and meetups that apparently had been going on for years . I took him back , he begged me , promising to change , he went to therapy , addiction rehab , his health up and down , gaslighting and blame shifting ( I realize now)but I was determined
            (chump) to save our family , it’s been 4 yrs and a month ago on my bday after wining and dining me and lavishing me w gifts and sweet talk it suddenly seemed , it was a bit too much , he was going overboard – Why ?
            Of course , he was back at it , probably never stopped . I opened his phone and had to look at him asking for photos of some woman online and asking her to call him and texts w crude sexual content
            When I broke down and cried my heart out – he said
            “I didn’t think I would get caught ” you were trusting me .
            So it was my fault for trusting him and he did nothing he thought because he figured it was ok because he had a
            fool proof plan , wasn’t his fault if plan failed
            He asked me , so what are the requirements , for you to trust me again , no requirements I said , we are done , when I told my daughters , they said , “Mom we are so happy! We are so worried about you – it feels like we have our old mom back”

      • chirral……I’m close to 4 years too and it has taken me all this time as well to understand how he can just leave and not look back. No explanations (none that were truth anyway), no remorse, nada! Just out the door after what I thought were 10 of the best years of my life.

        • Paigeup, Definitely… liberation!!!!! Ex worked for a living (as I did), spent all his spare time at his Racquetball Club, play acted his way through husband and Daddy of three for twenty+years when he realized he could be having sex with someone else? WTF!!! This wasn’t what HE WANTED. So of course he bailed but he made sure to line up a replacement—his racquetball partner cause they have so much more in common. Fucktard made great money, but when he realized he wanted something else (minus wife, kids, cats, dog, bills, boat, cars, truck, and small mortgage on the dream house on twenty acres WE had worked hard to have) he got a part time job at the family court next door so he could figure out how best to screw me over, dumped all our savings accounts, applied for a job in the Bay Area (background investigator figured out his “character” long before I did!), purchased a 33k truck, took money out of the house, bought and sold several high priced toys, then took a family vacation with me (“to check out colleges for our son.” Funny he had no intention of paying…) to dump yet more community assets. Oh yeah he dumped paying college fees too (kids’ savings too), and walked out on our firstborn’s junior year in university. Two years after he abandoned the family home (in foreclosure) he vandalized it to prevent me from receiving money to move. It would have been a whole lot easier if the Dumbfuck had just asked for a divorce when he wanted to fuck Schmoopie. I wished I’d figured it out way sooner.

          • Wow this is nearly identical to what mine did …down to sucking money out of the house to pay for lavish holidays to impress the family and show off dad of the year.then just as kid finishes high school he was out the door that night. The twisted fuck also disposed of the family pets so when he came to make me force sale the house it wouldnt be an excuse not to go into a rental. I think this sociopathic behaviour was my sign to never look back . If someone can participate in kniving to tie up ‘loose ends’ to that degree of planning something major is going on that you will never figure out.

            • Whodoesthat–what a horrible story. Independent of the other awful things your X did, ‘disposing’ of the family pets (especially to control you) is a sure sign of a sociopath.

              Leaving the night your son graduated from high school? Sociopath planning so that he could avoid child support. I’m sorry you live through that; relieved that you’re free of him.

    • Its been nearly 6 years for me. One day I was married for nearly 20 years. Working, raising children… then he packed up one day while I was at work and just left. No explanations no anything. I found him a week later at the OW now OWife’s house. When I look back the distancing and the devaluing had started a long while before that. I am at MEH but I still sometimes look back and go what the??? What the hell happened??? He certainly is cold, freezing actually. He has absolutely no empathy or remorse. Doesn’t even both about his kids and hasn’t for years. A true narcissist/sociopath!

    • I remember when I realised how little I really mattered to my my ex when she was explaining to me why she went on an cheating spouses site instead of a standard dating app.

      “You can’t do that to a single person”, she explained, meaning implying you were single oneself, “it would really mess them up”.

      • That is chilling, OpenDoor–more compassion for a single stranger than for you. They suck.

  • I have a child with the “ice cube” and it enraged me even more that he could go weeks without seeing DD, or even contacting me regarding her. I didn’t give two shits about me, but her???? Hell naw!!!!
    DD is Autistic and because of his abandonment, she regressed for a while (I hear you loud and clear about the mess left behind to clean up, CL)
    It was baffling for me at first that he could be so cold and just break off contact like that. Thirteen years, *poof*, like nothing to him.
    Now, two years later, I’m better for it. It’s a blessing that he has compartmentalized DD to just every other weekend. Makes my life easier to not have him around. He’s too busy being a daddy to his OWifes kids.
    He went out and leeched himself onto a new family after abandoning the one God gave him. His loss.

    • My cheater ex is a combination of ice cold abandoner and sociopathic stalker. He abandoned our teenaged kids completely as if they never existed. Both have High Functioning Autism and other health issues. It’s been three years since DDay and not once has he spoken to them or wanted to see them (though I have heard he’s telling people it’s because of parental alienation on my part-this way he gets to be the victim and I’m the monster). He dumped them and left me to support them in every way with no help from him. He got to walk away with no responsibilities and total freedom to live a new life. I have to pick up the pieces for three people.
      And I get treated to the sociopathic stalker who can’t let go and leave me alone. He makes up excuses to have to contact me or do things to make my life more difficult than it already is. And I find it creepy and weird that while doing these things he completely ignores that we have kids together. For a while, whenever he contacted me (email only for financial reasons), I responded by writing about the kids. Huge mistake. It triggered the rage channel and he upped the abuse and craziness. Lesson learned…he hates the reminder that he’s a father.
      I wish he had abandoned me too!

      • What a horrible human being! There’s a special place in hell for those folks, even if you don’t get to see them experience karma in this life. Be sure of that! You are amazing for making a life for your kids and being their rock through the shitstorm their dad created. You rock!!

      • mine is the other way around.. .. . he only wants the children. 2 boys. that we had together. he completely ignores me and refuses to talk to me.. .. . it is like i just did not exist or was not important to him those 15.5 years.. .. i think he hates the reminder that he sucked at being a husband, so of course all the blame is on me.. .. he only loves his boys.. .. whatever. he recently stopped seeing them too.

    • We have similar situations. My daughter is also autistic. Non verbal. Ex was also a cold sociopathic abandonment cheater. Just got married last week to the OW. I remember the pain of the abandonment very well. Still in therapy over it. But you are so right. Every other weekend is enough for me too. But how these cheaters can just turn their backs on their own flesh and blood will never make sense to me. The injustice of it all is baffling.

    • So sorry for your daughter! Some people shouldn’t be allowed kids, period.

      • I see what you are sayin that these people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids if you mean, they shouldn’t be allowed to abuse them. But, I must say that the kids I have from my Styx who is completely self absorbed are a blessing. Do I wish they had a different father? Yes.

        I tell them that although they have his DNA, they are not him and God created each of them to be his own person. I tell them that some people have good fathers and do not make good choices and they have a choice in what they will become. They have purpose in this world.

        While my Stbx took the abandon route. He does pop in for kibble periodically during a rage mostly. It kills me to see him invite the kids to do something only after all “better offers” have been exhausted. He is totally about being the photo op parent and like others here blames me for alienating the kids. I really don’t know if he doesn’t get it or doesn’t care but I guess it doesn’t matter because the result is the same

  • My ex is totally like this. He plays our daughters instead. But as soon as I told him I was going to stop financially supporting him, the gig was up.

    I appreciate this article bc — despite the clear evidence to the contrary — from seeing the letters to his getting caught leaving our two toddlers in a locked car on a 100 degree day — I feel crazy. He looks normal om, The outside. He is not. He’s a loon. And he is exactly what you describe. He is callous, entitled, and so very lazy. But his discard was so final that I felt really woethless for a long time.

    • Yep, Lovey dove, we could swap stories.

      My ex sticks around to make my life hell. Him and schmoopie can act normal for a small amount of time, but if you start to spend time with them, then the crazy eventually comes out. He is callous, entitled, and lazy also. Sad thing is, this behavior was learned from his parents.

    • I felt my heart stop when I read your story.
      We adults have autonomy and we people here have gotten our lives back.
      But him leaving toddlers alone in a locked car on a hot day?
      I am so so glad they were discovered and the children are safe with you. Sending you a prayer of strength.

  • I loved this column when it first ran. It did help reframe a shitty viewpoint I had about myself and my “marriage”. Now, I need a column on drop in dad. Not Disney dad but the guy who inconsistently pops up like a prairie dog seeking kibble and impression management from his children.

    Children never give up hope that their parent will come back to claim them. It’s a brutal emotional roller coaster for us all.

    Variable reinforcement makes his “temporary care/concern/interest” a hard habit to kick. I watch my kids pick me dance and cry and I want to beat the crap out of my ex.

    Forget long diatribes to the cheating ex. He has no remorse, won’t change his ways but is teaching my kids esp my daughter how a man treats a woman.

    Being discarded over a weekend, hurt me like hell. Being discarded every 2-3 months by a parent is a mother fucker.

    • These parents are the WORST. My son has one. Four years of nothing and then the guy shows up on college move-in day.

      Oh, and the ones who do this and who are deadbeats on the child support? That shit goes hand in hand.

      Like us, children grow up and their new lives eclipse their old lives, and parents (especially the shitty ones) have less importance.

      But the sane responsible parent never stops wanting to thug kick these creeps. It’s so hard to be meh when someone hurts your child. Makes our sane parent job that much more important. Hang in there.

      • Dear Chump Lady
        Your child’s pain, the hurt to each chump’s child in all of the posts, THIS creates a strong bonding felt on this site. It is shared pain and we are able to help each other. There is a deep understandings of how much this hurts, even in those who have reached meh.
        In remembering the incredible pain of Dday, that initial dead soul feeling, I also remember how it is quickly followed by an intense strength, dredged from the bottom of what is left of our heart. What surfaces and NEVER wavers is a determined LOVE and strength for our children. ( at Dday we had a very young child, a lost pregnancy and I was in first trimester of a third pregnancy).
        A chump thinks no matter what happens my children will feel loved. They will be well cared for by ME. No matter what!
        Always does come back to the equation of how the fuck can a cheater do this to a child, an innocent child! No matter, initially, if they go or stay, or what the fuck ever! it just comes back to the fact that they suck!
        I am sorry to go on and on, but the thought of children suffering needlessly, added to the memory of Dday pain, just brings it all out in me!
        CL, CN, I am so sorry for all your pain.
        Your children will always feel the strong love of YOU, the sane parent.
        I am thankful for the love and strength that lives on this site 24/7 ?

        • beautiful post peacekeeper! so much of my pain and struggle has been in discerning the path that is best for me and my kids – who are such beautiful people and did nothing to deserve their father’s treatment of their mother and our family

          • I was five months pregnant and caring for our 1 1/2 year old when cheater left. Our child was so happy and filled with curiosity for the world around him. When CH left us, he’d visit our child three days/week + Saturdays.
            During the week, he’d pop in after work, play with our son for three hours, then leave. Sadly, much of his time meant for our child was spent fighting with me.
            When he left, DS would scream, cry, running from the front door to the back door, to the window. It would take him at least an hour for him to calm down. He started biting his nails, (and a year later continues to do so) and the little boy who always smiled, now has a constant pained look about him.
            He is a beautiful child. And so very sensitive.
            What his father fails to realize is that although his actions were selfish in nature, and thought to have brought about feelings of pain and betrayal upon only me, the greatest expense was paid by our child. He is in his formative years. He has to grow in tainted soil and he never deserved any of it.
            Every night after cheater left; I picked up the pieces of my child’s broken heart. A heart still growing and learning from his environment. CH may have believed that he was “visiting” his son regularly, but really, as DS saw it; it was abandonment, relived over again, with no end in sight.
            My heart will forever ache knowing our child was robbed of his innocence after only a year and a half of being alive.

            • Exactly this is why I knew I had to move back to my home country, although after two years, these visits had dwindled to 1-2 hours a week for ice cream. He didn’t even show up when S4 slipped on ice and broke his arm. Cue an all nighter in A and E with D1 and S4… he was out drinking.

        • Sometimes I wonder if my cheater would have acted differently if he had to actually experience what he did to his child. Because he abandoned us, he never had to see the sobbing, never saw the anger as my son punched holes in walls and doors. Pain all around but the coward wasn’t man enough to own his shit. My reward for being the sane parent is that I have the respect and love from my DS!

          • My asshole experienced this from his own cheating bio dad and cheating step dad. It absolutely did not change his behavior to me or the kids. The biggest thing he chooses to do is mate management with the kids and covert kibble abuse.

            You think they would consciously not repeat what they lived through, but they don’t care and consciously do the same crap to the chump and kids. Wash.Rinse.Repeat.

            • Same here, ANC. The cheater went through a painful divorce of his parents where his cheating and abusive father would show up in a very conservative community gatherings and tell the son his mother was a whore! The mother did her best, I would guess, but ended up in a 3 year relationship with a married man before marrying her next husband. The cheater was 12 at the time of divorce. He told me how he hated them both, how he yearned for a normal family.

              Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
              Now I am worried about my son adopting the same attitude towards women. How do I ensure he does not if his father shows up twice a year and puts on a disney dad show? It pains me to see how my 9 year old can forget about my existence and just clings to his dad thinking this will go on forever. I become the enforcer of discipline and life with me is routine and boring while the sparkly dad outshines with organizing adventurous trips.

          • I’m so sorry for you guys with kids. You guys are heroes. Seriously.

            I am lucky I never bred with that fuckwit.

            Hats of to those of you that are being the sane parent. Keep it up. I salute you.

      • My husband just texted to ask what “we” were doing for Easter dinner – What?
        He then went on to say he would be really happy to keep doing family things with the kids (19-24) every holiday… which I asked what his AP/ 26-year younger ho-worker would think? He said he ” I never thought of that.”
        Can not make this stuff up.
        Our divorce will be finalized in May around the time of our 31st anniversary,
        Needless to say “we” will not be doing Easter dinner together

        • SMDH. Seriously? Yep, I’m convinced that many of these cheaters are mentally disordered along with a touch of a biscuit full of crazy.

        • In my experience things are never thought through beyond the primary level. If it was a chess game they would suck, lazy minds or don’t give a stuff, not sure but as deep as a bird bath I know that.

        • Time to stop responding to your stbx. He is never gong to respond in the manner you would like him to respond. Your kids are old enough to deal or not deal with their father. Opt for a big payout instead of alimony if possible. Anyway the 26 year younger OW will soon be making his life miserable. Count on it.

          • so true! I posed a karma bus story in the forum yesterday about how 20-year younger gold digging whore, who has secretly lived with (off of) X for 2.5 years now couldn’t be bothered to help him in any way when he was horribly ill this week — instead she was screaming her head off at him in outrage at 5 a.m. because he wouldn’t get his sick ass out of bed and drive her an hour each way into her minimum wage job in the City — she couldn’t be bothered to take the bus that runs in front of their high glass apartment.

            I went out of my way to care for everything in our lovely home and provide every creature-comfort and authentically lovingly while I worked a professional job for 25 years! It’s unbelievable to me still that exactly what I predicted and warned him of has come to pass. Too bad so sad.

            I’m gone like the wind. . . and my kids and my job and my boyfriend and his kids get the benefit of my domestic skills now. And, BF is very grateful – says he won the lottery the day X chose to devalue and discard me!

            • Yeah for you. That age gap will not work out for them she will tire of him and find new and shiny. I’m sure he is thinking, what the fuck I have done. Great you meet a beautiful man.

        • Good for you, TiredChump, ending the cake buffet. “Family things” indeed. They are delusional.

        • Tired Chump,
          This jackass wants to come over to do an Easter egg hunt with the family! He no doubt will want to sit down, together, to a home baked Easter cake with fluffy frosting and covered in chocolate bunnies. Then, bless his heart,( his kindness is endless), he can find it in his cold heart to shuffle over to the family, ( the same loving family HE disregarded by his actions), to sing Christmas carols while dinning on stuffed turkey and all the fixings.
          There is no spot at this table for him, ever! He has lost that privilege.
          Tired Chump, your divorce will be final in May. There is a bright light at the end of your tunnel. I am sure the struggle has been long and very difficult.
          Whenever I see your name posted I have already changed your name to “Mighty Chump.” That title is more fitting for YOU.
          YOU are mighty!
          (I wish you and your wonderful children a very Happy Easter)!

          • Turkey and all the stuffings of course includes the traditional Christmas Cake!
            That “CAKE” word, just says it all!
            Well, here’s wishing stale cake to all world wide cheaters!

        • What an ass.

          My cheater knows his place now, but last year when we were first separating, he seemed to think that he’d remain a part of my large family’s get-togethers. He said, “I don’t see why anything would have to change.” “Umm… Maybe because you’re distrustful, and I don’t feel safe around you anymore. Let’s start there.”

          Chump Lady hit the nail on the head when she labeled them as entitled. They can’t cheat on their family and still expect the benefits of family holidays. Sorry, it’s a package deal.

        • Stbx told kids it was part their fault he had an affair/he needed to be happy and this was their new reality.
          We were living life as a happy family up until this.
          Told them we would continue to do Christmas/ birthdays etc together with my family(he loved my family)
          This however wouldn’t happen when it was his turn with his family. I would have to go away ……. Laughed in his face and said you REALLY think my family would want you around
          He couldn’t understand my hostility ….. He was dumbfounded

        • What? He didn’t think Schmoopie would have a reaction to “happy family time” that leaves her heating up her own dinner in the microwave?

      • Chump lady,

        My stbx cheater just bought a Harley and put “DEADBT” on the license plate. I don’t know what to make of this. He appears to be telling the truth. But why now?

        I was thinking maybe I should get CHUMP on mine (when the judge orders him to start giving me some kind of support of course.)

        • I realize this is a few days old, but a quick story: Some years back I was following a tricked out Hummer with a lady driving. The license plate was “MYDIVCESTLMT.”
          She looked very nicely tricked out as well!

          • I saw a license plate on a convertible Mercedes ” WAS HIS” she looked very comfortable! Presume this was part of her settlement.

    • Physicsgal, I don’t know how old your kids are, but you can help them through this horrific, emotionally abusive relationship with their father. It’s not alienation to point out the consistencies in their dad’s behavior, to remind them of how painful it’s been in the past, and to help them recognize insincerity. Even if he keeps ‘popping in’, they can learn to keep up their emotional boundaries. Plus I sure hope the kids have good therapists, who understand about narcissistic abuse!

      When my ex cheated for the second time, I wasn’t even that mad or heart-broken (that had come after the first affair, 6 years previously). I just finally accepted that we didn’t share values or life goals, and that he didn’t value me or our relationship as I did him. He had always been a mediocre father, but I had hope that once he only had to parent very part-time, and without the on-going drama of our relationship, that he’d step up and be there for the kids.

      Of course he didn’t, of course his entire focus continued to be himself and his life. THIS is the part that killed me, the part I couldn’t believe for the longest time, the part I will never forgive. Be an asshole to me, fine, I’m a grown-up, I chose you, I chose when to stay and when to go, and I know I can recover. But YOUR OWN KIDS??????

      My kids and I joke around; he’s not only not the man we thought he was, he’s not even the man we thought he was once we realized he wasn’t the man we thought he was.

      • That is what I think everyday, you wanted out of the marriage , say it, own it ., leave me , but our daughters
        Who looked up to you , and loved you and trusted you to take care of them and me their mom – how do you participate in as my one daughter said ,”disgusting , gross” behavior online which she discovered when she went to use the family computer – she was afraid to tell me and had to hold on to that secret alone till I discovered his betrayal of our family .
        He is such a coward , he has not approached any of the 3 since I told him we were done – I had to tell them , always doing the heavy emotional lifting but to leave me is one thing to walk away from your daughters , WOW.
        I said to him ,” How do you walk away from them ”
        No answer . He is moving out and away without a word to them

    • Yes agreed the stbxw is the same dissappears then 4 weeks later, At the school as a 5 min Mum. So cruel to the kids love and confusing for them. And has the cheek to say she is their mum. Well fucking act like one.

  • I had one of these cold ass cheaters. He barely hid it for a few months and then out the door he went and never ever looked back. Never ever asked to come back. Never ever asked for cake.
    Saw our 4 kids maybe 12 times over 15 months, never asked for an overnight, and now has gone an additional 2.5 years with zero contact with them. I can’t say I don’t wonder sometimes what it would have felt like to have been asked for some of my cake…
    But, on the other hand, my kids don’t have to live in an environment with parents that fight over custody. Mainly because only one parent cares about them anymore. I lucked out I think. Just one cold ass piece of shit.

    • Some of them that fight over custody don’t want the kids either — it’s a way to punish the other parent.

      • Why are they punishing the one they left? Did t they hurt them enough? We are still in the divorce process with custody at the core and he pops up unannounced whenever he wants (kids are living with me — they’re teenagers and don’t want two homes)…he says the house is half his so he can come whenever. He plays basketball with one of my sons for about 15 minutes and chatting to the neighbors like he still lives here. It makes me sick. But because I don’t have a settlement yet I have to watch my mouth. How can they be so callous?

        • Power and control. And nothing gives a person power more than unpredictability. I”m sorry you’re dealing with this.

          • That’s brilliant. Nothing gives more power than unpredictability. My kids spin in a web of “will he show up?” “Will he be on time?” “When will I hear from him?” And like a bad penny, he is consistently sporadic. I’ve finally drawn my
            boundaries and am trying to guide my children to recognize and implement theirs. Unfortunately, I find it difficult to keep my emotions in check and I’m sure my kids see it as bitter bunnies.

          • “unpredictability” so true… The only way to nip that in the bud is to have a super detailed custody plan. I spelled out all pick up and drop off hours, all logistics for every holiday in the year, and a two back up steps for each change of plans needed.

            There is absolutely no room for wishy washy “oh I didn’t know…” Shit, helps me with all custody matters I never have to ask a question to my X, I just outline what I will do if I don’t get an answer from him and move forward that way…

            No emotions, no kibbles, and it’s really worked to help me plan my life and provide sanity to my kiddo despite the X’s baiting attempts.

        • MJo
          My heart goes out to you. This is the worst. The cheater trying to look “nice” and “helpful” to make themselves feel better about their deplorable behavior.
          It is also so confusing to the kids – my husband has tried to “help” and just drop by act normal after totally decimating me
          All I can say is treat hm cordially so you maintain your dignity with the kids and neighbors and know it will be easier once custody / divorce terms finalized.
          I feel I made a mistake by treating my husband as if nothing was different during his “drop-ins” — as if his treatment was okay, when he was pretty much living with AP (despite his own apartment) after I asked him to leave. I behaved this way out of confusion and the mistaken belief that being nice would lead to reconciliation.
          Once I had more strength I realized that the best thing was to go / be somewhere else and limit interaction so the kids understood I wouldn’t trash him but that “things had changed.”

          • TiredChump, it’s so hard. For the kids sake who don’t want to see my sour face when he shows up (they tell me it’s been two years now to get over it) yet I feel so run over by him. As if leaving me for someone else wasn’t bad enough, he has to dig the knife in deeper. He doesn’t announce when he’s coming, just randomly shows up. I will try your suggestion. I’ll have to really dig deep but I will try. Thanks.

        • You don’t have to have a settlement to keep him geographically away and respecting your space. Talk to your lawyer and see what your options are.

          In the meanwhile, he’s talking to the neighbors to keep up the impression of a good man. Keeping that in mind, nothing deflates this better than a nice round of honest awkwardness. Let the neighbors know how he imposes on you, then let Idiot know you told the neighbors. Then next time he arrives, make a lot of fan fare about leaving the house when he’s around.

          Being quiet helps no one but the abuser. You got this!


          • Thanks Lifeisgood.
            If I give him shit every time he comes to see the kids, I’m sure he won’t give me as much as he intended (it’s complicated…we have barely any shared assets and he made his money before marrying me so it’s all his)

            • I’d suggest changing the locks if he has moved out, including the garage opener, if you have one. You have every reason to secure the home if you and the kids live there alone. It’s not like you are looking him out of his primary residence. If he says anything, remind him that you are separated and that means you aren’t living as man and wife. But he’s welcome to come by to pick up the kids for his time with them. I don’t think letting him run all over you will be an asset in getting a settlement. If you hold your ground in a professionally “pleasant” way, there’s really not much he can do. That’s not giving him “shit” about his behavior. That’s just setting a reasonable boundary. “I understand you want to come and go when you please, but it will be better for us and the kids if we acknowledge that we are divorcing and respect each other’s privacy. And then if you come over to pick up the kids, you’ll know they are here and waiting for you.”

              It also sounds like it will help you to stop talking about STBX or the settlement around the kids. He’s just the father of your kids now. You put up with him like you do the obnoxious coach or the unpleasant teacher.

              • Perfect LAJ. And boundaries are important, Mjo. That ‘money’ he made before your marriage? Unless you have a pre-nup, marriage is an agreement to share that with you and your children. I know your position, and feel it. Mine owned a farm before we met. But after 30 years, and the work I put in, trading real estate together, working my butt off with him, as well as doing the lion’s share (lioness’s is more bloody accurate anyway!) of the domestic labour, financials, and bookwork, yeah, it’s half mine.

                And the saying is, grow a vagina! Much tougher than sensitive little balls! ? (Thanks to Shen Wang, then Betty White for repeating this gem.) You can do this xxx.

              • I think, Mjo, he’s been bullying you for a long time. My guess is you have balls, but your pattern may be to eat a mountain of shit sandwiches and then blow up when you can’t eat another bite. I’m just suggesting a different strategy–essentially gray rock communication coupled with building reasonable boundaries over time. It’s important not to “give him shit.” That may indeed backfire. What’s the worst he can do? Either the court will recognize your that years of marriage and raising children mean a reasonable settlement or it won’t. Your power, though, lies in putting on a fake smile and quiet setting your boundaries. Over and over until he gets it.

                One of my favorite lines from “Walking Dead” is Negan, talking to Sasha about her “beachball size lady nuts.” You’ve got them. Just recognize that lady nuts are all about not letting him push your buttons OR run you life.

              • Changing the locks is a brilliant idea to stop him showing up and walking in whenever he’s feeling “fatherly”. Or whenever…
                One friend,who was dealing with Mr. It’s-MY-House-and-I-Can-Come-Over-When-I-Please, “lost” her keys down a storm drain (oops !) and had to get the locks changed to put a stop to that nonsense. And she didn’t feel the need to tell him.

              • FWIW, changing the locks on a house could be illegal if he is still part owner. You need some kind of separation agreement or other court order that would CYA on this in many jurisdictions.

      • No question in my mind they don’t want the kids, just tying to inflict misery. If they were in any way concerned about the kids they would be trying to make it easier for the damaged parties, especially their own kids. Instead twisting the knife is the behavior of choice and is so telling about the lack of character there.
        Sad having to choose what is better, total abandonment or long term assault on your (and your child or children’s sanity.
        They know nothing will hurt you more than to hurting your kids!
        No wonder chumps hope for the karma bus just for a third choice.

      • They will fight over the kids and in my case win full custody only to leave our 16 year old son alone in the apartment he rented while X shacked up with his AP. X told our son they would be like “college room mates” like the movie Animal house. X had little to do with our son before X left. A16 year old doesn’t need a college room mate he needs a father. Our son was left without any parental supervision living in an apartment on his own.
        X alienated our son from me, robbing him from having a loving and devoted mother, no concern for his grades, questionable friends, activities, long term affects of being alienated from his mother, X was only concerned with winning. It’s been heartbreaking for me, but what I find more heartbreaking than the neglect of our son is watching a once successful student, honest young man taught to be dishonest t and turned to someone I barely know.
        No, they’re out to win at any cost, absolutely no concern for their children.

        • Brit, my story is so similar to yours. My son was was 17 at the time of the divorce, and we had 60/40 joint custody. But my son spent almost every weekend with his father and AP. Why? No rules, responsibilities, no regard to school grades. As a result, my son dropped out of high school in his senior year. Now he works as a receptionist for his stepmom’s new business. And he’s not on the payroll, so he’s not getting credits for so social security. When I expressed my concerns to my son, he told me not to worry, because he was told he would inherit their business. Unbelievable!!!

          • Patti, my son eventually graduated from our local college, he has a job working for friends step-father at an “assisted living home” same as a convalescent home. He’s paid minimum wage on salary, no overtime. His job consists of moving elderly patients, changing them, cleaning up after them, feeding them, if they need a cook at the home he cooks, he takes inventory for their supplies. It’s a commendable job but usually not a first choice for a young person, or as a career.
            I asked him if he likes this job and if this is where he wants to do as a career. He says yes, because the owner said he would probably inherit the business someday. I reminded him that the owner has children of his own that they would most likely inherit the business before he would. No, I don’t understand. My son is incredibly immature which is probably to be expected with the father he has.

            I don’t understand why his father doesn’t give him some guidance and step up and explain this to him or talk to him about finding a career and the unlikelihood of him inheriting the assisted living business. Who would want it ? sounds like a gigantic headache.
            The only guidance, is X’s GF wants to live in a private love nest which means our son needs to move out of his home. X’s new home has four bedrooms.
            My son then found an apartment in the worst possible part of town. The apartments are known to be gang infested, shootings every week, drugs, but the rent is low. His father didn’t object to his living in these apartments, it is unbelievable.

            • What kind of “man” asks his son who is making minimum wage at a shitty job to move out of his home to live in a crime infested apartment complex because his GF doesn’t like his son living with them??
              My son is welcome here in my home but his father said that would make him a momma’s boy.
              It’s so unbelievable, it’s overwhelming.

      • Yep, it sure is. Not enough to strip me of my assets: I had to be broken. Seriously, someone on this site talked me out of suicide a few years back by saying that Me Fab would only see it as a compliment.

        All part of the game, and for these people, the game is all there is. One day, that game will be over.

        Take heart, Chump parents-it is most likely your kids will draw their own conclusions. Yes, we all know the energy it takes, what it costs to spend five hours writing those two-line Grey Rock emails. But each, time, I recover more quickly. Yesterday, Mr Fab asked me for the money for half a plane ticket and refused to reimburse me for my half of eyeglasses, passport, graduation tickets, meeical bills, etc because I hadn’t asked his permission. In the same. fucking. email.

        I sent a spreadsheet, and this:

        See below. The expenses we owe each other cancel out: since Kiddo has worn specs since 2004 I doubt this is a point for you to litigate about our agreed equally shared costs, up to and including higher education. Going forward, as she is 18 in September, she will need to arrange her glasses, passports and travel payments for herself and will undertake to ask us both in good time for what she needs via google sheets and calendar- starting with her ticket home from visiting you this summer.

      • living this currently. Barely spends time with her after pick up or drop off, but wants equal custody. it also becomes about money, more overnights means spending less on child support. it’s a shit show.

  • 30+ years here with my “ghoster”. After years of rough patches and counseling, now I imagine the reason really behind those issues were a hidden OW, I was believing we were “finally O.K.”
    — Mr. Victim, abandoned me right before DD18th birthday, between her birthday, prom and graduation.
    Because you understand, you have to make it ALL ABOUT the cheaters., forget the children.

    His attorney actually told me to tell DD18 to “get a job and help out” if she wanted grocery money. Him, smiling smugly, beside her at the table. He thought he would cash strap me out of the home – he and OW right into it. With the “help” of my nincompoop attorney he almost succeeded in that task.

    But mine clearly used his attorney to batter, probably directed by OW, with coward green lighting the entire process. I can tell you nothing turned out the way “they” planned. It was a supremely miserable 18 months, I imagine his bills for the divorce were 3x mine, so “Precious” his attorney, or as I called her, “Old Ironskirt” did little in the end to really HELP cheater, just drug things out, acted nasty and richened herself.

  • My shitty ex. Did the whole violence thing when I found a text message from AP. He proceeded to Busted up the tv, brand new car then blamed me and his kids for his affair as we put too much pressure on him. We left our family home out of fear. He moved his skank in 3 weeks later once her husband found out and then refused to have any contact with his four daughters. They are now getting married in 3 months and we are not even divorced yet !
    He Now wants to have our kids back in his life after a year of not contacting them or wanting to know anything about them. Now they have blocked him from their lives.
    His loss of a loyal wife and beautiful family is something I don’t think he will ever get.
    I know he is scum, my heart just has to catch up !!
    That feeling of “not even worth fighting for “just won’t go away no matter how I try to think logically about my situation.

  • This is a rather appropriate topic today. The ex left me while I took the kids to the zoo. No note or anything. I just noticed his toothbrush, some clothes, and some luggage was gone when we returned.

    My question to Chump Nation is this: Recently, Uncle Dad got remarried, and I don’t know how to feel about it. Not for the usual reasons though. He proposed to the new wife on Christmas Eve, same as as he did with me, with a ring that looked eerily similar to mine. Then, they got married on the same day he and I got married, just 6 years later, at the same place, and by the same officiant.

    That’s weird, right? I’m creeped out by it all.

    • Sorry Kelli that’s Really creepy!! And the OW doesn’t think this is weird… Your ex has some major issues
      No words can suffice how f@?! Up that is

    • That is seriously creepy. But the thing is, you’re all props. And they’re not terribly original.

      (My cheating ex recycled the engagement ring. Realized that after a conversation with his ex.)

      • My father’s third wife didn’t understand why I wouldn’t sell her the diamond from my mother’s engagement ring after my mom died. #3 has the setting and one of the diamonds from the ring which originally belonged to a great-grandmother. Family lore says that my narcissist grandmother bullied my grandfather into getting the ring off his mother’s hand while she lay dying.
        Her hallmark lack of sensitivity had me gobsmacked. My narc father paired up with a kindred spirit !

    • My engagement ring “disappeared” during the year we were working through the divorce and still living under the same roof.

      I have no doubt that it will be recycled when he propose to his next (victim) one true love.

      Lots of bad juju when you do that…

      • My dipshit stbx did something similar. I was still wearing my diamond wedding band at work to avoid questions, and noticed forgot to take it off. I removed it, putting it in the drink holder of the car (definitively went in) and next day gone. Stbx was in house and driving car at that stage.

        LC talks a lot about narc behaviour but I think with my special turd that passive aggressive behaviour is the predominant pathology.

        I chose not to say anything to him because I knew he would deny then blame me for my memory. And I bet he was just waiting for me to accuse him, so he could get off on it. Just shits me and leaves me so frustrated that he acts in spite behind back – and, boy oh boy, did I discover that this is one of his favourite pastimes – but to my face is all calm and innocent (what girlfriend?, its all in your crazy head!). Anyway that is only one example of way tooo many. Can’t wait for my circumstance to change and I can go no contact.

        I wish beyond wishing he was the man I thought he was, and not the man he is. And the man he is is someone who can’t stand me but too gutless to say it. Found out he had been expressing how he felt by dishonouring me for years by seeing prostitutes, before falling in twu luv. Only after he made a life with her and planned their beautiful future, did he discard me after nearly thirty years.

        And can you believe he is still absolutely desperate to keep his good guy image? Running around telling his family and our son he is looking after me next year while I upgrade my professional qualifications, so I can increase my earning power. Turd. I hate that I have to rely him for that.

        Things are going to get uncomfortable for him after the separation agreement is signed. He doesn’t know that I have proof and that introducing my upgrade to the family is not going to go the way they planned.

    • That is extremely creepy. I can’t decide if it’s evidence of just how interchangeable we are to some cheaters, or if he’s trying to punish you. Maybe both. Either way, that’s pretty screwed up. Sounds like the pick me dance of a lifetime for the OW.

    • That is the passive-aggressive message they so specialize in!
      I have noticed this personality trait in not only my cheater, but many spoken of here on CN.
      He is one who will try to continue to devalue you in these ways whenever he can dream them up.
      Somehow they turn the whole thing around and make it out like they need to get some revenge.
      While you were with them they quietly held things against you that would have been debunked if mentioned, but instead held in to make it ok to exact revenge for these often silly “slights” they imagine at a future date.
      Can’t remember who here at CN mentioned their husband was incensed that the spaghetti was only broken in two when she cooked, not thirds. Of course never brought up until his explanation for cheating!
      This is a whack job for sure, not to mention a passive-aggressive weirdo..

    • Keli –

      Fucker is trying to get his twenties *thirties* right. So, what do these disordered franken-peckers (thank you Normar) do? Start all over again.

      Same MO, same props, same fucked up brain. Again and again and again believing they will have a different outcome while the new honey bunnies (thinking they are special) dance to the tune of making the lying cheating assholes feel like who they THINK they are.

      New wife is just a coat rack for him to hang HIS things on and a mirror to look into for self adoration. The minute honey bunny realizes it, and stops dancing, the dickwad will already be on to the next little special bunny.

      Husband #1 still looking at 69 while with fourth wife. Poor slob hasn’t got his twenties right.

      Michael Landon did the same thing.

      Maturity is the equivalent of death to them.

    • Yes mine bought her the same hat I owned, kept banging on about me wearing a bikini, photos of her in a bikini, took her to all our family’s favourite beaches, saw the photos. Pretty sure she came to our house but you know what I don’t want to know anymore.
      Had the same line also, you know crap quotes from profound people, poetry about where the sky meets the sea crap, soul mates blah blah.
      He was unoriginal and stuck in the 90s, adios

      • Lived that too with the DDay MOW. What weird was the MOW trolling my sparse social media and reenacting the stuff I was doing or wearing. This episode in asshat’s serial cheating was too creepy and Sociopathic.

    • Kelly….and he’ll probably keep doing it this way. All he has to do is remember the year; all the rest should be a cake walk! It’s like riding a bike!
      Sorry….yes he is a creep!

    • It sounds like that thing they do of taking the new Chump-to-be to the same restaurants, or the same vacation sites. Something about their lack of imagination and sticking to the things that worked for them before.

      And anyway, having to remember a whole ‘nuther anniversary date is harrrddd!

    • Yes, very weird!

      When mine first got an apartment, and I was still trying to convince him to stay before telling the kids, he was showing me his new apartment. He kept excitedly showing me things he bought that were stuff he knew I’d like. He even made comments like, “This is exactly the kind of place we always get! Isn’t it nice?” And it was, except that there was only room there for him and the kids, so it clearly didn’t feel homey.

      It totally felt creepy. Yes, I think it’s a lack of originality. He complained that he didn’t like the way I decorated the house, but then he went and decorated his own place exactly the same. Huh?

      Whatevs. Meh. He’s the AP’s boring problem now.

    • My now ex-husband’s secret affair partner was the person who revealed the affair to me. She did so when I was just shy of 6 months pregnant with our 4th child.

      She sent me hundreds of screenshots of her text messages with my then husband. Most of the screen shots contained extremely pornographic material.

      My ex-husband and I had been together since we were teenagers, and we had special names for each other and for sex acts….our own intimate, secret language.

      I couldn’t help but be shocked when reading the screenshots the secret affair partner texted me. They were speaking “our language”. My ex-husband was calling us (his pregnant wife and his secret affair partner) the exact same pet name. I was reading text messages of HER describing intimate acts with my spouse, using the exact same nicknames that my husband and I had invented together as teenagers.

      Nothing was sacred.

    • Kelli: Hmm, maybe he just wanted to simplify things… only 1 proposal story, 1 wedding date, 1 pastor’s name and 1 venue to remember. Can’t get any simpler than that!

      At least he didn’t do what my ex did: dump me after ~40 years so he could be with his married coworker, who, incredibly, has the same first name and middle name as I do. He won’t even have to change the monogram on the towels.

    • That just means he has unimaginiative taste in wife appliances. And that is no reflection on us, just them.

    • Yes. Totally creepy. EEWWWWW. Gross. But they are unimaginative. You didn’t mean to him what he meant to you. There are multiple ‘you’s’ for him. Nothing meaningful there below the surface. You are 100% better off without him.

      I found my sparklepants sent the same “love letters” to me and the OW. Detailing Leonard Cohen lyrics. It fit into his lost boy persona, and his narrative of falling in love with these vivacious women who take him on life’s adventures. [Only to dump them when they no longer serve him…]

      It’s an utter vom-fest, sorry. But I have a point to make:

      “Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river..
      And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her…
      And you know that she will trust you
      For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.”

      Two lines stood out to me just now:

      1) And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her


      2) And you know that she will trust you.


      NO LOVE

      Jesus fucking christ. They are like cardboard cut-outs of human beings.

      • Mines been watching the same movies and still listens to the same music he listened to twenty years ago, yawn

      • Mines been watching the same movies and still listens to the same music he listened to twenty years ago, yawn
        He was a drummer, not a very good one but said he was an ‘artist’ no your not.
        He had little originality or artistic flare and I often felt like I was talking to a broken record, he just always said the same things.
        He will be recycling all the dross song lyrics for the whore to make himself look deep, deep as a puddle that one and soulless.

        • Seriously, we may have been married to the same person..,
          Mine watches the same movies over and over again, Caddy shack is one of his favorites, he knows all the lines and says them before the actor on the movie then keeps repeating the lines he thinks are particularly funny repeatedly.
          Mine is also a drummer, and like yours not a very good one. In his mind he is an “artist”.
          He enjoys reminiscing about his high school marching band days, again same stories with him always being the best. He was voted the most musical in his high school senior year, I don’t know how many times I heard him mention that.
          He grew up in a small town of mostly rural farm families who were poor and needed to work on their family farms after school, not leaving much competition for drummer boy.
          Listens to the music from that era and nothing else, the same CD’s, an Aerosmith, a Rolling Stones, a Doors and a Billy Squire. Not interested in listening to anything other than those I mentioned.
          Then there’s the off the wall stories about his “folks” I’m so glad I don’t have to listen to those anymore. Trivial stories, with a huge build up where you’d look forward to hearing the ending and the be standing there thinking wtf? for example, big long build up to how about his mom who one day cut his peanut butter and jelly sandwich diagonally as a special treat. I’d look to see if he was serious, sometimes it took me all I had not to burst out laughing.
          No originality, same lines, same heroic stories about himself and what a great guy he is.
          Same routine day after day, laughed at his own jokes, get mad if I didn’t laugh hard enough, or heaven forbid not laugh at all or think he was funny.., dead eyed, soul less, pure evil.

          • For me music marks a time period in my life, he would get pissed that I didn’t want to listen to the indie rock crap that pained me through my turbulent early twenties but I tried to explain that it bought back painful memories, que blank stare.
            Red flag moment. I found out that my pregnant cousins partner had cheated on her and was telling him what a POS I thought he was.
            Ex had no reply to this, no judgement, bizarre.
            He thought he was somehow better and smarter than everyone but he wasn’t even close, emotionally stunted. I think his development stopped at 23.
            Anyways he’s having loads of fun living alone, seeing kids twice a week, trying to boody call me and working his ass off to pay down the c card debt he racked up on the whore who lives OS, she is he soul mate apparently and they will be together one day.
            Good luck with his broke ass, no assets at 45, ex alco, health pill popping new age weirdo.
            In my Mums words, he’s a loser.

            • Your Mum is absolutely spot on.

              IT is a loser.

              I love Mums <3. Honestly, would you recommend your best friend reconcile with someone like that? That's what I realised? Why were my standards so low for myself, when I would have been LIVID for that to happy to my best friend.

              PS – My mum called it "dickwad" lol. Not that we bring it up much anymore 😉

              • my mum is the sweetest and rarely insults or is mean about anyone, for her to say this is a big deal. She added if she saw him she would like to punch him. I dont think my mum has punched anyone in her life,

    • Yep, my “family heirloom” wedding ring/engagement banded together disappeared about 6 months bef8re DDay. I specifically recall the conversation he & I had about where I had it hidden. He was afraid you see that my son was going to steal it.

      I never confronted him or questioned him about where the ring was, nor did he ever say anything about it to me when he left.

      Im sure Mrs. Dumb-Ass is wearing it now thinking shes so special wearing a “family heirloom”

  • I needed this today. Thank you.

    Monsters are real, they walk and live amongst us.

    • Interesting. I actually got to tell mine he was a ‘monster’.
      It didn’t feel like I thought it would. He didn’t disagree ~
      just the same blank stare with the cold shark eyes staring
      back at me.

      And as someone said, the pain is unbelievable that I could
      be kicked to the curb like a bag of trash after 30 years of
      friendship and 18 years of marriage.

      Who are these people? Now that’s the real question, huh.

      • Jodi…..agreed! Who are these ‘people’. I guess that’s what we’re calling them these days. I prefer to call mine Lucifer.

  • There was nothing comparable to the pain of being erased as if I never existed. No questions; no answers. Just sadustic statements.

    And true to his nature he blamed no contact on her. That was it after 41 years together. A coward, yes. Sociopath better describes a person with this ability.

    • Hugs Doingme. I have such admiration for chumps who get left with 20, 30, 40 years in. Ex left me after 10 years married (together 15). And like CL says, this isn’t the pain Olympics but you guys are my heros. Pillars of strength. Blessings!

      • Doingme…..exactly what Start says! The over 20 years really are pillars of strength! Every time I think about my stinkin’ 10 years and feel bad, that’s when the over 20 year folks pop up. That’s where I draw my strength from. If they are ok…..I have no excuse!

      • Start
        And my admiration goes to every single chump who dumps a cheater regardless of the #of years. I salute moms and dads with children at home who despite the challenges, leave the cheater.

        It takes a short time to bond with the disordered and a long time for us to see them. We go through the same process regardless.


        Finding the strength is so important after the blameshifting, gaslighting, and cognitive dissonance. For years I was alone without just one person to validate the pain I repeatedly experienced.

        It gives me such joy to know we strengthen each other, find real hope, and get to live authentically regardless of age.

        Love you guys!

    • 38 years here. He’s just a dick; wonder how long it’ll take Mrs. #3 to suss out that she’s not special – she just had something he wanted. And it isn’t even THAT something – she sold her house and bought him one with his “dream garage.” She’s 8 years older than his 64, 13 years older than I, and he’s just an asshole.

  • I think everyone thinks the ‘other side’ would have been easier, and I am no exception! I would have absolutely loved for him to have just left the house and never came back. At least then it would have been crystal clear what was going on.

    We are still in the midst of crazy town. Getting the divorce papers signed as he continues to swear he is going to ‘win me back’ and is completely dedicated to being a ‘new man, a better man’. This is now 11 months past d-day and the only thing he has been completely consistent with is getting the divorce papers drawn up. Every other promise and commitment to ‘do better’ with even little things, like helping more around the house, has been less than stellar.

    But, his rousing renditions of remorse and pages and pages of promises kept the mindfuck going and going and kept putting guilt on me for wanting to save myself from it all. The kindest, most gentle thing he could have done was walked out the front door and never looked back.

    I also realize that if he did that, I would still be angry and wanting ‘answers’, the same answers I haven’t gotten to my satisfaction with him being here.

    • There is really no good way to experience this loss … both options totally blow. ?

    • Agree with Dixie that both options totally blow. He is showing you who he is though – and he sucks.

    • I agree, both options suck. I technically lived through both with the same cheater.

      2006: He is treating me, the kids, the new puppy, poorly. For months. Things blow up one week in November and I ask him to leave and spend the night at a hotel. He comes back, we patch things up a few days before he leaves for a conference in Mexico. Calls me from the conference to ask for a divorce (yup, 16 years together and I get a PHONE CALL). It took me 8 more years to find out that gradwhore was in the room with him listening to the conversation. I am so angry that he treated me like crap for months, nay, years (sporadically), that I am shell-shocked, but very ready for a divorce. By the time he returns and asks to see if “there is anything left between us,” I have adjusted to the shock enough to say, “No, I’m already partly over you, let’s move on.” Within a week, I have adjusted to the full discard enough to feel somewhat relieved to be without him. [I alter that strategy when a friend, wrongly, convinces me I need to stay for the kids.]

      H and I patch things up, and I live through 8 more years of devalue/love bombing/devalue as he continues to cheat behind my back. 2014, I find out about gradwhore and tell him we are over. He gaslights, “just some kissing,” blah blah blah, and hangs around in the house for another month with cycle of faux remorse/blameshifting/mental torture. I ask him to leave; one more month of mental torture and trying to obtain cake while blaming me for his cheating & I finally file.

      Judgment? The cold discard was/would have been easier. Those 2 months in 2014 of extended mindfuckery [y’all can read his texts and emails verbatim when I finish the novel ; ) ] were nothing short of HELL. At least he gave me a quick divorce after that (because he’d convinced his last AP to leave her husband to be with him, and he wanted to buy a new house for the two of them and her two children to move into. Had to have a clean financial slate for that).

      I feel sorry for those of you whose cheaters drag out the divorce for lengthy periods of time. It really is a form of torture.

      • Will definitely read the book but just wondering, was the gradwhore from 2006 the same one in 2014? If so how pathetic.

        • He threw over gradwhore a week after the “divorce” call to “come back to the marriage,” in his words.

          She remained out of the picture, but 8 years later, a former colleague of Hannibal’s made a sexual harassment complaint about the affair with gradwhore (because she ended up leaving the program because of the end of her relationship with him). I found Hannibal’s notes in his briefcase preparing for the sexual harassment hearing, and divorced him on the basis of that affair from 8 years earlier (and also because I’d come around to the view that he sucked). After the divorce was final, found out he’d been a serial cheater for all of those 8 years, and probably since month 3 of the marriage.

          Whatever you know about with certainty, multiply by 10. There’s hardly ever just one indiscretion, I suspect.

          And for those in the throes of the pain of discard or divorce, there will come a time when you do a happy dance every morning upon awakening, that you’re not still with the cheater.

          • And yes, I did feel stupid that I didn’t catch on about his affair for 8 years. But as a friend said, “If someone smart wants to deceive you, they will.”

            • So glad you got away from that shitberg.

              You are right about the x10. After a while, I stopped wondering. A big part of Trusting they Suck.

              Rock on, Lady T!

      • WOW Tempest, mine moved out the first time in June 2006. We got back together in 2007, moved back in 2008, last year in September we came back from a long weekend with friends , I come home Friday evening, a beer for him, a glass of wine for me on the balcony. And then he tells me he doesn’t see me as a woman anymore, he is not happy blah blah blah, no one to blame, he says. I asked who is she this time. Then he literally ran out of the house. Next day he picked up all of his clothes, and then no more contact. He moved right in with her. Except for when I chased him down and acted a bit crazy . And then he tried to blackmail me. Only lately have I smartened up.Nothing to do with me. As a matter of fact, he did exactly the same when he met me. Except I did not know he was still married to no 3. What a piece of shit. The eternal victim, never his fault. Fuck him. The first six months I was devastated, now I am sad at times, and sometimes overwhelmed. But I am beginning to regain my self-worth. Unconsciously, I have rebuilt my strength over the past 8 years. Fuck him and the OW does not play a role for me anymore. I have nothing but contempt for him.

    • Coolbreezeout; If you have only wasted 11 months on this stage you are doing great.
      Many if us wasted years on this stage!
      You are mighty!
      True we probably think another way would be less painful, mostly because they are all so painful and have their own special set of unfair circumstances and deep unrelenting mindfuckery.

    • Actually, hearing other people’s stories make me feel like I didn’t have it so bad.

      Those few months between ILYBINILWY, D-Day and separation were torture, but it was only a few months. If we had reconciled or drawn it out, like some of the rest of you, that would have been worse. If this had happened while I was pregnant, that would have been worse. If his AP were pregnant, that would be worse. If there were violence involved, that would be worse.

      There were times last year when I didn’t think I’d ever be happy again. But I’m thankful that it only lasted a few months. It was a few horrible, long and dreadful months, but at least it was only a few months.

  • Yes, my husband of 30 years just walked off with a shrug. Getting kicked to the curb didn’t cost him any sleep or loss of appetite. It was a pretty amazing thing to observe. He wanted to know if he could use the hose to wash his car one last time before he drove off. Unreal. I suppose it made things logistically easier. But the lack of drama was also a real kick in the gut. Thirty years and I meant absolutely nothing to him. Absolutely nothing. Yes … that really hurts.

    • I heard the water running out front one morning, looked out to see X washing his truck.
      Never said a word to me or came inside. I assume he had a date that night and needed his truck washed??

    • Same here. 30 years meant absolutely nothing to her. Just went on to her latest AP. It really hurt like Hell.

      • Me too, 30 years together and he literally ran up the garden path, grinning and waving. He was off to his ‘new life’ and left me and the kids standing in his dust.

        • Yes can remember the inane look on his face when he literally sped off down the street after he ‘ransacked ‘ the house for stuff to furnish his new apartment. He even took the beer out of the fridge ….no boundaries. …no moral code to stop him acting totally inappropriately. He even got the kids to help him load the trailer… they had only heard he was dumping us 5 days prior and they were late teens /20s with NO CLUE stuff was going wrong …just like chumpy me. These people are fully living on their own planet .

  • It’s sad, but I’m thankful for the time I spent in reconciliation with ex. It was the time that allowed me to see him for who he really was. Not Mr. Wonderful Good Guy, but the lying cheating whoremonger he actually is. I saw the whore for who she actually is. Not a glamorous sophisticated single woman like she thinks she is, but an over the hill desperate whore. I saw the True Love Fairytale for what it actually was. A giant pile of dreck.

    The ex was a “Confessor” so maybe his intention was to actually leave but I doubt it because he never did and I had to (finally) do the leaving. I think he was just fishing for cake. I don’t think cheaters suffer that much during reconciliation, personally. They complain but he loved having my complete undivided attention, my “jealousy”, a reason he couldn’t have an Honest relationship with the whore.

    • In my limited experience, ‘Confessors’ typically leave out mountains of details. Their fucked-upness and shitty behavior runs much deeper than what they let on. It’s less of a heartfelt confession for harming and more of a strategic move to minimize and/or maintain control.

      Be grateful he’s gone.

      • Yep. The “Confessors” just try to get control of the narrative. They’re worried they will be exposed and so they try to head it off at the pass without too much detail.

      • “Confessors” also take the entire nasty burden and put it squarely on the shouldres of their partners.

        Whatever guilt or disgust they can muster for themselves gets transferred – and POOF they’re on the way to healing.

        They confess for themselves – not for any ethical reason. Just like those who get caught. It’s not that they feel badly for thie affair – they just feel badly about being caught.


        • Yep, and as Mr Fab did, the confession only fits the evidence you DO have. Mr Fab confessed to a six month affair because that was all the FB evidence I had. Kiddo found out (he loaned her an old phone) that he had been acrewing out SIL for four years. Photos and all.

          So further to Tempest’s comment about it usually being 10x worse than they confess to, that is some hard evidence.

          He’s probably been screwing her all along. She and his bro broke up when Kiddo’s cousin was 2, and Kiddo was on the way. Makes me wonder if those cousins are half sisters. No sense speculating, it is delicious to be Meh about that part of it. Took a lot of time.

          They do try to control the narrative, but you get to control you.

  • Discarding hurts so bad. I think that these guys must have friends or go somewhere on the internet to really screw you over well. That’s the strange thing about marriage is trust. That’s the basis of marriage. Without it it really doesn’t flow well.
    Many times I thought I was being screwed over but to hear his explanation I was wronge till I wasn’t. He was just relieved to start the divorce with his lawyer from the corporation he worked for specialist in long term marriage divorce. All the engineers used him.
    That freed up his time to see our neighbors-his girlfriends. He always made the big effort to really dress up and walk over to each of their houses in front of me. I was horrified at first but then I realized I liked the time of being alone with my daughters. I DID’NT MISS that’s how I knew I would be fine in time.
    He is still working his charms on all now. Someone showed me a picture of current girlfriend, a nice looking woman but in the picture is the neighbor he sleeps with and her husband is in the picture also. I feel for her and wish I could tell her what’s going on but I would stir up lots of trouble for the xh is truly mean now and doesn’t hold back on me. It’s so screwed up that the husband knows my X sleeps with his wife. All in the name of money.
    I never realized when we moved and built our dream home on a large track of land that the women were looking at my husbands wallet. We dined with them so they knew we had small children and married. They were as bad as XH.
    I’m so glad I’m out of that marriage and I found that text. Living a simple but honest life now and that’s better than all the days of listening to a liar gaslighting you. They are not worth it.

    • I really believe that a big part of the problem is that both the Cheater and the Cheater Affair Partner believe they are entitled to everything and you are entitled to nothing. It makes no difference that you worked, or had property and possessions before your relationship began, or all thru the marriage. No, they get everything because you don’t deserve anything — especially any respect or civility.

      What becomes crystal clear when you look at these relationships is that the Cheater could not get away with the cheating without the help and assistance of the Affair Partner. It really does take two to do the Dysfunctional Tango. I know there are unwitting affair partner’s that start out thinking the Cheater is single — but when the truth is discovered, AT THAT MOMENT, they need to have the character to send the cheater packing, to walk away from the disaster, and if possible to let the spouse know the truth. If they go down the “I’m special and cheater would never do that to me, cheater is special, our twu luv is special, and all that will make up for any pain we cause others” path, they are doomed. No mercy is extended.
      If illicit love is not glamorized and instead is openly condemned by our social structure, it won’t stop the cheating, but it will sure drive the activity underground. Don’t buy into the cover stories. The post yesterday about the spectacular cheating of the governor of Alabama and his married cheating partner and her cooperative spouse illustrates that these people have no shame or empathy for others. I don’t like it either, but these monsters walk among us, and as long as there are willing affair partners there will be active cheaters. Whether they draw out the pain with pretend remorse, or coldly turn on their heel and abandon, the devastation they leave behind is painful and humiliating. I don’t know why we are ashamed because we are capable of love, and giving, and sharing — and just had the misfortune to be conned. Maybe those who victim blame have just been lucky enough not to have been conned themselves? Any way it happens — it hurts.

      • Beautifully written!! Fuck a relationship like that. Yes, we all get jealous at times, but we do have the secret advantage of knowing how the cheater is intimately. Knowing the tactics and manipulation. The new, entitled, affair partner gets the double chump punch eventually. That they get manipulated, controlled, and devalued, and they *willingly signed up for it!!* It must be devastating when that finally clicks, even if they do manage to hold on tight to that relationship out of pride for their public image. No one is special to a cheater, even a fellow cheater!!

  • I feel like I have a combination cheater. Dday 1 in 2014, dday 2 13 months later. I picked me dance in between, read, wrote letters, you name it. A month after dday 2 he left. No one in the family has seen or heard his voice since. He sporadically texts his mom. Made no effort with DS who wants nothing to do with him. I’ve heard he no longer speaks to his few friends, he saw a friend of my parents and just turned and walked away without a word, he’s dying his hair and dressing differently. Still with MOW who’s now divorced. My divorce is taking forever at 16 months now. I sporadically need contact for business reasons and he acts all accommodating or I subtly get blamed for things. I felt like a piece of lint he just flicked off his pants after 24 years.

    • Our stories are similar in that not only did he abandon his family, he changed his relationships with friends and his own parents and brother. With his immediate parents, he dictates contact, etc and his poor brother….I have no idea why Ex pushed his brother away. Cheater took OW with him to meet his family last summer and never spent any time with his brother. They used to golf every trip we took there, not any more. I’m sure OW would not allow that.

      One thing for sure, Cheater does not look better. He looks worse for wear. OW keeps him busy I think. She needs money for candy-making ingredients.

      • I think perhaps his brother is setting healthy boundaries…. Who in their right mind pursues a relationship with zombies anyway? After my experience I no longer spend time with my toxic sister, she too cheated on her faithful supportive husband. While horrified at my situation, she has no clue how similar and hurtful her actions were.

  • The ex BF that dumped me for his ex-girlfriend that dumped him previously disappeared on me. Well, he was dating her behind my back while trying pyschologically to drive me away. I found out via FB. Called him. Told him he was a pathetic loser and that he should fuck of.
    Eventually I came to the realization that I loved him. He did not love me. He did send me a letter that was all about him. How what he did was everyone’s fault, mother, father, sister, kitchen sink…. blah blah blah… It was a long long long letter full of his sad life and how he is a sad sausage. What was glaringly missing was the word “sorry”. Not once.
    Anywho, eventually he married the “red headed whore” on the four of July (weird) and is still living the deluded life where he continue to pull the “I’m a nice guy” routine. He’s not. She is so oblivious to his real charater which after 2 years of marriage is starting to come out again.
    My thought, bullet dodged. He is the red head problem now and best of luck. You’re fucking need it.
    As for him, he can fuck off.

      • Yep got those exact words also.
        Followed by you must understand the part you played in my cheating and we can’t live together and you don’t know how to communicate. Yes I do, fuck off!

    • I got at the end of a very long email about how much of a sad sausage he was, but how the AF partner helped him embody “his most vibrant self.”

      Thanks (and sorry again).

      UMMMMM. After 6 years? Living together? hahahah they are aliens.

  • After 28 years, the most my STBX could come up with was an offer too easy to refuse – “continue as is” aka I dote on him, he dotes on his OW (plural). He left and I am moving on. I do trust that he sucks!

  • Getting ghosted by my husband of 25 years was by far the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. The pain was so excruciating, I can’t believe I survived it. There I times that I just want to know “why”…… what made him so unhappy that he totally ran away from his life? He took NOTHING. The good part for me is that I never had to share my son with him after that. Seven years later and he has not participated in my son’s life in any way. And he’s too stupid to know what a wonderful experience he missed.. watching DS grow into an amazing young man !

    • That “why” question is brutal. I had question for the ex. Especially, running back to someone who dumped him in the first place.
      Then I realized it does not matter why. This is who he is. I truly did love him but that was not enough for him. So be it. His loss, her headache.

    • Mine left with practically nothing. I had to send his clothes and blood pressure medicine to him. A few weeks later, I sent his books, albums, and the contents of his desk. He gave me an obscene amount of monthly support, for years. I wanted for nothing. He bought me a new car and gave me 100% of the equity in our home. I never talked to him after he walked out, the day after DDay. If I lived to be 200, I would still never understand it. It just about killed me. I loved him so much. We were married for 21 years and separated for seven.

    • Incomprehensible, and disturbing, to completely disconnect and walk away from a 25 year relationship without remorse. Blaming me for the end of our marriage, slandering my name with lies and false accusations. Parental alienation, using our son in his relentless crusade to punish me.
      I found out later he had already moved on with AP before he left, which makes his lack of remorse or guilt even more disgusting (looking back I should have known).

      Clearly a sociopath.

      • I found out later that he immediately moved in with his AP too, who he apparently only knew a few weeks. She had her daughters living with her…I thought it was really creepy for a mom to allow a virtual stranger to move in. But then, desperate people take desperate measures. Two sociopaths finding twu wuv.

        • ElleB, same with assbite. I tossed him out and within a couple of weeks he was living with the whoreworker and her two kids, one being a 14 year old girl. What kind of mother would let a man she really hardly knew live with her? Answer: “two sociopaths finding twu luv.”

          • OMG! Mine too! He’s living with his Ho-Worker & has been for months (they hooked up while we were separated but trying to reconcile. I didn’t find out about her until after our divorce in December & realized he moved in with her after I filed in September). She has a 12 y/o daughter. She wants to meet my daughter & my XH is pressuring my daughter to agree. I guess they think the four of them will be one big happy fucking family. My daughter has absolutely rejected this idea. This OW has a reputation for being THE town whore of her little community, PLUS, several sources tell me she’s been in trouble for embezzlement. How nice! My daughter told me that it speaks volumes for this skank to move a man into her home around her 12 y/o daughter that soon, but then again, based on her reputation, she must have a revolving door to her house & bedroom. She then thanked me for having the decency to not bring anyone around that I’ve gone on dates with. I’ve actually gone on a couple of dates with one guy and I don’t even ask him to pick me up at the house. I don’t want to put my daughter in the position of even having to even say hello just yet.

            • I feel sorry for this loon’s daughter-she’s going to need therapy later in life. In my opinion, children (especially the younger ones) shouldn’t be meeting the parent’s boyfriends/girlfriends before the one year mark. It creates too much confusion in the kids lives.

        • Yep. same here. The hotel he stayed in for about 6 weeks and the nasty furnished apt he got after that were about 2 miles from OWhore’s house. Of course he never slept in hotel or his apt when our son wasn’t visiting. He kept the apt for about 8 months (not the full lease) before moving in with her and her son because he “needed help paying his bills”. That’s what he told our 8 yo son. Talk about moving on. And all of that happened during our separation. In addition, we agreed not to introduce our son to significant others or have sleep overs with them around. I had a legal right to NOT allow our son overnight stays. He got butthurt for about 5 minutes then he was fine.

      • I think it’s a common theme that these assholes move directly in with the APs. Mine sure did. Took nothing but his clothes and tools – requested one “photo, framed, of my children” in the divorce settlement. (My lawyer snorted at the “my children.”) Both kids are grown adults, but he wanted no baby photos, no mementos of their growing up, even left behind all the little gifts they’d made him over the years. He wanted nothing from inside the house, he was “starting over.” Yeah, right, “over” at her house with all her stuff. Which is fine because the woman has NO taste whatsoever. Think “Early American Grandma’s House.” (She’s 72 – 8 years his senior, 13 years mine.) Yuck.

        A friend of mine told me these guys are like monkeys: they don’t let go of one branch until they have a good grip on the next. He recently married her; I’m sure he figured that was an acceptable price to pay for her buying him his new shop building. Wonder how long it takes before she figures out she’s just a purse to him; of course she waited 10+ years for him to leave his family for her. How pathetic.

      • What is the slander campaign all about ?? I found out my fucktard had been branding me a spender a nag and that he was a long suffering under the thumb sad excuse for a husband. TO HIS WORK COLLEAGUES for actually years so when he did fuck off everyone felt sorry for him cos he was apparently suicidal at the end so the narrative matched his story. Meanwhile his unwitting family just thought we were one big happy family that litterally just got him a garden swing seat for FATHER’S DAY present ….later father of the year chucked it in a skip when the house was force sold. All heart

    • What a tool, my mind just boogles what do these wing nuts think is better out there in the world for them. I hope on his death bad he is freaking out with regret at his shitful life choices.

      • So agree Lady B. But I don’t have much hope for his having regret. I have had many well meaning friends and family tell me some day he is going to wake up and regret what he has done and my automatic reply is I hope so. I believe, however, he is so disordered, he will never feel that.

        And geek mom, the monkey swinging in the tree analogy is right on. I told my stbx right before he left that he was a chicken. If things really were so bad, why couldn’t he just leave on his own instead of all the cheating. He didn’t have an argument and even sort of agreed
        Not my monkey anymore. Does the circus ever end?

        Cowards, all of them!

  • MI need did not “walk out”….he did one better. He had me legally evicted out of my house by sheriff.
    THEN….he went silent. Not one word. I received one text that said “I want to divorce you as quick as possible. I love her. Move on.”
    Nowhat his idea of “move on” meant dragging out the divorce, filing a PFA in the beginning to have me evicted, having me arrested for being in the same restaurant as him, having me arrested because he showed up at my church with his whore….mind you…not one word ever spoken to me….. but he sure did let his actions speak.
    So my Ex is the combination of sociopath whack a do and cake eater. His whore L O V E S drama. I swear she fell in love with the games of let’s keep fucking Tracy over than my exhusband.

    I recently had to spend 3 hours in the ER with my Ex due to our daughter. The first one on one conversation with him in 5 years. It may not have been the time or place but I got in his face and confronted him. His answers were so lame. Looking him in the face…Eye to eye and hearing his lame ass excuses for imploding our family and systematicly destroying me, my reputation, my business….all for his shiny new pusshag…. I got NOTHING. No closure…no remorse…no apology. He did tell me we serve a loving and forgiving God. Oh…. yea… gee thanks.

    So is no contact better or the pick me dance cheater? It’s all bullshit.
    It’s all a mindfuck. I can honestly say that after 3 hours I am thankful I am not his wife. He has no morals, integrity, or character. His asshole flag was flying high.
    I beat myself up for days following that encounter for why I stayed.. what redeeming quality did I see in him… I questioned ME.

    25 years…. my youth….my lack of knowledge at the time…my insecurities…. I can see it now what I didn’t see then. That’s a gift. And 60% of our assets and his retirement…..that’s the gift that will keep on giving because him being 58…will never be able to retire. How does that whore feel now?

    • X had me evicted after he moved out. I ran into him in a restaurant and I got up and left without saying a word. He told everyone I made a scene and I’m lucky he didn’t have me arrested.
      He called my brother to say he had moved on and would like me to do the same..,

      Pure evil…

    • Your story is the worst of both worlds. You got the discard AND the sociopathic scorched earth strategy. But it sounds like you not only survived but transcended what he did to you. The best thing that can come out of your recent encounter is now you can proceed to feeling nothing at all for him: Meh to the max. He isn’t worth a minute of your time or the slightest emotion from you. You were all in, even in a situation with someone who clearly could never have matched your effort. You learned you could go up against evil (disguised as a “Christian”) and see it for what it is. You spend your youth learning that some people aren’t what they seem and that you can rely on your self-efficacy and your strength and now you go to the next phase of your life armed with confidence and wisdom.

  • My ex was like this. While technically I did tell him he had to leave because he was sticking around for cake and triangulation (he’d go over to the OW’s house, to the bar with her or to mutual accomidating friends’ houses whenever we had one of our many fights about the affair) he didn’t even put up a fight. He asked if he could see my then infant while she slept during her nap and I said no, so he packed a bag and headed for the door. On his way out all he said was “Does it have to be like this?” I asked if he’d consider counseling or give up the AP. His silence was all I needed and out the door he went into the waiting arms of one of my supposed best friends and her amused friends and teen aged children.

    The best advice I got from people who’d either been there or had more of a background in relationship issues is that since the affair had been going on for six years, he’d already detached from the kids and I, and nothing I did, said or tried would have made a difference. Autistic kids? Didn’t care. Blind wife with no support? Didn’t care. His mom threatened to disenheirit him? Didn’t care.

    It hurt so much. I always felt like if he’d tried the operatics of begging for forgiveness, at least it would show he was remorseful or claimed to care about me. When I thought I was having a nervous breakdown shortly after D-Day and my psychologist said perhaps I should spend some time in the hospital, all he said is he’d drive me there and pick up whatever I needed for my stay if I didn’t already have it. Cold as ice.

    I went nc as much as possible with kids, and while he’s still flipping from charm to self-pity most of the time, I guess it’s a blessing I know the real him underneath. He’s like a black hole that wears a human suit, and I know one day I’ll appreciate how lucky I am not to deal with his shit, abandonment and abuse. But the whole situation has fucked up my life and heart so much I’m not there yet.

  • Thanks for this. This is a little closer to my own experience. Things with now-XH had been weird for a while, but I just thought we were in a rut. Had NO idea he had started some kind of affair with his coworker/my friend. I came home one day thinking we were going to go shopping for a dinner party we were giving at the weekend, and he said he was moving out, and he had developed “feelings” for OW. Had a bag packed and everything, moved into her house that night.

    We had no kids, but he told our mediator he had no interest in seeing our cats again. He was “fine with goodbye.” For some reason, that killed me even more. Do what you want to me (hello chumpness), but these cats for whom he was half of their whole world, nothing for them? They pined for him for MONTHS. And I couldn’t exactly sit them down and explain what was going on.

    But then my college friend broke up with his cheating husband around the same time, and they were both broke so they had to stay in the same house for weeks after DD. In retrospect, I think I made out better.

  • Weird combo of ghosting and cake hunger from STBX. Prior to dday, total ghost for at least two years, particularly with DD and I. Would go for weeks without contacting either of us at all, but would sometimes send me strange texts or emails out of the blue. Finally figured out that he was waiting for schmoopie to go to work (they were living together in a house in another state at that time–nice, right?) to send flimsy and confusing filaments out to me. Emails about the work he was doing, sometimes. Once a text with a pic from the lingerie he was looking at in some local store. So exceedingly strange that it was mind bending. DS was away at college for all of that. STBX and his slut made several trips to his college to visit him and attend sporting events. Hugely humiliating and confusing for DS. Damage deep and lasting was being done. Unbelievable. Then, after dday, lots of sudden interest in being constantly connected. Endless texts, phone calls, FaceTime requests. That went on right up until he hit upon the obvious solution: I made him unhappy and everything was my fault. Fortunately, found CL and CN right around that time, and discovered not only the pattern, but the wonders of gray rock and no contact. Now, when I get the “I don’t understand why DD is so distant” messages, I know not only to ignore, but also to shake my head in sad recognition of the absurdity of it all. Too true–he will never understand what is patently obvious to any normal person: actions have consequences, DNA contributions do not a parent make, buying them stuff–even nice stuff that they want and enjoy–I said no substitute for present and steady love and interest. Nothing left to do, now, but get the divorce done, and of course he is dragging his heels on that, but not out of any regret or sadness over the loss of a long marriage or a sweet family. Nope. Just that he considers all of the things, including me, to be possessions that should always remain within his control. It is still often a bizarre, out-of-body experience to me to realize that an employee 21 years his junior was worth all of these lies and all of this destruction, but that’s what these people do, and at least now I know I am far from alone in this experience. This Easter is another of those sad firsts in the new (and, ultimately better, but still difficult for now) reality. A significant holiday for me. DD and I will color eggs tomorrow. I will attend church and speak the words of the condemning crowd. Really hoping for a true sense of rebirth this year. A truly fresh beginning would be so welcome. This entrapment in the no-man’s land between total abandonment and further manipulation had been truly brutal.

    • Wishing you a true feeling of rebirth this Easter season, Cashmere. Being trapped in the between zone is torture. May you feel lavishly loved by God, and amazingly free. Hugs.

  • I’ve told this story before but here it is again.
    My ex had dinner with me on NYE 2014 and then told the kids to clear the table, asked me if he could speak to me in our room for a quick second, closed the door and said ” I want a divorce, I don’t know if you noticed I took off my ring already.”
    This was me ?. 20 years together, 17 of them married, 2 kids…..just over,….4 hours before the ball drop on NYE. We didn’t even get to the snacks I made.
    He lived in our office for 6 weeks and then was openly seeing the OW the day after he moved out (phone records indicated she had been around a couple years), he now lives with her and they are raising her kids together.
    After the scene in our bedroom, as I sit hyperventilating he said ” I’ll leave you to take this all in” and went and sat in the couch and ate cookies and milk with our son as if nothing had happened, they discussed sports.
    I should of known right then the Devil I was dealing with. Who the fuck does that?
    He tried to be cool with me after that, wanted to be best friends. Best friends= impression management with the kids and a settlement that gave him everything. Uhhh… fam.
    It took me a hot second to really wrap my head around what was happening and who he was, finding a chumplady was instrumental in getting my act together.
    Once the kids called him out on his shit, he saw I was going for it in the divorce settlement, and the cake buffet ended he was like picture on the back of a milk carton gone with the caption “Have you seen this sociopath?”
    Hope not, he’s an asshole.

    • I am no expert and I imagine there is some overlap, but the ones who try to “reconcile” to maintain centrality and access to multiple kibble sources seem more narcissistic and the ones who just coldly walk out the door more sociopathic. So sorry Paintwidow. I have read your story before but it is particularly brutal. You obviously deserve so much better … hope you have happiness and peace in your life now. Hugs.

    • Oh my God. How absolutely horrible. I still can’t believe he had milk and cookies after blowing his family apart. There are no words.

      • Oh milk and cookies… mine took us to the cinema to watch a last FAMILY MOVIE and on the way home i made him buy toilet rolls and my sons asthma meds cos he left us with $200 needless to say i was not watching the movie.

  • I honestly don’t know what’s worse, mine is all about the mind fuck, coming back, new promises that are never kept. At first I thought it was flattering, he really can’t live without me, then I realized, no, it’s because he learned you are stupid enough to keep falling for it. I am staying strong now, told him the only thing that would prove he was no longer going to cheat would be castration!

  • Make no mistake, the ones who stick around and pretend to fight for you are just as disinterested in you as the ones who don’t, that’s the thing.

    Those of us whose cheaters don’t just leave without a word only find out the cheater didn’t value them at all much later in the game.

    Be glad you are rid of them sooner and cleanly. Not having the chance to mourn while doing the pick -me dance might seem like a curse when they first leave you without a trace, but it IS actually a blessing.

  • My situation was a hybrid. A note left on our bathroom counter announced the end of our 14 year marriage. The blame was left squarely on me including some made up “facts”. D-day came two days later. She immediately spent all her time with her old HSBF staying out until the wee hours while I cared for our two children.

    She is now married to said HSBF and she takes every opportunity to let me know how happy she is. A real life Brady Bunch.

    In many ways I wish it would have been a complete abandonment. However, her action brought clarity to me. I know she sucks and always will. They have nothing that I should envy. They are having a grand old time using my financial support. I’m grateful that the fog lifted and I can see now. One year post D-day and I am feeling well and look forward to my future. I now have a future to look forward to. Life is good.

  • Every word is true; and I would add only one thing, that comes from the checklist of sociopathic traits: “parasitic lifestyle.” My Ex lived off me financially for almost two decades, while being a serial cheater behind my back. When he was busted the mask slipped way off. I will never forget for the rest of my life, him saying, on D-Day, “I don’t even know if it’s going to last with her! It’s probably going to fizzle out! and if it does, I will end up homeless on the street!” I was supposed to feel sorry for him, I guess but instead I was gobsmacked by the honesty in admitting that he is just a man who lives off of the women in his life. And I was no longer of financial use to him at that point either but he was worried that OW might not be as good a wallet.

  • I was “lucky” enough to deal with both aspects. I went through fake remorse for almost 2 months. I hit the rage stage of infidelity and started making demands. He originally threw Shrek under the bus after DDay. But, unlike me who refused to do the pick me dance, Shrek had been continuously emailing him, begging him to take her back during those 2 months. After my demands, he just decided one day that I wasn’t worth fighting for. That was the luckiest day of my life, but I didn’t see it for that at the time. During those 2 months, I was going bonkers playing Geraldine Rivera. The mindfuck cheating does to you is crazy. I questioned everything in our marriage. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat. Initially, the abandonment hurt worse than the mindfuck of fake remorse. But, as time went in, I realized he gave me the greatest gift of all, he stopped wasting my time and forces me into NC which jump started my healing. Honestly, I think I might have died a slow death if we had been in fake remorse for months or even years longer. I’ve been pretty happy these last few years, Shrek, meh, not so much, but who cares.

      • I liked Geraldine. ?. I used to see that show on television and think, who’d want to be with a fucking, clueless crappy Cheater!?!? Living like that, such drama and so much crap…. I do believe Cheaters live a double life longer than we know…until it all comes crashing down. So, I too am glad to be away from it all…(but yeah, still hurts sometimes?).

  • Jackass covered all of these bases. He was lazy, literally lazy. He started the discard when confronted with the reality of moving with me into a home that required routine work. Moreover, I had believed in his dreams of starting a business and (gasp!) come up with the seed money. More work! And once he had the money for a start up, he was caught in the web of his own words and promises. And nothing creates a crisis for bullshitters like taking their words seriously. That amounts to taking a sledgehammer to their false persona.

    I’ve thought a lot about cheaters with characteristics of the narcissistic personality. My mother was a narcissistic type who was trapped by circumstances in a marriage (given the era and her lack of marketable skills). So she conducted a reign of terror and required everyone to walk on eggshells around her. But she was going nowhere. And based on what Jackass told me, that’s how he conducted himself in his marriage to XW2; he was “trapped” because there was a child, so he went with the rage channel and dominating behavior until she finally fled with the child. That was also the strategy with XW1. He had no sensible explanation for why she just “walked away.” Looking back on things he said, the pattern was clear. With me, he wasn’t trapped. He knew I wouldn’t simply accept his bullshit explanations, so the discard was the better option and he had a free place to live and the illness of his father as a cover for moving in with his parents. Conveniently, he had already lined up MOW, who had a husband. That made her a safe, non-demanding kibble source plus bonus points for having a husband to “compete” with. So he just left. With the money, because hey, he’s entitled.

    I think the silence is a function of that entitlement; they owe no one an explanation for their actions. And that entitlement is related to their coldness. They want what they want. The biggest red flag I ignored was how cold Jackass was when he talked about the failure of his first marriage. He had zero explanation for why a newlywed would walk away to move back into her parents’ home. He was very matter of fact that his sister0in-law felt he had destroyed XW1’s life–but no explanation of why she might believe that. But he froze her out into she couldn’t take it–and stayed single for the next 30 years. Not like he did any damage there. There was not a tinge of remorse or sadness or regret or empathy. That’s sociopathic level coldness. I just caught a slight edge of that deep freeze. Meanwhile, it only took a few weeks for Jackass to dump the MOW once I caught him out. As CL says, “once that nice situation is blown to pieces by the truth… fuck.” It wasn’t that he would have to mindfuck either of us back into the triangle; it was that I knew. I might tell. So like the coward he is, he ghosted on her. She’s still mourning (undercover) on a social media site 3 1/2 years later. He destroys whatever he touches. I’m lucky enough to have enough data to see the pattern, and to have found CL and learned about narcissism and how it work. That allowed me to see that he left because he can’t sustain anything. And I dodged a bullet when he left because I never had to kick him out. Because that would have been inevitable. As awful as the discard was, I am so grateful that the only contact he made with me was in rage mode. Chumps who struggle with the discard can get some healing simply by learning what they are. Ice cold hyena people. With dead eyes.

    • “And nothing creates a crisis for bullshitters like taking their words seriously. That amounts to taking a sledgehammer to their false persona.”

      Once again, LAJ — you’ve got me entranced.

  • This is so timely for me. My DDay was 3 years ago, divorced now with marital assets nicely wrapped up in court. Life is good. But I got another look at the Abandoning Cheater last weekend and it hurt like hell.

    I found unclaimed property for when we were married. We both had to sign the document with a notary. I thought we (I) could start to be cordial and let down my guard a bit. He can’t take anything else from me. As we were there, I said something to him and I saw his eyes glaze over and the look on his face as he faced me showed….nothing. It cut deep. All the hurt and pain he caused by just simply walking away all came flooding back in that moment.

    But CL describes him to a T. He simply walked away. He is lazy and wants an easy life of kibbles. That would never be a marriage with an equal….you’d actually have to pull your weight.

    As for our son, he pays support (state garnishes it) and he keeps his visitation every other weekend….but no more than that. Lazy is right and I don’t think Whore would allow it. She NEEDS him. Recently, he has started to call our son more and more. He’s even called me recently (really a first in 3 years) to ask for information about our son…he was sick, going to the dentist. Our son tells him about his life, not me. Ex doesn’t know when report cards come out, when his Spring Break begins, how much time he spends outside roaming the neighborhood with his friends, that he has a gold belt in martial arts…..

    I’m seeing a fellow Chump. His STBX is bat shit crazy. Probably bi-polar. And I am grateful for the abandoner.

  • I’m thankful for such a great piece this morning. I will never, ever understand how somebody can move on so quickly. I have been working on coming to grasp of it all with my shrink. And I think she rightly points out that he was NEVER attached. To me or anybody else. There is nothing else to explain how after 10 years and one daughter (not to mention the fact that I was a mother to his kids by his first wife), he can just walk out the door without ever looking back. Once I discovered the affair and confronted him (the same day), he pretty much ghosted me and had moved out of the bedroom within ten days and then out of the house ten days after that. Honestly, if he didn’t have to take his 16 year old son with him, he would have moved directly to the OW’s house at that point. But he had to have a place for his son, so he got an apartment and then effectively abandoned the kid there and in reality just stayed with the OW every night. He also agreed to give me sole custody of our daughter and he has the most limited visitation possible. Who does that? He has never expressed an ounce of feeling about the entire thing. He’s just cold. Unattached. Clinical.

  • Haven’t read the comments yet, but thanks for reiterating this. Definitely my situation. The hardest part is coming to grips with understanding that in 30 years together, she was never connected to me. Boy was I a chump. I’m so much better now.

    • My realization too. In 33 years of marriage, he was never attached to me. So- serial affairs were okay. He said he loved me, but never acted that way. It’s taken me 6 years away from him to accept this and to no longer have any emotion. I, too am so much better now.

  • Almost a year out from DDay#2 and divorced 6 months ago, I’m still trying to untangle this abandonment (again). I come to CL and CN every day. Before today’s post, I was googling “How can husband leave wife and family?”. I just can’t possibly wrap my mind around it. What on this earth could possibly be worth leaving the only thing that matters in this life? Ones family is everything. Keep all your stuff, your glory, even your health. If you don’t have your spouse and especially your children, this all means nothing.

    After my morning googling session, I came across the Runaway Husbands webpage again and reread it. This is my cheater. Pillar of the community and all around “great guy”. As the wife though, I knew he was miserable in his work life and probably narcissistic. I always said he was ‘high maintenance’. He was a black hole of need—always needed me to be there and answer my phone whenever he called immediately, always wanting to talk about everything wrong in his life.

    If he had issues at work or with his hobby, he would talk endlessly about how people don’t appreciate him or how much more he knows than they give him credit for, blah, blah, blah. If I had an issue I needed to talk about, I would have to time it so he would be engaged and preface it with ‘I really need your help with this’. Even then, I would get about 5 minutes of discussion tops–then he was done.

    Both times he left it’s been for a dumsel, I mean a damsel, in distress. The latest one in her 20’s. Yeah she gets him I guess. That is, she’s willing to listen to everything all about him. Maybe this little ‘thang’ between them is over, I’m not sure. I decided I needed to get away too and she’s welcome to catering to his every whim and bottomless bucket of need.

    • MJB, your exH and mine are so similar! My exH had the “nice guy” image down great, but would come home and complain to me EVERY DAY about how miserable he was at work how he knew more than the manager and owners. He’d complain about his family, he’d complain about politics, he’d complain about EVERY THING EVERY DAY. On some level these narcissists need someone to indulge them in their misery as well as their ridiculous dreams, they are too lazy to do anything about it themselves other than complain! Pair their need for ego kibbles up with their deep seeded need for admiration and no wonder they go after the dumsels…err I mean damsels in distress.

    • Wow, you just described my ex exactly. The fretful personality, me being his support constantly keeping him upright, whilst my feet were sinking in quicksand. He also left me for a damsel in distress. A single mum who he worked with as a prison officer.

      He wanted children so bad with me and I always said no, I wanted to marry first and do it the old fashioned way after seeing the struggle my sister went through after her boyfriend left her struggling with my niece.

      I found out at the weekend his AP is pregnant. I’m gutted, I’m not sure why as I don’t want his kids. I think it’s the fact he blew up my life, then created his dream one with her. I thought I was feeling a bit better (it’s been 3 months since DDay no contact) and I feel thrown back to square one.

      • Yellowsunshine–of course you feel gutted. Not only is your emotional assault fairly recent, but your X has created “your” life together with someone else. That’s painful for many reasons–it is a kick in the gut as to how dispensable we were; any warm body will do to fulfill their wishes. And it probably feels like he has moved on to this fabulous life while you are stuck still processing the pain and emotions from the breakup and betrayal. Most of us are in the same boat; cheater has shifted to a replacement family/wife/husband/life while we are trying to make sense of what hit us.

        Play (and think) the long game–craft the life you want for yourself (independent of a romantic partner). In two years time, YOU will be the one with an admirable life, not perfect, but filled with integrity. You will have surrounded yourself with honorable people (because it’s impossible not to use that as a criteria after betrayal); you will have found or re-discovered hobbies, activities, films that you like. You will have become a better YOU. And cheater X–whatever his life appears on the outside in 2 years, HE will have caught up with himself. Yes, he may still post the happy FB pictures of his new family, but he will be discontent; the new life is not all he had hoped for. And he will still be a dishonest, manipulative thug at heart. It’s not a recipe for happiness. Hugs!

        • Thankyou so much Tempest. I really do appreciate you responding to me comments. It makes me feel so much better and understood.

          ‘probably feels like he has moved on to this fabulous life while you are stuck still processing the pain and emotions from the breakup and betrayal.’

          ^ this is spot on. You put into words how I’m feeling deep down.

          I’m so thankful I found you, CL and CN.

          Btw- I’m trying to find the link to the forums but it isn’t directing me anywhere, could you possibly send me in the right direction?

          The support given to each other here is overwhelming *hugs* xxx

          • Yellowsunshine–On the main page, top Right, you should see a ‘Forum’ link; you’ll have to register (and a password sent to your email). That will give you access to the forums; Private: General is usually the best place to get advice or solace as needed.

          • Yellowsunshine,
            On reading new posts today I am saddened to read your update.
            My Dday was years ago. I did the pick me dance. He stayed, changed jobs, we sold our beautiful new home, and moved with our young family to another city.
            Was that the best outcome? Probably not. It has never been easy. Is it better if the heater just leaves? There are no easy answers, but in a way, I think that it probably is. The kind of character that a cheater possesses does not change. They are entitled sorts and always put them self first throughout their whole life.
            I know you are young and of strong character. You don’t feel strong now, with one thing happening after another, but to CN, you, my dear girl, reign mighty.
            There are so many wonderful people, just a posting away, on CL, CN, people, like Tempest, Capricorn, LAJA, Tessie, Drew,……so many others, they will guide you. Their experiences and their willingness to lend a helping hand and offer support is a priceless gift.
            I wish I had known them in my time of need, but still they give me strength every day and I feel overjoyed that they are all here for you, (and many other chumps), now and in the days ahead. Reach out. With their hand and their heart, they will guide you.
            ( I hope your puppy is doing well)!

      • Yellow Sunshine, I know it’s hard to see right now but you dodged a bullet! I had lots of red flags before I married this fuckwit and had children. When we were dating, I surmised he was going to strip clubs with his best friend and was lying to me about it. Then the hidden porn, lack of reciprication, need for constant admiration, self centeredness, etc… I just spackled away.

        I’m still not at ‘meh’, I’m still trying to fit these puzzle pieces together. I don’t think they will ever fit. I’ll be lucky to see a mosaic when ‘meh’ comes around.

  • I read this originally when it came out and it resonated so much. My ex and I were married 7 years, together for 12 when he surprised me one evening, telling me he had hired a lawyer and divorce papers were coming next week. Literally that day we were texting about the date we would be putting our house on the market and setting up meetings with the realtor. I as off birth control as we were trying to get pregnant with our second child and we had been casually house shopping (funny enough, in the neighborhood of OW and her husband). The only comforts are that this all happened BEFORE I got pregnant or we sold our house and moved over there and I was locked into another mortgage with him.

    Even though he intended to live me with through the divorce he moved out within a week because he was tired of watching me mope around the house. He refused therapy, he refused to talk to me about anything. I had to piece things together from friends and family members, and to this day it kills me how much wool was pulled over my eyes for god knows how long. How could I have missed it all?

    I’m doing okay 3 years later, but it does make it hard to trust that it won’t happen again. How can somebody walk away so easily with no looking back?

  • Mine was a “cut and run”. But by the time he moved out and totally ghosted me, I found that I had already disconnected from him seeing that I had been constantly smelling the cold scents of his whoring around for years and I had had enough anyway. I cannot imagine how it would have been had he decided to hoover or try to claim that he was a “changed man” or mindfuck me in the various ways as what happens to most of you here…I would have had to deliver a swift kick in the teeth, but thankfully that never happened. Truthfully, my biggest fear after he left was that he might start calling “just to see how you are doing” while continuing to confirm by his lack of remorse what I already knew… that I meant nothing to him except as an appliance. This was already a bygone conclusion and far easier for me to embrace.

    He did attempt two times to get my two adult sons (not his) to join him at his new place across the river for weekly Poker nights or bowling…but I told my sons that he was just going to use them to triangle with in a further attempt to demoralize me and use them to show me that I had no one who was loyal to me. I gave them clear notice that I would not put up with THEM hanging out with my sworn enemy and would cull them out of my life if they did so. So they both kindly told him that it would be “too awkward under the circumstances” and have not heard a word from him since then.

    I feel like it is a huge compliment that X does not bother with me…for once, he truly flattered me in that he KNEW that I am smart enough to see him for what he is and that I have too much God given dignity to grovel at his feet or to fall for his groveling at mine. Smart man. I have to meet up with him once a year at a Paralegal Office to give him his annual payment of $25K cash to buy him out of his share of the house per MSA…he destroyed our credit through Bankruptcy so I could not get a loan. This has happened twice now (only six more payments to go), and each time I find myself sitting there beaming from ear to ear, giddy and thanking God that he has not succeeded in destroying me financially thus far, and he is sitting there like Judas accepting payment wearing his best Poker face. Priceless…for everything else, there is MasterCard.

    • Sweetz!!! You is badass!!!

      I like that you told your sons that you would not put up with them hanging around Poker / Bowling guy — you protected them from him, and I’m really glad that they complied.

  • My cheater left gleefully to move in with his AP, exposing me to getting ready for his “dates” while still living in our house and raging at me because I wouldn’t give up our bedroom to him. He barely had a backward glance only saying I was good for making money(no mention of our beautiful children or 35 years of shared life). He did some minor stalking and regular rages by email about the separation agreement that he consistently stood in the way of completing but no care or emotion for me or our children whatsoever. Cold as ice is right. Recently our grown daughter made comments about the mental illness in my family(not me) and i said that is your dad speaking and the facts speak for themselves( stolen life savings and affairs).

    • NewLady15, your cheater is so mean and sick. Reading that, I made a resolution, James Bond will not ruin my life!!! I will do everything I can to be happy and healthy.

      • Yay you ,Queen Mother!. He is sick. I just wish our daughter could see it.. I will continue to be the sane parent and am approaching meh…

        • Hang in there. You have set an example, and the only option is to let them draw conclusions. Point out mindfuckeries, just not necessarily him, and keep walking. Tuesday is coming.

  • CL has taught me soooo much since I’ve been a daily reader since early 2014……but THIS post really hit it out of the ballpark for me!

    The cheater devil was indeed a tidy little sociopath! I had tons of red flags throughout my 10 years with the freak fuck that I just quickly swept under the rug.

    But wait!
    He was sooo honest! (and all 3 ex wives were bi-polar and liars)
    He was ALWAYS working! (even in the wee hours of the morning putting bids together; that must be why I didn’t get a call ALL DAY AND NIGHT until midnight or after)
    He had ADD! (if I bothered to care enough to read up on ADD, I’d see that’s why he stares incessantly at pretty women)
    He had to take Viagra in his early 40s! (by accident I found them, he never told me; then I got the because of all the meds I take for my ADD, anxiety, etc line) About the last year of our fauxlationship, sex was nil and none. One day he accidentally put his phone on speaker and it was the pharmacy telling him his Rx for Viagra was ready.

    I could go on and on but then that’s me reliving the nightmare of the devil monster that infiltrated my life. NO THANKS! Life is great on the other side. Bitch bye!

  • Does anybody know any data about this particular type of cheater and future relationships?
    — I know Chumps are not supposed to care after Cheaters leave, but these abandonment situations take the absolute cake.

    First, I for one, could not imagine getting into a relationship with a married man, (Hello? OW – what’s the best this can turn out for you? You become the next Mrs. Cheater?)
    Secondly you get a cheater who abandons his entire prior life? For a “special love”? He’s supposed to set down some real roots now with OW?
    — Especially the children. Who could stomach someone who could disregard their own offspring?

    — that’s two times the level of screw up!

    • He might disregard his own offspring, but now he’s free to take care of hers. Shortly after XH moved in with the AP, he took her and her 2 daughters to Disney (but would never take his own son). I’m sure her children are also on his insurance seeing she is unemployed. Her disable adult child also is living with her. So she has her 3 children sitting pretty….so why would she give a fuck about mine.

    • Like cheaters, OW also have issues. The whore my XH hooked up with got her first husband to leave his wife for her. Her first H was smarter than my X. Didn’t put her on his house aside from right of survivorship. She filed for divorce within 2 years of marrying him. They didn’t seem to have finances mingled and we live in a community property state, yet divorce took 3 years.

      Before triumphing over me in a pick me dance I didn’t know I was competing in, whore tried for other married men in her office. I’m told she “has a way”.

      I don’t think the OW see the cheater as a cheater. They need “the win” to validate their miserable selves. Beyond pathetic.

    • My thoughts exactly! Magneto we must be living the same life! Slut puppets don’t think like us.

    • I’ve witnessed several of the scenarios you speak of and I can tell you not one of the relationships that started out by cheating on their spouses has worked out. The OWives/girlfriends were all dumped pretty much in the same manner that the cheaters dumped their first wives only some much worse. One was set up to be arrested for domestic assault. She now has a record, had to leave the marriage residence, no money, living in her mother’s 2×4 shack, is hitting 50 but looks much older. Oh right and no job skills because why bother when you have (had) a husband making well into the six figures that is 13 years older than you. Plus her stripper days are pretty much over. As for the cheater that dumped her? He is a hot mess as well. Way back he commanded much respect, now he is a total joke. I’d say karma hit, karma hit hard.

    • My STBXH left for a serial cheater. The AP’s XH and I talk from time to time. We’re basically sitting back, munching on popcorn, and waiting for karma to catch up to our cheaters. They are a time bomb.

      Tick, tick, tick….

  • I think of this as “pick-me dancing in the dark,” with apologies to Bruce Springsteen.

    Mine just left, after 31 years together. I was completely in the dark about the cheating, so can’t blame his departure on any unmasking. Before he left he told me he didn’t love me any more. I asked him if there was anyone else involved, and he said sadly no, that it was just that he didn’t love me and had been unhappy for 10, maybe 20 years. It took me five months to find out he had a girlfriend, and he then claimed he hadn’t met her until after he left me. Deftly ignoring the fact that after he left me we were still married and he had said he didn’t want to get divorced, despite the sad sausage unloved act. Of course during that first five months, I was frantically doing the pick-me dance completely in the dark. Little did I know at the time that he was swanning around with the OW, squiring her on weekends away, taking golf lessons with her, and getting a new Cialis prescription.

    It took me five months after THAT to root out prior serial cheating and also to find out that he’d taken up with the OW almost a year before he left. At that point, the mask was completely off. He’d been an ice cube before, but after the unmasking he became a completely hostile ice cube.

    He agreed to an attempt at reconciliation at that point, but telegraphed such hatred for me that I could tell he was just hoping to keep a lid on what I’d found out. After the reconciliation failed, we stopped speaking to each other completely. (Of course I told everyone I knew what I’d found out!)

    I didn’t really have to try at NC, because my x is much better at it than I am. I guess that’s probably a good thing. But it was (and still is) so hurtful.

    All of us chumps end up in the same place eventually, but I would have given anything for a little fake remorse and insincere pleading to be taken back. I feel as if I will be in therapy for the rest of my life due to the style and nature of my particular discard.

    • My ex told me he was leaving, then went to spend the night in a hotel. He sent an email the next morning saying he wanted to get together and “tell me how things would go” and I refused to see him. Once he realized that I wasn’t going to listen to him or do what he told me he basically went gray rock. People are always asking me what he’s doing and I tell them I don’t know. I blocked all his social media accounts and have never tried to find out. It hurts less that way. But we now have grandchildren together, so I suppose we will probably see each other more than we have in the past 5 years. I don’t look forward to it.

    • ChampChump
      That’s a terrible thing. These people still surprise me. Maybe that’s a good thing as it shows how lovely we are, we literally can not wrap our heads around what they have done and who they are.
      My STBX is also very very excellent at no contact but he is also being ‘nice’. It takes effort to hold my position of Alethia’s Customer Service Level grey rock. I am in the position of having fake remorse and insincere pleading to come back and it’s so painful. It digs right into your memories of who you think they were. I always imagine myself lashed to a strong mast in high stormy seas, terrified that if I let go I will be swept out to sea and will never find myself again. It takes great reserves of energy to fight off this siren song to get you back under control.
      Mine has not left ‘for’ anyone. He wasn’t that interested to leave the marriage he just wanted strange on the side with no consequences.
      They all suck.

      • Capricorn, I would not be nearly as strong in your position. In fact, even after I discovered my x’s current cheating, plus his past cheating and his illegitimate child and his secret child-support payments (13 years’ worth), I was so out of my mind I would STILL have taken him back!

        Yes, I do imagine it takes great reserves of energy to fight off the siren song, not to mention great strength and self confidence and the conviction that you deserve better. I am sad to say I did not have those when I was at my lowest ebb (or even my not-so-low ebb), and I truly admire those who do.

        In that respect the quick discard and no looks back on the part of the cheater were really the best thing for a weakling such as myself. I know that, and I have full confidence that some day my heart will fully catch up with my head.

        I am a Capricorn as well. I like to think I’m pretty pragmatic but when it comes to the cheater I’m just emerging from three years of extreme basket case. My divorce was final last month on a Tuesday though, so I’m taking that as a good sign that “meh” is around the corner.

  • I don’t feel very lucky that I have been left whilst pregnant, but i do really feel for those of you here who have been left after many years. The biggest sting is that he left me and our family for a teenager he had known for just over 3 months. It don’t know if it was an exit affair, I’m not entirely sure what they really are. I do know that he has shown no remorse or taken any responsibility for what he has done. I know he fully believes his reasons for leaving me which are of course all negative things about me. The only thing he took responsibility for are the fact he had been telling me so many lies. He tells me that it was easy to lie to me because I believed everything he said. I don’t know how you can use the fact that someone trusted you as a reason for leaving them.

    • Pregnant Chump, if he circles back around please know your worth. I got duped twice. He thinks he found something better, more kibbly, and doesn’t think he needs the cake for back up. If things don’t work out, he may come back around for some leftovers. Please don’t fall for it. Don’t eat the shit sandwich for the baby. He will just do it again. Ask me how I know….

      • Thanks for the advice sorry you had to go through this. I don’t think he would dare try to be honest. I told him I don’t want him anymore and I filed for divorce 2 months after D-day. Me and my son are doing better without him and although it’s going to be hard to take care of a newborn and a toddler on my own, I know I’m worth more than being lied to, manipulated, cheated on and abused.

    • Pregnant chump,

      Your comments really hit home and just prove these are just disordered individuals and circumstance is irrelevant. Every thing you said fits my stbx cheater to a t. The difference is we were married 26 years, had 5 children and his home wrecking whore is two years older than me. I think it is because he wants a mommy to take care of him and her kids are all over 18 and away at college or working.

      I am sorry you have to go through this but love that baby and stay strong. Your cheater isn’t capable of love so your children won’t miss him. You are right you are better without him.

      • It is all about them and it doesn’t matter what position they leave you in. He knows how hard it was when we had our son but he doesn’t care about me and hasn’t thought about how hard it’s going to be for me. Don’t get me wrong I love this baby and my son is very excited to be a big brother, but i am totally disgusted with him for planning a baby with me then claiming he wasn’t happy and that he hadn’t felt wanted by me for 2 years. I thought he was the honest family man he portraid himself to be and so did everyone we know. In reality i couldn’t have be more wrong about who he is. He has showed me that now and he is not someone who shares my values about anything. The 19 year old can deal with him and his thousands of pounds of gambling debts from now on.

  • Narcissist, sociopath, who knows, who cares anymore. Mine left one day while I was out and left a four line note. He took everything he considered portable and his and slept on his mother’s sofa for the next 10 weeks. Once in his own rented flat schmoopie came over for holidays and two years ago she finally bought him a flat and moved in with him. I have minimal contact. Our adult children (one Aspergers one with a serious disease that entailed a stem cell transplant two years ago) have cards at Christmas and birthdays. He was simply gone from our lives. For quite a while I wondered if his leaving was truly to do with me but my daughter told me very firmly he was the crazy one. She is a rock.

    I think it is better than a long drawn out processs of disengagement but I would have liked to have had some kind of civilised end to our 37 year marriage. In the end I have come to realise he stole all those years from me. And that he never cared. That he chose me because I was everything he wasn’t and when he decided he wanted a shiny new toy (I was old like him LOL) he just went. I also see that he treats everyone like this. He dumped his mother in a care home and spends little time with her. It is all about him. His happiness. The reality is that he is still probably the same silent, disengaged idle person he was during our marriage. Boy, did OW win a prize but even if light dawns poor old sad sausage is hanging on for dear life.

    • I agree, it just shocked me for our 36 year relationship to end like that. So heartless and cruel. The hardest part for me is that he was willing to destroy my self esteem in an effort to make himself feel better. I always thought he was a strong person, it really surprised me to learn how much of a coward he was underneath.

      • Not ‘willing’ to destroy… I felt my npd was wantonly trying to destroy me before he left. He point blank told me I had no self esteem and had let myself go among other things. The amazing thing was never in a million years would I have attributed these shallow cowardly things to his character. But he used all the knives he stuck in my back before he ran off to attempt to permanently disable me i believe. I even got the “I’ll miss your cooking” line like that was a completely reasonable statement to make after 24 years. Funnily enough i actually saw another chump have the same exit line delivered to her on a message board! I thought at the time he must be getting me muddled up with his mother….

    • Just right before I was officially done, I was talking with someone from Ex’s family about when his mom died. The story I had always heard was that he had planned to get home, because he knew she was not doing well, but that he just missed it and she died unexpectedly the day before his flight was scheduled. I was sad for him.

      I was talking to his brother’s wife when I was on a little trip with her. Sort of unprovoked that topic came up and she said “Yeah, he abandoned the family. We all knew Mom was sick and he was told a few times he needed to get home, but he just didn’t bother. We are all really shocked, but you can’t force him.”

      A few years before his father had to have rather sudden quadruple bypass surgery. I was like “uhhhh do you want to book a ticket or something to be there in case something goes wrong with the surgery.” He gave some song and dance about how he just couldn’t get away from work and something something (never made any sense to me).

      Seeing that, and then hearing the REAL story about when his mom died, sort of figuratively stopped me in my tracks. It was chilling… like holy shit, this guy really does not fucking care. His father may die and he can’t be bothered to get on a plane. His mother was dying and he just decided to keep working. I realized that he was really devoid of any caring or emotion. He was annoyed that he had to pretend to care. And suddenly all of the discarding behavior, and dismissing of my emotions and just pathological lack of empathy I had experienced over the years made sense. He was annoyed that he had to pretend to care about anyone but himself. Including his own parents.

  • Yep. This was my STBX. I’m going with he’s lazy. After the first Dday and I told him it was over, but that he could stay a few days to work out where he’d live, he tried to hug, tell me he’s stupid and it’s not what he wanted, it was only this one woman for a few months and ‘he didn’t know what he was thinking’. Then he mopped around the house, looking sad and sullen, asking to be with me Christmas Eve. After DDay2 on Christmas Eve, when a 2nd, longer term Whore was uncovered and I kicked him out, he stopped looking sad and just left. Not fighting the divorce or saying he’s sorry. When I found out about the massage parlors and, he shut down even more.

    His mask his off and he’s not even human enough to try to put it back on. Easier to ignore his losses and move onto a safer bet.

  • The walking away without a word is tough. When I was in my early teens, we woke up one day and my father was gone. No sign of him. A bit of a mess at the workplace (parents self employed), so cops thought maybe foul play or that parents were faking his death to get insurance money. The small town cops followed my mother around for months. Then it turns out my father had not paid the business taxes, used siblings inheritance money and put it in the business, etc.
    Two years later he shows up again (she had lost the family business by then and we had moved out of state) and my mother took him back–argh. Four months later, nope, they split, and he married his girlfriend. I am convinced he only came back to get divorced so he could marry the girlfriend.
    Turns out my mother is bipolar, so she could not have been an easy person to live with. The issue with the way my cowardly father handled things…now whenever my mother is manic, it turns paranoid. Mafia, IRS, etc, out to get her.

    My ex knows the family story, and my mother lived with us for four years. He knows what a coward my father is. Yet my ex was almost as bad. No, he did not disappear out of the blue, but he tried to cover things up as “we married too young” and “drifted apart as zyx321 is angry and bitter with mother in the house” etc. I was blindsided with the announcement that our marriage was as loveless as HIS parents, and he did not want to end up like them.

    Ugh. All cheaters are either cowards, or sociopaths getting a kick out of their actions.

    • Hey zyx321? As I read your post, about your mom being bi-polar, that thought occurred to me that it could have been the way your dad treated her. Maybe he was cheating and lying all along, and it messed with her head.

      • Hi QueenMother: Thanks for thinking about and commenting on my post.
        no, in hindsight, the docs think she was bipolar before that, probably since my sister was born. She was usually a ‘happy’ manic and would do things such as grocery shopping at 3am, and then would have periods of not being able to get out of bed… that was my childhood (not constant).
        Just with all that happened to her– her mania has now turned paranoid, which it never was before.

        I truly blame my father for that part– yes, she was probably difficult to live with; in which case– you get divorced, do not cheat, etc. But it was a relatively benign mania until the cops thought she killed him and would not stop following her.
        I still do not understand how he was not located– he moved one state over and used his social security number! This was long before the internet.

  • First he wanted us to be polyamory so he could figure out who he wanted cos it seems like he loved us BOTH, me for 26 years and that slunt for a couple of weeks. UH, that was a big NOOOOO. Then he wanted to be friends (!) and hang out at the house and do yard work with me (NO), and then he said maybe he needed to be divorced to see if he really wanted to be married (?) and then he wanted to be divorced so we could figure things out and why it all happened once the divorce is final. So I did what he wanted as always, am getting the divorce, but he also wants to harm me financially and wonders why I don’t trust him. Delusional? Mid life crisis? Narcissist? Entitled asshole? You choose. But he never once wanted to work on the damage he caused or make amends. I told him choices have consequences and if he chose to bring other people into our marriage, that was not acceptable. So he left. No marriage counseling, no individual therapy cos “therapists don’t understand”. He ran away even though he told me I was the best wife, best friend, best companion–but obviously not good enough to stay faithful to or fight for. So I’m basically in hell.

  • My ex-husband bolted almost the moment after I discovered his infidelity and confronted him about it. DDay was on a Tuesday and he was in his own apartment by the following Monday.
    What has really killed me about his deceit and abandonment are the contradictions in his words and actions during and immediately after DDay. He immediately asked for a divorce, but then admitted that he had had no plans to reveal his affair or even attempt to leave me until I discovered what he had been up to. He told me that the affair wasn’t my fault, but then said that he “would never cheat on another person, but if [he] stayed, [he] would do it to [me] again.” He had no interest in laying claim to anything in our apartment, and even gave me a check for a few thousand dollars to cover several months of his part of the rent, but then he had the nerve to ask me to help him write down things he would need for his new place (mattress, silverware, curtains, etc.) and asked me to research the places he would need to set up his new address with. I can’t satisfy his outward guilt and dependency with his eagerness to go.
    I understand that abandonment can ultimately be less heartbreaking than struggling with a lingering cheater, but damn if it doesn’t still hurt like hell.

      • I promise you will realize one day it is not “sad” a peice of shit bastard, who deliberately fucked you and your family over, doesn’t miss you.

        It is sad a piece of shit deliberately fucked over his family for ass.

        You will look back at this , when you reach meh, wonder what the hell you were thinking, AND be thrilled the mother fucker is GONE.

        Excuse my language during Lent.

        Ask any chump who has reached meh.

      • My therapist once said that ex will probably regret someday what he has done. Today? Tomorrow? On deathbed? But it doesn’t matter because we chumps will never know.

    • Not the way you wish he did. He sees human beings as objects–useful is better. He might miss certain things you did for him, but not in an affectionate way. He doesn’t empathize with you. He doesn’t want to protect you. You were to exist for him, apart from him. Until you weren’t. Until he discarded you.

      It’s kinda hard to wrap your head around it, really, because your brain doesn’t work that way. You have normal human emotions, but he does not, if he’s a cheater. There’s him at the center of the universe (I think that part is normal) but everything around him is useful or not useful. Desired or not desired. Threatening or not threatening. He doesn’t really LOVE. It’s sort of creepy, actually.

    • I know, same here. It’s always the middle of the night, isn’t it? I can be meh all day, but nights are lonelier.

      I would love the satisfaction of knowing that he truly feels sadness or regret or longing for our old life. Not because I want to be with him again, but because I want to know that it actually meant something.

      But like Stephanie says, they just don’t function that way.

      So, I trust that he sucks.

      • In the middle of the night I wake alone. It was different married. I woke up next to him, yet was utterly alone. Even after sex. I don’t feel that way now.

  • I had a quick discard. Literally walked off the plane from my mother’s funeral in Hawaii to a sneak attack divorce complete with disordered whore. He gave me the “ILYBINILWY” crap. I kicked him out. He came back next day and told me that he missed me and the dog. Wanted to work on marriage. I knew at that point, this wasn’t a marriage issue. It was HIS issue. We weren’t in a bad place as far as I knew. After all, there hadn’t been fighting, we had a wonderful trip to Australia planned, and our finances were in great shape. I went to stay with my dad in another state for 3 weeks so he could get into IC and pull his head out of his ass. Barely heard from him. When I came home, he had moved out. Wouldn’t tell me where he lived – didn’t “trust” me in my “anger”. He kept the mailbox keys from me. Treated me like I wasn’t even human. He proceeded to cut premium cable and remove speakers from the sound system. Within weeks, he filed for divorce and listed our home. Served me the day before my 43rd birthday.

    I finally got MY head out of my ass. Found out about the whore. Found out her friend stalked us in a restaurant before we went to Hawaii – then FB stalked me after I was served with papers (she was an unusual FB friend request – I had met her only once and briefly spoke with her at said restaurant a few months before. Turns out, stalking friend was Schmoopie’s bestie). Our divorce was done within a few short months. He told me not to contact him. I still couldn’t grasp what had happened in only a few short months. He and I exchanged angry, but non-threatening texts. He filed an RO. Engaged to Schoompie within a year. Married to her now almost 2 years.

    Abandonment feels like it is done with a very big helping of “Fuck you”. It’s almost always a sudden event. It’s like losing someone to heart-attack (which is how I lost my mom). It’s a shock. Here one day, gone the next. In my case, the abandonment hurt more than the affair. It is very much a realization that you never had the marriage you thought you did. I was married almost 17 years. Still freaks my shit that I slept next to a sociopath for 17 years and had no clue. None.

    • My ex took me to a wonderful vacation in Hawaii a few weeks before he announced he was leaving. He gave a big speech at our son’s wedding about how all the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom had been married 30+ years. Sounds similar to your ex. I agree that abandonment is excruciatingly painful, but if you survive you become very strong.

      • My x and I went on “the vacation of a lifetime” to the south of France. We left on September 10, 2013. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had been having an EA with the OW all summer, and slept with her for the first time on September 6, again on September 7, then texted her the whole time we were on vacation.

        When we returned from Europe, the affair ramped up. The discard took place six months later.

        I agree with you Lyn about becoming stronger. It’s not fun being a chump, but if you survive and thrive it helps build that sense of self efficacy the LovesaJackass talks about.

        • What is it about vacations? Mine took me on a cruise to celebrate his 50th birthday and did a bunk 3 weeks later. The only clue was a throwaway comment he made one night on deck after a few drinks. “I’m going to end up a lonely old man”.
          Except he didn’t.

          • That is the truth there: “I’m going to end up a lonely old man.” Even with Schmoopie ex is a lonely old man.

  • I think my ex was stone cold. For most of the years we were married I wondered if he had feelings, or whether he was just faking them to get what he wanted. That’s why I was so shocked when he cried buckets of tears near the end of our marriage before the truth came out. He was acting so uncharacteristically that I was worried he had a brain tumor. His emotion chip was definitely defective. The reasons he gave for leaving sounded more like a middle school boy than a 50+ year old man. Either he never had emotional circuitry but learned to imitate it, or he’d learned to suppress emotion growing up with a hard nosed father in a macho culture. I’ll never know for sure.

    • Lyn,

      Wow – can I relate to your situation. I also thought my XH had a brain tumor. I called his brother begging him to come out because XH’s behavior was so uncharacteristic of him. His brother told me, “He’s fine when I talk to him.”

      I always wondered about XH’s emotions. When my mom died, he cried as hard as I did. He mirrored me. Seemed odd as they weren’t really close. He copied my emotions, style of speaking, my taste. When I met XH, he was an introverted, country bumpkin. Now, he’s quiet social and pretends to be sophisticated. My IC told me that the ironic thing is that the whore is actually in love with ME. My X isn’t any of what he projects – he just mimicked me.

      • Before I knew about the twat, I, too, wondered if The Coward had a tumor or Alzheimer’s or something. Then at BD I got the shark eyes.

        He’d been mirroring HER, acting super effeminate, practically purring over his cup of tea (tea was sort of new for him). It totally grossed me out. I wondered if he was gay. Then I beat myself up for not wanting to have sex with the weirdo–it was clearly my outlook, you see. I was not a good wife, I told myself. And then I would work really hard to make it right, put down my feelings and block my intuition, and give myself to him, to make our marriage right–all before I knew there was an interloper.

        In an instant, the truth was an absolute relief–a rush, even. Then reality sunk in and my heart shattered into bits, which I’ve mostly put back together–like that kintsugi artwork from Japan. Broken and better.

        Ugh. But I am SO thankful for being ghosted. So thankful for CL/CN that I stopped pursuing him to make him see what he’d done to the kids, to me, to us. He knows. He’s got something really fucked up in his head, though, that’s for damned sure.

      • OMG! Personality disordered people do mimic, copy and go through phases of portraying the perfect upstanding citizen to outlaw biker thug. One defect I know has even taken on a TV Show personality. Another went from church going holy roller that would put Betty Crocker to shame to swinger meet ups and posting nude photos on the internet. Her husband went along with the program (he always went along with her) but she ended up dumping him (and their six kids) for another man in the end. This goes to show these defects to be nothing but shells, empty souls.

  • These stories are just making me so sad today. What a bunch of sociopaths these cheaters are. The only bright spot is that the Chumps are free of them. I just marvel that the ow/on are delusional enough to actually think these losers are a prize.

  • Had GHOSTING as it’s called, done to me twice. First guy I caught up with years later and he was NOT comfortable. I didn’t know about Narcissists yet. But he answered none of my questions. That was 28 years ago. He’s on wife #2. Has the same harem since high school. The only lame thing he told me was that I was “strong enough” to be dumped. Let me tell my brief relationship with him just about destroyed me. And now he tells people I’m crazy and obsessed with him. LOL. NOT!

    The second guy popped up 26 years later. When I started asked why, this married “religious ” father of two started love bombing me and attempted to get me to have an affair with him. He was suspiciously coy about normal information too. Nope! I said repeated Nos. It ended when he threatened me for finding out he’d hacked my online buddy list and was trying to hook up with my married friends. Police implicated him in the bust of a $2million a year brothel. He tells people now I’m crazy ugly etc and has attempted to reinvent himself as a right wing blogger. And his ChumpWife believes all his BS

    The disappearing act is devastating for an empathic person. I assure you we did nothing to deserve it. If they pop up again, flush a couple more times

  • Been creeping this site for the past 6 months or so. Read Tracey’s book, loved it!! your the best CL.

    Anyways, this was my situation too, She became Friends with my son’s hockey coach and at the same time she became very unhappy with our almost 10 year marriage. Overnight change it seemed, blindsided. Apparently I was the source of her unhappiness. She went as far as to say she blames me 100%. Anyways, We seperated in same house for almost 6 months while i put up with her running around with the low life. Finally got legal seperation last sept which I wasnt gonna do. If she wanted it I made her pay for it. Which she did and was busting to get me outta the house, so they could have there fairytale life. Anyways I moved out, She bought me out of the house, he moved in the next day and has been there ever since. It makes me sick that there doesn’t seem to be any remorse or shame what they were conspiring to do and did. I try to remain NC as much as possible, we have 2 kids together though. The funny part is she caught on that I won’t speak with her unless its about the kids, so I get the same treatment from her. I guess its a blessing in disguise, I’m still not at Meh but its been over a year since discovery and things do get easier everyday.

    The good thing is I feel I’m strong enough to realize this is a her problem, not a me problem. I have a good job, I have my kids 50\50 and I have adjusted realitively well to being a single father. I’m closer to my kids and I don’t feel like I’m walking on eggshells at home anymore. Life is getting better everyday, jut hard to think it was all gone in a blink of an eye and it seems as if the last 10 years meant nothing to her. I know I have to reconcile that on my own, which I am. Not sure if I would prefer the abandonment pain over the serial cheater pain more but in the end they all suck. That I know with certainty.

    • I’m glad you’ve found us. Your story is heartbreaking.

      Speaking as a woman, I am just dumbfounded that a wife and mother could be so cold-hearted and horrible. I just don’t get it. Other than to say she has some sort of weird (but surprisingly not uncommon, so I’ve come to learn) pathology in her brain, which causes her to be soulless. That’s the common thread here.

      You men who post here are such a blessing. You’ve taught me and other women here that this isn’t a “man thing.” You’re so decent and kind and loving. And you’re also here for each other to help each other realize this is not an indictment of your manhood–you simply loved with all your heart and got it handed to you by someone who looked normal on the outside and could fake being normal on the outside.

      I’m sorry that you were so hurt, but I’m glad we all have this.

      • Thanks for that Stephanie! I truly don’t understand it either. I know I had a role in the strain in our marriage but when I first discovered what was going on. I did the pick me dance. I was the model husband and wanted to do counseling etc. in the end I realized she already decided that our family wasn’t worth fighting for. This low life already was whispering in her ear how he would treat her so much better. Well the joke is on her. If you saw what she left for, it boggles my mind. Not saying I’m perfect or the most studly man in the world but she took a big step down. I’m just upset with what my kids have to go through as far as this situation, they didn’t ask for this stranger to be in there life and it’s been forced on them.

        • Stick around here long enough and you will learn this rule: Cheaters ALWAYS (AL. WAYS.) affair down.

          You may not believe it at first, but they do. Just when you think there’s an exception, you realize perhaps after a bit of time that–nope–they always trade down.

          BTW, none of us were perfect partners, but none of us deserved to be cheated on. A mature partner, in a relationship that isn’t working for them, would try really hard to work on making things better, maybe go to counseling, and if that didn’t work out, they’d act honorably and in a forthright way let you know they had no choice but to end it. What they wouldn’t do is keep you in the dark and use YOUR integrity against you while stabbing you in the back with an affair–that’s completely disrespectful, dishonest, and abusive.

          I suspect you’re going to find out that while you aren’t perfect, you’re pretty A-ok, buddy. And someone is really going to appreciate you, and vice-versa. Hang in there.

          • Well said and I will stick around, I really enjoy reading the blog and the comments! It helps knowing that I’m not alone in crazy town.

          • Affair down, yup. Ex left me for a subordinate who had 5 kids but no custody. Heard she was flat chested & ugly. Married a 30 year old butchy looking/flat chested soft ball coach at a Catholic high school.

    • I, too, try to remain as no contact with my XH as possible. My ex is like yours in that he figured out real quick that I only talk to him regarding the financials, so he has started NC with me as well. I haven’t even discussed anything with him regarding our daughter. It’s been a true blessing actually. We still have a few financial things to handle before I can go complete no contact, like the sale of our marital home, but once it’s all settled, I’m done. He’s pretty much ruined his relationship with our 16 y/o daughter, so I really think it’s just a matter of time that she goes NC with him as well. He always preached that life was about choices & consequences. I hope the consequences of his shitty choices & the damage that he’s done bites him in the ass very soon. Yes, they ALL suck!

      • My kids are still too young to really understand, 4 and 7. Although they know that I have zero respect for the OM. I don’t make it a secret. I don’t believe in lying to them. Although I don’t editorialize as CL once put it. Lol. I also keep my opinions about their mom to myself. NC is def the way to Meh, it’s just those kids extra curricular type activities that still trigger anger in me when having to face them. Those days are a struggle.

        • I really can’t imagine going through this with children that young. My heart goes out to you & them. I guess I’m “lucky” in that my daughter sees her dad’s true colors. She talks to me about her opinion of him and the hurdles she know she’s going to have to face with him in the future. She doesn’t want the OW (well, the current one) in her life period & she’s told him this. He’s mad about it & accuses her of wishing him unhappiness. She flat out told him last week that she guesses he has a choice to make because THAT woman was not welcome in her life. I’m curious to see how all this plays out if he decides to bring this OW to football games & such to watch our daughter cheer (that is if our daughter even sends him a schedule of games).

          • My 4 girls told their father they will not have a relationship with him while he is with his affair partner.they hate her. So what does he do ? He proposes to her and they are getting married in 5 months time. We are not even divorced yet . WTF?? He doesn’t feel that he should have to make a choice. But my girls have said you already have you just haven’t said it out loud yet!!
            Stbx believes that kids have said all this to him because I made them.
            Parental alienation I’m accused of by his whole narcissistic family
            Because you know he just needs to be happy !!

            • Freewill101 How awful for you and your daughters but stay strong. Blameshifting at its finest- I bet you never knew how much control you have over people – your daughters- him (wow, you get to decide whether he is happy or not.) What crap, he will be unhappy no matter what because he is a disordered narc who lies and cheats. I was always trying to make my narc happy and never succeeding. This site has made me realize I was trying to do the impossible. Thanks for sharing your story. It is unfortunate but no contact seems to be the only answer. I wish there was a cure.

  • What makes cases like this extra painful, is that in my and many other cases, the BD is a shock.

    Mine works at a security guarded plant, has company phone – always locked. So I only knew of coworkers he spoke of.
    In February of BD year, we had a trip to Iceland, Anniversary gift, and a large bonus put into the 401K that year. IF HE had known about the bomb drop, or divorce, he would have kept it separate, I would have never known about the $$$.
    So, Feb. looking at retirement homes, investments and anniversary trips, six weeks later the boinking started on a drunken business trip to Germany. 8 weeks later, they decided it was “true love” and they needed to divorce their spouses immediately and move in together.
    They did know each other for over 10 years, working off and on. Not once in the ten years did cheater mention this co workers name to me. I still don’t know what she looks like – she scrubbed the internet clean before I found out.
    — And I never looked again.

    I hold her 0% accountable for breaking up my marriage. That is 100% on cheater. Her selfish money grab would not have been possible without XH invitation.

    They just shocked both families by declaring “True Love”. I hope they both rot in hell, and the hell I’m referring to is in the union (marriage?) they have created. Families are not interchangeable widgets, children suffered. May they both be hit, sh@t on and drug from the bumper of the karma bus.

    — G’Dday all.

    • Amen to that! I always hope I have front row seats to the Karma show. We could all be so lucky right. Lol.

  • I am still trying to pick my jaw off the ground. That’s how shocked I was when my now ex left with no notice after 35 years. All those years i thought he was a decent man. When my mouth finally closes, (been 2 years now and my mouth is getting dry) that’s when I know I have reached Meh. I hope it is on a Tuesday but I will take any day of the week.

    I have often wished I had some transition time with him before he left just so I could get my feelings out. But when I read some of the horror stories of what you mighty ladies/men went through with “sticky spouses” I feel a little better. But not by much. The thing is, when it happens so quickly, there is no time to adjust. It is a surgical strike right through the heart with no anesthesia.

    • I was discarded this same way and I still have trouble accepting that there was no feelings for me or our children. Even stopping contact with the kids suddenly and leaving everything but his clothes behind. I feel invisible and rejection and jealous as he must really love whoever this is to turn his back on everything. He didn’t care to respond to the divorce petition and willing signed over full custody of our youngest son without batting an eyelash. It is more peaceful without the drama but the betrayal is a painful kick to the heart and ego. Please tell me some chump stories where you guys were able to recover and find love again! I am internalizing as this being my fault and keep replaying our last moments where his eyes looked “differently ” like manic and he was almost joyful that he was hurting us.

      • In my opinion Heart Broken the priority is not to “find love again.” You have to first find a way to love yourself. You are not broken, he is.

      • I don’t believe for a minute that he is capable of loving anyone. If he could love, he would never leave a child behind without a backward glance. I can’t even imagine given up a cat.

        If I recall your timeline correctly, this all happened very quickly. It will take time to recover. Any close contact with one of those sociopathic types does a real number on our minds, our hearts and our bodies. We lose the inner joy and natural confidence that we were born with. So priority #1 is healing: finding out who you are without a sociopath to deal with and figuring out what kind of life you want going forward. I would have said for sure during the first year that I would want to have a live-in partner again, but by year 2, I came to love living alone and eventually found a great guy who wants the same thing. We have a lot of fun but I also have a lot of freedom to spend time with friends and family without adjusting to someone else’s schedule. And I’m 65! If I stopped seeing this man, there are others who would be interested. If you are happy in your own new life, if you spend your time doing things you love (anything from mowing the grass to volunteer work to traveling), you won’t have trouble finding a companion. But you won’t be able to spot the right one till you figure out you. Put your time and energy into that project. Love yourself in a big way. And the rest will work itself out.

    • It’s a blow to your whole body. You have all sorts of memories with him built up for 1/3 of a century. Touch, smell, visual…you don’t just shake that off.

      We are complete without them. That’s what I tell myself. I don’t want another man. At least not now. I have all sorts of freedom I didn’t have before. My STBX is with his cheater companion (she left her husband as well) and they are back to all sorts of commitments they couldn’t keep before! Let’s see what happens with that, right?

    • I sometimes wonder if having the transition time would have been beneficial as well. I think the hard thing with these ghosters/abandoners who just disappear and tell you to move on is that you never get to SEE them do shittier and shittier things, you just have to trust that they suck and that is really hard when the heart and mind don’t understand. Am I grateful that my fuckwit exH moved out and never looked back? Yes. However, because I have zero contact with him, I really have only my imagination as to what his life is like now, no idea if he is miserable still or happy as clam, the fact is he is nuttier than a fruitcake and that’s what I trust.

      • Yes Jeannie you are so right. The heart, the mind and reality don’t seem to be in sync. We just have to trust that they suck.

  • My x wants nothing to do with me, to the extent that he even refused to file joint taxes for 2016, the last year we were still married. Filing separately cost each of us $3000 more, apparently a small price to pay for not having his name on a form with mine.

    I just can’t get my head around the fact that he’s treating me the way _I_ should be treating HIM. He just loves playing the victim, when in reality he’s the one who destroyed the marriage and fractured the family.

  • Champ Chump same here! He took me off the health benefits immediately and he removed his name from the utility’s and when they asked what name to put them under he told them “current resident “!

    • You know, that’s the sign of a very bad man. Not even an ice cube; an iceberg. A polar vortex black hole. Even my XH the alcohol abuser fixed it so I didn’t lose my health benefits. And I made sure he is still the beneficiary of my retirement fund, because ending a marriage doesn’t have to mean being cruel.

      • My ex cut me off his benefits plan immediately. I was a stay at home mom with no benefits. He also cut off my credit card and offered me a $100 a week allowance. I agree that ending a marraiage does not mean you have to treat the other person like shit!

  • x initially ran away. It was hard, I was dumb enough to worry about him. But then he came back to our town and the real hell began. I wish he would have just disappeared like he originally planned. He attempts to make life hell for me through two of my children and by telling anyone who will listen what a victim he is. Story is constantly changing. Fortunately thanks to this site I don’t care. LAJ in particular has been a huge help to me with her posts reminding us to focus on our own lives. Regardless of how they left it hurts like hell but the aftermath is getting smaller in the rear view mirror. I have no feelings for him and now wonder how I ever did. The best thing to come out of this is that I found my backbone and self respect and can spot a narc a mile away. CL and CN are truly life savers.

  • Thanks for this post CL! I have read a lot on IHG as well as on your blog and definitely felt in the minority since my STBXH did not seem to have any resistance to divorce, asking him to move out nor anything really hahah! He always said he was “slow” to process things, but as your post went over a few times, he was really just a lazy, entitled, coward waiting for me to take action so he could slunk away… bye bye!

  • Out of the blue my husband of 20 years (we were together for another 5 years before we married) tells me he’s unhappy, doubts that I ever loved him, feels we “lost our connection” and suggests we live together as friends and raise our 2 daughters. I was like WTF is going on? Following that announcement I was in absolute shock. I pleaded for him (affectionately called Dickhead) to focus on our marriage, spend more time with each other, etc. so he faked trying to work on our relationship for 3 weeks until he announced that he was done. That night I had made plans for our kids to sleep over friends’ houses so that we could have time alone. He used it as an opportunit