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Dear Chump Lady, He divorced me because we don’t have “chemistry”

Dear Chump Lady,

I have only been with one person my entire life, we were each other’s first. We both met when we were 20, got engaged at 25, married at 26, then unfortunately divorced at 27.

I’ve been through a lot, I was in medical school and he told me his true feelings a couple months before I had to take the board exam, saying he had feelings for someone else (one of my best friends, also in medical school) and that we lack chemistry. Marrying me was the “next step to fix our relationship.” He left with the only explanation of the lack of chemistry.

The lack of chemistry made him unhappy and felt “trapped” to the point where he seriously thought of suicide. After he left, I broke down, begging him to come back, repeatedly asking why. He told me I never appreciated him, couldn’t make him happy, we wanted different things in life and we lacked chemistry. WTF is chemistry?

Seven months later, I found out he’s been with that friend of mine. From the time he told me about his feelings to then, I’d been opening up to her and telling her everything, because I blindly trusted both of them. Who knows what she’s been telling him? This whole thing has led me to a very dark depression. I feel like I’m not good enough or worth enough.

I think if the person who knew me the best was so unhappy because of ME, to the point of suicide, I can’t trust myself and that I must be a horrible person. It may be great in the beginning but it will slowly fade and another person will just walk out on me like he did. I constantly have nightmares as myself being the third person just watching them. I know I need to move on, but I just don’t know how.

When I was in medical school he worked full time supporting me. The other woman and I are both doctors now. She moved to be with him and I moved back home to be closer to family. I know this fucking sucks and it hurts so bad, but I can’t help feeling this is what I deserve. I wasn’t enough for him, so he needed to find it in someone else. That he’s the best I could’ve gotten and when I put school first before him, he left, and I deserve it. I didn’t appreciate him and I took him for granted. I guess this whole thing is still unreal sometimes, like I’m in this bad nightmare that just keeps going.

Medchump

Dear Medchump,

None of this was your fault. Please stop blaming yourself at once! You were betrayed by the two people closest to you — and that is some traumatic shit. It’s totally normal to have nightmares. It’s totally normal to try and untangle that great big skein of fuckupedness (WHY? WHY? WHY?!) and imagine that it’s you, because if was you, you could control that outcome — you could fix it! and save it! Chumps take the blame mostly because cheaters blameshift their crappy behavior on to us (you lack “chemistry”) and also because thinking we are somehow at fault is less terrifying than vulnerability.

Medchump, love makes us vulnerable. You can’t commit to someone without making yourself vulnerable. Sexual and emotional intimacy requires trust — a sacred trust. That’s why marriage is a lofty pronouncement of commitment and you do it in front of a high court of judges, priests, and family elders. It MATTERS. He violated that commitment — he cheated on you, and worse, he blameshifted his atrocious behavior and tried to get you to believe HE was the true victim, not you.

I’m going to put each one of your fears through the Universal Bullshit Translator, okay?

1.) You lacked chemistry. That’s some nebulous bullshit right there. What? Did you have a Vitamin D deficiency? These vague excuses (see also: “we grew apart”) benefit cheaters because you can never quite identify the exact quality you were lacking. Just that this lack was you. That part we’re clear on.

I suppose this is his ham-fisted way of saying you lacked sexual attraction. What, for seven whole years? The chemistry was so lacking that he married you? That’s an awfully long time to conduct his chemistry experiment.

The UBT translates “we lacked chemistry” to “I want new pussy.”

2.) You didn’t appreciate him sufficiently. Okay, let’s say you didn’t appreciate him sufficiently. (I’m not quite sure what that looks like. Thank him for every paycheck? Throw confetti if he empties the dishwasher?) Let’s say for the sake of argument that you’re a horrible, ungrateful shrew who has her head buried in an anatomy book and is never there for him. That doesn’t make what he did okay. Betrayal is a disproportionate punishment to the perceived offense (not appreciating him). Blowing your life up before you sit for your medical boards? Seriously? What other things do your faults compel him to do? Napalm villages?

He abused you. He cheated on you, he abused your trust, he sabotaged your career, frankly. All because, what? You lacked chemistry and didn’t appreciate the the splendidness of a baby-man cheater? Do you see how ridiculous this is?

He has AGENCY. Cheating on you was a CHOICE he made to address his “unhappiness.” If I don’t like the letter you wrote me, I don’t get to steal your wallet. My displeasure does not give me license to be unethical and cruel.

3.) You made him so miserable he wanted to kill himself. Poor sausage. If anyone ever tries a line like that on you again, call 911 for an emergency psych evaluation. If he’s truly suicidal, he’ll get the help he so desperately needs. If he’s being a manipulative fuckwit, he’ll never try that shit again after a 72-hour lock-up.

How dare he make this about HIS unhappiness after what he did to you! Where is his remorse? Where is his regret? Did he consider YOUR potential depression and instability at this totally vulnerable time in your education? Fuck him.

4.) You’re not good enough. Marriage doesn’t require perfection. It requires commitment. None of us are perfect. You are worthy of love. You are ENOUGH. Hell, you’re MIGHTY. You were dealt that death blow, and you passed your boards. Somehow you’re standing here today a doctor — an amazing, strong, educated woman with a career that HELPS people! You are a stock that will always trade highly — you love with your whole heart and you can earn one hell of a living.

Your ex? He’s a cheater. A manipulative asshole with crap life skills shackled to the same — a self-serving, two-faced bitch. A woman who happily listened to your misery and heartbreak and got a contact high. She enjoyed winning that pick me dance. And I hope she sufficiently appreciates him (dance! dance!) and that their “chemistry” burns like the sulfurous hellscape that it is.

The good news is you WON, Medchump. You’re young and successful and free of a cheater. Don’t spend one more second blaming yourself for losing a turd. Trust that he sucks. ((Hugs))

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I met a girl once, many years ago, who suffered from alopecia. She got an incredible semi-permanent weave that I had no idea wasn’t her hair till she took it off in front of me in our gym locker room, and laughed when she saw my face! Her alopecia was triggered by coming home one day, about a month before her wedding, to find her sister in bed with her fiancee. She had come home early for some random reason and had brought a whole lot of nice food to make him a surprise dinner.

    The utter shock and aloneness (we were all in London, a long way from home, with little other family support (well, she had her sister! Yay!) triggered off an auto-immune response, so 2 months after the sickening betrayal, dealing with the fall-out of wedding cancellation admin and finding a new home, cutting your sister off completely / dealing with the family shitstorm that obviously eventuated, she woke up with clumps of hair on her pillow.

    By the time I knew her she was about 18 months on from the scenario and he – bless him – had decided to join the gym she went to, because there aren’t any others in London, apparently. She was the mightiest person ever. She didn’t even blink or give any sign of upset… till we were completely away from his vile view. Asshole. The worst was that she couldn’t even call her sister. Double gut-punch betrayal.

    Eventually her hair did regrow and she decided to take a great new job in another country and as far as I know *never spoke to her ex or her sister again*. Flatly refused under any circumstances to make nice and be pleasant, just ignored her existence.

    You have had a version of this, and the shock and sickening betrayal WILL take a while, you won’t know who to trust, who to tell, what to think, but believe me, those two and their chemistry are nothing you want to be a part of, ever. You ARE mighty, it WASN’T you, it was him, and he is a spineless jerk.

    One step at a time and one day, very soon, you will realise your worth. A doctor. 27, in the BEST YEARS of your life, so many wonderful things await and now you have the opportunity to ditch the detritus and move onto those better things.

    Best of luck, and please, I know it’s hard, but you must immediately remove any and all thoughts of self-harm, whether with a counselor or just a friend. That would be a very permanent solution to a truly transient problem.

    • Ah, the falling hair…you touched me right there. Autoimmune responses – I’ve got plenty: dry skin, pimples, stomach upset. I must keep it all together for my son.
      I wish lots of love and strength to anyone going through the aftermath of being cheated on.

      • My hair fell out too, I thought I would be bald. Trauma-caused. PTSD, anxiety, depression. Fun times. It will pass,give yourself time. I’m 19 months out and life is good… ((((hugs))))

        • My ponytail went from 2 to 4 wraparounds. (The ladies will know what this means) :). I splurged on hair extensions but still not quite sure how to “install” them.

          • My ponytail is half the size it was too – I am very optimistic it will grow back but haven’t seen any signs yet. Optimism is my middle name now.

            • Hair takes time. I am nearly two years from D-day and while the ponytail is still pretty slim when I run my fingers through my scalp I can feel the thickness returning . We’ll see where I am 3 years after D-day with the hair. It all gets better, I promise.

              • I lost some hair too, and to top off my hair falling out all on its own, I developed a nervous habit of pulling out my hair; strand by strand. I will catch myself going for my hair whenever I’m in the throws of an anxiety attack. Between the stress of stbx, my kids pulling out my hair and my own contributions, I’ll be bald by the time I hit forty. Which is right around the corner…

              • I am another in the “Hair Club for Chumps” – I never had a particularly luxurious head of hair, but it was like fine. I lost so much hair in the almost year from the final D-day to having a signed settlement I had to call the plumber to fix the drain and I was bald on the sides and near my part.

                I suggest adding in a biotin supplement (check with your doc, check about other medications etc etc. disclaimer). I started with the biotin about a year ago and I can literally see where new hair is coming in. The sides are filling in and I can see new hair sprouting out the top. I think most of it is coming in gray, but I can fix that.

            • Add me to the stress hair loss club, too. My hair was so thick, long, and healthy when I met XH and as soon as the stress started, my hair started falling out. My ponytail is little and thin now also, but it is slowly coming back and I have been trying to nurse it back to health with hot oil treatments and good conditioners.

            • My hair has fallen out too!!! I just bought Minoxdil hoping it will grow back. Had to give up my lush full fringe they are so thin. Yeah pony tail wrap from 2 to 4!!! You can mess with anything but not my effing hair!!!

            • So is mine!
              Medchump, you are a great young lady, educated and ethical. You question yourself, you have doubts, you don’t think you’re perfect and splendid. You are a real human, not one of these psychos! The pain will get better, there is nothing wrong with you.

          • I hit my nadir when my hair was thinning, I had hives and weighed 113 pounds. I had finally hit my wall and I was ready, with the very next phone call to tell him to not come home and to stop calling. It was that very next call where he said he was moving home – the thing I had hoped for since he left.

            When he died, I didnt lose my hair, get hives or shrink away to nothingness, hmmm.

            Caroline above gives a great illustration of a mighty chump who suffered so badly but triumphed. Medchump has a huge hump to get over, but first thing is recognizing that her worth isnt determined by 2 selfish fuckwits who blame others for their horribleness.

            Medchump, you can totally do this…scrape them off the bottom of your shoe and go kick some ass.

      • So far I’ve kept my hair, but the IBS flares and the fact that my menstrual cycle doesn’t seem to know wtf day it is has been fun.

        • Excessive peeing from all the anxiety – yay !

          Am also being told by my lawyers to be nicer to my ex as it plays better in court. Even if I have to swallow what I really think of her – can’t even go NC with her – double yay!!

          • Oh shit. Now ya gotta give blow jobs to a blow hard? Yes, yes, I KNOW you said “her.” OK, if you prefer, I can use “strap on the feed bucket.”

            Regardless of how it arrives, it’s still a triple whopper cheesy Shit Sandbitch, now with a large side of crust-er flies.

            (For you: I just cranked me up some fine BB “Payin The Cost To Be The Boss.” Please feel free to wail along-loudly. I am!)

            • Love this – brilliant. I nearly pissed my self laughing at the triple whopper cheesy shit sandbitch!!!

          • Me too…I had to see a urologist! Pelvic floor stretches and diet modification (low acid) helped me a lot (as did the eventual stress reduction.) You’ve probably had the STD checks. 🙁

            I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to work…on top of all the other hardships.

      • Yes – a plethora of physical symptoms to accompany the already horrific emotional roller coaster. The shit sandwiches that keep on giving …..

        The good news: without the disordered asshat around to suck up all my time and energy, I’m focusing on getting healthy again. Vitamins, sufficient water intake, health(ier) foods, and some exercise.

        When this is all said and done, I want to be healthier than I ever was with him. Inside and out.

        • I ordered the same healthy hair vitamins that my friend going through chemotherapy took along with natural healthy vitamins. I feel much better having taken the vitamins. Despite the stress the hair supplements help me stop losing hair. Healthy inside and outside is important. I used it works hair and vitamin supplements. I am fixing to Re-order the products.

          Yes, pee frequently, lost weight, lost hair, depressed and not getting out of bed.

          Two years down the road , I am free. I am purchasing my own home personally. My dogs, cat and I are going to move to the mountains, see family and friends, go hiking with other animal rescue folks with our dogs.

          You will move on and once you arrive to meh, they will be unworthy of your thoughts or time. It’s peaceful and you are mighty!

    • What an inspirational story Caroline, thanks for sharing.

      MedChump, I know you’re feeling a huge mix of awful feelings right now. It’s okay to feel sad, that’s a good thing. That means you cared about other people deeply, and sadly, those people betrayed you in the worst way imaginable.

      These people aren’t capable of genuine relationships. The good news? You are. That’s why you feel awful right now, because you loved them. As sucky as you feel right now, you should be proud of yourself. YOU were honest, caring and true. Their loss.

      My dad always told me, “The only thing you own in this world is your character”. And you MedChump, have character.

      They are weak people who scurry when things get tough and are selfish. I know you can’t see it now, but they did you a favor by removing themselves from your life. You are fortunate that you don’t share children (I’m assuming), you could be in my position where you have to hand your kids of to the whore who’s life’s purpose is trying to out-do you in the mommy department.

      No, you are free!! Wait, MedChump…you at 27 year old and doctor! You’ve got so much living to do!! One day you’ll meet a man who would do anything for you and make you feel beautiful and special. He’s out there.

      Lastly, can I just say what an asshole your ex is? This was carefully planned to destroy you. Announcing his affair with the sad sausage suicide bit. What a dick. That’s just to mess with you so you feel the way you’re feeling now. You know who does that? Jealous people. He’s jealous of you and wants to bring you down.

      Don’t let him. Remember who you are. Rebuild your new identity as doctor Hotty McHotterson.

      • YES!!! These comments are so true! Put your head up! Grieve it is ok, then walk and live proudly. You have so much to live and love for. I too am in the health care field been married 24 1/2 years and 3 children! And although I am a little apprenshive regarding my future; I have decided that I am worth my freedom from the cheater. I may not have been a perfect wife BUT I was committed and loyal and yes I have great character! We will and can rise from this.

    • I think our bodies know the truth even when we can’t acknowledge it to ourselves. I was so sick living with my ex. So much healthier now that I’m from under the stress and can live where I can be healthy.

      • I was pregnant when stbx left me and our son. Even though at the time, I didn’t know he was living with ow (he claimed he needed space because we weren’t getting along and that he was staying at his guy friend’s house), my body knew something was horrifically off. I have Rheumatoid arthritis and was constantly having flare ups. I also developed stress induced asthma which almost killed me. On the way back from the hospital, stbx started on about how we should divide assets… Asshole.
        I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl two months later, weighing 5lbs12oz. Just shy of being considered low birth weight. Again, on the way home from delivering her, stbx called me a crazy but job because I didn’t want to tell my mom, who was visiting at the time, to vape her e cig by the garage rather than just stepping outside and doing it off the deck. I felt like outside on the deck was sufficient… He accused me of being apathetic because I didn’t want to make my mother, who traveled across the country to see her newborn granddaughter, uncomfortable.
        To this day, I believe his perpetual emotional abuse triggered my RA. The constant stress of trying to please someone who is unappreciative is beyond stressful. I feel my best when I’m helping and pleasing others and to be a constant disappointment in the eyes of the person I aim to please the most is pure mind fuckery.

    • Not to hijack, but I also had hair loss, weight loss (25% of my body weight!– I lost all interest in food or water and had a permanent lump in my throats and couldn’t swallow), I got a weird rash/bacterial infection on my face that plagued me and my dermatologist for a year, and the worst sty in my eye I’ve ever seen. 2 years out, I’ve regained 15 lbs, my skin is as clear and rosy as it was when I was a child, my hair is thick and shiny and healthy and no more stys. Thank God! Leave a cheater…. gain health!

      • Hair loss. Tick. Excessive weight loss (due to not being able to swallow for about six months.) Tick. Obsessive exercise. Tick. Vomiting. Tick. Unfortunately, years out, I regained too much weight when put on tricyclic antidepressants when the SSRIs had no effect. (Guess what? Not depressed. Just grieving that my whole life felt like a lie.) Best of all, had boils for over a year. 22 in total. Some were agonising. I live rurally and drove one night to the nearest A&E over an hour away at 3am because I couldn’t stand the pain of one on my lower lip that was the size of a tennis ball. So many other immunity issues. Just completely run down and wiped out.

      • My hair I went from 20% grey to 90% grey in just a few months time. I was getting weird skin infections which first on my side near my stomach which kept getting bigger and developed into a huge ulcer, it got so big and sore I could’t wear pants. I went into the ER and it had to be drained. Then infections appeared on my face, from the swelling I lost muscle control on one side of my face, I couldn’t move my mouth and looked like I had suffered a stroke. I was constantly exhausted and could barely stay awake. I had blood work done and found out the skin problems and exhaustion were caused by staph infections.
        These symptoms along with not being able to swallow, all while your world implodes around you. There has to be special place in hell for Cheaters.

      • Oh my gosh! Yes! My secondary swallow trigger quit! My best friend hypothesized that i was choking on the words I didn’t say. It hasn’t returned. Lost weight. Hair thinned. It was bad. Guess how much he cared?

    • the night my husband went out to a work do, i had my period. the next day, when i discovered he’d cheated on me, with some whore half my age, my period went away. . . and it never came back. #whenddaymeansmenopausecomesadecadeearly

      chumplady, i think this is the best column you’ve ever written. those are some powerful words & images & arguments you’ve arranged there! 🙂

      • Whatthefuckever, it may not be menopause. I too stopped having my period for about 9 months post D-day. After we eliminated all external factors, my doctor told me that it is probably a reaction to trauma, which is quite frequent in war zones: your body basically stops going through the reproductive merry-go-round because it knows it’s a pretty bad time to have babies. I started bleeding profusely after a while, and had to take some hormonal crap to get me back to normal — but I eventually did. I don’t know how far you are from D-day, but I just want to put this out there in case it’s helpful.

        • Very possible periods stop due to trauma or what our body perceives as danger, so we cannot reproduce. It is a primitive response as a lot of women runners (intense) have their periods stop as way back when all that running would have meant danger.

        • Me too! 9 months without a period after he left. Thought I was finally done and menopaused from the stress and quite happy about that because I’ve had so much trouble with fibroids, but it’s been back, with a vengeance, for a the last 3 months. Could have been the weight loss too I suppose.

      • During my Masters research I have spoken to a woman (mid 30s) whose periods stopped after D-day. Not long afterwards she had an ovariectomy. Seems to be common. And understandable when you’ve experienced similar trauma.

    • What is it about cheaters and gyms? Mine pushed for two years to go the gym where I registered after checking in with him that he has no interest in it. I wanted a safe space. Somehow he changed his mind and announced that he was going to swim at my gym the same hours I was swimming there and that that particular gym was the only one for him — in a NYC, which is full of gyms, something that is a mile and a half from him is somehow his only option! The whole gym thing is a form of abuse.

      • Mr. Sparkles INVITED me to join the gym he and his OW were now playing family at with her kids/our kid.

        Seriously… offered for me to take advantage of his “family pricing”.

        WTF.

        Ironically, NOT, he met the Girl with Dogs who followed the OW at Crossfit… but he could only “suspend” his other gym membership. SO now he stalks the former OW at the old gym (and probably looks for other victims)… while GWD continues at Crossfit.

        Me… I’m walking around a river enjoying the fresh air and giving the dog some quality time.

        Fuckers.

    • Great story Caroline! Hmm, this hair thing seems to be a theme, mine thinned like crazy too from stress and cheater trauma. My new regimen is lots of sublingual Biotin (15,000 mcg per day!), taking great care of myself, and staying far away from fuckwits. Hair is making a comeback, as am I!

    • CarBow,

      I had a similar situation to the woman you knew. My wife and cousin conspired to destroy my 24 yr marriage. Worse, it wasn’t me that caught them in the act. It was my kids…..gruesome.

      That was six years ago. I divorced, moved on, established boundaries, fixed my picker and eliminated all Switzerland friends and family.

      My kids eventually reestablished relationships with their Mom but hate my cousin. But, all in all, the ex and cousin got away with it. They’re living together in a house she bought after we divorced.

      As for me, it’s great how a chump will evolve post bomb. The dating game is really creepy though. Once you know your own boundaries and fix your picker, it’s so hard to mesh with someone new. The red flags appear so fast and furious so that it makes it very tiring to even want to try.

      Maybe there is a karma bus but it must be really far away.

      My cousin hasn’t crossed paths with me yet…….

      • Ugh, Rick. Horrible situation, and your poor kids having to walk in on that. The family-member-fuckers are the lowest of the low.

      • OMG yes Rick. Totally agree with the dating game… when you fix your picker and boundaries, the red flags appear out of nowhere. I am becoming so skilled at meeting someone and then going NOPE immediately as soon as I see any sign of them being toxic. My daughter even asked me the other day “do you even like men any more mum?” Because every date I have been on, my red flago metre just won’t go any further.

    • Oh My God, I was told by the psychologist who diagnosed me with PTSD that he believed that my sudden, unexplained onset of Sarcoidosis (a vile autoimmune disease that can attack any and all organs at any time and no cure) was brought on by the trauma of what occurred. That shit attacked my Spinal Cord! I had to have Neurosurgery and can barely walk anymore. I have become practically an invalid because my husband and his “friends” are assholes. These disordered fuckwits literally destroy lives and they just don’t care.

      • I’m so sorry to hear about your autoimmune disease. I suffered with some very serious immune problems during my marriage too. My ex was always so irritated with my health issues. It got to the point where I wouldn’t mention things like the wood stove he insisted on using was probably making my allergies worse, etc. Another time I tripped and fell and broke two toes but didn’t go to the doctor or say much about it. I didn’t want to give him more reasons to be disgusted with me for not being as healthy as he was. Now I live in a mold-free, lower pollen area (where there are fewer grasses and trees). It feels so good to be able to take better care of myself. I feel pretty good most of the time.

        • I can totally connect with all the chumps who have horrible health after the explosion of your marriage. I was a very healthy 57 year old, 5′ 6″ tall and weighed in at about 145. In record time I was in my doctor’s office and made the rounds of every specialist you can imagine! My stomach hurt constantly, I could barely breathe, no appetite, etc. Bomb drop was Jan. 2013, by August I barely weighed 100 pounds and the weight continued to come off till I weighed 95 pounds! Then they found cancer! This shit takes its toll. My hair also thinned to the point where I had to cut it to chin length so I didn’t look like the crypt keeper. I totally blame his affair for triggering ALL my health problems including the cancer. Stress will fucking kill you so you need to take good care of yourself and run as far as you can from these fuckwits. Your life is worth more and your health. I was in very, very good health before his cheating. I was lifting weights, exercised 6 days a week, toned and strong. I suffered from no health problems at all, but I let a common cheater and a common whore rob me of my health and I resent that to this day! My advice is the minute they tell you about thier new “twu wuv” just get the fuck away from them ASAP! Save yourself and your precious health!

    • You sound like an amazing woman, don’t drink the fool-aide. They were horrid.

      I saw the cartoon for this today and it hit hard. The boyfriend (7 years after DDay) has been corresponding with a flame across the globe. I found out, he said it was nothing, it would stop, you know the rest right? I have been reading the blog for a few weeks, learning, getting back to knowing I deserve better.

      So today, I let him know that I was done, that it was clear that our relationship was not the one he is in and that I valued myself and no longer felt “safe” in the relationship. He responded with 7 messages, not about the issue at hand, but about my daughter, how rude she was to him on Sunday and how hurt his little feelings were, how he has spoken to 3 other people about her and they all agree she is rude and disrespectful, actually said to me, “I have back up”… Not a word about “Sue”, not an apology, not any ownership of anything other than my daughter causing him misery and bla bla bla. My head was spun, I just couldn’t understand what the hell he was talking about. Then it hit me, is this what my friends at Chump Nation call GASLIGHTING???

      I think it was. How dare he throw my 8 year old under the bus, to divert the attention from his shitty, lying, cheating behavior to my child? Then to add insult, he informs me he’s been discussing her with others???? Is this his way of being able to tell everyone we broke up because of my child, rather than his lying to me about an emotional internet/texting affair? He actually ended the message with “If she wants me gone, so bit it.” Who wants you gone, my child????? WTF? I feel like I was just skull …ucked.

      How do I respond? Do I just go and remove my things from his house while he is at work? What could I possibly say at this point? He is a master at mind fuckery and will not doubt just say something more to screw with my head.

      What the hell just happened?

      • Oh Patience. So sorry.

        Whilst technically, this is not gaslighting (which is more like them telling you something you know for sure is right, is incorrect. The sky is blue, right? No, they will CONVINCE you you are wrong, and that it is actually red, you silly. And you actually start to believe them. “What was I thinking? Of COURSE the sky is red, d’uh”) it is certainly a cheater’s response – to deflect – “look over there!” When it all just goes over their head, and they ignore your pain/disappointment/etc, and start a conversation about something COMPLETELY irrelevant, you know you have a fucktard. Who. Just. Doesn’t. Care. They are a different species. I mean it. Fucked up alien life forms.

        Yes to the removal of his things out of your house! Yes, yes, yes! And no contact, or grey rock at worst. You are wasting your time, energy, breath, everything, on these people. They will never get it. Good luck xxx.

        • Horsesrcumin, thank for responding. You are sooo right, he just doesnt care. It was interesting, i realized tonight that not once did he mention me or what i said or anything about me. It was all him his feelings, his deflection. Oh, and my daughter. Sad. I thank you for your encouragement. I feel rather pathetic to be here in this situation again.

      • How do you respond? Restate clearly that you are breaking up with him. If he wants a reason? Tell him you want a relationship with someone that shares your values and ideals. Thanks for good times. I’m moving on. Bye.

        Make sure it’s a strong goodbye. Restraining order if needed. Block his calls. Block his email. Go no contact.

        Amen

        • Thanks Nancy. Perfect answer, he didnt even acknowledge that was what I was doing! Any my head was so spun, I didnt even notice. I spent about 2 hours trying to unravel what he’d said, then realized it really didnt matter. I must have hit a nerve to get the fury he unleashed. Truth sucks.

    • That sucks everyone. I was so shocked I couldn’t eat for 6 weeks. I lost 12 kg. I poo’d water. My whole system was in shock. This is abuse. Healing & happiness away from abusive ex partners.

    • For me, it’s chronic hives, nasal polyps, and rosacea – still with me 12 years on. We could do a whole other blog on the health disasters brought on by betrayal.

  • This guy is a spineless asshole.

    He claims he was “trapped” by his own choices to be with you. And instead of honestly ending the relationship (to get out of the “trap” that he set for himself), he cheated and blamed it on you.

    Be glad that you aren’t spending the rest of your life with this weakling. When real problems emerge, he’ll feel “trapped” by them, and he’ll weasel out of them, blame others, and leave a mess in his wake, just like he did here.

    Fuck him.

    • Yes … having kids would have been the ultimate trap. Good riddance and glad he left early on. So sorry, Medchump … I know it hurts.

  • Omg, Medchump, you are AWESOME!
    The best piece of advice I can give you is “Stop thinking” of this sh*t!
    It’s something that got me through trauma. I went and built an awesome life.
    You just met the Dark Side and you have no explanation for it. There is none. Please stop thinking about it. There is literally NOTHING in there. Keep walking towards your life.

  • Medchump,

    Another way of saying the above is that you have a solid moral center. Your ex does not, and his new partner sounds pretty morally bankrupt too. That, in of itself, is a huge win for you.

    Hopefully, you’ve learned something from all this. Don’t marry someone to “fix your relationship”, marry someone because you really want to be with them for the rest of your life. Don’t marry someone who treats you the way he did. Don’t be friends with people like her, who would abuse your trust like that.

    “I think if the person who knew me the best was so unhappy because of ME, to the point of suicide, I can’t trust myself and that I must be a horrible person.” No, his happiness is on him, not you. If he was unhappy with you, there’s several appropriate ways to deal with it, most of which start by sitting down with you and having a conversation that begins with “Sorry to tell you this, but I’m not happy, ….” Instead he changed partners like a traveler changes trains. That’s all on him, not you.

    The next person you date will be different from him, with his own strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll have your own relationship with that person that is yours and his. This one relationship doesn’t define your dating for the rest of your life. There’s someone out there who is both a better person, and better for you. When you’re ready, go out and find him.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

    • There’s an Al Anon slogan that applies here; “Happiness is an inside job.”

      No human being on this planet is capable of making you happy or unhappy. You’re responsible for your own feelings.

    • A couple of things I want to add.

      1) First off, the ‘chemistry’ your ex bemoans happens between two people. It’s not that you lack chemistry, but that you and he don’t have chemistry. Even if you accept his diagnosis on this, that’s not on you (or on him), it’s just that the two of you aren’t a great fit. So you shouldn’t feel bad about the lack of chemistry.

      Say I’m a really active, outdoorsy type who is happier on a muddy rainy hike than curled up watching a great movie at home. And I’m trying to be in a relationship with a partner who likes quiet evenings at home, reading, and knitting. We might both be wonderful people, but it’s not the best fit. So in that situation, the best thing for both parties to do is recognize their lack of ‘chemistry’, and agree to just be friends. Sadly, your ex couldn’t do that, he had to go behind your back with one of your close friends. That part is all on him (and her).

      2) Many of the chumps here have had to financially pay, in some cases a lot of money, to get rid of their cheating spouses. Alcoholism, drug habits, prostitutes, even expensive trips and lavish gifts for affair partners drain the finances of the couple. Your ex worked full time to support the two of you in medical school, so financially, that was a benefit for you. Sure, that may be superficial, certainly less important than the wounds he dealt you by having an affair, but it’s something.

      Medchump, you’re a 27 year old doctor, single, unfettered, and with plenty of valuable life experience that many people your age (doctors or not) don’t have. The world is your oyster. It wasn’t you – you can have a wonderful romantic life with the right partner. Heal your emotional wounds, then go out there and have an awesome life.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

      • “First off, the ‘chemistry’ your ex bemoans happens between two people. It’s not that you lack chemistry, but that you and he don’t have chemistry. ”

        This is such an important point. Thanks for sharing.

        • Well, but also and maybe more importantly, the “chemistry” thing is empty cheater nonsense. Remember, this is not a normal person, here. You don’t marry someone you feel no chemistry with, or cheat on them because of the lack of that so-called chemistry, if you are a healthy individual. You just honestly express yourself and move along.

          • Hard to maintain ‘chemistry’ when one of the partners is fucking someone else. Throws off the alignment of the relationship protons, neutrons, and electrons.

            • Throwing an atom bomb into the relationship counts as chemistry, just not the kind anyone wants. Experiment with scorching the earth elsewhere, cheaters, and stop with the stupid explanations.

              In my case, one was that I was not a good “companion.” Naturally, this was mainly because he had several other companions. Funny how that works.

              • The word that follows “companion” is usually “animal.”
                And he can walk the dawg whenever she can get a leash on him. They can purchase a set of choke her and him collars.

            • It took him seven years before he came to the realization they didn’t have chemistry?
              Fucking her “friend” very likely created an explosion of neutrons, electrons and protons.
              Lack of Chemistry in this instance sounds like Cheater speak, it wasn’t my fault, had nothing to do with me fucking your friend who you were confiding in, it’s negative ions in “Chemistry”.

  • My heart breaks for you, Medchump. I echo all of CL’s advice. These people have been horrible to you.

    My story (many years old now, feels like a lifetime ago from here) is strikingly similar to yours. I felt my own versions of many of the feelings you shared, had similar nightmares (mostly of him duping me publicly and laughing wildly while I cried and begged him to stop). I was in a small town, a relatively closed society, and I felt scrutinized and afraid to reach out.

    The one thing I did not do that I now wish I would have done was to find a really good counselor – which sometimes takes some interviewing, and you have to be somewhat ruthless about selecting a person with ethics and a personality that match well with yours. I needed this and didn’t realize it, and I made some really self-harming choices because of it. Worse, some of those choices harmed others (emotionally). That was preventable, I know now.

    You have been traumatized by your core family – husband and best friend. What they have each and both done to you is unconscionable.

    I needed – and it may be that you need – a support system that is entirely your own, not a mutual resource, someone with whom you don’t have to edit what you need to express, someone who is 100% on your side and is bound to confidentiality. You need someone who doesn’t tell you that another person’s harmful acts are your “fault”, someone who doesn’t act like you should settle, someone who champions your strength and holds a safe space for your pain.

    If you already have this person, great! If not, or if the person you have isn’t offering you what you need (when you pay a professional for a service, you are the customer), I encourage you to keep interviewing.

    This is my advice, and I know it may not fit for everyone. I also know I needed that unequivocal support much more than I realized, and not receiving it was harder on my life than driving two towns over ever would have been.

    Sending strength.

  • Ooh, how I’d LOVE to be a 27yo newly qualified doctor!!! Think of all the amazing wonderful things that would be ahead of me. ❤️❤️

    • Actually to add to this, I’ve learnt a lot from my whole experience, it’s 2 years on now, and to have gone through this crap earlier on in life than me, you will emerge from this in such a great place, tougher, wiser, stronger, more confident.

    • Right?! I wish mine had left the first time he felt “compelled” to take up with her. I was only 28 then! I would have had so many more opportunities!

        • I only found out this past January, when he decided to leave. He lasted two weeks with her, and started begging to come back. I said no.

          I feel like an idiot for not knowing that this was happening off and on for most of our marriage. The tainted memories last about a quarter of my life. He’d have been doing me a huge favor if he’d just left at the start.

  • Caroline, what a terrible and lovely story. Terrible because of the capacity for some people to betray those they love or are supposed to, and lovely because the woman they betrayed models such self-respect, such grace.

    Medchump, my narcissist mother was right about some things. She always said, “Water sinks to its own level.” You met your XH when you were not yet the adult and professional you are now. You were young and naive but you were all in. Anyone marrying someone committed to graduate or professional school knows they are both in for a long slog but that the payoff is tremendous in that person’s growth and the couple’s chance for a fulfilling life together. But your cheater sounds like the type who couldn’t stand your success. It sounds ironic that he would cheat on one almost doctor for another, but think about it. While your friend was finishing her education, she was also betraying her friend and undermining her marriage. That’s very low and show her inability to be loyal or kind or decent. So they are well-matched, in terms of character. Neither of them has any. They are hyenas wearing human masks.

    It’s a terrible thing to be betrayed by two people you love and trust. It had to shake your whole world. But don’t let them shake your sense of self. You’re a doctor; find yourself a fellow professional who can help you process this betrayal and learn what there is to learn about human beings from it. As a doctor, you will encounter many people (as in Caroline’s story above) who are ill because of stress or trauma. I’m quite certain you won’t blame them for being trauma victims. So offer yourself the same compassion you will offer your patients.

    You’re a scholar and researcher. A diagnostician. Do the research. Who behaves this way? What do we know about those people? How do their victims suffer? How do they recover? Heal yourself, starting with learning about the kind of people who do these terrible things. And then make sure the adult doctor “fixes her picker” so that you you can spot a cheating hyena before you get involved. Take your time. Work on building your own wonderful life. Heal. And someday you will see that you weren’t the problem at all.

  • Here’s what I think — he is completely and totally intimidated by you, has longstanding feelings of inadequacy, and used your career success as a means of directing attention back to him.

    If I’m right, he’s a variety of cheater very much like mine. Wanders through life with no real achievements to speak of, and no genuine enthusiasm for creating any. Just a broken record of “I don’t KNOW what I really want” and passive aggressive pleas to either help him/her figure it out, or proactively arrange (or god forbid, pay for) the ‘interest or hobby du jour’ so that (s)he can give the appearance of becoming a person worthy of attention.

    When they inevitably fail or lose interest (because they never were truly ‘all in’ to begin with), the intimidation and need for validation elsewhere are increased.

    Trust me — there are guys out here that would give our left nut to have someone like you in our lives, and not at the expense of your emotional well-being. You are well rid of that pathetic invertebrate.

  • You were in medical school, one of the most difficult and demanding courses of study a person can undertake and you were the problem? No, he knew that you were going to have to devote the majority of your time to your education and training. Most partners would be proud of you and do everything to help make your life easier, not try to weigh you down with their narcissistic BS!

    This post really strikes a chord for me because I know how difficult it is to try and balance the personal and professional parts of life. I have juggled work and home for many years and now I see my kids doing the same. My daughter is at the beginning of her profession, and her partner is behind her 100%. From cooking to cleaning, to helping with those extra chores, he understand the demands of her work. When you are partners, that is what you do.

    I can’t exactly explain why, but it seems like your X just wants to be a doctor’s spouse. What makes him think your “friend” is going to be able to devote less time to her work? And yet, he doesn’t appear to have a problem with it. Unless she is going to be a dermatologist, they are going to have the same issues he just ran from. What fun.

    This is not about you being good enough. It is not about whether you paid sufficient attention to his needs. He bailed when the going got tough and that is what he is going to do for the rest of his life. So you should go on and live the best life possible. Find that person who wants to share all the ups and downs of your demanding profession. Neither your X or your so-called “friend” deserves you; they deserve each other!

    • Yes, Violet is right. I am a nurse who went to a really good hospital school back in the day but never got my bachelors degree. Life with H1.0 was filled with pushing boulders uphill…endlessly. I never had the energy to do all the pretzelling, pick me dancing, kid raising and Godknowswhatelse and go back to school.

      I now have a great H2.0 and Im finally back in school in my 50s. He pays my tuition and cares for me so that I can work and go to school. (the payoff for him is my studies keep me occupied so he can watch stupid movies…he really has the worst taste in movies on earth, but that is OK).

      • violet – ‘Unless she is going to be a dermatologist, they are going to have the same issues he just ran from.’

        Excuse me from interrupting a serious topic but I just can’t resist. (off topic)

        Seinfeld episode when Jerry(I think) is dating a busy dermatologist and he scoffs when she turns down a date and asks – how important is a dermatologist!? Later on, he sees her running thru a hospital saving lives due to cancer, etc and suddenly he has respect for her.
        (I’m bad at jokes, but somebody can correct me on this one).
        Then there was the Kramer ‘AssMan’ episode. (I love me my colonoscopist)

        • Is that British for “Proctologist?” Oh dear. You can do way better than…THAT! Why limit your view? Why not an astronomer? At least that’s relatively odor free and a lot more scenic.

  • Every new chump needs this advice. Im 3 years out and I still have to convince myself that it wasn’t me – it was him. These words should be a sanity saving mantra. Repeat as needed.

    • The best advice ….. its NOT ABOUT YOU . This is solid stuff. There is no way you can take this on yourself . If these people are so driven to satisfy their own needs then they have no room left for you . Same for the next one. Mine used to tell me his ex didnt have the capacity to orgasm …..now i know why . He just didnt entertain the idea it might have something to do with him !?

  • Oh gawd the sad sausage with his chemistry quotes. Oh I got something similar “we have different energies”. oh please.. Yes we do bc you’re a washed up techno dj who barely holds a job, is a crappy dad and think his dj “skills” are taking him somewhere and I didnt “get it.” Here’s my response to different energies:

    Thank you for pointing out we have different energies. That’s the truth and it’s not based on some creativity aspect or anything other bullshit thing you’ve tried to justify in your head and to other people other than the most simplest truth of personality characteristics.

    Me – kind, loving, caring, compassionate, generous, loyal, selfless, insightful, passionate, seeks deep emotional connections

    You – deceitful, selfish, lacks true empathy, lacks compassion, rages, manipulates, lacks accountability, seeks surface-level superficial one-sided connections, poor impulse control, high-risk behavior, covert narcissist. FAKE.

    Peace out.

  • We need to design a flow chart of the reasons cheaters give as the reasons they cheated. Chumps can realize that they are all the same, only small variances in each category. The only reason you did not hear a version of all of the below is that the cheater had not thought it up yet:
    We have the genera’s of:
    #1. ILYBINILWY: Also know as “no chemistry”, “we grew apart”, “I’m confused about my feelings”, “I wouldn’t feel this twu luv for OW if I was REALLY in love with you.”. “I have been miserable” or “I haven’t felt love for days, weeks, years, decades”.
    — What it really means is: “I love dopamine more than I love you.”
    #2. You don’t appreciate me: Just another ambiguous complaint that chumps chase like bubbles in a windstorm. A whole lot of self pity on the cheaters part, that is also a very effective whip to use on a chump.
    The flip side of this is, “OW appreciates me.”, “Loves me for who I really am.”, “OW knows the real me, deep down.”
    Usually at this time not a WORD is uttered about cheater appreciating the chumps effort and sacrifices for the marriage.
    #3. You are not good enough: (the this is all your fault because of the “you let yourself go” marriage clause we were not made aware of ). You, chump, are too: rude, big, loud, messy, uneducated or NOT sexy, talented, funny enough for cheater.
    Does it ever occur to them that you probably prioritized taking care of other people first?

    Once chumps realize it is the same shit on a different day, and the affair is all about the character of the cheater, things will get better. It is not about you. You did not force anything. You did not cause it, you did not create it, you can not cure it, either.

    • Brilliant list, Magneto! I’d add to #3 the flip side; you were too good; too strong, too independent, too happy, too well-liked or admired… basically whether it’s our failings or our strengths, they will throw anything in our faces as a reason they had to cheat.

      • So true Magneto and KarenE, to add to ChumpLady’s gold advice. Untangling the twisted up “rationale” of cheaters is one hell of a job. Post my-ex leaving, I finally talked to people about how he threatened suicide, etc after he hit me….it is hard when another person is unhappy and you feel bad about their feelings – when you are in it is sometimes hard to see reason. Eventually I think, as you all allude to – there is that issue of our character and strengths, and there is that important question about “how do most people see you?” Good to self-reflect and think how you can be a better person but if you can honestly say that most people see you in a positive way and you act in a true and kind way, then reassure yourself it is his issue that he cannot deal with himself …and again, cheating (and violence) never justified.

      • Yes, KarenE! I heard “you were not good enough”‘s intercepting with “I failed to make you happy” which implies it’s me unsatiable, and then topped with “you are too good for me and you desreve a good man to take care of you.” Then back to “you could never understand and accept me unconditionally and I always felt unappreciated.”
        The goal is to confuse you with opposing messages and mindfuck you non-stop. Power play at its best!

    • #4: “You were always doing things for other people (subtext–instead of me).” read: OUR children

      • Oh yea they love that one. How could you?!? Note: the RIC also loves that one. I’ve seen an uptick of articles like “I always put my husband before my children and that is why our relationship is so successful” blah blah blah. Blech. It’s like the chicken or the egg. In my childhood experience, the reason my mom was so focused on us kids was because my dad was a cheating fuckwit who dragged her around in pursuit of several failed careers. So, does the focus on the kids push the cheating fuckwit into the arms of another woman, or does the chump focus on the kids to fill an emotional void created by undiscovered cheating, gaslighting, blaming, abuse? Imma go with #2. It’s fucking normal to focus on the kids. A healthy partner will focus on the kids with you and also invest in his relationship with you, not fuck random biddies because his baby boy consciousness thinks his wife loves the kids more than him.

        • Amen, Rockette! I also remember the whole Men cheat because you pay too much attention to your children RIC horseshit.

          The problem couldn’t possibly be that a grown ass man is jealous of his own kids (or step kids). If that isn’t the biggest red flag on the planet I don’t know what is.

        • Yeah that one threw me for a loop on some of those RIC sites too because that was something he had mentioned as a complaint. Then I realized how ridiculous that was. Another one of his complaints is that we only had three kids when he wanted four. So that fourth one would have given me more time for him?

          I also go the “you gave to much time to your career” complaint. Well thank goodness for that or I would now be completely dependent on him for any kind of financial stability..

          And I am happy I gave my attention to the kids so as not to mess up my relationship with them.

          • You can’t win with these fuckers. Better to shove toothpicks under your fingernails than play their game (at least your fingers will heal).

          • Yes, I had 3 kids with him and he was indignant that I didnt have 7. Where the fuck did he get that number? I once said “so tell me again how many children you wanted to abandon when you left me?”. This is the same guy who was also mad because I ruined his chance to be a professional mountain climber, play the guitar and be a bulldozer operator.

            On his own volition he went to a prestigious military university and got a Masters Degree in Information Technology Mgmt but was pissed that I wouldnt “let” him drive a bulldozer. Golly I dont even remember him applying for a job driving a bulldozer.

            And…how many professional mountain climbers do you know?

            • Yeah, especially ones who climb mountains on a bulldozer while serenading the fallen with his 3 string guitar from Disney World.

              Sounds like this one bypassed the Stage of Life called “Identity Formation” and went straight to “Identity Theft.” The only time this one got a grip on himself was when he was masturbating.

        • What’s more, if the mom’s spending all her time looking after the kids, what’s the dad doing? If one spouse has no free time because of childcare responsibilities it means the other spouse needs to step in and help more. It takes a special level of shamelessness to whine that “you spend so much time picking up my slack that you don’t have time to spend on me.”

    • Spot on, Magneto! Yep, I got “We are just too different,” “You don’t really know me,” and “My friends (exes) are loyal to me.” But of course all this is only AFTER he decided to cheat. The typical rewriting of history, since of course in the beginning it is, “You are perfect for me,” “You really get me,” and “I would never hurt you.” Smh…

      Medchump, like the others have said, you are at a perfect time and place in your life to start fresh!!! Go gain your new life.

      • I got “I guess you didn’t know me as well as you thought you did,” which really hurt at the time, but with distance and time, I realized he was totally right. I had had no idea that he would be able to walk away without warning without looking back…

        • Yeah, if I’d known who he “really” was I would have dumped his ass like a hot potato, stat.

          I read somewhere, Cosmopolitan magazine I think, that men don’t cheat because their wives don’t understand them, it’s because they do understand then. It’s the clueless ow that don’t really understand men. Yes, ladies, they will accept free noncommittal blow jobs and sex and tell you they “love you” in exchange. It’s the oldest scam in the books. If you don’t believe it, try holding out and see how long tru wub lasts for you and your cheater.

    • Spot on to all four points.

      Medchump, CONGRATS on your degree! It’s time to begin to move forward to an awesome career right around the corner. This life experience will not define you. It will help refine your vetting process in all of your future relationships with women and men.

    • Bravo magento!!!! This x10000

      Through reading CL, I realized that despite X’s blameshifting, I really did not have the power to MAKE X’s limp little dick fall into nasty twats. ????

      It’s all on him. Well I was busy building my law career, raising our 4 kids, buying and flipping real estate, doing 100% of the work of the household …. I got nothing but criticism.

      When the kids discovered the latest affair, which of course he lied about and said was his first, I too felt that it was my fault somehow because he blamed me so convincingly. I picked my danced until I almost died. He also claimed that he was almost suicidal because he was so “confused.” He told the kids that after 25 years he didn’t want to be a father anymore and that he had hated every minute of it. That made them truly suicidal, which was a devastating heartbreaker, and one we are still recovering from.

      You dodged a HUGE bullet by not breeding with this abusive fucker. Run like your hair is on fire ! Go no contact ! Get a lawyer immediately and enter into the best settlement you can get while he’s hooked up with another doctor! I’m very concerned he’s going to seek your future earnings. Come back here often and get support… We know what you’re going through because we’ve been through it and many of us are still going through it.

      You are a perfect human being and you did absolutely nothing to contribute to this.

    • I got the old ” I did not feel connection”. I am glad I heard such incredible bullshit,tje mindless,new age drivel she often spewed. It made me have greater certainty that. I was dealing with an idiot.

      • OK. Tell ya what: Put your hand or foot into this bucket of water. Now put this up your butt while I go connect the battery.
        Lemme know when ya feel the connection….

    • It does seem like a lot of similar language from everyone’s cheaters!

      Things I heard:
      “We grew apart”. Translation: I want you to think we have no “chemistry”. We’re in a rough spot in our relationship and it seems like work to fix it. I’m too in to myself right now to do any work on that. . . ooo look, new boobs!

      “I only love you as the mother of my children”. Translation: you’ve been so busy picking up all my slack with them, you haven’t had time to pamper me.

      “Give me time while I figure out what’s lacking”. Translation: I want you to think YOU are the one that’s “lacking”. But keep taking care of everything while I figure out a more believable excuse to tell you about why I’m gonna leave you.

      Ug. Same words, same twisted meaning.

    • You’re absolutely right Magneto, while we were putting everyone else first including them.
      Having their children, taking care of them, entertaining, scheduling, holidays, shopping, cooking
      planning and everything else that goes with what I listed,
      It took me a long time before I came to realize his leaving wasn’t because of something I had done, or said, or that my house wasn’t perfectly clean, or because I parked to far to one side in the garage.

      Acceptance, I had to accept the truth of what X is, a selfish, manipulative, ruthless, wicked, and not who I thought I married or who he claimed to be. I was so used to making excuses for his behavior and blaming myself when it clearly had nothing to do with me but it had become habit.
      I’d still be wracked with guilt and blaming myself if I hadn’t found CN.
      What’s particularly scary about this is he knew it had nothing to do with me but is willing to manipulate me and everyone else into believing it was just so he could walk away looking like the good guy.

      • Brit, the good guy, thats rich! They put sooo much effort into looking like the good guy…too bad its wasted on that false image, instead of actually “being” the GOOD guy!

  • You are mighty. Sometimes mighty is only viewed in hindsight because coping with the pain takes everything you have. Take it from Chump Nation – you’re going to come out of this, as MidlifeBlast says, “in such a great place, tougher, wiser, stronger, more confident”.

    I didn’t have many resources to deal with my chump situation back in the day but if I knew how mighty I was instead of picking myself apart over not being prescient and all-powerful, i.e., “worthy”, I’d have had a jump-start on happiness. You brought your whole heart. The unworthy ones are him and your former friend.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. But one day down the road you will thank God for the opportunity to start a new life – minus the cheating, shallow, entitled man baby that your were married to.

    He appears to be one of those guys who needs a strong successful woman to support him and make him feel validated. In his mind he traded up ( new pussy – new audience who does not know the real him ) and it’s all about him.

    If it wasn’t her, it would have eventually been somebody else.

    The thing about personality disordered fuckwits is that they always blame everyone else for their shitty choices, their poor character and lack of happiness.

    They really are each other’s karma bus!!!

    You on the other hand are now free to be fabulous!!!

  • Consider yourself lucky to be rid of him, early on. You are young and successful. Be glad you didn’t waste 20+ years with the fucktwit. You will recover from this. Go out there and live life to the fullest. I wish I could have a redo.

  • Dear Medchump

    Your ex is a lazy cheater who picked low hanging fruit “aka” your so-called friend.

    Cheaters are lazy, typically they eat where they shit, whether it’s someone from work, a neighbor, a “friend”, or joining a cheater site from the comfort of their couch and search for the nearest fuckbuddy.

    Lazy two face faced cheaters are distance and time conscious because cheating is hard if you have to take the bus and walk three blocks to find true love.

    What a coincidence that soul mates congregate in the two yard radius.

    The only chemistry your ex and your skank ex friend is that they’re two cheeks of the same ass and fart in unison.

    You should be celebrating your freedom from those two. You dodged the longterm wreck of people like this.

    Don’t let them destroy your self esteem. People like that will eat each other alive and then move on to their next two yard soulmate low hanging fruit expedition.

    • Moving from one chumpy doctor to someone new he can devalue manipulate and control and skim by while she makes bank. And he gets off on the rubble he leaves behind. His currency is pain.

    • That observation about the two yard radius and how lazy the cheaters are is so true, PF!!!!

    • “What a coincidence that soul mates congregate in the two yard radius.

      The only chemistry your ex and your skank ex friend is that they’re two cheeks of the same ass and fart in unison.”

      Hahahaha omg I’m dying that’s amazing. Of course “the only person in the world who really understands” my ex was just some equally disordered skank who conveniently lived within running distance of our house. Nothing special about the OW… the only quality she ever has that a chump lacks is the ability to be a complete, total fucking asshole.

      • How come the only people I ever hear using that term “soul mates” never have the former and use the latter as PC-Speak for “fornication?” Apparently sticking together like two dogs (and typically for less duration) is an out of body experience: Their body humped while their mind was MIA, Missing In Adultery-so they “weren’t really there.”
        Yeah, OK.

        “Soul Mates” should be one of those terms on the Chump List of Repeat Offal Offenders Registry: They wanna eat cake while their hapless partner gets the entrails.

    • While reading your comment regarding how lazy cheaters are, I snickered several times, hoping to avoid an all out laugh and spraying my keyboard with a beverage. I’ve lived a long life and have seen how these lazy cheater/fuckers go for the low hanging fruit. Know who your neighbors are, friends, and his workmates as well. Go to those company parties and neighborhood gatherings and watch the interactions in the group. Observance can tell a lot about your guy and others in the group. Just saying.

  • ‘Wanders through life with no real achievements to speak of, and no genuine enthusiasm for creating any’ TICK

    ‘He is completely and totally intimidated by you, has longstanding feelings of inadequacy, and used your career success as a means of directing attention back to him’ TICK

    There must be a cheating liar’s handbook out there that is kept from Chumps everywhere? ILYBINILWY territory. It’s no coincidence that Chuckles’ first affair was just as I was finishing my PhD and his second (yes I know, spackle queen) was just as I was submitting my first book to the publishers.

    His third affair…. will not be with me. I found Chump Lady. I found my common sense. It’s just over 18m / 19m (can’t be bothered to work it out) for me and I’m flying. I’m happy and have been for a while now.

  • Dear medchump

    The betrayal, cruelty & abandonment is
    something we all unfortunately experienced. But you are young & have many years to find someone who will love & appreciate
    you.

    Unlike me, 34 years at age 69 my chances of finding another is almost zero
    Besides being lonely & financially strapped, at least I’m free from a cruel,
    cheating narc.

    Please know you will be fine eventually & being your “mighty” .. will attract the right people.

    Hugs to you !

    • I don’t think that’s true what you said about finding someone else. It happens all the time, it might be on the cards in the future

  • Medchump, I’ve been there, done that with the double betrayal, and it is a double decker shit sandwich.

    He fucked with your head and made you out to be the problem so that he could justify his decision to cheat. It’s Cheater Tactic 101. It is cowardly and is a huge reflection on who he really is, not on who you are. Trust me, you don’t want to be married to an asshole like that for 20 plus years. Good grief – You were in the latter stages of med training. Of course you are going to be distracted and focused on that! It’s a huge life accomplishment – one that would secure the future for both of you. That is an act of sacrifice and love, and a normal partner would support you through it.

    The chemistry excuse is also bullshit. If he didn’t feel as though you had sexual chemistry, why marry you? Do not buy into the suicide tactic either. Just shows that he is far more concerned with the justification of his cheating than he is with preserving your sense of worth.

    And as for the ‘friend’? Anyone who does what she did has got a whole lot of nerve, but absolutely no spine. She has crap for character. She is disordered. Normal people cannot look you in the eye and sympathize with your situation while fucking your husband behind your back.

    You’ve been through a great deal of pain. Do not torture yourself anymore by buying into your ex’s version of events. Reacquaint yourself with your amazing qualities, and rewrite your own version of the events as they played out. With a little time and space from the situation you will see that they are both disordered, and you dodged a bullet.

  • Yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker that reminded of my stbx in a sobering way “I may grow old, but I’ll never grow up” I assume that describes most cheaters. No chemistry seems to equal no maturity. The line mine gave me after 26 years of marriage was “we are not dating anymore!” Duh? We are married with five children. Did you forget to mature?

    • Mine was the same way. My dad, who generally does not have a mean word to say about anyone, commented once that ExH seemed to just resent having to be an adult. Even before DDay, I felt very frustrated because I felt as if we were going in different directions in terms of maturity. I didn’t grow old overnight, but I just became more grounded and mature. I was like a normal, active, engaged adult. I felt like ExH was going backwards and behaving like a college kid. He wanted to get drunk and party all the time. If we were watching a movie with some nudity in it, he commented on it like he was at a bachelor party. He couldn’t be bothered to do things like oil changes in his car or other adult tasks. He spent much of his time on his cell phone (talking to his whore). By the time we divorced, I was seriously married to a teenage girl. It was weird… he just gave up on being an adult.

      • My experience too. My 31 year old ex started going out drinking & smoking weed. I was like, um… ok? Weird. But ask him to work out health insurance with me? Hell no. Its seriously liberating not having to carry a man-child

  • Medchump,

    Focus on your residency! Don’t let your life’s work go to waste. I have seen people get fired from residency before because they were sleepwalking through patient care. Your mind CANNOT be elsewhere.

    This man simply does not deserve you. Be thankful that he discarded you so early. It sucks for your so-called friend that she’s the next victim. It sounds like they deserve each other though. You’re free to make your escape!

    You are young and, if you focused on your work, soon to be very successful. Don’t lose track of YOU. Because this is your first love, it will hurt so so much and you might feel like you’ll never love again. That is simply not true. You will love again. But you should take a lot of time to heal first. I went 3 years between my first love and my second love, and I look back at those years with immense satisfaction and happiness. Learn to be alone. It’ll make you stronger.

    As for your ex, do not blame yourself. Think of him like a patient who’s rather blame his doctor, his life, his job, etc… rather than eating right, exercising and taking his meds. Why would you feel guilty for being a bad doctor if your patient sabotage himself? You were there, you tried, you put forth your best effort and were honest, loyal, compassionate. You got nothing to feel bad about or to apologize for. Let the patient, ie your ex and your so called friend, be responsible for their own action and consequences.

    You are good enough. You did nothing wrong. You didn’t lose a great guy and a great friend. You got rid of two sleazy back stabbers.

    Be mighty. Live your life to the fullest, it’s only starting. You won!

    • I like this response… there can be a “first love” because I DID love my husband genuinely and whole-heartedly – as I think YOU DID MedChump. BUT… don’t let it limit you from finding a Second Love.

      Just like anyone who cheats has now shown you they have the capacity to cheat… anyone who has loved deeply has the capacity to do so again.

      Take it one day at a time, and only look forward.

  • Aw Medchump! It has nothing to do with you. I had the reverse of your situation. I worked and supported my ex while he went through med school. He cheated on me during residency with a married resident. He said the same exact things your ex said. “I didn’t support him enough.” I guess doing everything for him wasn’t enough. He thought he was gay because he thought of me as a sister. News to me. We were currently trying for Baby with no troubles in the bedroom. And… my favorite… “We didn’t have a beach wedding.” We had been married for 8 years. We had only visited the beach once… in the winter…

    My point is… cheaters are evil. They say the same ridiculous shit. You are lucky to get away. You will heal!!! It takes time. I’m almost 5 years from DDay, and I’m slowly still healing. We had a child, so the scab is often picked off. Ugh.

    • This is me as well. She wanted to change jobs to one making less money with no health insurance for children, so she and I signed on for a domestic partnership to get her and her son insurance. She did that for a year and then decided she wanted to be a nurse. She changed to a part-time job making even less money; after three months of that she decided working part-time and going to nursing school part-time was too hard, so she quit work altogether.

      When the money I had responsibly saved during our relationship ran out, so did she. I worked full-time and was going through an intense mental health crisis, so I expected that she and two teenagers (the other was my Little Brother who basically lived with us) could take care of the chores, and I certainly never complained about the quality of work or if something wasn’t done.

      I was told we were at different places in our lives because I still wanted to be a teenager, couldn’t be counted on, and took her for granted.

      I’m 2.5 years out and still pretty messed up, though a lot of that is due to FOO issues. I thought all I deserved was someone who would put up with me, and that I had to go above and beyond to earn being loved due to lifelong depression and other illnesses. I gave her all I had and was thrown away like garbage.

      • My ex told me the reason he cheated was because of my mental illness (anxiety) which I have struggled with since a teenager and which I was transparent about when we met… he knew that about me do why pursue me only to cruely discard?

        Point is, 2 years on & my mental health is better than ever. I still have anxiety but its refreshing how well I am not dealing with covert narc mindfuckery every day. I hobestly didn’t realise hiw much his mibd games shit & lies was increasing my symptomd.

        I hope your mental health improves away from shitty people also.

  • One of the hardest things to come to terms with is that you could love someone that is disordered. For me, it was easier to feel like there was something lacking in ‘me’ as to why my husband would rather jack off to porn that have real sex with his wife. I mean, who chooses computer sex over real sex? The answer is – a disordered person.

    There is nothing wrong with you. You are a wonderful individual capable of sharing your heart and being in a meaningful adult relationship. Unfortunately, you ex is not kind, is not wonderful, and is not capable of being in a meaningful adult relationship.

    There are a number of reasons normal people can fall for disordered people, the main one I am learning is that disordered people hide it very well. One of their best qualities is their ability to ‘mimic’. They see what love ‘should’ look like and they can put on the mask and play the game for a while. However, it is only a mask. Like an android that has been programmed with human qualities, but as soon as the battery runs down or the script changes to something that hasn’t been programmed into their system – they short circuit. Sometimes the short circuit causes a fire, and the real humans are left sweeping up the ashes and rebuilding.

    The most torturous question in the world, and one I am constantly asking myself is, “why me”. It is torture because there is no real answer. Just like slipping on a patch of ice or getting splashed with mud by a passing truck crossing a puddle – sometimes shit just happens and it really and truly wasn’t us.

    I know you are getting a lot of advice to not worry about it or to move on. That won’t be my advice at this moment. My advice is to allow yourself a little time to mourn. I am sure you had so many wonderful plans as to what life would be like when school was finished. You probably made those plans with your best friend as well as your husband. It is HARD to watch all those plans turn to sand. Sure, in time you will know it was for the best, but right now – it hurts.

    I know you probably don’t feel young. I didn’t feel young and like I had the whole world ahead of me when I was in my late twenties. People said it, but it didn’t feel that way. Here is what I will say, you are going to live this entire day – what can you do today to make it meaningful and satisfying. Nothing big – maybe going for a run, writing in a journal, watching a good movie, throwing darts at pictures of your ex. Whatever that one thing you can do today, do it. Then tomorrow, do it. Then the next day – do it. After a while, you will realize a week has passed and although there were tears, there was some moments of pleasure. After a month, you might find joy outranking heartache and pain. After a year, the pain may only come with certain triggers. But, even if that isn’t your timeline – do something today, no matter how small, that shows YOU that YOU matter. Spend time with people that love you. Every single day find a least a few minutes in your day, just for you – to make you smile.

    Losing your husband and best friend is a horrible situation – and you are still here. That just proves you are mighty! You are already mighty, your everyday will eventually catch up to your true amazing self!

    • Coolbreeze
      Great post. Copied and sent to someone I know who will appreciate these words. Thanks.

    • I love what you shared, coolbreezeout. Good advice too for trying to find a small thing to do that is healing/meaningful/satisfying, whether it’s running, wearing a favorite outfit that makes you feel good, or listening to a favorite song. And I can relate to the android part…

  • Miss Medchump,
    Don’t buy into this “we didn’t have chemistry” bullshit. This is standard operating procedure in the cheater playbook. They love to rewrite history to take the blame off themselves. If the relationship wasn’t “real,” or if it wasn’t truly what they needed, or if it wasn’t right, then SURELY cheating on their spouses wasn’t so evil. In fact, it was only rectifying a wrong that never should have happened in the first place. Oh, it’s just too easy for these assholes.
    As the Chumplady says, it’s ridiculous to think this guy stayed with you for years, even married you, when the “chemistry” wasn’t right, and you didn’t say thank you when he took the garbage out, blah blah blah. Don’t buy his snake oil. He just says that now to ease his own conscience.
    If it makes you feel better, many of us have heard this same line. My own ex, in leaving me for her cheattard, told me that ours was a “rebound relationship,” one that she got into right after breaking up with someone else. We were together for 19 years, 16 of them married! That’s one helluva rebound. Further, she said that she had had “closeness” and “emotional intimacy” with her previous boyfriends, but never with me (not once in 19 years!). Does that sounds familiar?
    Please don’t beat yourself up over this. This was NOT your fault. If you haven’t figured it out yet, they were fooling around long before he broke things off with you. Please go “no contact” with both of them, especially the girl you thought was your friend. And I’m sure you have a great life waiting for you, once your emotions settle down. A 27 y.o. doctor just starting practice? Any man would be lucky to have you!

    • Oh my god, my husband used the “rebound relationship” thing, too!

      Okay, we had both gotten out of long relationships like six months before, but fifteen years on a “rebound?” Seriously?

  • I think Med chump’s cheater ex is one of those hidden gold diggers we talked about last week. He helped MC till she became a doctor because that income would benefit him. He left but he went to another doctor. Cheater for the win, financially. He made a lateral career move.

  • You definitely dodged a bullet with this one. You don’t need to be weighed down by a weak person. You are so mighty to have passed your boards after he dropped that bomb. He will not change. Your friend will have the pleasure of paying him alimony some day. that will be her reward for “winning” the prize.

  • Medchump, your story made me cry. Except for a few circumstances, I was you 40 years ago. Oh, how I wish I could change places with you!

    Medchump, believe Chump Lady, she is an expert diagnostician: your ex’s acute, disseminated assholitis has SAVED you from a life you would not deserve: a life of blameshifting and manipulation and cheating, only to be dumped for “new pussy” at 65 (cheater finally got indisputably caught and my spackling reached its limit) or, far worse than my story, but so frequent here at Chump Nation, to be dumped with small children and/or no job.

    You’re 27, free and a doctor! Just fix your picker (it IS fixable) and you will be fine. Don’t shed a single tear for a dishonest person. Bless you.

  • Dear MedChump, M.D. 🙂

    Congratulations Doctor MedChump! That is a MAJOR accomplishment! (Applause!) I am proud of you! We all are!

    Please listen to CL and CN and stay well away from both your x and (never was) your friend (x-friend). They will continue to hurt you as long as you let them. Don’t let them. And please know that what they did has nothing to do with you. If you mattered at all, to either of them, they wouldn’t have hurt you because they couldn’t do that to someone they love. They do not know how to love. They suck as human beings. They are monsters. Could you hurt someone you love like that? I bet not.

    My best friend, known her since we were 11, slept with my x. They had a 20+ year affair, I’m told. Her adult daughter came to me crying when her father died a couple of years ago (my 3 year divorce was almost final). She told me her father said, on his death bed, ‘I love you honey, but I am not your father, satan is.’ …omg… She wanted me to tell her the truth… I couldn’t. I told her she would have to have that conversation with her mother.

    I don’t know the end of that soul shredding story…and I don’t want to. ‘Not my circus, not my monkeys’, as her mother used to say to me…as she ‘helped’ me through my divorce from satan. …ugh… We no longer speak…

    MedChump you will heal from this. You will be stronger than you think you could ever be. You will have an amazing ENLIGHTENED life on the other side of all this pain. Take your time and get lots and lots of support and help, whatever that looks like to you, and walk through it. CL says the pain is finite and she is right, it doesn’t feel like it for a long time, but she is absolutely correct.

    Go grab your awesome cheater free life 🙂 You’ve earned it!

  • Medchump….please read the work of Dr. Omar Minwalla. His cutting edge research will revolutionize the trauma of betrayed spouses and promptly tell the world the truth about these selfish, disordered cheaters.

    Minwalla could use a good MD to help spread the “truth” about cheaters, betrayal trauma and so called “sex addiction.” You can literally help change the world in the most profound way.

    • Leaving the crap behind: thanks so much for sharing Omar Minwalla- just listened to his podcast interview- amazing insight- so needs to be brought to the main stream! I could relate on so many levels.

    • Thank you so much for the recommendation of Omar Minwalla’s work! Very helpful for me, as I have known for a long time that what I am experiencing is more akin to PTSD than the “woman scorned” crap therapists often gloss over.

      I second the motion that Omar Minwalla get a team of MD’s and researchers on his side to raise the flag that people who have been betrayed in this way need treatment and support devoid of victim-blaming.

      Thanks again!

    • Leavingthecrapbehind
      Thank you so much for the Minwalla recommendation. I too have just listened to the podcast and realise that the biggest reason Chumpnation is so successful and loved, is because only the Chumps know that we are suffering from PTSD and no one else recognises it.
      This is literally the only safe space where we can explain our trauma and have it understood.
      I discovered my husband’s use of prostitutes after 4 months of marriage and pregnant with our first baby. He denied and I spackled. Roll on 34 years and I have an undeniable D- day with the same issue. A two year relationship with a prostitute half my age.
      Now, I absolutely know that I am suffering PTSD , especially as I truly believed that he had given up this vile habit and I was safe.
      I am trying to find a way to leave him given that we are financially strapped but I am lining up my ducks even if it means living on a boat.
      Since discovering Chumplady, I am finally sleeping better now that I have given up hopium and detaching emotionally. I see him for what he is and learning to not take the blame anymore.
      Just wish I’d found you wonderful women sooner. The pain wouldn’t have been so long lasting.
      But I’m getting there.

  • The fall out from being chumped includes ego wounds that make us feel unattractive and undesirable. This is not true in most cases- if not all. I met a fellow “chumped” woman who resembled a young Farrah Fawcett…..with a law degree. The problem is him…..not you.

    • Jennifer Anniston, Halle Berry, Elizabeth Hurley, Sandra Bullock – all beautiful and talented chumps.

  • Medchump–I want you to think about the level of cruelty you (or any of us) would have to adopt to (a) sleep with our best friend’s spouse, and (b) insinuate yourself into a level of intimacy whereby the person you are betraying would confide in you things that you could use against them.

    It boggles the mind. Most of us cannot conceive of inflicting that kind of horror on another human being. And yet your X and your best friend did exactly that. But you want to find fault in yourself? There is NO fault you could have, no deficiency of character, that equals that. Whatever normal flaws you may have that all of us have–your pesto isn’t up to Iron Chef standards, you could match your earrings better to your outfit–did not drive your morally deficient fuckwit of an X into the arms of another. And for him to add insult to injury by blameshifting his affair onto you, and your lack of “chemistry” makes me wish him intestinal parasites. Big ones. Painful ones.

    I am in absolute awe of your being able to pass the board exams after that kind of trauma. It took 2 years after D-day/divorce for my concentration to come back. You are amazing.

  • MedChump, the first love is the hardest to lose, but you will love again and it will be someone worthy of you. That dude laid quite a mind fuck on you, all that bullshit makes it sound like he has no agency and you know that isn’t true! If you haven’t seen a therapist, it’s time to find someone you can work this through with. It might help to examine your relationship, you may find that you grew up and left him behind. You may find the relationship was not so good for you the last few years. My first LTR ended similarly (minus the best friend betrayal). Once I focused on myself I found the break up was for the best, I call this taking off the love goggles.

    Jedi Hugs Medchump!

    • Second the therapist idea. I saw several this past year and it has helped immensely. There is just so much to process.

  • I know you may not want to hear what I am going to tell you right now but consider yourself blessed to be rid of such a marshmallow defect. You are about to start a kick ass, prestigious career, you’re young and there are so many great people out there why be stuck with loser pond scum. I hope your soon to be ex and your disgusting “friend” end up together and he stays with her through what should have been her best and lucrative years.

  • But he didn’t kill himself. As far as we can tell from your letter he also didn’t go get some therapy. He didn’t ask you to join him at marital counseling so that he could work on the problems with you. He didn’t invest in himself to develop a more fulfilling life for himself. Nope–he felt crappy, so he embarked on a secret and exciting affair with one of your friends. Then, when his crappy behavior came to light he made up some lies about how lousy and suicidal he’d been feeling.

    You say he knows you very well, and it seems this is true. He knows how to make you feel lousy and guilty. He’s managed to make you go silently away, so now he can pretend that all the crap he did never happened. This man LIED to you. Keep reminding yourself of that. Every time his vicious jabs at you start to hurt, remind yourself that he is a liar. The horrible things he has said about you are not true. He just knows you well enough to be able to manipulate you with the kinds of lies that most advantage him.

    It may be a long while before you realize that you are better off without him, but eventually you’ll reach that place. You are smart and persistent–as demonstrated by your career success. You’ll flourish without him in ways you would never have managed with him. It just takes awhile to heal. Be patient with yourself and proud of your own empathy and character.

  • MedChump… as a medical professional, this should make sense… HE HAS NO HEART and SHE HAS NO BRAIN. You have both. Be mighty… an amazing future awaits you. Don’t languish in the pain minefield of their mindfuckery. You have a life to live without people who lack character and major organs.

    Rock on… you’ve got this.

  • Medchump, the brain can do funny things in times of grief or trauma. After my Dad died unexpectedly, I went through a period where I thought I must be a bad person for this to have happened. Even at the time, I knew there was no logic to it, but that didn’t stop it from *feeling* rather reasonable and logical. The feeling did not last, fortunately, and neither will yours, especially if you get some help talking it through.

    Your trauma is just as devastating and it was aimed right at you. And of course you didn’t see it coming. What decent person could?

    When you get to the other side of this time of healing, I predict you will have honed powerful new skills of boundaries living and bs detection that will make it infinitely more difficult for disordered people to get into your life. You’ll have some work to do but it will make such a difference in your life.

    Kudos to you for your mightiness, holding it together under such circumstances. Sometimes when you get past the initial crisis, the impact hits harder. That may be what is happening with you. There is a lot to process and it’s hard. But you can do it.

  • I am truly sorry for any pain you are feeling at this time. Fortunately, you found out early you married a lying cheating emotional – probably financial – vampire.

    Flowers and chocolates to the piece of shit best friend for taking him off your hands.

  • One other thought–the “we lacked chemistry” really means that the person who said it is addicted to “new.” They equate love with the rush of excitement at the advent of a new relationship. In a few years, your X won’t have “chemistry” with best friend, and he will dash off for that tingly sensation with someone else.

    There’s no depth to these people, it’s all about the dopamine rush. Over time, they need more and more to get the same high. I’m pretty sure that my X would have liked to have given me the same “chemistry” line to explain why he had to screw a graduate student 16 years into our relationship. The truth is that his affair itself destroyed our chemistry, not the other way around.

    Cheaters have no true sense of cause-effect, cannot accept responsibility for their actions, and need “new” to make them feel alive since they are empty inside. That’s not on you, Medchump.

    • Yes! The “chemistry” is completely destroyed by the affair, not the other way around. Someone committed to loving you will not stop investing in the relationship for cheap emotional thrills. My ex used “we are just incompatible” to convey the same thing. He actually appropriated that excuse from our therapist. “No chemistry” and “incompatibility” really do just come down to “you aren’t new pussy.” (Thanks for that UBT hahaa)

    • Right on Tempest! 🙂 Magneto also touched on Dopamine up above.

      What I have learned by observing cheaters is they all share this common trait. The trait is when faced with a delicious schmoopie-pie filled with artificially flavored dopamine, their true character (or lack thereof) shows up. The “new” or the “dopamine rush” that they are feeling trumps everything. Nothing else matters.

      Cheaters do this because they are selfish, they lack impulse control, they are able to suppress empathy for their spouses (and kids) and they are mired of entitlement. Did I mention they are also shallow?

      Commitment? Loyalty? Self reflection? Accountability? What’s that?…… the cheater asks.

      “Chemistry” is a cheaters prerequisite of what they define as what true love is.

      IMO, the marriages that withstand the test of time are because both spouses (simultaneously) WANT to give their love to their husband/wife, not take it.

      Unfortunately, what cheaters don’t understand is that there is one main element that is missing from their definition of true love (aka “chemistry”)…….. and that is longevity.

      • You’re right, SureChumpedaLot–commitment and loyalty and longevity are solid rewards we get for loving fully (and which cheaters will never experience).

        Good to see you back!

  • Medchump, I feel you. So much love. I spent the last year struggling with the same feeling of I’m terrible, I failed, I did something wrong because I wasn’t enough. Why couldn’t I be enough for him? I’ll never be enough. I am also a professional and a millennial and everything you wrote resounded so completely with me. For me it has helped to get in touch with my anger and to stop making excuses for him. My ex also pulled this “I’m depressed” bullshit. It’s a serious mindfuck because we have so much knowledge and such a sensitivity now to psychology, and I think our culture promotes such extreme tolerance that it is against everything we believe to stop trying to understand and rehabilitate. As millennial kids, we also got a healthy dose of “you can do anything you set your mind and heart to.” So confronted with this big thing, this relationship that we poured heart and soul into, and to see it go up in flames… how’s that for really setting your heart and mind to something, and still failing spectacularly? It’s an existential blow. It’s not unusual at all to then feel like nothing we ever do (especially in the realm of relationships) will be successful. For me it has shaken the foundation of the core beliefs I grew up with and this past year I’ve been pretty unmoored and feeling like the guy from Office Space.

    Chumplady has helped me assess my core beliefs. Not that they are completely wrong, but personal ideologies can shift and change and the way we frame the world does not have to be static. The ideology of understanding and tolerance instilled by my parents (and Sesame Street?) was and is still incredibly good but there are certain things that don’t work. And I’m learning that total tolerance doesn’t work, and not everything is possible to fix. When my personal ideology leads me to blame myself for things out of my control, there is something wrong with that, and it is time to swap out what isn’t working for new beliefs.

    But it does get better. One year out and I woke up this morning feeling alone but grateful for this past year of such intense heartbreak and growth. Lots of love to you on your journey <3

    • This is amazing, rockette. I wish for us all to have authentic, loving, supportive people in our lives. We deserve nothing less.

  • Darling Med,

    I hope you are still reading. There is some great, great advice here. Your story is one of the most painful I have read on here, because your betrayer has you convinced that you are so entirely to blame for his lack of integrity.

    May I address one aspect of your grief? Even though you are clearly well rid of this snake, you are still left with the end of your dream. Our ideals die a hard, howling death, don’t they? I, too, have only been with my husband. ALL IN. What a beautiful, beautiful gift you gave him. It must feel like a piece of your heart that you can never get back. You would be right.

    But you know what? There’s a lot of that in life. I would give anything to hold one of my babies again, those initial moments of them new on this earth. New. First. Only. My babies went away and became children because I fed them regularly. Your first and only dream ended because your partner killed it with his own hands, looked up at you and said, “I want another new, and it’s your fault.”

    I know that you can get through this. It’s just grief. It will ease. You couldn’t have known. Believe us. You could not have known. You didn’t do this. I promise. We promise.

  • Baby, you were in MED SCHOOL. Of course you were busy. What fuckwit failed to understand, apparently, is that even med school craziness is temporary.

    Mine ran back to Imitation E every time I was “too busy,” first with an intensive college program and internship, then working overtime when my workplace upgraded computer systems, and most recently working more overtime to compensate for his own unemployment.

    Yet I managed to keep my pants on when he briefly worked out of state, and every time he was otherwise occupied with something. Because that’s what normal people do; we understand that there will be relatively brief periods of time when we won’t be able to get quite as much attention from our spouse as we may want, and we are patient and supportive of their efforts, especially when those efforts are in the service of improving our household’s standard of living, like higher education and promotion opportunities. Only selfish douchebags can’t wait and be supportive.

    My psychic senses are tingling. The first really bad flu season, when she can’t get home on time a few days in a row, he’s going to cheat on her too. I’d put money on it.

    This isn’t a you problem. This is them being fucked up.

  • Leavers always, ALWAYS follow the same script.. Please if you are new to this mindfuckery, read The Script by Elizabeth Landers and Vicky Mainzer ( not the reconciliation advice parts but rather the warnings about what is always said to the abandoned spouse and most importantly the financial frauds which ALWAYS accompany abandonment…male abandoners ALWAYS will say ” don’t worry, I’ll take care of you” yet the money will always be re-diverted toward the new woman and her ( there or potential children). Let’s face this you and I were the old cars sent to the scrap ward, all the “I’ll take care of you’s” were actually meant to pay the tow truck to get us there ( divorce proceedings ) but most certainly not to pay maintenance fees once out of sight. No, that will go to the new “soulmate”. So script is as such:

    1. we have nothing in common
    2. we drew apart
    3 we don’t communicate well
    4. she’s got nothing to see with this and my leaving
    5. I have been unhappy for years ( usually the number 5 or 10 come up)
    6. Don’t worry about the finances, I’ll take care of everything ( or you and the children )
    7. From lawyer : he is not disclosing his assets
    8. From forensic accountant ( especially true if the leaver has own company): he’s been hiding assets
    9. from leaver: why should I pay for all this. I don’t live in that house anymore
    10. I am the victim here.

    • I heard “we have nothing in common, she’s got nothing to do with my leaving, I’ve been unhappy for years, I am the victim here.”

    • I got 1,3,4 & 5 but not 10 as that would make him seem weak. I may have gotten a variant of 6, but he could be shifting to 9. I don’t think 7 and 8 are options for him at the moment beyond the extra cash ($40 here, $60 there) that seems to add up to more than he should really need. I guess that is for Schmoopie expenses that he doesn’t dare put on the credit card anymore.

    • Got all of them except stuff about assets and money, we have none, but I got everything apparently, no I got a mortgage to a great house with no current equity and hold house possessions not worth much, he carries on like I got some huge prize.

    • Meh, I too had read this book previously, and it was what clued me into the fact that this is probably what was happening when Mr Cheaterpants told me that he was leaving because I had hurt him so deeply. I was able to prep myself for what was to come, because I knew the Script.

  • Hi, Medchump —

    Fellow doctor, here (ER veterinarian x 20 years). I’m so sorry. It sucks, doesn’t it? Which textbook do I find the answers in? There must be an answer, a diagnosis, some error I made – a blood test I should’ve run, xray, CT, MRI… What didn’t *I* do to realize he “never loved [me] that way”? I must be a fucking idiot to not have seen it!!

    So many years of faith in logic and facts leaves us ill-suited to deal with this sort of deception, especially from those closest to us. But that’s because it’s aberrant behavior. People like your Ex aren’t playing by the rules. They are that little tiny thing that looks like a papilloma but it’s actually mast cell tumor (do people get those? they’re nasty in vet med) that’s going to kill you patient. Your Ex (and mine, and everyone else’s here) is a little tiny thing than looks like a benign life partner but is actually a malignant narcissist who is going to kill your marriage. Ugly surprise, no way around it.

    I, too, really blamed myself for not being (in CL parlance) “sparkly” enough. My job is sometimes really fucking depressing. I don’t pour wine for a living, like XH does. So I tried to walk the fine line between hiding it (let’s not bring Debbie Downer home to dinner!) and revealing just enough so that he felt I was sharing with him, leaning on him so he could be “the man” — Does any of this sound familiar? So when he ran off and chose a sparkly young waitress, I felt like I didn’t try hard enough to be “light” and “easy.”

    And, of course, like everyone else here, I didn’t see what was right under my nose and, like you, it shattered my trust in EVERYTHING. I must SUCK at this whole human interaction thing if I can’t even realize my own husband doesn’t love me. — And the best friend? Mine wasn’t sleeping with XH but she & her husband took his side and are now sitting down to Thanksgiving dinners with XH & his new wife, OW. So I can’t even be trusted to pick friends properly!

    Here’s the thing: It DOES get better. Come here, as much as you need to. Three years later and my life is pretty fucking amazing. I come to CN because I like the people here, and sometimes I just have a moment I think no one else who hasn’t been through this sort of mindfuck can ever truly appreciate so this is “safe place” (check out the Forums) to tell my story. — But I come from the future to tell you there will be people out there who are amazed and impressed by the work you do, by the strength and determination it took for you to get through med school (hardly the same thing as a level 1 sommelier course, I know, but… 😉 ) and dazzled by all the amazing things about you. I know because I’ve seen it.

    Your ex is cowardly and weak and was never going to be the man you deserve. And everyone else here is correct by saying that “chemistry” shit is just bullshit — or maybe it IS true, but then he’s an idiot for having stayed so long (mine said a version of that same thing, only he said “spark” instead of “chemistry”) and he stuck around for sixteen years. So either he was lying at the beginning or lying at the end but he’s a liar either way. And a lazy bastard who lacks strength and introspection to try to fix himself instead of getting carried away by the first dopamine rush to come his way.

    You may not see it now but this is not your fault, you ARE awesome and someone is going to see that someday, someone who is WORTHY of you.

    Hang in there, doc. Just like a post-op patient, it just takes time.

    • One more thing: In the years after Dday, I’ve come to think of XH as someone who has watched their dog or cat suffer for a long time, knowing SOMEthing is wrong with it, but is just too lazy to seek professional help: the expense, the inconvenience (what if it’s sick but treatable which might entail doing actual work, such as giving insulin injections? nothing sparkly about diabetes…), the potential recriminations or even suggestion that it might somehow be HIS fault (feeding pupperoni instead of balanced dog food every day for fourteen years?), … No, that’s too much work. What. A. Drag. So instead, he stands by and watches the pet sicken and suffer and does NOTHING to intervene, when he’s the only one who can.

      Take it from those here who have the misfortune of having to comanage children with these poor excuses for human beings: it’s not any better when it’s the kid who’s the “inconvenience” of illness. YOU, Doc, YOU will step up, dig in, and fight. He? He was never going to do that. I’m sorry.

    • NW Biblio,

      “Looks like a benign life partner but is actually a malignant narcissist”
      I have a small journal where I jot down CL/CN nuggets like this to keep me moving forward and provide chuckles when needed. Thank you for paying it forward and checking in after a few years to share your experience, strength and hope.

    • Yes, I’m a recent veterinary graduate. Received the news a month before my scheduled NAVLE board exam test date.

      I think you’re right with trying to control or diagnose the problem since that’s what we are trained to do. Not having any control over the most important relationship in your life is a low strike to the groin. I would come home after a long day on rotations just wanting to decompress my brain by watching stupid tv and not wanting to talk about my day where my patients died. He would get offended and mad, and looking back on it, I should’ve been more willing to talk about it. Anyways, thank you for your post NWBiblio.

  • Medchump,
    My cheater cheated because he can,
    Because he wanted to.
    Your heater cheated because he can,
    Because he wanted to.
    Cheaters are incapable of showing love and respect.
    They don’t possess, let alone understand, the human qualities of love and respect.

    They cheat because they can, because they want to

    • Mine cheated the first time with co- worker because she was ” fun”….but dumped her when she bought him a jumper & he thought she was getting too serious….( IE less fun!!!) – whilst I was going through ivf & pregnancy….. Yep . They are immature people who fail to ” man up” …. When they need too
      … Can’t or won’t do stress or the hard stuff….want to run away to the fun….. Thus happened over & over again. I felt the detachment & aabandonment but he claimed all fine….until 25 years in & 2 children and the shock line he uttered…”I need a separation / divorce…. We haven’t been getting on for years… ILYBNIYWYA….etc ( whilst he was in a relationship with yet another co worker. …. ) funny how he wasn’t man enough to just leave – no he needed another woman / security blanket before he took flight….- ( pig with his snout in the trough of cake & kibbles……. )
      So it’s a double edged sword but be glad he has gone….whilst you are young. If it didn’t happen now , it would have happened in the future. Go and live a great life free from a narc. I am in my early 50’s and wish I had found proof of what had been going on in my marriage years ago and now view it all as a sham. He was my first , I got a degree had a a great career then gave it up to have children – he was never happy , got a degree , a job then retrained to bar school , got another 2 jobs as a lawyer but bosses were ” idiots” etcetc….company never treated HIM right etc…he worked ( (& played!!!! ) Hard enough as I was home with our daughters doing EVERYTHING- he got made redundant from both! Life with him was always full of depression , drama , madness etc when I look back….
      And I was the one who financed 6 years of his retraining , house mortgage holidays whilst exhausting myself in the process working hard in my career before the girls …..and clearly as I was not ” fun” he started playing around – serial cheater because I was not fun enough ALL of the time. Oh grow up!!!!!
      So don’t look back – it sucks but be glad (!)only 6 years not 26yrs….
      Go find a good man. You are wonderful hardworking kind and loyal – you deserve / deserved better but you did not know at the time you had married an immature narc…….

      I wish you peace which will come when you realise
      IT WAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.
      but all to do with their DEFECTIVE character & low moral compass.

      Good to be rid of them now.

      Hugs & hope you find more inner peace reading CL…xxx

      ….

  • Medchump
    YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!!!

    Please get to a Trauma Counselor (PTSD does not get better with time. It might seem to but its reeking havoc on your body if you don’t get it treated. I doesn’t “pass.”). You deserve better than that selfish lying blaming POS. It’s him!!!!

    Mine calls me all sorts of inadequate now, after I found he’d squandered thousands on hookers and porn. Still sits in church like a wonderful guy. Tells people he sued me for slander (never did). He’s a sick puppy and out of my life.

    You won Medchump. Take care of you

  • Medchump-

    Please don’t devalue yourself over the actions of an entitled half wit! We’ve all been where you are now; we’ve all questioned our worth but at the end of the day “It’s not about what you are, it’s about who he isn’t” I can’t take credit for that quote but a very smart chump recently said that and it bears repeating.

    Most of us have been accused of “not putting the cheater’s needs first” so you’re not alone there either. While you’re in medical school how can you put anyone’s needs ahead of the need to study and learn? If he doesn’t get that, then he doesn’t deserve YOU. If he thinks his new doctor schmoopie is going to be any different, he’s a deludinoid. She will have a residency to complete too and it will probably be a contest between the two of them about who cheats on who first.

    This sucks now but it will get so much better with time. You’ve added distance too since you moved back home so that’s a bonus. Take care of yourself, take time to grieve the loss of what you thought you had, and focus on your career for the moment. CL always says this shit is finite and she’s right. I was with my ex for 27 years, divorced happily now for 3 years and well on my way to meh. You will get there too!

    Jedi hugs!

  • “I think if the person who knew me the best was so unhappy because of ME, to the point of suicide, I can’t trust myself and that I must be a horrible person.”

    What is it with being responsible for another’s happiness? Or their mental health issues? My oldest daughter recently put the responsibility of her happiness on ME after making nasty comments I ignored.
    Don’t you want me to be happy? WTF. This goes along with, not my job.

    Use your words. This is what we tell YOUNG children.

    • Claiming to be suicidal is straight from the cheating narcissist’s playbook. What a beautifully sinister manipulation, because how can you be sure he really was suicidal? You have to take him on his word or, as most chumps conclude, you would be contributing to his death if you didn’t take the threat seriously. Which then confirms both the sad sausage and reverse victim narrative and, as an added bonus, keeps you blaming yourself. As CL says, the only response to a spouse who claims to be suicidal is 911 and a psych evaluation.

      Please read everything you can on this site and in CL’s book about how disordered cheaters operate–I know for many of us learning that there is a playbook and that it was used on us is the first step in letting go of the self-blame.

  • I would bet that the “no chemistry” issue developed just as soon as he began involving himself in mental fantasies with your friend. When a man permits himself to fantasize (sexually or otherwise) about being with another woman, he begins emotionally detaching from his spouse and begins the mental check list of devaluing and blame shifting. This “no chemistry” is Classic cheater speak to excuse their roving eye and deep character defects. He KNOWS that it is a nebulous excuse and he KNOWS there is no “fix” that you can seek for it. He used it as a diabolical blame shift excuse for his affair and for his exit out of your life and into hers. If there were no chemistry, he WOULD have known that when you two were dating, and man up and not marry to begin with. There were so many other ways he could have chosen to leave. To him, “chemistry” means strange and new and has NOTHING to do with deep committed love. Deep love is the foundational well for chemistry…so yeah, he does not have either going for him.

    My guess is that he lives from one dopamine rush to another and cheating is his choice of drug for getting his mental/emotional rush rather than becoming a drunk or a drug addict or a gambler ect…although he probably would have added some other things to his defective character as time went on. You being busy with a demanding education meant that you were not always able to supply him with the pretzel making accommodations for keeping his wanderlust in check…nor should you have had to. If it were not your “friend” it would have been someone else, and he will get tired of her and anyone else too over time. He saw her as an exciting (dopamine) sneaky opportunity for strange pussy and went for it while you were building a career that would have benefited both of you long term.

    Cheaters never factor in the value of what they are willing to throw away for strange…because their heart is just NOT committed as yours is and they cannot see past the desire for the next “high”. If he actually did become suicidal, it was because he has piss poor coping mechanisms for dealing with the reality that he cannot have a Harem while being married.

    Better to know what you are dealing with now rather than at my age of 62 when the shit hit the fan and there is so much more to lose. Fast forward a few years and a few children from now…you would have ended up with the same problem except probably paying HIM alimony and/or child support. There will always be an excuse for him to cheat…now it was your demanding education…later, it would be that your demanding work schedule were not optimal for servicing his “needs” (while he happily spends your money and gets you eyeball into debt). While that bullet DID actually “hit” you (your pain is evident that it did)…it would have resulted in far far far worse damage to you later.

    Everyone here has diagnosed both you and the cheater. Our findings are unanimous: You are “healthy” (though seriously wounded)… the cheater has a fatal heart defect that he refuses to acknowledge. There was never anything that you could have done to treat this because he was never going to acknowledge it. Instead, he chose to blame you. I suspect that you know that, but your emotions have not caught up…yet.

    Try to keep your hair while you wipe this shit off of your feet.

    • What an awesome post Sweetz. It’s hard when you’re a new chump and there’s hemorrhaging. Looking for anything that can stop that pain real fast and fix this gaping wound. You don’t want to know initially that it’s not you that can fix it and it’s out of your control. It’s going to have to be a bleeder until it stops on it’s own –with time, lots and lots of time of no contact. The worst thing you can do is try to fix it with the cheater. This type of wound will never heal and will be a gaping wound over and over again with more Ddays….

    • Hey you just described my STBX too, and I guess every chump on here’s H/W/STBX/EX. They really are all the same and it has nothing to do with us.

  • I was given a very similar reason: He didn’t feel enough “passion” for me. This, after a 20 year marriage. Of course, he spent most of that marriage balling strange men in gay bath houses, so I suppose it’s not surprising he didn’t have much enthusiasm left for me. To this day, he says the reason he had sex with men was because of the lack of passion for me, despite the fact that he started having sex with other guys long before he knew me, and of course continued long after we were divorced.

    I once told ex that I worried he could only enjoy sex if it was in some way illicit, “dirty,” immoral, or dangerous, and in a moment of very rare honesty, he replied that he also worried about that.

    The cheating is on your ex. The reasons they give for cheating are always bullshit. The REAL reason they cheat is entitlement, selfishness, immaturity, lack of character, and disorder.

    • My X said I forced him to “experiment” with gay porn because I’d stopped having sex with him, when the reality was that he’d stopped having sex with me (thankfully, now in hindsight) long before that. The fact that even the gay ones blame their straight partners for their cheating just goes to show how far narcissists will take their gaslighting, well beyond all logic or reason.

  • My theory is graduate school is the catalyst that exposes epic assholes even quicker.

    You’re a doctor. You get chemistry. The only thing he understands is jackassery.

  • MedChump,
    You are mighty. You were sucker punched. It will take a while to catch your breath. When I first found out about my cheater’s betrayal, I couldn’t initially process this was HIS issue. I would come across this information about his character or lack there of. The further out with no contact I go, the better it gets. I didn’t want to hear this at first either. It didn’t help then, but it is true.

    The only way out of pain is through the pain. You know the stages of grief and they are not linear. You will transition through and back track in and out of these stages. I do still try to untangle the skein. Somewhere I read an analogy (maybe here please except my apologies if I plagarize!). If your home was destroyed by a tornado, you can process the devastation and feel prepared for the next disaster. Okay, there was a storm, I heard the sirens, I went to the basement and sought shelter. My home is gone but my family and I are okay. You can sleep at night knowing you will know the signs before the next disaster.

    Going through this devastation without the signs leaves you feeling vulnerable. But I now know my signs. He lacked character, was self-centered, did not reciprocate, I never came first. I spackled this away with well he’s a doctor and he’s tired a lot. He didn’t help with ‘x’ because he’s busy. Hell, he didn’t even come to my ultrasound appointment when we were learning the sex of our baby because he had worked a lot and he had a friend that could only play golf with him that same day.

    I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but you dodged a bullit many of the rest of us got stuck with a cheater for much of our lives. We had children with the cheater and now our kids get to deal with this self-centered, entitled ass the rest of their lives.

    Trust that they both suck. It’s hard to process this shit. It takes a long time to realize this ass out of your life now is a blessing. Good luck to your ‘friend’ for winning this prize.

  • Just be glad that his lack of character and commitment reared its head now and didn’t first aappear when you were 40 and mother to small children. At 27, you have a long life ahead of you and a good training tomearn you a living.

    I am 58 now, and can barely remember the name of my fiance, whom I dated from age 17, engaged at 22, then dumped me a few months before our wedding….for another girl, a dumpy, ugly pharmacist who was “more accomplished” than little me. I thought my life was over at the time. I had just gotten over him when he returned, and asked me once more to marry him. I just calmly said no thanks, you’ve lost my trust. He even had his mother call me and “remind me that I’d made a promise to her son”. I let her have the full details about him fucking the other broad, and she gasped and hung up.

    Well, I left that sucker in my dust. I since went on to marry for 29 years, have two great sons, get cheated on again, and moved on. Life is like that, thus you should never sell your independence. Stay true to yourself and quit confiding in your colleagues. They are your competitors! The one thing I did to insure myself against cheaters was stay financially independent. After that first chumping, I haven’t truly trusted anyone, good thing it turns out. I can honestly say I am still a happy person, with some sad ess along the way. Staying self supporting and hanging onto your savings is the number one way to have choices when others crap all over you. Open a savings plan, and then take a vacation, get a tan, and chill. Forget the arseholes.

    Cheaters always betray each other and your horrid ex and ex friend will self destruct. Nice thing for you is, you can just enjoy the schadenfreude from a distance. As you get older, what you will remember is the good you do for others through your work and your good character. Those who harm you will just become vague irrelevant memories.

      • Hi Tempest,
        Son’s wedding is in August. He is going ahead with his plans to have his father and OW at the parents’ table along with the bride’s parents. Apparently my cheater ex (his father) and OW have cultivated a friendship with the bride’s family, which is fine, but I think it just stinks that he thinks it’s OK to have me and my partner sitting at a side table with he bride’s uncles.

        It makes me sick to even think about how I will make it through the day. To be honest, the only only reason I will even make the trip there is to see my younger son. It will be a 3000 cross-ocean plane ride. He knows the situation and doesn’t think I should let them scare me away.

        Ex husband will be there with not only OW but his vicious sisters as well. They are a clan of narcissists. Oh, and it is official that I am not allocated any guests except my partner. Even my best friend of 40 years is not invited, nor are my sister or brother. I am absolutely sure this is all about rewriting history and saving social face for the father and son.

        At least I can sleep at night knowing I have done no harm besides give birth to a narcissist.

        I have not sent a gift but am instead considering delivering the cross he told me “get down off”. 🙂

        • Oh, Marci, I’m sorry your oldest son didn’t come to his senses. He doesn’t deserve you as a mother (and very sad that the apple didn’t fall far from the paternal tree). The cross is a perfect wedding gift under the circumstances. If you find yourself unable to go through with the wedding and the seating arrangement, since you’ll already be stateside, drop me a line and we’ll go out and toast the bride & groom from the safe distance of a place that serves margaritas.

          • Thanks, Tempest. It’s so nice to know there are such kind folks out there. My life now is mostly good. I will consider it a badge of honour to stare them down.

            I have dark moments when my 29 years as a good wife and mother seem like another life. I really identified as the “wife of” and sacrificed so much for cheater’s career success. I never imagined back then that the course of my life would change so much — I was always such a homebody when I was just Mom…and now I live so independently, travelling the world, not really trusting anyone. While it is true freedom I enjoy, my only remaining wish is that my dear younger son now 27 finds himself a kind partner to settle down with.

            I can only wish the elder one peace because I know in the years to come he may struggle to reconcile how he has behaved toward me. Or perhaps not. I hope his wife-to-be doesn’t get treated as I was by his father.

  • His unhappiness and cheating are so not your fault. The problem is his own lack of character and inability to be happy. He was just unhappy because that is who he is, but he was looking for something to blame and you were an easy target. The other woman was him trying to fill his void from external means and it isn’t going to work. The “friend” he cheated with is also a selfish person with no morals who won’t be happy for long. You are going to move on and live a good life because you have the capacity to do that. The two of them will implode because of their mutual selfishness. At some point your ex is going to be depressed all over again with no convenient place to shift the blame. Who knows what he will do then, but it won’t be your problem.

  • Dearest Medchump, in time you will be able to see your own mightiness. I echo the words of others here to find a good therapist to help you get through the trauma of what you just experienced. I know it’s tempting when someone discards you to blame yourself, but what many of us have learned here is that *that’s on them*. Good people don’t discard others and have affairs with their best friends. If good people are not happy, they inform their spouse, they try to salvage things, and if they are still not happy, they leave with respect for their partner. They do NOT do what your cheater did. I think you dodged a major bullet with this guy, but I know it takes a while to feel that way too. I too fell prey to the line of thinking of “if even this shitty person didn’t love me, I must be pretty unlovable.” Don’t believe it!! One person’s behavior is not a ruling on how lovable we are. Trust us that he sucks. Come here often for support, and virtual hugs.

  • Med Chump
    I feel for you. Rain Cloud told me on D-day that we never clicked. Her HSBF was easy, so I’m out and he is in. Rain Cloud also told me that she had been depressed and wished at times that she was not living. Topped off with she didn’t even recognize herself anymore. The not so subtle implication of all of this was that I suck and have caused her downfall. Please realize this is classic MF and a way cheaters rationalize their shitty behavior. You will eventually see this. You will build your practice and in time be thankful that your cheater is not in your life. Read CL’s multiple posts on trust that they suck. You will feel better after you read those pearls of wisdom.

  • This will be absolutely impossible to hear, but you are a very lucky woman to get out of this dysfunctional relationship at 27, at the beginning of your career and without children.

    Do the therapy you need to learn what you can and heal and move on. As fast as you can so you can make a life with a real partner. And have children if that’s what you want.

    Read the stories here and you’ll see there are many of us that have been lied to for years (20+ in my case,) taken advantage of, robbed of our adult life and left broken, damaged and full of regret for what could have been if our narcissistis spouses had an ounce of humanity to GET THE FUCK OUT and let us have a real life.

    I soooooo wish I had found CN many many years ago and been able actually hear the wisdom of these wonderful Chumps. I hope that I would have had the courage to recognize gaslighting and piece together the clues instead of continually discounting any thoughts of infidelity.

    Grieve, learn, breathe and MOVE ON mighty one!!

    • Giddy Eagle,
      I agree. I wish there had been a CL, CN years ago. One can’t help but ponder what a different outcome some of us chumps would have experienced. For me, it was kind of hold it all inside, carry on, be stronger, survive, survive at all costs. Save face, brave heart, hang on and keep breathing. Funny, I stopped dead in my tracks, heart stop on discovery. Then I paced and I paced and I vacuumed. I keep a pretty clean house anyway, but, man, that house was impeccable. I did that and I looked out the windows, room to room, to see if his car was driving down our road. He worked away and was always late.
      For Medchump and all other chumps, especially, young, new chumps it does my heart good to know that CL, CN is available to them, arms, hearts and clever brains, all open to them 24/7.
      There is no better place to feel loved and respected than on this site.
      Hugs to Medchump, to you, Giddy Eagle and to all other chumps.
      By bearing your soul here, by sharing and reaching out to others, you ALL are mighty!
      (I love how most chumps love all their animals. My home is always filled with lots of nourishing, (made in USA) dog and cat treats. I wish I could share with all your sweet “kids”.) Pats for pets, CN!❤️

    • Giddy Eagle,
      I agree. I wish there had been a CL, CN years ago. One can’t help but ponder what a different outcome some of us chumps would have experienced. For me, it was kind of hold it all inside, carry on, be stronger, survive, survive at all costs. Save face, brave heart, hang on and keep breathing. Funny, I stopped dead in my tracks, heart stop on discovery. Then I paced and I paced and I vacuumed. I keep a pretty clean house anyway, but, man, that house was impeccable. I did that and I looked out the windows, room to room, to see if his car was driving down our road. He worked away and was always late.
      For Medchump and all other chumps, especially, young, new chumps it does my heart good to know that CL, CN is available to them, arms, hearts and clever brains, all open to them 24/7.
      There is no better place to feel loved and respected than on this site.
      Hugs to Medchump, to you, Giddy Eagle and to all other chumps.
      By bearing your soul here, by sharing and reaching out to others, you ALL are mighty!
      (I love how most chumps love all their animals. My home is always filled with lots of nourishing, (made in USA) dog and cat treats. I wish my pets could share with all your sweet “kids”.)
      Pats for pets, CN!❤️

  • You know that guy who, while patting you on the back, puts his hand in your pocket to steal your money? Well, your ex is that guy. So is your so-called friend. They are nothing more than con artists. The same type who call asking you to send money. The cons might be different but the personalities are the same.

  • Having only one lover your entire adult life has got to invoke feelings of neglect and abandonment all on its own. Medchump- I am sorry for your pain. You are not the problem, he is. You get to walk on, and live a new life. I understand who you were is dead, but resurrect as the stronger, self loving being that you are. You’re young and successful. Know that you are mighty.
    Know that he has to live with his pathetic self for the rest of his ugly life.

  • MedChump, cheaters always have a laundry list, don’t they? A scroll of things they can whip out, so that if you counter-argue their ‘reasons’ they can skip to the next one on the list to beat you with why you’re just not adequate to ‘meet their needs’. That’s partially because they are bottomless pits who are never happy, so you couldn’t please them, even if these WERE genuine reasons for them, but anyway, we all know this is just bullshit to justify in their minds why they cheated. I suspect your cheater felt entitled to do what he did and not feel sorry, cause he got into that whole “After everything I’ve done for you…” thing in his mind. And don’t think this has happened because the OW is any better or special or different from you…dude has targeted her because A, as someone else said, he’s lazy and she was nearby, but also I would suspect something as venal as she will in the future be a high earner. True love is definitely, definitely when you choose someone that can keep you in the style to which you want to become accustomed, he wasn’t going to fall in wild and crazy love with just anyone you know. And as so many people have said, you are young with the potential to explode the world with the stuff you will achieve in the future, so take a step toward that today, by being kind to yourself, knowing there is nothing you could have done differently to make these two act with morals (because it is all on them), as much as all this hurts.

    • And also know that your friend, who has also trained to be a doctor, is not going to find it easy to concentrate on her career, while having to constantly keep up the supply for cheaterdude as well. You are free to put the time effort and love into your career that he would have endlessly tried to compromise with his antics.

  • Medchump, I heard these from my spouse of 31 years after I found he was conducting an affair with my pastor. He was suicidal, he was so unhappy, couldn’t I want things to be better for him. I finally told him to go ahead and commit suicide but to leave a letter for his mother and his children so they would know it was his choice. He never mentioned it again. Now that I am 2 1/2 years out, I am so grateful that he is gone. We had been together for a total of 40 years – 33 married and 7 dating. I have no idea whether he had other affairs or not. I put him through graduate school and then I put myself through graduate school It was always about him, his wants, his needs. We moved whenever he was no longer happy with his job generally, every two years. This played hell with my having a career. But you know what, I’m thankful every. single. day. that he is gone. You are mighty. You will make it. You are not, in any way, responsible for his choices – do not walk down that path! Some people are NEVER happy with what they have and they are always looking for the next buzz of adrenaline. You may not believe it now but you are better off without him. We’re here if you need to vent or get some validation. It helps to know that you aren’t the only one who has been fed a shit sandwich. Hold your head up and show your mightiness!

  • Several people have made great comments about the “thought about suicide” issue — but I think I might be able to add different perspective (that will hopefully help).

    My STBX actually DID attempt suicide. He left note in the vehicle — telling me that everything was my fault. He also mentioned there was another note at home. The second note was more of the same … his misery was my fault.

    What was the trigger for this horrendous action? I had discovered that he had been cheating on me for the entirety of our 20+ year marriage, that he watched porn daily (even at work), he had been taking family money to spend unilaterally on his “fun” stuff, and that he was a pathological liar.

    Logically, I know that he screwed me over — he chose every single behavior, every single lie. No matter how “unhappy” he was, he should have just told me. I sure as hell didn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who didn’t want to be there. Instead, around me, the S.O.B. told me he loved me (often) – was affectionate, and we enjoyed a wonderful sex life. Massive disconnect between the guy he presented to me and the guy who tried to kill himself.

    But, knowing he’s responsible for his behavior doesn’t make the accusation any less horrible … it’s a truly horrific thing to be told that you are responsible for causing such misery in someone you love that he wants to kill himself. I have fully experienced the self-doubt you express in your letter … as well as the lack of self-trust. And I’m so sorry you are experiencing that.

    Here’s the really important thing that you need to know …

    What he said to you was CRUEL. It was cruel in substance alone, but so much worse when you take a step back and consider the full situation (not just his words).

    He was cruelly lying to you (about his affair with your friend) while he was saddling you with the worst kind of guilt trip. And he did it to protect his lies and betrayal — he did this to you to protect his image. He had been lying to you for who-knows-how-long — and betraying you in the worst kind of way. He had willfully taken the vows he spoke (love, cherish, be faithful) and he willfully broke those vows. The oceans-deep level of disrespect and cruelty here are truly shocking when you think about the entirety of the situation. Instead of facing the truth of his lack of character, he chose to play the victim card AT YOUR EXPENSE. Just to protect his image — and to protect himself from the inevitable fallout of being a callous backstabbing asshole.

    I understand (and respect) your urge to self-reflect and to hold yourself accountable. But, genuinely, it’s not reasonable in this case. You are the victim, not him. And victim-blaming (especially by the person who did the damage) is one of the worst kinds of mindfucks.

    My hope for you is that you’ll be able to evaluate this whole situation for what it really is (his cruelty) and that you’ll find your righteous anger — it will help you to get beyond all of this, but it will also help you see your own value.

    (((Hugs)))

  • There are so many variations, my personal one was that my now exH said we never had a “spiritual connection.” It’s a true mindfuck to find out you’ve been doing the pickme dance for nothing. It didn’t matter that we were best friends, or that he thought I was a great wife while we were married, or that we had a wonderful relationship. I also thought what did I do wrong, or what did I NOT do right for my H of almost 25 yrs decide to leave me. It seemed to me that what we had most people would be thankful for in a marriage. It is damaging to the psyche to learn that you mean nothing to them, my H was willing to walk away to be with someone he had never ever met in person. Just a fantasy online relationship so he determined that the marriage was over. I never had a chance to save my marriage, though that didn’t stop me from trying. I’ve heard so many times the comfort and understanding from ChumpLady and ChumpNation supporting each other. None of us deserved this, none of us caused this, and none of us could control this. We all have different stories of how we got here, but one thing stays constant… chumps are good people, not perfect but who live authentically. In that most important way we stand apart from cheaters. I once didn’t want to live anymore yet today 3 years later I am still here. I’m not at meh, actually not close, but I am trying to have faith in those ahead of me, who by example give me hope. They are the ones whom I can trust and believe not to lie or deceive me.

  • Oh and I want to add, that I agree it is particularly sinister to have double betrayal committed against you, MedChump. I can only say I’m sorry that you weren’t able to feel safe. Do not think you were stupid, because you believed and trusted. That’s the kind of people they are liars and live fake personas, they trick and deceive others. I know your heart hurts deeply, but logically you could not be at fault for their immoral characters. You can only be true to yourself and your beliefs. The reality is so hard to look at directly because you didn’t think these people weren’t who you thought they were.

  • The so-called ‘friend’ is as revolting as the husband. Hard to even do a ‘pick me’ of who is the more revolting!
    Christie Brinkley tried to warn her ex’s shiny new love what a rat-creep the ex was. Shiny married him anyway and it only took her a few years of her life (sarcasm) to apologize to Christie! If the letter writer wastes another second on either of these two skunks, it’s too much!

  • MedChump; don’t let this ass win.

    Get an attorney and protect yourself. I’m willing to bet he’s going to ask for alimony based on his “years of support”, so you need to be prepared.

    Don’t let him get away with that. Make him an offer of NOTHING, and then go No Contact except through your attorney.

    Fight back.

    Then go to Italy for a vacation!!!

  • Mine cheated the first time with co- worker because she was ” fun”….but dumped her when she bought him a jumper & he thought she was getting too serious….( IE less fun!!!) – whilst I was going through ivf & pregnancy….. Yep . They are immature people who fail to ” man up” …. When they need too
    … Can’t or won’t do stress or the hard stuff….want to run away to the fun….. Thus happened over & over again. I felt the detachment & aabandonment but he claimed all fine….until 25 years in & 2 children and the shock line he uttered…”I need a separation / divorce…. We haven’t been getting on for years… ILYBNIYWYA….etc ( whilst he was in a relationship with yet another co worker. …. ) funny how he wasn’t man enough to just leave – no he needed another woman / security blanket before he took flight….- ( pig with his snout in the trough of cake & kibbles……. )
    So it’s a double edged sword but be glad he has gone….whilst you are young. If it didn’t happen now , it would have happened in the future. Go and live a great life free from a narc. I am in my early 50’s and wish I had found proof of what had been going on in my marriage years ago and now view it all as a sham. He was my first , I got a degree had a a great career then gave it up to have children – he was never happy , got a degree , a job then retrained to bar school , got another 2 jobs as a lawyer but bosses were ” idiots” etcetc….company never treated HIM right etc…he worked ( (& played!!!! ) Hard enough as I was home with our daughters doing EVERYTHING- he got made redundant from both! Life with him was always full of depression , drama , madness etc when I look back….
    And I was the one who financed 6 years of his retraining , house mortgage holidays whilst exhausting myself in the process working hard in my career before the girls …..and clearly as I was not ” fun” he started playing around – serial cheater because I was not fun enough ALL of the time. Oh grow up!!!!!
    So don’t look back – it sucks but be glad (!)only 6 years not 26yrs….
    Go find a good man. You are wonderful hardworking kind and loyal – you deserve / deserved better but you did not know at the time you had married an immature narc…….

    I wish you peace which will come when you realise
    IT WAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.
    but all to do with their DEFECTIVE character & low moral compass.

    Good to be rid of them now.

    As said above : realise YOU are the victim here. You have been emotionally & mentally abused by your narc ex. He & she are / were abusing you and you do NOT need people like that in your life or messing with your head. Get away from these ” players” and find an honest and loyal person with whom to spend your life……
    Life is not a ” box of chocolates ” for anyone and crap happens all the time. This is one of the worst but YOU are Ok. You do NOT need to change YOU…. You were honest loyal & true. It’s about them and their immoral deceptive characters – not YOU. Be glad they are no longer in your life and no more damage from them in the future. Try to heal knowing YOU are a GOOD person. You could have been perfect and a saint and it would NEVER have been enough ….
    These immature people still need childish ” hits” and “highs” and will always go for the “easy selfish life ” – just like toddlers do.

    You need a good man in your life – not a child. He / she will never grow up in their toddler me me me bubble…..

    You certainly have dodged a bullet although as others have said , it will take time whilst you heal and you start to believe in yourself again and that your are more than a GOOD person….., , Before you are actually able to accept you are better off without your ex! Read cl & cn and you will start to realise and understand the dynamics and more about their defective character……. You stay who you are…. It’s not YOU!

    Hugs & hope you find more inner peace reading CL…xxx

    ….

  • ‘The UBT translates “we lacked chemistry” to “I want new pussy.”’

    sadly this is probably all you need to know.

    he was never going to commit suicide. telling you this is just a manipulative tactic to offload more of the blame onto you.

    you are young, smart and self-sufficient. in the years to come you’ll look back and see that this dickhead has done you a big favour.

    take care.

  • I sooooo get this. My serial cheating ex-wife claimed that it was my fault she cheated because I didn’t set limits for her. Yes, it was MY fault that she “couldn’t respect” me. She said it was my fault that she treated me like a doormat because I was devastated and depressed that she had cheated. I recall her also saying that she would have more respect for me if I just broke up with her. No, one apparently can’t just treat someone else with respect. The other person has to demand it. This was in the final six months of writing my Ph.D. thesis (we would be out on the street if I didn’t finish on time), so I was a basketcase anyway, and at the time couldn’t rationally cope with more mental strain and drama in my life, so I just somehow “absorbed” the abuse.

    I distinctly recall that right before this, I actually sat her down and said “I have warned you that this is coming. I will be very busy, I’ll be consumed with work, and I will not be able to give you my full attention all the time. The next six months will probably suck, so I just ask that you bear with me for this time. I’ll be fully present once this happens.” So about one month in and she is complaining that I’m not interesting anymore and that I’m always talking about working in my thesis. She would be out partying until the sun came up. She complained that I was depressed. In fact, she got angry at me when I was diagnosed with depression. It was a heinous crime. (“If I knew you had depression, I probably wouldn’t have married you.”) I somehow came to believe that this was a problem that was my responsibility to fix – that I got myself into this, and that I was the one to repair the damage. Well, silly me. Years wasted doing the “pick me dance.”

    It’s interesting how clarity sets in once you remove yourself from the situation.

    • Please tell me you got your Ph.D. Cheaters take away so much from us. I’ve always taught my kids that knowledge is power and education is something that no one can take away from you. Sorry if I’m prying. Your post just struck a nerve. Maybe it’s because I always put my STBX needs first and never finished my higher education. Even though I helped him with his.

    • I believe a lot of our illnesses are a sign of something off in a relationship. I was depressed in my marriage, it was like swimming uphill through cement, but what I didn’t know was that ex was dismantling our lives (financially, emotionally, etc) and setting up a new one with OW. Funny how the disordered own these too. I believe it’s a way of masking their inability to be human.

    • Word.? One thing, even after my marriage imploded (and I was devastated), I found myself laughing at the fact that his “truest love” was his racquetball partner, someone well known to sleep with others- all married men.

  • MedChump, I hope you are feeling a lot better with all the excellent advice and support here. As another Chump doctor, you might relate to my gangrenous leg analogy. I liken the discovery of infidelity and their sudden departure to suddenly realising you have a blackened foot with hideous necrotic ulcers that will never heal. The amputation with no anaesthetic is going to hurt like hell, but living with a cheater would have been like having a diseased toxic limb that slowly poisoned you. Except in this scenario, you get to regrow the limb and become a stronger and wiser person. Best wishes for your future career, and please avoid alpha male surgeons!

  • Medchump- I’m so glad that you did not have children with the loser/cheater dude.
    Consider yourself one of the lucky ones. You get to make a clean break from a POS. Glad you found out now before things got even worse. You may have ended up paying him spousal maintenance or worse yet- co-parenting with the POS and Scmoopie.

  • Dear MedChump,

    It may not feel like it right now but oh my god you were so lucky to get out when you did. I know “it could have been worse” is trite, and, as they say, “one broken leg is better than two – but that does not make it a comfort.” But MedChump, you basically got shoved out of an airplane with a dud parachute and came away with only a broken leg.

    1. You got out of this while you’re still young – seriously, under 30 young.

    2. You got out of this while your income was low enough that he’s not draining your assets in the split or hitting you up for alimony (although if you haven’t finalized the divorce yet, for the love of god get a lawyer and finish it now while your financial value is low and your ex still feels that he can be generous because the OW also is a doctor).

    3. You got out of this with a bright future and a career that can take you anywhere (seriously – everyone needs doctors).

    4. You got out of this without being saddled with his debt (if anything, he helped you stave off your own debt).

    5. You got out of this without any kids that you have to share with him. You can walk away and never speak to him again, never have to rely on him for child support again, never think of him again.

    6. You managed to also get rid of a poisonous false friend in the bargain (sucks that you had one in the first place, but better to get rid of her now.

    You’re hurting, but you’re also better off now than you have been for the better part of a decade! Focus on your work, focus on self-care, and let your lying ex go off with your lying friend, and make each other miserable (they will, trust me) somewhere else.

  • I found this post very close to my own experience, except I was studying speech & language therapy instead of medicine and shmoopie as at his office, not my friend (thankfully).

    Nearly 2 years on and it’s still painful, sometimes. I think about it more than I let on, and visit CL daily. I wonder if my continued presence here prolongs the suffering. Sometimes I feel like it bolsters me, others, it’s more triggering like with this post.

    My Mum said to me recently, that she thinks I’m not “over it yet.” No, I am not. I have done a lot of healing and a lot of moving forward, and I am MIGHTY – but am I meh? No. I’m not meh.

    I struggle with self-esteem daily. It is not easy, nor linear. Sometimes I think I have PTSD. I had a big anxiety breakdown last night and today. But I have to remember that every day is a better day than what I lived when I was living with a manipulative, abusive, two-faced cheater. And I am working towards a better future.

    Traffic_Spiral, your list of positives is awesome. Thank you.

    And thank you for Med_chump.

  • I can’t thank everyone enough for your encouraging and much needed angry words. I’ve been struggling with this a lot and not many people in my life can relate to being cheated on. I went through all of the comments these past couple days just amazed on how similar your own personal experiences were to mine. It’s fairly traumatic reading a few of your posts but for you guys to survive all of what you’ve been through, it makes me think there’s hope for me as well. There has been a lot of anxiety attacks, dark thoughts and feelings of inadequacy as a doctor and friend since my separation and divorce. I just keep thinking “if he did wrong, why is he so happy with his true love while I’m miserably alone and depressed?”, but your words as “being free” and “I’ve won” gives me a little bit of hope. Don’t truly understand or feel it yet but I believe you guys.

    He has always been such a loving, supporting and loyal significant other to me that to see this completely new side to him (after he left) has been such an eye-opener that it’s hard to imagine he’s the same person. Hell, when we first started dating, he made me promise him I wouldn’t lie or cheat since those things were what he most cared about in a relationship. All he says is that “people change”. They both have called me cruel names like “resentful bitch”, “over dignified child” and selfish because I was preventing them from being happy together. After that conversation, I have gone completely no contact now and with your guys support, I hope it’ll get better from here. One day at a time, many thanks!

    *Hugs!*

    • MedChump,
      The name calling is unbelievable!
      Triangulation gives them both that cheater high. This kind of crazy train story needs a villain and you are it for them.
      Removing yourself from there little thrill fest and they will spiral when they only have each other and life becomes mundane.
      Too bad you won’t be there to see the implosion, because you will be no contact and finding ‘meh’.

      • Wow. In my case triangulation led to my ex falling in love with the girl, 18 years younger than him, that he was complaining to. I knew emotional affairs are devastating, but never knew triangulation was so much of a thing. He was the one who left but she isn’t interested and now his life after 23 years of marriage to me is the hardest it’s ever been. Hmmm.

        • At least his life is “hardest it’s ever been”. My XH told me he’s the happiest he’s ever been and the only thing making him unhappy now is how “resentful” I am. It’s hard especially when I’m struggling so much every day and he’s probably just enjoying his life with her (his soulmate).

          I’m sorry to hear about your triangulation JJ but at least you know the truth now and that he’s realized how badly he screwed up.

    • I liked the image of my ex being a hologram. He was never who I thought he was. Or if he was, he somehow changed and was no longer the same person. But after the divorce, I learned things that had happened before I knew him and during our marriage that confirmed that I hadn’t know certain sides of him….

      But it took quite a while to past all the cognitive dissonance. MedChump, it will get better….hang in there.

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