Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, We had a good life. Why did he cheat?

Dear Chump Lady,

I come to you as perplexed and heartbroken. When you think about how many people experience this kind of betrayal, it is really a sad thing. I had been with my soon-to-be ex-husband for almost six years. Despite his two children from his first marriage, (and another child he found out about during our marriage that was 4), I always maintained a confidence and proud disposition regarding my marriage to my husband. He was charming, funny, and we just seemed to really enjoy each other’s company. A year into our relationship, he proposed, and we were married a year after that. Fast forward, we had a daughter who will be one next month and just purchased a home.

On April 23rd, (D-Day), I finally decided to check the phone bill when he wasn’t answering my phone call or returning home. I saw a number — and not just once or twice, but all DAMN DAY LONG. I called the number. A woman answered said number and declared her name. I asked who the fuck she was. She hung up.

I spent the next hour dissecting every text and phone call on that bill, and when I realized it had been going on since December, I literally screamed. And began bawling like crazy. In the midst of my bawling, I also got out every possession he had in our home and put it in a nice big pile in the garage. I texted his apparently Very Close Friend and told her to let him know that the jig was up and I knew what they were up to. I then left a voicemail on cheater’s phone instructing him that his things would be in the garage and he would be hearing from my attorney soon.

That was that, in my mind. Not only had he been cheating for many months and very blatantly, I completely carried us financially. He makes pennies because of all his other child support. The deception and cheating on top of the money made it a very easy decision for me. That being said, I am struggling with several things. Why? Why didn’t I get to yell and confront him? Why would he leave our really wonderful home, life, and daughter to shack up (and as I would find out later, impregnate) a woman who appears very ghetto and has 7 kids already?!??!!

How did I not KNOW??? I am not a stupid woman. I just made the stupid mistake of trusting my husband. I believed his excuses and really felt it was something I was doing to make him so upset. When in reality, he was purposely picking fights with me to leave and validate his behaviors. Disgusting. That being said, Chump Lady, will I ever recover? Will I trust again? It’s all so daunting. I really do feel like he died though. The person I thought he was died the moment I discovered how deceptive and cruel he was. I mourn that man I thought I knew. What can I do to get answers to these questions? I know the answers don’t matter, but they float around in my brain at night.

Relieved but Human in TX

Dear Relieved,

You are only ONE month out from D-Day. ONE. And you threw the motherfucker out. You didn’t pick me dance. You didn’t ask him for reasons why. You didn’t read a hundred save-your-marriage books on Amazon. You didn’t go to a therapist who asked you to own your part in his being a cheating, abandoning fuckwit. No. You packed up his crap, righteously placed it in the trash, and THREW THE MOTHERFUCKER OUT.

A standing ovation here from Chump Nation. Well done, Texas. Well done.

And now you’re standing there in the wreckage, with an infant, wondering what the hell happened to your life. You’re untangling the skein of fuckupedness. Why would he do this? What made him into this sort of person? How did I not see what was happening? Untangling the skein is a coping mechanism and frankly, it’s a rather useless one. The fast track to healing is no contact, not analysis. Just stay out of his orbit, communicate through lawyers, and get support to help you through this terrible time.

I know you want to untangle anyway. Sort through that wreckage, look for the black box… Untangling the skein is an expression of grief. It’s going to take awhile to accept what happened and who he really is. But I’ll answer your questions anyway.

Why? Why didn’t I get to yell and confront him?

Because you’re smart. As you said, the jig was up. There was nothing to be said. In that horrible moment, you had clarity. Don’t wish for the fog that comes in on little chump feet. You spared yourself the mindfuck of his excuses and blameshifting. There is zero satisfaction in confronting a cheater. Either they stare at you contemptuously and derive kibbles from your sobbing, or they mindfuck you with faux regret and you start seeing unicorns.

Texas, you confronted him with consequences. That’s the only confrontation that matters.

Why would he leave our really wonderful home, life, and daughter to shack up (and as I would find out later, impregnate) a woman who appears very ghetto and has 7 kids already?!??!!

Implied in this question is the assumption that he should recognize a good thing when he has it. That being wonderful is some defense against being chumped. It isn’t. I’m sure his first two children and wife thought they were wonderful, and it wasn’t enough. It’s not about the other woman, if she’s a train wreck or if she’s a National Merit Scholar, it’s about CAKE — having the respectable face of married normalcy, AND an extra portion of affair kibbles. It’s about gaming the system to his advantage.

And Texas, he did not LEAVE your wonderful home — you threw his ass OUT of it. He’s with this other woman because parasites need a host.

You wanted to believe you were special. Instead, you were of use to him. It’s not that you’re not special or deserving of love, it’s that he’s a user.

How did I not KNOW???

Every chump asks themselves this, Tex. To answer this question, I must balance not blaming the victim with acknowledgment of red flags.

Let’s start with not blaming the victim (you). It’s difficult to imagine things we would never do. Here’s an example from my own chump story — when I married him and moved to another state for his career how did I not know that he was cheating on me the whole time, had a mistress of 20+ years, an assortment of other affair partners, and a grown-ass kid? Answer? Because I’m not a sociopath. How on earth could I imagine that host of horrors? It boggles the mind.

We project our moral world view on to others. I don’t have a double life, so I assume other people, especially those nearest to me, don’t either. Chumps tend to think of themselves as rational, intelligent beings who make rational, intelligent choices.

You projected your values on to a man who did not share your values. Sure, he may have pretended to, which takes us to the red flags. We can’t control the fact that sociopaths walk among us, we can however, use our powers of discernment and fix our pickers. That means going forward, paying attention to character as it is revealed through actions over time. That means healthy skepticism and having boundaries with users.

So, you were married six years and dated for two. At some point a four-year-old child emerges. Was that during the period he was with you? Or his first wife? Did at some juncture did it occur to you that he was a cheater? How did he explain that child away? This is a red flag of Communist May Day March proportion. So is his willingness to let you shoulder nearly all of the financial burden.

Texas, red flags are not excuses for being chumped. No one deserves to be chumped. It’s never okay, and it’s never excusable. I’m pointing them out so that when you’re scanning the wreckage of this marriage, you focus on the things you can change — YOU, and leave off the things you can’t — HIM.

Will I ever recover? Will I trust again?

Yes, of course you will recover. (The pain is finite and stops on a Tuesday.) It’s early days still. Be kind to yourself and resist every urge to reach out to him. A guy with two other kids, and one on the way, is someone I suspect won’t want to be too involved in your child’s life. I hope he leaves you the hell alone and you have full custody of your daughter.

As for trusting again — the only thing we take away from betrayal is what we learn from it. You’ve learned that you are MIGHTY. You threw that motherfucker OUT. Your mightiness is even deeper than you ever imagined. You’ll parent your little girl and will be a great role model to her. She’ll never eat shit sandwiches, because her mother knows her worth. We don’t get guarantees about other people, but remember, that for one cheating asshole, there are going to be at least a hundred people on this thread alone who will lift you up. Their goodness and the goodness of those who truly love you outweighs the damage of one aberrant cheating asshole.

You want to trust again? Trust your resilience.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Thank you for this. I’m a year out but I’m still devastated. Ex is much the same as the one described in this post. I’m so angry at myself for falling for the charming bullshit. And I too feel like I’ll never recover from this.

    Some days this blog is my only beacon of light. Thank you for that. 🙁

    • You will recover from this.
      As you move forward and show you are mighty you will share what you have learned with someone else, making you part of the light.
      Shine on @cwilder!

    • I am 5 years from d day, 4 years divorced. I just got to Meh in the last 3 months or so. Everyone has their own timing, their own Tuesday, when you realize you are there. It will happen.

    • I agree 100% also a year out and still so wounded. The pain can be unbearable. Thanks so much for this support, I went to get to meh so bad!

    • Amen! I’m in the same situation. He was charming and put me on a pedal stool. Then…. Out of the blue…. I was knocked off. We are all together in this. I am healing because of my sister chumps.

    • “Because parasites need a host” ???????? So appreciate the clarity, inspiration, and strength reading Chump lady’s publications brings me.

      Wiser and wittier than the slew of marriage counselors & relationship “experts” marketing sugarcoated BS unicorns to grieving, betrayed people ❤❤

      • I agree so much, mzglamdoll. I went to 3 different counselors tying to save “our” marriage. He went with, just for show, I can now see that. I am 4 Years past asking for divorce and 2 Years past it being finalized. I stayed a whopping 9 Years after finding about an affair. I know it wasn’t THE affair as info provided, and looking back, proved it was very likely my whole marriage. That’s a lot of Shit sandwiches and dancing the pick me dance. But…NO MORE and can I tell you HOW liberating that is! I am disgusted by what some counselors tell people. Thankfully, I had 2/3 who were great and labeled his narchole ways properly and I saw the light.

    • I just read “leave a cheater, gain a life” by the chump lady and it was awesome! I highly recommend it, a glass of wine, and a highlighter (if you get the hard copy)!

      Good luck to you, sister!

  • All your responses are lovely, and you are of course right. I appreciate your insight and encouragement.

    • RelievedinTX,

      Don’t beat yourself up over it. I can promise you that there are many, *many* people reading this who are intelligent and resourceful and who fell prey to a cheating sociopath liar. We are *legion*.

      I graduated summa cum laude with dual majors in undergrad. I have a Masters degree. I semi-retired in my 40s. Still got chumped by a master of deception who had a secret life. These people lie to everyone, including themselves. The fact that you couldn’t pin that kind of behavior onto your spouse is not a sign of weakness, but a strong testament to your own high standards of morality and integrity.

      • Yep, masters of deception can fool us and when the subtle changes occur we dismiss them. It’s no fun to look back and see where you failed to see the signs. The slow changes, the low level boundary violations, that’s where I failed to see what was happening until it was far gone.

        • Subtle changes that we dismiss, there were a few red flag moments that made me question X.
          Of course he denied everything as he reassured me that I was his best friend and joke that I had a vivid imagination. At the end of the conversation he would say that he wasn’t that kind of guy then say, you know me, I’m not “that kind of guy.” Looking back and replaying the tone of his voice in my mind, that statement alone was a huge red flag. At this time my self esteem had been reduced to almost 0.
          As others have said, reading CN and CL continues to help me maintain my sanity.

    • Relieved in TX – Thank God you are getting out now instead of wasting 10, 20, 30 years on this loser!

    • You’re my heroine Relieved! You’ve kicked him out and lawyered up straight away!
      These people are throwbacks to a earlier stage in our evolution when being totally opportunistic, fathering children all over the place and contributing little or nothing to their upbringing beyond the toddler stage paid off.
      The rest of the human species has evolved, and we all need to invest a lot more and for much longer into our families, our children AND our grandchildren. It’s called the grandmother revolution, happened some time during the upper paleolithic as I recall (not that I am that old!!). We have evolved to take the long, long term view. Generations into the future. They haven’t. They just spawn as many eggs into the stream, the air, or as many uteruses as they can and forget about it.
      Aside from starting to believe that the devil exists and send demons in the form of the 10-15% of sociopaths who walk among us, that’s the only explanation I can think of.
      So we have to learn to distinguish between the throwbacks and the evolved. Your baby is lucky to have an evolved mother. The skank’s 7 kids obviously don’t. Pity them.
      Hugs to you, you’re just at the start and it hurts like hell. You’ll get plenty of support and understanding here about how you feel.

      • I appreciate your kind words! I really do. As much as it is upsetting to see how many people go through this, it is nice to not feel so alone.

        • I love you, Relieved!! What an astonishing woman and you are going to be such a beacon for your child! That guy is NOT deserving of you and your kindness – I’m waking up to that realisation in my own life, and the grief is for a man and a relationship that never was. That’s hard too as you do feel foolish, but the masks some people put on are just masterly. That’s another lesson I’ve learnt in all this, as I was someone who trusted instinctively. Now I can temper that, with hope that I CAN trust, but with caution for myself and kindness for the other person as far as is possible, because their masks are put on because of fear. You are MIGHTY!

    • RelievedinTX…Oh my goodness!!! You are one MIGHTY kick-ass WOMAAAAN!! Seriously admire what you did – kicking him out so swiftly, OMG, bravo!!! Bravo, BRAVO ?? ???? You let your brain do the work and not your heart. No fog for you! My oh my, how grateful you will be for this in the future. I bet a year from now, you would have exhausted all the “whys” and not care any more. You would have moved on. You are streets ahead of the game. Damn, I wanna be your friend!

      It’s been one year since I left him at the airport. I went through all the “whys”, “what ifs” and “how dare he’s” all throughout last year and only just started letting it go at the beginning of this year. I believe what CL says, it’s a grief process/coping mechanism that all chumps need to go through. I knew it was just a phase, I learned that from reading daily on this site. So I allowed myself to get angry and get it all out. It’s the only way to move past it.

      And yes, rehashing all the red flags is not a fun exercise. But, I really think it’s necessary. Helps you understand more about how people work. I think it’s helped me highlight what I wouldn’t put up with in other relationships, even non-romantic relationships.

      Looking back, I can actually say I appreciate the journey this took me on. If I think of the alternative (still being in that f**ked-up relationship, and causing longterm damage to my kids), I consider myself LUCKY to have gone through it all. It has put me on a better path. I am no longer wasting my life on a person who doesn’t deserve my love and time.

      Really admire your gumption! You have SO got this situation by the balls. BOSS!! ?????

  • Maybe the best CL column ever. Five key principles:

    1. NO CONTACT. “The fast track to healing is no contact, not analysis. Just stay out of his orbit, communicate through lawyers, and get support to help you through this terrible time.”

    2. The “only confrontation that matters” is confronting the cheater with consequences: “There is zero satisfaction in confronting a cheater. Either they stare at you contemptuously and derive kibbles from your sobbing, or they mindfuck you with faux regret and you start seeing unicorns.

    Texas, you confronted him with consequences. That’s the only confrontation that matters.”

    3. They are parasites and they need a host: “He’s with this other woman because parasites need a host.

    You wanted to believe you were special. Instead, you were of use to him. It’s not that you’re not special or deserving of love, it’s that he’s a user.”

    4. You don’t think like he does because you aren’t a sociopath: “[How] did I not know that he was cheating on me the whole time, had a mistress of 20+ years, an assortment of other affair partners, and a grown-ass kid? Answer? Because I’m not a sociopath.”

    5. We can learn to take our time and evaluate character without spackling or ignoring red flags: “We can’t control the fact that sociopaths walk among us, we can however, use our powers of discernment and fix our pickers. That means going forward, paying attention to character as it is revealed through actions over time. That means healthy skepticism and having boundaries with users.”

    • “Either they stare at you contemptuously and derive kibbles from your sobbing, or they mindfuck you with faux regret and you start seeing unicorns.”

      Mine did the death stare when I confronted him. Then he said something so ostensibly childish yet chilling; “Just die already.”

      It was then I knew that was what he wanted all along once he found my replacement. And I really fucked up his narrative as the evil wife who wouldn’t die. Good thing for me the guillotine is no longer an easy divorce strategy. Surely my head would have rolled.

      Instead, I went on to live a much better life without a rotten-to-the-core excuse of a man.

      • The contemptuous stare is a testament to their callousness and sociopathy. As the saying goes: “If looks could kill” we’d all be dead. How dare we get in the way of what they deem as rightfully theirs? Why can’t we just be the good little house wives or hard working husband’s they need us to be? Really, what are we thinking, having minds and needs of our own?
        The answer is simply that we are extensions of the cheater. Nothing more. They see us a tool or appendage. To the sociopath, we are a part of them and for us to do anything outside of meeting their needs or turning the other cheek is unacceptable to them. They can’t understand our anger and pain caused by them. They see it as a disease. Something abnormal. Something to squash.
        They are contemptuous to the disease, as the disease is a burden and deserves no sympathy.
        My cheater looked at me like I was the plague. He called me terrible names and at one point told me to jump out a window. I was eight months pregnant.
        When I asked how he could leave me alone and pregnant to care for our not yet two year old, he said “I couldn’t run fast enough”.
        I thought he was being truthful when he said he wasn’t having an affair. After all; how can he be involved in something so morally reprehensible AND treat me with such contempt. I believed he just hated me to the core. And really, he did. And that’s just another addition to my point- they can love us one day and like someone flipping a switch- hate us the next. Because they can’t really love anyone but themselves. When they discard us, that’s that. Game over. Trying to “win back” a sociopath is like trying to play last week’s lottery. Impossible, and incoherent.

        • FedupChump they are such horrible things for him to say and do. Wishing you so much better times and people in your life going forward.

        • So sorry for that suffering Fedup. And wow, thank you for the outstanding description of what so many of us have experienced from the disordered cheaters. Yesterday’s post had a thread about that contemptuous stare and the pure hatred it conveys. I will bookmark your words as they explain in detail the raw emotion we feel at that moment, and the message we receive, as well as any I’ve seen. I’m a male BS by the way, and I believe that look is universal not confined to male cheaters.

          • As far as reasoning with a npd goes you have to think in terms of attempting a rational conversation with a 5 year old . You try and look for the sense they are making desperately trying to guide them to the truth and common ground and jyst when you think you have them they knock you off balance….look a squirrel! ! Just because theres a 6ft person standing in front of you does not qualify the brain not to be made of play doh. I find it useful to think of homers response to life from the simpsons (my npd watched it slavishly by the way ) i believe homer is a template for all disordered npd fuckwits .

        • Fedupchump, thank you! I was thinking today why the cheater is so contemptuous when he is the one who ruined everything. You explained so well. It never ceases to amaze me how these people exhibits same behaviors.

      • Chutes, I am so sorry he said that to you! Wicked and evil. In my case confronting cheater x resulted in the other choice “mindfuck you with faux regret and you start seeing unicorns.”

        Let me tell you how traumatic that is. Caught = So sorry, flowers, back to marriage therapy. Caught again = Please forgive me, down on knees crying, vacation, back to affair recovery program. Caught yet again = I know I can be the husband you need if you give me just one more chance, jewelry, back to pastoral counseling. My head was spinning, my stomach churning, and my heart breaking.

        It’s a freaking crazy train! Almost list my mind. I was making all the appointments, covering for him by keeping his dirty little secret, being the marriage police 24/7, and working so very hard to forgive. And him? He couldn’t even keep it in his pants.

        DD4 I kicked him out, went NC, and NEVER let him back in. Entitled and deceptive. Cheaters suck. All of them.

      • Chutes…. what ur ex said sent a chill down my spine… so dark, cold and evil. I’m glad you are free of him.
        Wish you a warm cozy fruitful life ahead

    • <3 <3 <3
      Agree I loved this post. TX you are super mighty. I can only WISH I had packed up all his shit and threw his ass out as soon as I knew the truth.

      • Me too…I danced for 5 months after d-day and in that dance stomped all over my dignity and self respect. Texas, I WISH I’d had the balls to cut him off after kicking him out instead of wasting time and money on trying to save my marriage to a narcissist.
        The first 2 months are the hardest, it will get better. Take it day by day or even hour by hour.

      • Thank you for your kind words!! I am not sure where my strength came from…I’ve always considered myself to be “tough” but when you find yourself in that scenario, you just aren’t sure how you are going to react. I was surprised at my lack of hesitation in kicking him the F out. I stayed up all night putting his stuff in the garage and taking down family pictures. I am glad I didn’t ask him to come home and give him the satisfaction- I never felt the urge to! And he wouldn’t have come anyway. I’m sure of that. And I’m ok with that.

        • I did a similar thing and it felt so good. I’m still proud of it. I told him to get the fuck out as soon as I found out. When I got home from work, of course he’d left a bunch of shit behind, so I packed it up all nice and neat and left it by the front door for him to pick up the next day, taking down and burning photos at the same time (which left a nice char on my sink).

          Don’t ever question your decision. Doing so just prolongs the pain. Instantly kicking him out was the right and mighty thing to do.

    • Two words – no contact! I am almost 6 months from DDay; just about to close the sale of our lakefront home and sign the separation agreement. I only started healing when I went no contract – that means blocking all social media and texts, and rerouting email. It was scary at first, but now I am feeling much stronger and confident. It feels good to be in control! No contact, Tex!! BTW you are already super mighty!! You go girl!!

  • “You want to trust again? Trust your resilience.”

    Wish there was an app that would text Brilliant Flipped Script affirmations like this to me at random times.

    Having a toned sense of mighty takes maintenance – at least for this Chump.

    Thanks Chump Lady!

  • “Don’t wish for the fog that comes in on little chump feet.”

    Just brilliant

    Painful, but brilliant

  • Tex, you are a beast in all the best ways. Just because you were chumped doesn’t mean he took your claws. Well done!

  • “Chumps tend to think of themselves as rational, intelligent beings who make rational, intelligent choices.”

    Exactly, I have always thought of myself this way and I suspect that most chumps do. I assumed that STBX was the same (projection). Even towards the end when I was starting to recognize that something wasn’t right in our marriage, I never considered having an affair because I am smart enough to know that doesn’t solve anything and just leads to more trouble. It turns out STBX wasn’t that smart after all.

    • Dumb as doornails is what I say!
      Welcome, Texas, from another Texan, to the club noone wants to belong.

      • Why, Thank you!! I appreciate that. You are right, no one wants to..but the more I think about it..he did me a favor in the worst way possible. I still have days where that is hard to remember, but I do know that deep down. I hope you are doing well with your recovery and staying positive! Affirmations help me..I keep some in my bedroom. 🙂

    • This is the conclusion I finally reached about my ex. Selfish, entitled, arrogant, yes, all that to a very high level. But mostly just DUMB. I’m not sure if it’s actual dumbness (he does have a Ph.D. in physics and an MBA, and a fairly successful career, fortunately for him in a field where constantly changing jobs is common), or if it’s the entitlement that leads him to make such dumb decisions. He has admitted, about multiple dumb ways he’s dealt with things, in our relationship, previous and later ones, at work, with the kids, that he simply does not even think about potential consequences, about how things might play out. I observe that he just does what he wants when he wants it, and then is SO PISSED when there are consequences. Those are always somebody else’s fault, of course…..

  • Relieved,
    I admire so much the strength and dignity you have shown thus far.You should be so proud of yourself.I so wish I could look back and say I handled it as well as you,no pick me dance,no false reconciliation,no swallowing shit sandwiches.
    You are already,just a month out from d day,showing all the signs of mightiness.
    You will recover and heal in time.As CL advises,no contact is the fast track to healing.
    I wish I could have back all the time I spent listening to his BS excuses, his blameshifting,all the time I spent untangling his fuckedupedness and had focused instead on myself and my life.
    It’s early days,it’s still so raw,but you will get there.

  • Relieved,
    I applaud you. For you to take those steps right away is key to your healing. Yes, you are left with questions. Questions you won’t get an answer to….most of us dont. But you aren’t left with supporting him while he cheats, fathering children to other women while you support him….more importantly opening up your HEALTH to be risked even greater.
    Be glad….be gone MOFO.
    Stay here in Chump Nation and just be loved.

    • When you understand that you will never get honest answers to any of it, you are on the road to meh. Liars lie and cheaters cheat, it’s what they do. How it affects you is of no concern to them. The “why of it” was something that kept me stuck for longer than it should have. Once I understood it just didn’t matter, I was able to concentrate on what was important to my future.

  • So amazingly spot on CL! Thank you for your continuing reminders and awesome sense of humor! This gets us all through daily! Hang in there Texas, you are an awesome example of what to do with a cheating asshole!

  • He cheated because he felt “entitled” to do so. He cheated because he could. You didn’t know because you were a loving, kind, decent, normal human being- who unwittingly trusted a snake.

    What did you do to “cause” him to cheat? You trusted him and loved him. That gave him the green light to take his creepy narcissist mask off…….and screw you behind your back.

    Nothing you did or didn’t do caused that vile, selfish man to cheat on you.

    • Texas, I’m 2 & 1/2 years from D-Day when I found out that my husband, the love of my life for 20 years, had been seeing prostitutes regularly for at least 5 years.

      I never got a “why” out of him, but finally had to settle for what LeavingTheCrap above me wrote. Why? ‘Cuz he wanted to, cuz he felt entitled. Because he did what HE wanted to do with absolutely no regard for anyone else… his wife, his daughter, his mother….. The people who have had to deal with the reality of what he really is now that we all know. And this doesn’t even take into account the prostitutes themselves, who I assume were all young girls that got into that line of work though some fucked up situation and of course never wanted to have sex with him. (I happen to call having sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with you “rape”, but that’s just me)

      I digress….

      Your question “How did I not KNOW?” has a pretty simple answer in my mind, IMHO. You didn’t know because your husband, the man you loved and trusted more than anyone in the world worked very hard to make sure you didn’t know. That’s not on you. In my situation, I saw the red flags everywhere. They were waving, burning, exploding…. but when I would bring up the slightest thing, the person I loved and trusted more than anyone in the world would (badly) explain them away, and I would buy everything he said. Still, years later, in retrospect, I remember some of the amazing lies he told and I just shake my head. It’s not my fault for believing his lies, it’s his fault for telling them.

      I threw mine out the day I found out…. I then spent the next 7 months trying to see if there was any way I could see myself though to reconciling and saving the marriage. Nope.

      I’m part of the standing ovation crowd. You go girl. Walk standing tall though the hell he created. There is life on the other side, one that YOU’LL create and be in charge of, and it won’t lie to your face.

  • Amazing post, Chump Lady. Every day I’m in awe of your brilliance in cutting through the emotional clutter to produce such clear gems of wisdom!

    Favorite: “He’s with this other woman because parasites need a host.” — WOW!

    To Relieved but Human in Texas: your Mighty is already shining through. Be glad you didn’t waste another second of your life with this man. Hang in there! Chump Nation has your back.

  • Texas,

    All of us really are standing up and giving you an ovation. You are so mighty for kicking his ass to the curb immediately. CL’s advice is so spot on; live it. Also I will reiterate No Contact. Set up an account with our family wizard if you think he’s going to want to have anything to do with your child and lawyer up!

    Once you have a lawyer, all your contact can be done through him/her regarding legal stuff. No contact gives you more clarity and it helps to evaporate any desire to untangle the skein. Once you understand he’s a user, a parasite, you’ll realize that you’re happy to have him out of your life and you won’t particularly care why he left.

    No contact will remove the any residual fog and help you to see him for what he really was. Things that might have never made sense before will now. It will give you the strength to deal with what almost always happens and that is having the cheater come back for more kibble from you when his current supply runs out. He’s shacked up with someone with 7 kids who sounds like a train wreck. This might not take long so you have to get your strength up now!!!

    No contact is truly the only path to truth and light. AlloutofKibble will tell you that too because she’s the one who coined that wonderful phrase.

    You got this Texas! Chump Nation has your back!

    • Can I just 2nd that statement about how much of a badass you are, RelievedinTX? Kicking out a cheater more-or-less right away is all kinds of amazeballs. #MadRespect

  • STANDING OVATION!!!! You are doing the right thing! I threw away 2 years of my life trying to work things out with a cheater who never stopped what he was doing! Don’t look back!

    As for the WHY would he do it? I’m still asking that question too. I don’t think I’ll ever have an answer but I’m getting much closer to “MEH and good riddance, I deserve better and he sucks!!”

    My new motto: Keep smiling and focus on the good!!!

  • Relieved – bravo to you. The only other thing I would like you to do is get STD tested straight away.

    I confronted my cheater. They deny everything unless you have proof. I asked if he had sent money to any of the women (on-line scammers). No he said. I found proof on his phone that he had. I threw it at him and called him a lying sack of shit. They will not apologise, they will not willingly admit to anything. You can confront him for years and never get the truth out of him – that he is an arsehole who used you for his own gain.

    You have a beautiful daughter. Consider him a cheap sperm donation and treat him as such. Good luck.

    • THIS. EXACTLY! It truly, truly is not worth our bother to try and figure them out…Her story could be mine, except for the fact of my marriage lasting 28 years….

  • Relieved you skipped all the pain shopping and pick me dancing. You rock!! My biggest regret by far is the pick me dancing and wreckonciliation that took 4 years and almost my sanity and half my life savings. As you said you were the bread winner and you showed your strength by kicking him out. Healing will take some time but you will be fine. I just know it. (((Hugs)))

  • This could be my own letter – minus the first marriage and extra kids. Like you I acted immediately, he was out of the house within 24 hours of DDay.

    He happened to be right in front of me when I found out. He had pissed of his side piece and she ratted on him. His explanations were insufficient for throwing away a 20 year relationship, did really nothing to help sort it out.

    Buy ChumpLady’s book Leave a Cheater Gain a Life and jump first to the chapter “What was Real…” It will be my daily mediation for a while.

    I have two beautiful children from my STBX – In my opinion they are the two best things he had to offer me, healthy sperm. Hug the gift he gave you tightly and give her some of the love and energy her father threw away, but make sure to save some for your self too.

    PS- visit your doctor for STD testing sooner rather than later.

  • Dear Texas,


    CL’s standing ovation! I am only one in the crowd, but I am clapping my hands off.

    YOU Texas, are one kick ass LADY! YOU are already mighty.

    There are chumps with hearts as deep as the ocean on this site and so many of them (as above) have knowledge at least twice that depth!
    Ask and they shall answer. Along with CL, they will guide you.

    As for your cheater, just another day in his cheating life cycle, wash, rinse, repeat. No matter how many times he rinses he will never get the dirt off.

    ((((Hugs to you mighty lady))))

  • “Parasites need a host” OMG love this so much. LOL!!

    Texas you are MIGHTY for reacting how you did!!!

    • Just when I think I have heard all of the gems of CL and CN, this one makes me smile too! “Parasites need a host” is brilliant.

      What a piece of crap this sparkly turd is. One year out and I still struggle with the why’s. Why would you throw away your family and home for a ho? Was it worth it?

      I’m starting to get random and frequent texts about the kids. I reply to some, ignore the others. Me thinks there’s trouble in paradise and riding off in the sunset with a young ho wasn’t all the middle aged geezer thought it would be.

      Texas, this was my second Dday in my 18 year marriage. There’s always another ho around the corner. You are mighty for recognizing your worth. Don’t look back. Don’t let him circle back around and rope you back in to more years of misery. This is not your fault. It’s nothing you did or didn’t do. It’s him.
      It’s who he is. I’m proud of you! Although it’s miserable now, you are on your way to healing.

    • Gosh yes! If someone really believes he is in a bad relationship, does it make any sense to jump into another one and think that is healthy. Noooo! You must get out and clear your head first!

      But these stupid cowards can’t do that because they are emotional parasites that can’t stand alone!

      Rock on Texas! You are further down the road to recovery than so many of us after day. Just remember it is the right road even if it is a long tough one.

    • Yes, I like this one too. It explains why STBX can’t just divorce me without Schmoopie in the mix. Pathetic.

  • Oh Texas…CL is spot on with her words to you. I left a very long term marriage and am three years out. It just takes time and I know that does not help, but be patient with yourself. It hurts like crazy and you think you will never get to your new normal, but you do. When you find yourself on your “dark side,” think of where you are as your grief work! The most important thing for me was NO CONTACT…in every sense. I do not know anything about him. Certainly children make that harder, but try to make it as impersonable as possible. You did the very best thing you could do for yourself and that was Throwing His A**Out! Be good to yourself and keep moving on and away. Sending. hug…BA

  • God, this guy is a creep. I’ve seen his type many times among people I know. I hate to tell you but you were his Babysitter. Those previous kids need someone to watch them while he’s out whoring. And he will probably find a new Babysitter as quickly as possible and still be out whoring on her, too. Just be glad to be free of him.

  • Listen to Chump Lady TX. You are just starting out on the emotional/physical/mental health roller coaster that we all rode – except you’ve already removed some of the biggest hills from the ride (he’s out of the house, no pick me dance, living in limbo, fake remorse, etc.). You’re waaaaayyyy further along in getting your life back in order than I was at that time.

    I’d also like to suggest to you TX that you listen closely to CL’s comments on projection. We project ourselves onto our spouses (and others) all the time. I did, and it cost me so much. You look at what they say and do, and think, “I would never do any of that, in fact I CAN’T do any of that, so it’s impossible for my spouse to have done that as well.” But you need to understand, yes they are capable of all sorts of things, because they are a completely different person from you.

    My ex-wife used to bring her married boyfriend (and his wife) around me and my kids on a near weekly basis in front of our friends and my family. This went on for years. If I were to have even had a single kiss with another woman, and that woman showed up within a hundred yards of me and my wife, I’d have a nervous breakdown on the spot. I would run and hide. And I sure as hell wouldn’t invite the woman over to hang out with my wife and kids. I’m just not capable of dealing with something like that, and I’d lose my mind if it happened even once. I could only imagine the embarrassment and shame I’d fell. But my wife had no problem with doing this at all, and she did it…..every other weekend…….for years. And she had friends there that knew, and she’d do all of this in front of them as well.

    You should also understand that these people also project themselves onto you as well. On d-day, my wife said I was probably having an affair at work too. Really? Then when I found out she was hiding money, she said that I probably was hiding money too. By paying all of our bills (and hers)? Yeah, that sounds like a great way to hide money from your spouse, by paying all of their bills and buying a whole bunch of stuff for them.

    I would go on to find out that she would tell her friends how she was surprised at how devastated I was. She thought I’d look at it all as “something that just goes on in life.” Now she’s surprised that my friends and family have such a low opinion about the whole thing. She doesn’t think her actions were out of the ordinary, so why would anyone else?

    Again….projection. TX, once you understand projection, it’ll help you avoid over-analyzing your spouse and trying to figure out “why.”. He’s just not the same person you are, doesn’t think like you do, doesn’t have the same values, etc. And that’s really the gist of it.

    • ^^^^ This. This describes my marriage to a Fucktard perfectly. Only his married gf was one of my closest friends, and she was pushing her husband and mine to be ‘great mates’ – we even went on an overseas holiday together, her husband stayed in a unit to mind all the kids, while we went out. I kept asking for water to drink after I’d had enough, and the Fucktard poured vodka down my throat (you can’t tell once you’ve had a few) – I went back to our unit because I was so drunk, and god knows what they got up to…yech!

      Relieved in TX….be glad, very glad, you found out when you did, and believe me when I say you made absolutely the right decision! You are wonderful! I only wish I had known what had been going on under my nose for twenty years, (not only with her, she was the one I found out about) because infidelity was a deal breaker for me too. Not only take all the wonderful advice you have received from others on this page, but find yourself a great therapist who is well versed in helping victims of narc abuse and who is not a victim blamer. You are in a world of pain right now, so you do need someone to help you whilst you are so raw. If you have any DV help / counselling centres near by, they will point you in the right direction counselling wise and can help you find a good lawyer too. You have been abused, (they don’t have to hit you), your trust, finances, heart and life have been abused. And you really need people who believe you to help you through it.

      Good luck with it al xx

    • Blindsided, this was very similar of what happened to me. He let her befriend me. I would then invite her over for dinner many times – because you know, she was alone (her husband worked late). But my EX was the one that LET her come into my home, eat at the same table as my kids. Sometimes her husband would come too. This to me is more devastating than the actual sex for some reason – the total lack of respect for me/our family. And to do this for 4 years!!! I’ll never understand it, because we are not like that!

      He is now back with OWhore (20 yr younger), and blames ME for my 22yr old son not wanting anything to do with him, bc he is with her!! I had to talk to him this week, and he is still so angry at me, which I really, really don’t get, if he is with the Luuuuuve of his life, why still be so pissed at me? You should be the happiest person on earth Asshole!

      Relieved in TX, you will recover and you will trust again. Give yourself plenty of time to heal. You are one Mighty lady, I admire you so much.

      • I don’t get it either. They claim to be so much happier with OW, yet they spew anger and contempt toward us. We didn’t’ fuck everything up, they did.

      • It’s really, weird, sad, sick, baffling, infuriating, disrespectful (take your pick of whatever absurd adjective you want) for these people to actually bring their APs around our families while they’re having an affair with them behind our backs. Having them hang around with us, with our kids….it’s mind blowing. And then they look at us like we’re nuts when we go off on them about it.

        And half the time, the APs bring their unsuspecting spouses along too. Why? What do they get out of that? Or are they just so fucked up, that they don’t even realize how ridiculous a situation that they’ve put everyone in?

        My wife just gave me the thousand yard stare when I asked her about this. So who knows what the reasoning is. I’ve given up trying to figure it out.

        • Me too …
          3 years of having MOW and her children over for social events, weekend gatherings, day trips etc.

          By the time our marriage imploded they were playing Brady Bunch with the kids and had already manipulated the kids into thinking that this was normal.

          I truly think that they got off on this. I still feel sick thinking about how many shit sandwiches I ate in my marriage!!!

    • Thanks, Blindside. Call me dumb, but your explanation allowed me for the first time to really understand projection. That it’s because they think a certain way/have certain values, they expect everyone else to think that way, and so they accuse them of things they themselves are capable of doing. And the fact that good people project onto others also (I had already kind of come to terms with this side of it, but had not seen it as projection before, just thinking it was our faulty assumption that everyone plays by the same rule book as us: now I know aka PROJECTION). So they project bad qualities onto us and others, and we project good morals/qualities onto them (spackling) and filling in the gaps of their moral voids. I could not understand when Poor Me BPD would go off on social media, that it seemed so weir/ironic that what she was ranting actually described her perfectly, but she couldn’t seem to see it. I see now that she was revealing her own unconscious biases, without even realising it. Thanks again for a valuable insight.

    • Blindside-

      Thank you so much for your insight and your words. They truly make a lot of sense. And my jaw literally dropped at the audacity of your ex to invite this person to your home!! I was outraged when I found out my soon to be ex had taken my infant daughter to his mistress’s home one evening…I mean..that is just about as low as you can get to me. But you are right- we make the mistake of thinking people are like us just because they might “say” they are or we just assume that about them instead of letting them show us. It can be a harder thing to decipher through once you are emotionally invested. My Dad always tells me to like someone before you love them. I think I need to ensure I am really taking a look at this for the next go around. Hope you are doing well on your journey 🙂

    • [Raises hand] Yep. My cheater had the whole family hang out with his mistress, her unsuspecting husband and kids. Dinners, vacations, the whole deal. I thought she was nice, but after reading some of their text and email I realized they both though I was an idiot and a slob, the contempt was astounding and the whole experience deeply humiliating.

      I did have a moment of happiness when after blowing up their affair I let her know she was not his only girlfriend at the time and let her husband know that his wife had other previous affairs. They liked bragging about their cheating to one another cause I guess betrayal is hot in their eyes. Her husband had bought into the story that his wife and my now-ex had gotten drunk and accidentally went to a hotel to have sex, just once, right after work. Just a mistake, they said.

  • Good on you Texas. You should be super proud of yourself. Doing what you did is a tough move to make and but you did it. As well as the other stuff CL said, please stop being so hard on yourself. Even without red flags, cheaters are very good at creating smoke and mirrors to fool and confused their victims. With red flags, most women usually will try to make it work despite these red flags because they genuinely want to make it work give the douche a chance – that doesn’t make us bad people.

    None of this is your fault. He made the choice to shit on his marriage vows and you. He lost out not you or your daughter.

    Take the time to clear your head. You’ve just been through a traumatic experience and these things don’t heal overnight. If you have to seek counselling to help get through it, go for it. Most importantly be super kind to yourself and take you and your daughter away for a few days. Even if don’t travel far it’s still a nice little escape from the real world for a few days and some bonding time with your daughter.

    Texas you are a fierce warrior woman who doesn’t take shit from anyone and don’t you forget that. Take care and all they best 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words!! Most days I also feel this way. It is definitely continuing to improve daily 🙂

  • Texas,
    I threw mine out as well in a violent showdown after I found some raunchy heartbreaking texts.
    You should print out this fantastic column, and read it when your brain screams to contact him. It is a treasure map to freedom and peace.

    Two tools I can add to your survival kit, because our situations are very similar.

    1. Don’t get wrapped around the axle when he doesn’t apologize or come back.

    For one year, 365 days, I was in a constant state of anticipation. The email, flowers, card, knock on the door, smoke signal would arrive today! My mother lives behind a big gate. When I would go and stay with her, which was his home turf, I would rush out in the wet early morning light in my nightgown to check for a little piece of paper from him, stuck in the wrought iron. It never came.

    Go back and read CL’s column about the cheaters who disappear. It is a badge of honor. They know we are too smart to fall for their lies anymore. He is a mooch, a leech and he knows the well is dry.
    Don’t let his remorse be any medicine for your healing. You will not get it.

    2. Don’t get sidetracked by thoughts of revenge.

    I have worried that I have some type of disorder because I have never wanted to fuck anyone up as much as I did this person. Texas, I was diving mentally into some medieval shit. I will not even type it here. I was burning with a white hot lava rage. Incandescent Fury. I want this mother fucker to PAY. We were not married, so I could not fuck him up in a divorce.

    I say this to you because it blindsided me- the ferocity of my outrage, its staying power. What I would have done was nowhere in my history. I have near perfect credit! I brush my dogs teeth! I take spiders outside! Most importantly- I have never even had a speeding infraction.

    But I would find myself thinking, Well….I guess I could survive prison for a few years. Does that sound batshit? I want to prepare you so if the rage comes upon you, you can wrestle it to the ground and not make a life changing mistake.
    I almost did….two detectives showed up at my house at 7pm on a random…..Tuesday. Showed me their badges with faces of stone. The only things that saved me were a quick mind that knows about police interrogation, family connections and the fact I had not done anything….yet. When they left, I collapsed in bed for about a week. Close call.

    I know….so intimately this peculiar agony. I promise you, on everything Holy and True- you are going to flourish. Your time with him will take on the quality of a strange fevered dream. You will *see* who he is, and you will be weak with relief that he is away from you and yours.

    • OMG–the only thing that kept me from offing the S.O.B. was the thought that my kids needed me at home and not in prison.

      It’s so easy to almost unravel, and so hard to get a grip again, but I did.

    • Zozan-
      The rage. I know it well. I’ve wrestled with it and I terrified myself with my fantasies of doing great harm to my cheater and his slut. I’ve been a very productive gardener as a way to harness my anger. There’s much relief in a trawl and dirt.
      Your story about.anticipating remorse was palpable. I also fantasized about him begging for my forgiveness, telling his slut off for being a deplorable piece of shit, and showering me with flowers and cards.and romantic getaways. Needless to say; It didn’t work.
      I still live with my cheater. I don’t pretend to care. He still lies, having an excuse for always having somewhere else to be. Whatever. Our family is in a much better space without him in it. My three year old said to me one night when his daddy was away last week: “Mommy, I get angry when Daddy is here”. I thought to myself “I do too”. And I do! I feel my smile depart my face, I get tense and cold. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot be nice to him. I’m not awful, but I’m far from warm.
      That’s what happens when one realizes that they are of no value to the person they opened their hearts and souls to. It’s a pain that cannot be ignored.
      If I had the financial wherewithal, I’d be long gone. I am a sahm with two small children and two large dogs and it’s exactly where cheater wants me. I am virtually imprisoned. But with a little squirreling, and a lot of patience, I hope to one day break out and with that action, teach my children that I am deserving of better. We are deserving of better. Until then, I am determined to be the sane and present parent.
      I apologize for the lengthy reply. Your story really touched me. I am sorry for all the pain that jerk put you through.

      • Fed up

        Invest in yourself. I was unable to support mysel and children on my own even though I worked multiple jobs. As soon as my youngest was in school full time I went back to school.

        My adviceif I had to do it over would have been to divorce him and go on welfare while I earned my degrees. Do you have family you can use as a support system?

        He will suck your soul. Get out now. There pain is cumulative. It’s not worth it.

    • So far, 9 people have offered to off the Traitor for me. I never asked for it, never suggested it, they did, and of course I said no! None of them are known criminals. Revenge fantasies are normal, even bystanders experience them when the behaviour is so outrageous. I wouldn’t be sad if something happened to him and the Whore, but they are not worth anyone ending up in jail.
      I like what they’ve done in Iran sentencing an adulterous woman to go and wash dead bodies as punishment.
      I even like the 74 lashes if I’m honest…

    • Zozan-

      I appreciate and admire your honesty so much!! You have no idea. I really do. I have also found myself having very vivid daydreams of seeing both of them on the street and just wailing on them until my hands are bloodied. And I have never even been in a fight before! I also have your credentials- a good, decent person who doesn’t engage in such behavior. I felt the most rage when I found out his mistress was four months pregnant. I mainly felt rage for my daughter. How dare he disrespect our little baby like that????? I was a kind of pissed that I can’t properly articulate. We are still fighting about some things in court, but I am honestly not even worried. That being said- yes, I plan to invest in a punching bag of some kind for the garage. I have been exercising more and doing what I can to journal when I am particularly angry. These sorry sacks of shit aren’t worth our time, thoughts, or anger, but I do think that feeling these things helps us to heal. Honestly, the more I find out in my situation, the harder I laugh because my ex is such an idiot. He literally doesn’t have two pennies to rub together now with his other child support payments- just wait until I am done with him!! Not to mention the fact that between him and his new lady, they will have 12 children between them. No, I am not joking. I wanted to call Maury and see if he would let me come on the show just for fun. People like him do things that literally defy explanation. Take a kickboxing class, Zozan. I also plan to get back into that. There is nothing quite as gratifying as hitting a bag and pretending it is someone’s face 🙂

      Much Love- Relieved in TX

  • Relieved, you are amazing. If I had left at Dday1 I would not have wasted another 8 years of my life on a man incapable of being honest or faithful. I ate a lot of shit sandwiches in the name of trying to honor my vows and trying to believe him that he loved me. We too had a great life (provided by me – beautiful home, nice cars, he only had to work pt and I bankrolled all his stupid hobbies in the name of trying to keep him happy). It was all a colossal waste of time as the more I gave the more he took. Reciprocity was not in his character. So I wasted 16 years on a turd that did not appreciate me or the life we had.

    Listen to the people on this site, they know, these cheaters never change, they are incapable of honesty (even in the face of proof), they feel entitled to shit all over us and they have no remorse. Youre strong and amazing how clearly you are seeing things and the swift action you took!!!!

    • ME TOO EXACTLY…”We too had a great life (provided by me – beautiful home, nice cars, he only had to work pt and I bankrolled all his stupid hobbies in the name of trying to keep him happy).” So much validation in not being the only one.

    • Sadly me three. last 5 years were me on a hamster wheel trying to pay for three properties while he worked part time and then not at all( to avoid paying spousal support after a 35 year marriage as it now turns out). I feel truly chumped on this alone and there was all the abuse to boot….

      • It makes me feel better that I wasn’t the only idiot out there supporting a bum who repaid me with infidelity and contempt. I got hit with alimony too after I kicked him out. Expensive lessons learned all the way around. Sigh.

        • Makes me feel better too! To know that I was not the only idiot. I am still furious, and filled with thoughts of revenge. But more of the sort “Living happily is the best revenge!” And although I am 62, I am starting to feel the excitement of starting over again.

  • You rock texas! Bravo!! I know it is confusing and so many questions with no applicable answers except one good one trust that he sucks. Im four years from dday and divorced 2 years. It does get better build your life with your baby girl and try not to look back. My life is peaceful mostly drama free and getting better every day. Im finally at meh about asswipe and building my new cheater free life. It takes some time. Hugs.

  • Why do they give it all up? STBX had everything. He had a job making ~$200,000/yr. He had a nice house in a nice neighborhood. He had three awesome children. He had a devoted and faithful wife. He even had his own airplane. Was he happy? No. He was unhappy with his life. He only saw what he didn’t have. Other people made more money. Other people had bigger houses. Other people had bigger airplanes. Other men had more glamorous wives or wives who knew the proper way to fold socks and who were instantly horny when woken up out of a deep sleep at 3:00am. Other people inherited money from their families. Other people’s kids were more sporty and/or more social or won more academic awards. He was also a white male, the most despised and mistreated subset of American culture. He had it so rough. Life had just dumped on him and the poor dear had a wife who just didn’t understand his distress and recognize his victimhood. She had the annoying habit of suggesting that maybe life wasn’t really so terrible.

    So what to do about it? Make changes of course! Fist he quit the high paying job because it was too stressful and the company didn’t really appreciate him. Then he decided to move the family back to his home state because he didn’t like where he was living. When Chumpinrecovery suggested that we shouldn’t move unless one of us had a job there, no sweat, he found a job posting for her there and strongly encouraged her to apply (ok, I will admit that Chumpinrecovery she is very happy with the job). Then I guess he looked around and said what’s left? Oh yeah, I need to swap out the wife. It took a couple of tries to find a suitable replacement, but eventually he found one he thought might be worth leaving the wife for. She also comes with five kids who don’t have all of the flaws his own kids have (those flaws are, of course, all Chumpinrecovery’s fault). So here we are. The only good news is that at some point he realized that he actually has pretty awesome kids after all and nobody else’s kids are superior so he has decided to reconcile with them. It is lucky for him that Chumpinrecovery is good at seeing the positive side of things and views his desire to continue to be a Dad to his kids as a good thing and is still encouraging this. Of course he doesn’t recognize that blessing either. Sigh.

    He also kept the airplane small as it is. Priorities after all.

    I have given up on trying to understand how his brain works. I take comfort, however, in the fact that he still doesn’t seem very happy (although I do feel a bit guilty about taking comfort in somebody else’s unhappiness).

    • My ex cheater pants looks pretty miserable one year out too. He has tried to make amends with our kids too. He tries to buy them but only with the things he wants too (mine works but very little as he has a chump boss that let’s him get away with it). I wonder if they really see him for what he is though-selfish and entitled. They are teenagers in high school. He bitches about paying $80 for my son to take the ACT but is looking at buying a $500,000 house. I make 1/4 of his salary but the kids come to me for most of their needs and I never turn them away. I figure I can sell my house in a few years and down size if it gets too difficult financially.

      • Shortly after STBX started secretly “dating” we found out our oldest needed her wisdom teeth removed. He was upset because it was such a big expense and he had to pay for his own wisdom teeth removal in his twenties so why does he have to pay for hers too, etc. Not fair. Wah! Anyway, his chump spent hours jumping through hoops to eventually get back every penny from the medical insurance company so he did not have to pay for it. Of course those efforts on my part did not make up for may many horrible faults that caused him to have no choice but to leave me for somebody better. Jerk.

        Now he is telling DD he will buy her a prom dress next year.

        • Better start saving for the prom dress as he will not come through for your daughter or he’ll only contribute a few measly bucks.

    • This is why gratitude is our best chump tool. Chumps spend years with partners who are never content, always restless, either requiring constant novelty (e.g., new APs, new jobs, new car, new town or some combination thereof) or striving to accumulate more stuff, more status, more toys. For chumps who lived the material “good life,” it’s hard to shift mental gears and realize how empty the pursuit of MORE is. So many people stay stuck, worrying about maintaining a lifestyle or a financial standard of living, while minimizing what is most real and important (a home built on love, honesty, respect, and self-efficacy).

      They are incapable of being grateful for what they have. And that should tell us how important it is.

      • “They are incapable of being grateful for what they have. ”
        I said almost the same thing to the Traitor in MC. He still didn’t get it and neither did the MC.

        • Me, too. I tried to get him to appreciate the simple, important things in life and cherish what we had. But to no avail. He was always in search of the next sparkly thing but what he doesn’t understand is that even if he gets what he thinks he wants, he will never be happy because he does not have the capability. In there minds, nothing is ever enough or good enough. Sucks to be them!!!

    • “He was unhappy with his life. He only saw what he didn’t have.” So simple but so profound. Your story seems to have so many similarities to mine. Substitute a sport fishing boat for the airplane.

      Stbx would always talk about people being jealous of us. Now I see that as just more projection that he is jealous of everyone else. I’ve said it here before but he always has a things will be better when…. on the horizon. It’s like the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Irony came the day he left when the kids and I were returning home from dinner at his parents home and there was a gorgeous double rainbow that appeared to end at our house. As we came down the street, we stopped and took pictures. We all commented that dad needs to realize thatwe are his real pot of gold. It makes me cry to think about it because as we approach the one year anniversary, I don’t think that will happen in this life.

      • It is still very painful to realize this for me too. Mine is a bottomless pit of need. Never happy or grateful for what he has. Enter twenty-something telling him how awesome he is and voila-instant happiness.

        Really? Running around with a young girl makes you happy? Expensive dinners and trips. That does it for ya’?

        I just can’t imagine in a million years throwing away my family to run off in the sunset with someone else. Let alone someone so young, there’s nothing in common (well except bumping uglies). Absolutely beyond my comprehension. Absolutely beyond wreckonciliation.

        • “Mine is a bottomless pit of need. ”
          I told the Traitor’s sister her brother was a bottomless pit for love about 7 years ago. I had those light bulb moments now and again…

    • “He was also a white male, the most despised and mistreated subset of American culture. He had it so rough.”

      OMG mine felt exactly this way. He had a racist and antisemetic streak and was sure that had he been born black or Native American he would have been showered with all sort of opportunities that are denied to suffering souls him. He has worked exclusively in upper management with white males and the occasional white female, despite living in some of the most diverse places in the country and had no answer as to why that was. The scary truth that the only sure-fire opportunity available to black kids is extra police harassment never made any sense to him.

  • Texas, I so understand your hurt and confusion. Everything Chump Lady says is spot on. I know you wish you could have confronted him, but don’t. I did that and it only led to more confusion and hurt. These kind of people are on another planet from folks like us. Nothing they say will make sense to people who hearts and souls.

    • I think that not confronting him directly was the smart way to go. The chances of doing or saying something you might regret are too high. You don’t know how he would react either since it turned out the guy you thought you knew was a fraud. If he were to have gotten violent — some cheaters react that way to being found out and particularly to you ending the marriage — it would not have been worth it.

  • Getting out of their orbit–sticking, and sticking, and sticking to no contact–is truly key. So glad I found CL/CN so that many wise teachers could deliver this lesson again and again. Thank you all for that. ❤️

  • Texas, you are my mighty hero! You did everything the way I wished I had of done it. You lived my fantasy DDay and not the five, FIVE, years it took me to be mighty. Confrontation only causes additional pain and destroys any peace you may have gained. You saved your child the heartache mine had to endure. I am so proud of you.

    Time will heal the pain. Focus on your self care and your little one. Still file for child support even though you may never collect a penny.

    Next time you look in a mirror, see the badass you are.

    • I appreciate your very kind words, Grace! I have no idea where my strength came from. I had been trying for months, bending over backwards to try to make this person happy, and then I found out what he had been up to the entire time!! Absolutely not. I will not set that example for my daughter. I never wavered in it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get sad or upset. Oh yes, I plan on wiping him out even more than he is already wiped out. He enjoyed carrying on with his OW while I footed all our bills, took care of our home and daughter, and basically believed everything he said ( I have never been a snooper before I checked the phone bill that night.) I hope you are doing well on your journey. There are so many ugly things in the world, but even though these situations are awful, they are blessings in disguise.

  • I did a pretty good job getting divorced from The Coward, but if I could do it all over again I would do it the way you did! Wow! I’m impressed. My biggest regrets come from remembering the useless, humiliating confrontations. All he did was stare at me with those shark eyes, and I ended up looking like a bitter lunatic. All that did was to justify in his mind that he was right to have cheated and left. There’s no point in confronting a cheater. They don’t agree with you that they should stop being a scumbag. You’re wasting your heart and soul when you give any more if yourself to a cheater. But? I forgive myself. Still, when I hear stories like yours, I marvel at the mightiness.
    You will heal. Oh, BOY, you will heal. You deserve soooo much better than that parasitic loser. So does your daughter.
    Forgive yourself, too, for not knowing. In my case all I can do is laugh at how OBVIOUS it was that The Coward was cheating right under my nose. He was probably so frustrated that I was that oblivious, and that he finally had to tell me he was with his one twu wuv. Hah! I even remember sharing contempt with him that our realtor, a chump, had noooo idea his wife had been cheating on him. Really? Really? I couldn’t believe it. The Coward was dismayed that I could be so contemptuous in my disbelief. Then it came around, back to me. My smugness has taken a real beating. I forgive myself. You don’t know what you don’t know. You trust your husband or your wife. That’s what marriage is. Forgive yourself.

    You’re such a badass, mama!

    • Oh, my God, the shark eyes. I always thought my ex had the most beautiful eyes – that was one of the first things I noticed about him. Now they just remind me of a snake’s.

      • Dear Lord, that look! You see him staring through you and it’s like you aren’t even there. Maybe a speck on the windshield. And when you look into those eyes, there’s nothing there anymore. No warmth or recognition. Makes me queasy because it looks like insanity.

        • Yes those horrible eyes that made me sure he was a victim of invasion of the body snatchers!

          Those beautiful blue eyes became steely and robot like. Frightening!

    • Stephanie-

      I so appreciate your kinds words!! After everything I had done for him, and continued to do for him, when I found out the tip of the iceberg, I was done, done, done. Of course, I still have my hard days. After the adrenaline rush left me, I got pretty sad. I loved him very much. But I also came to the realization that the person I loved was never him. There’s no way it could be. The person I loved could never do what he did for 6-7 months. In my mind, that person is dead. This new person is foreign to me. It gets easier every day.

      • You have saved yourself years of heartache. It really is hard to reconcile the person you loved with the douche he really is. He will not change. EVER.

  • Everything written here is spot on. Cheaters don’t really feel the true remorse they need to feel or let’s face it, they wouldn’t have done the shitty things they do in the first place. Cheaters are just wired all kinds of fucked up. Go No Contact like a boss and let those lawyers sort it out. Protect yourself and know this – your cheater loser of an ex is not your friend. Once these folks know you are serious about leaving they can become unhinged so protect yourself.

    I kicked my cheater out in a day, but didn’t put his shit in a garbage bag (should have.) I negotiated a good settlement (that he still tries to modify) and got that loser out in under a week. No pick me dance here. However I made the mistake of asking him why?? Oh Why, Dear Abuser? Why? And got….nada, ziltch, nothing, except “I wanted out years ago” followed by, “You were controlling.” Rrrrriiiight. Turns out that’s cheater speak for, “Meh, I wanted to. I enjoyed it. Now suffer.”

    Forget getting closure from a fuckwit. Narcissistic sociopaths want power and control and oddly, they enjoy your suffering. Don’t give them that enjoyment. Create a kick ass life for yourself and your daughter. Find your happiness again. It’s not a fair world and expecting fairness from a cheater is like expecting shit not to stink. Not gonna happen. So, fix your picker, spend time with yourself and figure out what you want out of life and go for it.

    Wishing you the best. You’ve got this and I promise it will get better.

    • Thensome, this: “expecting fairness from a cheater is like expecting shit not to stink.”

      Thank you! I still catch myself expecting fairness in the divorce process.

      • Getting to a fair, reasonable 50/50 took so much trouble and cost me so much money. It was the kind of settlement we could have worked out and filed for a few hundred dollars if I had been dealing with a normal person. But he felt entitled to the house, the assets, the retirement and all the toys. No alimony or child support since the kids and I could move in with family. I could have half of the checking account according to his beneficent generous thinking. He works is business and negotiates stuff all the time but when it came to divorce clearly the concept of equitable division did not apply to his thinking. Watch your back.

        • @ca-chump – THIS ^^^^^^ 100%
          There seems to be no consequences for this kind of behaviour – it’s like a double down on the shit sandwich.

  • It’s utterly amazing to me that in the sleep deprived fog of caring for an infant this LW has already figured out that her Cheater was manufacturing dischord in her marriage to lay the groundwork for “we were both unhappy.”

    It took me about a year to figure that out. That the entire month before D-Day (I also found out opening a phone bill) that Cold Slab O’Meat had been crabby, avoiding physical contact, untagging photos of the family together on Facebook. That fucker even moved a row behind me in a luxury suite at a baseball game paid for by my employer so he could text photos of his glamorous life to Jake From State Farm. He texted the Sluterus photos of our daughters from every public toilet in Disney World. These were all going to his ‘work friend Tony.’ Hey, I know Tony. He’s the only friend you have. Why would you need privacy for that?

    Duh. Because I was a First Class Priority Boarding Chump, that’s why! Slabbo needed to sell his financially stable fun lifestyle to the Whorenado. It worked! But it was a lie!

    It was my salary that made the Howorker salivate.

    Relieved, you’re EONS ahead of most of us. I untangled that skein, and the conclusions I came to were: 1) Cold Slab is as shallow as a trailer park puddle 2) He fucked up real bad serious

    Will he ever know it? Probably not. But Meh is here and I don’t care so much! The Free Love Bonobo Monkey Circus is still grinding on across town and I ain’t in it. The financial prospects and promised fun are ever more distant from their reach. Constant drama occasionally spills down wind. I snap on the gloves and spray the Lie-Sol and Raid. Pffft.

    Me and my DD? We’re all right. You will be all right. You’re already pretty feckin’ awesome!

    • Luziana

      Thank you for the awesome words of encouragement!! I feel that way most days. And I was in your boat financially also. Everything nice my future ex POS had was because of me or my family. He knew it too. I can only imagine the extent of his lies when it came to what we had and how it was obtained. She will find out soon how broke he is, especially after I am done with him!!! So glad you guys are doing alright. I’m so relieved my daughter is too young to notice what’s going on, and most days I generally feel happier being here with just her. I already got the best part of him and she’s asleep in her crib right now. To better days and better pickers 🙂

  • You have made a very wise decision to move on with your life without him. I was the OW to a serial cheater and what I learned was that men who cheat will ALWAYS cheat. I made a huge mistake in getting involved with him. He told me all about his previous affairs, and the entire five years I was with him, he was having online affairs, hooking up with coworkers while on business trips, flirted with women right in front of me, etc. I played it cool just to be able to really know who he was. When I finally decided to call his wife, she chose to not believe anything I told her about her husband. She is wasting her youth on a man who says he loves her but has absolutely no respect for her! You have saved yourself years of sorrow by leaving him now. Don’t waste anymore of your life on him. Take care of yourself and your little one. You are priority. Love yourself.

    • I appreciate your candor. I’m glad you finally realized the errors in your ways. Go after a man that respects you and most importantly realize that you are worthy of more!

    • Oh goodie!! A call for another Southern recipe!! This is one I like to call STFU Stew.

      One can campbell’s soup, any flavor
      One can spam, diced
      One bar velveeta cheese “food” diced
      One small container cool whip
      One package jello, any flavor
      One cup mayonnaise, full fat
      One package tater tots
      Apple juice

      Combine in a crockpot for 8 hours. It will make you hurl, I promise!!

  • TX, you are golden! Who are you? Smart, strong and successful. Who is he? Lazy, cruel and stupid. We all know how this story ends. I know you are feeling a bit dinged up right now but you’ve only been in a fender bender, not a total wreck. Love your daughter and ignore that piece of shit. If you so choose you will find someone new who is worthy of you.

  • Relieved,

    Wow! Awesome first day of the job of being a chump! You will find a gold mine of information on this site and I highly recommend reading all the archives. I was a calculating chump. I knew something was off, I had to do some digging which in the end paid off. Before the dust settles, start to protect yourself and your child. Preserve evidence, lawyer up, protect your finances, get all important documents copied and out of the house. Being chumped is so emotional and disorienting that we sometimes are caught in the emotional vortex and forget that getting a divorce is a business negotiation. Get ready to negotiate, detach emotionally (bring your emotions here, to CL and CN) use your time to get the best financial and child custody deal you can. Document everything, every contact, every drive by, every moment he spends or does not spend with your darling child, EVERYTHING. Courts care about behavior, not emotions, if you can demonstrate without emotion his behavior, it is good in court. It has been mentioned above, that due you your STBX’s past behavior, he may not really be interested in raising your child, that could be a very good deal for you. Think it through, figure out your bottom line and then start negotiations way above. You have the upper hand, keep it! Behind the scenes set up a support network, friends can be iffy, hard to tell who will have your back (CL and CN always will, the forums are great). Feel every emotion fully, if you need to lay on the floor and sob, do it. If you need to smash things, do it….do it in a safe environment and don’t let the mother(*&^% see you cry. Remember, indifference is what will get under his skin. If he can’t triangulate, hoover, etc he will most likely rage. Let it roll like water off a ducks back. Good Luck! and keep up your bad ass mightiness!

    • OutWest

      Thank you for the great advice!! I am doing just that as we speak 🙂 You are right, courts don’t care about emotions or cheaters, really, they care about how these cheaters treat their children. I can tell you that my soon to be ex spent the last 6 months not being present in any way. And I will make sure that is known 🙂 I am so glad I found this site, it has really helped me so much!

  • Relieved – WOW – just WOW. But now the dust is starting to settle down and you’re going to get stuck in analysis paralysis if you aren’t consciously careful and don’t go no contact. NO CONTACT is a CHOICE… it is an ACTION… it is a CONSEQUENCE… and it truly is how you will get through this and hiring a kickass lawyer to get you full custody.

    CL nailed it – parasites need a host. And, some narcissists like to spread their seed like pollen because it makes them to feel mighty (sadly). My X has 5 bio kids and 1 step daughter. He started paying child support when he was 26 and won’t be done paying it until he is 56. TALK ABOUT A RED FLAG (not that the new girl sees it).

    You lived a great life BECAUSE YOU MADE IT THAT WAY. You did that – not him. Like you, I underwrote the financials of our marriage/life because he was paying out support on four kids with two different women. Yup, I ignored that red flag… I’m not a sociopath… I believed him lies of “I was young and made a mistake”… “I married a crazy person”. So – I built us the life I dreamed of… good home in a good neighbor, nice vacations, kids all in good clothes, cooked dinner every night after working all day, did the laundry and grocery shopping on the weekends. He thought he did his part by coming home every night (mind you, he’d fuck around on his lunch hour or leave work early!). Everything good you remember about your time with him, I’ll bet was because YOU DID IT.

    And, you’ll keep doing it for you and your daughter.

    Even now, I struggle with my self worth because even after the OW dumped his cheating ass (yes, he cheated on her too)… he just slid into a new relationship without missing a beat.

    But – then I bitchslap myself and say… “LOOK…that is all he has. A parasitic host.” Would I envy a woman getting into Ted Bundy’s car? Seriously – see him for who he is.

    So yeah, he got a new girl. But, he has accrued out-of-control debt (Narcs are horrible at paying the bills and managing spending.). He rents a home. He’s become a “gym guy” because that is what the new girl does (they met at Crossfit – #cansomeonepleasebeoriginal). His hair is thinning and his teeth look like shit. But, oh does he sparkle for her. Good luck with that.

    Relieved – you’ve got this. You won. You got a beautiful daughter and you’ve got your dignity and your future. Be human and feel your feelings… but stay NO CONTACT.

    And keep coming back here to CN.

    • Wow- this is very similar to my situation. It’s sad to know how many smart women get played this did you catch him?

      • I installed spyware on his computer and found my way into one of his many email accounts. He hadn’t emptied his trash folder in over 6 months. It was a goldmine. Also was able to see his Browser history… he had a penchant for looking at Transexuals for Men personal ads and had his own ad up on multiple shady dating sites. Still, unlike you, I went the marriage counseling/reconciliation route for another 6 years… he never stopped.

        I’m really proud of you. You know your worth. Stay mighty!

  • Asking why he or she cheated is like asking, why do people get cancer, or why do there have to be earthquakes.

    It just happens

  • Relieved but Human, besides reading CL’s excellent book, the books by George Simon (In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disorder) have been very helpful to me in knowing what to look for in other humans, and who can be trusted based on their behaviors. I am in awe of your handling of D-day – you are a winner!

  • So many points in this post that made me feel punched in the gut. So many people who support me still do not get it completely. This post lets me know CL and CN completely gets it.

    I am over a year from DDay and had been doing pretty good until this week (even while going through an awful divorce). But I recently saw his 2016 tax return and what he is doing with his business and it makes me feel physically sick that he would cheat his own kids this way. Not only did he find a way to get rid of his income but he is actually showing a loss (after 16 years of consistent income).

    On top of that, my company disbanded and I will be out of a job in one week. Sometimes, it is all beyond overwhelming. I keep fighting for a cheater free future and for what is right for my kids, but some days, I would really like to disappear.

    • I’m sorry, GetMeFree, that all this crap has hit you at one time. Cheaters will do ANYthing that is in their own self-interest, even if it hurts their children. Sad, but true. You probably feel as if there are 100 lb. weights tied to you right now, and it makes it difficult to get tasks accomplished. First things first–prioritize finding another job, let your lawyer or a forensic accountant handle X’s financial duplicity. And 5-10 minutes of self-care every day (can be as simple as a cup of tea outside listening to birds; listening to 10 minutes of your favorite band). You need that 10 minutes to re-fuel yourself for the inevitable struggles ahead.

      • Thank you. I know what I need to do. But I am feeling PISSED at cheater and all that he has done over the last several years. And as if those things aren’t bad enough, he continues to add it.

        I need to clear that out so I can focus on my next steps, but that is easier said than done. Especially while I try to keep things as normal as possible for two active teenagers who don’t drive yet and a 1 year old with a disability.

        His cruelty is beyond anything I have ever come into contact with in my entire life. And yes, I get that means that I have lived a pretty blessed life up until him. I feel physically ill at who he actually is.

    • Dear GetMeFree – I’m sorry you’re in so much pain right now. I also lost both my lengthy marriage & longtime job within a matter of months. It is VERY overwhelming & I learned that there are a lot of cheaters out there, including all of my siblings & quite a few of my friends. It’s hard to find someone who really understands so I’m glad you found your way to CL & CN. They saved me when I felt like disappearing. I’m thinking good thoughts for you.

    • GetMeFree,

      I’m cheering for you to find a new job ASAP. To have to depend on a Cheater for anything is the last straw.

      You are in good company: my cheater was trying to use our grown sons to explain his stupid debts made for ostentation and whores. In my country only debts made for the good of the family are to be split in a divorce. Whore-debts are solely cheaters.

      In fact today my lawyers showed me his bank statements that he was obliged to share if he does not want his investments frozen for any longer and run up even more debts than he already has (I’ve been getting phone calls from his creditors about missed payments). In one year cheater has blown through two thirds of a decent severance pay and has nothing to show for it except for two fancy cars he can’t afford and does NOT need.

      But what disgusts me is that he would use our sons to lie to the judge. He can cheat, run up debts and ruin our finances and lie to a judge.

      • Makes me sick. I had no idea there were so many of them out there. And to know we were married to them and that our children have to grow up with that kind of father is beyond sad.

        • Getmefree it sounds like you are going strong but sometimes you get overwhelmed- totally get that! I am at about one year too and in the beginning of the divorce. I will think I am doing great and then bam, something sets off the anger or sadness.

          In the beginning when I was a basket case and couldn’t eat or sleep, I remember thinking if one more person tells me to be strong, I am going to scream. What the hell is strong and how do you be it.?

          Now I would say was strong and so are you just for going on with life under such stress. Getting out of bed and doing what I had to do was strength in motion. You are doing what you have to do right now and it is ok to be angry. I think a big part of becoming chumps is not giving ourselves the rights to our feelings. As you said, you know what you have to do so keep doing it and the feelings will pass. (I believe in prayer and will be praying for you and your kids- hope you aren’t offended)

          Your posts help me and I thank you!

          • Thank you Feelingit. And yes, we are strong but that doesn’t mean that sometimes we don’t have days where everything that has happened and continues to happen doesn’t hurt or still makes us angry. As I tell my daughter, “mom is having a bad day but tomorrow I will be better.” That happens far less often than it used to. And the fact that usually I am better the next day is a good sign.

            And it is called grief. The stages of grief are never a straight line.

            I thank you for your prayers. Faith, family, and friends are what has gotten me this far. We will get through this and eventually we will both get those divorces.

        • GetmeFree, I am also a little over a year after DDay1. During a few humiliating months of wreconciliation last summer he showed his real face when I had cancer scare and had to go for breast biopsy. He completely “forgot” about it, did not ask me for results and when I brought it up 2 months later he first said that he heard about it for the 1st time, and after that changed his reasons for “indifference” million times depending on his mood, level of agressiveness, who was around ,etc. I heard one time he “did not know what biopsy meant” and “he asked me and I never replied” and “he forgot because he was busy” and “if there was something serious I would have told him” and many others.

          He also shows very little income here in Canada and I expect he’ll ask for spousal alimony from me. He is rich and has properties but not where I live and I don’t want to stir his stinky shit and pay lawyers. I want to get rid of this virus that will poison my life if I don’t.

          You know, I am actually glad to get his mindfuck in different shit pots because I can finally see through him. His cheating all along was sooo obvious and I just did not see it because I was projecting my own integrity on him. He now tells me that I CHOSE to not see it because I liked the status of a married woman. Whatever. According to him now, after he gets it there is no way back, I “had the agenda to steal his sperm, get the Canadian citizenship and a good job and then discard him”. Of course his cheating during our entire marriage is completely irrelevant.

          And you know what? I have a wonderful sperm product – my sunny son, and a great job and a Canadian citizenship. Mission accomplished! Bye bye cheater!

          My point is: the more stupid and outrageous shit he says or does the better off I am emotionally because I see this guy is retarded and he is NOT what I thought he was and hence, I DO NOT LOVE HIM! This is a revelation! Thanks to CL and CN! With masters in business law and fluency in 5 languages he is still a retard! And he stinks! No matter how beautiful I thought his green eyes were. Stinky retard!

  • Tex – These are all the normal questions that are asked in the wake of betrayal. I still ask myself these questions. CL makes a very very valid point: Untangling the skein and seeing the red flags are two different things. You don’t have to untangle the skein to know what the red flags are. The red flags say they have questionable character. Trying to figure out why they have red flags – that’s untangling the skein.

    I think it’s natural to want to justify everything, but ultimately in this case, it will not get you anywhere. I wish, with all my heart, that I could go back to DDay and do exactly what you did. That was 3 years ago and I just filed for divorce last week. It has taken me forever to get to the point that you were at when you chucked his cheating ass out. You are amazingly mighty! It only goes up from here. Hugs!

    • Great distinction: “You don’t have to untangle the skein to know what the red flags are. The red flags say they have questionable character. Trying to figure out why they have red flags – that’s untangling the skein.”

      • So Agree…and I loved the phrase above “analysis paralysis!” I have not heard that phrase before. To all the Chumps in their “early days,” try your very BEST to limit the time spent on untangling. It is like boarding the boat to nowhere and a colossal waste of time. Buy yourself a sand timer if you must. When the sand has emptied into the bottom of the glass, get up and DO something…anything! I look back at my three plus years and wish I had something productive to show for time spent in the empty Wasteland of Untangling.

  • If it helps you to move forward, think of all the time he spent texting her every day, calling her numerous times every day, meeting for lunches, dinners, shopping sprees, sending pics of your happy family to her while on vacations, telling her about every intimate details of your lives (even how you like sex or don’t like certain positions, that you shave or don’t, etc), sharing stories about the kids, etc. How he told her she is more beautiful, more compassionate, a better lover, but of course he would have included that he does love you, his wife, but that he isn’t “in love” with her.
    These are all the things that I heard and experienced and even though his wife didn’t want to hear the truth and decided to do the “pick me dance”, maybe my experience can help someone else save themselves from more heart break in their future. I will never get involved with a married man again and I hope what I have experienced can help other wives realize what their husbands are up to and leave their cheating bum. Even if he makes an excellent income, coaches his son’s winning baseball team, takes the wife on numerous expensive vacations, and is the “perfect family man” in the eyes of the community he resides… (again this was my personal experience) doing the pick me dance does nothing but allow him to cheat on you with yet another lover once the dust settles.

  • Why did he do what he did? Because that’s who he is. I suspect if you talk to wife #1 you’ll find this isn’t cheaterboy’s first ride at the rodeo.

    How did you not know? Because we cannot wrap our heads around the depravity that these jerks operate with. I have a vivid imagination, and could not have dreamed up the ghastly scenarios that my X enacted (including buying a second house behind my back that he was going to use as a fuckpad).

    Head to the Forums to see about Chump Meetups–I’m in Texas and there are active groups in Dallas, Houston, and Austin/San Antonio. Very healing to hang out with people who ‘get it’ before you’ve even finished your sentences. Hugs.

    • Tempest, I hope that you are getting half of the fuckpad (LOL) and then you can infest it with crabs and ticks and lice before you sell him back his part.

      I almost got half of my cheater’s crazy debts (he has a PhD in genetics, but can’t do arithmetic if there is a $ sign involved). My divorce should be final this month, got him by the balls with pitbull lawyers. And my cheater is paying for 70% of the lawyers’ fees, part of the deal to let go of his balls. I could have squeezed longer and gotten more, but I am tired and want to get on.

      • Ah,ClearWaters, I love a good got-cheater-by-the-financial-balls story! Applause for you, too!

  • WOW! TX, I am standing back in awe at your million candlewatt Mighty. I am handing you bouquets of flowers that are being left for you on stage by CN. Please hear the applause for your mighty Mightiness!

    There are a couple words you used that stood out for me:
    -The Scream: Kinda gives ya the feeling behind the painting of the same name. I’m handing out cheap prints all around. This is the artistic rendition of what happens the second we realize we’re gonna be life’s roadkill in a heartbeat or less.
    -The Death: It is, OP. Imagine a Roast and Toast for him (aka cremation) and you get to push the detritus right in the door and “broil” is set at a million creamation power-twats.
    -The Why: This is how gravity, electricity and other neat shit was illucidated because stuff like that works the same way every time-and so do cheaters. Da Mystery of Da Dud also has Laws of WTF-ery that work the same way every time.

    I was a young widow. I loved and trusted my late DH oh, just beyond reason as you loved yours. No one said by the next morning after he had been admitted directly to the hospital from the MD appointment he was dying. They were still trying to figure out what was wrong. So I got him settled after staying with him the last 24 hrs. I came home, threw in a load of laundry, made coffee, went to sit down in my old platform rocker with a cup and just as my ass hit the seat a scream came out of me I can’t even describe never mind reproduce: It was somewhere between a scream and a howl. I knew right in that second he was dying and I was gonna be a widow. Every last one of my defense mechanisms (which exist to protect us from a painful or threatening reality) crashed and burned.
    -The Death: Everything in my world became unfamiliar, distant and wide open wretched pain set in. I brought him home from the hospital when we officially learned he was dying and cared for him until his death. The last words he spoke before he lapsed into a coma were, “TW, you ARE the love of my life.” Yes I was fortunate but no, the whole thing was awful. Grief is the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life so please know what you’re experiencing right now is normal. I had an episode of dissociation while writing acknowledgements after his service that only lasted a few seconds but long enough for me to know it wasn’t even remotely possible I was sitting in this chair watching “me” writing these notes by the “me” up on the ceiling. Bi-location is not possible-therefore, losing my mind was confirmed. (Scared the hell outta me.)
    -The Why? How did we not pick up on these little hints we “saw” prior to the event? How could we have been so insensate to these “obvious” clues? How stoopid were we?! OP, this is our humanness trying to master the trauma, trying to make sense out of no-sense. We have this compulsive need to logically master what happened to us so we can gain some sense of control over ourselves, our perceptions, our lives as we knew them. Considering they’ve been IED’d out of no where, we’re trying to create order out of chaos, to understand how this happened so we can integrate it into our mind’s “file folders” except-there are none. Grief in part is the getting our mental paws on a fresh file folder, labeling it and shoving it in the file cabinet so we can slam the damn thing shut. Contain it somehow. Manage it so we feel we have some vestige of sanity in a world we don’t recognize, an “us” whose Identity has just been shattered: We think and we feel this way because the us, the life we knew are gone. We need to know why so we “don’t get fooled again,” so we can create an Identity that encompasses this event as well.

    I can’t tell you when you’ll sleep through a full night again. I can’t tell you when it won’t be the last thing you think of before you drift off into a wired tired or feel the searing pain in your heart and mind the moment you wake up from that fitful “sleep.” I don’t know when songs/music will stop assualting you with painful memories, when the scent of certain places, certain fragrances etc. will stop torturing you out of nowhere. I can’t tell you when the day will come when your New Normal will actually feel somewhat “Normal.” Or your tentative steps into your new Identity will become a bit more intentional, the world a little less scary place. I don’t know when you’ll look at your little one and “see” them as our reach into the unknown of trust and blind faith, in our bedrock belief in the basic goodness, decency and yeah, just inspiring greatness of everyday people-like you, OP.

    But I know it will. If for no other reason than our bodies are not capable of sustaining this level of grief and pain, this acute grief that tears our heart out of chest and does a Bristol Stomp all over it. If you were incapable of feeling the way you are right now (and given a choice we’d all shove it right back with a determined “No, HELLNO”) you would have to surrender the best part of you, me and everyone else: Our capacity to love without reservation. Grief is the price we pay for having loved so very well and in doing so, affirming our humanity. As alone as you feel in this time, we are all walking beside you: Just because you can’t see us doesn’t mean we’re not here. It just means at this time, you’re rightfully engulfed in grief, the price of your, mine, all of our common bond of humanity. You are exactly where you “should” be on your journey. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That’s more than enough.
    And so are you.

    • The WOW is right back at you TW.
      I did not know your story.
      You are mighty in CN ‘s eyes.
      ( and in our hearts we love you!)

    • This post really helped me. I’ve been struggling with grief (not chump related) for a while. So sorry to hear what you went through but very grateful that you shared.

    • Excellent post. I may have been the OW but when d day came it felt like a death. Your words describe exactly what I am going through this past year. You have been through so much. Keep strong.

  • Good Morning Texas and Chump Nation

    Chump Ladyis spot on as always. Three years out – I still question WHY I ignored the flags and the horrible behavior. I was a law enforcement professional earning much more than the ex. Should have known better, right? In trying to untangle my own behavior (I gave that up his skein long ago), I finally have an answer that makes sense to me.

    Gonna stray into the spiritual for just a moment….

    When we make a commitment to love, we agree to love all of that person. The not-lovely. The not-perfect. Because as empathetic and generous human beings, that’s what we do. And because we too are not perfect. So the flags (bad credit, bad job history, bad financial decisions, speeding tickets…all of it) are ignored. And because as CL says, we project our values onto those we hold dear. None of us merits that kind of love – it is freely given or it’s not. I like to think of this concept as similar to God’s love. That love is ours, but not because we earned or deserve it. That’s the nature of love.

    So my psycho cheated and fooled the government into giving him a job with a security clearance. I feel slightly less stupid because I’m not the only fool. But the real answer is, I loved as we are supposed to. My broken picker and desire to hold a marriage together blinded me to the ridiculous behaviors that were huge flags. That bad behavior is on the cheater, not me.

    So I would rather be the one who strived to love truly, than the jerk cheated (and did many many other bad things).

    Peace, love and healing to all Chumps this beautiful spring morning. I wish us all down the path to Meh.

  • Relieved,
    Your situation sounds just like mine. I, too, was completely blindsided by a shark with a nice guy mask. I, too, once I saw the mask drop, immediately knew the jig was up. I totally get the feeling that the man you thought he was has suddenly died. You will mourn, accept that and let yourself mourn. He may try to win you back by putting the mask back on. Trust that he sucks. You have already seen the proof of that, and I am sure he will give you more as this plays out.
    I was lucky in that on DDay, he actually said some honest things. Two of the key things he said are: [when I asked why] “It was fun, and I was getting away with it,” and “I told myself, ‘this only works as long as she trusts you'”. So he had actually told me that very night what takes some chumps lots of time and advice from CN to figure out: that he did it simply because he wanted to, and that the reason I didn’t know is because he was deliberately using my trust as a weapon against me.

    • Mine said exactly the same. He said it was easy to lie to you because you trusted everything I said. It definitely shows that he did it because he could and that he wanted too. He knew it was wrong and that it would hurt me but he didn’t care.

      • Yes, mine also added “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” so he continued cheating and lying to not hurt me. He then said he did not tell me because he “felt the need to protect me from this cruel world since I so naively and innocently believed that all people around me were wonderful.” So he protected me by cheating and then lying and it did not hurt me as long as I did not know. Iron logic.

        The mindfuck is that for some time after a series of DDays I wished I was still living with my head in the sand and not knowing. I did not wish that the cheating wouldn’t happen – that was impossible to undo. But I wished I had not discovered about it, I wished I had not looked into his phone, I wished I has not confronted him. The pain was destroying me at the time but as CL puts it, the pain is finite. I caught myself singing a tune for a few evenings now. It’s been 1.5 years and I came a loong way. I was not as mighty as many here but I am still good. No more hopium. I am out. I loved genuinely. I am a human being. Just a picker fix is needed.

    • WOW. That is…mindblowing. It “only works as long as she trusts you”. I now imagine doucheturd, an analytical sort, must have told himself this too. Makes me feel like a bug stuck with a pin to the wall, just something to be observed and used, not engaged with.

    • Yup.


      Honest answer: “I wanted to”

      My ex-whore fucker never came clean with most of what I found evidence for, but one day, cornered in the joint therapy room, my therapist, holding some evidence that I had furnished, actually cornered him into admitting that he got “blow jobs with a condom on” about 10 times. (tip of the iceberg)

      Therapist asked him why he did that, he he answered…. “It felt good”

      Imagine. Something that “felt good” to him, condomed blow jobs from strangers” was worth the worst, worst, worst, worst, worst pain his wife could ever or would ever, ever, ever, ever feel.

      Truth is, he didn’t consider me in the least when he was doing it, and didn’t give a fuck about me when I found out.

      20 years. Wasted.

  • Your instincts were right on when you kicked him to the curb.

    Not one more second with him would make a difference in understanding what or who he is.

    The only path forward is NC and this community.

    Read all the archives. Post all the time – are you on the Forum? You can share anything at all and know that you are loved and supported here.

    You are simply a better and different kind of person.

  • Dear Relieved,

    You are my hero. I only WISH I could have been as perceptive and proactive as you were; it would have saved me much, much sooner in life.

    Over three years later, I still ask myself why did I not know. I was married for 30 years to what I thought was the most upstanding, faithful guy ever. I had no CLUE I was projecting my own values on him.

    I was discarded BEFORE D-Day. I wandered around in a fog of disbelief, trying to make sense of why someone would destroy what I thought was a stable marriage and a happy family.

    When D-Day happened months later and I discovered evidence of a year-long affair, I didn’t immediately file for divorce, I started insanely pick-me dancing. I demanded my husband get rid of the mistress and immediately start trying to repair our marriage. Of course he had no interest in this, which hurt even more.

    I did not have enough confidence and self respect to do what you did. I wish I had. Later, I found out that the asshole had been cheating on me for YEARS and had secretly been paying child support to another woman for over 13 years for a now-teenage illegitimate son.

    I spent so much time debasing myself and creating more trauma for myself. You did not do this. It has taken a while, but I have since forgiven myself for my actions in that first year of separation, which is something you will never have to do!

    You truly are mighty, I am in awe. It has taken me three years to get that mighty; you started out that way.

    • Champ

      Your kind words are very heartwarming. I don’t know that I am any better or more brave than any of us on here- I just was at my limit earlier because of the circumstances of my soon to be Ex. I am a pretty black and white person, and when I found out just the tip of the iceberg of he was up to, it was too much for me to ever forgive. Little did I know, we could have appeared on Maury with the amount of damage he created. I feel I am mightier than ever because of my little angel sleeping in her room. I have to be a mother and father for her now, and that requires a lot of strength. She sees it in me, so I had to see it in myself. I also have a great family/friend support. I am lucky all around. Much love to you, wherever you are.

      • Hey Relieved, seeing the truth is a painful thing to do sometimes, and it takes some chumps like me a lot of time (and a lot of therapy!) to get there. So take your kudos, they are well deserved.

        I know what you mean about your daughter, the most powerful motivator in the world! My kids were grown and although now I realize they still need me, at the time I believed the cheater when he said, “They’ll be fine.” I was so dumb.

        One thing I always knew–a thought that sustained me through many, many dark days–was that the pain would be temporary. As dense as I was, I did have total confidence that “time heals all wounds.” It does! You and your daughter will have a joyful, happy, self-sufficient, bozo-free life together, and because of your strength and powers of perception, that day will come much sooner to you than it did for me.

        You are a strong woman and a great mother! Lots of love back at ya!

  • Texas, though it may not feel like it now, you are rocking it! Everything that I did wrong, you got right! And though you probably can’t appreciate it today, take it from me (and many others in the CN) just how much additional pain those smart decisions will save you in the end.

    If you can, go Zero Contact as much as possible. Please don’t let your STBX bother/intimidate you with phone calls, text messages, emails or unannounced visits to your home; have all communication go through your attorney. You won’t regret that decision either!

  • I love that everybody here is so caring when we fall off the wagon.
    “Did you fall for a reconciliation attempt? It’s okay if you did”.
    Yep. Chumpnation is gonna scream like hell that you shouldn’t, then hug the shit out of you when you go back and it bites you in the ass and you end up right here where you belong.
    The day will come where you just don’t care and you see how pathetic they are. My car is still registered to my ex. I apparently ran a toll in Florida and he got the letter. Do you know this dude tried to shake me down for $2.40???
    I sent it to him in pennies, because I have zero fucks to give .
    The day will come where you see him or his name shows up on your phone and you’ll just be like ” ugh!!! Wtf does he want?”

      • Texas and others should know that if one sticks with the teachings of Chump Nation that one day soon that sick, shaky feeling we get when we have to see or speak to the ex will be replaced with an annoyed eye roll……and they will hopefully remain an EX.
        It was a beautiful moment. I know I picked the right atty if he’s after $2.40!

    • The moonlocks/SoulMate Schmoopies is so damn funny. One of my favorites is The Big Apology–I hope this link works! This goes along with WTF does he want when you are close to ‘meh’.

      • This was so great and I never saw it before. So helpful to see and laugh about a horrible experience most of us share. Thank you for the link.

      • I’m having a tough day today so perusing Chump Lady archives. What a gift to find this, thank you, thank you MJB.

  • Texas, good people, or “normal neurotic” folks, question ourselves. It’s what allows us to grow, our capacity to reflect on our actions and feel shame and guilt. I can completely assure you that your STBX feels no such things. He’s now abandoned 3 sets of women and children, and is probably currently working on his fourth. I think what you did is amazing, it was swift and instinctual, but like all chumps, we question those things. Questioning is okay. Just don’t get lost there.

    The behavior of these people only makes sense when you start to get that the principal that governs their life is CAKE, as CL says. It’s keeping the upper hand and you in the dark; an unfair advantage is his religion. It’s living off women, not learning from their mistakes, and impregnating women when they can barely afford their own child support (to hell with the notion that this results in creating more human lives). They want what they want, when they want it, and they want it now. They are impulsive, do not stick with things, and essentially live life as grown dangerous children. They have completely different world views than we do. A real adult does not stick his wife with his child support bills. A real adult does not have children materialize out of the blue. A real adult finishes what he starts instead of layering one life upon another.

    So sorry for what you’re going through, we’ve all been there. Keep coming for support!

    • K-

      Wow, your post is very insightful. Have you met my ex? Or are there just so many rotten duplicates of him roaming the world that you are able to describe him perfectly? You are absolutely right…completely impulsive and immature. And he did abandon three sets of women. He completely mislead me about his first wife. I have since learned the truth. He has a pattern and he will continue to do this as long as he has someone who will believe his lies. Sadly, he is a decent looking man, and many women are so desperate for a man that they will believe anything. I appreciate the words and encouragement. I will do that!

      • Yes, he’ll continue to lie and cheat for as long as possible. Funny thing though, most cheaters being losers in all aspects of life, tend to age quickly and they don’t age well.

  • CL is correct. You can’t understand a sociopath because you aren’t one!

    I call my EX & others like him — Pod People. Their facades are human, but their wiring is not the same as ours. Some have pathetically low emotional intelligence. Some just didn’t have the empathy chip installed.

    They are happy with you — until they aren’t. Something changes for them — like you are no longer useful to them (my case). But the Pod People are so good at being pretend humans, you likely won’t even know that something has changed. They are masters at manipulation, compartmentalization and planning. For some, when their next plan (someone else) is ready, they move on and you are officially/publicly discarded. Others keep their home base (you) but manage their other worlds around it. In this case, you were definitely discarded in their mind. They diligently develop a fan base of supporters to rationalize their behavior (i.e., everyone’s doing it & I deserve a hot girlfriend too).

    I have the benefit of time to be reflective. Eventually, you will as well. I found that therapy helped when I was really struggling. — Until you get there, surround yourself with good, healthy people. Practice self care (even if it is walking for 30 minutes a day and eating 3 meals a day). Grieve. There is tons of good advice here.

    • Moving Forward

      I appreciate your wise words. Yes, I definitely agree that my ex had already checked out. But he didn’t want to leave me because he liked the lifestyle I kept him in financially. If I wouldn’t have caught him, we would still be going through the motions and I would still be baffled trying to figure out what his problem was. Even though it was devastating, I am so thankful I found out. His mistress is 4 months pregnant and I just can’t imagine how much worse of a situation it would be if that child was born and I still had no idea. You are right, though.. They are pod people. They can emulate emotion, but feel nothing. For us normal people, it is a very scary thought. I am actually seeing a counselor weekly and I have really enjoyed it. Creating my new normal with my daughter is also helping. She is the light of my life. I can’t hate him because he gave me her- that being said, I can take him for everything he’s got 🙂

      • I’m so glad he wasn’t smart enough to force himself back into your house. Exasshole ‘knew his rights’ and tortured me by moving back into the ‘marital home’. You are resilient and strong, the therapist is a great help. It’s good you don’t hate him, hate is hard to bear. Jedi hugs!

  • Totally agree with NC NC NC!!!wish I had taken my own advice earlier today .stbxh sent solicitors letter saying wanted divorce and finances done as fast as possible, cut me to the core (im one of the idiots that was still looking for text every two minutes saying he had made stupid mistake and he still loved me!!), so I rang him to ask why he had to be so hurtful about it, duh!!!wish I hadn’t and stayed NC because instead he told me he is very happy with OW and that he is in love and they are going away to Majorca in August, but she wont let him move in officially until we are divorced because she doesn’t want people to think bad of her!!! He then aske if I wanted him to come over and cut the lawns!!!told me he still loved me and that he is hurting too and could he phone me next week cos he needed to stay friends with me, Oh and by the way could you try and get middle son to talk to me. By the time he had finished messing with me head again I was in the same state emotionally as dday, although after coming onto CN I am calming down and getting ready to do battle, because it appears that the car repair garage that we have been working together to build for the last 21 years ( I worked elsewhere to support family whilst business was being built up) and has just in the last three years been paying us back a very good lifestyle is not doing very well all of a sudden …allegedly ,,mmmmm

  • I think no matter how mighty or quickly we remove cheater from our personal space, it is human nature for chumps to wonder about why and what happened during and once the dust settles.

    From my readings I find many cheaters are either outright covert narcs, or at least during the affair abandonment limerance show the traits of one. Coverts process no deep emotional bonds, they
    really dump and run.
    If I posted this before, I apologize, but there are reasons that you will never get the “why” out of a covert chump:
    1. They have to give up a certain amount of control. Not likely. Deception and control are very addictive to weaklings.
    2. They would have to face and tell the truth.
    3. They have no empathy for you. They probably don’t have real empathy for anyone but themselves. They can’t use an emotion they do not possess.
    4. To apologize, they would have to accept responsibility for their actions.
    5. They have moved on. They are only concerned with current kibble dispenser.
    6. This is the kicker. They get a smug sense of satisfaction out of chumps pain. They do things intentionally to heighten the sense of loss of relationship. Many times why they circle back to check on and make sure chump is miserable without them.

  • “Why would he leave our really wonderful home, life, and daughter to shack up?”

    He actually did know he had a good life, which is why he didn’t leave. If you’re asking why he risked losing it all, it’s because he thought if he schemed well enough, he wouldn’t lose it all.

  • TX, I am so proud of you for getting out and fast. Those questions with no good answers? Plenty of time to ponder those AFTER one escapes. I spent a good two years in limbo while I tried to come up with the answers. And when I identified answers I didn’t like … I tried some more. Sigh. It is always much, much better to get away from the crazy and disorder. Good for you and I hope you now find peace if not answers.

  • How did I not know?
    Good question. And very good answer: because we are not sociopaths.

    In my case, my X told me right at the beginning of our relationship that he is a sociopath. He was bragging he passed a test for psychopaths. How did I not hear it, how did I not get it?
    Sometimes we have the info, we just choose to ignore it. Only God know why.
    But let me tell you something: look at your daughter. She is the answer to all the WHYs. Stars aligned for her to come into this world, so of course you closed your eyes to a few red flags.
    I felt as baffled as you to find out that after a 10 years relationship, my husband was living a double life. I left all that crazy behind. It feels like it was another life. And whenever I’m asking what was the point of all that, I see my son. That’s WHY.

    • Enraged

      You are SO RIGHT. As I discuss and try not to overanalyze my situation, I realize that my daughter would not be here if certain circumstances in our relationship did not occur. I am very old fashioned, and I would never have just opted to have a child without being married. That is just how I am. My STBX had to really mind f*ck me and lure me in. He was also begging me for a child right after our marriage. It seems strange at first, but it really does make a lot of sense. Stars did align. Thank you for pointing that out! You are so right..your son is why. Things truly do happen for a reason. I am glad you have some peace and clarity.

  • I loved and dreamed of a family and home. All 3 of my children ended up with autism. I tried to despite several D Days to keep it all together. Driving past it looked like a wonderful family but I was carrying it all. He was having a nice life style I had paid for. Nice cars and overseas trips. He was smug and it was like he was tolerating me. I put up with it for the kids. With a forensic audit I found out he had been tucking money away out of the family trust for TEN years. I nearly ended up homeless in the end. Now I’m on my own supporting all three adult children. My boy can not even dress himself. Not the older age I was expecting. He just never gave a shit, but hung around as long as he could grabbing as much money as he could. wish I had found Chump Nation 18 years earlier. I did leave him then but went back as I had a small child and no family and nowhere to go. Also did not want to be a single mum or look a failure. Biggest mistake of my life. Now I’m old and tired and a single mum with a hell of a lot less money. talk about live and learn. I can sure spot a Narc now when I come across one. At 53 I still have some years and they are going to be good and happy ones enjoying time with the kids. No contact works. wishing you all meh

  • 20 years to the day,
    You are one of the strongest Mothers I know.
    I am stuck trying to finds word to express your awesomeness.
    You are mighty, sweet Lady!

  • Relieved in Texas,

    I’m sorry you’re in such pain from your situation, but compared to most chumps you did great handling it!

    Sure, this will hurt like hell for as long as it hurts like hell, but when you get to Tuesday you will be so friggin amazed and how much better life is than before with the cheater. You probably won’t even be able to remember what it felt like to be with your cheater.

    To this day I don’t understand how cheaters are what they are. After my own cheater, in reading thousands of stories on this site, I still can’t figure out how they come to be what they are. It’s like some alien species programs all of them with the same script and actions.

    Good luck, you’ll be fine!

    • Rick

      Thank you for your kind words! It is getting better every day. I agree completely…cheaters are a species of people that are impossible to understand. Most of them are so narcissistic they can’t even understand or think of feeling anything for anyone but themselves. It is like they are those animals that decide one day to shed their cocoon and show who they really are. But why they did this, no one really knows. That’s how I feel about my ex. He really had me fooled and my entire family/friends. Hope you are enjoying life cheater free!

  • Do you really wish he is uninvolved with the kid? I say that sometimes sort of as a joke bc I am physically bound to this small town bc of my ex. Oh and because he sucks. But I don’t actually believe my kids would be better off without him. However, my cheating scumball ex does pull his weight and is a decent father. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised… he had me fooled that he was a good person for 14 years. And I do believe the only thing he could love almost as much as himself is his own genetic material ?

    I guess it depends on the situation, but in general I think both parents being involved is better for the children, even if it’s more of a pain in the ass for the chump.

    • That is more or less where I am. STBX is trying to be a better Dad and I am letting him because I think it is better for the kids.

    • Another Erica

      I can appreciate your experience, but my ex is just not a good father. His track record alone is proof of that. He has four children from three different women. He abandoned his first wife much in the same way he did me, and now his children are teenagers and totally resent him. He is a father when it is convenient for him. I just have an eerie feeling he will ride off into the sunset with his new gf and their child and I don’t want my daughter to be affected by that if she knows him. If he gets his life together one day and does right by my daughter, i won’t keep him away. But that’s a big IF.

  • Divorce final 1.5 years ago and DDay 1.75 years ago. Yes, it was rather horrible. I still feel very sad about it sometimes. But I’ve still got my daughter.

    I am recovered now, but forever changed.

    It takes time, acceptance and an ocean of brutal tears.

    Why did he leave a happy life? In search of greener grass and the fountain of youth hidden deep inside 20-something magic pussy. Too bad 20-something hotties aren’t terribly interested in middle aged men with no money.

    I’m living a happy cheater free life. It’s hard sometimes but worth it.

    Two tears in a bucket, motherfuckit.

  • I was given this by my boss’s wife when satan lost his mind and decided beating on me was a the next new behavior in his bag of new tricks 🙁 It helped me see the reality behind the mask he’d worn for decades…

    I just shared it with a few other Chumps and thought it might serve all of us as well.

    My boss’s wife teaches the law to area peace officers. My boss had apparently shared tapes of satan’s last 4 visits to my office (lots of paper money go through our offices so there are lots of cameras everywhere)…

    I may have shared it years ago? If so, please forgive the repeat.

    …put a lot of questions to bed for me…

  • You are welcome Peacekeeper 🙂

    It’s flippin eye opening isn’t it. I will forever be grateful to her for showing me what I was dealing with. I’m glad it helped you too.

  • Texas, You are mighty and mighty wonderful. Your story leaves me so encouraged. I stayed with my XH for years after the DDay doing the pick me dance. You saw it right away and took the appropriate Fuck you steps. You didn’t dance. You walked. What if you are the pointed end of the spear of a new thought pattern emerging in younger women. What if the understanding of narcissist and disordered, and how women are moving into the ‘take-no-shit’ era of social and feminist evolution is changing the way we deal with cheaters. What you did was amazing and I hope that CN philosopy is spreading so that all of our younger sisters, ‘take-no-shit’ and walk the minute they get a whiff of cheating. You are mighty and I will sleep better tonight that you stood your ground and kicked his shit eating, assoholic abusive self out of your life. Good on you.

  • Yes, nice going, kicking his ass out.
    These folks are far from normal and you can go crazy trying to understand why they do the stuff they do. But, trust that this disorder was in place well before you were on the scene.
    So many of these folks are expert at wearing a mask during courtship. It is no reflection on you that you trusted him. I did the same in both marriages.

  • The problem is your wife can never trust you again. She thought you were faithful when she was pregnant when really you were lying and cheating and most of us chumped also experienced emotional and financial abuse too. So maybe you have reformed and that is good for your next relationship but your wife has no reason to believe that you would not fool her again when someone shiny comes along. It’s unfortunate but some things cannot be undone.

    • Please don’t give the scum a decent reply.He should have known that this site would not tolerate any sort of bullshit from a cheater even a self proclaimed reformed type.The fact he dared to come here even questioning this site contents and chumps tendencies to cherry pick???
      Who is he to even questionned us???
      When even this creature couldn’t even comprehending his own behavior???
      ARNOLD are you still here?
      I would like you to hear what this creature has to say…

  • An open content for all??
    No not for a cheater…
    Be prepared to hear the worse judgement that will come from us all!!!!

  • Language that invites and foster further tension?
    Oh my I actually like the way this creature puts it.Our language actually provoked more tension….Basically he screwed up but we’re the one who actually trying to worsening his relationship.

  • This was actually very good, right up until the blameshifting and gaslighting started.

    OhBoy–I actually think I know who you are. You’re describing someone I know intimately and I have a feeling that either you are this person or someone who knows you is writing this for you.

    Know why I feel this way? Because all of you Cheaters behave in the same textbook way. You probably are NOT anyone I know—but you all read from the same Cheater handbook.

    See, I’ve heard this very same story before. So has everyone here.

    Your use of quotation marks is very revealing. It’s condescending and insulting. You admit that you’re not a “nice guy” and go on to say that you hope your estranged wife and daughter heal from what you did.

    But you were outed publicly. Clearly, you did not out yourself. You continued to enjoy cheating and lying and theft and endangering your wife’s health—until someone outed you. NOW you are embarrassed “for her”.

    No, you would have continued until the day you died, but someone fucked up your plan. You would gleefully have continued eating cake at your long suffering wife’s expense. You didn’t admit to anything—someone FORCED you to.

    And even then, OhBoy–did you come clean completely and tell the truth? Are you telling her the truth now? And even if you are—who do you think you are to demand that she or anyone else believe you or trust you?

    Why? Because Narcopaths all think alike. Well, I am sorry NOW—so you all have to forgive and forget. I’m trying HARD. I work TWO JOBS (ask any Chump here how many jobs they’ve had to hold in order to make up for the damage that cheaters do financially).

    “I could easily press for 50/50 custody”. And THERE is where your bullshit shines through. Really? You’re being magnanimous! OH WOE! Your meanie wife forces you to accommodate her schedule in order to see your daughter. Oh sorry….your “precious” daughter.

    You were thinking of your “precious” daughter when you were fucking your whores, right? How about those “emotional” affairs—but you’re BROKEN. Again with the blameshifting. It’s not your fault. You’re broken.

    Bullshit, OhBoy. Just utter bullshit. There is no cherry picking—and it’s nice that you end your essay with insulting your wife’s intelligence by saying that she “cherry picks” information and acts on that instead of your ACTUAL BEHAVIOR.

    I applaud your wife, whoever she is. If she doesn’t give you her address? KUDOS! That is the first step for her to clear her life of the SHIT that you submerged her and your “precious daughter” into with your “brokenness”.

    You’re not broken, OhBoy. You’re here wanting to find out what words to say, what actions to mimic—in order to “tamp your estranged wife’s anger down” towards you and get back into the sweet spot.

    I hope you do read here every day. I really do. Because what you’ll see here is something that you simply cannot mimic. True loyalty, honesty and integrity. These people aren’t acting. They’re not pretending. They don’t need to try to “dialogue” with CHEATERS in order to fully understand WHY they are good people.

    They just are good people. Being good isn’t difficult. Well, except to Cheating Lying Assholes who have to come onto a site for people who are trying to recover from Cheating Lying Assholes.

    Only a sociopath would do something like this. Inject themselves into the safe space of people who are getting past people like you.

    Respect for boundaries? Well, practice what you preach asshole. Respect that you are a lying scumbag and not welcome here.

  • >