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Dear Chump Lady, Where’s the Karma?

Dear Chump Lady,

Well as the song goes, ‘Yesterday it was my birthday, I hung one more year on the line.’

But this year was the first birthday since my husband of 21 years announced, in early July, that he was ‘in love’ with somebody else, and was leaving me and our 17-year-old son.

He’s ‘so so sorry’ and ‘can’t understand how he got here,’ apparently. So that’s OK then.

And as people have been finding out, life for me has been pretty awful for the last five years. (His dad died, and he gave up work, has not bought a penny into the house since, has been in a self-pitying spiral, and he and his whole family relied on me for all their emotional support, as well as organising the funeral, tax returns, registering the death, etc etc, and filing tax returns every year since for his mother.)

At points during these last five years, I have been very close to jacking it all in myself. It was 100% give from me, whilst I got zero in return. By Christmas 2013 I was on anti-depressants. He even acknowledged that he was responsible for driving me into a state of depression and anxiety.

But I’m quite a traditional, old fashioned sort. Or just stupid I guess. So I stuck it out. Because I made vows which said ‘for better for worse’, and I knew it couldn’t get much worse, but convinced myself that he couldn’t help it, and that eventually it would all turn around and we would have a good life again. I’m not a quitter, I don’t give up on years of marriage just because things are a bit rubbish. Plus, we have our son, my shining light, a child I never thought I would have who I went through much emotional and physical distress to get. I owed it to him to keep working at the marriage and ensure that he didn’t come from a broken home.

But now this. And to compound matters, husband has moved in with his mother, six doors away from me, whilst the other woman lives at the top of my road. I cannot leave my house without risking seeing either, or both of them, or her mother who also lives in the village. It’s a small, gossipy place, and all eyes are on me, pitying the poor woman who has been dumped. What a lovely feeling that is.

But hey, I have to sell the house and move to something smaller anyway. And I have to find a new, better paid job. A virtually impossible task, when prospective employers find out I’m 52. Plus of course I will be busy sorting the house ready for the move, doing all the paperwork, and desperately trying to make ends meet.

I discovered that he has taken this woman away for the weekend. I can’t remember the last time he did that for me.

And that’s my question I guess. How long does it take for this rage to subside? Having realised that I have been married to someone with NPD (I’m convinced) it is not that I want him back or wish we could sort things out. I know, actually, that I’m better off without. BUT, why am I suffering so badly, in so much emotional pain, with so much worry and uncertainty heaped upon me, and yet him….he’s just fine! Living for free with Mummy dearest, still having all his food served up to him, his clothes washed and ironed and probably having his a*se wiped too for all I know. Then he goes round to the woman’s house, to get his ego fed, and of course get his ‘oats’ as we say here in the UK.

Where’s the Karma? Where’s the justice? Why am I so full of rage that I really don’t know what to do with myself, scared to realise what I might be capable of? How do I last the course?

Elle

Dear Elle,

Here’s the thing with idiots — they don’t suffer. Well, not in front of you anyway, and not in any convincing manner. They’re idiots. They don’t feel anything all that deeply. Joy, sorrow, karma. It could rain firing coals on your idiot’s head and he’d tell you he’s enjoying a hot stone massage sent from heaven.

It’s all impression management with the disordered.

So that’s part of why his life seems so easy breezy. Because he doesn’t feel that deeply, he disconnects pretty easily. The investment was shallower than you ever imagined. (Excruciating to realize, I know.) And because he doesn’t feel joy that much either, karma can show up with a shit sandwich and it’s not that much different to his palate than a steak sandwich. (Which explains the down grade affair partner phenomenon as well.)

The most important thing to a narcissist is kibbles. And extracting value from other people so they don’t have to work too hard. Everything else is whatevers. Although they’ll work hard to convince you everything is Fabulous with them. (Keeps ’em in kibbles. Don’t you want to hang with Mr. Fabulous? Don’t you want what he’s got? Come closer so I can lay some sparkles on you…)

Your idiot is a parasite. He has adapted his lifestyle over many decades to bleed people and he is alarmingly good at it. He quit his job and bled you for awhile, now he’s moved over to his mum’s house. The other woman will get her turn too. Sure, he took her on a trip. That’s just salting the mines, as they say. Sprinkling a little gold dust on the mine to convince an investor that the whole mine is gold. Bernie Madoff gave a great return on the investment dollar… for awhile.

The good news is you’re free of a parasite. That’s GOOD NEWS. Doesn’t feel like it right now, right now you’re choking on the injustice and the hard work ahead, but gloria hallelujah you’re narcissist free!

All this man was going to do is drain you. Financially, emotionally, physically. Now you get your life back and you’re free to rebuild. All that energy you were throwing at him is now yours to invest in yourself. So take it back and don’t look back.

Talk to a lawyer. If he’s spending marital assets on his affair you can ask for that back in the divorce. Get the best possible settlement off him. If he’s desperate to be with his soul mate, use that as leverage in the divorce. Work this shit to your advantage if at all possible.

Is it unfair that you have to lose half your assets and rebuild your life? Yes it is unfair. Getting cancer and losing your hair is also unfair. Misfortune has costs. You’ve lived 21 years with cancer and now you’re cancer free. You get your life back. It’s a gift. USE that gift.

People hire kickass 52-year-olds every day. Please don’t give up before you’ve begun. You don’t know how life will reconstitute itself. You just take it on faith and work your ass off. But guess what? You’re GREAT at working your ass off because you’ve been doing it for him for years. Now do it for yourself. That pays rewards, unlike investing in a narcissist.

This column ran previously. Art work credit is me, from my book, Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life — and is copyrighted.

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    • Dude, I respectfully disagree. Karma is real, it just often assumes an appearance we did not anticipate. In my case, karma exists in this continied “success” of my cheating ex-wife’s marriage to one of her affair partners. Would it be satisfying to watch that marriage detonate from the cheating that’s certainly occurring? Of course. But from personal experience I know that any marriage involving my ex is a hell thats darker and more sulpherous than any revenge my imagination could devise.

      • Agree. My subtle but real revenge plan has always been to let them enjoy the fullness of a relationship with each other. Since I know from harsh experience what that is like from the insider’s perspective, I think cosmic balance has been achieved.

      • It’s a nice fantasy to think of karma bashing its hammer down on your cheater. And the real answer is we get some satisfaction knowing they have to live with their “disordered” selves to the end. I had someone tell me basically to question my karma… that’s why I deserved to get cheated on, and be ruined financially, psychologically and emotionally. It was something from a past life catching up with me, paying me back for some misdeed. Ouch. I guess poor CL can retire now, since the answer to every question will be “it’s your karma dummy!” Or, start a column completely dedicated to all the “Switzerlands” in your life!

        • Yes. This. If karma was real, what did us Chumps do to deserve it all? Nothing. It’s not karma that eventually gets cheaters (if at all), it’s their shitty personalities and bad choices coming that lead them down that path.

          Don’t waste our time hoping for bad karma on our cheating exes, spend our energies on making ourselves happy.

      • This may be true, Nomar, but , at least in both my cheating XW’s cases, they never let on. But, I am pretty sure their abusiveness and NPD did not just cease when I left.

        • The X brought on his own Karma. Not to make light of this subject but, during all his lying and cheating and ducking around in secrecy, his double life finally caught up with him after 3 years of hiding it. He was under so much stress that it really showed up physically with him. He was tired all day long (probably from texting 1/2 the night). His business started to financially decline (probably due to being so preoccupied with this slut). He quit shaving, let his hair grow like Einsteins and he got fat without working out. However, he cleaned up pretty well when he went on a ‘business’ trip.

          The exact day the divorce became final, he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer and had to have it removed. I wonder how long that schmoopie slut stuck around, being 10 yrs younger.

    • Not true in my experience. I’ve seen it happen too many times, and it’s an awesome thing. What comes is more shocking and severe than what they did to you.
      That said, I’m hoping it comes quickly for my stbxh. It’s also called justice, or God is not to be mocked.

    • When we talk about “karma” here, I think we are referring to the idea that our actions in the present create the future. The problem is confusing that idea with “justice,” or the idea that people who do terrible things don’t get to live “happily ever after.”

      For example: Cheaters are ways going to live with the consequences of cheating, breaking up or getting divorced, etc. Think how a normal person suffers during divorce–even an amicable one. Think how sad we feel when a relationship that has survived 10 or 20 or 30 years end. When a home and a life is taken apart, item by item. When a favorite restaurant or movie theater or vacation spot is inhabited by ghosts of the past life. And that’s not talking about the financial impact or general life disruption that normal people experience. As CL says, though, the emotional shallowness and need for kibbles allow cheaters to seemingly walk through life unscathed. That, however, doesn’t mean they have not experienced consequences for their actions. Imagine someone holding a big diamond throws the stone into the sea because he sees the diamond as having no value. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t thrown something valuable away. That means he isn’t smart enough or wise enough to know what he threw away. He had something precious that he will never get back. For cheaters, the life they could have had (the one where the kids and grandkids are all gathered around the Christmas tree or at the beach cottage in the summer or at granddaughter’s wedding) is lost forever. That’s karma.

      Now “justice” would be that cheaters’ choices would give them a miserable life–not enough money, a nasty place to live, awareness that Schmoopie is a serious downgrade, a loss of reputation. But life doesn’t dole out goodies to people based on how good they are in this life, which explains why there are very rich people who are horrible sociopaths and why there are very poor people who are horrible sociopaths. What good is a great house, fancy cars, and lots of money if you are an endless black hole sucking in kibbles and life energy from others? I wouldn’t trade positions with any of these weasels.

      • @LovedaJackass – I’m not sure you will see this reply as its days later BUT….. wow to the throwing a diamond in the sea. Thanks for that

    • Hi I’m new here and I just want to reply to Elle in the U.K. Elle I can not agree more with our Brilliant founder here . Hallelujah you are Narcissist FREE ! I have a similar situation. My boyfriend of 4 years ( lived in 2 years ) has recently cheated on me . We recently moved to a beautiful new building I have found and live so much and he cheated on me with a much younger twat that has a sugar daddy and literally moved in with her . Like WOW !!! I am in my very early 40’s successful, attractive and very sociable. As soon as I found out about this I have BLOCKED his ass . I see his car here and yes I’m hurt and I am in pain but I’m soooo grateful for this twat . He has been trying to get me pregnant for almost a year now . Where is his deep love , his declarations of ” in the love of his life ?” You know what ? Her another job of you have to and go spent your money on you !! Work out , get a facial , but some makeup new clothes . The best form of revenge is to live a good life ! I love what Tracy says about affair partners ” they are dim and available ” it’s true . What I hate most in this world is roaches . Ugh they give me the creeps . Especially those huge palmetto bugs . So when I get sad or my pain is surfacing ( and we only broke up 6 weeks ago so it’s there trust me ) I imagine him as a roach . I get SO grossed out by this image . And I’m just RELIEVED it is GONE . He can be someone else’s roach . Frank Sinatra said best revenge ? Go live a wonderful life ! Elle do NOTLet this fucktard ( LOVE this word ) get you down ! I don’t care if your 90!!! There are amazing people out there ! Join a fitness class , look up meet ups , go on hikes but move and go !! There is a time to mourn and a time to laugh…. I do them simultaneously. My grandmother once said too much of one thing is never good . She was the wisest person I have ever met and I met quite a few ! Cry but also laugh ! You have to face the pAin to heal but I think Tracy said pain shouldn’t be a welcomed guest ! I think God loved you too much Elle . He spared you and had much bigger and better plans for you . This is a much longer relationship I get it but in the end you are ONLY 52 ! That is Young ! Go be a beautiful 52 year old inside and out ! And allow the man you are meant to spend your life with come along ! Look for someone with a job . Preferably doesn’t live with mom . Ask has he ever cheated ? Do some detective work before you get serious again ! And thank God for books that tell you to leave a cheater get a life ” seriously. I would rather be alone and happy with myself and my life than share my space and time and money with a ROACH. I promise if you work on you daily you won’t even care . I hate that he is here in my buildings but I won’t move it change my life . He will go . And if he doesn’t than I guess my biggest problem is how to avoid the roach and feel liberated it no longer corns inside my home 🙂 I know I sound very brave . I’m not . I’m hurt and I cry too ! But most days I try to be happy and grateful for all the wonderful things ( like my place that I love so much and my friends and job and family ) he got fired , had zero friends and lost the most valuable thing he will ever have – ME. Yes I am valuable . I’m loyal , smart and caring chump ! So he can live his life with his prostitute now all he wants . This chump lady ain’t getting chumped by him for another second . Keep your chin up ! He is a looser that lived with his mom and is dating a dim littlle insignificant person . Go live your life ! Move out ! Or dont . I think it will be great when you walk around all glamorous and cute 🙂 laugh out loud ! And never let him see your tears – no more kibble s for you !!! Haven’t you given enough to the fucktard ??? Live for yourself and your family. He exited that privilege and he should walk with his head down now you ! He did Wrong not you ! Don’t let his shame engulf you Elle !!!! You walk with your head high !

    • Hi I am new here but I want to reply to Elle . Elle I know how you are feeling . My boyfriend of four years has recently cheated on me with a much younger girl ( she’s 24 ) that lives in our building. We lived together for two years and he practically moved on over to her place . This was 6 weeks ago. Yes I’m still hurt . Yes it is hard and I cringe at the thought of seeing him , her , them. At the same time Elle I am soooo relieved he is GONE. Tracy’s books and many others have helped me and also I immediately went Into action working out and training . If you can’t afford it get a second job and do it ! The best form of revenge is to invest in you . I’ll tell you what else helps me . I HATE roaches . Especially the big palmetto bugs ugh they are sooo gross . So I imagine he is a roach . I imagine his little head with his little character and cheating lying POS inside a big roach . It helps . Imagination and creativity is quite amazing . I know it hurts Elle . I only lost 4 years and I’m mad mad mad !!! But think of it you don’t have to spend the rest of your life with this loser ! He lives with his Mom !! His girlfriend is no big prize either !! You know how ” I ” feel about the girl my ex cheated on me with ? I am GRATEFUL for her !! I could have married him , had his children ! He is soooo good with words ! Until five weeks ago I was the love of his life and his heart ! Now I was discarded of as if I have never existed ! You o ow what I did the DDay ? I blocked his ass ! I cried and writhed in pain but I was NOT going to let him see that , hear that. I texted him of my discovery and blocked him . I haven’t spoken to him since . Nor do I ever want to . Sure I thought I might have to move but why ?? It’s MY place . The lease is in my name . I did nothing wrong . He is ashamed and hides and sneaks in and out but I see his car . But I go to resident events , I go to the gym and yes I am oh so afraid but I refuse to give up my new home , my new friends and everyone is so nice ! Tracy I think God loves you . ( that’s what ” I ” think no one had to agre ) He must see your great heart and He wants you to have the best . And he is not he best for you . You hold your head high . You are not the sad lady left by her man you are the victorious lady who got rid of Roach . He is someone else’s problem now . Elle you have to get strong and you have to find the good in all of this . I know it’s hard . But you can do it ! Rhe ficktard isn’t worth it ! You can move forward. You can Build a new life . Meet good and kind people . Radiate love in the universe and the universe will love you back !

  • I don’t understand karma at all. My bigwig attorney ex of nearly twenty years didn’t skip a beat after ditching me and our three kids. Married an underling from his job, bought a vacation home, had another child, and moved one block away from me in our small town (to “make it easier for our kids to go back and forth”…oh please, do you have any idea how horrible that is for all of us??). Meanwhile, I had to deal with the wreckage. He now appears happy, healthy and just fine…making new friends; life is a party for him. Kids get him for who he is, but that has no impact on him. He doesn’t care. He just wants to check the box that he had dinner with them on his nights and planned an Uncle Dad event during his weekends. I just don’t get the karma.

    • Well, often karma takes the form of cheaters living with themselves, with the knowledge of what they did.You can’t like yourself too much if you do this kind of shit, if you need someone new to validate you, if you leave the kids and your marriage of 20 years without a thought. Living with yourself for people like that is punishment enough.

      • So sorry Em – i’m with you – where’s the karma? They shit on us, their family, our lives and yes its better to be away from that mess, BUT – he gets away with it. And we need to move on, because we have to. Doesn’t really seem right

        • Rule of threer here too. Yep it sucks that we have to move on out of the glamour our exes wove.

          It hurt like hell, still does some days, and raising your kid alone is a trial. He fucking hates me, I am 99% Meh, but the good karma in it for me has been three fold:

          I have achieved sovereignty over myself- no more glamours. I rule me, now and always. Still a chump, still alone. Never better. Mr Fab still clings like a tick to his various feeders.

          Memories. That killer performance at the school recital, the collection of prizes, even all the mean girls middle school crap are the memories that will sustain me in my old age. He’ll have another martini.

          I was REAL. I am REAL. I am mighty. I am battle tempered. I am kind. I need not worry about karma, for him, or justice, for me: what I gave out I am getting back: a life.

          B.B.,
          Mehphista

          • Mehphista,
            I love your post!
            YOU rock!
            I believe in kindness, that will save you!
            ❤️
            My wise Mom always said, “What goes around, comes around”! I think that is karma,
            For you it is kind karma,. Some days it can make you feel mighty!
            (Just how I see it)

            • Of course I do NOT mean “kindness” toward the cheater,
              Oh NO, a different kind of karma for him, real special karma!
              (Wink wink nod!)

              • Would that be kindness of the laterally inserted desert succulent mentioned abov?

                A magus always reminded me to Bless ‘Em on their Journey. (Elsewhere). A bit like the Souther ‘Bless your heart’.

                Love to ALL Chumps
                Meh

  • I believe Karma is a thing. But to me, like happiness, it’s something within each of us. Something in life may trigger the satisfaction of justice being served and no one will ever know but you. To me, that’s it. Also, your own good Karma has already happened, you just might not know it yet. It takes patience.

    • I do believe in Karma & wondered what could I have possibly done to deserve the hell cheater ex put me & my son through…….?
      Well, the Karma bus came very recently when my ex, Mr. Runswithhookers died unexpectedly.

      Although he left us nothing financially, there is finally peace & quiet in my house. I can be the fun, loving mom I always wanted to be. No more yelling, screaming, and walking on eggshells.
      IT.IS.AMAZING

      I did have a minor meh setback when the contents of his work office were delivered to my home-Viagra prescriptions (not used with me), a laptop I never knew about, tons of porn DVDs complete with ratings written on them of “good” “bad” etc, changes of clothes, full toiletry set, and someone’s house key with hearts all over it. I was angry at first but then I felt like it was my validation for what a POS he really was & it was proof of his double life that he had lead for years while he was with me. His brothers & sisters now know the truth and have been fantastic to me. They are supporting my son & I 100% on our new life.

      Thanks to CL & CN-I got rid of the laptop without even opening it up & all of ex’s other things. I don’t feel guilty-I feel free.

      • Hot damn great story Current Chump! What a validation of your decision to get out, and what a sorry commentary of his existence.

      • Wow Current Chump that’s an incredible story. An amazing way to have a free life without your loser.

        I’m new here but already getting such help from CN. Well justice certainly happened to my NP though like CL states, in best description I’ve ever read, whether it truly registers with him I’m not sure.

        Although we were only together 5 years (and it seems he’d also led a double life with multiple casual OW with his ex of 25 years I knew nothing about) we built quite a nice life. Course that wasn’t enough and he continued a double life seeking out cheap, vulgar uneducated OW and visiting massage parlours spending a small fortune. Best justice Lady Karma dealt to him was serious case of erectile dysfunction even at 45 years of age when I met him. Course I was understanding, loving and supportive despite his refusal to seek help or take Viagra (aww…it might give him a headache 😊).

        Pre D-day
        Lived in beautiful detached house
        Two Mercedes
        Business with 6 figure profit
        Classy and sexually adventurous wife (me 😊)
        Relationship (of sorts) with his 3 children from previous relationship)
        Serious case of erectile dysfunction 😩

        Post D-day & fast forward 8 years
        Bankrupt & soon to be divorced from said classy wife
        Lives in rented, shabby house
        Lost business
        Works job paying minimum wage
        Cycles everywhere as can’t afford to run a car
        No one to call Chump
        Children with ex want nothing to do with him
        Even more serious erectile dysfunction 😊😊😊

        Who says there’s no justice!!!

  • I am still waiting for Karma for my ex and “not my girlfriend”. It has been 8 years. As far as him and OW now wife, go on and leave me alone.

    I am waiting for Karma to really hit him because I not only lost him (but not a big loss), he and OW have turned my teenage children against me. I am waiting for the Karma for that. I have been waiting for almost a year and they have not seen his true self or they are afraid of him also. He buys them whatever they want while I pay child support to HIM because he is a master of hiding money.

    Yes, it is a big old shit sandwich.

    • Hang in there. Keep being the sane parent. Keep giving them UNCONDITIONAL Love, and the support and encouragement that Children really need. Teenagers especially do not express their true feelings well…because well, it’s not cool. But I recently noticed by 15 year old start meaningfully thanking me for little things I do for me. Like picking him up from the Y. Or bringing him a bottled water to a ball game.

      He never says…”geez mom, you really do sacrifice a lot for me. I know you are a much better person then dad, and keep me alive and thriving” But that brief glimpse of what is really going on inside his brain when he says “Thank you Mom.” while looking directly at me…and taking that moment to make sure I know he is Thankful….melts my heart, and keeps me going on.

      Karma will come. I too believe!

      • Agreed. My 14 year old has been saying “thank you” after every meal (which, since he’s 14, is every couple of hours!) for the past 6+ months. Totally out of the blue and with no “reminding” or pressure from me. I’m not the greatest cook, either, so I do believe it’s his new awareness and his way of acknowledging all that I do for him.

        Not to be left out, my 5 year old daughter has started to do the same! #MomWin!

    • Gonegirl,
      My chump boyfriend’s kids got turned against him by his cheating ex, to the point where his daughter refused for 14 years to spend any time with him on his custody days. He never pressured her to come over. He would meet her after school every day as arranged, walk her to the corner, and she would turn and go to her mother’s house, refusing his offers to have her visit for supper.

      When I appeared in his life in 2013, and we started daring, I noticed the hostility, and suggested we simply continue to issue invitations to her and her boyfriend. One day they actually showed ip. We had a nice time, and Dad was totally astonished. Since then she has come over regularly with little mention of the years of neglect.

      One day I asked her why, and she said her mother had painted a terrible picture of him, which had scared her when she was you ger. Now an adult, she sees her Mother for the lying manipulative beotch she is, and is gradually becoming a noce friend to her Dad. It took fom age 6 to 21 but she finally came around. I wish this for you too, keep loving your teens no matter what.

    • Hugs, Gonegirl.

      The penny will drop, and it was a real test of character to let Kiddo draw her own conclusions. But she did….

      Electrohugs-you are Mighty, and Chump Nation has your back.

  • You don’t get to control the Karma bus. I’ve said on here before, Karma isn’t wishing bad on the cheater it’s about making your life great! You get to control your life. Of course that’s easier said than done, but you get more control over your greatness than you do over their shallow lives.

    Even the smallest things count, for example when I left Yo Yo Knickers 3 years ago she tried to stop my kids coming to stay with me, saying they weren’t coping well with the back and forth, and other bullshit.

    This weekend my eldest son asked me if he could stay with me this weekend rather than go away with Yo Yo Knickers and her BF. I didn’t ask any question, I just said “Of course you can, you don’t need to ask..this is your home” Yo Yo Knickers came back with some comment about him being at an age where he wants to do his own thing. I didn’t respond to her.

    Me and my son had a great weekend driving round just looking at houses I can’t afford 🙂

    • Just being free of coping with the daily awfulness of their disordered way of being in the world is a great gift. I’ve been awake for a few hours, now, and nobody has attacked me, complained, whined, or undermined. Pretty nice.

      • Amen to that, Cashmere! Coming up on 2 years post-divorce, and it has been the best 2 years out of the past 33, as I’ve been completely drama and toxic emotion free! Whoohoo!!! Who knew that going days, months, and years without their disordered chaos could be so blissful! I’ll take cheater-free any day!

        • I agree that the best thing you can do is to make the best of your life without that asswit – but forget karma – where’s the justice in this? How does one person get to do this for years and years and suffer no consequences while we bear all the pain. Yes, until we get to Meh – sorry – i’m just having a pissy few days, or weeks.

      • This is SO the truth, Cashmere! I worried about my kids having a ‘broken home’; now it’s actually their ‘whole and healthy home’. Far more so than when their dad and I were together. We all feel secure and at peace, and when there’s friction, it is dealt with in a healthy way!

        • If I could have a do-over, I would have rid myself of the shit-wipe when my kids were young. In hindsight, I think it’s better to come from a broken home rather than live in one. I know my kids, especially my son, would have been so much better off without the years of dealing with a NPDisordered freak and the subtle abuse he dished out.

      • “I’ve been awake for a few hours, now, and nobody has attacked me, complained, whined, or undermined. ”

        or given me the cold shoulder, or been grumpy…. YES!!! I noticed yesterday that I am back to being cheerful nearly all the time. I don’t feel tense or worried about making a mistake. Sometimes I make them deliberately! I sing little tunes around the house; I am (more) patient than I used to be. I don’t freak out if people or dog make noises too early or late (because we couldn’t wake up ‘Daddy’!). Despite the House gods and the Technology gods who like to play pranks on me regularly, my life without moody, critical cheater is a walk in:

        wildflowers

        • This!!!! Ditto!!!

          X always said the negativity came from me but it was another lie/projection–Im sunny and positive….ALL.THE.TIME….. it was him!

      • Yes! Yes, yes, yessss!!!! I was so worried about Mother’s Day, thinking I’d feel even more alone than usual, and would miss him and our family “traditions…” But! My boys and I went to our favorite breakfast place and had to wait the typical hour to get a table (it’s a REALLY GOOD breakfast place!). Last year I nearly made myself sick trying to entertain Gagg during the wait, feeling horrible the whole time that I was forcing him to endure family time on my account. He barely spoke through our whole meal except to reprimand our sweet boys for some perceived lack of table manners. I remember sitting next to a mom all by herself with 3 boys – I snuck up to the hostess and bought a gift card and had the waitress deliver it to her anonymously because I felt badly for her, being a single mom….. This year, my boys and I played tic-tac-toe with rocks out on the sidewalk while we waited for our table. We ate and had cheerful conversations with no criticisms or sullen silences….. Then we came home and I took a nap while they did extra “chores,” and then we went to a movie and had popcorn for dinner! It was one of the happiest Mother’s Days I’ve ever had. Instead of missing his sorry, grouchy, pouty ass, I was so cheerful (truly cheerful, not the fake act I put on before to try and engage him) and relaxed without him!!!!! That mom by herself last year? I hope she felt the same contentment.

        Maybe karma is just feeling better. Maybe not meh, maybe not great, and maybe not 100% of the time. But, having the sun peep through the clouds every now and then. Plus, knowing he’s missing out on those kind of moments with his sons – his choice and his loss. It will be his biggest loss ever, but he’s too fucking stupid to notice.

        • Yes I had the ‘walk on eggshells’ type too. Always complaining and whining. Told me everything was always my fault. I walk around the house cheerful, singing, and humming most of the time. Mr. Geezer Grouchy CheaterPants would tell me nothing was ever good enough for me and I was never happy with anything. I used to internalize it and try to understand it. Thanks to CL and CN, I now know it was projection.

          I’m glad you had an enjoyable Mother’s Day. My teenaged son insisted on buying me an expensive gift he paid for out of his own hard-earned money. I almost wouldn’t accept it. He told me it’s been a crap year and I’m a great mom that deserves it. Glad I have my kids and my self respect. Cheater pants has Schmoopie that’s so innapropriate, he has to hide her from the world.

          • MJB
            Wow, word for word exactly what the ClusterFuck B Sociopath told me when CockSlobber saved him from me??
            CONSTANT bitching, whining, raging, miserable, mean, rude. I walked on eggshells to try to keep the demon from having anything to bitch about. Didn’t work because no matter what you did it was an opportunity for him to rage so he took it. He would twist it into an opportunity to cause chaos.
            Good times I do not miss at all.

  • Dear Elle,

    I really empathize with how awful it feels to be sucked dry, duped and dumped by your shameless, spineless husband (thankfully out of your life now).

    I know its a case of spilled milk, but hey, it is you who has had the courage and character to push on, and persevere when all he was a ten year old in an adult’s body.

    I hope you have got your finances in line, and ensure no consideration or leniency for me in that regard. How come his family (especially mom) be supporting his unabashed assholery?

    I am sorry for the looks of pity you get. Imagine that the other woman gets looked upon as a slut.

    You are the betrayed person who did not break.

    I hope you get a better job, and 52 is not much. Relevant experience would always count. Save your emotions for yourself and your precious son.

    Also, karma runs on its own clock. Wait for it, but don’t stand by to watch it tick. Someday, you will get the news. Till then, focus on yourself.

    The hurt and pain is immense. I hope you are getting help.

    Much love.

  • I agree with Nomar about karma. It assumes an appearance we didn’t expect. I find also that karma is the natural consequence to an inappropriate action. My husband left me for another woman as well (at least yours admitted to it). The natural consequence is that our kids are pissed. He didn’t think that betrayal affected the whole family. So the consequence is they don’t want to live with him. He traded a young gym bunny for his kids. But don’t focus on karma. Focusing on karma is keeping your attention on him and not yourself. And what if he met the love of his life and nothing bad becomes of it? What if he doesn’t get a bad consequence? As they say, the best revenge is happiness. In the meantime, its normal to feel anger, rage, sad, etc. You spent a lifetime with him. Your mental, emotional and physical bodies have memories. You can’t just erase that. It sucks. And no lie, it will suck for a long time. But it WILL get better. Everyday in some way.

    Honestly, I didn’t think I would make it. Or maybe I just didn’t want to make it. That’s depression. Now I found things I like to do for myself. It’s been almost two years. I don’t have a boyfriend nor I do I want one. Why? I’m really enjoying discovering the things I like. AND I gave two teenage sons (16 and 14) who don’t need to see various men walking I. And out of my life. They need a stable parent at home. I don’t mind that role.

    I wish you luck. By the way, I’m 54 and this happened to me at 52 as well. I wish I can tell you a great story about finding a job (I was a stay at home) but I haven’t yet. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. Lol. I’m not as nervous about it like I used to be. I’m really trying to trust that everything will fall into place. I have a few ideas I’m working on, I hope they happen.

    Ps: and I’m still bitter and think about the crap he did to me, but it doesn’t tear me up like it used to. The day I see them together tho, I think I’ll freak out. Apparently she’s drop dead gorgeous. Oh well…

    • Thank you MJO
      I am 49 married for 25 years this May 30. Divorce should be final June 5.
      I do believe what goes around comes around but I don’t care. I am looking forward to being cheater free.
      I don’t have the career issue because I work. Matter of fact that was one thing he used for why he cheated I worked too many hours. I do get a little anxiety about my age but not enough to stay, and thank God my baby is 18 and graduating June 2. A lot of reasons to party.

    • Hey MJO: I really like your line that “focusing on Karma is keeping your attention on him “. I was too focused on the past for a long time and hoping that my XH’s life would fall apart. That really did interfere with my happiness. Finally, I have let it go. I don’t want to know what he is doing and I am only focusing on my life. The result? Way more happiness than before.

      • Yup. The last thing we need to do after having our hearts ripped out by infidelity is to keep them on our minds. It’s hard tho. It’s not like I have it all figured out. But being aware of what I’m doing when I am focused on him (even if it’s making up amazing karma consequences) is the first step. Slowly it becomes a habit to pay more attention to us. Just gotta train our brains.

        Because I felt so stuck I developed a hip problem then feet problems (metatarsalgia). The connection with the emotions (the way I see it) is being afraid to move on.

        whether I like it or not, this divorce is teaching me a lot about myself.

    • MJO,
      YOU are gorgeous!
      Gym Bunnies are a dime a dozen,
      To your children you are worth your weight in GOLD!
      YOU are the mighty, sane, parent!
      KUDOS!

  • Thank you for this today. I struggle with waiting for Karma. I would looovvveee for his world to blow up.
    I was 47 when my ex decided to leave me and our two children ( one was 17 at the time just like yours) for his affair partner and her two young children. To say I was overwhelmed at how I was going to survive without him was an understatement.
    Did I know he was a cheater? Yep. Had I always tried to forgive him? Yep. Did I think he was cheating when he told me he was leaving for another woman? Nope.
    I was a hot mess for a bit. Then I slowly started to emerge from the fucked up coma that was my marriage and it’s implosion and started getting educated.
    Get a good atty, even if you have to sell your shit or borrow the money to do it. A good settlement will set you up for the rest of your life.
    Take one thing at a time, don’t get overwhelmed, and know that he didn’t grow morals or character. He’s still the fucked up husband you had and she will soon see that. She may stay with him anyway, not your problem. Did everybody think I was happy in my marriage? Sure. Was I ? Fuck no.
    Looks can be deceiving. No matter how hard things ever get, it’s better. You work for YOU now and aren’t killing your self to maintain something that was a fraud and frankly mental torture.
    Hugs to you, with a good atty and some nocontact you’ll be just fine.

  • One of our biggest faults is seeing everything through this lense that everything must be better than it was win us. We believe their impression management. Instead, stop and change your perspective.

    He and his mother, who are both users have to live with each other for the sake of impression management. “Oh, my poor son, tossed out by that vile woman.” (I don’t know about you but pretty sure he didn’t tell her it was just him being an asshole) she gets to play the hero. He gets to play the sad sausage for pity. Both selfish as can be beyond that. Just stop and think what a day in that house is like, with so much together time. sure he doesn’t have to cook or clean but he has to live with his mother. And she now has an entitled extra mouth to feed and care for. How much energy does that take at her age? She raised that narc and now she gets to have him back to use her. She probably nags him all the time to fix things and meddles in his business. Whether you believe in karma or not stop believing their impression management.

    • Yes and to add to that, think of when tax time rolls round… I’m not being silly, that is something you did, uncomplainingly, for years and for precious little thanks. Now you do absolutely zero that has no direct benefit to YOU and your son. Not a tiny thing.

      Stay in your job for now, keep it stable and in a couple of months, when the dust starts to settle a little, you can go and get that promotion you totally deserve. You’ve never had the mental energy to track it down because of the vampire you had hanging off you, but now you do. Doesn’t feel like it at this moment, but you DO. You are evidently a very proactive, helpful and capable person. That’s a plus for any employer. Also, get an excellent attorney and ensure you get absolutely every single penny to which you might be entitled. It might be very little, but leave no pebble unturned in that regard.

      People may well be gossiping, but I imagine it’s not malicious towards you, rather towards Mr Sparkles and his Slapper. No fool like an old fool…

  • Great timing on today’s column. I’ve been pondering if karma is real a lot lately.

    Less than a year after divorcing my abusive cheater he killed himself. The woman that took much glee in ruining my marriage and running around behind my back now has Stage 3 breast cancer (she wasn’t his first affair but she was the final Dday one I found out about).

    So I think we think these awful people getting hit with karma is all we hope for, in reality, if it does really happen there is no joy in it. All I feel at this point is what a tragedy this all is. I was a good wife, did my best, I was abused, lied to, demeaned, cheated on, and yet his demise brings me no relief. Everything he did to me still happened and I still struggle daily to rebuild my life. As for the Ow that thought she would steal my husband and my life found he was no more faithful to her than he was to me (big surprise), he wasn’t in love with her anymore than he was with me, and now she is very sick and may die too. At the least she is about to have to survive chemo and mastectomy at age 34. Karma? Life? Random nothingness? I don’t know anymore.

    Greek tragedies got nothing on my life story. Do bad things happen because we do bad things, I don’t think so. Lots of bad stuff happened to me I didn’t deserve.

    At the end of the day these things only drive home to me CL’s ultimate message that I have to build the life I want, stop looking backwards and waste no more time allowing them to occupy my thoughts or actions.

    • It’s funny, life happens to everyone.
      My ex appeared joyous for all of about twenty minutes before he began trying to crawl back into my no bullshit bubble.
      Now he and his new gal try to one up each other with “you’re not anywhere near as adequate as my ex/still current partner” jabs.
      I love how she’s still married and uses it as leverage. My ex clearly isn’t intriguing enough for her to pull the plug on her very financially stable and long term marriage.
      They both suffer from mental health issues and some significant physical illnesses as well. So much to deal with while I get on my scooter and putt putt away from their silliness.

      • “So much to deal with while I get on my scooter and putt putt away from their silliness.”

        LOL that made me laugh out loud!

    • Yes, this is great. Despite understandable revenge fantasies, I doubt that any of us wish true harm on our cheaters and their AP’s. There is no freedom or joy in ever deepening harm or the chaos of tragedy upon tragedy.

      That said, it can be very difficult to cope with their seeming joy, and to be left playing cleanup for their messes: damage to kids, financial challenges, suddenly and explosively redefined life. I think that putting ourselves first is a huge challenge for many chumps. I know it is for me. I have been working on seeing things not from his perspective, or the kids’ perspectives, or onlookers’ perspectives, but from my own. That should not be so difficult, but it does not come naturally. I think there is a decent chance that my son will veer toward a closer relationship with the STBX and his AP than he has with me. That is a great big owie, and patently unfair, but I am making progress. Last time he was here, I essentially told him that he could respect me or get gone. I am done absorbing abuse from anyone, including him. Told him I loved him and will always be here for him, but made my boundaries crystal clear. The STBX has more money and opportunity to offer him, and that will draw him, but I have to let go and just be the mom I have always been, valuing his evolution as a person of integrity over all other outcomes for him.

      So, yeah, anyway, I guess the struggle is really to make our own lives, loves, and goals the center of things, which means withdrawing attention from the relationship that is over, even as its influence on our lives continues. Quite the balancing act. Whether in fantasy or reality, additional darkness doesn’t make that any easier.

      • “There is no joy in ever deepening harm or the chaos of tragedy upon tragedy.”

        Just wow! Right on the money.

        As fun as revenge fantasies may be, when true tragedy shows up there is no relief in it. I am still damaged forever whether he walks this earth or not. I still lost 15 years of my life whether she survives cancer or not. MY situation hasn’t changed because doom showed up at THEIR door.

        Forward focus is our only true escape or victory.

        • I second and third this sentiment. I think all of us who wish karma don’t want to actually have the person die or have some fatal disease – we want emotional pain to them or a wake up call where they hurt as much as we do. Sorry for all the tragedies in your life. Stay strong

    • Very wise comment Beachgirl – thank you. I too think a lot about Karma and can quite easily get stuck in ruminating over the unfairness of it all. I feel nothing but contempt for X and am glad he is out of my life. I see my real struggle is going to be moving to the next level of happiness in my own life. I get very stuck in the unfairness narrative. And it’s true! It is unfair for all of us. It’s going to take me time and effort to move past that – my mind tends to settle on the unfairness. My X has threatened suicide twice and if I walk down that road in my mind to its logical conclusion, there is no happiness for me there – and certainly not for my kids. I always come full circle from wishing really bad things to happen to happen to him, to imagining his suicide, to realizing that would not be good, to wishing less bad things on him (of my all-knowing particular choice). And then realizing I’ve got to get out of this loop and get on with my own life!! It’s so difficult for me because I’m like a dog with a bone – just gnawing on the injustice of it all.
      They say awareness if the first step and I am aware…I am so ready for the second step of leaving the past behind and embracing my new life. Reading here helps clarify and inspires me.

    • “At the end of the day these things only drive home to me CL’s ultimate message that I have to build the life I want, stop looking backwards and waste no more time allowing them to occupy my thoughts or actions.”
      You are so right, but that has been truly hard for me. Thanks for the reminder. I needed that today.

  • Hi Elle,

    Since your letter ran previously, I’m hoping you’re doing well. Please, dear God, tell me you left Satan’s Circle and found some new digs?

    I want to address the Karma part. I hear people ask about karma. Is it real? When will it smack them on the head like a 9 iron?

    I believe in karma, I guess. Kinda. In my situation, the ex was a complete and utterly morally bankrupt human being, devoid of any real human feelings or capacity for connection. He did what he did–got another woman pregnant on his daughter’s 2nd birthday–because he didn’t see the big deal.

    So, in life, he’s going to keep doing horrible things to other people like that. For example, we are getting close to a Child Support Enforcement hearing, which Uncle Dad thinks is like a custody hearing.

    He’s an idiot, what do ya do…

    So, for the first time since November, 2011, he shows up. To my daughter’s kindergarten graduation. She saw him as she walked across the stage. She was crying as she got her certificate. When I got her off stage I asked what was wrong, she thought he was there to take her away from me.

    Then, when I left with the girls… I guess he thought we should chat or something, he had the nerve to ask my dad why I wouldn’t speak to him. My dad, bless him, said the nicest response he could come up with was, “Well, she has about $15,000 reasons not to…” And walked away.

    When people try to consistently cheat the system and hurt others, it comes back around. Sometimes it’s a Mack truck. Sometimes it’s more subtle. Sometimes it’s having 5 or 6 kids with 3 or 4 wives and no one around on Christmas or thanksgiving. No one to send a birthday card.

    To me, that is truly heartbreaking.

    So chumps, love each other, and let the Cluster Bs take themselves out. Believe me. They will.

    • This exactly. My STBX tries to give the impression that he is happier than he has been in years, but every time I try to communicate with him regarding arrangements for seeing the kids, he can’t stick to the task at hand. Instead, he usually replies with a text that either whines about his victim-ness or tries to blameshift his consequences to me.

      For someone so blissfully happy, that is a lot of discontent showing in those texts. Don’t be fooled by their acting. Plus, I believe that someday at the end of their life, they will have to answer for the choices they made and the harm they caused. Karma may not get them until after this life.

      • I have one of those….

        Early on in the supervised visitation, Uncle Dad was not following the rules and wanted to see the girls on a weekend when they both were sick.

        I have sole custody, physical and legal, so if I have a legit reason to say no, I can.

        I had just come from the urgent care clinic with my preschooler. She had been sick with the flu for 8 days and had to go back to get IV fluids for dehydration. Her sister was currently running a 102 fever and tested positive for flu. We were in the drive thru pharmacy getting prescriptions.

        This is when Uncle Dad decided to text me whining about his visitation “rights.”

        My response:

        Your operatic whining is grating on my already frayed nerves. [daughter] has had the flu for 8 goddamned days. I was with her at the er getting fluids until 9 pm tonight. [daughter2] is currently running a 102 fever. So you and your “visitation” rates on my sphere of importance somewhere around the numerical count of fucking blades of grass…in the neighbor’s yard. As I have suggested on numerous occasions: Go fuck yourself, Uncle Dad

        XXX

        Sometimes, you just snap.

        • Kelli – As always, it is always about their “rights” and not about what is best for their kids. Self-centered assholes. Great response. Most people would receive that and feel guilty for adding to your burden and feel for their kids. Not these NPD people. He does not have a conscience and lacks empathy. All about what he wants when he wants it.

  • Karma happens. They get theirs. I’ve watched unfold the past few years with a few narcs I know. But it does take along time. And when it does happen you are usually at “meh” and doing well. So don’t sit around and dwell. Get on with life. That’s your karma. You get to

  • I believe karma is a real thing. Ive seen it first hand doesnt always happen but it does happen. Alot. Asswipe is in the worst shape of his life in all aspects. GOOD! he got what he wanted and it blew up in his face! The saying what goes around comes around i believe is true. Today would have been my 25th wedding anniversary and it didnt bother me one bit. Guess im getting to meh, hes mostly miserable and im loving it! Yes im loving it!! There are consequences to actions and hes suffering them now. My italian grandmother may she rest in peace and from italy told me “you get out of life what you put into it and if your going to shovel shit and be a shit head on the world in then end thats what you will get back…..shit. and asswipe is getting tons of shit dumped on him. Yeah baby im loving it!

  • I have accepted that there is no karma, no justice. I’ve never wasted any of my time wondering when God would punish the Evils of Mankind. Injustice is all around us, The Universe simply does not care.

    Maybe there is a special place in Hell, maybe there is no Hell at all.

    The only thing I have control over is myself. A good life is the best revenge after all, and only I can give that to myself.

  • Embrace the anger. We always think anger is bad and try and avoid it but it is a great motivator ‘the best revenge is to gave a great life’
    Beware also this turd will probably circle back around in a year when his twin flame love burns out.
    Im getting this shit now after 5 months because he doesn’t like living alone, they are users, he said also that he may move to his Mums next year to help her out because she is sick. This is a guy who visits his Mum maybe 3 times a year, never phones here even when she had cancer and operations and when he talks to her on the phone, plays on the phone and pays no attention.
    Kibbles is what it is about, the path of least resistance and a free ride is what they are after.
    Feel the pain and anger don’t deny it or avoid it, it is your mind body and soul processing the hurt.
    You are already mighty, forge on!

    • Lady B, on another note, could you update on your job status? You were on my mind lately…

      • Thanks for thinking of me. I am still looking for work, finances should hold out 4-6 weeks. I had some work over the weekend helping out as a roadie at a music festival which I really enjoyed. After that I don’t know and do not want him to come back to help out which he is angling for and may be on the cards but god damn Im going to do my best for that to not happen. He is raging all sorts of crap from suicide to moving away. I pay no mind, like I don’t have enough to deal with. He’s a master head fuck. Im composed and focusing on me and the kids and what needs to happen.

        • You are Mighty! You focus on the important things and don’t let the narc to distract you. You will be fine!

  • I question Karma, but I certainly hope it runs over him & OW whore. Left me after 34 years. Road off into sunset .. traveling the world, living in her home with being treated like he’s a king ..
    Me on food stamps, cancer survivor & not giving me penny. I will get half his pension but he won’t retire for spite now.

    Says he’s waiting for me to die. 1 1/2 years divorced but at my age , 69 it’s not easy to find work. But although I’m better without him, my heart hasn’t caught up yet. Waiting for Karma to hit them both.

    • Kathleen–what an odious quasi-human being for him to have said that. May lightning bolts strike him so that you get his pension starting tomorrow. Hugs to you for all you’ve been through.

    • Kathleen, I’m so sorry for your pain and suffering. He is a Grade A piece of shit! May you piss on his grave whilst you spend his pension. Huge soul hugs and healing energy being sent your way. You are mighty and a survivor; keep going.

    • I’ve heard my boss say the same thing – that he won’t retire because he doesn’t want his ex to receive any of “his” pension. Pisses me off. I’ve known them both for decades.

      His EW married him, worked full time to put him through law school, worked herself up to a great job that earned a high salary, had two children, a beautiful home, and invested 27 years of her life in him.

      She discovered he had been cheating for a long time (a philanderer, according to him), came completely unraveled, divorced, and is still here only by the grace of God. It was horrifying to watch. In months, she looked like she had been in a prison camp for years, and she lost that wonderful job due to the effects of the trauma.

      To inflict that degree of emotional and psychological harm on this poor woman, and then be determined to keep her from receiving her rightful share of “their” pension, should make this asshole the first stop on the Karma bus route.

    • Kathleen – How shitty. My philandering boss says the same thing about not retiring to keep his “crazy” ex from getting any of “his” pension. This is the same crazy ex who worked full-time to put him through law school and was married to him 27 years before she found out and divorced him.

      Hearing people who inflict such harm say things like that just pisses me off. If they ever make me the Karma Bus dispatcher, you will start receiving your pension straight away.

      • Sorry for two similar posts. Got a message that the first one didn’t post, so resent something similar. Don’t want you to think I’m senile . . . don’t want you to think I’m senile . . . don’t want you to think I’m senile . . .

  • I think karma eventually comes, not because of some mystic force, but because these are shitty people making shitty choices. They were shitty when they were with you, and they’ll be shitty after they’re gone.
    They aren’t going to change, it’s their nature. If you make enough shitty choices in your life, and keep screwing other people over, shitty things will eventually happen to you one way or the other. Those are just the consequences, and there’s your “karma.”

    • I think this too. They cheat in lots of ways in life, not just adultery. They cheat on taxes, divorce settlement, child support, and don’t think they don’t do it in other ways and with other people. Sooner or later, odds are that they will get caught. It might be the IRS, the court, or someone’s husband (or the OW’s stepdad in my case).

  • I don’t like the idea of karma. If karma were real, what did the chump do to ‘deserve’ the shit sandwich they are eating? If anything bad that happens to the cheater, it is karma – then does that mean folks believe that when your spouse cheats on you, trades you in for a ‘newer’ model, leaves you in debt and struggling to make ends meet – you deserved it?

    I have lived long enough to know that sometimes shitty things happen to great people, and somethings great things happen to shitty people.

    There are chumps whose children choose the cheater – is that ‘karma’ grabbing them by the balls? Sometimes chumps end up with a sexually transmitted disease – is that the karma bus rolling along?

    If the idea is that karma happens to shitty people, how do we explain what is happening to chumps?

    I rather go with the idea that life, simply – it not always fair.

    • I think bad things happen to good people too. Good and bad happen to all. The old sayings ‘you reap what you sow’ and ‘make lemonade out of lemons’ are perception.

      I don’t think my sad sausage ex has any clue he is reaping what he has sown. The misery that is his life follows him around like a black cloud.

      After Dday #1 almost 14 years ago, we went to counseling. He went to 1 session and told the counselor he never saw himself coming back home to his wife and 2 small children (then 4 y.o. and 2 y.o.). I kept going by myself. The counselor told me there was a Schmoopie—there is always a Schmoopie in these situations. Then the counselor went on to tell me an analogy about thow San Francisco has high suicide rates. People go there thinking they are going to live the dream life and then realize they are still themself–nothing changed. My cheater is still a miserable cheater. Wife, Schmoopie 1.0, Schmoopie 2.0. He’s still the same miserable old geezer.

      • Oh yes to the San Francisco life analogy! Styx is always “it will be better when…”. It never is though. He said it would be better when he left but it wasn’t so now he is on an endless spending spree and I am confident that is not making it better. I am sure he is now blameshifting to me and my nasty divorce attorney and it will be better when that is over but it won’t!

    • I agree Coolbreezeout. I know I did not do anything to deserve what happened to me and my innocent children sure as hell didn’t. And great things DO happen to shitty people, as well as shitty things happen to great people. Some things that happen may encounter natural consequences that look like “punishment” on the outside, but they really aren’t. And sometimes, yes, shitty people escape consequence free. As far as I can tell the only REAL consequence any bad person faces is that they are who they are. True. They may not ever even really understand how very shallow they are. CL is right. They don’t invest deeply. They CAN’T invest deeply. It’s not in them. They are empty shells. That is what we get. That is what we get to know. They will never really know love, or joy. They will never feel real grief or loss. Love, joy, even grief and loss, are real gifts. And they will never know. They won’t know it, but that doesn’t mean that what they are losing isn’t real. It is. We are given those very real gifts. We are fully human.

      • Yes, I remember XH used to always whine about how lucky I was that “I know who I am and feel that I have purpose.” He would say he doesn’t have time to really figure out who he is or figure out how to be happy…boo hoo. These “deep discussions” always were precipitated by him charging several hundred dollars on golf course plans or deciding he shouldn open a soccer themed store or some other grandiose plan i knew he didn’t have the capacity to carry out. But it always left me puzzled because I just couldn’t get that deep dark hole he described. I had ALOT of empathy for him which he used to his advantage, but I do believe that Karma, revenge, whatever is code for us just wanting them to understand or be accountable for the pain they caused. It will never happen. They are disordered-at least mine is. I don’t envy that.
        At the risk of offending any chump out there who has an autoimmune disorder I was completely shocked when I found out recently that autoimmune diseases are common with cluster b’s because of the stress and anxiety which (scientists believe) produces a too high for too long cortisol level…mine has super bad psoriasis (which was highlighted in studies about the coorelation of autoimmune disorders and NPD men) He has only ever told me he has diagnosed stress and anxiety and “king baby syndrome” so reading about this really helped me realize that most of these stunted people are getting their Karma every day. Mine is a mess. He may saunter around like he is a king, but he is the same unhappy, “black hole where his soul should be”, disordered wanker.

        • Interesting news about autoimmune diseases and Cluster B’s. My EX developed an autoimmune disease, and blamed me. (At the time, he said I was so “evil” that I made him sick, and since I was invested in the marriage at that point, this kind of blaming was devastating to me.) I now have a few other theories about what might have contributed to his illness, and it is reassuring to hear that the stress of maintaining his fake persona for his 30-year-younger “soul mate” might have been one of them. Similar to your EX, he also cycled through grand self-evaluations that would have required thousands of dollars for him to put into action and make him “happy.” And again, I was cast as the “doubter” and the “destroyer” for insisting that mortgage payments and maintaining our kids were more important than spending all of our income and savings to help him conquer his “dark night of the soul.” Inexpensive approaches were never useful to him. If it didn’t involve a boatload of money and something glamorous for him, it wasn’t a solution he’d even consider. He is a physically, mentally, and emotionally sick person. It’s nice to know that science backs my evaluation!

    • When red flags kept coming in marriage for me to run, I kept putting my will on it to fix it , to fix him until I got discarded .
      I struggled with..
      Is this my karma?
      No its not, I should have left him years ago and my god finally made the decision for me, that I could not or would not make on my own

      • Very true. In the end, we eventually get the benefits of “good” karma by ridding of them. There “bad” karma starts the minute that they lose us.

        • EllieB

          My karma was surprisingly quite good after all. I would have stayed in this horrible relationship for thr rest of my life. The stars were in alligmment as I found a superb therapist who recommended an amazing lawyer, and suggested I find a blog rather than focus on revenge fantasies.

          I did just that. It forced me to face the pain, grieve, and be free. I. never deserved to be treated with disrespect or the abuse that defined him then and now.

          I used to want to know he suffered. Perhaps he found happiness being free to live as a teenager, getting drunk, smoking weed, and packing a cooler filled with beer to sit at some rocky beach with woman who fucks anything that comes her way.

          I have a future. His is bleak, to me. I never shared his dreams of sitting stoned and drunk living in a shack driving him from point A to B and repeating this pattern daily.

          Truth be told I DID deserve much more and he is limited. The lifestyle I always knew what I wanted and damn I’ll finally have it.

      • Little Red
        Yup, it isn’t like we can’t see the toxic right in our faces, I just think we were so beat down trying to survive in that atmosphere that we saw no way out. I didn’t see a way out. So I kept on, trying to shield myself from the abuse, to the detriment of my health from the stress.
        The betrayal they cause cuts a deep deep chasm in your soul. However, you do heal and meh is so worth all the pain.
        Even though it’s a hell I wish upon nobody.

  • I think what people call karma is just simply consequences for decisions they’ve made and actions they have or have not taken.

    If you don’t brush your teeth, you will get gum disease and your teeth will get cavities and eventually rot and fall out. Is that “karma” or simply a natural result of improper care?

    I think much of this is the same thing. Quit your job, let the bills pile up, leave your family, take up with the town Ho and live off your mom in her basement and what is going to the natural result??

    Well let’s see. For starters your credit will be shot so no new cars when the current one breaks down. The inlaws won’t speak to you or have anything to do with you. Your children will be bitter and resentful and will probably want nothing to do with you. Your elderly mother will eventually croak and if you’re too young to collect SS and you haven’t been employed in years your chances of meaningful employment is about zilch. With no car, no income and potentially no house if your mom did not will it to you, the chances are good that your Ho will find something better at the bar one night and you will be without a Ho as well.

    Is that Karma? If you want to call it that, fine. I see it as simply the natural result of decisions made and actions taken.

    It may not happen with a lightning bolt of instant justice, but it will happen.

    The even better news is that good things will come to those who do good as well. If you maintain healthy relationships and live a good, productive life of doing good things, then good things will fall into place for you as well. Again, you may not help a little old lady carry her groceries to the car and then scratch off a winning lottery ticket when you get home, but living a good and responsible life results in a good and meaningful life.

    Call it Karma if you like the word, but it either way it comes down to you reap what you sew.

    • This is pretty much how I define karma so when I say karma that is what I mean. I do take it a bit farther, however, as I believe karma is also a part of who we are in that our attitudes, choices, actions and reactions help to define us. Bad choices and attitude will lead to bad karma which just means that negativity will generally follow you wherever you go. Unfortunately, that can also infect the people who are close to you. Leaving a cheater and gaining a life means removing yourself from a source of bad karma. Meanwhile positive choices and attitude will lead to good karma and positivity that will follow you wherever you go and can also be contagious. Unfortunately it seems that bad karma is more likely to drag down good karma than the other way around. All of that being said, karma has nothing to do with chance, good or bad. It doesn’t cause or prevent random good or bad things from happening. Your karma can, however, affect how you deal with chance.

  • I definitely wanted his new twu wuv relationship to implode. I remember when the middle-aged old geezer left his wife of almost 20 years and two teenagers to go pursue the twenty-something assistant coach on our daughters soccer team how I wanted it to completely blow up in his face.

    Mine is not a moocher. He has a very high paying job but rarely works. He has a chump boss that let’s him get away with it–the ass convinces everyone he’s entitled to work when he wants to work. My attorney looked at geezer and Schmoopie’s pictures and told me funny things happen when you put MD after a name. She said I give it 6 months and Schmoopie won’t be able to stomach it even for the ‘dream life’ she has imagined.

    It was so painful to be discarded for a twenty something toothpick. Yes I had let myself gain some weight and let myself go. Working full time, taking care of 2 teenagers with extremely busy schedule, and taking care of a bottomless pit of need of a man-child.

    I’m not sure about Karma. I don’t think I even wish for it now. I don’t know the status of that relationship, but he’s never going to be able to have it out in the open with our kids, his family, or his colleagues.

    The funny thing happened when I was waiting for him to come to his senses is I came to mine. I’ve looked back over the last 20 years of my life. How self centered he has always been. It’s always been about him and his wants/needs. Never been about mine. Now that I am one year out from Dday and 6 months from divorce, my life is peaceful. I have me time and I enjoy it.

    The texts have started picking up from geezer. I answer some about the kids and ignore others. I have nightmares that I have been roped back in to a relationship with him. I think this is why I don’t wish for Karma, I don’t think he will let me go until he has some other strong kibble source.

  • So amazed by all the mightyness in today’s posts and so much good food for thought.

    I must say “what strength to live a block from your x”. I don’t think I could do that! Five miles away in the next town gets to me!

    I appreciate the reminders that these cheaters are really masters of impression management. I think we chumps have to just learn to be satisfied that we know the truth and we don’t need to be responsible for what others think. Our true friends will see the truth.

    Personally, I think if the Karma bus hit my cheater tomorrow, he would never know it because he lacks a conscience. I also believe that like many things, this is a spectrum disorder and some you indicate your cheaters have a little bit of remorse. I keep hoping but not much because I do not see even a hint.

    I think my stbx’s ability to make money makes impression management a little easier for him and without it, he would not have a following. He uses the money card to control, even his kids. I know they get that and “play him” with this knowledge. That is a tough one for me because I worry they are learning to use people to get things. Thoughts appreciated.

    I will echo what my take away from this is: the best revenge is living well and leave the karma to God(my belief). Life is a work in progress.

  • Early in the divorce process I yearned for karma. Now, I am not sure it exists, or hope in some ways that it does not exist– during my divorce a wonderful colleague died of cancer. His kids were left orphans, as his wife had died 8 years before. And today, another wonderful colleague is fighting cancer– they discovered it just before his second child was born. The child is now 6 months old, and the cancer has spread and is resisting chemo testament.
    What did this wonderful men do to deserve this? Nothing.
    And if this can happen to these amazing fathers, why not my ex and the OWife? Where is the justice?!

    Well, actually in my situation, there is some karma, or a vindictive god if believe in that. I do not, but now ex talks about God, so I guess he is a believer. The OW got pregnant twice before her divorce paperwork was filed (and before my divorce was finalized). First pregnancy ended in miscarriage, then she got pregnant very shortly thereafter (2-3 weeks). Now, three years later, their daughter has been diagnosed autistic. They have a younger son, and will have to wait and see. So on the one hand, I do not want to believe in karma, as I would never wish Ill on innocents.
    On the other hand– My ex quit his job and wants to start his own business– and not pay child support while he does it. If you count self employment, this would be job #4 in 4 years,. He continues to be unsatisfied with his life.
    We head to court in a few weeks. Time will tell if the judge imputes him for the child support.
    Karma? Maybe. I settle for grim satisfaction. My ex thought life was awful with me (not doing what he wanted to do, only what was expected of him). It hasn’t been all roses for him after all.

    • So 2 kids with Schmoopie? And one has a life long condition? Poor kids. How horrible for them with 2 self-centered sparkly little snowflakes as parents. And a daddy that doesn’t work. There’s not many kibbles coming their way. That is some serious karma for those 2 cheaters and nothing I would wish on my worst enemy…

  • And to go along with what I said above, Chumplady is right in that if you are yoked to someone that is detriment to you and pulling you down (ie you are doing all their work for them, they have no income, no help with the house and kids, spending household money at the bar and on Ho’s etc etc) when you leave them behind to live a better life for yourself, that is a decision and action that will naturally result in a better outcome for yourself.

    Back in the days before Chumplady and marriage and relationship internet forums, there was a newspaper advice column by a woman that went by the name of Ann Landers. People would often write in telling tales of terrible abuse and mistreatment and general worthlessness of their spouse and they would ask her if they should stay and endure or should they leave. Ann Landers would ask them a very simple question – “Are you better off with him/her or are you better off without them?”

    It’s a simple question, but it’s true form it is the only thing you really need to answer.

    The key to that however is you have to be honest with yourself and you have to do the pro vs con calculations based on what they really are in the here and now and not what you ‘hope’ they could be.

    In other words you have to look at the reality of your spouse being an unemployed, drinking, Ho chasing, Donuth’n that sits in front of the TV all day before heading to the bar all night, and not base it on what you want him/her to be or what you think he/she can become.

    When you honestly do that math based on reality and not under the influence of Hopium and you keep coming up with the answer that you can do better on your own…… well then you have your answer.

    The challenge is you have to take fear out of the equation (ie fear you can’t do better, fear you won’t find love again, fear you wont find a good job, fear it will hurt the kids etc etc) and you have to take Hopium out of the equation. Do the math based on actual facts and figures.

    If the cold, hard math comes up that you can do a better job of living life on your own, then you have your answer.

    • I love your reference to Ann Landers. I also reminded myself of her bottom line question as I made the decision to leave. She was ahead of her time in not asking women (or men) to place other people’s needs ahead of their own out of some misplaced sense of domestic sacrifice when tough decisions had to be made. (I do not mean that she ever said,”Follow your bliss,” she just didn’t truck with “staying for the kids” or “boys will be boys” or any other self-devaluing expectations for married people.)

    • I think most older chumps would be very familiar with Ann Landers and her wise saying. I have thought of it often over the years.
      The thing is, for some of us chumps, timing can be everything.
      At the time of my DDay, all the circumstances screamed at me that everything would be best if he stayed. I pick me danced, he did stay. He left his job, where ow also worked. We sold our home and moved. At that time I was estranged from my family, had a very young child and was in first trimester pregnancy. I did love him and life went on. Was it easy? No, it was just life and you live it the best you can.
      Thing is, most cheaters, to do that initial heartbreaking thing to a chump, they are of a certain character where it is all about them being alpha. Matters not, to some extent, whether they actually cheat again or not. ( difficult to put into words, these thoughts). They just aern’t easy to live with.
      I found CL, CN later in my marriage. I was a reader. It took great courage to do a first post. Now I see names, remember some of that chump’s story and I really care and root for them! Chumps are like family, really, with deep roots. Because. We. Have. Shared. Pain.
      When I read of a young chump’s struggle and it looks like hat Chump is going to leave the relationship I do a little happy dance, even when the cheater just up and leaves. Good, I think. I believe it is probably very very difficult but in the long run the chump will be free of him/her, the one who possessed those characteristics of a cheater. I really hope so much that the chump will meet a person who will always treat them with love and respect in their relationship. The way one person should treat another person, on bad days, as well as good days.
      I believe we are not here to judge each other. I think to myself, I hope this chump carries through and leaves that cheater, but I don’t say it. I just try to respond something good and encouraging to a fellow chump.
      I do love how strong chumps, (CL being the strongest), will outright tell a chump to leave that sorry ass cheater straight away, ( lining up ducks, arranging financs, etc.)! I believe I don’t have the guts to tell a cheater to leave because of my guilty feeling that I did not leave my cheater at DDay. I hated what he did. Felt so worthless, but there was no CL, CN, I had no family. I just kept it all inside. I carried on the best way I knew how. I place blame on no one. If there is any blame, it is on me.
      Wow, I have gone on and on, got a lot out. I don’t even know if one chump will read this. If so, thank you for listening. Does this make any sense at all?
      In closing I need to say, on finding CL, CN almost one year ago, THANK YOU for telling me, for teaching me, for shouting from the roof top, IT WAS NOT MY FAULT that he had the affair.
      I wish for a better life for all the brave chumps in CN.
      Your stories inspire me. I still have to say that there is so much good in my life. I am blessed and feel privileged to share your heart stories with you!
      I love and say thank you to CL, CN!
      ❤️

  • I absolutely believe in karma, though perhaps not in the “cosmic” sense. When people dig themselves into a hole, they eventually taste dirt. That’s karma, in my book.

    In my and JC’s case, karma has arrived, even if it’s not poetic and snark-worthy. Our exes are bad at responsibility, they claimed they didn’t want kids, they wanted freedom without responsibility, they wanted adventure and newness and excitement, they wanted all the attention for themselves. Well, they went and made a baby together, and now they live in the suburbs (the horror!), they can’t afford the adventure lifestyle they wanted, they have to share attention with a baby, and now there are unpleasant things to deal with like responsibility for another tiny human.

    My ex’s karma is that he’s constantly left to choose between his two children. I have no doubt that was by design on the OW’s part. This will be my ex’s first Father’s Day with two children. He has spent every Father’s Day for the last 4 years with our preschooler. This year he told me he’s not coming. He decided to spend it with his new infant, I guess. I’m betting OW planned some kind of special Father’s Day getaway or event to pressure him into not leaving them to see our son. So now he must choose between his children while I show up as the only mommy at the Father’s Day picnic. That is his karma. May it burn.

    • ‘Burbs are definitely a step down given your ex’s (former?) job.
      And funny how the kids come along and need attention….

      • My ex is fine with the ‘burbs, but I understand the OW is a little snobby about being in the city proper. She reportedly refused to move out of the city to save money when she was married, so it’s ironic that she has settled for the dreaded ‘burbs because her schmoopie owes me child support.

        • Oh, she did despise the ‘burbs. Abd even if they ‘burb that they now live in would be a small city by any reasonable assassment, she wouldn’t hear of such a move when I was with her.

          As I learned while she was cheating on me, one of her reasons she “needed to stay in the city” was so she could meet her OM out at bars after work to slug a bunch of beers and suck some face (and whatever else), and then come home to our marital home at 3:00 a.m., piss drunk, falling off her bike, bleeding, knees and elbows with asphalt burn.

          My EW was all class!

          • I wonder how he’ll feel when she does that while he’s home taking care of the baby and the pets? You cannot even imagine the passive aggressive wrath I would have endured for pulling shit like that. I’m so glad you’re free of her.

  • Cheater’s dad was a cheater and very abusive as well. Cheater’s mom tried to leave a few times but he always succeded to hoover her back. They lived in a very traditional middle eastern society so she felt stuck with no education etc. She finally left when cheater was 12. Cheater’s dad continued to contaminate then teen cheater’s brain saying all sorts of bad things about his mother: she was a whore, she was bad, etc etc. Cheater was sent out of country to canada to live with his uncle (mom’s brother). He was sort of given the good life, private school, etc while parents sorted out divorce. He felt unloved and abandoned throughout his time in high school with no parents around. Mom would visit once a year for 10 days and he would go home for summers and get exposed to more poison from dad. Fast forward 10 years. Both his parents remarried. Cheater’s mom with husband number 2 moved to canada. Cheater meanwhile went back after uni to explore the world. Cheater’s cheater dad was struck with alzheimer’s at age 54. His wife number 2 robbed him (he was a jewler) of all his possessions and was keeping him away from seeing doctors to inherit his store and real estate properties. That’s how cheater found his cheater dad after he left Canada. He embarked on an epic war with step mom that is ongoing. 20 years and multiple court cases per year. Tons of money spent on lawyers. His cheater dad died finally last year (a month after DD1) after living a vegetable life for almost 20 years. Karma?

    I met with the cheater in his early 30s. I thought he was such a selfless human being having chosen to put aside a prospective career in law in Canada to take care of his ailing father in a nursing home in the country which was not even his (we are of different origin and religion but he was born there). Bits and pieces of ugly stuff started leaking out a few years into our marriage. It was not that so selfless. His dad had gold, gemstones, and real estate properties. A lot was at stake to fight with the step mom. She was presented to me as a vicious witch who did not want to treat her husband and wanted to drive him into grave.

    Today cheater lives a carefree life. He has not had a stable job for 7 years. He lives off of rent income which he does not disclose. On the paper he is poor. He still fights his step mom but travels the world with shmoopies.

    I don’t want cheater’s money. I want him out of my life. I retained a lawyer (finally!) And we are drafting a separation agreement. Divorce will come after a year – this is the law in Canada. I want to witness as my 9 year old son grows and be there for him. Not interested in any relationship but I don’t exclude it either. Whatever happens organically. But I truely hope cheater will rot in a wheelchair in a nursing home. Just like his cheater dad.

  • My opinion is who cares about karma?

    I had the luxury of being able to dump my cheater and go into immediate total no contact, and then shortly after that terminate all contact with mutual acquaintances, and after a while I moved away. I’ll never see him or speak with him again, I’ll never hear about him from anybody, I won’t know if he gets “hit by the karma bus”, and I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me, the only thing that matters is that he’s gone from my life. I don’t want to know how he’s doing, not even if that means finding out that he’s suffering.

    I don’t even believe in the spiritual concept of karma. I believe that shitty people do shitty things, and sometimes the shit splatters back onto them. But that’s not some force of cosmic justice at work. It’s cause and effect. Sometimes shitty people keep skating by and manage to avoid negative consequences of their actions. It is what it is. All I can do is shut the door on them and keep moving without looking back.

  • I believe karma does arrive. It just takes it’s own sweet time. I was sort of on the sidelines of the karma that landed on my malignant narc sperm donor. He was an absolute dick to everyone, cheated on my egg donor, and used just about anyone unfortunate to come in contact with. At the end of his life he had no one. In spite of his treatment of me I was willing to sit with him as he died. (Yes, I know, chump!) He refused to have me listed as next of kin with his care providers so I had no info about him. He died utterly alone, and no one knew, and what’s worse, cared. I found out 3 days later. There was not one person who cared enough to go to a funeral, so I didn’t bother. He was buried at sea, in the same bay he dumped the ashes of my egg donor, which is what he wanted. The karma is, as so eloquently stated above, in the end, spending a life hurting and using people gets the abuser dumped and forgotten, just when they need help the most.

    The kicker was that as an only child, I got his estate, including a nice nest egg which enabled me to buy an old RV and fix it up. I am poised to start a new chapter in my life of travel and exploration. I’m sure, wherever he is, he is royally pissed off. And can’t do jack about it.

    Also, I’m sure if he had a grave, he would be not only turning….. but revolving.

    As for the two narc exes, they were their own karma. Cheater ex #1, drank himself to death at a young age. I was long gone by then. Cheater ex #2 put a bullet through his head after a committing a horrible crime. Maybe they balance out the ones for whom karma is delayed. Who knows.

    Personally, I chose to take my eyes off of their lives and tend to my own. They deserved no more of my energy. Today, I live a very happy, serene life and am feeling very grateful for all my blessings.

  • Oh karma, I wanted that everyday when I was filled with the rage of injustice.
    In my early 50’s so I get how scary it is to start over.
    I no longer want him bankrupt. I want my alimony, hmmm she sacrifes so I get the goods ( guess the shoes on the other foot bitch Ow )
    My teenagers will be spreading their wings and leaving the nest in the next couple yrs…guess grandpa Dad will have to forgo his much anticipated retirement because he will need all the things that 3 yr olds need to start off life.
    (BAHAAAAA)….no toys and cartoons at my house…been there done that.
    I use to think shes living my life and Yes she is..LMAO…shes got a sociopath and his pack of flying monkeys, face it girly..your not in Kansas anymore.
    I got a job that I love because of my life experience and my work ethic. Take all that rage and put it into fueling your own fire.
    You didn”t come this far to only come this far.
    Get quiet and really think about the second chance, the do over of your own life without the weight of a game playing loser that can’t figure out his own life, being a life long hoop jumper for not only him but his family and friends.
    Image control for disorders, is exhausting. Nerve racking and leaves you feeling like you where fighting a pissed off cat in a pillowcase.
    I now see Karma doesnt have to be the big bang it can be slow, slow enough that the disordered dont even realize its happening, oh wo is me everyday !!

  • Karma does exist. The biblical version is “What you sow is what you reap”. The problem is that we take too much time looking for the karma bus to hit, when sometimes it hits a long time later, sometimes when we are way out of the picture.

    One of the ministers in my church told me a story of something that happened when she was young….her sister’s husband had an affair with one of their friends and neighbors and left his wife for the woman. He had 4 children with his wife and proceeded to have another 4 with his mistress. Eventually, they divorced and her sister rebuilt her life and remarried. Her new husband cared for her well, loved her with everything he had and left her well off when he died. The mistress, not so well…. the man left her for another woman eventually and left her destitute. The ex wife sometimes would send food over to her house as her children had nothing to eat…this was about 15 years later…

    I know of people who did similar acts and it sometimes takes decades for it to come around, but it does. And just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean that the bus hasn’t hit. It just may mean that they are too busy putting on a show so you can’t see what had really taken place.

  • I find Karma in lots of things: my daughter using a gift card her sperm donor sent her for her birthday to pay for dinner when I was visiting last weekend, shopping for a Mother’s Day card for my mom and NOT having to find one for his awful mother, every time I spend quality time with my kids who don’t speak to him, watching my son tear up when he said that I have always been there for him, etc. To me, all those little moments add up to a big dose of Karma. I am surrounded by love from my family and friends. He has himself, his stripper girlfriend and his malignant narc mother who hate each other. As others have said, I find my sense of justice and balance in the universe by living an authentic, happy life. The kind of life he threw away for a bunch of fuck buddies and will never have again.

    • Yes, Beth! This is the karma I’m after – living an authentic, happy life. I need to revel in the karma that might be surrounding me at this very moment. Cheater free and peaceful.

    • Beth, you are right and smart and kudos to getting to this feeling. I’ve been struggling with revenge fantasies and wanting karma to happen. But you are correct – there is karma in so many other ways, so many positive things in our lives. I need to stay focused on that and not waste so much energy on wondering and hoping his life sucks

  • He’s a grown man with no job who walked out on his wife and kid and is living with his mother. The girlfriend slept with somebody else’s husband and participated in the break-up of a family. You are a capable, responsible and independent woman who is able to support herself and be a loving parent to her son. You all live in a small town that gossips. Which of these three people would you rather be?

  • Schadenfreude is fun, to be sure, but for me it does not even begin to compare with the joy I feel when I am building my life, creating what I love. I hate having to turn back to the mess for legal stuff, or even just having to respond to a text from him, because it’s dark and dirty. I don’t have to get revenge, if there is revenge to be had it will be by his own hand. I would rather he tootles along merrily mostly, that means support would be stable and he would leave me alone more. When he’s not doing so great he starts messing with me, his universal person to blame.

  • For me, Karma is very real and multi-faceted, sort of like Dr. Jekyll (sane/good) and Mr. Hyde (insane/evil).

    On the Dr. Jekyll side… when my cheating and lying ex-husband of ~40 years left me for his cheating, lying and married coworker, I got my life back! While it took me a while to stupidly stop blaming myself for his cheating, his porn addiction and ultimately, the death of our marriage (the effect of years of gaslighting), I was eventually able to turn my focus away from him/what he did/what he said and give all my attention to the one person who really deserved it – ME! One day, I decided to go 100% Zero Contact and invest my time, money and energy on blowing the dust off the wonderful person I was when I met him, rather than feeling compelled to think about what “they” were up to. Now that I’m a few years into the journey, it’s crystal clear that his exit was the best gift he ever gave me. I’m doing so much better than I could have ever imagined! Karma!

    On the Mr. Hyde side… my ex’s “greener grass” turned out to be more of a swamp land filled with oozing pus. First, he’s out jogging and gets hit by a car (Oh, he didn’t die? Sorry, not sorry!)… Then, he needs major surgery to fix his multiple post-accident injuries… Then, Twinkle Toes decides she likes my ex enough to keep him, so she initiates a divorce from her own husband of ~40 years, and things do *not* go smoothly… Then, my son and future DIL tell TT that out of respect and consideration for me, she was not welcome to attend any of their wedding-related events; my ex brought his sister as his date, he looked positively miserable the entire time and no one from my side of the family would speak to him… Then, on Christmas Eve, TT contracts necrotizing fasciitis and came within an inch of having to have her leg amputated. While she got to keep her leg, my kids tell me it’s literally half of what it used to be and is extremely disfigured. And oh, did I mention that during her lengthy hospitalization, her grown children – who are royally pissed she’s divorcing their father to be with my ex – never came for a single visit?… And finally, to know that my ex is still living in the same total crap hole of an apartment he moved into when he left me 4.5 years ago – while I am completely enjoying life in the adorable little house I bought for myself – tells me that the underlying current of his daily life is rather unpleasant (even if he’s not willing to admit it). Karma!

      • Lady B: Yes, ma’am, it was a true fairy tale ending – except for the Mount Everest of shit they dumped on everyone else! I’m so happy that I was able to disengage, throw my shovel down and skip away from that smelly pile.

    • That was like a bed time story with a fairy tale happy ending for everyone but the troll and the evil witch. Loved it!

  • I think two things. 1) When the pupil is ready the teacher appears. That is how I take my cheating Xboyfriend. I needed to learn what these people look like smell like, their aura, so that they can never, ever come near, not to mention into my life again. Moreover, the lessons I have learned I am teaching my children. We have had way too many of thes creatures in our lives. My great grandfather was a cheater, my father(s) were cheaters, my husband was a cheater, my Xbf was a cheater, my son’s gf turned out to be a cheater too. This is a universe lesson my whole family needs to learn.

    2) Karma – Well Xbf has always been a medically needy. He didn’t take care of himself and was always suprised and shocked when he had a boo boo. So Karma is back. Guess what, he has cancer of the nose, he needs to have a new nostril fashioned, healed up and then irradiated, that can’t be good. Then his newly resurfaced knees are failing. So he is back to crutches. Lastly his multiple concussions are making him blissfully oblivious as all this sets in because at 66 he is showing very clear signs of dementia. And this is the sad end that comes to a person who has cheated all of this life and drank like a fish. Sorry, not sorry.

    Me I am no contact, brushing off the dust of my former self, and living a peaceful life. AND teaching my kids how to avoid these people in any form in their lives. WINNER!!!

  • I attended a writing workshop yesterday, and the presenter said (though she was talking about writing), “It’s not what you did. It’s what you make of what you did.”

    My ex destroyed our family, and rather than learning a lesson from it and trying to become a better person and a better father to our kids, he continues to screw up. I think his life is much worse now than it was. My kids are surviving visitation with the cheater stepmother who sounds unbalanced and deeply unhappy. She freaks out at my sons at every turn, and what does my ex do? He nods and supports her, and then he gets mad at my sons because they’ve made her mad (over ridiculous things… my sons are not back talking, vandalizing the house, getting in trouble with the law, failing in school… it’s more like they didn’t seem “happy enough” to see her when they walk in the door and dumb shit like that). She sounds really fun to live with. I was super laid back; my then-husband had it made. Now, he’s walking on eggshells.

    He’s getting his karma all right. He divorced me because I was the “bad” spouse, and now he’s stuck with a woman who has less maturity than a middle schooler who wants him to pick her over his kids.

    • Sounds like your kids are young and being forced to eat the shit sandwich. I can’t help but think it won’t be long until Schmoopie doesn’t want them around at all. Less kibbles for her when they are there. I feel for you chumps who have this to deal with. My kids are old enough to say no to the shit sandwich buffet. They have exercised their right to say no and aren’t forced to be around Schmoopie. I pray for the day your kids are old enough to not have to deal with this.

      • MJB, they are definitely forced to eat the shit sandwich, and while I don’t want to wish their lives away, I won’t deny that I will heave a great sigh of relief when my youngest turns 18.

  • Karma has come for me. I had a miraculous surgery and leapt out of a wheelchair, while he is headed towards a wheelchair due to a worsening disease. He was struck by a paralysis episode the week after he ran off with shmoopie. This happened just after his mother proclaimed to the family I was useless for being in a wheelchair. (After 20 years together) It doesn’t get more Karma-ish than that. But — it doesn’t help. It doesn’t make me feel better. I’m still overcome with rage at him, shmoopie and his mother. What makes me happy is focusing on me and discovering how much more of a person I can be, how much better I can enjoy life and connect with people after emerging from the hell of the last few years.

  • I am still actually hoping for him to get some payback. Once you realize like me, that you did actually love and care for someone that pretended a lot of life basics- it starts to really set in. And he was fun. A lot of it. He distracted me with it- then let me do all the grown up work while he took the helpless I need you path… were good team babe… blah blah.

    Until he used me up or rather I got cancer and he had to actually do something for me. Then the gig was up. I stopped being 24/7 useful. Who was this person? I certainly think evil lives inside him in a way I can’t understand.

    Fact: He will hurt, lie, cheat, and manipulate every person he meets. Every person. And the fact that he has thousands of adoring fans to give him daily cake sucks. To the public eye- he is Mr hot pants fun fantastical… a dream catch that women can’t wait to date.

    I still watch the news- and when I see an accident or thing- I still wish it was him. Yes I do. So I haven’t come that far. I want to get a better life- I am sea slugging to health and my future.

    But I don’t care what it’s called- but some public humiliation, real pain, or his life getting blown up the way he blew mine up – would be ?

    Yes I see the good in focusing on me- but part of my healing would be knowing he experienced some real pain.

    • So sorry this is happening to you. It is hard to watch them thrive while you’re lying on the floor it gut wrenching pain.

      It takes a while but you come to realize it must suck to be them. To never really connect with anyone authentically. They will never be able to. This is their lot in life, but not yours.

      They will likely die alone surrounded by users.

  • I found out after he cheated on me, that he cheated on his last girlfriend before me. They were together 2 years and he was sneaking around behind her back for months. She wanted karma, but what did she get instead? The guy got married -to me, into a great family with lots of love and support. Lots of nieces and nephews who adored him. He got a great happy life with a woman who loved him dearly. What does he do? Cheats again -on me – so where’s the karma? When will he get what he deserves? Seems he just moves on from one woman to another and is doing pretty well. He is such a Narc and deep down to the core is selfish and thinks only of his wants and needs. And seems the last 10 plus years (that I know of), he’s been getting whatever he wants and needs, at the cost of others. So when will this damn bus hit him? I have things on him that could ruin him. Why shouldn’t I be the driver of this bus and hurt him even a little bit? Even throw one or two punches? Because my revenge is supposed to be to live a good life and focus on me and move on from him. I believe all this, but am having a really hard time lately actually doing this.

    A lot of you are mighty and strong and my idols. I will continue to look for strength but its hard

    • I guess I think karma and justice really come from us chumps doing the right things and reporting these a-holes.

      If there’s domestic physical violence, call the police and take each step until he’s convicted.

      If there’s cheating, tell your faith community, your daddy, your brothers, his men friends (not women, you don’t always know who is a slut).

      If there’s money problems, the bank, or the employer, whoever is most appropriate.

      The point is, don’t wait for karma, create karma. Tell people in authority about the problem(s) you are having.

      • I agree QueenMother – but a lot of people will say to just let him go and move one, and maybe they’re right. But damn, are we bad people if we do tell on them or report them or get them what they so deserve? Doesn’t come close to what they did to us yet we’re not even allowed a little revenge.

  • Dear Elle, one of my recovery heroes, Dana at http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/about-me/ talks about how Chumps project our goodness onto others – meaning that we take our basic humanity and imagine that it is in those around us against evidence to the contrary.

    I think something like that is going on with how you look at your stbx. You imagine how you would feel in a shiny new, stress-free, pampered life and project that onto stbx and are gobsmacked at the lack of karma.

    The more likely scenario is that none of these things really resonate with him and that he is as anxiously needy as he ever was. The new kibbles are barely adequate – possibly inadequate.

    Know this. He isn’t you. He doesn’t share your basic humanity. You can make no assumptions about the quality of his life based on your experiences because you are a human.

    Remember, he is not.

    • I wish there was a “Recommend” button like on the NY Times (which we all love so much these days) website. I would click it for this comment, NoMoreNarcs.

    • Yes! They’ve clearly demonstrated their contempt where we find value. I know that my ex is miserable in circumstances that would make me happy because he is a miserable prick who cannot find inner joy, no matter how joyous his life.

  • It took me around two years to stop being angry and thinking about my destroyed marriage all the time. As for karma, there is no such thing. Lots of horrible people live very happy and satisfying lives. Lots of horrible people end up miserable or in trouble. Lots of wonderful people have terrible things happen to them. Lots of wonderful people lead wonderful, happy lives. Life is not fair, and there are no guarantees of anything. Of course, people who habitually make bad choices (which is true of most cheaters) often eventually pay the consequences of those bad choices, but not always.

    The only real revenge is moving on with your own life. That’s also the only life somewhat within your control.

    • You are correct. I’m going on a year and a half – waiting for that time where i don’t give a damn about him getting his due – not there yet.

  • While I wait for that fiery car crash that consumes both my x and the OW in an overt karmic cataclysm that even a literalist like me can’t miss, here’s what I remember:

    Three years ago in a fit of honesty caused by the shock of confronting him with my new knowledge of his long-term affair, my x said about the OW, “She’s no one. She’s not the type of woman I would marry.”

    In the same conversation when I was begging him to dump her and come with me to marriage counseling to save our marriage (this was before I discovered CL), he kept refusing, saying, “I’m not worth it.”

    A couple of weeks later, with me still obsessively pick-me dancing, we were having lunch and talking. In the course of that conversation he said, “I can’t love anyone, except maybe the kids. I’ve tried.”

    Back then, three years ago, I was in the depths of my pain, torment, and compulsive rumination, so I didn’t recognize these statements for what they were: karma. My x is, deep down inside, a miserable person who can’t love anyone. The OW is nothing to him except a kibble dispenser, how great can that be (despite her smiling mug on Facebook when he takes her to Mexico so he won’t have to go alone)?

    CL is right on, as usual. People who cheat, and people who choose to sleep with married people, are dysfunctional, unscrupulous, lowlife trash who bring their own miserable karma with them everywhere they go, no matter how happy they may appear to the casual observer.

  • Oh boy. Well, you all are way more “evolved” than I am: You seem to have a basic grasp on what this Karma thing means. My understanding is what ever it is, it’s like cooties and it’s suppose to land in someone else’s lap, preferably their crotch like a scalding hot drink or a lifetime commitment to some kind of vicious STD that ensures they “feel the burn.” Forever.

    These kinds of advanced “life’s deep meaning” concepts always leave me in the dust. Or mud puddle splash from a passing vehicle on my new coat or prancing across ritzy joints with industrial strength toilet paper resolutely impaled to my hooker heel. Y’all know the kind: You’re sittin in the Ladies and it’s time to-ya know-and you suddenly and painfully realize if you really put that expensive time management “education” into practice you coulda been filing your nails instead of just mindlessly expelling waste. (Like an ex, a determined “floater.”)

    I have a real good grasp of hubris though. I even know the definition because I’ve lived it innumerable times. Hubris: Life’s solid ass kick when you’ve acted like one. Or not even tried to, but…Looking back at my multiple historical foo pox (look no further than yesterday, believe me) and my Karma “Life Lesson” is best summarized as Driver’s Ed, First Day: “TW, we don’t drive on that side of the road here…TW, the LEFT pedal is the brake…no, that’s the clutch…STTAAAPPP!!! …ah, let’s just go back to the classroom-I’ll drive back” across the parking lot. I’m too busy unwittingly orchestrating my own disasters to worry much about anyone else’s and trying to keep it between the lines in my own lane in the right country. (Or I could just move, but then Language-it’s always something.)

    There are some things that are so predictable now I warn the people around me:
    -Don’t get behind me in a line-any line, any time. The person in front of me has a personal check from the First National Bank of BWHAHAAAAAA! ARE YOU KIDDING? Is that even a country? And they’re not moving until it gets cashed or the SWAT guys show up.
    -In the Express Lane of the grocery store. I guarantee you, the REAL Housewife of The Tundra is gonna hot wheel her overflowing basket behind me in line and into my ankle/Achilles thingy that really hurts a lot with a cell phone glued to her ear with fake nails that could cut a bitch while speaking to a deaf person on the other end: “And my imported EYE-talion tile for my five gazillion dollar renovation to Fluffy the dog’s house is sitting on the dock in (gasp!) LONG BEACH!” Lady, lissen up: Do not pass Go: You’ve bought out the entire meat, dairy, frozen, snack and seasonal aisles and there is just not a snowball’s chance in hell I’m gonna let you take a grocery crap all over all those people behind your entitled azz. These nice check out people never look up because they don’t get paid enough to referee grocery basket cage fights and I can stand here alllll evening long and just keep calling up the people behind you one after another to go ahead of me. Whatcha gonna do? Having achieved “old” and the requisite invisibility because of it, that’s my superpower, bitch: And If I’m ever even noticed, I appear non-threatening: Fooled you, bitch. HA! I could shoplift an entire store or two and no one would notice the sorta grey haired old lady. I can’t shame ya with eye contact so I’ll just flame ya by making you wait…and wait….and that tile will arrive at your place before you do. Wanna bet? Yeah, do a 15 point turn with that cart and huff off to the right aisle and wait-like us peon everyday people.
    -In traffic at a Toll Booth I’ll somehow get squeezed into the lane behind a truck with a driver from one of those “Break Away Balkan” countries that looks nothing like Melanoma Trump unless she’s a really bad male impersonator. Apparently the driver thinks this is a border shakedown aanndd…holeyshit is that an AK??? Ohwonnerful, there are cars and trucks behind me, beside me and I have no “Exit Strategy” and I hope who ever takes care of these “misunderstandings” can get through this cacophony of horns, profanity, hand gestures and now more firearms than a Gun Nut/aka “Sportsmen Expo” that are currently poking out of numerous vehicles. It’s fair to say I now live in a “gun cultcha” (I’m an import) where everyone but me is locked, loaded and lookin for an excuse outside a gun range.
    -A “Drive Threw” (sign hand made by Miss Bush’s kindergarten class) of any kind. If you want food, better think loaves and fishes because that’s what’s gonna have to happen if you ever expect to eat. Once again, I’m stuck, can’t go forward, can’t back for jack and I have this picture in my head of all of us as skeletons still sitting in our vehicles.
    -The Credit Union “Drive Threw” (Same kindergarten class, new crayons.) Nope. There’s a slower than dirt hold up in progress via a handwritten threat on red construction paper decorated with what appears to be a funfetti cannon explosion telling them to hand all the lolly pops over. The teller is currently showing it to all the people IN the place for “Ahhhh! Cuteness!” but the kid is growing up in a “gun cultcha” and I’d be taking that a bit more seriously. She’s sitting in the driver’s seat (probably on multiple 1950s Manhattan phone books) in what appears to be a carjacked vehicle because no local drives anything that new or nice. That weapon she’s pointing may or may not be real-but I wouldn’t wanna find out.
    -At a “routine” medical appointment. After the adventure in Pediatric Speculums, that’s been covered. Unless you wanna dust off your back door skillz (and there actually IS one) once you see me, leave me to my anguish-and everyone else’s hilarity.

    So I don’t even have to try to do something to invoke this karma/hubris thing, it just seems to follow me like a determined homeless person who took my “Hey there, here’s a big soda and a couple burgers and fries” as a proposition. Of course they’re drunk, crazy and madder than hell because I didn’t “Supersize It” meaning my alleged “proposition.” Of course they have a white cane, why else would they do THAT to me?

    Karma and it’s bus thing-why does it travel in a bus? The ’60s ended ~50 yrs. ago and those artifacts of ancient history are in junk yards/back yards/same thing. By now I would expect it to travel in a MiniCooper. Or one of those electric cars that scared the crap out of me because I didn’t know there was such a thing IRL: I thought it was a “concept car.” It made no noise until I was behind it and it was backing up with alarming speed/accuracy at my person and the driver just got too immersed in their Crazy Bird game on their phone to notice they’re about to do a hit on a frantic old lady with (what else?) her grocery cart stuck in a slush rut. This invisibility thing also has it’s downsides too.

    So guys, look: Always remember the end of this story hasn’t been written *yet.* “Fair” is not Equal and speaking of “concept,” it’s one of those things that seems like a good idea-but there’s always unintended, unanticipated outcomes. Karma and Hubris seem to be relatives, at least to my brain. Sometimes we give and give and give and someone else takes and takes and takes. So by the time we realize someone would rather scarf up all of life’s home made mac and cheese than offer any to you, you can come up with a strategy to make sure you get some of your own-like hide another casserole dish of it and serve it for dessert. Your OWN dessert. They can go pound pasta and powdered fake cheese.

    Have a Mighty Tuesday-Because it is and so are you. You just don’t know it-yet. But I do. And I promise you’ll get “threw” this Life Detonation. If I’ve mananged to get old and still inhale even to this day-and exhale-it’s not genetics: Just pure luck and a flat out refusal to lay down and let a Life Concept car or cart ? drive over me. It’s just undignified and I’ve paid my dues.
    So have youse.

    • Tundra Woman,

      A karma bus indeed…

      The woman that handed Wanker his butt on a platter thought way outside the bus box, donned a flight suit and helmet, fired up a karma jet, flew across the ocean and rained napalm on his head….Still laugh my ass off when I think what happened to him ! His daughters have nothing to do with him and don’t let him see his grandkids.

  • I would also like to point out that sometimes the overt type of karma that we observers can actually perceive takes a long, long time in coming. Look at cheater Brad Pitt and OW Angelina Jolie. It took 11 years, but their marriage imploded spectacularly. We can only speculate what type of private karma those two walked around with in the meantime. They presented such a sparkly public face together right up until she filed for divorce and accused him of child abuse.

  • I do think karma is real, but I feel that it’s an attitude with a dose of enlightenment rather than external forces I can’t control. DDay was 3 years ago and I just filed yesterday. I don’t know if it’s the 2 x 4 of lucidity or just the fact that the past 3 years have been hell (so much like Elle’s narrative above, it’s uncanny), but I would LOVE to see my STBX and his AP get together. They DESERVE each other. It’s a small consolation that he told me just the other day that they may indeed end up together one day. Good for you both – I hope you do! At this point, my STBX could literally turn into Prince Charming and I still wouldn’t want him anymore.

    That’s karma for me – realizing, FINALLY realizing that the person that I was married to for the past 10 years sucks. I feel more free than I have ever felt in my life. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the last 12 years (married for 10, together for 12) have been a prison sentence and now I’m finally up for parole. I am reformed and have a completely new reference from which to draw my experience of love and commitment. My STBX? I know he’ll “reap what he sows” and he sows some pretty sour and negative outlooks and I see what he reaps everyday – hatred and bitterness. Karma is I don’t have to deal with him anymore. Yay!

  • Karma comes in unexpected ways and times for me. Sometimes little things. I recently had a birthday and the kids (adults) made a poster-board stating all of the things that they loved about me. They know that their Father cheated. Two of the things that they wrote were- – you are honest—you are brave. I love those kids.

  • Elle, My husband of 33 years left when our two kids were in college – it still sucked. I waited for the Karma bus, too. It two full years of counseling before I finally quit obsessing over what a piece of sh** he is. I’m well on my way to happiness again and frankly, I don’t care what happens to him. Yes, I think it would be hilarious if he and his new wife cheated on each other – after all they both cheated on their first spouses – but I’m not keeping an eye on them to see if it happens. They do get my dander up when they try to insert a wedge between my kids and me but I’ve got that pretty well under control, too. My kids both know who and what he is and what really matters to him. My son can’t stand the new wife and never could (yep, we knew her for years before they finally ditched the first spouses) and treats her with absolute disrespect – I’m not saying I should condone this but he’s an adult and makes his own choices. My daughter hates the way they treat her brother and limits her time with them because of it. I’m the one they come to to share their joys and concerns. I have to agree that there was a time that I would have loved the karma bus to take them both out but now, I just don’t care.
    Know that it takes time. You will be fine but things are extremely sucky some days. On those days, think only of yourself and what you want/need.Screw them, they aren’t worth your thoughts, time, or emotions. Move as soon as you can (I understand all of the financial fears very well). And don’t EVER do his Mom’s taxes again, let them all stew in their own juices while you live a life you deserve.

  • Karma for me was realizing my ex hasn’t changed. We both recently attended our son’s college graduation. He came with his beard, the wifetress, and I was there with my husband who I adore and treats me wonderfully. My ex’s mother and stepfather were also there. His mother has totally embraced my replacement and wishes I would vanish. I was never good enough for her special snowflake. Anyway, as we were sitting there all in a row during the commencement, I peered down the row to see my ex with his phone out and earbuds in his ears totally ignoring the proceedings. I felt a rush of happiness that I was almost giddy because I no longer had to spackle, excuse, or put up with that inconsiderate behavior. Our son was sitting in the row in front of us and noticed the earbuds. Afterwards he joked with his dad about the earbuds, but I know it must have hurt that his dad could not be “present” for his graduation. As much as I felt bad for my son, I felt fabulous for myself. I have a wonderful new marriage to a man of integrity who loves me and my children and grandchildren! Wifetress has my ex who is never “present” or content. Being happy is truly the best revenge. Karma is the wifetress and my ex having each other. I always say that I wish them all the happiness they deserve!

  • Hmm, actually, I do wish misfortune on my cheater. I hope he chokes on a chicken bone and dies prematurely. I hope he dies in his own slop, miserable and alone. I am not God, I am human, and I have had revenge fantasies something fierce. But mostly, aside from informing some folks about him, I’ve gotten on with my life.

    What I’ve come to know about the disordered (and I’ve treated many of them, and unfortunately been married to more than one), is that their lives are in near constant disarray, approaching ruin. They live to find someone to leech off for years as this provides them with the only thing approaching stability they’ll ever know. However, this does not buy their loyalty, nor even their love, because they cannot and do no love in the way most of us understand it. The punishment really is being them, because even though they are wrecking balls who think nothing of destroying your life and then frowning because they chipped a nail in the process, they will never know true intimacy. Trust. Connection. Real self-love. Because they are 100% dependent on their victims. They need us far more than we need them. Needy bitches, all of them, and that’s there dirty secret, they have no real distinct self.

    Fuck them. Let them live out their shallow existence. They will never, ever leave a legacy of love, or make anyone’s life better. That is their karma.

  • Since this is an old article, I will write to the commenters who are still in the karma conundrum.
    Yes, Virginia, there is a karma bus.

    Karma is really common sense.

    To my XH: You cheated, with a cheater. Lied/stole/swindled and lied some more to keep the cheater. NOW you are shocked that OW lies back to YOU? LORD!, HAVE MERCY! Who knew? Many here have said “cheaters get exactly what they deserve, each other”, and I tend to believe it’s true. You can’t build a relationship of trust based on deceit no easier than you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Does not work that way.

    Will you always see this “karma”? Probably not. They will bury it away with the fall acorns, they would rather have salt thrown in there eyes than show you their comeuppance. Covert narcs know, deep down that they suck, in those rare moments they check the mirror. They are jealous/angry that other people seem to feel real connections with others, for some reason they can no longer just mirror your compassion (if you are an empathetic, like I’m betting) – and they are seeking a brand new free ego boosting kibbles, before they devalue and discard the current supply – the chump.

    They may be high on PEA’s from and affair, but the limerence of this “happiness” can only lasts so long and the reality of life comes in. That’s not sexy. That’s the headlights in the distance of the karma bus.

    If your narcissist is of the covert narc nature (passive, shy, vulnerable ) they are basing their lack of empathy/shallowness from a low self image of inner shame. The “holy/good guy” they project is all frosting on a crappy cake. That’s why only 3%-5% of affair partners are still together 5 years later.

    That info does nothing to help the chump. Recovery helps the chump.

    Google “dealing with a covert narc”. There is no happy ending for most of these guys.

  • I think that evil people take their evil with them when they leave good people. Life after the Fucktard has been 100% improved. Even the bad times feel good by comparison. Yes, I had cancer, but with supportive people around me, I recovered. I have a job I love, a home I love, a former-chump husband I love, and a large fuzzy yellow dog who thinks I’m awesome. Life is good.

    The Fucktard married his too young student, then divorced her shortly thereafter. He lost his prestigious career, alienated damn near everyone he knew, developed cancer and an incurable neurological disorder, became addicted to opioids, and died a slow, miserable and lonely death at the ripe old age of 57.

    I knew none of this. I learned only later that the karma bus had come for him while I was off having a nice life. It didn’t bring me joy, but it brought me relief. The world is better off without that entitled chaos-producing asshole. At least his shit sandwiches are off the buffet.

  • Elle,
    I am 59 and live in the UK. At 51, I left my cheater and embarked on a new life. I moved to a place where there was a university and made several applicarions for low level admin jobs I knew I could easily do. I got hired…they like mature women and appreciate your wisdom and steadiness. You can take advantage of in-house employee training for your computer skills, and work your way up. You may start at about £25k but there are chances to apply for internal promotions. I now make twice that much and do project management. It is a completely livable wage. Look for uni’s, colleges, schools or government offices in your area.

    And get away from the village. You know a move not far away can mean your son doesn’t need to change schools but it would get those creepos down the street out of your sightline. Go somewhere that you don’t have to,worry about bumping into them. You moght actually find it a relief to distance yourself from the village idiots who gossip, and find a new local to enjoy meals out. I realise you’ve likely lived there forever, but getting past the “scorned woman” stigma is essential. Village cretins can be really cruel, I know from experience! You can still meet your true friends for walks or days out. Or join Ramblers in your new area and make some new friends.

    I know karma is a relief when it hits the offenders but you need to stop worrying about what they are doing day to day. I spent far too long obsessing about what various ex’s are up to. They always seem to be having far more fun than they really are. Let fate take care of your ex and his enabling old mother. They will die just like the rest of us. Focus on setting up the new you, and fall in love with that idea.

    I had a skype request from a cheater ex boyfriend (a post divorce one) this past week. First time in 5 years any squeak out of him! I took great pride in fully exercising my Chump Nation credentials and pressed the “block” button with no reply back to him. Well and truly trained in No Contact.

  • I really wanted the Karma bus to hit the ex, and then back up and do it again. I was looking for a huge explosion in his life. I finally realized karma was him having to live with himself. He hasn’t change and the new wifey (#3) gets to put up with him. I’m sure on the outside his new life is perfect, but behind doors I’m sure he’s still spending all night looking at porn and searching for new partners. His karma and hers is living together! Also someone stole his front lawn!! The little things!?

  • Here’s Karma ….you guys will will enjoy this ….so this “guy” I went to school with was doing his shenanigans for over 25 years, (groups threesomes etc) he thought he was “all that” if you will….(traveled about 6-7 months out of the year …professional athletic field …lets just say) THEN KARMA….LMAO….his wife filed for divorce and hit him with the supeona in another state as he was at work all nestled in the the “hotel” room…. I said what did she hit you with “Adultery” the laugh in the end is that ………………the last laugh is on him…….she’ll probably get about 60% plus alimony, Texas lol…..FAULT STATE….ADULTERY…………they usually screw themselves up …in the end…they’re so warped and off the wall and delusional….that they just cant forsee there stupidity…………there part DUMB AND PART AGGROGANT………..OHHH WHAT A COMBO

  • The thing about Karma is that it comes far after you stop caring. It’s not immediate. Too bad. But when you’ve moved on, moved through, nearly forgotten about what’s – his – name, karma hits. It’s not righteous indignation you feel. You feel sympathy for the lout, not because he or she is deserving but because of your own humanity to feel sympathy for another human being suffering. Even if it’s their fault. But not bad enough to send a card.

    • ^^^This^^^ I definitely won’t be sending a card , but I don’t wish him ill. Wether I like it or not, he will always be my children’s father and my grandchildren’s grandfather. For all his faults, they love him. They have suffered enough. I just want to move on.

      • YES,
        Anotherday and Justbreathe, You, have true hearts of gold. People like you make the whole world a better place.
        You are mighty.
        I do agree on NO cards though!
        ?

  • Is there a fundamental law of karma baked into the fabric of the universe?

    Beats me.

    But I do think that those who make shitty life decisions, and who harm other in the process, end up stacking the deck against themselves in terms of life in general. In that sense, cheaters are certainly less apt to have real, meaningful lives.

  • People have GOT TO STOP WITH THE KARMA STUFF!!!!

    It rarely, if ever, effects non human Narcissists. We have got to stop!!

    WE are their karma moments. Hold them accountable! Stay No Contact or Gray Rock but hold them accountable. Child Support, Alimony. Get counseling and get in with YOUR life.

    • Whether we believe in karma or not it does not matter
      What matters is we are honest loyal kind humans who were committed to our family despite being abused
      Their cheating has helped us realize we were never loved by them as they are incapable of deep love
      There fore we file divorce and our lives get better without abuse
      We feel free
      We get happier with time
      Role model for our kids
      Does it matter if the ex lives happily with the slut ?
      No not really
      We are out of the prison of marriage without true love
      Maybe we will find that love in another relationship or in art or in spiritual path or in anything we want to do
      But we are FREE!!!!
      So we have really good karmas to be free of them
      The OW can have him and enjoy his abuse

    • This is the only way I can crawl out of the rage and anguish I feel. No karma. They can’t suffer. Not like we do. They are reptilian. They are empty inside. No karma. Just geting counselling and moving on with MY life. Thanks, NoNarcsRUs!

  • Two years ago and a couple of months now, EXH#2 got a $20.00+/hour job as a supervisor, two years + about 6 weeks ago, had DDay, 2 years ago a couple of weeks ago was his move out day into his Slut-shack, 2 years ago last week was his plea for wreck-conciliation, followed by a few weeks of more money stealing, lying, and cheating, next week will be the GTFO day 2-year-anniversary…

    Right off, he was with OW and they were married within 60 days after our divorce was final.

    Fast forward to now and here’s how Karma has kicked The Evil One in the teeth and rode him bareback:

    ***TEO was fired from that high-paying job 6 months ago, hasn’t found another job at that rate of pay, but still has to pay me the same amount of child support
    ****has numerous health issues, especially diabetes, and lost his health insurance when he got fired, which I provided him with for 13 years
    ***TEO, Mrs. Dumb -Ass, her two kids moved into a 1400/month rental with Mrs. D-A’s grandma, that has been diagnosed with early onset dementia— and makes granny pay half the rent (he got fired just after moving from the Slut-Shack into the new rental, damn…)
    ***TEO was in an accident about 3 months ago driving his work truck, was declared his fault, tore up part of the interstate…a couple weeks ago, a letter from the DOT Legal Department showed up at my house— I sent it right back to them with a “no longer at this address”…I suspect they found him, because friends and I have seen him driving around all hours of the day last few days…my guess is that he either got fired for causing the wreck, or lost his CDL…time will tell
    ****I turned him into the state’s child support enforcement office back in March, which will add 25% to his weekly amount until his arrears is caught up, which may cramp his lavish lifestyle he tries to portray. HA!!!
    ***Mrs. Dumb-Ass’s ex/baby daddy is taking her to court, raising hell for reduction of chikd support, eliminating alimony, etc,
    ****there’s a few other Karma-kicks coming, but I have to be patient, as I have been for the last 2 + years…
    TEO’s biggest saying he loves to say to people is that there are 2 things you don’t f*ck with— his money or his family — in that order

    Also, EXH#1 got peeled, stewed, and pureed by his OWife. It took 5 years, he got served and all I could say to him was, “I told you so!!!!”

    The bottom line is that as much I want to *make* things happen to him, I don’t. The best response to his kind of crazy, narcissistic spew is silence— grey rock when I have to be around him, no contact the rest of the time.

    Be patient, its all about the image and what they want you to think about them.

  • The freedom finally comes when you can let go of checking your watch for the karma bus. I was ready to BUY a karma bus to run over the Putrid. I want to hire flint eyed soldiers from Chechnya to visit him at 3 a.m. (And his AP).

    Karma is a type of magical thinking. And as fun as magic is, I can’t find a Hogwarts to enroll in. There’s that bummer.

    The only way, and it is as hard as lifting weights after the flu, is to focus on your own life, and the dependents you have, with the same manical frenzy that the Putrids focused on their affairs.

    Cliche? Yes. But it is the closet to a antidote I have found. Become selfish in treating yourself like a prize. Treat yourself the way you wish he/she had.

    It changes your brain chemistry and nudges you out of the revenge/rage rut, which I lived in for too long, and it was like having a black burlap bag over my head all the time.

    Your life is what counts. They are dead now. And what do we do with a corpse? We run from it. You don’t touch it. It is rotten. You bury it.

    This is one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I had a house burn down. Lots of crappy things. But this? This almost took me out.

    Good sex with someone kind helps, as well as (don’t get upset) experimenting with mild psychedelic drugs. They open up doors in your mind. There are some therapists outside of the stodgy U.S that can facilitate the experience.
    Be careful but it helps you push past the rage. 🙂

  • STBX just asked to go on the boy scout camping trip next Saturday with our oldest boy instead of going to baseball games all day with our younger boy. There will only be four people on this trip, STBX, my son, one other scout and the scout leader who is a single unattached woman. The two boys will be in one tent with the two adults supposedly in their own separate tents. He hates camping. Hmm. I thought about protesting as we are not divorced yet, but then I realized that if there is something going on between him and the scout leader then that means he is already cheating on Schmoopie 2.0 with maybe 3.0? That would be the beginning of Karma for Schmoopie 2.0 who was actively and deliberately working to scuttle reconciliation last summer. And if there isn’t anything going on with scout leader, then that is still time he isn’t spending with 2.0 and she might still have to fret over what might be going on. Am I evil for thinking like this? On the third hand I kind of like scout leader but if she is or starts fooling around with STBX I might lose some respect for her for letting him manipulate her like that. He said something last fall about how he was praying on lonely people and I fear she might qualify.

    • Let’s hope her Scout ethics are stronger than his charm. To say nothing of turpitude.

      Not your circus, not your monkey.

  • My STBX pervert figured out that fishing around for sex with strangers on the internet was bad for our marriage- after I threw him out and filed for divorce.

    Now…..he’ sorry. He lost everything…house, marriage, respect of his children. Honestly, I don’t think it bothers him all that much. As long as he has his webcam hoes……his internet hook ups…..and his mother- he is happy as a clam. No Karma will ruin his happiness.

    I don’t want Karma- I want Meh!

  • I am a year and a half out from separation. (In the part of Canada in which I live, you have to live apart – or meet the standards of in-house separation – for one year, and have your child custody and access sorted, before you can apply for divorce. Separation can be covered by Legal Aid, if necessary. Divorce is not. You pay out of pocket, so lots of low-income people can’t afford to divorce, or must scrimp and save for a long time in order to afford the court fees for filing.)

    As I said, I’m a year and a half out. Child custody and access is sorted, I’ve been settling into a new place. The kids seem to be alright, thanks be to God! The X is better than ever: he’s in the house we lived in, and in which my youngest was born. We rent, and he refused to leave when I asked him, so I moved out. Our two kids shuttle back and forth.

    Understatement: the injustice is difficult to handle. After years of being worn down by his abuse, I am struggling with the post-traumatic effects. I am grieving the loss of my intact family. I am surviving day to day just trying to keep myself together and heal. I see the effects the separation has had on my relationship with my kids and I choke on tears of bitterness and anguish.

    As for X? Things have never been better. He is their main parent half of the time. He has had to get his shit together and stop running away from his kids. He actually spends time with them now, which he didn’t nearly as much before. Granted, he was laid off a year ago, so he’s had the time! Now, he’s starting up his own business he can run from home. He has the house, and he has the image control. While married, he undermined and criticised everything I did, from the way I held my fork, to the way I washed dishes, to how I cleaned and cooked. Now, he is riding high on unspoken smugness because now he is Dad of the Year, has made it look like Mommy left the family while he’s holding down the home front. Everyone loves the guy, and my daughter is open about how she prefers the way Daddy does everything. This horrible person withheld from me sex, affection, touch, while spending all of his sexual energy in some other mysterious way. Plus, he heaped abuse on me, and is an alcoholic in denial. He was soused the night his son was born. Had to go sleep it off while I laboured. And he is better than fine. He’s sufferer no consequences. And I am a wreck. I will build myself up. Me 2.0. But my kids don’t remember my years of devoted service and cheerful love for them as a stay at home mom for nine years. Daddy is more fun. Daddy has our house. Daddy cooks better (he belittled and criticised everything I ever made, so my confidence is shot. He worked in kitchens for years.). Daddy has a car. “Daddy is more involved,” my daughter told me. Yes! This year! This year while I went back to school and dropped out because my head wasn’t in the game. This year, building new routines and a new home life from scratch, alone! This year! Up until this year, I volunteered at their school, was with them all the time in work and play. And none of it matters to them. They don’t remember. I protected them from his rages and abuse, from his drunkenness. And he is better than ever. I am grieving and struggling. Not the fun parent! It’s not fair, and I don’t think anything that comes along will ever hurt him. He’s reptilian, and I’m a bruised flesh and blood human being. I hate this more than I can express.

    • On reading your post this morning my heart is filled with sadness for you and your horrific situation.
      YOU are a wonderful caring person who has been taken advantage of in your daily life.
      Your ex, your children, even your fellow Chump are draining you and you keep trying to give give give when you already have given far too much.
      Your ex will never continue to be this bright shinning light in your dhildren’s eyes. His character has spoken out, hash and uncaring in the past. His true colours will show, in time. That is inevitable. He is a taker. Takers can fool people for a very short time!
      Meanwhile, you are burning yourself out at both ends.
      You will always find love and support here with CL, CN. This is a safe place to share pain and to help someone struggling to see their self worth.
      YOU have great self worth. You just have to find it again. Others have taken and taken from you and in doing that they have buried your self worth.
      I hope you can find even more specific guidance and help here. Please find out how to check out the forums, get more individualized help from experts here. EXPERTS dwell here, with hearts as big as the ocean and knowledge too!
      Individual counselling with the right councillor would also help you. Please try to seek that out if at all possible. Confide in someone you trust for help.
      From your posts I see you as a very caring person, in crisis at this time.
      Reach out, seek help for yourself, let the others fend for themselves, they have dragged you far under and you need to save yourself.
      CN is pulling for YOU!!
      ((((((Many hugs))))))

  • The injustice is screwing up my relationship with a lovely fellow chump I met over a year ago. He was a battered husband for many years. He made the brave and terrifying step of calling the police one night, when he’d had enough. That was almost two years ago. His cold and crazy manipulative ex got off on a technicality. She has suffered no long term consequences for almost two decades of tormenting a man who was devoted to her. She got back joint custody and access after the police granted him full-time emergency custody because of the extent of her abuse. She has such power over him still. He still can’t set a boundary with her. She has him dancing attendance on her, even though she already has a new punching bag man installed in her house. He is terrified of her, and has been conditioned to just give in. I’ve seen it, and it’s heartbreaking. The aftermath of the abuse these fucked up excuses for human beings heap on those of us with empathy is devastating. This man is the kindest person I’ve ever met, through and through. He’s super smart, a bookworm like me, hilarious, witty, and so much more. We have fantastic chemistry. And it simply won’t work. He’s been so broken down by his monster ex that he is unable to set up and maintain healthy boundaries that a relationship between us would require. These people hate joy. They choose evil over and over again. And they move on, unscathed, to suck dry the next unwitting human. They don’t suffer. We do. Molten, geyser anger!!! I hate what these people do. I hate these people! Fucking hate them. Meh? Not yet! Likely not for years. Both me and this lovely man brought our A-games to our marriages. And in return, we got piles and piles of trauma to deal with that fucks up relationships for us until we get it sorted! Even more years if our lives given over to these monsters after they’re obstensibly gone. I try to give others the benefit of the doubt, so it hurts me to say I hate X, and I hate my friend’s ex. I do hate them. I hate what they do and what they get away with. And they can’t suffer because tbey are empty inside.

    • I know I’m not supposed to care..

      ……………but I luvz me a good karma beat down. 🙂 My cheater or not – hearing of consequences that naturally occur to dingbats doing daring, stupid deeds is cathartic.

      hehehehehehe.

      {Maybe I AM Magneto?}

  • Such a succinct and profound post. Huzzah for CL!

    Since I just finished a yoga teacher training, I feel I have the authority to point out something about the concept of “karma.”

    Technically, it does not mean some sort of divine retribution or comeuppance. It was originally intended to mean — and this has been proven time and again by neuroscientific research — that each action/thought pattern tends to pave the way for similar actions/thought patterns in the future. For example, yogic philosophy proclaims that, if you lie, then for myriad reasons, you will be more likely to act disingenuously in the future.

    I think the traditional definition of karma applies in this sense. Your ex- is indulging in “negative” karma by doing to his new partner exactly what he did to you. It’s now a more efficient, streamlined process, however. He knew just how to make you dance to get his way. He’s got all the tricks lined up and so he’s going to have a great time abusing this new woman. He will dig the trenches deeper and deeper for that foul, stinky river to flow. It will be the same superficial hell that, deep down, he knows will never satisfy him. (CL is right when she says the “enjoyment” and “easy breezy-ness” of it all is impression management. That’s all narcissists know how to do!)

    Fortunately, Elle, you get to control your own life. And you are. You’re building “positive” karma for yourself by treating yourself with respect. That will beget more self-respecting behavior, and carve the way for other positive things. Before you know it, you will have created a life and carved a host of neural pathways that make you feel solid and strong.

    The fruits of your labor (and the weeds of your ex’s) will become prominent in years’ time, I’m certain of it!

  • Yeah. That magical revenge. Karma. I think that Karma is that you get from life what you give.
    If you are a positive, kind, honest person you will experience positive, kind and honest people because you ARE ONE YOURSELF.
    If you are a liar, cheater and basically a rotten person, you will experience negativity, lies, and rotten people because YOU ARE ONE YOURSELF.
    It´s all in perception, and what we allow into our minds and souls, I think.
    As for Karma, if I use my precious recovery stewing about all the awful things I would want for my Disordered STBX I sure would be missing out on the good life has to offer.
    Bad karma creates bad karma. Period.

  • One more thought on this…

    There is no scientific evidence for the existence of karma. There is no scientific evidence that things happen for a reason. In fact, it could be argued that random chance has more scientific evidence of being baked into the fabric of the universe, through quantum mechanics.

    Now, we do want justice for cheaters, but we’ve already delivered it when we left them. They don’t get us, not ever again, and we are probably the best, most real things that ever entered their lives.

    • I agree with this. Some boyfriends have screwed me over and have moved on to get married and have kids, and create great happy families. While I’m in my 40s, still unmarried, no kids and don’t even talk to my family because they are so toxic. Karma is not something that I see happen. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Life isn’t always fair from what I’ve experienced. I didn’t think this way when I was younger, but my parents and family have left me a miserable legacy.

  • Karma in is original sense from Hinduism explains we being cheated upon and mistreated.

    No.

    What there is instead are the natural consequences of one’s actions. When she still lived with me, I told my ex how it would turn out. She smirked, “we’ll see!” I made popcorn.

    Though the popcorn was long stale, less than two years later, reality set in for them, not three months after the got married and co-habitated. A few months later, I got the first late night phone call, she sobbing and apologizing for everything, “I wish I could take it back, ” etc.

    Later, it was she who called the cops on her H after an incident with his brother. I think she overreacted. The cops showed up to see a crying woman. He wouldn’t shut up and ended up being slammed to the ground and cuffed. They let him go, but had to go to court for resisting arrest.

    Months later, the DV started. She told me later that he had previously grabbed her and put her on the couch, forbidding her to divorce him. The worst incident was when she punched him. He was being an idiot, but didn’t deserve to get punched. She nailed him hard. She showed me her hand two days afterwards and it was still bruised. She tried to call me to come get the kids (she did it in front of them), but he took her phone. This was actually a felony on his part. He ended up leaving. I referred her to a DV hotline. If she hadn’t called her T the next day, which I told her to do, I would have had to report it. The other parent can lose custody in situations like this. She told D4’s therapist the day after. I was there. The T almost reported her, but after consultation with colleagues didn’t.

    I met with him. I phrased it in a way which wasn’t a request. We met. I counseled him on DV against men. I told him to look up a safety plan. I also said that there were no three strikes here, that the kids absolutely could not be exposed to this again. Basically, the same things I told her. He said I was helpful. I might as well have been talking to walls.

    There was another incident when the kids were with me. She threw her cell phone at him. He “accidentally” punched her hand when she was on the floor looking for her phone. “I meant to punch the table!” Still DV, genius. Her, obviously.

    On the verge of them moving out on each other, he had found a room and she was getting another apartment for her and the kids, there was another incident. I think he set her up. He called the cops, then she did. Little D4 woke up to cops in the apartment. This is the reason she told me, in case D said something. They were lucky neither was arrested, the cops said so. He was still on the lease so they couldn’t make him leave. She pulled the “what, are me and my kids supposed to be kicked out into the cold on Christmas Eve?” Cue the violins and break out the wine and cheese. They suggested he leave since he had a place and told both of them that there would be one or two arrests if they had to come back. She’s a professional. A DV arrest wouldn’t be good.

    The few times I saw them together, I could sense the tension. I saw the utter derision with which she treated him. It’s a far cry from what she wrote to him when living with me, “every day that goes by is one day closer that we can be together forever. ” *ack* insert Bill The Cat emoj.

    Things have been better. I even took her out for mother’s day with the kids. This isn’t a recycle in the least. I have to co-parent with this woman for the next 13 years, legally.

    I feel sorry for him. The kids used to tell me stuff, how she would talk to him. Step-parent alienation. No matter how much he hurt the kids getting into the r/s , I always sensed that he wanted to do the right thing as a SD.

    I hadnt talked to him since the fall. Last week, I got a text, “forgive me for trespassing against you. ” He comes off as Super Christian (to the extent that it’s odd, but whatever). I told him that I forgave him, and I do. I also gave him a tiny bit of advice, but not so much I’d feel I’d have to explain if she saw what I wrote. I can forgive, but I’m not stupid.

    And that, as they say, is that.

  • What is Karma, did we deserve what happened to us, do we inherit it or do we generate it? All of these and much more are answered by Carmen Harra in her books about Karma. I admit, I was not into this kind of “science” but after living for a while, it makes sense. There is family Karma – the Kennedy’s. Even places on Earth have Karma (think of Middle East).
    What is important is to learn, heal these ancient wounds and try to be better human beings.
    I believe chump nation can heal, we can find resources to rebuild our lives, on better foundation, stronger and higher. This is entirely up to us!
    Yes, we’ve been hurt, shattered and crushed. What do we do next? Because what we do defines us. Not what others did to us.
    So what are you doing today with your life?

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