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The Sentence That Changed Your Life?

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Chump Nation member “NewHere” had a suggestion for a Friday challenge.

We here in CN have read hundreds or even thousands of blogs, comments and replies. But what was that one nugget that really hit home? What was that sentence or phrase that really, really stuck out to you as the gem that could start you in the right direction? This was mine from 04/14/2014:

“You’re saddled with a partner who has checked out of the marriage. Why? Because of entitlement, cowardice, and crap life skills. Why? Because that is their character — when the going gets less than optimal, they cast about.”

OMG, CL! Those simple words literally saved me. You saved my sanity and my self esteem. Thank you, again and again.

I also had one friend who listened and listened and after each conversation he said, “It gets better.” Damned if it doesn’t. It got better. In fact, it got good!

Great idea, NewHere! I’m not sure how much I believe in inspirational quotes of the yoga pose and sunrise sort, but I do believe in the A-Ha! moments that come from a well-delivered line. My all time favorite — I love it so much it’s the opening to my book — is from the great abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass who wrote:

I prayed for 20 years and received no answer, until I prayed with my legs.”

That’s pretty much the CN mission statement right there — PRAY WITH YOUR LEGS. Leave. Get the hell out. Begin again.

So CN, what are your nuggets of inspiration? TGIF!

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Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Agreed Mickeyblueeyes. One thing my ex would say is “for every one wrong I did, I did a thousand things right”. Yes and no. And they think an affair is just One thing. He would cry and ball his eyes out when I mentioned divorce and say all the right things. I gave him many chances to make things right and even wrote a bullet point list of things he could do. But his actions over and over again showed that he just wasn’t committed or willing or wanting to be with me. It’s a cold hard fact to accept. But words are nothing if not followed through with actions.

      • Mine has that same script. “I don’t go out to bars and drink, go out with my friends till all hours, would never abuse you, go to work every day and let you buy what you want, fix things around the house. I do a lot good.” I want to scream every time I hear this. You want props for the responsibilities you signed up for from day one? You want a pat on the back because you’ve never hit me? Seriously? You think that negates what you’ve done? Doesn’t even come close, no possible comparison. He cried his eyes out, too. “Made a mistake, didn’t mean to hurt me.” I don’t get this either. He consciously made the decision to find where my co-worker lived, somehow found her phone number, gave her a gift and told her how this would destroy us. It is not a mistake when one plans and deceives and what he did was so intentional, knowing the hurt it would cause. The mistake for him was that he was stupid enough to seek my co-worker and got caught. He has been begging for reconciliation and forgiveness, going to counseling on his own. I don’t have a stomach for it. I know I do not want to restore whatever it was we had prior to this because I completely doubt any of it. The trust has been broken, the deception was so easy so I have no guarantees he couldn’t do this again and not get caught, and I just can’t accept that one day a person is willing to compromise his marriage, eyeing a young whippersnapper, and once caught, he can vow love. Sorry, can’t buy it. I haven’t consulted an attorney yet because I am paralyzed by the unforeseeable struggles I will have to contend with. He won’t leave the house and is currently staying in the trailer. I’m not afraid of being without him, not at all, just the opposite since I can barely stand the sight of him. I’d like some feedback from the 50 plus crowd that has gone through this. I know it is inevitable to make a move.

        • PMBS
          I cried out to God two weeks after Dday – I begged Him to show me a reason to stay. The next morning my prayer was answered when I literally stumbled across a bag full of reasons why the kids & I could NOT stay!!

          I had to quit my job, leave almost everything behind, and pull my kids away from a school and friends that they loved. It was hard, but they understood why.

          If X made effort to get help on his own and choose family over his double life, we were prepared to go back. He never missed a beat jumping completely into his other life without us and rewriting history!

          It was not easy for me, especially for first 3 years. My kids were older, supportive and knew why we had to leave They have thrived beautifully! I am the one that struggled mostly because I felt like I had failed in marriage (RIC sites did not help that). Leaving was the only safe/sane option.

          God has blessed my kids with amazing friends & father figures. They all thank me for loving them and being brave enough to trust God by leaving and starting completely over.

          I hope that helps somehow.

          • PMBS, I’m in the over 50 crowd, but was 48 on D-Day. If you are determined to get a divorce, please go see a lawyer ASAP, so you can protect yourself and you assets. Ask around for names of pit-bull lawyers. One thing I didn’t know is that once you have a meeting with a lawyer, you husband can no longer go with that person. So, it’s to your to meet with quite a few lawyers (usually the first visit is free.)

            I was shell-shocked at first and didn’t want the divorce (he’s the one who asked for it, because he wanted to be with someone who “trusted him 100%” — the truth was he was leaving me for the whore I caught him out with and was dating her even while we were still married — liars lie and cheaters cheat!), but after really seeing him for who he truly is and not the person I thought he was. I’m happy he’s no longer my husband, because he makes my skin crawl.

            There’s a TON of advice here at Chump Lady about getting your ducks in a row and what to do. I won’t repeat any of it, because so many have already said it way better than I could and I don’t want to leave anything out! 🙂

            This has been by far the most difficult thing I’ve gone through, but it does get better. I can’t say I’m at ‘meh’ yet, but I’m not the hot mess I was a little over two years ago. And I’m better than I was a year ago. Good luck and keep coming back to CL and CN. I practically lived here at CL for a good year. (((HUGS)))

            • “trusted him 100%”

              this is one of the great reverse-blaming mind-fuckeries employed by the disordered: I (cheater) can’t trust you because you don’t trust me. If you don’t trust me, how can I go all-in on reconciliation? So if I fail at reconciliation, it is your fault because you didn’t go all-in either.

              • Yes!
                The problem is that we don’t trust them, NOT that they have proven themselves to be untrustworthy in absolutely everything!
                X cannot open his mouth without lying . Once I realized that (30 years too late), I started calling him out on it, by questioning him so that he had to respond with direct “yes” or “no” answers. (For some reason, he usually doesn’t outright lie – but wraps lies up in truthy sounding little verbal packages ?‍♀️).
                By the time I left, he was the victim! He blamed everything on me! He claimed that our problem was that he was “just never able to communicate with (AKA manipulate/control) me!” In other words: He was caught, I knew his game & he was no longer able to manipulate me or situations – as easily! He suddenly claimed that I was an abusive spouse who was responsible for all the stress in his life!

        • Married almost 39 years. I realized when I decided to leave him, there would be a lot to untangle (assets, etc), but like I read on here, the pain of staying was greater than the fear of leaving. As CL has asked in her book, do you want a lifestyle or a life? I, too, was at the point where I couldn’t stand to look at him. He was a complete and total stranger to me. The mask was off and I didn’t like what I saw. If you haven’t already, see a lawyer. I didn’t talk about going with anyone. I called and made the appointment and went. That’s how I knew I was totally done with him. Let your attorney guide you. The receptionist at my attorneys office commented it was unbelievable how many older couples were getting divorced these days. I think women are starting to realize their worth. I know I am. It sure took long enough. Material things you can put a price tag on. Peace of mind? Priceless.

        • Not quite 50. I was 47 when my ex left me after 17 years married, 20 together.
          It wasn’t the first affair, there had been several. I can say, I was devastated when I found out about the one he left me for because I thought we were good at the time.
          I am self employed so I didn’t have the whole ” going back to work” thing.
          My kids have gone no contact with him over not only what he did to our family, but because he just outright lied to their faces when they tried to question him after D day. They too feel their lives with him were a fraud. Will that change? I don’t think so, but I don’t know. I don’t think as long as he’s with her.
          Advice?
          Go no contact. It’ll hurt like a motherfucker and at first it’ll feel like what I imagine coming off heroin feels like ( ” I just gotta have a hit!!”) but it will get easier everyday and you will feel the spell being broken.
          If you spend money on nothing else, get a GREAT atty. this is an investment in your future.
          Trust that he sucks….he does. Don’t beat yourself up that you got played, just get smart now.
          I don’t know where you live, but as another posed here today…..see as many of the good attys in your area as you can. It wasn’t free for me, most were $200 an hour or so, but once I saw them my ex couldn’t hire them ( see: it’s an investment in your future.)
          Cry all night every night if you need to, but get your head in the game and don’t let him hand you any of that ” but I love you….if we can settle the divorce without wrecking me, who knows where we will end up?”
          We know where he will end up.
          That’s my over 50 crowd advice. Hugs to you.

        • Good for you drop kick his ass……..I dont know how anyone can keep LOVING…EYEROLL…someone who abuses them….cheating is abuse …PERIOD….call it what it is……….they’re so full of shit once they get caught they’re so IN LOVE GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK…SO FULL OF SHIT….IT’S ALL ABOUT IMAGE IS RIGHT AND MONEY MONEY MONEY

      • In crime theory, this is known as ‘the metaphor of the ledger’. It’s a way for criminals who would like to dupe themselves (and others) into thinking they’re still a swell person despite demonstrable evidence to the contrary. Cheaters are no different, and they use it in identical ways.

        Remember how I gave money to that Ethiopian orphanage, and how I stayed after church service to help clean up after that pot luck that day? Yes, it’s true that I committed arson and that guy died. But hey, it was just that one time!

        Don’t you remember that I cleaned out our elderly neighbors weeds and tipped the waiter 40% on a $150 tab that one time?!? Sure, I violated the sacred covenant of marriage and soul-raped you. But it was just that once, for God’s sake! I donate to UNICEF, woman!!

        There’s clearly just no pleasing you.

        • X was an the perfect example of “the metaphor of the ledger” the generous tips, gave beggars money, smoked chickens then distributed them to all our neighbors.
          When a neighbor went out of town he’d run over to mow their lawn, (tiny lawns) bring their garbage cans in from the street.
          What I noticed about these neighborly or “friendly” gestures is he would look around to see if anyone noticed. He’d mention that he gave a generous tip, looking for attention or someone to make a fuss over his generosity and what a “nice” guy he is.

          X would tell me he gets along with everyone but you Brit.., you’re never happy.
          Never understood why he said that on days I felt perfectly happy. (Projection)
          I’d also hear, there’s no pleasing you.

          One of the sentences that made me stop and think was “he is’t who you thought you married” I was living my life as a devoted wife married to who I thought was my “best friend.”
          Best friends don’t betray your trust, or cheat, demonize you,
          I was living life as a devoted wife and mother, always thinking of what needed to be done for the family. X wasn’t.

          • brit, My ex was the same. Put on a big show if people were around. A very small example is he’d only hold the car door open for me at church. But just an hour and a half before, he’d NEVER hold the car door open for me at home. He wanted the church people to think he was this great husband and nice guy. No. He’s a big fake and phony. A great actor putting on a big show for his admirers. And this is probably why it’s very hard for people to believe he’s not who everything thinks he is. They don’t know the man I was married to for 20 years and was together with for 24. They don’t know the man under the mask, but I do! And so does God! I’ve said it to him at least 100 times, “GOD HAS SEEN IT AT ALL!”

            • You all are bringing to mind the old saying “character is doing the right thing when no one is watching”. My stbx is willing to take ( entitlment). He does the right thing for an audience. He Will do the wrong thing, if he thinks he can benefit from it and get away with it.

              Just a course of our marriage, I struggled with X dissing neighbors, friends, people in general and private to the point where I would feel we shouldn’t associate with them. Then, he would turn around and be jovial and socialize with them if it was to his benefit. He would be rude if he saw no need for them e.g. My relatives and friends and even some of his relatives. These are the ones standing by me now and calling him out for being the asshole he is.

      • Oh yes. that one stays with me today. I can’t go back to unseeing those little red flags. I see them all now and trust what my eyes tell me.

    • Oh yes!!! 100%!! It made me step back and actually SEE how uninvolved the cheater ex was. I stopped throwing my energy at him. I realized he didn’t really want to co-parent or even be involved. Got it. I use it still when meeting new people. And when words don’t match actions, I trust that they suck.

    • My ex did pretty much everything ‘right’ after D-day. Actually even a bit before. (He had ended the affair before I ever knew, horrified at himself.) He worked really hard to ‘fix’ what he broke. But the thing is, you can’t get it back. Those fabulous first 20+years. We both loved hard. Until he didn’t for a while. I had to end it because I was broken with him. Still broken. But not looking at him with disappointment 24/7. I have had to find a different way of being. Still not meh. I don’t even think I will get there. Eight years later. But I did act to stop feeling quite so ‘unforgiving’ (pfffft) by praying with my legs.

    • “Once was maybe a mistake, more than that is a pattern of behavior.”

      I had reconciled after the first string of mistakes, did counseling, etc. My best friend, and maid of honor, had been cheated on. She was supportive and helped when I moved out after the first set of affairs and even as I fought to reconcile my marriage. For me, I needed to at least try reconciliation the once (and honestly, I was probably so shell shocked that I just was not in a place emotionally or financially to end the marriage quite yet). 3 years later when it happens again, the same best friend who stood by my side as I separated and reconciled said “NO. You are too calm, you are not angry enough. Once was maybe a mistake, more than that is a pattern of behavior. You deserve to be treated better than that. You need to get out.” I am so grateful for her words of truth which gave me the strength to open my eyes. The next day after I confronted him, when he signed up for match . Com rather than fight for our marriage, I was 100% emotionally ready to leave. He made his choices to end our marriage – over and over and over…

  • Wee bit more than a sentence but it gave me that kick in the ass I needed 😉

    Weep not for what you have lost, fight for what you have.
    Weep not for what is dead, fight for what was born in you.
    Weep not for the one who abandoned you, fight for who is with you.
    Weep not for those who hate you, fight for those who want you.
    Weep not for your past, fight for your present struggle.
    Weep not for your suffering, fight for your happiness.
    With things that are happening to us, we begin to learn that nothing is
    impossible to solve, just move forward.

    • My youngest son is going through his first major heartbreak, following a breakup with his girlfriend, which she initiated. He is in a sea of pain and loss. (Not for nothing, but there was no cheating involved on either side. They are very ethical young people. It’s simply a case that she was ready to move on, but the advice still applies.)

      He talks to me about things, and I told him that no words I say were going to lessen the pain he’s experiencing; that’s something only time will take care of. However, I gave him some “truth nuggets” that I told him he could grasp onto if needed at really bad moments. One of them is that pain in finite.

      Shadowfire, I am going to share with him those lovely and powerful words of wisdom you posted above. Thank you for these! I love the part about fighting for what is within you.

    • “Trust that they suck!” This one is my mantra.No going back!

      Another, “his affair says more about his character than my worth.”

      Finally,” don’t ever apologize how you choose to survive.”

    • Yep! I’ve repeat this one to myself more than any others!

      I also tell myself “What a loser!”, and I nicknamed my email folder for his emails (where they go automatically so as not to annoy me in my regular inbox) as “Loser”. Because that’s what he is. There’s no value in that relationship. He’s a loser, and I trust that he sucks. I only have to deal with the logistics of the divorce (finalized last month… wahoo!!!) and our kids.

      Ugh… What a loser he is. I left a cheater and gained a life. He lost me and gained a serial cheater girlfriend. Yeah… he sucks bad.

      • jas…funny!

        I did the same thing!

        My folder reads ‘JO’. To me it stands for jackoff but it’s also his initials!!!
        Apropos!

    • Yep! “Trust that they suck!” I said for to myself for the longest time. Haven’t had to say it to myself in quite a while as I KNOW he sucks!!!!

      “Leave a cheater, gain a life.” Still working on gaining a life, but it’s still on my mind.

      “When someone shows you who they are the FIRST TIME, believe them!” I will use this quote the rest of my life for everyone new that I meet. I failed in the beginning to see some of the red flags, because all the lies he was telling he was doing for me. FOR US! He had me so convinced I was the “love of his life”, “perfect woman” for him, his “soulmate”, etc., so his lying to his family and writing love letters to me (we lived in different states) while he was still dating someone else (he “couldn’t” break up with her because “she’d cry” and other lines I fell for). This should have been all red flags to me. He was showing me who he was from the first day I met him. He’s the type of guy who’s in a committed relationship (or at least the girl he’s with thinks they are), but he’s ALWAYS on the prowl for something “better”. Someone new, perfect and shiny. ALWAYS. He’ll never change.

    • Women Who Love Psychopaths author Sandra Brown: “He is sicker than you are smart” on approaching the legal battle realistically.

  • Sex with her is fun and energetic, but I can’t finish because I’m thinking about you. I tell her it’s because of the meds I’m taking but I’m really thinking about you………Most beautiful compliment never.

    • I was told something similar, “When the pain of staying outweighs the fear of leaving, you’ll know you are ready to go.” And eventually, it did so I was.

      • So true…and when I walked through my house asking myself in which room I should end my miserable life so that my kids would not find my dead body before STBX…I knew the pain had to stop and I had to make moves in order to kill my marriage, not me…

          • This is my safe place, my dose of daily wisdom and truth…and filled with awesome people 🙂
            Thank you IHH

            • If you find yourself still dealing with thoughts of suicide, there are plenty of resources to help you through that. You can have more than one safe space and more than one line of support, especially when dealing with problems that require special attention.

              I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts before, they always subside after a little while, and with the correct treatment/support, they fade into nothing. Someone wrote it above, but pain truly is finite, it can go away and it can get much much better.

              Take care of yourself and be safe. Wishing you the best of luck and the best possible outcome for your situation(s).

              • Thank you for your concern…I know now that the pain is finite, I got the help necessary to go through this phase…I am now angry for even letting him have such influence on me. I trust that he sucks !

  • For me ~ it was this…

    You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation, trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.”
    ~ Tupac Shakur

  • It took a couple of months after Dday #2 and fucktard moving out to go pursue his twu wuv before something clicked that maybe this isn’t really my fault somehow. I immediately knew he sucked, I confronted, I lawyered up, and he left. But I was faking it. I initially thought ‘he’s going to set us back about $30,000′ before he comes to his senses and comes back home’.

    After combing the websites (also known as untangling the skein), I found the affair fog theories. I thought Wow, he’s on a ho high! Poor sausage. What’s going to happen when he sobers up and realizes what he’s lost? Then I found the Wayfarer Infedility Help Group. This site basically started my wheels turning about character. No he hasn’t changed into an alien. He’s always been this way, but you haven’t truly seen the big picture because it hasn’t been directed at you.

    I had crossed Chump Lady before and initially thought it wasn’t really what my cheater was about. But the reality is, I just wasn’t ready to face it. I hadn’t come to the realization this is him, not me. I didn’t really break it so I can’t fix it. He gives himself permission to cheat. Maybe it is a ho high once he’s in the middle of it, but there were multiple choices he made in leading up to that point.

    Again Dday #2 for me. I’m a slow learner. It’s been a year ago. Divorce is final. A new normal is creeping in for me. It’s relaxing. No walking on egg shells anymore. No miserable, insatiable fucktard at my house waiting to order me around and blame me for his constant unhappiness.

    I think the ho high has dissapated (if there is such a thing). I’m getting more and more texts from him. I’m not 100% at meh so I’m praying I’m not vulnerable to him anymore. I do trust that he sucks.

    Ultitmately though after the initial find of it’s a character thing, I’ve been glued to Chump Lady and Chump Nation. I’ve said it before, we all have different kinds of cheaters–narcs, sociopaths, assholes. But they are still the same breed. No contact, no contact, no contact. Just click your ruby red slippers and repeat over and over….

    • Sorry–This was way too long!! I feel better though so please send me a bill for the therapy session!

      ‘Trust that they suck’ has really been the one thing that has got me through for the last 6 months as he’s trying to come back around.

    • Just click my ruby slippers! That is going to be stored in my memory bank for all time. Brings a smile to my face and steel to my backbone! Thank you! I needed that today!

    • Don’t apologize, MLB!! It’s funny, I still have a bad habit of apologizing all of the time. Guess where that came from?

      “No walking on egg shells anymore. No miserable, insatiable fucktard at my house waiting to order me around and blame me for his constant unhappiness.”

      ^^^This, MLB…nailed it!!:

      That pretty much sums up my life with the NarcHole!!

    • The end of the first paragraph, the part about faking it? I am so scared I might be doing that. I am unnaturally calm (even excited a little) at the thought of leaving. But what if a tiny speck inside me believes he will be back?

  • “I asked God, ‘Why are You taking me through troubled water?’… He replied, ‘Because your enemies can’t swim.’”

    Credit goes to a fellow chump, but I will always remember that STBX is in fact my enemy…

    • Yes, and to that I’d reiterate CL’s “Your cheater is not your friend.”

      Amazing advice for the newly minted chumps out there!

    • “I asked God, ‘Why are You taking me through troubled water?’… He replied, ‘Because your enemies can’t swim.’

      +++++ 1 !!! Love this ..!

    • An acquaintance told me near the very beginning, “when she asks for a divorce, she’s no longer your wife, she’s your enemy”. It took a while to sink in, but I instantly knew he was right. My actions after that were to get away from the Hell I was living.

    • “Because your enemies can’t swim” I have not heard that one! Thank you for sharing. I think accepting the truth, some of the words of Alice yesterday, helped me pull off the rose colored glasses and get real with my situation. He didn’t love me; the “family” didn’t matter; he had no concept that he was the reason the family broke up. I recall him saying that he didn’t want the kids to come from a broken home, blame shifting (a term I learned here) the pain and destruction of divorce onto me as I was the one who filed. Twice. Heavy sigh. Sooo glad those years of pain, feelings of worthlessness, despair, rage and fear are behind me. “Trust that he sucks” is my mantra when I have to deal with him regarding the kids. Trust that there is a manipulative motive behind nearly everything he does. THAT one has helped me tremendously. I didn’t know it at first, took a few years of stumbling and falling into his rabbit hole of confused nonsensical dialog, me giving him my power, allowing him to determine the thread of my day, run my life (they are control freaks). But once it sunk in and I tested it out, I realized it was twu! It’s twu! If I didn’t give him power and he couldn’t upset me, he got bored and it stopped, or maybe I just don’t pay attention any longer. MEH.

      • Exactly, Patience! When I realized that there was no way he could really be in love with me/love me and do the things he was doing to me, I knew it was time to go.

  • Being cheated on is like childbirth, the fact that it happens every day does not change how painful it is for every person going through it.

    For every rat you uncover, ten more are hiding.

    It’s not that they don’t see, they disagree.

    When you let people disrespect you, they get used to it.

    To the entitled, fairness feels like oppression.

    I’ll bring pies, bitches!!

      • Jeez, this resonates with me big time.
        ” Silence is the loudest fuck you to Cluster B ‘s ”
        I got the silent treatment all the time and it!s only since discovering CL that I realise how abusive it is.

        • Be True To Yourself –

          I believe that the “Silent treatment” is different when used by a cheater or a chump…

          The cheater’s “silent treatment” is a deception-based cruel way to keep moving the goal posts to keep a chump in the dark or to entice more pick me dancing. A manipulative technique to keep the chump guessing and trying harder to “win” the cheater’s attention/affection.

          The chump’s “no contact/silent treatment” is a protective mechanism to prevent the cheater to have more manipulative amo through contact with the chump. The intent is to stop contact to detach from the cheater and forge on to Meh.

          Same behavior, very different intent and results.

    • Being cheated on is like childbirth, the fact that it happens every day does not change how painful it is for every person going through it.

      This…

      I’m not scared or childbirth this time, now I have been through this shit storm I know I can survive anything.

      • You will not only survive his betrayal pregnant chump, but you and your kids will thrive because you got this!!

        If you can move close to family and leave him out of the parental equation, that would be best! Not taking child support money means having more independence about your parenting and more opportunities for no contact… I can’t remember if it was Nomar or another brilliant chump that wrote this, but with Cluster B cheaters, “money cost too much!”

        • I already live very close to my parents. It’s not going to be possible for me to stop him having access so I’m trying my best to limit it on my own terms. If I stopped him we would have to go to court and they would grant him it and maybe more than I am currently. We may still have to go to court but I’ll fight him as hard as I can.

    • Love all these, Chumptitude! I would also say: It’s not that they don’t see, they just don’t give a fuck. (Because in a Cluster B’s world, it’s all about ME, ME, ME!!!!)

  • Aside from all the great inspiration I regularly read here there are three stupid quotes that regularly remind me to keep going on the road to meh.

    1) XH on DDay when I thought I would die from the shock and heartache
    “This (?) can’t be wrong when it feels so right” said with a sad semi smirk standing looking into the distance

    2) XH ” You were a useless lump in bed ”

    3) Big sister ” if he really loved you and wanted you back, he’d book a flight and be knocking down that door to see you” (said after 9 mths of long distance ‘pick me’ dancing)

    • Yep hearing that you had
      A…low self esteem and you let youself go
      B….sex was just a biological release
      C…im going to miss your cooking
      After 25 years and 3 amazing kids. These are the lines that keep me from looking back.

      • For me it was my husband looking out the window as he was getting ready to walk out the door and saying, “When I look at my future, YOU’RE not in it.” Cold as stone.

        When I told my pastor about this he looked incredulous and said, “I hope you remember those words and how cruel they were any time you start missing him.”

        • Unbelievably cruel, he actually did you a huge favor at that moment. Who would want to be in a future with someone so heartless and cruel?

      • I got the “I’m going to miss your cooking” too. I thought, “You’re not going to miss me, just my cooking.”

      • I keep hearing him say after 15 years of marriage and dd2, “I am fawned of you. I don’t want you to be homeless or anything.” I just can’t excuse that. Am I his wife or the dog?

    • I heard similar:

      “Sex was just going through the motions.”.

      I don’t even have the words to explain how that sentence broke me. I still remember the pang I felt in my heart as he looked away and said this, like I should have known it too. I’d been initiating all of the sex we had at the end…maybe for the last year of our marriage. I had failed at making him love me. That’s what I thought then. And of course, I thought no one would ever love me. Ever. That kind of hurt is unforgettable and I would never entertain that person again in my life. Ever.

      • Oh, Jeez, I got something like that too. For months just thinking of it brought me to my knees.

        • The sentence that caused me to have massive anxiety attacks for months was when my son said his father told him, “This has been coming for a long time.” I kept thinking, “how long as he been planning to leave me, and how could I have missed it?” I felt like the dumbest, most worthless person in the world every time I remembered that sentence.

  • “That goldfish was never going to knit you a sweater.”

    “Lying, by omission or commission, is a bad idea. I cannot shake my dependency on the white lie, because I was brought up to be nice. And I’ve never figured out the nice way to say, ‘I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than come to your house for dinner.’ But the meaningful lie, the kind that involves being untruthful or deceitful about important stuff to those you love, is like poison. Telling the truth hurts, but it doesn’t kill. Lying kills love.” Amy Bloom

    • One more:
      “A lie by day, a lie by night, a lie in every touch and look; a lie in every caress and quarrel; a lie in every word and silence.”

      ~~ Edith Wharton “The Age of Innocence”

      • So many of the CL classics have already been mentioned, but this one (from PSA for Remorseless Cheaters) resonated:

        “Quit with your Darwinian theories already. We didn’t evolve to be monogamous? Well, we didn’t evolve to do a lot of things. Farm. Use indoor plumbing. Buy sequined crap on QVC. And yet we manage.”

    • Oh, the lies… my favorite quote… The truth hurts once, but a lie hurts every time you remember it…. SO true.

  • “He deliberately chose thousands of times to do what would break your heart and destroy the marriage.”

  • Therapist 2, who saw KK and me for 3 couples counseling sessions, then agreed to keep seeing me 1:1 after the shit hit the fan:

    “It was pretty clear to me early on that KK wants you to be her father. It’s up to you if you want to play that role for a 43-year old woman.”

    • Wow UX. My game changer was also in couples counseling….

      Therapist: “Rob, she is an unhappy person,”

      Me: “But why? She has me, the kids and everything in life.”

      Therapist: “It doesn’t matter why. She is an unhappy person and she looks for happiness in others when she should look for it in herself.”

      Me: “I know, I have told her that, but why does she do that?”

      Therapist: “Because that is who she is.”

      • “She is an unhappy person and she looks for happiness in others when she should look for it in herself.” Summarizes KK exactly.

        Being alone is the worst of all possible worlds for these people, because there’s no one to distract them from their wretchedness and self-loathing.

        • So true UX, so true. Whorrie’s latest fuck-toy is my oldest son (16) travel baseball head coach (he used to be my friend). My son is very displeased by his mother’s choices.

          And Whorrie is doing all this amidst her trying to get some custody back. What my 3 birds need from their mom on her visitation days is security, stability, familiarity, love and a *female role model*, but instead they get “Da Coach” impelled into their lives. My daughter (14) told me, “Dad, I’m sick of Mom telling me about her boyfriends.”

          I am convinced, for KK, Whorrie and all the other cheaters out there – what our true karma is…. is their “alone” time.

  • You even get tired of fucking a beautiful woman( looking at me).
    I guess he had to even justify that since the new one is not attractive.

  • “What matters most is how well we walk through the fire”

    Said by an alcoholic cheater author. Cant remember his name. But i love the quote perhaps he had a clear moment. Ive walked through the fire sometimes stumbling but i walked and have the scars to show i keep those scars close to propel me ever forward and i keep walking like a phoenix out of the ashes.

  • No contact, no contact, no contact!
    And
    Stop trying to see their morality through the lens of your own.

  • A friend to me: What are you fighting for?
    Me: my husband! My family!
    Friend: but you never had a FAMILY!

  • I had two ..

    All from a dear colleague/mentor who had lived through a similar situation years ago…

    “You can be powerful or pathetic. Not both. How you handle this moment will forever be a teaching moment for your boys on consequences and how you should treat women”

    “You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love is no longer being served”

  • When on a Sunday afternoon that I was home with the kids, working on homework for my Masters degree I got a phone call from a blocked number:

    Me: Hello
    Lady voice: Do you know where your husband is?
    Me: At work
    Voice: Laughter
    ***dial tone****

    The wheels started turning. Took a year for me to do the research and get the courage mustered up. Several months later was the ubiquitous ILYBIANILWY followed by such gems as “it’s my birthday and I deserve to work out” as he walked out the door on Christmas Day for a roll in the hay….Christmas Dinner was 3 hours late and I told him to F#%~< yourself when he criticized how I was cooking our holiday dinner. Yep, one phone call and the pattern of behavior became crystal clear!

  • I was just reading some more of yesterday’s posts which were so full of wonderful wisdom for me and I had copied and pasted this from chump princess because I thought it so profound:

    5. We are not socialized or encouraged to think about relationships logically. In fact, we are socialized and taught to suspend logic where relationships are concerned. Husband/Wife lying to you and cheating on you? You should try to understand what drove them to it. They’re sorry. You’re not perfect. Those same people, however, if your husband/wife hit you over the head with a baseball bat would excoriate you for applying that same reasoning.

    Like many, I vote for Trust he sucks! Sums it up in a nutshell and easy to remember. It is like the Jesus prayer for Chumps.

  • “I don’t miss you. I miss the person you pretended to be, so don’t get it twisted. Fuck you very much.”

    Always resonated with me.

  • One simple line

    He cheated on you whilst you were pregnant with his child.

    I don’t really need to know anything else to realise that he sucks and that I deserve to be treated better than that.

    • Yep. Every time I think about wreckonciling I remind myself: He cheated on you and left while you were going through cancer treatments. Nothing I did justifies that.

      • Cancer Chump,

        This! Every drip of chemotherapy during treatments and post treatment side effects reminded me to be mighty and not take him back.

        Not only do they go through their cruel “list” of reasons you displease them after DD, they are like a snake with their head cut off, still hissing and angry.

        Their actions and their consequences but they blameshift it to you. No matter that you are hospitalized from cancer surgery or going through chemo. It can only be about them and they can’t have you making them look bad. Cancer, pregnant with their child…no matter to them; they are disordered.

        Only no contact from their disorder will allow you to heal. 18 months and going strong. Love my life being cheater narc free!

        -When they show you who they are believe them.

    • Pregnant chump…yes, what else is there? My daughter was 5 months when I found out my husband had a girlfriend, before, during and after my pregnancy. She actually broke up with him when she heard I had given birth. She filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and he went to court and was put on 3 years probation. All this happened while I sat on the couch nursing our newborn. Insane. This shit is unreal. People’s jaws drop to this day when they find out. Truly despicable creatures.

      • My 5 y-o son and schmoopie share their birthday…he took the time while I was in the delivery room to call and text her “happy birthday”…I found out 6 months later when I was doing the marriage police…

        • Im yrying to think of the word for them that would not be offensive. I hate what they have done, that devastation is a scar on my heart that wont ever be gone. Such a precious time in our lives, destroyed…

          • Wow patience.

            “That devastation is a scar on my heart that will never be gone”

            They will never grasp the damage they have done to us. They don’t care what they take from us. It’s all about them. I agree they are truely dispicable creatures.

            • Dear Patience and Pregnant Chump,

              Even the finest heart surgeon in the whole world could never free us of this scar.
              I am many years later and still the scar. There is no ointment to apply, no cure.

              Still, perhaps at times, I look upon it as a badge of honour. He did not break me. It was his weakness.
              I survived and I hold my precious children always close, in my heart.
              They are the best heart medicine in the whole world.

              We all have different outcomes in life, but we share the same pain, the same understanding.
              I read and I find strength in all your posts.
              You are strong, loving Mothers.
              My heart is with you every step of the way!?

              • As I read further posts I see there are so many Chumps whose hearts were broken during pregnancy, when we are carrying the cheater’s child.
                OMG I always come back to, ” How could they do this to an innocent unborn child? ( and to the young child or children by our knee)?”
                All the quotes ( and more) that our fellow Chumps quote on this particular post and more, that is who they are!

                “It’s not who we are, but who they aern’t!”

                ?we are united in pain and understanding dear Chumps!
                You are ALL mighty!

              • Peacekeeper, thank you for those words. You made me cry. My baby duck turned 9 last month. She is amazing, she and her brother are the only good to come from that, well, whatever he is. Everytime time that cloud creeps over, I remember I got the best of him. I won. I always say God gave them to me to be their mother because of who their father is. Blessed.

            • Wish i could hug you, i know what it feels like, we are at out most vulnerable, carrying life, only wantibg to nurture, then, an explosion, and we fall, but try so desparately to not have the searing pain affect the baby…

              • Ahhh Patience I didn’t want to make you cry. Still I understand. I have tears in my eyes as I type this note to you.
                I dry my tears though and smile when I read of your daughter and your son. They are so young. You love them with all your heart. You gather your strength from holding them close and caring so lovingly for them.
                My daughters are older. They do not know of their father’s affair. He left his job and ho worker. We sold our home and moved to another city.
                My elder daughter tries to please him, she is a beautiful caring person. My younger daughter also is a delight, but she could care less about pleasing her Dad. It drives him crazy at times. She distances herself from him and often doesn’t even return his calls. ( I can’t help but think this is a form of payback for him and I secretly smile inside). I have absolutely no sympathy for him.
                I know the placenta’s job is to filter impurities and block them from passing through the bloodstream from the Mother to the Baby. The pain and heartbreak that a Mother’s heart experiences during pregnancy is so great it cannot help but enter into the child’s system. This is what I believe.
                I told no one of the affair. I tried to act so normal and I desperately tried to shield my children from the truth.
                I had a very successful, rewarding career and many loving friends over the years. I did love my husband. His actions at the time of the affair were truly despicable, but I did forgive him, but I will never, ever, forget. He is indeed a very privileged person to have such a family.

                Patience, although we are different in age, I think we possess a lot of the same qualities.
                Look at the CN names we have chosen, Patience and Peacekeeper, both nourishing, caring, reaching out names. Names that mean a lot to us as we try to live up to them.
                Chumps who reach out to each other on this site, ( thank you CL, CN), live on all the corners and in the middle of our mostly wonderful world, but when we each lift our head to the sky we delight in the same sun, the same moon.
                When I look at the moon and the stars at night I will think of you and your beautiful Daughter and Son. I will wish, with all my might, for a happy and safe life to be granted to you.

                Yes, Blessed!
                Oxo’s
                Peacekeeper

              • I cannot express how much i appreciate your reply, love, encouragement. Im older than you think, 44 when baby girl arrived. I think we do have a lot in common. There is so much and yet, we dont just survive, we eventually thrive.

              • Patience, I was 45 when my baby girl arrived. I think being a parent when you are older is wonderful. The best thing that ever happened to me. The best.

              • Ah Carolyn! She is my joy! So funny and spirited. She saved me, all of us really. My God Shot! Love to you!!

              • You know something missy, (peacekeeper) ive thought about your words and love and encouragement all day. I shared with a friend how blessed i feel because of the amazing things you said. A salve for my soul. Thank you again. I keep re reading it, and i feel better each time. Healing with help from CL Angels. Love!

      • Yes. I don’t need to go into details but just say, “He walked out after 20 years of marriage when I was 6 months pregnant.” Sadly, there is so much more to the story that is even worse, but that is enough for people’s jaw to drop.

    • I’m about to give birth any day now and DD1 was 20 weeks ago. Emotionally, being pregnant is so much harder but my 2 quotes were ‘ trust that they suck’ and ‘actions speak louder than words’.

      I was devastated for my 3 boy’s and have to morn the family life l can no longer give them but am staying positive for the future and can’t wait to hold my baby girl in my arms.

      Thank God for chump lady and chump nation for keeping me strong.

      • Wow! This is my story 16 years ago. I was 3months pregnant with our 4th & last child (our only daughter) when I discovered his affair. I went on to suffer through several more DDays because I was convinced by him that something was wrong with me.
        I applaud your strength & courage to get out after DD1. They do not change. You can still have a happy & healthy life without him. Remember that you are the sane & normal parent and walk away from crazy. I eventually learned this & crazy is in my rear view mirror. Sending you (((Hugs))) & strength to get through. Best wishes for a quick & easy delivery. Renee

      • Newatthis: I am soooo glad you are here, at this time during your pregnancy. So many of us understand and know everything you feel, you are not alone. We are an octopus of hugs and support and encouragement. Please, let us know when your God Shot (what I call my daughter) arrives! It will get better, you will look into that sweet face and know you are fighting for her future. You and the boys will always look after her. My older two have such a special place in their hearts for my girl, she bonded us when everything was falling apart…she was and is our joy.

        • Thank you so much for your beautiful words they made me cry but not in a bad way, this gives me hope and encouragement and l thank you for that. My boy’s are already in love with her so the day she arrives will be one we all remember as a new beginning. The fog is lifting, the mask fell off…bring on the new life with the new me!

          • Newatthis: Hold your head high girl, you are showing all your babies how to truly live and take care of self! Just keep moving forward. Don’t look back, there is nothing there. I hope and trust you have many around you to help when baby duck arrives. Ask for help, people want to help. The boys will do whatever and let them. Bring diapers, take poopie ones out, bring you water, your slippers. They want to be involved and you will need them. Be kind and loving to yourself, ok? SLEEP whenever possible. There is a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture!

  • It was something out of my own mouth, funnily enough. I was telling an older coworker about the Rhys situation, and she said, trying to be encouraging I guess: “Oh honey, you’re young, he’ll come around again. I bet you’ll be back together by Christmas.” (This was in August or so). I looked her dead in the eye and said, “Pam, if you *ever* hear of me going out with Rhys again, you need to slap me across the face, because something is terribly wrong with me if I go back to him.”

    I mean, in a way, she was right, because Rhys tried to reach out twice after that. I shut him down and finally told him to fuck off for good around Thanksgiving, but he did reach out.

  • When my stbx said “I don’t love you anymore, I have feelings for other people..our marriage has ran its course”

    Other people? .. even then, couldn’t say “Other Woman”. Fucking low life COWARD. 34 years wasted on a evil narc who walked & never looked back..

    I pray they both get what they deserve
    God bless all us Chumps ?

      • Correct she got her answer but 34 years later!!! Coward mother fucker! She wasted 34 phenomenal years with a dick head!

        Mine was only for 10 years, so less than a third of your’s Kathleen. He did the same thing….walked and never looked back.

        I pray your prayer as well!

        • Ihavehate..

          Thank you for your kind words
          I’m sorry you had to go through
          The terrible experience of being married to a cruel, evil narc but everyone here knows that we must
          kick them out for us to survive

          Im a cancer survivor & the night I found him at the whores house at 1:00 am was worse then the pain I felt during my treatment They verbally attacked me. , laughing, making fun of me, saying sexual things they do together., I was tortured mentally & I wanted to die but I didn’t.. ’cause even in my pain I knew the 2nd cancer was HIM & I had to rid myself of it too

          I’m waiting for Karma but I don’t know if it will show up for them
          My life is not the same but I will
          survive. We chumps are too important to give up because of an evil entity

          God bless us all..,

          • Kathleen,

            All I can say is I hope your karma beats my karma!

            I’m stunned at all you went through!! Peace now.

    • Kathleen…I heard something similar…Fuckwit says “some marriages just run of steam”…um no…after 34 years, no more steam because fuckwit wants to continue to be a man boy (emphasis on “boy”) and choose what is easier and better for him…go off to his HS fantasy OW rather than be a real man and try to give an honest fight for a relationship that lasted 38 years in total….

      When I think of some of the cruel words he has said…”I love everything about her”…”I love her sweetness”….and now he is still looking for kibbles as we get closer to a signed legal sep …says he thinks of me all the time and that he “loves” me….ummm, HELL TO THE NO!!!

      TRUST THAT THEY SUCK!!

      • Phoenix..

        So true…they will always be “boys” never real MEN. We love with our whole hearts.. they can’t feel love for
        anyone but themselves. Too bad we have to find this out so much later

        Bless you
        Stay strong ❤️

  • He has an empty elevator shaft where his soul should be. (When describing sociopath cheaters and the ones who just leave).

    • Startofsomethinggood,

      Your right on! It’s hard to believe that “monsters walk among us” but they do & some of us even marry them.

      That expression.. empty elevator shaft where his heart should be is so true. I hope to get to meh. . Some day but it feels like I never will.

  • Oddly it was something x said to me after dday #2. After claiming that he would do anything to repair and atone, spent 3 months doing nothing and I asked, “why?”

    He replied, “stop asking”. It was like a brick to the head, a moment of total clarity. I thought , “he is right!”. So I stopped asking and filed for divorce immediately.

    Never ask for someone to apologize, make right a wrong. Just watch what they do and that will be your truth.

  • I heard it here: “You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it.” It was during my third year of wreckconciliation.”

    My whole life had spun out of control and I was trying to take back that control by taking on all the blame and thinking I could fix it. Those words helped me see the futility of that endeavor.

    I still had a while to go after I read that but those words made my mind more malleable to taking the big step of ending my search for the elusive unicorn.

  • I’d have to go with two brief phrases. Guided by “Trust that they suck,” I finally moved toward”No Contact.”

    I was unable to enforce boundaries for myself or for the kids without practicing no contact. First, however, practicing pragmatic no contact just ratcheted things up (as the EX responded to no contact by forcing contact–i.e. showing up at the house, etc.) I eventually needed the support of the legal system and the police to make my EX see that “no contact” means “no contact.” But I’m there now. (The fact that the kids are now old enough to manage almost all of their own contact–growing ever more infrequent–has been helpful too.)

    Once I stopped trying to put out the various metaphorical fires he would start with each contact, things changed–for the better. I couldn’t walk toward a new life with the old one hanging on to my ankles kicking and screaming that I wasn’t being forgiving and compassionate, that I owed him another chance, that I was ruining the kids, that he’d told the kids’ school the “truth” about me, that he’d contacted the sheriff’s office and I’d be hearing from them, etc. So many contacts were a hodge-podge of pleas, abuse, and threats. I had to learn to ignore all of it–to recognize that “no contact” meant “never respond” as well as “never initiate.” Finally, I learned to just mutter the mantra, “Trust that they suck, trust that they suck” and keep moving in my own direction.

  • Mine is from Sandra Brown on women who love psychopaths…
    ‘He is sicker than you are smart’ and ‘Pathology is the inability to sustain change’.
    This was after I had exhausted myself trying to untangle his fucked upedness and frantically pick me danced.The realisation that I was dealing with a cluster B made me trust that he sucked and it was time to move on and never look back.

    • Deedee, this is an excellent one that also had a major impact on me, along with CL helping me better understand how my “addiction to potential” led to Olympic-level spackling skills…

  • “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
    This SAVED ME. I repeated it to myself over and over and over, through every interaction with my ex as well as my family members and friends who couldn’t believe this was happening AGAIN (2nd marriage to end bc of infidelity), and that somehow it was my fault.

    • Yes, and same. We just need to fix our pockets! I am careful choosing everyone I allow in my life including family and friends. So much of my self worth tied up in my marriage made it extremely difficult for me to leave.

      I kept thinking if he wanted out, he would file. That was never going to happen, and the infidelity was never going to stop. He wanted cake. Cake was his goal.

      Chumps have to do all the hard work. Selfish cheaters put themselves first and take the easy way out.

      • For me, X’s cheating led me to examine a lot of things about myself, including my tendency to please others, often at my own expense. I began to understand that some of my professed friends really were nothing more than acquaintances. I made the very conscious choice to distance myself from the gawkers, gossipers and judgmental pontificators. I don’t need or want a large social circle. In fact, I am much more content with a small group of friends, who are kind, loyal and loving. My friends and I do not agree about everything, but we do share a core set of values. People who think they have the right to tell me why it was my fault X cheated have no place in my life.

        • Yes, this!!! So many gone, no switzerland vacations for me. The ones who knew yet said nothing, gone. They are not going to judge my methods of survival. I owed him nothing!

    • erin…..love that statement and wish I heard it back then. But I’ll sure listen to it now with a particular family member!
      Thanks!

  • Lots of lines for me, from Tracy the Great, CN??, and an array of you tube gurus headed by my fave, the Spartan Life Coach. But I’m typing into my phone at a bus stop right now so I’ll just give two. One from one of you CN angels, who said in response to my post ( on a particularly devastating day, and in response to my intellectual property being stolen and gifted to the OW by my ex…. ) “YOU ARE THE GIFT.” Bless you and thank you forever for that.
    The other line came from my ex. He was repeating what I said after his dad confession. I was in shock and following the Harville Hendricks (Imsho relationship coaching) ” respectful” response after hearing a Significant Other speak, so I was saying, very calmly, “Is that all?” He was smirk-smiling and going on and on about soulmate schmoopie.all the things he was going g to go for her that he hadn’t got me. So much excitement and love.
    I kep Adkin, “is that all” cos I was waiting to hear what he wanted to do about “US”….. over five years living and working and living together. He never did have a word to say about us, or, apparently, any thought. He was just making g fun of me for saying “is that all.”
    I am still dealing with casting off grief at being treated with such profound disrespect.
    But it”s great getting that malevolent parasitical disrespecting jackass out of my life. So that’s great.

    • Trying2Cope, my friend, that was horrible.

      Horrible person he is.

      Fuckin’ monster.

      That was a total abuse of that marriage coaching technique!!

      May God richly heal you from that wound and richly bless you.

  • Just one of many:
    If you are trying to pick between me and someone else – don’t pick me

  • Mine was “What God has shown you in light, do no doubt in darkness”
    To me it represents to honor the truth which you can’t unsee, although you’ll try to in moments of despair (hopium).

  • “Divorce is not failure. Cheating is failure. The shame of infidelity is not your shame to wear.” – CL

    One of the golden nuggets from CL…one of many that have saved me. Thanks so much!!

    • One step – Thanks for this. I do feel some shame even though he is the one that lied, cheated and used me. I am currently trying to muster up the strength to go sell my engagement ring in order to pay for the attorney. Besides having a super hard time letting go of what that ring represented, I’m feeling anxious about being judged for being the “one of those women who couldn’t keep her man.” I want to go into that jewelry store with my head held high but even just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. Uggg…I want to punch him in the balls so hard right now.

      • Just picture everyone from Chump Nation going into that pawn shop with you and giving you strength to sell that ring and hire an attorney! You are strong. You can do it.

        • I can imagine how hard that will be. I’m going to sell my wedding band and deposit the proceeds in my kids’ bank accounts. Yes, it’s not much money, but it’s important symbolically.

      • I agree that CN will be with you in that shop in spirit. You are mighty getting the funds to lawyer up. You’ve got this. Yow are taking powerful action to move forward in light and truth. Strength and courage to you.

      • I sold mine and used it to pay for the divorce paperwork.

        I was a bit like you, feeling a bit embarrassed about selling them and then I though – no, I didnt cause all this and I no longer what ‘tokens from him in my house’. They meant nothing to him obviously.

        So, I went into that shop with my head held high, laughed with the sales assistant that at least they were being sold for a good cause (divorce) and made sure my attitude conveyed Id done nothing wrong. To be honest, I thnk she was impressed with my attitude and when I was leaving she wished me well with my new life and fresh start.

        Do not feel shamed about selling those rings, feel empowered that you are doing something to help start your new life.

  • Mid 1500’s – today….. “Can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

    “You can’t expect someone to process feelings through a filter that they simply don’t have.” (Like empathy)

    “He loved me up until the day he didn’t.” (Trying to rationalize cheaters words vs actions)

    The final (and one of the first) liners came from my XH at bomb drop. He wanted me to lie to a Catholic Priest to obtain a religious annulment of our 30 year marriage. I resisted – in shock.
    XH words?……. “Why not? You would benefit, too.”

    • Magneto, omg, I could totally feel for you in that situation even though that hasn’t happened to me (yet).

      To show you the type of person he is, about a month after dday when I was doing the pick me dance, We were out to dinner and I was telling him our 22 year old daughter had gone on a date with someone who turned out to be an acquaintance of her boyfriend of 3 years with whom she had recently broken up. He looked at me with a smile on his face and said so did she have revenge sex? I dropped my jaw and just stared at him in disbelief. I should have known to stope the dance right then and there.

        • Thanks for saying that i have hate because it has been eating at me and I haven’t had the courage to tell anyone. He is a sick mother fucker!!!

          • OMG Feelingit, this is such a disgusting thing you had to face!

            I am glad you can get it out here, he is beyond a sick mother fucker, I hope you and your daughter are safe and far far away from this dysfunctional asshole.

          • Feelingit – he is a sicko. I understand because I had similar experiences with my STBX where I thought “huh? Did that really just come out of your mouth?” They hide so well behind the mask and every so often it would slip. We would get a glimpse and wonder what just happened. Instead of recognizing it as a nugget of what lies inside, we brushed it off as a bizarre occurrence. Kind of like throwing out the bad grade in a semester since it does not reflect normal performance. Except…that was the real truth of who they were all along.

  • Well, since quoting other people is allowed–these lines from Trey Anastasio (yeah, the dude from Phish, I’m a hippie) summed up the weirdness for me of the moment I realized, “He lies. He’s lying. He’s a liar.” It wasn’t the words themselves, but the pause in between them.

    A moment of silence, it now seems absurd
    That I learned so much from a pause in a word.
    Every bird on the wing leads the others along
    Inside your flock of words, something went wrong…

    You tried to go back and tape over the hole’
    Where an intake of breath had punctured my soul…

    And if anyone has ever seen a very funny movie (except for the End, which SUCKS) called The Tall Guy there’s this great moment when chump Emma Thompson tells cheater Jeff Goldblum how she figured out his affair: “Every time you mention her name, you pause.” Followed by a funny-not-funny montage of Goldblum doing exactly that: “As I was saying to…Cynthia”

    Watch the movie, but substitute your own ending in which Thompson’s character stays mighty.

  • I don’t remember.

    No really. “I don’t remember” was the sentence. It was the morning of Dday #2. I had just listened to a recording of a call he made to his schmoopie the night before. When he woke up and came down, I asked who he had called last night. He said no one. I played him the flipping recording of his own flipping voice and he looked at me a said with a soul dead voice. “I don’t remember.”

    Those words set me free. There was absolutely nothing there to fight for.

  • What really hit home for me was seeing CL’s cartoon of a woman surrounded by disaster—one foot in a bear trap, a hungry alligator eyeing her, a manure lagoon and burning house and a huge mushroom cloud behind her… with the caption I’LL TAKE A YEAR AND THINK ABOUT IT.

  • “Someone who cares would go to great pains to make you feel secure. They would be transparent. It would hurt them to hurt you.”

    -CL

    “Trying to take comfort in, “She loved others, but she loved me best,” is a table-long Super Bowl-size subway shit sandwich. If she loved others, she didn’t love you. Because love does not trick, cheat, or equivocate. Love is not okay with causing pain. Love comforts, respects, and protects.
    Cheaters use words like love the way parrots use language, phoenetically, mechanically, without meaning, and the sooner chumps realize this, the sooner they can disengage.”

    -The Erudite and Insightful NOMAR

  • Behavioral self-blame promotes the belief in the ability to control, change and avoid negative outcomes. Believing that the future can be different, promotes feelings of control and motivation, subduing the helplessness felt. Self-blame says “if I caused it, I can fix it”.

  • When I was standing there in the self-help section of Barnes & Noble I opened Tracy’s book and the first thing I read was the Frederick Douglass quote. For someone who’d been stuck with a cheater over a decade, just standing still while life passed me by, yah, that wuote was a game changer for me.

    Another one I love is from good old Socrates, for those of us averse to any kind of change: “The secret of change is to focus your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” Boom!

    • “The secret of change is to focus your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.”

      Love this Paddington!

  • “No is a complete sentence” by LAJ – one of my favorite and very wise level headed Chumps – she responded to my first post on the forum and that simple sentence changed my life. I always had a problem with saying no and paid the price for it.

    Now not only do I say no a lot – I say fuck no! (Thank you CL, CN and the Fuck thread).

  • “You can’t unring that bell, and you can’t unfuck that whore.”

    I read this on CL during our one very brief wreconciliation period, shortly after I had jumped in my car to tail ex on his nightly run to make sure he wasn’t hooking up with HER. It was in that moment that I realized the trust between us was broken forever. I had (justifiably) evolved from a spouse into a hyper-vigilant PI. It was exhausting. No one should ever make the choice to live like that.

    • ….And one more, now that I’m past the shit storm:

      “Getting divorced sucks. Being divorced doesn’t.”

      • OMG yes!!! I wish I could get everyone who is stuck trying to move forward without their cheater to really see how almost unbelievably good life is when the cheater is out of your life. But you can’t really make them understand (I didn’t either) until they do it. I was with my ex for literally all of my adult life. He was (then not now 😉 )the only man I’d ever been with. I thought I could never be happy without him. I was SO wrong. You figure out that even unknowing you are carrying the weight of their secret life and it’s slowly killing you. When that weight is gone? It’s amazing how much better you feel physically, emotionally, spiritually, in literally every dimension of your being.

        • Beth, I want to join you! Thanks for this, I am on my way. Been with stbx since 21- I am now 51. It sucks in the divorce process, can we fast forward please?

          • Feelingit, I’m glad you’re on your way! I wish there was a way to fast forward because the divorce process does suck, no question. But SO worth it in the end. Truly. It was ages 19 to 53 for me. No regrets, I have two wonderful kids from those years. But so, so happy to be free.

            • Omg.. Almost same time as me. I wrote something a couple posts down. Did he finally leave or did you?

              • Stillhere, I made him physically leave the home after DDay#2 but then spent (wasted) 2.5 years trying to save the marriage before I admitted defeat and filed. He moved to a log cabin we built together to be our retirement home. He’s still there, living with his stripper gf. I sold the family home, bought a much smaller house for me and my dogs and am busy creating happily ever after.

          • Amen Beth, and hang in there Feelingit! I had also spent all my adult life with ex (18-44). Even while you go through divorce hell, start to flip your story. View divorce not as failure, but as a gateway opportunity to reinvent YOU. Sounds cliche, but make some lists to give you the steam to make it through the divorce process. How do you want your life to look? New hobbies? Second career? New family traditions? You are no longer shackled to what you thought your life was going to be – and that’s likely a blessing. Onward and upward!

            • Gee whiz what do you say to someone who’s been with a narc cheater from age 17-65 with no exit planned, EVER? (a family member)

              • @Ihavehate If all the family member does is complain but never takes action to leave or change things, it can be really frustrating to continue to support him/her. A favourite quote I used just last night with a friend: “You teach people how to treat you.” (Maya Angelou) It’s so very true.

              • I met my cheater ex at 16 and was going steady by 17. After 27 years together and 2 great kids I never did anything for him. But his new young Bosnian tru luv I caught him doing it in the back of a vehicle in a deserted park (we were just talking without shoes, shirts undone, on my blanket with a roll of paper towels that clearly shows in the picture I took). I really loved this dick and had him on a pedestal so….

                Trust that they suck

        • “… even unknowing you are carrying the weight of their secret life and it is slowly killing you.”

          Powerful sentence right there, Beth. Thank you!

        • I’m still here and yes, I feel like it’s slowly killing me. All of our crap took place nearly two years ago. All I had was circumstantial evidence and he even admitted it looked bad but swore no affair. Begged forgiveness and groveled big time. I almost believed him but it will be a year at the end of this month that I discovered he had hidden our entire savings. Forty thousand. Yep! My loving wonderful Christian husband of 33 years. He confessed all but still swore no affair. We’ve had two disastrous counselors. He won’t find another and won’t leave. He has spent the last year showing me how bad he wants this marriage. So, does a husband really hide that kind of money from his wife because he got into porn and hated himself but was only going to leave by himself? On top of that, the woman involved who he worked with ( no longer does- he has different job,) lives 5 minutes down the street. We had two texting conversations over a year ago. We passed each other on the road at Christmas time very slowly in a school zone. I was in my husbands truck and knew she saw me. I check her FB page a few days later. Yes, I still do even though she has me blocked, I check on a friends page. She put up a song on the very same day we saw each other saying she had been looking for Christmas music. It was a song about sex. In the summer and even went into positions. She literally wrote…. While looking for Christmas music, I ran across this olive! Haha! The memories! How fun!! ( Seriously? What are the chances and yes I told my husband and he sobbed and said he had no idea why she would do that! He thinks she’s crazy! The affair would have started in summer of 2015 and when money began to disappear. He works a different job now and is at the same place everyday. She has her own business in town. She is also married. She mostly puts posts and pictures about herself. She’s almost 10 years younger and a work out queen. About 5 weeks ago she put up a movie recommendation that almost described our family. Same amount of kids, homeschooled ( my kids are grown now and doing well in life) but in this movie the mom kills herself because she is bipolar! I mean honestly what are the chances of her putting this stuff up. Once again, husband has no idea! I feel like one of them walked away ( thinking my husband) and she would still like to have him! Believe me when I say he has done everything to make me believe all is well, but he was doing that before I discovered the money he was hiding. I feel like I’m crazy!

          • Okay StillHere — you are in an incredibly powerful position. You came to the right place. These wise chumps will have some great ideas for you on how to optimize your position. You have done a very good job thus far!!! Perhaps other jumps will share their hard-won knowledge with you on here . . .

            The big strengths are: that you found the money, that you know what’s going on, and that he is not taking any drastic actions.

            • Thank you! Sometimes I think I should have left in the midst of him throwing me under the bus in front of our kids. Of course he apologized for all of that in front of them and they believe him.

          • Uh oh… major red flags here. Did you read CL’s post about the crazy bitch red flag? That applies to both cheaters talking about their ex’s AND talking about the OW. When they are denying an affair it’s always “oh, she’s just some crazy woman who is stalking me”, etc. I would bet a lot of money that he was having a full blown affair with her and was salting away the money to be their nest egg when they ran off together. That timing is no coincidence. It never is. Maybe she got cold feet or maybe he did. It doesn’t really matter. He. Took. Your. Savings. I think that’s all you need to know about his intentions. I don’t care if he felt bad about the porn. You feel bad about porn so you steal? How does that make sense? I’m really sorry Stillhere, I hope you are considering changing your screen now to “NowI’mGone”. Big Hugs to you.

            • That’s pretty much what I was thinking. That one of them got cold feet. Of course he reminds me he finally told the truth and gave me the money. I keep track of all of it now. He wants to act like all is normal. She has actually preached twice in her church. Her pastor let her as she had something to share. Both of her little sermons were trying to convince people on how forgiven we are. It was almost comical. I even asked my husband how he slept at night knowing he was hiding that money while trying to convince me all was well. He said he had no problem. I know he felt entitled because he earned it but honestly still….. I would have been one of those people who would have been blindsided had he left. I knew he was going thru discouragement but really had no idea it could be another woman! He acted all lovey with me but wouldn’t have sex at the time for weeks . Told me he was tired and I believed him! He never has a problem now!! I feel like I’m waiting for a bomb to drop but I am very aware. We own two houses free and clear so I was thinking he knew I would have income.

              • One more thing Beth….. It is really hard to walk away as I look back over our life of over 30 years and family. I have told him that if I found out it really happened that I am gone! I can still hardly live with this.

              • So how about some middle ground? If you own two homes, let him go stay in the one you don’t like for 6 months. No contact, but you both agree no affairs. Just a 6 month time out. It would help you to be “no contact” so that you could get clear mentally and come to some decisions about how you want to spend the rest of your life. Divorce doesn’t negate the happy moments your had of the efforts you put into the marriage. He has broken your trust–CL points to how often sexual infidelity is linked to financial infidelity. If you can’t separate physically, consider a 6-month “break” to figure out who you are and what you want. Your H got caught and it’s typical that he denied the affair (so why hide the money?) and he’s come hoovering back to you to make sure he doesn’t lose everything. You are worthy of love and fidelity. Your H has problems and if he isn’t doing serious therapy, he’ll go right back to his old ways.

              • Please trust that he sucks. You are not crazy. You know what is happening. I went through it to and did not want to believe so much forced myself to take a picture of the act now that picture is in my nightmares. Please don’t do that. Leave that person you know is lying and cheating and save yourself. Hugs.

        • Lovedajackass…. Thankyou. We have renters in the other home and he won’t get them out. Yes, I know…. why hide the money. I don’t buy into that one …..

  • Most of my favorite and most helpful quotes are from CL and CN. I had particularly hard time getting over predatory OW so CL’s “He can dress it up any way he wants to: it was bigger than them both, the heart wants what the heart wants…he’s still a turd. And she’s a woman that’s won a turd. Stop comparing yourself to Mrs won-a-turd. There is nothing to feel jealous about because she is not enviable. She just thinks she is.”

    Something X said a couple of weeks after d-day. “Its fun getting to know someone new “. After 30 years together, a beautiful family, a wonderful life. That’s what it came down to for him. Just showed me how very shallow he is.

    I also love “meh will come when creating a new story takes more of your interest than the old story ” from CL’s book.

    Chumps rock. Love you guys. Who knew so much love and support could come from an on line community.

    • Better…..the shallow moment was when he told me that well, stripper lived 3 miles away and you live 300 miles away.

      To be judged by distance! Lovely!

    • I got the magic line… ‘im ready to start the second chapter of my life ‘ … on the eve of his crappy book launch (litterally wrote a book called career karma) .;sob also ripped off my idea to make the launch a money making event. But made sure to make d day the week before. He had ‘always wanted to try living on his own’ don’t you know… yes with some random he’d picked up a few months prior. Couldnt lie straight in bed….

  • My “ah-ha!” moment came from the OW. What she said was so profoundly idiotic and backwards that I realized what I was really dealing with. She reportedly encouraged my ex husband to fight for our marriage if he still loved me. “JC didn’t fight for me,” she claimed. Even before I knew JC, I knew she had repeatedly cheated on him and that he eventually left her when she wouldn’t stop fucking my ex. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of her expectation that her betrayed husband should “fight” for her when she refused to be someone worth fighting for. (For the record, JC did fight for her, right up until he realized she was after cake, not their marriage.) I realized how profoundly fucked up they both were if they expected their betrayed spouses to be the ones to beg and dance and grovel. That was the moment during “reconciliation” that I realized what the price would be for “saving” our marriage, and that I had no interest in paying with my dignity or my conviction in what is right and true.

    P.S. – I’ve been separated for 3 years, and after 19 months of the most inept court system I’ve ever encountered (they lost out case file TWICE), I AM NOW OFFICIALLY DIVORCED!!!!!! He doesn’t have any more leverage over me. That is worth celebrating.

    • Congrats on your divorce, FV! I’ve been following you and JC since I came on the blog, and I’m really happy for your official freedom papers. Both of you post so much helpful stuff here. Thank you!

      • Thank you! We both got the better end of the deal, and I’m mighty happy to join the ranks of the divorced.

    • Free Vix — You may have seen KK’s farewell letter to me, sent 5 days after the divorced was finalized (I posted in the forums some time ago). The entire piece is insulting to an absurd degree, but she included something similar to your item:

      “Thank you for being brave enough to fight for me. And for being tired enough to let me go, when I told you I needed to go.”

      She actually thanked me for 3.5 months of pick me dancing.

      She actually thanked me for becoming so worn down emotionally and psychologically by her deception that I had to decide for both of us that the marriage was over.

      And she apparently forgot that, rather than “telling me she needed to go,” she actually cried and groveled and asked to give counseling more time.

  • From CN: “Infidelity is not a marriage problem; it’s a character problem.”

    From the cheater: “I have voids that can never be filled,” and, “Asking me to love is like asking a baseball player with no arms to hit a grand slam.” Oh, also, “In many ways, OW is the real victim here.” Lots of others, but those are key.

    From my lawyer: “Stop responding to his fictions. He just wants to control you, but he can’t.”

    From CL: “He fired you from that job,” which means ALL of the chumpy jobs.

    From my DS: “You aren’t his little slave anymore.”

    From my DD, not the words but the impact: sobbing in my arms, body image issues, grades tanked, embarrassment deep, therapy ongoing, pain unfathomamble. True for DS, as well, but I don’t see it day-to-day.

    • “He fired you from that job”

      The last thing I communicated to my ex was a letter with a variation on that line: letting him know that he’d lost my support and I would no longer be bullied or guilt tripped into doing his bidding.

      I felt such a strength and closure as I wrote that letter to him: you know those times when words pour out of you? You just know what to say.

      Simple statements of fact and every now and again I read that letter and feel that quiet power again. It was a true moment of Mighty for me and Ai knew that I was really, truely letting go and closing the door on the past.

  • The sentence that changed my life…”Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life”.

    When I accessed this website with hundreds of chump stories similar to mine, the confirmation that I wasn’t crazy had me bawling my head off with tears of joy – – I wasn’t alone.

    • Yes CJ. I come to CN almost every day to help save my sanity. It has been 4 months since d day and i still cry every night even though the days are getting better. My favorite quotes are from CL and everyone else here. Thank you.

      • Georgie – It’s been three years. Three glorious years since the walls on my home began singing. After the tears, one day you will wake up, go outside and the air will be fresh, birds will be singing and the world will announce itself in all its wonder.

        You will know it is Tuesday.

        I promise.

      • Yah Georgie it was really hard for me for awhile, too.

        Our divorce isn’t final yet, but I feel a lot better than I did. It took me some time.

        I hear that once the divorce is final a whole new set of feelings arises. I’m curious, and have just a little trepidation.

  • Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD) aka Intimate Betrayal Trauma – the moment it became clear that the “crazy” behavior my cheater was deriding me for was crazy that he, personally, had caused.

  • I have read so much wisdom here that it’s difficult to pick just one pearl. For today, my favorite is “Trust that he sucks.” But, I’m still in a place where I have to combine that with concrete examples of how he really did suck. Here are two:

    1. In hour 18 of my 25-hour labor with our daughter, he asked me, “Are you sure I’m the father of this baby?”

    2. Shortly after arriving home with our newborn daughter he posed this question: “If we (he and me, my stepson, and our infant daughter) were on a boat and it began to sink, which child would you save? I thought this was the lead-in to a joke and waited for the punchline. He wasn’t kidding. He looked at me coldly and said, “I know which one I’d save.” I realized then that he had put me on notice; my stepson was going to be his primary partner in our family.

    Yes, he does suck.

    My daughter, who is now 14, always mocks me for printing out “Facebook Wisdom” and posting it on the refrigerator. But this one recently hit home:

    “If someone treats you like crap, just remember there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don’t go around destroying other human beings.”

    • OH MY GOD. To say that about your family (#2)–with a new baby in the house? What a sick fuck. We’ve got some real doozies on this thread, but THAT is one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.

    • What a fucking psychopath ..jeez talk about red flags galore..and during childbirth and bringing new daughter home??! Asshat.

    • Meh Or Bust,

      “In hour 18 of my 25-hour labor with our daughter, he asked me, “Are you sure I’m the father of this baby?” The only answer to that that makes any sense to me involves a scalpel.

      “If we (he and me, my stepson, and our infant daughter) were on a boat and it began to sink, which child would you save?” Both of them. You’re on your own.’

      I think if you look up “Trust that he sucks” in the great dictionary of universal truths, you’d find his picture there.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

      • The hardest part for me (so far) has been facing the truth about what our marriage really was and trying to forgive myself for being part of it. I never told anyone about those comments until last week… because I didn’t want to admit to myself or anyone else that there was anything wrong. No one would have believed me anyway. If you met Porky Pig at a social function or through work you would think he was the greatest, most affable guy around. He would have convinced everyone that I was crazy and, in fact, he pretty well convinced me that I was. I was always the problem and I was lucky to have found someone to marry me.

        I was born and raised in a small, close-knit community in the midwest where people honored their word, and treated others politely whether they felt like it or not. Just as CL has said many time, I assumed that everyone else was the same way. Ironically, Porky Pig constantly criticized me for not having any “street smarts.” If being “street smart” means lying, cheating, and backstabbing, then I prefer to be a hayseed.

        Yesterday, I found a receipt for dinner with OW dated long before I originally believed they had been seeing each other. Even after all the time I’ve spent on this site reading other people’s experiences, I was still stunned and hurt.

        TRUST THAT THEY SUCK

        • You can’t believe anything they say. That is so hard for me too because I too was raised in the Midwest by parents who were never anything but honest. I remember once my dad discovered the grocery clerk had given him an extra dollar in change after we had got to the car. Instead of considering it his lucky day, he went back in and returned the dollar.
          One of stbx’s favorite “criticisms” of me was “you’re such a rule follower”.
          He said that about my family too.

          Just like you, I’d rather follow the rules than cause all the pain he has.

    • Whoa. I’m pretty sure he would only save himself and leave everyone (including golden child stepson) to fend for themselves.

    • Uh, psycho, much? Wow, I feel for you, and am so glad you are far, far away from that turd.

  • “Every single thing you do matters.”

    This is from a short book called The Butterfly Effect, by Andy Andrews.

    This sentence has made me look at the things I do in a totally different way. I had been taught the Big Picture, don’t sweat the small stuff, etc. and here is a book telling me that every thing I do is important?

    I now try to be more deliberate in the things that I do, and I realize that many times the situation I am in is the consequence of many small actions I’ve taken in the past. I mean you don’t just gain 20 pounds, or have $20,000 of debt, or a filthy house. You also don’t just “find” yourself committing adultery, for you cheaters out there. Each action you take will lead you closer to either a good outcome, or a bad outcome. This makes me feel better, because whatever my situation is I can do something to make it better or worse. Right now. It’s a powerful feeling. You can’t change your past but you can examine it to see what lead you to where you are.

    • Perfect Anita.

      I have said this (and lived it when I’ve made mistakes) often. Okay, so the first time was ‘a mistake’ (riiiiiiight.) But you could have stopped it then. And confessed. I am not a prude. I think possibly I could have worked with a ‘one mistake?’ Maybe I couldn’t have. But giving people information about their lives, so they retain agency in their own lives. That’s real. That is character. Mindfulness is the key. Consequences for actions. Simple stuff, huh?

  • Mine was from therapist, “your husband really wants to stay married to you, but he won’t change.”

  • “Because really, envision a future of a marriage with “changed” him—my guess is that your sense of security is gone for good. What’s going to go through your head every single time he doesn’t answer his phone? When you can’t get ahold of him? If he seems secretive about his email? If he goes on a business trip? If he goes to the grocery store and takes a long time? If you see an unknown number call his phone? If he smells different? If he loses his temper? Your ship has sailed—you and your children don’t need that kind of insecurity and abuse in your life.”

    I’m at meh now, but I read this comment on a CL post back in the beginning of the nightmare, and it hit me like a ton of bricks! I had kicked him out but was still smoking the hopium pipe, lost in a fantasy world of him coming to his senses and all being restored. With a cheater, that can literally never happen. You will never, ever feel secure. And I can’t live like that.

    Life is so, so much better on the other side. I went theough hell to get here, but once I realized that was my only choice, I trudged through. It’s been the most empowering experience of my life. Thanks largely to this site. ❤️

    • Here’s to you Soltera! “If you’re going through hell keep going” Winston Churchill

  • Mine wasn’t a specific line – though all the ones I read on CL and from CN helped me out immensely. And chumpy me, it wasn’t ILYBINILWY or the other ridiculous excuses or bullshit she pulled, or even finding out about the affair itself. No, my moment of realization was a stupid towel. You see, this towel was bought for my wife as a gift from her married BF. And my wife would always take it with us to the beach every time our family went there. After d-day, I told her how much it upset me that she would continue to bring that towel to the beach. Now even though I had been following CL for a while at that point, I still thought she’d snap out of it and I hadn’t walked away – like an idiot, so I wasted more time in limbo.

    So what does she do the first day we take the kids to the beach the following summer – brings the towel back out and lays it down right in front of me. That was my moment of realization how little (no) respect she had for me. No matter what I did for her, no matter how hard I tried, she just didn’t give a shit about me or anything else. In hindsight now, it was the best thing she could have ever done for me. I finally saw her for what she was. Any feelings or respect I had for her completely disappeared in that moment, and from that point forward, I would see right through her and saw her actions and the intent behind them for what they were.

    The next day I met with the attorney and filed a few days later. In fact, I went to his office, got the complaint, and made sure I filed it myself. I was so completely done – I absolutely had to get that complaint filed. I needed to start clawing back my sanity.

    Now I’m at meh. How do I know this? The beach opened last week, she was there, and lo and behold – there was that stupid towel again. And instead of anger, or feeling anything, I was just indifferent. If anything, I felt a little bit of pity for her. I suppose she’s still clinging on to the memory of her BF, even though he apparently won’t leave his wife for her (surprise). Her behavior is bewildering at times, I don’t get it, but thankfully it’s not my problem anymore.

    I’m glad it’s over, and I’m optimistic for the future, but good lord I hope I choose better the next time.

    • There’s that “snap” moment I was talking about yesterday. Blindside had it too. You just look at them, like What the fuck did I see in THAT???

    • Thanks for sharing this! You are mighty. I am glad you knew that moment when you were done and decided to leave. Her disregard of your request showed her disregard of you and all that you shared. You deserve better. We all do.

    • Blindside,

      Great (but sad) story. We humans are visual. Sometimes we just have to see it instead of hearing it. Indifference runs parallel with Meh.

      So here is my poison that I wish on your ex…. I hope that a pack of drunken college frat boys will piss and do butt scoot’s all over that beach towel – front and back! 🙂

  • “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

    Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 170-180 A.D.

  • “There are people like you, who give and give. And there are people like your husband, who don’t appreciate what you have given, but demand more and more.” Said to me in February 1997 by the EAP counselor I saw after I confronted my ex about his affair and said I wanted a divorce. It helped open my eyes, because in a moment of clarity I saw it applied to my FOO as well. It’s always in the back of my mind now when dealing with narcs.

  • After telling my friend about my ex’s affair. She grabbed my face and said “YOU DWSERVE TO BE ADORED!”.
    That is so true for all of us.

  • Two thing for me.

    The first was out of an online Chump book written by a person called “Peace”.

    I don’t remember the exact line but basically it was an explanation that when you are trying to figure out how they could do something like this to you, it’s very simple. Some people have no moral compass. You may not understand it, because it’s so different to how you are, but basically, they just don’t give a shit. The way it was said was finally what made the penny drop!

    And a particular friend who had been with 2 narcs and looked me in the eye and repeatedly told me “You are going to be ok. You will get through this.” And for the first time I believed that.

    • Jeez, Carmel. How did you take his meaning? That he was courageous because he wanted ‘better’ than you, or that he was forgiving you for staying with him, whom he knew was a POS and undeserving of you?

  • His explanation for divorce after 29 years:

    “People change”

    I hate that expression with a passion.

    • Same. It’s just so like that video with the bear with the computer generated voice someone posted a couple weeks ago: a platitude that means nothing, that excuses everything, and makes it seem like fidelity is the same as tripping and falling into a ditch.

  • In the early days after DDay #2 I was in an online support group for partners of sex addicts (I know, not a real thing) called the Sisterhood of Support which is a fantastic resource for many reasons one of which being, it lead me here to Chump Lady. I was very deeply in denial at that point and was constantly pointing out why my husband was “different” from all the rest and therefore would be “cured” of his addictive behavior (a unicorn) which is why I was determined to stay in the marriage. I had pointed out again for probably the 100th time, that my husband and I had been friends, then best friends before we started dating and that fact, the fact that he was my best friend and I was his, was why we were going to live happily ever after once we got over the massive porn addiction and serial cheating “glitch”. One of the sisters, March, totally called me out on that bullshit. She basically said “don’t call him your best friend ever again. Fuck that. Who treats treats their best friend like that, much less their life partner and the mother of their children? ” OMG I was mad. I almost quit the group on the spot. But that stuck with me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Deep down I knew she was right. I was accepting the unacceptable from the person who claimed to know and love me best. It took me two and a half years to make the decision to end the marriage but that moment was a turning point in my thought process. That was the moment when I started really thinking about whether I could live with someone who didn’t value me as a human being despite claiming to love me. It was a long journey but that was one of the very first steps.

    March is part of CN too under a different name. If I told you her name, many of you would recognize her. I don’t know how much she comes here these days as she’s living a happy meh-filled life but if she sees this, I want her to know that I’m forever grateful for that unicorn slaying moment. Love you March!

    • Beth,
      I am happy that you had a March in your life and that she was able to help you.
      I can tell from your posts that you are a very strong and determined lady who has survived many difficult times.
      I think happiness is finally reaching out to you.
      You are so deserving. You are an inspiration to all chumps, and especially, to your children!
      ❤️

  • I haven’t really had my “AhHa”: moment with STBX yet. It has been a long slow slog to keep myself going in the right direction (away from him). But I did have that moment in a previous bad relationship. This one was never really a relationship. He was pursuing me, but when I found out he had a long distance girlfriend he supposedly “loved” I said no way. He continued to pursue me until a few months later when he and girlfriend “broke up” and by that time I had no other defenses left and gave into him (flattered by all of the attention I guess). Even without the girlfriend, however, he made it clear that I was just the side piece and he continued to pursue finding a real girlfriend while expecting me to still be there as the side piece. This wasn’t what I wanted so I kept trying to get over him and move on, but whenever I tried to get out he would hoover me back (he was very good at manipulation, he knew exactly what buttons to push). Eventually he got sloppy, however. One day when he was hoovering he said “I want you to be my mistress forever”. I think he thought I would swoon over the “forever” part, but I focused in on the “mistress” part. That was never the role I wanted to play and I certainly didn’t want to be stuck in role like that “forever”. At that point I got up the backbone to leave and stay left (and believe me it wasn’t easy because his dorm room was right next to mine and no contact was not an option). I think the guy is on his third marriage now and has a son by the initial girlfriend (hoovered her back for a bit too). I am not happy with how STBX blew up our marriage, but I was still better off with him than that other creep. At least he stayed committed for 20 years or so before he decided that dating while married was a good idea.

    • Actually I do remember one nugget form STBX that didn’t exactly change everything but it did help me to stop blaming myself for what happened even if I wasn’t quite done pick me dancing anyway. About three weeks after DDay when I had spent most of that time analyzing my every move in the marriage to see where I had gone wrong and what I needed to improve, he looked at me and said “have you done any self reflection at all”. I just looked at him and said “Yes”.

  • There were so many meaningful quotes, phrases, sayings, and ideas from CL/CAN, but one that stuck with me:

    You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you sure as hell don’t control it.

    • Arlo! So good to see you on here! I’ve been wondering how you’re doing. Would be great to see an update on the forums. Just sayin. …

  • A quote that changed my perception of what I was living through:
    “\When people of decent character ‘make a mistake’ they not only take responsibility for it but they’re also willing to do what it takes to repair any damage they may have done. And even when folks with significant character impairments deliberately do bad things, if they have any shred of decency in them (i.e. any modicum of empathy and conscience) they certainly don’t add insult to injury by blaming the victim of their trust violations and chiding them to ‘get over it’. A decent person person who violates trust, works both diligently and unbegrudgingly to earn some trust back. Disturbed and disordered characters feel no obligation to do so, content to put the burden on others to ‘forgive and forget’. Humans make mistakes, disturbed people blame their choices and mistakes on other people and rationalize their behavior.
    THIS CHANGED MY WORLD – Disturbed and disordered characters feel no obligation to do so, content to put the burden on others to ‘forgive and forget’.
    I kept hearing and I still hear from exhusband that I am an unforgiving little woman. All the things I uncovered and learned that I never made him do those things, it was his free will and he continued to do them and hurt me and our sons. I left and filed for divorce when I finally saw that he was incapable of being a decent person. He can put the spackle on but underneath he knows what he is, I know what he is, I lived it. He was the worst mistake of my life, and the lessons I learned are important for others to know.

  • From him, after moving out but during a weird moment with him still hanging around our house and me trying to convince him to return: “I kind of hope it doesn’t work out with her because I miss being home”.

    That put a dead stop on my pathetic pick-me dancing. It was so half-hearted. So WRONG to say to your wife. And not a speck of “I miss you” in there either.

    “Trust that he sucks” has been a helpful internal mantra for me too.

  • Oh, gosh, more from the STBX:

    “I find it very telling that you refuse to own your responsibility for the failure of the marriage.”

    “Ok, I had affairs. What did YOU do?”

    “I only had four affairs.” (Way more, but still–who says such a thing?)

    “You were not a good companion.” (Among the ones who were, a combo alcoholic drug addict, a prostitute, a married colleague with two small children, a single employee 21 years his junior with no compunctions about bedding a married man. Yeah, wow. How could I ever hope to measure up?)

    “OW and I have no personal relationship at this time.” (Uttered repeatedly while they were living together. Yup.)

    Yikes.

    • Oh, and what I did: stood by him through a DUI and sexual harassment charges, took constant loving care of the kids alone, spent a lot of time standing around in cute outfits staring at the door, wondering where he was and if he would ever come home. The very embodiment of evil, that’s me. ?

      • Yeah I remember putting on some lingerie one night and waiting to surprise him when he came to bed. A few hours later I gave up and put the lingerie back in the closet when he still hadn’t come to bed. But he still faulted me for not initiating sex. See, I was supposed to walk through the house in said lingerie looking for him instead of just waiting for him, except that he also faulted me for walking through the house in a regular nighty when we have windows in our house and that wasn’t appropriate. Can’t ever win.

        • I sent pics of myself in lingerie (Lord the dancing I did!), hating every second of it.

          His response? “That’s not the pose I asked for.”

          • Oh, PutAForkInMe! Just reminded me of something that happened several months before I ever knew there was an affair! Very out of character for me, but after the kids went to bed (they were teens) I slipped on the full sexy lingerie ensemble, complete with classy stockings and suspenders (is that an oxymoron?) and heels. Slipped a beautiful coat over the lot – and drove three hours in the night to surprise him at the hotel I had booked for him whilst he was at the horse sales. I honestly had no idea there was anything wrong – or at least consciously. Maybe I was onto something, as it wasn’t like me to do that much driving just for a bit of sex! We were still very sexual, after more than twenty years, but I had noted our busy schedules had us a bit short with each other. I sat outside the hotel – it was a small, boutique one we had stayed at together, and the parking area was small, he couldn’t have parked his car anywhere else. I assumed he was out after the sales, eating dinner, and a few drinks with friends. I sat in that carpark for four hours. And eventually drove home at 4 in the morning, to get the kids off to school, and me off to work. Turns out, the OW, who was overseas working at the time, came home early. The sales were in her city, and as he was up there (he did not plan this) she messaged him to say she was flying in that night. She did not know he was in the city, and he offered to pick her up from the airport. They had never spent the night together in either of our houses, nor ever a hotel (cheap, and scared of getting caught financially, I guess)’just’ twice at our holiday home (the affair was a year old by this stage.) He stayed the night at her house after collecting her, and says it was the worst night’s sleep he ever had. Every car that drove past, he thought was someone about to see his car parked behind her house. He now thinks he somehow felt my presence in the city – I was actually only a few blocks over, in the next suburb over from her house! Crazy!

            I never knew about this until about a month after D-day. I forgot to tell him I had driven up, got busy with work and kids’ activities, etc. When we were doing full disclosure, in the period after D-day, this came up. We were both absolutely gobsmacked! I burst into tears, telling him that it was so far out of my comfort zone, what if I had a flat tyre and needed to change it in the get-up I was in? (It was a spur of the moment decision to drive up, stuffed into the sexy lingerie – I didn’t think to bring a change of clothes!) He was just in awe that I did that, and felt an even bigger bastard than ever.

            Their sex was vanilla, and he has often complained how boring she was – I wouldn’t believe it, but I have heard this from her previous partners, including him, as she was an ex! He says it was some kind of sex karma at the time, because they had very, very nothing, tired-after-travel sex, and he knows we would have been fireworks, with me driving all that way, in a kind of weird role-play bullshit game. Hahahaha! Dickhead!

            • Their involvement in each others lives hurts as much as the sex

              Like Alice said they are (were?) a couple, invested in each other’s lives.

              knowing each other’s schedule, when she’s flying in and out, texting on arrival, picking her up from the airport- such a coupley thing. shows care beyond sex. A life intertwined.

              And really his story – she’s back early? So he knew when she was supposedly coming back and arranged to go to horse sales then? instead of using this great excuse to be in her city and have an overnight with her. He probably planned this to have a hot reunion on her return from her travels.
              He felt you in the city? Enough not to sleep but not enough to not be able to go through with sex with her.
              You felt your sex life was short and thought it was busy schedules. He was depriving you of sex and intimacy and giving it to her. Cruel.
              And I’m so angry for you, thinking of you waiting in a car for hours, tired and cold, while he’s 5 minutes away screwing her in her home.

              • Yep, Gutinstincts. He always goes to the sales. I knew her schedule to a large degree, too. She was working a lot of short term contracts in a neighbouring country at that stage. Remember, she was my friend! And why book a hotel room (and waste the money!) if he never intended on staying there? We never had that kind of cash to throw away. I was not suspicious at all so he could easily have told me he had booked his own and I would be none the wiser. I actually believe that she came home early, and unexpectedly. How convenient, yeah, I get that.

                Our sex life was still great. I meant that we were a bit short tempered with each other as we were both crazy busy!

                But you are right. I just shrugged and drove home. Wasn’t in the least suspicious nor angry. My fun little plan had missed the mark this time. But hey, we’d catch up soon anyway ?

        • Oh lord… I did the same exact thing. SMDH. The additional layer of shit that my ex added was he was always on my case because I refused to sleep naked. We had small children for God’s sake – they were always coming in our room with tummy aches or bad dreams or I was getting up in the night to go to them so WHY would I sleep naked?? And to make it even more fun, he would buy me pajamas and then get furiously angry at me when I wore them. Yeah, “can’t ever win” pretty much summed up my marriage.

          • And the fact that those kids were constantly interrupting just when you were getting started on being romantic was your fault too of course.

          • ^^^^Beth^^^
            Same, why don’t you sleep naked? with a young child in the house???

            Complained about the pajamas I wore to bed, now that I think about it he complained about everything.

          • Beth, Wow, to wear or not to wear pijamas, that is the question.

            A “when you think you have seen it all” variation of our cheater mindfucking strategies.
            They don’t even know who they are, the difference between the Sun and the Moon. So how can wearing pijamas make any difference?

            • Lol, I haven’t owned pyjamas since I was a child. So, naked sleeping doesn’t save you! What a surprise 😉

  • A co-worker and fellow chump who had already made to the other side looked me straight in the eye and told me, “You need to start loving yourself as much as you have been loving him.”

  • I agree with the post stating that if you stay with the cheater your sense of trust, security and the ability to NOT play marriage police is gone! Every time they walk out the door or they are just a few minutes late or your call goes to their voicemail, you have this sinking feeling that they are back with the OW! You just have to have trust to move forward and it’s impossible without imprisoning the cheater! What kind of life is that? That is not a marriage, it’s a prison for both of you! Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life is so true, let them go for your own sake.

    • And even when you can move forward w/out being the marriage police, w/o that horrible distrust… cheaters cheat and liars lie.

      Because I had seen my ex get involved w/Shmooopie #1, I knew I’d realize if it was happening again. So I didn’t need to lose sleep over that, and it didn’t keep coming up as an issue between us. He was truly forgiven – not because he deserved that (only GNR there), but because I chose to do that.

      Sure enough, 6 years later, Shmooopie #2. At least by then I had a much clearer understanding of who my (now) ex was, and of what I needed to do. Didn’t make it much less painful or difficult, but at least it was clear.

      So neither naked sleeping (yes, since I was 12!), nor true forgiveness after Affair #1 make any difference. Because cheaters cheat and liars lie.

  • I have a few.

    From my Mom: “Think how much you could do without a 250 pound man standing on your neck.”

    From Cheater because it made me see exactly how cold he was and how he viewed me as a useful commodity NOT a person, when I asked him why he married me if he didn’t love me: “I performed a cost benefit analysis and thought you would add value to my life.”

    My sister regarding schmoopie: “Your past is her future. Poor, stupid bitch.”

  • “Secrets make YOU sick”.

    When I first read that years before I pulled the plug on over 3 decades, something inside of me knew I would end up sick, or dead. He had driven me to near insanity with lies, deceit, betrayal, soul rape, gas lighting, blame shifting, UGH….. the list goes on! I know of many faithful spouses and partners who became sick with cancer and other serious conditions because of this pain. Humans aren’t designed to cover up for this shit. My other favorite ,,,,,, LEAVE A CHEATER, GAIN A LIFE. Thanks CL

  • The post that changed my life was from a question I sent to Chumplady on Nov 15, 2013 https://www.chumplady.com/2013/11/i-love-you-but-im-not-in-love-with-you/ in which I asked her opinion on my ex using “I love you but I’m not in love with you” to end our marriage. At the time I was suffering so much with the blame my ex had heaped upon my head for unknowingly causing him to fall out of love with me (though he’d never said he was unhappy or asked to work on anything). My favorite sentence in that post was this one:

    “I love you but I’m not in love with you” is cake speak. Cheaters take credit for loving you (because they’re so noble) – but they’re unburdened by their commitments because –King’s X! — they’re not in love with you.

    That sentence really hit the nail on the head for me, and explained why I felt stuck in a catch 22 situation whenever I thought of him saying that. It helped me to realize the emotional manipulation of being told he loved me, but could pursue his married coworker because I’d failed to keep him “in love” with me.

  • So many to choose from, but:

    “you being nice to other people and helping them really crippled us”

    “you have to help me get over him” – referencing her fuckbuddy.

  • I thought of one more — I was trying to explain to my mom all the reasons that my ex just didn’t understand how much he was hurting me. She interrupted me and said, “I’m tired of hearing all these excuses for him. He understands exactly what he’s doing, he he doesn’t care that it’s hurting you.” That was kind of like a slap in the face that woke me up from he hopium induced stupor I was in.

  • There are many quotes I’ve read here on CN that have helped open my eyes, I can’t think of any particular one at the moment. Something I do remember is a Madea video called words of wisdom. Here’s the link to the condensed version. https://youtu.be/RgiTQW7b8QY

    • Brit…I live by this. It helped me release the people who I believed were friends and also taught me to re establish boundaries. I can’t tell you how many times I have shared this with others.

  • Two of my faves- There’s no such thing as a character transplant, and, If you’re beating yourself up about leaving the disordered, you can lay that burden down.
    It was SO HARD to figure out what to do, until I found CL. My peace and contentment always came last, but now that’s fixed, I hope. At least my happiness gets a consideration these days!
    So much wisdom here every day.

  • I was reading here one day, still not completely “no contact” when as part of her response to someone CL commented, “in order to heal from the mindfuck you have to get away from the mindfuck.” It was like being struck by lightening. I went completely no contact that day. I have still have that quote posted on my computer monitor.

    Then this: “All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way.” ― bell hooks.

    And the last is one of my favorite quotes attributed to Harriet Tubman about being able to free thousands more slaves if only they had known they were slaves. I frequently tell people now, “I didn’t know how I was living until I stopped living that way,” which is my updated version of that quote.

  • And another, from CL — when I was lost in the “fog of ‘why?’ ” this lifted it bigtime:

    “Cheaters cheat because (1) they want to, (2) they have or make the opportunity, and 93) they don’t care about the consequences of doing so.”

    • I know it’s a typo, but what are reasons 3-92? We could do another Friday question about that, ….

  • When I caught them together in MY house, he in his underpants cleaning up in the kitchen, she lounging on the couch and she looked at ME like I was the trespasser with stone cold eyes and uttered, “Couldn’t you tell when your husband was done with you?”

    I realized how spiderwebby connected they were as team tootsies, and NOTHING I could do, say, or think was gonna make a difference. My life changed forever in that instant – and so for the better.

  • It is not possible to treat someone you love in this way. Thus, he never actually loved you.

    That was the concept that finally set me free. I was finally able to stop listening to his empty promises and my wishful hoping. It was also a serious kick in the gut after 32 years together.

  • I have 2. I was struggling after I left and these 2 different people’s words I still play over and over in my head.

    Bishop TD Jakes: If people can walk away from you……let them walk!!

    Maya Angelou: When people show you who they are, believe them.

    So powerful for me!!

    • Oops! I kinda messed that one up!

      Meant:
      When people show you who they are, believe them THE FIRST TIME!

      There!

  • The best piece of advice I got actually came from my cheating ex-husband.

    In the middle of the storm, two weeks after D-Day, when I was desperately trying to understand why the affair happened, clinging to the hope that we could save our marriage and allowing him to blame me for HIS choices he said –
    ‘You need to get some dignity’!

    You know what, he was right!I let the anger I felt from that one statement change my life for the better. I found a great divorce attorney the next day! Filed for divorce and went about the business of reclaiming my life and reclaiming the person I was before his affair(s). I wasn’t emotionally ready when I filed but my emotions have caught up two years later and it is the best decision I ever made!

    So thanks Ex-husband! You rock!

    • LOL Wendi!
      Best decision indeed!
      It’s hard to see it early on, but with plenty of time and distance, I think all of us can come to see it as a gift. Freedom from disorder and abuse is a wonderful thing.

  • “You never meant to him what he meant to you” as sad as it sounds, it was my A-Ha moment. Suddenly I realized we do not have same values, we are never going to invest equally in that relationship, we have different priorities … thank you, CL for opening my eyes.

  • My therapist and I discussed, over a period of 6 weeks, Jackass’s somewhat inexplicable distancing–providing verbal reassurance by phone and text when necessary but avoiding contact and generally acting unplugged. Her general mode has always been to let me talk something out and then move in for dialogue designed to help me understand a situation and my alternatives. When I told her about finding the FB page for Jackass with his one MOW friend, she said: “You can never go back.”

    And although I still had fantasies about him coming to his senses and I still wanted explanations, that sentence always echoed in my mind: “You can never go back.” It was a life preserver until I found CL and started to learn about Cluster B types and entitlement.

      • Mine had one of those too! All of the “cheerleaders” who thought thier affair was so adorable were on it. Of course my attorney found it to be solid gold!

  • I have a couple:

    “Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.” —Brené Brown

    “No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”
    ― Robert Holden

    I always thought I had to be perfect to be worthy of love. These quotes really changed my outlook.

  • I’m in a rush, so forgive me if I repeat someone else’s lol, but the one I used the most was ‘don’t try and unravel the skein of fucked-upness’. I can’t imagine how many hours of useless suffering I have saved by remembering that…and I have passed it on to many,

  • Mine is a little different, and the original source is something ChumpyKindOfLove’s boyfriend said to her, then condensed down by someone (Cashmere, JadedMuse? I can’t remember exactly who).

    “No one gets to abuse you anymore.”

    Totally ties in to issues with my father and my ex. Still learning how to incorporate it in my life.

    Peace.
    aeronaut

  • After D-Day #4 with the same man (my supervisor at work) “He’s my soulmate. We have shared something special. I am sorry that I married you, but I was a single mother who was struggling. I had to think about my kids. I will be home on Monday. Don’t forget to pay Jessica’s college tuition for this semester. It’s due today.”

    • Wait. Jessica isn’t your child and she wanted to remind you to pay her college tuition? While she was what? Going away for the weekend?? Wow……

  • I spent the better part of 2016 at war with myself. He was begging to stay, literally on his hands and knees but he was still just an awful person, just disgustingly mean and ill-tempered, self pitying, disrespectful, verbally and emotionally abusive to me and to the kids, just a nauseating human being (he always was but I am an expert professional self-delusional spackler). My heart was saying “Stay. How can you leave someone who is mentally ill and needs your support?” My brain was saying “But how? How can you manage this? How can you live like this?” My gut was screaming “Run! Save yourself! Save the kids!” I was soooo stuck and had no idea what to do.

    And then my friend’s boyfriend asked me a really simple question that made it all so crystal clear. (He had no idea what was going on with me, he just asks these kinds of questions all the time.)

    “So, if you found out you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do?”

    Of course, I’ve thought about the “if you had one day to live” question many times in my life, but something about saying “24 hours” really hit home. The actual time limit combined with my current circumstances gave me different perspective.

    I’ve posted on another forum what happened in the few short moments after he asked that question, but, to make a long story short, it was as if my life flashed before my eyes. And the mere thought of XH anywhere around me in my last 24 hours gave me panic. His mere presence (even just in my mind) made me feel like crap and I wouldn’t want to feel anything like that in my last 24 hours. I would want to be with my kids and make it the happiest, most fun day ever. NO dark cloud, no subtle mockery, no turning my last day into his own pity party.

    And that was it. BOOM. I was done. If I didn’t want him in my last 24, I didn’t want him in any of them. The next day I asked him to find somewhere else to live, and continued to ask him for the next 6 weeks until he finally moved out.

    And I didn’t feel bad about it at all. I have no guilt and no regret. That question was the turning point.

  • A friend, who I had been confiding *some* of my troubles in (couldn’t tell her everything, I was still spackling), said this to me after I told her that he had *at least* been coming up to bed (the same bed he abandoned for FOUR years prior) since I told him that if this keeps up I wanted a divorce:

    “Honey, you’ve been starving for so long, you don’t know he’s still feeding you table scraps…”

    I cried like a baby and then kicked his ass out less than two months from that statement.

  • There are SO many gems I have lived by on here at CN. One in particular that made my heart sink was:

    (paraphrasing) Be glad he/she is preoccupied with the OW/OM now. Once that relationship implodes, they’ll come snooping around again.”

    That sent shockwaves through my body. I did NOT want that. Not at all. It was the beginning to the long road to meh for me. Knowing that Cheater Ex might come around scared me. I did not WANT that. It felt so good to know that about myself.

  • The question asked here and on a forum for straight spouses: Even if he wasn’t a cheater or wasn’t gay, would you want to be married to a man who treats you the way he does? It finally sunk in that the cheating and his closeted life were beside the point, it was his narcissism and his longstanding emotional abuse of me that were the deal breakers.

    • Other Kat, in my case it was true. The way he had treated me the last few years together was a sin. (I was not aware of the affair at this time.) I remember thinking, how the hell do I end this? I was still in love with the “RI Richard, but hate this Florida Dick. When I found about the affair, that was it, done deal, last nail in the coffin, hasta la bye-bye baby, F*** off, drop dead, may your dick fall off, may you get leprosy on your penis and the spoken words, “GET THE F*** OUT!”

  • After the second DDay and a cruel discard, I was toying with the idea of “winning” asshole back from Schmoopie. I played that through in my head as to what that life would be like after “winning” him back and this phrase kept going around in my head.

    “To win, is to lose. To lose, is to win.”

    Turned out to be the truest thing ever.

  • “The puzzle is solvable when you act on the correct information”

    Taken from “The Reconciliation Jigsaw Puzzle” at IHG

  • The Worm and I hadn’t seen each other for a few months. I still carried some kind of demented hope that he would change. I agreed to a family breakfast at a diner. First words out of his mouth, “your collar is crooked”…….
    Seriously? He sealed his fate.
    No turning back after that.
    It triggered a panic attack and I realized how little I actually meant to him…..

    • Oh yes…..I do remember that one from early on when i found Chump Lady. It was profound and hit me like a ton of bricks. We want so badly for these horrible people to make it right. These people were supposed to love us so they should want to make things right. But they don’t love like we do so they won’t do the right thing.

  • Marriage Counselor sees me in individual session and says:

    The person you are married to is a narcissist with sociopathic traits. These are not people you try to save your marriage with…it is a person that you run from. Please run from her.

    • I wish my marriage counselor would have said that. He said cheating is NOT a character problem. So I danced – about a year ago now and about killed me in the process – the most demeaning experience of my life.

      That is EXACTLY what cheating is – a character problem.

      So, trust that he sucks, you can never untangle the fuckupedness, it will be ok, no contact is the way to truth and light.
      Those all speak to me.

      • My marriage counselor said the same thing! Said it is not a character problem but a behavior problem which can be changed. I wasted those 6 months dancing and smokin the hopium. Water under the bridge.

  • 1. My sister told me when she saw my devastation after DDay, my skeletal thin body and my Xanax taking, “There are worse things than divorce, and you’re living it”.
    2. My STBX said a very profound thing as he was telling me ILYBINILWY, “Why do you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?” It took me way to long to see the wisdom in that statement and finally get away.
    3. Our first marriage counselor, when I had an individual session with her, “There are two types of people, people you can reason with and people you can’t. Your husband is not someone who can see reason.”
    4. A good friend who was there for me every step of my journey, “Step off the cliff. You will see you can fly”.
    5. Another friend who tried to talk some “sense” into my husband, “There is nothing to save”.

    • What is it, the cheaters apparently don’t see the irony of them telling you “I love you but am not in love with you ” is designed to keep you hanging around and that they are doing the Exact same thing. I mean, you had to leave him, right? Same here. They are so full of shit I’m surprised they don’t explode.

      • Yes, Anita, I was the one who had to put the bullet in our marriage and file. Then he told everyone that my “happiness” was more important to me than keeping the family together. He failed to mention the serial cheating and abuse. The final straw was a letter I received from his girlfriend letting me know he had continued contact with her when he had claimed he wouldn’t. One of the lines she wrote actually helped solidify my resolve to file. She said, “He is dishonest, even to God”. She was spot on. So glad he is now her problem!

        • Glad he’s gone, and they can be each other’s problem. Still can’t believe anyone wants these losers. The OWhore thinks she’s special, no doubt. Bleh.

        • It Is What It Is

          My X tried to guilt me for divorcing him saying that I killed your marriage. I don’t believe you and I (or any chump) were the ones to put the bullet in our marriages, their cheating did.

          Your divorce proceedings were instead a very painful way to get an official death certificate.

          (((It Is What It Is)))

  • I have on my bulletin board over my desk a quote that I got off of Facebook :

    “Losing someone who doesn’t respect or appreciate you is actually a gain, not a loss.”

    Something else that I have been mulling over was posted here in the last month. I didn’t write it down, but it has resonated. I have been “jealous” that XH always has a gf of some sort. I am on my own, but with my family and friends very close. Someone posted that if you were treated a certain way, the cheater doesn’t change and will treat future sig. others like you were treated. I definitely felt I was used for all the things I did for XH. So, now, when I start to feel jealous, I stop and say the new gf is being used for what they can do for him, it isn’t love and never will be. This has helped me tremendously . And as many have said today “Trust that he sucks” is a repeating mantra.

  • The book Should I Stay or Should I Go? suggests you do a clock exercise putting birth at 12,child at 3 etc and review your life. I made a timeline of my marriage and relationship with my husband instead. It was the best thing I could have done. It clearly showed the lies,cheating and abuse since before we married through 41 years of marriage. I had been working so hard for so many years to fix the marriage I had lost all sense of what the marriage really was. The timeline totally destroyed all hopium,cleared my mind and showed me that the Truth was setting me free to live a new life without abuse.

  • For me the decision to divorce after D-Day was easy, no questions, had it done and final in less than five months. The hard part came after that, not just the finances and keeping the kid emotionally afloat but dealing with Narkles the Clown. He’d traveled so much for so many years then had the kid half of his days. I was worried about my kid and how things would get. I worried, until one day a user who used to post here called “The Clip” posted on a forum

    “I don’t co-parent”

    Much like the “No” is a complete sentence. It was simple, concise and powerful. She then laid out how she still does all the doctors appointments, school paperwork, permission slips, summer camp interviews, homework checking and nagging etc. just like she did before. She didn’t consult her ex on anything, just kept on keeping on. I was empowered to stop telling Narkles the Clown anything at all. If he wants to know he can ask. He doesn’t. Ever.

    • All out of kibble, “I don’t co-parent”. My situation exactly and I don’t want to coparent. Stbx was exactly like narkles- when I stopped talking about the kids, he stopped asking. Suddenly now that there is a lawyer and money at stake, he asks for custody. My lawyer assures me it won’t happen based on his history and the kids wishes but now we have to use the word coparent which I have hated since the beginning. When I heard the term parallel parent, I thought: I could deal with that.

      Anyway, history shows that the kids are just for his image but the idea of being coparents haunts me.

  • GASP! Oh my gosh! I’ve had a busy day at work today and just now had a second to wander over to ChumpLady. I’m SO honored!! Thanks so much to my friends at CN for playing along with my Friday challenge. I love you guys so much! I’m so glad I found you!!

  • Cheater: “I can find something sexually attractive in every woman I meet…YOU don’t have any control or opinion about what “I” see as being sexy…this can change from moment to moment and from woman to woman.” “It could be as simple as how she smells, her painted toenails and shoes, how shiny her hair is, or simply the way she speaks or carries herself when she walks.” “It could be everything about her or even nothing in particular that excites me”.

    This explains well over 40yrs of his serial cheating, inability to bond, and destroying two marriages. Roving eyes. Profiling. Complimenting. Fantasizing. Flirting. Dopamine seeking. Cheating. Detachment. Ego Kibbles. All summed up in this matter of fact statement which then began and kept me on my own journey of detaching from him. He succeeded in making any and EVERY woman seem to be my enemy, when in fact, it was obviously HIM.

    • Sweetz, ughhhh, what a leechy old creep. Trust me I know some in real life. 99% of women don’t want their brand of “attention”, especially if they are merely trying to do their jobs, like waitresses, etc. Thankful he is gone

      • Anita, he is turning 64 this year…so “leechy old creep” is quite accurate. He uses his jewelry business as his operating theater to engage with all these women. I figured out years ago that most of these women were not interested in him, but rather, in the great deals they could squeeze out of an old lusting fool. He did however, get some takers…one of them being a massage therapist whom he was getting pleasured from starting before the first year we were married. That one lasted for years. The last one was a 42yr old cougar who was using him to get closer to his 22yr old son who also ran the store with X. She played on my X’s lust, and in the process, snagged his naive son.

        Yes! I am so glad he is gone! Not a tear shed…and lucky me, no hoovering or contact in the last 1.5 years since.

        • Wow! Sweetz, I’m on up there myself so I don’t have anything against mature men, lol. Leechs are disgusting at any age, and at 64 that’s pretty bad. The ones I know are about that too, but it’s a life long problem usually.

          • I have to add, I’m really disappointed when a well known person I like turns out to be a cheater. I just found out that Andy Griffith was banging Miss Crump. And Don Knotts was a cheater too. Now I know why Aunt Bea did not like Andy. Why, why, why do these people have to do this to me, lol. Now I’ll never be able to watch this again. They all seemed so nice…

  • This is a saying that I made up and I carry in my heart.
    I think today is a proper day to share it with other Chumps.
    Sadly, many will understand.

    When someone beats you on the inside, you can never see the bruises. You can only feel them.

    • And fools that we are, we convince ourselves for so long that it’s not abuse ….. It’s really only when we get away and have healthier lives that we realize how very painful that was, and how much damage it caused.

  • From the Traitor:
    “You’re like my father, you won’t face your issues”
    This after I told him I’d found the porn he’d downloaded on the farm’s laptop while I was in town with his 11 year old son at a swimming lesson, after a year of wreckonciliation, 9 years of helping him raise his 4 sons, paying off his debts, lending the whore money, visiting the whore’s grandmother every week because I am a nice responsible person, while I had 6 miscarriages.

    I drink around 2 glasses of wine or 2 beers a month.

    His father is an alcoholic who couldn’t cope raising his 9 kids alone when he was widowed. Traitor grew up in a house with no care, no food, dad passing out drunk every night.

    Everything he said up to that point had the power to hurt me and make me doubt myself. After that remark, I was able to laugh at everything he says.

  • “Staying in a bad relationship means you won’t be available to meet someone right for you — the same goes for the person you’re with. Leave, so both of you can go find someone else more compatible.”

  • These came from Chump Lady or Straight Spouse –

    People that become involved with others outside of what is supposed to be their primary relationship have already changed the primary relationship. It is just a matter of time before a consequence is going to occur as a result of breaking the agreed upon rules. If we think we can change this because we are special, if we think we can mend this once it is broken, we are fooling ourselves.

    Adult love is always conditional. The conditions are, you don’t lie to me, cheat on me, disrespect me or put me in harm’s way. You do these things, game over.

    Gradually it dawns that there is no going back, because we can’t unknow what we now know, or undo what has happened. Also because our eyes have been opened to the fact that what we thought we had was actually just a sham, and so we can’t get it ‘back’ because it didn’t really exist (as we thought it to be) in the first place.

    and as CL says, “Tuesday is coming. Keep walking.”

  • I found this sentence not long after I found CL. I loved it so much I copied it and put it up on my bulletin board at work, and it’s still there. Almost 4 years later, I still think it’s one of the most incisive things I’ve ever read.

    “Grown up love is CONDITIONAL love. Get that through your noggin. The conditions are — you don’t treat me like shit. You don’t disrespect me. You don’t expose me to harm. You do those things? GAME OVER. I’m done with you.”

    THANK YOU, CHUMP LADY!!!

    Yesterday, Alice B. Toklas’s blog comment was fucking brilliant. I copied and pasted that bit of bracing tough love as well. For anyone who missed it, here it is again. IMO, it should be required reading for anyone sitting on the reconciliation fence.

    “You are already alone. You are on Jupiter alone. Worse, you are alone and the butt of the joke. On top of that, you have a second, full time shit job playing Marriage Police. It is demeaning, exhausting and a precious waste of your very limited time here on earth.

    He does not love you. He does not care about you. You are a joke to him. You are a burden to be “managed” and kept in the dark and fed shit, like a mushroom patch.

    You need to get infuriated. Like, rip apart phone books infuriated. This motherfucker is a hog at the trough, and you are simply the caretaker that slops the hog.

    I had the terrible sense to actually eavesdrop on the Walking Piece of Shit that cheated on me. With spy equipment. Missed, if you could of heard the things he was saying about me to this Whore.

    Me- the one who stood on my feet and made him endless grilled cheeses, who babied him and fought his battles.

    When they are/were in the Embassy Suites, you are the “joke” after the sex. You are the person that he ridicules with her, and who knows how many other whores. She brought him a birthday cake. How sweet. Like cyanide.

    They are a couple. You get it? They are a couple who are invested in each other’s lives. Stop getting in the weeds with the details of what they do. It is the path to insanity.

    When you call, he probably rolls his eyes and says, There’s the stupid bitch again. My God- why won’t she leave us alone so I can eat your pussy and fuck you for hours?

    I am not being cruel. I am trying to make you see that you are missing IT. You are wasting your juice , your energy, your meat. You are casting your best years in the dumpster with someone who would probably shrug if you died, (after showing the world crocodile tears) and then run to the filing cabinet, eyes lit, to see how much your life insurance policy is worth.

    Stop with the counseling focusing on decoding him. He does not love you. Full Stop. These people are wired different. He will never change. He will be 87 in the assisted living, chasing strange pussy while you sort out the meds and make sure there is cold Ensure in the Frig.

    Is that good enough for you? Is that what you what your children to believe love and life have to offer? Where is your outrage? You deserve to be loved. Right?

    Missed- kick that scum licker out. Hire the best lawyer money can buy and get steel in your spine. No one can do it for you. This is one of the those big girl pants moments.

    Here is the good news- You have already weathered the worst part. Being married to a Demon. It’s all down hill from here. You just have to get up, and start taking action. Once you pay people, they will start things for you and momentum will carry you.

    *You can, you must and you will.*”

    Alice, if you’re still reading, I hope you’ve found someone who can truly appreciate your grilled cheeses and makes just as many for YOU.

  • I’m having this one printed and then I will be putting it on my wall after walking away….

    Yet she was still alive and she was here…
    Looking at herself in the mirror…
    And for the first time in her life, she respected what she saw.
    Bowing to her reflection, she said softly, “Pleased to meet you.”

  • I’d rather eat a year’s worth of ramen noodles from Costco than one more shit sandwich from you.

  • You never know how STRONG you are,until being STRONG is your only choice.
    My childhood wasn’t the easiest one growing up with abusive alcoholic for a father until I was 15.So I thought I was pretty strong from that life lesson,but living for 14 years with narcissistic asshole,who ended up cheating brought out whole new strength in my I didn’t knew existed. ..my friend told my ,You have a more badass in your pinky toe,than that whore in her entire body…
    Almost 6 months in to separation,and another 6 before I can file for a divorce from the narcissistic cheating jerk..
    He told me ,So what you didn’t cheat, that doesn’t make you a great wife…

    • Thanks Sova. I am sorry for the realisation that the childhood shit affects us. I had a great childhood. And then, when I was probably 16, my Dad was outted (by a lover) as gay. Mum stayed and I think now was probably mostly getting her ducks in a row, then kicked him out about 12 months after her D-day (no one else knew – he did his cheating at the other end of the country.) I thought we all dealt with it openly, with dignity, and “moved on.” I kind of always knew it created doubt in me. If my very loving and in love parents could have this happen to their marriage, well, no one could get it right! I was wary, of relationships. I tested and checked and probably pushed men away, if I look at it now! A few years later, at university, I was violently raped by someone I knew and trusted. Once again, I “moved on” – I didn’t bury it, I didn’t deny it, and I didn’t own it. It was his shit, not mine, and I felt I had walked on, knowing it was bad, but that I felt in many ways, reasonably unaffected. But after my own D-day, I realise how deeply those scars run. Scars are amazing things, they are healed wounds, but leave tightness that never stretches afterwards. I realised those two pivotal moments in my life informed so much of my life. From being extra picky about men, to staying “safe” distances (personal space) to ensuring I was absolutely SURE of this guy, my love, before committing to him. To discussing my reasons for not wanting to marry. To being exceptionally loyal. To being 100% open and communicative, throughout our 29 years together. He looked the part, he acted the part. He was warm, open, loving and communicative. Until I found that he wasn’t telling me everything, like I was telling him. And he hadn’t taken on board all the things I had shared, about loyalty, safe sex, my own past that was likely to affect the way I would react to cheating. I was the chill chick. We loved hard, and we laughed a lot. We did stuff together, and we did stuff separately, it was bliss. I felt secure that we kept talking about the big stuff. I never needed to play marriage police.

      I did, however have some battles that bugged me. Family business, that we sold our own business and property to buy from his family. We lived and worked together in and on it. And I was never party to big family discussions, nor listed on ownership documents. As Relationship Property, of course it was half mine. But I pushed (HARD) for the visual recognition, and to be included in the big legal decisions about my life and career! It felt to me, but only in these difficult discussions, when he was pushing family in legal matters, etc, that I was merely a vessel, to bear his children, to work in “his” business. The rest of the time, I felt absolutely his equal. I, too, always felt strong.

      He now deeply regrets not doing what I needed to feel properly valued, and heard. I now feel like all I communicated was white noise, that he made the right noises, but never took any of it on board. Sucks. And that is why I couldn’t “recover” enough when he showed all the unicorn signs, to stay. Kind of a tragedy, as we are great friends, and share so many of the same hopes, dreams, and values (minus the period he thought he could just fuck our friend for 15 months, that (lack of) value, I don’t share.)

      • My heart hurts reading your post. I am so sorry about all of what you have endured. Your comment a “tightness that never stretches afterward” so hauntigly perfect, i could never describe it. All the therapy, time, quilting, cycling, camping, breathing and living has not loosed that knot. Kindred, so many of us are. Love.

        • Cheers, Patience. Thought I might add that in the form of a post-nup – we got all the financial and legal kinks ironed out. I was named on Trust Deeds, made a Company Director, etc. I knew he was genuine in his attempt to try to make it up to me, by these things, as well as his very caring actions. But, the point is, once broken, you can’t fix it to the state you want it to be in – in my case, at least as good as it was before, or even better.It was years later, I didn’t knee jerk, leaving as soon as the legal protection was in place. I really hoped (good old hopium, it’s powerful shit!) that given time, and his continued work and mindfulness (he never once faltered from this) that the pain would subside, and I would somehow learn to be vulnerable again. Nope. I just got more and more miserable, as the grief did not (and has not) dissipate. Leaving was the only option.

      • So sorry about all of that.Yes, no matter how far in to the vault you store all the bad memories, try not to think about it,like you’ve said ,the scars run deep.
        When I first met my ex,he was the sweetest, I told him I had major walls ,because of my past,and he was SO nice about it,caring. ..That all changed.
        I didn’t really see major changes as years went by, just your regular marriage and family issues.I started to see the selfish side of him,I just figured it was mommas boy syndrome. Everything was my fault, nothing was ever good enough, he always twist and turned the facts to fit his “truth”..now ,putting me through hell ,and being removed from the relationship and looking from outside, I have realized, after a lot of reading and researching, that he truly is narcissist.So glad that after 14 years of mental and verbal abuse,I’m almost at the end…I still have to be on high alert mode,as I can’t put anything past him…he’s the one who cheated and left, and he’s threatening ME with taking MY child away to live with him and the homewrecking whore,threatening with not paying Ch.S. he’s just angry, vindictive jerk.
        I will be finally able to sleep,and breathe, once the divorce decree is signed ,sealed and delivered…until than,I can’t turn my back,and unfortunately, to beat a psycho, you have to think one,and be step ahead of them.