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This Is Your Brain on Hopium

Hopium is a powerful drug. You can hand a chump the most desperate set of circumstances, and goddamn it, that chump will work with it. Let’s just give it a year! I owe it to us to try! Sure, I can ionize my needs into tiny, undetectable particles! You’ll never get a whiff of my anger, no sir!

Hopium says, sure you can leap off that tall building in a single bound, and not go splat on the pavement, because UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Hopium whispers, you’ll never lose a single sunk cost. Hopium exults, OMG he went to therapy! We’re good now! The Wizard of Therapy will give him a heart and we’ll click our ruby slippers and go back to our restored marriage!

Hopium lies.

Under hopium’s influence, chumps let down their guards. (Wouldn’t want to upset the Timid Forest Creature with your demands now, would you?) That boundary you had? It can wait. Those financials you should be collecting? Hey HE BROUGHT ME FLOWERS! That post-nup you were thinking of maybe taking his temperature on, kinda, perhaps… We can’t upset the cheater or they’ll run back to Schmoopie!

Chumps despise the suggestion that they’re high on hopium. NO, I CAN QUIT AT ANY TIME, but I CHOOSE NOT TO, because I believe in the SANCTITY of MARRIAGE!

Here’s a radical suggestion for all those who chase unicorns — reconciliation and protecting yourself are NOT mutually exclusive. Sorry is as sorry does. A remorseful person will give you transparency and a post-nup. A remorseful person will run a credit report on themselves. But chumps, high on hopium, will never ever test this sorry (I SEE A UNICORN! He’s white and fluffy with a rainbow mane!) because they fear more pain.

Hopium anesthetizes. Truth hurts like a motherfucker. So let’s not be pushy. Chumps fear that if they enforce those boundaries, the cheater will balk, and they’ll be forced to connect the dots that the cheater doesn’t really want to give up cake. That maybe the chump isn’t winning the pick me dance as definitively as they imagined. And so chumps will not test the depths of cheater sorry because it means further suffering.

Reconciliation sounds so noble. Bargaining stage of grief, not so much.

Put down the pipe, chumps. If you’re going to reconcile, do it sober with protection.

So tell me, what crazy thing did you do under hopium’s influence? And how did you kick the habit?


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  • Wrote a long list of “Reasons I Want To Stay Married To You.” Not my finest moment…

    • Similarly, when cheater refused to go to counseling after DDay #1 we agreed that we would “open up about our feelings” so we could heal without a counselor. I wrote a long letter about how much he had hurt me, how hard it was to trust him, how sexually inadequate I felt, how much I loved him and wanted the marriage to work, etc. He never responded. Never in any way acknowledged the letter I poured my heart and soul into. After months of “I’m working on my letter to you,” I eventually quit asking. He never wrote it. And yeah, almost a decade later it still makes me cringe to think of how I begged and pleaded for a chance to make HIM happy again.

      • Same here, wrote her a letter about why I think it all went wrong and took my part of the blame, told her. I still loved her and that I still had lots to give her. Never even acknowledged the content to me or spoke to me about it. Never wrote back. That bitch.

        • OneDay,
          Me too. I was in a program that advised me me to write a letter acknowledging the things I’d done wrong in the marriage and apologize for them. Once he read it, all he said was “thanks for seeing that things weren’t all my fault.” That answer hurt as he NEVER admitted to any wrong doing…other than the AFFAIR. I felt so stupid afterward.

        • Yep that’s a bitch move for sure. I hope you know the only “blame” you need to take on is loving and trusting with a whole heart. Every other damn thing is on the cheater. There’s a line in a current country song that I love: “I gave you my best, and we both know you can’t say that”. So true. We gave our best and in return we got a shit sandwich.

          • Exactly, they make no effort.
            Sadly we believed they valued the relationship and our children as much as we did.
            We made the mistake of believing they were normal.

          • Ah great. That sort of sums up what I took home from my talk with my shrink today; what if she’s incapable of such emotions? Maybe she’s just emotionally stunted because of her history? What of she’s incapable because she was abused by a sibling. It all makes sense.

            • At some point, at least for me, it stopped mattering why he was incapable of empathy, remorse, etc. Does he have a personality disorder? Is it because he was adopted? Raised by a narc mom? Because his dad died when he was ten and he lacked a significant male role model? Ultimately it doesn’t matter because whatever caused it, it isn’t fixable. The harm to me and to my children from staying in the relationship was incalculable. I can pity him (someday) but I can not allow him to drag the rest of us down any further.

              • Beth, you are right on and I feel the same way. No hint of any regret, remorse or feeling whatsoever about breaking up a family. But what a shit sandwich having to share the kids with this robot. The best is when I send an email about the schedule or finances and I get back – “great!”. Fuckwit.

              • They can only fix their selves, or they can’t. And I sure as hell can’t explain it to them. Sadly enough. It doesn’t matter in the end. No. Thanks Beth. ?

      • Beth, my words diarrhea was for about six months after DDay. Said all the things you mentioned. We were in a long distance marriage and that was the only way to communicate without me bursting into tears and showing my weakness all the time. He would respond 3-4 weeks later to my 5 long emails with one. In between during our telephone/skype talks (mostly when he called to talk to son) I would also get the “I am working on the answers to your emails”. It was so humilating. And his responses were very selective. He would choose to dwell on and respond to something minor but avoid answering the main concerns/questions. That shifting of focus from his main offenses to minor ones put me to sleep sort of. I would put aside the main thing (cheating) and start dwelling and discussing the lesser offenses and he would essentially take control of those email conversations. Then when the time of his annual visit came, he showed me a demo version of the most ideal husband I could ever wish. I never ever had this kind of a husband. Even at the very beginning of our marriage. I thought that’s it! We nailed it! We are stronger! All we needed were those long conversations (mine, really) and open communication lines. Now I feel cherished, valued, sexy, desired, pampered, appreciated, I see him responsible with the kid, helping with house chores, openly discussing his future plans (!), responding to my questions about his affairs (although this stopped pretty soon as he made it clear he would balk if I continued pressing him, he was over it and I should be over it as well!). We made plans for re-uniting and ending this long-distance marriage which was imposed by him for various reasons. I was the happiest and bragging to all my friends we are good, we made it, I was even happy this experience happened and it made us appreciate each other and value the marriage we had. Hahaha!!!

        • This exactly. I wrote the letter. Waited for the response. Was told he was working on it and thinking about the cost benefit to staying in the marriage. Can you belive that sh*t? The cost benefit to staying in the marriage?

          I never got a letter back that specific time, but other letter responses were always about how my actions caused him to lie and act poorly. The whole time he was still with the OW. It was never the cost benefit of staying in the marriage. It was about who was going to make him feel better about himself and that sure wasn’t going to be me.

          • This. To a “T”…. the exact same thing happened to me.

            Abusive motherfuckers.

          • Cost benefit analysis? Was your ex fucktard an accountant like mine was? Ugh.

            • Mine was not an accountant, but a political journalist, and he would always say I was a red line on his balance sheet. I did not put bread on the table. I gave up a good career to move in with him to his country (language barrier, paperwork barrier), etc. then got pregnant. I worked while we lived together there (an an embassy as a trade commissioner) but it was not enough to cover the red line.
              He was the main bread earner and would complain how his constant and long travels were exhausting (now I know why) and how unappreciative I was that he worked his ass off. Well, I now do put bread on the table, and big time. So fuck off fucking motherfucker! I am not your read line anymore!

            • Not an accountant but a VP of Property Management. Honestly, when I think about the downward spiral of our relationship, it really went down hill when I decided to leave the corporate world for a job at a local co-op. It allowed me to spend more time with our daughter and be able to go to school things. In his eyes however, I was a failure. I was no longer someone who wanted to climb the corporate ladder. He now socializes with younger colleagues from his profession, “networking” at happy hours 2-3 times a week. The OW is 14 years younger and I’m sure idolizes him because he is a VP.

              • Yup. It was a double whammy — he missed the $$$ and bragging about me. Being a power couple was more important to him than nurturing our daughter. With him traveling all the time (and having affair after affair,) So if I was working 60 hour weeks, commuting and traveling, who would raise our daughter? Oh yes, we’d hire a nanny for that! NOT!!

        • The “demo version”. Hahahaha I love that. I never got that ’cause it was all my fault don’t cha know. 😐

        • I had this experience once. I think he could sense that I was getting ready to leave. He was working out of town (how convenient!) and he came home for a 3 day weekend and was the husband I had always dreamed he could be. Loving, affectionate, helpful both in and outside the house and in the kitchen. One time as we were passing by each other in the living room he stopped me and gave me a nice kiss and I asked him “Who are you and what did you do with my husband?” I almost stayed because that was the husband I knew he could be – but thankfully my best friend told me ‘he is only doing this until you get sucked back in’ – and she was right, so I filed for divorce the next week.

          • You are mighty! And you listened to your good friend!

            I did not. I discounted all my friends, family, common sense, my brain – everything! Once he pressed the “on” button on his 2-month-long-best-husband-demo I got sucked in immediately. Flowers in the vase, veggies cut and prepared for chicken teriyaki by the time I come home from work, greeting me with pina colada, planning and organizing the best road trip ever (not really in the hindsight), taking son to his activities, biking together, talking, talking, did I say talking? I said it, right? Talking! Sex, really good. This time I felt desired. Me begging for it from a constantly tired man who wanted to relax and sleep at nights and I was so unappreciative and only focused on my own needs! Now he wanted sex! Yeyyyy!

            I can’t believe I did all that and more. But, the good news is, once he thought I was back in his pocket he relaxed again. And that was the motherfucker’s big mistake! I caught him again. And all of a sudden the guy that was interested in keeping the family and working on our relationship was transformed back into the entitled asshole he has always been. And I can finally see through him.

      • X agreed to go to MC, the afternoon of our appointment X tells me he wants to take separate vehicles, he claimed he’d forgotten where the counseling office was and that he’d follow me.
        X purposely drove slow and at one point purposely turned down a side street. I went into meet with the counselor and after 15 minutes X arrived. He sat down, the counselor said something about us being there to resolve of marital problems. X jumped up, as if he were taken by surprise, what?? did you say marriage counseling?? Brit lied to me!! she said we were coming here today to talk about our son!! Brit’s a liar.., The counselor then says, well, since you’re both here would you like to talk about your marriage? is there anything you’d like to talk about? X replied, no, this marriage is over, I’m done.., then walked out. I was stunned but sadly thought there was hope. Today I would shove that hopium pipe up his behind.
        What an ass

        • Wow that is some high level treachery Brit, sorry you had to go through that.

        • That is litterally how mine went. He initiated the MC but in the next couple of weeks made everything so insecure it was a deliberate attempt to fuck me up so when it came to the session he just sat back and told the guy he was over and just wanted some tips on how to tell the kids …19 18 16 thx dad. And yes it did have to do with least child support possible. Hence my name ….

        • Mine would never go to MC because “they could never understand.” Several times he would go along with a plan, get in the car while I drive then be shocked we were at a family party. He has a listening/ hearing problem and a memory problem, “I don’t remember saying that!” Really he should get his head looked.

      • The letter. Ha! I was promised a letter, as well. When we tried to broach a topic he’d say, “that will be in the letter”. Fast forward 6 weeks (after me diligently checking the mailbox everyday) and we finally broke through a barrier in verbal communication and I said in a light way, “Oh, where’s this legendary letter.” He laughed and said “we both knew I wasn’t going to write it.”. As ChumpLady preaches, a remorseful person acts remorseful. WORDS VS ACTIONS. PAY ATTENTION, PEOPLE!

        • Good point!
          Words I received: I’m sorry I made a mistake, I’m sorry I hurt people, it’s all your fault you made me do this because you’re a horrible person, if you would only do XYZ I would stop hurting and abusing you and our children, it’s all your fault, it’s all your fault, it’s all your fault…..I don’t want this….if you would just do PDQ then we’d have a chance…… it’s all your fault! Don’t file for divorce….marriages isnt over… i’m not seeing that woman ….. it’s all your fault it’s all your fault it’s all your fault …… I want to see 0W openly ……i’ve been miserable for years I hate being a father I hate being a husband I hate our house I hate our pets I hate my life…… It’s all your fault it’s all your fault it’s all your fault… did ask 10 years ago you did why 15 years ago you said Z 20 years ago…… I made a mistake ….this is all horrible… It’s all your fault it’s all your fault it’s all your fault…..

          Actions: Fuck OW, text 0W 10,000 times a month, lie, cheat, steal, blame blame blame blame blame blame blame …… Lie lie lie lie lie lie lie x infinity!

          • Hopeium brain: “he said the word mistake we must have a chance….”

            Meh brain: ” nothing to work with, only option divorce, no contact, build a new life…… “

            • So true. It was like there was pitched battle between a desperate, frightened voice whispering “Hope” in one ear and a rational (though no less frightened) voice whispering “Ignore hope; it lies” in my other.

      • Beth, mine never responded to my letter and never once apologized for anything she did. Again, it is amazing how similar they are. We need any annual party like new years to celebrate our freedom from the FU beings!

        • I am totally down with the idea of a party! Being free of these assclowns is truly something to celebrate, Lost.

          • +1 for the party!

            Actions speak louder than any of their words ever. Starting to realize that every time a talk would go in the direction where she’d have to perhaps even slightly face or think of her actions and repercussions and that she was destroying me emotionally, she’d always say: “but you did this and that and you you you…”. She never even wanted to admit to herself her wrongdoings. She’ll never grow because of this.

            Actually, she’d berate me for wanting to talk about our issues so often, and that I was reading to much on the subject. Even going as far as to say: “Yeah you’ve read something somewhere…”, as if I was just parroting everything I’d ever find.

            Pfff. Okay, never mind. Still renting head space, time to get back to Meh for the rest of the day.

            You guys and girls are all great!

          • We should have a Chump convention, held in Las Vegas…I’m sure the biggest hotel there could not hold all of us chumps…

      • I did the same thing. I wrote such an eloquent letter explaining my pain, while acknowledging my role in our marital woes. I thought ‘this will break though that stone wall of apathy’. Nope. He never mentioned the letter and life for him went on as usual. I continued to bring up feelings I expressed in the letter during arguments, and he’d say he “got my point” or that I was “repeating myself” or that he “heard me the first time”. But aside from those statements, he never acknowledged the letter itself, or my pain expressed in it.
        It’s dehumanizing to have my expressed pain used against me.

        • Yes, that’s the cheater’s M.O. – use everything they can against you. That is why NC is so great. If MC is not possible, digital paper trail like email could work.

      • THIS: I begged to make him happy again. I can’t believe how I once crawled over glass for the littlest kind word or attention from him. I was devalued to the point of believing my happiness could be earned THROUGH HIS LOVE. How fucked up is that?

        Freedom from a disordered fuckwit is your first step toward realizing your happiness lies within your ability to love and value yourself… not within their validation. EVER.

        • Oh I did more than beg. He had a list of things he wanted me to do to make him happy. Not a written list, mind you, that would have required some effort on his part. The worst, most humiliating one: he wanted me to drop whatever I was doing and meet him at the door every night when he came home. He said it was awful to walk into the house after a long day of work and be ignored (by “being ignored” he meant, my wife is busy fixing dinner, or dealing with the kids but whatever). So I did. I even made a joke out of it, trying to race to the garage door as soon as I heard the opener going so I would beat the dogs there (see, he was being greeted nightly by the family dogs just not by a human who, other than me, generally have too much pride to race the family pets to the door to greet their human). I did that daily for FOUR FUCKING YEARS (literally on his part, as he stopped the affair but immediately started fucking strippers on his monthly business trip out of town) until DDay #2. Gawd, what was I thinking??? Hopium is a powerful drug my friends. Just say no.

          • Yup! STBX wanted me to be more like the dog too when it came to greetings when he got home. Never mind that he certainly didn’t rush to the door to greet me when I got home from work during his stint as SAHD. He was too busy complaining about having to do everything around the house, complaining that I worked too many hours, and complaining that I didn’t make enough. Poor neglected soul. Funny, when I complained about him working long hours, I was being unreasonable because he had to work those long hours for the sake of the family. Double standards are another talent of his.

          • Yup… Mr. Sparkles wanted the same red carpet rolled out when he returned each day. But, I have to travel to a global meeting for a week and I’m taking a train to the airport and coming home to him sitting on the couch almost telepathically asking “What’s for dinner?”

            I have faith though, he’ll die alone taking a shit on the toilet some day and it will be days before they find his body.

            • Ha! Cheater ‘s aunt’s cheater ex died exactly like that. In a toilet. Vomiting blood. Until he got discovered.

            • Just like Elvis did ! Keeled over on the crapper !

          • We did not have a dog, but I used to run to the door and greet him and shake my butt like a dog would. I thought it was a cute joke showing my devotion and love. Anything, just anything to please his majesty the king.

            The other day one of my acquaintances called me an Alpha woman. What???? Me??? Not at all how I feel or see myself. But that’s the thing. You can be alpha in all other areas of your life and be totally submissive to one motherfucker asshole. And they know it and they control you. Not anymore.

            • Oh God YES!!! This is so true: “You can be alpha in all other areas of your life and be totally submissive to one motherfucker asshole.” That was my life. I will never, ever go back to that again. And it’s not even about being an alpha – I would be ecstatic with an equal partnership but submitting myself to the whims of a fucktard to keep the peace and win his love? Never.

          • Must be on their list of things to bitch about. I was also told that he would appreciate it if I made an effort to meet him at the door and would be excited to see him. At first I also laughed and made jokes about it. With X’s schedule as an airline pilot who bid for on call flying lines which meant he rarely left the house except to go to the gym and the “book store.” the airline would call him to fly maybe once a month which usually meant a trip up the coast and back which would only be a few hours. Did I mention X is the laziest person I’ve ever known?
            I failed at greeting him, X claimed I wasn’t sincere. My guess is AP demonstrated more excitement at seeing X walk in the door than I did.

          • Beth. OMG! My STBX asked me to do the same thing. And I did. Please know you just changed my life! You literally just changed everything for me.

    • Did the same thing. 8 page letter of why we should stay together. Cringeworthy to read it now. Had to rip it up. Ugh. So glad to have divorce in the rear-view and be moving on.

      • It’s also all about being in shock and devastation as well as hopium tokin’ that seem to the kick in the bargaining and breadcrumb needs of ourselves!!

      • Eyes Open, I did worse than write I gave ex-coward a sales pitch on myself and why we should stay together as he was practically on his way out the door. Cringeworthy is putting mildly

    • LOL DM! We’ve all got stuff that happened that didn’t show our finest moments. I wrote mine an apology letter for all the thing I did (at least accused of doing) wrong. I just don’t remember if it was after the admission of cheating.

      • Yeah…just joining the chump party by sharing my chumpiest moment. 30 some reasons after discovering the infidelity.

        She had the gall to reply to my letter with a sort of “that’s nice” response and what’s changed in YOU to make believe we can have a godly marriage…THIS from an active adulteress who was still lying about her cheating!

    • Actually I did the reverse. My friend’s advice was to list down the reasons why I cannot go back to him. So I did – it was a pretty long list – though some of it repetitive. And every time I felt myself faltering, I referred back to it. I am 2 years removed and almost 14 months divorced. Life has never been better 🙂

    • Me too. I actually wrote in an email that I loved him. “I know that.” UUUGUGGGGGH. I know realise that I loved WHO I THOUGHT he was, and WHAT I THOUGHT was the life we were creating together. When I sobered up I learnt to trust that he sucks. Hopium destroys lives & dignity.

      • NeverLookingBack, yes, it does destroy lives and our dignity. Reading these posts reminded me of foolish things I’d done which I had forgotten. Such as accepting the blame for his unhappiness. I was a dancing fool, apologizing for him wanting to leave. It had to be my fault, X is a great guy, just ask him. I was apologizing for things he claimed I’d done years prior which he resented me for and decided he could never forgive me for. Such as not wanting to change our vacation plans two years prior when at the last minute he decided we should visit his family rather than the vacation plans we had made. I suggested keeping the plans we made and visiting his family the following month. That was unacceptable, Chump me cancelled our plans and scheduled flights to visit his family instead. That wasn’t good enough apparently and he held a grudge because I didn’t immediately agree to changing our original plans. As they say hindsight is 20/20, I know now these are all excuses to justify X’s cheating. Placing the blame for their unhappiness on us removing themselves from all responsibility. Chumps do what they can to fix the relationship, cooking the cheaters favorite meals, thanking the cheater for taking out the trash, thanking Cheater for letting the dog out. We work a little harder to keep the house clean, kids quite, running to the door like a labrador retriever to greet them. Cheaters don’t question their behavior, they justify it by placing blame on the Chump.

        • “Ex is a great guy, just ask him.”

          I heard exactly the same thing. He actually pulled out the old ” I couldn’t get a woman cause I’m TOO NICE!!! ” horseshit. Sure thing, buddy.

        • I like how you just use the letter X, instead of X. Think I’ll do that too.

    • The MC suggested we each write a list of the things that we wanted to do together to strengthen our marriage. His for me was brief…’lose more weight’, ‘keep working out’. Mine? Mine was ‘take dance lessons together,’ ‘travel,’ ‘work out a budget,’ ‘move to a new town,’ ‘renew our vows,’ etc.

      The results of said exercise were very beneficial–he had a new forum to beat me up and he and Miss Plastic Parts have a ‘to-do’ list of things THEY are doing together.

      • Ughhh. That sucks! Sorry you had to go through that Renee.. I hope you are in a better place now. ((Hugs))

  • I guess with 25 years of marriage, pushing 50 years old, you do have some sort of hope. Or it is shit I don’t want to start over? What I found is they may act right, go to therapy etc….. but the reality is when the moments get tough, she would not do the things required to restore trust. You know like answer a question or polygraph. Reconciliation ends up being on their terms. It’s just a farce!

    • Amen, DavidB. They’ll do the easy stuff, like go to counseling on my dime. Well, they’ll go until they start getting called to the carpet for lying repeatedly in session. At that point, they refuse to go any longer, and tell everyone it’s because the counselor (that they chose and pre-screened) is too one-sided. But the hard stuff, like answering tough questions honestly, signing a postnup, or writing a no-contact letter to the OM they’re still in love with? Not a chance.

        • The 25 years is so true. 3 weeks ago my wife wanted a divorce and I promised I would do all the shit with her in retirement that she wanted to do (but that I said before I didn’t want to). Which I know was a big mistake….especially since 3 weeks later (I’m on D-Day + 3) I found out she had an affair….

          • Keep breathing, Russ! You’ll get through it! Hope you’ve already got CL’s book.

      • My cheater got caught in a few righteous lies. Namely, when asked by our MC “Are you having an affair?” and answering “No. I am not having an affair”. We all know now that was a load of horse shit.
        Our MC has stated that he likes my husband, but there are things he needs to do to work on himself and our marriage and he just isn’t willing to do it. My husband stopped going when MC asked him to go to a group counseling session where he’d learn more appropriate communication skills. He discovered it was for abusive men. Since he “isn’t abusive” he was offended at the suggestion.
        The MC is currently helping me get my ducks in a row so I can get out. Yup. He’s actually helping me to get out of my marriage. He’s admitted that he’s never done this before as his job is to SAVE marriages. But my husband has gone so sideways, hes lost all hope.
        Note- Cheater husband is definitely abusive. He’s never hit me but he has a habit of treating me like an incompetent employee. Or a toddler. Or a sex object.
        He’s never treated me like a partner.

        • FedUpChump,

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

          Your strength shines thru in your posts.
          I am so happy your MC is helping you work out the process of getting out.
          Stay strong. I remember you have tiny children and big dogs depending on you.
          In CN’s eyes you are already brave and mighty.

          • Thank you?, Peacekeeper. This forum and my fellow chumps keep me sober. I’m hopium free and it feels good. I have to do a lot of pretending… I don’t want to scare the timid forest creature into hiding assets or sabotaging my exit plan.
            The children make it easier; to think how much better life will be without him in it.

            • Fedup Chump,
              When I replied I had not read your post below.
              After reading it, I definitely see a younger me, so many things the same. Trying trying trying so hard to keep things happy or at least as normal as possible.
              The cheating part of a cheater is just one aspect of their character. There are so many other traits that make it so very difficult for a person like you, like most Chumps, (just makes it downright difficult). A stressful, continual task.
              So, again, I just want to say, God’s speed, tons of CN love and understanding along your journey.
              We’ve got your back!

      • In retrospect, I realize my lost dignity in defending cheater every time someone would comment on how shitty he treats me: “Cheater treats you like he can’t stand you”. To which I’d reply: “well, he’s just comfortable with me. He gets crabby when he’s anxious. He’s different when we’re alone”. Or once, when someone told me: “I like cheater. I just don’t like him with you”. I had nothing. All I could do is say “I’m sorry he makes you so uncomfortable”. My friends stopped coming over, and eventually his friends stopped visiting too.. Everyone hated the atmosphere my husband brought into our home. As an empath, I could FEEL their discomfort and did everything I could to quell it.
        During my pregnancy with baby #2, I had my toddler to keep me company. He was going on 2.
        By the time Cheater left me, he had driven everyone away, leaving me isolated from any physical support.
        I had a phone and a computer and both saved my sanity. I was far lonelier than any pregnant woman should ever be.
        My mom came to visit from across the country toward the end of my pregnancy, and Cheater suddenly started staying at the house again. Did he think I wouldn’t tell my mom we we’re separated? That I suspected he left me for another woman? He was just as horrible. He wrote in permanent ink, a line next to the 30 minute mark on the dryer to instruct my mom not to dry clothes past 30 minutes. (how fucking condescending). This happened the day I brought home baby girl from hospital after giving birth.
        My mom was so upset, she started yelling at me. Asking if we were really separated, and why was he here. She talked about how Cheater was being an asshole and unappreciative of all her help. I was dead tired, listening to her tirade, with two nursing babes in arms, thinking about the drive home when cheater called me a fucking nut and crazy bitch because I didn’t want to direct my mom to walk to the garage to smoke her e cigarette. ( She was going outside on the deck). He accused me of being apathetic and that I didn’t seem concerned for our children’s health. (It wasn’t like she was smoking the thing in the house!)
        So. Two days after having a baby (via c section) I became mediator between my mom and my (estranged) husband.
        I cried for all the wrong reasons after bringing my dear baby girl home. Both my mom and my husband took what should have been a very special day for us. I’m disappointed in both of them but mostly, I’m disappointed in myself for not defining my boundaries.

        • I didn’t mean to hijacked your comment column, David. I posted my story at the bottom of the forum but my comment ended up here… I apologize.

          • FedupChump, HUGS! You should have been supported by all involved. Instead it became about them and not you and your bundle of joy. This broke my heart. Well, I am very happy that you found us here at CL and CN. We are here for you!

        • Hugs to you fedupchump for what you have endured. It’s hard to realize right now that some skanky whore has just given you and your kids your lives back.

    • Exactly, David!

      Taking a small puff off of the Hopium pipe and swearing not to inhale, chumps will find DARVO from their ‘rehabbed’ cheaters.

      All the therapy in the world will NEVER change the narcopath. They will still manipulate. They will still lie. They will blameshift and demand the cheater take some responsibility of the mess they created in the marriage.

      Please remind your cheater that even IF you took ALL of the responsibility of the problems in the sham marriage, you the chump NEVER cheated. Therefore, you should put down the pipe and Nope The Fuck Out Of The Arrangement. Even after 20+ yrs, kids, investment and all.

    • Your not alone David B in the time put in welcome to the 25 year then divorce crew!
      And they say beautiful things to impress you that they will work at it. THE PROOF IS IN THE ACTIONS!
      24 and counting

    • Exactly, David. It ends up being all words, no actions to support them. He still did what he wanted (i.e. after we agreed it would be best if he did not take money out from the ATM — how he would pay his prostitutes — he took out cash while away on business…to go to a strip joint with coworkers). Even in a hopium-clouded state, this hurts like hell. He was not allowed in the house for a day when he got back from that trip, but I puffed on…it was not until another couple months that it all became too much to keep up the illusion that it would get better (or, probably more accurately, to want to stick around to see if it would).

  • When we had a split a few years ago Ex suggested counselling and I agreed to try. Little did I know that while I was trying to save our marriage he was busy planning his exit!!

    • Same. Total lip service at the whopping total of 7 counseling sessions we went to.

      • Ha! Me too! Those three marriage counseling sessions we had at the very end of our marriage (and after 1.5 years of her affair) somehow didn’t save us, but it did allow her to sadly whine to all of her friends and family that “at least she tried”.

        We each had to fill out a brief questionnaire before we started MC. I kid you not, under a question that asked what was the strength of our relation she put “trust”.

        • Ha. Sounds like the trust is that she trusted that you would put up with her shit.

          • Snap – we had 3 wasted sessions, one of which he said nothing and sat with his head over a bucket as he felt sick (temporary conflicted guilt phase just prior to second D-day). I also heard via friends in OW’s prayer group that she felt it was ok to be with a married man because we had separated after trying to save our miserable marriage with counselling. Yeah the sequence was a bit off, the affair preceded the counselling!

            • We had 1 therapy session….I cried and laid my heart out. I had hope…..10 days later she was reconnected with the bastard. Hope gone.

            • I say this about my ex all the time … it’s almost as though cheaters (spouses and affair partners) are completely full of shit ?

        • I filled out a similar questionaire with my STBXH. On it was a list of things that were important in the marriage, e.g. Trust, honesty, admiration, sex, etc. We were to rank each item on a scale of 1-4, with 1 being very important and 4 being not very important. He marked trust and honesty as 4s. Admiration was a 1. Obviously, he has no idea how relationships work.

          • Oh, he sounds like he knows EXACTLY how HE wants his relationships to work; kibbles, kibbles, kibbles! And some cake for dessert!

            They really are a different type of human. I wish I had known …

        • Well we were in counselling for 18 months. MC and him also in individual counselling, plus a support group for him (yep you guessed it, sex and love addicts anonymous). He also went to to Buddhist meditation classes once a week. 18 months of this and he was fanfuckingtastic at playing the role. Oscar worthy (helps he is a therapist himself I guess so he’s understudied the part for years). We mutually agreed to stop with the MC and I clearly remember saying to the counsellor “not even a psychopath could keep this act up for this long – this is genuine”. We all smiled and nodded and congratulated each other on a wonderful marriage saved.

          To cut a long story short, one month later I kicked him out. During which time he said “I knew I was bad for you right from the start, I knew what I’d do to you, but I got with you anyway because you were useful to me.” Within a day of leaving he stopped doing all the things that were symbols of his changed man status (meditation etc).
          I was blinded by hopium for 18 months PLUS the victim of further manipulations and deceit of such epic proportions he really had EVERYONE convinced he was changed. Nah. Just a Lawrence Olivier of cheaters.

          I really wish now that it had been a one session with counsellor and the the reality emerged. Instead it was a further 18 months of sunken costs and then a brutal, insanity making reveal of the truth of what those 18 months had really been about.

          I am so glad he has gone. So so so so so so glad.

    • After I had said I wanted a divorce several times, X begged for MC. In our single session, he behaved like a haughty ass. When the therapist asked why we were there, he refused to say. I explained, “He seduced a graduate student for 3 weeks then fucked her for 3 weeks.” [which was the ‘truth’ he had given me to that point.]

      Now-X: “I object to that language.”

      Even in my distraught state, I saw the humor in this. Needless to say, when I saw the MC individually 10 days later (the day I filed), she declared him, “not relationship material.”

      • “I object to that language.”: also known as scapegoating.

        It’s not the shit cheater does, it’s the chump’s reaction to the shit that is the problem.

        • That’s it. It’s never what they do that’s the problem. It’s always your reaction to it.

          I believe that they honestly feel that way, too. It isn’t just a coverup. They never believe that they can be wrong without an excuse (or without someone else being even more wrong).

      • Seriously… the hypocrisy… they object to the language, but not the ACTION.

      • LOL tempest! Objects to your language but him doing it is ok? Glad you finally freed yourself for that fucked up man!

        • Right? Being with a cheater before you see them for who they are is like walking into an episode of the Twilight Zone.

          • Ya see Tempest, our potty mouths get us in trouble.

            Maybe you should have been more politically correct by saying something like…. “His penis went on a vacation with a grad student for 3 weeks.”

            See how he wouldn’t be able to object to that language? 🙂 🙂

  • I wrote a awful long mail apologizing to my cheater because HE cheated and he was so UNHAPPY…
    Not my finest moment either, @ Divorce Minister…

    • Here, here, I wrote the letter of apology before I knew about the cheating and then I just kept apologizing after I found out. It sounds so crazy now. Learning not to apologize is tough. I now see how he blames everybody for everything and never takes responsibility. It was always my fault. Getting it from mil too- so have to extend no contact to her.

      I need to stop taking blame for my children’s sake too because I worry they are following suit. In the beginning I thought I had to apologize for their sake. I was wrong.

      I want “just blame feelingit” to become “look in the mirror assclown!”

    • I wrote a letter too. It was before DDay but after he told me we needed to get counseling because we just weren’t “communicating” well. So I communicated. Just before I left on a two week trip to Europe with our daughter and just after our 22 year wedding anniversary, I gave him a several page letter. I included the reasons why I loved him, some ways in which I felt he could improve and some ways in which I thought he could improve, all of the reasons why our kids are awesome (at the time he was being hard on them too and seemed to be embarrassed that they were not living up to his ideals), and my answers to some of the disturbing questions he had been asking such as “why did we get married so young” (24 and 25 isn’t so incredibly young), “why did we wait so long to have kids”, “why didn’t we have more kids”, “why did we give up so much for your career”, etc. What a total waste of time that was. I now know what he was doing with his free time while I was away with my daughter and both boys were at camp. Yeah, he failed to communicate with me about that.

      • I meant “ways in which I could improve” for one of those

    • Don’t beat yourself up… many of us did that… hell, I even broke out the photo album from the years of our dating… didn’t matter. His legs were so jittery under the table, I knew all he wanted to do was leave and go get a hit of cake from the OW. Sex junkies are like that, ya know.

      • Ha. I broke out the photo album too just to prove that we had been happy together as he didn’t remember that.

        • Yeah I’d send him pictures as reminders of our good times – I shouldn’t have been the one trying to convince him….I was young and stupid – ok not so young 🙂

    • I pick-me-danced like crazy. It’s easily my biggest regret. I credit you for giving it a shot. You can never say that you didn’t honestly try.

  • I insisted on a post nup, not because I was protecting myself, but because I read that’s what I should do. Of course I felt super guilty and ultimately never went through with making him sign it… BIG MISTAKE! I would be walking away from this marriage with the majority of assets. So if I have this one thing to say to chumps who are smoking hopium … GET A POST NUP, Trust me, you’ll need it!

    Sadly, like all manipulators, he knows how to work the system and he’s using up all the marital liquid assets. Sure he’ll have to split those with me, but I wouldn’t have spent them in the first place. Everyone tries to tell me it will all even out, but i don’t see how. If I’m supposed to split $100 with you, but I decide I want that giant stuffed unicorn, and spend $50 buying that, by the time you get your split you’re splitting $50, not $100. What the hell am I going to do with half of a stuffed unicorn?

    • I wish my lawyer grin the previous affair 5 years earlier had told me about post nups. He probably would have refused but it may have saved me 5 years of misery and the loss of half of my life savings

  • I made the roast beef dinner he requested at the end of a weekend at our cottage(a “boys” weekend spent with AP I know because I looked). I still made the dinner which he then refused to eat. My counsellor was aghast. SMDH

    • I had moved out, but made one of his favorite things one day and went to his place and delivered it to him. He was so happy and it made my heart melt…I was young and stupid – a year ago LOL

      • I helped him pick out nice ski wear for his ski trip with “friends”. The was only one friend along (AP) and I helped him look good for her. HOW STUPID

  • I reconciled after the first Dday because ‘I won’. I wanted to keep my family intact. I had 7 years and a life with him. He saw schmoopie for the crazy she was. He came to his senses. He was having a ‘mid-life crisis’ at 34 y.o.-that I diagnosed by the way. The truth was it was all hopium.

    Fast forward some years and there’s a new schmoopie. I saw the texts and email. He’s pursuing her. Granted she’s 20 years younger and our daughter’s coach. How about that shit sandwich?

    The truth is, it doesn’t really matter why they do it. It’s that they can and will do it. You and the kids? Collateral damage because they feel entitled to their happiness.

    • He went to 1 court ordered counseling session the first time and said he never loved me, felt like he had to marry me, didn’t want kids this soon in his life, denied there was a schmoopie. We work at the same corporation in different departments, I found out about schmoopie because she was bad mouthing me at work. Saying I was making mean comments when I passed her in the hallway. My coworkers informed me. The counselor tried to tell me spouses don’t leave without someone else waiting in the wings. Also tried to tell me my husband was dismature. When he moved back home, he would inadvertently say her name then deny it. I was really dumb for letting him come back then. My attorney said I’d be back when I stopped the divorce proceedings.

      My mom told me this time around with second schmoopie ‘he’s shown you who he is twice, you should believe him’.

      • MOM’s… they do see all, don’t they. Mine “never liked the cut of him”… she loved her grandson fiercely, but I think she would’ve rather I bred with a gay friend or a sperm donor instead of Mr. Sparkles.

  • I went to a lawyer with my ex husband to talk about the parenting rights he had over the child he had (allegedly) conceived with howorker. (I say allegedly because she was 48 at the time and the pregnancy was coincidentally revealed a few days after he told her it was over and he was reconciling with me.) anyway, there I sat in that lawyers office, talking about how we would co parent this as yet unborn child with a hostile mom who didn’t want to have anything to do with us. Because we were going to stay together, dammit and I was strong enough to handle even this!

    Turns out it was a moot point – howorker (allegedly)had an abortion. Ex was so “shattered” by this loss – and upset that the “greatest tragedy of his life” was a relief to me – that he couldn’t go back to our life and our marriage. And he was sure our 2 living children would be just fine.

    It’s been 2 years since that meeting with the lawyer. As I type this, ex and howorker are on their honeymoon.

    • I’m sorry, ChumpinTraining. The only silver lining is that you’re free of someone who revealed themselves to be a complete and utter jackass.

      • Wow, i just don’t know how some people live with themselves. I’m sure it hurts like a bitch, but as Tempest said, you’re free of him so thats something

  • I repainted and redecorated the master bedroom in the hopes that he would move back home to a freshly painted new start! Meanwhile he enjoyed his secretly obtained apartment and in the end got the house from me anyway. I should have taken a sledge hammer to the walls!

    • Maybe the paint color was wrong?
      Seriously, I am crying and laughing at same time over this. Thanks for posting.

    • I continued on with a lot of domestic renovation as well in the hopes that a better life would follow. I’m a “nester” — make your place yours, and all is right in the world. This house we were going to be in for 20 years, we had for only 2 years before we had to sell it. The listing/viewing appointments/closing is one big, sad blur.

      • Yup me too. 2 years then we had to sell it because he stole and blew away half of our life savings..POS

  • Had sex with wasband everyday for 6 weeks leading up to my 4 day trip away, only to come back and find the full length, full body including face with wedding ring on money shot video taken in our guest bathroom and accompanying requisite dick pics for pink cow et all. The follow up photos of where we lived, our car and children with statements like this is where I live, what I drive etc were met with muttered, murderous guarantees of “not for long asshole”. Quietly, got my “throw him out” plan ready and demanded he move out less than five weeks later.

  • Also wrote an apology letter for not being “grateful” enough and letting our 30 year marriage wither……actually said i had not appreciated his financial success, had focused too much on the kids and not enough on “us” and had not “kept our sex life exciting.”

    Kicked habit by realizing he did not care at all when he saw me lying on the floor sobbing – after I realized he’d gone back to ho-worker behind my back. Then and there, I knew he was a liar who was using us both.

    I also realized that anyone who preferred time spent having an affair with someone the same age as their children – VS THEIR OWN CHILDREN – was DESPICABLE.

    • TiredChump, are you my long lost twin?
      I said similar things.
      The day he moved out I was sobbing, packing a box of things I thought he might need in his new apartment, toilet paper, towels, sheets, dish soap…, X looked at me with a smirk on his face and said,
      don’t you have any dignity? you’re pathetic.

      • That is cruel. What your packing revealed is that, at your heart, you are a warm, compassionate, caring person. There IS dignity in that. What chumps need to do is not to give up our positive traits, but to apply them to people who deserve them.

        • I second Tempest’s observation… at your lowest point, you were still a compassionate and loving human being. YOU ROCK. He couldn’t take that from you and it killed him enough to have to make that ignorant remark.

      • One of those moments you look back on and WISH you’d said:

        “Oh you stupid, vain motherfucker. I’m not crying over YOU. I FUCKING LOVE this box, these toilet rolls and these Egyptian cotton sheets and am really gutted to see them go. YOU however? When I close the door behind your shady satanic arse, I’ll be doing a victory lap of the lounge room. Now off you fuck.”

        • Tears of laughter (and, who am I kidding? Pain as well) at this woulda-coulda-shoulda response.

    • bonna fide member of this club. X could be the grandfather of girl-child

  • I bought him a bicycle. He said he needed something to occupy him if he was going to give her up, so I agreed to the (expensive) bike. Not a proud moment for me, but it did move me along in admitting that he sucked.

    • I have 2 dogs in my house that I am allergic to, because they were supposed to make him feel better (so he wasn’t tempted to cheat). Guess what? He loved them so much he left them with me when he moved out. The person who sneezes 24/7 because of their fur.

  • I read him a passage out of the Bible about choosing life (cringe). I was an amazon chump. He went to a $35k recovery ranch while I took care of our baby. He then had group therapy for sex addicts, individual therapy and went to 12 step meetings. He didn’t work for 3 years. Pretty soon he had an email address that I didn’t have the password for. He took me to his therapist a few months later after he relapsed ( was that a blow job?). We had couples therapy on and off for the next 8 years. Then he left. Talk about sunk costs! 3 or 4 years later I still get anxiety when I see him. I think it’s the rejection and hit on my self esteem. I want that to stop. It hurts. If you are smoking hoping, STOP. It will not work with only one of you invested. They showed you who they are. Believe them!

    • Darling… the anxiety when you see him comes from PTSD… when you’ve been away from the disordered fuckwits, you start to “SEE” again and feel again and become human again. The anxiety is your body’s way of telling you that he hasn’t changed… and you have. Keep moving forward and try to stay as No Contact as possible. I share a son with Mr. Sparkles and our contact is almost 99% by text or email, even during visitation drop-offs and shared school-related events. It can be done. You’ve got this.

      • And don’t forget–with people who are not disordered and who choose a good therapist–therapy can work. Many of us who suffer from PTSD-like symptoms get help through talk therapy, hypnosis and EMDR. I still have some symptoms, especially a startle response to loud noises and a tendency to flashback. And I will probably be dealing with depression forever. But the more work I do, the better life gets.

    • “Group therapy for sex addicts”. Whoever thought that would be a good idea?

      • Well that’s easy – sex addicts. 😉

        Or maybe the Certified Sexual Addiction Therapists who are almost all (wait for it…) “recovered” SEX ADDICTS.

      • Hilarious Quicksilver! 😀 Love it!

        …idiots and their insane therapy huh!

        So funny! 🙂

  • Me, the classic example of a hopium addict. I was pathetic, picture an addict on her hands and knees, searching for the most minuscule granule of hope. No, no, X loves me, he just doesn’t show it.
    You don’t understand, X isn’t a common, run of the mill cheater, blah, blah, blah, blah, X has a lot on his mind (strange pussy), I’m understanding and will prove to the world our love will withstand this silly indiscretion. We have been together 20 years.., X is confused, suffering from an undiagnosed mental break down, alien abduction? it could happen.., where’s my pipe.

    • “No, no, X loves me, he just doesn’t show it.”

      This is the feeling that I had one year before D-Day that compelled me to ask my then-husband to have a talk about our marriage. That feeling IS a red flag. I was sure that he would say, “Oh, I’m sorry that I haven’t been showing you love. I DO love you and I will make an effort to begin showing it.” Instead, he refused to have the talk and physically attacked me. When I asked him how he could do that if he was supposed to love me, he replied, “I don’t love you. I don’t like you. I hate you and I am just using you for your money!” I asked, “How can you come on to me for sex after that?” He said, “I don’t want to have sex with YOU!” I asked, “Why do you hate me?” He said, “Because you don’t make enough money!” I was supporting him and he was unemployed. I later read that this was a “discard” and that “any time you are being discarded you are being cheated on.”

  • I pretended to believe him when he said he didn’t steal $15,000 or so from the local non-profit that serves our disabled son and his peers. Money that I had raised by running a charity walk 4 years in a row. I kept hoping he’d go to prison to make it easier to divorce him. He didn’t. Instead, he made a plea deal that involved him taking out a high-interest loan in my name, without my permission.
    Some of the times he cheated were times he got hotel rooms on the non-profit’s dime. That was all in the local newspaper. And I didn’t divorce him until this year, 2 years after the plea deal took place. But if you read the 178,856 texts I get every day, all of this is my fault and our kids will be permanently damaged because of me…..

    • As the father of a disabled son, this absolutely disgusts me. Your ex sounds like a monster. I’m sorry you went through this.

      • Wearerhinos, the worst part is that I am now isolated from the group I found support in.

        • That’s just awful. I am so sorry. I hope you’re able to find other outlets for that support – I know how important it is. It’s a shame that the group doesn’t understand that you’re a victim here. I hope they come around.

          Your story just leaves a pit in my stomach. I am so sorry. I wish nothing but the very best for you and your son.

      • I do block him when he goes nuts or starts hoovering. But when he has my kids with him, I am afraid something will happen and I won’t know. I guess he could use someone else’s phone to call me if there was an emergency.
        Before I updated my phone, I could block texts but still allow phone calls. It was perfect, because he can’t be bothered to actually call someone. He prefers to put all his crazy in writing, and will email it to me if he can’t text me. And he knows I forward everything to my attorney!

    • Horrible. What does your lawyer say about getting that high-interest loan taken out of your name?

      • I ended up taking the loan in the divorce, which was absolutely the last thing I wanted to do because the reason for that loan sickens me. But I got to keep the house for my kids, and the narc (who had the gall to represent himself) didn’t get a penny of my retirement.
        When my grandfather found out about the loan, he paid it off for me so I can repay him at 0% interest. My ex has no idea.

  • I am guilty of initially going to MC with the serial cheating asshole. I was grasping for a foundation of reality. He lied during the sessions. He stated he was entitled to ‘caveats’ (cheating in all forms with all forms) in the marriage. He claimed he was a GoodGuy.

    I begged the MC to tell me what this thing, the cheater, was. He did tell me asshat is a narc with Sociopathic tendencies.

    This was my Hopium moment- MC with a seriously disordered idiot because I am a warrior and CouldNotGiveUp.

    Chumps, if your cheater is of the serial variety, I can assure you that you are 100% better off fighting for yourself and your kids. Stop the abuse cycle. Invest in yourself and your kids. Get your ducks lined up and disengage.

    • You’re absolutely right ANC – invest in yourself, your kids, your life. As much as it hurts to leave the life you thought you had, in the long run, you’re better off. Stop the bleeding while there’s still time. Stay strong

  • I completely bought the “sex addict” label and focused on that. He went on Lexipro (to help with the awesome man cravings) and I, feeling like abstinence would be too hard for him, offered up sex whenever the mood suited him. He often wouldn’t be interested in sex because of the shame I “made” him feel over what he had done. He didn’t like to think about that!

    When I was triggered and thinking about the past, I felt guilty that I was shaming him so go to great lengths to apologize for “living in the past” because those things weren’t happening anymore. Poor poor sex addict’s feelings were WAY more important than my bitter angry wife feelings.

    I was delusional to think I could save that shitshow of a marriage.

    • Kathleen, I so understand! I wasn’t able to be upset or untrusting because it would give him shame and he would act out. How long did you smoke hopium after you found out?

      • Ugh – he lived in the house for 2 years after Dday. On the bright side, it did give me plenty of time to heal a bit from the trauma of discovery and also let me watch him in a way I wasn’t able to before – so I could see clearly that he wasn’t remorseful, he didn’t take responsibility and he is a full on Narc. It is a bad sign when someone betrays you and you have to tap-dance around his poor delicate feelings. Big red flag! So happy to be free and moving on.

        • It is a bad sign when someone betrays you and you have to tap-dance around his poor delicate feelings. Big red flag!

          ^ This times infinity. When more people came out of the wood-work to offer their evidence on what STBX was up to, the more I see his poor timid creature act as terribly pathetic. In my mind, I was totally disgusted and turned off on how instead of defend ME and our marriage against skanky howorkers, he acted as though he needed to protect howorkers against ME. I didn’t see a man. I saw a man-child and this made me put down the pipe and see the ugly person and situation I was with.

    • It’s funny that i’ve heard one of the reasons for my divorce was that I was a sex addict. Yeah, me! How funny is that. I’m the sex addict but she’s out fucking the town man whore! In addition to web cam encounters with other men. That’s how screwed up they can be!

      • I went to a wedding shower an hour away in another state for a friend from high school. Not bachelorette party, wedding shower where we helped her stuff invitations while watching romantic comedy movies.

        Meanwhile, Exhole is at a party WITH the Owife, telling everyone that I’m out whoring around in *other state*.

        ….he’s with his girlfriend, but somehow I’m the whore?…???

        *face/desk face/desk face/desk*

  • Even after DDay 3 and he’d moved out, I waited for him to “come to his senses” and choose me and our marriage. I waited for 6 months smoking hopium while he spent those months occasionally saying “I haven’t given up on our marriage,” but spending more and more time with Schmoopie until she actually moved in with him. But it still took him saying “I’m not breaking up with her” straight to my face before I finally put down the pipe and filed. I look back now and can’t believe I held on for so long, but after almost 25 years of marriage (and 10 yrs dating before that), it was hard to let go of the dream of growing old together, sharing an intact family of children and grandchildren. I had to face the fact that he wasn’t who I thought he was, and start to envision a new future for myself, before I could finally let go. I’m working on that gain a life thing, and glad to finally be living my own authentic life, but I recognize how intoxicating that hopium can be.

    • It took me about six months to put down the pipe too. He would do six things to hurt me and make it clear that he had no interest in reconciliation, but then every now and then he would show a slight glimmer or introspection or feeling for me and I would cling desperately to my hope. I also thought I just needed to wait for him to get his head out of his ass (Sorry I mean “come to his senses”) and come home. Eventually I realized it was unlikely to ever happen and if it did it would take years and I couldn’t live in limbo for years. I finally initiated the divorce because I figured he would get around to it eventually if I didn’t and the only thing I could really control was the timing.

    • The hopium is intoxicating and numbs you from the painful truth.

      XH bought all new sleek underwear, shaved almost every hair on his body and stopped letting me see him naked. When I asked him about all these new or different routines he told me he contracted Athletes Foot at the health club. He said it had spread to his genitals and he was embarrassed and didn’t want me to see him like that.

      I believed him! Sheesh!!!

      Now that I’ve permanently put down the Hopium pipe here are just a few other things I don’t miss about him:

      -Family size bottles of Scope in every bathroom and vehicle plus cases of chewing gum; freak!

      -Jumbo size packs of baby wipes atop every toilet and in every vehicle for al a minute clean ups “wink wink”; disgustingly gross!

      -2 kitchen cupboards filled with over 60
      different supplements, elixirs, tinctures, herbal remedies that cost hundreds of dollars per month and didn’t help Stinko Biloba’s mostly imaginary “conditions” and his search for the fountain of youth.

      He’s all hers now ??‍♂️

      • FLY FREE NOW,

        They are beautiful and glow in the dark!

      • Huge bottles of mouthwash ? May be an alcoholic as well…alcoholics are known to guzzle Scope to get a buzz. Just sayin’

  • Worst thing. Going to marriage councilor. That being said, she was solid. Cheater thought she could shame me by bringing up I wanted a poly. When therapist agreed with me and offered to set it up, cheater started crying about how she was out to get her. Oh the full disclosure about her affair was half truths. Needless to say, cheater decided she was a bad therapist and we no longer went. Wasted a lot of time and money! Back then I was still a great PI. Found a program that mined phones for deleted text. Found quite a few nuggets disproving her narratives. It appears my unicorn was a horse with a glued on horn!

  • I read a reply here some while ago which I cannot find. But the chump wrote that whilst the cheater is pretending to work on the marriage, they are cunningly sorting out finances, removing or hiding money, sorting out lawyers, spinning their tale of the spouses awfulness and undermining chump to the point of causing mental illness or total lack of confidence. I wish I could remember the rest. But it is so true. So if any of ou are reconciling then it might be wise to line up your own ducks and sort the finances too.
    Cheers to the chump who wrote such wise words and if anyone can remember more please do post it here.

    • Absolutely! Even though I thought we were working on our marriage, I was still keeping track of douche mcgee’s shenanigans, hired an attorney and started planning for a future without him. It’s a good thing I did…. I should get a nice chunk in spousal support as he continued banging her.

  • Two years of denial.. ignoring red flags.. terrified of having to reinvent myself, start over at 68 years old-
    I hoped he would be the man “I thought he was” & stop cheating in my face.

    After confronting them both at her house 1:00 am , hope no longer existed. They both verbally abused me, laughed at me, said things that haunt me to this day.

    So hopium was gone! Knew I had to bite the bullet & kick him out then I served him papers 2 weeks later.
    He’s now living with her saying how happy he is.
    She knew he was married all the whore won the piece of crap.

    Hope can keep us expecting our marriage still has a chance, but with a narc psychopath.. it’s a waste of our precious time.

    • Kathleen

      I too was verbally abused, laughed and taunted by the two of them. The things they said haunted me also. This is the way I look at it now. They built their foundation upon the character assassination of loyal kind person. It required lying, stealing, and demeaning an innocent. The cheater’s narrative was adopted by the OW and together they participated in cruel unjustified actions.

      They may be sociopaths however they know the truth. What they now mirror is their own likeness which is an evil darkness. The bond they share is knowing and seeing the others false self. They are equals that found each other. The toxic belong together. We are free.

      • Doingme

        You understand completely of the humiliation, betrayal these mentally sick creatures ( can’t call them human) individuals do to us.

        I still can’t understand how a spouse who we shared family, history, & trusted so very long can
        turn to treat us so cruel. Cheating is enough- the worst a husband (wife) can do to you.

        But to attack us verbally while we’re at our lowest point is demonic! They throw everything away for low class trailer park whores.

        Hopefully some day.. they will pay dearly for
        the pain & destruction of the family they discarded.

        Hugs to you ?

        • Mine cheated on me sexually and financially, verbally attacked, demeaned and character assassined. He blew up
          our 35 year marriage and family. This while I was fighting cancer and fighting him in highly contentious divorce. Almost 2 years of living hell.

          There is no hell hot enough for he and his massage parlor skank ho.

          I’m Hopium free and it feels sooooooo….good!

  • I started pushing my own children away because I had supposedly been “too focused on them” and had been “ignoring him.” Luckily not for very long before he ran off with schmoopie.

    • Me, too, Chomping Chump. That is my one largest regret, time lost with my one and only child. I’ll never get that back. Fuck him and the whore.

    • The night he told me we needed counseling (before DDay) my daughter had one of her depression episodes. When this happens the only thing that helps her is to have Mom just sit with her until she feels better. I was torn between wanting to give STBX my full attention and give my daughter my full attention. In the end I tried to divide my time between them both which was a total fail. It was a difficult moment. I now regret that I didn’t ignore STBX and give all of the attention to my daughter.

    • Chompingchump, they are true attention-whores. No matter what we do it never seem enough. STBX and I don’t have any children, but already he is imagining how the children would side with him as he will be the ‘fun parent’ than me. In hindsight, this gives me a glimpse on how he harvests kibbles just by trianulating people (imaginary or real) in their minds. Truly sick. So glad I am out.

  • We had a big “renewal of the vows” in front of our friends and relatives. He pledged fidelity, we exchanged rings. Three days later he ran off with schmoopie again.

    • Wow. Same. Only it was slightly longer than 3 days (1 month) after our fake vow renewal that he left. Our renewal was as big as some people’s marriages. He more than likely had the lease to his new apartment in his pocket as he said the vows. He picked all the music for our dance at the renewal reception. In hindsight, I see he didn’t pick any slow songs for us.

        • These people should be sent to an island where they can all go fuck each other and live a sad miserable life with the shit they’re surrounded with

    • Hey you’re lucky. Mine proposed after cheating and we had a (fake) wedding in Central Park, thus giving him permission to steal lie cheat and abuse me every which way (massive increase in abuse) and quit working leading up to leaving for the final AP FOUR years later. Ughh love that pick me dancing

    • I think Chump Lady wrote something awhile back about couples trying to start over by renewing vows and that you can pretty much guarantee divorce follows shortly afterwards.

  • We were friends for 30 years ~ married for 18 of those years.

    After he cheated, moved out and ‘he’ filed for divorce and paid lots of money to shit can me, I tried to salvage the friendship, at least.

    I asked to go on day trips together ~ to reconnect as the friends I thought we could still be. He agreed and said he would call to arrange these trips together.

    After 3 months of waiting for the call that never came ~ I finally realized, we can’t be friends. We can’t be anything ~ well, I guess we can be something ~ two ships that pass in the night ~ oblivious of the other.

    I pass his vehicle on the street and look away ~ he’s not my friend ~ never was.

    • When you see him driving his car down the street… visualize that he is TED BUNDY. He is most certainly NOT your friend. Hit the gas and change your driving route.

  • This actually makes me feel better about myself and why he chose not to reconcile when he had the opportunity. Although I did pick me dance to some extent for a while after DDay I did try to maintain my dignity. I made it clear that I wanted to reconcile, but that I wanted it to be real and to end up with a marriage with both of us as equal partners. I think that had a lot to do with why he gave up on reconciliation so quickly. I offended the timid forest creature by suggesting that he needed to self-reflect and improve himself too. He broke our marriage but instead of doing the hard work of trying to fix what he broke he chose to run away and start over with Schmoopie. That might be the easier answer in the short term, but in the long term, he will lose.

  • I told him he could “stay friends” with her as long as they didn’t have sex.


    Then I boiled myself in bleach and kicked him out.

    • Ha, boiled in bleach. It sure felt that way when I came to my senses as well. Good morning!

    • I told mine they could still be friends (with boundaries). I think he misheard the last part and they continued to stay friends with Benefits.

  • Mine knew exactly how to play me- he would text me that he was trying to pray (from him bachelor pad) but he felt empty, and not good about himself emotionally. I would send him scripture and started reading “Power of a Praying Wife” as IF I had any power over a lying cheater whose character proved to be lower than I could have ever imagined. #toolate

    Thank God I was also getting financial records and calling attorneys and planning my escape between chapters of that book. I took it, but he handed the hopium pipe to me- knowing I loved him and the family and valued 30 years together. But what is so awful is that he did it knowing he did not care at all, but it served him well for me to THINK I had a “chance” if maybe I could just be a quiet, prayerful, wife and mom with microscopic needs so all the focus could get on the tender forest creature (love that, CL) as he worked on finding a way to love himself. Because when you are looking for yourself, and you are my ex, the best place to start is a strip club. Chances are excellent you will be there or in a hotel with skank-o-the-day.

  • So many to choose from, but for the purposes of today’s column I’ll have to pick . . . the goatee.

    I came home from a week-long work trip to Belgium (during which, I found out much later, the Carrot Singer had been in my house for sex for at least the second occasion) not having shaven the entire time. KK commented on it as we sat together on the couch that night, said it looked really good, and that I should consider trying to grow it out a bit. We had sex that night.

    Understand, I am essentially the human equivalent of a skinless frankfurter: very little body hair, and my facial shave regimen since my mid-twenties has been Mondays and Thursdays only. But, I thought, here is KK — clearly in the middle of some type of identity crisis that is threatening our marriage and family, yet indicating she still finds me attractive and encouraging me to try something a bit different, shake the identity up a little.

    I posted a picture of myself with it on Facebook and invited friends and family to weigh in — yay or nay? The final tally was about 50/50, but a common theme in the comments was: “what matters is . . . does KK like it?” I kept it on for another month and a half, despite the howls of protest from my daughters, who insisted that it looked like I was trying to eat some type of rodent.

    The night of the Incident in the Driveway (see The Stranger —, the most emotionally gut-wrenching day of my life, I looked at myself in the mirror and honed in on that stupid fucking goatee — something I didn’t like, wasn’t comfortable with, never would have considered otherwise. But here it was, a hideous mark of hopium, broadcasting to the world how desperate I’d become to save my marriage.

    My gaze shifted up so that I looked myself in the eye, and I asked myself: “Given everything you’ve recently learned about what KK’s been doing — the deception, the gaslighting, the emotional abandonment, everything — how much more willing are you to compromise what YOU want, to contort yourself and everything that’s important to you, to hold on to someone who clearly does not give one fucking shit about you?”

    I shaved it off 3 days later.

    • The goatee was a symbol of how much shit you had put up with — I can certainly see that. But your attempt at “rodent eating” facial hair for the sake of another (and someone who it seems could not have cared less for you) says so much more about the goodness of your character. You sacrificed. You gave. She didn’t. That being said, I would have put it in an envelope with the divorce papers, ha.

    • Those moments in the mirror… Powerful.

      I just read the post you linked to where you told your story, and it has me sobbing. You are an excellent writer and an inspiration. No doubt you’re a wonderful father to your girls. I hope you have created a great new (goatee-free, Cheater-free) life for yourself.

  • “We can’t upset the cheater or they’ll run back to Schmoopie.”

    Wow, that one really resonates with me. I guess because that is exactly what all the reconciliation advice is about, although they will never come outright and actually say it.

    The cheater gets set up on a throne and is like a little king. Better not make him mad, or he will banish you, or turn you into a turnip like that creepy little kid with the superhuman powers on the old Twilight Zone episode.

    The question isn’t what did I do, it’s what didn’t I do? Act like a horny whore, ignore my child (not much, though), cook, clean, wash, dry, stalk, cry, beg, plead. He really did get treated like a king. For what? Fucking some whore and treating me like shit.

    • Good point! This works out so well for the Cheater, just what they wanted!
      We have to forgive ourselves, because we were being groomed by these Users for years, decades for a lot of us.
      One of the best lessons from CL is boundaries, and love that IS conditional. Conditional on how you treat me, I can’t love a user and abuser anymore.

    • Yep, I kissed that lying cheaters ass. I was The Perfect Wife, did all those things, and gave him everything he could ever want. He kept her on the side the whole time. Humiliating. I was trying desperately to save our family while he was trying harder to hide his infidelity.

  • Hello my name is Chutes and Ladders, and I am a recovering hopium addict.

    Just three years into our eighteen year “holy union,” it was clear that I had married an imposter. But dammit, there was the SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE excuse, an ENTIRE CHURCH DOGMA that gave me reason to pretend I hadn’t made a colossal mistake.

    Fear was also a powerful paralysis. I also knew in my heart that he would make my life a living hell if I deigned to leave him. I was not wrong; since the day I filed for divorce and refused to continue to be abused, he made it his life’s mission to ruin me. How I wish I knew then that the pain would be finite. And that his tactics – the farther I got away from them – would become as flaccid as him.

    I used my religion as an excuse to stay in an emotionally abusive marriage. When he cheated, it opened my eyes to my own, self-inflicted abuse. Not unlike substance abuse addicts, I had to take a personal inventory to acknowledge my own belief that I wasn’t worthy of love and respect.

    I am alone now. And while it’s not the life I pretended, it is authentic and far more manageable. Joyful? Not yet, but I remain ever hopeful.

    Divorce is an ending, but also a beginning. We forget the last part of that sentence, and it is the one that is most hopeful.

  • It was just after New Year’s of this year that I found I didn’t even want to talk to him anymore. Last thing we did together (about 4 months after D-Day) was a New Year’s Eve dinner date where we did an exercise he initiated while we waited for dinner that was meant to be deep/reflective — write down your personal goals and how we were going to help each other meet them in the new year. We had done this kind of thing before, and I had thought at those times that it was sweet/meaningful. That New Year’s Eve, I was thinking about how during those other times that we had done this that he had been cheating on me. It lost all meaning very fast. Sick, superficial drivel.

  • Oh yes, more hopium talk: We could remain/become friends. Maybe he could stay for dinner some of those nights that he dropped our daughter back off at my apartment (said before we even had separate spaces). That I still loved him (what does/did it ever matter?)

    • All said as things were clearly coming apart and there was no other solution than divorce.

    • I got this also. Thinks we can go on family day trips, yeah cause I want to sit in a car with you for 2 hours, not.
      Sons birthday party he will not be invited. He can make seperate plans, he will be outraged, tough shit.
      Maybe should invite him so the moms and dads can give him dirty looks and blank him. Fucker, honestly don’t want him there.

      • I think that now, Lady B, but I was in a mutual fog of things being okay even as they were coming apart. I know now that it’s not okay, and although things may eventually be okay for me separately from all of this, that the situation/relationship between us will never be “okay”. Not smoking that pipe anymore. They would like things to be (or at least look) okay though…would help continue this grand illusion that what they did really wasn’t all that bad. Seriously. Fuck ’em.

  • After D-day, I continued to pay for everything….made her car payments, picked up all the major household bills, let her continue to go on her non-stop “workouts”, let her keep working with her married COW, watched as she continued to post pictures of herself and other guys on Facebook (I have yet to see any of my friends’ wives post anything remotely close to what she was doing)……and I didn’t discuss my problems with anybody even though most of our mutual friends knew for months and would continue to sympathize with me. I internalized all of it. Why? I projected myself onto her, thinking that she’d snap out of it at some point. But then I read about projection and found this site…

    My emotions for her started to turn into more of indifference, and I saw how she had no respect or appreciation for me, and finally I snapped and filed the papers. It took me way longer than it should have to get there.

  • I had come around to “trust that he sucks” long before D-day, but my main symptom of hopium was thinking for waaaayyy too long that he could be reasoned with and made to see how much he had hurt me. He didn’t care.

    • “…my main symptom of hopium was thinking for way too long that he could be reasoned with and made to see how much he had hurt me. He didn’t care.”

      Today is three months to the day when Porky Pig told me he was moving out. I knew things were not right in our marriage and hadn’t been for awhile. But I never once thought he’d leave, much less for another woman. Even when faced with irrefutable evidence that he was involved with this other woman I couldn’t believe he would walk out on our 14-year old daughter. Since then, it has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions that I’m sometimes not sure I will survive… bouts of bravery “strong women” “trust your journey” counterbalanced, or maybe outweighed, by sheer full-blown panic attacks and deep hurt.

      Sometimes I think that I’m the timid forest creature, not him. For 16 years he dictated our life together. I grapple with the concept that, in truth, he is a narcissist and a bully. I can’t, after only three months, fully digest this information. Some days I get it but, mainly, I just feel like I want to throw up. And yet, I am expected to carry on and care for DD, the dog, my stepson, and myself. I am somehow expected to begin mediation on Friday and stand up for myself, knowing that he will sit across the table from me, lie to my face, and bully me into accepting his terms.

      I evidently continue to smoke hopium, because I honesty thought he’d be fair about our settlement (given that I’m 57 years old and a SAHM). I have no 401k, no independent savings, and no measurable computer skills. This week alone he surreptitiously contacted the closing coordinator on the sale of our rental property, telling her that the proceeds from the sale (closing is this Saturday) were to be distributed 50/50 via EFT. Thank God I read those documents carefully before I signed and returned them. The proceeds are not to be distributed 50/50 but to be held in escrow until we have reached a settlement agreement. I have refused to sign anything until the docs have been re-written.

      He has been telling my stepson he’s looking at new places tand pulled up in front of the house last night in a brand new Infiniti. I guess he was counting on the fact that I wouldn’t notice his chicanery. And, it galls me that three days before we begin negotiations he went out an bought himself a new luxury sedan. The fact that I’m galled tells me, yep, I’m still high on hopium.

      I just remain stuck at “Who the fuck are you?”

      • How in the world can you do mediation with this man? I don’t know the rules because my ex ddn’t contest the divorce, but can you bring someone with you a friend, lawyer, somebody to advocate for you?

        • Mediation is Porky Pig’s idea, I think mainly because someone told him it would be cheaper and because he thinks he will “control” it. Personally, I’d like to drag him into court so the entire world can see what a horrid person he is. But, my lawyer said that in the area where we live, you generally get a better settlement in mediation than if you litigate. I guess the courts just rubber-stamp divorces without really taking into consideration all the circumstances/evidence. Sad. My lawyer did refer me to another attorney (who specializes in mediation) for a shot of self-confidence – an hour-long prep session for Friday. I meet with her tomorrow. Depending on how things go on Friday, I might check into the cost of having her with me for the other mediation sessions. I know it will get ugly and it definitely would feel better to have someone there with me!

          • Some chumps have reported successfully requesting separate rooms for mediation. The mediator shuttles between rooms. Sounds as though that might be a good option for you.

      • Who is he? A lying, cheating, asshole who will gladly strip you of everything from food in your retirement to your dignity. Treat him as such.

        • Jojobee, I need your mighty. Can you come to mediation with me?



          • I would. Go for the jugular. No is a complete sentence. Roberta was my mentor. If you can find any of her posts—so helpful.

            Good luck and much strength.

        • Jojobee,
          You always say it, you call it, just for what it is. No edging around it, cut to the bullet. No bull shitting and all!
          I wish you could go with Meh or Bust to her mediation.

          CN Mega strength and balls to you Meh or Bust.
          I always respect your posts, in my eyes YOU are mighty.
          As Happily Ever after says, ” Go for the jugular.”

          Slow deep breaths, separate rooms for mediation.
          I know how a Narc can put a person down with their, “You listen to me.”
          NO, Meh or Bust. This time it has to be, You listen to ME, (thru the mediator, to legally and business wise to do it right).
          Stay strong girl!
          (((Mega Chump hugs)))
          To get this far, I will say it again, YOU are already mighty!
          (CN has our fingers crossed, our hearts united, with you!

      • Meh or Bust–it takes longer than 3 months to wrap your head around their cruelty and deception, so don’t beat yourself up. Our brains are trained for stability, and you’ve just had your world upended emotionally, cognitively, physically.

        In addition, as with most of us, you’ve had years of subtle (and not-so-subtle) emotional abuse that got you hooked into spackling/hopium patterns. Make sure your therapist is specialized in trauma, or it might be worth seeing a second therapist. That toxin takes a long time to get rid of, and it helps to have someone in your corner who is well-versed in trauma and emotional abuse (+ doesn’t hurt to have someone who understand personality disorders).

        As to mediation–hell, no. You can’t mediate with the disordered because they will not be fair, they are geared to have power over you which they will exercise with obfuscation and dragging things out, then shifting the goal posts. You will get to the point where you’re not surprised STBX pulled up in an Infinity; that’s when you know you’re on the path to recovery. Hugs!

        • Just the other day I was thinking this is “Stockholm Syndrome” and requires a de-programmer!

          I think my therapist is good and she loves this site/blog! I’m also going to buy my lawyer a copy of CL’s book!

        • Meh or bust – my hat’s off to you if you can even begin to be as strong as you sound at only 3 months out!!! I am a year out and still have those Hopium moments but finally to the point where I want off the hopium completely.

          There is no way I could have handled a mediation after three months.

          Friday, like you, I will be in my first custody mediation with narc. I would like the opinion of chump nation concerning strategy. There are no lawyers present, just me, narc and the mediator. My lawyer has told me this is just a box we have to check off and nothing will be settled. My delima is whether to ask for a separate room from the outset and make the mediator go back and forth because cheater is a manipulating bully or stay in the same room, put on a poker face and try to show him how strong I really am. My lawyer says that is up to me. I am on the fence, any thoughts from you chump experts?

          • My vote is separate rooms. The mediators have no problem going between rooms, so you need to do what you’ll be most comfortable with. When I did it, having separate rooms was much better so I could tell the mediator exactly what I wanted and why, without having to worry about how my ex was going to react to my statements.

      • Update: today I met with the attorney to get prepped for mediation tomorrow. I was advised not to do it. I’m so good with that… I haven’t been sleeping worrying about it. There is also a medical reason. Because of the drastic weight loss following DDay/desertion I am extremely anemic and my kidneys are not working properly right now. Doc says no added stress until things stabilize. So I felt like a weight had been lifted for about five minutes.

        In the car on the way home Porky Pig started blowing up my phone. I am a chump and I answered it. The mindfuck that was spewed was unbelievable. Still, at one point I started to think what he was suggesting sounded reasonable and almost agreed to it (giving him half the proceeds from the sale of rental property now and then he’d make sure we divvied it up fairly later. This from a man who surreptitiously took $11,000 out on our HELOC in the past three months). God must have been looking out for me because I somehow said I’d call him back since I was driving. When I got home I called my lawyer instead who leapt into action. I also took a Valium.

        I cannot stress enough how crucial it has been to have a lawyer, even when I was hoping for the “R” word. My sister, who is the most wonderful person I know, insisted on it from the get-go. Alone, I never would have pulled the trigger on that for fear of angering Porky Pig. My lawyer is well-paid but he is handling things now that I can’t, emotionally, mentally, or physically. He is a hero, in my eyes. How do you put a price on your health? Especially with a teenager to take care of.

        Tonight, Porky Pig called to see how I was doing. I guess the mediation guy told him I’d cancelled for medical reasons. I explained to him what was going on and he said “Why are you stressed out and losing weight? I thought you’d be happy I left. You know the marriage was over four years ago.” Huh? No, actually I believed we were spending the rest of our lives together… and WTH happened four years ago?

        He feigned concern for another minute or two then launched into a diatribe about how I was spending all his money on lawyers and if I continued to use a lawyer during negotiations there would be no money left to split. Then he proceeded to tell me that, while he had spent weekends at OWs house, he didn’t have sex with her until after he had moved out of the house (and therefore should be lauded for his superior moral code; he was no adulterer). Yeah, I believe that… not! He forgot to mention that never once, in the past four years, or even the past 16 years, did he ever sit down with me and say, “I’m unhappy. We need to make some changes. I’m concerned about our marriage. I’m having inappropriate feelings for my high school flame.” I didn’t have the energy to argue with him. You can’t have a rational conversation with an irrational person. But what a total mindfuck.

        You know what the reality is? I didn’t spend a single dime of PP’s money on retaining my lawyer. My mom died a year ago (Father’s Day) and left me a small inheritance. I put the money in my daughter’s and stepson’s education funds. I saved some because I wanted to update some things in the kitchen. That’s the money I used for the retainer. And you know what? Mom would approve and be happy she could help! Okay, I’m not getting a new oven anytime soon. That’s okay. This is a down payment on my sanity.

        • Wow. Meh or Bust… The masked has slipped and it shows who your STBX truly is. It’s laughable how he unravelled when it’s not even his money. What a TOOL!

          Thanks for the updating us here. I hope you are feeling better now. Always remember, you are not alone in this. We at CN are all with you in that negotiaion room.

          I wish you all the best! You are mighty. You got this.

  • I found out 10 days ago that my partner of 5 years, in the middle of cancer treatment and completely impotent (nerve damage from an op) has been active on a dating website for who knows how long. He’s cheating on me in the MIDDLE of radiotherapy and he can’t get it up. I mean…WTF?! As he is essentially castrated right now (no testosterone being produced) his motivations for cheating defy my comprehension. I just want to be able to stop smoking hopium and stop hoping I get a unicorn. I’m NC but swing between feeling strong and then just wanting him to tell me it’s all going to be fine. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. I can’t see anything positive at all in his desire to keep our relationship. I’m NC right now and just want to crawl into an isolated hole some mornings. I’m a convenient place holder to stick by him through the long years of cancer treatments to be upgraded and discarded the instant he finds someone “better”. I need to just be done with him so he doesn’t waste more of my precious time and fertile years.

    • My cheater also claimed he’d become impotent due to disease – when in reality he was f***ing the baby sitter.

    • How about this, I will tell you it’s going to be Fine. I’ll even share my truth with you. It’s not just fine, it’s better, joyous, and even glorious!

      But you have to leave the cheater and walk through the pain of healing.

      Does it suck? Yes.
      Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!

  • Good Lord… what didn’t I do in the name of “hopium”…

    – Sent him daily texts reminding him what I loved about him and/or our marriage (per the MC)
    – Did the MC homework (he didn’t)
    – Kept the house cleaned, fridge filled, baby cared for, and step-parented 5 kids (oh, yeah, while working full-time with travel)
    – Stopped taking hobby classes at night
    – “Looked past” his Craigslist response as a BiMWM looking for a couple for regular get togethers
    – “Looked past” his own personal ad on Adult Friend Finder seeking men, women, couples
    – Pick me danced for a YEAR after he left me for the OW. On the nights she wasn’t available, he had dinner with me and our son… go to movies on weekend… share bottles of wine.

    BUT… when I finally saw the light (thank you CL and CN)… I smashed that fucking hopium pipe on the ground and went FULL METAL JACKET on his lily white, hairy, ass. Fucker still can’t sit down 🙂

    Rock on CN… rock on.

  • Had a discussion with a friend (cochump). I don’t hate her….. I hate myself. This post exposes the why! I’m not always sure on how to define DDay. Let’s see…. finding out she is talking (deleting text) to a 20 something guy who supposedly is gay? Maybe! Finding out she is talking and visiting ex high school bf and expressing her love for him? Yes! Finding out she is texting and having sex with a 26 year old? Yes! Innapropriate text with 5,6 or 7 other guys along the way? Probably! All this going on over a span of 6 years and each time (except the concrete sex 26 year old) overlooking making my own excuses and being in constant denial. That’s the worst thing I ever did! Looking back at myself, how pathetic I was! What an enabler I was! My lack of action and excuses by far my worst!

    • Were you in denial or did you find out all this later? Sometimes we cannot fathom the person we love is capable of hurting us intentionally and we live in the fog. If we’re lucky the fog clears and we can see everything and get the hell outta there

  • I smoked 3 rounds of hopium supplied by the RIC. Not a fan of that entity in the least at this juncture. Matter fact, would someday like to take them on!

    As a mega Chump, I deferred my better judgement to the “professionals” in the field of sex addiction. So my X, a massive serial cheater presents, and I never once heard any mention by said professionals of narcissism and how unameanable to treatment it is. WTF????

    Almost IMMEDIATELY upon finding Chumplady, I put down the pipe, got clean, and filed for divorce.

  • Before I knew it was all about low-life cheating, I tried several things to turn the marriage around and become a better person and husband.

    After I knew it was cheating, I still apologized to my cheating ex for my shortcomings as a husband. I also wrote several emails outlining potential impacts of divorce on our family/daughter/etc.

    I don’t regret any of it one bit. For two reasons:

    1) My daughter asked me to give her mother one more chance, and I promised her that I would do that, and so I did. I can look my daughter in the eye and tell her with all sincerity that I did it, and she knows it’s legit.

    2) I don’t at all blame myself for my ex’s morally bankrupt craziness and her incredibly shitty life choices. But I also don’t blame myself for being me; and I am in fact the kind of upstanding guy who owns up to his own issues, makes amends, and improves. That’s one of the reasons that I sleep like a baby at night :).

    Now, my cheating ex can go fuck herself; outside of my daughter’s well-being, I don’t care at all what my ex does. Life since divorce has been challenging but full of incredible experiences, including better friends, closer family ties, more interesting dates, better sex, amazing travel, and infinitely higher levels of peace of mind.

    • THIS.

      I said directly to KK: “I am happy to stand in front of anybody you designate — your mother, your sisters, ANYBODY — and relate what happened during those three months and answer any questions they care to ask openly and honestly. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Can you say the same?”

      Nothing but a stupid blank expression in response.

      • Beautiful, I should’ve done that. Ahhh always the great retort afterwards.

        • My ex asked me, after D-day, what I would do if he dumped her and came back. I said I would make him happy. He dumped her and came back. I made him happy because I said I would (not sex … I draw the line at communicable diseases from skanks) … I changed on a dime and fixed what I thought I had done wrong. I’m that kind of person that can do that … a quick processor, a problem-solver, and loving (albeit not so much outwardly … another thing I changed for him).

          He accused me of faking it. Project much? He hadn’t dumped the AP.

      • My ex MIL told my daughter that MIL believes I’m lying about her baby boy’s stripper habit (despite the fact she’s MET his live in stripper GF). Daughter told her anytime she wants to see baby boy’s deposition transcript, she could have it. That shut up MIL right quick. As a bonus, I don’t have to worry about ex showing MY deposition to anyone because they were too scared of what I would say to depose me.

  • I refused reconciliation from the dday moment forward, but let his sadz and his endless promises to become a better person influence me. Oh, his individual counseling was so hard for him. He cried on the phone multiple times, and the pity me texts were endless. So, I finally offered to go to counseling with him to help him with all of this hard work he was facing alone. He refused. Now I know he was never in counseling at all. Just more lies.

    Big sigh.

  • Here’s what I did while on Hopium- told him- OK, once I graduate, we’ll move over 2000 miles, to your parents house you inherited, and start all over! Schmoopie will be too far away, we can spend lots of time together, and re-connect!
    What a pipe dream that turned out to be. He moped over her, I felt like shit, my sons were far away, and then I figured out that he had a huge, nasty porn habit he persued daily! Fun times! Obviously, a change of scenery didn’t change anything, he acted even worse because he missed her so, so disgusting! It did kind of pull the wool off my eyes, though, and what I saw wasn’t pretty, and I couldn’t make any more excuses for him.

  • I found myself at noon on a Monday in an Atlanta strip club so my cheater could get a lap dance during the lunch break of the marriage retreat our MC recommended.

    • I should edit to say that I agreed to it because I was determined to show him that I could be the “cool” girl. Ugh.

      • I did the same thing by entertaining his looking into polyamory (this was before he clued me into the *real* reason for his misery — prostitutes for 5 years, HIM not being able to take the guilt anymore, poor sad sausage), which lead to going to an “informational” meet up, which led to some pretty inappropriate texting with a woman from said group. Letting them run free thinking they will run back to us and/or back to their senses only allows them to trample all over our hearts and our lives. All of this so clear in hindsight…

        • Me too COI. Played policeman for 3.5 months while KK jumped from bed to bed, allowing her to “become the person (she) was always meant to be” (and which she apparetnly couldn’t be any other way). Cuz that’s what you do for the person you’re committed to. Makes me want to vomit every time I think about it.

          • Makes me nauseous too, UX. This post today and all of the comments…it all makes me hurt for everyone who had their love used against them. The time wasted, the (oftentimes repeated) crushing of hope, the damage done. Makes me hope there is a God, hell, or, at the very least, karma. Again, trying to look at the fact that is says a lot about who we are and about who they are. And knowing we can move forward and onward regardless…without the weight, eventually.

            • I shut that shit down when he brought up polyamory as a reason why he thought he could have both of us. I said very businesslike, “Polyamory is when you get consent from your partner to bring others into the marriage, not when you go find them first and expect your spouse to accept them.”

              I had a lot of snappy comeback lines that put the kibosh on his reasons … the problem was that I thought he’d see the logic behind it all.

              • Right on Champ!!!

                Inside the cheater’s head I imagine an internal conversation going like this: Inner self: “Oh shit, my poly proposal got shot down by Champ. Gotta play the dumb card now…” External self: D’uhhh… I don’t understand Champ, why doesn’t it makes sense, you know I love you both and can’t choose?”

                Gaahh.. Cue Dr. Simon’s mantra: It’s not that they can’t see, it’s that they disagree.

      • Me, too. After my X asked for a divorce 8 years prior to D-day (he was having an affair, I just didn’t know it), I consented to “consider” threesomes, adult websites, etc. to motivate him to stay in the marriage. I had no intention of doing any such thing, but thought he’d eventually ‘come to his senses.’ My refusal to hook up with people from Adult Friend Finder (after Hannibal posted a picture of me in lingerie on the site, without my permission), was, I’m sure, part of the justification for all his subsequent affairs.

    • So sorry. I’m sure it was thrilling for him though. Nothing like being transparent with the ultimate FuckYou to a spouse/SO.

  • Before DDay but after knowing something was up for a month or so, I wrote letter, after letter, after letter, yes three, telling him all the ways his emotional and physical distance was killing me inside. Insisting that he understand that his vows were “until death do you part” not “until you don’t feel like it anymore” He barely responded to my first hand-written tear soaked letter, basically turning away from me after reading it, and he did not respond to the other two. He was fucking her for three months when he left me after 22 years and two kids.

    But my least shining hopium moment was when the OW texted me that she wanted to tell me something I wanted to hear and I responded. At the end of a long diatribe about her life, like I fucking care, she asked, Would you take him back with open arms and love him like you did before? And I fucking jumped at this! Yes! Yes! I would, we were just going through a rough patch, I was not my “best self” and this question came from the FUCKING OW not even him. Jesus Christ in heaven, I am ashamed of that.

  • I gave up an apartment and forfeited the deposit when Turdd begged me not to leave. I agreed not to do so, with the hopium pipe hanging from my lips, if he did certain things immediately, like speak to me with kindness (yes, no joke). He never he never did and I gave up my first look at freedom.

    The worst of it, and it is bugging me to this day, was the apartment was everything we needed at a price I could afford and still be able to save. They even accepted my large dog. Today, I pay more than double what that rent was, he doesn’t pay child support and saving is but a dream. 🙁

    • This also hurts my heart. I am someone who would obsess on this too. I know it won’t necessarily help with that nagging feeling that you could have had a better shot, but he used your love against you. It happens to us all. Not trying to minimize the shit sandwich you’ve been served, and I am sorry it’s put you in the position you’re in though. Hopefully your day will come. If not, hopefully his day will come.

  • After we got back together, we made a plan to go to therapy – I thought “ok finally maybe we’ll get somewhere”. One morning, she gets a text at 6:05 am. She’s in the shower. My heart sank because who gets a text at 6:05am? I broke into her phone. It was the OW apologizing for missing their therapy appointment. . . AND I STILL STAYED. . .

  • I pretty much did all of these. I’ll check this later for more responses, and no doubt I’ll have done all of that, too.

    I know a woman who didn’t have evidence, just had a sense that her husband wasn’t “present” in their marriage (he seemed to be busy at his hobbies more than usual) and dumped him before she even found out there was someone else in his life.

    She had self-esteem, boundaries, a sixth sense, excellent radar. She is so far ahead of the pack, looks fantastic, and is happy without him. Two years ago she told me to do the same, and I didn’t, even WITH evidence. It’s harder to dig yourself out when you’ve been slowly submerging yourself in shit.

    • Champ, that’s sometime I aspire to as well and didn’t have with my cheater. It’s good to have self-esteem role models! I was finally able to do with this with a recent relationship where I sense he was checked out, I just wasn’t sure why. The day after I broke up with him (in which he acted like a big baby being deprived of his favorite toy), I found out he actually has a girlfriend. Wtf!! Our radar is better than we give ourselves credit for. Now, if I smell a rat, I’m just gonna assume it is one.

      • I think I’ve learned it … there’s a married guy I know who has not come on to me, he has not made any advances, he smiles at the jokes I make within our professional group, and we talk of mutual interests like you would with anyone. If he weren’t married, I could see dinner and dancing as an option with him. He looks good in a suit. It’s been soooo long since anyone dressed up and took me out.

        He mentions his wife quite a bit, but she doesn’t come to functions, I’ve never met her. I’m sure she exists, though. I don’t ask about her … it’s a group of people with one common interest, and we keep it light about other subjects.

        So I’m thinking, yeah, it’s okay to have a male friend within a group of people, nothing wrong with that, there are other men in the group, we all chat about something.

        And then he said, “You live in Anytown, don’t you.” I said yes. He said, “I have a client in Anytown.” That’s all he said, but it was enough. I said, “I’ve heard of that client” and then I said, “Well, gotta go.”

        I have no idea if he was leading up to something, but I was proud that I saw what could be a red flag and that I walked away.

        Baby steps.

        • Good for you ! He was dangling something in front of your face and you didn’t grab for it.

          A former male chump I know met his current wife through his professional circle. He and Susan would see each other,talk and he left it at that because he was m-a-r-r-i-e-d. His first wife starting screwing around and she left him. Affair partner let her know he was only in it for the ride and wasn’t looking for anything serious. She tries to get back with her husband (a pediatrician) and he kicked her to the curb.

          He and Susan are happily married and have twins. He has appropriate boundaries and his first wife didn’t appreciate him or boundaries for that matter.

  • One of my symptoms of hopium was believing his words. He was so appreciative of all the things I did for him, the errands, housecleaning, yardwork, jumping to support his desires. He thanked me several times for providing the majority of the household resources for our nice standard of living so he could pay off his student loan debt faster. And guess who turned into someone else when my income dropped by half during the recession? I had the words in my head for a couple years before I understood the difference between appreciation and value. He appreciated my efforts. He did not value me for who I am, it was all about what I could do for him. Until I couldn’t do for him, except as a target for his verbal abuse. If xh lips are moving, he is almost certainly lying. Love no contact.

    • He was attracted to AP for her income and house, and “then found other things about her, like, she’s warm”. He has money, so it’s not that he’s freeloading; he just doesn’t want to support anyone else. It dawned on me that when he met me years earlier, I, too, had an income and a house. I floundered putting him first, and not concentrating on me. I made less and less income. I started to turn that around before he apparently started his affair and before I found out. So when he found her, he blamed me for taking him and his money for granted (I never did). He didn’t put a value on my contributions to his career and our home. He wanted me to pay him back. We didn’t have sex, I was working too much, I was concentrating not on him but on life’s challenges. Heaven forbid that I should put anything above him. He never got it that I was working too much because he wanted me to pay him back. I couldn’t win.

      I found some papers in his files recently (he left a lot of stuff behind) … turns out for a business transaction that he was conducting, my lack of income benefited him. Not so much 15 years later when he blamed me and went after the cushy retirement package the AP dangled in front of him.

      Now that he’s been found out, he’s gone to her, but he praises me for everything, to nauseating excess. Even I don’t believe how wonderful I am!!!

  • I am very proud to say that I didn’t smoke Hopium when I discovered Yo Yo Knickers affair. I went to stay at my parents after D-Day, my dear old dad lent me some money to put as a deposit on a rented apartment. When I returned home a few days later I went to see 3 lawyers, picked the one on my dads advice that I would least like to have an argument with. I Issued divorce proceedings and moved out all within 4 weeks.

    I won’t be cheated on, it has always been a deal breaker for me and Yo Yo knew it. I always wondered how I’d play this out if she ever cheated on me, and wondered if I’d have the balls to do it.

    I did it alright, with fucking brass fucking knobs on! I won’t be second best to some OM, I deserve better..I just keep telling my self this.

  • I was so, SO STUPID…um high on hopium, I stopped the divorce and let him move back in (I know, I know, FACE PALM) …around 2 weeks later his other masked dropped (yes, satan has many, many masks) and he started beating me.

    …I restarted the divorce…and I NEVER listened to his bullshit again 🙂

    The (Happy) End

  • I am new here. I am an addict. Hopium has been my drug of choice.

    D-Day #1 was 4 years ago. It was like a punch to the gut; I will never forget that pain! THE OTHER WOMAN told me about the affair, after she did some digging and found out he lied to her too: he told her he was divorced. I was furious (she and I both were!) but also it hurt like hell.

    SOOOO…I turned to Hopium to dull the pain. He had become surly during the weeks that the affair took place; he told me after D-Day that he’d stopped taking his antidepressant (pharmacy records proved this much to be true). So instead of blaming him, I blamed his untreated mental illness. Of course it’s not HIS fault that he lied to me repeatedly and went with her to hotels that had hot tubs in the room. (I was SO whacked out on Hopium!)

    He got back on his meds, and in a few weeks he became nicer and oh so apologetic. Eventually I pushed for marriage counseling. We had just a few sessions; then he ended up in the hospital and needed surgery and 5 times/week treatments (guess who drove him to the hospital, early before work, because it affected his eyes? then took him to work AND picked him up) for several weeks. Sadly, sympathy for him added to the Hopium high. (Grrrr…)

    Never got around to going back to counseling. But he did get around to taking a girl (half his age) out to dinner recently when he was supposedly out with the guys. I later found TONS of texts with her listed online in the cell usage detail (he had erased them from his phone, knowing I knew his password). I have no proof it’s gone beyond an emotional affair, but it doesn’t matter. It’s affair #2, complete with lies and deceit, and finally, I’m detoxing!

    I’m done with Hopium and done with this sham of a marriage!!

    • Welcome Hopium4Years… keep coming back… it works when you work it. We’re here and you’ve got this.

      • Thanks, ICanSeeTheMehComing. (Love your name, by the way!)

        I know it’s a process, and I’m seeing how it does get better. I’m still learning – reading CL and everyone’s comments here have helped me SO much!

        I still catch myself thinking he’ll be really sorry one day for being such an ass (especially after I was there for him when he was sick), but then I quickly come out of that nonsense-thinking and remind myself no, he won’t. And even if he was to suddenly become capable of being genuinely sorry for causing me so much pain, it wouldn’t matter. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. The meh is not far off!

  • Like a teenager, I sent her a mopey-indie-rock love song off the latest album from my favorite band. I told her that I wanted to “find us again.”

    I’m gagging just thinking about it.

    Now, the album is my soundtrack of those months dealing with her affair, and I’m actually comfortable with it–including reminiscing about the hopium I smoked when I hear that song. The album’s mood, and the content of the lyrics, just fit so well.

  • While he compared us and told me there were things he loved about me and things he loved about her, I tried to be different. I didn’t mention homeslice, I allowed him to leave our bed and go sleep with her immediately afterwards. I allowed him to be degrading and being demanding when he wanted sex, he treated me like a $20 hooker. I tried to love him more and prove to him why I was the better option. I sacrificed my dignity, self respect and self esteem. I finally came to the painful realization that this was an issue with him, not me. No self respecting woman would allow someone who supposedly loves them to degrade them and treat them with contempt. Love doesn’t look like that, narcissism and hate for self looks like that. He gets to live with his choices, gets to live with homeslice and her two small children while our children are grown. So at 42, I get to travel more, fear less and in time will be with someone who loves me and is able to show that.
    Water seeks it’s own level….. damaged ppl seek out damaged ppl/ppl at their same level of wellness or unwellness. I choose wellness.
    For those of you just starting this journey, love YOURSELF enough to not allow heartache and hurt into your life any more. Shut that door and do not accept any more pain. ❤️

    • Thank you Lost220# of Deadweight 🙂 That was beautiful.

      For those of you just starting this journey, love YOURSELF enough to not allow heartache and hurt into your life any more. Shut that door and do not accept any more pain. ❤️

      And Amen…

  • Omg, I bought him a fucking UKELELE and baked him a cake for his birthday. Just a couple weeks after D-Day. I insisted he go out with his friends on his birthday because I was out of state miscarrying (where he sent me probably to get rid of me so he could fuck around) and I wanted him to know he deserved to celebrate, and should think of this birthday as an opportunity to live a different life. I sent him a card to that effect saying he deserved happiness. What was he doing? Well, definitely not calling me every night to check on my status while I was miscarrying our baby. I had to freak out to get him to call me because “the guys were over playing video games.” But my miscarriage was so painful on every possible level, that I went into a crazy hopium spiral and insisted we “try to put our relationship back together,” as if anyone but him had broken it. I spent $100 on that stupid instrument, which I now wish I could bash over his head. I actually told my mother he had given me money for it, when he hadn’t, because I didn’t want to seem as pathetic as I actually was. I hand-carried that thing on the plane to the waiting arms of my cheater at my home airport. My only consolation is that he is such a loser that it’s just sitting there collecting dust and won’t be making beautiful music for Deborah, Lauren, and Harriet.

    • K….

      …virtual hugs. Good God, what the hell are these people?

      So glad you know Mighty now! Love ya

  • The POS ex told me ahead of D-day that he thought we should separate and that he wasn’t happy and felt like a failure. I did everything I could to save the marriage. I paid for coaching from Michele Weiner of Divorce Busters and “doing the 180” fame. In line with that coach’s advice, I did everything to please him. I ignored his constant binge-drinking and cheerfully and uncomplainingly took on all his chores and picked up after him. I solely looked after the children when he “had to be in his hometown for work” (haha) and even when he was at home. I offered to quit my job and give up my career and move to his hometown (where he had actually been secretly wining, dining, and taking trips with his wealthy girlfriend for 2 years prior to D-day) to focus on him and the children so he could be happy and feel good about himself. Hopium was born of all ensuing warm and serious conversations we had about our future as a family and the token returning of affection when initiated by me (but no sex). After D-day, I thankfully found Chump Lady and Chump Nation. You all knocked the hopium pipe right into oblivion where it belongs.

  • I didn’t write a letter, but instead discussed at length and length with my X why we should stay together – though oddly my gut reaction was to cut and run. I bargained with him about the affair partner! I said that he could stay in contact with her because we had run circles around the “trust me” bullshit that cheaters feed you at DDay.

    My life pre DDay felt hyped up on steroids because I was in the throes of running my own business and trying to be a “good wife” at home while my X sat on his ass all day long unemployed and would not go get a job. After DDay, I ramped up everything to completely unsustainable levels. I dropped weight instantly, could not eat anything. I cooked every meal, I cleaned everything, I tried to bring in even more money than I was bringing in, I pranced around like a playboy bunny and did all the seduction work to have as much sex as possible even though after DDay, he raped me and NEVER in our married life did he initiate sex but claimed our sex life was a drag. I put together activities that we could do together on a minimal budget because he was unemployed. He had isolated me from all my family and friends and so I reached out to my family and made them put up with his bullshit and rudeness while we took a trip to visit my parents over a long weekend. He acted like an entitled prick the entire time and at the end we had a rotten, knock down screaming fight. But yet, I stayed! I was so doped up on hopium that I KNEW he could change and by damn, he was going to. FOR ME!

    I stayed with him for 3 years after DDay all on hopium. Toward the end, he was going to school on my dime (for the 3rd time) and I found out from his journal, because I had been promoted to Marriage Detective in our relationship by that point, that he was planning to leave me when he was done with school and basically just vanish into thin air one day. I would be left to fend for myself and he would have used up everything I had to give.

    Hopium does not let you see that these creatures are soulless. They have no heart. They are dirtbags. The last 3 years (just divorced) have been pure HELL! The previous 9 were no picnic either. I have never, in my life, dumped so much effort into trying to win the heart of someone who doesn’t have one to begin with. They consume everything until there is nothing left.

    • Yes to this. I would go to long-haul flights just to spend time with STBX. Everybody asks me, “Why doesn’t he go see you?” Well.. I would begin making up excuses such as he doesn’t have enough money, he’s busy at work, etc. etc.

      After 2 DDays thankfully my eyes have been opened to what a scumbag he truly is.

      I have never, ever felt so EXHAUSTED in my life after I cut him loose and established NC.

  • ImAPhool and I’m a recovering hopium addict.

    I was young and stupid and smoked that shit. He said he was going to counseling, even though he refused to go to couples counseling. But aw, he was working on himself. What a guy. All along prob filling his therapist lies about us. IF he even went. I also a couple of times, after moving out, felt so bad that he was eating out all the time, made him his favorite things and actually went to him and delivered it. Like I said, young and stupid. He took me out one day, about 3 months after I moved out, on some random Tues evening when he was free. What a guy to make some time for me after I kept asking to spend some time together. Yes I know, what an idiot I was. The little, small little things he did, gave me so much hope. Like WTF – wake up – he should’ve been doing a lot, lot more…his actions constantly were shouting at me to Wake up. But every time he cried his eyes out and asked me not to leave him, I melted. I was high on hopium. Finally after a series of events, thank goodness, I finally did it. It still hurts like hell, been a year and a half since DDay and 9 months since divorce. It still consumes my head, my heart, my life. But I will be ok. I will move on from that shitface. Slowly but surely

  • I did not have hope at all. I just got the I love you but not in love with you and I moved out at his request. I knew in all the bizarre the only thing it could have been was another woman.

    Before we put last box into moving truck, his begging me back began. I was in complete shock is all. Still am. It was these days the man I knew and loved was not there and this idiot took over looking just like him.

    For 10 months, while I never went back, I allowed him into my life and to allow me to mourn us with him. He admitted to his affair 25 days after I moved. I actually could not just stop loving him. I comforted him while HE got over HER who cheated on him and dumped him. Oh, but he continued to unravel and for 10 months I watch, found out about more affairs and listened to how I fell short and it was really my fault. I witnessed horrific behavior and I could not end it until there was just no more of me left. I finally went NC with him. He pleads until this day.

    It was opium but felt just like it. I kept looking, watching this man waiting for mine to return. All to find out the man I loved never was and this man was the man I met on day one 23 years earlier.

    I grieve him, for sure. But the hardest thing for me is that I was able to live within such an illusion. I am amazed at the level of my stupidity. I had NO idea such things existed outside of General Hospital.

    • (((((((JackiesDone)))))))

      I had NO idea such things existed outside of General Hospital.

      😀 Thank you for the belly laugh! These freaks are like some made up version of human beings for sure!

  • I have to read all these posts tonight.

    I am in the middle of a kon mari operacional, moving out from a cheater to gain a life. Kon Mari operations are totally anti- hopium. Down to the spouse who does not spark Joy. Only sparkles.

    I had been hanging on to clothes that I could not fit for 20 years in the hope I would regain figure of my 40s.

    And the walls are singing…

    • Clearwaters, I’m also a fan of KonMari! She says discarding memorabilia is always the toughest and should be saved for last. Once my divorce is finalized, I think discarding memorabilia I shared with STBX will be easy-peasy for me.

  • Slightly off-topic, but not at all… I’m a full year post D-Day, and I just received a survey from the MC that I saw once. This is someone my now-XH saw frequently to help him “build up the nerve” to leave me. In the midst of that (and me thinking that we were “working on our marriage” and that he was considering this MC as someone we could eventually go to together), he convinced me to see her once. The idea was that she liked meeting with each spouse to get their story before meeting with us together.

    Oh no! It was actually part of his game plan for leaving me. She told me about how “unhappy” he was and how I wasn’t fulfilling him. He wanted passion! I needed to be more exciting for him!

    But vows? Promises? No, she said, those are meant to be broken! It’s up to the more committed spouse to save a troubled marriage!


    Of course, last year, when I felt rejected and broken, I listened to her advice and did the pick-me dance while my then-husband was fooling around with his co-worker. Because his unhappiness was all my fault, after all.

    Gaaawwwd. Good riddance! I can’t wait to crack open that survey and let the MC know what this liberated chump really thinks of her “services”!

  • After Dday, I continued to say it was ok for my ex to be out 2 or 3 nights a week with her ‘girlfriends’. I didn’t want to be the damp squib not showing trust that she was out, with whom she said she was with.

    After catching her out a few more times with her lies, the hopium cleared fast, and I realised I was a chump. And I filed, fast.

  • I agreed to reconcile and spent the next eight months enduring increasing emotional abuse, while every single day I prayed that God change his heart so he wouldn’t be a liar and a cheater any more, because I knew that without a miracle from the Almighty Himself, there was no way it was going to happen.

    The Lord never did change my ex’s heart, but He did eventually open MY eyes to reality, and I got the hell out.

  • I smoked hopium, breathed hopium, inhaled hopium that I created out of thin air for almost 18 months and today I’d rather not remember the worst examples. Instead, here’s the last time he tried to get me onto hopium: he’s just moved out, I’ve received a letter from the lawyer he took behind my back 9 months earlier while we were in wreckonciliation and he was of course cheating. Traitor; ” I knew when we were still in (…) in 2008 that I was still in love with Whore, I didn’t want you to buy this farm, I wanted the (other farm we looked at and dismissed because it was too far from Whore’s place and would have made shared custody of their son unworkable). I want to move out and be alone (moved straight into Whore’s grandma’s house with Whore). I want to have financial independence. Later on, we’ll see…” Me (Oh, please let me inhale that little whiff of hopium!) : “What does that mean, “we’ll see”?” Traitor: “We’ll see, it means we’ll see (inhale deep, little Kiwichump…)”.
    And Kiwichump walked away with her little heart twisting and fluttering on that whiff of hopium.
    Thankfully, I had the VAR on me and recorded the whole thing, and played over and over again the WHOLE conversation, not just the little whiff of hopium he sadistically sent me away with. Remember Kiwichump, the wrong woman, the wrong farm, from the start. Repeat after me, the wrong woman, the wrong farm, from the start. The wrong woman, the wrong farm, from the start.

    • (((((((Kiwi)))))))

      You got this girl! You are VERY MIGHTY 🙂

      He gave away the best woman that is EVER gonna happen to him again in this life…and, if we do have more than 1 (life), I hope he comes back as whatever that weed was you had him clearing out of fence rows for you 🙂 instead of a disordered man you might meet and fancy 🙂

      Sayin! 🙂

      • Thanks JeepTess! Just got my last killsheet of the season and broke his weight record, best ever killsheet (lamb weights) since we got here, and bested him on the whole season’s average too, and best prices too (that’s just good luck but it will help). Him and his 20+ years experience and MSc from Lincoln… I feel like sending it to him, now he’s been paid out, but that would be breaking NC. Guess I’ll have to cut all that gorse myself 😉

        Chumps, give up the Hopium! All the things you are afraid of, all the obstacles you think will trip you, you will overcome. These cheaters are under performers, under achievers. What keeps us Chumps trying so hard for so long with them is that we are persistent and competent and we always end up coping and doing better without their deadweight. Fear is all that’s holding you back. Jump and see how high you fly!

  • I’m strong and tough, but it damn near killed me when I discovered my wife of 24 years was fucking my cousin.

    I was a hopium addict for two long years.

    I did 100% of the work to save the marriage. All she did was everything to continue her affair. Complete heartless scorched earth policy with endless gaslight bombs.

    But, I woke up, kicked her ass out and divorced her.

    Prologue – I got the house, kids, and pay no alimony. She lost her looks, got fat and lives with the cousin, and my kids hate that dbag. And….I’m doing phenomenal. Went back to a girl I dated as a kid, who btw became a well known musician, part-time actress and model.

    I only have the deal with the ex by text for an occasional coparent thing or minor financial

    I don’t regret the hopium period because ultimately it was me as a wounded animal motivated by love for her and my family.

    And if the new gf isn’t around for a spell, I can watch her music videos on YouTube and see how insanely hot she is.

    And for my cousin, he hasn’t crossed my path yet. He’s scared shitless that I’ll beat his ass. Ha ha he has to live in fear, esp since one of my sons already kicked his ass at one time.

    Karma baby! It can happen in real time.

  • I wonder what the longest amount of time is to smoke the pipe? I did it for 9 years, yes you heard it right, 9 years.. He was having an affair with his howorker for nine fucking years and I tried everything to keep us together. He was my one and only I could not be divorced what would I do? Went to so many therapist/counselors, went to a marriage retreat for the weekend, many, small “getaways” Got a trip to Hawaii and a new diamond ring out of it. But, I finally wised up and kicked him out after 27 years married and 32 together. She left her husband after 25 years with him. now they are living in her house, living happily ever after (?) who know who cares. I am and that is all that matters! I was so high on that Hopium not even funny, He said all the things we all talk about. Believe me when they say once a cheater always a cheater and they will never change for you, never.

    • New me, don’t feel too bad about smoking the pipe for 9 years. I did it several years myself. And unfortunately, I did it with the long string of losers I’ve been “in love” with since I was 16. So it was not a new occurrence with ex asshole cheater.

      Most chumps on here have been smoking for the amount of time they were with the cheater, they just didn’t know it, or admit it. Like what came first, The chicken or the egg? The question is What came first the Cheater or the Asshole? 99% of these cheaters were creeps all along. Some hid it very well. Others not at all.

  • Ah, hopium.
    Background: less than 5 years into the marriage, I suspected ex was cheating, he denied, we went into counseling to learn to communicate. I completely trusted him, was gaslighted, etc.

    13 years later, ex is working out of state, was bored with his job, wanted a change, etc. I encouraged it, as he was “unhappy at work.”. So, he came home 7 months later (visited family every 4-5 weeks) and sorta said the marriage was over. Could not even say the word divorce, etc. He had just turned 40.

    Talk about a PRIME HOPIUM situation for me– its just a mid life thing, etc. He didn’t actually say he wanted a divorce, swore there was no one else!!! So, for 2.5 months we went to MC and I wrote him essays on things I/we needed to talk about– lying, issues with parents, one on sex ‘cuz I had been convinced the issues were on my end. He did not want to talk to me in person, so I sent these long email missives. They gave him ammunition to say we married too young etc (see, we are not sexually compatible, etc).

    Ugh. I cringe to think about it. I still have the essays; probably time to burn them.

    It was in the midst of this that 1) he admitted he had an affair all those years before (but only physical once, of course…), and that 2) there WAS a woman in the current location. He loved her, but had stopped socializing with her months before (uh, huh…).
    Hopium– all that, and I _STILL_ wanted a REAL try at reconciliation. He finally unburdened himself of all the deceit, we could finally start over. Ah, no. She went on a worktrip that he said she would not attend. So I finally gave up, and the coward made me file, find a place for him to live, and to find the mediator.
    And now we go to court every two years for child support related matters. Bastard. All the wasted attorney fees are monies that should go to the kids.

    • What a story! Geez. It took him saying to me directly “I want a divorce cause I want to see other people and by the way I have a few in mind” for me to put down the hopium pipe. And even then, for a week or so I thought I could still fix it.

      Stupid stupid brains, they dumb down to our hearts easier than our hearts catch up to them. I sure hope he doesn’t fight me like yours has fought you. TBD but I’ll pay attention to your cautionary take. Best of luck to you.

  • I am ashamed to say I married the creep after first DDay. Felt like a zombie walking down the aisle ?
    I cringe even writing about this … Where was my brain at ???

  • I was married to a gaslighter who denied the affair after I found evidence. I kept trying to have the talk, over and over, thinking that I could get through to him if only I persevered and found the right approach. He would not admit that the evidence was that of an affair and came up with many explanations that made no sense. I would tell him why I did not believe the excuses and explained carefully and logically why each one made no sense. I even had an independent third party view the evidence for the sole purpose of telling him that there was evidence. I explained to him, “You say that you did not have an affair but you cannot explain the evidence in a way that makes sense to me. You know that makes you look guilty, right?” His reply would be, that while he could not explain the evidence, he did not have an affair. I would even point to ordinary objects like a lamp, to prove to him that it was possible for us to agree on some things; for example, if we could both look at a lamp and agree that it was a lamp, then we should both be able to look at the infidelity evidence and agree that it was infidelity evidence. There was no meeting of the minds, however. I once read that a narcissist will repeat a lie one billion times if necessary and this is what I experienced. For a long time I felt devastated that we would never be able to agree on the evidence; today I realize that the inability for us to reconcile on the evidence is a testament to his narcissism. To me this means, that he had no interest in any type of reciprocal relationship with me; he only wanted me to enable his narcissism, which meant supporting him and enabling his affair. His lies also mean that preserving his facade is more important that any relationship with me; I have read that confessing his affair to me would have meant the annihilation of his false self. Obviously, the maintenance of his false self outranked telling me the truth. And if he didn’t really want a relationship with me and just wanted to use me, then why tell me the truth? While I never got the answers I wanted, it did let me know where I stood in our relationship.

  • These cheaters can wear the mask for years! Especially if you are the perfect useful chump, but they never really love you, they don’t have the capacity for love. They simply mirror us at best. Once our usefulness is depleted or running extremely low the mask slips. Time to find a new supply….ummm twu wuv! Mine found a very available fellow Narc on Facebook. She also had worn a mask for years. My husband was sooo excited to tell me how “loaded” she was and how smart she was (hardly, but she had been thieving from her high earning husband for years and made sure she had a full power of attorney because her hubs traveled so much). All he could see was easy street! She was easy, her( husbands) money flowed freely and she had tons of time to run the road between Florida and Georgia. What a find she was!!!!
    When he would boomerang into my life from time to time with empty promises it was really just a recon to see if he could strip me of anything I may have left or to destroy me emotionally. He NEVER loved the way I defined love and he never would or could. He did not really love me and he did not really love her. He didn’t even love himself because there was no real man behind the facade! He merely mirrored me or any other “normal” person to see how real humans react! Kind of sad really. But I had to face that fact. And I had 41 years invested in my marriage! My entire life! I got lung cancer and he NEVER called or checked on me! He was balls deep in the whore. I wasn’t even on his radar! The contempt he felt for me because I had the audacity to be diagnosed with cancer made him look bad and he and Schmoopie hated that! I was ruining his fantasy. I was inconvenient!
    Trust me. As hard as it is to swallow they do not, never did, never will love you! They just aren’t wired for it! I know it’s crazy to believe, but it’s the only answer. Somebody before me referred to them as creatures not humans. I agree, but I will even refer to them as monsters because they are. They not only want to leave you, but they want to destroy you! Want to piss them off? Go absolute NC, leave them first (file first), ignor them and live a full happy life! They lose it when they know they don’t own your mind and heart anymore! See them as the ugly, blood sucking monsters they are! It destroys them. CAUTION: They will try to return to finish you off, DO NOT ANSWER THE CALL, EMAIL, PHONE, ETC. It could result in danger of being hoovered! I was and he only needed me as a nurse and a purse cause Schmoopie turned him loose. MY BAD!

    • The same thing happened to be Roberta. As soon as I was diagnosed with breast cancer, he was done. He offered no emotional suport, simply telling me that it’s no big deal, you’ll go through treatment and be fine. Never once did he ask me how I felt while I was going through chemo and radiation. In fact, one day after chemo, while I was laying on the couch because I could do nothing else, he looked at me and said “Are you going to be like this tomorrow too?”

      We were together for 11 years. I am the mother of his child and he has absolutely no concern for my health. I was of no more use to him because now I was damaged goods. And he is livid that that is all everyone sees, that he left while I was going through cancer treatment. He would like everyone to get over that fact. It doesn’t matter that he lieft then because I deserved it because according to him, I treated him horribly.

  • Please don’t think I’m perfect cause I smoked that hopium pipe too! And way longer than I should have. Hopium comes into play when we honestly believe that these “creatures” actually hold the same beliefs, values and life plan as we do. And they mirrored us so well we were lulled into a false sense of security. They played the part so well because they were benefiting from our hard work and heavy lifting. They seemed so engaged and on board! But if you really reflect on your marriage you start to see all the times you were over ruled, your feelings were dismissed, things important to you just never took center stage. The only exception to that rule was if they could put on a show for friends and family to look like the perfect husband! I know that was true in my case at least. They count on us to trust them and spackle or over look thier bad (horrible) behavior. We are not wives or husbands or loving partners to them, we are just useful tools to get what they want. It’s an awful realization, but my cheater is dead and buried so he can’t hurt anyone anymore. And I am at peace because I have my answer, he was a covert Narc….period!

  • I have so much respect for you, Roberta. Peace be always with you. You did what I see as unthinkable–nurse him in his final illness. Even though he did not deserve that kindness.

  • This post is really good advice for any breakup.

    It IS grief that we feel, and it needs to be felt and honoured as grief. But you have to accept first that the relationship is OVER.

    Grief is normal, natural and healthy, if you do it right. It does go through stages that we need to respect, and this can help short-circuit the hopium addiction.

    But that first step is the hardest.

    • That’s truth Lola. I was in denial for so long. The moment I accepted it was over I could breath again. Yes there’s grief but golly, knowing it was over was freedom.

  • I did what I felt was right for me so I could sleep at night. I made mistakes for sure, but I wanted to be the better person in the end. I wanted to model the virtues I had held so dear all my life. His siblings have been so great to me and supportive since he passed. They were shocked that I sent him off so grand. I have something he will never have, the respect and love of family. They saw me keep my vows, my word to him and I always keep my promises. They know they can trust me! Thier brother wasn’t trustworthy. I know that probably hurts them to know he was a fraud, but that’s on him. Does it hurt my heart that he deceived so many people? Oh yes, but I was deceived too! These types of disordered folks are really good at that! All he needed was to get me to love and trust him and I bought into it. I did nothing wrong but trust the wrong guy. No matter what I would have done, right or wrong, good wife, bad wife, it would not have mattered because the betrayed didn’t CAUSE anything! This is just the MO of a narc and selfish people! It would have happened no matter what. Be at peace CN and move on to better lives, happier days and know you are sane and loving and just fine the way you are! You could have been the absolute perfect person and they still would have cheated and destroyed you! They can’t help themselves, thier minds are twisted. Just get away and stay away from them!

    • I did nothing wrong but trust the wrong guy.

      You are so wise, Roberta.

      I’ve been following your story for a long time now. It’s amazing to see how it all played out. These cheaters, you don’t know the reality of most of them until they are six feet under. They usually aren’t living the dream they want you to think they are. All I can say is Wow!

      Usually the only people who can stand them are other cheaters. I had a pair of popular, celebrated cheaters in my family. At least, I thought they were popular until they both died. I went to my aunt’s funeral, and it was very poorly attended. Didn’t go to get co cheater husband’s but I imagine it was the same. My chump uncle’s funeral, however, was standing room only.

  • No too long ago I listened to my cheater husband of 15 years say to me “I want a divorce because I want to date other people…and I already have a couple in mind” and I thought: nope, I can fix this! A few days and several panic attacks later and I knew it was done. Lucky him, he’s about to get that divorce he wants so badly.

    You can’t fix disordered people who won’t try to fix themselves. Why it took me so long to actually believe that is beyond me. Hopium!

    Recently, in the midst of my super sappy sorrow and self doubt, an ex of mine from 20 years ago and I got together for coffee. He was my first love and we broke up because we were wild kids, but he was always a good guy. Reminiscing with him was like a jolt to my heart–it reminded me what being truly loved and cared for felt like. It showed me without question that I have been thirsting to death in a loveless desert for years when there are so many watering holes, if only I’d walk to them.

    So this is dehydrated me, walking. Fuck you hopium, you’ll get no more of me with this dirt bag of a “man.”

    • My ex told me he wanted a future with either one of two women he worked with, although he claimed nothing had happened sexually with either of them. Turned out he was screwing both of them and even had a threesome. Anyway, I remember just staring at him in amazement and saying, “But they are both married!” He replied that he was thinking of having a relationship with either one should they ever become single.

  • Kc, you go girl! It will be your STBX’s loss! Just goes to show us that we are not some sort of loveless, old washed up human. We are just fine and just as attractive as the next person. Our spouses want us to believe we’re not worthy, but chances are that is only because they actually know we really are better human beings than they will ever hope to be and they actually feel contempt for us for that reason!

    • Thanks. My STBX really can’t figure out why we aren’t going to be friends moving forward…cause he would LOVE that. All the support and companionship of marriage without all the “rules.” And I truly think he doesn’t get it, because he has the emotional bandwidth of dial-up. I’ve emotionally tapped out and he’s confused. Why aren’t I happy for him that FINALLY he gets to live his truth?!? I think for him it’s like a business transaction. Without hopium I’ve got nothing left to stick me to him. I shall amicably parent alongside him our wonderful daughter. And the rest of it he shall never be a part of again.

      • Mine too! Can’t we all just be friends with people who lie and hurt us? Who wants friends like that? He was also confused about why I was mad about him spending time with OW. He thought his gaslighting had convinced me that never happened and we actually split because we grew apart.

      • You said it, emotional bandwidth of dial up. Deep as a puddle mine, looks for a moment that he may have insight then it becomes to confronting for him so he turns the tables. Narcs with black holes for a soul.

  • I would try to get him on the phone during our separation trying to “work it out.” He kept falling asleep while I was telling him how hurt I was to find him involved with another woman. He had a hard time remembering what we agreed too. Did that stop me from trying to RIC? No. Continued to support him financially and emotionally for 5 years until dd2.

  • I said those words verbatim “I owe it to my family to try” that was three years ago. now finally the hate/anger is settling in. its been a long time coming and the fog has cleared. I see the man behind the curtain and he is no wizard. waiting now. waiting for any little f-up.

    • Waiting for what? I thought I would be ready and prepared if dd2 happened again but it was still painful and threw me off balance. Hopium is strong even after they do f* up again.

    • I was so stupid, talked him into a John Gottman marriage workshop the day after Dday. Told him I thought this was “our crisis” that we needed to scare us both into trying our absulute best to really work on our marriage. A week latter, and after he told OW he was working on us, he accidentally sent me a 11 minute voice text of his phone conversation with OW, which included his plains for what he was gonna do with her in bed that evening.