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Your Best No Contact Strategies

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Today’s fun Friday challenge to all you clever chumps out there is to tell CN your best no contact strategies. Oh, I know it’s simple to delete a phone number or unfriend someone on social media — I’m talking about the mental discipline that keeps your itchy trigger finger from hitting “send” on that 14-page, single-spaced diatribe on their narcissism you’ve written.

How did you talk yourself down off the cliff of “Maybe she still cares?” What insulting do name do you call her on your contact list? Ring-tone? Who’s your dial-a-friend when you get wobbly?

For those of us chumps who bred with a fuckwit, I know pure no contact is not possible yet, so how do you minimize interactions? What’s your criteria for “do I really need to deal with your shit?”

Help all the newbies out who might be struggling with the no contact basics. We can always use a primer on that grey rock thing. Or some spray…

Did this challenge before, but hey, who doesn’t need a reminder?

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I do not respond to anything from narc anymore unless it is pure child stuff logistics.

    Ignore any inflammatory messages. Mostly.

    Your blog has made me realise that any engagement for him is better than nothing so I try not to play into it anymore.

    Don’t hit send on my frustrated rantings anymore. Okay – sometimes I still make that mistake.

    But I have found that if I laugh at him he stops bothering me. He hates that. So I keep things light and take the piss out of him when things go awry. Stops him in his tracks.

    • Laughing at him works wonderfully. Also, after he tries his bs explanations as for how things should be his way and then waits for me to agree – I just say ‘no’. No other words, just ‘no’ . . . . Makes him crazy and he goes away for a while lol

      • I do that too. :).

        Drives asshole crazy. It’s not that I say No just to say No. He is looking for buy-in to stupid, irrational shit. I have found in some instances he will then just go do it behind my back and lie to me. This is kid stuff so I have to interact.

        There will come a time very soon where my 13yr olds will surpass his emotional maturity. Right now they seem to be snyched up.

      • Haha, Shadowfire, I also laugh out loud to myself when I get a ranting message from him. My mum, who is a total legend, always makes me laugh when she’s says “oh, hims is sad”. Her humour reminds me of the sad kitty meme that CL has used on this blog “I haz a sad”. Love it! I message that meme to my mum whenever he has made contact, and she knows exactly what I mean, I don’t have to say anything – it’s become our code for “the little bitch has made contact again”. We both have a good chuckle, and then I ignore him. No way do I dignify his hissy fits with a reply. It works marvellously ??

      • Just saying no has worked really well for me and, once I got used to it, it was surprisingly easy and effective. No explanations, no justifications, no attempts at persuading him to accept my position, just simply, “no.” Sometimes I elaborate with, “I won’t be able to do that.” But I no longer say why or continue to reply when he comes back at me pleading his case for accommodating a last-minute scheduling change or trying to guilt-trip me into paying for expenses that aren’t included in our decree.

        • Yesssss Other Kat, same here! At the moment he is trying to guilt-trip me into taking the kids overseas to visit his mom. She’s a lovely lady and I really want to see her, it’s been far too long. He’s trying to tell me what dates I would be going with the children/what airline/where I would stay etc. I let him send me his series of messages detailing it all, and then I replied “no”. He jumped up and down because I wasn’t doing as he said. All I elborated was “I make my own decisions now, you’re not my boss, if I’m going to visit your mom, I will decided when and where and how”. He hates it. The loss of control kills him ??

          • He’s not up to something nefarious? I don’t know–like an international kidnapping? Or, like, trying to get you out of the country so he can claim your property? Am I being paranoid?

            Why doesn’t HE take the kids to see his mom?

            • Hello Stephanie, he’s not allowed to have the kids alone. I have custody. In my country, which is not his home country. And when he visits here he has supervised visits with the kids. I believe he would try to take them from me. He’s requested I take the kids to see his mom, in his home country. And says he won’t be there – he doesn’t live there, he lives and works in a entirely different country (yes, there are 3 countries involved here). And no, you’re not being paranoid – I’ve since talked to my lawyer and she’s advised me to not go, since he could show up in the country once I’m there and try to challenge me. The country she lives in (his home country, where he hasn’t lived for 20-odd years) is a non-Hague signatory, hence he could challenge my custody papers. So….I’ve decided to not go.

              • SMART mama you are. Great job! Sorry that his mom raised a fuck-wit. I suppose he could fly her to your country and let her stay in a hotel and she could visit the kids, right? If it was important to him?

              • Left Him

                Sorry I didn’t see the rest of you answers about not taking the kids to see your mother in law. I hope she can visit the kids. Of course you cannot take them to see her overseas.

                Ugh (but glad you know)

          • Dear Left him

            when your narc loser husband says you & the kids have to travel overseas where HE lives, to see HIS mom, be careful about what legal ways he might try to get and keep the kids. Who knows what the custody rules over there are?

            Seriously, the amount of control he’s trying to force on you about when and where you’ll be, really concerns me. Be careful.

    • This is so true, Nicole. It defies what seems logical, but saying anything to your entitled cheating ex – even a vile insult – is still attention, and still signals his or her little warped brain that you care. Simply saying nothing at all, or the shortest communication you can manage, is the best way to get back, and it does wonders for your own sanity.
      I have to communicate with the ex about the kids, so I can’t go totally no contact. I initiate no conversation that doesn’t involve some business with them. When she sends me something, I respond with as little as possible: “Yes,” “No,” “Agreed,” “5:00,” etc. If she starts wandering into something else, anything else (“I’m not feeling well,” “I hope your brother’s doing well,” “Work is so hard,” “I’m financially teetering on the brink of whatever,” etc.), I just don’t respond at all. It’s such a relief.

      • Yes TTW, I am also a fan of the ONE WORD REPLY. Also, your bit about her texting to say she’s unwell/work is hard (boo-f**king-hoo) etc, reminds me of a recent text I received from his highness. He hadn’t contacted the kids for a very long time, and I was very tempted to contact him to say “WTF is wrong with you/why haven’t you called your kids?” But I didn’t. I just let it go until he contacted. Then when he did, I didn’t rush to reply. I didn’t respond for a few days. His excuse was because he’d been sick. With the flu. You’ve got to be f%#king kidding me. He kept fishing for a sympathetic comment and didn’t get one from me. I get this kind of crap every now and then – him sending me messages complaining about his work, that I don’t understand how hard it is for him to work more so he can cover child support etc. It used to really annoy me and I would angrily reply something like “well, it’s your f**king fault you’re in this mess, so just deal with it”. And when he would say “you don’t know how hard my situation is!”, I would get really crazy mad and reply “umm excuse me??!…YOU don’t know how hard it is to raise children alone!”. But my friend and mom pointed out that this was giving him major kibbles (they know all the CL vernacular because I have converted them to be CL followers, even though they’re not chumps themselves), so I stopped with that type of messaging. Now I’ve gone kibble-free and just laugh at the absurdity of his complaining to me (when he brought it all on himself) and ignore him. I can’t stress enough the POWER OF THE IGNORE. It’s so simple, yet so effective. And if a reply is needed (to confront something regarding the kids), then the ONE WORD REPLY kills it every time ??

      • My ex said I needed to say please and thank you to him and no more short one word messages.

        Nope.

        I did think to say “please pay the money you owe me and thank you for getting out of my life. ” but, that would only encourage him so one word respondes only about the kids it is.

    • After he got fired, I played the dutiful wife and helped negotiate lucrative job offers out of state, seeming open to a move when the school term ended. I filed for divorce after he’d been settled in the new job a few months, barely tolerating his weekend visits. Total no contact started the day my attorney emailed him the papers and other than seeing him for two hours in court it’s been bliss.

  • My ‘no contact’ issue is looking him up on social media, goolgling his, or her, name…OK, it’s stalking!

    I have will-power when it comes to junk food. I don’t smoke. I’m not addicted to drugs.

    My therapist told me to think of it as an addiction and to ask myself what I would tell a friend who wanted to overcome an addiction. I would tell them to stop.

    When I am tempted (honestly, a lot!!), I tell myself it’s like a drug and I just cannot look or search.

    The desire goes away as long as I am strong and don’t search.

    So hard for me but I have to be successful to move forward.

    • Yeah social media is tough, It took me 12 months to block and unfriend Yo Yo knickers on social media, for some reason i felt really guilty for doing so. Although to be honest her social media feeds were hilarious in terms of her making a complete fool out of herself. I can honestly say I haven’t been tempted to look in any way these last 2 years.

      My two eldest kids are obviously friends on Facebook with Yo Yo and occasionally I see Yo Yo tagged in one of my kids post, its greyed out and i can’t see her comments…but just seeing her name greyed out makes me feel sick.

      • Yeah…same here.

        The memories feature gets me sometimes- kind of funny to see all the non-sequiturs. But ultimately it means my digital life is clean! Yos gotta yo, you know? Leave them to it!

        X-Meh

        • Memories on Facebook can kill. Hubby cheated with my friend so i sometimes get memories with her and the worst are ones when we were all together. Makes me sick.

          • Block that ‘friend’ and then it will stop. Had to do that with the enabling inlaws. It was pure relief not to have to see anything about them.

      • Omg! I am getting better!! Reading this I realize I haven’t even thought of looking him or his twu luv in social media in ages.

        I may be healing at glacial speed, but it’s better than no movement at all. (Can I still use the glacial speed metaphor?)

    • Hi Rebecca- I still get twitchy fingers and I’m a couple of years post divorce let alone D-Day. It’s waiting for the karma bus, and sometimes I’ve seen it but that’s really no excuse. I recommend Block Site extension which I have on my Chrome browser. You can set it up to block any URL so if you get that impulsive moment it stops you viewing. Of course if you’re determined you can unblock – which I have done ! But then you’re making a choice and the next website you need to be revisiting is Chump Lady.

    • My counsellor gave me some really good advice when I was checking his and his affair partner’s Facebook and Twitter accounts constantly in the early days. It was having a terrible affect on me. She asked me to just pause for a few seconds before doing it. Just to start with a short pause, then not to beat yourself up if you did it anyway. Then try to make the pauses longer and think about how you were going to feel when you looked. I thought it would never work but the pauses got longer, then my desire to care for myself became greater than that horrible need for constant vigilance. I haven’t looked in over a year now.

    • I still check up on my STBX, too. Several times, it has led to me discovering something I can use in the divorce (he is trying to hide his business assets and reduce the income from it). I see something and then my attorney requests documentation.

      However, I can’t wait until the divorce is final so I can stop checking up on him. I hope that it isn’t a habit that will be hard to break.

      • Rebecca, I have drove myself crazy at times googling him or her. I was able to block them both on social media but its tough not to unblock. I like the comparison of thinking it as an addiction. I am going to try that. I have been having a hard time lately with the stalking stuff and it really has brought me down, but then I come here and read on you mighty people and it helps me so much!!

        I keep having this thought that they are so happy and living my life that I had wanted, i don’t know if they are happy but I so wish the Karma bus would hit them both. One day I hope.

      • It is that forced stalking. I hate that too. We wouldn’t have to do it if they would tell the truth. I sure hope there comes a day when it doesn’t matter what he is doing anymore. Divorce feels like a full time job.

        • “Divorce feels like a full time job”. Oh how true!

          I finally had to block him and her, to solve my own pain-shopping addiction (them posting a “happy family photo” of the two of them with all the kids involved (the OW is snuggling my little ones enough to make me puke)…that finally pushed me over the edge.

          But yes, now I’ve lost a path for uncovering some weekly lies. Hopefully I won’t need to go there again to prove things…

          • Ouch! Faux happy family pics with OW snuggling your kids? That would push me over the edge. My almost 16yo refuses to meet her so I am saved from that pain — at least for the time being. She hasn’t even begun to work in her issues with Dad. Dealing with my drama has been enough, poor thing — she so wants me to get my groove back.

          • OMG… I am right there with you. It absolutely sickens me. I got a photo of “the faux family” with my kids as props. It seriously pisses me off.
            And then my ex MIL and sister in law are Facebook friends with The Golden Magic Pussy. I blocked every single one of his family members and all the people who are “his” friends that day. Interestingly, TGMP profile was also there for me to see. I had to block hers. I’ve had his blocked for awhile.

            I hate them so much right now. And the thing is that I am pretty sure they will stay together.

            I will never get justice.

          • Yes! I have to see stbx plaster Facebook with our newborn daughter photo’s/videos. All the comments about how beautiful and perfect she is (this is true) l would love to comment something like ‘ yes she is perfect, lucky she didn’t contract an std from your infidelity ‘ or ‘ yes I’m so glad she wasn’t born prematurity from all the stress l was under after discovering your other women ‘ but l won’t.
            I may need to defriend though cause it’s making me sick! Still waiting for the OW pic’s

            • Bastard!!! Gee, i want you to post those comments, pull his curtain, shame her, but we chumps usually dont go there, we step over the body and keep walking. But…as a mom who gets how that shit feels (schmoopie got mad, broke up with him and filed a sexual harrassment suit against him when she found out i had the nerve to have a baby during their affair) I so would have not been graceful and blasted their asses. I, of course, found all this out when my daughter was 5 months old. I blasted where I could.

    • This was also my issue and still, three years later, I’m still tempted once in a while. Honestly, I think I’m addicted to FB/internet more than to him, but it’s an unhealthy extension either way.

      Whenever I’m tempted, I ask myself if I have EVER seen anything on his or OW’s page that made me feel BETTER. And of course the answer is no. The closest I ever got to that was a photo of them at work, caught off guard, and he looked a little pissed about something and I had hoped it meant trouble in paradise, but, nope they got married, so I guess not.

      The point is, every time I have looked, whatever I see is seared on my brain. I could probably still sketch those photos from memory, every single one of them, down to the last detail. Just not healthy.

      Also, I remind myself it’s all fake. I put up a photo one day of me smiling & holding a beer at a ski resort (“Take that, motherfucker, if you’re snooping, which you’re not, because you don’t give a shit about me!”) but I had been crying about Dday not ten minutes before the photo was taken. Still, had you looked at the photo, you would have said, “Wow, NWB was sure whooping it up and having a great time on that trip!” right? Wrong-o.

      It’s all image management. And an addiction. And pain-shopping. — Don’t do it.

      • I can so relate to all of this. I, too, looked at them at social media and a few times, it actually helped me to figure out he was screwing around with me while dating her at the same time. Back in April/May, he told me he wasn’t dating anyone, would text me EVERY day, asked to have lunch with me, told me he sometimes was tempted to come over at night. One day he even wanted to come over to my house at noon (I was home sick) so he could sleep with me. I never did give in to temptation, but it was HARD. And two days after he wanted to sleep with me, I looked at the whore’s social media (ex blocked me a long time ago – probably so I wouldn’t find out about the affair!) and saw that he had sent roses to her. That’s when I knew they were definitely together and he’d been lying to me AGAIN. That was the kick in the pants I needed to totally drop him.

        Every time I thought about looking at their social media, I would get panic attacks. But last weekend, I was feeling strong, so decided to look. That’s how I found out they were engaged – the whore had it on her relationship status. Ex never told me. Never told his daughter.

        Now? I never want to look at her FB page again. She’s such white trash. Not worth my time or energy.

        • Similar story Keeping Calm. Social media was the dead giveaway. And I think there is an engagement in the works for my ex as well. I am a pretty crafty sleuth, but I do not have the time, energy or desire to investigate further. It had been months since the last time. Good luck to her, cause of course he was still trying to get with me as well.

          • They really all act the same, don’t they? It just boggles the mind. And of course the OW probably thinks he would NEVER look at another woman! When OW found out that he’d planned to have sex with me, she said, “He would never touch her!” Ha! Yeah, you just keep thinkin’ that, sweetie. As Ann Landers said, “If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you marry a man who cheats on his wife.”

            I’m the same as you – no desire to investigate further. I have a note on my computer monitor at work that says, “Don’t spend your energy on him.” I have far, far more better things to do!

    • I get this. It is hard. I have everything blocked but I can still see his Instagram and Twitter. I suppose the time has come to unfollow and make my account private. If I can delete years of FB photos of our 18 “happy – whatever” year marriage, I can do anything. Just owning that I do this takes the shame away a bit. Thanks Keepin’ Calm for starting this hard conversation.

        • Yeah, it’s a conversation we all need to have. In this day of social media, it is incredibly difficult for things to stay private. That is good AND bad. Good because we have the means to find out they were lying to us and the PROOF; bad because we can’t help but keep checking on them and what they’re doing.

          No contact really is the way to go. I feel so much better when I do not engage with him or see him at all.

    • Rebecca, I had a friend tell me early on, well, you will drive by the house and rip that scab off until you are done ripping your own scab off and realize you are done with self inflicting pain and ruining an otherwise functional day. Honestly, it took a while to get of the drama hamster wheel. I had gotten so used to everyday being some insane thing, but eventually, it worked. I was driving home late one night and started to go by his house and then laughed out loud and said, hell no! I feel good right now and I won’t if I drive by. So it stopped. To all the newbies, be patient with your self. Withdrawal from the madness can take time. Be kind to self, treat yourself just as you would your best friend.

    • I read one of HG Tudor’s articles on NC and social media which really helped. When he (a self confessed narcissist) explained that everything the narc puts on social media is carefully designed to both enmesh further the new supply, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, hurt and goad past supplies, that they KNOW we will stalk and check them and that knowledge gives them a great source of kibbles, that’s when I said to myself “right, fuck you, you are not getting that from me anymore.” No way am I giving him those mental kibbles. Not a chance. He may not know I don’t look anymore but I know. As HG says, they poison us at such a deep level they can almost sense our presence even online.

      So I stopped, immediately and i stubbornly persist in it. I coach the curious part of me that this is what he wants and shows how he still has his teeth in me so no contact literally means not even remotely via the internet. Nope. He gets no more from me.

      I blocked him, his new supply, all past supplies I could think of or suspected. All his friends and family, anyone he worked with that I knew of. All blocked. I changed my name and settings to total privacy to make it hard for any flying monkeys or friends of his that I DON’T know – so they couldn’t look me up.

      I did same with Twitter.

      Don’t forget that they too could be checking YOU out, or getting others to do the same and could be learning things about YOU that you don’t want them to know, or could be used against YOU in any proceedings or dealings.

      From a social media perspective I am now a ghost. It has done wonders for my sense of calm. I feel much more safe – knowing it’s hard to find me online, and damn triumphant that he’s getting no kibbles from me that way anymore. It is also wonderful not seeing Switzerland friends posts that include him – those traitorous, values-less fucks.

      Fuck Him. He gets less than zero from me.

      F

    • ‘My ‘no contact’ issue is looking him up on social media, goolgling his, or her, name…OK, it’s stalking!’

      I so relate to this, Rebecca! I was ghosted with 2 small babies, so my search for answers has been excruciatingly drawn out as I’ve sought to make sense of it all. I had to piece it all together, using FB to find HomeWrecker. Since then, I’ve been closely following her page, but recently realized that I just don’t care anymore and am actually on my way to the fabled land of MEH when it comes to what he did to me. What he did to our babies by moving to the opposite coast for a stripper? That I am NOT at MEH about. Doubt I ever will be.
      But what has played the biggest role in my healing (aside from Chump Nation) was creating an anonymous blog where I detail everything that happened, and basically spray both of them with my sarcasm skunk. It feels amazing to be able to laugh at the absurdity of it all, while making nebulous painful thoughts into cohesive analogies and jokes. I take all of that contact that I would want to heap on Honey, and direct every bit of it into my blog instead. If you’re not the blogging type, journaling does the same thing. I hope you have a friend who can slap the Ipad out of your hand when you try to look. I’ve found that’s done wonders for me. Best to you!

  • It takes time to learn to Give yourself permission to not respond and to not feel guilty for not giving a response.

    I really struggled with grey rock in the beginning, but as Nicole says if if’s nothing to do with the kids stuff ignore, ignore, ignore. It takes time to get to a black bet in no contact/grey rock. But give it time and practice and you’ll soon be a grey rock ninja status.

    • Mine hates it when I don’t engage with her mixed messages (ie actual child matters combined with rants). All that energy and she knows she has to type out all the child only things if she wants a response.

      The other thing she’ll do is ignore what I want and just carry on with her own agenda …. Also a game – so now I won’t respond to anything unless previous message is responded to in adult manner with resolution of children’s issue.

      Recently she has also told me in child arrangements how wonderful our kids are, etc. Sadly, that gets the same response – “please stick to child arrangements only – I am not responding to messages with anything else” as it is all the part of her game to draw me back in.

      It’s not no contact, but it is satisfying to have a grey rock like interaction where they do actually stick to the monochrome task at hand instead of engaging their need for a connection (any connection).

      • I can relate. Fucktard also waxes poetic and pretends concern re our kids (who are young adults). Blah blah fuckityblah. If he really cared he wouldn’t have done any of the things he’s done. Stealing money from them and walking away from supporting them financially (all in/headed to college) and dumping the family home pretty much said WHO he is. When he sends me a note because he’s so proud of such and such I just think ‘yeah, in spite of you!’ And don’t respond at all. The day he chose to walk was the day I stopped co parenting. Healthiest decision ever. That and no contact.

        • That is my life; he spent all their individual saving accounts, left when middle son left school on his last day and when he calculated minimal child support /pay off. As soon as he walked started pressuring me to sell the house as was his plan when he originally several years before got me to sign off on 2 remortgages . All thd money gone i am now in a rental appt with the 3 kids and dog . His financial abuse almost complete. Apparently as young adults thrh haveto vome crawling to him if they want living expenses. Fuck u dad

  • “No shame no blame” no mater what X is doing, I’m not going to comment on it ever. Unless it actually affects things in very practical ways, like when we pickup our kiddo, I make no judgements on him or to him ever. He can figure out his own life. This has worked in my favor because usually his need is to have less time with our kiddo – so me saying “hey why are you shuffling off time with your son??” Will make him not want to give that time to me. So if I just leave it alone, I win.

    Also the more I say to him about what I think, the more ammo he has to twist up about me when he is talking to kiddo or anyone else. So I’m not giving him anything to go on.

    Monitor your big whales out feelings. When you feel agitated and wound up, you need to sit back and find something else to do for a while. Let the feelings pass and then make your decisions about contact when you are yourself again. Take an inventory of all the times you acted out when you were upset, and note that if you I’d waited until you were calm, things would have worked out better. Just become self aware of that. It’s normal to be agitated when you are being messed with – you have to handle it differently now.

    Don’t tell your kids how you feel. Tell the dog.

    • This was a very helpful read, thank you.

      Hehe I will remember myself to tell our hamster and not my little girl 🙂

  • So I’ve done ignoring and keeping it short and documenting things incase I get the blame or things get nasty.

    But I have a few special occasion tactics:

    1. Reuse his words “the children will suffer” “we need to communicate” – this is for use on his double standards.

    2. Act fucking crazy “you mean you can’t get the children at the agreed time?!? Omg! They’ll be on their own!!! Oh no, this is terrible.” or “wait! You said this and a moment ago you said that! Are you ok? Are you confused? Do you need a rest?” – just totally overreact to everything but in a detached way, misunderstand their vagueness and pretend you’ve assumed the worst. Things get way too much effort for them, I’m always looking for that “oh forget it” message from him.

    3. Ask for his girlfriends number. – this always gets instant compliance, I mean if he doesn’t reply to my texts then I need another number right?

    • Huh. I got an “oh forget it” response recently. It riled me up a little. But now that you mention it, maybe I should see it as successful Grey Rock! Thank you!

      • I got a few zingers a few weeks ago to my emails that were completely Grey Rock:

        “Oh grow up”

        “Now calm down.”

        I think I pissed him off because I didn’t respond to his, “How have you been?” comment.

    • When I do engage, it’s only if the opportunity to use a tactic presents itself. I did breed with Narcissa, so there are always parenting issues. Sooner or later, Narcissa will pass some kind of judgement on my parenting skills. Recently, I was chastised for not spending enough time with my kiddos. Granted, I have them 50% of the time so the logic is twisted. She commented once, “well when I’m with the kids I enjoy being with them.” My reply? “Oh, right, you mean like the time you spread your whore legs for fuckbuddy under his dirty studio desk? I was home with the kids. I see what you mean.”Delicious silence always ensues—it literally stops the conversation in its tracks. Another one is when she rants about what an ass I am via text. Rant, rant, rant, rant, rant. The tactic I use here is I simply say, “the projection is amped up today.” Again, a nifty conversation stopper.

      The thing with narcs is if you just hold up a mirror to them, it’s like tanning a vampire. They then promptly slither back to the hole from which they came. And that works nicely for me.

  • Laughing always worked for me too. I just didn’t realize because he instantly quit the tactics I laughed at. It was the tactics that annoyed me that he kept up and intensified so I remembered those.

    Funny one was when he wouldnt let me stop for gas and got mad at me when he took the car next and ran out of gas. I burst out laughing each time he brought it up! Shoukd have done the same for all his nonsense.

  • I saved him as “Do Not Engage” in my phone with a meme of Jack Nicholson pointing and saying “The people who give a fuck are right over there” as his picture.

    In the end, I didn’t have to worry much about being No Contact because he had so obviously moved on with OW that he no-contacted me.

    I have a particularly nasty and heartless email from him saved that I read whenever I feel like reaching out. It stops me cold. I also recorded myself talking to myself in a voice memo giving myself advice on a particularly strong day for when I had a weak day.

      • I have a picture of garbage for his contact. Reminds me every time of who I am dealing with should I engage.

        His name comes up as “KJ” for King Joffrey Baratheon.

        It’s the little things! 🙂

        • Me, too! I refer to finally making her leave our home as “taking out the trash.” It was rotting and stinky and the only place it belonged was the dump!

    • MyIntuitionwasRight–good idea. Remembering one odious thing they have done or written is a huge prevention to calling or texting them.

      I carried around a text exchange from The Worst Night of My Life, in which Hannibal pulled every nasty manipulative trick in the book (including triangulating by saying a mutual friend agreed with him). He then insisted that *I* apologize or I’d never see him again. I read that text exchange almost every day for 3 months, which carried me through from filing to the actual divorce.

      • I spent several months figuring out and writing down all the skanky things X had done. Whenever I was tempted to even think of her, I thought instead of that notebook oozing her poison of lies and cheating. Killed dead immediately any urge to break no contact.

      • Well, holy crap!! Tempest, “(including triangulating by saying a mutual friend agreed with him)” My STBX used this occasionally, but I never saw what it was till now! Triangulation! He would invoke my favorite Sister’s name, when losing an argument, and say I had anger issues, “Just Ask Your Sister…” My very close Sister, my best friend, who has seen me lose my shit on occasion, of course, and for good reason. This shut me down every damn time. Kryptonite.
        In response, I thought, how come I don’t have a problem with anyone else but YOU??
        Fuck that manipulative MotherFucker! Ugh.
        THANK YOU Tempest, for the insight, and to CL & CN. You’ve helped me more than you could ever know. <3

        • They’re evil, Kimsoverit. I’m sorry you had to suffer the same manipulations, but accepting the depth & breadth of their suckitude is the first step toward healing.

  • I don’t know if it’s a no contact strategy but I only respond to emails at one address. No texting. I only answer questions with yes, no, doesn’t work for me and don’t engage in debate. I put “respond by x date” on emails and ask for confirmation only. I have him pick up DS from school on visitation weekends. Force him and his DD to arrange their own visitation – she’s almost 18. Have found if he has to put in any effort (I used to twist myself into a knot accommodating and planning), very little visitation occurs. He can’t be bothered with the kids unless there is something in it for him. Recognize, after almost a decade, any snarky, biting response usually backfires. Come to the realization that he neither cares nor worries about how his actions hurt the children, that he lacks a moral compass and no amount of me explaining etc will change that inherent flaw.

  • I downloaded the Drunk Mode app so I couldnt call or text The Loser during certain vulnerable hours. I wasn’t drunk, just couldnt quite yet trust my chumpy self.

  • It’s best not to think of NC as a decision you make, one-and-done. Instead, think of it as a skill you build up with time and practice (especially if you have kids and are forced to maintain some contact). If you are intentional about it, you will get better and better at not responding to their bullcrap, not rising to to insults, etc.

    Don’t beat yourself up when you fall off the wagon and respond, just chalk it up to learning and keep going.

    • It’s so hard with kids involved. I won’t be rid of him for another 16+ years. By default it has to be a process…every time you have to interact because you’re trying to arrange/discuss something for/about your child(ren), there’s that opportunity to also express your hurt and anger. By its very nature, talking about the child(ren) your fuckwit X created with you (you know, before/as they were destroying your family) will bring up so much pain. I think the tips on her about keeping it to the point and business-like help. But it will be a long time until those thoughts are no longer trying to claw their way through.

      • Not to be a downer, but with kids, I don’t think you can ever be rid of them because there will still be weddings, celebrations, grandchildren, funerals. You deal with it one day (or hour or minute) at a time.

        • *sigh* Yes, I do know that there will be those occasions. For the chumps who have to endure weddings when OW/M are present (or guests of honor! ugh), I tip my hat. I am hoping to build up my meh over this next decade plus to where all interactions at grown child events will roll off my back. I guess at that point I can at least enjoy the fact that my daughter will be an adult and can make her own plans and care for herself — the worry about having to interact with X-hole over that stuff will no longer need to be present.

          • My stepson is getting married next year. His mother, the first wife STBX cheated on (not with me) will be there, his second wife who he cheated on (me) should be there and he will be there with his whore who he cheated with (on me). What a fucking circus that will be!!
            Confused anyone?

            • I had to read it 4 times. Granted, I have had a long day but even after coffee this would be a puzzle. Cheaters love complications!

  • Virtually any communication can be handled with 2 sentences. The first should state the problem. The second should state what the ex needs to do (NOT pose a question about what should be done). For example, “You sent Son home without his sneakers. Leave them in my mailbox today so he can wear them to school tomorrow.” If you write anything longer, pare it down to 2 sentences. No guarantee the cheater will comply (they love to withhold), but longer messages are not more likely to achieve the desired result and increase the chance of entanglement.

    • Excellent advice. Strictly businesslike. NO KIBBLES. Avoid anything that gives him any say in your life – no hooks for him to reel you back in on. Tell, don’t ask. Not only will it save you anguish, it will drive him craaazzzyyyy. Look on it as an enjoyable challenge and every time you do it you will feel more in control of yourself and your own life again.

  • My name for him on my phone is “Tracy” It reminds me of the scumbag landlord by that name my daughter had in college. I remember thinking to myself at the time I do not associate with people who are slime balls like this landlord. So if he does call or text I remember what a cheater and liar he is.

    • I feel terrible that the name is Tracy on his phone. Sorry everyone especially Chump Lady! I have been so helped with Tracy’s book and Chump Lady.com. Just the name of some awful person I had to deal with and I knew he was a terrible person. This name on my phone gives me a head’s up that my ex is not trustworthy. The other Tracy is so helpful to me and so many others. Thank you Chump Lady for being my lifeline in this terrible process. This Tracy Rocks!

    • I’ve just changed his name on my phone to Woolly Jumper. That’s what he said I was, crying in my arms, when he was scared to leave me because he didn’t know whether the Dream Princess wanted him or not. He suggested trying another reconciliation a month or so ago, because he recognised there was no way we could do that when he was still infatuated by her, and I agreed because I still love him and would love this to work out. But my gut is saying nononono. Not quite ready to go NC because he is in a hard place, living in the back of a van and washing up dishes in a pub to feed himself. But I’m recognising that this may be becoming part of MY image management, eager to look kind and good by giving him another chance. Hopefully seeing him come up under that name will keep reminding me and help my SELF respect to prompt me to protect myself better.

      • He is an adult who lacks maturity, you can’t help him. Set your sites higher. Why would you want someone who is infatuated with someone else. Love yourself! You deserve more than this loser living out of a van. If you want to be a social worker, that is a great vocation not a basis for a relationship!

      • Dear Artist, 20 years ago my cheater wanted a divorce because he was in love with his “fantasy dream girl” no sex just an emotional affair, so that was ok……when she didn’t reciprocate I took him back. Frankly, when I think about now it was easier or so I thought. I was busy with my aging mother a career and couldn’t face a divorce. Well my cheater never really stopped fantasizing and now 20 years later he’s found another dream girl. I’m 72 and believe me I was completely gob smacked when he told me he wanted a divorce. He pulled the rug right from under me. Well, this time I said fuck you and threw him out. If I had thrown him out the first time who knows what my life might have been. I certainly wouldn’t have had all the hurt and anger I have now starting over at this age. I am determined to enjoy what years I have left but boy I sure wish I had thrown that stupid bastard out the first time. Just saying!

        • Thank you Chumps – and especially Lyndaloo, thank you. I sound exactly like you the first time round Lyndaloo! A lot of my problems are projection – of my own honesty onto him, not understanding how he couldn’t see how dangerous this was for us and our family; of my love for him and not understanding how he wouldn’t want to ‘see the light’and recommit himself to me and our kids. It’s amazing how, despite the life-saving stuff I read here, the heart still says ‘But…’ I am a proud to be a member of Chump Nation and you help me every day, lovely Chumps. Meh or bust!! xxx

          • Artist,
            As hard as it is to accept, they don’t want to understand they don’t love anyone but themselves. He will never see the light because he doesn’t want to. These assholes are trapped in a teenager’s brain. They want the drama and the excitement of an adolescent love triangle. Mine used to watch all these soppy romantic movies and was always sucking up to the ladies (any ladies) always interested in the gossip. Immature nonsense about who was pissed with who at his bridge club. I shrugged it off because it seemed harmless and stupid. But now I realize this was all very important and real to him. Our marriage, our family were never really important to him, well perhaps in the beginning when it was new and exciting. These assholes take and take and use us and our children and grandchildren and strut around like pillars of the community,behind the scenes they are lying and cheating. They don’t give a damn who gets hurt. Meanwhile the clock is ticking and we are wasting our lives keeping a commitment to an idiot. I know that it’s hard to believe that the person you loved and thought loved you could do this to you, it has to be a mistake, right? It’s no mistake these assholes never grew up and never will. They are in a loop going around and around with the same ridiculous notion that perfection is just waiting for them. They can’t see they had it all and blew it. When your heart says but… Ask yourself does he really care for you or your kids?

            • Hi lovely! Your reply came through JUST as I was typing a message to my ex to tell him that I didn’t want any celebrations arranged by him after my driving test (fingers crossed everyone please!!), I didn’t want any celebrations arranged by him for my birthday next week. I’ve now been dumped by him three times in favour of an impossibly remotely possible relationship with the Dream Princess, who has given him no real encouragement, and then I went on a single day’s walking through the wilds of Cornwall, and now I know – fuck that drama. I need to heal!

              • Good for you, know your worth. It’s the kibbles they have them. Remember 20 years can pass by in a flash, and life is not a dress rehearsal! Good luck and best wishes! Cornwall is a beautiful place for a walk to get your head straight!

  • Although after Dday #2 I knew I was done, I still tried to untangle that skein. I read about the 180 on the RIC sites. I read about the ‘if your dog or husband runs, don’t chase him’ and initially had the I’ll show him attitude. I still had hopium. He was thick in the Schmoopie high and couldn’t be bothered with me.

    With time and limited contact about the divorce and kids, I really did start seeing the shit show for what it was. You really do step back and realize you’ve been pining for a turd. Your heart breaks when you see your kids in pain.

    Over the last year it has been a process to detach and start looking forward to ‘meh’. The steps to there are slow and painful at times. There’s no elevator to the top. You have to go through it. I wasn’t ready for CL in the beginning. Once I was ready, I couldn’t stop reading. I have ignored his texts unless there’s something regarding the kids that requires immediate attention and even then it’s a yes, no, very short type of answer. I have changed him to ‘kids father’ in my phone! We had cute nicknames for each other so now I see his role in my life for what it is.

  • I turned it into a mantra. If you’ve been here any length of time you’ve heard me say it:

    No Contact is the path to the truth and the light.

    I used a label maker to attach it to my laptop, and my phone. I say it at least once a day. It’s habit now. It is learned behavior. I only respond to emails and texts that require immediate acknowledgement such as a sick child or traffic making Narkles the Clown late for drop off. Should he send information other than that it is ignored. Of course the base I use to make this happen is the time tested motto: Trust That They Suck!

    • I do exactly the same thing — I tell myself: “no contact is the only path to peace and happiness” and “don’t ask why, there’s no rational reason, he just sucks.”

      • Yes to this.

        Someone on here once wrote
        “Trying to understand a liar/cheater is like trying to understand WHY children suffer cancer, WHY puppies get abused, WHY bad things happen to good people.. Some things just cannot be explained or understood. Some things just simply SUCK. Cheater/liars just simply suck.”

        (Not a quote, but that poster’s words were true! Thx to whoever left that bit of brilliance here on this site!)

      • One huge regret is how much brain energy I spent on wondering HOW/WHY my husband was such a POS after 35 years of marriage with 3 great kids, and HOW/WHY I didn’t see things sooner….

        I absolutely believed I had to have an answer. I do not. Everyone dies with unanswered questions, but that doesn’t prevent us from living. And besides, there are no “good” answers!

        Stop asking. Go no contact (or the 2 sentence responses, if needed for children).

        Caroline Myss —
        “Endless questioning is endless suffering.”

        • I’m stuck in this loop right now. D-day was 12/19/17, so just 10 wks out. I put the sex addict trash out to the curb 1 1/2 days ago. While he was here under the same roof, I couldn’t go grey rock/no contact. I needed answers. But then I would spiral into rage. He was the one that never engaged or responded. That only a period of me more. 30 years of marriage and he had a double life as a sex addict for 5,7,10 yrs. Who knows? The numbers keep changing. Now that he’s gone, the abrupt change in not being able to confront him or ask questions makes my fingers twitchy… I want to text him to tell him how crappy is all over again. I’ve said it all in so many different ways and was met with a wall of silence almost every time. The pain is still so raw. I want him to know, over and over again, how traumatized I am…. Sorry, I have no recommendations because I’m a newbie.

  • It’s really important to move toward no contact, but be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself when you slip up. Eventually you will see that no contact is good for your health. Time is the best method for moving to the goal. Eventually, the cheater will take up so much less space in your head, and you will realize that you really don’t care what they are doing.

  • Early on, I had terrible withdrawal. It was just heartbreaking to not have a daily companion after so many years. My brain hadn’t caught up to my heart enough to see that for some time he’d been treating me in an unloving and dismissive way, and by the end openly gaslighting me into minor disagreements.

    After he left I only broke No Contact a handful of times. I noticed that even though I had somehow set myself up to think speaking to him would be cathartic, I actually would be set back emotionally for days after. Whenever I blocked an avenue of communication, I could measure days and ask myself if I did really feel better compared to the early days after D Day. The answer was usually yes. I needed objective evidence that I was going to survive without him.

    Coming from an abused childhood, I was programmed to maintain love and disregard reality. Early on, I think ex expected regular kibble, to parade back and forth in person with our daughters visiting and chat on the phone. I needed to not see him or listen to any more of his rationalizations for his poor choices or even hear his voice. I think my maintenance of tho surprised and isolated him and Schmoopie far more than any other consequence would. Any arrangement between the girls could be accomplished without him.

    With distance, it was hilarious to see that despite all he’d done he still expected me to solve logistical and fianancial nightmares of his own making.

    These people live in a teenage world of fantasy. We don’t have to participate. Rebuilding our actual lives is where our energies are best spent.

    • My ex thought we would be friends too. They really do have the maturity of middle schoolers. I guess he thought both schmoopie and I would like this arrangement. I shut that shit down immediately. And young schmoopie has dumped him. I guess she only wanted to triangulate too!!!

      • Same here. My ex said, “We don’t have to be enemies.” He wanted to be friends. “I still care about you. I’ll always be here for you.” What a bunch of BULLSHIT. I told him, “I don’t want to be friends with someone that betrays me and hurts me.” The last time we really talked, he was getting ready to leave and tried to put his hand on my shoulder. I reared back and refused to let him touch me. I even said, “DON’T touch me.” He doesn’t get that privilege anymore. Wanker.

        • The don’t touch me is awesome. One of the last times I saw mine, she was getting in her car and asked me if I would give her a hug. Me “NO!!!” That felt really good at the moment! Still feels good today knowing I finally told her No for something she wanted.

          • Good for you!!! They think that we should be totally okay with us showing them physical affection, even now. NOPE. You gave up that right.

            • My ex barely communicated over divorce issues and not too long ago lied to me again about taking care of something he never did. That’s why it surprised me when we’re in public and he tries to be nice — hugging me, etc. I think he’s just putting on a show so people will think he’s a nice guy, but I know that truth.

          • Ug. When STBX officially moved out, he asked me (sitting on floor crying) for a hug as he was walking out the door. I looked at him like he was a freaky alien. WTF.

            • Mine ALWAYS tried to hug me or touch my hand or something whenever we’d part. I refused the last time. He’s coming over tomorrow to get all his stuff. I hope he doesn’t try to touch me again.

              • Hey Keepin, how did it all go today? Thinking of yiu, sending wonder wo.an powers.

              • Hi Patience! It went pretty well. I was Grey Rock the entire time. Stayed physically away from him, didn’t make much eye contact, and was calm and aloof. Of course, I bawled tonight in the shower because it was so stressful and I was sad. But! I’m glad it’s all done.

              • Kickass job!!! The shower is my safe place too, a trusted friend if you will. I always feel better afterward. But you rocked grey rock, had self respect and grace on you right and left!!! It aint easy, but you did it!!! Woo hoo!!

            • My GTFO D-Day was only 2 months ago and I had completely blanked out that on one of his visits back to the house as we were going through financial stuff he hugged me and I just stood there limp and non-responsive. I said ‘I’m not into that’. Until right this moment I had forgotten that he had done this.

        • They really are a group of delludinoids aren’t they? My ex thought we would be besties too…..okay that was in part because I led him to believe that during the divorce process just so he wouldn’t flip to the rage channel and drag his heels to oblivion. He was quite spiteful that way; probably still is but that’s not my problem anymore.

          The last day I saw him (the day of our appearance in court), he gave my breasts a good squeeze after he asked for a hug and I complied. First I threw up in my mouth and then I was once again slack jawed over his overwhelming sense of entitlement. Creeptacular lesson learned!

          If I ever see him again, and I won’t be sad if I never do, if he attempts to touch me in any way I will say: “Any part of you that touches me you’re not getting back!”

        • Mine was like. ..I don’t hate you. .. thx ! But the whole communication thing he tried from day one was like i was a business associate. Then I knew i was dealing with a whack job.

    • Boy, Luz, this is the epiphany of the week: “Coming from an abused childhood, I was programmed to maintain love and disregard reality.” Explains so much.

      • Yes. I’m reading that line over and over and thinking about my own childhood and elite-level spackling capability. It just might answer the mystifying question of why I’m still open to salvaging a relationship with someone who has treated me so awfully. Thanks, Luz. I’ve circled that notion a billion times, but never pinned it down quite like you did.

        • HeChump, I remember writing in my journal, “what if I faced my fear of being alone instead of clinging to someone who doesn’t want me?” That helped me to be clearer about where the feeling of wanting him back was coming from.

          • Lyn, I felt abandoned and frankly scared to death. After almost 40 years together he found his “soul mate”. When I put the house up for sale, the agent who had recently gone through the same crap, said “well do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t love you?” Her words just smacked me in the face and was a big wake up call. No, I wanted my self respect back albeit I had never lived alone so still very scary. I was determined not to just let him ruin the rest of my life. i bought myself a cute house in another town so I don’t have to see him or her and I’m happily living alone. Happier then I’ve been in years. My issue is I still feel like I want revenge! I know it’s just a waste of time and keeps you from really moving forward so I’m working hard on giving that up. Meh is coming slowly I’m using “just let go” as a mantra. Thanks for sharing.

            • Lyndaloo, it takes time but it does happen. This is my experience about 18 months from D-day. The pain drops from boiling to gentle simmer and from all-consuming to a few times a day and then maybe once in awhile.

              Life fills in and it’s like moving into a different neighborhood in the same city (familiar sort of and a new perspective) It takes some getting used to but after awhile you find a few things you like and then a few more.

              Galaxy Quest: Never give up! Never surrender!

              Hemingway: In the morning there was a big wind blowing and the waves were running high up on the beach and he was awake a long time before he remembered that his heart was broken.

        • Yes, that phrase explains a lot. I had a similar insight in IC last week, talking about how I handled past abuse/betrayals in my relationships with parents, friends, partners, coworkers.

          Trust/love > [abuse-betrayal-be lied to] > pick myself up, brush it off > carry on > repeat

          Sucks to see it in black and white like this. Currently carrying on…

      • I know. I am pondering that phrase too. I did that a lot in relationships, not just this one. I wouldn’t say I had a childhood with abuse, but I did/do have a very narcissistic mother. Is that why? Need to think on this one. Great thought.

        • That is why for me. I’ve been reading the website “daughters with narc mothers” and it has shed so much light on my childhood as well as why I picked STBX.

          Best of luck on your journey of self-discovery.

    • The similarities of cheaters is so striking. Mine also wanted to be friends and she “loved me” just wasn’t in love with me. Of course, what that meant was stick around and help me out of the shit I get myself into. You are reliable and dependable. Just like your idiot, it was usually financial or adult problems that needed solving. I shut that shit down really fast and never answered the cries for help. Not exactly what they thought was coming. I’m sure they thought we would continue to rescue them.

      • Lostntx and all, my STBX, after announcing he wanted a divorce and left, was SHOCKED that I was no longer willing to be his personal assistant/appliance. WTFever??

        Him: what? so you’re NOT going to pay the mortgage and taxes??
        Me: “No”
        Him: “Is the bill for my new car there? You’ll need to make the payment and mail it in. I don’t have any checks”
        Me “No”
        Him: (when we were refinancing/signing papers) “You’ll need to bring a voided check to the closing and the Notary can’t go through it twice!”
        Me: “No, and no I will not be in the same room with you. Figure it out.”
        Him: “OK, we’ll meet at a coffee shop and sign papers.”
        Me: “No, that is not an appropriate location.”
        Him: “Send the pink slip for the car with DS, I’m meeting him for dinner.”
        Me: “No, this doesn’t concern DS.”
        Him: (when filling out his disclosure docs).. “Hey I need copies of the tax returns, e-trade Statements, and Bank Statements for……”
        Me” “No” (Can you believe he wanted me to help him fill out his Divorce Disclosure Statements!!! Oy, the gall!)

        Etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseam.
        Having a lot of clarity here this morning CN!!

        • GOOD GRIEF!

          Y’know, that is the one thing I am looking forward to – seeing how my ex and the whore actually adult. Both are miserable at being financially responsible. I was the one who made sure all the bills were paid, the mortgage,, etc., I did the taxes, and took care of all the “big” stuff. Meanwhile, he couldn’t be bothered to pay his medical bills, was coming to me to borrow money (and he made a lot more than me!), and always, always broke.

          I hope they get evicted; I hope they snarl at each other and say, “But I thought YOU were going to take care of it!”

    • Luz, excellent explanation of programming. Mine are abandonment issues, which through therapy I have realized are the anchor of my relationship issues. Time and patience are healing me, slowly. Fear of being abandoned is like wearing blinders, it won’t happen if I don’t look.

  • Since our progeny are adults it is easier for me than most. I just pretend he is dead. Well, in a way he is. The lying cheater I divorced is so far removed from the man I married, in a way he commit suicide.

    • I have as his name in my phone – Lying cheating Shithead – since our kids are grown , we rarely have contact. I had totally forgotten that I had named him that & fell on the floor laughing when I got a text from him one day !!!i had to explain to my office mate why I was laughing so hard !!!

      • I did the same. He’s listed in my phone as “________ the Lying Cheater.” It’s a great reminder, if/when he texts/calls me sounding friendly, that I can’t trust him.

    • Think of him as dead, I like that. You are right what I thought I had is dead, he is not the person I thought I loved.

    • I wish I could pretend that he’s dead. My daughter is a toddler, so I have 16+ more years of interacting with the “zombie” of the man I had once married and loved. It makes me nauseous.

      • Totally agree chumponit, I feel sick every time I think about having to hand my beautiful newborn over to him. I know I would say this but I believe cheating on a pregnant women is one of the most disgusting things you can do. He is not a man he is a disgusting excuse for a human being.

        • Yes, to think of how X put me at risk, our baby at risk, and had signed off on the destruction of our family before it even came to be makes me so sick. They are definitely not men, not human, just pure evil. Hugs.

          • Mine told me at D-day that he didn’t think I wanted him for 2 years prior to that. This was one of his reason for ‘leaving’. I asked him why he didn’t say anything. He said he could never communicate with me. I also asked why he had agree or actively encourage us to have another baby. He said I wanted DS to have a brother/sister. As lovely as that is for DS he is not the one who had to do any of the hard work. I don’t regret having this baby because she is beautiful. I just feel really used and abused by someone I loved and trusted with everything.
            I knew at that point I was wasting my time trying to get him to understand what he had done. I knew then he was a delusional liar and I was better off without him. It just sucks big time that I bred twice with this waste of space.

            • Mine told me he was done with his feelings 21 years after the fact..he hadnt bothered to fill me in on his tragic unhappiness. don’t even believe Anything that comes out of their mouth. They have to play it like they are the hero and did nothing improper.

        • Pregnant chump, agreed. We are at our most vulnerable. It left me feeling worthless, absolutely worthless. Here are you carrying their child and they are off carrying on with someone else. I remember asking him when I was 7 months, hey, something is off. Is something going on? Are you cheating on me? Weird hours, phone hide and seek, etc. My gut was screaming at me. He was indignant, furious, laid into me something fierce. When I found out when baby girl was 5 months old that I had been right, it was just devastating. I started to have to hand her over when she was 2 and it was hell. He couldn’t handle it most of the time so he would just take our older son and leave her with me. I will pray the same for you. My attorney used to say, he really doesn’t want the kids, it interferes with Cake time. It was true.

          Yet here I am, nearly 9 years later. We are better off without him. You will survive, your little family will thrive. We have contact just for the kids and really, I mostly ignore him. When he tried to rile me up at Christmas, saying he wasn’t going to have the child support, I just shrugged my shoulders, “oh, ok.” He got nothing. Money was there 2 days later. They are sick and I am lucky to be rid of him, in time, you will see that as well. Hugs sweetie, it hurts I know, but time and watching those babies grow up without that big black cloud over your heads, the ugly of him filtering into every part of your lives, you will heal. big hugs.

      • So agree that sharing custody with a duplicitous X, especially when our kiddos are young when we found out about the betrayal is one of the most disgusting reality we have to face. Friends were trying to tell me that I should remember the good sides of my X, why I married this person, so I could make it less hard on myself and our kiddo post-divorce.

        I learned her through CN to formulate how it feels to have to share custody with a duplicitous X: “Imagine you gave all your retirement money and most precious family heirloom to Madoff. He then gets convicted for his Ponzi scheme and fraud, and yet the courts force you to use Madoff as your accountant/CPA for another decade… That’s how sharing custody feels to me. I had my most precious presence in my life, my kiddo with my X. I have proof that my X is pathological liar, and yet the courts force me to share custody with him for another decade…”

        My lawyer and therapist find this a clever way to explain things… But that does not change the fact that shared custody with a pathological liar is one of the clearest proofs of how broken the family law system is.

        • Everything I liked about STBX was all based on lies. In fact our whole relationship was built on lies. He is not honestly, caring, loving, kind, considerate, a good Christian.He doesn’t have integrity, he is not a good father, he is not a hard working family man. I don’t see how lying to myself and others is in any way best for me or my children going forward after divorce. He is what he is and I can’t do anything to change that. He is not who I or many people I know thought he was. I know the truth even if no one else chooses to believe me. I refuse to minimise what he has done as “not that bad”. I know I will move on and hopefully get to meh. I will never be able to forget what he did or believe that any of it was ok for justified.

          • Hang in there Pregnant Chump, his life will be spent making up lie after lie, while yours will be filled with authentic friendship, dignity and great memories with your little one!

            • Isn’t it funny how these laws are made by a group with a much higher incidence of narcissism than the general population. They are the cause of politically correct bullshit so pervasive in society. The forefront of image management.

              Statistics show, research shows… these therapists and lawyers and judges fail to look at these complex cases individually. My stbx was raised by a clearly narcissistic mother and an extremely authoritative father who was physically and verbally abusive. They had great image management but are some of the most unfeeling mean people I know. They are still married after 50 years. Did that help my stbx and his brother who both have relationship issues and divorce? The cycle is just continuing. Stbx is horrible to his children. He may not understand because he is emotionally stunted and he only has the example of his maladjusted parents but because he shows no sign of changing, his children learn behavior when they are around him.

              Another piece of this is how I hear from a therapist and a mediator who have met Stbx in a controlled setting and talked to him for a grand total of less than 3 hours that he loves his children and wants to do what is best for them. Hmmm, I am not an idiot, I have known him for almost 30 years and after 26 years of marriage, I think I am qualified to say you are wrong! He is fooling you with image management.

              For those who want to quote this research in regards to my children, I say I could come up with hundreds of variables they didn’t account for in their studies. As the adage goes: Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

  • I found it very difficult to do no contact for a long time,had severe cognitive dissonance and it really did feel like fighting an addiction.I read a book by Shahida Arabi which explained the biochemical addiction to the narcissist,’Your Brain on Love,Sex and the Narcissist’.This really helped me get a handle on what I was experiencing.
    I also read the blog by H.G.Tudor called ‘Knowing the Narcissist’ and used to imagine Arseface as the narrator.It gave me an insight into the dark mind of the disordered.
    I made a list,which I kept handy at all times,of all the horrible things he said and did to me.These bullet point notes to self helped remind me he was a piece of shit and that engagement was like putting my hand in a snake pit.
    He got off on my anger,my pain,my suffering.It made him feel powerful.
    No contact ,easier when you do not have kids,truly is the way to healing and meh.
    I hope this helps someone else suffer a little less.

    • Good for you! No doesn’t require an explanation when you’re not negotiating. Great boundaries!

    • Deedee – “He got off on my anger and pain, my suffering. It made him feel powerful”. You are so right! That is the cycle of narcissistic abuse. I really need to remember this. Mostly I am just civil/brief but it does spill a little over from this on occasion – slight snarkiness on my part, anyway. I have to have way more contact face to face than I want, and it is hard to not at times. But it is only feeding into exactly what he wants.
      It is hard at the moment for me to go no contact as we have children (both of whom have some special needs) but also are sorting the sale of a large property with land and many years of accumulated things that come with this sort of life. I have sorted most of it but I have had to have some input from him. Also we work in the same hospital and I’m not going to move – and I’m pretty sure he won’t. We also share a childcarer who has looked after my girls for the last 9 years so our lives are still far more intertwined than is good for me.
      I’m kind of floundering in this department a bit. I blocked The Sprout on social media within a couple of weeks. I don’t talk to him about anything personal of mine but we still have more contact about arrangements etc than is good. I’m just so hoping that my moving house to a rental that is just mine which is happening next week (he also comes into the house here and struts around somewhat – hard as we own it jointly even if he is living with OW/new wife) and completing the sale of our property in 2 weeks will draw another big line in pushing this further away.
      Any attention/centrality is good for him – and the only way to get away from that is to keep any contact to a minimum – including that through 3rd parties, as he is the king of triangulation (the kibbles there are magnificent).
      I think the idea of regarding going no contact as a process is wonderful, particularly for those of us with children. There will always have to be some contact and I’m sure, in time, this can be refined down and down to the bare bones but I think it helps to understand that this will evolve (or should, anyway!). Cut and dried would be great but really isn’t always possible, but bit by bit is ok too.

      • Ugh OutofSparkles. This sounds like pure misery. My ex and I work in the same place too. His first schmoopie still works there but she keeps going for new targets as this Dday #1 was from 12 years ago. Ex would come into our home and make himself all comfy and eat dinner with me and the kids until that house sold and the kids and I moved into our smaller home.

        Dday #2 with our daughters 20 something assistant soccer coach and I realized I couldn’t handle that same bullshit again. I changed the locks. It’s such a mindfuck watching them walk around like nothing has happened. Like we should be glad they graced us with their presence.

        Fuckers. I pray for your speedy removal of that asswart from your life. Let OWife have at it with that sparkly turd.

  • I am still struggling with no contact but have tried many of these things. I respond with very short “yes & no” responses. For issues I want a record of I use email. I try to only communicate regarding the kids but if he is asking me for information that can be found by actually keeping track of their calendar, reading school or sport emails on website, etc I do not respond. We are not partners anymore. I am not his secretary – go figure it out yourself. I have changed his contact name to some thing that is more ‘appropriate’. Not a$$hole but you get the picture. (I’m going to find a great photo to pair that with) I went thru my Facebook photos & removed all the photos with him. Many were photos that had him tagged so this meant they were removed from his page too. #sorrynotsosorry Finally I wish there were divorce emojis that existed so I didn’t even have to answer with a yes or no. Sometimes I want him to know the message has been received with an acknowledgment but ‘ok, yes, fine” all seem too agreeable and piss me off. Like – ?? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ☣️?

  • The thing that seems to help me most is that I realized the satisfaction (for me, I don’t know about anyone else) of thinking something is 99% of the time as actually saying it. This works with everyone, not just the cheater.

    I’ve pretty much given up the idea that others have to like me, or agree with me, or in general know what I think. So I think whatever my comment is, then usually just don’t say it. It’s like the desire to say things just evaporates if you see this as an option. It drives some people crazy cause they know you have a thought or opinion, they just don’t know what it is.

  • “Coming from an abused childhood, I was programmed to maintain love and disregard reality.”

    THANK YOU! Excellent summary of the problem.

    I have journalled obsessively, writing out YET AGAIN all the reasons why I left, and why he’s not worth contacting.

    I also journal WHY I want to contact him. ‘I want him to fall in love with me again. I want happy ever after. I want him to say sorry. I want him to tell me why.’

    This really helps: get it put in the open. All these secret fantasies you are still harbouring. Write them down and look at them with respect, and honour them as legitimate needs coming out of your broken heart.

    And then acknowledge that NONE of those needs are going to be met by breaking No Contact. Acknowledge that it is only through No Contact that you can protect yourself.

    The idea of doing myself a good turn, protecting myself, really helps as well. ‘No, today I am going to put Lola’s needs first, and take care of her, and make sure she doesn’t waste her time on someone who doesn’t want to be with her.’

    • Yes! Journaling is an incredible way to work through this. I went through two journals in the past six months – I usually have a journal for more than a year. But I would just write and write and write – and I wouldn’t censor myself at all.

      Since I’ve kept journals since college, I went back and looked at all those I kept during my marriage (I’m missing the first two yrs – need to find them!). It was incredibly eye-opening. So many entries of, “Why is he like this? He has no empathy. No regard for other people’s feelings.” And “I can’t do this anymore.” And on and on and on. Reading those entries reminded me of everything I went through the past 18 years and solidified my decision to remain no contact, to completely get over this guy and let him go. 18 years was far too long to deal with his disordered ass.

  • I took steps to cut off all means of contact to help enforce no contact at first. And whenever I felt like breaking it, I made a deal with myself to wait 24 hours. And that 24 hours was always enough time to reconsider sending an email, looking at his social media, visiting forums he posted in.

    It kept me going until the urges to contact or go looking for were completely gone. IMO, go cold turkey if you can and cut the cheater off completely and don’t look back. The longer you maintain total no contact, the easier it gets.

  • I bred with my fuckwit (married him too). Our son is just in middle school, so I’m on gray rock train for quite a while yet.

    Going no contact/grey rock is pure mental discipline. My first step toward it came when, 30 days after leaving his family for the OW, Mr. Sparkles “unfriended” me on FB… and he didn’t even have the balls to say anything. I tagged him in a picture of our son (per usual) and discovered I was blocked. When I went to pick up our son from his house I mentioned it and LAUGHED at him and remarked that behavior was something I would expect from a 12 year old.

    And, for me, that is at the heart of why go No Contact. Cheaters are NOT mental giants. Their self-centered tweens stuck in an adult body. They use communication for KIBBLES, not for connection.

    In the beginning, I would sleep with the phone by my bed and check it every hour for a text from him (after he left). Pretty soon I realized that was not helping me detach. So I CHOSE to leave the phone downstairs on the charger.

    As we were divorcing, my lawyer reminded me that anything in writing could be use in court… talk about a great motivation to limit communications. Once he realized that I was keeping every text and every email rant and showing them to the judge, he stopped – funny that.

    It has been almost 3 years. I’ve worked harder at No Contact/Grey Rock than anything else in my entire life. I communicate 90% by email (so I have a record for the court). I flat out ignore any texts that aren’t relevant to my son. It’s funny, some days, because Mr. Sparkles is still trying to dish out the “Silent Treatment” from time to time. He’ll ignore my email and then when dropping off my son, he’ll try to engage in a conversation on the topic – I respond, just send me back an email so we both have a record.

    It is hard. It sucks to have to behave this way (I’m a nice, caring person). But when he left and abandoned our family, he fired me from the job of caring about him.

    Newbies – you can do this. Keep all emotion out of your communications, just stick to the facts. BORE THEM with your communications. Block them if you can.

    The silence of Mr. Sparkles is one of the best sounds of my life now – next to the ocean 🙂

    • “Going no contact/grey rock is pure mental discipline. My first step toward it came when, 30 days after leaving his family for the OW, Mr. Sparkles “unfriended” me on FB… and he didn’t even have the balls to say anything. I tagged him in a picture of our son (per usual) and discovered I was blocked. ”

      Mine did the exact same thing. Only he told me that he disabled his FB account. More lies! These guys don’t have an original idea in their head, do they? I’m glad he blocked me because it saved me the hassle. I was stalking the OW’s profile for awhile, then decided I didn’t need that hassle and blocked her. Then a few minutes later she blocked me. I’m sure she was stalking my profile, too. Good riddance to them both.

      • Yup – they are never original are they? But then again, if they were healthy individuals, they would’ve have openly communicated their unhappiness in the marriage to us (their spouse)… instead, they went out and got new supply all set up and just transferred their “love” accordingly.

        Dim fuckwits.

        • No, not original at all. Mine did communicate his unhappiness and asked for a divorce which totally threw me. But THEN I found out about the affair. Yep. Fuckwits, the lot of ’em.

          Both the ex and his whore are disordered. A healthy individual 1) doesn’t chase a married men; 2) doesn’t move in with him despite them being on/off for six months; 3) doesn’t move her CHILDREN in with him; and finally, 4) doesn’t become engaged to him.

          I told my therapist, “I feel like she won.” And she said, “No, she’s the one who lost.” Yep.

            • Yes, exactly! And no, it didn’t at first. I hated the whore SO MUCH for awhile because I had this insane notion that she’d won. Then I realized: I wasn’t happy in my marriage anyway. He was a selfish, narcissist asshole most of the time. And now? He’s with her! I really AM the winner!

  • Sometimes I can also journal the imaginary text dialogue between us.

    Lola: Hi X. I was laughing today at myself, because I caught myself doing that thing you said I always do. Anyway, I am sorry it all went wrong between us, and I hope things are good with you.

    X: Oh yes, I am doing as well as can be expected, I suppose, given the circumstances. (List of lengthy complaints about work and health).

    Usually at this point, I feel that sick feeling in my stomach as I start to slip into caretaker-sympathy mode.

    I then allow the imaginary conversation to move along, to asking about each of his female ‘friends’ – this guy had no male friends; just a harem – and I realise the utter futility of breaking No Contact. As soon as it becomes painful, you realise that it’s actually an exercise in pain shopping.

    I do recommend this – it demystifies the process, makes you face your unfinished business, and stops you doing it in real life if you take it to its awful conclusion on paper instead.

  • Our implosion was pretty severe, so I don’t need much of a reminder. However, in case I ever do … I’ve entered him in my phone as “Svidrigailov” (the villain from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment).

      • Svidrigailov! That’s awesome, JessMom. I re-wrote it just to be able to say I wrote that for the first time. With up to 3 names for every character, it fits nicely with a narc. (3 personalities)

  • No contact means no contact! After being fooled twice with the “call me, it’s about the children” – I found CL, bought the book. My last words – and last contact” was “go through my attorney”! Yes, have received numerous texts, voice messages on cell and work phones with “excuses” trying to use the trap to have that opportunity for me to give him some kibbles!! Chump Nation reinforces NC every day. When tempted, I read CL!

    NOTE: while there is a custody plan in place; STBX has not seen the children since I kicked him out and filed for divorce six months ago (meaning he hasn’t been interested in them for over a year – including Christmas Day). He texts the children but shortly after they found out about his gf that he moved in with the day he was served with divorce (which was about a month afterwards) they all went NC. He still sends texts when gf is at work asking for forgiveness and wanting to tell them “his” story.

    INTERESTING NOTE: – is this intuitive??? all of the children – Independently and on their own – went NC! None of them knew I went NC (thanks to CL and everyone’s postings). While it has only been about four months of total and absolute NC (from all of us) and me going from denial, to fog to straight unadulterated anger in a very short time and now coming down to realization with the timing of yesterday’s post and the comments – tried and true golden advice (revenge and hurting him), NC has surely been the only way to go.

    For the children, I believe NC is best until THEY decide what type of relationship, if any, they want with him right now! I believe at their age – 12 and above – that no one – courts, therapist, etc can make this decision. (Reasoning will fall under another post as it does not relate to NC but healthy relationships) NC gives them space to think and in their world it’s about damage control NOW – the embarrassment and humiliation, being picked on, pointed out and made fun – being ousted by peers – teenage years are formative and most difficult!!! It is their life and their right!!

    Not sure and truly frightens me to think of the ultimate damage I would have done without knowing about NC!!

    NC rule – done – checked – next – Working on gray rock!

    • The children know the deal. If he was coming at them right, they would probably talk to him, but he isn’t so they don’t. I believe most of the time when cheating fathers maintain a relationship with the children it is because the mother is making it happen. Once she leaves him to make the relationship happen, it doesn’t happen, and that proves all that needs to be proving. Which is, he doesn’t care. The adult (the wife/mother) accepts the fact he doesn’t care quicker than the children. Unfortunately, the children are left with “why doesn’t daddy want to see me.” Or “Why doesn’t daddy call me?” Once again, mommy has to be there to compensate for his lack of heavy lifting.

      • I tried and tried to get my ex to have a relationship with our daughter (now 17). She found the nude photos of the OW on her iPad (still somehow synced to his iPhone) and discovered the affair. But he is still clueless. He still thinks she should forget it and just accept it and move on. This has led to him asking her to come visit him at his new place that he shares with the whore and doesn’t understand why she absolutely REFUSES. She doesn’t text him unless it’s about something totally inane (she was worried that he had abandoned his pet cat when he moved in with the whore and only texted him to see if he still had it. Ha! Didn’t care about him at all). Sometimes, when he texts her, she’ll ask him questions like, “Why did you do this to our family?” and will get no response.

        No contact is working well for her. But I’m also very proud of her for showing him how angry she is with him. She stands up for himself and doesn’t take his BS.

        • And I know for a fact your daughter is not stupid. I say that because that is how cheaters act when they claim the only way the child could’ve known about his cheating is if you (the mother) told the child. Like she doesn’t have a mind of her own, or the ability to deduct on her own. Or my favorite, “You mother have gotten to you!” As if the child can only be angry at her father because the mother is leading her to be angry. Which all of it still makes it about him. As if everyone is out to get him. Children often know the deal and when left without emotional interference will protect themselves. What an asshole. Why would he risk putting nudes on a device his daughter would see? A lawyer could take that into a whole nother direction.

          • I know, right? Unfortunately, my state is a “no fault” divorce state. But in case he fought me on child custody, those nude photos were my trump card. He didn’t fight me at all and I got full legal and physical custody. I remember telling him about her finding them and he said, “I do regret that.” THAT’S the only thing you regret? Her finding them? Not cheating? Not tearing our family completely apart?

            He also told me that sometimes he felt guilty about cheating and sometimes he didn’t. He didn’t feel guilty during the times that I was angry with him about it. WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL? Yeah, he’s disordered alright.

      • Very insightful, mine fits that bill. I tried to facilitate for 6 months after he left without success. I finally woke up and said I have been fired from this job, he can do it himself. Surprise, he isn’t doing it and he blames me for no contact- whatever fuckwit.

  • When I receive a text message from STBX, I do one of 3 things:

    1. If it is about making arrangements for the kids and needs a response, I will type it up and then close my phone for awhile to let it sit. Usually my initial reaction isn’t always calm to his texts. Depending on the tone of his message will determine how much time I need. I then open it back up, and either send it, revise it, or start over. I do not send it until I feel a peace with what I have typed up.

    2. If it does not need a response but it pisses me off too much and I can’t stop my fingers from itching to reply. I type up a response that says everything I think and feel and then save it as a note on my phone. Just getting it off my chest relieves the need to respond. I do NOT send these.

    3. If it does not need a response and I see the message for what it is…a way to engage, blame, or irritate me. I simply close messages and go on with my life.

    Slowly, the messages from him have gotten fewer and farther between and #3 is becoming my response more often.

  • Suggestion on cell phones – change the name or picture or whatever you use to have – ringtone etc. to their number – it’s simple, boring and identifiable and safe when you take those screen shots to save and use!

    My experience has been when you take the screen shots, the top showing what you have shows very well. I’ve had to block the top when forwarding to my attorney because I started with MF, F’ker and “Narc, Liar, Cheater” before realizing it doesn’t look good 🙁

  • I haven’t said a word to my husband since he walked out the door 10 months ago. It may be easier for me than others because when I confronted him I managed to get out every insult I was holding in. I didn’t need to know the whys or whats. I don’t know why I haven’t needed to know that. I’ve been asking myself that very question. It also helped that he immediately attempted to get a restraining order (he failed), and then he employed his mother and girlfriend to try as well. The judge gave them all a hearing but no one was able to show that I was bothering them. Perhaps since I know he will try to lie if there is any proof that I’ve called or written, I haven’t done it. It also helps that the only child he would be talking to has her own cell phone (in which he never calls or texts). I’m not going to beg him to have a relationship with his child. Recently, I re-watched episodes of Mad Men and saw how Betty was constantly screaming at Don about having a relationship with their kids and forgetting about them and such. I’m sure there are studies out there about how the father has to be in the children’s life, etc. But he has to want to be in there life. I’m not going to do the heavy lifting for him. I’ve done the heavy lifting for him for 20 years. He messed that gig up when he cheated. I’m not going to live with knowing that he cheated and still do the heavy lifting. I just can’t. The only thing left that I have is my dignity. And that has been saddled with fear and panic, but I need it to remain intact nevertheless.

    • Unflownkite – you are my hero! Your attitude is amazing. While I did not divulge the evidence stacked against him, I dropped just enough facts to cause him to retreat….especially when he asked why I was telling everyone I kicked him out because I caught him cheating! WTH?

      Don’t need details….. his bank statement gave me details

      • My pounding heart and anxiety doesn’t make me much of a hero, but I am determine not to be walked on anymore. That’s what these cheaters don’t understand. You extend your kindness to them and help them and be there for them, but when they cross the line it’s over. Maybe not everyone has the same line, but universally when someone’s line is crossed it’s over. Instead of realizing that they went too far they usually cry the victim. Like it sounds like your husband is daring you to do. He knows he was cheating.

    • Good point. Stbx wants the children to be in his life at his convenience for his purpose. He does not want to be in their lives. They are props.

  • This is very hard for all of us with children, as in reality it is pretty much impossible to be totally no contact if you have any kind of agreement in place for them to see/visit/ mutual children.

    For me, success has come by refusing to engage in conversation, be that in person or on the telephone. All exchanges have to be done via email preferably – at a push text, although I will try then to take it to email.

    I have learnt to only discuss factual matters and not be drawn into correspondence that is emotive, subjective or involves any kind of judgement or opinion. No matter how annoying or unfair a comment ex-H makes, I completely ignore it and deal in logistical matters regarding the children only.

    I have to say that in the early days I failed massively with this. I was so full of rage & indignation that I never lost an opportunity to get sucked into a fight. Even now I don’t fully trust myself in a conversation, hence keeping it to email. I quickly learnt it was an utter waste of time and I would never ‘win’ even though my arguments were logical and well constructed. As others have said engagement on any kind of emotional level feeds narcissists, even if it is negative. They love to think they have power over you.

    The strategy has worked well for me. I am now way too ‘boring’ for ex-H to want to engage with – so he doesn’t. Job done!!!!! 🙂

    • “I have to say that in the early days I failed massively with this. I was so full of rage & indignation that I never lost an opportunity to get sucked into a fight. Even now I don’t fully trust myself in a conversation, hence keeping it to email. I quickly learnt it was an utter waste of time and I would never ‘win’ even though my arguments were logical and well constructed. As others have said engagement on any kind of emotional level feeds narcissists, even if it is negative. They love to think they have power over you.”

      I was exactly the same. Those first few months after I found out about the affair were full of raging text messages and fights. My therapist (and later CL) helped me to see that ANY engagement with him, whether positive or negative, fed his narcissist soul. So I stopped engaging with him. Now it is all in a business tone, like I am speaking to a colleague. I don’t get emotional. I think it drives him nuts.

  • There’s also many apps for NC. CustodyXChange.com is one of them that has a calendar, email, etc that your attorney is CC’d on to view all communications for custody arrangements.

    NC – none!!! You would be amazed at the difference in emails and how one will communicate knowing several people are viewing!

  • This one serves two purposes: Grabs your attention so you don’t start panicked/drunk/enraged texting and schools you on Narc/Sociopaths.

    The Sopranos. Start at Episode One, Season One. You will be drawn into a finely drawn world of assholes. You will not be able to look away. This is for those weekends when you are sickened with the mind movies of the Cheater with the AP.

    And, over the long arc of the show (Six Seasons) a portrait of a remorseless cheater will emerge. You will understand that when someone who is disordered cheats, you are not on their minds any more than a…an insect in Borneo is on ours now.

    When I watched the entire show, post 2 D-Days, I found myself gasping and then crying tears of release and understanding as Tony lurched from affair to affair, cycling through gas lighting, love bombing, charm, self pity and rage. It is textbook.

    You stop blaming yourself for any of their betrayals, and understand- it could never have had a different ending. It will also make you want to eat baked ziti and cannoli.

    • Yes! The scene where Carmela confronts Tony after receiving a call from an OW is classic (and probably won her the Emmy that year). A 7 minute clip depicts both our emotional horror at D-day, and all the classic moves a cheater makes to lie and blameshift. I show it in my college class right before I cover “Infidelity as Emotional Abuse” (Viva Chumplady!!), and you can hear a pin drop:

        • Her face, her eyes…it gives me chills and goosebumps no matter how many times I watch it.

          Note how quickly he goes to rage and as you said, blame shifting! Then he denies it (it is true, he slept with the cousin) and says, with righteous indignation:

          “I will take a goddamned polygraph to that effect!”- with absolute smug arrogance. Knowing he is lying.

          I love it that after you show the clip- you can hear a pin drop in the lecture hall! What do the students say?

          • I’ve already primed the students on key manipulation techniques and they are able to pick out the blameshifting, false equivalencies, lying, power & domination, and minimizing (e.g., when he rolls his eyes at her pain). Trying to train a CL army here, one class at a time!

            • It’s so helpful to label behavior. It automatically shifts the focus onto behavior (as opposed to taking what is said at face value). Instead of getting diverted by the particulars of what was said, I can cut right through to the underlying strategy. Once I started doing this, it was like having fog lamps on my car.

            • Tempest,

              YOU are “training a CL army here, one class at a time.”

              Every time you post, I am in awe.

              Thank you again for your previous posting to me of Lucy in the little blue dress:
              ME ME ME
              BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.

              YOU are my sunshine on a cloudy heart day.

              Xxxxxx

        • Wow, that hit close to home! One, skankboy is Italian, same bullshit from trying to twist every friggin’ thing, lying, gaslighting, blah, blah, blah. The only thing different was I didn’t cry! I felt rage, RAGE, pure, unadulterated rage. I hate messes so I tossed his crap into Hefty garbage bags, THEN tossed his shit out!

          The part where she was holding her stomach….I can so relate to that kick in the stomach.

      • Oh man. At the end, where she starts with the heaving sobs…that was so me. Over and over again. So many times these past six months.

      • At the end when she says, “Just leave me alone,” that is one of the strongest feelings I had after Dday. I just wanted him to leave me the hell alone, I was so tired of the craziness and the lies.

        • I had forgotten how pivotal watching the Sopranos was in helping me see my ex’s behaviour as monstrous.

          • There is one good counterbalance in the character of Jennifer Melfi, M.D. This is Tony’s psychiatrist. Tony repeatedly tries to seduce her. She never gives in. He uses charm, self pity and rage, extravagant gifts and threats. When charm fails, he tries to make her jealous or makes comments about her age.

            There is moment where he is eloquent. He says: I want your eyes, your skin, your face….it sounds real. I believe he tries to tenderly stroke her face.

            She refuses, as he is married and she finds his morals repugnant.

            In a flash, he screams: Fuck you, you cunt! Looming in her face, threatening and menacing.

            She never takes his money, or gives into the perks of cozying up to someone in the Mafia.

            When you see her goodness and basically decent character- it makes you YEARN for a partner that you can trust! You see it….that sketchy people are always sketchy. You don’t want to be anywhere in their orbit. You don’t want a Tony Soprano- even if he can buy you a Porsche and a maid. You want a good guy. We can take the bus and clean up ourselves.

            • Oh boy is Jennifer a strong woman! She has CHARACTER! And not once does she fall for his shenanigans. She is definitely above him in all aspects, and has him figured out.

      • That is spine chilling. Tony Soprano is extreme but, dialed down, it is still horribly familiar. The words may be different but the processes are just the same. It isn’t about the content – that is just to distract and trap us.
        It took a long time but once I had the idea that The Sprout was possibly a narcissist (he is covert, clever), and I started to read about narcissism, passive aggression and the tactics of manipulators and started to focus on the process, it was all so obvious. True clarity has only come since he left. Like Jennifer, I now just want him to get the fuck away from me too.
        I love that you are teaching your students with this, Tempest. I’m a psychiatrist and, since identifying this for myself I see emotional abuse in the relationships of so many of my patients. I’m sure it was always there but I wasn’t looking/didn’t really get it in the same way. Knowing that not one of our MCs (when I described events that were clearly not ok, including infidelities) ever called him on it – and certainly never used terms like abuse, and how cowardly I think they were for this, I do name it as such for my patients now. They are all relieved – and once they look at it in this light (I always recommend they do further reading for themselves, often CL!) it makes such a difference for them. I would never tell someone to leave or not (whatever I thought!) but I do think people deserve to know what they are choosing, at least.
        This is a fabulous clip – thank you

    • You will understand that when someone who is disordered cheats, you are not on their minds any more than a…an insect in Borneo is on ours now.

      That says it all!!!

  • When I feel the urge to contact Cheater, I pull out the copies of his emails. The ones between him and the OW and him and strangers on Craig’s Lust. I also have a word document that I type whatever I want to say. I pretend I’m writing to him.
    When I do have contact with him I try to agree with whatever he says or say ok.
    Him: I called at 7:00 you didn’t answer.
    Me: ok
    Him: why didn’t you answer ?
    Me: ok
    Him: wtf next time answer the phone right when I call.
    Me: ok
    Him: Fuck! Is that all you can say?? Are you listening to me? When I call to talk to my son I expect you to have him available!
    Me: ok
    I don’t try to explain or engage.
    He gets so mad and I find it hilarious to listen to him work himself in a complete fit.
    Sometimes I will write down what he says as he is talking and that takes the focus off me trying to engage.
    He hasn’t had any contact with his son in 2 years, so it makes all this easier!

    • I recall it was a good strategy to write down my raw emotions right after d-day with a list to remind me of his actions.

      Time tends to make us forget the worst things, and these written journals can help to,strengthen one’s resolve when it weakens. I keep my notes in innocuous files on my laptop and actually pulled out some from seven years ago when a distant ex BF tried to contact me. I read half a page and blocked him easily. No regrets.

  • I changed his name to liar liar on both my phone and email. I know it’s not very original but it describes exactly who/what he is.
    I’m still very early on and we haven’t got a formal custody/contact plan in place. I terms of the children I know it will get harder before it gets easier.

    He is too wrapped up in schmoopie to be bothered about me in the slightest. It’s like the life we had never existed including all my family and our friends. This means I don’t have to worry about him wanting to contact me about anything other than the children. I stopped trying to get answers to my why questions. I realised he was not going to take any responsibilitiy for his actions/choices and continue to blame me. No contact (apart from children stuff) has really helped me to gain so much clarity about just who he is.

    I realise now that our whole relationship has been built on a foundation of lies. He promised me he would give me and our children everything that he didn’t have. In reality he is so much worse than them and he hasn’t learnt a since thing from his experience.

  • On my phone I have skankboy listed as “Do Not Call This Piece of SH*T, ” with a picture of a pile of poop.

  • My older sister turned me onto your sight. She was, and still is my sounding board. Typically she’s got really good sound advise. So anytime I had what I thought was a great idea, I ran it by her, where she would say, “Get away from the edge”, and then tell me why this wasn’t a good idea. As the younger sister I, thankfulky listened.
    Other ways of talking to myself would be as soon as I realized that I was thinking of him, I’d say, “You’re giving him too much real estate and stop it.” Normally it works. Now I only think of him once in a while so it does get easier. It’s a slow death of thoughts.

    • My mantra was “this man is against you. You have to recategorize him as someone who is not for you. He is working against you and has been for a long time. He is against you.” And I visualized myself shutting windows and doors against something awful outside. A storm or some kind of danger. Just shutting down on him. It was some kind of spiritual exercise for me to make this change in my psyche. I had been very devoted. This mental work was important for me.

      • That’s really good, Joy. I like those images of shutting windows and doors against something awful outside. Thanks!

      • Agreed…great imagery. Anything else, even when you feel like you’re on the offensive, is just leaving yourself open to more hurt.

      • Thanks Joy- am visualising windows and doors shutting against the Turd who I thought was was my partner in life.

        Like you, I have come to understand he is against me. He wants his new life with his awesome twu luv. At least it finally was enough for him to leave me after a decade or two of a ‘vigorous’ personal life I so recently discovered.

        Windows, doors and shutters. The storm and hurt is outside.

  • Fake it ’til you make it.
    I’d heard that phrase plenty of times but didn’t really embrace what it meant until a few years ago. I had re-joined my church choir after years of absence and I was so rusty. I struggled with all aspects: tone, pitch, even sight reading was a struggle again. I was tempted to just forget it when Kim, the brilliant alto who sits behind me, said “Don’t worry, it will come back. Until then, just fake it ’til you make it.” Ah ha!
    So that’s what I did with my cheater. I faked not giving a shit about him until I really didn’t give a shit about him. (Hell, I had faked SO MUCH else in our relationship. What was one more thing?)
    In my phone he’s “TheirDad”, because really, that’s all he is to me now. For about 1-1/2 years I had to will myself not to ask the kids about him after they visited. Now there are times when I gently remind the kids that I don’t really need to know. I’m willing to listen if they need to talk about it, but otherwise – not my circus, not my monkeys.

  • I have him listed in my phone as Lying Cheater. Because he is. I blocked him right away on social media when I found out about the cheating, but I asked my best friend to stay friends with him so if he put anything colossally stupid on there, she would tell me and I could use it against him in the divorce.

  • Trust your gut. After I tossed the the POS from my home like a bad salad, he sent a letter to me every day. For three months before I found this site my chumpy self would respond out of guilt. I fell for the “sex” addiction possibility. It kept me in his world and mine was going nowhere as long as I stayed there.

    Nothing was resolved and he spoke only about himself. He was the king of “delay” until he could manipulate me to the next layer of bullshit.

    Chump Nation helped me tremendously by reiterating “no contact”. This concept did not exist in my being. My gut instinct was screaming “NO CONTACT” and I ignored it completely until I read the stories here of its power.

    The more I practiced NC the healthier I got, the better I could see the sickness of my relationship. The fog, his words, was lifting and I could clearly recognize the dishonesty that permeated my daily life. All the spackle I used dropped from the walls in layers and my house of cards fell.

    The biggest GIFT a chump can give oneself is no contact. It clears your head, brings mental stability back, lightens the burden of tomorrow, gets you through your day, and heals your wounds until the sun begins to shine, birds sing and flowers bloom.

    It’s been three years. My last card from him was on Mother’s Day this year. I had no children with him. I tossed it in
    the trash.

    I know he has not changed. But, now he is “delaying” the end of my contact with him. He is such a “nice” guy. Yeah, right.

    • Newsflash to cheater: “Nice guys” don’t pay for underage and otherwise-helpless immigrant sex workers. Nor do they continue to harass lovely women they’ve betrayed 3 years after being tossed out.

  • STBX is listed in my phone as “DH.”

    That’s to remind me that he is, and ever will be, “Dickhead.”

    Of course, my son sees that phone ID as “Dad’s House.”

  • No strategy, one month after DDay I found a hotel charge on the credit card. Was lied to about it and something just clicked in me that day. Cut her off cold. No more face to face meetings or texting. My kids are in late teens so I didn’t have to coordinate anything with X. I of course got the occasional text. They were always the I need something or help me. I just hit delete every time. Never answered one. Friends were amazed by how cold I went. I still had temptations to answer but I would just remind myself what a liar and manipulator X is. X has actually just recently gotten herself in a bad relationship (felon) and I honestly don’t care beyond my kids safety. She made the choice so she and inlaws get to deal with it. People have asked me if i’m worried about her and the honest truth is I just don’t care. If something bad happens, I’ll help my kids walk through the aftermath like all the other things she has done to them. I am cold and heartless when it comes to her and really could care less where she ends up. I got fired from caring years ago!

    • This is really the only way to keep yourself sane. I too decided to remove myself from my ex’s life and drama. He still wanted to continue a ‘friendship’ with me, but that is part of a marital relationship only. I’ve had to tactfully tell my kids they would have to set their boundaries with dad and navigate him and his moods. I would no longer be the go between. I believe it’s better to let kids experience this new life so everyone figures out their new roles.

    • A sane strategy, LostnTx. Continuing to care what happens to the person who buried a hatchet in your back only keeps you roped into their drama.

  • I updated his contact info on my phone to “Narcissist Jerk.” On my email, I created a folder for communication with him called FF EX which stands for Fuckface Ex. I also changed the text tone for his number.

    Now, I only communicate with him via email. He tried calling me at 4:30 am the other morning (he was upset that I finally had my lawyer send him a letter telling him he had 10 days to get his stuff off of MY PROPERTY) and I refused to answer. (Who the hell calls at 4:30 a.m.???)

    Within the past six months, I have put different notes on my wall right by my bed where I’ll see them. I write down things my therapist has told me that I need to remember. The first one included items like, “Remember, he is TOXIC. You need to break the cycle. It will be hard, but worth it.” The second one was, “No Contact. Focus on you and your daughter. Let it go.” And the third one, which I just put up after learning about his engagement to the whore (a mere month after our divorce was final), “Feel sorry for them. They have no character. They are disordered.”

    • I am having a lot of trouble going no contact, I am attractive, good wife and mother, he has treated me like shit, I just can’t figure out in my brain , why he doesn’t want me, it’s so hard for that to sink in

      • That is one of the hardest parts to get through, Nina. But you’ll get there. I still am dealing with it but I’m realizing that it wasn’t about me. He has a hole in his soul that nothing can fill – not even the OW. Unfortunately, he’ll just keep trying to fill it instead of going to therapy and doing the hard work it takes to change.

      • Oh yes, for them nothing is ever good enough. I have read that some obese people are deficient in a hormone that makes a person feel full and they never stop eating. I think it is like that for narcs, they are missing something that makes them feel satisfied and they will always be looking.

        • I totally believe that, Feelingit!! Nothing will ever be enough or good enough for them in their minds and they will never be satisfied.

  • Back when going thru the divorce and dealing with the sale of our “Dream Home” his info on my phone was….caller ID … BIG FAT POS, photo was the flaming poop emoji, his text tone was the song “Your a Jerk” and his ring tone was “Jackass is calling”. I found ALL to be very fitting after 35 years of marriage and being lied to and cheated on with a 29 year old…… after it sold, he was BLOCKED!

  • So I read folks’ comments about how their Xs get off on any kind of attention — they love it when you rage, express grief, sadness, etc. What I would like to know is what happens when your X gets off on pretending like everything is fine? No contact, while I agree is very good for me, also works marvelously for his narrative of “I’m still a great guy, everything’s fine.” Probably just more shit sandwich to swallow…

    • Mine does the same thing. “Everything is fine! I’m living with a whore and her two really young kids and oh, I asked her to marry me because damn it, I need to lock her in so she doesn’t leave when she finds out what a truly pathetic piece of shit I am!”

      Just trust that they suck. They are in denial. They are disordered. If we had a chance to see inside their souls, it would be absolutely frightening. Yes, it is a shit sandwich, but it’s not real. All the problems they had with you, they will continue to have. My ex is barreling forward, only concerned about “now, now, now” and not giving a thought to the future, or how the whore’s kids are going to be even more damaged than they already are. It’s all about HIM.

      Again: trust that they suck.

    • I feel you on that. It makes me wonder if he really did just have his head turned and was too weak and lacking in life skills to deal with it. OW is a narcissist I’m pretty convinced, but stbx, I don’t know.

      He says he doesn’t want to do anything else that would hurt me so if I say no contact (other than sorting the split) he seems compliant. But then I also think it serves him well because I think he’d rather not think about anything right now. He said last time we spoke that he just wanted no responsibility right now. Though he’s talking about kids with a woman he’s ‘been with’ four months (I think), only 1.5 of which had been apart from me and they’re living together already. I hope he knows the tequila shots reduce post conception..

      I don’t think some of the narcissistic explanations fit. But then there’s trust that they suck to remember. Ultimately I guess you need to keep nc as something for you and your self care and ignore the affect on them. It’s a nice by product if the no contact annoys the ex but that’s just the desire for consequences talking. Wanting to hurt them isn’t meh. And I am far from meh, still choking on that shit injustice sandwich, so I get it.

      In the meantime I’ve named his folder in my email ‘stranger’ because I can’t tell what’s true and can’t untangle it anyway.

  • Funny how we all changed the name in our phones to something other then their name. Mine used to be somebody I used to know, now it is Father of my children. I have not spoke to him since my Grandson was born in December. I don’t have to talk to him and I don’t. He has no reason to talk to me since him and schmoppie are happily ever after, I am just a distant memory.

    • I thought it would hurt to rename him to “[Daughter’s name]’s Father” because I’d have to think of how I bred with a fuckwit every time I read a text. Instead, it puts her name front and center, and this reminds me of how she is what matters.

      • I did have X labeled as “Sperm Donor” in my phone for a while, but “Hannibal Lecher” is most fitting, so that it stays.

        • You remind me of a story from the period where I had stopped pick me dancing yet not gone no contact. I was having a phone conversation (argument) with Styx about what I do not recall. He was speaking to me in a condescending tone and referred to me as his children’s mother. That really irritated me and I immediately retorted and you’re my baby daddy! He hung up on me.

  • At first on my phone he was listed as The Evil One with a flaming middle finger as his caller ID pic… after reading your “types of cheaters”, chump lady, I realized he’s more of a Sparkles McGee, so that’s his new name on my contact list. His caller ID pic is a pic I found after Google searching, “it’s Sparkles McGee, britches!” You’re welcome, Chump Nation…

    Going No contact was hard as he’ll at.first, but I just distracted myself when I got the urge, and whenever he texts or calls that is not DD related, I do not answer.

    What motivated me at first when he.would text or call was all those nights he was AWOL and wouldn’t answer my texts and calls. See how it feels, asshole.

    He’s asked me here and there why I don’t answer his texts and or calls. I just stare back at him without making a sound, drives him nuts and he just stalks off.

    Narcissists like him hate when they get treated the way they’ve treated their victims.

    I personally find it empowering to no contact him. It drives him nuts to be ignored or feel rejected, even though he’s got his OWife/Mrs. Dumb-Ass. Lol go figure.

  • When I start to feel sorry for him, and I want answers, and the grief is overwhelming I will google escorts and look at the ads. That will usually reset the anger button. That is a harsh reminder of this ugly reality.

  • In the beginning when the compulsion to contact him or look at what he was doing would become overwhelming I’d ask myself a simple question. Will this help me, or hurt me? Every time the answer was “hurt me.” I was tired of hurting so it was easier to choose things that helped me instead. After awhile the longing to connect with him went away.

  • With my cheating ew, I don’t have any desire whatsoever for contact. I demand written communications for co-parenting, full stop. I never check up on her. I never check her social media accounts. I never even really think about her.

    She tries to get reactions from me. I offer her nothing. I always stick to the matter at hand, totally business like, as if I’m dealing with a business partner who has defrauded me. This seems to drive her bonkers but I can’t say for sure because I don’t give enough of a shit to even find out.

    Any email or text ranting from her I gloss over completely and stick to facts and agreements regarding what will be done for my kid. The end. I never, ever take the bait from her, ever.

    The more I do this, the easier it becomes. I’m at the stage where it’s formed as a habit. I guess that makes me lucky :-). Either way, I’ll take it!

  • You guys, here is my issue. Any contact with him is poison. I mean poison. I am as business like as possible about everything, but every, and I mean every, response back from him has some tone to it, be it condescending, spiteful, hateful, just nasty, and FOR NO REASON! That is why I hate that I have 4 more years to deal with this and a son with type 1 diabetes so we have to communicate about him more than if he did not. Please help me with stopping being triggered by his total asshole responses. I don’t respond back with snark, I just ignore, but it still hurts each time. I am almost 4 years out. Some advise would be so helpful. I don’t want to be triggered or hurt, I just don’t want to fucking care what his tone is.

    • Chumpitty, maybe think of his attitude as the illness that it is. Just treat it like a bad smell he exudes whenever you have to read his crap. Something that is repulsive, but as long as you stay clear, you will keep being your sweet self.

      • lol Marci, “Just treat it like a bad smell he exudes”. Chumpitty, maybe you could name him “Smells Like Bullshit, ew” on the phone? …lol

    • Chumpitty – ‘Some advise would be so helpful. I don’t want to be triggered or hurt,’

      This sounds like a nightmare Chumpitty. Since you have no choice but to communicate with him, probably in some detail because of your son, why is he still playing the ‘you’re to blame’ card? What did you ever do to cause all this uproar in his mental health? Nothing. I just don’t get how these people can turn the tables when you are doing your best to move on and support your son and just doing the best for him you can. It sounds like your x still has HUGE issues and he sounds like a Fucking Bully. If it feels like he’s dripping Poison onto you, he has obviously been successful in his torment of you. Hopefully, you are not communicating on the phone at this point. What’s the use if he cannot be civil? If you are reading this attitude into his texts or emails, you definitely have to document all of that. And, for lack of anything better to say since I am not in your awful circumstances, I would probably try to come up with a few funny snarks in return. Like, ‘it sounds like you haven’t taken your meds today for your anxiety. Darling, you know how that makes you all condescending, hateful, nasty, and generally despicable.’ And, laugh a little?

      I just hope you can feel more comfortable soon about your son’s diabetes that you and he won’t need to discuss it anymore as he gets older. If there are other issues between you, that is where the written-word only works. No Phone Contact whatsoever!
      Peace

    • Hey Chumpitty —

      Here is how I got my disordered one to STAND DOWN and stop the aggression, and it’s advice I got from Simon’s book on the disordered. (And I only communicate with my disordered one in email.) As soon as his aggression rises, you must counter it, otherwise like a steam engine, it will build up more and more power.

      Counter his aggression, first of all by naming what tone you hear in his voice. Tell him it is not appropriate for your communication (you’ll have to prepare in advance), and that you want him to be more respectful.

      He’ll not become a kind and decent person, no, but he will stop accusing and name-calling, and he will keep his aggression in check.

    • Mostly I reply with one word answers…yes, no, ok. If he’s really trying to project or play his twisting game, I use something I read in a ‘co-parenting’ with a narcissist article…your attempt to portray me in a negative light is noted. That one has shut him up going on 6 months now.

  • Name on my phone list = Assclown. It used to make me smile and feel empowered when I ignored it.

    At one point during my dating era, I had assclown1, assclown2, and assclown3 all on the same phone. I also had Nitwit, and Stupid. Somehow, seeing those names flash up made it simple to take that split-second decision to mute the ringer and ignore. I also deleted their messages without listening.

    It helps to have a classic scenario in mind that seeing their name makes you remember. I had some images of mocking, gaslighting expressions on one guy’s face that I had no trouble recallimg when needed.

    • My ex isn’t even in my phone any longer, but back when he was, I had him as “Fucking Liar Sociopath.”

    • Lol! My kids want to paint assclown on his fence and his car. That is also the image that appears with his email! Cell contact photo is pinochio- the marionette version- family friendly and a striking resemblance.

  • I find that just thinking about the sick in the stomach, anxious feeling I get at even the thought of any contact with my ex is enough to keep me NC. I don’t Google him, I have him blocked on Facebook, I don’t look at his LinkedIn profile…. nothing. Of course, in my case it’s been a few years, and I’m actually remarried now. For that matter, my ex is now engaged to some crazy woman as well.

  • I pretend like I don’t have any history with my ex at all – pretend he didn’t totally lie, cheat, and overall fuck me over. He’s just this random person that I co-parent with.

    It really help ms detach from him and his BS.

    • I kind of like that idea. Makes it sound like a ’90s movie comedy caper (of the less funny variety).

  • I am recently divorce he used to control finances & my credit. I am using CL saying as a mantra. “Trust that they suck” Now I have the login of my cellphone bill & his phone used to be under my contract/name. As we speak I am going back since 2016 where I can see calls, text mssgs from 4:00am to 1:00 am non stop with last whore. Interesting she doesn’t know that there are other numbers in between in early morning hours while she was texting him. I can not help it to use usphonebook.com & there is a list of female names. She is the “lucky one” she was chosen‼️‼️?
    When I start to think about him I have a “mental picture” of the phone bill with 3-4 pages of the same phone texting minute after minute. This give me strength to go very unpersonal with Mr. Cheater Pants and treat him as ? in my mind. I just send emails , when he calls I do not pick up If he text I answer back via email to have evidence of all his
    crap.
    PD I am saving these bills in a flash drive just in case my kid wants to know in a future how false and a liar Mr. Cheater Pants was or in case he blame me for something.
    Another Fun Friday could be imaging what the heck do they text all day long❗️❓ For me during it was 1 text a day for the chosen one whore hundreds of text messages.
    Not worth it keeping these psychos in our mind!

    • FicoChump, I am sorry you are having to data-mine the phone records, I have been there! While it was gut wrenching at the time, it also provided clarity, because phone records don’t lie. Neither do bank statements.

      I didn’t find out until AFTER he’d left of the hundreds upon hundreds of text messages and hours on the phone with ‘the harem’. I couldn’t see content (that was a gift, actually), but provided all the information I really needed to know. In spite of his denials and gas lighting and ‘spin’ by him, there was denying that these were ‘secret’ relationships, EA or PA, what’s the difference? DONE. That’s when the ungodly anger sunk in and propelled me forward.

      My BFF’s and I, looking over the phone records all exclaimed, “what the heck do they text all day long❓” “Who is that fucking interesting?” “When the hell does he WORK?”

      We agreed that, as close as we BFF’s were, if any of us darlings were to be texting each other or me more than 5 times a day, we’re going to have to have a little talk… right? Cuz, I might have to block you.. because, much as I love you, I’ve got Shit to Do! lol, ugh…

      We don’t need our ego stroked a gazillion times a day, but Narc’s sure do. kibbles!

    • FicoChump —

      What do they text all day long? Nothing productive. Nothing beneficial. Nothing they will look back on their death beds with fondness and contentment.

      They are not making any plans that will bring prosperity to themselves or to others. They are not talking about taking actions that will bring glory and honor to their family, their parents, their children. They are not preparing to pass on a heritage of dignity and accomplishments for the following generations.

      They are not using their precious moments to create lasting works of art, or design structures that will bring comfort to people at work or at school.

      If ever they do get in an altruistic thought, it will be undone by their sneaking behavior.

      • OMG – Queen Mother – you just answered my 5 year long questions about what they text about.

        You are so spot-on!

        Thank you for solving this for me, so completely.

        • Hi Shechump,

          I know I didn’t answer what they talk about, but rather what they don’t talk about.

          I guess I noticed that my disordered one was bored, “floating through his days,” as he said. No job, just living on pension. No one needed him. No one wanted to talk to him about anything consequential. He was kind of cast off by the world of work.

          No one needed him except little bitches. No one called him except dumbasses. He had no work to do except go online and look for hookups. Nothing to look forward to except a meet-up.

          He had no meaningful challenges, no professional contact leading to solutions, no one of importance calling, texting or emailing. No serious, demanding research, analysis, conclusions. Only the thrill and challenge of chase and deceit.

      • Thank you for that comment! (took a picture to read it once in a while when I think about Mr. Cheater Pants. Like I said this is just “fresh”. Howorker will have FakeOnator more often. I am wondering if they will “speak” as much as they text. Since Mr. CheaterPants was a certified COUCH POTATO and we were not allowed to bother him while he was watching for the 20th time his favorites 80’s movies!! . He left the sofa with the back of his head marked and the “pleather” peeled off. I can not wait to renovate the living room. Thanks again!!

  • There’s two parts to this. One is not contacting, the other is not watching. Grey rocks have no eyes nor ears I suppose 😉

    For the first part I not only deleted Princess Yoga Pants from all of my contact information but also her family and friends. On the rare occasions (twice in the past 7 months) where I’ve needed to actually contact her I’ve had to dig around to find her email address which prevents the more common drunk texting / pocket dialing – why do pocket dials always call someone you shouldn’t ??? I’ve joked with DS/DD a few times that even though I am unsupervised I don’t always make wise decisions.

    For the second part I did that much earlier. Unfriend from all social media, block on some, again with all of her enabling family. Because the legal stuff still isn’t sorted out I have two volunteer relatives who are tasked with watching what she says she’s up to and to let me know if she’s doing anything crazy. Oddly (to me) the Princess still has kept all of my family on social media which gives me that view as appropriate. This has helped a “lot” because whenever I am curious I can ask and get told “a lot of angst and female empowerment memes” without actually seeing them myself and trying to micro analyze them.

    I think she was watching me fairly carefully until she blocked me just before she and Señor MoneyBags went off to the Caribbean in the spring. I’ve been advised though that she most likely has other avenues of keeping track of me since we live in (now separate) small towns. But that’s her problem, not mine. If she wants to know that I’m doing fine, making new friends, taking better care of MY home better than it ever was when she was there, that’s fine by me. Still can’t seem to get a date though but I’m not trying all that hard.

    • How are you looking for someone new? In a small town?? I am just now recovering from my lengthy marriage (and its spectacular demise) but don’t find myself too attracted to very many men. Just the odd one (sense of humor and kindness are attractive) every once in a while. I know I need to get out more, volunteer, or join an activity club but am busy working. I enjoy hearing the love stories of our fellow Chumps, it gives me hope. ☺️

      • I’m looking slowly. I’ve checked out the online dating thing which is makes the Black Hole of Calcutta look like a summer resort at least for a guy but what it did reassure me of was that there are in fact ladies of my age in my area who are single and are looking for someone. Many of them seem to be quite nice along with the usual mix of princesses and nut-jobs.

        I am hoping that things will happen “organically” but also know that organic crops need fertilizer so I’ve made sure that friends and family know that I’m “single” and looking and that if they want to set me up, I’m all in favour of that. I am friendly and outgoing and have had non-threatening chats with a number of very nice ladies. A few of them have made a point of mentioning to me that they were single – unprompted. It’s amazing how many mature single people there are out there.

        I’m taking my time though. Even though it’s been 16 months or so since D-Day I’m still somewhat damaged goods and have healing to do. I think one thing that many of us do is try to get back on that horse before their bruises have healed. I know that I was tempted to.

        The other part of this is that I don’t really want to start anything before I’m fully disengaged from Princes YogaPants. Legally she still has a hold over me and I’m intending to play the “oh – poor left behind and unloved me” card as much as I can.

        I’m also using this “gift of time” to heal, find the real me and know that no matter what – I’ll be just fine.

        Will this strategy “work”? Will Princess YogaPants leave our Hero in peace? Do women actually find bow ties on a guy sexy? Stay tuned!

        • I hear you about the dating sites and dating after chumpdom. I took FIVE years off from dating anyone while I was a separated single Dad. I wanted to focus on my kids and me.

          Dating organically is far better than dating sites. They should call them anti-dating sites for many reasons. I tried it for three months as an experiment. Sucked. Way too many false advertisers about looks, age, weight, personality, core beliefs. I find it way easier to figure out what a woman is like in the real world face-to-face. That’s fun! Dating sites suck big time.

  • It was fairly easy for me to go no contact because I was raised by this type of narc and I saw how much my mother got pleasure from other people’s pain. Like her, my XH feels love when someone is angry or hurt by him. I remembered that every time I wanted to rant and rage at him. I know ignoring him would be the only thing that would possibly upset him. That is if he has any real feelings at all.

  • I’ve bred with a fuckwit.
    1. Best No Contact strategy was to relocate to another country.
    So things are better from this point of view.
    But while I was dealing with all the mess…it was hard.
    2. It’s probably the rage I felt. I felt I could not control it, as in rip his head off. So my best strategy was to avoid him.
    3. Another strategy was to simply analyse his actions. I gained some bird eyes view on things.
    Such as: the emails he wrote me on Saturday or Friday evening, while he was with the OW and had the baby. What kind of looser writes to the wife he dumped, while he’s with the OW and his own baby?
    4. Use BIF (Brief, Informative, Friendly) technique: it really works. It’s not what I felt like doing, instead was the reasonable thing to do and it worked.
    5. I try to guide my life on the same principle: focus on what I need to do. Abandon thoughts, which grow from feelings (especially fear). Just focus.

  • No contact is just that NO CONTACT. It drives them crazy and it is very healthy for you. I was wondering how I would go NO CONTACT but once I made the decision was the best I’ve made so far. I started sleeping better. I started taking care of myself because I didn’t have others now to put before me. (I have no children) Positive things started happening for me and I truly believe that once I let go of the old mess new and more positive energy started coming my way.
    NO CONTACT

  • Karma is a bitch for the cheater ex.

    The only contact I am required to have with her is some coparenting, however since our son lives with me it really isn’t all that much contact.

    What I find ironic is that now I’m the one who gets the long messages related to personal matters. I have perfected the art of the one word, noncommittal answer if I answer at all.

    When I was a chump no matter how much I wrote and how much it made sense, she would only answer the things that were 100% to her benefit, otherwise absolute radio silence.

    If there were 10 items in the communication and only one pertained to her total benefit, that would be the only thing she would respond to, miraculously missing the other nine items as if they didn’t exist at all.

    Like the kid said in ET, ” I have absolute power”

    That bitch shouldn’t have cheated on me. Once I got out of the chump stage I totally crushed her. That’s what happens when you fuck over a moral honorable loving husband by sleeping with his cousin.

    Flawless victory

    • Rickb89,
      When ex cheated he freed me of our crap life together. Even “moral, honorable, loving” can not have a great marriage when your spouse is always focused on themselves. To the exclusion of all else, you, the marriage, the kids…just no way to the fairy tale with the disordered. Wishing you a better future.

      • Drew it really is true. For me I finally realized the cheating was just one more aspect of the self-centered behavior. I’m not sure why I let his life, wants, and needs (his centrality) always rule me and our family. It’s crazy making to think that even when we find out they are cheating, we look at ourselves and wonder if maybe I’d been a better spouse….

        No the answer is, if they’d been a better spouse or if maybe I’d chosen someone who wasn’t self-centered. I look back on even the little things that should have been a red flag for me versus just an annoyance like the fact he would drink all of the water I brought for an outside event-never, ever think of me or the kids. He guzzled every drop. Or that my mom would bring goodies over and drop off at our house. Of course I’m working and he’s farting around (chump boss let’s him work when he wants to). My mom started bringing and individually labeling everything because he ate it all!! Mine, his, the kids.

        We only did things he liked to do because he would pout and be pissy if we made him do something he wasn’t interested in. He was a whiny little bitch at home too if everything didn’t go his way.

        It was only with time and no contact this became clearer. My text messages intermittently pick up from him with ‘kids father’ on the id. If it’s not about the kids, I usually just ignore.

        Trust that they suck. My life is much more peaceful without a fuckwit.

        • “We only did things he liked to do because he would pout and be pissy if we made him do something he wasn’t interested in.”

          ^^^THIS.

          I ended up doing so much by myself because I didn’t even want to deal with his whiny attitude. He did it at two major events in my family, too – my grandfather’s funeral and my brother’s wedding. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for that.

    • Oh God, your cousin???? What is wrong with these people??? Good for you Rick. My other fav is a simple “K”. Not even worth the “O”, just “K”, nice and dismissive. He hates it. oh well.

      • I was told by my kids that texting just “k” to someone is the equivalent of saying “f you”. (Especially when followed by a period). So I plan to use that as my response to stbx; he won’t understand the extra meaning and it’ll make me feel better!

  • Immediately went NC and only used email to communicate with Fucktard. Children all over 18 so no need to co parent. Fucktard married AP soon after divorce but only after dragging it out for two+ years and coming back to our foreclosed “dream home” to vandalize it (and is still trying to fuck me over financially). He continued to circle by engaging my father in communication which I ignored. Made me mad, still have fight/flight response to any communication, yet drew boundaries, and recognized I only have control over MY reaction. So that Lamaze breathing really comes in quite handy.? NC with all his disordered family who knew he was cheating way before I did. Healthiest choice ever. Modeling healthy behavior to my children as well.

  • Changed his name to “Lying Cheating Scumbag” in my phone, which was much less tempting to call or text. Would channel my therapist in my head whenever I wanted to write or send him a nasty email, she would tell me again and again “He doesn’t care!” But beyond that, I think he kinda got off on me being so upset, so I remembered that I didn’t want to excite him by showing I still thought about him. I also promised myself, my therapist, and my friends that I was going NC, and I didn’t want to break those promises. But if I did, I was instantly transparent about them. I also just avoided the part of town he lived in, and that worked wonders for not getting me riled up. I deactivated Facebook (a huge thing for me, helped SO much!) and blocked him and all his friends on Instagram. Over time, he just stopped mattering. Meh achieved. Oh, and I come here 5 days a week to read and comment and interact with people who get it; since I’m processing the feelings and not ignoring them, it really helps NC more than anything else. my friends and family got sick of hearing about it, and I get that.

    • Processing feelings does seem to help. Having to remind yourself who/what they are so that it’s not even remotely tempting to contact, even if just to vent. Knowing that they don’t give a shit, or they wouldn’t have done what they did in the first place. This place has also become a sanctuary for me during the week. Friends and family do get tired, and in CN we’re never alone.

      • I totally agree. I think my friends and family sometimes get tired of me bitching about it, but I need to be heard in order to deal with this crap. And you all hear me here at CN! Thank you!!!

        • Keep in’ calm, keep on bitching here, I think your bitching is very eloquent and insightful! I know what you mean about wearing out friends and relatives with bitching. You won’t reach that point here with me!

          • Thank you, Feelingit! I have learned SO much here at CN. The support is overwhelming. It’s helped me get through these last few months. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it.

  • He is just listed on my phone as X, but his picture is Sam Winchester (from Supernatural) saying “if it doesn’t work out…we’ll kill him” which makes me smile every time I see it.

    Have 2 kids, so no contact is not possible, but I no longer ever answer the phone unless he actively has the kids-which isn’t often. Otherwise I let I go to answering machine…voice mail…text, whatever. I can always call him back if it needs attention, and ignore it if it does not, or have the kids call him back if it’s anything that involves them. They are 12 and 19, so I can stay out of most of it.

    He called last week (to tell me the kids would be meeting his girlfriend for the first time) and I answered without thinking and it twisted me all up for 3 days, so that’s not happening again.
    The problem is the more I go NC, the more he seems intent on talking to me. Grrr.

    • of course, he’s loosing an important kibble source. He feels it. It’s energetic: energy he’s loosing and he can feel it.
      Banish him from your thoughts. He will feel it and will kill him! Ha Ha Ha!

    • I was going to ask if you were a Supernatural fan when I saw your name! Yeah!!! I’d love to let Sam or Dean take care of my ex – and the whore!

  • I changed my cell phone number and refused to give it to him. He has a webmail address only he can contact me through. Anything not related to maintaining the house until it gets sold gets ignored. Anything re the divorce goes through our lawyers. If he sends something that seems nice and thoughtful, I always ignore it because there is ALWAYS an ask that follows. Usually involving me getting rid of my lawyer so he can steamroll me some more.

  • No contact with kids is impossible. It doesn’t help that my kids are friends with the OW kids. The other day hubby told me the OW kids told our kids things that were disturbing. They made it sound or out right said they were scared if their dad and he hurts them. They wanted to play in hubby yard rather than there’s which NEVER happened. Hubby had to tell me all this cause eventually my 6 year old will.
    It’s so hard. I told hubby if concerned call child services. I also wonder if it isn’t the OW trying to manipulate things through her kids.
    What do you do though? I need to know what my kids are hearing and seeing. They are 2 and 6 not really reliable sources. So I have to have contact with hubby to tell me what’s going on. So messed up.
    At least I’ve said no more pretending we’re a happy family and doing things together.

  • I changed his name to a rat emoji in my phone so every time I had to text or he text me I’d think yep that’s all you are a rat!!
    We now only contact by email and I have setup face time for him to contact our daughter on her iPad.

    • Same. We only contact via email. It’s a huge relief (though he did try to call me at 4:30 a.m. the other morning. I didn’t answer.)

      • KC, what is with those early morning calls/texts? Post DDay STBX started ‘forgetting’ about the timezone difference after years of dealing with it properly, and waking me at 4:00 am with some BS. I told him the second time he ‘forgot’ that I would be filing a restraining order if it continued. Somebody had better be dying!;) That’s harassment and sleep deprivation. He never ‘forgot’ again. (This was early on before I blocked him. He’s blocked on everything now, the kids are adults.)

        • Right?!? I couldn’t believe he called me and it wasn’t even that important! But that’s just how he is. Totally selfish move. He simply doesn’t care how his actions impact others.

  • No contact was very difficult for me to achieve. One because I have kids and two because he’s a Narc and knew how to push all my buttons. I hate to say it but it took a couple of years for me to let it go. I just couldn’t do it – then I came to CN. All of you repeated over and over how vital it was to do. So I practiced and eventually got good at it. I stopped taking his calls. He would have to leave me a message and if it was important I’d text him back, if not I just deleted it. Text messages usually just get one word answers in return nowadays. Or an emoji that has absolutely nothing to do with what he texted. I send puppies and cats all the time! My kids are mid to late teens now – so making plans and dealing with their schedules are left up to them to arrange with him which keeps me out of it. I truly think that no contact was one of the hardest things I tackled. But boy is it sweet on the other side!

  • It was social media that made me twitchy about his behaviour in the first place (he’s a real “look at me!” Facebook junkie). Anyway, shortly before I managed to kick him out of the house, I blocked him on Facebook (and her). 3 weeks after he left, he collected the rest of his stuff, so I then blocked him on my mobile phone and work email address, deleted my personal email account, then set up another one – I tend to screen calls on my house phone anyway. NC had been achieved.

    I did well, 3 months went by, then someone asked me why my STBXH (they didn’t know we had split up) had posted something about being in a relationship with another woman. I stupidly logged on with a friend’s details and had a look. He’d announced their “relationship” 5 weeks after I kicked him out. It nearly destroyed me – he’d made the post public for maximum effect, lots of people had liked it (thankfully only 3 of them had ever met me – they’re now blocked!) and people were saying how happy they deserved to be.

    I felt so humiliated, I was never tempted to look again. Thankfully, all my friends supported me and told me he’d basically told the world he’d been having an affair due to the timing of the post, or I don’t know how I would have got through that. Not interested in him now, so not even tempted to check!

    I have no idea how all you guys with kids cope with having to stay in touch with these sociopaths, it must be a living nightmare for you.

  • Jackass did a full discard. When the discard became clear to me (I was slow on the uptake but to be fair, he kept dangling that hopium pipe), I did the DO NOT CALL OR TEXT as his name on my phone. Of course, I didn’t delete him or block him, but we all know how hard that is in the first weeks after D-Day.

    Then I sent him a short, kind reminder that the rent on the storage locker where I put his stuff would be up and asking about having lunch or dinner so that we could talk about what happened. I got a nasty nasty message back on Valentine’s Day and died some crying into my yoga mat that morning. Good thing it was hot yoga; you can’t tell the difference between tears and sweat as long as you don’t snort or wail. But that what is for me. He lied; he equivocated; he dangled hopium; he smirked and was disrespectful; he stole my money. But he was MEAN and had zero reason to. That’s when I saw, for sure, what he was. No contact was a lot easier after that. But it took another 6 months to stop having traitorous thoughts about him having an epiphany about what he did.

    People who have been living with partners/spouses who are impossible to please, who are verbally abusive and critical, who lie and obfuscate and cheat need to be no contact. Narcissists and their ilk have built whole lives around luring people into their orbit, extracting kibbles, creating a dynamic where they have the power and the partner is victimized and belittled. Sometimes that degradation is so serious that the chump can’t see their own worth as a human. The only way to break that cycle is to get away from the abuser. Worry about whether the person is “remorseful” later.

    • Very well said, Lovedajackass. I didn’t realize my ex was a narcissist until I started digging into his behavior. He has almost all the traits. And now everything makes so much sense. Also makes it easier to deal with. The guy has a personality disorder; he’s a selfish bastard and there was no way I could ever “fix” that in him.

  • First, come here to read about the benefits of NC–like the ability to move forward more quickly, to dissociate yourself from being emotionally dependent on someone who is not loving nor dependable (is abusive), not rewarding a cheater’s ego and abusive behavior, not allowing them to continue to manipulate your vulnerable head (ie., “resetting your bullshit meter” or “discarding the filters” or “putting down the spackle bucket”), not allowing the abuser to control his/her image as “the nice guy/gal” who “gets along great” with you (or “has an amicable relationship–you know, ‘for the children'”). There are SO many reasons to go NC. But you gotta believe in it.

    Of course, the flip side is the white hot shame/regret of NOT following NC–pouring your heart and hope into a zinger or a profoundly poetic, brilliantly composed, chock-fulla-truth plea, only to watch your efforts fall flat as (s)he steps over you and carries on with the AP. Or? Worse? There’s the chilling realization that anything you say can be held against you in a court of law–you wanna be portrayed as the crazy, spurned ex? You can be your own worst enemy. Remember that your circle of trust is not closed any more–EVERYTHING you communicate to the cheater IS SHARED with his/her new partner(s) and the awful xMIL. OMG, it’s TRUE!

    TRUST US. NC IS THE WAY. (Yes, I’m shouting. From my rooftop!)

    Study Gray Rock if you can’t go NC.

    Make a game of it. How long can I go NC? How many texts/emails/calls can I ignore? Find ways to ignore. How long can I go before I respond? How brief can I make the reply. Next, how can I make it even MORE brief. Remember that the greater they ramp up with the outrageously provocative insults that CANNOT possibly go without a reply? Ohhh, better believe it–they CAN go without a reply. If you are falsely accused of a crime, you might consider replying that you are saving their text messages for your lawyer and that you will not allow libelous accusations to go unheeded. Remember that “k” is a reply, and sometimes the BEST reply, because it says in a single letter, “I got you, it’s just that I don’t give a fuck about any of the details.” Realize that the longer you make them wait for a reply (the tiniest, most brief reply or no reply) you are KILLING them! They WANT the drama. Don’t give it to them. (Remember, the AP is likely in on it.) Learn to recognize manipulation for what it is. Accusations of YOUR wrongdoing as justification for THEIR abusive behavior is manipulation, and it’s meant to draw you into their drama so they can feed off of your pain. Don’t fall for it. Ditto for lots of “innocent” questions or subtle threats of their noncompliance. Look for that pattern, and when you see it, take delight that you are beginning to recognize the manipulation, and that you are getting your spine back! You’re unchumping yourself! Congrats! Take great delight in not reacting! That is SO powerful! Yay for taking back your power!

    Take the high road–it WILL serve you in the long run. And long-run is good for your character and good for your emotional healing. TRUST in the long-run. Taking the high road distinguishes you from a homewrecker and a cheater. You don’t want to be like them, do you? Stay classy. It’s awesome. You may not be liked, but you will respect yourSELF. That is gold.

    And when you’re weak? COME HERE to vent and to get advice. Also come here to celebrate your small victories–each time (s)he tries to draw you in and you refuse, by staying NC or by going gray rock. That way you get great reinforcement feedback AND you are setting a great example for others.

  • My husband ghosted me as soon as OW’s former fiancée caught them together in a dive bar so NC was pretty much imposed from the onset of this revelation (and not by my choosing although I will one day fully view this as a blessing I hope). I finally tracked STBXH down after well over a
    month after his vanishing/abandonment. (I felt like I had encountered a death without a body to grieve over). I insisted that we needed to talk about the end our quarter century relationship (although he thought he could just wave a magic wand and end our marriage instantaneously). We’ve only spoken three times in the past six months and exchanged only a few texts and email messages in which he won’t even address me by name. (Completely dehumanizing!) During our final face-to-face encounter, OW blew up STBX’s phone with calls and texts resulting in MY HUSBAND pleading with ME to help him figure out WHAT TO TELL HER as SHE would fear that WE were having sex if he didn’t reply! (Funny, he didn’t seem to have any trouble ignoring my attempted communication when sneaking around with her for months claiming he was out “networking” with clients!)

    I am definitely addicted to checking his and OW’s “Fakebook” pages where she posts her heavily filtered selfies and expresses how “fantastic life is living at the beach” (which is occurring in the home that my good credit allowed my STBXH and myself to be approved to rent). STBXH posts his “Leg Day” gym updates and his almost nightly check-ins at nightclubs along with egotistical statements of how he all he ever does is “win, win, win” regarding his booming real estate sales. For my own health and sanity, I went cold turkey on viewing these things and have not checked any of their social media sites since early June (although the masochistic urge is certainly still there which is why I still consider it to be an addiction). I’m now requesting that my friends and family members also avoid informing me of what they’ve seen on FB, etc. as it is just so painful such as the last information I received when I was told that my husband posted a video in which one of his colleagues is stating that my husband is a “man of his word”! (Honestly, it was all I could do not to ask someone to comment with something about his inability to keep his vows, etc. being indicative of the contrary).

    NC has a somewhat negative affect for me in that I get seduced into becoming nostalgic about happy memories from the past which cloud my ability to discern the severity of the abusive actions which occurred in more recent times. To curtail this, I have listed as many of the disparaging commments he made right before D-Day (& since) and then read them when I’m getting sucked into a positive reminiscent type of moment:

    “You’re ugly on the inside, you’re ugly on the outside!”

    “I’m the best at everything I do so I deserve the best in everything…not someTHING mediocre or the short end of the stick like you!”

    “I deserve a young, hot wife! Why did I get stuck with the ‘Old Maid’ card instead?!?”

    “In Orange County, you’re a ‘2’ at best!”

    “You look so old and flabby!”

    “You’re no fun!”

    “Every vacation we’ve ever been on I couldn’t wait to wake up so it would be over!”

    “It’s not natural to be with the same person for this long!”

    “Sorry you have hard feelings!”

    I like the idea of creating a new name and photo for him for his contact information on my phone (although it’s doubtful he will ever try to call).

    Reading CL posts and comments has been very helpful to me. Great for my “detox” from this self-absorbed pitiful excuse for a human with whom I wasted too many years.

    • God, I hate him reading his ugliness towards you. Asshole. I hope she does to him what hes done to you.

    • My god, he sounds horrendous! Even by CL standards – which are pretty low, as we all know. It would be very hard to be ghosted after 25 years – no kind of explanation at all so I understand trying to find answers. I’m guessing you are coming to realize that you’re never going to get adequate ones and the only closure you will get is total NC. X

  • I renamed him The Worm, then 26 Years Down the Toilet, now it’s Asshole Calling…..but he’s blocked on FB and on my cell phone.
    The best anti-shithead strategy I use is a cell phone recording of him going full tilt crazy yelling at me for daring to complain about his girlfriend. If I felt the urge to contact him, which I never do now, I would listen to that first and poof thoughts of contacting shithead would vanish….

  • I practiced being boring grey rock, nothing to see here, I’m just the household drudge talking about my chores, with a courteous “no” to requests. Repeated to myself that there was no benefit to me to respond. It helped to remember that I didn’t cause his disorder, couldn’t control or fix it. I did what I could to hide my location when I moved because I was conditioned to be afraid without physical abuse. Got a new phone number but kept the old cell phone he’d given me shut off in a drawer until just before I’d have to see him during the divorce. Asked for support from people (friends, real estate agent, banker) to run interference with him.

    I inadvertently see him 1-2 times a year and ignore without eye contact. I use grey rock with the few flying monkey mutual friends.

  • 1. Journalling those epithets.
    2. Re-reading Leave a cheater gain a life purchased soon after finding this blog after DD2. It helped make sense and put names to cake, entitlement and pick me dancing. I finally concluded once shame on him twice shame on me and went NC.
    3. Reading and posting on CL forum, thank you CN. I re-read bits of your wisdom that I have printed or written out on my notice board daily.
    4. Sharing with close family and friends.
    5. Looking ahead and making time for positive new things speaking of which back to my studies.

  • One last (funny) idea. There is a taxidermy capuchin monkey. Somehow, they attached wings to him. He also has a fez on his head and he’s smiling, holding a martini in a martini glass – posed with a huge toothy “fangy” smile. I love this picture… (Google image it- it’s hysterical.)

    Whenever xh or his flying monkey attorney (via him) sent proclamations, demands for info, etc. instead of replying with words, I replied by simply sending this photo. >grin<. No text, no explanations, just drunk monkey. Always gave me a laugh, reminded me to NOT deal with the "flying monkeys" and I hope it insulted him to the core.

    It stopped the communication quite nicely.

  • I read an article that said an abusive relationship rewires the brain in the same way a chemical addiction does due to the phenomenon of intermittent reinforcement, so every time I was tempted to contact the narcissist and found myself saying, “I really miss him,” I would force myself to say out loud instead, “I really miss the crack cocaine.”

    Likening the desire to reinstate contact with the narcissist to a withdrawal symptom of a chemical addiction helped me every time to maintain no contact.

  • This might sound REALLY weird but on days when I’ve felt myself feeling nostalgic and wistful for my ex I’ve recently started looking at really graphic porn stills (you know the ugly badly lit ones of joined genitals etc )and imagining that it’s my ex with his girlfriends/mistress or whoever(it helps that I know what his gfs look like). It’s so confronting I just kinda cringe into a grossed out ball of “ewwwww” and forget all about texting or whatever stupid thing I was contemplating doing. I stumbled upon this technique quite by accident as I dont look at porn(im very boring and old fashioned) but it is MOST effective. It’s a huge dose of reality when my spackling gets outta hand(I’m so good at that I could get a job as a professional plasterer by now) :/

  • Mine was pretty simple. Right after we were divorced the ex felt he was still entitled to favors from me, like editing anything he wrote or feeding his dogs while he was “going to school” (code for getting together with OW again), I finally grew a pair and told him that I wasn’t doing any of these things anymore. This brought on what I now know to be the rage channel. He sent me the nastiest text I have ever received from anyone. The same person who repeatedly told me that “I would never understand how much he loved me.” I would hate to see what he would do if he hated me!

    After the all out text war that ensued from this nasty text, I decided to go no contact, which was surprisingly difficult at first because I was still suffering from Stockholm syndrome. In order to stay on the only path to truth and light, I would read that nasty ass text every single day. I even emailed it to myself so I could access it more ways than one. Whenever I got the urge to contact him, I read that text.

    I went a few months and I received an email from him at a precarious time. The weekend before I went to a comedy show at a venue we frequented while we were married and it brought up a lot of memories. Feeling all nostalgic, I caved and responded to his email in a sappy like manner telling him about my weekend activities and how they brought up feelings that were sad because it was like 27 years were erased like they never happened or something like that. I was expecting some sort of reciprocal reply but as you know, cheaters are nothing if not reliable in their predictable, soulless responses.

    It was the final nail in the “contact coffin.” I realized that day with such clarity that he would never admit what he did was wrong; he would never be truly sorry; that I was never going to get any closure and it was actually for the best that he was involved with someone else because he would leave me alone to my healing. I saved the soulless response too and read it when necessary which helped me maintain no contact since spring of 2014. He sent another email regarding our older son a year later but I was total grey rock.

    I have that luxury since my kids are adults but these days, I am so grateful to be free of the total mindfuck that was my ex. I would recommend saving any nasty electronic exchanges to remind yourself what you’re not missing. So happy to be free from all that!

  • I am a bit of a No Contact Ninja. I was ghosted and only called the Unholy Beast 4 times, and a few texts. I changed my number and moved. No Contact was the only way I regained clarity and peace.

    Emergency Times- close to D Day
    1. Lock your phone in the trunk of your car.
    2. Work out vigorously so you fall into bed exhausted.
    3. Ask your M.D. for anti obsession meds
    4.Binge watch captivating shows.
    5.Ask a friend to be a No Contact Buddy. What you want to say to them- say to the No Contact Buddy . Just writing things out relieves some of the mania to contact them.

    Sad Weekends

    1. Throw yourself into a hobby you always wanted to try, but dream killers shot it down. I mean- Go Big.
    2. Go camping or check into a hotel for the weekend about 2 hours out of town. LEAVE YOUR CELL PHONE AT HOME! It works. Read, watch movies, wander around a new town, order room service, talk to strangers at the bar.
    3. Embark on a massive decluttering and house cleaning project.

    One of the most painful, but effective ways to stay no contact is to imagine them with their AP. The details. The shared laughter, the sex, the intimacy. It makes you sick, but it keeps you on the path of truth.

    Try to remember your dignity. Imagine you calling them, and their AP snickering as you beg. It is one of the lowest points of the human love experience. How do I know this 🙁

    It works. And know that they do this- they are feral and love the drama. One of the Unholy Beasts AP told me how he would put his finger over his lips when I would call and roll his eyes. As I told him I loved him. That works.

    Chop your fingers off before you dial that number.

    • ” One of the Unholy Beasts AP told me how he would put his finger over his lips when I would call and roll his eyes. As I told him I loved him. That works.”

      OMG. That is HORRIBLE.

      Y’know, I was texting the ex on the day of our divorce (he didn’t bother to show up to the hearing) and one of the texts he sent back was so different from how he usually “talked” that I knew immediately it was the OW (the bad grammar and the use of ‘ur’ tipped me off). I couldn’t believe that he had HER responding to me. It infuriated me. So I proceeded to say, “Since your ‘girlfriend’ is reading your texts, does she know about…” and I proceeded to list a bunch of things. Who knows if she read them? I don’t care anymore. That was the last real text exchange we had. After that, I went no contact, and only use emails to communicate with him about our daughter.

      • Oh yes. It is like we are dealing with some goon life form that was raised in a vat of sewage. You cheat, maybe you feel remorse? No- he has his retard OW text you back? Think of what a low life she is. Imagine someone asking us to text their estranged spouse. Ummm…no.

        She did read what you wrote. That is great! I hope you got down and dirty.

        “Hey…you might want to stock up on handi wipes and stacks of linens because he still shits the bed! Who knew a grown man still did this? Good luck! Wear gloves!”

        • Hahaha! Oh, I could fill her in on a lot of his nasty habits! But I think I’ll let her find them out on her own. More fun that way. Ha!

    • Katie, I hope that dumb whore knows she’s NEXT. Any dipshit that would do the phone call letting a skank listen to you will do it again. Character disturbed mother fucker. So is she.

  • Our divorce is not final yet and all our accounts are still joint. I made a significant error in our checking account which caused some checks to bounce. I had to contact stbx about it, had to steel myself to do it. I have been so good about NC and here I screw up so bad. I will just start over, and soon everything will be separate. Then all we have to do is see each other during awkward move-in and parents weekend at college. CN has helped me through this, no doubt about it. As an example, I had to take a mandatory “parenting class” before I can get a divorce from a man whom I discovered had been cheating on me for years and who wanted nothing to do with counseling or reconciliation. The “parenting class” instructor said that we should “put our spouses in the best light for the sake of the children.” I raised my hand and respectfully disagreed. That would be dishonest, I said. I don’t have to editorialize, but I can be honest with children in an age-appropriate manner, about why Dad and I are getting a divorce, and why it is something I neither wanted nor contemplated. Several people in the class raised their hands and said, “she makes a good point.” The instructor got very shrill and moved on to the next topic. For the first time since DDay I felt a small chunk of self-determination. Thank you CL and CN.

    • I bet that was a moment when so many were glad you spoke up and thought YES! You go girl! Keep speaking up!

  • CL’s cartoon for this is one of my favorites. She looks like one of the Unholy Beast’s affairs partners- down to the modified mullet and shifty dead eyes. The Lysol can is empowering.

    It should be in the New Yorker.

  • Such a great thread! I agree with CN, the dynamics of NC with shared custody is a difficult path, but the sooner a chump decides that their mental space is their most precious possession, the less their cheater will have an impact on them and their kids.

    I have a few mottos I keep repeating, all of them already mentioned in this thread:
    The loudest fuck you to a disordered X is silence
    For every rat you find, there are ten more hiding
    He is sicker than I am smart (i.e. Trust that he sucks)
    BIFF that shit (brief Informative Firm and Friendly) from Bill Eddy (more on this below)

    After I stumbled upon proof of his affair almost three years ago, I uncovered more and more evidence of his duplicity… Coming to terms with the fact that my then-husband was a pathological liar, an adulterer and a duplicitous coward was the most humiliating and destabilizing thing I’ve had to overcome. I moved out within a month of DDay #1, had 1/2 of our liquid assets wired, and all financials with me. He raged, said I was over-reacting, but I kept uncovering more lies, so I switched to written communications for everything. I moved to the building next door to make it easier on our kiddo with custody. Three months after we separated, he imported his mistress (24 years his junior) to our city and they lived next door. My kiddo spent 50% of her time with them.

    As it has been the experience of many chumps, my X did all he could to make the divorce proceedings as long and costly as he could, but I pushed through (thanks in large part to CL & CN’s wisdom and support). We were divorced 16 months post-Dday#1. He married his mistress two months after our divorce was final, but omitted to inform anyone until I stumbled upon that fact about a year later. Stellar guy huh?

    Forgiving myself for having chosen this person as my kiddo’s dad is still a work in progress, but here is what I’ve been able to do to protect us from his influence:
    I have drafted a custody agreement that my lawyer was finding too detailed. I pushed through knowing full well that my X’s duplicity would be the kind that “did not get easier with time.” I am thankful I went to that level of detail, because the only times things escalade are for the three things were I had not been as thoroughly detailed as I should have been.
    I haven’t talk to him in person or on the phone beyond a “here is the paper you need” at exchange since Jan 2015
    I use a shared custody software for all communications
    I use BIFF from Bill Eddy in all my emails to him. When I write, there is no questions for him, just short statements about what I will do. If he does not respond, then things are laid out in my email to my advantage. For instance, “Kiddo has a birthday during your custodial time on XX/XX. Please pick her up at time T at my building, and drop her by Time Z back at my building so she can attend the birthday party. If I don’t hear from you by time B on Day A, I’ll assume that you are not interested in seeing her this weekend. Thank you.”
    He knows that all communications are receivable in court, so his communication with me is quite clean, although he’s lost is a few times, thank you for the additional legal ammo…

    It is tough to stay disciplined on grey rock and not to check social media stuff, but the longer I go, the less my X and his wifetress take up of my brain space. From what my kiddo says, my X intensely dislikes that I communicate with him like a lawyer. I respond to her with the “Cool, Bummer, Wow” method I learned from CL, and I’m trying my best to forge on to Meh.

    As I write this, I remember being a new chump in the aftermath of DDay almost 3 years ago. I just finished Jen Waite’s book (A beautiful, terrible thing), and I could relate to so many of her feelings, I was completely blindsided and destabilized upon learning about my X’s true nature. I am still dealing with CPTSD symptoms as a result of the implosion of my world, but my symptoms are lower in intensity and I’m less triggered than I used to be.

    You got this chumps, protect yourself and your kids, and know that CN’s got your back!

  • Death….you would think that death would be the ultimate NC but I have a friend who believed she got messages from him in the next dimension…about love and something. Yea, whatever. (too little too late)

    CL called that “Switzerland Friends from the Great Beyond”

    • I say, if you can’t talk to me while you are on earth, don’t friggin’ call me long distance from the afterworld!

      • That was pretty much my reaction…”I gave you 10,000 chances to care while you were here and THIS is what I get !….Im glad you aren’t in Hell now leave me the hell alone”

      • Right!! Unicorn, burn some sage, tell him hes not welcome, then kindly direct his lame ghost ass to go see the OW.

        • True that. The day I learned he was a serial cheater, the one person I called was his BF’s widow. His buddy had died and was a respectable, stand up guy. My late H would have NEVER wanted his widow to know that he was a cheater/liar, so I told her.

          I LOVE the idea that the OW can forever pine away for Major Cheaterpants as her great lost love…she cant even tell the story as he was married. If I ever spoke to her, I would likely say something like “its a shame he didnt leave me for you, I think now that he should have, I offered him a divorce” (which is true..I told him to get the papers in order and I would sign and in true lameasscheater fashion, he waffled).

          That is some sweet revenge served up cold.

          • Hahaha, Love it! Another layer of pain and torment for her. Let her live with that question, “Oh why didnt he leave her for me then??? He could have!!” Waaaaaa, booo hoo. Break her cold black cheater heart again. Beotch.

  • I use Dr Simon

    “It’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree”

    Any interaction is a waste of time and will always be about them and will always to their benefit and your detriment, so don’t bother.

  • FicoChump – ‘Another Fun Friday could be imaging what the heck do they text all day long❗️’

    YES YES YES!
    I have been SO curious about this question forever! What in the hell are they texting to the tune of 1000 texts a month, often in the middle of the night? My God, when he and I were dating, we had some long 2 hr phone calls and it was full of jibbery shit like, details of your life, and how much you love them. I can’t even remember. But, up to 1000 a month? Maybe the volume is due to cheating scenarios – wow, that must take a lot of mental effort to discuss.

    Please, if anybody knows what is in their garbage phone calls, I’d just like to have a small clue. My God, is it like they found an angel and a guy on a white horse kind of shit?

    Baffled.

    • You can have an analysis done of his computer and read all of those morsels, find out how much money he has spent on an affair, and others that he has contacted. It’s called a computer forensics analysis. Private Investigators do it. Divorce attorneys can call for it.

    • SheChump,
      QueenMother nailed it up above for what they don’t talk about. It’s nothing of significance. I have over 50 pages single spaced of just their texts for a one month time period when they also sent several emails every day. (Long story about how I tricked Schmoop into sending me copies of everything…all their texts, sexts, photos, and emails.) I’d be happy to share the texts, but it’s a lot of nothing, sleazy, smutty, and actually pretty boring. These two weren’t even pretending to be in love.

      • DWD – it’s a lot of nothing, sleazy, smutty, and actually pretty boring. These two weren’t even pretending to be in love.”

        Wow, really? I never was able to access the X’s texts since he used his work phone, locked like Ft. Knox.
        And, I’m pretty sure I would be too sick to read such creepy stuff between two people who hardly know each other. It would probably insult me to realize they were just slutty texts which weren’t very creative or erotic, like you say. And, God – surely not sex pictures. Like, sex talk in the middle of the day? I can’t imagine X ever having ‘sex talk’, even before bed. But, I will believe you as I can imagine his little tramp knowing just how to do all that.
        It seems like a total obsession of some kind. Probably while they are making wicked plans to re-start their lives and become their happily ever afters. Lots of scheming about when they’d get together next? Like – umm..is that not the most childish thing you’ve ever tried to put logic on? I just don’t get the immaturity for a 62 year old guy and his 10 yr younger Skat.

        At least – come clean before doing it for 3 full years.

  • I saw a lady on a ric board who said that her cheater and his whore texted 500 mesaages a day. And she wished she could do that with her cheater. I’m like, somebody wants to text me all day, i would tell them Get a life !!!

    I don’t really see how any adult person would want to text all day. I agree, She Chump, what the fuck about? I have never been that interested in any one, even as a teenager.

    • Anitea – ‘I don’t really see how any adult person would want to text all day. I agree, She Chump, what the fuck about? I have never been that interested in any one, even as a teenager.’

      Exactly! Surely that many texts are going to interfere with everything at work. Certainly at home, and totally at night when you are texting into the wee hours. In the X, that showed up as less production at work, being tired all the time – needing 2 hr naps after work, when he had supposed 10 hrs of ‘sleep’ the night before. Also, he started to look extremely worn down with crazy hair that neighbors were starting to comment on if he was okay or not. I guess finding that much to text about could probably ruin your health.

      But, I agree, Anita – I’ve never felt the need to ‘talk’ to somebody so much like that, and I was 14 once.
      I really am curious WHAT they talked about. Was it ME? Oh goodie! Like, how to make me disappear, most likely. Which he tried hard to do… Yeah, bet he’ll be real proud of those actions on his death bed. What a complete waste of his energy, and he was a ‘smart guy’.

  • And this post has reminded me to block a dodgy female ‘friend’ on Facebook who is a hoovering narc.

  • I did read the non-stop texts and they were all about nothing but sex scenarios! They would describe impossibly elaborate scenes involving their “superior” sexual prowess! It was vomit worthy at first, but hindsight being 20/20 now it is beyond laughable! We’re talking about two, supposedly, grown married people who are in thier 50’s and nearly 60’s talking like two teenagers whose hormones have gone into overdrive!
    Then it’s about the next hookup. You know, her husbands work schedule and my Ex trying to come up with a plausible excuse to “take a business trip.” I have let a few people I trust read this garbage and they laugh so hard they cry and almost pee thier pants! It’s all so ridiculous. Then your cheater will have the balls to claim that “it’s not about just the sex!” Seriously delusional I tell ya!

  • The most difficult piece of NC for me has been the shutting down of my thoughts…i.e: the NC in my mind. I am working on it, but since the marriage was nearly fifty years, most memories include the X. There are a lot of mental gymnastics that go on and at times just exhaust me.
    I am still “on the road” to Meh and when I finally arrive, you all will be the first to know. As CL has said recently said “getting there is a GD ACHIEVEMENT!!” Amen.

    • Blown Away… I thought 23 years was a long time. Much love to you and believe that Meh is around the corner – I’ll be so excited when it arrives for you! X

      • 50 years. Can’t imagine. Mine is 32. So hard. Very good observation of the NC. I am doing ok no texting, no emailing, and no phone. But the NC in the mind. Now that’s some tough stuff.

        My X is circling back around and trying to get me to communicate and I DO NOT RESPOND AT ALL.

        He hates it. Each email gets more threatening and annoying every time I do not respond. Now he is taking me back to court to get alimony changed.

        That won’t happen.

        There is power is not responding.

    • Blown Away,

      Wow. 50 years…I can’t imagine how awfully adrift you must feel and how much of your identity is wrapped up in being in that relationship for so much of your life.
      I hope you find the strength you need to keep moving forward, and reclaiming all of yourself, back to yourself, and getting to be who you want to be.

      Best wishes to you.

  • I. His name in my phone is “*His Initials* Company: “Liars, Inc” + nice picture of Pinocchio with his nose a-growin’. (Just to remind myself to not trust a single thing he says.)

    II. His ringtone? The actress, Linda Hunt, saying, with resignation/disgust/frustration: “Oh, BUGGER….”
    (Very appropriate for GUBU in ways I need not elaborate upon!)

    III. Contact:
    1. I finally got him out of the nasty texting phase by refusing to engage. Ignoring his spew worked.

    2. We now communicate exclusively via email.

    3. Informed him that I was cc’ing my lawyer on EVERYTHING that transpired between us. This made him (mostly) stop jerking me around (by refusing to comply with my requests for settlement documents), and also curtailed his incidents of making nasty comments.
    (Yes, I’m more lucky than most in that regard.)

    4. I only answer questions which were legitimate, and with as little personal info as possible. When he asks “where are you?” or “Are you okay?” I simply don’t answer this type of thing.
    I used to try and answer somewhat generally, because my momma raised me to be polite and I felt it was rude to ignore him. It was hard for me to blatantly ignore such request.
    After I learned about “hoovering”, etc. I decided that he should stop asking, and if he didn’t, I was under no obligation to respond. It took awhile, but he’s finally stopped. Now I have no compunction about completely ignoring irrelevant questions/comments.
    I can’t remember whether or not I told him I wasn’t going to answer any more, but I do recall more than one instance of saying, “You fired me as your wife. You are no longer on the list of people who need to know anything about me.”

    5. I avoid saying “you” or “I”, and I don’t use his name, or mine. I don’t sign off, I don’t start with a salutation. I am direct, to-the-point, and make everything as absolutely impersonal as possible.

    Example: “FYI–package has not yet arrived as promised. Attorney advises will be additional fees incurred if it has not arrived by August 1st. Thanks for your help”

    6. I always cater to his supposed desire to be a better human(!) by acknowledging and thanking him for the things he does right. Call it “Positive Reinforcement”. Done very impersonally, just perfunctorily.
    If he thinks I *like him better* when he does the right thing, I figure that won’t hurt anyone.

    7. I don’t accuse or blame (okay, admit I have slipped on occasion over these years, but only after prolonged thwarting of my rights.)

    When the divorce is over, I will have zero contact with him because thankfully, I never bred with my fuckwit.

  • StarStuffGoddess,

    Reread your number 5.

    YOU are MIGHTY!

    That one ☝️ s my favourite, but all of your post is damn good!

    So proud of YOU!

  • I outsourced my communication with him to India for awhile! I would tell “my assistant” in India what needed to be said and they would send an email to Asshat in broken English which added to the effect. He would try to reply directly to me but I would ignore it and have “my assistant” reply. Drove him up the wall. Still I don’t think it is as good as no contact which I am now doing.

  • Many moons ago, there was a meme challenge on ChumpLady (https://www.chumplady.com/2016/03/make-your-own-cheater-memes/) and I saved my favourite memes in my phone. Now I always have one of them as my lockscreen. I rotate them but most of the time I keep creativerational’s Homer Simpson meme which more or less sums up the Traitor.
    Also if anyone tries to get into my phone, they get these memes so I am spreading the word.

  • I’m obsessively thinking about him and OW. It’s not healthy. It’s exhausting. How do you hate and love someone at the same time? I have dignity and know in my head that it’s done, but my heart doesn’t want to believe there’s no chance he’ll snap out of it someday. It’s so crazy – he’s a completely different person. He took OW and her baby (his cousin’s baby) camping and introduced her to his friend, the best man from OUR wedding. He’s a pos, she’s a whore, but I still see him in my heart as who he used to be. I did change his name to Peter Pan in my phone because he’s clearly not going to grow up. Going to try NC but we have 3 kids so it’s hard. I wake up every morning feeling like I’ve been punched in the stomach.

    • Roobear,
      Tempest wrote in an earlier post above ” continuing to care for someone who put a hatchet in your back only keeps you roped into their drama”
      This hit home with me. The POS you thought was a decent guy is not he’s a POS ! He’s not the guy you thought you married. Take a long hard look at the things he’s done. He’s abandoned you and his children. Does he care about the pain he’s caused to his family? Does he care what his children will think about him? No, The POS is off camping with his OW and her child, having a merry old time. This guy is a first class loser and you are well rid of him. What you long for and love is the man you thought you married, that man never existed. These cheating narcs are master manipulators and con artists they have you fooled right up until they get caught or leave. Keep a journal and write down how you left when you first learned about his cheating, write everyday just what you feel that day. Then go back in a week and read what your wrote. you said it, he’s A PIECE OF SHIT you and your children deserve better. What would you say to your best friend or your daughter if she was in your shoes? Accept that Peter Pan is a POS and he’s never going to change and make some positive changes in your life. Look at you children and know they are going to have a mother that they are proud of, who doesn’t take shit from a cheating manipulator. Have no contact with him and don’t let friends or family tell you what he’s doing, it just rubs salt in the wounds. Keep contact limited to things that concern the children. Give it time and you will see this wretched POS for what he is. Be brave!

  • I have to text him (and vice versa) because we still share the house (he moved out temporarily — but he’s here when I am at work). His name comes up when he texts me and it was a trigger– it HURT to see his name. So I changed it to “Ex Husband” (although officially we are still married). So at least it doesn’t hurt to see his name. I try to limit the texts to one word but I need to police myself better…. Also my screen saver on my computer was tied to my photos and used to create a slideshow— so there I am sitting, getting ready for work, when some (recent!!) pix come up from our much happier days, and I bust out bawling, sobbing. OK I changed the screen saver.

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