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Dear Chump Lady, He proposed… and then he cheated

Hi Chump Lady,

I was in a relationship for 8 years, engaged for less than a year. I didn’t push for a proposal, that was all his decision. Whilst we (read: I) was planning the wedding, he was having an affair with a work colleague — we had booked everything, I had got my dress and booked honeymoon two weeks before D-day.

I’m under the impression this was an exit affair, as he claims to be in love and “they tried to swallow their feelings” — despite actively going to her house the day I was buying my dress!

There’s so many elements of this I’m trying to come to terms with but 1) Why did he let wedding plans get so far? 2) How could she happily be complicit in all this? 3) He claims he had no choice in the matter (falling in love and all that crap), but I’m convinced there’s always a choice? And if he was going to her, he didn’t try hard to avoid the situation, right? 4) I also feel he got off lightly as I didn’t go ape shit and I want his family and friends to know how awful he truly is.

And now they get to skip off into the sunset and I’m back to square one.

Would really love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Confused and Betrayed

Dear CaB,

I know you’re stinging from this traumatic rejection, but please reframe this. You were just saved from a terrible fate — marriage to a freak.

Oh you’re just calling him names to make me feel better, Chump Lady. The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants! This was a Love Greater Than Them Both! 

FREAK. Only freaks raise you to great heights just to let you fall. Only freaks connect so shallowly. Only freaks meet their fuckbuddies while you’re buying your wedding dress.

I know it’s tempting to believe the bullshit rom-com narrative that gosh darn, he was going to commit, but he was powerless against the charms of his co-worker — because then you could avoid the painful realization that you invested eight years in a freak. There’s also the other narrative of He’s Just Immature, Got Cold Feet About The Wedding, and Couldn’t Use His Words So He Let His Cheating Dick Do The Talking For Him…

All of this crap absolves him from personal responsibility for his cruel discard. We’re supposed to believe that the same man who exercised such agency when picking out a ring and crafting a marriage proposal, and booking a honeymoon was suddenly rendered witless by his co-worker. OMG she has the power to make him WALK INTO SUNSETS!

Let’s take this apart.

1) Why did he let wedding plans get so far?

This is an untangling the skein of fuckupedness question. I don’t know the minds of fuckwits. Let’s judge him by his actions — he proposed to you, let you plan a wedding, buy a dress, only to flagrantly cheat on you and discard you at the very moment you were most excited about your future together.


Look CaB, I’m closing in on 16 million views on this site, and I’ve read a LOT of cheater freak stories. One thing stands out — at the moment when two people should be closest, the freak bails.

This goes for happy intimacy — the birth of a child, a job promotion, a milestone anniversary — and it goes for sad intimacy — the death of a parent, a cancer scare, a disability.

When shit gets real, they get fake. Or rather, their fakery is revealed. The shallow cannot hold.

Another observation — some sick fucks get off on the discard.

I don’t know if they do it consciously, but I suspect rejecting someone at their most vulnerable must feel deliciously powerful to the disordered.

Look about the graveyard of broken dreams here at Chump Nation — you avoided a worse fate than canceling a wedding. You avoided further investment in a mirage of a man.

2) How could she happily be complicit in all this?

She’s a freak too.

3) He claims he had no choice in the matter (falling in love and all that crap), but I’m convinced there’s always a choice? And if he was going to her, he didn’t try hard to avoid the situation, right?

Of course he has agency. All this bullshit about not being able to swallow their feelings (WTF? Insert ribald swallowing joke here) is just blameshifting and mindfuckery.

4) I also feel he got off lightly as I didn’t go ape shit and I want his family and friends to know how awful he truly is.

CaB, you have agency too. Please feel free to tell all and sundry the truth about why you called off the wedding — he was cheating with his co-worker. ‘Nuff said.

It’s much better to be on Square One than walking into a sunset with a sociopath. ((Hugs))

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I should add — we’re all free to reject romantic partners. There are ethical ways to do it, however. Honest conversations, not letting innocents invest further in us, divorce lawyers or therapists…

    When the ethical paths aren’t taken, but the giant fuck you rejection path is? I call FREAK.

    • When ethical paths aren’t folowed AND you are not under any divorce restrictions, PLEASE sing your story out loud.

      Tell their office HR department, her family (husband if she is married – you’d be doing him a favor) and everyone important in your life.

      It’s not called ‘ape shit’, it’s called honesty!!!

      • I told his family the truth. We did not grow apart after 30 years. I put up with his cheating for 20 years .. who knows maybe all 30. He was angry that I told. I was tired of the lying. I wanted my truth. We need to tell it. There is this idea out there that cheating is the chumps fault…if only we had been better/different/tried harder. That needs to change. Cheating is not cute, or a Romcom, or romantic. It’s ugly, cheap, devastating, soul crushing, hell.
        I wanted it to be known that he is a shit bag who was unnecessarily cruel, lied to his wife and children, used financial and emotional resources to do what ever he wanted. He cannot and will not talk to his 92 year old mother. He is as angry at her as me. He can’t face her. His brothers are disgusted with him. His daughters know the truth. His latest girl friend broke up with him because he was cheating on her. Who is this person? If I don’t continue to tell the truth to the outside world and especially to myself his black ball of shit will forever go around in my head. Shine the light on it.
        I feel protected by the truth, having it out there. It’s not airing dirty laundry it’s hanging out the clean, clear truth.

        • Sadly the more I have learned about the disordered and menta illness it has become harder to like lots of movies. It is as if they are all written by the disordered to make them look good.

            • I have been taking apart movies as well! With this new insight it is remarkable how ofen you see dysfunction in movies and stories.
              I was watching a marionette show at my daughter’s school. It was a fairy tale that had been around a long time, and not a modern retelling. In the space of one monologue, I heard the “bad guy” switch through rage, pity, and charm channel.
              I laughed but it was sad, knowing the disordered have been around for centuries.

            • It’s so sad! After DD1 I couldn’t watch The Office anymore because Jim and Pam are co workers and she was engaged. Maybe it’s not the same but I can’t watch it. My stbx started watching it again after dd2 all the time. Co workers in love probably has a different effect on him. ????

          • I feel the same way about Scandal. I love the parts when Olivia Pope is ‘running’ her business but hate the bigger part of the story of the affair. It’s NOT romantic. He’s MARRIED. I finally got so disgusted that I quit watching it – how they romanticize it into this big love story. Especially when he is so hateful to his wife while cheating on her and she’s supposed to just be nice?!?! F-ed up show and of course its a hit. SMH

    • Hi chump lady – it’s me, C and B

      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my email, I’m going to print it out and read it over and over again. I especially enjoy your quote ‘you avoided further investment in a mirage of a man’ and this will be my new mantra.

      At the time I did let everyone know the reasons for cancelling the wedding but I feel they need to know MORE, they don’t know he was with her the night before and day of me buying the dress…but then to get back in touch just to add the smaller details makes me feel I’m further away from reaching ‘meh’. Which is why for the time being I’m refraining from saying anything. We also still have a lot of joint finances and investments I’m trying to work through so can’t completely burn bridges.

      He’s so so convinced that ‘this could not be helped’ and that’s what confuses me the most but I cannot and must not dwell.

      Thanks for replying and for your whole blog – I visit daily and have read back through all your archives. I didn’t think I’d get a reply as I knew my questions were trying to untangle the skein.

      Thanks to you and to everyone who has commented.

      C and B

      • You make sure you get legal advice. If he isn’t on top of reimbursing your or your family for the wedding money you can’t get back, if he isn’t using his 1/2 of your “finances and investments” to do that, then he’s also a financial freak. You decide how you want the financial matters to be resolved, set a firm deadline and then go to an attorney who knows this stuff. Notice you say “you are trying to work through” these matters. Not “we.” So you’d better be protecting yourself.

        One thing this FREAK likes is a triangle. He liked having you planning a wedding while he was having his affair. Now he can use finances to keep you on a hook and torture both you and his Schmoopie with not finishing off your business together. Don’t stay in the triangle. You don’t indicate the extent of these assets, which could be sizable after 8 years.

      • Hi C and B,

        Re: He’s so so convinced that ‘this could not be helped’

        Imagine his cheating from his POV. He’s being honest. He really thinks that it could not be helped because he wanted to do this, so why deprive himself? “It could not be helped because I wanted to do it!” is Fuckwit logic.

        Never mind that in a couple of months or so, things will no longer be so shiny and he may have second thoughts about how “Beautiful Fate Brought Him and Schmoopie Together.”

        Fuckwit Freak joins my “Who Does That?”club.

        There is a member here whose screen name is:


        A perfect name for CN!

        I say that everytime I read a cheater story on CN. Then when I think, “No scoundrel can top THIS ONE!” and crown him Most Shady Club Member …

        … One of them does just that. Outdoes the last Fuckwit!

        Dealing with them is just like going deeper and deeper in a sewer.

        He may come hoovering later and try to get you back because his Plan A failed and he wants to use his Plan B.

        Stay strong! I hope you extricate yourself from the financial ties soon!

        • Thank you Skinwalker – I’m trying to break free from financial ties – I’m not sure if he’ll cover the legal costs though. Will have to wait and see, it’s making me feel sick. I just want this to be over. C and B x

      • Jordan Peterson has said several times “if you’re looking for someone’s motivation when their actions don’t make sense, look at the result and conclude that the result is likely what they intended the entire time.” It’s not a perfect explanation of course, but it certainly explains a lot. I think with cheaters, when chaos and pain is the result, it’s what they intended the entire time. Especially when the affairs are confessed or discovered at some momentous occasion. They want maximum drama, the biggest audience possible, and to be the charismatic star of the performance. Was the fall out painful, chaotic and dramatic? That was likely the INTENTION the entire time. You can ask why someone would want that, but honestly does it really matter WHY someone wants you in pain in misery? That person is a sadist, just run.

      • C and B. To be blunt, cheating is cheating. The people who disapprove of his cheating already disapprove, and the people who don’t aren’t going to change their minds just because he cheated the day before dress shopping.

        Don’t get me wrong, I get why it feels like an extra gut-punch to you, and if you want to rant about it to your close friends, well, that’s what friends are for. However, for your wider circle, knowing a few more details isn’t going to change much. He cheated on his fiancee while planning a wedding – people are going to know there had to be some overlap between making plans with you and banging her.

        On the other hand, you’re like the character in the beginning of the horror movie that goes “yanno, the forest cabin we rented for our vacation keeps chanting ominously… I think I’m going to stay in a hotel in the town.” Yes, it sucks that you lose out on the deposit you put down for Murder Cannibal Ghost cabin, and the hotel was sorta dingy, but trust me, you got the best deal out of this scenario.

    • My x fiancé of 8 years who is 56 is cheating with a married woman 26 who has 2 toddlers. I was blind sided and am devastated as this was the year we were to be married. To make matters worse my insurance agent suggested I have my big ass 2.5 carat diamond ring appraised. Well the good news it’s set in platinum. The bad news the jeweler explains is it’s a man made stone. Worth about $2,500. Not the $25K he played it off to be to our friends and family. The betrayal of the affair and the betrayal of not buying a real ring. What does that say? He never was in it ? Never loved me? I was all in and then some. It’s been 6 months and I’m still heartbroken. Trying to move forward. He doesn’t know I know about the ring. His last comments are I’ve moved on you need to move on. Take what you’ve learned from this relationship and apply it to the next!! That statement infuriated me. Who is this guy???

      • How to trust again? Why do I still feel wish he would call or come to his senses? I’m fd

  • CaB, this sucks and is terrible. He is a garbage person and a coward. Try to take some comfort in the fact that you found out about his fuckedupedness now instead of 12 years (and a kid) after the wedding. It’s horrible to lose those 8 years and the future you thought you had, and it’s ok to mourn that. Take care of yourself, and feel free to burn his name to the ground. You don’t have to keep his secrets, especially when the secret is that he treated you like trash.

    • 100% agree on the notion of mourning the loss of future. Also the loss of identity. You thought you were a bride and soon to be newly-wed. Those roles evaporated without any choice in the matter. I am 1 year post d-day and these are where my grief seems to be spending the most time (motherhood was my next chapter as we had purchased donor sperm only two weeks prior).

      Allow space and do not feel pressure to “move on” or “get over it” too quickly. In regards to keeping a secret… you do you. I told a lot of people (neighbors, friends, family). The minute he introduced a third person to an exclusive relationship all bonds of trust and respect were shattered. Speaking my truth helped a lot.

      • Yes – it’s the loss of identity and a whole new life path that I’m struggling with. And in my original note to CL when I referenced him running off into the sunset and me being at square one… rationally, I’m reading all your responses and doing my best to take it in but I’m panicking as he’s moving along in his life like everything is normal and I feel like I’m moving backwards and cannot progress in life. Sorry if that sounds ‘woe is me’ – think I’m having a particularly bad day today. xx

    • C & B,

      my 35 year marriage to a narcissist (and I mean that term EXACTLY) is ending in an ugly divorce. NOT a “conscious uncoupling.” Today my rage is so great and my fear so intense, that I was shaking and my heart was racing.

      I feel sick. My husband has not spoken to our children since February and has not seen them in over a year. I feel I have wasted chunks of my life with a liar and cheat with a strange social affect that I covered for, for years.

      I wish to God I had never walked down the aisle with him so in a way, I guess I envy you. Thing is,

      YOUR MAN WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN BETTER WITH TIME…he is not a fine wine. You dodge a bullet to the heart and you are young.

      I don’t mean to minimize your pain b/c I certainly relate to it. But I hope you will soon see that the upside to this ordeal is much LESS pain in the long run and the change for a real marriage of depth with an adult man who will be a good role model for children, not just another child for you to raise.

      • DOCTOR’s1stWife&Kids,

        Can you expand on:

        “… liar and cheat with a strange social affect that I covered for, for years.”

        Very familiar to me!

        • I was asking about “strange social aspect.”

          Just wondering how your experience was.

      • Doctors 1st wife&kids: What I grieve the most – that I did not have a marriage of depth with an adult man who will be a good role model for children.

        What I got: No depth. Not an adult – a toddler having a tantrum. Shows his daughter how he treats women – poorly, very cruel, with no respect. People are to be thrown away when you are not ‘happy.’ It’s been very hard to know I gave a total loser as a human as a father to my precious daughter.

        I hate it.

    • Agree, take good care of you CaB, I left my first cheater pre-wedding, almost 9 years together…

      A year and a bit post-break up, I meet this nice empathetic man who could not understand how someone I invested so much to be in a relationship with could be so callous and selfish…

      I married the kind guy, had a kid with him and thought all was well until I found out about his affair and a level of duplicity that dwarfed anything the first cheater did to me…

      Take the time to really go deep in understanding reciprocity in relationships and boundaries CaB, read the stories here about watching actions over projecting your good nature when the other is not stepping up, betrayal hurts like hell, but if you go deep bow, you can develop a great narcdar that will be super useful in your personal and professional life.

      • I’ve been doing a lot of reading and there’s only certain narc elements that I can pick up looking back – I’m worried that there’s elements in the future that I might miss. Historically I have taken pride in my intuition – how wrong I was there! So now I’m questioning my whole belief system. Gargh.

  • I bred with a fuckwit. When shit got really real, like most likely the entire marriage, asshole bailed into xgirlfriends, co workers, clients, prostitutes, bar hook ups, strippers, porn, escorts-female and tranny…. all the while perfectly gaslighting and being all around mentally abusive.

    You don’t need that loser. Let him traipse into the sparkling sunset with his own special loser. What they DO to you, they will do to every partner.

    I am sorry you were blindsided by someone you thought you knew. 8yrs is a long time and because of that I would recommend finding a good therapist to sort through your betrayal. I know I spackled the red flags because I just couldn’t wrap my head around my SO being so decidedly evil to me and his own kids. They suck and it’s never anyone’s job to fill the gaping holes in another person’s empty soul.

  • Sounds like “swallowing their feelings” in cheater speak is short for “we knew what we were doing and did it anyway because we could.” Cheater speak is a hilariously illogical language that way. My cheater told me that he was “struggling” not to cheat at one point — a point that it later turned out coincided with a trip where he picked up bar girls in clubs in Brazil, then visited brothels in Buenos Aires, followed by picking up divorcees in Chile. When I pointed out the “coincidence” he said: “I was struggling, ok?!”

    • Cheater-speak… oh yes. One of my cheaters fall back phrases was every time we got into a discussion, he would accuse me of making it “circular” and use that to invalidate my point and then stop “arguing”

      • Cheaters often use “circular” point is often used because of projection — many engage in narcissistic circular argumentation themselves, but project it onto others. The fun starts when they use the accusation to get out of the argument coming back to a point that has not been actually addressed. In the case above, my pointing out that the narrative of him trying not to cheat on me coincided with a two-week fuckfest was treated as my being unreasonable by coming back to the original point and trying to clarify it. Hence, the great solution: “I was struggling, ok?!”

        • X engaged me in numerous circular arguments and tries to still. It’s a trait of the disordered, and makes it nearly impossible to communicate or get along even post-divorce dealing with the kids. They have delusions you don’t even know about and live their lives with incredible double standards because really and true in their own mind the rules don’t apply to them.

          • I think they are bastions of the logical fallacy. One day, during another session of getting absolutely nowhere, my STBX clearly introduced the straw man fallacy — I laughed. It was utterly predictable from him my that point. It was also funny because, STBX is not unlike a straw man himself. Not rational and no substance. 🙂

        • Oh yes – I was always accused of ‘going round in circles’ and he would not respond or communicate after repeating that I ‘was going round in circles’ it was another way of him shifting blame back onto me and shutting down the conversation. Oh the value of hindsight!

          • This is how you fix your picker–you study up on disordered people and how they operate.

      • Absolutely, they have their verbal tricks to try to get out of responsibility. My fuckwit used to cut me off by saying “I knew you were going to say that!” thereby ending all conversation about why, how, you have got to be kidding me, any of that.

        So when I would say, “Fuckwit, you are incredibly selfish to abandon me by leaving while I was away on a business trip, without any hint that you were unhappy” he would say, “I knew you were going to say that!”

        When I said, “Fuckwit, you are such a coward to not have the nerve to face me, I mean really, I got a fucking e-mail as a goodbye? AFTER 31 YEARS?????” he said, “I knew you were going to say that!”

        When I said, “Fuckwit, I know you are lying and that you have a fuckbuddy waiting in the wings again just like 9 years ago” he would say, “I knew you were going to say that!”

        Each time the purpose was to shut me down and never have to respond or explain himself, to try to get me on the defensive. In his stooopid wittle child-brain it was as if him “knowing” that I would have such obvious questions about his cowardly abandonment somehow made me awful for being so predictable and him sooo clever for guessing what I might ask. He is such a petulant child.

    • My sister and I say my STBXH suffers from “testicular mirage syndrome.” He absolutely believes it (insert lie or warped perspective here) when he says it.

  • Echoing CL re: reframing the situation — the man has no speck of backbone. I’m guessing your dreams for your life did not include investing your emotional and financial well being to such a person, nor having your children be raised by one.

    You just hit the lottery.

    • What UXworld said. +1,000,000.

      Right now, you’re wallowing in the pain of rejection and the embarrassment of having to cancel the wedding (even if it’s for a very good reason, it’s still embarrassing to have to do it).

      Spend a little time here, read about the stories of women (and men) who invested years married to cheaters, had kids, and now find themselves closer to the end of their lives than the beginning, without a dedicated partner, and in many cases no desire to get one. Realize that you just dodged that bullet. Hitting the lottery indeed – you get to have a regular, genuine life, and the chance to find a loving partner with a good soul to share it with.

      This unpleasant incident will just be a blip on the radar ten years from now, something that was unpleasant, but set you up for the successes to follow. You can look back on this incident, and look for the warning signs that he wasn’t the man he pretended to be, and learn from them so you can choose better next time. Lord knows almost all of us wish we had that chance.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.

  • It hurts right now but you will be glad you didnt marry him later.
    You know why… because no one deserves what he did to you and he deserves no more investment of your precious energies.
    Take it from those of us who have invested 20+ years in such ingrates.
    The past is sunk cost meaning all you can do is learn from it.
    Focus on you. Heal. Enjoy your life in the current. You have your whole life ahead of you!

  • Depending on how much had been put down on deposits and fees… including the dress….

    I’d consider suing.

    • “And now they get to skip off into the sunset and I’m back to square one.”

      I’m in the sue the freak camp. Check with an attorney about ‘breach of promise’. Did he put up any of the money? My guess is that you put all the time, money and energy into the planning. Was the engagement ring a gift? If so you get to keep it in the lawsuit. Also have your lawyer demand he pay your legal fees as well in the suit.

      • He’s so cowardly he hasn’t broached the subject of the ring and it’s not something to be overlooked, so I’ll certainly be keeping it. I’m still waiting on some legal matters to be resolved – I had to instruct them on my behalf as he hasn’t lifted a finger to try and split our finances. I also keep thinking back to CL ‘sorry is as sorry does’ and not getting any sorry vibes either – not that I should expect any. The first few weeks I couldn’t understand the lack of remorse but after reading more and more, I get it – they don’t have that capacity.

        • So sorry you are going through this CB! What he did to you was horrible!!! As others wrote above you dodged a bullet and are much better off w/o him! You have your whole life ahead of you and will find someone much better when you are ready! Hugs

  • And for the record, I bet this isn’t the first time he cheated, just the first time you caught him. I’m so sorry for your pain, but it will get better in time, and you’ll find someone who deserves you.

      • I thought the same thing. He may have been cheating for the last 8 years. Why else prolong the courtship period and propose almost a decade later. He was likely getting his needs met elsewhere.

        • I agree that it is unlikely that this is the first time he cheated, just the first time he wasn’t able to excuse the flags and was caught. Haggar the Whoreable was the same. I now know that Ankles was part of our relationship the entire time.

          As long as he could twist me up and keep me dancing he could ramp up the abuse and lies. Once I was hit with Dday and the proof, he was “poof” gone. No confrontation, nothing. Just silence and he got the dog and the slutshack for he and Ankles.

      • he probably did cheat before hand but what with the wedding and all, he felt he HAD to come clean!!

        OR they were inviting guests he’d slept with, and that got all, you know, uncomfy for him.

        C & B, I say with utmost clarity and certainty, you dodged a high caliber hollow point bullet.

    • STBX claims this is his one and only affair. I guess I’ll never know the truth. He claims to have not meant to fall in love with his best friend. Thanks alot arsehole.

      8 years plus 1 1/2 of friendship and two c before dating and two children means nothing to him. I can total relate to the discard when you need them most. It’s truely horrible being a chump whatever way you get here.

      • The horrible thing is that you can never tell.

        What Chumps need to realize is that this is the affair we know about. Are there others? Maybe. The point is that we discover our Cheaters are capable of cheating. After all, you get only one chance at fidelity.

        • Very true kb, I want so desperately to know the truth but I know I’ll never get it. I don’t know if he truely believes his own lies but I know he had no issue with looking me in the eye and lying his arse off repeatedly.

  • This one hit close to home for me because I’m getting married in 4 weeks.

    Listen to Chump Lady. You have escaped a world of hurt.

    My first husband was cheating on me before the wedding. I discovered afterwards that he had emailed one of his mistresses the morning of the wedding, opining how he wished she was the one at the end of the aisle. He cheated on me after the wedding in my home, in my bed.

    It has taken me a decade to disentangle myself from that marriage. A decade of pushing through courts, a fortune in legal fees. Just when we got close, he would disappear or raise another issue. 10 long years of trying to legally separate myself from a marriage that lasted 54 weeks.

    You have dodged a huge bullet. You will hurt, and it will be devastating, but you still have your legal freedom and you can walk away now to heal.

    Take care and please keep reminding yourself- he has done you a favour.

    • You sound like Princess Diana and the Horse-faced Twat! She was even forced to endure having her husband Charles’ mistress walk next to her at public events and not pour water on her head! I just watched a special on her life last week and couldn’t help but think that Cheaters have no conscience, and it happens all the time.

  • I am the alternate future you dodged.

    The wedding happened, as did the next six years of masterful deception including abusing my teen niece via inappropriate sexual contact, cheating with a pangender variety of teens and adults including strippers and probably more, financial shenanigans and destruction, calculated destruction of my reputation, gaslighting and other manipulations that traumatized my heart at a soul level, and, as the truth came out, a million helpless-sounding excuses about how none of these behaviors was his fault (bad childhood scarred him, universe/destiny bigger than him, others fit his aesthetic better and the heart wants what the heart wants and we can’t help that, etc. etc.)

    It took many years to sort out the toughest pieces of that, and I’ll be sorting some of them out one way or another forever, I expect.

    I didn’t know anyone who knew how to be a support system for such immense trauma, and I made many bad decisions along the way because of it, decisions that hurt me and others and that I’m still sorting out, too. The one thing I would do differently if I had to do it over again is to get in counseling right away and keep changing counselors as often as needed to get the right fit. You need an empowering trauma-informed counselor who doesn’t do “there’s two sides to the story” on the topic of deception and betrayal. Nobody else will do.

    The thoughts spinning in your mind are trauma thinking. You need the right support. Please give yourself that gift. I send you deep empathy and support.

    And know, from a lady who has been there, that finding this out before marrying him is one of the greatest blessings you will ever receive in this life. It can’t feel like that all the way to your core yet, of course, but it will feel like that every moment of every day in time.

    Take care of you.

    • Amiisfree, wow. You are such a strong person! I do agree that trauma compounds on top of other layers of trauma. It’s like a trauma cake. I’m so glad you got out. I do agree that people don’t realize the importance of finding out before marriage and how it’s a blessing. Sometimes things that seem so trivial, end up being the most important in our lives. Great post.

    • Amiisfree–I’m sorry you did not have a proper support system during your post-trauma. Even well-meaning people aren’t sure of the best way to handle the horror of infidelity, and that heaps more pain on top of already-substantial pain.

    • Reading this, I was struck about a good fit of a counselor being essential…it made me grateful for my luck in finding mine the first time I looked. One thing I didn’t think about was that she works at a “women centered clinic”…I do think that the odds may be better with other facilities like that…(sorry male chumps!) but in the case of Confused and Betrayed I recommend that as well. The validation I have received and the changes that my therapist helped me to make in my life and belief systems were absolutely invaluable to my recovery. I know I will never experience one of these “freaks” again. Amiisfree. I am so glad you are free! You are mighty!

      • I also have found that although i stillwant to “shout from the rooftops” what be has done in detail, just a simple “I am glad to finally be free from the 10 years of deceit”works very well. If the “asker” is up for it they will ask more about the divorce and if they don’t, then I kept it classy but truthful. This works for me even though it is a bit of a compromise.

      • Absolutely- the crisis counselor I saw initially did not believe me. I wasted 4 visits with her and on that 4th visit she said, “Well, if what you say really happened….” and that was the end of her. Yes, my fuckwit abandoned me and completely went poof and moved out while I was on a business trip. Yes, he sent me an e-mail as my notification, after 31 years together. No, there was no hint that he was unhappy, as a matter of fact just 6 weeks earlier on a vacation trip he declared he wanted to be with me the rest of his life (shoulda known then something was wrong!). Yes, he made sure to crush me in subsequent contacts by screaming at me and telling me it was my fault, that I ruined the marriage and I am Controlling and Judgmental and that my adult daughters agree with him and they hate me too. All this was done (I now know, didn’t know then) to hide an affair.

        It is so important for that person you confide in to have your back, especially initially when you are in the high chumpy trauma days of blaming yourself and thinking you can fix it all if you just dance, dance, dance and buy more Amazon shit. To have this person doubt my story was a huge blow after I had just laid my soul bare to her with all the horrifying and embarrassing details.

        • My comment is awaiting moderation? Hmmm, never seen that before… I didn’t even name my counselor, har har har!

    • So sorry you are going through this!!!! A good counselor is so key!!!! I’m a new chump, kicked him out/filing for divorce. I have been working with my amazing counselor for 7 years on other things and she was helping me recently through all this trauma. I saw her on Friday. On Sat night she died in her sleep. She was 60 with no known health problems. I am devastated!!! She was a great person and was really helping me. Her co-worker is going to work with me. I’ve met him and he seems good. I am going to miss her!

    • Thanks Amiisfree – I went for my first counselling session today and just cried the whole time, she said I’m pressuring myself to feel better too quickly. She seemed to be understanding and could help me pinpoint the feelings but I kind of just want to forget about it rather than talk about it each week and get myself upset. Especially as I know he’s just swanning around loving his life – that’s the bit that hurts the most. My counseller is right though – I just want to get better!

      • I totally understand the wanting to feel better and how lousy this whole thing feels, but believe me, you need to go through the work of grief. It sucks, it’s lousy and hard, but if you don’t figure out where your “picker” could use some tweaking, you could well make the same mistakes in picking someone else again.

        I’m just over a year post Dday #1, and I am FINALLY feeling like myself again, but it has been very very hard.

        If you try to skip the work of this, you will not get to Meh and you will not heal. Accept the emotions as they come, feel them fully, and move forward that way. You are grieving and I swear to God, it cannot be rushed.


  • CaB – everything people here are saying is right. You dodged a bullet. It’s better to know now than later. No one deserves this. You’re better off. But right now you’re pissed, heart broken into a million pieces, you can’t believe someone could knowingly do this to you. You’ll struggle with the “why” forever. 8 years is a long time of your own life you’ll feel you wasted. Nothing can take the pain away. Not right now. But it will get better. Listen to everyone here. I’m going on a year and a half and finally beginning to not think about the asshole everyday or wonder what he’s doing or who he’s doing. I care about him less each and say and more about me each day.

    Time heals all. Be mad, be sad, be hurt. For now. Like CL says, feel free to tell whomever. Don’t be ashamed. It’s not your fault. You’ll only be telling the truth.

    Please check in here from time to time and let is know you’re ok.

    • Thank you – that’s great advice ImAPhool – I can’t wait to feel ‘better’ again. I feel like everyone is fed up of me talking about this all the damn time x

  • I could have written this. The only difference is that rather than planning a wedding, we were undergoing fertility treatment for our second child. I cannot and never will understand how he could build up a future for me that he never planned to be a part of. I loathe him for that.

    • One of my friends managed to divorce her narc husband shortly after the birth of their second child.

      They’d already had one child, but my friend really wanted a second child and had fertility issues. Her narc ex said “sure,” and he made a whole lot more than she does. However, she’s the one holding the bag with respect to all the costs. He said he’d share them, but nope. He’s not. She’s currently exploring legal options to recoup those costs, given that they occurred during the marriage.

  • CAB-

    It sucks that you gave up 8 years to this jerk that you will never get back but you know what’s worse? Multiplying that number by 3, adding 4 more years and breeding with the loser to boot. Ask me how I know.That just ensures that you’d be tied to sir freak for the rest of your life and no one wants that.

    You’ve suffered a real loss and it deserves to be grieved. You also deserve righteous anger for the time and money you are out for the wedding. It sucks but the only thing you can do now is learn from the past 8 years and go on with your life. And I agree with CL. Don’t keep quiet for him. When people ask why you split tell them about his girlfriend. Don’t announce it on a billboard or Facebook but when asked, don’t lie for him. You owe him nothing.


  • CaB come to CL & CN daily for inspiration and the jagged puzzle pieces start fitting together. The initial kick in the gut is paralyzing and numbing at Dday. I walked around bewildered. I had almost 20 years and two teenagers invested with this fuckwit. Suffered 2 Ddays and carried the biggest pale of spackle you ever did see. There were red flags before we married. But none as big as screwing a coworker while a wedding is being planned. That is some serious mechanical failure and an obvious don’t get on that plane!! If only I had it shoved in my face so blatantly, I may not have sunk so much of my life into a bottomless pit of need.

    As you go through the stages of grief, you will question everything. Did I not love him enough? Am I unlovable? Even for some of us, can this be fixed? Once you realize you are pining for a turd, it starts to make sense. The why’s don’t matter. Arm yourself incase he circles back around for you. Once you the barrier is removed, the twu wuvs aren’t so true any more. That sunset kinda scorches their ass.

    One thing I had to remind myself of, there is always another schmoopie out there waiting to be rescued from the misery of their life. You gave him the appearance of normalcy with all that adulting you do. They think the cheater is all that and a bag of chips. They want what you have. When two cheaters get together it doesn’t quite work out that way. But no matter to you, go on and leave a cheater and gain a life.

    Trust that they suck.

  • I had the pleasure of actually getting an honest answer from daddy’s little girl when I asked how she could just discard me etc. See, sometimes, usually when she’s raging or trying to get you to feel sorry for her, she has moments she will speak the truth. The answer to “how come you begged me to stay, committed to working on yourself on to fuck grandpa again and pretend to be reconciling?” IS….”You’re stupid, why can’t you understand, I couldn’t decide what I wanted and I was making up my mind! Also, it wasn’t a lie because I meant it when I said it”
    Think about that. Think about being married to a creature that believe commitments are only valid for the millisecond it takes for them to leave their lips. Think about being married to a person who thinks it’s ok to lie to you, spend all of your money, hit you, have affairs, use your children as pawns as they decide whether or not they want you as a spouse. Oh, and they think you’re stupid for not understanding that.
    That’s the type of marriage you’ve been saved from. I’m sorry you had that type of engagement. The hurt sucks.

    • I sympathize with the “I meant it when I said it” variant of dysfunctional B.S. Been there, heard that!

      It also reminds me of one of the many stunned moments of disbelief I had with my EX during a child exchange. Throughout our marriage my EX insisted intent was never important–only outcomes. I argued intent was a factor. So, if I bought cupcakes for a friend and dropped them on the doorstep, my gesture was a mess, but the intent to give her a small gift still had some weight. He argued it was as if I’d never done a thing for her.

      Skip ahead a decade, and the EX routinely abandons kids at rehearsals and sports practices while in his custody (leaving coaches and other adults to call me and let me know the 8-year-old has been waiting 90 minutes for Dad, etc.) I’d go get the kids (keeping them, not returning them to him), and later I’d say something to my EX, and he’d reply, “I intended to get them but I forgot. You have to understand because you are the one who convinced me intent matters.”

      He seemed to mean this sincerely–not as snark. He’d convinced himself that just as words only had to be true the moment they were spoken, any intent to to do the right thing was as valid as an actual action. But while the value of truth was apparently only fleeting, intent was somehow permanently valid.

      There is so much that I do not miss about my marriage to that jackass!

      • Kant agrees with us. Of course, intention is defined as determination to act in a certain way. Determination means to decide to act definitely and firmly. Since these fuckwits are unable be anything other than fleeting in their feelings and actions, they are incapable of ever demonstrating true intention. Like everything else, it’s the appearance of intent that they equate to true intention. Like the appearance of love, or effort, or respect. Fuckem

        • OMG- my STBX said “you know I didn’t intend to hurt our son” by his affair and subsequently breaking up our family. Don’t even get me started on that. That made me see red!!!!

      • I am spiraling just reading that. What a mind Fuck. And…. Familiar.

    • This!!!

      My XH raged when I dared to ask how could he have lied to me everyday and tell me that he loved me, even tellling me that he loved me when he dropped me off for work as usual 4-5 hours before DDay 2 and then leaving for good.

      “What about all letters, cards, love notes, every memory we shared over the years – they meant nothing!!!! ” I roared.

      “I meant what I said AT THE TIME” he screeched, really pissed off that I could even dare suggest that he was a liar.

      Yup, even on the morning of DDay he meant it (at the time, of course!)

      • Situational Ethics. That’s what Haggar the Whoreable would call it. And he had the uncanny ability to compartmentalize. Home, Work, Whore, Ankles, Co-worker BDSM Broad…..What he told them was the “truth” as he saw it at the moment. He was never a liar, just had to say things so that I could handle them. Example when we were engaged: Who was texting you all day at work? That was a co-worker’s aunt that had questions about a product at work. Really, it takes 12 hours to discuss this product? hmmm. I call the number, it’s Ankles. When asked if it was really a co-worker’s aunt (pretty unbelievable to begin with)…oh yes. Then why when I called it was it answered by Ankles. Then it was she was texting me to come have sex with her, but I called her a whore when she said she wouldn’t tell anyone. Really, it takes 12 hours and multiple texts to tell her that she is a whore and you are engaged (at the time). Response: it felt good to tell her what a whore she was for “cheating on me”. hmm. where are the texts? Response: I deleted them. hmmm. Why did you lie to me? Response: you couldn’t handle truth. You were too emotional to handle it. I was protecting you.

        And I didn’t run at the time…….Dumbass award goes to WAC2015.

        The mental gymnastics are incredible and worthy of gold medal performances until they can’t lie their way out of the ugly truth that is them.

      • Omg ‘at the time’ – why did you propose to me? ‘It felt right…at the time’ – exactly what he said. God these douches need to get more original. The more I read on here the more similarities I can see/remember/kind of begin to understand. ‘At the time’ – please they need to STFU. Thanks for everyone’s comments and words of wisdom x

        • Hey C and B,

          You really dodged a bullet ( although 8 years is a fair oul investment) if you can wrap your head around this mindfuck now whilst ( I am assuming you are younger than my 40 odd years) you start again you will look back in time and appreciate this harsh lesson in life.

          If I was you I would get myself a good therapist or read as much as you can about this fuckwits – arm yourself with as much info as you can, don’t be too hasty to move on – chances are (as lots of us here have found out) we may very well make the same mistake again. These sick fuckers can read and select their victims with precision and your next knight in shining armour might very well turn out to be a big drip covered in baking foil.

          Take time to read and heal, it’s not an overnight process and one day something will just click – I am 5 yrs + into this process, still learning and refining my broken picker on all levels, co-workers, friends etc.

          Take care

        • Yup feelings. Whatever they are whenever they occur. They’re emotional bottomless pits that believe that feelings are reality. Good feelings they deserve, bad feelings are your fault.
          The only constant is that they think only about their needs. I know you’re really hurt but please, please know how lucky you are.
          He WILL do the same thing to the next person and the person after that. Shit I bet you weren’t the first either.

    • Another hand up here for similar. This is a direct quote from an email sent after he left: “It wasn’t a desire to hurt you that led to my deceiving you, but utter indecision at what I wanted out of life.”

      OW gave an ultimatum that led to “his decision” to leave. Biggest favour she could have done for me. I assume his plan otherwise was to continue to date her, continue to write up pro-con lists about each of us (true story), continue to see her in secret completely unbeknownst to me, while he decided just what it was that he wanted and that’d be ok because he didn’t actively desire to hurt me. UGH.

      • Hopefully you appreciate what a burden that was for him to carry. It must have been incredibly painful for him.

        What a dick.

    • The very few bits of honesty I ever got from my STBX were when he was in a rage as well.

      I finally realized that in the moments of rage, he lets the mask drop entirely — and that is why he is able to spit out the truth. He’s proud of WHO he is underneath that mask and he resents it like crazy that he has to hide it.

      In hindsight, reviewing the crap he spewed in rage moments, I now know that he hates me. He hates me for being responsible, loving, bluntly honest, committed, hard-working, and that I have a decent level of intelligence (always been a bookworm). He hates me for him NOT being those things (by choice). He also hates me because he depends on me since he is none of those things.

      And this is why it took me so long to wrap my head around WHO he is. It makes no sense to a normal, decent human.

  • This man is a coward … like all cheaters are! Think of all the heartache you’ll be avoiding in the future! There really IS a reason they say “Once a cheater, always a cheater!” Chumps here who tried reconciling with a “once cheater” come to find out they do it again!

    I would like to point out the fucked up nature of the typology of affairs! Exit affair, conflict avoidant affair, who the fuck cares! They pretty much split affairs into categories to cover all points of being human! Yep, everyone get old, has communication problems, feels sad, is too
    polite (wtf) etc. What normal human beings do is address those issue with their partner, not sleep with someone in hopes that it will magically fix a problem THEY are having! Trying to figure out their kind of fucked up is moot – it keeps you focused on them.. and THEIR REASONS WONT CHANGE YOUR REALITY. Your reality is you were fucked over and hurt! Luckily his issues don’t have to be yours… you dodged a bullet!

    • Got-a-Brain I’ve been coming here for months now and it seems like everyday there is something in the daily blog that speaks to me. Even if it doesn’t match my exact situation. Today CL talks about these nuts cracking at intimacy when things should be bringing spouses together. My ex only wanted to talk about things that mattered to him, rarely about anything of importance to me. It took me years to see this. Sure we’d chat at length about the kids, but I think he saw them reflecting positively on him. Both of my Ddays (that I know about) happened when I needed him. He turned to a ho both of those times. I realized with schmoopie 2.0 this is who he is. Always looking for another ho to build him up. Not only can he not give when I needed it, he had to ramp up the taking.

      • My ex only wanted to talk about things that mattered to him, rarely about anything of importance to me. MJB, my CheaterX also didn’t want to talk about anything that was important to me. We’d talk about his day at the office. I knew the names of his payroll person, all the temps, etc. I doubt that he could have named the 3 people with whom I shared an office suite for 7 years.

        • I work with children. Did so all our marriage. During our divorce he called me at work and wanted to know why he could hear kids in the background???

          • Wow. Just wow. The utter cluelessness. . . I bet your letter carrier or grocery cashier knew more about you than he did. Because normal people actually PAY ATTENTION.

        • My friends, family and acquaintances have come out of the woodwork confirming what a boorish person stbx is. They were too polite to say it before. We used to occassionally go out to dinner with my best friend and her husband. She said she was acutely aware of stbx’s complete look of boredom until someone asked him a question which would result in him telling one of his very animated tales of his greatness but he would never reciprocate and show an ounce of interest in them or their lives . He just didn’t care.

      • My ex also wanted me to be there for him and talk about his problems and his needs. The problem was that he wanted me to initiate these conversations and I failed at that. I always made myself available to him when he wanted to talk, but if he wasn’t talking I (evidently erroneously) believed that he didn’t want to talk about it and left him alone out of courtesy (beyond expressing my condolences and my own grief over loss of family members, etc.). Many times I had no clue that anything was bothering him at all, but I guess I was supposed to be able to read minds. Of course the few times I did try to initiate an “is anything wrong” I usually got “no I’m just tired” so I would leave it alone. Again, I failed by not pestering him to speak up. All my fault he cheated. I was emotionally unavailable. My own courtesy did me in. That and having the gall to occasionally want to talk about my own problems which were of course inconsequential, my own fault anyway and not worth his time. I learned quickly not to bother him with my problems, but I still didn’t cheat.

        • Near the end of the discard phase Haggar the Whoreable told me that if I spoke more that 10 minutes that he tune me out as he was no longer interested in what I had to say. I even asked for permission one time to speak for more than 10 minutes and he granted it, but then after stated that I forced him to stay up late and listen to me when he had agreed to talk about the subject.

          The same night as he told me that he now couldn’t handle to listen to me for more than 10 minutes, I went into the house and sat on the couch and cried quietly. He went upstairs to go to bed, came back down and sat with me and explained why he felt this way. Then when I attempted to speak to him, it was twisted back around into I forced him to stay up late and talk to me. I reminded him that I didn’t ask him to come sit with me or talk to me. I went into a space that no-one was in and I wouldn’t disturb anyone. Then I was at fault as I had to know that he would come talk to me since I was crying. I had forgotten that I cried everyday for months before Dday on my way home from work. This is when he used to call me on my drive, but during the discard, he didn’t want to do anything that he didn’t want to do. He no longer wanted to call me after work or text me during the day. He was too busy talking to the BDSM broad and even admitted how he routed calls through his office number to his cell……


          • Yes. When his dad died I wasn’t there for him. “I ignored him”. Never mind that when I tried to talk about it, he wouldn’t.
            Then he says “also you have been picking on me too much.”
            I said “how can I be picking on you and ignoring you at the same time?”
            These people are unbelieveable.

    • On dday after cheater confessed, I jumped into the pick me dance and told him I would forgive him and we could work through this. I think he was surprised and had expected me to throw him out (which is what I should have done). He then said those exact words “once a cheater, always a cheater”. Dumb me just danced harder. Months down the road I told adult daughter that he had said that and she was not surprised at all. She said he had told her that too. Upon further inquiry, he said he had said that when she told him her high school boyfriend had cheated on her with one of her friends.

      One case where cheater is an expert.

  • “When shit gets real, they get fake. Or rather, their fakery is revealed. The shallow cannot hold.”

    This was true of my X…except it wasn’t marriage that brought all of the shit to light, it was the birth of our first child. The “grand reveal” didn’t happen until a month shy of her first birthday. I liken the experience to being one of his hobbies that he tried and it didn’t take (this was an actual thing he did with hobbies, but I never thought the practice was translatable to people). Marriage? Eh, like committed-on-paper dating (although he supposedly started seeing hookers not even a year after we married and moved for his new job). But having a child? Shit got too real. Thanks for holding it in as long as you could, asshole. Much appreciated.

    • This was true of the shit I married too. It’s not coincidence he cheated on me just months after I got my first real, well paid, 100% earned by me, job. Before that I worked only part time jobs, most of the time that he got me talking to his bosses about how I did websites. Probably he even said ‘as a hobby’ or something like that. Once it was clear that I was good, objectively good at my job, and got the recognition I deserved, he failed.

      • Mine was the opposite. He reveled in my professional success. Loved the money and loved being able to brag about how I was a “player” in my industry.

        When I stopped working to care for our child, he missed the income and the image he created of being a power couple. (He actually continued for a while to brag about the work I used to do.)

        When it came down to being solely
        responsible for maintaining our lifestyle, it was too much to handle. (Maintaining, not building.)

        Point is, it doesn’t matter. They will adapt the narrative to fit their image management strategy.

        • Oh, mine used to brag about my job, how smart I was and how good the webs I did were. But I was always underpaid and I worked in the same academic groups he was working, so I was always seen as “X’s wife, who does her hobby here and gets paid a bit for it”. It was always like my job wasn’t real, even if it was good, and depended on him. He cheated as soon as I got into a job I got myself, applying normally, going to an interview and getting chosen because I was the person my company needed.

        • “They will adapt the narrative to fit their image management strategy.” Yup. They don’t know what they want, but they will make it to be whatever you are not when they get tired of that life. Fucking parasites.

          • Yup, this. I left work to stay at home with the kids when RonBurgundy worked the 6 and 11 newscasts. Former employers called regularly to ask me to temp for them. If I did, he whined that he couldn’t take care of the kids because he was “tired” or “had to work out” or “needed to read 3 different newspapers” but would I still pack his lunch, iron his shirts, and pick the kids’ toys up before he got home? After Dday with InternWhore, he said, “Maybe I would have respected you more if you had worked.” Asshole.

        • I have a career in engineering. I always thought of myself as successful forgetting my PE and keeping my place in a career that is constantly in flux while simultaneously raising three children. I hired good nanny’s and worked 30/hr weeks so I could have more time to devout to family and always put STBXs career first because I knew his success was so important to his psyche. Meanwhile I did good work and was appreciated by my employers and their clients and I was doing my small part to help the world (my job involves energy conservation in buildings). I also raised awesome, intelligent, well behaved and talented children (who still aren’t perfect enough for STBX).

          Rather than show any pride in my accomplishments or any gratitude for what I did for him and the family, he was always either complaining that I had a career at all when a good mother/wife would stay home and mind the castle or he would be complaining that I hadn’t gotten farther along in my career and wasn’t making enough money. I had degrees from MIT and Penn State after all I so should be making the big bucks. I obviously wasn’t ambitious enough as he was making more money in a soulless industry with mere degrees from Podunk Us 1 & 2. Well guess what? Not everybody measures success by how much money they make asshole.

          • My STBX did the same. For the longest time, he acted as if he supported my college major and all of my efforts to achieve summa cum laude. Not an easy task while working part-time and raising two kids without daycare (we couldn’t afford it).

            But during a rage one day, he let it all hang out. He completely trashed my degree — shamed me for the subject I chose. Told me I obviously didn’t care about my family enough to pick a major that would bring in more money.

            At the time, I was utterly crushed. I felt like the worst mother and wife on the planet. I packed my degree up and put it in a dark corner in the basement.

          • I am also an engineer, and so is he. Even though he out-earned me he was insanely jealous. Hated everywhere I ever worked, always made snarky remarks about my job and work travel, etc. It got to where I could never mention any details– no mention of my success at work or any promotion, and certainly not the mega bonus I received last year. It just was tossed onto the pile and absorbed without him noticing it. His ego could not handle a successful wife even though my administration of the household finances made us wealthy. Still, I stuffed my success down and tried to let him shine.

            Not good enough– the skank he was with 9 years ago was a much lower level engineer and he used to talk about how stupid she was before I learned about the affair. Now apparently the latest OW is a similar variety. He doesn’t want a partner, he wants to be far, far superior to whomever he is with. But to be sure he can’t handle a damsel in distress or anyone who truly needs him to be strong and reliable and loyal, so good luck to Schmoopie when she truly needs him for he will go poof on her, too.

            I am hoping that there is a guy out there who will come along and have actual respect and admiration for my skills and earning power, as a true partner to me, and be incredibly grateful that my fuckwit threw me away. I am determined to accept nothing less.

          • So typical… I got the speach while trying to work full time around the kids schedules; “chump you are dropping the ball at home. Maybe you need to cut back at work. And its not even worth you working really it costs too much in petrol money ” i kid you not. 4 months later after i dropped to 1/2 time got child 2 through last year of high school ex fucktard walked out and left us with $200 and me with now only PT job where i soon got made redundant.
            Some of these deranged types actually plan to crush you when they leave. They cant bear a level playing field.

    • This resonates with me. He cheated and left his first wife when his son was a baby. Shit got real! He cheated on me and left me after we bought a home for ourselves. Shit got real! He is living at a friend’s place, sleeping on a mattress on the floor when he is not at his girlfriend’s place. She has young kids so he only sees her half the time – more freedom for him. Free as a bird – a 55 y.o. man-child bird.

      • That’s the kicker…how do these people think they will ever be free? They keep seeking “free” and never get there because they don’t realize that the problem is inside of them. Not that a narc would ever see that, but hey.

      • Im hearing you, mine started affair a few months after we purchased a house. I’m 40 and this was a dream of mine as I have moved my entire life and have lived in probably 40 different houses. He figured I would be busy with the house and in his words he ‘just wanted something for himself’
        He recently said some bullshit which hurt me a lot ‘ oh you thought buying a house together would bring us closer’ yeh I did you know stability for our children, doing projects together. He’s a dickhead.
        I have house he’s back to renting at 45 and deep in debt, sure future love interests will think he ‘s in his words ‘ a great guy’

  • CaB you dodged a bullet. I know your hurting and will for quite awhile. Tell the truth when asked its freeing. Now the rest of your life is for you. Big giant hugs!!!!

  • My ex did the same, only he waited for the discard until a few months after the wedding when I’d sold my (not our) house near the bottom of the market, quit my stable, well-paying job, and moved myself and our two-year-old across the country with him. I was left with the utter humiliation of a sham wedding, being left homeless and forced to live in my parents’ guest room with a toddler for a year, and with no income.

    CL is right. The moment the intensity level dials up on life, they fold. The intensity pumping through their genitals is preferable to the intensity pumping through their brains. And they don’t even feel very bad about it, because no one is worth more than a shoulder shrug to them. (But god forbid anyone treat THEIR emotions with a shoulder shrug. It would scar them for life and “make” them abuse people out of their horrendous, unstoppable pain.)

    Your ex is indeed a freak. I’m not usually one to get on the “it could have been worse” bandwagon, because I feel like it minimizes the pain of what happened. But I’ll make an exception here. Your ex was going to put you through this pain and humiliation eventually. It’s just a question of what the stakes are at any given time. You got out when the stakes were a cancelled wedding rather than children and marital property, rather than terminal illness, rather than a retirement down the toilet. I won’t go so far as to say you’re lucky, because tangling with a freak is in no way fortuitous. But you did escape just in the nick of time.

    • Well said. Of course, I thought of Free Vix’s story as soon as I read this.

      And great point by CL: once life was supposed to be more intimate, the cheater became less intimate. Same here.

      CaB, the next stage of your life is starting. It’s a shitty way for anything to start, but you will be much, much happier in it, having dodged this bullet.

    • Sociopathic Narcissists live to discard at your most vulnerable moment. That is the cherry on the sundae of their cruelty. I went thru a horrible discard (moved me out of state, abandonment, financial ruin), and you read about unbelievable discards all the time here. That would be a great column! Oh and one about cheating with trannies. WTF with the trannies?!!!

      • My emotional terrorist was into ‘game theory’ and the ‘art of war’ ….big red flags right there. … also used to watch endless hours of WW2 footage of the holocaust. sure theres no connection.

    • “The intensity pumping through their genitals is preferable to the intensity pumping through their brains.”

      Have you met my X?

    • Free Vix, that is the craziest thing. When things are supposed to become more intimate, they auto-disconnect. PreyingMantis did something like that early in our relationship. We were talking about moving into the more steady and solid part of our marital relationship, maybe a couple months after we got married, and I said how I was looking forward to that solid, steady, old married couple kind of feeling between us. PM was regretful that now we weren’t in the “butterflies” stage. I remember saying but don’t you want a greater feeling of intimacy? The butterflies part is just the initial rush of attraction, what comes after that is of the strong marital bond part, which is the whole point of being married. PreyingMantis was adamant that the butterflies stage was the best part of the relationship. If only I’d had Chump Lady back then! What a huge red flag that is! If you hadn’t brought this up I would not have remembered it, crazy how the things in hindsight are such a strong warning signs now…

      • >>”When things are supposed to become more intimate, they auto-disconnect.”

        It is shattering to discover how true this is.

        I now know (I had no clue at the time) that my STBX was actively cheating while our teenager was on life-support.

  • First of all, good for you for walking away and not doing the pick me dance. Definitely tell everyone the truth. This is all on him. I’m so glad you found out before you married him. How I wish I was reading this site in your position instead of after a 34 year marriage. The fact that you weren’t married yet doesn’t make the pain any less. A horrible thing has been done to you and therapy will help you not to pick the same kind of person again. Believe UX when he says you won the lottery. Take your time and find a man who Is worthy of all the great things you have to offer and will give you the love and respect you deserve.

  • There definitely is something about how the relegation of the affair coincides with important events. They make sure their betrayal has maximum impact. X’s affair was publicly outed on our 25th anniversary, you know, the important “silver” one. While I was running around, planning a beautiful, intimate dinner for two with his favorite food, wines, and buying carefully selected gifts, he was getting a BJ from OW in his car.

    It is nothing more than attention getting behavior and it is a classic tactic of the disordered narcissist. As much as it hurts, and it does and will for awhile, you have been given a gift, the gift of knowledge. If you had married this cheater, his behavior would have continued, as would your investment in the marriage. You would have eventually discovered his cheating, perhaps while pregnant, or while caring for a sick relative, or when you needed his support most. He was never, ever going to be the devoted husband you deserve.

    I also agree with the others here, The discovery of an affair is like finding out you have roaches. You may see only one when you turn on the lights, but there are a lot more lurking in the shadows. I have never been able to confirm other affairs, but when I look back on certain behaviors during our marriage, they don’t make sense. They didn’t at the time either, but I was so busy working, and carrying all the childcare and household responsibilities, I didn’t even have the time to question what he was doing. In hindsight, I believe he was always a cheater.

    • Sometimes I think the correlation of affair with big life events is precisely because they are so shallow. Trying to process the profound meanings other non-narcs have is just too hard for them. They feel all this STUFF inside them and they aren’t accustomed to feeling things at all, at least nothing beyond the superficial. XH bugged out on me the first time just after we bought our house together, but he waited to leave me for realz until I was on the cusp of turning 50 and he was turning 40. — They can’t FEEL feelings, so they act out. Like a fucking bull in a china shop.

      • Another thing I have noticed with narc is that his reaction to any emotional situation is anger. Where it might be appropriate to feel sad, scared, hungry, uncomfortable, confused, he always responds with anger.

        I do think now, that his parents didn’t allow him to show emotion. They always wear the strong face.

        • Holy crap, it’s like I’m reading about my X. I honestly had to get him used to recognizing his hunger (he would be grouchy when he was hungry, and he had a healthy appetite, so I put two and two together). Same deal — parents did not allow him to show emotion (narc father commanding everyone around, mother remaining silent) and he was always being told what to do by his narc father. Never got a moment to look inward and develop genuine feeling, personal expression, etc. and/or get some basic understanding about himself. I know…don’t try to untangle the skein…but it seems so obvious to me, and certainly now that I’m seeing others having experienced something similar.

          It’s sad…he even talked about not being able to feel things, and didn’t ever seem to sympathize/empathize with experiences that made me mad or sad or even happy sometimes, now that I think about it — intense feelings that apparently were beyond him. One big flag I missed was about how he wasn’t even sure initially that he loved me. I wrote it off as having made the first move and him developing those feelings later, but obviously they never materialized.

          • I missed the love flag for the opposite reason- he said it after only 3 weeks and I felt bad for not being able to say the sentiment back. He, however, was not the least bit put off by that. I know 27 years later it is because only his feelings and sentiments matter.

            • In the end, the problem is the same — the inability to make a real connection with another person.

  • I had a boyfriend (now ex) who was in this exact situation, right before he met me. The resemblance to CAB’s story is really eerie. When we first met, his previous courtship had just ended 3 months prior.

    So this guy ended up telling me about his previous courtship, and gave me a glimpse into his head. He was with his girlfriend for 8 years as well. They even moved in together (even though it wasn’t what he wanted). And he confessed that the entire time he was with her, he was never really into her. He would not look forward to having sex with his girlfriend either, and he would even dread it often times. And after 8 years together, he felt pressured to marry her. He was loved by the people in his community, and he wanted to do the right thing and marry his gf. So he ended up proposing to her, but stated that he kept the ring for 3 months before (reluctantly) proposing.

    And 2 months after the proposal, he ended up cheating on his fiancee, as he didn’t want to go through with the wedding. I was appalled! I was so disgusted that I ended the courtship. Here was this guy, who was never into his girlfriend, yet moved in together, dreaded having sex with her and still proposed to her. All this just boggles my mind!! 8 years is a long time to be with someone you’re not into!! I would never let it get this far if I wasn’t into a person and didn’t love them. But these cheaters are just mentally deranged and just go through the motions.

    CAB you’re way better off without this person. You’re not at square one. Your foundation was unstable and false. You were on insecure footing. All this happened, so that you could find out the truth and get back on solid ground and be armed with the truth. You are actually on better ground.

    • Kellia, I think that you have a great story for why we should look at their actions, not listen to their words.

      Your exBF claimed that he was never “into” his girlfriend, even to the point where he dreaded sex with her–but he still had sex with her, so he must have been into her at some level! This makes no sense unless you look at his deeds. He chose to stay with her for 8 years. He chose to propose to her. He was getting sex regularly during this time, and then he gets an affair partner just before the wedding. This shows he’s a cake-eater and that he’s incapable of having an honest discussion about emotionally tough topics.

      You dodged a bullet, and it looks as if CaB has dodged one as well.

      • You raise a great point in looking at his actions. I realized how my ex bf had no trouble using his fiancee. She moved into his home and gave him companionship, sex, cooked and cleaned for him, short of wiping his butt. So he never loved her, but had no qualms using her *services* and letting her bend over backwards to service him. Looking back on our dating period, I would get so angry, as he expected my entire life to revolve around his schedule and his needs. I did dodge a bullet indeed…

    • I think I married your ex-boyfriend. Seriously. After ten years together, XH proposed (I’d given up hope and just accepted we were going to live together as “husband” and “wife” in our own jokey terms only, as we’d been calling each other that for years). As we sat by our kayaks on that beach in Hawaii, him down on one knee, I asked him, “Why? Why, after all this time, do you want to marry me?” Even then, I was suspicious rather than swept away. I dared not hope. — I should not have hoped. — but he said some nice things, I was convinced, I married him.

      Nearly ten years later, here we are, three years since Dday/divorce and now he’s married to the woman he REALLY loves. It seems he never loved me “that way” at all.

      And, CaB? If you’re still reading, I’ll answer your first question because I asked him this point blank, “Why did YOU propose to ME if you were never that into me?” His answer?

      “I have trouble disappointing people.” [mic drop]

      I didn’t have enough courage left to ask who, WHO did he not want to disappoint? Me? His family? His friends? My friends? — My suspicion, narc that he is, is the answer is “anybody/everybody.”

      So, CaB, I know it’s so painful now. I know it’s baffling how it got this fucking far. But someday — probably on a Tuesday — you’ll realize you could never have built a real life with that person. He’s not real, he’s shallow, weak, and cowardly at best, and cruel and heartless at worst.

      I won’t tell you to be grateful (though I hope you will be someday), because now is a hard time to be grateful. But I will say I understand that your whole world just got turned upside down by someone you thought was your best friend. When the dust settles, you’ll see he was never your best friend — that was all you, YOU were your own best friend all along, but you painted those features on him. — As a consequence, he’s not going to be OW’s best friend, either. Life isn’t a Julia Roberts RomCom. Shit gets real, and he doesn’t have the balls to stick around for the deep stuff. You know, the good stuff. You deserve better, but I’m sorry you had to find this out the hard way.

      • Oh God, he had trouble disappointing people. Meaning he couldn’t get himself to break up with you, so he just went ahead and proposed. So rather than cutting it off, it was easier to just propose to you and then cheat on you?! Jerk. Yeah, that’s so much better… Eye roll. These fuckwits are beyond any rhyme or reason.

      • Wow… trouble disappointing people? So it’s what, some kind of self-sacrifice?

        I’m embarrassed to say I think I had a fire-red flag I was with someone like this – someone capable of staying with someone for that long who they didn’t really love – and I ignored it. Early in our dating, STBX told me he hated having to break up with previous girlfriends so much that he had thought to himself with his next relationship (aka me), he’d just decide to stick it out. A kind of ‘I guess this is just what a relationship is’ kind of thing. Who knew that he really did have a true love waiting for him, once they overcame the obstacles (aka people) in the way of their happiness – it was bigger than both of them indeed! HA.

      • Still reading and taking in all your advice and comments.

        I mentioned this upthread but when I said.. Why The fuck did you propose? The answer I got was… It felt right…at the time. Just more BS, I mean we were only engaged ten months – if you’re that fickle to ‘change’ your mind then you need help.

        The cruelty is the bit that gets me the most and the thing I’m struggling to come to terms with the most. Hopefully one day…

        Thanks for taking your time to reply. Sorry you had to go through this shit too.

        • The only right answer to “Why did you propose?” would be I love you and want to make a life with you.

          Please understand that “it felt right” is not an answer. Proposing marriage is a decision, not an impulse to by a bag of potato chips. “It felt right” is an answer about HIM, not about his feelings for you and his intent to be part of a married couple. I’d guess that if you recall how he talks about many things, you’ll see that his “answers” to important questions are really deflections that sound good but avoid the issue. We know, for example, why Prince Charles proposed to Diana–she was a virgin and that was a requirement for his bride. Never mind that he didn’t love her and that were massively unsuited to each other. So he was using her for something, in his case very tangible, that he wanted: a virgin woman to bear the heir and the spare. Who knows why he proposed. But I guarantee he got something out of it that had nothing to do with you.

          • Very well said! It’s about what they think we want to hear, and totally avoids the issue.

      • I don’t think it was about a distaste for disappointing people …

        My STBX was similar to this … going along for the ride; doing what seemed to be socially expected in the moment– or simply what I seemed to expect — even though, in reality, he didn’t want to do any of it. And, he would eventually resent me for everything he willfully went along with / agreed to / supported.

        Instead, I honestly think it’s a particular kind of cowardness that stems from a desire to avoid short-term conflict. It’s short-sightedness that is horrendously damaging to all involved.

        • Here’s the thing, though: “… even though, in reality, he didn’t want to do any of it.” — If you pressed him on what he DID want, however, he probably couldn’t have told you. “I don’t know what I DO want; I only know that I don’t want … THAT!”

          • And usually they admit they don’t want it after the other person has made a 100% investment, e.g., Jackass.

        • I think you give them too much credit. It’s because they’re selfish pricks that don’t give a fuck about others only their own immediate needs. It isn’t cowardice it’s power and control and getting their jollies being the center of the universe. They’re not afraid, they’re entitled.

  • “Arm yourself in case he circles back around for you. ” MJB has it right.
    Harden your heart, CaB. When things get tough with the ho-worker, he’s going to want to wipe the tarnish off his reputation. After 8 years, he knows how to pull your heart strings. He’ll tell everyone this f-up was a wake-up call that revealed how much he really loves you because you lovingly stood by his side for 8 years…unlike co-worker. Gosh, it was just a case of pre-wedding jitters! Stand strong against this manipulation. He’s just trying to come in for a soft landing. Don’t let him land anywhere near you!

    • x1000. I let mine back in the door after his “change of heart” and I wish, possibly more than anything else in my personal world (My wish for world peace still transcends) that I had never let him back through the door. A leopard can’t change it’s spots. — Or, if you do let him back in? Just be aware he will do it again. He will.

      • This x 1,000. Letting them back in just sets you up for more pain. I think they get off on it.

        Jedi Hugs!

        • Yes. And when they are extensively disordered, they will punish you for having had the audacity to stand up to them at all. More cheating, more lying, amped up gaslighting and other verbal abuse, and sometimes physical abuse.

          This is such a mindfuck when they cried, apologized, pleaded, and made professions of undying love in order to wriggle back in.

          • Lol. Mine said in an attempt to gaslight me, “only a stupid person would say and act the exact same way they did before when they were having an afffair if they decided to have another affair. Do you think I’m that stupid?” My answer was, “don’t matter how stupid I think you are, you clearly think i’m dumber.” I think she hit me then. She’s lovely.

    • So true. If that “true love” thing doesn’t work out, narcissists have a tendency to go back looking for that dependable thing they had before. Sort of like retrieving a useful item they dropped along the way. And if you take them back they take that to mean that their behavior is excusable. The correct answer is “no.”

    • This point is why CaB needs to do a lot of reading on disordered types. Start with the literature on narcissism, which pretty much lays out a lot of the “disordered playbook,” including the “hoover” maneuver–when they come sniffing around hoping you are still willing to do what they need. That can be just providing kibbles on a regular basis, sex, money, remarriage, 50% access to kids in order to lower child support, the PR boost of having a “friendly” break up. And so on.

  • CaB, I know it hurts like hell now but as others are saying, you have a lucky escape.
    When my cheater and I were dating, there were red flags all over the place which I stupidly ignored ( I was young and naive ). Then we got married and I was pregnant straight away. At 16 weeks in, I discovered evidence of a hook up with prostitutes when I was out of town. He denied it and I spackled.
    Fast forward to 4 years ago and this time I had concrete evidence of his 2 year plus use of a prostitute. He was emotionally attached to her ( I saw the texts)
    I am 62 now, she was half his age of course. I honestly thought he had grown out of his liking for hookers ( I know he saw them and went to massage parlours at least in his thirties.) He admitted it only recently.
    The thing is, I really hate the way I feel now about my future with him. He wants me to stay but I am struggling so much and probably will leave. I am lining up my ducks.
    We have so much history together 40 years and many grandchildren. If I could turn the clock back and know what I know now, I would be cheering to the roof tops if he left me.
    You have had a lucky escape, you deserve so much more. Take your time healing but know that you will be relieved one day that this happened to you. Trust me. Cheaters never change.

    • Be True – wow, forty years is a long time and I feel your pain. I bet he wants you to stay. I want to share how much I enjoy waking up every morning in a cheater free house with no lies – only peace. It’s beautiful over here on the cheater-free side. Good luck!

    • BeTrue,
      Take heart. I left my long term cheater at 52 and have made a super new life for myself. I was fortunate enough to first spend six glorious years living alone in my own home and feeling soooo free. Then on a trip I met a fellow chump who is a good man with character who values fidelity and a gentle, happy relationship. We occasionally get a little drunk and trash-talk our cheating exes,but otherwise our life is pure fun. We both still work full time, and are carefully planning our retirement with firm boundaries around kids, exes, outlaws.

      It is so very hard to cease defining oneself as the “40-year partner” but what I found empowering was to redefine myself as a strong woman who won’t put up with bad treatment. I feel truly proud of having the courage to leave, and grateful that my finances allowed for it. Not everyone has this luxury, but if you do, it may be a great new start for you.

      • love this empowering redefinition from ‘partner of decades ‘ to ‘strong woman who won’t put up with bad treatment’.

    • Be True,my divorce is almost complete. My 43 years of marriage were a sham. Affairs,prostitutes,strippers. I have 7 wonderful children and 14 grandchildren. While the last two years of getting the divorce have been stressful at times,living without him my mind had cleared. I am so much happier on my own. Do not believe him. He has always abused you. Leaving him does not mean leaving good memories. You will have those. Leaving him means you are not getting stds. It means not always wondering what he is doing or thinking. Trust me and all the Chump Lady people. He is lying. He is not going to change. He doesn’t want to change,he just wants to have you and hookers. I have had to talk to my stbx recently over a bank check fraud problem after 2 years of grey rock & I could not believe how nice & normal he sounds. Thank God my kids kicked him out with my blessing 2 years ago. They weave a spell around you. I was with him over 40 years. Even with his thieving,cheating ,emotional abuse he could suck me in again. I have to be NC. My brain sees when apart but can be hypnotized. It is frightening. Get away!

    • So you know he wants you to stay, because you provide landing pad for him and he’ll never stop cheating on you. He wants to guarantee his nurse (you) will be by his side to take care of him as he ages. And he’s losing it to be emotionally attached to a prostitute. That’s pathetic actually. You have 40 years of a sham marriage, as it was never a marriage. A marriage is 2 people. Yours was always a third party situation, with strangers being brought into a sacred arrangement. I see a lot of my mother’s friends who are widows who would love to have their faithful husbands around to take care of them. Yet this guy who has been an asshole cheater all his marriage will get to have a devoted, kind and loyal person to take care of him. He so does not deserve that, after what he did to you. Create a false foundation, a fake union and most of all, has been lying to you every day of your marriage. I really hop you get out and soon.

  • “One thing stands out — at the moment when two people should be closest, the freak bails.”

    Can I get an Amen? Any real investment, any real connection, makes these jackasses uncomfortable and they behave badly–temper tantrum, cruelty, cheating, pick your poison. Why? Because they are incapable of real intimacy, and because ruining someone else’s day makes them feel powerful.

    Hannibal Lecher ruined every.single.significant.event in our 19 year marriage. Every single one–from the engagement, to the wedding (got so drunk he had to throw up into a garbage can on the side of the bed to consummate the marriage), news I was pregnant, birth of 2 children, moving to an exciting new city, First Communions, getting our first puppy for the kids. Every.single.event.

    The only silver lining? I got to “trust that he sucks” at warp speed.

    • Precisely. As I wrote above, they can’t FEEL. Anything more than a superficial ripple fills them with dread. So instead they act — act out. They don’t know what real feelings are, so they go chase a shiny thing instead. Sort of an ADHD for feelings that can’t simply sit still and BE.

    • Right there with you Tempest.

      “This goes for happy intimacy — the birth of a child, a job promotion, a milestone anniversary — and it goes for sad intimacy — the death of a parent, a cancer scare, a disability.”

      The Limited ENJOYED wiping the smile off my face for years. Every single event from day one including the birth of my children in the beginning to the death of my mother in the end.

      They up the anti to total disregard of every single thing you cherished playing with every sacrifice, your vulnerabilities, and the very core of who you are as a person.

      Winning is riding them from your life. Justice is your very freedom from toxic abuse.

  • See the Light, thank you for reading my mind.


    No matter how badly you want to, or how much he pressures you.

    I broke off my engagement to an abusive cheater 3 months before the wedding. But then I took him back, and for six months everything was sweet as, or at least less painful. We were going to make it after all! He was just under too much pressure! Which was of course my fault!

    Then I found out he was cheating again. Then came my third attempt to leave him, and this time I was successful.

    Don’t waste your time like I did.


    • One big lucky point is that the laws around marriage can be very painful if a Jackass likes this gets fired (not outside of the possibility, depending on the OW’s role at work). You could end up paying spousal support. He could hide assets. He could leave you stuck supporting young children after being a SAHM. I keep talking about money but financial infidelity hangs around with sexual infidelity.

  • Chumplady, thank you for all the gold nuggets you leave:
    >> When shit gets real, they get fake. Or rather, their fakery is revealed. The shallow cannot hold.

    I laughed and cried reading this.

  • CaB,
    My own experience way back in the 80’s was similar to yours in many ways…except that I married him.

    We had been a couple for six years, he proposed, we planned the wedding, etc.

    He then admitted an ongoing affair with someone he met on a wilderness trip (that I couldn’t afford and sent him with my blessing). I dumped him right away, and stayed apart for six months until he reappeared one day, begging me to go ahead with the wedding because his mother had said it “was the right thing to do”.

    We married, but I hated the sight of him even as I walked down the aisle. I was too young to see the folly of it all, too invested in the relationship,and the “winning him back”. We went on to have two sons and do well financially, and I gradually convinced myself all the trouble was past.

    Well, about 25 years later, with the boys gone to university, he let down his guard and began treating me badly. I was shocked and thought he must be ill. No, the “illness” was that his long time mistress, who,had stayed in the shadows while we raised our sons, had begun to put pressure on him to,”retire with her”. By that time, I knew better than to try to fight the tide of infidelity and just packed my bags and filed for divorce.

    Took about a month of me gone, and OW had moved into our family mansion, was acting as hostess to my sons, their families, and the outlaws. What an evil bunch of switzerlanders they are. She apparently invites my kids over regularly and even refers to them on FB as “our sons”. She has never borne any children.

    No,coincidence that this past weekend I went back to their city for my son’s wedding. OW placed herself front and centre at the ceremony, the reception, and spent a lot of time posing for selfies with my kids, laughing too loudly the whole time.

    She came bounding up to me and my chump-partner, introduced herself as if we didn’t know who she was, and said how pleased she was to “meet us”. She even thanked us for coming. My partner had been instructed to hold his tongue, but that was the bitter end for me. I simply said to her in a calm voice “Camilla, I am J***’s (the groom’s) mother, and no one will ever take my place. There is no need to thank me for attending my own son’s wedding. You need to stop pretending you are the hostess”. The Camilla reference was clear.

    Even though she is French, she “got” the message and her radiant smile turned to a witchy, knarly grimace and she hissed “I enjoy being with the lovely man you left, and we have a great life”. My partner just responded “be careful what you wish for, cheaters never change their stripes”. He then took my arm and firmly led me away. Afterward we had a good chuckle, and he said she had even been taking photos of us with her telescopic camera lens from across the room prior to,”greeting” us.

    I did manage a few words with my cheatin’ ex later on and I told him how disgusted I was and that he has gotten exactly what he deserved: a fake and a poser. He just looked shit-faced and said “I’m sorry you are bitter”. No, I said, I am so very glad I dumped your cheating ass.

    My married son managed to “forget” about offering me a chance to speak at the reception. So, prior to the dinner, I figured out who the MC was, and asked her to let me say a few words at the start. She didn’t have a chance to confirm this with the groom, so my stand up was a complete surprise. I gave the speech of my life (according to my younger son, nailed it) in which I expressed all sorts of honey-coated feelings and recollections of raising the boys “with Cheater” and made sure everyone in the room got the clear message we were together for 29 years and that unfortunate circumstances ended our marriage….it was plum clear who the OW was by this point. Then I turned to the bride and groom and told,them how proud I am to be their mother and how they are in my thoughts every day. They both walked over and hugged me with tears in their eyes, in front of 200 guests. The bride’s mother also came over and grabbed my hand and squeezed it tight.

    I didn’t see OW much after that…she got pissed and spent the evening canoodling on a sofa with one of the outlaw BIL’s…who oddly, has a track record of bedding his SIL’s. Maybe that drama yet to unfold?

    In truth, my son and DIL have broken my heart by showing allegiance to OW. But, at age 30, they are selfish and inexperienced and some day it may occur to them what the sacrifices of parenting followed by chumpdom feel like. Let OW look after the old fart and enjoy the spoils of wealth. At least it will never say on her tombstone that she was their mother.

    • Marci you are a class act!! I was wondering how the wedding went, you are awesome to handle a difficult day with such grace.

      • Newday,
        Well it was a hot sticky day and I kept getting hot flashes…but that just ramped up my beotch factor. I had seven hears of vitriol stored up, but am glad I had the eloquence to hold off on any four letter words.

        I am still deeply disappointed in the groom who still hasn’t accepted that his step mother was Camilla all along. His father mentioned her repeatedly over the years as an “old friend from camp days” but it never occurred to me that she was actually with him all that time. He did travel a lot on business so I suppose being single and childless she had lots of opportunity to meet up with him wherever convenient.

        I feel at peace now, having said my bit. I honestly don’t care any more whether they all stew together, grandparent my grandchildren, or use my wedding china. I still own the Golden Uterus!!.

        • Marci
          I felt paid just reading about your wedding experience. I am pretty mighty but I am not sure that I would have been able to endure such an awful experience. Your son needs a kick in the ass. Shame on him – he is a grown man and should have honoured his mother, not tried to sideline her. You outclassed everyone. It is terribly shocking to me that your sons and their families visited their father and his mistress in your former home. I have no words. Much sympathy and many hugs to you.

          • They don’t just visit. They go there for long weekends with friends in tow! They spend Xmas there!

            • The ow is a bitch! My admiration for you grows! The kids hopefully will realize the role she played in the destruction of your marriage.

              • Oh and I ought to add that I was placed in the seating plan right at the far corner of the room. Farthest possible from the bridal table, with Cheater and OW at the table next to the groom.

                When bride’s parents saw this unfolding, they moved to our table. Bride’s mother was not in on the seating plans drama, but she called the “mix up” a shocking mistake and was clearly pissed off at the bride. I told her “let it go, we need to be friends, you and I, since some day we may share grandkids.” She was very attentive, and once my speech was over, she clearly understood the situation. she wrote to me today and said let’s keep in close touch so we can enjoy our grandbabies. Sliver of hope perhaps.

              • Marci – If I were your DIL, I would be watching my husband very closely. A son that discards his mother will also discard his wife. You have been badly mistreated. Step out of this three ring circus. Do something super nice for yourself for being so classy but no more pain shopping.

            • Oh, the bride’s mother made a very clear statement with her own behavior. I’m quite certain there will be a severe dressing down coming there. There’s another example of a kiddo who was probably raised right but prefers the good life to good behavior. What a way for the two of them to start a marriage, with such unkind and ill-mannered behavior.

              When the VeryKindMan’s daughter got married, she asked me to sit in the first row with her dad and her mother. I was very touched, but I told her, “They are your parents. When you turn to look at the guests after you take your vows, you should see the two people who got you here.” I sat with her godfather for the usual brief ceremony and enjoyed VKM’s company at the reception. She was the model of kindness to me, but it is sometimes up to the “new woman” to take a back seat for a couple of hours in order to allow the mothers who brought these kids in the world to shine. When I was young, I was taught never to wear white to “compete with the bride.” I think that advice stands all second wives, significant others, girlfriends or whatever can give the young couple the best gift by recalling who matters here. Now, that doesn’t hold in cases where birth parents walked out or failed to contribute in meaningful ways to raising the kids or preferred Oxycontin to parenthood. That’s my 2 cents on the subject. But of course, APs never get it.

    • Damn. Marci you are my hero. Good for you for being mighty in a very tough situation. (The 30 year olds will figure it out. They are probably just trying to keep the peace to stay connected to fuckwit.)

      • Sharylk,
        Yes, I think many of us will find that our kids, once grown, will follow the money. Cheater ex after the divorce paid for all the improvements to our home to make it a sweet destination for the boys and their friends. He had refused to do those improvements during our marriage, since he always steuck me as tight as a duck’s arse. Seems he was saving up for the days with Schmoopie.

        I don’t think it’s a paranoid stretch to conclude that the happy couple had a long term plan. OW didn’t have to have children, so she still has her svelte figure, and I have the ceasarean scars and saggy tits as battle scars from bearing large babies. She is a cute little hostess with an exotic accent and likely long experience as a mistress. My partner mentioned she looked as though she has stretched lips. Oh well, one has to find something to giggle about. She also had her career in marketing for a drug company which actually makes me loathe her more than ever. Ok, enough hating!

        The final blow will strike when she discovers that all Cheater’s money is tied up in trust for the boys…one of the conditions of our separation agreement. My younger son is a lawyer and executor and he assures me there is no way she can legally touch the lion’s share of it. While the boys may be chasing the money rather than appreciating old Mom, at least my wish for my descendents to have a comfortable life may come true.

        Even if I do have to work to age 70 to make ends meet. Yes, I could reopen the support case…but I’m enjoying my peaceful lofe too much to bother. Let them have that as a worry in the back of their reptilian minds!

        • Marci,
          You are an amazing woman. I have read all of your additions and I realize that your kids are swayed by the money and lifestyle. I suspect it will implode and I hope to hear about that. Glad your MIL saw it – she may have more issues with her daughter’s new life!! Please keep us posted. And thanks for sharing your life and your strength. I am in need of learning from your story and I appreciate it.

    • Marci–I am glad to hear that the wedding went about as well as could be expected under the circumstances, and that you and chump-BF got digs into cheater and OW. You shined under the most adverse of situations.

      Still very sad that Son1 and DIL have betrayed you a second time, but truth will out, and I hope your son realizes what an awesome mother he has. Hugs.

      • Thanks, Tempest. I actually was thinking of your alternative offer of drinks if I skipped the wedding, during the wedding! Just knowing I had the thoughts from CN behind me made it that bit easier to be mighty. Sad that the kindness of strangers sometimes outweighs the love one expects from family.

        By the way, about the idea of gifting the happy couple a cross in answer to Son1’s crass remark about “get off your cross”. I did gift them some money, a token, but only amount to even up what I recently spent on Son2 for a trip with him. I purchased DIL a pair of pearl & diamond chip earrings and gave them to her with a “nice” welcome-to-the-family note…so they could never accuse me of being bitter. When the old man did in fact say I was bitter, I wished I’d given her a set of cross earrings, but then, that would have had holy implications and I’ve have been crucified all over again….

        So far, DIL has not even verbally thanked me for that gift. She just took the package from me and set it on a table – didn’t even open it while I was there. God, I really do dislike 30 something primadonnas.

        Son1 has been written out of my will, but he will not know that until I’m long gone,

        • Marci–Everything you did was noble and well in excess of what the marrying couple deserved.

          (That offer of drinks still stands–any time!)

        • Thanks for sharing – your son and DIL will see her true colours and come to realise the error of their ways xx

    • You were the very picture of mighty. And you are probably right about money being a motivator with your son and DIL. One thing you know that when your X’s affairs are carried out after his passing, your younger son will let the older one know that the trusts were your requirement at the time of divorce. When that shoe drops, if he doesn’t feel shame, he’s got the same problem as his father. Sometimes all the hard work of teaching kids values can’t get past the narcissist DNA.

    • Marci,
      Your story is bittersweet,
      YOU truly are a Class Act,
      YOU are MIGHTY!
      Any Mother would be proud to have acted with the dignity and grace shown by you.
      Screw the lot of them!
      YOU, Lovely Lady, are truth!

      • Screw the lot of “them”
        “Them” being your ex and family members not appreciative of the Classy Lady, YOU are!

        In time your children will know your true worth. There will come a day when money will not matter one cent!
        As children age everyday life happenings can be very sad, ( we want a good, loving life for them, but things can and do happen) such as the sudden tragic loss of a spouse, the illness of a precious child. So many hardships in life. We take it day by day. In troubled, sad times, a true present, sane, loving parent is needed.
        You have been that parent, the true parent. It is only temporary that they do not realize this. One day they will realize they need you and you will welcome them with open arms and a loving heart. Because that is how you have always been. They don’t see it now, but they will.
        Stay strong.


  • Dear CaB – for all the chumps who can’t speak out PLEASE DO! You do not realize the power you hold. CL is so right about narcissist leaving at the most intimate time. The POSH left me when I was 8 months pregnant. I’m going through divorce and custody battles. I can’t speak out! I can’t do all the things I want to do because I have to be the sane parent for my daughter. This is what makes me so angry right now I have to watch my Ps & Qs in public. I can’t do anything for it would be used against me. All the while he is threatening me with legal action, calling me the C word to my 6 month daughter, not showing up for his visits but then demanding that his parents have access to visit, and so many other things that I want to list here but I have to keep quiet in case he find out about this blog. I want to post it on facebook, send an email to his boss, send copies to his 84 year old grandmother who by the way has never met my child. BUT I CAN”T. Because I want custody of my daughter. I can’t say i regret breeding with him because she wouldn’t exist. But what i do regret is the fact that I can’t let out my true emotions. I have to sit back and wait on Karma to come help a sister out. You can make your own karma. SO PLEASE….FOR ME AND ALL OTHER CHUMPS WHO ARE STUCK BEING SILENT……PLEASE EXPOSE THE BASTARD. And report back!

    • IIWII,
      I feel your pain. I got dumped with a one week old baby and a toddler, with the discard evidently having been planned throughout my pregnancy. I just didn’t find out until “after the baby arrived safely.” You are wise to keep your anger hidden from x, the courts, and others who would use it Against you regarding the custody of your baby. There are some exes who are especially dangerous and vengeful and can be even more effective when they have the backing of their parents and other family members. Be cautious who you share information with. Evil exes will often get “damning” information from mutual “friends” or even some of your own family members who may later become sympathetic to your ex’s cause. My sister is going through this now with our own parents. Hugs to you, IIWII. Know that you are loved.

    • “I can’t say i regret breeding with him because she wouldn’t exist. But what i do regret is the fact that I can’t let out my true emotions.”

      *Hugs* I am dealing with the conflicting emotion of having been betrayed with a young one too. I understand your anger at having to suppress your emotion, and so I’m sending strength your way. It’s not about that asshat, it’s about you and your daughter. Power to you, IIWII.

    • We still have a lot of finances and investments to unfuck – once that’s sorted I will speak out but don’t want it to delay me reaching ‘meh’ by using mental energy on exposing him. Sometimes I think once all finances are sorted it’s better for me to walk away with head held high…I’ve still got time to debate this with myself!

      • If you’ve already told people about the reasons they wedding was cancelled, let the rest go, other than to dish with your best friends and your relatives who might appreciate details. Or just tell one good friend who can’t keep her mouth shut. Put your energy into rebuilding your life. Don’t feed his centrality. The worst thing he did was cheat and lead you one as you paid for and planned a wedding. He’s already shown his poor character to everyone in both your lives. And even if the two of them marry and stay married for years, everyone will remember what he did and wonder if he’s cheating on her, too.

  • Hang in there CaB. I understand this pain all too well. I understand being confused why someone would say or act super romantic and committed and then tear it out from under you. My ex confessed he cheated when he couldn’t hide it anymore (got an STD) and during that confession told me he planned to propose to me on a work trip in a beautiful location that we were supposed to attend together. What? Why? Did he think it would make me feel better? I will never understand why he told me that.

    CL is right. People like your ex and mine are freaks. It will never make sense. Been there, tried to untangle that. We were at a mutual friend’s children’s birthday party when my ex’s STD symptoms started flaring. It makes me sick now thinking about being there and holding his hand thinking it would one day be us totally oblivious that he was having a raging flare up at a 1 yo’s bday party from cheating.

    It takes time but you really did dodge a bullet by not marrying him. He doesn’t deserve you or any more of your love and time.

  • “And now they get to skip off into the sunset and I’m back to square one.”
    They may look like they are skipping off into sunset, but they are actually diving into fireball of poisonous gasses. When someone is dragging you into a house fire, by comparison “square one” is a pretty great place to be. Square One may feel like a setback. Your eyelashes may even be singed a little. But they will grow back. And you may feel hot and uncomfortable and confused right now that you were the one who got left behind and didn’t get to skip off into the sunset. While you are standing there at Square One, take a moment to put on your solar protective glasses and glance quickly in their direction. They may be light years away from you by now but, ooops, is that a spontaneous combustion you just witnessed? Think about this for a minute. That could be you out there exploding into nothingness. Yes, in retrospect, Square One is a great place to be. You may be back in the same place, CaB, but you are not the same person. You are Older. Wiser. Powerful. Independent. MIGHTY. You may be licking your wounds now, but take the time to learn the important lessons about yourself. Take the time to decide what you are truly worth – not to to to anyone else, mind you, but to Yourself. With Chump Nation behind you, you will soon be flying into your future. Godspeed.

  • Dear Confused and Betrayed

    I am not sure how long it has been since the wedding was called off since you didn’t say but, I suggest that you issue an email and blind copy everyone or post on Facebook a news release – type statement disclosing what happened. Send it to all invited wedding guests, his boss, the OW’s boss and include your F**kwit Ex so he knows that you sent it. This is not revenge. This is truth-telling. Here’s a script.

    “This is to inform you that my wedding ceremony to F**kwit, scheduled for August XX, 2017 was cancelled due to my discovery of his long-term infidelity with his work colleague, [insert the name of the OW]. I am now putting this distressing experience behind me as well as the significant financial loss. Medical testing is underway and I hope to be spared from disease. This has been a very emotionally painful experience and I appreciate the support that I have received from friends and family. Thank you for understanding my wish to not discuss this any further.”

    Don’t let that f**kwit control the narrative although be prepared for the fact that some people in your circle will make excuses for his behaviour along the lines of “if you had paid more attention to him, he wouldn’t have strayed”. Such further betrayals will hurt like hell but will provide you with a further opportunity to road-test your personal relationships. This is a good time to suss out Switzerland friends and cut off their supply. Above all, do not be embarrassed or allow anyone to try to embarrass you. You did nothing wrong. In fact, you made an incredibly courageous decision to walk away. So many chumps for so many generations have sucked it up and stepped into the bowels of marriage hell for life, just to avoid perceived embarrassment from a cancelled wedding. You left a cheater, so now, as Chumplady says, get out there and gain a life.

  • CaB first of all I’m so very sorry to hear of all this. Almost all of us here know how extreme the emotional pain is and it lasts for a long time. It does get better however in time, but I’m not sure if it ever completely goes away. Be very thankful you didn’t marry him, because unfortunately it is almost guaranteed that he would have cheated once you were married. I so wish mine had cheated before we got married.

    I was together with my ex-husband for 7 years before we got married, we had been living together for 5.5 years before the wedding. He was the one pushing for a big wedding and while I didn’t think spending all that money was wise, he was so sweet and endearing about the idea that I happily agreed. Four months after our wedding unbeknownst he started to have a sexual/emotional affair with someone he met online. It took me five months to catch it but I did. He moved out of our house and one full year of marriage counseling after that was a complete waste of time His sense of entitlement was beyond belief, irregardless of what it did to me, both our families and our friends. He absolutely refused to give up the affair partner and with help of the marriage counselor he insisted on one-way polyamory, half the week with his married spouse and the other half with schmoopie.

    The wedding cost me personally $32,000 and the divorce $9,000 as I had/have a much higher income between the two of us. I could have done many different things with $41,000 as opposed to throwing it away like I did.

    My one and only revenge was to tell every single person who cared to ask me “why we getting divorced so soon after getting married” exactly what he did to me, every last detail including the polyamory nonsense. Everyone, even his own family was disgusted with him and offered me great empathy and compassion. After that we had very few Switzerland friends, most didn’t want much to do with him. Some of them now are welcoming him back slowly into their life, however as one friend said to me “we know who this person really is now and it will never be the same”. My other revenge is never speaking to him again, Mr. Sparkles of entitlement was shocked when I told him that if we get divorced, no contact will be the rule. His response was “really we can’t be friends?”. Oh please, with friends like that…

    • Luckily I haven’t encountered any Switzerland friends – most of them were mine in the first place. He struggled to form emotional connections with friends: RED FLAG right there.

      That’s the thing I don’t understand and I know I can’t dwell but why are they the ones who push to get married, propose, insist on planning a big wedding? That’s just so confusing! x

  • A very good friend of mine ‘won’ a cheater off his fiancé in very similar circumstances you describe, he left her just weeks before the marriage was due to go ahead.

    My friend actually married him in the end, outwardly they seem a happy couple, but I’m one of the few people that know the truth. He’s cheated on my friend multiple times for long periods of time, before during and after their wedding. Shes also had multiple misscarages and each time he’s gone astray and blamed it on being upset about not being able to be a dad. She refuses to accept that he is like this, she pick me dances and try’s to convince herself that nothing has happened.

    It’s bizarre as he’s the most straightlace man you will ever meet, he’s sensible and acts like a real oldschool gentleman. But really he’s just a slimey cheater with a white knight complex.

    My friend has no boundraries, she will stay with him whatever he does. Be thankful that he left you and you won’t end up like my friend.

    • “It’s bizarre as he’s the most straightlace man you will ever meet, he’s sensible and acts like a real oldschool gentleman. But really he’s just a slimey cheater with a white knight complex.”

      That actually sounds a lot like STBX except that he didn’t physically cheat until about 20 years into our marriage (Well that I know of. I am at least pretty sure he didn’t cheat before the EA at 13 yrs in). This is why everyone who knows us both was so shocked when the word got out. It was seemingly so out of character.

      even before that he seemed to have such conservative values and yet was asking for some rather crude stuff in the bedroom and seemed to like movies with lesbian sex despite being mildly disapproving of non heterosexual relationships.

      Image management is so important to these people.

  • CaB, I get it. We bought a house together nine months prior to what I’ve been told was the start of the betrayal. Two days before he was looking at apartments with her, we booked a holiday together. He later said he was trying for a sense of normalcy. That his behaviour felt like someone else. I have/had the same questions.

    There is always a choice. Don’t forget what you believe in that statement. That is your value – you value commitment, honesty, faithfulness and trust and you choose to uphold these necessary ingredients for a long term relationship. He did not value these things. He does not value these things. Love is not based on cruelty, selfishness and entitlement. It’s just not. Lust sure could be. Follow up in two years and ask if that’s lasted, been fulfilling and meaningful.

    I also get wanting to shout from the rooftops what happened. I did more or less tell his mother in a text. I believe he just image managed it (apparently calling out the truth that he is a liar and a cheater is just an “insult” and actually “our relationship just ran its course”).

    I’m three months out and *starting* to see it’s the best thing that could have happened to me. You dodged a bullet and can go forward with knew knowledge that will make where you end up all the sweeter for it. x

  • @CaB – He didn’t propose and then cheat, he’s been at it for a LONG time. Like our CL says F R E A K!

    Cheaters SUCK, that we can always be sure of!!

    I was the original run away bride, canceled 3 weddings. ALL cheaters and I found out before I walked down that isle. That was in my 20’s. Damn thought I was SO smart to have dodged those bullets. It was painful but I moved on in spite of all the hee hee ha ha’s. I was told your smart, beautiful, successful and you did the right thing.

    Jump ahead about 8 years and I met Mr Wonderful (in church no less) thought this was my prince. Well long story ……… short, 32 years of double life, cheating, lying, deceiving, betraying, ruining EVERY SINGLE important event in our lives. 3 beautiful kids that are now married, and producing grand babies (that truly are the only thing that gives me PURE JOY) HE fucked up everything, I kept his dark secrets UNTIL I didn’t anymore. Divorced him — divorce from hell! He suggested that we should be “friends” now so that its no awkward for the kids sake. What a piece of work, I despise him, and am sorry I every met him. Some of these disordered, fuckwits are SO GOOD at the charade, no body every suspects them of the hell they put a loving, innocent, forgiving, faithful wife through, Reap & SOW is around the corner as he is now on the outside looking IN.

    No mo for me ………. Im convinced most men have the cheater gene. BE ever so grateful you didn’t marry that POS. (((HUGS))

    • This one rings a bell for me. I also thought I had married my prince. The one good man who rescued me from all of the others and would always treat me well, unlike the others. I used to refer to him as my prince all of the time, but hadn’t in recent years. I think it was because, in spite of the spackle, I simply wasn’t feeling it the last few years when he really wasn’t treating me very well.

  • CaB — Here’s a little true story of encouragement for you. Earlier this year I met a brilliantly talented young woman who dated a guy for 10 years; they were engaged and planning their wedding when she walked in on him in bed with another woman. Devastating. Wedding was called off, of course, and she went on to create a better life for herself, including building herself a great career (including recently starting her own business). She also has a solid new boyfriend, who she says is ten times more wonderful, kinder, and sexier than the cheater ex-fiancé. She says cheater ex-fiancé still shows up from time to time, begging her to come back to him. He is pathetic and her life is so much better now. Her future is bright!

    Oh, and she is my divorce attorney.

    • This is me after 4.5 years and ending an engagement. I cannot wait for this to happen to me!

  • When asked “What happened?” to end my 40-year relationship, I keep it simple and to the point.

    “He left me for his married coworker, and now they’re married”.

    Those 11 little words say a lot…

    (1) It was he who bailed out, not me.

    (2) He is a self-serving, dishonorable disordered dickface who made the decision to break his promise to me and to abandon our children.

    (3) Dickface is an opportunist, focusing on a convenient pussy sitting in the next office.

    (4) Dickface intruded on someone else’s marriage.

    (5) Pussy chose to intrude on my marriage.

    (6) Pussy chose to cheat on her chump with Dickface.

    (7) Pussy chose to divorce her chump and abandon her own children to start a new life with Dickface.

    (8) Dickface and Pussy believe their adulterous and illicit relationship is “special” enough to make it official.

    … and I never hold back on sharing those 11 words. After all, they’re not slanderous because they’re 100% true. All of our friends know what he did, people at our church know, our neighbors know, all of my family knows, many of his family members know, our children and their spouses and their spouses’ parents know. If only I had access to Pussy’s chump and her children and her family, I would tell them, too. But too bad, Dickface and Pussy have already spun their own version of the truth, telling her gullible family that they only began their romantic relationship AFTER her divorce was finalized earlier this year. SMH. Just waiting for the karma bus to roll around.

    • The Karma bus will roll around by him cheating on her once he gets bored with her. He won’t leave her because he now realizes divorce is financially draining but he’ll cheat behind her back for the next 20 years. Happens all the time.

  • Sadly, the one thing that they all have in common is that they are cowards. Why did they stay? Because they were too weak to leave. It’s easier to stay and continue to date others than it is to buck up and be a man. The one thing that will forever boggle my mind is that they would rather remain in a relationship with someone they do not love than grow a spine. THAT is the thing that I find so incredible.

    • And also why ‘progress’ the relationship by proposing and indicating they want to marry? I know this is me trying to untangle the skein and it may be down to outward appearances or normalcy or something else I’ll likely never understand.

      • He told you, it felt right. Then it didn’t. Maybe it will again. Then it won’t.

        This helped me, stop trying to understand the why and do this thought exercise. Pretend you don’t give a fuck about anyone other than yourself. I mean sometimes you do but as soon as they demand anything they’re an annoyance. Then pretend the only other thing you care about is how great other people think you are. Now, that you have understand how they think, look at everything your ex did or said that left you wondering wtf was he thinking through that lense…..I bet it makes sense. I bet you can guess what he’ll do next. You’ve untangled the skein. That’s all you need to know, all you’ll ever know for sure. They lie steal cheat because, fuck you, *stomp foot*, I can.

  • I’m to sad and tired to figure out this web site. I know it has been said a thousand times but this site has been a life saver in that I would have literally ended it. I thought I was a failure at 60. 30 years with the loser. When I want to give up I look to this and it gives me the energy to crawl on. One day I will stand upright and then on Tuesday I will run into my future.
    It does not take a lot to make me happy…my family and home..good work. Why am I so sad about this?

  • Thank the Lord that you found out before you were married and shared a child. Most of these guys manage to “love” their wife and have numerous mistresses throughout their marriage. They are so good at charming their wife in believing they love them and dump any mistress/lover that becomes a problem only to start up another hidden relationship. Educate yourself on the traits of a narcissist charm and how they go about manipulating all of the women in their lives so that you will be able to identify these traits in future relationships. Don’t make the same mistake twice. All to often, we attract the same type of man, and history repeats itself because we don’t take the time to learn from the experience.

  • Dear C and B,
    I have not read all the posts yet.
    What I have read portrays you to be a very intelligent, loving person.
    I can imagine you shopping for a beautiful, perfect wedding dress.
    Probably you did find that perfect, beautiful dress.
    Just a thought, but, maybe, put this dress in the back of a closet. Don’t throw it away.
    You just have not found the perfect man. (We all know no man is perfect, but we just want one who shows us true love and respect, a loving life partner).
    My wish for you is that one day you will find such a man.
    Hey, you already have the dress!

    Love to you,

    • Thanks Peacekeeper – I actually didn’t pick the dress up from the shop, too painful. I loved it so much and my mum was there with me when I chose it. Now I’m kinda sad I don’t have it but I didn’t want it to be a stark reminder of the situation.

      Thanks for your kind words xx

      • Oh C and B,

        I completely understand.
        I felt so melancholy when you said your Mom was with you when you bought your dress.
        I was with my daughter when she chose her wedding gown also.( I have two lovely daughters).
        Sadly just recently she lost her young husband, a sudden massive heart attack.
        But she has two beautiful children and many happy memories of their few years together.
        My first thought when I rushed to her side was, ” But, God, he wasn’t even a cheater.”
        Not that I wish that sad happening on any person, but I surprised myself to have such an initial thought.

        One day you and your dear Mom will dress shop again.
        I am so sorry for your heavy heart at the present time.
        I hope time and the love of your Family and true friends and CN will lighten your load and bring happiness to your heart once again.
        We are always here for you.


  • Chump Lady isn’t wrong.

    This too was similar to my story.

    Except swap an upcoming wedding for my cheater ex supporting me through university.

    He waited until I was the most invested in “our” future, to destroy me and send my life into freefall.

    But I survived motherfucker.

    He too had no agency over falling in love with his hoe-worker!! None! Who was I to question NATURE?

    Oh god. That was 2 years ago today. I sometimes get sad that I invested 6 years in a freak. But no point being sad, onwards and upwards.

    I’m glad he’s gone.

    • I was also going through my final year at university when my long term ex cheated on me with a colleague. I found out 2 months before my dissertation was due in. We were in the process of moving out together and buying our first home.

      I’m so tired of some people downplaying cheating and the impact it has on people’s lives. I completely trusted this man and thought he was my best friend only to find out I was completely wrong. He lied so well that he even managed to fool both our parents.

  • I have just gone through the exact same situation so I completely understand everything your feeling and going through. On our seventh anniversary, he staged this amazing proposal. All of our wedding plans were going ahead, we’d set a date and we were in the process of attending mortgage meetings to buy our first home together. One week before our eighth anniversary I had this gut feeling that something was going on with him (I never once thought it was cheating).

    Although he acted completely normal majority of the time, telling me he loved me and saying all of the other normal things you would say in a “happy” relationship, he’d have moments where he was snappier and uncaring. One night he said something that rung alarm bells with me and I decided to look down his phone – something I had never done before. I found messages from him to a work colleague telling her how much he loved her. He’d been having a private relationship with her for two months (persuing her for five) whilst carrying out all of these plans with me. Like you with buying your wedding dress, I had discussed trying for children with him 2 weeks before I had found out. He was excited and told me he couldn’t wait. We even went to buy a new car together the week before, to which he said things like “can you believe this will the car we bring our first little baby home in.”

    This guy has manipulated you completely just as mine did with me. And trust me when I tell you this… he didn’t want to leave you. He just never thought you would catch him, and he knows now that you have things will never be the same so he’s clinging to the only thing he has left… her.

    My guy began pleading and telling me how sorry he was and me – not even allowing myself a week to let the magnitude of what he’d done sink in, said I’d forgive him. As soon as he knew that, he dropped the sorry act and stopped caring. He continued to lie and manipulate me in the following 2 weeks after I found out. He lied to his family and told them that he’d cheated because 1) he was unhappy, 2) things had been difficult at work, 3) living with parents had pushed him to do this, and countless other excuses he tried to create that were non existent – he made me feel like a crazy mess who has interpreted our relationship wrongly. But I didn’t and you haven’t either.

    The last time I ever spoke to him, he admitted everything. That he still wanted to marry me and have children with me, but he wanted to “get this out of his system”. “Maybe we’ll be together again in a year or so, when things have calmed down.” He then went on to explain that he didn’t really love the other girl, he was just using her to “fill the void of me being there”. When I finally plucked up the courage to meet with the girl and tell her all of this, she had also been spun a web of lies. She finished things with him and a week later he was crying, phoning me trying to put things right.

    I assume that yours has lied to this woman as well and all may seem okay now but she’ll soon realise that he’ll do the same to her as he’s done to you. Neither of them are very nice people to do what they have done to you and they deserve each other.

    • Hi Robin – I’m so sorry you had to experience this too. It’s the deceit that I find very confusing – I feel like I’m a broken record as I keep talking about the same thing but it’s all I feel at the moment. I also experienced the snappier and uncaring moments and was worried about him as I thought it was work stress, I didn’t for a second think it could be this.

      The other woman definitely knew the situation – she’s close to his work mates who were attending the wedding and stag do, there’s no way she didn’t know we were about to get married. Makes me sick

      You sound very balanced and that you’re coping very well, thanks for sharing your story. x

      • I completely understand, I keep talking about it all of the time – it’s because our minds keep replaying everything over and over. Our situations are so similar. I thought exactly the same about work worries. He even told me that his snappiness was a result of worrying about me, making me feel like the problem.

        So awful that someone can knowingly do that to someone else. I think the girl that he cheated with knew more than she lets on but the whole reason he first approached her was to confide in her about our “problems” – so sneaky. For all I know they could still be seeing each other.

        Thank you, it’s been really tough and I’m trying really hard to move forward. It’s been a few months since it happened now but I still get down days. We’re both very lucky that we found out now, as hard as that is to come to terms with because we cared for them so much at one point. I’ve realised over the last few months that love has made me very blind to a lot of the things he said and did over the duration of our relationship. Many people have told me that the best revenge is to move on and be happy, and they’re so right. I know that seems so impossible during the first few months but things are starting to get a little bit easier.

        You deserve so much more. Have some time away with friends and concentrate on yourself for a while, that has really helped me.
        Best wishes x

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