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Dear Chump Lady, He won’t stop texting the OW in front of me

Dear Chump Lady,

I am a relatively new chump. My soon-to-be-ex had what he claims was an “emotional affair” in 2011. I haven’t ever really fully trusted him since then because he has not been transparent about so many things. I have thought about divorce often over the past 6 years, but have been waiting for my kids to get older and for the “right time.”

Last week, I discovered text messages between my STBX and the woman with whom he had the affair in 2011. Among other things, my STBX informed his affair partner that he had “waited and waited until the clock struck 12 so that he could be the first person to wish her happy birthday, baby!” Needless to say, I feel so devastated and distraught that, notwithstanding our 10 million conversations on this subject over the past 6 years during which my STBX assured me that he was not in contact with her, he is in contact with her. (He claims that he has not been in contact with her for years, but of course I do not believe him).

So I have told him to move out. I have consulted with a child psychologist regarding timing. Since my older daughter will be starting her first semester of college far away in a week, the psychologist recommends that we wait until her semester break to tell my kids and to separate. Which means that my STBX and I will be living in the same house from now until then.

In order to make our living situation more palatable for the next few months, I have asked my STBX to commit that he will cease contact with his AP during that time period. I believe he owes me that, after everything he has put me through, not to mention the fact that we are still married and bound by marriage vows. I explained to him that to the extent that we are living in the same house and doing things as a family for the next few months (such as dropping my daughter off at college, attending family weekend, etc.), I do not want his AP hovering within our marriage — I do not want him to be communicating with her about our family events, our conversations, etc., and I do not want to hear her stupid voice through his mouth. I explained that she has been hovering over/within our marriage for 6 years, uninvited by me, and I requested that he cease contact with her for the nect 4 months out of respect for me and our 26 years together.

My STBX responded with all kinds of double talk. He said he didn’t want to make the commitment to me because he doesn’t want to lie to me any more, and it is reasonably likely that he will speak to her. So I explained that communicating with her is within his control and that I am asking him to commit NOT to communicate with her. He responded again by saying he doesn’t want to lie to me any longer. So I asked, “Are you saying that you won’t make that commitment?” He said, “I’m not saying that either. But if she calls me in 3 days, I’ll have to talk to her.” I explained to him that, no, in fact, he could contact her now and explain that, out of respect for his wife, he is ceasing contact with her for the next 4 months and that she is not to contact him. And around and around and around we went. Bottom line, he does not want to commit not to speak to her for the next 4 months while we are still living together/married. Eventually, he did commit, but I of course do not believe him.

So my question is, WTF? How can my STBX betray me so thoroughly and completely and then not agree to my simple and reasonable request to cease contact with his AP for the next few months while we are still living together? What am I dealing with here? Perhaps more importantly, how do I deal with this? It is incomprehensible to me that he could treat me this way.

I appreciate your insight and advice.

So Done

So Done,

Why are you demanding “commitment” from someone who has wholly demonstrated himself unwilling to give you one? Not just on this talking to the OW thing, but in your marriage, period.

Because unwilling does not mean unable? COULD he cease communications with the OW? Sure. He COULD. But he CHOOSES not to.

That’s your reality. He wants to text mushy shit to Schmoopie at all hours in front of you. Because it’s all about HIM. It’s not about you, or your kids, or your daughter going off to college. It’s about his kibbles.

And frankly, humiliating you and disrespecting you with his affair is part of the high for him. It’s triangulation and cake. Your upset delights him and makes him feel central. This has been a six-year cake fest. OW is some kind of fuckwit to lurk in the periphery of your life waiting for her cake crumbs, but hey, that’s what Schmoopies do. And your cheater freak has to get keep the intermittent rewards going so she’ll stick around and play Pick Me Dance.

So Done, you’re playing Pick Me Dance too and you need to quit that shit. Your Pick Me Dance goes — STOP! Just pretend you’re part of this family for SIX MONTHS until I can give you that divorce! Before it was, STOP the emotional affair! Hey, wife and kids over here! I don’t think this is just “emotional.” STOP being shady! STOP lying to me! Watch me keep our family together! Aren’t we worthy? LOOK at us!

You’ve done a six-year cha-cha to win the dubious honor of being Plan B. The Fall Back Family. The shrubbery, the background scenery to his Great Cake Romance.

You say you’re “done,” but you are not acting done.

This is what DONE looks like — you don’t see a child psychologist — you see a LAWYER first. You do what the lawyer tells you to do. Protect your finances, secure that kid’s tuition, run credit reports (how much did he spend on a 6-year affair? Were there others?), get temporary support orders in place — and have him move out immediately if he needs to text his OW so badly.

It’s called a boundary. And you enforce it with consequences.

You say you’ve been waiting for the “right time” for SIX YEARS to divorce his asshole? It will NEVER feel like the right time. There will never be a magic alignment of the stars in which this decision will not hurt your children and disrupt their lives.

And that sucks, but it’s not as bad as watching their mother be humiliated as a chump day in and day out. Modeling mightiness is always preferable to abuse.

I explained to him that to the extent that we are living in the same house and doing things as a family for the next few months (such as dropping my daughter off at college, attending family weekend, etc.), I do not want his AP hovering within our marriage — I do not want him to be communicating with her about our family events, our conversations, etc., and I do not want to hear her stupid voice through his mouth.

YOU ARE NOT A FAMILY. I’m sorry to wield the 2×4, but if you’re divorcing that means you are NOT a family with him. You do NOT confuse your daughter with “family weekend” or “doing things as a family” for four months. (What? Only to drop the bomb, that oh hey, you were planning to divorce all along?) No, YOU take her to college. YOU go to the family weekend with your kids. Leave him at home with his cell phone. Don’t drag him by his hairy ear forcing him to feign “family” man, pretending you’re all on the A team together.

Start dealing with REALITY. He LOST the privilege of your love and your family. He’s a solo operator, and you’re the badass who doesn’t need him or his disrespect in your life. You can’t control if he talks to Schmoopie, you can, however, control whether you’re in the room, or the same planet, or same marriage.

Quit pleading with the fuckwit and take charge. This is YOUR life. If he wonders what’s changed, tell him you respect him too much to keep lying to him about being “family.” You waited and waited until the clock struck 12, so you could be the first to wish him a new life without you.


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.
  • There is never a “good time” to get divorced.

    After I decided to divorce my wife, I waited 10 days before telling her. In that period, I got my finances in order, got legal advice, and found a place to live so I wouldn’t be trapped in the same home with someone who had proven so good at manipulating me.

    Those were the longest 10 days of my life. And in the 9th night, she came home hammered at 2:00 a.m. after being out at a bar, swapping spit with her OM.

    Do NOT prolong this any more than you have to. I am not a child psychologist, but please consider the advice you received along with all of the other considerations (such as delaying for 6 months the *initiation* of your daughter’s acclimation / adjustment to the new circumstances. It’s a form of manipulation.

    Yes, all parents must shield their children (at points) from life’s hard realities. But it is still tricking someone into believing something that isn’t true. Please consider if that’s really what you want to do.

    • I will say that getting your ducks in a row before presenting the decree was still a good idea.

    • Dear CL,
      Thank you so much for your wisdom. It is so true that it will never feel like the right time to divorce, but as you say, “modeling mightiness is always preferable to abuse.” Yes! I want to model mightiness! I do not deserve this abuse. I am “the badass who doesn’t need him or his disrespect” in my life.

      I think that the single most difficult thing for me has been coming to grips with the fact that the man whom I loved and married 21 years ago is the same person who has betrayed and disrepected me so thoroughly. It is really hard to wrap my mind around that. I know it is true, of course — I have the evidence to prove it, and yet, for whatever reason, it is still really hard to reconcile that the man I married could do this to me. As I’m sure is often true of cheaters, he is charming and, to the rest of the world, he is outgoing, very friendly, and extremely likable. He is very kind to my elderly parents. My point is, if he were mean, disrespectful, and unkind to everyone all the time, it might be easier for me to wrap my mind around the fact that he has treated me so badly. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll get there, but it has been really hard. Your “no contact” rule has been the best advice I have received yet. When I have no contact with him, I feel light, free and at peace. I feel authentic. When I have contact with him and engage with his lies / gaslighting / double speak, I feel sick to my stomach for a couple of days afterwards. The thing is, he has been lying to me for years, and I am so excited to be free of his lies.

      I already have seen a lawyer (several times, in fact); I just didn’t mention it in my letter.

      Again, thank you for your response. I AM a badass; I just have to start acting like one. Minute by minute, I’m getting there. This website and your book have been godsends.

      Thanks again,

      So Done

      • Hi So Done,

        It is completely NORMAL to have a hard time wrapping your mind around the fact that this “sparkly” person is treating you (and your marriage vows) with such disrespect.

        In my situation too, it was especially confounding because he was so wonderful to my elderly parents as they went through some difficult final years. He went to visit them at their senior building – even without me – more often than my local siblings did. After they died, HE would bring up one or the other of my parents, saying “I miss Ada” or “I miss Frank” (names have been changed to protect the innocent). How can a spouse who does THAT be a deceitful, lying cheater??

        I don’t know it was all a big act in order to keep me believing in how wonderful he was (elaborate-and-tailored-to-impress-me image management), or if he actually cared for them. But it doesn’t MATTER now because they would be HORRIFIED if they knew how he cheated on and lied to their daughter!

        This kind of person can appear to be a real gem of a human being, when in fact he is deceitful, manipulative, and self-centered. After believing in the fantasy man we thought we married, it’s hard to get used to the harsh reality. They are NOT loyal, committed, or respectful of our feelings. It takes time to come to terms with this.

        I’m glad to hear you’ve consulted a lawyer. Good for you! You really have to protect yourself. Refer to Tracy’s book often. And keep coming here. It helps to know there are lots of good, understanding people who are willing to offer you support. And the occasional 2X4 if it’s needed.

        Take care, and hang in there!

        • The other day I was going through some stuff and ran across an old Christmas tag that said “to Chumpinrecovery from the man whose heart you will always have”.

          I nearly had a breakdown again because I just couldn’t reconcile the man who wrote that note with the man he is or has become. It is easy to see how I was fooled. Maybe he can reuse it, cross my name out and write hers in. Maybe she will be stupid enough to fall for it like I did.

          • Chumpinrecovery, I can so relate to what you found and how you felt. I found a Valentine the other day – from this past February – and read it broken-hearted.Another record of the depth of his lies and double life!

            I assumed that my STBX had bought mine & AP’s birthday cards at the same time, since our bdays were weeks apart. My Dday was the day after my birthday & I tore up all the cards he gave me and put them in the top of the trashcan – after I revealed to him that I knew (AFTER I hired attorney, therapist & accountant).

            NC IS MAGIC! I, too, feel real and mighty in NC. Lately I’ve been around him too much and that old, sick feeling hits me in the gut. I had outpatient surgery yesterday and he took me. I knew I shouldn’t have agreed to it. I really need a friend to do this – just makes him think he’s that “great guy” he thought he was all along. Ugh!

            His latest? He had “decided to end the affair” the day I discovered it. Hmmm? Realy? How convenient? So I asked why – why that day – how could he remember the day…? Had he realized how horribly he has treated me for a number of years? Guilt? Remorse? CL & CN – you’re going to LOVE this: He stuttered to tell me that his adoring AP had started to flirt with another guy who works for him in front of him that day.

            • I used to fantasize about Schmoopie running off with another man. I was imagining that he would then see the error of his ways and what a mistake he had made. Then one of my friends asked “so how would it make you feel to see him become a deeply distraught broken hearted train wreck over the loss of some OTHER woman not you?” Hmm. Maybe that’s not the Karma I’m looking for after all. There really isn’t any way to win.

              • My cheater and I reconciled. Most days I had felt this had been a good decision. About a year ago, the schmoopie received a cancer diagnosis. Three weeks before I knew, cheaterpants was acting all grumpy and weird. I thought it was holiday blues. I soon found out the real problem. Schmoopie was sick. Really sick. It’s been a real dose of reality to eat this shit sandwich. It’s like you wish all this terrible stuff on these people, then terrible stuff actually happens. It’s one weird tasting sandwich. It’s got a real aftertaste.
                I now feel like I’m the bad guy. I should have just left and been done with it all.

            • Yes he’s a shit. Will always be a shit. I do love the karma though for Mr. Cheater and his sparkly special snowflake!

            • I highly, highly recommend getting a box and sticking it in your bedroom for now. Whenever you come across a memento, card, letter, a lovely gift like jewelry, or anything that he ever gave you, toss it into that box. EVERYTHING and ANYTHING he gave you that will fit into it. make a plan to have all that crap cleared out by your divorce day. Toss it all in the trash or dump it on his doorstep, whatever you feel like doing.

              He moved out of my house in September, and I spent the next 6 months doing just that. I knew I would run across stuff he left behind or that I didn’t want.

              On the morning of our divorce hearing, I dumped the box at his back door and I have not regretted it a bit. I do not deal with “running across” a sentimental memory anymore and that has really done wonders to minimize the daily mindfuck.

              • Sunflower36,
                You are my brilliant heroine! That is genius!
                I’m not sure I would return anything to him – he is a loser who deserves to loose more, not benefit by regifting anything to some new chump. I might donate it to a halfway house I know of or melt the gold down for cash…hmmm… way to mighty!

        • I don’t know how they can be good people in one way but garbage to their family. My stbx would spend holidays visiting people in a group home. Now I wonder if he had company when visiting them or maybe he really didn’t go to the group home at all. Just a good excuse to be gone on a holiday.

      • So Done,
        It is hard to accept that someone so outwardly charming and friendly can also be the same person who is lying and sneaking behind your back- or right under your nose as it were in your case. This facade is exactly that, a facade. Impression management. Many cheaters are very protective of their good image because that ensures a stream of attention kibbles they get from friends, family, potential supply and even YOU! Nice people aren’t always GOOD people. My ex was a soft spoken surgeon who was so generous with kind words and gifts. But he lived a double life and would lie directly to my face, even in the face of truth. A gift is a kind gesture until you realize you’re not the only woman receiving it.
        If your interactions leave you feeling down for a few days afterward, listen to that feeling! I think most of us here can relate to that, in fact it was that feeling that allowed me in my own situation to finally walk away and go no contact. Every single time I would try to appeal to his sensibilities, I would feel shame and anxiety for days after and it was because I wasn’t being honest with myself. You nailed it, it’s about being your AUTHENTIC self! Not one of us want to have to try to convince someone to love us. Forgive yourself when you mess up, but take one day at a time. One year ago today I thought my life was over. It was my D Day. Today I am in the best health of my life and not a day goes by when someone doesn’t say to me “You have your spark back”. You will get there too. I cannot stress how much no contact changed the rate at which I healed. Dramatic! You can do this, you are mighty!

        • MomRN, my ex was also a well-respected and apparently decent surgeon, generous and thoughtful and adored by his secretaries and “yummy mummy” patients (the fact that he called them that was clearly a red flag in retrospect! Clearly all kibble sources). He used to express horror at the infidelities of his colleagues and remind me what a decent man he was.
          4 years on I just accept I will never understand his duplicity, and the gas lighting was the worst part of it. Hence the desire not to inflict that on our kids by pretending all is OK – surely So Done’s kids must already sense something is wrong…

          • Vastra, yes we spent many times speaking about others infidelities and he would talk about how “senseless” they were because there was so much “collateral damage” with kids etc. He still wears the mask of a decent human and many still buy the act however the smart ones were so shocked at his duplicitous nature, he was never able to recover his good reputation within the general surgical community.

        • I don’t know if you are a Registered Nurse but nearly all my nurse friends have been chumped and divorced. I call it the nurse curse. Is nursing a risk for chumpiness?

          • Yea the same traits that draw people to helping professions like nursing are same traits that draw in the disordered partners.

      • So Done, I danced too. We told our 9 yo son about the divorce at the airport in January when we were returning home from vacationing with the cheater. Son burst into tears and he keeps telling me I should have waited it until he was 12. He thinks 12 is the magic age when he wouldn’t care. My point is: it hurts whenever you tell your kids. It hurts them badly and it hurts you worse for inflicting this pain on them. I cried all the way back at the airports and in planes. Cheater then tried to influence my mom to talk me back into reconciliation (but accept his women loving nature) based on the fact I cried so much. His logic: chump cried, hence she is upset, hence she does not want to divorce me. My mom explained calmly I cried because I was mourning my 12 years wasted and my future hopes flushed down the drain. She also told him I was a strong woman and would deal with it. I did not feel strong then…but it gets better. I am not there yet..heading to a high conflict divorce with international custody issues. This site keeps me afloat when I feel I am drawning. Keep checking in.

        • Yay for you Mom. Mine appealed to my mind ther too. Was most put out when she voiced hitherto privately held opinions that he was a bully. So done love your apt description “light free and at peace” and ‘authentic’. Definitely, ????

        • Longtimechump,
          Just read your post.
          I am so sorry for all the pain inflicted on you and your young son.
          Keep being the sane, present, loving parent. Your son’s young heart will learn who YOU are more and more every day.
          I love your Mom, she said it like it is.
          AMother’s love and guidance is invaluable to us. I miss my Mom every day. Today as my daughter faces a new tradegy, I am there for her. ( she is always there for me too). It is unbelievable how a mother can be there for her child. It is not easy but it is a part of who a mother is.
          This shines through in how your Mom is there for you and how you are there for your Son, no matter what.
          Thinking of you as your navigate your difficult journey, sending love and many hugs each day.

      • I can’t help but notice how he is trying to portray himself as a new creature NOW! He is such a stand up guy NOW that he refuses to lie to you anymore! He’s not the same guy he used to be – the one who lied to you …in the past (ugh)!

        • Nyra,
          Right? Unbelievable. And why would I ever believe him when he says he’s telling the truth anyway?

      • I learned to accept I will never be able to wrapmy mind around any of it… I begged him so many things while I was pregnant with our daughter and he complied to none… no respect at all.

        Begging no more, all you get is BS and wasted time anyway.

        It hurts but you have no choice. Leave now, today. And dont take him back when he gets the sadsz once he is with schmoopie fulltime.

      • So Done,

        I was married to my DOCTOR husband for 35 years before he left for the tundra adventure with his Schoopie, which quite surprised me.

        One thing I realized as I tried to wrap my brain around the total betrayal of so much in my life, is that I’ve been projecting MY values and moral compass, onto him. That’s why we chumps are often so confused and baffled by the bastards choices. WE would not have made those choices. We want to believe our choice to stay was valid. So we remain shocked & confused for far too long.

        When I filed for divorce, I was shocked to hear each of my children express pride in my choice. It was a bittersweet comfort. They saw through my marriage before I did.

        Believe the evidence, protect yourself. You will be doing your children a much bigger favor by protecting their financial future.

        • Doctor’s1stWife&Kids,

          “One thing I realized as I tried to wrap my brain around the total betrayal of so much in my life, is that I’ve been projecting MY values and moral compass, onto him. That’s why we chumps are often so confused and baffled by the bastards choices. WE would not have made those choices. We want to believe our choice to stay was valid. So we remain shocked & confused for far too long.”

          This is so true. I think it is so difficult to comprehend because we would never have made those choices. We’re just not wired that way.

          • Exactly – WE’RE not wired that way. Doctor’s1st & So Done,
            This is so important – they COUNT on our shock and denial to buy themselves cake & kibble. It’s one of the reasons these things last so long and my pain drags on… However, when I stay CL/CN current (daily reading is a must to keep me strong, I’ve learned!), it gets easier and easier to envision a new me and a new life for myself. It is NOT unrealistic to expect loyalty and fidelity – what’s unreasonable is to lie, cheat, mindfuck, manipulate and gaslight and then expect someone to trust you. I am calling the unacceptable unacceptable TO ME. If someone else wants that garbage, good for her/him. I just talked to my therapist about finding a new job and tightening up my list of divorce demands – I am CN mighty! Dead Unicorn, here!
            Hang in there, SO Done – youor signoff says it all. Letting go of those images and illusions is painful, but once you do, there are better days ahead – stronger days, days with less triggers…and your kids will thank you. When STBX was hang-dogging around bc I won’t take him back, my daughter said, “He did it to himself, Mom.” BAM! Mic drop! We need to give them credit for being sharp and perceptive.people we mighty moms have raised them to be. So Done – a whole new world awaits you…jump in (chump in?) – the water’s FINE!

      • Once you put some distance between you and this evil piece of garbage, youbwiplbstartvseeing the red flags that you had missed. I missed them too. You’re daughter is a grown woman now. Show her how a grown woman acts. She wouldn’t choose this life. Do you want to waste 6 more years?!! Get out as soon as you have everything in order. It will upset your kids. There’s no way around it. Mine were 6,1, and in the womb when I left his lying 2 faced coward self. Now I’m a single mom with 3 with no family around and even though it’s hard, I would never go back. I am so happy now. ALSO, you sound just like me. This story, his lies, they are not unique. My ex didn’t care to stop texting/screwing etc. when I lost 20lbs in my 4 month of pregnancy over what he was doing. After I found out about his affair that completely blindsided (he was my best friend, we all worked together, we had a beautiful home, children) I was DEVASTATED. to say the least. 2 days later he went over to her house and screwed her! How you can even get an erection after you just shattered your life, your wife’s life and your children is beyond my comprehension and untangling the skein. Your husband is a monster and you need to divorce him. Please get angry. Please get out. You will find a better life. TAKE HIM FOR ALL HIS EVER LOVING MONEY. put your boot on his neck and do not let up!! He does not care about you or his kids. Let him have the tramp. She will be involved with your kids so prepare for that. My ex leaves my babies with his stupid OW all the time. She’s like a fat ugly nanny he can take advantage of. It’s disgusting but not your control. Please take your life back. I cringe at 6 years!! Don’t waste 1 more day with this scum.

    • Agree 100% with everything stated above.

      There is never a right time. Get a very good attorney. Get your ducks aligned and all assets ID’d. For assets spent on the 6 yr romance, once you do the math, add an additional 25%. You will never know the true amount spent on other ‘friends’, and I can assure you that you will find other roaches coming out of the woodwork. Demand a timeline from the asshole and go over it

      having a therapist for your daughter is good. Show her that her father is a poor example of how men should treat their SO’s by being Mighty.

    • I’m in the same boat. Been married 21 years and found out 6 months ago and since then Narc has had multiple online affairs. Two weeks ago he was laying next to me in bed asking a woman out on a date. Thankfully she didn’t take his bait. Follow your attorney advice, make a plan to get him out of your life. College kids can handle this news. My son is 20 and he already knows I’m working on plan too divorce my Narc. Narc doesn’t care how much he’s hurt me in the last 6 months. He wants attention from other women. I don’t want a man I can’t trust.

      • And remember when people tell you that you can’t control him they are right. He’s choosing to do these things and refuses to stop. Narc thinks he’s justified in what he does. He’s going to have a huge shock once I get my ducks in a row.

      • >>”Two weeks ago he was laying next to me in bed asking a woman out on a date.”

        This shit is surreal. The unmitigated gall and passive-aggressive hatred is stunning.

        Midwest, I hope you are able to get out sooner rather than later. This is blatant abuse.

  • Yeah, you can’t control what he does. Stop trying. You do you and let him do him and GTFO and away from him. He’s never going to “see the light” no matter how many times you explain it to him or how many ultimatums you give him. He just doesn’t care about you and your feelings. It sucks, I’m sorry, but “leave a cheater, gain a life”

    • HM,
      This is so true. I just have to accept that he just doesn’t care about me and my feelings. He just doesn’t.

      • Easier said than done, right? I’m having a hard time getting to meh. It feels unreal to me that after 11 years together (8 married) that he doesn’t care about me at all, not even through cancer. Hard pill to swallow after I gave everything.

        • #Cancer Chump, I feel your pain. After a major blowout that I knew was leading to divorce in 2013, I got a huge contact buzz of Hopium when he committed to sticking with me in 2014 after my breast cancer diagnosis. I won’t tell you what 2015 was like, or the hell that was 2016 when I fled and filed, still bald, exhausted and on treatment. And 19 months later, the jackass is still dragging his feet, trying to stay on my insurance for one more year (why SHE can’t insure his ass is beyond me) but eventually,vwe will be divorced. I finally moved on after a year and I know it’s painful, but you do move on eventually. Especially when you realize how much better your life is – YOUR LIFE, NOT HIS!! He had the massive cahonies to text me the other day and when I stated that we were better off and I was happier now, he continued on as if I had said nothing, reiterating that HE was NOT happier. Is this my cue to GAF? (((Hugs))) to you, and know that even after cancer and cheater narcissists, life can be beautiful.

  • I cringed as I read this letter.

    The nuts and bolts of your choices are:

    1. Follow CL’s advice — set a boundary and start protecting yourself and your kids (since your husband certainly won’t). See that lawyer.

    2. Lie to your kids for the next few months while your husband continues to disrespect you and your kids, lie to your and your kids, and continues to screw his OW.

    I’m flummoxed that any child psychologist would tell you that you lying to your kids is optimal. NO. They will feel doubly betrayed — by your husband AND you.

    I know it is hard to take in how absolutely horrible our supposed life partners have been … and how horrible they truly are. But you MUST. He’s given you no options. Nothing to work with. Please, take CL’s advice.

    • Also, he’s been having sex with this woman then coming home and having sex with your for the last six years (that you know for sure) …. you need to go to the doctor and get and STD check.

      Most cheaters don’t wear protection in short-term affairs. They definitely don’t in long-term affairs.

      • They are special….. mine was banging a 26 year old on and off for 4 years. Random hook ups. Never once did she feel the need for protection! Let’s see….. he is 26-30, single…. probably she was low on his list of fick partners…. but she was special…. no need to glove up!

        • Same problem here. He was enraged when I insisted that he get an STD test … full-blown rage. Well, asshole, I wouldn’t have slept with you without protection if I would have known you had multiple partners! (Okay, I wouldn’t have slept with him at all … but seriously — I never volunteered for UNsafe sex in my marriage.)

          So sorry any of us had to go through that. The lack of care for us is so extreme that they don’t even care if they give us life-long (sometimes life-ending) diseases. Cheaters are assholes (regardless of gender).

          • Yes I got the rage response too – he exploded “how DARE you suggest my girlfriend has a sexually transmitted disease!”

            • Ha! I had the same response and then this…. “She’s ‘clean’. Yes. She does have Herpes.”

              How this shit cannot be considered Manslaughter or even criminal is beyond me.

          • Not only was I afraid to ask him to get tested, I was afraid he would be offended if he saw the bill from when I got tested. I can’t believe I was so concerned about what he would think of me for worrying about what diseases he might have brought home from his promiscuous girlfriend.

            I know he didn’t use protection because he hated condoms and hey, he had the vasectomy so no need. That’s how selfish people think.

            • I asked and he didn’t go but it didn’t stop me from going and getting myself tested. If he doesn’t care (and they dont), you better care enough about yourself to have it done. My family MD couldn’t believe but she was so supportive, professional and compassionate!! GET YOURSELF CHECKED.

              • I did get checked, I just made sure he didn’t see the envelope when I got the results (negative)

            • Oh Chumpinrecovery – I made my POS pay for ALL of my testing. And I insisted on getting a repeat screeening 3 months after the intial tests. He didn’t bawk. I basically told him you better pay for this or be prepared cause I’m gonna blow up your world. I had already done some stuff and I think I scared the shit out of him lol.

          • I asked and he didn’t go but it didn’t stop me from going and getting myself tested. If he doesn’t care (and they dont), you better care enough about yourself to have it done. My family MD couldn’t believe but she was so supportive, professional and compassionate!! GET YOURSELF CHECKED.

          • Mine said- she’s a very clean person!
            Oh, does she shower every day? Bully for her! ????

        • Amazing!!! She didn’t want to be tested either. Ended up doing it. Funny thing is she said…. well I knew he was safe from our conversations we had 5 days before the first f fest!
          Other notable part is she was on zero birth control. It is mind blowing to try and figure these things out.

          • If she’s knocked up while you are/were trying to divorce her, you likely won’t get one if she doesn’t want it. Doesn’t matter if it’s yours or not.

            Just another knife twist to you, you chump.

      • This was the worst!!!! And my STBX slept with prostitutes! Thank god my tests were negative! How dare these scumbags jeopardize our health!!!!

    • Done, I copy word for word JesssMom and, of course CL.

      And what difference does it make to you if cheater texts OW during “The Big Wait for the College Break”. BTW, a ridiculous and ineffective recommendation: your children WILL be hurt, no matter what, when and where and they are adults!
      This shit about about “not wanting to lie to you” is is the greatest example of mindfucking I have read at this blog. It is a facade, putting a smelly goat in the room to look good in the picture.


      • ClearWaters,

        “This shit about about “not wanting to lie to you” is is the greatest example of mindfucking I have read at this blog.” Right? My STBX is the master. After having a conversation with him, my head is often spinning, and I am left questioning reality. It’s crazy.

        • So Done —

          I got to the point that I questioned my own sanity. When they gaslight and lie so well and for so long … it really messes with the people who loved and trusted them. Sadly, they KNOW this — it’s their goal.

          I’m just getting to the other side of all of this, and I promise it gets better. Once I got away from my STBX, the confusion started to subside (slowly, but with certainty).

          Sending a hug for strength, clarity, and eventual peace. (((Hugs)))

          • JesssMom,
            Thank you for your kind words! It helps so much to hear from people who are further along than me. My STBX lies and gaslights so much — it is an art form for him. As I said in an earlier comment above, when I am not with him, I feel light and free and at peace. I feel certain that once he leaves my house, I will be the better for it. I just need to get there.

    • “I’m flummoxed that any child psychologist would tell you that you lying to your kids is optimal.”

      Spot-on, Jesssmom. Psychologists are not always right. Their training is not going to cover every circumstance, and as we all know, infidelity is a special circumstance that only those who have lived through it will understand. Having taught parenting & child development for 20+ years, much of the conventional wisdom on a number of topics has turned out to be wrong, wrong, wrong.

      SoDone–your psychologist is wrong. Do not gaslight your children, do not allow them to see you semi-broken for the next 6 months. Have your children see you MIGHTY. Take agency.

      • No person is always right, including psychologists and other professionals. They are, after all, only human, as well.

        Sometimes I think this is yet another handicap chumps share: our willingness to trust authority as “right” or “correct.” They aren’t, always.

      • Agree with the above — my college age daughter, on being told the “news” recently, said, “Wow, I feel validated.” She had always suspected there was something not quite right between us, but though SHE was the crazy one.

        • I love that, Chickynot, because what those of us who have suffered through a trauma (including the children) need most is validation. Our feelings, thoughts, value, have been invalidated for so long, that even a whiff of validation is a huge relief.

    • Jesss Mom,
      “I know it is hard to take in how absolutely horrible our supposed life partners have been … and how horrible they truly are. But you MUST. He’s given you no options. Nothing to work with.”

      So so true.

  • Done
    This is what I found and find the hardest part of all of this. Recognising him for who he is and not who I think or I want him to be.
    I was married to my ex for 23 years. Until I got the hang of looking at his actions versus all of the things he said I was confused. When I actually began to see (and how painful this is) what his actions actually said about how little he cared about me, my feelings, us then I began to gain some traction. This is about what you want, what you find acceptable, how you want to be treated, what kind of life you want. There is a lot of grieving ahead for you but the first step is to recognise that it’s all gone already. What you thought you had, what you may have had has already died, gone, is deceased, has perished etc. What remains is to turn away from thinking about what he does, doesn’t do, says, doesn’t say and to focus on what you want to do in your new single life. Cut your losses. Cut the cord. You must now act like he is a person for whom you no longer have any respect, trust or belief in. Act like it. It will be a while before you genuinely feel this way. I’m sorry but it’s all over it’s just a question now of how to get away cleanly, quickly, least painfully (well there is no painless way) and get to your new life. Who are you? What do you want? You have agency here, use it.

    • >>”[T]he first step is to recognise that it’s all gone already.”

      YES. This was the hardest thing in the world for me. I think I clung to every small breeze; every cloud in the sky; everything and anything in hopes that I was wrong. How I wanted to salvage my marriage — my family.

      But there was nothing to salvage — my STBX had decided that long ago (unilaterally). And I just prolonged my own pain. Pulling the damned band-aid one root and hair at a time. For years.

      (P.S. Welcome back, Capricorn!!!)

      • That is the worst part! Even now I wonder if I ever knew him at all. Maybe I projected everything I wanted into him and he let me. He didn’t have to do anything. I do all the work while he doesn’t have to even pretend to have character. I am offended he is so passive about breaking up our marriage and family of 15 years but I realize he has not ever invested much into it. No investment lost for him but heavy losses for me since I put everything I had into our lives together.

        • Yes, the hardest part for me is realizing he was never as committed as I was & he’s not the person he tried so hard to get everyone to believe he was. I was the chumpiest chump of them all

          • Sheri and Staryeye…yes to both of you.

            I was SO committed and devoted…I did SO much heavy lifting, he barely had to show up. I also put everything I had into our marriage and family. After he died, I found an anger management exercise he did (why? did something happen at work?) and on it, he wrote “I never loved my wife” well, there you go…in black and white for me to see.

            • So sorry unicornno more. That must have been awful to find. From what you have said in other posts it must have been some kind of sick egg hunt with rotten surprises around every corner. I am sure you deserved better and hope you have found some peace.

              • unicornnomore,
                How heart-wrenching that must have been for you! (((hugs))) I am amazed at you being here and finding your mighty after all you’ve been through. Your experience and wisdom are so helpful here – you are transforming your pain into help and REAL hope for the rest of us. Peace.

        • There’s a sort of weed that grows around my house that covers a lot of ground very quickly, but when you go to pull it out, it comes out so easily, because the roots are tiny little hairlike structures sucking moisture and nutrients from the soil. I can clear a space of three square meters in about thirty seconds. — That’s how I think of XH’s attachment to me: barely there, and just for the nutrients, and oh-so-easily detached. Painful I ever thought otherwise.

          • NWBiblio, I LOVE your weed analogy. Roots are “barely there, and just for the nutrients, and oh-so-easily detached.” Exactly!

          • I think of it like he is shallow with shallow feelings. Doubt he cares very deeply about anything or anyone but himself and his kibbles. His job meet most of his kibble needs so I am more disposable.

          • Brilliant, NWBiblio!
            Apt metaphor if ever there was one! Are those what we call “dollar weeds” down south? (like, I WISH I had a dollar for every one I’ve got to pull up?)

      • These were the exact words my adult daughter said to me after she had her first “face to face” with her father two days after DDay…”Mom, there is nothing there.” I will never forget that.

        • My son said the EXACT same thing. “Mom there is nothing there”

          He’s 25

        • My then-19 year old said, “He doesn’t get it, and he’s never going to get it.” Out of the mouths of babes.

          • And when MOM gets it, she is affirming their ability to observe the real world and make sound judgments rather than spackle or take up the hopium pipe.

        • I hope my kid figures it out someday. He is only 6 and it breaks my heart. Worry about the day our kid doesn’t give as good of kibbles and hope he doesn’t get discarded too.

        • Wow – they get it! Mine said, “He brought it on himself, Mom.” LOVE her!

      • Yes! Yes! Yes! My marriage from the very beginning was doomed I think as my X was truly AWFUL to me. Year 7 is when I found out about the affair. There were likely others as I look back and I think about it. Coming to grips with letting go and realizing that I was not the person that X wanted in his life, that was so hard. The hardest part was letting go myself. So hard! Took me 3 years of hellish wreckonciliation to figure out that this man was a waste of space and a giant anvil that was swinging around my neck.

      • Death of the fantasy I was living in is the hardest part. But it efels better every day!
        We were together for 31 years, married 29.16. We had had a rocky beginning with addiction (both) and in early recovery he had had 2 affairs (1 EA and one SA, simultaneously,…y’know – ’cause there’s so much good of him to go around, amiright? ). We bought the whole RIC enchilada and “wreckonciled” with the cheering of our 12-Step support people. Had a couple of freaking awesome kids, lost a baby..weathered a lot of storms that most couples don’t survive.
        We were UNICORNS, man! People admired us1 One friend told me we were a relationship role model (PUKE!). 2 months, 2 days ago: Dday#3, I discovered a new Schmoopie and nude selfie & hundreds of smarmy texts messages …while mine went ignored & unanswered.(must be a new narc app – to block spousal interference with daily kibble). Tumblers began to click and the vault slowly opened: Pandora’s box…it was like 26 years in between never happened. My denial and addiction to him/the idea of him have to be managed DAILY. NC works best, but I falter. CL & CN are MY LIFELINE! I couldn’t survive without y’all – you mighty warriors for truth and sanity – and some good, old-fashioned snarkiness! HE is doing a PickMe Dance of epic proportions, but my retained is paid and I AM SO DONE. Will NOT spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder and wondering about …who? F that! Me. Only me. That’s been his complete focus (himself – even in “recovery” – as he tries to wreckoncile – everything is about him). Well, it’s my turn.
        Ready for what’s next….’cause I know exactly what’s behind me!

        • Sounds like you have been through a lot. Great job staying mighty! Holy crap.

    • Capricorn…I agree with you a thousand percent. You have to stop listening to his words and look at his actions. The devaluing and the discarding was the worst but until you go no contact, you’ll never truly begin to heal. Done- keep coming back everyday and reread the letters in the Archives because I swear, there are some days where the strength you get from them will propel you to the moon and back. One day at a time….it really does get easier.

        • So Done- I hope this reaches you since I’m posting a day later. It really does get better. On August 18, it will be 7 months since I found out about my soon to be exes affair. I had 3 D-Days because my heart refused to believe that the only man I’ve ever been with for 19 years of my life would be so cruel to me. The man who once loved me more than anything in this world would throw me out like yesterday’s garbage. So I felt the pain and confusion in your letter. I know exactly what you’re feeling as do all of us here at CN. In five days I will begin my new life in a new state with the daughter he gave me full custody of. Three months ago I told my mom I would put all the photo albums in a box and put them on a shelf in the closet. I said maybe a year or two from now, I’ll be able to go through them and take his photos out. 2 mornings ago I woke up and knew in my heart that I was ready to go through those albums and so I did. I am determined that my new life will have no trace of this man…he doesn’t deserve to be part of my world anymore. Does it still hurt? Yes, but not as much as it did 6 months ago, 3 months ago. The turning point for me came when I finally made up my mind to go No Contact. My head became clearer by the day and I was able to see what his actions were trying to tell me. Did it hurt? Like a motherfucker…but it is reality and the sooner I face it…the sooner I can move on with my life. I get to walk away with our daughter and that there makes me the winner. While your daughter is grown, in the end after all is said and done she will see the injustice done to you. She will see that he had choices to make and he chose all the wrong ones. You will be the winner in the end too. It takes time. I’m new at this too and I’m still going through the process but I am so much better than I was months ago and you will be too. Go No Contact and you will soon be on your way to a much happier, cheater free life.

          • God, I wish I could walk away with my kids and have NC. I feel like shit every single time I have to interact with him. I’m good every other time, but when I HAVE to communicate with him…it brings me down for DAYS.

            School will start soon and I am hoping that will help. I am hoping he will capitulate to Ms. Twatwaffles’ desire for him to be Uncle Daddy to HER kids and that she will actively discourage him from having ours around. Let’s face it, the cheating bitch gives lip service to the idea of having my kids around their father. The fact is that she doesn’t want that at all…she wants him and doesn’t want to share him….with anyone else.

            She can have him….

          • Pret,
            Go you! Sounds like you are doing an amazing job. You are a great example of Mighty. Thanks for sharing.

    • I love the idea of “traction” because it suggests the possibility of forward motion. Everything else you’re doing right now is spinning your wheels.

      Ditch the child psychologist and hire a lawyer instead. Good luck!

    • Don’t waste another minute on this “marriage.” He left it a long time ago and all you’ve managed to do for the last 6 years is prolong the acceptance of the disrespect, the abuse, the inconsideration.

      You will be happier once you unload the teratomic mass that has been sucking the life out of you without your realizing it. Mine was 160 lbs., and even during the most difficult time of breaking it off, my older kids ( from my first marriage) said I still seemed happier once he moved out… and that was during a time where I sobbed at night.

      Unload him. Your kids will be all right as long as you are honest and kind with them. Mine with the cheater are 7 and 9. We’re managing and they are going to be fine. So will yours.

      • Dear Done
        Please disregard the quack psych’s advice! It’s ludicrous. Your child is about to go off to college. She isn’t so young. She will probably understand and side with you, if you choose to tell her. Staying and putting up a front is terrible, harmful advice.

        Regardless, you are really clinging on to threads here. I think somewhere in your mind you are hoping in the interim that he comes around again. He won’t. He’s a monster for what he’s done to you! You need to see that. He has treated you like shit all this time. That’s on him, not you. And now he audaciously refuses to cease contact with her. Don’t put up with it!
        Do you realize the deception and efffort it takes to live this way? His double/triple (who knows) life is twisted. He has a personality disorder. These kinds of people can’t be changed. Having a lack of empathy or conscience is their trademark. Do you really want someone like that around you and your kids?!?!
        Throw that pos out asap!
        If this was happening to your daughter, what would you tell her? Think
        Get tested. I should know, I received 2 gifts from my psychopath.

        • Devastated,
          “He has a personality disorder. These kinds of people can’t be changed. Having a lack of empathy or conscience is their trademark.”

          Yes, yes, and yes!

    • “What you thought you had, what you may have had has already died, gone, is deceased, has perished”

      This was the hardest part for me — giving up the idea that I could save our family and keep us together all by myself. I still look back and wonder if there was an exact moment when our relationship died. Or if it slowly got sicker over the years while I kept trying to prop it up and keep it alive.

      • “giving up the idea that I could save our family and keep us together all by myself”

        This seems to be what STBX expected me to do. Apparently last night STBX told daughter that I was responsible for the demise of our marriage too because I didn’t fight hard enough for him. I did fight for him until I realized I was doing all of the fighting and I couldn’t save my marriage alone. Apparently he thought I should have been able to save it all by myself. Never mind that I had been fighting for our marriage long before DDay (and he never noticed).

        (in all fairness to STBX I doubt he started that conversation with daughter. She was probably going off on him and Schmoopie and he got defensive)

    • “Until I got the hang of looking at his actions versus all of the things he said I was confused. When I actually began to see (and how painful this is) what his actions actually said about how little he cared about me, my feelings, us then I began to gain some traction.”

      Their words are used to manipulate, gaslight, and control.
      Their actions tell the truth. Don’t close your eyes to what he does (the phone, the lies, the sneaking, the disengagement, the disrespect, the unwarranted anger, the smirks, the lack of transparence, the actual cheating….).

        • LovedAJackass,
          “Their words are used to manipulate, gaslight, and control.
          Their actions tell the truth. Don’t close your eyes to what he does (the phone, the lies, the sneaking, the disengagement, the disrespect, the unwarranted anger, the smirks, the lack of transparence, the actual cheating….).”

          He has treated me with disrespect for years (lies, lack of transparency, gaslighting, changed passwords). He once told me that the reason he lies to me so much is that I “can’t handle the truth.” What? Shame on me.

    • Capricorn,
      “This is about what you want, what you find acceptable, how you want to be treated, what kind of life you want. There is a lot of grieving ahead for you but the first step is to recognise that it’s all gone already. What you thought you had, what you may have had has already died, gone, is deceased, has perished etc. What remains is to turn away from thinking about what he does, doesn’t do, says, doesn’t say and to focus on what you want to do in your new single life. Cut your losses. Cut the cord. You must now act like he is a person for whom you no longer have any respect, trust or belief in. Act like it.”

      These are wise words. What I thought I had is gone. I need to accept that.

  • CL is spot on! If he didn’t respect you in the marriage, why on Earth would you expect him to respect you in the divorce.
    No way in hell would I be pretending, i.e. lying to my kids, that we were one big happy family. How messed up do you think it will be for your children, especially your daughter, to find out that not only were her parents planning to divorce, but that they intentionally mind fucked her first into thinking everything was so wonderful. That’s going to mess her head up even more. By lying to her, you aren’t protecting her. Just the opposite. You’ll be doing the same thing to her that your husband did to you, pretending he was married to you when he’d really detached long ago.
    You’ve had 6 years to get your ducks in a row. Have you? THAT should be your focus right now, not whether him and his pathetic whore text. Is he disrespecting you? Of course he is, but he’s been doing that all along. You say you’re done, so be done. Detach, see an attorney (see several in fact), and start setting things up to be legally done so that he can text schmoopie to his heart’s content without it being disrespectful to you because you are no longer his wife….and fire your therapist and get one who doesn’t encourage you to mindfuck your kids.
    You deserve so much better, but nothing changes if nothing changes.

    • I second what you say about telling the daughter now. I’m a college professor, with 25+ years in. I have seen lots of students who are dealing with their parents’ divorces. I can tell you that waiting will not protect your daughter or make the divorce easier on her. It might make it more difficult, in fact. If she thinks you waited until she went to college before divorcing, she may blame herself as a burden, and believe somehow that she is at fault. Once she discovers the truth of her father’s cheating, she may feel bad that you waited and suffered for her. If she finds out while the semester is in session, it may send her into a tailspin. Telling her during the break between semesters will not make anything easier.
      If you tell her now, before she heads off to college, you can actually talk face to face with her before she goes off on her own. You can give a head’s up to the Dean of Students, and they can keep an eye out for her. You can make sure she has appointments at the college counseling center to help her process her feelings. You can actually provide her a structure from the beginning to help her process the split. Then the divorce becomes part of a process of adjusting to college, not an added burden either during the semester or between semesters, the effect of which will be to make her adjust to college all over again. She’ll need friends who understand what is going on in her life, maybe those with shared experience of divorce. And as Sugar Plum says, she won’t feel betrayed and lied to when she finds out she was deceived by her parents who treated her not as the adult she is becoming but as a child.

      • Oh trust me, she already knows. Don’t freak out when after you tell her she says something like, “Yeah, I wondered because…..”. See, they are not as good at this as they think. Tend to forget that children emulate their parents, get their securities from us. Even though they are mostly in their room or with friends, fuckwits are really only focused on keeping you in the dark. Teens are independent for the most part, but the assholes forget that they are still very vigilant. Mine does the text thing to me also so I get what you are saying. However sweetie, he will never comply. He gets off on it. You like all of us want him to be sorry and understand the gravity of what he has done. For that to happen, he must care. He doesn’t care. Fact is, you have served your purpose and he deserves to be happy. I’m willing to bet my hands he has said this to you in an argument. See, you know him, you know his weaknesses. He can’t sparkle like he used to with you around. She is fresh meat for such an abused man whose wife never appreciated him, constantly finds fault with him, oh just hates him for no reason. This is why HE SUCKS! Let me be the first to tell you, You are beautiful and don’t deserve this. Those of us here have all sacrificed our lives and bent them for somebody who tossed us aside as if we were trash. Number 20 on the top 10. You can choose your path and purpose. He will never have that because he can’t get past himself. All the glory that is him will die with him. See, he will have to face the mirror eventually.

        • Living a Nighmare Live,
          Lol! My STBX HAS told me that he deserves to do whatever he needs to do to be happy.

          • Your initial assumption that he sees your history as something that means “the least he could do” is not contact the ho… Is marred by the idea that he cares about the least he could do for you. Realistically…. The least he should have done is not cheat. The least he could have done is told you outright that this emotional affair that has happened for six years is actually physical…. Because dollars to donuts it is. The least he could have done was not be a wanker. And he has always chosen not those things. He has chosen the selfish id fueled life where he gets what he wants and you get shafted. I don’t know why you expect more from him right now.

            • Creativerational,
              I don’t know either. Hopium, I guess? That’s why “no contact” is so effective. The less I interact with him, the better. This I know for sure.

    • These types of situations are so difficult. Getting through big family events with a marriage that’s on the fritz is tough. I have a friend who pretended to still be a family to get through her child’s wedding. I had to fake being happily married over Christmas with a house full of guests. Nothing feels sicker than having to pretend things are okay when they’re going to hell in a hand basket.

      So Done, please don’t feel like you’re the first who’s had to face a situation like this. We all do what we have to do. I can understand wanting to protect your child in the middle of one of the biggest transitions of her life. You’re also dealing with grief over your child leaving and your family falling apart. It’s overwhelming.

      You have a few choices — (1) keep wearing the mask and get through the next four months feeling like you’re having a knife stabbed in your heart every time he picks up his phone, (2) demand he moves out (3) you move out and get temporary maintenance to support yourself (consult a lawyer).

      I think the best option is to consult a lawyer about a legal separation and temporary maintenance and then present those options to your husband. Either he moves out or you move out. At this point he doesn’t believe you’re serious. He wants to keep texting schmoopie while pretending to be a great dad for his daughter. He doesn’t care what his emotional abuse is doing to you.

      You have a right to protect yourself, but I understand you’re also trying to protect your daughter. It’s a tough spot to be in. However, it’s okay not to be a martyr and put your needs behind everyone else’s. You do have choices.

      • Yeah, my sister and her husband played happy families at Christmas just before their split, and I was angry that I didn’t know. I was nice to him, we hung out together and joked around, and I felt stupid and like an idiot afterwards when I knew the truth. And I’m a grownup! I would have liked to have made the decision for myself on how to behave toward him- I would have been polite but chilly if I had known the actual truth.

        My sister and I are good now, and I (sorta) understand why they did what they did, but I would have preferred to know.

        • My sister above/\
          I wish I could have told the family, but it was my parents 60th wedding anniversary and I was living the lie and seriously smoking the HOPium like you wouldn’t believe it. I was scare to leave my X because I couldn’t afford to live and this would make my 3rd divorce. I felt like a failure and I didn’t want my daughter (12 yrs old at time-15 now) world to change.
          It was my sister that turned me to CL & CN and without her guiding me with a clear head I don’t know what I would of done. Now I’m mightier, stronger, WISER to liers, and blessed to finally be free (divorced). MEH is just around the corner.

      • Lyn,
        Thanks for your comments. I do indeed believe that I am in a tough spot, and I appreciate your thoughtful advice.

  • Oh Done, listen to CL and get out now. If I had a dollar for every time I begged my ex to stop doing the disrespectful things he did I would be a billionaire. What I learned the hard way was, you can’t prod, beg, reason, negotiate with a terrorist. They don’t respond and in fact the more you beg the more they enjoy doing the very things you want them to stop. We shouldn’t have to beg or cajole the people in our life to be good to us. You are using your daughter as an excuse to delay and thinking she can act as bargaining chip with your shit for husband to behave is insanity. He won’t and after 6 years you know this deep in your heart. Keep coming here, we all get it, we all have your back. YOU CAN DO THIS! KICK HIS ASS TO THE CURB, CELL PHONE FIRMLY IN HAND AND SMILE AND WAVE AS YOU PROUDLY WALK AWAY!

  • I agree with CL. Get out NOW. Your daughter is nearly an adult and she will be more pissed that you kept the truth from her than anything if she finds out you knew this was happening. In fact, don’t just do it and sparkle the reason. Tell her what her daddy has done. I told my 7 year old and now he knows daddy chose the divorce, not me. You need to stop waiting around. Actions speak louder than words. He is done with your marriage and you should be, too!! Get out now!

    • Oh hell… they already know something has been up for years. You’ve been faking for a lot of their life.

      They deserve to see an authentic parent. It should be you.

      No more lying to them. You aren’t protecting them… your lying.

  • I was also with cheaterboy for 26 years when our marriage ended but when it did, I was still smoking hopium…I kept up the “maybe he will change” dance for the 7 years after his “EA”, but even though he didnt have an ongoing affair, he was selfish and mean and repeatedly expressed interest to part ways.

    Oh but I kept hoping. Until he dropped dead.

    I look at myself at that time now and I realize that CL is right in what she says…



    THERE IS NEVER A “GOOD” TIME TO GO, so once you realize that they arent in the marriage, you need to protect you and serving up a plate of consequences it one option

    Consulting the psychologist is just another delay “hope he sees the light and changes” maneuver…I know of what I speak, I spackled myself into dozens and dozens of these mental coping tents.

    Now when I look back…with him fully gone and everything is in retrospect, I now see that he was a distant, brooding, selfish, cranky, manipulative, raging person who build walls between us, not bridges.

    Your cheater has lied and lied… CL is VERY right, he is not your FAMILY. That hurts, Im sorry about it, but its true. Pretending to be family when you arent gives him kibbles, rewards his poor behavior and confuses the kids. My 2 sons are adults now and they are both TERRIBLE partner material…one abandoned his fiancee and child. This is, in part, a result of allowing such a terrible example to be seen as normal for so long.

    He will tell you that you are breaking the family with your refusal to play along but its not true, he broke it.

    For a long time I really thought that the WORST THING ON EARTH that could happen would be him leaving for his OW (he never admitted to sex but I found hotel reciepts after he died…he literally spewed lies to his last breath). I was wrong, the worst thing that could happen was that I stayed with a person who did not love nor want me. I delayed my own healing to my own detriment.

    • 2 more things…

      1) really, what you offered him is “if you act decent, I will keep up this charade until spring break then we tell the kids” and his answer (based on his actions ) is “no”.

      2) in some reasonable and age appropriate way, tell the kids why you are divorcing. I didnt tell them then their dad died and I have broached the subject of their fathers betrayal, but so far, they have made it clear that they dont want details on top of the grief they already have to deal with

      • And that’s ok, unicorn. It’s ok for them to put up that boundary. They know he was a jerk to you, but they have to be able to chew on that in their own time.

        • It has been hard for me to accept this as I want them to know why I am hostile to the issue of their father…Im so scared that to them (not knowing the full story) I look like a cold hearted bitch. I have to trust that they know me better than that and I dont give up on people easily.

          • And pushing it when the man is dead WILL put you at risk for that.

            Vent here and get validation here. Let them think of their father as they wish. You don’t have him to stand in the way anymore.

    • “I was wrong, the worst thing that could happen was that I stayed with a person who did not love nor want me. I delayed my own healing to my own detriment.”

      This is so very well said!

      • When I found out that Mr. Twatwaffles moved Ms. Twatwaffles in before the ink on the divorce was dry, I told him how pissed I was that he didn’t just tell me the truth because it set me back literally MONTHS in a process that I could have had well behind me by then.

        They do not care about the damage they inflict. They will twist the knife as deep as they can and do it ever so innocently.

        I just now realized that MY ex coincided the revelation that he’d been cheating, and the revelation that he was STILL cheating, within days of two of my aunts dying. Last summer D-Day 1 was 2 days after one aunt died, and then D-Day 2 was less than a week after another aunt died.

        He purposely chooses significant dates to twist and twist and pretends that he was oblivious to them. Birthdays, anniversary of when we laid our son to rest…..pretty much anything he can traumatize or doubly traumatize, he does.

        • Ugh, Sunflower36 – what a horror of a human he was to you! Mine met his AP on my birthday, then ignored my text to him that day. He claims “fog” and all the other shitsanwich crap.
          They are NOT NORMAL PEOPLE! They do NOT care about our feelings or they wouldn’t have trolled to begin with! Mine likes to use soft, squishy words like “I strayed” and “went off the path” – I pointed out, “You are not a fucking baby lamb! You lied, hid things from me, bought gifts for another woman (including the same vibrator he gave me years ago!), deceived me for YEARS – not a one-night stand or stared too long at someone’s boobs!”
          They look like everyone else. They have an act they present to the world that they WISH they matched. They NEED us for their decency COVER. We are critical to maintaining this respectable FACADE so they can keep lying to themselves as well. “Hey, I’m just a nice guy who ___(fill in the current rationalization)_.” The high is in the sneaking, the getting away with the lying and adrenaline rushes of “stolen” moments – artificially maintaining “romantic” illusions.Very few of them can maintain the urgency when they are all alone with Schmoopie…hence, another Schmoopie 2.0 will be by any second. The skank train runs every 10 minutes, I’m certain – there’s always someone willing to settle for their own kibble…and so the ugly cycle goes.
          I realized my marriage died when he first stepped out on it…and I was left discovering the smelly corpse! The sooner it goes, the better. The grieving – it goes on, but it DOES get better, I can attest. Thanks to CL & CN and the voices of SO many of these fierce mighty women. My meh awaits me….and there are Tuesdays in EVERY week!

  • SO sorry this is happening to you and your kids, but there is never a good time. Exh left us the week before our daughter started kindergarten, so we had that transition and the jolt from stay at home mom to full time school and daycare (we also had a 2 year old). It was gut wrenching but we discovered wonderful, kind, real, and supportive people that helped us pave our way into a newer, better, authentic, albeit often difficult life -without him in it.

    He will not stop lying or doing whatever benefits him. Start a new pattern for you and your kids. Live truth, even when it hurts like hell. You can do this. It’s a fresh start for you, and that’s an awesome thing. Hugs

    • Same here. He waited until 2 days before school started and our youngest was in Kindergarten. I went from a part time working SAHM to full time work at a refinery where I had to be to work at 6 am and 35 miles from my home.

      But we’re making it work. We’ve got friends and family helping and it’s tremendous. For as pissed off as I am over the whole thing, I am grateful.

  • I am less concerned about respect for him and more concerned about respect for the kids. Keeping a huge secret from them that comes out later could really damage their trust in you, especially if he ends up with sole control of the narrative of what is going on while you are trying to hide it.

    I can understand the value of waiting until she’s got the hang of college and I see why that advice was tempting. You want to do what is best for your kids. That’s coming from the right place. If your cheater was a different person, I might even get on board with it.

    However, he’s a deceptive, betraying, egocentric, hedonistic, self-serving, manipulative, harmful, untrustworthy person. Therefore, he is a wild card. So, I vote for putting your long-term trust building relationship with your kids first, and that means being age-appropriately honest with them, from my POV.

    • While I was typing that, a whole bunch more people posted similar sentiments. A pattern. 🙂

  • Mine told me he wanted a divorce 2 days before our oldest graduated high school.
    He BLAMES ME because I cried and made him tell our kids.
    Of course I can suck up and hide the total destruction of 18 years.
    This is your new life. Take your control back. Get him out now because the OW is privy to EVERYTHING. The trust you had with him he now shares with HER and you are on the outside.
    His ending the marriage will be a gift one day. Oh and get tested for STDS

  • Sweet lord, So Done. It’s not inconceivable to you that he won’t stop texting the OW for the next few months, because he hasn’t stopped doing it for SIX YEARS. For six years, he lied and hid and had an affair, and that’s when he had something he might actually lose. Now he has nothing to lose. Why would he stop now when he never stopped before? Why are you even asking him? What in the world does he have to gain from it?

    That child psychologist is full of shit. Your daughter isn’t going to be any happier finding out her parents have divorced in November, when he’s in the middle of studying for exams and she’s far from home, than she was in August. She’s going to feel lied to and betrayed by all the fake happy family shit. And you have a lot to go through too with her leaving for school. My advice? Kick him out now, tell the kids, and let your daughter make the decision about if she WANTS to go to school to get away from all the drama or if she wants to defer for a semester to deal with the emotional fallout and help you and your other kids adjust.

    Chump Lady is right on the money. See a lawyer, protect your assets. Stop pretending like you are going to be able to control his affair now, when he is on his way out hte door, when you could ever control it before.

    • AllieP makes an excellent point, as well as Trying For Mighty above. There are several resources at the college to help your daughter deal with these issues. And mentioning the whole mess now, and asking her if she wants to defer college for a semester is a great plan. Colleges are generally very accommodating about requests like that – they are in the business of educating and graduating students, not watching them fail because of outside influences.

      So Done, the best time to tell your daughter (and the rest of your kids) about what is going on was a week ago, or a month ago, not tomorrow or in November. No matter when they hear it, it will be tough. Better now for your daughter, before she’s in a strange environment without her usual people around her (family, friends, etc.) My advice – tell them as soon as possible. Today. Maybe finish reading the comments on this article, but be honest with them. They crave an honest parent, and we all know dad ain’t one.

      Good luck with all of it.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.

  • One finds that we can not control their actions. It appears the more one tries the more they do! I guess to them it shows we still care and they have no fear of consequences. It is impossible for normal people to understand them.

  • If nothing else, OP, consider how immature he’s being. Even though he’s not using the specific words, his comments that he will still text the OW regardless translate to me as him sticking out his tongue and saying “You’re Not The Boss Of Me!” Is that really the example you want your daughter to see?

    • I also hate the slippery tone of refusing to comply with her demand. Like, couldn’t he just say, “No.” — Instead it’s all couched in pseudo-mumbo-jumbo word salad that essentially says No but with the balls behind it.

      Cowards. The fucking lot of them.

      • Cowardice, and they get off on our pain. I truly believe it excites them to know they have enough power to make another person suffer. If these losers weren’t cheating, they’d be pulling the wings off flies.

      • NWBiblo,
        I hate that too. I don’t know why he can’t just say “no” if he’s not going to do it. Man up. Instead, he double talks and speaks in circles. I think it’s all part of being a pathological liar.

  • These assholes never cease to amaze! I understand you want to protect your family but for how long another 6 months and at what emotional cost to you and your family? CL is absolutely right tell asshole to get out now before he completely destroys your self respect. Your daughter will be upset now or 6 months from now. Tell her the truth about her father the whole truth! This asshole doesn’t give a damn about you or your kids, don’t waste another minute on him! His selfishness is only exceeded by his evilness. Be brave! ????????????

  • So Done, I’m joining the chorus of “don’t listen to the therapist, don’t wait, see a lawyer ASAP”. Your daughter will be upset but will cope, whereas if she finds out later that you were all pretending for her sake she will be more upset. If it was something like a big birthday party in a week, maybe you could put it off, but please not another 6 months. That’s 6 months warning for your STBX to siphon off money and hide assets. It’s so hard to accept that your husband truly doesn’t care about you, and doesn’t feel he owes his family anything – pressuring him into playing happy families for your daughter will just be a toxic waste of time for all of you .

  • Yesterday my divorce was final. I can sell my house and get on with my new and better life.

    I texted some friends with the news and one asked me if I wasn’t going to miss anything. My answer might be useful for Done: I only miss who I THOUGHT cheater was.

    I do not miss the confusing devaluing, blameshifting, and mindfucking. Debts for stupid sparkles and humiliation and cheating.

    It is extremely painful to admit that in 40 years of marriage and 2 of dating, the cheater NEVER was what I thought he was. The only remedy is to admit it.

    • ClearWaters
      Congratulations! ????????????????
      Mine was final a couple of weeks ago.
      It makes for interesting mental gymnastics I found getting the divorce. I first had trouble getting my mind around who he actually was, then through reading CL I became angry and no longer blind to who he was but then had to put that knowledge to one side and come off CL in order to play nice for the divorce settlement.
      Now I am in a new place. Accepting of who he really is and sometimes angry or upset but able to spend more time choosing how to life this new life of mine.
      Good luck to you too! ❤️

      • Good luck Cap! I too am still angry (at cheater, but also at myself), I have been spending too much time on this. But now that I am free to sell my house I will be so busy organizing the alternative, I hope it will be an antidote for this poison.

        My sons are sad to see the house go, but they are excited by my new plans and understand that this is the consequence of their father’s actions.

        Mental gymnastics: look where it got me: spackle jobs, all kinds of dance steps. Chump Lady saved my life. Cump Nation saved my life: you look at other people’s suffering and problems, you see the patterns of other cheaters and you see the reflection of your life and everything decoded.

        Off to the Notary!

      • Congrats on your divorce Cap, here is to a long road behind you, and an even longer one ahead of you, to Meh and all peace yet unjust realization of what you have to process and recover from because of the despicable choices of your X…


      • I’m trying. 32 years here. It’s who he is. Helps to read others stories. Pretty much all the same story really.

        I still harbor too much bitter anger.

        Working on that.

    • >>”[T]he cheater NEVER was what I thought he was. The only remedy is to admit it.”

      Very well stated.

      And, congratulations to you and Capricorn! It’s such a long road, but you made it to the other side. I think see “meh” just over the hill for you two …!


    • Mine either. I was totally in love with a man who didn’t exist and that was earth shattering. I mourned the death of the idea of him…. I may even create a tombstone and stick it in my garden. **shrug** wacky as hell, but I don’t care.

      • Sunflower, I liked your idea of a tombstone for the “Was-Not” until I started to think about where I would put it, then I got the chills.

        I am wiping out every memory of cheater and his family, down to the last crochet doily from mother-in-law. Everything gone or going in garage sale, auction, eBay.

        Fellow chump Beth has a photoshop technique for pictures that I will look into.

        • After he moved most of his stuff out, I took every single thing he ever gave me, every letter, card, memento, gift…. everything, and dumped it on his doorstep the morning of our final divorce hearing. Everything, and did t regret it at all.

          Would not surprise me in the slightest if Ms. Twatwaffles isn’t getting them now.

          • Yes I can relate to this. It was very much like my husband had died. I even had mental image of me, pregnant at the time of discovery, standing at his grave. I was the only one at the time who had come out to his funeral. It was one of the only ways I could make sense of it. I had it recur in dreams as well.

    • Congratulations ClearWaters and Capricorn! With any luck, my divorce will be completed at the end of October. Yes – it is soooo hard to realize who they actually are. I wanted so badly to believe he was the person I thought (and wanted) him to be….but he is not.

    • CkearWaters

      34 years married 2 years dating. Just found Whore OW
      in a bar, fell in love & I caught them at her house. She knew he was married but didn’t care. He downgraded to a fat low life, piece of ass. By throwing him out, he was forced to live with whore.

      Divorced almost 2 years now but I’m not being lied to or cheated on. I will never forgive him or forget the PAIN he caused just for a whore. Let her push him around in a wheelchair down the road.

      God bless us all here at CN

    • This. X1000. I was only married 36 years(????), but you couldn’t have said it better.

    • Congratulations Clear Waters on your Freedom! And hugs for the lost dreams and major reality check.
      I’m 5 months divorced now and at meh and life is so sweet!

  • I waited for the “right time” too. 5 years of humiliation only got me a fake husband and a real STD.

    Please listen to Tracy. Get him out now and get a lawyer.

  • The psychologist who advised you to wait 6 months before telling your child has obviously never been through the trauma of infidelity. The emotional toll of living with your cheating husband, plus the stress of trying to “play house” is needless torture. Plus, what’s going to magically happen in 6 months that will spare your child’s feelings? Dad is a cheating fuckwit who broke up the family no matter when you break the news. Stop living this demented charade and get on with your life.

    • I think you’re right, Strad. It is torture to live that way, and it often seems everyone expects the Chump to play nice and not rock the boat, even professional therapists. It’s not until you go through it yourself that you realize how truly abusive it is to live like that.

      • Strad and Lyn,
        Agreed! “The emotional toll of living with your cheating husband, plus the sterss of trying to ‘play house’ is needless torture.” It is indeed torture.

  • In my one brief attempt at wreck-conciliation, I asked my now-ex-wife to promise no contact with any affair partners (yes, multiple! – yay for me!) so that we might have a chance at starting to sort things out. She agreed. Thankfully I was in full marriage police mode. She then proceeded to meet with three APs the following week. There’s more, but it was all so effed up that I still throw up in my mouth a little when I think about it too much.

    Before the divorce, she loved to play “family” and unbelievably still looks for opportunities to appear at school or social events as if all is well, mask securely in place. I always shut that sh*t down and keep my distance to make it clear I am not with her.

    It gets easier once you come to the realization you’re dealing with a soulless monster. Instead of seeing my spouse as she wants herself to appear to others, I sometimes imagine she’s Ted Bundy or some other serial killer. It not only works, but it’s also a fair representation of how unsafe I feel in her presence.

    • Sounds a lot like my Ex. She had agreed not to see the AP, that was a lie. They continued just as before. This was before I found CL and CN. And yes, she likes to “play the part” of the selfless parent (she isn’t). She uses the kids like a fashion accessory to say “look at me, i’m such a great parent”.

      • My STBX has changed out of all recognition. She now lies continually.

        We are still loosely cohabiting. As well as lying to me, she has started lying to our kids.
        She works evenings. I have driven past her place of work when she has told me and the kids she is working and her car is not there.
        My oldest daughter is 18 and I have tried to tell her what is happening but she seems to be in denial.

        Like yours when she can be bothered to spend time with the kids, she over compensates – and is real Disney mother.

    • Raising hand here, too. My X faked his way through my daughter’s graduation ceremony & party, preparation for her to go off to college, all while planning a trip to China with his current AP (which he still took 3 days after D-day, knowing his marriage was in trouble, while professing he wanted to save the marriage).

      Liars lie, it’s what they do.

    • Yep, if anything, now that the cheater knows he’s definitely not going to be able to repair things with you, his logical reaction is going to be to: 1.) shore things up with the fallback side-dish OW you know about, 2.) realize he now has “an opening” as far as bed partners go, so he may even try to line up yet another woman on the side, now that you are outa the picture (gotta make sure #2 keeps bringing her best game!). And, also 3.) (if he’s like my STBX) he may do what he can to secretly transfer assets to which ever of these AP’s he plans to line up as wife #2, during the grace period you are giving him (after all, he’ll get these back once they marry, and he can carry on). So, don’t let him!

  • So done,
    All I could think when I read that letter is that I pray Chumplady can get through to you. I knew she was going to tough love you a little, it’s for your own good….I promise.

    I stayed for a decade after the first d day. When the 4th one hit and it was followed up with ” I’m leaving you for her.” It was like I got hit by a car. I WISH there had been Chumplady to shake me and save me a few months of humiliation.
    Please model for your daughter that this is unacceptable.
    My daughter was 17 and going into her senior year of high school. See? There’s never a good time to wreck your kids.
    We all had a few months where we were trying to get adjusted to our new normal and it wasn’t always great, my kids literally dressed me , I was a zombie. Then I found Chump Nation, got a kick ass atty, decided “fuck him”, stopped listening to all his bullshit and went NC and day by day my life got sunny again.
    That Mother’s Day 2015 my daughter gave me a piece of art she made and a card letting me know that I was her hero and that she was proud of me.
    That was my best moment.
    My kids are NC with their dad because he repeatedly lied and they felt like their lives were a fraud. Don’t be a participant in that.
    Put all your focus on putting this loser in the rear view and making a new life.

  • The psychologist recommended to wait until the next semester break? WOW ! And he had this affair since 2011. In my opinion – my opinion alone – there is no such thing as an emotional affair. When it gets to the stage that he is careless enough for you to discover the text message, he is already gone. Obviously, he is giving her the affection you deserve.

    Kicking him out now, would be my suggestion. There will always be emotional turmoil in a divorce for you, the children, it affects everyone. But there is also emotional turmoil to live with the cheater under one roof, and children are very atuned to emotions.

    Waiting means more heartache for you, more lies. If you kick him out now, at least you can take your power back.

    I am really sorry that you find yourself in this situation. I wish in retrospect that I had kicked him out, when I received a text obviously not meant for me. Instead I pushed it to the back of my mind, until he had the “I love you, but I am not in love with you………..blah, blah blah talk and literally ran out.

    Whatever your decision will be, you came to the right place for support. Lots of strength and peace for you, and it will get better, I promise.

  • I have some questions about what you plan on doing for the next six months. Are there birthdays to celebrate? What are you going to do about Thanksgiving? I mean the day with all your family is the day you have to look around and say how thankful you are for everyone. Please. Please look at the reality of what you are facing. What about Christmas if you celebrate it? You cannot keep up this façade without paying the price mentally, emotionally, and physically. You just can’t. Your plans for the next six months, if you stick with the psychologist, is to get a job that pays well, get your own health insurance, and try not to speak one single word to that asshole that lives in the house with you, so that your kids know there is a major rift. You need to prepare them somehow. Springing it on your kid over the holidays does not sound like a really good way to start your single life. There has to be some other way. What did the therapist think you should do at the six-month period? On the way home for the holidays you just say, oh so casually, “By the way your father and I are divorcing.” I can see that conversation right now while a teary-eyed kid is riding home sobbing hysterically as you try to explain that really you cannot go on because he’s had a girlfriend for six years. Something is amiss unless that therapist has a really, really, really good way of getting this out. I just don’t think you can put a Band-Aid on this.
    Don’t you think your kids already suspect something? You must be really good at rug weeping if they have no clue that their father is an asshole.

    • True. I had a few “family” events during the “pretend we’re a family ” phase and I look back at those photos and I look like someone used a vacuum to suck my soul out of my eye sockets

    • Yes, there’s nothing like a fake “family Christmas” to teach your kids the awesome value of hypocrisy and lying.

      • That is what I basically had last Christmas but I didn’t know it. He left just after new year. Schmoopie had gone to visit her family in Canada over Christmas. He just spent it with me, DS and my family because he didn’t have a better offer. He also brought me an eternity ring which I wore for a total of 10 days.

        • Yes mr olive man gave our daughter a jay of olives for Christmas because she had the nerve to express disgust at him moving in with his slut right away( and she hates olives). He then walked out because we were all so unhappy ( gee I wonder why mr asshole narc wackjob?). Worst mistake ever–letting him come “Home” for Christmas. He was living with AP….bye bye Felicia!

  • That psychologist is full of shit, So Done. I can tell you from my first row seat to my Dad’s affair, that happened when I was in college. Timing is not going to make any difference because the shit is so big, IT CAN’T BE PROCESSED IN JUST A BREAK. It took me years to deal with everything. YEARS.

    For starters, the mourning of the family is going to take at least months, perhaps up to a year. I needed years to fully understand the hell I’d been living before, and how much better we were after my Dad left. My mom was devastated, but at least we had peace. I needed years to sort out what I felt about his choices and his leaving us. I needed years to comprehend what a stupid mountain of crap he was, claiming to have felt abandoned as the reason for cheating, when the fucking coward never said anything. It took me years to understand that I’M NOT A MIND READER, which is something that saved my life when the asshole I married pretended I was to blame for his cheating, because I didn’t desire him enough. He never said anything, so yeah, I don’t give a fuck. You are a physicist, you should know telepathy doesn’t exist. And if you don’t, fuck you.

    So Done, there is never going to be a good moment for your children. Actually, I’d say that there is one: NOW. Otherwise, they are exposed to all that crap you are living, and they are getting that’s acceptable in a relationship. Right now I’m with my therapist exploring that my STBX is like my parents and my relationship with him mirrors what they had, and let me assure you, the pain of knowing my parents put me in this place is even bigger than the one my cheater gave me, because I left him, but I can’t/don’t want leave my parents (they are not bad people; they love me and have been with me now. They have changed a lot these years and perhaps they are not as disfunctional as before, but the damage is already done). Don’t let your children believe that cheating is acceptable.

  • SD,

    I agree with CL. But, would add, change the locks on the house while he’s out and leave all of his personal stuff in the garage or, better yet, on the front lawn.

    You owe him nothing!

    Hang in there, things will work out on Tuesday.

    PS: sue his ass for 6 years of lost intimacy


    • Great comment, LuckyChump!

      I would LOVE to do this to my own cheating husband who left me withering on the vine PLUS added insult to injury by treating me like I was an abnormal sex maniac by wanting to have sex with my own husband!

      But how do you do this in the age of No Fault?

      • I was talking about this part of your comment, LuckyChump:

        >>>sue his ass for 6 years of lost intimacy<<<

  • “He said he didn’t want to make the commitment to me because he doesn’t want to lie to me any more” yes, I got this line too! After that I got six months of living hell with a 40 year old frat boy on viagra! I didn’t want to believe it would turn ugly, but what I found is the more I demanded (nagged, begged, pleaded) he treat me with respect, the more he was intent on showing me I was not the one in control! Here’s a sample of the mind fuck that he believed I was due after 18 years of marriage

    – Just because you think it’s wrong doesn’t mean it’s wrong. That’s your perspective.
    – I’m tired of you telling me who I am (translation: stop judging me by my behavior, listen to all my rationalizations so you believe it’s you)
    – Stop trying to control me! (Though my intent was to demand a little respect, I learned respect is gained through boundaries, not demands)

    He continued to lie, but he added blatant disrespect to the mix. Coming and going as he pleased, having the kids talk to his new smoopsie on the phone. And I endured all of this humiliation why???? Because I was trying to do what was best for my kids by transitioning them to the reality of divorce. In hindsight, all I did was put myself in a position to be humiliated, shown he was going to do what he wanted to do (although that was a good lesson), and that he was priority number one! It was also a hostile environment for the kids (which he proudly declaired “my fault” because I didn’t accept his freedom and I was trying to control him, so “I” was creating a hostile environment).

    Unless you plan on eating that shit sandwich with a smile, support all of his decisions, you better get ready for chaos! He is telling you he is unwilling to sparkle his turd self any longer! Of course he is presenting it as “I don’t want to lie to you”… see he’s a good guy and cares about your feelings right???? WRONG! You are hearing what he’s telling you through your own moral lense. The sooner you start hearing what he is saying from his fuckwit perspective, the sooner you will understand just what it is you are dealing with!

    He’s just jumped off the deep end in an immature fit of rebellion to the constraints of marriage, societal norms, and morality. And guess what? Our justice system doesn’t give a flying f*ck! He’s free to act like a prick, and when you respond to his behavior your response will be the problem. That’s why grayrock is sooooooo important! I know after so many years you think you are due a little respect, but the sad truth is that the only respect you are going to get is from yourself!

    Once you’ve made a verbal agreement that he will live there x-amount of time, it’s really, really, really hard to get that changed. I lived in a waking nightmare for 6 months! I suggest you go to your lawyer and ask for an order of exclusive possession from day one! I look back at my naïve self when I was being handed this advise, thinking “oh no, I don’t want to start the process out like this. If I’m nice, he’ll be nice too, right?These people don’t understand my situation, my shithead must be more mature than the people these guys are married to” WRONG! They will take every inch of rope they are thrown and they will stretch it until it snaps back and hits you in the face with reality! This IS your reality… you are married to a selfish, self-interested turd who is in a state of rebellion, and will push every boundary you set to get away with what he can! It’s a hard lesson for sure, and it’s only complicated by your moral perspective.

    • I will also say that a therapists advise and a lawyers advise are not always in line. I started seeing a therapists again when ass-hat decided he was going to go through the terrible two’s at 40. She advised me (for my own metal health and the severe gaslighting going on) that when he was home I stay away from him, locked away in my room. My lawyer however felt that this wasn’t a good idea because of the impression it created – it’s all about impressions right? Barf ????.

      • Just because the advice comes from someone with a degree (law or psychology) doesn’t mean the person giving the advice is wise or helpful. It’s tough for abused chumps to re-learn how to trust their own good sense or their instincts after years of being gaslighted, disrespected, and second-guessed. In this case, I would say that if a psychologist and attorney know that there is “severe gaslighting” going on, the advice should be: File for divorce. Leave. Get an order for sole occupancy of the house, based on abuse. But get away.

  • I agree with everything CL & CN have said already. I won’t repeat as it is all spot on. I do know the pain you are in. Letting go of the dream of an intact family and thinking by enforcing my boundaries, I would be the one causing the pain. Once I realized by staying married to a fuckwit in which I’d had 2 different schmoopies that I knew of over our 20 years together, I realized I had to be the one to protect myself and my kiddos. He was never going to be the sane parent and was always going to do what he thought would make him happy. And now we had a young schmoopie who had his ear on ‘what’s best for the kids’. As they were going to fancy, expensive dinners and making overseas travel plans on the marital dime and blowing money.

    Your asswipe really doesn’t care about you or the kids. Not really. I bet you’ve spackled him normal for years. They know already that he’s not a great parent.

    The only thing I have to add to what’s been said is kids want to know what this means for them. While your fuckwit is all giddy thinking he has a few months with chumpy ole hopium smoking you, get your ducks lined up. Please don’t tell him. Find out exactly what this means for the kids so you have this information when YOU talk to them. I was pretty mighty and lined up my ducks, but he talked to the kids first without me knowing. He told him he had to leave because he’d been miserable for years.

    Later on my kids found out about young 20 something schmoopie and were devastated (someone they knew and was our daughter’s coach). Yes asshat didn’t care he’d shat in their school and how embarrasing this would be for all of us. His happiness came first. Well his happiness has always come first in our lives. It took time and distance for me to see through the spackle I’d used for years. But the kids knew the real him. Our lives are easier now without his constantly being a prick at our home.

    I told my son ‘there’s something in life that dad needs that’s not in being married to me’. Soft. I know. He was 4 years old when dad did this the first time. He knows dad. My son worries about me.

    So for the kids: let them know what this looks like for them and that you are going to be okay. For your daughter “Dad has a girlfriend that mom has known about for several years. We have both tried to work on the marriage, but I needed for us both to focus on it without her in it. This hasn’t happened and I’m not okay with this arrangement.” Then proceed to tell her that you will be okay. She will go to college as planned (unless asshat is planning to pull money away). Mom is staying in the house and dad is moving out.

    You don’t have to berate and belittle him. He can work on his relationship with the kids. You can work on moving forward with your life with your dignity intact and your financial ducks planned out. Don’t let him get a head start on you. He has shown you he only cares about himself first and you should expect he will continue to do so.

    • A thought I didn’t post originally. They need to know about schmoopie. You don’t have to say anything derogatory about her, just that she exists. My ex thought he’d get a quickie divorce and then pull schmoopie out of the shadows as a legit relationship. How wonderful do you think this kind of person is that’s hung on as a sidepiece fuck all these years? I’m guessing she’s some piece of work. The kids can formulate their own opinions, but they should be prepped so they are not blindsided by a piece of crap dangling out the dog’s ass for years.

      • I am a new chump filing for divorce- I threw my STBX out 8 weeks ago on DDay. We told our 8 yo son just that we are divorcing bc things didn’t work out. I know I have to tell him the truth but I am waiting bc my STBX agreed to introduce his AP slowly working with a child psychologist to determine best timing, etc. My fear is if I tell our son right away about her my STBX will then rush the introduction. I am hoping by the time they would meet my STBX breaks up w her not for me but for our son. She is a supposedly reformed drug addicted escort. She was arrested this year for drug possession. She still has an active escort ad online with half naked pics. She is 12 years younger than my STBX and I and she is illiterate/dumb. She also dresses like a whore. She’s also a psychopath that sent crazy messages to me by breaking into his phone bc she is jealous I am co-parenting with my STBX. He had to put a stop to those! She is the exact opposite of every one of my good qualities. The whoke thing really stresses me out! I don’t want my STBX at all but I hope he cleans up his act and finds someone better for our son! Ugh!!!!!

  • My Dear, You are So Damn Done you done fried your brain. Consequently, all the cylinders are not firing in the correct order or any order for that matter. Let us review the situation with a bit less grease, clean up the spark plugs-actually, replace them with some new functioning ones-and re-write this opus with a little less operatic license and a lot more practicality. Here is the Red Neck Tundra equivalent of your narrative:

    You had a successful fishing expedition at the local crick. (Poetic license for a body of water, any body as long as it’s wet. Yep, those qualify too.) You gutted the fish on the bank of said crick and it is now cleaned and has BEEN sitting on your kitchen counter overnight (for 6 damn years?!) because you got drunk (lost your damn mind) with your fishin buddies and it is now the next morning. Smell that rich aroma (WTF is that STINK?) of fish (strange crotch rot.) Fish is STILL (6 damn YEARS?) laying dead and decomping on the counter. Your only options are:
    -watch until pupae mature
    -watch until larve mature
    -watch until worms appear
    -watch until flies appear

    Note not one of those options includes anything remotely related to “serve self a heaping helping of food poisoning.”

    Do you really think your kids don’t know what’s going on? I’d say the kids have been holding their collective breath for at least 5 yrs. while you two “adults” jab and parry. Just please STTTAAAPPPPP!
    Lay your weapon down. You’re battling over a field of rocks, debris, weeds, broken glass-hell, dead bodies have been located in more promising vacant lots in questionable neighborhoods than what you’re fighting over. Even the bodies are better looking.

    You’re using your kids as meat shields. There is never a “perfect time” to do the crappy, hard, painful, suck-it-up buttercup, scary shit life demands of “Groan Ups.” There are the Perks of being a Groan Up like pizza and ice cream for breakfast (Yyeeesss! Fist Pump!) and then there’s the rest of it. This is “the rest of it.” Even Ms. Cleo of “Ms. Cleo’s Crystal Ball” fame woulda been kind enough to call this one honestly: The only consult you need is with an attorney.

    Human beans have a tendency to hear what they want to hear. You paid a modern day “See-er” to tell you what you want to hear. Now you pay one to hear what you need to hear: Get your beleaguered ass to a lawyer. Just do it. Yesterday. Now. Move. I seee wwwoooorrrmmssssssssss…….

    • This is great Tundra! Made me giggle my butt off! My son(17 and of course he knew way before me) and I were at the grocery a few weeks ago. We walked by the seafood department and it smelled rank. My son goes, “Oh, smells like dad’s whore just left!” So funny!

      • Lordy teenagers are priceless! This is a testament to you and your relationship with him. My son and I are so close too.

        The ex only spent time with him when he coached his little league team and ole dad got the mega kibbles for being the coach of a great player. As our son grew and didn’t want to spend every waking hour practicing and didn’t bow to dad, ole dad discarded him. I could never understand how the ex could do this. It didn’t make sense. And the ex would get pissed when I spent time with our son. Son and I would wrestle and giggle, just goofing off. It would enrage the ex.

        Now I realize he’s a narc with a young ho. The kids and I spend quality time together. We are so much closer. Ex is shocked the kids don’t want to spend time with him. I spackled so much I think he thought he was a great dad too!!

    • >>>Even Ms. Cleo of “Ms. Cleo’s Crystal Ball” fame woulda been kind enough to call this one honestly: The only consult you need is with an attorney.<<<

      As usual, great comment by the mighty Tudra Woman!

  • One of the saddest parts of this letter is this sentence: “I am a relatively new chump.”

    No. Honey, you’ve been a chump for a long time. This was the realization that gutted me to the core. The immediate pain sucked, but putting your past into perspective with the truth? Shattering.

    • I am sorry So Done, but Golfgrrl is right… you have been a chump for far too long. Your letter is heartbreaking because we have all been there. You are addicted to hopeium and it is a tough habit to break, but it can be done! I have three children ages 17, 22, 23 and I am 8 months from DDay (Aug 20 would have been 18 year anniversary), and my children are doing so much better! The youngest had severe anxiety around school performance because of the unrealistic expectations her dad put on her and now she is completely medication free and no longer sees a psychologist. The oldest felt pressure to become a doctor and recently stopped her med school application and applied to teachers college (has been accepted). My middle child tells me how proud is of me and that I am doing the right thing. He is in his last year of university and is in a healthy relationship. The dog (10 year old yellow lab) hasn’t had an accident on the floor since STBEXH moved out. My point is… you are your children’s role model and there is no way you would be okay with them being treated this way. Read your letter and pretend your daughter is the author. I promise you it gets better! Once I got over the shame (approx 6 months), went completely no contact and started sharing my story with people who have earned the right to hear it (I use the brief, friendly, firm approach for colleagues, aquatintances, cashiers in the grocery store, etc. “My husband and I are no longer together. He was doing more at CrossFit then working out.”) I have been healing!! It is true… we are going to be okay… we are going to be awesome!! I have learned many lessons from this heartbreak – I am more empathic to others, I am more present, I am grateful for every moment of joy AND I believe that I am worthy of love and belonging. You are not alone So Done. We are here with you.

      • >>>My point is… you are your children’s role model and there is no way you would be okay with them being treated this way. Read your letter and pretend your daughter is the author.<<<

        Great comment, LettingGo!

      • LettingGo – so happy to hear you are doing well!!!! Gives this new chump hope!!!! I am having such a hard time – only 8 weeks out. Keep telling myself I will be ok.

  • Be prepared for a very heavy dose of “You’re not the boss of me!” (The CL archives should have plenty of material on this.)

    I also made the mistake of believing that KK had a modicum of decency after I told her the marriage was done. I had to grudgingly accept that she wasn’t leaving the house, but I told her early on “I don’t want the girls nor I to be hearing any conversations between you and any of your new ‘friends’. Take all of that outside the house.”

    All I got in response was “I have the right to have phone conversations on my own house.”

    Underlying this but unspoken was:
    “Because I can.”
    “Because I want to.”
    “Because it pleases me.”
    “Because you can’t do anything about it.”
    “Because there’s no law, statute or ordinance preventing me from being an asshole if I want.”

    (This even extended to her blasting a Dan Savage sex podcast from the bedroom while the girls and I were home. When I heard the words “fisting” and “tickle fetish” I sent her a text telling her to use headphones or turn down the volume. Her response was “I believe I have the right to listen to a podcast in my own home” — but she did stop listening to it.)

    10 months of hell that I had to manage as best I could in front of my daughters. But the documentation of it all made for interesting reading when a GAL was assigned by the court to weigh in on custody. I don’t know whether you’re in a similar situation (certainly not for your college bound daughter) but if you think you’re headed for court, you might want to document all of this, and any more brazen behavior it may lead to. If nothing else, it will help solidify and validate his shittiness, and hopefully get your righteous anger riled up more than it is now.

    • UX, my situation was the same! It’s amazing how they can twist in their minds fucked up behavior being perfectly normal. Sadly, I didn’t document all of his twisted shit, because I got the impression the court just didn’t care about his lack of morality. I did however have to start using parenting software to FORCE him to be a parent! He’d come and go as he pleased, and since I was a SAHM, it was apparently my job to be the sole parental figure. Once he knew his lack of time with the kids was being documented, he had to save his image! Of course his interpretation was “I was trying to control him” Nope fuckface, just trying to get you to be a parent!

    • UX, I posted my response before I finished all the comments, but I fully agree. He’s all “you aren’t the boss of me.”

  • It is awful to try and and stay with the cheater after it’s all out in the open. Maybe I am not made of tougher stuff but after a month of limbo I told him to just move out asap if he wasnt willing to work on marriage. Less than a week later he was gone and it was better. Still painful and sad but it’s hard to morn the loss while still living in it. It’s not good for the soul to keep up the charade. There is no better time to stop the suffering.

  • I agree with telling your daughter now. As was stated there is never a good time but it would be helpful for her to have you close by to process this mess. Another thought is, if he knows you’re going to blow the whistle in 6 months that gives him plenty of time to start working on your daughter behind your back to change the narrative and blame you.

    • This will happen too! Be on guard! My husband told our oldest daughter stuff about me and she told my mom who told me. Of course when I confronted him, he denied it. Their lust for these women make them aliens and worse!

  • I have just got to warn you…. He is probably hiding money. Mine did and I had no clue because We had what I thought was a good marriage for over 30 years! Mine spent 10 months convincing me there was no affair. The circumstantial evidence was crazy and I was honestly living the kind of life that high school drama movie are made of. I believed him!

    I discovered he’d been hiding our savings. After his confession of reasons I realized I could have been one of those people whose spouse just up and left and would have been totally blindsided!!

    I’m sure your kids have realized his behavior has not been right! You have to talk to them and tell them the truth. Be the sane parent!! Get them help from trusted friends or another sane professional!

    It’s hard and it hurts like death because it is the death of a marriage. One that he chose to mess up and end. I’m so sorry! They become such idiots and aliens when they have an affair.

    Don’t trust him. He has admitted this crap! You don’t deserve that! Protect yourself and your kids!! Our kids can be strong with a sane parent!

  • You cannot for your sanity wait 6 months. I think it is you, deep down, holding out for a miracle.
    I am so sorry but your marriage is over.
    He does not love you, and probably never did.
    The sooner you work to achieve acceptance the happier you will get. Honestly.
    See a lawyer asap. He will be doing all sorts of sneaky shit, spurred on by affair partner who thinks she has hit a jackpot.
    No, he will soon start de-valuing her. Do not fall into the trap of thinking ” she won”.

  • Echoing others – tell now and help pick up the pieces after. Get him out of your life and begin to work with your daughter to help her through this. Get both her and yourself the resources needed to be able to move forward with your lives and get him out.

  • The kids will be ok, or at least no worse for finding out now rather than waiting out the six months. In fact, this six months of probationary divorce will probably be far, far worse. The month or two my parents lived in the same house together after they’d already decided to split up was pure hell. It was actually a relief when someone finally got the hell out. And, if these kids are old enough to be going to college, they’re going to figure it out anyway.
    Yes, we all have to make sacrifices for our kids, but you shouldn’t have to be this miserable. Call a lawyer today and get his ass out of the house ASAP.

  • So Done, CL is right. It’s a losing battle trying to make him show you any respect when he has already proven that he has no respect for you. I learned this the hard way myself. I asked STBX to show me some respect by staying away from Schmoopie during the three month window between when he decided to move out and when he actually did move out. No dice. I also told him “Anytime you screw her while we are still married you are being a selfish prick”, but that didn’t have any impact either. Your STBX is too full of himself to think or care about anybody else’s feelings. Trying to change that is just going to throw in in your face how little he cares about your pain (or the impact on his family).

  • It will never be the right time. If you wait the 4 months until the semester break, then it will be the holidays. No one wants their child to remember Christmas as the time their family blew up. So you’ll wait until afterwards, but then a new semester will be up and running. So you will wait … and then a family member gets sick, or a once-in-a-lifetime trip opportunity shows up, or or or

    It will never be the right time. Your life is passing and your self-respect and resolve is crumbling. Please leave as quickly as possible. Provide what support you can to your children, but don’t use them as your excuse for not getting free from abuse.

  • I was married for 26 years also. When dday2 happened I was so worried about when to tell our daughters 22 and 19 both at university that their dad was moving out. Turns out they both already knew from years of hearing us argue that we were never really happy and knew this day would come ! No time is ever a good time . Your children are stronger than you think. It will be okay- you cannot put up with his behaviour – for your own sanity.

  • Dear So Done,

    I’m picking up CL’s 2×4 here.

    1. You aren’t a new chump. Or a relatively new one. You have 6 years of this abuse under your belt. At this point, you are a what law enforcement calls a “compliant victim.”
    2. If you aren’t ready for divorce, see a good attorney anyway, get your financial ducks in a row and separate. You can file later. Or just file. Whatever works.
    2. I teach college kids, specifically, college freshmen. Sit down TONIGHT and tell this kids what’s up so she isn’t blindsided over Christmas break. Freshman year is a very tough transition but what kids need most is a parent who understands that they have to separate from their parents in order to become adults. You, So Done, have a lot of difficulty with separation and you are projecting that difficulty onto your DD. Instead, show her how to move to the next stage of life with grace. Tell her: “I just found out that Dad has been seeing another woman for the past 6 years. We can’t continue to live a lie. I intend to separate and we’ll see how that goes. It will take me a few weeks to get everything lined up. You do not need to worry about this. I love you and I’ve got your back. And I will be fine.” You don’t have to get into the weeds of divorce or give her details. Just model the ability to face new things and build a new life. That’s her task too.
    3. Take the 2×4 and smack the child psychologist, who is advocating that you in essence lie to your kids. Instead, she should be encouraging you to stand up for yourself and arrange counseling to help the kids build resilience and manage the transition. How is waiting 6 months going to do anything but blow up the kids in the middle of the school year? How is that better than giving them a few weeks to adjust now and have school be a welcome focus on their own lives?
    4. If he won’t quit to save the marriage, to save his kids’ “intact family, to protect your heart, to honor his vows, to preserve his own integrity, to make sure his kids don’t see him as a totally selfish narcissist, he won’t quit to spare your feelings for a few months. Seriously–you can’t control him. You can’t. You’ve tried. HIs mantra is “You aren’t the boss of me.”

    Save yourself. Show your kids how adults function with honor and integrity and self-respect. Make the appointment with the attorney(s) and tell the kids tonight. Don’t let tears, pleading and STBX’s manipulation move you. Be mighty. And call a good therapist for support in standing your ground.

    • It’s all so true. He’s a shit. It’s really hard to see the forest for the trees when you’re in the thick of it. This is the best thing to do for kids. You need to protect yourself first. This is so hard to do when you’re used to sacrificing for everyone else, it just feels unnatural. But do it for the kids. They need mom to be taken care of so she can take care of them.

      Get that separation agreement completed even if you’re not 100 % sure you’ll file for divorce. For me it was done within a few weeks of Dday #2. He couldn’t wait to be done with me so he could run off into the sunset with Schmoopie 2.0. He was pretty agreeable to most everything. By the time the twu wuvs were a dwindling down, there was no turning back.

      • In this case, “sacrificing for the kids” means sacrificing the desire to procrastinate, to wait, to kick the can down the road and tell yourself it’s for the kids. “Sacrificing for the kids” means being brave and facing the future and your fears. “Sacrificing for the kids” means giving up bullshit excuses and living in reality so that your kids can learn to do the same. It means teaching them that lying and gaslighting and living in denial is not healthy.

    • This.

      So Done, I don’t know if you’re still reading since it’s a day later, but LovedaJackass and Trying for Mighty and Tempest are all telling you the same thing with respect to your daughter. I’m chiming in, too. We’re all involved in higher education. If there’s going to be a “best” time to tell your daughter, it’s now.

      Give her the heads up that you discovered her father’s been in an affair for the past 6 years and that this is unacceptable so you’re filing for divorce. Reassure her that things will be fine, and let her know that her school has resources that she should use to help support her. A call to the Dean of Students isn’t a bad idea, even if only to get that list of campus support. Use what clout you have now to get her to contact the college’s counseling offices to set up some appointments. The freshman year is a big transition year, and waiting til the first semester passes isn’t going to do anything much for your daughter.

      Expect push-back from your STBX. Cheaters try to control the narrative, and some are so concerned with image management that they effectively gaslight themselves in their attempt to avoid looking like the villain. They hate it when they’re outed as cheaters. You don’t have to tell your daughter the gory details or that her father is a POS. Just state the facts and be done with it. Your daughter will have to navigate her relationship with her father by herself.

      Get some therapy for yourself, too.

      Once you file, expect a drawn-out battle. Your cheater won’t like the consequences at all. He has a college-aged daughter. The divorce decree will spell out his financial obligations with respect to her tuition and insurance.

      In fact, you should also consult with a divorce financial planner to see what you need to consider for long-term financial stability, especially with the college-aged daughter and whatever other children you have.

      Best of luck!

      • Kb,
        Thanks, I’m still reading. It’s taking me awhile to get through all of the comments! Thanks for your input. You have all given me a lot to think about, and I appreciate your insight.

  • You are a GREAT mom and have always put your kids first, something Cheater failed and fails to do. May I add to the respectful disagreement about keeping this from your children. Reclaim the narrative, tell them in your way, on your terms, before Cheater does, and trust that you have done a good job raising resilient young adults.

    Also, a young person starting college is not a child. I would recommend delaying if your kids were say, 5 and 7, but not 18. My mother passed away my Freshman year. Yes, it sucked and a half. But it didn’t define my time there. I mourned her, but was also busy throwing myself int a new life of my own making. This is actually an optimal time, because your daughter will have the thrill and challenge and distraction of school.

    As for the others at home? Well, that hurts. But if you have been able to manage your anxiety and suspicion for six years and still be a rock star, you can help them through this, too.

    Best of luck.

  • So Done,

    DO NOT WAIT to kick him out, do just what Tracy said. YOU do all the college stuff with your daughter and leave him behind. I KNOW this because I stupidly did what YOU did – trying to keep it together with AssBag while shipping my daughter off to college and it was ANNOYING and PAINFUL for both her and for me. And I hadn’t’ even confronted him about the cheating just yet (I was waiting, as you did)…. and it was still awful. I’m sure you don’t believe me but you daughter is so mentally invested in college right now she wouldn’t notice if you brought and elephant with you to drop her off to college – and she wont notice or care that Cheater Dick Pants isn’t there. Its better that she knows NOW otherwise you will do what I did – wait until Family Weekend is over (which BTW he ended up staying home, got a babysitter for my 8 years old, went out and got drunk and stayed out until 2am while I was at College Weekend with out daughter…. the babysitters father went ape-shit on me for him keeping her out so late…. the father came over to the house to “babysit” by son and sent his daughter home…. drunk husband showed up at 2:30 am…. bars close at 1 in my town BTW). Imagine my humiliation upon finding this out. THEN I waited until thanksgiving break was over – my daughter knew what was up secretly I hadn’t told her but she guessed form his odd behavior, she spent the whole T-Day at ther boyfriend’s, refused to come home. Still, I didn’t tell her. Then it was x-mas (also her b-day how could I tell her then) -it was THE MOST AWKWARD XMAS EVER…. none of the children gave him a gift. So Awkward. Neither did I. He gave me a cheap bracelet which he no doubt bought last minute (later receipts indicated much more elaborate gifts purchased for the whores)… I awkwardly thanked him with an uncomfortable quick kiss (I’d already called the layer by then) and THEN…. while waiting for daughter to go back to college third week in Jan, it was just 2 days after new years he LEFT the house for 5 days to hook up with Karaoke Whore. For 5 days. Didn’t call or come home. Drunkenly texted me saying he didn’t feel “safe” coming home due to my “violent” temper.

    So yeah….. you can see what happens when you dont act. IT ESCALATES. Rip the fucking infected, puss filled band aid that is your marriage off NOW and enjoy the last few months of your daughter home. Take her shopping, help her pack her shit and dont spend ONE MORE SECOND watching him text whore face.

    If you must cry, do it when you daughter isn’t around. You will live. You’ve been waiting 6 years. Nows the time.

    • “So yeah….. you can see what happens when you dont act. IT ESCALATES.”

      This cannot be emphasized enough. Equally important is that there is no way to predict how it will escalate.

      I also thought a slow transition was a good idea — even got STBX to sign a post-nup. Did NOT matter. He flipped and turned dangerous. Others become more entitled and more overt with their affairs, which causes the Chump more pain, humiliation, and often leads to righteous anger.

      Egads … the possibilities are endless when you are dealing with someone who just doesn’t care. The idea of a “slow transition” for the kids is something a rational, thoughtful person who loves their family would do. But the cheaters are not rational or thoughtful when it comes to their families.

  • Don’t think for a moment your kids don’t know. They KNOW. That child psychologist is an idiot. Sorry. Show his sorry ass the curb IMMEDIATELY. Get to a Lawyer IMMEDIATELY. You are showing your kids self respect – the best lesson of all!

    “s is what DONE looks like — you don’t see a child psychologist — you see a LAWYER first. You do what the lawyer tells you to do. Protect your finances, secure that kid’s tuition, run credit reports (how much did he spend on a 6-year affair? Were there others?), get temporary support orders in place — and have him move out immediately if he needs to text his OW so badly.

    It’s called a boundary. And you enforce it with consequences.”

    YES YES YES! You are NOT a family. Get him out of your house and out of your life NOW. Get financial support, tuition etc together NOW. Grab his bank statements etc. NOW. Him crapping on you is over. You can’t control him but you can control YOU

  • oh man.. PLEASE listen to CL. This dude is a POS and you absolutely need to get the legal and financial ducks in a row NOW. Your daughter is going off to college and she is completely old enough to know the reality of the situation right now. She’s an adult and you don’t need to shield her from this for more months. Get that fire and say NO MORE. If this guy has done this for 6 years there is no telling what else he’s done that you don’t know about. Don’t stick around to find out. Life is sooo much better on the other side where you can be free from anxiety, panic, and just the torment of being gaslighted day after day after day. You got this!!

  • So Done- The reasons he won’t commit to staying away from AP is because he left your marriage emotionally and physically YEARS ago. He has moved on. You and your feelings are of no more consequence to him than that of a roommate, babysitter or housekeeper.

    Time for you to move on too.

  • The timing sucks but nonetheless, the time to get away from this asshole is yesterday

    Your sad story so clearly demonstrates every ugly facet of the cheater mindset. OW probably can’t stand that you are doing this important family event so she’s upping the dance. He’s in pig heaven. It’s all about hi-iiiiiiiiiiiiiim. Your request is received by him as, “I am so important la la la la.”

    He is so awful that you are in for an amazing surprise: as soon as he’s gone, you will physically feel better and this will help you get through the short-term pain.

    I stayed with my brother and sister-in-law on D-day (and for the next six months) and despite being the walking dead, I still have a visceral memory of them speaking to me with kindness. Not the ” we’re concerned ” kindness of condolence but the “what do you think?” kindness of normal people.

    You have been spackling too hard for too long. He is not worth it. No one is worth it. But he is especially not worth it. Do you see how he is setting you up to be the bad guy either way for your daughter? If you kick him to the curb he becomes the sad sausage. If you nag or try to reason he becomes a toddler with a candy bar.

    Kick him out and use your experience to teach your daughter an important lesson about relationships.

  • Poor So Done,

    we here in Chump Nation so know what you are going through! Been there, done that. Here is my advice to you: stop the torture. Stop the soul crush. Stop the humiliation. You are really damaging yourself, and you are damaging your children.

    Be brave. It hurts like hell. Its not easy. But life is so much better when that cruelty is out of it. Disrespect is one of the most crushing things. Just stop it.

    Do what Chump Lady says. I have done your option, and eventually the CL option, and I promise you the CL option hurts less.

    The children are better when they know what is going on. Promise.

    • Of all the advice you have been given here, this one from Unicornnomore I think is the most important:

      “I stayed with a person who did not love nor want me. I delayed my own healing to my own detriment.”

      When we do not accept this truth, we prolong our pain and we really damage our sense of self.

      He doesn’t love you, he doesn’t want you. He takes for granted everything you do for him. So stop cushioning his fall with your body.

      • Sometimes somebody phrases something so well that it makes the incomprehensible become shockingly obvious.

        Patsy, this was brilliant: “So stop cushioning his fall with your body.”

        • Patsy and I have been buddies through ~ 12 years of this. When I said I delayed my own healing, I wasnt kidding.

          • I commiserate. It’s astonishing looking back … so much time wasted. Argh.


  • I also work a lot with young adults and believe that there is no good time for this kind of news. In December your daughter may be dumped by a romantic interest, have a crisis about her intended major, be upset her roommate is moving out to room with someone else, have a terrible case of mono–all of these are absolutely normal travails for beginning college students, and they often see them as the most important things in the world. No time is good for bad news about the family they are expecting to remain the same while they experience growth and change.

    During her first term at college, your daughter is setting up a new identity, and if you send her to college in ignorance of the big changes coming, she’ll set herself up as the daughter of a happy, intact family. For many kids, it is hard or humiliating to have to change their identity at college. Frankly, she’s better off turning up at orientation as a child of divorced parents or a child with a family going through tough stuff she doesn’t want to talk about than turning up with one story in September and having to “fake it” or change it in January.

    Go to a lawyer this week, and tell your daughter on Monday. As other posters have said, make sure that you and your daughter are financially secure. It is hugely common for adulterers to refuse to pay for things like college tuition (especially if the child expresses anger at the cheating parent). In some states, like mine, there is no responsibility to contribute to college tuition. It is not part of child support. So, make sure your lawyer knows what your daughter needs and is accounting for it in financial negotiations from day 1. Also, tell your daughter on your own. Don’t let her jackass of a father control the narrative.

    Then be prepared for the fall out. She may not want to go to college right away (make her try it for a term anyway). She may cut you, her father, or both of you off for awhile. She may want to take a break from college after Christmas or transfer schools (again, identity and school are sometimes paralleled for young adults, so when her family changes, her sense of self and the kind of college she wants to be at may change). Have a therapist (a new one) on speed dial for her or you or for the both of you to see together. The odds that your daughter will be angry with you are very high. She may express this anger in different ways, but she trusts you, so she’ll feel safe expressing her hurt at you. This will be very tough on you.

    Accept the fact that this will be hard for your daughter, but that IS NOT YOUR FAULT. You cannot fix this problem. You can only make the circumstances of your own life better and offer her unconditional love and lots of different kinds of support.

  • I agree with the poster who said to kick him out now and take your daughter to college by yourself. Pretending to be a “family” and then dropping the bomb at the break is unfair to your daughter. It could totally derail her semester. Better to tell her now and deal with her questions before she leaves.

    Further, if she thinks you’ve lied to her (and you will be lying if you pretend to be an intact family), you will likely lose her trust. Don’t let his bad character ruin yours in her eyes.

  • My two kids are so much happier now that I’m Worm free. It was a mistake for me to wait as long as I did…..
    You have to do whatever you’re ready to do, but keep telling yourself, “I deserve better than this”…..

    • Ah, yes — important point. My two older daughters (about the same age as the OP’s daughter) are hugely relieved that we are finally separated. As nicely as possible, they’ve told me I should have done it far sooner. Wise girls.

      Our youngest (just 6 years old) has had a hard time, but having him out of the home is genuinely better than all of the egg-shell walking she witnessed when he was here (not to mention the arguing).

      I hate ALL of this for my kids. They deserved so much more — so much better. I am fiercely determined that they will get that now.

  • Dear so done, I am so sorry you are here with this now. It is a horribly painful process. It is so hard to push through a separation with the man out of the house, I can’t imagine having to do that with him there. For your own health and that of the family, he has to be gone from your presence. There is nothing to be gained from being around him except he gets a free ride. I am 5 months since DDay and I kicked limpdick out, if I had to see him everyday feeling as rageful as I do, it would not have gone well! Take care of you and get him out.

  • As other commenters and CL says, there is never a good time to divorce. It’s like how there is never a good time to quit a job in favor of another. You’re going through the worst time of the year! 4 other employees just quit! You’re the only one who knows how to do this or that! Yeah, it works the same with a divorce.

    I waited 3 years to divorce after DDay. I pick-me danced til the cows came home and I HATE that I allowed myself to put up with the abusive cheater bullshit for 3 years. There was abuse my whole marriage, but it was really driven home after DDay. When I finally made the final decision to divorce – I had threatened and “almost” gone through with it a few times before – I waited for him to be done with his semester at school. I was trying to be nice and the doormat that I had been for our entire relationship was a hard position to give up.

    All I can say now is: Do what is best for you because no one else is going to do it for you. Every single thing that CL says is right on par. Believe me, you’ll regret not divorcing sooner. You can consult with anyone for excuses as to why you shouldn’t divorce right now, even child psychologists. Put the spackle down! File! Feel the empowerment of stepping up for yourself and doing what you feel is truly the right thing for you!

    • Marriagedetective- Your post is similar to my own situation. I found out about the fuck phone in May of 2013, but we weren’t divorced until April 2016 – partly because I waited for an apology from the asswipe, and partly because it was a very bitter divorce. He felt I deserved NOTHING because he made more money than I did, yet I was the college graduate and why the fuck aren’t you making more money LadyStrange? He was AN ASSHOLE! Anyway – I too continued to be a doormat and now I regret wasting so much of my precious life with a fucking loser man-whore.
      I have a boyfriend now that absolutely ADORES me and it is weird because my Xhole NEVER treated me this good. I’m a good person and deserved to be treated like a queen, which I am now.
      So Done – get rid of the loser and find someone who respects you.

  • Yesterday while walking dogs, we spooked up a bear and her cub. (This is not analogy; I live in Alaska.) There was a part of me that wanted to stand there, take some photos, and remark on pretty the bear was, how cute the cub was, how nature is so beautiful…. But I had practical shit to do to protect me and my loved ones (my dogs) if I hoped to get out of that encounter alive and intact: Don’t run. Stand tall and speak in a loud voice. Back slowly away. Watch the bear for any sign it has changed its mind and is planning to kill us, after all….

    This is your situation. You want to be emotional: WHY is he like this? HOW can he do this to me/us? — But you have some practical shit to do, at the very same time. So you will need to set aside the emotional part — the grieving, the sifting through the years to figure out what you did wrong [Spoiler Alert: Nothing]. But for right now, you have to keep your head and ACT. (For one thing, it takes most of us a hell of a lot longer than six months to let go of the emotional Whys and Hows.) The good news is, when this is all over, you will be able to look back on your strength and actions with a sense of pride at having maintained your dignity. I remember I was a fucking mess after Dday, but as soon as I found out about Schmoopie (whom he denied), I kicked him out. That day. I didn’t do a lot of things well or gracefully just then, but finally standing up for myself was a solid memory I can hang my hat on.

    The psychologist is wrong. I’m sorry for your kids, but CL is right. Your daughter, even if she has learning disabilities, will get past this point in her life.

    Do not delay. He is disrespecting you every day and every time he mentions/thinks/texts AP. And you? YOU are better than to have to stand there and take that shit. Lawyer up. Get him out. Not in six months. Yesterday.

    • I would also add that years of a relationship with a disordered individual fosters the sort of mindset which is keeping you trapped. IOW, we spend so many years taking care of their every need that we even think we have to manage their divorce (from us) for them. Yes, it’s liberating, but it’s also unnerving to pick out each of the thousands (millions?) of hooks they have in us, from knowing where he keeps his brown belt, to how much money he should want during the settlement (yes, XH actually presented this to me as MY problem to solve!)…. It’s also a false sense of control, however, and as your STBX has shown in abundance, you have no control over him. So suddenly you’re trying all your tools to “reason” with him (maybe you’ve tried the same techniques about mowing the lawn or getting the right sort of yogurt from the grocery), and nothing is working. Well, it’s not GOING to work now, because you’ve already told him you’re done. So he’s on to the next thing (AP) and your wishes no longer matter — maybe for a time, for impression management, but that gets thinner every day. So don’t stick around until the day you see that look in his eyes that tells you you mean NOTHING to him, NOTHING. Because that day? That look? Excruciating.

      • Could not agree more NWBiblio! Getting all of the hooks out is something I’m still trying to clean up. I imagine it will take me years. I did all of these maneuvering techniques and I know the look you mean. I meant NOTHING to him. My comfort and happiness was not even a thought that EVER crossed his mind.

      • Yes, excruciating. I can vouch for that. Nice to see you commenting again, NWBiblio.
        — HeChump.

  • Wow. I hardly ever comment, but this struck a chord with me. My ex had an “emotional” affair when my daughter was 2. He claimed it was over and they had no contact. When she was 10, I found evidence that they had been in touch again, and then it all unraveled. Turns out there was an on-again, off-again affair for 8 years, he had been essentially living a double life. There was a million dollars in debt and multiple liens on our properties, that I had signed for, believing this was all supporting his “business”. I am now 4 years out and have an awesome life. My income is now all mine, and I have dug out of debt by liquidating all of our assets and negotiating settlements with banks and lenders.
    I kick myself for not acting sooner, for not seeing the red flags… I urge you to get on with it. You won’t be happy until you are away from him. My daughter is now 15 and she is fine. She sees what a strong woman looks like, and how to take charge when you need to. Tell your daughter what happened and stop pretending for her sake. Lawyer up and kick him out, if you can. I suspect you will find a lot more under the surface when you start digging… best of luck to you! You got this.

  • What more of a sign do you need to leave, than a husband texting another woman in front of his wife? The level of disrespect has gone so far that he’s not even trying to keep things hidden, but is disrespecting you in front of you. He knows you will stick around and is so sure of your loyalty, that the abuse is through the roof. The damage in you that you are *allowing* him to cause will last for years to come, way after you’re no longer in his presence. Please think about it long and hard. You have likely spackled so much that this guy thinks he can get away with anything and you’ll stay. Please do not model this type of behavior in front of children. Please protect yourself, and he’s not family, he’s the enemy.

  • Dear so done, you are not alone. I played this exact pick me dance and made the same requests for the sake of my daughter. You daughter is moving to college. Yes the timing sucks, she will be heartbroken but she will understand. In my case, dday was when I was 7 months pregnant. Of course he said it was just texting and that didn’t qualify as cheating. Then very quickly he began telling me that he was never happy, never wanted to be with me, he would no longer sacrifice his happiness, and that he was going to divorce me but wasn’t sure when. We had several conversations that he would stick around until the baby got on a good routine and perhaps just maybe we could work our problems out as well. I thought this was best because she needed to have time to bond with her father before her parents split. There is no good time to split up BUT it will pass. It gets easier over time. Staying in a bad marriage will never get easier! When I asked him to cease communication with the OW he refused, said it was non of my business because he was leaving eventually anyways. Please take chump lady’s advice! GET A LAWYER!!!!!! I went to meet with several lawyers (you have to find the right fit) and get basic information (fees, your rights, what can be used and what cant, what would you want out of the divorce, custody options). Even if y you don’t hire one most offer free consultations. I continue to play the pick me dance. I was stupid. I thought maybe he is just scared to be a father. maybe he needs space and will come home. When my daughter was 5 weeks old I was nursing her one afternoon when the doorbell rang. Mrs. POSH you have been served. While I was still devastated I at least knew what some of my options were. I called one of the lawyers back, and hired her that day. Some of the decisions were easier to discuss and think through because I already had some of the information. INFORMATION is power! USE IT TO BE MIGHTY!

  • Fellow “at least an EA” here. I’ll tell you the answer in my situation for “How can my STBX betray me so thoroughly and completely and then not agree to my simple and reasonable request to cease contact with his AP for the next few months while we are still living together? What am I dealing with here?”
    You can decide if it applies to you.

    I assume that any EA is going to progress to a PA, probably on the order of weeks to months, depending on the situation. While a marriage commitment may slow things down somewhat, I doubt it’s going to prevent it. From what I can tell, my Cheater’s EA was in the 1-2 month window. Hard to say how far things went. In truth, I’ll never know. Regardless, within that brief window of time, he had already degenerated to referring to the AP by pet names (in other words, had already developed a connection and an affectionate relationship) and had rationalized and justified for himself why his behavior was OK. Rationalization was that it wasn’t a PA and that an EA didn’t count as breaking vows/betrayal. (As I said, I have my doubts it wasn’t a PA, and an EA does count!). Justification required blaming me for his behavior. In other words, he could do it because he first gave himself permission to do it by rationalizing it and then he justified his actions to himself to clean up any guilty loose ends. As I mentioned before, justification so that he could continue to see himself as a “great guy” required a sacrificial lamb or a villian..which, of course, was me. It required that his behavior be my fault. That’s what I was dealing with. So, not only could he do it, he could feel justified in doing it because it was my fault and he could get the attention and ego boost he was apparently looking for. Cake without guilt.


    • …and I have to add: after this happened to me I walked around in stunned daze mumbling “but I didn’t do anything wrong! I was a good wife!”. I just could not fathom how it was that I was getting intense pain and betrayal that I didn’t think I deserved. In other words, I had bought into the “just world hypothesis”.

      Nope. You don’t have to do anything wrong to get Chumped or to get blamed for it.

    • Here’s the deal with an EA, which as NextTime says, almost certainly will turn in a full-blown affair: cheaters are giving to the AP the very things they vowed to give only to their spouse. Time. Attention. Affection. Emotional intimacy. Their confidences. And the AP is usually also getting at least a little more of one other important thing–truth. Because the AP usually knows that the cheater is married.

      The physical side is a significant escalation, but if the physical affair starts as an EA, then the cheaters have already given away most of what their spouses really value.

  • SoDone, 6 months is a LONG time. Really long, to be fronting for the kids, who will, I believe, feel even more betrayed. I understand the impulse, we’ve all been there, propping up an un-dead relationship and trying to make it lifelike. But if he wasn’t faithful to you when you were married, he’s certainly not going to be faithful once you’ve broken up. Stop trying to control him, and work on you. You clearly have something to work with, with yourself. You are mighty! Start moving on with YOUR life, which can be anything you want it to be once that turd is gone. But first, you have to flush him. I am a therapist and work with divorcing families often, and I don’t believe co-parenting is really possible if there’s been a huge breach like an affair. Co-parenting is possible, I believe, only when goodwill has been maintained by both parties, and both are reasonable. Pretending at co-parenting is just more shit sandwich eating for the betrayed partner, and I don’t think it helps kids to be inauthentic, it’s just modeling spackling and codependency. I think the most you can hope for here is parallel parenting. Divorce creates two families, make sure yours is awesome, and that is something you really can do something about.

  • That psychologist just wants to prolong his/her involvement in your case so the fees add up. Just nuts to advise you to delay the inevitable.

    Do you really think your daughter doesn’t already know something is wrong? This is going to be sad for her whenever she gets the news, but it’s not the end of the world. No one has died, they will simply be living in two different places. My sons were 20 and 22 when we divorced and they tell me now that while it was sad, they just accepted the new normal.

    Do brace yourself though for the image management that will be done on her when Cheater and Schmoops get moving. She will be visiting her father, so best to simply let her have the facts to make her own decisions about all that.

  • My ex and I waiting to tell our kids until they were out of school. Then, as luck would have it, our son had to re-take a class in summer school, which prolonged the news. We even had to endure a pre-planned vacation together, one that I expected to take the kids on without my ex. Looking back, it was all so weird. Those were the longest and most emotionally difficult weeks of my life. After D-Day, my ex said he was “distancing himself” from the AP, but they work together. I’m not stupid. They weren’t “distancing”. I was the enemy at that point, I’m aware of that.

    Nothing ever feels “right” when the person you vowed to stay with for better or for worse has betrayed your trust. When the person you would normally confide in when you’re feeling hurt is the one who actually hurt you. It never feels “right”.

    Still, “child psychology” aside, it’s important to consider the impact of a major family change on a child. Chumps are not the only victims of cheating. Children have no input and, unlike us, will still maintain a relationship with the cheater on some level. Also, unlike us, their emotions are not fully mature. We like to convince ourselves that “kids are so resilient”, but we should look at things from their perspective, too. Delays don’t serve them, true, but let’s not be self-centered either with our need to ostracize the cheater who created this mess. There needs to be a balance somewhere.

    That said, this oldest daughter is entering college. She likely already knows that something is up, given that the situation has been going on for 6 years. She’s being used as an excuse in this particular instance, and there’s no need to wait any more.

  • So Done,

    Your letter triggered so many emotions, I’m 3 years post-Dday and my divorce was finalized a year and bit ago. Like you, I tried to explain to my X how inappropriate his actions were, and what human decency should look like.

    Witnessing how the seemingly smart, funny, and kind guy I thought I was married to morphed into a selfish cluster B was one of the most painful experiences I’ve had to face… It reminded me of the movie “Primal Fear.” Double personality disorder was what I believed I was facing. Then I learned more about Cluster Bs and their relationship dynamics, and the more I read, the more I realized the person I thought I had married, the father of my child, was only an illusion that existed in my head.

    As many mentioned above, cheaters are masters at manipulation. They can keep their chumps hooked for years and upon being faced with the consequences of their cheating, they will go full DARVO on their victims –

    For months, I fed my brain with evidence of relationship dynamics with Cluster Bs. Every new article I read, every book I found helped me better understand how distastrous a mistake I had made by believing my X… Dr. Simon’s book on character disorders, Sandra Brown’s “women who love sociopaths,” Lundy Bancrof’s “why does he do that,” Karyl McBride’s “Will I ever be free of you?” as well as CL’s book helped me peel off over a decade of olympic spackle…

    But it took more for my heart to catch up with my head… It took a full on discard and a traumatic divorce for me to really believe in my hear that the person I married and had a kid with was really that disordered.

    Blindsided by stumbling upon over 600 emails between my then-husband and his mistress was like finding out that my marriage had been dead for at least their 14 months worth of correspondence and hook ups (probably my marriage had been dead for longer than I will ever know).
    I felt I had two choices: (1) slaying my own self-esteem so I could preserve the innocence of my kiddo a little bit longer, or (2) preserving my integrity and self-esteem, divorcing my X and helping my kiddo develop her own mighty so she’ll make better choices in terms of life partners than I had.

    Three weeks post-Dday, I had an attorney, a new apartment, and had wired 1/2 of all our liquid assets. His actions since DDay#1 have shown that the hell I went through to divorce him were tougher than I could have ever imagined, but through it all, it was better than to have stayed and sustained his continued disrespect. He was mad oh so mad that I sang like a canari about why I divorced him, and when he tried to gaslight our kiddo about something along the lines of not understanding why I was so angry and not wanting to trust him and his wifetress, I told our kiddo why I divorced her dad.

    I kept it age appropriate… I told my kiddo that when people marry they make each other very important promises such as honesty, respect, a willingness to work as a team, and they promise to stop dating. I found out that her dad had been dating his mistress for over a year. That is a selfish decision, and a devastating breach of all marriage promises. I asked him to stop, he did not, so I divorced him. Two months after we were divorced his mistress and him got married, so we all now have to live with that reality. My kiddo is young but she totally got that nothing was her fault and can know much better understand why a friendly and highly inclusive person like me went no contact with her dad and his wifetress.

    Our kiddo is much younger than your kids, and I started her on therapy when the divorce proceedings started. She is more and more able to verbalize her emotions, she is doing well in school and socially, and I’m on my way to more and more Meh moments.

    My advice for you is to recommend that your college-age kids take advantage of the counseling services that are probably included in her tuition to get help in this big transition. If she can find specialized in cluster B trauma, that is even better.
    Find a good therapist for yourself as well, ideally someone with a lot of experience in CPTSD and recover from cluster B/narcissistic abuse. The earlier you undertake this work, the sooner you will be able to detach from your X and the better a settlement you will end up with. Please please please do not be generous in your initial offerings on your divorce settlement, given your X’s disregard for your well-being despite your attempts at dialoguing with him, I would recommend you hire a pitbull lawyer and gather all evidence now. Threatening to depose him and his mistress might work wonders in the proceedings.

    Best wishes So Done, finding out that the life you invested so much in building is an illusion is a devastating blow but it is also the re-birth of a Mightier you!

    Get some

    • Protecting yourself financially is so important. He has shown you he does not and will not put you and the kids first. It is not who he is.

    • Chumptitude – I am a new chump, kicked out my husband on DDay and am filing for divorce. Your post really resonated with me. I am sure my STBX is going to marry his whore pretty soon after our divorce is finalized. I am freaking out about it not bc I want him back but bc she is a dangerous person (drug posession arrest in last 12 months, escort – my STBX says she quit both but she still has an active escort ad up w naked pics!) and not a good role model for our 8 yo son. Plus she is a psychopath – sent harassing messages by breaking into his phone just bc we speak to co-parent! He had to put a stop to that. I really want him to realize she is an awful psychopath and break up with her before he involves her with our son! Realizing I have no control over this has been awful! My STBX has no one to talk to at all – just superficial friends. No one to call him out on this. Ugh!!!!!

  • And, also, because there’s still a little righteous indignation in the Land of Meh? — Fuck these fucking assholes who come along and wreck our lives with their selfish lack of courage and self-control, flaunting their disrespect for all we have done for them over many many years together, allowing us to continue to believe we were in a mutually invested and caring relationship! They should all be incinerated and flushed down the toilet like any other parasite.


  • So Done,
    My family blew up as we all learned at the same time that he lived a double life…I kicked him out the next day and had to face HS graduation, prom and moving one to college within the next month! Life doesn’t slow down for tragedies to take place! Since I share a similar timing of DDay and kids of simile ages as yours maybe I can shed some light. (That the psycho psychologist can’t because he did not live it I assume)

    Here are some positives of being truly done with him now and not 6 months from now:

    1. Kids cried and were sad and still understood that I did what I had to do. I was strong, courageous, and nobody’s chump. And they are not part of Plan B! Don’t model his version of a “fake family” Model being Mom without a cheater and do it right now.

    2. In a few months, when it is time for college break your daughter will have had the chance to focus on her life (and know you are handling things and she just has to be the best freahman she can be). You will have moved forward in your #1 job…to get your divorce done. That clarity and peace you are feeling in no contact will snowball (sometimes slowly but it does improve) and you will be in a better place emotionally so that her college break is a visit where mom is already doing well and has a cheater free life. She will take comfort in that and you will enjoy her and your new life as a FMC (Family minus Cheater). Yes, there will be tears and challenges around the holidays but you can handle those better while further down your new road with your Bad Ass Attitude.

    3. Knowing your worth means you know it and act on it immediately.

    4. Forget the psychologist and start trusting your gut. That intuition is a better guide.

    5. Don’t let your mind care who he texts or what he does. Fight that thinking. You no longer care because he no longer matters. CL hit it on the head. The clock struck 12 and YOU said Buh Bye. You need not say it again.

    Wishing you blessings, peace and mightiness. I’m not dismissing your pain- I have such compassion for you (26 years and 4 kids) but you can do this! Just do it now- for you and your kids!

  • I believe there is no prouder moment for a child to witness than when I chump says “enough” and throws a cheater out.

    Nothing is clearer in announcing “I matter” than this action.

    • Yes–and whatever a kid learns in college pales beside learning how important it is to know your own worth, to have solid boundaries, and as CL says, to “enforce boundaries with consequences.”

  • So Done,

    The fact that your husband has no qualms about texting this woman in front of you and when you ask for him not to do it (for whatever the reason) he won’t commit to that, means you need to stop beating the horse that died years ago instead of continuing to try to get it stand so you can ride it. Stop rationalizing and tolerating his total disrespect and debasement of you.

    I had one of these. As I was packing to move out of our home I requested that until I was gone, I had a right to be safe and comfortable where I contributed/paid to live. I told him I could not stop him from texting/seeing/communicating with OW, but he needed to do it outside of my safe space, which was or should have been my home. His behavior escalated. The OW began texting and calling MORE. It went on in the house, outside the house, on those occasions when I had to be in the car with him, all the time. I had two children in their last year of college, a child preparing to go to law school and a married child who discovered she was pregnant, and a house that we had only lived in for a short while which was underwater. THERE IS NO GOOD TIME FOR YOUR MARRIAGE TO IMPLODE. Life keeps moving forward all the time for everyone.

    Also take the advice of those who suggested that you take your daughter to college. I had to attend an event for one of my children in the town where she was attending school about two weeks after I had moved out of the house. Two of the 3 remaining children attended as well as the Ex. It was irksome and soul destroying. We put on the pretend family routine even though we all knew about him and the OW – and he was texting and calling her the entire time and vice versa. Why would you willingly put yourself and your daughter through that? What you are saying sounds plausible in theory, but is grotesque in application.

    Trust me when I tell you, even though you cannot see it, think it, grasp it or feel it right now, you and your children will be better than okay. You are not even aware of the level of disrespect and disregard your husband is not only showing you now, but has been showing you for awhile, as well as your children. He does not see himself as your husband or your partner. He has deliberately positioned himself as your adversary. Treat him as such. When it comes down to considering what is best for himself, your children and you, he has been and will continue to put himself (and right now, OW) first. Ask me how I know. Your daughter will be fine. All of my children graduated and are doing well. My son-in-law recently said he was sad about what happened between me and the Ex but in reality he was like a cancer on the family.

    So Done, cut the cancer from the family and save yourself. ((HUGS))

  • Please leave! I met my ex at 19. We began dating when I was 20 and married when I was just 21. I had warning signs but ignored them. Through the 37 years we were married I caught him in a chat room, found romantic cards from a coworker, lived with 3 sexual harassment charges against him at work, found inappropriate emails and the list goes on and on. I was so stupid but I loved him and wanted to keep our family together. The final straw came when I discovered him inaporopiately testing with a twice married coworker July of 2016. I kicked him out the next day, changed the locks and put his shit in the garage. We were divorced in February, 2017. I turned 59 this past Monday and realize I wasted 39 years of my life with that POS. Please don’t do that to yourself! You deserve so much more and they deserve nothing.

  • My bomb drop was between prom, 18 year olds birthday and graduation. I was “told” that I had to act nice, “for the benefit if the 18 year old”. He moved out, cut support and told out 18 year old to “get a job and help out” if she wanted groceries.
    yup. 100% true.

    Thinking he may have widened up over 3 years of abandonment of his children, my eldest, in medical school, chewed him out royally for removing funds, car and tuition from little sister.

    His response? A picture of a blank pad of paper with a pencil on it, with the words; “Here is a list of everything you are entitled to.” I’m not kidding.

    BUT he thinks the kids should talk to and respect “their father”. Jack hole.

  • This post put me into an outrage – just because the Xhole fuckass dipshit piece of shit I was married too was doing the same damn thing. BUT “He Never Cheated On ME!” WTF??? What do you think flirting on the phone with other women is? Dumb-fuck ass. THEN after it was out (that he was a complete loser), he didn’t try to hide it anymore. In fact, it was quite pathetic….walking with his phone pressed up against his thigh as though I couldn’t see it. Turning it upside down, only on vibrate and of course, sleeping with it under his pillow.

    So Done – be DONE! I wouldn’t do a damn thing with that guy again. He’s a piece of shit and who wants to be seen with shit? My daughter was about to graduate high school when I discovered Judas’s little fuck phone bullshit. I had to have a separate grad party for her at my parents house because I could NOT have any kind of celebration with a dumbass who just humiliated me and had convinced all his friends/family that it was MY fault he needed to go out and get a separate fuck phone to ‘chat’ with other women behind my back.
    People are so stupid.

  • After reading all of the comments above and reflecting for a few days, I told my STBX that I cannot live with him for 4 more months. He is moving out within the week, and we have told our children that we are separating. I feel a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of the changes that I am about to experience, and yet, I believe in my gut that this is the right move for me. I need to get beyond the endless lies, gaslighting, and toxicity. So I will take one day at a time (or one minute at a time, if necessary) and remind myself to breathe as needed.

    Thanks for giving me the courage and strength to take this leap.

    • (((HUGS)))

      It IS a big change.

      And you are going to be okay. Your kids are going to be okay.

      Just be honest as you can with them. Apologize when you make a mistake, and tell them it’s all new to you and that you are doing your best to figure it out. Establish some new, fun routines (I did a Tuesday night movie night when the video store ( this was in the 90’s) had movie rentals for 99 cents.) and be gentle with each other. Now, during this second divorce where I have a 7 and a 9 year old, we crawl into my big bed and I read Harry Potter with them.

      The peace you will gain as soon as he’s out, will be worth it. One day, you will realize you no longer tense up when you hear the door open or at the time he is due to be home from work.

      • Thank you for your encouraging words! I am taking my older child to college far away this week, and so my 15 year old and I will have to figure out what our new normal looks like. I feel sick to my stomach at the moment, but I think you are right — I think I will feel more at peace once my STBX is out of the house. These last few years of constantly trying to figure out whether he is telling me the truth have been exhausting.

        One day at a time . . .

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