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Dear Chump Lady, I don’t feel mighty. I got left.

Dear Chump Lady,

Being the sleuthy sleuth I am, I discovered my husband of 15 years’ “emotional” affair (um yeah…her husband hired a private investigator that put that silly belief to rest) within days, since he suddenly went from sending about 300 texts a month to 7000 texts a month. All to my kids’ preschool teacher.

We are now divorced and he is married to her.

I have two questions that I don’t think I have seen addressed before. The first is this: you say Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life. And that makes you mighty. But what about those of us who didn’t leave? What about those of us who pick-me danced and he didn’t pick us? It’s hard to feel mighty when you are the one who was left. (That said, I wanted to make him make the decision because it was important to me to be able to say and to know that I did everything I could do save the marriage.)

Also, any advice on Chump/Chump relationships? In my limited forays into online dating, I seem to be drawn to chumps, even before I know they are chumps. Maybe it’s the genuineness and lack of pretense that comes through when someone has had their life upended. But it strikes me that there could be chumpy characteristics that could turn out to be dysfunctional in combination. Any thoughts?

Sleuthy Sleuth

Dear SS,

Last question first — to be chumped IS to be left. The cheater checked out on the relationship. Some cheaters stick around for cake, forcing the chump to divorce, and some cheaters leave for their Schmoopies (but not before a big dose of cake). It’s all rejection, and as I frequently say here — this is not the Pain Olympics.

You got left. Okay. That doesn’t have anything to do with your level of mightiness. It’s how you respond now that is the measure of your mighty.

So you pick me danced. (So did 99.5 percent of the rest of us. Learn from it. Burn your tap shoes.)

So you tried to save your marriage. (A noble effort, but wholly impossible when only one person is invested in the marriage.)

So it was all futile because he married the preschooler. Excuse me, preschool teacher. May they enjoy an eternity of Circle Time and soggy graham crackers together. Whatever. The guy is a cheater. He wasn’t worthy of you.

And THAT is where your head needs to be before you even consider dating. Don’t wade into that festering pool thinking you’re less than because you got chumped. Don’t internalize the cheater’s rejection, that life is all one horrible junior high gym class and you didn’t get picked for dodge ball. Loser!

NO. Reframe this. Who the hell wants to get whacked in the face by a rubber ball? Who wants to WIN a cheater?!

You need to be really clear on your mightiness before you date. Because dating is about you and your resilience. I’m sorry to tell you, but most of dating is rejection. Being rejected, and doing the rejection. You are going to go on a coffee date with a man who looks like a boiled potato and he’s going to reject you. A man of dubious employment, who doesn’t read, and who spends most of the date telling you how he lost his thumb in a tragic Dobro-playing accident. THAT GUY is going to reject you.

And he will reject you for reasons you can never fathom. Was he expecting a supermodel? Did I not pay rapt enough attention to his Dobro story? Am I too tall?

And if you are not healed from this chump shit, you’re going to let a thumbless, quasi-employed Dobro player question your self worth. You will go all wobbly. I can’t even attract an over-cooked potato! Aaah! 

Instead of waving it off as one weird coffee date, and regaling your girlfriends with the details later. Next!

This whole Gain a Life thing is about YOU and your self-worth. It’s about testing your resilience one brave episode at a time. It’s about filling your life with people who are WORTHY of your investment — people like your kids and friends who supported you through this shit storm. Gaining a Life is about never again being a satellite to a narcissist’s orbit.

Back to dating (assuming you have the time, with all your Mightiness) — no one enjoys rejection. But if you’re a chump? Rejection is your SUPERPOWER. Think about it — you’ve endured pretty much the worst humiliation and rejection life can hand out — and you survived it. What’s Dobro man got?

Dating isn’t about sussing out fellow chumps, it’s about being solid in yourself. Knowing what your boundaries are and what you will and will not accept in relationships. It’s about knowing what sort of people bring out your best self, and what sort of people do not. (Even though they may feel comfortable in a fucked up oh-hey-I-know-this-dynamic way.)

I’ve written more on the subject. Perhaps I’ll rerun one tomorrow. But anyway, suffice it to say, stop feeling like a loser. He left. Yea! This Gain a Life is yours to do with as you wish.

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.
    • My wife had been chumped before we met, as had I. I am never going to understand the sad sack who cheated on her, but I will thank him forever. He did me the greatest favor anyone could have done for me. One thing I know for certain — my wife is never going to feel that pain again.

      When you ladies find the right guy, and you will, he may not voice it, but he will feel grateful to the loser who made you available for him.

        • Ditto. right now the hardest part is (and, believe me, I -mostly- know it’s not true) thinking that LAM is the best I’ll ever get and that I ruined it somehow by not being hyper-vigilant or the constantly affectionate sexpot he craved. That loop that you go through where you wonder whether you just fail at relationships, or were as horrible to the woodland creature they turned into whenever you voiced your opinion, is killer.

      • ChumpedbyLoser – That’s touching down to the ground. I hope your wife reads what you wrote. I suspect she wouldn’t be surprised, but I hope she reads it anyway.

      • ChumpedbyLoser,
        You are a true gentleman.
        Beautiful post.
        Great that your wife and you found true soulmates in each other.

    • Holy shit. Today feels like my tuesday! I know, my comment above doesn’t convey this but I’ve been feeling pretty meh lately.

      It just hit me it’s tuesday and really we’re still birdnesting and the divorce will be final somewhere early 2018 but I can actually honestly say I’m in a state of apathy in regards to my STBXW. Just want her to have a decent life and don’t even care what she’s doing with who or if she’s struggling with some work related issue. Haha, this is a funny feeling. Hope it sticks.

      • OneDaySomeDay,

        “Hope it sticks.” I chuckled when I read this. I have had days where I could give zero fucks about my Ex and thought I am well on my way. Then I get hit with thoughts/emotions that take me back to feeling like I did just a few months out of d-day. I hate the emotional roller coaster.

        For your sake, I hope it does stick and with each passing day your cheater takes up less space in your head and heart. Happy Tuesday!

        • Haha yes, I’ve had backsides before, but today was way different. I dunno, yesterday evening we were able to have a laugh together and that was just that. I had nothing in my mind come up about the past, no thought about the good days when we were still heavily in love, no anxiety for the future, just a laugh and apathy towards us being together.

          I’ve been just singing all day at work, whistling tunes, getting work done, making jokes with colleagues, the future feels bright. I just realised all these things this afternoon. This is the first time everything I just said happened on one day since dday 1.

          One day someday! I said this to myself when I found out. This is going to be my dot on the horizon. One day some day, I will be happy again.

          Please let it stick!

      • ODSD
        Tell me how you like birdnesting? I did that for 7 months. Went back and forth between house and the apartment. When I was in the apartment it was my little sanctuary. I survived and love not seeing her very often. Not many people do the birdnest arrangement and am curious about your experience.

        • Birdnesting was a weird experience at the beginning. I’m moving back and forth between the house and my parents, where I got a room for now. They leave me my private space when I need it so I guess it’s my sanctuary for now. I don’t mind seeing her, I still do quite often because of the kids and it’s fine. It took me a while yes. Been doing the birdnesting for 6 months now.

          I think journaling helped me a lot for coping with the situation. It helps I’m not angry anymore I guess. I have trust in the future again and it feels everything will be just fine eventually. Looking forward to it. Looking forward to actually building the new life further. Like getting my own house once financial stuff has been resolved. Make it completely my own. Just me.

          I guess I can’t completely say what it is that put me in the spot I am in now mentally and emotionally. That one thing that just made it my Tuesday yesterday. A combination of CL, CN, journaling, our amicable split, the passing of the grief stages, me getting on with life and deciding it’s okay?

          But yeah, birdnesting was weird in the beginning, now it’s my life currently and I’m just okay with it haha. This too shall pass I guess.

      • happy. She and I started on “happiness” years ago, while I was both depressed and angry about the past and the present. She asked me to think on one moment where I just felt happy for no particular reason. And I though of a summer day when I walked out of a bookstore with a bag of used paperbacks. I can still recall pushing the door and walking into the sunlight and think, Oh, happy day. Just happy for books and sunshine and being alive. It helped me a lot to stop thinking of happiness as a steady state or constant but rather as that ray of sunlight that can strike me at even the most painful moments (like seeing my most beloved young cousin arrive from out of town at my dad’s wake). I think we can learn to be open to happiness, even at the darkest times.

        A lot of that starts with gratitude, which is why keeping a gratitude journal is so essential. Once we tune in to what we are grateful for, we can be more open to those moments. D-Day and its aftermath are so rough emotionally and physically that we aren’t really ready to see that sunlight. But even so, listing 5 things I was grateful for every day–actually writing them down–was a powerful aid in getting to happy moments.

        • ***Sorry about the mess above. I have no idea what happened. Here’s the beginning:

          I credit my therapist with teaching me what it means to be happy….

        • LovedaJackass,
          “I think we can learn be open to happiness even at the darkest times”
          I have read many of your posts. You are a beautiful writer.
          To me, you seem to be a person who is happy in herself, in your own heart and soul.
          Your cheater hurt you deeply but he never took away your power to have inner happiness in yourself. ( I saw this particularly in the forums in your “new porch” post topic. You worked so hard on that project, with so many different project managers and workers. When your cheater came home he belittled all your efforts and the results. Still, you saw your new porch as beautiful and perfect.
          I don’t think you need to learn to be open to happiness. I believe you have always possessed this gift. It shines through in you!

          I will have periods of time when I feel so happy. ( I have had a lot of personal loss and family tragedy in the pasts few months and lingering worries for my daughter and children. Everything seems so serious and dark. There is never emotional support from my cheater. However, I am extremely close to my two daughters and grandchildren.
          I am thankful that I have always been an up person and get angry at myself when I get feeling down. Worry has a lot to do with it.

          I don’t journal, everything is in my heart and head, but it is certainly nice to reach out to other Chumps in CN.( it is a form of journaling to me).

          Thank you LovedaJackass for all your wonderful posts.
          You are such a positive rainbow on CN!

    • First time posting, though I’ve been an avid reader for awhile. You had me today at “Burn your tap shoes.” Bravo.

      I credit Chump Lady for being a bug in my ear that helped prevent me from marrying a narcissist. “BUZZ! This is WHO HE IS!”

      Gaining a Life really is an awakening. I felt much more capable as a Spackler, but this path to self-love is an intriguing(terrifying) one. Evolving is a bitch, y’all.

      Glad to be in great company. Much love, Chump Nation!

  • Chumps male good partners, IMO. They stayed faithful through some nasty stuff. Says a lot in favor of their character. Just saying.

      • I agree that chumps can make good partners. However, I made the mistake of believing that just because a man I dated was a chump, that he would make a good partner. He was wonderful in many ways – but he was still an extremely co-dependent over-giver with his abusive ex-wife. This revealed itself in dribs and drabs over the almost two years I have known him. I had to break it off recently because all of his chumpy good traits were still going to support his horrid ex, and not towards building a solid relationship with me. His ex called him a couple of weeks ago and told him that she and her new boyfriend had gotten physically violent in her house, where their young sons were sleeping. Did he call the police? Did he call anyone for help? Nope. He chose to spackle: “It was just one domestic disturbance, and the boyfriend’s gone now anyway, so what’s there to report?” Any romantic feelings I had toward this man died right there. If he can keep his own children in an unsafe environment and spackle over it so as not to rock the boat with his ex-wife, I don’t want him.

    • I agree DM! I would love to find a chump guy to date. I even had something about “if you belong to Chump Nation…” on one of my dating profiles when I had dating profiles. I never got a response to that which made me sad. I think the ability to understand the pain and suffering we’ve been through because they’ve been through it too would be wonderful.

  • I needed this today on what would have been our 30th Anniversary. I have to keep reminding myself that she really didn’t win the Golden Ticket by marrying my ex she got the mother of all brass rings. One day she will wake up and realise she married an old man.

    • I like that metaphor. Brass must be polished frequently to stay shiny, lest it turn green. The Entitled Ones must constantly be polished in oh-so-special ways, lest they call you a rag and abandon you. (Hugs) on this difficult day, L.

  • We don’t have to date. We can, but we are enough. Once you internalise that thought, I am enough, and turn it into a belief, then dating won’t be something to be endured. You won’t second guess yourself. It will be fun, because you will not have the weight of expectation resting on your outings, because you are enough.

  • This is exactly what happened to me. Wanted to try and save the marriage for the kids, did the whole dance and I got dumped for the other woman. In hindsight, it saved me from even longer suffering. I deserve better and I did not have to try and reconcile very long because he just rejected me when I discovered what was going on. His loss…well on my way to gaining a life!

    • Same here Heather…I too tried to save the marriage for myself and my daughter. I was also delusional enough to think that the man I married would never intentionally hurt me or our child. Sometimes I feel like sending him and the mistress a card….Congratulations!!! All of your lying, cheating and sneaking around paid off…who says good things don’t come to those who wait?? But then I wake up and realize that in time my kid and I will be the Victor….we may not see it or feel much like it some days but it will come…hey today is Tuesday after all!

      • I feel like I belong in this group too.

        Lately, (last night included), I have been having vivid dreams where I am yelling at him all the rational reasons why what he did was wrong- trying to get him and sometimes his parents to see what he did was horrible and how he hurt me and the kids. He never gets it, just hangs his head and walks away. The dreams are a mirror of reality.

        I think I equate his leaving to him being at meh although I highly doubt that is true. I think about it too much. In my opinion he is in a terrible place but I am no contact other than Court stuff so my imagination can take over. I hope I get to meh. It seems like a long process. Is there a shortcut?

        • Me too. I wanted to be able to tell myself & my kids that I did everything I could to try and make it work, but he had already moved on and given himself a “mental divorce” — without telling me, of course. Asshole.

          • Me too. Exactly ~ I finally realized he had given himself a ‘mental divorce’ many years ago ~ also without telling me. That’s why it was so easy to just walk away after 18 years of marriage and 30 years of friendship and stare at me with those dark shark eyes when I couldn’t.

            I called him ‘asshole’ in my phone. I changed that recently. He moved in with the ‘circus clown’ other woman telling me they are such ‘good friends’ … bullshit. She is rich and he is after the big bucks. Nobody wants to fuck a ‘circus clown’ without reason. So now he performs for her as her monkey. So now he is in my phone and thoughts as ‘the circus clowns monkey’. She can have him and all his ‘monkey’ tricks too.

          • Same. I don’t regret what I did because I was so blindsided and in shock but I am wondering aloud what I would tell someone freshly in this situation. I don’t know if there was any way I would have listened to chump lady advice in the beginning. I just wanted to fix things and did not grasp that it wasn’t just a broken piece to be glued, the vase was shattered and I needed to sweep it up and throw it away.

            • I wanted to fix things, too. Most of us did. And I often replay the conversations I would love to have with him, the AP, or his dad. I then write all those things down and save it in my “thoughts” folder. Sometimes, just getting it out stops the merry-go-round in my head. I then get busy focusing on something else. Not a 100% fix, but does help so that I can stop obsessing with those unresolved thoughts. Truth is…they will never get resolved. You will never get a real apology from him or an understanding of how messed up he is.

        • I too had vivid dreams post divorce, but it has been two years and a half now since then and I can tell you that life is much more pleasant. In fact I am seeing how my life is better without ex in the picture. I don’t know if there is a shortcut, what I know for sure is that if you stay the course of no contact and focus on yourself (what you like, your hobbies and your children and true friends) it will get easier day by day until one day you will find yourself smiling for no reason other than that you are enjoying a sunny day, peace and a cup of coffee or tea. Stay mighty!

        • Ah! Just so you know, a friend who had been through this before me told me, “By the way, don’t freak out if you have really vivid dreams. It’s a form of PTSD.”

          She was so right.

          PTSD doesn’t only happen to war vets. It can happen to anyone who has a sudden shock, and heaven knows we’ve all had that around here!

          The good news is that the dreams do dissipate over time, as you heal. Took me about 2 years before they didn’t come regularly. At 4 years, it happens only a couple times per year, usually when I’m having a particularly hard day.

          • Glad to hear someone besides me has bad dreams about their ex-cake-eater. I have about 2 or 3 a month and wake-up feeling awful. My D-day was almost 50 years ago, but I still have vivid dreams about her as an old man! I’m still searching for that mystical land of “meh”. I hate myself for hanging on to the memory of what I THOUGHT she was, but, thanks to Tracy’s book, I’m working on “trusting that they suck”, and that’s helping a little.

            Glad yours are dwindling.

        • FeelingIt,

          Sadly, no, there is no shortcut. The hard work of healing that you have to do is about recontextualizing all your memories of your X in light of the new information that you have, the fact that he or she is not a loving spouse, but a deceitful lying cheater. Part of this process is remembering things, and realizing that they didn’t mean what you thought they did, and then recasting that memory with the new information. It’s painful, unpleasant, and comes up at the most inopportune moments, but it is a key process in healing, becoming free of him or her, and getting to meh.

          The best advice I can give on that front is to recognize that this is part of getting to meh, so accept it, let it happen, process the memories as they come up, accept them (not accept as in give permission or forgiveness, but accept that they are what they are), and when you’ve done enough with them, dismiss them and move on. If they need more attention, they will come up again. Don’t beat yourself up for doing this, rather accept that this is the mental heavy lifting you need to do to be whole again.

          It’s a long road, but the destination, your wonderful happy new life, is worth it.

          Hugs. Strength. Peace.

          • Thank you, aeronaut

            I’m working on my road to Meh. This is a really helpful as I have been struggling with the conflicting memories of loving husband vs lying cheater. It’s difficult to reconcile those two things.

            I am looking forward to my wonderful happy new life! Thanks

            • Thanks Aeronaut – really resonated.

              “I have been struggling with the conflicting memories of loving husband vs lying cheater. It’s difficult to reconcile those two things.”

              New Beginnings – I think this is the biggest hurdle of all. I think the ones who trusted their spouses the most, get hit harder by reconciling those two opposites. Your X had a big double life. Like a Spy or something. Just weird.

  • I have the same situation. Was left for a married gym friend. A friend he never spoke about. One I never knew existed until everything unraveled six months later. After D day, he remained in our home for four more months while he was buying his new house and waiting for the outcome of our mediation. I had no idea that each day he left the house he was spending it with her. I suspected, however he beat into me the idea that he was leaving me because our marriage of 15 years was “horrible”. For the year leading up to this, he had totally checked out emotionally. I would cry and beg for him to talk to me and he’d turn up the tv volume. Didn’t say my name all year.

    I know, I probably said this story a million times. It’s nice to see a similar story like mine, it reinforces for me what an asshole he is.

    It’s two years now of emotional pain and I am FINALLY on the upswing. I am more confident and will have a fulfilling future. I don’t care to date right now, I am having a blast discovering who I am. It’s a great feeling.

    • “Didn’t say my name all year”. Ring that bell. Check that box. Yep, I was a “her” and a “she” – FT never used my name. He too checked out for a good year and I had no idea why.


      • Yup, for 31 years he very rarely said my name. Less than a dozen times, usually when he was introducing me to someone (on the rare occasion he wasn’t ignoring me when we were out in public or at events). I know it is hard to believe.

        He did address me by my first name in the e-mail he sent me the day he abandoned me (he moved out when I was away on a business trip, zero warning, just poof). “Dear N.I.C.” It struck me when I opened the e-mail, instantly I knew something was wrong when I read my actual name.

        But you know, children don’t address their mommies by their first names, either. I was married to a child.

        • BTW, I do know he won’t address Schmoopie by her first name, either. He is defective.

        • ^ This. I was also married to a child . When my son was younger he was firmly convinced I had 2 children….him and his father.

          After I filed for divorce he sent me a few emails and called me “elle” . It was almost like a sucker punch to the gut when he finally used my name. I could just feel the venom behind it.

          I hear he calls Schmoopie “Peaches”.

          • Apparently she wouldn’t say my name to her female friends. I was “hubby”. She liked saying her APs name to her friends though especially when discussing the awesomeness of her adultery.

            She underestimated one friend though !

  • Please take joy in the fact that he left. You now have the chance to find yourself, and if things work out, someone so much better than him.

    In the early weeks after D-day when I told a friend what had happened she sat me down and told me she was a chump too. Then she told me she was so glad her cheater left her because if he didn’t she would still be in a loveless marriage, the victim of his infidelity trying to make sense of all the things that can never make sense when you are in that relationship. Instead she focused on how if he never left she never would have found love with someone who loves and respects her and has amazing character.

    As I sat there listening to her the words almost didn’t make sense. Happy he left? Better? I’m two years out from D-day and after a full year of therapy, the words make so much sense. I had no idea how much it was hurting me to be in that relationship, until I started a relationship with someone who loves, honors and respects me. The difference is astounding! I am changed by the experience. I value myself more and in that process found someone else who values me too. Take the time to figure out who you want to be and what you want to change about you. Work on that. Then, find someone else who likes and respects the person you have become.

  • Don’t confuse mightiness with perfection. You don’t have to be a mental health superhero to be mighty.

    Mightiness often dwells inside us while we’re not at all aware of it and, therefore, not employing it. The fact that we all read this site and listen to the no-bs message we get here so we can grow and heal is a display of our mightiness. Mighty begets more mighty.

    Even if you don’t feel safe anywhere else, while you are here, let yourself trust that you have mightiness living inside you, because you do. Keep reading and letting it grow. Those of us who have been at it for a while are your hope that it gets better. You won’t feel stuck forever. Others understand. You can do it, even if it doesn’t feel like it yet.

    • Thanks for the post Ami, we need to remember it wasn’t perfect when we were married to the idiots so life isn’t going to be perfect after.
      But we can have a good happy and productive life and support each other. Hugs

  • SS

    I completely understand your letter. I too had and sometimes have a hard time wondering why I wasn’t good enough to be picked in the end of the pick me dance… my cousin, was picked in her pick me dance with her husband and I use their relationship (unfortunately) as the example of what I DON’T want in my life! They may do counseling, and yeah he may have made it clear to the OW and everyone else that he loves his wife and didn’t intend to leave her and that does feel like a victory over the ow and the infidelity in the marriage and that he was willing to fight for her.

    But, the part of the story that stays hidden is, my cousin is on 5 different types of meds for PTSD, she doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him, and he doesn’t trust her either. She frequently brings up the affair at the most awkward and innapropriate times, and I know they will never get over it because it has become the center of their marriage and life. I say, if I have to live constantly looking over my shoulder, constantly rehashing the details and equally not trusting him and he not trusting me then I’d rather be done with the marriage than to live struggling like that.

    That being said, sometimes people leave for a reason, good reasons or bad, its their choice and unfortunately theres nothing we can do about that as its free will. The main thing to consider is it had nothing to do with you. (I have to take my own advice here????) but there may be someone else God has in store for you and your exhusband needed to be removed from your life so the right man can come along. Someone who wouldnt cheat on you, leave you or make you dance to keep him.. For now, it’s not about a man it’s about YOU.. This is your time. Your time to grieve, be kind and gentle to yourself and your feelings about all of this, figure out what you want in life with or without a partner, fix your picker and move on with your kids. You have gone through alot and it hurts! The best thing You can do for yourself is to be a bit selfish and revolve your world around You and your kids. You have a chance at reinventing a life you unfortunately had no say in and you’d have to do this same work whether he chose to stay for the marriage or left.

    Keep your head up… being a chump is not a badge of honor as no one wants to be cheated on however, as the bible states (sorry to quote the bible not trying to be religious but this quote helps me) but what the devil meant for evil, God can turn it around for your good. Hugs..

    • Very well said!! Your description of the life your cousin is now living with her husband is pretty sad. Months ago when I ached to be wanted by mine, I would remind myself that that is what life would be like living with a cheater. Hell, I was living that life for two months when I thought we were in reconciliation!! That’s no way to live…and you are so right…we can’t see it now…it doesn’t make any sense to us…but there is a reason why this is happening- as much as it may suck at times.

      • It’s amazing I read this as this was me a month ago.. I was having a nervous breakdown because stbx came back to only 4 days later leave to be with the ow (this time for good as I will not let him come back this is his 2nd time doing this) and he said he chose her over me and the children including the one I’m currently carrying. To say being left hurts is an understatement! I went out with my cousins (we are more like sisters) that following night for cocktails (I had non alcoholic drinks of course) and I consoled in them.. during this ordeal, I always looked at my one cousin (that I described above) as the beacon of hope that maybe just maybe, he’d come back and we will work it out till, she had a few cocktails in her and went on and on about how badly she is still trying to cope with her husband’s cheating, how they argue alot about it, how he doesn’t trust her going out cause he thinks she’s cheating and the list goes on and on.. lets just say their marriage doesnt sound happy nor the type I’d want to be in.. It’s amazing that on the outside looking in things may appear a certain way but honestly, you have no idea. That night, and at that particular moment I wiped my tears from my face took a deep breath and officially accepted my fate and ran with It! I realized being left was a blessing in disguise I may not see it now but I will in due time! I felt pity for her. Pity for even her husband and their child. Their household is full of discord because 4 years later, they dwell over it as if it happened the night before. I knew then if I was going to reconcile with my stbx that we both would have alot to conquer before I could even find a sense of normalcy in it. But first you have to have a willing partner! And he wasn’t and more than likely never will as he’s a covert narc. The way my husband has done me, the damage is just too far off to repair as he’s been living with ow this whole time and basically abandoned us and his own FOO for her. This is why I say when they are gone.. let them stay gone! To heal faster its the way it should be. Indecisiveness is not only an insult but confusing to all involved.

        • Newchump. I don’t know how long it’s been for you or how you’re handling all this with kids. And another one coming up. Damn you are mighty to just even pick yourself up and wipe your own tears and attack this head on. The mindset alone is mighty.

          • Thank you for such a kind compliment.. If it wasnt for my family, his family, my new friends I’ve met along the way and CL, I wouldn’t be here **trigger** (I tried committing suicide twice) without that support for me I couldn’t be there for my children!! Unfortunately, some days I do go through the withdraws of missing what I thought I had with my stbx which makes me feel like I’m far from being mighty.. He was my first everything and I never imagined we would end up this way but life has a way of throwing the most unexpected situation your way whether you want it to happen or not, it all balls down to how your going to handle it moving forward. This all started this year so its all very fresh, and I am far from where I need to be but I am a fighter! I have endured so much bad in my life that I have no choice but to roll up my sleeves and yell bring it on…

        • NEWCHUMP89,

          Thank you for sharing your story. You truly are Mighty! I have asked Chump Nation a question regarding if you decide to take the Cheater back after DD#1. What is your life like knowing they cheated on you. Don’t you have images, no trust, and wonder why all the time not to mention feel like you have to police everything. My husband cheated on me for five years with another woman. He is so mad that I ruined his reputation by writing a letter to the OW and her parents. I have had NC with him for several months, but he and the OW are enjoying tormenting me with selfies together on Facebook. I have deleted my Facebook account. Your response about your cousin helped me because I wonder if I should file or try to work it out. I just want to know what I am in for in the long haul if I let him back. What would my life be knowing he cheated?

  • SS,
    Chump Lady’s post on Abandonment Cheaters is really good! I read it often and it really helps me (I got a true sociopath that walked away and never looked back).

    As far as attracting chumps online, I envy you! I would much rather attract a chump than a narcissist. That’s what I keep attracting. Consider yourself lucky and one step ahead in the dating game.

    • The post I’m referring to is “The Ones Who Just Leave” April 13, 2017

      • I read that post frequently, at least once every month and I’m pretty sure that is actually the one that brought me to CL when I was searching for resources about spousal abandonment. I feel so far from mighty nearly 100% of the time. I typically believe that my husband’s howorker is the ultimate “winner” as she has something so special and desirable about her that it was worth it to him to implode our relationship of 25 years and leave me in the rubble along with family members, friends, and nearly all of his possessions. I try to focus on the words from quotes/memes about the ultimate plight other women such as, “If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, then you’ll be married to a man who cheats on his wife!” (and other things to that effect). I also try to keep the mantra, “It doesn’t matter!” in my head when I’m thinking about the possibility that my husband and OW are soulmates, he’ll treat her so much better, he only cheated on me because they were destined for each other, etc. Our wedding anniversary is this month and the pain is overwhelming. I think that he and OW are going to be part of that minuscule statistic of affair partners that marry and stay together forever, but that isn’t supposed to matter either.

        • Hugs to you still I rise! I and many others get how you feel. It is a sad feeling. I hope that one day you genuinely feel that you are the one better off now and can trust that ex and howorker suck!

          Their destiny is hell.

        • Still I Rise,

          After imploding our 30 year marriage, I feel xhole and Owife will be together forever, too. If there is trouble in paradise (which I don’t know or care), I believe they will stay together because xhole has too much pride to ever admit that he made a mistake…especially a mistake that affected so many people in so many different ways.

          They may be living the great life. But life can’t be that wonderful when its foundation is based on 2 dishonest cheaters who threw everything away to be together. Being the marriage police for the 6 months of wreckonciliation was damaging enough for me…can’t imagine doing it for the rest of my life.

          Like Feelingit said, “their destiny is hell”.

        • Still I rise, sometimes they find a person just as screwed up as they are and poof they are gone. It’s cause they found a mirror of themselves and that empty black hole where their souls should be and they are in twu luv. And just think about that saying, “if they cheat with you, they’ll cheat on you” and that’s true karma for them right there. I have coworkers that are having an affair. Both cheaters married to cheaters. One has been married 20 years and the other 14 years, almost forever right and they are cheating yet once again. I guess forever is very fluid, changing when twu luv shows up.

        • I feel the same way.

          The quotes only help so much. What if he is the unicorn he thinks he is? What if his fantasy wins because he always wins?

          Like, she got him and will give him everything he was lacking from me and they’ll be beautiful (I have no idea what she looks like beyond her height and weight because he brought up how much smaller than me she was in both) and perfect together while I run through a string of cats as they die on me when their time is up (yeah I went there).

  • I was blindsided and dumped from a long term marriage. I too was very, very, committed to my marriage and family…a perfect chump I suppose. Used, taken for granted, discarded like an inanimate object. Replaced.

    He emotionally destroyed me and went *poof*. Every moment I live outside of, inch further away from that pain and anguish, and reconstruct my soul is a MIGHTY feat every step of the way!

  • I used to hate it that I was left. But now I know, Damn, it’s great when the garbage takes itself out!!

    • Carol THANK YOU! Feeling a bit down this morning, almost exactly a year since my garbage took itself out… How great, indeed!!!

    • Carol, you are so right! LOLOL! They are garbage who take themselves out — and sometimes that’s they only way we know what trash they really are because they have hidden it so well inside their fake-self shell. And I think this is just as true of the cake eaters who force us dancers to be the ones to file rather than doing their own dirty work. They’re all empty shells filled with garbage.

      • Yes, the self-service(ing) garbage.

        I got the affair, eventually, so pushed into my face (chump me) that he was almost advertising it. I’m sure they were wondering why it took me so long. He even started looking at real estate for a house I could move into away from him, and we hadn’t even discussed it! Very strange times. And, I duh-ed it all, at the time.

        He wasn’t counting on me kicking him out, changing the locks, and filing for divorce 3 wks later.
        That is what really made me mighty out of the shoot, even though I shook like a scared leaf for the weeks it took. And, I was a real emotional mess.

  • I shared your CL comments with my college daughter who’s out trying to date, in her words,” primal boys.” I told her this is what I try to say as advice to her, but CL always know how to say it with pizzazz. Thankyou! CL your the best

  • If my wife up and left me, I would have been devastated.

    Instead, I realized over six months of her affair that she had no intention of leaving. She just respected me so little that she assumed I’d eventually get on board with an open marriage so she could “get permission”’for what she was already doing. I was devastated.

    What’s the saying? There’s no good way to break up with someone.

    Well, there is no good way to cheat on someone.

    (And as messy as they are, at least breakups contain some level of honesty and respect; can’t say the same for cheating.)

    • Same here, JC. X was trying to coerce me into being okay with whatever he needed to do to soothe himself sexually in the guise of “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again” (was already happening again…and again…for the last 5 years). I did not want to be stuck with those feelings of disrespect and anger toward him for what he did, and all of the telling him how a decent person was supposed to behave in a marriage, etc. While being walked out on would have been so much more shocking, the slow burn of a marriage dying under your nose and denying it until you can’t take it anymore is no better. As you say, the dishonesty behind it all — however you’re left — makes any cheater/chump situation no good. Better to be out of it any way it happens.

  • SS-

    I’m from the other side so to speak in that the ex gave me a chance to pick me polka back into his life and he “chose me” instead of the OW. He actually thought that should have been enough evidence that he was “all in” because after 24 years of marriage, he chose me…again. Let the absurdity of that sink in for a while. I guess the first time he chose me, like when we walked down the aisle and promised in front of family and friends to love, honor and remain faithful to one another was just a practice run? I was supposed to be flattered by that??

    For three years after I learned about his cheating, I pick me danced with the best of them. I tried my best to make the marriage a better place to be for the lost little woodland creature. Had to be careful about what we even watched on TV because anytime the subject of affairs would come up, his wittle bwitty feelings would get hurt and hims would get the sadz!

    Here’s the thing though. He didn’t choose me; he chose to keep half of his assets. At the end of the day that’s really all he cared about and when I finally had that little known operation called cranium extraction from rectum, and told his sorry ass I wanted a divorce he “reconnected” with the OW and they are married now. Same result you mentioned except I wasted 3 years in my 40s to get to that point.

    CL is right. This isn’t the pain olympics. Cheaters suck no matter how they leave but maybe this will enable you to get to that Gaining a Life part a little sooner.

    You are mighty!

  • SS,

    I’m in the very, very, very beginning stages of “dating” – which basically consists of me looking at women walking by and trying to have conversations with the ones around me that I meet. It’s interesting to be reminded how different people are with different personalities and different experiences. Anyway, I don’t have a whole lot of advice regarding dating, other than don’t do anything you don’t feel ready for. There’s no rush.

    However regarding being left, CL is right, we were all left. Just in different ways. My ex checked out and was planning to get her married boyfriend to leave his wife for her. She announced to me she was leaving, I lived in limbo for a year, and then finally divorced her after I got tired of living with a liar. So my advice in that regard is when you miss your ex, just remember what it was like living with this guy.

    Every day……having to wonder who he’s with….who he’s texting….why is he late……what happened to his paycheck……is he happy… he sad….where was he at lunch……am I doing this right? And all of this goes on every day – EVERY F-ING DAY! It makes you feel like you’re losing your sanity and it’s absolutely exhausting.

    Once you think about that, and really think about that, the future doesn’t look or feel nearly as bad. The best part of being divorced (and at meh) is I couldn’t care less where my ex is, who she’s with, or what she’s doing. Is there drama in her life – undoubtedly – that’s how she lives. But I don’t care about it, I am not affected by it, and I’m happy to come home to my kids and my dog. Even though everyday life’s problems don’t go away (and can get harder), they’re sooooo much easier to deal with once the stress and the exhaustion that comes with living with living with a cheating spouse is gone.

    You’ll get there once you realize this, and you’ll be so much happier and optimistic about the future. Heck I feel more relieved just typing this. Good luck and know that you’ll get there.

    • “Even though everyday life’s problems don’t go away (and can get harder), they’re sooooo much easier to deal with once the stress and the exhaustion that comes with living with living with a cheating spouse is gone.”

      Amen! So much of my anger/depression has been lifting. Even when those inevitable sad moments settle back down, it’s brief and is not as deeply wounding as what it was trying to stomach my cheater spouse.

    • “And all of this goes on every day – EVERY F-ING DAY! It makes you feel like you’re losing your sanity and it’s absolutely exhausting.”

      @Blindside, I completely agree. And recovery from that devastation brings the opposite — now I feel sane, centered, and energized, unlike the hot mess I was when I left Woody on August 9. My Road Trip to Meh is really working as I am able to be my authentic self everywhere I go, spending time with people who REALLY love me, joyfully entering new friendships (some from CN!), and connecting with new landscapes. The hiking has been incredible, whether alone or with an old or new friend, from Maine to California. (Spent a special day with JeepTess in Clifton Gorge, Ohio — hi, Tess!)

      As I drove over the past couple of days through the desert in California and Arizona, I truly enjoyed every minute, felt deeply satisfied and peaceful just to be alive and fortunate enough to soak in the beauty while listening to audiobooks and cranking my favorite tunes to sing at the top of my lungs. Last night, for the first time since DDay1 last January, I slept over 8 hours without long wakeful periods. God, that felt good!

      This morning I can honestly say that I’m happier to be alone than I ever was to be “with” my spouse once he started acting weird, with all the gaslighting, stonewalling, passive aggressive silent treatments, and the whole nine yards of abusive defense mechanisms he reflected onto me once he started leading his secret life. I’m glad I found out the truth behind his Cluster B chicanery so I could free myself from the impossible job of making him happy and go back to being happily me.

  • “Rejection is your SUPERPOWER. Think about it — you’ve endured pretty much the worst humiliation and rejection life can hand out — and you survived it.”

    I am both still a little cautious (and still a little busy — hello raising a toddler pretty much by myself), but I will remember this always going forward. As hurt as I’ve been, I’m also feeling more invincible on some level. Sort of like the whole “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” thing. Rejection? Psh, I’ll be able to shrug it off (or laugh it off if I’m ever rejected by an overcooked potato — LOL Tracy…)

    • “”or laugh it off if I’m ever rejected by an overcooked potato — LOL Tracy…)””

      bwahaha…that IS funny.
      If it weren’t so sad.
      Around here, you’d be lucky if the potato had teeth.

  • I feel mighty. And he left. You will get there too. My cheater left a few weeks after we officially separated–the time it took him to get schmoopie to let him move in( yes the one he claimed to have met after we separated–suuuuurrreee!). This was after 4 years of wreckonciliation after a one year affair with a friend of ours. 36 years down the tubes.. it took 6 months of counselling to understand that he was abusive( ultimate chump)–for years… he sucks and I am free!!! There is absolutely no shane in that and I had nothing to work with. It takes time to really see and when you do you will be so glad he left…

  • Dear Sleuth,

    I understand you. My expiration date arrived and Baron Sparkledick von Glitterballs exchanged me for a fresher product, a flatterfuck about 30 years younger than I am. In fact, I found out that SvG had very high standards for freshness that had nothing to do with my age.

    Do I feel left? I did, but not any longer. I feel relieved. I feel LIBERATED.
    Do I feel honest? Yes. I have never taken unfair advantage of anyone or feel that I am entitled to anything except fair treatment. This is Chump Lady’s gauge of a good character.
    Do I feel stupid? Yes. In fact I feel VERY stupid. But no one is perfect and I am doing something about my stupidity.

    By definition all this makes me mighty.

    Chump Lady has lots of advice about fixing our pickers and why we let ourselves get caught in elaborate choreographies with cheating cake-eaters. Be mighty and read up and be even more mighty.

    But PLEASE do not allow yourself to feel left!

    Leave a cheater, gain a life!

  • It’s been almost 2 years since dday and a year since the divorce. Still there are days I don’t feel mighty. I feel empty. Sad. Still wondering what the hell happened. He isn’t. I’m sure he’s got some girl wrapped around his arm cause he’s the type he needs someone around and can’t be alone. He needs attention. And he’s getting it. For any girl that gives him time of day. While I’m online dating maybe justto kill time or don’t like coming to an empty home and wondering what I’ll do with my life. There’s gotta be more to this part of life than to just survive this shit. Maybe it’s one of those down days. I wanna feel mighty. At times I do. But it’s almost as I’m trying to convince myself. I know. Stay ????

    • IAP – all of us have those days – heck weeks sometimes…. But focus on you, find something YOU love – Fu*k them.

  • Once you are betrayed there is no going back. I forgave the first EA as a mid life crisis. I didn’t dwell on it but it was never quite the same. I had a lot invested and I hung in for 20 more years! Having said I was relatively happy and he appeared to be too. I accepted we had as a normal long term marriage, no fireworks but lots of good times together. . Then poof! He’s announces he’s in love with someone else and he wants a divorce. Well this time things are very different. I’m older and have no patience for this nonsense and I’m really really fucking angry. I didn’t try to save this marriage, no pick me dancing , no, just get the fuck out NOW ! It was more like a great big inconvenience for me. Looking back I see that I speckled and accepted this jerk because I thought I owed him! Go figure?

    I am 6 months out, there are days like right now when I’m sick with a cold that I feel sorry for myself, then I read a post on this website and poof! I’m MIGHTY again. Who gives a rat’s ass what these jerks do or with who, they are fucking losers and we’re better off without them. We know it, just believe it!

  • If only Is been so lucky to have been left. But instead I stayed until I couldn’t stay anymore, which after 16 years with the conman/cheater, left me financial dire straights. Emotionally numb. Isolated.

    Then the rage came about with my decision to leave the bs. manipulation and abuse turned from me to the kids. Oldest teen turned on me for a few years.

    I now know he was cheating for most the marriage and loved the cover of normalcy; which is a cruel thing to do to someone. He watched me suffer for years, not comprehending what was truly going on and ultimately he didnt give a shit about me to end my misery and just get out. This is not a case of loving me too much (picking me over schmoopies) to leave – I was of use.

    He would never have freed me with leaving which ultimately trapped in an abusive, loveless existence.

    You, however, are now free. Consider yourself lucky. You have 1 less asshole in your life. Yay!!!

  • 1. Being in a situation where my 46 year old cheater wife didn’t leave but instead wants to stay with me (she just “wanted to use” the 24 year old massage therapist for awhile- or at least until she got caught). A lot can be said (at least from my perspective) for the cheater to just leave. Many a time over the past 5 months I’ve envisioned how much better that would have felt. Instead I get emotional manipulation that leads me into the pick me dance and the uncovering of more lies where I’m like ‘wow how much more dirty, gross, and horrible can this get’.

    2. I think I would rather date/marry a fellow chump. This sort of hell is difficult to live through. I’d rather spend the rest of my life with a fellow comrade who has been through it also.

    • Zell,
      “I think I would rather date/marry a fellow chump.”
      I think so, too. People who haven’t been through this just don’t know how awful it is. Plus, I think by definition chumps are loyal, loving people; that’s what makes them chumps! Those qualities are exactly the things we chumps missed out on with our cheaters.

      • Funny how loyal and loving is a characteristic we look for. Shouldn’t that be basic human decency? Esp for your loved ones. Sad

      • I wouldn’t recommend ‘looking’ for a fellow chump.

        Someone who has strong boundaries. Ethics. Backbone. That’s sexy.

        Some people are never chumps and some chumps are minimally chumps because they know exactly what they want and have the fortitude to call bullshit when they see it.

        I’m trying to evolve into such a person professional and personally. The sort that repels manipulators and attracts good upstanding people. It’s been a journey but worthwhile.

        • “And all of this goes on every day – EVERY F-ING DAY! It makes you feel like you’re losing your sanity and it’s absolutely exhausting.”

          @Blindside, I completely agree. And recovery from that devastation brings the opposite — now I feel sane, centered, and energized, unlike the hot mess I was when I left Woody on August 9. My Road Trip to Meh is really working as I am able to be my authentic self everywhere I go, spending time with people who REALLY love me, joyfully entering new friendships (some from CN!), and connecting with new landscapes. The hiking has been incredible, whether alone or with an old or new friend, from Maine to California. (Spent a special day with JeepTess in Clifton Gorge, Ohio — hi, Tess!)

          As I drove over the past couple of days through the desert in California and Arizona, I truly enjoyed every minute, felt deeply satisfied and peaceful just to be alive and fortunate enough to soak in the beauty while listening to audiobooks and cranking my favorite tunes to sing at the top of my lungs. Last night, for the first time since DDay1 last January, I slept over 8 hours without long wakeful periods. God, that felt good!

          This morning I can honestly say that I’m happier to be alone than I ever was to be “with” my spouse once he started acting weird, with all the gaslighting, stonewalling, passive aggressive silent treatments, and the whole nine yards of abusive defense mechanisms he reflected onto me once he started leading his secret life. I’m glad I found out the truth behind his Cluster B chicanery so I could free myself from the impossible job of making him happy and go back to being happily me.

        • Ah yes! A healed chump then. That’s what I’d be okay with to build a new life together. And yes, the never chump with boundaries, ethics, backbone and respect.

  • What is so hard for me is that ex was the one who I thought had helped me gain a life in the first place. I spent most of my dating years being used and/or rejected over and over again. The thing is, I am not insecure in other ways. I know I am smart and competent and accomplished. I also believe I have good character. I want the people around me to be happy and I try to facilitate that where I can. I try to be friendly towards and accepting of others (except Schmoopie, I don’t accept her). I am also hard working and have a desire to be useful to my employer. I have never been fired or downsized. It is only when it comes to romance that things keep falling apart. I Was horribly emotionally abused by the guy who preceded ex. When I finally permanently called it quits with that one he told me that “all guys are jerks sometimes” and that if I thought I could actually find happiness with one man for the rest of my life I was delusional. I thought I had proved him wrong with ex. I thought ex was the one who truly loved me for who I was and would always love me. In the early years I felt so secure in his love for me. The devalue and discard happened so slowly that it took years before I started to have even the tiniest of doubts. Even then I thought that if he did eventually divorce me due to my inability to live up to his standards he wouldn’t cheat first. To have him blow up our marriage in the way he did is so devastating on so many levels. He boosted my confidence to new highs only to pull it back down into the gutter again. He proved the previous jerk right in the end. On the one hand I would like to date again for the companionship and the intimacy, but I don’t know if I could ever truly commit myself. Any future relationships I might have (even with the boiled potato former chump dobro player) I would just be wondering when he was going to leave just like the one I honestly thought was “true love”. True love is something that happens to other people. I thought I had it, but I didn’t.

    • ” I want the people around me to be happy and I try to facilitate that where I can.”

      This is not a defect, but narcs and cluster Bs purposely seek this out. It makes us perfect manipulation and exploitation material.

      As you navigate back toward dating, etc. you might want to keep this in mind.

    • I completely understand what you have written. I, too liked make my family and friends hapoy. I thought the current spouse was the better man I deserved. Most certainly after I got out of a marriage from a cheater! This “better man” had been cheated on and I verified that fact. Apparently it didn’t really hurt him though. Then years and years later he started acting weied and strange. He was distant, giving prolonged silent treatments, contemptful, untrue attributes toward me, gaslighting, & cruelty ensued for years all while I hung on for dear life in the most horrible physical pain due to autoimmune diseases and neuropathy. He decided to divorce me in his head without telling me and his affair followed. The part that gets me is he knew what I had been through before. He saw the physical struggles I had to endure. Throughout all of this I’ve learned, he only cares about himself. I wish I had known that before I married him. Even now, I told him that I never thought he would ever hurt me and all I get is a blank stare and zero words. He really cannot comprehend what devastation he has caused.

      At one point I was super mighty by leaving and then my failing health appeared and I’m stuck with him due to health insurance. I truly thought this man was the better man I deserved. Apparently he thinks this as well since he is “helping” me. I’m glad the cloud lifted to show me the truth. It is both sad and enlightening at the same time. I no longer believe in happiness with another but only happiness within oneself.

  • Whether you sent the cheater away, or the cheater left for the other co-cheater, once the cheater cheats, it is best that the cheater is gone. The trust is broken. Yes, I tried to repair it, and yes, I thought it could be done, at the time, but the more time that passes the more I accept and believe that once the trust has been violated, the relationship is over. It may be a quick death, or a slow death, but the relationship is doomed.

    As for dating — it is difficult under the best of circumstances to find a soul you are compatible with and one that you can trust. Unfortunately, you cannot believe someone is a chump or a Christian, or even a good person just because they tell you they are. If you do find a fellow chump — you may not be compatible in other ways. It is not just common interests and values, but chemistry, too. It is time and availability and circumstances. There are many people, of both sexes, who go out into the dating market believing that they are a superior product and potential suitors should be lining up for the opportunity to date their wonderful selves — but in reality, if they have that attitude, you would probably be best served to run in the other direction. You may know you are a good person, and you really are employed, and you really do have your own money, and don’t tell lies, and many other good things — but you may not meet anyone who appreciates any of these wonderful things. Dating is hard. Chances are, you never expected to have to date again after you married. I didn’t even like dating very much when I was young, I certainly do not like it now. Fortunately for me I am old enough that I do not feel the need to marry again, and I will never be having any more children. I really try to make friends with new people, regardless of their sex, who have common interests and the time to pursue those interests. The way I spend my free time is so much better than any dating I ever experienced. I hope you have a better time with it than I ever did, but I guess my message would be “Don’t get your hopes up.” If you find a new partner, let the relationship evolve from friendship and don’t be in a hurry. You learn many things from spending time with someone, and if you don’t try to rush into a RELATIONSHIP, you reduce the chances you will get hurt. If you have great expectations, you should be prepared for great disappointment. Set your boundaries to protect your heart, and your pocketbook, and you should be able to enjoy some time with potential suitors — just don’t be surprised that the process isn’t easy.

    • I like your approach to just go out and make new friends and hang out with those friends male or female. That is more or less what I have been doing because it is “safe”. I have been having a good time with this new outdoor meetups group I have joined. I have been on a number of good weekend hikes on the days that ex has the kids. This keeps me active and socializing. All good.

    • I tried to repair trust, but I kept having obsessive thoughts about not knowing the truth and (or maybe, because) it turns out he kept hiding stuff from the past during two years of reconciliation. Perhaps he had broken past habits, but not this one and Im still baffled at how someone may not want to tell their spouse everything. Like, if I even cheated, I couldn’t wait to tell!

  • Dear SS,

    I pick me danced, went through a year of marriage counseling with Douchebag Debbie…..and got left. After the divorce, I spent another year depressed, embarrassed, and feeling like a loser.

    I am also dating a Chump. Actually, we are now in a committed dating relationship. I didn’t know she was a chump until our 3rd date.

    NOT ONE DAY goes by that I am THANKFUL I LOST the pick me dance.
    My life is the best it has ever been. I feel like I have been re-born. I discovered new strengths, hobbies, friends and a kick-ass attitude towards life. I have a wonderful woman in my life who reciprocates respect, love, and commitment. I even have a new 16 yr. old “daughter” who adores me.

    I didn’t lose in the infidelity triangle. I AM THE WINNER.

    And….YOU are, too.

  • I was married for 10 yrs . Before Dday- I think I pick me danced, unknowingly – for about 6 months. At one point I offered to separate -to give him some space- as his acting-out was getting weirder and he started accusing that I stressed him out. It felt like I was dying inside, a deep emptiness, as if no wish in my life would ever come true and that there was no joy.

    Then I found out !Begged and pleaded that he was making a mistake and all whats happened is some foolishness etc etc.. The more I pleaded, the more arrogant he was .He declared that “the AP had more enthusiasm than me and that she gave him a BUZZ. That she was a “refreshing change” in his life!

    I cannot explain the rage I felt …Those words stung and they rang louder everyday…and I switched to survival mode .
    I also felt an immense sense of relief – that it wasn’t me, that was the problem!

    After he got thrown out of the house…divorced and the finances were settled-( I got the house with the large mortgage ,his savings and the dog) ; he wanted his 80,000$ stereo system. He opted to store it in my house..he said he will LET me use it until he finds a new place to live.

    He married the AP ,moved interstate and after 18 months and offered to come pick up the stereo system. I declined- very politely…
    So he had to pay a hefty sum to organise a professional removalist ….

    Friends….fellow chumps… some dishes are best served cold … I dearly want to be a fly on that wall, when he opens up his music system, because the insides of it all are smashed up with an Iron Hammer!

    Not very meh of me …..but it gave me a BUZZZZZZZZ

    • “Then I found out !Begged and pleaded that he was making a mistake and all what’s happened is some foolishness etc. The more I pleaded, the more arrogant he was .”

      Boy does all of that sound familiar. I told him he was throwing away everything good in his life for shit, but that just made him want to defend his sparkly turn all the more. In retrospect that was a rather stupid approach on my part as I still wanted to keep him back then, but maybe it saved me from having him “chose” me. Logic really doesn’t work on these idiots.

  • ‘You are going to go on a coffee date with a man who looks like a boiled potato and he’s going to reject you.’
    Oh geez soo funny, needed a good laugh!

  • I haven’t read through yet but as a word of warning: Don’t take them at their word that they were chumps. Literally every boyfriend I ever had, including the husband who cheated, said they’d been cheated on before… when, in fact, it was exactly the opposite. They’d cheated so many times and broken up/gotten back together that when they’d discover that their off-again girlfriend had slept with someone else during a break up or gone on a date, that was cheating. It’s a great tool for them to get you feeling bad for them and wanting to nurture and protect them, knowing what it’s like yourself.

    Don’t believe that shit. Finding a fellow chump isn’t what a new relationship should be sparked by anyway… it’s unimportant.

    • My ex told me that his first wife cheated on him. After my marriage blew up in my face, I contacted her and found out the truth. He had been messing around on her for years. I no longer believe him. He’s a liar.

  • I have oh so many thoughts about this post! First, as a fellow chump (well, *former* chump because, while I got chumped, for once in my life, I decided not to let that be the defining word in my life’s story), I offer you hugs.

    Second, listen. The real chump here is your ex. And his new wife is the rube. And I’m sorry that it sucks but one thing the Chump Lady wrote rings true 100%: your ex’s butterflies will migrate again. What he did was shitty. It’s okay to mourn the loss of what you truly BELIEVED your marriage was but focus on being good to yourself and become the love of your own life.

    I still get angry about my ex. I’m human and it wasn’t all that long ago. But I remember that now SHE gets to deal with the joy of his mean teasing and him expecting to be waited on and his selfishness in bed (these were some of my relationship issues – everyone has their own thing) and I think, “yeah, have fun with that, girl.”

    Don’t grieve too long. You deserve much, much better. Send yourself flowers (I did last week, courtesy of FTD – bonus because I earned 18 United Mileage Plus points for every dollar – and I even wrote myself a note telling myself how cool I am!), get the delux pedicure (cheap and excellent massage), or whatever makes you feel amazing that your ex was neglecting while he was sending those 7,000 text messages that one month.

    I repeat: you deserve better than he gave. So, for now, learn how to be the love of your own life. You’re worth it.

  • Amen, ChumpLady.

    SS, it won’t feel this way now, but you actually are “lucky” in that the cheater didn’t make you think that you “won” only to have to deal with another D-day. I think that’s what happens with most people here.

  • This is a good reminder for us Chumps today, even the ones further down the road of this process who know this to be true but still occassionally question our worth/mightiness.

    My ex and his Schmoopie 2.0 have ramped up the efforts to normalize thier twu wuvs (she was our 14 year old daughter’s 20-something year old sports coach when almost 50 year old asshat was volunteer coaching). The both got fired from their jobs 18 months ago when I outed them to the head coach and principal. Now they are showing up together at the kids’ school, at sports events still trying to participate (had to be told by the school not appropriate), and now inviting my daughter’s team over to their house for a sleepover (since the school and coach can’t control this). Did I mention we attend a Catholic school?

    It’s a shit sandwich that keeps on giving. Ex is trying to take over every parenting activity with the kids. I did most of the adulting and he did most of the funning. I feel like he’s trying to buy the kids and reel them in. He’s planning a trip to Hawaii next summer with my teenagers and his shmoopie.

    I don’t want him or the relationship back. I hope she gets what she deserves once the sparkle wears off both of those turds. But I find myself dreading school events and being ashamed and wishing away this time which should be so much fun. I hate him for that.

    He hurts like a MF’er to see your kids on board with the situation, but I’m not sure what else they’re supposed to do since he dangles trips, stuff, college tuition, etc… over their heads.

    Please let me find my mighty again!!! I’m sorry to all who are going through this!

    • @twiceachump, I’m so sorry you have to put up with those turds in your children’s lives. That’s definitely the cheater’s gift that keeps on giving, even worse than the STDs because there’s no antibiotics to get rid of the pustules showing up at school events or to prevent them going camping.

      Every time I read your comments I really identify since we both were chumped by cheaters who like ’em young, and I think of you, By God, This One Is Mighty! You haven’t lost it. You just need to reach inside yourself and give your heart a big squeeze to get it circulating again.

      Love and hugs and fist-bumps —

      • Thanks so much Meht for your comforting words. It’s a blow to the ole self esteem when they have a young shmoopie, but I wouldn’t want to go back to that age. I’m not sure why I let it bother me so much. As I sit on the couch with my teenage son and he wants me to rub his head and we have special/joking way we talk to each other, I know she (or him) will never have that genuine, intimate relationship with my kids. I actually wonder if they choose the young ones not so much for their looks but more because they are easily manipulated. They don’t have the life experience to call bull shit. And here I go untangling….

        • Hm, I don’t think this is untangling the skein of their particular fuckupedness so much as analyzing the pattern the old pervs share so we can recognize yet another reason to KNOW THAT THEY SUCK!

          I agree it’s not about the looks. Without a doubt I’m actually a lot better looking–and better in the sack!– than Bazooka Jane. Choosing a gullible kid to manipulate so the aging cheater can avoid being challenged by a normal relationship with a mature partner is pretty damn sucky. So your real soul-mate is 19, Woody? You can only be yourself and like who you are when you’re with someone 30 years younger? Wow, that tells me a lot about your own developmental level, kiddo. Have fun feeling like a teen again while I go hang out with the grown-ups and enjoy a glass of wine that your girlfriend can’t even order when you take her out! Unless you get her a fake ID? That would be a romantic gift, if you ever bought gifts.

  • My 65yr old cheater X dumped me too. Why? Because when I found out about what he was doing, all he had left was dry cake, no chocolate mouse filling, no icing nor a tall glass of milk to go with it…that is all I could manage to serve up while I got busy getting my duckies in a row.

    Who did he think he was to keep expecting the best from me after he had just given me his worst?? He was always nothing more than a cold shriveled boiled potatoe who thought he farted rainbows…but in actuality, he was a lazy pompous ass with a god complex. He thought his lies, charm and money could keep his circus going as it was, but he quickly found out that he underestimated my own sense of value and worth.

    The very thought of “servicing” him for another day made my skin crawl…so he smartened up and left post haste when it dawned on him that his gig with me was up.

    That’s the way to do it smarty pants…giddy up and go ride off into the sunset with all your grandiose plans of harems, fame and fortune. I’ve got much better things to do and sure as hell don’t want to do any of them with you lurking in the shadows.

    • Sweetz, what is it with these old farts ? They have it all and throw it away for what? I’m with you if Asshole thought I’d fall apart and cry and scream he got a rude awakening! Kicked his sorry ass out the door and moved on. Glad to be rid of my 68 year old shriveled boiled potato too! LOL

      • I could be wrong but I think that the older we get, the less we are able to tolerate this kind of bad character from these guys (and gals). Life is too short to wallow in the “could of, should of, would of’s’…it is what it is and it ain’t pretty or acceptable. Good on you lyndaloo! THAT’s the way to do it!

        What is it with these old farts? Same as with the younger ones…they do not bond to anything/anyone except to their fantasies…they live for the excitement of the moment and give no thought to what they throw away as a result hoping for something “better” that they don’t deserve. Be glad that you don’t have to help him change his Depends, smell his rank ass, or work your ass off to help him “keep it up” in the future…be glad that you are no longer his appliance. 🙂

    • “Who did he think he was to keep expecting the best from me after he had just given me his worst??”

      This is why I love CN — everyone once in a while, a familiar concept is expressed in a new way that makes you go BING!!

      The trouble with narcs: they feel they are entitled to our best when they are actively and purposely giving us their worst.

      Filed away and will be used again.

  • Like you, my wasband is the one who left. There was no remorse or wreckonciliation attempt from him. I was devastated when my ex walked out. I’m glad he did, otherwise I might not be writing this reply today.

    Hopefully one day you’ll realize it really doesn’t matter who left who. What matters is you’re no longer being subjected to the lies, betrayal, deception, and abuse. You weren’t abandoned…you were set free.

    • I love this! You were set free or you set yourself free. It really doesn’t matter which way it went, it only matters that you are out of it now. CL is right about the Pain Olympics – tho I do my best to remember that, it’s hard. You’re out. You get to go out and get mighty and do that gain a life thing. Yay!

      • Speaking of not feeling might…I’m in the process of getting a life (I left) and, dare I say, the pieces are starting to come togeher little by little, but every inch I move forward, I feel like every success goes against my grain and instead of feeling triumphant, I feel bitter. And sort of creeped out.

        Change is scary, but I expected to finally feel better to be taking steps forward, but instead I feel like things are going wrong.
        I do feel scared about my independence because I perceive many risks about a life on my own, whether they are realistic or not.
        Can’t shake the eerie feelings. Going foward, nonetheless.

        Any advice/consolation, chump friends?

  • I picked me danced and I guess you could say that I won. MOW didn’t want to leave her 2 kids and husband just yet, so I was the consolation prize. I won the grand sweepstakes in the wife appliance challenge! Woot!

    The downsides to winning the pick me dance (and there are many) is that the pick me dance never stops. You somehow think that if you win this one, and you make your marriage great again that there will be a time when you won’t worry about policing the marriage. You think that someday you’ll finally regain that trust that flew out the window when you found out your spouse was having an affair. You also think that somehow your spouse will have a character transplant and care about you. You think that the OW/OM will somehow vanish into the background while the two of you go off into the sunset again.

    Instead you end up enabling poor character and bad habits in someone else. Before you know it, years have passed and you are scratching your head at how little progress you’ve made on this “we’ll get through this and be better for it” thing. You continue your hyper vigilance. You find more and more evidence that leads you to believe that he is not the kind of person you thought you married.

    At the end of 3 years of pick me dancing (I finally came up with some nerve to divorce), I finally slapped myself into the reality I was living and saw my relationship for the lopsided mess it had become. I had become the breadwinner because he couldn’t handle working a job where he didn’t make what he thought he was worth. I cooked all the meals because he was going to school for the 3rd time (which I was paying for again). I did all the laundry, the cleaning, sewed him clothing and basically made our life together possible. He didn’t lift a finger. When I wanted to celebrate holidays, he made up excuses as to why we shouldn’t be doing this because “we” didn’t believe in fairy tales (like Santa Clause). Basically he squashed all joy out of my life. He isolated me from my family. He had me so busy doing his bidding that I completely forgot that “I” even existed or had big gaping needs that were going unfulfilled. That’s what it looks like to win the pick-me dance. Dignity and self respect fly over the cuckoo’s nest at break neck speed.

    Him leaving you? Be happy it’s over. You were spared more dysfunction.

    • marriagedetective,
      Raising my hand here, another pick me dance winner! Arrrrgggg!
      The years pass by. I actually even forgot about that dance, so busy with life, raising children, ( even when this type of character stays, you remain the present, sane, loving parent), career, being there for everyone and every thing. You never stop, you can do this and you do. Just the way a Chump type person is. The giver, the doer.
      Still, there comes a time, when you look at this other person, the cheater, and you put together all the things they have not been to you or to your kids. It matters not whether they have cheated another time or not. They, Still. Possess. Real. Shitty. Character. Traits.
      It always goes back to that. Their character sucks. It is NOT you.
      I salute you for getting out after another three years.
      Hold your head high. Your Mighty crown fits perfectly!


  • I too was left by my cheater at 18 weeks pregnant. I also asked for the chance to try and fix the relationship and go to counselling. He pretended he was thinking about it but I know he had already made his mind up. He took the OW to meet his parents during the time he was supposed to be thinking about our marriage. I thought that seen as I was pregnant I needed to keep our family together. As soon as he told me he wouldn’t stop seeing OW I knew that our marriage was over. I internalised all his blame shifting and still do to some extent. I am 8 months out and I feel mighty in term of having to give birth and take care of a newborn and a 3 year old practically by myself. I still have moments of self doubt and I still try and figure out why this happened. I can see that I’m better off without someone that could cheat, lie and check out on me when I needed them the most.

    I know from experience with my parents my father was a serial cheater for about 15 years. My mum stayed for us children and because she was a SAHM. My father left for final OW about 16 years ago. My mum went into rehab for alcohol addiction a few weeks after he left. In the end both of these ended in the same way. I was just 15 years younger than my mum. As CL says it’s not the pain olympics and so however it happens it is horrendously painful and can take a long time to recover from.

  • SS
    Don’t feel bad about the pick me dance. I’m a two time chump and I was not given the chance to do the pick me dance on either occasion. Both situations were exit affairs. Both married their AP. The first has turned out pretty badly for the ex. The second is too soon to tell. But here is the deal-it does not matter how these exit affair marriages turn out. What matters is what you are going to do with your life. For me, dating has taken a back seat to the following:
    Having a great time being a dad to my two youngest children including coaching my son’s AAU B-Ball team;
    Spending much more time with my adult children and my grandchildren;
    Exercising every day;
    Improving my business by having an improved outlook on life. I now appreciate more than ever how much I help others in my profession; and
    Doing whatever I want on my free time.
    I think that is pretty mighty even though I did not choose to end either marriage. You got this SS-you can be mighty.

    • I’ve enjoyed throwing myself into my kids’ sports (although ex is now bringing his young shmoopie who was 14 year old daughter’s coach too), and I really have enjoyed getting my exercise in. I get on the elyptical in the morning before work and I go out for a walk on my lunch break weather permitting. It really is what I need to clear my head. I’ve not pursued dating yet. I don’t want to make another mistake. I just don’t trust my picker yet. I’ve married to very self centered men in my 49 years of life. I seem to go for those sparkly turds.

      Although I do sometimes think when my 2 kids are off to college in the next couple of years, I may want some companionship. Not sure a 3rd marriage for me is in the cards.

      Good luck Icantbelieve. Stay mighty!

      • Thank you twiceachump. I know all about the female sparkly turds, and what I have found is that they did tell me how shitty they were, I just wasn’t listening. Good luck to you and you stay mighty as well!

    • Thank you. Your words inspire me. 5 months in from Dday with cheater wife. Your words give me hope.

  • I’ve got this to say about “mighty.” It isn’t being able to (as my mother would have said) “hold on to a man.” It isn’t winning the pick-me dance.

    Mighty is getting knocked down. Facing financial catastrophe. Handling D-Day plus a job, or kids, or a sick parent. Worse–handling D-Day when you have cancer or MS or another debilitating condition. Or God forbid, a child is seriously ill. It’s handling D-Day with a cheater who won’t pay support, who drains the bank account, who steals the kids’ college fund to take Schmoops and her kids to Disney. It’s waking up alone in a new state or community after quitting your job to follow Cheaterpants to use new job. It’s fighting a malignant narcissist in court. It’s hitting the gym when you are tired and you hate how you look. It’s listening to kids for the 37th time who don’t understand why CheaterDad doesn’t show up for visitation. It’s watching Schmoops living in your house, driving your car, showing up at your kids’ functions. And still moving forward. Fixing up the new or old place. Getting in shape. Making new friends. Going back to school. Saving money to take the kids to the local amusement park. It’s taking your own life back and fixing your picker. It’s being the sane parent and the friend with boundaries and the worker who deserves a promotion. Mightiness is about having your world blow up and then rebuilding it better, stronger, healthier.

    • As always LAJ, you rock!!! It’s also lending support to fellow chumps no matter where they are in the stage of dealing with this crap. It’s having the talent to call a spade a spade and using the 2 x 4 only when nescessary. Thank you for your mighty!! I always anticipate your reply to my posts and others. TeenageBarbieShmoopie will always bring a smile to my face when having to deal with the young’en and the old cheater man. Thank you for bringing some humor to my despair

    • Amen! Could not agree more and working on all that. Be the sane parent. No truer words spoken.

  • I really needed this post and the excellent thread that followed. Thanks for the collective wisdom, Chump Nation.

  • Agree entirely with CL.

    It doesn’t matter much whether your cheater left, ‘stuck around’ or got booted.

    Just to be clear, in most cases where a cheater ‘sticks around’, they DO NOT do the Hollywood ‘I am so, so sorry, I made a mistake, I will work to make this up to you for the rest of my life’ routine. Nope, they act like horrible, evil, self centered assholes who aren’t willing to give an inch (a term I apply to women too, in the interest of gender equality). My wife acted like the cat that had gotten the cream, something I never expected. I couldn’t figure how this previously empathetic, kind and loving woman suddenly was taking great delight in exclaiming how much she was enjoying the freedom, etc. She told me she wasn’t sure whether she wanted me anymore and couldn’t tell me whether she wanted to fix things. She told me that she needed space to figure that out (hint: I told her to go and swivel. To quote De Nero in Ronin; “If there is any doubt, there is no doubt”.).

    This is what most people’s ‘stick around’ looks like. We have effectively ALL been left the moment the affair began, the difference is that when caught, our partner is hedging their bets. It’s like the pilot bailed out of the plane, the plane still keeps on flying (for awhile at least!). There are a multitude of reasons that a cheater might leave instead of trying to hedge; they’re not worried about financial consequences of not sticking around; they don’t feel like friends/family might judge them if they don’t appear to ‘work on it’; they don’t think there’s any chance that you will suffer them. Etc.

    So, it’s far from a black mark on you if your cheater left. It doesn’t make you less chumpy and it doesn’t make you less mighty. In Every. Single. Case. The cheater is the one with the deep character flaws that led them to act this way. We all got chumped because we got sucked in by horrible, self centered people who weren’t willing to honour the promises they’d made to us.

    Mightiness is not about booting the cheater out, either. It’s about moving on with your life. Not to put words in CLs mouth but I sincerely believe the LEAVE A CHEATER part of her tagline is not about being the one to kick the cheater out. It’s about emotionally disentangling yourself from that asshole. Figure it this way – your cheater walks out – you are still mentally entangled, you wish they would come back, etc. If you can figure out how to get yourself to the mental state where your response to the idea of them coming back is “HELL NO!” then you have left your cheater, gained a life, and become mighty. Whether or not your cheater left you or you booted them out has no baring on this.

    You can be mighty just by leaving that heaving sack of shit that used to be your partner as an ever decreasing dot in your rearview mirror.

  • I keep telling my single friends who are furiously online dating to give single life a chance. It really is awesome!

    In any case, you will be ready when the narrative is “I hope I like him” instead of “I hope he likes me.”

  • How do I move on? I’ve been cheated, left hanging, and then dumped, but somehow I still want to get back with him.

    So, I’m in my 30s and I’ve been in love with this guy for seven years – he has been my only long-term, serious relationship and I haven’t loved anyone else. Most of it was LDR, with a few years spent in the same location, and one year spent not talking (he told me he had a girlfriend so I cut off all contact with him. But as luck would have it, he was in the same city where I went to do my graduate studies three years back and we ‘found’ each other again and fell in love again and were together…).

    Last year, I went through a series of upheavals (bereavement, parental divorce, visa expiry so me having to return home etc) and was leaning on him for support (just like I had supported him during his tough times). I thought he is an incredible person, smart, beautiful inside out. I did everything I could to make the LDR work – flying regularly to see him etc. There were of course difficult moments when I’d offload my grief on him or when I would get insecure or be unable to handle arguments properly (he would stonewall and this would make me insecure). I met his parents, his friends and I thought that’s a sure sign he’s into me and committed to me even though talking about the future or commitments was taboo with him. Above all, I trusted him – he is a workaholic geek so I thought he wasn’t the sort of person to run after b**bs and b**ts – I thought if something wasn’t sitting right, he’d tell me – or break up.

    As it turns out, three months ago, during an idyllic holiday to the Caribbean (which cost me SO much money!) for his friend’s wedding, I discovered what no woman hopes to discover… Explicit messages, pictures – including him sharing the pictures of himself from the places where we were travelling as a couple, kiss emojis and ‘I miss you’ sort of messages on his phone… with his ex. She got back in touch last Christmas… and they started flirting in earnest since May-June (around the time that I spent the last of my savings to buy tickets to the wedding).

    I was devastated. This person was my best friend; I loved him, admired him and thought the world of him and didn’t see this coming. It wasn’t something I could ever have expected of him – I thought he had an impeccable character even if he had some other flaws such as the commitment issue or the lack of romantic gestures or effort on his part. I’ve been in poor shape since. He said the other woman made him laugh and he didn’t feel the same way about me or see a future with me (nevermind that when things were shit for him, she didn’t do much but I was the one who stood by him and gave him relentless support – isn’t this the sort of person you want in your life?) He said he had doubts and felt we fought all the time. We agreed to give it a go, to fix things, and he promised not to speak to her again… until he did. That’s when I cut off contact with him.

    I’ve cried myself to sleep; the good memories haunt me, as do the image of the other girl. Part of my brain keeps telling me that – without being mean – I am better looking; smarter; have accomplished incredible things professionally (I am in a leadership position atm); kinder and loyal and, unlike that other girl, not the sort of person who would only appear in someone’s life when they started earning a big salary; I’m the sort of person you’d be proud to present to your friends and family (which in a way is what he did). I’ve tried convincing myself that it’s his loss, because I know for a fact that the other woman will not love him as sincerely as I did or make the inordinate sacrifices I made – especially not when things go bad. I deserve better and while he lost a woman who loved him sincerely, I lost a cheat, coward, liar. I’ve been seeing a therapist.

    Then there is another voice in my head which tells me she is prettier, skinnier, younger, more stable and better able to please him – that I’m worthless and that’s why he left me, and that I didn’t try hard enough. I was also told that all men cheat and that I created the conditions for him to be unhappy.

    Lately, I exchanged a few words with him (let’s say a couple of lines) as I have been given the opportunity to travel with my job and the first leg would be a few weeks in his city. I feel I should be moving ON, not least because he shows no signs of remorse and made no effort to get back in touch with me and why would I want to be with someone who caused me so much pain and threw a seven-year friendship out of the window like it was no big deal, but on the other hand I wonder if I should ask him straight out if he is officially dating that other woman and if we should try to make it work – please don’t judge me on this!

    The latter is because as much as I want to hate him for what he did, I can’t. He focused on the bad sides of the relationship to justify his loss of interest and his cheating, I feel I would be demeaning myself if I focused only on the bad too. I mean, I do think it’s an aberration but apparently all men cheat and I wasn’t good enough. I also find it hard to hate him because he wasn’t a bad man and after all we did share so many beautiful things together. Our relationship was perhaps 70% happy and 30% bad, which is still ok and still provided the scope to grow.

    Don’t get me wrong but I’m scared that a lot of the advice I’ve read or been given is based on sustaining anger (rightful rage!) against what he’s done, but anger doesn’t last very long. What’s left once you stop hating him, calling him names, feeling angry that life isn’t fair?

    I’m very confused. Does it look like I should try to get back together? What do I do about the part of me that wants to get back, and the one that tells me I’m not good enough? How do I get closure, punish him, or sort it out? I want to move on but I am scared. I am a quivering puddle atm.

  • My stbx lied to me when we met, he led me to believe he was a chump. When he went through his “guilt” depression (a few days after he met up with the Ow) he wrote me a letter telling me he lied to me, his ex never cheated on him, he was the one who cheated on her, he told me 2 affairs which I actually found out it was 3. I was in shock. I never thought of him to be the type to cheat as he had it done to him. He lied to me from the start to portray himself as a victim when really he is the one who destroys people. Talk about cluster b personality! He is now with the ow, never asked for forgiveness, told me he wouldn’t try for our marriage because he can’t say he wouldn’t do it again in the future. He will tell me he lost the perfect one in me but also continues to roll around with the Ow and plan a future. Its so difficult to give all of yourself to someone and be discarded/replaced like you never mattered

    • yeah its freaky. I thought like you as well. My cheater wife had told me at the beginning of our relationship 17 years ago that her ex had cheated on her and that he was an abusive person. 2015 I busted her facebooking him. 2017 she cheated with her massage therapist. Now I wonder if she was telling the truth 17 years ago. Disordered people are really messed up.

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