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You might be a chump if…

If you’re a chump, you were completely blindsided by cheating. I was. I mean it never occurred to me to ask if my cheating ex if he had a 20-year long affair, a kid, dodgy financials, or P.O. boxes. Whoddathunkit, right?

But like all chumps, in retrospect I could kick myself for being such a trusting chump.

So today, it’s time again to ask — in the vein of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s You Might Be a Redneck If … —  how you might be a chump. What are the signs? (See the clip for inspiration. If you’re a redneck chump — double bonus!)

Ever wonder what quirks are particular to chumps?

You might be a chump (YMBAC) if … instead of a happy marriage you have 80 perfectly tended rose bushes.

YMBAC if… you’ve bought the entire infidelity oeuvre on Amazon and underlined passages for your cheater, only to find them unread.

YMBAC if… you actually sort of believed he was sleeping in his car in Vermont in January.

YMBAC if… you received a tie-dyed license plate cover for Christmas… and that was the best present.

If your cheater has three cars, three motorcycles, four kayaks, and more boxes coming from eBay each day…. and his gift to you is a tie-dyed license plate cover? YMBAC.

If your children don’t really look anything like you… YMBAC.

YMBAC if… you book all your marriage counseling sessions… and pay for them.

Your turn chumps! I’m sure you’ve got material.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • YMBAC if… he calls to say he has a migraine headache, but feels it is best treated by secretly meeting a “coworker” (Schmoopie) for dinner in a crowded and loud restaurant…and, as the loving wife, your alarm bells go off, but you still trust him.????

    • YMBAC.. if he tells you he is off to a 3-week business trip overseas (what kind of 3-week long business trips are there really unless you teach or go for a training?)…if he tells you he then will meet with his friend for a guy’s time together and you let it go. And you justify it in your head thinking the man is overworked and needs time off.

      YMBAC if he tells you he desperately needs to go to Mexico alone to visit the pyramids and contemplate about his/our future because he is oh so depressed with the political and economic situation in the world. Then, when you find a hotel booking for two persons in his laptop case, he convinces you that it’s just a double bed room…all hotels these days have double beds, you know…(slap on the forehead!)

      YMBAC if he justifies his constant texting/skyping with his ex’s, new’s, potentials and just other women in front of you by saying they all need his help, he just helps them solve their problems and he is their “soul therapist”. And you? You don’t really have problems because he solved all your problems for you. So what that he chooses to live in another country (for the multitude of reasons) and let you raise your son by yourself and see his family twice a year – it’s enough, and you know, chump, many families live like this and they don’t complain! 2-3 months of face time per year is more than enough for a wife and son.

      YMBAC when you have a planned C-section and your husband can’t change the “sudden business trip” dates and he absolutely needs to be in UK and then since he is there already he can also go ski’ing in Austria “with friends”…why not….while you give birth to your child and wait for your beloved husband to come home for 10 days.

      Sigh….

      Why was all of the above not enough to kick his ass out? Why are we so afraid of loneliness that we accept being treated in this degrading way? Why did I have to find out about a long term AP, then short term one-offs, then still reconcile with him? Why was I done only after I found (6 months ago) another email he wrote to her 6 years ago proclaiming his love and committment to her and proposing to live together? If she agreed he would have left us in one day. She chose to stay in her country, pursue her government career and let chump rich husband pay for her whims. While keeping mine for passionate hookups during their “business trips”. That’s the only reason he did not exit but he also was happy living in another country free of all responsibilities and “playing” a husband and a father 3 months a year. That last email I found was when I realised he had no love for me ever, this reconciliation is as fake as he has always been…she was always in the background all throughout our dating and marriage which turned into a long distance one after 6 years.

      On the road to a new life now.

      • Wow, Longtimechump, none of my ex’s betrayals were quite as dramatic as that, though they were bad enough. One of the things you wrote really stood out: “You know many [people/spouses/families] do this and they don’t complain.” Boy, when that rationalization comes out, you have to know you’re in trouble.

      • LTC your ex is a champion bullshitter and I hate him. I drank the cool aid of the Traitor’s cult too, and licked the bottom of the punch bowl, many times.
        It is easier for them to deceive us when they play the cultural differences card as well, been there.

      • LTC,
        I hate your cheater as much as I hate mine. They are sooo alike. Bastards. Your c-section item takes the ymbac trophy, I gracefully step aside with my consigned loan.

        • ClearWaters, I follow you story and you are right….they are alike. But they are also like many others here. Utterly heartless but at the same time blaming us for being too pragmatic, too cold, too rational, too boring, too controlling with no sparkle. I was sooo hurt to hear all this constantly and engaged into useless debates trying to prove him wrong.

          Now? Crickets. He sends a text once in two weeks asking to face time with son. I give him the phone and step out. These conversations don’t usually go over the 10-15 min limit – this is as much connection as he can handle with his 9-year old and frankly, the less of it the better.

          I still have to go through separation/divorce legalities but not claiming anything. He can have it all. I just want to raise my son and break that vicious gene that has been going though generations in cheater’s family. Lawyered up and moving forward.

          P.s. when he visited us in Canada in the summer (stayed over at his mom’s) he insisted on a few meetings to “discuss the road ahead of us”. In one of the conversations he told me that he is generous enough to leave me an open option of returning to live with him in his country (where I lived for 6 years before moving to Canada). I laughed in his face. “Why? Do you want me to stick a gps sensor into your ass and follow you with a whip?” He said, “LTC, why can’t you just be more trusting? You always had trust issues and they go back to your other relationships”…hahaha!

          He added that he gave me his ultimate token of committment – a marriage contract! I am his wife on paper! I thanked him but declined the offer.

          • You’ve got to be more trusting!? TRUSTING?

            Who does these idiots think they are?

            My cheater told me in front of the court mediator that I could trust him…. When I asked him how one goes about trusting a cheater there were snickers and his lawyer looked down at her lap.

    • YMBAC if (while diligently doing the vacuuming) you get the death stare and ask innocently “whats up. Why are you looking at me like you hate me ? ….( in all honesty) … you should tell me what youre thinking because i dont want to wake up one morning and you’re half way out the door saying you should have known what was wrong. ” …. fuckface answers ” i dont know what you’re talking about this is all in your head” …. so now i know im a chump when 18 months later that literally happened word for word. …and he managed to tell everyone we knew in the meantime what was going on in his head but decided to tel ME i was mad. WTF

      • YMBAC when, during a heated argument, created solely to allow him to leave for a secret rendezvous with OW you ask,”Do you even love me anymore?” and he responds,”I don’t right now.” and you STAY, convincing yourself that he meant at that moment in time. No, he meant he doesn’t love you. Period.

        • Oh yeah… the argument from out of nowhere that justifies him storming out of the house “to drive around and think (about how horrible chumpy me must be!)” for HOURS.

          Later finding long phone calls and tons of texts to OW around and during these arguments about nothing I could ever figure out.

          Yeah. YMBAC….if you don’t think something’s up. I had no clue. I just thought he had a brain tumor or something.

          • Yes, those beautifully scripted one sided arguments, that end with him having an excuse to slam out of the house, and make out that it was all your fault. So rehearsed that he doesn’t even notice that you didn’t open your mouth once, and thinks that he ‘provoked you’.

      • I got the death stare over the kitchen counter daily for a week and when asked what was wrong cheater could only glare some more. Only took him till the next week-end to dramatically declare that he couldn`t live this way anynore. Three weeks later he was out the door with garbage bags of clothes in hand straight to ow

      • Death Stares.

        Seriously, WTF?

        YMBAC if Death Stares feature in ANY part of your domestic relationships.

        Chumps – we deserve better than that (even from the teenagers we are trying to raise)

    • YMBAC if you believed that woman let him live in her home rent free for a year while you were apart at school just because he was such a trustworthy guy….he stayed the night at your best friends house because he had too much to drink and he is just that responsible…he took that picture with that girl he said was a pen pal sitting on the hotel room bed because she was just passing though town on her was to Florida…and he was just being a nice guy…he had to meet his coworker at the bar once a week to do his fantasy racing league picks because the whole team was doing it…but nobody else ever showed up…including her husband…he took lunch to that friend of yours at her work but never bothered doing that for you cause her husband was overseas and your such a great buddy..

      • Oh yeah!! I almost forgot that one.

        When I threw him out on D-Day, he went to live with his longtime friend and co-worker, a Lesbian. He lived with her for over TWO YEARs, rent-free.
        I thought she was my friend, too.

        It was only later I started to think it was weird.
        Turns out–he has to move out, because she NOW HAS A BOYFRIEND.

        Yep. YMBAC…

    • YMBAC if he sees you sorting through shoes your friends passsed on to you before donating them to charity and when he claims the bright pink heels for one of his pupils ( he’s a driving instructor) you let go the fact that it’s not appropriate for a 50 year old man to give a pupil shoes of any kind. BTW….. He didn’t give them to a pupil. He added them to his collection of women’s shoes ( I discovered hidden in the garage) which he alternately used to dress up his hookers in or cross dress in himself. And you think you know a guy after 24 years… sheeesh.

      • Oh Mally…that is pretty bad. I am just imagining him leering at his young pupils and asking, “So are you a size 7 medium shoe for women? 6 and 1/2? Ugh…

    • YMBAC if you believe he’s staying over at a friends – coincidently a friend you have never met- but you believe he needs a weekend away as he works hard – when he is actually organising, participating in, videoing and streaming live to the internet swingers parties in a local travelodge.

      PS, you KNOW you’re a chump when you accidentally come across his sex tapes and therefore find this all out. All his sex tapes. All 250 of them. Yeah. What a bitch.

    • YMBAC when your husband calls you tell to you that some guy called him and is threatening to call me and tell me that my husband was sleeping with his wife. My stbex claimed to not know who the guy was and it was a case of mistaken identity. Still I trusted.
      YMBAC when you get a text of a pic of a naked man jerking himself off that looks exactly like your husband while he is away on “business”. Still I trusted.
      4 years later I woke the fuck up. I trust I deserve better.

    • YMBAC
      If …
      Psychological symptoms manifest in your mind that seem unrelated to cheating.

      I couldn’t sleep the last 7 years of our marriage, was always having nightmares about him cheating. I would confront him in the morning and he always told me it was my imagination. I believed him.

      This, along with the fact that he had a wondering eye. Now there’s a difference between the way different men look at women. It always made me feel very uncomfortable and jealous the way he focused on other women in public. His attention was always elsewhere.

      Also, I became a bit paranoid, not trusting my instincts about him, but at the same time complacent.

      D-Day was very difficult, but almost immediately after my husband left the house, I was able to sleep again.

      I know now that my instincts were accurate about him and from now on, in all walks of life, I listen to my feelings and impressions about people and situations above what others tell me what to think. In this sense I am much stronger and certain.

      I’m now dating another guy whose trying to gaslight me. ONLY this time, i recognize it. I’ll let the Narcissist go. Not sure how someone could enjoy having lots of lovers going on at the same time, but apparently, it feeds his ego. Being with this new boyfriend has made me understand the Narc personality dynamic. They really do crave shallow, meaningless attention from many women because they are unable to sustain deep comfortable committed relationships.

      I get the death stare in private.
      He talks down on me in private and is emotionally abusive.
      He’s always going out on lunch and dinner dates.
      Always texting and on FB
      In addition to his longing for the other women and the emotional turmoil he’s caught up in with them.

      Actually, my heart has already been broken by my ex husband and it truly doesn’t hurt as much as it did.
      First cut is the deepest.

      Just this afternoon, sitting in a conference with him and catching him flirting across the room with a coworker. I told my new ‘soon to be ex’ that being with him was like going to the 32 flavors ice cream shop. And he asked what does that mean. I replied, “It’s 32 Flavors of Fucked up” Felt good to say that.
      Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation for all the VERBIAGE. Having words for all these yucky things puts definition to the messed up emotions and helps us to understand out situation better.

      My Mom says for me to take responsibility for the type of man and relationship dynamic I fall into. There’s a pattern with the type of men I choose and knowing this makes me feel like I have control over choosing a good man for me who builds up the relationship. All the men I’ve been with have been cheaters. Going to change the type of man I go for.

      Then again, sometimes, someone will cheat on one spouse and not the other. Not all cheaters are serial. Some are looking for something different in a romantic partner and are looking to get rid of the previous.

      Good to let them go.

      • Dandoopy, I am glad that you recognize that your new boyfriend is a chump. Get rid of him now- not later. You said that not all cheaters are serial cheaters. How can you be sure? The ONLY thing that ‘may be’ slowing them down or driving them further underground is the thought of paying out 1/2 of the marital community again etc. I wouldn’t attribute any character reformation here. Nope…

  • YMBC if you believe for THREE YEARS they are “just friends” and said “friend” is seen everywhere in our small town with him AND she is invited on family vacations because “she doesn’t get to go anywhere and the kids love her.”

    Yes, I ate loads and loads of shit sandwiches.

    • Hell, I believed the “we’re just friends, I’m helping her out because she has no one else” and, when caught with the Craigslist “Women Seeking Men” tab open on his laptop, the “I just look for laughs!! It’s fantasy. . . ” for 10 years.

      Color me chumpy.

      Never, and I mean NEVER, again will I be so complacent. I will trust, but verify.

    • You are definitely a chump if you offered to try reconciling – and asked cheater to end contact with AP – and then gave them time to “make up their mind” – all the while falsely taking on “blame” for your own role in affair – and keeping it to yourself so as not to ruin their reputation – because you thought they would “come to their senses” and try to save a 30 year marriage with 3 kids vs staying with a disordered 28 yr old

      You are a recovering chump when CL helps you understand you are an addict – and must kick your multi-year Hopium habit – by kicking the cheater to the curb

      • Yup. You’re a chump if you think all you need to do is wait for him to get his head out of his ass er I mean “come to his senses” and come home.

      • Yup, YMBAC if you spend any time at all doing the “pick me dance” or waiting for them to come to their senses.

        You begin to take back your own life when you finally come to YOUR senses and realize what a terrible person you are married to.

        • “You begin to take back your own life when you finally come to YOUR senses and realize what a terrible person you are married to.”

          Isn’t this the most difficult thing to do? To believe that s/he was terrible? To accept that you chose this shitty person as your partner and endowed them with all the nice qualities? To trust that they suck? I find it the most difficult part.

          I am taking the steps to “mighty” but I still get the blues quite often and they suck although now I understand that I don’t want the life I had because all in there was false. My cheater had a gift to show his love and affection towards me in front of family and friends – hence, I always heard from others how much he loved me, how sparkly his eyes are when he was with me. Heck, even when he visited friends overseas without me I heard from them how he was proudly talking about me making it in two different countries, finding a job, doing a career, being a great mother, etc. Wives of friends would then have an argument with their husbands because they “never talked about their wives like my cheater talked about me!”. I heard these anecdotes here and there and yes, he was exceptionally warm in front of others, but once we were together there was that dead stare and the wall and his silent attitude and sulky moods.

          I miss him warm and generous but then I realize he was never like that when we were just the two of us together, when he did not have to perform his role and do the image management. And what I had with him behind the closed doors – I DON”T MISS AT ALL!

          And understanding this dynamics was really after I found the CL and CN. Before that I was a typical RIC-addict. Thank you, all, from the bottom of my heart.

          • Me, too. He bragged about my awesomeness to everyone for years, then boom— he discarded me and he suddenly and nonsensically informed everyone I’m supposedly mentally ill and that he’s been unhappy for years. The mindfuck runs deep! When we were alone together he was not really there, but it was extremely subtle. No real emotions from him at all. It was, and is, ALL image management. They suck baaaaad!!!

          • I got the same. Talked me up to others, talked me down to me.

            I think it was all Image Management.
            If he managed to score a great, loving wife, it was a feather in his cap.

            Did he VALUE said “Wife”?
            Not in the least.

          • Yes, longtimechump, one of the most difficult things for me was realizing what a horrific monster I was married to (unbeleivably).

            X had me convinced that he was a man of integrity. I was to blame for his unhappiness.
            His favorite topic of conversation was, of course, himself including how much better he is than everyone else, most educated, had a more prestigious job, best physique. My brain was programmed to accept what he said as truth. In my mind I was fortunate to be married to such a great guy. It’s a form of brainwashing and it takes work to take back your brain to see the truth, quit eating the shit sandwiches and value yourself .

            • They do suck! Mine was the same – had me convinced I was lucky to have him and was worthless. I had no friends and was paranoid. and crazy. Had me upset , depressed, and at the point of suicide. Has told my kids I am crazy…..no fucktard!! You’re fucking crazy! Sitting in church and acting like the great Christian guy and wonderful husband and father- while you fuck the grossest people on Craigslist, cheap as hookers, get blow jobs from random Glory Holes operated by two gay guys—now that shit is crazy!!!

            • Brit,
              My marriage… exactly. Ty for stating it so succinctly. Your experience is helping me along to MEH. It sounds like we had a very similar experience. Love your strength.

  • If he keeps his cell phone in his pyjama pocket…and sleeps so close to it that it reminds you of a dragon keeping guard to a secret treasure chest.

    If he always has different reasons to excuse the presence of each different woman around him.

    If he justifies being secretive using concepts like “privacy” or “shame”.

    If you find yourself obsessing about feng shui or renovating or perfect housekeeping in subconscious (or conscious!) hopes of fixing your marriage.

    If you develop weird mental symptoms that have seem to have no connection to your reality (OCD, anxiety, etc.)

    If he asks for your “permission” to go out without you.

    If you think “oh, he would never do that”.

    • I had so much blind faith in him that each excuse never made me think he was cheating. Even the time he came home from a bar after work and had glitter on his shirt. He told me that my daughter hugged him when he got home and must have done a school project with glitter on it. I’m a huge chump! sweet xoxo

  • YMBAC if your husband comes home with traces of glitter all over his face and shirt, repeatedly, for years, and you believe him when he says “I have no idea where that came from!”

  • YMBAC if you believed in Fairy Tales.
    YMBAC if you believed good things happen to good people.
    YMBAC if you believed there was good in everyone.

    • Despite being pegged as a “pessimist” by cheater, I tried my best not to write people off and look for signs of good character, thinking that for most people there is at least something. Despite my somewhat cynical nature, I still somehow missed a huge freaking troop of red flags with one person in particular! The karma thing also (because there has to be SOMETHING out there to make sense of some of this shit), i.e. good things happening to good people (and the opposite). Not on the forefront of my mind, but still, I will be forever waiting for that karma bus…

      • As STBX is now living with his Schmoopsie, after she got kicked out by her husband, I am really praying the Karma bus comes much sooner than later for them.

    • Yep…I always focused on the good in people and believed everyone had the best of intentions….because I would never hurt anyone intentionally…my mistake!

  • YMBAC.. if you took his almost daily ‘helpful visits-because no one else cares!’ to his friend who suffered a stroke as a sign of his caring personality…and didn’t think twice about the man’s sister always being there. Always. Even when the other man was not.

  • YMBAC if you see the same phone number on his cell records at 6:30 morning and 5:30 at night, and you believe he’s “checking in with his boss” because he works off-site.

    • Yup. My XW pulled this one. And in response to my protests: “But he works nights!!”

      But you don’t, cheating wife. And yet you keep insisting that you MUST reply ASAP.

  • YMBAC if your husband gets a call from HR questioning him about inappropriate comments he said to subordinate female coworkers, and you hand him a piece of paper with the words “disgruntled employees” on it so he remembers to use them

  • YMBAC if you APOLOGIZED to the cheater when you found out they lied, cheated and lived a double life for years.

    • Ah yes. I did that eventually during all the blameshifting. I did though only apologize for my part in the state of what our marriage was at that time (twin girls, first time parents, work hard to make ends meet, not so much time for each other for a while).

    • Not sure if I apologized, but I certainly felt bad/sorry for him and tried to work with him on his issues. Thought the sex thing was my fault. It’s seriously nauseating to think about…

      • Yep. How did I ever let him blame me for his cheating induced ED? After all these years i somehow forgot how to turn on my husband? ???????? YMBAC if you don’t even have a schlong and you’re apologizing for disfunctional schlongs.

        • OMG Whatringofhellisthis you are so right. Mine didn’t blame me, for the ED though — he blamed “getting older ” (he was only in his early 40s when the O’s started “going past” him now and then, when I later learned he was having emotional affairs with married women). After that it was “low testosterone” (when the trouble became chronic). Lo and behold, during the hysterical bonding he was like an 18-year-old and it became clear that he’d been wearing himself out fucking my niece.

          • Mehtamorphosis I’ve been following your story for a while and it has me speechless. It’s unreal and absolute nightmare you went through. I’m so sorry and I admire you for your strength. So Yep. Those oh so innocent “just friends” emotional affair obsessions suspiciously coincide with the ED. ???? then the complete inability to have sex at all… I find out a year later were because of prostitutes, EA, porn and Tinder whores. But he told me that while he’s having sex with me he’s thinking how repulsive and disgusting I am and that’s the reason. Got off me and left me there in shock. I blamed myself. But interesting that he texted me that morning asking me to be ready to have sex with him when he got home. And he was all into it and excited. I put on a fabulous sexy naughty outfit did my hair and makeup heels. It’s like he waited until I was as perfect as I could be to slam me right into the ground. He’s a sick f@ck.

            • WhatRing, I’m disgusted and repulsed by your X and I’m betting you were and are a very sexy naughty fun lover! I hope that fuckwad didn’t damage your self-esteem.

              Even though I often feared that my STBX was turned off by me, he never ever said anything mean like that and always made sure I was satisfied me in other ways. He took pride in being a good person, good husband, good lover. In reality he was a good faker.

              • Thank you ???? I’m kind of pretending I have self esteem so no one knows I don’t. If that makes sense at all. Fake it til you make it? ????my new strategy lol. I’m glad you didn’t get nasty things said to you like that but your cheater is still one of the worst in my opinion. Who sleeps with their niece! Ugh!!

            • Every once in awhile I hear something that makes my blood boil
              What an evil asshole. That’s just mean. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I hope his dick falls off.

            • You might be a YMBAC if your husband looks at you and says “No one in their right mind would want to fuck you,” and you ignore his remark thinking it was maybe a poor attempt at humor and you don’t confront him because you don’t want to be accused of never being happy, or looking for something to argue about.

              • Oh my goodness, that is so incredibly hurtful and abusive. He was really saying that about himself, as narcs do when they project their own feelings of worthlessness on to their intimate partners. No one in their right mind would want to sleep with him if they could see his ugly true self. Ugh! Narcs are so destructive and toxic. I wish you healing and health, Brit.

        • I got blamed for the ED too! I was not skinny enough, pretty enough, young enough etc….that’s why the dick didn’t work (you know the drill). Yet he wouldn’t leave. Then would tell me no other man would ever want me yet still wouldn’t leave. What he forgot to tell me before we got married was that he was addicted to Porn & barely legal/Asian hookers and just needed a good, unsuspecting Chump as a cover.

          After we were married he had every excuse to not have sex-he was tired, stressed, he wasn’t 18 anymore, upset that the house, garage etc wasn’t cleaned to his liking………..he even told me one time that he didn’t want to have sex with me because then I would want to do it more?! WTF-we were married! I just didn’t know his version of married meant no sex and I would be at home alone why he was off with his hookers, porn & Craigslist hook-ups! I wandered around in desolation in the ‘dick desert’ for years!!
          Can’t believe that I put up with his crap for so long

          • Mine went very quickly from dating:

            “Not more than once a week”.

            To Newlyweds:
            “Not in the morning”

            Later married years:
            “Not at night”

            Asshole had a “window of opportunity” for his limited sex play every few weekends in the middle of the dang day. I was supposed to drop whatever I was doing, and get ready. No lead-up, no foreplay, no nothing. And he considered himself a “good lover”…
            YMBAC if you didn’t want to HURT HIS FEELINGS by saying this wasn’t satisfactory to you!

            Prior to D-Day:
            No sex at all for years. Turns out he was giving his “all” to webcam whores, streaming porn, and other partners.
            But told me it was because I wasn’t “attractive enough”.

            Take a look in the mirror, pal. He is almost ten years older than I am and not winning any Beach Body Contests!

    • Yes!!!! After I caught him by checking his phone somehow he turned it around with blame shifting that I’m lucky anyone would put up with me. That I was the bad/problem/cause of dysfunction and I ended up begging him to stay and apologizing profusely.

    • Yes. And that preceded DDay. Somehow whenever I went to him with a complaint about anything I was always the one who ended up apologizing.

    • YES!! Can’t say how many times I’ve apologized to him, when it should have been the other way around. But couldn’t possibly have him feeling so miserable, now, could I!?! After all…he is broken down crying like a baby! There, there, baby…it’s ok. I’ll take all the chumpy-blame for you. No problem. You continue on…no harm done.

      • Oh my gosh, you describe it so well. Even on those occasions when he might have felt some modicum of remorse, I would instantly turn to don’t want him to feel bad about himself mode. We wouldn’t’ want to hurt his self esteem after all. I am starting to think I did him a disservice with that. Oops. Still blaming myself.

        • I did the same thing…when I finally called him out and got him to fess up to having a 3 way with my best friend and her husband he was crying so hard I actually hugged him I felt so bad!

        • It’s disgusting when you think about it. All those times, most of us belittled ourselves for the sake of “love.” Why should I be responsible to make him feel better about himself, when he almost never did that for me?

    • Of course! I initially started conversations with “I know I’m not the perfect husband, but…”

      How weak! How deferential! How chumpyyy!”

      • Our last anniversary just before DDay when he had been treating me like dirt for months, I gave him a card that on the outside said “I may not be perfect but…” then on the inside it said “Actually, I am perfect. Aren’t you lucky to have me?”. I felt arrogant giving it to him at the time, but now I am so glad I did. It didn’t do any good, but it was at least one small moment of me sticking up for myself, something I didn’t do nearly often enough.

        I wish you could have had a card like that to give your ex. We all deserve more respect than we got from our cheaters and in many cases ourselves.

  • YMBAC if he tells you the girl he keeps texting is a lesbian – so no worries. And you sort of believe it.

    • Yup. The kids and I thought his law partner was a lesbian (never a boyfriend or date). No reason to worry about all the late hours at the office, business trips and on and on…

      • That was one of STBX’s things … any time he had to tell me about a female co-worker (I figured out later, he tried not to tell me anything about them) … they were always frumpy, old, and ugly.

        Given the length of time between the mention of female co-workers, and my ignorance about the number of women in his industry, it didn’t occur to me until the shit hit the fan how he had lied about them ALL to keep me blinded (from what I know, which is not everything, almost all of his affairs were with co-workers).

        • My ex went the opposite route. He talked about HER all the time, for years! It’s almost as if I would have become suspicious if he didn’t talk about the details of her life…i.e. she’s getting a divorce, she’s not making enough money (my ex made sure she was the highest paid in the department), she’d having problems with her sons, she bought a Honda CRV because it looks so much like her dream car (our Volvo XC90), her nephew lives with her (and my ex got HIM a job), and on and on. I feel so stupid!

          • I promise — you are not stupid.

            But, I honestly get the feeling. Being duped, I think, lends itself to such a conclusion by the victim of the duping. The problem isn’t that we were stupid. Maybe we were a bit willfully blind, but that was based on circumstantial, partial, or conflicting evidence. And at least (unlike with the cheaters) it was well-intended.

            At the end of the day, only “fault” wasn’t really a fault at all; we trusted someone we should be able to trust. No reason to bash ourselves for that.

    • Or YMBAC if you think/suspect/”know” he’s banging your obese, obnoxious, horse face lesbian ‘friend’. But let your best friend talk you out of that thought cause … uggh, he couldn’t possibly get it up for Dumpy. For 2 years. As she becomes increasingly hostile toward you, until you end the friendship. But he won’t. Yep, I was a real fucking genius there.

  • YMBAC if your husband insists you and your kid go away on vacation for a week without him, when you get back you find the house is kinda messy but your bedsheets have been freshly laundered, and you give him a BIG HUG and thank him for doing housework. ????

    • To think of all the chores I did because I was the only one with the vision/involvement to see things that needed to be done around the house…this one would have probably gotten me too. I would have had a church choir behind me to help me sing praises. Such a rare thing that would have been.

      • YMBAC if you take the kids on yet another vacation alone and the house looks exactly the way you left it only with a fine layer of dust everywhere….apparently he took his own vacation and just forgot to tell me..claimed to only get 1 week a year but cashed in 160 hours when the contract ended….I am just that stupid…

    • I got the bedsheets changed, too!

      I did the laundry in our household. I changed the sheets right before I went away for five days. When I got home, wifey was putting a freshly washed set of sheets on the bed.

      • OMG, me too! Came home early as a surprise for Cheater #1 and he was just throwing the sheets in the washer as I came through the front door. Only time he did laundry in TWENTY years of marriage. In hindsight, I half think that his OW was slinking out the back door as I came in the front.

    • Or YMBAC if every time you have a chance to attend a conference out of town, he is more than willing to stay alone with the kids all week, and then never calls you while you are gone to say he misses you.

      My cheater’s M.O. was to claim to be a single dad who lost his wife to cancer or who was abandoned by the ex-wife or such BS. The pity card is easier to use when you have a kid with disabilities. Oh, and if you are widowed, then you don’t have to take down the pictures of your wife in the house when your OW visits.

  • YMBAC if you agree to your wife’s request for an open marriage, then write her a note telling her how glad you are that she’s finally found something that makes her feel good about herself.

    • And also write this in the same letter: “I’ve still got so much love to give to you”, and never hear back from her on that letter.

    • Contemplated (agonized) over X’s “revelation” that he was polyamorous. Even went so far as to be “okay” with him going to local informational(?) meet ups. Found flirty texts on his phone with chick he met there not very long after. He didn’t understand how this was inappropriate, given that I made it quite clear that I was only fine with the “information only” part at that time. SMDH

      • Ah, yes — the “polyamory revelation.”

        KK: “I’ve made a discovery. I’ve discovered that I need to open myself and give of myself to others. Love is not like a pie, where there’s only a certain amount to go around, and giving one person a bigger piece means someone else getting a smaller piece. It’s possible for me to give you just as big a piece and still have others left over for others.”

        Don’t know how that’s working out for her now with RPD, but clearly she’s not self-aware enough to understand that providing pie is wholly dependent on how much cake she receives for herself.

        • Of course that attitude doesn’t seem to work when your spouse is forced to share the pie with his/her own children.

        • C’mon!!!

          That is one of the most outrageous and gross things I have heard. I am SO sorry for you, UX. What BS. There would never be enough Purell on the planet the suffer that shit.

          (…your serial cheating skank TOLD you about having enough pie for other buddies… my serial cheating skank just did the deed with many, gaslighted me and infected me. Not looking to score in Pain Olympics. I think if he had said such shit to me, I would have been woken up to his deceit.)

        • Maybe they do have enough “love” to give away; I guess that can be fairly unlimited in the sense that it’s just a feeling.
          I can love my sweetie, and my mother, and my dogs, and stray kittens, and hummingbirds and Mother Earth. I can love my best friend and I can love the guy who fixes my favorite sandwich at the deli.

          It’s the taking the time, effort, energy, money, and intimacy away from your primary partner that are the problem.

          Oh. And the lying, sneaking around, backstabbing, dishonesty, and putting your partner’s health and well-being in jeopardy that are the other problem!

        • Very early on, we were 20something, when I expressed my discomfort with ex gf sticking around for birthday wishes, we had the exact conversation about pies. I told him I wanted the whole pie, not slices , and he said everybody got their our own pie with him. Compartmentilization, if I knew.

          I was not okay with this and he promptly chucked her to the curb.
          This was weeks after his grand statement of “no woman will ask me to not be friends with my exes”

  • YMBAC if you believe your wife(spouse)needs a second cell phone to call her(their) sister.

    Laughed my ass off on that one
    !

    • YMBAC if you give your wife password access to your shared Verizon cell phone account as a good-faith effort to rebuild trust and stop snooping…

      …and her response is to immediately head to a Verizon store to put her cell phone on a separate account (so she can keep sexting without any more awareness from you)!

      • That’s exactly what my wife did. She removed her cell phone from our joint account (thereby doubling our monthly bill) because she “wanted more control over her life.”

        Umm ok, how about you make your own car payment while you’re at it……alas she apparently didn’t want that much control.

  • YMBAC if you let your husband go to a bridge tournament with 3 senior women trusting that as seniors, they were only interested in the bridge game. Dah!

    • And even joked with him before he left that he behave himself, never for a moment thinking, the jerk was actually trolling these old dames! Yuck!

  • YMBAC if you have never received a birthday present.

    YMBAC if you believe that “spouses aren’t allowed” at any company functions.

    YMBAC if you accept that her number is all over the phone records because “she’s running the football pool at work.”

    YMBAC if you believe the number you found in his pocket after going out without you belongs to “a DJ he’s thinking of hiring.”

    YMBAC if you go back to work 6 days after a cesarean because you need the money, but he takes off two weeks to go on a “hunting trip with the guys” in another state.

    YMBAC if you go to a biopsy alone.

      • His hell is living with the disgusting hag that would have an affair with a man who has heavily pregnant wife.

        • I hear ya on that one. I have a deep hatred for my cheater for leaving me alone and pregnant to care for our small toddler so he could explore his vaginal options.
          He tries to “make things right” by doing virtually everything except tell me the details of the affair (ie her name and when it started/ended) and I hate him for it. Admittedly, I am appalled by my own behavior as a result of such betrayal.

          • Ahhh, FedupChump,
            I am sorry to say that years later I still know no details, name, start, ending, noth ing!
            Very occasionally, I will bring her up, because I want, need, to know.
            He says things like….”Oh, that was sooooo long ago, I forget”
            I say, ” How would SHE feel, being told you forget all about her!”
            He replies to me that I am cruel and mean to bring it up!
            I,I,I, am mean and cruel!!!
            It just makes me feel worse, so mostly I don’t bring it up.
            I try hard to go about my life, holding my head high, loving and respecting those who love and respect me.
            Him, not so much.

            (((Hugs to you FedupChump)))
            I know it is heart breaking.

            • Thank you, Peacekeeper. I am sorry you are still looking for answers. I know I’ll never get them. I suffer debilitating anxiety every time I show my face in town. Whenever I see a woman who fits my cheater’s “type” I wonder if it’s “her”. She must know who I am. I feel like the butt of a terrible joke. He’s put her and their affair above me and our children and expects me to just move on.
              I can’t.

              • FedUpChump,
                I am so sorry that you are faced with the possibility of actually seeing her, bumping into her and not knowing who she is, this bitch OW.
                My story was different in that cheater’s affair was in another city. I had no chance of ever seeing her and he protected her at all costs. Even if I had chance to see her ever, he would have protected her. I know him.
                To this day a biggest regret I have is that I lacked the guts, the sense, to hire a PI to find out who she was.
                Is there anyway possible you could do this? I know the cost is a concern for something like this, but if it would give you some closure, some piece of mind, could you possibly do this? Could you borrow the money from a parent or a trusted friend and pay them back in time? Someone you can trust and who would understand how important this is to you.
                PI are trained for such a job and could do it without your cheater or the OW knowing????
                Hold your head high, you did nothing wrong.
                Cheaters don’t understand how we Chumps are not able to just forget when they have tore the very heart and soul right out of us. They can cheat, pull up their pants and jthey st carry on.
                I am so sorry.
                You are young and I want some closure for you, with all my heart I wish this for you.
                ( even if he is not currently carrying on the affair I believe a PI has ways to find out “stuff.”
                It wouldn’t hurt to secretly talk to one.
                Fingers and heart crossed for you!

    • YMBAC if you’re reading Jojobee’s post about spouses not being allowed at company functions and thinking “Wait, what? That wasn’t legit?” Hahahaha That’s one that it didn’t occur to me to question, even with all I know now.

      Oh and I second Unicornnomore – there’s a special place in hell for your cheater because of the C-section AND the biopsy. What a complete and utter asshole.

        • Yup!

          My XW—a quasi-public serval—had a lot of public night meetings…not getting home until after 11:00z

          It wasn’t until after my divorce was finalized that I realized that maybe 1 in 5 of them were real; the rest were probably bogus…especially given her OM was a colleague.

        • Me too! Ymbac to the tenth!!!

          Help, I STILL am discovering what a Chump I was!!!!

          At times like this it is crystal clear the need for CL to be obligatory reading for young human beings

          • YES!!!!!! I have 18 & 20 yr old daughters who were affected in profound but very different ways by their stepfather’s mindfuckery. They were so young when he love bombed our lives and for a decade his games, anger, immaturity etc. etc were their only sense of any dad. And then, suddenly …poof. We learn he’s not real, he’s leading a double life etc. It’s been NC for about 3 years now, which is a relief as he was a difficult person to love. Still, his imprint remains.
            How do we get this info out there to the ‘young human beings’ so it is a real help? …And are there any CN groups about living in the aftermath with often acting-out kids/young adults?

      • YMBAC

        if you hate writing all of them out, b/c it makes you feel sick. The more time that passes and the more I look back at my 35 year marriage

        most of which I felt was strong and solid and rewarding, the more I feel duped.

        So YMBAC if you feel increasingly duped.

        I need to write the rest of this “novel” and reframe my life.

        • DOCTOR’s 1st wife and kids thanks for “if writing this makes you feel sick”, it ties in perfectly to the comment later by free vix YMBARC if you trust that “meh” exists, even if you’re still on the road to it.

        • Doctors1st, thank.you..
          I want to post, but I’m having a bad day emotionally…realizing that friends – who I THOUGHT were friends – are continuing to hire my fucktatd STBX for home repairs, etc, even though they know what he’s done to me. Is NO ONE loyal?
          YMBAC if you believe those women have not been more notches on the old toolbelt.
          YMBAC if you find unexplained floral bill and fwit tells you it’s for an employee wjo was sick bc “her husband is an asshole.” Funny, mine is too! How many OTHER things do we have in common?

          • A little piece of me gets angry every time I see one of my family members liking the STBX’s facebook posts. Why? Do you not know the pain he has caused me?

            • CANCER CHUMP, as soon as my divorce is final I will absolutely request my family (34 of us) unfriend the DOCTOR>

              So far I’ve needed the “intel” for the divorce and my niece sent me a copy of the FB post of the DOCTOR working at a surgery center and how “great the DOCTOR is”

              Guess the fb patient did not know my husband the DOCTOR’s story to ME and our family was that he “RETIRED” months ago and so HE COULD NOT PAY ME ANY spousal support

              AND he cut off our youngest college tuition. “Doesn’t earn enough.” So the intel from FB will probably win my case for me.

              After that, he can say good bye to my hilarious and educated family and friends who have known him almost 40 years.

              And he can replace all of us with Schmoopie and her kids and their friends, who will be less intelligent, less educated, and a hell of a lot less hilarious.

              My son sent me Rihanna’s song as my new anthem. In context it’s hilarious

              BITCH, BETTA GIMME MY MONEY….

    • Jojobee, I could have written this list except my EX use to put his women in his cell phone under the names of guys he worked with and would tell me they have two contact listings because one is his desk phone and one is his mobile phone… sounded about right to me except it really does not work that way, one contact can take two numbers… duh

      I found out about AP on my way to my first biopsy alone, then drove 2 hours to see him at his new job. He let me carry my luggage up the stairs alone (it was our anniversary and I was suppose to stay with him) he later had a 5 hour blame rage at me letting me know it was all my fault and I sat up all night, physically ill from doing too much and heart sick because my husband thought I sucked as a wife. And defeated because he told me I had to give away the family pets and he may consider working on us. sadist.

      YMBAC if after all that it still took you 7 months to file for divorce.

    • YMBAC if you go have a complete hysterectomy alone because he didn’t think he needed to be there…but I missed a weeks worth of work when he had his nose job done..

  • YMBAC if you apologised to him for being hurt when he flirted with every woman.

    YMBAC if you believed that his cheating was partly your fault.

    YMBAC if you thought he would ‘never do that’.

    • ^ YMBAC if you accepted the excuse that he looks at ‘everyone’ not just pretty women

      YMBAC if you stood beside him while he flirted with other women

      YMBAC if you definitely thought he would never do that & believed that it was ‘just coffee’

    • Aussiechump- super concise list that encompasses top 3 chump traits: trusting, empathetic and responsible.

    • Add to that:

      YMBAC if you believed it when he said he would never cheat because keeping it a secret would be too stressful.
      YMBAC the fact hat he didn’t say “I would never cheat because I love you too much and wouldn’t want to hurt you” and that wasn’t red flag right there.

      • YMBAC if when I asked if he had also screwed another friend of mine he says of course not…I didn’t know her well enough..and I actually felt relieved…wait..what!? You have to take the time to get to know them but screwing the first friend of mine just happened spontaneously…..hmmmmmm

  • YMBAC if your husband has a number of sexual harrassment claims but you believe that he was just being friendly and they don’t know him like you do.

    • Ah, the ‘You Don’t Know Him Like I Do!’ Funny how it so often turns out that the YDKHLID person is actually the one who doesn’t know.

  • YMBAC if upon learning you need an immediate hysterectomy in order to avoid a blood transfusion, you arrange for a friend to drive you home from the surgery so your husband doesn’t have to miss his birthday week end fishing trip with “the boys” in the Keys.

    YMAC if you regularly send husband amazon links to items needed for the family because he won’t give you his amazon password.

    • YMBAC IF you didn’t know he had an amazon account, a PayPal, eBay, Craigslist account, no access to bank or credit card info and never got to see a pay stub..investment papers etc but still believed he had your best interest at heart…

  • YMBAC if he says he is helping a girl move with his truck…when he has never offered to help family or friends before.

  • YMBAC if your husband has a business trip that he stays over not only on Friday night but on Saturday night because he quote” needed to catch up on his rest”….and then you say (Because he demanded you say it) “honey in glad you got a chance to catch up on your sleep”.

    *face palm*

  • YMBAC if he takes another woman out on the jetski while you are on your honeymoon.

    YMBAC if after oral surgery he takes you home puts you to bed and goes to the football club…months later you find your painkillers, antibiotics, anti-inflamotory medicine on top of the fridge unopened.

    YMBAC if after a miscarriage he says well there isn’t anything I can do to help so I’ll just go out.

    YMBAC if he flirts with every woman he meets and you think it’s nice he makes people feel “special”.

    • Ymbac if after a miscarriage, you are talking and crying and he rolls over and puts a pillow over his head and says “I can’t talk about this anymore.”

    • If you get the feeling that he is blaming you for the miscarriage (maybe not directly but that was definitely the vibe).

      • I’m so sorry he’d be that horrible while you were going thru that. When it happened to me, I blamed myself. I’d lose my mind if HE blamed me. Your H is a complete ass who doesn’t deserve you. ((CIR))

  • YMBAC if you listen and believe the cheater’s manipulative lies when you KNOW, factually, the words out of their mouth are not even plausible let alone aligned with the facts at hand.

    YMBAC if you have an Olympic-sized trowel to spackled the ^^above^^ shit over and carry on, creating crushing Cognitive Dissonance.

  • YMBAC if he destroys you with a one year affair with a friend of yours( after claiming it was a one night stand) and you still take him back and put up with 4 years of abuse of every kind before he leaves you for someone else.

  • YMBAC if you see all this spam for hookup and dating sites popping up his email and you believe it when he says it must be from the music sites he visits….WARNING Chumps…the internet has cookies and knows what they like. Those spams are not random.

    • Ahhhh why yes the proverbial “I have no idea” how that ended up there…

      YMBAC if after 14 years after inowubg the mistress was a computer you still stayed. Only to watch him exchange phone numbers on Plenty of Skeeze then you test negative at the yearly OBGYN appt; but chumping at a new level makes me vulnerable and I’m intimate with him. You know the end of this story. Magically test positive after said intimacy with STBX.

      BEST part being the fine proud chump I am. I believed him initially that he never did anything because he “only has online issues”.

      Yeah I’m a chump

    • Not that he merits defending, but the internet does weird things. Some time ago, I started receiving spam for breast enhancement surgery. Odd, given that I’m male and have zero interest in having breasts. I have no idea why that happened – fortunately, it stopped after about eight months.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

      • Maybe she was using your computer account?

        I can relate though. Back before e-mail had filters I used to get porn photos going directly to my inbox. I had to click on it so it would show up in my preview window before I could delete it. I was afraid I would get in trouble because our company had a no porn policy. I was so relieved when the spam filters were installed. I don’t know why I was getting those. It was all girls and I am definitely not a lesbian so I didn’t even enjoy it even a little.

  • YMBAC if you learn on DDay that he “shared rooms” at hotels with Susan of Seattle on business trips but didnt call him on his shit when he claims that they “never had sex”.

    YMBAC if, for years, you are totally blind to little clues to cheating but it LITERALLY NEVER CROSSED YOUR MIND because you truly believed something like that was outside the realm of possibility.

    YMBAC if the ever increasing demands from your spouse during his monster phase led you to scrub the kids bathroom floor at 11pm when you are waiting for him to return from a business trip because he will inspect the house and rage at you for any mess he finds. While on your hands and knees scrubbing, you realize that you are genuinely afraid.

    • “While on your hands and knees scrubbing, you realize that you are genuinely afraid.”

      Oh God, I can totally agree with this. I’m so glad you are out and safe.

      • Damn..I am learning so much today about myself..I am definitely a chump…I would run around frantically cleaning things up so the house he never helped me with would be perfect…me and kids ate dinner in a separate room because I didn’t want to upset Mr. God when he came home from work but he raged anyway…got to where even the kids didn’t say “dads home” without a tinge of fear and apprehension in their voices. So terribly sad.

        • He didnt start out like this but I think that his bad bouts of surly nastiness coincided with his rounds of cheating…he felt guilty so he picked me apart to prove to himself that I deserved it.

          His behavior during his “biggest” affair was somewhat insidious…it got incrementally worse…slowly enough that I was a bit of a “frog in a pot” and didnt sense his escalating hostility. That moment of scrubbing knowing that ANY mess would result in abject rage from him was terrifying. He didn’t hit us but he berated be unmercifully.

          If I have my mental timeline correct, his return from that trip was preceded by me BEGGING the kids to make sure there was no dog pee in the basement…I knew that would set him off. The next day, he found a bit of pee and started to throw things and scream and tell us that he didnt have to put up with shit like this anymore.

          I was sitting in art class the other day chatting up with a classmate the other day and when she asked about dead husband, I said “he was a bastard”. She asked “booze or rage?”

      • Oh, gosh, yes. The cleaning, straightening, fixing frenzy to prevent rage, but they still always rage within the first thirty seconds of arrival.

        So relieved to be free of that.

  • YMBAC if you see her name on his phone and he tells you it’s probably an old contact ( and you believe him).
    YMBAC if the same name is on his computer screen 6 months later and he tells you “she’s just a friend” ( and you believe him)
    YMBAC if after you see the Viagra pill in his wallet…you still don’t believe he’s cheating on you
    YMBAC if you have to physically force him to take his passwords off all his electronic devices and unfriend her ( and this still doesn’t send off alarm bells in your head)
    YMBAC if a week later he puts all the passwords back on ( and you eat that shit sandwich)
    YMBAC if you catch him cheating on you a second time- he tells you he and the mistress sat down and “planned” on a day he would leave you and his only child…and you still take him back!
    YMBAC if your entire apartment is surrounded by 3 feet of water during hurricane Irma…the water starts to come into the apartment and you lose your shit and…..you call him crying hysterically because you’re scared and he’s the only man you’ve ever been with your entire life…
    YMBAC if after all is said and done…you still hurt like a motherfucker over someone who doesn’t give a shit about you or his only child.

    • Pret, YMBAC if you believe him that the Viagra he packed to go to a conference out of town without you was for masturbation purposes only. And then believe he has trouble “talking about how my ED makes me feel like less of a man.”

    • YMBAC when STBX tells you that the reason that his AP’s contact info is still in his phone 5 years after his affair was supposedly over is that he doesn’t know how to delete it because it’s “in the cloud.” And you stay.

      YMBAC when, after DDay #1, STBX does not give you access to his phone or email accounts and defends this action by saying (1) it’s not appropriate for us to have access to each other’s phones; (2) we are each entitled to our privacy; (3) he doesn’t ask for access to my phone; and (4) he is not a child and will not be told who he can and cannot communicate with. And you stay. For 5 more years.

  • YMBAC if… you suspected a brain tumor might be causing their abnormal behavior.

    YMBACx2 if… you begged them to get an MRI.

    • Bahaha! I literally wondered if ass-hat had a brain tumor as well! What else could explain such outrageous behavior? Unfortunately is was my realization that he wasn’t who I thought he was, and my withdraw from hopium… not a brain tumor ????

    • I blamed the Cialis he started taking when he started seeing coworker. I of course believed he was taking for us… He was raging and physically abusive so it must be the medication making him crazy. Chump

    • OMG !!!!! I still think he has a brain tumor and many others do too.

      YMBAC if you wish your beloved husband of 25 years did have a brain tumor causing this behavior.

    • Mine had a small brain tumor. And, used his trip to the doctor out of town to also have hook ups with prostitutes at local message parlors. Here I was at home fretting over the results of the benign tumor – while he was getting is ineffective little man parts swallowed. Never questioned why it took him an hour to go get something to eat at night. That Burger King drive through takes a lot longer when you have to stop for blow jobs on the way.

    • the brain tumor rationale so resonates – I think that was also referenced in one of the garbage RIC books I bought. “Treat him as though he has a brain tumor. This is not your husband. Something has overtaken him, and this is not his true self.” Or as my therapist put it, it’s like his brain has short circuited, and if we could just switch the flip back, he would be the person I married. It took me a long time to realize, this is no brain tumor. There is no tumor. This glitch in his wiring is not a new thing. This is who he was all along – like a house built with shoddy workmanship, an electrical fire was destined all along.

  • YMBAC if you believe all those late night texts were from his kids!

    YMBAC if you initially believed him when he said it is an “inappropriate” but not “sexual” relationship.

    YMBAC if he tells you that he only really wanted to be with you! The next day, he is having sex with her. Oh but “It was only Oral sex” and “he always drunk”.

    • When i came to my senses and faced reality i got the “Inappropriate but not sexual” line and believed it.

      After Dday #1 i got an email from the OW’s husband, telling me about a particular “encounter” and H’s line to me was “oh that? That was nothing just a silly little thing”. I actually used ChumpLadys line that she must have tripped and landed on his cock! Apparently not ‘finishing’ during the penetration but by hand after wasnt actually anything just a “silly little thing”….who knew??!!

  • YMBAC if….

    you believe that email you found confirming his subscription to adult “friend” finder is “Simply curiosity, about real women’s sexual preferences, not fake acting like porn, and means nothing about their intentions of faithfulness”

    You believe any trip outside the home includes a chronic lateness of “hours”

    All issues you bring up lead back to “this is your problem” road. “You need to fix your insecurities”

    You grow into someone afraid to speak up for yourself, because the deflection to your own flaws has turned you into a self reflection, second guessing, I must be the problem person.

    You believe cheating isn’t a character issue, and won’t carry over to other deception, like finances, smear champagnes and poisioning the kids with lies.

    Your integrity to maintain “being a good person” comes before consequences for boundary violations.

    You listen to words even when they do not line up with actions… aka, you’re addicted to hopium!

    The minute your intuition is telling you there’s a problem you start looking for an alternative explanation

    • All issues you bring up lead back to “this is your problem” road. “You need to fix your insecurities”

      YES YES YES YES YES

      • Yep, and in hindsight I had very few insecurities when we started dating. It irritates me that the standard explanation for issues inside the marriage are “this is something chumps bring into the marriage” not something that is a result of the marriage, but it seems to work in reverse for the Cheater… their cheating is a result of the marriage, not something they brought with them. WTF? Who comes up with this crap?

        • I got: “I’ve done 1-on-1 counseling. I’ve done the self-reflection. I’ve done the work. Now its your turn. You brought your own issues into this marriage that need addressing. You need to do the work.”

          Me: “What issues are you talking about?”

          KK: “You’re very controlling.”

          Me: “In what way am I controlling? I’m agreed to this open marriage that you asked for — how am I controlling?”

          KK: “Look. I’m not here to be your therapist. You’re not perfect, and you have things you need to work on.”

          And like a true chump, I walked away and thought for days on whether or not she had a point.

          • We all hope it’s our fault because we want so chumpily badly to fix the problem. And being chumps, we get started right away!

    • I completely felt sorry for my STBX when his Schmoopsie decided with her chump husband to try again to work things out. So my STBX was basically dumped…and I felt bad for him! Kicking myself in the butt, because one month later they’re back together, living (temporarily) right next door to me, and I have to see them every. single. day. It’s like a 2X4 across the face repeatedly!

      I can’t believe I’d ever allow myself to feel sorry for him!

    • My STBX had his first visit with our kids since the divorce was filed back in August. He had plenty of opportunities to visit before the weekend, but he preferred running with his mistress/employee on the weekends. He was full of fake tears this weekend, but all I could think was, “were you crying while running?”. Not likely. I feel sorry for my kids, not him.

  • -If your husband never gives you a Mother’s Day card because *you* are not.his.mother,

    -If you get a funny feeling about his car-pooling buddy but dismiss it because she’s older than your mother, married to a very successful surgeon, and is about to have an empty nest, so how could that even happen,

    -If he starts using the downstairs bathroom in the middle of the night and when you, worried, still can’t find him… and he ends up saying that he went for a walk,

    -If women in public places look at your husband funny while you’re out with the children, and question, “? I didn’t know you’d settled down… how… nice for you!,”

    -If he thinks of every moment of every day off as his “down time” and doesn’t want to do ANYTHING with his family and can rarely even be guilt-tripped into doing it,

    -If he says it’s IMPOSSIBLE to cheat because you two have sex almost everyday so “of course, I’d have nothing left for anyone else! lolzzzz,”

    -If, on the rare occasions you go out without the children, you take more than 1.5 hours to complete days of errands, your husband calls and acts like you’re up to no good,

    You might be A Chump.

    • You might be A Chump if-

      The nurse asks tepidly asks IF your fiance will visit (3 days after a traumatic, 21.5-hour labor that ended in an emergency c-section) because he needs to sign the birth certificate.

      You message him for those 3 days, because now the nurse is saying she needs to send the certificate off by tomorrow and he doesn’t come.

      Your mother packs up her own 5 children, shows up at our apartment, and cheerfully, skillfully TELLS him he’s going to visit me and the baby (and to sign the BC).

      He can’t be there to pick you up (mother has to do it) because he can’t get time off.

      The next week, you wonder why he has no paycheck and he has no recourse so HAS to tell you that he took off the ENTIRE 6 days you were in the hospital (“feeling lost with his partner”) and went back on the day you came home.

      ****

      I feel ill now. Ugh. What a piece of shit.

      • You might be a chump if you answer a call he’s ignored 4 times in a row on his phone and the other person disconnects immediately after you say hello.

        You might be a chump if you call that person back, with her answering after he third time, and she says launches right away into a tirade of how you won’t let your husband even have a FRIEND.

        You might be a chump if, after you implore this FRIEND to stop distracting him with her personal problems because your pregnant with your third child (all three with him, in 2 years), that FRIEND says that you should shut your g*ddamn legs already… and then says only whores put out that much.

        You might be a chump if your husband doesn’t get furious with that FRIEND, having heard the whole thing, and continues being FRIENDS with her.

        You might be a chump if your husband promises to cut the FRIENDship after you move, because then she won’t know where you live anymore and be able to knock on the door as a threat.

        You might be a chump if you actually believe that a Clingy, Vulgar Female Friend and a husband who “cares too much” is the only problem… and that if she’s out of the picture, everything will be fine.

        You might be a chump if you push down the nagging question: Why does he care so much about HER problems when he could give a shit about mine?

        • You might be a chump if, 5 years later, he’s friends with his ho-worker/carpooling buddy – a woman older than your mother – and she gleefully brings over her daughter’s hand-me-downs for your children. And you’re GRATEFUL for those lovely, only-child quality hand-me-downs and make her pumpkin muffins and your special, homemade Irish cream.

          You might be a chump if your husband buys his carpooling buddy a $50 gift card for Christmas as a thank you (even though you split the rides equally) to THE art supply store you’ve begged him to go to with your own daughter but he said was too far out of the way. And he gets MAD that you’re annoyed, even though you’re skint and it would.have.been an AMAZING gift for your own daughter.

          You might be a chump if you choke down your sorrow that even after hearing this, he still didn’t get your daughter the same gift he gave his carpooling buddy.

          You might be a chump if his car-pooling buddy gets you and your children lovely feathered angel ornaments and little gifts for everyone and you hang them on the tree… because it’s not HER fault that your husband is an inconsiderate piece of shit.
          ************

          You MIGHT BE MIGHTY if, after D-Day, every time you see that “carpooling buddy” in public, see the horror plant in her eyes, watch while the terror spreads across her face, she begins to RUN (through Target, through the park, away from the ice cream stand, et al), I YELL after her, LAUGHING, “Yeah – you’d better run, Huli Jing!”

          (She’s from China. It’s basically calling her a DESPERATE, OLD WHORE.)

  • YMBAC. .If he says he’s going skiing to Vermont for the weekend, son & I help pack the car, skis, clothes, etc.

    Then noticing when charge card statement comes .. dinner, alcohol,gifts & hotel receipts all taken place out in the island (Long Island, NY)

    When confronted he said he won a free room & wanted to spend night drinking so not to drive home . Didn’t want to tell me “So I wouldn’t get wrong idea”!

    WTF?

    I was in denial…. how stupid was I??

  • YMBAC if you point blank ask your husband if he is having an affair with Schmoopie and his response is “No way, she is 10 down on the list of women I would have affairs with”

    YMBAC if on D-day 4 you find an email to Schmoopie that asks her to join the mile high club when he is flying first class. And then you remember he asked you to join the mile club too….on the exact same day!!

    • Ugh. I got “have you seen her? If I’m going to cheat I would have higher standards than that!” And it fucking made sense to me at the time. I had insulted him by suggesting he was sleeping with the ugly woman he was sleeping with.

  • So many!
    You believe her when she says her love messages were only meant as a way to save her poor mentally disturbed ex from junior high. He is mental and drug infested. But the messages were real.
    You believe her hiding her phone and changing passwords were to help build trust.
    Biggest being I believed she loved me!!!!

  • YMBAC if the “doubt” you feel in the back of your mind isn’t just another lie. You say to yourself “No,” cheater pants is a nice guy! He wouldn’t do that.

    Doubts are the time to check it out instead of believing everything. And yes, they will mess up a perfectly good family life for the cheap thrill of second hand women.

    My mortgage broker asked me what happened in my marriage and she said “that sounds like my husband”. I told her to check his story and she said no. She had small children.

    No telling how many marriages are in this situation. I was there also. I didn’t want to check either because my children were also small when I suspected.

    By the way, he said he’d never marry her and he’s seriously dating someone else. She really believed that if I was out of the way it would be just her.

    I might get lonesome sometimes but the peace of mind is worth not being tied to him anymore. It takes years off of having a real life and living happy.

  • YMBAC, if you have no problem with her trip to Paris with her female co-worker. You may even drive her to the train station, and give her a few hundred Euros and tell her to have fun!

    Turns out, it was a trip with her male co-worker fuckbuddy…now husband.

  • YMBAC

    You comment to your x during intimate relations that he ‘smells different’ and he gives you perfume for Xmas ( she prob wore same perfume)

    If your x takes his friend to visit his secretary’s sister on a trip…yep, his affair was with his secretary and he routinely went on family trips to see her sister

    If your x is 8 hours late to the beach house for family vacation

    If your son talks about ‘that nice lady at dad’s work’

    You find long black hair on your side of the bed (my hair is blond)

    Your x has to go to the gym on Christmas Day because ‘it’s my birthday and I deserve some alone time’. And is 3 hours late….Leaving you to pull together a formal Dinner.

  • YMBAC if….. you ask your partner of 9 years why he just went to the Dr for an STD test and he tells you it’s because his alcoholism is out of hand and he is bleeding from his anus. And by the way, you should be thanking him for having the courage to overcome his shame and embarrassment and get checked.

    YMBAC if…… you ask to see your partner of 9 years and father of your children’s phone records and bank statements because you suspect something is up and he tells you he may in time if you stop asking and he feels HE can trust you.

    • “he tells you he may in time if you stop asking and he feels HE can trust you.”

      Oh yes! I got the “I don’t trust you!” line as well… after he was the one who was caught cheating! I could never do enough mental gymnastics to fit that one into our “wreckconciliation” narrative where our “marriage was better than ever because we worked out our issues” ????. SMH ????????‍♀️

    • The old I don’t trust you coming from thr cheater. A classic. Good times, good times.

      It’s on par with the false accusations. You’re DEFINITELY a chump when you desperately try to reassure your cheater and it never once occurs to YOU to be suspicious.

      • Yup. My cheater said “It’s going to take me years to be able to trust you again!” after I figured out he’d been having an 8-year affair with a former coworker. Projection is a strange thing indeed.

  • Y’all are killing me this morning. KILLING me. ????

    YMBAC if your midwife discovered you had chlamydia during a routine pregnancy STD test, and you let him give you the cold shoulder and guilt trip you all week because, as he said, “It *must* have been something YOU got before we were married.” (When, a couple years later, I relayed this story to an OBGYN, he gave me the most rueful smile and said “It is highly, highly unlikely that you were carrying anything around for that long, especially as you had regular exams all that time. I’m sorry, but no.”)

  • YMBAC if you don’t “really” count D-Day#1, because it was “only” a one-night stand [that happened twice with the same person (“best friend”#1)], unlike D-Day#2, which was a 4-year affair with best friend#2. And still stuck around for a D-Day#3, which was also with “best friend”#2. (Although, I’d stopped all communication with “best friend”#2 well prior to D-Day#2.)

    So I’m changing my CL Name from ChumpedTwice to GoWithYourGut.

    • YMBAC if you believe that it’s always someone else’s fault (&/or some form of professional jealousy on the part of his colleagues) when your salesperson husband gets fired from multiple brokerages, including the time when his supervisor cites “lack of integrity” as one of the reasons for termination.

      YMBAC if you believe that your husband is out “networking” at a business event although you hear bass pumping EDM music in the background when he calls to give excuses of why he’s running late.

      YMBAC if you believe that the screenshot of an Uber ride receipt (which he inadvertently “butt dial” texted to you) was some sort of technological glitch on the part of the international transportation company although it clearly is showing that he was charged for a ride from a bar to an unknown address and his credit card statement mitrors this transaction.

      YMBAC if you dismiss the red flag aspect of your husband’s new habits of “manscaping” and buying his own underwear (which is a completely different style than he’s ever worn and you’ve solely purchased these garments for him for the past quarter century up until this point).

      YMBAC if you are confident that there no need to worry about your forty-something year old husband’s multiple overnight excursions to Las Vegas with his posse of single twenty-something business associates because these trips are completely work related and he would NEVER cheat! Bonus YMBAC points if your belief in his stellar fidelity is further enhanced when he tells you stories about how “disgusted” he was when he discovered that his aforementioned colleagues were soliciting prostitutes and doing drugs during the trips which he found so offensive that he decided to hang out in the casino all night to avoid such debauchery and “lost track of time” which is why you never heard from him many of the nights.

    • Omg…your story is close to mine..was screwing my friend a one night stand x2 in the basement of our home while I was upstairs…then moved on to his coworkers before returning to screwing my best friend and her husband…sick..

      • Nobody2U, my STBX also screwed others with me asleep upstairs. The first one-night-stand with my “BF#1” was while I was pregnant with our firstborn.

        Then, the two relationships he had with my “BF#2” were four years long, and most recently “only” two years long. (D-Day#3 was July 2, and I lawyered up on July 5.) And she was married to his ex-best-friend. And they not only had sex during the first affair downstairs while me and the kids slept upstairs, he also made a sex video of it, which our one daughter, at 12 years old, found!

        And I didn’t leave! I can’t believe what a disservice I did to my daughter. At least she was already seeing a therapist, so we just tacked that on to “things to talk about.”

        And now my STBX and his whore are staying in the house right next door to me, until they find a place to live. She just got kicked out of her house two weekends ago. So now, every day, it’s like being hit across the face with a 2X4.

        And she actually texted me that my glaring at her is “stalking.” I’m sorry if I can’t time my return from the dumpster to not coincide with your walking into the house that’s RIGHT NEXT DOOR!!!

        Somebody please wake me up from this nightmare!!!!

        • Go with your gut, I wonder if they are brothers or something…I am glad/sad to hear I am not the only person this has happened to…I honestly have not heard of anyone else having their partner disrespect or discard them in such a disgusting and personal way..it wasn’t like he was overseas or out of town…I was right there in the house upstairs with my family and friends cleaning up after a Veterans Day party…yah, I am a veteran and he even took my damn holiday away…my niece and daughter found his stash of dozens of porn tapes and figured out real quick they were not watching cartoons…fun time explaining that one to two 7 year old kids… I have very little self esteem as it is from a lifetime of abuse that I struggle to let go of but this has finally gotten me to where I don’t even want to look in the mirror anymore.

          • Nobody2U,
            I have always struggled with self-esteem. And even now, I fluctuate between hating my STBX and wanting to talk to him, thinking: maybe one day we could be friends. UGH!!

            And then I come on CL, and read everyone’s stories, and alternate between laughing and crying.

            Laughing at some of the truly comical things these assholes say to us!! Laughing, sort of, over the fact that…heck! I am not alone! (The sheer magnitude of just how many chumps there are is kind of overwhelming. Are humans really that selfish and horrible!?)

            And then crying, because…I fell for it. And it hurts that I actually allowed someone to treat me so poorly. And that my precious girls witnessed it, too. And I pray that they do not follow in my chumpy footsteps. And that the one thing they definitely take away from this is to “GO WITH THEIR GUT!”

            So, I understand the whole low self esteem issue. And you know how people will tell you: “Just be more confident!” Which is nice and all, but telling me to “have confidence” does not tell me HOW to have it.

            And someone much older than me (who had gone through a divorce with an alcoholic husband) said: You do one little thing on your own. Something you wouldn’t have thought you could do. And be happy that you did it. Celebrate that little thing, even if it’s with a pat on your own back. Then, the next time you come to having to do something “a little daunting,” remember that first time, and do it. And acknowledge that time, too. And little by little, with each task you complete by yourself, you’ll begin to learn that you CAN do it! And each of those moments will validate your self worth within your own mind. You are worthy and able!!!

            So I’m going to pat myself on the back for remembering to add oil to my car. And I’m going to pat myself on the back for stepping outside my comfort zone and actually buying the antenna for my TV, so I could save money on cable. And little by little, I’m taking ME back.

            And you, Nobody2U, are welcome to join me!!! Together, we are mighty, aren’t we!!?

  • YMBAC if you miscarry alone at home while responsible for a sleeping toddler (mustn’t scream in pain too loudly, or he will awaken and be afraid) while the cheater is “busy” on a “business trip.” And then you take the child to preschool and go to work the next day, still alone, still bleeding, and in shock. But divorce never crosses your mind.

      • Yes cashmere hindsight sucks!

        Reminds me: YMBAC if you are 7 months pregnant and don’t sleep a wink all night because you are in excruciating pain, yet when you wake spouse up at 3 am he says he needs sleep and wait til morning to call Dr. So at 7 you finally do and dr. Says go to the hospital and husband says we have to take the other kids to his parent’s on the way because they can’t have the inconvenience of coming to our house. ( turns out the pain was caused appendicitis and at some point it ruptured and I was having contractions but didn’t realize it because it was nothing like my previous 4 labors.)

        • Feelingit,
          We can’t make this shit up.
          This is absolutely horrible.
          I am so sorry you went thru this. It is a miracle you survived.
          We Chumps, we do have our miracles in life.
          Such miracles have nothing to do with our cheaters.
          Still, some days they pop up and that is how we continue to breath, to smile, to live.
          CN is one of my miracles!
          People, like you.
          Hope things are going better for you Feelingit.

      • Too true, Cashmere, and so sorry for you.

        There is no business so important that it supersedes comforting one’s wife after a miscarriage. Period.

        Hugs. Strength. Peace.
        aeronaut

        • Guess I’m a chump. Six months after we got married I miscarried for the first time (of four). The crapweasel still got on a plane for a work trip to TX–a trip that he admitted was fairly meaningless. Bonus points for the giant box of baby stuff (from my sister) that arrived on my porch the day he left/morning after I miscarried. So much fun to open all alone!

    • Oh my, Cashmere. You are a brave, self-sufficient woman and what you have lived through becomes more horrific with each new story.

      • It’s so bizarre, looking back, but very empowering. I will never romanticize any of it. He was all bad. Every. Last. Bit.

    • I am so sorry cashmere,
      I understand your pain.
      Chumps are not stupid, but we are brave.
      It is just how a Chump’s heart beats, so different from a cheater’s
      ❤️

    • Cashmere…you just described part of my life. Mine said he couldn’t leave work. He told me he would find a friend to come to the house to watch my 2 and 3 year old while I went through the miscarriage alone. He eventually did come home a few hours later, but that initial response was still one that just is NOT normal. Yet, I spackled and believed the excuses he gave me for why he couldn’t leave. DDay#1 didn’t happen for about 8 more years, but why was that response ever acceptable?

      YMBAC if you overlooked mistreatment and assumed you expected too much.

  • … he says he is going to shoot some pool (alone) but instead he’s going to a hotel room to fuck someone he met on Craigslist and you still don’t kick him out

    … he stays home from a birthday party to spend time with his older son but instead drives to another state to fuck someone he met on Craigslist and you still don’t kick him out

    … he uses photos from your son’s baptism day and your wedding day (’cause damn he looked good) so he could meet women/groups/couples and you still don’t kick him out

    … he hides a year’s worth of bonus checks and you only discover it after reviewing the income tax filing but you still don’t kick him out

    … he spends no time with you or the kids or helping around the house, but complains that YOU don’t spend enough time with him and/or as together as a couple without the kids and you still don’t leave

    … he tells you that yet another of his kids from his first marriage is coming to live with you and you beg him not to… you beg him and tell him you are already drowning and need HIM… and instead, you get the bedroom ready for the kid and take on the parenting… but you still don’t kick him out

    … he tells you he’s leaving, and you beg him to stay

    … you let him come along to pick out the family Christmas tree after he has gone public about the OW (who isn’t an OW)

    … you let him sleepover (on the couch) on Christmas Eve so he can be there for your son when he wakes up and let him spend the whole day and DINNER together as “family”… only to have him run out the door at 6pm to go meet his OW (who had just dumped her kids with her X)

    Good lord… I could be doing this for days.

    Rock on Chump Nation…

    • So many! I can relate!

      I’d add – YOU ARE DEFINITELY A CHUMP WHEN YOU ASK HIM TO STOP SEEING THE OW and HE KEEPS SEEING HER BEHIND YOUR BACK!

      or when in marriage counseling he says :”tired chump is strong – she’ll be fine – but “AP/ho-worker” has abandonment issues because her father died when she was young”
      Chester logic= don’t hurt someone 27 years younger that you’ve known for 2 years – who chose to sleep with her boss – vs the mother of your children who you have been with for 30-plus years! Cuz somehow she “needs” you and you are a noble “rescuer”

      • Yes it hurts when they care about not hurting the OW but don’t seem to get or care that they are hurting you in her place. Sometimes I just want to shout “You aren’t the hero in this story, you are the villain”

        • Chumpinrecovery,
          YES,
          to them not wanting to “hurt” the OW and wanting to be “fair” to them,
          at the same time tearing the very heart and soul right out of you.

          • Yes! After DDay #2, I called the OW and left her a message asking her to call me. Of course, she didn’t call me. But my STBX then called her to apologize “for dragging her into this.”

            You couldn’t make this stuff up.

            • I sent the OW a spring-loaded glitter bomb. STBX never said anything to me about it, but I read an email where he apologized for my behavior and hoped I had gotten it out of my system.

              Because MY behavior was awful, but cheating on and leaving a wife with cancer is perfectly fine.

              Disgusting, the whole lot of them.

      • Cheater, was always attracted to drama, all the women were drama queens seemed that’s what was missing from his life. Funnily enough he didn’t do drama at home couldn’t handle serious illnesses or death always tried to distance himself. Now he’s living with the drama queen it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. Seems a lot of these cheaters want drama.

  • You might be a chump if you often find yourself explaining basic human kindness to your spouse over and over and over again…

    • THIS x1000!

      A few more facepalms I can add to the mix:

      … And explaining basic parenting
      … And explaining that a lie of omission is (by definition) a LIE
      … And explaining what the vows he took actually mean
      … And explaining that a prerequisite to forgiveness is true, active remorse

      I FELT like a broken record at the end. In so many ways.

      • Hah! I can’t even count the times I’ve said, “normal people don’t…….” to the Worm.
        Moral of the story; you don’t have to explain basic human behavior to normal people. If you ever find the need to, stop and run away as fast and as far as you can!

      • Yup. All of this. At a certain point I realized that having to defend my own humanity was a losing game – if it’s even a point of discussion, there is no hope.

      • Same record on my turntable – really quite mind-blowing. It got scarier when my children were older, got it, and I was *still* trying to explain these very basic ideas to him. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

      • Yes! The omission lies and the remorse thing! My stbx constantly did this and hasn’t showed any remorse. Seriously, no conscience. Drove me nuts! Douche bags!

    • Recent text convo between the STBX and I:

      Me: Please learn how to communicate like a decent human being. Ask questions instead of trying to manipulate a conversation. Would you treat a business partner the way you are treating me?

      Him: Decent? Are you decent? I do not know what that means.

      No shit.

      • Yup! At one point, during what I later realized was the discard, I just said “I need you to please be cordial to me like you would be to some random work colleague.” He couldn’t manage that, of course, and now, good riddance.

  • If you dutifully straightened his tie and used the lint roller on his tux before he went off to a ‘business meeting ‘ on your only night off work in two weeks, and the next day you find opera tickets in his breast pocket – you might be a chump.

    • If you picked out his tux and got him ready for his industry’s yearly award banquet. Odd that no spouses were ever allowed to go due to the cost of tickets and a hotel room was required because they partied to all hours and he wanted to be safe and not drive home drunk.

  • Ymbac if your husband uses your pregnancy as a reason to talk you out of going to a concert, a concert of the only band youve ever said you cared about seeing so he can go alone. And you believe he really is going alone and slept in his car.

  • YMBAC If you believe that he “sold” the missing Viagra to the guys at the gas station.

    YMBAC If you believe that management had decided to hold weekly Wednesday evening meetings.

    YMBAC If a Nor’easter is predicted, but, for some reason his unimportant credit union seminar (on a Saturday, no less) is not cancelled or postponed. And you believe him.

    YMBAC If the new bank account he has set up has NO statements coming home and when you ask him the balance, you believe him! (When this was actually the “affair” account)

    YMBAC When you pay all expenses out of joint household account, yet, do not insist that your name be included on the account where all his consulting checks are deposited. (different account from above).

    And the worst part, YMBAC when after two years since Dday, you see the two of them in the BMW you paid for and burst into tears!

  • YMBAC if your husband talks about a woman from work so much that you start jokingly calling her his girlfriend, the thought never crossing your mind that he would be having an affair with this woman.

    • And when he talked about (OW) tell you all the stupid things she does, what a fuck up she is etc etc. so you really are thrown off the scent. “Mr. Responsibility ” would never have an affair with someone like that! He had no tolerance for stupid behaviour! Ya right!

      • Yup.

        “She’s a mess.” “She has issues. ” “She messes up all the time” etc. etc.
        I still felt off about it, but dismissed it because why would he get involved with incompetent people? Answer: They make him feel better about himself.

        • “She’s a mess”…..yeah but there’s at least some truth to that. In reality they’re both a mess and have issues.

  • YMBAC if they blame you for their affair and you agree with them
    YMBAC if you ask them to reconcile and have to wait for them to “break up” with schmoopie
    YMBAC if you do go through with wreckconciliation (for three years) and believe that he and schmoopie have had no contact
    YMBAC if you finally say you want to divorce and agree to stay with them through the “holidays” which is just code for reconnect with schmoopie so he doesn’t have to be alone

    Yeah I used to be that chump. Don’t be like me!

  • YMBAC if you think “but my spouse is different from all the other ones I hear and read about.”

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

  • YMBAC if you mind the finances and yet still don’t ask him about the (albeit “occasional”) ATM withdrawals to the tune of $120+. For YEARS. Even when you personally try to help wrangle the finances and then a professional is brought in to help wrangle the finances (to my credit, the professional didn’t ask either). Also, when he says he wants to take care of the credit card bill for that month and to please not look at it and you trust him (secret present for me? …nope, sketchy massage parlor).

    • My wife was pulling that one. Constant withdraws of $120, $180, $200…..and yet still had $1000 personal credit card bills. But she was mad during the divorce when I told her I had felt I needed an attorney and an accountant to examine our finances.

    • Can’t say how many withdrawals my STBX has done over years and years…$80 here, $120 there, another $200 out.

      This past May (a month and a half prior to D-Day#3), I finally opened a bank account, just so I could transfer money from “our” acct into this new one. Just so the cash would still be there when all the things that were “pending” actually went through.

      And then after D-Day#3, he went snooping everywhere, trying to find anything on me that would, I guess, validate his cheating (which of course there was nothing). That’s when he found the account info in our financial binder, that’s right there for him to see; the same binder I repeatedly ask him to look at so he’ll know which bills are due. And then he actually accused me of **being sneaky.**

      Are you kidding me!?!

  • YMBAC if …

    — You wholeheartedly believe your spouse is a truly good person underneath all of that pain …

    — You find yourself repeatedly saying (about the cheater), “Who SAYS that?” or “Who DOES that?”

    — You suddenly realize all of those “jokes” over the years weren’t jokes. They were jabs.

    — You let him and the marriage counselor convince you that YOU are a hyper-sensitive, jealous wife because those perfectly placed scratch marks on his back were *obviously* from the dog … and the lipstick on his collar was *obviously* your own

    — You arrive at the Chump Lady blog while trying to figure out how to save your marriage — then you start to recognize doppelganger-like descriptions of your cheater spouse in (at least) every other post in the archives.

    • JesssMom…yes! My STBX is always helping people, and animals in need. So he’s not all horrible. He’s mostly a good dad…cares about the kids, and would help out with getting them places they needed to go. So I have always told myself that he’s truly a good person underneath. Even now, I struggle with the reality of that.

      Also…the “jokes.” Boy, have I been the brunt of his “jokes” and sarcasm. Can’t say how many times I heard: I was just kidding. Or…You’re too sensitive. Lighten up.

      Since he moved out in August, my home life with my kids (almost all grown), has been so nice. It’s a relief to not walk on egg shells wondering what’s gonna set him off.

      And I agree about the doppelganger-like descriptions. I’m dumbfounded at just how dumb I was…

      • >>”Since he moved out in August, my home life with my kids (almost all grown), has been so nice. It’s a relief to not walk on egg shells wondering what’s gonna set him off.”

        YES!!! Same here. Since the end of February. My girls and I are enjoying a much more peaceful existence. The difference is startling!

        And, for the record, you were not dumb. You were honest and trusting. Excellent qualities when not with someone who sees everything good trait as a opening for manipulation.

        • Thanks, JesssMom.
          I know deep down I’m not an idiot. I’m just so emotional recently. He’s living right next door (temporarily…possibly until Nov) and his whore just moved in with him two weekends ago. Because she just got kicked out of her house by her chump husband.

          And I just want to fast forward to when they’re not there anymore.

          And I’m glad you’re feeling more at peace. Do your girls go see their dad? And does he live with his affair partner? Because that’s the one thing that’s KILLING me!!

          Right now our girls are with me 24/7. Because where my STBX is staying isn’t “his.” It’s a neighbor’s who’s away up north. But when my STBX goes to move into wherever he’ll be, along with “that woman!”, my youngest (16 yrs old) will most likely go visit overnight. And I DO NOT WANT HER AROUND THAT WOMAN!!!

          The thought of it overwhelms me and it’s all I can think about. I’m dying over the thought!! Can’t imagine how I’m going to be when it actually happens!!!!

    • Yep, note to self dont fall in love with potential or projects..oh and dont assume because someone has been cheated on and had their heart broken more than once that they would never cheat!

  • YMBAC if you can check at least one item from almost all of the previous posts.

    Plus:

    … if cheater refuses to take you to see his new office because “you don’t appreciate my efforts” (sweet-assing in my language), so chumpy you insists and cheater takes you there at lunch hour and you just get introduced to the guy who serves coffee, who, BTW, looks kinda confused at the introduction… And you leave the humiliation at that.

    … if cheater lost wedding band because he “was twirling it on my desk”. And you believe him.

    … if you have a joint bank account with cheater to deposit your salary, but he refuses to have one with you for his salary, THEN cheater takes out a consigned loan on YOUR salary, does not tell you, much less explains why, THEN lies to you when confronted so you go and make a big fuss at the bank and THEN when you are dead with shame in front of the bank manager and cheater can no longer lie, cheater blames YOU for being disorganized with expenses and succeeds at making you feel guilty. And it never occurs to you to examine the need to lie about the loan in the first place.

    Even though I got a lot of laughs today, all the YMBACs have made me feel so damn stupid. I am ANGRY.

    • I am also becoming angry… and drafting texts that I know I can not, WILL not send, though I’d really like to. And boy…can’t say how many imaginary conversations I’ve had with my STBX…most often at 2 or 3am when I wake up for no good reason, other than stress over separating and getting divorced. Or wondering how I’m gonna pay all these bills, most of which are a result of his poor financial choices. He’s on a weekend vacay for his birthday with Schmoopsie while I just drained my bank acct making sure all the bills are paid up. Yup, definitely angry…

  • YMBAC if

    -you never in a million years thought your husband would cheat

    -you don’t see the red flags (phone locked down, obsessed with appearance, etc.)

    -you try wreckonciliation and feel some blame for the cheating

    -you somehow feel “guilty” filing the divorce papers

    -you have had your past, present, and future changed forever

    -your innocence and belief in people has been used against you

    • This^
      or if the first time you find chump lady and it rings true – you decide your cheater is different and go back to reconciliation boards – because DENIAL is your native tongue

      Then come back and realize your cheater is just like the legions who selfishly trashed a 30 year marriage and hurt his kids –
      -and that none of it is your fault and you can be mighty – with CN’s help!!

    • “your innocence and belief in people has been used against you.”
      Yes! And what really gets to me is that when a coworker learned that I was chumped he decided “oh good – an easy mark” and proceed to lie and steal from me.

  • How did I not remember this from the first time around? I suggested this the other day and it must have come from the depths of my memory.

    YMBAC if your long-time partner and the father of your child “isn’t ready to get married” for nearly a decade.

    YMBAC if said partner refuses to be where you and your shared child are because it would involve too much compromise (and of course cutting off delicious cake), so you wind up a single-but-not-single parent

    YMBAC if your partner finally decides he’s “all in,” and the ditches you on your wedding night.

    YMBAC if you spin the wheel of self-blame and try on every one of them to see if it will stick and fix the marriage. They don’t.

    YMBAC if your spouse cheated in previous replationships but convinced you that your relationship is SO extra-special-perfect-sparkly-rainbows that they’d NEVER cheat on you.

    YMBAC if you give up your job and home for your spouse, and then they drop D-day within weeks after watch you emotionally struggle through selling your house, submitting your resignation letter, and saying goodbye to your family.

    YMBAC if they shrug when you ask why they didn’t see fit to reveal the affair BEFORE the above irreversible actions.

    YMBAC if you still love and miss them for a long time after all of that.

    BUT THEN…..

    You might be a recovered chump (YMBARC) if…

    YMBARC if you learn your boundaries and stick to them.

    YMBARC if you’re willing to walk away from a date, a friendship, or a relationship when red flags appear.

    YMBARC if past cheating becomes an immediate deal breaker in a date.

    YMBARC if you refuse to take the blame for your spouse’s cheating.

    YMBARC if you learn to say no, NO, and oh hell no.

    YMBARC if you decide that being alone is better than being abused.

    YMBARC if you accept the value and necessity of reciprocity.

    YMBARC if you’ve developed an internal UBT.

    YMBARC if you can spot a narcissist from a mile away.

    YMBARC if you take no shit from yourself or others.

    YMBARC if you immediately send new chumps here.

    YMBARC if you trust that “meh” exists, even if you’re still on the road to it.

    I don’t appreciate being chumped. Not even a little. But I do value that I’m more of the person I want to be today than I was back then.

    • I love the YMBARC list too! That “spot a narcissist from a mile away” had me laughing and reeling for a hot minute. But it’s too true! They seem to just come out of the wood work now. Even though that came at great cost, I wouldn’t trade it for anything now.

    • “YMBAC if your spouse cheated in previous replationships but convinced you that your relationship is SO extra-special-perfect-sparkly-rainbows that they’d NEVER cheat on you.”

      You got it, FreeVix!

      And they must tell one another the same thing now.

      • Probably not anymore, given that they’re past the “honeymoon” phase. Real life is a not-so-sparkly bitch.

    • I love this! You are mighty! Thank you for extending the conversation this way. Today’s post wasn’t fun for me. It got me down.

  • YMBAC if after he meets with his mistress to “break up” with her, you text and ask him if there’s anything you can do to help him through this….WTF???

    • YMBAC if you let him go to “break up with OW” in the first place, especially if he has already broken up with her and this time she is breaking up with him and it has to be in person. Extra bonus points if you allow this because you think everything will be ok once they “break up”.

      • Oh yeah, he has to break up with her in person so she can have closure, doncha know? Because when you’re knowingly fucking someone else’s husband, you certainly deserve closure. And, spoiler alert, he doesn’t break up with her at all…

    • After D-Day#3, my STBX’s affair partner “dumped” him, so she could “save her marriage” with her chump husband. I actually felt bad for him. Seriously!? And of course, now they’re back together. But karma will get them. They’ll cheat on each other eventually. I vow to not feel bad when it does.

  • YMBAC if…

    One week after you left your cheating wife, she sent you a “25 things” marriage advice column…and you read through the list and got upset because you DID all of those things.

    You didn’t realize that the column didn’t include the obvious advice to “be faithful,” which your wife failed at. You were so focused on what you could have done differently that you STILL couldn’t see that she was blaming you for her cheating.

    But seriously…I still find it amazing that she sent me marriage advice. Just stupefying.

  • YMBAC … If you’ve assumed for years that when he says, “Thank you for loving me”, it also means that he loves you in return.

    • My wife and I went to one of her friends’ wedding. In the car on the way home she professed how thankful she was that I had stuck with her over the years and that most men would have long since left her and that it showed that I truly loved her. Three days later she cheated on me. I found out later on she had already cheated two weeks before attending that wedding. Reading your post makes me realize that when she was professing those things not once did she say she actually loved ME. In my brain I ASSUMED she was saying she did. Makes more sense now.

    • After Dday I found a card he had given me saying Thank you for loving me…it took my friend to point out he wasn’t saying he loved me.

  • His coworkers won’t look you in the eye.

    You gradually learn of all the cheating and divorcing going on in his family and you think “good thing he’s not like them.”

    You think “anyone else would be suspicious of their husband, but not me. I know he’s special and would never do that.”

    • Yep, this is me. I was so glad he wasn’t like his cheating narc father and brother. Joke was on me, he was exactly like them, just better at hiding it.

  • YMBAC if:
    Cheater says, on DDay, ” I feel about her how I have never felt about anyone else ever.”
    ” I need a divorce as it would not be fair to her to just live with her.”
    If you have a tiny child, are in first trimester pregnancy, ( before this were alone with an unknown tubal pregnancy, went to the hospital, had emergency exploratory surgery, blood transfusions after the surgery. All this time you spoke to cheater,once by phone, as he continued to work away. Chump me told him not to worry, I was fine. ( fuck, why do we Chumps do that, take on the world and keep on being nice and so not needy)!

    So many many other things, so little time to write!
    But I always remember this, one of the top 10 signs of an affair: he went out and bought all new underwear! ( and of course there was nothing wrong with the old stuff). And, Of course, Chumpy me, laundered it all and still, no bright light hit my trusting heart or brain!

    They are all in a class by themselves!

  • YMBAC if your ex groomed his private area but refused to have sex with you.

    Seriously, how did I miss this?!?!?!?!? I always just shrugged it off as a grooming habit, but if you are not having sex with your wife, why would you groom that area? The answer is I’m a chump and he was cheating for most, if not all of our 8-year marriage.

    • I missed that sign, too! I also missed the sign of him buying 2 large boxes of condoms that we should have never needed to use, because I had had an IUD put in to control my neverending periods. His excuse? “I don’t want to come prematurely.”

  • YMBAC if you have yourself convinced that he only lied to everyone else. Never you.

    YMBAC if you believe his spiel about the crazy browser history on YOUR ip address is due to a band mate using his AOL account on a different computer a few towns over and is looking up porn specifically to get him in trouble.

    YMBAC if you wrote a 3 page apology letter that explained how sorry you were for getting upset and that you now understood why he states in his band bio on their webpage that he was single. …despite having been and a serious monogamous (hahahaha) relationship for 6 years. (His reason was that single band members draw more chicks to the shows and chicks bring their boyfriends so more cover charges paid)

    YMBAC if you believe his story about damaging his wedding band on some band equipment…thats why he doesn’t have it on while on stage at the show. The damage on the band looks suspiciously like the result of using needlenose pliars. (Spackle) So you get him a titanium replacement for the flimsy gold…. which he loses the day before the next show only to find it next to the sink after the show.

    YMBAC if you find messenger app text lists, read everything his screen name says to these girls and never questions him or takes any of it to the police. (Solicitation of sex with minors… him telling them that they would have to be discrete because of me and that they’re underage/16)

    YMBAC if you walked on eggshells for 3 months during wreckonciliation because ANYTHING would send him into a rage that would end in him screaming obscenities at me and storming out of the house. ( …anotherwards grasping at anything for him to get away to the OW’s place while blaming me for the whole episode. ) …and all you do is call his phone and leave crying voicemails begging him to come back home.

    Egads, I was pathetic. As this was years before Chump Lady and Chump Nation, it took good friends efforts and The Sweet Potato Queens Wedding Planner and Divorce Guide. “If he wants to cheat, he will find somebody to do it with, and he doesn’t much care who. And by the same token, if he doesn’t want to, no woman on earth could persuade him, by any means, to do it.”

    • Oh, FeralBlue! That’s horrible, everything you had to go through with that.

      And I understand the whole “apologizing to him when you shouldn’t be.” Not sure if I ever wrote a letter, but countless times when I would apologize profusely, through tears, that it was all me. And I would do better to prove how much I love him.

      And while trying to go NoContact, I am failing miserably. Not begging for him to come home, but just seeking validation that 25 years was not all for nothing. Which it’s not (3 kids I LOVE!!).

      I am grateful for Chump Nation!!! And people like you who share the horribleness of being a chump. I can only imagine how bad you felt while reading all those messages. Hopefully you’re well on your way to healing!!

  • When he says he took that three hour dog walk and wasn’t responding to calls just because it was a nice night and then you feel guilty and apologize for having been worried about him and then apologize for having worried him with all your calls because when he finally got around to noticing them he was afraid something had happened to one of the kids.

    When he says he can’t stay and eat Sunday brunch with you and the kids when you are making something special just the way he likes it because he needs to go fly his airplane because it hasn’t been flown for a while and you accept that. Then when it storms you call to say “it’s storming you can’t fly so why don’t you come home and have brunch”, his response is “It’s not storming here” and you believe it.

    When you don’t like his new best buddy’s wife because she makes you feel insecure whenever she talks to you and you know he admires her because she is all of the things he has lately been complaining to you that you aren’t but you don’t suspect he is having an affair with her because it’s his new best buddy’s wife after all. Extra double bonus points if you feel guilty for not liking her just because you’re jealous and it isn’t her fault he admires her.

    After D-Day when he asks you to stop taking away his cell phone and I-pad at night so he can’t contact her because “it will be more meaningful if I resist on my own” and you go along with that.

    When you actually believe that some of the awful things he says about you in MC might actually be true and you buy into the notion that you may have been partially to blame for his cheating.

    • Marriage Counseling in my case (sought, schedule and pair for by me) was a way to make my already low self-esteem even lower because he and the MC convinced me it was too painful for him to discuss the affair because of the guilt and his “grieving” the affair partner. So instead, we concentrated on what the marriage issues were leading up to the affair and how I was a part of the tone of our marriage. He even flirted with our MC right in front of me, and she simpered and swooned like a teenage girl.

  • I feel like I’ve walked into an alternate universe, where everyone speaks my language, and suddenly realize that if all of you are smart, genuine and funny… and in no way at fault for being cheated on… then maybe, just maybe….. I’m also smart and not at fault for my husbands affair as well. Sometimes it’s hard to see ourselves clearly, isn’t it? Especially after being gaslighted by your husband (and former best friend, lover, father of your beautiful kids) of 21 years. Realizing your husband is actually your enemy.

    YMBAC if …

    — For years before Dday#1, he is hot/cold, loving/hateful, but changing in small incremental ways that have you walking on eggshells, and you think IF ONLY I keep the house cleaner, dress better, have more sex with him even when he’s an ass, have a more positive fun-loving personality even when exhausted from opening my own business, he might not be “stressed” and go back to being the sweet guy I fell in love with…

    — You (he) decides that you need to save money at Christmas and just spend money on the kids and not each other. Two weeks before Christmas you receive a package from a department store with three sweaters and blouse much too small for you, and after being a detective you find out the purchase was from his credit card made from an email address that you’d never heard of at 12:44 AM. You believe him after he says it must have been a computer glitch and “why would he order clothes for me that were too small?” So you cancel credit card and return clothes, never really suspecting that he bought them for your good friend that he was having an affair with for over a year at that point…..

    — Then you find out after DDay#1 (and becoming a master detective) that once those clothes were returned and he needed a gift, he went to Dick’s (appropriate) and spent $200 on running gear and cute workout clothes for her. Then this past Christmas during wreckonciliation, when Christmas and gifts are obviously a sticking point and he should be trying to win your heart back or at least make some gesture of love, he….

    — Gives you a Starbucks mug and coffee gift set. Impersonal, but hey you like coffee and were raised to appreciate all gifts. So while thanking him, you turn the box around to see all the little samples tucked around the mug and you see another tag “To (my husband), from Joe (a CoWorker)”. My husband regifted a Starbucks giftset to me. Dagger to heart. But I kept smiling and laughed it off as he said he was so embarrassed and thought he’d removed the tag. * Need I say, this is NOT ABOUT THE GIFT PER SE? Just the thought behind the gift.

    — I could go on and on, because this is a microcosm into the last 18 months of my life. But after 3 Ddays, he has moved out, says he has feelings for her and can’t shake them, can’t help he has no passion for me, and IF ONLY I had (fill in the blanks) he wouldn’t have fallen for her, but needs to see where this relationship goes. Leaving our 21 year marriage and our two kids (college and middle school) to pursue “relationship” with my former good friend who divorced her husband last month. And I STILL think he’s a good person deep down, just misunderstood, and maybe he’ll wake up and see the light and love me again….and I haven’t pursued any legal recourse because it might make him too mad to want to come back once he wakes up…. so YES, I am a Chump still. Makes me sick to even write it out loud! I’d love a reality dose, anyone, because like I said… it’s hard to see clearly….

    I think my amygdala and hippocampus are damaged. Any remedies out there?

    • CreativeLifer, sweetheart, you have been and are the victim of domestic abuse– your reactions and thoughts are the proof. Read Dr.Simon if you want to know more.

      The only option is to hire the best lawyer there is, go completely no contact– block all calls, texts, send emails to a folder and have a friend or family member screen those for any your lawyer should see. Hire a sitter to handle any visitation exchanges for your middle schooler so you NEVER have to see X.

      You will start to heal but first you’ll grieve, and it will hurt bad, but at least that pain is finite. Post of the general forum 24/7 and find a CN buddy to help support/support you through this.

      Hugs!

      • MotherChumper99, thanks for your kind words, and for being “real”. I needed to hear this. I’ve been seeing a counselor for six months, and she is awesome. She says he’s either a narcissist/Cluster B/Borderline, and the kids and I have been verbally/emotionally abused for years. Just like reading CL posts, hearing this from her makes me say, “Not me, not him”. I am in serious denial. But after a year of “trying”, him leaving/returning 3x, then separation this last time (4th) for “her”, I know I need to bite the bullet and finalize legal separation papers. He says he wants us to be “friends”. I told him I don’t need anymore male friends, got plenty. I just need a husband, and that we’re not in high school anymore. My grandmother got her license and went to college at age 55, so I’m sure I can start over at 51. Thanks again for the boost 🙂

        • One thing that helped me get out of denial was filing for divorce, doing discovery, hiring a private eye, and uncovering numerous affairs of his over the years, and thousands in marital cash spent on his cheating. You only know about the one AP right now, and as CL/CN can attest it is almost always just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cheaters. Get out before you get herpes.

    • You really need to get out now. I don’t know the best way to convince you because I was once in your place. The best I can say is that if there is a good person in there still then he can still come back after divorce. Get divorced and if he ever does get his head out of his ass and realizes that you are the best thing that ever happened to him and he doesn’t want to lose you then he will do the work necessary to win you back (and make him work at it, get IC first etc. etc.) divorced or no. By the time you are divorced, however, you may come to realize that you don’t want him back, but don’t worry about that now. Protect yourself in case he never does “come to his senses”.

      • Thanks ChumpInRecovery. I’ve read your posts on here for awhile and value your thoughts and opinion. It seems from reading that there are hundreds of very stupid men out there who would cheat on all these vibrant, funny, well-spoken women. Yes, I think down deep in my heart, I know that once I’m done, it’ll be forever. So I keep hanging on because I know him so well that he’ll eventually know he screwed up. This is his first affair. BUT…. having said that, the affair was for 18 months BEFORE I found out, then has continued for another 15 months behind my back since that day. It’s lies upon lies, many small decisions to cheat over and over…and then blame me for it. Leaving me and the kids, knowing how devastated we’ve been — I’m pretty sure that there’s no recovering from this without God’s help. So I know I need to move and and let God handle the future. Thanks again for your sweet words.

        • YMBAC if you can say “This is his first affair” and you still actually believe that’s true.
          YMBAC if you say “I know him so well” while he’s been screwing a close friend of yours for the last 3 years.

          Hugs to chumps!!! Their cheating is never our fault but it’s our problem as long as we choose to remain married to these cheating assclowns.

    • That sweet guy you fell in love with? Yeah, that guy does not exist – it’s a mask he wore to woo you. So he’s not coming back.
      The real him is a liar. That’s a character problem, not a marriage issue problem. And your comment about the MC? Oh my god, makes my blood boil. You’ve been emotionally abused by your husband and now the MC? Is there any way you can find a reputable therapist for just you? You are on the right track when you said that your husband was actually your enemy. That is a solid truth that you need to believe in your core. And no, CreativeLifer, this wasn’t your fault. None of us deserved this and by this I mean the lying and the gaslighting. Nobody deserves that. (Your kids don’t either so please tell them the truth in a way that is appropriate for their ages).
      Don’t be so hard on yourself – all of this takes time to process. So be gentle and kind with yourself. You are on the right road.
      (((Hugs)))

      • Thanks KathleenK! I am seeing a great counselor, who thinks I could bring the MC professional charges. I’m too tired for that. I do know my husband is a great liar, and his image… the effort he puts into his professional and physical stature is ridiculous. I guess I question how could he have a character issue for 21 years and me not know it? He used to be the most down to earth, humble guy.. almost dorky. Now he’s so full of himself. My kids are very aware of what’s going on. As a matter of fact, my 18 year old says if I let his dad come back again, he’s moving out. Never going to live with him again. I think they see more clearly than I do. Sad. But I AM getting there… and thanks for your kind words 🙂

        • He sounds like a covert narcissist just like my ex. They are geniuses at hiding their True Selves. You could not see the True Self for 21 years because he was mirroring your own goodness and integrity and humility back to you, thereby tricking you into thinking those were his own qualities. This exact thing has happened to so many of us Chumps— you are not alone. Over the last 15 years, my covert narc slowly transformed from a kind, chubby, broke nerd during our courtship into a fashion-obsessed, rich but stingy, workout fiend, who manscapes, dyes his greying hair, and started using condoms and turning down sex with me for no valid reason… until he suddenly walked out on me and our 3 kids under 8 just weeks after a cross-country move to be with his AP of 8 secret years.

          They are not right in the head. The more you can learn about covert narcs, the easier this will get to wrap your brain around.

    • In addition to the comments already given, please see a therapist … one who specializes in trauma. I couldn’t even think straight for a period of time when the shit hit the fan. It sucks horribly. But, a good trauma therapist is worth his/her weight in gold. I started noticing positive changes within a couple of weeks (small, incremental … but awesome, nonetheless).

      • JesssMom, thank you! I am seeing a great counselor, and she is starting EMDR with me this week. I’m definitely suffering from PTSD, after living with a covert narcissist for 21 years. I’m figuring myself out, trying to be the best woman and mom I can be. I know it’ll be a long road but that’s okay. I’m really tired of working on US and need to work on ME. 🙂 Glad you found a good therapist as well!

    • It does not get better, only worse. They don’t change. I stayed for 3 years and at the end found that he was going to leave me anyway after he was done with school for the 3rd time on my dime.
      Don’t even get me started on Christmas… OK, I’ll bite. We didn’t even celebrate Christmas anymore because after 2 Christmases several years ago where I gave some gifts from my heart and soul and received NOTHING in return, I just couldn’t put myself through the unbelievable awkwardness of that again. I KNOW that getting a gift is not the point of Christmas or any other holiday, but damn, receiving nothing after spending hard earned money, providing a beautiful breakfast, watching Christmas movies til we’re sick on Christmas Eve and giving him the best sex he’s ever had – I was more than a little discouraged. I know how you feel honey.

      It hurts like hell, but you will get over it and you will move on. Do it now and be that much further along. Waiting only prolongs the inevitable. (((HUGS)))

      • marriagedetective (love your username btw) — I sense that he’ll never change. The signs have been there awhile. I’m just really good at spackling. I definitely don’t want to drag this out and then have to go through it again down the road. Not sure if I could survive again. Thanks for your kind words, and let me just say you deserved a GREAT Christmas gift. His loss. Scrooge.

    • Please remember that someone who is cheating on you sexually is already cheating on you financially–probably at a much greater cost than you know. Maybe you’ll work things out with him, maybe not. But you need to prepare for the possibility that things will get worse, not better. Collect all the financial records and make copies of them. Make sure you have ongoing access to all the credit card accounts, retirement accounts, and bank accounts. Make sure his monthly salary matches the annual income he reports to the IRS (comparing those numerals is how I figured out my EX was having part of his monthly paycheck diverted into a private account.) Make sure your name is on things that are joint property–like your house and car. If you don’t have private access to enough cash for a few months, start getting it. Store all your records with a friend or at work (if you have a private work space).

      If he decides to leave you, the legal advice he will receive will be to cover his ass in every way and to set up all kinds of obstacles to threaten you into a settlement that benefits him. You need to be prepared for this and for the adversarial practices that he will be counseled to employ by a divorce lawyer (along with his affair partner). Also save and document all continuing infidelities and expenses he runs up with an affair partner. The number of people in CN who thought they could work things out nicely, if it came to that, and then discovered that their patience and faith was used against them is too high for most of us to count.

      Like other commenters, I think you need to leave your marriage, but we all know that only you can reach that decision and at your own pace. In the mean time, being prepared for your marriage to collapse will NOT cause it to collapse any more than buying a fire extinguisher will cause a fire. Put together your survival kit now. If you end up getting a divorce, you want to be sure that he is the one penalized for the financial infidelity that accompanied his adultery, not you.

      Good luck. Please remember that you deserve a life in which you are treated with kindness and respect by those you call family and friends.

      • Eilonwy,
        “The number of people in CN who thought they could work things out nicely, if it came to that, and then discovered that their patience and faith was used against them is too high for most of us to count.” THIS. SCARES. ME. He’s lied so much that I can’t believe a word he says. He says he hasn’t seen a lawyer, and that we should save money and use the same one IF we decide to divorce. That this will be amicable. Listen, it may not be obvious from my actions and patience, but I’m a smart woman. When I see my comments written down, it makes me sick to think how gullible I’ve been. Of COURSE, he’s seen a lawyer. And has probably been coached by the OW extensively. He even told me not long ago that I held all the cards financially, I just didn’t know it. I played dumb. I’ve seen a lawyer about 4 times, and have started getting my ducks in a row, just have been scared (and sad) to actually pull the trigger. Thanks for your words of advice, I’m taking them heart <3

    • I come here for similar reasons, Ive never lived life alone and I lack proper indipendence from childhood.
      Then here there are women of all ages who are not afraid of going out and returning home alone at night, of living alone and such.
      So maybe -like you said, just maybe- I can too, one day.

  • YMBAC if after months of devalue, he calls you from Mexico and says he wants a divorce; then when you ask him if there is anyone else, and he says “no,” you believe him (even though gradwhore is standing in the room with him listening to the whole conversation). And your believing him (stupid!) allows you to let him back into the marriage when he changes his mind, FOR ANOTHER 8 YEARS until you finally find evidence you were duped (after 8 years!!!) and can finally break free of the fuckwit.

    • YMBAC if you believe he was just “talking _____ [fill in his academic subject]” with graduate students until 5 a.m. after department parties.

      YMBAC if 3 days after D-day from gradwhore (from 8 years prior) he takes his NEW mistress to China with him (knowing his marriage is in trouble from the gradwhore news) and you don’t find out for another year after the divorce is final.

    • Tempest,
      I often say, ” I am so stupid” my eldest daughter always replies, “Mom, you are NOT stupid.”

      Tempest, you, of all people, are NOT stupid.
      Chumps are just wired different than cheaters. We love, we trust, with all of our heart.
      When we are betrayed we are bewildered by how someone we love could treat us this way.
      We were the true, loving, kind, sane partner.
      That does not make us stupid, but it sure speaks volumes as to their shitty character.

      Tempest, to CN! YOU are brilliant.
      We love, respect and look up to YOU!
      Please don’t ever call yourself stupid again.

      (My daughter would be so proud of me. I am working on this too).

      ((((Hugs to you Tempest))))

      • I know, Peacekeeper (and thanks for the kind words). We have the tendency to project knowledge onto our former selves that we now have, which is unfair. It’s like a college student saying he was stupid because he couldn’t solve Newtonian physics problems at age 6.

        The clarity that comes from emotional distance allows us to re-assess our marital histories with lots of “Aha!” moments we wish we’d had at the time.

  • YMBAC if you find a pair of unfamiliar women’s underwear on your closet floor and convinced yourself that it must belong to your 24 year old cousin who was dogsitting over the weekend.

    YMBAC if, after you finally confront your husband with the underwear and another piece of women’s clothing you find in his briefcase, you believe his story that it was “only one night, with a woman he knew through work,” and not the howorker you always had your suspicions about.

    YMBAC if you find a surveillance photo from your vacation home of your husband kissing said howorker while on an executive retreat, you believe his BS story that “they only ever kissed, and it was only that one time, and please don’t say anything to her because she would be mortified.”

    YMBAC if, after you he finally confirms that yes, it was howorker after all, and it has been going on for more like 6 months, you beg him to end it to work on your marriage.

    YMBAC if you believe him when he tells you he ended it.

    YMBAC if after you confirm that it’s still going on, you again beg him to stay.

    YMBAC if, when he leaves you, you invest thousands in an RIC program and you buy its bullshit promise that “one spouse can save a marriage.”

    YMBAC if, after your husband leaves, you continue to do all kinds of family activities “for the kids,” completely sublimate your rage and pain, all so you can show him what a happy place your marriage is to come back to.

    YMBAC if, after he comes back, and the OW calls you to tell you all that the affair was actually going on much longer and also share information that would inflict maximum pain, you double down on your reconciliation efforts.

    YMBAC if, when the howorker is miraculously pregnant at age 47, you promise your spouse you will be a loving stepparent of said child.

    YMBAC if, when the howorker has aborts the baby your husband so desperately loved, sending him into a spiral of grief, you do everything you can to help console him through his grief.

    YMBAC if, when your husband finally leaves you for the howorker, you still play nice, have him over for dinner on the nights you have the kids. On the surface it’s for the kids’ benefit, but you really know you’re hoping if you’re nice enough he’ll see what a mistake he’s making.

    YMBAC if you have such little self worth, you would put up with all of the above.

    I’m two+ years out from that, and while I never would wish that on anyone (ok, maybe ex and howorker), if that’s what it took to get me to figure out how to love myself enough not to let myself be treated like shit, then that’s what needed to happen.

    • This breaks my heart. You’re obviously a very nice, forgiving person. I almost bought into the RIC One Person Saving The Marriage agenda as well, so glad I didn’t. I see what CL means by it causing further damage because it prolongs the hope. I believe in hope, and love… and thought in the end it would win out over my husband’s evil affair with the homewrecker who had him brainwashed. I thought I could be so nice and loving, he’d miss all he had and realize this was the life he really wanted.

      I still believe in love… but we have to love ourselves first… enough to set boundaries and figure out how we settle for so little. Loved seeing in your post that you are on the way to learning this about your self and it’s inspiring 🙂

      • Thanks CreativeLifer – it’s still very much a work in progress, and it requires some deep diving into some childhood issues that I spent decades convincing myself didn’t have that big of an impact on me. But I’m making a lot of progress, and I’m hopeful that I can use my own experience to model to my kids how to deal with the hard stuff when it happens and not to stuff it all down. Hopefully they can learn at 10&12 what took me until age 42 to start working on!

    • I can actually relate to a lot of that, especially thinking that if I made home a pleasant place to be he would want to come back. I continued this “for the kids” even after I initiated the divorce. It was daughter who eventually convinced me that having him over so much and acting like everything was normal was in and of itself not normal and I needed to knock it off.

      At least in my case he’s been fixed so can’t get her pregnant. She already has five kids and really doesn’t need another one. From my perspective, she isn’t begin a very good mother to the ones she has if she’s neglecting them for ex.

  • YMBAC if…
    You took a job across the country for the relationship and he is angry that he has to drive up to see u on weekends 1.5 hours

    You had suspected appendicitis, just moved to a new area where u knew no one been there 3 weeks, called him scared upset and crying and asked him to take u to the hospital- and he calls u selfish for asking him to do that and “it’s not his fault that you don’t know how to make friends” 3 weeks into a new area while working 65 hour weeks

    You find him texting a girl and lying and u end up feeling bad bc u violated his privacy

    He tells u he will “ lose his relationship with his daughter” bc he is in a relationship with u- somehow a 2 hour date night 1 a week will destroy the relationship but hey he can go help women in need and go to the fights with his buddies while his daughter sits at home

    Doesn’t want to tell you about how he is working on himself bc he doesn’t want to “deal with it” IE you have questions or emotions

    Doesn’t care that he still has sex with you while you are crying that you love him and then in the next conversation tells u if u don’t like it “get the fuck out”

    If your man is only affectionate when he wants to have sex

    Told that he will consider continuing the relationship if “your behavior changes” IE make your needs very small

    Enjoys parading your achievements and connections only when it benefits him

    He carries his cell phone with him and has all these women friends who “need HIS help”

    Still has his ex from 10 years ago as his passwords on all his accounts Even tho you two have been together longer

    Thinks it’s funny to be rude and nasty to you and when u call him on it he tells you “I’m joking”

    When over time you start to feel like there is something very wrong with you and you are greatful for any little crumb he gives u and you beg him to stay

    You want to prove to him you are “good enough”

    He leaves and you feel like a dry shell of a person

    • Crushedfifi, it might feel like it now, but you are NOT a dry shell of a person. Wait until your anger comes and you start to feel mighty again. Little by little you will re-discover the wonderful you who emerges from the ashes of a deceptive relationship. Hugs to you!

  • YMBAC if you find a burner phone in the bottom of his traveling-for-work suitcase. When you look in it & find OW pictures & messages like “Hey Sweets, this is your Baby aka Snowbunny letting you know that I’m home safe & sound”. You confront him & he says they’re just friends…GAWD it sounds so pathetic in retrospect…

  • YMBAC if he tells you after wreckociluation that the $190 whore visit on the bank statement is to tell the prostitute he won’t be back! $125 for 25 minutes was not enough time to do this, it needed 45 minutes @ $190 to say I won’t be returning! Who pays to break up with a hooker?!!!

  • YMBAC if you are shaking and feeling like a criminal when you sneak onto his phone in the middle of the night – – CUZ IF FEELS WRONG like you are breaking their trust
    Hahahaha nah

    WHEN IN REALITY YOU FIND YIU ARE VICTIM TO A CRIME AND MUST SAVE YIURSEKF

    • I meant that I want to take those nights back because it wasn’t worth my sanity and comfort. Not that I miss going through that just to clarify lol

  • YMBAC if you go to therapy alone for years during your marriage and your therapist keeps telling you the only reason you are in therapy is because you are married to a sociopath. Also when you play recordings of your husband in satanic rages for your therapist and your therapist starts shaking and covers her face in horror and asks you to turn it off.

    Also if he drops you off at the hospital for an incomplete miscarriage and the nurse says sweetheart why are you here alone? And you say it’s ok. And she gets teary eyed and says no it’s not ok!

    If Narcshit hubby texts another woman 4000 times a month but tells you the pictures she’s sending are just pictures of her pets.

    If he sneaks out to the bar when you’re sick on Sunday night crawling to the bathroom asking him for help and he gets mad and says are you kidding you need me to come home?!

    YMBAC if you actually try to change your appearance to please your husband to look like the prostitution whores that he texts to you that are “hotter” than you. Because you’re letting him down. Because he’s convinced you that you are a disappointing chocolate cone when he thought he bought a vanilla ice cream cone. Whatever the f@ck that means!

    If he’s got every man toy on earth and you don’t even have shoes to wear to work when it’s cold out.

    When you find his dating profiles and he claims he didn’t cheat he was just bored… and you believe him… but then it dawns on you that hes never board he’s an A.D.H.D. narc who refuses to sit still because he might burst into flames.

    When you get a $3.06 birthday present and you know this because the receipt was emailed to you by the store because he used your rewards card.

    ????why did I let this happen!? ????????????

      • I’m finally out of his grasp and looking forward to the day this divorce is final. I feel like I’m 100 years old. KathleenK its very helpful when I hear from others that he was in fact horrible. I know it… but for some reason its soothing. Thank you.

        • Whatring – you have the most wonderful life waiting for you. Just you wait! When the pain subsides and clarity comes and you feel your energy come back. You feel so grateful that it is all over…life is beautiful! Wish I had a magic wand and could make you there right now. For now, just believe in the possibility!

          • Reading this was so comforting. So true! Everyone in the trenches needs to believe and have faith that there’s peace at the end of the tunnel. Its the fuel to plow forward.

            • Thank you for saying this! I will keep the faith. Like you, I have a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse and is such a great support. And like you, I’ve had horrified nurses be like “Where the hell is your husband right now?!” There is a lot of relief in finally having an explanation for all of the horrible treatment. Thanks for reminding me we are not alone in our struggles as Chumps.

    • Whatringofhellisthis,
      He certainly is a very very horrible person.
      YOU, dear lady, are MIGHTY for getting out.
      Be gentle on your heart.
      I wish you many happy years ahead.

      I wish every Chump in CN could send you a beautiful flower today.
      Imagine, what a huge bouquet you would have.
      ????????????????????????????……….

      Xxxxx
      Peacekeeper

      • Everyones kindness made me cry. I really needed this love yesterday and i am so grateful. What a beautiful image I had in my head all day. ???????????????? thank you peacekeeper mehtamorphosis eilonwy and crushedfifi. The validation and love here soothes your soul.

    • He is horrible. I am sorry we haven’t told you that enough. I think he is so horrible that most of us just read through your experiences and cringe with you. Words can’t really express how horrible he is.

      But you are not horrible. You’ve walked away from horrible! Even when it was hard. You are mighty!

    • My heart goes out to you. My narc was the same exact way. Left his dating profile active while he was with me. He would always respond with outrage when I asked him to show up with me in any way. Glad they are out of our lives and that we aren’t the cause of it

    • WhatRing… I also saw therapists (alone, because cheater STBX would never come along). And when I would start describing the relationship, always seemed more interested in hearing about him and his habits. Nothing as bad as your experience though with the voice recording, which I feel horrible for you just reading about it!

      And the miscarriage you underwent alone…OH MY GOODNESS!! That’s one of the shittiest things I’ve read on here.What an asshole he is, and definitely a sociopath.

      Seriously, I am so glad and happy for you that you are out. I think that was one of the hardest things for me to do, to say I want a divorce and mean it. Because I’d said it countless times, but always allowed him to harness me back in.

      Be proud of what you’re doing and carry on!! With your head held high, because you’re one step closer to being whole again.

  • YMBAC if you ask for marriage counseling again after catching him fishing for naked pictures with a Facebook ho, he refuses because ‘it didn’t work, YOU didn’t change enough after the last round of counseling ‘, and you let it drop and try to be better.

    Smh.

    • And that 700$ a month internet bill was for downloading movies and watching you tube, duh! Nope that’s skyping his German whore whilst on his sleep over shifts at work. You know has to work nights for the greater good of our family. Total bs and this money was spent on important things like teeth whitening, poofy tipped hair cuts and of course accomodation for shagabag who flew in from Singapore. Silly me was spun in circles with rages and emotional abuse that these things and so much more went un noticed. I was to busy with kids and work mixed with a sprinkle of denial and ‘he would never’

  • YMBAC if, after 28 years of marriage and not getting any birthday or Christmas presents from the cheater, you accidentally find a bag with a boxed set of earrings in it and excitedly think they are for you. When you do not receive the earrings or anything for either your birthday or Christmas (they are close to each other by a few days), you finally dare to ask what happened to the earrings and are told, “Yeah, I was going to give them to you, but you were such a bitch to me, I returned them.” And you believe him, even though you can’t remember a single mean or angry word or any fights during this time. And you resolve to try even harder to be a better wife. And stick around for more birthdays and Christmases without any gifts.

    And YMBAC if he tells you that spouses are never invited or allowed at company gatherings, get togethers, or weeklong travels and you find out over and over that other spouses were there and when you ask, you are told, “well, they weren’t supposed to be there, but they just showed up without permission and we were too nice to make a scene.” And you believe it. Because he would never lie so boldly to your face, right? When you, after many years as a SAHM, get a job at the same company and in the same building and find out that spouses are always included and invited to your office events, he tells you different departments have different rules. And he can never make it to your office events even when invited over and over again, because they conflict exactly with his commitments to his department. And he can NEVER meet you for lunch even though you work in the same building, because he JUST accepted an invite from a male coworker that he needs to spend more time with or he has a meeting scheduled over that particular lunch hour. And you believe him, over and over again. Aargh, face palm!

    All I can say is hopium is a powerful drug and gaslighting is abuse and after decades of abuse, your reality is skewed. Thank God I’m free.

  • To the long list of my chumpiness, I would add: When your cheating ex has a “client” he’s meeting for dinner — on Your Birthday. And he doesn’t flinch or seem to recall it’s your birthday, but you let it slide. And you drive your chemo-weakened self out for birthday dinner with your sister. When you text him that you’ve driven yourself to the same town he’s having dinner in, he has to stop by and guiltily make sure his cover isn’t blown.
    Come to think of it, this was not my chumpiest moment – but it was the Death Knell of our marriage

  • YMBAC if you both ignore the ringing phone, with his GF’s home number displayed on the caller ID after HER hubby found out..even on your anniversary, because it’s over, right?

  • YMBAC if when questioned about his relationship with OW your husband looks at you with a disgusted face and says “pregnant Chump she is only 19”.

    YMBAC you question your husband on why he had been leaving his wedding ring at home. He tells you he would never do anything like that to you and that he loves me and he loves our son. This was about 2 weeks before the PA started. He had been flirting and setting her up for this affair as soon as she met her about 1 1/2 months before the PA began.

    YMBAC if you find a condom wrapper in our shared car. We never used them and seen as I was pregnant at the time there was no chance it was mine. He told me it belonged to one of his new male friends he had met from his new job and started spending time with.

    YMBAC when you husband asks you if he can go out with some of his new young colleagues from work. He knows you are feeling sick and tired from carrying his 2nd child and seen as you are going to go to sleep at 8 he might as well go out. He doesn’t have many friends so why would I stop him from having fun and making some. After D-day he delights in telling me (even though I already knew) that every time he said he was with these friends he was with her.

    • YMBAC when you believe that your sweet 49-year-old college professor husband would NEVER fuck ANY 19-year-old, much less your own niece.

      YMBAC when your trust that he would never fuck your niece (and vice versa from the shy young thing) leads you to believe their excuses for texting constantly all day from “Good morning, sweetheart” to “Good night, my love.”

      For example, YMBAC when you believe his excuse that he’s just trying to help her build up her self-esteem but he realizes now he has gone too far, crossed inappropriate boundaries, and they will definitely stop.

      YMBAC when he says he’s not attracted to her because “I usually like my women older and not as skinny,” and you laughed at his wit (I am 7 years older than he is and curvy, while she has a boyish build).

      YMBAC when you even took that as a pass and told him you love him, instead of recognizing that the word “usually” was a confession by a narcopath.

      There are so many of these… I feel like such an idiot. I must stop and take a walk now or I will hurt myself with a metaphorical 2×4.

    • Pregnant Chump,
      The condom part always nauseates me.
      I, like you, home caring for a tiny child and pregnant with his child and he is walking up to the drug store ( or wherever) counter and buying condoms. That shows planning and purpose and absolute total disrespect for the one they stood and made vows with.
      It just makes me sick, always has, always will.
      Bothers me to his day when I walk by a condom display.

      I am glad you are out, be strong Pregnant Chump.
      To CN, YOU are mighty.

      Xxxxxx
      Peacekeeper

  • YMBAC if you knew he was hoovering you to come over to be nosey and eat my food because hes broke spending money on alcohol, cigs and his shmoopie but for some reason you still as an empath try to find the good in people even after they have shown you that they aren’t trust worthy and are narc. YMBAC if you still believe everything that comes out of the narc mouth cause once again, you try to see the good in even a sucky person.
    YMBAC when you have to wake up every morning and listen to Kim Saeed videos about narcs and recovering from their sick twisted abuse all so you can move forward and stop hoping that it’s one bad dream and things will go back to normal!
    YMBAC when you hear your own 8 year old daughter tell her mother that daddy is not nice and we are better without him while you cry making dinner sorting laundry and tending to a hyper 4 year old through contractions and blurting out it may be easier if your daddy was here!!!!!
    I could go on and on.. smh

    • Oh Newchump89 my heart goes out to you. I so relate to this. My daughter said I love Dad but he is not a nice person and I hope x (her brother) doesn’t grow up to be like him.
      It does get easier.

  • Wow, Longtimechump, none of my ex’s betrayals were quite as dramatic as that, though they were bad enough. One of the things you wrote really stood out: “You know many [people/spouses/families] do this and they don’t complain.” Boy, when that rationalization comes out, you have to know you’re in trouble.

  • YMBAC if your active duty husband’s government issued cell phone that he despised carrying suddenly becomes his most valued possession and is never out of his sight (or in yours)

  • YMBAC if you keep thinking ‘she could be cheating on me’ but push it aside because she’s always been trustworthy, right? & would never ever betray you like that.

    On an unrelated note, my sister moved the last of STBXs stuff this weekend, since I’m away. Apparently, 5 months on, she is in a bare ass apartment, looking lonely and sad, not really understanding what happened to her, talking about reconcilliation but still having not taken any responsibility for what she did or done anything proactive about it. Asked my Sis whether I was seeing anyone else & honest answer was given (yes, casually). Apparently just generally looked scared.

    Basically, wind taken firmly out of her sails & in full-on sad sausage mode. Doesn’t look like TOM wanted anything to do with her, & I left her in my rear view mirror.

    I recall fondly the early days (like, week 1), where she was telling me that she didn’t know if she still loved me, she thought she loved him. I wasn’t attractive to her anymore. I was restricting her freedom (*snort* – with all those ‘nights out with friends’ I said ‘that’s OK, baby!’ to that she used as cover). She needed time to decide what she wanted. She was in full on power trip mode back then.

    We are mighty, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a relationship with a cheater is a powerstruggle. It seems so desperate in the early days, but ultimately the balance of power sits with us and our ability to walk away.

    An analogy for my American friends. Being hit with cheating is our Pearl Harbour; a surprise attack that seems devastating. We feel overwhelmed. But just you wait till we get ourselves into war mode, because once we’re fully mobilised, our cheater doesn’t stand a chance. The momentum shifts. We end up mighty, they end up a sad sausage wondering how it all went wrong.

  • YMBAC if you stayed with your X for 3 years thinking they might actually change. They might actually have a character transplant. They might actually become a good person. Instead, you find that they take weird trips all by themselves, for no reason whatsoever except they say that they have to be able to deal with…. (cue sad trombones) you.

    YMBAC if instead of finding that they have spent a lot of money on their affair partner, they impose financial infidelity by NEVER WORKING A JOB. They are basically good for nothing. They don’t clean, cook, do laundry or work. a. job. But they DO rape you over financially in the divorce.

    YMBAC if you find that life without them is…. WONDERFUL! Sure there are days. Everyone has those. But damn if it isn’t so much better.

    YMBAC if you find yourself watching The Fall on Netflix and wondering if they studied hidden videos of your X for Spector – the serial killing, faux family man.

  • YMBAC if you believed his elaborate stories for what he was doing and where he was – not only once, but several times over the marriage.

    YMBAC if you ignored the red flags screaming at you during the courtship and lovebombing phase.

    YMBAC if you saw him blatantly lie to other people but think, “Oh, he wouldn’t lie to me. I’m different. I’m his wife. He’ll always tell me the truth!”

    YMBAC if you spackled for 18 years.

    YMBAC if you thought he was so broken and had such poor self-esteem issues that you took it upon yourself to be the martyr and sacrifice your health, your heart, your very being, so that you could be the one to love him and understand him because he deserved love and no one else would do it! (except Schmoopie!).

  • YMBAC – like others have said, the manscaping!!!
    YMBAC- he’s texting someone with a smirk on his face and you say with curiosity, “who are you texting” and he says contemptuously with those cold dead shark yes, “None of your business”
    YMBAC – 2 years into wreckonciliation, it has become all about him and the emotional trauma he faces to talk to me about things he is ashamed and feels guilty for doing.
    YMBAC – He lies and cries to his therapist who reinforces the idea that the wife is the problem here.
    YMBAC- He continues lying about little things and he says it’s going to take time to learn to not lie because he “lies like breathing”
    YMBAC – He tells you that he is going to tell people the toned down version of the truth and take full responsibility for the divorce, and you believe him!!!!!! Duh, he tells everyone how horrible you are and how he has been unhappy for years and only stayed for the children.

    • Eeek ! Creepy manscaping because striving to look like a ten year old boy between one’s legs is oh so sexy.

      (retching)

  • YMBAC if any clue of cheating is dismissed in your mind because you’re sure 100% he would never show around such a small tiny micro penis. Yet he did with at least 30 OW.

    • Between this epic “small tiny micro penis” post and the one above that said “cue sad trombones” I am kind of smiling again after reading all this horror and posting mine. You are all some of the funniest people I “know”. Even while sharing all this darkness there’s so much greatness.

  • When you pick out your Christmas present and he buys two of the same…one for you and one for his “bitchy supervisor at work”. You don’t flinch because you want him to keep his job otherwise you’ll be supporting him unemployed.

    Turns out she was supervising more than his work. So glad she took him.

    PS. OW posted a photo of cheater ex on her blog the other day. He has the same snake-eyes he developed around d-day, they glow like a serpent. I bet he’s cheating again.

  • YMBAC if…you believe that the reason he refuses to wear his wedding band (immediately after the wedding and years after) is because it is uncomfortable

    YMBAC if…after Valentine’s Day, you find a receipt for 2 dozen roses but you only received one dozen…. and when confronted he claims he HAD to buy 2 dozen because they were of such bad quality he had to discard 12 in order to get one good dozen

    YMBAC if…you are concerned that his night sweats are a sign he could have cancer

    YMBAC if…he recently starts having performance issues in the bedroom and you believe him when he said he says he doesn’t know why…and then you believe it is your fault

    YMBAC if…you believe that he needs to move out in order to ‘think about things’

    ugh…i could go on and on

    • Mine wouldn’t wear his wedding ring either. “it bothered his fingers” . Guess who wears his ring from OW now? Yeah, she isn’t a chump like me.

    • I was worried about his night sweats too. What’s that about?
      Also if I made the first move he couldnt perform it had to be on his terms.

  • YMBAC if you call your husband from the ER to tell him you are having a full blown panic attack — your first one in ten years. You can’t figure out what put you over the edge. Your husband finally shows up to take you home and you end up walking the mile home — uphill — with him 5 paces ahead of you the whole time. You feel like you were hit by a Mack truck. He begrudgingly gets you situated at home, fills the Rx. Now it’s noon and he says he’s going back to work — walking back to town, getting on a train for NYC where he’ll arrive about 1:30. Seriously, you’re going to leave me. Luckily, kids are off at college.

    When the affair came to light about two weeks later, the panic attack all made sense. He was leaving.

    Good riddance!

  • YMBAC if, even after everything you have been through, you sometimes are genuinely concerned that you might not be able to do any better than the fuckwit who treated you like total shit for 31 years.

    Working on knowing my worth.

  • YMBAC if your 13 yr old son discovers birth control in his Mom’s room and shows it the you, while the Mom is mysteriously “away” that weekend.

    What’s awful is that the birth control is not from your wife and you, but from her AP

    The box is open and half used.

    When she returns she uses a convenient cover story that blameshifted it to me. Her story was that she saw that my oldest son and I were looking at the Suicide Girls website and that in a fit of jealousy, bought the birth control, but then decided to throw it away.

    She couldn’t explain why it was open and half used so she gaslighted and said my son and I were mistaken that it was open.

    That’s just one of many YMBAC if stories

    BTW if I told her that story today she would literally say that it never happened at all. Gaslight extraordinaire

  • YMBAC if you husband comes home from work, tells you he’s going out for beers with one of his buddies, gets a shower and puts on one of his $140 shirts and cologne and you question that but he explains it away by saying “It’s ok for you to get dolled up to go with your girlfriends but I can’t do that cuz it means I’m cheating?”!

  • YMBAC if when you find a box of condoms and ask him about it he tells you they were a “special surprise to add spice to our sex life” but now you’ve ruined it.

    YMBAC if you then apologize and feel bad for ruining the “special surprise”

    YMBAC if it takes until AFTER the divorce for it to occur to you that you never once used condons, like ever.