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Dear Chump Lady, Will anyone ever love me with stretchmarks?

Dear Chump Lady,

I am two weeks post partum. I was left by my husband when I was 6 months pregnant. He had been cheating for who knows how long but, before, during, and after my extremely high risk pregnancy. My pregnancy risk was so rare that I was sent to another state for procedures at 20 weeks gestation.

Yes, my cheater husband came with me both times I was sent out of state and yes, both times he flew home early to screw his girlfriend while I stayed for more testing and results about our son in another state. I was very suspicious of the affair, but he SWORE it was not an affair….until I found the explicit emails after returning home.

When the jig was finally up, (now that I had proof), my cheater husband left.

He didn’t beg me to stay. I told the homewrecker’s boyfriend about the affair and her boyfriend kicked her out. Yes, this girl (I can’t call her a woman because she doesn’t deserve that title) works with my husband. And yes, she knew he is married, knew I was pregnant, and knew it was high risk…everyone at his work knew. Now she probably has her own place and I’m sure my husband and her are together.

My husband didn’t beg to stay. He left. He told me I was always crazy and he was never happy. There was no love and he loves this other girl. I know it’s rationalization and cognitive dissonance, not truth that he is projecting. I know my truth and our history and regardless of how he has rewritten it to try his best to make the marriage invalid, it isn’t true.

To make matters more difficult, my son was born with complications. He is two weeks old and I’m already dealing with pediatric dermatologists, cardiologists, pediatricians, and endocrinologists. My baby was in the NICU and came home on oxygen. Anyway, it is hard to navigate my next chapter. My family has been extremely helpful and supportive with me and the baby. BUT they seem to think I should be over my husband already. (It’s been less than 3 months since D-Day).

I think it would be easier, but I have to see him three times a week because our situation is so fucked up that his custodial visitation is three times a week at my house for a few hours each visit. I spoke to an attorney and she told me those are my rights. We haven’t gone through the divorce or court yet. I don’t want him to have more visitation than that and I was told overnight stays won’t happen until my baby is three years old.

I have the same fears as most other chumps — will he and his girlfriend live happily ever after? Maybe they found real true love with each other? How will I stop myself from punching this girl in the throat if she gets to play house with my child someday? Right now I feel so ugly. The cheating does a number to self esteem, but I didn’t get the divorce diet — I was pregnant so my body feels so fat and ugly. I got stretch marks and a tear from childbirth that might need another surgery later to fix.

My mind is overwhelmed with worry for my son and selfishly for myself. I worry that I’ll never have sex again if my tear caused some weird abnormality. I feel unlovable and have a body that doesn’t seem to be my own with stretch marks and flab. I was in great shape before pregnancy and I didn’t need to find a man then. Will I ever find someone willing to be with me (stretch marked and torn) and also love my son?

Sincerely,

Stretched and Torn Chump

Dear Stretch,

First, just ((((HUGS))). Christ, I get some sad letters. Cheater-abandoners of the pregnant are the scummiest scum that ever scummed. I’m so sorry he was so cruel when you and your son were at your most vulnerable.

My husband didn’t beg to stay. He left. He told me I was always crazy and he was never happy. There was no love and he loves this other girl.

What shit excuse is this? Okay, let’s say for the sake of argument that he’s never loved you. IT DOES NOT JUSTIFY WHAT HE DID. Oh hey, it’s okay to abandon you and that high-risk infant there, hanging on for dear life, because I don’t has the feels.

Total STRANGERS would not treat you so callously. Your HUSBAND had a responsibility to you and the child he brought into this world. His feelings are irrelevant. YOU DON’T DO THIS TO PEOPLE. Especially people you promised to honor and love and who you let assume great personal risk (pregnancy, birth, hospitals) on your behalf.

You aren’t some cupcake on a conveyor belt and he’s King Baby Decider. Oh! He chose you! But hang on! Here comes another cupcake with sprinkles he likes better! Did he toss you in the trash? YOU DON’T HAVE SPRINKLES! Work on that!

He owns this shame. NOT YOU. Don’t internalize his rejection — this has nothing to do with you, or your stretchmarks, and everything to do with his withered dead soul.

My mind is overwhelmed with worry for my son and selfishly for myself. I worry that I’ll never have sex again if my tear caused some weird abnormality.

Oh sweetie, every woman feels this way after giving birth. Vaginas bounce back for another ride like Built Tough! Ford trucks. If they didn’t, the world would not repopulate itself.

Not to be too TMI, but I had an episiotomy scar as long as your right arm. (THREE DAYS OF INDUCED LABOR… back labor… posterior kid…went home with a catheter… one never forgets.) And somehow all that raw, bloody postpartum meat configured itself into normal anatomy eventually. Yours will too.

People don’t talk about this stuff, or they didn’t in my day. (Well, maybe they do now on mommy blogs, I’m 20 years past it.) But all new moms have these anxieties. Even ones with loving partners. So the fact your fuckwit bailed makes your natural anxieties that much more cruel. He should be there reassuring you, not insulting you and blaming you for his abuse.

I feel unlovable and have a body that doesn’t seem to be my own with stretch marks and flab.

You are NOT unlovable. You have an amazing body that just pushed out an amazing kid. A real fighter. Wear those stretchmarks as badges of honor. (And they fade. I promise they fade. My abdomen looked like a psychotic person finger-painted zebra stripes on my belly.)

Another thing they don’t tell you about childbirth is that it takes 9 months for your body to morph into this baby machine. It takes another at LEAST 9 months for it to morph back to normal. For your tummy to shrink, for your boobs to shrink, to not have a torso of silly putty. Give yourself time to heal!

Those women who leave the hospital zipping up their skinny jeans? AGENTS OF SATAN.

I was in great shape before pregnancy and I didn’t need to find a man then.

You don’t need to find a man now. Slow down, Stretch. There’s nothing to prove. You are lovable, you are sexy, you are worthy of being cherished and respected. Now is the time to heal, and grieve, and focus on that kid.

Will I ever find someone willing to be with me (stretch marked and torn) and also love my son?

The world is full of loving people. (I found two husbands and several boyfriends in between willing to overlook my stretchmarks). The real issue is knowing your own worth and not allowing anyone into your life or your son’s life who does not measure up. You are NOT damaged goods. You are AMAZING. Look at the strength you’re showing navigating this shit storm! MIGHTY!

And speaking of that shit storm — three times a week you’re tearing open gaping wounds by letting that fuckwit near your child. Talk to a lawyer, but I’d let someone else do those supervised visits with your child. NOT YOU.

Heal, heal, heal. Stretchmarks, and even fuckwits, fade.

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.
  • Yes to letting someone else supervise the visitation while you take a shower or nap. Also, please talk to a care provider about postpartum depression. You have MULTIPLE situational factors that may be worsening it. Strength to you.

    • If your family and friends are supportive, let then be the ones to open the door, sit with the “father” and shut the door behind him. This will be good practice for no contact. He may have the right to these visits but does not have the right to see or speak to you. This suggestion will also give your family members a job and perhaps spending hours with your fucking cheater will help them be kinder to you.

      YES to using those precious hours to wash your hair, massage cream on your amazing body that needs more self-love and rest/sleep!

      Pour all your love into your son. You both need that bonding experience which will reinforce just how amazing and capable you are. Trust your gut with your baby and focus on the two of you right now.

      Too often women have no support from family – you’re blessed to have that. Please let anyone who supports you help now! You need help so take all of it from anyone that has your back.

      Your mind and your body need to heal and it’s going to take a long time. Give yourself a break.

    • Congratulations on your new son! You are only two weeks post-partum; I suspect your hormones are contributing to your already AWFUL situation. Please call your doctor if you continue to feel hopeless.

      Please delegate those horrible visits between son and sperm donor to someone else. You don’t need that stress, and any friend or family member could do the deed and give you some rest. I suspect dear old sperm donor will tire of the visits soon. Takers can’t take care of others!

      Sending you all the support and strength as a new mom and a new chump. There’s a special place in hell for those horrid cheaters!

    • Dear Stretch….

      Everything will be fine!!

      Down the road, when the dust settles, when you are back on course, that’s when an amazing thing will happen:

      I have been in a committed relationship for 9 months with the most wonderful woman. She went through a high risk pregnancy while dealing with a cheating husband, had twins, then had to figure out how to raise them by herself.

      She has “battle scars,” stretch marks, and a huge c-section scar that healed back horribly.

      I don’t see any of it. I see the most wonderful, gorgeous woman with a huge, loving heart who treats me like a king.

      I cherish this beautiful woman. Every ounce of her. Every second of every day.

      I am, indeed, the LUCKIEST man alive.

        • Stretch, anyone worth having will look past stretch marks or Whatever, SDC is testimony to that. Don’t worry about finding a man yet anyway, you are much better to heal yourself first. I am 10 months post separation, and a few guys are sniffing around but I’m not interested yet. Concentrate on your beautiful baby and yourself. And I agree, get someone else to be there for visitation. I got the whole I never loved you crap as well, we were married for 18 years! It’s like sticking your head in a blender anytime you have to see/speak to them, so don’t put yourself through it.
          I felt like you, and I’m not healed or at Meh yet but I promise you will get stronger and it does get better. But stay away from him and get true friends and family to help.

    • Just on the sex note – 2 comments. Yeah I had a “meaty” episiotomy that created a small 1/2 inch area of NON enjoyment where it used to be fun in that area. That is NOT a big deal to navigate around and sex was indeed wonderful again, in only a few short months. Is there that weird residual spot? Yes there is but like I said, as a man learns of it, b/c you communicate it, navigation around your ‘map” is part of the joy of coming to know YOU.

      And oh yeah, there are sex toys too…just saying…

  • You are amazing! I was super skinny and in great shape while my ex was having the affair. I’m 25 pounds heavier and happier now. I also have stretchmarks and 2 episiotomy scars. Guess what, I met a man who loves all of it and more importantly, treats me well and is a true partner. I promise there are good ones out there. I will say though, it took some time just being single and healing from the implosion of my life to be ready to bring someone wonderful into my life. I also realized, and you will too, that you don’t need a man to be happy and have a full life. Right now, focus on your healing and your son and being the bad ass that you are! Hugs! I promise it gets better!

    • I aecond this! I swore that I would never date a childless man, because I needed someone who wasn’t frightened by stretch marks, cellulite, and perimenopausal saggy mom boobs. The Coward left me for a dumb twat who never had kids. So I was sensitive.
      I found just the right man. He loves me and all my physical imperfections. I take good care of myself, and he appreciates the effort and the results. He’s got a yummy dad bod to match. He’s more interested in how I love him, my smile, my attitude and aptitude. We have agreat time together, in and out of bed.

      Is Ms. Cheater Bait happy with her cheater turd prize? Oh, I don’t know…. HE’S THE TYPE TO LEAVE A DANGEROUSLY PREGNANT WIFE FOR SOME DUMB TWAT! That’s going to go real well!

      One day, as his dumb-fuck ways become more and more apparent to you, you will be almost grateful for that whore who relieved you of him. I promise.

      • “One day…you will be almost grateful for that whore who relieved you of him”. AGREED, Stephanie!

        This is not a real man. A real man, who was raised well and knows his place, would never do this to a person. Let alone his wife, whom he is suppose to love, cherish and protect. He was suppose to protect you at your most vulnerable, yet he cowardly ran away. I repeat, this not a real man. Be glad that he’s gone!

        It’s going to be tough, but you can do this, so long as you slow down. Enjoy your baby – if you don’t, you will regret it in time. I know it is going to be hard, but you need to put this asshole in the back of your mind. Better yet, out of your thoughts entirely. Yeah, this is not going to be easy, but necessary – you and your baby need all of your energy right now. Try not to waste your energy on insignificant people that don’t even deserve your spit!

        And if he “comes to his senses” and wants you and your son back someday, don’t even contemplate taking him back! He’s not a real man, honey. And you and your son deserve a true, honourable man in your lives. One day it will happen for you. But for now – just enjoy that beautiful baby. Don’t allow thoughts about unworthy people come in the way of your special time with your baby. They grow so fast, just enjoy him while he’s little. (((((BIGGEST HUGS)))))

        • Good point. Some of my most wonderful memories are my painfully over-sleepy one’s rocking my son in the middle of the night or very early morning. Well worth practicing putting Evil SOB out of your head and looking down at the precious new soul.

  • Wow, just wow. He’s an abomination to manhood. Ebentually you will be grateful he left when he did. My bet is he will eventually forget your child, too. When it happens be grateful for that. Then he will be completely out of your lives.That bastard doesn’t deserve you or your beautiful child.

    Postpartum is a rough time at its best. Take as many warm showers as you can get. Sleep when your baby does. Do laundry and housecleaning only when you must. Rest as much as you can. Have all those supportive family members help you get your ducks in a row and divorce his ass quickly.

    You will find that being a single mom is challenging, but so much easier without him around. You really won’t have the energy or desire for another relationship for a while. Use that time to heal you and love your baby.

    Much love and hugs to you!

    • I couldn’t agree more. This lady’s letter left me speechless, sickened and moved to tears. God bless you. What makes people like your husband so terrifying is that they masquerade as normal, feeling human beings not some stone cold serial killer type that we can all agree is an abomination of nature. Yet they’re just a heartbeat away from the most vile cruelty and show that in truth they have ice water running through their veins. Not committed against some random victim they choose to depersonalise but someone they once made love to and laughed with, and in this case made a baby with. It makes me shudder just how many of these monsters there are out there. As for his lover – she has to be cut from exactly the same cloth but now must live with someone she knows is capable of the most disgraceful callous acts of selfishness, and disposes of the mother of his child in worst way. All I would say to her is good luck with that.

      Hold your beautiful son close as his love for you will be pure and a great comfort. As CL says don’t rush into another relationship just yet. You’re probably still in shock from the emotional and physical tsunami you’ve been through. At least this monster has left you in no doubt of his true self.

      Sending you buckets of love, hugs and strength xxx

  • Stretch
    I really, really wish I could hug you. Your story is heart wrenching and horrific.
    Please don’t think you are unloveable, you are beautiful and mighty and there are plenty of loving, compassionate men in the world who would never treat a woman like that.
    Try to think that you are lucky to escape this fuckwit early on. Better to have discovered his true self before you spent a lifetime of pain and suffering with him.
    You won’t think like this yet, but trust me, you will later.
    I suspected but didn’t have proof that my husband was cheating whilst I was pregnant with my first.
    38 years later , I discover a DDay and an admission of previous cheating and I feel pissed off that he didn’t leave me decades ago.
    Your pain is raw and new but you are better off without him. I just truly wish you didn’t have to suffer this to discover what a fuckwit he is.
    Big hugs

    • Be True To Yourself

      Great advice. My cruel ex Narc left me after 34 years
      Left for OWhore.. never looked back!

      But your right..at least it wasn’t a lifetime for this wonderful woman & her beautiful baby. She’s young enough to someday find a decent man who will treat her
      with love & respect.

      After 3 decades of cheating I wish I would have known,
      & maybe finding another man to honor me.

      HUGS to us Chumps 🤗

  • Oh god, Stretch, you are in the worst place of pain right now. We feel you, we understand! Glad you found Chumplady and Chump Nation. Come see us in the forums for ongoing support.

    Glad you have a supportive family. Regarding the “you should be over it already”, that’s a very common thing. I’ve heard it myself, from my own mother who was otherwise incredibly supportive. It might seem insensitive, but sometimes they are just so angered on your behalf, and “over” him themselves, combined with that they don’t want to see you in pain… this “you should be over it” slips out. Try telling them, “I will get over this, but it’s going to take time. Please have a lot of patience with me, I need you right now” or something like that.

    I’d like to tell you, briefly, a story that happened in my own family. Thirty years ago, a man in my family left his wife who had just given birth to their second child. If I recall, he was gone before she got home from the hospital. Fast forward to today. She has been happily married to a great guy for more than twenty years. She’s a real estate agent. She’s very close to her beautiful grown daughters. The cheater just went through his third divorce, had to sell his house. Guess who was his real estate agent? That’s right, first wife. It took her a long time to get to Meh, but she did get there. She had been no contact/grey rock for decades, but they started speaking again when one of their grown daughters was going through something. In spite of the Meh, I have no doubt she enjoyed the karmic justice of selling his house from his third divorce.

    Time heals wounds, Stretch. Emotional wounds. horrendous tears, stretch marks… I promise you, you will get through this. Hugs and strength to you

    • Sometimes, I think loved ones are just trying to push us forward. Part of it may be selfish in that it hurts them to see us hurting. And the other part may be that they see the cheater a little better for who he is than we can. We have all those stupid emotions tied up in there. Plus, unless they have gone through this level of betrayal, they really just aren’t capable of truly understanding.

    • LOVE this story!!! I believe that you reap what you sew and I have hope that my ex will get what he deserves. I just wish it were on my time line and not God’s, but I know that’s not how life works.

  • (((Stretched)))

    FWIW, a couple years after I divorced my cheating ex-wife, I married a single mom with some stretch marks. And she is sexy and beautiful. Seven years later I know it was the best decision I ever made.

    You are mighty. Be patient. Time heals all wounds, even tears in sensitive areas. Your time will come.

    • You are so very precious, nomar! And a real man. I love the kind, healing words you shared with Stretch

      The husband of a couple I knew many years ago was a real man like you. They had 3 children together. He always said he thought his wife’s stretch marks were beautiful because she got them having their children. A fine example of a real man! And he was faithful and genuine, having been the innocent spouse with a cheater wife in his first marriage.

      Yes, there are truly many genuine, kind, loving humans on this beautiful planet. I celebrate all of them as we ForgeOn! together

    • I’m with you Nomar. 5 years after divorcing my double-life living wife I found the love of my life, who among her many charms sports a damn cool web of lightning bolt shaped stretchmarks.

      Stretched and Torn Chump, the scale of hurt, damage and sociopath level betrayal is hard for me to imagine, and the immense mightiness that you WILL achieve is equally impressive. Bless you my dear.

      • ChumpionoftheWorld please tell me you and your new Missus are Harry Potter fans! (I’m a Potterhead so the coolest thing ever is a scar shaped like lightning:) 🙂 🙂 )

  • Stretch……….fear not darling- stretch marks fade with time.

    Pregnancy/child birth flushes out cheaters. They rear their ugly heads when we women are at the most vulnerable times in our lives. I remember crying on the day my beautiful baby girl was born- because I found out about my ex husband’s (Dancing Dick)- secret life. It was devastating at 7 months pregnant (with a small toddler under foot).

    The stretch marks and the pain will lessen as time goes by. Enjoy that beautiful new baby…….because the cheater is “busy doing other things.” Cheaters never make good fathers.

    The scars from my c-sections aren’t so pretty………but the children I gave birth to are! Unless you are a Hollywood type …..with a plastic surgeon and a personal trainer handy- the scars/marks from giving birth are part of life. If a new boyfriend doesn’t like them- boot his shallow ass!

    • How did you cope with sharing your children your babies with your cheater ex and the ow? I can’t bear the thought of having to do it. That’s why I haven’t told my cheating husband to leave yet and that I want a divorce (he doesn’t know I know about his extracurricular activities)

      • Making it inconvenient by living away from him might help solve the problem… instead of him having access and potentially introducing the other woman… you get full time custody of his ass? Brew on that a bit. It’s not a good deal.

        You may be able to get it built into your agreement he isn’t allowed to have her around when he has the kids.

  • Dear Stretch,
    I will never forget your letter to Chump Lady. You will be in my thoughts.

    I think your family’s haste in expecting you to get over this incredible scumbag is well intentioned: they must hate him so much they want him obliterated in all forms of existence for your own good. So look at it as love, not impatience and misunderstanding.

    On the other hand, please do not waste your energy thinking about OW and scumbag. The word is “WASTE”, W.A.S.T.E. Get it? Your son needs ALL of your energy. Your life from now on needs it too.

    Some of my friends think I am cold for not crumbling up and crying all day long after being abandoned and cruelly treated not only by cheater, but by his family, which I helped and cared about for 40 years (I now realize how entitled and self-interested they all were and how I am a huge chump). But I vowed to take care of me and my sons and not waste a minute more on them. I still curse cheater and family for relief if, for example, I am driving and something reminds me of them (40 years of references are hard to sanitize quickly). But I do not try to “understand” them. There is nothing to understand except that they are selfish and dishonest. I could not care less about the OWs, even if they were a mix a Nobel Prize winner,a top model and filthy rich).

    I like to think about what the Danish author (of ‘Out of Africa’) Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen wrote: all sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story.

    Stretch, you have told us your story and you now have a huge nation of chumps thinking about you.

    There is a scene in the movie Out of Africa when Karen Blixen’s cheater (he gave her syphilis, in pre-penicillin days at that) is mystified about why she leaves him and he says “What did I do wrong?” Who need such an entitled stupid jerk?

  • Insert inappropriate post about what I’d like to do to you here. Lol. Seriously, all of the things you talked about, stretch marks, being out of shape, flab, none of that matters. Scars, ask for an extra stitch, lol. Beauty is only skin deep, any guy worth having knows that and will love you for you not how you look. A few years ago I got into better shape and my cheater wife said she felt fat and ugly. I told her to get over it, I loved her, thought she was sexy and wanted her, besides, when we get to our 70s neither of us would look good and I would still want to bang her, lol. Well she lost weight a couple years later and started an affair so here I am. So hey, she found another guy who didn’t care about her stretch marks, lol.
    Chin up, good luck, god bless you and your son, he will always love you more than any woman except his own daughter. Single moms are hot!

  • Remember you are your baby’s entire world. The sperm donor is nothing. Real fathers, real dads, do not act like this. He will treat his lover the same way. You are fortunate that you see his true colors now instead of 20 years from now. Be a good mom. Be a good person. Your stbx is smoke. Nothing there.

  • Wow chump lady, I have read hundreds of your terrific responses but this one is crème de la crème !

    Stretched, print or save it and read it over and over. You don’t need someone to just love your body, you need someone to love your soul truthfully forever. Unfortunately, like the rest of us chumps you got someone who has arrested development issues and isn’t capable of emotional maturity. Nothing you do can change that so let yourself off the hook.

    It will be harder for you because in addition you have the extra layers of trauma of a sick child and a rough childbirth . Give yourself lots of grace. Make self care a priority.

    Get the book “the new mother,s body” by grace Siegel. https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0553268996/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all. It is old but I don’t think it is time sensitive material. I was one who held my first child in my arms just houts after her birth and told her “I am sorry but you are going to be an only child.” Because I was sure I could never do that again. I now have 5 children.

    One day at a time, you will get to a better place. I would predict your fuckwit will wane on visits and involvement. Work on gray rock. I hope you can find at least one friend or family member who gets it and will give you understanding and a place to vent. Keep coming here.

    Hugs and love! Be the same parent.

    • My labor and delivery was so difficult. It was over 30 hours, pitocin for over 18 of them…nurses told me my uterus would hemorrhage from that many hours of pitocin, my epidural wore off, I pushed for nearly 3 hours and well, I already said that I tore in an uncommon way. People say you don’t remember pain but I remember it all and I’ve already said that this boy is a miracle and I’ll never go through any of that again. Only child for sure, lol. I guess I should never say never.

  • Mighty Stretched and Torn Chump, you just did something amazing! Now you have your son, and Goddess bless you both. You’ve earned many blessings! Your karma should be cool now for years.
    Look at it this way- you have a fresh start without a useless, even dangerous, partner. And you have a support group, Yay! And CN, we are on your team.
    CL is SOOO right about the female anatomy’s resilience. And also about your ability to attract someone new. I thought good men were scarce, but there are tons of them, I’ve found, and they want a woman with her shit together, who feels her power, and knows how to love. Stretch marks don’t really matter- we ALL have flaws, we need the people who overlook them!
    CL, thanks for the shot of empowerment this AM!

  • My heart breaks for this poor woman and her baby.

    We ask how anyone could be so cruel, but shit like this happens way too much. Her stbx is an evil monster.

    Having a baby changed my soul forever in wonderful ways I could never have imagined. I wish I could tell my 2 week post partum self how awesome I was and how much awesome was to come.

    She should see a doctor for post partum depression too, there is more help available for that these days. She needs all the help she can get now.

  • I had my child at 16, went from tiny waist to stretched out saggy skin tummy. I also had a c-section causing a nice little pooch. I felt like no one would find me attractive naked. But I dated and met men who were interested in me not the way my tummy looked. Being as young as I was it took a while but I learned to be proud of my stretch marks because they are part of bringing my beautiful children in the world. And honestly even the jerk guys don’t care about stretch marks either…….and as CL said everything fades with time. Stay strong.

  • That was really hard to read. I can’t believe people like him exist.

    You don’t want a man like that. Don’t build up your self worth from the way he disrespected you. He’s damaged.

  • I agree …..there is a special place in hell for men who cheat on pregnant women. The lowest of the low!

  • Stretch and Torn Chump

    My story is so close to yours with very few exceptions. My cheater left when I was six months pregnant too and my baby has had a lot of medical difficulties since she was 4 1/2 months old. I, too, let him come into my home for a year to visit the kids (I have two older kids, too).

    On top of the physical changes your body is going through, you are also dealing with a lot of emotional changes as well. Surround yourself with people who are willing to support you and your child and will shower love upon you both. Even though I haven’t wanted to start looking at any kind of romantic relationship , I do believe that there are good men out there and I am deserving of one of them. Give your self time to heal physically and emotionally. And see if one of those supporting people in your life will supervise those visits. At the very least, go to a different room of your home. Watching your cheater with your son will only mess with you emotionally. Better to not be part of their time together.

    It is a slow process, but hang in there. It does get better…and you are amazing!!!!

    • Add me to the metoo list. STBX started an affair in the middle of my pregnancy and I ended up with a restraining order and a lot of tears. I’m in the thick of it right now with my newborn too. And I’m so so sorry you are dealing with this. It seems almost impossible that a person could be so cruel, and then they are. But I am holding on to the hope that I will heal, that I am strong, that I get through this and thrive. And you will too.

    • You’re amazing too. Thank you for sharing. It’s terrible to know this happened to you too (and others), but it’s comforting in a horrific way.

    • Me too. XN left when I was 6 months pregnant with our daughter, blamed (crazy) me for all of his shitty decisions, and I supervised visits 3xs a week. It sucks, it’s been five years now, and you will be great.

      Just some logistical fyi, at our first hearing when DD was 4 days old (he filed for custody before she was born), I asked the judge to order psychological evals for is both. He was diagnosed with NPD, and that went a long way toward helping me keep DD safe during those early years in my father-friendly 50/50 area.

  • Sweetie…..it takes a while to recover from a cheater’s dirty deeds. Sometimes years. Your family is silly for expecting you to “get over it.” Especially since you just had the cheater’s baby (while he was cheating). It takes time to heal from the trauma of betrayal- especially after you just had a baby.

  • First thing: if someone hasn’t told you today, you are magical and what you’ve been able to endure is nothing short of the things legends are made of.

    I don’t even want to waste space on discussing your donator of sperm, but I will say a few things. He is a disgrace. Karma ALWAYS wins. Trust me, it will find him. The universe has a funny way of working out with these types of mutants.

    You focus on yourself and that baby. Be patient with yourself. I was in similar shoes, single mother quickly after just having a baby and discovering an affair. I hated my life and my body and the only thing keeping me afloat was my job (for distraction) and my boys (because that was my most important job). But day by day things get better, the clouds open and in a few months you will look back and say, “Wow, this situation was a gift.”. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. But you CAN do it.

    We are all behind you. Come here for support and stories of strength when you feel weak.

    Oh and the stretch marks – girl, REAL men don’t care. Hell they don’t even see them.

    Your next chapter is out there. Go start living it.

    Biggest hugs!

  • Stretch

    The most malignant losers abandon a pregnant wife. Your supportive family members know exactly what he did during your most vulnerable time.

    At eight months pregnant I believed he was having an affair. I found proof after my daughter was born. She had heart problems and I did not have a support system.

    These types do not leave because of your changing body. They cheat because of their selfish entitlement. And he found an equally disturbed woman who ACCEPTED a manchild who abandoned a pregnant wife!

    Your pregnancy took the focus off of him and showed you his true colors. He’s disordered.

    Take care of yourself and get child support and alimoney. Add on health insurance and medical bill payments. Document all visitations and get working on a settlement that supports your child.

    That place we go when we ask ourselves if we are worthy is by far the most painful. I’m here to tell you that you are worthy of much more! Don’t measure yourself by the assholes yardstick. That gives the fucker way too much power.

    Take it back each and every day. Congratulations on your beautiful child.

  • Stretched,
    You are SO WORTHY OF LOVE!!! And CL is right…it takes a long time to bounce back after having a baby. And to anyone telling you that you should be over the break up, THEY ARE CRAZY!!

    GRIEF HAS NO TIMELINE. Tell them that…end of story.

    Allow yourself to feel all those bad feelings, let yourself cry and get all of it out. Don’t hold it in!! And just love on your precious baby. As long as his health issues allow, take him out. After my first daughter was born, I felt so alone. I didn’t have family nearby, and didn’t have many friends (other than those from work who were…well, at work). So I took her out and walked the mall EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If I hadn’t gone, I think I would have gone crazy. So just a suggestion to go someplace. Even though I didn’t talk to anyone, just being around other people was a comfort to me.

    And keep reading through CN’s posts. I’m 5 months out from D-Day#3, my final one, and this website has done wonders for helping me “see the light.”

    Stay strong, focus on slowing down and trying to enjoy the little moments with your baby. <<>>

  • Sweetie, I am so sorry for what you are going through. Cheaters like yours deserve a special place in hell. Be hopeful. I had a tear with my first child. After surgery, I was better than before. Don’t worry about that. You are beautiful as you are. You will get yourself and your shape back. You will create a richer, authentic life without that scumbag. Just take it one day, one breath at a time. You are dealing with so much right now.

    • I tore with all three of my natural births, the third time requiring stitches. But now I’m great, actually better. It all healed and becomes strong again.

  • I’m so sorry! That is just shitty. But one thing I assure you is that he has not found true love with this ho. My narco-path strung me along until he decided to suddenly give me the silent treatment and disappear forever. I realized later how lucky I was…I didn’t marry him or have children with him. I also realized later that I was a transitional target in between his divorce and quick remarriage to the future ex-Mrs. Asshat. I was just a temporary source of kibbles. It’s a long, humiliating story of how naive and stupid I was, but my point is that I realized the problem wasn’t me. That mature adults with healthy psyches don’t do this shit to people. If you’re husband was willing to do this to the woman he married, who was carrying his child without a shred of conscience, he’ll do the same to his new girlfriend. She’s not special. Love is a choice. Sometimes I don’t have all the sparkly feels for my Mister but I still love him and I’m committed to sticking with him. Your husband chose to satisfy his own fleeting pleasures and left you to pork his girlfriend during your high risk pregnancy. This isn’t the kind of person who ever finds true love. He’ll stick with her as long as she serves his purpose and vice versa. All his new girlfriend won out of this is a gold-plated turd and it sounds like she’s no prize pig either. They deserve each other. You deserve better.

    • I really hope you’re right about the ho! I told my STBX that love is a choice, not a fleeting feeling. I’m beginning to think he doesn’t know what Love really is and he probably never will

  • Most women, after they give birth, are vulnerable. You have the added anxieties of your precious son’s health, and of course, your partner not just leaving you, but cheating on you. My heart aches for you.

    I’m really concerned that your family, although supportive, are not being emotionally supportive enough. You really, really need them right now. You need their empathy, their love, and their rightous anger, on your behalf. Particularly in those moments where you are feeling fragile and vulnerable.

    I really think you need to sit down with the member of your family you are closest to, and explain exactly how you’re feeling. Everything you’ve been through. You need to open up to them.

    There is nothing more mind-bending than going through a traumatic experience like this, and other people being dismissive, or minimising it. It makes you question your own feelings, makes you question yourself.

    There’s no doubt you are going through a truly awful and traumatic time. You can’t rush through these feelings, and you can’t rush healing.

    My ex started his affair when our newborn was 8 weeks old, or thereabouts. When I discovered his affair, he didn’t beg me to stay – just like you. It was more a case of his game was up, and now he could ‘escape’ (the coward). I remember saying to him something along the lines of “you’re not even trying to stay with me” and he just replied “what’s the point?” That cut so deep – but after that, I put all his belongings in bin bags in the garage.

    18 months after DDay, I went to the Drs about the depression and anxiety I felt. I said to him “it’s been a year and a half! I feel like I should be further on than this!” and the Doctor said to me “18 months? That’s still early days yet.”

    That stuck with me. Healing from something like this takes a long time. And different amounts of times for different people and different circumstances. Don’t ever let anyone ever give you the impression that you should be over this by now. You have a lot to deal with.

    I want you to know that what you will experience will be something of a rollercoaster. Not only will you have good days and bad days, but at certain points, you will feel like you’ve made progress, only to regress. But then you will move forward again. I promise.

    Just be kind to yourself. Don’t expect too much from yourself. Focus on that baby boy, as Chump Lady says. Surround yourself with people that get you and are empathetic. Get all the support you can. xxxxxx

  • First, Stretched (and MIGHTY!), I’m so very sorry … what your STBX did is inhuman. I would personally like to put his ass in the 9th level of Dante’s Inferno.

    Secondly, please know you aren’t alone. There are a number of us Chumps who were cheated on and/or left during pregnancy. I’m in the former group. Three kids over two decades. He cheated during all three pregnancies … and in between the pregnancies … and, well, he never didn’t cheat (unbeknownst to me).

    During my last pregnancy, cheater was an abusive asshole. He vilified me to our other kids (young teens at the time). He told the kids that I was going to ruin everything by bringing a baby into the house … because babies cry and take up so much time and money. Seriously … as if I was the only one who participated in the impregnation. I will NEVER forgive him for using our kids as a tool of abuse against me. Fucker. (For the record, my kids finally saw through his BS.)

    When the little one was born (pre-term labor, c-section due to stress), I was already depressed … and the depression went approximately tenfold with postpartum. Cheater ignored me and the baby for a year unless other people were around. And because (at that time) he had convinced the older kids that life would be hell with a baby … I lived in baby’s bedroom during that year, coming out only to get stuff I needed to take care of the baby. I was so desperate … and hated myself so much. I remember once apologizing for existing ….

    The only thing that kept me going through that nightmare was my innocent newborn. I remember laying her on the floor one day because I was crying uncontrollably … I kept apologizing to her for bringing her into a world so filled with hate that it would condemn someone so sweet and so innocent.

    Stretched, cheater didn’t beat me. He didn’t need to. He tore me down so covertly and overtly for two decades that I didn’t even realize that he had essentially destroyed my soul. But I’m free now. And astonished … at what he put me through, at what I didn’t see, at how emaciated my self-esteem had become. Away from that hell, I now know that I never deserved any of it — truly, nobody does. No matter how flawed I was, he had no excuse (NONE) to be so exceptionally cruel.

    It’s been quite a journey back from that hell, but I’m doing it one step at a time. When I couldn’t find it inside of me to keep pushing forward for me, I did it for my kids. Now that I’m a bit healthier, I am doing it for me too now. And this is the crux of my advice to you. You WILL get there — one step at a time. In the meantime (because it does take time), focus on self-care and that beautiful baby. And, I promise, you NEVER deserved this. Neither did your baby. (((Hugs)))

    • (((JesssMum))) :'(

      and (((Stretched)) :'(

      Both of you, I could cry buckets for the cruel treatment you’ve received from evil, evil men who never deserved the love you gave them.

      JesssMum – just too, too sad. I’m so sorry x

      • JessMum,
        You are a very special person, an inspiration to others.
        All that has happened in your life and you stand tall and proud of all your precious children. You have fought for them, especially your youngest child.
        I have read parts of your story before, and always, you touch my heart.
        In my eyes you even rise above being a present, sane, loving parent. Words fail me to adequately describe my respect for you.
        Thank you for always reaching out to Chumps like Stretched and Torn. Your strength can’t help but enlighten her and help show her the way.

        • Peacekeeper: You always are so kind and understanding. Thank you. 🙂

          I’m extraordinarily lucky to have such amazing daughters. Their existence itself gives me more strength than I ever knew I had. And they deserve sooooo much more. They definitely deserve to be out of this horrendous, generational cycle of abuse. The very least I can do is to show them it is possible to have a life without abuse … and that happiness is possible … genuine love is possible.

          It’s tough sharing my story sometimes — (I still can’t believe that I was so blind to how bad it was). But, it’s completely worth it if I can even spark one woman to see that she’s worth so much more than the verbal and emotional abuse she’s been dealing with. So. Much. More. And so are her precious children.

          (((Hugs))) to you, Peacekeeper. I hope you have a beautiful Christmas, dear lady. — Jess’s Mom

      • Jayne: (((Hugs))))

        Thank you for the compassion and understanding.

        Even now, after being free for almost a year, I’m still in a bit of shock at the realization of how bad it was. It’s so damned hard to see when you are inside of it.

        Best wishes (and Happy Holidays!!!)

        — Jess’s Mom

    • Hugs to you JesssMom for all the pain you went through for so long, with 3 children! Cheaters really do deserve hell. My cheater only had the chance to cheat on me during my pregnancy (all the way until now) of my one and only child. Thank goodness I only needed to be around the block once to see his true colors. I’m filing divorce today then celebrating with my best friend.

      • Fantastic news!! Congratulations, Stuckinlimbo!!! (You’ll need to change your screen name!) 🙂

        (((Hugs))) to you (and your best friend) — and Happy Holidays!

    • Sending you hugs, JessMom. You truly have been through hell and back. The cheater that was in your life….well he is just plain evil. I am so glad you and your girls were able to not only survive, but thrive. I think is a testament to your courage dear lady.

      And Stretched and Mighty, Honey, you are going to be ok. I know it’s so hard right now, but you are not having to drag a cheating fucktard along while you recover from childbirth. You can give all your attention and love to your new little one. Great big hugs to you too.

      • Only on the shoulders of giants … like you, Tessie. Your strength, kindness, and determination to reach out to others are a constant inspiration to me.

        You are always in my heart. (((Hugs)))

  • I’m so sad for you S&T (though maybe you should change that to G&T).

    What you’re feeling about self worth is very normal for chumps to feel. What your cheater is telling you is normal for cheaters to tell you. You seem like you’ve got your head screwed on straight and know rationally what the objective truth is; you were the high value partner in this relationship – it turned out that he didn’t deserve you. You deserve better than him.

    There’s no problem in focusing on looking after yourself at this point, that’s not selfish, that’s what you need to do to protect your own sense of self & that is important. Besides, your child is going to be better off growing up with you if you’ve taken the time to care for yourself. Do what you need to do to be able to look yourself in the eye when you stand in front of the mirror.

    It’s hard to shut off the emotional part of your brain but it looks like you’re succeeding. Keep going. A combination of rational thinking and steely eyed determination got me out of the danger zone where I was being abused by my spouse (and I count your spouse trying to gaslight you and pretend they were never happy as abuse) & onto solid ground. It’ll do the same for you. You’re gonna get clear, and things will get better, even if you have periods where you’re not OK (and, be forgiving of yourself – it’s OK to not be OK – you’re going through alot).

    I say this to support you and not diminish your situation; there is nothing extra special going on here that means nobody will ever love you again. We have all felt like that. You are probably attributing it to the pregnancy and etc but it really is normal for the members of this particular club. You owe yourself a little self love – you’re not a cheater, you’re a decent person, you’re a strong person, you know that you’re not willing to stay with someone who won’t respect you. Those are all foundational pieces of self-love, build on those and you’ll be fine.

    Equally, your cheater will say things to devalue you. It’s just what cheaters do, and you were unfortunate to have it happen to you at this particular time in your life when you had so much else to deal with. Of course they will say they never loved you, you were the crazy one, etc. It’s all about preserving their own self image. Get clear of them, and if you can’t do that, harden yourself to them – since their role in your life now is to do you harm.

    My thoughts are with you
    MC

  • Stretched, Congratulations on the birth of your son! You have been so strong and courageous! Every day things will get a little bit better. I would definitely recommend seeing if friends or family can help with those 3x weekly visits with your ex, so you can get some rest during those times.

    You are not alone. Lots of women, myself included, have gone through divorce during pregnancy as a result of adultery. I would definitely let your OBGYN and Pediatrician know what is going on, so they can help direct you to the appropriate channels of help and support.

    Thank you for sharing your story so bravely. In doing so, you are helping others going through similar circumstances – myself included -feel less alone and isolated. Best Wishes!!

  • He’s a piece of shit. I’m sorry this happened to you but I am so glad he’s gone.
    I don’t know you, but I’m a man. I have never paid much attention to the physical flaws of a woman I’m in a relationship with and if I did, never with disdain (princess skank alots boobs sagged but I liked them in honesty-they fed my children after all, and that was a result). So don’t beat yourself up over what you perceive as flaws, most men really don’t care.
    Those that do, I think probably are cheaters. I remember when daddy issues once said to me that it was only normal I’d lose sexual interest in her because I saw her give birth to kids. I was shocked, but then I found out she was just parroting what cheater grandpa/fuckbuddy told her. No I lost sexual interest because she fucks old men and drug addled convicts. I think you’ll be fine.

    • I hope you are right that “most men really don’t care” about physical flaws. I lost a breast to cancer last year and I have tried to imagine the first time showing my body to a new boyfriend (not that I have one, I don’t). I know a truly good, mature man who really “sees” me won’t care, but I’m still nervous about it. Has anyone else here dealt with this problem?

      • I hope you’re doing well now. I am telling you, honestly, that to a man that cares about you, this will not be an issue. I am telling you honestly that the fact you survived breast cancer will not prevent someone from being attracted to you.
        Additionally, boob men are weird.

  • Just a little practical body suggestions x

    Sweet almond oil (as organic high quality as you can find) for stretch marks: look into breast massage too! It can tighten and improve elasticity as a bonus plus it’s an act of extreme self love and self care which you so richly deserve.
    Jade eggs- google that one 🙂
    And go to the health food shop and get some herbal tea for uterine health.
    Fill your own cup first sweetie
    Xo

  • ((((((Stretched and Torn Chump)))))
    It is difficult to know where to start.
    I was in your shoes, but after my pick me dancing, he ended up staying.
    It has not been easy and I came to CL, CN very late in the game of my life. I find comfort here. I find strength, love, and integrity.
    My purpose here is to encourage new Chumps, to follow the goal, the advice, found here. It is proven and true!

    This post is about you!
    My life’s work was as a labor and delivery nurse, many years in a specialized unit where high risk mothers delivered. I also worked in the adjourning unit where high risk Moms were admitted, days, some even months before, to get them to a safer delivery date, if possible.
    This is a horrific experience for any mother to be to get through. Most have amazing support from a loving partner, from close family and friends who genuinely care.
    Even though your cheater accompanied you on some of these difficult journeys, he really WASN’T there, not then, not now.
    It is a difficult journey, the one ahead, Stretched and Torn, but you can do it. You already show an amazing strength, an overflowing love for your newborn son.
    What CL, what all posting Chumps share with you, that is the way, the truth and the light.
    Concentrate on yourself and healing first and on your Baby. Try to enjoy, as best you can, this irreplaceable time of such a tiny little being entrusted to your care. Take all the help you can from loving Family and friends. People who care, people who love you, let them reach out, encircle you and your child with their warmth and affection.
    Talk to your Family Doctor if you have a good one who takes the time to listen to you, if not your Doctor, a therapist, a close friend, someone, talk in person to someone, get it out. You are high risk for post partum depression. Knowing this in advance is in itself a good thing.
    I can’t stress enough about the heavenly effect of CL, CN, 24/7 circling arms of love and support, open to you!
    When I read other Chumps responses I often find it difficult to keep reading. I have to stop, find kleenex and dab my eyes.
    The People here, the Chumps, are the most caring, unbelievable people in the whole wide world.
    I salute each one. I love you and thank you for being here for Stretched and Torn.

    And, YES, Stretched and Torn, one day a real man will love you and your wonderful Child.
    YOU are beautiful. It will take time to believe in yourself again, but you are well started on that journey sweet lady!

    Xxxxxxxxx
    Peacekeeper

  • I found out when I was pregnant with our third. Positive STD test as part of routine pre-natal care. When I was seven months along, found receipts for the expensive belly button rings he was buying for his massage parlor friends. I’d already had 2 c-sections and knew my belly was probably never going to be “belly-ring worthy” again. I still have a flabby belly but I’m more embarrassed about the 3 years I wasted trying to reconcile. I KNOW it doesn’t seem like it now, but someday you will be glad he left without wasting any more of your time. Your strength comes through in this letter.
    Also, CL’s response moved me to tears. She really is the friend we all need at a time like this. Like many others I was floundering until I found this site. This year my charitable Christmas donation is going to this site because if there was ever an argument for the necessary service it provides, this was it!

  • What type of man would leave a woman whose just given birth. It makes you wonder how he sleeps at night. It makes you think how he will treat the new “lady”. The new lady, probably cant really care, only thinks for herself. She will be either jealous of the baby or pretend to love the baby. I wont be surprised if she’s pregnant within 2 years.

    • “She will be either jealous of the baby or pretend to love the baby. I won’t be surprised if she’s pregnant within 2 years.”

      This is exactly what happened with my ex and his OW. She makes a big show of it for our son (like promising him trips to Legoland in Europe that will never materialize), and at the same time I have no doubt that she was very jealous of the time ex spent/spends with our son without her. She couldn’t have that, so decided to give birth to a shiny new baby to keep him home. It worked.

      Stretched, your ex is probably using his visitation time to triangulate with the OW and goad her into the pick-me dance (and to exert control over you, too). OW will feel left out, not at the top of the priority list, not special enough, and that’s how he wants her to feel. Once they have a baby of their own (if they stay together), he will be significantly more out of your hair. I know how hard it is to play the long game, but that’s what you have to do.

      Big hugs to you, and take care of your mental health. I raised an infant alone thanks to my cheating absentee ex, and my post-partum depression and exhaustion got so bad that I ended up making very bad choices (marrying ex and moving across the country) because I was desperate for support, love, and a nuclear family. That backfired spectacularly.

      As for your ability to attract another mate, it weighed heavily on me after D-day and still does. I often wonder why, with all the incredible, childless, beautiful women out there, would anyone want a divorced single mom like me when they can choose an easier path? I keep coming back to Glennon Doyle Melton’s quote: “You can’t miss your boat. It’s yours. It stays docked until you’re ready.” In other aspects of my life this has held true, so I remain hopeful that it will be also true of someday partnering again, stripey baby flab and all.

  • Stretch,
    Hang in there! You are an amazing woman. I too had an abandonment cheater who left me without looking back when our daughter was five. She has autism, non verbal, developmental delay and epilepsy. When he left, I was hospitalized twice and I nearly died.

    Now, only four years from DDay, I have a successful cleaning company, I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m about to turn 41, I ride horses, hang out with friends, I’m single right now and loving it and my daughter is thriving. THIS is your story! You will be on the other side of this nightmare and your life will be BETTER than before! Believe me!!! YOU MATTER!!! God sees you and CN is here for you every step of the way! You are not alone. Hugs to you!

  • Incidentally I know of a “ow” who got pregnant within 2 weeks. I know of “ow” who actually feel that the “man” is wonderful. I personally have split up with my ex 4 years ago, mentally I feel happier. I think if a woman wants a man who dumps his kids she has serious issues..

    • And Susan as she knows his past record of coldly walking away from a pregnant wife and children she will constantly wonder if he’ll do the same to her. What a way to live.

  • Stretch,
    We have similar stories. My ex was so distant through our pregnancy. I chalked it up to first time father anxieties. Nahh, he was in love with a co-worker, whom I knew and knew I was pregnant. I’ve stated on here before, he invited her to the baby shower.
    Anyhow, he leaves this newly formed family for the married teeny bopper with 2 kids.
    I was devastated. I wish I can say I was strong. I was fired from my job. I would stay in bed all day and since kid was so young, would have him over for visitation when it was convenient for him. It was hard to go NC. I was a mess.
    Stretch, be loving to yourself. Consider going to see a counselor/psychologist. I put it off for so long, I wish I did sooner. You are going through a lot with post partium, kid with health issues and stupid ex. Mentally it’s a lot. After one on one help (lost insurance because I was on ex’s) I went to a divorce group. For me, it was great. First it made me accountable to be somewhere each week and it was a time I can hear others going through crap also.
    Stretch – you can get through this – stronger. As CL said don’t worry about finding another person to help fill the void and insecurities you have. Spend time on you and that lovely baby you have. It’s all too raw now. Settle into your new normal, finalize divorce and then maybe consider dating.
    You can get through this and be stronger after.

  • Many letters here leave me angry and disgusted. Your letter made me want to track that motherfucker down and rip his balls out and shove them down his fuck toy’s mouth! How dare he abandon you and your son in such a fashion! May they both have many years of disordered hatred together! May they give each other incurable STD’s and be forever barren. Certainly, neither should ever bring an innocent human being into their selfish lives.

    But let me tell you something you will not believe now. In fact, what I about to say may make you mad, but I speak from experience. One day, you are going to look back and thank the universe that this subhuman bastard showed his true being and is no longer in your life. He does not deserve you and he has never been the man/husband/father you believed him to be.

    Grieve, rage, howl at the moon and don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t have the right to express exactly what you are feeling! Of course, do this in such a way and with people you trust, so that fuck face doesn’t use it against you in the divorce. Find your tribe, and let them love and support you (and maybe kick this cretin in the balls, by “accident, of course).

    I share my story to let you know that it WILL get better. I had been with my husband my entire adult life. We had worked to become very successful professionals, doing good work for many people in need. We had four amazing, loving, kind children, who at the time were 12 to 23 years old.

    X began fucking a disgusting married money grubbing Jesus cheater. On my 24th anniversary, my world fell apart. Their affair was publicly exposed in the media. Newspapers, round the clock “news coverage” on every local channel (“coming live to you a 5,6, 7, 10 and 11!”). My daughter, away at college, learned minutes before the news hit the internet. It was relentless, and there were days I didn’t know if I could go on.

    But I was mom first and I knew my kids needed me. They needed to see that I was okay, because if I was alright, they would be, too. I hired the absolute best lawyer I could find (after interviewing anyone I thought X might use) and I was ruthless. I was not going to let two disordered fucks ruin my kids’ lives, even though I didn’t really even care what happened to me.

    I got it “all”, for reasons I can’t discuss here, and set up education accounts for each of the kids. Two have finished college and graduate school, two more are substantially there. All have turned out to be hardworking, compassionate human beings. One is about to be married.

    I am healed, but scarred. The scars don’t bother me at all, though. In fact, I am proud of those scars because they remind me what I have overcome! OW crashed and burned in a spectacular way; X dumped her the minute she made a grab for the money. He is now terminally ill and I help navigate his care, as well as pay for it. I do that, not for him, but for my children. He constantly tells the kids what a fool he was to throw away the best thing that ever happened to him for a worthless whore. When I see him at family functions (weddings, graduations, funerals), I treat him like someone I used to know.

    Seven years after my life forever changed, I am at peace and content with life. Although men have expressed interest in dating me, I have decided, for many reasons unique to my life, that I do not want to be in any sort of romantic relationship. That is my choice, and may not be right for you or anyone else here. Above all, though, I honor myself, respect myself and absolutely love my present life. Truly, what was the most traumatic thing I have survived, has given me an entirely new life, one full of meaning and love.

    I was fortunate in that I did not experience the kind of horrible financial betrayal I read about here. Still, X’s infidelity nearly destroyed me and, but for my love of my children and their love for me, it very well could have. Instead, I’m still standing, and I am proud of who I am and the life I have made for myself. In the words of Bob Dylan,”I have made it through. You can make it, too.”

    Come here as much as you need to.You are among people who are cheering you on. Your life is now one of truth, not lies. You should be proud of yourself (AND your stretch marks)!

  • Will someone love you with your stretch marks?? Sure.
    The great part here is that you will love yourself more and from here forward no bullshit will be tolerated.
    You have a beautiful baby who loves his mother….you are the winner.
    Let that “woman” have your ex. He’s trash and so is she. They deserve a life together.
    Let someone else supervise his visitation. Having that in your wotldddraild your healing.
    Hugs to you.
    Your ex is a dick, I hate him for you.
    For you I rejoice. You have your whole cheater free beautiful life ahead of you and she gets…..him.
    #winning

  • Stretch,

    My heart breaks for you. Any man that would cheat on his pregnant wife has a special place in hell reserved for him. She risks her life for you (I had a friend who died in childbirth and another who had to have an emergency hyserectomy to keep her from bleeding to death), and you repay her with cheating? My ex husband cheated on me beginning when I was pregnant with DD who is now 10 and continued with the OW. He is still with her. I can say I don’t care, but at times I feel sorry for the OW. Why? Because a man who would do such heinous things to his wife, would eventually do the same to her. It doesn’t matter if he is happier with her, realize that even if he is miserable, he will make it seem like things are great in front of you.

    And as for the stretchmarks, I have those, love handles, hell, I seriously need a tummy tuck and I have to turn men away. I feel like my focus is to raise my kids into decent humans right now, I’ll find someone worthy of my time in a bit….

    Seriously get some help for postpartum depression and definitely get your fabulous family to supervise that visitation……ugh…I did that where he watched the kids in my house….now I won’t even let him over the theshold of my front door, lol. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder, you need him out of your face to begin moving. Having him in your face all the time is keeping you for healing.

    And I agree with the rest, it’s brutal now, especially with a child with health issues, and single parenting is not for the faint of heart, but if he disappears now ( and it seems like he may just do that), it would be easier. Because coparenting with a fuckwit is a bitch….

  • Many years ago, over 25 years at least, I was dating an entitled, selfish asswhole. At that time, he hadn’t had time yet to show me his true colors. He’d been casually messing around before he met me and got a woman pregnant. When we came back from Desert Storm, she approached me with this gorgeous toddler who looked just like my then boyfriend. She told me her story. Seems he had no problem visiting his child but refused child support and treated the mother like shit/cruelly. I dumped him on the spot. There had been no cheating. They had legitimately ended things…( i never even knew about her before we deployed) conveniently when she got pregnant. Even without cheating, you don’t treat the mother of your child like shit. You are not cruel to her and you don’t abandon her before or after she’s just given birth. I realized immediately that if he could do that to her today, I could be her tomorrow. Decent people don’t date married people, and especially not when they are pregnant. Decent men don’t harm the mother of their child the way he did you. Those two deserve each other. A decent person would be horrified at what he was doing to you, not date them. Your cheater should be horsewhipped. Take care of you and your child. It will take time to process everything. Read these comments day after day and tell yourself every morning that there isn’t anything wrong with you, he’s the one missing a soul. And be greatful you didn’t invest decades in such a POS.

    • Here, here Sugar! If they do it to others they’ll do it to you!

      All in all the OW and the cheater know they are crossing lines that define character or should I say lack of character.

      Lacking respect for a pregnant spouse clearly defines the level of disorder.

  • Stretch, bless your heart! That sounds so awful. Please accept an Internet hug.
    For what it’s worth, don’t envy cheater and his mistress. Most cheating relationships wither and die once they don’t have their spouses in their way. How do you form a long trusting relationship with someone you know you CAN’T trust?
    Even if they do stay together, what exactly did she “win” here? The kind of guy that leaves his wife while she’s pregnant, that’s who. She’ll find out soon enough what he’s really like.
    It won’t seem better today, or tomorrow, but eventually things will get better.

  • Stretchedandtorn,

    Like many chumps, I went through various stages, once I gave up the thought that Jackass was a normal person. I thought the most important thing was to find a new relationship! Have what he had! Show him I’m old but desirable! And by God, to have someone so I didn’t have to be alone.

    But reading here convinced me that my approach was fatally flawed. I needed to build my own healthy life before even thinking about dating or getting involved in a relationship. I didn’t need a relationship with a man; I needed one with myself.

    Don’t wait too long to get a real attorney and look into child support and a court-order for visitation. The in-home visits may be good right now because you don’t want to be separated from the baby or have him out there with God knows who. But I agree with whoever suggested having third parties (family or highly trusted friend) supervise the visits, even if you remain in the house and have time to get a shower or rest. You don’t need to have that much contact with him. Read here and you will find lots of good advice about limiting contact.

    Ringinonmyownbell posted this article on the forums the other day. It’s a great place to start to learn about what’s wrong with your STBX. He’s not normal. The more you learn about character disorder, the more you will understand that you aren’t the problem here. Give yourself a couple of years to get adjusted to motherhood and recover from the trauma of being discarded (that’s the technical term) but a disordered person. Go slow. Focus on your own life and enjoying the baby.

      • LAJ

        Just love this part of the article!

        “Sorry–you’re not strong enough to ‘will’ his amygdala to change. Bad news here–you are not gonna ‘love’ his limbic region into correct functioning. ‘And hate to break the news that all the ‘Law of Attraction’ books aren’t gonna get his brain chemistry to be normal.
        And you might as well cancel the relationship counseling because being tolerant it isn’t gonna change the size and function of various brain regions. If you stopped nagging or tried the relationship ‘just one more time’ it isn’t going to alter his brain enzymes and neurotransmitters. Even Batterer Intervention groups aren’t gonna change his corpus callosum and make it less aggressive.”

        Amazing.

  • Let me tell you the 3 secrets of stretch marks
    1) they fade into nothing, with time. They will become barely visible by the time you are healed, hopefully emotionally, not just physically.
    2) look at them as your tiger stripes. The mamma tiger who roared and foughy to bring your child into the world. Let them remind you of the power of your body.
    3) in all sincerity: men in general, and especially a man who loves you will not care. All they see is skin which arouses them in itself. Period!

    That being said, don’t rush to prove things to anyone. I know you must be feeling down in the dumps right now, raw inside and out. It’s normal. You are also dealing with the added hormone fluctuations of you your body rebooting itself after birth. It’s all normal. Your mantra should be “this, too, shall pass”.
    Concentrate on your baby. When my marrige/love life imploded i kept telling myself that #1 will always be my child and whoever doesn’t think so and love me as i am can take a nice long hike. Take me as i am, because i don’t need you to be happy.
    Who cares if they’re happy or not? He left, he made his choice, keep contact only through parenting apps and email.
    Concentrate on little victories of taking care of yourself, like sleeping when the baby sleeps, eating a good meal, putting your feet up, taking a shower while your parents watch the baby (a shower every 3 days was my giant victory!).
    You will be frazzled for the first 3-12 months. For some it’s easier, for some harder. Just keep telling yourself “I’m doing the best i can!”. Don’t expound any mental energy into what is going on in anyone else’s life, for it is futile.
    Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family or whoever offers it. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can receive at this time…an extra set of hands!

    I had a horrible first 5 months of preggo, sick non stop. During that time 2 complications were discovered that needed monitoring. Then prenatal diabetes on top of that. Labor lasted from Thursday 2am til Sunday noon when he was finally born. I had a 2nd degree tear. Struggled with breastfeeding (succeded in the end and went to just short of 4 years!).
    1st day at home (after 3 days in hospital) i asked the dad to hold him while i shower. I was so raw i couldn’t step out of the tub without feeling like my insides will fall out through my vagina. I asked him for help…i broke down as i was stepping out of the tub and started bawling, not knowing why, the emotional hormones just swept me away. He was dumbfounded. This went on for over 2 months til i normalized.
    It will pass for you, too, don’t fear.
    Take the help offered, it’s from people who love you and your babe.

    • Wow Mg…..

      Your words to Stretched are so powerful! Your experience you shared with us so precious! Each and every pregnancy ever in the history of the world is unique in it’s own special way. All of the accounts shared today on behalf of Stretched is proof of that!

      One of the points that I am so glad you shared here is how long you breast fed your little one. Too often it is considered ‘twisted’ in some way to breast-feed beyond 6 to 12 months. However, it has been repeatedly shown that the longer a child is breast-fed (especially if Mom takes care of her own health) the better the child’s mental, emotional, psychological & physical health is for LIFE!

      I made it to 2 yrs & 8 mos with my only child. The only reason I gave it up then was due to cheaterpants claiming it was interfering with our sex life! THAT was a big bunch of BS! He was just jealous pppppfffftttt!!! on him…..Child and I are still close. Cheaterpants & child? not so much…..

      Anyway…..I truly hope Stretched will keep all of these comments, experiences and love close to her heart!

      I know today’s post & comments has been strengthening to me as we all ForgeOn!

      • ForgeOn, no twistedness from here…my mom went over 3 years with me and over 2 with my sis, my bro only like a year (not a good mom tho otherwise, mental illness and pill/alcohol abuse proves this true, abandoned us when i was 5 yo)
        With my son (only child, no more siblings from my part as i had my tubes removed) i just wanted to forge on (no pun intended) because it was all i knew. In the 1st few months it added to the painful healing…and then went like lickety split. Kid’s dad was always supportive of the effort, i tried to have him read about the usefulness of bm, he didn’t read but listened to the info i passed on and it became a point of pride he could brag on, i was never the one who judged the moms in his extended family for formula feeding, he did that, openly and also behind their back.
        I was a sahm for over 3 years out of cultural tradition, so this helped. But at the same time he controlled everything in regards to finances. When i went back to work he resented me making my own money. He even tried to talk me into staying home longer to “be with the baby” ie: under his thumb with no way out…
        That was my 1st marriage. The whole kaboodle of narc mil critiquing everything, useless partner, his extended hyper religious family where a woman leaves all decisions to the man, etc…divorced. he speaks ill of me to whoever will listen. Says I’m mentally ill and a bad mother or just non existent in our son’s life (yeah, i take him to school every morning and home, cook almost every night, he’s never been late even once, top of his class, principals list and so on, gentle and kind soul. So suck it, asshole!) The usua spiel to get a woman. So does his mom(says all above to anyone). Most of his family. I have maybe 2 people out of 50 former family on his side who will converse with me without judgement. I have to see his extended family once in a blue moon at my sons request, usually a bday or bbq. The last one i went to after being divorced for over a year and not having seen the fam for over 2, one of his uncles cornered me and gave me “the talk” of I’ll never find a better man, husband, father. On and on he went…even throwing in the family mantra of “we don’t believe in divorce!” Lmao i did the flowers at his daughter’s 2nd wedding! They say “well, that’s different! They weren’t happy!” (She married a covert narc 1st, 2nd guy is decent). And this uncles wife wept when she saw me, hugged me and said “I’m so happy to see you, i hope you are well!”
        2nd marriage not much better. My issues swept me into the scope of a narc and all the pain and insanity that comes with that..its been a hard life in more ways than one, mainly because of my own damage (schizo mother who abandoned the 3 of us, alcoholic father who tortured me mentally an physically growing up), the silver lining is a beautiful and smart child who is the light of my life.

      • And congrats on making it so long with breastfeeding, i know what it takes to go so long, there are so many hurdles to overcome. Sorry your detractor had you end it!! 🙁

  • Stretch-
    I had my last kid almost 21 years ago. I still have stretch marks up to my belly button and on my hips. I’m in good shape (in clothing – not in a bikini, though) except my stomach…. the flab never went away and I can’t get rid of it. (I think Mountain Dew has a lot to do with that 🙁 ) I have a great boyfriend who constantly tells me I have a great body (which like I said – I do…. in clothing) and I’ve made remarks about ‘except my baby battle wounds.’ He told me that those stretch marks DO NOT matter to him and that I should be PROUD to wear them!
    Ya – now that’s a man.
    So If ANY MAN doesn’t want you because of STRETCH MARKS? Then he’s not worth having anyway.

  • Stretched and Torn… don’t let your feelings become your facts. It is so easy to believe the worst about ourselves and the best of others… don’t fall in to that trap.

    This “girl” that you speak of… she just won a man who’s character is so flawed that he felt ok about abandoning his WIFE and SON during a high risk pregnancy to fuck her instead. I hope you let that really sink in. She didn’t “win”, you did. You got rid of a very bad person. I realize it may not feel that way because it wasn’t your choice to make, but trust me when I say this… some higher power just pushed you and your son out of the way of a renegade tractor trailer travelling at 100mph.

    Please don’t let what is happening around you take your focus away from where it should be… celebrating the fact that YOU brought this little boy into the world. YOUR BODY DID THAT. We women really don’t take (or get) enough credit for going through pregnancy and post-pregnancy… but that’s a rant for another day.

    See a doctor about the post-partum. It’s real.

    See a lawyer about supervised visitation and have a family member attend – afterall they think you should be over it, let them help you get there.

    Join some single mom blogs – YOU ARE NOT ALONE – and I guarantee you will find them online at 3:00am when you’re done nursing and changing and the diaper and feeling alone.

    This is going to be hard. Frankly, the stretch marks will be your battle wounds and you’ll come to wear them proudly.

    My heart bleeds for you and I hope you get the right support around you to navigate the right now. Let the future take care of itself. (For what it’s worth… they won’t be together in 3 years and he likely won’t even be around you and your son).

    We are here for you.

  • When the going gets tough, the cheaters get going. They really just can’t give and care for others. They are takers in life. It’s hard to see that initially because you are looking at life through your lens and with your values. You think you see a glimpse of love and support and call it so. He went with you to your appointments, he must’ve cared about you and the baby. Nope, you were his narc supply of kibbles. He went so he could keep you secured while he was out looking for more of a supply and flying back early trying to win an OW. She’s no prize. Once you step back and think about what kind of woman cheats with a man willing to do this to his wife while expecting their baby.

    When and if his twu wuv implodes, please do not even consider taking him back. Go no contact as others have suggested. It would be a gift if he didn’t try, but be prepared just in case. I took back a cheater when I had young kids and it only lead to more of the same. Self centered, selfish, entitled man child who sulked when things weren’t perfect and went looking for new supply, blaming me for his unhappiness.

    These cheaters who abandon when the wife/significant other is pregnant, diagnosed with cancer, just lost a child/parent, et… are really low. Sadly the character deficiency was always there. Stress and trajedy just reveals their true colors of who they are. This is not who you are. You are a mighty woman who has given birth to a beautful child, you have compassion and love, you will heal and go on to live a beautiful life without a fuckwit. It’s hard to see this right now. He is unable to ever be anything different than who he is.

  • I’ve always wondered when they accuse chumps of being crazy why don’t they take the children that they love so much with them. Or try to get the chump who they say they love some help? Or get court to get us evaluated? No? Nope? No takers? Cause cheaters just want to fuck around with no responsibility.

    • Exactly.
      Today I learned my cheater took off this week to spend with is hofriend. Just a month ago I asked him if he wanted to take off any days to spend with his child over winter break. He said, “Oh I guess I could take off one day.”
      One day. One day for his child while the OW gets an entire week. Douchbag.

    • Amen! If they truly thought we were mentally ill, they would act like it and protect the kids. My cheater accused me of having postpartum depression when I started questioning his devaluing behavior. He was an emotionally abusive ass to me while lining up Schmoopie. I hate how he twisted the understandable need for extra supports for a new mother into a prevalent psychiatric issue that I did not happen to have, in order to harm me and to help his divorce case. Which did not work.

      I was not mentally ill, rather, I saw the reality of him all too clearly as it turned out, when he walked out when the baby was 8 months old, just weeks after tricking me into a move where I was isolated. It shocks me how many ex-friends think he was totally justified. His fellow doctor friends are the absolute worst— I shudder to think of how they treat their patients who are now moms.

  • Oh, man, do I relate to this. My husband left me in the middle of chemo treatments. I was completely hairless–no hair on my head, no eyelashes, no eyebrows . . . the damage that does to someone is HARD to overcome. But the fact that my husband left me during that time period had NOTHING to do me. It felt that way for a while. The woman he left for was 10 years younger and had hair (bad hair, but hair nonetheless). He told me I drove him crazy and he felt uncomfortable the ENTIRE marriage and that is why I deserved to be left during cancer. I’m sure that is also what he told the AP and his new “girlfriend”.

    And for a while, I believed him. Maybe I was too critical. Maybe I was too demanding. Maybe I had too high of expectations. I don’t believe any of those things anymore, but even if they were true, that does not excuse a person from abandoning their spouse and mother of their child during a health crisis! The fact that he AND the woman he has been involved with (these two women used to work together!) think this is a valid reason is BONKERS!

    Their words try to justify their actions. Their words mean shit. Look at their actions to know the truth. My husband moved out when I was 2 months into a 9-month cancer treatment. And he left our daughter in my care. That says that he left because of HIMSELF. He not only didn’t care about me, he didn’t care about his daughter. Just like your husband did not care aout you or your child. That is on them.

    My family, like yours, feels I should have moved on already. If they haven’t gone through divorce or infidelity they sadly find it hard to relate. Everyone processes situations differently, I would remind them of that. Three months is not enough time to get over such betrayal even without pregnancy hormones!

    I agree with CL, take as much time as you need to heal. Take care of your child, settle into your new life, do things that make you happy. I’m almost 12 months out from D-day, I’ve been going to therapy for 10 months and I am JUST starting to feel more confident in myself. The psycological damage that they inflict takes a while to unravel, much less heal from. I, like you, often wonder if I will find someone to love a single mom who is now in medically induced menopause. What I’ve come to realize it that it doesn’t matter if I learn to love myself. Heal and learn to love yourself, everything else will fall into place.

    • I was married 31 years and with him 36 years. Recently one of my kids made the comment, “It’s been 5 years! Can’t you all celebrate holidays together?”

      Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I just hope to learn to live with it.

      It’s totally ridiculous to think Stretch would be over her ex in 3 months. However, I remember feeling so angry at my sister’s ex for abandoning her with a young, special needs child. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t see what a bum he was until it happened to me. People who say things like that just don’t know what they’re talking about because they haven’t been through it. Keep coming back here to talk with people who do understand!

      • OMG spend the holidays together? I understand the kid wanting to preserve their view of family, but the thought of hanging with these scumbags once we finally get rid of them? Fuck that.

  • As many others have said before me, please let your family be around for the visitations so you can have some peace away from the asshole. I have similar fears about my body and what would be “attractive” once the clothes come off, so to speak. Here’s to feeling more secure about our bodies in time.

  • I am riddled with stretch marks and surgery scars and I never had a baby – just lots of medical stuff. I have yet to be rejected for these things, though I will say that a person has to clear a certain threshold of humanity before I’ll share my body.

    Really, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s kind of an early warning system to have a humanly flawed body. It filters out the shallow douchebags. I have come to think of that as an advantage.

    You are hurting, deeply. That drives the fear. Please reach out for help — find a trauma informed counselor. You are mid-trauma and you need skilled support. Your hospital may also have a support group for parents like you. Some do.

    You’re stronger than you know and you can do this.

  • Dear Stretched and Healing,

    What if we told you everything is going to work out fine? It doesn’t seem that way now because your world feels like a bomb denoted in it leaving only two amourous cockroaches scuttling in dark places. But the worst things never happen.

    Please take care of you and your body. You deserve every ounce of compassion you can muster for yourself. Your son needs it too; his dad is unreliable.

    Don’t let people shame you into thinking you should be over it. They are over it because they are a third-party bystander who can see your husband is a fucking trainwreck. But for you, that was your marriage. You can take as long as you damn well please. People used to say this to me and I would tell them that I married for life in good faith and I deserved to mourn.

    I’m not convinced your husband is going to stay on board with the visitation/co-parenting thing. He already bailed when things were tough. Coming over three times a week to visit a child with health issues when you are a self-absorbed hedonist doesn’t bode well with trying to runaway from your commitments and start a new life. It makes a good sympathy play for a little while but gets old. She will also get tired of it. I know. My dad did this to my mother and I also had severe health problems. He eventually just stopped showing up. I was just fine and had everything I wanted as a kid. My mom remarried relatively quickly to someone willing to take that on, stretch marks and all, and they have been married for over 30 years now. My dad exiting the picture was one of the best things that ever happened to me, even if it was a bitch move.

    As for the happily ever after bit, maybe they will be happy and have a ball. I told myself after my divorce that he may go on and be happy, he may not. It really has nothing to do with me. My life is what needed my attention because that is within my power. Same with you. It isn’t fair, but unfortunately, the universe doesn’t really take an accounting for what is fair and it isn’t personal. That may sound a bit cynical, but thinking about life in those terms was a relief for me. I felt it gave me agency.

    The fact of the matter, though, is that anyone so miserable as to cause harm to another person and an infant is incapable of joy. There is a difference between happiness and joy.

  • About a year into my divorce proceedings (NY-fault state) from my cheater ex (who also left me with 3 young children saying I was crazy, bi-polar, never loved me, yada, yada) I sat waiting to be called in for the umpteenth hearing and came upon another young mom sitting there waiting for the same. We got to talking and I found out that her husband of 9 years walked out on her and their 12 day old son, suddenly and without explanation. She had no idea. He immediately moved in with the other woman, so blatantly he never once tried to hide any of it from anyone. Just shocked everyone into submission. She became one of my very best friends, and although she was quite broken for a couple of years, she did amazingly well and is happily remarried to the kind of guy that loves her so much he brings her new designer handbags every couple of months “just because” and buys her a new Infiniti SUV for her birthday. Not that material things matter, but my point is she has someone who treats her like a queen, who understands how special she is and loves her deeply and makes a point of showing that. Most importantly, he has raised her son as his own, and they have another son together. It took time and there are still deep emotional scars, like we all have, but she is happy and loved and secure, and so is her son.
    Just put one foot in front of the other, take care of your beautiful baby, and come here and read, vent, and learn. I am 11 years post DDay, very happily remarried as well, and I still come here several times a week because I am still trying to learn exactly the kind of abuse I was subjected to and what happened to my former life. I don’t post a lot, but this site has been a huge help to me. These cheaters are very ugly people, and it is often hard for us normal folk to wrap our heads around these kinds of things. You have a whole tribe here that gets it. Sending you and your precious baby lots of love and prayers…

  • Stretched,

    Sending you lots of love and hugs. You will never leave my heart and mind. My prayers are with you but you don’t need them, they allow me to help in some small way. The Cosmos has a way of taking care of the good souls.

    My First DDay was six years ago on the 18th. We, my youngest children and I, have been free of Turdd for a year and a half. I wasted almost five years trying to make it work with him. Two more DDays, one hooker, a DUI, my beloved car wrecked and financial ruin are all under my belt now. I allowed my children to be harmed thinking I was doing the best for them. Live and learn and, boy, have I learned. Let me share my experience with you.

    You have three priorities. These are top priorities. Nothing else matters.

    1. You. Yes, you come before your son. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but it isn’t. Just like when a plane is going down, we learn that we must put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we put it on our children because if we don’t make it our children won’t either.

    Sleep all that you can. Bathe regularly. Do something every day that you enjoy. For me, it would be reading something inspirational, geting outside and enjoying the scenery or watching a good TV show or movie (I am currently running down Grey’s Anatomy).

    Take all the help you can get. Never turn it down.

    2. Your son. I don’t need to expand on him, you know this. I will add though that you need to soak up every single moment you can of this very special time with him. It goes by so very fast.

    3. GET AN ATTORNEY NOW. Yes, I am yelling. I am screaming it at the top of my lungs. Violet taught me to see every good attorney to prevent The Scum for securing them himself. You need to protect yourself and your son now.

    The time that The Scum is spending with your son is securing his “good father” bullshit. He is “bonding”. He “cares”. He “shows up”. You get the picture.

    You want to secure child support while you are still off your feet. You want to get a visitation schedule that works for you and your baby. I would die if Turdd was in my home three times a week. There are so many other areas you need to protect yourself in. Read up here. There is a lot of good info about what you need to do legally.

    It is hard to believe but, as others have said, you will be thankful that this has happened. The sooner we get rid of a cheater, the better. Your son will never have to go through being discarded, he won’t remember it.

    Love and light to you my friend!

  • I am sorry that you had to go through this. My ex husband left me for his hoe-worker 6 months after our baby girl was born. He would come to the house to visit our 6 month old and 2 year old and tell me how great his girlfriend’s body was. I was still trying to lose the baby weight and it hurt like hell when he would say that. That was 10 months ago and now I’m the best shape of my life. You will bounce back. Just give your body time to heal and if you find a man who doesn’t find your stretch marks sexy then he doesn’t deserve you.

    • ‘He would come to the house to visit our 6 month old and 2 year old and tell me how great his girlfriend’s body was’.

      What an unbelievable arsehole for saying that. I mean really … what the fuck

    • What an ass clown your ex was! My STBX has asked me, “how much weight have you lost so far,” and “how many stitches did you have to get?” Why the fuck does he want to know?! Freaky!

  • You are pretty bloody amazing. Even filled with post partum and tiger mummy considerations you are doing a great job. Your Soon To Be Ex is a twat of a magnitude rarely witnessed in the wild. I’m sorry you are going through this. It gets better. Hold him to a higher standard than you hold yourself, remember he is a bastard to do this to you and the baby, and accept every single minute of help offered from loved ones and acquaintances. He, being a magnitude twat, found love again. You, being a quality person, have time to pick and choose, to window shop and decide for yourself over time what you want. It doesn’t all have to be done by next Wednesday. Be kind to yourself, more kind to yourself than you’ve ever been to anyone. x

  • OK – Guy Chump perspective here.

    @Stretched – don’t worry about your stretch marks or lady parts. As others who are much more knowledgeable than I am have mentioned, you’ll undoubtedly heal. And right now healing is what you need to do. You need to take time to heal yourself both physically and mentally so that you are able to be the best Mom that you can be.

    As far as stretch marks go, Mme YogaPants had lots. I came across a picture of her from a few years ago daringly wearing a bikini with a droopy stomach with obvious stretch marks, saggy boobs and a big smile on her sunburnt face. I thought she looked wonderful. On top of that she has mobility problems and most sex positions are painful for her. Now keep in mind that this was the woman who landed herself a well-off businessman widower.

    Any man who is only interested in the packaging has no interest in the contents. Now I do admit that an attractive package does get a guy’s attention but any guy who is worth being with can be attracted by a friendly smile, a confident demeanor and a kind manner.

    But first my dear, you need to heal. Both the outside and inside. And that takes time, quiet and self care.

    Be good to yourself – you’re the only You that you’ve got.

    BT

  • Thank you so much, CL! And thank you so much to EVERYONE who has commented and provided support and advice. I’m in awe of the love from everyone. Definitely cried this morning reading my post and the replies from everyone. They were thankful tears. I read while holding my precious son as he slept on me. I will continue to try my best to be strong for him and for myself. I will hold my head high (even if I am faking it until I believe it). It’s reassuring to hear that I’m not the only one who feels like my STBX is missing a soul. He would say he “wanted to be here for his son” while I was still pregnant but he just felt like it would be “awkward and unhealthy to try and go through the motions” each day. He would text me and one day he would “want a family” but that would fleet (I’m sure after time spent with the girlfriend) and he would be back to the fact that “there isn’t love anymore.” Oh, and he had the audacity to tell me that he is rational and he thought it through. He saw MY red flags but ignored them. He made a pros and cons list against me! Believe me, I know I’m not perfect but I was a great wife. What the hell was in the cons column???? Ummmm I have scruples, integrity, I’m extremely loyal, I’m honest, I’m a very hard worker, I save money, I paid all our bills while he went back to school, I saved for the down payment on our house, I cooked, I cleaned, I welcomed his loser friends into my home. And he loooves to take pictures of our son while he has visitation. I’m sure it’s to show his co-workers what a wonderful “dad” he is. Sometimes I wonder the lies he has to tell them? Does he tell them we are still together? That we are separated? I HIGHLY DOUBT he’s told them he’s fucking their other coworker. And how do normal human beings not tell him what a scum bucket he is?! Coworkers just turn a blind eye and accept it?? I I’m not at Meh, yet…obviously. I know I’ll get to a place where I don’t care. I’ll continue to seek everyone here for advice. Thank you!

    • Cons: 1. She doesn’t worship my dick 24/7.
      2. Nothing really

      I guess howorker has nothing better to do because she has no life. Now that frees you up to be with a real man someday when you have had time to heal emotionally and physically. In the meantime, you have your son and he is blessed to have you. Stay strong. We are all pulling for you.

    • He is the one with the bright red flags. Not you. You did and are doing all the right things for you and your child.

      He is the ONLY one here with red flags. Never forget that, but do forget him.

    • Stretched, so glad you are reading these comments. If you feel it would/might help, you might want to share your letter, CL’s response, and the comments with a close family member or other person you trust, who can help respond to those who feel you should be getting over it already. The collected wisdom in these comments make it plain, through painful and hard-learned experience, that those expectations are unrealistic and unhelpful for you in this moment of crisis. Your family and friends are most likely not trying to be hurtful or unhelpful — they just don’t know. Let’s hope they never know, because this knowledge only comes from the deepest kind of betrayal. Perhaps if they read our universal response supporting you, validating you, offering clear and helpful advice, they will be better equipped to support you and your son through this moment of crisis.

    • Aw, stretch, you’re a wonderful human being (your high quality just shines in your posts), so glad you found CN and you’re feeling the love.

      I think “stretch” will morph into your avatar super power, in that you take your pain and stretch it into womanly awesomeness. You’ll see.

      I see the stage you are in, processing what a dick your ex is. Yup you got it right, he is a dick. I’d say he is a super dick but that would make him sound more special than he is. So we’ll stick with dick.
      Process away, honey. For a bit longer. Over time, try to give it less mental real estate. I know how hard that is. Meanwhile, enjoy that baby. They grow up fast. They turn into fascinating creatures called Adults who have their Own Ideas and also can be hilarious and loving and other wonderful things. You’ll see

    • Aw, stretch, you’re a wonderful human being (your high quality just shines in your posts), so glad you found CN and you’re feeling the love.

      I think “stretch” will morph into your avatar super power, in that you take your pain and stretch it into womanly awesomeness. You’ll see.

      I see the stage you are in, processing what a dick your ex is. Yup you got it right, he is a dick. I’d say he is a super dick but that would make him sound more special than he is. So we’ll stick with dick.
      Process away, honey. For a bit longer. Over time, try to give it less mental real estate. I know how hard that is. Meanwhile, enjoy that baby. They grow up fast. They turn into fascinating creatures called Adults who have their Own Ideas and also can be hilarious and loving and other wonderful things. You’ll see. Take care and stick around Chump Nation please

  • Dear Fellow Chump,

    (((((((Hugs))))) to you first off.
    Second, I concur with all of the advice and counsel given to you by our fellow chumps. Give yourself time and patience to heal and recover.
    Third, I was fit and trim when I got pregnant with DS1, at the time of his birth, I had gained almost 75 pounds and off and on lost those extra pounds— have never been fit and trim since then, but never had a problem finding men…

    fast forward to DDay with The Evil One (exh2)— I was about to have a total hysterectomy and a hernia repair surgery on the same day— he moved out two weeks after my surgeries, while I was still recovering.
    Now, two and a half years later since The Evil One left, and even though I may not be anywhere near the fit and trim body I had 24 years ago, I’m more content than I have been in years.
    I have a peaceful, quiet life. I do as I please, I answer to no one, my kids and I are together, I stay no contact/grey rock…life is so much better now than it ever was with him.
    Time.
    Patience.
    Faith.
    Hope.
    All combine to help you recover and heal.

  • My own experience is that chumps will never know for certain if the cheater once fully loved them then fell out of love somehow, or if the cheater never loved them.

    I see plenty of evidence for both in my own story. Seemingly wonderful moments of togetherness played out against a backdrop of disordered suggesting red flags.

    Either way hurts deeply and painfully sucks – egregiously rejected and betrayed by the one in which we invested everything.

    But in the end, does it matter?

    Not really, for the path forward is the same: the path away from the abusive, controlling, manipulative, lying, destroying, untrustworthy, disrespectful cheater, toward your own full, rich life.

    Leave a cheater; gain a life 🙂

  • Dear Stretched, my heart goes out to you and your newborn son. What a MIRACLE your body has just created! Give yourself the gift of time. Time to recover, time to rest, time to bond.

    Rally that family of yours to help you out in ways that help YOU the most, like supervising visitations, helping you with Dr. appointments, Lawyer appointments, (file quickly and get emergency support orders in place). You can set up your ‘dream team’ for medical, legal, emotional support to get you and baby through this. This is not easy given the demands of a newborn alone, but it is necessary.

    Get outside everyday with the baby in a stroller and walk if weather allows. Babies need to be aired out daily, IMHO, and the walking will help you enormously too.

    Believe me, all your junk will heal in time! Don’t pay any attention to stretch marks – you can’t do a damn thing about that right now. Doesn’t matter. I will offer one little snippet of encouragement (and TMI x10) in that after my first child was born, 18hr back labor, posterior, episiotomy & stitches, after a full recovery and sex resumed, I was delighted to find myself achieving Multiple O,O,O’s, like, Surprise!!wtf?!?
    I don’t know what the hell happened, but something got rearranged. It was “The Gift that Keeps on Giving” 😉 Lol, I hope eventually you are equally blessed…

    Keep checking in here at CN. You are young and mighty and will most certainly get through this. You’ve got an entire nation (CN) cheering you on. Never forget that.

    ((Hugs))

  • He wasn’t a man – just a pretend alien with no heart or soul masquerading as a man. These crazies live among us. When my ex was diagnosed with an incurable degenerative disease at age 20, I stuck with him. Nearly 20 years later I landed in a wheelchair due to complication from childbirth. And faster than you could say ‘fuckwit’ he was cheating with the au pair and ran off. Entirely justified, his family claimed, since I was disabled and therefore would not be able to care for him. You can make this shit up. Today I’m fully recovered and abled while he lives in a little house in a trashy neighborhood with the au pair making yet more children that they can’t afford nor care for and a sign on the door that says “there is no wrong love” and he goes steadily downhill. How did I manage to be married to this guy for 20 years? What his wrong with his family and their values? I wish people came with ‘betrayal-meter’ signs on their foreheads so you know upfront.

  • Dear Stretched, I was so shocked to read your letter. What this man has done is horrific. He is a total disgrace. I am just appalled. But you can hold your head high and be very proud of yourself. Please honour your body. Your body has just done the most incredible, amazing thing and in the most awful circumstances. You are beautiful! Please be gentle with yourself. Nurture your body with good food and kind thoughts. Take each day as it comes, allow yourself to cry when you need to and then pick up and carry on. Treat yourself to something nice often – a scented candle, a manicure, a pretty pair of earrings. I know these things seem small, but they help. Don’t spend any time with that dreadful man. Don’t fret about the future right now. As you heal you will find that life will open up before you with wonderful possibilities, amazing things you never dreamt of. Love is bound to come your way and there are countless amazing, kind-hearted men out there who don’t give a fig about stretch marks or any other nonsense. Trust me – I thought after my cancer treatment and husband dumping me in chemo that no man would ever look at me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. You are amazing!

    • Your x and my x could join a club for worst human beings on the planet. Who the hell can be so cold as to leave their wives when they go through the things we did? They are so sick and evil. I’m sure yours is like mine…charming and has other people fooled to believe he is a “good guy.” Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Hello Sweetie, Possessor of elastic skin that accomodates over time!
    Congratulations on the birth of your son!And I’m am actually going to say to you- congratulations on getting rid of a burden.Your husband was a burden that you don’t need, with so much else on your plate.He would not have been helping you, even if he hadn’t taken off.He would just have added one more impossible task- keeping him happy- on top of everything else, because he wouldn’t have liked all the attention being on you and your child. He would have been distant, grumpy, insistent on continuing his hobbies, rude about your family and any assistance they gave.
    Your family act like you should be over this level of betrayal already? that’s kind of weird. You could try saying “I’ve been too busy, and PREGNANT, to process things quickly, so you’re going to have to hear this a while longer, and I’ll tell you when I’m ready to be done.”
    I’ll just add my voice to the chorus bout how adaptable bodies are. I’ve had 2 kids by vaginal delivery, and everything, even the episiotomy, ended up more or less back to normal after a while. And one day, when i feel ready, some lucky guy is going to get to see everything, but in the meantime, I’m happy by myself.
    With the home custody visits- make sure he stays in one room. he is a visitor, and he doesn’t have rights to the rest of the house anymore. And you don’t need to be there- you need to be having a nap. Sleep is your friend, never ever pass up a chance to sleep. Don’t clean the house or fold washing or whatever just lie the hell down.

  • Anyone who does this to a pregnant wife is trash. Good ridden.
    Focus on that darling fighter you just gave birth to.
    You and baby are worth that.
    Many hugs and prayers.

  • From a man’s perspective (at least this man’s): stretch marks, c-section scars… they mean nothing. Or if they do mean something, they signify strength, maturity and experience. A real woman. When I was married, I used to kiss my XW’s stretch marks. Since I’ve been divorced, I’ve met only one woman I really felt something for and she happened to have stretch marks and a big c-section scar. (And I have dated many so-called flawless women too, who did nothing for me.) They were all part of her beautiful, mature, sexy body.

  • Congratulations on your baby boy! I very much understand what you have been through having had a very similar situation. My husband and I were together 10 years. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, I found out he had been having an affair with a young girl from work for the prior 9 months. She also knew he was married and I was pregnant and I met her on multiple occasions. At 20 weeks my daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, which took me to to several hospitals out of state for testing and consultations, which he was there for all of, but still managed to go back to his girlfriend and lie to me after each trip. After several months of of lies and going back and forth between me and his side piece, my ex finally left me when I was 8 months pregnant to be with his girlfriend for good, telling me he really needed to try and make it work with her and it was a mistake to marry me. I felt many of the same things you did, about my baby, my body, about ever finding someone again given all my “baggage.” I also felt pressure from friends and family (who were wonderfully supportive) to be over my cheating husband almost immediately. Unfortunately, after 2 weeks in the NICU my daughter passed away. I was in the darkest of places. And even with all the pain I was going through from the loss of my daughter, I still had the sad and angry feelings about my marriage and same fears about the future. Looking back on it now, I get mad at myself for even caring at all, but when you are in it, it is just not that easy. I just want to say you will get there. It will get easier. But it will take time. Do not feel any pressure to be over everything right away so soon after D-Day and all that you are going through with your new son. Lean on your family and friends for as much support as possible. And come to CL. Everyone here was a huge source of support for me regarding something my family just could not understand. While the pain of losing my daughter will never go away, today, I have met a wonderful guy (also a chump) who loves me more than anything (episiotomy scars and all) and we are expecting a baby girl, whose due date is the same day my daughter passed away. If you asked me if I could be in this place now a year and a half ago I would have never thought it was possible. It will get better. Do not rush yourself to be over anything. In the meantime, take care of your little boy and cherish every moment you have with him and do whatever you can to have as little contact with that cheating fuckwit as possible. Like CL said, see if someone else can do your supervised visits. In my opinion, the best thing you can do for yourself to heal is to have as little contact with your ex as possible. Good things are in store for you and your little boy.

    • (((Hugs))) to you, Jessica. I’m so sorry your ex was such a cruel POS. I’m even sorrier about your loss. You experienced such a heavy load all at once … please know I admire the sheer determination and strength you possess to pull through all of that.

      Congratulations on the fellow-chump relationship — and I wish nothing but health and happiness for you and the precious little one you are carrying.

    • Jessica, my heart aches from your story. Very similar to mine, but I am so sorry for your loss. Your beautiful girl is in heaven and I know she played a hand in picking your new baby for you. None of what I just said makes the hurt go away but I really believe it. Thank you for your advice. It’s so hard to know in your head that things will get better but your heart feels differently in the moment. I’m so thrilled for you and your new family.

  • Wow jessica, thank you for sharing your incredible story. Come back and tell us about your beautiful baby after the birth. Sorry for your past loss, happy for your current happiness, again thank you for sharing 🙂

  • My XH moved in with his MOW about a month before our 2nd child was born. I feel strong for having gone though birth (c-section) on my own (docs took pics for me!) because baby was early and I’d be famed if I would have called him for support! In the 2 years post divorce, I feel strong raising 2 kids mostly on my own. While I have yet to date, there has been interest but I’m wary. Enjoy the time with your child and be good to yourself. You will be stronger and come through this!

  • Dear Stretched and Torn, CL’s advice is gold. Remember especially the last part: don’t stay around during visitations!
    I wouldn’t want to be that close to his evil soul and he doesn’t deserve the honour of your presence. Your aura is healthy and blessed, your love is sacred and available only for your son and caring people.
    Don’t feed him your valuable features; he’ll never have the gift of your voice, your breath, your fragrance.
    I told my serial cheater x (mr nobody to me) when I packed his stuff and threw him out of my house he will never again have the honor of seeing my face or hearing my voice. He’s there wondering what I’m doing, how I look like. He has no information about me, except what he can rarely see from a certain distance when I’m driving. It makes you feel like a rockstar, believe me. And also believe that those stretches fade and you’ll be in great shape again. Cheers.

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you told your ex that. I wish I had the guts to tell mine. I guess I figure he would just laugh at me and tell me he didn’t care whether he never saw me or heard me again because “there’s no love.” Bullshit.

  • I know this is super late, Stretch, but I felt it was important anyways.

    I bet you look beautiful. Really! (Or rather, beautiful^2, because you’re pretty on the inside, too :))

    I haven’t had kids (only 24 + lots of school left) and I’m sure there’s a lot I don’t know, but we are usually our worst critics (unless you’re with a cheater). I have a few friends who have had children recently, and they similarly feel self-conscious about their bodies. But I look at them, and I just see the most beautiful, strongest women. I mean really, I often gain more than these women did OVER THANKSGIVING. I would bet ALL of my money that you look wonderful. AND now you have an adorable baby. AND you’ve gotten rid of that loser. This is the start of an awesome, authentic, wonderful life for you. I’m sure it’s so hard to let go of what you thought you had, but you never had a genuine relationship with that psychopath. He just wasn’t capable of it. You were always too good for him.

    You will get through this. And a few years from now you’ll see that him leaving was the best thing that ever happened to you, because it set you free.

    • You may not have any kids yet, but you’re incredibly wise. Thank you so much for the kind words. I know you are right…I’ll look back st this and realize it was for the best. It’s just a matter of being patient until it happens. I hope other people see beauty when they look at me and my son.

  • I don’t really know what to say. Stretch, your story – as well as those that other Chumps have described in the comments – brought me to tears. Your fear that your cheater will have a ‘happily ever after’ with OW while you live with the scars – emotional and physical – is a valid one and I know how excruciating it can be.

    This may seem feeble by way of support but what I did was draw two lists. List number one; of all the shit things the guy did. And used it to build a righteous rage. Not easy, mind you, because one of the things that happens through cheating is that your confidence gets eroded completely and you’re left feeling that the guy was the best catch you could ever have and OW is the hottest woman on earth, but the lists help to remind you that underneath those beautiful faces, there are two people with seriously flawed moral compasses.

    List number two: a thousand things that you love about yourself. Yes, a thousand. No less. Watch all the body positivity videos, all the inspiring talks about loving yourself, and definitely fake it till you make it. You WILL see it. When you catch a glance of yourself in the mirror and tell yourself ‘dang, girl!’ And you WILL find someone.It’s not my story yet, but I believe in it because, well, statistics. And I’m seeing so many people around me emerge from abuse and find someone much more suited to them – including a friend’s mum who emerged from years of abuse a few months ago and, at the age of 60, found a supportive boyfriend and is currently on a cruise in the Pacific and YOLO’ing like crazy.

    Sending you hugs. You can do this!

    • GREAT ideas and advice! Of course being a chump, I’m fairly insecure and jealous BUT I never was jealous of this other girl. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t believe it was a physical affair for so long. I don’t think she’s prettier than me and obviously she has no moral compass and no character. I’m sure the sex was (is) amazing but sex is sex…marital sex isn’t going to hold up in comparison to an “exciting” affair. And how romantic…my STBX had the balls to tell me they would meet at the grocery store parking lot and screw in the car…nothing says I love you like a truck fuck. I guess I’ve spent time wondering what she has that I don’t? An incredible sense of humor and she’s best friends with my husband? From what I could tell in the emails it seemed like they spent a lot of time bashing their co-workers. I think I’m most afraid of her playing house with my son. I know that’s something I can’t control. If my son ever loved her, I would be crushed. I gotta stop worrying about that and make my positive list about myself.

      • Stretched,

        These “women” do have something up on us and it is only one thing…they provide our monsters with a new vagina. That doesn’t last long though and when that vagina is not new, they have absolutely nothing on us at all.

        Do not be surprised if your monster tries to come home at some point when he realizes he prefers yours above hers. Do not, for one moment, believe a single word he says if he does try to return. You saw his real self when he left you and your son when you needed him most.

  • Stretched – you have received a lot of great advice already. My younger daughter was born prematurely over 12 years ago and, in fact, has a genetic disorder – not diagnosed until she was 6 years, although in retrospect obviously affected her prior to this. She was on NICU for 4 weeks but she had multiple issues from when we came home. It was incredibly stressful and it took me a long time to get over this period of our lives. My partner (who I was with for 20 years and left just over a year ago) was supportive for the first 2 weeks whilst she was in NICU but basically left everything up to me after this, very rarely attending any appointments (of which there have been many hundreds over the years – although a lot less often these days) or having any input at all really. I was left to manage it all. Our older daughter, who is 15, has also recently been diagnosed with a different genetic condition which is affecting her more as she has got older and she has also had some mental health issues. Again, he had virtually no input into her conditions – even when directly asked to attend appointments (which was rare) he would forget.
    My point is having a baby with special needs is traumatising in and of itself – in a way that most people who haven’t been through this can’t comprehend (at least in my experience). I think it is important to acknowledge that. I found support from other mothers whose babies had been on the NICU incredibly helpful (I joined a local support group and an online forum – a bit like CN really!). I have gotten over all of it now, but it was very hard at the time. Being a mum to a newborn is hard enough – but I think it is important to let yourself acknowledge that your situation is definitely harder, at least for now. You need all the support you can get, I do really feel for you.
    I guess the other point that I am making is that, even with a partner present, they are not necessarily supportive. Mine definitely wasn’t – at least when no one was looking. Our very last MC session I mentioned my sadness at having just taken our daughter to the specialist clinic she attends – the counsellor suggested we discuss this and the first thing he said was “yes, but we’re not allowed to talk about how I don’t come to any appointments”. This wasn’t top of my agenda – although I have to say it has been very lonely and difficult essentially doing it all on my own whilst supposedly having a supportive partner, but it was his. Since he left he has made slightly more effort to attend appointments for my younger daughter although my elder one has flat out refused to have him come to any of hers – and to be honest it is all just image management. So far down the road, it is pretty meaningless. To be honest, now that I no longer have to be disappointed he isn’t having any input it is a lot easier – and any he does have is for him only really now. My children are doing fine without him – and I am certainly so much better off.
    I know you are not where I am now – and it is so scary peering into the future and not knowing what it holds, but whatever it does, you will cope and you will love your son and it will be well in the end – better without such a superficial man in both of your lives.
    One other thing – although I’m in a completely different field these days, when I was a newly qualified doctor I worked for the top anal surgeon in the UK (he was rumoured to have been flown to the US to consult on Ronald Reagan’s anal cancer!). Anyway, a large proportion of the work he did was repairing very severe tears that women had sustained in childbirth – women came from all over the UK to him, so these were very severe cases, all of whom had been operated on previously. They virtually all had good results from the surgery – and these were the worst of the worst. I’m sure if your tear had been severe you would not have been sent home without corrective surgery. Even if you do have to have it it is very common and usually very succesful. Maybe you could see your OBGYN as soon as possible to put your mind at rest. I’m sure you will be able to have a normal sex life again! (Definitely wouldn’t be on my priority list at the moment though!).
    I do really feel for you – now is probably the hardest time in your life but I’m sure it will get better, and you have your beautiful son. I love my children so much – and in a funny sort of way, having such a difficult start in life makes them extra precious. Xxx

  • Dear Stretched, Agent of Satan here 🙂
    You are in shock. Your brain will take longer to readjust than your body. Be kind and patient with yourself. You have the most amazing people with you! Do you see them? You can rely on them for support. And you have the best kind of love growing just for you: your son. He needs you, and he loves you just the way you are. Unconditionally.
    You need to take good care of yourself, he only has you.
    You worry about your body. I have 2 words for you: breastfeed and wear a medical corset. Your uterus will contract more than 90% its size when you breastfeed. The corset just ensures the skin gets back in its place.
    Be glad you lost this baby-man now, you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Be strong!
    I’m sending you hugs and good thoughts.

    • Without launching into a debate about breastfeeding: it is the best thing you can do for your child. THE BEST thing.

  • I saw this post and I had to reply, there is light at the end of the tunnel I promise as I went through the same myself. A man will love you again (if that’s what you want) and whoever he is he will be better than a man that cheats on his pregnant partner.

    I found out about my ex’s affair when I was 14 weeks pregnant, we broke up immediately and I went no contact, he’s now with that girl, she’s a mess and he looks regretful. I was lucky enough to meet the most wonderful man who’s been the real father to my little boy when he was only 8 weeks old. Possibly a bit too soon but it worked, i’m now engaged and we’re expecting our own baby in April. I’m never forgive my ex for what he did to me but i’d happily thank him as if it wasn’t for his shitty actions I wouldn’t be so happy.

    Give yourself time, go easy of yourself, you are doing amazing and you will be ok – I promise

  • Stretch….your husband is a scumbag. In the long run you will be better off even though its quite painful now. Becoming a dad was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life. I try to remind myself during low moments of that good thing that came out of my life with a crummy cheater.

    • Right?! Something beautiful came from something awful…only right now I still wish I could’ve had my son with someone else

  • When nowdeadcheater first told me of his intent to divorce me, I thought “Im too young to never have sex again” ….I am Catholic live in a state where divorces take years…I knew it would be 4+ years before I was free to marry if we split and I was SO devoted to him and our family. I was also very afraid of reentering the open dating market with my post baby body (3 babies, one c section)

    Long story, but we eventually wreckonciled (I was a unicorn, you see) but our marriage was still sucky.

    So he dropped dead and I not only find out that the relationship with the OW I knew of was worse than he admitted, I learned there were others…most of our marriage was a sham.

    I was again afraid of going back into the open market with my older, post baby body…as it turns out, though…that really wasn’t a problem. What happened to me next was not quite typical (results will vary) but I was reconnected with an old boyfriend from 30 yrs earlier…we fell in love and he proposed in an exotic locale then we got on a yacht and sailed the Aegean Sea (winning !) He retired at 51 (set for life) and literally takes care of me…he buys the food, cooks, does the laundry, pays the cleaning lady and lawn folks, keeps the house maintained. He pays me tuition so I could finish my degree. Im so darn fortunate I am sometimes amazed….but I’m telling you, I went through a VERY LONG LONG season of suckitude.

    Whatever you do, dont EVER doubt that your ex SUCKS MIGHTILY…never ever give him an open door into your life ever again.

  • Dear Stretch,

    As a man, I can’t express how much it pains me to know what you are dealing with. I don’t know if this will help, but, let me tell you.

    When I was a younger man, I was extremely selfish and stupid. I was so selfish it would seem to anyone who knew me that I didn’t have a conscience. I was the innocent spouse of a previous marriage and wounded deeply. I remarried a very sweet, loyal and caring young lady.

    Even though there were no children involved, I became a real dirt bag (that’s putting it mildly) and left her. Oh, I rationalized; dreamed up every excuse in the world but really, I was just a purely wicked.

    Stretch, don’t ever believe that the idiot perp in your case is not being bothered by his conscience. I promise you. There is a little voice in there that is whispering in his ear how wicked his actions are and have been. I guarantee you Stretch, he is headed down a bumpy road now that is a road to Hell. He’s never going to escape his mind. It is just a matter of time before one “trigger” event is going to begin an epic collapse of his mind. Sure, it may look to you like he is prospering, but, there is way more going on under the surface. In summary, he is TOAST–so much so, you will probably (and I know this sounds absurd) begin to feel sorry for how much torment the idiot will suffer. And he Will!

    You Stretch, are going to get through this and be blessed. Yes, it is going to be awful. Yes, you are going to rehash everything and orderly put your mind back in proper order from the evil of that monster. It is one of those things you sorta have to do. But hang in there! You will get it all sorted out. Don’t seek revenge, but, protect yourself and your heart.

    The final thing I can tell you is that men admire a woman like you and don’t even give stretch marks a second thought.

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