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“Feeling desperate, fearful, rage”

Avoid feelings of paralysis

I often get letters that are written in crisis. Heart-breaking, gut-wrenching letters. And I don’t publish them mostly because they are just too long for readers to wade through (and have no paragraph breaks), or they really aren’t asking me a question. They’re vomiting grief and sorrow and bewilderment.

When I get these sorts of letters, and I can’t run them, I just think, “Well, they found the site. I hope they read here and find comfort.”

Well, yesterday I got a D-Day letter from “Motleynurse.” For someone who just fell down the trapdoor into the dungeon of infidelity discovery, she writes very journalistically about the hellscape. I’m answering her letter below, but instead of my usual format, I’m going to break the letter into segments (ala the UBT, only kinder). She sees her lawyer today. Let’s lend her some Chump Nation mightiness. Here goes.

Dear Chump Lady

Here is my attempt at explaining the trauma happening in my life right now.

Day 1. Monday 11/13 in the middle of my work day, my husband texts me that he was having an affair with a girl from work, that was not sexual but they were making out every day. And that he’d like some time to figure out his feelings. My body’s initial reaction was to start vomiting and have severe diarrhea. I left work and patient care (I’m a nurse ) in this state of shock.

I’m so sorry. What a cowardly, cheating bastard.

Yeah, he needs time to figure out “his feelings,” but yours can be detonated at work. In public. By text.

I’m glad to read you’re a nurse. (Great work, you can always support yourself.) And you’re probably familiar with all manner of injections that could kill a person. Um, not like that’s a suggestion or anything.

That evening when I saw him, I was in the “please choose me” state instead of the mean, violent, get-out-of-my-house state that he expected.

Day 2 and 3 he acted as though he had complete freedom. He got mean and carefree with his words and actions. He said things like, “the kids’ pain is worth my happiness.” He declared that he loved her. I suggested we move for a new start. He said, “What makes you think it wouldn’t happen with someone else?” My body continued to shut down. Extreme daily vomiting, and inability to sleep.

He’s enjoying your pick me dance because he is a cruel, disordered piece of shit.

Please note some interesting contradictions. He “loves” the OW, but suggests that his cheating could happen with “someone else.” Boy, that OW sounds super special!

And yes, he does think the kids’ pain — and your pain — is worth his happiness. Actually your pain is part of his happiness. It’s the kibble flavor known as centrality. ME! ME! Are you sobbing? Begging? Catatonic? I MATTER!

Day 4. Thursday I found them having sex. It was not an accident and was his way to push me hard enough to kick him out and make it easy for him.

How traumatic. (((Motleynurse))

You realize that your husband doesn’t have to traumatize you to end a marriage. He can just actually END a marriage and communicate that. He has agency.

Day 5. Friday I left to Seattle with my kids to be with my sister. A time of reprieve and rescuing from the trauma. I left a note requesting he to pack his things and be gone upon our return.

Starting day 1 that we were gone, the texts and calls started. The begging and pleading for forgiveness was relentless. Over the next several days he told his boss what he’d done. Took the week off to “try to repair us and stay away from her.” He disclosed their 18-month emotional affair, a couple weeks of making out before and after work and at lunch, a week where he professed his love to her, a night of sex. But the next day cut off any and all type of contact with her … text /phone /email records collaborate the sudden real in communication.

He misses cake. His marriage (no consequences! all the perks!) and his affair partner. In 18-months he didn’t have *one* night of sex. That’s absurd. This wasn’t an emotional affair. Not that it matters, it’s all betrayal. My point is he’s lying to you.

Also he’s being transparent only with the technology you know about. There’s probably a burner phone, new accounts, etc.

During that time the kids clearly knew something was wrong, but not what. Wednesday evening Our 8-year-old son asked me, “Mommy , why are you so sad? Did daddy decide to love Elizabeth’s mom?” Can you imagine? It broke any part of me not already broken. I tried to be careful with my answer as my brain turned that this was something he was aware of, yet I was so blindsided? “Yes Son. He did. But he didn’t stop loving you. Even grownups make really big mistakes.” Etc. My husband called him that evening. Told him he was confused and made some terrible mistakes and apologized and promised him he would fix our family.

He reached out to my 19-year-old and apologized and swore to do better for our family.

So, he’s triangulating you with your kids, and gaslighting them to boot. Loving “Elizabeth’s mom” is just “confusion” and a vague “mistake.”

The fact that your son knows who the OW is, probably means they’ve been introduced. Part of the abusive dynamic is making children collude against the chump parent. Your poor kids.

Going forward, do not tell your children Daddy “didn’t stop loving you.” You can’t speak for him. Tell children to judge people by their actions, not their words. And don’t raise a future generation of chumps who equate terrible treatment with “love.”

You don’t have to say bad things about this man. You get to say nothing in his defense. Leave him to that relationship. You’re not his PR agent.

I desperately wanted to read what he and the OW had said to each other. He sent me some of their messages. Her fiancé sent me some as well. Her scenario with him played out nearly like our scenario. It was a planned out event to disclose their affair.

I read about her plans to start a family with my husband and worse, she said things like he — and my son and 4-year old daughter — need to be with her where they belong.

So she imagines stealing your life and insinuates that your own children’s rightful place is with her? A virtual stranger to them? (Which means you must really suck if a total stranger loves them more.) You know, when Esther Perel raves on about the exuberant aliveness of affairs, she tends to neglect these kind of details. “The sex was great and then we conspired to kidnap small children!”

She was so easy to read. Constantly looking for pity. Even created trauma to induce that pity.

The vomiting, inability to sleep and bodily break down continued through the week of his relentless crying and begging us back.

I’m sorry you didn’t find us sooner. You have to close all the portals to the “relentless crying and begging us back.” No contact is the ONLY way. You’re wobbly and he’s a manipulative bastard. It’s a bad mix.

But.. he started to say the “right things.”

Of course he did. #cake

Becoming somewhat transparent, he wrote a 6-page letter explaining how he got to where he was.

The Universal Bullshit Translator would love to see that. Note it’s all about him. Where “he” was. Same with this sobbing and begging. All. About. Him. No sobbing for what he did to his family. Just Holy Fuck There Are Consequences.

He described her as an alternate universe using the analogy of the movie “Coraline.”

There are no consequences in fictitious alternative universes.

He stated that when he woke up In her bed and saw her 5-year-old daughter, he thought “that ain’t my daughter. And that sure as hell ain’t my wife.“

They’re fucking when small children are home and can walk in on them. #thataintmydaddy

He discussed all the happiness of our life together and made all the right promises. He listed specific reasons and examples of favorite memories with me to assure me he wanted to make it work for us. Not just the kids. He used my fear of the pain and loss the kids would face against me.

So Friday we returned home. We lived in a somewhat normal routine over the weekend. I found myself wanting to be engulfed in him while being disgusted at the same time.

Bargaining stage of grief (aka “hysterical bonding”). Again this is why no contact and circling the wagons with other loved ones is so important in the beginning. You want the idiot who hurt you to make it all better. But they just keep hurting you. Worse.

Sunday I became overwhelmed as I knew Monday he’d be returning to work in the same office. He again offered all the right promises and reassurance. ..

Tuesday I could feel her presence and hear her words in him, although his promises of absolutely no contact with her remained. I asked him to write her a letter, telling her all he had told me.

Wednesday he said he wasn’t willing to write a “hate” letter and cause more pain than he already had. He talked about feeling bad for the pain he caused her. Can you imagine saying that to me?

Introducing Worse.

I’m thinking instead of him writing her a letter, you could just’ve sent her the 6-page one you got. I’m sure it had some juicy nuggets about his “mistakes” in there. (OW: WHAT?! I am a MISTAKE?)

He’s setting you up.

Thursday morning D-DAY:

He came to my room, wrapped his arms around me and said, “Baby, I miss you. Please sleep in the same room as me. I need to feel your presence. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

At noon he texts me that his heart was still with her.

6:00 that evening he moved in with her.

Apparently his “whatever it takes” has a three-hour expiration date.

He again showed flippant detachment and disregard for his family. Carpooled to work with her yesterday and left the truck in her driveway, almost like a big F U to his family. I picked up the truck and loaded every item of his I could find in our home and then left it in her driveway.

Way to be mighty!

Another piece of the puzzle….
He went through essentially a breakdown about 2 years ago. He purchased vehicle after vehicle, stopped paying bills, and put us in financial crisis. A few months ago we went bankrupt. My entire earnings go to the bankruptcy and loan repayment. I found out that he has not been paying the mortgage or any portion of the bankruptcy, so it is thousands behind. ….

Last month I took out a large 401k loan to bring our mortgage current. So he wasn’t paying g the mortgage or the bankruptcy payment. He has cleared our accounts. I don’t know what he’s doing with the money. He has clearly had something planned for a while.

This is not a breakdown. This is financial abuse. His money issues coincide with his affair timeline. You need a lawyer and a forensic accountant. (I’m neither. Just a blogger.) If he moved monies (like say to an affair partner) before he filed bankruptcy, that’s a federal crime. You need some serious professional help. It’s NOT okay that you’re left holding the bag on this.

I’ve tried to return to work. I’ve found myself so overcome with panic I’m unable to get out of my car. Still unable to sleep or eat or stop getting sick.

You’re in shock, which is totally to be expected. Get help, make a plan, and practice self care now. More below.

I’m overcome with fear. I can’t protect my children from the pain they are about to encounter. They will lose their home, their security, their trust, the magic their life has been. I’m not a stranger to trauma. But this fear for my children has me in a non-functioning state. Every day brings new pain.

YOU are your children’s home. The surroundings might change, but that’s it. You are their security, their trust, their magic. YOU are the sane, loving parent. And that’s all kids need.

I’m not saying what happens next won’t feel devastating — it will. But please know that this is survivable. Your family will adapt to new surroundings and new challenges and income levels, because you’re there modeling mightiness every day. Because you LOVE them and have actual adult life skills.

He’s requesting to see the kids this weekend with and to place our home for sale. He wants to tell them together, but will not disclose what he actually wants to say.

Oh HELL to the NO. This isn’t a “we” problem. He’s not part of your family. He’s a bastard who fucked you all over. He’s on his own. Sorry. Asshole needs to craft his own bullshit on his own time.

I have retained a lawyer. He’s not aware of that yet. My meeting is Monday and then the clock starts and he’ll be served papers for a legal separation. I’m hoping to be on a leave of absence or short-term disability and just live my kids. I’m trying to take one moment at a time but am faces with huge changes and big decisions daily.

Great, I’m glad you’re seeing a lawyer. Why not file for divorce and get temporary support papers? You need to indemnify yourself against any more debt this jerk is ringing up.

Should I wait to tell the kids until after the lawyer? He is claiming I’m keeping him from his children. Do you have a script I can use to tell them?

Yes, wait. Don’t involve him at all in the telling the kids. He will have some self-serving, sad sausage narrative. Why should you subject yourself to that? Or worse, gaslight your children for his sake? I’ll let Chump Nation help you with the script. We’ve been there. Remember, your kids are not stupid. Your son already knows what’s up. You owe your cheating soon-to-be-ex NOTHING.

It feels like I’m drowning. I didn’t know I could be broken like this. I’m having to face that my husband is someone I don’t know. That my marriage that I thought was perfect, was a lie. I didn’t have a plan b or c or d. I didn’t ever consider I’d be left in my 40s used up and alone.

I wrote this to him which I doubt he even read. I guess I really wrote it to make myself believe it.

We decide the legacies we leave our children.
My children will never ever think of their mother as a victim. They’ll know I fiercely fought for their family. That I loved their father from the minute I met him. But they will never remember their mom as someone who thought so little of herself she’d be with a man who doesn’t love her, doesn’t want her, and spent his time bashing her, lying about her, and cheating on her. They will remember their mother as someone who knew her self worth. Someone who dedicated her life to protecting them and who would love them through the heartache and pain.

Thank you

You’ve got this, Motleynurse. BELIEVE IT.

Now, retain that lawyer and nail his ass to the wall. Better days ahead.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I urge anyone in a domestic violence, abandonment, or financial abuse situation in the U.S. to check out

    There is a hotline which will connect you to legal resources in your state. It’s staffed with law student volunteers, so your specific question might take a week to get an answer BUT it is free, and they will connect you to legal clinics and resources in your state.

    I was thrilled to learn of this resource, because often I get letters like this, where someone needs the legal help but cannot afford it. Please check out the Women’s Law Center’s hotline.

    • Motleynurse…..

      I have been in your exact shoes. Emotionally. Financially. Everything. I lost everything….even my paid for house. My business. Truck. Roth IRA. Savings. Even the tools in my shop that I made a living with. 30 years worth of collecting tools on sale….gone.

      1. GET RID OF HIS ASS. DIVORCE THIS EVIL MOTHERFUCKER. Do not let him weasel back in with promises. Transparency is total bullshit. Their affair will continue. Do not fall for that “Send the AP a letter saying it’s over” that the RIC promotes. Hell, he’ll warn her it’s coming! IT WON’T END.

      2. You owe him nothing. Nada. Once someone cheats on you, you have no responsible whatsoever for them.

      3. Get your doctor to put you on FMLA right now for 3 months, and be honest with your employer. Not the gossip HR ladies…Just your supervisor. You are in mental, emotional, and physical crisis.

      4. Fuck the finances right now because they are already fucked. Focus on the basics: food, utilities, gas, kid clothing and car. Nothing else. When the creditors start calling, just hang up. See Dave Ramsey’s website for all of this. You are in an emergency crisis.

      5. Take care of your health. Eat, sleep, exercise. Get your doctor to help. Do not end up in a hospital almost dead like I did.

      GET ANGRY. FUCKING ANGRY. Your anger will catapult you out of this shithole. Let that piece of shit know you mean business without talking to him. Want an idea to get Dickface’s attention? Call the owner, CEO, whoever the Top Brass is at his job and tell him/her what has happened in their workplace. They have too much shit to worry about than some workplace affair drama and the possibility of a sexual harassment lawsuit. You think that Sweet Hips is the only woman he’s hit on at his job? Fuck his job and finances….he fucked yours up.

      I have been through this same exact bullshit you are dealing with. I lost EVERYTHING. Guess What? I started completely over 2 years ago at age 48. I am still dealing with her financial mess that I got stuck with, but I am recovering rapidly. I am in a new city with a new job that I enjoy going to every day. I left all that chaos behind…..But I am happier now than the 22 years I was with Debbie Douchebag.

      And…..have to brag…also have a wonderful new girlfriend who thinks I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. There are too many good men out there in the world….who aren’t going to subject you to this horseshit.

      To quote Morgan Freeman:

      “Either get busy living….or get busy dying”

      • Perfect advice from both CL and Super Duper. I can’t add to that save to say this man’s sheer cruelty and sick disregard for you and his children is beyond sick. My heart breaks for your pain and suffering and my blood boils at this arrogant, self-centred, heartless monster.

        Sending much love and huge hugs to you. Every day you’ll find your pathway out of this nightmare start to reveal itself. Give yourself all the love, care & kindness you should have got from him. He’ll get his just desserts in time you’ll see. Mine certainly did. I’m not religious but strongly believe some higher power watches over how we treat each other.

        Keep strong xxx ❤ xxx

        • Natalia B.
          That is what I would of written.
          Motley, I don’t know where you are but I’m in Florida if you need a hug or a glass of wine or both.
          All I can add is you will find that some of your not chumped friends won’t have the stamina to go the distance. Detox is littered with pitfalls and breaking no contact. Be gentle with yourself but make staying away from him your mission.Come here. Those that have not been through a discard from a cluster B love you, but they just won’t get it. You’ll get a lot of “oh honey…..marriages end. It’s awful, I’m sorry. But you have to snap out of it.”
          Marriages do end all the time, but not like this.
          I don’t know where I would of been without Chump Nation.
          Come here, cry here, vent here, look for a meet up in your area.
          As for your kids? Whatever you tell them he’s going to take as an attack on his new life so don’t try to sugar coat anything for him. I still hear that. It’s not that he fucked everybody….it’s that I told the kids he was a cheater. Whatever.
          Hugs….I’m sorry your ex is a dick.
          Good riddance.

          • This is a very important post: “Those that have not been through a discard from a cluster B love you, but they just won’t get it. You’ll get a lot of “oh honey…..marriages end. It’s awful, I’m sorry. But you have to snap out of it.”
            Marriages do end all the time, but not like this.”

            You will find out who really has your back, who can deal with your recovery and doesn’t care how long it takes you.

          • It’s so true what you say about people in the community . I feel like I’m crazy. Like people get divorced all the time and they’re not frozen unable to get out of their car to function. I guess he’s had 18 month to Move on and see his future. I want my heart to know what my head does . I’m smarter than I feel . And my strength must be divine because I don’t feel strong. I feel broken .

            • Sweetheart your strength IS divine. A year after my discard, I see that I was always stronger, wiser and truly loved far better than either of them. And YOU will see that too. Don’t be afraid – strong back, soft front, wild heart and hold hands with strangers. We’re all holding your hands right now love, thousands of us. Xxx

            • MotleyNurse… Five years ago, I could have written your letter word for word. My heart breaks for the despair you feel because I have felt that same desperation. I am glad you found ChumpLady and ChumpNation. It will keep you strong and on the right path. I did NOT want to get divorced. I did NOT want to blow up my child’s family. My ex did this back and forth crap, too. But, you are smarter than I was… you are getting out now. I tried to reconcile for four years. My ex was cheating with a ho-worker that was 30 years younger than him. I knew he was blowing up his family for a fantasy and there was nothing I could do about it. But I am writing to let you know what “reconciliation” is like; It is a living hell. You will live like a detective all the time. Your heart will be in a vice every morning when he leaves for work, because even though he tells you there is no contact between them- it’s a lie and you know it. You will worry ALL DAY LONG while he is at work. When he gets home every night, you will be desperately looking for signs; did he talk to her? Did they go out to lunch? Is he lying? Why isn’t he willing to get another job to ease my suffering? You will listen intently to every word he says, desperately searching for proof of truth/lies. Every time he leaves the house, you will wonder if he is actually going where he says he’s going. Every time he is even a few minutes late getting home from work, you will be close to hysteria. Worst of all, there will be a terrible war inside you; your head vs. your heart. Your head knows you deserve so much better but your heart keeps clutching to hope and the potential of healing from this. You won’t be able to confide in your support system because if you stay married you don’t want everyone to hate him- so you suffer in solitude and silence. It is a truly horrible existence. PLEASE save yourself from years of suffering and go no contact right now, because even if became the best husband in the world starting today, there is no such thing as true peace and happiness in a marriage after infidelity. Force yourself to go through with the divorce, even if it against your own will. Take one small step towards it every day. TELL EVERYONE your truth. Do not protect him. It is not your secret shame to keep. The more people you tell, the harder it is to go back to him- that’s what you want. Sabotage yourself from being able to go back to him. One day, you ARE going to get through this and you are going to be happily divorced- I promise. After 30 years with him, I was convinced I would never be happy again. Now, I am here to tell you that there is a better, happier, peaceful life on the other side! Get there as fast as you can by starting your journey today. Wishing you peace, light and hugs. BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE MIGHTY!

              • Over it
                I still read this nearly daily.
                It helps me so much when I find myself daydreaming of reconciliation.
                Thank you.

              • Motley nurse I am glad you are still responding and reviewing this thread. We are all thinking about you.

          • Paintwidow,

            I’m in Florida and would love to meet other chumps!

      • I love a man who gets pissed on the behalf of a total stranger who has been fucked over.

        I wish to hell I had a man like that in my life, who actually gave a shit about what both my ex’s did to me and encouraged the hell out of me like that.

        Your girlfriend is a lucky woman and I am glad you found her. Sorry your wife was such a bitch.

        • I never had a foul mouth. Actually, I still don’t….except when the topic of Cheating comes up. Then…it just flows freely. Just like Queen Chump Lady always states: These Pieces of Dogshit always play by the same script. All they lack is a stage and Shakespearean accent. “To be dogshit or not be dogshit. That is the question. Oh, I forgot….I already am a piece of dogshit.”

          • Ha! Nothing like an awful cheating experience to bring out the Tourette syndrome in all of us.Thank you CL for allowing us to express without reservation how we really feel on your blog.

          • The same thing happened to me, SuperDuperChump. I felt like a crusty old sailor had moved into my brain. Couldn’t think of my ex’s name without putting an FU before it. It was kind of scary since I didn’t know I was capable of that kind of rage. But rest assured, it IS a phase and it will pass. Your mind is protecting you by creating separation. It will help you get away from this man. Think of it as rocket fuel.

            • Exactly but what I don’t get is mine was decent at one time I didn’t notice any changes until he took a new job about 8 years ago, lots of divorced men and women! That’s when the troubles began! Before that he had his own business and worked independently I never noticed any cheating at that time!

            • I know exactly Lyn me too I don’t like a potty mouth but when it comes to a cheating spouse my blood and mouth just boil, lol

            • Agreed and what just sent me through the roof with anger was in front of my children now that’s where I draw the line!

        • Sunflower,

          “I wish to hell I had a man like that in my life, who actually gave a shit about what both my ex’s did to me and encouraged the hell out of me like that.”

          This! This paragraph got me thinking about how I was left unprotected as a little girl, then a teen, then a young adult. While the people who could have protected me looked on and said nothing.

          How I’ve always wanted a man (father, brothers, friends, boyfriends and last of all husband) to at least TRY to protect me.

          So I asked myself, where is my protector? And in my mind’s eye, a superhero version of myself jumped onto the scene.

          My protector is me. No one protected little girl Lionheart. But Grownup Lionheart is now on the scene. Kicking ass and taking names. And protecting her daughters with a fierceness never seen before!!!

          Thanks for inspiring that mental picture, and a new way to look at things.

      • Motleynurse,

        I second CL and SuperDuperChump.

        Especially what SuperDuperChump said on #3. Get to your doctor NOW and get your FMLA or short term disability set up ASAP. YOU need this time to take care of you when your children might be in school or with family. Focus on you! You make yourself a priority so those kids have the strength they need to get through this. Journal, get into therapy, read CN every single day, cry, drink wine, sit in a bubble bath, go do something you love, or just go back to bed for a few hours. Please take care of you and the rest will slowly and yes painfully fall into place. It’s always darkest before the light.
        Oh, and go no contact with the POS.

        What ever decisions you make they are for you and your tribe – not a fucking thing with what he wants. HE DOESN’T MATTER!

        And I’ve heard that you might want to see a few attorneys so they can’t represent him because of conflict of interest. I didn’t do that because I hired the attorney that was know to be the best in my community and I don’t regret it one day. Not even the debt that came with it.

        I’m sorry if this is short, too the point, and bossy but I’m at work and had to choke back the tears when I read your story. I was you 9 months ago when my kids were 3.5 months and 7 years old. Today, I can say I am back at work and days aren’t easy but there is good out there. I’m on the east coast if there’s anything I can do to help. I don’t know how other chumps work to meet up because I haven’t been on here as long but there are amazing people here and while you might not have met any of them I think you will find this place is amazing in spite of the reason of why you are here.

        Take care!

        • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply . I’m overwhelmed with the support . So thankful I found this community . And I am in disbelief at how many of them there are out there . My story isn’t special or unique . That’s hard reality to face .
          Right now my only focus is my children . My love for them is bigger than my pain. I love for them is bigger than my pain. My love for them is bigger than my pain. Have to repeat it over and over and over . Deep breath, one minute at a time .

          • Agreed this forum is wonderful even though our situations are dreadful right now just knowing we are not alone in this hell!

          • On the positive side, that means your cruel, disordered STBX is not unique. He’s a TYPE and you can learn to spot them and avoid them. And you will know that it wasn’t you. It isn’t YOU. He’s disordered.

      • Listen to each and EVERY piece of this clear, concise “to-do” list. Each point accurately lights a path for you motley. The GET ANGRY part is probably the most essential. I know you can’t imagine how anybody could screw you like this but he and the whore have. So get righteously ticked off and let your fury guide you. If SuperDuper can rally such anger in your behalf think of what your own venom towards this unfair crap can generate! Be the very best parent you can be and call out anything that doesn’t set right in your gut. Keep your job, your sanity and your wits about you and you WILL survive and then thrive. After 40 years with a fucker, it’s so much better without one. And my new love and I couldn’t be more happy.

        • Our court date is on his birthday 🙂
          I am finding that rage and feels good to fight back. And he has not seen anything yet !

      • Thank you so much. He will be served divorce papers tomorrow or Wednesday . He is going to lose his shit , Both figuratively and literally . I’m waiting on notifying his superiors as I think he would lose his job and honestly I want him to keep his job ..

        • Congratulations! No doubt he will lose his shit! Prepare for the fallout.

          I am so impressed by chumps like you who see the light early on and take charge!

          Stay strong because divorce is like a roller coaster ride and you need to hang on.

      • Motley nurse, you’re very savvy to not notify his superiors or to exercise caution if you do. I called my STBX’s boss regarding the affair with a coworker and was slapped with a restraining order.

        • You are going to get a ton of advice, and I am a day late seeing your letter. But let me say this: he’s not just cheating on you with another woman.

          1. He is a thief who bankrupted you and then stopped paying the mortgage. You can never, ever, ever take him back. You can’t trust him with money. You won’t see it now, but in a couple of years, you’ll realize that the OW is the one who is getting hosed financially.
          2. His behavior is abusive. Telling you about the affair at work? Abuse. And dangerous for your patients Introducing kids to OW. Clearly one at least knows of the affair. That’s abuse. Getting caught in bed? Abuse. Emailing you details? Abuse. Starting the rebound back to you when you go away for a few days? Abuse.
          3. There is no going back to a man so disordered as to say that the kids’ well-being is less important than an affair with a woman he already admits is replaceable. He’s told you he won’t stop. Believe him.

          File for divorce. Get child support and given his history of financially defrauding you, make sure it is garnished from his pay.

          Don’t take too long off work. In a week or two, you will be able to hold it together at work. Financially, you are better off working. Make sure you have your own bank accounts so that fuckwit can’t steal anything else.

          Call the mortgage company. See exactly where you stand. See if the HARP program can help you. If that’s not an option, see if selling the house gets you out clean and clear. That will take some research, but you are a nurse, and paying attention to these details may actually help you. Let your attorney guide you through. The team you put together should include YOUR choice of realtor and anyone else who can guide you through this.

          Be relentless in you quest to make HIM responsible for the financial debacle. But one way or the other, you will recover. From here on out, though, never let anyone else handle your finances, even if you remarry. Have your car in your name and your paycheck go into your bank account. You can open a joint account for paying family bills if you remarry. And every payday, even if it means you meet once a week, you review all the bill paying information. One important point for all chumps still living with liars: make sure all key payments are automated and go directly from your (joint) account. And make sure you are putting that paycheck in your own account. If they want to spend $$ on Schmoopies, at least it won’t be what you earned.

          Your husband is right up there with some of the hall-of-famers.

          • Everything you have said is so right on . There is nothing he can do at this point to be redeemed . And I am absolutely positive when he realizes The amount of money he has to pay , He will start the begging and pleading apologizing . I will never fall for it . Never again !

          • Omg are you serious? That’s how his place of business operates its disgusting the coverups for these sleezballs I’m so glad I refrained from his place of work I only served him the divorce papers there because he has a restraining order at our Family home! My lawyer advised me not to serve him at the home! He is pure dog shit and has even defiled our marital bed!????

      • Thank you! And I agree! Getting on FMLA as we speak . Then packing to head to Seattle so the kids won’t witness his freak out

    • Thank you everyone so much. I’m looking forward to today. I will get some much-needed answers . As far as legal separation rather than divorce … there is nothing at this point he could do to make me take him back . But it’s my understanding that the legal separation will take an extra three months . That’s an extra three months that it can be mandated that my kids will not be allowed around the OW .
      I would appreciate any specific advice or questions I should bring with me today ?
      I’m sad I didn’t see replies until today . Yesterday we did “tell the kids” .
      We had a script we agreed to go bye . Instead what happened is my children sat in his arms . He told them we had something to say and then did not speak . I tried to fumble through the speech while they cried . They didn’t say anything they just cried . My son cash finally said where we live ? He answered I live with Amanda . She’s a woman I love and that makes me very happy and she will make you guys happy too. We live just down the road . You can come see us anytime you want to. They sat there and cried . I had trusted friends in the home for support and they interrupted and tried to change the subject and make it very uncomfortable so he would leave . He left we almost a skip in his step. People we love came over and just told the kids we all love them and that we’re going to be OK . That there’s going to be some changes but we are going to be OK .

      • I almost forgot…I am warning you right now. Set some strict boundaries RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW. It hasn’t occurred to him yet that he has, indeed, put you back on the market. When he does, he will turn into a paranoid freak. Even before you get your life in order….Even before you could even consider looking at another man, let alone consider dating one…he will be in your business. He is special. Only he is allowed to have a life. NOT YOU. NO WAY IN HELL ARE YOU ALLOWED TO BRING ANOTHER MAN around HIS kids. You aren’t allowed a relationship.

        These freaks are psychotic hypocrits. Do not try talking logically with him. It will not work. He is addicted to degrading you. These people are fucked in the head. You are a nurse….find another job in another city and get the fuck out of Psycho Dodge City. If he has to travel for visitation, that’s his problem. His dick shouldn’t have traveled. It’s consequences.

        • He and she were casually at Home Depot together Armen arm where many people we know saw them started texting me . At that moment I knew I have to move. I will move. We will get away from this.

      • God I wished you had told them first. But it’s ok. My dad could see the writing on the wall while my mother and I tried to figure out if my husband was going to take back the kids and I…he said “Get out in front of this. You tell your 6 year old first what happened and the truth and it will be the story she knows” and that’s what I did. Keep the same script. Your dad lied to me and you. Tell them about the money he took in as gentle of a way as you can. Build on it as they grow older and ask more questions. OMG YOUR STORY IS EXACTLY LIKE MINE!!! These assholes have no shame. Make him pay child support and you can’t keep the kids from her so make sure they KNOW she is the reason for their broken family!! That stupid cunt. I hate her as much as my own OW. The fun part is she is gross and ugly and he has to fuck her. I laugh and laugh at this. Stay strong. Read this sight daily!! You will get through this. It takes time. DIVORCE HIS ASS NOW!! Don’t wait. It’s not your job to bridge the gaps. Don’t talk to him. Don’t acknowledge him don’t try to get him to parent. He’s in lala land with his new play thing. She’s a piece of shit. I hope they stay together so they can’t hurt anyone else. That’s what I told my ex. He’ll eventually come back to Earth and be in the kids life but don’t expect much with his new found freedom. Do something you love to make yourself feel better. Yoga, weightlifting, running…whatever your release is. Do it. Everyday. For yourself. You need to get strong for your kids and always always always tell them the truth

        • Everything you say things like I could see it myself . There is nothing about her that I compare myself to . I think about the way things will unfold and I can see it clearly . He will lose his mind and anger was he served and sees the amount of money he will lose . Then he will beg and beg and beg me back . And he’ll be stuck with that “ dirty victim “.
          We’re both into fitness and powerlifters . He takes a high amount of anabolic steroids . Which is the only thing he’s routinely asked for or showed any care about since when I found them (lightbulb) I confiscated them and put them in a work safe .
          I find some reprieve in the gym . Makes me feel even stronger . And guess what ? I have the State records without using any performance-enhancing medications ! Ha!!

          • Please be careful. The steroids may be one explanation for all the reckless behavior.

            • Exactly my lawyer was saying for these idiots it’s all fun and games until the realize there are “CONSEQUENCES”! Hello your marriage already!????????????????

          • Yes, I echo the concern with the ‘roid rage. I suggest when you have him served you might want to have a good, armed male friend either stay with you and the kids or perhaps check in on you, etc. Your husband is MELTING down with all the financial shit, emotionally abusive dynamics etc. Be REALLY careful. Make sure you let daycare workers and also school workers know what is going on. Big (((HUG))) to you and your kids. Let us all know how this all works out. Especially with what happens when he gets served.

            • I am way ahead of you on this. We will be well out of town at the time he is served. Locks and garage door opener‘s have been changed . If he breaks into the house so be it. We won’t be here in the line of fire . And I can stay gone all week if need be . I’ll see how crazy he gets. We have a restraining order ready and prepared if needed .

              • Love your actions! well done, motleynurse! you are full speed ahead and I am inspired and impressed! FORWARD!!! x

          • @motleynurse my StBXH went thru same routine as yours, however when he was served with papers he refused to be served … we literally had to track him down. Then once served he got very angry … like raging angry! Co parenting is now somewhat civil a year and a half out but he is still raging angry if the reality of the situation is brought up.

            • Really? I have read that some men rage because even though they wanted the divorce they want it all on their terms and they think how dare we take it upon ourselves! My ex husband thought I was just some dumb housewife and he could just do anything his Ego!

      • That story makes me so sad and angry for you. My kids were 5 and 7 when X abandoned us 2 and a half years ago and they are really starting to see through him now, especially my older son. Even though this got off on rocky footing a person like your cheater will not be able to maintain the greatest dad image and this lady is NOT their mom. It will not go the way he thinks it will go.

        The best medicine for you is anger. Anger will keep you and your kids out of these opportunities for him to gaslight because you won’t tolerate his presence. Anger will drive you to the best lawyer you can get, anger will get you up in the morning and keep you moving all day. It’s the gift we get when these things happen, find it and use it.

          • Thank you . I’m starting to find that anger you speak of and it does make me feel better … just … better.
            He will be served papers this week and is going to lose his shit !

      • MotleyNurse, my little one asked lots of questions after a while of not wanting to talk about it. And now after 18 months, she really knows that I am the parent she can trust. The hardest part of it in the beginning was knowing that she was in pain and I had no control over it. It, unfortunately is her pain to feel that is a result of the behavior of her father. Even though it is awful, it is often a part of life-it truly sucks as a parent to see your kids hurting and not be able to fix it somehow. I’m so glad you had people over to protect and support you.
        I know you have a lot on your plate, but at some point look up books by Dr George Simon and Lundy Bancroft (“why does he do that”) and, of course CL, Leave a Cheater Gain a Life.
        This guy is an abusive bully. As he told you, “if it wasn’t her it would be someone else”, that sentence applies to you too. He will do this again. He will get the sadz and buy a bunch of crap and get in financial trouble and have some more kids and cheat some more and blah, blah, blah. He is a complete bore.
        You were left with his very large mess which you will clean up. But then you will be free of that POS and all the chaos and entitlement that comes with him.

        • Their pain freezes me. I have so desperately want to take it away . I want to take it for them . I’m afraid I’ll do it wrong . I don’t want them to become one of the statistics from a broken home . I have to show them that we are not broken . Their father is but we are not .

          • Family therapy with somebody who understands narcissistic abuse (most mental health professionals don’t have a clue what this is) for you and your kids, without their father present.

        • Love it and agreed Leave a cheater, gain a life!????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      • Motleynurse,

        First, I’m so sorry and 6 years ago I was in your shoes and my whole World came crashing down. The advice SuperDuperChump gave is excellent. The MOST important thing is to take care of yourself and your kids. Also what you are going through is THE most stressful thing anyone can go through–way worse than the death of a loved one, job loss,etc. If you can, try to find a good therapist for yourself. They will help you through what you are going through and “to fix your picker” down the road.

        Finally the best piece of advice that someone gave me when this happened was that from now until the divorce is final, you MUST when dealing with the Ex put your emotions on the shelf and treat this as a business transaction. Your emotions make you vulnerable and cloud your judgement and when dealing with him go total grey rock. It will be hard and after each time dealing with him you can scream and punch a pillow but be total business when dealing with the SOB. Also no pity for the POS, it sounds like he may have broken the law and if he did let him deal with the consequences. He didn’t give a shit about causing agony to you and your kids, so if he feels pain over his actions or has to do some time in Club Fed then too bad !!!

        Really have your lawyer hammer him about the money issue and it sounds like you had a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy well if you are losing your assets then you may want to ask the lawyer about converting to a Chapter 7 for YOU (screw him) and wash that debt away.

        Good luck and I’m so sorry but almost all of us here have been there and after almost 5 years after my divorce and Hell, I met a fellow Chump, we ended up getting married and I have never been happier. You are going through a dark night now but off in the distance is a very bright dawn indeed away from that SOB.

        • Thank you for the advice. He thinks I will just strip my children’s home from then and sell it and clear his dad. He is about to lose his shit. Chapter 7 is like my lawyer is after and I tell you what, if he thought he was broke before, he hasn’t seen anything yet !

        • Yes thank you I was told that by my lawyer to put all your feelings of any anger aside especially for the children and treat it like a business deal!????

        • That is awesome I’m so happy for you and your new Beau and I love the phrase “Club Fed”! Lol

      • Document, document, document. Get all the cheaterville records and keep them somewhere safe (locked at work). These things may somehow disappear by his doing. While it’s fresh, although painful, get all of this stuff so you are in a good place when it’s time for you to “negotiate” (take everything). He will cycle from kindness-rage-self loathing. Don’t fall for it, the man you loved and married is NOT him. Do not be part of his attempts at triangulation…. be prepared, it’s gonna happen.
        It fucking hurts like hell….. YOU, friend, are an amazing woman who is going to kick ass and create a new and amazing life. Hugs and strength to you. We’ve been there… and we survived. You will also survive then do more than survive, you’ll LIVE. You got this, stay focused… and don’t forget self-care.

        • Thank you so much. The writings on the wall. I can see the scenario playing out as if it’s already happened . He will get so angry when he’s served this week . We will be far away visiting my sister in Seattle . He will come into our home and take out anything and everything he can . There’s nothing I care about that he takes . Then he will start apologizing and begging screaming and crying and offering . I see him now . I truly see and I will never be blind again

          • Motelynurse, I hope you will have some family around for protection if you’re concerned he could get violent. I remember how it felt to be afraid of my husband and not know what to expect from him. He was acting so out of character that I thought he had a brain tumor. Stay safe! Maybe leave town for awhile?

            • Lyn I know all about the brain tumour thing, mine got so weird after age: 50 everyone said it’s Mid life or a my girlfriend calls it “MENTAL PAUSE”!????????????

        • Can somebody tell me what happened legally to the Cheaterville website ?

          • Mine also set up a video camera to monitor me. Do not underestimate anything they will do to try to stay one step ahead. Never in a million years would I have thought he would set up a camera….. pointed to the bed. Irony

              • Not my cheating x husband ( different crazy …), but the boyfriend who proposed and supposedly loved me ( fixing the picker as we speak ) – also set up video surveillance in the house after I moved in.

                He was great until the day he wasn’t and beat the hell out of me.

                I stayed until I could find a place to safely move to. But he was so paranoid that he set cameras up in the house. Stupid enough to think I didn’t know.

                My point is that you should never underestimate stupid.
                Just when you think – no, that would be crazy – who would do that ?!?!! Yup – they will.

      • MotleyNurse –
        I haven’t read every response, but – you most likely know this – get tested for STDs. All of them. I’m a therapist but I still needed people to tell me therapist-type things because i cannot treat myself (I have an excellent therapist, a former employer whom I trust implicitly) – no objectivity! I was tested, but they didn’t include the Heps, & MOWskank has multiple tattoos (don’t they all?), piercings and partners. I hated it. Procrastinated. POS X insists the affair was emotional, but he also made vows to me that he broke so his word has less validity than my dog’s droppings, so…get tested, friend.

        • Yes thank you Motleynurse I had mine be tested for a full year and luckily we had been intimate in awhile so I didn’t have to worry but him different story

      • Double hugs for that horrible experience. I have all kinds of torture I would like to put your cheater through.

        If you weren’t sure before, this proves he is a disordered fuckwit.

        Talk about messed up to tell your young children you are going to live down the street with the women you “love”. Teaching them that love is just a feeling that comes and goes. Fucked up! I need to calm down and you just need to remain the sane parent in this hellish situation!

    • Oh yes #MeAlso with the meet my kids “cute” on Father’s Day when they bumped into each other at a fair with all their kids present. Too bad schmoopie blew the cover by having a full term baby in September. Miracle that since the met in June.

      Yes also …with second cheater … his filing bk and leaving me with ALL the house bills and running me into the ground financially. $30k of debt which I gladly took to get out of marriage.

      Nothing but abuse piled onto abuse. Doesn’t matter if hubs has diagnosis mental illness … he knows right from wrong. Knows a lie is a lie. Just does not give a shit about you or your babes.

      Financial abuse is just as bad as infidelity. Worse in some ways due to the inescapable legal and daily hell that comes from outside the marriage. Together, (with children!) is virtual murder without the blood.

      • I’m so sorry that you went through this as well . Reading the stories it’s unbelievable to see how many of them there are out there .

        • Agreed Motleynurse and I know why so many my lawyer said “DATING” sites both men and women often become bored in marriage and instead of working together on problems the once spouse runs!

    • I’m overwhelmed with the love and support . Right now I am trying to read through the comments and write down my questions for the lawyer . I will take time to reply to each of you . That may take a little while. The number one thing I’m taking away from reading so far this morning is to stop any contact and I will . I wrote this to him The evening before we told the kids . His reply was flippant of course and I doubt he fully read it. He is not able to see outside of himself and he does not care . I wanted to say it though .

      We decorated our tree tonight. You might describe it a little different than other years ha! But the squeals of excitement from my sons that it was the most awesome tree ever.. made me realize something.

      You had one job as a husband and father.
      Your job was to PROVIDE.
      To provide the tangible but also
      To provide a place to run when they are scared
      To provide stability
      To provide safety
      To provide security
      To provide protection
      To provide the example of the way a man shows love to a woman
      To provide the example of how to handle hard times
      To provide leadership
      To provide honesty.

      My job was to be the heart.
      To love unconditionally . To hold their tears in my hand. To worry about them and pray for their favor, health, friendships, fears, anxiety’s and pain. To always be in their fighting corner. To be their biggest fan. To be the arms they run to. To be a constant.The safe place to bring their insecurity or doubt. And to bring magic!

      Early his morning Cash crawled into bed with me. Crying he asked me to tell him the truth.
      I told him daddy decided he wanted to love Elizabeth’s mom and live with her .
      He softly cried and he asked if he has to have a step mom? For some reason that word is very scary to him. He asked what did she do to get him ? Did he forget he promised he didn’t love her?
      I answered that she’s promised daddy she’ll make him happier than I do. But Cash.. we are going to be ok! It’s OK to be sad . it’s OK to be angry. That he is allowed to be angry at Dad or Mom or just at the world. That he’s done nothing wrong and that we both thank God every day for him.
      I told him that you love him and would like to see him anytime “he requests”. I let him know that for now on when he’s with mommy, daddy won’t be there. And when he’s with daddy he won’t be with mommy. He cried and asked me if he would have a stepdad. I told him that right now my heart is broken and that it will take a long time to not be broken. But that I am going to be OK. That we are strong! And that right now my heart is so full of love for him and (kids) , there’s is no room for anyone else.
      Shortly after we stopped crying. Got in the shower and washed away the mornings pain. We decorated our home for Christmas. And do you know what Jake? In spite of you, it’s still full of magic! I’ll be the provider you aren’t and remain the heart

      I will not even discuss you taking away their home until well after this holiday season.

      Ps. Neither child has requested to see you but I will let you know if they do .

      • So early in this horrible game Motleynurse , YOU come out a winner.
        I love what you said.
        You have the true heart of a nurse, and, most important, of a present, sane, loving parent.
        He can NEVER take that away from you.
        I know all of CN admires your strength, wisdom and fortitude!
        YOU are Mighty – an honour name – bestowed by CN only to those who are deserving. YOU, Motleynurse, are definately deserving.


      • ((((((hugs)))) to you MotleyNurse!!!

        Girl, I applaud your mightiness!!!!

        I wouldn’t contact him another time unless you absolutely have to.

        That was the hardest part for me when exh2 The Evil One left me and DD — the not contacting him. Ever. If he contacts you, ignore it.

        I agree with keeping them away from OW.

        When I first started this hellacious shit sandwich, I would tell myself, “work now, grieve later” some days I worked through the grief, others I had to allow myself time to process through.

        Two and a half years later, Im better for the wear.

        Keep on keeping on, stay the mighty course!!!

        • There is so much relief after seeing the lawyer . It will be mandated she nor her daughter can be around my children . He wants to introduce them as they are new family! He is crazy . I see him. I see what’s about to unfold . He looses. In every angle … he looses. And my kids will Live a life provided with love and stability and strength !

          • Your STBX’s insensitivity in gushing about his OW and flaunting their affair is sickening. The universe revolves around them and their Right to Be Happy, with no room for anyone else to grieve. In time you will probably start to realise he was never the man you thought he was.
            My ex left for (at the time) my 10 year old son’s music teacher of 2 years. He wanted them to hang out together as quickly as possible because he thought his kids would be happy for him, and our son already liked her, right?!
            You are doing an awesome job motley nurse. You will not feel this crappy forever, it’s going to take time and more heartache, but you and your kids are going to be just fine.

            • It really is sickening. Sick… meaning I think there some true mental illness happening .

              • Illness,schmillness…Your soon-to-be husband had agency and made some very bad choices and now there are going to be dire consequences.

                I feel sorry for people that get blindsided by cheaters or people who get hit by drunk drivers.

              • Me too it’s horrible and the kids trapped in the mess! The day I got arrested my sister was shocked and the police told me they do NOT judge on morality can you believe? I explained exactly what was happening in my house, I reacted to this new woman trying to replace me and that was my mistake I was arrested! This is how fucked up Canada is these perpetrators are protected YOU must fight for your rights and that of your children!????

      • You are magic! He is just jealous of how magical you are! They all are jealous of what they can’t have and after a while you realize just how unmagical they really are! I wonder if your husband showed your son the movie coraline? That could be why he is scared of a stepmother? I know there are so many people who appreciate you and your lovely children. Even though I know it’s so so hard it helps me to try to be thankful for even the smallest of things.

        • You are so right. The overwhelming support is proof of the strength of a woman . The strength of a mother .

      • Motleynurse, so sorry for what you are going through. You’re getting great advice from experienced chumps here. CN is the best place.
        I hope you are not using your kids’ real names. If you are, be careful. The cheater could find you here and stalk you. As a precaution, from now on I would recommend you change to a new moniker and change the names of the kids on this site. You really can’t be too careful with these psychos.
        And you need your privacy and your private place to vent and heal on CN.
        (((Motleynurse and kids)))

        • I didn’t think of that . I wouldn’t say I’m thinking normally . More like one minute at a time I would but I will follow your advice

      • I’m so glad you are here motleynurse. You will get through this and come out much stronger than before. That move where you packed his truck up full of his things? I wish you could have set it on fire too (waiting to exhale style), so mighty of you!!

    • One really quick point to make and I hope CHUMP LADY & CN can help me, to help others.

      I’m a lawyer but not in my licensed state (now living with family, as my marriage of 35 years ends with Schmoopie getting the doctor’s wife’s life that I worked for, and for which my kids & I relocated 12 times).

      Here’s the thing.

      *In most or all states, it is NOT a crime for a spouse to take ALL of the joint marital accounts (before a divorce has been filed – like before the chump got the memo) and then leave their chump with nothing. It’s not illegal! WTF?

      I know this b/c it happened to me, and many others. I’m in the process of trying to get it back in civil court (14 months & counting) but the amount of resources I am paying & BORROWING to get —- just what’s MINE in every state (half the joint marital property – & I lived in a community property state!!) – the costs are enormous.

      Legislation of some sort or MAJOR publication of this travesty, which is happening every day in this nation, mostly but not exclusively to women,

      needs to be KNOWN….it’s wrong and needs to end.

      Help me, help others.

      • Yup I know exactly it just happened to me the same in Canada and I’m now left to survive on a line of credit at least until our divorce is final in Feb.!????????????

        • Here in Calgary Canada no matter how many filthy affairs even around the children you must endure one full year of separation hell even if he or she is screwing the new lover in your home, marital bed before you can finalize and apply for spousal support because you may reconcile! Are they fucking INSANE?????????????

    • Hi, I think there is financial abuse in most affairs. I feel people who do this always have a excuse. I think its especially harder if you have children together. There was financial abuse with my ex. I wish you good luck for the future.

    • This is excellent as always Tracy. I’m 19 months out of D day it’s getting easier mentally but financially it’s BRUTAL. I was a stay at home mom 13 years, he was on board also. Then everything changed but he forget to let me in on those changes, lol. Instead he ran off with his cake and I’m left all alone to pick up all the dirty, broken pieces. You have to stay STRONG!

  • Yes, Motleynurse, what Chumplady said:

    YOU are your children’s home. The surroundings might change, but that’s it. You are their security, their trust, their magic. YOU are the sane, loving parent. And that’s all kids need.

    I’m not saying what happens next won’t feel devastating — it will. But please know that this is survivable. Your family will adapt to new surroundings and new challenges and income levels, because you’re there modeling mightiness every day. Because you LOVE them and have actual adult life skills.

    Also, good on you for taking time off from work to be with your children and to take care of yourself in this terrible time.

  • Motley-Nurse…He is an asshole.

    If today is a free consultation, make sure you have Your questions written down and get each one of them answered on your meeting. My attorney spent the hour talking mostly about himself and I was having to keep him on track. Good luck today. I hope after your meeting, you feel stronger and mightier.

    I am so sorry this happened to you. Cheaters like this should be jailed.

    • The financial abuse on top of the infidelity is an epic insult to injury. Ask your attorney if he/she can recommend a good therapist. They’ve seen it all, and it’s important to distinguish that your attorney is NOT your therapist. They charge for every single phone call, so find someone to help with the emotional abuse.

      I hope you live in a fault state. It would be amazing if you could be taken off the bankruptcy because your scumbag husband used funds for his cheating.

      No contact is difficult when you’re so vulnerable, but it is your very best defense. If you must communicate, get a new email address specifically for that purpose. Do not answer his calls or texts.

      As a nurse, you already have compassion. Don’t waste it on him; your kids and YOU need it more than anyone right now.

      Keep coming here for support. You going to be amazed by your own strength. Believe it.

      • Another strategy that I have seen suggested here is find somebody to screen your emails for awhile. They read it and give you the info minus the insults and all the cake-y commentary, they can craft your responses minus whatever emotion or hostility you might want to inject. Just the facts, mam!
        Keeps you super no contact. Find a third party drop off spot for the kids so you don’t need to see him.
        I run a home daycare and many of the divorced parents use me for the drop off pick up and never have to ever see each other.
        Not forever, just till you heal a bit and get your sea legs in this thing.

        • Hell, I’d do that for you! It would give me immense satisfaction, and I promise not to inject my own personal agenda. I can sort it out and be your buffer.

        • Paintwidow is 100% correct on this!

          Find someone you can trust and have them proof any email responses. I have a dear friend that does this for me and she has saved me many times. The other day the asshat said he also wanted my dog. I broke down. But my friend saved me and made me realize the true nature of the request and that no response was the best response for now.
          Another suggestion, go email contact only. So cut the texting off. Trust me it can be done even having kids. Just use text for a medical emergency which as a nurse you don’t need him for shit right away. Much easier to document and print than scrolling through text messages to provide any proof AND email lets you reply on your own time (like when you don’t have a knee jerk reaction)

          • Yes, save your heart from unnecessary pain and have someone read your emails from him. Also, don’t try to explain your pain to him. He will never understand or care, and it will just hurt worse.

    • Today is not a free consultation. I’ve already retained the lawyer. Today I turn in all of the financial paperwork and hope to have him served soon

        • It did go well . I’m feeling …ready . Ready to take the control he so foolishly thinks he can impose!

      • Motley – I wouldn’t let him take the kids for a visit unless there is an agreement with $ attached.

        You can’t break a visitation agreement that doesn’t exist!!

      • Rock on, baby!!!!

        You’re doing great!

        A mighty day under your belt.

        Have him served the Friday before Christmas.

        Merry Christmas. Sucka!

        • Our first court date is on his birthday December 20 . This brings me immense pleasure 🙂

          • Thinking of you and your kids today Motley, best vibes and love to you all xxx

  • Like the murdered that goes back to the crime scene to enjoy and relive it. He’s a sadistic soul murderer. He’s an evil beast. Not a man.
    Knowing his intention was to destroy you, the only thing that will take away his power is to stay determined and strong. Regroup. Rise from the ashes. Kick some ass. Ruin his legacy. He doesn’t get to destroy you. Do the things you’d tell your daughter to do. That’s what my therapist told me. It helps focus your actions through the pain and confusion.
    My heart is breaking for you and your children. We are all here for you.

  • “It feels like I’m drowning. I didn’t know I could be broken like this. I’m having to face that my husband is someone I don’t know. That my marriage that I thought was perfect, was a lie. I didn’t have a plan b or c or d. I didn’t ever consider I’d be left in my 40s used up and alone.”

    Motelynurse, I felt the same a little over a year ago. Believe the adage it will get better! (Unfortunately it may get worse sometimes but it WILL get better).

    It is ironic because in a way, you ought to be relieved, but you are anything but. Your story reminds me of a cancer analogy. In 1989, my dad new he didn’t feel right but Dr.’s were almost blowing him off. He kept going back and a Dr. noticed his eyes were jaundiced. He had pancreatic cancer. I felt somewhat like you describe and that is also extremely similar to how I felt when STBX left.

    The odds were terrible. Less than 5% chance of making it 2 years. He seemed OK but he knew he didn’t feel well. After the surgery, he was in intensive care, he looked terrible. He went home, only to return to the hospital twice for a blood clot in his leg and more surgery for adhesions. He survived and walked me down the aisle 6 months later as I married fuckwit. Irony this was his motivation. Fast forward 21 years, he died at the age of 82- he lived a normal lifespan and had ups and downs of life. He beat the odds.

    Your situation is similar in that it sucks and you probably feel like your odds are bad but you are wrong. You are mighty and you will survive. You have data here from a lot of people that proves that.

    Keep going, stay the course, it will be better without your fuckwit but it will be difficult.

    Hugs, we here are rooting for you! Your husband is the one that is using you up! Get away!

    • Feelingit,
      YOU are strong, like your Dad!
      Your cheater is far worse than any cancer. There is no Oncologist, chemo or radiation to change his uncaring character.
      What gets me most about him is his betrayal of his precious children, his own flesh and blood. That never underestimates his horrible treatment of you Feelingit.
      When I read Motlynurse’s unbelievable, ( but not unbelievable to Chumps) story, I thought that Feelingit will understand and she and other Chumps will help MN. You know, you get it, you understand.
      It takes a lot of pain to belong to this Nation, but along with membership comes integrity, strength, love and healing!

      • PK I can’t tell you how your posts just touch me and at the lowest points. I know you are my guardian angel. I read this as I was waiting at the courthouse today while the lawyers met with the judge. It was just like a warm hug!!!

        So much is happening all the time. Divorce sucks but it will get better eventually. We got a trial date for June today. The judge said it will need 5 days! It is exactly what I didn’t want but Fuckwit’s lawyer has said he wants me to get as little as possible so despite him blaming me, he is the one giving me no choice. Anything Fuckwit would agree to, would not be fair to me and would probably include me having to clean his toilets or something. He is evil!!! My lawyer will said he will make sure I get a fair settlement.

        Thanks so much to chump nation for helping me through. Can’t say it enough.

      • Well said Peacekeeper! This — “It takes a lot of pain to belong to this Nation, but along with membership comes integrity, strength, love and healing!”

    • Thank you so much for taking the time . It means more than I have the words to say

  • Mine e-mailed me he was done right after he found out I was pregnant with our sixth child, emptied our bank accounts, rented a house, and hired a lawyer, all without telling me.

    • Wow.

      You’re a name I don’t recognize. Are you new? Did this recently happen to you?

      • I’m new to Chump Nation, yes. I’m amazed that so much of what I experienced is so common. It’s hard to believe there are so many cheaters in the world who do this to their families.

        • oh my god @SilverSlivers he set you up for battle and emailed you! I’m so sorry, I hope you are doing ok, where do these evil people come from? I hope you have some support.

        • By the time I started to become aware of things, my exH had done so much financial damage, (that I wasn’t even aware of including stealing my identity) my ability to leave with our 3 children was seriously compromised.

          When I started reading George Simon, who’s an expert on manipulation, it became clear that that financial abuse prior to leaving is a common tactic. By the time the chump starts to become savvy, he/she is so financially wounded there is little they can do quickly.

          My point: Don’t buy his bullshit about being lost or making a ‘mistake’. This was intentional and thought out. This is war – get angry and protect yourself and your kids. It won’t get better. Treat him as the stranger he is that accosted you. Protect your little guy from exposure to that OW who uses mindfuckery as her MO. He’s impressionable still and deserves to have as solid a childhood as possible.

          Hugs. Sorry this has happened to you.

          • So true about the financial wounding and manipulation. Come to find out after hiring an accountant that Satan had been ripping me off blind since the day after we got married. He funneled all of our income into separate accounts each month with only his name on it. Telling me for years that we are poor and that he busts his ass at work to give us a life. I was using coupons for groceries and my heels were worn down to nothing because I didn’t think I could spend money. If i did i got bombarded with angry texts and it taught me to just stay in line to keep the peace. I lived in the dark because if the electric bill was more than he wanted it to be it was my fault for being careless and spoiled. My parents looked at our taxes and started telling me that something isn’t right. My accountant took a few minutes to tell me that he’s a con man. We were never poor. He’s refused discovery for basically the entire year in an effort to hide his scheme. I think this hurts just as much as being cheated on. I’m embarrassed and confused as to how this happened. I always wondered why for years he would tell me I’m stupid and have no street smarts. In regards to what I’d say. He’d say you may be able to get degrees but you can’t survive in the real world. Guess Satan was “confessing” and getting a good power rush because I never knew I needed to be protected from him.

            • Ah yes, the old “street smarts”. They all have “street smarts” if it means do whatever you want to get what you want…I got a lot of “you are so naive” and “I’ve never met anyone like you. The world doesn’t work that way”, in response to my doing the right thing in a situation. Good riddance.

              • Good point Nejla. Thats why we dont have their version of “street smarts”… we won’t hurt people for our own gain.

                Thanks FreeWoman I’m just praying my lawyer gets my money and stuff back. I feel like you’re supposed to trust your spouse but then everything that happens to us feels like a punishment for trusting.

              • I so agree my ex husband is the scum of the Earth and I’m only just realizing the tip of the iceberg! This creep hasn’t done enough damage yet to me and our kids and get this now I’m getting mail from Income tax in Canada that he’s trying to qualify for a tax credit for children under the age of 18 years that is only available to LOW income earners! You must make under $50.000 per year and he was in the bracket of $120,000 last year.

            • Don’t beat yourself up.

              It’s not normal to have “street smarts” around your husband.

            • How can there be so many of them out There? I will do everything I can in my power to stop the cycle !

              • I am right there with you. And I truly believe you can stop the cycle. Kids do see thru all this. And they need the sane parent so much. It’s so hard. I know. But it is what can stop the cycle. Your kids don’t have to be like him. Keep doing what you are doing. Just keep being yourself. You are everything good and magical to your kids. It’s amazing what you can overcome.

            • Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet (and how legal it is for each state/while you are married) consider running his credit report? Just a thought I remember seeing here some where and wished I had.

          • Never again! At the moment I think I’ll find great joy in his desperation . Because it will never work on you again !

      • Hi. Yes it’s brand new . One day at a time right now . One minute. One breath …

    • Oops, I wasn’t done.

      I had diarrhea for months during my pregnancy and postpartum, insomnia on and off, and lived in what felt like an endless nightmare that I could not believe was happening. I never imagined he would put our children through so much pain and suffering for the sake of fulfilling his … sausage.

      I wish I had known about this site back then, but I’m here now. After a year of dealing with this, I think the initial physical shock is wearing off. I don’t know how long the pain will last but I have heard that eventually it will be better.

      • Precious SilverSlivers,

        {{{HUGS & LOVE}}} to you!

        Prayers for you and your children…..So glad you found ChumpNation! So sorry you qualify for citizenship

        The POS you bred with is an horrific waste of oxygen!

        Love to you as you continue to ForgeOn!!!

      • SilverSlivers,

        I was left when I was pregnant, too (and after 20 years of marriage). I can relate to the lack of weight gain and no sleep. He made an already high risk pregnancy even higher. Life can only be better free of a person capable of that. It IS painful, but continues to get better all the time. Welcome to CN!!

      • SilverSlivers,
        Insomnia and shaking were my constant companions for a year. And now? Literally dancing around the house. If you had told me this 2 years ago I NEVER EVER would have believed it.
        I hope you can allow the possibility of this to reside in your head – just let that little spark of “maybe” shine. Maybe just maybe I will be happy and thrive. Because you will. If I can anyone can.

      • Me too mine was so GROSSE he was screwing a neighbour woman who had a DRUG problem and was already cohabiting with another man! As soon as he was out of town working! I made certain all our neighbours and family know everything!

    • It’s so disgusting I feel horrible my dear a man that can do that is a piece of garbage coward I know mine is the same! Only difference is he waited until my youngest was 9 let him catch him in the act and tell me so GROSSE! In our family home to boot, divorce will be final in Feb. 2018 he makes me sick!

    • To both MotleyNurse and SilverSlivers,
      So sorry to hear your stories, but welcome to CN. You were both married to sociopathic assholes, and though it will be hell, once you get through, you will be stronger and your kids will learn from you never to settle for abuse, from anybody. Look for divorce attorneys who come recommended as being ready to proceed with litigation if necessary (some of them are more geared towards mediation/”friendly” divorce). This is because a financially abusive narcissist is probably not going to roll over and be fair, without (at least the threat of) legal consequences. Good divorce attorneys understand this. They also usually have advice for how best for the poorer party to finance the legal costs. It’s possible that in the case of clear dissipation of marital assets, cheater will be forced to reimburse you for those. Good luck and take heart. Your friends here are always here to listen.

    • Omg I feel so badly for you these types of men are pure SCUM! I’m glad I got away from mine it’s nearly a year now but it’s hard FINANCIALLY! He was the bread winner but I’m fighting hard!

  • Motleynurse I am so sorry you are going thru this. I am a few months in and I understand what a nightmare it is. Please trust yourself and know that you are dealing with someone who does not have your best interest at heart. It sucks to have to imagine the worst about someone but I have found that is exactly what you must do to survive this ordeal. And you will survive It! Stay away from them and try to keep your kids away from them as much as possible. Be the beautiful person you are and show that to your kids. Let others help you. Remember that there are kind people in the world but your husband isn’t one of those people. And you and your children deserve love.

    • Exactly and Motleynurse you will survive this hell I know mine is still fresh also I felt sick for weeks but each day I get a tiny bit stronger it’s horrible! The worst part I found was even though my husband is GARBAGE why would the other woman knowing full well he’s married, participate? I guess they are both fucked up!????

      • Carol one of many casual OW my cheater was involved with said, “Sorry if you got hurt. He asked me out for a drink and I thought why not.” She knew he was newly married & said her ex had been a cheater too. When I asked why she could mess with a married after knowing how it felt to be betrayed, she said, “Oh I went off my husband when he stopped cheating. I found him boring.” !!! WTF? How screwed up is that?

        Thing is she recently married a man she’s obviously besotted with. She described him as her soul mate. Hmm…hope karma is watching.

        • I agree WTF these types of people are psychos and my lawyer said these predators are everywhere they call them “HUSBAND POACHERS”! They are insecure losers that want a man at any COST and want to be taken care of! These stupid men that fall for them everytime they also get used and dumped! Karma is a bitch!????

      • I’m pretty angry tonight but I feel like they perfectly deserve each other . They can lose for the rest of their lives together

  • Does his employer know what is going on in the workplace? MAybe they should be told.

    The absolutely worst, paralyzing anxiety for me occurred in the time after D Day and before I could tell my children that their magical lives were going to change forever. If I had a do-over, I would have told them immediately. I barely slept for three weeks and that was a very unhealthy state. When I told them, they cried and clung to me. F**kwit was there (as recommended by a counsellor) and sat there with a stupid look on his face. He didn’t shed a tear…just got up and left. I wouldn’t do that again either. Once the mask is off these arseholes, chumps should assume their independence, including communication to their children. Tell them the truth, tell them that what has happened is unacceptable and that you going to carry on and find your own way as a family unit and that you will be fine. I am so sorry for the pain that you are feeling right now. It is devastating as I so well remember. You are doing the right things – getting a lawyer, taking time to recover and looking after your family. Go no contact or at best, gray rock. There is nothing in it for you to be communicating with him other than for basic visitation with your son. Circle the wagons with loved ones and see if you can find some chumps in your area for moral support (see the Forum for Chump Meetups).

    • I know it’s horrible my kids both knew what was happening before I ever did and I’m actually relieved that I didn’t have to tell them! The first slut my husband slept with was a drug addict and told me he didn’t even use protection!????

    • You are so right. Every time I think I can not be surprised again , Comes with a new horrific surprise . No more. He doesn’t get to feel my pain to make him feel more. He’s not moore. Never has been and never will be . And with every passing moment he is less …

  • Mine also said some shit about choosing his own happiness over his kids. Gives me chills to this day to remember it.

    I didn’t have chump nation at the time and had no idea how to handle telling the kids. I did do it with him, it was excruciating. I did participate in a certain amount of gaslighting the kids, a decision I came to regret, though eventually as they asked me questions I answered them honestly. You don’t have to trash him to the kids, but you don’t have to protect him either.

    • I didn’t tell my kids at the time because I had wreconciliation fantasies…in retrospect, that was a huge mistake…I should have told the kids the truth so that they understood that 1) we were being abused and abandoned 2) I had never taken the intactness of their family lightly…I have friends who never told kids and when they threw cheaters out, the kids believed the mom tore up their family over one small disagreement.

      Chimp nation didn’t exist when I went through mine, it was quite a while ago, but there is great mightiness coaching here that can help

      • ditto! That is the flaw in the mainstream logic of keep the children in the dark, speak highly of cheater no matter what, do not let the children know what you really think or what you are going through… This kind of behavior only extends your chumpiness and models stuffing your feelings which extends the cycle of abuse. The chump is modeling acceptance of abuse not strength.

        • Well I’m fucked, my kids where home when the shit went down and I threw him out. One climbed a tree in the yard to get away, the other went in his room. I was raging and hysterical.. I will say that a year on they are doing pretty damn well, who knows what the future brings, they are 12 and 10. I don’t sugar coat things but try and teach them compassion and honesty whilst letting them know that there are some real fuckers in the world and most importantly judge by actions not words!

          • Month after year of caring for them will bring healing to their memories of that day. When they are old enough, you can talk to them about it, and they will have a deeper understanding of the pressure you were under. You recovered. You regrouped. You rebuilt. THAT is mighty, and that is the mother they know.

    • Funny how there are so many parallels. When I said that this would be his legacy to our daughter, that he was willing to implode her family all for what. That this would affect her for generations. He just rolled his eyes and said “kids are resilient, she’ll get over it.”

      Funny thing is that at first she didn’t understand. She was 2 and had no ability to really question what was happening. But as she gets older she asks more questions, tries to makes sense of it all, and I’d say it’s harder for her now than it was when it first happened. She talks about hating having to switch between houses and wishes she could be a baby again because then her whole family was together.

      • SJ, “The kids will be fine” seems like SUCH a common cheater brushoff.

        I think deep down inside they know perfectly well the kids won’t be fine, but their own impulse gratification is so much higher on their priority list they’re powerless to accommodate anyone but themselves.

        My sister’s ex had an affair with the babysitter shortly after their youngest child was born. (He was a 40-year-old college professor and she was his 20-year-old undergraduate student.) He eventually discarded my sister and they divorced when the baby was about 2.

        That baby is now 21, and I saw her over Thanksgiving. We were having a discussion about family, and she said, “Dad isn’t such a good guy. What he did was NOT GOOD.” Even though her father has been an involved parent and shared custody of the kids, and his kids love him, that 2-year-old eventually figured out that he isn’t a good person. I don’t know when she figured it out, but she clearly knows it at this point.

        In my case, my kids figured out their father wasn’t a good guy well before we knew he was cheating, well before the discard and abandonment. Well before I knew. Kids KNOW.

        As CL says, you will always be home for her.

      • My son was 10 months old when Cheaterpants and I divorced. I remember at one point asking him if he realized what he was doing to our son that our son would never have his two parents together.
        Cheatepants said, “Oh divorce isn’t that bad, my parents are divorced and I’m fine.” (Um okay!!)
        Cheaterpants went on to tell me our son would be fin, he was doing this (cheating) for his son. Cheaterpants said one day his son would understand that Dad leaving made him happier, therefore he could be a better dad because he was happier.
        That was 6 years ago, my son has seen his ‘much happier’ dad 4 times.

        • Wow, it never stops amazing me how similar stories can be. My ex started pursuing a co worker right after our first child was born. We had been married for 10 years and our kid was 6 month old when DD1 happened. He said that he wanted to be a happier person for his son and he thought this other woman could make him happy. He said divorce was not a big deal and kids turn out fine.

          • Utter selfishness and lack of empathy-hallmarks of a narcissist

      • My kids WILL ‘get over it’ because I’m the sane parent. I didn’t leave them or leave the family, or the family house or the town or anything else. I’m still here and I will be regardless.

        So far, the ex moved out of our house, then moved out of our town, then moved his can of Alp-Ho and her 3 kids in and now MY kids have to share him with his fantasy family and twu wuv. My 9 year old is figuring out that her dad tossed us all, not just me. When she angry about not being able to see him as much as she used to (when he was living with us) she gets mad at me and threatens to move in with him. I know now to not take it personally, but I also know that in time, when the shit hits the fan, I’m going to be the one who she realizes can be counted on. In the meantime, I’ll deal with the fallout of her realization the discard he has imposed upon her and her sister in favor of those he’s not even related to. And the bullshit of his “just wanting to be happy”? yeah. That will also come out over time.

        • Sunflower – Yes!! My kids healed as much as possible because I kept my promises to them. I made sure they understood it too. My son is an 30 now. He says often that I kept my promises to them and that meant he could focus on growing up, knowing I was reliable for them.

    • I know exactly mine too he has all his affairs in our FAMILY home same floor as the kids bedrooms, GROSSE and NO laws against this filth in Canada!????????????

    • Mine texted the following:
      “I love my kids. They will just have to accept who makes me happy.”

      That statement is just filled with proof of his obvious love for them…

    • Agreed 200% I was told in counseling to NEVER trash the piece of shit be the bigger person, I know it’s hard but well worth it! My ex husband was trashing me constantly so sick and pathetic but I know that my kids know the truth!

    • Why do all the counseling sites say to do it together ?! Seriously ?! I pictured pain on my children’s face Woodburn into his mind and he would remember it forever . He had no care, no emotion . It’s not about them to him . He cannot see outside of himself .

      • Here’s the short answer for that–the counseling sites are talking about two normal people divorcing because they can’t get along or because they aren’t compatible in the first place. They aren’t talking about divorcing a disordered ClusterB type steroid uses. Think of it this way: if your X had a history of felonious assault on other people or murder or rape, would they recommend you sit down and tell the kids together? I would hope not. You would be shielding the kids from his craziness and violence. But this psychological abuser and disordered behavior isn’t what divorce sites are comfortable dealing with. They ought to shut down, though, because that advice is not great for many people.

        The good part for you is that with getting away, you can start to get hold of the narrative and be clear about things. I was thinking about this as I drove home tonight. Whatever else you do, fight for no overnights for this man. And document everything you can, especially his behavior of having sex with OW while still married to you where her kids can walk in. As you find out more, there may be other stuff that is very shady in terms of his judgment with kids. And document the steroids. Make the case that he cannot be trusted with the kids overnight. I’m sure there are other reasons here. You may be able to leverage his desire to keep his job in return for full custody. You can threaten to depose the OW and people at his work who might have seen them. Play hardball.

        • They work together. He’s in a power position . I am Magent his job is on the line as it is. But everything I read is that I want him to keep that job no matter what . He makes three times what I make . He has bragged about how much she makes . Guess we’ll see how much she likes getting the leftovers .

  • You now belong to a club full of women in their 40’s who aren’t washed up. The way you’re feeling is normal….we’ve all been there and can tell you that there are good and bad days. But….you need to just go through the moments, feel what you need to feel and know that you will come out the other side. This is your life NOW, this will not be your life forever. Deep breaths and one day at a time. When you feel overwhelmed, write, read here, write in the forums. Go no contact immediately- let your lawyer do the talking. You can’t and don’t control him. Live for you and your kids- act as though he doesn’t exist. Do the minimum you have to where he is concerned. You will soon begin to see him for who he is- you had nothing to do with this. I tell my ten year old- look at his actions, don’t listen to his words. It really does get better. From today you are no longer living a LIE. You will make it through this. ((Hugs))

    • Forties is most definitely *not* washed up! I’m soon to enter my late fifties, and I feel, in many ways, that the best of life is yet to come. Forties gives you plenty of time to create, or recreate, whichever kind of life you choose, even with little kids in the mix.

      With all that said, *of course* you are in pain and reeling right now! Taking time off is a splendid idea, and you are blessed to be in a position to have that option. Meantime, separating yourself, your life, and your finances from the cheater as much as possible is your best move. Give yourself a chance to breathe, think, and regroup. If you are a person of faith, prayer is essential and a real sanity saver! (I could not have made it this far without my faith in God.)

      You sound like a very smart and capable and loving person. Your children are blessed to have such a sane and brave mom. This is going to be hard for everyone, but, even now, the seeds of a new and better life are being sown. You will come to realize on time that you’ve got this. Best to you and your sweet little ones.

      • 72 here and going strong! Our 39th wedding anniversary is Dec 16th! He left because the poor sausage was in love and just had to follow his dreams! It is quite laughable now 7 months out but at the time I was devastated to say the least. But like so many here suggested I used my anger and my grief (mostly anger) to propel me forward. I’m making a new life for myself and it’s good! Looking forward to spending holidays in New York with family and planning a trip to the Chanel Islands in the Spring. So at 40 or 50 or 60 or even 72 you aren’t washed up unless you chose to be!
        Someone posted this piece recently by Frank Pittman, It summarizes my idiot cheater maybe it will help someone who hasn’t seen it.
        ROMANTIC INFIDELITY Surely the craziest and most destructive form of infidelity is the temporary insanity of falling in love. You do this, not when you meet somebody wonderful (wonderful people don’t screw around with married people) but when you are going through a crisis in your own life, can’t continuing living your life, and aren’t quite ready for suicide yet. An affair with someone grossly inappropriate-someone decades younger or older, someone dependent or dominating, someone with problems even bigger than your own–is so crazily stimulating that it’s like a drug that can lift you out of your depression and enable you to feel things again. Of course, between moments of ecstasy, you are more depressed, increasingly alone and alienated in your fife, and increasingly hooked on the affair partner. Ideal romance partners are damsels or “dumsels” in distress, people without a life but with a lot of problems, people with bad reality testing and little concern with understanding reality better. Romantic affairs lead to a great many divorces, suicides, homicides, heart attacks, and strokes, but not to very many successful remarriages. No matter how many sacrifices you make to keep the love alive, no matter how many sacrifices your family and children make for this crazy relationship, it will gradually burn itself out when there is nothing more to sacrifice to it. Then you must face not only the wreckage of several lives, but the original depression from which the affair was an insane flight into escape. People are most likely to get into these romantic affairs at the turning points of life: when their parents die or their children grow up; when they suffer health crises or are under pressure to give up an addiction; when they achieve an unexpected level of job success or job failure; or when their first child is born–any situation in which they must face a lot of reality and grow up. The better the marriage, the saner and more sensible the spouse, the more alienated the romantic is likely to feel. Romantic affairs happen in good marriages even more often than in bad ones. Both genders seem equally capable of falling into the temporary insanity of romantic affairs, though women are more likely to reframe anything they do as having been done for love. Women in love are far more aware of what they are doing and what the dangers might be. Men in love can be extraordinarily incautious and willing to give up everything. Men in love lose their heads–at least for a while.

        • As a aside, “face reality and grow up” this is the thing, they don’t grow up just aging adolescents in an adult body. The marriage is fine the chump is fine they are disordered!

        • This is exactly what happened to ex. Mid life crisis is real, but that doesn’t mean it is ok. Only the weak and cowardly allow their personal crisis to destroy others in an attempt to feel better themselves. At first I thought I just needed to wait it out and ex would get his head out of his ass and come home. Eventually I realized that if that happened that would just mean I had a weak and cowardly person back in my life.

          He may well stick with Schmoopie, forever, as doing otherwise would mean admitting he made a mistake and that is something he will never, ever, do. Also, she is a woman who deliberately makes herself in constant need of rescue so he gets to be the perpetual hero. I had to much self esteem to lower myself to that level in order to keep my husband.

          • chump introvert,
            They make these crisis for themselves. If they’d get off their fat lazy butts and do something for someone else they’d be a hell of a lot happier. These idiots go around looking for happiness instead of creating it for themselves.
            They are selfish pigs. What could make you happier then being retired from age 53, having enough money to live comfortably, great kids and grandkids, good health, trips all over the world? It’s just a load of self serving nonsense meant to get attention and when they don’t get it the act out like teenagers.
            I asked my daughter what she thought happiness was …… her answer I’m happy I’m not living in a refugee camp, I’m happy I have a roof over my head and food in my fridge, I’m happy I have a good family and friends. This young women understands what is real in life unlike the stupid fucking idiot.
            Your absolutely right, who wants to have this never ending drama back on their lives. I say, good fucking riddance!

          • Agreed good post me too I saw my own mother lose her own personality to my dads bullshit and it was so sad she was a strong woman at one time but allowed him to dominate, NOT me!????

        • lyndaloo that fits my ex to a tee. The OW has seen behind the mask very quickly and they are over, we have been divorced for 2 months. I wonder if he thinks it was worth blowing up my life, and the lives of our two small children.

          • Not only did he blow up you and your children’s lives but he blew up his own life. Just like the idiot I was married to. You and your children were the best thing that ever happened to that jerk and he threw it away. Well good ridden to rubbish. You know you are mighty and I admire you tremendously. No one should ever have to go through what you’ve been through. Stay strong lots of hugs!

            • I’m really surprised that his mask slipped so early on with the OW. He now wants to play happy families with me for the sake of the children.

              • Let him marinate in his own shit stew, pregnantchump.
                Your children don’t need a disordered narc “playing” the role of daddy. They need a sane, stable parent. Stay their mighty gargoyle and banish that POS! No sparkleturd photo ops to hide his betrayal & discard. Karma comes faster to some. Glad to hear his cycle is speeding up. Ha! TRUST that he SUCKS.
                Do. Not. Let. The holiday postcards suck you in. He hasn’t changed. Stay strong, pc!

              • Don’t fall for this. You are just Plan B. No contact is your friend. As you move further along and the kids get a little bigger, you will be glad you didn’t spend years watching to be chumped again. Because that will happen.

                Your case is a very good example of how the secrecy and the thrill of doing the forbidden and the triangle is what fuels some affairs. When you walk away and divorce, you take that away. Go back to him and he has that cake again and the search for New Schmoops will commence. Don’t fall for it.

              • Good advice. It’s hard to tell my heart to stop feeling. To stop loving. Isn’t this the man you had your entire life played out with ?
                No. No isn’t. Whatever version of him that I thought I knew and loved with the alternate universe . This is the real him .

          • Don’t you worry my dear she is going to get hers and believe me deep down she feels like the DOG crap that she is!????

          • Lady B, yes it immediately struck me that this was the motivation behind cheaters exit. A mid life crisis he created for himself. It settled the question nagging in the back of my mind that our marriage was not good, that somehow I was at fault that he wasn’t happy. You know all the old stereotypes that we’ve been led to believe by the RIC. But there it was in black and white that it happens more often in good marriages and the saner the spouse the more alienated they feel. A good friend of mine said she always thought he was jealous of me because I had done well in business, was creative and competent. He had little ambition just muddled along. I now realize she was right. He’s looking for someone to fill his empty soul and he thinks this stupid Drama Queen he’s hooked up with will be the answer. He threw away his family, grandchildren, home, half his wealth and his future. When he’s dying in the old age, he can reflect on what he through away. I on the other hand will have the love and support of my family. But right now I’m living my life and enjoying the adventure. Just imagine Christmas with my daughters in NYC! What a treat.

        • Lyndaloo, you are an inspiration. And thanks for posting the Pittman writing. Fits my Cheater to a T.

          • That’s nice of you to say Nora, All you great folks on CN folks are the true inspiration! Just reading your stories makes me want to kick these assholes right in the balls. They are so stupid it’s embarrassing that we even married them. WTF do the think life is a dress rehearsal? One day I predict they will wake up but too late. Meanwhile we just can’t waste anymore time or energy on them we have to love ourselves and live our lives. Too many good people and good times yet to be had!

            • WTF do they think life is a dress rehearsal?

              This!^^^^ Yes, that’s why my X thought he should have a do-over, that he was entitled to forgiveness, staying with the family, his reputation, EVERYTHING. Such distorted thinking.

              • Kathleen they think they get to keep getting do-overs until they get it right! LOL what dumb jerks they are, they throw it all away then they want another chance. Boo hoo poor little sad sayage, well too little too late. I want no part of X he’s made his bed (pun intended) so I hope he can lay in it with ur without the Drama Quern I really don’t care. As for his reputation he’s destroyed that with everyone, he’s now just a sad joke!
                It will be a year in April and I’ll divorce his sorry ass right on the date. All financials are settled so very straight forward here in Canada.

            • Agreed and it’s funny my dad said to me about a week before our wedding, Carol I would marry this guy unless you can AFFORD the divorce, how did he know?

        • This Frank Pittman guy wrote the best book I read after D-Day, Private Lies. He is deceased (2012), but was the best no nonsense therapist/author I found. Letting CN know because I was one of those Chumps that put much needless and hurtful effort into “figuring it out” before I found CL. It was a waste of time & emotion reading so many books, some that had sympathy for the Cheater and were in fact hurtful to my recovery. This book-helpful if you need it. If you don’t need it-no contact even better.
          Just wanted to save Chumps time and money. Our desire to be compassionate and understanding is probably what makes us Chumps to begin with.
          When you are all grown up it is hard to understand people so selfish. That you and your children are not even considered is beyond painful. Anyhow, hope you can break free sooner rather than later, you have a lot more power than you know-but you must CLAIM it!

        • Yeah, what the author doesn’t mention is that adults know better than to allow themselves to hand around w/people they find attractive, and they have enough empathy and capacity to think longer-term, to avoid wrecking their families and often their own lives, for an infatuation-induced high.

          If you’re over 25 years old and get ‘caught up’ in ‘being in love’, then you’re probably not good relationship material, and probably never will be.

        • Thank you for reposting that. I don’t know when my ex started having affairs but the two that I know about started at the same time that our only son was graduating from high school. And, X had just made a very significant job change and was earning double what he had ever earned before. We had what I thought was a very good 25 year marriage. We rarely fought, agreed on just about everything that is important, and had a lot of fun together. I was completely and totally blindsided. I met x in law school 27 years ago and we wrote books together and raised our four children and owned homes and businesses. He left me and our four children for a woman 15 years our Junior who is a copy delivery girl making minimum-wage that he met on an elevator three weeks before that. She is a very dysfunctional person —dependent and totally immature—While I am a a devoted mother, great cook and gardener, a fitness and health nut, and have been wholly on my own since I was 17, and a 25 year attorney and successful partner at a law firmand was still living at home with her father at the age of 30. She’s never been married never had children and doesn’t like children.
          Also, I’ve been sober almost 30 years and X started to develop a drinking and drug problem so I insisted that he abstain, and he secretly started using street drugs and alcohol in copious amounts with the AP. Three years later apparently he’s extremely miserable. But I’m divorced, at meh, completely no contact, in a serious relationship, have completely moved on. So although this is interesting it’s way too late. All the understanding in the world can’t unring the bell.

          • I liked the the essay because it reaffirmed my conviction that we did have a good marriage and it wasn’t about me. He chose to blow it up its on him.

      • I just turned sixty and let me promise all of you that you are neither washed up nor alone. There is so much life to be lived once you no longer are carrying the burden of living with a cheater. You have been living in the monkey house of infidelity for so long that you don’t even know how badly it stinks!

        At the beginning, I was also overwhelmed and (I thought) broken. I didn’t believe I would ever be happy again. I don’t know how I got through some days, and parts of that time are still a blur. But I did make it through and my life, although radically different than the one I lived “before”, is full of love, adventure, but most of all, peace.

        Time helps, as does surrounding yourself with people who love, support and want the best for you. No contact, to the extent possible, is also a good way to emotionally divorce yourself from X. There are going to be bad days, but eventually the good days will far outnumber the bad. Understand that this is a journey, and make the conscious choice to go forward.

        Hire the best, kick-ass lawyer you can find and demand every cent your deserve for your family.If X squandered the money and lied to the bankruptcy court, mortgage companies, etc., give your lawyer the documents to prove that conduct. Demand every dime of support your children are entitled to receive. Hold cheater accountable for his conduct!

        If someone had predicted the changes that were going to occur in my life post-infidelity, I would never have believed them. I truly thought the course of my life was set in stone. I could not have been more wrong if I tried. You are also going to be amazed at how strong you truly are and how much more you deserve! You also will probably begin to realize that you were doing all the work in the relationship for most of its duration.

        Hold your children tight, stay NC with X, and know that wonderful things are waiting ahead for you. Leave a cheater and gain a life!

        • Violet said it all so well, Motleynurse! Never think you’re too old to start living your own life. Look at Lyndaloo, she’s awesome! Far better late than never.

          I’m turning 62 in a couple of weeks, so feeling a little over the hill (and feeling like I’m looking it!). But age is all relative. When my mother was alive and living in a retirement home, once I was complaining about being in my 60’s and one of her friends said wistfully, “Ah I remember when I was 60…” Then I didn’t feel so old!

          All I can say is, “Ah, I remember when I was in my 40s…”

        • Right on Violet. That has exactly been my experience. I turned 70 last week and have a way better life than when I was with XH.

          Someday the devastation will be gone Motley and you will be laughing again.

        • I think a lot of these jerks wait until last kiddo is 18 to avoid child support and then they do the discard so they can get that new kibble supply. Then once the Chump moves on and a MIGHTY CHUMP takes them to the cleaners financially, the faux remorse sets in. Poor sad sausages. Meanwhile, we see behind the mask.

    • Motleynurse…I hope you soon consider changing your name to “Mightynurse”…I too was a nurse in my 40s with 3 kids at home and a mean-ass cheater who gave his loyalty and love to Susan of Seattle but demanded cake and reassurances from me…it was a midfuck of Biblical proportions.

      I chose to believe him when he said that he was moving far away (within driving range of Susan) but that they were done…in all likelihood, I actually ordered the certified check to put down the deposit on his apt where they fucked for 18 months (cake, cake cake cake cake cake). He later returned home and acted like nothing ever happened…refused therapy, refused to discuss it, refused to answer my questions.

      I actually lived this mess for 5 years after he returned home…it was complicated by both adult sons having major mental health crisis, one with a baby/babymomma…then cheater dropped dead. I later found proof (in his papers) that his affair was (of course) worse than he ever admitted. 2 years after that I learned he was a serial cheater.

      So suck abounded in my life. Lots of baby steps but I got my sons launched, supported my daughter through HS and into college, stayed committed to my work, rekindled a romance with a nice fellow I dated 30 years earlier and for my 50th birthday, he took me on a yacht cruise on the Aegean (with a cook) and proposed. Results will vary, I can’t promise an Aegean yacht cruise and a rich second husband, but Im in my 50s now and life is very good.

      Please know that we all really did live this horrid nightmare and got through. You will have this… working through the problems take time, but you will eventually get there.

      • Unicornnomore – I just love the story of your Second Act, and can only hope and pray that a real man will come along for me. DDay happened just when I turned 39 and now I’m 43. Never dated anyone since age 16 (all my youth wasted on that serial cheating douche), but I’m hoping when I’m ready to look, “the one” will be there.

        MotleyNurse – please listen to CL’s advice, and to that of all the others of us who were in your shoes. Don’t do the separation – file. If you don’t, he will when he’s served with the paperwork. Talk to as many of the best lawyers as you can for a consult; he won’t be able to use any of them after you’ve cosulted with them. Collect and document everything; you’ll be so glad you did. Also collect what you can from the home computers: emails, texts, messages to that ho. Open a single checking account and move half of all the monies you can into your name only.

        All of the PTSD symptoms you’re suffering are exactly what I went through, too. Only, I wasn’t responsible for life/death situations at work like you are. Be patient and kind to yourself. Get into counseling (a good one who specializes in personality distorders like his and marriage/life trauma.) If he/she mentions “your part” in the marriage breakdown – walk out. Don’t give them another second of your time and keep trying until you find the right one.

        I remember constantly looking to a calendar wondering when the severe pain would stop. It only happened through absolutely ZERO contact with the abuser/cheater, and moving forward to divorce his sorry ass while caring for myself through counseling, physical exercise and daily time at church. At about 10 months when I finally had to see him in court, I was still sad some days, but fierce about my children, and strong, and that fucker didn’t mess with me ONCE. I found strength in “doing” each day, moving myself and my children toward freedom from his abuse.

        It’s been 4 years since that DDay and I can tell you I’m more happy now than in all of the wasted 23 years on that fucker. All my late teens, 20s and 30s gone, but I’m more secure, strong and genuinely happy than ever. Sadness? Seldom now, but not for that moron. For the “idea” of what I thought I vowed to have and create over a lifetime, but no, not sad for him. You’ll get there, too. Not for a while, so lace-up those steel toes, and get to ass kickin’. That f-tard deserves no less.

        I’m so sorry that you’re here, but I’m so glad you found us as early on in your journey as you have. (((Hugs & warmth)))

        • Thanks KFMM, when nowdeadcheater was a monster, he crassly told me one day that his goal was to have a trophy wife (clearly not me). When I was dating Colonel Greatly, his friends told me to my face that they considered me a trophy wife…they asked if I was insulted but I told them I was kind of relieved. Col Greatguy has his quirks and were both flawed humans, but my “problems” now dont even qualify as ACTUAL problems (“why did he buy 4 jugs of Tide? that is more than we will EVER need”).

          Both nowdeadcheater and my parents lived lost, self absorbed, purposeless lives wanting most of all to be rich and none of them were. The crazy irony is that I never wanted wealth – I wanted love and fidelity and meaning/vocation/purpose and devotion. We have enough to coast to the end of our lives even if neither of ever worked again. I won’t give up my nursing job though…Im committed to my mission.

        • I agree KFMM,

          Motley(Mighty)Nurse, skip separation, file. Two steps instead of one (stop the bleeding).

          I started with separation as I found out 4 days after kicking serial cheater out, I had highly aggressive cancer. Cheater told me we needed to stay married or I would be kicked off his health insurance. I believed him for a few traumatic weeks until my attorney told me that was false. I called his employer benefits and indeed, like so many other things he said, it was a lie.

          With that ironed out, and no plans of going back to him for more pain, my attorney advised me to remove the bigger cancer from my life and file for divorce. Separation just prolongs the pain. Better to get through it to the other (cheater and cancer free) side. ☀️

          I’m coming up on two years from DD and 1 year divorced in my 50’s. Life is beautiful!

          You’re doing great; keep going. Welcome to CN for round the clock support.

          • Freenow – I’m so happy for you to be free of that jerk! Yes, life is truly more beautiful when we can be our authentic selves, free of these lying, cheating a-holes that weigh us down emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually. (((Hugs!)))

          • Dang Freenow…that is a powerful story…glad you are well…I would likely have buckled in those circumstances, you are mighty!!! Glad life is good now

        • Thank you for your story. And you’re exactly right. I mourn for the dream . Not for the reality . I think I will have to remind myself of that a lot in the coming days .

      • Thank you so much for your story . For now I will keep Motley . He has no idea the fury and fear and anger this little woman can produce . He’s about to find out !

    • Agreed Pret I’m determined at age: 49, 50 I’m Feb I’m moving forward and I will find a decent man who loves me for just ME! I don’t need some egotistical bastard who thinks he can use and abuse women as play toys in my Family home!????

    • If I’ve learned nothing else today, I’ve learned I will not lie to my children for him . I want bash him. But I’ll no longer tell them that he loves you more than anything . I will never make another excuse for him .

  • You are mighty! A year ago I was living from house to house , numb, in shock and discovering the financial infidelity along with the long term secret double life . THEN I discovered chump lady and chump nation . It gets you through the sleepless nights. Some nuggets that got me through : 1. Extreme self care , whatever that is ( mine was hot baths ) 2. You did not cause this ( it took awhile for this to sink in,) 3. It will get better, this one is really hard to believe until it really does get better 4. The pain waves crest and subside enough for you to breath and then they crest again . It’s like childbirth and once you get through this , you will have a new life. 5. Time is your friend: use it to take care of yourself and children, use it to grieve the life you thought you had, use it to do with as you please , even if it’s just staring out the window while your cup of tea gets cold . I’m a teacher, a gramma and am 2 and a half years into recovering from cheater and much drama in a small town. You are doing great, you have found CN and CL and they are smart, witty and know the depth of pain and the financial nightmare you are going through. Keep coming back and read the forums , hugs to you and go kick some ass with your lawyer

    • I’m doing poorly at my job as I started it after dday and can’t organize myself or concentrate or remember. Motley how did you get short term disability? I pay for it and belong to a union.

      • In most places, you will need to see a doctor for short term disability. You can also ask about FMLA leave (which is unpaid, but covers up to 12 weeks).

    • Love it I’m also from a small town in Canada and this NO FAULT divorce is such dog shit but still I fight hard for the kids!????

      • How is the no-fault divorce even a thing ? I would bet one of the narcissist psychopath that we all discuss made that come to be .

    • I feel strong and mighty right now and more than anything I feel ready . I know who I am. I know where I stand. I know who I love and that I would do anything to protect them . He can bring his whole arsenal . I have mighty armor and a big sword .

  • Motleynurse, grab that rage. The anger is what you need right now to power you through. Trust me, I was so frozen at first I screwed up but once I got truly pissed off, I got clear and got going. So will you! e has fucked you and your kids over in every possible way. Go Jedi Ninja on his ass

    Jedi Hugs to you!

    • Motley (Mighty) Nurse,

      Use the anger (part of the grief process) to propel you forward and get through. Go NC. Don’t show him anything; keep your hand close. Remember his 3 channels Charm, Mad, Sad. Watch for them but don’t allow them to play in your new cheater free life.

      Actions = Consequences
      Know your worth
      You are your kids sane and loving parent
      You are their Mom
      You are mighty
      Take care of yourself so you can take care of them

      Huge ((been there)) hugs

  • Motley,

    I feel for you. Parts of your story are very similar to mine, although it was my wife behind the curtain of deceit. It took me 11 months to file, but the wheels are in motion.
    You are absolutely doing the right thing and you and your kids will be all the better for it. It will be a emotional roller coaster, and Chump Nation is here for you.
    Your last paragraph shows your strength and that your head is in the right place:
    But they will never remember their mom as someone who thought so little of herself she’d be with a man who doesn’t love her, doesn’t want her, and spent his time bashing her, lying about her, and cheating on her. They will remember their mother as someone who knew her self worth. Someone who dedicated her life to protecting them and who would love them through the heartache and pain.

    Stay strong Motley!

    • BINGO agreed I knew I was going to fight my mom stayed in a bad marriage for the last 10 years of my dads life and he was verbally abusive to her but NO cheating. I knew it crushed her soul everyday and I was determined that no man would ever treat me like that!

  • I told my then 10 year old That daddy wanted a to be with someone else, and It wasn’t ok to have girlfriend when’s matried. He had already taken him to her house countless times, as he had told me he didn’t have access to him when he wanted to go home (to his apartment) became she would tell him his daddy was sleeping in her bed (he was left to sleep on the couch).
    It’s been almost 6 years since he left (5 divorced), and it gets better. Just prepare yourself for ANYTHING!!! I didn’t believe my lawyer when he said he would change if they moved in together, and he absolutely did. I didn’t put failsafes in place and we have a very high conflict relationship that cannot be civil because he still continues to try to tell my story and abuse me. Even though our communication is strictly through a court ordered app, he berates me and calls me names.
    What got better is the pain of betrayal subsided. What got worse was the frustration of dealing with him.
    ((Hugs)) to you.

    • I can only imagine what’s to come . I’m sorry you’ve suffered so much . I’m thankful weve both found this community

    • Being cheated on & abandoned in your 40’s is horrible.. but when your in your 60’s with retirement on the horizon is traumatic! Unable to find work, completely dependent on the cheater is frighteningly traumatizing.

      At any age us chumps have to be strong & accept that we lived with evil, selfish sociopaths who only think of themselves. They have zero concern for the children & their spouses.

      The illicit sex with their whores is all that matters to them. We have to rise above all the humiliation, fear & pain of starting over.

      They deserve nothing from us.., for how they discarded the best thing in their lives.

      May they rot in Hell ????

      • Kathleen,
        YOU have run the marathon!
        YOU have rose “above the humiliation, fear and pain of starting over.”
        In CN’s eyes, YOU have finished in First Place!


        • PeaceKeeper

          Thank you for the encouragement that I so needed. We are ALL mighty that we have survived.

          God Bless You….????

      • Love it agreed and remember CHUMPS, “KARMA IS A BITCH”!????????????????????????????????????????????

        • I really hope Karma exists and is a flaming bitch!! ????????????????

  • Motleynurse I am so sorry you are experiencing this, it is unforgivable. It is a cannon through the gut to find out your love is going to a heartless pleasure-seeking egomaniac and that your children are in the firing line. I’m right with you on the stomach issues, I thought I would never eat again and my intestines were as cleaned out as possible. I felt like I walked around for two months with a metal clamp around my gut and ribs.

    This man is a piece of work and he is capable of awful cruelty and manipulation. the fact that he went from such cruelty to begging in an instant is disgusting. The kind of love you have been giving is unknown to him, everything now needs to be about getting yourself into a world where he isn’t. Hang on through the shock, talk to whoever you need to talk to so that you aren’t alone, get a lawyer immediately and hold your children and be their life raft, and above all be gentle with yourself and give yourself a free pass to be hopeless and distraught. CN will be sending their virtual ‘mighty’ pills. Strength and self compassion.

  • Motley….. lawyer up first. It was a mistake I made. I let cheater wife drag me into dark despair while continuously lying about everything. They are con artist scammers that can shed FAKE FAKE FAKE tears and remorse. It’s all a scam.

    “engulfed in him while being disgusted at the same time.”

    Oh the memories of this feeling over the summer months.

    Fight on Motley. Don’t give up. Get what is yours.

    • It’s so true. They are both so disgustingly pathetic . They deserve each other . He doesn’t know how to handle the concept and I won’t fight for him . .. and I know there’s nothing worth fighting for . And that I will never ever give him one more ounce of my dignity .

  • As you move along this difficult path, you will come to realize that the only magic that ever existed in your marriage flowed from you.

    That is very painful–you were creating traditions, a home, bonds, and love while he was spinning endless lies and creating a double life–but it is ultimately very freeing.

    I stood by the STBX through accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace. I stood by him through a DUI. Only now do I realize how thoroughly he manipulated me through those traumatic experiences. Have me help him write the notes he used for the harassment conversation, and then listen in and take notes on the phone calls about it? Check. Call me beautiful when I was driving him home from jail after the DUI, loss of license, and impoundment of car? Check.

    We thought we were supporting them through crises that would be wake-up calls of the life-changing variety, and that our sacrifices and faithfulness meant something.


    It will be crushing, but be very clear about all of the ways in which you were continuously abused. Definitely do cut off contact to prevent further abuse. I did not do that until I found CL, and ended up being manipulated with further lies for nearly a year post dday.

    As far as the kids go, I’m still stunned by how cavalierly cheaters use them for image management, and how routinely they expose them to the affair. Mind boggling. Could not agree more with Chump Lady’s advice. Not your job to fix things for him. Be honest about what happened, help the kids cope and heal, but leave the cheater to manage every aspect of his own life, including his relationships with them. He will create further drama and damage, because that is what they do, but keep your distance. Focus on your own world, and don’t sully yourself with his.

    Glad you found this space. The best advice and support is right here.

    • Cashmere,
      I have followed your posts and often wish to express to you how much I admire your strength.
      Your are an inspiration to many.
      Your kind heart and abundant knowledge so wisely, and, lovingly shared, will most certainly remain a tremendous help to Motlynurse and all Chumps.

      • Ah, Peacekeeper. Truth is that I am still a train wreck the vast majority of the time, but inching forward bit by bit.

        The realization and recognition bombs keep on coming apace. Quite something. Really hoping that divorce is finalized soon so that I can start figuring out the deeper ways of freedom.

        Looks like the cheater finally wants to get serious about settlement talks. Guess when?

        The Friday before Christmas.

        Because that’s the kind of festive, spirit-filled guy he is. A giver to the core.

        Hah. ????????

        • Lol. They really are pieces of work, aren’t they? Your post is spot on and so similar to my story. My trial date is Jan. 11 with depositions Jan. 4, which means all evidence and statements need to be submitted by Dec. 28. I, too, will be having a festive season. My attorney thinks that my STBX will finally try to settle sometime in that last week or two before the trial.

          The price of freedom…

          • What is it about Christmas? Mine jerked me around for over a year, not disclosing his finances and agreeing to agreements that he then refused to sign ( 4x and I paid my lawyer to set every separation agreement up). I didn’t get a final financial settlement until January 8 of 2017. It was just another opportunity for him to spoil Christmas for me, like the previous year he performed as Mr. Olive Man ( old story–he gave our daughter a jar of olives for Christmas–what a prince!). Disordered evil POS!

        • Sorry Cashmere,

          Mine too. Last year right before Christmas and just days after I had cancer surgery we went to mandatory mediation. He had all year to cooperate but the January court date was upon him (consequences).

          X wasn’t happy with the mediation results so he made sure not to make my maintenance payment just to “stick it to me”.

          Nothing like the shit sandwich of trying to buy a few Christmas presents for the grandchildren and discover you didn’t receive your court ordered payment. This while healing from cancer surgery.

          Not to worry…I steeled my back, just like you and called my attorney.

          Nothing like the thought of facing a judge and potential jail time for contempt to get them to pay.

          Oh, and having to pay both attorney’ fees for non-payment. Who does this to their “beloved” (until I wasn’t) wife of 34 years who has cancer? A disordered fuckwit!

          Now almost a year later, I am happily divorced. I’m living the life I’ve always lived, just without a cheating, cruel-beyond- words, manipulating con. So much better! This Christmas is much brighter disentangled from crazy.

          You’re almost there. There’s a beginning, a middle and end. Your tribe at CN stands strong with you. May you get settlement soon. Huge hugs to you and Motley Nurse just beginning the cheater-free journey.

  • Please save yourself so you can save your children.
    Put your oxygen mask on first!

    No Contact is the path to the truth and the light. Go into the light!
    No Contact will let the mindfuck fade away. It will let you see things as they really are without his manipulations. Seeing the full truth will make you angry and getting angry will help you stand up and fight for you and your children.

    Just remember there is great advice here. It’s very overwhelming at the moment. We understand and that’s the bottom line. We understand. You are not alone.

    • Yes Motleynurse, no contact is medicine. The relief might be slow, but it is continual. The fuck with our heads when we have contact with them. Their emotional disease is contagious, and through contact, the chump takes it on, and they get relief. Don’t take it on and thereby give Asshole relief.

      Yah, it might be bad to be 40 and have a marriage explode in your face, but it’s still better than living with a lying, cheating, blaming, ruining sick of shit.

      • Exactly I would rather be alone any day than be stuck with a lying, piece of shut excuse for a husband who cheats it’s disgusting, he’s a DOG!

    • It is so freeing to be told it’s OK to be angry . I don’t think he has any idea the kind of anger this little woman can produce !

  • Tell everyone. Everyone. I didn’t for a while, and I isolated myself for too long.

    There is hope.

    Rely on your friends. Pray. Meditate. Exercise. Be good to your children. Be good to yourself. Gentle. Don’t drink too much.

    The crying, heartbreaking, vomit inducing, surreal reality feeling is awful, and we have all been there. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever been through, although I know some here have been through worse. It is not something you can ever understand unless you have lived it. But it does pass. You do get through it. You will be content again.

    My hands twitched. My thumbs, in particular. I shook all over, but my thumbs twitched mostly.

    They don’t twitch anymore.

    There is hope.

    • Twitching,
      I am so happy your thumbs do not twitch any longer.
      Great, inspiring post.
      You are Mighty! You deserve to be Mighty!

      It is so interesting, awesome really, when a poster explains the meaning of their post name, ( a Friday challenge CL)?

  • MotleyNurse, I am in awe of your mightyness ????????

    Packing up his truck with all his shit ????

    Engaging with a lawyer so quickly ????????

    Knowing your worth and not participating in the pick me dance ????????

    Focusing on the kids and ensuring they have a strong role model and mother who doesn’t put up with shit ????????

    ….my goodness, you are MILES AHEAD of the game already and don’t even know it yet. Like I said, I’m in awe. You’re doing all the right things, and steering yourself out of the shitstorm and on to the road that leads to a better life.

    It’s going to be a rough ride, I won’t lie. But you will get through it. You sound like an incredibly smart and amazing woman. You are killing it already!! I’m sorry this happened to you, but I must say – I am excited for you. That might sound like a stupid thing to say right now, but in time you’ll get what I mean. I’m excited for the new life you are going to have once the worst of all this crap has blown over. I’m happy for your kids – they will be in a far better place in time. Mine certainly are. I haven’t looked back, and you won’t either.

    Stay with CL and CN. Would love to keep hearing your ass-kicking story. I have a feeling it’s going to be a doozie. Best wishes for your meeting with lawyer today. Hope he/she is a pitbull. Much love and respect, from the Land Down Under ????

    • I agree and the PICK ME dance NO WAY, I’m better than that piece of trash and I’m never giving him any satisfaction!????

    • Thank you for the support. I feel like it was divine intervention that I was lead to this community

  • Motley nurse,


    My situation was the same but different. Emotionally and physically I was completely wrecked for a couple months. Hiring a lawyer and filing for divorce made it better. It’s been almost exactl a year to the day when I found out my ex-husband was cheating. He’s still with the idiot OW and traumatizing everyone in his sphere. He is toxic, and like Chump Lady said, going no contact will save you from some grief.

    Hang in there because it does get better. I didn’t realize how emotionally abused I’d been until I was no longer in my ex’s presence.

    • it took me a good 8 months to realise I was treated like crap, he had my head spinning constantly with his endless talk and mind fucking. The peace is priceless now !

    • Same here, Judith. I too had no idea how emotionally abused I was until I started going to counselling to work through it all. Just awful. I am still trying to come to terms with the loss of confidence and the implications of this in my new life. Didn’t realise how deeply it had all affected me. Now that I am aware, it is easier to work through it in some ways, but difficult in others. I’m just so grateful to be out of that nightmare relationship.

      No contact is ???? It has really helped me move on

  • Holy shit …. you have a real fucker on your hands and cannot afford one moment of letting your guard down, this POS is hell bent on watching your world and his own burn. Is this a form of slow suicide for him?
    Protect yourself and don’t give him a fucking inch, he has no mercy. My story sucks but when I read yours I feel panic for you.
    WE are here for you, there will be mistakes made and things that could be handled better but its a process, learn and tell the truth to everyone and stay open and positive.
    Be fucking mighty and reap the rewards down the track, no way this POS can win, he is downright nasty and bad.

    • Absolutely Lady B. I had to read the Day 4 bit twice. He actually made sure she caught him having sex with OW so she would kick him out and make it easier for him!!! What kind of twisted, cruel, sadistic psycho is he?? If he hasn’t demonstrated such cold hearted & psychopathic behaviour in the past he must be having a mental meltdown.

      The mental cruelty, manipulation and sadistic way he’s behaved is off the scale.

  • They have been talking about taking your children away from you. These are two sociopaths. No one uses their children as pawns. You have to be aware that this man has played a part all these years. People don’t change their basic nature. He has been abusing you financially and he has been abusing you emotionally. Please don’t make excuses for anything he has done. He is a bad man. Do not make excuses for him. Get a lawyer and get mean. Put aside your grief and grab your rage and go after the two of them. Once you have your family stabilized you can grieve. You do not have the luxury of that right now. You will probably lose most of the things you have worked for but one thing you will lose that you will not miss is that 200 pound piece of shit you are married to. At some point you will feel so glad to be rid of him. I am going to quote Bishop TD Jakes who says that when someone walks away from you let them go. Let this horrible excuse for a human being go as fast as he wants to. You are so much more than him.
    When he said his happiness is more important then his children’s he said everything you’ll ever need to know about what a hideous human being he is. Alligators look after the children better than that.

      • “I am going to quote Bishop TD Jakes who says that when someone walks away from you let them go.”

        And “grab your rage.”

        Such good advice, Let go!

        Many of us are confused back by memories of what was good; we are tempted to be too kind. Better to focus on the fraud now. TRUST THAT THEY SUCK.

        Motleynurse, it’s hard to get your head around at first, but anger will truly be your friend for now; it’s energizing. These cheaters should all have gone into acting as a profession because their performances are Academy Award caliber. The are HOLLOW and they merely played a role – very convincingly – and just acted like the kind of person they figured we’d go for. They aren’t the decent people they portrayed at first.

        You will be OK, Motleynurse!!

    • “When he said his happiness is more important then his children’s he said everything you’ll ever need to know about what a hideous human being he is. ” This x 1000!

      • My “hideous human being” said that this doesn’t involve our sons. Really, at 32 and 34 they have to learn that their father is an adulterous, compulsive gambling, stealing, lying Sociopath that cheated for six years will have no impact on them? No conscience whatsoever.

    • Agreed. Your happiness is worth causing MY KIDS PAIN? You fucked with the wrong kids. The wrong woman . The wrong community!

  • Oh my, I am so mad for you right now, Motleynurse!
    Many of us have gone through something similar. It sounds like you were obviously stuck in a loop of fixing this abusive prick’s financial issues and his sadz. And he only speaks the language of me, as CL calls it…i have so been there. It also sounds like you may be paralyzed with fear that you will never get out of the hole he has dug in that regard. You will. You are a nurse…a profession that attracts empathetic fixers. Only now, once you get the ball rolling with the divorce and limited contact you need (it’s tricky at first but it truly is the path to truth and light! Ask any of us!!) you will be able to fix YOUR life and just focus on your family without this waste of space.
    I did not have money for a fancy divorce. I borrowed from a friend for the retainer and I researched the things that I needed to demand with a character disordered and abusive person (and your husband is the definition of this). I went from being the always understanding and helpful wife to an angry full of rage divorce detective. When this happened to you it is very helpful in getting out of the “why would he do this to me?!” phase. The hardest part was compartmentalizing it when my little one was around. I was so lucky! I decided to not keep his lies or take on any shame and I told my story to everyone I wanted to tell it to and guess what, I got a lot of help from people.
    Go to the forums and ask specific questions when you have them. I was where you are 18 months ago. I felt like he ruined my life in every way. Now I am not only divorced but financially good and my kid is good too. The cheater…hasn’t changed a bit. They never do. But I am free!! You will be too!

  • I felt bad for throwing him out straight away for a bit, all the should ofs and could ofs creeping in, but a year on Im glad as fuck I got him out. don’t look back, forge on!
    Im still living in struggle town but the peace of mind is soo worth it. Good for you packing up his truck,,, adios loser!!!
    This guy is on a road to nowhere, lost souls like the rest of these idiots…

  • Most Precious MotleyNurse,

    I have no fancy words for you, no sage advice.
    All the best advice is already coming from all the other amazing men and women who are Citizens of the MightyNation, the ones who went thru this with small children. (My son was nearly grown when my life imploded)

    What I do have for you is Love / Hugs / prayers. And a whole boat load of admiration & respect!
    Lord, You. Are. Mighty!!

    Keep us posted as you ForgeOn!!

  • Motley,

    You’re in a place that we all found ourselves. You are living in hell and there’s no sugarcoating it. You can’t understand why this happened to you, you have no idea when your marriage ended, you have no idea what you could have done differently (nothing is the answer, by the way), you can’t think straight, eat, sleep, your short term memory will be shot for a while, etc. We all suffered through this same stuff for months, it’s absolutely awful.

    The suggestions from others are right on – we speak from experience. I can only suggest that you concentrate on yourself and your kids, they need you and they absolutely need someone to be the voice of reason for them. It helped me get through things. I was hellbent on keeping my kids’ lives as normal as possible – regardless of my ex’s absolute ridiculousness.

    And over time, you will also notice your emotions for your husband will change, as in, the love goggles will be off, your emotions will drain and you’ll see exactly who this guy is. And what he’s done. Then you’ll start asking yourself if you really want to be in a relationship with somebody like that. And I’ll tell you this – whether it’s tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year – you will ultimately reach this conclusion – that he’s not worth staying married to. You don’t want to hear that now (none of us did) – but you will know this to be true eventually. I can only hope you get there sooner than I did (I took about 18 months before I finally filed).

    I know it’s hard to believe now, but you will get your legs back under you eventually, and you’ll see this guy for the absolute immature, selfish, and narcissistic POS that he is. If he was unhappy, he could have just ended the marriage by being upfront and honest. THEN he could go love “Elizabeth’s mom.”

    But that’s not the route he went, he decided on selfishness without any care in the world about the emotional damage or consequences to you or your kids. Just think about that. Think about that often, and you’ll start to understand why you can’t be in a relationship with that kind of person – not only for your sake, but your children’s as well.

    • Thank you. I read this comment over and over and over . And I think I will read it over and over again for days and weeks to come .

  • Dear Chump Lady,
    I am trying so hard to express in words how today’s post is like a knife in my heart, bringing back the memories of DDay in a very vivid, painful way.
    What Motleynurse writes, so much of it is me, years ago, but so many parts, me.
    Then I read your replies, your translations of MN’s cruel happenings and I am shaking my head YES, YES.
    Chump Lady, YOU are the way, the truth and the light of CN.
    I am so happy MN found YOU and found CN.
    There will be light ahead, there will be truth and even happiness for MN and for her children.
    This loving mother and nurse has a remarkable head on her shoulders, along with true love for her children. She has been, she is, and will remain, the sane, loving, present Parent. Her children need her, her profession needs her. ( take time to heal MN, before you return to work to heal others). Come here, CL, CN has your back! There is love and support here of the highest caliber!
    Chump Lady, at the end of the day when you lie your weary head down to sleep tonight, please let your last thought be of how important, how wonderful, indeed how life saving, YOU are, to so many people!

    I am so sorry for your pain but, I am so happy there is a CL,CN in your time of need.

    • I agree Peacekeeper!

      Chump Lady has saved many of us, and what she has written for Motleynurse is fabulous.

      CL, it is a great service that you provide, and you do it with such wisdom and the healing power of humor.

      Thank you so much!!

      And Chump Nation is AWESOME!!

    • So well said Peacekeeper!!!! CL is a true life saver! She made me sane when I thought I was going insane!!!

      Keep up the good work CL!!!!!!

    • So true, So true!! Thank you for saying what I could not put into better words.

      ChumpLady you are amazing. Thanks again for all that you do.

    • Listen, MN. CL saved my life too – CN ALL did.
      They barely know my name and I wish I had latched on and contributed sooner because I love them all and they ARE SMART AND MIGHTY!! You are way ahead of the game and reaching out here is part of that. Being sorry for those of us that find ourselves here is mitigated by the fact that we know we are all in good hands, with those who understand, and who value trust and truthfulness. This place is mighty. It’s a lighthouse, a refuge, it’s wise, and it values your humanity and your children (and it’s SO much more, too.) This is rare. But the comments are an obvious testament and I hope you can regain your footing here as I – and so many others have.
      I too, am rebuilding after 40 and while not out of the swamp of horrors (legal), I was in that place of hopelessness and despair for far too long and began to believe I would never turn that corner. Depending on our individual circumstances, it can take longer for some than others. But the most important sentiment of all of the incredible things said here today is that you have found CN and have a leg up as a result without a doubt!
      It’s so hard, especially at the beginning, to trust. Even ourselves. This is the place. These people are the real deal. If I had to pick ONE tribe, it’d be Chump Nation, hands down.
      Good luck, MN. You’re gonna be ok.

  • can relate completely, and my heart goes out to you. The reason we look for a community like this who understands is that you can NOT possibly fathom what this feels like until it happens to you. The cognitive dissonance when you are looking at this person who you used to be your life partner, and that even when there were issues you thought you still loved eachother and he had your back in life….and now he looks and sounds the same, but has somehow morphed into this person who has slept with other people over the last 10 years, and is looking you in the eye saying it’s mostly YOUR fault!! It’s so mind boggling that you literally feel like things have been turned upside down.

    I used to swing back and forth between”I didn’t deserve to be treated this way, this is HIS issue, he had a loving family and decided to throw it away, I will move on and never look back” kind of mood to “I must have been a bad wife, I didn’t show him I loved him enough, I’ve ruined our family”….you get the idea. Just always remember this is NOT YOUR FAULT. Really. Normally functioning people don’t behave this way. Could you have been a better wife? Maybe b/c guess what, we all make mistakes. Daily. In our marriage, as parents, as employees, etc. That is NORMAL. On some level it feels like it would be easier if we could pinpoint exactly what WE did wrong in this scenario b/c then we could FIX it and all would go back to normal!! Nope. Nothing is EVER enough to make these people happy for an extended period of time. They need bursts of drama and attention to make them feel like they exist, and they don’t like being bogged down with the non-attention getting stuff like cleaning up the kitchen or changing diapers….BORING!! They are too special and unique for mundane life details like that!! It’s so infuriating! My point is they are who they are, and a long term relationship that takes work, and day to day parenting is a lot to handle for them. But that is not YOUR fault, we just happened to get sucked into the vortex of their dysfunction before we could possibly recognize it as dysfunction.

    You will find your path of healing and growth, and you will find strength to guide your kids down that path as well. And it is going to suck you dry for a while, but slowly you will start to feel like yourself again, and even be a bit new and improved from all that soul searching and growth! I wish you the best as you continue on this journey, and glad you found this group and the CL to help support you as you go.

    • He said over and over again that “she made him feel beautiful . “ Beautiful? Seriously? He’s a 240 pound power lifter . Literally covered in hair from head to toe.
      I’ve thought of him in many endearing terms .. but beautiful? Pussification if you ask me!

  • MN

    I am so sorry you’re having to deal with this.

    Do not do not do not do not do not do not tell him you’re getting a lawyer. He’s already committed financial do use, and if he’s already move the funds and hidden that he may move it again. Get the paperwork for every single account that you have, get copies of statements with transactions because you will need someone to go through them. Make sure you have everything, tax returns, bank accounts, 401(k), you name it.

    Let him find out when you file. I know it’s painful, but just take a little extra time to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. Don’t trade in the long term game for short-term relief from the pain.

    Also start documenting everything. He’s late to see the kids? Document it. Send yourself an email soon as something happens to you have a timestamp. Take pictures as well. SMSes, Email, you name it.

    Do not let him in your house. If he want to see the kids you can do that someplace else on his own time Your responsibility is to allow him to access the children, it’s up to him as to whether not he wants to see them. He will try to frame he was alienating him, however make it clear with emails that you are making the children available. Paragraph good luck and big hugs

    • This is exactly what is happening right now . He is continually asking to see the kids, but he wants to see them at her house . It’s a non-negotiable . It’s in the papers he will be served tomorrow . Absolutely no contact with her or her daughter for any reason at any time otherwise he will be in contempt of court .
      I met him at Chucky cheese tonight with the kids . My sister went in and kept an eye on them. I stayed in the car but would go in and check on them . He called me baby several times .. baby you didn’t have to pay for the pizza I would’ve done that . Baby , If you need any help with them at bedtime call me and I will come over . Are you fucking kidding me?
      I am so conflicted on the parenting plan . I suggested he can pick them up as usual from our sitters on my 12 hour days . And he can bring them home ( to my house) and feed them dinner and leave when I get there . He will have every other Sunday at my house with them .
      It does make me vomit to think of him in the home . But I think that for the immediate at least , it will be the least damaging to the kids . I think ? I’m trying to not fuck them up even more. He lives with her . When I’m gone 16 hours I cannot expect them to be at the mall and Chucky cheese for that long . It would be so hard on them .
      I know he will fight me for as much custody as he can get to decrease the amount he pays . I know with all of my heart that he doesn’t want that time with them .
      I’m fighting for no overnights no matter what . I will get as dirty as I have to get . They will not steal my children from me .

  • Motley,

    Your letter transported me back to post d-day, and the pain, anguish and fear that consumes every moment of your day.

    If you read nothing further, please at least read this… insist your lawyer file temporary maintenance and child support orders with your divorce papers! This is a law too few lawyers take advantage of! As someone who is 2.5 years into the divorce process, trust me when I say expect your abusive husband to extend the abuse to the divorce process, by dragging it out; trust me when I say that you do not want to be in a position to have to beg him to provide for your kids!

    If and when he pretends to start playing nice, remember the week of begging, trying to get you to let your guard down. When they start “acting” nice, there’s an hidden agenda!

    To justify their selishness cheaters say some insane things to the children. When my STBX was introducing the kids to smoopsie while he was still living here, he told them “I can’t be a good parent if I’m not happy.” That was basically a passive aggressive way of telling them to stop fighting him on his choices or he wasn’t going to be a good parent.

    Expect him to act like he still has all the rights he did when you you were together, like entering your home any time he wants under the guise of “being able to see the children.” As your lawyer to also file an order of exclusive possession. That means he can’t come and go as he pleases, stealing things when you are not there.

    Know that you are not alone! Every person here is a testament you will get through this! You are mighty and do not forget that!

  • Ps you may want to see about getting a very small dose of an anxiety medications well something to help you to sleep. I went through what you went through, I went three weeks without sleeping my doctor was shocked. Just do what you need to do to help yourself. Only half a dose, just something to help you get some rest

  • It appears that he is trying to stick you with all of his debt. Don’t let him sell the house or anything else. Shut the that shit down right now!! Make sure your lawyer understands that. Don’t worry about his financial situation at all. If he has to work the rest of his life to pay this off, it wouldn’t even close make up for it. File for divorce. Serve him today. What a total douchebag.I am so sorry your life has been turned upside down like this. Read Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life. It helped me a lot. This whole website is full of people whose lives have been rocked to the core. You can do this. You are mighty! Your life will be better. This is the start.

  • We can all relate to a lot of this letter. One thing that always pisses me off is when the cheaters express feeling bad for hurting the OW. I got that too. He said “she cares about me and I hurt her really badly”. WTF!? I said “I care and you hurt me really badly” but he didn’t give two fucks about that. He cared more about hurting a selfish self-centered slut who fucks other people’s husbands while still married herself who he had known less than a year than he did about hurting the woman who had loved and cared for him for 25 years. That is just so messed up! This is one of the biggest hurts of all as it shows how little they care about us and our pain. We are innocent parties in all of this, the OW’s are not. The OW’s lose the right to not get hurt the moment they decide that fucking somebody else’s husband is a good idea. I would say the same about OMs, but I don’t think they get hurt. They just like having sex with slutty women that somebody else is supporting.

    • The fact they care more about the AP should be the electric shock therapy we all need!
      I will never forget being in marriage counseling when STBX said “Tired Chump will be fine – she’s strong. But “AP” NEEDS ME – she has abandonment issues because her father died when she was young.” What? He was saying he cared more about an amoral ho-worker 27 years younger who chose to sleep with her boss and accept jewelry and dinners out – that he had only known for a few years – vs. his wife of 30 years and life partner of 34 years and MOTHER OF HIS THREE CHILDREN.

      ACKKK – I should have run like the house was on fire but I was a committed unicorn hunter.
      I still feel terrible that i didn’t go NC the minute I heard those words….and I can onlhy hope my three adult children will all be able to recover from the shock of their own abandonment from their father – who essentially “died” to our family the day he left us for his whore.

  • Motley Nurse welcome to Chumpnation the place that none of us wanted to be . But a place where people will understand your pain a safe place to rant . Come join us on the forum or just read through the archives. There is always someone who can help. A year out and I can confirm that it gets better . It’s hard but it gets better.

  • Dear MNurse

    He. Is. A. Monster.

    So sorry. The finances get better without him. Life itself gets a whole lot better without his bullshit. My story is similar – I’ll be hoping some horrible accident befalls your monster.

    Takes a while (3.5 yrs out – over 55 and not a man in sight – I AM SO HAPPY). Hang on. Then hang on some more.

    Don’t tell him a thing. He’s biding time. Prepare for another bomb. And get the most rabid attorney you can.

    This makes us all mad. Too bad the Nation cannot go vigilante on his ass.

    The Nation is here for you! Take care of yourself and your kids.
    Hugs to you, and I’ll be praying for you to find peace.

  • Motleynurse,

    Big hugs to you to help you through this. Much good advice above, but one thing I want to help you with. You wrote:

    “I didn’t ever consider I’d be left in my 40s used up and alone.”

    Yes, you were left in your 40’s. That sucks. But the rest needs correction.

    You’re not used up. You feel that way now, but you’re just getting started. Over the next several months, despite the pain and heartache, you will find a stronger, mightier you. You will tap into strengths you didn’t know you had. You will be an awesome mom for your kids, as well as filling in for many of the dad roles. You will eventually get back to work, support yourself, and get financial support from your soon-to-be-ex (STBX). And as you say in your note, “They (your kids) will remember their mother as someone who knew her self worth. Someone who dedicated her life to protecting them and who would love them through the heartache and pain.” You’re on the road to becoming that person.

    You’re not alone. You don’t have a warm bed partner right now. But you have your kids, they are all of your immediate family now, as well as your parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so forth. You have your network of friends (which may grow smaller as you prune off the ones that take his side or stay neutral in your breakup), and you have all of us here at Chump Nation. There are also people that you may be casually acquainted with that step up and help you out when they hear of your situation – those are new friends that can be like angels in this troubled time for you.

    Finally, I have a prediction for you. Years from now, when you look back on this difficult time, you will know, beyond any hint of doubt, that the hard work and the good choices you made now have created the wonderful life you are living, and get to continue to live.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.

  • Motley:

    Whatever you do… NOT fall for any one of his sad lies he is currently telling you!!! He is still lying to you and will continue to do so to PROTECT HIMSELF. You tell you children the truth. They do not need the “adult” details but they certainly should not be lied to by you or by your cheating husband. I tried to keep the truth from my youngest daughter and our bond suffered for almost a year because she did not trust me. That was and will be the very last time I try to protect my asshole ex-husband.

    This is a very stressful time and some days you will feel like you do not know which direction you are going in. Stay strong. Try to eat well to keep up your strength, you will need it. It may take a while but you will survive this and I bet you will THRIVE as well.

    You are mighty and you will be more than okay! Better days are ahead. Hang in there!

  • ((((Motleynurse)))) My heart breaks for you.
    You are in the “burn unit” as I tell my peeps…still in shock, bandages, raw. You are WAY ahead of the learning curve, sister. I had my attorney, therapist & CPA before I told fucktard I was onto him & MOW skank (also a workplace thing).
    Your PoS makes Charles Manson look like a sloppy schoolboy, leaving his targets alive & brutaluzed, including your sweet children.
    Listen to us…
    YOU are your children’s home, safety, example of love, protection. Go completely NC and pull out a legal Uzi on that disordered criminal.
    Grieve. You gotta. I curled up in a fetal ball & wailed primal cries, often in the shower when home alone. I didn’t take time off until 5 months later when I was insomniac for 4 + days and unable to string a coherent sentence together.
    30th year of marriage to my serial cheater. He lulled me into trust with a (seeming?) 23-year gap between known affairs. You know, when my investment was 3 decades deep. But I won’t spend one second auditioning for a part I earned authentically and lived loyally. Mine keeps trying to worm his way back in, too.
    TRUST that he SUCKS.
    Pull up a comfy chair, a cup of your fav warm beverage and sharpen that MIGHTY. You’ve already got it, but the experience, wisdom guidance her are Rich & rewarding. There is NO WHERE ELSE I know of with this level of support. Welcome, dear sister. I work in healthcare, too. O2 mask on you, FIRST.

      • Peacekeeper,
        I always love your posts and kind support. Honored to share a seat next to you in our chamber of mighty healing, friend.

  • I know your overwhelmed. Write out a list of questions for this lawyer. I only met with one lawyer. They will of course control the flow of the meeting. I hate my lawyer. She made things traumatic for me in her own way. I wanted a lady. I thought a woman would be pissed for me and my kids. She really only represents the law, not me. She didn’t understand the pain and trauma. I’m just another talking wallet to her griping about some pathetic sob story. So, choose your lawyer wisely. Interview a few and pick one you feel gets upset for you. If you’re broke like me you won’t be able to retain a new one. I feel stuck with mine now that I paid her retainer.

    Take good care of yourself now. You deserve it more than ever. You’ll get through this. It’s finding a new normal. You’re losing a cheater and gaining a life just like Tracy says.

    • Excellent point. You want a lawyer who is outrage on your behalf. My wonderful lawyer sent a couple of X’s emails to her parters and they were arguing what kind of Cluster B he was. It was very validating to hear that…

    • I would add to that be very careful there are a lot of narcisstic lawyers( I had one,so I was dealing with 2 of them through the divorce). She often worked against me and said things about my behavior that simply were not true. I was walking on eggshells around her for almost 2 years. I felt helpless to do anything about it as I was in pretty deep by the time I figured her out( I was absolutely traumatized) .

    • Getting a good lawyer can’t be understated.
      I was at a severe disadvantage as it was, had no clue what I was dealing with (despite seaking out help and exploiting every available resource pretty comprehensively.)
      I had already been out-maneuvered in terms of preparation. Don’t get me started on divorce faq’s and best practices and every Google search throwing in my face the ‘opportunities’ to ‘prepare’ being lost to me after having my entire life and any and all security is built over a lifetime nuke-bombed. (OK. That ship has sailed. NOW WHAT?)
      I took a referral from my mother. Litany of reasons why it was a good – and at the same time – terrible idea.
      Lawyers have done nothing but hurt my cause/case. I was pro se for a while and am back to another (bad) attorney. It’s necessary for my situation at present. But I did better pro se than with any of my three fucktard attorneys. Is chumps have a special knack for picking winners.
      Due diligence on your lawyer is HUGE! Good luck.

      • Ask the lawyer if s/he has ever been under review with the bar association (I’m assuming you’re in the States). My chump mother’s lawyer back in the eighties didn’t bother to tell her this-oops ! I believe my mother got a fair settlement but it doesn’t hurt to do due diligence with regards to your own lawyer.

  • I’m a bit concerned that he would choose the movie “Coraline” for his analogy. Of all the possible movies to draw a comparison, that one!?! It’s a horror story where “Other Mother” lures children to her alternate, “better” world. But Coraline meets three ghost children, her predecessors who were each lured away, but killed when “Other Mother” got bored with them.

    Seriously? Please show your stbx’s letter to your lawyer, amd the wikipedia movie summary (Plot), and get a court ordered no-contact order to ban this woman from contact with your kids.

    • It’s worrisome that she’s scheming to take your kids: more written proof to show your lawyer!
      Also, using this movie as an analogy makes me wonder whether your stbx doesn’t, at least subconsciously, see something troubling about her. I’d take that as a warning, and make sure the lawyer sees what they’ve written.

  • Motley Nurse:

    I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, but you have come to the right place! Rest assured, you are in good company in this loving and supportive community. We all have our versions of your story, and it never gets easier, especially when children *of any age* are involved.

    As someone who was the victim of emotional and financial abuse for 40 years, I will throw in my two cents and advise you to go straight for a divorce with financial support stipulations, and forget playing nice with a separation agreement. During our 3-year separation, my XH was simply afforded additional time and opportunity to lie, betray, hide, disguise and withhold information and assets. If I had to do it all over again, I would immediately file for divorce (get that discovery process started today!) and and forget all the possible steps in between.

    Chump Lady mentioned your first attorney appointment is today. But you will have other meetings with him/her and you want to be extremely well prepared for those subsequent meetings with as much information as you can muster.

    Prepare with the same diligence, care and precision you would use with an extremely sick patient who is suffering from a laundry list of cascading medical symptoms/ailments… turn over every stone! Check their past medical history, read every label on their Rx bottles, call in a specialist to consult, and take hourly BP, pulse and respiratory readings. Dig deep!

    Here’s what I did to prep for my attorney meetings; maybe this list will help you, too.

    (1) A detailed list/timeline of every fact you are aware of (you’re already off to a good start judging from the information provided here).

    (2) All the written proof of betrayal (texts, emails), plus your notes from verbal conversations.

    (3) Complete copies of every scrap of financial data you can get your hands on, including:

    > 3 years of tax returns/W-2s/1099s.

    > All bank statements (highlight any unfamiliar withdrawals).

    > All credit card statements (highlight any expenditures that did not not directly benefit your family).

    > Call each credit card company and ask them who the primary owner of the account is, as well as name of all authorized user(