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Dear Chump Lady, Why can’t I pull the trigger on the divorce?

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Dear Chump Lady,

Please get my head out of the sand.

The love of my life (met at 25, married at 30, about to be divorced at 36) started straying when I was 6 months pregnant with our baby daughter (now almost 2-year-old toddler).

Dday #1 was at 3 months post-labor, and Dday #2 was almost 6 months ago. I kicked him out on Dday #2, but made no real progress on reconcilation. Finally, right before X-mas, I wrote him a loving letter hoping he’d see what we had and not throw it all away for some ho-worker. (Yay, embarassing pick me dance…) He wrote back saying he couldn’t recommit to the marriage and that he was sorry for hurting me (“it was never his intention”).

The pain is so raw, but I still haven’t been able to file for divorce.

I was strong enough to go no contact cold turkey since his response to my email. Refused to see him again (my mom handles the co-parenting swap), and only text once a week about problems with shared business/divorce/baby.

Just when I was almost ready emotionally for divorce, he contacts me about his second car accident (in last 3 months) and sent photos of the wreckage.

I’m not trying to be mean, but I don’t know what to say except, “Glad you’re okay for daughter’s sake.”

How should I respond? I want to be nice but I just can’t. I wish I could say something nice and caring such as “Oh no that looks horrible. What a crazy driver, such bad luck. So glad you’re okay. Do you need anything?”…but…

I’m vengeful and jaded. I’m thinking “Tell your schmoopie to care, why bother me?” Or “Karma’s not done yet.”

I don’t wish him any ill will, but I am worried about my own rabbit hole.

Why does he still have me caring about him being hurt? I’m the one that’s abandoned. And even with child support, I’d dare say he abandoned his child and deprived her of a beautiful childhood and failed to teach her about true loving relationships.

Why can’t I pick myself up off the floor of depression and run my life with vigor like some of the strong women I know? Why can’t I just stop being bitter and get over it?

Please beam me to the State of Meh!

Sincerely,

Cloud Castle

Dear Cloud Castle,

Strong women don’t always feel strong. You can ACT strong and feel utterly depressed and bitter. It’s not like you get a volt of superhero strength to do the things that are necessary. Strength comes from doing the hard things ANYWAY. It’s the act of DOING that makes you strong. The more you act in your own self-interest and keep un-chumping, the stronger you get.

You’ve kicked him out, gone no contact, and have your mom supporting you with the drop-offs. That’s MIGHTY. Now just push yourself over the line here and get a lawyer. (Like yesterday.) CN and I can help you with the chumpy stuff, but only a lawyer can get you the real protections you need NOW. It’s essential you get professional legal help. A lawyer can get you temporary support orders, advise you on how to protect yourself financially (shared business? SEE A LAWYER!), and what you can expect in terms of custody. A lawyer is your firewall. Idiot bends himself around a guard rail? Send those pictures to the lawyer. I’m sure a judge will find your ex’s penchant for traffic accidents very interesting when determining Best Interests of the Children.

Just when I was almost ready emotionally for divorce, he contacts me about his second car accident (in last 3 months) and sent photos of the wreckage.

Uh huh. Ain’t no kibbles like sad sausage kibbles. He checked out on his marriage and daughter, but he’d like a life-time supply of your sympathy. Fuck. That. Noise. He fired you from the job of caring about him. You graciously, and at great personal cost, offered him reconciliation and he shat on it. He’s not entitled to circle back to see If You Still Care.

The answer to his car wreck blues is… silence. Was he with your child? (Thank God NO) — then it doesn’t concern you. What he does on his time is his business. That includes getting t-boned in intersections. Now, if getting t-boned in intersections effects his custodial time and child support? He can inform your lawyer. (The lawyer that you are HIRING TODAY after reading this letter, RIGHT?)

This is what DIVORCE looks like. It’s the END of emotional investment. It’s the end of ALL investment in the other person. In their finances, in their future, in being a family. It’s two people going their SEPARATE ways.

Oh, but we have a child!

Your daughter gets to navigate her relationship with Speed Racer without you. Your job is to abide by court orders (see LAWYER, above). Share custodial time, communicate by scheduling software, and respect financial obligations. That’s it. Being “nice and caring” about his car wrecks is neither required nor recommended. That does not make you “vengeful” or “jaded.” It makes him a person you used to know.

Life does not shut down when a Bad Thing happens to Someone You Used to Know. You might feel sad, or tut-tut, or you might flip the channel on Netflix. Heck, if you want to roll around on the floor with seizures of schadenfreude, feel free. But Bad Things do not require contact, or participation. They belong to HIM.

He’s trying to get you to break no contact. Why? Because consequences. Limbo works for him. Cake is delicious. (And child support is expensive.)

Limbo is exquisitely painful for you. Him, not so much.

Why does he still have me caring about him being hurt? I’m the one that’s abandoned.

Because you’re still of use. Raising his child, contributing to the business, not imposing legal or financial consequences on his abandonment.

I suggest you end this stalemate today. Hire a lawyer and file. It feels good to sit in the driver’s seat. And when it comes to your ex? You can drive the car, Cloud, or you can be part of the wreckage.

Drive the car.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • It’s hard. We all know it’s hard. We’ve been there.
    And if you want to move on and make a better life (trust me on this, it’s such a better life) you have to completely sever ties.
    I’m delighted to see you have embraced No Contact, the path to the truth and the light. You are saner for it. Now it’s time to embrace the legal side of this problem and free yourself. That’s what it truly is, freeing yourself from someone who fired you, shat on your offer of an olive branch and is still using you. If you want to feel better, get that person out of your life. You’ve done so much and been so brave, keep moving forward towards peace and joy.

    Life is better on the other side.
    Come to the other side.

    • Hi if for no other reason at this time then protecting you and your daughters future Go Lawyer Up. Eventually these accidents and whatever other nonesense he is involved in can come back to bite you if your not legally protected!
      You are Mighty! You can do it!

      • Cloud Castle, hmmm….TWO car accidents in 3 months. This is interesting and I would suggest that YOU or your lawyer look into this a little more. Who was at fault in these accidents? Was HE drinking or under the influence? Was the OW in the car with him? (Uh…maybe she was blowing him while he is behind the wheel? ) Maybe the OW was actually driving the car and he is just boo-hooing because now his insurance rates will get jacked up and he is all about painting the picture of poor unfortunate him. If you have a divorce attorney and file for divorce your attorney will get copies of the police reports in the incident for discovery purposes. So, if he is drinking or drugging this is materially relevant to custody issues and whether you want him to driving around with your young child. Are their independent witnesses to the accident? The fact that he is boo- hooing about being in these accidents and reaching out to you about it tells me he is USING the accident in some respect to manipulate you in some fashion. The traffic light here is YELLOW. Caution! Caution!

        • CN, you are awesome.

          Love really is blind. I was worried for him and assumed it was never his fault, when in fact it could have been & that I completely didn’t ask any of those questions . Thank you for letting me see the light!

          • Is your name on the car title(s)? Are you on the insurance policy covering those cars? If yes, you can be sued for the damage he caused. That’s because it was YOUR car, YOUR insurance and technically you gave him permission to use it as he pleased.

            And that’s before we start talking about the money YOU may owe the finance company if the loan is also in your name and the car was totaled.

            If this is the case, DEFINITELY give this information to your lawyer. Your lawyer will get a police report of the accident and follow up for you.

            • You can get the police report yourself just by asking and paying a couple bucks if they want for the copying. It’s public record. No lawyer needed.

              • @ Lemonbirch: I’ve been there and disagree with “no lawyer needed.” The police report is just the starting point. It won’t protect you from being found liable for the STBX’s auto accident while driving a car that has your name on the title.

              • Most likely, if the car had liability insurance for more than the minimum (my state the limits are 25K/50K. No where nearly enough. I’m insured for 100K/300K) then insurance is most likely going to be enough to cover.

                I used to work for an ambulance chaser attorney, so I know a few things.

                It’s definitley something to talk to your attorney about and make him/ her aware if you have any ownership of that car. It can also affect joint assets if the liability is more than the insurance covers.

                And yeah, you can get the report w/o an attorney if you have any ownership of the car, that’s no big whoop.

    • “He fired you from the job of caring for you.” This line brings back a doozy of a memory. Right after d-day, I desperately wanted to reconcile. We were out for a hike and he was telling me all about his “unmet needs” and I was promising up and down to do better. Then he said, “It’s my experience, that when an employee knows he or she is about to get fired, they pull out all the stops to improve their performance, but it never lasts long.” That’s right, my xhole (former) CEO compared his wife of 15 years and mother of his two boys to one of his underperforming employees.

      • Hi @chumpintraining

        I have never posted on this forum before. I’m currently in the process of lapping up all the wisdom and experience here since whatever has happened is still fresh. However, something about that comment made my blood boil. It’s condescending, rude and cruel. The entitlement in the comment makes me want to puke.

        How did you react when you heard that?

        • Welcome, TabulaRasa,
          Nice to meet you. I felt the same way when I read chumpintraining’s post. The unmitigated gall to diminish her like that….a perfect narc-xample of devaluing & treating someone who is supposedly beloved into a thing. Ugh! They suck!
          ((((((Chumpintraining))))))) hope you performed a scathing divorce on his ass!
          ((((((TabulaRasa)))))) welcome to a club not a one of us ever wanted to join, but we make mighty out of pain here. Let us help you through these raw early days. This site was and IS a cold drink of water in the desert of desertion that is chumpdom. Tracy and CN are the support network (+ my therapist, attorney & 12-Step support family) that have kept my feet on sane terra firma when my head wanted to go loopy (& frequently did!😉).

        • Tabularasa – welcome! There is so much wisdom and support here. I’m glad you found it in the early days. It took me about a year to find CN – I spent too much time (and money!) on RIC sites and programs. The money I spent on Tracy’s book was the best I’ve ever spent.
          As for my reaction – at the time I was so discombobulated and out of sorts (not to mention absolutely desperate to keep my marriage together) – I didn’t even know what to say. I think I did point out that a wife is very different from an employee… it was only months later, remembering that comment, where I was like, “what a fucking dick thing to say.” but in retrospect, totally in keeping with his personality and the way he devalued/discarded me. Easy for him to compartmentalize and justify his behavior if he could just think of me as an under-performing employee. I’m mostly at meh now but remembering that comment still makes my blood boil.
          Cloud – sorry we married the same asshole! I’m glad you’re in a better place. As for my exhole – Thank God he’s howorker’s problem now!

          • uggh. This is so familiar. But it was my sexual performance that was being judged. He said that his affair had allowed him to have sex whenever he felt like it, and he had never been happier. So if I wanted him to stay in our monogamous marriage, he would need us to have sex 4 or 5 times a week, 3-4 hours at a time. But he doubted I could keep that up for longer than six months, so he said he would re-evaluate then. I was a mother of 2 young children and the primary breadwinner at a high pressure job, but to save my marriage I was determined to do whatever I had to so he would pick me. I even had a marriage counselor and a therapist who helped me through it. I would dump all my pain, anger, and grief in their rooms at $140 a session, then sell my soul to the devil in our bedroom. And it worked. I won! We were better and sparklier than ever. I thought reconciliation was a real thing, where people make mistakes and then they learn from them. But no, I was wrong. The MC and therapist were both surprised when I arrived back in their offices 3 years later. He had raised the bar and was now demanding an open marriage with S&M. Ughh. I kicked him out this time, and found chumplady. Luckily, I had insisted on a post-nup after the first affair, so I was sitting pretty this time. Divorced now, got the house and got to keep my big fat 401(k). Trust that they suck. And never pay someone to listen to you participate in your own humiliation

            • I got the demand for sex 4-5 times a week too. But there was no way he could go 3-4 hours. More like 5 minutes. Just needed an orgasm so he could fall asleep. No worries about any one else’s pleasure, ugh.

              • Hey Sausalito, are you Cheater #2’s first wife? Or is this just another chapter of the cheater handbook: Please thyself, forsake all others.

          • Hi chumpintraining,

            I found CL the day after going No Contact – which was a day after I learned of his complete and utter betrayal. This was 2 months ago. 5 years gone in the blink of an eye. This site has helped me a lot in sticking to NC and I am mostly well these days. See, the betrayal was so utter and complete in my case that it didn’t even feel like there was anything to talk or fight about. It felt humiliating to even pick up the phone and contemplate contacting him. I felt like I had been used and thrown away like trash when the next woman walked in. That complete destruction of my faith in him and the complete disregard for me as a human being is what got me to a really good place now. And this website.

            Thank you for sharing your experience and for your support. I am horrified on your behalf at what your husband did/said.

        • TabulaRasa – another Bjork fan, yaas! My DDay happened just before she released Vulnicura – an album of the shock, trauma and pain of betrayal, then moving toward healing. Black Lake was my anthem for a a while. But now, Tabula Rasa is right up there with Unravel. Over 28 years I’ve collected 70+ albums of rare cuts, b-sides, bootlegs and more. Yes. Obsessed.

          For those who don’t know, Icelandic singer/artist Bjork was chumped not too long ago by a douchebag, who then left her and their young daughter. She created art out of her pain and healing. This one is too beautiful not to share.

          Tabula Rasa (Means “scraped tablet” [clean slate] in Latin)
          We are all swollen
          From hiding his affairs
          Let’s put it all on the table
          Let it all out
          It is time
          He mustn’t steal our light

          Clean plate:
          Tabula Rasa for my children
          Clean plate:
          Not repeating the fuckups of the fathers

          My deepest wish
          Is that you’re immersed in grace and dignity
          But you will have to deal with shit soon enough
          I hoped to give you the least amount of luggage
          You got the right to make your own fresh mistakes
          And not repeat other’s failures

          Clean plate:
          Tabula Rasa for my children
          Let’s clean up:
          Break the chain of the fuckups of the fathers
          It is time:
          For us women to rise and not just take it lying down
          It is time:
          The world is listening

          Oh how I loved you
          Embarrassed to pass this mess over to you
          But he led two lives
          Thought ours was the only one

          You are strong
          You are strong
          You are strong
          You so strong

          • Hi @KibbleFree_MightyMe,

            I hope you’re well.

            I chose this nickname because of an episode from Lost. I hadn’t heard of the term back then so I looked for it’s meaning and it stuck with me through difficult period of my life ever since. I didn’t even realize it was a song with a theme that is so central to my life right now! Thank you for enlightening me. I definitely need to listen to this song now.

      • Oh my, Chumpintraining…we married the same arrogant bastards. My husband was a CEO in training (because I poised for him to take over my family corporation) and he didn’t dare talk to me as an employee, but he did once said (right after Dday#1 when I was pick-me dancing) that I was “starting to be like when we first met, but how long would that last?” Obviously, I felt insulted like I wasn’t good enough anymore…but now I understood his arrested development because I’m more awesome now than when we first met! #incrediblechump

    • This also made a huge impression on me when I found Chump Lady. Two days after D-Day, Cold Slab O’Meat came to me terrified that now his workplace affair and intent to break up a blended family was known, his daughter’s BioMom was livid and threatening to seek full custody. He also abruptly sent my stepdaughter (whom I’d cared for day and night for three years) to live with her mom to control the narrative. And was secretly trying to force his daughter to secretly meet the Sluterus. TWO DAYS AFTER D-DAY.

      It all backfired. He came to me looking terrified and wanted advice how to allow his ex to change school custody to her without paying support or giving up 50/50 custody, because he knew on his salary he couldn’t afford the same school district. I had just devoured the archives of CL on my tablet on the back porch avoiding his drama, heartbroken.

      Somehow, I found the voice to tell him I had resigned from my Flying Monkey Position and to ask his Schmoopie how to fix the mess they created, and that I would no longer be shielding him from any consequences to dumb decisions. “I’m nobody to you now. Just pack your shit and get out. You fired me as a wife and are no friend.”

      He lost residential custody of his daughter and she lives FT with her mom now. I don’t know where he lives and with whom, and that’s fine with me. My severance package was my own sanity. And finding CL!

      • That’s just awesome Luziana. I am so glad you wasted no time on him. I wish I could have seen his face when you said that!

        • I wavered, I said Chumpy things too. I begged him to to MC and wrote him letters trying to do the grinder monkey dance. But in that moment? For him to ask me to scheme against the mother of the child he’d yanked away from me? To make her life more unstable and help The Sluterus be normalized?

          It’s like they really do think all the prospective Schmoopies in the world, past present and future are a giant Cake Buffet that they can nibble at every waking hour like a 3rd rate cruise ship. A little wisdom here, loyalty there, willingness to fuck in a bank parking lot way over there…

          That incensed me. He moved out 17 days exactly after D-Day. he also asked if I would fax him an apartment application he needed, and if Schmoopie could help him move as everyone else refused to. “Oh sure. If she sets foot on my property she will leave with a handy new screwdriver in her eyesocket. It’s the least I can do for screwing my husband and my family.” Dead stare.

          There was no real drama. Just pain. I should have let my MMA trained nephews throw him out as soon as he sent SD away. But the idea that he still thought himself entitled to my help and advice to fuck me and the children over is shocking to me. Even 3 1/2 years on.

          • “Oh sure. If she sets foot on my property she will leave with a handy new screwdriver in her eyesocket. It’s the least I can do for screwing my husband and my family.” Dead stare.
            You’re even more awesome now, Luziana!

          • Love you, Luzianna!!!
            You reminded me of some things The Evil One did the day he moved out to his slut-shack about a month after D-Day–

            Keep in mind I was just two weeks post-total-abdominal-hysterectomy and hernia repair, but did that matter? Why hell naw!
            The bastard had the NERVE to expect me to help load his Shit-erado as he packed up his shit. I looked at him with such a cold stare when he demanded, “Oh I guess you’re in bitch mode now, huh?”
            It was pleasing to see his fat dumpy, Mr. Potato Head looking ass loading his shit all on his own.
            In the back of my mind, I thought maybe his friends or OWhore were meeting him at the slut-shack to help him unload, but didn’t ask.
            Almost three years out and thinking back on that day gives me a smile now thinking of him having to load up all his shit. I cried for hours after he left, more about rage that he left so much shit behind that I ended up having to clean.
            Happy, laughing tears now.

            • YES TO YOU, MOLLY!

              My then 20 year old son was in town on GTFO day. Cold Slab’s one and only work friend had to stay with his wife after chemo.

              He was struggling to load a queen size Mattress, his big ass TVs and a couch I BOUGHT with MY BONUS money. My son and I were choosing a paint color for a room he’d emptied and were taping it off. He begged my son to help him because his friend couldn’t make it. My son said ‘Oh, your friend ‘Troy’, the one who’s actually with his wife where he belongs? Yeah. Not helping you hurt my mom. ‘

              We left to go get the paint. He was on the front sidewalk panicking on the phone to Schmoopie. I walked past him to the car and sang, ‘Remember, Screeeeeewwwwwdriiiiiver…’

              I also told him not to bring Schmoops to any of our Dissolution hearings and he would pay all the court costs. Or I would not sign a thing and he could bring her to a divorce hearing nine months later. I didn’t know but she would have been three months postpartum then and in a custody and child support conflict of her own, with various additional Middle Aged Bed Carousel Actors mixed in. UGH. Not a good look. So he paid, kept her under wraps and went on his Manwhore way! Toodles!

              I only spoke on the phone once to him after that. He really thought he’d be able to continue to drop in and out to get things as long as he liked. No Bitch. You can get things from the shed. Anything he didn’t get or ask for by the time of filing went in the trash or Goodwill. I told him we would no longer be friends and had no reason to hear his voice.

              And you all know the story of his angry email accusing me of stealing his shitty Christmas things he willfully left behind, which were already stacked in the shed in sorted boxes. Which sat there for FIVE MONTHS.

              He never set foot in my house again. He packed that entire UHaul alone and had to tell nosy neighbors his lame ‘mutual breakup’ story. It was pretty mighty, even if it felt like he’ll.

              • LOL, yep, he asked for some cheap ass purple and gold ornaments he had left behind. Im an Alabama fan, so the idea of getting rid of LSU colors was fine by me.
                The rest of the ornaments he left behind from his parents? Burned them all up.

                Oh yeah, watching him load up his recliner and such by himself was enjoyable.

    • My ex actually told me something similar. One night soon after we separated ( but doing the in house hell) and he didn’t come home and i was concerned he was in a ditch somewhere. When i finally got in touch with him he said “it isn’t your business anymore if i am in a ditch”. He then went on to say he was with guy friends – nope, lie. He was with the OW. (although i suspect she was one of many)

      • My x was supposed to spend the night before mother’s day at his moms. We were doing the in house separation. He instead went out partying all night. Most likely with his AP. The next day, Mother’s Day, he went to pick his mom up for lunch and she had suffered a massive stroke. While she was in the hospital for a month, he took two vacations and one business trip. No joke. So glad he won’t be caring for me in my old age.

  • “Strength comes from doing the hard things ANYWAY. It’s the act of DOING that makes you strong.”

    This, times infinity

    Our inner emotions and reactions should never be acted upon in haste, especially when it comes to dealing with toxic and disordered people. They can be useful indicators of our inner selves, but can get us into trouble if we use them as the basis for our actions.

    Our cheaters are unworthy of us because they are weak in this regard — they do what’s easy, what feels good, what avoids personal responsibility or consequence, what doesn’t require tough choices or risk hurt feelings.

    • “Our inner emotions and reactions should never be acted upon in haste, especially when it comes to dealing with toxic and disordered people. They can be useful indicators of our inner selves, but can get us into trouble if we use them as the basis for our actions.”

      I’m going to print this out and put it on the refrigerator. I am often at battle of how to act to situations with the STBX because of my inner emotions and reactions. They currently tell me that I am still in pain and not over all of the trauma, probably because he has been slowly rolling out the trauma–I just found out over the weekend that the OW is 6 months pregnant. He has been hiding it from everyone, including his family. I’m currently trying to sort through my inner emotions to figure how to deal with this new situation–I have a little girl who needs to know she will have a sister born on or near her birthday. True to cheater nature, her father is too weak to tell her. He would like to avoid that conversation as long as possible.

      • Hugs to you, Cancer Chump. Give yourself time to grieve and process this news, which is so, so painful. Journaling and counseling got me through the hardest days when all the emotions and reactions felt too big to even know where to start.

        I can relate to your story since it is very similar to what I went through nearly 3 years ago. Long story short – in January 2015, XH didn’t come home from work one night since he decided to move in with OW (co worker) that night and in October 2015 my 3 year old informed me OW had a “baby in her belly” that was due the next month. Her brother’s birthday is exactly one week after hers. The cherry on top was that they named their kid the same name XH and I had picked out for a baby I miscarried 3 months before he left.

        Just when I thought I had a handle on the trauma of his abandonment and discard, the news of the baby knocked me way back on my recovery journey. Depending on how old your daughter is, she will soon figure out a baby is on its way. I would imagine it’s hard to figure out how to deliver this news since on one hand you probably want your STBX to own up to his choices and tell your daughter about the baby, while at the same time as the sane parent you know she has a right to know she will soon be getting a half sibling and you are better equipped to tell her in an appropriate way & talk to her about any questions & emotions. Let yourself process through your emotions first and how you move forward with this news will come to you. You are strong, Cancer Chump.

        • I also had my ex husband take our miscarried baby’s name and use it on new baby with new wife.

          He never cheated but changed his mind after we were married, about having kids. He strung me along during courtship and early marriage with the promise that when he turned 30 we could have a baby. I get pregnant = he doesn’t care, won’t believe till the doctor confirms and didn’t want to tell anyone until 3 months. At the 3 month mark he could have cared less that I was having a miscarriage and I drove myself to the hospital because he didn’t want to use up his precious vacation time. I was pretty devasted but then also manic after it was all over. Couldn’t look at other babies for a long time.

          Then about 3 months after the mc, I ask him if he still wants kids. His response: well, if he made the mistake of getting me pregnant he guessed he would love it, but if it was up to him, no.

          We separated shortly thereafter, we worked for the same company and each started dating other people within the company.

          A few months later he approaches me to say he will pay for the final divorce because he wants to marry his gf (who was a lovely lady). I agree and it’s all taken care of amicably until it’s announced at work that: SHE’S PREGNANT, YAH.

          I promptly enter therapy crying that I have this horrible feeling they are going to name the baby our dead baby’s name, my therapist said that was ridiculous, you all work together, how could he do that and be confident you wouldnt tell new wife….

          Well, posting announcement goes up at work. Yup. Our dead baby’s name. But it’s a girl and I was convinced we were having a boy. So he added an “e” on the end of the name (Roan).

          Years later when I was leaving the company, I approached him and asked him if it was just me he didn’t want to have kids with? His response: I’m really sorry I ripped you off from having kids. I was an idiot and had no idea and I’m sad that now I have one and you don’t.

          Asshole.

          Heard he’s a shit father and am glad I don’t have kids with him. But it still burns me up. (I now have two kids, and they are awesome…)

          • I am so sorry this happened to you.
            My first husband ( unfortunately I had a bad picker and was clumped in both marriages) told me he never wanted children. He has 2 with OWife.
            I have stepchildren and grandchildren from second marriage who I love dearly, but sometimes I feel like he robbed me of my youth and the opportunity to have children of my own.

          • Despite what happened to me in the very recent past, I am still astounded by the cruelty exhibited by people. Especially when they do it to their loved ones. It’s enough to make you question your choice in people.

          • What a sorry excuse for a human. Im glad that you have awesome kids now.

            My brother promised his wife they would have a child someday and then acted as difficult as possible about it. He is quite shallow…he once told me literally “If I ever came home at the end of a day and I had a fat wife and a screaming kid, I would turn around and never return”. Right about the time that her biological clock alarmed “game over”, he had an affair. They are still together but he stole something precious from her and I feel bad for her. My cheater was a huge asshole but I have my kids.

        • I do not know what they are planning on naming the baby, but it is a concern of mine that they would name her a name my STBX and I had previously picked out. I feel this is something he would do and have been preparing myself for it. As it is, this baby already has the same exact due date I had with my child and it really stings that I can no longer have children because of my cancer treatment.

          Other than that, I find it hilarious that a man who left because he needed to be more social and wanted to be happy (he clearly was not happy with the responsibilities of being a father), ended up getting a woman pregnant 5 months after leaving me.

          • Gosh, these cheaters have no originality…can’t think of new & cool names?

            I, too, have these crazy thoughts. What if he ends up with her and have a baby and they name her Heidi or Logan (names we had chosen for our 2nd child)?

          • ((((((CancerChump))))))
            You are a very strong person, all you have been through and you so lovingly advise and support other Chumps!
            YOU are Mighty!

        • My Exhole and I were trying when Dday 1 hit. I had never been pregnant, but we had discussed baby names and picked them out.

          Several years later, when exhole and OWife’s marriage ended (because he was cheating, surprise), she miscarried their 2nd kid. The name on the grave is the name we had picked out for ours if it ever happened. Thanks to my ex sister in law for this unwanted info.

        • (((Still Standing))) and (((ChumpedinCanada)))
          I am so sorry. These cheaters are just perverts who treat all other humans as interchangeable objects, including their own children and miscarried children.
          Every day on CN I read another example proving that cheaters really are psychopaths.

          • Here is my Adultery Baby Story. Because I went full no contact with Cold Slab O’Meat the moment he moved out, blocked his number, redirected his attempts to contact me at work to a personal email, and refused to discuss anything not related to the quickie dissolution, I was unaware that a child had been conceived under my nose during my marriage until the baby was almost a year old. I found out when my stepdaughter’s mother contacted me to complain that Cold Slab had essentially decreased his parenting time and support to near zero due to being embroiled with The Sluterus AND the New Chick.

            Here’s a slappy for you. Cold Slab and the Sluterus told New Chick that Sluterus was now strictly dating ladies. They would leave the baby with New Chick to BABYSIT, tell her and the THIRD LADY in the Free Love Bonobo Monkey Circus they were going to custody hearings and shopping for Baby. Then come home, tell the other two partners the bags were in each other’s trunk, and try to wash the Cheater Stink off their bits and maws I guess?

            Gross. I realized after months of doing our damnedest to maintain a healthy relationship with SD, it was my daughter making all the effort. All we got in return was sordid gossip we didn’t care about and what were we supposed to do about it? I didn’t monkey dance for my ex, I wasn’t going to for a stepdaughter either. He made his own daughter keep her sister a secret for almost two years so that he could pretend the timing of her birth “added up” and we divorced quickly because it was “mutual” and the baby was born early. Bullshit. Baby was born eight months and one day months after D-Day. They happily tell the world it was after we separated. I never look at their social media, but once in 2 years I mentioned the dumb name they gave the baby, and whoo. Someone is obviously still stalking mine.
            French cheese or tar pits? I’m lucky. It’s a ridiculous name a pilled out actress would make up. And the innocent baby? she didn’t pick her dumb name or her disgusting parents.

            I am so sorry for those of you who wet through this. I’m glad I didn’t know at the time. I needed the energy I would have spent on heartbreak for my own daughter and adult son.

  • Hi Cloud,

    I had been withmy STBXW for almost thirty years, married for more than twenty. We grew up together and have three wonderful children together. I was discarded after all this time with the ILYBINILWY line. I wasn’t good enough for her, and I just didn’t appreciate how wonderful she is. I did find out she had been in an affair for about 1 year by that time.

    I desperately wanted to reconcile, but she did not. I can see that now that it is probably for the best, there is no way you can repair the kind of damage that was caused by the affair, and the broken trust. While I was devastated by the path we were going I made sure I had a lawyer to guide me through the separation. My lawyer helped to sort through all the details, and made sure that my needs were being considered, even when I wasn’t so good at looking out for myself. We are in the separation period now. After one year of separation the final divorce papers can be processed. This will happen fairly soon. I know it will hurt to do this. I mourn the loss of my family life, the safe place for my kids, and my wife and best friend. I will do it because it needs to be done. Iknow that my STBXW has great power over me, she always did, but I need to take control of this.

    My point, I guess, is to ask why you would hesitate? Do you want to be back with him? I hope not, because you don’t deserve that, and neither does your daughter. Is it hope in you that prevents you from closing the door? It’s easy for me to write this, but harder for me to do, but it is the conversation I’ve been having with myself for a while now.

    One thing is for sure, you came to the right place for advice. CL and CN will have caring, loving, straight-talk to help you out.

    Stay strong!

    • Dear Cloud,
      It is hard to pull the trigger because it means giving up the life/future you expected!
      I was in your situation 25 years ago, and just moved on – too mortified at idea of fatherless child/being divorced/ supporting myself/ net, FAILING!
      Relatively happy years followed, along with 2 more kids,and no cheating, but in hindsight – I definitely pulled him along. He was a good provider and father – but not the kind of dad who is really engaged with kids/ coach/ school volunteer etc. He mainly focused on work. He loved the family, but we weren’t a priority. His own family had been horribly dysfunctional/unhappy.
      Fast forward to today, and after 35 years together, 32 married we will be divorced soon.
      Because when we got to another period of major life changes “kids grown, stressful jobs, midlife ennui” he again chose to “escape” versus face our issues….and he had a long term affair with his assistant 26-years younger, Getting divorced would have been bad enough, but the insanity of being duped by his double life – and his disinterest in reconciling – total rejection of me –has taken me a long time to get over.
      Your child’s birth and toddler-hood should bring joy to your husband – not a desire to flee.
      Run now – he is only reaching out to you to garner sympathy – to maintain a facade of “we’re friends” – and alleviate his own guilt.
      From this mid-50s chump – 36 seems so, so young……you can have the life and love you want….
      Believe in yourself – believe you deserve better.

      • Tired Chump, our stories are almost identical. Except doughboy didn’t focus on work he focused on himself, all his various hobbies, and his constant search for the perfect fantasy. My advice to anyone whose partner cheats, get out immediately after the first DDay. They don’t change once a cheater always a cheater. I spent the last 20 years of 39 married years, catering to an aging adolescent, running interference for him in family matters, making excuses, putting his needs before my own and my reward was to be dumped in my senior years. So Cloud and anyone else sitting on the fence jump off and save yourself. We only get one chance at this life, don’t waste it on a cheater!

        • lyndaloo, indeed you are so right on , they never stop cheating ! they only learn to sneak and lie ,better and better ,but the cognitive dissonance continues , causing all sorts of incongruent stress and illness . in hind sight the worse pain for me is that he CHOSE to hurt ,harm and violate me and our marriage with malice and fore thought ,he had to make a “plan” to hide his filthy sex antics ,which he carried out with great skill , i never suspected , how ever being an empath i knew something was “horrible ” wrong . at that time my 19 year old grandson had suffered a horrible accident , and was crushed by a tree and paralized from the waist down , and was hopitalized for over a year , so the pain and choas in the family was brutal (my son’s oldest child) and cheater turd was having an affair with the neighbor skank , and sneaking out at 5am amd getting back home before i got up , so i had no clue he was sneaking over across the street every fucking day . but i could smell “IT” on his person “dusgusting” and i mentioned it ,saying “you smell like you have been rolling around someone’s asshole ” (i knew for sure then) there is only one way to smell like that, and in a perfect NARC response he said “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE , I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT” THESE VILE DISORDERED idiots have no stops , no control , and no insight about the violence that are committing towards their loved ones . i can’t even finish this i am so disgusted and anguished . my grandson died 4 years later of a heart attack ,he had a “port” in his heart for meds ,that had become infected . i could not attend his burial i was so “sick” and broken , all the while fuckwit is fucking the neighbor skank , and doing nothing but keeping his plans to get to fuck buddies house in the AM and back home before “wifey” wakes up . what
          vile useless bag of skin .

          • You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear grandson, how heartbreaking to lose him. Life is so hard. (hugs)

          • repulsedandbreathless,
            Your post is heartbreaking.
            I am so sorry for your pain and suffering and for the loss of your precious Grandson.

            • I agree, peacekeeper – this post is horrible just as this entire thread has brought out the horrors of the depravity of their experiences with cheating spouses.

              Quoting Repulsedand Breathless.. ‘“you smell like you have been rolling around someone’s asshole ”.

              I must admit I had a a bit of a very vivid memory – smell memory, which we discussed earlier at C/N. Almost every one of us Chumps remember our spouse’s smell changing to something like a dead body….or, even more descriptive….more like an asshole smell. (gave me a little laugh tonight, altho not funny)

      • Tired Chump,
        Our stories are so similar! My cheater cheated while we dated/lived together & during our early martied years. I wreckonciled w the unicorn and THOUGHT we had pulled it off. Until last summer when I stumbled on evidence of his 3 year “EA” w 20-yrs younger MOW Howorker/subcontractor (house painter, he’s a contractor). I’m out. No pick-me dance, no RIC. No 4th chance. I’m 55. Mighty and pointed toward my own Meh-ca Tuesday. I care less about him every day that goes by. The pain is dimishing.

        Cloud Castle, the rawness of the pain DOES start to fade away…WITH ACTION! When you call the attorney your Mighty Meter rating goes up. Every sad sausage invitation ignored: more MIGHTY points in your column. FILING: Super Mighty! It’s the beginning of your personal declaration of INDEPENDENCE. Not the future we were shooting for at whatever altar we stood before, but making a difference with the lemons the fuckwits turned out to be is Mighty.

        There was a period of (legal) inactivity as I sorted through things in my head, but I’m so empowered having filed and stood up for myself (and my own DD, who is 16 and watches my every move) . We are still teaching them about loving relationships by calling out UNLOVING relationships and walking away from that wreckage, CC. Knowing what to do when someone reveals themselves to be unloving is a very important lesson. And kicking them out – physically, legally, and (in time) emotionally – is the lesson these children (daughters, especially, but BOTH!) NEED. When truly HONEST loving people come along, we can show them what that looks like. That fuckwit sperm donor, Cloud Castle, can NEVER show your child a trie loving relationship because he is incapable of it. Move along. Nothing to work with here. Trust that he sucks. Go find the best damned lawyer you can afford. Meh is on the other side of your actions. If we could be beamed there, sweetie, we’d never appreciate EARNING our way there. The chump hero’s journey has to be lived to write tbat new, empowering narrative.
        Lawyer up, sister!

        • Great Response! When I got that ILYBINILWY speech, it was ALL the reason I needed to walk away from X’s disordered ass. I was scared (hell, still am) and life has not been easy but I would rather be where I am today than to be living with a Cheater (and all their crap life choices).

          • What you said, Drew – I still have little currents of fear, but I am WORLDS better without that cheater breathing in my environment. There is financial wreckage from his laziness and deceptions there, and all manner of wreckage. But without his albatross ass weighing me down, I can handle all of it. Life isn’t easy, but it is SO worth it. Hang in there, Drew, you are worth it. You, too, Cloud Castle.

        • TRACY, Tired chump & Longing for Meh-ca

          Thank you for your responses. I had to re-read these words today after having 2 vivid dreams of us reconciling. It was so surreal that I woke up crying, remembering his lovely proposal & our wedding vows. I have to trust that he sucks and I have to let go of the dream of a family and the future we’d planned.

    • CanadianDad, Gonna say this again. She CLAIMS that you are “not good enough.” Meanwhile, she was with you for 30 years. That doesn’t even make basic sense. Please stop taking in her poison. Her words only have power for you as long as you value her honesty and trustworthiness. She is not honest. She lies. So don’t take in what she says as the truth about anything. The most you can say is that her excuse for her infidelity is in her current contention that “you aren’t good enough”–even though you were together for 30 years. It’s her EXCUSE for cheating, not a real thing.

      • Thanks, I know that you are right. I am not responsible for her happiness. The fact that I put her and the kids first, and was always trying to make her happy should in itself make someone feel happy and loved, but for her it didn’t. Rationally I know that’s not on me, but it is heartbreaking anyway. Thank you for the 2 X 4 though, I really do need one every now and then!!

        • CanadianDad,

          You are more than good enough, and she only changed the narrative when she started cheating.

          As crazy as this sounds, I didn’t file for divorce immediately because I wanted him to feel the weight of his actions…to file divorce = officially being the asshole that abandons family for ho-worker. 0

          • Cheaters rarely file for divorce first. They are too lazy, too used to Chump doing the bulk of the work in the relationship, don’t care much about contracts (either marriage or divorce), too distracted by schmoopie, taking advantage of Chump for ongoing financial benefits, or any combination of the above.

            When the Chump has to be the one to file for the divorce, it’s really just formalizing the end of the process that the cheater started and did all the work on. The cheater never feels the weight of their actions; they just don’t look at these things in the same light as normal people. Your delay filing is just kibbles to them. “She hasn’t filed, she still cares, she could still be my plan B!”

            I waited years before filing myself, thinking my cheater would do it eventually, and I felt bad about cutting off access to my medical/dental benefits at work which didn’t cost me anything. When I learned that, according to my pension rules, he would get the spousal survivor benefit if we were still legally married when I died, no matter how long we were separated or who was my beneficiary, I filed immediately.

            • I always hear these statistics, that only 1 out of 100 cheaters will leave their spouse, and that the cheater rarely files for divorce him- or herself. In my situation, my Cheater did BOTH. As soon as I discovered his affair (found out about others after DDay), he abandoned me and filed pretty much right away. I was not worth anything to him, and these statistics are so hard to be constantly reminded of.

              • Me, too. Mine had to file when he did to improve his own legal position regarding where I could live with the kids; it was to do with something unique to our state law, something I never would have known about had my lawyer not mentioned it to me. So yes, we are among those minority of chumps who got abandoned then suddenly filed on. My cheater is also a super type A personality who never procrastinates, and actually did do some work at home (while leaving the bulk of invisible, non-image-improving chores to me). Hope that helps a little bit. CL’s book talks about the mightiness of the ones who got abandoned. Worth a read.

    • Hi CanadianDad

      I always look out for you and Zell’s post as you guys are where I was about a year ago.

      With all I’ve read here and on RIC sites I generally put cheaters in 3 main categories.

      The ‘Exit affair’ cheaters. These are people that are being abuse at home and are looking at their affair partners for an escape route. I don’t see many of them here or on any other infidelity site I visit but I know they exist.

      The serial cheater. These people never had intentions to be faithful. And I see a lot of them around.

      Lastly there are the, for want of a better label the MLC affairs. And this is where I believe our ex-wives reside. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe MLC is a thing but I just don’t have a better label and it’s not an excuse for their behavior. Perhaps this could be a discussion point for a future CL post.

      Let me explain.

      As you know the RIC loves it when us chumps take responsibility for when our SO’s decide to take themselves out of the marriage. Well back in the early days I just couldn’t see it. I just couldn’t. This is why your feeling of not being good enough resonates with me. I loved her. Perhaps not perfectly but certainly completely.

      Now the timeline.

      20 months prior to her affair my ex wife and I were holding hands while ice skating under the Rockerfella building in New York. We are from the UK so going to the big apple was a big deal and if you knew how much I hated ice skating you would understand how big a romantic gesture this was.

      Life changing event: she turned 40

      18 months prior to her affair her job really took off. Now she’s traveling the world and meeting new people. She sat me down and said that I would need to pick up the slack at home as she would be really busy. And I did. Because I loved my family.

      Life changing event: her career took off and she’s the main bread winner.

      12 months before her affair her father committed suicide. Her family hate stigma. And really should have done a lot more for that man. They loved him, but just didn’t know how to deal with his mental illness.

      Life changing : her father is dead and she and her family are lying about the reason for his death.

      7 months before her affair we decide to spend £10k converting our garage in our ‘forever home’ into a cinema room.

      Does this sound much like a woman with one foot out of the door? No, me neither.

      6 months before her affair I spend the entire December busting my gut making that room livable. Does that sound like a negligent husband?

      No me neither.

      Now as a side note my ex wife and I were always in constant communication. Not just about the mundane things nut about the romantic things and the sext things.

      3 months before her affair she meets The Virus. She mentions him to me and then silence. The next three months were unreal. Lots of sex and lots of plans.

      Life changing event: she just met someone who fulfills all her fantasies. She’s already suffering from low self-esteem and he picks her up. Makes her feel young again.

      Day her affair becomes physical. She’s emailing me about ML. But she has (and ever increasing) night out with work (covert for she’s perusing him).

      Day after her affair starts. We ML in the morning.

      One week later the discard and the devaluation starts. You know the script here.I got the usual ILYBINILWY speech, how she’d been unhappy for years blah blah blah.

      Point is its all bullshit. She met a manchild that ticked all the boxes of her sexual fantasies and she went for it. It wouldn’t matter how good a husband we were. It didn’t matter how we treated them. They were weak. They saw something and couldn’t live without the fantasy. And that’s it. That’s the women we married. Everything we did building our lives around them suddenly didn’t matter anymore.

      Nothing. And I mean nothing you could have done differently would have made any difference. CL mentions it all the time. You were playing in a game where the rules were constantly changing and you weren’t getting the memo.

      Trust they suck. It was never you.

      Peace bro

      • Thanks for the post. I appreciate the support. At the beginning of all this I really felt like I was losing my mind, but with the support of CN I can see that there are unfortunately so many stories thatseemto be almost the same as mine. It’s really crappy, but at least I know that there is a chance to seebetter days like many out there.c

      • ,Notmehyet2, did you just write my biography?
        It is amazing how similar a lot of these stories are. Your timeline and pre infidelity story are nearly identical to mine. Then the blame shifting starts.
        Thanks for the story.

      • I am shocked at how similar your story is to mine, except it was a cheater husband and he was turning 50. We made all these home improvements, bought a second home in a sunny place, made plans for the future. I played the pick-me dance for almost 2 1/2 years – he just kept making decisions with me and stringing me along that felt like he wanted to stay together. We went to counseling, took vacations, celebrated holidays together.

        In the end, he really liked cake and just got better with the lies and more skilled at deception. Anyone else looking at our life would say he was truly blessed: loving, attractive wife, healthy, well-adjusted kids, two homes, money in the bank, decent career. But he is destroying all of it. This is what I don’t really understand, but since he fired me from my job as his wife, I am not going to worry about it anymore.

        I learned about another affair that occurred earlier in our marriage, (when I was pregnant and raising a toddler and his two sons from a previous marriage) so maybe there is a separate category for the MLC cheater, but it was not my case. He is a serial cheater that just couldn’t handle the pressure of getting older and growing up – so he just continues to act like an entitled 3 yo and take whatever he can get to help him feel better.

        It is all about what they are feeling at the time. Their emotions and self-centeredness drive their destructive behavior. And my STBX not only has destroyed 2 families now, but he has had major career issues too. Everything with him is crash and burn – then get all new stuff and move on. Well, he can keep the (new) 2nd house and have his (new) GF (15 years younger). I am moving on too.

        • Oh, and yes, my STBX was married and divorced before I met him, so I was never the OW for him, but was still completely fooled. He claimed his first marriage broke up because they were too young (19) and she had a lot of issues. I’m sure he cheated on her too.

  • Just FYI, anyone looking for Magneto’s parrot story on the Cheater Freak winner thread, it has been posted (by me, she emailed it to me, after having issues posting). Enjoy.

  • “ I’m sure a judge will find your ex’s penchant for traffic accidents very interesting when determining Best Interests of the Children.”

    In my experience, the judge won’t care and will be irritated if she brings this up. If will look petty or vindictive.

    Last year I had a case where dad did jail time for drunk driving, it did not change custody because the kids were never in the car when daddy was drunk driving.

    .The only constraint was dad could not drive the kids unless he had a breathalyzer installed in the car.

    The reason to tell the attorney is to determine if she could be on the hook if he gets injured or sued.

    The wreck should have her running to the lawyer to make sure she can’t be financially punished for her ex’s bullshit.

    • Having a breathalyzer installed in the car is a big win, IMO. Yes, you’re not going to end custody. I wasn’t arguing that. I’m saying it’s evidence if you want to show the guy is unstable. Document, document, document. A fuckwit gives you something to document? DOCUMENT it.

      No one can say with certainty what courts will do. But without documentation? Not much.

      You got a win here. I’m sorry your ex is a drunk, but at least the court’s on notice.

      • No, you don’t know what courts will do, But I’ve never seen them car about car accidents unless there was also child engagement.

        It wouldn’t be evidence of him being unstable unless there was a pattern or something more.

        I’m an attorney who’s had this discussion with multiple judges. They hate when good spouses being in stiff like this that’s not relevant.

        It does have a huge potential to backfire.

        Far too often, agreed to spouses use the court to litigate the relationship. Judges hate it.

    • Also, FYI, if she is going to allege he is dangerous because of the wreck, she better be sure not to give the kid back to him to drive around. Because the judge will then ask her why she turned her child over to somebody she thought was a dangerous driver.

      In the case I just mentioned, mom tried to raise drunk driving. The judge asked her if she had let the dad have the kids unsupervised after the arrest. She admitted that she did. It did not go well for her.

      If you think the other parent of anyone else is dangerous, do not hand over a child. Period.

      Run to your phone and call your lawyer

    • That’s a huge constraint, to keep kids out of the car when a drunk is intoxicated. If someone has 2 accidents in 3 months, alcohol related, he or she should not be driving with the kids after drinking.

  • I’m wondering if this is a general pattern then- sad sausage ratcheting things up any way they can as things come to a settlement or official end. My ex and I are almost done with the financials (he chose to sit on them for a year to keep money from me) and then magically this weekend he tried for the second time to terminate the insurance policy on our car – that is part of the settlement. I hate the anxiety it causes worrying about this pattern continuing and then I get annoyed he is still taking up this space in my brain. I will continue to act mighty at the least. Good advice.

    • I feel you…. my ex sent late spousal support checks, then bad spousal support checks, and finally no spousal support checks. I don’t contact him about it and just let my attorney know. Expecting them to follow through is tiresome; breaking all ties where we don’t depend on them or have any expectations for them is the best approach.

  • I have to stay focused that I am protecting myself and my kiddos from the Cheater’s upcoming implosion. His train wreck is coming (always does), but I won’t be around to pick him up after he destructs. Because “he fired me from the job of caring about him” with his lies and betrayal.

    I’ve been trying to make things work with him for 2 1/2 years – save yourself some time and future heartache and do what CN says – hire an attorney and file as quickly as possible. You and your child deserve much better.

  • Ha! Talk about jaded … my first thought about his little message regarding his accident was that it was for financial reasons. He knows a divorce is coming (at some point) and there is nothing like the “Poor me, I keep having financial difficulty” narrative to guilt a caring soul into going easy on him.

    Regardless, I couldn’t agree more with CL. See a lawyer immediately. My concern is about your child. If he goes into prick mode (so many of them do), he may try the 50/50 custody route in order to avoid paying child support. I’ve seen this happen repeatedly on here. Getting a good, pitbull attorney early in the game is the way to go in order to protect yourself — and your child.

    In the meantime, give yourself a huge pat on the back and maybe take a long, relaxing bath as a celebration for your mightiness so far! Going no contact is often one of the hardest (though necessary) actions we must take. You are taking wonderful steps forward (though, I realize it doesn’t quite feel like it … I promise, you are!).

    Wishing you all my best!

    • I don’t know if it is popular elsewhere, but I have gone through collaborative law to work out a separation agreement, which will then be used for the final divorce application. In collaborative practice, both parties have their own lawyers to look out for their own interests, but you have an agreement with your lawyer that if they cannot work out an agreement out of court, you will need to retain a different lawyer to proceed. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it can work in situations where parties are willing to work with each other, and don’t want to end up in court. We were able to work out a separation agreement fairly quickly. You need to want to work together at least a little bit for this to work. I wanted the best for my kids, and they certainly didn’t need to go through the mess. My STBXW was not always thrilled about how some of the financial stuff was working out, but the law around division of assets is pretty clear.

      • I too managed to work collaboratively w/my ex, for a long time, mostly because a) I knew way more about what the law said and would do than he did, and he was too lazy to bother finding out, b) he wanted to look decent to our kids and his mom, and c) he was hoping I’d eventually take him back.

        But this can’t be done w/many narcs and sociopaths; they will continue to bully and to hold to their entitlement. It’s worth trying, I think, but the chump has to be prepared for it not to work out well, and to move on to court. I certainly wouldn’t try anything mediated/collaborative/kitchen table without the backing of a lawyer, though! You need to be very clear about what your rights and responsibilities are, and what the courts would likely say if it did get there.

        This collaborative approach worked for several years. Then Ex realized I wasn’t ever taking him back, and his financial support, while actually generous, wasn’t going to make his kids overlook his otherwise-a-selfish-angry-idiot behaviours. Ex ended up using money against me, and it took some months to get out from that situation Stressful and exhausting months! He now pays less than a court would require, in child support, but it’s not worth the hassle to go the legal route to bring him up to speed.

        So it’s worth trying, but DON’T expect it to necessarily work very well! If your cheater is more the passive/lazy type, and not raging too much, it’s worth a try.

  • Pulling the trigger on your marriage by going to a lawyer and filing is hard.
    You are admitting that it is over… all of your hopes and dreams as well as admitting that your STBX is not the person you thought they were. In a word — it sucks and is terrifying.
    However you can’t begin to move on until you do and worse you are tethered legally to the fuckwit until you do. Get thee to a lawyer ASAP !!

  • “This is what DIVORCE looks like. It’s the END of emotional investment. It’s the end of ALL investment in the other person. In their finances, in their future, in being a family. It’s two people going their SEPARATE ways.”

    Thank you CL I needed that.

  • I love this:
    “This is what DIVORCE looks like. It’s the END of emotional investment. It’s the end of ALL investment in the other person. In their finances, in their future, in being a family.”
    I was so pressured (still am at times) to make nice with the genius. From people I don’t even care about, to my lawyer, to my kids, to my sisters, to so many others… I never understood how people say “you’re divorced but you’re still a family”. Nope. That ship has sailed. He decided to jump ship, the one where his wife and kids were, to go to another. I don’t care about our history, our feelings for each other, that we once loved each other enough… Bla bla bla. I stopped caring once I found out he did.

    • That doesn’t even make sense–“You’re divorced but still a family.”

      Oh hell no, not a family with a Cheater and his Schmoops, whether it’s Schmoops #1 or #20.

  • It’s so hard to file when it’s not what you want. If youre having trouble taking the next big step… take a half step first. Call a lawyer to see what you’re up against. Start taking back your power. After so much pain of DDay 1 and 2 do you really want to be served divorce papers? My answer was, No. I am the plaintiff. I am filing first. I’m taking this huge “kick me” sign off my back. In the time I hesitated I cost myself a lot of money. Accounts were emptied and assets were sold and hidden. We are all here for you, Cloud💜. You can do this! I did it and i was a trembling twitching puddle of crap mega weak loser. Nothing good comes from waiting and hoping when you’re married to a cheater.

    • I love the idea of taking the “kick me” sign off your back.

      Cloud Castle, you mention you are receiving child support, but is it court-ordered? Is it sufficient for his income? Is there a legal agreement to cover the kiddos with medical insurance and to pick up his percentage of the non-covered medical bills? Remember that reimbursements for expenses “outside” of normal support will be proportional to income and that can get loaded into a court order.

      In terms of custody and visitation–do you have vacations factored in? Holidays? Or are you expected to sort of just be “nice” and give him what he wants? A lawyer will help you anticipate things you aren’t thinking about right now–Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc. And you can factor in out-of-state travel, requests to miss school, overnights with Schmoopies, etc. If you have a voluntary agreement, then you are pinning your financial future on someone who has already lied to you about the most important aspect of your life–your marriage. Lawyer up. File for divorce. Get control of your share of the marital assets and getting a custody and support order you can enforce in court.

      • You’re right…I need to take off the Kick Me sign. Thank you for these reminders. I signed a retainer with the lawyer today. I’ll add your notes to ask the lawyer. When it comes to this divorce, my head is in the sand and haven’t thought about how he’d screw me over.

  • Hiring a lawyer was the saddest part because I was admitting to myself that the relationship was done.
    But, she immediately put Marital Home Protections in place to stop Ugh from taking all the equity or raising finance against it before court negotiations were completed even though me and little Miss weren’t living there at the time.
    She acted as the go between which meant I didn’t need to hear from him.
    Sure it cost money, but it’s only money, we can always get more and I grew very fond of cornflakes three times a day during those lean years.
    You do what it takes.
    Worth Every Penny.
    Good luck.

    • Any time you go outside of your marriage for help, it can seem like a failure. You should be able to work things out, right? The problem is we were all dealing with spouses that did go outside the marriage, and it wasn’t for the purpose of keeping the marriage together. They went outside the marriage to meet their selfish needs. My STBXW was apparently talking to her friends and AP about how she was in an unhappy marriage. Really, my kids and I would have disagreed. Why were these discussions happening with others and not me? She also had been speaking to a lawyer and real estate agent before I knew about anything. It is sad. I’ve never been so sad in all my life, but it doesn’t change what she did.

      Sad or not, I knew I needed a lawyer. Actually, because I was so devastated, I knew a lawyer was absolutely essential. I knew my STBXW was thinking of herself only, so I needed to make sure I took care of myself, and look out for my ability to provide a good home for myself and my kids. Sure it sucks, but it is a step to protect yourself in a crappy situation. Your spouse stopped looking out for you already.

      • Oh, this. My cheater, apparently, told all sorts of people “I wasn’t meeting his needs” or some other BS to justify his behavior, all the while keeping up the facade of happy husband at home. Clueless me. Since we were having sex 2-3 times per week (and we have been married 25 years years), my crime was, according to him, refusing to engage in anal sex – though God knows I tried. Oh, and I didn’t swallow. I’m sure he didn’t tell his confidentes THAT, but that is what he told me, when he came clean.

        Whatever. These people will find ANY excuse to rationalize what they have done. My sister’s ex told her it was because “she didn’t have long fingernails”.

        My sister’s ex told her it was because she didn’t have long fingernails.

        • I heard all the ‘bedroom’ complaints after the fact as well. Asswipe never complained during our marriage….shouldn’t he have told me? Of course because there was NEVER an issue! He had to dream up an excuse to justify the cheating – just has you said.

          Fingernails weren’t long enough. Good God. Now that’s pathetic.

        • I heard those exact complaints as well. In my case, I caved and did both (the swallow and the anal) and guess what – he left anyway. Sorry to be graphic, but yeah. It felt deja-vu reading your statement. Exactly like mine.

          • The goalposts are constantly being moved when one is in a relationship with a “nut cluster” (cluster B personality disordered)

      • CanadianDad, so well put. We chumps hesitate to go outside the marriage, and while we do the cheaters are discussing their deception and exit strategies with APs, friends, flying monkeys and…lawyers.
        I hung on, I didn’t want to be the one ending this relationship, I wanted to save it. Then I rationalised that if he wanted to be with the Whore, he would have to take it upon himself to end our relationship. He used all that time to scheme against me with her, her family and his lawyer (whom she helped him find…). And to shift the blame on me to his kids.
        It was a huge strategic error on my part and it cost me a lot of money and stress. Cloud and other hesitant New Chumps, you have no idea until you’re on the other side how much stress this limbo is creating for you. Don’t do this to yourselves, please.

        • Truth. Fucktard X took a pt job with a family court nearby, that is how intent he was on screwing us over…. we divorced in that environment…Same judges, lawyers, staff that he knew professionally and that he had spent two years with. But what took the cake was the free legal aid floozy, who informed me that, according to CA law he owed our kids “nothing,” even our newly disabled son, and that I wasn’t guaranteed a portion of our home. My lawyer was a piece of work too, overlooked the fact that I was married to a dick, even after I spelled it out, and when the house went into foreclosure stated that we should have addressed the dissipation “earlier.” Like, WTF?!!? X successfully dissipated our second biggest asset, a custom home on twenty acres, while everybody sat on their asses. Anything for his dick and latest whore. Looking back, I should have filed another motion to protect assets, but that is what I thought I had a lawyer for. To protect my interests. She was also unaware that a joinder needed to be filed re our retirement. Oh, for those splitting retirement benefits, get the QDRO done before dissolution. Many incompetent lawyers let this go, and then you are stuck dealing with a Fucktard all over again.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with you Cheryl. Hiring a lawyer is accepting the fact your marriage is over despite all the heart wrenching, pride swallowing, pick me dancing efforts you made to avoid getting to this place. Eight months after d-day and I lawyered up. Eight months ago I was a crazy woman making copies of every financial document I could get my hands on and I gave them all to my lawyer. Knowledge is power. I also work for a family law attorney so I have an advantage because I know what the divorce laws are in my state. Can anyone say “ALIMONY”?

      • I would also like to add that if your cheater pants spouse earns more money than you, you can potentially get them to pay for your counsel fees. My cheater makes substantially more than I so he will have to pay for my attorney and pay and pay and pay. Hit him where it hurts the most – in the wallet. Hehe.

  • I agree with all the advice. You need to get to a few lawyers and get advice. Just because someone has a good reputation does not mean they will be a good fit for your case.
    My guy came highly recommended by legal staff as a respected counselor, did not believe in nor understand mid life crisis or cheater monstering mentality. Partnered with a greedy “run the bill up” lawyer, (terrible pairing!) it cost me dearly. in the end.

    Also, three opinions will give you a range of scenarios to play out. You need to plan for the worst, but hope for the best outcome.

    • I mean, take my irrational, monstering, take no prisoners xh WITH a greedy lawyer cost me dearly. My guy said it was the worst pairing of personalities he had seen in 30 years.

  • Nothing says…..”Go fuck yourself” more than divorce papers!!

    The message you are sending him by not filing is…….there is STILL A CHANCE to make it work.

    Shut that down now. Then watch him flip the channel to rage when he realizes that you are moving on and you are imposing those consequences!

    And, speaking from experience, I am nearly five years out from divorce, your life and the life of your child does get significantly better when you are not dealing with the disordered in your life!

    Lawyer up!!! TODAY!

  • “It was never his intention” What a load of crap! It absolutely was his intention to fuck someone else. I heard that garbage for 2 years before realizing that it was just that. CRAP! It’s excruciating when the love of your life throws you and your child in the ditch along with all your dreams. You’ve done great so far with NC, so that tells me you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. Next step-FILE. Take the next step for you and your precious little girl.

  • “the END of emotional investment. It’s the end of ALL investment in the other person” – this. why do they always want to hang on to your investment even after they’ve chosen someone else? Because it feels good. It serves them. Care about me! Get me a job! Introduce me to your contacts! Help me be a good parent! Help prop me up so that I look like a good parent!

    Remember, they are all about themselves. My ex’s apology letter was even about himself – how he felt, how he was sad and ashamed and embarrassed, how he had things he needed to say despite me blocking him. 🤦‍♀️

  • Additional angles…

    1) Our writer mentioned child support. However, without a divorce agreement, that can disappear at any time if he decides to withdraw it, right? I just mean that if some part of you is holding back because of money, it isn’t a stable source of money no matter what he says anyway, so it’s not worth hanging back to retain that support.

    2) In my state, as long as you are married, all the debt the other person takes out while married is owed by both partners. So, if the other person defaults on a loan/credit account, you are also liable. This is just one example of how rapid divorce can be important to save you from financial ruin. It may be critically important to your child’s immediate well being for you to file to protect your own financial interest. There’s a motivator. 🙂

    3) You don’t owe him notice that you are filing. File with a request for a fair settlement. That’s all you owe anyone, and it’s yourself who deserves it, not him.

    4) Be ready for him to use your child to triangulate and try to get you to give in on important points. They all do that. Lean on that lawyer.

    Many hugs…

  • Dear Cloud,

    I am so sorry to hear the pain you’re going through. It’s exquisitely difficult to navigate the vacuum left by the ‘love of our lives’. Not to mention so unfair that the cheaters go about their lives while we pick up the broken pieces for a LONG, LONG time.

    “Why can’t I pick myself up off the floor of depression and run my life with vigor like some of the strong women I know? Why can’t I just stop being bitter and get over it”.

    I think this is easily answered. It’s because you loved truly. What would it say about the depths of your feelings if two months after the breakup you were all happy and perky?

    This said, maybe there needs to be a deadline on mourning. Living has to start at some point. Depression is real, but there are avenues to heal it, including a therapist. Use your anger and bitterness as a cloak against the depression. Feel the rage of why this buffoon treated you the way he treated you. Use it as a way to propel yourself to action and to self-worth. Wear is as an armour.

    And no, no need to respond to him. He is only messaging you to see if he still has you on a leash.

    • ^^ I agree. As painful as the process is, you will start to feel better as you make positive moves away from the mess. As much as you loved, it was not reciprocated. You can’t make it what it wasn’t. I know that I will always feel terribly that my marriage has ended. I loved truly and deeply, and I know that I would have done anything I could have to have kept it together. That is not always our choice to make. My wife was more than a little annoyed that I could not always put on a happy face around our kids while living separated in the same home. Sorry, that was just me being a human being, upset at the loss of something important to me, and to the family.

      • Kids need their parents to be authentic, and modeling truth to our kids is what sane parents do. IMHO, kids soon pick up what is real and what is fake. Who is engaged (ie can love), present, and who is not. Looking back I can see that I held that imposter together for many years, thought my love alone could make it all happen. Truth was you can not make a partnership work with only one pure heart.

  • Cloud,

    We all completely understand that a divorce is the last thing you would ever want. It was for many of us. You’re in an emotional hell right now and the thought of making things even harder on yourself by going through a divorce when you’re already at your lowest is something nobody likes to think about.

    It took me over 18 long, LONG months to finally pull the trigger, but in retrospect my only regret was that I didn’t file sooner. All that extra time did was give my ex more time to hide assets, more time to spend with her AP while having all the advantages of a married life with a stable person…..more time to basically use the living hell out of me – financially and emotionally. You may not realize this, but continuing to be married to your husband will be way, way, way more stressful than divorcing him. It sounds like an echo chamber in here sometimes with everyone promoting divorce, but take our experienced advice, there’s a very good reason for this — that is, it’s a much better life on the other side.

    Finally, if you’re like many of us, you’ll need to be the one to file because if there’s one thing that all our cheating spouses have in common, it’s that they’re all cowards. Don’t wait for him to do it, or you’ll be waiting for months like many of us did.

    • Exactly! Mine managed to hide thousands of dollars, stopped making the house payment (and he ended up getting the house), and cash in his Roth. It was brought up in court, but wasn’t really a factor at all. It was bullshit! Get out ASAP – they are kniving manipulators….

  • Cloud Castle–you know what you need to do; go into autopilot. Permit yourself to crumple in a heap on the floor some days (the first few months are horrific, the time until divorce can be gut-wrenching), but MOVE. Take little steps every day–interviewing one lawyer per day until you find one who matches your goals. Start collecting financials.

    Divorcing the disordered is a slow slog through the mud. Take one step every day until you’re through it. Just acting alone will make you feel better. Hugs.

  • cloud castle….. he wants you to care about him even though he didn’t value you. His history shows that he just uses you. Its what they do.

    Caring about his car wreck- just say “wow”. And be done. I had a situation recently with cheater wife and I just tried to give her minimal attention for her situation without her being able to tell people I was cold hearted, etc…she probably did anyways she’s so damn disordered.

    I was feeling really down and then realized I was down because I was delaying filing for divorce. Once I filed I actually felt good- it felt like forward progress. I too watched and listened to people in my group therapy that seemed much stronger than me. The feeling can pull you down. Don’t get pulled down. Go file and you will feel some strength. You will be in control of your life. It’s also best to be ahead of the game before he files on you.

  • “He checked out … but he’d like a life-time supply of your sympathy. Fuck. That. Noise. He fired you from the job of caring about him.”

    Thank you. THANK YOU.

  • Sorry Cloud

    But Tracey’s name for him, “Speed Racer” made coffee come out of nose!
    Humor is healing as I have learned.
    But lawyers and protections are a BIG start. Please get moving. Your future self will thank you.

    Hugs!

  • If the car was damaged the garage would give him quotes or tell him what garage to use. Him talking photos was for your benefit. Loss adjusters for the insurance company would use reports. I think its all about you.

    • It’s true. I do get texts from my STBXW that sometimes have me scratching my head wondering, “Why tell me?” If it isn’t about the kids, why do I need to know? I have been discarded. You have shown me how much you value me, don’t expect me to really care what you are up to. Why the hell would I want to know what she is up to? While we were together I was happy to share everything, now she shouldn’t expect that from me, and I am actually hurting myself if I continue to allow her to have that emotional real estate.

      • The cheater’s goal is often to keep the strings to the chump; they want Engagement. Our goal is Disengagement. Zero sum game–only one person can win. No Contact is the ultimate disengagement, followed by grey rock (for those who have to try & coparent).

      • CanadianDad,
        My Ex did the same thing. The reason is that I had been cleaning up her messes since we met and emotionally I was always her go to person. She didn’t realize all that when she was having her affair and it finally hit her when I went NC what she threw away.

        • Yes, I don’t tell her anything about my life now. I thought she was my best friend. She acted in a way that demonstrated that she was anything but. My kids might share what is going on with me, but I don’t worry about that, I am not putting them in the middle of us. I am parenting as best I can. She made a comment to me after the separation about how I had become distant. She admitted that I wasn’t being mean or unfriendly, just distant. Well, I guess that’s what cheating on me and asking for a divorce gets you. WTF – I was fired from any more than distant as far as I’m concerned.

      • These disordered people generally won’t cut off a source of ego kibbles. And in this case (and others) they have a suspicion, after many years of manipulation, that they can still manipulate the Chump into doing things against his or her own interests.

        Plus–centrality! See how I suffer! My car is totaled! I could have died! You are supposed to care about ME ME ME.

      • Me too. Just last week, my x of 3 years contacted me and told me he had to talk to me on the phone as he was having surgery (I rarely will answer his calls but I thought there might be insurance issues to cover or something related to the kids so I agreed). We got on the phone and he proceeded to bawl, telling me how sorry he was that he hurt me. Then he told me that he had written a letter to me and mailed it to his mother, instructing her to send it to me if something happened to him in surgery. My response “so if you don’t die, I don’t get the letter? OK – got it. Thanks”. I am still shaking my head trying to figure out the purpose of the call. If he died, I would have gotten the letter anyway so no need to forewarn me…I think he wanted me to know he was having surgery (and I suspect it was a follow-up vasectomy reversal as the one he had 18 months ago clearly hasn’t worked yet. No babies for Mr. 50 year old and his 35 year old soulmate new wife). I practiced my gray rock responses, said thanks for the update and hung up. The next day he texted me “I survived the surgery. I guess no letter for you. LOL”. I’m not sure what’s LOL about any of this, but I’m glad he’s no longer my problem.

        My point is I am 5 years out form d-day, 3 years out from divorce being final, and I still get this kind of woe-is-me/fishing-for-connection attempts. Don’t go there. Read up on gray rock and become an expert.

        • unencumbered, I have to admit that your cheater’s idiocy gave me good belly laugh. They really have no idea what they look like when they do stuff like this. I wish we could film them, get all the cheaters’ little kibble bids together in one movie, sit down with a good bunch of chumps and the popcorn…

    • This is a perfect time to practice “Gray Rock”

      1. STBXH – I crashed the car for the 2nd time in 3 months (Blame shifting – It was the other dude’s fault)

      Cloud – “Bummer”

      2. STBXH – look at all of the damage done to my “pride and joy” in these ‘magnificent’ photos (shared on FB, Instagram etc) (Image management – I am an excitement machine)

      Cloud – “Wow !”

      3. STBXH – I was lucky I didn’t die in this wreckage ! (Sad Sausage)
      Cloud – “Cool – Bummer – Wow”

      Cloud “Why are you telling me this sh*t – I really, really don’t want to know, unless you have MY CHILD in the vehicle with you.

      • Or, this version….

        1. STBXH – I crashed the car for the 2nd time in 3 months
        Cloud – “Wow”

        2. STBXH – look at all of the damage done to my “pride and joy” in these ‘magnificent’ photos
        Cloud – “Cool”

        3. STBXH – I was lucky I didn’t die in this wreckage !
        Cloud – “Bummer”

        …just kidding

  • Cloud Castle,

    There is much good advice above, read it and listen to it. Use what is helpful to you. I’m offering something different, the view ahead.

    The last six months have been hard for you, very hard, I’m sure. And there is more of that coming. It’s not an easy road you have ahead of you. But it will get better, not as fast as you want it to, but it will. You’ll have to do a lot of mental work to get in a better place. It’s not fun, it comes up at inopportune times, but you gotta do it. You have many years of memories with him that need to be recontextualized in light of the new information about who he is. Things will bubble up, triggered by random stuff in your life – think about them for a while, and then put them aside. If they need more thought, they will bubble up again. This is not only normal, but it IS a key part of the healing process.

    I’ll end with a prediction. Years from now, you will look back on this incredibly difficult time and know, beyond all doubt, that the hard work you do and good choices you make have set you up for the wonderful life you will have, and get to keep living.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

  • Kibble + Cake = fuckwit crack, an amazingly powerful drug.

    After I showed Mr. DickHead the door, he promised he was going to work on his “issues” and wasn’t going to see anyone else, obviously hoping that our relationship would endure his desperate struggles to “find himself”. What makes him think I would believe this shit when all he did was lie during our time together?? Powerful drug, indeed!

    I’m 59 and don’t know what the future holds. I do know, however, that once I work through the hurt, I’ll have my life back, with healthy boundaries and values intact. No more agonizing over what he’s doing or with whom. I will be free and my life will be at peace. C’mon Tuesday!

        • Thanks, LongingforMeh. I know no contact will help. I’m at the point where I’m observing his actions with detached amusement. Talk about GINR!!!! It’s almost word for word out of CL’s Lose a Cheater, Gain a Life.
          I threw out the rose colored glasses along with his ass last week. I’m almost brave enough courage to block his calls….that’s next. The baby steps are for me, not him. I thought we had such a wonderful relationship. He treated me like a queen. A Queen Chump, that us!!! Basrard! I think no contact will feel like revenge, for a little while at least. Sweet!!! Hehehe.

  • Mine was sure to let me know he thought he had cancer and was worried about it yet he hadn’t been to the doctor. My response: please be sure your emergency contacts are up to date and that they don’t include me.
    Was I supposed to offer to bake him a casserole and bring it to him and homeslice? Was I supposed to offer him my condolences and offer help? NO….. no longer my responsibility and it feels amazing!

    • “My response: please be sure your emergency contacts are up to date and that they don’t include me.”
      Wins the Internet today!

    • Dammit, that one’s awesome!!!
      Hahahaaaa, I wish I had thought of that years ago…

      About a month after the divorce was final, I woke up one morning to see I had missed a few calls from The Evil One. No voicemails. No texts.
      I call him just to make sure he wasn’t dead (or hoping, heeeheeee)… Get this Search for Kibbles Story:

      He tells me that it had actually been OWhore calling me from his phone to get his medical history information for the hospital for him.
      Me: “what happened?” (In the best nonchalant tone I could muster, though my heart was racing)
      TEO: ” I went into seizures… OWhore had to call an ambulance to take me to the closest hospital around 1AM this morning (the phone conversation was at around 6:30AM)… But I’m already home… They did CTScan, EEG, EKG and couldn’t find anything wrong”

      Oooohhhhhh, the temptation was strong to snap off a comment or two about what’s wrong with him…plus, I didn’t realize ambulances had hydraulic cranes for heavy lifting these days….

      I remained nonchalant and said, “Oh well. Guess it was nothing then, gotta go, bye!!!”

      The RAGE that pored out in his seething text he sent me minutes later was laughable— he was pissed that he had seizures for some unknown reason and how DARE I be bitchy about it???
      I didn’t reply.

      Talking with a friend about it, we thought one of two things happened: either he took some sex stimulating drugs and it backfired, or his diabetes triggered a seizure. Don’t know, don’t care. How he’s been able to keep his CDL is beyond me.

      Second time was a comment about how he “should take a gun and blow (his) brains out and then I’ll be happy and still talk shit about (him) LOL”

      I replied asking what the fuck was wrong with him that he would say that with an LOL at the end?
      He didn’t reply.
      Idiot.

  • Yeah, been there done that. I remember when ex was still my stbx. I did NC immediately, but I met him once to sign tax returns. He told me he had “almost been killed in a car wreck”. Well, I didn’t see a cast or any bandages, and he still had the same vehicle, parked in the drive. He was such a liar, most likely a fender bender if anything at all. Crickets from me. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Don’t feed the monkeys, Cloud. Let Schmoops do it. She can wash his skid marked underwear, too.

  • Cloud Castle

    I’m sorry that your X is being a total shithead but the reality is….all of them are!

    I’m 8 months post DDay #1 (wow….just realized it’s been 8 months). Right after I told Mr. Asshat to leave, I got served with divorce papers (actually I had to go to his paralegals office to pick them up…he didn’t want to embarrass me by having me served…like really….CHEATING on me wasn’t embarrassing??!!)

    In hindsight that was the best thing EVER!!! Deep down inside I knew there was no WRECKonciling with this idiot as he had disrespected and degraded me in the most disgusting way ever imaginable. Remember that YOU are worth more than what he is giving you.

    Get a lawyer ASAP and protect you, your child and your business at all cost! He has now put your business in jeopardy as if the accident was his fault (or any accident is his fault), the injured party can sue the business (hope you have an LLC set up…if not get one now!).

    You are mighty and strong and will get thru this! CN is here for you and as Aeronaut says, you will look back on this in time and see how wonderful your NEW life really is!

    {{hugs}}

  • Hi Cloud Castle–

    You’ve received a lot of good advice. I will say that it’s the hardest thing to realize that the marriage you thought you had was built not on rock but on sand. I knew as soon as I saw the texts that I had to divorce my Cheater.

    Start with the baby steps of talking to a lawyer. You have a child. You will need to work out custody arrangements and child support. It is in everyone’s best interests to have this laid out via court order. You are, because you are married, sharing assets with a man who is spending money on his Schmoopie. If he runs up debt, that’s your debt. Working with a lawyer allows you to put some safeguards in place to preserve the marital estate.

    Talk with more than one lawyer. Don’t be afraid to bring up fees. Law is a business and they should be upfront with you. Find out what you could expect, and see if there’s a range of possible outcomes. The more you know, the less paralyzed you’ll feel.

    Also talk with a divorce financial planner. Especially if you’ve relied on your Cheater’s income, you’ll need to get a realistic picture of what kinds of finances you’ll need during the transition. For example, you may need to have temporary spousal support for a period of a few years while you get your skills up to speed. How much would you need? Also, is it better for you to sell the house or to buy him out of his half? Is there a business you co-own? A divorce financial planner can help you think objectively of the kind of settlement that you’d need.

    Finally, start documenting how much time you spend caring for the child. Are you the one who makes the doctor’s appointments and takes the child to those appointments? Are you taking the child to the violin lessons? Does your Cheater spend time with your child? If so, how much? This kind of detail can help you with your custody. If possible, see if you can get your Cheater to use Our Family Wizard or other scheduling software BEFORE you file. Use this to handle all communications regarding scheduling. It will allow the court to see just how much (little) time your Cheater spends with your child.

    Taking these steps will help you ACT mighty, and the more you fake it, the more you’ll make it. Pulling the trigger on the divorce will still be hard, but you’ll have done all the preparation. It’s you and your team. You can do this!

    And insofar as his poor Sad Sausage pictures go? That’s him looking for kibbles, but also an attempt to hoover you back in. Remember that he didn’t want to divorce you for OW. Why? Because the Faithful Spouse is always Plan B. He wants to make you feel sorry for him so that he can keep you close enough to be the Plan B–just in case he has a fight with Schmoopie and she dumps him. You’ve been No Contact, though, and he’s not sure that he can reel you back in. The text is a pretext to see how you’ll react. The correct response, as others have said, is silence. If it’s not about custody issues, it’s not anything you need to respond to.

    Good luck, and stay mighty!

  • Cloud Castle,
    I am amazed at what you have done. Give yourself credit and a hug! I found the getting a lawyer (although I had FOUR legal teams) easier than staying no contact (in the case of my boyfriend) or low contact (in the case of my husband). Having a good lawyer may provide more succor than you now envision.

    Regarding the issue of getting of the ground after experiencing trauma of betrayal and abandonment, I fought to stay inside the burning building (my awful relationships instead of charging out, which would have been a much wiser choice. In hindsight, I realize that I would have spared myself much physical, emotional and financial damage. Another thing I realize is my perfectionism and being in a bizarre, traumatizing situation have led to a type of physical and emotional paralysis. I plan to stumble imperfectly forward as I suspect that imperfect movement will likely produce better results than no action will.

  • Hi cloud. The sooner the better with the divorce honey. Trust me, I wish I hadn’t dragged my feet on mine, that was a mistake financially and emotionally. And I’m very sorry but he’s not texting you about his accident for any other reason besides it feeds his ego that you still care. I’ve been through that too. File. Keep being mighty, I swear it gets better. Much better

  • Some nerve! My ex sends me random bits of info to gain my sympathy-sympathy that’s not even his to gain- like how our delivery doctor’s son’s best friend got lost in the back country, skiing. Seriously. It’s fuckin ridiculous. I’m proud of you Cloud Castle for having those feelings that keep you from responding all warm and friendly and concerned. I used to have to fight very hard to stay grey rock with my responses because I would catch myself taking the bait and getting caught up in friendly banter. Now, I have to fight to stay grey rock/no response because what I want to really say to him will get me harassment charges, haha.
    Divorce for your own closure! You know what you must do, that it’s over, and even if you could reconcile-what kind of shit ass relationship you’d be going back to and how ugly you’d feel.
    C.L. speaks the truth when she says strength is gained from confidence in taking action and moving forward, even if you have to fake it until you make it. His actions are a blessing in disguise for you, though it seems like bullshit right now. I am not invalidating the pain of separating with kids by any means-it has been 4 years and we only have one child-I am thankful we don’t have more; and separated when he was still too young to really remember.
    It does get better-you still deal with his nonsense, but it’s exponentially less and you develop firm boundaries for communication.
    Those very boundaries will initially help you move on from purgatory, and organically get to an acceptance and flourishing in your new normal, but you have to take that step! It will save your emotions in the long run. No response is a healthy survival tactic for you at this point. Save your energy and make something pleasurable and fulfilling, your focus.
    The latest attempt from my ex, was some kind of poetic cosmic metaphoric nonsense about our mutual connection with our kid and how it pertains to the Universe…and how I, am supposedly the ‘only other one in their solar system.’
    This coming from the man who eventually married O.W. and was expecting a baby last year, (she didn’t carry to term.)
    Laugh Out Loud! So I thought about carefully crafting a response, to hold a mirror to the B.S. he was spouting, while simultaneously trying not to bruise his fragile ego (yeah right,) like, ‘I suppose OW is just some asteroid whose trajectory came from a far off nebula, and set our orbits in opposite directions…’ but then I thought-nah, I got shit to do.
    I could give a fuck less about trying to manage my ex’s feelings about me. His feelings about me change from week to week. No one can keep up with that delusional poppycock. Silence is golden. Carry on with your bad self!

    • Love this …’ but then I thought-nah, I got shit to do.
      When I get caught up in his bs I think, right what can I do for myself or my boys right now to makes our lives better. It’s becoming a good habit.

  • After 30 years 4 kids etc together, I just couldn’t file. I was devastated at the thought. I gave up everything for him and my family. I would cry for hours. He cheated, gaslighted and blamed me for years. The kids and I moved out but he blames me for ending things because I left. I left because he refused to apologise. He blamed me for everything, saying I was broken etc. Within a month, he was trying to introduce trollface to our kids. Told everyone he deserves to be happy. Trollface was now going to our family functions, posting on fb about their relationship etc. I was mortified. 9 months later, I told him he that he had to file. I said it was his decision to blow up our family, YOU take responsibility and finish the job. He did. It was a relief to me to finally get him to follow thru. I realise it probably makes no sense to a lot of people that I made him do this. But the reality is that after being blamed for everything, I wanted it known that HE did this to our family. Two years later, after going back to school, I have a career. I am starting from square 1 at age 50 and it is a struggle. I had to give it all up..the house, the security, the future etc but the kids and I are so much happier being on our own. I completely understand how paralyzing even the thought of divorce can be. Be strong and use CN for extra guidence and strength. This site has been my lifeline. (Especially when family would tell me how great my husband is or what a great life I have or say…how will you ever support yourself?? ugh.) Please..trust He sucks and take back your life.

    • Den67-
      I did the same…. he started the shitstorm so he could pay to end it. It took him 5 months longer to actually do it however I’m sure homeslice helped him along as they had already been engaged for 4 months. Explain that one?!
      You are mighty! You get to decide what kind of life you have and from your post, it sounds cheater free…. that alone makes it amazing!!

      • Lost 220# Deadweight

        Thank you for the encouragement and validation. Divorce was final December 19. What I thought was tradgic has actually felt like a huge weight lifted. (Took 2 years).
        So, absolutely love your name!
        I’m just thankful it is finally officially over and I can move forward.

  • Nice.

    That’s a word that gets us all into trouble.

    You have 2 better choices:
    1. Be KIND to those who are kind to you or to the vulnerable (old, sick, kiddos, animals, the poor). Be kind. That is, don’t do things to hurt those vulnerable people. That can also included harried store clerks, a stranger who drops a heavy load on the sidewalk, someone with a wailing child, a neighbor with a broken ankle. Be kind. “Considerate,” “helpful,” “humane” are all words in the dictionary definition.
    2. Or be CIVIL. This is how you treat people who are not vulnerable or in need of your consideration or care. Cheaters fall in this group. They have shown, by their selfish predatory behavior, that when they want to, they can take care of their true needs quite well. That might not make them smart about handling money or give them driving skills or allow them to be good at keeping house, but if someone can pull off a secret affair for 30 days to 30 years, they aren’t in need of your kindness. They’ve established their priorities (kibbles, cake, impression management). Don’t project your decency and common sense on these hyenas. But be civil. Answer necessary communication using gray rock techniques (by definition, civil). Don’t give them personal information or your attention and sympathy. Don’t allow them to be central to you life. Being civil is about impersonal politeness and good manners, without affection or real interest in their life. Civility greases the wheels of business and should do the same in the political world (except the narcissists make that so hard…)

    Read the old post “Nice vs. Kind.”

  • It’s not an either/or situation. You don’t choose to be heartbroken and confused OR get a divorce, you do both. You don’t spend time figuring out why he’s looking to for your sympathy OR get divorced, you do both. You don’t deal with all of the horribleness that’s happening to you and your daughter OR get divorced, you march ahead and do both. This is a both/and situation.

    It’s completely unfair and rotten, but the only thing you can do at this point is to extract yourself the rest of the way.

    • You are heartbroken because your life as you knew it was turned upside down by someone you loved. They demonstrated a disregard for you and your daughter that you wouldn’t expect from your worst enemy. That makes you a human being with feelings and a sense of morality and decency. None of those feelings mean you should accept that you are not worthy of being treated respectfully. You weren’t, and you aren’t likely to be by him. He has forced the situation, not you.

  • FILE!

    His attorney may attempt to use it against you in court, but you will come to feel deep satisfaction in standing up for yourself.

    Enough.

  • All-purpose verbal response to the disordered:

    “Oh.”

    That takes care of everything, when you are forced to respond to a comment from someone you don’t want to deal with.

    You can also use it in written communication, but is so very, very useful when you are speaking with someone who is trying to bait you. They will like respond with “Is that all you have to say?” and of course your final answer is “Yes” which is usually countered by “Really? You don’t have anything else to add?” and of course your response is “No.”

    It took me a very long time to learn to use my words, but once I did… it was very helpful!

    Learning to say “Oh” and “Yes” and “No” was very empowering for me. These short responses pretty quickly shut down the fishing-for-sympathy dynamic from all sorts of people that really didn’t need to hear my excuses, apologies, or sparkling.

  • “He wrote back saying he couldn’t recommit to the marriage and that he was sorry for hurting me (“it was never his intention”)

    I hate this excuse. Intent does not absolve responsibility, and claiming benevolence when your actions have hurt another person is the epitome of selfish. Ignoring how your actions affected someone else because “hey I didn’t mean to do it” does not make the pain of the one being hurt go away (though thinking it does seems to be the cultural norm). Intent is merely an attempt to assign a value to the blameworthiness of an action. In the end, determining intent is simply a way of choosing how we will evaluate the character behind the actions; malevolent or benevolent. If a cheater can convince you that their actions are malevolent, “yes, I really am a good person, you have nothing to fear from me, I’m so hurt that I hurt you!” By successfully convincing you they are someone who made a mistake, and not someone trying to gain the upper hand, you are more likely to let your guard down. While you are busy evaluating their intent, they are busy draining the bank accounts, lining up their ducks and setting you up for failure. They tilt the scales in their favor while you are sitting around waiting for the person they told you they were to show up.

    In the words of CL… you’re looking for a unicorn when what you’re really getting is a shit sandwich. Cheaters show us our best interest are not at the center of their actions (if they were they wouldn’t be cheating), yet we think they will have some magical moment and feel guilt for their deception. If f*ucking another person isn’t enough to make them feel bad, it’s likely nothing will. Oh, they’ll feel bad for themselves “poor me, I wrecked my car” but they won’t feel bad for what they did to you. The cheaters Moto is … It’s all about me!

    That’s what you’re dealing with! Someone who makes it about them! The proper response to this is accepting they make it about them, and do the same for yourself. This does not make you selfish, it makes you mighty.

    • Got-a-Brain,
      My ex-boyfriend gave me a version of ‘I never meant to hurt you.’ At last discard he told me, ‘I don’t want to hurt you more than I already have.’ To most outsiders, that might sound really thoughtful. To me, under the circumstances, it felt like a cop out/get out of jail free card/’look what a nice, thoughtful guy I am’ ploy, like many of his other gestures. Apple polisher. Wasn’t the wicked witch in Snow White one?

    • My STBX Wife gave me the “It was never my intent” line as well.

      It’s pretty simple to shoot down; yeah, you didn’t intend to hurt me because you didn’t intend to get caught. It doesn’t make it right. The law of “you’re only a bad person if you get caught” is mental gymnastics. We wouldn’t apply it to murderers, thieves or rapists!!

  • So if the goal is indifference and hate is at one end and love at the opposite I am between hate and indifference a year out from the divorce and 1.7 from Dday. I think i will be here for a long time. There are days when I am at pure rage still and others where I don’t think of him or what he did to my daughter and to me at all…or at least I don’t really care and feel better off without him.
    I have been thinking a lot about indifference and what it really means to me…I know myself…I have empathy for strangers, but I have none for the X. I may never be indifferent because I don’t generally “do” indifferent.
    Before I was divorced but after no contact had begun, X sent a sad sack picture of himself to me “to please show” our 6 year old. It was a picture of his face mangled and bloody with a caption that he was “hit by a cab getting out of his car” and “had to spend the entire night in the ER”. I didn’t show her and she and I continued our walk although I was fuming on the inside (how dare he try to get sympathy from our kid by sending a small child a scary picture!!!) He then Skyped her…she wanted the phone so I did allow it. I was furious because it scared and upset her but gave him mad kibbles. I could tell he was loving it. Now I realize this is who he is and although those displays still tick me off (especially around my kid), it doesn’t affect me. The disordered just don’t get it. Cloud Castle, it’s ok to hate him as long as you want or need to…it really does change because you will change. They never will.

    • That is a sure sign of one self-centered SOB. I can’t imagine a loving parent that wouldn’t try to protect their child from harm. Wow! I would want to talk to my kids to reassure them that I was okay if they had heard I was hurt, but I would not want them to see me in that state. What an asshat!

    • This is interesting because it shows that cheaters have zero empathy. Why would you upset a child like this? It’s really scary for a child to see someone they care about injured.

      It even happened with me and the Whore (AP). Years before DDay I had a myomectomy following recurrent miscarriages. The Whore came to see me in hospital with her son. I was lying in bed with tubes in my arms and I still had the little oxygen things in my nose too. She just blabbered on without even noticing that her son, who wasn’t even 5 years old, had frozen with a terrified look on his little face. I stopped her and talked to him instead, explaining what the tubes were and that they didn’t hurt at all, that I wasn’t in any pain (not quite true) and it was all ok. That seemed to reassure him and then he started asking questions and playing. She completely ignored his feelings. BTW, she’s a nurse.

      • Yep. They don’t get it (disordered types) and never will. I feel so fortunate that even though I was conned by one of these assholes, I am not one of them. So shallow.

  • If my XH told me he’d been in a car accident, my exact response would be, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

    That’s it. I owe him nothing else. If he needs a shoulder to cry on, he can call one of the women he chose over me.

    What’s that? His mistress dumped him, moved to North Carolina, and married another man? That sounds an awful lot like “not my problem.” He should have chosen my replacement a little more carefully.

    If he needed a change in arrangements due to recovery, he would need to bring that up. It isn’t my job to suggest taking over his half of the work for him.

  • <**phone buzzes**> Honey, the cars been totaled. Im at the hospital.

    <**sets phone down**> Hmm… Just like he wrecked our marriage.

    <**changes channel on TV**>

  • Never speaks to Dancing Dick….unless it concerns my spousal maintenance! The only thing I would ever have to say to the Dancing Dick…..can be summed up in Rihanna’s song: “Bitch Better Have My Money”

    Bitch better have my money!
    Bitch better have my money!
    Pay me what you owe me
    Bitch better have my (bitch better have my)
    Bitch better have my (bitch better have my)
    Bitch better have my money!

  • A few weeks after DD train wreck was supposedly trying to decide whether to stay or move out. They were “just friends” & I was kicking my “self-improvement” into high gear. He said, “Are you still going to meetings, or is that all over now?” As though I was the problem. I begged him not to go, but he did. That was 7 years ago now, & not only am I relieved & so glad, I’m grateful as hell he’s remarried & not my legal problem anymore. It’s a process, & I’m still trying to get that he was a cheater from before the beginning. It’s unfathomable to me. Please, get a lawyer & don’t look back.

  • “This is what DIVORCE looks like. It’s the END of emotional investment. It’s the end of ALL investment in the other person. In their finances, in their future, in being a family. It’s two people going their SEPARATE ways.”

    This.

    Why do Cheaters think that we still want to play One Big Happy Family after a divorce?! It drives me CRAZY. My answer is consistently:

    You had the opportunity when we were married. You didn’t want it then. You don’t get it now. That was your choice.

    <>

    I know he wants it to show the children that what he did was Not So Bad, but I honestly think he also believes that I have no reason to want to stay away. He really DOES believe that what he did was not really a big deal. Years and years of lying, fucking around, making me do all the adulting and parenting, exposing me to STDs. No big deal in his mind. I should be “over it” by now.

    Fuck. That. Shit.

    I may have moved on but I will NEVER forget and NEVER make myself vulnerable to him ever again.

  • Hi CN. I’ve started a post so many times but chickened out. But I too must admit I find myself making excuses for putting off divorcing my cheater. It’s been two years. He was/is having an affair with a ‘friend’ who has quite simply always wanted my life. Her own being a total car crash . An ex family of religious cult people , no real friends as she made a habit of sleeping with loser husbands, and then she got secondary liver cancer. A terminal illness. So in steps my helpful husband wearing his superhero costume to ‘save her.’ In honesty it’s probably been going on even before that.
    So I hate my ex. Husband for 25 years. But I hate her more. My older kids 20 and 18 have had no contact since d day. Never will. My youngest has no choice sadly.
    I have missed the window for divorcing him for adultery (2 years) so am expecting him to file any day now for something made up. But I’m so reluctant to set him free because it’s really important to me and my kids that she does not get to marry him. We know she was never interested in him..just in getting what we had. I think that’s still the case and to her getting to marry him will be all she needs to validate their affair and to prove she meant more than we did. To pretend it was real love etc. He told me and his kids it wasn’t of course. He’s a completey sad narcissist.
    She’s living alone, still locally, with no friends. My cheater ran far away to his parents on d day. Three hours drive away. I do not know if the affair continues but I suspect it does in some form. Unfortunately for her She’s the most vain person you could meet so I (and her ex h )think she would only ever meet up when she’s ‘camera ready’ which takes a while these days. I just feel so resentful that he has created such a shitstorm, abandoned three beautiful teenage kids, dumped me after 25 years and then moved far away from all this shit whilst me and my kids are left to face the music. But I know I’m still well blessed with my wonderful kids, my lovely family and many true friends around me and my good health.
    I know CN will convince me I’m wrong to linger and resist divorce and that’s good. I think I just need that final push!

    • You don’t want her to get what you have… what do you have? A man who abandoned his wife and children? Why do you want that? Money? For all you know he’s racking up debts. Get a settlement, alimony, child support (plus college funding pledges from him) your share of the assets – then she won’t get what you have. Now, your husband can pour all your joint assets into her medical fund or shoe habit, and you can’t do anything about it.

      She’s a sad mess with no friends, a traumatic childhood, and cancer, desperately looking for some comfort and security. He’s a scumbucket who abandoned his wife and children. Of the two, she’s pitiable, but he’s despicable. Why do you blame her pathetic ass for your husband’s willfully chosen bad behavior?

      P.S. The “I can’t file because statute of limitations” is another excuse you’re giving yourself. Talk to a lawyer. Can you divorce for abandonment? Has he cheated more recently? How else can you divorce? Do it.

      • I agree. As long as you don’t file, you are legally tied to him financially and you are putting yourself at risk. If you found out you were in business with a Bernie Madoff type, would you hesitate to dissolve the business?

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