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Dead Cheaters and Terrible Discoveries

There’s a subset of chumps — those whose D-Days come after their cheaters’ deaths. The bastards take it to the grave… and the grave gives it back.

Who is there to guard the cellphone now? Or the financial accounts? Chumps going about the terrible work of informing loved ones of a death, unwittingly discover horrors on their departed spouses’ computers. Or in their sock drawer. Or in missing college funds.

We average chumps might think, “Hey, at least you have the satisfaction of perfect no contact,” but think about it. There’s no one to rage at, no one to serve divorce papers, no one fill in a larger picture of how long and who with (even if you have to depose it out of them). There’s just absence.

And in that void are Expectations. That you will honor the sainted memory of your cheater. Arrange his or her funeral. That you will grieve appropriately — weepy, sad, brave — NOT homicidal, enraged, bereft.

D-Day with a dead cheater must feel like a cosmic joke. THAT was my life? AND I NEVER KNEW? And THIS is how I FIND OUT?

So, the chump has the burden. Who do you tell? Can you share this with anyone? Or is it Speaking Ill of the Dead?

I recently got a letter from “GM” who had this exact dilemma, with a twist — her dead cheater was a beloved academic, and his department wanted to honor him with a named chair. And assumed she would spearhead this memorial. She nursed him through a long illness, only to discover upon his death, that he’d been in the midst of a 13-year-long affair.

When he was closer to dying, I asked him for my birthday gift that defined me — wind-chimes at a particular small business. He gave them to me. They’re beautiful. I told him that whenever I heard them, I would think of us. We decided to give a set of these beautiful wind-chimes to each of our children, and eventually, to his sister. I told him that when he was gone, I would slowly save up and give them to everyone who mattered to him. Turns out he bought the same wind-chimes, went to his girlfriend, and gave her the same story. No conscience.

I grieved the loss of my beloved for a week, before I discovered he was NOT my beloved at all. He had been making things up for 13 years. He went from kids’ birthdays and holidays to texting his girlfriend. And it wasn’t a sex addiction either, because I see from the emails and the texts that they got together at hardware stores and went off to restaurants and had days together. To me, if I was really into the sex, it would just be a whole lot of visiting Motel 6.

Now my children really want their privacy. And they are concerned that I will regret it seriously if I tell anyone. And yet, my family and his family and a whole academic department all think he’s a saint.
After we found out there were actually seven Other Women, I stopped planning the magnificent memorial I had been working on. I stopped planning on working on a scholarship fund his department had created in his name and honor. I figured when I got back his ashes, I would throw them in the shed on top of the stupid wind chimes, until all of this settled.

Even when I talk to the hospice counselor or my therapist, they are so shocked and mortified they can’t speak. They can hardly breathe.

Now his department at a university wants to honor him by creating and lounge in his memory. A beautiful room. They all think he’s the angel he pretended to be. My life is just filled to the brim with his lies.

So — does GM tell? 

Sometimes I feel like if I confided in one or two people at his department, the hole he really was, then my kids and I could stomach going and smiling while they dedicate this poor big deal to him. It seems like that would help, that a couple of people knew the truth.

But I have this lingering sense that if you burst someone’s bubble, they don’t necessarily end up on your side. They might resent it. They might project onto things onto you. I don’t know. I’m so lost in shock.

But the bottom line is that I don’t want to take away from his workplace, their desire to create this monument and canonize him. That’s their business, and he was very good at his job. It’s just who they think he was is absolutely a lie. And I just can’t imagine stomaching that.

I just don’t know what to do. What will be best for me or the kids. I can’t imagine saying to the university department that I’m not gonna be involved. And the problem is, all of the people there know me for who I truly am. I’m honest and straightforward and devoted. I can’t figure out how to be myself in the situation and honor myself, without any more betrayal happening on top of what he’s already done.

Dear GM,

It sounds like you made your needs really, really small when he was alive. Now that he is dead, you know what? YOU MATTER. Forget honoring a man who abused you and deceived you — honor yourself and refuse to live his lie.

Your kids already know, that’s the hard part. If it were me, I would simply tell the academic department that since Mr. Phony died, you discovered his double life and his many betrayals. And you will not be participating in any memorial. Please take you off the mailing list, or whatever. If your grown children want to go to some ribbon cutting, that’s their business.

You do NOT have to burnish his image and be his PR agent in death. Not. Your. Job.

Frankly, I bet a bunch of them KNEW. So fuck them very much. Let go of how he is perceived.

And the problem is, all of the people there know me for who I truly am. I’m honest and straightforward and devoted.

A 13-year affair? I bet a large number of those people were complicit in their silence. A guy who takes his mistress to the hardware store is likely a person who takes his mistress to his workplace. Don’t assume you know what his colleagues think of you. Don’t project your values on them. What you see as “devoted” — they may see as “chump.” You don’t know what he told them about you — that you deserved to be cheated on, or you knew, or you were sexless. Or worse, they KNEW you didn’t know, and smiled at you at those faculty dinners, loving satellite to his rockstar.

Fuck them. Are you REALLY going to put their needs (to not be uncomfortable with the truth of his character) above your own?

This doesn’t have to be a showdown at the OK Corral — simply don’t go. And tell them why. Let them live with the cognitive dissonance. Not. Your. Problem.

Your cheater is dead. You outlived him. What a gift! What a glorious absence! Who wants to fill that remaining life with lounge dedications to fuckwits?

Please go forth and make your needs central (not HIS!)

Oh, and throw those wind-chimes in the crematorium while you’re at it.

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.
  • I wouldn’t go. Fuck him and his sainted memory. You don’t need to pretend for anyone’s sake. And, yes, I would tell everyone that asks why you aren’t going, planning, doing for this memorial to a liar, a cheat, a bamboozler.

    Be kind to yourself. Redo some rooms in your house. Move. Do what feels right to you. Start over with a genuine life.

    Hugs to you, GM

    • Thank you. I finally figured it all out. I went and talked to enough trusted people, and each part of his life, and told them the whole sordid truth. It always blew them away. But it was the opposite of the secrecy that harmed my kids and myself and everyone else for 40 years. It helped me begin to heal. And yes, throwing away all of his things. Ripping up things . Bringing all of his nice clothes to a rescue mission. Changing rooms around. I know it’s a tough time that will get better in the future. That I have this big chance, at 65, just simply take care of myself, and build a big rich life. Thank you

  • OMG. how horrifying… having to grieve a death, then grieve a life you thought you had and no where to channel the righteous anger to who deserves it.

    big big hugs. tracy is spot on, you no longer need to be complicit in image managing for him. the department can figure it out.

    • Thank you so much. I went and talked to them, the person who has his job now happens to be an old dear friend, and I talk to them and their husband. They were remarkably supportive. And I talk to the two top people of the department. With the friends. They were horrified. They were concerned about my kids and myself. They were confused and upset. And respectful. They dropped interest in anything. And later on, when I began to see evidence of all the students had been involved with, I told them. And asked them to protect The department. Thank you for your supportive comment. I don’t know what I would’ve done without this site.

  • Totally agree with CL on this one!

    Your beloved ‘husband’ clearly didn’t care enough to hide his affair from anyone except you. He didn’t work hard to cover his tracks because he trusted in your devotion. He was careless because he did not care about you, your feelings or even your kids. Sorry to be harsh but that is the truth of people who behave like he did.

    Fuck him!

    You have to live the truth of who you are. Don’t keep your mouth shut and spend forever being sorry you covered his ass. Don’t make a fool out of yourself.

    Like CL said, the kids already know. Go tell his coworkers exactly why you have no interest in participating in anything that honors his memory. While you’re at it, ask several of them first why they didn’t tell you? See what their reaction is. That will tell you how many people knew.

    My ex still tells the one son who speaks to him that “there are two sides to the story”. I’m sure your husband did the same or similar. They’re all the same.

    I’m sorry you have to live thru this horror but continue to live like the person you are – honest, straightforward and devoted.

    I’m also sorry that the beautiful sound of wind chimes have been soiled. Read CL’s piece on reclaiming things.. wind chimes deserve better.

    • ‘There are two sides to the story”…that is exactly what my cheater husband said to me the other day when we were discussing my friends’ ex husband cheating on her. In response, I asked what reason/explanation could possibly explain that it was ok to cheat on her. To that question, there was no response. Guess I made him feel bad.😞

      • I told mine about my cousins partner cheating on her when she was pregnant. I was upset for her, response from him, crickets, big waving red flag!

    • Dear Rebecca, please direct me to CL’s piece about reclaiming things. I have several holidays that were with interrupted, delayed or cancelled this past year because he simply could not get enough of her and I was not willing to play along. Thank you

    • Thank you for your thoughtful reply! Today I’m actually meeting with his therapist and the person who ran his cancer group, tell them who he really was, and to ask them if they want to put the windchimes at the cancer support center. Because they will make beautiful sounds and comfort people and no one will know the story. I am very aware of the fact that there are some horrible aspects to having a dead cheater, and many advantages. Many. I am so aware of the fact that despite him decimating finances and pretending he made so little money than he did and making me sick so I had to stop working, and making us live with horrible furniture and horrible dishes and falling down house, while he siphoned money off for so many bimbos you would not believe, to meet or I chat or sext text or so many activities, that’s still I have the pension and the Social Security and he couldn’t touch the equity on the house. Now I have peace of mind, even if some of my kids are in such pain, that even though they are grown, they want to somehow blame me. I understand time will pass. I understand my strength infuriated him. I see now how my devotion and love and that of my kids only in raged him more, because he was stuck inside of a sick, unfeeling, devoid of insight life. Trying to harm everyone, as a way of feeling something. I am so grateful to be alive, and to be rising up in my own life, at 65. Take care.

  • “Frankly, I bet a bunch of them KNEW. So fuck them very much. Let go of how he is perceived.”

    Dear GM, As I read your letter, CL’s analysis was mine as well. And I would do exactly the same thing she suggests. Your story is similar to mine except I got to divorce the bastard and I feel better for it.

    I feel so bad for you. Throw those wind chimes in the city dump or sell them on e-Bay. I have sold or given to charity or trashed everything that ever came from Baron Sparkledick von Glitterballs or his family, not a single picture left. Ironically, the first thing to go was him mom’s antique sewing machine, sold to a colleague and his floosie, they were decorating their nest.

    I work in a different city than glitterballs and went sporadically to the city where he worked as a specialist in foresight (how ironic). One day I finally convinced him to show me his office. He took me there at lunch time when no one was around except a waiter who raised his eyebrows when I was introduced to him. Chumpy me thought the waiter was amazed that I finally showed up (expensive for me to get there, cheater had paid travel to come home to my city every weekend). Now I know that at the time cheater was carrying on with a subordinate. Cheater kept devaluing me the entire visit. I was ashamed of his monumental office paid for by taxes. It was awful. I hate to remember that day and your story brought the memory back.

    Do the right thing and don’t lift a finger for his department. You are mighty for writing to CL.

    • Thank you for sharing with me your story. Your tough tough experiences.
      Now I see how he lived this miserable MT life, while studying how to look normal, and persuading every single person that he was that persona he created. Now I understand how every time he was cared for our loved or receive devotion, it was so painful, because he was so empty inside, but had to return everything by trying to harm others. The volume of bimbos over 40 years is remarkable. The fact that they all intentionally were looking for someone to cheat with, and then ended up believing what he said, is astonishing, and they can all just fucking have each other. I don’t care.
      I am almost passed the stage where it hurts so much. Some of the bimbos have started contacting me, and they can just have their own little miserable lives.
      He sex texted and I chatted and emailed and phoned and met with and had sex with this volume of women over the years, seamlessly, because he was a sociopath, and he wasn’t ever going to mess up. He went on cheater sites and listed my name to update the deception ante for them all,
      I eventually met with trustworthy key people in each part of his life, and confided in them. But confidentiality is for the benefit of my kids. But what I know now know is that there is this huge number of bimbos who live all around here in my own town, and went to stores with him and restaurants with him and hung out as close to home as possible, all feeling terribly badly for him with his stories, so I’ve let my poor kids know that slowlycommonality kicked off, they’re all going to talk.
      Now I understand it infuriated him that he couldn’t crush me, that I was strong, that I got sick and had to stop working but I was never crashed. By him. Now I understand that he left all the information about every single deceptive thing he did displayed for the kids and I to find, when he died. That he sat around getting pleasure from this. And possibly had some perverse sense that he would finally be known for who he truly was. Because while he was alive, no one knew who he was.
      Thank you for your insight and your support. There is nothing like getting rid of a cheater who has been feeding on you. I am so grateful every day.

  • Why not memorialize the bastard with a support center for victims of abuse on campus. And scholarships for students going into social services to aimed at working with abuse victims.

    I was also wondering if your children will be attending college and perhaps they will be able to get a free education at the university.

    The idea that others knew and being in the dark is disturbing. Having his own children notifying the OW while you sat bedside is unimaginable.

    What a legacy to leave his children and wife.

      • A lesson to all–they really are THAT bad. Whatever ‘nice guy/girl’ image they manage to convince other people to believe in, cheaters are like the lawn in the opening shot of Blue Velvet–pretty green grass on the top, teeming swarms of unpleasant bugs underneath.

        • My social circle had a cheater who seemed like the nicest guy. He convinced everybody that his wife was physically abusive and cheated on him with a double digit number of people. When they divorced, he played up the poor victim card and everybody bought it.

          Turns out SHE filed first, he tried to block it (if you’re being abused, why would you block it???), but the divorce still went through. She got alimony and fled across the country. Good for her.

        • Great analogy, Tempest. David Lynch is great at exploiting the evil that lurks within an otherwise unremarkable setting. Like the life of Dorothy Vallens before Frank Booth, vs after… Her life before Frank was the illusion of happiness, whereas post Frank exposes what truly lies within the illusion.
          My cheater is the wholesome Jeffrey Beaumont when life is going well for him, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t turn into Frank Booth when his mask slips off and he goes into a narcissistic rage.

        • If it looks too good to be true, it is. The two ways you identify a sociopath is by noticing someone looks too good to be true, and then comparing their devices and their actions with who they purport to be.

    • Thank you. I love these ideas. Although I will probably need, instead, just simply go easy on myself, to really digest what was being done to me for 40 years, how hard someone was trying to harm me and my kids. And we built my life, just grateful for each day, now that he kicked off. And yes, now that I know he left every deceptive thing he ever did displayed for the kids and I to find after he died, now that I know there were the most amazing volumes of bimbos , That he found on cheater sites, which I didn’t even know existed, that he told them all variations of a poor me story so they all felt like they were the only one and they were keeping his secret. Now I know that they will all begin talking, now that he kicked off, now that their resentment that he didn’t ever really choose them grows. Now I know he set them all up to find out about each other, and they’re in the town all around me, whoever they are, fucked up bimbos, having believed everything he told them. Not my problem. I’m just going to stand tall, be grateful I finally have my own life without somebody trying their best to harm me and mess me up. I don’t know what I would’ve done without this site, and all of the people here. And Tracy‘s wisdom. Thank you for your comment. And your insight.

  • Ooo I like doingme’s idea. I think you might have difficulty with the university types going for that. Their big egos often get in the way of rational thought. Still, it would be nice.

      • I agree of course that Mr. Academic Cheaterpants should not have the honor of your attendance at any such ceremony….unless you might just go and wait for your turn to speak and just lay the truth out on all of them. (oh yes, this is if your kids don’t attend, they might be mortified)! You could offer to be the last to speak, and they won’t be forgetting it anytime soon!
        Perhaps someone as direct as CL could help to write the script. That would be so great, I will bet some would respect your bravery, and maybe relate to your pain.
        I have gotten to the point where I don’t much care who I leave behind if they don’t care about me. And this kind public nicety that is just a lie would be fun to blow up.
        You are probably so shocked and hurt right now you are not thinking of doing something like this, just a thought. Nice fantasy at the very least.

        • That would be something to memorialize, and a refreshing break from those dull academic events. The cheaterpants memorialized. What a fun evening that would be!

          And yes, more than likely, there were a few people he worked with, aware of his affairs. And nobody dared say anything, to hold onto their positions, honor the heirarchy in which he felt entitlement, his colleages upheld and some maybe viewed you not as devoted, but as The Chump. To speak up at your late husbands honorary event, if one would be so brave to speak up, tell honestly your position, it would make a mockery of that entire department and at the same time, empower you, the one with the last word and final say to make things ring true. People in attendance will never forget, for certain, it would be a unique and well deserving memorial.

      • He didn’t touch the equity on the house, he couldn’t. Thank God. He got to everything else. And he had a little tiny bit of automatic life insurance, nothing else. Because he wouldn’t want to. Because he didn’t care about how I was after he died. Because he took pleasure in knowing how badly everything was set up, and how much I would be harmed. I had no idea. Now I pretty much know everything. Rebuilding my life, heading hopefully toward me he didn’t touch the equity on the house, he couldn’t. Thank God. He got to everything else. And had a little tiny bit of automatic life insurance, nothing else. Because he wouldn’t want to. Because he didn’t care about how I was after he died. Because he took pleasure in knowing how badly everything was set up, and how much I would be harmed. I had no idea. Now I pretty much know everything. Rebuilding my life, heading hopefully toward meh.

    • I went and met with them and told them, and they were amazing. They dropped everything. They were only concerned about the kids and me, and shocked at how they were played. Thank you for your comment.

  • God mighty these stories come in so many different flavors of horrific.

    I am so sorry you have no one to yell at (but trust me, they don’t care)

    “Are you REALLY going to put their needs (to not be uncomfortable with the truth of his character) above your own?” THIS a million times over. It’s time to take care of YOURSELF and not worry about your deceased cheater’s coworkers. You have a true warm caring chumpy heart to even think of putting those people’s comfort ahead of your own sanity. But now it’s time to be an awesomely wonderful person to YOURSELF. There’s absolutely no reason to protect HIM here (which is what you’d be doing if you don’t just tell them “why”). One of my favorite lines from Tracy’s book: “If it wasn’t bad enough to DO, then it’s not bad enough to TALK ABOUT.

    Take care

    • Oh btw, this thing with the windchimes got to me… This is a very common thing with cheaters, they love to violate the most sacred of things. In their minds, having a wife and a girlfriend is perfectly normal, so “naturally” they want to share everything with the mistress, who is dumb enough to take it as a sign that the cheater really loves them.

      For me it wasn’t a tangible object, but a place. Hawaii was where we honeymooned. It was a particularly magical wonderful honeymoon. We went back with our children ten years later, and started going regularly as a family. My children loved it. My ex and I would dream of retiring there someday, and we used to go look at apartments/properties and try to figure out if we could ever pull it off. It was a truly special place to us, or so I thought. When I found out he cheated on me there, I felt like he was cheating on the kids too. Of course, he was always cheating on the kids, but finding out that he’d violated his family in a a sacred place woke up something inside me. This was not a midlife crisis or temporary insanity. This is, to his core, an absolutely terrible person. That was the day I stopped wanting him back…

      • I think cheaters share the same things/places with their whores because they are lazy. They don’t want to juggle and remember who said/did what/where. Make it all the same and it is easier for them.

        • I agree with UnflownKite. My XH just got back from a trip to Paris. Took his whore to the same restaurant that we took my late mother to to commemorate her 60th birthday – she died less than 4 years later. If the restaurant was good (it was not – but hyped in a movie starring Diane Keaton, so I wanted to try it), I’d kind of understand. BTW, the whore LOVED it. Paris is known for it’s cuisine. No reason to revisit mediocre dining establishments, but he’s lazy and she’s dim (the nicest things I can say about both of them).

          • Isn’t it strange how the cheater can’t think outside the box. Mine takes his trollop to the sane restaurants,bars,even our holiday home…..but then he always was a lazy bastard…😂😂😂
            On a positive note, I now don’t have to put up with clothes left on the floor, rotten smell coming from the bathroom, the beltching, farting,excessive eating,having to look at the man I thought I loved get fatter,fatter,oh and fatter,dandruff left on the leather settee….he sounds delightful doesn’t he? Now I really should give the trollop a medal,or send her a Thankyou card.

        • I discovered my cheater had planned to take his whore to the very resort I’ve been asking him to take me to for years. Even though I foiled their little getaway fuck fest, I’d rather eat shit than step foot in that place. Before I wanted to go there in remembrance of my late grandmother to spoke fondly of it, but now it just reminds me of how deep cheater’s deception truly was. They took that, along with so much else away from me… I still don’t know who the whore is, and although I’m on antidepressants and anti anxiety meds, every once in a while, I fantasize about her being hit by the karma bus. After all- she was a willing participant along with cheater in fucking up our family, and half the reason I need medication. Even still, my sanity slips and my anger comes out in the form of words. In fact just the other day, he called me mean because I was frustrated at his lack of help with the kids and sternly told him it wasn’t fair to me.
          He blameshifted and denied and once again “reminded” me that I’ve always been a yeller and his cheating had nothing to do with leaving me- that it was my behavior.
          I saw red- and called him a pathetic, self absorbed little man.
          Later, I apologized for calling him pathetic, but not for the self absorbed, little man part.

          • …”his cheating had nothing to do with leaving me- that it was my behavior.”

            Ya, right! You think he would have left without his ‘sure thing’ waiting for him? Not a chance. They are such PATHETIC assholes. You owed him no apologies, in fact, I recommend a huge dose of grey rock. Don’t even let the jerk engage you. I don’t let my ex even get the chance to talk to me about anything not directly child-related. I shut it down before I am tempted to baseball bat his smug, pathetic face.

            • Bravo, exactly what I’ve done… I know the NC rule inside out, and have applied it for ever more. His cheating , he can own it. Only now he’s left with a woman who cheats as a hobby….even took her daughter on a cheat date with another guy whilst married. Had men in and out her house like a revolving door. I’d say he got what he deserved. And several months later he’s wanting to come back….even though gee lied,disrespected his family,manipulated….I laughed,and told him to go back to his mirror image…they both deserve each other,and even though I wish him no malice, I hope he’s utterly miserable….karma baby!

        • That’s exactly what I thought when I found out my ex proposed to his stripper gf on the same night (Christmas Eve) he proposed to me, only 30 years later. He was just too lazy to come up with another plan. Fortunately, I’m at meh so all I did was giggle at the thought that he probably reused the entire scenario and not just the date. She gets sloppy seconds (or more like 54ths in his case) in every way.

          • Oh wow beth so many parallels. The same .dad if the year while denying his fuckbuddy and swearing to his kids he was living a monk like existence declared on Christmas eve ( yes the day he proposed to me 25 years ago) that he was announcing the love of his life to me and kids. He thoughfully declared that I ‘deserved to know ‘ as the ‘mother of his children ‘ but that ‘i would find the news difficult ‘to swallow’ . Pompous twat to the end.

          • Gee Beth, did he give her your old engagement ring too! They truly are simpletons! Doughboy took the Blob on a cruise and to the cottage we rented every year in Maine! I had booked the. Cottage on the beach every year, we went with his parents and family but he couldn’t think of any other place to take the Blob. Sloppy 2nds is rxacyly right. Yuck!

            • Oh yuck. Taking her to YOUR spot is even worse! What an asshat. No, I still have my ring – locked up in a safe, waiting the right occasion to sell that puppy and spend the money on something I enjoy. My ring has a diamond he inherited from his grandma and it is big – over 2 carats as I recall. Her ring is a Walmart special – five teeny tiny stones trying to look like one diamond. But then again, he had to pay for her bail, courts costs, etc. for her felony drug charges so money was tight. 😀

          • Yes! It’s amazing how , when you’re living a really screwed up in authentic life, you’re not very inventive, and you have to re-purpose ideas others had. How empty. I am so glad to have myself. And it’s so helpful that he’s dead.

      • Yes to this: “This is a very common thing with cheaters, they love to violate the most sacred of things.”

        My children and I had been studying Chinese language for years. My house is filled with Chinese prints, furniture, etc. Talk was turning to an upcoming family vacation to China. Instead, my X got invited to give conference presentations outside Beijing, and opted to take his AP. Nothing is sacred to them.

        • One of the best ways to harm, if you are empty and miserable and the whole meaning of your life is to harm those who love you and care for you the most, is to do something bad to something that mean something to them. This is what empty people do. My only cheater? Now I realize a sociopath. Symbolically putting things everywhere, doing things everywhere, so that, even in death, he harms.

      • I agree. I have a thing for vintage 1940’s to 50’s anthropomorphic salt and pepper shakers. If it’s a tomato smiling at me from that era, I’m in. Guess what the X started buying for his whore?

        Later, I find out he takes her to our favorite restaurants, same vacation spots, my favorite flower is now her favorite flower. Fucking weird . . . You’d think she’d feel stupid but alas, not that bright.

        • Ditto. Same vacation spot, same restaurants. My philosophy is that he desperately needs to be the “expert” in everything so took her those places so he could “show off.” Idiots.

          • And, same thing here – wow, they really do use the same fucking playbook don’t they? Same restaurants, same resorts, same bullshit. I did catch the idiot a few times trying to make jokes/references to me about a couple different movies – only problem was, I’ve never seen them. I told him that once: Nope, that was your girlfriend, asshole, not me….I will NOT fucking miss that.

            And yes, I am to blame for it all, rotten wife, lousy mother, never asked him “what he needed” because it is all about them in the end. What a douche bag.

            • They are all a carbon copy of each other. We are all to blame for their shit character. If only we had sparkled brighter, danced faster, and been willing to overlook any sense of reality… oh, wait! I tried all of that, none of it matters, turns out that they are just human wanna-be’s without an ounce of integrity or humanity. Oops, my bad!

              • I told my cheater that discovering his web of lies was like him reaching up under his chin and pulling off his “looks like a human” mask to reveal a bloody, oozing, pockmarked, pus-filled lizard face underneath. And he could get mad all he wanted, and try to blame-shift, control and gaslight, but once that pus-filled lizard face has been seen it cannot be unseen. I would never be able to go back to pretending he was actually a human.

          • My therapist once told me she knew a man in her neighborhood who was a divorced cheater. Every Sunday she’d see him at a local diner with his Owhore wife. They sat at the same table he sat with his ex-wife & they read the newspaper not talking to each just like he did when he was married. She thought it was so odd that he had no originality.

          • Yes, both whore’s to same holiday destinations, twice over.
            My two favourite places: Berlin and Manchester.
            And he at me shoes to give to her.
            And the first whore said we all look a bit like each other and the second one said she looked like a younger version of me!!
            I wish he was dead and I’ve never said that lightly about anyone!
            He’s got a screw loose!

        • Yes! What a cheater calling card! Aren’t you glad you have yourself! Amazing they have this compulsion. How pathetic.

      • I believe Cheaters are just so unimaginative, they have to use your ideas for everything. Sick, non creative fools. Nothing is special to them.

    • I used that line when cheater complained I was telling friends in common about his exploits. Very effective at shutting off the bullshit fountain.

    • Yes! I actually right wrote that one down for myself, if it wasn’t too bad for them to do, it’s not too bad to talk about! That got me through!
      I slowly figured out select trustworthy people I could confide in, so that I wouldn’t be living in this secret any longer. I went and talked to the university and they were great. I actually have had several dreams since fuck wad died, the latest one where I was telling him everything I knew and beating him up at the same time and he was feeling nothing and he told me that what really bothered him is how strong I always was no matter what. A great dream. I’ve torn up everything and deleted everything and giving away all of his things and it’s almost 2 months out and I read all of your stories and they give me great insight and hope and faith. Thank you.

  • I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I understand in the midst of all your grief, horror and confusion, this is probably the last thing on your mind, but you might want to check if now-dead cheater secretly left any assets (that are rightfully yours) to his AP.

    A lawyer should be able to help you to determine if you need a forensic accountant. Again, so sorry for the nightmare you must be going through. Be kind to yourself.

      • GM – please, PLEEEEAASSEE tell me you had a massive death/life insurance policy on that dbag, because really, depending on the size of that policy, you can now live the best years of your life abuser-free and mortgage free thanks to his death. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but I have a friend who cared for an abusive husband, outlived the jerk whom she nursed through pancreatic cancer, got the massive policy payout along with his military retirement, and now has the most beautiful new home and a fabulous life! After moving through the phases of grief like any normal human, she’s never been so freakin’ happy. I wish this for you, and like CL says, let go of managing his PR after his death. He sucks ass, and everyone should get to hear it straight from you. Here’s a PR tip: develop your truth message that doesn’t make you sound too “bitter,” (Oh, I’m awesome now that I know the truth about his 13 year affair while we were married, and since he’s dead now, I don’t have to live his disgusting lie anymore.) and just stay on message with anyone who asks. Oh, and deliver it with a smile. (((Hugs))) But I’m glad you found out earlier rather than after any BS memorial was in place by the sweat of your brow.

    • I too would love to know if my cheater left assets to his whore. I am almost sure because he made his sister executrix so that is because there was some shady shit going on where she is probably moving money to the known WHore, except a forensic accountant I was told is very expensive. I will regret not delving into this.,,but I don’t have the money to do it.

      • Find the money somehow, even if you have to borrow it! I recently had to talk a fellow chump into letting go of her pride (and minimized needs) and let me lend her a few thousand dollars for a lawyer. It felt so good to help a fellow chump and this guy is in for a big surprise that she is finally fighting back and standing her ground for once! I am tickled to think I get to have any participation in having her take her life back from this abusive asshole! Open yourself up to the possibility that there maybe someone who might help. I wish you SO MUCH LOVE AND LUCK! ❤

    • Thank you for your comment. He actually had a 401(k) I knew nothing about, most of which he spent. He didn’t list me as a beneficiary for anything, and there were these little bits of money here and there, $72 and a stock that he didn’t divested all the Way, or some money in a deferred pay account, that he didn’t list me as a beneficiary for, so I have to go around doing all this paperwork. He gave his main bimbo a lump sum a couple of years ago, from the 401(k), and he had an income that was bigger than he ever told me, with more bank accounts than you can shake a stick at. So when I finally began to find them all, I saw all the transactions. All the meals. All the places. All the money. While he raged at me every day for the dog and cats I have, for getting sick and not being able to work anymore, when in fact, as he weAlene’s with cancer, I began getting stronger, because he wasn’t manipulating and feeding on me anymore. After he died, every day I’ve gotten stronger and healthier. Go figure. Yeah this thing of diverting funds and using them to go do expensive luxurious things, while keeping our house and our furniture decrepit. Telling me I had to go buy clothes at the cheapest places, but because he had a job, he needed very nice clothes. He was the most remarkable sociopath. Every day I’m glad that he died. And I even feel proud at how beautifully I took care of him. Because I was just being myself. I haven’t spent one second feeling humiliated or shame. He had the most enormous number of bimbos anyone could imagine. Wasn’t even the sex. I can see from the timeline of all of his activities. It was the volume of deception. So yes, now I see the little bits of money. I see the things he kept away from our life here. I see how he left me with virtually nothing except for the equity in the house. And I see what an empty sad harmful life he led, dying lying. I am so grateful every day for this life I have now. As I slowly heal. Thank you for your comment and your understanding.

  • A twist on doingme’s excellent idea: To truly honor the cheater’s memory, have a big ceremony where an endowment is publicly pledged to his home department, then have all the proceeds ***secretly funneled*** to the abuse shelter. Letting no one know the good that’s secretly done in his name would balance out a small portion of the harm he secretly inflicted while alive.

      • Universities have massive leeway with their endowments and gifts.

        As long as it is all non profit and in the NP bucket… it’s not criminal fraud.

        Symbolic ceremonys are not indictable – at least not yet.

        If the abuse shelter is under the University umbrella -it would be fine

        I am senior legal counsel for an Ivy League University.

    • In addition to the fraud concerns, why hide it? Be open about the money and its purpose and why. No need to hide what the guy did.

    • 😉 Great idea! But I went and spoke to them and they were great and so supportive and dropped all plans. Just want me and the kids to be OK. I hope they don’t get sued in the future anyway, for all the student bimbos he did.

  • You are still in the early stages of your journey. Therefore, you are still probably thinking like a chump. The remnants of chump-think haven’t yet been fully eradicated from your brain. Speaking as someone 2 years + out of D-Day, I think you will regret it if you go to the ceremony celebrating him.

    As with the others, I do think you should tell. But you get to keep your dignity by keeping it simple and sticking to the facts. It’s not your job to protect his name. But, you don’t want to go about destroying it, either. But facts are facts.

    You’re not trying to tarnish his name, you are just stating simple facts.

    • I like this solution. This is how you can honor your own needs and also honor your children – tell the truth, but tell it succinctly without editorial. That can be your ticket to freedom from the cruel and disgusting reality you were handed upon his death.

      Your children will be able to understand the integrity and strength in your decision to walk away from participating in your husband’s web of deceit with distance with time. They are grieving in confusion now, but with time, things will clarify.

      And, hey, you could give them the OW’s email address — maybe she would like to put in the work and foot the bill, eh? Let her chump herself out to these academic clowns and advertise herself as a used object and a deceitful shallow person to his colleagues and students if she wants. She chose to live her life in the shadows, wishing she was more important than his family in his world. Now’s her chance to whore herself out to his immature whims a bit more to prove how useful an object she was in his life.

      • “you could give them the OW’s email address — maybe she would like to put in the work and foot the bill, eh?”

        Brilliant! Respond to the school: “Unfortunately I will not be available to help you with this endowment. However, I have recently discovered that Schmoopy McSlutface has been my husband’s mistress for the past 13 years. Although she was only one of the at least seven women he was unfaithful to me with in our marriage, she was the longest-standing affair, to my knowledge. Perhaps you could contact her – I have no doubt that after being a secret for so long she would enjoy the chance to have a more public role in his life.”

        • Use “Reply All” so that everyone sees your reply. Don’t let them all scurry under rocks like they didn’t know anything or that you know they all knew, because trust me, they did. Ask me how I know . . .

          • I vote for this reply as well – let Schmoopie have her time in the spotlight standing by her man, and she can pay for it as well. Seems like a fitting end to his deceit-filled life.

      • I think his main bimbo is going to slowly discover all of his alternate bimbos. Because he had such a huge volume of them, and, being a sociopath, he kept them all in the same town, telling them variations of a poor me story, that made them all think they were special, keeping his little secret, because it was oh so hard for him, and they were so special. I really think that now that he kicked off, they’re going to start being unhappy that they didn’t get more stuff from him. That he stayed with me and the kids. But he died at home. I think they’re all going to start discovering each other because that was part of his con. Just set them all up against each other , In addition to setting us up, everyone to be harmed. He laid it all out in a display to be discovered by myself and the kids after he died, every single thing he did. Massive. To give him pleasure on his way to his grave. I am just so grateful to have my self. To have been a loving honest person. And have my life now.

    • Agree with this too. You have to realize that what’s happening in his department among those that “knew,” and in the culture in general, is that we’ve all been fed from birth this dialog that says that having a string of Schmoopies on the side is a Mark Of Success, just like a fancy car or other professional accolades, and Only To Be Expected for someone of Great Status. (Look at FDR, Thomas Jefferson, MLK, etc, etc.). If anything, you may just help break the chain, when those young folks who might see your cheater as an admirable professional role model also see that marital cheating isn’t the “cool” mark of success it’s cracked up to be.

      • Yes, absolutely. And I think that what I understand now, is that he wasn’t a normal cheater. Now I understand, from the display he left behind, from all the symbolic things he put around me, the volume of bimbos, the carefully crafted stories the insured they all felt special and didn’t want to blow his secret because they had something special with him, part of his pleasure was knowing that it would all fall apart. When he was alive, he was seamless. At work. At home. But he took pleasure in knowing that everyone would find out about each other after he kicked off. How wonderful to realize how lucky you are to have a real life and be a real person. God help cheaters.

    • Thank you. And I went and talk to the department and they dropped everything. They were remarkable. I told them everything. And kept my dignity.
      I slowly realized some capital trustworthy people I could tell, and certain parts of his life and my life. So I would have the sanity of knowing that they understood. Gradually, there were enough people I met with, that I felt reassured by these people really understanding. And supporting me. Which is the opposite of a 40 year old harmful secret. And yes, it’s almost 2 months out from D day, and I know it’s early days. I know I am struggling along, finally really understanding, finally sorting everything out enough, that I can begin to accept. Support myself and my new life. Having the time and space to heal. Grateful every day that he’s gone.

    • paint widow , i am with you ,i have dreamed of this, after 4 decades of serial cheaterTurd , i found out last year ,the DEPTH of his disrespect ,dishonesty, untrustworthiness ,the depth of his DECEPTION , the depths he was willing to go to hide his sex addiction , secret affairs ,the shocking lies ,that many of you have went through .we are retired . i pay the bills ,there is not enough money to pay for 2 separate residents . one of us would end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge , and guess who that would be ? not him ! after i caught my breath ,after finding out (and putting together) what i had been cheated out of for 4 decades , i ask God to kill this Narc so i would at least have the satisfaction of being DISRESPECTABLE towards him in his death . in my fantasy , i find him dead . i call the crematory have his body picked up and burned. the end . nothing else . if any one asks where he is thats my time to inform any one who asks the truth about this disordered POS , oh and pick him up in a cardboard box . there will be NO MORE LIES ABOUT HIM being Mr Wonderful .

      • I am so sorry for your situation. Despite only being almost 2 months out from D day, I completely appreciate not having younger children. I completely appreciate him being dead. While I slowly rebuild my life from, yes, four decades of massive cheating and deception. At least we have ourselves.

    • I wonder if they make large “decorative” douche bags? This would be the embodiment of his essence.

    • !! I don’t think there is any punishment for revenge fantasies. There was no memorial. I told enough pivotal people what really happened that I feel OK about all the gossip. Who cares. His ashes are out under a container under some trees, in the doghouse, and maybe this summer, the kids and I and some family, who know everything, will get together, and dump the ashes on his birth parents graves. And then have a really nice meal and laugh and have fun. After 40 years of living with an intentionally harmful sociopath, so no one ever really knew, I am so grateful he is dead.

  • I love that!! “If it wasn’t bad enough to do, it’s not bad enough to talk about”. Truer words have never been spoken. You have no duty to continue to hide his dirty secret. It will actually be cathartic to tell people … at least it was for me! You may be met with disbelief, but fuck them. The only thing that matters here is YOU. Take care of yourself and do what YOU need to do to heal.

    • I want so badly to tell his co workers about his HowORKER or how I like to refer to her as prostitution whore…but I bet they all know… YOu cannot have an office affair and nobody knows about it. But how can I get back at her, since he’s dead? I fantasized about sending her some gifts in the mail…all fake of course..for VD day…happy VD …no more gravy train, no more diamonds…after all the nasty HO wanted to emerge from the shadows and pull back the curtain surrounding him at hospice. What did she want to do, climb on the dead body? The nasty horny HO…she WANTED me to see her… She wanted to show me that SHE was his woman. That crazed golddigging HO. So Do I inform his coworkers about her or not?…since she wanted ME to see her and know about her, I guess she can be outed at his company…But he probably destroyed my reputation so badly that IF I do say something, it will probably make ME look bad… That’s how narcs do it, they ruin you and then you end up looking like the ‘bad guy” Oh poor victim PRINCECHEATING and HOSER HO….

      • You know, I am so comforted by Tracy’s take on bimbos. That they think they have something and they don’t. That they can just have him. Each time I discover somebody new, from my fucked up dead deceptive lying cheater, I do have revenge fantasies. When they get in touch with me? I feel so invaded and harmed, until I cut it short, and realize that they are messed up. They are a cheater believing a cheater. How ridiculous. And then I just return to what Tracy and everyone else says to do ,to put all my juice into building a magnificent life.

    • Thank you! I did slowly figure out select trustworthy people to tell. His department was wonderful and supportive. I slowly picked two people from his family, some old friends, one of which has his job now, and some other people. I feel so much more sane and supported, at least having some people know the horrible truth.

  • My soon to be ex is still around but I was able to get his email account and wow what a freak it took my breath away and this was after the first discovery so it just kept coming . We are winding down and coming to the end of our 23 year marriage and all he does is cry and beg so my answer to him yesterday was ” In my life I have suffered thru a lot of shit but the destruction of my family and children has been by far the worst thing . I tell him ” Now go live your life and do a good job it and be happy because we were all sacrificed for it so make it count ”
    His reply thru tears ” You don’t have to say things like that ” I just sit here shaking my head like who the hell is the man. I have no idea. I mean he was compulsive about fucking anything and I mean anything and he is worried about the truth in my words. My kids lives were changed forever and all the piece of shit can say to me ” I make mistakes I did bad things and you can never forgive me ” my answer is no friggin way. Thanks for the destruction but I’m positive being without you is a lot better than being with a liar. This is suppose to be a nice Catholic boy. Sick

    • I feel the same way, she better be worth giving up a family over, you better make it work and be happy. Given that this is the second “soulmate” in so many years I doubt it’ll last though..

    • Good for you. Keep the focus on you and your kids … he is merely distressed about his image. And you will be amazed how quickly he recovers once the divorce is done and there is no chance of you forgiving and forgetting. But until all is lost … bring on the waterworks. Get a good settlement and go live your life!

    • I’m so sorry for everything you’ve experience. I have a new appreciation for sickness. And then an incredible appreciation for this site, and Tracy‘s tough wisdom, but keeps us focused on what will work. It’s funny how there are some ways in which analyzing and looking at the information, for me, how’s me settle into acceptance. And then after that, I can let go of it all, label him a fuck wad and the huge volume of women bimbos, find some Distance, and turn and just focus on building a rich life myself.

  • Oh man… it would be awfully tempting to feign so much grief that you can’t plan it, ask if you can “say a few words” at the memorial, and read a #metoo -esque statement of might.

    Good morning-

    We are all here to remember Dr. Sheisty McManslut. Some of us were his family, some his friends and colleagues, and some grateful students who are here to pay their respects and to honor the great man who was Dr. Sheisty McManslut.

    But Dr. Sheisty McManslut was only a mirage. He was a serial adulterist, a largely-absent father, and a thief… of 25 years of my life while he carried on affairs with eight women that I know about thus far, of the attention the children deserved from their father while he was off dating secret girlfriends, of his employer’s time, money, and respect that he didn’t deserve.

    I don’t know what ALL of your experiences have been, but I do know that there was another side to this man. And I cannot continue on with this farce any longer. He is dead. He cannot take from me anymore and I will not protect him any longer. If any of you have been hurt by this man, please don’t feel that you must hide it any longer… he doesn’t deserve it. YOU deserve more. I deserve to live in truth. We all do. And now that he’s dead, we can.

    Thank you.

    • I guess you nailed this one! No, I didn’t go through with the memorial. Because who the fuck was he? What the fuck was he doing to us and everybody else? He conned everyone. Now, two months out, I get it. I have more than enough information. He left a big display of every single thing he had done, for the kids and me to find. He conned everyone. He wasn’t anybody with anyone. And he had this enormous volume of bimbos to sex text and I chat and phone and have lunch with and sometimes have sex with. But sex wasn’t the big thing. Deception was . Harming those who cared for him was. He was a sociopath. Which is one of the saddest things, because you don’t even have a self who knows what you’re doing.
      But I get it now. I talk to enough select trustworthy people. His work got it. The kids are still struggling. In the meantime, it’s almost 2 months out, and I am so grateful for this site. For Tracy’s tough wisdom and everyone’s experiences they share and insight and support. And I get that the very best thing I can do is turn and nourish this life I’ve been given.

  • Don’t go.
    Figure out a two or three sentence explanation you can have at the ready when someone asks why. Don’t lie. Keep your character in tact by telling the truth. remember what Tracy said, you have no idea what he told these people over the years. Don’t count on them for anything.
    Be angry, be upset, be sad, be all those things you could not be when you made your needs so small they barely exists.
    Then be content, be happy, be joyous, be merry and all those good things you could not be when you made your needs so small.
    That last part will handle itself in time as you are no longer living in a state of mindfuckery and lies.
    Hugs.

    • Thank you. I went and talked to the department and was honest with them and dignified and they were amazing. Supportive. Shut everything down. I shut down the memorial thing. Who the hell knows who he was? How can you put anyone to rest when you haven’t figured that out?
      Now it’s almost 2 months out from D day, and I have a much better idea. In the meantime, I’m just focusing on my own life. Really seeing how, from what all of you say and what Tracy says, when we can pull ourselves back from obsessing about thinking, and just take really good care of ourselves, and focus on the Life we want to build, that’s what works.

  • I agree. You do not need to go into details but simply state that you will not be there because you recently found out that your husband had been having a 13 year affair. Simply say that you do not want to tarnish the occasion with your hurt and anger. Make it sound as if you are doing them a favor by not attending. Then let them figure out how to move forward with the knowledge that he wasn’t quite as perfect as they thought. As long as you do not rant and maintain dignity, I do not believe people will fault you for that.

    • Thank you. I actually told them that there were so many bimbos you couldn’t even count. I didn’t use that word. I was dignified. I was focused on the welfare of the department, which I really do care about. They were wonderful. They were supportive and concerned and continue to be. They were respectful. They shut the whole thing down. Now I’m just rebuilding my life, really grateful every day that he’s dead. How very odd.

  • GM

    A different take.

    Go to the damn thing…. but wear a bright red dress, high heels. Hirer a handsome male escort and introduce him as your “special friend” to the guests. Also write the a horrible poem about wind chimes and claim it was written by your dearly beloved and he final wish was for you to recite it.

    I’m sure you could get a lot of help from us chumps here on the wind chime poem

    It could start with the line:

    I am not gone ….you can hear me pass wind when you think of me

    • Hilarious.

      Or how bout:

      I am not gone…you can hear me pass wind when you think of me.
      In times of contemplation and silence, you may hear me tinkling.
      For the best I had to offer is still with you, my sad ones.
      And I shall continue to sing out joyfully when I’m blown
      Whichever way the zephyr takes me, I shall rejoice in being taken.
      And as in life, I will sing a different tune for each of you, but use the same chime.
      I am gone now, gone like the wind!
      But my sweet song carries on bringing brassy inconstant notes of peace to those I love.

    • PF, I just burst out laughing reading your post. Thanks, I needed that.., how funny, you should write the entire Wind Chime Poem, you and TKO.., I can’t stop laughing…,

  • This one hit home. While I had several ddays while Cheaterturd was alive it wasn’t until after he killed himself that I learned EVERYTHING! Since his parents couldnt deal with handling his estate it went to me even though I had literally just divorced him. The magical cell phone, ugh, the secrets waiting for me there can never be bleached out of my brain. The truth about who he really was, the things he made up about me, the way he disparaged my character to make him look better and the literally tens of dozens of hook ups, affair partners, sex web sites etc that I found he was trolling during most all of our marriage was a shock. I knew he was a cheater but I had no idea of the depths of his evilness and depravity. CL is right, there was no one to rage at and I couldn’t even tell anyone (but my amazing therapist whom upon inspection of all I found labeled him a true sociopath) of who he really was because everyone was too busy giving him sainthood about how he died too young(40) and what a tragedy it all was and how sad he must have been to kill himself. It all made me want to vomit but. I’m more than a year out now and the blinding rage I felt for the first six months is easing up and I’m trying to work towards taking back my life. People think it’s their dream to have their cheater die as it is the most forced permanent NC but truth is it just adds another layer of difficulty in getting to meh. Dead cheaters club is one I never dreamed I would be a member of.

    • Very few of us ever really know all the depraved details. I am so sorry you had to know so many of them … there is protection in not knowing every last thing. We all think it would help to know, but after a certain point … no. I hope every day brings you more peace and joy. Hugs.

    • beachgirl , thats the kind of horror i found out last year about my cheaterTurd narc , except he is still alive ,and i am still here because of lack of funds(retired) and poor health , due, no doubt to the “dissociative cognitive”behaviors he displayed at all times .trauma bonding etc. lies ,and sneaking that was never ending . the torture of these “greater” narcs turn into an “art form” .i am so happy that you are free . i may never see freedom in this life . i continue to daily live in graditude ,”that at least i know now” i do grey rock , and only speak to him if i have to . i only hope that everyone realizes that honesty is vital to a relationship .i always believed him . because i tell the truth , i thought he was too .

    • beachgrl
      I know exactly what you are talking about, I can relate. PRINCECHEATING and HOSER HO were fuckbuddies/co workers, for over 15 years, no wonder the ho could afford a beach house, I call it the brothel by the sea, but that’s a different subject, anyway, Yes, I found out all from the emails , oh professional work emails I may add, between the two of them and the digusting loser pig friend of his that was so kind to introduce the two of them to facilitate her getting laid and facilitate the Narc husband of mine obtaining new Narc supply from her. Yes, he saved a 2003 email with her copied in of the two guys talking about her and what a ‘fit’ she was…so obviously she was left over from his friend and he passed her on to my husband. So anyway, it’s one year after his death. I was so sickened that I was trying to grieve his death but 8 months after I said NO I will mourn my loss of my own life. Of my fantasy life and fake marriage that never existed because Mr. Narc man took that away from me. His HO set up a rental beachhouse 5 months after my honeymoon and then the fun and games started ! Yes, Mr wet underwear man decided to start running out of the house on me to get to a ‘beach party’ 5 months after the wedding, I tried to go and I was met by his big Loser male friend who came running out of the beach party and called me all kinds of horrific names so that my husband could go to this beach party. I figured it out 18 years later that the BIG CLAM HO was the one that had that beach house, it was her party….now she has a Bigger beachhouse, I’m sure fully funded by Mr. BIG CHEATER polished image man…and that bitch lives happily ever after with all my husbands money that she blew him for.

    • I am so sorry. And I am right there with you. On every single step. I am almost 2 months out, and I kept over the last 40 years looking at his qualities and his ways of being and I kept trying to make sense of it until I finally just decided to learn how to love and except him the way he was. Go figure. When he got cancer three years ago, just because of who I am, I devoted every single thing I had to supporting him and trying to help him heal. Because until his deception and sickness made me so sick I had to stop working, that was work, having a practice as an acupressurist and herbalist, helping people heal.
      Last week I finally put it all together. I’m going to speak to his psychiatrist next week. But I get it. The huge display of information he left for me and the kids defined as soon as he died. All the subtle bad mouthing he did to the kids their whole lives to undermined me. Spread before me, all interwoven, or his emails to friends, coworkers all of our bills, so in order to start doing the bills he wouldn’t let me have access to, I would have to discover all these things. All the emails for his work, coworkers, to old friends, and all of the bimbos. The cheating websites, where he found people to cheat with who lived only in our town, and then he would use the hyphenated last name of my kids in order to link them with his cheating. He will list my name, so they knew who I was and maybe could go watch me or something. He told them all relations of a poor me story, designed to make them think they were the only one, and whatever the fuck they were doing, sex texting or I chatting or having tea or having sex, was special. And that they should keep his little secret. Only he set everybody up. He set up all the bimbos to find out about each other after he died. He set me up and just so many ways I can’t even begin to count. He set up the kids. He said everyone up in his sociopathic misery. I’m just really glad that I am still a strong loving person of integrity. . Unbelievable. But true. And slowly, each day, getting what happened, so I can slowly get to meh. You take good care. This is our unique little taste of health, having lived with cheater sociopath. Who died.

  • I bet his colleagues knew all about it.
    He will have lied and lied.
    Do not allow them to have any endorsement from you at all.
    Probably many of the colleagues are the same.
    I would send a v short email simply stating something like” in light of information which has come to my attention post the death of x I no longer feel able to support any activities regarding the abilities or character of this individual”
    Be cold as ice. Speaks volumes.

    • Yes! Personally, I think I would write a formal letter declining to participate and explain why. You don’t have to go into a bunch of details, but I know would prefer to control the narrative. It’s either going to end up a game of telephone or you could write out a statement (knowing it too will get shared). I think this is the saviest way to handle it. Then it’s all out there in black in white – no speculation.

    • You know, it was only logical to think that lots of people knew. It wasn’t until I really saw the display of information he left for us to find after he died. All the symbolic ways of setting everybody up. The volume of bimbos who all got their own little special stories with him, and didn’t know about each other. That I slowly begin to realize that he was so seamless, never messed up, because he was a sociopath. Sociopath don’t make mistakes. Sociopaths are the person they pretend to be. That’s all they have. So the only way you find out about them is by realizing they are too good to be true, and cross-referencing their devices and their actions with what they say. Usually sociopaths are not identified. Because they are seamless. But he did design things so that it would all fall apart after he kicked off. Just to get him off a little bit more. Go figure.
      The department was great. I spoke to them and told them everything and maintained my dignity and they were caring; they shut everything down and I told them to be careful because shit might come down, from what he did with students too. I’m so glad to have my own life now, and have him gone.

  • I’m generally not one to point out the positives when someone is reeling from infidelity. I can’t even imagine the rollercoaster you are on, but in this case I think a different perspective might help you gain back a sense of power.

    – When you’ve been chumped there is a great divide in the people in your lives. Cheater applogists, Switzerland friends, and the few that are appalled for you.

    – when you’ve lost a loved one, people gather round you in support. They bring you meals, send cards, lend an ear, etc. They make exception for falling apart in public, and extend their empathy. Not so when your Chump is living. People pull away, lose their sense of compassion, and soon you find yourself standing in a great divide. Whatever you decide to do in revealing the truth, take the kindness of those people and throw it in the spiritual face of your cheater. You are no ordinary chump, you’ve got people gathering round to support you!

    -The typical chump has to give up half of everything they built in a lifetime together with a cheater. Many even have spouses who draw out the divorce process in a malicious ploy to waste and see that you walk away with nothing. But you, you get to keep it ALL. If he had a life Insurance policy think of that as your payment for pain and suffering. The joke is on him, not on you!

    – cheaters justify their behaviors to anyone who will listen. Spewing their false narrative about how awful you were, so they had no other choice than to cheat. Some, like my ex, getting gag orders preventing you from speaking your truth! Rubbing their smoopsie in your face and playing “this is the great life”. Dragging them to family events like graduations, marriages, births and birthdays. But not you… your ex is the one who has been silenced! You will choose whether or not to share your truth, and he will not be there to dispute it! No false narrative about how you deserved to be cheated on. No happy celebrations staring at smoopsie smarmy face! You get to enjoy those events in peace.

    -when you are ready, you ge to start a new relationship without the judgment of being a divorcee. For some reason I find the world (in my case small religious communities) can be exceptionally cruel to divorced women. You get the sympathy of being widowed, not the judgement of being divorced because your spouse cheateted. There seems to be a societal stereotype that goes along with being cheated on, that you did something to deserve it. Of course no one would imply such a thing about a widow.

    -while none of these things exempts you from having to work through the pain of betrayal, and makes working through “why did they do this” much more difficult, it does save you some of the future ramifications of dealing with a cheater. You will find closure as we all do, and your cheater will watch you from (heaven/hell … you get to choose) walk away with it all!

    • Thanks for this GaB. I often fantasize about my x dying. I don’t wish him pain, I just wish he didn’t exist. My divorce was final a year ago so it’s too late to collect on life insurance, the assets are already split, and I already refinanced the house and paid him off. I would have LOVED to be my cheater’s widow instead, and not had to do all that.

      About a year after my x left me for the OW, my next-door neighbor’s husband dropped dead of a heart attack. They were happily married. She went through a similar period of shock and unreality that I did. Her husband was gone and unavailable to provide love and support, as mine was. It was so hard for her and she grieved deeply, as I was doing as well.

      The difference was, she didn’t have to split all the assets, she never worries about running into her husband and another woman around town, she didn’t have to refinance her house and give away half the equity, and she can collect his life insurance and his full Social Security. Quite simply, as painful as her situation was, I was envious of her.

      She gets lots of help and sympathy. She told me someone gave her a “widow’s discount” to repair her washing machine. People shovel her driveway when it snows and look after her. They don’t do that for you when your husband has merely left you for another woman.

      Ironically, it’s this neighbor of mine who is the most empathetic with my situation. After she lost her husband she realised what I must have been going through. And I in turn have an idea of her pain.

      • You are much more enlightened then me. I have elaborate torture fantasies about the X. Soundproof rooms, duct tape, blow torches, pliers. I guess you could say I still have a lot of rage…..

        I want to humiliate him as he humiliated me. I want his life to be a waliking nightmare. I have people tsk tsk me and say oh you don’t really mean that (slightly repulsed) ……..but I do.

      • I work in the office of a dental practice and over the years I have become outside of work friends with a few patients. Recently a wonderful woman lost the love of her life to cancer. My heart was broken for her. We met for drinks several months after his death. Even though our losses are different, she asked me questions about the pain, loneliness and how long would it take for her to accept his death. I was amazed that I was able to comfort her & give her hope for her future (I’m 8 years from dday & over 5 years divorced). On the way home that night I realized I had reached meh even though it was a Thursday.

    • Got a brain
      I wanted to weigh in. In my case, I never got to have the satisfaction that I can be viewed as the widow, because my in laws made sure they were enraged when he died and put their wrath on me. It was ugly, it spoke volumes of what was going on behind my back, and they were always so jealous of me. I am sure they condoned his affair, and they wanted all his money. And the shady slippery sister was faciliatating giving marital hidden funds to the HO. I am sure that the HO and my sister and law probably knew each other, after all there was something in it for all of them. My husband and his secret assets and secret life. I was the only one that didn’t know. So, no, I don’t get to be looked upon as the widow ! That’s because they all KNEW and they were hell bent on wiping the floor and destroying me after his death, kind of like in the allegiance to the big HO. It’s disturbing and shocking. I never deserved this. But this big HO that he was with was like being honored and respected by his family, what else could it be? I get what you mean though that it’s better than a divorce.. The sad stupid news is I don’t get to walk away with insurance money. I really was a chump. Meanwhile everyone else, his family, his HO had their hand out for the money. I clearly was scammed by ALL of them. And the HO is laughing now, she walked away ALL SET with my marital assets. and the joke is on me.

    • You are absolutely right. Every day, despite the pain, despite his intentional harm, despite what I now know to be the unbelievable volume of bimbos, all of home thought they were the one special one, I am grateful. That I will get his pension and Social Security. That even though he wrecked all the other finances and hit a huge volume of his income always, still there is the equity on the house. I am grateful that my kids are grown, even though not all of them are being nice about this to me, I’m grateful that I was always a loving strong person of integrity, and I remain that person. I am proud of who I have been. I haven’t had one second of feeling humiliated or ashamed. And yes, I do not have to endure all of the things that you are dealing with. I am so sorry. May you be well supported and cared for, in your life, and on the site. This is tough stuff. But when you go to bed at night and you wake up in the morning, isn’t it remarkable that you have your own true self.

  • Oh Darlin’…I wish there was a special place for us but there isnt, so we have to depend on the kindness of the CL & CN with our bizarre tales of woe.

    Like you, my cheater is dead. He did cop to one “Emotional Affair” while he was alive but that was the itty bitty top of the iceberg. I first found stuff about 2 months after he died then another wave about 6 months later and a tsunami at the 2.5 year mark when I learned he was a serial adulterer.

    To me the biggest part is your kids know, so you can at least be somewhat authentic with them, but they will never really get your level of pain and at some point will likely process the whole thing placing the adultery on a tiny shelf and wanting to keep better memories of their dad, so dont be surprised if they eventually distance themselves from the lying bastard narrative even when they know its true.

    My kids didnt know…my boys have learned a little but my precious daughter has no idea he fucked around. They know he was pathologically selfish and given to rage but when it comes to processing the horrible shit he put me through, I have to go to my girlfriends, they cant and wont.

    I kept the full truth from my inlaws (both his parents still alive) and my parents (awful people who would use this to bash him loudly until they were dead too and I want none of that.

    He has lots of buddies who think he was wonderful. Fine, they can miss him enough for all of us.

    I just survived a few days with his family where I was able to keep up the “wasnt he a great guy” narrative for a few days without it killing me, but a PROJECT to honor him…uh, no….as in HELL NO.

    I have considered what narrative he gave his coworkers and it makes me sick…Im sure he painted an ugly picture to excuse anything they ever caught him in. I was loving, devoted and an overall fabulous wife like you, so the idea of the whispers about sexlessness and bat-shit-craziness that cheaters like to pin on thier wives rather makes me sick.

    My advise is to go to the leader of this whole charade, make an appt, sit down with him/her and blurt out the whole ugly truth and say you do not wish to participate and let him translate that to the staff. Tell him that you are aware that cheaters often sow lies and set him straight. Prepare him that there could be student or coworker OWs having issues he may need to know about and ask him to cancel all the honors in some dignified manner.

    Then, purge his ass from your house. The day I found out about the serial cheating, I ripped the family portrait off the wall and put it in the basement screaming “fuck fuck FUCKing fucker….” all the way down the stairs.

    • I placed our 16″ by 20″ (plus more size for framing!) wedding portrait out at the street for the trash … it didn’t fit in the bin so it was propped diagonally sticking out of the top for every small town neighbor to observe!!! Better than buying a billboard or placing an ad in the paper! I cannot tell you how satisfying it was to have the entire town know within hours that Mr. Nice Guy moved out for reasons easy to guess. Not for his job!

    • I am so grateful for your post. I am so grateful, and I am so sorry, just sitting here, trying to imagine how you had the strength to deal with people when they were talking about his for side. Because that’s one of the most painful things for me, almost 2 months out, a limit setting I find I have to do. To stay OK and stay sane. But I suppose if my kids were not all grown, I was more often around people in the family who did not know, it would be hard. Harder. Like you. For me, and July there will be his family’s big gathering, and one or two no the whole story. And some other pivotal people know a small version. Which gives me great comfort and sanity.
      And yes, at first my three grown kids were right there with me, while I gave them the option of knowing the tiniest version or the whole one, and they all wanted the whole one. Eventually, one of them, who tends to be spiteful, couldn’t handle it emotionally, and decided to blame me. Not a big surprise. And I get that I need to turn to other people for support. But now and then I give them updates about revelations! So they have an understanding of why I’m making some of the choices I’m making. Like not putting his ashes in the places he requested, when I was kind enough to bring it up, lovingly asking him what he wanted for his obituary and memorial celebration and ashes. And one of the places he wanted his ashes was along a path that I walk frequently down by a river, that spiritually means so much to me. But he knew. So he told me he wanted some of his ashes there, and then he brought his main girlfriend there, told her it was such an important place for him, and that his ashes would be there for her to visit. And I think perhaps more bimbos also.
      I went and talked to an old friend and her husband, in part because she has his job now. In the office where sex happens. They were amazing. I decided to go and talk to someone in his family, and they were incredible. And it made me feel more sane, just having some people know. I then went and talk to his department, with the friend who has his job, and told them everything. And they were remarkable and respectful and supportive and have remained so, when I get back to them and tell them now there’s evidence of widespread sexual associations with students too. And to protect themselves.
      And, you’re right. A week after he died was D-Day. I discovered one main girlfriend. A week later, the floodgates. And he left everything to be seen, because he was actually, now I understand, a sociopath. That’s a whole other chapter. But it all makes sense now.
      And every time I read about people’s lives on the site, every time I read the post by Tracy, there is this sizzling lightning moment of recognition. When your consciousness wakes up and you realize that one little thing you experienced is actually “a thing”. And the whole thing goes wide.
      I went on one of those sites you pay to find out about a cheater, saw one thing, shut it all down. But the one thing I saw showed me that he specialized in going on she’s your sites and finding people in our town, to do a wide range of activities with, using an alias that was his kids hyphenated name, to link them to his activity, to make the vulnerable to being found out by these other cheaters, He would list my name, so these local bimbos knew who I was, and could watch me or whatever. And then he told them all variations of the poor me story, so each one thought they were the special one and was keeping his secret for the poor guy. And he also understood that as soon as he died, they would have less motivation to keep secrets, and the more resentment that they didn’t get more cables. Or maybe they didn’t get to be the main person in his life. What the hell. He set them all up against each other. He set them up against me and me against them and the kids against them and just put some Bolick things everywhere in my life. Kept his real income secret. Kept the house more decrepit. Made me sick and frightened until I couldn’t work anymore, but when he was going downhill, while I was lovingly devoting myself to him for the last three years, I slowly began getting stronger, because subconsciously, I knew. After he kicked off, I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t miss him. Why I was suddenly unafraid. Why every single day I get stronger and healthier. Until a week after, when he knew I was going to have to start looking for the bills, which he kept from me, and I would find intertwined with them every single email to friends and coworkers and bimbos and bills and cheater places and expensive hotels an actual income and expensive meals and every single other thing. All the sex texting. Everything. Saved. In a display. For the kids and myself. Sociopath.
      As you know well, some days I just sit mindfully, and this volume of pain and hurt just needs time to move through me. But it’s effective and efficient and it works. And then things are a little bit better. And then perhaps a woman comes forward and contacts me. And I said around just completely struck why someone intentionally putting themselves out in the world to cheat would hook up with a cheater and believe what they said. Right? Unbelievable. Not worth the time of day. I have a lot of little sentences and statements Tracy has shared that I save and read often. Just to keep myself in the big picture. Just to help myself regain perspective. Reframing. Because I’ll be damned if my life is going to be screwed up anymore by someone who was so messed up their biggest goal was to harm me, while lying and pretending for 40 years.

  • Then, after you despouse your environment, find an investment that he had some particular fetish for, liquidate it and take yourself on a trip. Deadcheater had some stupid stock that he SCREAMED at me about (for no damn reason other than he was an asshole) so I flew me and my daughter to London and stayed in a nice hotel…that fucking account was enough for a nice trip.

    Then create a fabulous life. I dated, found a wonderful man and remarried. He is 10x nicer to me that deadcheater and I have a great life.

    Dont be surprised that you will still feel like you would give ANYTHING to confront him with the proof of his nastiness just to look him in the face and see him knowing he was caught.

    I have a special bonus in that Im Catholic (as was deadcheater) and we believe in Purgatory. He and God are likely sitting up there having a chat…a LONG chat. Someday I will also be held accountable for any misdeeds, so I am careful to not get too smug, but in Purgatory, he cant deny or lie. Bam.

    Have you seen that “Modern Widows Club” online? I approached the gal who runs it to start a subgroup for gals like us and she refused to even have a conversation…doesnt want anything to mess up her “sainted dead and sainted widows” narrative. Fuck that…Im not a widow any longer I was a bride at 50 and now Im a college student again and Im loving every minute of my life. For us, living well REALLY IS the best revenge.

    My cheaters main OW…I waited a few months after he died and sent her a very casual text mentioning his death wording it as if I thought she knew, but she likely didnt hahaha. As for your deadcheaters girlfriend…if you ever get stuck in a room with her, tell her that its a shame that he never left you for her…perhaps he was the love of her life and they should have had more time together….leave that bitch feeling like she lost the man of her dreams…let her pine for him to her last breath….

    … Mention that you are struggling to work out all the details of the investments and life insurance which are now yours alone…handling the money is such a big job, you know.

    Im sure I will have more to say but I need to get my day started. Stay strong !!

    • I might even throw in a “I hope you think of him everytime you hear the wind chimes” then throw yours chimes away.

      • Ha! Today, I am meeting with his therapist, I referred him to, who specializes in cancer, and the head of his men’s cancer group. I told them I wanted to meet with them together. I’m paying them with my insurance. I’m bringing the windchimes. They think he was a saint. With an open heart. They all want to know when the memorial is. There is going to be nine. But I’m going to tell them everything. Because it will help me. And it’s confidentiality. And more people who made believe shit about him will know the truth. And I’m going to hand them the wind chimes, tell them the fucked up wind chimes sorry, and asked them to put them out in the breve meant garden of the cancer place. So they will make a beautiful sound for people sitting there. Perhaps with truer lives. Who knows.

  • After my father died when I was 16, my stepmom told me about his MANY affairs and that there were videotapes, that mistresses broke into the house after, etc etc. I still don’t know how I feel about her telling me or how it affected my dating life. (I’m here aren’t I? A slightly lesser chump ,but a chump nonetheless).

    MOST IMPORTANTLY THOUGH – does anyone watch The Good Place? Derek has wind chimes in place of his p*nis and it is hysterical. I hope that can help with some reclamation, GM.

  • Personally, I would hang onto the scholarship project. It could probably be skewed or renamed into something that you would be proud of. I’d probably let go of the lounge project. Maybe ask for the money for the lounge to be redirected into the scholarship?

  • I have many thoughts and various opinions on the subject, “What do you say to other people?”

    My father is a malignant narcissist. He has inflicted harm, most of it mental abuse, on our entire family. When he finally dies, one of his fears is that his children will not come to his funeral. I am glad he has this fear, because in some way, his fear is an admission that he knows that many of the things he has done, would be “perceived” to be wrong, if others knew about it. That is as close as he will ever get to actually acknowledging he did anything wrong. Here is the thing — there probably won’t be anyone else there but the family, and we will be interested in seeing him safely put in the ground, unable to harm us anymore. Our only form of “closure”, so to speak. That may sound cold, but there will be no “celebration of his life” or memorials, and no one will want to speak of the “great things” he accomplished — most of that exists only in his imagination anyway. Now here is the conflict for me — he was not entirely dysfunctional. He did work, he did provide his salary to pay for housing and food and clothing for us, and we are all well aware of the nature of his upbringing. It may be amazing that he actually functioned to any extent, but the point is, everything about him was not bad. He caused damage in a way that all of us were hurt in many ways, but in some fundamental ways he still functioned as a father figure is supposed to. Probably because he needed image control, but whatever.

    What he did to us was done in private. We never sang his praises anyway. To my knowledge, no one he worked with ever did, either. He was only a legend in his own mind. He will die, and he will just be gone. Any thoughts he has of being praised won’t come about, and neither will we shame him in public.
    He lived, he died, end of story.

    I understand that GM has a different situation, her liar and cheater fooled not only her, but many colleagues as well. Since they have already been fooled, and don’t know it, what would revealing the truth to them actually accomplish? Perhaps she could decline any memorial and insist that she knows her spouse DID NOT WANT any ceremonies, BUT INSTEAD wanted any contributions of any type not to be spent on flowers or functions, but would go toward funding a charity or scholarship of HER choosing. She could choose anything that he would not have chosen. She is the widow, after all. Why draw any attention to the mistress(s) — they have nothing left of him but a wind chime and tawdry memories. That may be a form of closure for her. If the university offers anything in the form of scholarships to her children, she could consider that a way of replacing funds he had diverted from her children while he was alive. Interest has a way of waning when the funeral is over. She knows the truth, and if someone is overly aggressive in trying to get the family to do things differently, she may choose to privately tell them a thing or two to dissuade them. She has nothing to be ashamed of, but she is not obligated to shout the truth from the rooftops, either.
    We have a problem with hero worship in our culture. Just because someone does one thing in a spectacular manner, it does not mean they are perfect in every way. Many of our cultural icons may have some great accomplishments, but they usually have some dark secrets, too. My feeling is that everyone in the world need not know all the dark secrets that are out there — most people only believe what they want to believe, anyway. GM can be a dignified widow, and divert her mourning for the life she thought she had. That is what was actually taken from her. Her cheater doesn’t deserve any thought, at all.

    • I love Portia’s idea. While it is possible that the colleagues of GM knew, I would not be surprised if many of them did not. Yet, regardless, if he was a respected and beloved academic, then the university is probably using the death as a fund raising tool inviting alumni to contribute in his memory. GM will not be able to control that, but she could have a lot of influence in where the funds go. So rather than letting a lounge be decorated, she should very vocally insist on something she values and be very direct with the university about putting the monies toward funding scholarships or supporting academic research or helping build a new basketball stadium. The focus of the funds should be something GM cares about–and she can say whatever she wants to the administration about why she’s so committed to directing the donations that way.

      Telling them in three sentences why she chooses not to take an active role in participating is sensible, but she should be prepared for the institutional wheels to keep right on rolling regardless. To have an impact on the fundraising machine, GM will probably need to be assertive–or the lounge will get built.

      • I’m a professor. It’s very likely the university would try to springboard off of the death of the “beloved colleague and professor” to get money from alums or foundations. To do so is about as despicable and venal as the husband-professor’s use of his wife. They likely don’t care one whit whether said randy professor was porking his students or colleagues or random women on the street–unless it becomes public and taints the fund raising efforts.
        Personally, I’d shut the whole shit show down.
        Michigan State is dealing right now with the fallout of ignoring what they knew. Don’t contribute to another such travesty.
        Why should this now dead cheater continue to benefit from his deceptions?

    • My cheater’s grandfather had a stroke, and the end was in sight. He talked about what a great guy his grandfather was, pillar in the community, etc., and specifically said: “MY life will be a complete failure if there are not a lot of people there to mourn me at my funeral.” I thought that was a pretty weird thing to worry about, but whatev. Then grandpa died, which was CheaterDude’s excuse to go get drunk at a strip bar and go home with pussy-on-a-pole girl. He walked away from me without a second thought and said nothing. I found out the hard way. Turns out PolePussy didn’t have a very robust wardrobe so CheaterDude bought her a black dress and black shoes an hour after grandpa’s funeral started (time was noted on the receipt) so showed up at least two hours late to pay his respects. Oh, PolePussy is 17 years younger than CheaterDude, so that no doubt made quite a splash on the assembled mourners.

      Enter my education into narcissistic personality disorder and all the intense nonsense that goes on inside these loser’s heads. CheaterDude is all worried about the world missing him, but doesn’t realize that an integrity-free dickhead is not worth missing. For all his manufactured emotion about Poor Old Granddad he couldn’t even pretend sincerity for a couple of hours at a funeral.

      Hero worship does a lot of harm and not much good so far as I can tell. Someone with decency, integrity and honor has no interest in being worshipped. I am deeply in favor of Portia’s suggestion that this is the perfect time to take control of the narrative, recognizing that disclosure may be cathartic but may also accord attention and emphasis where none is due.

      • “pussy-on-a-pole girl” Hahahahahahahahahaha I’m going to have to remember that one! Of course, I’d have to number my ex’s numerous PolePussies. 😀

  • GM – I think you need to take some time before doing anything. You’ve been hit with one helluva double-whammy. Your husband died and your husband was a lying whore. Hmm, what to do.

    To me, if your future has nothing to do with his place of work and you never need to “see those people again”, I would say, let it go. Tell those closest to you because you need to process it, feel it, honor it, and heal from it. But keep your focus on moving your life forward. Don’t let your personal integrity be challenged by trying to explain what a lying whore your husband was… he’s dead, who cares.

    Get your financials in order, that would be my first order of business. After that, just do you, don’t look back, you’re not going that way.

  • Wow, I’m not the only one. My husband of 42 yrs died, leaving me to discover I had perfected the idea of a chump. I had found CN from a divorce site. I believed he was a narcissist who I could no longer live with. I had gotten my ducks in a row, getting ready to divorce him, all the while acting like nothing was wrong. Two days before I was going to have him served, he had a heart attack. That and other health problems meant this was the end. He was put on Hospice. He lasted just over a year on Hospice. Each day, I thought “just die”. During this time I tended to his needs, like a robot. Thanks to CL I was grey rock the entire time. He asked for something, I gave it with no answer or conversation. I secretly recorded his conversation with Hospice people. He told them he had never felt loved, no one had ever been kind to him, all we did was take. He’s dying and lies, demeans us, I was the wife from hell for 42 yrs, who he never loved. He ended up groping the hospice nurse and social worker. They were replaced with males. He was furious, they lied, misunderstood, blah, blah. Me? Grey rock. (Had recorded it). In a year, he never acknowledged his bad behavior, wrote kind goodbyes, became a different man. Thanks to CL I knew to trust that they suck. I believe in his narcissistic mind, he never really believed his specialness would die. Three days before his death, he asked me to cuddle with him. I said no, no explanation. I stayed because I didn’t want to put my children in the position to care for him AND to get everything in God’s divorce court. I gave the kids whatever they wanted, gave or threw away everything else. Every time I wanted to cave I thought of all those here going through months, years of dealing with divorcing NPD idiots.
    After his death I discovered so many things point to cheating through out the marriage. Total financial theft, he gambled away, on line, $400,000 I had put away for our retirement. Refinanced the house, lied about bills etc. I have only had sex with him, ever in my life, but had to get STD tested at 60. I also have multiple sclerosis, but did everything, mowing, shopping, repairs, image management etc.
    He’s been dead two years now, I’m happy. Thanks to CL and CN it had nothing to do with me, nothing would ever change. He sucked and I had been taught by NPD mom, to tolerate the behavior. I rant at him, in my head, every once in awhile, but then remember. I lived an authentic life, I am happy.

    • Dear Heard,
      No one ever comes here to CN to be a hero. We come here initially to find answers as to how the person we fell in love with could end up becoming the fuckwit ( can’t insert the person word, so using Feelingit’s perfect word),)we struggle to understand. There has to be some reasons, some understanding? What we find here, at CL, CN, is a whole army of understanding, knowledgeable, people, who also happen to have hearts as big as the ocean. Pain is halved here, shared lovingly.
      But, I have to tell you, Heard, all that you have been through, what you did, how you put your Children first, well, there is no going around it. I have to say, YOU truly are a hero.
      YOU are mighty.
      I am certain GM will find strength in your post.
      Thank you so much for sharing it.

      • Thanks peacekeeper, at the time it hurt my heart. I read CL everyday. I realized being a chump, is like being a child who is molested, being blamed and trying to make sense of it. We didn’t cause it, we can’t make sense of nonsense, the shame is the abusers, finally we can’t change the past.

    • Dear Hcard, I just want to give you a hug. What a horrible situation you were in and you handled it like a mighty CHAMP (not chump). When I got to the part where he wanted you to cuddle him I almost threw up. Gross. So glad you’re free and happy!

    • “He ended up groping the hospice nurse and social worker”

      The “Jesus cheater” I dated for a few months laughed about his terminally ill father calling the hospice nurse with an ample bosom “Booby” to her face. Can you imagine ? The woman needs a job but would have loved to slap this slob across the face. The disgusting pig took after his father.

      • Sucker punched. These behaviors are proof they suck down to their soul. Your F…ing dying and still chasing skirt! WTH
        On a funny note, as the oldies used to say. “There was no lead in his pencil “.

  • I wouldn’t participate in a funeral, at all. If the university wants to do it, then they can have at it. Actually, I would determine if anyone at the university had anything to do with giving me a large sum of money. If not, then completely NO!

    I prepared for my ex-husband’s death while we were divorcing because he started driving while drunk. When we were married and living together I would drop him off or pick him up if he wanted to go somewhere and drink. But the thoughts of him dying while driving drunk only made me wonder if the life insurance would still pay. I was completely prepared to let the city do whatever it is that they do with people who no one comes and claims. He wanted to cheat. Choices have consequences. We have been divorced since September, –and I still feel like he can die in a fire.

    • Oh my, UnflownKite, I can hear the anger and bitterness still raging in you. It will get better with time, when you’re ready to let it go. Rage now, until you’re worn out from raging, but please don’t define the rest of your life by what you couldn’t change.

      I did have a friend did in a car fire. You can rage about your cheater dying in a fire, but please let that go when you can.

      My friend was drunk out of his gourd and did something stupid that made the car engine overheat, then lay down on the seat to take a nap. He died of smoke inhalation. The fire investigator was never able to pinpoint the start of the fire. The car was so badly engulfed by the time the fire truck arrived that no one knew there was a body inside, not until the fire was out. No one in his family could handle seeing what the fire did. They had his remains cremated and scattered his ashes in a place he had loved.

      It seems you want to have your cheater go through the same amount of pain that you’re feeling. And that’s OK. But the best revenge you can have on a narcissistic cheater isn’t fire. It’s cold. Freezing cold. It’s to know that he or she is gone and no one even notices, even though he or she is still alive.

      • Apples and oranges. Did your friend marry you for over 20 years. Leave you and four children financially abandoned after he was confronted with his cheating? I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent next month and my family members are poorer than me, and you think it helps by trying to guilt me by relaying a story of someone I don’t even know and a situation that doesn’t apply to me or my anger. Honey, no. Yes, I’m angry, and if my ex died in a fire I wouldn’t have to see his body, and I wouldn’t give a damn what his family thought because all of them didn’t give a damn when my daughter died or the financial mess my ex-husband left us in. Apples and oranges. But thanks for telling me I’m doing angry wrong.

        • I am so sorry that I made you feel angrier. That wasn’t my intent.

          Yes, to your question. My cheating alcoholic spouse did everything he could to leave me financially destitute. About the only thing the alcoholic didn’t do was be the one to die in that car fire. He was so paranoid about the government getting “his” money that he tried to wipe us all out financially. He would buy himself expensive toys – on credit – when I was struggling to keep up with the bills for what he’d previously bought. He borrowed money in my name without telling me. I found out when the payments were in default. And he cheated on the taxes, filed joint tax returns without my consent, claimed deductions he couldn’t support, pocketed the refunds, and shredded the bills the IRS auditor sent.

          Do I know what it’s like to be trying to figure out how to pay next months rent?Yes, because for almost 3 years the IRS confiscated my wages to collect the tax bill from his disallowed deductions. And while they were doing that he lost his job and took to stealing cash from our kids to buy booze and cigarettes. No help from him; he believed crazy tax theories and told me I was stupid for “letting” the IRS take my wages, as if I could stop it.

          It took a long time for me to get things turned around. But I finally did. And I did a lot of raging and crying myself. Now, finally, it’s just cold. Frozen solid cold. If he dies tomorrow I won’t be troubled and I won’t cry, because he’s already been dead to me for a long time.

          Your anger isn’t wrong. You’re doing it right and you’re wholly justified in your rage. I’m sorry I came across in a way that made you feel worse. I just wanted to offer a glimpse of hope, that someday – not today – that rage can become indifference.

  • ((((((((GM)))))))

    Exactly,
    What CL says,
    EXACTLY!

    It’s a damn shame that cheater’s ow at the time , or one of the other numerous ow, weren’t the one, or ones, to lovingly care for him at his deathbed. ( yea, it ain’t that kind of tru wuf)
    Now that you and your precious Children know the truth, hug each other close.
    It was never you, GM, it was always him.
    Be kind to yourself.
    CN hears you, feels,and wants to share, your pain.

    (As for the chimes, let them ring in hell)

  • Have your attorney send th Department Chair a letter stating that

    (1) You have discovered that your husband committed some egregious acts, the least of which was infidelity (be vague).
    (2) You are not sure if this included students and colleagues as you are only beginning to discover the type of man he really was.
    (3) You are concerned with him being honored publicly because “things might come out of the woodwork” which would embarrass his family, the department, and the school. Given the climate at the moment, they might want to be overly cautious.
    (4) Your name, your children’s names, and any family information are not to be used in promoting anything department related to your husband. Full stop. If they want to persist in naming the chair after him, they are not to include you in it.
    (5) The department should be aware that you and your children are your husband’s heirs and lawful representatives of th estate. If the department over steps, you will be watching and consulting your lawyers.
    (6) They do not have, and will never have, your blessing to honor him in any fashion.

    If you contact them yourself, you’re just going to look like the “irrational” scorned woman. If you have your lawyer do it, you’re going to look like somebody who has their business in order and who might be a threat.

    Most estate lawyers would do this for $150-200.

    • Thank you, Crinoline!

      I was going to respond, saying that the wonderful thing about being in higher education is that there’s wonderful bureaucracy that can, if used properly, help with these situations.

      Going to the dean or department chair is absolutely appropriate. Having your lawyer contact either of these might be overkill, but certainly lends a certain amount of gravitas to the situation. Also, the lawyer can remain impersonal while you, GM, would need to stifle your rage and your tears.

      In the above scenario, you are doing the department a favor. The last thing they want is to find out that the late Beloved Dr Phony was canoodling with at least 6 APs–goodness knows how many of his grad students or worse–undergrads–he slept with during his time there. This stuff has a way of coming out into the open and creating a real problem down the road, especially in light of the #metoo movement.

      You’d be doing yourself and your children a favor, too. The universities always make a point of inviting surviving family members year after year to the scholarship awards ceremonies.

      Anyway, for the sake of your children, you can be discreet in how you handle the university issues. I’m glad you are undergoing therapy. I hope your children are also undergoing therapy. This is a horrible situation. Your story about the wind chimes is chilling and revealing.

      You will get through this, but you’re getting a double dose of pain.

    • I really like this idea. I’m in public relations. I used to work for a University along with other community institutions. Believe me, they are likely looking to capitalize on now-dead-cheater’s wonderful reputation and turn it into donations to the school from alumna and others affiliated with the school who loved and remember him. The university likely won’t be concerned about you and your kids, only about furthering its own cause. The #meetoo climate right now could work in your favor as you and your attorney would be protecting the university from possible future embarrassment. And it keeps you out of the emotional hot seat.
      Do be prepared to lose relationships. Even “regular” widows get excluded from certain circles after the initial mourning period. You will be surprised at who ends up being a lasting friend and those who self-select or end up being weeding out by you personally. There have been three deaths here. Your cheater. The life you thought you had. And the old you. It will be painful. But the essence of you has been there since before birth. This real you will emerge from the rotting carcass of your old chumpy self. The real you who takes no shit. The real you who stands for truth. The real you who relishes every breath, every dewdrop, every sunrise, the feel of the wind on your skin, and yes, even the sound of wind chimes. Don’t let that fucker steal your love of your wind chimes, if that is truly your thing. If you choose, the tinkling sound of the wind chime can eventually become the sound that signifies when your life of freedom began. The reminder that YOU are the one alive and relishing a life well lived. It may be too soon now. But it is a real possibility, and know that possibility is there, waiting for you to decide, but only when you are damn good and ready.
      Sending love and hugs to you and your children.

    • Hell yes, Crinoline. In the MeToo era, no university will want to honor a man whose widow is discovering sexual improprieties and secrets after his death…and isn’t sure she’s found out everything.

      Sit down with your attorney and their department head, the president and their Public Affairs officer, and tell them what a deleterious and secretive piece of shit he was. Then find a way to ‘honor’ your family, maybe with free tuition for your kids, and a generous endowment towards research into Abnormal Psychology:)

      If their public affairs department knows what you’re dealing with, NO ONE will want to publicly honor this guy.

    • This is exactly what I had in mind, Crinoline. They are using his death as PR thing, and they will not want to risk it if they think there is sexual misconduct likely to come out of the woodwork.

    • Wonderful! This is classy, lets him have it, and will make the whole department crazy with worry about just what shit they “condoned” might come crawling out of the woodwork with a lawsuit in hand. Hits them right where it hurts.

      • Other guilty or complicit parties will likely scatter to the walls like cockroaches when the light is turned on if you handle it this way, GM. It’s taking the high road without sounding petty: concern for the hallowed institution will outweigh an apparent deceased narc.

        I love what Miss Delta Girl said, too:
        “There have been three deaths here. Your cheater. The life you thought you had. And the old you. It will be painful. But the essence of you has been there since before birth. This real you will emerge from the rotting carcass of your old chumpy self. The real you who takes no shit. The real you who stands for truth.”

        This is important to remember in the grieving process, which isn’t easy for any of us. I’m sorry your POS put you in this place, GM. You are mighty to have found CL & reached out. Stick around – this is a great group of people who know whereof they speak. Brilliant, witty, snarky, insightful, helpful, compassionate…they/we get it. Everything our cheaters weren’t we ARE. There is such a vast experience of collective wisdom on these pages – you will be surprised how CL seems to know what we’re facing, because the next day’s blog hits us square where we live! We are blessed, indeed!
        Hugs, ((((GM)))). You didn’t deserve one bit of this shitshow. Trust that he sucked. We’re here for you.

  • This is a post that is of interest to me because just the other night I googled my now dead cheaters name to look at his obituary. He was also fairly accomplished and I wanted to see what else popped up. Well….. lol and behold there on the screen of my computer were links to dating websites complete with his picture and his alias online name! I about fainted! I have been grappling with this knowledge now for a couple of days. I’m scared to death knowing that his kids and grandkids will someday google dear old Dad and Grandpa and find out that he was a “playa”! Unfortunately I figure there is nothing I can do about it but hold my breath and wait for someone to ask me about it should they see it online! It’s mortifying! These assholes think the internet is a place to hide their infidelity and they forget that anything you do online eventually is exposed. What a legacy to leave your family! And he leaves this earth only to leave me with yet another mess to clean up and explain to his loved ones! Infidelity= the “gift” that keeps on giving! Our family is big into ancestry so I know they are going to eventually see this. How do I explain this?

    • You explain with the truth. He was man enough to be on those dating sites, he’s man enough to have people know the truth. He certainly didn’t care how he’d come across to his family, why should you? And when he was contacting those women on the dating sites, he certainly wasn’t thinking of you. So please be kind to yourself and stop thinking about him and about cleaning up his mess. It is not yours to clean. It’s his dirty laundry and should be aired out, so you can clean your life.

    • Roberta,

      I love you and it is obvious you have a big heart, but I agree with Kellia. You have done everything you could for your Ex in life and in death. If he wanted to have a good name, he should not have done things to sully it. It is not your job to run interference with your Ex’s reputation and the rest of the world. If he had wanted people to speak and think of him fondly, he should have behaved better. Any shame attached to his behavior does not belong to you, his children, his grandchildren or any other members of his family. ((HUGS))

  • I have colleagues like that. They are the favorites of their management, since they’re so good at manipulating and putting on false charm. Their colleagues have a different opinion of them. But their colleagues are afraid to speak up because they don’t want to contradict their boss or speak ill of the dead. I bet if you speak up, you’ll start a rout in his department and the truth will come out. People like that betray more than just their wives. If you are forthright, the department will start worrying that students and other victims might come forward and the whole department will get in trouble.

        • Thanks to everyone for your replies. And it isn’t my job to cover his dirty secrets anymore! He should have held himself in higher regard while he was alive and protected his reputation instead of doing things he knew were wrong to begin with. Who knows, may be that no one even cares to google him or question me about HIS behavior anyways. It just kind of caught me off guard when I saw it and of course I started with the questions and what ifs in my mind. Guess it’s like anything else, I’ll deal with it when and if it comes up. Not my shame. Although it is shameful!

  • My grandmother never revealed her husband’s serial cheating while she was alive. For thirty years after her husband’s death she kept these secrets, revealed them only in her will. She lived like that for thirty years. She never remarried. I wonder if she would have had a happier widowed life if she’d gotten the truth off her chest. Did she have anybody to confide in I wonder?

  • I would tell them, but keep in mind they probably aren’t going to care. They will continue on pretending that he was great. Image is everything. Ceremonies will be held. Photographs with smiles will be taken. Sad but true.

  • President Kennedy, President Clinton, are two of millions of cheaters who come to mind. It continues to befuddle me why we set people up as idols. My suggestion would be to back out of these obligations and get on with your life. You owe his memory nothing. If your children are asked why you are no longer interested they can say they have no idea.
    Look at that doofus ex-governor from Alabama. His ex could care less what people think. Your ex was a true sociopath. Don’t mourn him. Throw his ashes in the trash can and get on with your life.
    And, by the way, don’t go to a single ceremony. I promise you that will tell everyone what a slimy person he was. You don’t have to say a word.

  • GM–My cheater was (still is) a world-famous academic, so I understand your plight–colleagues want to honor his accomplishments, you want to p*ss on his grave.

    Tell his colleagues, at least a few. As much as they will permit you to tell. Put it in an email that they can forward to each other. Some will support you, I suspect, and others will ghost you. At least it will be clear WHY you are refusing to honor the fuckwit posthumously. Frankly, most of those academic colleagues will ghost you after awhile anyway, so what do you have to lose?

    You don’t need to be silenced anymore. As Annie Lamott says, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write [speak] warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

    • My brother and his wife have been Professors at a college for decades, and it is alarming how phony and social climbing they seem to me. They like to give the air that they are above you at parties and the like It is their own little world. Never bought into it.

  • We were the primary in the image control..even when we didn’t know it. We were part of the life that covered their true selves. The selves they were ashamed of but not ashamed of it enough to stop it.
    THAT is the scary part. They were a lie. You are not! You are real and you get to start over. Death or divorce his image is no longer yours to maintain in any way knowing or unknowingly.

    I have found being humble and keeping it simple is best. The truth always comes out on it’s own. The people that matter stay in contact with you.

    I think I would just tell them I would not be attending. If questions are asked simply day you have made discoveries that after his death that indicate he wasn’t who you thought he was. If his co-workers know you probably won’t get follow-up questions ;). If they didn’t know then state the facts and let them know you closing the chapter.

  • I’m so impressed you wrote Chump Lady. Mighty you already! You’ve got definite wisdom in you and I have high hopes that you will find peace and relief soon. We’re on your side.

    I agree with all about not hiding his lies and who he was. You don’t have to blast it on a megaphone, but answer honestly and reveal the truth as appropriate with people.

    My ex narc is a professor and I’ve found that SOOOO many are. It’s a profession that strokes egos that narcs are drawn to. My guess is some if not most of your husband’s colleagues knew. Now they need to know that you know. Fuck their “I’m God and can do whatever I want” complex. And they can process that however they need to. Not your business. Just please look them straight in the eyes when you tell them.

    Unfortunately narc ex and I work at the same institution. Fortunately he has been a gargantuan asshole for years and I’m a pretty typical nice chump, so no one is believing his bullshit.

    Take care of yourself and reach out to Chump Nation any time.

  • GM,

    I can’t imagine the pain you are going through. I’m so sorry. And enough is enough. Listen to CL. Don’t bring anymore pain on yourself by having to fake through all of these post-death events. Be true to yourself.

  • GM, I am so sorry this has happened to you. I would go and see whoever is organising the memorial at his workplace and explain why you and your family cannot be involved. Then just leave it up to them. They will probably cancel any form of ceremony as it would be embarrassing not to have the family attend. Being a chump is horrible but there are advantages in your situation. You don’t have to pay for a lawyer or divide your assets or deal with a nasty cheater ex. Just remember you lived your life authentically, try not to waste any more precious time thinking about him or his pathetic ow. We all have to grieve the loss of what we thought we had but then we can go on to live the best life we can.

  • I’m in the camp of tell them the truth, let it be known.
    I love the idea of speaking at the dedication and exposing him for the scum he was.
    It’s ultimately up to you, GM. What can you live with?
    What is best for you?
    No one else can answer that but you and your children.
    I’m so sorry, GM ((((hugs))))

  • Tell. Either in person, to the person in charge of “memorializing” him or through a letter from your attorney. Then get on with your own awesome life. You spent years making his life and career sparkle. It’s time for you.

  • Member of the dead cheater club here. Five months after the divorce was final.

    I would say, don’t discount the power of a myriad of lies over years. People will believe what they want, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Cheater ex is the proof. He had been portraying himself as the poor, abused husband, married to a low-life, white trash, alcoholic hooker for years, smearing me behind my back. I couldn’t understand why people at church were snubbing me. We had no other “friends” in common.

    After the divorce, cheater ex totally lost his mind. He kidnapped my youngest son and murdered him. Then cheater ex put my child’s body in a sleeping bag with 72 pounds of boat anchors, and dumped him in a shallow lake, one state over. Somewhere in there, he mailed me a kidnap note. After that CE (cheater ex) and his buddy drove approximately 2000 miles, abandoned his car on the side of the road, walked a mile or so to the edge of a canyon where they both committed suicide. Some very unfortunate hikers found them a few days later. At that point, here’s CE, dead by his own hand, and my boy is missing. A week later, my son’s body was found by a woman walking her dog.

    As the whole mess was on local and even national news, CE was outed as the monster he was. Here’s the weird thing. Even after he stood revealed, our former church decided to have a memorial for him. Yes that’s right, in the very same sanctuary where CE’s innocent, 14 year old victim’s funeral was held, these people decided it would be a great thing to prayerfully remember his killer. “For the sake of healing.” They didn’t give a rat’s ass about the feelings of my remaining child, or me. There was absolutely no respect given for the loving, trusting child CE murdered in cold blood. I was so shell shocked, I actually went to it, wanting to be the bigger person. It took me almost a year to see the slap in the face that fiasco was, and get truly angry on our behalf. CE’s family attended and smirked through the whole thing. That church is now an former church.

    Moral of my story? Don’t underestimate the power of bullshit to persist. Take care of you and yours first and foremost, and to hell with what anyone else besides the people who matter to you think.

    • Your story has been horrifying to me from the time I first read it. But the whole church thing just adds a whole other horrific dimension that I cannot even fathom. May many, many blessing come your way and many hugs from me.

    • Oh my word. Even a satanic coven from the worst of horror stories would not stoop that low. May the force be with the Karma Bus.

    • OH MY GOD!

      Tessie,

      There are no words. Absolutely no words. That is some of the most abusive, horrifying church crap I have ever heard. I am so, so sorry that this happened to you and your lovely boy. ((HUGS)) x 1000

    • Dear, dear Tessie.
      Your story is gut-wrenching. Those horrible “church people” will burn in hell, right alongside your ex.
      My heart goes out to you. There really are no words. Please know that you are loved.
      Blessings.

    • Every time you tell your story Tessie – I just get so angry at what you and your dear children went through and the horrible example the church set. I am so sorry. There are Christians who are not like that in any way shape or form. Hugs to you,

    • ((((((Tessie))))))
      The memory of your precious Son lives on in the heart of each Chump in CN.
      When I first read your story I was blown away by the strength that abides in your heart and how you lovingly reach out to others.
      Often, especially in troubled times, and I am feeling very down, I think of you Tessie and of your strength, and how you have put so much into making your life worth living.
      You find joy in each day and you share that with CN.
      I love you Tessie and say thank you with all of my heart.

    • Tessie….may your Cheater Ex and his pal rot in hell, because they deserve to.

      They had a memorial for a man who murdered his own son? Your ex-church should be ashamed of themselves.

      I am very sorry for your loss. Such a young boy lost his life to man who could not care any less on trampling on others. Your son had the right to live.

      Just sending you a giant hug.

    • Tessie,
      I feel turned inside out for you whenever I hear your story. I cannot fathom the darkness of your child’s murderer/father(!) and murderer’s buddy. I admire you for continuing to not only just keep breathing in and out but supporting other chumps here.

    • Tessie,
      😥💔😥💔
      I’m so sorry for your loss and extremely angry too with you.
      That church is some kind of spackle-house.
      Thank you for continuing to come here on CN and share your story.

  • GM. It’s not your responsibility to keep his reputation alive or memorialize the bastard. But if you tell people in the hopes of shutting down this thing his work wants to give him you’ll end up being the petty one. Sucks but yeah. Just don’t go and tell people you couldn’t give a shit. Word will spread. After that who gives a fuck. Concentrate on you.

  • I suggest that you decline any hoopla to further his false deceptive dead memory. You never know if someone is contemplating exposing his sexual harassment toward them in the workplace. After all these fuckwads do believe they are desired by all and have the right to use anyone for their empty facade. This is your opportunity to claim the end of the story with him. Write it with Grace, elegance, and hold your head high. Thanks for sharing.

  • May I be evil?

    I would NOT tell the faculty that he cheated on you. Just inform the faculty that “you are grateful for the university to want to celebrate his accomplishments there, but after his death you uncovered a number of very disturbing details about his life that makes it impossible for you to join in the celebrations with the grace and decency which the faculty has grown accustomed to expect from you”.

    Let them wonder, let them wonder… You only said your truth, in a way you could even print on the first page of the NYT. Let the evil tongues – those who knew but left you in the dark – do the rest.

    To the commentator above, where’s the bar on the road to hell? See you there. Half six ok?

  • Slutface told me she wished me dead, but that I’m more useful alive for the alimony. But, if I were to die, that would be okay too because of my $1M life insurance policy. Little does she know I already changed it into my children’s name.

  • Tessie
    My heart goes out to you for the tragedy & loss You experienced. I am so very sorry. I cannot find the words to express how much hatred I feel for your deceased monster ex & the church people.

    Stay away from all the toxic individuals that hurt you. YOU are the most important person now ..Pkease take care of yourself & stay strong. You are much loved here on CN & with family & friends.

    You are mighty!! ((HUGS))

  • Just got to read today’s topic. Wow! My situation, exactly. I began to get an idea of the financial catastrophe he had created during his last month but did not know about the infidelity. It was only after he was gone and I started going through his computer and boxes of records from his office trying to figure out the finances that I got the two-by-four to the head of betrayal. His last OW was the secretary but eventually I saw that it had been going on the entire marriage (36 years).

    I could go on and on but I’ll just keep it to one incident. Maybe two months after cheater died my son, who lives a few states away, called and asked me what was going on. The secretary/OW had called him to let him know that she and a local charitable group for cancer victims were planning to dedicate the annual fund raiser golf tournament to cheater. She even had the great idea of scattering some of his ashes around his favorite hole (hahaha – GOLF hole, I assume). My son wanted to know why “Mary” thought she any say in what our family did with his dad’s ashes. A day later I ran into a friend of my husband’s who was on the organization’s board while in a doctor’s office. He started to tell me all about the wonderful thing they were going to do when I stopped him and simply said I was not ready for that yet. I had just uncovered the cheating and was barely vertical at that point. Certainly not able to discuss “honoring his memory”. I did find out later on that the director of the cancer group called “Mary” and asked her if she knew why I didn’t want to do the tournament and would she talk to me about it. I’d give anything to have heard that conversation. Oh, yeah – I already gave everything.

  • Hi All, I am compelled to tell my story. I told some of it on different chumplady topics. First off, let me start by saying how sorry I am that you had to be subjected to that, and finding out after his death. My story is very similar and I feel relieved that I can actually relate to this topic and show you solidarity in doing so. My husband died last year, he fooled me to the bitter end. It’s a long story but He was screwing his co worker for 15 years. He kept it a secret and when I got sick, he did not want any of his colleagues at the hospital. All throughout the marriage he had password protected phones, computers, house phone, everything had to be in his name even the bank accounts! When he came home to home hospice, I took care of him. His whole family was here at the house and they were all walking on eggshells, there was def. an elephant in the room. I still had not caught on ! He got a text dubbed in as a mans name (it was her) that said we thought we’d tell each other everything and I have a sick feeling deep inside. Then she came to the house and sat outside and rang his brother…When he died in hospice his big HO walked in five times, my brother in law stood guard, kept me distracted. She had the nerve to come in there and pull back the curtain. They had obviously called her to come there as nobody from his company knew he was there let alone that he was sick enough to die. At the church he was eulogized as a man of faith, everyone spoke highly of him, everyone loved him, his polished image was pristine….At the funeral gathering, his coworker females were in a huddle, his boss from Europe shook my hand with puzzled look on his face…then the aftermath/the fallout began. His sibling was made executor of his estate and his siblings came here and ransacked the house and stole everything that was not left to them. They treated me like shit. My life was destroyed. He had such a secret that there was not one piece of evidence except for the emails (professional) that went back and forth between him and his HO. She had been on every trip with him. There is marital assets missing. I believe that the sibling was made executor in order to move the hidden assets around. My whole life has been devastated by this, left in ruins. I was totally lied to, deceived, devalued, broken. He was obviously planning an escape and was tunneling money to his whore. I found out she came into half a million dollars. She posted youtube videos 3 weeks after he died for her phoney business with a big large diamond band. She was bragging about her business. I still have received nothing from the will. He left me the house and two junky cars that are not worth anything. I am sure the HO has all the money and the jewelry. All the wedding gifts were stolen out of the attic, I believe he gave her all my wedding gifts, my lingerie and our marital assets. I not only could mourn or grieve his death because I realized it was all a lie, that he had backstabbed and lied to me all this time. I am also embarrassed at the lies he must have told that whore co worker about me. I hit rock bottom, I lost weight, I almost could not function. One year later, I am still in shock, it was the worst thing that ever happened. I realized he never told me he loved me when he was dying, never told me anything. When I read him the text that I knew sounded like it was from a woman, though he had it as a guys name to fool me yet again, he laughed at me ! I mean like really laughed at me ! I was chilled to the bone. Here he was dying and he could still laugh his ass off, because now I know, he thought I was a dumbass that he got away with perfect scam, the perfect crime against me, destroyed me and laughed in my face ! I feel like that was a demon right there in front of me..who does that? I am trying to go on. I cannot believe the guy that was so gorgeous, so charming, so intellectual and successful had me fooled and could ruin my life..he lived a double life but never gave one shit about me! I’m devastated over my own life, I am grieving the loss of my own life…!!! I did not even know how to pull through this because everyone was fooled and thought he was amazing unbelievable …I figured out after he died that he was a narcissist, I never knew he was, I wondered why he started to devalue me after the honeymoon. His whore moved to my town 5 months after the honeymoon. His fat loser friend introduced the two of them, I saw the email of the two men talking about her pleasuring him, with her copied in !!!! I found this on his laptop after he died !!! So how do I go on with my life. Knowing what was done to me ! And I am left to pick up the shattered pieces of my life. And on top of it his family betrayed me and was in on the whole affair !!

    • It’s horrible enough that you had to endure betrayal and torment from a cheating husband, but his disordered, evil family has also ganged up on you.

      I recommend that you consider consulting an independent attorney about the will, and the stolen property. Executors have legal responsibilities, and if the sibling(s) pulled any shenanigans in executing the will, the executor may be liable. Not sure, but it may be worth at least consulting an attorney. You may have the option to sue, but that may not be financially viable for you at this point.

      But thank goodness you are alive and soon may be able to enjoy life again, even after such a stressful, abusive experience. Can’t say the same for your dead husband… he’s certainly not laughing anymore where he’s at (my personal belief).

    • Duped!

      I am really dumbfounded at this. He was incredibly cruel, and what a sham!

      Have you consulted a lawyer? Did you have a list of marital assets that you can use for recovery? Can the lawyer help in recovering the money your husband paid his whore?

      What kind of woman will stay a mistress for 15 years!!

      That look…that look that you get when everyone but you know the truth. Believe me, he may have received shiny baubles as words for his funeral, lot of people know the closet horror he was.

      His family is awful too.

    • FACK’EM ALL! Every last one! Bunch of shitty shitters! Sick bunch of shits! Id do a full Caribbean cuss for you but you won’t understand it. But I’m pissed as hell for what he and his shit head people did. As fucked up as they come.and to think you with your awesome self is being made to feel like less than awesome by a bunch of assholes. GAD!
      Don’t ever ever ever dull your shine for any body! They are not better than you so start acting like it. Fake it till you make it.
      If I could do that knee cap thing on them I would . Sick fucks the lot of them.
      Soooo madd! 😤😤😤

  • Tessie,
    OH my god…hugs to you…I just read your story and now I don’t feel so bad for myself after what you went through. What a sick bastard he was. I am so sorry what happened to you and your son! We are all here for you !

  • I really truly believe CL has the right idea. Just tell someone from the faculty that you got on well with that since his death, you have found that your dearly beloved had a double life, and you do not want to participate in celebrating his life after that discovery. Then leave it to them to spread the word. You don’t owe anyone an explanation really, but just tell and bow out. The good ones might get in touch and say how sorry they are, and understand completely, but the others, as CL surmises, probably had an inkling if not an outright clear picture of the true state of affairs (which is more than the person you considered yourself the closest to in the world to did you the courtesy of giving you. That’s a fucking awkward sentence.) So yeah, it’s not up to you to uphold the facade. Let it crumble, and walk away. You have a whole new life to create. And what an unoriginal twat. He took your lovely gesture, loaded with meaning and pretended it was his idea for his lover. What a dick. I am so sorry you are dealing with the double whammy, but you seem like an intelligent put together person, and you deserve better, so give it to yourself. Hugs

  • I like the earlier idea about getting the lawyer to write and explain, and also to imply that there is More Scandal Possibly Waiting to Come Out Which Would Be Very Bad for the Alma Mater.

    Love it love it love it.

    And then take all his filthy money and donate it to a women’s shelter or a charity that helps chumps get their lives back.

    Better still, found one, and call it Windchime House.

    You are mighty. You have got this.

  • Here’s the thing that strikes me though – how do we reconcile the image of public figures who are stellar professionally, and not so stellar in their personal lives?

    • Elsie,

      I often ask myself that question as my abusive, adulterous ex-husband and some of my former lying, cheating, self-serving boyfriends are professionally very successful. I hope that someday I get to read the obits of all of them. Would love to know that I could freely roam the earth without their living, in some cases, dangerous, presence. Although I am not seeking revenge upon any of them, I can’t say I’d be unhappy if Karma bit them where it counts.

      I think that it will take a lot of education, among other things, to get most people to realize that professional image does not correlate with character. Character needs to be evaluated and rated separate from professional image/competence.

      • Sounds like a cathartic Friday writing challenge-write your cheater’s real obituary whether they are dead or not

  • I believe that most of these people who live a duplicitous life do not keep it secret from their co workers or at least some of these co workers have an inkling and keep their mouths shut about it! My cheater was a professor also and his co workers not only knew, but encouraged his nasty behavior. They did, however, have one colleague who brought his paramour to every function. Everyone thought she was his wife. That is until his wife found out and came to the school with a baseball bat. She kneecapped him and destroyed his truck then went after Schmoopie! Needless to say he lost his job, was permanently handicapped and then his Schmoopie disappeared. To top it off this couple is still together because at this point in his life given his inability to work and get around, his “stock” doesn’t trade too high these days! It was the gossip of my small town and my cheater was well aware of it yet he cheated anyways! Go figure! I guess the allure of a sleazy affair is just too much for some cheaters!

    • One of my childhood friends and her husband told me about one of his married coworkers who introduces all the engineers to his side dish…and claims his wife is fine with the arrangement. I would bet money that his wife doesn’t have a clue what the hell is going on. This was years ago but today I would tell my friend to contact the wife anonymously and give her the heads up about the whore monger’s double life.

    • My cheater literally came home with a broken kneecap (and a tall tale about how he got it)
      and I BELIEVED IT – AGGGHHHHH!!!

  • Tessie,
    😥💔😥💔
    I’m so sorry for your loss and extremely angry too with you.
    That church is some kind of spackle-house.
    Thank you for continuing to come here on CN and share your story.

  • I am just a full on run of the mill chump…trying to accept that Shit sandwich. Still with the asshole. Everything I see here always ruins true except I can’t prove it ever! Maybe when he dies if I don’t first. Anxiety may do me in.
    But this post reminded me of my narc father. A successful attorney who’s life ended after a brain vessel burst or whatever. I feel cold about him. And I loved him. Anyway I was involved in his m memorial service planning. I was trying to think of a eulogy. Other people had wonderful things to say. I knew who he really was. Or I thought so.
    My mother gave me his cell phone since my cheater keeps me home with no phone ‘to bug him at work because I have no life’
    Anyhow it turns out that even after all the devastation he had already caused to my mother and his children through the earlier years…true to form…He had no gumption about continuing on his cheating path even at 76 years old. My sister found the Viagra.
    I discovered texts from his secondary slut. I did not respond. Felt physically ill. Air sucked out of me. Never looked at that phone the same way again. A few women came up to me at the memorial questioning was I his daughter. Duh! I look like him. I looked at each unfamiliar face wondering if any were the mother’s of unknown siblings I may have. I was not especially friendly. Wanted to run.
    I decided against speaking.

    • Just about the time I think I’ve heard all the bad things that Cheaters can afflict upon their “loved ones” I read another one. Do they just get more and more creative???

    • Cheater legacy. As a male friend said to me when I told him I was ashamed to run into these women…it’s not me who should feel ashamed but cheater. I took his words to heart. No longer carrying the shame he should.

  • Duped! Run not walk to a lawyer! As fast as you can get there. You don’t know you might be able to recover some of the money and assets and do not even worry about his relatives getting in trouble. I know you feel bad now but you must get going. Please don’t wait.

  • Dear Everyone,
    Thankyou. Tracy, for this post. Everyone, for your insightful support.
    It’s not quite 2 months out from D day. I’ve been treading water, staying present, while repeatedly getting shaken by revelations. The tough imperfect process with grown children.
    Turns out he was a sociopath. And as I focus on rebuilding my life, getting clear, slowing things down when the emotional processing gets too intense, still, I now finally live without fear. Without being subjugated the way I was for 40 years.
    Now I get what he was always doing. SO many bimbos. The perfected story line, with variations to blame me or kids in various ways, that every cheating bimbo believed. Where he had them feel for poor him, and not tell his secret.
    He used Cheater sites, sometimes used our kids’ last name ( hyphenated) to link his cheating to them. Included my name so I could be watched, to up the delight. Connected only with people in our own town. While presenting this empty studied facade that was SEAMLESS.
    Sociopaths are seamless. They look too good to be true. They are ONLY discovered if someone checks their devices and cross references what they say with what they are actually DOING. So they often spend a lifetime posturing, while empty and unfeeling and alone. They harm others to feel a little bit better, and enact complex cons to set others up against each other in ways designed to harm.
    He set things up so after he died while lovingly cared for at home, we’d discover everything, side by side, displayed. To harm.
    The bills were intersperse with friend emails and work emails and family emails and bimbo emails and cheating emails. Everything we saved to see. iChat’s snd sex texts and apps showing expensive hotels with dates and costs and luxury meals and an income far greater than he let on. While at home we ate off tag sale plates and sat on old furniture. Part of his pleasure, the Con, the harm.
    I will eventually have the pension, the social security, and the old house.
    Now I see how every way he was loved and respected and received compassion and patience only added to his misery of being so unfeeling and divided from himself. His remedy was to harm others, and get off on it. The manipulations he put in place were designed to delight and feed him, even as he died lying.
    Finally I begin to get it. Finally I see how me being so strong infuriated and enraged him.
    Finally my days slowly improve, with the help of some amazing friends.
    The day after he died,a week before D day, I was suddenly unsfraid. As he weakened, I went from very ill in bed fighting an auto-immune disease.. to strong and healthy. After he died, I became stronger every day. I wondered why I didn’t miss him. I thought there was something wrong with me. Subconsciously, I KNEW the truth. Now I’ll study TRUSTING my self.
    Thank you all for sharing your experiences, and for all your wise support.

    Here are Tracy Words I live and breathe and survive by: “Meh is the liberating sense of acceptance, when you stop getting broadsided by who he is, because you know what he is.
    Anger helps with that, keeps you from falling for the impression management.
    Meh is when you stop giving this jerk the power to hurt you. You accept what happened. Doesn’t make it right, or them less of an asshole. It means you see the truth — they suck.
    And you realize you can only control yourself here. Not what is done to you — but how you react. How you’re going to march forward anyway.
    You control your resilience. You control what kind of person you want to be — a person who faces adversity and builds a new life
    Let the Bimbos have them.
    Meh is sane and peaceful. Meh’s stable. Meh doesn’t hurt. In fact, I’m writing to you from the verdant fields of Meh.
    I won’t lie to you, it takes ages to get to meh. The point of this blog is to get you there faster. It’s a journey. (Oh shut up, Tracy. Embroider that on a pillow.) Acceptance comes after the bloody struggle to get free of a fuckwit, physically and then mentally. But I promise you, meh is attainable.
    Meh can seem impossible when you’ve bred with a fuckwit, because of course you can escape, but your children cannot. You’ll have set backs, for sure. Learn iron clad boundaries. Meh will come.
    If I think about it, I’ll lose my carefully curated meh. Somewhere in my core, I’m enraged. Weirdly, I’m also meh. That. Is. Who. They. Are. I can try and untangle it. Mental illness? Dementia? Not giving a fuck? Or I can accept it. That. Is. Who. They. Are.
    Your idiot is a parasite. They gave adapted their lifestyle over many decades to bleed people and they are alarmingly good at it. They quit their job and bled you for awhile, now they’ve moved over to their mum’s house. The other woman will get her turn too. Sure, they took them on a trip. That’s just salting the mines, as they say. Sprinkling a little gold dust on the mine to convince an investor that the whole mine is gold. Bernie Madoff gave a great return on the investment dollar… for awhile.
    The good news is you’re free of a parasite. That’s GOOD NEWS. Doesn’t feel like it right now, right now you’re choking on the injustice and the hard work ahead, but gloria hallelujah you’re narcissist free!
    All this person was going to do is drain you. Financially, emotionally, physically. Now you get your life back and you’re free to rebuild.
    All that energy you were throwing at them is now yours to invest in yourself.
    So take it back and don’t look back.”
    ( I changed some pronouns to share with a friend)

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