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Dear Chump Lady, He cheated on me through fertility treatments

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband and I have been married for 6 years, together for 8. Up until the night I found out he was cheating on me, I thought he was madly in love with me. We had a wonderful life, and he just took me to France for my 30th birthday.

We have been trying to have a baby for two years and finally sought fertility treatment and we successfully got pregnant with the IUI procedure. We were over the moon to find out we were pregnant. He was amazing, he told me that we were going to be amazing parents and he couldn’t wait to start this chapter in our life.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, he went out with his buddies for a birthday party and didn’t return home until Sunday at 10pm. I was 5 1/2 weeks pregnant. I was so worried he was hurt, in the hospital or there was something wrong. When he came home he was so drunk and out of it that he just went to bed. In the morning he lied and said he slept in a lobby of a hotel room and was ashamed, so spent the whole day at the bar.

He finally told me (after a lot of prying) that he had a one night stand. Her name was Amber. My husband works out of town often so I called the hotel that he was supposed to be at for his job, and he had been lying about being out of town. He told me that it had only been going on for a week (needless to say, everything has been a lie). He pleaded for another chance, said he would go to counseling, and the whole week, we decided we would work on us.

Friday I went out of town. (My mom had planned it because of everything I went through from the fertility treatment). On Friday night he never came home, kept my dogs home in the house for 25 hours. I drove back at 3 a.m. and found his car at the girl’s house that he was supposedly done with. It broke my heart into a zillion pieces. I kicked him out of the house and has not been back since he left.

I tried really hard to work through the pain, and to have him help me understand where he is coming from. But he is not the same man. He never apologizes, the only thing he will say is “I’m sorry I handled the situation like this” or “I haven’t been in love with you for two years”.

He has spent hundreds of dollars from our accounts and our credit cards, he is living with his girlfriend and won’t ever acknowledge the love that we shared, (it was so real, we were best friends), but he treats me like garbage. Has walked away from our house, our two dogs and our unborn child (currently 16 weeks pregnant).

I have a lawyer and filed for divorce, I know that’s what needs to happen. But I’m just so lost at how one person can say that they are so in love with you one day, and it just turn off, he was engaged in the affair before the procedure and I am so angry that he put me in this situation. He takes her on vacations, goes out for fancy dinners and drinks and I’m at home taking care of everything and growing a baby.

I guess one reason why I am emailing you is, have you ever had anybody that has been through fertility treatment with their husband, for the guy to just leave once they got pregnant? He was so happy to be a dad… and now hasn’t asked me in 6 weeks how the baby or I am doing. How do you just do that? Also, do you think I’m going to be okay? Is my baby going to feel loved and will I be happy again?

I am in counseling, seeing my doctors and have a strong support system, but nobody can actually grasp the situation I’m in. Everybody is mourning him too, nobody saw it coming, his friends and family are also devastated. We were all so close. I just don’t know how to stay positive with the pregnancy that I wanted so bad. I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to have a family with him so incredibly bad, I just feel like he took all of my hopes and my dreams.

Danielle

Dear Danielle,

There are some people who are going to tell you that he bolted because he’s afraid of fatherhood, afraid of responsibility, wobbly and timid in the face of this Great Life Change, and so (hey! it wasn’t optimal!) he reacted in a terribly immature manner. But This Isn’t Who He Is, so be pals because he’s the father of your child, and It’s What’s Best for the Children.

I am not that person.

Protect your heart, Danielle, and never EVER allow yourself to be broadsided by this person’s character again. He is NOT your friend. He is NOT capable of deep intimacy or love. He is a TERRIBLE person.

Don’t be so black and white, Tracy. Everyone is a subtle, nuanced tapestry of beige…

No, sorry. He sucks. Cheating on your wife during fertility treatments and early pregnancy, abandoning her for a fuckbuddy, spending marital resources you need for an INFANT on oneself, is a moral stain that cannot be washed clean. I don’t care if he devotes the rest of his life to world peace, or chains himself to a redwood, or is trampled by a pussy-hatted rebel force storming the bastille — he SUCKS. Forever and ever AMEN.

You might just find this reply a useless rant, but I’m trying to telegraph an essential truth to you — DO NOT EXPECT DECENCY. From this point forward, realize what sort of creature you are dealing with and set your expectations accordingly. Do not expect him to be fair-minded in a divorce. Do not expect him to have your or your child’s best interests at heart. Do not expect him to show up. Do not expect him to respect obligations.

You have been very, VERY mighty. You did a tremendously brave thing — you threw the bastard out when you were 5 weeks pregnant and you’ve been soldiering forward since with a lawyer and a support system. GOOD. But I see the chump in you too. It was real. We were best friends. How could he?

It was real to YOU. He’s a figment in a man-suit.

He’s never been your best friend. Best friends, hell, casual acquaintances, would not lay down this much hurt.

How could he? Apparently, quite easily. Didn’t twinge his conscience in the least. How do I know? BY HIS ACTIONS. He abandoned you, and then helped himself to the contents of your checking account. He disappeared and came home shit-faced drunk and never gave one thought to your fears. People who love you (and your unborn child) DO NOT DO THIS. Who does this? TERRIBLE PEOPLE. Cluster Bs, narcs, selfish assholes, those for whom the empathy synapses do not fire.

Your soon-to-be-ex is one of these freaks. Never, ever mistake him for the caring sort. You got fooled. Welcome to Chump Nation. Millions of people have visited these pages — that’s how NOT alone you are.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with (HE SUCKS), you’re going to do the following.

1.) Grieve. It takes some time to work through the loss of your imagined future. What you thought your life would be and where it is now. This is just a window in time of pain. Losing this awful person is a great opportunity for a better life.

2.) Protect yourself. See yesterday’s post on finances. Stick with that lawyer of yours. Let the cool heads of professionals guide you through this. Freeze that money so he can’t go on slut junkets.

3.) Enforce agreements. You get that child support docked from his pay automatically. You make the state the heavy. And read everything you can on grey rock and no contact. Personally, if I were you, I’d see about waiving child support so you could terminate his parental rights. Guys like this tend not to be reliable father material, financially or in person. Sorry. Hope I’m wrong about that (and judging by my mail from the last 5 years and my personal experience as a single mom, I don’t think I am).

Okay, now here’s the good news — you lost a LOSER, and you’re gaining a BABY! Babies are wonderful. Motherhood (even with the exhaustion and vomiting illnesses) can be indescribably joyful. All that deep love and commitment you’re capable of now has an outlet. A little miraculous person who needs every ounce of you. Focus on this new life — yours and your baby’s. Figure out what next — school, career, living in a single mom commune? (Okay those don’t exist.. but they should.)

Do you think I’m going to be okay?

YES. Better than okay. It’s just going to hurt like a motherfucker for awhile. I trot this metaphor out quite a bit — birthing a new life is agony. Like being ripped in half. But you heal back up whole again.

Is my baby going to feel loved and will I be happy again?

Yes, YOU are going to love your baby, and all those supportive, loving people in your life, they’ll love your baby too. Sadly, one fucker the Sperm Donor, will not love your baby (despite protestations otherwise, which is just impression management bleating). BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOUR BABY IS UNLOVABLE.

Don’t make a fuckwit your lodestar. Do we really care what terrible people think?

You get a new baby AND a new beginning. Stay mighty, Danielle!

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.
  • Wow, Danielle, you are mighty for having tossed him out. I’m sorry that your cheater broke your heart and that you are having to go thru this and join the ranks of chumpland. Chump lady’s words are harsh but paint a realistic pic of your cheater. Believe her, mourn and then get on having a rockstar life for you and your baby. I am rooting for you. Lean on your support system, love and take care of yourself and your sweet growing baby.

    • It’s horrible and I know all about infertility these types of men are SCUM OF THE EARTH, be glad he’s GONE I know it’s going to be very hard at first. I have just been through a year of hell with my ex husband, what he’s done to my children alone is disgraceful, he uses them as a weapon against me it’s sickening but remember KARMA BITES! Stay strong!

      • Sometimes KARMA BITES the children along the way, too

        All the more reason to believe he sucks – so you can spare the child as much as possible

    • Excellent reply you had a loser it’s unfortunate but your gaining a baby a gift from God. God will guide and protect you just BELIEVE!

    • Stay strong ! Such men are worthless pieces of shit. Although I know it hurts a lot right now, do not let him back in your life EVER. I gave one year to my cheating husband to come clean and save our marriage and family of two kids ( one was an infant). He only misused this time to play mind games and make me go crazy. TRUST chump lady’s advice and read her book, it will give you a lot of answers that Cheaters will never tell you. I am real and I am not paid to promote chump lady, I just realized in the most painful way that leaving such terrible person is THE ONLY way to sanity and peace in the future.

    • Thank you so much for your responses! It really makes a lot of sense. I was talking to my counselor and I do feel like the best thing this site did for me is being able to see all of you awesome warriors and your strength of getting through your stories. I don’t know how I am going to get through all of this, and at 17 weeks pregnant, I feel devastated for the life that I thought I was going to have and for bringing a child into such a broken home, but I do know that I will provide love, support and strength. Thank you so much for your love!

      • Danielle we are both at 17 weeks. Mine is my second miracle, it took 10 years and a fertility saga to get pregnant with my first. I found out about his five years of infidelity one week after finding out I’m pregnant with this baby. Im just coming out of a 3 month paralyzed shock however and truly wish I had taken the swift action you took. It’s just truly unbelievable isn’t it? I’m so so worried for my kids, I want to sob every time I think about bringing this sweet innocent life into this mess of a situation. He’s currently acting like he just doesn’t have time to talk about or deal with it, as if I’m overreacting. And yes he claims he hasn’t loved me for years. It’s sickening but helpful to read so much similarity in these stories on CN. I’m getting stronger and braver by the minute. The pregnancy was part of my desperation to beg him for reconciliation but I’m realizing that is probably an exercise in futility. Anyway, thanks for being here and sharing your story.

      • Danielle & Scared and Confused: I was in a similar situation. I was 8 months pregnant when I found out about his work mistress. We had been married 2 years, together for 8, and planned to get pregnant. I got pregnant quicker than we thought and he flipped out. Immediately said it was a mistake (should have been a red flag) and that he didn’t want kids and that I forced him. After a week of fighting he calmed down and got on board with us having a baby. Then I found out about the girlfriend. I begged him to stay and he would for a few days then leave for a few days. He kept telling me “i just don’t want to waste my happiness. I don’t know what is best for the baby. leave now or when she is 3 or 4”. As it got closer to my due date he got worse. He even got physical. And i still didn’t ask him to leave. When my daughter was 2 weeks old he said the thought it would make his life easier if we were both dead. That’s when I kicked him out. He is not the man i married. I don’t know who he is. 3 weeks after that he filed for divorce then sent me a text after i was served the papers “divorce isn’t the answer. let’s try to make this work for the baby sake”.

        I spent about 9 months crying every single day mourning the death of my marriage. I refused to let my baby be around such an unstable person. I have some advice for both of you. Get a good lawyer. Judges are pretty sympathetic to pregnant women whose husbands abandon them and the unborn baby. Do what you think is right when it comes to custody. Trust your gut. I promise you a mothers intuition never lies. Be prepared for the jerk to sometimes act like he wants to be a father and other times completely disregard the child. Do not be afraid to tell him exactly what the child needs during his time. I give my daughter’s father a full detailed list of her day because he knows nothing about her

        You both will be ok. Your kids will be ok too. I think its better that he left us when she was so young because I got to build our family unit the way I wanted. Its not the norm but what the hell is these days. Its me and her, we live our life and her dad is allowed to come visit 3 times a week and he typically skips every other visit. That’s his choice. No sweat off our back. “Daddy isn’t picking you from daycare today honey so why don’t we go swing at the park after school”. More time i get with my baby. And never trust that they will show up for their visits. I still get really mad everytime i get the email “i have to work. Can’t get the baby. Sorry”. Becuase i have to make arrangements for her to be picked up. But i’ve learned to just asssume he will bail that way i’m less irritated when he does actually show up.

        I hope you get this since I am just reading this letter. I’ve been away from ChumpLady for a while.

        • IIWII,

          Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your story. It is not encouraging to know there are so many disordered cheaters out there in the world; however, there is truly strength in finding out that your situation is not unique and that there’s a 99% chance there is nothing you can do on your own to change it. So thank you. I have come to the conclusion that since my cheater won’t do it, my job was to give him a line in the sand regarding steps I MUST see in order to believe he is trying (common transparency and accountability that should be welcomed by a wayward spouse who truly wants to rebuild your trust and try to fix this nightmare). I did this now because I am so very convinced that as hard as it is to be facing this while pregnant and with a toddler, they will be so much better off if it happens as early as possible in their precious little lives. He refused my requests, so now it is time to sort out legalities. I’m so incredibly sad and tears threaten constantly. But I know that’s a phase I have to walk through, I’m sure there are no shortcuts. I just hang on to the promise of the better days I keep reading about on this site.

          Thanks also for the heads-up about trying to share custody and visitation. I have really not known what to expect. My husband is very affectionate to our daughter and claims he will miss her so much when he leaves, however, he consistently fits her in to his schedule only on his terms and when convenient for him, not when always best for her so I fear this will only worsen when he does not live here anymore. He’s got big dating plans, after all, so…..we will see what happens.

          thanks again

    • I am so sorry you are going through this scaredandconfused! Have you kicked him out? I cry a lot. I’m so worried that I’m bringing this baby into the world in such chaos. I didn’t just want a baby for the last two years, I wanted a family. And I will get one, and so will you (it will just look different then we planned). Sending you lots of good vibes (I think we both need it)❤️

      • Thanks Danielle. I don’t wish this nightmare on anyone but truly appreciate this site where I can find others in the same situation. I have not kicked him out. I didn’t find this site soon enough. I’m quickly trying to change my perspective and get some ducks in a row. I have just been paralyzed and in denial. Also, he doesn’t have an OW to run off to (if I can believe all he is telling me which I don’t) but has been the One-Night-Stand-Wonder with at least a dozen women over 5 years. It’s just gross. My biggest fear over taking action has been my children but deep down I just know he’s not going to stop. I can’t do that to them or me. Anyway, take care of you and your pregnancy. I’m trying to do the same. I’ve had trouble gaining weight this time… go figure. It’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever witnessed

        • Scaredandconfused,
          I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. My exh was into one night stands, too, but claimed he was insecure and needed validation from other women, but that he would try to grow as a person and build his confidence (claimed his charisma and outgoing, confident performer personality was just a cover for the broken, sad sausage he was inside). Our second marriage counselor told us on visit #two to think about our chronic and solvable problems. Him leaving cabinets open: chronic, it’s in his nature, he tries to do better, but relapses over and over. Him writing song lyrics on my important papers: solvable— just put my stuff away. She looked directly at me and asked us both “do you think cheating is a chronic problem?” Silence. I think all of us knew immediately that it was. So the next question was, “what chronic problems are you willing to live with?” Cabinet doors: yes. Cheating: no. I left shortly after. Thank goodness for a marriage counselor who called a spade a spade and a dog a dog. But, I want to add, I think it’s also important not to leave a marriage until you know you are done. It took me 5 D-days or so, and I’m glad I didn’t leave until I knew for a fact nothing he said or did could fix things anymore. There is no second-guessing or faltering or “pick me”ing once you know in your heart you are done. Good luck, and trust yourself to know when you are done <3

          • OMG Red McMeh- I was also told that learning to pick up women had improved his confidence and made him better at his career, etc.Its all for personal growth 🙄.

            Did you have kids with him? That remains my biggest hold up when it comes to taking action. Thanks for sharing your story with me

            • Luckily for me, S&C, I had undiagnosed infertility issues and ended up with a major surgery when we were trying to conceive (he cheated that time because I was “sick all the time and he didn’t feel valued.”) so we weren’t able to get pregnant. The way he treated me before and after surgery was close to the last straw, so I got on birth control and left a few months after I recovered. I’m sure now that he wanted to have kids to trap me, as he has since done with wife number two. I can’t imagine having kids with someone like him, and I’m so sorry you are dealing with that extra layer of awfulness! Ex H has two daughters now and is still running around on his wife (we split 10 years ago and he still contacts me about every 6 months with weird, intimate or flirtatious messages. I don’t respond). He’s even convinced her his cheating is because of alcoholism, and is buying time by going through AA. (I got a standard AA apology last fall and offer to make up for the past. It’s just another attempt to get me to break no contact). I feel so lucky to have been unable to have children with him, even though it took my current, wonderful husband and me 6 years of grief, two rounds of IVF, and a small fortune for our miracle baby. I guess that says just how awful it is living with a cheater narcissist…

              • Red McMeh, Congrats on your baby!! Fertility treatment is ROUGH! We went through it as well and it was so hard. The worst thing that he has said to be (TWICE) after I found out about his affair and kicked him out was, “are you going to keep it?” After all of that, you want me to get rid of our child? I think he pretty much ruined any hope of being a good guy at that point. I was DEVASTED but know that it is the right answer for me. I do think you are right, scaredandconfused, make sure that you know 100 percent that you are ready to kick this guy out, because even though I was (AND AM) there are somedays where I know it would be easier. The thing you have to remember, being alone is 100 percent better than being with a cheater. I am only 21/2 month out of being with him and 17 weeks pregnant and I already breath a little bit better knowing that someday I will be loved the way I am supposed to be. You are supposed to be loved more, and if he isn’t loving you that way, there is somebody out there that will. They can make up all the “excuses” and “reasons” they want to but I truly believe that they are unhappy with themselves and will NEVER change, for ANYONE!

  • Only the lowest the of the low cheats on their partner while pregnant or recently having given birth. Mine had an emotional affair at the beginning of my pregnancy, too! Except instead of kicking his ass out, I took him back. It wasn’t *that* bad, right? Nothing physical happened! And he was so remorseful and would NEVER HURT ME AGAIN… right??? Welp, you know the story. Years later, days after our son’s 7th birthday he left me for a different whore. Full blown physical affair, discard, the whole nine. So whatever you do, sweet mama-to-be, DO NOT TAKE HIM BACK! The heartache will grow tenfold. It’s better to be a single parent then to be married to a fuckwit!!

    • I know exactly 12 years wasted mine was 24 years wasted but I gained two beautiful children. This POS was full NARC I had no idea he never showed any signs but his TOXIC mother did. I could never figure out this family and his two NASTY, backstabbing sisters but I surely see it now! Like they always say hindsight is 20/20!

      • The smear campaign was full on nasty, he would get pissed drunk in our basement after my daughter and I had gone to bed. Then I would sometimes wake up around 3:00 am and he’s still not in bed on a work night so I wondered the house looking. Stood at the top of the stairs to the basement sure enough he is pissed drunk and just cutting me down to his younger sister.

        • Yes! Narc-family, especially his mom, never figured it out until the last several years…the apple don’t fall too far from the tree…25 years wasted but also 3 wonderful kids, 11.75 months nearly NC, D in 4 weeks, hopefully peace forever. Don’t second guess, don’t waiver, don’t look back, baby growth hormones are crazy things but stay the course and rely on your support network.

    • 12years wasted, I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that!! How awful! I do feel very alone in something that I thought we were going to do together. I am so disappointed with how the whole situation unfolded that is for sure. He is currently living with his girlfriend, and we both have lawyers, and the marriage is OVER. I truly believe that in my heart and in my head. I just know that it would never be the same and if he was this weak and this unhappy to do this now, who knows what he is capable of. Not somebody that I would ever pick to be around.

      Thank you all of your comments!

  • “I’m sorry I handled the situation like this” and “I haven’t been in love with you for two years”

    If you’re relatively new here, let me reiterate something CL said: He’s not a special case. He’s par for the course.

    All of us have heard these exact sentences, or very close variations. Both of them mean the same thing: “I do not care about you or your feelings. You are no longer useful to me.”

    That’s excruciating to accept, but it’s the truth. Small consolation at this moment, but be thankful that your baby will not have to have him around as an example.

    • Spot on UX.

      And any deviation from grey rock and caring for yourself will result in him listing the litany of things you do wrong- you are controlling, you are judgmental, you load the dishwasher wrong, you are not “open and loving” like his whore, you do this and you do that WRONG. It can be a huge mindfuck as he carelessly wipes away your shared history and rewrites it with his own lies designed to crush you and make himself the victim here. He will shift to the “inventing crimes” mode, we have all seen it.

      Don’t allow him to do this. Do brush up on the “3 channels of mindfuckery” archive entry so you are prepared as he shifts gears. You will see it coming a mile away. Knowledge will help to armor your heart. I am so sorry you are going through this.

      ((Hugs))

      • I am new to this site, how can I find “3 channels of mindfuckery” on this site. I see no search option available. I desperately
        need to read this.Thanks so much for any help.

        • WTHwasIthinking, at the very bottom of the home page there is a search function, and also a list of featured topics there. I am so sorry for what you’re going through, but you are MIGHTY and you have found Chumplady. Keep reading here, it will save your sanity.
          ((welcoming hugs))

          • Thank you for the warm welcome. I am currently in the 7th circle of hell wit my STBX. D-Day was January3. I had exposed his affair with a co worker with the phone bill. He left without a word. He went to a motel 10 minutes down the road. Of course the ho-worker was with him. He came back a week later because he ran out of money. They both got a protection order against me. So much more mindfuckery I could write a book. Long story short he’s a serial cheater. I’m currently losing my mind from the daily flip flop.

            • WTH,
              That is such a standard Narc tactic – getting a protection order against the Chump. Fortunately, the judge that granted my temporary domestic violence restraining order, was the same judge that dismissed Stbx bs request for restraining order!!

              The image management these freaks go through is mind boggling/ they are so desperate to paint themselves and AP, as victims!!! Makes you physically ill being caught up in “their” circus!!

              Hugs,
              Seeing clearly

          • Thank you so much NoMoreNarcs. for the thread post. I read the post and it helped clear my mind and quell my emotions for a time. I can’t believe how they all have the same script. It’s mind boggling.I feel like I’m in a nightmare that I can’t wake up from.

        • The reason he did this while you were getting pregnant/pregnant is control. It is very likely he feels that because you are pregnant you are unlikely to move on to someone else. This gives him the power to conduct his affair thinking that if it does not work out with the mistress, you will give him another chance due to the baby. This makes him feel in control and he feels he will not end up alone no matter what. He will use your goodness and kindness against you. Do not let him.

        • Good choice (3 levels of fuckery)–that was a real revelation for me.

          Also, “Don’t make a fuckwit your lodestar”– bumper sticker? tattoo?

    • Amen, UX. Could not have said it better.

      I’ll add, for Danielle’s sake…You are not alone in having your partner act entirely in love with you one day and then literally the next day act like this monstrous stranger. I was blindsided in this way and everyone I know (my friends, my family, his friends, his family) were stunned. I’m only 5 months out from DDay but if I have learned anything by this point, it is this: Do not kill yourself trying to figure out how a person could do this. I spent so much time and energy pouring over this question, over and over again, all hours of the day and night. I finally realized this is not something I will ever understand, nor will you, because we are people with souls and normal mental psyches, and they are not. Best wishes to you and your little miracle!

      • I spent way to much time wondering how my ex could do the things he did. I am still discovering new levels of betrayal even after the divorce. It’s just a waste of energy. Good people with a soul will never understand a Fuckwit. Keep taking care of yourself and enjoy every moment when your baby comes. You are worth it 😁

    • I think the “I haven’t been in love for 2 years…10 years….our whole marriage” is actually code for how long they have been cheating.

      • Nejla,
        THIS!! So astute, Nejla!

        My STBX, during affairs 1 &2 told me, “You’ve been a bitch for the past 6 months.” I pointed out that he had started the affairs 9 months prior, so which caused which?
        Assholes. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.
        Trust that they suck.

          • Yes my ex whore told me she had been thinking about leaving for 2 years and then told me it never felt right in 24 years..best not to communicate with them anymore, their rewriting of history just fucks with your head. Over 3 years complete NC as our kids are adults thank God.

      • I couldn’t agree more! He will say that and it makes me want to scream. You are sorry you went through a procedure to get me pregnant and left me??? And you are SORRY you handled it that way??? Who says that? What kind of person puts you through such misery? It has been horrible to come to terms with that is for sure. It is so sad when you feel like you have given them EVERYTHING!!

    • Oh yes, sometimes that is the closest you will get to them acknowledging what they did was terrible. “I handled it wrong.” Been there.

      As far as everything else goes, I really think that, as selfish people, cheaters are very in tune with the minimal amount of effort and words they need to use to get what they want. For a while, your ex wanted you, therefore, he figured out all the right things to say, the buttons to push, to get what he wanted – for you to believe you were in a happy marriage. Apparently that was getting you pregnant. He may have been indifferent, or even against, being a father, but you being a mother was the price he was willing to pay to keep you on the hook, so he pretended to want it just as much as you did. But once he found a fish he liked better, he didn’t need to keep you hooked, so he dropped the whole ‘want to be a dad thing’ as no longer necessary effort to put out.

      I went through nearly the same thing; though we didn’t need the fertility treatments, just a few years of trying. He cheated on me during the pregnancy, and when I finally figured it out a year after the baby was born (I plead sleep deprivation and being a total trusting chump for not noticing sooner), he told me he loved schmoopie because she was spontaneous and not tired all the time. He assured me there would never be another child because she didn’t want kids and he was too old, as part of his charm phase of trying to convince me to be okay with him keeping his affair going.

      I eventually got over my shock, denial, despair, and anger and we broke up. Now, I find out that he and schmoopie are trying to have a baby. I guess she changed her mind, and he has gone along with it because that’s the price of keeping her on the hook. Never mind that he wrecked his previous family because the toil of having children and a tired spouse was too much for him to handle. He’s going to be one of those dads who are mistaken for grandfathers, for a child he doesn’t even want for the child’s sake.

      • Hopefully Clinic, I am so sorry you have to endure the pain of this. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I have come to terms that I will never get a real answer or apology. He truly doesn’t believe that he did anything wrong, I think that is what is the most sick part of the whole thing. He has continued to ignore me, take her on these lavish vacations all while I am pregnant and trying to keep it together. I feel like I am finally out of the shocked phase. My trauma counselor thinks I am finally grounded and doing better, but there are still days that I just wish I could close my eyes and wake back up in my life where I thought everything was happy. I think I have finally figured out that’s not real, and the sooner I realize that, the better it is for me and my child.

        Thank you so much for your support and love.

    • So true. I ceased to exist overnight after 36 years of love and loyalty. Or so I thought! My marriage and relationship was ended by text message that concluded by thanking me for being a loving wife and a great friend! It burns you forever but you also know you are better than that! Stay mighty, better tunes ahead. Yes the pain burns your soul but hang in!

      • Yes… It is like we weren’t married for 6 years, together for 8. Like he wasn’t my everything. We just got back from France 20 days before he started this affair (and who knows how many other affairs there were?). It has been so hard to accept. I hope the pain will start to ease and I will be able to love again.

  • Oh, Danielle… This sucks. He sucks.

    If you want to consider CL’s advise about parental rights… actually what you can do is to register the child with only you as a parent (leave father blank or NN). See if His Twitness is interested enough to go down to the registrar and ask to be named as father. I agree with CL – unless you desperately need child support from His Twitness, try to dodge the bullet, or you will have ages of aggravation to deal with.

    All good wishes to you and the babe!

    • Depending on your state, he will automatically be put as the father if you are married at the time of the birth. If you are able to get the divorce finalized before that, you may have the option to leave him off but if he wants to get his name added, it won’t be hard to get that done if he is willing to file the motion.

      • I’d talk to him now. Play nice and tell him you want to start fresh and you want him to start fresh. Take completely done paperwork to him to sign regarding the divorce. Then paperwork relinquishing his custodial rights and waiving support. Just tell him you want him to be free and you don’t mind raising the baby alone without financial support. I did something similar in order to get full custody and move away with my two children. It worked. They are lazy and allergic to responsibility. Also, if she gets the divorce before birth she should check her state laws, some do not require you to name a father. Some do, but also have laws that say you can refuse for adequate reason (such as violence etc.). Even many family law lawyers are shocked to find this is sometimes true in specific states. The state will try to force you to put a name on the certificate in order to have someone to chase for compensation if you ever draw state benefits, but you often don’t HAVE to if you are not legally married. Trust me having my ex gone was worth every penny of the money I never got.

        • It might depend on what state you live in. In Washington state, you can’t get your divorce finalized until after the baby is born. Check your state laws.

    • TALK. TO. YOUR. LAWYER. and listen to her before you make decisions/indulge in fantasies as to child support, parental rights, fuckwit’s role in your beautiful baby’s life, etc. Most states have minimum child support orders that apply no matter what, such as if the payor is on death row, in a coma, etc. Failure to support in itself is not usually grounds for termination of parental rights if the parent continues to interact with the child. This can be as minimal as birthday cards sent from prison. The court always has discretion to adjust depending on what is in the best interest of the child, but most statutory schemes favor two parents when available. So, the likelihood of terminating fuckwit’s parental rights is slim unless fuckwit has otherwise indulged in dreadful behavior — abuse or neglect of children, committing rape or murder — things like that.

      Also, do not underestimate fuckwit’s desire to pretend to be a wonderful dad. Children bring attention and fuckwits the world over glom onto their children in an effort to legitimize their sorry-ass self. His family will no doubt want to be involved in your baby’s life and he will likely sail in on their coattails to rehabilitate himself in their eyes, in part by trashing you (The fertility treatments made her so moody! Sex wasn’t fun any more! WAAAHHH!)

      Listen to your lawyer, and prepare for the eventual chinks in your armor because they will hit you unawares and you need to prepare in advance. The initial shock will wear off, you will still be pregnant (congratulations!), you will be moving through the divorce, and the new normal will incorporate the fact that you got snowed by a fuckwit (so did I!). His terrible behavior will become old news and the violence of it will soften. Your clear-headed resolve may go on holiday and weak moments may arrive. BE. READY. FOR. THIS. MOMENT. Have a list of people you can call 24/7 when you start to think: “I just wonder how he’s doing. How can I keep him away from the baby shower when his whole family will be there? He was a horrible person but maybe he can be a decent dad?” The people on your list are ledgers, whose job is to talk you off the ledge and reorient you toward the cruel truth:

      He played you. He hurt you just because he could and no it didn’t matter that much. He will never, ever, have that movie-like moment of epiphany where he realizes he took the best thing that ever happened to him and ran it through a shredder. If he says those words to you it is only because he saw it in a movie and thinks it may be useful to him to get you to believe it. And the worst truth of all: Even right now, at this very moment — HE. DOES. NOT. BELIEVE. HE. DID. ANYTHING. WRONG.

      Also, name the baby whatever you want, first name and last name. Hang on tight DearHeart. We all love you, and we are all here for you. And we always will be.

      • Great post. I will add one more. You do NOT have to have him at the birth. I chose to have my mom instead. I decided I was the one in surgery (c-section) and I wanted someone there who loved and supported me AND who gave a shit about my baby. Someone who would do this to you while you are pregnant does not care about the stress that would place on your pregnancy and therefore the health of your baby.

      • Danielle,
        Read my story from a few months back. It’s very similar to what you are going through. I didn’t have to get IUI but I ended up with an extremely rare pregnancy complication (massive tumor on my placenta). I was sent out of state for procedures (procedures that had never been done in the US). My stbx was cheating on me before the pregnancy and during and when I found out (7 months pregnant), he left and didn’t return home. He’s still with the Ho-wrecker. My son is now 9 weeks old and the biggest, best miracle that ever happened to my life. I’ve already dealt with complications for my son but he is doing incredibly well. I listed his father on the birth certificate out of honesty. The form asks for honesty BUT I gave my son MY maiden last name. I heard the exact same things from my ex, “I haven’t been in love with you,” “I’m not sure I ever loved you the way I should have,” “I was never happy,” I heard it all. And yes, these narcissists LOVE the attention they receive from the shiny new toy…aka your child. My ex get to have 3 days a week of visitation at my home for a few hours per visit. Yes, it’s brutal. I hate seeing him. It’s like looking at a hologram of someone who used to love you and be your entire world and now appears to have his brain abducted by aliens. But this is WHO THEY ARE. Don’t expect them to realize what they lost or how much they are giving up. So many friends told me that my ex would want to be back together once he saw his son. These narcissists aren’t normal. They only care about themselves. My ex pretends to really love our son, but he’s never once spent a sleepless night with him. He visits so he can take pictures of him to show his co-workers and receive attention. Unfortunately, I do need child support. I’m dealing with a mediator now and I’ve been told that when my son is of age to be with his father over night, it will most likely be an every other weekend arrangement. The idea of that still hurts like hell, but I do my best to set my focus on the present. I love my little bundle of joy and soak up every moment…he’s 9 weeks and he’s gotten so big…it really does fly by. I still have trouble sometimes and waste time thinking things like, what does the other girl have that I don’t? Will they end up happily ever after? Will she be my son’s stepmom and one day my son will love her too? I must be worthless if my ex threw me away and is willing to lose everything including his son for this other girl. But it’s just my kind feeding me lies. My ex sucks. Listen to CL and believe her when she says, “trust that they suck.” Even if my ex and his schmoopie end up together and stay together, even if they pretend to be happy, I know what he is capable of and people who are capable of this sort of thing – AREN’T GOOD PEOPLE! Danielle, try your best to enjoy your pregnancy. I know it’ll be hard. I feel like my pregnancy was ruined and I was stressed the entire time. It was so unfair. Know that you aren’t alone and this has happened to other women. You’ll find your way. I’m trying to find mine. I still cry. I still get upset and depressed but I know deep down that everything will be ok. Your baby is already so loved. I know you never thought you would be doing this alone as a single parent. I didn’t either. I went into my marriage thinking it was forever. My wedding was beautiful and my memories were too. They may not have meant anything to my ex, but they did to me and that’s all that matters. You and I are going to get through this. We will get to Tuesday someday. I know it. I am sending you a huge hug. You’re incredible.

        • Your stbx & his OW will not end up blissfully happy, count on it. I know of too many couples that came together through cheating and not one of them is still together. All had miserable marriages, ended up cheating and repeating the same cycle. One set up his OWife to be arrested for domestic assault, threw her out of the gorgeous new home they had recently purchased in another state. She had to move back to the original state to live in her mother’s 2×4 shack. Of course he had a girlfriend lined up. OWife was screaming from the rooftops about karma, etc. while she had participated in busting up his first marriage with young kids. So cheater has recently purchased a home with 2nd OW (he paid a substantial down payment and OW’s name is on the house) that has been divorced twice in a short period of time and I hear is a real piece of work. In any case they are all bat shit crazy and none of the relationships end well. You have to consider the characters involved.

          • ^^TRUTH^^ Above. These people don’t end up happy. I bred with a fucktard too. He couldn’t have cared less about his beautiful daughter. It was all fake shit. He paid about $300 total in child support and then ran away with Schmoopie and they had two kids and he bailed on them too. He beat the hell out of Owife one too many times until she had enough of that and left him. I went on to find a good, kind man who adopted my precious daughter. I got the fucktard on abandonment. Unfortunately good, kind man was killed in an accident and I met and married Mr. Cheaterpants. That is how I became a member of CN.

        • Stretched, your story has really stuck with me. I am so impressed with how well you are handling it and how brave you have been. I am still a mess. At 17 weeks pregnant, I know that a cheating husband is not what I want but it is hard to be alone while pregnant. He treats me like we never were married. He treats me like I am a person that he met walking down the street. I too need his financial help. I was planning on going part time after the baby, and he is the one that makes all of the money. He now uses that money to take her on vacations, fancy dinners and A LOT of uber rides (11 last weekend). It is horrible that he is just living the high life and has completely forgotten about me. It sounds like you are doing well (as well as you can be doing). You are a ray of sunshine and make me feel like maybe someday, I will see light at the end of my tunnel.

          Thank you!

  • My niece and her partner were both undergoing fertility treatment together. My niece got pregnant, her partner did not. A month later my niece walked into an apartment where half their stuff was gone. After lots of tears etc. She became a Mom to a cute little guy. It’s tough but she’s tough so she’ll be fine. And so will he.

  • Danielle. Welcome to a place nobody wants to be. Trust that that’s the person he is. An assmunch. Stay strong (hugggs). You got this! If you waiver stay on this sight and buy the book to keep on your nightstand!

  • Pay attention to his actions.

    He cheated while you were going through the procedure
    He lied
    He did not stop cheating
    He took money from the marriage to cheat.
    He does not care about you or the baby

    Does he look like the kind of person who will Ever be faithful to anyone? She will get the same discard.

    I read a blog by a woman whose brand new husband cheated throughout their young marriage. He was not just part of the family but was invested in the business. None of that mattered. He just left. She tried to make sense of a senseless act. She finally realized that is just who he is. That is just who your husband has always been. He is an expert at cheating and lying. He ought to be a politician.

  • Dear Danielle,

    I was. We had been married for 3 years and I so much wanted to have a baby. We also did the fertility treatment. Needless to say, as soon as I told him I was pregnant, that was the day he started treating me like shit. I also thought we were close, friends and all that, had a great life, wonderful friends, etc. I heard from his mom and her friends, my family side, that he was so much afraid of responsibility that he does not know what he does. He did terrible things to me. He locked me one day in the balcony in the heat of a tropical summer for an hour to punish me because I had asked him to stop picking his nose, I was so grossed out. He let me in only after I completely lost it and started screaming and banging the patio chair on the wooden shutters. He blamed me for waking up and going to pee when I was around 7 months and heavy because I would wake him up – so one day he just packed his suitcase and disappeared into a hotel telling me that he had to be alert and sharp that week because of a conference he was to attend (just across the street from his work). I later found out he had a colleague from another country joining him. He never came to doctor’s appointments with me, I always sat in the waiting room alone and watched other couples holding hands and going in and out together. He never relieved me from any chores around the house: I did it all before, during and after pregnancy. No help whatsoever from him at all with cleaning, cooking, shopping, all of it. And finally, he planned a ski trip in Europe around my pre-planned c-section day and was away when I was operated. He came back when my son was 10 days old.

    My boy just turned 10 years old last month. He is the light of my life, I am so grateful I have him.

    Dear Danielle, disordered are disordered and will always be. Unfortunately, we can’t change them. I tool his shitty behaviour all these years (of course he was sometimes being nice and friendly when he felt I was about to lose it), and I was patient and I thought that by showing him my unconditional love I would win him back, I would win his family of origin issues. But they are disordered. They are wired differently. This was the hardest part to understand because they often act as us, the normal empathetic people, and you expect that they feel that way as well. I struggled a lot with trying to get him.

    Cheating was the red line. But even after his cheating (which I later found was all throughout our 12 -year marriage with a long term affair partner and multiple sex swings here and there), I was ready to reconcile. I was ready to reinvent ourselves and start anew. He pretended that he was too. He showed me the ideal model of an ideal husband – for 2 months. Until I caught him again.

    Cut your losses, dear Danielle. He is not what you thought he was. Read the CL and CN. We are all here to help you through your darkest. But also this: you are in the most wonderful, most glorious period of your life. I wish I could feel and experience that pregnant stage again. I spent most of my pregnant days distraught with his bad behaviour, I cried a lot, but I also pumped myself with that nonsense that he was nasty because he was just afraid of responsibility. If I could say something to my 33 year old self at the time, I would say “fuck him, don’t think about him, he is not worth it, just enjoy this miracle of growing a human being in your body, stay happy and healthy so that your little one is happy and healthy too.”

    Cheater? he will be history, Danielle. It’s you and your precious one that matter.
    Hugs to you.

    • Oh..memories…need to add. Somewhere into 2.5years of what I thought was a blissful marriage but no child yet, cheater told me he was not really sure why he got married, this was not for him, he was not sure he could be a “conventional father or husband, not sure if he loved me, blah, blah”. I cried and cried and cried. I was so sure we were that great couple in love, happy life, friends, travels, etc. I just desperately wanted to have children which he kept postponing for various reasons. After that very heavy conversation I had thought to myself that I would wait for another year or so without nagging him with a baby topic, which was the only reason we fought for. I wanted, and he resisted. Anyway, I think he felt the change in me, a little alienation, some sort of determination although I never voiced my decision and never gave him an ultimatum. I had changed countries for him, learned a new language, gave up my family, friends, career – all for a hope of building a family with this “wonderful” man I was so much in love with. And it hurt a lot that he only wanted a housekeeper for himself with no responsibilities.

      Anyway, feeling my determination afterwards, it was him who came up to me “proposing to get pregnant through fertility treatment to speed it up and increase the chances.” I was so happy! He finally realized the true values of life! He loves me! He wants family with me!

      In reality and hindsight, he felt there was a danger of me (perfect wife material as he would later say) leaving him so he had to give me that. He never pulled his weight in any household or child rearing chores. My son knows him as a visiting father since birth because he made sure we lived in different cities then countries because of “life circumstances” which really was his best choice for a family. He had the best of two lives: a bachelor most of his time pretending that he had to be in another country to earn a living (his only choice!) and see his family only twice a year for a few weeks. He had plenty of other choices and he chose the long distance marriage which devastated me but kept him happy. He kept telling me that this was a better arranhement because we miss each other and appreciate each other more while other couples fight all the time. He had me change my place of residence twice to suit his needs and in both places I reestablished myself, got new friends, jobs, created life around me. All the time yearning for the time when we’d finally be together in one place as he kept promising.

      Now….I only wish he had dumped me then. Or even shortly after. I wish I had strength to leave him after that first conversation (we had a few more like that in the following years and every time they were more painful). After discovering I was played for all this time I did not even have the guts to be angry. I was just devastated and very sad. I had been investing into this marriage with all my heart, efforts, moving, raising the child alone, working, building life and embracing new cultures- only to have discovered he had cheated all this time. Anger came after I discovered CL and read so many similar stories. Anger propelled me to action. I am still angry and hope to be at meh one day. But anger is your greatest help now, Danielle. Don’t project your good character, empathy and values on a horrible person that just successfully managed to dupe you and all your friends and family all this time. Don’t assign your feelings onto him. He has an empty elevator shaft for a soul. He sucks – trust it. Probably the hardest message here but it’s so true. It takes time. But you’ll get it. Stay healthy and take good care of yourself now. And really, try to enjoy. Babies are wonderful!

      • Longtimechump! Seriously your story is EXACTLY like mine. We had a lot of fun in our marriage, and he too always said “no children yet, I am not ready” and then came the day that he was ready. I remember crying because I was so excited. After trying for a little over a year, we finally went to a fertility specialist. Everybody has told me, he is afraid to be a dad, he was having a mental breakdown because of all of the fertility treatments. I feel like marriages have A LOT worse things happen in their life and men don’t run into another womens arms. He told me everything that all men have told all of you, “I wan’t happy, we didn’t have anything in common” blah blah blah. At the end of the day, the reason I am so upset is how awful he is treating me, like I did something wrong to HIM, like I made him angry. I have given him every opportunity to be at the doctors appointments, I know don’t tell him about them because I don’t think he deserves to know (and he doesn’t ask). It is so sad. I wish that I could see my path in one year down the road to see if everything will be okay and that everything works out. Hearing your story has really helped. I hope you are happy and doing well!! 🙂

    • Yikes, I also remember being alone at Dr. appointments. It was sad and embarrassing. I had terrible morning sickness with my 1st and was worried about the glucose test making me sick. I begged him to come to that appointment. He stood me up. He never even came home that evening until nearly midnight and reeked of alcohol. He never called and I was convinced he had been in an accident. I literally called local hospitals asking for emergency victims of his description. He staggered in eventually and I was crying at the kitchen table and be BLEW UP big time. He screamed in my face that I was controlling and then punched the refrigerator and glared at me… clear message was stop now or that’s you. It’s like being pregnancy (with our VERY PLANNED baby) flipped the switch where he could no longer hide who he really was.

      Mr. Vice President, workout/gym stud with the young wife who must not weigh more than 110# and be silent and supportive at all times was the fascade, in reality he was a disordered monster all along. I was so confused and desperate to protect my kids from a, gasp, broken home, that I subjected them (and me) to that mess for 20 years before there was no loner enough spackle in the entire world to keep that BS image up.

      I admire all of you who learned so much more quickly than me! And now I know that is so much better for the kids too.

      • This story is SO much like mine. It is like when I told him I was pregnant he flipped a switch. He is awful to me. I cry and think someday he is going to care. But the truth, I don’t think he EVER will. I don’t think he ever will realize how much pain he has caused me or our very planned child. I just hope someday he realizes all that he has lost and he lost somebody that would have given him the moon. I am glad I found out, but it has been incredibly hard.

    • longtimechump, your experience is hard to read but it tells the truth of the journey that follows if you stay. Although my ex and I did not undergo fertility treatments to get pregnant, I found out decades later that he had been cheating from the get-go. I missed the red-flags. We started getting landline phone calls (before cell phones) in the middle of the night from a woman who would ask for him by name. He claimed she was a “crazy stalker” who had a thing for him in high school. His mother verified his “story”. “Crazy” haunted us all through my pregnancy and after the birth until I finally had our phone number changed and unlisted.

      After the birth of our first child and one night of having her bassinet in our bedroom, he raged that just the sound of her breathing interfered with his sleep and insisted that she be placed in another room so not to disturb him. Many nights I slept in a chair in the nursery. Even then he would complain that he could still hear her cry… He never got up in the night to feed her or change her diaper.

      He was absent at the birth of our second child. He stayed home in bed because he was “too sick”. I had to call my mother-in-law to drive me to the hospital. She dropped my off and then went back to our home to care for our toddler and her sick son. He made a miraculous recovery that night and managed to go out drinking to “celebrate”…

      He seemed to be a good husband prior to starting a family. But things changed quickly after. And like you, I forgave him – repeatedly – and suffered having done so. I, too, “was patient and thought that by showing him my unconditional love I would win him back” (your words fit perfectly). There were FOO issues in my ex’s family that I failed to see immediately. People like that don’t usually become that way on their own…

      Danielle, you are VERY mighty and courageous and you are doing the right thing. Do what you can to keep him permanently out of your life! Please read and believe the terrible things that others have experienced from people like your husband. You and your baby will thrive and be loved and be far better off without your sperm donor. That is all that he was. You are saving yourself and your unborn child.

    • Ahhhhh somedays I feel like such a chump and others I feel so strong! Thank you for your story and words of Hope. I hope someday I will feel strong, and loved, until then I will just keep reaching out to all of you wonderful ladies!

  • Yup. He had an affair while you two were actively spending tons of money to get pregnant. Sorry, but there’s no way someone who loved you would have done this. There’s no way someone capable of love or decency would have done this. You loved who he was pretending to be, but he was lying, going through the motions of what a normal human does, without ever truly feeling it.

    • Yeah I think that’s the hardest part. I know he Isn’t good for me but it still makes me so sad! I just wish this was all a nightmare. I’m 17 weeks pregnant and my life has drastically changed. I just want to be able to provide the best life for the little one I can. Thank you, I know he isn’t good and it’s good to have a reminder of that.

  • Does this young lady have a Dad?

    Because…..I’m afraid that if she were my daughter, I would be in the Crossbars Hotel after my right boot got finished with his sorry ass.

    • Amen SDC

      Maybe if more parents kicked some ass, our culture would not be so riddled with abusers, thugs, and bullies. Cheers to that dad who lunged at the gymnasts’ abuser! I used to believe that violence wasn’t the answer…..so civilized.

      Now I think the predators smile at our trepidation at calling a creep a creep.

      • I tell all my kids boyfriends/girlfriends that I will love them like they are mine as long as they are good to my kids…cross the line and I will stomp a mud hole in your ass and they will never find your body..and I mean that very sincerely. I would never want my children to be subjected to the pain I have because that’s what moms do..we protect. If my dad were still alive he would have killed the garbage I married with his bare hands..no joke.

    • Cheers to you! Wow, if I’d had someone love me and want to protect me with that passion I’d feel an amazing calm and warmth to go conquer the world.

    • Sorry, but having a father or mother does not guarantee support.

      The same way none of us had spouses/partners who treated us appropriately, many of us have parents who were useless at best.

      Bottom line is that every member of CN has to find their own strength d not wait for anyone else to save us.

      • Yeah this. I’m glad she has a support system.
        But narcs are notorious for poisoning he waters. Mine made sure to decimate my support system and then some. Just more proof of how much he cares for his kids.
        I have found this to be very common and there are plenty of us who’ve been alienated from our friends and family as a direct result of our regrettable entanglement with these cretins.
        From now on, I ONLY want to be surrounded by people like that hero father who wanted just one minute with Dr. Nassar. I don’t want to waste one more second of my precious time on compassionless enablers.

    • Right??? Like does she have a family??? That’s what I always think. He hasn’t changed either of his pictures of us on his social media account (even though I have asked him to) so she has to know about me. I just don’t know how somebody could do this to another family. It’s just horrible.

      • Danielle,
        The OW, she knows your married and pregnant, still partipating in affair / there are many, many names that describe women like her, I will leave it at : soulless bitch/whore!

        I’m sure other CN tribe can provide additional descriptions of OW!

        My heart hurts for you sweetie! Just know you made a courageous decision throwing his ass out. Stay the course!! Focus on your baby!

        Remember- he will never, ever change . He showed you by abandoning you and your precious unborn baby – he’s a Narcissist! And is incapable of human emotion!

        Many hugs,
        Seeing clearly

        • Thank you so much seeing clearly! I can’t believe one women could be so horrible. I can’t believe that they can go on vacations and enjoy life knowing that I am home miserable. He continues to break my heart. I hope someday he realizes it.

          • Hi Danielle,
            Sweetie, he won’t ever realize it because your Stbx is a Narcissist/they are void of any human emotion! It is nothing to do with you – he’s the one that with the disorder.

            My heart breaks for you and the precious baby growing inside you! I hope you can sever your Stbx parental rights before the baby is born!!

            The fact that you kicked him out shows tremendous courage! Keep the mindset that you are a lioness protecting her cub!!

  • What an out and out bastard. Danielle, you won’t feel like it now but you are well rid. Fuckers like that never pull their weight in the game of life. Concentrate on yourself, your baby and in time you will find a better life.

    Getting rid of a fuckwit may hurt at the time but the long term gain will be immense.

    Take care

    • It hurts SO BAD right now. I know it’s the right answer but it has been very very challenging! I hope someday it gets better!

  • Danielle,

    I am in AWE of your mightiness for kicking him out right away! God how I wish I had been mighty like that at the time…

    • Thank you so much! It was hard, especially the fact that I was 5 weeks pregnant at the time, but it helps that he is living with her and basically treats me like I don’t exist. Like I never did.

  • Danielle, I’m so sorry for the pain you are feeling. It’s a total mindfuck to have that switch turned off in a split second. You will get through it as you have a support system in place.

    While this feels so very personal it’s behavior we see here often. Cluster B’s walk away when you are experiencing the greatest joy in your life.

    The two year thing is also right out of the cheaters handbook. I was told, “I told her I haven’t been happy for two years.” You’d think they might have shared this with you, right?

    Right now you need to focus on yourself and your child. Get rest, force yourself to eat healthy as this brutal discard takes its toll and self care is essential especially now. I agree with CL on raising this child on your own and terminating his parental rights. He’s not parent material.

    It’s important to have no contact and speak only to your trusted family, therapist, and your own personal trusted friend. While his family is close they typically support their disordered offspring.

    It takes strength to get through this so do not take any responsibility for his actions. Don’t beat yourself up.

    You’re in the right place and not alone. We have many Chumps here who have gotten through this and thrived. You will too!

    • I agree that if you don’t need financial support from him in the form of child support payments, then don’t even put him down as the father on the birth certificate. Save yourself years and years of headaches – especially in the case that he/his family one day decide they want to spend time with your child. And he/they will have a right to if its his child (which of course it is, because you had IVF. Hell, you could make him take a paternity test to prove he actually is the father, if he ever pushes for joint parenting, despite the IVF evidence). Sharing the children will be awful and a major pain in your ass. Trust me when I say that it’s better to raise your child as a single mother than with a disordered halfwit. I have 2 kids (now 9 and 7), and they are doing so well. I have less hassles and more enjoyment raising them as I see fit, and not having to answer to their asshole father. I call the shots where the kids are concerned. And I wouldn’t have it any ohther way!

      Don’t list him as the father, and avoid the possible joint-custody battles and shared parenting war!

    • Yeah that’s what I keep asking myself. Why wouldn’t he tell me? Or give me the opportunity to fix our issues? I had NO idea he was unhappy, for goodness sakes we literally just got back from a trip of a lifetime in France (I didn’t even have time to get our pictures developed) before I found out. I am pushing forward for the baby, but a part of me is scared that I’m bringing the baby into the world of a lot of chaos. I hope I will thrive eventually. Thank you for your strength and support!

  • Pregnancy and motherhood make other people central in a way a narcissist simply can’t abide. Was years before I truly understood that. Now I know that he cheated throughout pregnancies, when we had newborns, toddlers, etc. Cheaters cheat all the time. Sometimes, they can manage to hang in for the parent sparkles, but since most of parenting lacks glamour, they crack. Definitely ignore the “poor boy was overwhelmed by life and did not handle it well” crap that people will offer.

    Nope, not your best friend. Not just a guy struggling. Not your true love.

    Yes to protecting yourself and the child and understanding that this guy must never be trusted at all ever again.

    But you can do this, mom. Keep going! A beautiful life is coming. ❤️

    • Truth. Some love the adoration they get from their children, but even that gets tiresome for them. Children are needy. Narcs don’t like that.

    • Very well said. The records I got through the Ashley Madison hack showed that the ex-cheater started on AM when our eldest was one year old. My mother had warned me long ago– she told me he was needy and that he wouldn’t like competing with any future children we had. Unfortunately, she was right, and he continues to act like a needy manchild with the Owife (who is also needy and childlike), and they both suck at being parents. I’m glad that I have my kids, but I also wish I had listened to my mom.

    • Ahhhhh that’s completely what I have heard… especially with the whole fertility treatments… people keep saying that he was scared and I should have caught it before… he NEVER gave me one inclination that he was unhappy. I had no idea. I have officially decided he is not my best friend, the amount of pain I am in, there is no way a person could do that to their worst enemy. I hope your story ended with you being so so happy and that you thrived. I feel like we all deserve it. Motherhood is hard enough as it is (or pregnancy) to have to deal with all of this. Sending lots of love!

  • I’m so sorry for what you are going through, especially during your pregnancy. I was about 8 weeks pregnant with our first baby when I found out my husband of 10 years was cheating. He also acted happy to be a father and told me how much he loved me and asked when we could have our second. I thought we were best friends. After initially finding out about his affair, I made the mistake of giving him multiple chances over and over and listening to his repeated promises that this time it was over. He finally left ,me for his girlfriend when I was about 8 months pregnant. You are absolutely doing the right thing having filed for divorce already. Please do whatever you can to go no contact. You and your body are going so much right now just being pregnant. I will never forgive myself for waiting so long to go no contact during my pregnancy and taking the brave steps you are. You and your baby are going to have a beautiful life and you will be happy. It is so hard to see it now and is just gong to take you time to grieve and get there. I found going no contact was the most helpful to putting me on that path. I highly recommend The No Contact Rule by Natalie Lue. It was the most helpful tool for me in going no contact. As hard as it is, do whatever you can to cherish this time in your life. Wishing you and your baby all the best and sending lots of hugs.

    • Jessica, I am so sorry you went through that as well! I would wish this on anybody… seriously it might be the worst pain I have ever felt. Sometimes my heart literally feels like it’s breaking. I have a few questions, did you still feel okay to celebrate your little bundle of joy? People want to have baby showers and I haven’t told anybody on any social media (only my close friends know) that I’m pregnant. After going through two years of trying, I was so HAPPY to find out I was pregnant but I feel like he has taken everything from me. Are you happy now? I think the thing I’m struggling with is, I thought I was so happy… so it’s hard for me to see a light at the end of this awful tunnel that I’ve been in.

  • I am devastated by your story and I can’t imagine how devastated you must feel. I hate this man for what he has done to you and your baby. I am so sorry.

    I am going to share an opinion here, and I know you will hear many. You need to do what you determine is right for you. This is just something to tuck in your pocket in case it’s useful.

    This line in CL’s reply caught my heart:

    “Personally, if I were you, I’d see about waiving child support so you could terminate his parental rights.”

    Many people will be of the opinion that you should do whatever you can to “make him responsible” for the child. I am of the opinion that he is only going to betray and damage and hurt the child, so if he isn’t interested in being a good parent and person (which is obvious now), it is to your child’s advantage if he has no legal right as a parent.

    This doesn’t mean they can never know one another. It does keep him from using your child as a pawn for legal leverage to continue his campaign to hurt you.

    The thing is, if he knows that is what you aim to do, he will probably suddenly become super interested in his parental rights. So, if you decide to go this route, you’ll have to be rather sly. He’s distracted by the shiny sex with the AP, so as long as you stay inconspicuous, it might be rather easy. A lawyer can be helpful here, especially since laws where you are may look different from laws where I am.

    It is true that it is hard to parent without financial support from the other parent. It is harder to watch your child be run through an emotional meat grinder by a calculating narcissistic sociopath. It is worth the struggle, in my opinion, to leave this man in your emotional taillights.

    One other thought — I know the friends and family are all devastated with you now, and I know they probably mean it, by and large. However, my advice is tread lightly with anyone who hasn’t historically been “yours” (your family, friends you met through him, etc.)

    One thing people almost never expect, but which almost always occurs, is the fading of the mutual friends/other family as the breakup process goes on. People I knew for years and thought were intimate friends — people I saw weekly post-divorce and who knew exactly what had happened — ghosted me, even as late as one and two years later, just disappeared and refused any contact or explanation. Some even worked as his “informants”. No lie. And this, I have learned, is common.

    These people who harm us are image management experts, and the people who know them are in love with that image. They all like the whirlwind of feeling good about themselves by helping you now.

    Your chump nature will want you to believe them and you are aching for support. That’s reasonable, but stay aware. Watch how they really behave. Watch whether they empower your decision making and support you. Watch whether they seem to want to be neutral.

    You can stay in touch with everyone, but lean most on those you know are really your people, who don’t want anything to do with him and who aren’t his family. It will all play out over time.

    Take care, and again, I am so sorry.

    • Depending on what state you live in, you may not be able to terminate his parental rights. My state does not allow that. Only if you remarry and the stepparent is willing to adopt the child (and the parent is willing to turn over their rights) or if the parent is abusive or a danger to the child.

      Trust me, I wish that was not the case.

      • Even when you can’t terminate parental rights you might be able to swing full custody for no support. They are technically different, but in practical terms virtually the same. Courts don’t like to revise standing custody agreements without major cause.

    • I was going to comment on this point about trusting his family, his friends, etc until I read this better worded version by Amiisfree.

      Please pay heed to this. Do not trust those who were in his circle. Especially his family. I am of the opinion that creatures as cunningly sociopathic as this guy are made not born. Just as he fooled you, they will fool you. It will almost certainly save you some further pain and betrayal.

    • I was going to comment on this point about trusting his family, his friends, etc until I read this better worded version by Amiisfree.

      Please pay heed to this. Do not trust those who were in his circle. Especially his family. I am of the opinion that creatures as cunningly sociopathic as this guy – those who can live for years under a false exploitative skin – are made not a born. Just as he fooled you, those who helped make him will fool you. It will almost certainly save you some further pain and betrayal.

    • Amiisfree, this is excellent advice. I would also advocate for giving up spousal support and waiving his rights to the child. And yes, she has to be sly about it. I had a visiting husband and a visiting father for my child all these years and he now all of a sudden started showing his parental interest to win as much time with the child as he can. He shows up in school when he visits (2-3 times a year) and makes himself visible with teachers, he does things he has never been interested in and it’s all about minimusing his child support and getting the most of son’s vacation time (fun time) while I keep doing the daily parenting. If I only had strength and this much insight 10 years ago this would be so different.

    • I have heard from a lot of people that this happens… I unfortunately have come to realize that it might start to happen. It hurts so bad thinking that people don’t stand by morals and character. Somebody cheating on their pregnant wife is horrible. But I understand that people make mistakes and that’s how some people will explain being his friend again. I’m sure I have to co-exist with him because he wants to be part of the child’s life. I hope your story has ended up happy after everything you went through and you came through the other end! Thank you for all of your advice, it’s very helpful to always remember!

  • I was cheated on when we had a young infant and again when pregnant. It takes a special kind of ass to do that.

    I am so, so sorry that you are going through this. You don’t deserve this, it’s not anything you did and he is truly horrible. He will have moments when he appears like a decent human, and you will think maybe he has changed. In that moment, remind yourself of the truth. He hasn’t. Watch long term behavior and actions. Ignore words. And for the love of petr intervoe

    • Oops! I was going to say interview lawyers so he can’t hire the truly awful ones. But looks like you have a lawyer. Good luck!

    • I am so sorry this happened to you! It’s the worst pain in the world. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown any love or nice moments yet. He is really cold and brutal… almost like we are enemies. Like he hates me, even though I’m not sure what I did wrong. Did you end up leaving your spouse?? How are you doing! Sending you love!

  • How utterly horrid Danielle!

    Amisfree is spot on in her advice.

    Make sure you take care of you and your precious baby first and foremost.

    Prayers going out for your continued strength.

  • The disordered types who look for a shiny, new distraction when a chump is down and unable to make them central with enough kibble supply are the worse of the worse, bottom of the barrel cheaters. Cheating when the chump is pregnant, has cancer, just lost a child or parent, etc… When the tough gets going, the cheater gets ho’ing.

    The now ex was lying about going to strip clubs with a friend while I was home with a newborn and spending lots of marital money all while telling me I had to be careful about what I spent because we were on a budget. That should’ve been the straw that broke the camel’s marital back. But I spackled and made excuses and I slept on the couch because he needed his sleep but yet I worked full time. Those were the early years. I spent 20 years with a fuckwit and watched as he discarded me and the kids for 2 different schmoopies and wondered about 2 suspicious secretaries.

    He was great at image management and what a great guy he is, why everyone thinks so. It must be his wife or all the stress of his job or whatever. Once you break free from a fuckwit, you learn that it really doesn’t matter WHY he does it. You just realize there’s something broken in him and he WILL do it, every time he wants as he feels justified and entitled to those kibbles you are not supplying enough of for whatever reason. Then you realize he rarely takes care of you and supplies what you need when you are down.

    A marriage is for better or worse and this is supposed to go both ways. Cheaters are all in when it’s for better and no where to be found when it’s for worse. This would be your life. You are so absolutely mighty for recognizing this early when he has shown you who he is. He doesn’t have good dad potential and will only set you and your kid up for a lifetime of misery. If you can go it alone, both you and your precious baby should leave a cheater and gain a life!

    • “Cheating when the chump is pregnant, HAS CANCER, just lost a child or parent, etc… When the tough gets going, the cheater gets ho’ing. ” WOW, the very same week as MY cancer surgery! They really only have one playbook, and use it over and over again.

  • Danielle, hopefully you feel angry by now, do something with that anger, channel it into finding a good attorney, gathering your financial records and fighting for a good divorce settlement for you and that baby. Fight for a secure future for that baby. Cut yourself loose from the dead weight and look forward to a happy family life with you, your baby and the people who truly love you.

  • This is true cheater form. They all use the same playbook.

    I got “I don’t like you and I don’t like people like you.” Still don’t really know what it means but man did it hurt.

    I had to start over with a 3 and 5 year old. Fast forward, your Tuesday will come. Yes, I promise you will be happy again. Yes, I promise one solid loving parent is enough. Yes, I promise you will be stronger and more confident because of this experience (though I don’t wish this on anyone). You are a bad ass! Welcome to the club! Hugs!

    • Chump Lawyer,
      I get the pain of being blamed for exes’ unhappiness (as I knocked myself out Puck Me Dancing) on multiple sudden discards of me. I got the ‘I want to run away from you’ and being informed that I failed as a wife (I got an average score of 2.2 on my husband’s spouse rating of me. Scorecard ran on a scale of 1-10. 10 being the highest with a score of 4 being passing. This was after D-Day #1, when I learned that my husband had tried to start a family with his co-worker and she had told him to get a vasectomy, for which he registered, after artempting to impregnate her. He ensured that he would not legally get into trouble for not informing me. I was treated like the OW in my own life. I was also physically abused and physically and financially threatened by him. Abuse sometimes went on for 7+ hour stretches. The only reasons I can think of in explaining why I stayed with my abuser were financial fear and trauma bonding. Most people don’t believe you’re being abused if your family looks ‘famous,’ financially solvent, and highly educated. Abuse and chimpdom can happen to anyone.

  • First of all, Danielle. You are amazing. You threw him out and lawyered up right away! And as much as you would have liked to have seen him fight for your marriage, you will one day be thankful that he did not. Because it wouldn’t have been any more real than the lies he told you for the past 2 years. And the added stress of not knowing where he was, who he was with, and what lies he was telling would have been even worse for your pregnancy.

    My Ex left when I was pregnant, too. While I do not have the same fertility treatment part, the rest of your story are eerily similar. It hurts horribly and will for sometime, but you and all the people who surround you will love this baby like crazy. You will be okay eventually. It is a slow process but a year or two from now, you won’t even remember what it felt like to love him because you will realize nothing was ever real with him.

    Keep being mighty!

    On a side note…I don’t know what state you are in but where I live you can’t just relieve him of child support and terminate his parental rights. That only happens if you remarry or he proves to be abusive and a danger to your daughter. Unfortunately, you may need to continue to deal with him, but research grey rock. It is the only way to survive dealiling with a narcissist.

  • I feel for you and am sorry you’re going through this. All good advice to follow. My Ex of 20 years gave me an STD while pregnant with our third child. I also look back and see the change in personality and chalk it up to functional (using the term loosely) drug addict. Painkillers for back problems and alcohol his drugs. I find it hard to believe that personalities change so quickly, there has to be more to all of these stories. Time will help, therapy to process the anger and pain can’t hurt. Sending hugs…

  • Reading your story breaks my heart but it also shows me how strong & mighty you are!

    You kicked his cheating ass out at the most difficult time. By that alone your strength & self respect came thru. We all here have been where you are now at one time & have survived.

    Your precious baby & yourself will live a life filled with love & your heart will heal in time. ❤️
    He is who he is.. a cold, selfish narcissistic who will
    never change. You need decent people in your life now
    to help you with the pain.

    You will be ok in time when he’s no longer in your life.
    He doesn’t deserve anything from you!

    God bless you & your child. We are here for you both!

    (((HUGS)))

  • You are mighty, Danielle! Don’t try to figure out why he did what he did. Because you can’t. Believe me, I’ve tried, we’ve all tried. But we don’t think like sick fuckwits and that’s why we’ll never work it out. Take the advice you’ve been given here and move forward.

  • (((((((Danielle))))))
    “help him help me understand where he is coming from”
    This,
    Your statement that stands out the most to me.
    Oh Danielle, where do I even begin,
    First, I want so badly to hug you, hold you close, hug you tight. I have been in your shoes, but was not undergoing fertility at the time, ( first trimester pregnancy though, and had a tiny child).
    All of your story is so very very horrible.
    BUT, Danielle, always, front and centre, it is NOT you, nor will it ever be YOU. It is him! HIM!!!!
    He will NEVER be able to help you to understand where he is coming from because he does not know and he will NEVER, know, where he is coming from himself!

    “Is my baby going to feel loved and will I ever be happy again?”
    YES, Danielle, to both questions, YES, YES!!
    Your Baby is already loved, by YOU, The carrying, sane, loving Mother.
    Please read your post again, see what you have already done, got a lawyer, filed for divorce, all big giant brave forceful steps, done by YOU.
    I want to tell you, my sweet girl, that YOU are Mighty!
    No pick me dancing for you! That is what I did, Danielle, I was such a good dancer that my cheater stayed. To my knowledge he did not cheat again, but the years have been very very difficult because of all the other shitty character traits he has. No matter how hard a Chump tries changing a cheater, in my eyes, is impossible.
    I have two beautiful children, we are very close. I remained the present, sane, loving parent!

    I am in awe of you, of your strength in facing this horrible, heartbreaking happening, with such powerful actions!
    The emotional aspect of all this will tug at your heart strings. You cannot go around this pain. You have to go through it, Danielle, but you have good family, therapist, CL CN to help you!
    Stay strong, stay Mighty.
    Your cheater is going to wake up one day, want to come back, reclaim his gems, a loving wife, a newborn Baby. Stay clear of him Danielle, he will only break you again.
    YOU can do this!
    LEAVE A CHEATER, GAIN ALIFE!

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    peacekeeper

    • Peacekeeper! You are one mighty women yourself. I am so impressed by your words and your sweet sweet love and support. Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I have had a VERY difficult time trying to remember that it isn’t about me NOTHING has been. Everything has been about his unhappiness, his lack of love, his….Everything. I do feel so overwhelmed, but everyday it is getting a little better. I am trying to stay strong, but someday, I think that waiting for him to ride this wave and come back would probably be easier, easier financially for sure. Everybody keeps saying “once the baby is born, he will want to be with you guys”. I just can’t wait for that, it is too devastating to know that he didn’t pick me, that he didn’t pick us or our unborn child. That he was able to carry out such an awful affair and just move on with his life while I pick up all the pieces. Thank you for reaching out. I really appreciate it!!!

      • Danielle,
        I don’t usually check back in the archives, but I did just that now and I see your reply to my post.
        It is so kind of you to reply.
        I also read other replies you wrote recently.
        I am so sorry that your cheater asks you if you are going to keep the baby. There are no words for this. I am so sorry.
        I understand your pain. I know darn well at the time my cheater hated that I was pregnant. Before DDay he told me that I couldn’t possibly be pregnant at a worse time. Out of the blue he said that. I remember feeling so shocked, confused, sad, broken hearted. I asked if it was for financial reasons he said that. He didn’t answer me, just walked away. That was a huge red flag of his cheating, but I never once though that. I loved him with all my heart and the darling little girl we had and I was so happy we were expecting our second child.

        I want to tell you that at DDay time, I remember in all my utter shock and heart break, I do remember thinking that whether he stayed or he left, I would have enough love in my heart to provide love to both of my precious children.
        Also, very important, Danielle, try not to worry about your baby and all this stress and uncertainty. I feel that a message, a feeling of strong love and determination, passes on through the mother to the unborn child through the placenta ( I worked as a labour and delivery nurse😊).
        My daughter, whom I was carrying at DDay ( first trimester- when everything is forming) and the painful, uncertain days through the rest of my pregnancy, well she is just a ray of sunshine. She is strong, bright, determined, loving.
        She and I and her older sister are very very close. ( they do not know of their father’s cheating, of the affair). But, interesting enough is that she is not particularly close to her Dad. She takes no nonsense from him, often doesn’t even return his phone calls. Both girls love their Dad, but it has been difficult for them. A cheater usually has other not nice character traits and life with him has not been easy.
        Eventhough he stayed, I have remained the present, sane, loving parent.

        Danielle, your baby will be fine, your baby will know, and feel your love, now, on the joyful day your child is born and all through the life you share together.
        No one can ever take this away from you.
        I know it is difficult, but baby steps, breath in, breath out, take someone you love into the delivery suite with you ( a family member or good friend), and enjoy every second as you welcome your precious child into this beautiful world!
        💞
        (I will check this site if you want to leave updates, would love to hear from you)

  • I was pregnant with our second planned baby when he cheated on me with an Ashley Madison wife and his supposed soulmate. Prior cheating before I was pregnant too. All unbeknownst to me. I asked several times “why did you let us try for 3 months to get pregnant with our second when you knew it was all going to end in divorce?!” I get lame answers. So I believe he wanted our children, he wanted to be a dad but he knew all along he wanted to get divorced and be commitment free. He said a few times, he was happy I was his children’s mother. I think he planned all of this.he wanted kids and wanted them to have a stable sane parent while he ran off to do whatever he wants. Kinda like that bird that lays an egg in another bird’s nest leaving it to raise their baby as their own.

    • Oh ugh, I feel like this may be my situation too. If I hear one more time what a wonderful mother I am I’m going to puke. Yes, I am, and I suppose that’s your pass to go be an irresponsible asshole because you know I won’t let your children down.

      • I got that too, at DDay time,
        “I will always love you as the mother of my children”

        Ya, pukeface, would that be the same mother of your children that you cheated on!?!
        (To this day makes me want to puke)!

      • Holy Moly, me too!

        This is just not a compliment coming from the person who abused our family and then completely destroyed it.

      • “I couldn’t have picked a better mother for my children.” That only succeeded in making me feel like an even bigger fool.

        • Ahhh seriously! My husband wont even acknowledge that I am pregnant with HIS child. He doesn’t compliment me AT ALL. He just puts me down, puts our life down and makes me feel pretty much like the most worthless person in the world. He hasn’t asked about our child in weeks. He has asked me, “are you doing to keep it, TWICE” It has just been brutal. I am not sure how I read him SO WRONG!

          • Danielle,
            Honey, please do not listen to him at all!! You’ve showed such tremendous courage / do not let him use up anymore of your energy!!

            Asking you if you are going to keep the unborn baby you are carrying inside you – reading that brought tears to my eyes, I’m so incredibly sorry you had to hear that from someone that you loved with all your heart. please, please don’t allow him to ever see your precious baby – as painful as it might be right now – you will eventually come to see him as just a sperm donor! Don’t let him put you down or degrade you anymore!! He doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near you!

            A tree in your backyard could be more nurturing to YOUR precious baby than the sperm donor could ever offer!

            I’m so sorry you are going through all of this while being pregnant with a baby you went through hell to conceive, just think of your baby, your baby can feel your love and strength- focus on that, sweetie!

            Many hugs

  • It’s so sad but I have found this same situation to be true in my own life. Husband acted sad and depressed for years and I blamed it on our very difficult 10 year battle with infertility. I spent all of myself on his ever growing emotional needs and the fight to get pregnant. I realize now I was just being used. He was cheating during the entire last half of that journey. During the extremely expensive and stressful (failed) IVF. When I miraculously got pregnant naturally one year later. When I was home with our perfect newborn baby girl. And now that I’m 16 weeks pregnant naturally again with his son, he has confessed to what I now know I’ve known all along but could not get him to be honest about. I have found this site (yesterday) and am currently re-thinking my determination to give him a chance to do the right thing and restore our marriage. It is so hard. Just when my dreams of a family were finally coming true. I think I really need to face that he never was who I thought he was. Does anyone have insight into a spouse who confesses…. but then doesn’t really give much effort to repair the damage? I’ve been hanging on to that confession like it’s a sign of change but I don’t see much else in the way of reform. And I know legal advice is tricky but do I need to try to find proof of infidelity or is his confession to me “enough?” God, it’s the kids we share, that makes this 1,000 x harder on my broken heart.

    I don’t know what else to say except thanks to everyone who posts here. It is better not to feel alone, although not the club I wanted to join.

    • Anyone who would do this just sucks. When you go to the home page of this site, scroll to the bottom for the basics in cheaters and chumps. Although it’s not recommended to ‘untangle the skein’, you will initially try to do so. Dr. George Simon has a site on character disorder. You may have a covert/vulnerable narc on your hands. They are always the victim and I actually think they believe their own lies to themselves and others. You did not break this and you cannot fix this.

      You may have a narrow window of where he feels some guilt but he surely doesn’t have empathy. It would be a good idea to get to a lawyer and see what your options are and what the picture for you financially would be. Another site that was extremely helpful for me in the early days was: https://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/

      I am really sorry you are here but you are strong and mighty. Many of us thought we could be strong and loving enough to navigate our lives with a cheater and spent years trying only to be emotionally and financially devastated and left with devastated children. Once he has shown you who he is, believe him.

    • Scaredandconfused & Danielle,
      I am SO sorry for the pain that brought you here. I’ve been there, too.
      Neither of you is alone. This healing, loving, supportive, brilliant, sometimes snarky, funny little club was never on anyone’s bucket list. Neither were fuckwits. But they are master manipulators until their masks start to slip.
      “The love of my life” (I cringe that I used to call him this) called me his “bride” for the first few years of our marriage. I was happy, he knew how to LOOK LIKE a happy, committed husband, so I was blindsided when 1, then 2 (simultaneous) affairs came to light in our 3rd year of marriage. He half-assed his way to appear to want to reconcile. I thought that was real, too, but I (now suspect) he didn’t want to lose property we had owned at the time. He talked about remorse, but hadn’t taken that class at cheater school. He never fully disclosed what he had done. He stayed in counseling long enough to fool me that he truly wanted me and our marriage. He faked a good long game until I began to trust him again. The Reconciliation Industrial Complex preyed on my chumpiness as I looked at and worked on “my” marital flaws (!!!). Our “friends” used my spirituality against me in pushing me to stay with him & forgive him. I have since learned at least one of these couples dealt with the husband’s own cheating by eating the shit sandwiches to maintain the status quo & staying together. So, I dropped my divorce petition.

      Would you like to know what could await you if you allow him to stay or return? Fast forward another 26 years. We had one son, lost another to a fatal birth defect (which devastated us, but I thought “made us stronger” facing it together), then needed fertility help to conceive (IUI) our daughter. Did the gamut: church, service organizations, built his business up, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts…you know, life.
      Then last year, 3 weeks after our 29th anniversary and the day after my birthday, I discovered another affair. This one had been going on for 3 YEARS. He enjoyed having both of us in the same place (I sensed their sneaky connection then, but had no proof), must have felt like the cat that ate the canary.
      She brought him her HO-made soup to our house after he nearly died in hospital (where I nursed him back to health) a month before Dday. This one affair demonstrated he hadn’t deserved my trust for one second in all the intervening years. Those Boy Scout moms? Which of those did he do? Church friends?

      Over the years he has been lazy and lazier, not filing his taxes or paying quarterly (self employed contractor; his Ho was a married subcontractor who was paid WAAAAY more than any housepainter ever should have been).
      He brought rage and sullen, sulky faces home every night. When I asked if there was anything wrong or if he needed anything, he denied it, would sometimes make up an excuse.
      A few years ago, our young daughter caught him pleasuring himself while watching porn on his desktop computer. THAT should have been my cue to throw him out, but I spackled, researched tried to be reasonable. But that doesn’t work w the disordered.
      There are so many things I could share, but I was simply a chump in love with someone incapable of reciprocating. I thought we had a good life and were survivors. A LOT of projection of my feelings and thoughts onto his dumb blank stare that hid a monster capable of throwing a grenade into our family.
      He still wants to reconcile, but I am so over him and his abuse I will NEVER go back there. I care about me too much. And my children (DS22 & DD16) need to see there are consequences for betrayal and deceit. They need to know what real love looks like, not the “genuine imitation naugahyde” stage prop bullshit I had settled for for years.

      If I were younger and newly betrayed I would NOT stay or reconcile. But I did back then and have my children and am thoroughly grateful for them and our relationships. I accept the consequences of that choice. Fuckwit can go jerk off into the sunset for all I care. I bought his bill of goods for far too long. I left BECAUSE of the sunk costs of 31 years: Not. One. More. Cent. Nor. One. More. Minute.

      Today is my son’s birthday and 8 months exactly from dday(#3). I am beginning to feel the relief of freeedom from bondage of shackles that had appeared so gradually I never saw them until they were wrought iron anchors. Like the frog in the slowly boiling water, I didn’t see the big fat cheating betrayal elephant until the thong-selfie confirmed his garbage character to me once and for all. Younger chumps, you are MIGHTY and deserve SO much better! The advice here is sterling, spot-on and life-affirming. Not going to lie to you: It hurts like a motherfucker at first. Then less so. Then intermittently. Then joy comes through the cracks like a crocus through the snow and you go, “Oh, wow, YES!” You WILL survive this and come out the other side better than you ever were before. Ask me how I know. And I’m not even on the other side yet, just farther along the road. Tears shed. Screaming groans of pain and grief are behind me (but I know I still have those feelings to continue to work through, but hopefully not at that initial intensity). Questioning my sanity, choices, and reality are in the rearview mirror. TODAY: Sanity. Clarity. Relief. Joy. Self confidence. Improving mental and physical health. Freedom. Knowing that the friends I have now are truly MY friends (learn about Switzerland friends who don’t want to “take sides” – dump them, too! You need ONLY people clearly on your team!). These are all gifts of following advice given here. Read about No Contact/gray rock, read yesterday’s brilliant advice on finances..
      Love on your babies. Love on yourself…be very gentle with yourselves and let this chumpy group hold you up when you don’t think you can go another step. (Daily visits here help to remind me about my reality, since my denial and spackling have been so well-honed). And we laugh together. We cry together. We help teach each other how to protect ourselves and our kids, if we have them.
      Welcome to the club none of us did one thing to join. But we serve up a mean lemonade from what we’ve been dealt. We can help you live & love again, because unlike narcs who cheater, WE are the real winners who can love and empathize.
      Sorry this is so long, y’all!

      • Oh my goodness your line about not noticing the shackles until they became like wrought iron anchors – YES! This is exactly how I feel, the emotional abuse was so gradual it became normal, until one day I woke up. Thank you for describing it so perfectly.

        • Dollygumdrop,
          I’m sorry that we share these experiences, but I’m glad my imagery helps you. Being here in the safety of CN space helps me express things in ways that help me, too. You all bring out the mighty warrior within me who has been sleeping inside for decades. Here’s to waking ALL our heroic selves up to the gift of freedom that losing a cheater brings! Cheers, chumps!

      • ((((((ChumpDiva))))))
        YOU are a sister-friend I am so proud of!
        Happy Birthday to your Son!
        He has one Mighty, Mighty Momma!

      • ChumpDiva! Can I just say I applaud you, I respect you and I admire you! Well done. Your whole story is unbelievable. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that. Scaredandconfused, I am NOT through my PAIN at all. I am sad, emotionally unstable and a mess most days. But I have to tell you one thing, staying with him is not the answer to helping you, he is the one that caused such pain. In my opinion, I took him back for three days and had a vacation planned before I found out about his awful affair. He cried, bugged for me back but then kept telling me “I dunno I am confused” If I were you, cut your losses, you DESERVE so much better!! You deserve somebody who is going to love you and support you and not put you through this agony. Because one thing I do know, life is too short to be with somebody that you are worried is either in love with you or if he’s going to find somebody else and leave you at a drop of a hat (that’s what mine did) and it was AWFUL. I wish you all the luck! You are brave and you can handle anything, your superpower is that you are a mom!

    • scaredandconfused – I’m sending hugs, love, and strength to you.

      This statement – “Just when my dreams of a family were finally coming true.” Let them come true in a way that doesn’t involve lying/cheating/marriage police/pick me dancing, etc. Ask yourself the hard questions. Make a list of this shit he has done to you. Be mighty and make a decision that is best for you and run with it (what ever it may be). Ask yourself, what if I could live the dream of my family on my terms? Don’t add abandonment to the list of shit you have to recover from.

      You are in better spot already than you were the day before simply by finding the support of CL/CN. Good luck to you! You deserve love on your terms and to be loved in a way that makes your heart soar.

      • Well said! I found myself saying this after fertility treatments and finally being pregnant and my friends and family kept asking “is it your dream to be with a cheater that can literally look you in the eye after having sex with her”? The answer was NO, that is not a dream. Yes, the dream that I had before the awful day, is gone, now we get to write our own story and create a new dream. A dream where I will not tolerate being treated less than, and treated like my life and dreams don’t matter. What matters is the little baby I am growing! All my love and support to you.

    • So sorry but get out while you can. Do not waste another moment thinking long term with this person. He is not sorry just hanging around until he has another place/person to go to…….it’ll be tough for awhile but you have children that you will love and they need a strong mother.

    • scared and confused
      Please read my post that I wrote to Danielle earlier today at 8:03 AM.
      I am so sorry for all the pain you are going through.
      My DDay was years ago. My cheater did not confess, but left evidence and confessed when I confronted him. I believe he left condoms where I would definitely see them because he didn’t have the courage to confess he was having an affair and wanted a divorce. ( I was in first trimester pregnancy, did not use or need condoms)(I must add I doubt he used them, always hated them, another scarry thought).
      There was no CL, CN in my time of need, I was estranged from my family, told no one, kept it all inside, pick me danced, he stayed, changed jobs, we moved away).
      The thing is the other aspects of a cheater’s character are horrible. I remained the sane, lovng, present, loving parent. Eventhough he stayed he has been a harsh, demanding, “Listen to ME” parent. It has been very very difficult.He has never been there when I or our Children needed him.
      I come to CN to advocate to new Chumps to Leave a Cheater, Gain A Life.
      YOU have to make your own decision, scared and confused, but do not travel this road alone. There is so much advice and wisdom lovingly shared here, please be kind to yourself, hold your babies close.
      You are never alone,
      Go to the forums with specific questions and concerns. Chumps with hearts as big as the ocean dwell there day and night.

      Xxxxxxxxx
      Peacekeeper

    • Scared and Confused,
      A spoken confession is nothing more than air. Written would be helpful legally (I got that from Boss Hogg).
      Ignore what he says.
      WATCH what he DOES.

      Mine talked a good game. Could even squeeze out crocodile tears on demand (cause he’s such a sad sausage, waaah). Yeah. Talk is cheap. He built a whole affair on talk & buying cheap perfume and lingerie for his MOW skank. What a prince, right?

      I think they think talk means something, but by their actions they have already shown us who they are.

      The most important question I have learned from Chump Lady is, Is this acceptable to me? Can I go on with someone who is capable of deceiving me, someone who is comfortable with that level of dishonesty?
      My answer is No.
      You have to ask yourself these questions. What do YOU want out of this? What is acceptable to YOU?
      Whether he is redeemable or not is one of those chicken/egg exercises in futility.
      Hope this is helpful.
      Keep coming here for support!

    • Scared, my cheater ex always confessed right away. Always (at first) a good show of being so sorry, but that it was my fault, I had criticized his song lyrics, was too good for him, and he was sad about his career, family, needed validation… all the poor sausage excuses. In reality, he thought he could eventually break me (each incident was worse than the last, like he was getting me used to it. “Just a hug” went to “just some kissing/ petting/ mutual masturbation” and so on). Like if he eased me into it I would just let him cheat and stand by him in an eternal “pick me” dance. I’m sure that’s why he was so bent on having kids before I was ready— thinking they would be another tie to him so he could keep me and still daly about. I had a bad feeling about it, so when I had fertility issues, we took a break from trying and I found out about his 5th (and weirdest) infidelity. And then I left.

    • Scared and Confused,
      Make some decisions about what you expect and want to see from your husband. Tell him what you need and see what he says. Then hold him accountable and see what he DOES. That will tell you what you need to know.

      He will try to manipulate you into feeling as if you are not forgiving enough and that if you loved him you wouldn’t ask these things if him. But his actions will tell you his character and heart. My guess is that he won’t be willing to sacrifice and change.

      • You are right. Hours spent on this site over the past 24 hours have made me feel like someone was a fly on the wall during my conversations with him. It’s truly sickening how similar everyone’s stories are. I feel like my ears and eyes have been taking in everything he’s saying/doing but it hasn’t been absorbed and believed because I’ve wanted so badly for it not to be true. Anyway, yes, it was not long after confessing that he started telling me “but I’m not going to let you control and monitor me and give you passwords etc…” I think he’s already showing me. I just have to get brave.

  • You aren’t alone, Danielle. I wish I could give you great big hug. My soon to be ex and I also had fertility treatments for almost 2 years. We also finally got pregnant via IUI. Three weeks after our daughter arrived, I found pictures of him with another woman. He was on a deployment and came home for 2 weeks for our daughter’s birth and then went back on deployment and back to the other woman. After I found the pictures, he said he wasn’t in love with me anymore and that he had been unhappy for 2 years. Oh? The 2 years we were trying to get pregnant? After he got home, I left with our daughter and moved back to my home state. That’s when I found out the other woman was pregnant.

    It hasn’t been easy but my daughter and I are doing fine. It’s been 8 months since we moved. I am thinking of you and cheering for you. You can do this, love.

    • YouCantMakeThisShitUP I am SO SORRY! I am so proud of you for your strength and moving your child. Does he have anything to do with your child? I am so worried what that dynamic is going to look like. Someday’s it doesn’t feel like I will get through it but my little one is telling me something different. I think that is the worst part, when they say, “OOO I haven’t been happy in this long”, I am like, you mean the time I was going through the worst time too. When I Didn’t think I would EVER be a mom. When I was being poked and had more tests done and all you had to do was cum in a cup. Really you were unhappy? I am so sorry dear husband. It just makes me SO angry and so sad. I sometimes wonder if we didn’t have these issues, would he have cheated? Would he still be in love with me? I have to believe there are so many other bigger issues out there that couples face, and he would have broke at any of those as well. Sending love to you!

      • Danielle my husband first expressed unhappiness several years ago (but did not admit to cheating at that time) and yes, he blamed it on how hard our infertility journey had been. Yes, by that point it had been 6 years and it sucked. However now that the truth is known (or some of it) did he stop cheating when I got pregnant? No. Did he stop when our perfect miracle girl arrived? No. Infertility is extremely hard on a marriage but cheaters just cheat. It isn’t you or the infertility. It’s him.

  • Danielle,

    I can relate. My partner, who later married me, cheated on me while I was going through fertility treatment (IVF and ICSI), which cost $30k and was painful. I miscarried twice and then had two beautiful children. Over a decade later, their abusive, adulterous father, who drained money from accounts for sex with prostitutes (and cocaine?) filed for divorce and demanded a restraining order against me as he falsely alleged that I committed varied us felonies of the worst, most disgusting kind. Wish that I had known early on–could have saved over $100k in legal fees of mine and a decade of heartbreak. I am sending you a giant hug!

  • It takes a while to truely grasp how much they suck. A couple of things I’ve learned along the way…

    If you can step back from your emotions for a moment and evaluate a cheaters behavior, it often becomes clear that: telling you what you want to hear, and then doing what they were going to do anyway, has been a long term pattern.

    This is all about impressions and manipulation. (I call it good guy/gal syndrome)
    The legal definition of deceit; The intentional imparting of a false impression.
    A misrepresentation of fact, which, when made with the intention that the other party will rely on it to his/her detriment, constitutes the torts of fraud or misrepresentation.

    He had 2 years of fertility treatments to disclose he was a selfish prick. Instead he played the supportive husband while banging his smoopsie.

    Selfish; Concerned chiefly or excessively with oneself, and having little regard for others:
    Showing or arising from an excessive concern with oneself and a lack of concern for others.

    Not only did he disregard himself with concern for you, but also disregarded your unborn child. Reconciling the “actor” from the “fraud” is hard, because you are projecting your integrity onto him. Don’t fall into the trap of believing Divorce will show him the error of his ways, and he will suddenly do right by you! HE WON’T! In fact you said yourself “He treats me like garbage” When he realizes that this behavior isn’t giving him the upper hand, you are going to get “Mr. Good Guy”… wash, rinse, repeat! Don’t fall for it!

    Integrity: doing the same as what you say. Doing what you know in your heart is right. Obviously he knew impregnating his wife while having a side dish wasn’t the right thing, but he did it anyway. He operates from hidden agendas, not integrity.

    Trust that this is who he is! I know you don’t want to beleive it, but beleive it!

    Don’t untangle the skein of fuckupedness. Understanding why your STBX is a slime won’t change your current situation. His behavior is inexcusable, period! Readjust your focus accordingly.

    Now onto the positive…
    You have a great support system! That’s awesome! There’s many chumps who aren’t so fortunate.

    You are having a baby! What a miracle! The fact that you are worried about loving your baby tells me you are going to be an awesome mom!

    You are mighty! You lawyered-up and refused to be shit on! What a good example you are going to be for your child!

    All the good in this situation is coming from you! Don’t waste one ounce of that good on someone who doesn’t deserve it! Direct all of it to you and your unborn child! Paraphrasing yesterday’s column; There’s no prize waiting at the end of Divorce for the one who holds themselves to a high standard of integrity, because it’s the right thing to do. Refuse to engage in proving you are a good person, you already know you are! Yes, it is okay for you to have self-interest in this situation! Your response to his behavior is not the problem, his behavior is the problem! Keep your side of the street clean and don’t let him push his garbage to your side! His garbage is his problem!

    • Got-a-brain, thank you thank you for your words! Seriously, you couldn’t have described him or our situation better. Right now, he has yet to really apologize, feel bad or pick the right path. He was given a lot of opportunities. He is awful. And it is SO Sad, because apart of me wants to so badly not believe that this is who he is. I keep thinking to myself, did I push him to this? I just feel like he disrespected everything. His work still doesn’t know (they are a family run business) and would be horrified if they knew their top sales manager was using his work phone to engage in the affair and take her with him on work trips. I have stayed on my lane and have not gone down to his level. My integrity is still standing tall but sometimes I wish I could just let all of the hurt out!

  • I also described my STBX as my “best friend” and a “great husband.” In retrospect, there were so many instances of me being not quite “good enough” throughout the marriage, but the real disorder started showing when I became pregnant with my daughter. We also struggled with infertility, and I felt at the time like he was right there with me through the process, but now that I’m breaking free, it seems that he was as involved as a polite stranger.

    I spackled (he’s really busy at work, he’s not good at showing emotion, he is trying to be strong and stoic for me, etc.). When I was 5 weeks pregnant, we went to a party. He got rip-roaring, falling-down drunk and passed out on the two-hour drive home (I was obviously DD). When I got him home, I helped him into bed, took off his shoes, tucked him in, and climbed, exhausted, into bed.

    He tried to rape me. I pushed, said no, said stop, and he just kept going. I finally got mad, shoved him as hard as I could, and went to go sleep on the couch.

    I wish I had been mighty then. I wish I had packed my bags and left that night. I wish I hadn’t stayed for 3 more years of devaluing just so he could cheat on me during my second pregnancy.

    Trust that he sucks. He will not get better. He will not be the dad your baby needs.

    If I were you, knowing what I know now, I would not even tell him when the baby is born. Find a way to live without the child support. Make him fight for parental rights. Make a life with just the two of you. I can’t tell you how much the daily mindfuck of trying to raise small children with a fuckwit will wear on you.

    Run. Don’t look back.

    • Not Today,
      I’m so sorry you married down…like I did. You are MIGHTY fighting off that drunk monster! I wish I had fought….

      When the monster I married grabbed me by the throat during a drunken argument, *I* found a 12-step group and got sober. When I disclosed memories of childhood sexual abuse a few months later, he raped me. No words of comfort or sense to protect me. How sick was I that I didn’t run screaming from him then? Pretty sick is the answer.

      But I am better NOW. I am MIGHTY now and have MIGHTY support here w CL & CN. You are Mighty, too…if you don’t feel that yet, stick around, follow the solid advice here…you WILL BE.

      • ChumpDiva, I didn’t run either. And, like you, I was sexually abused as a child.

        With a bit of therapy, I see that A) I froze when the asshole raped me in large part because of the prior trauma (like opening a really bad old wound); B) I didn’t run because I disassociated … and I was an anxious, neurotic mess afterwords. It took me many years to grasp how much damage he caused to my psyche when he raped me. It’s still difficult for me to confront directly at times.

        So, please, don’t beat yourself up because you stayed. Sadly, we were pre-programmed that way. (The good news is that the pre-programming CAN be overcome with the help of a good therapist well versed in trauma!)

        (((Hugs)))

        • JesssMom,
          Thank you. So much. I’m so sorry we share this painful history, but it does help knowing I’m not alone. And that healing does happen. I’m so glad you have found healing, too. You are inspirational to me.

          I realized eventually that I dissociated a lot! (No alcohol necessary, it turned out) It was a well-established coping skill. Hell, I didn’t even call it rape until this year in therapy, when I finally had the courage to say it out loud. I knew it, but couldn’t bring myself to say it.
          My abuse-induced denial & ability to quickly “forget” abusive experiences have led to a lot of “Aha moments” over the years, as I remember events, instances, OFFENSES and ASSAULTS for what they are, without my family of origin’s spackle and gaslighting.
          Chump Lady and all you beautiful, chumpy friends have saved my life. I can’t begin to express my gratitude, but I’ll stay here on the beach, tossing one starfish at a time back into the ocean.
          Love y’all!

      • ChumpDiva,

        I’m also a CSA survivor, and I know how badly it scrambles our instincts and self-confidence. You ARE mighty, and your asshole rapist of an ex could not take that from you.

        Remember, whatever you did or didn’t do at the time, HE was the one who didn’t act with empathy and compassion. HE was the one who was cruel. We may have issues from our past that absolutely need to be addressed, but we’re not the ones who chose to purposefully hurt someone.

        Huge hugs to you. Remember, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are worthy of love and respect and dignity. Never doubt that for a single moment.

        • Oh, NotToday, you made me cry! Thank you. I haven’t allowed myself a lot of tears and I value them today as gentle reminders of my humanity. You are so kind and thoughtful. Those fuckwits find the best people and twist their poisoned knives in our backs! The best revenge is living well…without them!
          Thank you, NotToday! ((((Hugs)))

  • Danielle,

    Your letter reminded me of the movie with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Can’t remember the title of it now, but i guess just imdb it. Watch it and commit it to memory… because if you every waver and take that loser asshole back into your life, that movie will be the blueprint for your every day and year til you one day grab your kids and hop on a plane and say “see you never again, asshole!”.

    In your place i would
    -follow CL’s advice.
    -double down on the financial matters
    -file and state that you want full custody, child support be damned.
    -in some states full custody can easily be achieved by just not putting the sperm donors name on the birth certificate.
    He may contest this so that is why you need to keep a running tally of everything you know about the affair.
    Receipts, dates, money spent, when he abandoned you *and your child* and have your lawyer update that file periodically!

    Good luck to you, and i hope you stick around to vent.

  • Danielle,

    You are not alone. My ex left when our 2nd was 3 months old. His behavior was almost identical to your ex’s selfish and disturbing behavior. They have a personality disorder. Believe chump lady. It took me a long time to grieve and understand my best friend was dead, and this cruel person had taken place. We too had been through IVF with our first. When we had everything we wanted he abandoned me, and tore me aprt in the divorce, while I had a 2 year old and a newborn.

    3 years later, I feel mighty!!! AND you will too. Unfortunately he did want custody (because child support) and now I have to coparent with a fuckwit, but were here for you. My kids are happy, and we are a family, just us.

    Focus on the joys of motherhood, and your relationship with your baby. Build the life you want, and dream big. Your ex is a loser.

    • Leah, Isn’t it crazy that they can go from being your best friend to complete strangers overnight? Thank you so much for writing, it really does help to know that unfortunately I am not alone. Thinking of you and your kiddos!

  • Danielle,
    I hope this makes you feel better. I envy you! I envy your timing and also and above all, I envy your mightiness! If only my D-Day had come at your stage of life. If only I had been mighty and not spackled about what really boiled down to cheater’s bad character.

    At 66 I am crawling around a home packed with 40 years of memories, promises, hard work, dedication, love, friendship, support trying to finishing moving out of it in two weeks. Promises, hard work, dedication, love, friendship, support that were never there in the cheater. I look back and I can see this very clearly. I was useful. When I got old my income was still useful until he got caught.

    But believe me: in spite of my sorrow and my pain for sons’ disappointment, it is a relief to know I am not bad, dry, too demanding and whatever all the adjectives I would hear from cheater. It is a relief to live without criticism and devaluing. I have indeed gained a life by leaving a cheater.

    As is said so many times here at CN: you loved who you thought he was. But he was never who you thought he was.

    You will be fine. You are young and mighty and honest.

    • ClearWaters,
      I always identify w you, sisterfriend. You are NONE of those cruel things he called you! Mighty looks good at any age! I’m with you after 30 years of chumpy marriage. But TODAY IS CHEATER-FREE so it’s a beautiful day and i appreciate it more than I ever have before. All any of us has is today. And one cheater free day living in the light of my own truth is better than decades of gaslighting, devaluing, sulking, looking over my shoulder and questioning myself and my value.
      Today I KNOW I am precious, worthy, irreplaceable, funny, witty, smart, caring, kind, generous, loving, loyal, creative, compassionate, helpful, present, attentive, sensitive, capable, competent, honest and all I need to be today.
      cheaterpants? not so

      Meh? is that you? I’m over here! Here, Meh, here! I hear pawprints, but I’m not there yet. 😘

    • Clearwaters! Thank you, thank you! For giving me hope for giving me confidence when I lack so much of it right now. I appreciate your love and support. Pack that house up and know that you are valuable. You have a whole life to still live!! Go out and live it!!

  • “a moral stain that cannot be washed clean”

    Yes. I resisted this for so long, but CHARACTER DOES NOT CHANGE. This calculated manipulation and using of another human being is not forgivable and will not change. It is what is is. It wasn’t a “slip” or that he was going through “mid-life crisis” or that he “freaked out about parenthood.” Good people don’t do this to other people no matter what they are going through personally. Never.

    I’m so sorry for your shock. You don’t deserve this. Please stay with Chump Nation. We are in your corner and unfortunately, we get it. No one else in my life has been able to understand the madness except for Chump Nation and it has helped me more than I can express. Thank you CL and CN!

    What a lucky baby to have a mother who is so strong, smart, and kind. You will get through this.

    Reach out as often as you need. We are here.

    Sending love and peace to you and your baby.

    • Laughing Chump, You are SO right!! It is his character that is flawed. It is his problem. I keep thinking he will come back, that he will wake up and realize what he has lost. But I am glad he hasn’t come crawling back, because I DONT WANT HIM! I want the old him, but not this man that he has shown me he is. I am not okay with that person! Thank you for kind words and words of wisdom. I am going to be okay, my baby is going to be beautiful and someday I will believe this wasn’t my fault, I couldn’t have fixed him.

      • Danielle
        If the “old him appears”, RUN, RUN – “the old him” was an illusion. He will NEVER change!

        Remember that and tell yourself that every single day. I worry for you that the “old him” will reappear once your precious baby is born.

        I know many wise CN tribe have recommended you sever Stbx parental rights before your baby is born! Please, if you can, do that!!

        You do not want that precious unborn baby to ever have contact with him. Read the stories on CN from other CN tribe members that are co-parenting with these freaks!! Total nightmare!
        Your Stbx showed you when he abandoned you at 5 weeks pregnant, who is really is – don’t ever forget that!!

  • Admittedly, I’m feeling particularly vulnerable right now. However, I find it quite frightening the vast gulf between people who have integrity, empathy and have a sense of personal responsibility towards others, and those who… don’t.

    I don’t mean to start untangling any skeins here… but I just don’t get how this can be. This wasn’t an 8 week or 8 month relationship, it was 8 years…

    Poor Danielle’s situation is a little similar to mine, and many others. I just don’t get it. Who are these people? These discarders and dismissers of human beings – human beings they were in an intimate relationship with.

    How can they be so different from us? Am I alone in finding it frightening, or am I just feeling vulnerable? And what about the people who ignore or accept this behaviour in others?

    • OffTheCrazyTrain,
      I’m terrified with you. What people are capable of is terrifying! I always thought it was rare. THAT is a mistake. There are so many disordered people they have at least one whole channel (ID, with all the crime shows: “Snapped,” etc).

      2 good books: The Gift of Fear and The Sociopath Next Door (given to me by a sociopath who was clearly upping his own game).
      The disordered stay out of institutions by mimicking functional adults. They study our behavior and pantomime feelings since they are incapable of feeling them. We are attracted by this, fooled into believing they feel what we feel since they mirror our own behaviors or do the things we say we want. This gets tiring & old for them, hence the devalue & discard. That’s why they accuse us of being “high & mighty (well, that last part for sure)” or project that they think WE think we are better than they are. Truth is, we are better since we genuinely feel what we feel and have integrity. It’s why they affair DOWN… they know they don’t deserve better because of the lies & acting, but when they find someone “lesser” (than both us AND themselves) then they can feel like the “better” person by comparison. Why, they’re jyst helping that poor waif! But also, strange is exciting! Kibbles! And, like chumps, disposable when their expire by date passes (another kibble dispenser comes along or AP starts having needs, too). That’s another reason why so many like married APs – they have as much to lose and aren’t so needy.

      Once you see them & understand their pathology (disorder), it’s easier to let go of some of the emotional misery. At least it has been for me. He never REALLY loved me because he’s incapable of that. It ISN’T personal (this hurt me the most) because i was never a person to him, but a useful thing. My skein untangling was about looking for signs of his love for me in the massive affair evidence. I couldn’t find it..BECAUSE IT WASN’T THERE. Good news/bad news, right? Easier to leave a cheater, though.

      It’s chilling that so many of these human suits walk among us daily, like sanitized zombies. But understood, it helps to free us from the IMAGES and illusions we thought we were living with. It’s all smoke & mirrors chumps. Nothing to work with here.
      Trust that they suck.
      Good news is everyone doesn’t.
      Love you all!

      • Well said, exactly spot on!

        It is scary, one night you go to bed thinking that deep-down, every person is “good, the next day your entire world view is changed, because you KNOW now, some people are just poison and rotten to their core. But they seem so charming, kind, and normal… not sure I can ever trust like that again.😦😔

        • So true, once you unmask the Narcissist and see him as the disordered monster behind the mask- you never view them the same! Suddenly, the world no longer looks the same!

          It was at that point, I really became angry at myself for not opening my eyes sooner. I acted on many red flags very early on and began preparing a well thought out plan and put that plan into action so that I could leave and be financially stable on my own – an illness blew up that plan, then the escalation of financial, emotional verbal abuse and then spousal rape for food and money – the shame and humiliation that I was at his mercy, financially dependent, led to increased isolation and then frequent 3-4 month long trips to stay with family to regain my sanity. That cycle continued until a physical violence act / that was the final straw.

          Financial, emotional, verbal abuse takes a tremendous toll , even on the strong , but if you have to become dependent on them for any period of time for food, medicine etc. leaves a tremendous feeling of you feeling hopeless and powerless!!

          I don’t ever want to experience that again and will fight with power I have to make sure I’m never in that position again!

          It’s taken hard work to refocus my anger where it belongs – with him.

  • Danielle,
    Quoting from Tracy’s article, “Personally, if I were you, I’d see about waiving child support so you could terminate his parental rights. Guys like this tend not to be reliable father material, financially or in person. Sorry. Hope I’m wrong about that (and judging by my mail from the last 5 years and my personal experience as a single mom, I don’t think I am).”

    You may think that’s terribly hard minded and hearted thinking – but it is TRUTH!! The best thing you could do for yourself and the future of your baby (especially his/her emotional well being and moral development) is to forego any child support and make that a-hole disappear forever. He’s not a dad, nor will he be. He will use that child as a prop to make himself look good and feel good about himself. Nothing more. That is the truth of the animal you are dealing with – he is only about how something affects him.

    I know – my ex is cut from the same warped cloth. I divorced when my children were almost adult aged, but I read this article and saw all the same behaviors, attitudes and results – just at the start of a child’s live, not nearing the completion of growing up. My ex just took Christmas (the one time of year he lets his inevitable cheap sentiment freak flag fly) to write lengthy missives to both my children – and the phrases were all the same as what yours said to you. “I wish I’d have handled the situation better” “I hadn’t been in love for years” plus the classic “I know I hurt your mom but you forget that I was hurting too!” It’s all the same script. They all work from the same poor dialogue. It literally is ALL THE SAME.
    So do yourself and you baby the best (albeit toughest thing to do from the financial end of things) thing you could do – eliminate his presence in both your lives. Terminate his rights and live a better life free of his toxicity and just plain evilness. Some people – no matter how glossy they seem on the surface, are decayed and rotted to the core underneath. Don’t poison your own life with him any longer. And don’t poison an innocent child with his presence either. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    You can do this – a far better life awaits you and you can and will find it. But you have to be strong for two, now. You are all this baby has to count on. You are mighty.

  • Danielle, you are the equivalent of an Amazon warrior, you are mighty! Do not EVER doubt your worth, and don’t ever hesitate to tap into the strength and resilience that is within you!

    Just a few suggestions:

    (1) Go 100% Zero Contact – It’s a sanity saver! Starting right now, do not answer his emails, do not text/tweet/Snap/IM him, do not take his phone calls, do not let him in the front door to talk, and if he sends you something through the mail, either throw it in the trash or write “return to sender“ and drop the unopened item in the nearest mailbox. Rebuff any attempt on his part to communicate. Give him nothing but stone cold radio silence. Let your attorney do the talking.

    ** And do not, under any circumstances, tell your STBX you’re going ZC! Just. Do. It. **

    (2) Assume that everything your STBX has ever told you was a lie. It makes it easier to trust that he is a despicable prick who Does. Not. Care.

    (3) Talk your doctor about what happened and see what STD-related medical tests he recommends to keep you and the baby healthy.

    (4) Get into counseling. There is no substitute for a well-trained therapist who can help to steer you through these dark waters.

    (5) Hire a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). They can lend valuable financial planning insight that even the best attorneys can’t.

    (6) Consider hiring a Forensic Accountant to determine if any significant financial assets have been diverted/hidden/squandered. If so, see Point #7 below.

    (7) Have your attorney bite down on your STBX’s jugular and not let go until every drop of blood is gone. Extract every dollar and possession possible. Don’t simply consider what you need in the “here and now” to get through this clusterfuck; project 5, 10 or even 20 years down the road.

    (8) Forgo child support in exchange for requesting that he terminate his parental rights.

    (9) Leave the “Father’s Name” spot on your baby’s birth certificate blank.

    (10) Lean on God, your friends and your family, and believe to your core that You. Will. Be. OK.

    • Thank you so much! I actually work for a CDFA so I am fortuante because we have really been able to pinpoint financially what needs to be done. All of your advice is amazing! I am able to do a lot of them (or have already done them). I was actually referred to from my doctor to see a trauma counselor and that has helped SO much! Thank you for all of your suggestions and help! It truly means so much to me and I am starting to realize that I can do this!!

      • Danielle
        Your comment about seeing a Trauma counselor- yes, please do that.

        My therapist and I just talked about that this morning, even though I began the unmasking process years ago, the emotional and physical toll is still there. PTSD side effects -that is my focus with therapist. It has already helped me to some degree. I know once divorce from hell is complete – all of my energy will be focused on trying to let go of the “trauma “ after effects.

        Please do find a good therapist that specializes in trauma related side effects of Narc abuse – as you are discovering, narcs are extremely cunning with their manipulation,

  • We were to the point of seeking fertility counseling, had the appointment made in fact, when I finally became pregnant after many months of trying. Once pregnant, literally the day after that little blue line showed up, my once normal husband completely changed into someone I didn’t recognize. Coming home drunk, not coming home, raging, treated me terribly…. he never went back to the “original” person I met but did have phases (getting more brief over the years,) of being somewhat decent. He treated me terribly the whole 9 month of second pregnancy 3.5 years after baby #1, never bonded with that baby at all. (who was unfortunate to be a lowly (in his eyes) girl.) Fast forward to near the 20th wedding anniversary and the entire double life unravels– serial cheater since the day I met him. Strangers in hotels while on “work” trips, multiple clients, subordinates, colleagues, a rumored prostitute here and there at LasVegas trade shows, some, he said, he “really cared deeply about, but I came back and gave you another chance.” He had long-term affair/relationships throughout BOTH pregnancies (different women each time apparently) because he was “nervous about fatherhood, so those don’t count, even my therapist said so.” -A direct quote I shit you not!

    I divorced when the kids were 15 and 18 and with all the abuses (fidelity is the tip of the iceberg) the thing that pisses me off the most is his threatening the health of my unborn babies with fucking STI’s!

    I would give multiple limbs to not have to deal with that asshole at all. if you can rescind parental rights–DO IT!

    Also I commend you for getting down to business. I wish I had been strong enough to investigate my weird gut feelings; I supposed I was afraid of finding the actual truth. I am 45 now. I wasted my entire youth, my kids never got to have a positive male role-model, and I suffered so many more injustices…. You are smart! You are mighty! You are getting away now and giving your child and yourself the chance at a good and happy life/childhood. I am so proud of you!

    • beenchumped! You did NOT waste your youth, you are still so young and have so much wonderful life ahead of you. You are a wonderful role model to your children because you decided to leave. I do have to admit, the moment I found out I was pregnant he began acting weird, and very disconnected. A lot of people have blamed it on him being afraid of parenthood, I think truthfully he is just a coward. Thank you so much for reaching out. I admire you!

  • Danielle,
    I was just talking with somebody about this same thing last night. Here’s my theory. There are just some people in the world who have little or no empathy for the plight or feelings of others. However, that’s a problem living in a society of other, caring beings, so they learn to fake it. They probably have to. I would guess they fake it very well, so much so that they probably appear more authentically caring, loving, and charitable than those of us who actually HAVE those qualities. Don’t beat yourself up over it. As the CL says, there are millions of us who’ve been taken in by these frauds all the time.
    My wife told me a lot of the same things your soon-to-be-ex told you, if that makes you feel better. Cheaters aren’t very original.

    • Travelingtheworld, it does make me feel better. I can’t understand how I read the signs SO WRONG!I think that is the hardest part. I am so confused how I thought he was such a wonderful guy, how could I be so wrong? Thank you for your love and support!

  • Danielle,
    One tremendous shock to me was how desperately I clung to the hope that Mr. Rectal Yeast WAS decent.

    3 years? I was working the different side of the coin. I could not get pregnant. Mr. Rectal Yeast was so wonderful and supportive: coming in the door larger than life with bags of my favorite Mexican pastries, organic treats for my three dogs and flowers. Listening like Gandhi. Telling me that even if I could never get pregnant my dogs were enough for him.

    I believe he was my best friend. Until the day I discovered texts from a meth whore telling him that she had a bad attitude and the only thing that could fix it was his dick in her pussy.

    And after two limp, blame shifting, gas lighted tries to tell me that he really loved me – I never heard from him again. The person who my entire life was built around. The person who had just commissioned an architect to draw up blueprints for our home. The person that I adored. Gone. He never tried to see me again. And has not.

    What has stunned me is how long it is taking me to recover from this betrayal. I believe your baby and all the energy she or he will take will help you move up quicker.

    But I want to save you the time and what CL said: what She is telegraphing to you is an emergency: he is not a decent person.

    I drove away people in my life going over and over analyzing things he did and then I would question with wonder: how did he not love me? I don’t understand. I would replay everything I did in our life together and prosecute myself for certain things I thought I did wrong. I even castigated myself because I looked bad in a photo he took.

    I could not accept he was not decent. I could not accept that I had been rolling around naked with a lizard.Breaking bread with a lizard. I’m not sure a lizard would treat me so badly.

    Three years out, and I’m finally accepting that Mr. Rectal Yeast did not love me. I don’t want to say I’ve wasted three years but it’s pretty close. The only thing I have accomplished is to not become obese and to manage to pay all my bills. These are not high bars. These are the lingering gifts of tangling with a sociopath.

    Right now I know you are in shock. Also know there is nothing anyone can say that will help you at 3 AM when the full horror of who he is donkey kicks you in your gut.

    But if there is a way to speed up your learning curve, Try with all your Mighty.
    Frantically try to find decent people, they don’t have to be men, that are new to you and are not part of a shared history of him.

    I found that people who knew Mr. Rectal Yeast trigger terrible memories that set me back. Big time.

    You need a clean slate with your new baby. I think it is best to pretend like he is dead. While he is in the throes of his filthy fuck cunt, I would prepare papers to terminate his parental rights. No amount of money is worth having to deal with his sociopathic machinations.

    I don’t know if it helps, but I have been right where you are. My mother had consulted a psychiatrist to have me involuntarily committed. I laid in my bedroom for about seven months and watched my ceiling fan. I got up to take care of my dogs, take a shower and change my nightgown and shove food in my mouth. That was it.

    And I made it. It is been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. But I did it and you WILL thrive

    ….if You don’t take him back. If you take him back, you’re destined for a life of misery and despair. Tattoo that on your brain. I know your heart wants him to call, as I was ghosted too- but it is a Blessing that he left you.

    • Dalton, your story is so brave and so real. All of your emotions are spot on. How can they just walk away? Nobody really knows. But what I have come to realize, is he has already taken so much from me, Am I really going to let him take more? You are strong and brave and have so much more life to live, go live it! Thank you for your story and making me realize, I am not alone. Sending you lots of love and thoughts!

    • Dalton,
      Reading your post brought me to tears!!

      Honey, I am so very, very sorry you have endured so much pain because of a narcissistic sociopath.

      There is absolutely nothing you did or didn’t do –
      this is all about him, his disorder!

      I’m so very glad that are rebuilding your life and moving forward after suffering such incredible pain.

      Another mighty Chump Warrior , JeepTess, Posted this link – has amazing articles . Thought you might enjoy:

      http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/the-attraction-cocktail-part-1-excitement-seeking-and-extraversion

  • Not quite the same but mine cheated on me while I was undergoing fertility tests and about to embark on treatment, I busted him before I became pregnant which I guess was a lucky escape but he’s taken away my only chance to have a second baby. I will never forgive him for that. I strongly suspect he was cheating while no 1 was a tiny infant, so he’d have thought nothing of continuing the affair if I had become pregnant ; as he tells me himself, he was ‘never going to leave me ‘… Like I’m supposed to be grateful. So, while I’m not quite in the same position, my heart aches for you, it’s an inhuman thing he’s done. I’m sorry to bring this up but have you had the chance to have an STD test? I hope this is isn’t offensive, I just know that mine never used protection (curse you, graphic texts) and so was just playing Russian Roulette with my health and that of a potential baby. I feel so awful for you. I know it’s hard to even breathe but you will be OK. You will be a wonderful mother and protector and you will be your baby’s world. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

    • It’s not rude or offensive to suggest an STD test … on the contrary, it’s a reasonable and CARING thing to suggest.

      Anecdotal evidence from this site (lots and lots of stories) as well as personal experience lead me to believe (strongly) that the vast majority of cheaters do NOT use protection.

      It makes sense in a screwed up way … they have zero respect for their vows, their commitments, us as their partners, or their children’s well-being, so why would we think they would have consideration for our health–or the health of our unborn children (particularly when they get a short-term benefit from ignoring it)?

      I had some gynecological issues over the years that I now see were a result of asshole’s cheating … issues that led me to have a painful procedure and then caused my preterm labor with our last child. But, I was lucky compared to some of the people on this site.

      STD testing should be one of the first steps for ANY person who finds out they are with a cheater. This is particularly vital when pregnant (the baby’s life could be at risk).

    • Dollygumdrop, Yes, that was the first thing that my doctor recommended. I felt a lot of relief getting those test results back. It is one of the worst, uncomfortable feelings I have ever felt. I can’t believe that I am here and that I even have to worry about that. I am so sorry that you never had the chance to have a second. This is my first and I can’t imagine trusting somebody to ever get pregnant again. But who knows what the path looks like. I hope you are happy and that you left your spouse, you deserve so much better!

      • Danielle,
        I’ve been following some of your posts and just wanted to tell you, sweetie, you are going to be just fine! The strength and courage you showed from the beginning – shows you are going to come out of this even stronger and will move forward to an incredible future with your sweet baby!!!

        All the heartbreak and pain you are currently experiencing, will fade and ease in time. You are going through a grieving process, discovering the man you’ve loved and trusted with all your heart, is an illusion. That alone is a very difficult, pain-ridden path, but, in your case you are also carrying that precious unborn baby and instead of enjoying this time with the father of your baby, you are now dealing with all the emotions of discovering your Prince Charming was Prince Harming!

        Just wanted to let you know – you are showing you are a survivor and your unborn baby – will be raised by a fierce lioness!!

        Many, many hugs!!

  • We all understand what you are going through. The overwhelming unimaginable pain. Disbelief. Anger. The question – WHY?!!!! You will survive and things will get better, slowly. Congrats on standing up for yourself and your child by evicting him from your life. One of my hardest challenges was is and will be accepting that my wife is not who I thought she was. I see now who she is. In time, you will see clearly who this guy is. You will see that you tried,
    He didn’t and that’s ok. Good luck, have a good cry or dozens of them it’s healthy. Come back here whenever you need or want to. We know the truth, we know your pain, your confusion but most importantly we know you have value.

  • I haven’t read through all of the comments and I apologize if someone else has already noted this…

    After having lived decades with my very narcy ex, I feel the only thing he found appealing about having children was that he would be reproducing shiny new images of himself and distributors of further adoration of him. He didn’t see having children as a product of a loving relationship nor was it a means to strengthen our bond as a couple. If anything, it was a vehicle to keep me hooked in the relationship.

    • I have observed the same kind of thing- kids are only liked by the narc if they are attractive, smart, doing well in life. If they aren’t, it is a bad reflection on his image and that will just not work. They are cut off, not communicated with, ignored. It is very sad to watch, the kids are just part of his image as a great father.

      • Wildcat,
        I’ve observed Stbx Narc freak doing that with his 4 granddaughter’s (he has only one child-a daughter in her early 30’s)!! The favoritism he shows to just one, who is athletic, and who is also a very angry 10 yr old girl, is heartbreaking !!!

        I made sure I distanced my granddaughter ,who lives locally incommunity I live in, when I really started the unmasking process 6 -7 yrs ago. The unmasking process for me accelerated when I became ill , and couldn’t work any longer. Stbx really showed his evil core – or I started seeing what I had previously ignored, once I was under his complete financial control!

        The mindfuckery Stbx has inflicted on his daughter and the results of that – have been disturbing to watch! She has been desperately “pick me dancing “ her entire life and now is subjecting her own children as well!

        It’s all so very sad

    • Over and Out,
      Your post is the reason I avoided breeding with the Narc sociopath I’m divorcing.

      I had 3 children from previous marriage with late husband and was a 40 yr old widow , just beginning to rebuild a new life for myself and children when Stbx Narc – a blast from my past – we grew up together- entered my life.

      He desperately wanted me to have a baby with him – dr confirmed, yes, you can still get pregnant-I followed my gut, thank god , and made sure that didn’t happen!

      I’ve watched for years the mindfuckery he and flying monkey daughter do to each other and have been forever grateful I followed my gut years ago!

      • I’m developing a theory about my cheater husband and his daughter/unborn son. I think honest, real adult relationships are just not possible for him so he is counting on his kids to fulfill all that’s missing from his adult relationships. Except that’s not going to work. I join Danielle in mourning my inability to have chosen a healthy father for these precious beautiful babies. 😢

  • Ugh, Danielle, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. As everyone has said, your baby will feel loved and cherished because YOU will be a wonderful, loving mom. My exhole also started cheating when we were trying (unsuccessfully for 5 years) to have a baby. I didn’t know that until much later – he decided to confess to these additional infidelities months after our divorce was final. The affair I discovered happened after 2 kids and 17 years together. It sucked, it was so hard, and is still hard having to share my kids with exhole and howorker. As much as it sucks to breed with a fuckwit, I am so thankful for my boys. I hope you will get to the place where you can be thankful for your sperm donor 🙂

  • That takes guts -the sooner you move away from this guy emotionally the sooner you invite and will get a new life … talk is cheap ACTIONS… and you got exactly what you needed to make a break – text book .. protect yourself and imagine a baby girl being treated this way -you would be beside yourself if a man treated your baby like this Chump Lady is right on -print what she wrote and hang it everywhere and highlight the good parts about your new life and what you will gain …most of what you’re wanting is an idea, an remember that when you’re getting close to giving birth when it comes to him chump lady gave me advice five years ago -I’m living proof life can be totally different

  • Danielle, I want to give you a HUGE hug! I can totally relate to your story! I too believed I was married to the man of my dreams ( married for 7 years, together for 12). We dated since we were 20 and I believed we had the perfect life. We were best friends too, traveled, laughed, shared a beautiful home, financially stable, and got along great. That was until, I found out on Christmas Eve two years ago he was having an affair.

    Same thing happened as it did for you. He initially wanted to reconcile and was so sorry! I went on a trip to get space and when I got back he left me in the driveway to go on a ski trip with the OW. Like you, I kicked his ass out of the house and he started to stay with the OW. At the time chumpy me left him a heartfelt letter with the storage locker password and when he got back he didn’t even acknowledge the letter, but asked how to work the lock on the unit.
    I tell you that because I also understand your desire to figure out how someone who pretended to be your husband and best friend could betray you, lie to you, desert you, and destroy everything you have worked for together. It just doesn’t make sense! How?!! Why?!! The pain is so searing and you can’t grasp how the man you knew for all those years could do this!!

    I want to tell you that it does get better. You begin to understand the how and the why. It has nothing to do with you, these people are incapable of empathy and manipulated us to believe they were genuine. It is going to hurt for some time, but I have also learned that feelings pass. They don’t last forever. You are going to live a good life and you will heal. It just takes some time. Stay in therapy, see friends, and accept help from everyone who loves you! We are here too! We know your pain and as someone who is ahead in the journey, I can promise you that you won’t feel like this forever. You are going to make it!

    Last note… stay the course of divorce. These guys usually come around one last time. Please don’t think the man you loved is the one you are divorcing. Mine was a complete asshole and did everything he could to be difficult! I used to pretend that my old husband (the one I thought loved me) had been killed and his evil twin had taken over. I know it’s silly, but it allowed me to act as if I had no connection to this new person and part of it was true- the husband I loved was dead. Keep fighting, it does get better and you will have a beautiful life!!

    • NotThisGirl,
      Brilliant! I LOVE your deceased husband concept! It makes more sense than a lot of the usual RIC psychobabble.
      Incidentally (or not so…?),
      I have been working in hospice with dying patients and their widows, widowers, orphans, and families for the past few years. I love the work. But I noticed that I had been over-identifying with the widows in particular in the years leading up to Dday3…coinciding w his 3 year affair (that he admits), I learned eventually. On an emotional level, I had begun grieving what I wasn’t even consciously aware of yet. Odd, huh?

      • Chump Diva totally makes sense. Your intuitively felt something was still off and you were grieving what you knew deep down was gone since you already had 2 D-Days. When we lost the lives we had built and the partners we thought loved us, it’s worse than a death because we have to greive someone who is still alive. I’m glad you made it out and it takes a special person to work in hospice! Hugs!

        • Thanks, NotThisGirl,
          (Love your name, btw)
          I sure wish I’d listened to my gut feelings more often! They are some of the most honest, reliable information we can receive. You are so right about the death with a living body still there (& whatever wreckage they have wrought in addition to the emotional). I hope to start a private psychotherapy practice with a focus on grief, loss, transitions, divorce recovery, etc., soon: when I get a little more distance from ground zero and when fuckwit is out of my finances.
          Thank you for your validation and affirmation, NTG! You are a mighty warrior yourself!

  • Dear Danielle,

    You are mighty. You are an inspiration to me and I’m 11 months out on this shit show. My husband walked out on me when my youngest was just 3.5 months old. He was cheating on me when I was pregnant and before. I was in denial for a long time. Now, I consider myself lucky he walked out (in spite of the trauma of abandonment by a fuckwit cheater drug addict)

    The struggle you went through with IVF is a hard journey in itself. You are growing a human being. Your body is changing, your hormones are changing, life is changing and this should be a time of joy not despair. He’s taken more from you than he can ever give back to you in this life time. Fuck him and stay your course as the bad ass mom and watch yourself bloom! It’s scary as fuck but you can do this. You already are doing this!

    Something you may not feel like doing, but may appreciate 5 years down the road…document your pregnancy (pictures, thoughts, reading books, journal). Find the amazing glorious good in what’s going on and write it down. You are going through so much trauma you may look back 5 years from now and not remember a damn thing about it since there is this cloud hanging over. Do this when your baby is born, even if it’s only 1 picture a month. The grief is going to overwhelm you and the hormones are going to rock your world but you will thank yourself later. I promise you this.

    • The pictures and documenting the little one’s life …. beautiful advice (and spot on given the nature of trauma)!

      I look back at some of the traumatic stuff that happened DURING the marriage and I it’s dismaying how much I don’t recall.

  • Danielle,
    It may not seem like it now, but you are actually miles ahead of the game. First of all, I applaud your mightiness in tossing him out and getting a lawyer right away. You’ve already done what it took many of us months or even years to do. Right now you probably can’t imagine how you will get through this or what your life will be like on your own with a new baby. But one day in the not so distant future, when you’re living the life you deserve, you will look back and be grateful that you found out now rather than after a lifetime with this disordered twit. He will never be anything but a cheater.

    The best part is your precious new baby will be spared a life of dysfunction with him. Even if he does become involved, you will be the main influence on your child. S/he will born to a loving parent and surrounded by loving and supportive people. That will be his/her normal. Not dysfunction and confusion. S/he won’t have to go through a traumatic split or the ensuing bullshit that kids get caught up in. You will be able to provide a more stable, loving home as a single parent than you ever could have with the cheater.

    Stay strong and mighty. Keep reading here and trust the process. The pain is finite. It gets better. Focus on your new baby and your new life. You got this.

  • Oh, Danielle, in spite of your terrible agony, you have made all the right decisions and moved yourself forward so much faster than I did in a similar situation. You have saved yourself years of pain, trust me. My ex had his first affair, with a co-worker, when our oldest son wasn’t even 6 months old. It lasted a few months, and then we reconciled, went to counseling, and had what I thought was a fairly good ten-year run after that, when we honestly enjoyed our family life with our beautiful little boy, and then adopted our wonderful younger son.

    I never trusted him after the affair, though. Victim-blamers would probably say that the second affair he had with another co-worker at his next job was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I disagree. I think 99.99% of cheaters never change. I think of what I went through during his first affair, when I suspected but didn’t know what was going on, as dress rehearsal for his second. He became inappropriately close to the aforementioned co-worker after she invited him to join her alternative spiritual community. I’m pretty sure that the emotional affair they started 16 years ago evolved into a physical affair pretty quickly although he never, ever admitted it. He used his spiritual life as a cover for all the weekends and weeks he spent away from our family every year.

    Our marriage dragged on until we agreed to separate in 2015, after our youngest graduated from high school. Our divorce was final last March, and he’s been living with his Spiritual Slut co-worker since September. Either he waited six months to move in with her for appearances’ sake, or he couldn’t get out of a rental agreement sooner than that. I’ll never know.

    Like I said, you have managed to avoid what could have been YEARS of energy-sapping, time-wasting misery – maybe not as many as mine, but any time spent with someone who disrespects their marriage vows that way is time wasted. I wish that I had had the kind of courage and wisdom 26 years ago that you have now; I would have left the snake sooner. I applaud you, Danielle. I hope an awareness of your own strength and intelligence breaks through the layer of pain you’re living with now and sustains you in the time ahead. You’ll get better. Truly you will.

  • Looking back, the moment I understood WHO he was, was the moment X became “dead to me.” I look at him now and see him as the imposter he was. For every beautiful moment in my life I have one person to thank for being there…ME. I could appreciate the little things too. Him, not so much. In our twenty plus years together there was a pattern. He found ways to ruin good moments. Wedding day, being pregnant, holidays, vacations, even the small beautiful moments. Truth is, the disordered always fall back on their own crap life choices at those special times because that is WHO they are and this will never change. Hugs to our new Mama and best wishes for a beautiful new life. Odds have improved now that she’s thrown out the trash.

    • Drew ~ Holy wow!
      THIS:
      “For every beautiful moment in my life I have one person to thank for being there…ME. I could appreciate the little things too. Him, not so much.”
      You have just shone the most beautiful light – that glows from within YOU, Drew – on my ability to reframe the cognitive dissonance that my fuckwit left me with after our 30 year marriage. I don’t have to give him the power to suck joy from every memory of more than half my life. HIS inability to human isn’t my fault or burden.
      Yes, there is still pain and grief and loss. But I refuse to give him any more than he already stole from me and our kids.
      Thank you for this…what an empowering perspective! Your MIGHTY is gorgeous, Drew.

  • My (now ex) husband did the same exact thing – except I did not get pregnant. We had unexplained infertility struggles for 2 years. 8 months before D-Day we began Clomid medicated IUIs. I later discovered for 6 months of that time he was carrying on the affair. When I asked him, “What if I had gotten pregnant??” You know, since it was very likely I could have since I was undergoing IUIs. His response was “I just would have never told you about the affair then”. His response was laughing in my face when I described to him how I had to get an STD test done by the same doctor that had just a month earlier had been assisting us get pregnant (I was being dramatic, why would I need worry about STDs, he said???). These people are just selfish assholes. I am so sorry this happened to you. If it is any conciliation my ex married the OW (who was also married but also had two kids) who didn’t want anymore kids. I remarried and now have a daughter and another on the way (with no fertility struggles I might add). He will get his, I promise. In the meantime, I would make sure to document EVERYTHING, so that the time you have to share your baby with him is minimal.

  • Danielle, Everything CL says. Trust that he sucks. He really really does. You might not see it now but you are well rid. You are going to be okay. More than okay. You’ve showed so much strength already at such a difficult time, and you’ve found CL and CN. Pregnancy and early days with an infant have their moments, but there are also many wonderful, heartwarming, meaningful moments. Do accept help from your supporters! This is a different destination from what you planned, but even so you have got this, and will survive and thrive. I’m picking that you will go from strength to strength to mightily raise your child. Hugs to you.

    • There has got to be a special room in hell for cheaters who betray their wives during pregnancy. That is the worst time possible to find out you have been chumped. Men like that should be paraded through the streets, jeered at…..as angry crowds throw rotten fruit at them!

  • This is just horrible, I’m so sorry. You showed great strength removing him from the home. IMO he will be back on his hands and knees begging you for another chance, pleading for your forgiveness. I would wager a dozen jelly donuts that he will come crawling back. Soon he will realize that what he had with you was real and what he has now is not. His mistake will hit him like a freight train especially after the baby arrives.

    • Maybe, but if he’s like most of the narcs I know he will only come back if his kibble supply runs dry. DON’T take him back! You deserve better. You deserve someone who would never even consider doing such a thing to another human being. Really.

      He may also come back if people he cares about impressing start to let him know what a shit he is for what he’s done. Again, DON’T take him back.

      Just my opinion but I really hope you don’t.

      • 100% agree! He may never attempt a comeback, (mine didn’t and absolutely EVERYONE who knew us said that he would come to his senses – he down-graded big time and we were thought by everyone to be such a great couple, “best friends”). But 3 years later they are still together.

        What you need to know is that whether he ever tries to get you back or not, IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT YOU, OR YOUR VALUE! You sound like an amazing, compassionate, strong woman who deserves so much better than a piece of shit like this guy! He would only be sniffing out potential kibbles. He doesn’t care where they come from, he is a user, a liar, and a cheating con artist.

        I consider my ex not attempting a wreck-consilation a HUGE blessing in retrospect, but it was a very painful, bitter pill going down. Hurt like hell… I hope for your sake, he fucks off and leaves you and that precious babe alone. ❤ That being said, my advice if he did try to get you back, tell him to go straight to hell, where he has a room reserved in his name already waiting for him.

        Big hugs to you!!!! You are already one mighty mama 💪 and your baby is so lucky to have you!! Best of luck! ❤❤❤

  • Consider yourself blessed that he exited your life before his behavior affected your child.
    My oldest is still in counseling….

  • Danielle,
    Your story has similarities to the story Jen Waite tells in her book
    ‘A Beautiful Terrible Thing’ .It might help if you read this when you feel able to.I am so sorry you are going through this horror.
    You’ve been given some fantastic advice on this site and have already demonstrated how mighty you are thus far.

  • Danielle, this line stands out to me: “I wanted to have a family with him so incredibly bad…”

    The man you refer to (“Him”) doesn’t exist. You wanted to have a family with a man capable of being a loyal husband and father. That man was an illusion created by a con artist. That’s hard to believe, hard to accept. But that is the way out of where you are now. You were conned. That’s one thing all of us here in CN have in common. We fell in love with people who were very good at impression management. We were loyal to people who pretended to love but who either can’t or don’t. It doesn’t matter whether they can’t or don’t or won’t. But learning about what he is (some variety of disordered) will help you move past this painful time of your life.

    You want to have a family. You have a baby you wanted and fought for on the way. That’s where your focus needs to be. Work on healing. You’re young. Work hard on your recovery, on maintaining your health, and making a home for your little one. Build your own awesome life with help from your support network. Work on being strong and independent. And work on fixing your picker. You can almost certainly have the family you dream of if you use this terrible time to make yourself stronger and more discerning about who is allowed in your life. It wasn’t you. It was “HIM.” Time to demote him for the central role in your dreams.

  • Danielle: So sorry for what you have suffered. Your STBX goes into the Chump Nation chronicles as one of the more awful cheaters.

    You’re right that few people understand the devastation you’ve just been through, keep posting here (and in the forums) because the solace that comes from interacting with other people who DO get it is priceless.

    The stress is making it hard to fully enjoy your pregnancy or the prospect of motherhood, but take a few minutes each day to cogitate on what is developing inside of you–look at books of prenatal development, which is an awe-inspiring thing, and YOU are propelling a beautiful child into the world. Parenthood itself is hard, no doubt, but fulfilling in ways you can’t grasp right now.

    My main concern for you is this–you wrote that your STBX “won’t ever acknowledge the love that we shared, (it was so real, we were best friends).” No. You did not share a love. A man who could do what he did to a pregnant wife during and after fertility treatments is not capable of love, nor of being real, nor of being anyone’s true best friend. You had love (albeit for an impostor), you were real, you behaved like a best friend. Catalog all the horrible acts of deception in which your cheater engaged and you will see how rotten he is, to the core. Then you will realize you did not lose the love for which you are pining; it was only there from your side. And the love was given to someone who did not deserve even a smidgen of it. Sending hugs your way.

    • So true. Many people on here talk about writing a list and re-reading it when the resolve weakens. It’s effective for sure.

  • Danielle,

    If you haven’t already, I would like to suggest something like this:

    1. Let the lawyer handle the divorce, tell him/her you want everything he has an negotiate back from there. And, if possible, reduce his ass to sperm donor. You are NO CONTACT with your X… he’s someone else’s problem now.

    2. Buy a copy of What to Expect When Your Expecting and SAVOR every month of your pregnancy and begin your bonding with that beautiful miracle growing INSIDE YOU.

    3. Start planning your pregnancy wardrobe and your nursery. Start buying copies of your favorite books as a child and start your child’s library. Start thinking about names you love and don’t have to negotiate to choose. Seek the positives – there are many to being a single parent!

    4. Spend time with your family and friends. Keep your life normal and focused on you and the baby… this is YOUR TIME. Mr. Fuckwit and Amber do not get to take any of it away from you.

    5. Accept that your “best friend” was a CON MAN. He travels for work? He cheats? Guess what, odds are Amber isn’t his first time at the rodeo and won’t be his last. Want to know why? She is a woman who knowingly dates a married man with a pregnant wife… what does that tell you about HER CHARACTER? Put the two of them together and what do you have – regular STD checks.

    You are so loved and so is your baby. You are mighty and your child will be too – no matter what. I promise.

  • *hugs* My ex was cheating with prostitutes beginning after a year into our marriage, while talking about starting a family, and then actually going through with starting that family too. I found out when my daughter was just shy of a year old and made the decision to split when she was 16 months old. Regardless of him, I know she will always have me. But what makes me the most angry — on top of the fact that he crushed my dream of a family — is that he took the family my daughter was supposed to have away from her. I second Chump Lady in that someone who would do this is a terrible person. Surround yourself with family and friends and those who love in you both word and deed. Keep yourself healthy and well for both your own sake and your child.

  • Danielle, I’m so sorry he did and is doing this to you. I went through infertility treatments, too, after “leaving the cheater and gaining a life,” luckily, and now have my 5 mo miracle. I think you will love being a mom. You are already so strong for kicking him out so quickly— mama bear instincts are already protecting baby bear! Also, I’m part of a FB infertility support group for women and moms at any stage of the journey— lots of women in that group have similar stories to yours, and it seems the cheaters think that if they get their wives pregnant, they can trap them, even after the truth comes out. But you are writing a very different, courageous ending to that story. The FB group is called Braving Infertility Together; it might be encouraging to join and share your story there to hear from other moms who have been through infidelity during and after infertility treatments. Much love, sister 💜

    • RedMcMeh,
      I thank god i went with “my gut”, early on and deliberately made sure I didn’t breed with Narc freak!!! I already had 3 children with late husband, My youngest was 13 and just knew something was off. Stbx wanted to try very quickly, I went had all the “hormone blood work”, etc and was reassured with a little help could still conceive. I just slowed down and followed my gut and made sure it didn’t happen!

      Had I followed “my gut” and paid very close attention to those other red flags , would have not wasted 17 yrs, and would not be re building a life during later years! Hindsight is always 20/20, but thankfully I didn’t add to his “gene pool”!!!

  • OMG,
    I want to reply to every single post here.
    ( I have to a few).
    There is so much pain here, downright agonizing, horrible treatment of good, moral, decent Chumps.
    So much wrong, hateful, inhuman, acts cutting the heart and soul right out of a loving Chump.
    Just when you think you have read it all, and you still your heart, something ten times worse is right there in words in front of your very eyes.
    BUT, there is something else, here, on this site! There is an earth shattering strength and determination like no other! There is an army of Chumps who, each at different stages of their nightmare, they stop, reach behind for those Chumps who are struggling behind them. They pick their fellow Chump up, steady them and proceed as a band of angels, united in one common goal, free of a cheater, as free as is possible in each individual case.
    The goal, the coveted prize, at the end of the tunnel is a land called meh.
    Danielle, all Brave Chumps, you will find it. Continue the march with your fellow Chumps, continue to hold each other up, provide food, water, sunshine and shade to each other in your advice, replies and messages of encouragement.
    Thank you each one who has been a bright light of strength and encouragement to me, and to each struggling Chump of CN!
    Together YOU are Mighty!

      • ChumpDiva,
        Thank you for your kind words to me.
        I respect you so much and admire how you reach out to help others.
        💞

    • Peacekeeper,
      As always, you Post with such love, compassion and strength!!! You are amazing!!

      I’m agree, the reply ‘s to Danielle’s story are heart breaking!! My heart is breaking for so many of the young women who were robbed and instead are dealing with horrific heartbreak during what should be the most beautiful time in a woman’s life , as you watch your body change and begin to feel the movement ‘s of that magical life growing inside you!
      Just when I think I’ve read the worst on CN, you read another reply or post from someone who’s life has been utterly devastated , yet again, by the evil that lurks behind the “charming mask “ of a Narcissist !!!

      • Tempest,
        Just saw your post.
        It is an honour to receive your kind words.
        I respect you so much.
        The light that you shine on CN is blinding!
        Plus, I really really love your great sense of humour and your way with words.
        Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me!
        ❤️

  • I wouldn’t necessarily try to terminate ex’s parental rights. My ex started an affair when my younger son was 6 months old. At first he fought for primary custody but settled in the end for just having the kids every other weekend and half of vacations, I think after he realized he would never win and his CS obligation would be the same whether he had them 10% of the time or 40% of the time. Younger son is now 5 years old and my ex sees kids on average about once every 2-3 months for dinner, even though we all live in the same city (he says he’s too busy with work). Kids seem to be doing fine. So he isn’t a very involved parent, but he still needs to pay CS and the majority of private college tuition (as per our custody agreement), so it is possible to get the CS and not have ex be controlling/over-involved. in fact, sometimes I wish he would take the kids more often just to give me a break lol.

    Also, I would be wary of cutting off contact with him completely. Talk to your lawyer, but I would just respond in a business-like way to things pertaining to the child. You don’t want him to have a case that you are somehow alienating the child from him. GL.

  • Oh, Danielle … my heart aches for you. Your baby will be loved. By YOU, by your friends and family (and maybe his family as well, depending on what kind of people they are). And your baby will also be the thing that makes the years you spent with his lousy ass WORTH IT. Because you will look at his or her little face and love them so intently that you would do it all again to end up with this precious little human being.

    My own cheater left me after three planned kids, two of whom required extra help to conceive (although not to the extent that your little one did). And I can look back and say that I would do it all again for them. I wish I wouldn’t have HAD to … but I did, and I’d do it again.

  • Danielle,
    I am so sorry about what you are going through. My divorce attorney’s X left her when she was 10 weeks pregnant with twins. The twins are 5 years old now and she has reached Meh. It was so wonderful to work with her because she understood EVERYTHING – the shock, the bewilderment, the disconnect with reality. And she was a wonderful role model for me. She was so mighty – like you!
    The man you loved never existed. I think that concept was the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around. It takes some time to process and accept what has happened. Be so good to yourself. You are not alone.

  • Danielle, sweetie, you came to the right place, Chump Nation!!! Keep coming back every single day!!! Make this site, a must stop, every morning!!
    You have already shown that you are a strong woman! You kicked his ass out immediately and lawyered up!!

    PLEASE, read the stories here! Let CN be your lifeline right now and stay on course with the divorce, do not deviate from this path in anyway.

    PLEASE don’t buy any of the narcissist bs that will come your way. Any attempts he makes to show remorse, contrition, don’t buy it – he was an illusion and the person you thought was your best friend, he never existed!!!

    HE IS YOUR ENEMY and treat him accordingly!! He will never, ever change.

    Don’t waste your young years hoping, waiting, for him to change, open his eyes and see what he lost, unfortunately, that will never happen! Read the stories on CN – don’t do what so many of us did, forgiving, starting over, forgiving again, only to wake up years later and realize you wasted years of your life with an empty shell of a human being. Learn from our mistakes – spare yourself years of pain and heartbreak and the damage that will effect your now unborn baby, by having a monster for a father! There is a forum under Forum:General:Senior Chumps! Read those posts! Hindsight is always 20/20 !! Many of us Silver Queens, would have made very different decisions if we had known differently and unmasked these sick, evil , empty shells years ago! The greatest gift you can give that precious life inside of you – is a life without her father ever having contact! Your Stbx is not husband or parent material, never has and never will be!!

    If you can, remove his parental rights before your sweet baby is born! The wonderful, growing, human life inside you right now, would receive more love and parenting from one of the trees in your backyard, than from the evil bastard that just ripped your world apart!!

    He has already discarded the baby – that won’t change once you give birth!! If you can, eliminate any possibility of this monster ever having contact with your baby , now!!

    I know many of the responses you will receive, may seem harsh, as mine is, but know everyone on CN is trying to help you save your life and the future life of your unborn baby!!

    I have a daughter who is your age and is currently planning her wedding !! I would be just as blunt with her as I am with you!

    Please know you are worth more, deserve so much better , as does your unborn baby, than the piece of shit that just discarded and abandoned you both!

    Yes, you need to grieve this , just as you would grieve a death. This is a death and needs to be grieved as one and that will take time!

    It sounds like you have an amazing, loving support system in place that will help you, love you and your unborn baby , every step of the painful path you are now faced with!!

    Hang in there, you are dealing with an unimaginable betrayal!

    Know and believe in your strength- you’ve alread shown you are capable ! You have already shown incredible courage and bravery and made very wise decisions!!

    Stay on this path!! You are going to be an amazing, loving, nurturing mother!! Don’t ever doubt that! You are already showing your inner lioness and protecting your cub!!!

    A million hugs, my dear

    Seeing clearly

  • I think CL best advice is to see if you can be able to raise the baby without him and his parental rights and child support. With all you have said this guy will make your life and the life of the baby a living hell. You can’t count on him and your baby will not be able to count on him. So sorry. Very possible he many come crawling back. Don’t fall for it.

  • I am so sorry that you are going through this. I know it feels as though the pain will never get any better, but if you have read enough here, you know that is not true. I am sure that you never imagined that this would happen, and even more sure that you wish that he would somehow change his mind and magically turn back into the man you thought he was. The sad fact is, that was only a mirage. He pretended to be something that he was never even close to being. I know this sounds crazy, but the silver lining IS that he left. My ex has a good friend (that should have been another red flag to me!!) that married a woman to gain citizenship to the U.S. They also went through fertility treatments to conceive twins. He NEVER loved her, but convinced her that he did. They are married over twenty years now, and he has gone on to have a few years long affairs, and additionally many, many other women in hotels as they travelled the country for work. It got so bad that his wife made him lie to people and tell them that they had actually divorced and remarried!! No matter how hurt and upset you are at this point, can you only imagine having that life? You have been given the opportunity to leave a man who has an elevator shaft where his soul should be. Some day you will look back on this and realize that he gave you the ultimate gift by leaving before he emotionally abused you for years, all the while with you thinking you are soul mates. It will take time to heal… each day put one foot in front of the other. Let your priority be you and your baby, and take care of yourself. Hugs!!!

  • My ex moved from porn to actively seeking sex with a person, 6 weeks before our first child was born. That was after doing IVF due to an issue HE had!! Then he went on to have an affair as I went through IVF a second time!! She broke it off when she found out the IVF was successful and I was pregnant again!! I was clueless!!

  • You are not alone, OP. Mine wasn’t fertility treatments but two miscarriages, one of which I had to use progesterone suppositories every day to keep. He couldn’t even wait 24 hours after my d&c to trickle truth up to dday a week later. So yeah they can be right assholes even if they’re telling you to your face you’re the love of their life. Even if you’ve been trying to get pregnant and they told you it was what they wanted. CL gave you some great advice.

  • Hello all you wonderful, strong, amazing women!

    I am completely an awe of all of the responses, I have had to come back to the forum several times today because I get too emotional with everyone’s responses. I have felt SO alone, even in a room filled with supportive people (my whole support system has been amazing, I would not be where I was without them). But nobody has been able to grasp my situation or has been able to fully understand it. My (hopefully ex-husband soon) just responded to the divorce and is stating that he wants joint custody and wants me to give the child his last name. Mind you, he has NOT asked me about the child for 6 weeks and has been to ONE doctors appointment at the very beginning of all of this.

    I just want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! For all of your help. I don’t think anything is to bold, I think the fact that he got me pregnant when he was having an affair is cruel and vindictive. I just want you to all know that your stories, words of wisdom and strength has made me feel a little brighter. I plan on responding to you all, I just need a minute to continue to read all of the stories and take in all of the love. I can’t believe what an incredible support system this has been and will continue to be for me.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Danielle

    • Danielle sweetie,
      You’ve made the most important decision of your life when you found Chump Lady and wrote your letter!!

      You now have thousands and thousands of people who have your back!!! The amazing tribe on CN saved my life and sanity more than they will ever know!!

      The support you have and will continue to receive will make you emotional, as it made me, because you finally are receiving support and wisdom from people who “get it”!!

      I wish you and that precious life that you are carrying inside you a wonderful future, a life free from the devastation a narcissist can inflict!!

      To your Stbx – from Chumps around the world:

      Stbx fuck off!! Yes, You , a shell of a human being, were a sperm donor-period, end of story!! Your wife, who is divorcing your sick ass, has a tree in her backyard that can provide more care and love to her child than you ever could!!
      No, Her child will have her name, thank you very much, and will also have a mother who loves unconditionally and will never abandon or discard!!” Chump Nation has your wives back now! If I were you, I would tread lightly!!

    • Of course he wants joint. That equals no or minimal child support. Just DOCUMENT, document, document every thing you do for your baby and everything he doesn’t.

      Remember, they can ask for anything. Doesn’t mean they’ll get it. And worst case, this freak gets 50/50? As others have pointed out, the sparkles wear off. The guys couldn’t manage two dogs, how’s his attention span going to hold with a baby? Fight hard and keep those boundaries iron-clad.

      All the control, none of the responsibility — that the freak MO.

      He will try and control the consequences coming his way through rage, charm, and self-pity. That’s why NC is essential. Make sure he can only communicate with you via attorney.

      • CL,
        All the control, none of the responsibility—that’s the freak MO!! God, truer words were never spoken!!

        Being as NC as possible, living under same roof, getting ready to list home for sale – by Stbx as agent, via court order, wtf is wrong with that picture.

        Stbx is living in alternate reality with a new attorney who’s soul knowledge is “he’s been retained to represent Stbx in DV and dissolution case! No discovery, no communication between Stbx and his new attorney. Stbx first attorney quit during hearing in November!

        Back in the real world, I woke my ass up after finding and joining CN, started going to divorce seminars, making a thousand phone calls, consulted with new attorneys, fired previous attorney, found a new attorney, who because of our consultation and her initial review of a very small portion of the extensive documentation I have on freak, went with her Inner GPS and agreed to do something she’d never done before, waived her retainer and has agreed to be paid on back end —-that’s the beauty and miracle of CN!!!!

        While Stbx is living in alternate universe, in total denial and in his true to form Narc mentality, is only home to sleep, so he can’t be accused of abandoning marital home!

        I’ve been dealing with home repair handyman arriving unannounced, unannounced cleaning crews, getting bids from packers/movers, getting emergency safety exit funds and safety plan in place in anticipation of full blown Narc meltdown-when new attorney starts the barrage of subpoenas and depositions to Stbx, married AP, and numerous flying monkeys—stbx leaves me a note this morning “carpet cleaners Friday morning “!

        Wtf, good god, I thought,
        “carpet cleaner can clean what little exposed carpet he can see, because until you fork over “community funds”, carpet will not be free of furniture, many piles of assorted household items, ready to be packed, loaded and put into storage!!”

        Called my attorney, to suggest a communication plan , so I can remain NC!

        I’m resuming my safety exit plan strategy and to hell with the carpet cleaning, numerous unannounced people showing up confused as to the work Stbx requested and asking for me to clarify with Stbx—and remain NC!! I’m not participating in the circus any further!!!

  • He may get bored with the baby as soon as the new-dad sparkles wear off.

    You can only hope for this – women here have had the experience of the guy who talks a big game at first separation about coparenting, but it soon wears off, especially when Schmoopie gets pregnant.

    Do be careful of him making reconciliation overtures. It means he is stealing more money and stalling for time. He may tell you he has been dumped and that he made a terrible mistake, but I am afraid you have a proven liar and discarder on your hands here.

    Stay strong, honey.

  • Danielle,

    I couldn’t go to sleep tonight without sending you my warmest wishes and congratulations on your pregnancy. I am so sorry for what you are going through (while pregnant!), and I am so in awe of the strength you’ve shown in this time of adversity.

    You are not alone. My story is so similar to yours (except there were no fertility treatments and it was our 4th pregnancy when the secret affair partner revealed the affair to me). I filed for divorce at just about 20 weeks pregnant. I hope you find the best attorney you can afford and have a positive legal outcome. Please remember to let your Obstetrician know EXACTLY what happened with the sexual infidelity so that you and baby can be tested for everything to protect your health.

    Enjoy your pregnancy! You will be okay. Your baby will feel so loved. You and your baby are a family. Personally, as a single mother of 4 young children, one of my FAVORITE compliments I receive is when someone tells me what a beautiful family the kids and I are. We are enough…we make a complete family. Someday your walls will sing with joy and happiness…..it will happen sooner than you can imagine. Best wishes to you!

  • This is not the first time I have heard about a couple going through IVF for a baby then when this over the top miracle happens the husband leaves! It still shocks the socks off of me. But I will say that I have also seen the betrayed spouse become a phenomenal mother and the child is usually very well adjusted, happy and secure with the “sane” parent.
    Danielle, you will be fine with time. Big bonus, you get to raise your little miracle and experience all the wonderful, funny ups and downs of motherhood and your selfish Ex threw that away! Not sorry for him st all. Reading your letter I was impressed with your instincts. You are exploring and acting on getting out! Good for you and your little bundle of joy. Concentrate on your health and your baby’s health. Enjoy every moment of this gift you’ve been blessed with. Your cheater can take a lot of “things” from you, but don’t ever let him rob you of the wonders of motherhood! I am older and my four kids are grown with their own families now, but I still have great stories and memories that can never be taken from me. And just a side note, my first born is named Danielle. She’s strong, smart and faces down her issues with an iron will. I have a feeling you are a lot like her. Listen to CL and CN. We have your back and we’ll keep you sane. Lots of wonderful and truly caring people here who won’t let you down, I promise!

  • Danielle–

    You are mighty!!!

    And your Cheater is a fucktard. So sorry to welcome you to the club no one wants to join. Your Cheater is a narcissistic psychopath. You ask how you could be discarded so easily? Because he’s not capable of any other behavior. It’s that simple, yet it’s so hard to understand for those of us who have empathy. Sadly, you cannot make him understand how hard it is for you or how much he’s hurt you.

    Please remember how he’s treating you at this moment. You will need to do this because down the road, when his Schmoopie dumps him or he starts to realize how much money he’s losing, he’ll try to hoover you back in, saying that he was Lost in a Fog and that he Really Loves You and that He Made a Mistake. These are all standard lines from the Cheater’s Playbook.

    My CheaterX left a voicemail message for me telling me that he wasn’t sure if I were blocking him (clearly not, as he could leave a voicemail), but he wouldn’t blame me because Schmoopie treated me so terribly. Excuse me? I wasn’t married to Schmoopie. She is morally bankrupt, since she likes sleeping with other people’s husbands–something CheaterX has found out from personal experience at this point–but she wasn’t the one treating me badly. He had choices to make. He chose poorly.

    Anyway, he, too, quotes out of the Cheater’s Playbook. You have to judge them by deeds, not words. They can tell you all sorts of stuff, but it’s in their actions that they show their true selves, and his actions have shown you that he’s a terrible, horrible human being.

    You will be well rid of him.

    And your baby? You will have a wonderful human being to raise, who will know her mommy is a really Mighty woman who knows her own self worth.

    Jedi hugs to you!

  • Dear Danielle,

    After 180 comments, and great advice from CL, my opinion won’t be profound.

    But I will let you know one thing…I am a former infertile and a betrayed spouse.

    We suffered from unexplained infertility, and burned holes in our wallets trying to have a baby (insurance here does not cover fertility treatments). I suffered more thanks to all those medications, and invasive procedures.

    We then lost our firstborn.

    Eventually, we did have a daughter and then a son, and in my last pregnancy, hubby had a sexual affair with ho-worker, because of all the things he was missing in the marriage, and you know how selfish I was because I was only looking after the then 2 year old, and my pregnant self.

    Yes, there are men like that.

    In your case, your husband has effectively already abandoned you, and he is a complete asshole.

    In my case, he broke up with his whore.

  • That’s what they do! They just skip off into the sunset and pretend nothing ever happened. They are incapable of feeling pain, remorse or shame. They simply “move on” when they had their fill of the chump.” They make terrible fathers (self absorbed, sexually focused, shallow). Your baby won’t be missing much with that loser!

    As for Amber….what kind of skank would fuck a man with a pregnant wife?

    • So very grateful I made the decision to not breed with sick fuck!!!
      Divorcing stbx is already a never ending nightmare, can’t imagine it including children! I’ve watched for years the mindfuckery he does with his only child, a daughter , who now has 4 little girls!! I desperately tried a few months ago to reach out , but, I think she would rather have someone to call Dad, than none at all, so she continues to be used by him and doesn’t see him for the monster he is!! I’m Incredibly sad for her, but, I just have to walk away and leave it alone! Her oldest, who’s 14, and I bonded very early on, but Stbx is so jealous of that, he convinced his daughter to block the granddaughter from texting me! The last one I received from that sweet girl, was her telling me how much she loved me, always would, no matter what happened! It’s heartbreaking! I also know that having contact with the granddaughter would allow Stbx to lurk in the shadows / using his granddaughter to get information on me once divorce is over, I can’t allow him to ever find me!
      If she does reach out to me somehow in the future, I would probably not allow myself to respond out of fear of Stbx knowing anything about me post divorce. That is heartbreaking for me, but I don’t see any viable option!

      These monsters destroy anything and everyone that crosses their paths!

      Not my circus, not my monkey!!

  • Staying with a cheater for the sake of the children…..is very unhealthy . The kids can sense the mistrust and tension and it does effect them. Cheating can’t be fixed…..no matter what the bullshit artists peddle. Cheating destroys the marriage- like death by a thousand cuts. Slow and painful.

  • Be glad the cheater is gone. Dancing Dick gave me chlamydia when I was pregnant with our first child. Cheaters bring venereal disease home to their spouses and their unborn children. They are like the viruses they spread……..they contaminate everything!

    • Scared and confused ,
      It’s all about control – he’s showing you right now what a piece of shit he is!

      You want my passwords- I’m not going to be controlled-heard that classic line to. It’s mind blowing when you read all the posts on CN! These freaks use the same fucking lines!!!

  • Danielle, yes he can and no he didn’t. The shock is a lot to bear and especially during pregnancy (ask me how I know) but the sooner you let the truth about who is permeate and shatter your denial, the quicker you’ll heal. I know chumps years out who still haven’t grasped that, and my lord, how they suffer. I daresay most of us around here could set a clock by and predicts the phrases that drip from these sick people’s lips, because they really are that predictable. Knowing what you’re dealing with will give you strength. And your precious baby will give you the inspiration you need. For a very similar situation, perhaps read “A Beautiful Terrible Thing” by Jen Waite, a fellow chump (and gorgeous former model) whose sociopath husband discarded her for another woman almost directly after her giving birth to their daughter, whom she is raising on her own now. Yes, there are people who do this, but it doesn’t need to ruin the rest of your life or steal your joy permanently.

  • Oh my god this is my story… my husband had a TESE (surgically extracted sperm) and then I got pregnant with that and IVF with ICSI, over the moon, than halfway through pregnancy completely abandoned me… I cant write more now because in bed with my now 3 y/o who has never met her dad and I need to get up early… I will write more this weekend… leave a message if you want my email.

    I remember how I felt it wss awful… it still is baffling but it gets better promise… except finsncisl struggle is still massive

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