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The Fear They’re Going to Be Better for Somebody Else

I get the same letter here at Chump Lady over and over again. It goes like this:

I know he’s a liar and a cheat. He did 14,357 unspeakable things (all described). I can’t let go because I know if I do, he’s going to change and be different for the other woman! And after all this work I’ve done, all this history we have, I will miss out! I wouldn’t be able to bear it — the two of them together being perfect while my life sucks! Help. 

(Forgive the gender pronouns. It works in reverse too. Men have the same fears their wives/boyfriends will be fabulous for the other man.)

I suffered from a bad case of They’re Going to Be Better for Someone Else myself. Which, when I look back on it, was pretty delusional. I was wife #3 and all the marriages ended over his infidelities. Years later, I got the validation as well that he’s still the same old scumbag when someone wrote a profile on him at Cheaterville.com, saying he targets single mothers. (I was a single mother. The OW was a single mother… with his kid.) Oh, but at the time of the marriage, I was truly stricken by the thought that I was going to miss out on something wonderful if I got Mr. Cheaterpants out of my life.

Because, you know, he did the “remorse.” He did the therapy. And the problem was, I wasn’t patient for the results. Or so he told me. It didn’t seem to be sticking, all that insight and sorriness. But when I thought that the OW would get him? Suddenly I could imagine him 100% new and improved… for her.

WTF?

What is going ON here?

A few thoughts.

1) You’ve bought into the idea at some level that the problem is you. You’re not special. You’re not worthy. They only act this way because you are lacking in some fundamental way. The Reconciliation Industrial Complex bombards chumps with this message too. What was missing from the marriage that made them cheat? And cheaters are so very good at the blameshifting, sending you the same message, that hey you suck, you didn’t do enough to keep me satisfied. All you know for sure is that you aren’t enough. Then they try to keep you off balance so you’ll do the Pick Me dance so they can keep eating cake. It’s all very natural to wonder if the other person isn’t the magic elixir that will make them happy.

Because that is what’s important here — their happiness. You’ve bought into that too.

2) You’ve been on ego kibble starvation rations. When you’re with a cheater narcissist, you give an infinite number more kibbles than you receive. We all need some kibbles, especially from our partners. But when you’re on starvation kibble rations, those kibbles take on an inflated value. Every now and then, your cheater will sparkle, just enough to keep you hooked. And being at the center of the laserbeam of sparkles is addictive. So when you see your partner turning on the sparkles for someone else? You turn into Gollum. My precious kibbles! My precious!

They like it like that. Keeps you dancing for them. Keeps them in cake.

3) You have tunnel vision because of the sunk costs. It’s galling and depressing beyond words to consider the wasted time and energy spent on a bad relationship. You want something for your investment. You’ve been putting fistfuls of quarters into that slot machine and now it’s going to pay off for some other idiot? Hell no!

The house always wins. Your cheater is keeping the quarters. They already spent them. Sure, they might spit out a few here and there to keep you playing. But please just walk away. Let the next sucker play the rigged game.

4) I believe in miracles. Let’s say they change. Does it really change the 14,357 unspeakable things they did? I had to get to the point where I didn’t care anymore if he was Mr. Perfect for someone else. He wasn’t Mr. Perfect for ME. Those unspeakable things were deal breakers. I couldn’t trust him again. It was destroyed. I had to walk away from my investment.

Chumps need to trust that they suck. Could they be better? I suppose some of them could, sure. But they CHOOSE not to be. Put another way — they’re really good at selling, but not so good at sealing the deal. Who doesn’t love sparkles? You did. The other person does, now, at first. But for whatever reason, these people don’t enjoy commitment, they enjoy selling. They’re snake oil salesman. Like all salesmen, they project an air of exclusivity — act now! This is very, very special! But it’s rubbish, and then they’re on to the next town.

This column ran previously. It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S. I promise Oz cheater coverage tomorrow. 

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  • I wouldn’t be in a rush to address our little Downunder Peccadillo – it is the gift that keeps giving. Headline in the Canberra Times this morning: “Barnaby blames his travel schedule for marriage breakdown”.

    Anyway, I needed this reminder. I have found Australia a very triggering place to live this past week and a reminder that he sucks and it wasn’t to do with my worth is VERY welcome right now.

      • Best cartoon ever! And since they are all OUTSTANDING that is saying a lot.
        I love the little tufts of chest hair missed during the cheaters’ “manscaping”
        Are you sure my 57 yr old cheater and his 29 yr old “twu love” didn’t pose for you?

        • Ha. Schmoopie’s the same age he is, 49, but she tries really hard to look like the girl in this drawing and probably sees herself that way.

      • Thankful for this. For the longest time, I’d get lost in the notion that Honey (now expecting baby number 2 with HomeWrecker…mazel tov, jackass!) enjoyed some amazing romance with her fated since the dawn of time, while I’m all alone for the past 3 years raising our 2 children with him 2,000 miles away. The truth – the truth I have to slap myself with every day – is that she was nothing more than a byproduct of a philanderer who decided well in advance of traveling for work to go have affair(s). She. Is. Not. Special.

        But the fact that I was a post-partum new mom of 2 very young babies (with sticky substances or baby spitup somewhere on my person 24/7) and she was a stripper? Oh, it was horrible at first. Not only was it deeply humiliating and Springer-esque, but I imagined this Vegas style show she must put on in the bedroom for him every night, whereas I was too exhausted from babies to even FIND the bedroom. I thought for so long ‘this was my fault.’ Then I found this blog and I realized how long and how often he’d shown me he sucked, that I needed to believe it, and now I finally do. He truly, deeply, madly sucks. And I was a great wife in a vulnerable position that he took advantage of. He’s a horror show of well-hidden disorders and he is now with a person of his caliber. Good riddance.

        I hope anyone who reads this who just began their journey will be able to save years of agonizing self-blame. If I had a time machine, I’d go back, slap myself and say ‘Snap out of it!’, hug myself, leave the web address for this blog on a sticky note, and save myself all of that unnecessary suffering.

      • Sugar glider and Lola I too am triggered all day everyday with the Barnaby circus right now!!! Thanks for the article thank heavens for Turnbull speaking out and this article…..
        How’s sleazy Shorten chiming in about this👀 slimy cheater himself …do they think we forget who they really are ?… 🤮🤢🤮🤮🤮

        • Yes Shorten is taking a risk speaking out, unless he sticks to the issues of “jobs for partners” and “soliciting free love-nest accommodation from party donors”. I think Shorten’s 1st wife only found out when the OW (now wife) was pregnant

        • Oh Turnbull got blasted for being too preachy and moralising, and yeah he was – but he spoke for me! The Fairfax women – and John Birmingham have written the most brilliant articles. But I have been triggered all fortnight by this but heartened by some very public conversations about the women of Australia not tolerating such behaviour anymore. YAY AUSSIE WOMEN!

      • That article was goood! I’m
        Trying to control myself and not send it to the millennial whore. Oh how I want to.

      • I haven’t got a clue who this Joyce fellow is (I am american, and that means I don’t need to know a lot about places halfway round the world), but I have a feeling that if we traded you a Trump for your Joyce, we’d be trading up.

        lol

        Want to trade?

      • I like the name a tweeter came up with for Barnaby : “the Beet-rooter”
        That’s about all to like about him, now he’s revealed himself to be yet another hypocritical conservative trumpeting “family values” while he cheats on his wife

  • This is my thinking, 100%. Me. Me. Me. In fact, I was planning on writing him one day and telling him how he failed and how he could be a better person but then I could myself and said, no don’t!!! My reasoning was that if I do, he’ll use my advice and be better. For her.

    Kind of unrelated, In the height of my agony, my brother once told me “maybe she’s just better suited for him”. It really made me feel awful about myself. Like I wasn’t good enough. I haven’t spoken to him in a while.

    • He’s a cheater, shes’ someone that sleeps with married men, you are not. Your brother is right… they are well suited.

      • Agree.

        I once told X, “You two are perfect for each other.” He replied, “Thank you.” To which I responded, “You are the only person in the world who would think that was a compliment.”

        Mjo, they deserve each other. When his cheating self can no longer handle the ruse, you will be long on your way to meh.

        {Hugs}

    • When I’m honest with myself I realize that the skank is better suited to him than I am. We do/did not compliment each other at all.

      • Same here, expatchump. I used to tell him he needed to find someone who would agree with everything he said, because he could not tolerate me having a different thought or opinion. He did it in a way that made me feel wrong somehow, then ugh in hindsight Elinor Roosevelt was right, no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

        So he did. He found someone to hang on his every word, look at him with goo goo eyes, and agree to all. As my daughter put it “they are creepily alike”.

        Good riddance!

    • Let me reframe that. She’s better suited for him because they are on the same moral level, because neither of them care about whom they hurt, because neither of them are honest or trustworthy. My narcissist mother firmly believed that “water seeks its own level.” At some point, disordered people can’t maintain the mask for you and then the move on, one way or the other.

      • Haha, reminded me of the adage, “Cream floats to the top.” My mother pointed out, “Yea, but so can shit.”

        • Bwahahahaaa, thanks for the coffee splurt!!!!
          So true about cheaters and their “awesomeness” for their new supply. It’s all a show, and it never lasts long.
          If my exh2 follows the same line as he did with me, I’m sure Mrs. Dumb-Ass is already kicking herself in the ass for marrying him, unless.of course, she is a ten-year-younger version of him, then it’s a great match.
          Time will tell, but I can tell you, I know they’re not the picture of Tru wuv either.

      • Lovedajackass
        I just noticed that I missed an important part of your comment – “your Narcissist mother” – I commented earlier she was wise about her comment “water seeks its own level”, sorry, wasn’t giving kudos to a narc mother / that’s what I get for speed reading!

    • Maybe she gives good blow jobs, afterall she’s practiced. This isn’t about us chumps it’s about their insatiable need for strange!

    • Sorry Mjo, I’ve been there too. My cheater XH told me to my face ” I want a new wife and new children.” As if I had somehow failed him in 17 years of marriage AND the four children I gave birth to somehow failed him too. It was during the time when I was begging him to go to therapy with me so we could save our family and I have to say it took the wind out of me for a long time.

      Then one day I was talking to my best friend from law school who is now a public defender. He said “I deal with some awful people in my job but that statement is the most narcissistic thing I have ever heard in my life.” Just having someone I trust and respect say that to me was enough to bring me out of the “something is wrong with me” haze.

      Trust that he sucks and that he will continue to suck. Nothing is wrong with you other than having an unfortunate connection to a disordered jackass.

      • I can’t believe he said that about the kids. It’s horrible enough he said it about you. My ex made it clear that he thought he could do better with Schmoopie but he had done his best to not discard the kids in the same way (although his spending time with Schmoopie’s four kids does give DD pause). Most of the time I know that is a good thing because I care about the kids and I don’t want them to feel discarded too, but sometimes it does make me feel a bit lonely in my discard.

        Of course the kids are still imperfect and its still my fault.

      • Mine said (after 40 years together) he didn’t want to be married anymore. Wanted to experience single life since we got married and had our oldest son right after high school. 3 more children and a shared business followed in the next 10 years. He also said he never wanted the last 3 children. News to me!!!!!! That was the most hateful thing he ever said and I’ll never forgive that rebate. Truth was, he’d already been sneaking around with the whore for several months. I moved out a few months later and while our home was up for sale, he pretended to live there. I found out he had actually been living with her basically after I moved out. So, our big 4 bedroom house sat empty for the year and a half it took us to sell it while we paid a 2nd mortgage on my new house. Talk about a narcissist liar. I think mine really takes the prize. Trust that he sucks big time.

        • 42 enough,
          Yes, they do suck!! I’m so sorry you had to hear that piece of shit say – he didn’t want your children – wtf – I don’t even know what comforting words to say!!

          I’m dealing with Narc fuck selling marital home, just another nightmare !!!

          These sick freaks manipulate and control throughout the entire divorce process!! It just never ends!!

    • A family member tells me everyday, “he was in love with her” “didn’t you notice how distant he was, how he wasn’t talking to you and how in love he looked” “you were not doing something she was doing” “why couldn’t YOU do that and make him happy” “she brought more to the table” “who do you think you are a Kardashian? He found better” Yeah, I had to hear all of that about some old financial predator prostitute that went into the workplace/worked with my cheater, wearing her sheer blouses and telling my cheater narcissist everything he wanted to hear to get him to open that money vault…and she was spreading those big hefty legs open to get the money…but yeah, they were so in wuv….And do I feel that I missed out on my own husband? sure I do… Do I feel horrible and like I am a failure and that he never loved me ever? Sure I do…Do I feel great that everyone, I mean everyone always feels it’s the wife’s fault. From what I have learned in dealing with all of this is that the WHORE is the one that WINS. She WINS because she gets more respect, or ALL the respect, SHE gets all the time, money, affection, jewelry, trips and HER GOAL is to not only RUIN your marriage but to DESTROY you financially. OH, PrinceCheating IS not off the hook either. He’s to blame also because he needs to get sexual self gratification – there is always something in it for him. But does he really fall in love with her? Did they sex their way into Love…I struggle with the fact that this whore got ahold of my husband and had the kind of relationship with him that he never offered me. He was hell bent on only keeping his double life going and pleasing the slippery clam that he worked with!

      • duped, I hope you can get far away from any family member who would tell you such horrible, untrue things. That is cruel!

        And don’t worry, your ex hasn’t changed. The whore won herself a lying, cheating turd. You deserve far better than that! If she’s getting the kind of relationship you wanted with him, you can be sure it won’t last.

        Not everybody blames the Chump. At least here at Chump Nation we know the truth, and I see little glimmers of that truth creeping into the general culture, as well.

      • Stay away from that family member @duped that’s ridiculous stuff to say. Anyone who talks about the cheating pair positively is missing a basic empathy component and has no moral compass. Or is pathetically under the influence of the narcissist’s sparkly impression mgmt. The other day I had dinner with neighbours and the husband kept saying things that made it sound like he thought I should forgive the cheating and make it work. Now I think he must be a cheater or wishes he was. I ignored it.

          • Jodi lynch
            Just sent same comment to Duped – tell the family member to :”Fuck off”!!!

            Good God!! The dead piece of shit was a monster!!

            • ok guys, here goes… my own mother told me that if I was good enough he wouldn’t have to go looking elsewhere….
              No matter what the fucktard told anyone it never bothered me but this somehow hit me real hard. If my own mother whom I have always been very close to could make such a statement, what is left for anyone else.
              Which husband puts his wife in a wheelchair, then leaves for his whore????

              I just feel angry today. Hugs to all. It does get better.

      • My narcissist ass told me after 20 years of marriage, “I want something different.” He forgot to mention he had already found his “something different.”
        Cheater told friends and neighbors he wanted someone who he had more in common. These friends and neighbors sympathized with X and told me I should be more understanding and get on with my life. Cheater has gone on with his Brit…,

        I no longer speak to these same friends and neighbors.

        • Cheaters always tell their parents, family and friends the typical, “you are not getting along”. He’s been telling them that, slipping it into conversations since he got involved with the AP. This is way before you knew anything was going on. It’s so insidious, and it’s there so that there’s no surprise in case it goes south. I put this together after D Day.

          • I bet he told them all about Mistress potatoHO (give)head (sorry for the vulgarity but the HO clearly is a rotten monster too), that she is his new wuv…I’m sure as a narcissist he had to talk up a good story to keep himself the sparkly image intact, all the while conducting his affair with his big lay, who little did he know is a golddigger and did anything and everything/pulled out all the stops, to act like the perfect partner, by stroking his ego, telling him whatever to get more jewelry and money. She’s not a stupid prostitution whore, she knows the ropes, I am sure it was not her first rodeo. Anyway, my point is, I am sure he badmouthed me to his family and I would go as far as to guess that they even met her. That would explain the anger and them stealing and burglarizing my house while I was taking care of him at the hospital. Yeah, real nice. So my big FUCK you goes out to ALL of them.

            • Duped,
              Yes, they do love to badmouth the “evil wife”, family members go right along as if they are blind!!

              I’ve discovered since joining CN, Cheaters and AP’s use the same playbook-flying monkeys are the same, the entire cheater playbook narrative really isn’t different at all!

              Narcs suck, period! They are empty shells taking up oxygen and leaving paths of destruction!!

              Stbx favorite flying monkey is his only child from a previous marriage, a daughter, who’s married with 4 children. I now realize, She’s played the pick me dance for years with Narc – very sad to watch. He’s doing the same with his grandchildren-playing favorites, etc! I kept a distance from Stbx’s daughter and her extended family early on, thank god!

              Stbx and married AP – they have not nor will they introduce each other to family members etc. unless married AP divorces her husband, and that won’t happen! She has too much money on the line for that.

              Stbx is married AP’s dirty secret. The only person stbx discussed AP with is his very mentally unstable sister who lives across country. His daughter believed until just a few months ago that Stbx ended affair after his open heart surgery!

              These 2 have major image management going on! More people are aware than they realize.

              I hate the suffering you are going through because dead narc’s family is in total image management control!!

              I hope you burst the bubble soon!!

              • You know what, they are still in image management control. The big evil sister’s true colors came out. I think because she is an enabler, she was in full control of my husband and I am sure she knows alllll. she is my cheater’s confidant. And she is like his Siamese twin. So don’t tell me that she is not ‘great friends’ with the HO. I have my suspicions. Simply because of the web of lies my underhanded cheater spun, and it kept him looking sparkly and it was prob to pave the way for his wonderful GAP from the beachhouse brothel…because the beachhouse brothel could be a fun playground for his sparkly greedy family ! Yes, a fun gathering place for his siblings and their families, while HO down girl could throw her big beach parties and they could be one big happy sicko MF family. How wonderful ! And they think I know anything ! They must think I am stupid !! I plan to pretend I am stupid. They still want more possessions and my proverbial F YOU is not answering them….LOL

              • Duped,
                Keep the “Fuck you”’s coming – I think your dead monster could be my Stbx evil twin- he may have joined your dead husband had I not been empathetic to him having a heart attack and open heart surgery and let the piece of shit back into home for recovery! Then my nursing skills immediately caught his congestive heart failure symptoms 2 weeks after discharge and made sure he survived all the complications that went on for 4-5 months, praying I would finally get an amicable divorce / nope , almost dying didn’t change one thing – he’s probably more twisted and evil than before his surgery / and I didn’t think that was a possibility! I helped save his fucking life and in return get a scorched earth plan in thanks! That’s proof in itself, these sick, evil predators never ever change!

                Hindsight is 20/20 – had I found CN after his heart attack, would have remained NC with the restraining order against him in place and he could have gone to his daughter from previous marriage, home and let her deal with his shit!

                But, allowing him back into home provided me time to truly see the depth of his evilness and a preview of what his late years will be like! Not one business associate came to the hospital or the house to see him, not even his assistant of 25 yrs nor her husband came by, his flying monkey daughter came to the hospital when he was in ICU for a few minutes/day and she came to the house 2 times during the 3 months he was house bound – and that was because she was making the 30 minute drive to the area we live in to pick up her maternal grandmother who lives 5 minutes away. Stbx had an apartment he had been living in prior to heart attack – couple of times I almost took him there to recover and let home health nurses make daily visits . Married AP , she didn’t have time in her schedule to care for him – she has an image to maintain and that doesn’t include 24/7 care and not being available for her husband and family! She instead sent flowers to the house with dozens of texts/day with one threatening to come to the house – I actually witnessed the “pick me dance” she did play by play – that in itself made me even more certain that I had to be rid of this shit sooner rather than later! I seriously tried telling Stbx , just give me an amicable divorce, get yourself some serious help and stay far away from married AP, this is not her first rodeo and her husband is complicit in all of this sick shit!
                I now believe this was a plan they both concocted from the beginning, a ruse – thinking I was the “stupid, forgiving wife”, while they both would hide and dissipate all marital assets and then, maybe, he would cooperate with divorce!

                I can’t get away fast enough from this Cluster fuck! I’m not sure there are enough showers I can take to rid myself of the remaining “filth”!

                I don’t want Stbx or any of his daughter or her extended family, any other flying monkeys to know one thing about me after divorce! I’m trying to ensure “no circling back”!! 18 yrs, I’m done and over it!

              • seeing clearly,
                I was just reading someone else’s responses and she said that when she left her husband was not living at the house, you know what it hit me, while I was off working long hours, and I worked one and half hours from the house (each way) I believe wholeheartedly now that he was living with that GAP on the days he pretended to be off on a work trip. I really think he was living with her. After he died, I realized the comforter was missing and some of his clothes. For sure my wedding gifts were gone. Somebody broke the pull down attic so I could not get up there. His brother had scoured our home for items to steal. He was probably looking for money or at best evidence to hide. My cheater was very very smart, top of his class. He was highly accomplished. He would never have any evidence at the house. On the home computer I found all the pics of me of our trips, a lot of pics of him on trips Who was the photographer? In his camera he had erased pics, reason I know there were pics from 2012 of our last trip together, of me. What happened to the rest of the pic going forward to present years. I really was a fool. I took care of him also as he lay dying. It was bizarre. After I found out everything I wondered why SlamPig was not here, she should have come in like she wanted to to take care of her asshole instead of me being nice to him and treating him with respect while he disrespected me all these years. She was also the one that wrote on his obituary on the internet. She wrote that he was a good man. The nerve of that slut writing anonymously on his obituary guest book, and letting me know he was a good man. Why because you had your lay for all these years you immoral bitch? Nasty HO. He had some nerve stooping that low. They thought they had everyone at work fooled. He even told me that they no longer have company Christmas parties and I believed it ! He was trying to protect that lowdown HO’s reputation. He did not want anyone to know she was screwing his ass off for money. That nasty pig. Most women will scratch a pig’s eyes out..but these Narc’s are so good at lying and deceit that you don’t even get that opportunity to find out about it, you can be duped so easily, and they both think that you (the wife) are soooo stupid…they were both probably laughing, the jealous bitch. I know what that big ugly thing looks like. And I see her on youtube telling the men, call me, or email me and I will help you with ‘your process” yeah she’ll help the men with their process alright. …she puts on this big high pitched voice like she’s a kid and the old hag is 52 years old. I’m sure she got some great gifts when she turned 50. When is that whore’s Karma going to come?

          • letitsnow, this is exactly what X did. It explains why his family, friends weren’t particularly surprised when X walked out. Not only weren’t they surprised they were convinced X was justified in leaving.

            X’s Mom passed away before he moved out and I mentioned I’d make plane reservations to attend the funeral, X panicked with a weak explanation on why he didn’t want me to attend. It’s clear to me now that his family knew his plans.
            It’s disturbing, to think that while he was visiting his dying Mother he was carefully planning his exit, twisting facts, vilifying me while pretending to be the victim.
            How could you think of anything so devious while your Mother is dying?

        • Brit
          they already have supply lined up in the pipeline…she is never someone new…they just wait to drop the bomb after they have been screwing and plotting…two evil people. I really hope there is such a thing as Karma. Can you imagine thinking that a married man is your man, that they don’t want to seek their own man. Why, because they are after money..they will do anything for money.

          • Duped, looking back, there were many red flags which I ignored or spackled. I’m sure she wasn’t the only one over the years. They say there are usually more.
            There were times cheater came home from a business trip and I’d know something was “off.” I’d have a weird feeling in my gut, it was my intuition telling me something wasn’t right.
            One day were in the kitchen after one of his trips when I couldn’t hold back, I asked him if he had been with someone, he chuckled, and said, you know I’m not that kind of guy…, you know me.., do I look like that kind of guy to you? then he went on to tell me I have quite the imagination and should write novels or soap operas. He continued listing more reasons why I asked, including, I need to find a hobby. Maybe he should have considered finding himself a hobby besides fucking other women and lying.

      • Duped,
        Tell that family member who keeps saying that stupid shit to you : “Fuck off, you don’t know my life or the fact I buried a monster”!!!

      • Number one, I don’t care who that family member is, dump them immediately. They are getting perverse satisfaction through your horrible situation. Second, the only respect the OW & cheater are receiving is from your depraved family member. People, with even a shred of decency would never respect such a couple of cheaters. Oh there are the flying monkeys of course but they’re just a bunch of asswipes, total jokes, even to the narcissists that use them. So they don’t count.

        • Thank you so much KB22, you are so right! My whole world had crashed down on me, I suffered a loss, simultaneously finding out that the perfect guy I married was not who he appeared to be, I suffered the aftermath, the wrath of his family, the brutality of the reality, I felt like I had died too, I was numb and then to hear the comments, I thought I would never survive or recover…I struggle everyday with the fact that some HO had ahold of my husband, while my life was in limbo, while I was being duped and disrespected and there was not one shred of regard for me whatsoever…it was so isolating. I will still never wrap my head around how my husband could conduct a double life, I suppose it was pretty easy for him to do since his job involved a lot of travelling; he had so many opportunities, but this one slut that he worked with; she obviously was the main HO. I feel stunned and there is not a day goes by I don’t think of this. Even though I was a very happy, and positive thinking person before I found out/figured out so much! Yes, KB22 , there are sooo many red flags ! He would play like word games/ riddles with me (even before he met the HO) which I now know were to keep me off balance and tell me something without actually giving me an answer…eg, At what time will you get there? Answer: When I arrive. UGHHHH. I got tired of the riddles to the point where I did not ask anymore…further enabling him not having to answer questions or revealing anything! I bet he did not do that to his big whore because I don’t think she would have put up with it and I think he had to impress her so much he would never act that way.

          • Duped, this : “At what time will you get there? Answer: When I arrive.”

            My cheater’s typical response made sometimes half jokingly and sometimes in rage, both meant to shut me up so I would not continue pressing. Always with a connotation “you are not the boss of me.”

            This site has been my savior, Duped, it will be yours too.

            • Oh my goodness, my stbx was so paranoid that no one be the boss of him that one day I told him to come sit down for dinner. His response: “You’re not the boss of me!”

              Yes, the use of rage to manipulate. Creeps

              It’s been two years since cheater left to move with 22 y.o. Our daughter is still hurt and trying to figure things out. He told her he left us because I became mean and no longer gave him affection. She never saw this herself because he told her it happened behind closed doors. At the same time she said that we always got along and it seemed like we’d be together for forever. She told me last night that her dad meant everything to her and then he just left and lied about his affair, lied about the baby, etc. I just let her vent. Watching her come to the realization that her dad is an asshole really sucks.

              It’s so ironic – they can dish out the anger and rage, but if someone does it to them that’s the end of you!

              I told her I did get angry when I found out he’d been lying to me and telling me I was insecure and mean that I didn’t like him out all night “taking pictures” –

              Being out all night Saturday night was his hobby to help him unwind from hard work. He can’t take pictures during the day – the sun hurts his eyes.

              I didn’t say it to her, but if I suddenly became not myself, why didn’t he try and get help for me? What? He didn’t try to get counseling or ask me to go to the doctor – he just abandoned us? Imagine that.

    • My stbx and his OW are well-suited for each other. They are both liars and cheats with no integrity. My stbx did/does not like my honesty.

      And they don’t change. Our daughter told me that on their last camping trip he was yelling at OW – and she was trying to help him.

      Yes – it’s not about us chumps. It’s their need for strange. They cannot do anything but surface stuff and get bored – they start craving ‘that feeling.’ They like drama. Adrenalin. My first ex said it perfectly – he was in love with love.

      They cannot really love anyone.

      My stbx’s OW went for his money. He is quite a bit in debt looking at financial papers for court. Went out and bought new camper and vehicles and Michael Kors and diamond ring…. Stbx told me he was forcing judge to sell our house and he couldn’t wait until the moving van came to get me (he was mad at the amount of support I wanted. Funny thing is – it’s almost the exact amount to court ordered him to pay. Because it was fair. I wasn’t asking for too much. To him I was because it cut into this crazy spending habits to keep his 22 y.o.).

      Stbx said he was making the judge sell our house and then he was going to buy a new house and take our child and our dogs from me.

      Well, today I have the house. He cannot buy a house because his debt to loan ratio is too high. (And housing prices are through the roof! He can’t afford to buy in that fancy neighborhood they are renting in – no way!!) Our daughter wants nothing to do with him. He has seen the dogs once in two years. One of our old dogs started hyperventilating so bad stbx had to go. The other dog was his darling. Funny, you’d never know it. He never asked about the dogs or asked to see them. Just that one time and that was because he was here with his appraiser. Otherwise, he would have never asked to see the dogs.

      Duped: The slippery clam – LOL

    • I’ve been told by others that she is as big of an asshole as he is. Fine, let them be assholes together. I’ve been his moral compass for twenty years, and now he is free to be the jackass he’s always wanted to be. They certainly are well-suited. Personally I think it’s a matter of time before one of them turns on the other, but hey… what do I know? Or care? Maybe someday I’ll find someone well suited to me. Someone who shares my values, reciprocates, and shows me through his actions that he cares about my feelings. Either way I’d rather be alone and respect myself than be with him and feel like a piece of shit.

    • I want to smack your brother! So hurtful! Adultry brings out the worst in people. They seem to just not know how to react.

    • THIS!! I always feel for some reason compelled to give him advise. I don’t know why..maybe to see if it sticks or see if it gets to his brain somehow. Its like a curse of mine helping people figure themselves out. I had to finally realize he isn’t listening and same as you I don’t want him to know honestly how to be a better person. I am four months for DDay and one month from finding out there have been dozens of ONS in the last 5 years. Nothing I say or do will change anything. Best to remain no contact and hope that he doesn’t get better.

  • The thing is, you’re either honest and loyal or you’re not. Once someone’s an adult, you can’t really change that about them. So you can forgive all the lies you want, but none of your forgiveness can change a person’s basic integrity.

    It’s kinda like how you can’t “nice” your way out of the “friendzone” because “nice” can’t make someone romantically or sexually attracted to you if the feeling’s just not there. Trying to get loyalty and honesty out of a cheater by putting in more forgiveness and love and work is like giving a pizza place money and hoping they’ll eventually serve you dim sum.

    • This.

      All of it.

      I finally accepted that. I’m on the path to ‘meh’. Hey, it’s Tuesday tomorrow.

      Maybe it’s my Tuesday.

    • This is so true and I have to remind myself of this every day. I tried going no contact but he is still living in the same house for a month. Everyday he whines and pleads without me responding and I have to tell myself that everything he says is a lie. He lacks integrity and even when I ask “what if” he gets better? I am always rebuttal with, but wait what if he doesn’t…

    • So very true Traffic_Spiral. Kicking myself for staying in a relationship for 10 years, trying to make things work when all the signs were blaring at me years ago to RUN. Hoping to find that dim sum one day, but for now, I’m so absolutely fine with being alone. Never ever will I “settle” for relationship convenience. So thank you for summing things up so very well.

  • I, too, bought into this. I kept on thinking of my “investment”. Well, investment has a chance to actually result in some good. What I had was sunk cost, a cost that was already incurred AND cannot be recovered. Forget all those years with a cheater. Be glad that’s behind you.

    I am almost five years divorced from the serial cheater after staying more than two decades. He married the OW after trying to reconcile AFTER the divorce, and while living with her. Guess what? I got a long email from OWIFE a couple of months ago. I won’t go into the details but she wants to somehow talk to me, prodding me all her contact info. I ignored the email. Subsequently, someone told me the ex is traveling for a few months by himself. That can’t be too happy of a marriage.

      • There was a recent letter circulating around the Internet from a man who invested in a security system that caught his wife on video entertaining her lover- complete with “his” car liscence plate ID’d.

        I hope you’ve seen it and use it for humorous reference material in your reply to OWIFE’s email. It was hilarious because the authoring husband used the current day dialect when addressing the OM. “G-man” and such.

    • Ah, sounds like your karma bus came. Also sounds like you don’t give a shit anymore, which is exactly what CL says happens. But those of us not quite at meh love reading these karma stories

        • I have a karma story that made my day.

          OW blogs about their “life” if one can call living in a shabby rental, with three kids under 5, collecting benefits, any sort of a life. Her comment for January? “Shitbag lost his job today. I’m going to let him sit home with the kids while I go out and work for cash”.

          I can just not understand how I ever let that guy in the house. He was the project boyfriend of all time.

    • I suspect something like this is on my horizon. I recently saw the ex and OW and felt a confrontation imminent. She was acting completely agitated and crazy like she wanted to have it out with me. It’s been 2 yrs and I don’t really care to speak to her any longer. It just doesn’t serve me at this point. My best friend said that if she tried to approach me I should say: “If I were you, I’d be nicer to me because when you go through your divorce, I know you’re going to me emailing me asking for answers. There’s a LOT that you do not know!”

      I, too, expect the OW email…

      • KeepItMoving
        I seriously doubt if I ever receive email from OW, Stbx OW is married- her excuse to Stbx is – arraigned marriage- and told him she will never divorce her husband- who has knowledge and is complicit with married AP’s affairs – very sick “triangle “- Stbx is involved in. Married AP and her husband- just as sick or even more so, than Stbx. I used to think it was impossible that there was anyone, unless a serial killer, that could be more twisted than Stbx. The unmasking over past year with Stbx and the recent FOO “skeletons in the closet” that were divulged- I don’t think there are enough showers that I can take to ride myself of the “filth”!
        I’m trying to put into place everything I can to ensure Stbx and his flying monkeys, FOO sick freaks, especially his only child from previous marriage, daughter and her extended family, can never find out anything about me! I almost think I need to take the “witness protection “ methods into play!!

        • Seeing Clearly,
          Your Stbx and my dead husband were in a close race to the finish line of who gets the academy award for the biggest Narcissists that ever lived. Big WHORISH one that he was screwing and draping in jewels never had a man all these years, you mean to tell me she was able to buy a half million dollar home with a two year old at the time? and no man? OH, that’s right my husband was her secret man…and his big doofus flying monkey friend was in the Whore’s corner because she realized his friend was a simpleton and I figured out that this flying monkey, this lackey, was watching my house to see my comings and goings, so that he can report back to desperate HOworker whether my husband was home with me, or whatever, and then lackey announced to me when I came and left (told me the day he passed away) it was easy to deduce that insecure, desperate clingly HO did not want my husband having sex with me. That would be sloppy seconds. Or in her case, probably sloppy thirds, because he was I am sure cheating on her too.. Why wouldn’t he..he traveled all over the place for work, and the BIG HO could not be on ALL his trips could she?
          Oh, yeah, probably because the big whore had a job where she was free (‘entrepreneur’) whereas I actually worked long hard hours…

          • Duped,
            You might find some humor in this – the fucked up mind of Narc cheater and married AP – this was a google search Stbx did that I discovered ;

            “How to tell if married mistress is sleeping with her husband “!

            2 married people fucking each other and anyone else and both thinking they are each other’s “one and only twu love and soulmates “!!

            One day – will post copies of texts – emails I have – between 2 narcs – trust me when I say the day to day existence between them is one, giant, mind fuck!
            Just imagine 2 narcs policing each other – right hand doesn’t know what left hand is doing!!

            I find great comfort that they are both living in a life of constant uncertainty!!!

            • Seeing clearly
              Grrrreat ! How about when mis PRO HO was outside my house in her car trying to get to her lay cheater that was here sick but probably did not tell her he was busy dying at the house (that sounds bad because I did love him but not anymore after I found out everything) and she had to make a patrol over to the house…she probably needed to be laid. Anyway, my bro in law cellphone rang and then just in case I had looked out the window, he had his big liar story about how it was someone from California looking for his cousin, yeah right. Mind you, I still was in the dark at this time, but operation dark secret with the special taskforce (his family) was still underway….and there was an elephant in the room. Well, she was sitting outside, I am sure that Big Gap was so angry when she saw my vehicle in my driveway. Go figure. His wife was actually at her residence !! DUH ! So I guess whatever that bitch had in her head that she had not heard from him or whatever, her crazy ass drove over from her brothel to see my husband. Did she think he left her? oh Poor Schmoopie ! Awww my heart bleeds for you…
              Yeah two ass wipes that are checking up on each other. She was definitely making sure that his tool was not being used on anyone but her ! The twisted wench….

              • seeing clearly
                Oh I got a good one for you….google search on how to cure snoring !!! I guess THE grand canyon aka the gap, could not tolerate the snoring after my husband laid her. Oh, poor poor schmoopie. She needed her beauty rest after her lays, and the snoring was just intolerable !!! LOL LOL LOL That’s what she gets for trying to get sloppy seconds….
                Oh that’s right her brothel has more than ONE bedroom so she should have been fine with it !!!!!

              • Duped,
                Omg, that is hilarious- I did let out a huge laugh!!

                Fuck her, fuck the evil family that’s still in image management and fuck the dead monster!!!

                I’m so glad you found CN – for me, just 2 months ago, but this site has been a miracle worker!! I’m so glad you can let it all out!!! Fuck thread – full of wisdom and great comic relief!!

              • seeing clearly
                glad you are on here tonight… you get my post in real time. Yeah, I think god leads you to where you need to be…and what you need to find…signs are sent out somehow. Just like the red flags I ignored. I could not fathom that anyone would lead a life like that , let alone do it to me. I guess I thought as a wife I should be honored and treated right. He was great in so many other ways, but now in hindsight was it all a fraud? I am still so confused. It’s very sad. I know I feel the fuck off to them vibe. This is what the aftermath in a narcissists wake looks like. I am the one that gets to suffer. While the HO makes out free and clear. Nobody knows she’s a HO! She can still waltzed into that great job in her suit and heels and look like a great woman. It makes me sick !!!!!
                But I am glad I was lead here;….It ‘s great to know there are great people out there and we can all share our stories and give each other support. Some of these ladies are funny…They have some great insight and great names for these monsters !!

              • CN will be your life-line , just as it has been for me since I found it 2 months ago!!

                I’m so glad you found it also!!!

    • Uniquelyme

      The gall of this skank, first for being the OW and then expecting a response after he’s dust in the wind YEARS later.

      Meh suits you UM.

      And Saturday slunt Nanthony was driving by my house. I’m guessing the Limited told her he was with my son. We passed her in his car. I didn’t say a word.

      They don’t change. I might have spackled but she knew exactly what she was getting.

      • Thanks, Doingme. Gross that Nanthony drove by your house. The only way I would recognize the OWife is if she’s with the ex. I saw her picture one time when I discovered her existence and I have completely forgotten what she looks like. Meh rocks.

        To all, you will get to Meh. I promise.

        I learned of a karma story today. An acquaintance (brother-in-law of a close friend) left his wife for a married OW 12 years ago. They both left their spouses and “lived happily ever after”. Not really. I just found out that OWife is cheating on him with yet another married man, and threw him out. The wheels on the karma bus go round and round …

        Karma may not come right away but it eventually it does.

        • Uniquelyme,
          Thank you for reminding “the wheels of the karma bus go round’n’round!!

          I think that is my greatest satisfaction- knowing Stbx and the remaining years he has left, in his sick, twisted life will be Groundhog day after day, year after year!

        • Another Karma story. I know someone who cheated with her married boss. He left his wife for her but never divorced. Everyone thinks he’s divorced, but I know the truth. They have been together for 8 years having a blast…living at his lake home. I had no idea that there was an extra lot next to it at they owned. Wife is having a new home built right next to schmoopie and husband on this lot because she has been diagnosed with early stage dementia (very sad.) But her husband and schmoopie now have to take care of her. His kids are watching him.

    • Sent her a potato parcel. Potatoparcel.com in the mail. That will fix the PotatHO You can put a message on it…anonymously

        • Seeing Clearly
          Did you go to the potato parcel website? Classic
          I hope somebody sends out their potato parcels to the PotatHO’s.. It’s the ultimate revenge….I could actually write the messages for them. I have so many rhymes and ideas. It was kind of like comic relief for myself…I made myself laugh !!! Just picture it….the HO goes to get her mail and this big heavy potato is in the box with a very personal message….It’s like a big turd in a box. No more gravy on your smashed potatHO

    • You should have sent her a wedding gift like “Do It Yourself STD Kit.” Able to do it in the privacy of your own home. No gift is too much for that couple in twu luv!

  • You can get so wrapped up in semantics with cheaters, the whole I love with you but I’m not in love with you thing is only the beginning.

    I like to reframe. I like to think two cheaters together is a wonderful thing! To me nothing would be most worth a toast and giant smile than Narkles the Clown and the Flying Whore ending up together. It saddens me to know her husband is still standing in the way of their twu wuv. So let me get back on track. I believe with every fiber of my being that Narkles the Clown is better for the Flying Whore. They deserve each other.

    Now let me tell you he will never be better to her. He will never treat her better than he did me. He will devalue her and tell her how flawed she is. He will lose his self control if she doesn’t fawn over all that he does. And if any of this brings her to tears, then he will rage at her until she learns to stop crying or showing any emotion other than happiness and joy. He will continue to find temporary happiness in sex and money. If both those things are not around then he will continue to be sad and angry….all the time.

    I admit it’s pretty easy for me to see this from the other side. I put my energy into getting away from him and fixing me. I highly recommend investing in both those things. Get away from the disorder. Go No Contact, the path to the truth and the light. Then fix you. Figure out what got you into that relationship, what made you commit to it and what made you stay. Then fix that. Never do it again. Eventually you will see that your cheater will never be better to anyone. That’s who they are. It won’t change.

    • AllOutofKibble,
      YOU are a bright shinning light of CN!
      I am so happy you are always there for new Chumps!
      Priceless, YOU are priceless!

    • I just had to write this down… *homework*

      Figure out what got you into that relationship, what made you commit to it and what made you stay. Then fix that. Never do it again. Eventually you will see that your cheater will never be better to anyone. That’s who they are. It won’t change.

      • I have been working on me. One good book is “Safe People” by Townsend. Helps identify traits in you and others.

        Yea. There were red flags all along.

        Love ya CN!

      • Meh twain
        JeepTess posted a link to a site on Forum:General:Senior Chump thread.

        One column, Remembering our Roots: Joyce Brown’s Influence on the Pathological Love Relationship Recovery Process is a must read.

        The Attraction Cocktail Part 1&2- was an epiphany for me – it really explained how “our” healthy traits attract Narcissist’s and the slow, deliberate process they use to use those positive traits against their “target”!
        The Attraction Cocktail explains in detail a “glimpse into the mind of Narcissistic Sociopath’s!

        http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/remembering_our_roots

      • I, too, stayed for my son who was 3 at D-day #1… not so much because I believed in an “intact” family after that, but more because I couldn’t bear the idea of only seeing him 50/50 through his childhood. We made it to his 9th birthday when Dad blew up the family for an OW. For me, that has been the greater shit sandwich… shared custody with a cheater.

        • Shared custody w/a cheater narc sucks big-time. But at least now your child lives half his time in a secure, healthy and happy home.

        • Exactly this-
          “I, too, stayed for my son who was 3 at D-day #1… not so much because I believed in an “intact” family after that, but more because I couldn’t bear the idea of only seeing him 50/50 through his childhood”

          My son was actually 4 at Dday. He was our miracle baby and I just couldn’t fathom the thought of losing out on half of his life because of a porn/hooker addicted, cheating asshole. Although it became increasingly clear after a while that staying with cheater was not an option. He was not worth losing my health or mind. I made the decision to leave & knew that in California, I would have to split custody 50/50 which really sucked. Ironically enough, cheater died before divorce was done. My friends tell me that I am lucky since now I don’t have to share custody or co-parent with a fuckwit. But I am left with my precious son who is mourning his shitty dad………ugh

    • Chiming in on loving this post. It makes me think of how much I appreciate niceness now and it is stuff that should probably be just expected. This weekend, I was needing to email something on my phone and couldn’t find the attachment symbol that is on my computer and one of the other mom’s at the sporting event I was at couldn’t either so she asked one of the dad’s who very patiently showed me how to do what I needed and after I am still marveling at how he patiently, without demeaning me or getting frustrated showed me how to do what I needed. A very normal thing yet I am surprised. I may be wrong, but I feel like this proves that fuckwit really was an emotionally abusive jerk when I am continually met with stunned relief when a man helps me.

    • Twiceachump
      Narcs and their FOO issues, they love to use that !
      Stbx – used his horrible FOO issues to play the “ rescue the poor, sad little boy”. Many people have significant FOO issues, and suffered horrific childhood sexual abuse, however, that fact doesn’t give someone the excuse to become a narcissistic sociopath to be used as an excuse for their despicable actions!

    • I’m copying this down, too, and going to read it again and again. In the past month or so, I’ve had little hints here and there that douchebag ex isn’t doing so hot. And I don’t envy the whore at all for having to put up with the empty, gaping hole where his soul should be. It was literally exhausting to deal with. No wonder I was tired and sick all the time!

    • all out of kibble,
      I love what you said, I wish I was there. I still can’t get it out of my mind that those two cheaters were living the life. He was giving her the lifestyle. She was giving it up and stroking his ego and studied him and knew exactly what she needed to do to get his wallet. They were getting over on me. I don’t think she minded putting out for him, she thought she was in love with him I am sure. He looked great, etc etc etc and she had nobody so her ego was stroked also. All women want a great guy. Everyone thought and still thinks he was a great guy. He hid the part about his big secret wuv affair. So nobody knows the real true self. The mask was never revealed to the public. And after he died his family treated me like shit because they to the bitter end, wanted to keep that mask on him; keep him looking like a great guy to the public. They were all enraged that he died and that his mask might slip. They watched me like hawk at the gathering after the funeral. They were so afraid I might say something to his coworkers. ONe of the lackeys was patrolling in and out pacing/agitated…awaiting HO’s arrival? But HO didn’t have the gall to walk in there…it was such a BIG secret. I must have been the only dummy that didn’t know…WOW this was so surreal, hardly believable, traumatic…I feel like I DONT really know who he was at all…creepy

      • I am so sorry you have to go through this. I’m glad you found support here. Do you have some friends or family you can trust & get some emotional support from?
        Hang in there! You’ll be in a better place soon. He, on the other hand, will never be.

          • Duped,
            I was also married to a “great guy.”
            I cleared the slate of all the “great guy” supporters.
            I was left with two genuine friends that live near me. Fuck the others including my brother and other family members. They no longer exist to me now.

            Glad you have emotional support and are rid of the garbage friends. It’s actually feels good to get rid of the trash.

            • brit,
              part of the devastation to all of us at the hands of a narcissist, I’ve discovered, is that nobody could imagine or believe that what you have gone through could even be possible because they don’t know this guy like you do and by all outward appearances they could never believe because the mask is on.
              and I have to say, there is no guy out there that exists, a guy that is charming, gorgeous, intelligent, successful, funny,does the dishes and housework, you name it…a dream come true. That’s what the allure was for the HO..she never has nor ever will be treated by a ‘true gentleman” ever in her life…and nobody will ever spend money on her like he definitely did. So I hope she suffers
              And I have def. cleared the slate

              • ‘Part of the devastation to all of us at the hands of a narcissist, I’ve discovered, is that nobody could imagine or believe that what you have gone through could even be possible because they don’t know this guy like you do and by all outward appearances they could never believe because the mask is on.’

                THIS.

              • Duped,
                Yes, the monster behind the mask!! In my case, Stbx doesn’t have any local friends and few business associates he is on friendly basis with – his clients – they believe he’s amazing-but they only are involved with him for maybe 2 months and then gone.

    • Alloutofkibble!
      Amen! Even though I’m in the beginning of never ending divorce – all I can think about is the day I’m free and can just use my energy on myself!

      Fix me is my priority- get rid of the ptsd effects- I know it will take awhile and i know there is still some pain and heartbreak ahead, but I don’t ever want to attract another Narc again – more importantly, want to ensure I pay attention to the red flags I noticed early on, but thought it was still the haze of grief from late husband’s death and I didn’t RUN immediately! My gut was right, just ignored it for the wrong reason!!

  • LOVE the cartoon. I can’t help but wonder if he learned anything from me and is now doing better for her. I had a birthday issue with him. Nearly every single one of my adult birthdays sucked. I just couldn’t get through to him that I wanted him to make a fuss and do something special. Year after year, I would anticipate that this will be the year he gets a sitter and takes me out, or gets me a nice gift, or gets me a cake and sings me happy birthday with our kids, or something. And every year he would do either nothing at all, or something really lame like stop at the grocery store for crappy flowers and call it a day. One year I cried and cried and said “This is just something I have to accept about you, you suck at birthdays”. I got the usual Blank Stare. When he told me he was having an affair and was thinking of leaving, he gave me the big laundry list of all the ways in which I had failed him. (Things like I didn’t make him tea.) Somewhere during that time, I again brought up the birthday issue. I have wondered if some part of him heard me and he is now going all out for her birthday every year.

    I guess I’m closer to meh than I was the first time this column ran. Because I just don’t care. He was a shitty husband to me. For nineteen years. If there’s some scenario where he’s being a good husband to her, so what? All that matters is I don’t have to put up with his shittiness for the rest of my life. “It’s galling and depressing beyond words to consider the wasted time and energy spent on a bad relationship” boy is it ever. But hey, I’ve got the whole rest of my life to enjoy

    • Your “I didn’t make him tea” remark made me LOL!, remembering I used to get the same line about coffee from my exhole. I was a SAHM and he considered making his coffee one of my “domestic responsibilities.” I myself have never had a sip of coffee a day in my life, so I had no inclination to make it. Why would I?! I compromised and cleaned the coffee pot every morning and set it out on the counter for him to set up before he went to bed. All he had to do in the morning was plug it in for it to brew while he showered. I thought it was a fair compromise. He apparently did not, as that was near the top of his laundry list of my faults he presented to the marriage counselor.

      Thanks for the laugh! It’s nice to be able to laugh at the fuckedupness of it all!! I’m not 100% at ‘meh’ but getting closer all the time and it is a beautiful thing! 😁😘

      • Jamlady, oh my god, the coffee! I not only had to make his coffee, but then pour it, add the sugar & cream and then present it to him every morning. Evening was a moving target to make his perfect drink, but to be sure, it had to be made twenty minutes before he picked it up, so that the ice was melted just so. There are other, less savory daily demands I no longer have to submit to since leaving over five years ago. I’m at meh, certainly, and only make my own coffee now, and life is one thousand percent better. I did worry that the next woman would be treated well, that he would let her sleep in, maybe he wouldn’t yell at her for cooking “So much goddamned gourmet food” or he would actually love her. Nope. No more.

        • Oh yeeeeeaaaaaassssss, Happy me, the sleeping-in part hit with me!!!
          Every week, all year round, I had to get myself and DD up and ready for the day after being up half the night with DD.
          I practically begged him to just let me fucking sleep in one of the two days on the weekends. Instead, he would do everything but drag me out of bed when he got tired of waiting on me to get up, and wouldn’t do anything for DD until I got up.
          My favorite was when he would go downstairs and start slamming cabinet doors and the dishwasher and yelling at DD so I would get up.
          Good times.

          • Sounds familiar! They don’t care about anyone but themselves.

            X would get the “flu” often on weekends. He would always insist that I keep the kids quiet so he could rest & not be disturbed.

            I got hit really hard with a bug & was so miserable that I went up to one of the kids’ beds to rest. I asked X to take care of the kids because I was too sick to do anything. It was not even 10 minutes later when he disturbs me to inform me that he had the flu too & was going to lay down in another child’s room….Guess who had to go down, feed & supervise the kids.

            My suspicion that he was feigning sickness was confirmed a few days later when I returned to work. Eight of my colleagues & I had all missed work with the same symptoms after sharing a lunch pot luck! There was no flu going around.

          • THIS^^^^ it was years ago but on HIS sleep in day, I took our then 3 y/0 son to Mcdonalds’ for breakfast and playing in the room of balls. I’d have my coffee and rise from the am, watching my son and knowing his dad got SLEEP, which he needed.

            ON MY sleep in days, the DOCTOR took son nowhere but the kitchen where he loaded the dishwasher and banged silverware drawers and eventually picked up our son if he was crying and if DOCTOR (med student then) could finish the chapter or page he was also reading.

            I understand multitasking but when the baby cries, you don’t finish the SENTENCE. You put the book down and pick the baby UP.

            Secondly, why pretend he’s letting me sleep in? Such passive aggressive shit but I truly think DOCTOR believed HE was “getting a lot done”…

            just not letting me sleep.

            Years ago, but an interesting thing to recall. Oh yeah, you were insensitive and had double standards – at best. Then you became a selfish sadist narc.

            I hope our kids do not take after you – but as you have no contact now for over a year, I guess that chance lessens…

            • “Evening was a moving target to make his perfect drink, but to be sure, it had to be made twenty minutes before he picked it up, so that the ice was melted just so.”
              Happyme, …. hilarious.

              Mr. Cheaterpants is still with the OW and as far as I know they’re *Queue the music…’Having the Time of Their Lives’

              But, for some reason, I know that they aren’t. Because he is who he is and ditto for her. I bet they drive each other insane. But they must act like it’s Twu Luv because they hurt so many people in the process. And they are old now. Neither one of them are one bit cute any more and could never attract anyone with half a brain. Both of them were cheaters from their youth. I did a time line on my XH after the fact and I found out that he had no problem screwing other men’s wives and he had no problem screwing around when he was married. Her XH told me she was the same way. They are so stuck with each other and that’s where the Karma bus showed up. Lol and Meh.

              • They are more than likely stuck with one another and have to make it look good to outsiders. Narcs do not age well and two aging narcs together? Karma, pure karma.

        • LOL on coffee – One of the things I would do for Mme was get up first and make sure that her Keurig was filled and warmed up and set her mug out for her so that when she got out of bed that she just had to push the button.

          She seemed startled when I stopped doing that after I found out about her affair.

          And yes – I’m a tea drinker and always made my own.

          When she left she took the machine with her – lots more counter space now.

          On the subject of “better for someone else” – I’m sure that she turned on the charm, pretended to be Suzie home-maker and a sex goddess. But she can’t sustain that. Of that I’m positive.

          She gave up someone who accepted her for who and what she was, who catered to her whims. No clue how her new life is working out for her but as far as I am aware she is still living in her apartment over the liquor store so maybe she’s still pick-me dancing for her guy. They are still an item but that’s all I know.

          BT

          • Mine use to lie in bed and yell garçon garçon fetch me…..
            He thought he was being cute! He still shows up and drinks my coffee. For awhile during the pick me dance I’d deliver it to him in bed (he was sleeping in another room) fool I am! I guess this is what nice gets you.

      • Ah yes…the personal assistant-waitstaff-maid role! Don’t miss that.

        His issues with me were that I didn’t clean the coffee pot (he didn’t drink it), didn’t make him waffles, didn’t sweep the back stairs and tended to leave paperwork on the table. Oh, lots more, but those are some highlights. I see now just what a rotten wife I was.

        The kicker was 2 weeks before he moved out of the house because I just “couldn’t be the wife he needed me to be” (while he was sleeping with his boss’s wife for 2 weeks and staying overnight at her house at this point), he told me he still wanted me to make dinner for him after he moved out. LOL.

        He said his preference would be for me to drive across town to make dinner at his new place, but understood that it might not always be convenient. In that case, I should let him know so he could leave early to stop by my place, eat and go to work.

        As wonderful as that sounds, I did not take him up on that offer. Cake is not one of my specialties.

        Sooooooo much better on Tuesday : )

    • And may you follow the example of my good friend, who makes a big fuss on her own birthday with a brunch at a grand local brunch venue. We all pay our own way and have a ball.

    • I remember feeling grateful when ex “allowed” me to throw myself a 40th birthday party. I did all of the planning, cooking, cleaning etc. He sort of showed up and drank up the leftover beer (my B-day is St. Patty’s day and everyone brought beer which I don’t drink).

      • I bought my douchebag the Nascar driving experience..the car and the truck..cost me about 1200.00$ I usually got nothing but a few years ago he broke a week long silent treatment to give me rain guards for my van..for my birthday. Then he went back to not speaking to me.

    • The tea comment reminds me of my ex. One of his reasons the OW was “better” than me was that “once she brought him an apple and a coffee.” I only worked full time while raising our preschooler with zero help, earned 3 degrees, cooked, cleaned, shopped, maintained our finances, gave him sex, arranged and funded visits to his family abroad, lovingly planned out and bought gifts for special occasions… yet he prefers a 10 year younger waitress from work because she brought him an apple and a coffee once. Smh. Oh, and she dumped him before we were even divorced and now he lives in a dump, no money no gf and I have custody of our beautiful child. 🤷‍♀️ Karma, asshole.

    • Thirteen birthdays with exh2.
      Thirteen suck-tastic birthdays with exh2.
      Of course, he would get pissed at me if I didn’t give him The Party of the Year for his birthday

    • About the not making him tea. I can assure you that had you made him tea brewed to perfection and served it to him by rolling out the red carpet, every day during your entire marriage, he would have found something else to criticize you for. He would have complained that you sucked at some other mundane or stupid thing, like you didn’t flush his toilet for him after he went to the bathroom, or folded his laundry in the exact way his highness would have liked. The goal was to point out something irrelevant that you didn’t do for him, whatever it was, to blame shift and let you know what a horrible person you were. These people are mentally nuts!

    • OMG the fucking BIRTHDAY problem!!
      The major reason I broke things off with my bf (post divorce of cheater) was because he totally sucked at my birthday/Valentine’s Day. I don’t ask for much (ever) except I want to have my special day, just once a year. Just be nice to me and agree that I get to be “right” about everything that one day. Ask me where I’d like to have dinner (I’ll surprise you, it’s cheap!) and please just act like you’re happy I’m in your life. That’s all . But NOPE … bf used it to discipline me for some imagined slights. I realized I am worth having a nice day just for me, once a year.
      I gladly do things for others but if it is not reciprocal then bug off. It means they are selfish and insecure. I broke things off one week before “my” day because I just knew… it would be total shit.

      They do not want you to feel special.

        • Born Free you just saved yourself years of much grief and aggravation. I spent 30 years with an a hole who spoiled all our holidays and couldn’t even be decent to me on my birthday/anniversary. One day to celebrate both and he never failed to disappoint. Now on fb he is celebrating her birthday, buying her jewelry and taking her on trips. You pay attention to how they treat you from the start. I am so glad you dumped his ass. I hope I am smart and brave like you the next time around.

  • As always, your topics are exactly what I need to remind myself that cheaters suck. I’m just a year past D-day, and 3 and a half months since the divorce. We had a 25 year marriage. It’s taken a LOT of work to realize I am not in any way to blame. This truly all was a crazy train of his own making. He was the person with no integrity. He cheated and lied and had secrets for years.

    The blame shifting they do to us chumps is the most horrible part of the whole experience. Thank you CL and Chump Nation. You have truly helped me realign my thinking and place the blame where it needs to truly be. I am working on being mighty to give me the strength to stay minimal contact. I wish we could be No contact, but we have a son together.

    • Good for you, Unrulychump! It sounds like you have clarity and are well on your way to a much better, cheater-free life. You sound mighty to me.

      Stay strong. You deserve so much better.

      • Thank you so much. It truly helps to have reminders that we’re not in this alone, and others understand the pain and deception we have gone through.

  • Chumpy me thinks, to this day, that if cheater had married OW maybe it would have lasted, mainly because at DDay he said,
    “I feel about her how I have never felt about anyone else ever!”

    At the time I thought, how could he possibly feel that way? No one could love him like I loved him. Hell, I even gave up my family, for a period of time, to marry him.

    CL, CN have taught me this line was just a standard line cheater’s use.
    They really are all cut from the same mode.

    There are so many Chumps,posting in the forums at this time, who, if they are reading this, I want to send out big hugs to them.
    Many are struggling, so bravely, in the early stages of leaving a cheater, gaining a life.
    Often they are in a very dangerous place.
    I urge any newbies to go to the forums. There you will find the path to the truth and the light.
    You are not alone, answers to your questions, love and support, dwell there, 24/7.
    It is a very special place. You are welcomed with open arms, understanding hearts, and wisdom beyond measure!

    • Uniquelyme
      Good for you – for not responding! Karma is a bitch and OW is learning , once a cheat always a cheat!

      It’s amazing that “OW” think they are just so very special and cheater is their “true love-soulmate “ bs!

      Oh well – 2 narcs hookups- karma!!

      • I want to tell you ladies that if you really want to drop a bomb on the skanks, send her a potato parcel. It’s an actual potato that gets mailed with a message on it. I cannot tell you the laugh I gave myself just thinking of all the messages that I would send to her….Well, I found the map to her door in cheater’s phone….so that’s when I thought someday I will sent the HO a message. But I am sure that skank moved on by now to the next married man. After all, that’s how she makes her money from screwing married coworker executives

    • I know it sounds crass of me to mention Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly but her wedding ring has engraved “You’re the closest to heaven I’ve ever been”. Wonder what his first wife, and his two daughters, thought of that. The horror of the 5 gazillionth shooting ended that. Still, it must feel like a figurative punch in the face to the first wife to be dismissed like that. When you have beloved people in your family who have been made to feel less than zero you do wonder.

      • Let go,
        I did not know back story of Gifford and Kelly – I do know whenever I’ve seen them interviewed together since the shooting – they appear to have a “restricted affect” – hmmmm

  • 3 yrs out, I was …VALIDATED…he still sucks!!
    She is living my old life, not in a good way.
    On my 4th year out, one year in full meh, glorious meh.
    He still walks around like a shining penny, she looks 10yrs older, sad and frazeled from gaslighting, keeping up with the Jones and dealing with his flying monkey family…
    She is living my hopium dream. In my hostage like thinking, I sat up all night crying and spent zombie filled days, thinking she won.
    But in reality I came out the winner.

    • This is my dream that this will happen to me too.

      Currently OW is 7 months pregnant. Their “committed” relationship has been going on for 8 months. She has no idea who he is and they’re adding a baby to that? I’m going to grab some popcorn and watch the show 😉

    • Little red riding hood…Soooo funny and TRUE! I’m waiting for the day that the OW (she was married at the time she started an affair with my cheater….WE, however, were engaged) has a complete breakdown, considering what I put up with for several years. She’s going to look like old worn leather in just a short amount of time. His snoring and untreated sleep apnea are going to grind her last nerve. Ha! They both live for boating and sunning. Leather for sure. I am so very happy to be away from that crap. BTW, he’s 19 years her senior….good luck keeping up with that prom dress! Karma bus is coming….

  • I spent 20 years of my life with a serial cheater. A schmoopie 6 years in together when we had a 2 & 4 year old. Another schmoopie when we had a 14 & 16 year old. Two really suspicious secretaries. Strip clubs early on and a lot of porn. I work full time but did 85 % of the child care, home care, and lawn care. And yes I have gained a few pounds over the years.

    I have listened about how he has had 3 horrible bosses and others can’t see the wonderfulness of him and promote him. I realized that everything in his life had an expiration date and now I see the idealize, devalue, discard cycle of EVERYTHING around him. He’s not an overt narcissist. But he is Dr. Sparkly, outgoing, friendly, popular fella until he’s done with you. I learned not to get too close to spouses of his new friends, because of the shelf life of that friendship.

    He is always the victim and I listened to him for years about this and bolstered his fragile self esteem. He does have FOO issues, it’s true. But really it’s no excuse for his horrible behavior.

    I think he truly believes he is the victim in his life saga. His perception is his reality. My work towards MEH is to figure out how I hitched my wagon to this horrible man and didn’t see behind those faux sparkles.

    He is sparkling for his young schmoopie right now. In her 20’s and excited that a 50 year old man just purchased a $450K home that’s 5000 square feet, taking them on a trip to Hawaii this summer with my kiddos, going to the nicest restaraunts in town. I’m sure she’s having a blast. Until he’s done with her. And then I hope they both enjoy their victimhood, but they won’t have me to blame. I removed myself from the triangle immediately.

    There are times I look at their sparkles and wonder if he’s a better man. But he’s doing all the things I asked for but never received. I got the house, the pets, a chunk of his retirement, the kids >50% of the time, and my self respect. He will be working til he’s 105 years old to pay for all the debt he’s racking up. I’ll be at meh way before then, downsizing, traveling, doing all the things he would never do when we were together.

    • And when you lose a cheater, you also lose the stress and lack of support that keeps people turning to food and other negative ways to comfort themselves. So even gaining a few pounds is often about the pain of living with a disordered person who simply can’t do his or her share of an equal partnership.

    • “everything in his life has an expiration date”. Yes! Looking back over his business practices, owning a home, hobbies, financial investments, adventures, friends, interests ect, I realize that there is nothing…and I mean NOTHING that he considers valuable enough to hold on to or maintain (on his own) for more than a year. Rinse, repeat. His business would have gone circling down the drain years ago if it were not for his adult son being willing to step up to the plate to salvage it…even so, it is just hanging on by a thread. EVERYTHING tossed by the wayside in his pursuit for more strange, excitement, and variety. Why should a marriage be any different? Pffft.

      • The DOCTOR has been obsessed with Alaska. That’s lasted even though no one else wanted to live there, again. But we did 4 years there FOR HIM.

        Everything else had an expiration date (and Alaska might since I am told DOCTOR looked “like shit in court. He does NOT look well” (per my lawyer.)

        He has had more jobs and lived in more places than ANY doctor in his specialty that I know of. Max 3 years in a row at a single job since…1997. Usually less, but that’s the most he did full time at any job and before that we were military so we transferred anyhow.

        So actually, come to think of it OMG he became a veterinarian and within 2-3 years he switched to med school. HE started med school when we had an 8 week old baby and I was still in law school.

        Once he finished ALL that schooling and training – 8 years, all while married to me and eventually with 3 kids. He got us moving (4 times within one city b/c he wanted to be closer to HIS work but cheaper housing or both). Then to Alaska, then the east coast, then CA and then a new place 4 hurt away in CA and then Alaska again, (just him the first year) and then to the east coast (and 2 jobs there) and then back to CA and then a new place in CA away from home, and now, back to Alaska for him and east coast for me.

        I just counted this^^ all out. OMG.

        I wish I had a time machine to wake me the fuck up earlier. I feel stupid.

        • Just a thought:

          Could he be dangerous? Could there be a reason that all if a sudden he needs to relocate far away?

          I ask because I have a friend who’s ex is now in prison. He moved them like this as well. she is now researching the news articles in all those areas for missing or raped women.

          There is usually a reason when they need to go so far so often.

      • This hits home for me too.
        My STBX did nothing to maintain any possession – or relationship. Great at acquiring, developing something but not sustaining. Hard to look back and realise that all the maintenance and hard lifting was by me. (Oh the spackling that had to occur for that to happen!!) I did the child care, worked full time, mowed the lawns, renovated while he bought new things if something broke (didn’t do repairs). No such thing as blue jobs or pink jobs in our house – all PINK!!
        I wonder what the expiration date will be for skankyho…. no I dont! not my circus!! (Keep repeating this until it gets through chump)

    • “I learned not to get too close to spouses of his new friends, because of the shelf life of that friendship.”

      That hits home. One reoccurring theme in our relationship was I would make friends with a woman and then we would get together as a couples and fuckwit would trash the other couple and tell me basically that I just picked crazy friends. Then as I would distance myself from this friend because of his disapproval, he would rev up his “friendship” with the husband because they had a common sporting interest. This “friendship” was actually fuckwit trying to outshine that person in whatever sport they were doing- fishing, hunting etc.

      It reminds me of our dogs. We have an old dog and a puppy and everytime you pay attention to the old dog, the puppy has to come and worm his way into the middle.

      P.S. One of those friends has been one of my staunchest supporters through all of this while her husband keeps telling her to be Switzerland like him. Well, he will end up with no friend because fuckwit is nobody’s true friend and I will stay friends with his wife.

    • Fuck them. We all have FOO issues. And when we get out into the world, away from our FOO so we can begin to see that other people do things differently, then we begin to rewire our lives accordingly. From pre-birth to college I subsisted on a steady diet of rage and since then have lovingly installed compassion and grace high-up in my internal matrix. My CheaterPrick told me all about his terrible childhood (it really was terrible) but it wasn’t until he took up with a stripper 35 years younger than me (yup) that I realized he intended to keep all his baggage. No interest in rewiring. The disclosure was to get me to feel sorry for him and put up with his shit because, damage. Never again.

      • I loved this post. Thank you.

        “He intended to keep his baggage.” This. You’re right. We all have FOO issues. But some of us work with determination and put in years of effort to learn and relearn, grow, and change. But the disordered cling to their dysfunction, swinging from blaming others to denying that there’s anything wrong at all.

        Thanks for summing it up so succinctly.

        Stay mighty.

      • I also really like your post lemonbirch. Very well said. I also believe that most of us have been in situations that negatively influenced our young minds, but it is up to us as adults to make good choices. Choices to be good, decent compassionate people or not. I think most of us Chumps initially believed that most people are good, but after living with a narc for 20 years, I’m not sure about that anymore.

      • Lemon birch,
        Well said!! Yes, most everyone has FOO issues and do go through the process to stop the cycle and rewrite!

        Narcs – FOO issues used only as excuse to blameshift – they truly believe their own bs – actually they could give a fuck of any consequences- because focus is always me, me, and me.

        God forbid, a Chump wakes the hell up, unmasks and then tries to divorce their sick ass. Family court is their for them to further manipulate and control the narrative!! Their goal is to wear you down – to say – Fuck it – and walk!!

        I’m with wildcat, I used to believe most people are good, decent people. But after unmasking the sick freak I’ve been married to, identifying his flying monkeys who all hide behind their religion, I’m not sure about people anymore! I hate that is an effect on living with a narc – questioning everyone and everything- what is the motive?

    • “Everything had an expiration date.” Oh wow, yes.

      In 38 years of marriage, knowing him for 40, he went through 14 employers (Plus or minus. There may actually be a few more there, if I cared to really think about it. Which I don’t.). Why? He couldn’t get along with the bosses: “They won’t LISTEN TO ME!” “They don’t APPRECIATE ME!” “They DON’T KNOW HOW TO RUN THEIR BUSINESS!” I could alllllmost set a watch by his timetable: 2-3 years and he’d quit. Or get himself fired because of his attitude. But it was NEVER his fault. Never. So he would leave a job on a whim, with nothing else lined up, immediately dumping me and our two kids into more debt as we had to cover living expenses somehow and had no choice but credit cards. But what was important was his feeling appreciated and treated with his acceptable level of deference.

      Hobbies. Cars and nothing but. “Project” vehicles, in various stages of tear down, jamming the garage and the little bit of yard space I’d agree to (Had I not stood up for myself, our entire property would have been covered in projects. After the divorce, I’d discovered he had still been buying project cars but hiding them at a friend’s property.). He would finish nothing. Ever. There was always an excuse for not completing a project, most of the time it was my fault – he had no money (damn house and kids!), he had no time (damn wife, kids, job, house), but would spend almost every weekend “working” in the garage. Besides making dirty clothes and piles of metal chips and stinking up the house with solvents, nothing got done. Every once in a while he’d sell something nearly finished and. . . you guessed it, my fault. He’d moan to people how he’d LOVED that vehicle but had to give it up because he needed the money for the damn wife, kids, house. . .

      His attention span is, at most, five years. Relationships, vehicles, projects, jobs. He and OWife celebrated their first wedding anniversary in November. One year down, four to go. . . and he’ll be “miserable” again. Unless he’s playing the odds this time. OWife is 74 to his 65. Maybe he’s counting on her going toes up soonish and he’ll keep all the (her) assets as she has no children or living relatives – he sure hurried into marriage (#3) after declaring to everyone within earshot that he’d NEVER marry her. He’s probably already cultivating a replacement schmoops – the man has never been, nor will he ever be able to be, alone.

      He’d better not show up on my doorstep; I doubt he will, but common wisdom says they WILL eventually circle back. I do fear for my daughter though. She may get guilted into caring for “dear old dad.”

  • Your reply made me smile, CL! I was wife no4! He always cheated on every single wife, including me. How do I know? Well, I was curious enough and had contacted two out of my three predecessors. My Tuesday hasn’t arrived yet, but I no longer care if he is in a better relationship or not. After his tattoo, I knew that I don’t want him in my life ever again. And then I saw a video of a birthday party they attended, she was so into him, and he was as always just into himself and his image management, not paying much attention to her. Good riddance, and I really do not care if he is in a better relationship. My job is to make myself live a happy and good life.

  • Honestly, what my experience was, the cheater did get better – better at lying to me. I think he improved his skills at deception and then following up with the love bombing to keep me on the hook. Their behavior is truly evil and self-centered. I took a long time 2+ years from D-day #1 playing the pick me dance, but when I made the decision to end it, I am never going back. I AM DONE. The latest OW can have all his sparkly bullshit and lies and deception.

    I am waiting for the day I can go totally NC, but we are just divorcing now (and we have two kids – who also didn’t deserve this much disfunction). The cheater used me for 20 years, lied and cheated on me, then just tossed me aside. He can go straight to Hell.

  • I’ve been thinking back to my gut intuition when I started dating my ex. At the time he had just finished school, he had just come back from backpacking Europe. The movie/book Into the Wild had just come out and he loved it. He seemed like that guy that could go anywhere and do anything. I was worried he would leave. He was so adaptable. I admired it then. I realize now he still is that guy. My instincts were right and still are right. I never dreamed it would come back to bite me in the ass the way it did.
    I spackled it as an admirable quality.
    He’s gone through so many jobs, he’s not scared to start over. I had no idea it would apply to his wife and children. His parents passed away years ago and that made him feel like he has no home. I would’ve thought we (our daughters and me) were his anchor/home. I thought he cherished us and what we offered. We were home.

    He will do this again. OW is not special. I’m pretty sure he’s cheated on all his partners and he’s had a lot. I think it’s how he ends his relationships. He’s not scared to move on.

  • Lovedajackass
    Your mom – Avery wise woman. Never heard the phrase:
    “ water seeks its own level “

    Stbx and Married AP – “sewer water level”
    Both are gutter rats!!

  • The thing that I learned was not to trust anything anyone tells you when you first meet them. I used to think, “Why would they lie to me?” It didn’t make sense. They lie because you MIGHT be useful, and provide possible kibbles at some time in the future, and Image Management.

    I could not believe the number of lies I was told at the beginning of the relationship, without spotting one of them. I must have been addled with love-bombing. Usually I am a good judge of character, but evidently I was swayed by a pheromone in the DNA of Narcissists. Or maybe, temporary insanity??? Whatever it was, I hope I am immune now. I certainly ask questions and believe nothing until proven to be true.

    When I was on the marriage police, I discovered my cheaters had a definite pattern. It is remarkable to me that they can do the same thing over and over and over, and seem to have no realization that they are getting older, and less attractive as they stack one abominable act on the other, and how this tower of bad behavior gets shakier and shakier over the years. Sooner or later it has to collapse, and leave them with a pile of crap. All that image management will eventually fall apart from the sheer weight of their devious and despicable ways.

  • Exasshole attacked me and set me up for a DV charge, eventually pulled a gun on me and I got a Protective Order but he never was charged with DV, the bastard was real friendly with the cops. 3 months after he moved in with the OW, he raged out and put his fist through her bedroom door, I know this because she got a PO on him and I read it. The irony is that this piece of shit OW egged exasshole on when he was hurting me, and then she cited my PO when she took out hers. The shitty thing is that even with a witness and a PO, he did not get arrested for DV when he attacked her either.

    I found out recently that exasshole had a stroke, in addition to his already existing illnesses – he’s still smoking. So, maybe he’ll die soon. OTH, if only the good die young; his girlfriend can look forward to being his nursemaid for a long time.

    Trust that they suck, that turd is not going to change into gold for anybody.

  • Ex narc walked out after I caught them together & he told me how much “he loved her”. I was crushed thinking she’s better suited for him but she died recently & he found another only 5 weeks later.

    Tru wuv? They will never know what Love is. It’s just a word they throw around to attract more supply.
    It’s 2 years I’m now divorced but the pain comes & goes. If this other woman is better suited for him there’s not much I can do.

    Narcissistic cheaters seem all around us these days.
    So sad 😞

    • Uniquelyme
      Good for you – for not responding! Karma is a bitch and OW is learning , once a cheat always a cheat!

      It’s amazing that “OW” think they are just so very special and cheater is their “true love-soulmate “ bs!

      Oh well – 2 narcs hookups- karma!!

  • The whole Gollum thing. That was me. How dare some slut try and steal my man, never mind that he wanted to be stolen. I stopped pick me dancing a long time ago, but I still sometimes get Gollumish whenever I am reminded of her continued existence in his life. And yes, I do have fears that he will be forever sparkly for her. I think he does regret some of the things he did to me and so won’t want to repeat that bad behavior. From his perspective he is being a better person by ceasing to cause pain to more people, but in my opinion she is the one who deserved to get hurt for thinking that sleeping with somebody else’s husband (while still married herself) was an ok thing to do.

  • One of my girlfriends put it like this, after he left for the OW “Ain’t nothing changed but his address.” We have been separated now 7 years and divorced 1 and I really must say that is true…He was absolutely horrible during the divorce and I will be dealing with the after affects for years to come. Any man who will do half of the things that he did to me during the divorce cannot possibly be wonderful to her. He moved her in with him (so he could control her from close) and my sister who sees his posts on Instagram told me recently that she thought they might have broken up because all of the pictures that he had of her he took down suddenly ( devaluation has begun…). Will he be better to her than me….a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots….

    • Kurleegirl,
      One of the many “epiphanies “ I’ve had, especially after finding CN 2 months ago, which allowed me to finally complete unmasking of Stbx – is the knowledge that for the remainder of his sick life – each day will be “Ground Hog” day!!

      The one regret I have – unable to publicly “out him”, to prevent any future “innocent victims” of his predatory behavior!

      Hopefully, during divorce process, because he is in scorched earth mode, he will publicly “out” himself if he continues with his plan of “winner takes all” , and moves forward with his current plan – taking divorce to trial! Stbx is self sabotaging and doesn’t realize it!!

  • I have had an unexpected outbreak of “what if he has transformed with her” on the back of my divorce being final.
    Now they will get married and be blissfull.
    They will buy a lovely house and go lots of holidays.
    My kids will grow to lover her.
    I was a horrible person and that’s why he cheated.
    I didn’t get a great deal in the settlement so they will be richer.
    Their sexually life must be awesome – it was non existent with me.

    On the other hand:
    He cheated before
    She has been divorced twice
    Her second husband was her affair partner and she cheated on him with my ex
    He lied to her about me
    He tried to reconcile until she stormed my house and confronted him
    They had a brawl
    My son’s only tolerate her after their father pleaded
    He lies

    So maybe I was the problem and he only lied and cheated out of sheer misery, he stayed “for the kids” but now deserves happiness.

    • Sounds to me like the two of them make a habit of cheating. And she sounds like a really unpleasant person to live with.

      As for what your husband says about you – he lies.

  • My daughter recently had a visit from her father. He hadn’t seen her in 5 months. They stayed at a hotel in town. One morning he wanted to take her to IHOP for breakfast before driving 2 and a half hrs south. She told him there was an IHOP 5 minutes away in town. He refused to listen to her. Instead he drove an hour away north only to add an extra hour driving now 3 and a half hours south. This is my ex in a nutshell. He knows more than anyone else. If I was in the car with them, he would have been yelling at me for suggesting “something better” because I’m stupid and he knows best. They never change. Good riddance.

  • ✓✓✓✓✓3) You have tunnel vision because of the sunk costs. It’s galling and depressing beyond words to consider the wasted time and energy spent on a bad relationship. You want something for your investment. You’ve been putting fistfuls of quarters into that slot machine and now it’s going to pay off for some other idiot? Hell no!

    The house always wins. Your cheater is keeping the quarters. They already spent them. Sure, they might spit out a few here and there to keep you playing. But please just walk away. Let the next sucker play the rigged game.✓✓✓✓✓✓

    This why I stayed so long with exh2/The Evil One as long as I did— I felt like I had already invested so much in our marriage, it got to the point to where the good times were quickly diminishing, and the bad was just all I came to know.
    The difference between us was that I didn’t cheat, I didn’t throw him out, nor did I confront or challenge him on his shenanigans.
    I truly believe he did a lot of it the last year or so in an attempt to make me throw him out so he could play the victim and make everyone believe the lies he was telling about me behind my back.
    April Fool’s Dumb-Ass.
    I sat back and waited for him to leave. Even after he set up my DDay, I didn’t throw him out. I waited him out to admit he was planning on leaving, even though he denied the cheating and no plausible, rational reason for all the money disappearing.
    Almost three years now since D-Day-divorce, and my investment in myself has been time and money well spent.

  • My ex, has a special friend, their friends, but not dating, he says its only kissing, ok, that’s his choice, we share custody, I kiss my daughter goodbye, go to leave, he says aren’t you going to kiss me goodbye, but your got a girlfriend, I said you should be faithful to her, I don’t kiss him, I normally say bye. He said her mums got cancer, my heart stopped during surgery, didn’t give a fxxx. Lost 2 stone in 5 days due to diabetes. Galling to think he can be nice to some women.

  • “you didn’t do enough to keep me satisfied” – mine literally said that he “hadn’t been happy” in our relationship in his FUCKING APOLOGY email. Blameshift! False equivalency!

    Meh. Whatever. I’m happy now.

  • We all need to get a tattoo about our cheaters that says:
    Who Cares?
    They are failures as human beings.
    To recap ……they weren’t happy…ok…..so….an adult figures out why THEY are not unhappy – tries to fix THEIR situation – and then changes THEMSELVES or THEIR situation if it is “unfixable” e.g. talk to your spouse, work on your problems, seek marriage counseling, get a divorce – then possibly find a new relationship!
    Cheaters all LOOK OUTSIDE THEMSELVES and say – its YOUR PROBLEM THAT I AM NOT HAPPY.
    IN the end, cheaters just drag everyone – wife, kids, dogs, inlaws, friends – down into the hole with them….

    • Exactly, they are spoiled adolescents in an adult body, stomping their feet because they are bored and you need to make them happy!
      They deserve to be happy all the time, don’t you know! Just fucking idiots!

      • Silver Queen,
        I agree with you for the most part. However, having been a teacher of many grades, I can tell you that the adolescents and even some of the elementary school children I have taught are more honest, reliable, and mature than the abusers/liars I have had the misfortune of knowing! Your statement reminds me of the time, a couple months before last discard, when I asked my boyfriend how he felt about me possibly moving away to find a job (I was unemployed at the time.) His response, ‘I can’t and I won’t try to predict the future! Why are we even talking about this?!’ All I asked him was how he felt. He denied any problems. I later asked him if he were interested in somebody else. He denied…We all know how that story ends. Abuser/liar saying, ‘I just want to be happy! as he runs off without clear or any explanation.

    • Look closely, the “I’m not happy” and other typical lines. They actually come after meeting and investing with the AP. Truth, they weren’t unhappy.

  • Anyone (female OR male) who “targets single mothers/fathers” should raise your level of awareness beyond YOUR vulnerability. I’m not saying they’re all pervs but there’s a creep factor in there that frankly gets my attention. Sure, after certain ages most everyone has kids-but not everyone.

    No, they are not gonna treat their fuck buddy any differently than they treated you. Looks/charm/physical appeal etc. fade.
    Character is forever.

    • “Character is forever.”

      This is exactly true. My ex tried to change – when we were divorced the first time. He went to counseling, went to church, did all these things. And I truly did see a change in him (which is why I married him again) but within a year? He was back to his old self. The old saying, “A leopard never changes his spots” is true. I think it is very rare that a person can completely change and more, STAY a changed person.

    • My covert ex narc specifically targets single mothers. His newest thing is single mothers who home school. Why? Because usually we have excessive amounts of patience and enjoy being around kids. Why is that important to him? His two sons are more than a handful and the eldest I would even categorize as future delinquient-in-the-making. Small town and everyone knows he’s a shitty parent BUT he likes to hook a very warm and caring mother-girlfriend who PROPS him up as a parent.

      I remember being astonished that ex and his parents were disappointed in ME when I left him, for failing his sons by not correcting 11 years of shitty parenting by ex and his ex wife.

      Oldest son had ADHD and ODD and we spent lovely mornings where my kids got to watch him yell at me to “fuck off because he wasn’t going to get ready for school or eat bf or take his pills. Oh. And remember: I’m not his mother.

      Where was ex? Happily skipping off to work not a care in the world. Apparently I was being “hard” on this 11 year old. Meanwhile, my 3 yo and the two 8 year olds are sitting there dressed, eaten bf and tidied their dishes, morning chores done and waiting to go to school.

      The ex found a new supply one week after our 5th dd, and guess what? Single mom who homeschools. She’s already driving his eldest to Dr appt and i heard that he trashes her house (They live part time at new supply house).

      So nothing changes. Ex just inserts new woman here…. I can’t believe I stayed for so long and am doing cartwheels of freedom…

  • Tracy this is by far my favorite cartoon as the manchild reminds me of the Limited. I helped him make the shift from those tidy whitey undies to black Calvin boxers. Before the final Dday he came into the living room wearing a new pair asking how they looked. He then proceeded to ask if he should shave his arms.

    And the beach setting is perfect as one criteria is the OW must have a town beach pass.

  • “What was missing from the marriage that made them cheat?” Oh, I dunno maybe, honesty, integrity, decency, selflessness, empathy the list goes on and on. perhaps if they’d practiced a bit of those traits , well that didn’t happen. Q The RIC wants us to take our share of the blame like 99% cause the idiot cheater doesn’t have a voice, you know, can’t speak up and say what troubling him/her. Poor wee sausage. Don’t be a chump again, it’s got nothing to do with you, it’s all about their lack of character and disordered brains.

  • Sadly, this column hit home… I saw my 40-year “investment” in XH as being too costly to walk away from. Hey, we’re not dead yet, so there’s still time for him to change, to do as he promised, to stop acting out, right?

    I wish I’d realized a lot sooner that “moral compass”, “high integrity”, “truth-telling”, “sincere desire to change”, “mutually beneficial partnership” and “outstanding character” simply aren’t listed in the Cheater’s Handbook table of contents.

    Words. Mean. Nothing.

    Actions. Are. Everything.

    Examine the proof of everything with your own eyes – or don’t believe it.

    Don’t hang on to a bad investment thinking about the money you might be leaving on the table. Don’t assume this is just a temporary market correction… Remember all the people who owned practically invincible Enron stock, watching it sink, convinced it was going to bounce back? Don’t be like them. Cut your losses as soon as you realize your investment wasn’t what you bargained for, and reinvest in something you can actually count on >>> yourself!

    • OMG, yes! Actions are everything!!!

      He recently tried to tell our daughter that the only reason he stayed with me all those years was because of her. But his actions didn’t show that at all. I was utterly appalled that he could say that. But y’know what? He’s a smooth talker, knows how to use words to get what he wants.

      His actions, however, tell a completely different story.

    • Before, during, and after our divorce, I tried so hard to get exh2 to get this through his head. No way, shape, or form did it ever sink in.
      I gave up about six months after divorce was final. I might as well as have speaking Swahili to him. I gave up. Haven’t tried since, over two years since.
      He’s a jackal of a chameleon.
      How OWife thinks it’s totally fine to blow off DD, but raise her two kids is beyond me. Oh wait, I know, she’s fine as long as her two kids get treated better.
      Assholes.

  • I had a “he’s better for her” moment after First Cheater Husband moved in with OW. I was speaking to him on the phone about a financial situation when he mentioned that he had to go to the hardware store and the supermarket.
    I was floored and envious of her. In our 15 years together , he never ran an errand. I was the wife appliance who took care of everything. That MFer wouldn’t even change a lightbulb for me!
    He remained as douchey to me as ever until we went NC, so I got over it quickly.
    The thing that still burns is that he never wanted children with me and had 2 with her. Two days ago I heard that he and OWife have gotten divorced and that he wasn’t very nice to her and the kids. I have no sympathy for her. At one time I considered her a friend.We invited her to our wedding! After they got together she took every chance she had to rub the fact that she “won” and had kids in my face. I do feel sorry for the kids though. No one deserves to have fuckwits for parents.

    • OMG sicatrose, I was told on my honeymoon that he did not want kids. I cried. I found out later that it is a possibility that he had a kid with the skank whore howorker. My guess is that he had met her and got her pregnant prior to marrying me. I never found the proof but the age of this kid fits the timeline….HO set up shop renting beachhouse in my town so she can continue fucking my husband. This went on for years. He conveniently started devaluing me early on. I did not know why, or what I was dealing with. I believe he was trying to get me to leave him so that him and the HO could be together. He never divorced me but he led a double life. We were a beautiful couple and schmoopie is a dog but I know looks don’t matter, it’s just normal people don’t behave this way. You don’t go screwing the work whore when you have a nice wife, and keep it going. Well, Narcissists do ! this is their gold standard, this is how they operate. And I have been gypped out of my time, gypped out of having a family/children, and that big HO has a son and daughter. I’m sure at minimum he helped her raise them.

      • I am so sorry that happened to you duped. It is so painful to realize all we gave up to be with men who weren’t worthy to shine our shoes.
        But the best revenge we can get is to live the rest of our lives to the fullest! I am getting ready to go on my first vacation in 20 years. I won’t be spending a minute thinking of cheater exes!

        • Sicatrose and Duped,
          Please accept my condolences for being gypped out of having kids by your unworthy ‘spouses.’ I battled infertility for years to eventually have my kids (with cheater husband). Love my kids, but sometimes think that in a way, it would have been good to not have had kids (at least not with abusive cheater) as they suffer from being in a toxic, bit financially disadvantaged situation. I sometimes wish that I had had kids with a decent human being. As I have never in half a century had a healthy, happy long-term intimate relationship, I can’t envision a happy intact family. For a moment, I envisioned it with my post-separation boyfriend. During the love bombing phase, he used to tell me that he wished that we had started dating each other decades earlier. I was sorry that I was too old to bear his children. (At nearly 50, although he wanted to have children, he never had any. He says that he won’t have any because he is too old now, but who knows? He’s lied so many times. He may go on to have the financially comfortable, healthy happy intact family that I for decades dreamed about having.) Now, I think that our relationship would probably not have healthfully lasted no matter when we started dating, whether I had had kids or not before starting to date him. I will probably need to work for another few decades (into my eighties) to support my kids and me, although their father easily makes a hefty six-figure income, which he spends on wardrobe enhancement, exotic trips around the world with whoever he is dating at the moment. Sicatrose, glad you have a nice vacation planned! I am thankful that I really enjoy my job as I have no (paid) vacation this year.

          • Rockstarwife
            The more of your posts that I read, the more teary eyed I get for you!! the pain in your words is heartbreaking and I’m just so incredibly sorry you have endured so much pain and heartbreak!!!

  • After I understood the triangulation dynamic and it clicked on my brain I refused to keep playing and left. Now I know nothing is like it seems, her karma is being treated as an option, suffering through discards when he wants, knowing that he is never happy as he is and never will.

    • “he is never happy as he is and never will be.”

      YES. My ex is still not happy. He doesn’t know how to be happy, so he keeps running away, hoping that the next destination, the next woman, the next job will be the magic bullet. I feel sorry for him sometimes.

      • My ex is never happy either and I feel sorry for him sometimes too. I can’t honestly say that he is less happy with her than he was with me but he isn’t happier either. It makes no difference at all who he is with, where he works or where he lives, his unhappiness level is unchanged. The only difference is that he isn’t blaming her for his unhappiness (yet).

          • “he is never happy and never will be,” same, he will never be happy. The times he did show happiness were manic, extreme happiness followed by a low, sullen period.
            Feeling sorry for himself or feeling slighted, reading something negative into something insignificant.
            Looking back during the low, you could feel the tension as soon as he walked into the room. This is also when he became extremely critical of our son and me.

            Something that has stuck with me that Tracy has said is, “They don’t suddenly get a personality transplant when they’re with the other person.” They don’t magically transform into Prince Charming. Temporarily they do, to get what they want and as image management. No one in their right mind would want to be with them if they removed their mask or if they gave the AP a glimpse into who they actually are.

            In the early stages both are wrapped up into being in “love,” feeling special, all sparkles and no one has known love like they do. If they’ve planned a wedding, it’s all about them and their wedding plans. Friends and colleagues are making jokes about the newlyweds and congratulating them on their new found happiness.
            People commenting on what a cute couple they are..,
            Sparkly middle aged newlyweds consumed with all the excitement of the big day.
            Once the honeymoon ends then reality of life takes over, as they become more comfortable and relaxed, silly annoyances that were once overlooked by love surface and they eventually realize their new love has flaws and isn’t the perfect human being they thought they were..,

  • It’s harder to not think they might be better for someone else when they portray themselves as the greatest, most wonderful, nicest guy ever to everyone but you, and all of those people believe the act. Hardest of all when they DO actually do nice stuff for other people, and save their hatred only for you. I’ve struggled with that a lot over the years.

  • It’s funny, we never apply this logic to other situations in life.

    If your business partner embezzles your money, you don’t worry that they might get a new business partner and not cheat them. I mean, it’s possible. Maybe the embezzler will learn from the consequences. Maybe they will have a religious experience and decide that stealing is wrong.

    Most of us aren’t willing to take that chance and start a new business with someone who embezzled from us – plus nobody would advise you to do that. Even if they did become honest later, it wouldn’t make a difference to what they did when you were partners.

    If you fired an employee because they never did any work, you wouldn’t wonder what if they wise up and do their job next time? You certainly wouldn’t think I should hire them back in case they might change for a different boss.

    • Wow, such a great post and so true! The employee who acts this way is not a desirable candidate for hiring at a new job. We know it’s a question of character and they will not change. Unless they do some serious work on themselves and are motivated to change, but this rarely, if ever, happens at all. But you’re right, we wouldn’t wonder if this employee will become a model worker at another job. Very well said!

    • Diana L
      Great analogy – if only I thought that way years ago – would have fired him before 90 evaluation was due to lack of skills and fraudulent resume!

  • They were so nice in the beginning that you believe that if you just do the right thing, if you just twist yourself into a really fantastic pretzel, the nice sweet person you fell in love with and who fell in love with you will come back. And then you see evidence or imagine evidence of the nice sweet person he is being with her and you think, well it is possible! He is still in there somehow. It must be me. Bring in the dancing twisted pretzel, the three string orchestra and the serene pond with gliding swans. Yet he is still a shit with you. It is so hard to realize the real person is a shit. Why because you are nice all the time. It is impossible for you to believe that you have two people who inhabit one skin. But you do. So just know, the person is 90% of his core is the shit. The 10% nice person is a weak tissue. Walk away! and don’t look back.

    • “So just know, the person is 90% of his core is shit.

      Love this. They truly are. Now that I am away from the mindfuck of it all, it has become so clear.

      I wrote a letter to the new supply with many scenarios and examples demonstrating his lack of character and morals and shitty parenting, etc. He tells the same stories over and over and brags about all the crappy things he’s done to people. I figured he would do the same to her.

      My goal in sending this letter to her was to save her from the pain and heart ache I went through (she was not the ap). And she has kids (he does too), but it also was to alert her that he is a safety issue to her kids. But “somehow” he manipulated it all away and she stayed.

      I heard they just broke up and got back together (he tried to Hoover me and I sent the screenshots to her to prove he is a cheating asshole). Their breakups follow the exact same timeline as ours from last year which I think is funny.

      Anyways, after I sent her the screenshots so she knows what she is dealing with, I lay in bed a night stewing about it.

      One thing that I wish I would have written is for her to ask herself this simply question:
      List 3 things he has EVER done for her that demonstrate his kindness to her that did not reap him any benefit (sex or praise or whatever). Then I lay there in the dark and tried to think of anything he did for me. I couldn’t think of ONE thing and we dated a year. When I flipped the list to what had I done for HIM that was kind but brought me no tangible reward, the list was long.

      Goes to show the lopsided nature of these relationships. He will not treat her any better. I know that now.

  • I thought my ex’s affair was a watershed moment for him, a point when he finally realized that he’d gone too far and saw himself (and me) more clearly. I was convinced that he would use his newfound clarity to create with the OW what I thought was possible with us. I thought he’d apply the lessons he’d learned at my expense in order to be the husband for her I always wanted him to be for me.

    Almost 4 years out, that’s not at all what happened. He and the OW are still together and they still treat each other the way they treated her ex husband and me. She blew off his family and our son for Christmas and took their baby to see her family instead. (So what if my son wanted to see his little sister more than once a year? Not her concern, apparently.) I caught wind that he was pursuing yet another woman after we separated and he and the OW were together.

    Neither one of them had a magical transformation, and chances are about 99.9% that your cheater won’t, either. I think that people who are capable of that kind of insight and change never get to the point of cheating and abusing their spouse in the first place.

  • Ah Sunk costs, they weighed me down and sank siren songs of hopium, in the marriage police pick me years. Disordered X the narc blameshifted everyone and everything. I did not meet his needs. Him and his needs were the main thing, He held the high status main earner card too. I wanted it to benefit our kids. Actually he was using it to benefit himself and his whims without self restraint, fairness or discussion.
    And cheating and lying about that too. Cue CL posts about financial dishonesty usually happening in addition to infidelity.

    Since leaving him a little over a year ago now I do not miss his lying cheating narc ways. Yes he is a Disney dad, and love bombing the replacements (plural, possibly sequential, who knows, don’t care) I am financially less well off but not as badly as I feared. The priceless things are having agency, authencity and peace. Busy preparing to move but wanted to share my appreciation of CL and CN insights and strongly agree that Leaving a cheater and gaining a life is worth it 🙂

  • The only benefit to staying for 3 1/2 years after DDay is to play this out. I stayed for the kids, tried the reconciliation thing and we worked hard on our marriage. And parts of it were better. But it still wasn’t enough. We took a couple trips together (something I always wanted to do but we never did the first 18 years of marriage). He claimed that we should do things I wanted to do to prove that he didn’t try to control everything, but then pouted when he didn’t get his way. He complained all the time that I didn’t give him enough sex, but then wasn’t interested on vacation. I thought to myself, “If this is the best I’m going to get from him, is it enough)? The answer I always came up with was NO. Yes, we had more money than in the early days, the kids were old enough to not need constant care and our jobs were stable enough to give us time to spend together. But we still didn’t have a good marriage and likely never would have if I hadn’t asked him to leave. Now I just have to make it through this last week before mediation. BTW, I would not recommend the do-it-yourself science experiment with your marriage. Better to listen to CN and get out right away. Gain a life!

    • This ^^^^^ x 1,000,000. I know for sure my marriage is over. But honestly, I’ll never get those years back (3.5 yrs for me too!)

      It wasn’t one certain thing that made me give up. It is realizing that I never gave up and it was super easy for Cheater to give up and then fuck me over.

      It’s his nature. I’m not interested.

  • Interestingly, it was my realization that cheater wife would never change (for anyone) that led to me having the resolve to file for the divorce.

  • I thought this way too.

    But as with everything else when you’re dealing with your ex, don’t project yourself onto them. You might change, you might care, you might make adjustments to your life, heck we all tried when we did the pick me dance for weeks, months….years.

    But they’re not us, they’re themselves. And they resorted to running around behind our backs for a reason – it’s just who they are, just a bunch of selfish cowards. Those kinds of traits don’t just go away overnight. They won’t change – not for us, not for the AP, not for anybody.

    I watch my ex from afar and she’s still chasing after the married COW – even after making a fool of herself in front of everyone, losing her family, and destroying her life. I don’t know if she’s out to prove something to someone, doesn’t realize what she’s doing, or thinks something’s going to change. And I don’t care. I’m just glad I’m not involved anymore, and no, I have absolutely no fear that she’s going to suddenly turn into a good spouse for anybody. Not after what I’ve seen.

  • Remember the next woman (or man) will take on spackling duties. Especially if they broke up your home publicly; they’ll do the “but we haaAAAd to .. because Loooo00ve.. and everything else good. The full time PR blast does not prove genuine happiness and any kind of home security.

    I watched my X with his NeXt – while they got a house (we never had) and had a kid (said he never wanted one). Supposed to be successful happy – then I found out the house was falling apart, the X never was employable and the child is autistic. He died crashing his car into another with the whole happy family there to watch him die while screaming in fear and pain. Not the price I would have extracted in my wildest revenge dreams.

    They say if you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by. You don’t have to do anything, but don’t waste your precious hours thinking they are happier. They are what they are, which is not a happy thing.

    • oh priceless…..that was the Karma bus if I ever heard one ! Yes, I thought every day of getting back at the HO and how I would send her some presents, fake stuff, not the real chunks of diamond jewelry like what he was lovebombing her with so that she would open her legs wider, no, but I felt that maybe she deserved some fake presents, just to torture her that she was not going to be receiving any more large ticket items from my husband..but I think her gravy train Karma train was realized when he died! Yep allllll her dreams went up in smoke ! They thought they would gallop off into the sunset at the beachhouse brothel by the sea…she cannot climb up on loverboy anymore ! no more jewels ! no more money! no more pulling up to her beachhouse in his boat ! no more romance ! No more getting over on me/his wife ! She was probably promised a marriage, he was probably living with her already and pretending to be away on business trips (when he wasn’t pretending to be on them and taking her)! Whats the HO doing now? I still thinks she needs to be sent a d^ldo.
      Love the idea that they get their Karma without you even doing anything! It goes to show who the better person was ! Yes, me. I wasn’t the cheater and I am still alive ! and HO did not become the Mrs. in the end. She remains the skank Whore that she always was. The BJ queen of married executives. After all, every company has within it the company prostitute !

  • The Cheater overlooks the sustainability of keeping up with appearances with the OW. Don’t forget we aren’t there to put the breaks on all those unmet needs he’s complained about to snag the whore.

    What did the Limited do to impress her specialness? He put a vacation on his credit card and paid her way. This was the man a who a month earlier wanted me to pay for my Easter dinner while visiting my son at college.

    Going through the timeline he bought the car he deserved (didn’t need) as soon as the settlement was signed.

    Within a month he was hit with a huge federal tax bill as he had to file single. He had to pay it with a three year loan with a high monthly payment.

    He then needed surgery and lost business during his busy season and he had no one to do his work.

    Then Nanthony bought a sporty slutmobile. And then more vacations. Never mind the cost of booze, weed and her gambling.

    All that sparkle is COSTLY. It’s like two teenagers with their first credit card. And what I never thought about was the debt the OW brings to the table.

    What I see is a pattern of debt, not a better life. For newbies: they are like a glow stick. The neon loses its glow.

    • This is so very true. My ex has *nothing* to his name and is in debt to probably just about everyone: his student loan, his medical bills, etc. He doesn’t even have a reliable car. And I know the whore has debts, too. Neither one of them make very good money. And since whore sent her kids off to live with their deadbeat dads, she has to pay child support now, as does my ex. But they did this to themselves. I don’t feel one bit sorry for them. Then he tries to cry on MY shoulder about how he has no money. I threw it right back in his face and said, “You have TWO incomes coming in. I have ONE because of what you did.” That shut him up.

      • There’s the fantasy and the reality KeepingCalm. It really does surface over time.

        Not an ounce of pity for a one of them. Ha, they both pay child support. That made me smile.

  • Ugh, this topic. Such a tough one for so many of us. My cheater actually told me “I am trying to be better for her (OW). I know that isn’t any consolation for you, but I wanted you to know that I am trying.”

    Ummmmm great?! You just met her three months ago, but she deserves the best of you? After an 9-year friendship and a 2.5-year relationship, I didn’t deserve for you to try harder?

    I trust in Chump Lady when I think of this. Her insight that discovery does not translate to a character makeover is really, really helpful to remember.

    • Uh huh. By trying harder he means he’s working overtime to keep his mask of normalcy affixed. He’s trying even harder to to make this new victim think he’s normal cause darnit you saw behind the mask in 2.5 years. He’ll see if he can do better at keeping this one in the dark. Cept when she susses him out her discard will be times worse than yours.

    • ChumpsterFire,
      I think that our boyfriends may have been twins! In his last email to me, my ex-boyfriend didn’t apologize. The closest he got to that was, ‘He was trying to do better [for my replacement].’ Give the guy a gold star! (Sarcasm). I asked him why he told me as telling me this was a bit like his ex-wife, who supposedly abused him and cheated on him, telling him that she was ‘trying to be better (for his replacement).’

  • Oh Chumpsterfive, he’s trying to convince himself. I know it’s painful to hear those words as they cut like a knife.

    When you think of the foundation they have going into it, there is none.

    He’s trying? Laughable, he brings his shitty moral compass wherever he goes.

  • Sometimes I get caught up in this line of thinking…that he will take the insight I gave him into what he did wrong in our marriage and change to be better for the OW. Already he seems to have changed. He has taken more vacation time with her, spent more time with her friends, gone to restaurants that she wanted to go to instead of his favorites, etc. etc.

    BUT, I still have encounters with him that show me he hasn’t changed at all. Most recently, he raged at me over text the day before my birthday complaining that he signed an unfair agreement, the custody schedule sucks, the holiday schedule sucks, blaming me for our daughter thinking he spends less time with her by his choice, trying to manipulate me into being lenient on agreements in our stipulation… And then texting me the next day “Happy Birthday if you care to hear from me” It’s the same BS he pulled when we were married. Accuse me of horrible things and then play a victim or act like nothing happened the next day. He hasn’t changed one bit. And once I fade away into gray rock, he won’t have me to attack. He’ll have to move on to devaluing the OW.

    I see where they are in their relationship. He’s nice. He does things for her. It will change. I know some of the lies he has told her. The foundation of their relationship is built on lies and in two months a baby will be added to that. The baby is what killed it for us. He can’t handle the stress. But right now he thinks it will be different because clearly, the OW is different and better than me. She doesn’t have any expectations of him and that (according to him) is why we failed. He’s a fool if he thinks she will have no expectations of him. That he will just get to sit around and do nothing (except for what he wants to) while she does the majority of the work. She doesn’t understand yet that I’ve taken most of his money and he has nothing to contribute to their household or child. And if she does do everything for him, she will be living a miserable life.

    I’m just going to sit back, grab some popcorn and watch.

    • Wish I could, my hearing resulted in me getting worst deal possible financially, and several other attorneys cannot understand the rulings after the evidence I provided of his financial abuse post-separation. Now he and his schmoopie get to sit back and eat the popcorn and enjoy me and our four kids struggling to survive financially. I just wanted fairness so we could both be on fairly equal footing post-divorce. There is none.

      • Owlbaby,
        I ‘get’ your pain at the injustice of the ‘justice’ system. My husband, who earned 10x what I did, told the Court that I should pay HIM, although he committed various crimes (and we have proof that he did so). I ended up paying $100k in legal fees between the three years between the date he filed and the date we were finally divorced, primarily to retain physical custody of our kids. He tried to get the Court to prevent me from getting within 100 feet of our children by making false allegations. Thankfully, he did not succeed. He (cheater ex-husband) takes luxurious vacations around the world with sexual partners (he has several months of ‘free time’ per year) and uses our kids’ college money for sex with prostitutes; I (chump) work nearly 52 weeks per year for a very modest wage to pay for kids’ braces and modest housing which we share with a roommate. I hope to help educate people in positions of power (e.g., judges) on tactics used by disordered malevolent people in Family Court.

    • Cancer Chump,
      Good for you – you know the narrative will soon change – and you get to sit back and enjoy the popcorn! Narcs can’t keep up the facade for very long – cracks start appearing – they can’t keep the monster in check very long !!

      One of many things I’ve discovered since finding CN, is that they never change, playbook is almost the same throughout the entire planet!!

  • @duped , I assume you are the same lady on the recent thread that your cheating husband died and his family and brother in law cheated you out of the will. Please please, get to a lawyer immediately if you haven’t already and do not worry about making any of them angry. They didn’t care about you! You might be able to get it reopened or overturned but please go immediately to a lawyer about this. I know of a case similar and she was able to get her husband’s estate. Please don’t wait.

    • hi, no they have not cheated me out of the will. They stole my belongings out of my house. I have a dope for a lawyer. He has ill advised me and made matters worse. I should not have even had to hire a lawyer. This is all because of the secret Whore. That’s the only way they are acting this way. Its image management aftermath for the narcissist. His family are still in image protection mode. They are probably afraid I would eventually find out. So they had to steal everything quickly

  • I have the fear that he is going to be a better partner in the future for someone. He is not with the OW anymore, but he has been attending counselling. I question myself and think why I wasn’t good enough for him to get counselling when we were together.

    • You didn’t make him miserable enough to get counselling, although he may not view it that way. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize that you weren’t the problem until he left and he was still not happy. Now he is unhappy and has nobody to blame so might as well try counselling. That doesn’t mean it is going to work.

    • Pregnant Chump
      Trust me on this- please don’t fall for the counseling bs!! Narc’s Never, ever change!!!

      Please, don’t put your hopes in counseling or any fake remorse- it’s an illusion!! Won’t ever be real!

      I hope I’m not being too blunt, just don’t want you to waste anymore time on someone that is just an illusion – the person you fell in love with never existed-he wasn’t real!

      Take a moment and go to Senior Chump thread – many of us wasted years! Please, sweetie, don’t do that to yourself!

      • Don’t worry there is no way I would ever get back together with him. I don’t like him, he is not who I thought he was. I think I worry that my children will believe his version of the truth. If they see him in a great relationship, they will believe that it is ok to do what he did if your not happy, your needs aren’t being met, your aren’t getting enough attention, your wife is busy taking care of the children etc.

        • Pregnant Chump,
          Your children are so very lucky to have you as the sane, stable parent!! I don’t know how old your other children are, but The fact that you will there loving them, guiding them and being an example to them – they will know who’s version is the truth! I can’t imagine the worry you have in knowing you have to protect them from any emotional-psychological damage from having a narc father! Children are so very impressionable. The fact that you are on CN, I’d be willing to bet you will protect them just like a lioness protecting her cubs! As they grow up it will be you they look to for guidance, love and stability!

          Many hugs to you

    • Pregnant Chump,
      My boyfriend got pre-marital counseling and marital counseling with his purportedly abusive, adulterous ex-wife, the partner that immediately preceded me in his line of partners, but he refused to get counseling with me. I was deeply hurt. However, considering how marriage counseling went with my husband, who used counseling as a tool to emotionally bludgeon me, (get psychologists to tell me that I was a bad person–even after I calmly told them that my husband had taken me to court on false allegations of felonies!), perhaps I saved time and money by not going through counseling with my boyfriend. (My husband had a knack for finding really bizarre, disordered psychotherapists. The AP he tried to impregnate while we were married was a psychotherapist who had lost her license–she had two DUIs and still getting drunk while pursuing my husband, not her first affair. My husband’s current partner is also a psychotherapist (who works in a drug rehab clinic). I don’t think that she has a clue about his history!) Another thing to consider, too, Pregnant Chump, is my boyfriend had had weekly counseling in his late thirties/early forties for seven years before he and I started dating and occasionally while we were dating. Nonetheless, he repeated or did similar shady, manipulative things 20 years after first doing them to his partners in his late twenties/thirties. Willingness to attend therapy sessions doesn’t mean much in and of itself.

  • Perfect post for me today! My KID just met OW over the weekend. I was so nervous kid did not speak about it however sent me a few emojis with kisses so I know kid was thinking about me. Mr. Cheater pants was upset one day b/c I called AP twawt & howorker?! She is like 14 yrs younger so this is his 3rd official relationship counting me (not counting the TINDER world & “business dinners”). He might keep the mask for 10-12 yrs by then he will be almost 60. I think he will try to “chance” but since she left her boyfriend for him my bet is that she will leave him when the fake life, dinners & vacations are over & once she gets tire and Mr. Fab becomes Mr. CouchPotato the story will be different. They live in different states the surprise factor is still there once they start living 24/7 & the routine comes out I will be waiting with my popcorn..

    • Don’t think narcs start behaving or “settling” down when they reach 60. I know of one that just dumped his 13 year younger OWife after being married for 12 years (10 totally miserable) for someone 15 years younger. You would think losing half of the marital property and a substantial portion of their retirement pension would scare them…….it doesn’t. So he just paid over $200k down on a property with a $200K plus mortgage and listed the new OW’s name on the deed! He will soon start the “silent treatment” & making the new OW feel “less than” as this is his MO. He cannot help himself.

  • Absolutely Ficochump. Once these fools have to live a day to day existence side by side, it tends to put a chill on that passionate “fire” they all seem to have. Buy the very large box of popcorn cause you don’t want to miss a minute of reality clashes with fantasy. My Ex came back after our incredibly short divorce and I laughed out loud when he told me of all his disappointments. He was just dumbfounded at how it went so sour so quickly. The look on his face was golden. I had only warned him for nearly two years before we divorced that it would end badly, but he didn’t believe me. I told him it would end badly and it did.

  • Once our divorce is final and he’s (hopefully) ordered to pay child support and maintenance, and no longer able to spend our life savings on smoopsie, I’m sure the sparkles will begin to fall off.

    Right now he’s living the high life with her, off of all we’ve accumulated over the last 18 years. When the shine wears off his pocket book, she’ll be left with someone who uses sex as medication for his woes. I’m sure he won’t be able to afford those high priced hookers, so the bottom of the barrel pickins will come with more risk. STD’s, shady street corners, Sting operations, and his name printed in the paper for arrest. I wonder how glamorous that will be?

    Yeah, I have the occasional laps in rational thinking, “maybe they will live happily ever after” but then I remember who he really is. His smoopsie is just the face of normal – what lurks behind the mask is who she really got.

  • Howdy. Dday4 was 1 year ago today. Yes 4, I’m such a huge chump. Ex left 2 days later, hasn’t returned and hasn’t attempted reconciliation, kids and I just discarded like the pile of his garbage (belongings) in the moldy camper. Somehow I’m feeling like the moldy camper. 25 years as a family and done. It’s hard for me to hold my weary head up day after day and set the right example. I’ve been having nightmares again, sleeplessness, irritated and anxious again. Divorce scheduled for March 7. I seriously put nearly everything I had into this marriage and family. I almost died of cancer and he took off with his schmoopie again. Cancer!

    • I’m sorry Kibble-less. The abandoners are just awful human beings. They try on AP’s always looking for a better fit. And they are always digging in the bottom of the barrel. You are mighty! Take care of those precious kiddos!!

    • Kibble-less, PLEASE take care of yourself and your health first! There are quite a few of us here at CN who have had to fight a cancer diagnosis while battling a cheater. I know, it sucks, but there is nothing better they love than to kick you when you are already down! I had to actually get a judge to order “no contact” and suspend the divorce action I filed in order to heal from two surgeries for cancer. My Ex and his Schmoopie seemed to double down on their nastiness once they found out I was sick! They would have preferred that I die! The divorce will happen in due time, just be patient. I know personally how difficult this can be, but it’s important for you to come out on the other side of this as healthy as you can. Take care, be patient, it will be worth it!

    • Not to say he is the reason you had cancer, but the stress these defects inflict could be a factor. Take care of yourself.

  • This is where No Contact really comes into its own.

    It’s the place where you start to get yourself back – that confident, funny, cheerful self; remember that person?

    The spell of the abuser begins to wear off – at first in dribs and drabs, and then huge chunks start falling away.

    THEN you see much more clearly, and you realise that they will never change. Never.

    It’s all easier from that point.

    • Lola,
      I think I’m approaching dropping off spell in drips and drabs- as NC as I can be while still living under same roof, but focusing on packing etc, NC – Stbx arrives- I go into bedroom downstairs and lock door- hearing his footsteps makes me cringe – but, NC , has already made a huge difference!!

      I made the mistake last week and told Stbx he violated court order when I received listing agreement he prepared putting in a commission fee, was in direct violation of court order, that all further documentation related to sale of home would go through my attorney, no DocuSign – all communication would be via attorneys and requested he release my cell # from account to prevent tracking my call/text logs- he looked at me and said :
      “You want me so bad, you can’t stand it, or else you would never have spoken”

      That remark made me so nauseous- NC back into play. The thought that he even thinks that way makes me even more excited for day when I am totally free from sick freak!

      • Yes. Sicko. Definitely. You are MIGHTY.

        There’s a lot to be said for getting other people to enforce your boundaries, eg. the police, the court system. Document, and then sic them on to him if you really need to.

        Get another cell phone if you can.

        ((((((HUGS))))))

        • Lola,
          I contacted cell provider and work around is to go get a new SIM card and transfer to my daughters account! That ensures Stbx from not having my cell #, instead of blocking his # and flying monkeys #’s.

          I sometimes feel like I’m preparing for a witness protection program – that is how serious I am about NC, especially after divorce!

          He’s told me years ago, he would never allow me to divorce him, and he has manipulated this process every step using delays, continuances, etc. – all because he can’t fathom having to pay spousal support- because , as Born Free, eloquently described Stbx mindset – “no one is the boss of me” and “no one leaves me” – he still hasn’t filed a response to my filing in 2016 – I can obtain divorce by default! The only way to get him to settle is by hitting him in his pocketbook. He’s already spent over $25k on attorney fees, and hasn’t started discovery!

          He’s threatened to have me followed as long as he’s paying spousal support, which in my case will be permanent. He told me “as long as I pay you my money, I will know where you live, what you do, if a man sleeps over, I will know it – if a man stays there frequently then I will decrease spousal support “! He is God, judge, and jury in his world.

          He’s been stalking my cell phone calls/texts – which is also in violation of the restraining order.

          His ego gets hit and he “opens his big mouth” and vocalizes his obsession about who’s calling me and from where.

          Stbx policy is “what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine” – he would screw over anyone if it involved $! as my new attorney told me, “ he will be educated on community property laws”

          Little does he know, “ finding a man”, that’s the last thing on my mind. It will take me a long time to even contemplate dating, I have to rid myself of left over shit from this – that’s my focus! Of course with narcs everything focuses around sex and “strange”. I don’t think they can imagine that everyone isn’t as screwed up as they are.

          • seeing clearly,
            that guy sounds like a killer. He is definitely a predator, definitely trying to scare you and threaten you about watching you, etc. He has a criminal mind. It’s funny that fucktard can have his nasty AP and yet worry about what you are doing. What a twisted nutjob. That nutcake needs to go pound sand. He is a sexual predator it sounds like. He is trying to use control and manipulation like you are his puppet. Don’t fall for it. Laugh in his face. Let on it does not bother you. Don’t tell him anything !! Lie to him! Like he does to you. Keep records and journals of what he is doing and saying to you. In your case, it sounds dangerous. My cheater was as sweet as apple pie. He never swore at me ever. He never argued. He was just quiet and slick. You’d think he was perfect. Every chance he got he cheated. I think he was with randoms on those conventions to Vegas, etc. He travelled a lot. Schoompie was the convenient one. She was easy. She was an educated and knew how to seduce the narc. I’m sure she studied him and knew exactly how to play him. He thought he was the master of disguise but I think that big HO had him jumping through hoops. This was a man that always had to be in control. I think she controlled him with her GAP. He settled for her because Narc’s always have supply when there is something to gain for them. They always have to win. She was making him look good at the company and he was helping her with her consultant Business. I found out she opened a not for profit shortly after we were married …in our town no less ! I thought of this too, that she opened that way back then so they could start hiding the assets. This is why I think this went on for years. But why did he stay interested ? because she was a friend of his male pig friend and this male pig friend introduced them. He would never want to disappoint his big ugly fat friend. Because it was all about look what a great guy I am. He had everyone fooled male and female. NO other man exists like this. He was too good to be true. Everyone was fooled by him..everyone !

            • Duped,
              Yes, he’s a predator! The more I’ve discovered over past 2 yrs, the FOO skeletons within last 6 months, he’s a sick fuck! I almost wish I didn’t know as much as I do – I started trying to divorce him years ago, had prepared myself financially to be able to walk away, never look back and then I became ill – did chemo , blood transfusions, etc, all my saving and planning- gone!

              It was only after he started affair with married AP a few years ago that his physical and mental health deterioration was rapid and escalating! Dramatic changes!

              It never dawned on me before, but I see things very differently now over past 2-3 yrs when I started unmasking- he loves watching true crime TV shows- I now find that just another thing to add to list.

              I’ve kept daily notes for past 3 months and have a diary from a few yrs ago I started when I became ill and couldn’t work any longer – that’s when Stbx freak flag really started flying.

              As my attorney said “something very sinister going on with Stbx, married AP and her husband”!

              Being NC and Gray Rock is critical for me! The fact that he’s losing control – divorce – makes him dangerous. Once married AP gets involved in legal process – I have to be where he can’t find me – once that happens, the sick triangle and whatever it is, will start breaking apart – there are career ending elements involved. I have plenty of documentation! Just need home to sell quickly and it will once it’s listed, so I can go find a safe spot for duration.

              24/7 fight or flight is exhausting and taking a toll.
              I have a safety plan and funds in place – only recently started telling my adult children- I couldn’t before – it wasn’t their burden and because they lost their dad very suddenly and unexpectedly years ago, I just didn’t want to tell them anything because their entire world was blown up once before!

              • Make sure other people around you are aware you have been threatened – if you disappear suddenly, they are to contact police.

                Really – don’t hold back on the level of threat that is being used here. This is not a joke.

              • Lola,
                I have notified numerous people including family, family dr, therapist, hell even vet has been documenting.
                All of my evidence and documentation is in a safe place.
                Been very specific with family Dr on details and therapist.

                Once AP – her husband, start getting involved in legal process-that’s when I have to be safely hidden, my attorney knows as well and will give me a heads up before serving either of them!

              • I think they are involved in some warped sexual deviant behavior. Maybe it’s a threesome. I hear that narcissist have twisted sexual predation interests and would go as far as any kind of sex, threesomes, bisexual…you get the idea. It sounds creepy and strange that the AP knows about your husband and his wife? Weirdo ! Whatever the case may be it doesn’t matter. I cannot wait for you to extricate yourself from that situation. Good that you did your homework and have plotted your escape to safety. Very smart ! It sounds mean of me to say, but had he died you would be in a much better place. In my case, I have polar opposite thoughts, on the one hand I grieve the life that could have been with my husband and at the same time him passing away got him out of the clutches of the whore. I know that sounds strange but It really gave me some satisfaction that she did not get him in the end….and that was the only way it stopped. UGH I know…not a good way to look at it but I cannot imagine what may have been about to happen had he not passed away…who knows what the two of them were plotting….I thought about that too…would I have survived the toxic brutal poisonous plot that may have been ready to be unleashed on me? Because I know one thing, that HO was not going to let go of him and I don’t think I could have fought for him even if I wanted because I think once they are ‘long gone” in the sex with the HO that’s it and who would want them anyway after discovering that !

  • I think I suffered a bit from this since the separation and divorce. Then, one day, my daughter comes home from ex and OW’s home, telling me that he plays on his computer all day and falls asleep behind his chair each night. Just like he would do when he was married to me. I would wake up at night, notice he wasn’t in bed, and drag my tired ass up to get him to bed, so his back and neck wouldn’t hurt in the morning. I don’t miss that one single bit.

    I ask the kids what they do all weekend, and they watch TV, while their dad plays computer games. That is how he wants to show his kids that he’s happy?!? The person that does shit with the kids is actually OW. She takes them to indoor play areas while my ex stays at home, playing games.

  • Here’s something that makes me feel sick at my stomach whenever it crosses my mind (which is often): husbands are waaaaaay more likely to cheat when the wife significantly out-earns them. Also, wives who out-earn their husbands do MORE of the housework and child-rearing than wives who earn LESS than their hubbies. (I’m too lazy to dig up the studies for you, but google if you want to learn more). Just let those facts ~ and all the implications ~ sink in, folks…

    So, yeah, I brought in more money than the ex which I guess made him feel bad about himself and I overcompensated by running myself ragged with house and yard and kid work because surely that would let him feel like The Man. But no, now he is with a twit well more than a decade younger than I, who earns next to nothing and always plays helpless (even though, of course, she is a sly manipulator). Simply by being “less” (educated, wealthy, moral, intelligent, well-spoken, competent, independent, you name it…) than I am, she is more likely to have a faithful husband who helps around the home. This gnaws at my guts, I must say.

    • Ah, but she won a glitter-encrusted turd; an unflushable one, at that.

      You got your freedom, and can eat pizza in bed all day if you want.

      Let the implications of THAT sink in.

    • That is my fuckwit, he had to find a twat half his age to feel manly. I made 30% more than him and though I hid my success and tried to be super domestic for him and make sure he felt like the head of the house, it wasn’t enough. How now to find a guy who appreciates me but isn’t looking for a high earning maid/mommy……better to just “do me” for a long while. So tired of bending myself to be what he wanted, all for naught. So tired of being with someone who made me feel like I was hard to love.

    • Dear Toronto Chump,

      First, hugs to you (((Toronto Chump)))

      Second, I think you’re interpreting data in a way that’s going to make you feel worse – the infidelity and earnings study (I did google it) does not conclude what you have concluded. I only question your “logic” because I think it’s adding to your pain. Please don’t do that to yourself!

      According to Christin Munsch, author of the study “Her Support, His Support: Money, Masculinity, and Marital Infidelity” –

      “There’s plenty of data suggesting that these women know they are breaking social norms, feel guilty about it at times and do what they can to bolster their husband’s masculinity, such as doing more of the housework even if they are the ones working full-time….He already might feel threatened that ‘I’m the breadwinner; I’m certainly not going to make him clean the toilet, too,’ ” she said, giving voice to the possible thought process of a female breadwinner.

      The study’s author is saying it’s not that HE chooses to do less housework when she earns more, it’s that SHE chooses to do more housework to “bolster” his masculinity.

      You cannnot conclude from the data that when he moves on to a situation where he earns more that he will suddenly make a choice to be more helpful around the house! (Do you truly think he’s going to turn into Mr. Please Let Me Do More of the Housework??)

      And the study makes no attempt to check if “once a cheater, always a cheater” – Dr. Munsch did NOT check to see if a man who cheated on a higher earning spouse and then moved on to a low earning partner suddenly turned into a faithful guy. That info is NOT in her data!

      But another study DID look into this. A study by Kayla Knopp from the University of Denver and colleagues published last year showed:

      “…people who cheat on their partners in one relationship are 3.5 times more likely to cheat in their next relationship.”

      PLEASE don’t continue to believe (sorry, this is faulty logic) “she is more likely to have a faithful husband who helps around the home” – you say this incorrect conclusion “gnaws” at your guts. Please be kind to your guts. Change your thinking on this, please. HE’S STILL AN ASS. HE ISN’T GOING TO SUDDENLY TURN FAITHFUL AND HELPFUL AROUND THE HOUSE JUST FOR HER!!

      • Thank you, sweet darlings. Your reassurances do make me feel better. Not sure why I am always drawn to building a case against myself – and why I’m so unloveable – but for him and OW and their eternal happiness. It’s not something I can easily discuss with “real life friends more then once or twice at most”; few “get it” and, understandably, all get fed up by the hamster wheel of self-deprecating thoughts that’s always spinning in my noggin. I sincerely appreciate y’all letting me spew my, not always rational, beliefs here, and gently guiding me to a less harmful mental path. You have NO idea how much your kind patience helps.

    • My ex always said I ‘wouldn’t LET him be a man’. Horseshit! No one wanted him to be a man more than me. Your ex won’t be more with her than he was with you once the new wears off. They are who they are. Rest assured…she got the same piece of scum you had…only a worse version. His character worsens with every evil, selfish choice and action. Just wait and watch.

  • The Python is definitely NOT treating his new “ladies” any better.

    He LIES to all of them. Some of the lies are whoppers.

    And there’s the lying by omission – for example, all his dating website profiles say he’s divorced, when we’re (unfortunately) not yet divorced AND he’s still sleeping on the couch here.

    Yeah, he’s a real catch now. NOT.

  • Funny. I described xh truths are WHOPPERS, too. They escalated from white lies, to untruths to FLAT out whoppers or whale of tales.

    He acts as if he doesn’t know that people think he’s crazy. Even his attorney didn’t buy his lines, but at mediation, she sat there defending him.

  • I remember feeling this way! Unfortunately, I think it’s pretty natural to feel this way. Cue Pick Me Dance because that seems to be the next “natural” feeling that comes along. Ugh! What a vicious, maddening cycle! X was cheating with a former college flame at DDay and for all intents and purposes, she represented everything that I was not. It was so strange! I kept wondering why he married me when it seemed that the true love of his life was someone like her. She was my polar opposite.

    I did the pick me dance for 3 years after DDay and that feeling that he would be better for OW just finally wore off for me. By the end, I just didn’t care. The cost of keeping X was too great. The man wouldn’t work, or clean the house or really, do anything. Such a lopsided relationship! On one of our last days together, X told me that he might well end up with OW (she’s married, with kids, btw) and could I be happy for him? Not only yes, but FUCK YES! I can be happy that you are finally with each other, ridding the world of your “need” and “closure” for unrequited relationships that destroy marriages. I was happy to get out of dodge with no need to ever keep in contact with X again (we have no kids together). I’m just so happy that he isn’t in my life anymore. Why the sky is brighter and birds chirp happier to me because he isn’t here ruining it.

    Truly, letting them go stops this cycle of feeling that they will be better for the AP and then doing the pick me dance again and again. That gain a life thing is real. These cheater types just aren’t worth it.

  • I’m trying to believe that he’s not going to be perfect for his whore. But they’ve basically been together for 11 or so years. They’ve been together for half of our marriage.

    I know they fight. A lot. But I really think they *like* to fight. They like the drama of it.

    So while I do trust that he sucks, and can imagine he and his whore being miserable together because they’re identically narcissistic and control freaks, I still feel sad that I didn’t…win. And trust me, I wanted my marriage with him to end. For a REALLY long time, because he made me so sad and miserable most of the time.

    But sometimes I can’t stop my mind from imagining how *happy* they are together. And that sucks. I am trying for ‘meh.’ Every day gets better. My final D-Day was in July. And he’s been out of the house since August. Which has been really, really nice.

    Just have to keep trudging along, knowing that every day further into this journey helps. But I’m not past wishing them ill. Wishing them to do to each other what they did to me and her ex-husband. Wishing them to break up and be alone and heart broken.

    • GoWithYourHeart….I hear you. I don’t think I’ll ever get past wishing them ill will, no matter how good the land of Meh is. I’ll never feel sorry for them no matter what bad things I hear happens to them.

      • Exactly… and while I definitely don’t dwell on them…sometimes, my brain just wants to have these internal conversations with my STBXH. Sometimes with her (she was my “best friend” years ago). And well… you know.

        It’s great knowing there’s this land full of others who know exactly how I feel.

      • You don’t even have to wish them ill will…the law of sowing and reaping will get them in the end. Another biblical promise: ‘If a man returns evil for good, evil will never leave his household ‘. That is only 1 of many. I was GOOD to my ex and his family. He, and they, returned only evil. it’s who they are. a twisted sick bunch. I’m free. I’m recovering and building a narc-free world. He’s playing his same old sick crap. He will be under the garbage when it finally dumps on his own head.

  • I really needed to revisit this after this weekend, when my yet-to-be-divorced husband sent me a text intended for his “Sweetie Pie.” And then sent another text, apologizing for the mistake, because he knew it would upset me. Sigh. It did, a little, but mostly because I started wondering why I wasn’t enough to be his Sweetie Pie still.

    He’s not the worst guy ever, but he is a bit of a narcissist.

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