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Dear Chump Lady, He lies about everything… and why won’t he watch our dogs?

Dear Chump Lady,

I am trying to overcome my Chump title and to divorce my husband of 37 years after his two affairs. He had me convinced this was my fault and he was broken and I didn’t respect him enough and so on. Seeing that I was not the first chump who got this story made me realize it was time to get gone.

Anyway, here is my current problem The guy lies. He lies about big things and he lies about small things but it is making the day-to-day planning of housekeeping items difficult. For example, he tries very hard to hide when he is with his mistress though we are now legally separated. He was scheduled to be in the house next weekend to take care of the dogs for 2 weeks as I am leaving to visit my sister. I have been watching the house and dogs for over 2 weeks when he was on a ski trip “with the boys.”

Here’s the problem. When he agreed to this arrangement he must have forgotten that he is actually with his mistress on the ski trip, and that means that he is not returning to our home city on that weekend, but is instead flying to mistress’ city a few states away and has to drive home. In other words, he won’t be back in his own home city until much later, which means I need dog care for a day. Now a non-liar might just cop to the scheduling error. Not this cheater! So how do I handle this? Call him a liar? Ask him to show flights? Ask why he can’t honor his original calendar commitment to watch the dogs?

I don’t know why it bothers me so much that he continues to lie. This shouldn’t be news to me now, right? But it makes it harder to handle simple everyday tasks at a time when I am already running on empty.



Dear Springfield528,

How do you handle this? With a call to a kennel, that’s how. If he can afford ski trips with fuckbuddies, he can afford doggie spa. And you can afford the peace of mind that comes from competent adults being in charge of your fur babies.

Little separation/divorce primer for you — HE’S NOT YOUR FRIEND. Don’t do him favors. Don’t ask him favors. Don’t loop him in. Don’t expect consideration. Expect NOTHING.

You are cutting this person out of your life precisely because he is a liar and a cheat. Because he is selfish. Because he is unreliable and misrepresents himself about matters large and small. So why would you expect him to keep his word and do you a solid?

You do you. He does him. Welcome to divorce.

I know, I know. Divorce is nothing like all those aspirational articles about being Friends With Your Ex and braiding each other’s hair. I suppose some minority of people achieve pleasant coexistence. The rest of us are stuck with fuckwits we wouldn’t trust to frost a cupcake.

(Okay, and I know where at least half of you are going with this — BUT THE COURTS LET THEM CO-PARENT OUR CHILDREN! I know, it sucks. I send you all hugs. Please lower the bar. There were days I sent my son to his father and thought, “Just please let him come home alive.” Somehow I survived it. You will too.)

So, back to you. Every time you ask a narcissist to do something, you hand them power — power they will abuse.

You’re thinking like a chump. But’s it’s Fluffy and Buster! Surely, he won’t be horrible to them! If it interferes with something he wants (extra day in Fuckland)? If it torques you? Fluffy and Buster who?

Don’t beg. Don’t cajole. Don’t twist yourself in pretzels to accommodate. That’s kibbles to the freak. You do YOU. You take care of what needs taking care of, and go find some non-barbed wire monkeys to fill your life. Good people upon whom you actually CAN rely. I’m not telling you to be an island, I’m telling you to make better people investments. However, do work from the assumption that in most things, you’ll be doing it yourself. (That way it Gets Done Right… I’m a control freak, can you tell?)

Cut the fuckwit out. The dogs will thank you.

And… it gets easier, promise.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • It really is just that simple.

    Expect that he will always be the selfish, self-absorbed invertebrate liar he’s proven himself to be — no matter how seemingly insignificant the circumstance — and the path forward for you will be made clear.

    • UXworld has it right: while we were separated POSXH made a big deal about his availability to come let the dog out and feed the cat when I was working evenings (my schedule was very varied). I foolishly took him up in it from time to time. Ultimately he used “pet visitation” issues as a way to prolong the divorce process, and even now, as we have been divorced for 5 months, he has been giving me a hard time about his paying part of the settlement, always in tandem with some comment about the pets. My last correspondence from his attorney ended with how sad it was that I wouldn’t allow him informal visitation of the pets, and how they may be suffering, I shit you not, separation anxiety due to not seeing their other human.

      She’s not taking into account the anxiety they experienced seeing his hairy ass bob up and down over another man’s face. Oh wait, he admitted to locking the dog outside for that one, but the cat, IMHO, is scarred for life.

      Indeed the path became clear-I took a job minutes from my house, let the dog out at lunch every day and I use my local doggie daycare when necessary. Problem solved. Let’s ALL let these self-absorbed assholes spin into infinity until they disappear.

  • Woohoo love it Chump lady I agree I take care of my Rocky all alone and he’s an amazing fur buddy!

    • I get it, she is still thinking that her husband is the man she thought he was instead of accepting the man he really is. I wasted so much time because i believed my ex was “a good man”.. .. because he pretended to be a good man for the 15.5 years I was with him. Plus he would actually do good things.

      I am ashamed to say that it took 2 years after my divorce to really open my eyes and see the kind of man my ex really IS.. .. it took 2 years to get the fantasy out of my head and really ACCEPT that he was the kind of man who ran off and abandoned his children, he really did leave me when I needed him the most, he actually did replace me and forget me like I was nothing to him, it took me 2 years to realize I never meant anything to him and all those 15.5 years he was only acting.

      This lady has not gotten to that point yet. I am sure her husband used to do good things like watch the dogs and the house. It will take time for her to realize and accept that from now on he doesn’t really care.. .. it is the most painful thing to go thru but time does heal.

      I hope she takes to dogs to the kennel. Changed the locks on the house and has a good visit with her sister.. ..she is just beginning the train ride from hell.. .. it’s gonna get rough.. .. legally separated is not divorced but he already is putting himself first.. .. She needs a good lawyer.

      Good luck

      • I am much like Mrs.Van when it came to how I viewed my partners. It was easier for me to accept that what I saw behind the mask of my overt narcissistic husband was who he was than to accept that what I saw behind the mask of my covert boyfriend was who he.(boyfriend) was. Life would have been better if I had immediately accepted the truth–that the ship had gone down and wasn’t coming back up and I had made huge mistakes by making my husband and bouyfriends my partners. I wish Springfield much luck and happiness.

        • I’m wondering the same thing. It was so clear 4 years ago to see my ex husband for who he was but just this week I’m struggling with how I let a now ex boyfriend manipulate me for the past year and a half. I guess some people wear that mask better than others. Ugh.

          • NoCake4U, I picked badly the first guy I dated after the marriage break-up. Then we stopped dating and were friends. He is a user and I let him use me. I realised it was bad and was pulling away. I still shake my head about why I let that happen. We are no longer friends. I decided it was a lesson to reinforce putting myself first. I learned that lesson so when I dated a guy briefly this year, I didn’t get manipulated. We are no longer seeing each other.

            You are a good person. We need to learm that being good means treating ourselves as well as we treat others, and cutting the dead weight from our lives as soon as we find out that’s who they are. Practice standing up for yourself in small ways and eventually you stand up for yourself in larger ways and then people who are arseholes stop talking to you because you won’t be used and manipulated. You have this.

          • Yep. Nice as pie to me – brought me coffee in bed every morning, helped out around the house, we talked and loved and played together for three years. It was hard to believe he was cheating on me the entire time, but his true character (or lack thereof) came out when I confronted him and booted him out of my house.

            You may not realize it now, because of the pain of the deceit and betrayal, but you WILL be better off without the fuckwit. It’s only been two months since I kicked him out, and I already feel relieved and am getting my life back. No more manipulation. I’m done with him and his lies.

          • I think I know the answer to this one….
            I was married to a very grandiose narc and then dated some horrible choices.

            Moved in with another grandiose narc boyfriend only to get physically abused….

            Now on my own in my little cottage at the beach plus dog – life is good!!!

            Broken picker. Also – we tend to go for a type. Same type of guy over and over ( it feels comfortable and right because it reminds us of our past relationships).

            Once I got away from Nasty McAsshole I did some serious thinking ( on the beach – with wine ) and realized that even 5 years out I had not fixed my picker or firmed up those boundaries.

            It takes a lot of time to break away from this pattern I guess.
            And empaths attract narcs easily enough without trying.

      • Gosh, I remember that with my cheater. I was going on the trip we were supposed to take to Australia together, but he declined when he left me. He wanted to watch our dog (I didn’t know he was in an affair, just thought midlife crisis) while I was gone. When he moved out, he told me he lived with a “buddy” (the fuck-kind, it seems), wouldn’t tell me where. The day I was leaving, he came to pick up the dog. I handed him the “waiver of service” he pressured me into notarizing before I left for a 12 day trip. The door bell rang and it was a process server, there to serve me with divorce papers. Minutes before I was leaving on my trip. The day before my 43rd birthday. At that point, he had my dog. I knew at that moment, he had a whore. I was so worried I’d never see my dog again. I remember landing back in the US and just feeling sick. Luckily, he returned the dog to my pet sitter. I’ve not laid eyes on piece of shit cheater since that day – almost 5 years. The lesson I learned, the hard way, was not to give him any opportunities to hurt me. He (and his whore) got off on it.

        • I’m so sorry. And yes, they feed off of hurting others . Yum. Glad you have your dog ok. Take care.

      • Several years ago I saw a comment on here that was profound and enlightening for me that helped me see things better.

        ‘Even Nazis would go home and kiss their babies.’

        Your ex while inherently evil/disordered also displayed splinters of goodness from time to time; which can messs with our heads. But like the baby kissing Nazis, the sum of his actions defines his character making him a bad person.

        Don’t rely on bad people, nor subject your dogs to them.


      • Mrs.Van, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I will be filing for divorce next month a year has almost past since I threw him out. All fins cuss are resolved and I’ve been nc since DDay. Trying to get past the fact that Doughboy wasn’t a good man is the hardest part. He left me at the most vulnerable time of my life, I’m 72 retired and thought after 40 years life was good. He appeared to be a decent albeit sometimes very difficult man but I thought we had worked out our idiosyncratic habits. he appeared happy and content and we had a comfortable life. Suddenly this chsnged and he blindsided me with I’m in love with Schmoopie and I want a divorce. I was shocked but had the presence of mind to tell him to get out. I have moved to a new house, have legally seperateld and will soon be divorced. I thought these things were the difficult parts of this horror story and they were but nearly as difficult as letting go of the notion that Doughboy is somehow the decent man I married all those years ago. How is it possible that he could have fooled me for all those years? I keep repeating trust that they suck hoping it will finally catch and some days it is easier but each trigger takes me back. How did you realize the truth?

        • Awww.. .. I am so sorry you have to go thru this..

          There is no real good answer on how do you realize the truth.. .. for me it was a series of things. I found chumplady, and I had joined some narc groups on Facebook. I read everyone’s stories and I realized how many of their stories were like mine. .. .. So i started writing it down. For every story here and in the group, I had a story similar and I wrote it down. I ended up with 3 notebooks full of the dirty things my ex did that I had made excuses for, that I had forgave and literally forgotten.. .. it really opened my eyes that while I thought me ex was a good man, I had 3 notebooks full of examples where he was not a good man.

          Also, my ex ghosted us right after the divorce for a year and a half. So absolutely no contact on any shape or form. Left without a word to me or the boys. It damn near drove me nuts. I really wanted to hear his voice and to talk to him about our 2 boys. He never called once to see if the boys were ok or anything (they were not ok, I had to get counseling for them). I still could NOT believe that he did not care. But then almost 2 years later, he moved back to our town, He moved 2 blocks down from where I live, and still did not say a word to me or our boys. However, he caught my then 14 year old walking home. First thing he told that boy was do not tell your mom where I live. Who tells a 14 year old to lie to his mom? I already knew anyways. My boy struggled with this for 4 days before he told me. I hated that. Then for 2 months he played head games with my son. Telling him that he would buy him shoes (He really needed some, because the whole time ex ghosted us he wasn’t paying child support either).. . But he never did. Just things like that, he would buy the kid a coke and be nice. My son finally got tired of it and quit going over after school. .. . My ex blames me but I really did not do anything.. .. after that, 5 months later, my ex attempted suicide.. . Again not a word was said to me, but his sister called me. And his other sister needed his ss # as the password. Nobody knew it but me. Ex’s girlfriend was not letting his family know were he was or how he was. . . . When he went to a mental institute for evaluation, he broke up with her and called me. I foolishly talked to him. Thinking he was so miserable because he missed his wife (me) and his boys … .. .. But ended up finding out he really wasn’t missing us and had not really thought about us in the past 2 years. And then he went back to her…

          That combination of things made me realize that he really suck. After all that I was finally done. He thought this chick who beats him was better then me but when he wanted me to “save” him from HER… .. nope no thank you. I am done fixing shit for you.

          I have peace and happiness in my life now, he is still miserable and messing his life up. Looking at jail time for his 3rd dwi (really more like his 6th but the records only show 2 previous) .. No job, no house, no vehicles except the one he has not made a payment on for a year, no kids, no friends just this thing that beats him, throws bottles at his face, and abused him all the time. Hooked on meth and alcohol. Bill collectors chasing him down. Repo man out for his car. I did not want to live like that

          • I am so sorry about your kids. Mine were adults two months ago, when Fuckwad died and left everything he had done with money and so many bimbos displayed for us all to see. The intinryiksl hurting of kids is horrible.
            Hope things are smoother for you and your sweet kids now.

  • I think we need to get back to one our foundations here at the nation, Trust That They Suck.
    Please stop thinking that his cheating is a single thing all by itself, or “in a silo” if you like corporate mumbo jumbo. It’s part of the bigger picture. It’s who he is, a person with crappy character. He isn’t going to be reasonable about anything….unless it benefits him. Caring for another living creature does not benefit him. Maybe his next mistress will be a dog person and he will have to keep up appearances, but for now, it’s just an imposition on his time and life.

    Also, let me take a moment to advocate for you well-being and mental health by suggesting that you embrace No Contact, the path to the truth and the light. No Contact allows you to stop swimming in the mindfuck that is all of his manipulation.

    • I was going to post, but you summed it all up AllOutOfKibble. I trained my kiddos for years on how to ‘work’ dad and told them he was strict because he loved them. Nope, control freak and a dick. I taught them to show dad how it would benefit him if he did/allowed x,y,z. Unfortunately it’s unlikely you can get fur babies to do this. The ex loved our pets until someone peed on the carpet, needed to go outside, had diarrhea, barfed a furball up. Then they were MY pets.

      Yep, trust that they suck. You are still too entertwined with a cheater and won’t be free of their crap until all ties are cut loose. The best way to ‘work’ a self-centered, entitled fuckwit is to step away, cut ties, go no contact. Let schmoopie enjoy all that is his glorious self 🙂

      • Yes! My ex also loved our pets until our elderly cat started peeing everywhere. Then they were mine and I was single handily ruining the house. Every day he came home and complained but never did a single thing to help me take care of then, even while I was going through cancer treatment, was immune compromised and clearly should not have been anywhere near litter boxes.

        Also, he would come home from happy hours and shove one of our cats around. That’s when I started really fearing him. I question whether he really liked our pets at all or if he just pretended to.

        • The ex loved it when a pet snuggled him, purred, got excited to go for a walk. As I discovered Dday #2 with yet another schmoopie, the cheater had shared a picture I had sent him of the cat laying on my laptop in my lap. He sent it to his schmoopie claiming it was him and the cat, I suppose for image management.

          A few months before Dday#2, I laid in bed when I heard our dog stirring wanting to go outside. It was ALWAYS me that got up with her. He laid there and played opossum. It was ALWAYS me who got up with the kids, the pets, etc… When he left, he moved to a place that couldn’t take pets. I wonder sometimes if he just abandoned them like he did me, or if he was shocked I changed the locks and he could no longer use the family home as his home base. And then I remember, who the fuck cares what he thought! Buh bye.

          • And then I remember, Who The Fuck Cares! Thanks for that- it’s my little inner cycle. Just today realizing Feb was my first full month of real true no contact. It gets easier to get to remembering the above, every day, just a little.

          • OK I have to ask this question. My lawyer said I cannot change the locks on the house or keep Douchebag out until the divorce is final, as until that time the house is marital property. Therefore Douchebag goes by there almost every day while I am at work. What does he do – I have no clue. Gets his mail, picks up a few things. Maybe watches TV. Speaking of the dog, I don’t believe he bothers to let the dog out because when I come home from work the dog has usually peed on the kitchen floor (small dog with a little bladder). Douchebag has his own apartment, and I don’t have a key to it or the ability to wander around it when he is not home. I wonder if it varies from state to state, this ability to change the locks. It is very unsettling however to have a Douchebag trolling around my house while I am at work, and I keep reading about those other lucky people in CN who changed their locks.

            • What State do you live in? Seems to me if he has leased an apartment and took all his belongings he has vacated the marital home with no intent to move back, therefore you can change the locks.

            • It depends on a lot of things. I was able to change the locks, because I already owned the house outright before we married, and his name was never on it. If yours is, sadly, he still has a claim on it for now.

            • My name of twiceachump means I have lived through a narc discard for the twu wuvs twice ;(. Fucker left when kids were 2 & 4 years old for howorker, moved out, but was at the house waiting for me and the kids to get home afterwork, daycare, and preschool EVERY freaking day. I couldn’t understand it. He would sit at the table and eat dinner like nothing was wrong.

              So fast forward 12 years and I find him screwing around with DD14’s 20-something sports coach in kids’ high school when he was volunteer coaching. I knew I was done. I went to my lawyer and I basically told her I couldn’t take him coming back to the house as he pleased. We put in the separation agreement he had 6 weeks to get his shit out of the house. I even helped him pack and he thanked me! As soon as the time was up, I changed the locks with my lawyers blessing and to his shock and surprise!!

              • I think his claim on your house is economic, but I bet you can change the locks. I’m a lawyer- harass your lawyer for a legal reason. At the time of separation you no longer have to allow him access Id think. the division of property calculations all apply to time you were actually together. do you have a separation agreement? include that he can’t come in your house. make sure he has all his shit and change the damn locks. mine lost it when he found out i had. ran straight to some paid whore some where….

            • I live in NJ. My husband moved out and got his own place. Everyone told me I couldn’t change the locks. My son changed the locks. I told him when he gives me a key to his apartment, I’ll give him a key to the house. He shut up and never mentioned it again. And even if he took you to court over this, you aren’t going to go to jail. JUST DO IT!!!!!!

              • The day after my stbx left I changed the locks. No repercussions. I said the same thing – give me a key to your house (the house he rented that did not take pets – he abandoned his beloved dog, too. For two years he never asked to see either of our dogs. Only one time – when he and his appraiser came to the house. It didn’t last long. One of the dogs started wheezing and hyperventilating really bad so stbx left them alone. Thank goodness. I didn’t want him touching my dogs). Boy was he mad when he came to get his stuff and he couldn’t get in. But it’s ok that he dumped his family and devastated his kid. I saw a picture of the baby shower in his backyard. His mom and everyone all happy for him and his 25 year younger gf having a baby – while he’s still married. The picture was posted on Facebook with people saying congratulations! And I’m like …. you people are stupid and ignorant. There’s his child sitting there in the picture, from his wife he is still married to, but, hey, everybody celebrate he’s having a baby with another woman while the wife got thrown away – yay!
                There was a picture of his gf and her mom all happy. I’m like – as a mom how do you be all happy for your 22 y.o. child living with an almost 50 y.o. married man – and she’s having his baby. If my daughter did that, I’d be crying my eyes out. Oh, yeah…. he’s making lots of money now…. The user is getting used…. I see a karma bus coming…..

                Our daughter hasn’t wanted to see her dad for 3 months now. She is no disgusted with him after finding out lies, etc. Of course, he is taking it out on me being on spiteful and uncooperative at the end of the divorce here.

                “They cannot care for another living thing.”

                Trust and believe. No, they cannot.

                I’m all for changing the locks.

            • Take alternative advice, or ask your lawyer what the consequences would be if you just went ahead and changed the locks.

              What’s the worst that could happen?

              You could perhaps just do it, then tell him politely that you’ve done it. Tell him over email so you have a record of his response.

              This is a psychological power issue. I really feel for you having to put up with this. It would make me feel quite vulnerable and violated if my cheater kept entering my home. It might be his house, but it’s not his home anymore.

              I think you have to find out what you CAN do or what you can get away with.

            • Press your lawyer for a legal reason why you can’t change the locks, given that your STBX has already rented out his own place and moved his shit over there. Your STBX’s trips to your place are definitely related to his need to maintain centrality in your life. Kibbles!!!

              With respect to your dog, it’s likely that he’s not letting the dog out. Letting the dog out would require your STBX to consider that the dog would probably like to go outside, and that means that your STBX would have to consider someone else’s needs besides his own. Not happening!

              Your options are either to hire your own dog sitter (I do this on occasion when I can’t make it home to let the dogs out) or manage your dog’s need to urinate either via a designated pee place (pee pad, dog litter box, or even fancier options exist!) or doggy diapers (female) or belly band (boy dog).

            • My lawyer told me that I could change the locks the minute he moved out. It took 5 months to get him out and we weren’t yet divorced. He didn’t take it well but tough sh#+. BTW, the only reason he moved out was because the judge wouldn’t grant the divorce if we were still in the same house. He moved out while I was spending time with my parents. Fortunately, my college kids were home because he would have left the dogs and cats without another thought. Oh, and he is responsible for half of their medical expenses. I put that in the settlement papers.

        • We also had an elderly cat that started peeing and #2 around the house. I kept trying to clean it up before ex would notice because I knew he would be upset. Eventually it became impossible to hide, however. We brought the cat to the vet but they could find nothing wrong that could be fixed. Ex couldn’t stand it any more and had the cat put down. He did tell me that if I told him not to he would put it off but I knew he would resent me for it if I did because it would “prove” that I was putting the cat before him so I let him follow through. I felt terrible at the time having to chose between my husband’s sanity and my cat’s life. I justified it in my mind because she was an elderly cat and must have had some health problems if she was peeing outside of the litterbox so maybe it was for the best. She wasn’t really that old, however. 15 years is old but not ancient for a cat. Maybe she would not have gone outside of the litterbox so much if she had been treated better. Now it makes me extra sad because ex found other excuses to fuck strange and leave me for a selfish slut anyway. 🙁 Meanwhile, Schmoopie’s out of control large dog chewed up his wallet and it was no big deal.

      • After I left ex, I had a moment of clarity when I realized that he treated me the way he treated his dog.

        She was a beautiful chocolate lab that he had gotten a year before he separated from his ex wife (so she was about 5 years old) he would just gush how much he loved this dog and she “saved” him after the divorce when he was so depressed she just “knew” when to come and snuggle him. Okaaaaay.

        Then I moved in with ex and saw how it really was.

        He locked her up in the bathroom all night because she paces and her clicking toenails in the hardwood drove him nuts.

        In the morning, we would get up and he would open the bathroom door and let her out in the house where she would sit at the front door. He would be drinking his coffee and watching tv, and he would make her sit there for a good half hour whining to go outside and he would goad her on in baby talk. “Baby need to go outside? Baby need to go pee pee?” She would eventually get so frantic she would look him right and the eye and bark. THEN, he would begrudgingly get up and let her out.

        (Before anyone questions why I never let her out – she was a bit of a jerk and would always run away. The yard wasn’t fenced and I got tired of running through the neighbourhood in my nightie and winter boots screaming for her. She would look at me and resume sniffing shit like she hadnt heard a thing.
        Also, he trained her with backwards commands and she didn’t listen worth shit. I would yell “come” and he would tell me “no, that means she will sit. Tell her to sit and she will come.” So yeah, I had the kids to wrangle and there were enough. I resigned from dog duty. It was his dog.)

        He would get home from work and she would come running and be all excited to see him and he loved that. Pet her good for 5 minutes and then pushed her away and yelled at her to go lay down.

        And he bred her like crazy. Always about the money he was going to get from her puppies.

        So by the time I had left him, I was trained like the dog.
        Come, when he calls me but then he will deal with yme on his terms WHEN HE IS READY, and he will snuggle me for a bit, but now get away, he’s had a hard day at work. And benfit me financially or you are useless to me.

        • Hey Shit Weasel aka “chummed in Canada”
          -dogs are not jerks.

          They are not mind readers. They must be trained to “come” and other basic obedience commands- that a child can do.

          The thought of cruel clodhoppers like you and your partner in crime having control over an animal makes me weak with rage.

          You are an animal abuser. Go fuck yourself.

          • Tempest, I think we have a troll. Lay off of Chumped in Canada.

            Chumped in Canada had to deal with a dog that had a mind of its own. I had a dog that would come when he felt like it, and not before. If he didn’t like the weather, he would stand at the door looking outside for several minutes, before going to lay down again. If we tried to put the leash on him, he would go boneless. He was a good dog, and very much missed. Dogs have a right to their opinions, they are not machines to be programmed.

            I do have some concern about how you deal with/see children, because they are not dogs, nor are they something you train with commands. They also have minds of their own. If a normal person dealing with an opinionated canine leaves you weak with rage, you are most definitely in need of some perspective.

            • Thanks Susannah. Making a judgment call that CiC is lacking an empathy chip (re: her treatment of the dog, which horrifies me that the dog had no one in its corner), but is not a troll per se.

          • In what way is she an animal abuser? She’s describing how her ex treats the dog, not her. She’s saying this stuff because she clearly disapproves. She recognises it’s maltreatment and saying that’s how he ended up treating her too.

            I don’t understand why you’re attacking her. Can you explain, please?

            • I’m not going to get on CiC’s case with respect to the dog. Her Cheater treated that dog horribly.

              CiC’s insistence that the dog “was a jerk” does make people who train dogs see red, though. Dogs (any animal, really) aren’t jerks per se. People think the dog is blowing them off, but really it’s a matter of training. I can fix that come when called problem within a couple of months, for example. However, it takes time and motivation on the part of the owner, as well as consistency.

              CiC wouldn’t get the consistency from her cheater. I experienced the same thing from my Cheater, and the only reason my dogs are well-behaved is that I took over everything dog-related, save for letting them out at noon. I do that now, of course. I wouldn’t even trust Cheater to look after them for a couple of days.

              For Chumps (or anyone) who has a problem dog, I’d recommend contacting a behaviorist in the area.

    • My cheater bought a $1500 High bred hunting dog puppy while in the affair to keep me busier.
      When we split he tried to get me to take both the adult dog and the pup, which he has never spent any time with.
      Him “I think that the dogs should stay together”
      I said absolutely no, you fuckwit, that’s your puppy!
      Nice try

      • My ex had a big Lab who growled at me. While enjoying in-house separation hell, he’d go off and spend a night “out with the boys”, not come home and the dog would get so upset it would vomit and have diarrhea all night long on my area rug.
        Nothing like being up at 2 Am cleaning runny shit off of your carpet. When he finally moved out i made him get a place that accepted big dogs. Boy did he whine. But that dog didn’t like me and i wasn’t keeping it. Deal, Mother-f-er.

        Found out later he did know any guys and he was at OW’s (new wifes) house. “but on the couch” yeah. i was soooooooo stuuuuuupppppiiid. I still work on forgiving myself.

  • They lie all the time about everything, because it feels good to them. It’s never about a “need” to lie (no such thing). It’s about gaining advantage, power, seeing themselves as the smartest person in the room. For the same reason they lie to their affair partners. And their kids. And their employers. And, and, and, . . . .

    NC is vital to Chump recovery largely because it allows the Chump to avoid false info and make tough decisions based on reality.

    • And of course, the “you are not the boss of me” factor which is enormous. Truth = power and he will not relinquish it, even about the smallest things.

      • Exactly what I was thinking Now I.C. I finally got it- narcs detest it when somebody tries to tell them what to do. “You’re not the boss of me !” indeed.

    • You’re so right Nomar! The lies are maddening and they become painfully obvious.
      That was my breaking point with the Worm. He told me he was getting his car rear view mirror repaired at 9:00 pm.
      When I found his car actually parked a block from his Pookie’s house, he said he parked it there and walked to a restaurant a mile away. He wasn’t even trying…

    • Mine would find ways to lie without directly lying so he could claim he didn’t lie.

      Him: I am going to get a haircut (which he did)
      Me: Where are you? It doesn’t take three hours to get a haircut.
      Him: At a bar near where I got the haircut watching the game.
      Me: Who are you with?
      him: I am not answering that question.

      Similar on going to the gym. He would go and come back with chlorinated swim trunks to prove it. It is just that it wasn’t the only place he went, or maybe he met up with her there, who knows.

      I had to be very specific to ask the right questions and when he refused to answer I had my answer.

      • Mine pulled the same shit Chumpinrecovery.
        Me: “Asshole – did you call insurance guy today?”
        Asshole: “No.”
        Me: “You needed to call him by today. Now our insurance is going to lapse. I will call him tomorrow and get it taken care of.”
        Then I would call the insurance guy the next day and find out that the insurance stuff was in fact taken care of. Not by phone, but by email.
        BUT – he didn’t ‘lie’ now did he? And shit like that was a big fucking joke to him.
        He would purposely do similar shit like this to embarrass me. So glad I divorced his drunk, stupid, narcissistic, manipulating, FAT ass!

        • I experienced this and he was so proud of himself for the ways he hadnt actually lied. Really it was just about being passive aggressive and making me work for everything.

      • Ah…my old life here..crafting specific (but careful inoffensive, sensitive and not nagging) questions and cheater’s “I am not answering that” answers. So glad I am out of this circus.

      • Mine also found ways to “lie without directly lying so he could claim he didn’t lie.” He would say that he needed to “run to Home Depot for something.” Then THREE hours later, he’d return….with like ONE screw in a tiny bag. Technically, he wasn’t lying, because (1) he did “run to home Depot for something;” and (2) he came home with a screw. See how that works??!!

    • Yes. Even if your Fuckwad Cheater is dead, NC is very important. To instead just focus on building your own deserved honest own life.

  • And going forward, I hope you are not planning on continuing a permanent co-caring arrangement for the dogs. Either you get them or he gets them (or perhaps you each get custody of one of them). I recognize that this may be painful, but any co-caring will be a constant headache, cost, and backdoor for him to continue to screw up your life.

    If you want the dogs and anticipate a fight, then start documenting. Put the dog care calendar in print via emails or texts, take the dogs to the kennel when he suddenly needs “help” or screws up his share of the schedule, keep the receipts, etc. I wouldn’t advise letting this kind of issue go in front of a judge as it is liable to be perceived as a waste of the Court’s time, but if you think you may need to, be prepared to back your claims with a simple case of on-paper evidence.

    • I agree with this. I am about to spew opinions – use what you need, toss what you don’t. 😉

      Every scenario that causes you to have to coordinate or maintain contact is guaranteed to be a never ending stream of chaos and BS. Cut it off on this and all topics for your own sanity.

      As a side note, I know it’s different in different places, but where I live, if your name is on the “stuff” (vet bills, pet sitter application, pet store rewards, the more the better…) the court will see you as primary pet owner and it shouldn’t be much of an argument, if any, to keep the dogs. Unreliable, unresponsible partners are abusive pet owners. The dogs need your advocacy in this.

      I know all too well that a sitter or kennel can get expensive. Still, it’s part of taking a trip every time. You have to budget it in from the start. If you end up knowing someone who can do it free or cheap, lucky you, but it’s best to expect to pay for it so you aren’t caught off guard. Rely on a reputable business, not on an unreliable cheater.

      And yes, the dogs may miss your ex for a while, but they can handle that. Don’t let your compassion for their mourning period interrupt your compassion for their long term well being. Resolve to do what is best for them – your ex is clearly not what is best for them.

      Off soapbox. 🙂

      • All this. And the sooner the better. The dogs will be just fine without this D-bag. Mine is. Ex walked away from “our” dog of 14 years with nary a nod–being a dog owner didn’t fit into the narrative of his new life and there was never even a hint that he was interested in having anything to do with her. So, the food, vet, and care bills for an aging dog are mine…but so is the dog, who has been my partner since her birth. I get the honor of giving her the best final years I can and being there for her when her life comes to a close. He gets to tell people how his ex “took” his dog. So be it.

        So, save yourself the grief and save your pennies to be a solo dog owner. It’s a small price to pay for freedom.

  • He is maintaining centrality and you know too much about what he is doing. You are spending time to move around him which is what he wants. What is with the dog sharing? If money can solve this problem do it.

  • This is great! People usually have a hard time with my stance on my x. I don’t talk to him. I don’t accommodate trading custody days. I’m lucky in that as a therapist I can control my schedule which allows me to pick my kids up from school etc. Three years out and I have never ‘traded’ a weekend. I will take my kids for extra weekends and occasionally I have to send them to his house if I have business travel. After being a chump for 20 plus years, it’s empowering to be in control of my own time. The first year I remember firing off some chummy texts when my x would do something particularly idiotic like not picking a child up from school for two hours. After a call to my lawyer I had the JOD changed. I’m lucky in two ways: my x does continue to see our kids (he still does stupid shit like leave for the airport before kids catch the bus and I have to step in when something goes wrong) and second, impression management is very important to him so he pays his court ordered money. No contact is the key to a Narc free life!

    • Agreed, well put. Still doing weird and self centered shit–like being at the gym when he knows I’m on my way over with our daughter–but maintaining overall because image matters alot to him, and being a “good dad” is part of that image. I like to think that being a good dad matters to him intrinsically too, but who knows.

  • Work on your new life and GET OUT OF HIS.

    I know it isn’t what you wanted. I know it makes no sense. I know it seems crazy.

    There are so many people here who watched a lying cheater walk away from their kids; don’t expect anything better regarding your dogs!

    You need to read about why you don’t want to untangle the skein of fuckupness and how to go no contact. Please read all of Chump Lady’s old posts and the responses from all of us who walked this path before you.

    That and a good dog sitter/dog hotel will get you further than any thoughts about your (hopefully) soon to be ex.

    PS: It sounds like you’re still living together? Fix that situation NOW. After 37 years of marriage, you are old enough and capable enough to know how to get out. I was in your shoes at the same age with the same wasted years…you’ve been around the block enough to do better for yourself.

    • Hi Rebecca. Nice to hear advice from someone who had been married as long as I have. After 37 years, it is difficult to untangle. Even worse, much of our net worth is tied up in a business that he no longer controls (he got fired as she reported to him and this was a violation of company policies. Funny thing, his first affair was also with a direct report and also resulted in him getting fired. I may be a Chump but he sure isn’t a brain trust) Anyway, there is little hope of getting him “out” of my life quickly as probably 3/4 of our net worth is in non-liquid assets–a couple of companies mostly. My attorney has already warned me that this will be a long and expensive divorce. Nice. Worse, I live in a no fault state so all his bad behavior doesn’t matter at all. My purpose in replying is just to thank you for the advice as it is very helpful but mostly it is heartening to hear from someone who has wasted as much time as I have on a Cheater and has survived. Thanks.

      • I understand tangled financials. That is why there are lawyers!

        After 30+ years everything is tangled BUT get the best lawyer you can find (note that I did not say afford) and leave it to them.
        Do all your homework, go digging but you do not have to say another word to him.
        Everything should go through your lawyer. Trust me, you will be grateful for this advice.

        You CAN get him out of your life. You have to WANT to.

        The lawyers will come up with ways to divide assets and sell them or make other provisions to give you money to live on while the proceedings go on.

        My divorce took over 3 long, hard years but I was able to go no contact with him for the entire process.

        Communication only thru your lawyers isn’t cheap but you learn to keep it all business and it will save your sanity.

        I live in a no-fault state (he actually moved us into a state with no life-time alimony). But don’t think for a moment that the courts don’t care!!! Document, dig, find everything that you can and organize it all for your lawyer. You will most likely wind up settling and EVERYTHING counts.

        If your lawyer didn’t explain this or lay out a way forward regarding the complicated assets, get a new lawyer NOW.

        At our age, we have to protect ourselves.

        • Married to a cheating miserable narc for 36 years, knew him for 40. Yup, beautiful children, lovely grands, thriving businesses, property.

          Divorced for 4 years now – can truthfully report these are the best years of my life. No, not because I just applied for medicare, but because I’m free. Zero stress, my spackle bucket is empty and I don’t ever need to refill it. EVER. We’re done, he’s gone. I could not care less what he has, what he does, when he dies. It’s over. Like any calamity, angst and misery prevailed until I didn’t let it.

          But, why choose to live and be involved, on any level, with anyone who wraps you up in horribleness? No matter your age, no matter your circumstances, live for you. Don’t volunteer with drama over any details of a life you no longer live. The horse is dead. Don’t think beating it with a different color whip can revive any modicum of response.

        • I think this is the key–you have to WANT TO be no contact. I think many of us claim we want that but there is some niggling thought in our mind that helps us make decisions counter to that idea…at least until we’ve absolutely had enough.

          20 years together, 3.5 years post d-day, 3 months living apart, still in the process of divorce. Once it became abundantly clear to me that divorce was imminent, I decided to go as no contact as humanly possible (we have a child). There were some dicey months of him in the guest room and me upstairs, but even when I couldn’t fully physically go no contact, I went emotionally no contact (which drove him even crazier, but that’s another story) and worked diligently daily to get him out of the house without massive legal escalation that might upend our daughter. It took eating some shit sandwiches and settling out a few financial things not entirely in my favor, but ultimately it worked and here I am, free. But I wanted it, hard. We still have to split plenty of financial things, but that was secondary to me to making a physical/emotional break with him.

          So, like others, I encourage you to do whatever it takes in the NOW to break from him emotionally and physically…and let the financial split occur legally over time. But don’t waste one more minute contemplating why he’s a shitty dog owner–spend that time figuring out why you tolerated all his crap and how never to do that again. And know that wonderful things happen to good people at all stages of life!

  • Springfield, Congratulations on the legal separation. I’m hoping this gave you access to your home and he’s living somewhere else.

    Do not depend on him for anything other than what you have coming your way financially. Stop allowing him access to your home. That was a privilege he lost. Change your locks immediately.

    A big part of the chump learning curve is setting boundaries. No contact means he doesn’t get to know your schedule and you don’t have to work around his affair plans.

  • if reciprocity was absent during the marriage, it will not exist when it ends.

    stop sharing the dogs with him. he is using it to control your time and control you. make other arrangements to have someone else watch them for you, and refuse to watch them for your XH. he can make arrangements himself to have the dogs watched when they are with him.

  • Oh boy.. this reminds me of me ringing the narc to tell him our son was seriously ill in hospital… I rang him from the emergency department saying he was on a drip and they were going to scope him… idiots response.. Oh I can’t come, Im away working. I said oh you can’t get someoneto replace you. He responded with.. there is nobody to cover. So me being super chump called and text multiple times a day to let him know what was happening. Get a phone call about 3 days later from another friend asking how I was. I told him the story and how narcs r us was away working. He said no he’s not, he’s at the OWs house 10 mins away from the hospital.. In that moment I knew who this person was. A total narcissist with absolutely no empathy even for his own children.

    So Springfield, he isnt your friend and will never have your back. As CL says expect absolutely nothing from him. Xx

    • What is it about these losers?

      Our four-year-old son fell off the swingset and was crying -HARD. I took one look at his arm and suspected it was broken. When I told then-husband that we needed to bring him to the ER, he said he would go when the ballgame was over (it was just starting on TV).

      So I brought him alone and his arm was broken. When we returned home five hours later, the dinner I had started was still on the counter and our other two kids asked where I had gone. They made cereal for dinner because their father “was busy.” He never told them I had brought their baby brother to the hospital.

      I got the silent treatment for weeks after that. He was pissed I didn’t update him from the hospital AND because I didn’t put dinner in the oven before leaving for the hospital.

      And now, he’s all hers! 🙂

      • Years ago on a Friday night my son was bitten on the forehead by our dog as we sat on the sofa watching television. (My son had actually NOT let a sleeping dog lie. LOL) I frantically attempted to reach my husband at the hockey rink where he was playing recreationally to ask him to come home… our son needed stitches and his younger brother was sound asleep. My ex’s response to me “oh, this better be good”. What a jerk!

        • Lol. Kids, dogs, taking care of the house for which they’ll claim 50% ownership at settlement. Nothing matters but their “new life” after the discard.

          I totally forgot that I was the one charged with calling narc husband (who was with his ho-worker at a conference hotel in the city instead of home with his wife and kids) to tell him his mother had just died. I must be at meh to have forgotten that!

          I miss his mother, a truly lovely Eastern European woman, who escaped Stalin’s horrors to be publicly chumped and dumped after 40 years of marriage. I don’t miss her son.

    • This reminds me of when my son was in middle school and playing in a travel ice hockey game. He got hit hard on the boards and after sitting on the bench for a few minutes the coach sent him to the locker room. My husband and I immediately went to the locker room with me saying “honey, what’s wrong” and him saying “get back out there and finish the game”. I was furious, and took him to the hospital. He had a broken shoulder and a torn tendon. Yes, they truly suck.

    • Oh boy, these stories are so sickening. Mine’s not so horrific but…daughter hit head on playground equipment, it wouldn’t stop bleeding, wanted to take her to ER, he went off to the gym for his work out (can’t miss that), came back and turned on sports game, argued with me about taking her to ER. I left without him. Child needed staples in her head to close wound, three hours later we were home. Later on ex espoused how glad he was that I took her and how he just “wasn’t sure” and didn’t want to “trigger the alarm bells”…which is code for him intimating that I’m an over-reactor. Even still, my scared child only had one of her parents there with her because the other one was busy…watching sports.

      Later on an almost identical set of facts occurred with my sister’s kid and she and her husband dutifully rushed her to the ER together, waited with her, consoled her together, husband went out to get food for them as it was taking a while, and then when they got home and after child was in bed, lovingly comforted my sister as she was pretty upset at the whole thing (moreso than he was given that he was a rough and tumble boy from the start). I remember my hear breaking a little thinking about the differences in their story and mine. It was one of the first moments when I allowed myself to consciously think that perhaps my husband isn’t such a great husband and we’re getting shortchanged.

  • “Stuck with fuckwits that we wouldn’t trust to frost a cupcake”….. EXACTLY!
    I think it’s hard to wrap our minds around who the person is versus who we thought he/she was. You are still working with who you thought he was….. maybe cheater pants used to be somewhat responsible….don’t rely on him for ANYTHING! Not the pets, fixing something at the house, asking a question regarding the house. Nada, zip,zilch. The longer we allow them to have some sort of centrality or a continued way into our lives on any level, we are opening ourselves to more trauma and fucked up shit. Would you willingly put your child in situations that you know would hurt them and cause them pain? Absolutely not. So don’t do that to yourself either. Love yourself enough to not allow the abuse and mindfuck any longer. Don’t play the game, it just opens you up for more heartache and takes longer to get to meh. Trust he sucks, get a pet sitter who you know will feed the dogs and enjoy your time away. And go No Contact-you have to for your own sanity. You are running on empty, so why would you give him the final crumbs in your tank? Don’t, just don’t.
    Btw-I’m 2 years out from finding out about the cheating, 6 months out from the divorce. It gets better-the only interest in him I have now is making sure his ass pays spousal support on time so I have extra money in savings.

    • I realize I was already never relying on my fuckwit for anything for years while we were still married. He was simply never around when it counted. He was not going to pick up his phone. He was going to be home late. He was not going to help with the declining health of our pets. He would not jump in to be the guy he needed to be as head of the household and I spackled.

      For me, it made is exceedingly easy to cut him out entirely during divorce. I fixed up my enormous house, liquidated assets, and had the only lawyer in the proceedings. In the meantime, he forgot to pay his rent one month last summer. Such a fucking child. Schmoops is sooooo lucky, isn’t she! He dumped his cat with her now to take care of, this kitty has herpes and needs eye drops and lysine. The cat also got fleas last summer because he let it outside so much and they were hard to get rid of, probably Schmoopie is dealing with re-hatchings. Nice.

      From having to do everything myself and allowing him to be a child I developed great skills and am extremely resourceful. A side effect now is that I find it very hard to let people help me (working on that).

    • You can’t win, break even, or even mutually enjoy the game with a chronic liar, so you might as well pack your marbles and go home to play solitaire. You will likely end up significantly better off in the long run.

  • “Every time you ask a narcissist to do something, you hand them power — power they will abuse.”

    This ^^^^^^^^. Times 100,000,000

    • This is so true. Due to multiple areas of crossover in our lives, which I am trying to eliminate, every so often I have to ask him to do something, or he becomes involved by other people who we still share in our lives. The cost is always huge and never worth it. He gets off on the power and makes sure I am belittled and humiliated somehow in the process.
      The Weasel was such a liar – although, predominantly by omission, and also so often the lies were just close enough to the truth or had just enough plausible deniability that I either ignored them or there was no way to challenge them in anything other than ending in a mindfuck that made me out to be the one with the problem. It took me a long time to understand the degree of his lies – I do think he got more audacious, but it was seeing him lie to other people that was shocking to me. It has still taken me a long time – and a huge conscious effort to keep reminding myself that there is no reason to suppose that anything that comes out of his mouth (or doesn’t) bears any resemblance to the truth.
      Interestingly, just before we separated he said to me “sometimes I think I’m a psychopath as I lie so easily”. I can’t remember how I replied, although I know I wouldn’t have said “yes you are” which is, of course, at least pretty close to the truth. I actually think now it was probably just another mind game – him testing as to whether I had really cottoned on to what he was, which he actually knew. I didn’t get it then, but I do now, although I still have to make a conscious choice to remind myself. The longer it goes, the more automatically it will come, I hope.
      Definitely a reason to keep contact/any interactions to as minimal as possible. Without children, I would think this can be very limited. Sadly, I don’t have that option yet, although trying to keep that to a minimum and not doing too bad there. For me it is the other shared relationships (work/childcarer) that are proving more tricky to set the boundaries around but I am sure I will get there eventually.
      I agree with all above – don’t give him any power by asking any favours. It isn’t worth it, and no contact will be your saviour.

  • Trust that all they do is lie. That’s how they maintained the affair for so long. Sixteen months post divorce (six year affair) and the ex still will not tell his 32 and 34 year old sons that he lives with the whore. At 62 years old, he claims that he lives with his mother. No shame there.

    • Wow, it’s less shameful for a 62-year-old man to say he lives with his parents than with his girlfriend??

      What IS is with these guys? Almost a year post divorce for me, but four years post separation. My ex won’t even say the OW’s name to my kids (ages 26 and 28). He still act as if they’re conducting an affair, I don’t get it? At this point they could be completely out in the open and forcing everyone to accept them as a couple. Maybe my ex knows if he forces the OW on my kids, at least, they’d stop speaking to him.

  • “He had me convinced this was my fault and he was broken and I didn’t respect him enough and so on. Seeing that I was not the first chump who got this story made me realize it was time to get gone”.

    … and for ^^^this^^^ I would personally like to thank CL and CN – Speaking out against accepting love that looks like my doormat… that is mighty.

    Springfield, they are all compulsive liars. Yes, I was in your chumpy shoes once too; thinking that maybe now that I was demanding respect he would get it. It doesn’t work that way, respect isn’t demanded, it’s earned through boundaries (some might disagree with me on this). I honestly believe this is where the term “nagging wife” comes from… the mistaken belief that respect can be commanded. Respect is commanded through actions, not words.

    Liars lie because it gives them the upper hand, and what will you do about it when they lie? You’ll call him out to let him know, you’re no fool and then what? He gets to call you the controlling, nagging STBX wife. Stop trying to prove him wrong, that’s not your job (I know because I did it for years ????), it’s time to set a no nonsense boundary – no contact! If you haven’t heard the term yet, learn about grey rock. The idea is to be so completely boring you don’t play into their kibble fest of provoking emotion in you.

    If you remember one simple rule it is; give up expectations that they be caring, respectful reciprocal, people. They aren’t, and will likely never be! It’s not your job to make them be! Your job is to do you!

  • Expect nothing. He will deliver and you will never be disappointed.

  • Sounds like you are still sharing a house. Somebody needs to move out.

  • There is no co parenting anything with a cheater narcissist- not kids, not pets, not house plants. You have to live your life as though cheater is dead. You make the decisions, you pay the bills… it’s the only way to move forward- take yourself out of the equation. And remember, nothing says “Fuck you” better than your silence.

    • Spring

      100%. I wouldn’t trust him with my beloved

      Fuck him! ????

      • I agree with this. I wouldn’t trust my ex with my dogs for anything. Last year I went to DC with my kids ( my son had graduated from college and got a real job and took us all on the trip….proud mom moment). We went for 5 days instead of 7 and I paid a highly recommended pet sitter to come into my home several times a day and let my dogs out, play with, feed and water, etc.
        I know some are apprehensive about having someone in their home, but my dogs loved her and it was great…..and not my ex.
        No Contact is the way to get over this, all the previous posts can’t be wrong.

  • Aaaaannd this is why No Contact (unless it’s utterly unavoidable, eg nuclear war type unavoidable) is your best friend.

  • If he is still lying about the OW, there is a reason that makes sense in his fucked up mind.

    In my case the exasshole continued to hide the OW during separation because he intended to get alimony from me. We live in a fault state where alimony is denied if adultery is proven. I had a PI by the time we separated, he got nothing and all I had were emails. I filed first for desertion, domestic abuse and adultery anyway. I bluffed his lawyer when the asshole put the alimony card on the table. Don’t know your situation but check with your lawyer if his affairs could affect your settlement.

    Jedi Hugs!

  • Call a kennel. Give them his credit card. When he gets home to no dogs he may text you. Your only response “How’s (mistress name)? Hope you had a good time with her ‘boys’”

    • Nope. Pretty sure it’s illegal to use a credit card that doesn’t belong to you. And the statement back to him implies she gives a shit. She can get those dogs in a kennel on her own dime and cut him out of the equation.

      • Also beware of his credit card as it could make you responsible for paying off the balance.

      • Yes … the ultimate fuck off message comes from taking care of the dogs on her own without any discussion at all. If he wonders where they are? A short text “The dogs are no longer your concern.” would be appropriate. Do NOT let these assholes think you need their assistance for anything … because you do not.

  • In the case of pets, I allowed my anger to decide when X first left and asked for visits because “he misses the dog”…sniff sniff. I went NC immediately (thank you CL, CN and my rage;) SO I wrote off a short message that basically read, “you have never cared (walked, bought food for, fed or arranged and took to the vet) for the dog and therefore do not get “visits” with the dog. Get your own dog.”
    NOW, I realize I may sound like a royal bitch, but I knew an opportunity for cake snacks when I saw them at that point. Plus, this is a guy who wasn’t reliable about ANYTHING let alone caring for a pet. I had to get a dog care boarder who has ended up being so great for the pooch…now she gets little vacations when we have a weekend excursion or trip of our own. I worried about having to do it, the cost and the dog, but it has worked out even better than I could have hoped.
    Just a little funny: a few weeks ago, DD took the dog outside for pickup which OW appliance was in attendance…in his car looking at herself in the car mirror) I was at work and the sitter relayed the following…DD let her dad hold the dog and he called the appliance’s name numerous times to get her attention to look at the cute dog…when she finally looked over she gave a smirk and looked back at the mirror to continue to gaze at herself. Lol! Perfect!

    • I love this Nejla. Makes me think of the time ex came to pick up the kids for the weekend and the dog went off like a fire alarm as usual. Asshat mumbled something about the dog being trained not to like him. I replied “Oh no. She’s just an excellent judge of character.”

      • This makes me think of the time Asshat came for a serious discussion with all of us and I actually let him sit on my living room sofa. During his blah, blah, blah our new long haired cat jumped up, rubbed all over him and sat down right next to him.
        Asshat is severely allergic to cats. I swear the cat just knew it. ????

  • Why are you sharing a house for care of these dogs? Is this house yours or his? Is this the marital house that is up for sale? If you are both staying due to some court agreement I’m so sorry for you. If not, either you stay or he stays and the other gets an apartment til it sells. If it’s his place…don’t ever agree to care for the dogs in his place again. If it’s your place kennel the dogs and never let the POS set foot in your home again (change the locks).
    If you have an agreement to have joint custody of these pets both of you must ensure that you each have adequate shelter, food and time to care for them during your assigned custody time. And neither of you should have to change plans to accommodate the other for agreed upon handover times. If he can’t be bothered to come on time make arrangements for kennelling or have a trusted friend look after your fur babies for short intervals. Lawyer up, record every agreement (email/text/writing), document every time he lets the doggies down.
    Unlike children, pets don’t get quite the legal coverage for care post divorce. If your STBX is too busy getting his jollies to care for them push for full custody of these innocent, trusting and loving pets. Unless you are in financial straits you will not regret paying.
    I’m betting he’s treating you the same way he did while he was cheating. You have been and are still being taken for granted. He expects the wifey to pick up the slack because she still has no importance other than taking care of his needs.
    Just kennel the pooches, leave STBX enough info to pick them up per any agreement. And only explain that you had prior plans that he knew of. Don’t apologize, don’t argue, don’t embellish. Remember this if for documentation.
    And why are you still sharing a house with this idiot?

  • He had me convinced it was my fault. My soon to be ex tried to blame me for his affair with my whore of a cousin. Left me home alone many nights and weekends caring for our granddaughter. Lied said he was with his friend Bill. Clueless me. Your soon to be ex does not give a crap about the dogs. Only his own selfish cheating ass. Board your dogs at a kennel give him the bill. And soon he will be the OW problem. And she deserves him.

  • This: “Every time you ask a narcissist to do something, you hand them power — power they will abuse.”
    Spring, like you, I also facilitated and thus got this abuse for 37 years….

    Believe me, Spring, we DO NOT NEED these idiots, we can get along just fine without them. I have for 2 years.

    Sparkledick used our cats and dog for impression management, he does not give a damn about them now. Like fellow chump Kathleen above, I would not trust my pets with ex. It kills me that one son lives with him for the wrong reasons.

  • He continues to lie? You say you are legally separated? I hope you are not living together. If so change it immediately. He can get out. Don’t ask for copies of proof of anything. Don’t ask him to do anything! You are making it worse for yourself pining and wondering and havinget discussion about him lying to you! Enough! Hopefully married 37 years your,kids are grown do that helps but you must get the,best lawyer you can. I would be concerned about him moving and hiding assets and money. How long are you going to live this way? Absolutely do not ever depend or even ask him to watch the dogs for you. Hire a pet sitter or board them. You must start cutting loose of this guy. You could start by filing. Why do you think he hasn’t filed yet and how long have you been legally separated? My guess he is doesn’t want to give up money. Be smart! Protect yourself!

  • The good news is that these are the things that finally, finally teach us that the only good way to deal with a cheater is not to.

    Trick is to heed the lessons and just stop. The relationship has to be entirely over for us to find true freedom, heal, and gain a life.

    • So true! Our gut reaction is to think, “I’ll make this amiable, or I’ll be too reasonable for him/her to argue with, or I’ll help him/her out this time and next time he/she will help me.” But, no. The jackass will be hostile, unreasonable, and an obstacle next time, too.

      It took me all kinds of versions of this lesson before I really believed it.

      • For the longest time, I thought, “If I’m nice and cooperative maybe his old self will come back and we’ll reunite and save the marriage.”

        Stupid, stupid, STUPID!!

  • Okay, and I know where at least half of you are going with this — BUT THE COURTS LET THEM CO-PARENT OUR CHILDREN!

    Damn! you caught me chump lady! I am at a constant simmer with my “high conflict” divorce. High conflict is really fuckwit will fight me on anything. I think I could offer to give him everything and go away but that wouldn’t please him because he just wants control and that means he would have the children which he doesn’t really want the responsibility.

    So yesterday, I took my son in for counseling. I was feeling really good about this guy. They have the appointment and counselor calls me in at the end. He tells me that son doesn’t seem to want to continue and counselor doesn’t believe in forcing someone to continue. He was extremely professional and kind. I listened and told him how disappointed I was because I was hoping for reinforcement. Single motherhood is hard. He gets it and has offered to meet with me. All good. So on the way home son and I talk. He told the counselor and tells me that he just doesn’t see how it will help to talk about his dad when he knows he won’t change. He doesn’t enjoy talking about him. I end up telling him I get it but the deal is the courts don’t. Judges won’t listen to mom but they might listen to a letter from an Ivy League educated counselor telling them that dad has abandoned son and it would not be the best for him just to be put in a room with him after a year and a half hiatus. Son understands this and said he will go again. I didn’t threaten, I said I am not forcing you but that is the cold hard truth.

    It is just pathetic that kid knows dad is all about himself and has not made any legitimate effort at a relationship and he can see beyond the words of his happy holidays, I miss you emails but the court system can’t.

  • I am two years out from Dday & 2 months out from divorce final after 26 years of marriage. I working on no contact but we still have kids at home. I try to do everything via email & text only when time sensitive. I hate that contact. I hate that he pretends to be a nice guy (why can’t we just be friends?) but is obviously an asshole. Having an affair(s) and trying to blame me that he wasn’t happy – “symptom of a bigger problem” but never told me there was a problem. I hate that some days I feel mighty and some days I still can’t believe this has happened(although these have become less and less). I hate that the man I married doesn’t exist anymore & I’m stuck with Jekyll & Hyde.

    • Your situation sounds very familiar … you are doing great. I know you have kids at home, but I strongly encourage you to minimize even child related contact to only what is absolutely necessary. There is no need to coordinate decision making on most things. If a child is sick, sad, needs tutoring, needs a ride, wants a puppy, etc. etc. etc. … take care of it as you always have. No need to discuss with the ex unless it rises to the level of needing a bone marrow transplant. Absolutely minimize the contact for your own mental well being as well as to knock the stool out from underneath his “good guy” act. It is very satisfying to realize you can do 99 percent of the parenting just fine without him. Because I bet you have been doing that all along while his attentions were busy elsewhere. Hugs.

      • Thank you Dixie Chump. ❤️ Yes – I did and do handle almost all of it. He spends very little time with the kids because they don’t want to hang out with him & he has ‘plans’. I feel like he will blame me for not communicating what is going on with this kids & turn on me – not reimbursing me for kid expenses. Especially as my oldest heads off to college. I’m constantly stuck trying to encourage the kids to communicate with him directly, without putting them in the middle but still needing information for FASFA, college, etc. ????

        • He may very well be an ass about paying money. But he will do that either way. So don’t let him use it as leverage to keep himself central in your life. No need to encourage older kids to do anything … they either do or they don’t. You will feel so much better when he takes up less mental real estate.

        • I’m at this stage, Moveon. Teen kids, but still need for coordination on FAFSA, medical decisions, sports. My mantra? “Observe, but do not absorb.” Vague positive appreciative statements offered to him that sound like praise but really Teflon me against accusations that I’m a bitter, withholding bunny. James Bond: “Be polite, be courteous, show professionalism, and have a plan to kill everyone in the room.”

          • You don’t need your ex for FAFSA, by the way. Only the custodial parent, and i didn’t even claim them on my taxes (he took them) Still didn’t get any money (you have to be in poverty levels) , but you don’t have to list him ( nor would I)

            You think you need to coordinate things, but really, thats just because thats the way you always did it and he’s happy to let you continue to overfunction.

            Unless they are doing major surgery, don’t bother.

          • I am copying that mantra down and keeping it somewhere for frequent referral. May even make a fridge magnet ????. Also James Bond. Love them! Thanks TINAT

          • Love the James Bond quote. I have a protective order in place but does that stop him? No still get emails. “The attorney general says this, what do I do” “I’m going to do right by my son” bla bla bla. Sure you are, sure you miss him terribly that’s why you haven’t done shit to try and see him but my responce is either ok or no responce at all….. The way I see it if you love your children you fight for them, get a lawyer, ect. You don’t email your ex wife to say you miss them!

    • I am stuck right now on the same thing. Some days and even weeks I am mighty and forging aghead with my life. And then other days i am back to square one, crying over fuckwit and wishing it was different. (I am 7 months post dd)

      I am struggling with being bitter and angry because that is my forceshield against his bullshit charm and nice guy act. But, it is exhausting to feel angry all the time.

      I watched a Joel Osteen video about letting go of bitterness and it helped but it also seems to have reopened some wounds that I am struggling to close. I don’t feel angry at the asshole today. But that leads me down the path of missing him and ruminating. And I don’t want to go backwards in my healing….ugh!

      • Canada- I don’t believe you are back to square one for crying. You are mourning a loss…. let that be okay. Once you have worked through the grieving process, you will no longer be angry and probably won’t even wish things were different.
        Mourning the person we believed them to be is so much different than mourning a fuckwit. I think you’re mourning the former. It gets better!

      • Chumpedincanada, you are doing great for being only seven months post D-Day. Be gentle with yourself and don’t beat yourself for crying about your cheater. It takes time to no longer care and we all heal at our own pace. I see no problem with being bitter and angry right now. You won’t be that way forever. Use your anger as fuel to power you forward into your new cheater-free life! Can I make a suggestion? I learned this one from one of my favorite Youtubers, Dana Morningstar — Thrive After Abuse. Make a “For When You Miss Them List.” On the list write down in bullet-form all the horrible things your cheater did to you over the years. And then when you are missing him, you get out your list and read it over. It will snap you out of it and remind you that he sucks and he’s a lying cheater that hurt you terribly. I myself never made out the list, because my list is written here on Chump Lady and I pretty much wrote here every day for well over a year. One day you won’t be angry or bitter, but you don’t ever have to forget. And one day you’ll be at “meh” which is the goal for all us chumps! (((HUGS))) to you. 🙂

      • The five stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They don’t happen in that order and jump all over the place. Took me a year to break through and get some clarity. My advise would be don’t try and judge your feelings, change or suppress them or for that matter distract yourself when they become hard to handle. As long as you are not doing vengeful acts it’s ok to feel royally angry and pissed. Your body and mind and soul need to process the events and one day when the time is right and the process is complete you will surface stronger and braver for it. Pain is a great teacher.

    • I never discussed the kids with X1. Never. If he wanted to be involved then I expected him to DO something about it. Otherwise, crickets.
      I got them both braces, and paid for by them myself. Never asked. I bought clothes (sometimes at thrift stores) paid for tutors and fed them what I wanted. I allowed, or didn’t allow, dates, driving privileges or outings.
      Fuck him and his ideas or guidance. If I’m good enough to be left with them 99% of the time, I’m good enough to make 100% of the decisions. When they were old enough I deputized the kids to make their own visitation arrangements.
      I told DumbAss he could see them ANYTIME he wanted and then I bowed out.

      I worked hard at a sales job to make enough to support myself and MY kids. Because they are MINE.
      X was a shadow in their lives.

  • Springfield528:

    I couldn’t agree more with what everyone else has posted in response to your letter.

    The only way I regained my sanity after my cheating, lying, heartless fuckwit XH of 40 years left me for his married coworker was to go 100% ZERO CONTACT. I highly recommend you do the same as soon as possible. Shut down ALL forms of communication with your STBX… this means NO text messages, emails, faxes, phone calls, birthday cards, letters, voice mails, selfies, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, smoke signals or carrier pigeons. NOTHING!

    As a logical extension of ZC, you must also shut down any thoughts, assumptions or expectations that he is still an active part of your life or cares in any way about anything other than his own agenda. He found the bright red “Exit” sign at the back of the movie theater and used it.

    For inspiration, you might want to watch the following YouTube video which shows the opening to the 1960s TV series, “Get Smart“:… Put as many proverbial steel doors between you and your STBX as you can! Trust The Nation when we say ZC is the true path to enlightenment and freedom!

    This also means that you cannot depend on him for anything. No home repairs, no help with the tax returns, no shoveling the driveway, no watching your dogs – NOTHING! Don’t do him any favors, or step in to relieve him if he should ask. This is now 100% up to you to manage. At least you know it will get done, and it will get done right. Going forward, you do you. He wanted independence? Give it to him, lock, stock and barrel.

    • I love every single thing about this post, right down to the “Get Smart” intro.

      Amen to deep, wide, total excision of that cancer from our lives. Hurts, leaves a scar, but spells survival. It’s the only way.

    • Totally agree. I once had food poisoning (damn raw oysters!) and had to pull over and ralph on the side of the road multiple times to complete afternoon carpool. My son was mortified on the trip home and the entire town thought I was … well, I don’t wish to consider what they thought. But damn it … I was not calling BAM for assistance. Just. Not.

  • Those of us with kids just have to deal with a cheater by having absolutely zero expectations for your ex. They were selfish while you were married, and they’re going to be just as selfish after you’re divorced.
    So you should continue to expect nothing helpful from them.

    That way anything he or she does to surprise you (offer to help take the kids somewhere, actually help to pay for something for the kids) is just icing on the turd. But go in expecting nothing, that way your ex can no longer disappoint you and can only pleasantly surprise you.

  • Springfield–ask yourself why you are still relying on him–for truth, for responsibility, for dog-watching. The point of divorce is to detach. True healing requires detaching entirely. Will it cost more money to board the dogs while you are away? Yes, but you can go on your trip with an easy mind. An “easy mind” is NEVER possible with a cheater.

    • Another good rule to live by is to not give a house key to someone you do not trust. Ever. Think of all the financial documents, valuable items, personal photos, and so forth you are entrusting to someone who you do not trust and who does NOT wish you well. I would trust such a person least of all with my beloved pets … because the law is pretty clear on theft and vandalism but is sadly very lenient about animal abuse.

      Of course, I may just be projecting given the nasty places his toothbrush found itself pretty much every day the last few months he lived with me.

  • BAM offered to pet sit for me early on in our separation (a euphemism for his being kicked to the curb with all his shit) as part of his “I’m really just a good guy and you can tell by how amicable I am” thing. I didn’t even dignify his offer with a response. I just arranged for the animals to go to boarding and sucked up the expense. Because he was officially dead to me and I don’t ask dead people to do me favors. You cannot be a little bit pregnant. You cannot be a little bit done with a cheater. If your yard needs mowing … go mow it.

    • @Dixie, The last thing I said to my cheater (by email after he was out and I had paid him off) was I never want to talk to you or see you again. You are dead to me. Someday soon, I hope to come to believe it.

      • Someday soon, I hope it to be literal. Yes – I do wish death upon him, not just believe it. Fingers crossed 😉

  • I don’t think its “our” dogs anymore. They are “your” dogs. If he disagrees later in court you have proof that he didn’t do the things necessary to take care of them. He didn’t care about you, the dogs, or anyone but himself. Erase him from your life- it starts in the mind. It’s painful- not easy.

  • You are making the incorrect assumption that he will care if he gets called out for lying. If he cared about being a liar, he wouldn’t be one.

  • Ugh, the hard part for me is that stbx was at one time an attentive father to our kids. His apathy and resentment of his responsibilities (going to work) are such a change that it is hard to process. A father who used to adore his daughter has become one who never calls her. It is mind-boggling and heart-breaking to witness. Still, yes, don’t ask them for anything. They want POWER over you more than anything. Asking for help and cooperation gives them that power, and they will naturally abuse it to torture you. No contact is really healing…and absolutely necessary for a healthy, happy life!

  • Springfield……………..I know it seems like you are giving him a break in the dog care duties, and he really should step up and help, but you are wasting your time and frustrating yourself with his scheduling conflicts but anytime you need dog sitting…….put the dogs in a kennel or ask a friend or relative to help you out. DO NOT ask your soon to be ex for anything! I think most of these disordered cheaters enjoy the hell out of being in control. And if they don’t, their AF loves it! I know my ex’s OW/now new wife pulled the strings on MANY occasions! And that info came from my then teenage daughters.

    Please take him out of the equation and go it alone on any joint “family” tasks. You will be amazed to find your many resources and you will gain strength from knowing you don’t need his half-assed help! When we finally divorced and sold our marital home of 20 years, I called my girlfriends and they helped me pack up an entire three story home!!!!!!!!!! No help from fuckwit! I left his shit in a pile in the basement. And when he showed up for it…………my girlfriends gave him a taste of serious bitchface!

  • My ex could not remember his lies, I have children with my ex, I think it helps to just talk about the kids, and nothing else, the truth consistently changes, when convenient to them. I think it helps to remember that people see what they want to see.

  • They even betray the dogs!!
    I broke NC WITH CHEATER this month BECAUSE 10 year old lab had health issues and I could no longer handle care myself
    Contact has set me back immeasurably!
    So sorry for you and your gorgeous fur babies

  • If these disordered Aholes will casually discard their own flesh and blood human offspring, what do you thing their loyalty is to fur babies ??

    Besides what my Ex has done trying to destroy my relationship to my kids, the other thing that I can never forgive her for is what she did to our fur babies.

    We were legally separated and the divorce was ongoing and wrapped up a few months later. We had 1 dog and 2 cats. The cats one was hers before we were together and the other was mine before we got together. She never liked my cat and vice versa so he was coming with me. Her cat was sweet and loved me but as she said it was “her cat”. Our dog was healthy except he had diabetes and needed an insulin shot 2x a day. She gave him the shots (which cost $100 a month) and I promised to keep buying his medicine in addition to all of the money she was already getting. She insisted on keeping him with the kids, so I said fine.

    A few days later my daughter called me all upset saying “why did you do it” ?? I asked “do what” ?? She said “you took the dog and Momma’s cat and then put them down just to be hateful and to hurt us”.
    Guess who told them that ?

    This was the first time that it really hit me how shitty a person my Ex is—- I never believed that she was capable of that since she always appeared to be such an animal lover. This evil act that she did still haunts me to this day and I realize it was because I made her mad in the divorce negotiations, she wanted to pit the kids against me and she wanted to hurt me.

    NEVER EVER trust your disordered Ex with your fur babies or your kids unless directly court ordered !

    • I’m not sure I believe in an afterlife, but in this case, I hope there really is a hell and your ex fucking burns for an eternity for doing that. Monster.

      • I can count on one hand the memories I have that bring tears to my eyes every time and this is one of them. In my wildest nightmares did I ever believe before that day that she was capable of doing something like that. Her public persona is “Miss Sweetie Pie” and except for the few who REALLY know her, they all think that she is great.

          • The kids are older and wiser now (Dday was 6 years ago). Oldest is in college and other two are in High School so they are busy with their own lives and “play along” with the Ex until they are out of the house. Now that they are older, they would live with me but they live 500 miles away and don’t want to leave their school and friends and life there. All three are doing well and so far because they “play her game” and do what she says she is OK to them “mostly”.

    • OMG. Just when you think they can’t get any lower, they do. I am so sorry that happened to you, your kids and your pets, LG. There are no words strong enough for someone who would do something so evil.

    • That’s fucked up. It should require the vet to get permission from the adults living with the pet before it is put down. Hope that bitch dies a slow death.

  • I had it written in the divorce settlement that the dog was 100% mine. No way I wanted cheating ex to have any claim. He did take one of our three cats, promptly dumped the cat on his sister, and when our son asked about the cat a couple years later, ex replied that he had no idea what had happened to it and he was “afraid to ask.” I still feel bad about that. She was a beautiful cat and she loved cheater ex dearly. She deserved better.

    A year or so after separation, ex did message me wanting to borrow the dog to use in an audition for some commercial. I replied that no, that wouldn’t be acceptable and he’d need to find someone else’s dog. Ex sent loads of messages to our son after that telling him that I had ruined his “career” and it was all my fault he wasn’t making any money.

    • So Lassie’s absence ruined the career of the dancing yeti! How could you Glad?

    • Oh lord. An AC-tor. X had a “dream” that he really belonged on the stage rather than his real gig. He had the hundreds of never used head shots to prove it;)

  • I went out of town recently, and a local high school girl came to the house once a day to care for my cats. She was great, and it was cheap! Maybe this won’t work for dogs. I just feel like you should never rely on him for anything at all, we all know how that works out!
    Good luck divorcing the self-centered one, I hope you have your lawyer and accountant set up, and some good friends in your corner, along with your doggy pals!

  • I have to ask my ex about proof for everything and every time I do it causes him to rage. I do it because he lies. And as I found out over the course of our divorce, has always lied.

    Just yesterday he tried to cheat me out of the child support percentage of his bonus. First he was going to give me 10% of the amount that was deposited into his account. I had to remind him that the stipulation said 11% of the gross amount. Then he said he could not pay me that right away because he wanted to pay off some of his credit card debt. I had to remind him that child support comes first and that according to the stipulation he had 10 days to pay me and send me proof of the amount of his bonus or he would be in contempt of court. Upon receiving that pay stub I saw that he had 5 weeks vacation and 2 weeks sick time. Jerk would NEVER take off to be with his family. He never let me know how much vacation he even had! Every time I asked him to take off he made it seem like a HUGE inconvenience.

    I don’t know why I am surprised about this because he has consistently lied about big and small things throughout our marriage:

    *Spouses were not invited to an awards banquet held every year – LIE
    *Yes, I filled the gas tank all the way – LIE
    *I can’t take off at the end of the month – LIE
    *I network at happy hours – LIE
    *I didn’t move the curtains that must have been the cats – LIE (caught him on camera after years of that lie)
    *I thought I already told you about this event – LIE
    *I stayed overnight at this event 2 days last year – LIE

    I could go on and on, but my point is this, the best prediction of future behavior is past behavior. They will always lie to you. They will always manipulate you. Trust that they suck and you will not be disappointed. Also, if you have kids get the support automatically withdrawn from their check. They will try to talk you out of it but it really is for the best. Otherwise you will constantly be having to deal with them every month when they mess up the payments. Also, there will seem to be moments where they are surprising cooperative. Do not trust it. They are not doing it to be nice. They are doing it for impression management.

  • My mom has this saying, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” It’s a catch phrase that at times in my marriage, I found incredibly irritating, because my mom was right. Now, I don’t think this slogan translates to all relationships because I’ve seen relationships where both parties do equal shares of the work. But being married to an self-absorbed asshole means that they really only have time for themselves, their things, their events and then they also find the time to fight with you about how they aren’t going to help or do their share of the heavy lifting in the relationship.

    Let it go. As CL says all the time, trust that they suck. Trust that this means that they also are incapable of doing anything that isn’t selfless, caring or responsible.

  • Cheating is horrible. Lying is the worst, in my opinion. Once you know you are dealing with a liar — you need to look back at all previous communication, and accept it could be and probably was all lies. Sad, to have to write off what you thought were beautiful memories — but much, much safer for you to only believe what you know to be true. Sad you have to accept that you could be fooled.

    I have told my sons that I believe their dad loves them as much as he is able to love anyone other than himself. My sons choose to believe that means Dad loves them, but is just a selfish asshole. I don’t really believe he even loves himself, because I do not believe he is capable. He can feign love. He can act like he “loves”. He want’s others to believe he “loves”. But I don’t think he feels love, at least not like I do. I think he feels pleasure and desire for new and shiny. I believe he has delusions of grandeur. I don’t think he is responsible enough to make sure a pet has food and water, and he would say our children were old enough to fend for themselves (at 9 and 12, when we officially split). He lies all the time, even when it does not help him, even when it actually works against him. He will disagree on a warm and sunny and otherwise pleasant day, over nothing, just for the attention of an argument. That is who he is. I don’t expect anything else. Took me long enough to accept — but FINALLY!!!!

    Just read an opinion piece on Huffington Post about Monica Lewinsky feeling she has found her voice in the MeToo movement. I have real issues with that. The folks who have been accused immediately say, “consensual sex”. Monica has always claimed “consensual sex.” Now, she is wondering if she might have been manipulated. Seriously. In my book, anyone, male or female, who knowingly has sex with a married person makes that choice and has to live with it. There will be consequences. Maybe huge horrible consequences you cannot imagine at a young age. But if you consent there are consequences. If you are forced to do something you are not willing to do, and do not believe is the right thing to do — that is coercion. But we have to be careful folks — what constitutes coercion?

    Obviously lots of lies are told when seduction is going on. I didn’t believe all of the BS my ex’s told me, but I did believe a lot of the BS. I wanted to believe it. Only later, when I realized I had been lied to did I start questioning my own culpability. This is where you realize you have to fix your own picker. It does not excuse the lies, but you have to fix your willingness to believe the lies in order to get better. If you feel it is oh so glamorous to have sex with a married other, and the sex is so wonderful and you find you have “fallen in twu luv” — you are complicit. How can you ignore flags like older, richer, powerful, glamorous, has a “dog” reputation, and then blame the more powerful figure? How can you go out on a date, and have sex with someone because you want them to like you, and then blame them for pushing you into having sex when you really didn’t want to? In my world, you don’t have sex with someone who is married, no matter what lie they tell you. You had bad sex and regret it? Get over it. Don’t go out with that person again. Fix your picker, and take responsibility for your choices. We have to be careful with this movement to keep its credibility. We have to understand some consensual sex partners may have been pushy or inappropriate, but we don’t go back years later and offer to settle for big money if we were complicit. We cannot have the freedom to choose to have sex and then blame the one we had sex with, if things don’t turn out the way we want them to. This is the crux of the matter. To be believable, we have to stop listening to the lies, and stop believing we can change others. We have to learn the difference between a bad decision, and coercion. It is a hard place to be.

    I want to believe all the women (and men) who have stepped forward to say MeToo. But I don’t. I think some of them are opportunists. Their desire to be in the spotlight, and “part of a movement,” and to seek big financial settlements, or make money for their story, for something that happened in the past make them less believable. If you step forward now, because you were afraid you would not be believed then, and to lend credibility to someone elses claim — that is support. No amount of compensation is ever going to make me ok with the lies and the waste of time my ex’s provided for me. Being able to talk about it, and do something about my life, and be a part of Chump Nation is a wonderful validation. That is more closure than I ever expected to have.

    • Thank you, Portia. I have the same problem with Monica Lewinsky claiming to be part of the #Metoo movement. The 22-year old Monica, who had already had an affair with a married man in high school, deliberately lifts her blazer to reveal her thong to the married president, and she is the same as an employee threatened with her job if she doesn’t sleep with the boss? equal in status to the woman Matt Lauer bent over a chair and raped? equal to migrant workers who are regularly sexually exploited by their employers? No, just no.

      Puh-leeze…while I do think Monica could be pitied for being dragged into the national spotlight in such an ugly way, she in no way deserves pity as a “victim” of sexual harassment. She sought out a sexual and personal relationship with Clinton, deliberately, in part because she was attracted to his power. She is closer to the company whore who sleeps her way to the top.

      And, as you pointed out, she has routinely claimed her affair with Clinton was consensual. None of the other *real* victims of sexual harassment has consented to their treatment.

      Monica certainly knows how to keep herself in the spotlight, and to ignore the fact that she set out to seduce a married man (hard to not know he was married, since he was the president). #nosympathy

      • Monica is a real puzzle to me. On one hand, she was so very young and he was in a position of power. (And damn, if anyone should know better, SMH) They basically had to rewrite laws after this all went down. On the other, she was clearly enjoying the attention and was not a victim. Until the media. But dear lord, it wasn’t like he was some private unknown person. What on earth was she expecting?

        And i think i’ts back to all people in an affair- she wasn’t thinking about the consequences of her actions at all.

        • She didn’t just enjoy the attention; she *initiated* it. When she was just a nameless intern in a room, she deliberately lifted her blazer to show Clinton her thong above her pants. He then invited her to the Oval Office. Does this excuse his behavior? No. Does it make her a “victim” of a power differential? No, it makes her a slut.

          And I’m with Portia–it’s one thing to shame women for having a sex drive, but when you deliberately set up a sexually-charged encounter with a married man, or with a minor, you deserve shame.

      • I also object to being called “slut-shamer.” Some people are not ashamed of anything they do, no matter how horrendous. Some feel shame because they know what they did was wrong, because they have a moral code and they violated it. If someone wants to proclaim that they have no intention of ever being faithful to another, and will have sex with anyone who is willing — well, that is their choice. Not my choice — I won’t be stepping up and getting in line, I can’t think of anything less attractive. But if someone else likes that and takes advantage of this offer — Oh well, different strokes.

        I know we have a problem with the Age of Consent, and the laws are shaky. But 22? Working in an environment where EVERYTHING is scrutinized by the press and the opposing party? Doing it because “I want to be close to power (possibly rewarded?)” and because the spouse seems mean or too busy to pay attention to the poor sausage? How does anyone make that choice in this time — with an education and an understanding that it has to be a secret because others won’t “understand.” I DON”T understand!

        There are so many dangers and pitfalls that threaten people. Surely they should be wise enough to make better choices to protect themselves from something this obvious. I have always hated the way this incident was handled, mostly because of the self-righteous hypocrites that used the whole thing to try to gain political advantage. To be clear — I think both parties do this, it seems to be the nature of the political beast, but the lies and distortions! I wish folks would just accept that the road to power and influence is full of folks who often act in despicable ways, and no one is perfect, and no party is innocent and we just have to deal with the scandals as they are exposed. It is usually just a matter of time, because I do believe the truth will out. But don’t pretend to be shocked and appalled. It is a way of life. Don’t ask me to condone the behavior, either.

    • Monica always struck me as pathetic and f*cked up. A pretty,chubby young woman with daddy issues who sought attention from a charming, powerful narcissist by agreeing to get down on her knees. The audacity of her trying to climb on the #metoo train and ride it. Just don’t Monica. She hasn’t been cornered in a hotel room by some French rhinoceros (Dominique Strauss-Kahn) while trying to clean or had her boss accuse her of leaving pubic hair on his can of Coke (Clarence Thomas).

    • I agree. Monica Lewinsky made bad decisions as a 22-year-old, but they were decisions. She was not sexually assaulted or harassed.

      As the affair came to light, she was treated terribly–she was held solely responsible for the affair in many quarters and suffered consequences far out of proportion to her male partner. But this is one of the things cheaters don’t “get.” Fairness isn’t really an operating principle in the world–as any chump can tell you. Yet, it remains infuriating common that dishonest people expect to receive “fair” treatment in the face of their own disdain for treating others fairly.

      Now Monica Lewinsky is asking us to conflate her bad decision and the unfair consequences that flowed from it when she tries to position herself as part of the #metoo movement. If she had learned anything from what must have been an unimaginably horrible couple of years she would now be saying, “I behaved immorally with an immoral man, and I’m sorry I did it. I suffered terrible consequences, and I lead my life differently now. I won’t be taking any further questions. Thank you.”

      Pretty much anything else just looks like opportunism to me.

  • Thanks everyone for all the comments on my question. Chump Lady nailed the advice but I appreciate all the added wisdom you have given me. I am new to this. I was married, I thought happily, for over 37 year. My life, and my expected future, has been drastically altered and I feel like a deer in the headlights most days. THis website and your support has really helped. It is hard to break a 37 year habit of expecting him to do something but I know now that I must. The guy played me. His monologue now is all about his pain and how he is not a bad guy or cruel. LOL. I did listen for a few months until I caught him in yet more lies. He never gave up the mistress. So now I am out but the process is difficult. And thanks to all of you for helping to keep me on the path towards dumping this cheater. I give you all permission to slap me silly if I back slide. Thanks!

    • You are still in the process of giving up the dream. I had decades invested, and children. It was hard. Where does selfish end and disordered begin? Is there anything to be done? Can this be repaired or do I have to throw it all away? No one wants to believe the marriage is totaled, but some things cannot be fixed. When you get away from the lies, the sweet air of the truth comes flooding in and your thought process clears. You learn to think for yourself, not as part of a couple. You put your needs and the children’s needs above everything else. Try not to backslide, but if you do — tomorrow is another day.

      This site deals with issues and angles regarding the whole experience of being lied to and cheated on. The wisdom and experience and thoughtful responses are balm for the soul. Hang tough. It is worth it!

    • Springfield528, we all get it and know how rough it is where you are now.

      I threw away 16 years in my prime away with my Ex.
      The divorce was devastating to me emotionally and financially and it took me over 5 years to recover.
      You have to understand though that he is NOT who you thought he was and sadly never was.
      That is one of the hardest things to face and it tarnishes so many of your good memories and makes you feel like a fool who lived a lie.

      I have told my story on here before but as CL has said that eventually you hit Meh and “Your Tuesday Will Come”. Afterwords you can find REAL Love and someone who is capable of real love and gives you real love (not the fake love of the disordered) every day. CL found and married a wonderful man and is very happy. After 5 years I met a fellow Chump, we fell madly in love, got married and are extremely happy. You can and will find happiness, good luck !!

  • I will just repeat what others have already said. You already know he is untrustworthy, unreliable and doesn’t care about your needs. He probably doesn’t care about the dogs either. Don’t rely on or have your plans revolve around him in any way. Don’t even ask him if he is willing to look after the dogs or even let him know you will be out of town. Just find another option for looking after them and leave him in the dark in regards to your plans.

  • Of course he won’t watch your dogs. He wants no part of his previous life. He had probably checked out a long time ago, he just didn’t tell you. He wants to wipe the slate clean, discard his past life with you (along with the dogs) and just start a new life with the affair partner. That’s how these freaks operate. The minute they don’t need you, they discard you like yesterday’s newspaper.

  • Trust That They SUCK.
    They are NOT your friends, they don’t have your best interests at heart, nor their children, financial responsibilities, nor the pets.
    Exh1 actually claimed my beloved Golden Retriever year-old pup, left me the older cranky asshole one. She was kept outside 24-7 at his new slut-shack and died a few years later.
    The Evil One/exh2 rescued a newborn cat about 2 years after we got together and nursed it daily. That cat worshipped him. Never left his side when TEO was home.
    Eleven years later, when he was moving out, he said that he would be back for his cat. Two weeks went by, then a month went by and I still had flea-infested kitty at my house. Second month went by and I had had it. I put kitty outside (never went outside) in the storage room with it’s food, water, kitty litter. It is ventilated, so no worries.
    TEO returned DD that Sunday to my house and looked around for kitty. I told him that I had put him outside. He became enraged, but again didn’t take it.
    Two days later he shows up unannounced claiming he was coming to get kitty. Well, damnit, it got out!!!
    He stormed out of my house vowing that if anything happened to kitty, I would be sorry.
    He then threw this one at me, “How could you just throw him away like an abandoned child???”
    I shot back, “oh?!? Like you abandoned us?!?!”
    He had no response, just big door slam.
    I found the damn cat an hour later, told him he had 15 minutes to come get it or I was taking it to the Animal Shelter. He came and got precious kitty— even though he swore he couldn’t have pets of any kind in his slut-shack— and tore out of my yard leaving skid marks in the dirt.
    I don’t ask about it, and DD never mentions it.
    What. An. Asshole.
    Follow Chump Lady’s advice, no contact as much as possible.

  • They don’t care about anything but themselves.

    When I was at the end of my wreckonciliation fiasco, I asked the ex to come in and give my cats fresh food and water every evening while I was at a 3 day conference. I was leaving plenty of extra out, but since I’d be gone 3 nights, they really needed checking on. He jumped at the chance to do it in order to further “prove himself” to me.

    While I was gone, I checked in with him, he said he’d been visiting to care for the cats but I had a gut feeling something was hinky. After I got home on the 4th day, my cats were more skittish and clingy than I felt they ought to be after having a person they knew well visiting and caring for them. I asked my neighbor who has video surveillance cameras around their home if they’d seen the cheater around while I was gone.

    She said he came by very early that morning and that concerned her, but he had a key so she figured he belonged there. I asked if she could show me on her security footage. He had only stopped by once the entire time, at 3 in the morning the day I returned home, and only stayed long enough to put food and water down. The other 3 days? Nothing, all lies.

    I didn’t confront him, but I changed my locks after I took back my keys, put him at arm’s length while claiming to be too busy to see much of him, and started investigating what else he was lying about. That’s when I found the secret social media account and assumed name.

    Anyhow, animals mean as little to them as people. My ex doted on my pets in front of me but screwed them over behind my back. Put the dogs in a kennel or hire a professional pet sitter. They’re better off without him watching them anyway.

  • as above – don’t rely on him for anything.

    he might respond by making like he wants to cooperate with you. this is just a ruse to keep you on a leash. don’t need to fight about it – just make your own arrangements. he doesn’t even need to know.

    resist the urge to keep him updated.

    take care of yourself.

  • The reasons not to let him care for the dogs are two fold. First, you already know he’s unreliable, and so you will spend your time away fretting , with good cause, about whether he’s going to show up. That’s horrible and stressful for you. Second, if he doesn’t show up, or half-asses it, your cherished pets will suffer for basically no reason they can understand.

    Like CL says, there is a way that we want to say, “Sure, he dumped ME, but SURELY he will do right by Fluffy and Spot!”. It’s a way of clinging to the idea that maybe the problem really WAS just us, that better or more innocent creatures can still have access to The Wonderful Version Of The Spouse.

    Nope. Trust that he sucks. He will be a jerk to the dogs/cats/iguanas/birds/fish/kangaroos/etc. He is a broken person who doesn’t think about consequences, ever. He floats along in a sea of “What do I want right now? How can I get it?”. Any incidental kindness is the result of him briefly figuring that “moderate act of consideration X will get me Desired Outcome Y.”

    If your finances permit it, call a kennel/board/dog sitting service. Desperate? Drop by your local humane society and ask if you can put up a flier for a sitter, or at least pass along that you need someone willing to accept very little in exchange for care for a few days. (Plenty of college students volunteer at humane societies, and would consider the equivalent of pizza money per day a perfectly acceptable trade!)

    Another good option is a local pet store, same thing, put up a flier. Local library. Church/Place of worship newsletter. Got a local vegetarian/vegan co-op? FLIER! All good choices. Aim for where the kind of animal-loving people you want tend to be, and you will likely make a good connection.

  • ‘The rest of us are stuck with fuckwits we wouldn’t trust to frost a cupcake.’
    Damn straight, this made me laugh so much. Try not to ask much of them as it will be a song and dance. I look back at the simple tasks I asked of asshat and the drama involved in doing them, yes stuff as CL puts it a competent adult would just get done.
    I’m trying to get payslips from clown
    CL is bang on and damn funny as always.

  • ‘The rest of us are stuck with fuckwits we wouldn’t trust to frost a cupcake.’
    Damn straight, this made me laugh so much. Try not to ask much of them as it will be a song and dance. I look back at the simple tasks I asked of asshat and the drama involved in doing them, yes stuff as CL puts it a competent adult would just get done.
    I’m trying to get payslips from clown shoes for a gov debt from 8 years back, involves a phone call and a chat with old HR, he’s rang twice and still hasn’t got it over the line, becomes his reason to contact me, truly petty and small minded.
    God give me strength.
    CL is bang on and damn funny as always.

  • Exactly the same thing happened to me… or to my boys “Rocket” and “Astro” – I have changed the names to protect the doggies. two labs – his Rocket looked/paced/searched at 5:30 pm for him for TWO years…. but “dad” said he didn’t have time and would give him away if he took him…
    Lots of times – it’s a bitch to take two doggies to kennels for work related and vacation plans. BUT I know they are being taken care of and I don’t have to rely on liars or fear “they are busy”. Nope, not my circus anymore.
    So I have two beautiful labs that love me dearly and xh who is missing out on a whole lot more than dogs. If I say so myself.

  • Chiming in late here, but yes, trust that they suck.

    They lie about stupid stuff. I found that my CheaterX started lying about stuff he didn’t need to lie about. Sure, I understood about his lying about Schmoopie. After all, I hadn’t confronted him with my knowledge, so he was trying to keep his affair a Big Secret.

    But it’s as if lying about the Big Stuff makes it easier to tell stupid lies about small stuff. I finally accepted that I really could tell when CheaterX was lying: he would open his mouth.

    The lying extends to the pets. My CheaterX saw himself as an animal lover. I don’t go into the entire drama that went into our getting my older dog, but suffice it to say that CheaterX was about to return the dog to the shelter. It was I who recommended that we take the dog to a high powered trainer. The behaviorist at the shelter recommended a trainer. CheaterX came about 3 times, but stopped. Why? He wasn’t interested in the kind of consistency it takes to train a dog.

    He was reliable about letting the dogs out at lunch, but unreliable about watching what they did.

    I have custody of the dogs. Best part of the divorce settlement!

  • My fuckwad bought ducks and let the dogs eat them. Every time the dog ate a duck he bought a new one. I screamed and screamed at him to stop. I screamed at him for ruining our “perfect” miserable marriage for *****blo $__y. Any way I’m glad to be out but it’s still hard to trust a guy who isnt just someone on the prowl for divorced women to screw over.
    I still have deep trust issues from the fuckwad.

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