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Dear Chump Lady, How do I stop the smear campaign?

Hey Chump Lady,

D-Day was November 20, 2017. I was coming home late after working one of my 4 jobs I had taken to sustain my wife’s insatiable and inscrutable spending habit and found her asleep, phone still in hand in the middle of a text conversation with another man she had known for years, talking about her running away and taking his last name.

We had a row about it that week, and she promised that it was over with him, that she would return to me, the whole jazz.

Then, on December 18, I found, in a similar way, that she’d been doing this with at least five other men. She categorically denied that any of it meant anything; that I was reading into the photos of her vagina and the promises that we had been separated for years. That yes she had a problem, but it wasn’t who she was.

I, being a textbook chump, took her back again. Heard her promises to change.

I also found out again on February 2, 2018 that she was still having a relationship with the first guy she was making plans to run away with. It took me a month after that confrontation to expose the hell of our past two years to close friends and family and go No Contact.

Since then, she has been doubling down on a story she has been publicly open about: that in her previous marriage, she was the victim of horrible domestic violence. She was living with her husband on an Air Force base and he would come home from work and beat her mercilessly until one day she found the fortitude to leave.

The events of our marriage (not just the four separate fights we had about the multiple men she was sexually involved with) made me question this domestic violence story–at least its severity.

So I reached out to her ex-husband. I had him describe their relationship to me, and it was like he was telling me a play-by-play of my own marriage. Her insatiable spending. Her constant gaslighting and manipulation. Her textbook narcissism. He tells me (and I believe him) that he never laid a finger on her. The military’s police also arrived at the same conclusion when they performed an investigation.

I am in the process of getting a lawyer and have been NC since the last week of March. What I want to know is what to do about this issue of domestic violence in her past. She has publicly blasted this man whom I believe to be innocent to the extent that he is still fearful to go into public places, because he never knows whom he’ll run into.

I want to tell my story (including the 119 photos I have of proof of her affairs with six different men — and these are just the ones I have found), but I also want to tell his story, and how it lines up almost perfectly with mine. How can someone like my STBX be stopped from doubling down on something that is almost surely a falsehood?


Questions about her Past

Dear Questions,

Now is not the time to go on a publicity tour ala James Comey, setting the record straight — now is the time to extract yourself from from this marriage ASAP. You’re essentially doing the legal equivalent of crawling into a nest of vipers and diffusing a bomb. Proceed with CAUTION and protect yourself. Get out of that viper pit alive.

But, but! Her lies!

You don’t control that. 

Read that sentence again and again. Maybe tattoo it to your arm for future reference. You don’t control the lies your ex tells about you, or anyone else, or if she took the last cookie, or if that’s her real weight on her drivers license… YOU DON’T CONTROL THAT. You only control YOU.

When you leave someone as batshit crazy as your STBX, fully expect the rage channel. What?! No credit card shopping sprees?  No reliable chump kibbles? WTF! Consequences?! Oh no, no, NO!

She will probably tar you with the same brush she tarred her ex-husband with. You’re controlling, you’re awful, in fact YOU are the cheater!  Whatever crazy pops in her head, she’ll probably go with it. She’s certainly not leading with: “I sexted 119 pictures of my lady parts!”

Because why would she? The truth defeats her narrative of being Hard Done By. And if she’s a Sad, Misunderstood Sausage and Victim of That Bad Man, she can attract another chump. (Worked on you!)

Of course her lies are infuriating, but do you really want to be the Liar Police? That keeps your head firmly in the mindfuck blender. It maintains her centrality.  If her lies are damaging enough to warrant a defamation case, talk to your lawyer, but even THEN, do you want to go to court? Moreover, do you really want to do this on behalf of another chump, her ex-husband? How exhausting.

IMO, the sane thing to do here is leave and go total no contact. Eat the shit sandwich of injustice, and be grateful for every day you’re not in her crazy orbit.

Meanwhile, you’re still in the vipers nest. Do NOT be alone with this woman. Do not allow yourself to be in any situations in which she could claim you’re harming her. Only talk between your lawyers. Just focus on freedom.

I guarantee you, she’s saying terrible things about you. And my friend — it doesn’t matter. The people who love you, who know you, don’t believe that crap. The people who believe her, are her next victims.

We can’t save everyone. Yes, these freaks should come with forehead stamps, but they don’t. Just live your life with integrity and leave your ex to her vagina selfies.

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.
  • My stbxh claimed that his high school sweetheart cheated etc. How would I have known he was lying?

    Guess what he tells his new victims now about me? Yep. Same lies over and over. It hurts like hell.

    But look at the facts: we have 3 small kids. I raise them with primary custody. The court garnished his wages for child and spousal support. Now he lives with his parents, a girlfriend and their newborn. I work all weekend when he has his periods of custody.

    The facts don’t line up with his lies about me abandoning our family to pursue affairs.

    • I had that too.
      After D-Day Narkles the Clown, said “you did it too, you cheated on me.” Pretty sure he told people that for years to justify his actions, all sad sausage like. I can just imagine it. Then there’s the logic. My head spun when he said that just thinking how, when, with whom? I worked full time in a job so intense lunch hours were rare and taken in a public break room down the hall lasting about 20 minutes if one was lucky. At the same time I was raising a child while Narkles the Clown traveled “for work”. I also maintained a house and dealt with all our parents and their demands. I barely had time to buy groceries. Exactly when was I supposed to find an affair partner, cultivate them, and have an affair, not to mention with what money?

      The good news is there are over seven billion people in the world. Our exes can’t lie to them all in their search for kibbles.

      Questions it’s time to extract yourself from this mess. Get out. Go now. Material things can be replaced, your sanity and possibly your freedom, not so much. Once she flips to the rage channel you are in danger. She has done it before. She will do it again. Please save yourself. Life is better n the other side. Image a life where you don’t have to work four jobs to support her spending. Imagine a life free of drama where you don’t have to worry if your wife gave you an STI. Imagine living in peace. All you have to do is get out and go No Contact, the path to the truth and the light.

      • Thanks for this>>>”The good news is there are over seven billion people in the world. Our exes can’t lie to them all in their search for kibbles.”

        I have never thought about it this way. I’ve been so focused on the I don’t know how many dozens of people he lied and smeared me to, instead of focusing on the billions of people he will never have access to. Thank you!

        • Half the fun is coming up with a name that suits your particular cheater.
          There are some doozies here!
          A name will come to you.

    • My ex used to claim that his high school sweetheart cheated on him too! Ha…she was the first one he cheated on me with 20 years ago when I was six months pregnant & then again in 2016.
      People have asked him why we got divorced & he tells them the whole “we just grew apart” bullshit story. I tell people the truth of his cheating throughout the marriage. Even our DD has had arguments with him over his cheating & he tells her that I wasn’t perfect & she just doesn’t know the whole story. She basically told him that any hints to me cheating on him are stupid because I was the only one available taking care of her & her older brother. He’s just trying to cast doubt in her head & take the heat off of himself. Bastard.

      • Oh, the “two sides to every story”. Trigger. I can’t imagine what he would tell anybody with a clean conscious about me. No, I’m not a saint, but I truly thought our arguments were typical of any married couple. He told me he cheated because I wouldn’t engage in anal (I tried and it hurt like hell), and I wouldn’t swallow. I’m sure that is EXACTLY what he tells other people. It is, however, exactly what I tell the people I’ve told. Hey, it’s what he told ME.

        He wants to control my narrative. Nope.

        • ivyleague….my ex told our daughters that it takes two people in a marriage. Strange he should say that since he is the one who brought a third person into it! Dope!!

        • Omg same here. He seemed to have a huge issue with the fact that I wouldn’t do anal and that this was an important thing to him. (And yeah, he always wanted me to swallow.) I’ve been trying to figure out where these proclivities come from.. I’m guessjng the insane amount of porn that he watched.

    • My ex wife told me while she was dumping me for her AP that she was sure I never got over my girlfriend I had before her…24 years ago!! I still laugh about that comment. I didn’t know about her cheating at that time but after I found out all her ridiculous comments made sense..blameshifting etc…same cheater handbook.

      • My STBX ended up with a 20 minute long narrative wherein our entire 25 year marriage was just an extended rebound from a two week “relationship” he had six months before we met.


        • God amazing the BS these cretins come up with to cover their asses. And after being on this site for a few years now, I see not one of them has an original line. Just the same regurgitated bile.

  • My stbxw is making all kinds of accusations. I am NEVER alone with her. I have someone with me at ALL times. My lawyer and ministers told me to get out NOW. I moved out two days later. My stbxw bruises easy. All she would have done was called the police and say it was me. Protect yourself. Don’t worry about the smear campaign. She could get you thrown in jail. That happened to my roommate. He sat in jail for 10 months because of false accusations (she was high on drugs). Woman are believed so much more then men when it comes to domestic violence. Only thing that protected me (besides God) was that her abuse landed me in a mental hospital twice which documented her abuse of me. Please don’t take any chances. Run!!!

    • This is awesome advice — the sooner you get away from her, the less accusation fodder she will have at hand.

      Then once you aren’t in the same home, try to always have a witness in her presence, and document all communication.

      Back up the information you do have in a place she can’t get to it including that other guy’s number. You may need it later if she accuses you. (You’ll need to verify that story if she does accuse you, though.)

      This is the kind of person it’s best to leave all at once – plan an exit and exit swiftly. You can’t control the narrative, but you can limit her options. Don’t give her any advantages.

    • I am a woman who was the target of domestic abuse by my husband or years. Yet he accused me and his previous wife of abuse and adultery. I was falsely accused in court; he requested full custody of our kids, which fortunately he did not get. Unfortunately, I spent $100k defending myself from the false accusations and the divorce he initiated. Innocent women, too can get demolished in cases of false allegations.

      • I know it happens to women also, sorry if I offended you in anyway. Read about women covert narcissists (which mine is) and you will find a trail of men unjustly accused. They are vicious and evil.

        • Exasshole attacked me, I called the police and he convinced them I did it. I spent the night in jail and it was incredibly bad. I had to serve probation to get the charge dismissed. He used this to further control me, made it much harder to get away from him. Trust me, I’ve researched and This happens to women alot now. MRA sites help men frame their spouses for DV all the time. Sick fuckers.

          • I am so sorry. That is why one of the reasons I moved out. I am glad you are not with him anymore.

          • Men,women – makes no difference. Cheaters lie and smear. Seems like we are, finally, figuring out that womenare are violent,too.
            Best thing one can do is get out and have no contact.

  • My ex told everyone that I cheated!
    Our friends just laughed in his face (if you knew me, you’d find that hysterical). I kept all the friends.
    I had told my in-laws immediately but they stayed with him, some of his siblings bought it.

    People who know you won’t listen. Anyone who listens doesn’t matter in your new life.
    Put your fingers in your ears and RUN!

  • My ex told terrible lies, so did the ow. Lies about cancer, childhood abuse, suicide, perversely I think they enjoyed it. I suspect they enjoy thinking their clever. Self entitled shits, I think!.

  • My ex told people (you know, the “nice” ones in the scummy bar he virtually lived in) that I beat him up when he came home from work! I heard that from my hairdresser, who told it to me in front of one of his friends. I burst out laughing it was such a shock. I’m pretty sure no-one believed him after that!

  • I was lining up ducks quietly.
    I went to a friends house for a girls night of wine and friendship.
    He was convinced I was cheating because anyone who has a friend and has an overnight obviously is fucking that person. So he broke into my phone, and that’s how he found out I knew he was cheating. Of course, he still thought I had cheated so it’s probably fair in his mind. SMH.

  • Dear Question,

    Consider yourself lucky that you know what a cheaters smear campaign is and that you know the truth that she did that to her ex-husband. I myself had no clue and I did not know that this was very common for cheaters/narcissists to do. Within in days of me catching my now ex out on a date with a newly divorced whore. He started a huge smear campaign behind my back (all lies) to his friends and co-workers. He was telling them that I was crazy, dangerous, and a bad wife. Oh, and he’s a “Christian” and we were in counseling with our pastor while he was doing this. I didn’t find any of this out until almost a year later when I met out with a friend who has a connection to one of his co-workers.

    My ex would not leave when I asked him many times to do so after he said he wanted a divorce. Long story short, six months after I caught him out with his whore, I exploded on Easter Sunday. And then I started to act like the “crazy” wife. Now I’ve learned that this was all what they call reactive abuse from the 20+ years of his lying, cheating, gaslighting and triangulating me with tons of women. I eventually moved out, because my envirement was slowly killing me. And I’m now like you wife’s ex-husband. I hate going out in public, because I’m afraid of running into people that he smeared me to.

    I would take the advice of the other males who have already written. RUN!! “Run” was actually the first thing my sisters pastor told her when she was seeking advice on how to help and support me. He told me to run! I wish I would have, as staying with him was driving me crazy. I’m not sure how else to say it, but it can be very easy for us, the faithful spouse, to get very mad. I now look at Tiger Woods’ wife running after his car with a golf club in a whole different light then I did when it happened. Who knows what kind of mental abuse she was put through with that man before one night she “lost it”!

    Safe yourself and RUN! You don’t want to end up in jail, because these narc types will do ANYTHING to make themselves to look like the victim of you.

    • The smear campaign starts right before they cheat. Hell! he started smearing me to ME. I was in therapy for years trying to figure out if I’m a piece of shit. NPDs flip reality and create a villain and a hero. There is no way to stop them. The smear campaign already started years before we leave them.

      • I agree. My ex started “ we are not getting along to his mother and sister” long before when he was balling the coworker.
        News to me. He made it so uncomfortable to visit them and I did not know why at the time.
        Makes sense now that when I learned of his cheating and spoke to his Mom, she said “ There are two sides to every story”
        Last time I spoke to her
        Talked to the first wife as we have coparented their child for 15 years, turns out everything he had told me about her, was alive.
        Turns out he was cheating on her too.
        Makes my skin crawl.
        Get out. It’s so awesome.

  • I have been waiting for this topic for a long time. I am a victim of his Sociopathic slander (as this was the only way he could possibly justify what he has done to our family.) The problem is that he is “just so charming” and believable and what can you do when people don’t even give you the chance to actually tell the truth? The worst part for me is that he began in 2012 demonizing me to our son (conveniently as the affair was going full steam ahead). This son has been estranged from me since then, and this really, really hurts.

    • NotMyFault, I’m so sorry you’re alienated from your son. It’s such a despicable and selfish act to rob a child of his mother, the years lost can never be replaced, neither can the irreplaceable role of a mother in our children’s development. I wish I had some magic words to tell you that would end the alienation. My approach was to send a note once a month asking how he’s doing, letting him know I love him and mention a fond memory or the something reminded you of him.
      Cheater is also charming, maintains his great guy image. Cheater doesn’t miss an opportunity to tell people, that he just couldn’t take living with me anymore as he sheds a tear.. then ads, our son doesn’t even want to live with her.. Her forgot to mention the financial incentive he offered our son if he moved away from me and all the promises made. He also encouraged our son to lie to me, yet,
      “he’s concerned for my mental health”. So concerned he found an AP and allowed our 16 year old son have their bachelor pad apartment to himself while Cheater lived with his AP and her kids.
      X was distant with our son until a few months before Dday, I noticed Cheater suddenly being friendly with our son which meant they were becoming closer. Cheater had been mentally preparing him for DDay and dislike of me. My son eventually came around but our relationship is no longer as close.
      Your situation is probably different and he will come around soon.

      I’ve talked with therapists about my son and parental alienation and they all agree that X had been carefully grooming our son to despise me, long before Cheater left.
      X’s smear campaign began with the public and friends who I trusted long before I was aware of X’s intentions. I was accused of being mentally unstable, an alcoholic who refused his request that we attend marriage counseling. One afternoon I backed into a chain link fence in the high school parking lot, he told anyone who would listen that I was driving drunk that afternoon. I walked into a restaurant one morning and he was there so I turned around and walked out without saying a word. He fabricated a story of me yelling at him, making a scene in the restaurant, he was so embarrassed he almost called the police on me.
      I’ve never been so humiliated in all my life. I’m sure the slander continues, fortunately I no longer associate with anyone who is friends with him so I no longer hear his outrageous lies.

      • Your post shows it doesn’t matter what you do, they will say whatever it takes to be a victim.

      • Thank you so much, but, I have tried everything. Emails, letters, gifts, cards, prayers, etc. The absolute worst part is that MY SON will not tell me what he is accusing me of. On the odd chance that we see one another (usually by accident), I mention lunch, etc. He seems to agree and then refuses to answer my phone calls. I get nothing for holidays, Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc. My only saving grace is that deep down I know that I was the best mother and wife, and prior to this happening, everyone thought that this son was my favorite! Also, I can oly control what I do. By the way, he is very successful and my Psychiatrist thinks that he is a Sociopath like his father.

        • NMF- I am in a similar boat with my 21-year-old daughter. She does not talk to me and won’t tell me why. I have invited her to dinner and she will accept, but not show up. I haven’t heard a ‘happy birthday’ from her the past 2 years. I have no idea what I did wrong and it saddens me to say that I gave up. I cry about it – in fact I’m tearing up right now because we used to be so close. My 2 boys and I still have a good relationship, so I don’t know what happened or what I did. I can only hope that she comes around some day and realizes her dad is the piece of shit. He buys her off though – and I think that is part of the problem. He buys her brand new cars – I don’t.

          A few months ago my boyfriend said the sweetest thing to me…. We were talking about this bullshit between me and my daughter. My boyfriend says to me “That is really too bad cuz your daughter is sure missing out on a great mom!” That made me cry!!!

          and PS – HIS kids adore me and have been very outspoken in their hopes that their dad marries me… So what the deal is with my own daughter? I don’t know.

    • You’re not alone. My adult son became a flying monkey. Finally got dad’s approval smh

      • I think you’re on to something with the kids finally getting dad’s approval. x withheld from them also. The pick me dance for kids.

    • Mine also. After he left me and shacked up with the babyshitter and my 16yr old daughter, he started telling people that she was living with him because I abused her. Told his family, friends and lawyer. Then she started telling classmates and friends that I abused her and now tells that to anyone she can. I haven’t seen her since feb 2015 and have been totally estranged from her for over a year. I hope he, and the slut, are proud of themselves. They not only destroyed a family but now my girl has no mom and I think actually believes I abused her (odd though – if I did abuse her, why didn’t he fight for full custody???).

      • KAF – that sucks royally. I’m so sorry for the extra-horrible-cheater screw you got. I hope that you have been able to find some joy beyond that POS. Sending good thoughts that your daughter will come to her senses soon.

  • Telling the truth will just force him to be on his best behavior longer. He will show his true colors much quicker if I keep my mouth shut. I want him to let his guard down and forget to put on his sheep’s clothing.

  • Hence my user name, IF I’m going to be cast as the villain, I’m going to pick a GOOD one.
    XH believed his bullshit. Right down to the very last, and probably till today.

    After exposure, he tried to report ME to the police. A very kind, understanding officer listened to me, shook his head and told me, “Ma’am, I just talked to your husband for an hour and a half. Nothing he is saying makes any sense. I’m not supposed to become involved, but take this advice. Divorce this man and get as far away from him as fast as you possibly can.”

    I wish I’d have listened that day.

  • Sigh, yeah. This is one of the hardest parts. Really rankles when you realize it: dark hints and outright lies to friends and family about your allegedly sick/frightening/abusive/impossible behavior, with their long-suffering patience as the kicker.

    But I think silence in the face of that is the only way. We absolutely cannot control it, it’s true, but just as crucial to understand is that any attempt to counter it is just gas splashed on the fire.

    Nothing to do but let it go.

    Interestingly, witnessed an acquaintance do this up close and personal. It takes a lot of planning and a practiced script for them to do it. I saw her make the rounds small group by small group, individual by individual, to get out ahead of the story, and then afterwards feign sorrow and claim to take all of the responsibility (because she’s the bigger person, don’t you know), but this performance always concluded with a carefully placed comment about his mental illness and her hope that he would get that under control someday. Mission accomplished: he’s crazy and she did the best she could for as long as she could but finally had to get out, and though she made mistakes in that, who could fault her under the circumstances?

    Oscar worthy. Truly stunning.

    • Mine did and continues to do the exact same thing. Poor Dixie got depressed when she had to move to Alabama … wouldn’t leave the house … wouldn’t go to counseling. And because each of those statements was true, it was easy to believe. The CAUSE of the statements (Dixie learned she had given 30 years of her life to a truly shitty person) was conveniently left out.

      None of it matters. Freedom is sweet. People who know you will know the truth even without you defending yourself. The others can f$#* off!

    • THIS!^^^

      Cashmere – My professionally assessed and diagnosed BPD wife comes from what I (unprofessionally) diagnose as an NPD family. The parents operate their slander in the exact same cunning manner you describe.

      Three generations of alcoholism is one of the red flags of underlying family dysfunction I amazingly didn’t know enough to read properly. I was the perfect Boy Scout target. Theirs is an alcoholism of self indulgent emptiness and nihilism, of those who exploit others as a purposeful way of life, so I differentiate it from alcoholism in reaction to the pain of trauma. But it goes so much further than that simple symptom.

      I have been caught in the web of the branch of this family which has descended down through its “mascots”. The image managers of each generation’s brood. The most recent, my MIL, paired with a somatic narc man-child who stood to inherit family money. Theirs is an “arrangement” rather than a marriage. He is a pervert to his daughters and granddaughters and she says nothing, cold bitch that she is, so long as she is provided with a new car every 4 or 5 years and is left largely alone to live her daily life of sleeping until 10am then lunching with the ladies until 3pm at their 115 year old private club idling away with perhaps some mah-jong. This is literally daily and year round.

      They, and their two other offspring (cheating, slut, alcoholic, child abused, depression medicated, personality disordered, migraine and fibromyalgia suffering…daughters, each of whom have identified with, rather than rejected, the family’s closed dysfunctional system) have combined efforts in a years long, never-ceasing smear campaign of me. I have committed the incredible sin of having seen behind the mask and confronted them privately and directly on their myriad disorders and foulness. I have called out their daughter’s – the one I married – serial cheating, eating disorder, suicidality, alcoholism, compulsive lying, etc. When they said things like “none of this ever existed until you” and “maybe this (my reaction to it all) comes from something in your family” I connected the dots for them back to their own dysfunctional family system. I inconveniently pointed out the patterns and explained how one daughters dysfunction cannot be looked at as a separate matter entirely from another daughter’s dysfunction. When two daughters are objectively sluts and the father is a sexualizing pervert who keeps female mannequins in the basement? When two are eating disordered the father is weight obsessed? When two are alcoholics and the mother is a dry drunk whose siblings and parents are all alcoholics? When two daughters are on the same prescription psych meds? I have shared nothing with the outside public. I wanted and actually expected their awakening and interest in change. (Chump!) They have used my honorable silence and naive hope for change against me. They “got out in front” of the threatening truths known by me and began sowing lies about my “anger and abusiveness” and how it drove their daughter (one of two current sibling alcoholics) to drinking. She had of course been an angel. The angel everyone thinks they know – the “angel” I myself thought I had married. Never mind her serial cheating ongoing since our first month dating and promiscuity placing both she and her sister in the worst 10% according to the CDC. Never mind her falsely claiming to have been raped, even naming the guy, as a way of explaining aspects of her BPD behavior. (This explanation given, eliciting my compassion and concern, even while she was producing bruises and claiming abuse by me to others.) Never mind her bulimia for decades beginning in her teens. Never mind her first attempt at suicide at age 14. I could go on and on but I’m too ashamed because…yes, I caused this train wreck.

      The parents are expert at the exact same brand of sympathy-seeking (for themselves) innuendo-inserting slander that you describe above. Shakespeare created Iago 400 years ago and yet no one thinks this subtly and skill at evil is a real thing. The daughters are more prone to unhinged inventive diatribe. This combination of slander techniques is effective because it makes sure the innuendo is clear if perhaps it has been delivered too subtly.

      I have gone on too long here (and yet not nearly enough). You are so right Cashmere about the Oscar level skill and naturalness of such deception and character assassination to these types. I would recommend to anyone though, that you must not be discreet on their behalf. You will only lose and they will never stop (another naive thought of mine). Let at least some select people know the truth.

  • It’s what they do, and trying to control them or what they’re saying, who they’re talking to, whether people believe them or not, will drive you crazy. Yes, it’s absolute bullshit that makes me really angry. But CL is right, you can’t keep your STBX in your head like that. It’s hard enough to get them out without worrying about what they’re doing & trying to do damage control. People will figure out the truth in the end, and anybody who buys into the lies & bullshot without questioning the authenticity isn’t anyone you want to be worried about anyway. Some people just get drawn to the drama and love it.
    I had a brief couple of weeks where the OW’s hubby was in contact with me. Comparing lies, telling me about her history, commiserating, etc. It wasn’t her first rodeo – surprise!! – but I quickly realized that I couldn’t be aligned with him. I felt horrible for him, but I also felt horrible for myself & my kids. And he seems to be stuck in Chump land, doing whatever is possible to just keep the peace. My kids & I have very little to do with the ex, and the less I know the better. That poor guy is stuck in the blender and has no desire (or not enough {what? Self respect, inner strength, the desire to change his life?}) to change the narrative. I’ve heard that my ex has threatened to beat her ex up on various occasions – and we’ve been split up for almost 5 years!!!! That’s a circus I do NOT want tickets to. It’s admirable to want to help the first ex, but you can’t. You need to focus on yourself, and get yourself away ASAP. Please take CL’s advice seriously and do NOT EVER be alone with your cheater. It’s only a matter of time until you are accused of domestic violence. Hang in there!!

  • Goodness, I needed to read this today. My stbxh AND his mother broke one year of social media “radio silence” this weekend with a smear campaign directed at yours truly. I am so defeated by the outright, flaming, lies. I’ve been no contact (minimal contact for the kids stuff) for this past year and I knew he was telling his story, I just had not seen “in black and white” the results until Saturday. With dripping sarcasm: This chump had no idea following court ordered generous visitation (I have full legal and physical custody) was “being a petty, vindictive person and withholding a man’s children from him and grandchildren from their grandmother!!
    This morning, I was prepared to write his mom a strongly worded email telling my side of the story. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll be grateful that’s not my circus any longer. And that those that matter are not buying that crap.

    • SAME EXACT THING on my end!!!! Norman Bates is an absolutely perfect comparison. The ex-MIL made the narc, and the apple certainly didn’t fall far from that tree!!

    • Please don’t contact his mother….she is going with the chosen narrative. You’ll be talking to a brick wall and will receive no satisfaction from trying to make her see the truth. She won’t. You are the bad person keeping the kids and grandkids away from their doting father & grandmother. It’s just a lame excuse she can tell everyone why she and their father are not involved with the kids.

  • My ex kept an online journal when it was brand new technology. I found it. The depth of the lies was staggering. He painted me as a violent, aggressive, cruel monster. It was massively self-contradictory. His readers ate it up like a feast.

    In it, he detailed every time he overspent on crap right before writing me a tale of woe and asking to skip a support payment. I always said no. More evidence, in his mind, of my cruelty.

    I was furious, but I said nothing, because he was handing me evidence of his BS on a silver platter. I just kept copies of everything — stopped reading it and just copied it and tucked it away — in case I ever needed to use it.

    The only time I ever needed to use it was just to say one simple sentence:

    “I have copies of every entry in your online journal”.

    He apologized, took the journal down, and it all stopped.

    If a person is smearing you, you might find an opportunity to use it to your advantage. Otherwise, it’s not worth dignifying it with a response.

  • Holy shit … today’s colum is like reading about my cheater story, but in a twisted and altered universe.

    STBX was a serial cheater and enjoyed the company of strippers and escorts. I pick me danced for over 12 years of porn use, hook up sites, and danced for an additional 4 years after his 2 week affair with a stripper. The straw that broke the camels back was finding a text of his negotiating with an escort over price, his providing his hotel address and the text ending with her saying “I’m here, I’ll meet you in the bar.” Of course I screenshot that text and went that day to an attorney and filed for divorce.

    He played the “let’s be amicable card” until he found a smoopsie (while still living here). Over night The rumors became: I am a gold digger, mentally unstable because i was abused as a child, wanted to abort our children, had a history of dating abusive men, refused to get a job (I was a SAHM, and managed our rental properties), and I’ve even heard the rumor “I was the cheater!” I never so much looked at another man with lust.

    After I’d had enough of his crap, running around with smoopsie while living here, acting like our home was the local hotel he came and slept at after a night of partying, encouraging our kids to talk to his smoopsie on the phone, I sent his parents and siblings a text outlining the real reason I filed for divorce. Everything I said was truthful and Could be backed up with evidence. He had his lawyer send me a letter threating to obtain a gag order for defamation.

    My counselor finally instructed me to stop speaking to him all together (while he lived here) after he approached me in the garage, backing me into my car by puffing out his chest, scowling and moving toward me using intimidation and fear. When I stood up for myself and put my hand up in a “stop” motion, my hand touched his chest. He started freaking out, calling me a “crazy bitch!” Things were escalating quickly and when I threaten to call the police, he ran and grabbed his cell phone and started videotaping me. It’s like he turned on a calm switch while he held his phone, recording and accusing me of “assulting him!”

    If you are going to be staying in the home, I highly suggest getting nanny cams and putting them in common spaces of your home, check the laws in your area first.


    • Yes, yes, yes. Same experience here. Ex and whore did restraining order/injunction against harassment when I sent his parents their timeline/receipts. Certainly NOT the “we got together after” story they were telling. It didn’t matter. Ex’s mom is an emotional enmeshing narc while dad was a cheater with heavy conflict avoidance. Ex’s mom told family that she called MY house and a MAN answered MY phone. That, obviously, never happened. Anyway, I told Ex that I was sending the same list to his and whore’s boss (I used to work with their boss). They flew to the court before I did anything (never tip your hand).

      Ex put in the restraining order that I threw the divorce “paperwork” at him and yelled obscenities in our street. True. I did. I flung 2 pieces of paper – the summons- (un-crumpled) at him. I had just handed him a waiver of service 2 minutes before the doorbell rung by a process server. It was the day before my birthday and I thought it was the airport driver coming to take me to the airport so that I could take the trip that ex was supposed to go on with me when he left 8 weeks before. Ex really wanted the waiver of service before I left for 12 days – this after I gave him 18 years.

      I didn’t fight anything as attorney told me that ex and whore are bonding over this stuff and also that the whore is a “crazy bitch that would like to see your life ruined. Get off the grid, change your phone number and move. I’m worried about what she might do.” I did everything my attorney told me. Ex married the whore and I have had no contact with them since. They are they victims, I was their “abuser” in their fairy story.

  • They eventually show their true colours. Just saw this happen with the bloke I picked after the cheating ex-husband. He is a manipulative narcissist and he tried to pull passive aggressive crap on a mutual male friend of ours who called him out on it. I was saddened that it happened to my friend, but glad that he saw the snake. You have a deadly snake wanting to strike. The snake can’t do that if you are out of striking distance. You have been given brilliant advice. Live your life, protect yourself, stay steady and people who are suppos d to be in your life will show their worth.

  • It takes an incredible amount of planning and patience to execute a smear campaign. I realize now it had been going on for so long. I could never understand why he wouldn’t stick up for me to others. He was very good at making it look like he had nothing to do with it. But deep down i knew he did. I think that is what really made me dislike him. He was so completely two faced.

  • GTFO, and don’t look back.

    There’s no winning or vindication by exposing these kinds of people. As much as you fight to get the proof of their misdeeds out there in the public eye, they will fight twice as hard to maintain control of the narrative. And unlike you, they don’t have any personal ethics. You know what they’re capable of.

    Why are you thinking about running towards the explosion?

    These people always have admirers and defenders. So you show what a monster she is. And? Even serial killers have fan clubs. She’ll just turn to her true believers and play the victim card. At best you’ll be painted as a bitter vindictive ex who couldn’t handle not being wanted any more. At worst, she’ll sic her flying monkeys on you and then you’ll really be in the shit.

    You’re on the way out, make a clean extraction, go total no contact and consider yourself lucky that she’s not going to be your problem any more.

    • BuhBye nailed it. Leaving that all in the rear view mirror is best. I heard after the fact that I was crazy and abusive, that the Cheater feared me, that we’d been separated for years, and on and on. All lies, but good cover for dumping this chump for his student. And guess what? A few years later, my replacement part’s family did an intervention and extricated her from what I expect was an intolerable situation. Then SHE was crazy and abusive, and the Cheater feared her, etc., etc.

      When they find a story that works for them, character disordered people will use it again and again. Eventually, someone will notice a pattern but it is not our problem.

  • Forgive the spelling and grammar ????, I think today’s post hit a nerve.

  • The cheater I married tells everyone his mother abused him throughout his childhood. I believed him for years. Then I discovered he was lying about me and I began to question his stories. As it turns out, his siblings do not recall any abuse. They even lie about their mothers!

  • Questions – This is SO HARD. It’s like salt in the wound doused in lemon juice and set on fire. These are horrible people. Save yourself. The more she sees you will expose her, the crazier she will flail and try to throw out a narrative that makes you look terrible. Keep it to yourself for now. Please.

    Dr. Clueless tried to tell people I was abusive and got the same laughs in his face so dropped that line pretty quickly. He tries others as he thinks of them, I cheated too, I was married to my work, blah blah.

    Dr. Clueless and his mom are smearing me saying I have kept our daughter from him. Once I went NC with him, his mommy dropped me entirely. I have proof that I have been nothing but agreeable and encouraging when any member of his family has bothered to reach out to my child. They RARELY do. They have all cut me off because, you know, if Dr. Clueless had to lie to me for 14 years, I must really be a monster. Poor guy.

    I just want to send his idiot family (all super duper Christian don’t you know) the 60+ pages of text transcripts, which I also videotaped for back-up, that clearly state I have never discouraged contact (and that he’s a raging lunatic). I look like a freaking angel in those things.

    I have come so close to sending them, so many times.

    I have never contacted wifey #1, but ex-wifey of his narc brother had the same experience I did. They are truly ALL the same, which probably freaks me out more than any of this stuff.

    Hang in there everyone.

  • Many people will start to put two and two together when she starts moaning about how terrible you were to her. The pattern will emerge on its own and they’ll begin to rethink her story without you having to say or do anything. Just sort yourself out and extract yourself from planet crazy. Eventually she’ll get in her own way, her lies will catch up with her, and you won’t have to lift a finger in the process.

  • I got the reciprocal accusations as well. She just said anything that came into her mind I think. I was accused of cheating, I was accused of trying to hide money, etc. Everything she did, I was apparently doing as well. Nobody we mutually know believes her, so fortunately nothing has changed in my relationships with our mutual friends.

    Oh, and according to her, her fiance she had before she met me cheated on her too — in hindsight, I’m quite certain it was the other way around.

    Maybe it’s some sort of projection. It’s definitely some kind of act of self-justification. Whatever makes them feel better I guess.

  • I had the benefit of a long conversation with my replacement appliance (not an AP) after she was also discarded for not being a polyamorous vessel of drama and excitement. And also because paying CS ago the Sluterus was harder than living with her. And because she had figured out Cold Slab O’Meat was a financial and emotional vampire.

    It was illuminating. She was a smart, kind person. Maybe even more gullible than me though. She wanted a truthful timeline of my marriage and where the Sluterus fit in. I gave it to her and she was shocked. She said, ‘The way he explained everything seemed logical.’

    I said, “It seemed logical that he abandoned his own daughter, wife and two stepchildren for an affair, having already secretly impregnated his coworker in June. He’d only met her in May, but from the looks of his FB adds was shopping for any willing whore. He already was on the outs with pregant Sluterus by the time of our quickie dissolution in September, and shacked up with you by November. It seemed logical to bulldoze through three families in five months?’

    “That’s not the story I was told’

    Remember these dysfunctional twats have been doing this their entire lives. They look around for empty pots that are needy and morph to become the perfect kid, but only for as long as their needs are central.

    Perfectly kind and nice empty pot: say, could I get some filling over here?

    NarcissLid- What are you on about? I clearly don’t fit here? What sorcery is this? Gotta Blast and join my True Love Pot over here!

    Hops onto Random Pot, which is a Sorry Ass Excuse for a Pot.

    Perfectly Good Pot wails, ‘What is WROOOONG with MEEEEEEE?’ Goes into life tailspin that lasts longer than the marriage.

    They’ve been doing this sham for years! They can convince perfectly smart and kind people to shack up with them in weeks. I made Cold Slab wait a year. That’s kind of amazing on my part.

    I think it’s perfect that he’s back with the Sluterus, the partner all his exes agree treats him like absolute dirt and is constantly causing drama, and is even crazier than he is. There’s a lid for every Crackpot!

    • Your shell game description of pots and lids has tears rolling down my cheeks in laughter !

  • They really are just desperate and their accusations and lies reflect that. They will throw anything against the wall to see what sticks.

  • Another twist is when you have kids with them. When you become fed up and leave they destroy your kid’s image of you. It is very painful to have your children turn against you due to the other parent’s lies.

    Not every child sees through it, just like not every friend or family member does.

    • Turning the kids against us is the most painful part. If what you did wasn’t wrong in your book you would not have to go to such lengths to defend it.

  • I wish x would have as much effort into our marriage as he put into the smear campaign against me and our kids. Looking back it is scary how long he was doing it before dday. Suddenly mutual friends were being cold and disrespectful to me. When I would discuss it with x he’d sit there smugly and say he didn’t know why they were acting like that. He spun a sad tale behind my back, it was shocking to know I was lying in bed every night with a sociopath who could do that. You can’t go door to door defending yourself. The people who believe them despite obvious proof to the contrary show their own lack of character. Walk away with your head held high and NEVER be alone with these people. Also be aware that they will be secretly recording you and will alter those recordings to serve their needs. No contact.

  • Ok, how did you get the story of my life? So sad that the stories are all the same. Its like they have a manual on how to lie, cheat, and smear under the mattress with their porn stash.

    Oh yeah, I have gone no contact and the irony is I’m not there to clean up his stories anymore by acting the crazy wife. That would be Sparkletwat the yoga camp troll’s job now. And guess what? I get stories back now about how hes the creepy old guy in yoga classes that no one wants to take. Yes, Virginia, there is a Justice Claus.

    You just have to live your own life. Soon enough it just won’t matter.

  • @Questions……… I had a similar situation, my Cheater Wife told me at the beginning of our relationship that her ex was an abusive person and had friends she feared were pedophiles. This ex works in the same field as myself and I was always worried I would end up with this scumbag ex as my boss- how humiliating would that be. Well fast forward 2015 knee deep in a marriage already had Dday 2011 and marriage counseling and promises to change etc… I find out she’s communicating via Facebook with that same ex. I don’t know what was said between them, but I asked her why in the world would she be communicating with someone she said was so horrible and abusive. Her response sent chills down my spine- “I never said he was abusive”. I was like holy shit I’m with a psycho. Again more promises to change, apologies, etc…. Two years later full physical affair with massage boy.

    You can’t change these people. And like CL said – they are DANGEROUS. Protect yourself because they lie like crazy.

    • Zell, you are so right. They are on a relentless quest to erase any history unflattering to them. They are always fraying the edge of the truth. If you will let them have an inch it will be taken, they’ll try for a yard next time. Constantly dropping revised “memories” and “true stories”. If they say these unchallenged enough times it becomes set in stone in their minds.
      It only matters if you have to continue in a family with them (my dad is a narc, sister had bpd diagnosed before her death from bullimia complications). My mom is still married to mr narc dad and she pays for every correction that refers to the actual truth or the real world. I wish she had the courage to leave the crazy behind.
      Each of you who squares your shoulders and walks away from their continual lies…you are so wise and you have my admiration.

  • Tracy is spot-on. You can’t control what she says or does; you can control what you do.

    Lawyer up with an attorney experienced in high conflict divorces, explaining that your Cheater is a narcissist who’s had a track record of accusing her exes of domestic abuse. Also explain that while you know you can’t stop her from saying whatever she wants, your goal is to safeguard against legal action.

    If you don’t have children, then ask if it’s okay to move out of the house. The goal here is to be in a different place, and when you do show up at the house, it needs to be on a schedule and with someone else with you so that she can’t claim that you’ve hit her. Bonus if you stay at a place with a security camera in the lobby and records card swipes to get into the building. This way, when she accuses you of showing up at midnight, the security cam says nope.

    Also ask your lawyer what you can do to protect yourself financially. As of this moment, unless you have taken steps to protect yourself, she could empty your accounts.

    The other thing to do is to be honest with other people about your story. You’re splitting up with your Cheater wife. If people say that they heard the two of your are splitting up, shake your head sadly and say, “Yes, I discovered that she’s been cheating on me. I’m pretty devastated.” Don’t go into more details, just be honest.

    Good luck!

    • Strap a Go Pro camera on your chest any time you have to see her and record. It’s too easy for a loon to knock your phone out of your hand !

  • Here is one to make you laugh I hope: my ex and his tramp ran into our oldest friends in a grocery store 2 months after DDay. He proceeded to tell them how we had “grown apart” and he needed space….while the tramp was wondering about the vegetable section. So “grown apart”= cheating. He is not wrong-we are definitely in different places. Just celebrated my one year liberation. Saw him at baseball game and I am happy to report to All you awesome partners in chumpdom, I didnt feel a thing. Had a great time watching grandkids. And felt sorry for the jerk -which I have to be careful of-that is what gets me involved with assholes!

  • Yeah, cheater ex went down that road for years before I left his sorry ass. Even in our church, he was believed to the point people were snubbing me to my face. I had no clue.

    I became aware of his smearing after he stood revealed by his own hand. After kidnapping and murdering my youngest son, cheater ex committed suicide in another state. The extent of his soul deep evil became public knowledge. I didn’t have to say a word. The reporters were relentless. They not only dug up shit on him that his family wanted buried, but because I refused to dish dirt on him, the reporters proceeded to make up lies about him and his family. Of course his family decided I was smearing them to the press. Projection much?

    In return they had some nice juicy lies for the multiple police departments we both had to deal with. One detective, in the city I lived in, believed everything they said, and treated me like I was something stuck to his shoe. Luckily, the detective, who actually was handling my son’s murder case in the county where cheater ex dumped my son’s body, believed me. I was able to provide evidence to the detective refuting all the lies his family were spreading.

    And all those holier-than-thou church people? Suddenly they were so very compassionate. Yeah…right ! Bye Felicia.

    Bottom line? We are powerless over other people. There are always going to be those who are willing to believe the worst about us. And they are the ones who are not worth our time. Those who really know us, who care about us, they will stand with us. The rest? Pfftttt!

    • Truth: “There are always going to be those who are willing to believe the worst about us. And they are the ones who are not worth our time. Those who really know us, who care about us, they will stand with us. The rest? Pfftttt!” Love you Tessie!

    • Tessie, my heart breaks anew every time I think of your precious son and you. I’m so very sorry, which seems wholly and completely inadequate to expresss my horror at what X did. There are no words, only tears ????????????????????????

    • ((((Tessie))))
      Again thank you for coming here and sharing your story. You show us Chumps how deranged these cheaters and their flying monkeys can be, and how courage and dignity still survive.

    • I am so saddened by your story. The loss of your son is awful. You are in my prayers.

  • These lying partners are seasoned experts at projecting, gaslighting, and blameshifting. I used to try to defend myself from all the false allegations. I realized that I was better off just leading an ethical life without trying to counter every outrageous thing my ex-husband said as doing so was expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. I suspect that not only my husband but also some of my boyfriends, all gone no, have lied about their ex-wives/girlfriends, accusing the past partners of doing to them what they, my now former partners, did to them.

    I guess in some ways I should be grateful for being partnerless now–although I am lonely, more tired, and poorer, at least I don’t have a partner who stabs me in the back.

  • The cheaters and APs are going to say whatever they are going to say. As CL said, you have no control over that narrative. I like to look at it as a litmus test for loyalty. If you believe the shit my ex spews about me, then you either don’t know me at all or I don’t want to know YOU or both. I’m as honest and loyal as they come and I expect loyalty in return. I will straight up tell my truth to anyone who asks. If someone doesn’t believe me? I’m out. I don’t need or want anyone in my life who chooses to believe my ex’s “alternative fact” version of reality.

  • Dear Question,
    Your STBX sounds like the woman my STBX husband became involved with. She loves to send pics of her body parts without a head. I guess she was ashamed of havimg her face attached to the pics. H fell for it and she became his “sweetie”.
    But H doesn’t want divorce but doesn’t want to come clean either. More fun to cheat and hide behind the poor wife.

  • It is very important to realize you have no control over what they say. Just get out. The second most important thing to realize is that anyone who would listen to their lies wasn’t really your friend anyway. Cut their dead weight loose too and do NOT look back. Ever.
    Xhole lied, as they all do. The problem is that most of my friends had known me very well for almost 20 years. The either laughed outright at him, or they vehemently defended me and called him out on his lies. The few who believed him were only friendly acquaintances. Actually, I did have one, she was like a sister too me. I cut her ass loose faster than I cut him loose. She did a smear campaign too. But the people who have your back…have your back. Be grateful the ones that don’t show you who they really are so you don’t waste precious time and effort anymore on them. Save your energy and devotion for the ones who always have your back.
    My only regret is that I didn’t catch him sooner so I could have seen my best friend for who she really was and cut them both loose years earlier.
    When stuff like this happens, it’s kind of like a culling process. You get the opportunity to weed out the riff Raff. See it for the blessing that it really is.

  • Two-Legged Rat, as the textbook malignant narcissist he is, started the smear campaign very early in our relationship, decades before I found out about his harem of coworkers, strippers, hookers. His emotional/psychological abuse slowly turned me into nothing, a nothing who spent years in and out of psychiatric hospitals while he played the victim of this sick woman and the hero dad to our three sons. When I kicked him out 10 years ago, after 30 years together, I had no one left. He’d taken away my children, my lifelong friends and my family of origin. He blamed me for everything (faking concern about my mental health), even for my oldest son’s suicide at the age of 20, a few weeks before DDay. And I picked-me danced for 2.5 years after that!!!
    I lived below hell for several years but slowly found a strength I didn’t know I had, made new friends, started a suicide prevention foundation and, most importantly, got my sons’ love and respect back. He could not destroy me, he will not destroy me, just as your STBXW will not destroy you, Questions. You’re mighty (even if you can’t see it right now), and we have your back.

    • Chumpiest-
      You are a bad ass! Cheers to you for getting to a better place. It saddens me to think of how much of your life he took from you. May he live the life he’s earned.

      • Thank you, L220D. The karma bus is probably coming, since I hear he never remarried or even introduced anyone to our kids after I kicked him out. And through our insurance company I learned that he’s taking prostate medication (we’re both 63) and was treated last year for STDs. ROTFLMAO!

        • Treated for STDs.. Wow! What a litmus test for discerning between
          who has a character disease and who is a victim of prickledick’s disease. Be mighty Chumpiest!

    • Wonderful. Yes they either run us off or kill us off. Sometimes it’s a close tie.

  • I live in a small town, so I get to hear all the smears made against me. Not just the historical rewrite of why we aren’t married (“we stopped communicating”), but the other garbage that she made up about me.
    Everything from making threats at her to me having wild swinger s3x parties on the weekends.

    Oh, and on a related note, someone a couple of days ago (can’t remember who) posted about how his/her ex was lying about having cancer. Who does that? Well, apparently my ex is now also lying to people that’s she dying of cancer. Someone apparently paid for a trip to Europe for her so she could live out her dying wish. It makes me want to barf.

    • Traveling- mine has cancer too….. he’s thought he’s had cancer since January 2017 and said in his court submission paperwork in February 2018 that he may have cancer. You need a new doctor if it takes them 14 months to confirm cancer. SMDH

  • Douchbag McGee’s 1st wife: a cheater; 2nd wife: a cheater; and now me, his 3rd: a cheater. In hindsight I know that this probably wasn’t true. He created the narrative where he was the victim. His other two exes probably weren’t even that bad. Marriage #4 is sure to be blissful and amazing.
    I will never forget having a neighbor come over to look at doing some work. He also happens to work with Douchebag McGee. We were talking and he told me how I cheated on Douchebag and that is why he moved out, then he started dating his co-worker. I just looked at him and said “does that even make sense?” He told me he thought it was odd and wasn’t quite sure about its validity.

    Bottom line is they will write the script that works for them: in my case Douchebag McGee never felt loved enough by me and needed to feel more valued. He also has cancer…..has been saying this for going on 1 1/2 years now. He looks like shit now so maybe he does. Who knows. What I do know…is that he is free to say whatever he wants about me.

    My friends know what happened. His friends were never my friends anyway and share similar values. His other close friend cheated until I told the ex-wife when she asked me……Douchebag blamed that on me too…..they were trying to work it out and now you ruined it. Ruined it by being honest, yes I did I guess.

    The only thing that comes to mind for me now hearing that he is talking about me is why am I still relevant in his life? I don’t want that type of centrality. It’s an issue with him, not me. People that truly love and care about you won’t even have to question the lies, they will see them for what they are. His broken parts are not going to become my broken parts.

  • If you want to, you can work on a few statements to use if the subject comes up, like “well, she lied to me all throughout our marriage, and from reading her emails, I know she lied to at least 6 of her affair partners about me, about her being separated, and about how she planned to leave with them, so I’m pretty sure she lied about her first husband as well. It’s sort of what she does.”

  • Thank you for running this story, Chump Lady. Your advice is sound.

    I have gotten away and have been no contact for three weeks. I’ve shown a measure of mercy, I think, by giving her time to get her stuff together and find somewhere else to live. I am going to be getting in touch with a lawyer this week to begin divorce proceedings.

    In the meantime, I’ve written up a long-form account of the past three years, and am adding to it daily as things come up. For anyone reading this, going through this, or concerned about their SO doing something similar, you can see my documented journey beginning here:

    I’ve password protected it, just because I don’t want her to find it (somehow) before I go public with the story. I am moderately notable, at least in the circles I run in. If you’d like to read it, the password to get in is


    I am willing to talk about any aspect of this to anyone who’d want to reach out. Chump Lady has been a godsend for the last six months.

    • Hi Questions — I suggest you NOT post your inner thoughts anywhere your ex can find them. I just change your ID on this post, because it was connected to a WordPress account and had a little picture of you (that happens if you log in with your WP credentials).

      Please don’t underestimate these wing nuts. I think support is essential — why not move the discussion over to the forums and create an email just for this site and support here?

      Everyone — please protect your anonymity when your’e going through this crap. The forums and IRL meet-ups, however, are a great way to connect with other chumps.

  • My ex never launched a smear campaign on me that I know of (nobody I know giving me funny looks either). In return I don’t go around telling everybody who will listen what an asshole he really is behind is good guy mask. He must have told his Schmoopie’s something bad about me, however. I asked him flat out “what did you tell those women to make them think that fucking my husband was an ok thing to do?” his response was “Nothing, nobody thought it was ok”. That certainly didn’t stop anybody. Either he is lying or his Schmoopies really are super bitches, especially Schmoopie 2.0 who thought it was ok to fuck him and encourage him to tear his family apart for her sake all while supposedly thinking I was not a bad wife. Hmmm.

    • And he certainly did manage to paint me in a bad light for the MC after DDay through half truths and omissions. I don’t know that he flat out lied but he definitely left out context. I felt like a politician being attached by a media outlet with an agenda.

  • After my very long marriage then finding out about the cheaters affair with Owhore, I discovered he’d been slandering & lying to anyone who will listen- my son also.

    He was slandering me even before I realized there was an affair going on. Telling my son I slept around even before I knew his father. Stealing, trying to poison him (wish I did) nagging, too many things to mention.

    The destruction of my marriage, self esteem & being financially hurt is something I live with now. But the damage is done! He seems to be calm & reasonably happy with his life. The owhore he cheated with is now dead. He immediately found another woman & he’s now living with her .

    Cowards they all are when they refuse to take the blame for destroying the family. They have to blame the innocent spouse & play the victim.

    Evil walks among us ????

  • Why, the very act of cheating goes hand in hand with a smear campaign:
    “we grew apart” (what kind of person lets their spouse grow apart? sparkledick’s excuse given to sons, friends and family for cheating);
    “you don’t ever get bank balances” (sparkledick on justifying his debts);
    “I can’t stand to hear your mother’s voice” (sparkledick’s excuse given to sons for cheating);
    “you don’t appreciate my efforts at taking care of sons” (all of them are adults, not to mention the bitch cookie here);
    “I’m a failure and it’s YOUR fault!” (yelled by sparkledick in my ear when I, still in the dark about his cheating, was trying to talk about retirement);
    “I could have had a much better career if it weren’t for your mother” (to sons to justify his glamorous, well paying but useless think-tank job).

    I saw a good movie the other day, in English the title is “The Invisible Guest”, but I think a much better translation would be “A Setback”. I loved it when the lawyer tells her client, a cheater who is in deep shit from a set back he suffered (see the movie to find out what it was) what a selfish arrogant bastard he is.

    • Clearwaters, I just read reviews of that movie, it sounds great. Thanks for the recommendations.

  • This still hurts me a lot. Im a good person and I respect other people as i eant to be respected. I lnow he had to tell schmoopie bad things about me. Im sure i was crazy, unstable, a thief, a cheater, etc. you can’t get schmoopie to give you a blow job in your truck in the back of a park by telling her the wife at home is great and meets all your needs! I have heard through the grapevine this whore actually blames ME for her and my cheater X’s problems in their relationship. Gee, couldn’t be the whole sleeping with the neighbor when his wifes not around and lying to everyone about it could possibly be the problem??!! That doesn’t bother me. Its him telling all his relatives crazy stuff that hurts. They were my family for over 21 years and i loved each and every one of them, especially the MIL and FIL. Great people. I know how he manipulates any and everything. So them thinking bad things about me hurts. But I can’t do anything about it. I did tell the inlaws when it all happened that i loved them and I would have done anything to save my marriage but my X was not going to try to work on marriage. This was the best I could do. (That was when i still had hopium). These jerks hurt a lot of people when they pull this crap. Not only children but in my case all four of our parents, who are all over 80 were heartbroken and never got over what he did. Sad. And he probably doesn’t even care

  • My husband’s family is a very faith-filled, pro-marriage family. They are appalled that my husband had an affair for over a year and then decided to leave us just after Christmas. Luckily, they see through his lies. What helped was that I discovered an email address he created to keep in touch with the OW during the last months of the year when he was supposed to be doing “everything to save our marriage.” Really he was engaging in “wreck-onciliation.” I have shared some of the main contents of those emails with his family so that they are aware of the truth.

    Now he begins the subtle smear campaign, re-visionist history, and image management of the OW. Yet, he is not aware that his family already knows the truth and are choosing not to say anything to him. They’ll call him out on his lies, and one brother almost gave away that he knew about the emails. It just makes him lie more. They are so disgusted with him.

    My sisters-in-laws have also had conversations with me when they have identified different things he has said and done over the last year and a half that demonstrates that he was already trying to make me look bad. One sister-in-law recalls asking him is I would join the baseball team she and her husband play on because they needed more women for their co-ed team. My husband played on the team, and I would have loved to do it too. He told her that I would never be into playing baseball and that I would prefer to stay home and read. She recognizes now that he was just shutting me out and making me appear to not care for spending time with family. My other sister-in-law remembers a post-Christmas family function that I didn’t make it to last year and my husband saying that I went off to the big city to have fun with my friends instead. She told me she was so disappointed that I would chose to do that. When I explained that my best friend, who lives in the UK, was surprised by her family with a plane ticket to visit home for a week at Christmas and that the night of the family function was the only night she had to visit with our old group of best friends, my sister-in-law completely understood that I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see her. Then, she got angry about my husband making it look like I was just bailing on everyone. He didn’t even take the time to properly explain the situation.

    He is now trying to sell the narrative that I controlled everything, didn’t allow him to make any decisions, emasculated him, made him feel worthless, never supported what he wanted, forced him to leave a job he loved. I supported him through three years of university. Why would I do that if I didn’t believe in him and think he was worth it? Then, he graduated, got a great job and started an affair a month later that he kept going for over a year.

    For the first couple of months, he told his family that he was not seeing the OW at all. That he was too busy and too broke to date anybody (he can’t afford the place he is renting and currently isn’t providing my any money at all for the kids or the marital home). I make more than he does, so he just assumes that he doesn’t have any financial obligations to me. It was a lie and the family knows it. In fact, he pretty much is sleeping over at her place any night he doesn’t have kids.

    About a month ago, he started to tell his family that he hangs out with her sometimes because she’s a good friend to him. Then, started the new narrative of image management. She was only ever a good friend to him. He only ever went over to her place to talk. That she was a good listener. Nothing physical ever happened between them. She’s a really good person. She even goes to church. He’s told his family to watch what I tell them because I have a “different” perspective of the truth. His own brother nearly jumped over the table and grabbed him for telling the lies. It was his wife that calmed him down and reminded him that my husband doesn’t know that they’ve seen the emails.

    They have all made it clear that they hope he’s not seeing this woman and that they will not be able to accept her because the circumstances would provide a bad example to all of their children. They have told him that they would not be able to accept a woman that is not his wife into their homes.

    In the meantime, they continue to send me invites to all the family functions because I am family. At Easter, I came for brunch. When I left with the kids to go to my family’s turkey dinner, several of the family members told me that they wished they were coming with me because now my husband is sticking around for the rest of the day and they can’t stand to be around him.

    I know that ChumpLady’s advice is to let it go. I think there are circumstances that it is best to let it go, that the effort to counter-act the smearing with the truth might be futile. However, I think that whenever you have the chance to correct a lie, do so with calm and logic. And, if you’ve got evidence, use it!!!

    • Don’t you just love how “they did everything in their power to save the marriage?” All, but give up A.P. and be honest…

  • Oh goodness. I’m sure my X told everyone how awful I was. I controlled and abused him and that is why I deserved to be left during cancer. He even told me to my face that I deserved to be left during cancer! Anyone who believes that is an idiot.

    I know he keeps reinforcing the story. Everything that goes wrong in his life is my fault. I have sole physical custody of our child and he pays me a ton of child and spousal support. That is my fault I tricked him, despite giving him copies of the divorce stipulation to look over and agree to before the divorce was final. That’s right! I let him look at the papers before serving him and let him make any changes he wants and it’s STILL my fault.

    This past week he finally did his taxes to find out that I filed married separately and I took ALL of the deductions (which he gave me per the divorce stipulation). He owes $4500 and expects me to feel sorry for him and be concerned with how he will pay for it. The man who left me during cancer, without concern at all for my health, wants me to be concerned for his tax bill. I’m sure he’s telling everyone how I am an evil person who screwed him over and I don’t care. How can he blame me for trying to get in on all the screwing that was going on in his life? 😉

  • The smear campaign begin soon before the cheating begins and to help grease the skids if they finally leave for the ow, like mine did. It still bothers me that I stayed by his side through his stage 4 cancer diagnosis and treatment and he was mad mouthing me and cheating throughout.

    He and the OW live together now and he has convinced his end that I was the worst. But time usually shows the truth in these things. And most people don’t believe a word he says anymore as so much of what he says about me has already been proven false.

    I find it interesting that they always say that we are the worst people ever, but will happily hand you the kids…mine not only gave me sole custody of the kids happily, he helped me draft the parenting plan and he took it back to his lawyer to be submitted to the court. It was only after he woke up and realized that it made him look bad did he put on a show of “fighting for his kids”. He just wanted to claim them on his taxes…

  • Not a lot we can do about these career liars. Yes, they lie, they lie all the time. Cheaters lies, the APs are champion liars too, most of them, and it still gets to me how we tend to give the APs a pass because they didn’t make us Chumps any promises. They are master manipulators. False stories of abuse, childhood sexual abuse, illness, workplace bullying, you name it, they are always victims… They drag their festering minds everywhere they go. And the more we try to defend ourselves, the worse we look. It’s so hard to resist defending yourself and getting worked up when falsely accused like this.

    For QAHP, best not to say too much but the simple truth, briefly: “We’ve divorced because she had affairs with X number of men, that I know of.”

    Really, that says it all. Any sane person will understand what this behaviour means. Any sane person will understand that someone who’s married and has all these affairs is disordered and should not be trusted to tell the truth. Any sane person will know that divorcing her is the sane response. Divorcing her shows you are not an abuser, you are someone who walks away calmly from her disordered behaviour and leaves her free to do whatever she wants far away from you, and says good riddance to bad company. People who don’t see that? Their opinion doesn’t matter, they are disordered too.

  • The smear campaign is the “devaluation” relationship stage gone public, for purposes of abuse and/or impression management.

    What you can do is tell the truth to the people who really matter–the innermost circle. Anyone in your family who truly loves you and has your back. Your true friends (not the “couple friends” you want to sway to your side.) Your lawyer. Your therapist. These people need to know the truth of your situation in order to provide emotional support. And you need to tell them the truth so that you can move forward without secrets, and with integrity. That doesn’t need a PowerPoint presentation or a show of evidence.

    You can’t stop gossip or a smear campaign. But you can live with integrity. You will know the truth and your loved ones will, as well. And you will find out that a small circle of trusted and trustworthy friends and family members beats worrying about what “everyone” thinks. The best proof of this is that you believed her story about her XH and now you know better. The truth comes out.

    Get a really really good lawyer. You don’t mention kids. If you have them, that should be your focal point. Right now you are really angry. The whole blog post thing is about exposing her and revenge. And it can backfire in a huge way. If you have kids, you don’t want to get into an explosive PR war with their mother. If you don’t have kids, you can get a divorce and never see her face again. Concentrate on getting a decent settlement and a divorce. Embrace no contact, and that means not allowing worries about what she’s saying about you to disturb your peace. You’ve gotten away. You are protecting yourself from allegations of abuse. Don’t blow it by putting this story out in public so that she can tell her audience how YOU are smearing HER.

    Get divorced. See that lawyer ASAP and get yourself into a position where you are not taking on her debts or working 4 jobs. These are important issues. And think about some therapy to help you process what has happened. Writing is a really good way to do that, but I think you are a year or so ahead of that schedule. You don’t want to be writing in public in the first throes of the pain of betrayal. Wait. Get your life in order first.

  • I dunno, I think if you go to a guy and say is it true that you physically abused your ex wife you’re only going to get the answer no she’s lying.

    But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, what matters is the actions you’ve experienced.

  • That disordered narc gaslit about OW1 – he hated her and was scared of her, she was crazy. After DD2 and separating he moved in a new- live-in wife-appliance within a few months. Half a year later when that ended he told the kids he was scared of her and she was crazy. Can guess the narrative to the new live-in. Every day is better away from that.

  • My ex salted the ground for years, telling people in our circle I was a little off kilter, not quite right, kind of crazy. He was a concern troll about his own wife.

    When the shit hit the fan, I WAS crazy–and what I needed was support. What I got was a Greek chorus of “oh, you really are unstable”, and people all backing away. His maneuvers were very effective, and stripped me of all but 1 friend.

    Easy to say that, “well they weren’t real friends anyway,” but it was super traumatic to have all the ground drop out from under me like that.

    It’s now going on five years later and I am just barely beginning to rebuild my life. Still no friends. Deeply traumatized. Trust that they do, indeed, suck.

  • My ex does this about the kids. He doesn’t use the majority of his court appointed time but he tells people that I am keeping him from the kids. And to people who don’t know, all they see is that I always have the kids. While I may be civil to people who support him, I am finally at a point where I am okay letting these people go from my life. To fight the narrative just makes me look bitter and causes me anxiety.

  • I was lucky I guess that the only people to believe his version of events are his family. He tried to get to a couple of friends, but I told people the truth and thankfully most have believed me.

    My mum was no so lucky in that my dad made sure he left her just at the worst possible time. He was then able to slander her to everyone and it was very believable. He left her just as she was going to go into rehab for alcohol addiction. He was able to claim he was helping her for his children sake. He could use her addiction as a reason for having an affair and many people were fooled by this. Due to our ages when this happened we had no choice but to have the OW forced onto us very quickly. Unfortunately I blame my parents in part for me being a chump. The silver lining was, that I knew I wasn’t going to be my mother. I wasn’t going to allow him to eat cake at mine and my children’s expense. He had one chance to chose his family but he chose the cowardly easy way out.

  • Dear Questions,

    I think the most important things to concentrate on now are:

    1. Seeing a lawyer
    2. NEVER occupying the same space as she is alone. If you have to meet with the lawyers or go to court, there will be witnesses. Knowing what you know that she did to her last ex, your best bet is covering your own ass.
    3. Drop all communications with her ex. You need to be selfish and think of yourself now. Going on a smear campaign against your STBX to help him is not going to help you and in the end it won’t help him either.

    Look, no one wants to hear or believe this but we have zero power of the actions of other people. If I had such power I’d put it to good use but I don’t. You didn’t make your stbx a cheating fuckwit with your actions, nor can you stop her potential smear campaign.

    As LAJ mentioned above, get your family and other loved ones in your camp. Make sure they hear your version of what happened and since they are loved ones, they will believe you. The only reason you are mentioning it to family and loved ones is because you will need their support and you will need to be surrounded by them during these next months. It’s not so much a move to bad mouth her but to get support for yourself

    Anyone outside of your circle does not matter. If people in her orbit want to believe her batshit crazy narrative they were never going to believe you anyway. You can’t control what people believe or don’t believe either.

    I wish you luck

  • My very wise friend told me: “All will be known in the end.” I think she’s right. XH was engaged to whore OW within a year of a very quick divorce. Married within 6 months of that. We were married for 17 years. I think it looks obvious. Oh, sure, they’ll be people like my MIL saying things that were negative about me and our marriage, and maybe that XH has “finally” found the happiness he deserves.

    I really no longer care what his camp of dysfunction think.

  • I had an experience with a woman who was a “friend” of mine. We met when a group of women came together for a hobby we all shared. For some reason she latched on to me like a barnacle. Even though I have a college degree in the behavioral sciences I was not prepared for her. I kept getting blindsided by the crazy things she would say and do. Every time I would come home and tell my husband about it and he would try to give me suggestions. Neither one of us had ever met anyone like her. You really don’t know how to deal with someone who has a personality disorder. You might think you do but you don’t. Finally one day at a luncheon I sat and listened to her tell people behaviors that I had never done and things that I had never said. I came home and asked my husband if I was losing my memory. She and I had recently been hired by the same company. We were to do different jobs but we interacted. After hearing about that conversation at that luncheon my husband said if she is saying this crazy stuff in front of you what is she saying about you at work? That scared the hell out of me and after that she was history.
    Get the hell as far away as you can.

  • They lied to us and what could we do about it but in the end walk away from them. The solution to their lies is to be off their radar.

    And as horrible as they are you can’t get away from them fast enough!

  • my cheater told everyone that we were separated because I accused him of having an affair with a coworker he has to work very close with, that I had turned batshit crazy….well guess what….their affair was a NO NO at work and now they are both getting fired and everyone knows the truth now…

  • Haven’t read everything but wanted to add that MRA sites help men frame their spouses for DV. I know, I found evidence that is how exasshole set me up. Be damn careful if the asshole you are divorcing has rage issues. I ended up in jail when the exasshole attacked me. Remember how convincing they are, how manipulative, and make damn sure you don’t end up on the wrong end of a DV charge. NEVER be alone with them again if you can help it. Fuck the lawyers, if you are stuck in a home with them, get a camera with audio set up. But mostly, GTFO if you feel danger, I ignored the intuition and it cost me hugely, the trauma more than anything else.

  • Ooh… I dated a man shortly after discovering D-Day and separating from my own husband, who’s wife had been cheating with a mutual friend of my good friends.
    She tried to charge her own husband for raping her when they had their D-Day. They were military. Took it all the way to trial. Eventually he was found not guilty and she was exposed for the lying psychotic bitch, she was.
    Although I did discover some disordered personality traits in this man that I dated that allowed me to understand how he and his ex were able to carry on such a successfully disfunctional relationship for so long, I don’t believe he was as evil as she made him out to be, and I was afraid of what type of crazy shit she would try to stir up with me, being her ex’s new g/f.
    Yeah, I had to get as far away from that kind of crazy as possible, for my own health and sanity. My advice to you, is to do the same. You don’t need to build a comradery off of a love of hating your ex. Seriously. Her first ex husband is probably not entirely innocent. Get out while you can. Get some new friends that won’t remind you of your old life.

  • Questions,

    You had me on your side with the words that you were “reading into the photos of her vagina”. Bitch be crazy. Always be classy not “crazy”/angry (though you have every right to be furious) in her presence. And only be in her presence if necessary for court dates,etc.

  • My experience suggests not caring or paying any attention to what anyone thinks or says except for your attorney. You’ll probably neither find nor experience any fairness throughout this process, again except with your attorney. Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths don’t play fair. You’ll lose people you thought were friends including family members. I had to accept that this would have to be okay. Two out of 3 of my sisters slept with the ex (the 3rd is gay & took his side also). I lost all my work friends when he slandered me. Bottom line? I’m rid of the train wreck, he’s moved on to his next set of victims & I have ME. Don’t underestimate her, as CL says. Just get away. Her 1st ex has to save himself. Don’t pass Go, don’t collect $200. Read Jen Waite’s book A Beàutiful Terrible Thing. Stay close to this blog. Best wishes.

  • Sublime thread, wish I’d had this to read 20 years ago. Yes, it still smarts that anyone would believe the trash that was talked about me. Took a very long time to learn that a) their opinions could not possibly define me and b) only the fools were fooled.

  • Dear Questions,
    I haven’t had time to read all of the replies. I just wanted to point out that doing NOTHING with the pictures you have is probably your best bet. I was sorely tempted to send MOW’s husband the thong selfie the skank texted to my stbx. Then I realized I could be liable for transmitting porn over phone lines, so I stayed my shaking hands. Leave the low road to the low, my friend. The information I gathered after Dday (#3!) served its purpose: I know I’m married to a skank-chasing loser. No more information necessary. Chump Lady and you, my formerly chumped tribe of MIGHTY, have restored my dignity and are helping me to hone my loser-radar for future reference. ANd teaching me to laugh again along the way. I smell a Tuesday coming…! 🙂

  • I chose you and stayed but I’m a bit bored of you not being over it and still on medication after (#2DD) I know I caused your pain but let’s get you some mental health counselling and I’ll come with you to support you getting off the meds and snap out of it.
    , WTF you couldn’t make this up….Bitch Fucking Cookie ????

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