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Dear Chump Lady, I don’t want him, but she can’t have him

Dear Chump Lady,

I have been with my husband for 15 years, married 12, 2 kids (9 and 5). He is a serial cheater. My fault for sticking around so long — by taking him back I condoned his behavior and let him know that he could continue ‘cake’. I was the chump that thought I could love him enough to change and want his family.

I’ve been suspicious for a year of an affair, and his behavior gave it all away, the usual gaslighting, blaming, etc. I just couldn’t catch him. He finally left after accusing me of cheating, which was his escape route. In the past, I had always found out and had hard evidence, which led to me kicking him out temporarily, until he groveled enough for me to let him come home. This time he left before the D-Day.

The difference is that he doesn’t want to come home this time and it’s driving me crazy. After finding out the truth, a week after he left, and my 9-year-old son knowing the truth, I need to walk away. I know this. I don’t want him back — but I want him to want me back so that I can tell him to FUCK OFF!

Is this the part where the Chump still wants to control the situation? Why can’t I let him go? He let me go and is living with his whore, and taking my kids around her.

And then — is he really happier with her and her kids? I hate the confusion…


I Don’t Want You, but She Can’t Have You


This insanity is what we call the Pick Me Dance. You’re so used to the intermittent rewards of “winning” your husband, you want the competition to go on. You need some deprogramming, stat.

First off, this drama cycle is addictive. “Winning” anything intermittently reinforces behavior. Why do people stupidly stuff money into slot machines, knowing the odds are the House always wins? Why do dogs flip out on the chance you might give them a biscuit? Why is suspense scary? How do freaks control? You just withhold, withhold, withhold… kibble! Withhold, withhold, withhold…

You’re freaking out for your kibble right now.

Your beef with your husband? THERE IS A SCRIPT AND YOU ARE NOT ADHERING TO IT! He’s supposed to feign remorse and return. That slut machine is supposed to dispense. And with your tiny little kibble you get your token of control. That you can “allow” him to return. That you could “make” him love you and the kids. Instead of accepting the true horror of this situation — you’re powerless. People who love you, don’t goad you into humiliating competitions for years, only to abandon. People who love you don’t project their crimes on you (cheating) as a pretext to leave.

IDWYBSCHY, you’ve been dancing to his tune for a long time. You only control YOU. Start asking yourself if this relationship is acceptable to you? What on earth do you think you need this man for? His chaos and instability? The way he models disrespect to your children? His super awesome parenting? (Where IS he as he’s serial cheating? At cub scout meetings? I don’t think so.) HIs paycheck? You get one of those and a legal settlement and fuck him. It’s amazing how much household income you have when you’re not sharing it with extracurricular fuckbuddies.

You don’t need him to come back to say FUCK OFF to him. You know what says “fuck off”? A divorce summons. Consequences. All his shit in Hefty bags on the lawn for the raccoons.

What you really want is to win the pick me dance. You want to “win” him from the OW and crush them both as the victor as YOU say NO.

That’s a stupid chump fantasy. Let it die. Clearly you don’t understand the dynamics of cake. He’s never given up anything in his life. The OW isn’t crushed because he returned home. She’s either still available and/or there’s another OW in the wings. Cake eaters eat cake. You aren’t winning ANYTHING here, except another chance to compete in the Pick Me polka.

And he’s not crushed either because he was never fully invested to begin with. You can’t win what you never had.

I know, ouch. But that’s what his behavior says. And if you let people walk over you further, you don’t gain their respect and undying affection. They tend to disrespect you even more.

That’s true for the OW too. So, let her have him. Let her win the turd. Let her enjoy the long, inevitable devalue.

Is he happier? WRONG QUESTION. Are you happy living this insane, unstable, unloving life? Is this freak the sort of person you’d choose to be partnered with? Who CARES if he’s happy? Stupid shit makes stupid people happy. I’m sure my ex is delirious over the recent purchase of a crossbow, a Thai hooker, or an Italian sausage sandwich. Why should his fleeting dopamine high impact my life? Why does his joy diminish me? I have my own separate life. (Which is vastly improved by his absence.)

THAT is what you need to work on — the new life. It begins with divorce lawyers.

In time, you really won’t care what he’s up to or who he’s with, because you’ll know what he is. A person who SUCKS. As for bringing your kids around his rotating buffet of girlfriends, get a custody order in place. Some address the meet and greets.

You don’t control what he does, but you do control how much you’re going to tolerate. He wants to have a girlfriend? Remove yourself from the situation. You be the sane parent, and let him be the pathetic creep he is. Children whose dad has a rotating buffet of girlfriends need a stable parent. BE THAT PARENT. Don’t be a sad person hung up on some jerk who treats her like shit.

Pass that role on to the deserving OW. Good luck.


Ask Chump Lady

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  • Best read yet. Clearly this is most of us women wanting our ass fucks back. Fuck them and the whore they rode in on.
    Thank you for clarifying this.

    • So agree Angel this story is mine 200% he wants the whore and wants the kids around her. I’m fighting this in court right now he absolutely DISGUSTS me to my core. As far as I’m concerned he can keep the tamp, ride off into the sunset and give me the kids FULL TIME! Our judicial system here in Canada is a JOKE and it protects these types makes me want to vomit!

      • This is so true. I’m in Canada too and have seen how much they can get away with. Judgements up the wazoo but nothing is enforceable. I had to walk away with nothing just so I could keep my retirement-such as it is. I believe that my lawyer did the best he could working within a system that’s made for people who follow the rules.

      • It’s true in Southern California too. I swear the more devious you are the more you win in court.
        The really devious ones keep making your life a misery. I’ve seen too many men continue to take their ex back to court for more custody time and more child support. They know they are drowning the betrayed spouses finances in legal costs and taking time with their kids away from them. It isn’t enough to cheat and walk away, they have to continue to hurt the betrayed spouse for as long as possible.

  • You’re stuck in the cycle of being manipulated and mindfucked. In this cycle you ask all the wrong question. You ask about his happiness and how to get him to come back. Many of us have been there. Think of the manipulation and mindfuck as an oily ooze that permeates your brain and how you think. The only way to stop this insanity is go No Contact,the path to the truth and the light. Time away from the manipulation allows it to seep out of your brain and lets you see things more clearly.

    From now take up the habit of being low contact. Let him go enjoy his whore. Take care of business. If he contacts you about anything aside from the well being of the children or money then you don’t answer or you use the grey rock technique. (Look it up, practice it, get good at it.) Tell him nothing about your life, your thoughts, or your feelings. This is not the 180 you’ve probably read about from the RIC. This is you mentally severing ties with him. This is you learning not to cater to him and his whims. This is you putting you and the children first. This is you being mighty.

    Find an great lawyer. Ask around. See who has gotten good results and ask about personalities. Interview a few attorneys and while you are at it….Don’t tell him. Allow the natural consequences of being a shitty human being to show up. Do not tell him you are seeing lawyers as a way to get him to come back to you. This is not a game. This is your life. This is the life of your children. do not play games with your children’s lives!!!!!

    I’ve blathered on enough. Anyone want to take on you don’t stay for the children, you leave for the children, which is also an important message today?

    • Ditto x1000. Key points:
      1) do you want a husband who devalues you and fucks other women?; (if yes, stop reading. No judgment, it’s a free country).
      2) if no, hire a lawyer and full press ahead to divorce — start making those calls this morning;
      3) block him on all social media and your cell phone and landline. Don’t tell him anything, he will email you, and if it concerns the kids you can respond “yes” “no” “maybe, I will think about it.” Nothing else!
      4) line up a lot of self care this week (coffee with friend, movies out, dinners you love to eat, get a massage, register for a class to learn something you are interested in, at least 3x per day listen to guided meditations on abandonment and EMDR tapping on YouTube, take naps, pet your animals and focus on their gorgeous fur, post on the forum every day, start a “no contact” counter and report your success. We will be here for you as you withdraw and detox and break these trauma bonds. It will take weeks but you’ll be ok. You will be happy again. You will peaceful and joyful.
      I know. I was where you are 3 years ago. Today I’m completely no contact, divorced with full custody and all of our assets, an amazing lovely devoted boyfriend who wants me and only me, and X is digging an early grave and miserable and cheating in AP any chance he gets. The kids hate him. He spent Easter crying sad sausage. Too bad. I really could care less now.


      • SPOT ON MotherChumper99!
        I focused on fitness and eating better and made it about me. Of course a “Divorce The Dog playlist to work out to was also motivational!

        • Yes! I wrote out a list of exactly what he did to me to hurt me, so as not to forget how shitty he really was when I would begin to feel chumpy and sorry for him. Also, writing in a journal every day helped so much, to get it out, see it in writing. It also helped me further along in my journey, to see how far I’d come along. Lastly, don’t be afraid to get your narrative out there. Tell your family and friends, because he will certainly LIE to everyone he knows about you. How you were mean to him, how you cheated on him, how you wouldn’t give him nookie, so on and so forth. Shut that shit down.

          • I second making the list of all the shitty things they did. Especially in the beginning, when the cognitive dissonance is roaring and you second guess yourself (“was it really THAT bad?”, yes, yes it was) and when the trauma bonding kicks in and you are missing them….

            Reading your list in black and white is the 2×4 to your heart that your head already knows.

            If you showed that list to any random stranger on the street, what would their reaction be? Pure horror? Yup.

            And journaling DOES help get the anger and upset out. Then you can move on with your day.

          • I second telling your friends and family. I hid what was going on from them for so long because I didn’t want them to hate him when we got back together. DUH! They were the support I needed, along with the crew here (Thanks AOOK). It is hard to escape the game sometimes. But escape is the o my way you can win.

            • Agree. Defiantly keep a journal and tell your family and friends. You can’t hide from the truth and it’ll force you to see it for what it is and stop living in fantasy land

      • I’m struggling so much, I hope this will be me this time next year ? X

        • harrietp123
          I’m still struggling also by everything left in his wake and the deceit and turmoil and the isolation I feelin the aftermath and whore can still go clicking in her fuck me stilletos to rub elbows with the high net worth individuals to find herself and land herself the next married man in her clutches I think that whore is laughing at all she got away with that pathetic whore that destroyed my marriage that ugly c guzzler shes happy while I suffer


        PUT ALL CLOTHES & BELONGINGS IN THE DOG HOUSE and move the dog inside.



        GLAM UP pussycat. Treat YOURSELF right every moment of every day!

        GET A DREAM FOLDER together and VISUALISE your next most awesomest life possible!

        Because it happened to me.

        I ditched the Cheater and OH BOY!
        I gained much more than a life.

        Travelling far away places with the man of my dreams ????. Great job!
        Happiest kids.

        Meanwhile in mindfuck Cheater land lol… onto number who cares what defacto BUT I GOTTA LAUGH BECAUSE they’re all now bailing dickwad out of his dream life!

        Livin’ the dream.

    • On the lawyer front, it’s worth the investment to meet with all of the heavy hitters in your town. Once they have met with you, he is unable to hire them to represent you. Take the advantage.

      In my case, my ex met with the shark in our town after DD#1 to assess his financial exposure. So 4 YEARS later, after DD#2, he was able to pull the gun.

      I live in CA so it was pretty straight-forward except the fight over spousal support, which dragged on for a year and took its toll on me and my daughter.
      His attorney decided he had a dog in the fight and cost us a lot of money and emotional distress on my part.

      • I swear Siri has her own say sometimes. I was trying to say he can’t hire an attorney after you’ve met with them.

      • You might want to ask lawyers when you first call them if they charge for the initial consult. A lot of top lawyers have started charging to prevent people from doing this (not great for their revenues either). Could be pricey if you’re out $300-650 per lawyer for initial consultation, when you already know they aren’t your cup of tea. Just a thought.

  • You’re in a tough spot IDWYBSCHY, I can’t deny that. But you won’t be there forever-it just feels that way right now. My son told me he wanted to live with X full-time b/c he wanted to be part of the new family X was creating with his GF, so I let him live with Dad. It was agony for me, but I knew that treating my son like the rope in a tug-of-war would only hurt him.

    So I let my son go. And guess what? Dad isn’t perfect, and his GF “isn’t very nice” according to my son. And I did agonize over X “winning” with his new ready-made “family” while I slogged it out at two jobs and went on not awesome internet dates. But my son and I have a lifetime loving relationship that I didn’t torpedo by fighting over where he lives for a while.

    Stay strong. Keep the focus on you and what’s best for you and your kids. It will get better.

    • Wow kmanning! What a difficult decision to let your son go. I hope that he comes back to you soon so that you can provide him a good environment that will allow him to grow up to be a real man who is honest and has integrity. He’s not getting that where he is now.

      • Kmanning, same here… my son thought the sun rose and set on my ex. My ex had him all summer. It was awful for the first year, but every year it got a little better. Until he turned 12. My son started to realize that dad was pretty fucked up. And my son requested the orders be changed through the court. I was ecstatic! I let him write out to the court what he wanted to say, and the judge ruled in our favor. Fast forward a couple of years, son is older, and I’m all for rules and guess who is not? So my son wanted to move in with dad. I let him go, knowing what would happen. It lasted a month, they couldn’t stand each other. But this time I actually put my foot down and told my son he wasn’t coming back. Not that easy. I wasn’t going to be played by either of them. My son came home knowing all rules still apply and the next time he moved out he stayed. Boundaries work both ways, and it’s being the same parent that children crave. They just need guidance and a firm, loving hand.

      • Thanks @OptionNoMore. It is so tough, but I have lots of support. A very good friend of mine went through this with her teens during her divorce, and she has helped me to stay sane, stay consistent, and to keep carving out time with my son. My son is 17, and has been with Dad for two years, and believe me, he is seeing Dad more clearly every day.

        @ChumpStaronHollywoodBlvd, you really did things the right way. I realized that all my son had to do was to tell the judge, “I want to live with Dad,” so, I just let him go. My son knows that my door is always open, and that the way we live in my house is not up for negotiation. He stays with me when X travels for work, and it’s always great. He is so appreciative of my cooking for him, laundry, all of it-thanks me profusely. He absolutely sees a difference from house to house.

        Sadly, my son is also in the sad place of parenting his Dad. Dad gets the sadz frequently, and son feels compelled to take care of him. Doesn’t help that paternal grandfather called my son to tell him it was his job to take care of Dad. When my son told me that (months later), I told him that that was bullish*t and that it was a tremendous boundary violation by his grandfather. Kids don’t parent their parents.

    • I learned that anything short of 6 months is probably not going to be considered permanent enough to be reason for an ongoing custody change. Sharing that here, since it would have been my first panicked thought in the early days.

      You sound so incredibly emotionally healthy and grounded – I aspire to this level of zen around parenting and custody time! It’s still hands down the most stressful part of the divorce / gray rock thing for me.

      • @greensal-not sure if I am emotionally healthy and grounded, but I do my best every day. If I didn’t have support from family, friends, and ChumpNation, I don’t know how I’d be handling things. None of this post-divorce sh*t is easy; what a rude awakening it was to find out that the parenting agreement is basically worthless. Too bad we paid the divorce lawyers so much to draft it.

        The good news is I was able to step back and consider what would be best for my son-he really wanted to live with dad, and he was starting to act out toward me. If it helped him to give him some space, some freedom, and the feeling that I heard him when he said what he wanted…

        It’s so much better that my son is making his own discoveries about his dad-I’m not saying anything, I’m not pointing anything out, I’m not guilty of parental alienation. X is disordered, and he can’t keep that undercover for very long. When dad won’t give son a ride to work on New Year’s morning when the temperature was thirteen below, I don’t have to say a word.

    • Completely agree with Kmanning.

      One thing the counsellors said was ‘PLEASE don’t disparage the other parent it really hurts the children and makes you look terrible/crazy. And eventually they work it out for themselves.’

      Be patient. They eventually show their true colours and yes, the kids do end up working it out for themselves.

      So kudos to you Kmanning for your wisdom in letting go.

  • I needed to hear this yet again. Nearly 2 years since fuckwit walked out the door and I still think, what was wrong with me, why didn’t he come back so I could say FUCK OFF?

    I did file though and I am happy to hear that this is a fuck off message. Fuckwit seems to get his kibble from attacking rather than lovebombing. Maybe he is busy lovebombing the whore and he has trouble multitasking.

    Get on the path out of there. Yes, do it for the children. Let them see what healthy is. It is going to suck. I think it is like childbirth and menopause. No-one ever really tells you how much but you do forget and feel better eventually.

    Leave a cheater, gain a life. Says it all.

    • Maybe he has finally moved to rage because he sees the change in you and finally knows ‘there’s no cheese down that hole.’ It’s an old phrase but it’s both adorable and diminishes their importance to that of a mouse- winning.

      • Like most, my ex was manipulative. He always sounded so frigging reasonable. Now that he can’t manipulate me anymore, he tries to strongarm me and bully me when I don’t comply to his wishes.

        Most of our arguments are about co-parenting issues — he’s utterly clueless about setting boundaries for our 16yo daughter. It’s a battle worth fighting though, even though I’m seen as the bad guy right now. I have to take the verbal blows from my daughter, hide my tears and know that someday she’ll apologize and than me for my vigilance.

    • What is a bigger “fuck off” than filing for divorce, getting a settlement and/or child support, and going as “no contact” as possible? What is a bigger “fuck off” than ACTIONS that say “I don’t need you”?

    • I really do understand the need for emotional closure that being able to say “Fuck off” to their face would fill. (I even started a thread about that in the forums last week). I have my divorce, my settlement, I’m ticked pink to be able to fob him off on OW, and he’s moving the last of his stuff out in two weeks — but even that doesn’t really satisfy the desire to punitively mind fuck them back some way, I understand. But CN gave me good advice that I’ll pass on: basically, not worth it to give in to the urge. Worst case, you won’t be able to emotionally wound him verbally. Other worst case, your words DO emotionally wound him very much, but you will find it hard to live with yourself forever for stooping to that level because YOU have a conscience.

      • Well said. Sometimes I want ex to hurt as much as he hurt me, but whenever I see him looking unhappy, it doesn’t make me happy, it just makes me sad. I don’t want him to be happy or sad. The best thing is for me to just not know what he is feeling at all so that eventually I won’t care either way.

        • Karma is hitting my ex pretty hard right now and I’m not as happy about it as I thought.

          I loved this man very deeply and wish he would get his act together for the sake of his boys. But he is very selfish.

          I just feel sad that he could have had a wonderful life with me but he sabatoges everything and is a covert narc.

          • Chumpedincanada,
            You have such a kind heart.
            Most Chumps remember the love we felt for cheater when we were the sparkle in their world, when, if someone told us they would crush us one day, we would never believe them.
            The only thing worse, than having our heart crushed, is when our children suffer because of their narc character traits.
            Hugs and understanding to you sweet Lady.

  • My ex was a cheat, maybe serial, eventually you realise you deserve to be treated better, nobody deserves to be cheated on, mine had excuses for everything. People still believe his crap, that’s their problem not mine. Mine had sti, have proof of antibiotics prescribed, still denies it, not much respect there is there!

  • I remember this dance… the biggest FUCK OFF to both of them, is think of all of the crap things in your life (most are associated with him) and hand it over to the whore… here babe, he is all yours.

    When you understand you have handed over the crap, you start to feel much better and life gets better.

    To a narc… this is the biggest FUCK OFF there is. Buddy, you don’t get this anymore… not even a slither…

    • This is what I think of as well–handing over all their character defects to someone else because it’s their circus now.

      Not long ago she divulged that she was seeing someone. This was probably to hurt me and to bait a pick-me-dance. But, the part of her boasting I latched onto was that they were in an argument and already angry at each other. She couldn’t have seen him for more than a month or two and they were already fighting. The memories of baited arguments and parsing false equivalencies flooded back–the kind of arguments where she will argue that the sky is green just to argue.

      And I just smiled because that’s no longer my clown car I have to drive. She noticed me smirking and got super pissed off. Love it.

  • My serial cheating ex wife ended up with one of her affair partners. Based on what I know about each (long histories of lying, cheating, irresponsibility, emotional withholding, etc), I have no doubt they punish each other far beyond my capacity to punish them. I suspect your ex is in a similar spot. Enjoy the Justice in that arrangement: As they say in the Army when confronted with a necessary discomfort, “Embrace the suck.” (((IDW)))

  • What every chump needs to hear until they get it….you can’t win what you never had…Amen!!

  • Oh, I would love the satisfaction of being able to laugh in his face by having him crawl back to me.

    But it’s not going to happen. Mr. Twatwaffles looooooves triangulating me and the new Mrs. and there’s nothing good for me in that game. She’s dumber than a bag of hammers and emotionally high maintenance, so I hope he enjoys being her hero against the big bad ex wife until he gets bored. It’s all about his image.

    • sunflower 36
      I guess I was being triangulated and did not know it because whores’ name or existence never came up. I think Ms c guzzler was high emotional maintenance and was putting pressure on him to be with her and probably pressuring him to get rid of me. But my point is you are right it is all about image. And they never give up the whore from what I have read here. THey are after whatever the whore can offer THEM and they lovebomb the whore to image manage how great they (the cheater) is…But I will say this, to someone else’s point, the internet slugs that are out there, every woman knows that is what is out there — the disgusting men, this is why these whores go for other people’s husbands cuz they know that no guy that is not a narc will lovebomb a woman, nobody does that , so the whore thinks she is getting a knight in shining armor, because no other guy does that when then they are ‘dating’. This cheater presents himself as someone that is desperately ‘in love’ with the whore and the whore is swept off her feet. again, back to image management. So how could you go up against that, you cannot ‘win ‘ someone back that is in control of the other woman and the OW is not going to let him go because this is the best thing since sliced bread for her, she’s never been treated ‘this great’ before…

    • I used to think about that. Now I would be horrified if he showed up at my door. He’s toxic. There’s nothing attractive about him at all. I’m so no contact in my brain that I would just shut the door.

      • Me too! X is repulsive to me now. The thought of him in my peaceful home makes my skin crawl. He hasn’t stepped foot on my (formerly “our” property but he lost all in the divorce) in nearly 3 years.

  • Great point about the Pick Me Dance. It can be addictive; you get so caught up in the game being played that you forget that there shouldn’t be ANY game in the first place.

    Get the fuck away from this wanna-be man. Get him out of your life.

  • Trying to make a person who has no conscience feel a sane person’s emotions is a fool’s errand. You could no sooner train your dog to do your accounting.

    I’m not saying you’re a fool — far from it. You are hurting and harmed and having a hard time seeing beyond it, which is valid and common and understandable.

    I am saying that this person with no conscience has cast you in the role of the fool in his/her life, and the only person who can reject that casting call is you.

    As long as you want to elicit anything from this person, you’ll be wasting precious energy amd personal power that you need for building your own life. He has no conscience. He’s like a toddler who can only see things he wants. He isn’t going to learn anything. You’re pushing water uphill with this person.

    Take the immense burst of energy that’s behind the emotions you’re feeling and apply it to building the future every moment that you can. You don’t need his acknowledgement. You can do a fine job of telling him to f off whether he realizes it is happening or not.

    In fact, it’s to your advantage if it takes him a long time to catch up and realize it. You will have all your ducks in a row long before he even knows you have ducks. That’s strong for you, and it’s good for your child, too.

    • Love this!!!!

      “You will have all your ducks in a row long before he even knows you have ducks”.

      • I don’t know if you can out smart these narcs…,they are waaaaaay ahead of us. This IS there modus operandi, they are able to have a double life because they are way way ‘smarter’ than us…we don’t think of ways to deceive others therefore we don’t think like them. You could be getting ducks in a row if you know what they are up to, but most of the time you don’t know because they are that good at getting over on you coupled with their lack of conscience…and the OW is in on destroying you also. He’s got his new best friend/cake and she would love nothing more than to destroy you and your family. She feels like she has met the man of her dreams…nobody else wanted the whore…I am sure these whores have been humped and dumped a million times. It’s not their first rodeo. They are good at stealing people’s husbands. They know how to play the game. They are probably even better at manipulating the narc cheater too. He is getting played and he is playing his wife. He Does think we are fools. He delights in what fools we are. He’s having a great life laughing at us behind our backs that he is getting over on us with his big Whore. What he fails to realize is that he is getting a Big Whore as his new woman. What a great relationship that is. Two cheaters finding each other. Her feeling victorious that she is wanted by the narc that is willing to dump his wife and/or family for this big whore. Mr Twatwaffles is getting over on so many people ! and he’s won over a whore ! Wow! Sounds like a lovestory!

        • I agree with you that narcs/psychopaths can be very smart and are usually 10 steps ahead of us but goodness knows they did have a head start. Here is where they are not so smart….they repeat behavior/actions even when those behaviors or actions have not worked in the past and or they had faced serious repercussions. No matter how sharp, shrewd or cunning, they just do not learn from past mistakes. As baffling as it is (bad wiring maybe?) chumps can sometimes use it to benefit themselves.

    • I am saying that this person with no conscience has cast you in the role of the fool in his/her life, and the only person who can reject that casting call is you.

      This is so true!
      Very well put!
      Can only control you and your actions!

  • I remember the pick me dance clearly. I wanted Douchebag McGee to see that I had value. I was placing my worth into another person’s hands….never again.

    If you are still wanting contact, you are somehow getting something from all of this. Some people don’t know how to deal without chaos and drama— it took me a long time. One day I realized I was literally going to die if I kept fighting for a marriage that was dead and based on lies and deceit. He is giving you a gift; take that gift and begin to start this new chapter ( while hiring an attorney so that new chapter can be less financially stressful).

    On a side note, I got my first spousal support check. It was from his account although homeslice filled it out and signed his name. She even filled out the envelope to me. Her intent I’m sure was to remind me how she won. My thoughts in this order: that fucking cunt, he’s a small-dicked bastard, that’s a childish thing to do, her handwriting is terrible, he still can’t pay his bills…. zero fucks given, cash that shit.

    • “I was placing my worth into another person’s hands….never again.”


    • Id say you won-you are getting spousal support from a fuckwit. Like most of these idiots, he needs someone to take care of him including managing his money. How do you know that some of that money is hers-that has to piss her off-again winning!

    • Lost #220deadweight

      you should send her some Viagra in the mail as a parting gift. He probably needs it for his new twatt canyon

    • lost#220 deadweight

      Send that whore Viagra for her twatt canyon….I hear that Viagra makes it bigger…I think they will get the message..better yet, cut out an ad for Viagra and mail it to them…they will get the hint loud and clear. SHe will know at that point that she won the pencil dick.

    • Yeah, that AP won a real prize. He can’t even fill out his own spousal support check. That’s a real man, eh? And think of how many more she will have to send. Enjoy every dollar.

      • 47 more-she wrote 1/48 on the check….. but who is counting? LOL

        If I were the wife, I’d pay it off early. But….. this is the same couple that bought a $27,000 vehicle for 19.4% interest for 7 years ($20,000 in interest). Who does that? People that are about themselves.

        They seriously deserve each other. They both gave me a gift. A gift of a good life without wondering about STDs, money worries and stress.

        Once you get to a point that you realize the person you married is dead (or never was the person you thought he was), it gets easier. Yeah, my picker sucked. Lesson learned. I do better on my own now.

    • The compliance with paying the child support only lasts for so long, since the new kibble supplier eventually grows resentful. They gain traction in your ex’s eyes by complaining about how you’re “wasting” “their” money. Be prepared to pursue garnishment. Not only does it remove dependency on the kibble supply du jour as your conduit to the funds to which you are entitled, it can also be deposited directly to your account in some cases. This would be less of a trigger for you as well. I went through this for years with X#1 and each successive Schmoopie until I said nothing, turned it over to my lawyer, and then feigned innocence when X#1 blew up, claiming it must have been something automatic the court system had done without my knowledge. He actually seemed to believe it. You have to systematically identify areas where they could have control of the process and eliminate any dependencies on them. They will use that to screw with you.

      • Sunny-I agree 100%. The next deposit/check that is late allows me to have it garnished. Attorney put it in the order since he had a contempt already filed for non payment prior to mediation. He owes $2700 in arrears by the 15th, I foresee garnishment rather quickly.
        It is about power and control. As a woman, I wouldn’t participate in the ridiculous antics if I was her. Me>homeslice

        • Enforcement works, but what they’ll do and how far they’ll go to help you also really depends on the state you live in. Honey is presently $39,412 in child support arrears. But my lovely state (CA) does not do what all these other states do and arrest, take away drivers and tradesmen licensees, etc. Many states even have sheriff websites dedicated to ‘deadbeat parents’ with a photo and a total amount owed in the caption. I was looking at one last year and it said something like ‘this deadbeat dad owes an astonishing $5,400 in past due child support!’ I just shook my head. I can’t believe that $5k is considered a felony and that someone can be publicly shamed like that in another state, but I believe here the most he could ever be charged with for being $40k behind is a misdemeanor. I could be wrong but that’s what my state’s CS website implied. Enraging. But, once they get on the case, they are on it forever and they will get money for you if it exists out there. I’ve gotten Honey’s tax return twice now. Bet he and H Dubs were not too happy about that, especially with yet another baby on the way…

    • Just goes to show how pathetic and insecure she is……..she (or they) still need you to cement their so called relationship. Let her keep writing the checks and you go right on cashing them, pay them no mind.

  • I think it’s very normal at the stage your are at to have the fantasy of confrontation of some sort with your husband (or the OW) when you get to be the one to slam the door in his face.. The truth is that these little fantasies are just wishes for our own little kibbles to feed our own damaged egos.

    Slowly I’m coming around to the realization that the greatest satisfaction comes from moving on in my own life. My husband just left me for the OW three months ago, and I still have fantasies in which I think I am confronting him in a scene that is worthy of an Oscar nomination and would bring an audience to their feet in supportive applause. However, the best revenge is our own personal success. Let him do what he wants; he’s starting to look pathetic to me now. I’m starting to find him unattractive and uninteresting. What I saw in him years ago no longer exists. DETACHMENT is a wonderful thing. You will start to achieve that detachment when you let go of your revenge fantasy and find true self-worth in healthier ways.

    You have truth on your side. Let people know in matter-of-fact terms that your husband is a cheater and has abandoned his family for another woman. The people around you with any moral compass will rally around you in support. Seek out counselling for yourself to heal from the grief you are feeling from the end of your relationship and work through those stages in healing.

    Seek out a family counsellor for your children. Invite your husband to attend the sessions for the sake of the kids. If he doesn’t attend, he’ll look like an asshole and you can document that for your future legal discussions. If he goes to save face, you’ll likely find an ally in the family counsellor. Mine has gotten my husband to agree to a better access agreement for the sake of the kids. She’s confronted him about the hours of gaming and tv time the kids get at his place, which embarrassed him. And, I think the major reason my husband hasn’t introduced the OW to the kids is because the counsellor has let him know that any further changes in the kids’ lives right now would be traumatic.

    Start making your house your own and your life your own. Paint some rooms, rearrange furniture, get some new photographs of you and your children on the walls. Start a wine club or a book club. Renew old friendships and deepen the connection with current ones. Spend time with your extended family. It’s amazing how many people want to help. I’ve got a crew of people who want to help me build a new deck because they know my husband put it off for years and they want him to see that I got the job done.

    Love your children. Set firm boundaries so they learn to be sane and responsible. Read them lots of books with moral lessons, talk about what it means to be honest, show them by example what it means to be a good person. Teach them to do chores, finish their homework, appreciate nature, try new things, care for others. Give lots of hugs, listen to their stories. And, if you have any faith life, teach your children to pray.

    You are suffering and your are looking for release. Go about seeking that release in better ways for the long term goal of healing, rather than the short term goal of revenge. You are not alone!

      • Well, I wish I could say that I have it as put together as my post may make it out to be. I’m still often caught in “analysis paralysis” and Easter took its toll on me hitting today (the first major holiday post-separation). I simply listed the things I have been doing in between freak out sessions of disbelief and untangling the skein of all this mess. I figure that as long as I am being productive and proactive for my kids and for me then I am doing better than I would be if I let myself dwell on fantasy. I go there in my mind and allow it for brief periods of time as it also needs to be processed, but as long as I pull myself back into more positive endeavors, I should be able to stay sane.

    • That’s a GREAT list.

      Make sure the family counselor, though, is not susceptible to ClusterB charm. But if you get the right person, one of three good things can happen: he goes and you get to address serious issues about the kids; he refuses and looks like a negligent parent; or he goes for a few visits and then quits. Either way, you have a professional who can advocate for you in mediation or custody hearings.

    • Optionnomore good for you! I am almost a year out and i am still struggling but reading your post reminds me of all the things i know to be true. You are a strong and smart lady and it is truly your husbands loss!

      • Great suggestions! Changing things up in your home environment can really help. I will say that my cheater did his own version of the “pick me” dance after DDay, and understood somehow that moving furniture might help me. On his own, he rearranged the bedroom, and no, as far as I know, he never brought another woman into our bed (Scmoopie lives in Europe). Surprisingly, it did help me.

  • Today would have been my 13th wedding anniversary, but I decided just over 2 years ago that I was done with the pick me dance. It took almost a year for me to get to that point after I found out my ex was cheating with my friend and upstairs neighbor a week after our 10 year anniversary. Chumplady is right. Don’t worry about his crazy “happiness.” These people don’t feel. My ex thinks he’s happy by acting like a 19 year old instead of a 40 year old man who has children and responsibilities. The question is, is this relationship ok with you? Are you ok with being treated like this? Are you ok with modeling this behavior for your children?

    I promise you, it gets better. I’m actually really happy now. My career has skyrocketed in the past 3 years. My children are happy in my home because they have sanity and stability.

    Instead of viewing this as my 13th wedding anniversary, I view this as my 2nd anniversary of freedom. I promise you will get there too!

    • Your wedding anniversary…I am so happy for you that you have found new meaning for this day. What an inspiration you are to have found your new happy in your new life.

    • Happppppy Anniversay! Buy yourself some gorgeous flowers to enjoy for your Anniversay week! ????????????

    • Wow that is modeling some freaking mighty Chumplawyer!! Congrats on reframing the trigger points into the positive. I think Chumps innately have this skill set as they aren’t the victims in life and have amazing spackle abilities. You have taken that spackle gene and owned it for your own tool!!!

      • Awe, thank you! I read a great article once that resilience is a learned behavior. It’s like exercising a muscle…the more you do it, the stronger it gets! We are all strong and resilient here.

  • I have often thought, why aren’t we taught all these psychological games when we are in high school and just starting to date? I’ve come to realize that the average Joe doesn’t care, because it doesn’t pertain to them. They will only care if it’s happening or happened to them, so I’m sure I wouldn’t have fully grasped this material until I was ready to hear it. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

    Many times my ex-husband came right out and told me the games he played with people. During the negotiation stage of selling our first house, he told me that he was going to purposely not say anything to make the buyer uncomfortable so that they’d give in to the price. It worked. I thought he was clever, but now I realize he was manipulating this person by withholding.

    He also told me he controlled business email conversations by “setting the pace” by purposely withholding responses so that the person on the other end wouldn’t get used to such a fast response each time.

    He purposely would email the the owner of the company he worked for really late at night, so he would give the owner the impression that my ex was working so hard on a last minute project he got. The truth was he wrote out the email earlier and then sent it late. He was trying to get the owner to feel bad that he had to work so late at night for him.

    I can now think back on our entire relationship and can see some of the games he played with me. I will never know all the games he played with me. But having my brain feel like scrambled eggs and hurt with a heaviness that I could never put into words after the final discard just goes to show it’s all psychological and emotional abuse. These people are sick and twisted. Before I even knew about this type of abuse, I had a really close friend of over 15 years who used to withhold attention and emails. Funny not funny, but she’s the cousin of my ex! I guess their sick behavior is a learned family skill passed throughout the family as they are not the only two in their family that does this crap. Anyway……my friend was pulling stuff with me that got me to the point of such anxiety that I was trembling and distraught. Friends don’t do this to other friends! I got smart and cut her out of my life. In the past I’d question her about her behavior and true to an abusers form, she’d turn it around on me and I ended up feeling like I was to blame. The best place for an abuser to go is out of your life! When people pull this crap on me now and I know they’ve done it in the past — I don’t play the game. Why can’t people adult?!

    • Martha- Douchebag McGee did the same. Bragging about how he can manipulate people. It’s great once you see things for what they really are and stop lying to yourself. He sucks, I don’t.

      • When they tell you who they are—listen.

        Jackass told me on more that one occasion: “I know I’m an asshole.”

        Who says that? Assholes.

        • LOL, LovedaJackass. You are right. They always tell us who they are in either words of actions, but we fail to believe or understand.

          I’m not sure how many times my ex said these words to me — “You are out of my league.” “I don’t deserve you.” “You are too good for me.”

          I took them as compliments and I truly believe that I was a great wife and mom. Not perfect, but I’d want to be married to me most of the time if I was a guy. Little did I know he knew what he was doing behind my back for over 20 years and he knew all the lies he told and was telling me. I failed to realize that he was telling me that he sucks.

      • Yes, Lost#220 — It’s pretty eye-opening to realize that what he was doing to others he was doing to me too. But me on a grander and longer-term scale. I can look back at so much and see how he manipulated and controlled so many people and situations. His own mother he made feel crazy by his behavior. Years ago she called him up on the phone and was crying about how she didn’t think he cared about her, etc. He got off the phone and laughed about his own mother and pretty much said she was crazy or unhinged. Funny not funny, but in the end that’s how he made me feel and of course I was now the “crazy wife.” It all makes sense now, but while I was living it, I didn’t have the eyes to see what was actually going on.

    • OMG!!!. These are some of the tactics a psychopath co-worker (just got rid of her this past February) engaged. Would send shoddy, half-assed work to our boss at midnight to make him think she was hard at work. Stayed late every night (on personal calls the whole time) but then again she’d stroll in an hour and later than everyone else in the morning. Never would respond to e-mails. Never completed her assigned tasks, never! She actually held an important role in the company. Basically she was in over her head (she interviewed extremely well) made tons of mistakes and all she would do is point out how everyone else on the senior executive management team was inept. She brought a girlfriend to our company Christmas party (her husband was down in FL and oh off topic she was originally the OW before she became the wife) and I swear I recognized the friend’s voice as one of her employment references. So much more to this story but again the similar playbook is astounding.

  • The competition is set up and the cycle becomes an addiction. Each year the abuse cycle intensifies and it is about winning. The game is rigged.

    Yet, you are compelled to get better at the game and the cost is your life.

    Stop. Withdrawing from the addiction is painful, at first. The last and final dance is when you stop playing. This is how you win.

    Right up to the end he wanted me to engage and fight sicking the OW on me to triangulate. I stopped dancing. It took two years until they got it.

    It was only then the chaos stopped and I had peace and clarity. I dreaded the thought he’d want to return because patterns of abuse set up roles we play in the equation.

    It’s not a soft landing. It’s painful. In the end you realize someone else gets the toxic waste you clung to and it’s where your X belongs.

    Two cheaters make an amazing match. Look at that foundation it was built upon. You get to write your own script and it’s filled with hope and joy with authentic people. Your children will have a parent they respect. The minute you free yourself you win your LIFE back.

  • Dear Don’t Want Him…
    You are not alone in this…or crazy for wanting to get him back in order to say Fuck Off. When you’ve been mind fucked for so long…what else are you to think? It’s what you’ve known. It takes time….but eventually you will see that the OW is THE best revenge you could ever ask for your cheater.
    I could not ask for a skankier, low life whore better than the woman he left me for. She was willing to destroy a woman she did not know and children and their home. How low is that?
    You are not weak…you are not crazy. You are hurt. You are disrespected…you are discarded. It hurts like a MoFo. But one thing…you are better off. And you will see it. You will feel it soon.
    Good Luck!!!

  • If they stick with the AP, then the AP didn’t really WIN anything. No doubt we were wronged by the cheating spouse and AP and we initially feel convinced that we lost something, and the AP won our spouse or life, etc… but they only “won” a cheater. These cheaters will never trust each other and will end up cutting each other up with drama knives.

    In saying that, I didn’t have to deal with this- the AP wasn’t likely to stay with my Cheater Wife and she tried (at least to my face) to convince me to not divorce her. Those of you have to deal with the spouse and AP beginning their new fairytale life together I’m truly sorry, I’m sure that is a very devastating feeling on top of finding out you were cheated on and it takes a huge emotional toll on you.

    • “Cutting each up with the drama knife” this is so true. My cheater and his OW have broken up and gotten back together multiple times in the past year. I don’t know now whether they are together or not and it does t matter. What bothers me is my grown sons are very sad cuz fuckwit rarely calls or tries to contact them. He screwed them over too. Nothing I can do but be the best parent/ grandma possible. It’s getting easier! I find I actually enjoy the family more than when he was around.

      • I hate that he is trying to act like his new life is normal with the same traditions and way of living we did but now with his twat. He invites our adult girls over and tries to woo them with his domesticity. I think the 22 year old is buying into it some what. He was at his worse when she was growing up. I don’t feel I have much to offer. I’m clearly traumatized and sad. My daughters and I do have fun and laugh together. My youngest keeps asking advice on her relationships and life. I have none. I just don’t now because my life experience is –work hard, love fully, do the right thing and be fucked over in the end. No relationship, finances, just alone at 60 and picking up the pieces of a mess he made. My anger overwhelms me. How dare he pretend all is normal and well.

        • Spoonriver, I’m so sorry. They DO act like the new life is normal, with the same traditions and way of living. As if they just changed to a different wife appliance. Most chumps will tell you that this happened to them. I was my ex’s first wife, we went to San Francisco/Napa driving down to San Diego on our honeymoon. Guess where he took wife #2. And wife #3. And the present one whom he probably won’t marry because he is tired of getting divorced! Yep, he can’t think to do an original trip. Maybe because I did our itinerary, he can’t be bothered to think up a new one.

          Anger is good, it will help see you through. Then one day you won’t be angry, and you’ll realize you don’t even care to think about him. He won’t matter. Huge hugs to you!

  • This. X1000. I was there. All it got me was having him back for 4 years to rob me of all of my life savings and abuse me worse than ever, leaving me with CPTSD depression and anxiety. It was amazing how well I did financially after he left because I wasn’t dealing with his crazy spending. It was also amazing how much better my life became once I had help for the trauma.

  • I don’t want my jerk ex back. I know my life is better without him. I parent the way I want to. Don’t have to clean up all his messes and in general, less stressed. BUT what kills me is that he seems to be fine. A person who discards his wife during cancer shouldn’t get to go off and immediately find a new woman who immediately gets pregnant!
    I never had a second child because of the lack of support I received with the first. Now I can’t have any more because of cancer. It’s a hell of a shit sandwich to eat that my daughter gets a sister that has nothing to do with me. And my ex gets his perfect family of four. I know it may not necessarily be true, but right not it feels like he’s getting everything he wanted and I am discarded trash.
    I would love it if the OW dumped him. I would love to see him suffer for all of the pain he caused.

    • OMG please think of yourself as a survivor with a new life. These words seem to be coming from a place of not good enough. His life is not perfect and it is good that he is out of yours. As it is said in here, is that life acceptable to you. Be well! Hugs!

      • I’m good most days, but every once and a while….

        It doesn’t help that I also lost my job and his new baby has the same exact due date as my daughter did. Some days I just wonder if the kicks down the ladder are done and why all of this happened.

        Some days I view it as a complete cleaning of all the toxicity in my life and other days it feels unfair.

    • CC, I feel for you. He sucks beyond measure.

      I do not really believe in karma, so I can’t say it is coming. Maybe not. Sometimes, cheaters seem to prosper. They might sparkle on for a very long time. Perhaps all who witness it will be persuaded that true love has happened, and the cockles of their idiot hearts will get as warm as they are able. Whatever.

      What I do know–what we all know better than anyone else–is what stuff these cheaters are spun of, and what it is like to live with them and be in a relationship with them when nobody is looking. Actually, still figuring out all of the myriad ways in which that was deeply abusive, and still realizing how bold and detailed the lies were.

      So, no matter what it might look like to others, we know the interior of family life with them. Might seem like a sweet little suburban life in a cute house with a neat lawn and a photogenically adorable family, but it’s Nighmare on Elm Street all the way.

      Nothing to envy there. In fact, I feel the anxiety and dread rise in me when I start to contemplate what that was really like. It was truly horrifying. I look back now and can hardly believe that I withstood it for such an agonizingly long time.

      That life is the OW’s prize. Careful what you ask (and plot, and scheme, and endlessly lie) for, I guess. Indeed, once in awhile (not often, because I am, let’s face it, not quite *that* spiritually evolved) I kind of feel for the young AP. At her age, I had barely begin to plumb the depths of his disorder, or to realize the swirling void of emptiness where his soul should be. It will be a long, slow torture. I do flat out feel very sorry for children stuck in that. I see how mine are so wounded, and wish that on no one.

      So, don’t know about karma, but reality with them is something with which we are all intimately familiar. It’s brutal.

      I think, though, that getting a life mostly entails tearing our eyes and attention from whatever they have going on–been there, done that, absolutely trust that it can only ever suck–and focusing on breathing in freedom. No more horror. Just normal life with its ordinary joys and challenges.

    • I so get where you are coming from. Feeling like discarded trash sucks. Feeling like he is suffering no consequences for his bad actions sucks. We know we are not trash, however (that’s OW). We need to focus on living our lives, moving forward, overcoming hardship and proving to the rest of the world that we are not trash. Our ex’s may never get it, but we know it and the rest of the world will see it too if we just get on with it. Your ex is nothing. You are the prize and he is the trash. You know it and that needs to be enough. The rest of the world will eventually catch on. In the meantime, you know his life is not as great as it seems because it probably seemed great to the rest of the world when he was with you as well. Looks can be deceiving. We have intimate experience with that fact.

    • I think the thought or perception that the disordered narc goes about his/her life without a care in the world after he created havoc in your life is the hardest part to overcome. It’s not supposed to be that way. They should have shitty things happen to them, they should pay for what they did to you. I think eventually the shitty things and paybacks do happen it just doesn’t have the effect it would on us. Maybe they don’t always feel the same depths of misery we do but they don’t feel the joy or love we do either.

  • The best message IDWYBSCHY can send right now is that her cheater is unimportant.

    Up until now it’s been a game she controlled, sort of. But the result wasn’t a win. The result was a guaranteed “more of the same.” Nobody won, especially the kid who is growing up seeing this bitter cycle as his only role model for how a marriage should work.

    This time he took control. Alright. New rules. She’s been given a gift. Time to stop the “you lose, I lose” pattern. Time to go for the win, for real.

    The best winning behavior she can model for her boy is to show that the cheater isn’t important. She needs to show him that she’s living a positive life for herself and her son, and not a negative life focused on the cheater.

    Yeah, I know that’s not easy. But I guarantee that, over time, it will get easier. If she wants to indulge in trolling, let it be guided by her divorce attorney, and then only enough to get the settlement that is just.


    Tracy is a Buddah. Listen to her.

    It seems that you are young. A great gift. Make the most of it.

    Most of us here at CN danced the Pick-me dance with exquisite choreography, and we ALL now know it does not work and will NOT build you the life of contentment and fairness that you deserve and that you even owe yourself and your children.

    Pick-me dancing does not work because: it generates disrespect; it disempowers the chump and creates a dangerous balance; it gives children a terrible example. It even creates financial difficulties for the reasons Tracy outlined. Ask this 66 year old chump how she knows all this.

    Your cheater is wired to abuse and he truly thinks he is entitled to cake. A lightening bolt may strike and change him if he is on the road to Damascus, but you know that is never going to happen. In the first place, your cheater has no idea where Damascus is.

    Your cheater DOES NOT LOVE YOU.

    Be brave. We have your back.

  • What a freeing feeling it is when you get to the part where you don’t want a cheater and you’re giddy knowing the AP deserves a fellow cheater!

    She can have him, and it’s glorious.

  • Being rejected sucks. You want him back so that YOU can do the rejecting, and therefore hold the perceived power, but he beat you to the punch. I will echo what CL said: he rejected you a long time ago, and you’ve been dancing ever since. Your dancing “worked” temporarily in the past, but he was never choosing you over the OW/OWs, he was choosing cake, the easy road, the path of fewer consequences. He’s not rejecting you this time any more than he did the other times, he’s just picking a different set of consequences and a different flavor of cake. I would also bet that he’s well aware of the usual script and he’s getting bored with it, and his usual dose of D-day kibbles aren’t enough to keep him high anymore, so he’s goading you into dancing even harder this time. The regular pick-me dance got old, so he wants the deluxe version. If you want to be in the position of power and to reject him, then your best bet is to withdraw from the competition completely. Don’t talk about reconciliation. Move forward with the divorce. Communicate about as much as you can through the attorney. Send the message that you’re 100% done and will not be engaging in pick-me dance deluxe.

    As for the OW, she’s nothing special, she’s just the kibble machine du jour. When her kibbles are spent, he’ll start trying to force more out of her (cheating! punishing! withholding!) until she’s no fun, and he’ll move on to fresh supply. That’s how these things work. It’s pretty simple, actually. So stop making it a complicated adult web of rejection and valuation, when it’s really a toddler on a quest for cookies even though mom said no.

  • As stated from a previous commenter, the best revenge is those 2 knuckleheads being together!
    My STBXH is very lazy. All throughout our marriage I did all the housework and yard work. (My mom said he had a very easy life while we were together. I hope the OW makes him do a lot of housework, etc!) He’d sit around and watch tv so much that every 3 yrs we had to buy new furniture because he “plops” down on it – eventually breaking springs/boards. He’s a big guy.
    In reality, us chumps do “win.” There are sooooo many pros to divorcing the cheater!
    Some of mine are:
    House is cleaner now that he’s gone.
    No more holidays with the in-laws! 🙂
    His favorite topic to talk about was himself – I don’t have to listen to that anymore!
    I don’t have to set foot in a furniture store for years now!! In 2 years he and her will have to…lol!

    My divorce will be final later this month. I’m really looking forward to my independence! It’s as if I’m in my early 20s again! But with 2 teens and a dog 🙂 Meanwhile he’s in a relationship based on deceit, lies, etc. Good luck with that 😉

    • Hey Iowachump – some of my pros for divorcing a cheater:
      Ditto – house is cleaner!
      Ditto – no more holidays with evil EX M-I-L and Brother/Sister In law.
      Saving a massive amount of money on Beer! I go through a case a month – Exhole had 4 cases a week.
      I have money!
      I go on a lot of vacations!
      No more pool tournaments every fucking weekend!
      My Xhole did NOTHING around the house/yard too. Oh wait – he mowed our 2 acres every 3-4 weeks on his tractor… He had to buy a tractor to mow because a bigger riding lawn mower would take up too much of his time.
      We had to buy new furniture every few years too. Not from “plopping :-)), but from outgrowing it! Those 4 cases of beer every week made him FAT! (and ugly)

      My divorce anniversary is this week! 2 years of bliss! Zippity doo da Zippity ay!
      Congrats on your divorce finality neighbor (I’m in Southern MN)

      • Ladystrange,
        It sounds like we married the same guy! Congrats on your 2 year divorce anniversary!! I hear that each year out, life gets better and better!

  • “I want him to want me back so that I can tell him to FUCK OFF!”

    That’s your problem right there, Ma’am, answers Lola (Relationship Plumber to the Stars).

    It’s scary, facing the challenging unexplored part of yourself for the first time. (Also the second, third, and right up until about the eighteenth or nineteenth time, in my case.)

    That Unknown Territory you’re looking at is where you used to hide from all your own needs, and baggage, and sundry other shit, right behind a big fat cheater, who occupied every waking moment in your day.

    The nice thing about the cheater was that, as long as you were obsessing about him, you never once had to face that Unknown Territory inside you.

    Now he’s gone.

    Now is your opportunity for a really good emotional garage sale. Get some good therapy – it doesn’t have to be expensive to be good; you just need an empathetic but switched-on listener.

    You can start by reading the archives here. I channeled my own obsessive streak into reading those archives, and by golly, it was an education in itself.

    • This comment is everything! Hiding from our own needs — including our need to heal from our family of origin pain — leads us to choose emotional abusers who secretly cheat, while we believe they are awesome people who love us. This tendency is also what causes Chumps to re-partner too soon to yet another abuser. It’s rooted in how we were raised. That’s where the true work is. Therapy, coupled with pouring through the CL archives and forum, until you start to see your own patterns, and put the focus back on yourself and your own happiness.

  • Abusers and controllers are often given positive credit for “not abusing their partner.” While not actively being abused it “appears” that our thoughts, feelings and ideas are worthy of equal consideration. If our feelings matter to someone else, isn’t it in those moments also possible that they can sympathize with the pain we are experiencing? It’s the desire to be understood, to matter, and to have your experience acknowledged.

    You will not get that sort of understanding from someone who only cares about themselves; even if by experiential example… the self-centered do not have the capacity to see outside themselves. Their pain won’t trigger an empathetic revelation, even as much as we hope it would. You aren’t going to hear “oh my god, is this how I made you feel? I feel so awful and I’m so sorry.” Wanting someone who isn’t capable of understanding, to understand, is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You can’t make (or control) the emotional toll, make it even and equitable. Isn’t this what revenge is really about? Trying to equalize the toll one has suffered, by trying to force someone who doesn’t care to understand your experience? Then once they understand, maybe they will care about how they affected you?

    Once I let go of the desire to have him care, and accepted that he didn’t and/or wasn’t capable, I stopped giving a shit about having his understanding. Why would I want someone who was so callous and cruel to be able to identify with my experience? It simply kept me tied to desiring an outcome I would never get. It kept me tied to him! The best revenge truly is indifference!

    • Very well put Got-a-Brain! I still struggle with wanting him to validate all the horrible things he did to me and the kids and to sincerely apologize. I keep thinking if I get this I will have some sort of closure. But as you put it, I have to stop expecting a self-centered person to see outside of themselves. Thank you for this.

      • Agreed Got-a-Brain and Prison Chump,
        I kept kissing a frog (overt narc), hoping that he would transform into a prince (or at least a knight in only slightly dented armor). Surprise, I got a frog over and over again! Then I went onto kiss another frog (covert narc, ‘distant cousin’ of overt narc, psychologically speaking). Surprise, I got a frog over and over again! I am completed degraded, feeling powerless, humiliated, wildly angry as a result. And I am done kissing A–es! Time to be my own knight in shining armor! Wasn’t Joan of Arc one?

  • Letter writer, instead of thinking about how upset you are that he’s not groveling, think about how turbulent and confusing the cycle of him cheating, then kicked out, and then returning has been on your kids. If he’s out for good, it means that they’re no longer subject to this ongoing drama and you can focus on being a good parent to them instead of worrying about the location of your husband’s dick.

  • You may have bought into the idea that there is a “Happiness Pie” and it’s a limited resource. Not in this instance. Dump him and discover your own Happiness Pie and see how yours EXPANDS with honesty, integrity, doing things with and for people you love, like & want to hang around. Starting with yourself. Be sane (mostly). Your kids NEED sanity but you need it the most!

    Watch for the dreaded extinction burst & guard yourself against it.

    • Had to look up extinction burst – thanks NSC, enlightening!

  • Part of it is that we get caught up in the whole “cheater will be better for AP” thing. From the outside it looks like it but we forget that they used to be that way for us too and it doesn’t last. It can sometimes take a while, however and we get hung up on waiting for Karma. Also, there are other faults (having nothing to do with cheating) that we know are there that are not obvious to the outside world. These will adversely affect the APs whether they catch onto it or not. We need to recognize that those faults are not going away for the AP. What helps me is recognizing that my ex isn’t malicious so much as incompetent. He comes off as highly competent but when you dig below the surface he really isn’t. I spackled for so long because he appears to be such an honest, considerate and capable guy so it was easy to overlook evidence to the contrary and if I fully recognized his incompetence, that would make me a fool too because I was married to him. I also couldn’t call him out on his incompetence because I had to protect the marriage and to question him was to disrespect him. To some extent, his devalue of me affected my self esteem to the point where I would question my own judgement and capitulate in favor of his when I should have stuck to my guns. Now I have the freedom to fully recognize his shortcomings and be glad I am no longer associated with him. Without him in my life my finances are in better shape, my life plans are no longer a rollercoaster, I don’t have to hide and spackle his racism/sexism (which he hides very well from most people), I can look after my needs and the needs of my kids without always having to put him first, I don’t have to either gently talk him out of crazy ideas or bend to meet them, etc. etc. Looking at it that way, I also understand that discarding me in favor of a selfish, self-centered, home wrecking slut with no morals, no compassion and no sense of decency is just another example of his incompetence hurting the family as well as him. It really truly has nothing to do with me. For so long I thought that keeping him happy was the key to happiness for the whole family. I was wrong about that. Now I can look after myself and my family without his “happiness” getting in the way. It is still frustrating that the rest of the world might not recognize the truth of who he is, but I do and I am free of that fool who is incompetent at life.

    • It does help that there are at least a few people out there that do and always have recognized his incompetence and are not fooled by his image. Knowing that there are independent 3rd parties out there who see him that way helps me to believe it and not fear that my judgement is impaired by bitterness. My brother in law is one of them. I owe him a lot for helping me to see and believe in ex’s shortcomings.

    • Chumpinrecovery, that was a great analysis of your cheater. Very much like mine. I couldn’t have said it so well myself.

  • They can sense when you are going to tell them to fuck off. That’s when they don’t play ball yet again. They don’t come around so you can get the satisfaction.

    When do they come around so you can tell them to fuck off? Long after you’ve made peace with not being able to tell them that.

    Usually when you’ve been NC for awhile and things have calmed right down. You’ve moved on. You’re happy now.

    Then they go “oh she/he is happy now. I miss seeing them off-balance over me. Maybe I’ll go get my kibbles by knocking them back over. I miss that game.”

    “Oh spouse-object I love love you miss miss you. Why did I make a mistake? Oh that was silly. Let’s go to Paris.”

    Then you, irritated as fuck get to tell them to take a home instead. But it isn’t like ” yay I get to do this.” It’s more like “fuckity fucking fuck. Why is this idiot bothering me. I thought he went off chasing shopping bags or something ages ago. Arg. I don’t want to have to deal with this.”

    Just keep it NC.

  • Dear I don’t want him,

    I feel you. Welcome to the reason I stayed in wreckconciliation for three years with the ex cheating loser in my life. When I found out about the affair I had sunk close to a quarter century in that marriage and I would be damned if some crazy, interloping whore was going to insert herself in the life I worked so hard at for that long.

    Sunk costs can be a show stopper for a lot of people but sometimes you just have to walk away from a bad investment and take your losses. This is essentially the same thing.

    Time to make a new investment in yourself and forget about your husband and any sort of revenge you might want. You want the disordered to stay happy through the divorce anyway so they aren’t compelled to drag it on. Some do that anyway, but it’s wise not to give him any further ammunition. Not to mention that there is a shockingly narrow window of time when the cheater’s head is all full of sparkly new kibbles that they get from their new supply. While their head is in a kibble fog, you want to get a kick ass attorney and move forward with the best settlement possible that he hopefully signs.

    Then and only then can you move on to a cheater-free life which is spectacular!

    You got this! Chump Nation has your back!

    • This is rock solid advice Cheatersuck! At my second Dday with another schmoopie in my 20 years with a fuckwit, I realized he was following the same exact path he did the first time he discarded me for a twu wuv howorker. The first time I thought it was an early midlife crisis and the advice out there was to drag your feet as long as you can so they will come to their senses. And although he did come back after the kids and I sold our big house and had moved into our smaller, quaint home – it wasn’t because he came to his senses. He got dumped and I was the back up plan. I waisted many more years with 2 suspicious, gift exchanging secretaries and a chronically grouchy, never happy, middle aged Dr. Cheaterpants.

      I recognized those signs again, not wearing the wedding ring, hiding his phone and changing passwords, etc… I lawyered up and told her to move at lightning speed. If he changed his mind, he would be impossible to get rid of!! Damn I loved her. She told me she couldn’t believe what a great settlement I got. Yes, he was in a hurry to secure his young schmoopie and his twu wuvs. He couldn’t be bothered with a ball and chain messing that up!

    • I’ve fallen for Sunk Costs many a time. Now I am trying to operate on the Bad Debt Write Off mentality. Once year end hits, if the investment hasn’t paid off, it’s time to pull the plug, even though pulling the plug hurts. Waiting in Hopium only makes the debt worse!

      • Twice a Chump,
        You’re not alone. I’ve been the Back Up Plan sadly more than once. I hope to never subject myself to that arrangement ever again. Wreckonciliation has always been a very expensive, emotionally, physically damaging lost cause–really a train wreck on top of a train wreck.

  • My husband was a serial cheater and for years I never suspected him of cheating. I guess, because I never cheated so my mind didn’t tick like that. The only reason I began to suspect him was he left porn up on the desk computer (we all use our laptops) which I found because I needed to print something. I said something to fuckwit about his porn because I didn’t want our son to use that computer for school and stumble on dad’s porn. Not cool! About two weeks later I find porn left up again! I downloaded a virus to unlock all of fuckwit’ files and found some things that made me suspicious. I also discovered his cell phone was locked and under the ruse that my phone was dead asked my son if he knew his dad’s code so I could make a call. He did and OMGee the flood gates opened! I confronted him, he denied he was fucking around, but I knew better. I hired a great attorney who got me a wonderful settlement along with alimony. It took me a couple of years to let the anger go, but life is so much better! I’m four years out and he STILL brings up us getting back together!! Uh, hell no!! Please get you and your children away from this asshole. HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU!

  • Honestly, and this is very obviously my personal opinion, getting that opportunity to say “Fuck you” is actually not that satisfying. While you have the justified anger to want it, the reality is it doesn’t feel all that good considering it doesn’t really change what happened. You get a few moments of “HAHA” but it’s brief and then you have to return to the reality of what actually happened.

    Plus, contrary to what it looks like on the outside, it lets him know you’re still affected by it. If you have the anger left to want to say fuck you, it means it’s still bugging you. You still care.

    The biggest, and the most truly satisfying “fuck you,” is no longer caring. Not letting it affect you. Essentially, Meh. Sending him divorce papers and talking to him only when it pertains to legal matters, separation of assets, and custody. Nothing outside those topics. Not reacting. Even if you are still affected to some degree, do NOT let him see it.

    The biggest favor I ever did myself with my cheaters was to cease giving a shit. Ignoring them. Cutting off the contact. Not going to say I didn’t have the moments where I fantasized about them begging my forgiveness and then thoroughly and harshly denying them said forgiveness (often in public) but deep down I knew if that were actually to come to pass, it would just be more drama and probably prolonged grief. Because in the end, even if you got the chance to tell him to go fuck off, he still sucks. She still sucks. And you’re better than that.

  • Honey, get your financial affairs in order and protect yourself and your kids. He’s spending YOUR money on the Twatwaffle.

    Get thee to an attorney and thank your living saints that you’re out of that mess.

  • My unemployed cheater truly believes he is a “prize”. When I told him about the shit sandwiches I ate being around the people he told while acting as though nothing was wrong, he actually said, “Oh, really they must think you are really amazing since I didn’t leave you.”

  • If you have a stomach of steel and a heart of iron and want proof that they will continue to suck in your absence, there’s an entire forum dedicated to OW and OM on some of the websites out there. (Not sure if I can share it here …. ?) It is pretty tough to take some of the self-delusion and dysfunction there, but if you’re under the illusion that our exes become sparkling paragons of humanity with new people, it will cure you of that *very* quickly.

  • Nothing says FUCK OFF like a letter from a lawyer and NO CONTACT except gray rock text/email re arrangements to do with the children. There is light and peace and joy on the other side of this.

  • In the early throes of D-Day, abandonment, wreckonciliation, GTFO-day, and yo-yoing of discard, then come back, I thought and felt A LOT of things about his OWhore, but one thing I have NEVER thought or felt nor ever will think or feel is “I wish I was her”
    She wanted him so badly, she got him, skin tags on his thighs and nuts and all.

  • No contact is key. It will be hard at first–it’s like weaning yourself from a drug, and you will experience withdrawal symptoms. You will miss him; you will experience the urge to contact him; you will wait in anticipation of the next call or text or email you receive from him. This too shall pass. Try cold turkey for 3 months. Then you will see more clearly and wonder why the f*ck you tried to beg him to stay in your life.

    The only contact you should have with him is through email and only pertinent communications about your kids and finances. Ignore any other sh*t he tries to communicate to you (e.g., blame-shifting, criticisms, seeking pity, raging, etc.) –do not respond to these ramblings. Just keep your communications short and business-like. Only respond to what you are legally required to. It can be done–I’ve been doing this for more than 3 years and I have two young children.

  • The OW was newly married when she began an affair with my ex. She told our young daughter that she left her husband because “your Daddy was better”. Um, nope! The “better man” slept with prostitutes while away on business, had an affair with a co-worker and left his wife and 1 year old and 5 year old because he was “all out of fucks”. Yup, sounds likes a real catch!

    I only communicate with him through email. I have to see him every second weekend for parental exchanges but I pretend he doesn’t exist. I can’t stand looking at his ugly face. The OW is welcome to him!

  • I needed this column today ! I know I don’t want him back but I suffer from why is he better for her and why am I not good enough. I am also trying to figure out why he has mostly dumped our son and his family but I am beginning to see I won’t figure that out either. I would love for her to dump him just so he could feel some pain. I did tell him once she had him by the balls and would drag him anywhere she wanted. He didn’t disagree. She has been around the block a couple of times at least and I don’t think either of them have very high expectations in their relationship. Hoping to reach meh someday.

  • I am familiar with that feeling, I don’t want him but I don’t want her to have him, and similar feelings, which, in my view, stem from my thirst for vengeance. I want them both to suffer. Maybe I am a bad person, too bad, I really want them to suffer. And somehow I want her to suffer more than him. Maybe because I have residual feelings of love or care for him. Also, we did share some awesome times, we did build something great on this farm. There was a time when we both worked our arses off together on this. She just mooched.
    Sooo, now that he has been trying to hoover, I can confirm that he is miserable with her, because wherever he goes, there he is. And, although I don’t speak to her, I’m pretty sure she’s miserable too in her own way, because wherever she goes, there she is. I know her limitations. I know she’s spectacularly stupid (she had to attend a class to learn to use her smartphone when she bought one in 2015 for their sexting!!!!). I know she’s never managed her finances properly, that will not change. I already knew he lied to her before he left me. I know she only survives as a parasite. Life was easier for her when she was a parasite living off our couple, because I was doing a lot of the adulting in the said couple. Now it’s only the 2 of them. They lost their best host. That’s why he’s hoovering. They need a good host and they haven’t got one. Karma’s a bitch named Kiwichump.
    No matter how strong that desire for revenge is, trying to “win” him is not revenge. If you want her to suffer, and him to suffer, you must refuse to be their host. That is the only legal punishment you can inflict (trust me, I have fantasised about a lot of illegal things…), and it just happens to be a great punishment.

    • kiwichump
      what do you do when the Howorker was successful also, and most likely became more successful because of my cheater husband’s help. Now said whore can reap benefits and was in a full blown affair with my husband. I believe at this time that whore has all his (‘our’) money, but it was more his money because he was a sneak and I worked hard for my own money, he never gave me a dime. In essence, I ‘supported’ his sneaky affair behavior because he had plenty to show that whore the time of her life. I was just thinking tonight, I thought I would be ‘over’ this but I am not. I was thinking, that that whore and him lived the dream, they had the time of their lives. Especially the whore, she was whisked off her feet and treated like a princess, helped with her business, he must have thought highly of that whore. He was taking her on romantic getaways and trips all while we were married. I was completely fooled. So how does that whore suffer at this time? Yes, he did die so there’s that, but I don’t think that’s sufficiently enough for that whore to suffer. In the end, I truly have suffered and continue to, because I have to endure the thoughts that he & her had me fully fooled and I wasted precious time and beauty while he was fucking that big whore and they really thought they were the sparkly couple. I wondered why he used to mind fuck me soooo much. He really worked hard at mind fucking and game playing and riddles, and the intensity of constant travelling ‘for work’ but in hindsight now, everything pieces together. Some days, It’s too much mentally to deal with. I just don’t know how to go on or even deal with it. So back to my thought: how does this bitch get to suffer? I would say she is so heavily ladened down with jewels and money that miss Kuntytwat canyon could not possibly be suffering? I, like you, want this bitch to feel pain and suffer for the intense fun and enjoyment she had out of climbing on my husband (he was handsome and successful) and reaping all the benefits of a full blown relationship while I got the scraps. What a fucking bitch ! That warped whore actually thought this was HER man. I believe that he even made promises to her or gave her an engagement ring. So how do I recover from such deceit. I guess the whore figured he has no kids so she can destroy a marriage and take him over. What gets me is she gets to look great to all her co-workers because she uses that professional image as a façade and everyone is soooo fooled

      • Duped, maybe it sounds to me like she has got away with it especially if he is now dead so she is even rid of that liar. Having said that, she is still herself, stuck with her own evil personality. So we need to consider whether someone who behaves like this is ever truly happy. If they were capable of real happiness, real love, they could not behave the way they do. I think their selves are just black pits of turmoil that the only way they survive is by sucking off others. Knowing this doesn’t give you the justice or compensation you deserve, of course. But maybe it can give you some consolation. These people are incapable of experiencing the feelings we experience, the depth. With this depth comes deep pain, like you feel. But remember that you are capable of true, deep feelings. So now we need to focus on finding and experiencing happiness, away from them.
        I got the scraps too, I haven’t been able to have kids, the family I worked for with his kids is gone. I lost my last few years of fertility trying to have his baby. I remember sitting in the specialist’s office with him, being told the only chance left for me was surrogacy. I thought about it for a couple of minutes and said I didn’t want to spend all that money and energy like this when he already had 4 kids and we should focus on them. All that got me was the discard in the end. None of this changes who I am. Chumps suffer, don’t get me wrong. But at least we are not them. Really try to imagine what it’s like to be them: a black hole of greed at the centre, forever. We’ll always be better off.

        • kiwichump
          they were both so into image control and management about their hidden relationship that the howorker has glowing reviews from her peers and industry on her accounts/references online. It is sickening. This howorker is truly a ho and she is able to garner that kind of ‘professional references’ plastered all over her websites, etc. Did they not all know that she had a big long term romance with a married man? Were they that able to hide it all these years? And her and him are able to look like the most professional sparkly imaged people. That sick bitch was able to get my husband to screw her lonely ass, help her to build her business into a success and take her all over to her ‘customers’ and be by his side to rub elbows with high net worth men. She is an opportunist, a whore, and she got my husband completely 100% manipulated and him being the narcissist was in his glory. It truly makes me ill. the whore was writing that she was nauseaus back in 2015 so she definitely was letting my husband know she was pregnant on a company email meant to look professional. This whore was getting bolder as time wore on. She obviously ‘owned’ his ass. That whore was greedy and I know she made off with marital assets etc. I know that bitch does not have one ounce of remorse. She knows ‘she had him by the balls’ literally and figuratively. He was a willing participant. I wake up everyday remembering how he fought tooth and nail to try to devalue me, before her it was another employee that I realize in hindsight he had to have been fucking but she proved to be very ghetto acting rough around the edges and he had to discard her. he paid her off to get rid of her and got her a job at a different company. Then he found this big twat. she was more professional, he must have liked that, she would not squak or spill the beans on their fuckfest because he looked good and she had it made in the shade with him. Now the bitch can progress even further in her ‘career’ because of the professional smarts of my husnband. While I sit here with the scraps and my life is destroyed trying to just go on in the slightest bit. Feeling completely devastated that his whore reaped the benefits and is able to go on comfortably and everything (my life) is down the toilet. I’m lucky if I can function at all. My self esteem is in the toilet. There was no reason to treat a perfectly good wife and rob me of my good reproductive years because he was too busy fucking a whore with two kids who never had a man (where was her husband, where was her boyfriend? Oh that’s right her boyfriend was her married man, my husband !)and needed to be laid and my husband was her ticket to fortune and success and college tuition prob for her son.

          • Yes, all you say happened and she has your husband, your assets and a career built on false image and lies. She is still herself though, she knows what she truly is and how she got all these things, and the “prize” your ex husband really is…
            You know the truth and but you can’t, right now feel your true value. This is because he devalued you. So you need to focus on your and rebuilding (or building, maybe you never did in the first) a realistic sense of your worth. You are a genuine, loyal person, you gave everything to your marriage and your husband. The fact that he didn’t value it does not reflect your true value. This is what you need to focus on. It’s hard to do that while you are looking at what they are doing, how “successful’ they appear. So try deep NC, cut all info feeds about them, tell others you don’t want to hear about them. Focus on you. You are worthy. Focus on your self-care, give yourself little presents, no need to spend a lot of money.
            All they have won is each other and shiny baubles. It’s not real.
            The Traitor is now hoovering because he’s miserable, but playing happy families, putting on the mantle of super Dad. He’s still his old empty, permanently dissatisfied self who is looking over the fence.
            Stop making this mistake of looking over the fence at other people’s apparent success. It’s not real.

  • I know this may sound strange, but I don’t want the OW to want him. I want him to experience the gut-wrenching rejection I have felt. The thing is, I truly believe that IF they ever did get together for “the long haul” (as they used to call it), she would kick him out within 6 months.

    I realize, though, the best thing for ME is to get to the point where I just don’t care.

    • There’s an old saying: Revenge is a dish best served cold.

      I’ll have to say I agree. Kibble snatchers thrive on stimulation. Give them silence, starve them of attention and they tie themselves up in knots trying, hoping, that you’ll barf up one more kibble. It’s actually almost amusing to watch if you’re able to detach yourself enough.

      [Insert mental image of Jim Carrey with face squished up on the other side of the window glass while everyone this side of the window ignores him.]

      The thing about serving them a grey rock frozen solid wasteland is that they can stare at it, and think about it, but because it’s frozen solid they’re helpless to DO anything to change it. They’d have to change themselves first. And that’s just not likely to happen.

  • A study was done with three rats. One could nudge a button and get food. The second one accidentally nudged the button, got food one time and kept tying but never got food again. After a while it stopped trying. The third one never knew when the nudges would get food. There was no pattern for it to follow. It lost its mind. This was done years ago. Does it sound familiar? When we can’t see patterns and our lives stay chaotic we lose any ability to make sense of things. You were manipulated. You were a victim of covert abuse. Remember TD Jakes. He said when someone walks away from you let them go. Don’t get stuck in grief. Don’t get stuck in anger. Just let him live whatever disordered life he chooses. It is not your circus and he is no longer your monkey.

  • I believe that wanting them to want to come back is about feeling we need them to recognize that we have value.

    When they cheat, and especially when they cheat and leave, they are saying ‘you weren’t good enough for me’, ‘I don’t value you enough to stay’, or ‘you’re not important enough to me to make an effort to make this work’.

    The Chumps mistake is in believing that THEY are legitimate judges of our value. If we believe that we need them to admit we have value, we are trapped.

    Once we know that WE HAVE VALUE, that we ARE ‘good enough’, then we are FREE. The cheater may not value what we have to offer, they make not share our ideas of what is valuable in a person and a life partner, but their opinion, in that case, is not the one we need to be measuring ourselves by.

    Once we know we have value, we don’t need them to ask to come back, anymore.

    • KarenE, thank you for that. You are right. The discard is brutal, but when I think about what I gave, vs. what I got, I realize he is the loser.

    • KarenW – What you write is so insightful and helpful to me. We continue to want validation from the cheater who left us because we invested ourselves in them for years and want some reassurance that it was not all for nothing. The fact that they seem so reluctant to give us any form of validation (mine made some surface attempts through cliches and generalizations) is further evidence of their self-centredness and lack of compassion. How can a decent person not want to hand over some sort of olive branch to someone they shared years with and who has raised your children? It’s because they aren’t decent. Perhaps they once were, but they aren’t anymore. I had a social worker give me a good wake up call just over a month ago. My son has a disability and she works at one of the service organizations that helps my son. She saw how hung up I was being in giving my husband the benefit of the doubt, and she clearly stated that I need to accept the fact that the husband I once knew is gone. He has died. I need to mourn his loss and face reality that there is a man in his place that lacks compassion for the mother of his children. That’s a big problem. She reminded me that a man who is cheating is selfish and cannot be trusted to make good decisions in the best interest of his children (especially one who is even more vulnerable). I realized I needed to get my head out of my ass and into the game of life.

    • Yes to this Karen% x1000.
      We don’t have the same values, the same principles, as these people. So they devalued us, but it means nothing. Like a literature professor trying to mark a maths paper. It’s meaningless.
      We need to focus on our own values, live up to our own principles and trust our own judgement.

  • Thank you KarenE. I need to keep rereadig what you wrote to make it sink in. One of my closest friends keeps telling me to know my worth, but she doesn’t realize that I feel 100% worthless due to the complete discard and immediate replacement which occurred with zero remorse and zero hesitation on the part of my cheating husband. I get stuck in my head a lot thinking about everything that must be wrong with me to have caused this to happen. My husband and the side piece seem to be endorsed by everyone as well which makes me feel even more like I deserved this treatment. I can’t stop mourning over what I thought we had. My heart is just utterly shattered and it’s destroying me to know that his howorker has stolen my life.

  • Honey, it’s like the hiccups. You hate them while you have them, and right after they go away, you sorta miss them. You’ll get over it.

    You will get over your lying cheating sorry-ass excuse for a man as soon as you realize what he is. There’s nothing good here except your babies. Take that gift and move on away from this nightmare.

    It’s her nightmare now. Let her embrace the scum-filled reality she signed up for.

  • Sorry this has happened. Wishing you the courage to move on and find a person worthy of your time, attention and love. This crap we are all facing is indeed a mind fuckery and a shit show for sure. Wishing you nothing but the best.

  • Let her have him. She deserves him.
    Find a great divorce lawyer.
    Get alimony, child support.
    Stipulate he is responsible for maintaining kids’ medical/dental insurance and will pay 50% of college costs (cash or loans in his name).
    If your lawyer is good you need to get him to pay at least 50% of mortgage (his children need a home) and 50% of quality daycare if you need to return to work.

    Ask for full custody. In light of his abandonment of the family and multiple infidelities, and if he’s cohabiting with other woman, its almost a given.
    Then – the restrictions. Limit his time with the children to a couple weekends a month and forbid him to have them around any of his current or future girlfriends.
    I have seen that restriction in several separations and divorces.
    You can cite religious beliefs, the 10 Commandments, and strong feelings against cohabiting before marriage.

    Hopefully, his reduced standard of living, the realization that he is not a big part of his childrens’ lives while he’s tied to the OW, and when affairs become ‘real life’, with bills, and stress and the OW is complaining, he’ll realize what he lost.

    Don’t divorce and let your standard of living drop until you and the kids are scraping by. Statistically women’s SoL drops considerably, often into poverty, after divorce though for most men there is little significant change. Don’t let yourself become part of that statistic. Fight for everything you can. Don’t try to be nice.

  • And if he made the right noises and asked to come home…what then? Maybe you wouldn’t tell him to FO… maybe you’d just be back to square one with a new and more exhausting pick me dance to compete in. The next week he might decide to leave again.
    Or you do tell him to FO and he FOs back to OW and doesn’t look back this time…or a new OW emerges. Where do you say ENOUGH. You can’t win cause there’s nothing to win…just more time wasting, false starts, disappointment, pain and confusion.
    NC is the antidote to all this madness. Maybe he really is happy with OW or maybe not. You don’t know or care like you used to. Accepting what you cannot control is actually very empowering as it means that your time and energy is refocused on things that you do get a say in…like your own life.
    I find that as time goes on the less I want or expect from my ex. I won’t hold out for that apology or explanation…I won’t need to talk to him or about him…none of that ever worked anyway.
    Being able to tell him to FO would not bring any lasting peace. He already has. Now it’s time for you to FO…to a place where it no longer matters.

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