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Dear Chump Lady, I’m too old to start over

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband cheated on me. When I found out, it had been going on for a month or so…..but thought it was just messaging (not physical). I kicked him out.

I let him move back in when he hated where he was living and said he was afraid he might kill himself. He was sleeping in the basement, then moved to a bedroom next to mine. We were working on things and started back with a physical relationship… I THEN found out the affair was physical. I later found out he was still in contact with affair partner and wouldn’t stop. Kicked him out again.

Now here is where I am the biggest chump. I can’t imagine being single at 53 … I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to start over. We have been together for over 32 years… married for over 28. I just want my life back. I am almost begging him to try harder to make it work. He is saying he doesn’t want to live under a microscope and he wants to remain friends with her.

I just can’t stop and give up on us when we have shared our whole adult life together. We did everything together and I am so lost and alone. I am too old to start over. How do I stop…. how do I get past this? I feel like such a fool.

Shelley

Dear Shelley,

Whoever that woman was who kicked out her cheating husband? Grow old with her. She’s got your back. That fearful creature who let him come home, and is pick me dancing to win a manipulative fuckwit? Smother her with a pillow.

Where to begin… Let’s start with “he hated where he was living and said he was afraid he might kill himself.” If he makes such an utterance again, call the police and have him involuntarily committed for a 72-hour psych evaluation. (This is the standard emergency response when people are threatening harm to themselves.) If he’s suicidal, he’ll get the help he needs. If he was being manipulative, he’ll never try that shit again. Either way, he’s not sleeping on your sofa tonight.

I can’t imagine being single at 53.

It’s not a disease. Being single is not pitiable — it’s you minus one fuckwit. Let’s try some scarier sentences, shall we?

I can’t imagine having to compete for my husband’s affection.

I can’t imagine having to get STD tested constantly because my husband fucks around.

I can’t imagine humiliating myself for someone who is demonstrably cruel to me. 

There are far worse things than being alone, chief among them is being married to a remorseless cheater. Those sentences above are your current REALITY. Being single after 32 years is just the unknown. And you control how you captain your life. You control nothing about fuckwits.

I don’t want to start over.

Life is starting over. Think about it, every aspect of your life is about starting over. You give up crawling for walking. You lose teeth. You change classes, suffer through puberty, start new jobs, make new friends, lose friends, have to eat at countless lunchrooms alone. People die, people are born. Not to write an entire paragraph of cliches here, Shelley, but life is CHANGE. There is zero guarantee your life will remain as you thought it would be, or give you the future you thought you deserved. Life coldcocks everyone.

You’re not washed up at 53. Not by a long shot. Look, I’m here in Roanoke, Virginia this weekend with my parents — people in their mid-70s. It’s abundantly clear to me that time is running out before I’m spending dinners discussing my acid reflux. I’ve got about 20 years before my knees are arthritic and I have to set the thermostat to 80. Nonetheless, the old people are out and about, admiring the azaleas and having cocktails.

I’m aware that my time with them is dwindling and my own mortality is in sight. It makes me rethink exactly how much time I want to waste. I suggest you don’t waste your precious years and good health on a cheating bastard.

Divorce over 50 has its own host of considerations, financially and health-wise. Do some research at AARP (I’m not being snarky, I LOVE AARP). Talk to a lawyer and face all your scary fears with some facts about your situation. People start over every day.

If you’re rightfully scared about your security, consider that it’s probably MORE insecure to stay with someone who is spending marital resources on an affair. There’s no guarantee he’s going to stick around — so protect yourself.

How do I stop…. how do I get past this? I feel like such a fool.

He’s the fool. You get past this by recognizing your worth, and taking your power back. He doesn’t want to live under a microscope? Fine. He can live under a divorce summons.

Hang in there Shelley, better days ahead. Make the most of them!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Agreed ImAPhool !
      I’m now 55 and differently abled. Lost my job right after he left! How am I coping? One day at a time.
      The dick always said that he will commit suicide. Years later he is still alive. Why do you think that is??
      I had a brother who committed suicide. I know and understand the pain. These mindfucks will screw with you as long as they can get to you. Get him out and get him out of your head. That drug needs to be destroyed! Him changing… that’s a laugh! Never! Life is a game for them.
      Shelley you be strong! Life is better alone than with a cheater! Peace!

  • I have just done all this at 60! I asked myself the most basic question- is this how I want to live? No! My resounding heart generated response is that I am better than that! 36 years of my life; 27 married; I dedicated my kind loyal love to a fuck wit who never deserved me. I received a text telling me it was all over after I caught the two of them in our food van in the local swamp! You reckon?! He was 60 & she was 38. He has erectile dysfunction and she is stuck with ‘his big hands’! What a joke. They both destroyed 2 beautiful family’s. We call them limp dick and pond scum.
    Trust me CL is so right- what waits on the other side of hell is peace love and real loyalty. Yes it’s painful and awful – but there is no turning back. CN will lift you up, support you and have your back!

    • In a food van, in a local swamp?! That is more horrible than the movie “The Curse of the Swamp Creature,” but also funnier, as long as enough time has passed. Wow, the fun you can have with nicknames. It would make a great cartoon from Tracy as well.

      Thanks for sharing and encouraging. Ozziechump. I’m glad you left your cheater. I’m 56, devoted 31 years of my life to an entitled man child, and can honestly say now that my life is much, much better without the constant lying and whining of cheater ex to endure.

      Shelley, your life is not over. The world is full of people who started everything over at ages much older than you, and they have amazing stories to tell. You too can survive and create a new and beautiful life without the lying and emotional abuse.

      • I divorced at 65 after unknown to me he had been having affairs for all 45 years of our marriage. When I realized I was trying to salvage “damaged goods” – this took six months – I divorced him and am happier than ever. I am about to marry the most wonderful man after being single one year so believe me you are still a pup at 53! Good honest decent men are out there who will give you the love you deserve.

        • Wow! That is fantastic, congratulations! I’m 53, married for 34 years…. two grown successful children… he decided to cheat about 2.5 years ago, found out the first time, like her, in a text threw him out, took him back only because i was still in love with him and could not see my life without him, he seemed truly remorseful, and we had had a strong marriage for many years, felt I had to try. I never quite trusted him again, always felt flags raising, but ignored them as best I could, watched the MARRIED WOMAN OF 2 CHILDREN flaunt herself on facebook as this loving mother and sexy wife… made me feel plain, overweight and pissed off like a hornet! Then, his phone died and needed a new one, I transfered his files over to new phone…pictures! pictures of them flirting, sending images of their genitals to each other. Who does that? it continued during the time we were trying again… all that time, he never let her go. The insult is overwhelming, he made me his fool! I moved into my daughters’ old room immediately, then within 2 months, I made many decisions, one of which was leave the home I shared with him for 25 years, too many ghosts, and BOUGHT a house 40 minutes away to be sure there was no turning back and a strong message for him! my divorce is not yet final on paper, but for the first time I’m living alone and LOVING IT! yes, I have bad days, depression at times, loneliness, but overall, I’m getting to know who I am at this age, 53 almost 54, taking care of myself, getting ready to be laid off after 26 years in a career, but you know what? The future is exciting, what will I become next? I want to be my own hero, love myself and accept who am today. I was a very good wife and mother, and I have a lot to offer this world, as well as one day, I hope to find someone new to love and cherish who will be deserving of me.
          life is short, I lost both my parents very young, so I know what it is to cherish life and family. I won’t let him strip me of happiness and love. I still speak with him, we are on “friendly” terms. I chose that route because I wanted to show my children that you can divorce with dignity and still be able to be friends at the end for the sake of our children. I don’t harbor anger. I forgave him because i needed to move forward, to begin all over again. hopefully I will find someone one day, once I’m in my place of MEH, to love again. 🙂

          • Our stories and age are so similar! They also were sending pics to each other including genitals. I didn’t know that..or even that they were physical for awhile. It all came out a little at a time..when I figured it out or bugged him until he told me. He is a liar..and.. like the book says…I could seeing a dead cat around a room and find better.

            • Hello!

              I relate too. I’m also 53, married 27 years, 4 out of 5 kids still at home. Divorce in process. He’s been living with his mistress since last September. She’s his second one. She is 47 or something, no kids, but divorced three times, though with a PhD. She also confesses she won’t stay monogamous. So he’s “aspiring” to live an open marriage with her. They go on vacations and to concerts and do drugs and ride motorcycles together, oh, and have sex every single day. Apparently. She calls herself his “queen” and he’s her “king” and I pretty much want to gag.

              Anyway. Here’s what I’m thinking, Shelley and all. I’ve been married 27 years. But you and I, we are only half way through our adult lives. Half! We have the next 27 years ahead of us! My dad turns 84 and my mom 78 next month and they’re still going strong. My dad helped me rebuild our fence at age 80!

              So I’m saying the same thing I said to myself in my twenties: what do I want the rest of my life to look like? I’m determined to make it wonderful! It’s going to be brilliant and beautiful. For each of us.

        • Happy for you. Meeting another man or woman seems to be the ultimate measure of success.
          I divorced at 66 after 40 years. I’m now 72.Am I supposed to dream of meeting someone?

    • In your food van at the local swamp.

      As we say here on our side of the planet: Keepin’ it classy. Was she having a private viewing of his Chiko Roll?

    • That sounds way too familiar, the ages, the need for little blue pills and on the side of back roads in his new Lincoln. Worthless and skankygirl07

  • Shelley, it seems unfathomable now, but trust me you do not want to be in this marriage. You don’t want to be a marriage-policing, pick-me dancing wreck. It is so much better to be alone and free from the mind f*ckery you’re in right now.

    Alone can be lonely, but is also the peace of mind you get when the crazy/toxic gets out of your life. You are worth the trade.

    Wishing you well (((((hugs)))))

  • It is about your self-worth. Is it really better to say “I’m married and not alone” with a person who has zero respect for your intelligence or feelings? Why is being alone so much worse than being in an abusive marriage.? I’ll tell you why, because women are still measured by a mans standards. If you are alone that must mean you are unworthy of any man, which equates to being a looser. Men can be single, immersed in jobs, hobbies, friends. He is envied and looked up to. Women are pitied. Well I’m not putting up with it. I’m 55 and separated from my asshat, focusing on my kids, job, family…started back in school and new hobbies. Everything I always wanted to do but was deferred to keep him happy. My biggest revenge is to live well, as in you made your choice so have at it. As soon as my youngest is 18 I will be 100 percent no contact. Don’t get mad or sad Shelley, get even by proving to yourself that you can make your own future instead of his.

      • Shelley, the most awful loneliness is the one you have when you are married to a cheater.

        Being alone does not equal being lonely. On your own, you will be free and mighty. You will soon wonder how on earth you thought being with him was what you wanted!!

        • One of my gran’s sayings: e meglio sola che mal’accompagnata. Better to be alone than in poor company.

          Apart from which, when I looked back over my marriage and whether it was actually worth saving, I realised that being married to donkey fuckwit was the loneliest and most soul destroying thing I had ever done in my life. I poured myself out and got nothing in return.

          I asked myself: If I was old or unwell, would he look after me. The answer was: NO. He didn’t even take me to hospital when I was in labour with our second child because he was ‘tired’. I had to call an ambulance.

          If he got ill now, would I want to change his adult diapers? If I had been treated in a loving and respectful way, then I would have somehow; but in the circumstances? Nope! she can do it. Not that she hung around (less than a week) after she found out that he didn’t own the house. * Twuu wuv* His lousy choice : his consequences.

          Nobody needs to be second best, or in poor company. xxx

          • So true Gracie. When I did that evaluation after I filed amd threw him out it became clear.

            He drank five drinks to my one and was always high. His hearing loss was significant,had his prostate removed, wet the bed and elected to get a penile prosthesis. I slept with a heating pad cord under my pillow.

            He spent years jerking off to porn in the basement. Hoorah! He found Nanthony. THAT’S what she got and believes she’s special.

            My life was dreadful. Since I divorced him he’s had many ailments and surgeries.

            I dread thinking about what my future would have looked like had I stayed. I’m 61 and took charge of my life. I can’t tell you how much better it is being single.

          • my mother says” better be a sane widower rather being with a scandalous husband! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • GrayDivorce – YES! That magical 18 will come quickly. My youngest just turned 18 a little over a week ago and it felt SOOoooOOO awesome to block him! But make sure not to “delete” that douchebag’s contact, but “block.” If you delete it, then you can still get a random text from them later on, sending you spinning all over again. Block ‘em! 😀

    • Hahahahahaha… I just got the visual of waking up and being clobbered by an albatross every morning you stay with a schmuck.

  • Frankly, 53 would be a great age to start over. I had to start over at 70 when I found out that my supposed impotent husband had been into on line dating and mutiple women for 6 years. What I have learned is that living solo is far better than staying married to someone who is callous, narcissistic and manipulative. Did I mention that I had to support the family for most of the 42 years of our marriage? What I have learned is that I’m ok by myself. Living a lie is far worse than living solo.

    • Hey Chris: I’m also 70 and have an amazing life now. I separated at 63 and felt my life had ended. I was beyond lost. But, over time, things only got better and better. Now, here I am, with a 10 month old granddaughter, wonderful sons and daughter-in-law. I have great friends, do Tai Chi several times a week, lift weights, travel and am in better shape than I was 20 years ago. I have had one marriage proposal and realized that I don’t feel the need to be part of a couple. I have learned to value the freedom I have being single. I can do what I want every day and I am so grateful. The book title is so true, we all, no matter our age, have gained a life.

    • Chris, you just wrote about my life. I am 70 and married to a narcissist for 25 years. I am getting ready to divorce him I got proof of his lies (and possible cheating) 1 year ago. He has had 2 (at least) emotional (?) affairs over the past 5 years (at least). (He has admitted to at least 1 sexual indiscretion ). He shared over 100 texts per day for months with the second girlfriend. He used to be an honorable Christian man. He is now impotent (???) with me. He is manipulative and has slowly destroyed my personal esteem. The way he has treated me can be summed up as callous, emotional abuse. He has disowned my daughters and our 4 grandchildren. I have been trying to salvage our marriage for the past year. I still loved him, I did not want to be alone, and I did not want to loose our small home I worked so hard to fix up. We had just gone through bankruptcy, loss of investment properties, and foreclosure of our beautiful home. (I had never walked away from a financial obligation, before, in my life) I also have been the major financial supporter for our married life working hard as an RN. I am now retired. I do not know how I will survive financially, but I cannot take this any more. I am so scared, but thank God for good friends and family. PS, Is there some way that we can chat?

  • Im 53 and I had no idea I was over the hill until just now…I was too busy having lunch with my daughter, finishing my final essay for my art history class and planning my trip to Africa. I also made sweet love with my new husband who is not a cheater, but repartnering is not the litmus test for success, living your best is.

    I stayed WAY TOO LONG with my cheater and in the end, I still never left…he died and the Universe took him away in a moment and I thought “Oh no what will I do?” so I went to London.

    When a life-long companion can see the pain they cause by cheating and choose to just keep it up and develop deeper lies, THAT is your sign to jettison their asses. Trust that he sucks, get your half and enjoy the time you have left.

    • What unicornomore said ^^^^

      At 56 I left his cheating and crazymaking lies to start over in a different part of the country. It wasn’t easy, but it was totally worth the effort because now I honestly believe the last chapters of my life will be the best ones, with a happy ending after the tragic middle.

  • Dump him Shelley. You’ll be surprised how peaceful it is when all your energy isn’t sucked by an asshole.

    Forty one years and I emptied the contents of his closets on the porch at 57. I wish I’d found CL sooner.

    The investment: it didn’t matter to him. Stop investing in a lame horse.

    Fear: The unknown is scary at first. Then you conquer it one day at a time. I tiled my kitchen floor this weekend. I depend on myself. You can too.

    The alternative is much worse. Dump him.

  • I had my 4th d day at age 46, I had been with him since I was 25. Even after all those d days I stayed after, he finally discarded me…..hard.
    I’ve told this story here before but my kids ( who were 17&23 at the time) literally dressed me and covered me at work for about a month.
    Once I started to emerge from that psychotic episode, I picked me danced for a bit because the thought of losing my life scared the complete shit out of me.
    Then I accepted, got a good attorney ( who will also double as a pep talker and life coach), and started the hard work of figuring out who I was without him and how I was moving forward.
    I have a nice boyfriend now, the love and respect of my kids, a good settlement, and my life is pretty nice.
    I don’t speak to my ex.
    I’m sorry you go through this because I know that pain.
    He’s an asshole……who you thought he was is an appurition.
    He sucks, take care of you.
    Hugs to you.

  • Shelley, here are some other questions to ask yourself:

    If you were suffered an accident or an illness and couldn’t make decisions for yourself, would you trust your husband to make those decisions in your best interest? Do you trust him to decide whether or not pull the plug?

    If you became severely ill or when you’re much older and need assistance, do you trust this man to care for you lovingly and selflessly, sacrificing his own convenience and happiness at times to see you through?

    If you think being single in your 50s is hard, do you think it will be easier in your 60s, 70s, or 80s? At some point, he might not give you a choice in the matter.

    • This ^^^^^ Don’t fool yourself, he hasn’t been in the marriage for quite some time, you are just the last person to find out, and so was I at 48, the I “danced” through 2 years and 4 DDays because of ‘think of the kids’ and ‘what about our future we planned’, well it was all a sham, and did I mention his mom was helping him with his OW and planning our separation and divorce. In that time I lost my job twice, I had cancer surgery, I planned family trips, holidays, special gifts for him and stood by him and his family through two tragic sudden deaths. Honestly it was the cold dead eye stare when I told him I had cancer and the surgery was scheduled immediately, he wasn’t compassionate, he refused to take off work, and he didn’t lift a finger to help at home during my 6 month recovery (BTW, I never missed a day of work since I worked from home at the time). I’m still struggling with the cancer (its a sneaky bastard) and I have a new demanding job I love, I bought a house and my darling kids are both graduating college in May. My point: I don’t want to live with crazy-making, liars, mind-fuckery, projection, deflection, gas lighting, and word salad. I didn’t get married to share my husband, it was a one-to-one decision between two people, not 3,4 11 and I’m not willing to change my end of the contract. I may die of cancer, it could be a slow, painful, horrible death, or I could die walking across the street to the busstop, but whatever time left (and I just turned 50) I am not willing to compromise ME anymore. Fuck Cancer and Fuck the crazy disorderd ex and his family of flying monkeys.

      Let him go and be with yourself, be good, honest, kind and fun with yourself. We are born alone and most likely die alone, we can be alone and if you don’t want to be alone, get pets, volunteer, go to social gatherings (even walking around the mall is social).

      Be Mighty all by yourself, we are too here at CN, did you hear, the latest count was 19 Million chumps, not so alone would you say

      • Kibble-less,
        Reading today of the strength and fortitude of Chumps is beyond amazing.
        YOU are so mighty Sweet Lady!
        I am so sorry for all you have been through.
        YOU are not alone in your fight against the MoF’er cancer! Your CN Family is beside you. Can you hear the roar!

        Shelley, keep reading and read again.
        Don’t bake any more cakes for him. He is not even worth one stale bread crumb.
        YOU can do this!
        Go to the forums with all your questions and concerns.
        Along with the answers you will feel the love and support in every fibre of your heart!
        ❤️

        • Thanks PK, my story is not unique to anyone else here in CN, just the twists and turns are in different orders. I’m glad now that cheater-troll walked away, I’m such the ever-loving chump I would have stayed forever, but cancer is often that game-changer that usually makes most people take notice and stock of their lives. Ex didn’t but I did. D was final on a Tuesday, boom.

      • Kibble less
        I too
        Had
        Breast cancer & he wasn’t there at the hospital when I had mastectomy. Couldn’t take off from work but I was a fool thinking he had the moral
        compass we have. Not being there for my recovery. Then when he met owhore., told me hetm”tits ate gigantic “.

        I lost a breast so how can he say that to me? I was devastated but 2 years out I’m getting better. OWhore is dead & he moved in with another woman only a month after whore died. Ha..tru wuv?

        But us older women can have a cheater free life that’s filled with honest decent people.

        Hugs to you
        🤗 ❤️

        • Oh (((((Kathleen))))
          You are a beautiful person, inside and out!

          He is trash.

          Giant hugs to you!
          ❤️

        • Kathleen, I had a similar experience to you. Strangers treated me better during cancer that my husband did. He never helped around the house and would never take an entire day off during my appointments (the few he went to). It was worse than the cancer itself.

          • Feral blue
            The whore was walking into a Dept store in the parking lot & guy was texting.. he hit her
            She was in a coma for few days then passed.

            Karma…sometimes shows up.

    • Lulu, very good point. A stranger would be more careful than our fuckwits.

      An ant bit my tongue and I had an anaphylatic reaction. Sparkledick dragged his feet to take this chump to the emergency room, complained about waiting there and wouldn’t bring me a glass of water when we got back home.

      When I remember that day I shiver.

    • Also, Shelley (and by the way, girl, 53 is just a baby – 61 here and didn’t even hit my marathon personal best till 54), growing old with cheater would be no picnic if he’s the one to get sick first, either. And statistically, men are more likely to do so.

      In my line of work, I see every day how tough it is for caretakers of spouses with dementia and other disabling illnesses. They often wind up sacrificing their own health for little reward. If the patient was a narcissist to begin with, they often get downright abusive and even violent. (Sometimes this happens even if they were sweet folks before). Your cheater has done nothing to deserve that kind of sacrifice from you. Focus on how justice will be served leaving that role for Schmoopie!

  • Col. Sanders never fried a chicken until he was 65.

    My Dad was afraid to dance and never sat foot on a dance floor until he was 70. You should have seen him Tango with his granddaughter at her wedding last month.

    My Mom never ran a marathon until she was 57. Would you like a picture of her trophies and medals?

    As long as you are breathing….life is just beginning.

    • New favorite quote: “As long as you are breathing….Life is just beginning”. Thank you SuperDuperChump.

    • Thank you, SuperDuper, for these wonderful, encouraging examples of some things that are possible even later in life! I’m 74, three years divorced (after 47 years married/52 together), loving working part time, and doing more and better than ever before. I’ve got the energy now that he pumped off me my whole life. Thanks for reminding me there’s lots ahead and to still go for it!!

    • And….69 yr. old Ozzy Osbourne is going on tour this summer. If that worn out old geezer can still put on those high octane performances…..my Golden Years should be energy packed.

  • Shelley, do you want to spend your golden years with a man who threw away thirty-two years of marriage just for some strange? A man who thinks so little of you that he cheated on you and then had the GALL to snap about not wanting to live under a microscope?

  • Hi Shelley. I’m turning fifty this year, so a little younger than you but not much, old enough that I definitely had all these fears about starting over when he moved out two and a half years ago. I like my new life. It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s all mine. I call the shots, and I don’t have to deal with a bunch of ridiculous bullshit. The thought of still being married to him now makes me want to vomit. I am asshole-free, and it’s awesome. Hang in there, better days ahead, get rid of this jerk.

  • I’m 47, was married for 23 years total between two husbands. I have a 9-year-old Autistic daughter. I’ve never been on my own since early college years, when I met now exh1…
    I was 44, DD was almost 7 when he left me and DD for his OWhore.
    Financially, physically, and emotionally broken…still not 100% on the financial part since the bastard won’t pay child support, but overall three years later, my life is much better than it was with exh2.

  • I had to start completely over at 48. I lost everything including my paid for home with the beautiful Oak tree that I planted at age 25.

    I am now 50.

    The last 2 years have been so fabulous….I have to remind myself that I am 50.

    • Super, great for you. But I do feel sad about your tree. When I sold my house I had to leave behind so many trees my son planted, I can’t bear to drive in front of it.

  • Shelley –
    I am also an over 50 single person (I was still in my 40’s when my divorce went through, but almost 7 years later I am still “single”). I am in the same camp as the others that say that as scary as it might seem, it might be that blessing in disguise. I was very lonely in my marriage. I use to say to my ex I would rather be alone and single than lonely and married. I didn’t expect it would happen the way that it did, but I am so much “happier” in my life. I still have kids at home, so that does keep me busy. But rarely do I feel lonely. Once in a blue moon when I am with all couples that might creep in, but this far out, that feeling is fewer and further between. (There are also some definite pluses to not living with another adult, btw.) You can do this! And you are not alone! It IS definitely scary to start over at our ages, but at least we get to get a fresh start! Hang in there!

  • I believe this came from CL-“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” The older I get, the more I realize that whatever time I have left on this earth should be spent in the best way possible. Who wants to merely go through the motions? Aging alone does not mean a life of gray dullness. I plan to use all the crayons in the box!

    • Wonderful outlook, Violet! Gosh, I was praying today asking God to let happen what’s best for me. I’ve applied for a job in Germany and am on the fence about it. The job is good, I’m sure the pay will be as well. But I love my house and my current job is good. The reason that I applied is even though I actually lived in Germany for 8 years (with my dick-ex while he was in the military), I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to see. And now I can’t really do that taking 2-week trips from the US (even if I had the money.) So, on the spur of the moment I applied for a job. I decided that I did not want to be 70 and say, “You should have done it when you had the chance!” I put in for the job and am praying that if God wants this for me, then He’ll let it happen. If not, I’m okay working where I’m at for another 7.5 years until I hit 65. I divorced my ex 3 years ago and I’m so much at peace! Walking on egg shells for years made me accept it as ‘normal’. And I guess it was ‘normal’, but it certainly wasn’t right. I’m so much happier! I did not realize what freedom was until just a few months ago. It took that long to realize that I’m free of the oppression that I lived daily. And like you, I will spend the rest of my life the best way possible. Thanks!

  • I officially became single at 46 and this life is so much better than staying with a manipulative, devaluing, cheating husband. As a matter of fact, I may just keep this single status for the rest of my life…

  • Shelley, I was abandoned by Cheater for his AP about 10 months ago. I’m 43. Had been with him since I was 15. I didn’t know how to be an adult without him. Just the thought of it put me in a state of despair. Now, I am so RELIEVED that he is gone. He doesn’t belong in my life. People who love you don’t treat you like that.

    Please, Shelley, lean on your support network to get you through this. Join the forums if you haven’t yet. Chump Nation will be invaluable as you navigate through the unknown.

    Find your worth. 💜

  • Shelley, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I reasoned about my life the same way as you are nis. The same circumstances, except I am older (65 when I divorced), was married longer (40 years). I suffered financial losses and I had three sons with fuckwit. I did spackle and Pick-me dance. Then I came across Chump Lady and I understood the humiliation, the manipulation, the cruel power game (for fuckwit, thst is; I saw myself as an attraction in a Roman arena trying to survive an attack from a famished bear), the years of exploitation by fuckwit and his entire family of self-interested cheaters at all levels. I was lonely, but just because I was learning how to “Gain a Life”.

    Believe Chump Lady and the veterans of Chump Nation: it ONLY gets better. This belief is what gets you through these stormy waters. The sun will shine.

    This moment I am off to buy a pick-up truck, not a pick-me dance, for my small farm that I always wanted to own, but couldn’t afford due to Lord Sparkledick’s mismanagement of our finances (spent on flatterfucks, as I found out). l would not go back for anything because respect and peace of mind is as good as it gets.

    As Chump Lady says, our greatest gains come from our greatest losses.

    You will be fine.

  • Discovered affair 2 years ago, now divorced at 70
    Devastated & terrified I had no choice. 35 years of what I thought was a good marriage but he was cheating with
    a whore.

    OWhore died recently & he now found another victim
    who he lives with. I never thought my life would be like this at my age but I refused to be lied to,humiliated
    & abused. It’s lonely at times & im financially strapped but my self respect is what’s important to me.

    We all here at CN have similar stories but we can survive without the low class, disgusting toxic spouses that don’t care or love us . They are incapable of moral
    behavior & honest love for their families.

    Good riddance to evil cold & sociopaths. 👍🏻😊

  • I think you’re hoping for ‘the epiphany’. If he was going to have one it would have been when you originally kicked him out. Instead he weaseled his way back into your bed with more lies and manipulation. Now he’s giving you a new set of rules that includes you pretending nothing is wrong so that he can do whatever he wants. Who put this fucker in the driver’s seat?
    >>He wants to stay friends with her<<
    Let that sink in. That's his wish. Not an "I'll do whatever necessary to rebuild your trust in me".
    Being alone is scary-ish. But what is even more scary is what happens to your body and your mind after years of staying with a cheating asshole toxic disease of a man.
    I tried it for years. I shut up and made him comfortable and happy. Tried to get him to see my worth and sacrifice. And then finally when you can't take another minute of it you're too worn down and lost to even start over. I don't know how to attach a trailer to my truck. I can't rewire a light. I have no clue how to read the propane tank. I can't change a tire. I don't know how to use the log chopper thing. Very scary. Until you realize – I can learn. Or I can hire someone to do all those things until I learn. And then what do I need your lying ass for? Girl power you dumb deceitful fuck of a man.

    • “cheating asshole toxic disease of a man.”
      “Girl power you dumb deceitful fuck of a man”

      Hahaha! Love it. Love constructive anger.

        • 💪💁 🙆👯!
          what’s even left to be afraid of after living for years with your worst fears being shoved in your face. living with a maniac is scary. dragging a 50 pound bag of dog food to the register wearing heels is really not scary. it’s kinda funny.

          You know what happens when you pull up to the store with an empty grill propane tank. A nice man walks over and says ‘do you need help with that?’ Well holy hell yes I do. And when you’re staring at a wall of beautiful bags of topsoil wishing you could lift them into your cart… a gentleman appears and says ‘stay there I’ll get them for you.’ Well I’ll be damned.
          The girl that was told she doesn’t even know how to enter a restaurant properly or walk fast enough to keep up or put items in a cart the right way seems to be managing just fine. Turns out the ‘right way’ was just without him criticizing ever move I made.

          • You Tube is my new very best friend! You are not alone WROHIT, I also “had” a list of ‘I don’t know how to…’ but my darling kids showed me how to use that cell phone for more then pretty pics and I can change tires, fix toilets, rewire, mow the lawn and weed-eat/edge, and I can buy a house! That’s right, I bought a house, all by myself, and a tree fell on it 3 days later, so I also know how to search and call somebody, get estimates, rekey doors, oh, did I mention all the crazy car repairs this past year?

            YouTube! There are some really nice and knowledgeable people who are kind enough to make slow and easy videos to help chumps out, 24/7/365

          • omfg, “put items in a cart the right way”
            I couldn’t either… though I was the one paying for all the groceries for 16 years.
            I also was able to run a successful law practice and bring home 95% of our household income. The list was so long of things I was told I was told I was incompetent at.
            Now I tune up the John Deere mower by myself when before, I had to give fuckwit $300 checks to have the serviceman come to the house and do it. I’ve also fixed broken toilets and faucets in the house and learned how to use a chainsaw.

            • This list is funny but such a trigger. All the complaining and nit-picking of 20 years has taken its toll and now looking back, it seems crazy that I put up with it.

              I could not turn the shower on correctly (turned the knobs too many times???),

              I could not iron as well as him (so I quit)

              I was cutting the grass every week to make him look bad to the neighbors.

              I taught the kids about Santa so that he would not get credit for buying them the gifts.

              I went to lunch with his disordered mother to make him miserable because he had to hear about it when she was mean. (but if I defended her I was not loyal)

              I worked as a programmer so easy anyone could do it (he was an engineer),

              I could not use the garbage disposal correctly (only clogged it once in 20 years),

              When painting the house, I Painted horribly (but he still let me do the work)

              I did not know how to talk to the children, horrible mother (yet they are with me and NC with him)

              I kept the bathroom counter too full of my stuff (guilty!!!!)

              and was too ugly to sleep with (took him 20 years to figure that out…)

              The worse one was that I was Lazy. I did not start enough chores so he did not have to do them, I stayed home with the children. I was not doing something to keep him entertained all the time. I struggled to keep him happy until it was impossible.

              My Cancer was just to make him feel guilty because he was leaving me.

              It is so hard not to take it personal until you realize that even if it was all true, what weak people they are to only realize it after 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 years. They are such a joke.

              • sadly i lived all of your examples. with a few words changed this was my life too. I hope you’re doing ok erasing these devaluations. it’s hard even when we know in our minds that it’s bullshit. 💜

          • Ok, I have to know. There’s a “right” way to enter a restaurant? That’s a thing? I’m probably doing it wrong, too!! 🙂

            • Ohh Chris W. I needed that laugh😂

              Ok so the “wrong way” to walk into a restaurant (that you’ve never been to before) with your husband to meet friends…
              enter restaurant
              walk over to the room with the tables
              stop walking and scan room to look for your friends
              locate friends

              The “correct” way…
              enter restaurant
              walk full speed without looking around, in whatever direction you randomly choose (just be sure not to slow your pace), walk fast without taking into consideration that your friends might be on the other side of the room. walk with purpose.
              Slowing pace in any way upon entry means that you are insecure and have no street smarts nor any common sense. If you don’t march fast, then you run the risk of your husband pushing you and telling you that you’re a fucking loser and leaving you to speed walk off to your friends.

              You know what I just realized. I think he planned this each time. I think he asked where they are sitting before we got there. So i would look around and he could shove me and tell me i don’t know how to enter a room. fucking bastard.

          • How do you ‘not enter a restaurant “properly”?

            My mind springs to the Ministry of Silly Walks.
            https://youtu.be/iV2ViNJFZC8

            Did you slink in sideways? Piggybacked on some random guest walking inside?

            The ridiculousness of their accusations is just staggering.

    • Exactly. We can learn to do whatever all it was they were doing. We are intelligent people. There is nothing special about them. If they can do it, so can we. We just need to have someone show us how the first time or two.

      • Yes! Just show us and we can do anything. I spent so much time praising his manly abilities and making sure he felt powerful and able and amazing. I believed him that i would fail without him. I wasn’t allowed to have my garden where I wanted it. It had to be in the shade off to the side away from his grass. Well that’s getting moved to the sun. And I’m happily going to do it alone. And there won’t be a shovel thrown past my head. And i won’t get punished with him not coming home from the bar for moving it. 😄

        • Spent so much time supporting him and praising his abilities. Everything was an argument; we could not work together…it couldn’t be here it had to be there …couldn’t be this it had to be that …couldn’t be this way it had to be the other way… he was a numbskull.
          He was more busy managing me down then we were getting anything done.
          Why I put up with that?

    • Dear Whatring…Looking at divorce at 70. That’s “my” story that you commented on. He has set the rules, and I am supposed to act happy like nothing happened. He gets very angry if I cry or look unhappy. He will say things like “why are you so morose”. He will not talk with me about our marriage or our future except to say that we just “grew apart”. (I did not, he did). He will not touch me except for the occasional hug or hand hold. The epiphany never happened.
      He is still seeing her. They are just “friends”. He said “I am unique and special. I can do what I want, when I want and you don’t have to know about it”. (Yes, it is true. He said that!), Not, ” I will do whatever I can to build your trust in me again”. Can you say “narcissist”?

  • Shelley,

    I get it. Boy, do I get it. We were together 32 years and married for 30. I went straight from my parents’ home to my married home. We grew up together. We made it through the “lean times” living from paycheck to paycheck to the “retirement on the horizon time” seeing a future traveling and loving on grandkids.

    I was too dependent on him. We did everything together, I didn’t have many close friends, and my kids were out of the house. He cheated with a howorker (13 years younger) who is now his wife. I was broken. My family was broken. I didn’t know what to do.

    But during the “wreckconciliation” time, I figured out what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to be the marriage police. I didn’t want to go to sleep every night crying. I didn’t want to question every text or phone call. I didn’t want to go through receipts. I didn’t want to question. I didn’t want to dance.

    But the most important thing I didn’t want (thanks to some CL tough love) was to be with someone who made a choice to hurt me, someone who didn’t respect me, and someone who really had no true remorse. Being alone is not the easiest path after being partnered for so many years. But it is a better choice than letting xhole hurt me one more time.

    It wasn’t easy. It was scary. But you can do it, Shelley. Don’t give him one more moment of your heart. Please protect yourself. The person who breaks your heart will not think twice about leaving you. Take care of yourself.

    All of us that are 50ish and older…we aren’t getting older…we are getting better (sometimes alone). Alone is better than giving one more breath to a person who doesn’t deserve it. Get better with us, Shelley!

    • Spot on! I was the same except never had children. We did everything together. I was devistated when Dday hit. Mine was the ho-neighbor, same thing.

      • ….or he runs in front of you into the restaurant because he probably holds howorkers hand and treats her like gold….the deceitful mind F POS ! done done done !

        • that is a very good point! there’s always some shit evil motivation besides what’s obvious with these types. it was also a way to have me enter a gathering looking sad. no one knows why I look sad and he is all chipper and engaging. he was setting the narrative in motion before i even knew it. the premeditated nature of these things still really bothers me a lot.

    • Try 25 years younger! I feel (and look) better than I did at 25 and I’m turning 51 soon. I got rid of X 3 years ago this month, divorce final 15 months ago. I was terrified to be a single mother but had no choice….X refused bare minimum I needed for reconciliation.
      Life is great today. Sending hugs!

  • “He is saying he doesn’t want to live under a microscope and he wants to remain friends with her”

    Oh, I got this one too. Don’t let him mindfuck you into believing you are controlling, you should stop advocating for yourself, and burry your head in the sand. If only you’d trust him this marriage could be saved… barf!

    Line up your ducks!
    1) If you live in a state with fault divorce, collect as much evidence as you can.
    2) lawyer up
    3) keep your mouth shut and eyes open. You are ripe for manipulation in your state of grief.
    4) use your anger wisely. It took me a long time to realize that calling him out on his crap just gave him the heads up to Change course. He wants you to act clueless? Then use that to your advantage! Act clueless, but don’t be clueless.

    P.S.
    I think this is a good follow up to Friday’s colum and a reminder that you do not have to smile to make someone else comfortable!

    Embrace your furry!

    https://ted.com/talks/tracee_ellis_ross_a_woman_s_fury_holds_lifetimes_of_wisdom?utm_source=sms&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tedspread

    • Yep. Still friends with her means i still need you as a wife appliance honey but im still gonna screw and date her when i feel like it. Yada yada yada. They are all the same. Effing pods.

    • Shelley,

      Yes, can’t agree more with Got-a-brain’s list above! If you are fighting mad (and you should be !), use it to fuel your planning and think of the long game — no need to tip your hand right away. Divorcing a manipulative fuckwit is a chess game: keep a poker face, line up your ducks, talk to your lawyer, and do what they tell you. Document everything (secretly if possible) for your attorney; many fuckwits dig their own legal graves with their outrageous, egotistical behavior if they think no one is paying attention. Meanwhile, if you need to vent, do it here, we understand!

      Good luck and a wonderful, cheater free life awaits; keep the faith, young-un.

      • I don’t know how you girls did it…mine hid all his money…I believe he gave it to Fuckwhore ho worker. She was able to screw every dime out of him,. She was a bolder more conniving whore than he allegedly was….so there would be nothing left for his wife of 17 years….That’s how mean he was…..

  • Adding to the chorus: I’m 55 and I have a brand new life! It’s so awesome on the other side. 22 years wasted on a narcissistic abuser but Shelly I’m here to tell you that your best years are ahead of you if you want them to be.

    It doesn’t matter if you choose exit ramp 25, 35 or 55, what matters is that you finally get on the open road and go!

    Get on a good diet, experiment with supplements, get a new hairdo, buy yourself some new clothes even if it’s at goodwill. Spend some time visualizing the life you prefer and find a life coach or counselor if you need it.

    You’re only stuck if you keep telling yourself you are. It’s your own foot on the brake. You always have a choice. You don’t even have to live alone, you will find a nice companion if you want one.

    Leaving an abuser is like having a tooth pulled. Scary yes maybe even painful but ohhh the relief.

    It’s YOUR life and it’s far from over. You just need to stop clutching those chains! Up and at em and age be damned.

    • I turned 61 last week. He left a year ago after 30 years. I nearly died. I was terrified – I felt like I was free falling. It sucked in every way. Standing upright was a challenge.

      But now it’s like a cloud has lifted. I’m not afraid. I got stuff to do. For so long I could not imagine a new future, but now I can. Did lots of therapy, praying, crying, raging. I know there will be bumps but I think I’m done with my emotions being over the top.

      I spent my birthday at my brother’s house with my daughters and nieces. We drank cocktails, ate pizza and took turns picking music to sing and dance to. If fuckwit had been there it would have been subdued and uncomfortable. The thing is we never thought about him. We just had fun laughing and loving each other.

      Guess what – it is a little scary and some nights when I let my imagination go, terrifying. But it will be alright. I’m slowly finding the fun, slowly finding peace.

      I date a little it’s fun in a “I hate this, I’m too old, he’s too old, I want to throw up” kind of way. Once I get there its usually fun. If I don’t want to see them again I tell them. I’m not mean, just clear. There is so much power in making that decision to only spend time with people who are good for me.

      It gets better. CN kept telling me that and it is true. It helped me hang on until it happened. I got work to do on me yet, but I have faith that you and I will get there.

      • you are so funny… I love the “I hate this , i’m too old, he’s too old, I want to throw up kinda way” I feel the same way. I wanted to be sick when I saw what’s out there. Now I know why HOworker wanted my husband SO BAD. He was the best looking thing and smartest that I ever laid eyes on. BUT she’s still a whore, and I am still a GOOD woman and deserves better. I tried to ‘go on a date” as friends with a potbellied gross guy and I got home and said “is this what my life has been reduced to” I wanted to throw up….I cried a little…but you know what I don’t have to be lied or deceived anymore ….I will make sure of that ! I will not allow anyone to do that to me ever again !! It’s scarey, its hard to be alone but IMO you are already alone…fuckwits check out long before the final discard…they have the secret putana in the pipeline long before you ever know about it…it’s their little secret…YOU will be the last to know…and they will have gotten away with it for years….two skanks…a cheating husband and a desperate whore…a great combination/the two of them….JUST leave …you deserve better…

  • To all the Man Chumps afraid of starting over at 50ish:

    You have never experienced mind blowing sex until you have experienced a 50ish woman who unleashes a package of her love, pain, emotions, fears, frustrations, and happiness all at once.

    You’ll need 2 boxes of Wheaties, a bottle of Geritol, 2 bottles of Powerade, and a steak sandwich just to be able to function the next day.

    • 😉 This is inspiring (and true!) All emotions are beautiful and powerful. When we don’t have to waste energy monitoring them and holding back, we can be truly open, and that is an intense thing, in a good way.

    • Sing it, chumpbrother! This is the TRUTH!

      My BF, who had been in a dysfunctional marriage for decades before his D was literally astonished by my passion when we finally made love. I was 49, he was 53. There were fireworks! Oh la la! And we are so in love 2 years later …. it is wonderful, completely and totally unexpected, but amazing!

    • Something to look forward to. Wasn’t at all afraid about starting over without KK and her toxicity weighing me down, but was concerned about what comes next sexually. I’ll just take your word for it for the moment. 😉

      • My beloved was single for a long time and after we became romantic, he said he would walk around work wondering why he was sore here or there then he remembered “Oh yea”

    • Thank you for this! I always wonder ‘who would want this older lady body with its life routes showing’? This give me hope and also made me laugh. I printed it out and I’m going to hang it in my bedroom (for privacy) to remind myself there are still men out there who love women just the way they are. Bless you!

  • Shelley

    I was 46 when the floor dropped out from beneath me. I was also in graduate school. Four years later my life is soooo much better. Calm. Am I lonely sometimes? Yes, I enjoy adult company and would love witty repartee with a man. However, I’m not lonely with myself. I like who I am. I’m no longer anxious, my relationship with my children is solid, my relationship with my parents has improved and I’ve made new friends. That’s not to say that some weekends I curl up on my couch or in my bed and read and watch tv and wish I had a date. But overall, life is peaceful and authentic on without a cheating ex.

  • I’m not sure what I can add to all the perspective provided by others–listen to them, consider their hard questions, because they are right!–but I will add my voice to theirs to tell you that you can do this.

    I am 64; 35 years married, 44 years of knowing each other. D-day on his latest bomb drop was three years ago. After that latest bomb drop, I spent eighteen months spent pick-me dancing, then another 18 months deciding whether I ought to leave, taking a good look at the reality of my life, seeing how it was grinding down my mental and physical health, and then, when I’d decided a future that was more of what I was living with was unacceptable to me, I began to think about what my life would be like on my own and to plan for it, seeing a lawyer, taking inventory of my financial resources, investigating how and where I might spend my retirement years.

    I moved out three months ago, my choice to let him buy me out of the house (chumps here helped me think through that decision—thank you again mighty silver queens!).

    Yes, I miss a lot of my old life. I miss my garden; I miss the views out the windows of my house. I miss my kitchen. Right now I am missing seeing the flowering of the decades-old lilac bushes that I planted on successive Mother’s Days when my son was little (fuckwit would haul them up to the bedroom and then leave them by the side of the bed for me to haul down and plant on my own).

    But you know what? I don’t miss him. I don’t miss life with him. I don’t miss the wounded or angry silences, the emotional withholding, the entitlement, the judgment, the lack of engagement with me, our house, and a shared life, the lies of both commission and omission, the humiliation of betrayal. I was essentially already alone while in my marriage. And so are you.

    It’s early days yet, so I can’t yet say I’m as mighty as I dream of being. But I’m getting there. And you can, too.

    • Trying for Mighty,
      I read your posts, and, I think CN will agree, YOU. ARE. MIGHTY.
      Re read your post.
      WOW, look at all you have accomplished.
      Looking pretty Mighty! YEP.
      Darn, now you have to think about changing your posting name!
      😊

  • Nearly my entire adult life and all of my childbearing years were wasted on a cheater only to have him discard me for his twenty-something howorker without any hesitation. Still, I have the same “I just want my life back” feeling/plea/hope and I am starting to realize that this notion is what is holding me back from gaining so much more than what I perceive was lost. I never had to do the “pick me dance” because my cheater made it clear to me (and to everyone) that he doesn’t want me anymore. He actually stated that because he is the best in everything, he deserves the best in everything, not the “short end of the stick” (aka ME!) He believes that my replacement is a fabulous upgrade and he is proud to show her off, especially via social media. I need to shift my thinking from the mindset of believing that because I am so worthless, I didn’t even deserve a reconciliation attempt to a mighty perspective that he is the one who isn’t worthy of someone with morals and integrity like me. The life I think I lost was really a facade. I’m still struggling though and spend most of my time mourning over what I thought we had together and trying to figure out what I did to cause him to throw it all away.

    • You’re getting there. Those are important realizations.

      You don’t want the life you had, you want the life you thought you had. And you were never going to get it, not because you were “worthless,” but because your cheater was incapable of building a healthy life with anyone. Believe me when I say his latest is also going to lose her sparkle, too, and take satisfaction in the fact that she’ll spend a lot of time and agony trying to measure up.

      As for what you did to “cause him to throw it all away”? YOU didn’t do anything. It was HIM. Write down, memorize, and internalize Chump Lady’s wise, wise saying: “Trust that he sucks.”

      • ^^^ Can I second writing out the wisdom, from both this article and the comments, and may I insist that you read them aloud to yourself every day? It may take a good long while to internalise/ sink in – brain rewiring is slow like that, after years of growing other memory-habits – but it will help you get there. Lather rinse repeat.

        You ARE beautiful, wise, courageous, glorious.
        You ARE worthy of deep love and respect and honour.
        You have EPIC integrity and dignity.
        You CAN learn new things.
        You can CHOOSE: authenticity and yourself and your values.
        You CAN survive this pain.
        You’ve KEPT GOING. You’ve GOT this.

        Mighty-making mantras 🙂

    • I’m so sorry you’re struggling through such a cruel betrayal. But as painful as it is, be thankful that he spared you the reconciliation attempt. As we all know, those attempts are usually insincere and fraught with pick me dancing, cake-eating, marriage-policing, and all that good stuff. It would have meant a few more months (or years!) of mindfuckery for you.

      Someone in the comments section the other day recommended a book by Dr. Fred Luskin called “Forgive For Good”. I looked it up, and then watched a few of his videos on Youtube. I found them very helpful and calming. His premise is: grieving and mourning is necessary because we need to adjust to a new reality that we were not prepared for (had no mental schemas for). But after we grieve, we need to come to “forgiveness”, which he defines as something like, “living in peace with the concept of ‘no’ “. You might get something out of his talks.

      • Deedee, I downloaded “Forgive for Good” after it was recommended. Still reading it, still processing it. CL’s book (and her website, thank you GOD) do a terrific job in helping chumps leave and get a life. Working on it.

    • Still I Rise: a 12 steps reading for you:

      What if someone you loved and respected suddenly stopped speaking to you? With no reason or explanation, they simply tuned out and turned you off. How would you feel? What would you do? Most of us would probably search for a reason. We would search our most recent words, trying to find the reason why someone, particularly this someone, would turn their back. When the search turned up nothing, we wold make the next most obvious leap. We wold ask ourselves, ‘What did I do wrong?’ It is at the precise moment that we ask ourselves that question that we are going to get ourselves into trouble.
      People have a right to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, in any manner they choose to do it. You do’t have to like it, and sometimes it is very hurtful. It does not mean, however, that you did anything wrong. People see the same things in different ways. Certain people may process information in a different way than you do. They may feel different than you about certain things. And even when you think you know a person, they may surprise you!
      Each time you make yourself wrong for the way someone treats you, you diminish your sense of self. At times, you can be so willing to be wrong about what has happened that you make yourself wrong for simply being for who you are. At some point in life, you may simply be faced with the painful reality that for whatever reason, someone has chosen to move you out of their life. Accept that as their choice. Whilst you may feel hurt and bewildered, it does not mean that you have done anything wrong.
      Until today, you may have considered yourself wrong about something that has nothing to do with you. Just for today, accept the fact that not every painful experience means you have done something wrong.

      Today I am devoted to moving myself out of the position that I must be wrong because of the way others may treat me!

    • That 20 something girlfriend is going to grow very bored soon and your ex will be dumped. Unless he is stinkin rich…then she’ll just have a side piece. Either way this so called relationship will not last.

    • You didn’t do anything to make him throw it all away. He is a delusional asshole. That’s what happened. He clearly isn’t fabulous and neither is the howorker. Only other clueless people from la la land will ever see the two of them as anything but a laughing stock. Anybody of value would rather hang with you any day.

    • Wow, he is one insensitive douche. He deserves ‘the best’? What a heartless waste of skin he is to say this about his wife of many years. Anyone with a heart could never act this way! He doesn’t deserve you and never did.

    • I’m 3 years divorced from my dick-ex. I kept mourning all that I lost and kept imagining that he was now oh-so-happy that he’s with his twu-luv. What made it worse was she is his own age and he kept his affair hidden for 11 years before I found out. He kept telling me that he wasn’t happy, he didn’t feel appreciated, he didn’t feel loved enough. It took me two years post divorce for the realization to kick in that if he was so frickin’ unhappy, he should have told me instead of keeping a skank on the side for years. Prior to my D-Day, I remember expressing to my sister (when she was telling me to divorce his butt) that I didn’t want to leave him because I didn’t want to be lonely. She said, “You’re lonely right now!” And she was correct. 3 years later I’m still lonely at times, but I’d much rather be a little lonely than being treated like dog shit stuck to the bottom of his shoe that he couldn’t wait to scrape off. He’s the loser! And ‘Still I rise’, your dick-ex is the loser! Believe that this time will end just like all the other not-so-great things in your life. Not everything you love is good for you, and he was not good for you. You WILL reach the day when you say, “I’m free! He’s not my problem anymore!” And you will also reach the day when you say, “Even if he came crawling back to me crying with remorse, I will not subject myself to such a self-centered prick again. I’m free!” Believe it! It WILL happen.

  • Shelly, I think we are twins. I left my husband at age 51 after retiring so we could travel with his job. He encouraged me to retire but had kept the girlfriend. He told me it was over and that we should spend more time together. I truly believe he thought I would not have the courage to leave, I left, I got a lawyer , apartment, a new life. It was NOT EASY, but if I could do it so can you. I hate that my adult children have had to alter their future, so I have tried so hard to create new family traditions.

    It has been 1 year since I left, and would like to tell you some of the positive things that have happened. My emotional health has improved so much, I was scared, shaking, snooping, insecure, nervous,. I am now CALM, it is amazing how nice peace is. I have made new friends. I found out I like being alone. I could continue but I think you need to know that you can do it, and it will get easier. Good Luck

  • Shelly. You already are alone. It will be okay. Listen to the incredible people here tell you what life is like on the other side. It hurts but you will rise from the ashes. I read this incredible article about a burnt stump of a redwood tree and because of its root system, it was surrounded by live, thriving trees. “Despite terrible damage, the tree lived on.”

  • Unfortunately he lies to you ie, wasn’t physically with her, probably spent your joint finances on her, he wants to be friends with her!, do you think he’s thinking about you. Why don’t you ask him why he wants to be her friend, when he knows it will upset you. Then watch his face. Better to be single, then being abused (emotionally you are), you have to see him as he is now, not when you married him, good luck

  • None of this is easy! My mind cant even go to certain places(like that I’m alone and there is a chance that i will stay alone.) maybe because that isn’t written in stone. maybe because I’m still in survival mode. The only thing I’m certain of is i don’t want someone who has the blank eyes from hell. Or someone who laughs at my pain. Or some demon who is always trying to undermine me. It has taken me about a year to get to this point. A year away from that fuck. It didn’t just happen. But when it happens you definitely know what you don’t want.

  • Shelly, I am 62 now. I was 58 when he started cheating. Divorced by 60. Was it scary? Yes! But we had great assets after 41 years of marriage and I and my attorney managed to get about 80% of those. I made the mistake of hanging on until I was diagnosed with cancer! Did my soon to be Ex come to my aid to help me? Hell No! I found out very quickly after all those years of loyalty that I meant nothing to him. I even dreamed Schmoopie was standing on my oxygen hose in the hospital while encouraging fuckwit to pull the plug! Please! If you are still healthy then just get the Hell out of this marriage! You are still young by today’s standards. Look at this as a great adventure. You can do it! I did and guess who came back when HE got sick? Yep, the Ex! Turns out Schmoopie didn’t want a sick, broke, unemployed old fart. Yes, I still have cancer and I buried my cheater nearly a year ago, but my life goes on and I’m content and happy. You CAN do this! Life is better and peaceful.

    • Roberta, was that really when he STARTED cheating, or was it when you first caught him?

      I hear you about the scary dreams …

      You are an inspiration. Fight on.

      • Good point Lola. I’d like to think I would have caught on sooner if he did cheat, but anything is possible.

  • Shelly, I’m one of the many 50ish chumps here – or rather, ex chumps, as I’ve been Cheater Free for a number of years now.

    These years have been the best years of my life. I have blossomed. When I think of the harrowed wreck I was … it’s like a nightmare; or like it happened to a different person.

    I’m someone who’s had a lot of starting-over in her life, and every time it’s been hard. But every time, the butterfly has fought her way out of the chrysalis.

    Find the woman you were before you married him. You dumped her by the side of the highway – shoved down her needs, said no to her, stifled her. Time to go and find her again; she is kick-ass.

    You’ve done the Leave a Cheater bit. You now have to Gain a Life. And you do that bit yourself, with good friends, a safe support network, and NO FUCKING CHEATER DRAGGING YOU BACK, y’hear?

  • I didn’t want to be alone. I left only after convincing myself that, maybe, I might possibly find another man, some day. Now, a few years later, I am so enjoying life with just me and the kids, I am not sure I want to even ever go on another date. Yes, there are times when I miss romance, sex, being part of a “team.” But in my case, the benefits of being single have so far outweighed the benefits of being coupled ~ at least, as I’ve experienced it ~ that I think I might just stay this way: free and unencumbered.

    Cut the cord that ties you to the rotting ball of trash that is your husband. It’ll hurt at first, but then you won’t believe how much better you feel. xo

    • Hey I miss the romance, sex and being part of a team too. Funny thing is, that I realised a while ago that over the course of a 25 year marriage – I never had any of that and missed it all when I was married!!

      Singledom rocks!

  • He abandoned me – walked out of our lives and into hers on one fine morning. I was 58, he was 62. Ended a 38 year marriage with a text, and marriage his 72 year old long term AP 7 months after our divorce was final.

    Yes, it was a shock, horrible, terrifying.

    But I got through. Nearly 3 years later, I’m single and loving not having to answer to, or “serve,” a demanding, undeserving, asshole. I didn’t realize how much he had suppressed my personality, devalued everything I did, how demanding, how belittling, how downright evil he was.

    And I have rebuit. Bought my own home and car. Doing things I love – kayaking, camping, gardening, spoiling the dog, more – that he picked on. I have learned that building/fixing things is not some magic male talent, but is just a willingness to pick up the tool and try.

    Yes, I’ll be working longer, where his whore paid his way into immediate retirement. Once in a while I do miss “companionship.” But I have friends, my son – who is staunchly no contact with his father – my daughter (I’ve accepted her partial relationship with him), my granddaughter.

    Most importantly, I have ME. I respect myself enough not to let him, or anyone, stomp me into the ground ever again. And if that happened at age 25 or the ripe old age of 58, it’s still turning out to be a good thing, although born through pain.

    You’ll get through too.

  • Shucks, Lady. You will be JUST FINE. Believe me. I was 52 when I divorced husband #2 after 25 years (should have been only about 15 years) there were no kids so that definitely made it easier. I then made the mistake of getting married again too soon but since I had narcissist experience I divorced #3 lickety split when he started his crap. I made the SMART decision and got into therapy with a wonderful counselor and didn’t dive right into another relationship (although I did find a friend to keep me entertained on occasion). I got it in my head that I was fine with me and if someone came along, great, and if they didn’t oh well. I was having fun regardless. And then my Very Nice Man came along, quite unexpectedly. I was quite cautious at first, which is the smart thing to do, but our relationship has blossomed into a wonderful thing. He’s a LOT younger than me, and people have a tendency to judge, but we get along great and have lots in common including fitness (we are both trainers). So don’t let someone abuse you emotionally just because you don’t want to be alone. THat’s a terrible way to live. Going No Contact is the best way to be and the terrible feelings you are enduring now will eventually subside. I promise.

      • Empress you are awesome! Last year I cried to my mom after I moved home that no one would want a woman who’d been divorced! Imagine! I then proceeded to reconnect with the guy I crushed on all through high school–I didn’t just reconnect, I threw caution to the wind and eloped with him after only a few months of dating. Only to realize within six months that he had an alcohol problem, and I was rebounding hard to try to ignore my grief and pain from being cheated on and abandoned by my 1st husband. Lol. Now I’m about to be a TWICE divorced woman. And I’m calm about it. It is what it is. I learned, I grew, I made mistakes. I am going to either wait much, MUCH longer next time, or just enjoy my future relationships without taking them into marriage. Like you and your Very Nice Man. You rock! Thank you for your story.

        • SUre thing! Being alone is so much way better than being with someone who is a lying manipulative asshole…or sociopath like #3 was. I wasn’t looking for anyone AT ALL when my current beau came along and that’s what everyone told me–that someone would pop up when i least expected it!

  • Shelley, I was 53 when my divorce was final, I’m 56 now. I spent virtually my entire adulthood with my ex. I was faithful to him from age 19 until the divorce. I would have happily stayed faithful to him until the day I died. But I can truthfully tell you that my life is better and I am happier now than I ever was when I was married. It’s not just that life goes on when you divorce a fuckwit, it’s that life truly does get better without the chaos and uncertainty of infidelity ruling your life. Even without the infidelity that stained my marriage, life without a controlling, disordered man who never appreciated what he had in me or our life together is SO much better. I LOVE making my own decisions and ordering my life how I choose. Sure, I get lonely sometimes but the loneliness of actually being alone is much easier to bear than the loneliness of being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t value you.

  • Shelley – trust me 53 is the perfect age to get rid of a toxic person. First DDay was 2006 I was 51 then, I started a new career worked 7 days a week, and then I made the big mistake of taking him back!!!! Second DDay was September 2016. By that time I was well established in my career. It didn’t matter, it hurt like the devil and I was devastated. October 2016 I reactivated my real estate license with a broker to generate more income, as we are all well aware a decent retirement split in half makes for financial adjustments, and not in a good way!
    Today I am 63, the probability of meeting someone are rather slim. I would lie if I would tell you that I am not sad and lonely at times. Of course I am. But would I ever take him back? No, I wouldn’t . Thinking back without my rosy glasses, I know that this was a marriage for one, one that assumed all the responsibilities to keep the relationship going. He was never invested in the marriage. I do believe I deserve better. And so do you.
    But, again, I know it hurts like the devil, you will get through it and at one point realize, it is good to be without a toxic person in your life. A big hug in the meantime!

  • OT – CL, that picture of Maggie Smith made me shutter. I remember when she was a fox, not that long ago. 🙁

  • 51 here and since leaving I’m convinced I’ve added years to my life.
    My hair is no longer falling out, I’ve only had one cold this year and my eating disorder is under control!
    3 month after leaving I met a man who treats me like a princess. As much as I cried before, I now laugh. I have fun with someone who wants to be with me.
    Last night he did my laundry and we folded it together. This morning he’s downstairs making breakfast for me.
    I never thought I could start over, but here I am loving life again. You can do it too! Don’t waste the rest of you life with anyone who doesn’t treasure you every day!

  • I’m 63, married 40 years. I’ve never lived on my own. I’ve never bought a house, hung a picture or not had someone to open jars. It’s early days but I’ve found a new freedom. The children call it “my new season”. If he had been honest I could have had happy memories, but no that would have been the brave and honest pathway for him to take. I will end my life with integrity, him….I don’t know whether he will ever realise the pain he has caused his family or feel remorse, as he “ deserves to be happy”. He broke my heart, but he can’t break my spirit. Whether or not I find someone else, I am complete as I am. Each day is a gift, don’t waste it on a cheater. Start a new season. Hugs, I know it hurts more than anything else but you will find a way. Chump Lady is there any chance us silver people have our own thread that we could easily find?

  • Shelly, you will survive, give yourself some time, feel all the pain and take care of your needs. It will get better. I turn 62 in June. Kicked the 🐀 out 17 months ago, should be divorced in 5 months. Year 38 of marriage, 3 children and 2 grands and DDay hits ,he confesses, when caught, to 20 years of prostitute use. I knew at the moment of confession that my marriage was over. The devalue alone pushed me to take action and to finally see as he grew older he only thought of himself. Nothing was going to change. I was not going to rug sweep this time in order to maintain peace. I was not going to get over it and move on. When he understood that, he ghosted me. This will always be painful, but I am better and more peaceful and my friendships are stronger. I am going to admire the azaleas and have cocktails now with people who value me, and you can too.

    • Shelly, I also knew at the moment of confession that my marriage was over. I saw it as having no choice.
      A life alone or a life living with a cheater. Checking up on him and never knowing what to believe. To me that seemed like torture. I am 65 years old!!! Married 29 years. How cruel can somebody be to do this to you at that age. I have no children and no family left. I just moved out after 10 months, probably 6 more months until divorce is final. It is lonely and scary but it is better than living a life with someone who only cares about himself. I have no idea what my future holds at my age but, whatever it is, it’s better than living with a lying cheater.

      • Wow IslandGirl I wish continued strength for you as that is tough. But as you know already, it really is better without them. Best wishes

    • @Kfindingmyway – Yup it was the prostitute thing for me too, the final clincher. I hated the lying and manipulation – but I spackled those. The utter disrespect for woman kind (all of us), was the final nail in the coffin.

  • Just when I think I have it all together, my heart opens up and pours out sadness for the 30 yrs of marriage that blew up when fuckwit cheated on me. This is timely for me. 1 yr out, divorced, and 67 yrs old. Good message about life being change and starting over happens every day I wake up. Shelley-i am doing more fun things than I did the last few years of marriage. It isn’t easy recovering from betrayal and so worth it. I would still rather be in recovery than stomped on. Cry until you can’t cry anymore and lock that man out of the house, get a lawyer, protect your assets. That is the one thing you must do! Take care of you! Haven’t you heard – 50 is the new 40.

  • I found out about affair #3 the day after my 55th birthday. He had met with her that day…at my houze whileI was at work… it’s why he didn’t respond to my chumpy “I miss you text.”

    I no longer miss him. At all. I don’t miss being lied to, gaslighted, made to believe I was the one with problems, belittled to my children behind my back, walking on eggshells at home fearing a blowup, his flainting trashy married affair partner in front of me and my kids (she propositioned my 20 yr old son). Nah. Don’t miss that at all. The levels of grief started with me grieving who I THOUGHT he was, who I spackled about covering his flawed cracks. I’m grateful I won’t be expected to wipe his shitty ass as he ages poorly because of his crappy choices.
    My life is just beginning at 55. Don’t dance for that loser. Wipe that stinking pile from your shoes and walk away…run! Trust that he sucks. You can’t fix bad character.
    Hang in there, Shelly. It gets better! You will shine. And wonder why you waited so long!

  • When does life get stressful now?

    When the usual problems of life (car, tax, parking fine, etc) get juggled, but mostly ….

    ANY engagement with cheater ex. Instantly I am put in the ‘worthless, unimportant, cruelty to you is normal, I can disregard you, you are not the boss of me’ blinding frustration corner.

    When I think I had to deal with that 24/7 …

    Shelley, there is no contest. Life is MUCH better without that cruelty and disrespect in it. Trust us on this one. I clung on for 7 years where you are, before throwing in the hope towel.

    Better friends, sports, hobbies, activities. Better peace. Better kindness. He is angry at the consequences, but I can’t change him and his attitude.

  • You get over the idea that single is horrible. It’s just another way of being. Time teaches you that.
    Having to be nice to a cheater is far worse than being single. If he loved you that way he should he could never do this to you. It IS hard to leave the familiar but it can be done.

  • honestly Shelley I’m not sure there’s a good age to discover that you’re married to someone who doesn’t treat you like a person of value. it’s brutal and humiliating and lonely and scary at 32, 42, 52.

  • What an inspirational thread. I need a hard copy. At 52 I know I am going in the right direction with the divorce but it is still scary. Fuckwit’s lawyer is supposed to be sending an initial settlement offer this morning. Still not holding my breath- he has been saying that for a couple weeks now and no offer. Plus, it is guaranteed to be low if it meets fuckwit’s approval.

    Good encouragement this morning!

    • Good luck! Get what YOU want and don’t settle for less. He probably already hid money from you. Hugs! Why don’t you make the settlement offer..

      • I still don’t have enough information to make an offer. Just this morning I signed a confidentiality agreement so that he will supposedly release the financials on the business that we need. The CA is just another stupid hoop that pads the pockets of the lawyers. He is a small time contractor. There is nothing to be gained by me from me leaking the business financials. Oh, that’s right, he needs power and control.

        Maybe, if we get the documents, we can make a reasonable offer. He is doing his damnedest to hide everything he can and his mother who works for him is helping every chance she gets. We own 2 other businesses together and the accountant is wrapped around his finger and giving the documents to fuckwit’s lawyer and won’t communicate with me. If we can’t work things out by June, we have a trial scheduled but that is just more money out the door if it gets to that. Everyone says you can’t mediate with a fuckwit and I am getting a front row seat to that truth.

        • Still prepping the motion to compel to get my ex’s. Hope you hear something soon. Thinking of you and praying you get the ball rolling. They really are afraid of us knowing their business.

          • Thanks for sharing your legal updates, Feelingit & dumbutt. I’ve been waiting since January 4, our discovery due date for Boss Hogg to produce his financials. He told me he was filing (5-7 years of unpaid) taxes a few weeks ago, but I talked to our accountant last week and she said he gave her financials, then came & picked them up for some reason, telling her “I’ll be getting a nasty letter if I don’t…” whatever. She said she was expecting him to bring them to her after tax day last week. He hasn’t turned them back into her for filing or my attorney for discovery. My guess is he’s trying to hide cash & income, but what do I know?
            How long ago were your financials due, dumbutt? Are you already divorced? We’ve only had a temporary hearing (I filed in early November, hearing end of Nov.). I’m sick of waiting on him. They really DO NOT want us to know anything – cheaters in all of their affairs, indeed.
            How do you cope with the waiting? I want this to be over already.
            Thanks for sharing!

  • The thought of being alone and starting over is a lot worse than the reality of it. *Getting* divorced sucks, but *being* divorced is actually pretty OK. I recommend that you stop focusing on the anxiety of starting over and start focusing on your inner diva who is sick of this shit and is not going to take it anymore. He doesn’t want to live life under a microscope? Then she shouldn’t have crawled under one. He doesn’t like his living conditions on his own? He should have valued and protected what he had. You know who has sympathy for his whiny cheater bullshit? No one here, and especially not you.

    You’re going to be just fine, my friend. Forge ahead and show him what resilience and badassery look like.

  • Shelley, I too am 53. And yes to the 28 years of marriage and 32 years together. I was much more lonely in my marriage than out of it. I know you think the silence will be impossible to bear, but you have no idea how good it is to have a peaceful mind. No longer will you have to convince yourself that his terrible choices and hateful behavior are somehow okay and can be withstood. You will no longer have to wonder where he is and with whom every time he leaves the house. Whether his words are true or a lie will no longer matter. It takes incredible mental energy to keep that up.

    Starting over at 53 is much easier than doing so at 54, 55, 56, 57 … don’t let the clock tick away on your precious time. He will not change. He will not improve. Get out and find peace and joy.

  • Please run now. I stayed for 6 more years. I want to just look forward. I am now 67 and beginning the divorce stuff. BTW, I am an ass kicking attorney, but what a chump for this man. He picked my bones, like I was clarion. Save yourself!

  • To be afraid is natural. Change in one’s life can create a lot of fear of the unknown. And loneliness is a real thing. For me it was a realization the Cheater Wife is a horrible and dangerous person. There is no relationship to be had with someone that jeopardizes your health- physical, mental, and emotional. There is no relationship to be had with someone who disrespects you and then tries to blame you for it. Its abuse. Walk away from the abusive relationship. You would be amazed with the peacefulness of life without a cheater in it. I’m proud of myself for walking away.

  • I’m 50 and this is one of the biggest things I’ve struggled with. That and the fact that it’s my second divorce.

    I’ve literally wasted 30 years on two assholes who didn’t deserve what I provided them.

    Well, maybe the third time is the charm and I can start living my life for me and the people and things that are important to me.

    If I am to ever marry again, the man will have to be amazing. I’m not settling for less than I am. I’m not wrapping my life up in someone who can’t appreciate me and know my value.

    I totally understand where you are coming from Poster. But life is too short to spend it on a fuckwit who abuses you. Screw ‘em in a not-fun-for-him way. He’s already taken most of your life and energy. He doesn’t deserve a second more.

  • I was nearly 60 when I separated from a husband who abused alcohol and prescription drugs. I parachuted into a relationship with Jackass to avoid the reality of “being alone.” It took a full discard for me to face the fact that I made nearly every adult decision I ever made out of fear that I couldn’t make it on my own. And heading toward retirement, I was terrified not to have a second income—although with a H a decade older than myself, that would have been inevitable anyway.

    Since I was discarded by Jackass, at nearly 62, I have: learned how to drive the lawn tractor and maintain my own multiple-acre property; dealt with replacing all gas lines in the house, replaced the furnace and AC unit, bought a muscle car, joined a sports league, won a fitness contest, won an award at work, been part of two championship teams, taken up photography, finished a novel (though not published it—yet), been part of 2 committees looking at the future of education on our campus, taught several new courses, found a very kind man to spend time with, learned to play poker, and learned to enjoy living along.

    I love that my home reflects my tastes. I love not having to answer to anyone if I want to spend money or adopt another cat, after 60 years of people-pleasing and walking on eggshells. I love knowing my worth. I love holding myself accountable when I fall short of my own standards. I love the solitude but also the opportunity to entertain without dealing with XH’s passive-aggressive “support.”

    I’m going to be 67 in a few months. I figure if my life span follows that of my family, I’ve got another 20-25 years. Right now, I’m learning to play a new position on my team and I’m getting my final project done for the photography course I’m taking. Getting bids for new garage doors and contemplating elevating my yard game. This summer will be a writing summer, too, and a summer to get ready to take students to Europe. If I could go back to 50, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t get married in the first place. I would just LIVE. Live my life.

    • LovedaJackass,
      I love your love for cats! And I love your strength and fortitude.
      Just say’in!
      ❤️
      My God, YOU are Mighty!

      • Cats are awesome. So entertaining. Independent and way more loving than people think. But dogs rock, too.

  • I am glad you wrote this one Tracy. I have not necessarily felt this way myself (I have other hang ups and resentments interfering with my meh), but I see this a lot from relatively new chumps who post here and it always bothers me. We are strong capable people. We can certainly all start over and have fulfilling lives without a cheater whether a new love interest comes along or not. Regardless of age, most of us could find a new partner if that was really a priority but it doesn’t really matter. We can all live well because we are capable awesome people regardless of whether or not somebody else who is worth the bother wants to share it with us.

  • Shelley,

    (((HUGS))) Years ago, when I was around 50, I had to have a hysterectomy. I had been having various, sometimes painful, problems over several years, had been misdiagnosed and was finally told a hysterectomy would solve my problems. I didn’t want to “lose” my uterus and uterus friends – after all, they had been with me my entire life to that point. As I was wheeled into the operating room, I actually shed a small tear. The initial recovery was at times painful and uncomfortable. Once I was fully recovered, I could not understand why I had not had the surgery sooner. Why was I still holding onto something that was causing me so many problems and which no longer served the purpose for which it was intended? I didn’t know how good I could feel until I didn’t feel bad anymore. I would jokingly tell people that I didn’t even want to talk to anyone who had a uterus, just in case.

    I liken the end of my marriage to that hysterectomy story. My divorce was final when I was 60. During the divorce I lost a job and was blessed in finding a better job that paid more money – which was important since my Ex had spent most of our liquid assets and I spent most of the money I had saved for retirement divorcing him. I was despairing and afraid and I didn’t want to live out my twilight years “alone” and penniless either, so I fully understand how fearful you are feeling. Let me just say if I could go back and do it all over again, the only thing I would change would be to divorce that freak after our last child was born. I would not give up my children for anything, but his presence for me was little to no added value after that. I should have at least tossed him and the uterus out at the same time. I didn’t know how much confusion, pain, insecurity and discomfort he brought to my life until he wasn’t there any longer.

    Your life will be different without him, but not necessarily worse. In fact, since he is a cheater, it will be much improved. It will be different than you planned, but you can make a new plan of your own choosing. I cannot tell you how freeing it is not to center your entire life around an unappreciative, ungrateful, all-about-me fuckshit. I do what I want, go where I want, when I want – finances allowing. I have a great time with my children and grandchildren and I feel and look better than I have in years.

    If possible, don’t think of this as losing a husband as much as being given an opportunity to discover a new you or to rediscover an old you. CL and this great group at CN will help you find your way.

    • Great post! Love “life will be different without him but necessarily worse” actually my life without asshole is about the same on a day to day basis cuz I did everything anyway. Except now I hire Gardner rather than begging him to do yard work while I work and he stayed home, I have a house cleaner rather than spending my weekends cleaning even though again he didn’t work. So all in all, life is easier and less hassle. I too have taken up new hobbies and meeting new people that I enjoy. I have also left one of our old couples friends which is good. Dont want to talk about him or the past anymore. Hugs

  • Shelly,
    I am 55 and divorced 18 months after 21 year marriage. Of course you are sad and distressed right now.
    When the truth came out for you, it was a horrific shock. But soon you will be grateful for the truth because it allows you to make really good decisions for yourself. You have agency over your own life now! You can decide what you will and won’t tolerate. It’s a beautiful empowering feeling. When you leave, it will be your choice and you will not miss the old life as much as you thought – because now you know the old life was a fantasy that did not exist. He always lied to you. Think of your future as stepping into the light – yes it is unknown, but so so much better than what you have now. Trust me; the peace I feel now is so profound and so profoundly different from the marriage years. Head high, shoulders back – walk away!

  • “I know what I bring to the table. So trust me when I say I’m not afraid to eat alone.”

    I have no idea where I came across this quote but I love it and Shelly, I hope you will find some inspiration from it along with all the wisdom from these mighty people today.

  • “I just can’t stop and give up on us when we have shared our whole adult life together. We did everything together and I am so lost and alone. I am too old to start over.”

    You can’t make him participate fully so it’s over. Right now, it’s just twitching.

    Well, clearly not EVERYTHING. Focus on that because rest assured, when you really need him to BE there and you are really down, he won’t be. Even if he is there in body, he isn’t present, he won’t care beyond rubbing his hands together in glee, waiting for the life insurance payout.

    I hope you have changed any and all policies and accounts where he stands to inherit. If not, do so right now.

    Remember, if he hasn’t cut off contact with Whats-Her-Name, then he is spending on her in terms of time, thoughts and quite probably marital money.

    You are not a consolation wife. You are 53, not dead. Change is scary but he’s already changed the rules and you get to do the same. He wants a marriage where YOU are faithful, committed, caring and present while he isn’t. Screw that noise.

    You can do this.

  • 64yrs old here. I CANNOT picture myself being really sick and expecting HIM to care for me on a daily basis. To be laying in a sick bed and thinking that he’d take the time to wipe my butt or bring me a drink of water? A selfish Cheater? Nope, not happening. What if it becomes a prolonged illness such as what happens to those who have Leukemia (which what I have)? I cannot imagine him taking the time to get me to the doctors let alone cooking me a hot meal. I cannot imagine him changing the sheets, brushing my hair or making sure that I am not freezing or overheating. I cannot imagine him helping me to shower, putting lotion on my dry skin or getting me dressed.

    I CAN imagine him giving me the wrong medications…or forgetting them entirely.
    I CAN imagine him leaving for work (which he does not have to do) and staying there late while I lay in bed wondering when he will come home to help me.
    I CAN imagine him bringing home cold fast food for me instead of trying to scramble some eggs.
    I CAN imagine his looking at me with searing disdain when I ask him for a drink of water.
    I CAN imagine him talking to others about how smelly or gross I am becoming behind my back.
    I CAN imagine him telling me that he needs to hire out some help long before it is really needed.
    I CAN imagine him complaining about what HIS life is like having a sick wife.
    I CAN imagine him hoping that I will hurry up and die.
    I CAN imagine him cranking up the Morphine drip to take me out faster.

    How do I know this? Because this is exactly what he did to his mother when she was sick and bedridden…and yes, the extra Morphine took her out courtesy of my EX.

    I would be far better off having a dog at my side than HIM. Just knowing THAT is what made my decision to cut the strings. I want to die with dignity and among those who care for me…he is not going to use my demise simply to gain sympathy for himself.

    • Fantastic comment, Sweetz! What I love about it is how you really get at the granular things about the illusory life with a cheater, such as not having your back at all when the chips are down. These cheaters are on track to literally kill us had we stayed and become physically vulnerable. Your poor exMIL! Shudder!

    • I can relate to all of that except for the morphine thing. I don’t think he would go that far. This is more or less the attitude he took with his grandfather and he wasn’t even the one caring for him. That was his aunt. He also criticizes the aunt on a regular basis as being selfish, needy and a lot of work. I guess he is just pissed because she isn’t leaving him anything in her will. It is all going to our kids (and ex’s niece and nephew). Skipping a generation. Smart woman.

    • I also have leukemia, Sweetz, and I just executed my new medical and financial powers of attorney this week so Douchebag Cheater won’t be the one pulling the plug if I take a turn for the worse. One more little step toward peace of mind. I am so slowly pulling myself out of the swamp of “What the F just happened to me?” and taking control of my destiny. Hugs to you.

  • Lately I’ve been feeling like I have wasted so much of my life with the cheater. My “best years” of child bearing and the entirety of my 20’s. The time where I could have been growing my career and security, I spent caring for him, supporting his career and interests, and raising our children. I’m approaching my mid 30’s and I had been feeling so used up. Thank you for the perspective CL and kind commenters! It’s so hard to see that things can get better when you’re in the thick of the shit show that is divorce.

    Yesterday I read an article about divorce that said how rare it is to get a second chance and it opened my eyes: this isn’t a failure, it’s a do-over. Certainly some opportunities are lost, like not breeding with a fuckwit, for example, but we have the chance to remake our lives into the ones we want and that is an amazing gift.

    • And being only in your mid thirties means you still have many years to enjoy that do-over. Make it great!

  • Shelly, 54 here, 53 when I kicked his lying, cheating, disrespectful, womanizing, manipulative, gas lighting, opportunistic, sarcastic, hateful ass out of the house. My house, he kept his for his hook ups. So that was easy, threw his stuff out in garbage bags and locked the house down.

    Before I gave up, I tried over and over to get him to see that I was lonely. The last conversation we had was him telling me he didn’t know why he had to do extra. Extra being anything other than coming home when he felt like it, showering, dumping his kids on me to raise for him, and staying on the computer all night when he was home watching porn and trolling dating sites.

    Meeting men wasn’t a problem, I turned them down daily. So the first thing I did when I kicked him out was let a friend of mine know I had finally done it. He came, took care of the loneliness and horniness (yep, apparently ass wipe couldn’t take care of my needs and all the other women’s as well) I had since being with the ass wipe. He is still my friend with benefits, and he helps me with things like my broken lawn mower. He is also teaching me how to box. Which is a huge turn on.

    My girl friends and I have been to Mardi Gras, the beach, we are planning to go white water rafting next. All the things I didn’t do when I was with ass wipe because I was taking care of him and his kids.

    Don’t be afraid, there is nothing to be afraid of. You have been thru the worst.

    I look back now and wish somebody would have slapped some sense into me for wasting years with him. But I plan to live every day to the fullest, and I have. And will continue to. Life is beautiful now. I’m no longer the depressed pitiful, couldn’t hardly get out of bed woman i was when I was with him.

    Once you get over the fear and start living, I imagine you will feel like most of us do. Joyful.

  • One of the hardest things to come to terms with is reconciling who you thought your partner was with who they actually are. When you truly see them for the entitled, selfish person they actually are then you can start disconnecting from them and moving towards healing yourself. Anyone able to rationalize and justify hurting their partner, or not even considering them in the first place, is not someone you want to entrust such an important partnership with or continuing.

    They were probably never a great partner to begin with and you probably carried way more of the relationship solo. I finally saw the now ex for who he really is. I always knew he was a taker and I was a giver. I finally realized I had no more to give. I was better off spending that time and energy on myself. It’s been 2 years since he left/I kicked him to the curb. I’ll be 50 in a few weeks. My life is better than I could ever have imagined it could be!!

  • I was with Cheater for a total of 35 years, 29 of those married, kids, the corporate life etc. Perfect couple in all outward appearance. Then I realised I had been witnessing his long term relationship with an old girlfriend all through the years, masquerading as ‘an old friend from camp days’. Turns out she never married, and held a candle for him all those years. They are together now….I gave them that gift by tossing him out.

    Actually no, I packed two suitcases and moved to another country with no job. Now, nine years later, having dated, loved, been dumped, and cheated on a second time…I am 60 and happier than ever. Not only did I make it through the singledom and the loneliness, but I learned to love myself somewhere along the way. I have a nice partner, a dull faithful guy who is as honest as they come…a fellow chump in fact.

    The thing to remember is, no matter how wrinkly or “past it” you feel, there I s another lonely soul out there waiting for you to hug them, if a partner is what you are afraid of NOT finding. Make sure that you find your true self first…when you do, you will know it, then you can be a great partner for someone else. Or stay single if you prefer that. 53 is not too old!!

    Just know that you will have to mourn your life that you leave behind. Consider the possibility that it was in fact an illusion that you never actually had. Accept that the guy you thought was your partner in life was in fact deceiving you. Pound your fist into pillows, utter primal screams, do,whatever it takes to get mad as hell. Just decide you won’t take it any more. The sooner you get going on the new life, the better.

    • “Dull faithful guy”. Let me tell you I think boring is way underrated. I am dating a guy now who is somewhat dull. My daughter doesn’t understand it but I think it is great. Boring means that he isn’t lying, cheating, gaslighting. Boring means that he isn’t making demands I can’t fulfil. Boring means that I am not on an emotional rollercoaster. Boring means he isn’t constantly criticizing everything I do. Boring means that he lives within his means, has a steady job (at the same place for 27 years), and he is sane. He doesn’t drink, smoke or do drugs. He may not have a very interesting past, and his conversation may not be all that stimulating most of the time, but he listens well and he pays attention. He knew just what to get me for my birthday from listing to a conversation I had with my daughter. In spite of boring we manage to find plenty of activities that we can enjoy together so he isn’t necessarily boring to be with. Sometimes I have to nudge him out of his comfort zone a bit, but then he gets to have new experiences that make him less boring. Best of all, he thinks I am amazing and lets me know it.

      • Omg mine is just the same and a fellow chump to boot. He’s a big teddy bear and what a difference it makes when he loves you back!

        Trying to love a narcissist was like loving a rock. A nasty vicious rock. So glad I gave it up and found someone with a real heart.

        I tell my daughter all the time not to overlook the “boring” guys.

        • I thought the I was getting boring, overweight honest, Nice Guy, fellow Chump, old friend as a partner after my abusive adulterous husband left. Instead, I got boring, overweight, dishonest guy who most people think is a Really Nice Guy who repeatedly discarded me whenever he saw something that looked greener on the other side of the fence.

        • Yay for dull and boring!! Mine is a nerd to boot( retired biochemist/medical IT), he loves me and is fully devoted to me. Respects me and I feel safe with him. It’s priceless!

  • At 56, when the divorce was final: I moved to NY City, started volunteering, went back to school for a Nurse Refresher course, got an amazing job in cancer research, made a lot of new friends, had lots of dates, became an artist, and raised the youngest of 3 children, by myself. If I can do it after being so devastated at 54 (D day), you can too!!!!! This site, and the chumps here were my inspiration!

  • Chump Lady – 🤢🤢 Roanoke makes me gag. That’s where Idiot and HoWorker ran to when he bailed on me, our 18, 10 and 5 year old kids and a 22 year marriage. The courts here in Ohio insist minors spend 2 months with the other parent, so I’ve made plenty trips down to The Star City of the South. Absolutely detest it. Idiot and HoWorker are big fish in that small, tepid pond.

  • Thank you, SuperDuper, for these wonderful, encouraging examples of some things that are possible even later in life! I’m 74, three years divorced (after 47 years married/52 together), loving working part time, and doing more and better than ever before. I’ve got the energy now that he pumped off me my whole life. Thanks for reminding me there’s lots ahead and to still go for it!!

  • I always wish I could send a vision of my new life to my traumatized self three years ago, right after the final D-Day. If I’d had any idea how wonderful life is without a cheater, I’d have kicked his sorry cheating ass out years earlier.

    But to the point of starting over at 53 — I’m 43 and I can’t imagine anything more lovely than still being single in my 50s. Single and dating is a choice I’ve made (and I reserve the right to change my mind because my life is now mine and I get to do with it what I will). You don’t have to make the same choice and lots of chumps have gone on at many ages to find better spouses. Me, I like being on my own.

    Being single has been a revelation. Once the bum is gone, you’ll notice your home is less tense. Even in the depths of trauma and despair, there’s a new serenity. You’ll discover the things YOU love, from the simple pleasures of drinking sweet tea on a balcony in summer to eating white chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream on the couch while binge watching the Hallmark channel undisturbed to that passion for 19th-century French literature you forgot about. All the parts of you the narcissist spent years strangling will rise to the surface and you get to be you for the first time in so many years.

    You keep the friends worth keeping and you make new friends who understand what you’re going through. (Local meetups on the CL forums.) Your relationships with your loved ones deepen because you’re not distracted by the ever-shifting demands of a whiny-ass narc. You come back to yourself, a self that you like again and who takes way less crap from people than she used to. Let the grief come and you will emerge from the other side a stronger, saner, more joyful person than you can imagine right now. And eventually a new vision of your life will form and because you’ve lived through hell, you’ll know you have the guts and the competence to make it happen.

    Starting over at 53 is going to be the best thing that ever happens to you.

  • Shelley, I understand. Starting over sucks. I am still struggling with the same, but today asked my sister to find me the meanest divorce atty in town…just in case. For me, it is a baby step towards mighty.

    A friend invited me to her birthday party last night, and, when I arrived, I discovered she had invited several single men – I assume for my benefit. While she knows I am still married and absolutely am not on the market, I suspect she wanted me to know that there are plenty of men who would appreciate the opportunity to “get to know me better”. I have no idea if these guys were advised of my situation or not, but they played their part well, and were attentive while still being gentlemen. I left as soon as it was within the boundaries of politeness.

    I am 58. My mom was a new widow at my age. 10 years after my dad died, she married my wonderful step-dad. He was, truly, a wonderful man.

    Right now, I am not interested. I would rather have fun with my sisters, my daughter, and my friends.

  • Shelley – I know it seems impossible to start over, but if you were playing Black Jack and you were losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and you just kept betting because you couldn’t walk away… you know what eventually happens – you lose everything because the house always win.

    You know what happens to chumps who stay… the fuckwit wins. EVERY. TIME.

    Your husband has proven to you that he is not a person to bet your FUTURE on. Talk to a lawyer, talk to a financial accountant. Get your ducks in a row and know what’s what.

    Just because you don’t want to start over, doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to (or won’t choose to)… don’t be blindsided by fear… don’t let him fuck you over ever again.

  • Oh Shelly, I wish I had a crystal ball so I could show you your future— a future without a lying, cheating, manipulative jerk of a husband, a future where you’re free, and happy, and content. Because you will be! I was right where you are 4 years ago this Friday. It was the day before my 47th birthday & the man I was married to came to me with a list of all my faults & wanted a “trial separation”. I later found out he had been cheating. He dumped a massive mountain of BS in me— denial, lies, calling me crazy, etc.
    All that combined with his cheating was enough to make me call an attorney & start the divorce process. I had all the fears you do, every single one. You know what? I turn 51 on Saturday, my divorce will be final in mid June, and I am happier than I have been in decades. I was so scared of being alone, for the longest time I was terrified of being old, alone & unwanted. I spent some time in therapy and worked in those fears, and let all that crap go. I’m not afraid of being alone, because I’m not— I have amazing kids. an incredible support system of the greatest friends I could ask for and I’m rebuilding my life on MY TERMS. It’s not perfect, money is most definitely tight & I’ll probably never retire, but I’ll happily take that over life with a lying cheater. And guess what? Shortly after I let go of the fear of being alone & started to really love my independence? I met the most amazing man and am slowly building a solid, healthy relationship with him. I found the love of my life at 50 years old!! Who knew? Shelly, you deserve better!! You can’t clap with one hand, leave that cheater & go build a life on your terms.

  • Hi Shelley, I was 53 too when I got coldcocked catching my cheater husband with schmoopie. He took off for a better life with her (Lol) and I’m still here. I’ve done so much better financially without him and I’ve never quite been able to figure that one out. He was expensive with his insatiable appetite for more. I travel now whereas living with him, the only places I would have traveled to were the next dive bar down the road.
    Haven’t met too many interesting men out here but that’s okay too.
    You can do this.

  • I didn’t have time to read today’s post till now. But this am, when I saw the headline, I figured the original poster must be in her 90s. When I read it, and saw she’s only 53??? She’s a baby! She could easily live another 50 years on this planet. Why waste it on a loser? And possibly compromise your health in the process.

    One of my biggest worries when I was married was that Cheater was going to take me down in retirement. I’d have this nightmare, I’d come home one day at 65 from a casual grocery shopping trip and he’d casually announce he bought a new Cessna, or other such airplane. (I had this worry as he’d already bought 2 planes during our marriage with no pilot’s license). In my nightmare, I’d stare at him and ask “with what money?!?!” And he’d say “with the retirement funds, they’re ALL gone” and I’d shriek, “But how are we going to live?!?!” And he’d shrug his shoulders and say, “You’ll figure it out”.

    Retirement funds are joint assets – OP, why do you want to jeopardize your future for a man that is clearly your past??

  • Shelley, This happened to me at 54. My divorce was finalized when I was 55 – 18-months later and I’ve never felt freer or been happier. Yes, there are days that I wish I had someone to share things with but 1) there’s no guarantee he would have listened and 2) the amount of sh*t, I would have to put up with just to share with him isn’t worth it. I had been with him since I was 14 – we dated through high school and college before marrying. I ignored red flags all along.

    You ARE NOT TOO OLD to start over! You ARE TOO OLD to put up with his total disregard and disrespect of you. Kick his butt to the curb.

    The emotional baggage you are carrying is extremely heavy – put it down and leave it behind. We’re here for you.

  • Shelley, divorce is the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I hung on for five years, hoping things would get better with my cheating husband. He said he would be a better husband and father. He said he would stop seeing the other woman. Then he said he couldn’t stop, that he loved her. He spent countless hours investing his time talking to her and seeing her when he should have been with his wife and children. He spent unknown amounts of money on her, all the while telling me and our children we didn’t have any extra money to go on a vacation. His cheating made me feel unloved and unimportant. I finally put an end to it. It truly was the hardest thing I have ever done. Walking away from my marriage was a very hard decision. But I am SO glad I did and I have not looked back!!!!

    Your life can and will be so much better. It’s so hard to imagine a new and different life. The road is bumpy but the payoff is fabulous! My finances are tight but I am surviving on my own and LOVING my stress free life. You can do it. You are never too old to write your next chapter!!!!

  • Shelley, I don’t often comment here, but your story was mine and so I feel your pain. I am a 53 year old woman also. A year and 8 months ago my husband of 17 years revealed he was the kind of creature you’re dealing with. There was another woman and this is what’s actually kind of funny, her name is the same as yours, but she is younger than you and I, of course. I thought he was my best friend and I had come to feel about him like family and he cruelly walked right out on me to go to her.

    The thing is these people who are capable of leaving someone who’s been by their side and loved them truly for a long time, for someone they don’t even know. They are very messed up. You can learn about the actual names of the personality disorders that cause this kind of ” midlife crisis. ” You’ll watch videos on YouTube or read about narcissism and borderline personality disorders and co-dependency, as I did in the first year dealing with this. You’ll learn, and pour out your heart to women who will be there for you, your Mom or your best friend, or someone online. If you don’t have that, I suggest you join a group or find a therapist. Because this kind of wound takes a while to heal. It also takes seeing the situation clearly, really clearly. Take off those rose colored glasses because he’s not what you think he is. The worst thing we all here have learned, and now know to protect ourselves from, is that no matter how nice and wonderful and the best of men he seemed, he isn’t and wasn’t, and was fooling everyone. Maybe even himself. A lot like how Bill Cosby seemed a sweet funny family man, who just drugged and raped women for years without anyone knowing.

    Heed everything Chump Lady has said, it’s all true. Her advice protects you. I am not even saying you have to be mean to him, I am always polite in my few dealings with my now ex and it keeps things cordial which is easier on us softies. But inside you, you have to realize in time, and it does take time. That life changed the minute he took off the mask he was wearing of ” loving husband.” It doesn’t matter how long they wear it. In your case over 32 years, in mine 17. They aren’t capable of bonding with us like we have with them. That is why they throw us over for some new younger woman, after all of that time you thought you were building a real life with a real person. The person we thought we knew disappears and they act completely different. Unfortunately that is the real him, please don’t let him back in, even if they fake it to try to get back in. Mine did. Most do, after the affair doesn’t go the way they fantasize it will, they’ll say whatever it takes to try to fool you again. Please don’t be fooled. Because it will just just waste more of your precious life and time.

    I am exactly your age and I felt exactly the same way you did when this happened. I mean it, exactly. I don’t know if this comforts you to know that it’s now a common thing, I recommend looking up on the internet ” silver divorce. ” We definitely aren’t alone and I don’t know what you’ll decide once you’ve healed from this, and you will, because I did, and I didn’t know how I was going to. See, I had a lot of my life wasted by trying to make it work with these messed up men. This was my second marriage and my first was also disordered and cheated on me and hurt me. In fact I have never dated or married a non-personality disordered man. Now here I am and the pickings are slimmer and you do have to do some work to try to get together with someone at our age, unless you’re very lucky and just run into them in everyday life. But that can happen, or you can meet someone nice and normal at a meet and greet or something like that. You don’t have to be alone. I am choosing to be alone myself as it feels like the right choice for me after what all I’ve learned and my looking at my personal history. But, I will make more friends work and do arts and crafts and love my pets and enjoy my life. Without the chaos he brought and would have kept bringing had I not just firmly and with resolve divorced him.

    Believe me, though it is hard to go through this, on the other side is peace and pride in yourself for not begging anymore. Don’t worry I begged too, we probably all did here. Because WE realize what they hell they’re giving up, a life that was hard won and built together with our own hands. They are like teenagers, they want something new now and nothing else matters. I could tell you tales of how crazy and weird mine acted but I am already way too long on my post here. After that affair person there would be someone else and then another someone else. They cannot bond like we do. Let him go. Protect your sweet vulnerable heart and let yourself heal. After the first year and a half it does get a lot better. The sooner you pull yourself into just loving and taking care of you again, the sooner you’ll feel better. You cannot love him enough to heal him with your love, or to put the puzzle that was your marriage back together again. No matter what he says, he doesn’t really love you the way a healthy person does, if you let him, he’ll just use you again and again. And what C.L. said in those scarier sentences is very true. You could end up with a nasty or fatal s.t.d. because these disordered people often don’t use protection. Mine didn’t, and I am just lucky that I wasn’t sexually active with him during that time period. Also they lie about everything, it’s just the way they are.

    I know you don’t believe it now, but you you are strong enough and you will laugh again and even be making plans for yourself again within a year and a half at least. Maybe even sooner. And this comes from a woman who really has a hard time letting go of love and ” malignant optimism ” ( you can look that up too and learn about it.) Read all the stories on here in the coming months, we’ve all been through it. C.L. and all my fellow Chumps here and the internet taught me all I needed to know for that to actually happen. Believe me that horrible loneliness goes away with the healing, it really does. I wish you the very best on your personal journey. Be kind to yourself, be a friend to yourself, you deserve it.

    • Dear WishTuesCameSooner:

      We are trying to get the word out about a common but under-recognized type of young-onset dementia called frontotemporal dementia (FTD) that tends to strike people (men more than women) in their 50s. The disease at onset is routinely dismissed as marital problems or “midlife crisis,” misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder or wrongly attributed to alcoholism or drug/addiction because of the tendency of people with the disease to self-medicate.

      This horrific disease strikes the frontal and temporal lobes destroying morals, inhibitions, empathy and emotions but leaves memory and intellect intact so they don’t seem ill until later stages. The hypersexuality caused by the disease leads many formerly loving, caring and loyal spouses to act like dogs in heat. They will hire prostitutes or engage in promiscuous sex with strangers or proposition the next-door neighbor. They may start spending wildly buying properties, cars and trucks. Many open dozens of credit card accounts and take out gigantic loans. They stop paying the IRS because they refuse to share “their” money, and will definitely try to keep the wife, whom they once adored but now like as much as their toaster or ironing board, from receiving any assets during a divorce. This vile disease destroys the person who used to be.

      Dementia is not just memory loss in the old: It is a profound behavioral change in the prime of life.

  • I have not read any of the other comments as yet and I’m screaming to you…..it’s not to late to start over! Stop that thinking. Leave that ass behind you and start over on your own terms. I’ve started a new relationship at 54 and I cannot believe how patient, kind and unlike my last relationship of 16 years this man is. I was single for about three years and I spent that time reorganizing my life, being in therapy and rediscovering who I was. It was time well spent. I’ve grown closer to my friends and started so many new things in my life.

    Be positive. Life is good if you look for the good. It’s a time to discover all kinds of things that you never thought possible. A relationship will present itself if it’s meant to be. but in the meantime, enjoy your life.

  • You know what’s REALLY lonely?

    … Crawling into bed a night with a man who’d rather you be someone else.
    … Wanting to be with a man who does not care about you.
    … Spending more bandwidth on a man who broke your heart.

    Did you ever see the Star Wars or Indiana Jones or Bridget Jones movies? After you’ve seen the first one, you’re not starting over with a whole new story. You have background information. You remember what you liked (and didn’t like) about the first one. Think of it like that. You’re not starting over; you’re moving on to the next episode.

    You can do this.

  • Another over-50 chump here. I discovered the cheating 7.5 years ago. Because of my age, I wanted to make sure that any settlement addressed retirement security. It did. CheaterX didn’t think he could afford an attorney, despite making nearly twice what I do. If he had, it would have saved him a good chunk more of his retirement than he knew. 🙂

    In the meantime, I’m settling into the rhythm of taking care of my own house and living my own life. I don’t have anyone special in it at this point, but I think that once I get my home in order, I’ll be ready. I’m not closed off to that possibility, just not in a hurry to make that jump.

    I do get the whole desire of wanting your old life back, but sadly, that can’t happen. Once you know they can cheat, that changes everything. When they tell you they still want to remain friends with Schmoopie, then you know that’s code for keeping the affair going, just deeper underground.

  • I’m 42, been with STBXH since 22, & I’m excited to start over! I almost feel like I’m in my early 20s again! There are a lot of unknowns: career, having to sell martial home…moving..etc. But I’m up for the challenge. I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed our separation much more than ever being WITH him.

  • I’m 51, divorced for four years. I have nothing but understanding and sympathy. Just today I’m feeling some despair from four years still alone. It’s not what I signed up for. It’s not what any of us signed up for. I envy those who extol the virtues of being single, whether in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s…. I hate it. I was single until my mid-thirties and I’d had enough. I loved being married. My family was everything. Online dating has been a draining, depressing ordeal of endless first-and-last dates. I’m achingly horny and my bed is too big and I’m sick of cooking for one (or 50% of the time three, but my kids don’t appreciate my gourmet meals:-)

    But: Never—never—is it as bad as living the nightmare that is pick-me-dancing for an emotionally abusive stranger who was once my spouse and best, most trusted friend. THAT is the virtue of being single. For now I am wedded to my pride and my courage. Maybe I will be alone until death. I hope not and I doubt I will. But this life, for all its unique pain, is preferable to the agony everyone here knows all too well.

    You will be ok. I emotionally limped my way to my attorney after five visits during which I could not pull the trigger out of sheer fear. The divorce was ugly. The coparenting was for the first three years a nightmare. So “ok” is relative. The pain of being alone I can deal with, particularly when I think back on the shattered shadow of a man I had become as my ex continued her affair in my face. I didn’t believe I would ever be “ok.” Some of my fears have come to pass, but not as bad as I imagined they would be, and they pass. And some of them never came to pass.

    You will be ok in your new, different life too. It’s just fear. Head down, teeth gritted, move forward, get away from him, and when you doubt or vacillate, stick your fingers in your ears. It’s just the voice of fear and fear tells you lies.

    • David, you are a hero. Thank you for reminding me of something important:

      Shelley, you miss the lie.

      That’s what we call it when the fantasy of ‘life the way it used to be’ starts to sap your courage and strength.

      You miss what you THINK your marriage was for all those years.

      This is where No Contact is really helpful. While he’s sleeping on your couch, hoovering you back in, you can’t think clearly and see reality. Get him out.

    • David, I identify so hard with your post, particularly the first paragraph. I’m almost to the point of yelling “meep meep” and running off to avoid another hug of death at the end of a first (and only) date.

    • David, I understand where you are coming from and I admire and respect your honesty and the ability to voice your pain so clearly. Just know that there are many standing next to you and holding you up that share in that same pain and want to also move forward and be free. Free of pain, free of second guessing one self, free of guilt at making the right decision to walk away, free of regret…. look forward. You will find love again with the right woman. The woman who truly sees you for you and can love you and respect you… be your partner in life. She’s out there, stay strong, take care of you children and yourself…:)

  • Dear Shelley,I am very sorry this has happened to you. but- you can’t go back, You can’t unknow things that you now know.Your marriage was over the first time your husband lied to you, you just didn’t know it. You cannot prop a marriage up by yourself, no matter how hard you try. You have to have two committed people to keep a marriage going, and you don’t. and another thing- YOU ARE ALONE NOW. You just haven’t realised it. you are worse than alone, because you don’t even have yourself- all your energy is spent on him, so that you don’t hve any left to look after yourself.
    You will find that being by yourself isn’t lonely at all. it’s an amazing rest, as if you had been running a marathon for years and years and were finally allowed to lie down. You know the feeling when you wake up on a Sunday morning and realise you don’t have to go to work and you can stay in bed for a few more hours? that’s what living without a cheater is like.
    I used to love my husband beyond everything. And now every time I see him i feel exhausted and bored-I escaped having to live with a cranky old guy. i used to tell him that he would be an angry old man and hell, i was right. The long monologues about transgender people! The endless descriptions of films he knows I have no interest in!The predictable bitchy remarks about how many pets I have ( fuck off, I’m a vet, they’re all looked after)!I do not miss him at all, and in 7 years I will never have to talk to him again. We met in 1992, married in 2001, divorced beginning of last year, and he was cheating on me pretty much every day of that time. I ran myself into the ground for a hollow shell of a man, trying to make him happy, trying to get him to talk to me, trying to get him to stay home and not go out to 50 million hobbies.Now, even when life is tricky, i remind myself that i will never have to listen to him talking about LARPing ever again, and that’s a blessing
    I’m fifty, I figure I have another 40 years to go based on family history- I’m not going to waste a day more of that time worrying about him

    • “You know the feeling when you wake up on a Sunday morning and realise you don’t have to go to work and you can stay in bed for a few more hours? that’s what living without a cheater is like.” Oh my goodness! This is spot on!

  • I’m. 59 and left cheater fuck when I was 37. I never got married. again! I did have a boyfriend for 7 years. He sucked too! I’ve been on my own for a long time now. I’ve never been happier. I have a beautiful long haired black and white cat named Sylvie Lou,adopted from animal control. Best companian ever!

  • If only I was young like you. At 73 I am recovering from abandonment. One thing keeps me cheerful (there are others though) is that now the alien is being cared for by his ‘blast from the past’. She made him feel 25 again but unfortunately he has had ill health since he ran. She gets to nurse hin and last week I was sitting on a beach in the Caribbean free as a bird. You will get through this.

    • This. ^^

      Way to go @oldchump.

      I am 55. Stay at home mom for the last 26 years so basically unemployable except for min wage. Still trying to divorce the fuckwit but not stopping even with his narcissistic antics.

      I am scared to death about health insurance mainly. Oh, and how to pay for food. But I’ll be damned if I stay with a raging narcissistic SAH. That would be selling my soul.

      Too many years left for that hell. I’ll work for min wage if I have to.

      And be on the beach like @oldchump while SOMEONE ELSE takes care of the 63yo narcissist and wipes his (mouth) when he gets Alzheimer’s like his mother.

      Your own company and the company of friends and family is more than enough to make up for anything you lose from divorcing a cheater.

  • You can do this! I had the exact same thoughts when I found myself single 2 years ago. As my 50th birthday approached and my daughters were about to graduate high school, I was so excited about sending them to college and being (mostly) empty nesters. Lady Liar was in full-blown affair mode WHILE ALSO making plans with me to buy a beach cottage and downsize. We agreed that since I supported her through graduate school, I could partially retire and she’d provide primary support. WE HAD A PLAN and I trusted her to follow though on it. And then she didn’t. Never intended to – was just stringing me along until she had her new life plan in place and had given the OW a “test run” as her replacement gf. But you know what? I was lonely as hell when I was with her. I had anxiety attacks and was physically ill and I KNEW she was involved and I was pick-me-dancing like crazy. I didn’t so much have to start over as RECLAIM myself and my life. I am not thankful this happened to me. It was AWFUL and it took every ounce of courage and energy I had to keep going. I am alone now. And sometimes I am lonely. And I am stuck in a job that I hate. But I believe in myself. I am no longer being USED. In the first year, I’d pretend that she was dead and I’d feel sorry for myself — oh, poor me, I lost my partner and have to start over again. I have a friend whose husband really did die when they were 50, and she has a chronic, debilitating disease, and I don’t. So there’s that. Take care of YOURSELF and let that prick go. It WILL be okay.

  • I am going to go back and read all 200+ comments…just can’t read all tonight. But thank you so much for the advice and comments!!! I especially like .. don’t waste your precious years and good health on a cheating bastard!!!!

    • I am 53 and 24 months out. It isn’t easy, BUT it is worth it. And the longer you stay knowing what you know – the harder it is to recover. My biggest job has been re-building my self esteem, and realising how small I had made myself for that man.

      I’ve spent a while being angry with myself. Why did I wreconcile? Why did I eat that disrespecting shit for the last two years? My mum reckons life begins at 60 – so you and I have got 7 years to work on our mighty.

      Please join the forums and learn how to line up your ducks and protect yourself. Get a lawyer (without telling him). Make a plan and leave.

      Good Luck and ((((hugs))))

  • Shelley…if you are 23, 53, or 83 it does not matter…if you want a loving relationship don’t feel for a second that you can’t have that. You have to get out of this bad one in order to free yourself up for the good one. I’m 47 and I am not giving up on what I want. You don’t want to be alone….good! You don’t have to. It’s a bit scary but have faith, get out of this mess, get your head right and move forward….this is what I am telling myself now…

  • I am 59 and my divorce was finalized two weeks ago. In the past year I have battled breast cancer and so far have come out the winner. Today, my mother and best friend died. In a few weeks my son will be having surgery. But I keep putting one foot in front of the other and I hope that eventually I am going to get away from this storm cloud that seems to keep following me around. I have absolutely no interest in another relationship right now, maybe never. But I have to tell you I have the most amazing kids and the most amazing true friends, therefore, I consider myself blessed. I love living alone now and have no feelings of loneliness, only peace. No one screaming, dictating, and sneaking around. Chump Lady has helped me tremendously through the darkest times over the last year. Come here everyday and it will make you feel that you can do this! Good luck to you.

    • Trumped,

      So sorry about your mom. Losing a mom is so very difficult. Hoping for a good outcome for your son’s surgery.

      I am amazed at your mightiness. You keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will be out from under that black cloud soon. Peace and blessings to you.

      (((HUGS)))

    • I am so sorry. You’ve had a hell of a time, and a hell of a day. My thoughts are with you today, and with you and your son for his upcoming surgery.

    • Wishing you and your son the best today. Wishing you find peace in the memories of your mother. And thank you for taking time amid your own sorrows and worries to write words of support to a stranger. You are mighty and admirable.

    • Trumped

      I’m so sorry about the loss of your Mom. I lost my Mom around Dday. I felt her by my side and it was a comfort . She was my best friend. When I feel bad i close my eyes and picture her hand in mine. It helps.

      ((HUGS)))

  • Shelley,

    I am sorry that you are going through this. Your husband is a dingbat.

    I fought to hang onto my abusive. adulterous husband for various reasons although I no longer loved him. He insisted on divorcing me. Life is challenging as an over fifty-year old divorced mother (of young children) who is ‘re-starting’ her career after spending $100k in court, but I am glad that my ex-husband will never live with me again. Ironically, the current girlfriend of my extremely psychologically disordered, law-breaking ex-husband is a psychotherapist with a PhD. I hope that she can help him be a decent father to his/my children.

    Unfortunately, I still miss/feel angry at my post-separation boyfriend, who I wrongly thought was my friend for 30 years, even nine months since he left me (not for the first time) for another woman. Although he interspersed kind gestures with dishonest, disrespectful, controlling treatment of me for a few years, I am bereft the he has left me for his work subordinate and they will likely get married if they have not already.. I imagine that he treats her much better as he pursued her and respects her. (I don’t know these things for sure as he abruptly blocked me from all commmication with him.) I am jealous and envious of him and my replacement. And yeah, I intellectually know that I am lucky in many ways and am not a materialistic person, but I still mourn what I lost (or what I think that I lost) and the future I envisioned with my last partner, a life of relative ease and much warmth, a deep, healthy, respectful, romantic love I have never experienced, and satisfaction. I still sometimes beat myself up forr not being able to keep him happy enough to stick around instead of telling me repeatedly, ‘I want to run away from you!’ This weekend, I saw some photos (of one of my kid’s birthday parties last year) my dad left on the computer. I saw my ex-boyfriend and me and thought, ‘He’s attractive, especially for his age, a few years younger than me,’ and ‘I am less fit, attractive than I previously thought. No wondert he left me-between being physically not very attractive and not emotionally attractive (overly needy and distraught over abuse by my estranged husband (now ex husband)).’

    I admire my fellow chumps who post here. They all seem so mighty. I am poorer, more exhausted, feel older, fatter, flabbier, more disorganized, much more depressed, much angrier, less accomplished, and hopeless in spite of a LOT of support from Chump Nation and some other wonderful people and not the worst circumstances.. I don’t think that I will ever find romantic love again–at least not a healthy one that is reciprocated and enduring. I try to keep going because I have minor children, one of whom has special needs, and I am afraid of what their father might do to them if he had full custody of them. But just because I’m a train wreck doesn’t mean that you will be. (I imagine that you will do much better than that.)

    • RockStarWife,

      May I gently tap you with a 2X4?

      “I imagine that he treats her much better as he pursued her and respects her. (I don’t know these things for sure as he abruptly blocked me from all commmication with him.)”

      When you “don’t know these things for sure” you can only use the evidence you have. He pursued her – so what? That doesn’t mean he treats her better! They pursue their next victims with intent to USE and CON, not to love. They play-act at love, and do a good imitation of it, but it isn’t really love if he isn’t open and honest! Do you have any evidence that he only lied to you and hid things from you, but has NEVER been deceitful with her? It’s highly unlikely that he suddenly found a moral compass! Leopards and their spots, etc.

      And you believe he “respects her” – why? He “interspersed kind gestures with dishonest, disrespectful, controlling treatment” when he was with you, and you think he will never do that with her? What evidence do you have? None! They don’t love people in any genuine way – they collect sources of narcissistic supply. We are not people to them, we are objects. Once he has her where he wants her, he’ll revert to the same pattern. They all do!

      Please be kind to yourself. She’s going to get the SAME treatment. Don’t for a minute think her more “worthy” than you. But do remind yourself that you’re much better off without a lying cheater!!

      Hugs to you.

    • Of course you feel angry! You were wronged. But as I am slowly, very slowly learning we have to find happiness inside of us. Not in another person.

  • Seven years ago today was DDay for me at 52. Married for 20 something years plus four years before that. Children, grandson. His huge career, the whole what the hell was I being the nice wife for you numb feeling when Wall Street wander boy revealed his real self to me. The best was yet to come. Yes I was flipped out, couldn’t drive down the street but I recovered stronger. At our age we are smarter, more resourceful, and can discover a strength we didn’t realize was there.
    Knowing who you are, your value in the world and what you mean to people who love you is so much more than settling for a hollow marriage to a person who doesn’t see you as person but a possession to use to meet their needs. Don’t punish yourself. No one needs the mental anguish that comes with partnering with a narcissist. People tell you who they are, believe them. I’ve met so many more interesting people since my DDay. Get out there! It’s going to be fine. Better than it was. Hey met my boyfriend at Starbucks!

  • Dumped at 51 after one year in wreckonciliation hell which only gave him more time to scheme against me with his whore. It’s been 2 years since he left. The first year was really tough especially with the added conflict over property settlement. The next 6 months were a sort of limbo, the battle was over, now what?
    Well, I’ve exorcised/reclaimed most places, I am naturally cheerful and chirpy again. I feel free, for the first time in many years. I am putting myself first at last. I don’t care what anyone thinks as long as I feel that I am doing the right thing. I trust my own judgement. Not even interested in dating anymore.
    Absolutely do not miss living with someone else.

    He on the other hand is trying to hoover, has been on anti-depressants because he’s miserable with his whore, hasn’t had a proper job in 2 years, has put on 25kgs. Eating and fucking himself to an early grave.

    Something else I’ve noticed: the blossoming widows around me. Many women weren’t that happy in their marriages, even if it wasn’t so bad. They never put themselves first. Now they can.

  • I’m 59. My husband died 9 months ago. I am afraid too, but I had no choice. You have a choice. Life IS about change.

  • Hi Shelley
    At 53 years old, 5 months out from d day after 16 years together. Spent the first couple of months on the floor going WTF? It has been an interesting thread – i too have been wondering about the future. That in itself is a step forward. Am no longer in the denial and bargaining phases (so much) and have moved on to the anger and depressive phases of the grief (yay NOT). I guess this is part of the process and we can see from the previous submitters that what is ahead is mostly positive.
    Some are still alone but not as lonely as when in the relationship.

    I am struggling with the Lonely – quite happy to be alone but lonely is probably a first for me right now. It is a reflection of the fact that we have put ourselves and out needs second for so long and have to start to find OURSELVES again.

    A lot of Posters here have requested a ‘like’ button for various posts – I would like a ‘fast forward six months’ button – we have our own paths to follow but it is heartening to see that even if financially not so great most posters are happier without the exes ( no longer pretzeling ourselves to keep them happy at our own mental health expense ).

    I am very capable – living with a lazy ass meant that there was not an equitable division of jobs when he was here – not so many ‘blue’ jobs, mostly ‘pink’ jobs – now without him ALL jobs are ‘pink’ jobs and where I cant do them – just hire someone to fix it!! And it gets done when I want/need it done.

    I dont know what my future holds in terms of ‘another’ significant person – I so miss having an intimate confidant (missing in the past few years as the devalue phase was enacted (20/20 hindsight and CL has allowed a clearer view of history)
    But I am 10 kilos lighter (20 odd pounds), and am starting to buy the groceries I WANT – no more pretzeling. It is a process and I wish you the best.

  • In 54. Husband hurriedly took off 12 months ago, after the affair was discovered earlier that morning. Yes it is scary starting over. Love Chump Nation advice and support from the website and forums. Some other tips. I have read so much. Some things that stay with me. 1. When your husband ran off it doesn’t mean that you stayed , or have to stay in that same spot. You do not have to remain where he discarded you. You can also move forward, on your very own trajectory. You can create the life you love. 2. Everyon says, do the things you couldn’t do or stopped doing when you married. However if you were like me, you were young when you got together and probably practically grew up, as young adults, and formed your life together. So, perhaps think of sone things you may have been thinking of doing, with or without him. I did have a few things I thought I would do when I had time. So I just started doing them over the last year. I have mentioned them before; the ocean swimming, in spite of a fear of open water and sharks. I am off to some training sessions tomorrow at 5.45am (argh) to improve my style. Other things like singing lessons, voluntary work in a developing country. …. and still I have more. I just keep challenging myself and it gives me so much satisfaction and pride to accomplish things, even if small. I would have allowed my husband all the achievements before, while I kept the home fires burning. Bugger that. My turn now. 3. Examine your life. Write down the things he did that made and continue to make you unhappy. I can already see that he lacks compassion, integrity, honesty, true grit, selflessness…….Write the things you like about yourself. Keep these lists visible . Keep adding to them. I realised that the reason I don’t feel all that lonely is because the marriage was lonely at times. It was dry, not nourishing, a bit empty. What was yours really like? Another article I read challenged the alien/ brain tumour/ bizarre behaviour that occurred post d day. It suggested it was already there. And it was right and I imagine will be for you too. 4. Hang out with some singles. All my friends are having 30th wedding anniversary parties, overseas trips , buying weekenders, farms, etc It is so hard to hear all this. But there are plenty of singles out there. Look up old friends, get to know workmates, join something, a group, a class – but something you enjoy, that way you are doing something you like and meeting people is a bonus.
    I posted this the other day. I am beginning ( when not crying, life isn’t all hunky dory yet) to see the chunks of a fuck you life forming.
    And I have also always believed that success is the best form of revenge.

    • I will be turning 60 in 3 months. Found out my husband of 37 years was cheating on me in July of 2016 with a married coworker. I caught him texting her at 11:30 that night on July 9th and kicked his ass out the next day, put his clothes in the garage, and that Monday changed the locks. Got my divorce in February 2017. It has been hard. Missed the life I thought I had. Our only child will be getting married in November. Having to see him at any functions in my life is upsetting but I realize what an awesome person I am and what a sorry person he is. Everyone says I look 20 years younger and have a body any 25 year old would envy. The shit they destroy in your lives is unreal. Please get away as soon as you can. How I wish I could be 53 again.

  • I became single at 49. I figured I’d become a crazy cat lady (even though I’m allergic to them) since all the guys out there must be dirty dogs like the one I left. Au contraire! I wound up finding a magnificent man and we’ve been married nearly four years now. I feel younger than I did when I got divorced. So much stress is gone…I smile more, I take better care of myself. You deserve better than the dirty dog you’re married to, and you’ll be amazed at how good life will be without him.

  • Oh My Gosh!! You are all so helpful and inspiring!! I am soo appreciative. I do not feel as alone and I realize I am not wrong on giving up on us. I just never really believed in divorce…feel like you should do anything to make it work! But…you can’t do it alone. If he is not willing to do anything to make it work and if he has done everything to sabotage it (cheating , lying, etc.) …then there is nothing I can do. I couldn’t even take him back with what he has done. There would never be any trust. He made this decision .. not me (when he stepped out on me with her). I hope to get where you all are. I do not want to be single and /or alone…but I don’t think I have to….I think I can find some one like me — – who is loving and kind and committed. But, I also realize .. if I don’t .. I am better off than with him. Thank you ALL!

  • Mother of 8 beautiful children, married 32 years, divorced at 54 and left with nothing. Started a career for the first time, opened a side Airbnb business and love my life. I have peace and joy and more money in the bank than I ever had married to a genius engineer lying scumbag. My 20 year old son says I look ten years younger since the divorce! Oh, and I’m getting a Master’s degree so I can become a therapist….we had some baaad counseling over the years and I want to improve the therapy “pool”.

  • Wow is this a great post! All of you here are amazing and strong. Mighty is an understatement!

    When I’m feeling nuts, sad, lonely, blaming, shaming, ruminating and letting my mind go to places it shouldn’t, I immediately head over here. It ALWAYS provides the immediate reminders, words of wisdom and comfort I couldn’t do without.

    I was 51 when jackass pulled the rug out from under me for the 2nd time. Informed me that he wanted to move out, that he had been “pretending” for years and gosh darn it, after 14 years, just couldn’t be the wife he needed me to be. The poor guy should get a medal for hanging in there while I raised his daughter, worked full time, paid bills, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, errands, school stuff, and so much, more more. But of course, never enough.

    While poor jackass was going through his personal hell known as me, I was trying desperately to stop the discard snowball from gathering its incredible strength and speed. This is an impossible task.

    I was already experiencing massive depression, despair, loneliness, anxiety attacks, sleep disorders, etc. for a couple of years as I waited for the other shoe to drop.

    When it did, I discovered he was seeing his bosses’ wife, who had recently left her husband. This had been going on for at least a year. He will deny it if you ask him.

    When he was discarding me, he wanted to remain “friends” and threw out a generous offer of coming over to his new house for movie nights and even better, still wanted me to make dinner for him every night! Preferably at his house, but would make the sacrifice of coming over here if he had to. Sadly, he was serious and seemed surprised that I turned down the offer. Not very chump-like, I know.

    Sometimes I think I want “my life back,” but in reality, what the hell kind of life was that??? My normal was fear, criticism, lies, cheating, manipulation, eggshell walking, dehumanizing disrespect, constant cracks about my age (he was younger) and being ignored as if I didn’t exist. That was on a good day.

    The first time I laughed in years was while reading CL’s book. Despite an occasional setback here and there, I am getting stronger every day.

    I love doing what I want to do, even if it means re-learning what that is. I’ve lost a ton of money, years of my life, etc. but at 53, I feel calm and peaceful. That is huge!

    After almost 2 years, I have not turned anyone’s head nor gone out on a date because no one has asked.
    Even though I am afraid of being alone for the rest of my life, I know it is a better option than being with an abusive asshole for even one more minute. I am making peace with whatever comes my way.

    As for jackass, he is now apparently with the woman of his dreams after just 3 months, as bosses’ wife didn’t pan out. This latest soulmate recently posted a selfie of the 2 of them in bed, him undressed, on social media. Messy hair and afterglow smiles included. Yuck. I’m sure our 15-year-old son will be proud of his dad when he sees it.

    You cannot be married by yourself…most of us have tried. My wish is meh for all of us and of course, trust that he sucks!!

  • Coming here for hope and strength is helping me immensely. I am 67 and three months from d-day after 25 years with the “nicest man in the world”. I have now seen his shark eyes and the scales have fallen from my eyes but the devastation is unbelievable (except to you fellow Chumps). Thanks for this thread and for so many other inspirational people on CN. Each day is such a bloody struggle but I come here for hope and solace when it seems that I just can’t function. Thank you.

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