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The Perils of Flunking No Contact

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There’s nothing sadder than watching a chump pick up the hopium habit again. I can sit here on the sidelines and frantically wave my arms and shout “NO! DON’T DO IT!” But if you’re determined to chase unicorns, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

I promise you, 99.9 percent of the time you’re going to regret it. Oh sure, the initial high will feel great. (HE LOVES ME! HE CARES! WE’RE GONNA BE A FAMILY AGAIN!) But the crash is coming — the inevitable devalue, the entitlement, the resumption of cake…

And all of it could’ve been avoided if you hadn’t fallen off the No Contact wagon. No contact is the path to truth and light. It is the fastest, the surest way to end the mindfuck and get your life back. But where no contact fails, unicorns rush in.

I know slip-ups are to be expected and I know from personal, painful experience how hard it is to kill hope — hope that this person is going to stop hurting you, hope that your investment isn’t lost, hope in the transformative powers of pain. OMG he’s realized what he’s done and he’s SORRY, so, so sorry!

Been there, done that, wear the chump crown. Ergo this blog.

And it’s not just me. When a blog odometer flips 19 million, you know some other people on the planet have shared this suckfest.

Which brings me to pregnantchump. I answered her letter when she had a D-Day while 8-weeks pregnant and her husband left for the OW. She’s now 6 months pregnant and writes:

Hello Chump Lady,

It has been almost 5 months since I have reached out to you but have been following your site almost everyday. I am officially so lost and confused that I thought maybe you could offer me some words of wisdom again.

You first ran my story when I was 8 weeks pregnant, I found out that my husband had been having an affair after we went through fertility treatments. I kicked him out the weekend I found out and he immediately moved in with his girlfriend. For the last 4 months, he was incredibly rude to me, treated me like I didn’t exist and really hurt me along the way. I filed for divorce the week after Christmas and have been fighting with him in courts to figure out our financial situation, all of that finally got figured out and he took responsibility for helping me pay for everything. Fast forward to two weeks ago (currently 6 months pregnant).

He called me and was very genuine on the phone. He apologized and told me that I was the strongest women alive and that our baby was lucky to have such a strong and wonderful mom. After that, he has been very supportive of me and our son. He said he wants to be a big part of his life and wants to help me anyway that he can. He comes from a strong family background that has been incredibly supportive.

Last weekend we met up so he could see our dogs and we had a very deep conversation about what it would look like to co-parent with our son. He told me that he moved out of his girlfriends house, and is living alone. He wants me to give him one chance (he said if he messes it up in anyway that he will leave me alone for good). That our 8 years together and family is worth it. He deeply regrets hurting me and our son. He is seeing a therapist and asked me to go to therapy with him. He said that the fertility issues that we had (which were on his side) really hurt his self-esteem. That his HR rep at work was giving him attention and I was going through fertility treatments, he lost sight of what was right in front of him. He says that he plans on making it up to me for the rest of his life and that we are an amazing couple. I am so sad that I lost the family that I thought I was creating with my fertility treatments, but I have to tell you, it felt good to show him the nursery and go through our sons clothes with him on Saturday and to be excited. I feel like it is the first time since my pregnancy that I just felt like a “normal pregnant women”.

I know that it sounds horrible, but I just want to do the right thing for my son. I want him to have a father and a mother that will love him no matter what. Do some people make mistakes and realize it? Do they ever heal and does their character ever change? Before this, my husband was an incredible husband and we did have a great relationship, is this something that people can get back, or am I being a chump? I would love to not be alone while I have this baby and would love to raise this child with his father. But am I being a chump to believe that this is possible?

Thank you for your help!

pregnantchump

P.S.

I know I’m being a chump. I know that in my head, I just didn’t know if it could ever change. The OW is a huge drinker and they went out and partied all of the time. He told me he looked around last month and realized that he lost the life that he really wanted, a wife, home, dogs and family. He said he thought that he loved her and thought that our relationship was over but he didn’t realize that he was lying to himself to make himself feel better for cheating. She still wants to be with him, he showed me his text messages and she calls him ALL the time, but he said it’s over and it’s truly not what he wants. I know none of this matters to you, but I am just trying to really understand the gravity of the situation. I feel like if I make the wrong decision, it’s going to affect my son for the rest of his life. It’s the first decision I have to make as a mother. I just hate that I am in this situation and really wish this wasn’t my story. I feel so horrible for my son, I just want him to have everything I promised him he would when I decided to get pregnant.

Dear Pregnantchump,

I’m sorry, you’re being a chump.

The person who walked out on you when you were 8 weeks pregnant and treated you cruelly and forced you to file is the REAL HIM. He did not “lose sight” of who he is. “Who he is” is about as apparent as a giant billboard along the highway reading “I AM A FLAMING ASSHOLE WHO CHEATS ON PREGNANT WOMEN.” Losing sight… please. That’s some minimizing bullshit.

Oh and fuck his “self esteem” jizz issues. He should try being abandoned while pregnant. You were dealt that crushing rejection so which co-worker did you fuck? Oh that’s right, no one.

Something went wrong in OW land and you’re plan B. I’m sorry. I know you don’t want to read that, and I know you long for him to be sorry with every fiber of your being, because you invested a lot in this person and loved him for 8 years.

But the guy is still a TOTAL BASTARD. Not one damn thing has changed about his character. Showing you the OW’s text messages? He is goading you into the pick me dance! He’s trying to demonstrate what an amazing prize he is. (NOT) Look! She really wants me and yet I choose you! The guy is presenting you with a turd and acting like it’s a gold-plated unicorn. In reality, he and the OW are two boozy, grifters who’d rather party than adult. He’s been on a FOUR MONTH SPREE with her while you’ve CARRIED HIS CHILD.

Who is the adult here? Who is the turd?

Listen, character change is SLOW and PAINFUL and takes a LOT longer than the gestation of a pregnancy.

Here’s a clue he isn’t changed — he is acting ENTITLED to reconciliation. He has no right to ask ANYTHING of you, and being a stable co-parent is the BARE MINIMUM. You should be able to EXPECT that without taking him back as part of the quid pro quo. You’re vulnerable and he is fucking with your heart.

Please don’t dress this shit up as wanting to do right by your son. That’s YOU spackling YOUR grief with the veneer of Intact Family. Mama bears protect their cubs. This fuckwit you bred with is a menace. If he hurt you, let me tell you, he’ll hurt your child too. If he can casually betray the mother of his child — a woman who went through fertility treatments for him — he can betray a child. Hell, he’s ALREADY betrayed that child. This is a man who cuts and runs when called upon to adult. Do NOT subject your child to that dynamic.

Your baby needs one strong, sane parent — and that’s YOU. How strong and sane are you going to be while performing the pick me dance with a  loser? How much parenting bandwidth are you going to have while playing marriage police? Any fool can look at baby clothes. Real fathers respect the women they impregnate. Real men SHOW UP and ADULT.

Oh, but he’s going to do that now! If I just give him that chance!

You gave him that chance, four months ago, and he ran to the OW. There’s your answer. It hasn’t changed. He just misses cake.

Now let me end on a positive note — you and your baby ARE a family. You don’t need this loser to be a family. I know you dreamed another dream, and this all seems like a terrible bait and switch — but I’m telling you 20 years down the road, as a mom who raised a son largely as a single parent — it CAN BE DONE. Even with a fuckwit orbiting about. You can raise a beautiful child with your values. You can model strength and resiliency — and most of all sanity. Other than my son’s flirtation with libertarianism, he’s a solid kid. The kind of kid who walks the widowed neighbor’s dog. The kind of kid you’d trust to babysit your children. A kid with a firm handshake who looks you in the eye. A person who writes sweet holiday cards and remembers birthdays. A mensch. A kid who grew up to be a fine young man despite having a simply AWFUL bio-father.

A hundred chumps are going to tell you today that you can DO IT TOO! And the rewards are so much greater than “winning” a fuckwit. Stay strong pregnantchump — you’ve got this.

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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.
  • Personally if your partner/ex cheated, I don’t think you can really trust them again. There’s nothing wrong in being a single parent, better single then watching your parent being emotionally abused (which what cheating is), the ow isn’t better than you, she will agree with everything he wants, my exs ow, thought it was a competition, my exs ow, prefered him to her own children. He could step up as a dad, and should do. (does he have alcohol problems, as they get drunk together), where is the money coming from for that. She is phoning him, regularly, why? My exs ow swore, at me, years later, asked me to feel sorry for her. Cheeky bitch!

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a single mom AT ALL! 🙂 I know that is eventually what I will be doing. I am impressed with all of the moms out there that can do it and they are doing it well. I think I just want to make sure I am making the best choice for my son and if his father wants to be around, I don’t want to keep him from him.

      • As others have pointed out, divorce doesn’t have to be forever. Someone just the other day said when her ex made a last minute play to try and work things out “I don’t know what the future holds but I know I have to divorce right now.” If he is TRULY remorseful he can still prove himself to be a unicorn even if the marriage is over. He can pay his child support, show up for parent time and respectfully pursue the relationship in the presence of consequences and boundaries. If he’s willing to do this, for a sustained period of time (like – YEARS) without the cake-eating then he might actually be that unicorn.

    • This is 100% about money. He looks bad to the courts now, he wants back in to engineer the situation (getting her to work and make himself look like super dad) to minimize or eliminate child support and alimony and may be funneling money and assets to himself. Pregnant chump needs to strike while the iron is hot, which is NOW. If she waits he will leave her with nothing, including robbing her of half her time with her child.

      • Hallelujah! That’s some good advice. And what Chump Lady said about her being Plan B when OW didn’t work out is so true too. It happened with me also, but thankfully I listened to Chump Lady and was kept safe. They can seem so sincere and say such wonderful and complimentary things to you after acting absolutely awful to you for months. Mine did and it was exactly that. Then hoovered again right as the divorce was about to be finalized. Nothing to do with REAL regret, just the affair didn’t work out. I still don’t get how they can act like a sane and good person and still be so awful underneath. All I would say is, please fellow chump, listen to all of us and just wait, he’ll slip up and then you’ll see. Don’t let him back in to do more damage, because he will. Mine took 17 years of my life! They don’t care, they’re selfish and disordered individuals and keeping your child safe should be priority number one. Best wishes and I hope you stay safe and far away from him.

      • I believe nodancing is correct. If you don’t divorce him now you will always wonder if he came back to you for financial reasons and you don’t want to live like that.

    • Yup, three times I was a chump! Took him back BC the kids were small and we NEEDED him. Never again. You can do this alone. You are not the one that decided that this was going to be a broken family. He did. I took him back in 2004 after about six months. He decided that he wanted to be there. He cheated again in 2008 and swore it would never happen again. He cheated again in 2016 and I kicked him out FOR GOOD! 24 years of my life and I am in the same situation that I was on back in 2004!! We also did fertility treatments and then adopted two beautiful girls from China. Where is he now? Out with his sl@t from work!!

      I don’t think he is going to change but ultimately the decision is yours!

  • “That’s YOU spackling YOUR grief with the veneer of Intact Family.” That is one of the best descriptions ever of a chump trying to save a marriage. But seriously, I feel for her. Her emotions and hormones are so amplified as a pregnant woman, it’s no wonder she thinks this is a good idea. Most of us here have single-parented young children. It can be done! I wish her strength!

    • Yes! My emotions are everywhere, and I am EXHAUSTED! I want to be able to have a baby in peace and want to be able to do whats best for him. I don’t know what the future holds for me but I know that there are so many supportive women (and men) that have gotten through it! I just think it’s hard because I wanted a family with him for so long, that I see the dream, and maybe it looks different but I think he could still be a good dad (I guess that is just my opinion). Thank you for your support and love!

      • He can still be a good dad, AWAY FROM YOU! Those things are not mutually exclusive. I’ve found that it’s rare for a Cheater to be a good parent, because Character (lack of) and Entitlement. They can do short bursts, but not sustained, day-to-day. The Courts will tell you you SHOULDN’T keep your child from his father, that doesn’t mean you need the Cheater in YOUR life.

        The Cheater will want 50% parenting time, so they pay ZERO child support, while at the same time moving away from 50%, letting you do more and more of the work + paying for more & more of the kid stuff. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN! Get that in your divorce settlement NOW!

      • I just want to pipe in in agreement that if he really means it, he can continue to show it in the next few years after divorce. Also, don’t let him steal the joy of carrying your precious baby and soon the precious moments when he is a newborn. Grab the the good feelings and thoughts when they arrive between the worries. Also, there is a whole new world of connections with a new born. New friends to be made etc. So sad for him to not comprehend this. Take care.

      • if you want to have this baby in peace, then you need to let him go.. . he is the person who is messing with your head, twisting your words, twisting his own words, twisting reality.. .. your head is spinning trying to make sense of it because he is making up shit to fit the twisted fantasy in HIS head and trying to make you believe it.. .. to have peace you have to get rid the person who is causing the non-peace or drama.. ..

        if you want to do the right thing for your son, you need to let him go.. .. he is the person who has such low character, and is so super selfish that he left his wife who was pregnant with his baby.. .. who does that kind of thing? what kind of man bails and abandons his wife, much less his pregnant wife, who needs him desperately during pregnancy, much less the pregnant wife who just purposely went thru painful and stressful fertility treatments FOR HIM to have a baby.. .. look at your reality. you were going to treatments because he has a problem, to give him a child.. .. and he was so grateful to you that he ran out and fucked another woman BEHIND your back, lied about and then ran off with her when you found out. .. .. is that really the kind of man you want to role model for your son? a good dad DOES NOT cheat on his wife and put her health at risk while she is carrying his son.. ..

        i know what you are feeling. you put all your hopes and dreams in a fukwit. you actually went to treatments to give him a child and become a family.. .. but he is a selfish, inconsiderate, cruel liar and betrayer. .. . you are never going to have the happy, peaceful intact family that you dream of.. .. he will just bail on you again.. he will threaten to take the baby, he might actually kidnap your kid. he will introduce your son to his lovers and try to pass them off as “friends” up until your son starts to catch on, and then he will teach your son how to lie to you to hide his actions and indiscretions… .. dont tell mommy or what your mother doesnt know wont hurt her.. .. ask me how i know.

        you and your son will be better off without him messing with your heads. your son will be better off not having a dad or even a part time if you really think he needs to be involved… .. but i am warning you that your son will most likely be used as a weapon just to hurt you. .. or control you. he will not care that he is hurting the boy, not the way you do, and he will enforce all sorts of rules and wishes just because he can. he will have your son call this OW mommy just because he knows it will hurt you. he will bad mouth you to your son and you will spend hours trying to decode your sons mind that has been poisoned against you just to make himself look good.. .. again ask me how i know.

        what you should do if you can, is let this fool go. sell your house and move out of town.. when you have the baby DO NOT PUT HIM as father on the birth certificate. i know you think it is for the best to list the father but let me tell you from experience that is the worst thing you can do. if he is listed on the birth certificate, it automatically gives him 50/50 custody. the bio dad can and will take you to court for any little thing. it means that if he has the baby, he does not HAVE to return the baby to you and the police will not be able to do a damn thing.. it means that he has just as much rights to the baby as you do, and he can keep the baby in his possession just to hurt you. .until there is a court order stating otherwise and even then he can still keep the baby from you.. .. . ask me how i know. i recently went thru this..

        Move, change your address, change your number.. .. if he is serious about being in your child’s life he will find you and take you to court.. .. .. .if he is not serious and is only jerking you around, he will find that the effort is too hard and run off to the next easy thing that opens her legs, her house and her wallet to him.. .. either way you will have peace while you raise your son the way you want hi to be raised.. you will protect your son from all the drunk alcoholic other woman you ex will drag into your son life. and protect your son for getting his heart broke and brains washed from dad leaving every few months or breaking promises or talking badly about mom, or forgetting about him.. .. or disappearing.. .. again ask me how i know this

        any man that walks away from the woman carrying his child is NOT a good man. he will NOT be a good day.. .. that is just you projection what you want onto him.. .he pulled the trigger and killed your marriage, . he broke your marriage the day he fucked his OW. .. .. stop dragging that dead horse… .. wake up, let him go and have a good life without him .. .. good luck

  • MEMEMEMEMEMEMEME…….!

    Oh the poor sad sausage, I don’t hear him asking about you and your feelings, only his own.

    Now he wants a life with you, what about tomorrow?

    “She still wants to be with him, he showed me his text messages and she calls him ALL the time, but he said it’s over and it’s truly not what he wants.”

    By the way, let me rub it in your face that I am so fuckin’ amazing that every skank in the book wants me but I choose you (for the moment).

    Put down the pipe, walk away from the pipe, and run!

    • God help me but I will say 2 things in the fuckwit’s defense. Sort of. I think he’s showing her the OW’s texts to show wife that he wasn’t dumped by OW and hence, it’s really HIS choice to return. Not to rub it in her face.

      And he is saying what I would say if I really wanted to reconcile with someone I had cheated on (which I was ONCE tempted to do, but did not).

      I’d promise counseling and therapy and I’d GET IT. And I myself, would need to see a priest, go to confession and get God’s forgiveness.

      I would pray and hope that over TIME, my spouse could someday let me back into their heart. I’d promise transparency forever.

      But then, that’s me. I’m not a piece of shit. I’m a chump.

      But I so needed to read this today as xh who tortured me for 18 months thru this horrific divorce ordeal, starting with his leaving me at my weakest moment of life, (a week after release from a Neuro ICU for seizures and a stroke, from which I recovered no thanks to my physician husband).

      And yesterday he reached out all polite, for the first time. Jesus, I was spinning all night about it and then read THIS column this morning.

      MY X is not saying what pregnant chumps is saying. I wish he would, mostly for the ego. But I’m working on that too.

      • If he really wanted to he he shouldve blocked schmoopie. He isnt really trying to change. How can he let her still contact him if he really wants to make it work out with pregnant chump.

      • Going out on a limb here, but any man who leaves his wife for another woman while she is pregnant is not redeemable. Under any circumstance. No matter how much he pretends he is being honest about his contact with the OW. Or if he goes to 100 therapy sessions.

        There is NOTHING to work with here. Nothing. There are critical periods for the development of empathy, and of morality. Pregnantchump’s fuckwit has passed that critical period. Too late for reform.

        • Except for God’s grace, I agree with you on this, Tempest.

          As far as the text msgs he showed his wife from OW, you can bet he showed the OW the text msgs from his wife when it was convenient. Fucking asshole.

          • Yes, ^THIS. Also, let’s think that through for a minute. First of all, cheater & AP are probably setting PregnantChump up with a fake break up over text, so she will soon agree to no support or alimony. But also it’s just creepy all around. Absent some very compelling reason, showing people other peoples’ private text messages is super disloyal, ergo he does it to anyone with whom he’s intimate, and he is loyal to NO ONE but himself. RUN!! And Lawyer UP!!!

              • Tempest! yes, you are right! If he leaves his pregnant wife to be with another, He can go to hell. He will NEVER change and be the husband and dad you want him to be. NEVER!

        • There is a saying that true character is revealed during difficult times. If what he claims is true and that the thought of becoming a parent scared him then what will happen the next time something difficult comes along? There WILL be other difficult moments in life.

          Ask yourself this question…if you were suddenly diagnosed with cancer or got in a car accident and were disabled, do you trust this man to stay by your side? If the answer to that is no, then is he really the man you want in your life or your child’s life?

          My 2 year old was diagnosed with a seizure disorder at 8 months. My ex has yet to get training to be able to take her. Why? Because he doesn’t want the responsibility and because his character is shit. That is really who he is regardless of the words that come out of his mouth.

          • My youngest was in the NICU for 5 days when she was born due to Apnea/Bradycardia. In order for her to be discharged with an apnea monitor, all of her caregivers had to be trained in infant CPR. My ex was visibly annoyed at having to miss a few hours of work to get the training for HIS DAUGHTER. One of the many, many signs of character disorder I managed to overlook. 🤦‍♀️

        • Bingo Tempest!

          Next it would be leaving while the chump is seriously ill. Leaving chump with no resources and unable to work or care for family, let alone manage their illness properly.

          It’s sadistic to leave to your partner when they’re so completely vulnerable.

        • Personally, I see her cheater as jealous of his own baby, and jealous of her getting all the attention for being pregnant. I think in pregnant chumps situation, once he realized that thetime and attention that pregnant chump could give him was no longer a priority, and reality kicked in that he would no longer be Center Stage, he cheated.
          Now that he realizes that pregnant chump can and will do this on her own without him, he is crawling back around 4 time and attention from pregnant chump

        • I agree with Tempest. He has shown who he is at his worst, and it’s not good. He’s the kind of man who abandons and treats his pregnant wife cruelly. He may be sorry now, but he can’t undo what he’s done. The trust is gone.

          I took my ex back after he broke off our engagement because “he thought he saw something different (another woman).” Then he came back and gave me his sob story. He asked me to take his ring back. Chumpy me married him believing that I could get over his betrayal because I loved him. 36 years later he walks out. Guess what the last thing he said to me was? “I just saw something different.”

          They don’t change. It’s who they are. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.

      • DOCTOR’S1stWife&Kids I think that is why he did it. Truthfully. I think he wanted to show me that he left her and that he had a wake up call that he made the wrong choice. I completely agree with everybody that his character was weak and he left me at the time I needed him the most (trust me through a lot of counseling I get that). But unfortunantly he did it, and the courts (no matter how many people say you don’t want him around your child or have no contact with him) this is not possible. If he wants to see his child, he is entitled to that. So the No Contact thing, is not a thing. I am terrified that if I just turn my back he will not know how to care for our child when our newborn goes to visit him. I think it’s easier said than done to be 25 weeks pregnant and to cut him off when he is wanting to be back in my life. And there are probably a lot of you that have done it, and I give you HUGE love and support because you guys are stronger than me. But as for me, I am tired of fighting, I am tired of being sick by all of this and my doctor telling me that I am at risk of having the baby early because of all of the stress. This is the first thing he has done wrong (I am not saying that is an excuse) but do you really cut somebody out of being a father because he picked another women that wasn’t me? That is about our relationship, not the relationship he will have with his son? Correct? Just wanting some opinions. Thank you for your help and love! I need it right now.

        • I’m not arguing for zero contact — that’s not possible (unless the guy wants to sign over his parental rights) — but you are in the driver’s seat and if he’s truly contrite, you can press for the best custody settlement you can get. DO THAT. All your fears, make him assuage them in a legal document — a post nup. You get all decision making and physical custody. He doesn’t get overnights with an infant, etc. Make him SHOW YOU that sorry. It’s the VERY LEAST he can do.

          You’re creating a straw man argument. He’s the father, he will have some rights, that doesn’t mean he has to be in YOUR life. Frankly, I think the guy is toxic and I predict he’ll lose interest in his child and can’t adult his way out of a diaper bag. But you’re probably obliged to co-parent with him. That’s DIFFERENT than reconciling with him.

          He wants a shot at reconciling (which I think is a TERRIBLE idea)? You get a legal settlement. Let him show you the depth of his sorry. The man should have consequences, should WELCOME consequences, if he’s truly remorseful. He should do everything in his power to see that YOU are NOT vulnerable. With NOTHING for him in that deal.

          I’m hearing his entitlement coming through you. “Just one thing” wrong — OMG.

          • Listen to chump lady!!! Just one thing wrong? He didn’t leave the toilet seat up. He broke your marriage vows and that is a multi step process which involves multiple lies.

            You don’t want to cut him out of being a father because he wants to be with another girl. I don’t know about your vision of marriage but mine was the in sickness and health until death do we part version not unless he wants to be with another girl.

            The lies are his true character. He can tell you anything you want to hear but key is HE LIES. I promise that will not change for you or your kids. Once you have lost trust, there is nothing left.

          • “I’m hearing his entitlement coming through you. “Just one thing” wrong — OMG.“

            I also found this line very troubling. “He said that if he messes it up in any way he will leave me alone for good “. Like he’s already envisioning a scenario where he “messes up”. Like he already knows he will, and he’s bluntly telling you. Like he knows that what he’s NOT doing now is leaving you alone. He. Is. Fucking with you. And he knows it

          • Pregnant chump, CL is right and correct.
            Please, please dont let FEAR hold you back..You can and will do this..Important!
            We will be for, by and with you?

        • pregnantchump – I have similar story. Mine left me at 22 weeks. Cut me off completely, blocked all contact, and treated me like complete SHIT. Then a few months later, him and OW break up, and I break no contact (like an idiot) and he confesses exactly – almost word for word – ALL of the things your husband said to you. Seriously EXACTLY.

          I played the hopium game also – although I refused to move in with him and made him work for everything, did everything right! I was working toward just coparenting and having a great relationship and being “friendly” with tiny little hope of reconciling to give our infant son a chance at a normal, whole family.

          Well… 1 week before I gave birth him and OW reconciled, all while we were doing GREAT. He dumped me again, and treated me like shit again, This time much much worse, and I ended up giving birth alone and bringing my newborn baby home to an empty house, alone.

          My son is now 8 months old and I sit at home and pump breastmilk so that he and the girl he left us for, can take my son and go do family things together. I’m a huge fucking chump.

          Don’t be me. Dont’ go through the pain twice. He will leave again, I promise you. And the 2nd time will be much worse.

          We’re now fighting for custody and him and OW break up all of the time. He even dropped my son at 4 months old, down the stairs when he and OW were fighting and my son has a skull fracture and all sorts of medical issues. CPS involved etc.

          BUT, him and OW stil have to fight for custody in order to complete the narrative that I”M a terrible person and I refuse to let him see his child. (totally false, btw, I give him regular visits and work hard to keep extra milk for him)

          do not be me…

          • Oh Preggy, I am so sorry for what you’re going through. Terrible, just terrible. Sending you a gentle hug. You and that precious baby.

          • Preggychump, ahhh my heart breaks for you and that innocent baby. You are strong and amazing. I am so so inspired by your strength to not have only gone through this once but TWICE. Can I ask you a couple of questions? I think the most important one is, do you feel better though knowing that you did try and you did give him that chance to change? I think I will always wonder if he just went through a mental break? I don’t know if I will ever take him back as a partner and I have been very clear about that, but I do want to try and be friends and somewhat civil with him. I think my head is all over the board, but I am so thankful for your story because you really made me think in a different light. I feel like there aren’t a lot of people that get left pregnant and I have to tell you (which I am sure you know) is maybe the worst feeling in the whole wide world. Thank you so much for your love and good luck with the happiness that you deserve!

            • My ex did not leave me while I was pregnant, as in move out, but when I discovered his infidelity 15 years into the marriage, I found out he was screwing other women while I was pregnant!! He not only endangered my life, but the life of our unborn son! What an asshole!! Four years since I divorced this asshole and he still wants to reconcile!! Not going to happen, just continue to send my alimony, which is probably why he wants to reconcile….so he won’t have to pay me. As if!?!

            • pregnantchump – I understand where you are right now. While I was smart enough not to jump right back in a relationship with him while he begged me for months, I still held on to hope that we’d work things out after a few years of him proving himself to me. -What actually happened, was he kept stringing me along – while him and OW continued to text and she eventually won him over again. Even after he left the 2nd time, after baby was born I expected him to still help us. I invited him over to spend time with the newborn, and even help with bedtime, and all the things that a brand new dad would want to do with his new baby.

              But what actually happened was, because OW was so jealous (and lives 2 hours away from us), he wasn’t allowed to come into my house. Instead he’d pick up my 5 day old baby and go around the corner and sit in his truck and do his “visit”. He wasn’t allowed to respond to my texts about all the cute things our son would do. He wasn’t allowed to send me pics when he had him, and had to block me on everything except text message. Of course, they break up often, we’d get along fine. But then it was like he has prove to her how much he loves her by beign a complete dick to me.

              We have zero communication, we don’t get along, and she controls him completely…all while screaming to everyone who’ll listen, that I’m a terrible person and he HAD to leave me and now I’m keeping my son from them.

              It is emotionally crippling, it is humiliating, and it’s fucking expensive. $8500 already because he’s fighting for custody just so they can fit this into their narrative.

              Save yourself the pain, treat him like an enemy. If you give any indication that you “want” him, it’ll feed his ego and he will like OW more. Your best bet is to cut your losses, keep with no contact, keep it businesslike, and keep him “chasing” you. Because, the SECOND you start chasing him, he’ll get back with OW and make your life hell. Get through custody and court and divorce before you treat him like a coparent. I hope that makes sense.

              • Preggychump –

                You go girl! You are going to get through this and it will be the best thing for you and your baby.

                I just want to reiterate your statement about treating a cheater like the enemy. They ARE your enemy. When cheaters start affairs or start down the path to affairs, they have already made YOU their enemy. It’s impossible for you to be on the same side because abuse doesn’t work that way.

            • He doesn’t need you to give him the chance to change. He can just change. If he is truely changing, it will be overwhelmingly obvious in ALL aspects of his life over a LONG period of time. Love snipets of conversation are unreliable.

              • So true. Actions speak louder. After several DD and months of playing the pick me dance, I finally lawyered up on my husband of 23 yrs…of course his AP was only a “very good friend”
                He made his choices, to have a mistress…he hates when I call “her” that…
                I just filed, it sucks but CN is helping me understand the constant unicorns do NOT exist.

          • Preggychump – you are mighty and amazing! I hope you know your truth and your worth. My heart aches for you and I would love to give you a hug. I hope every day you get up and adore your beautiful baby and look in the mirror and know how amazing his mom is for being where she is today and that she keeps going forward.

            Besides – breast feeding and pumping is not for the faint of heart (no knocks for those that select another path). I nursed my son, and 7 yrs later, I did it again with my daughter. Boy did 7 yrs let me forget how breastfeeding wasn’t easy and hurt like a MF. I went through the pain of baby learning to latch, engorged parts, infection, leaking parts (well you get the picture)!

            • notaddictedchump – thank you. I don’t feel mighty most days. I feel small and alone. But my son gets me through. and yes. breastfeeding is simultaneously the most exhausting/difficult thing and the sweetest, most precious thing ever. I love it and hate it. I hate that him and schmoopie keep saying “you need to pump more ilk so we can have him overnights!” I’m scratching my head going… “do you two even realize how much fucking milk it takes for one day? 24 oz min…And do you fuckers know what 24 ounces of breastmilk looks like! ” Assholes. the other day one of his friends asked me if I saw her ig. I siad, nope and don’t want to. Well she apparently posted a pic of her taking a nap with my son with a comment “we’re raising a sweet little boy! #hesmine” I knew that post was for me so I won’t respond.

              • I hope she rots from inside and never has children of her own. Bitch! I bet she won’t be around when needed when the time comes to run to school and multiple activities. Too much work and no angel babies around for nice photo ops for self marketing.

              • What
                The
                Everlasting
                Fuck?!

                That fucking whore writes #hesmine on her page.

                Oh HELL no…

              • Wow you have really had to accommodate a lot to be able to give your baby a father. BTW it is not safe to co-sleep ,co-nap, whatever with a baby. Sounds like you have mounting evidence that your ex should have reduced contact with your son.

              • There is a special place in heaven for you Preggychump. You must be a saint as I’d want to go nuts on both those assholes with YOUR baby. For the love of everything good and holy this is the worst of the worst types of cheaters. Scum of the earth.

              • Hell to the fucking no!!!!

                My DS2 was not even three when exh1 left me for OWhore. DS2 was an adorable, sweet, loving little boy that was repeatedky used as a prop calling him “(her) special little boy” ggggggrrrrrrr

                I applaud you for being so mighty. Your baby deserves so much better than the shit show of his father.

                OMG, I need a drink after reading that. Im fucking pissed!!!! Your poor baby!!!

            • I can’t get past the part where he and the girlfriend were fighting and dropped the baby down the stairs…fracturing his skull!!! And she has the nerve to post a picture of herself with the poor baby, pretending she’s raising him! I could just barf. And pluck her bald. And push HER down the stairs along with that poor excuse for a father. And they want custody? How are they not considered an endangerment to the safety of that baby?

              • Hi:)
                Not related /but I have been Lucky for a few years now. I am many years out / don’t post every day.

                Just a head’s up.

                Ps – this guy is sooo slimey. He is hedging his bets here. Until something else catches his interest.

                I am sorry to say, it’s still all about him and he needs a safe place to land.

                Give him the gift of freedom. Let him see what consequences feel like.

                He can still be a Dad, but he’s a poor excuse for a husband.

                I am sorry to say – nothing he will do or say will ever make up for the abuse he has put you through.

          • Why do you even have to pump milk so he can take the child when his home is clearly an unsafe environment for the child. He was already injured once. How do you know for sure the baby was dropped and not beaten? Do you have a lawyer? Get a protection order for the kid. This is wrong on so many levels. He was shit to you, but he is a danger to the life of your baby.

              • chumpinrecovery – CPS investigated and found “no maltreatment” and while I NEVER EVER would ever imagine he’d be capable of such carelessness as dropping our son, and I even told CPS workers that I bet one of his or Schmoopie’s kids dropped him. But police pulled his children out of school individually and interviewed them and they both said he was fighting with his gf and slipped and fell and dropped the baby. The worst part was that he lied to me about it and it was 2 days, after spinal fluid started leaking out of the fracture and causing a massive cyst, that he got medical care. And THAT is why I will fight like hell to make sure he doesn’t get him overnights.

        • PC, the smartest thing you can do right now is finish the divorce. Get your support established, get all your legal i’s dotted and t’s crossed to protect yourself and your baby. THEN and only then, if your cheater is truly remorseful and capable of real, meaningful change, let him start earning his way back in. If he really means what he’s saying (how hard can it be to fake emotion for two weeks – look how long he faked being a good person in your marriage?) then he will be fine with doing whatever it takes to get you back at whatever pace feels comfortable to you. This isn’t about him in any way. He can still be a dad to your baby. The question is whether he can be a true partner to you. Frankly, I think the chances of that are miniscuel to none. Character disorder can’t be cured. And it takes someone deeply disordered to do what he did to you and your baby. Don’t forget that. He walked out on his own much-wanted child, not just you. What kind of person goes on a 4 month banging bender when his wife is pregnant after fertility treatment?? A conscienceless, character disordered ass, that’s who. I don’t believe he has suddenly grown a conscience.

          I’m sorry. I know this isn’t what you want to hear but we would be lying to you if we didn’t tell you that you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of pain by going back to him.

          • Beth, don’t be sorry! That is why I wrote in. I wanted people’s genuine opinion. I couldn’t agree more, I do think there is something seriously wrong with him. I think if I took him “back” it wouldn’t be as a spouse as much as somebody that will help me with welcoming our son into the world. If that makes sense? I have so many emotions and thoughts going through my brain. I talked with my lawyer this morning and we are still moving forward. I have a great temporary relief plan and he agrees to do that until we have the baby and figure out what is best. He is doing everything in his power now (it is way too late, I understand that). With all of the stress I have, my doctor wants me to try and be as least stressed as I can be, and to be honest it is helpful to not be fighting with him and getting some support from him. I guess that is where I am at right now.

            Thank you so much for your feedback! I really do appreciate it.

            • PC, like everyone here, we all have our stories to tell. We all have same common theme. But what we don’t, is living your life. We can give you our reality and you can read it with your own eyes and envision our pain. You can read all the books and blogs that you want telling you what you should and should not do in this situation. But we are not you. You have to do what is best for you. I was married for 16 years when I found out about his affair. During the next 5 years, I took my STBX back 3 times (an affair with the same whore-worker). And during those times he played me for an absolute fool. All the right things were said and done, and I sucked on that hopium pipe like a two dollar whore. And guess what? Nothing changed, it is who they are, TRUST THAT THEY SUCK…. you will never ever be able to trust them again. Never. He gets a message, you want to check his phone or the phone bill. You want passwords and access to email. He leaves for work early, you wonder why. He starts wearing different cologne, different shoes etc… do you see where I am going with this? You will play detective for the rest of your life. And it will drive you crazy. They get smarter faster. Technology is a beautiful thing for cheaters. Different apps, email, burner phones etc…. I never once trusted what he said or did. We would meet his friends from work, and I would wonder, which one of them knew, are they laughing at what a moron I am. I could never get rid of the OW, she fucked around and played games, texting, posting shit on Facebook. I can’t tell you enough of how awful it was day to day, wondering if your life was real. Do yourself and your unborn a favor, keep your distance and have this baby in a wonderful loving environment. And that is you and your family. Do this on your turf with your rules. If he doesn’t want to play, his true colors will show through. But you will have a divorce and a settlement in place. A wonderful friend of mine told me, and to this day it stands true. A leopard cannot change his spots. We are all sad that you are here, and we all hope that our stories can help. My story is nothing compared to some of these women that have been married 30+ years. Listen to their advice, form your own opinion and do what you feel is right for you. Remember Tracy’s sage advice, is this acceptable to you? Is who he is, acceptable to you?

            • I was 6 months pregnant when ex left for good. I let him come into my house 1-2 times a week to see her and my other two kids. He never asked to take her. That was fine with me because the thought of handing over my new baby to him scared me to death. Nor did I want the 23 year old OW to be caring for her instead of my ex. For months I stayed in the room with them. All that did was keep hopium alive. Then I began to uncover just how long he had been screwing around (long before he left, at the same time I got pregnant) and I started discovering the creative accounting he was doing to lower his income and funnel cash from his business. Being around him made my skin crawl.

              I then then started to go to another room or out to do yard work during his visits. His snark and mean text messages continued to increase until I kicked him out and told him he would have to spend time with the kids somewhere else.

              It is really hard to be where you are. You are trying to do what is best for everyone and you are torn up because you don’t have a magic 8 ball that will tell you what the future holds. What I do know is spending time with him will keep you emotionally attached to him. Be careful. It is how they keep chumps hooked.

        • I know exactly how tired you are. I was that tired too. I gave in and wound up screwed over 10 times worse. I know what you’re weighing, how important it is, and how much it weighs on you. I know why you want to reconcile, because it’s why I DID reconcile. I wouldn’t blame you if you decide to reconcile to get through your son’s birth and infancy. If you go there, I would encourage you to set up strong legal protections and view it as a temporary measure.

          Remember that whatever you give in to today will snarl you more in the future, so consider:
          – You can negotiate primary custody now. If your child is primarily with you from birth, you’ll have a stronger case if he challenges you in court for 50/50 custody. If you split after your son is born, custody is likely to default to 50/50.
          – It will be harder for your son to adjust to his dad leaving than his dad always having been part time.
          – It will hurt even more when he does this again. His affair wasn’t a mistake. He chose it because it was fun and adulting is hard. Life will bring more fun women and more hard adulting.

          My heart is with you. I know the consequences you’re facing either way, and I want to punch him in his crocodile tear stained fuckwit face.

        • Honey. He fires blanks. You have no clue how many ‘shooting ranges’ he tested out before he found one he could bunk in.

        • he is NOT ENTITLED to see his child.. .. let him fight for that shit. let him take you to court. do not put his name on the birth certificate. make him prove he is the father. make him take you to court for a dna test.. .. he is NOT ENTITLED to shit.. . divorce his ass

          or better yet. move away and ghost his ass.. .. file for divorce from another city.. . he cheated on you and moved in with another woman.. . i dont think any judge will argue with your divorce.. .. file for divorce on the grounds of his cheating and abandoning you and file for sole custody and zero visitation.. .and yes, you can do that, that is how i filed. and won because his ass did not show up to court.

          most likely given his character.. . he will find taking you to court is too expensive and too much work.. and he will just move on to the next one waiting..

        • Do you cut someone out of being a father because they hurt you? No. Usually the courts wont allow it. But you sure can cut them out of *your* life. If you’re tired of fighting and want peace, that’s how you achieve your goal.

          My ex and I have 3 children together. He has 40% custody as determined by the county court (every Thursday and Friday and alternating weekends). We live 5 minutes away from each other in the same small town but we don’t speak. When he picks the kids up he stays in his car and I send them out. He can’t text me, he can’t call (I have him blocked). He can email if we need to discuss scheduling directly related to our *in writing, legal* custody arrangement. Then, it is kept to a minimum of 3 or 4 sentences. Anything else I don’t respond to. His relationship with his children is his business, and my relationship with those same children is mine. We do not “co-parent”, it’s more like “parallel parenting” – he does his thing and I do mine.

          It took me a year post-divorce to get to this point. It’s as close to no contact as I can get while sharing children with him. Want to know what I feel now? PEACE. I enjoy my life and my time with my kids. He is not able to start any fighting or exhaust me with his BS.

          I spent 15 years with him playing “marriage police”. My first D-day came when we had an 8 month old baby and a 2 year old fighting cancer. Yup, he cheated while his toddler was having chemo and radiation and I was taking care of everything. I took him back for the same reasons you’re feeling now. THAT was exhausting. I wish I had left him then. Please don’t make the same mistake. Cheaters don’t change. Like others have stated here- he has shown you what his true character is.

          It’s very possible to share children with a jerk, but have almost zero contact with that jerk, allowing you to have your own happy, stress-free, fabulous life.

      • “ I think he’s showing her the OW’s texts to show wife that he wasn’t dumped by OW and hence, it’s really HIS choice to return. Not to rub it in her face.

        And he is saying what I would say if I really wanted to reconcile with someone I had cheated on (which I was ONCE tempted to do, but did not).

        I’d promise counseling and therapy and I’d GET IT. And I myself, would need to see a priest, go to confession and get God’s forgiveness“

        I think showing her the texts supports his need for the pickme dance. He lied, cheated, and lived with her for months. He suddenly realized there were consequences to his actions.
        1. There’s nothing sexy about paying child support or alimoney.
        2. He will have to parent 50% off the time if divorced. That puts a crimp in his fuck time (cheaters always have a next).
        3. He knows you want to BELIEVE it was a mistake. It wasn’t. He put you and your child at risk for STD’s.
        4. Men who cheat on their wives are malignant con artists. Pure asshole.

        Stop making excuses for a man who isn’t man enough to love and cherish his pregnant wife enough to be there for her and his unborn child during the critical months when you needed him the MOST.

        Face the pain, get a signed settlement agreement that’s in your favor and put an end to the dreams that were important to you; he showed himself. Believe.

      • Showing the texts from the OW. That’s a bit tricky. On the one hand, I get that he thinks this is a way of proving that he’s not with her. However, if he truly broke off with this OW in a manner that made it very clear to her that it was OVER, she probably wouldn’t be texting all the time because it would be downright embarrassing or creepy. If he had actually said to the woman, “I am ending this relationship with you. This relationship should never have happened. It was wrong. I have hurt my wife and my unborn child. This has been the biggest mistake of my life. I’m sorry to have involved you in my selfishness. I hope you find someone in better circumstances that will treat you better from the very start. What I have done has disrespected you, but even more it has shown the greatest disrespect for my wife. My wife is the most incredible woman and I have been horrible. I love her with all my heart and I have betrayed her. I am going back to my wife to do everything I must do to work our my marriage. We can never have a relationship. My priority is and will always be my wife. Please do not contact me in any way. I will be deleting all contact with you and blocking all contact. Do not reach out to me. To do so will dishonour my wife and I will not have her dishonoured any further in any way. Your contact will not be welcome.”

        If this man had made his alliance with his wife perfectly clear, then the OW woman would not be texting him. If she did, then his next move in front of his wife would be to text her back with a very firm reminder that she her contact is not welcome as he loves his wife and is working at making amends. Further contact will result in police involvement for harassment. Then, this man would change his number, delete all social media accounts and emails in front of her, established new ones with security settings and provided her with passwords. He should do this all without being asked to do it.

        Now, we have a grain of something to work with. Now he goes to live with his parents or other trusted relative, gets counselling, and starts to work on himself on his own. Begin some casual dates with the wife, get his butt to a church for some regular spiritual and moral guidance, sign up for some parenting classes, wait in the hallway for the birth of his son, humbly ask for permission to visit, cook some meals and do some cleaning around the place to help her out, watch the child so she can nap, go back to his parents for the night.

        He needs to have conversations with every one of his family members about what he’s done and engage their help in understanding what in his life led to his lack of moral decision-making and then return to counselling to work out those issues. He needs to let every family member know how great his wife is and what are all the things about her that he admires. He needs to approach every member of her family and apologize to them for the harm he has caused the family. He needs meet every one of his friends and take back every criticism he likely made about his wife when he was trying to justify his behaviour. He needs to get rid of any friends that are enablers in his behaviour. He needs to take up some positive hobbies to fill the void that he was trying to fill with partying.

        And, as one year bleeds into the next, his relationship with his wife may evolve back into a marriage. You see he doesn’t need to just start the relationship from scratch, he needs to go back to his own beginning and untangle his own shadows. However long this couple spent dating before they got married is an idea of the timeline of starting anew, fresh, for real.

      • Gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you here. It’s not easy to discern someone’s intent from what is written but we can certainly tell by his actions who this schmuck really is. He left his pregnant wife to fuck some strange so I have NO DOUBT he was goading her to do the pick me dance by showing her the OW’s texts. There is nothing redeemable about this asshole. And I never gamble but I would take every penny in all my retirement accounts and bet on the fact that the next “crisis” that comes along, he will cheat again. I guarantee I’d be a millionaire with that bet.

        This guy is not sorry and he didn’t dump the OW. He did the math and realized child support was going to cut into lifestyle so he’s back tracking.

        I know we want to be supportive but sometimes chumps need a good 2’4. Pregnant Chump needs that 2’4. There is no unicorn here. She wrote into this site so at the pit of her stomach she knows the deal. She might not pull the trigger right away but if you read these messages enough you start to realize that they are the only truth. Ask me how I know.

    • Feelingit, mine also came with “me, me, me” at the beginning of our failed reconciliation, but there was also a lot of discussions on what I wanted from him as a husband and a father of my child. He gave me space and opportunity to speak, and I thought – UNICORN! For 2 months he showed me the type of an ideal husband I always wanted and he never was: involved, invested, communicating, doing household chores, lots of activities with son, planning and doing trips together, planning life together, planning our return to his home country where he had been living for 6 years while he moved us to Canada and visited only twice a year. Our sex life (which was almost non-existent because he was getting loads of it elsewhere and was always tired for me) became fabulous, just great, and he started giving me compliments (!!!). He would in the past comment on my slightest weight gain and the need to exercise, and all of a sudden he would now compliment me on my looks when I knew now that I had actually gained weight. This particularly screwed up with my mind because I allowed myself to think that now he REALLY loves me, even with extra kg’s, because he does not see them and he likes me anyway. All of a sudden I became a desired woman with him wanting sex (?!) in the middle of the day on a weekend and we would sneak into the bedroom while the son was watching tv. Bliss!

      I am saying this because here I had a guy who was showing genuine (or so I thought) interest in me and our family life and at some point I, like many here, thought that I was even grateful for this painful experience because now we were 180 degrees different. We were strong, were weathered pain together, and I have now what I always wanted to have.

      He slipped a couple of times when I discovered (by snooping) he was still in touch with the OW (she texted happy birthday and he responded) and his response to me was that he was not prepared to throw people out of his life because it’s out of his character. She (OW) was a big part of his life at some point and would always be dear to him and he would care for her, but he can now assure me that he did not love her as he thought he did. Even writing this now seems so bizarre and I used to listen to him say it and still trust that he would not hurt me again.

      What can I say… after those 2 months of bliss he started showing fatigue with regards to constant “efforts to keep me happy”. If the household chores, activities related to our son and sex with wife is not part of the regular package, they become straining. Entitlement crept in, and about a month later we had our next big fight which led me to snoop again and discover another OW.

      This post today was triggering. If I was in pregnant chump’s shoes, I would be the same, do the same, cling on hope and desperately want to trust him again. Even after going through this fake reconciliation, I am still triggered. Chump Lady nailed it again and I will have to come back to this post to kill any glimpse of hope that may at times creep in.

        • She (OW) was a big part of his life at some point and would always be dear to him and he would care for her, but he can now assure me that he did not love her as he thought he did. Even writing this now seems so bizarre and I used to listen to him say it and still trust that he would not hurt me again.

          LTC, this almost an exact quote from Cheater #2, when he was trying to explain continued contact with Skinny Skank. I, too, had the same hopium dream that he was self-actualized enough not to hurt me again. Uh, no.

          Someone here posted awhile back something else that I frequently ponder when I am tempted to think Cheater #2 has a soul or empathy, with a similar message:

          That your spouse would even consider hanging out with their AP, and after D-Day while watching you suffer so terribly, is a great window into how they really feel about you. They just don’t give a shit.

          If a cheater wants to reconcile, no contact with the AP is a must. Even the RIC asserts that! If the cheater is still texting/calling/emailing, forget any reconciliation. You are being played for a fool.

          • Yes, I was a fool, and I know it now. His messaging also changed from “I want to reconcile because I love you and want my family back” to “I want to reconcile because you just need to accept that everybody cheats, monogamy is not natural, and you need to accept me as I am and love me unconditionally. There are no guarantees for love till death so this may happen again, but you need to grow up, mature to being an adult that understand the realities of love.”

            Umm, thanks, but no.

      • Longtimechump! Wow your story is hard to hear because I am sure you felt so much happiness when he did come back. I know that I am being chumped, I wish I could take all of your experiences and walk away. I just want to find some sort of peace, some sort of comfort, some sort of day that I am not welcoming a much wanted baby into the world alone. I know that you are right. I think I know the right answer because I reached out, I didn’t just hide. Which is important. I am not inviting him back into my home, I still have my guard up. My therapist and I are working through a lot of the boundaries, I think a piece of me is just exhausted from all of this and I am afraid this baby is feeling every bit of my pain and suffering.

        Thank you for your story and I hope you are finding peace in your life 🙂

        • Pregnancy is exhausting — but so is being abused. Please don’t overlook that. When I look back at my strange chump experience, that’s what I remember most — the sheer exhaustion of it. And that ENOUGH, I want to REST, I want PEACE, please make this RIGHT, oh you said you’re going to make it right? OKAY is why I had four D-Days in pretty quick succession. The chaos was exhausting — and it was DELIBERATE. Your creep created this horrible situation, and he’s perpetuating it, by batter ramming your boundaries. He could make this better by manning up and giving you a settlement, and whatever financial security he can offer. ANYTHING to take the pressure off you. Instead, he’s pressing you emotionally. Which is horrible and so very much about HIM.

          I know you want to give your child the best — you’re that best. You can’t miss what you never had, and you have nothing to save with this guy. No contact and rest and being on the other side of this will give you clarity. I don’t blame you for being exhausted after all you’ve been through. Just remember WHO put you through it. Please practice self care and boundaries.

          • PG chump, you haven’t met your babe yet. You haven’t cared for him and adored him for a decade. You haven’t yet experienced the agony of watching powerless to stop it when this complete POS tells your son that he has “hated every minute” of his life. That “dad” needs to abandon the family and son to “be happy” no matter the terror and agony. You haven’t been in the ER, again, as your son has tried, again, to kill himself because “dad” hates being a dad and needs to be free. You would know what I know now, having experienced these horrors and many others: your son will likely be WAY WAY WAY WAY better off never loving, or bonding with or knowing or relying on this monster. Please hear what I’m saying. If that fucker will leave you both, let him! Either be a sane parent yourself or set your sights on finding a real man who can treat your son like a precious human. This sperm donor never will — by definition he has proven he can’t. Wake the fuck up and see what he is capable of! You son’s life depends on it!

            Sorry for the 2×4 but your happy intact family with cheater dad as a “dad” is pure fantasy and you are too old for fairy tales. Keep him away from your baby!

            • MotherChumper, I am so sorry your son had to go through this. My kids, too, suffered a lot from their father’s abandonment and fuckwittery. Last fall daughter was 16 and messing up in school, where she had always done so well, because of depression, she ended up on anti-depressant medication. Our son just shut down more socially, clearly distrusting whether people would find him likeable and acceptable.

              This is so hard on the kids! I so wish I had had my kids alone, as I was planning when I met Cheater Narc, or at least had left him the first time he cheated, when they were small.

              I hope your son, and you, are doing better.

          • ****I know you want to give your child the best — you’re that best. ****

            >>>>You can’t miss what you never had, and you have nothing to save with this guy.<<<<

            No contact and rest and being on the other side of this will give you clarity. I don’t blame you for being exhausted after all you’ve been through. Just remember WHO put you through it. Please practice self care and boundaries.

            ^^^^^^^all of this!!!!^^^^^

            Exactly how I see this situation.

        • Developing babies take everything what they need from you, and whatever is leftover is what you get. That’s why you are so exhausted. The baby is doing fine.

          Also, yeah, it’s easy to test his remorse. If it was really all about you and the baby, he would quickly and eagerly give you a good settlement and sign everything you needed to reduce your stress. There would be nothing to negotiate, and emotional heart-string-tugging wouldn’t come into it at all. Is that what he is doing? I didn’t think so.

          So take the ball back into your court. Get your lawyer to help you draft up a finances and custody agreement that works for you, and a newborn. Offer him limited access at the start, with minimal interactions with you needed, and work him up to overnights as the baby develops. With any luck, he’ll be disinterested by the time that comes along.

          ‘Intact Family’ is an overrated concept. Children need dedicated parents who are good role models. You can provide that. The cheater obviously cannot.

        • Oh, pregnantchump, I want to give you a warm hug and tell you everything will be ok. Please, please listen to CL and CN.

          As Tempest said here, character is shown at difficult times and if he left you while pregnant and treated you horribly, then you have nothing to work with. Mine did not leave me during pregnancy. But he treated me horribly. He once locked me (12 weeks pregnant) in the afternoon in the balcony (in Africa) because he decided that I talked to him disrespectfully. I screamed my guts out for about 1 hour until he opened the wooden shuttered door and let me in. About 7 months in when I was turning and tossing at nights and waking for a pee many times he got pissed because that would wake him up and tried to persuade me to relocate to another city (where I was going to give birth, while we were renting place and working in another one) and live there by myself in the last 2 months of my pregnancy. A city where I had no family, did not speak the language, and my regular doctor was elsewhere. When I refused (because I also worked at the time) he decided to punish me and packed up his belongings one night and left saying that he was going to stay in a hotel for a week because he needed his sleep. I cried my eyes out that entire night and the following week.

          Oh, and the icing on the cake. He wanted to show me that he still had the upper hand so he booked a skiing trip in Europe around the dates of my planned C-section. His friends took me to the hospital and his mom came over to stay with me. I brought the baby to a home with no father. He came back after 10 days – my son did not have a name for that period. He came and hugged me, told me that I was his hero and did a great job, and I forgot all the cruelty in an instance.

          Look, this is just a couple of examples of his shitty character, I can write here endlessly. Looking back now, I had to leave right there and then. But, like you, I also did not want to bring my baby to a single-parent home. I also wanted my baby to have an intact family. I spackled big time because I thought he had so many FOO issues that if I just showed him what real love and family is, he would turn around. I never knew, and would never suspect that he was in the heat of his affair. I trusted him completely and so found many reasons for why he would behave that way towards me. And he occasionally threw a bone with some marrow my way, that kept me going for a few more months. I discovered his affair (going back to the very beginning of our marriage) when our son was 8 years old. All I am saying here, and repeating after everybody is that if they are capable of treating you cruelly, if they show their character at the times when you are most vulnerable, then you know you don’t have anything to work with.

          By the way, my 2nd discovery after reconciliation also happened thanks to his shitty character and inability to show empathy. We supposedly reconciled, spent 2 great months together, he then left for his country and started supposedly preparing for our return in a couple of months (finding school for son, etc). My birthday came and went, nothing from him (he never said happy birthday and knew it would trigger me now.) He started his stonewalling again with “you know I never remember birthdays, don’t expect this from me” and I told him that I also had to do breast biopsy for which I was very worried, and I said I did not even want to share that with him because he became so distant again after he left. Well, for the next 2-3 months whenever we talked (rarely) he never asked me about the results of the biopsy. And I never told him. I was waiting for him to ask, but I knew right there and then that we were done. I smoked my hopium for a few more months after that right up to the final discovery. Son and I had tickets to go visit him over Christmas and I was all edgy already after that birthday and biopsy story, but I was still hoping. I knew I would go and snoop into his phone again but I was praying to not find anything. I wanted all my suspicions to be just that – suspicions. Well, I know now my gut is my best friend, always was, always will be. Christmas and New Years of 2017 was the last straw.

          So, pregnant chump, your idiot showed you his true character. There is nothing to work with. He will hoover you (as mine did also, but that’s such a cliche). You don’t have to be friendly with him. You have to abide by the court, yes, but you can be just businesslike with him. Just imagine you are talking to a business client. Short, up-to-the-point, with no open ended questions. Just Yes and No and Thank you. That’s how I do it.

          Somebody said here cheaters cannot parent well and I believe this. Because they are not fully invested, as we are, in the lives of their own children. They want the children and might even think they love them, and they may even do (to the best they can) but this love and care is incomparable to what you can give your child. Mine now plays with my boy’s mind being a victim and whenever I want to explain to my son the reality he shuts his ears with his both hands and does not want to hear. He does not want to hear bad things about his dad. I don’t call his dad names but I always give a true story to my son: I am divorcing (and breaking up your intact world) because your father cheated and lied to me and this is unacceptable in marriage. I said it, and will continue repeating it endlessly irrespective of experts that advocate for not telling the children the truth. This is my truth, and I am thankful to CL and CN to lifting the fog I lived in my marriage.

          Wait till you have your baby. You will be so busy, so overwhelmed with love for that little creature, so tired of sleepless nights – your idiot will naturally fade away. But, provided you have no contact (or as much of it as you can master). If hope (or hopium) is still your friend, then we’ll talk later.

          I want to give you the wisdom and strength that I would have given myself 10 years ago. I wish I had my brains then. No contact is your path, pregnant chump.

        • Pregnant Chump, I cried and cried every day of my pregnancy. I didn’t speak to ex during that time. I was heartbroken. And I too was so scared that it was going to affect my baby. My son was a happy baby and a is a happy little boy now. So don’t worry about that part. As long as you are eating right and getting rest baby will be just fine. Hugs to you.

      • Longtimechump, this is my story, too. Except instead of 2 months of bliss and 1 month of investigating, it was 18 months and then 6 months. When he left the second time, he told me everything he said and did for those 18 months was torture and he lied to keep me from divorcing him. I think that hurt even more than the cheating, knowing that the one person I had chosen to love and trust had played me as if I was meaningless.

        • GetMeFree, so true. The second time hurt more than the first. The first was lots of denying and gaslighting, then admitting to only an emotional affair, giving me some BS story about him being split-souls with the AP (which propelled me going into the BS research and BS reading of my life to what I now know is called “untangle the skein”). Then when cornered completely he admitted to an affair which was longer than our marriage, and to multitudes of sex flings here and there. I was shocked and did not understand why I needed to know all the gory details, but it also felt good that we were finally talking! He never ever discussed anything with me, it was always his best decision for our life and so that felt great. Even discussing his sex flings (which of course meant nothing because his AP took up his heart and soul for that entire time) felt good after 12 years of stonewalling me.

          When I chose to reconcile with him after all the details, high on hopium, I thought at the time were strong! I was touting my trumpet everywhere and saying how strong we were and all was good now because we were talking. I was even ok with his “no guarantee” because we agreed that if anything remotely looking like an affair comes onto his horizon he was to tell me about it prior to engaging in it. He promised and I believed him. I actually once said “I am going to place my blind trust in you again, and it’s entirely up to you as to what you decide to do with it'” – noble! Well, actually, quite foolish of me.

          Sigh. Now I know. That’s why the second time was even more hurting.

  • Fell down this rabbit hole a couple of times. Now looking back I would tell anyone that the best thing to remember is that these cheaters are scammers. They are con-artists. Tune into that part of your brain that kicks into gear when you think a stranger is trying to scam you out of money or something. It’s hard to come to terms with the idea that the person we loved the most could hurt us the most, but that is reality. There is no difference between your cheating spouse and some random on the street trying to steal your wallet or purse.

    I have a child with Cheater Wife so I have ‘minimal contact’ instead of ‘no contact’ which has it’s own complications. Especially since I’m the one having to pull her along the divorce process. Example: I spent last Saturday helping her to move her stuff out of the house after she failed to do it on Friday. Moving heavy stuff for the person that cheated on you for 6 months = Good times. But I calculated the mental emotional damage was worth it to get her crap out of here and move the process further along.

    • Yes, if they are capable of starting an affair during fertility treatments, then leaving their wife when they both should be overjoyed at the pregnancy what kind of person is this?

      That said, many people need to try again to be perfectly satisfied that they gave the marriage every chance. And there is no shame in that. It’s not black or white.

      • I agree that many people feel they need to try (I sure did!). But they feel that primarily because the dominant cultural narrative is that relationships can be repaired after infidelity, that infidelity is a ‘mistakes, or the result of unhappiness w/the marriage. That kids must have an intact family, at almost any price.

        There’s no shame to trying again. But there is a HUGE waste of time, energy, sanity, well-being….

        That’s why we need to keep chipping away at that narrative.

        • Exactly why CL is important–we have to change the narrative that marriage is more important than the mental health and self-respect of one of the individuals in the marriage. Round two is tackling that a kid needs two parents, especially when one of them is a selfish cheater.

        • KarenE thank you for your support and kind words, it could be a huge waste of time. I feel like the last 5 months have been a waste of my life and I wish that he never put us in this situation, like I am sure most of you feel. Thank you for help and support through all of this. It’s nice to be able to tell people that have been through similar situations and get their feedback. xoxo

      • Zell I completely understand that position that you are in! I too moved all of this stuff out because he wouldn’t get it. Mitz, I think you said what I am afraid to say or that I am afraid is going to happen, even though everybody has a story (and I wish I could learn from their mistakes) will I regret telling my son that I didn’t try? Even though he is the one that made the mistake and took my dream, I am afraid that I am making the wrong decision (no matter what path I am taking).

        • You won’t regret it because your xh, his father, didn’t put in the hard work before approaching you.

          An insincere, half-assed effort by EITHER party (him) is worse than useless.

          Boundaries like an island prison, plus hungry saltwater crocodiles on constant patrol.

        • You tried from the beginning. It was him who dropped the ball. Sometimes in life you just don’t get a do over. He needs consequences and you shouldn’t take the blame.

        • Giving a cheater a second chance is like giving someone an extra bullet for their gun because they missed you the first time.

          Look I get it; some people feel like they have to do something to see for themselves. I chased the elusive unicorn for 3 years of heart wrenching wreckonciliation but chump lady wasn’t around in 2010 when I discovered the ex’s cheating. I actually didn’t find her website until 2013, which was my final year of chasing the unicorn. Not a coincidence by the way.

          I’d love it if one chump would just heed the warnings those of us who have walked the literal same exact path as they are. In the beginning we all think we have unique situations until you realize that there is nothing unique about cheating; that they all follow the same script and they all suck. Trust that!

      • I remember thinking that over and over again at the time, that I wanted to know I my heart I’d done everything I could to save my marriage. But in hindsight it was a mistake. All I did was allow him to abuse more, more deeply and more cruelly. All I did was increase his sense of entitlement. Do I care that I tried so hard now? No, I regret terribly that I wallowed in an abusive cess pool. That I was so willing to burn my dignity and self respect.

        • Just saw your reply here pregnant chump. I too wanted my children to know that I’d tried everything. But like I just said it was a huge mistake. What you want to be able to tell your children is :”don’t let people abuse you. Not ever not for any reason”

      • (Trouble posting)I remember thinking that over and over again at the time, that I wanted to know I my heart I’d done everything I could to save my marriage. But in hindsight it was a mistake. All I did was allow him to abuse me more, more deeply and more cruelly. All I did was increase his sense of entitlement. Do I care that I tried so hard now? No, I regret terribly that I wallowed in an abusive cess pool. That I was so willing to burn my dignity and self respect.

      • Yes Mitz!!! What kind of person is this? He can’t handle the stress and responsibility- wth- he’s not even the pregnant one. He is a man child and if they haven’t become a man yet, they never will!

      • Here here! Ready to start the long awaited fertility treatments because of his issues and then I find out he’s cheating on me!

        Leave, run, dodge this bullet because right now is the best time to leave! I know it feels terrible but please believe me that leaving now shortens the pain you will go through because there is going to be so much pain in your future if you stay. This man LEFT when you were at your most vulnerable and before any of the hard stuff of looking after a baby had even started! What is he going to do when the baby comes and it’s hard work? He’s going to go on another fuckfest bender and leave you to do all the adulting.

        I know you want him to be different and to mean the things that he says to you but the reality is that your HOPE and WANTING is not enough to change him and make his remorse real. You don’t have the power to make him love you or your son. BUT you do have the power to love yourself and make sure that you and your son live the best and most full life possible without a cheater ruining things but simply not turning up or being reliable in any way shape or form.

    • Interesting isn’t it? How the always expect us chumps to mop up their mess. Best get it out the road so you can move on.

      Peace

  • @pregnantchump

    Yes, you are being a Chump. You KNOW you are being a Chump. And, you KNOW from reading the thousands of stories on this blog that Cheaters NEVER change. He may play the role for a period of time… until he doesn’t… and you will live your Life as a sine wave… a series of ups and downs… highs and lows… and you will never, ever enjoy peace and tranquility. Worse, you will condemn your child to a lifetime of pain and confusion.

    The potential horror that is headed your way should you allow him to be a part of your Life includes diseases you can never get rid of… ones that can kill you; financial destruction to include potentially finding yourself penniless in mid-life or beyond; and, a lifetime of pain and disappointment.

    As difficult as it may be… figure out the Life you want. And then, set out to get it. Be honest. Be realistic. Do not sugarcoat or lie to yourself. Accept only “knowns.” Work hard. Sacrifice. Do not allow unethical, unkind, lying Cheaters into your Life. Love yourself. Love your baby.

    You are mighty. You CAN have the Life you so long for… just not with him.

    • Star Tingover,

      Wow! Your words are powerful and inspirational. Thank you for your response and your help. I need to figure out what I want in my life as a women and continue forward. I appreciate you.

      xoxo

  • @PregnantChump – welcome to another circle of the hell that is called Chumpdom.

    Having spent some time in the reconciliation industrial complex (RIC) world, I recognize those things that he’s said. It’s as if he’s opened up the cheater / RIC handbook and listed off the standard things that are needed to hoover you back in.

    I get it. Boy oh boy do I get it. Even though Mme YogaPants hasn’t given me one squidgin of hope that she’ll have an epiphany I find myself looking out the window for her from time to time still. Heaven help me if she does ever come prancing up to the door on her sparkly unicorn.

    One big things I’ve learned both here at from the RIC world is to pay no mind to their words, but rather their actions. Long term, consistent actions. If he really has changed from being the party-cheater that we was he will continue to be that person even when he’s not getting anything from you for it.

    So – my 2 cents are that if you do actually want him involved in your child’s wife then keep him at arm’s length with no real hope held out that he can move back in and play happy family any time soon. You’ve got your hands full about to be a new mom. If he hasn’t made true changes for himself – and not for you – flip back on the no-contact switch and march forward into your life pushing the stroller on your own.

    This stuff is really really tough, especially at times like this. Good luck to you and keep up on the forums whenever you need some spine-stiffening. It helps me.

    BT

    • Yes, pregnant chump,

      What has he DONE other than talk?

      I notice he hasn’t even blocked OW.

      That doesn’t sound like over to me.

    • Pregnant chump,

      I am so sorry that your cheater is hoovering. Like, BT I am fortunate that my ex doesn’t and is unlikely to ever hoover because as much as I like to think I would never take him back, I fear that I might if he tried. It is hard for us chumps because we want to believe the best of people and we are compassionate and believe in second changes etc. You are being tested. I wish I had advice to give you on how to resist, but I haven’t had to myself and am not sure I would be able to if given the need to do so. All I can say is that from the outside looking in and based on the collective experience of CN, he is a selfish jerk and you will regret it if you take him back. It is so easy to see when it isn’t our own cheaters pretending to be unicorns. Good luck.

    • Thank you all for your support and your words. I think that both of you are being very open and it feels good to know that maybe I am not as crazy as I feel. One month ago I would have NEVER thought about him turning into a nice person and allowing him to be part of my life, but here I am, 25 weeks pregnant and am thinking that maybe he is different, maybe we are different, and I am sure EVERYBODY feels that way. Thank you for all of your support and nonjudgmental love, you coming from a place of unknown a little does make me feel not as guilty for it. xoxo

      • Pregnant Chump,

        Your hormones may also be increasing your levels of hopium! He has shown you his true self. I implore you to believe him!

        Run away and hold him accountable by way of child support and alimony. Give him another chance for what? To show you again, what he has already shown you?

        Never run back to the one who broke you looking for comfort. He will break you again.

        In my case, I was allowing him to slowly kill me.

        Trust me when I say, staying can kill you. I have 34 years, 3 DDs, a lifetime of abuse, marriage policing, STD tests and 2.5 years of cancer treatment experience. You don’t want this for you and your son’s beautiful future. He also financially drained me after my working close to 40 years by living his grandiose, entitled and covert life. During discovery, I unfortunately found out just how good he became at hiding his secret lives and our marital assets.

        X only got worse, even after years of individual and couples therapy, promises, excuses, hopium…

        They are delusionally entitled, lack empathy and simply don’t get character implants just because we dream of or desire to maintain an intact family. Don’t listen to his words. He can say anything to hoover and prey on you in your vulnerable state.

        Look for and watch his actions. He could start by paying fair and generous child support, alimony and lovingly co parenting!

        In the end, while I was hospitalized for cancer surgery, I filed for divorce. During this time was the cruelest he would ever be to me. I fought his narcissistic rage during a horrible 13-month divorce while he moved in with his pregnant massage parlor whore du jour. I don’t recommend fighting highly agressive cancer with a highly contentious exposed narc. But…I did it! I surthrived and do can you!

        One reason I am alive and writing this to you today is to share my story in hopes that others drinking the hopium koolaid are spared the same 3.5 decades of pain and abuse.

        Every surgery, chemotherapy treatment and hospital stay gave me a lot of time to reflect on why I was willing to put up with abuse and not value myself more. No more! I steeled my spine and determined I wanted and deserve to live cheater and abuse free.

        Now I have been 100% no contact for over two years. It has been my lifeline. Divorced over one year, NED and in maintenance cancer treatments and just beginning a year of living as an intentional creative and CEO of my own fulfillment. Life really does get better away from the disordered. I hear meh calling me from a tropical beach 🏖.

        Chose yourself for you and your son. Your future is bright ☀️🕶 cheater free. Huge chump support to you!

        • Oh yes, the pregnancy hormones. They are all about emotional bonding. My advice would be to continue on the logical path of divorce and minimal coparenting, and postpone any big decisions when the kid stops nursing.

          Right now, pregnancy brain is interfering with your thought process. It’s not your fault, and it’s not that you are weak. Just recognize that your ex’s pleas are piggybacking onto the hormonal process designed to bond you to your baby.

  • I am still in the stage where I have to remind myself everyday that the cheater truly sucks. thank you ChumpLady for the daily reminders. I too picked up the pipe of hopium last night. After reading your column this morning, I am reminded that the cheater hasn’t changed one thing. Your best piece of advice is to look at their actions. Their words mean nothing.

    • The simple fact that he blames infertility self-esteem issues as the reason he had the affair is a huge red flag. 🙅🙅🙅 You will have to be the self-esteem police now for the rest of your life. Does he seem down? Omg hurry! puff him back up before he self medicates by banging the lady in payroll. He’s a weak selfish man. Paying too much attention to your baby? Ego injury! Now he’s on Tinder looking for a stupid twit to hook up with to fill his supply. They can’t self regulate. They are shallow and weak and use multiple women, adrenaline, and alcohol to feel whole. My advice is continue with the divorce. When you kicked him out he didn’t ditch the girlfriend and get a place by himself while working to reconcile. He moved in with her and slept with her for 120 more days. Just for that reason i would tell him to fuck off. You deserve better than this 💜

      • ^^^^Thank you Whatringofhellisthis you just described most of my 30 years. Scrambling all the time to make someone who cannot self regulate feel important. He IS shallow and weak. You can’t win or relax…in the end they will leave you with nothing…..

      • Raising my hand too. Ex was always insecure and I was always working to boost his self esteem. It was never an easy task. I guess after 20+ years of the same kibble dispenser it wasn’t working anymore and he needed a new supply. The stupid part is that until he chose to go fuck strange and then chose to make it worse rather than repair the damage, he really didn’t have much to be insecure about. Now he is paranoid that people will think lesser of him for tearing his family apart for a slut and he is right to be paranoid.

      • Your points are truly amazing! And I know you are right. I wish life was black and white and that I didn’t have so much pain of doing this alone. Thank you so much for your help!

        xoxo

    • Unrulychump💜
      I’m still in the middle of it too. And I think what stopped me from hoping and breaking no contact was not only looking at actions but identifying patterns.

      • Yes the patterns. Pay attention to those as well. That helped me to break free of a previously abusive relationship. Alas, I missed the patterns with ex because they were too subtle and because I thought I was special to him. Definitely pay attention to the patterns.

    • What helped me is thinking about my sister who I love very much, and would I want her to endure what I was enduring. No way, I love her so much to see her in this kind of pain. So, why don’t I love myself the same amount? Good luck. I wish for you that you turn the corner where thinking of them makes your skin crawl. No contact gets a lot easier then. These are disgusting people who we should all be disgusted by.

  • If you read past posts you will find a road map forward:
    Before letting him back into the home you’re creating for you and your son, work out a post-nup. You need your own lawyer, even if you mediate (which I personally do NOT recommend). Your hormones are focused on supporting your baby and not capable to looking at a legal document without prejudice.
    Go meet with his therapist to see what YOU think of the therapist. But he has to make the appointment, pay for the appointment, and be totally responsible for his therapy.
    I know other chumps will add to this list.
    Take it VERY slowly!!! You are more likely to do the right thing for you and your family. Yes, a family can be one sane parent and a baby!!

    • I contend that any effort toward allowing this dude back into her life should occur only after YEARS of him showing her by his actions that he is truly a changed person. Get the divorce, change her life, be her own person and then if down the road she can see he has changed, consider going through the process you recommend and reconciling. I guess that’s how I interpret slowly. But the divorce is necessary to protect her financial interests. Even if she stayed with this guy as a couple, I would still advise her to get divorced and separate their finances.

    • Rebecca, I already have a great lawyer and am still proceeding with everything. Financially we have a lot of systems in play that will not allow him to manipulate me that way (which is good). Everything is completely separated and he is not moving to my home. He is the one that mentioned counseling together, which I think needs to happen no matter if I decide to give him another try. He has been following all of the boundaries that I have put into place and does seem to be caring a little more (which is really what I care about when it comes to him being a dad to my son).

      • “And he does seem to be caring a little more”. That sentence is so heartbreaking. The dreams you dream for this perfect tiny mini you. Do they include the hope that your child too will settle for crumbs? I️ know they don’t pregnantchump. ((Hugs)). Be fierce mama!

      • I wouldn’t recommend counselling together. He needs to go to counselling on his own to work himself out on his own. Counselling together now is simply going to pull you into the mess that is in his head and wheel you in to potential manipulation.

        You need to focus on you and your baby. Draw on the resources of your family and friends. Build up your home for you and your son, doing things they way you want them done.

        Limit conversation with your husband to the needs and development of the baby. Breastfeed for as long as you can because that will ensure that your husband cannot force the baby away from you if he chooses to get nasty with you again. No court would rule for a baby to be away from his mother when she is nursing, and no court would force a mother to bottle feed in order to appease the father’s desire to have the child for longer times or overnight. And, there is a mountain of research that supports nursing for a good long time.

        If you want to give your husband a “chance,” limit the conversation time and place. Don’t do it within the home where it’s bound to get very emotional. Meet somewhere public for coffee and give him a set time for the length of the “date” to say what he has to say – share what he’s learned about himself and what he wants to do for his son. Then, observe him long term to see if he puts what he says into action. If he at any point tries to force you to act in a way that he dictates or expresses frustration for the limits you have set, get up and walk out. Go no contact (or grey – limit communication to just business regarding your son and avoid seeing your husband as much as possible).

        I hope you have family around and good friends. Let them be there for you. I don’t know if your husband’s family is around and supportive. Use them too. You’re only priority now is to protect your son from any potential harm. Do not let anyone guilt you about your husband’s access to his son. It is about you and your son, not his father who chose to remove himself from the equation. You don’t owe him a thing. You will have postpartum to contend with, sleepless nights, and a steep learning curve. Don’t know if you plan on returning to work. The point is that you are going to have too much going on to further complicate it with your husband’s bullshit. He’s a man seeking self-improvement and change. Well, he can go off and do that on his own. You’re too busy.

        Go to some of your own counselling for you as part of your own coping strategy to support yourself through the challenges ahead. The counselling is for you and for your own parenting.

        Hugs!

  • Don’t take him back. Don’t pick-me dance. See what he does when h knows he can’t get you to take him back. Will he pay hefty child support? And spousal support so you can stay home with the baby? Will he give you full custody and not bring a newborn near his drinking OW? Will he get into therapy for substance abuse, because if he’s having an affair with a drinker, he’s got a problem too?

    I think you are really minimizing the man’s failings. If he wanted to be rid of the OW, he’d throw his phone in the river and get a new number. You say the affair is “not truly what he wants.” Well, his words are meaningless. She’s still calling. He’s cueing up the pick-me dance for you.

    Mama Bears don’t dance. They roar and show teeth and claws. The last thing your son needs is a father who cheats on his mother and then walks out when kiddo is 5 or 8 or 12, after demonstrating how awesome it is to hang out in bars and drink with skanks.

    You still want him and the dream of your family. It’s very hard to think logically when you are pumped full of pregnancy hormones and hopium. No contact other than email. Figure out what you need to live on, financially, in the short and long term. Figure out medical insurance and everything you need for your son and you. Figure out what you can live with for the first year, in terms of custody and visitation. (Go for full legal custody and short visitations with the baby but not in your home. And zero contact with OW). Propose a settlement that will cover the first 2 years. Ask for everything you want. You don’t need to divorce in the legal sense, right now. What you need is resources and control of your life, along with time away from him. You need greater clarity on his character, and you can’t get that while you are in contact with him and listening to his “Be My Plan B” and “Let Me Eat Cake” songs. And you need to see how serious he is about being a father.

    One thing you aren’t thinking of is that Cheater knows child support looms on the horizon. He’d rather live with you, let you take care of kiddo, and have OW on the side. It’s a better deal, economically. He won’t even need to do visitation. He can pat kiddo on the head on his way out the door. Some cheaters don’t want to give anything up, especially their money and their centrality in many lives. Read the post on the pick-me dance; it’s all about how gratifying it is to these disordered types to be the intense focal point of two people desperately competing for their time and attention. If he’s going to change, he needs to do it on his own time. And you need to watch it from a distance while you build your own awesome life.

  • Oh pregnant chump, I remember your story when it was first posted. You are so vulnerable right now, and the idea of you staying with this horribly abusive man is killing me over here. May I have a crack at your letter? “he was very genuine on the phone” No. He was very fake on the phone. He has already revealed his genuine self through his actions! “He comes from a strong family background that has been incredibly supportive” Yeah my cheater ex comes from a family with strong family values who were incredibly supportive. Let me tell you how little that mattered. My ex’s own values are shit. He values his Damn Self. And his strong supportive family, in the long run, supported his shitty decisions. “Last weekend we met up so he could see our dogs” YOUR dogs. I’m sorry pregnant chump, but he left you. Those are your dogs. Please don’t engage in custody/visitation of your dogs. It’s just an opportunity for him to fuck with you. Don’t give it to him. “He wants me to give him one chance (he said if he messes it up in anyway that he will leave me alone for good)” Oh how very generous of him! He’s only going to devastate you ONE MORE TIME. “I feel like if I make the wrong decision, it’s going to affect my son for the rest of his life” Indeed honey, and not just because there will be a fuckwit living in your child’s home, but because he will have a mother who chose to stay in an abusive situation. What that man did to you, every single day for MONTHS, all those series of choices to cheat on you, lie to you, and abandon you when you needed him more than any other time possible, constitutes abuse, and horrific abuse at that. You KNOW you can’t count on him. He has proven that to you in the worst way possible. ” It’s the first decision I have to make as a mother” Make it a good one! ” I just want him to have everything I promised him he would when I decided to get pregnant” I have four kids, and that is one of the hardest things I’ve had to accept, that they are not getting the upbringing that I wanted for them. What they DO have is what really matters: a mother who loves them to the moon and back, and who models and self-respect values for them. Pregnant chump, I can’t tell you how badly I regret “pick-me” dancing/marriage policing in front of my children. Since then I tell them all the time, I would never want you to allow yourself to be treated the way I allowed myself to be treated. I also would never want you to treat anyone that horribly. You have the chance, pregnant chump, to give your child a strong sane parent. YOU CAN DO THIS!!

    • Struggling, I started crying reading your post. I feel you, I feel your love and support, your strength a determination. You are SO right in so many circumstances. Thank you for your help. I know I CAN do this, but I am tired, and don’t want to anymore. I don’t know how to be strong anymore. I just want to curl into a ball and say “nevermind” to it all.

      Thank you again for your words, they really mean a lot to me and provide a lot of insight. xoxo

      • I’m trying to remember if I told you this story last time. In brief: Thirty years ago, a close member of my family cheated on his pregnant wife. DDay was a couple days after the birth, and he left her for the OW shortly after that. So the chump had a newborn, a toddler, and her world destroyed. I can only imagine how dark those days were for her. Fast forward thirty years: She is very happily married to a great guy and has been for twenty something years. She is extremely close to her grown daughters, who are both happily married career women. The cheater? Third divorce about a year ago, and a few other relationships that didn’t last. Someone else posted here, and it bears repeating: you CAN have the life you wanted. Just not with this asshole

    • One thing that I am keenly aware of is that any niceties coming from cheater sound completely superficial. In fact he has a genuine laugh and a fake laugh. I hear the fake laugh much more often than the real one. It grates on my nerves, like fingernails on a blackboard. It’s a sad day in hell when any sweet talk coming from the cheater is instantly recognized as disingenuous, whereas the emotional and verbal abuse is almost a security blanket, because you know it’s real. It’s grounding because it’s the actions that most reflect cheater’s behavior. So know that if his being nice causes suspicion and doubt, it’s time to get out.
      You and your baby deserve so much more than a high stress pregnancy brought on by the betrayal from the one you trusted the most.

  • I am so sorry that you are in this situation, chump. We have all been in your shoes desparately wanting our families to be together.

    But when I think of you even considering getting back with this guy (DON’T DO IT!!!!) the very first thing he would need to do is present you with a wrap sheet from the doctor showing you that he is STD free. And if that humiliation alone, isn’t enough, I guarantee you he won’t do it and will try to weasel his way out of it. And then you will see his rage channel and feel duped. Again. Trust that he sucks.

    I broke no contact last week after 8 months of silence. We talked for 3 hours and any doubt I had about WHO HE IS completely evaporated. He is a liar and betrayed me and still, to this day, blames me! He is not to be trusted. It was a real eye opener. I thank CL for my new found knowledge and was able to recognize his mindfuck during the conversation.

    A few days after this, I saw a new therapist. I presented the whole depressing saga to her with the “I’m having a hard time letting go.”

    Her response: ” I know that he is not here and I don’t like to diagnose people without them being present, however….YOU think he is a narcissist. I am telling you he is a level above and am going to hint PSYCHOPATH. This is how serious I think this is. He likes to humiliate you. He has no empathy. He blames you for everything. You have to explain to him how to adult. His oldest son is a menace.
    You absolutely CAN NOT GO BACK.
    You absolutely CAN NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN ANYWHERE NEAR THIS MAN AND HIS CHILDREN.”

    This was a pivotal moment for me. I am free and am not looking back.

    Took me a long time to get here. You will get there too, chump.

    • Oh, ChumpedinCanada,

      God bless those therapists who come right out and say, “You can never go back.” I am so very grateful to mine for saying those words. And I echo Creativerational: You are so mighty.

    • My therapist said the exact same thing to me when I told her my story. His behaviours are above narcissistic and bordering on psychopathic.
      And I had only told her a quarter of the story at that stage!
      Unreal!!

    • I feel like I will NEVER get there. I just want to take a deep breath and be able to relax. I just can’t! I do agree, I think he is a narcissist, I guess I am just trying to figure out if he can still be a good dad.

      Thank you for your love and support!

      • No, they cannot be good fathers. Because to be a good father means to sacrifice for your children. And disordered DO NOT sacrifice. They pursue THEIR OWN HAPPINESS. Sacrificing for their children is not on their radar.

        I remember when I was friends with ex’s Ex wife. She kept going on about how she wanted to seek full custody instead of the 50/50 they currently had. But she was reluctant because the younger son just loooved his dad. Older son hated dad. She kept defending ex saying he was a good father “in his own way”.

        No, I told her. He is not a good father in ANY way. She hadn’t seen his parenting up close in 4 years. I listed story after story of the “parenting” I had seen ex do with his children that left me horrified. He was not a good father.

        So, please, pregnantchump, protect you child from this monster. I am in Canada. Here, if the mother is breastfeeding the child, there are usually no court ordered overnights for at least the first year of the child’s life….. my suggestion: breastfeed like a maniac and lose the idea he will ever be a good father. And be very specific in your parenting plan about what you want and don’t want.

      • I found out about my stbx double life when routine pre-natal test for my 3rd pregnancy revealed I had HPV and Chlymidia. I attempted reconciliation; I understand the need to feel like you have done everything possible. Lasted about 3.5 years and the first 2 years were great. Well, the first year was a LOT of work – therapy (group, individual, marriage, religious) followed by a year where I thought we had “made it.” Never got definitive proof of a 2nd dday, but he became so mean and critical. It was even more painful because after forgiving him and the pick me dancing (tried to find the least skanky articles on improving hand job techniques so I could “compete” with his massage parlor friends) I felt I should have “earned” his love and respect. The things he said in his final devalue/discard were harder to shake than the images of his trysts. (You know those websites that rate erotic services CL talks about…let’s just say I didn’t have to do a lot of imagining). My point is, even though he was pretty shitty to me, he is pretty okay with the kids. We have 3 under 10. He takes them to dinner every Thursday and they sleep over every other Friday. He will come and take them to school on mornings when I have to get to work early. He shows up at most of their soccer games and school concerts. We are cordial at pickup and drop off, we stick to “nice weather we’re having” kinds of conversation. I let the kids text him from my phone. My kids adore him (it is unlimited screen time and pizza on his weekends and Pokemon Go every Thursday – what’s not to love?) Sometimes it is hard to hear how much they miss their playmate dad when I am doing the actual parenting but have complete faith that they will figure things out as they grow and mature into the fine adults I believe they will be. My oldest has already started to pass on some of his time with his dad. Single parenting is hard but with him actually having to take them I get guaranteed breaks every Thursday night and every other Saturday, which is more respite than I got when we were together. In many ways it is much easier. I am a better mom because I am not spending all of my energy playing marriage police, trying to shore up his self esteem and shame issues, make sure he is sexually satisfied etc. One of the most heartbreaking realizations I had when I finally kicked him out was how much my children had been deprived of, not only because their father is a fuckwit but because do much of my time and attention was given to him.

        • Preach!!!!
          So much of your experience is like mine!!!
          Every other weekend I get a much needed break, and other than that, we have zero contact.
          So much better than when he was here

    • As of now, men cannot be tested for HPV, but they can certainly pass it along. Ask me how I know.

  • Dear Pregnantchump, please run away from this bastard. I took my ex back from the OW hoping, just as you, over his promises of change, deep conversations and sobbing that our life would change. He said to me: “No matter what happens with us I can promise you two things: I will never get married or have children again”. Well my life changed indeed for the best: WITHOUT HIM. Bonus: fast forward 2 years and a half and guess who is married to the other woman and waiting for a child with her? That’s right: Mr. Cheater Ex. So, please, please, no matter what he says to you: DO NOT LISTEN to him and STAY NO CONTACT! You are mighty!

  • Most of the words that you wrote that your husband said to you, are almost verbatim things my ex said to me after his first affair. It last 18 months. Then everything started going right back to where they were. He lied to me again and carried on another affair for the last 8 months we were together.

    My advice, is make him prove his sincerity. Tell him you don’t trust him and that if he is still sincere a year from now, you may consider it. Do not let him move back in. I know that is hard. That you hurt incredibly bad. That you desperately want to believe you can be a family with him.

    But here is the thing. Right now, you may have a chance at co-parenting. You take him back and he devalues and cheats again, the hurt and anger will be multiplied tenfold. And the only way you will survive is to go no contact.

    I have seen people reconcile but they spent more than a year rebuilding and they did not do it while living together.

    Finally, the things he did WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT tell you about his character. He is wearing a mask to get you to take him back, but what lies behind that is still the man who left you at a time when you were most vulnerable.

    • I also vote for this, and you can (and, in my opinion, should) still get divorced according to the plan.

      It’s an “I’ll consider it, and we can keep talking about it, but it’s going to take me some time to get used to the idea after all that has happened — so let’s stick with the plan for now — we can re-evaluate after some therapy and after the baby is born” thing.

      He is giving you charm. He may go to the rage and self pity when you take control of you by making him wait. The mask may come off. Be ready.

      Someone above mentioned how it benefits him financially to stay married, and I echo that. The above scenario helps you stay on path to the divorce settlement you already have on the table. Then, here is another thing to think about.

      Why does he have texts and calls in his phone to show you? When I don’t want someone to contact me, I block the person every place I can, and I block every alternative number and account the person uses to contact me. If he didn’t want to be in contact with her anymore, it would show in his actions.

      I agree with others that you are getting played. Please protect you.

      • One other thought: what if OW is playing along, sending him crazy texts to show you, because they both want to ensure a minimal support arrangement for their own future? I know it sounds sideways, but they honestly do this stuff, and the cheater usually really seems sincere during the game, tears and lovebombing and all.

        Yeah, I agree that am jaded, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Just a thought.

        • He should immediately change his cell phone number. Why would he think you would consider reconciling when she is still able to contact him, and he is taking messages from her? And he needs an STD test before he comes near you. It’s gross and scary to consider what he may be carrying.

          He should be grovelling. But that isn’t how their mind’s work. They stay arrogant and cocky, I think that ends most marriages. Their lack of true humility for the suffering they caused!

        • I have to agree with all the above.

          Divorce and a Postnup
          Don not live together

          Also, dont mention that it’s strange he’s still got contact with OW- I wonder, will he come back with more messages from her for you to read???

        • Or an app. You can program aps to message you from alias phone numbers. How do you know who is sending this bullshit

          • Yes, yes, yes! Cell phone communication can be so carefully, carefully curated. He could be erasing his responses, editing the phone records, balance (maybe juggle?) multiple exchanges using other apps like Facebook Messenger. Even if he doesn’t seem to have a FB connection with Shmoopies; this is so easily masked by creating a “group”.
            Run away! Or you may never sleep again.

      • OOOO the one thing I have done for sure is tell him that we aren’t getting back together. I told him that we are still proceeding with the divorce and that this marriage is over no matter what (which I truly believe). I told him that he can be apart of the childs life and help me through this time by coming around twice a week and we will work on things that way. Currently he is paying more money not being divorced than he would if we actually were divorced, so to be honest, the financial piece is not what I am concerned about because of that. Thank you so much for all of your insights. As for the OW, which is horrible. He does work with her and she is the hiring/hr director, so he HAS to have communication with her. He is the one doing the hiring. It is awful, everything is awful and very overwhelming. Thank you so much!!

        • Pregnantchum… oh man, your narc is exactly like mine. I feel so bad for you, because I remember those feelings when he came back. Talking shit about the OW(while really still working through their drama behind my back), and making me so many promises, and helping constantly. It really meant nothing when he left again. I remember after he begged me back on his knees for foregiveness, and then the next day at one of 2 prenatal appts he went to, he was crying b/c OW was mad at him for “ruining her life”. He actually said that to me. He was gone that day and I was induced for high bp due to stress, and delivered my baby by myself. Everything he says is bullshit because something went wrong with OW and he needs you for kibbles. No. Other. Reason.

        • pregnant chump, even the stupid RIC says that under those circumstances, they ‘have’ to work together, HE NEEDS TO FIND ANOTHER JOB.

          This situation is completely intolerable, and if he’s not willing to look HARD for another job (it might take 6 months to find one and move to it), even for a bit less money, then he is NOT showing you the ACTIONS that show his caring.

        • I think I would let the head’s of the company in on your stbx and ow. Outrageous behavior for HR and she should be canned. Cheater could be canned as well….who gives a rat’s ass. He’ll never really pay child support no matter. They never do. Far more lucrative to have him out of your life as well as your child’s.

    • I did this with my husband.

      Reading Chimplady and The Verbally Abusive Relationship helped me come up with my list of caveats.

      I was also pregnant with kid 2. I was very very strict on “you put kid 1 through Hell. If I even suspect ANYTHING from porn to drinking to even $5 going missing, we are completely done in every way. Here is what our relationship will look like (no contact, me going for full custody, with everything documented). It started wuth term 1: get laying consistent child support. He did. And once he invested in her and went to months-long treatment it was better. We’ve also been going to weekly MC for about 2 years and I had a full disclosure around Halloween of 2016. But I was very held back for a very long time. It used to be that he would put in 5 % and I would run after him with the other 95%. Then I put in 0% and he had to make up the shortfall. But he had to do it 100% himself. No help from me. No cheerleading. No pick-me dance. I honestly thought that he would go “screw this” and just disappear. In fact at the time that’s what I hoped for so I could say “See, you got the chance and you blew it so don’t whine to me. You know where I stand.” But that separation was crucial.

      • Every case and every person is different. Sometimes a person CAN step up and adult. Rare, but it can happen. I have seen it in my own family. Humility and remorse must be present.

      • Alexandria, are you two still together? Do you feel like the reward was worth all the work you put into this? Did he ever “mess up”? Sorry I am just so curious by your experience being very strict, especially that you were pregnant!

        Thank you so much!!

  • PC you mentioned his family is supportive.
    My guess is he’s also getting a lot of pressure to ‘do the right thing’ and his image management needs are high right now because everyone knows he’s a turd.

    Good for him needing to sow his royal oats! Who doesn’t go out and find a downgrade when they has a sadz…. oh wait. Awesome moral people with integrity.

    Take a look through these archives lovely. These assholes don’t change. They reapply the mask. They bolt it on and glue it in place and in 3,5, 10 years… or months- it will slip again.

    There are some people who survive this. I still haven’t figured out if I beleive in them but I read some about a few who move on. I sometimes think it’s just a waiting game for the other shoe it’s just the lonnnng game. But the characteristics of the cheaters? They turn in their electronics, they do a ton of counselling, they may join a program and they sit down and tell you everything and never push you and never show you missed calls and text messages as support for their bid to re-enter your life.

    Your moving towards a world where he doesn’t have your emotions in a trunk tied up somewhere. You wanna change that because you think you can have the Cleaver family. You can’t. Your ex cleavered that to bits with his giant knife of pain and then suddenly wants to go back from his rob zombie fetish film of life arena to the classic 1950s genre where he gets a pretty lady with a bow in her hair and a sweet young baby to nuzzle and no damn consequences for gutting you. He is literally flipping the channel. I’m astounded except I’m not. Because that’s what they do. And he will do it again. But this time it won’t just be your heart. It will be baby’s also.

    Instead… flip over to the country music channel where they always play stories of adversity and awesome. You have a kid and some emotions. You heal and have a really strong sense of what your boundaries are. You raise child to respect boundaries and know how to set them with asshat dad. Oh my god. You’re doctor quinn medicine woman. Rough road, but you look hot in split skirts and it’s sexy!

    You are a complete family. That turd does not make you whole. He makes you vulnerable

    • Yep. I’m betting on family pressure and image management with his family wanting updates on how Pregnant Chump is feeling, due dates, names, shower questions, “are you going to be in the delivery room?” etc. And his family is getting frustrated with his likely non-answers. At least that’s how it would probably play out within my extended family.

    • I agree with notsure. The better his family is at being supportive the more likely it is that he is facing a entirely different set of consequences than any you might demand. They don’t have to be laying down the law with him, all they have to be doing is making it clear that they have no respect for his choices and that they will side with you if that is what it takes to get access to their grandchild. Suddenly, he may realize that he traded much more than he intended when he chose to let his marriage go for an OW.

    • Creativerational, you are so right! Right about everything. I think out of everything that is what I am the most worried about, that he is only doing it to do the right thing. And that breaks my heart as well. All of this is so sad. Thank you for your advice and support. xoxo!

  • Ever see a newly convicted criminal at a sentencing hearing? They’re no longer indignant with denials and lies. They suddenly want to do anything possible to make things right. Human nature.

    When finally faced with the cold, stark reality of CONSEQUENCES it’s natural to show contrition because it’s all about self-preservation.

    Follow through with the divorce ASAP. If the predictable narc rage appears, you’ll know your decision was right. If he’s a real unicorn and continues to demonstrate his new-found nice guy behavior for the next few years, start by rewarding him with more visitation. My money is on the impending appearance of the rage channel.

      • That’s the best play here, by far. Test him out in the process of settlement, child support, spousal support, and custody. Because nothing says “I’m sorry” and “I get it” like “Here’s the money. I’m going into rehab and will let you know when I’m ready to be a dad.”

    • Absolutely; if someone is remorseful only after consequences, and not because of insight that they harmed someone else, then they aren’t remorseful (only mercenary).

    • Greatfullydivorced Dad, you are spot on. I am going to proceed exactly how I was before, I will probably just let him be more involved with the pregnancy and our son. I figure if I don’t put my guard down, then I won’t get hurt again (this is probably not the case). He is DEFINITELY putting his money where is mouth is,that is the one thing that I was very admit about and he is being really good about that. Which to be honest, is very helpful. He is the primary wage earner so it has been very helpful for him to be good about that part. Thank you for your help!! Your advice is very much appreciated!

  • I took cheater back after dd#1 because I had a nine year old son and a 1 year old severely disabled daughter. My reward for coping with a disabled child who was in and out of hospital for the first year of her life was Chuckles the cheat plunging his bits into a colleague. When she turned out to be a good time girl with other men, I took him back. I wanted to keep my family together

    Mine stated verbally and in letters I still have that he “ will spend the rest of his life making it up to me “

    Fast forward 10 years to dd#2. He did it again. Believe nothing he says. It’s just so he is not on his own until he finds another whore. Learn from our mistakes and get out now. At the very least get a lovely prenup in case he fucks up again. Because he will.

  • One more thought to add about single parenting:

    My Oma, who is 82 yrs, often comments to me that she could never have done what I am doing. I am always baffled by this. I left my kids dad when my kids were 8 months and 5. I was a single parent when I was with him because he did nothing, but leaving him allowed me to leave my anger behind. I was always angry because I expected him to chip in…and you know….actually be a parent that changed diapers and fed the kids and spent time with them.
    Parenting this way is normal to me. I have never had a partner that acted like an equal parent.

    It was very freeing to leave that anger behind and only have myself and the kids to focus on.

    My Oma said to me the other day: ChumpedinCanada, you are so blessed to be able to run your household YOUR way, with your routine and rules and be able to focus 100% on your kids. Sometimes, men can be so jealous and you are always having to manage your time between the kids and the men and it’s exhausting! You are so lucky!

    I never looked at it this way before. But it’s true. I am free to parent the way I see fit and spend as much time with the kids without being made to feel bad about it.

    Oma gave me a treasure with that thought and I hold it close on those days that seem hard….

    Chumped, you will have this gift, too. Build your support system with people who will marvel and rejoice at your little bundle of joy and leave this fuckwit in the dust.

    • And once you let him back in, he can fight YOU for the house. Don’t fall for it. Keep your home, owned or otherwise, your own. Keep your dogs and your kids. You are a package deal and he threw the whole package away. And now payday is coming and he wants to avoid consequences, both financial and social.

      • Listen to LaJ: this could be plot to get the house. Do NOT let him move back in whatever you do.

    • ChumpedinCanada, your Oma is a smart woman! I had the same life. I was a single parent for 12 years without realizing it! When my XH suddenly walked out of our lives with no warning and no explanation to live with his internet girlfriend, I was in such shock I literally couldn’t function. After a few days passed, I started to worry about how I was going to manage life without him and the realization hit me–I could most certainly manage and manage very well! I’ve been doing this alone for 12 years already and doing a kick-ass job to boot! I had always been the only adult in our relationship and in our family. The sense of peace and relief from the exhaustion of not only doing all the adulting, but also trying to satisfy a self-centered and unsatisfiable disordered man was incredible! My life got so much easier when he was no longer in it. I don’t miss him, not one bit! I miss the life I thought we had, I miss the future I thought we were planning, my kids miss the idea of dad living in our house with us. We all lived in the same house but he lived a life completely parallel to me and the kids. He was never involved unless his involvement benefited him in some way. I don’t miss catering to his every whim and desire while constantly ignoring my own needs and desires. I can live an authentic life, enjoying every minute I get to spend with my kids and feel good about that. In my opinion, he’s the one who’s missing out and always has been. He doesn’t have a bond with our children, he doesn’t care if he goes weeks without seeing or talking to them. And that’s his loss. He tried to come back with his sobbing apologies and pretty words when it all fell apart with the OW, but I shut that shit down and pushed on with the divorce and haven’t regretted it once.

    • I love this! Your Oma is a very wise women!! And I am so impressed by you and commend you for being so strong to leaving your ex and doing it on your own. Something I am so terrified by. I know I can do it, it just sounds so exhausting to do. I am proud that you had the strength to walk out the first time without giving him a second chance. I think I am so scared to not give him that 2nd chance. Thank you for yours and Oma’s story, it is definitely inspiring.

  • Also: no wonder he wants back in. You have everything done! Baby room, blah blah blah. Ugh. This actually makes me so mad. He’s skipping along:
    “Hey gosh diggery do, I’m gonna go out and screw some hos on you. Hey gosh diggery ma, I want to come back and be a lazy da.”

    Poor muffin knows the single life is expensive and he gets less love. Poor schmuffin.

  • That whole, “I will make it up to you for the rest of your life” is a load of crap. It is easy to say that in a fun afternoon of looking at baby clothes and being caught up with good feelings. Do you know what will happen the first time you don’t agree with him on something? What will happen when you disagree about parenting? What will happen when you disagree about what do for holidays? There is NO way to right the power imbalance after this.

    He honestly believes his “needs” are greater than yours. He will take that same attitude if you let him m move back in. He wants to get his way and will continue to expect that. Child rearing is difficult enough without having to present a united front with a cheater whenever something comes up that you don’t agree on.

    You are in a good position now to get him to do the right thing for you and baby financially. Seize that moment! If not just for you, then do it also for all the other chumps who waited too long and got screwed by their cheater. Keep your chin up and know that you are doing the best in a situation you never wanted to be in. Get the best settlement you can to take care of your child and be confident that you can give him the best life. You can do this!

    • I do believe that he thinks his needs are more important, I think that he always believed that. I know that you are all right, I am just scared. Thank you so much for your help!

  • Pregnant Chump- I know what you’re thinking… your thinking of delivery, of him holding your hand and telling you to push. You’re thinking of him holding your newborn and thinking that when he sees his son, he’ll have that epiphany and bond and suddenly be husband and father material.

    You’re thinking of the drive home from the hospital, with him at the wheel and you lovingly gazing at your newborn son in his car seat. Your new little family, complete with a man who will man-up in the end and have the values you thought he had.

    That is the stuff that dreams are made of. Your reality is not what you want and if it can be wished away, that’s what you will do.

    Don’t.

    He wants to share that too, only his motives are very very different from yours.

    He wants the image.

    He wants people to see him as a new dad… and all the kibbles that come from that.

    He wants to be part of the newborn photo shoot, with him and his newborn son… so that he can show future affair partners what a great dad he is. Think you’ll be in the picture he shows everyone? You won’t.

    He wants to use your son and his newfound status as a dad, to attract other APs. To be able to grow the narrative of what a supportive husband he was through all the fertility treatments ( no need to say that it was because of him) but you were just subpar after all his “investment.”

    There is only more emotional danger with him.

    He will not man up because he has already slinked off and not cared one single bit about the way he left you.

    You’re little family is you and your son. He left your family a long time ago.

    Don’t let him back in.

    • Yeah, the narcs manage to make everything about them, even a birth, which should be TOTALLY about mom and baby. Long before cheating the first time (on me, I found out later that he had cheated several times in his previous long-term relationship), when our first child was just born, the nurse wrapped the baby up and gave him to ex to hold. Our son opened his eyes and looked at his dad, what an amazing moment! Cheater Narc’s comment? ‘The first thing he’s seen in his entire life is ME!!’. That gave me the creeps even then, but I had no idea at that point what I was dealing with.

  • I broke no contact 3 times during the course of our year long divorce process. Don’t beat yourself up for it because that makes you even more vulnerable. When you break NC, write down a few things:
    1. Why you broke NC
    2. What you hoped to accomplish
    3. What you imagined the result would be
    Then answer these questions:
    A. What was the actual motivating factor behind breaking NC
    B. What excuses you told yourself in order to justify breaking NC
    C. What you actually accomplished by breaking NC
    D. What else occurred other than what you anticipated
    E. What additional unresolved emotions came from it
    F. Why you expected the outcome to be different from all the other times before

    Then the next time you find yourself tempted to break NC, go back and read your answers.

    • Srfrgrl, wow. This is not only the most detailed corrective self-analysis for breaches of NC, but for any rationalized dysfunctional behavior. This could be the condensed curriculum for an entire course. Healthy Thinking 101.

    • I agree with a lot of the no contact situtaions and why people do it, however this is not an option for me. I have to have contact with him in regards to me being pregnant and him handling all of our medical bills and him wanting to be a part of my sons life. My lawyer even said I can’t have no contact with him, it just gets expensive going through lawyers and she also says that there is no court that is going to not give him some sort of custody/visitation. I think that no contact works great for certain situations but it is not working in my case. I am trying to prepare for a baby and it is important to get all of those details figured out. This is the first time that we have played this game, I kicked him out immediately and he has been with her since. I am not trying to make excuses, I just haven’t had repeated behavior happen (which I think is what is making this so difficult). Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and your advice! I truly appreciate it!

      • No contact while co-parenting means you only discuss what pertinent to your child. Otherwise, any discussions outside of that you need to shut down. The cheating, the excuses, the OW, etc are all off limits. If you ever want to heal you have to take control of the dialogue, regardless if you take him back or not.

      • No contact with kids is called grey rock. Just like srfrgrl said, stick to topics that concern your child or finances, everything else is off the table…especially the OW.

      • No or VERY LOW Contact at this point should not be that hard! The baby isn’t here yet!!! There’s no court in the world that would require you to see him while the baby is still inside. And e-mail can deal w/bills very efficiently.

        Then once the baby arrives (WITHOUT him at the birth – he also has NO right to be there, he can wait outside), the goal is Low Contact with Gray Rock. It is hard, until everyone gets used to it, but it’s very do-able; several parents of young kids here do it.

        But you are trying to rebuild your relationship. Or at least charm him into being a good dad. That’s what this on-going contact is about. I wish you luck, but as someone who thought she’d successfully reconciled, only to be cheated on again 7 years later, I cannot be optimistic for you. And if it takes charm and your bending over backwards to make him a good dad? HE’S NOT A GOOD DAD! Real men are in their kids’ lives whole-heartedly, even when they’re No Contact with the mom, and even when mom is super difficult. They don’t have to be coaxed into it. The ones who need to be coaxed? They WILL hurt your child so much, further down the road. Selfish people can’t be good parents, they just are unable to do that.

      • I think you need to say “I don’t know if repeated behaviour”.

        It doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. You didn’t know to look.

    • This is great advice. I am going to do this. I have been so mad at myself for breaking no contact a couple of days ago.

  • “Something went wrong in OW land and you’re plan B.”

    This. 100% this. I’d say there’s a good chance she cheated on him or actually dumped him. Don’t trust the messages he shows you – this wouldn’t be the first time he lied to you, would it? Also, even if it is that he got sick of her – does that make it better? This ho was so crap that he’s sick of her already – but it was still worth blowing up your family for her?

    Also, since the UBT is on break, allow me:

    “he said if he messes it up in anyway that he will leave me alone for good.”

    1. He also stood up in front of his family and friends (and, if religious, his god) at your wedding and said he would be your faithful husband, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, til death did you part. How did that turn out, again? He also said he was working late or otherwise doing something else when he was fucking the OW – are we seeing a pattern? He says a lot of things, but they don’t mean anything, because he is a lying liar who lies.

    2. “Leave you alone for good?” Meaning, if you don’t forgive his (past and, let’s be honest, future) infidelities he’ll abandon you AND HIS CHILD? Oh yeah, he’s a real prince.

    “That our 8 years together and family is worth it.”

    1. Is it? Funny, cause to him it wasn’t worth keeping his dick in his pants, or him not treating you like shit for the past 4 months, but yeah sure, it’s worth you eating a shit sandwich and taking his lying ass back? Right. Ever heard the story about the chicken who told the pig “the farmer’s so great – let’s give him a ham-and-egg breakfast to show him our appreciation?” Well, your ex is telling you this relationship is so great that it’s worth a ham-and-egg breakfast – and you ain’t the chicken, here.

    2. Is it? Is it really? For whom? I mean, maybe HIS 8 year relationship with a devoted, faithful partner was worth something (now that he’s bored of the ho he left you for) but that’s not the same thing as YOUR 8 year relationship with a cheating asshole, is it?

    3. Sunk cost fallacy. Google it.

    “He deeply regrets hurting me and our son.”

    And a drunk regrets his hangover. Doesn’t mean he’s gonna stop drinking. Yeah, sure, now that the shiny has worn off from his latest ho he regrets that his selfish actions had consequences – but that in no way means that he’s gonna stop taking those actions.

    “He is seeing a therapist and asked me to go to therapy with him.”

    1. Oh yes! Let’s have you BOTH go to therapy to see how you BOTH can fix this problem of HIM cheating on you!

    2. Hooray! He’s in therapy! The fundamental character flaws that led him to cheat on you while you were in fertility treatments are now cured! Surely this means nothing was his fault (hey, if you’re getting therapy for it, it’s a sickness which means you aren’t responsible for what you did) and that he’ll never do it again!

    … wait, no. It doesn’t mean any of that.

    “He said that the fertility issues that we had (which were on his side) really hurt his self-esteem. That his HR rep at work was giving him attention and I was going through fertility treatments, he lost sight of what was right in front of him.”

    Well, being a parent is going to be full of other stresses that hurt his self-esteem, and you’re going to be busy parenting (meaning less attention for him) so… how’s that going to turn out? Spoiler alert: fucking Karen from HR.

    “He says that he plans on making it up to me for the rest of his life…”

    1. Unless doing so hurts that delicate self-esteem of his, in which case it’s back to fucking Karen from

    2. See the first point about how this is hardly the first time he’s promised love, loyalty and devotion to you, and so far he’s never kept those promises.

    “…and that we are an amazing couple.”

    1. See above point about how you weren’t an amazing enough couple for him to keep his dick in his pants.

    2. Also see above point about how whether or not you were a good partner to him, isn’t the same thing as whether he was a good partner to you. He wasn’t. He cheated on you through your fertility treatments and treated you like shit after, remember? That’s not what a good partner does.

      • Thankies. Being a lawyer has given me a Ph.D in bullshit and I couldn’t resist taking a whack at this one. So much stupid double-talk.

    • Wow TS you couldn’t get it more right. You had the UBT running in top gear.

      Wanted to add
      1) I also got: “I dedicate the rest of my life to making reparations”. And stbx had often commented that I was “the most resilient person he’d ever known”. He’d been so horrible for so long and usually included that line in the many apologies over the years, as well as the apology after the one and only D-day (10 years of cheating, explains a lot of the horribleness!) After 3 months post D-day of “very deep conversations” he realised he hadn’t talked me into letting him come home – and the channel flipped directly back to cruel.

      2) ” … lost sight of what was right in front of him” … which was lovely, lovely cake. Then he discovered that eating cake with HR ho wasn’t any fun when he no longer HAD the cake. Pointless. Of COURSE he has some sadz. No more cheater kicks.

      PC, you know in your heart of hearts that a chump can kick a Hopium habit (cos we are MIGHTY) but a cheater can’t ever kick a cake-eating habit.

      • “the most resilient person he’d ever known”

        Yeah… that and “you’re so forgiving” are pretty damn backhanded compliments when the compliment-er is the one that gave you the thing you had to to “forgive” or the reason you had to be “resilient.” Then it’s just “you’re so good at letting me shit on you – I love that!”

    • Thank you for doing this. It is amazing like everybody said. I am not trying to sound weak or pathetic, and I think it’s important to remember that I am pregnant and super hormal and this is my life. I am not trying to sound like a chicken or that “I’m good with you shitting on me”. I think it is more than that. I think that there is away of me being strong and coming for help, that is why I am here. That is why I am still proceeding with the divorce. Thank you for the epic, amazing snarky post, I do appreciate it and I am trying my best with the hand that I was held. xoxo

      • Hey, no judgement – you’re not the one that betrayed your spouse when the going got a teeny bit tough. You just want to believe that he’s a better person than he is. No shame in that, but just remember that when he starts in on the sweet talk that he’s said all this before – both to you AND the OW, but he always leaves at the end.

      • Pregnantchump go EASY on yourself you poor darling!! We have all of us smoked the hopium pipe and many for a long time … did anyone say weak … pathetic?? A lot of hands up here at Chump Nation.

        It’s just too hard to believe that this person you have loved could possibly be so cruel. Thing is, the person you loved was an illusion – they didn’t really exist. THIS, the person who abandoned, rejected and betrayed you, this is the real person. He is not nice. He is not a good husband or person and will not make a good father.

        You are brave and mighty. Never forget it.

  • Your cheater almost had me fooled… until the point where you say he showed you OW’s text messages. Not only was that a invitation to do the pick me dance (as CL rightly points out) it was also incredibly cruel and tone deaf on his part, like everything else he’s done.

    Don’t you think that he might’ve also shown OW your messages when you were fighting for your marriage? What promises do you think he might’ve made to her? Doesn’t that make you sick?

    • You have NO idea, it makes me incredibly sick. The whole situation does and I am so sad by the whole thing. Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. xoxo

    • No. This happens. Especially when the site is getting a lot of traffic at once. Please no one take this personally. I eventually will fish the comments out (unless it’s truly spam). It’s the spam filter. It’s impossible to run a site without a spam filter, but false positives happen.

      Think of it as a volume setting. I set the volume high, (no hacker posts), but it means I catch some innocents.

      If I set it low — lots more clean up at my end.

      One thing that trips it is your IP. If you’re using a proxy server, or a dynamic server that has a black mark (you can check your own IP, google this) — you’re going to probably wind up ensnared.

      • Also, if your comment waits in moderation — please be patient. I’m not always at my computer and I have a job outside of CL. Can’t be everywhere. 🙂

      • Jesus Christ CL

        I’m educated but I’m also over 50. I don’t know what the hell ANY of this (below) means:

        *** IP. If you’re using a proxy server, or a dynamic server that has a black mark (you can check your own IP, google this) — you’re going to probably wind up ensnared.***

        Um, what?

  • ChumpLady gets it right every time. What is right for your son is to show him you know your son’s value. He deserves a dad that is better. Move On. You will never regret it. Your ex will continue to fuck up his whole life. Don’t let him bring you down too. It is hard. Very hard and everyone is here for you. But don’t believe a word he says. Here is how you know……would you have ever done this to him? No. Sane people don’t do this to other people.

  • As someone who just recently had a brush with my x i can tell you honestly and from experience all of their playing nice is a load of crap. They still are the same rotten piece of fermenting garbage they were the day they left. They can only tuck their cruel nature under their hat so long. It comes out and they don’t even realize it. On a related note i am having a very hard time with no contact. I cant stop telling that bastard to go straight to hell. If only my words could materialize into actual daggers headed straight for that son of a bitch.

    • Hit pause! Whatever you want to answer – write it out and *let it sit overnight*. Tell yourself that you will send it first thing in the morning. And then, when morning comes and your anger has ebbed, delete it. In the moment I have trouble censoring myself, but with a night’s distance I can usually UBT my XW’s messages all on my own, shake my head, and delete the response.

      Obviously this works a lot better with email than with text. Yet another reason to try to divert communication to email instead of texting. And no phone calls unless a kid is actually on the way to the hospital.

    • IG’s advice is great. I have no trouble with no contact for several reasons –
      1. Any interaction with him, even email, gives me the creeps. The thought of him absolutely repulses me now.
      2. Telling fuckwits off only feeds them.
      3. The best way to say “Fuck you” is SILENCE. Wish that were original but read it here on CL.

  • Raising a child is difficult but rewarding. Children don’t come with manuals. What happens when the first sign of “difficulty” hits? Do you sit and dread if he’ll run back to her? What happens when the marriage requires two adults who have to pull their weight equally? What happens when things aren’t “effortless”? He felt “neglected” while you were having infertility treatments? How is he going to feel when you’re loving on your kid? Your ex is an entitled asshole who will probably always seek to be the center of attention… nothing to work with here.

    • Exactly. What happens when you are too exhausted after being up all night looking after a baby, and can barely keep your eyes open, much less engage in hours long sex-fests with the fuckwit? What happens when said FW starts feeling “neglected” because so much of your attention is focused on your baby, which it WILL be?

      Some people have no ability to even remotely understand the impact children can have on a marriage. I knew. My cheater didn’t.

      I knew that lazy mornings in bed together would be over. I knew that it would take us longer to get ready, that there would be all manner of bodily fluids to tend to through the days, that sleep would become precious. I remember telling him this, and I remember him saying, “oh, it won’t change that much.”

      Idiot.

      I have read, somewhere, a nugget of wisdom that says children can make a strong marriage stronger, and utterly destroy weak ones. I think your FW has already proven himself to be pathetically weak. I also believe it may be better for your baby to grow up without the regular presence of the baby-daddy. Divorcing later can be much harder on a child.

      I know your decisions are tough, and your FW is making it as hard as possible on you. I am so sorry.

      • iveleaguechump, thank you so much for your sincerity!! It is an awful decision and I know that no matter what I will have regret, no matter what I decide.

        Thank you!!

        • Yes, continue with the divorce; request 100% full custody with reasonable visitation. Later, let him come and visit when he (and/or the child) want the visit. That way you’re both covered, and he can play “Nice Daddy” when he wants to do so, and the Child can learn from you how to deal with a sometimes parent. It really worked out for me, but it did make my DS sad when he realized his Dad never called to ask to see him.

          Hugs to you both.

  • I suspect that the only epiphany old cheater boy had is that he can’t afford to divorce you with a child and sustain his relationship with OW financially. If he returns home and you accept him with open arms then all legal rules are gone. If this husband and son to be Daddy is truly sincere then you have plenty of time to actually have him prove it! Personally I made the mistake of taking my cheater back too soon and it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. Your child has not even been born yet so you have plenty of time to set in motion some boundaries and legal paperwork to secure you and your child’s future. How about he signs an ironclad post-nup? How about he gets totally rid of the drunk OW? And any other potential skanks in the wings? How about he submits to testing for STDs on a regular basis? You can always divorce him and co-parent then see what happens once the baby is born. Your child is going to require a lot of attention once he enters this world. Let’s see if your husband can tolerate being “second” or “third” in line for your attention during that time. I suspect if he hasn’t changed then he will seek out yet another OW who will put him number one! I would NOT take him back personally, but I would get the best divorce settlement for my child that I could.

    • It has nothing to do financially. I am keeping all of our legal documents in place so he is actually paying more money right now than he will when we are divorced. I am not dropping any of the finance piece, we are keeping everything status quo, he isn’t living with me and we are keeping all of our assets separated. Thank you for all of your help and support! 🙂

  • Maybe the question isn’t whether he can change. Maybe the question should be is it acceptable to you to be discarded while pregnant and then a few months later then be plan B?

    • No, you are right. I have more self-respect then that. But does my child deserve a father? I am not going to let this be something that doesn’t allow him to see our son. If he wants a relationship with him, I think he should be able to have one, especially if he is doing all of the things that the courts and I have asked him to do. I agree that as a women, I shouldn’t even consider this, but as a mother, it’s hard for me not to give him a second chance.

      • He will be legally entitled to have a relationship with his son. And you will be held legally accountable to not stand in the way of that relationship. And if he steps up and is a decent dad, that is good for your son.

        I think the concern a lot of us see here is you inviting him to share the pregnancy and spend 2 days with you. That is creating a situation that will keep you stuck. How can you truly move on with your life if you are constantly playing “happy family” And won’t that also confuse your son as he gets older? Are mom and dad together or apart? And is that really modeling a healthy relationship for him.

        He can learn to parent separate from you. Major celebrations in life, yes. But not twice a week.

      • A child deserves at least one sane, stable parent that really loves them. Listen, your cheater cruelly dumped you. This was not someone being an ass, a jerk or an idiot. This was deliberately cruel. Sorry but your stbx is not nor will he ever be father material. He’ll fake it for a time or when it suits him but why would you want your child exposed to such a person? Your setting your kid up to feel less than, not good enough, etc. Let this creep move on…….he’s going to do it anyway.

      • He deserves the best father. He deserves a whole, intact family, surrounded by love. He deserves “normalcy”. He deserves his mommy and daddy lying on either side of him, in awe of how perfect he is. Except, his father stole that from him and instead made him collateral damage in his pursuit of “happiness”, an OW who will suck all the joy out of your family, and high doses of cortisol a stress hormone that my dr said was more damaging to an unborn child than smoking 2 packs a day.

        Protect your heart. You already know that he’s discussing you and your child with this other woman. Trust that he sucks and that woman will eventually will control his parenting relationship with your son, and you will be the enemy he and OW will be unite against.

  • Dear Pregnant Chump,

    He showed you exactly who he is when he walked out on pregnant you to be with OW. He was never the husband you thought that he was. It is hard to reconcile that in our brains, I know, but just trust that he truly, truly sucks.

    I made my ex leave the house on D day. I was absolutely destroyed, not only by his infidelity, but I was also reeling from the fact that the man I thought I’d married would never have done these things to me. It was as if he had two, separate and distinct personalities and I had just met personality #2 on D day.

    After D day, my ex was in my face every day, even though he wasn’t in our home. He was begging and pleading with me to take him back. He promised to spend the rest of his life making it up to me. He was even sending me love poems. I was actually “listening” to him, even though I’d already filed. It was absolute torture and my head was spinning.

    One night I was on my computer at home, and something very strange happened. I think it an intervention from God actually. By complete accident, I discovered that I could see all of his folders, files and emails on his new computer (where he was staying) on my computer. I now realize he had linked our computers so he could spy on me, but at the time, I was perplexed as to how this could have happened.

    I held my breath and started to read what was in his computer. He had a folder entitled “dating” and the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I began to read. It contained copies of emails he had been exchanging with numerous women, all new and he was sleeping with most, if not all of them. He was doing this as he was declaring his great love for me and promising he’d never do it again.

    It was yet another bucket of cold water thrown into my face, but one I desperately needed. He’s not crazy, but I do suspect he has a serious personality disorder, in the Cluster B spectrum. The reality of seeing this with my own two eyes pushed me forward, to rid myself of him once and for all.

    I had my lawyer push things through and I went no contact. No contact was the best gift I ever gave to myself. It allowed me to take a step back and see the situation much more clearly. He could no longer mess with my head and my heart, and I ignored his voice mails and emails. He left a gift for me on my porch and I threw it out and didn’t acknowledge it. He eventually found someone else whose life he could ruin and finally left me alone.

    Don’t feel sorry for your baby. The two of you can have a wonderful family. Your baby hasn’t been exposed to him yet. He hasn’t been able to hurt your baby (in real life) and I’d make sure it stays that way. Disordered parents cause a lot of pain to their children and there are plenty of examples of people who have turned out wonderfully who were raised by one healthy and nurturing parent.

    He doesn’t even deserve an explanation for your renewed no contact. If he continues to pester you, get a restraining order. I don’t think any judge would say no to that, given all the facts. Oh – and make sure you get financial support for your child. Your lawyer can talk to his lawyer about this.

    Big hugs and be strong!

    • Chumpchange007 that is truly so frightening. It takes a lot to finally realize you are dealing with a devious person. It is so important to take cruel actions seriously. Behind those actions always lie a litany of devious behaviors. We sometimes never see everything behind the initial cruelty they display but its there. I believe it goes on and on in an unimaginable fashion. You got a glimpse of it.

      • I agree – it does take a lot to believe it! Also agree there is always a litany of devious behaviors. Got a glimpse of it and didn’t need to see any more! I ran for my life.

    • I’m sorry for your pain seeing the evidence of your X’s perfidy, but grateful that it was the bucket of cold water you needed to get free. Many chumps would have saved years of their lives if they’d had an equivalent bucket.

      • Thank you and I do consider myself “lucky” that I saw what I saw! Otherwise, I may have believed him.

    • I am so sorry that you too know the pain and hurt of being lied to. It has been incredibly hard for me, and I just wish that it all didn’t happen. Thank you so much for your support and your story! It sounds like you are doing much better without him! 🙂

      • Life is so much better. I know this is an extremely difficult time for you and please know that there are many of us here who will be thinking of you and praying for you.

    • This happened to me, too. I would breakup with ex when he committed a relationship crime and he would Hoover each time for approx. 2 weeks. My voicemail and text would be flooded daily up to 100 messages telling me: he loved me, I was his best friend, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, he will be the man I know he can be, he misses me, blah blah blah.

      It wasn’t until after our 5th DD that I discovered the complete and utter manipulation. All the while he was professing his undying love, he was a very busy little beaver messaging all his old exes, sleeping with new women from POF and bragging about it to all his friends. He left a nice electronic trail to follow. I was sick to my stomach.

      These guys are total liars and cheats.

      • I know all too well the hoovering technique. So sorry you had to go thru that. But at least we see the light now and that’s all that matters. Onward and upward!

      • My ex isn’t quite so sociopathic/SMART, but he came back to make his first super-serious attempt to get me to ‘try again’, WHILE STILL OPENLY in a relationship with Shmoopie. As a matter of fact, he tearfully told her he was off to try to get me back! Then when the first such serious conversation didn’t go as he planned, he went to see her on the weekend as usual (she lived in another city a 5 hr drive/1 hr plane trip away, while his job and kids were here – did I mention he isn’t that smart), and came back the next week to try to work on me again.

        Really? Really? That’s your best attempt?

        Later attempts occurred behind Shmoops back. He explained to me that ‘he couldn’t hurt her like that again’ (telling her he was trying to get me back), and that it would take ‘SO much strength’ to end one relationship before beginning/resuming another. You’d have thought people expected him to life up his rental car and hold it over his head!

        Fuckwit.

  • Pregnantchump:

    Reconciliation with someone like your STBX is a myth (that is why this community not-so-affectionately refers to it as WRECKonciliation)… because if you attempt to reconcile with your husband and give him “another chance“ after he has already shown you who he really is, you are going to have a first class wreck on your hands.

    You think you’re devastated now? Oh boy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Might as well call in CSI right now because there’s going to be emotional blood splatter everywhere. No amount of bleach is going to clean up that mess.

    Please please please, save yourself and your son from the pain and agony of a repeat performance (and there WILL be one)! The “second time around” is always exponentially worse then what’s taken place up to this point. Walk away! Build a fabulous life without him! Go Zero Contact as much as humanly possible! Cut and run! And then surround yourself with people who truly love you and have integrity, a strong character, and willingly accepts the serious responsibility and commitment of sharing life with a partner. Your husband is NOT that person.

  • DON’T DO IT. I was in your shoes, pregnant and vulnerable, longing to be a “normal” pregnant lady with a supportive father-to-be at my side. He plied me with the same shit: it took this to open his eyes, baby and I were all he truly wanted, he was a changed man, he wanted to be a family, I was an amazing badass independent woman, blah di fucking blah. I hadn’t found Chump Lady yet and fell for the bullshit. A little over two years later I found myself without a home, without a job, and a toddler to take care of while ex flounced off with sparkly new OW. He had meant everything he had said….in the moment. But moments change! He can’t be expected to feel the same way from one moment to the next, you know.

    I screwed up royally and paid a big price. I was terrified of being a single mom, but all I did was suffer and do the pick-me dance for a few years before I was thrust into single motherhood anyway.

    Don’t do it. That jackass is lying, to you, to himself, to the OW, to anyone in his orbit that will stand still long enough to hear his ego-drivel. Get your shit together and get him out before your son is born. It will be a lot harder to deal with two babies. Kick this one to the curb now (because you’ll have to do it later anyway) so you can focus on the one that really matters.

    I regret SO MUCH that my desperate pregnant self took him back after he abandoned me at my most vulnerable. Don’t repeat my mistake.

      • Well put: ‘Moments change.’ Guess that’s why my boyfriend could walk hand-in-hand within me one moment, tell me ‘he didn’t see me in his future’ the next and then, ‘I love you,’ half an hour later, and finally ‘you can stick around me, but don’t expect any lovey docey,’ less than 24 hours later. This from an executive pushing 50.

        These andamy other incidents make me feel royally gaslit and full of self-doubt. Did the many I love who virtually everyone considered Me. Nice Guy really say these things? I know that he did–and then often backtracked, denied that he said these things.

    • Free Vix, are you happier now? I am so sorry that you went through this, I honestly can’t think of anything worse. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me and share your situation with me. I know that I am being a chump, but at this moment it does feel better.

      xoxo!

      • That’s a complex question. Am I happier now than I was in the first few years of my relationship when everything was a kibble sparklefest? No. I was blissfully in love, fand my ex adored me. But I know that I WILL be that happy again.

        Am I happier now than I was after the discard began? Oh hell to the yes. Kibble sparklefest with a cheater is a limited time offer. It’s an introductory rate on an adjustable rate fuckwit. It doesn’t last and there’s no going back to it. Ever. You might see flashes of that loving person and amazing relationship that you knew, but it will never be your full time reality again because it can’t. Because he can’t. Because now you know. Because now HE knows that he can treat you that way and lose nothing. He won’t stop for your sake, and next time it will be worse.

        I was drowning in anxiety and pick-me dancing and hormones and breast pumps and a new baby. I was absolutely dead exhausted. I had so much uncertainty around what was happening with my ex, and it took away from my enjoyment of my son. It also left me vulnerable to whatever shit he pulled next, because once your baby is on the *outside* it lowers your ability to resist. I was so vulnerable and so spent that I chose to put all of my eggs into his basket because it seemed like a better bet than trying to get through solo parenting an infant and post-part in depression alone. I was wrong. It got so, so much worse, and it’s taken me 4 years to get close to being back on the track I was on when I listened to the siren song of a fuckwit.

        My beautiful son is 6 now and I absolutely adore him. I am far happier now than I was when I was embroiled with a see-saw husband who couldn’t decide if our son and I were good enough for him. I’m happier in my own skin than I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve learned good boundaries from Chump Lady, I have demonstrated my ability to enforce them, I have a kick ass job, my son is brilliant and wonderful, and my world is good. I miss having a partner, but I sure as FUCK don’t miss having a cheater for a partner. And truly, I would have gotten to this point a lot sooner if I’d known about and taken Chump Lady’s advice. You have that opportunity. It is a BLESSING wrapped up in the big shit storm that is your life right now.

        You and your son deserve authenticity and respect more than a warm body who plays the part of “dad.” Don’t settle for less that you both deserve. He’s not offering what you want, no matter how much he sugar coats it. He’s only offering you the mirage of what you want.

        The walls in your home DO sing again. You WILL have sex again. You WILL fall in love again. Your son WILL adore you and turn out wonderful with just a devoted mom at home. Your ex WILL go on to torment someone else. You WILL stop missing him. You WILL look in the mirror and admire your own badassery. All of it will come with time. It’s rather like pregnancy: it feels like forever in the moment and like no time at all in retrospect. I had a long fight through it all but it’s over now, and I look back and think “Oh, was that all? That wasn’t so bad.” It was, of course, when I was in the think of it, but the thick of it never lasts.

        Keep coming here every day. It will get you through.

  • If you let him back in you’re setting yourself up for MISERY again in court.

    The stupidity there regarding leaving kids with abusers is astounding. 50/50 custody is becoming the default order.

    He came back cuz he wants something. And the OWs number isn’t blocked, wtf, and he’s sharing her stuff with you?

    I think your skein needs your full attention and soon enough the baby will. You trying to untangle his is wasting time and putting yourself and your baby at risk. Stop!

  • I can’t relate to how having a child with a cheater complicates the ending of the relationship.

    But I can tell you that attempting to reconcile with a cheater makes you the less powerful one in the relationship, and you will never be on equal footing again. If you take them back, you are letting them know that you can be manipulated and played. And I strongly believe that once a cheater, always a cheater. They’ll either learn from how they got busted the first time and be sneakier about it, or up their mindfuck game and make you feel grateful to dance for the crumbs they throw at you.

    And even in the highly unlikely chance they don’t cheat again, you’ll still spend your life on alert, in police mode, panicking inside every time they do anything unusual or out of character, stressing out over any kind of relationship tension, and waiting for the sword hanging over your head to come crashing down.

    Is that any way to live?

      • Yep, my life for 17 years after the first D-day. Gave those years to a fuckwit. I’m at meh except for still being embarrassed for having stayed married to it.

        • What ChimpSaidBuhBye said, ‘If you take them back, you are letting them know that you can be manipulated and played.’ Sadly. I let more than one partner know that I could be played and manipulated–even in my fifties! I think that I’ve ‘aged out’ of the system, though. Only easily verifiable cons express any interest in ‘seriously’ dating me, so I don’t have to worry about being manipulated by a partner again, but I probably won’t get to experience romantic love. at least not the reciprocated kind, ever. Pregnant Chump is likely still young enough to have many opportunities.

    • Like my therapist said to me last week: disordered people use YOUR OWN MIND against you.

      You acted like a normal, loving partner in that you shared your vulnerabilities and insecurities and these assholes file that away in their pea brains and whip them out whenever they want to manipulate us in to doing whatever they want…

      They use your own mind against you…

    • Exactly! I thought my ex would be appreciative and grateful that I gave him another true, honest, loving chance after months-long, in-my-face Affair #1. Noooooooooo, he felt entitled to that, his respect for me dropped even lower because he felt he had so much power in the relationship (while I thought I was in a relationship that wasn’t about power). He felt like HE had made such a sacrifice and was such an exceptionally good guy for staying. He felt like his stupid justifications of having cheated because he was ‘unhappy’ and I wasn’t as adoring as in the beginning were reasonable. He thought I’d keep pick-me dancing and providing those extra kibbles forever. He thought I’d continue to do ALL the emotional work in the relationship, plus 80% of the parenting and household tasks despite working full time – and he was right about that, I’m such an idiot. He thought I’d stay through ANYTHING (and there were quite a few types of ‘anythings’ well before Affair #2).

      And that incredibly emotional and sincere promise he made, the one that allowed me to truly reconcile and not hold rancor or resentment? He claims he just ‘forgot’ about that.

      So my taking him back actually made it MORE likely he’d cheat in future. Great….. And then he was super resentful when he finally realized I wouldn’t take him back AGAIN. THAT is how they think about reconciliation; they are truly not like you and me.

    • So right. I wonder if there were any response texts on the cheater’s part messaging “leave me alone” “get lost, we’re thru” or “I am going to do everything in my power to reconcile with my wife, the woman I truly love”. I’m thinking there were none of those messages.

  • For argument’s sake lets just say he truly had some sort of epiphany or just went temporarily koo koo for a few months. He didn’t but lets just pretend. Do you really want to go thru life wondering if he is fooling around, if he plans on taking off at the drop of a hat or worrying if he is really working late or started up the affair again with co-worker or yet another co-worker? You will never be able to trust him again, even if he doesn’t fool around and stays in the marriage. That is no way to go thru life, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even when you have happy moments there will always be that worry, that tug of discomfort, you will never be able to shake off what he did to you and your unborn child.
    As for the relationship with the co-worker…..maybe he got tired of the partying lifestyle, for now anyway, and needs to rest up a bit. He’ll be raring to go again soon…just wait & see.

    • Yes, this. So many really good insights today discerning what he’s “really” up to here, but I think the matter is plain even if you don’t try to look behind his words.

      Just take him at face value. He said he fucked up because his self esteem took a hit and someone else made him feel better. There. That’s him.

      If you were told up front that this guy you were interested in would be really great to be around except for the rare occasions in life when circumstances cause his ego to be challenged (wherein he would then betray all meaning and subject all others in his life to soul-ripping deceit until he re-established mood stability), would you proceed to date him? That’s your decision now. That is his own depiction of what he is, plainly stated for you to see.

      • “except for the rare occasions in life when circumstances cause his ego to be challenged…”

        Yeah, what happens when he gets his first grey hair, love handles, baldness, 40th birthday, wrinkles, a less-cool car that has a babyseat in the back, or loses a job?

      • Exactly. My x told me he looked for happiness outside of himself. He knew it wasn’t great but it worked for him. He was however able to put up a huge facade of happiness around me(but really i don’t believe it was a facade.) What it came down to is that he found something easier and happier. And he took it. And never looked back. Until consequences started rolling in. Now he is trying to manage them. All the niceness and lets be pals is just his desperation to manage consequences. They really are heartless bastards.

    • Good points. One firm psychological principle is, “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”

  • Don’t do it, Pregnant Chump!!!!! I was something like 8-12 months when he cheated and picked the OW. I moved out, had the baby without him. Discovered he had been emotionally abusing me through manipulation, passive aggressive behavior and gaslighting. I wanted my daughter to have a chance at having a father. So, I took him back after the dance. Four years after that, the emotional abuse got worse and I had to run for my life. Awful custody battle now. Moved us to another state, away from my friends. When I was pregnant, I had ALL the cards. Move near family. Screw that guy. Don’t give up your control. He will have a good relationship with his son, if he wants one.

    • Rebecca makes a great point. You have one shot, here, to set up your life as you want it. To decide where you want to live and how you want to live. If you aren’t near family, now’s the time to move. If you have a home and lots of support, stay put and don’t take him back. You are in the power seat right now.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story Rebecca. Seriously, this is something that I have not thought about before. You are very strong and brave for getting through all of it. As for being in the power seat, I truly don’t feel that way! I feel like a pathetic loser that isn’t good enough to have the life that so many people do. The dream of being parents to a baby. I have wanted that for so long, and now I am just as alone as I was without being able to get pregnant. What a torturous world. xoxo

  • PC – All I can say is that everyone from CL to all the posters are giving so much great advice. As one who smoked a ton of hopium and did a ton of spackling, please listen?

    • wcchump! You are so right, so much good advice, it’s VERY VERY hard to hear but it is great advice!

  • Dear Pregnantchump,

    I feel your pain and know what your going thru. I was 15 weeks pregnant when I moved, no ran, away from my cheating abusive now ex husband. He subsequently ended up in jail. While pregnant I recieved letters from him claiming to have seen the light. He found God. He would do anything to be in his son’s life and for us to be a family. He completed the 12 steps. He would spend the rest of his life proving it to me.

    What did I do? I was so high on hopium, I waited for him to get out and moved him into my house with our then 3 year old son (that I was raising alone).

    What happened? Within a month we eloped. And within two months he was back to drinking and abusing me.

    My one year divorce anniversary was on Friday. My son is now 5. We are living a drama free life without him. In my case I got a protective order against him.

    I broke no contact just a couple of days ago, after over a year. He has been emailing asking to be in his son’s life. So I thought it would be a great idea to call him and tell him off. And remind him that there is a protective order and to leave us alone. It was a horrible idea! I feel like I took two steps back. But it also made me realize he is exactly the same. How he can sit there and sweet talk me and say he is sober and he deserves to be in his son’s life and for a minute i almost fell for it all over agaon. But fortunately this last year of no contact taught me how to read between the lines. It gave me the space I needed to truely see what kind of person he is, to detox from all that hopium. I swear some of the things he said on the phone were verbatim from the crap he wrote in his letters six years ago!

    It is so hard to be pregnant and without a partner. Plus the hormones make us do irrational things. Continue to lean on your family for support. Do not look to him to support you and your child. Zebras can’t change their stripes. Please don’t let him back in only to be abused by him again down the road. And yes what he did to you is abuse. Stay strong you can do it. I am proof that it can be done.

    • Prison Chump – my 2 year divorce anniversary was Friday :-). Congrats!! I celebrated by going to my boyfriends house and celebrating our 1-year anniversary together L-) L-) 🙂

    • You are so so strong! Congrats on it being a year. I really appreciate your inspiring story and your support.

  • Pregnant chump , my baby is 2 years old. When I was still preganant I had a fear that a baby would break my marriage , my marriage was great ( I thought ) but since my father cheated on my mum after baby, I was very worried I’d face the same some day .in hindsight The fear made me needy . More than anything I wanted to provide better for my child . I really thought I’d married a lovely man . By 8 months into our new babies life my husband was having an affair and after a year of lies , gas lighting and heart wrenching pain and confusion I caught him and the rest is history . This was the thing I’d feared ever since I was a child . The pregnant version of me would have been broken . But the version of me now has grown , I have a little girl to take care off and she has put everything in perspective . I have faced the outcome I feared most and survived . I feel sort of powerful now . My daughter and I are so close and live a lovely life. Now I know that it’s true what they say , that happiness comes from within. Happiness can look like anything . It was the hardest thing I have been through , and there are ongoing concerns for my daughter and cooarenting relationship with cheater does raise difficulties . But I am separated , minimal contact , and I love the life I’m living . I’m no longer attached to the fixed picture I once ‘needed’ . My little girl is thriving . Im not telling you what you should do . I just wanted to reassure you how much life expectations can change over time . If your mind set is right , happiness can look like anything . it can be built out of anything , even when you had your heart set on something else. Sending strength xx

    • Toddlerchump ,
      Wow ! You are so mighty . Your great fear was realized, you did just survive , but are thriving .
      So inspirational . Love your story !

    • This is exactly what I needed! This is strong, and raw, beautiful and inspiring. I am sorry you went through this but I can tell in your voice that you truly believed what you had with him was special. I thought I won the jackpot with him, I thought he was the man that would never leave me and always protect me. He literally broke every piece of me and I feel like with everything with the fertility treatments, I was already on the rocks of being broken. I feel like I just haven’t had a break and hearing him say all of this stuff has made it so I can breathe for a minute and that feels good. Thank you for sharing your story and being so real. “Im not telling you what you should do . I just wanted to reassure you how much life expectations can change over time . If your mind set is right , happiness can look like anything . it can be built out of anything , even when you had your heart set on something else” –this is so powerful to me. My expectations have changed, but it is hard to believe. It is hard to believe that he did this to me. How are we supposed to even move on? It sounds like you are doing it and you are so brave. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are very mighty! xoxo

      • I’m coming late to the party! I’m a FTM to a 7mo, precious, IVF miracle boy. I’m remarried after leaving my cheater, and my hubby/baby daddy is awesome. But, even as awesome as he is, and I don’t want to discount the importance of fathers in any way, I’m the MAMA. It almost hurts my husband how unimportant he is right now to our baby. He was my rock during pregnancy and multiple fertility treatments, and he held me up in labor, some (it was 36 hours, so took a team), but honestly my doula and nurses did most of that and they were what I really needed bc I didn’t have to tell them what I needed. It was like once my water broke, I kind of didn’t need hubby anymore, or even think about/want him. Anybody who could help me stand during contractions would do, lol. And you are alone in labor, really, even surrounded by support. It’s just you doing the work, and it’s not scary because you are focused on the job you have to do. Other moms are the best support at this time because they’ve been through it. I now understand and women can support each other in ways even the best of men just can’t. I get why birth in the old days was all the women in the village supporting the new mama— my sweet husband kind of sucked at it, to be honest, lol. And he was great at changing diapers and everything, but I wanted to do it all myself— didn’t want to miss a moment or even put my baby down. So, I hate to say it, but I didn’t need hubby then, either. Then, my mom stayed the first two weeks, since hubby was back at work right away (not his fault— used up his few vacation days getting through IVF appts). A week later I was riding in an ambulance, alone, with my 3 wo headed to the NICU bc I noticed his pulse was too high (discovered he has a minor heart condition). I stayed with baby boy 24/7 in the NICU for the next 5 days, largely alone bc it was so far from home and hubby had to work. I would be sad to be a single mom, but I know now I could do it. It doesn’t seem insurmountable like it did during pregnancy. Birth is empowering, even when it doesn’t go according to plan (what ever does?ha ha!). Our baby pretty much still just needs me, and only became developmentally able to make a secondary attachment to daddy in the last month or so. And it’s pretty clearly secondary… what I’m trying to say is, it’s all less scary and easier than I thought it would be when the pregnancy hormones were running rampant. Surround yourself with strong, supportive women with experience and other FTM’s. Start a local group of other moms you meet at prenatal appointments or in Lamaze class. Hire a doula right away to be your birth partner— I promise she will be a much better partner/coach than someone who will get tired of rubbing your back and feeding you ice chips as soon as the novelty wears off or no one is watching. Join La Leche League and baby wearing or crunchy mom, or local mom’s groups on FB now and start reaching out. You can get the love and support you need right now and during the dreaded “fourth trimester” from your sisterhood. I love my husband, but since my water broke, other moms are 90% of my support—still. And baby boy really still just needs me. I know you are bone tired— the last trimester is no joke. And the bad dreams and anxiety are wrecking havoc on your emotions— but you can do this! Including your cheater in pregnancy and birth etc. may seem easier, or even comforting, but he’s really not the best form of support for you and your son right now <3 <3 <3

  • Dear fellow chump,

    Listen to this wise counsel, else, like me, 38 years married to the cheater stbx, you’ll be looking back and saying I wish hadn’t spackled for the fuckwit because now my children model some of the unwelcome entitled behavior that I put up with to have what I thought would be an intact family.
    You just can’t do it with a cheater liar entitled sadz partner.

    • So true! Narcs suck at parenting. Period. A couple of narcs I know have really screwed up kids. Not that they are into drugs or outlaws, they are actually quite productive but emotionally screwed up. You want to separate your kids (at east emotionally) from the narc at all costs. Sure they will have visiting rights but there are ways to let your kids know that they can love their narc parent but they are dysfunctional and they are no role model. One narc’s ex-wife, who he left with two kids for a stripper, loved her children but she was weak. She rolled over for the narc to make nice at all costs. Plus I think she had hoped the narc would come back and her link to him was thru the kids. He didn’t. The kids are now paying the price.

  • pregnant chump,

    Fertility treatments are stressful and you are mighty to have achieved the wonderful outcome of pregnancy. WARNING -This should be a joyful time in your life as a couple. Where was he? Escaping the realities with a low hanging fruit-floozy. That tired excuse of not getting enough attention-WARNING- as a new parent with baby this is likely to get worse, and will be one more anxiety, “…Am I giving my husband enough attention, so he won’t cheat again?” You will be burning the candle at both ends and burning yourself out in the process with these never-ending worries.
    The fact that he mentioned that you should accompany him to therapy seems like a trap. Is the therapist about to obliquely lay blame on you for your hand in his cheating? Or is he hoping the therapist will pronounce him cured of his man-childness? He strikes me as a another conniver bent on getting his way through manipulation of persons and events. Why show you texts and mention constant phone calls from the floozy? Shouldn’t she already be blocked? You don’t need to be part of a triangulation with a drunken, bunny burner.
    Stay off the crazy train and continue forward without the anxieties of dealing with a perpetual man-child who’ll never give you the unconditional support you will need during those tough times as parent. You have one child to raise, you don’t need the thankless job of cosseting an adult child, too.

    • You are so so right!! I don’t know how he did this after I went through so much testing and procedures to get pregnant. I think that is the hardest piece. You are so true that life isn’t about to get easier, at the end it will probably get harder. I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, I so wish I did. Thank you for your support!!

  • First ex gave me an STD when I was pregnant with our daughter . I was 19 and he told me it was because I had gotten fat ( duh I was pregnant asshole )
    Ended up staying , lost all the weight and guess what ? He cheated again .
    Then I left his ass . No contact . He hasn’t spoken to our daughter in 7 years ….and that’s a very good thing . These fucktards hurt their kids , not just their wives or exes

  • AGREED. EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. Print this out, highlight the exact parts you need to repeat over and over, and post in numerous locations. I think I will too. And enjoy your family (you and son) to the best of your love and ability, fuckwit free, for the Rest of Your Life!

  • pregnantchump, I wrote this poem yesterday, and when I saw your letter to CL today, I knew I had to share it with you. Please don’t take the rat bastard back. My cheater ex said all the same kinds of things when he was putting on the unicorn reconciliation act, and he was still sneaking around and lying the whole time. You will never be able to trust him. Sever your pair bond with him now rather than deepening it, or recovery from the trauma will be even harder once you realize you have to quit him. Focus your hope and commitment on your sweet innocent baby who deserves better than a cad for a dad.

    Hope

    It’s a kind of dope
    you breathe in deep
    and hold in the smoke
    until you turn blue
    and need a shrink

    Oh, I was addicted bad
    to his intermittent hits
    jonesing for that lifted eyebrow
    strung out on a smile here
    a wink there
    orgasms on Sundays

    Hooked on the crack pipe of his charms
    under the influence of his talents
    habituated to the silent treatment
    fixated on reading his mind
    taking all the blame he gave

    Hopelessly devoted to him
    believing he could quit her
    willing to forgive the mistake
    believing he could change back
    to the man I was wedded to
    until I got clean

  • PC-
    A strange gift I received from giving my heart to a Human Maggot was the ability to force issues to the truth. I was pushy before but now it is something stronger, more powerful-life changing.

    Here is what you do. This cure is going to sting- but it is the closest thing to a truth serum I have found.

    You ask him today for a lump sum payment of $60,000 to be put in your account by Friday COB. Ask him nice. Explain that you MUST have financial security to care for this baby now. I don’t care what excuses he stammers, then shouts out. Calmly stick to this request. Tell him it is the only way you can move forward with a speck of trust.

    These cheaters will run through walls to get strange tail and execute their clownish machinations for a double (mine had a triple) life. Even if 60K is too high- if he actually has remorse and fully grasps the horror he has brought down on your head- a big chunk of change will hit your account within days.

    Know the trite saying- Money talks, bullshit walks. It is TRUE.

    As Bow Tie counseled- disregard all words. They mean nothing. Truly- this man could have seen a cute baby and thought: Hey! My wife has one of those coming. And OW’s breath smells like vomit and she wears Dollar Tree perfume. I want a baby, too! And so he comes around.

    Scanning the horizon for a new experience to jump start his abyss that is his brain. As LAJ said- it is no more profound than wanting a new Porsche when you have an excellent two year old Honda in the garage.

    He reminds me of the people I would like to beat and then hang publicly (I mean that) who get a puppy because it is cute! It is so fat and cute! And then, when 6 months hits, and puppies bite and chew and jump and poo in the closet and run away- it is not fun anymore. Pouts. Dumps puppy at shelter to be gassed (they still do that in the South.)

    These are the people who leave broken hearts, misery and ruin in their smelly wakes and still believe they.are.fabulous. The Human Maggot acted like I was asking him to pressure wash the Vatican if I asked him top open a door that was 4 feet away to let the dogs out into a fenced yard.

    I want you to force this issue- so you are not living in a state of suspended, miserable anticipation- waiting for him to show up and be a human being. You have to let that fantasy go. I am sorry.

    • Quote: acted like I was asking him to pressure wash the Vatican

      OMG, snorted so hard it hurt!!!

    • This is SO good!! And so so true!!! Thank you so much for writing this and for giving me advice. I really appreciate you and your support!!

  • “He says that he plans on making it up to me for the rest of his life”

    I also got this line in 2011… I fell for it! After 3 years of marriage counseling, countless talks about him endangering my life by sleeping with sex workers unprotected, I thought he finally got it.

    What he got was 4 years to set himself up to leave, all while sleeping with sex workers and divvying out our marital money for his hooker habit.

    He got reassurance that he could pull the wool over my eyes, and I’d fall for it.

    He got 4 years to perfect his art of war.

    Here I am 7 years later, still getting dragged through the divorce process. Had I followed through with leaving the first time, I could have walked away financially okay.

    Listen, when I read your letter I felt my anger rising because I’ve been through the process of being manipulated through my own love.

    He’s serving up what sounds like it’s going to amount to a feast; what you don’t realize is, in that fantasy, he sits at the head of the table waiting to be served by you. He has what he wants in mind (a family, the house, the cars, the wife, the feast) but his plan to get there doesn’t include him sacrificing anything. Did he once ask you what YOU wanted? He knows what you want, and he’s playing it for all it’s worth.

    Trust me when I say, in 3, 5, 10 or 20 years when he has a new vision of the life he wants you aren’t going to say, “I’m so glad he talked me into giving him another chance.” Cheaters seem to get some sick satisfaction by building hope and then tearing it down. I don’t have statistics on the number of “happily ever after” marriages (after cheating) but my guess is that number is very low. The shift away from the IRC infidelity narrative is in its infancy, but there are researchers who are starting to look at the long term prognosis of cheater relationships, and the news isn’t spoon fed hopium. People play the lottery because there is always that chance they will win, but the statistics are grim. Sure, you could be that one in a million that hits the jackpot and lives happily ever after, but the collateral put up for that lucky chance is more than a 2 dollar lottery ticket. If you’ve got an extra 3,5, 10 or 20 years to gamble with, and you’re willing to lose it, then at least you know the consequences of the gamble.

    Alas, most people learn lessons by living them, and the warnings of others are often not enough to erase the idea that “I am different.” So if you decide to gamble, I’m sure chump nation will still be here to welcome your “I had to learn the hard way” story.

    • “Listen, when I read your letter I felt my anger rising because I’ve been through the process of being manipulated through my own love.”

      Got-a-brain got that right!

      • Same quote. I have never loved anybody like my cheater, and he isn’t my first rodeo. My picker seems to be permanently disabled. I honestly thought I had found the love of my life, and I thought he thought so, too.

        He knows how much I have loved him. He knows. Right now I don’t know if I am seeing genuine remorse, or is he settling for Plan B, or has he gone further underground….

        I am reading a book called “Detach and Survive” which, along with Tracy’s book and CL/CN, has helped me understand I cannot untangle his skein. I can only decide how to move forward with my life…and it is MY decision to make. Kind of scary, since I had always thought we were a “team”.

        I am slowly, so slowly, coming to realize we never were. Thank you to CN for giving me the time to process.

        • Try Patrick Carnes, ‘The Betrayal Bond’, and Lundy Bancroft, ‘Why Does He Do That?’

          You sound trauma-bonded, rather than in love. Carnes’ book on this is really helpful – I don’t have much time for his sex addiction stuff, but he’s dead right about trauma bonding.

          Here’s what Carnes says in the introduction:

          “A number of signs indicate the presence of a betrayal bond:

          1. When everyone around you has strong negative reactions, yet you continue covering up, defending or explaining a relationship.
          2. When there is a constant pattern of nonperformance and yet you continue to believe false promises.
          3. When there are repetitive, destructive fights that nobody wins.
          4. When others are horrified by something that has happened to you and you are not.
          5. When you obsess over showing someone that he or she is wrong about you, your relationship or the person’s treatment of you.
          6. When you feel stuck because you know what the other person is doing is destructive but believe you cannot do anything about it.
          7. When you feel loyal to someone even though you harbor secrets that are damaging to others.
          8. When you move closer to someone you know is destructive to you with the desire of converting them to a non-abuser.
          9. When someone’s talents, charisma or contributions cause you to overlook destructive, exploitive or degrading acts.
          10. When you cannot detach from someone even though you do not trust, like or care for the person.
          11. When you find yourself missing a relationship, even to the point of nostalgia and longing, that was so awful it almost destroyed you.
          12. When extraordinary demands are placed upon you to measure up as a way to cover up that you’ve been exploited.
          13. When you keep secret someone’s destructive behavior toward you because of all the good they have done or the importance of their position or career.
          14. When the history of your relationship is about contracts or promises that have been broken and that you are asked to overlook.

          Divorce, employee relations, litigation of any type, incest, child abuse, family and marital systems, domestic violence, hostage negotiation, kidnapping, professional exploitation and religious abuse all are areas that reference and describe the pattern of betrayal bonding. They have in common situations of incredible intensity, or importance, or both. They all involve exploitation of trust, power, or both. They all can result in a bond with a person who is dangerous and exploitive. Signs of betrayal bonding include misplaced loyalty, inability to detach and self-destructive denial.

          If you are reading this book, a clear betrayal has probably happened in your life. Chances are that you have also bonded with the person or persons who have let you down. Now here is the important part: You will never mend the wound without dealing with the betrayal bond. Like gravity, you may defy it for a while, but ultimately it will pull you back. You cannot walk away from it. Time will not heal it. Burying yourself in compulsive and addictive behaviors will bring no relief, just more pain. Being crazy will not make it better. No amount of therapy, long-term or short-term, will help without confronting it. Your ability to have a spiritual experience will be impaired. Any form of conversion or starting over only postpones the inevitable. And there is no credit for feeling sorry for yourself. You must acknowledge, understand and come to terms with the relationship.”

          • Wow, LG. I think you hit me with the 2 x 4. I’m going to download that book NOW. I’m tired of everything being about the cheater. I clearly need to work on ME.

    • I second what gotabrain says. My cheater reconciled with a gag-worthy vow renewal in Central Park. 4 years later he left for another schmoopie after stealing our entire life savings. I believe it was planned all along. He was told how much he would lose by leaving. I was chumpy enough to believe he really loved me after 30 years and 2 grown kids… he was in it to use me( didn’t work full time after that and didn’t have an income in the last year of our marriage all while getting me to take on 1mil of debt to have 3 properties). Total evil pos sociopath narc. Please don’t be me.

      • I think it has been mentioned here before but wedding vow renewals never work out, especially when they are prompted by one of the partners cheating or there was some other dysfunction in the marriage.

        • See Heidi Klum and Seal ! Vows renewals every year and she turns out to be a lovely, cheating p.o.s. !

    • So true. Everyone told be to break free from him while I was pregnant and he was in jail. And hindsight being what it is they were all right and I would have saved myself all the additional heartache and lawyer fees. I even lost a best friend over it but I didn’t listen. I was so hell bent on having my son’s father in our lives, so we could be a unit, a team. Have the idealic family like Leave it to Beaver. I had to learn the hard way unfortunately and everyday I learn something new. And am so greatful to be free from him, even on the hard days, I’m still greatful to be free.

    • I think the stats are probably going to need to be presented basically like cancer survival rates because one flat percentage doesn’t tell the full story.
      Code the infidelity by strength (one night stand-stage 1, consistent hook ups or one -three long term affair partners considered stage 2, abusive narc grooming stable, continuous con, and or slutty hookup addiction paid for or otherwise considered stage 3/4)
      Then look at 5 year survival rates;
      Stage one, 85% survive 5 years.
      Stage one, 95% of those survivors experience relapse/progressional stage 2….

      Stage 2: 5 year % rates and % rates of relapse, etc.

      Ugh. It certainly feels terminal. But you’re not alllwed to blast it to bits with radiation or cut it up with a knife or poison it. “Murder” and all that jazz.

      • And I am in no way saying one ‘level’ of infidelity is more than another. I am just trying to think of how they would organize the data on a 3 dimensional spectrum of ‘success (reconciliation)’, time, relapse, and generally they may want to try to bucket the research to look for additional specs. Porn addicts, escort visitors, relationship affairs, emotional affairs, when EA progress to physical, all things I can see them trying to parse out.

  • pregnantchump, you have been on here enough months to have read some of the experiences that some of us have struggled through trying to “co-parent” our children with fuckwits. It is not pretty. You have an opportunity to avoid a great deal of the trauma and drama that goes with that impossible task. And that avoidance will most definitely benefit your child (as well as you.) I KNOW that single mom is not what you dreamed of doing while you went through the difficult process of fertility treatments and pregnancy. But the joy of being a parent and raising a child is not erased by being single. It can certainly be harder … that I do not deny … but it is also extremely satisfying and rewarding. The bond you will have with your child will be amazing. So I urge you to put aside those hazy Hallmark images of what your child’s family should be. One good parent trumps one good plus one lousy parent every time. Hugs.

  • Why hasn’t he blocked the other woman’s number? If he were serious about his marriage, he wouldn’t continue taking her phone calls. He is keeping her around ” just in case”.

    • THIS!!! I’ve had some girl friends in the past who have lamented their terrible ex’s who cheated on them and how these guys just won”t leave them alone and let them heal…yet, they havn’t blocked their numbers or emails or messing or whatever. You can block people from ALL OF IT!!! When I point this out they get real defensive. One said “well he’d just show up at my house.” To which I reply, then you don’t let him in, demand that he leave, and if he doesn’t then call the cops and slap a restraining order on him. But really, she’s enjoying being pursued…even if by a cheater.

      So yea, if you truly want someone out of your life you can make that happen. I know cause I did with my ex. He makes my skin crawl, blocked and blocked!

    • In his case unfortunately, he works with her. And they do have a lot of contact with each other at work (I know that is horrible too). Thank you so much for all of your support and guidance!

      • That is not a reason, it’s an excuse. He can get a job somewhere else.

        Dump The Mother Fucker’s Ass.

        I can tell you’re not really into all this good advice; you’ve got your own Unicorn Vision going, and this is all a waste of good electrons.

        Good luck, Kid.

  • I know everyone has already said the same thing, and maybe you already know, but someone who would do what he did to you is capable of much much worse and at best, is capable of doing the same thing again. Do you think that living with someone who abuses you is a good thing to show your baby? That is not a family. You are a family without him. You are not the “bad guy” by not giving him another chance. You seem to want to do what is right, but just because your stbx (I hope!) says it’s “right” doesn’t make it so. He is correct that you are strong but he is using that to manipulate you into being that good little chump that he remembers. Please don’t let your abuser back into your life. Almost all of us got this bs. They want back because it works for them now, not because they love and cherish you or wouldn’t fuck you over again if something shiny came along a few months from now. Watch how the sad sack routine evaporates if you bring up going through with the divorce or any other thing he doesn’t want to happen or think about or talk about.
    You have been so mighty and it is a long road but you will not be happy with this entitled narc. You also risk being truly unhappy with yourself. If he wants to be a parent then he will be. It’s not your job to manage the future relationship of your child and stbx by taking him back and making his life easier and yours harder.

    • This is so true!! I do feel like the bad guy. I feel like I am the one that would be splitting up our family, and that is not fair. I do want him to have a relationship with our son, but you are right that is not my responsibility! Thank you for your feedback and help!

  • Well darn. Who knew fucking and drinking could get old? And Karen from HR seemed like a keeper. Never mind she’s been helping fill out papers for fertility treatments and wives pregnancy. #needahomecookedmeal #consequenesnuffsaid #wheresmyplanB #needmorekibbles

  • 1) ironclad prenup signed immediately. Heavily in your favor.
    2) doesn’t live at home with you- treat it as a hazing period of minimum um, lets say at least 4 months :/
    3) if you’re like me, I’ll see you back here after you’ve suffered through pick me dancing.

    It sucks, but I made it through and you will too- do it your way but, hold him accountable.

    • Yes, with cash up front, both child support and spousal support. Medical insurance, life insurance payable to pregnant chump. Signs over house, in full. Makes sure pregnant chump is on her car’s registration. Full custody, two hours of visitation twice a week.

      And a minimum of 2 years. Two years of paying support and showing that he’s substance free and not cheating. Anyone can fake it for a few months. Two years.

      No way he can do it.

      • Love these expectations! I have something like this in play currently, and I plan to continue it. He is helping fully with finances, so that is helpful! Thank you so much for your comments, I am definitely going to use them!!

        • He isn’t helping with finances. He is sustaining PART of his responsibilities to you and the coming baby. There is nothing generous about him doing what he already agreed to do when you got married and decided you wanted a child. I am sure he is framing his contributions as some sort of demonstration of change, but living up to the minimum standard of meeting his responsibilities is not the kind of character change you need to see. If he signed his entire paycheck over to you every month and you returned some of it to “help” him with his finances, that would be an example of him trying to regain trust and changing. Be careful of letting him frame meeting obligations as being helpful.

  • And the two of them should be outed at work. Their bosses should know what kind of people are employed there.

    • Right??? I never did say anything and he told me nobody knows!!! It’s so frustrating! I just don’t want to be the person to tell. I feel like that is not my character.

  • YES! If I could pick one thing that people could learn from watching other people’s mistakes and misery it would be DO NOT BREAK NO CONTACT! I was married 21 years, divorced now for almost 2, and Dday was 2-1/2 years ago. We did not have any children so there is definitely no reason for me to have any contact with him. I have only been no contact for approximately 2 months and I have never felt better in my entire adult life (I’m 52). It took me this long to figure it out! Please, please, please stay no contact. It hurts but it hurts less than than unexplainable pain you feel after being around the cheater. Its an illusion. You think the communication with them is helping you but in reality it’s hurting your healing process. Trust that they suck, and they just want to keep you miserable and as a Plan B. I thought it would be better if we could maybe be friends, but after no contact the fog has lifted and i can see clearly. He doesn’t give a crap about me and I definitely don’t need a friend like him!

    • wonderwoman, you said it perfectly – “after no contact the fog has lifted and i can see clearly.” Hard to realize until you do it but SO TRUE!!

    • I mentioned above that I broke nc after 8 months. The next day I had an emotional hangover. Wrecked my whole day. I was down and depressed. Obsessively replaying the conversation over in my head. My stomach was in knots. My anxiety was back. Tears. Lots of tears.

      And then I thought: I haven’t felt this bad in 8 months. Yes, my heart was broken but that was another feeling entirely- the heavy chest achy feeling. THIS feeling was what I felt around my ex. The self doubt and crazy making feeling.

      Back to nc and feeling so much better.

  • Depending on where she lives, she may not be able to divorce while pregnant. That was the case for me. I found out about his affair after I was pregnant, made it through nine months of horrific gaslighting and emotional abuse, only to discover that he was still in contact with the whore 1 week before I was due. Thanks, Texas, for having such a high priority on “family values.”

    • Correct!!! I am not able to get a divorce or sell my house until after the baby is born!!! Again, feeling trapped. I do have a really good temporary relief that helps me financially (which he has been very supportive about and pays a lot to keep me and the baby in the house). But yes, I am trapped and can’t do anything anyways!!

      • Yeah, my two time cheater was also super generous financially after I kicked him out because of Affair #2. Paid way more than required by law, ‘so the kids could stay in their house and school’. Sounded GREAT! The ONE caring thing he consistently did for his kids!

        But once he figured out, several years later, that I really really really wasn’t going to let him come back, the generosity stopped, he started paying the absolute rock bottom minimum the law required AND arguing about any ‘extra’ expense that he should have been paying half of.

        THEN he got even madder (the kids weren’t sucking up enough, apparently) and tried to find a way to get back all the ‘extra’ money he had paid out, from the sale of the house! I was lucky that I happened to be protected legally, or it could have been SOOOO bad. I too had sacrificed lots of extra money to keep the kids in their home over those years, as well as taking care of ALL the care and feeding of that big old place, I would have been so screwed if he’d actually got that extra money back.

        So pretty clearly he expected to come back, and that’s why he didn’t want to burn any bridges, or sell the house. And man was he PISSED when that didn’t work the way he thought. THEN his previous generosity turned into some kind of loan that I hadn’t agreed to and he expected me to pay back. NOW I’m the evil bitch that took advantage of him – even though the ENTIRE idea was his all along, and I had offered to sell the house so we could both get out from under those extra expenses, multiple times.

        So don’t expect that his generosity will continue, or that it means he really cares and feels bad about what he’s done. If he’s narcissistic, they don’t do that. I can understand easing him along while you need to, but don’t be rebuilding that relationship!

        • Thank you for posting this! My stbx is currently paying a little more than maximum child support. My Dday was 2 months ago, and in that time I’ve lawyered up, sold my house and split the proceeds (hot market), and moved into an affordable rental with my one year old. The amount he’s paying gives us extra at the end of the month, and I’ve been wondering how he’ll react as the year goes by and the shock wears off. I’m guessing he’ll have the same response as your ex, so now I know to funnel all the extra into savings for when his “generosity” (bitch cookie!-paying for your child is NOT generosity-it’s adulting) wears off.

          Pregnantchump, I’m sorry. You don’t deserve this, pregnancy was supposed to be a hopeful and magical time for you, and he took that. Divorcing doesn’t get any easier after their born. My Dday came when my son was around 18 months and really starting to speak and understand concepts, so now he stands at the door and cries for daddy until I open it and show him that daddy’s not there. Then we discuss where daddy is and how it’s okay to love and miss him.

          We don’t deserve this, but we’re mighty and we’re going to raise some damn good kids!

      • So. Your real question is about him getting to play nice with you:
        You have to have contact because baby
        You already have support payments and insurance from him
        He has hope for a future- he says now and promises the moon
        And you are working on figuring out what?
        You say you’re tired and you need support. You want his help. So come up with low/no contact ways for him to support, that aren’t about you and him bonding which is just gonna fuck with your brain. Think about all the really easy ways he could make your life better without bugging you and hoovering that are just nice. Things I do for my grandma etc.
        -he can have meal prep plans delivered or pick up your ordered online groceries so you can rest.
        -get you a maid service to help you rest and grow the kid
        -he could help his family arrange a shower and or gifts
        He hasn’t done those things, he showed interest when you’re tired.

        And a few things grandma doesn’t get:
        -he can go to county baby classes on his own so he is ready to be self sufficient. (even the pothead in ‘knocked up’ read the baby books)
        -he can find his own place to live and show you by email that he has prepared a safe place for the baby when it’s old enough to come for visits.
        – he could find a job where he doesn’t work with the tramp (or start looking at least)
        -he could facilitate getting all paperwork drafted and ready for divorce so you are ready to sign once baby is born
        -he could propose a very flexible for you and light visitation schedule that outlines that you have the control and get it ready with all lawyers.

        Then if He actually follows through with that, all that, he can have alone time with baby, while you peace out in another part of the house. Have him actively involved in baby life, but it’s not involved in your life, and you have control of how much he gets going forward, which means you can reciprocate and let him have more contact as baby gets older. Unfortunately- Truth is in the masses- it’s not that most chumps keep their cheaters from their kids. It’s that the cheaters can’t be bothered.

        – I’m actually getting a little confused about what you’re asking anymore. At first I thought you wanted to be with him. Now I think you just mean you want help. If he wants to help you, he can get those family members of his to come and do laundry if you’re willing,m whatever. Think of something he can do that lifts your burden but isn’t about being with him. Get your oil changed make the baby doctor appt calendar that goes on the fridge and fill it out with the immunizations and we’ll child checkups and book the spots and ask him to set reminders in his phone so he can ensure he is there or at least remembers. Tell him when you think you’ll want to take water babies with the kid and ask him to set an alarm to remind him to work on the registration in 6 months for 9month classes or however your community center does it. And ask him to plan to attend. Share the calendar. And see what happens There’s lots he can do. Just… use it to reinforce that he cares about your kid. He’s already shown that you’re not tops. And when he doesn’t do it… you do it. Because you? And your kid? You’re tops.

  • @PregnantChump,

    If anything ever screamed Fuckwit Image Control, this is it. You want to know if you have a unicorn… HE IS STILL IN CONTACT WITH THE OW. I’m sorry, he may be your sperm donor, but he will never be your son’s Father… he has shown you that he can abuse his wife who is 8 weeks pregnant by abandoning her and shaming her and because he’s a coward, he even made you file for divorce. That, sadly, is who he is. It is as much a part of him as the part that is saying he loves you. You ready for years of that kind of crazy. You want to raise a child in that environment?

    But lets play pretend, because I know that is what you are doing right now. Lets pretend someone sprinkled pixie dust over his disordered ass and now he wants to be Dad. Does this man who abandoned you have the emotional maturity to:

    – accept your breasts are lactating and belong to your son for a good year or so…
    – live on 2-3 hour intervals of sleep for six to twelve weeks while working full-time…
    – share 50/50 duty on feeding, changing diapers, going to doctor appointments…
    – keep his dick in his pants if you’re not putting out for a night or two…

    … just to rattle off a few…

    And, have you considered this… what is harder for your son… to grow up with a “Father” who never lived with him and abused his Mom… or a son who has to be told “Daddy got a new girlfriend and he wants her more than he wants us.”

    The choice is yours.

    What happens on the day he wakes up and while scratching his balls decides that he doesn’t want to do it anymore (I estimate within 18 months).

    • He is in contact with the OW but I am not sure how to put a hold on that. He has to for his work. So that is the hard piece. You are right! So so right!

  • I emotionally broke those ties prior to leaving because he continously showed me who is was through abuse, so no contact was a given. I left once before leaving for good but stayed (33 years) way past the expiration date. Don’t be me concerning that.
    My point is that even though I was technically “married” I was completely alone and raising two kids as a single parent. I am a great parent but know dealing with an abusive fuckwit during that time took away some of my focus and attention. The health problems, depression, feeling worthess, playing the marriage police takes a toll. I would advise you to line up support that does not include him. Find a back up help now for when you need a break or not feeling well. If he contributes, good for you. I promise ( and I don’t normally say that in future circumstances) that you can do this without relying on him. Communication should be only about your child and ignore his silly emotional pleas and promises. He’ll either be interested short term as a hook to you, maybe become a great single dad during his parenting time,rage, or move on with someone else a keep you and your baby in the background and come around when he needs to feel better about himself. You have this!

    • Thank you so much! I do have this!! And good for you for getting out of your marriage after 33 years!! Thank you for your help!!

    • Yes yes yes! I was a WORSE parent because I was with him! The relationship was so emotionally draining, it actually cut down my patience with my kids, as well as making me often unhappy, and giving a terrible example of what a relationship should be. He did far less than half the parenting, and much of the time I was having to manage HIM, so he wouldn’t make any difficult w/the kids worse.

      I am very glad I left when I did, but SO wish I had left far earlier – it would have been MUCH HEALTHIER for my kids.

      Once I got him out of the house, things gradually lightened and we three (two kids and I) became happier, and I became a much better mom. It took quite a while, because I hadn’t found CL and didn’t know the magic of No Contact, though.

  • I really hope that Pregnant Chump reads ALL of these comments – ESPECIALLY MINE. I am Stretched and Torn. In December I wrote in to Chump Lady…you can see my post in the archives. I went through something very similar. My husband was cheating before and during my pregnancy. My pregnancy was extremely high risk. I found out about everything at 6 months preggers and he split. He is with the OW (although not openly). My pregnancy was brutal. My delivery was a nightmare. My son has had to endure more appointments with specialist than any one should ever have to in ten lifetimes. He gets physical and occupational therapy and he is only 4 months old. Let me tell you that it is HARD being a single mother. It’s HARDER dealing with his father who visits three times a week to see him. There are times that I get sad and depressed about the family that I “missed out on.” It is sad to think that my son doesn’t get the “normal family.” But then I realize that there is no such thing as “normal.” I also realize that had my husband stuck around, most likely he would be absent, sneaking around, screwing around on me, leaving me alone and I would have been miserable and sad all the time. Now, I get to raise my son the way a good person does. I get to wake up every morning to his smiling face. I get to see him everyday and the looks my son gives when he sees me, are priceless. He knows I am his mama. And he adores me more than anyone else. He is my best friend. Yes, it is hard but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have bad days, but I know it will get better. Stay strong!!!! You are not alone.

    • Stretched! I am so sorry to hear about your baby, that has to be so so hard!! You are so brave and mighty for fighting like hell for your precious little one. I am so impressed by you. I do have very bad days, but I also have a lot of good days that make it okay. I know that no matter what I will get through this and I am so thankful for all of you beautiful strong women that have shared your stories. Going through pregnancy alone is maybe one of the worst things I could imagine. I am missing the thought of living a “normal life”. It breaks my heart to think about. Thank you so much and I hope your son is doing better, thinking of you lots and sending you positive vibes..xoxox

      • What I took a long time to understand is that I ALREADY didn’t have a normal life. My kids ALREADY didn’t have an intact family – he had destroyed that. I was ALREADY so often a single parent. My mantra family became ‘it is what it is’, to remind myself that I needed to deal with the current REALITY, not what I wished could be. I would turn that longing around, tell myself ‘I wish he hadn’t cheated, but he did, so now I have to ….’, ‘I wish my kids had a good, solid dad, but they don’t, so now I have to ….’, ‘I wish I had a life partner I could lean on, but I don’t, so now I have to ….’

      • Do you have support from family and/or friends? My family is fantastic and they have helped me through the pregnancy and they are so in love with my son. I have some really fantastic friends too. Just remember that there is no such thing as “normal.” Your baby is going to be your entire world and the love of your life. Just remember to enjoy every moment of your precious little one. There will be difficult moments, but nothing that you aren’t capable of. And you will sleep. I promise. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night. You can nap when your baby does. It’s not quite the zombie experience that people make it out to be….plus, there is always coffee. ANd give yourself plenty of grace. You have gone through and will go through a lot, so don’t be hard on yourself. I get frustrated with not losing all the baby weight by now (4 months postpartum), but that doesn’t matter. I will get there. Be really kind to yourself. You are so much stronger than you realize. And PS, my little guy is breaking all of the molds, he is overcoming all of his challenges like a #boss lol!!!! He’s a tough cookie….just like his mama. Oh, and I’m not sure of your religion, but I go to a group called Divorce Care. It’s a Christian group and it’s based around bible scripture but it has helped me. I’m sure you can find a group near you. It’s great to know that divorce is so painful and that you aren’t alone in your thoughts. I’m sending you love and hugs!!!!! I wish I could meet you!

  • Do not allow this asshole back in your life!
    I let the Worm back in and 10 years later my son started cutting himself, 15 years later and he spends a month in rehab.
    The Worm blames me for being a horrible mother…forget the fact that nothing is ever good enough for him, forget the verbal, physical and psychological abuse, then forget that he was running around town with dozens of women before he fell in love with Pookie.
    This could be your future.
    Just don’t let him back in…….please!

  • pregnantchump – I just want to say I’m sorry. I could feel your sorrow in your letter to CL, and I’m so sorry that you’re being dragged back into the mud with him. I’m sure you don’t want to read all these chumps telling you to run (waddle), don’t walk away from this guy. I don’t disagree with them. I just want to let you know that I’m sure you are very sad, and I’m sorry you’re having to go through this.
    The upside is that you’ll ask a good friend or a dula to be with you in the delivery room, and when you see your baby, you’re going to walk through fire before you let a fuckwit like her father mess with either of you. I hope he’s a great dad. He was a lousy partner.
    Stay strong, stay on this site, and know that you’re doing the right thing.

    • Justastump, yes this has been a VERY difficult day! It is very hard to read all of the comments (even though I know they are right). I am very emotional and just want to curl in a ball and say forget it. Why does any of this matter? Why fight this hard? What is it that I am actually fighting for? At this point I have no idea, I am scared, alone, and feel more pathetic than I ever thought was possible. I appreciate your kindness and support. For taking the time to recognize that this too took strength, because I have been hiding from family and friends about it but I knew I needed people to tell me not to take him back, I am thankful for the whole site to tell me that I am wrong and taking him back would be a horrible mistake. Which is true. Thank you!!! xoxo

  • This guy is Flap from Terms of Endearment and you are Emma. Don’t be Emma, be Aurora.
    I hope Chump Lady’s answer makes you see straight. It will be hard to raise a
    Kid without another parent- but now that I look back I did almost everything by myself anyway because my idiot ex was off pretending to be a rock star. Old people and imagined musical greatness are a weird ugly combo. The desperation smell coming off of it is embarrassing. Glad I’m no longer down wind.

  • When presented with infertility, treatments which were just too tough for your husband, he bailed on you and your unborn child. This is when you needed him most. Raising a child is rewarding but that also comes with stress, illnesses, homework, heartache and the hardest work you will ever have to do. Do you think your husband has what it takes to make it through all of this stuff? He has already given you the answer to this. I’m sorry, the truth is he is going to cause you nothing but heartache and stress. You are FAR better off going it alone. You are tougher than you think. YOU CAN DO IT!

    • yes, you have a real baby who actually needs help. You don’t need a man- baby to take care of, competing with your real baby. Your baby deserves parents who will take care of it, not compete with it with sulking, tantrums, and running away.

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your words of encouragement. I CAN do this, so many people on this site are doing it. Thank you!

  • He has realized that child support & spousal support are $$$$ and if he can slither back into your life, he can save money, shag other’s (you’ll be exhausted & ‘not attentive to HIS “needs”‘) and still dance madly. He’s a cheater who didn’t live alone.

    Divorce him. Living alone is better than living a lonely life while married. It is hard but it can be done.

    Hugs to you. Put down the hopium.

  • I did pick up the hopium pipe and nearly died because of it, his anger escalated and he nearly choked me to death. If we were not in a public place, I know I would be dead right now. Last contact with him and never looked back. Onward and upward!

  • PregC,

    Try this experiment. Go hire an attorney to file for divorce. Ask for temporary support orders to get some cash coming in.

    Give what’s left over to the attorney after you’ve met your (YOU AND YOUR BABY) needs. You’ll be in debt to said attorney. Debts can be paid off in time. Sometimes winfalls happen at the most unsuspected times of need, or they just fall out of the sky. (GOD maybe? Karma? Cosmic Alignment?)

    If this POS needs to communicate with to you, HERE’S YOUR MANTRA “Talk to My Attorney”.
    RINSE AND REPEAT.

    By the way, I’m going to my attorney today at 2:30. To put a check in her hand and to initiate this process of getting free from my serial, lying, deadbeat cheater.

    Listen to what these ladies are telling you.

    • I have a lawyer and temporary relief, that whole part is worked out which is nice. I can’t get a divorce until the baby is born so we are in a standstill anyways. I am proud of you for going to the attorney and filing, it is a very rewarding feeling (it is also extremely hard to see the papers in writing). Thank you so much!

  • Like accepting back a roommate who already burned down your house on purpose before. Just, no. Too much history, too much risk, too much to lose.

  • The article could not have come at a better time. As a recent flunkee of NC, and sucker of the hopium pipe, I feel qualified to say that the only hopium usage results in is depression, additional opportunities for the cheater to take advantage, and the opportunity to continue the dysfunction that was my relationship. This latest round included him snooping in my text messages to find a reason to reach out to one of the 40,000 affair partners. He needed a justification for his bad behavior and actually used my text messages to find it. Super. The worst part is that for a minute, I bought that my actions sent him into “relapse”, because he is a compulsive sex addict, don’t you know. Thing is, I allowed the contact, and he was just looking for a reason to find the self destruct button again. Men like this don’t find a reason to have character, or they do for a short time, and then they find their way right back to finding something strange to screw. There really just isn’t a happy ending to allowing the NC to end. There just isn’t.

  • If you haven’t figured it out already, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t get back together with him. I WAS YOU… He had an affair while I was pregnant (and blamed self-esteem issues), wouldn’t leave OW for a while, and then after a few months of separation said the EXACT SAME THINGS that your ex is saying. I was a total chump (ChumpLady wasn’t around 15 years ago), and I smoked the hopium and took him back. Fast forward to now… I have wasted 15 years of my life thinking that he had “changed,” only to find out two months ago that has been having another year-long affair. My world is crushed, our now THREE children are crushed, and I’ve come to realize that people like him never change. Don’t waste your life like I did.

    • I have a lawyer and temporary relief, that whole part is worked out which is nice. I can’t get a divorce until the baby is born so we are in a standstill anyways. I am proud of you for going to the attorney and filing, it is a very rewarding feeling (it is also extremely hard to see the papers in writing). Thank you so much!

  • If you take him back, there will be another OW in the future, probably when your son is 4, 6, 10, 14 years old, when divorce will be even MORE painful. These entitled freaks do NOT change. He’s back to you because him & Schmoopie had a fight, and/or he’s avoiding paying child support, now that the divorce is becoming real. These men only need a Nurse/Purse/Mommy. YOU are the Nurse/Purse. They are incapable of being alone, but once they find another Girlfriend/Wife Appliance, he will kick you to the curb again. Don’t let him. Leave him at the curb TODAY!

  • So many chumps today are offering tokes on their hopium pipes. Advice to “take it slowly” or meet with his therapist, & I’m screaming in my corn flakes, “Trust that he sucks!” That’s some scary advice from a hoped-up chump. So, the OW didn’t dump him, & he’s picking you (again?) & wants back in. Maybe there’s an even better OW now that is in the sidelines. He big-time cheated, & you want that in a father/husband?? How’s the STD testing working out for you? Listen to your heart. Do NOT take it slow. Nothing to work with here. No, I don’t want some of what they’re smoking.

    • ^^^^ This.

      Virtually EVERYONE who takes back a cheater regrets it. Save yourself lots of tears and heartache: Someone who cheats on you does not love you.

      • EVERYONE whontakes back a cheater. Not virtually everyone.

        Some people just lie a bit better about it.

  • Oh, Pregnantchump, I feel for you so very deeply, because the loss of “family” and being a part-time co-parent is the biggest kicker about being divorced, and something I still struggle with. Such a vulnerable time in your life to go through the suckiness of chumpdom. There’s a very small part of me that really wishes your cheater is a unicorn, realizes he royally fucked up and that he can actually be honest and would never cheat again. But my own experience and skepticism tell me different. My first thought was wondering what happened between cheater and O.W. that “ended” the relationship. Her sparkliness wore off, the relationship ran its course, maybe she’s messy or batshit crazy or she started having real girlfriend demands to come with the new title, maybe she can’t have kids and isn’t as good of a wife appliance…(as is the case with my cheater.) Who cares? Another one will come along, once you’re safely back on the shelf.
    Mine cheated before we got married, and I made it so easy for him to come back because I thought he really learned his lesson and really did love me after all. Then we decided to have a kid cause it’s what he really wanted…and according to him, I was going to be such a great mom and having a family was the next step for us (not really, should have totally moved on.)
    Well, I ended up having really bad post-partum, no sleep, gained a great deal of weight, and started asserting my authority as wife to ask my ex for help with child care and household responsibilities. Yeah, no.
    He found another one, while I was busy trying to keep the family and business running smoothly, often neglecting my own needs because the ex made me feel like my needs were not equivocally as important as his. I lost myself for this man. I remember asking him if he atleast loved me for the simple fact that I was the mother of his child. He told me he wanted me to move on. Fast forward 2 years and I did finally file for divorce. It wasn’t until the divorce date was in sight, that he finally made “moves” to end it with her, with frequent professions about how much he missed being family, and how hard divorce was on children, (wow, he suddenly fucking cared.) He wanted to immediately reconcile and have another child (not a good idea to have children to fix broken relationships,) even though they had a full two year live-in relationship that I felt he needed to properly grieve, instead of using me as a rebound or fallback. I wanted to be first choice instead of him secretly missing her and ‘settling’ with me because of kid.
    Even after the divorce, I tried one more time, even though he had two years. Yup, found him still in contact with her-giving roses for her birthday and misleading shit like that. He said, he was ‘letting her down easy.’ I shook my head, told him to fuck off and never looked back. He was still persistent about reconciling even after that, to which I told him that I was taking a two year commitment to singledom, and to check back with me then. He said he was doing the same.
    He married her, a year later. and 6 months later they were expecting a child, which she never carried to term. So here’s my ex, 5 years out from our initial split, 3 years after divorce, after she lost the baby, and this mother fucker has the nerve to tell me that he really wanted to reconcile, how much he ‘unconditionally’ loves me (they love to use that unconditional thing to fuck with you, in hopes you’ll give back unconditional love, ie: be a doormat,) and telling me how we deserved yet, another chance.
    This mother fucker’s delusional. NO CONTACT, Bare minimum contact, grey rock, strict boundaries…whatever you need as a co-parent, DO IT because these types will keep at this game and try to mind-fuck you as long as YOU LET THEM. My ex knows how hard it is for me to be a part-time parent, so he uses this to manipulate my feelings to make me think that he actually is a different person and that he really would have been the loving, committed, faithful husband he promised; yet it’s all my fault and I’m missing out on this in tact family unit, because I didn’t give him yet another chance. I know better. I’m just beyond thankful that we didn’t have more than one kid, ’cause I’m positive this would have happened again, after “wreckonciliation.” His behavior in the present and past, tells me everything I need to know- won’t even mention the lies told in mediation. He’s remarried to her and still feels entitled to share the same emotional connection we did when we were married, all while claiming to love Jesus. Yuck! Trust that these cheaters absolutely suck!

    • OOO My goodness your story is so heartbreaking and I feel like you can completely relate to mine. I am so sorry that you have also had such a hard road. Thank you for sharing your story! It really does help me. I wish things were just black and white and you could see the right path. I know no matter what I choose, it is going to be difficult. Thank you for your strength and support!

  • Pregnant Chump, I’ve read some of the comments but not all of them (too many to read while at work), so one of the citizens of Chump Nation may have already posted this advice. The best thing you can now do for your son is to go no contact with his bastard of a dad and arrange for child support, and his limited visitation, through your attorneys. If you allow the bastard back into your home, the reality of normal life with a needy infant, with the crying, the colic, the diapers and rashes, the appointments with the pediatrician, the spitting up, the sleepless nights – all of that is going to catch up with him. I doubt he’ll be man enough to handle having the focus off his own wants and needs for the next several months, let alone years.

    Instead, I think one of two scenarios is highly likely to play out:
    1) The Lifetime Channel movie speech he gave to you, about losing the love he really wanted, losing sight of what he had, and spending his life making up for his betrayal, is going to be adapted for his affair partner. He’ll change your name to hers and try to worm his way back into a child-free love nest.
    OR
    2) He finds a new affair partner. So, the last time it was someone in HR who gave him attention when his self-esteem was low because of his infertility issues. Maybe next time time it will be some understanding someone in accounting, or in marketing, or maybe even the barista he flirts with at the local coffee shop, who will help him over the low self-esteem he has due to his INFIDELITY issues. (Believe me, it happens. My ex, Snakeface, bonded with Spiritual Slut co-worker because he was able to talk openly with her about his FIRST affair with a co-worker at a previous job. She listened without judgment… )

    You can’t risk your own physical and mental health, or your child’s, now or ever. End the marriage yesterday and seek the support you need from the family members and current and future friends who won’t consider blaming you for the affair for a single second, a therapist of your own, parenting groups, whatever will work for you and your son. Blessings for what’s ahead, for you and your little one.

    • There is always another schmoopie around the corner. Howorker, corner bar, babysitter, teacher, coach. My now ex Dr. Cheaterpants picked howorker first time then young asst sports coach in our kids Catholic school. 2 suspicious secretaries in there too.

      The crying and ‘I don’t know how this happened’ just shows you the cheater is reckless. Yep, another fuckwit waiting to soul mate with yours. Best leave them to it and break free.

  • Probably said already in comments, but seems like a timing coincidence that he’s coming around again not so long afte