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A “Trust That They Suck” Reminder

valentine“Trust that they suck” is a mantra that bears repeating. It’s so easy to fall for the propaganda. You see your ex, tagged in some mutual friend’s Facebook page laughing uproariously at a party. The children come back with tales of Shiny New Things. People who were your family for decades now exclude you. It sucks. It’s hard to remember the suck belongs to them and there’s not something wrong with you.

“I get the nagging feeling that he and the OW have a fulfilling fairy tale relationship.  So please, please beat me over the head with a refresher on ‘trust that they suck.'”

Trust your senses, chumps — they suck! Some pointers:

1. All that shitty stuff they did? The affairs, the gaslighting, the character assassination after the fact, the denial, the neglect? THEY DID IT. Yes, pinch yourself, it really and truly happened.

2. Connect the dots. If all that truly happened… you don’t want this person in your life, right? It doesn’t matter how wide screen their television is, or how fabulous their vacation pictures on Facebook, how sparkly they seem — YOU DON’T WANT THAT, remember?

For the affair partner to get the goodies, they have to endure — or will soon — the cheater’s true nature. That’s not going away. Your cheater didn’t get a character transplant. All that entitlement, all those crappy life skills — they’re still there. It’s a package deal.

If there’s been a binge of shiny new thing shopping it’s generally to salt the mines. You know, make a commodity appear more valuable than it really is. Crappy people need hooks. Cheaters are to sparkles what Bernie Madoff is to promised dividends. Any “reward” of their company comes with a very steep price tag, eventually.

3. Let’s say for the sake of argument, that they did have a character transplant, they are magically no longer their crappy selves, the affair partner brings out their very best self. They are now 100% sparkle, no filler.

They still cheated, abused, and gaslighted you. They still destroyed your trust. They still destroyed that relationship. This isn’t a person you can feel safe with. Maybe someone who never knew the old them will be able to do that, but you will remember. Those things happened, which caused the relationship to END because of their infidelity. Their new life is no longer your concern. YOUR new life is your concern. Treat their success as you would a stranger’s. This person has no connection to you.

4. You don’t share the same values. If you feel like the break up was forced on you, that you didn’t want it, that there is something to miss — change your focus. You can’t be with your cheater because you aren’t a good match. You don’t share the same ideas about love, family, and relationships. To be with them would be squelching a fundamental part of yourself — the person who demands reciprocity, honesty, and fidelity in marriage. In a way, it’s nothing personal. You are just two people who have nothing in common except shared history.

Let ’em go, chumps. Trust that they suck.

This column ran previously. I’m the guest on a podcast this morning — Choose To Be Curious! Which will air in July. More on this soon!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Having a D-Day is devastating enough, but then to be devalued & discarded by the ex’s family is another level of pain. The people that you considered family, that had you calling them “Mom” and “dad”, the ex’s siblings that you formed a connection with, the nieces & nephews that you watched grow up … when all of them hightail it out of your life the minute they find out you have been replaced is mind numbing. The sister-in-law was involved in meet ups with the OW before I found out about the affair, which is another level of betrayal. Then his entire family embraced the OW IMMEDIATELY!!!! They watched as he walked out on his family, assaulted me, and then allowed his children to be abused at the hands of the OW’s children. All of this was so infuriating for me … but CL helped me to see that they sick as well. And I’ve realized that all of those people helped to create the man I was running from. There were issues between me and ALL of them for years. I had actually gone no contact with the sister because she’s horribly abusive. No wonder she helped coordinate the OW time!!!! So Trust That They Suck – Trust That They ALL Suck, and remember that these people made this person into the abusive, pathetic man that he is (and I’m sure they were abusive as well – I know that my in-laws sure as hell were!!). You don’t want anyone like that in your life.


      If your kids go no contact with their cheater parent, cheater ex’s family will paint your child as spoiled and disrespectful.
      Disordered doesn’t fall far from the tree. Your ‘no contact’ child will get no birthday or holiday wishes and no congratulations for graduating or for any of their accomplishments. Not even from grandma! Horrible people.

      I hope for all us chumps, that there will never be a doubt and that we TRUST THAT THEY SUCK!
      This chump can proudly say… TRUST THAT I SUCK AT GIVING NARCISSISTIC SUPPLY! Yup, not interested. Run. Far, far away. See ya cheater!

      • It seems that the “trust that he sucks” was in all actuality the only thing that I could TRUST about him!

      • ^^^^ This entirely, ex mil is a narc and bred a narc…I’m trying like hell to rewrite the narrative for my kid’s future, narc-free

    • My In laws are no better. 30yrs and now it’s like I never existed. I simply cannot believe how many people have gone out of my life. Most times I don’t really care. When I hear the lies he’s spreading about me I know in my heart that the truth will eventually come out. When does the mindfuckery end?? OR does it ever? The persona he projects to the outside word is really not him. 11 months out and I was fine. Suddenly I’m falling apart, I simply cannot stop crying….. Maybe I needed this today.

      • Lioness,
        After 30 years, you need more than 11 months to heal. Don’t expect that from yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself when you’re having a rough time.
        You lost your spouse, your trust, what you thought would be the reward time for the two of you and a whole family.
        Now you have to build and gain a whole new life.
        Just remember that there will be times you feel despair and hopelessness but those times will get shorter and a bit easier.
        Yesterday was a rough day for me but I knew that if I got through the day, today would be easier – and I’m 5 years post-divorce. I reached out for support on the forums and got it immediately! What a blessing.
        Will it ever go away completely? After such a long marriage, I don’t know. But I do know it’s better on this side.
        Today’s post would be a good one for you to hang onto to read on the rough days.
        Give yourself LOTS of time to heal. 11 months is not enough for you.

        • I agree, I’m three years out from day, 2 divorced and I can see blue in the sky. I can look men in the eye.
          I have dated casually, to go to a concert or go fly fishing. I’m in no hurry.
          I am building me inside and out and I love it!
          I don’t care what he’s doing, there’s nothing there.
          I have no doubt that his next relationship will end like the first two, with him cheating.
          It’s not a life for me.
          We only get one life, make it yours

          • Love this! Happy for you and you remind me to keep moving forward.

      • Oh yeah, they just keep on sucking, along with their families. I’ve been practicing grey rock for years and people still approach me mentioning that he and his family continue to badmouth me to anyone who will listen. Four years later and they are still trying to protect his/their image. He’s gone through 2 tru wuvs since the final discard and has begun dismissing the kids since he got his money from the divorce. Dad of the year! I’m focusing on my life and it feels so good to be free of the chaos.

      • I am so sorry. In this journey none of us wanted to take, we have our good days and bad days. On my good days, I am so proud of myself and how far I have come. On my bad days, I have trouble getting out of bed. I have found that it hurts most when I am navigating the tough stuff alone.

        It all sometimes seems so unfair. Why do awful people get away with their bad behavior? Then I remind myself that they don’t. We may not see the truth because cheaters are experts at making themselves and their lives seems marvelous. It is all a lie.

        Today, I read an obituary written by the children of a woman who had abandoned them after she became pregnant by her husband’s brother. Over 50 years later, their pain is a fresh as if it happened yesterday. In five paragraphs, the children she abandoned got the actual last word and revealed to the world how evil their mother truly was. It ended with their confident prediction that she is now residing in Hell. Ouch!

        While we grieve, we should also be proud that we are not that kind of person. We do not ignore the feelings of others. We do not turn our backs on the people who love us. We do not put our selfish wants above the needs of others. On our worst days we are better human beings than those people on their best days.

        I have not posted much here recently because of recent health issues. I do not know how they will be resolved. What I do know, though, is that I have tried to be a kind and caring person. In my small ways, I have tried to leave the world a better place. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

        Do not be ashamed of your tears. They are proof that you are human.

        • Violet, I’m saddened to hear you are suffering from recent health issues. Sending big hugs in hopes you get better soon. I’m not much of a blogger, but I’m an avid reader, and I enjoy your posts. Take care of yourself. Chump Nation needs you!

        • Thank you for your beautifully written and wise post. It spoke to me and has helped me this morning.

        • Violet: You have been a source of inspiration and font of wisdom since I first found CL over three years ago. I’m very sorry to hear about your health problems, and hope that whatever treatment you seek is effective. Hugs.

        • Violet, I hope you’re on the mend and feeling better soon. You are a valuable member of CN and I always look forward to your posts. You’ve helped a LOT of people.

        • Hi Violet,

          I am new to the board and this is my very first post. I am two and a half weeks out from D-Day and I am struggling but wanted to let you know, your words helped me so much today. I am sorry to read about your health issues. Will keep you in my prayers that you are feeling better soon.

          • Reading these posts made me smile and feel stronger than ever! The people here continue to convince there is good in the world. Chump Lady is my hero.

            • Sending you warm thoughts for a complete recovery Violet. Your post are always so inspiring, wise and thoughtful.

        • Hugs, Violet. I am sending you healing energy and prayers for a speedy recovery.

      • Give yourself time. My sons saw their grandfather last Saturday at my ex’s house. His comment to my youngest, whom he hasn’t seen in 7 years was – well you are taller and hairier since the last time I saw you. Which is true. He was 17 and now almost 24. To them both he said, he was surprised to see them, because he didn’t think they would come up. Which is fair in some regards since my youngest refused to go to his father’s wedding reception to affair partner whom he can’t tolerate. The comment struck me as odd, since I was the one who facilitated his meeting up with his oldest grandson at the same wedding reception. Eldest wasn’t going to go to wedding reception either, unless his grandfather was there.

        They want to see their grandfather. Grandfather lives in Kansas City Kansas. We live in Indiana. I can’t afford to pay for airline tickets for them to go to see him. They don’t want to drive all that way. It’s a tough situation. For a quick second I took on the blame that it was my fault they hadn’t seen their grandfather since their grandmother’s funeral. Notice I said quick second. It’s HIS father. He should be the one working on fostering the relationship not me. But when my ex barely has a relationship with his own children, what reasonable person would expect him to foster a relationship with their grandfather?

        My sons are adults. Their relationship with their father’s family is their responsibility. Do I really care that my ex’s family thinks or cares about me? Nope, I have my own family and friends who love and care about me, those folks don’t matter.

      • I am almost two years out from DDay and I still have bad days sometimes. I think I am doing just fine and then something triggers a relapse. The good news is that the time between relapses gets longer and longer over time. Don’t be discouraged when they happen, however. It is all part of the healing process. Each relapse will take less time to overcome than the one before and it will be that much longer until the next one. After such a long relationship, I doubt that the pain will ever go away completely, but it will become manageable. Just a minor ache that can be ignored most of the time. How long that might take, I can’t say for sure and it probably varies for each individual.

        • ChumpinRecovery. I feel the same way. I’m out about 3 years since Dday and I still have those “bad” days where I just can’t shake the feeling of sadness and loss of my family unit, my supposed best friend, my marriage. Sometimes I know what triggers me other days it’s out of the blue.

          • Blindsided, I experience the same ‘out of the blue’ grief, and it’s been 4 years. Happened yesterday in the middle of the 7th day caregiving while extremely sick. Me, my 7 year old and my 5 year old are all sick with unending fevers and coughs and sore throats, and I started feeling sorry for myself for a minute. Then 2 thoughts passed through my head, foreign and unwelcome:

            I miss being married. I miss our inside jokes.

            It floored me, and I broke down and sobbed like I did in the early days. It made me feel hopeless and depressed for the entire day, like a fog that wouldn’t lift. The ex just had baby #2 with AP turned wife. Probably thinking that they will all have pancakes on Father’s Day while he hasn’t come to see our children even once in almost 4 years is doing a number on me. Can’t reconcile who I thought he was with who he is and who everyone else THINKS he is. I feel like he treated me (and by extension, our children) as obtusely as trash left on the side of the road, he and everyone in his life thinks he’s a swell guy. I don’t know what I’d do without this site, it helps keep me from letting those go-nowhere hopeless thoughts spiral out of control.

            • Anyone who abandons four children is a HORRIBLE person. There aren’t enough pancakes to make that shit right. ((Hugs))

              • Thanks so much for caring, Tracy! We have two children, not four, but no matter the math or the number of pancakes you’re right. Our kids are now five and seven, and for the last four years I’ve been their sole caregiver. He moved to the opposite coast for his AP in 2014 (and had 2 more kids with her) and then claimed he’s not been able to afford to come back to see ours.

                Guess he never once considered the price of a plane ticket when his junk was doing all the decision making for him back then. Now he has a sadz, but instead of any modicum of responsibility-taking on his part, the ENTIRE thing has now become my fault. He has got his wife, his mother in law, some of our joint friends, and my ex-father in law believing the whole visitation-blocking narrative. Never once blocked visitation, just wouldn’t agree to reduce child support which he never voluntarily pays anyway (he’s $35K in arrears). They have directly said – on FaceBook of all places – that I don’t care about the kids and are just using them like a weapon, and that I clearly don’t care about the emotional harm that will come to them when their father can’t visit them. Ergo, because I won’t accept less money for the care of the children, I must not care about the children.

                I was a good wife who was betrayed, blindsided, gas-lighted, lied about, and unceremoniously ghosted with 2 small babies, and yet him not being able to afford visitation after moving cross country and starting a new family is on ME. I cared for a long time that he and those others thought this, now I just shake my head. The unmitigated gall that it takes to blame the un-offending spouse for the mess you’ve made of your own life is flat out disordered and ridiculous. I can see this clearly because of the ‘trust that they suck mantra’ you instilled in me. THANK YOU.

            • He hasn’t made an effort to see his children ONCE in FOUR YEARS? What a shit. And I wouldn’t make a hard bet that everyone thinks he’s a swell guy because others see that, too.

            • No way everyone thinks he is swell. Only the people who don’t know he had children from a previous marriage would think that and in that case they are being duped.

              • You would think that, right? Because that’s a sane thought. I had the same thinking, because I am also sane. But I swear to you, after he left it was like I was living in oppositeville and my ex was the mayor. I nearly went IN-sane at the mental pretzel this caused, because to me, what he did was despicable and horrifying behavior and I was the innocent party. Not to his new fiancée, his soon to be mother in law, some of our joint friends, or my father in law of 14 years. I was replaced virtually instantaneously, making me wonder what in the hell must be so wrong with me that these people would all conspire to dismiss my pain while somehow finding ways to blame me. I loved and trusted my spouse and treated him like a king. It was nothing short of total annihilation and a steel-toed kick to the teeth.

                The new woman knew all about me (she even proudly told me she was sent pics and videos of the inside of my house, including of me and my children) Creepy as EFF. She repeatedly TOLD my husband to leave me and the kids, and he agreed. I saw the whole text conversation (again, she showed it to me with pride). Her mother knew all of this too, and later called me names and mocked me on FaceBook.

                My father in law, a man married for 50 years, also knew. I saw an email he wrote my ex, and it ended with ‘Sure do love you, bud. Make sure to take good care of (AP’s name) and those kids.’ He was instructing his son to take care of the AP he’d just abandoned his wife and babies for 3 days earlier, as well as to take good care of her kids from previous marriages that he’d just become an insta-dad to by moving in with them.

                It was all kosher/normal/sane to each of them that he literally walked out of one life with a hot cup of coffee on the counter on a Sunday, drove 2,000 miles, and immediately moved into another on a Tuesday. They found no fault with him of any kind, actually, but plenty with my ‘emotionally immature reaction’. I assume this is because he told them that I threw my Iphone across the kitchen in anger. That was the extent of my ‘outburst’ when Honey annihilated me with emotionless precision.

                I am telling you, there are disordered people walking this earth the likes of which I had no idea about. Presuming sane behavior in others is no longer a given for me. I now see each of them for what they are, but in the early days my pain was compounded 1,000-fold because of these peripheral parties and their endorsement of something dishonorable and cruel. I just hope someone reading this will be put at ease in knowing they aren’t alone, they ARE sane, as I was when I first found Chump Nation. ‘Trust that they suck’ pillow embroidery. It should be a thing.

            • I doubt all is just peachy with your ex and OWife and the pancake breakfast is a fantasy. Lets focus on reality. This is her second baby? She’s old hat to him right now. For all we know he may have someone else lined up. She may be miserable and may be thinking she could have done better and now she’s stuck with him and two babies. Your ex did not become “Father knows Best” when he left you and your kids. The skanky mistress did not become June Cleaver. They’re two pieces of shit that unfortunately bred.

              • Owife has other children from previous relationships?! This gets even better. Nope they are definitely not having a lovely pancake breakfast.

              • Presuming sane behaviour in others is no longer a given…

                This ^^^

                I used to just assume people would do the right thing, be normal and act accordingly.

                Now I wait and watch. It takes a long time because in my books trust is hard earned and not freely given any more.

                One little disordered thought or deed from somebody is enough for me too keep that person away from me and my precious life.

            • Hey Honey. My ex turned our kids and brainwashed them, so they see me as the bad one and I am distant from them. . I am happy you have the love of your children!. I miss them much more than I would ever miss the ex.

              • I’m so sorry, Mitz! I can’t imagine your pain. I’m sure you’ve tried everything to get them back into your life, so I won’t insult you with ideas about what to ‘try’ to get them to see reason. It’s enough to conspire to betray you, but to separate your children from you and you from them? Angry on your behalf and just so very sorry.

            • Listen to Chump Lady, PLEASE!
              Years ago when I was young and far less wise and still emotionally immature, I dated a man who had barely anything to do with his daughter by his former wife. I wondered how on earth could he love me when he treated his own child like that? Maybe like me the grief you feel is about who I THOUGHT he was and not having what I thought I had? I am 6 months out from D Day and have gone from feeling the affair was my fault somehow to knowing DEEP that I have ZERO to do with it.
              My grief is about possibly having spent half my life (27 years) with an illusion. No man who has an affair, marries the the Lower Companion, has children with her, and ignores his other children, is a prize. You have be in denial to think that, and thankfully you are no longer. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like hell, unfortunately. ????

              • Yes! Truth, Velvet Hammer. I mourn the illusion. I loved that illusion. The shark wearing a person suit that was never the real Slim Shady. I now know exactly who he is and I will never be under any misconceptions about that again, but you’re does hurt like hell. Because those times when we laughed in the kitchen at our inside jokes over a plate of rolled tacos at midnight…those are the kinds of things that haunt me. And you’re also right that obtuse or cold hands-off parenting is the biggest red flag ever of a highly dysfunctional person, man or woman.

                I’m so sorry we can relate!

      • Lioness, Triumph, I know EXACTLY how you feel. The same story with me, after 40 years of caring, helping, paying, calling you get a could shoulder

      • It comes in waves. Some days are ok, others are not. I am happy I don’t have to look at Judas across the breakfast table! To know he is out there with his poison is bad, but I can handle that.

      • I hear ya, Lioness. Same story. Similar timeline. Also doing well, trusting that they suck, falling down that hole with you this week. We will conquer this. Just like we have everything else. Standing as strong as I can manage today with you xxx

    • My In-Law’s betrayal hurt just as much as what my X did to me. They embraced MOW and her parents before I really knew what was happening!

      Just a friend Miss Piggy and her sparkly family and become enmeshed in my x’s life to the point that they were socializing and making plans together over vacation times and family events.

      The people who I believed to be my family – the parents I trusted and loved had devalued and discarded me and by the time I understood this it made me look like the crazy one because this has been going on for 3 years before BD!!!

      6 years out and I have perspective. His parents are enablers and yes – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

      My life is so much more peaceful without having to live up to all of their crazy expectations.

      They all suck. They suck the happy right out of you if you let them.

    • Well, I hope that ex-cheater’s parents and sibling are happy with taking his side. They visit his parents for one measly weekend per year when we used to visit with them at least 2-3 weeks per year, and according to my kids, they have no other contact with them. When I was still a part of the family, the kids talked on the phone to ex-cheater’s relatives, I sent them updates of the kids (including class pictures), etc.

      I guess that having a relationship with their ONLY grandchildren/nephews/niece wasn’t as important as keeping ex-cheater happy by cutting off any relationship with me. I continued sending gifts, pictures, and updates after the divorce despite how ex-cheater treated me, and I was eventually rebuffed because ex-cheater and I weren’t getting along and “put the children in the middle.” Enjoy that high, lonely horse you’re sitting on, ex-IL enablers!

  • I’m watching it all unravel now that he has zero control over me. He is no longer relevant and is trying his hardest to reverse that. It’s laughable. The other day, my family and I were trying to come up with a reason for his horrid behaviour. The best excuse I could come up with was this very mantra “Trust that they Suck”. All of them. Thank you CL

  • I needed this right now, thank you so much for the timely reminder Chump Lady!

    • Me too. It’s all to easy to blame ourselves because it’s just chump nature. In my case, it’s made especially hard now that he has a new baby and sparkly relationship with a woman who does not condone how he left me, but understands he is a person with faults, as we all have faults. When you hear sh#t like that, it easy to blame yourself for not accepting his faults. But then I remind myself that he never accepted my faults and he sucks. The phrase I have to tell myself over and over is: Our values were not the same.

      • I bet your faults didn’t risk his health, mental and physical!

        And I bet that most of us work to better ourselves when we recognize our faults – while *most* cheaters simply do not put in the time and effort of introspection and self improvement.

        • UnderConstruction – they don’t have time for introspection and self improvement. # 1 there is nothing wrong with them, right? # 2 They are too busy keeping the kibble train running.

      • CC, my situation is the same but no new baby just a sparkly new relationship with someone who “doesn’t let him minimize” his actions that led to the divorce. And she’s younger. And her kids are older. And she’s going for her doctorate. And they’re going to Costa Rica. And And And. I have to remind myself that even though we appeared to have a great family, being in a relationship with him didn’t feel as great as it looked. Still bothers me that now he wants to be a better man.

        • Rachel, Your X will be the same crappy man with her…. Even Costa Rica with the disordered is just another beautiful place to have a shitty vacation. In my twenty year marriage (28 years together), I couldn’t tell you how many vacations we had where X was such a baby that no one had any fun. We’d all want to go places, explore, and he could hardly drag himself out of bed. Complained incessantly about my family(okay, they are quirky) and when with his family, he simply…ignored us. Two summers before Dday (and his lovely ILYBINILWY speech), I chose NOT to go on “our” family vacation. He had treated me like crap the year before and the entire time we spent camping that year he was out exploring with his family while our kids and I were left to fend for ourselves. Not that we couldn’t entertain ourselves but we were in the middle of freaking nowhere-beautiful small lake and nobody else around for miles, and we barely saw him. I cooked and cleaned while they tumbled home from great adventures and then swore I’d never do that again. What was so heartbreaking was that I loved being outdoors and I can remember telling him how I felt. How hurt I was. Earlier in our years together I spent an entire year working outdoors and we had spent many days hiking, fishing, and swimming while courting. Married, I always felt I was looking at a fairy tale from behind plate glass. I had everything I ever wanted…except an engaged, truthful spouse. It’s really hard for normal people to have a good time when crazy exists.

          • I love the way you word that. ” Looking at a fairy tale through plate glass” That sinking, lonely feeling when I looked at our marriage. We had the house, kids, good jobs, travel, nice home, blah, blah, blah, but it felt askew. After d day he said there was ‘something missing’ but couldn’t say what it was. I guess I felt the same way, but I can name what was missing and I knew it then. He was not fully engaged in our relationship or as a father. And he is dishonest. I think the empty elevator shaft is a great way of summing up what was missing for him. He was also missing in HIS life, if that makes sense.

            Your interests are inspiring me and I hope you are taking the opportunity to do all those outdoor activites in your own way and with your own ‘quirky’ tribe. I think nature holds the key to a lot of recovery, getting outside with nature, challenging yourself , finding peace, serenity, beauty. Even just digging in the dirt and growing things in a pot or your backyard.

            • Yes, I still find joy in “the great outdoors.” Even on a budget. I have a great job that allows me time outside as well. Looking back, my best memories lay with our children, the ones I spent the most time with, and who love me unconditionally. Long days at the beach, swimming in the lake, and watching them at youth sports. I can still feel the sun beating down on me. So those are the memories I cherish. Every year now we choose a new vacation spot, work hard to save up and pool our money, then all meet up there. My kids are in their twenties now, prioritizing great lives, yet still choose time with me. I am happy with that. My eldest once noted that, during her childhood, “Dad didn’t spend much time vacationing with us….” and she was right. His time, money, and attention were clearly focused elsewhere.

      • Yes – we do all have faults but they are not all equivalent. I was and am still happy to own my faults (which I do not deny and am keen to work on, genuinely) but as chumps I think we take this to extremes. We want to be fair, we don’t want to blame others unfairly, even though (at least for me) the mindfuck that was thrown at me was that I was always blaming – which, of course, made me back off from any possible holding him accountable. We accept the doctrine that it is our reaction not their actions (or become too weary and confused to counter it) and we also are fed (including by the RIC) the notion of each being equally responsible. That is not always the case – not all hurts and injustices are equal, and some are simply unredeemable (even with the vague possibility that there is genuine regret/remorse). It takes a long time (and lots of CN/reading/support) to appreciate this and I must say that, although I cognitively know it now, it is not always easy to feel it in my heart so strongly. It is growing though.

      • CC – My stbx’s baby is a year old now. When he moved in with coworker over 2 years ago he bought bigger camper, bigger desert vehicle, big diamond ring for his gf – everything bigger and sparklier for his new life. But, yeah, it’s all a front. That’s all they have to make themselves ‘feel good.’ The empty elevator shaft (love that) tries to fill the emptiness with things. And these things never fix them. He’s still the miserable, angry, critical person who manipulates whoever to get his way. I hadn’t communicated with him for months (so nice). Had to communicate recently. And then he was nice to me. And I hate that. I hate him being nice to me. Because he’s not a nice person and it’s some phony act to get something. Gave me a compliment about our daughter (that he hasn’t seen in over 6 months). It’s like, ok, what does he want….
        He’s the OW’s problem now. My house is quiet. And peaceful.

      • You tell my story so well. Just previewed yet another series of “look at me on the beach having a glorious time and so in love!” pictures and don’t know which feels like it’s going to explode first, my chest or my head. So I came to your page and right on time I read trust that they suck. My head immediately started clearing a little. Wish I could buy you a drink!

    • Ya just two people who share a history. Just 32 years ..just over half my life..just 3 kids……… Just fucking just..just. There is no JUST…it was my life not a just.

      • Hugs, Spoonriver, you’re still plowing through the divorce mess. Sadly, the healing and clarity take time. What can you do today to show love to yourself?

        I spent 31 years, well over half my life, with the entitled, selfish, cheater. It seemed overwhelming to think about the sunk costs that I had to leave behind, and the dreams for retirement and time together finally after all the work of raising a family. But it was an illusion. I did most of the heavy lifting and hard work to raise the kids and keep the “relationship” going. There was NEVER going to be a happy retirement or nice trips together or sweet mornings with coffee discussing our goals or celebrating our memories. Wow was I strung out on Hopium.

        All I can say, Spoonriver, is that once you are far enough away from the blameshifting and gaslighting and emotional abuse and lies, the more you will see that you are better off without that toxic millstone tied around your neck. The best can truly be YET TO COME.

        • (4th time I’m writing b/c THREE of my posts here disappeared for no apparent reason. Chump lady help!!)

          Needless to say I’ll keep this brief. Jesus…

          OKAY so SpoonRiver and FindingBliss, I hear you. 35 years married and 100 days post divorce. Enormous sunk costs… X married Schmoopie and he is now a “loving step dad to a wonderful young woman and her bond with Schmoopie is a beautiful thing to see.”

          He wrote that^^ to our children, whom he has not seen in 20 months.

          When I contemplate the shitty things he did, which I would NEVER have believed he was capable of just 2 years ago, I still shake my head.

          A lot of the past 20 months was spent reeling and spinning and seeing my world turned upside down. Now I’m rebuilding and looking forward to things in MY life.

          But damn those sunk costs. I have moments almost every day wherein I see or notice something that reminds me of my losses and it hits me hard sometimes.

          So I come here to remember the “other” things I lost, like a cheating lying husband.

          His cognitive dissonance must have been hard, b/c he maintained LONG TERM deceit that just is not something I relate to.

          He can be capable of cruelty too, and vindictive behaviors. And he neglected me AND now he has neglected our children.

          Just before his wedding to Schmoopie, a wedding to which they were NOT invited, He emailed them a manifesto and in it, X made such insane demands of them, such as listing his “terms for going forward” – including not countering his distorted narrative with “no need to bring up the past”, and listing all the things he had done for them, and some more insanity that was offensive and hurtful to them. I fear he’s lost them for good.

          So here is part of what our 32 y/o Son wrote to him in response. I post it here b/c it helped ME…I hope it gives you some insight into how a young man can try to avoid repeating the mistakes of his father (and my EX has turned out quite a bit like his own dad, whom he did not admire as a husband, and who is in his 4th marriage, still emotionally stunted).

          “Thanks for clarifying things for me….However, you are still choosing to avoid honest communication and working through difficult problems with open discussion, even when painful.
          But My happiness cannot hinge on you seeing the light. Rather than explain how I see fatherhood so differently than you, I hereby release you from it. Someday when you look in the mirror, I hope you are not ashamed, but I hope you can be honest.”

          I raised a good, wise young man, with great values.

          • Great response from your son to your ex. Very matter of fact and no emotion involved. Your ex must be seething! He attempted to have his kids do a pick me dance or made it nearly impossible to meet his criteria. What a scumbag, hope his new OWife takes him for everything and I hope your kids have nothing to do with him.

            • I don’t believe the ex is seething. He doesn’t have that depth of character. Just like his wife who he discarded without any remorse, he can easily lose his son. I can’t get my head around that type of person. I find myself still struggling with it all and I keep going back to the definition of sociopath. I need to just stop. Though I’m so glad my ex is out of my life, he’s still in my head at times. Yuck!

          • What your son wrote should be made into a greeting card “Happy F*ckwit Father’s Day !” Then again, why bother sending it since dads like this will never get it. I’m glad that your son said his peace though. I’m so proud of you and your ability to raise such a fine man.

          • Wow from me too! What an amazing, insightful, mature – and even compassionate, response. You should be proud

          • My 29 year old son took ex out to the woodshed in a six hour rant at the bar last week. Poor ex cried, real crocodile tears and everything. Foretold by son he would lie in the conversation, he did just that. It is just incredible what comes out of their mouths. But my kids know better. Hopefully ex will go crawl om a hole for a while. We need a reprieve!

        • What she said.

          I also spent 32 years with a lying, cheating, gaslighting son of a bitch, all the while thinking I was with the love of my life—imperfect but mine forever.

          As it turned out, it WAS all an illusion. He blindsided me one day by walking out, never to return. After months of pick-me dancing and hoping to save our marriage, I discovered the existence OW, who was just the latest of several. I was alone for the first time in my adult life at age 58, just as we’d been on the cusp of a supposedly blissful retirement.

          That was four years ago, and now the divorce has been final for over a year. I’m at the point where I wonder just how the hell I got taken in by that disgusting asshole in the first place. I try to imagine having his malevolent, hulking presence in the house again and I can’t. I will never go back to what I now know to be narcissistic abuse ever again.

          The last few years, however, have been difficult. I have needed many, many “trust that they suck” refreshers and 2×4’s from CL and CN over that time. Plus a great therapist, reminding me of same on a weekly basis. Just know that eventually you will get there. In time, your heart will catch up with your head, and you’ll know without a doubt, from the bottom of your heart that, yesiree, do they ever suck.

          • I think we are twins Campchump. That is my story exactly!!
            Had to speak with him yesterday as he has stopped paying me court ordered weekly payments. First time we have spoken for over a year.
            Just hearing his voice set me back for a minute but then he told me he had to stop payments as the tax department were chasing him for money and he may have to go bankrupt.
            When I asked why he hadn’t paid taxes he said in a sad little voice ‘ because I have been paying you, making sure you were alright’! The worst part is just for a second I believed it.
            Then I reminded him that he and OW had been on three overseas holidays ( to Europe from Australia) in the three years since he had left me. He drives a new Mercedes and they have bought an amazing house together in a really nice area.
            I told him I deserved every cent and that he did this not me.
            I did it all without anger though, I was very detached and just felt relieved it wasn’t me having to deal with him through this.
            Am off to see my solicitor today.

            • Good for you not letting him “gas-light” you. You’re right: he did all this to himself and he has only himself (and his schmoopie) to thank for his predicament.

          • “I try to imagine having his malevolent, hulking presence in the house again and I can’t. I will never go back to what I now know to be narcissistic abuse ever again.”

        • “It seemed overwhelming to think about the sunk costs that I had to leave behind, and the dreams for retirement and time together finally after all the work of raising a family. But it was an illusion. I did most of the heavy lifting and hard work to raise the kids and keep the “relationship” going. There was NEVER going to be a happy retirement or nice trips together or sweet mornings with coffee discussing our goals or celebrating our memories. Wow was I strung out on Hopium.”

          …. THIS.

          Hell, I was warned by a psychotherapist not to marry him ‘he will make you very unhappy’.

          Truly, Spoon, life is better without them. Its calmer, happier, people treat you better. Does this mean that it is not sad, tragic, you don’t grieve and mourn? No. I cried for 7 years without stopping.

          But our values were not the same. Not over money, love, relationships, family, reciprocity, fidelity, team work. He is not good for me and I probably wasn’t good for him.

          Everything FindingBliss says.

          • You probably were good for him but he refused to see the value in you. He definitely wasn’t good for you. He lost something beautiful through his own shortsightedness. You gained your freedom.

              • When I think about the retirement “PLANS” we had, that I THOUGHT WE had, I smh.

                It’s as if I THOUGHT I was going to have the lottery winnings and we’d enjoy them together but in reality, my lottery ticket had the wrong numbers.

                I was never going to win $1m. Now, I know. NOW, I will live on what I know to be real, and it’s not a lot but it is “enough.” And like I said, it’s real.

                DOCTOR Narkles the clown (weird affect began when he smiled the past few years, a weirdness his own late mother noted.) has a scarcity mentality about money and he will probably never have enough. Not even with wonderful Schmoopie working full time like a “real partner” for DOCTOR…

                Not my monkey balls circus now. MY MANTRA IS 1) GOOD RIDDANCE TO LUNACY.



        • FindingBliss, you are so right– ex-cheater and I were on the verge of having all of the kids in school (at that point, I worked part-time, and he worked from home and made his own hours), and I was looking forward to some of those same ideas. We could have a late-morning coffee date when I got home from work, we’d have more time alone with each other, etc. It was all an illusion. I am a fairly content person, and he is never content. Whatever comfortable routine I thought we’d settle into together was in my mind. He would have found something to be annoyed with.

          I was also the parent who held down the fort and took care of pretty much everything but the bills (and the many, many house renovations that he insisted upon… I was happy with what we had, so if wanted them, those were on him). There was no real happy with that manchild; there was just me and my vat of spackle.

          • Sounds familiar! We moved every time RonBurgundy got scouted for a better job or a bigger market. Once we moved because he got fired due to a newsroom affair. I left behind great jobs, a business, and we lost money on every house we ever owned to allow him to follow his dream. The agreement was that I would take care of kids, home, and him with the promise I would get to pursue graduate school, a business, whatever, when the kids were all in school. Except that when we’d been married 14 years, and kids were 7, 3 and 4 months, he started fucking InternWhore and blew up his family. When I asked about the agreement, where I’d kept my end of the bargain, his response was, “I’m sorry about that.” Not sorry enough to do anything about it, just. …sorry.

        • I was having a moment. I got a gift in the mail from a well meaning friend – it was a book on divorce. It is written in such a condescending way. Trivializing the mess divorce is. She also sent a divorce coloring book and colored markers. Jesus.. I’m not going to color my way out of this. It was a kind thought and I thanked her for it.

          It all set me off on how I get advice with the word “just” in front of it and getting told how I feel by people who have no understanding of the devastation these disordered bring. Not so my CL tribe.

          My kids were 2, 7 and 14 the first Dday 20 years ago. There was nothing to do or good advice for doing anything but moving forward and trying to make it work with the cheater. I didn’t know “once a cheater always a cheater”. He was always sorry and confused ..poor misunderstood. and I loved him.

          I have had to email him lately and it makes me sick. He has messed so much up (income taxes, finances….) that trying to sort it out is mind numbing.

          I’ve had such a good May have had hours of happy and fulfilled with neighbors, family and friends (my new tribe) it’s been great.

          It makes me hopeful. I want to get through this so his black shadow of negativity does not play in the background. I’m working three jobs to hide money so I have a cushion for any curve balls I get. I have a master’s degree and a good job but I let him manage things – my bad. Thanks FindingBliss for all your advice. Your story of reinvention makes me hopeful and privileged to know you. Thanks Peacekeeper for the hugs and everyone for your shared story.

          I hate the word “just” but I will use it here. CN IS JUST AWESOME!!!!!.

      • It sucks to be divorced, but it would suck more to have to be nice to a turd. An amoral, selfish, entitled turd.

      • I totally agree with you. Sometimes the language is just a little harsh. Yes, we know they suck but I spent 29 years with someone who was very good for a long time but in the end, turned out to suck. It’s not always black and white, many gray areas. I know he sucks and I know I suck for being so trusting. But in the end I’m divorcing him and taking him to the cleaners. But I still wish he hadn’t sucked and we could have had a good life together.

      • How I see it for myself, I didn’t fail, she did, my love was real and genuine, it was real for me, who cares about her weird distorted view. Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t go through the old family albums, the baby photos, but I refuse to let the ex rewrite my past.

  • Thank you CL. After a night of sour dreams about what I must have done to cause this disaster, I can now hit the reset button and realize it’s all on them. What a relief!

    • The dreams, the dreams… they creep up on you in the night. Been having them for 8 yrs now. Not always but ….

      • For the longest time I would have nightmares about being stuck in a maze or in never-ending tunnels. Then there would be the “chaos” dreams – because by ex was nothing but chaos. He left in January 2010 and I still sometimes get them but not very often any more. My longest-standing nightmare is that I am trying to get washed/showered (say, in a camp site) and there are loads of people preventing me from getting in the shower. I figured out for myself that I am trying to wash away my past. I still haven’t succeeded but I’m getting there.

      • I hate hate hate the dreams at night. 33 yr marriage, 3 kids. Serial cheater, horrific gaslighting, liez and deception. I lost everything. My house, retirement. I’m 57 and work 65 hrs a week on my feet.
        How do I stop the dreams?

        • I wish I knew how to stop the dreams. The maze and monster dreams were horrific. One doctor suggested I try writing them down and then burning them. I never did that but they are SO VIVID that if I could draw I would be able to draw every single one of them. I don’t know if a good therapist would help.

          • I am not a doctor (and try to avoid them!), and this isn’t a solution to horrible nightmares, however, I just wanted to be helpful here (my ex hated when I was practical … he said I was a “too smart”).

            Apparently, one dreams in all stages of sleep, but you more vividly remember the ones that occur in the last stage of sleep (REM) (unless your nightmares wake you up prior to that). I don’t like remembering my dreams, so I played around with the length of sleep I was getting and found that if I get 4 hours, I feel refreshed and can function and don’t remember my dreams at all. If I get 7 hours, same thing, I feel good. If I get 8 hours, I remember dreams in detail and all that “good sleep” is wasted … I don’t feel refreshed, and my mind is full of crappy dreams.

            So you could try not setting the alarm and discovering what your natural length of sleep should be, or play with the alarm clock (if it’s possible to adjust your sleep schedule … it might not be given your personal situations with family and other demands), and see if you can find a time to wake up when your dreams won’t be foremost in your mind. Also, don’t have B vitamins too close to bedtime, they will make you remember your dreams. Again, this is hard to do when you’ve been traumatized, but it has worked for me at 4 years from D-Day. Another thing that helped was making sure I didn’t read the news but rather looked at something pleasant before bed, a decorating magazine in my case, definitely not a tablet or monitor as it jumbles your brain. Turn off the computer earlier, don’t have caffeine or sugar too close to bedtime, etc., etc.

            Of course, if you do experience a night where you wake up not remembering, try to think of what you did and/or ate the night before, and chart how many hours you slept and then try to duplicate it.

            Again, this might not help with trauma … my experience with D-Day hasn’t been as horrible as most of CN.

            • Also, I hope you don’t think this too “light” … it’s just something I found really helpful once I stopped constantly thinking about A-hole and Poopsie.

              • Regarding the dreams, especially the unpleasant ones. I have stopped ‘running’ from them. I think that they are the product my brain is trying to send me messages, albeit sometimes cryptic, telling me what I need to know to understand me/others/the world. My brain is trying to use the unconscious to help me recover/get better/feel better.

              • Reply to RockStarWife below: That’s a good way of looking at them … you’re right … they have messages in them. I just don’t like any input first thing (dreams, morning radio) … but if I do dream, I’ll look at it more positively, as a message instead of an intrusion.

              • It is brilliant!
                I will be taking this great advice, thank you.

            • I’m a psychiatrist and see a lot of patients with PTSD who have nightmares.

              I also have vivid dreams about my ex where he is being abusive still – they had died down but have increased again recently. I hate them – and I know they are trauma related. Sometimes they involve his in-laws (who were also abusive towards me). It is odd but I hadn’t actually thought about treating them at all for myself, just assuming that they will eventually reduce and fade away in time.

              Just to add to your reply though – unless we have a sleep disorder we only dream in REM sleep (where we are paralyzed and so don’t move) which occurs after roughly 75 mins of sleep for up to around 15 mins. If you wake during REM sleep you do often remember your dreams. Having said that, PTSD nightmares do occur at other points of the sleep cycle – which is why sometimes people thrash about, and also wake up, often feeling scared or upset.

              In terms of treatments – there is a blood pressure medication that is very effective but that would probably rather overkill for most of us on here (although maybe not some). There is a technique called image rehearsal therapy for nightmares where basically you go over repeated nightmares when awake and change the ending to something benign/funny etc – if you do this repeatedly then often the actual nightmares change. Perhaps I should give it a go for myself – hadn’t thought about it. Mine aren’t exactly the same but similar theme – him being emotionally and verbally abusive, often including others.

              I hate the dreams but they have made me realise the degree of trauma I suffered (and still do suffer to a degree, whenever he can get the opportunity, however much more limited it is now). I did actually used to have dreams about him being rejecting of me not infrequently when we were together – and I can see the basis of that so clearly now. It is mind-boggling to me that I didn’t take more notice of them then. I am not a believer in reading complex meanings into dreams but I think the basic meanings of them are often clear enough. In that way, they are a reminder and validation of the fact that we did suffer abuse and trauma – and not to deny this, nor allow it back into our lives.

        • Rockstarwife gives great advice on this – it’s right. Stop running from the dreams.

          Tell yourself before you go to sleep at night that when the dreams come, you will pay close attention to them, and read them like a book, or watch them like a movie.

          Another thing that helps is writing them down when you wake up – in as much detail as possible. I have done this and almost felt the ‘click’ in my head as I’ve written it down, as it lines up with the problem I am trying to solve or the issue I can’t face.

          The dream then stops.

          Time and therapy got me past a lot of my recurring horror nightmares. Once I started talking it out with someone in detail, the nature of the dreams changed to more positive versions of the situation – I escape, I stamp on the spiders (this was last night, actually!), I turn around and rebuke the abuser. They also greatly reduced in number.

          • I like to read children’s books before I go to bed. Beautiful art, happy stories. It works for me. I have a very big collection. My daughter is now 11 and I have all the books I bought her as well as mine. Try it, try anything. Meditate as you are falling asleep on what you would like to dream about. Another of my tricks.

  • It only took the first year after divorce – when I kept hearing stories about her (and him) and how all her past friends were no longer her friends – to reassure me that yep – she sucked and (no surprises here) the doctor OM sucked.

    My favorite was finding a healthgrade review that was written a few months before I found out about everything. It was a guy that wrote about how the doctor hit on his wife and she came home telling him about it and how she was so creeped out. They’re perfect for each other you guys!

    • I think that OM doctor is my exhusband.
      They are definitely getting what they deserve.
      He is simply the worst.
      So happy to be clear of that creep.
      Congratulations to you too!

      • Overit, No, It’s my DOCTOR X…

        geez, trusting (again) they do all suck

        • Let’s be fair here.

          It’s probably all the same damn guy.

          I used to participate in a relationship forum and OW would log in whining about “their MM.”
          I was pretty sure that MM was just the same damn guy that got around A LOT. Because it was always the same shit. Always.

          • That’s funny! Raising my hand with a now ex Dr. Cheaterpants. Something about that MD at the end of his name brought out the groupies like he was a rock star instead of the almost 50 year old, walks with a limp, bald headed, nerd that he is. And for the record, I’m not that wrapped up in appearances. It just freaking surprises me that a 20-something bleach blonde ho thinks there’s more to him than his wallet. She’s about to find out he’s a narc.

            • Me too – my ex is a doctor, and yes, it definitely made a very ordinary (and actually pretty boring) man a lot more attractive, particularly as he became more wealthy and started to believe his own press more and became the hideous cliche of a middle aged man in expensive red sports cars etc. Gross to lots, but not all, obviously.
              I am also a doctor – but female. Not that I would have ever cheated, but it is the opposite as a woman (and, in fact, always was) in terms of being an aphrodisiac! I know I am making generalizations and it doesn’t apply to all men, but recent research ranking attractiveness of opposite sex based on jobs placed male doctors in the top 3 and female doctors were not even in the top 30 (physiotherapists were number 1, models number 3!).
              I do have some wonderful male colleagues but there are a cringeworthy number of them who hit mid-40s and the narcissism (maybe contained to a degree before if always present) lets rip, infidelity etc. I can think of quite a few I am closely connected to. I cannot think of a single female one the same – I’m sure they are there, but the ratios are definitely skewed to the socially sanctioned “Dr Kildaire’s” of the world. My ex’s best friend who is also a doctor (in fact, his only friend) who I had heard other colleagues openly call a narcissist repeatedly “mentored” him during our separation, including with regard to the appropriateness of introducing kids to OW (less than 3 weeks after leaving when he included her in all interactions thereafter). Turns out he was having an affair himself. Fucked up the lot of them!

  • Oh, well said TT. Yes, the family that you thought loved you, respected you, didn’t. I know, I’ve been there too, and it hurts like hell. You are entirely right in saying that these people made the monster. They make them, support them and discard the very person who kept up the facade, and stupidly kept glueing it all back together.
    I am so excited and relieved to be beginning my new life, because the way that it was made death seem like a dream come true. I am so grateful that I had the courage one evening to say “I’m done”. Even the trauma of telling older children, going through a difficult legal battle, dealing with a very abusive and toxic Mother In Law, being stripped of money, access to health services and constant bullying to succumb to his legal demands…, nothing will ever diminish the joy in my heart knowing that I am free of the horrid, and terrifying life that I endured for so long. Freedom makes the heart and soul soar, and the best thing about it, is that my children know that the abuse does not have to be tolerated. That even though you are beaten down by abuse and lies, there is an inner strength to find, grab and use. I’ve given my children the gift of resilience and shown them what behaviour should not be tolerated in a marriage. Hopefully one day, they will understand my decision and know that it was for them too.

    • I’m done, so well put! It is awful to realize that your life was a lie. Your kids realize it too.
      But you also realize that its up to you to make it better.

    • Beautifully put I’m Done! That was my experience exactly. I would never have committed suicide but I got to the point of just hoping I wouldn’t wake up one day – it was that bad! But then I knew I couldn’t leave my kids to be brought up by that monster! Life is wonderful without them isn’t it!

  • I also needed to hear this, yesterday I was struggling to close the front window, wondering who to call to repair an outside water leak.
    The image of Cheater in Hawaii with his new bride came to mind. I pictured them laughing, strolling the beach, attending a Luau, sightseeing, leisurely enjoying their day, watching the sunset, all without care in the world.
    Flashbacks of Cheater telling me during our lean years to think of the light at the end of the tunnel, the big picture. My life isn’t the light at the end of the tunnel I pictured.
    Later when I came to my senses, I thought, he can’t put on a happy image for long, he will eventually discover his shiny new bride isn’t perfect and will become annoyed. She’s stuck listening to his condescending remarks, put up with his road rage, expected to laugh at his stupid jokes, his looks of disdain if you don’t.
    Cheater’s dishonest, malicious, petty, manipulative, not a person I would want to know let alone marry.
    He’s not my tribe..,

  • My STBXH’s eyes have always been bigger than his wallet – even before I met him. In his early 20s he had to move back home to pay off credit card debt. While I was a sahm, I (stupidly) let him take control of our finances. He had us refinance 4x to put a dent in our CCs. Meanwhile, he HAD to have a hot tub, expensive deck, fence, 200+ MMA t shirts….etc. Looking at his financial affidavit, he’s racked up $10,000 in CC debt in 18 months while living with the AP.
    He’s abandoned our kids, doesn’t even try to interact with one of them. Yet, he blames me for parental alienation.

    They definitely suck!!!!

    • “200+ MMA t-shirts.” What?!?! Perhaps the stupidest cheater wasteful spending I’ve heard about. And I thought my ex-wife’s AP’s massive collection of fantasy and science fiction action figures (that is, TOYS) was pointless.

      Yeah, I think most cheaters have problems with impulse control, poor judgement, and a sense that they are entitled to MORE, MORE, MORE. Of everything. What losers!

      • Nuthin’ sez classy like one MMA T-shirt for every work day of the year, eh? 😉

        • You’ll love this…guess what he wore to my cousin’s Catholic wedding the month before Dday – black MMA shirt, cargo jean shorts, and tennis shoes.

      • Ugh. My ex has a massive collection of action figures as well. And you can definitely see a trend in the maturity level of this 48-year-old just by the collection choices: KISS, South Park, Beetlejuice, Simpsons and Batman’s Joker. (Full disclosure: I actually like all those shows and characters, except KISS. My point is I don’t feel the need to surround myself with toys. I mean, he has the KISS tour bus. The fact that he enjoys lining Gene Simmons’ pockets buying the middle-aged male equivalent of the Barbie Dream House is plenty red flag enough to tell me he sucks.)

        • I think you’re on to something in regard to maturity level. My 47 yr old STBX had our office walls lined with his starting lineup figurines. Every inch.

      • Mine had over 60 t shirts, 30 pairs of shorts, 20 swimming trunks. He loved shopping but hated money apparently. Total hypocrite.

        • Mine had one room FULL of little NASCAR cars and even had a NASCAR Barbie !! He wanted to go to every NASCAR race held. He has been to about 25 but that’s not enough. It costs about five grand to go to one, tickets, air fare, motels, etc.
          He was insane about money. We wouldn’t have the last thing he insisted on getting paid for and he would be lusting after another. When he was 55 he started demanding a Harley Davidson and began wearing doo rags and leather fringed vests. I put my foot down on that one and once he cheated and left me for schmoopie, she bought him one. How nice of her.

  • It was right around our 28 yr anniversary that I had my first DDay. When I talked to my father in law his response was “I don’t have a dog in that race but I will pray for you” and then the whole family ghosted me and the kids. Great people huh!!
    I tell myself everyday he sucks. Most days he proves it by just being him. Great post today!!

  • My adult son will be getting married soon & im dreading seeing the cheating narc on that day.
    The original OWhore died months ago but he hooked
    up with another right after so she’ll probably attend.

    The problem is I’m terrified of being in the same room with him! My brain knows he’s a lying piece of shut..
    but my heart still aches to see him with another.
    I know I’m wrong to feel that after the cruelty & devastation he caused but I loved him for 35 years.
    I quess I’m still a chump.. why can’t I get over it?

    Why does his life seem better than mine after
    2 years divorced?

      • I may be getting confused but didn’t he have a young child with the AP and then try to get you to help raise him? If that is the case he is probably just farming out the kiddy responsibilities with the new AP! If I’m getting confused, sorry Kathleen. And you know what, you will be fine at the wedding. My eldest got married last year and it was OK but my family were horrified when he called OW to be in the “family” photo. I couldn’t care less. Next son is getting married next year too so I suppose it will be a repeat performance. All I heard after I left the wedding was that after about 10 hours of propping up the bar ex made the usual twat of himself. I’m so glad that’s no longer my problem!

        • Attie
          No that’s not me. My x left me after 35 years married & moved in with a whore who knew he was married .
          She died & he moved in quickly with another.
          He & the dead whore treated me horribly at the end which left me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I’m also a breast cancer survivor.
          But thank you for responding. Good luck to you
          also. ????????

          • “Why does his life seem better than mine after 2 years divorced?” “She died & he moved in quickly with another.”

            I think you have your answer here. He probably “knew” this new lady before OW was dead. Great life indeed… It’s just a facade. He is still empty and shallow inside. No one can fill the hole in his soul.

            • LilyintheForest
              You happen to be 100% right!
              My son told me ex knew her, probably one of dead whores friends. He didn’t want to be alone.

              How sick is that?

              Thank you friend & good luck to you ❤️

    • Because seeing him is a reminder of the hopes and dreams for the person you thought he was going to be. Unfortunately, I think they take part of our goodness and transfer it to themselves when we are first together. Our goodness/kindness/thoughtfulness/empathy makes them look better to the outside world than they really are. That’s why we get picked. Then they wear all of our good like a sporty new outfit. Proudly show off how good they look, how “together” they are, how legitimate this relationship makes them. Then over time, they stop washing the clothes, holes appear, rips and tears get larger and the real them starts oozing through. By then it’s just easier for them to find someone else to get them new clothes. (God forbid they work on themselves.)

      Whoever he brings doesn’t mean anything to him. She is of service, to provide a new outfit. Because how he looks is more important than who he is. You however are a kick ass woman who is making the best out of a shitty situation. Look at that lady in the mirror and know that you are so much better then him. Know that you can walk into that wedding proud of the person you are. Find your inner confidence and put that on for a few hours.

    • Yep, focus on your son, and if anyone tries to derail that, set ’em straight. “This is my son’s day. Let’s stay focused. Everything else is on hold. This is all about him and his bride and that’s what matters to me today, nothing else.”

      You are mighty and you will be ok! 🙂

    • “Why does his life seem better than mine”

      Because he’s good at lying and image control?

      • Kathleen,

        I have asked very similar questions. I have decided to work on inner beauty, exuding authentic love and compassion toward the world. I think that I am very gradually becoming more serene as a result. (The improvement process is taking a lot longer than I had hoped, but I’ve decided to rejoice in the improvement, the awareness that I that I am emotionally growing stronger and tougher and some parts of my life are becoming a bit more manageable.) The exes can continue polishing their sparkly veneer. I saw a King a Tut exhibit this week–objects three thousand years old–in pristine condition. Carefully made things last a very long time; things made from poor ingredients, sloppily thrown together, no matter how deeply covered in schlack, don’t tend to hold up well under pressure.

        I was also approached by an interesting, reasonably attractive, younger, single man this weekend in a yoga class of all the unlikely places this weekend. It’s been nice to have the chance to talk to someone who has this much (not only career and hobbies but also attitudes and values) in common with me, realize that somebody WANTS to be with me without me trying (killing myself) to win him over as opposed to somebody who spends more time passively-aggressively running away from me than toward me, and knowing that I don’t feel a desire to form a romantic relationship with new guy (due to the ‘need’ to feel loved, supported by a partner, etc.) Sure, I’m still lonely and financially, emotionally, physically struggling, but I now naturally lean toward staying single unless somebody amazing who is incredibly compatible with me bangs down my door. THIS shift in mindset is unprecedented in my half-century life and perhaps life-altering–in a positive way.

        In short, I am starting to think that even the most romantic, grief-stricken, ‘go down with the ship’ chumps (me) can get to Meh, or at least its suburbs.

        • Life is river that keeps moving. You are flowing into beautiful new waters. Thank you for your inspiration today.

          • Thanks, Annapolis. I hope that I can show others that even the most depressed of us can observe and recognize beauty in the universe.

        • RockStarWife, sometimes a no strings attached, lot of laughs, lot of good times relationship is just what the doctor ordered. As long as you both are upfront that you don’t want a serious relationship and just want to have a good time as long as it lasts, it can be beneficial to both of you. After my divorce I had a few of these relationships (that never lasted more than a few months) and a few serious ones with the last leading to marriage.
          Feeling alive and desired and just having a good time sometimes really helps with the healing process.

          • Laughing Gator,
            I am glad that your life improved after divorce. I cannot probably ever happily do a no-strings attached arrangement if that means no-strings-attached sex as I WILL get attached–feel bad about me and get really (suicidally?) hurt when it almost invariably ends. (I also don’t want to hurt anyone else.) I can’t imagine. go r the next several months at least, more than a friendship (with either women or men). Still too wounded by fall out of relationship with last boyfriend to have a relationship more serious than a friendship work out ok. Memories of 30 years (or what I thought the world has been for over 30 years) don’t instantly evaporate in my case.

        • Wow, Rock Star Wife, you named my life when you said of your ex partner(s), “somebody who spends more time passively-aggressively running away from me than toward me.” I only hope I get the opportunity to have someone “interesting” (I don’t even care if he’s young!) want to get to know me.

          • Trying for Mighty,

            I am sorry that you have experienced life in a relationship with a passive-aggressive, ambivalent partner. I hope that we all get to a point in which we feel as though as we have fully recovered from the effects.

            For a few reasons, I highly doubt that ‘relationship’ with this new guy I met in the last week will go anywhere beyond an ‘acquaintanceship.’ I don’t want to try to force a square peg in a round hole as I know how that story ends–painfully with very little ‘gain,’ at least for me. I’m just glad that somebody likes the same things I do, and I find a bit of emotional respite realizing that somebody wants to hang around me just to hang around me–maybe I’m not always the troll my exes and some others make me out to be! I don’t feel as though I need the emotional validation of a partner or anyone else any longer. I think that I am getting to ok being alone possibly for the rest of my life–I have a lot to do, even on my own–for the rest of my life, which will probably go by in a blink even if I live to very old age.

        • I am so glad you are doing well and that you know that you will be just fine. You may still have relapses from time to time, but don’t let that keep you down. If that happens, know that it will pass and you will feel better again the next day. It is important to trust that they suck, but just as important is for us to trust that we are awesome capable people who can overcome what has been done to us and gain a life that is so much better. Trust that they suck, trust that we are awesome.

          • Thanks, ChumpinRecovery. I think that it is very important to trust that we are awesome. I am starting to feel a bit awesome at how I am handling the loss of most of my half-century life savings (lost as a result of the divorce I did not seek) and threats of legal action which seem to occur weekly more or less. It took me ONLY four years of this roller coaster ride to get to this point! Guess I am a very slow adapter. Well, can’t change the past. Going to try to just be glad that I am emotionally moving in a positive direction. I am working on letting my inner Beyoncé/Dalai Lama show through–it will be an odd look, but it will be comfortable!

    • My daughter got married this year and I almost let my apprehension of being around cheater and his family ruin the day for me. Instead, my friends surrounded and protected me. As an added bonus, they also provided a hilarious running commentary of the stupid antics my former BIL pulled.

      You aren’t alone. Find that one person who will not leave your side, and stick to them like glue. I did, and ended up having a wonderful time.

      • Thank you ladies. I needed to hear from
        you today.

        God bless you all!

    • It’s a good thing to have a loving heart like you do. I think you should love and honor that part of who you are. You feel deeply because you’re capable of feeling all your emotions -the wonderful and the tragic. And you’re strong – look at this storm you’re weathering. My guess is that important people like your family really admire you.

      Its okay that you feel the way you feel for as long as you feel the way you feel. Judging yourself for feeling bad though isn’t being kind to you (which should be your top priority.) I bet you are a very kind person and now you are struggling with the fact that your kindness and love were rejected by a person you really valued -because you’d never act that way. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for most of us that what we hold most dear to our hearts is of little value to the people we shared those feelings with.

      I hope the wedding is filled with people you love and friends you care about so that you can focus your heart on them and feel the joy of the moment as deeply as youve felt the sorrow of your past. Don’t let your focus be on your ex. You probably will have bad feelings when you see him but you dont have to hold onto those. You can let them pass. You can redirect your attention and energy to what you value about the day and ignore him.

      Your heart will eventually heal when you insist on making room in it for love of all kinds and kick out judging your feelings and beating yourself up for having a heart. When that day comes your heart will be so full you will ask yourself how you could possibly have thought his life was better than yours. Blessings on your upcoming happy event.

    • Kathleen, I think you ought to attend the wedding with ‘a Plus One’ of your own choosing, right? It doesn’t have to be a boyfriend or love interest. Maybe just a really nice single guy you know from work, school, church or whatever you are into. They should sit right beside you at the reception table, and be sure to jump up and get you another glass of champagne when yours is empty. Enjoy your son’s wedding! Get out on the dance floor. Then watch your ex’s head implode in 5,4,3,2,1 seconds…

  • Loved reading this today. Thank you CL. I do have to say I finally trust that he sucks. I always did but was addicted to the misery. I am finally in a good peaceful place . In two days my ex will marry one of the many,many OW. My kids will be attending the wedding and I have just distance mtself from it all. Im going on vacation while they all go out of state to attend the wedding . I will have a great time doing what I like to do and will not think about my ex and his new wife because I know he has not changed and has just picked a new victim. I could give her a blow by blow of what she has gottenherself into but that will be her karma for having a affair with my childrens father. They both suck and I don’t. Thank you CL for getting me through these last couple of years. I would never think a lady named Chump Lady would have been the best therapy I could ever have received.LOL!! Thank you with all my heart. Reading your articles make me strong and knowledgable. God bless you and others here that share their stories.

    • Wow! “Addicted to the misery” really spoke to me. I think that describes me in my abysmal 10 year marriage. Constant anxiety, anger, sadness peppered with short-lived bursts of affection and love bombing. Constant drama, constantly wondering if I would piss him off somehow, begging him to be kind/stop drinking/spend time with me. Now out of it for almost 3 years, i have no idea how or why I put up with it all! Life is amazing now!

      • SOV.
        Thank you for describing how I have felt–in most of my ‘romantic’ relationships.

    • Smpav,
      You rock! People like you have that ‘inner Beyonce,’ that serenity and confidence under pressure that every human I can think of dreams of.

  • The sparkling thing is so true.

    A consistent pattern to these people is the lying and the gas lighting to cover the lying. Then when they do one good thing they say “See I did this, which means all of the other stuff must be lies”.

    What I learned is these kinds of people always go back to their true nature. It is not a question of IF but WHEN.

    However, one thing is for sure with these kinds of people and that is TIME. Time always catches up to them and TIME forces them to settle into a situation (or relationship) not because they want to but because they are to old (or to ill) to do what they always have done in the past.

    I know this because my father is this very type of person. CL rules do not simply apply to relationships with dating. They do apply to other forms of relationships (even parents).

    My father is the poster child for what CL posts about but his destruction is not limited to his relationships. He has done it to me for years as well and I have put up some massive barriers to limit his destruction to my family. Now TIME has caught up with him and he has run out of it. He is now doing things he is suppose to do but not because he wants to but simply because he has no choice. He has 1 to 3 years to live with his ALS and Dementia (severe).

    His true ways still show from time to time even now.

    These people do not change no matter how much self destruction they do around them and even when on their death bead.

    It is a rare unicorn if they do change.

    • My Dad is the same way.

      But after he cheated on my Mom and she moved to leave he freaked because it turned out how dependent he was on her and scared to end up with OW.

      Plus, he would have been 110% destroyed financially and my mother’s family has propped him up through the years.

      He ended up going for EMDR therapy. He’s tolerable now for the most part. Vast improvement but I would call our relationship anything but a normal father-daughter one. In fact, a great big void would be most accurate. I came to terms with that long before the cheating. He just doesn’t have the capacity.

  • Oh, they are good at sparkle, but boy do they suck!

    We met with a realtor the other day. Who happens to be One of the few friends who can see beyond the cheater sparkle because he’s also experienced cheaters chronic lies when selling him his new home.

    Anyway, sparkles cheater said in front of friend on the way out the door “oh, I will send a check with the kids, as I received my bonus..” After cheater left, friend was like “well at least he’s helping financially” That was all sparkle to look like the good guy. He didn’t send a check, and I knew he wouldn’t.

    Cheaters are all about impression management in which they attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about them. They do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction. They selectively self-present, revealing attitudes and aspects of themselves in a controlled and socially desirable fashion. They try to manage what information about them is known, or isn’t known, to control other’s impression of them. Chumps who try to expose them are promptly discredited and painted as an unreliable source of information through labeling, lying, and reputational assassinations . These accusations (aka lies) cause mistrust, or cast the accuracy of chump perspectives in doubt.
    Cheaters bad behaviors are explained away by refocusing others attention on raw reactions and a chumps justified anger in a “be nice” world. Cheaters plant seeds of doubt by wrapping their lies is socially acceptable expressions; feigning concern while simultaneously speaking Ill.

    Cheaters are good at giving the impression they don’t suck, but underneath the facade… chumps know they suck!

    • Very well put GAB. This is their playbook. I have experienced all of it and more. The feigning concern while spreading a smearing lie is a favorite. The subtleties to the act are incredible. And the constancy of the effort too. It is simply what they are…an ongoing outward act in the service of a desperate core. They don’t just do this to cover infidelity, they do it every moment of their lives. Like you described, even a passing comment about a check coming soon, mentioned in front of no one of any real consequence, is irresistible to them. They are so natural in deceit that these micro opportunities are simply reflexive. It’s why we fall for the act to begin with, and why Trust That They Suck after seeing the true them is even a thing. They are so adept at outwardly being what they have discerned you want to think. You’d almost sound hyper-vigilant crazy to point these tricks and nuances all out to an uninitiated bystander, but once you’ve been baptized into the world of the disordered you see and understand them all. I’ve also had the “benefit” of having the disordered describe their thinking as these little interactions occur. They even profile the people they may meet again, filing away bits of data that will come in handy in “connecting” and building the image that will make others think they understand who they are. “Oh, the target mentioned their coffee. I’ll be sure to make some reference to how I can’t get started in the morning without my first cup the next time we meet.” It’s not done for the purpose of coming to know the other person, like we experience when we learn about others, it’s done for the purpose of using it to create a false construct that the other person will believe about them. So It’s exactly the opposite. It’s habit and automatic. They all do it reflexively, but those more conscious of it are the most disordered.

      • TKO,
        The automatic, reflexive lying about things that did seem to ever ‘warrant’ a lie emotionally ‘pushed me over the edge’ (helped me ’emotionally,’ not just intellectually) realize that my last boyfriend sucked. (I had already known for years that my husband, now ex-husband, sucked. I had to acknowledge that my last partner (my post-separation boyfriend) also sucked (there was no ‘unknowing’ who he was/is) and that he was part of the ‘suck’ club. I am very gradually getting accustomed to being alone and even realize that I will choose it if the only other option is being with a member of the ‘suck’ club. At least I know, in spite of my imperfections, I will tell and live the truth and thus trust me more than I will ever trust them. I find comfort in the knowledge that I will reside securely in truth.

        By the way, an ex of mine told me that he has been with 30 women in the last two years. (He left me four years ago.) I wasn’t sure if this revelation, unprompted by me, was an act of bragging or a cry for help. I don’t care. (Seems as though his untreated sex addiction is still going strong–even if he is no longer paying for sex.) I just want to get away from this toxic waste dump of a human being. Other women (and men) falling for his sparkly wrapping can have him– their attraction to him in no way raises his value to me–I have seen what is unde the wrapper, and I never again want to see what lies below.

      • My god – you have just described my ex perfectly. Done so constantly and pervasively he truly is a master, it his default setting. Unless you know what you are looking for, you would never see, you would never think to even look.

    • Got-A-Brain: we all know there will be a next time, so when that douche says “I’ll send a check with the kids,” in front of a third party, then you immediately say, “Nope, divorce finances aren’t my kids’ problem to handle. PayPal the balance to me right now and we’ll call it good.” Watch that dumbass squirm for being the douchebag liar he is.

      Walk away and say, “Yep…same ‘ol, same ‘ol…I’ll just work with my lawyer to get things garnished. More trustworthy that way.”

      Third party will get it quick, and dbag get a small taste of the realization of who he his.

      I’m SOOooooOOOooo glad my daughter turned 18. Blocked that dbag quicker than midnight rolled around. And the f-er still owes me 1K despite his wages being garnished. How the f does that even happen? I’m not gonna pursue. Not worth my sanity.

    • Yes to this!

      I had an email exchange with the OW last week where she said X had admitted his faults in our marriage to her and that I had never done the same in ny conversation where she was involved. I thought 2 things:

      1. I do not have to admit my faults to her. I admitted them to my X very early on and all through our marriage.

      2. Of course he admitted his “faults” to her. That way he got to control what those faults were and he seems like he’s reflected and is forthcoming with info. It’s really all impression management and if I say anything in contradiction it comes off as untrue.

    • “Cheaters are all about impression management in which they attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about them. They do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction. They selectively self-present, revealing attitudes and aspects of themselves in a controlled and socially desirable fashion. They try to manage what information about them is known, or isn’t known, to control other’s impression of them.” PERFECT!

      In other words, they aren’t REAL people. Almost three years post DDay and am still getting the shivers realizing just how disturbed he really was.

  • All that glitters isn’t gold, people! My ex’s family may have replaced me, but she’ll never be me. They put on this showing of a great big happy family, but I know better as I have kids with the asswipe and visition eventually tells the true tale. They have since showed everyone their true character….birds of a feather flock together. They are partly responsible for why he is the way he is..OW, good luck with that, lol!

  • Its hard when they try and be interested in the children. When they weren’t always interested. You have to realize what they were like at their worse. Their friends and family probably see what they want to see, and believe their lies.

  • Thanks for the vaccination booster, CL. As time goes by, even people who know what he did and find it appalling have “moved on” (since he didn’t do it to THEM) and have been mostly sucked back into his charm and affability. I know what he is and trust that he still sucks, but when you are in the minority opinion, it can be hard to not gaslight yourself now and then.

    • That’s an interesting way to put it.

      Gaslighting ourselves. To anyone who has been gaslighted and realizes it later ~ it is super easy to gaslight yourself.

      And if you are ghosted too ~ boy howdy can you gaslight yourself into believing they now have the perfect life.

      Nah, trust that they suck … and the mantra ~ ITS NOT IF BUT WHEN. The mask will slip!

      • Jodi,
        You described how I feel. Sometimes I wish that I could see my last boyfriend to realize that he ‘wasn’t all that special.’ Him completely blocking me has made me ‘fill in the gaps’ with images of a fairy tale life. I need to remind myself that one of the last posts I saw from him in social media wss a note about him getting a new frig–this from an executive. Could one get more ordinary? Do I really need to see him again to convince myself? Isn’t all the information I have already accumulated, all the experiences I had with him over a few years enough to convince me that ‘he sucks’ and my life with him wouldn’t be great because I could never again trust him and he would probably continue to lie to me, disrespect me, look for my replacement, etc.?

        • I think maybe the book “how to break your addiction to a person” might help.
          I read it during my separation. It helped tremendously.

  • They do suck. He contacted me by email to ask about income claimed when the cottage was sold( which I told him I would be claiming and he called me a food for doing so—of course he’s entitled to rip off the government). He said” apparently the government knows more than it should—get ready to pay”. Oh I already paid ( less since I put money in rrsp’s To reduce the tax burden—401k for my American friends). Seems like his dishonesty is catching up with him, I just hope he doesn’t find a way to drag me down too.

  • Thinking if I read this yesterday I may not have broken NC. My exfucktard reached out to my mother, for the first time, on her 93rd birthday. I was appalled. She’s in rehab, moving her to assisted living today. How dare he think she would welcome that call. I didn’t tell her ALL the details of his abuse but she knows enough. I didn’t tell her he requested in court information on her life insurance policy, or did I mention he went after our boys college education money she funded. It would have upset her. The court ended up not considering either of those marital assets, but he tried.

    Fucktards sister cheated on her husband too. Their divorce was finalized a year before ours. During our divorce my ex-BIL sent our Ex MIL a new DVD player in the mail, because hers broke. My ex took a photo of that DVD player he had smashed to smithereens with an ax, an texted this note…”This is your DVD player. Don’t ever communicate with Shirley again. Stay the f*ck out of this family’s lives! Gott that you f*cking cock sucker!”

    So yesterday I broke NC, I forwarded the photo of the ax in the DVD and the nasty text message and asked fucktard, “Why can’t you follow your own advice? “ I shouldn’t of added the other stuff I said, but I can’t change it now.

  • guard you’re children and make a nice home for them. Beware of the evil ex and don’t mistake loniness for love when you look back.

  • “You don’t share the same ideas about love, family, and relationships.”

    Grasping this will help you to help yourself break free.

  • I needed this artical today. Had kids music recital this weekend, his whole family was there, not one said hello to me. My 9 yr old son went and sat with them for a bit but my12 yr old daughter didn’t, she was panicking about her performance and just said she couldn’t deal with them too. Afterwords she received an awful call from her father demanding she promise to always say hello to his family and how upset they were at her, and don’t listen to your if I said not to go.this was the first time I was in the room with his family in a year, since the divorce was final. These people that called me during the process to check up on me, would say what an idiot my husband was, was informed of the cheating (and my FIL was a serial cheater and abuser). I loved that family,for 20 years. Then divorce final not a peep. My ex said I was not blood, that he dose t think he left our family, he left me. That he would call his family and make sure I knew my place, which was I no longer am part of it. The whole recital was a trigger for me, gaslighting myself, knowing as my family does not live near me I have 10 years of being alone at events (and I hear his voice saying this is what you deserve, you will always be alone) therapy helped some yesterday, and I am sure my kids picked up my anxiety….I do good then I go off cliff when I know what he says about me isn’t true, I didn’t cause him to cheat and I am not disposable. Maybe next years recital will be better.

    • GettingThere–it sounds as if you were divorced fairly recently. Worrying about what the cheater says about you, and whether other people believe them, is a second gut punch after the infidelity. It will take 2 years before the anxiety over the divorce and what other people think abates almost-fully. Eventually you will get to a state of indifference–about X, about his family, and about their opinions of you. In the meantime, take a friend with you to any joint events (if possible) and ignore or block his text messages berating you. Use of Our Family Wizard saves a lot of chumps from having to deal with nasty texts or phone calls. Hugs.

    • they get super paranoid. XW recently finally signed divorce decree. Daughter expressed that she wanted me to take her to dance practice even though it was XW turn. XW got real paranoid and wanted to know “what I said to her to make her want to express that”. Which was nothing. Whatever weirdo.

      As far as in-laws. They know who butters their bread. You are a casualty to them. They have to continue on with their kid. He will take responsibility for them when they are elderly not you. Your ex even told you that he told them to stay away from you. Since there are kids involved it shouldn’t be that way but you have to accept it. See them also as a casualty of your jerk ex’s actions.

  • They Suck!! Trust me, if you hear anything other than superficial details of cheaters post-divorce, that information will continue to provide a chump with absolute evidence of their suckitude.

    I started a list of 20 sucky things Hannibal Lecher has done post-divorce, but I’ll leave it at 2:
    1-His GF/AP got to age 45 without ever needing pharmaceuticals. After a year and a half of living with Hannibal Lecher, she had to go on anti-depressants. ‘Nuf said; he hasn’t changed his moody, difficult, control-freak self at all.

    2-Despite having a very high salary, he refused to buy DD17 an $8 meal on a day when she had not eaten anything because, “I already pay your mother enough for child support.”

    He sucks. They all suck. And they don’t change.

    • “Oh wait … … here’s an old half stick of double mint gum in the coin holder … that should hold you until your other “parent” finally decides to provide food for you from that large check I provide monthly.” Yes, he sucks.

    • Tempest,
      Your ex wins a Super Suck award today! Sorry for you and your daughters. (I hear a lot of ‘I already pay you too much in child support.’ Never mind the fact that I spent $100k, much of my half-century of life savings, in court, mostly to defend myself from his false allegations.)

      • RSW–knowing your story, your X wins the IgNoble prize of Suckitude. He’s still on my top-5 list of cheaters needing the Tony Soprano treatment. (Anyone up for a trip to the Pine Barrens?)

    • actions like that will help your daughter to see who he really is and thus will be sympathetic to your cause later on in life.

    • Yeah, one time our son’s underwear didn’t get washed prior to the the weekend with RonBurgundy. He made our son wear the same dirty pair for 3 days, wouldn’t wash them, wouldn’t just buy him a 3 pk. of tighty-whities because, “that’s your mother’s responsibility.” DS was 8.

  • DD is for the 1st time on vacation @ OW’s house & I am here thinking about what are they doing & sometimes I feel a little bit sad. Mr. Tinderman/coachpotato is doing impression management since he is still not living with OW. He is playing Disney dad & going to places over 100 degree weather where OW LIVES. When he lived here he never when out not even to the park in our subdivision because it was “too hot”. He is still the same person & being financialy irresponsible in the past he was blaming the economy blah, blah etc. Now I bet he will blame me because of childsupport. OW will believe stories & stories & will stay for a while as long as the fake life last. When she wakes up it will be too late for her. Thanks CL for the reminder! TRUST THAT THEY SUCK!

    • Those friends that go to the dark side and befriend Cheater? Listen and belief his bullshit? Remember what Chumplady said: they are his next victims.

      Sometimes I fantasize what that will look like when they get their pants pulled down by Cheater, or kicked in the gut or the teeth. Then these friends of Cheater will come to me: QueenMother, please help me!! James Bond ripped me off. I think I will say, “Who?”

  • If the Cheater got a character transplant , we would know. We’d know because their remorse would cause them to desperately need to make amends. They’d be filled with regret. They would offer apologies, money, prayers. They would go back and collect all of their damn lies, from everyone they lied to, about you. They would tell your mom, your children, their own mothers, what a piece of shit they are.

    They would get an accountability partner. They would be posting articles about how shitty cheating is, how low (and ugly, stinky, loud — teehee) cheating partners are, how abasing porn is, how prostitutes are the devil in disguise, how lying eviscerates a person’s inner calm, how window-peeping is so depraved — and how Chump is a goddess, a true woman, everywoman, she is — full of truth, honor, beauty, wisdom, fun, intelligence, sexy, did I say beauty?

    Yah, if cheater got a character transplant? Chump would be the first to know.

    • Good point, QueenMother! If they got a character transplant, the first person they would make amends to is us. Don’t hold your breath, chumps.

    • Absolutely Queen Mother! My girl’s father likes to still do impression management. He has actually put a lot of time, effort, mental energy, dollars toward legal fees, and other resources toward making sure that my and my children never see a single penny of what he was originally court ordered to pay. He continues to spread lies about me and engage in character assassination–after 20 years! Occasionally someone tries to convince me that that was all “in the past” and I should encourage my daughters to have a relationship with the man who completely abandoned them. They say “He’s different. He’s had a lot of time to think…” Apparently, he has had NO TIME to make phone calls, apologize, send a birthday or Christmas card, or write a single fucking cheque for any of the missed child support, medical care, therapy, or private schooling that I provided completely alone while living on the edge of extreme poverty as a graduate student. Different my ass. If he was different we WOULD know. We would have gotten some of those words, gestures, material resources that he deprived us of for years. And if he were REALLY changed they would have come along with the sincere regret and remorse of acknowledging that his efforts now couldn’t come close to making up for what he did. Any of that ? NOPE. It’s all still “Feel sorry for me. I’m older now and my children won’t talk to me because their Mom is mean and crazy….” These assholes should get together for a Sad Sausage fest.

      • I think we should organize Sad Sausage Fest, Sad Sausagepalooza, Sad Sausagearoo, or Sad Sausagestock. We could send all our cheaters anonymous invites.

    • On Point @QueenMother I waited for years for just a morsel of evidence that there was actually some remorse. Which kept me stuck when all I needed to trust was that if in fact he had had a character transplant I would be the first to know.

      It never came. It never will. In fact the further he gets away from the stability of what we (I) created he becomes less recognizable because he is no longer “feeding off” the good – the kids and I. He has chosen to identify with the underbelly of society and it amazes me how quickly the transformation happened once I trusted that he sucks and went NO CONTACT.

      He is free to forge forward with the AP or whomever he chooses into his new life and I’ll be damned if he’s going to do it on the backbone of this chumpy goddess, true woman, REAL woman that I am. I will be taking my truth, honor, beauty, wisdom, fun, intelligence, sexy, stable sane self out of the chaos and into the light where it is appreciated and embraced with all the love the universe wants to throw my way.

      Trust they suck. Go no contact. Remove yourself from the chaos. Don’t look back.

    • Queen mother – that is so true, what a great point! Yes, a genuine character transplant would only be genuine if it included (real, auctioned) remorse for previous harm done. And we know that ain’t ever gonna happen ..

  • The higher functioning cheaters are very good at the long game. My STBX was, unbeknownst to me, poisoning the well long before I had a single clue what was going on. Since d-day, he has also drawn his family into that, and even tried it on my kids. He will always have admirers. So it goes.

    But he will never have character, truth, integrity, or ethics.

    And he will never have me.

  • No question in my mind that POP still sucks at life.

    He got his second DUI late last month and is awaiting an August trial.

    He managed to get himself in trouble AGAIN and spent time in jail this past week. A high bond was set.
    Oddly enough, (unbeknownst to me that all this was happening) I had a dream Saturday night in which he called me asking me to help him get his life together— I declined.

    He sucks. His life sucks. He makes bad choices.

    I don’t suck. My life doesn’t suck. I don’t make bad choices.

    Works for me!

    • Yep I’m waiting to hear that smart arse has gotten a DUI in the States too. I don’t think that will change BUT over there they don’t mess around. He got away with so much shit here in France – just try that in the States buddy. Got the popcorn ready!

      • Attie–you are correct we don’t mess around here in the US–particularly here in Texas. This is his second DUI–the first was for over twice the legal limit. No idea what his BAC was this time around. Being a second offense within a certain number of years, he’s really looking at severe consequences. He’s 61 and admits he’s been an alcoholic since his mid 20’s. Add to that being a malignant narcissist and life long (since his teens on every female) cheater, he’s a real prize. Add to that he can’t get any sort of work handling money due to a conviction for larceny, he’s got a shit load of problems.
        He’s incredibly handsome and fit–but the gloss of a gigolo fades when they have NO redeeming qualities.
        He had a woman (me) who wanted to help him get his act together but after a while his unappreciative transgressions showed me he wasn’t worth a moment’s more concern.

        • Wow, he certainly was no prize was he. You must be so relieved to be away from that (I know I am). Towards the end I was terrified he would hit (and maybe kill) someone and we would lose everything. It’s all on him now.

  • I am in the club of widowed chumps. I knew I’d had enough just before fatal illness and a year of Hospice. He gambled $400,00 of retirement money away, lied everyday he took a breath, treated me like something on the bottom of his shoe, did non of the adulting,demanded everyone center around what he wanted, etc,etc,etc. the list is endless. After his death I found evidence of cheating to top it off. He wanted me to die with him,since we had been together 46 years. WTF. This after a year where I was totally grey rock. He couldn’t imagine I wouldn’t want to die with him. I completely trust that he sucked. I would want a life with him as much as I want flesh eating disease.

    • And that in a nutshell is the problem. They are so delusional that he couldn’t imagine that you wouldn’t want to die with him!!! Wow!

  • Good comments and a good repeat of a blog post we all need to read every once in a while.

    For especially newer Chumps, I recommend keeping a list of things they did, and a gallery of screenshots of all those chat messages and emails.

    When I felt lulled into complacency, thinking that things weren’t so bad, and that things had cooled with Schmoopie, I’d go look at the photos. Ah yes, here’s the one where she’s admiring his penis pic that he sent her while he was in the bathroom, supposedly taking a shower. Then there’s the copy of the letter he wrote her, saying he loved her from the beginning of time.

    Reminders like these help shake us out of our complacency and show us that we need to continue to Trust that they Suck.

    • I saved mine in the phone as “Fucked OW in a hotel on your birthday.” That way I was reminded every time before I had to talk to him HOW MUCH HE SUCKED!

      • I called it a rap sheet….I wrote out all of his ‘crimes’ towards me.

        • I have a similar photo too— totally gross.

          I need a list!

          —told me on Valentine’s Day that he couldn’t text me because he was too busy fucking AP (his word)
          —saw a photo last week that she sent of him to him of him naked? (Why??)
          —bailed on his daughters birthday to spend with AP instead
          —told me “fuck you” when I refused to talk to his mistress on the phone because “she just wants to be a resource to you and be your friend…”

          The list goes on!

  • How they were with you-they will be the EXACT same way with their new partner. This is 100% TRUE. How superficial they were with you-they will be superficial with their new partner. Trust me on this one. You lost nothing but a superficial asshole who will do the same thing with their new person. Good luck to that new person because they got nothing but a superficial asshole who will treat them the same way. You think that how you were treated by your previous man he won’t do the same thing to his new person? He 100% will. I know I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who is superficial. To whom nothing is deep to them- you don’t mean anything deep to them. Screw that. I want to be in a relationship where it actually means something and where it is deep and connected. So deep that the other person is loyal to me. I deserve that and so do you all.

    • Jean Bradshaw, your response is so true. They do not change for the new person.

      In fact, my ex is grooming his 2nd new person on the same time frame as all the others.

      I always feel panicky for these new women (not the AP) and want to warn them, but they don’t listen. So starts a new cycle of abuse.

      I know what is coming down the road for them. His relationships ALL end the same way. The woman is sucked dry, emotionally fatigued, abused, feeling like she is going crazy, devalued and then he cheats. Then they break up and he is vindictive and then charming and then pity and then they get back together for a couple more rounds. Then trauma bonded.

      The other day, his ex wife (we are friends) had to go to their sons baseball game. Ex narcopath and new gf brought the puppy and it shit all over. Ex sat like a king in the bleachers pretending to be oblivious while new gf scrambled to clean it up. Ex wife wished that I had been there with her so we could laugh together at the absurdity of it. Because that was us (Ex wife and I and all the previous gfs), and our lives with him. Always cleaning up his chaos.

      I thought it was the perfect metaphor for life with ex naturopath: loving me means cleaning up my shit for the rest of your life! Who is ready to sign up? Anyone? Anyone?

      I am sad for this new gf. She represents the old gullable me. I know the cost of being with him. I hope she is a fast learner. For the sake of her two boys.

  • Trusting that they suck is the state of mind you get to when you accept that you have been living in a world that is not real. It is a world where your partner was who you believed they were, who they pretended to be, and now you know who they really were. It is a jolting, life altering place to be. You question the very foundation of who you are, who you thought you were, who your partner really is, and how does this information change your reality with your children, family, work buddies, the world at large. If you don’t contain your reaction to this life altering discovery, you will be described as bitter, or vengeful. You will listen to “common” wisdom and observations which are absolute tripe, and those who convey this so called wisdom will not understand why you don’t absorb it and heal instantly. You may turn on yourself, loathing all the things about yourself that “drove them” to be/act the way they did.

    You go thru this period of discovery and healing like any victim of a major illness or accident does — it takes time and you will need help and possibly therapy of some type. But once you start to get better, you will learn to trust that they suck, and it will make you feel much better. You will no longer care what they think, or what their family thinks, or what the world at large thinks. You may still have some issues with what your children think, because you cannot control that , and it is hard to deal with a parent who is not what he/she represents herself to be. Most children are not prepared to deal with this, anymore than you were prepared to deal with this as an adult. But once you trust yourself to believe in what you know — they suck — you will feel much better. Just concentrate on getting there, until you find that you have arrived!

    • Portia this is all so true!!! Even though i am newly divorced i am still going thru all this.
      It is mindbending for me and the kids. I really hate him for breaking their heart. I cant fix that.
      And hating him wont fix it either.

  • Cheater narcissists don’t fall in love, they take hostages in EVERY romantic situation. Their new schmoopies get to eat the shit sandwiches now. Meh.

  • This is a tough one. Trusting that he sucks is not that difficult these days but it doesn’t really help much. It just highlights the futility of it all because even if he had a change of heart and begged to come back it could never work now. Every time I am around him I am reminded that he considered me inadequate and that makes me not want to be around him. He pretended for years that I was good enough for him in spite of my faults when in reality he thought he deserved better and when something he perceived as better came along he took his chance on it. In fact, he went looking for it. I can never un know that. In making the choices he did he changed the way I viewed him and our entire marriage. Now I always feel like he is judging me even when he is being outwardly nice. I can’t stand that feeling. I no longer blame myself for that, I trust that he sucks, but it doesn’t really make me feel any better. There is a part of me that is still processing the fact that it is really and truly over forever and there is absolutely no way we could ever be a couple again even if he thought he wanted that. It is sad because every choice he made has lead us to this point. He had so many chances to turn things around and he chose not to and now it is too late. Even if he and I both desperately wanted to reconcile I could never be happy with him again now that I know what he really thinks of me. It makes me sad, it makes our kids sad, and it makes both of our families sad. He still isn’t happy himself. He may not be blaming Schmoopie but she wasn’t the fix all either. He is still stressed out and unhappy with his lot in life. I guess I should be glad that his unhappiness isn’t my problem anymore but it is hard to completely stop caring about somebody after 20+ years of caring. I don’t want to see him happy with Schmoopie, but I don’t like seeing him miserable either. As much as I fanaticize about the Karma bus, I get no pleasure out of the reality of his misery. I know I can’t do anything to fix it, however (I tried for years). Truthfully, I don’t think he even wants me to care because that makes him feel insecure. As such, I have no choice but to walk away, focus on the kids futures and try not to care about his anymore.

    • Chumpinrecovery, you echo my thoughts. Thank you for articulating them so well.

      Thoughts about getting back together:

      1) Last week, my 5 year old son told me he was scared that I would run into ex narcopath (he is not my children’s father, thank goodness!) and then we would be friends again, and he would be sad because he really hates him. Broke my heart to pieces. I promised him I would never be friends with him ever again.
      We walk through a park every night after dinner and someone graffitied the washroom there with “Todd is a goof”. My kids think this is hilarious. I told my son anytime he is worried about me and ex narcopath being friends, just think of that graffiti and substitute “todd” with “Ex narcopath is a goof” and that will be our own joke. He laughed and there have been a few random times he has said it. (I think he just likes saying the word “goof”.)

      2) ex wife and I are friends. Sometimes we take my kids and their kids and go and have fun adventures together. Ex wife confessed to me, she had a dream that I shamefully approached her telling her that I was getting back with ex narcopath. She said in her dream she was LIVID with me and punched me in the head and said I was dead to her. I laughed and told her it would never happen but by all means that would be the appropriate response….then we laughed and continued our day.

      I went home and layed in my bed reviewing if anything in my actions over the last few months have indicated a desire to get back with him. Nope. Cant think of anything. I was upset when I found out he was dating someone new, only because I am scared for her and the abuse that is coming her way (and she is subjecting her two kids to him). But now I have distanced myself from it and try not to talk or think about it, except on this forum.

      There is a quote on FB that says something like “sometimes you need to cross the bridge and then burn that motherfucker behind you”.
      I’m there.

    • Narcs will always make you feel “less than” or have you think “they could have done so much better”. It’s what they do. Making you feel you are so lucky to have them but at the same time you feel like shit. And the next woman in their lives? The woman that is perfect for them, the woman that gets them? Rinse & repeat.

  • I should note that I am fortunate that ex’s family has been good to me. My inlaws are doing their best to continue to make me feel loved and appreciated. At first it bothered me that they seemed to be accepting Schmoopie too, but I don’t think that is really true. They are cordial to her because they have to be in order to maintain their relationship to their son/brother/nephew and he is family after all. They are not going to stop loving him even if they don’t like his choices. I feel blessed that they still care about maintaining a relationship with me that has nothing to do with ex. But then, they were never much like him anyway. I always got along with them just fine, but to some extent he always resented them for not being perfect too. A lot of his capableness revolved around his efforts to not be like his family. They all admired him for his “success”. He was the golden child. Now his luster has worn of. They are no longer in awe of him, but they still care about him because they are good people who don’t judge others as harshly as he does.

    • Same!

      We’re still married (divorce in process). He brought his mistress home to meet his parents several months ago. They were polite but told me later how they wished he hadn’t.

      Typical selfish bastard: shoving his mistress down their throat.

      Meanwhile I have a great relationship with my in laws— divorce him and save yourself was the first thing my father in law said to me.

      He’s their oldest child. They are horrified and heartbroken.

  • On my wobbly days I trust that he sucks by remembering back to dday and him cutting off contact with Harlotte straight away. I trust that he sucks because if i hadnt found the messages, confronted him and then spoke to Harlottes husband, I would still be with him and he would still be deceiving me right now. There was no way they were stopping without being forced to. This slaps me right back to reality and stamps that hopium right out!!

  • I think we all can use this reminder from time to time.

    I was purging files today. After-all I had a colonoscopy in the morning so what better time to get rid of unwanted shit?

    This is about the third time I’ve gone through the files the first two to purge Mme YogaPants’ stuff out into boxes for her. This time there were some old insurance form, out-dated bank account information and 2 pictures of us together. I’m a chump. I thought about sending the pictures to her. I thought about running them through the shredder. I put them back in the file.

    If I had to compare, the volume of the good would be larger than the bad. But the weight of the bad destroyed my family and cannot be set aside. I need to continue to remember this until such a time as it doesn’t mean anything to me any more.


  • I bookmarked this thread. To read what so many have written has validated the things I feel daily but don’t speak of. The loss of what you considered family after 32 years of marriage is tough. Watching my adult children lose contact with their father, makes me feel guilty. I know I own none of that but I hurt for them knowing they will never have the wonderful relationship I had with my own father as he aged. Just this past weekend my single 32 year old son shared that his dad doesn’t really contact him anymore. He brushed it off, but I saw the pain in his eyes and the hurt in his voice as he talked. I realized that here I am 2 years after the divorce still trying to clean up after my ex and the damage he causes. After listening to my son speak, i know that NOTHING has changed about this man. The thing is that somedays it still stings. I hate that my retirement will probably not happen and I will be working up until lunch on the day I day. But I will no longer let him steal my joy. As I reflect on what I thought was the perfect marriage, I realize that I sanitized my memories. At this point I do not think I will ever fully trust a man again….but a tiny part of me still hopes.
    So many of the comments could have come right out of my mouth and experience. Hearing that I am not alone with this reality is oddly comforting. There seems to be an expiration date voicing these feelings in
    my life. I should be over this by now. Time to move on and forget about him. Wouldn’t it be great if it was that easy? Somedays it actually is, but then there are those other days….
    So now when I am having one of “those” days I am going to read these threads and know that there is hope and my feelings are valid. Thank you all for that

    • Blindersoff,

      Your posted resonated with me especially about the children.

      I am a little ahead of you…3 years divorced after 30 years married. The xhole married howorker and now plays happy family with her, her kids, and grandkids.

      I stay out of the relationship between my kids and their father. I told them that I support whatever works for them. It is a journey they have to navigate. (I personally wish he would fall off the face of the earth…not very Meh!)

      The other day I was having a rare conversation with my 28 year old son about xhole. The pain in his eyes and voice broke my heart when he told me his dad had not called him in a year. He said that his dad prefers spending any free time with “her” family.

      I know my kids are grown. I know they realize their father is not who they thought. I know they feel abandoned, too.

      There is no way to clean up the damage from a cheater. We just keep loving our kids. So yes, I trust that they suck. And anyone who tries to minimize the affect of divorce on children (no matter what age) can fall off the end of the earth along the xhole.

      (((HUGS))) to you!!

      • Hugs to you One Step at a Time! I am angry for you, so I cannot imagine (well I guess I can????) how difficult it is for you to reach meh.

        Great points blindersoff! I think I should save this one too. (By the way of you have iPhones the posts nicely paste in your notes app)

      • Thank you for your post. 32 years married. A bit over a year and half divorced. Adult kids 29 and 26. It pains me to no end to see how our family unit has ended and how awful the X is. He did not see his adult son for over a year and when he did he acted like nothing had happened. Pod person. Asshole. At times I cannot believe I married him and yet I have two amazing kids and a grand child to boot. I am the sane parent. He is off being a dad and boyfriend to the whore and her four kids. I feel for my kids. I have an awesome 85 year old dad whom I adore. My kids have basically a pod dad.

  • I think we should organize Sad Sausage Fest, Sad Sausagepalooza, Sad Sausagearoo, or Sad Sausagestock. We could send all our cheaters anonymous invites.

  • For me, a corollary to “Trust that they suck” is to never forget that to him, I am only narcissistic supply. He doesn’t love me, never loved me, never cared about me as a separate person with feelings and needs. But he will from time to time contact me for some kibbles of attention and sympathy, and I almost forget what he has done because I let it go. While I’m mostly at meh, I must guard against any attempts to remind me of the past and the good times and the what might have beens if he hadn’t been character disordered. I have had to make sure my children know that I will attend their weddings/graduations etc and tolerate him, but I will never be comfortable if he gets himself included at a special dinner or vacation and I will get up and leave. No more being nice. I remind myself that he is SUM: selfish, ugly, mean. My happiness depends on me erasing him from my life! Thanks to CL and CN for reminding me of these simple truths: Trust that they suck! They will suck all the joy out of your life, but only if you let them. Don’t let them.

  • I think I finally trust that fuckhead sucks. When he pulled his little stunt on DD’s graduation day, that was the last straw for me. Something clicked in my head. And I have been SO MUCH BETTER ever since that day. Whenever he pops into my head, I mutter, “F.U.!” then go about my day. Both him and his whore are horrible people. I don’t even think I care that they’re together anymore. Have I reached meh? Not sure, but if not, it is incredibly close.

    For other chumps who aren’t as far down the road as I am (a year and six months), trust me, you will get there. Keep putting one foot forward and take each day as it comes.

    • I’ve come a long way too. Thanks to this place. No contact truly is key to quicker healing.

    • I’m exactly 8 days into my hopefully “no contact”— or at least as little as possible given that we have five kids, four at home. He lives with his mistress in another state and flies in monthly to see them. Up til recently, I’ve seen him when he comes. (We are still married — though divorce is in process) But last time I vowed that that would be it. I’ll email but no phone calls. When he comes, he can uber and stay at a hotel. No holidays, vacations or anything save a birthday dinner if a child wants it. Period.

      You said about a year and a half? Ok. I can do that. Shooting for meh…

  • My husband’s AP does post doctoral work at an Ivy League, while I only have a master’s and teach as a college instructor.

    This is a timely reminder that she sucks anyway! And that he sucks even more! I need to imprint that on my forehead. She may look all shiny on the outside, but her core is as slimy as they come. (And yes she’s known from their first night that he was married—they met when he posted on Craig’s list he wanted a one night stand and she showed up and ooohhh they discovered they both love sex with strangers and gang bangs besides and so it was clearly meant to be)

    Plus I have to keep telling myself what Oprah apparently said (a nicer version of “trust that they suck): “when someone steps out, they always step down.” Gutter person meet gutter person.

    • Per your husband’s latest AP being an Ivy: sucks even more to be your husband (soon to be ex, I hope). Evil and smart is a much more dangerous combo than evil and dumb. Eventually, he will find this out. But not, I anticipate, until after he discovers her knife between his ribs.

  • I really needed this today. I still haven’t called quits on my marriage even after 2 affairs. I need constant reminder to finally get that strength to leave… He is selfish and he sucks… I need to repeat that a million more times. 🙁

    • Same.

      He is unemployed, is into sex clubs, bashes on my religion, has a hair trigger temper, does acid. And oh yeah: sleeps with other people, lies, betrays, has no remorse, and wines: what about me and my happiness?

      I threw away my wedding dress. I’m getting there.

  • Great reminder! I don’t know a lot about their life but certainly superficially a lot more sparkly than mine, including expensive cars (not that they interest me but no money for them), business class trips, an expensive wedding, reports (that I have now shut down) about how amazing she thinks he is, how happy they are together, blah blah blah

    Number 1 is absolutely true for me. I did literally pinch myself!

    Number 2 makes sense logically but I still am not sure that it will happen. I wish it would but I don’t know that it will. She is a very different person from me, intellectually/socially not his equal so is in awe of him, very different from her previous life financially so plenty of kibbles that I wouldn’t have given in the same way to be had (I am his intellectual/social/financial equal). However, on other fronts she is also appears to be similarly disordered to him in terms of their obsession with image management, entitlement and poor boundaries, so maybe they will be perfect for each other, reinforcing each other in their disorder.

    Number 3 – see number 2 to a degree. I do like the reminder that it doesn’t matter though, it doesn’t change the history that I endured. In fact, those same manipulations and tactics are still employed in our “co-parenting” relationship and have now been extended to include my eldest daughter. So, no character transplant for us, at least, which is what counts for me.

    Number 4 – the gold nugget. We do share very different values – and I now realise always did. Actually, I don’t know that he has any real actual values of his own – just reflects back what he thinks will make him look good in the situation, but even if he does, based on his actions, they are vastly different from mine.

  • There are still times when I wonder how my X is doing, what he’s up to and if he’s happy. I think about contacting him at those times. Then I smack myself and laugh because contacting him invites his mindfucks back into my life. Honestly, I know how my X is doing. I’m sure he hasn’t changed that much because his MO works pretty effectively. I truly trust that he sucks now. Even if he were to show up on my doorstep with a new wife and a baby, I wouldn’t envy him or compare my situation to his. I KNOW what it was like to be his wife and it was a living hell everyday. I wouldn’t trade my freedom from him for anything.

  • Our entire marriage I paid ALL the bills, worked 4 jobs, donated plasma, and BEGGED him to help me by getting a part-time job. He always spun it on to how “unrealistic” I was and how “nothing” he ever did was “good enough” for me… A year out from divorce and he’s miraculously acquired 2 full-time jobs, a part-time job, and travels on weekends as a musician. I began to wonder if I was crazy… maybe things really weren’t that bad. Maybe I WAS just a whining baby who expected too much from him… THEN, a month or so ago, he was in the newspaper. He had a Sheriff’s citation for being crazy behind on child support (from his first marriage!). He works 4 jobs, drives a Mercedes (he was supposed to drive the marital vehicle I bought for him. It was in our divorce decree and we drafted a separate contract as well. He screwed me on THAT too), bought a house, Instagrams inspirational/Christian tidbits on how to avoid “toxic people” (ME!), and the man STILL can’t/won’t pay child support. VALIDATION!!! I’m not crazy. I was right! He SUCKS!!!!

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