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Emotional Affairs, Exit Affairs, and Ghosts

Dear Chump Lady,

Can I still be in the CN club? Do I still get to hate my husband as much as everyone else here gets to hate their crappy spouses even though he was “a moral cheater”? Mine didn’t want even want cake….ghosts don’t eat cake.

We were married for 5 years, with two littles and my husband came home from being off at college for 10 days and we had to have a talk, that night, can’t wait. (We were supposed to have sexy time and I couldn’t figure out why this had to be discussed right then). Apparently, while he was gone, he just RANDOMLY, OUT-OF-THE-BLUE, BY ABSOLUTE CHANCE happens to mentioned to his mom that he was planning on finding a new job in another state in June when his contract was up (he hated Florida). He was literally just going to take the job in another State and THEN tell me. I would have to decide to stay or go in a matter of days or weeks with no notice or input. Too bad for him, his contract got extended another year and now his plan to ditch me got foiled- oh fooey! His mom, being the awesome woman she is, told him he should tell his chumpy wife about his plan to ditch us so we can have an honest discussion about it. (Honest discussion-hahahahaha)

So here we are sobbing together on the couch about how we love each other so much and I’m telling him “I’m glad you brought this up, let’s go to counseling and sort out our marriage!”

Here are some phrases that were uttered during this honest conversation:

Him: “You’re still hot, you can totally find another man.” #TRUE but besides the point.

Him: “I don’t want to sleep with you (even though I’ve been gone 10 days) because I don’t want all the love hormones and feelings to get in the way of our decision.”

Big sobby alligator tears

Me: Did you cheat on me? Him: “No”.

Me: Do you still love me? Him: “Yes”

More snotty tears and hugs.

Him: “Our marriage isn’t bad, you’re easy to love.” #ALSOTRUE

Over the next few days he became more and more distant. I found in his car, a couple wedding bands of different sizes he had just purchased from Amazon. When I asked him about them, he told me he decided to upgrade his ring (he had never gotten a new one in 5 years and got the same exact one that he already had). Maybe he didn’t need an upgrade….maybe he needed to replace a LOST one!!! Interesting to note that he purchased them while he was gone and they were not delivered to our house. So chumpy of me to miss this red flag omg.

Now he starts sleeping with his phone and carrying it around with a portable charger in his pocket.

He would take his phone to the bathroom and come out 15 minutes later without flushing the toilet–three times an evening.

Now he is extremely mean which is so out of character because he is such a respectable, good guy.

He wouldn’t have sex with me still. (moral cheater, can’t cheat on the OW with his wife–that would be soooOooo wrong.)

Thinking back, for about six months before he used to put his phone upside down on the counter when he came home (no big deal, just an emotional affair but he would NEVER cheat!) I see it all now but he was so “honest” for all those years. He’s so moral that he wouldn’t even sleep with his fucking wife after he cheated on me with some cheap college ho!!!!!! And you may ask, “how do I know he cheated?”. Because he did this to ex-wife #1. He moved out of town a few weeks before she was to follow, cheated on her (it just happened), called his ex-wife and told her he wanted a divorce, filed the paperwork and NEVER looked back. NEVER. And never confessed to cheating, no apologizing, nothing. Never spoke to her again and treated her like shit via the few texts they had. (Not overtly though, remember he’s a nice guy). And it was all justified to leave her because “she was so manipulative and controlling and he only stayed with her through all of this because he’s just trying to do the right thing”. (I know, I know, red flags. Didn’t see ’em)

Back to present…. So out the door he goes, within days of coming back from college (but not before throwing a super admiration-worthy birthday party for our son so he could show off his bbq skills–remember how awesome he is?)

So here I sit, being the newly chumped wife #2 with the nicest, most moral cheater in existence. He had to leave because his newly chumped wife is now suddenly “so manipulative and controlling and he only stayed because he was trying to do the right thing for the kids and stuff” Gosh those words are so familiar? Divorce papers filed within weeks of walking out. Non-stop filing. Wants this divorce over “as soon as possible”.

So CL, help me out here? Is he a nice guy who just couldn’t find his words to tell me he wants out? Oh and he couldn’t find his words to tell ex-wife #1 he wants out either? He is obviously so over it by the time he cheats, that he doesn’t even glance back over his shoulder (but he was a really good faker of still being in it). Is he really a nice guy trying to do the “right thing by staying as long as he could stand it?” Or is he just so selfish and entitled that he has to monkey bar from one to the next? Or is he just a really smart narcissist always doing the “right thing”? (impression management). Or is he a crazy sociopath with no empathy willing to walk, correction, run as fast as Usain Bolt away from both of his wives and two kids? So many questions.

Help!!!! It’s all just so confusing because he doesn’t go back and forth and eat cake and he doesn’t need a hypotenuse and he’s not leading both of us on so is he just NOT THAT BAD of a cheater?

Anyways, he’s gone…. poof! Ghosted.

As I sit here wondering WTF just happened……


Haunted House

Dear Haunted House,

Yours is a question that comes up here perennially — what’s worse, being abandoned or being deceived for cake? Is it better for the cat to kill the mouse, or just play with it and torture it first? Answer: this is not the pain Olympics. It all sucks.

Better answer: Once you realize you’re not a partner, you’re prey, GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.

People who abandon are stone cold. Lake-Michigan-in-February-ice-ice-baby COLD. It takes some kind of sociopathic superpower to throw a birthday party for the child you’re about to permanently leave. How do you explain the mindfuck of “Here’s a roasted weenie, don’t call me”?

I don’t have an explanation for it, but the last thing I’d call it is “moral cheater.” You are projecting your values on to this freak. You imagine he’s got some weird set of ethics that prevents him from sleeping with more than one woman at a time. No.

How about all your shiny has worn off? He’s done with you. Next shiny thing! You’re in the discard pile. Sorry you don’t know it, but that’s really not his problem. Discarded toys don’t have feelings. And if they do, whatever. You can’t hear their sobs when you’re a hundred miles away.

Oh right, but he’s a “nice guy.”

No he isn’t. Nice guys don’t let people invest in them and make babies and throw birthday parties before they walk out for the latest fuckbuddy. Nice people write a thank you note first. No, Haunted, not really. Actual moral people do a lot of reckoning before they break up with someone. There’s honest conversations and therapy and deal breakers and discussions and most of all, fair settlements. Anyway, how to properly break up with someone is a column for another time. My point is, THIS IS NOT A NICE PERSON. This is an ice creature. A ghost from the Edmund Fitzgerald. Do not mourn this ghoul.

The point isn’t to hate him, (although feel free) — the point is eventual acceptance, or what we call “meh.” Not accepting what he did was okay — no, it’s totally fucking WRONG — but accepting what sort of thing we’re dealing with here. You loved a fraud. A person who doesn’t bond like normal humans. Someone who casually discards and betrays, and then goes and files his nails, ho hum. Hate him? You may as well hate a radiator panel. The radiator won’t care.

Getting caught up on Is He THIS Kind of Cheater or THAT Kind of Cheater is untangling the skein of fuckupedness. Is he moral? Is he nice? Is he a sociopath? (I’d put my money here) are all questions focused on HIM. Why did he do this? You will never know because you don’t have the emotional depth of a radiator panel. A better set of questions is: How am I going to protect myself? What next? What were the red flags? How do I find a kickass lawyer? How could I ever love someone so unworthy of me?

The only skein we can really untangle is our own. Know your values, know your deal-breakers, know your worth. This is really important work when you’ve bred with one of these freaks. (Ask me how I know…) Because you need to teach your children it’s not them either. They’re not unlovable. It’s not something they did or didn’t do. Their father’s behavior is no measure of their value.

Don’t try to explain his actions, they’re inexplicable. Who knows the ways of ghosts? But YOU are there. You’re not an apparition. You’re real. Let your children know they can count on solid, sane you.

Oh, and don’t let that freak of yours go poof. Call Ghostbusters. Get an attorney, press for a good settlement, and enforce child support. Good luck, Haunted. We’re here for you.


Ask Chump Lady

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  • The radiator panel – Love that ! I always felt I was talking to a wall! They are devoid of emotion.
    Haunted house you must have known my Ex. Get this: one year to the date of him walking out he changed his pic on facebook to an old one with both of us. Hmmm… ! Where is their brain? I cant even react to that. Must be meh!

    • The brick wall, yes. That’s how I felt a couple of months before DDay when we had a “serious” discussion that he initiated. I had no idea why but I did my best o answer his questions and get him to understand my thoughts but it did feel like I was talking to a brick wall (or a radiator panel). No real reaction from him at all to anything I said. After DDay it all made sense in a heartbreaking way.

      • I know the radiator/brick wall blank stare all to well. That is the look I would get when trying to explain my feelings to him after each new betrayal. They have no feelings. At least not for us chumps anyway. The only things he could feel were the intense highs of cheating on me and for the new love feelings he would get after each new source of cake. He eventually would tire of the new cake and come back to me his endless source of supply. Oh boy my supply was easy to obtain. When he would abandon us I would beg and plead for him to return for a while and just as soon as I would start to feel sane again he would come back to screw me over worse than he had before. Each new ghosting would leave me in a worse position mentally and financially. 4 years of this fakery and I finally got the courage to schedule an appt with an attorney. I’m moving myself and my children in with my parents (I’m 35 so this sucks terribly) so I can afford to fight him with every resource I have for a fair settlement and a custody agreement I’m comfortable with since hes a raging alcoholic. I had been a stay at home mom and wife and now I’m working two jobs and trying to survive this mess for myself and our little ones. For anyone on the fence about leaving or taking them back…it never gets better…only worse. I would literally think each time he came back, he couldn’t possibly leave me in a worse predicament then the time before could he? The answer is a resounding YES he could. He left me while I was in the hospital having a surgery to remove my ectopic pregnancy(he said he couldn’t handle losing his child. Haha, my family caught him in a bar with another woman laughing during my surgery). He left me 3 months after signing a new lease on a home I couldn’t afford without him (his parents told me I drove him away bc I accused him of cheating all the time!) He also left me the day before our family vacation. I couldn’t afford to go without him. Our kids were devastated. Asshat!

        • Sending support mighty mama! Moving in with your folks to get extra support is a smart power move! Wow!
          Fight like hell! I did and went to trial and got full custody, 70% of all assets and all kid expenses including college and attorneys’ fees—and I’m in a community property no fault state.

          • MC99: you are amazing! Do you mind sharing how you got a higher percentage of assets and custody, etc.? I am in a community property/no fault state as well and would really appreciate your advice. Thank you! You are inspirational! If you don’t want to share publicly, will you please message me directly. Thank you. X

  • Line up the personality disorders and pick one. No, no, pick two. Maybe three? It is next to impossible for a mentally/emotionally healthy person to understand pds. They are as fixed as the color of your eyes.
    Be thankful he is gone.
    You are wife #2? There will be more. Those rings were for his next two or three wives.

    • I hope you truly understand why he left. The term “pair bonding” is only true if both people are committed. The hardest thing for healthy people to understand is that there is no there there. He is aping what he thinks he should do to get what he wants. Any emotions, any loyalties are only for himself. He has none for you, or anyone.
      Sociopaths are totally lacking the ability to see another’s needs. They don’t care. If you take the affair(s) out of it he could just as easily left you for a boiled turnip. You were a thing to him. All living beings are things to him.

      • “Sociopaths are totally lacking the ability to see another’s needs. They don’t care.”

        Or worse, they DO see another’s needs but still don’t care, or simply see it as a means to an end. I view that as a psychopath rather than a sociopath, but that doesn’t really matter. They’re fucked up. Avoid them. Run. Be glad they are (mostly) done fucking up your life.

        • My ex in his 12-step journal said that people are objects – a means to an end – things to be used for his ‘happiness.’ They cannot feel empathy or caring for anyone. They can only get off on adrenalin rushes and the highs of cheating. When my ex’s new coworker came on the scene he bragged how they found out a way to scheme money at their work. So they ‘bonded’ over cheating people at work, cheating on his family….. He also told me how he admired her because she always got what she wanted. I sensed this was the beginning of the end. Now I laugh because he was so impressed that she wanted a person 25 years older than her that lies and cheats. What a prize. I now thank her for wanting my ex.

    • 2 or 3 wives… Love that! LOL. Maybe he gets a quantity discount.

    • I used to work with a woman who referred to her mom’s current husband as her mom’s current “victim”. Thank God that victim is no longer you.

  • My heart breaks for you Haunted… my idiot ex packed up while I was at work one day and left. No conversations, no anything. Never even a backwards glance. Married the next shiny toy 4 weeks afterthe divorce. CL is right… dont try and untangle it. You never will and it keeps you stuck for a long time (trust me I know). It is really hard recovering from those feelings of abandonment but focus on you, your beautiful kids and forge ahead with a brand new life. Im 8 years out now and life is so much better cheater free!! Sending hugs

    • Agreed cheater free I love it and never have to worry about him sitting on the toilet for a 1/2 hour on his cell!

  • He is a terrible person. What he is showing to the world is not him. His heart is dark, I think you should hate him at first. I had the same problem with my “nice” ex. He was such a great guy projected to the world but had a 2 year “emotional” affair. He swears there was no contact HA!! Anyway I had to look at his actions to ME and realize the nice was an act. Nice people care and are kind your husband is neither of these things. Good luck.

    • Besides, even though it hurts more to know they bumped uglies, cheating is about way more than genitals, eh?

      • Yes!! My horror at finding out my ex fucked the OW was nothing compared to my horror when I looked at phone records and saw exactly how long it had been going on and how much they called and texted each other. So painful.

        • This is absolutely how I feel. Like, am I just chopped liver over here crying myself to sleep while you’re having such a phenomenal time “studying” on the couch late at night. What a fucktard.

        • My worst discovery was that X held hands with her in the grocery store, and helped her cook dinner. (Things he told me.)He never would do that with me. So worse than the sex discovery.

          • Dear Free,

            I don’t think you should read anything into the fact that your x held hands with the OW in the grocery store. I think disordered people automatically mirror whomever they are love bombing at the moment. So when he was love bombing you, he became you, when he’s love bombing the OW he holds her hand in the grocery store. It means nothing, except a technique of getting what he wants.

            When my ex was love bombing me, back in the 80’s, he wasn’t sappy or sentimental. He was just like me! I couldn’t believe how we saw eye to eye on stuff. I was anti-PDA, HE was anti-PDA. Fast forward 30 years later, and he’s love bombing his latest OW (I found the texts). Completely sappy and sentimental, just like her. He called her “Cinderella” because she called him “Prince Charming.” He called her “gorgeous” (she looks like John Goodman in drag) because she called him “handsome.” They talked for three hours on the phone (I have phone phobia). I would wonder what the hell they had to say for three hours.

            In short, I did not know the person who was wooing the OW. He was a completely different person in order to win a completely different woman.

            It’s the nature of the disordered, all in the name of getting what they want: kibbles. It has nothing to do with you or her, it’s all about him and his kibble quest.

            • That is very interesting! It’s hard to think like the disordered, and maybe I don’t want to learn that skill!
              I’d rather be authentic.

            • John Goodman in drag!!!

              Yes. I had a male friend call the Maggot. He had ghosted me and was in the grocery store with a meth whore. Like someone who lives in motels and had absconded from probation.

              But you would’ve thought they were Ozzie and Harriet, laughing and goofing off and cooing over pork rinds.

              He did not even know her. The words that come out of their mouth are meaningless. It is taken me two years to understand it.

              I know it feels personal but it isn’t. I know those words may not help you now but write them down.

            • Hahahaha!!! “She looks like John Goodman in drag.” Hahahahaha! You just changed the whole mood of my morning! Thank you!

          • My cheater went to an arcade and played video games with her. The night we met we talked extensively about our childhood favorites dig dug and pitfall. He said it was what made him fall for me. My heart broke after I kicked him out and found an arcade token on the floor. I had been begging to take the kids to Dave and Busters and was constantly told we didn’t have the money. It’s those things that hurt worse than the sex.

        • It’s always more fun when it’s secret and forbidden and you’ve got a triangle or two going.

        • Same, it was a worse stab in the heart when I found out she met him for lunch during her work hours. The sex between them I could accept as sleazy and desperate and ugly, but meeting casually in town for coffees, ouch, that hurt.

          And that not looking back, nothing, something I’ll never fathom, she didn’t even want our babies photo books. Breaks my heart.

        • Me too and the worst part was the sex took place in my marital bed, GROSSE!????

    • They’re good with their act!
      People who don’t know everything about X (not just the adultery) think X is the nicest guy in the world. They use that act to manipulate & control. As long as they act nice they can do whatever they want!!

  • I was married to a ‘moral’ cheater. They suck. And they will suck all the life out of you while telling you “I didn’t want to hurt you”,” I love you but I am not in love with you”, “The courts won’t be the ones to tell us when this is over”, “I am ABSOLUTELY not sleeping with her and I can’t believe you would ask me that question”, and my favorite still to this day “I lied because I didn’t want people to see me as a bad person!”. I could go on but you get the drift.

    I am so thankful he is gone. I am so thankful that I don’t have to deal with the lies. I am still triggered by lying, and I probably will be for the rest of my life. But I look at it this way, I had Prince Charming when he was young and vital, Cinderella gets the declining old man.

    • Same. Lying will probably trigger me for the rest of my life too. If I do one thing as a parent, it will be teaching my child that there is no reason to lie about most things. And that little lie you tell to get out of trouble will get you in 10x more trouble in the end.

    • Asshole: It’s God’s will that we divorce.

      Me: No it’s not, God abhors divorce. It’s God’s will that you stop lying and cheating.

      • Wow, Queen Mother. ‘It’s God’s will that we divorce’ sure sounds like ‘I am entitled to co-opt the omniscience of the creator of the universe, use him like a marionette, and claim His authority for my selfish, perverted reasons.’ Nope, not blasphemous one bit.

        I can see why you call him by his proper name. 😉

    • Love that! My “ex Prince Charming” is declining fast, and all of his twu wuvs have been half his age. He left me and the kids with a text one week after I turned 50, and all I’ve considered is “will I ever find someone” not “thank goodness I won’t be tied down by that old man for the rest of his declining life!”

      • Struggling, I understand. But finding another partner isn’t necessarily the best thing to focus on. I just got back from a wonderful trip with my sister, to a country I had always wanted to go, where the asshat cheater met up with his AP twice, kind of ruining it for me. However, I determined that his behavior wasn’t going to dictate what I could do or where I could go. So we girls went and had a BALL. A seriously good time.

        I guess what I am attempting to say is: find your tribe (those who are supportive), do fun things with them, fix your picker, and only then consider looking for another partner. You may decide that having a non-sexually-intimate friend/roommate is not only a viable option, but a wonderful one.

        I can not only do this on my own, but I can also THRIVE on my own.

      • Definitely, you have dodged a bullet not getting stuck with a narcissistic asshole in his old age! In my line of work, I encounter this all the time — believe me, if a narc’s treatment of their partner is bad in middle age, it usually only get worse, to the point where caretaking them is sheer hell for the spouse. It’s definitely a fitting karma best left for the Schmoopie.

      • Get your life back first. I thought I wanted another partner but two self-imposed years of aloneness and all that goes with that later, I would NEVER cohabit with another man. I date a kind man who has his own home as I do. He’s the best thing that every happened to me, in terms of a companion. I respect him so much. But find yourself first. The rest will come.

    • Yes, that’s the moral cheater for you. Still “nice” to me, up until the very very end. “Trying to do the right thing” but truthfully they’re doing the ultimate wrong thing. Staying and faking it is so deceptive! I feel like they check out and spend time and effort subtly undermining the relationship all while “trying to do the right thing” so that by the time they actually walk, you’re already such a low life POS in their minds that it’s justified to do so. And then as if that shit sandwich isn’t enough, they get all the accolades for “trying to do the right thing”. Awe, what a great guy!

      • I got that too.
        Wanted to be my best friend., wanted to be “Garth Brooks” he said.
        Garth Brooks dumped his wife Sandy for Tricia Yearwood and then they all lived on the same property so they could raise the kids together and he could be awesome to his ex wife. Cake anyone?
        Except he wasn’t awesome…..because he fucked Tricia Yearwood instead of just having an honest conversation with his wife that he was unhappy.
        I never got that. He was a dick, Sandy.
        My ex pulled that shit after he left too…..the “I’m trying to be a nice guy and do the right thing”.
        Nice guys don’t have mistresses and burner phones.
        Bye Garth.

      • Nail, meet head of hammer! I had one of those “nice ones” too. To this day I’ll bet he still thinks all the half-lies and gaslighting and passive aggressive assholery were somehow right or kind. Fuckwit.

        • Cleo, I’m sorry to say I relate. Mine is a MASTER at seeming like nothing more than a harmless comedy movie sidekick. You know, the kind everyone loves and has all the funny one liners and seems so cool when you meet them at a barbecue? But underneath, there is nothing but ice where a soul should be.

          He was talking to our kids on Skype recently (moved cross country and hasn’t visited in 4 years) and during the call my 5 year old daughter had a little bit of a meltdown. As I was addressing it and trying to deal with her, she said ‘I always mess up, I’m a bad kid’ and all these other things. So I’m trying to comfort her and assure her that isn’t true, and he chimes in with ‘Sweety, people mess up! I’ve messed up in my life and you guys still love me, right?’ My blood was boiling. He minimized the absolute FIREBOMBING of our family and the abandonment of his parental responsibilities to ‘messing up.’ Yep, my daughter having a meltdown over drawing in a book she wasn’t supposed to draw in is TOTALLY THE SAME as taking a parent away from innocent young babies and taking help/care/support/finances away from the parent you left behind to do all the work. For life. Totes the same.

    • “I had Prince Charming when he was young and vital, Cinderella gets the declining old man.” Yep. This! That’s a good way to look at it. I feel better when I say that I’m a widow, because the man I (thought I) knew just died. In reality, he was never there. I just lost my usefulness so there was no reason for him to maintain the facade. But now, she won the turd. He is no longer vital. His back is going out, he has high blood pressure, and will probably end up with diabetes (and sundry failing ‘organs’) because he never takes care of himself. And he’s not my problem anymore. Yay!

  • Here’s a simple explanation that might cut to the chase and make the situation easier to understand: he’s a coward. He’s a championship caliber, mvp-type coward.

    And cowardice is not an attribute people sit around trying to understand — I think it’s something that’s just accepted: someone either has courage in them or they don’t. Yours didn’t (nor did mine).

    The Cowardly Lion was made to understand that he did in fact have courage when the chips were down and the situation required it, because his actions were grounded in empathy and personal integrity.

    Unfortunately your coward has found some bogus Wizard (even if it’s in his own head) who will pin a medal on him and tell him he’s all that for doing what he did. You will know better.

  • Sociopath. Hands down. Normal people who make connections don’t just use their spouses as appliances, “Jeez, I think I’d like the latest Samsung refrigerator with the silent ice maker.”

    Haunted House–what amount of money, or what promised experience (e.g., a trip to the Moon, a la Elon Musk) would it take for you to abandon your children and risk never seeing them again?

    Right–there is no amount of money, no experience, that would be preferable to having your children in your life. But your STBX was willing to do just that, for some fresh sex. Think about that, and consider his psyche.


    • I agree, Tempest. My son and I were ghosted. What normal father just disappears from his child’s life? He’s a coward and he never has to witness the emotional devastation he caused his family. It’s been 8 missed Christmas’s, nine missed summers, etc. etc. Hope she was fucking worth it.

      • I hear you. Unfortunately, I am afraid they would say, “Yes. Yes, she was fucking worth it” because they don’t see the value of family bonds. They don’t see the value of anything other than me-me-me-mine-me-mine. The narcopathy blinds them to all other possibilities.

        I am sure my X thinks his 25YO sparkletwat worth it, despite blowing up his 28 year marriage, ruining his reputation, and ruining the relationship with his adult daughters. He thinks he is right. The fact he moved out one day on me without any warning, sending me an e-mail as my toodle-loo? Bygones. Get over it.

        It isn’t that they don’t see, it is that they disagree.

        Grrrr, I hate him.

        • Oh yes. They do think it’s worth it because that is how they are wired. They only care about their happiness, ruined relationships be damned. When they cry years later, it’s not because they threw away their life & family for some twit (although that will be their narrative) it’s because either the twit took them to the cleaners and dumped their defective ass or the twit turned out to be not so special and they’ve grown bored.

          • KB22, so true– a good friend of mine is convinced that when the OWife dumps my ex, he will try to come crawling back to me, claiming how sorry he is and that he made a mistake, etc. Yeah, he won’t really be sorry (other than sorry to be alone, sorry that the OWife is taking his money). He’ll be sorry that things didn’t work out for HIM– what he did to me and to our kids is of no consequence to him.

            • More than likely he will come crawling back, especially if OWife dumps his behind. You may be tempted to really let him have it but don’t as he’ll lap up the attention, even bad attention. Indifference is the killer with his type.

        • Yep, exactly. To many, having no cumbersome family to get in the way of happy, convenient sex is a relief.

    • Tempest, The craziest part of all this is he used to preach about how family always come first blah blah blah. And by the way, he’s not ditching his kids, the asshole filed for almost full custody of them because “I’m not leaving my family, just you.”

      • I have the same problem. Wants full custody despite walking out because ‘I didn’t leave my child, I left YOU.’ That line is somewhere in the cheater handbook. His stupidity is appalling.

        • I got that too. When I pointed out fucking another man in our family home while my daughter and I were away was cheating on the family she just could not comprehend that.

        • Yup I know exactly mine doesn’t want to pay any child support but is now freaking as spousal support is coming

  • Would you ever, in one hundred years, do to him and your son what he is doing to you and your son?

    That answer is all the untangling you need, really.

    Also, I would assert that he doesn’t need to know what you are planning at any stage of the game, and it’s likely important to play your cards close. That said, though, it’s also important to remember that old Chump Lady lesson — where there’s charm and self-pity, there’s rage.

    As long as he can keep you emotionally wounded and thinking the best of him, he has control of the situation. Once he sees that you are committed to removing his horrid, harmful self from your life, rage is likely to surface. Be ready.

    It will be important to stay cool while you communicate with him, especially around your son. He will probably try to make you act crazy. Stay cool and let it out later with friends (who aren’t also his friends, too) and/or a counselor.

    And, finally, be prepared to keep learning more things in the coming months. Cheaters like this generally have more to hide than you learn at first. I was still learning new crap three and four years later. The shock reaction at each piece will fade with time, and it will become humorous after a while, then sad, then like a story about a stranger — believe it, even if you don’t feel it at first, because we all really do eventually get there.

    You can do this. I am so sorry that you have to do this, but we are all living proof that you can do this. We’re with you.

    • Amiisfree,
      I absolutely need to learn that old CL lesson of where there is charm and self-pity, there’s rage. Where did you learn that? That definitely rings true for me. The rage always stayed bubbling under the surface when we were together (but you could feel it) but I’ve never had someone say such horrible things to me when they were mad….which is why I did almost everything under the sun, moon and stars for him to not get mad. But he was so charming and didn’t suck (except when he did) that I still loved him. You know, everyone has their flaws type thing.

      • I learned it right here from our own Chump Lady, and it changed everything. I am forever grateful.

      • One key here is that a normal person doesn’t rage. Other people aren’t afraid of normal people. The Very Kind Man I date is a big dude. Tall, strong, physically imposing and stubborn. But I am not afraid of him. I don’t tiptoe around him. Because he is not disordered. It’s that simple.

        If you are afraid to anger your spouse, you don’t have a partner. You have an abuser.

        • Lovedajackass,

          His mother told me it was because he was a Scorpio and that they “sting”. Oh.
          I guess I’ll just take my empathetic self and make this all work.
          Originally he was responsive to me and was so very very apologetic and sorry. Later on, hhe just got to sit there and make me feel like shit even if no words were even said.

          • When Scorpios tell me that, or others say it about them, I say what an old astrologer friend of mine taught me — it’s only useful if you are in the bottom of my sleeping bag, otherwise I can simply crush you with any nearby heavy object. 😉

            Maybe that visual will help?

    • Amiisfree:

      “As long as he can keep you emotionally wounded and thinking the best of him, he has control of the situation. Once he sees that you are committed to removing his horrid, harmful self from your life, rage is likely to surface. Be ready.”

      For 6 months after my XH left me to be with his also-married Howorker, I thought I was losing my mind! I was in a total panic, crippled with fear about the future (we were on the cusp of retirement), desperately trying to untangle the age-old skein of fuckedupness known as “Why?”

      It took a while, but I finally had to acknowledge that there is no logic in the illogical, and there is no rational in the irrational. I had to accept the bitter truth: that he was gone like the wind, that I was never going to get the answers I was seeking, that everything he ever told me was very likely a lie, that I’d been duped into giving away the best years of my life to someone who used me for what I could do for him, and that in order for him to have orchestrated 14 clandestine affairs, he could never have loved or respected any part of me.

      That’s when I got angry – very angry. And that’s when the gloves came off and I took steps to protect myself.

      At the same time, I realized that if I continued to ACT emotionally wounded, my impression-management-obsessed, give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back “good guy” XH would continue to THINK he still had control of the narrative and me.

      And it’s precisely because he DID continue to believe I was a sobbing, sniveling emotional train wreck who couldn’t get out of bed, that he let his guard down and unwittingly disclosed useful information to me (such as marital assets he had hidden away without my knowledge)… information that enabled me to get more of what I deserved and less of what he THOUGHT I deserved.

      I went Zero Contact 15 months after he left, but he believed it was because I was in “too much pain” to speak with him. So he kept trying to connect, to get me to “work with him and not against him”, to “hurry things along”, and every now and then, he would stupidly disclose a golden nugget which my attorney would then write into our version of the divorce agreement, and put the ball right back in his court for another volley.

      By the time he realized what was going on, we were almost 3 years into our separation (I was still on his health insurance plan, a major gift for a self-employed person like me), and he wanted out so badly that he agreed to almost everything in our proposal (I only had to make one small concession). Since I’d refused to communicate or negotiate directly with him, everything had to go through our attorneys. If he wanted to continue, he knew this meant more time, and more $$ out of his slimy pocket.

      I don’t recommend this tactic to other chumps, but after 40 YEARS with this man, I could not only draw a detailed map of where every pimple on his hairy ass lived (and a lot more personal things that shouldn’t be discussed in polite company), but I was also pretty certain he’d do almost anything to maintain his well-polished image and be “charitable“ with me, perhaps in order to assuage some paper mache version of real guilt. I also knew that once he realized the tables had been turned on him, he would be stunned – and he was. Too late, he realized that he totally underestimated me… I never once lied to him or manipulated him, but he got caught in his own trap. We’re now 3 years post-divorce and he’s married to Howorker-turned-Wife-2.0… he’s still trying to figure out why I want nothing to do with him and cannot understand why we’re not “friends”!

      • Hello Sandals: You are my hero. So much of your story sounds like mine and I am using the same strategy. STBX wants to be friends to show everyone he is such a nice guy that I still want him in my life after all the horrible things he’s done to me. I call it his PR campaign. He still wants cake from me. My attorney is getting ready to slam him against the wall and I’m thinking that will end him wanting to be friends.

        • Island Girl:

          “PR campaign”… what a great way to describe their crazy fucked-up thought process!

          What my sad sausage of an XH doesn’t realize is that I am waaaaay past the “shame or humiliation” phase, and when asked, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever sharing with others what really happened. It’s funny how the unvarnished truth always sheds a different light on the fables that crummy spouses like to tell.

          If you keep telling/showing your STBX that no cake in any flavor is coming his way, he’ll eventually (hopefully) get the message that he’ll have to find his “friends” elsewhere. Keep your objective in mind at all times and stay as mighty as you are right now!

    • “Would you ever, in one hundred years, do to him and your son what he is doing to you and your son?

      That answer is all the untangling you need, really.”

      That is truly quite brilliant, I will save and write that down. Thank you.

  • Years ago I went home from work and had lunch with my cheater. I went back to work after lunch and when I returned home at 5:30 from work, it was to an empty house and a note on the bedroom door. Never saw or spoke to him again.

    • Whoa. I’m so sorry, that must have been such a terrible shock and so hard to recover from the cognitive dissonance…

    • Wow. That’s like, absolute zero cold! I hope life has improved dramatically for you since then.

      I hope his dick has rotted off.


        DO maggots have dicks ?

        repulsedandbreathless .

    • My friend went out for pizza with some girlfriends, brought a slice home for hubby in aluminum foil, came home 3 hours later to find he’d moved out & left her a note:. ‘As you know, we weren’t happy…etc.’ yada yada. She said she thought she must be on Candid Camera. Nope. He called her two months later ‘to see how she was doing’. (…from his girlfriend’s house…). I’d have loved to hear THAT phone slam!

    • QueenBee: OMG, I can’t even imagine! I’m so sorry you had to experience that. ❤️

    • The abandonment reminds me of the sudden death of a spouse. When I found out he had cheated for 3 years I almost felt widowed. It seemed that it was all dead. The man I knew was dead, the relationship was dead. We tried to reconcile but the ache in my chest and inability to eat killed that too.

        • Yes, your memories would’t be compromised. And you wouldn’t be questioning what you did or why he wanted the AP. You wouldn’t be dealing with a kibble snarfer. You’d have the full estate of family stuff and in the US, Social Security for the kiddos, without 1-3 years of prying it out a dollar at a time in child support.

        • I agree. Death is easier. Most people do not choose to die. These people made a conscious decision to do this to us. With death, you have family and friends grieving with you, supporting you. You get flowers and life insurance. We got left blindsided and most people (other than those on CN) have no idea what you have been through. Because, he’s such a great guy! Yuck. Today is Tuesday and I am meh about HIM. It will take a lot longer to forget what he put me through after 36 years of marriage.

          • Not many people except on this site really get how crippling it is having your ‘best friend’ litterally turn on you…not just leave you actually try and emotionally destroy you as they walk out the door . You are correct #notmyfault you dont get the validation and support like a real death you get labelled ‘bitter bunny’ -coparent like you just don’t care that your life just turned inside out and you genuinely believe your beloved husband has a brain tumor. I got 24 hours notice of his intentions for divorce …my kids got a 10 minute exit speech and a dramatic drive off into the night. They were in shock for ages. At least death preserves the good memories.

    • QueenBee

      Just when I thought I’ve heard it all…
      So sorry you had to deal with such a low critter.

  • Raising my hand as another controlling, manipulative, belittling bully✋????
    Mine walked away without looking back too. I was SO horrible. He tried for so long but just couldn’t do it anymore. Why should he be expected to stay in a bad marriage? Better to leave me to raise our daughter while I went through chemo. Cancer patients are so controlling and belittling, you know?
    Men like this are empty inside. Completely void of any character. I’d take CL’s advice and call a ghostbuster. He’s gonna hate being on the hook for child support because responsibilities are tough for people who lack character, but you and your kids deserve better.
    Stay strong and be the sane parent. Your kids need to know at least one parent has their back. My ex poofed and then immediately created a new family. I thought maybe having a new baby would make him a better dad to his first child. Wrong! He only parents when people are watching. Impression management. 4 days a month he “parents” our daughter. Doesn’t bother to contact her or discuss parenting issues the other 24-27 days a month. That’s all right with me because I get to raise a child with my morals and character instead of his.
    He moved on, so now you move on. Your life will be so much better going forward. He will still suck.

  • I am in the same situation, my husband is the “nicest, most amazing” man you will ever meet. You need anything and he will do it for you. I am constantly been told he is a “good” guy, guys like him are rare. Yet he had an affair and left out marriage to be with a “woman” he met online. He also wouldn’t sleep with me and then I realized it was because he was being “faithful” to her. It was like I didn’t exist. I am also wife #2, he told me his ex wife cheated on him but later admitted that he was the one who cheated on her, multiple times. I used to tell myself it would be a blessing in disguise that he didn’t ask for forgiveness because I wouldn’t be strong enough to say no because I wanted so bad for my marriage to work. These kind of people are like Jekyll and hyde, they have the mask they put on for people but they can’t maintain for the ones that are closest to them. They are always searching for something

    • OMG. Yes, they’re being faithful to their affair partner which is why he had to leave our MARRIAGE!!!. It’s like, craziness. Why wasn’t he sobbing at my feet trying to keep his marriage together. Obviously because I suck so much and he was so over me (news to me).

      • Like most narcs my ex was always after the next new toy, next new house, next car, next new hobby. So why NOT the next new person as well? He is never satisfied. Never will be. I just moved to a house with a pool……and I hear he is on the lookout for a house with a pool now. Yup.

        • Mitz, I relate. My ex was constantly wanting fun money for things like Xbox games, a lift for his truck, new shoes, tattoos, more dogs…newer, bigger, better, more, 24/7. It was like trying to reign in a teenager. I took care of all the finances because of said financial teenager, so I became the big bad mommy that had to say no all the time. We had 2 newborns in 2 years and he just couldn’t grasp that diapers and doctor’s trips and cribs meant he couldn’t spend like a drunk millionaire anymore.

          Near the end, I just kept saying the same thing when he would want to do something outlandish with our money. ‘Can you please try to appreciate and be happy for what you’ve already got?’ Little did I know that statement would also apply to us, his wife and kids. He moved to the opposite coast for his AP and just had 2 newborns in 2 years with her. Tattoos. Truck lift. 2 new dogs. Child support and 4 kids under 8 be DAMNED.

        • My narc, too. He changed cars and trucks constantly. New hobbies, newer, bigger, better, shinier, new gf, new baby…. and he’s more miserable than ever. All they know is things. When those things only make them feel good for a little while, then it wears off, I think it just makes them more angry and frustrated. With him gone the garage is so cleaned out. All his junk is gone. It’s wonderful. Our daughter hasn’t wanted to see him for months and he never asks me how she’s doing. He makes no effort to get through to her. She blocked him on her phone, so he doesn’t even try to write her or anything. When he wants to get some girl he writes long letters full of fluff and B.S. I just found all the letters he’d written me years ago. Barf. But here it comes to his own daughter – nothing. When they know they can’t bullshit someone, that someone is out.

  • He treated you like an Appliance Spouse, who dispensed hot & cold running blow jobs and sex and he STILL wanted someone new.

    He’s a turd. He rolled himself in powdered sugar and called it Turkish Delight and someone else believed it. Eventually, she’ll realize he’s a turd too.

    He is a turd, but that doesn’t reflect on you or kiddo.

    Get an awesome lawyer, ensure you get every penny to which your kid is entitled now and factor inflation & escalating activity fees & costs in the future.

    Abandoning your family should cost big money, as he lacks a soul. Ignore future crocodile tears. He’s crying over having less money with which to spend on himself & his interests.

  • Once you realize you’re not a partner, you’re prey.
    Absolutely priceless.
    The discard, the narcissism, this was my experience. He slept on the couch for a year out of apparent loyalty to the others, mentioning his medicine caused e.d. When I discovered the cheater phone in his hand, all lit up like a nightlight with him on the couch in the middle of the night, the prey status & discard began. You aren’t alone. You aren’t the first or last. Get your STD testing & head with us toward meh.

  • Can someone check the spam trap? My earlier submission may be stuck there. Thank you.

  • This post sounds a lot like my ex. The monkey bar metaphor is just like him, only I didn’t see the red flags because each relationship ending/beginning had a logical reason. Except one, but I just figured it was a immature life decision when he was younger. Little did I know that that immaturity in relationships (loving shiny things and leaving when one toy is no longer shiny) was a permanent feature.

    Haunted House, I agree this guy sounds like a sociopath. He’ll do this again…

    I just passed the five year d-day anniversary. And it occurred to me early in the day, and I thought maybe I’d do some sage, but then I completely forget until this morning. I guess that’s a good sign. 🙂 Ah, meh… (And my ex left the OW after several years, so I heard, in about the same way he left me, so yes, they tend to repeat the pattern…)

    For those of you in the roughest parts now, hang in there. It gets so much better with some distance.

    • Yup, “It gets so much better with some distance.”

      Like ChumpLady says: No Contact is the best medicine for the pain, chaos, horror, anxiety, tears, shame, fear caused by the Piece of Shit spouse. In fact, a lot of those emotions are theirs, seeped over into our hearts! They stole our goodness, and we got their unresolved issues.

      • Yes! “They stole our goodness and we got their unresolved issues” No wonder that 3 years post d-day and 6 months post finalized divorce, I spend every day feeling solid, and dare I say happy? My “nice” husband is gone and I’m no longer begging for love from a stone. I get enough love from myself and my friends and family (and believe me, he moved me across country away from my people and took so much of my energy that when he ghosted, I was very much alone with two bewildered teenagers). I’m having to rebuild my life without my oldest connections, but I’m still way less lonely than I was when I was married, and his “crazy” left with him. He made me express his emotions for him. Awful! I thought it was menopause, but since my “crazy” left with him, I think not!

        I recently brought my kids to see his parents across country, because I love my kids and they are their grandparents. Within minutes of arriving, my ex mil told a story about how granddaughters are better than grandsons in front of my son and daughter. I spoke up, and she said “I’m just telling a story, Uncle Jim said that not me.” I should have taken the kids and left. They are all crazy and I’m free. No “thank you” for flying the precious grandkids to see them. When I shared to my ex mil of 20 years in private how hard the past 3 years have been (my father died last summer too) just “it’s been hard on everyone involved.” F*** that. It’s been hard on me and the kids and an ego irritation for everyone else! Last time the grandkids visit them on my dime, and since my ex is checked out and my in laws never visit us, I’m sure it was the last visit. The stone didn’t fall too far from the quarry. Bye bye family of origin that created all the FOO issues that ruined my marriage!

        Thank goodness this website exists. No one but you all can even imagine the crazy and cold that these men are.

        • Struggling, grandparents that play favorites belong in their own special ring of Hell. Make sure your former MIL says hello to my maternal grandmother when she gets there.

    • I think this is a valid point. We tend to second guess ourselves because they stay with the other woman for “years”……like, if he’s just a sociopath who just repeats patterns with the next, how does he maintain the relationship with the OW for so long? How does she not see?
      Then I think,….we’ll I didn’t.I stayed in that shit for twenty damn years.
      I think this is why I have at times felt compelled to try to warn her ( it goes away pretty quick) Here’s the thing…she left her family for him too. I feel like she’s cut from the same cloth and probably deserves what she gets….and she would never listen. She strikes me as someone that thinks she’s “woman enough” to keep him.
      Good luck with that. Her problem now.
      Point is, I know who she got. Just because she puts in the time doesn’t mean she got a better version of him.

      • When cheaters stay with the other person for years, chumps may tend to think well maybe he/she is happier with the other person. Nah. They are just as miserable and just waiting for their moment of finding someone else that will take them on. They really don’t like being on their own. I would calculate that the average cheater’s attention span with the other person wanes after about two years. Give or take. Some have to stay long term due to financial constraints or maybe the other person is funding a lifestyle too precious to give up.

        • KB22,

          you make some good points , but i think they want an adult that keeps the house clean and laundry done , cooks for them and does the holidays nicely ,some want that sex on demand , (afterall 3 or 4 fuck buddy’s may not be enough) and when we STOP BELIEVING AND ACCEPTING their lies they start looking for their next sucker(housekeeper/aide) and because they are much older ,(balding, hair growing out the ears , fat ,and pig like )the pickings are much slimmer (thus affair down) OMG just reading this i can’t believe i lived with this maggot under these conditions and called it a marriage ……..

          • It’s true. They will stay with the OW as long as the OW believes and accepts their lies.

            When I started really pushing back to my Ex and calling him out on his BS is exactly when our relationship became unacceptable to him.

            • Me too. I was taking him to marriage and communication courses so we could improve our marriage. I stopped listening to the little passive-egressive comments, my career and my life started improving. Right after completing three marriage classes he peaced out. What a joke.

        • I agree with the two year thing . Xh cheated on 1st wife two years into marriage. I first found out about cheating on me two years into the marriage. And just found out from a friend that ex tried it on with her in March this year. He is living with slutress still …but this time only been a year before the wandering started.

      • I felt bad because he wanted an “open” marriage with me, then after his OW dumped him, he found another woman and married. I thought why does he want to settle down and do monogamy if he was so unwilling to do so with me. I must really suck. Then, I found out him and the new wife had an open marriage. At one point, he kicked the wifey out of the house. It all sounded like a Jerry Springer episode. I quickly realized that the chair throwing drama goes on even when I’m not around. He’s just carrying on a facade for everyone else like he did when we were married. It’s not as much me as I thought..

  • Haunted House, maybe I’m reading your letter wrong, but were you the OW during marriage #1? I’m surprised, if you weren’t, that he’d share with you his mean texts or how he did it to her?

    • Auntie Mame, I was dating him during his divorce which took over a year (I know, stupid of me). I knew the truth because that whole thing went down really messy, as divorces do, and he seemed so upfront with me about it and it was so “justified”. “It just happened but that marriage was so over and we had tried to divorce three times already”. He told me the situation and then never really brought it up more after that because he was so obviously over her. And he would show me his texts to be “honest with me” and show me how crazy she was. And, as I am a chump, all I would see is her writing crazy cuss words and acting mean to his very logical and nice sounding albeit provoking texts. It worked so well to help not only build up how honest he was to me, but how crazy she was and how logical it was for him to have left her.
      *I am a true chump*

      • Nice of him. So he cheats, leaves, and doesn’t even take up with the OW then. He’s a peach.

      • This is me and my cheater. I was railing at him pretty hard after D-day. I’m sure that I sounded like a psycho bitch while he responded in polite terms. Just like today, I sent him a text when I shouldn’t have (trying to be NC) and he finally responded with these glowing words that had absolutely nothing to do with my text. He even used the word “blessed” and he doesn’t even believe in God. I think his equally in compassionate sister wrote the response. What a joke.

      • This is almost exactly how my Ex did it. He had an affair. But then that relationship ended. Then he moved on to the next woman, telling her that our marriage had been over for years, we were in the process of divorce and were just figuring things out. This is all within the first 4 months of him leaving. No papers were filed and he wouldn’t even say the word divorce, much less talk about the details. Then he got her pregnant a month later. Now she’s intent on growing her relationship with him, even though I gave her the details of what she calls “my truth”.

  • You have to be strong! Concentrate in your kids, you will be better off from a cheater, you are putting in risk your health (STD’s) and the Emotional Abused is not justify. I won’t lie, it is hard in the beginning but please enforce the NO contact rule!!! Meh, meh, meh….
    Good Luck ???? ????????

  • Oh Haunted, I think my STBX and your cheater are from the mold.

    Cheater (married almost 18 years) turned cold in February, met his exit affair in the end of April (he still denies this) and promptly told me he was a divorce. Found out later through phone records that he started visiting escorts in February. I also found out later that he was diagnosed with ED which I think led to the escort visits. He didn’t want me to touch him and once he had the OW, he refuses to have sex with me. Of course, he got the little blue pill for her but apparently I’m not Viagra-worthy. Whatever…

    Trust CL and everyone here when that you are better offf without him. I’m moving out of my home today and will be divorced in 1 week. Believe me, trying to appeal to his feelings and love will get you no where – they just don’t give a shit. And I feel like a fool for giving my cheater so many years of my love and devotion.

    My cheater is a man with no compassion, no empathy and only has a limited amount of love and caring. He will do the same thing with the OW that he did with me. It’s just a matter of time.

  • He’s a sociopath! Hands down. Mine was the same showed up, told me he was in love with someone else, and was gone 24 hours later. Never looked back. Poof!

    “Empty elevator shaft where the soul should be.”

    Left me with a severely special needs child. Lawyer up, Haunted! I got a kick ass settlement! Highest the social worker had seen in fifteen years! Based on his income of course. You. Fight. Like. Hell!! Don’t you dare let that dryer lint win. Rage, rage against the dying of the light! Go get him!!

  • Raises hand.

    I got poofed on, sent an e-mail goodbye while I was across the country on a business trip. Came home to an empty house. Zero warning, as a matter of fact we had recently been planning to move to AZ and retire early as our next big life adventure. Just 6 weeks before abandonment he declared he wanted to spend the rest of his life while we were relaxing in an AZ resort pool, having spend the day looking for a new home and making glorious plans. He doubled down many times that spring about the move and his excitement to do this next thing in our lives; so many chances to hint at his unhappiness or lack of love for me.

    With a week after poof day he came back for 2 days to scream at me that I was Controlling and Judgmental. I was the cause of all evil in our relationship, I was the one who blew it up, not him. Just ask our daughters (23 and 25 YO), even they agree that I am a horrid bitch. When he poofed he had driven 5 ours over to the college town our daughters live in order to “be there for them” and help the 3 of them “heal from all of Mom’s horrible treatment of them.” About that “forever” statement to me in AZ? He said he just wanted to see how it sounded.

    What X asshat failed to mention is that he had a 25YO foreign Schmoopie on the side. Found out about that a few months later, and he moved permanently to her country this spring.

    Rather than support my daughters he spent all last summer and fall working away at a construction site, and the few days a month he was with them he spent cycling through the 3 mindfuck channels with them, busting down boundaries and raging that they should be over it by now. Ogling their college girlfriends. Offering prescription drugs to one of their friends at a house party. Sending a set of love story books he had given to me years earlier to his new Sparkletwat (yup, my USED love stories were sent to the new strange).

    My DDs and I now have a great relationship and they are furious with their father. He continues to cycle the channels with them by text, and is missing both of their graduations this summer. But is it not his fault you see.

    A Narcissist’s Prayer:

    That didn’t happen.
    And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
    And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
    And if it is, that’s not my fault.
    And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
    And if I did,
    You deserved it.

  • Yes, a sociopath for sure. When I looked over the timeline (phone records, credit card receipts, cash withdrawals, and safety deposit box, email account) I could see it wasn’t a moral cheater at all.

    There were multiple women UNTIL he found THE ONE. That’s when the ghosting happened.

    Acceptance came and went despite the evidence. Being ghosted is like a switch being turned off. What you have to know is that it wasn’t anything you did. Now is the time to take action on the fucker.

  • Mine wouldn’t sleep with me either. A month or so before DDay it became really hard to seduce him (managed once or twice). The last two weeks or so it became impossible. After DDay the implication was that he just wasn’t attracted to me anymore (I love you but I am just not “passionate” about you). He just couldn’t climax for me. I just wasn’t as fuckable as Slutface Schmoopie. I would have felt better if I thought he was being a “moral” cheater and just being loyal to her. I still would have been pissed as hell but it would have been easier on my self esteem if I thought he had to work really hard at resisting me for her sake. I just pale in comparison to ms. sex goddess with no morals or self respect.

    • I was called a frigid cunt by Nanthony. Limited jerked off to porn in the basement. Infidelity isn’t about sex; it’s about power and control.

      From this side of the scorched earth it’s clear it had to do with a disordered asshole not a fuckabiligy scale.

    • chumpinrecovery….. in some ways him not wanting to sleep with you was a hidden blessing. My cheater XW was into the opposite- she wanted to do the massage boy and then me after- part of her sexual fetish fantasies she had rolling around in her warped brain. Six months of that shit before I found out.

  • I, also, had the cheater who just decided to leave rather than deceive me and string out the process for more cake. I’m not sure if that’s “lucky” or not, but at the time, it sure didn’t feel like it. Right after D-day, I got a big speech about how awful I was, and if I had been a higher-value, more attractive, spouse then she clearly wouldn’t have felt the need to cheat. (She also admitted she was a serial cheater). Clearly, she was meant for someone better, and she “settled” for me, so it was time to dump the dead weight that was holding her down. Then, poof! She was gone.

    And, for the record, my spouse actually *did* refuse to do anything with me while she had an AP…she was remaining “faithful” to the jackass.

  • Look into Trauma Bonding. Then disentangle and disengage from him. That is what therapists, friends & attorneys are for – helping you go grey rock about everything that doesn’t matter.

    He is no longer your co-star. He’s the washed-up has-been who owes you MONEY.

  • Welp…mine got caught and so he then set about trying to convince me that they “were just friends”…that did not fly. So he then fasted for 30 days…nope, not believing that spiritual impression management ploy either. Then he got on line in the middle of the night to get a loan for half the equity in our house…nope, I’m not signing. He did everything to hang on to this appliance except sit me down with the truth:

    “Sweetz, you are not new and shiny anymore…that shit wears off the moment I see a woman with bigger titties and bony knees, and who smelled like freshly cut flowers when she walks by…like my lovely ex wife before you. Surely by now you have noticed the way my eyes undress every attractive woman…including my own adult daughter? I am ALWAYS on the hunt for newer thrills, and once I think I have a chance of bagging someone, a wife loses all meaning to me except for her everyday usefulness. I am all about variety, strange and the forbidden…this is the spice of life and the meaning of my terrestrial existence. My affection/desire for ANY women has an expiration date of around one year, give or take a few depending on how hard she dances (aka anal sex and blow jobs on demand). We’ve been married for ten fucking years for God’s sake, so you are just too far out from expiration at this point…which in itself, should clearly explain all the women I’ve had during that time ya know? Anyway, that’s just who I am…and I love who I am for the most part…God made men this way, and you’ve got to accept that we men will always have this cross to bear. Take it up with God, and don’t bother me with how He made men. I don’t even know why I bother getting married sometimes…but I won’t be making that mistake again in the future unless a woman is exceedingly wealthy. Sorry, not sorry, but I’m outta here…games up, don’t call me and I won’t call you K?”

    • I think the fact that it took these types as long as it did to discard us says pretty good things about us. In my case, ex’s typical love it to discard cycle was a lot shorter than our marriage. If your ex’s typical cycle is 1 year and you lasted 10 then you must be pretty awesome. Alas, our ex’s weren’t worth the time we gave them.

  • My husband was very similar in his mannerisms. (And yes, I was also wife #2 after he cheated on wife #1). 8 years later poof he was gone with no explanation sleeping in another womans house with no warning and no explanation. It sucks but no longer am I labeled the bad guy in my own home. He can tell everyone who will listed about how bad both ex wives were to him….. but he is the common denominator.

  • I absolutely ghosted my 2nd ex. He was a strange kind of scary…bi-polar, suicidal, and with an “if I can’t have it, NOBODY can have it” attitude. He was the guy who, after deliberately infecting me with herpes, said, “I didn’t think it was fair that I should have it and you not.” This man had a gun.
    I had a contract job in another state which would take me out of town for a couple of weeks, so I did as much planning as I could, packed my little car as well as I could, took $1000 in cash, and split.


    Friends found me a place to live rent-free until I could get my feet on the ground. I got a PO box, and an unlisted phone number (back when we had land-lines). And I filed for divorce.
    I was finally able to go back and collect my family heirlooms some months later, and paid for a off-duty cop to accompany me. Ex hated it, but I didn’t care. Mission accomplished, heirlooms recovered. Ghosting immediately resumed.

    I get that being ghosted sucks. Sometimes, as in my case, it was the safest and sanest thing to do. In the case of B-clusters, I believe they ghost because having to see the person they injured in a most devastating way, makes them, you know, kind of uncomfortable. It flies in the face of their own opinion of themselves that they are splendid, wonderful people. And so they devise a litany of excuses why it is healthier for their self-esteem to simply stay away from that horrible, manipulative chump that is you.

    If asked, he will tell people how awful you were, why he simply had no choice. The people who believe him are people you don’t want to be around, anyway. Your tribe will rally around you, will lift you up, and will help your heart sing again.

    Hang in there!

  • I can’t tell you how many years I wasted trying to figure out what type of affair he had (the first time).
    Was it an exit affair and he just didn’t have the heart to tell me he wanted out?
    Was it a sex addiction affair? After all, he did sleep with a stripper.
    Was it an “I’m miserable because your awful affair?” Side note: apparently there are therapists who claim men in miserable marriages frequent prostitutes. How’s that for justification?
    Was he having a midlife crisis?
    Was it an Esther “Pearlesk” affair; a semi-conscious awareness of a desire to become more alive, to grow! (#barf)

    Once I realized I didn’t give a flying fuck what his affair was about, because why contribute to more of “it’s all about him” … that was the day I found my self worth!

    Cheaters suck is straightforward and simple.

    • Yep. Cheaters cheat because they are cheaters. It’s that simple. Their reason behind it means nothing.

    • Preach it Got-A-Brain! Yes, in the end, it really doesn’t matter what kind of an affair the cheater had. Cheaters cheat, just like Mame says. There are so many better things to do with your life that waste it trying to figure out why a cheater cheated. The only thing you need to realize is that you won’t put up with it. Ever. Again.

  • Mine was sort of in between. After DD #1 and I told him it was over (though he said it was all a mistake and he didn’t want it to be), that he could stay until after the holidays, he walked around like a poor broken-hearted sad sausage. He even wanted to spend Christmas Eve with me.

    Then, on Christmas Eve, which was also DD #2, I kicked him out. Then he went cold and uncaring and just moved on. With whore from first DD, you know, the mistake and all that. But now it’s tru wuv.

    More like he realized I wasn’t playing, certainly not when I found out, with undeniable proof, that there were 2 (or more) women, and decided he would never be able to fool me again.

  • I thought his reason for ghosting his child that he had been dad to for 11 years was shame …BUT its not – I would feel shame for treating a child like that. He just can be bothered with the adulty, parenty thing in his new kid free life with shmoopy . Shmoopy who is the love of his life …gosh, darn he got so lucky just finding her on a one night stand …I have been dating for months and not found that special someone worth leaving my kids and perfectly lovely life for. When I say leave …I kicked him out ..but I digress. Why would they want the uncomfortable thoughts of the “old life” when they have the sparkly new one ?

  • Type of affair …mine always cheated when he was out of the country …is that a type – lol !

  • I never get the argument that someone is a “moral” cheater. I think Haunted’s questions are largely rhetorical and what she’s reckoning with is the sparkly impression management part of a cheater who comes to a point where he transitioned from one sex appliance to anothe, notably without informing the wife appliance that her tenure was up. They break their marriage vows. They throw heir kids’ home away. They put their spouse at risk for STDs. They ensure that their small children will never have the economic base of an undivided home. al. They lie to their spouse. They have sex with someone else. Yeah, that’s moral.

    This guy followed the whole cheater playbook, e.g., sleeping with the phone, being mean after the affair starts, trading on a “respectable, good guy” image.

    Don’t untangle the skein. He’s a cheater. File for divorce and get child support and as much custody as you can get. And if you are a SAHM–spousal support. See how long he is “nice.”

    • Yes, and yes and yes. That’s exactly what he did. And he is no longer “nice”.

  • I was ghosted too after 15 years of marriage and he was all nice UNTIL I kicked him out and served him with divorce papers. Don’t be fooled, he wants you to think he is NICE so he can continue to manipulate you. You didn’t cause this and you cannot control it. You need to accept you loved a con artist and once his mask is removed he will do anything to restore his “image” even if it hurts you or his own children. Don’t let your guard down Haunted! It has been 2 and 1/2 years since D-Day, 10 months post-divorce and my “nice” ex has sued me 5 times since we had our “nice” divorce.

    My therapist said that my ex’s love and emotions were like a puddle, making it easy for him to jump from puddle to puddle chasing his reflection. But healthy people, like us chumps, have love and feelings like an ocean. So I would reminded myself of that when we were separating and my ex would try to manipulate me. And like CL says, judge people by their actions! None of this was nice or moral. Lots of love and hugs for you Haunted! You will get through this and you will be rewarded with a new true dignified life, it won’t be easy but nothing good came easy.

  • I was abandoned too, five months after he insisted that we renew our wedding vows on our anniversary. Who does shit like that?! After some really weird things happened and he started getting meaner and meaner to me, I was kind of getting suspicious. But he was such a ‘nice guy’ hahahaha and seemed to be so devoted to me that I had a really hard time wrapping my head around things. That was, until I caught him sneaking off to a motel with skank woman. As soon as I caught him he was gone. He went from my bed to hers within 24 hours and never looked back once. I never saw him cry ONE tear over the demise of our marriage. In fact he was positively giddy, nancing around with his bottles of Viagra. There is something so wrong with a person that can do that. I realize now that he never loved me for one minute. I had a fake life and a fake marriage and I was married to a fake man.

  • The Limited made announcements once supply was secured. The announcement was a simple statement delivered with glee. It was if I was to be happy for him as if he was telling his mother he had a girlfriend. It’s a detachment no normal human being can deliver.

    The criteria? He was well on his way with the narrative.of horrific imagined abuse. The victim needn’t be attractive, have money, or morals. It was really simplistic; the special one was needy, vulnerable, and willing to have sex, fake orgasms and put him on a pedistal.

    What is a sociopaths or cluster B’s idea of getting somewhere? It’s to erase the past because there was never a bond, Love or intamacy. They move on to more of the same.

    I’m thankful for this nation; without it I would have had no future to speak of financially. Filing landed me in debt for sure. What matters is having real hope because I never have to tolerate disrespect or abuse.

    The latest supply has exactly what she deserves. Right now she is the same age I was when the switch flipped. Passing the torch guaranteed her the hellish anxiety, insecurity, depression, dissapointments, evidence seeking, and never being enough because she KNOWS he’s a cheater!

    I know I’m where I belong, living a cheater free life.

    • So weird you mention the glee #doingme . I had the same strange delivery of his new life “i have rented an apartment”(aka love nest) in a voice that smacked of ‘you’re not the boss of me’ with one foot against the wall looking at me sideways with his hands in pockets like he was 17. I asked “where are you going ?” He replied melodramatcally.. “i don’t have to tell YOU” … Litterally like he was running away from home and was rebelling against his parents. Who ffffing does that !!!????

  • Those blurbs about the cell phone use are so true. It takes a while to realize, but you begin noticing that your spouse’s phone is always:

    1) On silent
    2) Never outside of arm’s reach from them (whether they’re in bed, in the shower, at the beach, wherever)
    3) Non-stop texting “somebody” all day and all night and you “don’t have to worry about it”
    4) If they actually put it down, it’s always face down (but they check it so much, so why not leave it face up so you can see it light up?? — I know why of course),
    5) Passcode protected
    6) They’re always on the phone, yet they never answer it when you call or text and don’t respond for hours
    7) Make sure their voicemessage is the generic message (my wife actually changed hers from personalized to the generic one – I’m assuming so that her AP’s wives wouldn’t know whose phone it was if they called her number)

    The phone though is one of the biggest giveaways, and if you know what to look for, it’s hard for them to hide it — unless of course there’s a burner phone.

    • Years before D-day, Hannibal Lecher gave our oldest daughter his phone so that he could get a new one. It screwed up the service so that he was getting daughter’s texts, too, and vice versa. He FREAKED out. Now I know why–DD getting his Craigslist contact texts would have blown the whole marriage sky-high much sooner.

    • Cheater started using Facebook Messenger instead of phone since I can check the records. I noticed the bell chimes quite often when I had never heard before.

      • Facebook Messenger is still a risk for them though if you can access their Facebook account. Text messages between iphones don’t show up on cell phone records though because they aren’t considered “texts” by the cell phone companies.

        But in reality, they’ll use all sorts of other apps to communicate other than Facebook and iphone texting. Snapchat comes to mind though there are plenty of other apps that have messaging features that we’ve never even considered.

        • Mine got smarter and bought a secret phone. I didn’t know about it and there was no record of anything. It was only when he got sloppy that anything appeared on his “real” phone. I tracked his location on iCloud a couple times. Thought I was being paranoid when a certain address showed up but darnit, it was literally on his way home (right off the main street he would drive on anyway, so I thought it was some weird pinging with the GPS. Duh. Duh. Duh.

          And now he wants to keep the marriage together desperately. Loves me so much. The Shmoopies (plural) don’t mean anything. It’s “just” sex. He has a “problem” and started therapy a couple weeks ago.

          I’m just numb. Even if he addresses his “problem” in therapy (my vote is sex addict) I know I could/should NEVER trust him. And then I read this site and I see my future if I stay. Yes, he wants to stay now (not like it’s his choice at this point) but at some point a newer shinier shmoopie will probably have HIM walking out on me. And then I’ll be even older. Deep down I know I need to just leave and ignore the love bombing. I start therapy Monday and am hoping I start seeing clearer and less dumber!

    • Blindside — I hear you. I demanded phone records from my shit X if he wanted me to stay in the relationship. Was I ever BLINDSIDED and PLAYED FOR A FOOL. I was traumatized by those records because they revealed he was playing about 7-8 of us at the same time and I lived with him! He texted all of us first thing in the morning and then late at night so we all thought we were the first and last thing on his mind. Most texts to other women were right after we had sex. He is a SOCIOPATH.

      I walked away traumatized. I still am, but everyday I try to move forward somehow.

  • Oh, this hurts me for you to read this. It takes me back to my ghosting—after nearly 30 years of marriage. I cringe over how I was such a slow learner. It took me a good 5 years to fully stop trying to untangle the skein—even though I knew from the first time I read Chump Lady that I should not attempt this. I grieved over the ‘how could he dod this to me?’ until I nearly died. How stupid was that?!

    It’s a sad state of affairs to find that otherwise intelligent woman (often business professionals with gravitas in the workspace) get stuck in stupid for so long where it comes to a man. (Talking about myself.) My head must’ve been very, very hard because my default thinking was to drift back into being an apologist for his behavior. He too cried crocodile tears when he left, hugging me and telling me I was ‘the nicest person in the world’ but he ‘had to leave me’. Same playbook. Different face.

    My two cents: you’re dancing with the devil, dear. He’s playing you, and the only way you can help yourself is by getting up close and personal with the fact there are some people who are evil and they have no conscience. ChumpLady told it like it is. I say this based on my experience, and that’s all I have.

    She’s not kidding. Please, please, don’t waste as your life force as I did, trying to answer the ‘Why?’ question. Like ChumpLady says: It doesn’t matter why. The Why Conundrum and trying to understand his motivations, as she says, is futile. It’s a labrynth … just a diversion to get your focus off yourself. Your emotional thinking is pretty savvy and will offer you everything to try to bypass the pain inherent in facing what you need to do. In other words, your stalling your progress and compounding your pain. Been there, done that—had the panic PTSD to prove it.

    May I suggest that you watch the YouTube video Predatory Aggression In Relationships by George Simon if you haven’t already. His analogy about the cat and mouse was a real eye opener for me. I mean, duh!, it is so obvious, but one day you just get it.

    I made every mistake in the book—bar none. And, again, I made those mistakes even though my logical mind KNEW better.

    The cold hard fact that I had to learn (the hard way0 is that once someone displays that they are your enemy like this, you MUST, for your own preservation, switch away from being ruled by your heart and emotions. You must relinquish the steering wheel to your higher mind because no one else is coming for you. You’re emotions will wreck you and have you stuck in a ditch. I know how it feels to be reeling from the blindsiding.

    Quite frankly, I was so arrogant! No matter what I read or heard, I thought ‘my’ situation was somehow different. But the joke was on me. I learned that I was my biggest problem. Ghost Boy had blatantly showed me who he was. I was having such a hard time because his ghosting was also showing me who I was: a professionally-successful Pollyanna who had her head in her backside emotionally. I could run multi-million dollar businesses, but I couldn’t handle my emotions.

    I was in massive denial—projecting my value system onto a man who didn’t have one and who didn’t give a rip about me and our history. But, the problem-solver part of me kept thinking that he’d come to his senses—or that if I just applied the same stick-to-it-ness that had made me successful in business, I’d figure it out. Well, hubby was light years ahead of me, taking care of only himself. That’s how he was able to put his needs first—something I now needed to learn to do.

    My ex was [is] a Unix guru who, for grins and giggles, perpetually hacked all my technology. HE discarded ME, yet he toyed with me like a cat with a mouse to show he still had control. It took a professional IT expert 4 months with my system to figure out what all he’d done and how he was able to remotely keep accessing. He didn’t want me any more; that was obvious. he just wanted to control me and stay one step ahead of me. And here’s how this is relevant: all of this from a man who was so ‘nice’ to me—right up until the day he wasn’t anymore.

    Because of this, I had to go dark (no social media) for years to get off his radar. I am just now—7 years later—dipping my toes back into the social media pool. I’ve recently started interacting in forums under my new name (yes, had to change my name).

    I wholeheartedly agree with ChumpLady’s original posting on the subject of ghosters: The Ones Who Just Leave. be sure to read it if you haven’t. From my perspective, we got the better end of the deal in that they preemptively removed so many of the added tortures that I now see younger women wrestling with. No hoovers, no repeated DDays, no child visitation issues, etc.

    I hurt so badly that I didn’t think I would survive it, but in the end, I see that the person who caused me the most pain for the longest period of time, was ME. I was hell-bent not to let go of my image of the man I thought I’d been married to. Like a scared child, I hid my eyes from the fact that he was, indeed, evil/an entity with no soul it seems.

    But when I did accept that fact, the ‘meh’ I was looking for wasn’t far behind. Today, no matter what comes to mind, or whatever someone else brings up about him or the situation, my response is “Yeah, who cares? That’s what they do.” I’m still learning about some of things he did, money he stole, assets he diverted, damage he did to my professional reputation, and the lengths he went to keep everything he was doing on the down low until the day he decided to nuke it all.

    It’s been an expensive lesson. There are so many things I don’t have any more. My life is irreparably changed from what it was—and I’m okay with that. Sometimes when you’re overly stubborn like I was, I guess you afflict yourself/compound the pain and agony to the point that when it finally subsides—you’re deliriously happy. By the law of contrast, not being in pain any more makes everything around you look rosy and gives you a new lease on life. At least it did for me. I applaud women who simply move on. Can’t high-five them enough.

    Oh yeah. One more thing to add about Chump Lady’s advice. Go extra heavy on the lawyering up. Take advantage of your window of best opportunity. Regrettably, I missed mine.

    • Thanks for your post. I needed to read this. 32 years married. Something in me hopes he will change. He will not. He has shown me who he is.

    • Page Daley-thank you for your thoughtful post. Some of these things I am still wrestling with, like why didn’t I protect myself from the damage he was doing to me? (Because I wasn’t valued g myself.) Why was I so stubborn? (Because “I” wanted an intact family.) And why do I think one day he will come around to realizing what he has done to the people who loved him the most? (Because it would be nice to feel genuine love from him and to think I wasn’t married to a complete waste of space for 24 years, ugh.) BUT alas, I know our values are not the same and I do not want anyone in my life who continually pushes boundaries so I have to sacrifice to my own detriment continually.

      I filed for D, 2 years ago, trial is coming up. He never produced discovery and refuses any time at trial, yet won’t agree to a fair settlement and doesn’t pay the ordered support. His attny quit. He doesn’t see the children much at all and moved out of state with Schmoop #2. I would never have been able to sort out things so quickly without you all sharing your experiences here. Thank you everyone.

  • Dear Haunted House, et al:

    They absolutely suck. There is no such thing as a “moral cheater.” My long-distance cheater boyfriend (of 15+ years at the time—strung out to 17) kept our relationship going (texts, emails, Skype sex) for a year and a half while he had a full-tilt extra-curricular relationship with a skanky local ex-girlfriend. It started out as him “being there” for the skankbag as she went through a “bad divorce.” He didn’t dump me, because he was “being there” for me after my mother’s sudden death and all the responsibility that fell on me as a result. In one way I wish he had just ghosted me. On the other, it’s helpful that I stuck around long enough attempting “wreckonciliation” to realize who he really is. Now I am able to see that what I am losing is IN NO WAY what I thought I had. I read somewhere recently that “when you’re looking at someone through rose-colored glasses, red flags just look like flags.” This is so true. Now that I know all the things I know, all the red flags I brushed off or pushed down over the years show a clear pattern of fuckedupness. Mind you, I’m nowhere near meh and still miss and grieve the relationship I thought I had and the wonderful man I thought I had it with, but I am 100% certain, in my mind and in my stomach, that it’s truly not me, it IS him. If you haven’t gotten there yet, I hope you do soon. It doesn’t mitigate the sheer suckitude, but it has to be worth something.

    • I love that NotAfraid is pointing out that now that she’s on the other side here, she’s seeing that her X was truly always disordered. This is an important thing to remember and look for. One thing to not do is immortalize your beloved cheater into a good person after they have left. Recognize the signs for what they are, see the pattern, recognize how you fit in with that and what you did that enabled them, etc. Those are the questions worth asking. Why did you put up with his crap? That’s the ultimate question to know the answer to.

    • Clever and true: “When you’re looking at someone through rose-colored glasses, red flags just look like flags.” And we look through the rose-colored glasses partly because of chemicals, but also because of how bad we want a certain kind of person in our life. We have to get real with ourselves and what is in front of us, even if it means being lonely for a period of time while we get our mental shit straight. That’s what I’m doing now. A year and a half after dumping a lying, cheating, narcissistic ex — who once graciously told me while I was crying in horror at his lack of empathy “Hey some guys like me marry and have kids with women like you – I didn’t do that to you” — I think I might be ready to date seriously by the end of the year. As my self-trust goes up, my ability to open up to people in healthy, not-so-paranoid ways improves.

  • —-THIS IS NOT A NICE PERSON. This is an ice creature. A ghost from the Edmund Fitzgerald. Do not mourn this ghoul.—–

    Now I’ve got Gordon Lightfoot in my head, LMAO, thanks Tracy! Best laugh I’ve had in a few days!

    I agree with chumplady on this: serial cheater, emotional affair cheater, online only cheater, exit affair cheater, doesn’t matter. In any way, shape, or form, it’s cheating and it’s unacceptable.
    Looking back now on exh2, I see how many times he did things to try to get me to throw him out. He was done with me for years but he stayed with me because I made his life oh-so-much-better, convenient, I was. Gah!
    In the end, I realized that his version of love vs. real true love were very different.
    Three years later, and I’m clear in MEH-topia, free and clear, no longer trying to unravel his skein of fuckedupness. It took me a very long time to get there, but no matter how badly I wanted to *understand* him and his fuckedupness, I couldn’t ever. So I accepted that I’ll never truly know the answers to the “how could he…” “Why did he…” Questions and moved on.
    He is a shitty person with shitty character and morals and values and I’m not. The end.

    • Molly, I totally know what you mean about trying to get you to leave him. My long-distance cheater actually had the nerve to say, “I don’t understand why you stayed with me, when we hadn’t seen each other for so long. I figured it would just fade away.” (After 15+ years of being “soul mates.”) But, apparently, he was quite happy having me as Plan B (lovey emails, text-messages, Skype sex and all) until he solidified his new thaing. No one deserves to be anyone’s Plan B. Our new motto needs to be, “Plan A or the highway.”

      • Right?!
        I did everything, he contributed nothing, selfish and self-centered 24-7. Used me.
        Everything I was involved in or did, he had to insert himself into as well, nothing I did was truly mine, but his hobbies? Hell no, I couldn’t be a part of it because it was “for him only”. Bastard.

  • a new acronym SMCNS for Chump Nation=Serial Moral Cheater Narcissist Sociopath. Endowed with amazing ability to fool the world while raising hell up from the depths of the earth.

  • keep coming back here, just to survive….Just wanted out after 40 years, no remorse, no tears, no hugs, no looking back, no co-operation, no consideration of feelings, no marriage counselling (would ever be agreed to), no discussion, I was supposed to be “winning him back” while he was having affairs, I hadn’t got that email! What entitlement! what arrogance! I will date other woman, you just work at winning me back and “seducing me”. Life just continues for him, yes I struggle big time with the discard.

    • SmartWoman

      He wanted out and there he sits. I booted the Limiteds ass and filed after 41 years. I’m hopimg you filed.

      • Yes , he wanted a divorce, then I found out about the affairs, I am divorcing him on grounds of adultery, told him it would be cheaper than “ unresonable behaviour” He seemed happy. No golden anniversaries for us hey!

  • This sounds just like my story too…..married 29 years. Cuts sex off for 6 months (had met OW during the previous spring) DDay on August 4th, 2017. We had been out with friends the night before and had a great time. All family, friends and employees are SHOCKED. Me and the kids? DEVASTATED.

    I heard all the cliche lines: “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you” “She’s just a friend” “There is no such thing as an EMOTIONAL affair” “I didn’t get with her until after I had moved out” “People get divorced all the time. What’s the big deal?” “You’re so controlling” “my opinion doesn’t matter” blah blah blah

    And I DEFENDED him to everyone saying it was a mid-life crisis, and that he’s just so lost. I’d been SUPER-CHUMPED. He’s known in this community as a “great guy” and is mad that I’m telling everyone the truth because it’s “throwing him under the bus” as he puts it. Well sometimes the truth HURTS! It’s all about impression management with everyone including my oldest DD (26), and she believes his lies which hurts the most. DS and younger DD pretty much ignore him.

    The REALLY shitty part is that we have built a very successful business together, and I have to see him everyday. At work, he treats me as if nothing is wrong. Ask about anything personal though, and he gets cold and cruel. And if I cry? He gets aggressive.

    She is of a lower social class than we are/were (I do not mean to offend anyone saying this), and he’s bought a shitty house, in a shitty part of town one block from her….it’s like he’s living this whole other life that’s totally opposite of how he is at work and how we used to live. She also has an almost-adult severely autistic child. I wonder how long the relationship with her will last once he figures out her child will always be her first priority?!

    • Impression management for sure. Over ONE YEAR divorced and his FB has ZERO pics of the whore and her kids. They have been living together in a house he bought for a year now and his Fakebook page still shows him as MARRIED TO ME! What the ever loving. He took her and her kids to the same place our family vacationed in June. No original thoughts in his head.

    • “The REALLY shitty part is that we have built a very successful business together, and I have to see him everyday”

      Oh I feel for you. I too with STBXW have built what has just now (ironically) become a successful family business and I don’t want to walk away from it (I have no Plan B nor any money anyway). I wouldn’t be able to handle what you have to do “see him everyday”. I’m lucky in that our roles in the business are polar-opposites and I could easily go days without seeing her and just sticking to emails & texts.

    • “… her child will always be her first priority?!” Not so fast there Clementyne. All us chumps will do well to observe … every time …. how not like us they are. CheaterPrick was only too happy to move out-of-state with me, which would cut his time with his only child down from two weeks a month to two days. I saw that flag in all its redness but …… I didn’t respect a man who would leave his child, and I didn’t want to be with a man like that … so I cancelled the move and spackled away …… that was the beginning of the devalue and discard. And now I sit alone and I cry, every day, not because of how I hurt and what he took from me, but because everywhere I look I see scars. Shiny, glossy, painful, twisted burned-skin type scars. It’s the peculiar scar left when someone rips off your kindness and decency and honesty. Things that you thought were attached. But then, once you’re a member of the club, you start to see the scars on others. Not too noticeable, they heal up pretty well, but still you can tell. There is a residual sadness, a reluctance to trust, to laugh, to believe, and that’s visible too. So much ugliness. So much of it unnecessary.

  • The most honest remark the ex ever made to me “I only stay with you because it’s economically good for me”. That ended it for me emotionally. We did wreckonciliation for a few years, but it was a total disaster.

    He later wooed the kids away to live with him so I would have to pay him child support.

    Trust that they suck.

    • Mitz

      So sorry you have to pay and your children were manipulated. I believe many do stay for both financial as well as image control.

      The Limited convinced her that he had supported me when in fact it was a lie. HIs goal was to find someone who would hand over her paycheck.

      • Thanks. Yup I earned triple what he did, so I had ‘value’. I had trouble finding a lawyer when we finally separated. He had been to multiple lawyers in town during his 3 year tryst. One lawyer was honest enough to say off the record that he remember talking to the ex. Because he said it was un-nerving how cold blooded the ex was when discussing the merits/downside of leaving his 26 year marriage.

  • and we have been in the same house since Day, going on for one year, which is quite intolerable and some days I feel I am going mad.

  • moral cheater – empathetic psychopath – selfless narcissist – honest liar – compassionate abuser –
    accountable blameshifter – attentive stonewaller – shy extrovert – devoted deserter –
    straightforward gaslighter – inspirational critic – kindhearted killer

    I could go on for days.

    P.S. What’s the difference between an emotional affair and a physical affair?
    – Bodily fluids

  • Moral cheater because he didn’t fuck you after he hooked up? Wow, that’s insane mind fuckery. The more likely reason is that he couldn’t get it up for you. Or he got off on denying you. Or who gives a shit why? Not trying to make this worse but honestly, be glad he didn’t fuck you anymore, at least you weren’t exposed to STIs. He ain’t no nice guy, that much is certain, he’s a total asshole.

    Jedi Hugs!

  • Think of the narc as a stinking corpse in your life and stop performing an autopsy. The only examination needed is why YOU let yourself get involved with the disease in the first place. Get the corpse underground where it belongs as quickly as possible. Grieve the rotting dreams you thought it held for you and then turn your back on it.

    Don’t focus on the dead ghoul afterwards. Your work is to heal the living — you!

  • Yes. That cold look is so disarming but it says a whole lot… it’s done, he’s done. What grain of empathy he may have had for you is finished.

    Boy does it hurt but you are better than that. You are a socialised decent human being…. he is not!

    The end.

  • After I had proof my ex was in fact cheating (after years of denial), I attempted to confront him and he literally ran away from me in a mall parking lot. One of the last things he said to me was that he “can’t be with me now that I know the truth because his ego doesn’t allow it” (cannot make this shit up) and then later emailed me with “I won’t disappear from your life because I know this is hard”.
    I never heard from him since and I tried reaching out twice. Never received an explanation or closure. Nothing. The last memory I have of him is his back running away from me as I stood there mid sentence about what I had found.

  • Moral Cheater? Oh I got that one too from STBXW

    Now I know the affair timeline, I can see that her keeping well away from me then moving into a separate bedroom “because of my snoring” was her just being “faithful” to her Neanderthal (it’s mostly been a long-distance thing). She even admitted it.

    A bit of Karma came recently though when one of his ex-gf’s emailed her with info+photos of his latest gf and telling her he’s just stringing her along for the money. She went so insane that she hired a P.I. to track him for a few days, telling the P.I. that she suspected her “boyfriend” of “infidelity”! I know. I’ve already mentioned this here in CN but it gets funnier the more I do and helps me get that little bit closer to “Meh”

  • My dear fellow ghosted Floridian, your post made me relive my being ghosted. I was wife #4 and guess what, he did the exact same thing to each and every previous wife. Eventually you will be glad that you are no longer with the loser. It’s a rocky road, but you too will get to a point where you will have reclaimed yourself and your life. The ghosting really is the utmost form of disrespect, it is intended to make a person feel small. There is no love involved in ghosting someone. Keep in mind that it is not a reflection on you, it is a reflection of how despicable he is. CL helped me a lot. It has been almost two years now, I am still not divorced – my health-insurance is through his employer, mine doesn’t offer health insurance – . By the end of this year I am ready to file, I sent him an email asking that he sends me a list of what he wants. That was six weeks ago. Guess what – yeah you are right, he didn’t bother to send the list. And he will not send the list. You know why? It suits him just fine to keep up the status quo. He tells his poet/yoga teacher/scientist/activist – all self proclaimed – that he is such a good guy and keeps me on the health insurance plan! What a prince. He won’t tell her, look I am 63 and I really don’t want to get married again. It is so much easier to play the victim of the evil wife. He bad mouthed me to his entire family, but really they are not people I want in my life at all. Bunch of takers with a sense of grandeur.
    Just to think about ghosting, what cowards they are. Best wishes and stay on CL, it helps!

  • Mila,

    Yes, the ghosting is almost worse than the infidelity (actually it was worse for me). I was spinning. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t stop crying. WTF? He just bounced out. And let me get this straight, your ex husband ghosted three wives before you? And cheated on them I’m assuming? Did he do the “moral cheating” by ghosting as soon as he cheated?

  • Lawyer up and fight like hell! The best advice out there. My “nice” Baptist guy partner/husband of 29 years who refused to go to weddings of friends who left their wives for someone else turned on a dime. Fight for yourself. The hardest lesson for me to accept was once he met her, I no longer mattered. I did a lot of stupid things during the divorce except hiring a good lawyer. If there was ever a time to be kind and forgiving to yourself it’s now.

    • Yes, I do have a good lawyer, thank God. But he’s draining my bank acct! And your husband is an asshole lol. Just like mine. Mine was so disgusted when he found out our mutual friend had cheated. He crooned to me at a John Legend concert “Why can’t more men just be faithful to their wives and treat them well and with respect?” His family thinks the world of him. So do his friends. So *did* I. What a scam.

  • I can relate to this quite a lot in that I can see clearly that my ‘moral cheater’ that went off in a ‘poof of smoke’ I actually think believes he’s done an OK thing. OK I”m still living in our house, we fairly amicably drew up a settlement agreement (not married, stupid me) and can only do grey rock cause of complicated childcare arrangements and clearly I’m sane enough not to create World War 3 in front of our 8 year old daughter.

    But he has spent a lot of time telling me that I wasn’t facing up to what was wrong, I wasn’t truly happy and I have a revisionist version of history blah blah and then on the actually very few occasions when I have lost it after I’d been fed a total crock of shit and then of course found out he’d had an ’emotional affair’ if I give him the benefit of the doubt (bullshit but hey I don’t have proof and sleeping with her makes no bones) I really got it. Then this ‘moral’ cheater who explains to me that he had to get out because I was making him ill and close friends have been very worried about him (?) suddenly brings out the big guns. Do I think I would benefit from therapy? Having affairs is what people do when their relationships are shit (charming), need to take a good hard look at myself and over time I’ll how I contributed to this happening and then just plain nasty rubbishing everything we’ve done in the past while, never wanted to go out with you it was a horrible experience, would never have been with you if it wasn’t for our daughter. So what I realise is one of the actual real problems in our relationship that we were both to blame for is neither of us like confrontation. However, his communication skills are utterly dire (oh that’s my fault as well by the way, because I make him turn inwards) and I realise the withdrawing of communication and playing the I’ll be fair and just polite to you but by th way I’m just leaving without any real explanation may seem ‘moral’ or ‘sane’ or ‘measured’ but it’s actually cold, calculated and passive aggressive. He is a horrible bully just instead of using fists he manipulates me and then avoids any confrontation so that I can’t ‘damage’ him any more. It is worse in a way cause that is a skein I know I will never figure out, I’m just too straightforward. But they aren’t ‘moral’ they just are just the Managing Directors of Image Management if you ask me. I can only imagine what the hell he’s told the OW. Realised I had been ghosted from his social media for well over a year, even if we did something innocuous together (like to go art exhibition) and I tagged him, he made sure that didn’t on on his social media pages – cause he’s told everyone we hardly have a relationship hasn’t he and that it’s like he’s single so let’s not have any evidence to the contrary right? Or perhaps I was supposed to notice and ask him why he did it. I don’t have time in my life for that pettiness. Moral no – creepy and dark hearted – yes.

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