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Dear Chump Lady, We’re divorcing… and still living in the same house

Dear Chump Lady,

My D-day was August 27th, 2017. He just came up to me out-of-nowhere once the kids were in bed and said that he wanted a divorce. Exactly one week prior we were at my family reunion making plans to visit family out West next year, and exactly 2 weeks prior we were discussing our future together and what we were hoping for in retirement. We are both 45 years old, have been married for 15 years and have 12 year old twins. I thought we were finally reconnecting now that the twins were getting older and more self-sufficient.

I was totally blind-sided and a friend convinced me to look at the phone logs. I typed into my phone the phone number he had been calling most, and up came the name of one of his co-workers whom I am professional colleagues with. I’ve helped her get jobs before, so I had her number in my phone. I have always felt he had a crush on her; turns out A LOT more was going on than just a crush.

She is 11 years younger, and married with young boys who are 2 and 4 years old. I was able to get her husband’s phone number through a mutual friend and told him. I begged my husband to shut it down with her and to go to marriage counseling, which he did, but he just went through the motions.

I had my second D-day in February and discovered he was still talking to her outside of work. They had been seen at a restaurant together and my husband had been seen buying 6 bottles of wine. I also found a Valentine’s day love letter to her and discovered this affair had been going on for a long time. I confronted him and he said, “I didn’t cheat because I checked out of our marriage a long time ago. I haven’t been happy and haven’t loved you for years and you should’ve known. You are too busy with the kids, cooking, cleaning, working, and exercising and she listens to me.”

I begged and pick-me danced my ass off stating that I would give him more attention. I stopped cooking dinners and bought frozen pizzas. Our sex life had always been great (which he even stated in counseling), but I spiced it up and bought sex toys, etc. He still told me he wanted a divorce, stating that he was in love with her and she was planning to leave her husband, too. I filed for divorce the next day. (PS. I did have all the STD testing done after I read the love letter to her stating she was his greatest lover).

He refused to move out of the marital home, so I have been living with a cheating spouse for 6 months now. It’s been pure emotional abuse, and I have a panic attack every time I hear his phone ping or when he comes home late from work. My lawyer called the county clerk’s office a few months back and no divorce has been filed for her yet, but I honestly have no idea what is going on with that as my STBXH would just lie to me if I asked anyway. I cannot get him out of the house unless there is physical abuse.

Our pre-trial conference is next week and he was told by the judge that he has to have a plan to move out by then. He bought a 5 bedroom house about 2 miles down the road and closes at the end of September. Our trial is October 23rd.

Everyone says to me, “He will regret this and realize what he’s lost, but by then it will be too late and you will have moved on.” I will not take him back if this does happen, but I seem to be obsessed with hearing those words from him. It makes me feel better to say to myself that he will regret it someday for my own vindication.

He is nothing but happy right now and has told me, “This is the happiest I have ever been.” He dances around the house singing, joking and laughing, while I go to my room and cry. My family has just been detonated and I have absolutely no control over it.

He has been incredibly mean to me saying things like, “I haven’t had feelings for you in years. I think of you like the babysitter. To work on our marriage makes me feel sick to my stomach.” For the most part, I trust that he sucks, but yet can’t seem to move past my need for vindication that I don’t.

I am doing the best job that I can with no contact living in the same house. I told him that I would not be mind-fucked anymore and to only speak to me about the kids. I’m hoping that once he moves out next month, I can start to get some clarity and possibly healing will come. I would love and appreciate some advice from chumps who have been where I am at so I can start moving forward.

Thank you SO much for everything!


Dear AlmosttoMeh,

You’re about as far from meh as anyone could be, what with your tormentor right there every day rejecting you to your face. Meh — or any healing — is impossible in these circumstances. The suck is finite, but I’m sure that’s cold comfort to you now. He can’t move into his shitty McMansion soon enough.

I realize many people find themselves in this situation for economic reasons, but that doesn’t explain your situation — if he can afford a 5-bedroom house, he can afford temporary lodging. (May I suggest a sleeping bag under the nearest overpass?) I think he stays because he’s a total asshole.

Let’s review what he is NOT.

He’s not sorry. He caused this divorce and instead of being sensitive to your feelings, he’s enflaming them with insults. He’s not removing himself from your life — no, he’s continuing to extract value from it. You’re the “babysitter.” The Maytag wife appliance. And you’re kibbles. The pick me dance was nice, more sex! But now that you’re no longer dancing, your misery will do. He matters! You cry! More of that. Let’s tell you how HAPPY he is! Got any tears?

He’s not considerate. If he intended to leave, he would get the fuck out. He’s a cake eater. And he’ll be goddamned if he gives up cake one second sooner than he has to. Do you know how hard it is to line up another chump?

He’s not a good parent. He’s allowing his children to live in ambiguity and confusion. He makes a shattering decision that affects their lives and it’s STILL all about HIM. He treats the mother of his children with contempt, sows chaos, and continues his affair while living in the family home. He may as well take a shit in the center of the living room and ask everyone to live with that too.

So how do you cope?

You don’t cope. You endure. You do everything in your power not to take his bait. You don’t rage at him, you don’t escalate anything (for all you know, he’s trying to bait you to get some kind of leverage in the divorce settlement). You stay out of his way.

You don’t do for him. You cook? You cook for yourself and your children. NOT him.

You don’t play family with him. You don’t confuse your children. He wants a separate life? He gets it, starting now. There will be no cake served at this party.

You don’t show him your emotions. He feeds on it. He provokes it. He is not a safe place. You find a safe place for your grief with your support system there, and with friends online. You don’t have a single kibble for fuckwits.

Do everything you can to put distance there. When I lived this, many years ago, I spent a lot of time at a coffeehouse that stayed open until 11 p.m. I’d go draw or read, and come home when everyone was asleep.

Start communicating about the kids only through email and scheduling software. You need to DOCUMENT what you do around parenting, so begin now. Don’t talk to him — he can’t be trusted to stay on course and not insult you. Don’t give him that opportunity — stay very, very busy.

You’ve got to tough this out for a month or two. If it’s possible to escape with the kids for a bit with family, before school starts, I’d do that. (After you get all your valuables and paperwork out of the house first. These freaks lift stuff.)

Hang tough, AlmosttoMeh. The healing starts soon.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • My XW did this to me and it made life miserable. Get out of the house, take the kids with you and make him deal with cooking, cleaning, adulting. You can get any costs associated back in the settlement. My biggest regret a year later is that I did not do this sooner.

    • Yes, that is the best advice — do anything in your power to avoid this situation all together. Especially if there is a risk of domestic violence.

      The costs to your sanity… OMG. I lived this when my first marriage ended. Longest 6 months of my life. Could NOT get the man to move out — he would just stay put and act like I wasn’t divorcing him. He held out for MORE money. (When I was chump-ily giving away the farm.)

      Ugh. Horrible. I should’ve sofa surfed and gone to court. Wound up there anyway!

      • I was living that for a month after DDay. I was a wreck, missing work because I was so distraught. I was unable to sleep or take pleasure in anything. Meanwhile he continued as normal (his normal) – going to work (howorker was there) and working out. (That was his life – the rest was up to me).

        The only good option I had was to escape the hell I finally acknowledged I was in. I pulled the kids out of school & we moved in with family in another state. If I had stayed, I was afraid I was going to snap & become the physically abusive one! (He was abusive in every other way, just not physically.)

        All I took were our necessities, thinking we’d be back eventually. We never had a reason to return. I never asked for or was offered anything else. When the kids asked for some of their prized possessions, he informed them that he had given them to his girlfriends young relatives! (Mr Nice Guy to everyone but family)

      • I had seven months of this – and yes – domestic violence occurred. When I discovered he had her in my house when I was out, in defiance of a legal agreement that she was not to set foot on my property. He denied, denied, denied. But she stayed the night in my home and I knew it. After an hour of trying to get him to admit he had breached the order – I had proof – I slapped his face, and he knocked me unconscious, I woke to his hands around my neck – “to restrain me.”

        It is the worst kind of hell, watching your love of thirty years dating another woman blatantly, The stupid grin on his face as he was glued to his damn phone. I wish I could have afforded to live separately, but enduring it ensured I kept financial control of the business, and when the farm sold, I had enough for a lovely home on a lifestyle block. But, it is utter hell. Especially because even though I know better, and am the ultimate chump because I still love the arsehole (but we have divided assets, and he took off to live in a town near Schmoopie hours away, phew) it was all so damn self destructive.

      • Yup – I did this for six hellish months too, until he broke my window in the middle of the night and threatened to kill me, and I sat in a closet for 28 long minutes waiting for the police. The DV unit rang me the next day and told me to get the hell out. I’d gone NC and was enforcing my boundaries. He didn’t approve of the lack of kibbles, cake and pick me dancing.

        It still took me the better part of 18 months to recover from those six months. If I had my time again, I would have either left straight away or put all his stuff in trash bags, changed the locks and let him try and get a court order to return.

        This ‘limbo’ is so hard. I’m so sorry you and your twins are going through this. What an utter asshole! Chumplady is right – these stick around guys are a special category of fuckwit. Press that court button now.

        • Did it too, but he moved into the woolshed, stayed in the house when the Whore’s son was with us, 3 nights a week. I was a good baby sitter, cook and maid… During the week he slept in the woolshed, surrounded by his precious cell phone and gifts from the Whore’s mum and grandma…
          I put on a good show for those couple of months when the kid was here, until one day I couldn’t and I flipped and cried my eyes out while he was here. So I got my punishment for having feelings. He took his kid back for handover and I never saw him again, after raising him for almost 10 years. Because I was the baddie who had traumatised their kid.
          Very timely column, thanks for reminding me of what he’s capable of.

    • If the POS can buy a 5 BR house down the road I assume you have a similar home. Can a few trusted friends or relatives be available to constantly visit or stay over ostensibly to help with the kids and the start of school. If you have somebody who is extremely civil but very frosty you will a much needed buffer.
      Make sure you are absolutely doing nothing for him like laundry or cooking. He will take (steal) food and leave dirty dishes because you’re still the wife appliance. Endure the disrespect and clean that up. Make sure the children understand that any provisions you buy are for their mother and them and not him. He’ll probably still take things but even tweens can understand freeloading is wrong.
      Think seriously about moving out with the kids and ensure your lawyer prepares paperwork showing that you are not “abandoning” the home but leaving temporarily until the offal is removed from the premises. He is using the beginning of the school year to entrap you in your own home.
      First thing you do is concentrate on those kids. Get them and you doing things. Try to get busy to stop ruminating on the situation he is forcing you into. Renovate/paint their rooms. Engage in time consuming projects that the kids are interested in. ie. if one of them wants to break down and fix a computer have at it and be loud and boisterous and enjoy the everloving crap out of it. Do a pizza and games night with all their friends OFTEN. Remember this is THEIR home not just yours or the shithead’s.
      Stay busy and away from him. And try to find somebody (therapist/friend/mom) to vent to because this man is stressing you. He is an ass.

      • Definitely get out and do things with the kids. If you can afford it, take weekends or even weeks away with them. Go camping. Go to the amusement park, do things that you and they enjoy doing. Look for new experiences, something you have never done before (I took my kids to see the eclipse, but there isn’t one handy right now so you will have to come up with something else). Build some good memories to counter the bad. Strengthen the bond with your kids so that they know that whatever happens you are there for them and you are not going to neglect them just because their dad is doing his best to make you an emotional wreck. It will also prove that you can handle family vacations on your own and you don’t need fuckwit there to help out. Let the kids help you out. You are the team now.

      • I like the solution of having someone “stay” with you. A good friend, a relative, preferably one that despises STBX. He won’t like having an audience for his cruelty. He hides that side from the world. His narrative is probably “I can’t stand leaving the kids” instead of “I enjoy hurting other people.” A third party ends that duplicity.

        • This is so true. They do not like an audience. They turn into different characters around other people. This might be the solution to get him to slither away.

        • Good idea. My ex left no problem but my brother moved in and not once chance he would come back after that.

      • My brother came to stay with me and so my dick-ex HAD to be civil to me. He had an image to maintain and my brother forced him to behave. YES! Get a sibling or a friend. That may be the thing to push him out the door. Once my brother showed, the dick moved out within the week. What a blessing. Follow the rest of the advice given here. I stupidly felt that I should have continued to cook meals for the dick because ‘that was my job’ (our sons were grown and gone at the time.) My counselor was frustrated with me for continuing to cook. And looking back, he had dang good reason to be frustrated with me! I was a complete and total mess. I wanted to save my marriage at all cost and just knew that if I stood my ground over anything (i.e., established boundaries), I was blowing my chances to save the marriage. At the time, it didn’t matter what my counselors told me. I just KNEW they were wrong. Well, I was so, so wrong. Don’t waste another moment on the dick in your house. Get someone to move in and get yourself to a counselor — a good counselor — ASAP. You are being emotionally abused!

    • Just doublecheck with your lawyer that moving out can’t be deemed “abandonment,” as that can affect settlement.

    • I left because he refused to, and he was making me very sick. So I took my younger child and left. Elder child would not leave with me. Stayed with family for awhile then got my own place. Then he wooed our younger child who was 14 into staying with him full time in the family home.

      If your children are young it’s ok to leave the family home with them. IF your kids are older you take a risk of losing them. As teens they don’t want the back and forth living, and just want to stay in their own room and ride the divorce out. Wish I had known this before I left.

      Some lawyers say ‘the kids go with the house’.

    • I had to stay one year and 4 months after filing! If I left the home he was going to move Patty Paramour in and drag out the divorce! The house was causing the delay… it had to be sold and he was trying to get a below value tag for it! Plus he did not want to spit his pension and 401 k just before retiring and moving to paradise with Patty Paramour aka work place whore! He abused me and my old Boston Terrier t he entire time! Tried everything so it would drive the cost up! 5 appraisals and he was damaging the house in front of me to lower the cost! Lawyer said you move out and he claims things are broken it comes out of your settlement! Glad it’s over!

  • Oh AlmosttoMeh, how can you even start getting to meh from where you are.

    I hear everything you are saying. Many similarities, my lovely partner of 14 years (one 8 year old daughter) dropped the bombshell on me and said we could ‘take it slowly’ and made plans to leave over the next 2-3 months to what he termed Family Headquarters No 2 (????). I was in total shock. And then just like you I stood like a chump in my house wondering what on earth was going on while he preened his hair, brought new clothes and expensive shampoo, talked to my daughter in front of me about how he was no longer losing weight and was ‘in recovery’ and that we didn’t need to dwell on our past relationship as it wouldn’t help with his ‘progression’ and watch him buy things for his flat, talk about how fortuitous it was that he’d found such an idyllic place.

    He said horrendous things about our past relationship, all the standard stuff not been happy for years, he wasn’t ‘seen’, he’s always been lonely, I have faced up to the problems we had, he needs someone to nourish his soul, we are a flawed and slightly toxic mix. It was AWFUL. It was abuse. I was like a rabbit in the headlights but I kept going for a bit not to do a pick me dance (it became clear very early that wasn’t an option) but because I thought I was doing the right thing by my daughter to not see any high levels of conflict and that was what I needed to do for her.

    Then I went digging (the phone records, as you did) and suddenly a new picture emerged and I was FURIOUS, I now saw the true picture. I confronted him and had even more vile lies thrown back in my face, totally denied it all and then I started looking on their social media and more things came to light.

    However, from that point, once the accusations started flying his way and he knew he was rumbled and may start to get people actually question his lies he did start to move out. First he wasn’t going to get the keys to his place and that got brought forward, then he didn’t have any furniture but it seemed best for a while for him to go and sleep on a mattress on the floor. He could not stand the confrontation.

    Get him out but when you can and this part is going to be horrendous so just sit it out, do what you can with no contact, don’t illicit any conversation about the relationship or try to unpick it – you will get abuse.

    If you get anything, anything said to you you don’t like pack him into a hotel and don’t feel bad.

    I went along with the lie of ‘mummy and daddy decided they weren’t getting on very well’ at first as I wanted to protect her, since he’s moved out I’ve changed that having discussed what was appropriate first with a counsellor. Be the one that tells the truth, doesn’t hide their emotions, is real. You don’t have to tell your kids the sordid details but you don’t have to be a martyr too which I was becoming in order to protect them her from the reality of the situation.

    Of course you feel like you suck, we all feel like we suck when this happens. I mean who actually is going to come out of being traded in for a supposedly ‘better’ model and feel good about themselves. It’s a head-wreck of the highest order and to do this to your family is beyond cruel.

    You probably can’t move forward yet but don’t worry you are doing brilliantly in a frankly horrendous situation. Just get him out when you can (which I’m afraid to say is also awful when they actually go but kind of liberating too) and then you can start towards meh.

    There is nothing unusual or strange about your reaction but the things he has said/done are beyond cruel. I don’t know what gets into them once they meet Schmoopie, why the hell does the betrayal have to come with a massive bucket of horrendously cruel statements – I mean what’s wrong with these people. And then they think you’ll just suck it up and live around it.

    Hang in there, just survive at the moment, it will start to change and you will look back on this and realise how badly you were abused and believe me that really helps with only wanting Grey Rock moving forward.

    Ugh, I wish I lived next door to you, you could come and escape round mine. I spent many many weekends away at friends houses or with my daughter, I could not go in the house without horrendous panic attacks and anxiety and had to take beta blockers and I hate taking drugs for things. The physical reaction was so violent it scared me and I now have other health problems due to stress – don’t underestimate how damaging this is or feel bad if you can’t cope. This is trauma.

    People who can put you through this and stick around like a bad smell and as if you should just go along with it all are just lumps of toxic bacteria in a human’s body.

    Rise above and if it gets any worse push the bastard out the door and tell him to get on with his new life from today.

    • ” Just get him out when you can (which I’m afraid to say is also awful when they actually go but kind of liberating too) and then you can start towards meh.”

      All so very true. At first it’s “I can’t believe he actually did it” but then it becomes a relief to no longer have to witness his comings and goings, knowing he was with her and coming back in the wee hours of the night. When he has his own place, you don’t have to know what he’s up to. You can imagine he’s sitting home alone being lonely if you want or you can just not think of him at all which is also easier when he isn’t around (or conspicuously not around). Healing will still take a long time after he moves out but at least it can begin at that point. Just hang on.

    • They get high on their own fumes because schmoopie has been pick meing like a champ ie blowing smoke up their ass and giving them unconditional approval for everything and they totally lap it up and begin to believe their own publicity. This leads to some really cruel schoolyard bullying behaviour where all their entitled resentments are amplified in the echo chamber that is schmoopies way of devaluing you even further and in exes mind you become the devil himself for over cooking lasagna and using the wrong washing powder because of course you’ve done this on purpose because you just don’t value him or her or see them for the special snowflake that they truly are (thank god for schmoopie, right?). Me Cheaterpants was like this all puffed up from poor me BPDs ego massages and ripping me to shreds. The pin of reality deflated that rather suddenly when he finally realised she was on the grift, but that took a while because that would mean admitting that her admiration of him wasn’t based on a naturally warranted admiration of his magnificence. This will happen to your cheater too in fact I would say that as soon as you get busy with the kids and stop giving him the centrality that he is currently absolutely orgasming over he’ll start to panic and become a lot more humble and flip to charm or sad sausage. He’s a delusional bully at the moment but you are seeing his true colours and don’t let him weasel his way back. Mine strutted around refusing to cut off the OW because she needed him and he needed to be there for her because she couldn’t survive without him. I asked him how she had survived for the first 30 years of her life then? But once I told him I was no longer fighting for our relationship as their was nothing to work with if he insisted on keeping her around he started to panic and scramble into line. He didn’t take me seriously didn’t respect my feelings and was revelling in being fought over, the OW was issuing all kinds of ultimatums and threats I found out later including threatening to suicide. So yeah he’s a little boy who’s had his ego and divk massaged and it’s made him think he’s god’s gift. Ignore him and I like the idea of insourcing someone to moderate his egotistical and cruel behaviour and encourage him to fuck off since he’s no longer getting the feedback he desires. They truly do go mad, but it’s a choice and not your problem up fix. Start looking after yourself, turn all that energy inward instead of on him. You’ll get there best of luck.

  • AlmosttoMeh… I went through something similar with Mr. Sparkles. We had just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary where we committed AGAIN to fixing us. 30 days later he announced he was moving out and had met someone who made him feel alive again. I made him sleep on the couch until he moved. But, I picked me danced after… the nights he wasn’t with the OW, he was at our home “playing house” with the kids; taking us to the movies; wanting to sleepover on Christmas Eve so he could be there in the morning. And, being a chump, I took any crumb he offered. Until one day, I didn’t.

    Your day is out there. And CL is right, as always, you have to get very clear right now on what he is showing you:

    – He is cruel.
    – He is a liar.
    – He is afraid to be alone.
    – He enjoys hurting you.
    – He doesn’t care how this is affecting your children.
    – He will NOT change.

    NONE of these things are about you. He didn’t become this monster because of how your marriage functioned. He was always this person, he is just “more” of it now because he is living off the endorphin rush of NEW and SECRET SEX and the responsibilities of life that get left at the door of the hotel room. You say she has two little kids… hell, he just reset the clock on parenting! You’re raising mini-adults at this point and freedom is closer than ever. He’s living a fantasy. Do not fear, reality will hit him like a 2×4 at 3:00am one morning and he’ll realize he’s fucked.

    But for right now, you gotta grow a pair. Set 3 plates at the dinner table. Like CL says, start using email and scheduling software to communicate. Sit down with your twins and have a very honest and age appropriate conversation about what is happening and what it means to them. And get your support system in place (put on your oxygen mask first, right?).

    You know what made my cheater batshit crazy… BOUNDARIES. The more I set them, the better I felt and the worse he felt (he was losing control of me). Take babysteps. But do it. Keep coming back here… read the archives… I also liked reading when shit was getting real with Mr. Sparkles.

    You can do this… and your meh is out here waiting.

    • ICSTMC is absolutely right.
      Although, be patient with yourself. Any of us that have been here before know that the kibble starved chump will say “ but what if I have a unicorn? If I banish him he will just sprint into the arms of the OW”
      I did the same things you did. My ex blindsided me with the divorce talk but needed a month or two living in the marital home to find a place. All it did was make me turn it up…..I was dancing my ass off!!! I was thinking of that as my opportunity to out do her. Win.
      Then you have that moment where you say “ I have proof he’s been fucking ow for over two years. When they did climb off each other, maybe he should of been looking for a house to rent…..since he’s never loved me and been unhappy for a looooong time.(at least 2 years apparently)”
      Hear me, if I had ever decided to leave the marriage, I would’ve had my bags packed and my house rented. I would not of been planning a carnival cruise and buying property with my soon to be ex.
      It’s all a sick game. Don’t play.

      • Oh my god same with my ex wife! She wanted to stay 3-4 months “to save up for a place” and I saw my chance to really show her why she should stay. But the weekends away “with the girls” continued from Friday to Sunday night when she’d return drunk to our daughter and I..grinning from ear to ear as she greeted us with her presence again..she had also told me it’d been 2 years since she’d checked out..finally after 3 weeks of this I emailed her the following Monday am from work and told her to get out. She could live with her mother a couple miles away until we figured shit out, but I wasn’t living like this. I came home early and she was packing. I suggested one more time possibly counseling as we were together over 20 years but she was a firm NO. It hurt like hell but over time having her out of the house was definitely the way to go. It was torture having her there.

        • I got the “I checked out years out years ago” speech, dam woman I wish you had let meme know! Instead of the love bombing, the “I love you”s, the touches, right til the night I found out about the cheating. And I remember the dread of hearing the ping of her phone as we were “reconciling”, was such a relief once I left. Were these people always such arseholes?

  • Straight to comments Almost Meh – your story made me cry. I was you – just know that you are loved. You. Are. Loved. And you’re lovable.

    I could go on about what a fucking POS your sperm donor is but I won’t. Waste of time. This is about YOU.

    You. Are. Loved. By all of us here at CN and we will be here for you.

    • Agreed. This is very similar to my situation too except my ex did leave. My heart breaks for you, AM. Your post really shook me. It DOES get better. You will come out on the other side and be happy again. Promise! And all of CN is behind you. Like Sara said: You. Are. Loved!!!

      Hang in there!!

  • He left. Rented an apartment, I’m in the family home that’s far too large for me and a 11 year old… I wish I would have left. Waiting for him to go to work, cleaned the place out while child was at school… but I didn’t.. and now I have this huge ass house to maintain and 5 cleared acres. It’s been nearly a year, discoveries have only been finished… business evaluations just completed on his end…. feels like this is taking forever. I don’t have a job, I’m looking… seeking… getting zero interviews… but I’m trying. I can’t get a loan to buy a house to move from here to force him to Adult in this mess he caused….
    I’m still figuring things out….
    I hope you are able to as well. For you and your kids.

    • Network. Call or email everyone you know, telling them you are looking for work and in what field. If you have a pastor, ask him to connect your with other parishioners in your field or similar fields. Get a copy of “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles. It’s full off advice on how to fund the job you want and need. You may be already doing this stuff but reading his book will help you up your game. And it will remind you that you aren’t alone and that you will land a job, and maybe then get a better one, and pretty soon have a career that you love. One step at a time.

      Here is Bolles’s website:

      • In addition to what LAJ said, you might consider hiring a career coach. I found one through my alma mater. She turned out to be great–and more than I envisioned in a career coach. She turned out to be a life coach (she had a MFT), coaching me in the ring after having received multiple crushing blows from my opponents (abusers). And her price was very reasonable. Good luck!

      • Thank you, I have done most of what you suggested… it’s a slow process I guess. I will be reading this book tho. Thank you.

    • Not2daySatan

      I’m in a sort of mashup of your situation and almosttomeh. He hasn’t moved out nor does he say he wants a divorce but Im sure that’s because whore lives quite the distance away and he can only see her one week out of the month usually–it varies. I’ve been trying to get a job but I haven’t worked for the bulk of our marriage–first a SAHM then I was diagnosed with a couple chronic conditions where the result is I’m only able to work part time. I did manage to find a perfect job 10 years ago…then my department closed and haven’t been able to find anything in 6 years. Now I feel so trapped. I’m in my 50’s. When I got really sick from yet another illness and stopped monitoring our budget about 2 years ago, we/HE started racking up the debt so now there’s that to deal with. I have no job no prospects and no one my son(s) and I could stay with long term. (one adult son at home trying to finish his degree as fast as he can so he can get his own place and another in college as well but who is home for summer break). I’m trying, I’m networking, but not even an interview yet. I’m looking into disability and finding out the hurdles take a really long time. He’s gone a lot for weeks at a time for work so that helps. I’m seeing a therapist to try to get my head on straight so I can figure out a way out of this mess but it is very slow going. He’s gone for a long stretch right now so my kids and I are getting used to him out of our lives and I’ve been keeping communications as brief and businesslike as I can. I’m hurt. I’m terrified. I’ve realized how stupid I was to get myself in this helpless of a position by relying on plans we’ve made together–which is REALLY messing with me. Most of the time I’m so overwhelmed I’m paralyzed. But I’m starting to finally, I hope and pray, come out of the fog of pain and the sheer magnitude of his betrayal and the feeling of hopelessness that has been suffocating me. I’m counting on finding my way out as soon as I can get a little stronger, just a little, please God just a little bit stronger soon.

      • Ugh. Our situations are a mash up and quite similar at the same time. That is so hard Thursday’sChild. I am so sorry.

    • Can you rent your land to tiny house owners or grazing for horses or something like that. Do you have a shed you could rent out for a workshop or storage to someone? Best of luck.

      • Thank you. But no, the HOA doesn’t look that. And in a motion from the judge he has tied my hands to alter anything on the property, which includes putting I a garden. He’s a real piece I tell ya.

  • Sorry Almost to Meh – got your name a little bit off. I got a little angry and excited on your behalf ……

    Get excited. Your new life is waiting for you.

  • I also had to stay on the house with my daughter for 10 months until I could afford to move out. Luckily I was able to lead separate lives within those walls and o ly spoke to him if necessary and then using the grey rock tactics I learned online. He would frequently engage me un self pity talks, all one sided of course, about how he was a loyal husband (despite fucking over 200 strangers and making sex tapes of himself with then which I had already found). Entitled assholes are Such fucking twats they genuinely believe they are ‘loyal’ because they come home at night! Getting to meh for me was easier because I found all his sex tapes, believe me, once you realise your whole marriage is a lie as you watch a tape of him sucking off a dude in your own fucking lounge you rapidly head to meh. And once you accept that their default mode is lie and that 95% of stuff they have ever told you is a lie then its easier to get to meh. So it os possible whilst under the same roof. But you need to read up on grey tock tactics and be ultra determined. Do not give any emotion to this fuckwit. Not in your voice or with your face expressions. And please stop crying over this idiot, he is not worth your tears. Be strong for yourself and your twins. Also, despite a lot of so called support suggesting you don’t discuss stuff with your kids, trust that you absolutely must be honest with them because there is research out there showing kids who were lied to and found out about their dad or mums affairs in later life were suffering from being lied to by their supposedly trustworthy parent. But obviously you have to keep it within the kids understanding and maturity. So you have to do it without slagging their dad but being clear about what he has chosen to do to the family. Long term they will respect you for this. Mine certainly do.

    • Agreed @Ally you must be honest with your kids

      An example very close to (what was) home — ex’s sister is also a cheater and when divorcing gave the “mommy & daddy don’t love each other any more” speech — several years later older D finds out about the affairs and is so p****d she goes NC with her mum for 3 years — they’re back speaking (sort of) but D has zero respect for her mum anymore — basically the whole keep-it-hidden-from-the-kids is just Image Management for the cheater and nothing to do with the interests of the kids

      For younger kids here are a couple I’ve seen on CN:

      “when you get married, you promise not to date anyone else, your mom broke that promise, she broke my heart, and I can never trust her again”

      “an affair is a secret boyfriend or girlfriend that someone has when they are in an exclusive relationship and that is never ok”

      • I said to my girls (13 and 12 at the time): “I found out Mum was doing things and seeing people behind my back, and when I confronted her about it she lied several times. She has decided that she wants to lead a certain type of life, and she cannot live that life and still be married to me at the same time.”

        • I like that too @UXWorld. I’m (literally) just about to have that conversation with my D’s now and I want to do that myself first before cheating ex gets the opportunity to manipulate anything. As I like to say nowadays “for actions there are consequences”

        • Perfect. I love this because it demonstrates that it is right and proper to set a boundary for what is acceptable in your own life. It’s not just “breaking marriage vows”; it’s says that there are standards for being married to YOU.

      • My kids found out about the affair when I lost my shit after finding credit card charges for Schmoopie related items, raged at ex and daughter heard me yell “I want back every penny you spent on other women”. I don’t recommend that method. Better to tell up front in a controlled way. In all fairness this happened a few months after I had tried to convince ex to come clean with them because I thought it should come from him. I didn’t want to be accused of parental alienation.

        • I lost my shit too, in front of then 8 year old, she was in the house when I discovered then wifes diary & found out cheating was still going on despite reassurances it had stopped.

          As a side note, my now 10 year old hates swimming at school, but over the last few weeks her amazing teacher has made promises (“just bring your togs, you don’t have to swim if you don’t want to”) & then kept her promises, and now my daughter has started swimming! Because of trust. I’m so glad my child has been given this lesson of trust building and keeping promises.

    • Ally,
      Sorry that you endured such a relationship with your husband. Thank you saying that once you realize that almost everything they said was a lie it’s easier to get to Meh.

    • Absolutely be honest and clear with your kids!! How did we get into this mess in the first place for heavens sake! ! My daughter stated that she deserved to know the truth as she was part of the family after all !? Cant argue with that ! Age appropriate explainations . We are not their PR agent. Also the reason that one parent will be leaving the family home should be cast iron clear. Eg dad went to live with someone else and doesnt want to be here anymore. Not the sneaky bastard weasel mine wanted to pull after he blew our life up in 24 hours : mum doesn’t want me here anymore. . What a shit bag.

  • I think that they need to think awful things about us (and tell us) because they need to justify what they are doing. Deep down, they know they are wrong, so they need to make us seem so terrible that they can make what they are doing sound reasonable. My ex insisted on staying until the divorce went through, but by making him really uncomfortable (he had to sleep on an air mattress in the un-heated basement and I refused to do his laundry/cook for him etc) I got him to leave in 2 months. He said I was being immature the day I separated our clothes and left his in a pile on the floor while I washed mine. I felt I had been fired from the job of being his servant. When he found out I had some of our personal papers (I needed them to file) he said he would see me living in the street, but I still live in the family home, which I bought him out of, and he lives in a mobile home with his “Twu Wuv”. Hang in there, this to shall pass and you can move on to rediscovering who you were meant to be without his oppressive presence. It will all work out.

      • Yup. Desiring power over other people is a hallmark of Cluster Bs (and what more intoxicating power than to cause someone else pain or distress).

        In addition, history is rife with examples that to abuse an individual or class of people, you first have to dehumanize them. The standard “devalue” during infidelity is really just the process of dehumanization.

      • If you have ever seen that disgusting smirk on their face you better believe they enjoy causing pain. They are monsters plain and simple.
        Deal with them like you would any wild animal. With extreme caution.

      • Loved…
        I agree. Mine enjoyed the pain he inflicted. In his mind I deserved to pay ! Scorched earth was not enough – he prayed that I would die of cancer.

        I truly believe that mine is 100 % incapable of having empathy for another living being.

        On that note, he just got engaged to his AP. Enjoy him sunshine – he’s all yours now!

  • Your existing not living, he’s writing her love letters, and living with you. what the fuck! You deserve better, I suspect the ow is playing him, doesn’t really want him.

  • What a dirt bag. He gets off on your misery. Yeah, screw that noise. If you can’t help but cry whenever you see him, leave the room when he enters it.

    If possible, empty the pantry. The food for you and the kids will be stored in your car. The one that he no longer can access because he doesn’t have the key. At least I hope you have a car in your name alone. If not, you’ll want to make it happen.

    He sucks. You don’t. Once he’s out of there it will get less horrible. Probably not immediately but shortly thereafter.

    I hope you have an accountant in the mix. Preferably one that has worked with your attorney before if you don’t have one already.

    The school year is starting. You may want to contact them to let them know what is going on so the teachers will keep an eye out on their behavior. They are the canaries in this coal mine.

    *pours tea and pushes over box of Puffs Plus*

  • Dear Almostmeh
    I reread your post twice this am. I feel like I was reading my own story. My D-day was also the same week in Aug 2017. We had just returned from a 2 week vacation in Africa with our two kids 12, 15. We had plans to redo our kitchen, among other social plans. My stbx woke up one day and told me he was involved with his surgical nurse and they were in love. She is 7 years younger and has three kids under 7. From that day forward my life was pure hell. We lived in the same house because he refused to leave. I had to make excuses for the kids for the nights and weekends he didn’t come home. He treated my like shit, verbally abused me to the point I would drive to the CVS and just break down in my car so kids couldn’t see me. I wrote many letters to my atty to try and get him out the house. I even provoked him, hoping he would lay a hand on me so I could get him out. We are both doctors- and have the means to get an apartment.

    I eventually moved out on my own, leaving him in the house. I rented a condo with my kids for 6 mo. He bought a 6 bedroom, 1.4M house with his girlfriend and her children.

    I then discovered she is pregnant- due in one month. That means she was pregnant when he was living in our house WITH ME.

    I have been in therapy 2 hours a week since August 2017. I highly suggest you find a therapist if you haven’t already. My life has imploded. My future has imploded. My kids are reeling. It is unreal- I still wake up and am in disbelief that this could have happened. We met in college and were married for 18 years.

    I have no contact with him. I have blocked his number and only communicate via email. He continually tells me this ‘unsafe’ and ridiculous but this is how you heal. I find I am much better when I have no contact. I still have small panic attacks when I see his email pop up- but for the most part I am surviving. I have relied on my friends and family and urge you to seek out support. The more I isolate, the worse I am. No contact will give you perspective- perspective on what a mind fuck you have lived. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. Get out, take the kids, create distance. I have to believe there is karma. I have to believe there are good people out there and some day we will meet one. Good Luck. I feel your pain and I am so sorry.

  • I’m with @Ally. KK was in the house for 10 months post DDay, and beginning almost immediately, everything she did and said made me trust that she sucks — and this was before I discovered the LACHAL book and this site.

    And knowing there was another abusive word or action around the corner (too many to list here) prepared me for being closer to meh when she finally did leave.

  • I can’t thank CL and CN enough for all the thoughtful comments so far! I feel better already! I chose my screen name to keep telling myself that Meh is out there. Somewhere. And I will get there. Just keep swimming.
    Thank u, thank u, thank u!!!!

    • I am SO praying for you…..if you are at all spiritual, call the Unity prayer hotline….it’s 24/7, toll-free, and like talking directly with an angel. It has been a huge comfort to me for decades.
      (800-669-7729). I am going to call them right now for you….they will keep you in prayer for 30
      days. My daughter and I often call at night before we go to sleep. Why on earth can anyone choose
      to be with a man who acts this way? Proof of their rocks for brains….I know I cannot be married to Rocks For Brains….❤️ to you, Almostmeh. It’s got to be only up from where you are….

      • Clarification….affair partner has the rocks for brains….not you….it boggles my mind that someone would choose to be with a person who treats their spouse as horribly as you described….and THANK YOU for sharing this morning because that very idea helps me
        let go of my husband…..

    • I too was like you. I lived in the home we built for 10 months after D-day while she csrried on her affair and entitled life in front of me and our three kids. I was holding out hoping the so-called fog would clear, and to provide a presnt psrent during her resl and figuarative absences, maintaining a buffer for the kids from her frequent raging, and trying to get her to sell our shared assets so I had the funds to buy a new home. All the while she was pressuring me to move out. (I was so fat from mighty, I’m loathe to admit.)

      Eventually I moved out and rented a crappy (but calm) house for the kids snd I. Living in the house with her was klling me, emotionally and physically.

      E haven’t settled financially yet and I’m likely going to lose a lot, but I needed to leave the house which she refused to leave.

    • Someone else might already have said this, but happy people don’t waste time trying to convince you how happy they are. I think what he’s doing is all for affect. I don’t know why, but you can be sure he’s not nearly as happy as he’s pretending, and I hope that gives you some comfort. In fact, given that she hasn’t filed yet, he may have nuked his own life on the promise of something that altogether failed, which is why (as someone else said), he’s now trying desperately to do image management. Not that you’ll care one day, either way, but it helps to know he’s probably faking the happiness BS as hard as he can right now. Hang in there!

  • I understand how horrible you feel at this time. I’ve been there after 34 years married. It takes time & many difficult day but you will feel better once the cheating
    sociopath is out of your home. Let him live for awhile with the Owhore to see how reality hits him in the ass.
    He most likely regret it but you’ll never see it.
    Image management will pretend that he’s so “happy “.

    We here at CN have your back.. stay strong & know we’ve all been through this & you will gain a life after the fuckwit is gone!

    Bless you ❤️

    • “we have your back”. so true.

      All the well meaning people telling you that he will regret this at some future date when you divorce, when one of your kids gets married, when he is old and sick- NOT TRUE unless he has a brain transplant or some other miracle occurs. These fuckwits don’t care about anyone but themselves, never have and never will. They may have masked it but they do not have a normal response to feelings. Ir sounds like your fuckwit has money and I believe that magnifies the problem. The more money they think they have, the greater the asshole behavior. To them, money is power and control. After all in the world it kind of is.

      Best advice from chump lady is to do nothing for him and make him adult. He will rage so you must protect yourself and your children. Have a shelter ready with a trusted friend or relative.

      Your story shows clearly that you are doing all the pick me dancing like so many of us. In other words, he is blaming you and you are accepting blame or he would need to balance with his own pick me dance. He doesn’t and he won’t. October can’t come soon enough.

      And don’t lie to your children. It is OK if they see you upset, just don’t expect them to provide the comfort. Let them know you are strong and will survive this and be there to parent and protect. Don’t hide that it hurts, they need to know feelings are OK and that everyone has them. You must show them how to deal appropriately not hide.

  • I am sitting in Costa Coffee right now because he is home. It’s been nearly a year since D day, and he refuses to move out and I have no legal right to make him. I’m grey rock and do nothing for him. He has found a house but I’m frightened it will fall through. He doesn’t want to buy me out and stay here as “ it wouldn’t be fair on the girlfriend”. 40 years we’ve been married and he has more concern for her feelings than mine. I can’t move out as I have animals here. I actually posted yesterday because I feel like I’m cracking up some days.

  • I only had about five months of this crap but it was enough for me to want to hug you right now.
    He is doing the things he is doing to make you uncomfortable. He wants you to hurt. He enjoys hurting you. There is no other explanation. So what do you do?
    First you put on your plastic Barbie smile face when he is around. (It will make him wonder.) Then you use every grey rock lesson you can find to be emotionless, like a robot. Don’t give him the satisfaction of seeing the hurt he has caused. He will then try harder to make you upset. Don’t fall for it. Maintain the plastic Barbie smile face. If you watch closely enough you will be able to see the mindfuck channels cycle, charm, rage, self pity, etc. at this point you will think, wow, that CL had a grip on this stuff! She is totally right. (Note from the other side: yes, she is totally right)
    Next you slowly move the things most valuable to you to a friends house or your office of someplace he can’t get to. I had seven large boxes of stuff crowding my small office at work. At the same time you make copies of alllllll, I mean allllll, the financial documents and keep those someplace safe too. Then only spend time in that house when you have to. Take the kids out for a movie, out for dinner, out for a walk in the park, without him. The less time you spend around him, letting him hurt you for fun the better off you will be. You are not the entertainment and should not be treated as such.

  • AlmostToMeh,

    The popular metaphor around here for a home containing a cheater is a house on fire. Staying in a house on fire is not sustainable. So, you’d are in the process of fleeing the flames, holding your breath as you go. It is an urgent, sometimes seemingly impossible task, but thousands of us have made it out, and YOU WILL, TOO.

    And after he’s moved out, and you start to breathe in your new cheater-free life, you will hardly believe that air could be so sweet. (((ATM)))

  • Yes, listen to all the advice being given here: I’m the man of the house and I’ve been made to put my soon-to-be-ex up in a plush condo and I pay for both households until the divorce.
    Let me take the indignity one step further – not only am I paying for her to live somewhere else, I’m paying for her lawyer as well.
    Adopt my way of thinking: “Everything I buy right now is 50% off.” Trust me, it makes spending money a lot more fun. Best wishes.

    • Daddypants, Ugh. Better to get rid of trash than to have it polluting up your life. FucktardX made 3x what I did, yet after Dday stopped paying for his “old life” (me and the household, adolescent kids included), and took all his money with him. So, like you, I prioritized. I put my meager funds and energy towards my family’s future. Divorce lawyer? Check. Kids? Check. Household bills? Check. The mortgage I couldn’t afford on my low teacher’s pay so I let it go. If I were you I would hope that your family court recognizes that your soon to be X needs to become self sufficient on her own as well, so outline a plan (and deadline) for that. Your lawyer will know how to address this. Supporting my kids was always my priority, as I am sure it is by you as well. So think of those expenses as setting up your children’s future. Wishing you luck on your journey.

    • While reading the letter I kept thinking, “We really need to get some legislation changed”. The threat of being penalized for abandoning the family home is totally ridiculous and just forces victims of domestic violence to have to live with the abuser. Like Daddypants, I am paying for two households right now. Unfortunately, my DDay was just a couple of months into a 15 month leasing agreement. I ended up walking out after I began to feel unsafe and the asshat threatened to kill my pet. While asshat has been living in a luxury apartment I am paying for, I lived out of my car, couch surfed, rented a closet, and now have a room rental. I have no way to kick him off the lease, and because he knows I will go to great lengths to protect my credit, he knows that I will pay the rent in full each month. It has been a huge shit sandwhich, but in two months the lease is up and hopefully I can be done with this nightmare.

  • I had to stop reading half way through and comment what a sack of shit this fucker is. I am so sorry you have been forced to endure such hell. Please never take that monster back.

  • Dear Almost to Meh,

    Out of all the stories I’ve read on here, yours is the most similar to mine. The way your gloats, enjoys throwing insulting jabs and showing no remorse… mine did that, too. Looking back, I was truly the most devastated by the loss of the family unit for my children, I didn’t really miss him. I still grieve that for children. I’m you in 5 years. I thought this crushing pain would never go away. He’s never once been anything but cruel to me in the past 5 years. He married the Schmoop and they also live in a sparkly 5 bedroom home. You want to hear some good news? Everytime I got a shitty email telling me that “no one would ever love me with stretch marks on my stomach” (the bastard really said that), it drove me to get a “A” in my college course. I eventually graduated college cum laude, lol. Every cruel action drove me to be more successful. I channeled it. 5 years later, I’m a bad ass bitch. ???? All his horrible behavior only motivated me to be a hustler in the business world. It gets better. Accept the family unit is gone. It happens. I showed my daughter what you do when a man cheats… you LEAVE… and become more successful than him! ???? Soooo happy to be free of Mr. Controlling Pants. I do whatever I want and it drives him nuts now. Remember who you are! They make you forget your own strength. Hang in there, it gets better!!!

    • Chump Struggle, your ex must’ve had balls bigger than Texas to even talk about the stretch marks caused by carrying HIS children! Good thing that asshat wasn’t married to me, the proud mother of triplets. My grueling 7 1/2-month pregnancy, vertical C-section and subsequent hysterectomy turned my abdomen into something seen only in a late-night Sci-fi flick. But those other-worldly stretch marks and surgery scars are my badges of honor… they are proof that Little Ole Me accomplished something totally amazing with my body. Any man who can’t look at them and recognize that I have a bad ass story to tell doesn’t deserve to see me with my clothes off.

      • Our real life bodies and lives are awesome weapons for sorting out the shallow losers from the decent people, IMHO.

        • My boyfriend tells me I should be proud of my ‘battle scars,’ and they aren’t even HIS children I got my stretch marks from…

      • Damn straight! Don’t ever think a real, healthy body is something to be ashamed of. Real people don’t come airbrushed…and Thank God the times are changing. I am all for celebrating people for who they are, stretch marks and all.

    • I used my stretchmarks and cesaerean scars as warning alarms for assholes. Any significant other who greeted my naked body with anything other than wild enthusiasm was asked to leave and nver got another date.

    • My husband told me I was an alcoholic.

      I have drank a total of 4 days our entire (at the time) 10-year marriage. Be he said because 3 of those days were “consecutive days” that meant I was an alcoholic.

      Scary alcoholic me.

  • The memories of this are some of the worst I have. The ex stayed for only a few weeks( until be convinced schmoopie to let him move in with her and her 11yeat old). He couldn’t possibly get a place where he would be ALONE. Our house was very small—no way to avoid each other, and my grown daughter was living in the basement nanny suite. He was incredibly cruel to me. He slept in my office but felt I should vacate our bedroom for him since it was all my fault. Disordered Wackjob. My daughter had to intervene a couple of times when he was screaming 2” from my face and had me backed into the kitchen cabinets. By the time those few weeks were through my daughter was moving out too—she had had enough and we were both suffering from anxiety from what happened then and prior. I also had cptsd. He went skipping merrily to his next victims house. Just horrible. Many of us have been there. Turn to us for strength understanding and support. This shall pass.

  • I lived that way for many many months thinking it was necessary for financial reasons. Then my opportunity presented itself as a way to move out and leave him with the mortgage of the giant house we lived in without me looking like a bitch leaving him with a mortgage he could not afford (he sent me an email that suggested I start looking for a place for the kids and I; oddly the email was forwarded to me from his email….because that whore of a woman wrote it!!) So I bought a house and moved out with the kids and getting to meh has been SO MUCH easier! Our Divorce was final in January who didn’t even remember the would be wedding anniversary in July!!!

    Here is the thing, you don’t want to hear the words “I made a mistake and want to get back together” because what do chumps do…the believe that shit. You don’t want that temptation, you worry about your happiness, he is not worth a thought in your beautiful brain.

    Thank the good Lord every day that you went through this and got away from that Asshole so you can find out what real happiness is!

  • AlmosttoMeh, Steal yourself because I predict that your SHITTY husband is going to come hoovering back to you in a big way.

    1) If this were a solid plan to run off together and remarry? I would think that the co-worker would have filed for divorce. She has not so that likely means HER current husband is pick-me-dancing with her and trying to save the marriage.

    2) Your husband is STUPID. She has a 2- year old and a 4- year old. Those young kids will take A LOT of work and parenting. She is going to be working, taking care of a 2 and 4 year old and trying to keep a spark with your husband so he doesn’t get bored? Hahahaha!!!! She will be fuckin’ exhausted and she has to know that deep down your husband ain’t no prize. I think your husband could very well get dumped and then he will be making sad sausage reappearances and crying to you about he “made a mistake”. Yah…be prepared for this and end the sad sausage phone call or appearance at your door when it happens and don’t think about taking him back for even a second. Your husband is wobbly and unreliable. He will never be the man you thought you married.

    Knowing all this, keep divorcing his ass, go major grey rock in dealing with him now- and in the future. Your twins are 12 years old. Believe me, 6 years will go by quickly and before you know it they will be 18 years old an graduating from high school. Envision yourself as the proud mom of 2 twins graduating from high school! Think about having a nice picture of just you three on their big day! You will have a BIG smile on your face. It will be a smile knowing that YOU and they made it together and that you successfully parented them through the shit storm.

    Big ((hug)) to you. You got this.

    • #1 & #2 -so true! Funny how sociopaths and psychopaths never dwell on reality, details or future ramifications. It’s that defective wiring.
      Almost is well rid of this defect whether it pans out with OW or not. I think she’ll look back on his discard as such a blessing.

  • This guy is S.I.C.K. ass-hole-path from hell. As the other commenters said, he’s manipulating you for his enjoyment and sick satisfaction. Don’t let him do that.

    I don’t believe he has a contract on a house. I don’t believe anything they say. Require proof or do some detective work. Maybe he told everyone that, in a hope that the OW file for divorce. Kind of playing chicken, in a high stakes game. But, neither the OW or her husband have filed for divorce? Hmmmm.. Maybe she sees that he’s an asshole too… If he “wuv” his other woman, wouldn’t he prove it to her by moving out of the house? He’s likely telling her that you’re dirt and terrible, but he keeps living under the same roof as you? Obviously, he could get a Motel6 or Extended Stay for a month until their McMansion is ready. Yes, this is going to implode quicker than you think. But, he will always be a sick ass-hole-path from hell. No unicorn in that douche.

  • Douchebag tried to stay in the house after Dday and after I filed. First he said he would sleep in our bed and I could sleep on the couch as I had done for so many nights in the past (DB snores horribly). I told him I have spent my LAST night on the couch but you may stay in the spare bedroom. I told our daughter we were getting a divorce because I found out daddy had a girlfriend and that was unacceptable. By that time I had found CL and CN and was discovering my mightiness. I said he could stay as long as I still had my own private space which he would have to stay out of. It was painful and uncomfortable, but I knew it would be temporary, and I occupied my brain with plans for my future life. In the court documents, he states that I asked him to move out. Au contraire, Mr. Revisionist History. Our daughter asked you to move out. He moved out the day after she asked.

  • These cheating narcopaths justify and rationalize why they have to cheat and be happy otherwise they would be like every other crappy cheater. I heard he’d been miserable for years and he needed to be happy. It wasn’t schmoopie’s fault, she’s innocent in all this.

    Whatever fucker. Nevermind your wife and kids, you do you. The second time Dr. Cheaterpants found twu wuv’s, he kept trying to come into our bedroom to sleep. Uhm no. He moved to the guest bedroom and was there for almost a month.

    It was absolutely the most miserable time in the world. He was all giddy and happy with a goofy, shit eating grin on his face. If our eyes locked in passing, his face would go blank. He was constantly on his phone texting, even when he was spending time with the kids. He was staying out til 2-3 am. It was so freaking painful.

    Once he moved out, my healing could start. He moved to a rental for a year close to schmoopie. Then he started house shopping close to me. He finally bought a house for $450K, 5000 square feet, on an acre and our kids are in high school. It just makes no sense to me.

    I thought he was on a ho high. He’s still spending money like a drunken sailor. I hope he has to work until he’s a 102 years old to pay this all off.

    Your piece of shit hubby has created a Brady Bunch dream in his house. Surely schmoopie will move in with him and bring all those kids. And your kids will join. And it will be blissful without that mean ole wife.

    I can only imagine what a prize his schmoopie must be. Instead of being a good mom and spending time with her kids, she’s constantly texting and sneaking off with your hubby. I don’t think it really works out how they have dreamed it will. But he has shown you who he is and you believe him.

    My kids don’t enjoy going to Dr. Cheaterpants huge house. They go ‘visit’ him. They come home to my house during the day as that’s not home to them. Don’t sugar coat it for your kids. They will be introduced to schmoopie and her kids right away. These two fuckwit/dimwits don’t get it and assume everyone will be happy for them!

  • I could ha e written this 3 years ago, and I’m still currently in the middle of an ugly and very expensive divorce.

    Chump lady said, “You do everything in your power not to take his bait. You don’t rage at him, you don’t escalate anything (for all you know, he’s trying to bait you to get some kind of leverage in the divorce settlement). You stay out of his way.”

    My spouse did this! Showed up in the middle of the day, parked behind my vehicle So I had no escape and then proceeded to antagonize me. Stopping me from walking into any room I could close the door behind me. He corned me in the living room and the kitchen. Every time I tried to get to a different room, he’d step in front of me and block the way. I finally went out the garage door and said I was leaving, that’s when I discovered he parked behind me and I had no escape. When I had enough of his towering intimidation, walking toward me with his chest puffed out and a scowl on his face, I put my hand up in a stop motion on his chest. He started freaking out screaming “you fucking crazy bitch! You’re so fucking crazy and I’m going to show the world how crazy you are!” He ran to his car and grabbed his phone and started videotaping me! I said, “please leave now or I’m calling the police!” When he broke out the video he was completely calm… after he had spent 25 minutes baiting me into anger. His response to my statement was, “go ahead and call the cops! You touched me first!” Which technically was true.

    Trust me when I say, they will do ANYTHING to get the upper hand! DON’T FALL FOR IT!

    Start using parenting software yesterday! I signed us up for Our Family Wizard, and eventually had its use written into our parenting agreement. It has proven invaluable in our court trial. Of course his attorney tried to have it excluded as an exhibit.

    If your spouse can afford a 5 bedroom home on his own, I’m guessing you probably have a lot of savings. Ask your attorney about filing an asset freeze. Basically you will both have to agree before expenditures over a certain amount are made. My attorney didn’t and he’s cashed out over a million dollars in stock over the last three years!

    Here are other things to discuss with your attorney. Hopefully you’ll learn from my experience.

    He rolled IRA’s into different accounts. I’m assuming shuffling money everywhere.

    Overpaid the IRS 20k for tax year 2015. (This is a dirty but legal way spouses try to hide money. Once you are divorced, the refund will come to them. Go to the IRS’s website (if you file jointly) and get transcripts of your taxes. Also, see if you can file for a tax PIN (personal identification number). That will insure you are alerted if taxesnin your name have been filed.

    Which brings me to… make sure your taxes are up to date! My ex failed to tell me the 5 years of taxes he extended come with a 300,000. Tax bill. It’s still growing because of all the capital gains he surmounted selling off stocks!

    If you have college funds for the kids, see if you can freeze them YESTERDAY!

    Deeply understand our civil system is not a justice system! There are very little if any consequences for bad behavior, except for when it comes to custody.

    The general advise here is to block them on social media. It’s good for your mental state, but I will say my ex flaunted all of his escaped with smoopsie, and screenshots of those thing would have been valuable for my divorce case. If you can have a trusted friend screenshot for you, do that!

    Set aside a dedicated email for divorce related items only. Send yourself a copy of everything!

    While you are busy grieving, these fuckwits are setting up their future lives! Start putting your best interest first now! Play their game! Don’t divulge anything, keep your mouth shut and put your own interests first! Not in the way they do, shoving shit sandwiches down everyone’s throats, but protect yourself to protect your children.

    Dont sign anything without your lawyer reviewing it. Shithead tried to get me to sign a quit claim deed for the new house he bought cash (unbeknownst to me) until I saw bank records transferring $350k in our account and then wiring it back out.

    Be proactive. Start a spreadsheet with questionable expenditures include date, account, amount, and a description of what it was for. Stay on top of it. Don’t rely on your attorney to know your financial portfolio. A demonstrative is much more powerful than words.

    Last but not least, get rid of that idea in the back of your mind that tells you “my spouse would NEVER do that!” Trust me, they are capable of doing some psychopathic shit!

    • I also want to add this.

      When he was living here after I filed, he a Spring break trip to Cancun for the family. I hadn’t quite gotten to “trust that they suck.” I thought I could okay nice for the kids, and he agreed we’d stay in separate rooms.

      He said he couldn’t go at the last minute because he “had to work”. A waste of a $1500 plane ticket. I took the kids and we had a great time.

      What I didn’t know at the time was, while we were gone, he was putting Ernest money down on a new house and setting up his future life.

      No good deed from fuckwits comes without a hidden agenda! Remember that! As sure as the earth spins, I can pretty much guarantee if Styx is being nice, it’s to cover up something not nice.

      They work the same as magicians, focusing you over here ???? while they steal the watch off your other wrist.

      Once you trust they suck, pulling the rug out from under you doesn’t come as a surprise!

      • GAB- OMG! You have yourself a real winner. I’m in tears reading your story. So sorry! Glad you are getting rid of that POS. My divorce was roughly 3 years too because mine did some pretty underhanded things.
        JUST BEFORE I found out about my POS little fuck phone – we had made plans to take the kids to Canada. Do a drive around Lake Superior. My kids were so pumped to go to CANADA! I felt like I couldn’t let them down, so we went on the trip as planned…. It was not a good trip. I’m not a good actress and trying not to cry or punch my (now) ex was difficult. Our last stop was a casino in Minnesota where we stayed at the hotel. I just remember going down to the pool with the kids and asswipe staying in the room. We went up to the room and there he was on the laptop. I’m quite certain as to what he was doing (Seeing how I had busted him with emails to women on MY LAPTOP!) I don’t think my kids put the two together. I’m quite certain we got home from our trip on Sunday and I was packing and out the door to my other son’s house Sunday evening.

    • Yes did not think that he could be antagonizing Almost so he can claim domestic abuse and get her thrown out of the house. I’ve personally known of two instances where this scenario happened. The husband (cheater) was the one to call the police for domestic abuse and have their wife arrested and then obtained an order of protection. What a scheme!! Of course the two instances that I know of were couples that got together through affairs so the kicked out of the house wives did not get much sympathy.

    • Agree with Got a Brain: If you are faced with the shit sandwich of having to live with him, might I suggest you play “cheerful and stupid” to his face, mean while you are continuing your detective work to document the financial DISSIPATION that is probably going on, or at least went on for all that time during the affair before you discovered it. Talk to your attorney about what will help your case here. All that money he spent on Schmoopie (check bank accounts, credit card statements if you have access) is due in repayment to YOU in the divorce settlement.
      If he is self-employed, get access to his business’s actual books (don’t trust his tax records, these sociopaths often hide business income to finance secret lives). If you don’t have access, your lawyer can demand these items in the discovery process. But if your STBX is a typical grandiose narc, he might not even be all that careful to hide financial evidence left lying about the house, at least not at first, while he’s still pegging you as an easy pushover.
      He actually bought an effin’ HOUSE with Schmoopie? Definitely run that one by your attorney — that wouldn’t even be legal in my state (a community property one) without the consent of the other spouse, especially not during divorce proceedings.
      Look, these assholes are never going to regret “all they lost” one day in terms of family, etc. — people are just replaceable items to them. If you really want to hit them where it hurts, hit them in the WALLET. Money tends to be the one thing that gets their attention, and you deserve to take that pile of s–t for every penny you are due.

  • good lawd, what a horrific situation. He could have moved out a long time ago, but like everyone and CL said: he s enjoying making your life miserable. If he really wanted he could have gotten an apartment somewhere so he and OW could be having their rendezvous there. What he is doing is complete bullshit. YOu’ve only got about 7 weeks to go, so I guess you’ll tough it out, but like the advice given above says: make copies of EVERYTHING, put anything of value that you want to hang on to ELSEWHERE, and don’t let that asshole get away with anything more than the law says he is entitled too. And BTW, I can guaran-damn-tee that the OW has no intention of leaving her husband or she would have done it by now and made a love nest with your asshole somewhere. He’s bought that 5-bedroom house for nothing. Check back in with us and tell us what transpired.

  • AlmosttoMeh: In-house-separation is hell on earth. I only had 8 weeks of it, it was much less confrontational than yours sounds – and it almost killed me: I lost 20% of my body weight, and was in contact adrenalin-fueled fight-or-flight mode the entire time. (I only realized this a year later when I was in a life-threatening situation and recognized the same sour, dry mouth as the taste I’d had the entire time my wife was in the house). The day she moved out it all stopped – literally. This is the hardest time you will have in the divorce, bar none. You cannot expect to be at meh while he is in the house with you. It will only get better when he isn’t staring you in the face any more.

    No particular advice here, but just: know that this is absolutely the hardest time. If you can make it through this – and you clearly are, though (understandably – I certainly didn’t) perhaps not with the grace and poise you’d prefer to have – you can make it through anything. Maybe there are superhuman people out there who can endure this without its being torture, but the rest of us normal humans understand what an ordeal this is. Don’t blame yourself for its being difficult, and for not being at meh yet.

  • Oh, dear Almosttomeh – you are in the midst of hell and all you can do is keep going. I am 2.5 years out from DDay, finally divorced last December, 2 years from when he moved out after living together from Jan-Aug, faking it ‘for the kids’ Jan-Jun until he told the kids. (Two days after I discovered the OW) I know what you are living thru and it is absolute hell.

    I was married 25 years, dated 5 years prior, totally blindsided, and when I pulled it out of him(he didn’t have the balls to say he was unhappy) he many of the same things. I asked for many months if there was someone else, the answer was always no. I finally looked at phone records to discover the affair with someone I knew, my kids knew, 13 years younger and has a daughter whom my daughter knows.

    I also heard – “I didn’t cheat because I checked out of our marriage a long time ago. I haven’t been happy and haven’t loved you for years and you should’ve known. You are too busy with the kids, cooking, cleaning, working, and exercising and she listens to me.” Cruelty seems to be all they know – without even getting that they are cruel – “I don’t want to grow old with you. I don’t imagine a future with you. I haven’t been happy for a long time(well put your big boy pants on & tell me then). I don’t want to retire with you. We should never have gotten married. I should have left 14 years ago” The list goes on……

    You are still in shock. It takes a long time to get from shock to “Trust that he sucks” because your life has just exploded. I had to write it on the mirror to help me understand because it did not match the man that I married. You do whatever you need to do to feel better, including putting pins in a voodoo doll. You have every right to having feel and do whatever you need to get through this.

    We lived in the same house from Jan-Aug, slept in the same bed till I discovered his affair, didn’t tell the kids until May, faked it for all those months. I was still cooking dinner for all of us til the Monday before he moved out. He wanted my son to help him move (“I’ll pay him”) & had no idea why that was wrong. It took me sending a text to friends, family and counselor asking them what they thought of his teenage son helping move him out & forwarding ALL the negative responses before he agreed to not ask him to help. My ex wanted to sit TOGETHER in front of the TV, joke, pretend all was golden because….

    “He is nothing but happy right now and has told me, “This is the happiest I have ever been.” He dances around the house singing, joking and laughing, while I go to my room and cry. My family has just been detonated and I have absolutely no control over it.”

    Listen to everyone here – put boundaries in place but it’s going to suck for a while. If you do put boundaries in place, expect it to get worse & the mindfuck to increase. He will not like it and say that you are playing games because you are not being nice. They don’t get to tell you how to feel anymore. If boundaries are too much right now – get out of the house, spend weekends away, walk the dog – I walked the dog for hours. Sign up for something physical to have a different temporary goal to work on. Do something with the kids – anything to get away from this madness. Go to your BFF and let someone take care of you. Find a phrase that helps you and write it down everywhere. Mine was “I am strong, I am brave. I will not be vanquished.” Change your password to a phrase that you need to remember – “WorkingmywaytoMeh”.

    Finally, this all takes time. All you need to do is today. You WILL get through this. Keep reading Chump Lady, walk, listen to podcasts & books. Anything to give yourself respite. You are not alone – we are ALL with you. xoxo

    • Moveon – There was a night me and asswipe were talking about retirement. He mentioned wanting to move to Flagstaff. Then asked me where I was planning to retire. I was flabbergasted. Red Flag anybody? Then when finding about the fuck phone, one of his justification comments was “I told you I didn’t want to grow old with you.” And of course the others…. “I haven’t been happy in years.” And “We are just roommates.” And “I tried to forgive you for cheating on me 15 years ago, but I just can’t do it.” (Cheating that never happened) And so on and so on…..

    • Been there exactly – it’s like a cold day in hell watching someone blow your life in two and then act like the cat that got the cream or like it’s remotely ‘normal’ to carry on like nothing’s happened. I thought I was going mad.

      He said to me that we could carry on playing happy families (this was pre affair discovery of course) as long as ‘I didn’t throw in a grenade’. Sheesh. For a short while I was thinking yeah we can still do family stuff together, it will be good for my daughter. We went out for Mother’s Day lunch. As per usual he totally ignored me and spent the time talking to my daughter who was lovely and keen to take me out because she is a doll. I sat looking at the other families thinking this just isn’t normal, why I am even thinking that it is. That was very early on and I knew right away but let’s face it you don’t know what’s happening really do you.

      As time goes on I know more and more and more I will tell my daughter the truth, I will never want to be friends with him as there was a semi-decent way to get out a relationship you are not happy in and that I will never understand why all this shit has to come with the affair. It is DISGUSTING and totally traumatic.

      But that first bit is truly something to behold. The disingenuous nature of their words and actions – or the incongruity of it all. I was being told that even going out on our anniversary was horrible while we were agreeing to pay for new radiators, shower, floors? It literally messed with my head. Horrendous ladies and gents, hang in there one and all.

  • The Twat moved in with the skank but about every 3 weeks they would have a spat like two kindergarteners at which point the Twat would move back in “because it’s still my house”. We owned it jointly but I was waiting for the divorce papers to get moving. Only they never came because he hadn’t filed! After about a year I started seeing a colleague but never had him stay over. About 13 months in I was in bed one Sunday morning when the Twat walked straight into my bedroom. I was alone thank god but imagine! That’s when I thought “he gets to live his life coming and going as he pleases but what about me”! My kids were older but it was the complete double standard that pushed me to finally file. He went nuts. It’s ok when they get to call all the shots. Please fight back and don’t let him see how much he is (intentionally) hurting you. Shoot that bastard down and when he does try to come crawling back crush him with the heel of your shoe like the cockroach he is. Hugs to you!

    • After he decided to move out, ex said that if I moved a boyfriend into our house he wanted to be paid rent. Moving in a boyfriend was the farthest thing from my mind at that point but I found that comment really offensive, especially considering that it was quickly diminishing marital funds that were going to be paying for his apartment which was likely to be a love shack for him and slut face. That was the moment I knew that the only way I was going to stay in the house was if I owned it outright and he had no say or control over who lived there or what got done to it. I wanted to have control over my home. During negotiations, he suggested that we could continue to own the house jointly. He was surprised and hurt when I told him “I don’t want to own a house with you”. Luckily, he was serious about wanting to keep the kids in the house so they didn’t have to move and he let me have it because he didn’t want to be the one who had placement of the kids full time. Still, it boggles my mind that he would have said such a thing to me at such a time.

      Oh yes, he also told me just after DDay that if I wanted to date someone I should let him check the guy out first to make sure he was good enough for me. These are the kinds of ridiculous things he said that had me convinced that he had truly lost his mind.

      • And no, I didn’t get a key to his apartment when he moved out even though he still had keys to “our” house. From my perspective, the apartment was partly mine considering that I was paying for it too.

        • I hope you changed the locks? That was some crazy, messed up shit coming out of his mouth? Considering he’s a cheater and fuckwit, his opinion has no merit.

      • Mine wanted it in the divorce settlement that the house belonged to me (after paying a huge cash sum to him) but that ‘if I unfortunately died’ it reverted back to him. As if anyone but a total trusting idiot would agree to such an obvious reward for murder!

        • After I bought him out of the house he tried to insist he should have a key so he could “keep an eye on me – make sure I was ok”! Ha! Sure – let’s do that!

  • Almost – I lived like this for about a year and a half. Sleeping in the guest room while she waited out her married boyfriend (who apparently to this day has never left his wife). I got the ILYBINILWY speech while we were on vacation with the kids, later found out about the affair, and spent 18 months in total hell. I finally filed and eventually she moved out.

    I know it’s hard now, but once your a-hole moves out, it’ll be like Mt. Everest is lifting off of your shoulders. Sure you’ll still be mad, sad, depressed for a while after that – but only after he moves out will you begin to heal. And eventually you’ll see him clearly for what he — a totally selfish POS that you’re life is so much better being away from.

    You’ll get there — but you need to get him out of home and your daily life first.

  • AlmosttoMeh- Been where you are. After DDay #3, I finally had to accept that things were over. He refused to move out. We had to live under the same roof for 4 and a half months. It was torture. Luckily he worked night shift and would leave the house at 12:00 noon. I worked around his schedule to avoid him. I left the house early in the morning and went back after he left for the day. On our days off, we agreed he would spend alone with daughter as she and I were moving out of state soon. Even knowing that we were moving, he still asked me to watch her on his day so he could go to a baseball game with his mistress. We never did anything as a family because we were no longer a family and I explained this to our ten year old. I stopped cooking and cleaning for him. I started to live my life as though he was not part of it even though my heart was breaking. The solution is to cut him out of your life as much as you can. This person is not your friend. This person does not have your best interest at heart and does not love and respect you. I think the sooner we can internalize this, the sooner we can get to Meh. Good luck.

    • Even little things can help you detach. After he decided to move out but before he actually did so and long before we filed for divorce, I started to refer to him as “the kids dad” rather than as “my husband”. It was subtle but it helped. He still introduced me to people as his “wife” however which I thought was odd seeing as how he didn’t want to be married to me anymore.

  • I also got the “our marriage was already over so it doesn’t count as adultery” excuse. It was kind of funny since we were still legally married when she said it; plus she’s Catholic and there’s no easy escape clause there. I mentioned this to a divorce-lawyer friend and he just laughed and rolled his eyes: he’d heard it all before.

    There’s always some reason why it isn’t their fault. I tend to over-intellectualize (and I sometimes teach a “bad science” class where I talk about fallacious reasoning) so I’m interested in how people rationalize their bad behavior, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter: they can come up with a reason why it’s all your fault, so there’s no point in being too concerned with the details. It’s unfortunate when their reasons happen to be cruel, though: I was fortunate that my XW’s reasons tended to be more excuses for herself (“I loved you too much for too long and I just used it all up”) rather than insults aimed at me (the occasional “why would *we* go to counseling when the problem in our marriage is *you*”).

  • Whewwwww boy, do I relate to this @AlmosttoMeh (I originally typed that as “AlmosttoMeth” — haha let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, right?!).

    My situation in 2014 was very similar to yours, though my ex only stayed in the house for something like 3 months before finally moving into an apartment. I think his lawyer told him (or so he says, who the heck knows?) that to go and stay on couches or whatever could be seen later in court as “abandoning” the marital home and giving up ownership of it. I have no idea how that works in your state, but what I do know is that it’s unfair garbage. That disgusting feeling in my gut while he pranced around the house all nonchalant, and my life had been exploded…..seeing everything I had invested in tossed aside like it was nothing…..ugh. I will never, ever forget it.

    It does get better. Almost the instant he was finally out of the house, I felt *immensely* better. He and all of his stuff was out of the way. Life became stable. Me and my daughter were able to put our own routines into place, and things were really peaceful. We spent time doing the things we like to do after work and school, together, and without the anxiety / unpredictability / drama added by a narc’s presence. Finances got better right away too. As many people have said, it’s amazing how much money a narc drains and you only notice it fully once they’re gone. One small bonus is hearing from friends about their financial struggles after the fact. You know that once they’re on their own, without you being a mellow-hashing drag and “making” them pay bills instead of spending money on cruises or music equipment or whatever the crap they don’t actually need, reality becomes very real very quickly. ????

    My advice is to follow CL’s and everybody else’s advice here, and surround yourself with family and friends as much as possible. If you can have friends or family rotate and come stay in your house with you while he’s there, you will have another witness to anything shady that’s going on, and he will (if he’s obsessed with his image, like my ex was) be motivated to act less shittily while they’re around. Document, document, document. And above all, just focus on being the sane and stable parent. That doesn’t mean a perfect parent who doesn’t make mistakes — those don’t exist. But just the stable one that’s there for them, and whose love never wavers according to how inconvenient they are at the moment or what other opportunities are around. Slowly that will start to matter to them, and even little ones do understand on some level.

    I’m pulling for you.

    • When we went to court – Judas used the term “abandoned” when asked when I left the house. I just snickered at that comment. I picked me danced for awhile, but couldn’t handle it, so I left and moved in with my oldest son and his wife. It was as Almosttomeh mentioned already, I would have a panic attack everytime his phone would make a noise (Of course he became EXTREMELY possessive of his phone!) I told my kids I did NOT “Abandon” them, but rather “Left” their father. I think they understood – my son for sure did cuz he was the one who busted his dad. Anyway, if the courts would have ruled more favorably for asswipe because of my ‘abandonment,’ then that would have been bullshit. It would have been absolute turmoil for me having to be forced to live under the same roof as my abuser.

      • Ugh yes. Good on you for being brave! I had an infant at the time of my D-Days and I was like “YOU need to be the one to get out of this house and go stay on all your complicit good buddies’ couches” but he refused. Maybe the excuse about losing claims on the house if he “abandoned” it was a red herring. Maybe he just didn’t want to suffer the possible image management hit from having to go beg for couches to stay on and telling people why. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Let us pray. Y’all she needs some help to not murder that hoe. Damn, what a garbage scenario. Look up gray rock. You’ve got to be as boring as humanly possible for him. Focus on yourself. I was lucky enough to get my idiot ex to go to his tru luvs house after a week of screaming (and when he let my son wander off pantless into traffic).

  • Dear Almost 2 Meh,
    Today marks exactly 4 years since my divorce was final. AssHat walked in a week before Christmas to inform me that he would be filing on Jan. 2nd.
    I was not to tell our 9 year old twins and was instructed to act normally as my life was imploding in front of me. My best friend in the world had died the week before DDay.
    Such shock and awe and I had nowhere to go so I moved into the guest room and lived there for 3 months.
    At the time I did not have official proof of another woman but I watched in utter disbelief as the jackass was simply gleeful with his upcoming and newfound “freedom.” The pure disgust and contempt thrown my way was difficult to swallow while hearing similar comments of “I don’t understand your ANGER. I haven’t been happy for YEARS.” Two months earlier we were actually house hunting in another town as I’d been told he was up for some big promotion at work. These disordered types lie so effortlessly it boggles the mind.
    In the meantime the AssHat exposed our boys to his extensive porn collection(discovered this while trying to help the children with their homework) and he’s somehow managed to parade women in/out of their lives and insisted this is normal behavior. Supposedly he and his new victim will be tying the knot soon although the happy occasion has been twice postponed. The misery they spread and the tentacles of their deceit is infinite. All while somehow appearing to look normal.
    I’ve just had this conversation with a counselor that insists that horrible X partners can actually be very good parents. I emphatically DISAGREE.
    When everything they do is based in a life of deceit they are not good parents because they are simply not good people. Just because they are experts at impression management does not make them good parents. Friends tell me the children will see through the JackAss one day but for now they are under the spell of iPads, electronic gizmos, gadgets and games. They have been taught entitlement and they prefer living in a house with no rules and zero consequences.
    I’m waiting for this evil spell to be broken but in the meantime I’m making do with living a deceit free life.
    I’m sending you positive thoughts. In spite of it all each one of us has a reason to celebrate being free from their deceit.
    I’m thankful my life is no longer built on the quicksand of lies, porn addiction, deceit and corruption.

    • When a parent lies to a kid (except for things like Santa and the Easter Bunny which drive imagination), they are proving two things:

      1) The parent is showing the kid that the person in the world they are supposed to trust the MOST, LIES to them and to their mother/father. Kids then don’t trust authority figures.

      Love is different then TRUST. Kids may still LOVE the parent, because of the ties. But, TRUST is a different story.

      2) The parent is showing the kid that the parent doesn’t think the kid is mature enough to handle the truth. For a tween/teenager, this is a kick in their teeth. The tween wants to be respected enough to be told the truth, not lied to and deceived.

      What cheaters don’t get, is that they are also betraying their own kids…not just their spouse.

      • That last line is very true. They totally don’t get it. Ex may not have included the kids in his discard, but he absolutely betrayed them too when he chose to go off chasing strange instead of investing himself fully in his family.

      • Not to mention other extended family. In our case my parents were also devastated and his family and our mutual friends were upset too. He seems to be completely bewildered by the response he got from everybody else. He expected me to be upset but hadn’t counted on everybody else. I might get some satisfaction out of that myself except that it just gives him one more thing to resent me for.

  • Once you have established boundaries and go NC/grey rock EXPECT the extinction burst.

    He will get NASTIER in order to make you dance. Don’t do it. Don’t engage. Don’t participate.

    If on nasty character assault #2002 you respond then he has you back to the beginning.

    Ask your attorney if installing cameras and audio recording devices in the kitchen, living room, dining room and den is legal and/or useful. Not to monitor him, but to capture his behavior and your efforts to walk away.

    Online family scheduling is excellent advice.

  • I don’t think I’ve taken a breath since I began reading this blog this morning. I am speechless and sickened by the cruelty documented here.
    This “unhappy for years” shit makes me want to kickbox using his face as a target. What it REALLY means is “I am a professional liar”. What it really means is those lies kept me in a FAKE relationship when I could have been down the road in a REAL one with a decent person.
    I am in your pit crew rooting you on to get rid of this EVIL subhuman pond scum hologram of a husband. Please keep us posted.

  • AlmosttoMeh, you are a guerrilla in a battle to reclaim your life! You are in a dark place with an enemy who assumes he is superior and is exerting pressure on you to conform. But you are stronger than you realize and this will not last. You aren’t stuck even though it may feel like it. You are making choices that will move you into light and although it may feel like an eternity, the process will happen.

    Something that helped me though was to imagine I had a shield surrounding me every time I dealt with my ex. I literally, like a small child, imagined this power surrounding me. Silly as it sounds, it worked. And the more powerful I felt, the smaller he became until one day he was gone physically (and later emotionally).

    Stay strong! Reach out! Guerrillas usually work best in groups. Remember, you are fighting on the winning side in spite of what it might seem like now.

    • Thank you…I have the weekly business meeting with Fucked Up Liar Cheater Massage Parlor Man and I needed a reminder to put on my protective HazMat suit….❤️ to you….

  • Yeah, yeah. Gotta love it when they claim to have been miserable, unhappy and not in love with you for ages. Thankfully OW came along and saved him. He is now happy and so in love but yet he keeps tormenting you in the most cruel, vile way. So I’m not buying he is happy bit. I do think you have a psychopath on your hands and you should find a way to keep your children away from this monster. When he is no longer under the same roof and you are divorced, he’ll torment you through the kids. In any case the worst thing that could happen to OW is ending up with this piece of infected puss filled excuse for a human being.

  • I could have written your letter, even down to the 5-bedroom house down the street. I guess that’s the joy of Chump Nation: it helps us realize that they are just a bunch of giant clichés. It will get better (although it might get worse first when she moves in with him). My friends said similar things and he certainly never came begging me to come back. Friends just don’t know what else to say.

    You are mighty. He is small. Repeat after me: you are a mighty hero warrior princess. He is a hair on a wart on a flea. Time to live your best life.

    • Not quite the same thing but ex’s aunt told me “you will find somebody new who will adore you” to which I responded “yeah, that used to be your nephew and see how well that turned out”.

  • It’s been a horrible 6 months, but I’m definetly better than I was at the start of it. Why? Distance (as well as time and Prozac). Good luck to you and us all.

  • Are your husband’s initials E.Y.?!

    Literally every part of your story – and the details – line up with our friend L.D. He is the cheated-on spouse of the OW. The work connections. Ages of children and adults, that your children are twins (in the same grade as one of my daughters at the same school, actually)

    If it helps you, K.D. will start the ball rolling this Thursday. (They’re in a different county so their records are there and they’re not publicly available without a fee.) Her betrayed husband is an absolute wreck and has been pick-me dancing like nothing I’ve ever seen before. He’s destroyed. Everyone knows and is furious with her, including her own father, who wrote her a pages’-long letter to dissuade her from being such a selfish idiot. We cannot wait for her to take the plunge, as they’re still in the same house also. She gores a new wound into him daily.

    It will be over soon. :/ Take care of you and the kids and be MIGHTY! <3

        • What have I just witnessed here??!? Universal love? Karma? Proof of aliens? You are both here on this forum at the same time and have THIS in common? Holy Cow, I’m a believer!
          Chump Nation Rocks!!

          • Hahahahaha!

            Now to get this erased from CN so the Shit-for-Brains cheaters won’t ever know her throwaway email OR how the Chumps outmaneuvered them.


      • Yes.

        Can you delete my comment and the string following, Tracy? It was meant to be, that all this happened, but the less available, the better. 🙂

  • Oh Almosttomeh this part sucks. My ex was already scheduled to move with his job, kids and I were to follow after school ended. I told him I was done with the marriage and he was sleeping on the couch. He told me he wanted a divorce and I agreed- no pick me dance (this time). When I found the phone records of the calls to her I laughed, thinking it would make it easier.

    No. He was a total ass until he moved for his job (scheduled 4months out, no changing). I had already told him before knowing about her to stay in the house and spend time with the kids since he was moving far away and we were no longer going to follow.

    He then spends all his time talking, video chatting, and flying to see her. The rest of the time he fixed up his new car and shoppedn for furniture for his new place he bought. 3 months in he announces that Schmoopie will be moving with him and she moves to our local area until the final move to new location.

    He moves out for this last month- so much for spending time with the kids- and they shop together for their new home. And they bring or have delivered everything to my garage!!!! Then he tried to present as a great dad and suddenly starts forcing kids to go on outings with him and Schmoopie, to places we used to go as a family. You know, way back 3 months ago. He literally swapped me out for her. Mega painful and super confusing for kids.

    Almost to meh, the hidden blessing is that you can’t even grasp how truly horrible this part is until it’s over. It will be over for you soon. One step in front of the other, shoulders back, head held high. We are here to bear witness to your horror. Hugs

  • UGH! What a horrible man. The other woman also. So sorry you’re dealing with this! I can totally relate and I’m past this the best I can. Please know their actions do not define you. You’re going to make it through!!! You will be stronger and better after this. You Got This! Chump Lady gave you the tools in her response. Follow through. No more pick me dance. He does not deserve you at all. He is a horrible evil piece of shit and will get his down the line. Turn your rage and sadness into good positive energy towards yourself and children. FORGET HIM!!! Go to therapy, Get a good lawyer and NO CONTACT as best you can. Not easy I know when you share children. He is a horrible excuse for a person. Don’t feed into anything pertaining to them. I know it hurts and enrages you but you will be ok. You have to for your kids. Wishing and hoping for beautiful things in your future. Sun will shine again for you. Just let it.

  • Wow, your STBX makes my X look like a saint. What a horrible, horrible, horrible man. I know it’s hard to see someone you loved treating you with utter contempt and disrespect. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!! – he’s a bad person acting out without his filter or mask. If he gets in your face again, don’t say a word, turn around and walk away.

    I lived with the X for the 2 months between the divorce announcement and me finally moving out. I dreaded the moving out part but it was easier than I expected. Living with a stranger is stressful and painful. Once I was out, I didn’t have that stress of him coming and going (he was in the basement sleeping on the couch for 2 months) while I had the main level and master bedroom. I was finally able to get some much needed restful sleep.

    Stay on top of his moving out. Put it writing that he must vacate your home within so many days of his house closing. Be brave if he gets in your face again. And try to be grey rock as possible. Block him on your social media and block other family and friends as needed.

    And be honest with your kids. They need to know the truth. I wish you were here – I would make us a cup of coffee or a stiff gin & tonic.

  • When ex announced that he was moving out, six weeks post DDay and while we were supposed to be in reconciliation, it only took him three months to do it but that sure seemed like a long time then. On the one hand I tried to help him out by sending him listings. I also wanted to steer him towards the cheaper places as our finances were still tied, but of course only the best (ie. most expensive) would do for him. On the other hand, his slow move to action just gave me the opportunity to smoke hopium and pick me dance “He’s taking his time. He isn’t sure. I still have a chance”. Of course he also tried to manipulate me into condoning his continuing to see Schmoopie while still living at home. I refused, but we all know how well refusing to let our wandering spouses see their Schmoopies works out. It was terrible every time I knew he was with her and I would be in bed unable to sleep, wondering when he was going to come home. Then he would wander in late, go out of his way to find me and drop hints that she might not really be all that after all making me think I still had a chance. One time I sent him a string of about fifty texts while he was with her hoping the pinging would drive them nuts. When he got home he told me that his phone is set to not ding when he gets a text and that I should call next time. I thought “he is giving me permission to interrupt when he’s with Schmoopie”. The next time I knew he was with her (three hour haircut my ass), I did call. That just gave him the opportunity to get indignant at my calling and interrupting him in front of her. Me raging and him talking calmly yet firmly explaining that I wasn’t the boss of him. It was all an act for Schmoopie “see what a nut my ex wife is”. Oh yea, and she isn’t done trying to win me back so dance harder Schmoopie. I was set up. I am so embarrassed about that now. When he finally did move out I was devastated, but it was also a relief in many ways. I can’t believe I was still holding out hope for so long after hearing “I love you but I’m just not passionate about you”, “I haven’t felt like your husband for years”, “I can’t remember anything good ever coming out of our marriage but the kids”, “I wish I hadn’t been so nice to you because then maybe I would have gotten better out of you” and “she cares about me and I hurt her really badly”, “she likes taking care of me”, “you mother me”, etc. etc.

    I also wanted him to regret it someday. I wanted him to think he made the biggest mistake of his life. I used to take comfort in reading regret stories from cheaters who left for their APs. It is unlikely that he would ever admit that to himself let alone me, however. That would require him admitting that he was wrong and had made a bad choice. It would require humility and he doesn’t do that. It is probably just as well because I don’t think hearing his regrets would even make me happy anymore. It might give me some level of validation, but it would also just make me sad. It is too late for us now so there is no point and knowing he’s unhappy wouldn’t make me happy. Best to just keep striving for meh.

  • Almost to Meh,

    I am sorry that you have become the target of an abuser, the person who vowed to defend you. Four years ago, my husband dropped the bomb of D-Day #1. The abuse (financial, emotional, physical) exponentially ramped up. One of my friends got me a safe house, which kids and I stayed in for a little while. He used to verbally abuse me for seven-eight hours. I stayed as I didn’t think that I could financially make it on my own. (A graduate stipend doesn’t go far.) Also, I didn’t have proof that he was physically abusing/punishing the kids and me (and I didn’t know until he moved out that he had hit out young kids with a belt–according to the law, hitting kids with a belt is not classified as child abuse). Thus, I thought that I could not prove that he was abusing us and hence he would get a large portion of physical custody, leaving the kids vulnerable to more abuse. I stayed to act as a human shield, for several weeks barricading kids and me in kids’ bedroom for protection. Thankfully, four months after D-Day #1, my husband filed and moved out. Although I don’t think that I will ever be happy about the abuse, it came with a silver lining–it helped deaden any feelings of attachment to him or desire to be in his air space. I sometimes think of the movie, The Shawshsnk Redemption–abuse and imprisonment followed by freedom.

    Sounds as though you have held up well for many months (years?), Almost to Meh. I wish you and your kids much happiness and tranquility.

  • My story is eerily similar in that we lived together for nearly 2 years after he suddenly announced he wanted out. During that time there was a fake (on his part) fix it period, couples therapy, and eventually, once I saw that he wasn’t holding up a single thing on his end, we closed our business, sold our home and moved me across the country. He was running home to Europe, so helping me move back to the east coast was beneficial to his flight plans.

    Along the way when it became clear to me that he’d never stop communicating with all of his sexting partners, I decided to stop feeding him. My emotional turn on a dime confused the hell out of him. Pretending that I’d come around to wanting the split as much as him was the hardest thing I ever did—but it returned a ton of control back to me, so it was worth every second of agony. And for the 10 months it took in our new surroundings for him to finally leave, that’s how it stayed. I’d wake each day humming and going about my business as though I didn’t have a care in the world.

    At the end, he was so confounded by my turn-around that he’d beg me to cry with him. He stood in our kitchen a few days before his flight and through tears asked why I wasn’t even a little sad. He quietly cried on the way to the airport…while I sang along with the radio. He’s been gone a month now and has called once and emailed twice. I haven’t responded to any of them. And I won’t be responding at all unless I have to do it for legal reasons.

    Going emotionally gray was the absolute best thing I could have done for myself. It didn’t stop the emotional abuse, and wasn’t without inexplicable pain on my end, but it did return a little control to an otherwise uncontrollable situation. Over time it also returned a little power and even some dignity as I started “feeling” those things coming back to me. By the time he physically left, I had worked through so much of the horrendous anger, anguish, disbelief, and heartache on my own (away from him), there wasn’t a whole lot more I hadn’t already prepared myself to deal with.

    Unbeknownst to me, the careful veneer I’d spent all that time constructing, started teaching me how to spot the truth about him. I saw through his lies and started seeing him for what he actually was; a colossal failure of a man.

    I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m working hard at teaching myself how to breathe solo air again. It’s still a slog, but I already know it’s a far cry better than what I had with him. I just have to get my heart in line with all the reality my head has grasped. Baby steps.

  • ((ATM))

    …” I checked out of our marriage a long time ago” … I got this Verbatim from my deranged disordered concubine. My hindsight response Should have been, “Well Thanks for the notification “Moo-Ho”!! (my new nickname for her). She was a garden variety serial cheater.

    I made xw sleep in my daughters bedroom, don’t worry …she’s grown, married and lives in the west.

    xw was gone and moved in with Camperboytoy within a week. I still offered kibbles for another couple months while we worked out a Separation order wherein she signed away all I wanted. During this time she didn’t know I had ordered LACGAL within a couple of weeks after Dday#2. I was educating myself on cheater traits and behaviors. She actually came in for a mail pick up (don’t know why- she doesn’t pay her bills. Why? Entitlement), and actually picked up the LACGAL audio CD case, read it and did a Pffft response. I saw a lawyer within the 2nd week of my discovery to see what my right were.

    As I became aware of the 180 and started working it to NC, I noticed a change in her. She hoovered (not much) and did all 3 deception channels. I’d share texts with sponsors who would run it through their UBTs and that helped me to see the abuse and lies. The true nature of What I had married came into vision with increasing clarity. Tracy was spot on. I’d found my psychoanalyst in CL. It will come for you too if you will give yourself permission to un-learn what you thought you knew. Hell, Chump self-awareness comes with it’s own Dialect and Dictionary!

    So, as contact diminished from me, so did her visits and communications. I was completely Devalued and discarded by this point. Once the evidence was outed to our children the wind left xw’s sails. (Tomorrow is Dday Antiversary for me BTW.)
    So do these things you’re being advised to do.

    Here’s what I did…
    -did Not answer her calls,
    – did Not reply to her texts,
    – blocked her social media (Lots of Pain Shopping for me there)
    – forced only text, then later email communication with her
    -gray Rock when I did have to tolerate her presence.

    After returning from a concert weekend with my best friend and stepson, I finally got the nerve to cut all contact and delete her contact information from my phone. I still know her e-mail address in my head, but one day it will fade also. I blocked all telephone contact from her. So it has been relatively peaceful for me now and I’m healing everyday. The Abuse aspect of my marriage was very HARD to see but it also becomes clearer everyday I continue my Fuckwit education series here and on SI. Now I’m more concerned about my Picker and analysis thereof.

    Am I at MEH yet. Getting pretty darned close. Tuesday is coming. I’m doing Fuckwit post graduate work now on what Love is, recognizing Reciprocity and protecting myself from other deranged Fuckwits coming back into my life. If you have a heart, it’s like having it stamped across our foreheads. Cheaters spot us coming.

  • This was my hell too. I didn’t even know he was cheating but I had filed for divorce. Destroying our finances daily. He neglected and had abandoned me. Going out every day maybe stayed home one or two nights a week. Coming home drunk. Driving drunk. Whistling loudly. Always on his phone. Verbally abusive every comment. He refused to leave. Said only a court would get him out. I found out about the affair and told him to get out. Told my kids I need you to tell him to go. He did and signed the divorce agreement and I was done 8 days after dday. I consider myself fortunate even though it was hell. My kids and I are alive and that’s a win. I lived this way for 7 months and it’s the worse thing that’s every happened to me hands down. I hope to never feel that kind of torture ever again. And I was trying to stay married to him. I could tell you a million reasons why he was acting like this. Not one of them was because he was a horrible human being and that is the only reason I need now. Looking back I’d do it a little differently but wow was I strong. I had some mighty in me!

    Thank God for chump lady and chump nation. I didn’t find them til months later but that’s ok.

    Almosttomeh you got this! I did it and so can you. The other side is a rollercoaster but it’s amazing too. Hang in there.

  • It is amazing. You are married for 20 years and go through so many hard times. Finally when finances are better and the kids are older, the true personality shows. Out of the blue, I became evil and horrible. Everything I did was wrong. She was chasing exbf and her 20 something boytoy. It’s surreal. Maybe there were signs along the way? Totally unexpected! Nothing could prepare you for this. I am 4 years out from dday. But there is damage done I don’t believe one can ever fully recover from. I was looking forward to grown kids, reconnecting and trips! She was looking for missed opportunities from her teen years. Boggles the mind!

    • That describes my ex too. I thought he was just under a lot of stress due to a career change that included three years of stay at home Dad and a move half way across the country in the middle of that. I figured that things would get better when the dust settled and we had more time to connect. The kids were getting older too so I thought there would be more opportunities to go do things as a couple as they would not need us so much anymore. It turns out he had no time or inclination to reconnect with me because he was too busy trying to connect to new and shining over there in that greener grass. Never mind our history and all of the storms we had weathered before. I was completely blindsided. For the first few weeks after DDay I thought he had totally lost his mind. Really? You want to leave me in favor of some stupid, selfish slut you’ve only known a few months? I had hoped his condition was reversible. It wasn’t.

    • Same situation here! I had birthday cards where the X talked about going into our 2nd and better half now that my stepkids were graduated and becoming self-reliant. He even gave me a beautiful ring for my 50th birthday in 2017.

      I was so pissed/hurt/sad/angry because I believed in him, I believed in us. I knew that we had lost our paths a bit but we could have found them again. Honestly, I think he started cheating and decide to divorce me rather than admit that he cheated and risking that I wouldn’t find out. I found out anyway.

      Sometimes, I just shake my head at his stupidity.

      • Oh yes, I had the cards too. He is very eloquent in his writing and he had me totally fooled. Either he was lying after DDay when he said “I haven’t felt like your husband in years” or he was lying when he wrote the last few years of loving cards and notes and sent me those anniversary flowers (about three months before his first physical affair that I know of). I guess he just didn’t want me to leave him before he had a chance to find my replacement. They are such selfish cowards.

        • This may sound naive on my part but I would rather believe that he still loved and meant some of what he said. Otherwise, the alternative would drive me crazy because the X will never tell me the truth. It’s that skein that I don’t wish to unravel and a road that I don’t need to go down.

          • Sad to say. But it appears that I was duped! They never loved us. I was used and most likely you also. I am grateful for my kids. But the reality is I wasted over 25 years of my life…. the best years under false pretense. You wake up one day and realize you were living a lie and did not know it!

  • My now ex tried telling our two kids that he would move out “slowly” so the kids could adjust easier.

    I took him aside and hissed, “There will be no “slowly.” You will get your shit and get the fuck out of my house by the end of the week.”

  • I know exactly we also tried the Legal separation inside the same house, doesn’t work, get a lawyer, get your money, kids and RUN!

  • AlmosttoMeh –

    I hope your lawyer has also mentioned planning for the twins attending college, trade school or some form of career training AFTER high school. It would be part of being a good parent to try and provide financial help beyond high school.

    Don’t forget that activity fees, activities themselves, year books, clothes, school supplies, etc. cost more as they move through school. So try to have the inflation factor built into the agreement.

  • When living in these circumstances, which would be pure hell for me (or up on an attempted murder rap), I would nod (not speak) at everything they say, ask nothing of them and do what I want or hire the right guy until personal freedom arrived.

    The Marquis de Sade knew exactly what he was doing inflicting pain onto another person. Chumps are no match for the disordered and I know this through my own experience. Your demise is their prize.????

    Good luck. Get out.

  • Did I read correctly? He’s bought another home while still married to you? Make sure your attorney knows this and knows how much the second marital home is worth when tallying up finances and what you are entitled to. Only a fool acquires more assets while going through a divorce.

    • Right? My Exhole decided to purchase a brand new car for my daughter. She was 17. I was completely against that idea! She had a car…. my brother had given her his old car (that ran just fine) and the insurance on a new car for a 17-year-old would have been outrageous. Dumbass thought I would be stuck paying for half of her car and insurance. I refused. I told the judge that he purchased it knowing I was completely against it. Jackass ended up being completely responsible for her car and insurance.
      My daughter does not speak to me now, and I don’t know why (though I have a good idea!) I wonder if Judas manipulated her into thinking that I didn’t want her to have that car and that it was all him (which in reality it was). But he probably put his own little twist on the story. He is a master manipulator.

  • Omg, reading your letter made my stomach hurt. I can’t believe how cruel that fucker is. I want to throat punch him for you. The depravity of these assholes.
    I had to live with my cheater for a couple of months too and it was so awful I honestly can’t even remember it. The mud face skankwoman was living with her elderly mother at the time so cheater pants couldn’t move in with her right away. It was winter and our motor home was in storage and there was too much snow to get it out at that point in time. Ugh. We had to wait until the snow melted for him to get it out so he could move it somewhere to move into. Nancing around like he was the happiest fool on earth with his cell phone glued to him while I was in bed crying my eyes out. Yeah, when people ask me if I’d ever take him back (he’s sorry now) I just laugh. No fucking way. I will never forgive him in a million years.

    Get out if you can Meh, anywhere is better than having him there in your face. Fuck that cheating cruel asshole.

  • I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My XH left the house early on, but he would come by daily to pick up the mail (he kept the key to the mailbox from me so I couldn’t see his expenses with the whore he claimed he didn’t have). He would fling bills on the counter and say he couldn’t pay utilities or other expenses because he didn’t have the check book. He would taunt and harass me – wouldn’t tell me where he lived, but was PISSED that I made him return his house keys for our home where I alone resided (they hate consequences but are happy to dole out punishments for your perceived transgressions).

    Surprised me serving me with divorce papers day before my 43rd birthday after I had handed him the waiver of service just as I was departing for an international trip he was supposed to take with me. I went freakin’ nuts and yelled obscenities at him in the street. He puffed out his chest. I think he wanted me to hit him. I didn’t, but he still filed a restraining order against me. I haven’t seen the yellow-bellied coward since – (5 years!). He would then try to control me by saying he wasn’t paying bills for the jointly owned home we both vacated. I hired an attorney to deal with him. The harassment stopped shortly after the house sold.

    I’m ok now and you will be too, but it’s a tough road. Stay the course. We’re all here for you.

  • Lots of great advice here.

    I lived with CheaterX for a couple of years while lining up my ducks, and then another 15 months until the divorce was finalized, and another 5 months afterwards while I was waiting for the settlement to come. It wasn’t easy, but CheaterX didn’t go out of his way to be cruel. That didn’t mean he wasn’t cruel, but he was generally very passive about everything.

    Anyway, CheaterX loved to engage me first thing in the morning. Throughout our marriage, I’d wake up feeling generally good. He’d be ranting about the latest problem at work, the state of the world, how stupid everyone else was, etc. He did the same thing during the entire divorce process.

    I finally started using Gray Rock. After reading CL, I realized that he needed to engage with me in order to pick the fight. I stopped engaging. It was tough, but I realized that he never really wanted an honest dialogue. He just wanted to be in an echo chamber where he could feel okay going on about how great he was.

    If you can go Gray Rock without telling him that’s what you’re doing, you may find that life is easier.

    The other thing is that you do need to begin living your separate life. Don’t feel as if you need to keep dinner waiting for him. Schmoopie can deal with that. He’s used you as a Wife Appliance for far too long.

    Take the kids for a nice day trip. Obviously, if they don’t know you’re divorcing, you should tell them, and also be honest in an age-appropriate way. Practice what you plan to say so that you don’t start badmouthing their father. Over time, they’ll see him for what he is, but they’ll still love him because he’s their father even if they don’t expect anything from him.

    Do little things to carve out space for yourself. This stops you from feeling as if you have to engage with your Cheater, and will help you stay sane over the next month or so while the divorce is being sorted out.

    Good luck!

  • I can’t thank u enough, CN, for all the kind and thoughtful replies. The time that it took u to type a reply means so much to me. I wish I could respond to each and everyone of u!

    I bought the house pre-marital, but added him to the deed 2 years after we were married (I know, total chump for believing in ever-lasting love and all!). This is my home and the children’s only home and not my choice to leave the marriage, so I told him he had to go. I’m sure his lawyer advised him not to leave until the judge told him he had to.
    Thank u so much again for everything and I guess we will see how their “twu wuv” pans out.
    I’m going to get out there and gain a life now❤️

  • AM,
    I was so upset to read what you were going through. You are being emotionally tortured.

    Is there way you can go to lawyer tomorrow and explore what would happen if you leave? Or ways to make him leave? List the house ASAP?

    Because I believe even if you have to pawn everything you have it would be worth it to get away from him. Living in a camping trailer would be better than subjecting to yourself to this beast.

    When I was trying to work up the courage to leave, I got hung up on stuff. Stuff is meaningless.

    Yes I lost my aquarium and my cargo topper and an antique table from my grandfather. It is sad. But ultimately meaningless.

    I believe if I had stayed around him, as someone else referenced above, I think I might have murdered him. Don’t worry law-enforcement if you were trolling this post. I have not seen him in 2 1/2 years.

    But what I’m saying is people who have never been through spousal abuse cannot understand the trauma it inflicts.

    Taking calls from other women, calling me crazy to them and smirking at my face. I remember one night I walked away and the only thing that kept me from becoming extremely violent was sedating myself and binge watching Game of Thrones.

    It is an emergency to get away from someone who is delighting in causing you pain. Go to a lawyer and tease out every possibility. Action is the only way to escape.

    You are going to whip this motherfucker!!!❤️????‼️

  • In my case, exh1 claimed our rental home that I loved and could have stayed in easily, but he got to the landlord first.
    I slept.on the couch for six months waiting for divorce was final, it was a fucking nightmare, and I still have him 16 years later for subjecting our boys to his emotional torture… I moved into my place and a month after our divorce he went and bought himself a cute little place, then moved in with Owife#3 a few months later…he couldnt afford his mortgage on his own, idiot…
    So he moves in with owife#3, lives in her house for about five years before she threw him out, ????????????????????????
    Then, thinking he could just move back in to “his” house, he had forgotten that he had “sold” it to his step dad to be rented out/”flipped”
    So he ended up homeless, unemployed, completely devastated and I got to watch it all.
    The only part I have is that my boys suffered as well, but as I told them long ago “endure and survive”
    Exh1 claimed that expression too (I had told him that’s what I would tell myself being married to him). He and the boys got that phrase tattooed together last year.
    Exh2/The evil one didn’t stick around long— he got his slut shack quickly. Found out later, he’d been scouting rental homes for months prior to dday unbeknownst to me

  • Of course he hasn’t moved out yet. Look at what he said to you. You were too busy cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids. Meaning HE WASN’T. The goddamn fucking NERVE of this lazy piece of shit. I’m not surprised Schmoopie hasn’t started divorce proceedings. She’s got two small kids, she doesn’t need an overgrown third one.

    No more cooking for him. No more cleaning. He’s taking up the stove cooking frozen pizza for himself? Toss it out, the kids need their dinner.

  • The worst case scenario…I’m so sorry for you. It’s obvious he is still in the house to damage you. Or he would be gone in his new house. If this brings him more joy than being free in a new house ?! You need to protect yourself asap!
    The best advice’s I’ve read here are about bringing physical support in your house. A relative, a colleague, a friend, some trustworthy presence that will drive that POS out the door. Make plans of redecorating, vacationing, organize your stuff, anything to take your focus off him. No audience for him gets boring.
    But I cannot stress enough about protecting yourself.
    Please read “Splitting”, it’s a book about divorcing difficult personalities.
    Protect yourself and your children.

    I was lucky enough that my cheating husband moved in with OW. I changed the lock and that was it!
    I packed his left overs, left them outside the flat and told him when he could come and pick them up. My parents advised me to not remain alone with him. I had to visit his ” new place” to see where my baby was staying when with him. My parents told me not to eat anything and not to stay.
    Good advises but was the helliest period of my life. And he didn’t even set foot in the flat again! I discovered later he has stolen some stuff from our storage.
    Be strong, protect yourself and know that this will end soon.

  • Almost, Do exercise caution. Have lots of people over to your house. Focus on your kids and do things with them away from the house. You are no longer obligated to wait on your ex. No laundry, no cooking, no conversation, nothing. Your stbx is playing a game of brutal intimidation and he knows it. His presence in the house guarantees his control over you and it is also a big red flag. You will not even process his evil until he moves out. People who can live a lie can be dangerous so just be careful. I know you have great memories but please look at his actions. That is WHO he is. I am sure you feel a little unsettled so just pay attention to your gut.

  • I lived this way for eight months. He had a home office that he worked from, so fortunately, he stayed in there most of the day. I did some things that were chumpy but kept the peace since my kids were very little and didn’t know yet that we were divorcing (made him dinner that he ate with us, washed his laundry since I was doing it anyway, and probably bought items from the grocery store that he wanted).

    However, the rest of the time, we were like ships passing in the night, and I didn’t help him with anything else. We didn’t hang out together, we didn’t ride in the car together (except for visits to the mediation attorney, which was so fun), and we barely talked. He slept on the fold-out couch, and he was not permitted to talk to the OW on the phone in the house or bring her anywhere near our home. I ignored him and worked every day at creating the distance I so desperately needed from him, and that also meant taking the kids out for the day when I could and spending time at my parents’ house for as many visits as possible.

    You have to treat him as a roommate that you took in because you needed some extra income. You’re not friends, you don’t really know each other, and you stay out of each other’s business. If he comes in the room to gloat about his happiness, you leave the room or ignore it. Act as though you are constantly preoccupied with something else– your kids, a good book, something on your phone– and when he seeks a reaction from you, look at him distractedly (or not at all) and give him a confused, “Huh? What did you say?” If he gloats again for you, just shrug and say, “Oh.” and go back to what you were doing. My ex wanted to continue to be besties with me, and I had to send him the message that he destroyed our friendship, and we were done. I constantly acted as though I wasn’t paying attention to him, and he finally got the message. Once they realize that you’re not interested in playing their little game, I think that many cheaters stop trying to poke the chumps because it’s not getting them the kibbles that they wanted.

  • My STBX did this too. I lived in hell for 5.5 months. He would turn up on random days, at random times, offer to let me have the kids on my birthday as we had a loose time sharing agreement, but then turn up at the house anyways.

    It all ended one night when he was tormenting me (again), and then he hit me (again). It was the first time I called the police on him for physical abuse, even though he’d pushed me around in 3 pregnancies and choked me in between babies 3 and 4.

    I was able to get a DVI, which sadly, got thrown out, but, it was a catalyst to him never returning to the house.

    How sad that I’m still grateful he hit me, as 12 months later, we are still not divorced, and I might still have been living in hell.

  • Did this for 6 months till he moved out. In hindsight I don’t know how I survived it. My stress level was so high. And CL is so right, you must emotionally cut them off. People like this never miss an opportunity to insult and demean you. The less fuel they have the better.

    I now have my freedom and relative no contact (unless it relates to our daughter) yet even still, on the rare occasion where we’re exchanging more that just pleasantries, like I invite him in for coffee while daughter is finishing getting ready (after all I am a chump), he immediately goes toward passive aggressive (or just aggressive) insults. The last time this I counted six in fewer than 5 minutes. That’s more than one insult a minute!!! Impressive stuff. These guys never change

  • I’m so, so sorry for your pain, ATM.

    Sadly, much like so many others here, I experienced the same thing. MealyMouth wouldn’t move out until he found another place, which was about 2 months after he let me know that he had been “thinking about moving out for a very, very long time,” “we are just roommates at this point,” he’d been “pretending for years,” and my personal fave, “You’re just not the wife I need you to be.” Check.

    Oh, and that AP he didn’t have? You know, the one he started sleeping with 2 weeks before he moved out? Well now, if I hadn’t have “neglected him and the marriage,” this wouldn’t be happening. Gotcha.

    After 14 years of marriage and one son later, my favorite comment of all was when he said, “I’d still like you to cook dinner for me after I move out. Preferably, I’d like you to come over to my place to make dinner, but I understand if it’s too difficult. In that case, just let me know, and I can leave early, come over here to eat, and head in to work.” He was dead serious. SMH.

    After reading the comments here, I am now completely convinced that there is a cheater/liar handbook, perhaps a series of webinars or an underground classroom somewhere where these freaks all gather round and memorize each line and tactic from said manual. They also hand out mirrors to perfect the smirks and dead-eye, emotionless stares.

    In any event, they are all cowards, liars, cheaters, cruel, evil, messed up and bottom line, life has nowhere to go but up after you get through this horrible time. If only it wouldn’t take so much time.

    The first step is to run like hell away from this jackass. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but it’s the only thing you can do for the return of your self esteem, self respect and emotional well-being/healing.

    It truly DOES get better, but it’s not a fast or easy road. Certainly not the one you would have chosen.

    Be good and patient and kind to yourself. Get to know yourself again. Love those kiddos.

    The man you loved is dead. Ultimately, this evil stranger can be handled with the powerful indifference of meh. And you will get there!!!

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