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The Ones Who Just Leave

A lot of the advice I give here is on no contact, or gauging the sincerity of a cheater’s remorse, or of decoding the mindfuckery of a cheater after discovery. But what about the ones who just go without a fight? Who just abandon? Who never come back?

There’s no need to go no contact because they never contact you. Instead, you live with another kind of mindfuck — you weren’t even worth fighting for. One day you’re living in what you thought was a secure reality with this person, the next day they’re gone without explanation. Without remorse.

Maybe you got a blank stare. A vague excuse. A lawyer’s letter.

As someone who got operatic remorse, crocodile tears, and a stalking freakazoid who wouldn’t leave me alone, I want to be flippant and tell you guys you got the better end of the deal — the cheater who just left. The cheater who didn’t play you for more D-Days, who didn’t toy with your heart, and get a kibble contact high off your grief. Nope, you got a tidy little sociopath who recognized that the jig was up and it was time to move on.

Which is worse, really? Hard to say and this isn’t the pain Olympics. But I do have some thoughts on the abandoning cheaters who just go poof.

1. Take it as a perverse compliment. Seriously, all you people who were abandoned, I want you to reframe this. Your cheater knew they couldn’t keep chumping you. They sensed your strength, and being the lazy, cheating fucks that they are, they needed an easier source of kibbles. You weren’t going to be that person. You were going to put up some resistance. They anticipated that and took the path of least resistance — a cowardly exit.

I can see how you would take it as you didn’t mean anything to them. You weren’t worth so much as a goodbye, but that’s not it. Disordered people don’t connect. You never meant to them what they meant to you.

They knew that they couldn’t keep extracting value from you with the same ease. And that’s because you’re not as chumpy as your average chump. Manipulators suss you well — they assessed your moxie, and they scampered away.

2. These people are really lazy. Cake is so nice when cake is undiscovered. All the control! All the perks! But once that nice situation is blown to pieces by the truth… fuck. They need to do some mental calculus. Work really, really hard at mindfucking you back into complacency, do the “sorry” kabuki theater of long emotional talks and therapy, give you some kibbles for a change to win you back… or… they could just exit for their soul mate schmoopie, find another hypotenuse, and have the joys of undiscovered cake again.

Which is easier?

3. These people are really entitled. You don’t deserve an explanation because it was never about you. Surely, you must know that the Most Important Thing Is Their Happiness? They’re happier over here in this new place. You? You have a mess to clean up? You’re heart broken? God, that’s a buzz kill. They don’t have to listen to you whinge. They’ll just set your volume to “mute.”

4. These people are really cold. Not that the operatic remorse, crocodile tear cheaters aren’t cold too, but the abandoning cheaters are polar-vortex-Lake-Michigan-in-February-ice-ice-baby COLD. I know you see this walking out with no remorse as a big fuck you, a huge rejection of the wonderfulness that is you, but that would be assuming that they give a shit. They do not. It’s not personal. These people are COLD. You mistook this ice cube for a human being. It happens. Maybe you bred with the ice cube. I’m sorry.

But they seem so warm and human for other people!

Yes, of course they do. See item #2. They need new undiscovered sources of cake. They will appear all nice and human-like until their cake situation is restored. Then what does the new person get? Laziness, entitlement, and ice ice cold baby.

What do you get?

A new, improved cheater-free life.

This column ran previously.

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  • I love when this article re-runs. I read it in my early days when I discovered Chump Nation and I quote it a lot! It has been the number one piece of advice that has helped me the most. My ex fits everything in here to a T. He’s a true sociopath. Thanks Chump Lady for shining a light on these types of cheaters!

    • Ironically, mine left on a Tuesday night, the night before our children had a major exam. I later found out it was the APs birthday. He said “when we got married you were out of my league. Now I look at you and feel nothing.” AP is 22 years younger, but ugly and uneducated. She did get his name tattooed on his arm though. She now has Jesus on one arm and cheater kn the other–seems fitting. It took me a LONG time to stop feeling like a discarded used tissue. He also left with nothing and signed over full custody to me with no fight at all. None of us really matter. He changed lawyers and is fighting over money like his life depends on it. In many ways I guess it does. I am finally at peace and grateful he left. To think I could have spent my whole life with him. Shudder.

      • What an ass! I have a question. Why did he ask you out, court you, propose to you and marry you, if you were out of his league??? Why did he do all those actions, when years later he was going to through in your face that you were better than him. That’s what kills me. Don’t ask me out, chase me, propose to me if you don’t think we’re at the same level!!!

          • They go to all that trouble because they wanted a sturdy, useful Spouse Appliance. Handy-dandy! A washing machine beats a scrub board!

          • Because if they woo you over it’s a big win for them and they look better in eveyone’s eyes. It’s only and always about them.

            • Sociopaths see women as trophies to be won. My ex told me when he first saw his first girlfriend working at the gym, when he was a young 20 something…that he actually mused to himself “I wonder if I could get this beautiful woman to go out with me??”
              It was a total challenge to him, not in a romantic way, but in a “just how amazing and good am I?” kind of way. She is was an object to win and meant he had a high status girlfriend to show off. He never changed….countless ‘trophies’ pursued and then discarded over the decades. It was and is all a sick game. It’s all about him.

        • Kelli’s, I asked mine the same thing. I broke up with you and you begged for weeks to have me back (Looking back he never again made me feel that wanted), then 15 years later you discard me, WTF. I think he’s never gotten over me breaking up with him while we were dating, he’s thrown it in my face many times that I think I am better than him. I never thought that before, though now I do.

          • It’s amazing how similar these cheaters are. I broke up with my ex too when we were dating. He threw that in my face upon discovery of DDay #1. He too is an ice cold ahole sociopath who never looked back. He also threw away his one and only kid. We can’t make this stuff up. Sigh.

        • I will never understand any of this. I did not think I was “out of his league.” I loved him. I never thought in those terms.i thought we were best friends, parents, family…..according to him “I got older” he swore he had not, I gained some weight, and stopped being a prop to his fragile little ego. The whole thing is sick. I feel like he made a mockery of my life, but I got 2 great kids out of it.i try to be thankful it’s over. I was so committed to marriage I don’t think I ever would have left. Gah

          • And he also took nothing….after 18 years he took 1 diluffle bag. He took no books, pictures of the kids….NOTHING. He never had facebook. Has been with AP/babymamma for 2 years and he started a facebook account. One of our children refuses to see him there are no photos or mention of that child anywhere. Just the baby and the one who still adores him. Plus he has 189 “friends.” I was with him 18 years and never heard of a single one of them or just cannot be normal.

  • This is what happened to me after 24 years…said she was done, didn’t want counseling, said she had thought about it for 2 years, said “it never felt right”..packed her shit and left to be with her AP. Our daughter was still a junior in high school, she stayed with me. Any contact I tried to have with her after that was met with a business like response..it was months later I learned about the AP (a family friend naturally)…now it’s been several years of NC..she didn’t take any pictures, videos, music CD’s..literally nothing of her life of 24 years. Just a total walk away. Very bizarre.

    • Mine didn’t take any photos either. Not even baby photos of our daughter. I sent a bunch over to him but who knows what he did with them.

      • Mine didn’t take photos. I was to split them up myself. I kept all the better ones. My lawyer said he’ll probably just leave them in the box I gave them to him in. Kids say there isn’t any photos displayed of them at his & the AP’s place.

        • My Gosh!! What an enlightenment. The dick was so concerned with getting his expensive Kachina dolls and Native American pottery. He didn’t even look at the photos of the kids. I didn’t give him any and he hasn’t asked for them. What a dick!

          • Yep. The fucktard didn’t ask for any photos – EVER. The kids say he does have a old photo of one child – but not the other – up in his house. Sociopath is a nice word for that psycho.

            • The photos. A few weeks after ADay (abandonment day) my phone started dinging. A bunch of photos were being uploaded to our iPhone photo sharing plan. Hundreds of them. Picture of him, DD, DS, my sister, grandmas, aunts, cousins, etc. He went through every photo on his phone and shared them with everyone on our photo sharing plan. NOT ONE PHOTO HAD ME IN IT. He erased every photo of me out of his life, and kept every other photo. Talk about a big fuck you to his faithful wife.

          • Thanks for this post ChumpLady!!!

            The only things my ex made sure he took were items I listed as assets in the PVDA. I must have reminded him these things were $ valuable, lol. Autographed books, wedding gifts like Waterford crystal… He didn’t bother taking his grandma’s ceramic kitchen canisters, his childhood Christmas ornaments, our only child’s pictures and artwork.

            Months after the divorce did he want those baby pictures of our daughter?
            Nope. Instead, he texted me asking for his chainsaw, ladder, and my engagement ring.
            Did I give them to him? Nope.

            I am not a storage unit. I don’t care to have any wedding gift reminders either. Very content with being able to look at my daughter’s sweet smiling face captured throughout the years in all the photos I have thank you very much!

    • Mine took absolutely nothing too! I packed up his clothes which he took to a dumpster. He never asked for pictures, videos, cards the kids made him, yearbooks, nothing. It troubled me for a long time and then I realized it was part of his story. He could justify his actions by telling Schmoopie I was a bitch. That is why he cheated, I was a mean, angry person who only wanted material things. “See, I left my home of 25 years without anything for you! Plus, she wouldn’t give me anything. I asked for my clothes, pictures, cards and she wouldn’t give them to me. See, she is awful and you are wonderful to me. I can’t imagine my life without you and being stuck with her”. The beautiful thing with this scenario is it gives her absolutely no reason to ever want to contact me. I sound scary and awful. That way his story can’t be challenged. Gotta keep those boxes separate. All of this is untrue of course, but it sure makes for good fiction. They write their new story so well that they start to believe it.

      So get out the piping bag and fill it with icing. Those decorative roses on the cake aren’t going to make themselves. But the thing I have learned about cake is it’s delicious, so you eat it and eventually you run out. Then it’s time to go out and get more. Someday Schmoopie will be sitting with a pile of memories, hearing what an awful, ungrateful person she was.

      • Same! Mine took absolutely nothing aside from some clothes and a few things from his workshop. Took no pictures of our son, no videos, nothing from our 20 year life together. Hasn’t asked me for any of it either since he’s been gone. Just left me to pick up the pieces with zero regard for anyone else, most notable our 12 year old son. It’s just mind-boggling! I’m about 10 months out from the bomb drop and I’ve been cleaning him out of every part of my house–bagging up his stuff and taking it to the dumpster or donating it. But I can’t imagine just walking away from my family, my home, everything I’d worked for. Then I read what you wrote Staying Strong and you’re so right! That’s all just part of his story–I’m the evil shrew of an ex-wife who made his life miserable and he was basically forced to leave and was lucky to escape with his life and I refuse to give him anything. This couldn’t be further from the truth, but no one in this new life he’s created for himself knows that. He not only abandoned my son and I, he basically ghosted all his friends too. People he had known and been friends with since childhood. They all mean nothing to him now.
        But I know that I came out the winner in this. . . I get to keep our son, our friends, my family, some of his family, my home, all the contents, my dignity and self-respect, and the love of our child. He told me the day he left, “I have to do this so I can be happy”. . . I know now that he’ll never be happy. He’s just a giant black hole of suck, always hungry for more and will never be satisfied. And I’m happy to say he’s not my problem anymore.

        • And same here. I’ m also left alone to burry the body after the fuckhead decided to murder our relationship. I do this when I don’t have to take care about my two small kids. I have my moments though. Just today I drew glasses on his passport photo. Ups sorry, I thought he didn’t need it anymore

        • May I suggest also rearranging furniture especially your bedroom. And get new bedding. That’s what I did and it helped so much. I got pretty pink sheets and a new mattress. I also hung different pictures. Made it all mine. I don’t hardly think of ex narc in my newly decorated sanctuary.

        • Me too… he just left without even a glance backwards. Packed his stuff while I was at work one day. Hasn’t seen his kids for over 7 years. He sends them a text on Christmas Day every year saying Merry Christmas to the kids (very big of him). He left all photos, cards from his kids, anything to do with our life of 20 years together. He ghosted his friends, even his best friend. I sold our married home, bought my own home and changed all the furniture, Got a new bed, new linen, new lounge anything to do with him was thrown out or donated.

          I look back now and am very relieved that he just left (it was agony at the time, curled up in the fetal position agony, vomiting, crying so hard I was shaking kinda stuff). I have raised my kids my way, no anger in my house, no walking on egg shells waiting for him to explode. Now I have a two grown up kids who are incredible, kind, beautiful people and I can say I did that myself. Proud mumma bear here.

    • Kbchump,
      Same. My ex kissed me and told me he love me, left for work, came home and told me he wanted a divorce. It was like I got hit by a bus. I found out shortly after that about the latest affair partner.
      He took nothing personal, left every memory behind ….but fought like a dog for every dollar.. The only times he was halfway decent to me was when he was trying to grease the wheels of the divorce settlement. Otherwise all business all the time. It’s like we never even had a relationship.
      3.5 years later and he’s never looked back. Lost his kids, half his income….for a cheap piece of ass that’s now his fiancée.
      I am not looking back either.
      Hurts like a mother to just be tossed in the trash, but it makes no contact much easier.
      Chump lady is right….they are tidy little sociopaths that realize the jig is up and it’s time to move on.

    • Psychopaths don’t experience real emotions. They are flat, dark voids. Bottomless pits of nothing.

      So taking that reality a step further to reinforce to yourself how lucky you are by their “ghosting”… consider they feel no sentimentality for memories or things because THEY DO NOT FEEL. And the evidence is plain and clear when they just walk away. Poof.

      It is hard because you want to think they would fight for you/with you… they would care about all that you have shared or the life you have built. They don’t. They can’t. Not for you, not for your kids, and not for the next victim.

      • So true. I knew for sure when I finally walked away and went full-on No Contact that he would not come after me. Oh, he called two or three times to suss me out, but quickly realized that I was no longer ‘there’ for him, and so he just vanished forever.

        It’s been almost 3 years, and the part that hurts most is not that he never fought for me (like I said, I knew he wouldn’t), but that it feels like the whole relationship never happened. It’s the eeriest thing – like 15 years of my life never really occurred. And I’m absolutely furious with myself for spackling over his disordered behaviour instead of ADMITTING to myself that he was incapable of feeling or connecting, and running out the door years earlier.

        • The X and I never had any children. I feel the same way – our 18 year marriage is what? It feels like space of air. That the X never fought for me is what hurts the most. I thought I meant more, I thought he was the type of person that wouldn’t do that to me. I was horribly wrong.

          • Yup, even though my ex was remote, distant, and very uncomfortable with intimacy, I always thought he was the type of person who could never hurt me on purpose. I knew he was disordered in certain ways, but never capable of lies, gaslighting, and betrayal. Wrong!

            I’m sorry you’ve been so hurt, MissBailey. Betrayal is so hard to process. I hope reading everybody’s stories on this site helps you through the rough patches. It has really made a difference in my ‘road to meh’ journey.

            • “Betrayal is so hard to process.” People who haven’t been treated this way have so much difficulty understanding this. Sometimes people make decisions that are painful for us to accept, but they’re honest and forthright about doing so. To be BETRAYED by someone you love and care for CUTS YOU TO THE CORE. It doesn’t just involve the loss of the relationship, but also undermines your entire sense of safety in the world.

          • I’m so sorry @missbailey – mine was 16 years, no kids either and it really feels so surreal. Mine didn’t just disappear, he’s doing the sad sausage act and I wish he would just leave me alone already. I think he’s just lining things up so I can be Plan B in his mind FOREVER.

    • Same here. Not one photo of the kids. Has never asked for them. Although when I look at the pictures now, I see he has a bored I don’t want to be here look. In all of them, since the beginning. I never noticed that before he left.

    • My ex-sociopath started sneaking out of the house his pictures and photo albums that he had before we got married. When I realized they were missing, he first lied and said he didn’t take any pictures out of the house. I then said, “There are photo albums and pictures missing from our bedroom closet.” He then tapped his laptop for a few seconds (time to think up yet another lie) and said, “Oh. I thought you meant the pictures (artwork) on the walls.” HE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT I MEANT!!!! He then said, “I took them out, because I didn’t want to upset the kids when they started to see me move out.” MORE LIES! He didn’t give F about the kids feelings at all and what he was doing to them. He got the photos out of the house, because he didn’t want to me to do something to them. Soooooooo………I put our wedding album, honeymoon album, all our family trip albums that he made, our home building album, all the photos of his family and friends and anything else related to him on his desk for him to keep, because I don’t ever want to see them again. I tossed every single photo taken of him/us before our kids were born into the dumpster at work. He was lying and cheating on me from the very beginning of our relationship, so those photos and memories are trash to me. He’s dead to me just like he’s dead, black heart.

    • Add me to the now long list of chumps whose cheater didn’t take squat. She didn’t take pictures of our kids, no dishware, no furniture for the kids; just some of her clothes (but not all), some toiletries, a bed, and a table. She left a lot of her clothes and make-up, like I would want that shit. I spent several weekends over the next few months throwing out or donating boxes and boxes of her stuff.

    • Mine didn’t want any pictures either. They meant so much to me, but nothing to him. So weird. My theory is he has new pictures up because he wants nothing to remind him of his former life. We were together 36 years, but to him the door is closed and everything is gone. I saw this same behavior when his grandparents died. He didn’t miss them or talk about them. Once I asked if he ever thought about them. He said no. He spent a lot of time with them growing up, almost daily contact. Then, poof! Out of sight, out of mind.

      • Lynn
        Same here.. 35 years. When I discovered the sorid affair with OWHORE I had him stay in the basement until the deed to the home was mine completely .

        He moved in with the (now dead) whore. Never
        an apology or looked back. Two years out & Im still amazed how he never really loved me or our family. I’ll hate him forever. Evil narc😈

      • My ex didn’t shed one tear at the funeral services for his mother. He was smiling and cordial and chit chatting with the mourners. Several people mentioned how odd it was. My kids still comment about it now. Mind you, he was tired of having to spend any time helping his mother handle old age even though I was doing most of it.

        So the double dose of freedom from her dying within days of learning about his ho-worker and abandoning me, and me kicking him out and filing put that big sociopathic grin on his face.

        • I forgot to mention that cheater ex had behaved just like his father – fucking a subordinate in his mother’s home and blowing up his family. Many of us believe that learning that her “perfect son” was just like his dad is what killed my poor mother in law. I never found out who told her but I think it was the golden boy himself.

    • Mine took “his” stuff. I told him to go through any pics he wanted. When he left I found our wedding video in the bottom of the trash can in the garage. That destroyed me. We were married for almost 17 years and so many friends and family that are no longer with us were captured in that video (including my mother and his best friend).

      They are attachment disordered fuckers indeed.

    • Mine surprisingly took our wedding album brcause she had” no hard feelings and wanted to look back fondly on it” 😐
      Also took a few paintings I made her which still are up as far as i know. But not some puxs of our kids because”theyre just prints” threw our wedding photo out…..
      We have joint custody of our kids and 50/50 on her plan but other than thst its the same. Cheated on and found out. Then I was dropped and two years later shes never looked back and its like over there i dont exist. She didn’t stay with shmoopie and never intended to becsuse she wanted to go out and sleep around and be a dater it seems. Had one on off man but he was the one shed dump and go bsck to. I’m just the angry guy over there who should just get over it already
      I had to file for divorce and she even ignored that! Once she was out nothing about our Life including ending it officially was not her problem anymore I guess. I don’t know I never asked

      • Mine wanted to sit with me and go through the wedding photos together, reminiscing. OMG, crazytown! Uh, no, those aren’t good memories anymore, thanks for ruining them! And I don’t want to sit down and do ANYTHING with you.

        I’m seriously thankful he is not my problem anymore. (well, almost. divorce is ongoing.)

        • Mine did the same thing. Before i found out. I knew it was weird at the time.
          Looking back it is one of the single creepiest events in my life. X is a creepy person. He repulses me.

    • Dr. Cheaterpants only took his clothes initially and has been trying to get the kids to pack up stuff even 2 years later. The only things he wants are his professional certificates framed from his old office, his collection of liquor bottles, and most just a few weeks ago I saw my teenaged son loading his poker chips from the basement. He hasn’t asked for a single item that is sentimental from the family like pictures. Nope, just stuff he can use for his own personal gain and kibbles.

    • A couple weeks after dday, STBX and I met at the house “to go through ds’s stuff.” He was icy, task-centered, and avoided eye contact. Being the chump that I am, I cried and yelled, “I hope you’re feeling this somewhere–you owe it to ds!” He told me, with no emotion in his voice, to throw everything away–the crib bumper, the baby clothes, ds’s first shoes. I kept almost all of it.

    • Oh god – they are all alike?

      I was also married 24 years, he met OW and then the narrative became he wasn’t happy for a long, long time (he admitted to ‘years’ and then dialed it back to ‘3 months’ so who the hell knows?) and literally left my bed for hers.

      He didn’t take any family pictures with him. He didn’t take any mementos of the kids. He took nothing but himself and the new clothes we had just bought him for our Anniversary.

      He has been gone over 2 years and we have been officially divorced over 1 year and he still hasn’t asked for pictures of the kids.

      The only thing he fought over in the divorce was money. He signed over 100% physical and legal custody of our kids to me.

  • This is so timely. My cheater just walked out. Middle of my cancer. Not a care or concern about me or our daughter. He was more concerned about ruining his own life and not wanting to face the consequences of his cheating. HE wasn’t fearful I would hold it over him forever.

    So he walked out and created a baby with a new woman 5 months later. He rejected me sexually after the birth of our daughter, so that he did that was really tough on me. Their baby was born in May and now he just told me they are expecting another. This one hurts even more than the first given that he had sexually abandoned me.

    Logically I get how being abandoned is better than the dances a lot of people go through, but it really makes a person question them self to see a spouse just toss you aside so callously, no concern about your health and then seemingly make all the changes you had asked for with another person.

    • Give it time, CC. Babies create chaos and distraction in a home and make sure the abused spouse is doing all the work (see yesterday’s post from CL). Babies aren’t a sign of love and happiness when you’re dealing with someone who can just walk away from one.

      Mr. Sparkles, my X, has kids with THREE WOMEN. He parties with the two oldest and ignores the one living with him daily. He is Uncle Dad to our son, and even that is fading as our son is getting older and seeing through the bullshit.

      You and your daughter go live a great life. Get your child support and raise her to be mighty 🙂

    • I’m sorry, CC. That is a lot of awfulness to swallow.

      Two things: Before you buy the happy family narrative in Cheatersville, realize that what appears on the surface is not necessarily accurate (my X presents as the happy, compatible, world-traveling couple with his final AP in the marriage, but I know she had to go on antidepressants after 1.5 years with him).

      Think about the kind of person who could abandon their spouse in the middle of cancer. Is there ANYthing in the world that would have enticed you to abandon him in similar circumstances? No. Your X is stone-cold hard, geared more toward self-absorption than empathy or integrity. If a person like that rejects you, it merely means he found someone more useful to him. People are objects to cheaters. His leaving says nothing about your worth or beauty. Hugs.

      • Tempest strikes sanity gold once again. Thank you so much….my “husband’s” response to a tough six year big wave set of illness, injury, loss, change, was to BAIL on me. No wedding vow words-matching-actions for me. I needed to hear your words today….feeling weak after the “first birthday as a single person since 1990” yesterday….

        • Happy belated birthday beautiful Velvet! Start of a new year for you and may it be a joyful one xxx

          • Thank you so much for the birthday wishes….I have been waiting since Jan 2012 for the joy….just realized recently maybe the “husband” was keeping it away…? More will be revealed….

        • Velvet Hammer–your pain now is very real, and you will alternate periods of weak and strong for a year or so. But trust me, there will come a day when you will view D-day as your Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to a better life, devoid of a cheating emotional vampire. Hugs, and I hope you had some pampering on your birthday.

          • When that day comes, let’s meet on the porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac and sit in the rocking chairs and swap chump wit! ❤️ to you Tempest!

      • “His leaving says nothing about your worth or beauty.” Yep, just because he cheated and discarded you does not mean you’re worthless. It just means he doesn’t value anything. CC, I know in your current pain you’re not feeling solace hearing that life isn’t (or won’t be) all that perky for your ex. You want him to feel the pain that you’re feeling right now, not later. Unfortunately, he won’t ever feel that pain. He’s incapable of it. Stay strong and have faith that you will get through this. Believe us that have been here before you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will someday realize that he did you a big favor when he discarded you.

  • Mine took off too for someone with money after 30 years together. That was 8 years ago. He didn’t take much, only some of the stuff we had two of here, to set up house with the new flavor. Oh, and of course half of my retirement fund.

    He did end up marrying her, but I do hear through our children that he’s not happy. Spent all her money, and is now fixing to leave her, but I’m not certain that will happen until he finds someone else. Coward is correct. In hindsight, Chump Lady, I do think that I got the better deal. All I needed to deal with at the time was my emotions, not his as well. The only mindfuck I had to deal with was what did I do wrong? CL and CN helped me sort that one out. Thank you so very much!

  • Thanks for this! That was actually the hardest part of all for me. I was all committed to no contact and he made it easy. Not one whimper, not one call text or email about our soulmates love we supposedly shared. Not one opportunity for me to ignore his pleas. Nope. He just found a whole new me, kept the affair partner as well and made an online dating profile “looking for friends”. In hindsight it’s a relief because I probably was too weak to resist him. But at the time it hurt like hell. I immersed myself in CL blog posts and YouTube videos about narcissists. I got as good an understanding as a non devils spawn such as myself could get my mind around and I moved on. Sometimes pictures places and memories will shake me and i get a little frog in my throat. But a big gulp and a deep breath helps before I remind myself it was fake. 5 years of my life were fake. Whoa! Think I’ll take my Grandbabies to the park. Now that’s real.

  • My cheater told me before he left for Schmoopie that he had never wanted kids and didn’t want to be a father any more. (He had three; 20, 18 and 5 years old.) He didn’t either. Moved 800 miles away, that was it. The 5 year old broke his leg six months later and the doctors told me I legally had to tell my husband about it, because my son was going to have surgery and might die under anaesthetic. I rang my soon-to-be ex and asked if he wanted to come to the hospital and he said, ‘Do I have to?’ (He didn’t bother.) My daughter later became a divorce lawyer and said with some wonderment that he was the only father she ever came across who didn’t care about, or fight for, access to his kids at all. And yet this was a man so charming and adorable that one of his best friends told me he thought he was ‘Like Jesus Christ, so kind and good to other people.’ Even now, years later, it is hard to comprehend a personality like this. So today’s column is a real comfort.

    • Knittedrobin, he definitely sounds stone cold. So sorry for what he did to you and your children. My mother’s father did the same thing to her family and another one before hers. Each time he would abandon and then pass word on to the family that he was dead. He even had someone write an obit in the local paper saying he’d been killed in a car wreck so my grandmother wouldn’t look for him. Many years later she discovered he’d been living about an hour’s drive away with another woman and her two children.

        • knittedrobin, exactly same here! Mine also told me that he never wanted to have kids (i forced him!) and he was not “a father material”.
          The worse part is, he kept telling it also before the d-day, for example when I asked him to read them a bedtime story for once
          I hope these two wonderful children will make their own judgement when they grow up

    • Mine was the same. Everyone, me included thought he was the best human being who had walked this earth. A gem. Turned put he was a stone who cared about noone but himself. Abandonned me when I recovered from cancer for 28 yrs old he met at work. Doesn’t give a shot about the kids. Doesn’t want to see them and does not miss them etiher.

      It is called a covert narcissist.

      I am still very shocked and want my 20 yrs back

  • It did not take too long to figure out that every attempt at communication the cheater made was just an attempt to see if he could get me to sign off on an exceedingly shitty settlement or give him info he could weaponize. Control and manipulation–nothing more. Once I went NC, his attempts tapered off. Still an occasional asshole email, but not often. Definitely true that they don’t disappear until they know we are impervious to the mindfuck. So, hard as it it is, totally agree that it is a compliment when they ghost us–whether that is right away, or eventually.

    • Mine did this too. Was completely unengaged/unresponsive except for a few isolated incidents designed me make me forego hiring a lawyer. Went from calling me and saying I love you while deployed to almost catatonic after coming back home. Apart, of course, from the one ILYBINILWY conversation.

      I know he certainly would have ghosted me completely had he been able to get away with it. Unfortunately, all his Army crap was in our house and he was living half a world away when he met Schmoopie…so bare minimum play acting had to occur, with the hope that he could trick me into “parting as friends” and “dividing assets by ourselves without a lawyer, like adults.”

      After I left the house for my parents, I did get a handful of texts and two short business-related emails…then I never heard from him again.

  • This week would have been our 38th Anniversary. He abandoned me three years ago. No explanation, no good byes, not a word until I was served divorce papers a month later. To say it was devastating is an understatement. I uncovered all of the details…the long term affair, the stealing, lying and gambling. Going no contact was not difficult as I truly did not know who was. THAT is the hardest for me to deal with…the settling for so much less than I deserved. He makes my skin crawl.

  • Totally agree! Once I found Tracy’s book and help of my support group including my Dr’s I left him no turning back once!
    I still seldom wonder why my ex-cheater husband blameshift all back on me?! Why after all, it was me filing for divorce to protect myself!
    All his cruelty and verbal abuse, gaslighting, threats to hit me, telling me I was crazy for taking anxiety meds that I started to take because of him, his lies, him saying he didn’t choose right when he marry me when it was him asking me to marry,etc…

  • eerrgghhh – yep I am in this queue. Cowardly is right. I can’t imagine how far his thinking had gone off the rails by the time he found enough courage to say goodbye, refuse to talk for a few minutes and then bolt off into the night, never to be seen again.
    CC notes no regard for my welfare, concern for my health – but that is what he couldn’t face – the responsibility of dealing ethically with another person.
    Sucks to be whomever he is bonking now. doing his Mr Nice act but having to do it some poor naive woman who hasn’t learnt to spot the signs
    Cowardly, entitled and cold – yep – this post is perfect for me but it also triggers my anger.

  • I wonder if the ones that just leave also spare you of the long drawn out court battle? I have no idea what STBX’s attorney fees are, but I know what mine are. That would put the total bill somewhere in the neighborhood of $160,000.

    If they devided everything and ran, count yourself lucky!

      • naaaaa. they are entitled and ice cold – no regard for the other person. You are nothing to them and they are never going to see you again. So when the property settlement finally comes around they get all butthurt if they don’t get MORE than 50/50.

        • Yeah, mine completely poofed out of our 6 year marriage one day and ran off with AP. Months later, I was completely blown away one day when we were discussing the brass tacks of a 50/50 divorce settlement. He clasped his hands together like a little boy, straightened his back, and loudly proclaimed, “I believe I am being treated unfairly!!!”. Uhh, me to a**hole, me too.

          • Here, here Odddot! I don’t recall being consulted about whether it was fair to me for the X to visit hookers and get an OW. But, sure, let’s be fair about the settlement.

    • Mine was pretty kind (as far as abandoning cheaters go) when dividing assets. He had foolishly agreed to not touch my pension (He had cashed out a pension from same company several years earlier with half of the service I had and, as is often the case with prematurely cashing out, it was pennies on the dollar, so he had no real idea of the value of my pension which would have amounted to over $200k to him and schmoopie). He didn’t want furniture in the house, just half of the assets, sans my pension. He took schmoopie away for a weekend, and things he had previously agreed to were suddenly reconsidered.

      They get more greedy as time goes by, especially when they have a greedy whore hissing in their ear. By the end, he was fighting with me over paying $30 toward the landscaping bill while our house was vacant and for sale.

    • For some reason, even though THEY caused the divorce, they continue to lie, steal and cheat during the divorce process. There are no limits in the way that they will seek to destroy you. Lack of cooperation = massive attorneys fees!

  • Thank you for running this.
    I look at other people’s situations all the time and think: ‘Well at least he/she still wanted you, even though he/she wanted someone else as well, you weren’t entirely out of the picture. Just running a close second”. Being rejected outright without a hint of marital dissatisfaction is mindblowing. It turns your world on its axis and it mine is still teetering.

    I know, its not a competition. My heart goes out to so many of yuor stories.

    I relate to so much of this post.

    Cowardly. Tick
    Entitled. Tick
    Lazy. ( re working on or relationship).Tick.
    Callous. Tick ,tick , tick,
    I would add to that (and this is certainly not limited to abandoners) : The 3 D’s- distracted, dishonest and detached.

    And yet, to the world; a pretty affable chap.

    I was cleaning up the remnants of his stuff tonight.Going through a box of paperwork. As with the rest of you he has declined to take things from our house.

    He had his own highly paid mentor in a prior job and for quite a few years after he left that role. He paid this woman a fortune to massage his ego, to career coach him. So they could focus on ME ME ME. I have previously posted that he never read novels, or biographies etc but I packed away over 60 career/ leadership development books. More ME ME ME.

    I saw a career/psychological assessment in this box of paperwork I was sorting through tonight.

    It was very revealing.

    His assessment revealed that he could be ruthless, a sore loser, vindictive, impetuous, making hasty and ill thought out decisions, someone who served his needs first. (And yet it said he had CEO potential).

    No wonder it was hidden away!

    • There is a documentary about people at the top. Fish head or something like that. Very revealing.
      Please protect yourself!

      • Thanks, Enraged, I’m watching the documentary right now. So far it’s the story of Two-Legged Rat, with whom I lived for 30 years until I gathered the courage to kick him to the curb. He took nothing with him, except for a few of his tools. Not even pictures of our oldest son who’d killed himself a couple of years before. Psychopath? Sociopath? Guess there’s no need to untangle the skein of fuckedupness.

    • That sounds just like my stbx. Soooo many sales and leadership books but I couldn’t get him to pick up a marriage book to save my life.

      In my collection of course where hundreds of books on improving your marriage. The saddest one was titled something like “One Person can Improve A Marriage”.
      I thought about selling them but surmised they didn’t do crap for my marriage so why encourage someone else to be strung along the pick me train. I took those books and burned them in the fire pit. Literary sin???? Maybe… but trash is trash.

    • We use to have a report on our fridge from EX’s work, it said that psychopaths make the best corporate leaders. My Ex put it on our fridge because he was one of the top brass and he use to say he was so stressed because he had to pretend to be like the others (victim) when in reality he was soft-hearted.

      He has work reviews saved through out the years, where he was called a psychopath several times by bosses. He always claimed it was because he was so much better than they were so it was them trying to keep him down (victim). I was a trusting fool, and so proud of how great he was at his job.

      I was always advising him to try and be more emphatic to others. Never again will I put up with someone who I have to explain empathy to.

      • That last line says it all. I used to refer to ex as “empathically challenged”. Interestingly enough he wasn’t insulted by that. I guess he knows he lacks empathy but doesn’t see it as a defect.

    • Just remember–for those of us (including me) where the ex says he/she wants us and BEGS us not to leave…they are just lying yet again. They want the CAKE to stay but they don’t actually care about anyone but themselves.

      My ex did beg me to stay–hundreds of times. I never felt tempted to stay after D-day number 2 because I would just remind myself of what he did and all of the lies he told me.

      I have been divorced from him for 2 years now and it still hurts.

    • Mine said a few weeks before ADay (Abandonment day) that people at the top have to have some narcissist traits otherwise they wouldn’t be at the top. Guess who wanted to be and was, in fact, steadily climbing to the top?

  • CL, I love the advise you give and although I’m 2 years out, I still come back to area your daily dose of writing. You’re awesome.
    But on this piece, I disagree.
    The types that leave… They never leave for good. These are the narcissists and the always hoover, they always lurk behind us, even if we don’t see them.
    Your advise is good.
    You’re right about the crazy. To that I would add Dangerous.
    Protect yourself!
    But to truly heal, one must cut all contact. Block all channels. Abandon hope.
    Protect yourself!

    • Mine has been gone for 5 years. Therapist says he’s a sociopath. He never wavered. Was divorced from me in just over two months following ILYBINILWY. Filed a restraining order against me. He married his whore 18 months later.

      I do not have one that will be coming back.

  • Cheater said he was seriously thinking about leaving me to be with schmoopie. I stupidly gave him the chance to think about what he wanted to do. He went to stay with his mum for a couple of night to think, I later found out that he had in fact took schmoopie with him, even though he swore to me many times that he wasn’t going to take her with him. He then returned and said he couldn’t stop seeing schmoopie, so I said ok and that was the end of our relationship. I of course had to file for divorce which I did 2 months later. I guess this is him leaving with a bit of mind fucking as to whether I would be good enough to be chosen.

    • Mighty, I’m so sorry you endured that. I guess I was so GD mad at the time that I was even being Considered! In his ‘decision’ made my blood run redder than normal. There was NO choice, asshole. I was livid when he said he was still seeing her. I kicked him out with my incredibly loud screaming voice and he was afraid to come back that day. Then I found my only physical proof 1/2 hr later. Her panties tucked under some blankets in our bed. Well, I swiftly changed locks and shut him out, thanks to C/N, and I never shed one tear in front of him. Inside, I was crumbling, but I think this subject rings very true. They disappear when they know you’re too strong to fight against. Never ever be Second Choice!

  • Yup. I went out on a Monday early morning to a business trip to warm hugs and kisses goodbye and landed Thursday afternoon to an e-mail announcing he had moved out. 31 years together, 28 married, and my goodbye was an e-mail. Came home to a house void of all his material possessions and I was left to do 100% of the clean up, disposal of household items, and prepping for sale. Schmoops is half his age and he moved to Europe permanently to be with her. I think the abandonment and the moving out of the country is because he can’t face anything directly. He is hiding. He is a petulant child.

    Fine with me. I have a relationship with our adult daughters, he does not. He missed 2 college graduations this summer, including one that he announced he was coming to and was told hell-to-the-no you are NOT coming by that daughter. They both think he is a complete dick.

    The 2 daughters and I just got back from a glorious trip to Maui where we bonded even tighter and had so many good discussions about their next phases of life, boys, and also silly and fun stuff. And we commented frequently about how much more at ease we all were without the asshat ruining the trip with his narco-passive-aggressive behaviors.

    Yup, the asshat will likely only get an e-mail notice from his daughters when weddings and grand babies show up, if any notice at all. It is all he deserves.

    • THIS:

      “And we commented frequently about how much more at ease we all were without the asshat ruining the trip with his narco-passive-aggressive behaviors.”

      This is what you WIN when they leave.

    • Yes! Omg vacations are fun again! And everything works so well when I’m in charge if I do say so myself 😉

      Vacations with the narcopath were jaw clenching ordeals where he took all the credit for my planning, worked against and complained bitterly about said planning at every turn and then blamed me for every little thing that went wrong including the weather.

      But now no matter where we go or what we do it’s joyful and good memories instead of painful ones. Winning!!!

    • Ahhhh the vacations without a narcopath. The one who would not stop when the kids were young to even use a bathroom. My DD was in tears one year and urinated on herself because that ass wouldn’t stop.

      Now the kids and I can go and truly relax without his high maitenanced, never happy, grouchy dick ruining it for us. The best vacations were when Dr. Cheaterpants would bring a friend, yes I said bring a friend! He was on better behavior then and had someone else to fill that black hole of never ending need.

  • No 1, check, check of No 2,3 and 4 as well! Two years ago, the speech and then he literally ran out, when I told him that I would move out and he could stay in the condo. At that point, he was well aware that his control is slipping. He resented my professional success so much, he just had to look for another cake provider. Of course when my answer to his question “Baby, do you think we have a good marriage” was “What’s your plan?” he knew that I know exactly who he is. But the mean ole me did not leave him and OW in peace. Nope, hired a PI, found schmoopie’s address, drove over to her shack in the boondocks with his shotguns in the trunk – I really hate guns and wanted to get rid of them . Banged on the door, fortunately he wasn’t home. Called him, he was out with schmoopie. He threatened me to call the police, told him go right ahead. Gave up after an hour. Boy the next few months were horrendous.

    Last year I found Tracey’s book and then the blog, from that point my life took a turn. This year, I finally have my ducks in a row and wanted to file for divorce. Consulted an attorney and a CPA. I asked him to send me a list of how he wants the asset division. Of course I did not get the list. Six months later, I remind him again, he wants to meet. Ok fine. We meet, I look at him, he gained the 30 pounds I lost and kept off – trust me it’s so important to him, how he looks, gone completely white, looks like shit. What is worse, is the fact that when I casually mentioned his highly accomplished – a self-proclaimed poet/yogateacher/scientist and activist on a professional LinkedIn profile – he tells me, it is not his girlfriend, and besides she is a lesbian! Well, he forgot that I do not suffer from memory loss and that I distinctly remember, how he told me that his wife #2 was a lesbian and that is why he divorced her. Yeah, I know, huge eye roll! None of his previous 3 marriages, yeah I know another eye roll, lasted longer than two years, can you see the end of schmoopie? Of course not before he will have another one lined up, cause he is a cowardly POS.

    Unfortunately I found out in my meeting with the CPA that in Florida the date of separation is important in the division of assets UGH! So as to division of assets, it doesn’t make much sense to file now. Instead I am playing so nice, whenever he makes contact, at the same time letting him be aware very subtly that I am dating.

    While I still have to come to terms with myself and the fact that in all probability I will not find someone else, my life is better. More lonely for sure, but less stressful. And I find joy in so many things. Looking at him now, I only think gosh you are really pathetic! I no longer hate him, I just find him to be despicable.

    So yeah, spot on CL you got it. Thank you!

  • The X is your typical coward. Rather than fighting for our marriage, it was easier fucking hookers for 2 months. When he realized that I would eventually find out, he found the OW (he gaslighted me the entire time about her existence) and proceeded with the divorce.

    He didn’t want to talk about anything unless he pertained to the divorce. We lived like strangers for the last two months of our marriage. He basically ghosted me in our home.

    The only explanation I got was he had been unhappy for 5 years- yep, the typical cheater mantra. He did tell me that I wasn’t to blame (damn right!!!). It still pisses me off that the settlement had to be fair in his eyes while nothing about the hookers and OW was fair to me.

    He tried the whole “let’s do this amicably” and I told to fuck off. The only thing I was concerned about was my mental health, not staying on good terms. After that, he basically shut me out.

    I am NC and have blocked him, the OW and his sister on all social media. I blocked his sister’s phone early on and last week, I blocked his cell phone as our business is finally concluded

    It’s one day and one step at a time. The hardest part for me is realizing that “my husband” isn’t who I thought he was. I should have realized that if he could treat his friends so colds and even his children, I would be no exception.

    • We all saw many glimpses of their true character. They liked us because we were willing to do the mental gymnastics needed to see them as better than they actually were. And once we were no longer willing to do that for them … we were trash binned.

  • This column is important for all Chumps, not just the ones, like me, who got discarded. In a sense, if you are living with someone who spends all his free time with Schmoopie, you’ve been discarded in every way that matters. And these words apply just as much to the cake-eating, triangulating, gaslighting, “But I still love you” cheaters who want to keep you as their second income, housekeeper, in-home childcare, and buffer against the marital urges of a Schmoopie.

    “You don’t deserve an explanation because it was never about you. Surely, you must know that the Most Important Thing Is Their Happiness? They’re happier over here in this new place. You? You have a mess to clean up? You’re heart broken? God, that’s a buzz kill. They don’t have to listen to you whinge.”

    • My XH the substance abuser wasn’t a cheater, so far as I know, but he was perfectly content to ignore me, abuse me verbally and refuse any reasonable expectations of him as a husband. Until I left. Then he was all “let’s go to counseling” because he liked the life I provided. He just didn’t like me.

  • Yes, this column really describes them well. I got both versions … crocodile tears and faux remorse until all that drama clearly wasn’t going to work one more time … then a clicking sound could almost be heard as he dropped all that and the cold sociopath turned around and walked out the door. It was almost as if I was someone he had passed on the street one day rather than his wife of 30 years. It boggles the mind and is difficult to view as a blessing, but in the end having them leave faster is probably for the best. We are all mind-fucked one way or another … pick your flavor.

    That coldness was the real hurt … much more than any illicit sex act could generate.

    • They give up when the realize that they can’t ever really make it up to us and try to make it work with somebody new thinking that maybe this time they won’t fuck it up. Good luck with that.

  • I am glad to read this this morning. For a few weeks after DDay, my husband said he wanted to repair things and then abruptly said he “didn’t want to be in this relationship anymore” which was a horrible layer of rejection to bear on top of the affair. But he started wearing his wedding ring around his neck.

    And started calling me for help with our business and wanting me to be more involved (validated by our GM). Includes me in emails and business meetings and calls me with business updates daily.

    Ordered me a business card and changed his so both our cards say “co-founder/partner”

    Puts my name on bank accounts that only had his name on them. Gives me a duplicate set of his credit/debit cards.
    Texts me when he uses them and goes over monthly statements with me.

    Goes over the books weekly with me and bookkeeper, accountant.

    Brings the paycheck to me personally, same amount as before he left.

    Drives down from where he is now living (in one of our buildings at the business) to pick our daughter up from school. He NEVER did that until now. She is in sixth grade.

    Waters the garden and asks to fix things when he is here at the house due to daughter.

    Has all the cards I wrote him in a metal file holder thing in his office.

    Bought an electric bike to keep here for “us to use” when we pick up our daughter at school.

    Has not yet told our daughter we are getting divorced (he moved out in Feb)
    It’s his job unless she asks me first…

    Is always telling me what he is up to whenever he calls (not anything involving other women though). I don’t ask or reciprocate.

    Took almost nothing with him. I need to
    box up his clothes so I can put my clothes away in the bedroom.

    Asked if we wanted to hang out on the 4th of July. More than once. (I said no)

    Apologizes frequently.

    It seems like such a weird way to act after
    Initiating the divorce.

    • The stuff with the business sounds off to me. Makes me wonder if he’s setting you up to take the fall in case something ‘happens’ to the business. Paranoid? Damn straight!

      • I agree that the stuff with the business seems VERY suspicious. It sounds a lot like putting your name on all the credit cards or the refinancing of a mortgage so you can share all the debt and liabilities. Please have someone you trust review the business books with you. Do you even have a partnership agreement? I smell a big fat rat!

        • The cards are debit cards linked to cash…large amounts that he is giving me access to…which he didn’t during the marriage. Weird. We are legally a corporation formed long ago….our business attorney is one of my close friends from high school.

  • x did both. Ran off like a coward while I was at work. I received a phone call from him two weeks later when his spies let him know I had found out about the ow. He had gone ahead to set up their new life and he wanted to know if I had contacted her husband. I hadn’t at the time, so he asked that I call her and reassure her that her husband didn’t know. No concern about me or the kids. Told him to Fuck off. He eventually rolled back into town when the Great Escape didn’t work out and has made our lives a living hell ever since. I wish he had never come back

  • This is like being in a mountain valley in between two avalanches. On one side, you get blamed, discarded, left with all the heavy lifting, usually with no actual good by. D day 1 or D day 105 it still hurts to realize you were replaced.

    On the other side you have the people telling you to “Rise above”, “Just get over it!!”, “You are just bitter!”, “Don’t run down cheater to anyone”, “There are two sides to this story” and “I think you have been grieving long enough, I don’t want to hear it anymore”.

    It hurts like hell, is extremely costly and you are not even supposed to complain, just get astride your horse and carry on.
    Mine knew I was strong and not going to eat his shit sandwiches after BD. Left without a glance back. Even to his parenting responsibilities to our daughters.

    May the turd get pain back by karma in spades.

  • This is what happened to me too. January 19 of this year, he sat me down and said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be married anymore, just wasn’t sure. I cried, I begged, I pleaded, I asked how it came to this? He was thinking that 11 years of marriage was too long to go without sex with other women……just not sure, what to do, what to do. He said he would give it some thought. I couldn’t sleep, finally fell asleep about 2am. Woke up the next morning and he and all of his clothes and toiletries were gone.Not even a note. He went to work and never came back. A few months later, he texted saying he needed the rest of his stuff (which was packed and waiting in the front room). Dangled his NEW and FANTASTIC life over my head, great roommates! Parties all the time! Women buying him drinks every time he went out! Going to the gym every day! So many female friends, that *I* never allowed before (silly me). I cried. A lot. It was incredibly hurtful. He disappeared again, then he lost his job (admitted he was staying up all night watching porn and called in sick too much). Thought we could reconcile, give it another shot. I said we needed therapy first, made an appointment with a wonderful therapist specializing in marriage counseling/addictions. He caught on to stbx’s game(sex addiction, anger issues, impulsivity, narcissism, porn addiction, depression) immediately. We made it 4 sessions, before I got a text (a TEXT) ending our marriage. I didnt reply. It hurts to be discarded like this but the more I read about narcissism, the more ok I am with it. He’s got a new supply already, even though 2 weeks ago, he was still texting that he loved me. It sucks and I’m hurt, but each day I gain a bit of myself back.

  • Nope, he never looked back. All I got were reptilian eyes gazing at me while he was still here at the house.

    As my therapist says, why would I expect anything different…he did the same thing to his first family (which I didn’t know until after D-day).

    Since moving out, he hasn’t initiated any contact.

    I’ve uncovered even more shit and he knows it, so now he won’t even negotiate with me for the SA. Looks like I’ll have to have him served but timing it strategically so that anything I sign lands in 2019 so I can take advantage of the new alimony tax law.

    30 years together, married 25 at the time. All a sham.

    This has been the hardest to understand. I have not accepted it even after understanding how disordered psychopaths/narcs are. My whole life of 30 yrs with him was a sham. He didn’t love me. It was sex and money. Once I lost the good paying job and I gained a few pounds, ended up with chronic Lyme and coinfections, he checked out. But he didn’t tell me he had checked out!

    And now I sit in limbo with the divorce and moving on.

    • The really hard part is that there was no OW. It was all prostitutes, massage parlors with happy endings, Craigslist hookups with men or women posting as BiMWM, orgies, swing parties, couples massages, erotic websites, transvestites, stealing and gambling with scratch/lottery tickets and who knows what else.

      Now living with his sister.

      He’s not looking back.

      His present, at 61yo, sucks living with his older sister and traveling 2 hrs one way to his new job and working way more hours than he ever wanted to.

      And his future consists of a small apartment that he’ll detest (he was great at letting folks think he lived in a castle, traveled and rolled in dough while with me (when we just actually got discharged from a Chpt 13), and he’ll have to give me 70/30 house equity, alimony ’til he dies if I can swing it, $450 for healthcare/mth and other concessions.

      His two explanations while he was at the house were 1) I wasn’t happy and 2) I didn’t like the person you’d become.

      1) Soooo…how happy is he now? How happy will he be from now until he dies (I was going to take care of him throughout his early onset of Alzheimer’s-he’s on track for it in the next 3 yrs as it’s familial and he was showing signs already)? No he has no one but ho-workers. Really? That was BETTER than a faithful wife who looks like 35 at 53? Seriously?

      And 2) He could no longer handle the disparity between my 18 yr long trek into holistic/healthy living and his spiral into scumbag territory.

      Good riddance.

      • Nveragain sorry to hear about your health woes. Waiting to take action is a tough time. It is positive thar you have found CL here and are lining up your ducks. Now is your time to focus on your health and self-care and what will good things you are going to work towards in your happiee future. Making new social connections too! You are going to be able to focus your energy to make things better for you 🙂

      • Nveragain

        It is really difficult to apply logic to the disordered. As a result we as chumps tend to dwell on the comparative analysis. What strikes me the most is how easy it is for them to make a few blameshifting statements to summarize their deviance.

        He led a double life. It involved many OW.
        The Limited is the same age as your X. What they have in common is a lack of self respect and appreciation. They aren’t very bright now are they?

        You get to live authentically.

  • My first response to the cheater who vanishes is to wish mine had done that. My second response is to realize what a stupid wish that would be. Instead, I should be wishing for an honest, reliable, kind spouse, not just a different flavor of scum!

    I’d describe mine as the “stalking freakazoid” variant, but he isn’t really interested in me. He is just determined to insist that no one is the boss of him. Since I told him to leave me alone, he’ll harass me. Since the court told him to leave me alone, he’ll harass me. Since his year of probation ends this week (deferred jail sentence for physically harassing me–technical sentence is “assault with a deadly weapon”), he’s started putting feelers out again about contacting me–i.e. harassing me. Seriously, his lawyer contacted my lawyer to let me know he wants to be in contact. No. No. No. I am so damn tired of him.

    My third response (see above) is to wish for a well aimed bolt of lightening and have fate kindly turn my EX into the “just vanished” variant.

    I suppose the problem with the pain Olympics is not that only one of us can win the gold medal, but that we are all “winning” the proverbial shit sandwich.

    Argh. I feel a whiny rant coming on. It’s just one of those days for me.

  • Tracy – you have NO idea how meaningful this post is for me today. Today is the dbag’s 45th bday. He is one of “the ones who just leave.” And back when this article first posted a few years ago is what pushed me to start posting about it and become an active member of CN. This article is also what prompted me to push past the numbness and reclaim the good that is still all around me.

    After 23 years/17 married, he just left me and then-13 yo daughter after getting caught. I wasted ages 16-39 on that serial cheating douche. When I finally did find out on my own – and he just ghosted us from right within the house for a few months before never coming back – I had no idea that it was your description of #1 that was happening to me until I read it.

    I’m so happy this ran today. I still don’t like looking at the date, but I’m thankful that finding out saved my life. I’m also grateful I found your site. ❤️❤️❤️

  • I, too, was one of the “lucky” ones whose cheater just ran off. She left me with our two traumatized kids asking “why did Mommy leave?” She told me I clearly wasn’t as attractive as she was, because all these guys wanted to *&@! her (never mind the fact that most 15 year-old girls know better). Talk about feeling like a sack last week’s trash.
    Unfortunately, when things blew up with Prince Cheating less than a month later, she was back, and had a list of demands with her. She wanted all these things in exchange for her “taking me back.” I actually laughed out loud. Being a history buff, I told her this was like the surrender of Japan in WW2; she had no leverage, and could only ask for whatever clemency I gave her. She didn’t get that — I probably should have gone with something less abstract — but it didn’t matter. It was hard, but I told her to pound sand.

    • Ugh, I had a similar experience with Assholio. He had a list of things I needed to work on in order for him to consider staying in the marriage. I said, “you’re a lying cheater with anger issues, and you’re giving me conditions? You’ve got to be kidding.” Nope, he wasn’t. Unbelievable.

      • I I got that too, after the last therapy session. A list of things I had done wrong through the years, said with cold black lifeless eyes. I haven’t seen him since.

      • Word, Dudette. When it came to issues, I talked about me, he talked about me, but curiously clammed up when it came to talking about HE….

    • Traveling

      Your post proves that cheating and being an asshole- is not reserved for men only. Equality for all idiots!!!
      I am mother myself and just can’t imagine leaving my children behind…. you make decision to have kids- and there is no TURNING BACK!!!
      It’s that SIMPLE….
      Yet, it’s a complicated case for some: fucking hookers and then rolling into bed with your pregnant wife, fucking trans and having sex with your wife after she breastfed your child….
      Leaving your children behind….

      They are all the same… egoistic narcissistic distorted personalities🙇‍♀️

  • I suspect, overall, it is harder to be left because it robs the chump of any sense of Agency. There is tons of research about how having a sense that you have some control over your life is better for your physical and psychological health.

    However, most chumps who spent any time thinking their cheater might be willing to reform the marriage merely had a false sense of agency; serial or long-term cheaters have about as much ability to become healthy spouses as a salamander has of changing into a bluejay. [For example, because of automated traffic lights, many pedestrian buttons throughout the US have been disabled. But people feel less impatient if they can press the pedestrian button.]

    Being abandoned also means you don’t get to rail against the cheater (which at least gives some catharsis. Have to admit that all the swear words and character insults I hurled at Hannibal Lecher felt good, even if they had no effect on his behavior).

    For two reasons–a stealing of the chump’s agency, and inability to release your anger on the cheater–I believe being abandoned is worse than throwing the bum out. The only consolation is that chumps on the other side–ones whose cheaters begged for a second chance–had a false sense of agency that kept our head in the mindfuckery blender longer. [I am currently combing through old texts from the months after D-day in hopes of writing a book, and am freshly amazed at the degree of emotional manipulation from my X.]

    • You are absolutely right on the agency thing. Initially, I had planned to let ex file for divorce as I felt he would eventually get around to it even it if might take a while. He is the one who wanted out, let him do the dirty work. Eventually, however, I realized that I was just waiting around for the next thing to happen to me. I had no control over whether or not we ended up divorced, but I could control the timing so I told him it was time. Technically we filed jointly, but I am the one actually did it. I pulled the trigger on the gun he had pointed at our marriage.

      • I agree. This and closure. I have control issues, as evidenced by my choice of career paths, I am a Controller (HA!) at a medium sized company.

        Closure is the thing that they prevent, either actively or passively. Leaving without a word is them robbing you of your ability to get ANY answers, even just the ability to hear lies so that you can reassure yourself he is a dick and a coward and you are doing the right thing is better than nothing.

        I spoke to one of the Cheaters’ APs, she called me out of the blue one day, about 4 years after it had blown up with them, according to them both! She said that he had reached out to her a multitude of times over the 4 years he was still living in my house, and that she knew of at least 6 other women, two of whom had connected with her on their own to compare stories.

        I never got this chance over the 6 years I danced. This AP had more information on my life than I did, regarding my Cheaters’ activities. He told her things that she followed up on, and that lead to more discoveries on her part. She got closure. She was able to dig and discover and know.

        I didn’t get that, and I still don’t have it. I left him in another state for a year and he “did all the right things” according to him, but when I got the call from this AP, apparently he was just free to do his shitty things out in the open with me gone. He still denies that everything she said is a lie, but I now have the information she gave to me in order to find out for myself.

        He doesn’t talk to me much, and when he does, I can see the wheels turning. Every word is measured and calculated before they leave his mouth. What does she know? If I say this thing that used to work before, will it work now or does she already know it’s bullshit? It’s frightening and sickening.

        He has tried legally to shut his APs down from speaking about him, and I also have had to go underground, because the information is so filthy and vile and these women are very free in telling their stories to everyone who listens. It’s humiliating and there is no one to blame but him, but at the same time I am still catching up on the closure part because they have such a head start on me.

        My advice to others is give up on closure, because I think that’s what the heart of it is. There is never a good answer, whether they tell you the truth or not. Nothing is going to suffice. The only way to win back some sort of peace of mind is to let go of it.

        • Funny that you mention closure. My cousin, just yesterday, mentioned that I don’t have closure and it’s hard to move past. While I agree that it’s not easy, I have to for my mental health, I have to because life is still happening and I don’t want to get left behind. I have to because I will be damned if I let this divorce define my life. I may not get closure but I will get peace.

        • One of the most powerful statements I read, was shortly after I came here…
          What possibly could they say to give you closer? Peace? Make your life of (in my case 25 years) not feel like a Truman Show lie?
          My answer was nothing. I could not imagine any acceptable reason for what was done to me to have a ‘bow’ of closure.
          Freed me to accept, he is disordered. I will never be skillful enough to untangle the evertangling skein. No answer excuses abusing me. Closure is me saying, I decide what the ending of that story is from this moment on, or at least now I won’t be acting blindly.
          Forever grateful to the Nation and Tracy.
          I know who I would be without you guys… thank you so much for your overflowing knowledge of my life lol

      • Yep. This is what I did. He did not have any intention on reconciling and showed no remorse, ran out of therapy after the first session, and then rented a house. I just pulled the trigger. Worst part, he was seriously offended that I did. He could not get why I did that.
        „Because you literally said that you wanted a divorce, asshat.“

  • I know many of you have heard this before but for the new Chumps this is my story.

    My Ex is the ultimate in lazy cheater.
    He got caught watching gay pron by our teenage son which enabled me to get him out of the house – he made no attempt to contact me to try and address the issue. I was irrelevant right off the bat, because the cake was gone. it was so gone!
    He made no attempt to contact me in the week that followed as he was only speaking with the elders of the church, not to me, his wife. a week later I am summoned to their home where he tells me he had an affair 8 years earlier and had tried to walk straight but had fallen again earlier that year and the affair had only lasted 4 weeks.
    On this bomb, the elders send him on his way telling him to not tell anyone not even his mother with whom he was staying. They then tell me they are going to take my cheating, gaslighting, gay husband through disciplinary measures and once done they believed he would be restored and our marriage would be better than ever. I had nothing to worry about they were dealing with it. In the days that followed, I got no understanding of what had happened to my life. My gut feeling was that he had given the elders one story and the opinion he wanted our marriage and behind there back was detonating bombs left right and center. If I got upset with him, I was reminded that this hurts him too, if I questioned why he was still involved in Christian community events and had he told key community members he was gay? I was told that what had happened was in his past and no one needed to know about it. The truth, there was not just two events bookending an eight year struggle with righteousness he had been cheating the whole time. He was telling people that I had kicked him out for looking at porn and was blowing a brief affair he had had 8 years earlier way out of proportion as the reason for our separation. He never showed remorse or ask my forgiveness because he did not really want it. He wanted his secret life to remain a secret. What he really wanted was the facade he had put years into creating back. Going forward it was necessary not to be seen as the problem and if the church could help him get me back to a place of blind submission he was willing to allow them to do the hard work for him. If that meant him submitting to their authority for a period of time he was ok with that because by doing so the problem was no longer him, it was me..I was bucking their authority and holding the cheater to account. And it seemed I was the only one who what him to be accountable for what he had done. What no one had seen coming was our daughter getting cancer four weeks after d’day. At that point, I realised there was nothing left of my marriage worth fighting for and within four more weeks I would choose to go no contact with my church also as the elders made it very clear they had his back and the children and I, were on our own unless I was willing to submit to their authority. I divorced and the cheater continues to be the lazy cheater as he allowed the church to help him to groom his current victim under the notion you are less likely to fuck men if you are married to a good Christian woman who give you full authority over her.

  • My situation-with kids involved. It took a long time for me to work through the pain. What remains is the pain I see on my children’s faces. My five year old who can’t understand where his daddy is. My fourteen year old who feels rejected and replaced (his reason for leaving aside from addiction was having too much responsibility-you know, being an adult-but his AP has kids that live with her who are 5 & 14). My eleven year old just wants her buddy back. The deep anger and resentment I feel towards him in this area may never completely go away. Unlike him, I take my parenting role very seriously and when my kids are in pain I feel it. The fact that this pain is caused by a parent is unforgivable in my book. We are all moving forward as best as we can and are stronger every day. Everyone gets a therapist and I get a bonus recovery group that helps me survive. I know our lives are better off without an active SA in the house.

  • Mine was in the deep stages of planning the walk out with schmoopie when I accidentally discovered their “tru luv”.

    He would have walked out and left it all behind with no conversation because he is the ultimate coward. But once confronted and with my extreme dancing, he decided to play the fake reconciliation game and continue to line up his ducks. So, I got a little of both…false hope and then abandonment because schmoopie was waiting.

    After lots of introspection, I now realize he left me long before I discovered schmoopie. He left the marriage in every way before he actually physically left. That is the hardest part for me to accept. He quit loving me, but didn’t have the guts to be honest. Schmoopie was just the frosting on the shit cake I ate without full knowledge.

    It doesn’t matter the flavor of cheater, they all suck.

  • xw was gone within 5 days after I made her sleep in the back bedroom post discovery. She went to AP for a 4 day Labor Day fuckfest (her words), then left with clothes and toiletries. I was dumbfounded, but in hindsight now I see that she sensed I was not allowing cake. The bakery was closed. I think this affair partner (same first name as me BTW) was in the background for some time unknown to me.

    She came back randomly to collect her bills and psychologically abuse me with her “newfound happiness”. I stopped sorting her mail after the D was finalized. 10 months to get out of a 12 year marriage. I blocked her from contacting me but she still shows up randomly at my door. No e-mails because she is afraid to put anything into writing. I’m reaching MEH slowly and each day that passes I care less about what she is doing. I don’t use social media to check on her, I had to give that up. I left everything related to her in the marital home- which she is renting to a neighbor.

    No worries. I got what I wanted in our settlement, then ghosted her once I saw everything was moving along in the D process. I implemented the 180 as best I could at first and got better at it as time went along. It’s incredibly hard to make decisions through the abandonment-discard cycle when you are doused in PAIN and full of Hopium.

    So in hindsight I guess it was good for me not to be strung along like there was hope. Nothing material mattered to her even though she did focus on a few material things to ramp into the Rage channel. Once I learned of the predictable 3 channels of manipulation I could spot them within seconds of her “showing up”. Now, I shut down communications, one word answers- or none- worked well to speed her along her way back to Schmoopie.

    I told her “He can have you, we’re done”. Then I implemented it. I haven’t heard anything about their ‘relationship’ and don’t want to know. No news is Good news.

    My standard response to her now is “we have nothing to talk about”. At which point I walk away.

    • 🙌 Respect and Healthy Boundaries, ML! Way to model moving forward. Your X will never put anything in writing because like mine she is content with her crap choices and doesn’t want evidence of it to exist; her narrative is her truth. The disordered con their way through life and it works, until it doesn’t.
      There’s a children’s book I read to my littles, Going On A Bear Hunt, that talks about challenges, “Can’t go over it, Can’t go under it, Can’t go around it, Got to go through it!” It plays in my head some days because divorce is painful, but only to those with hearts.

  • Mine is a hybrid between walk away and eat cake. He never showed any remorse for his actions real or fake. He never tried to win me back, but he didn’t just walk out either. He left me but he did it in slow motion. He moved out, but it took him several months after DDay. He never filed for divorce on his own despite the fact that he clearly didn’t want to be married to me anymore. One day he would imply that he still loved me and was willing to give our marriage a chance, the next he would be telling me that there was just no way it could ever work out because I was just so inadequate compared to his glorious Schmoopie. It was two steps away for every one step back. Eventually, I figured out the pattern and gave up the pick me dance because I realized it was a waste of time. No matter what I did it was wrong. Even then, I still held out hope that he would eventually come to his senses when the ho high wore off. Throughout our marriage he was often prone to bouts of cluelessness of one kind or another, but he had always snapped out of it eventually and come back to lucidity. Not this time. There may have been the occasional glimmer of lucidity after DDay (just enough to keep me smoking the hopium), but it never lasted long. It was several months of this emotional rollercoaster before I finally realized that I couldn’t go on like that and told him we had to get divorced because I didn’t want a marriage that was just on paper. He wasn’t thrilled about the divorce but he didn’t resist either. He is also one who left everything behind. He didn’t try to hang on to anything, but he did tell me “Just don’t sell the house or get rid of any of the family heirlooms”. He left his whole life behind to go off chasing rainbows, but he wants to make sure that old life still exists somewhere. To his credit, he does still see the kids regularly, but even that takes a lot of accommodation on my part. I do it for them, but he still benefits. I guess all of this is just another version of cake, he is just too lazy to look after his cake so he left it in my care. I look after it so the kids can have it someday.

  • Thank you so much for this. This is very much my reality and I struggle with it a lot but my ex clearly lies in the ice cold category. This article is a big help for me.

    • It is just so incomprehensible how someone could have several years of history with another person and not form an attachment, especially with people like us chumps who are so loving and accomodating. Some people just aren’t wired right. I am sorry you were with one of them.

  • I too got both versions. 2 years and thousands of dollars worth of sex addiction and RIC mindfuck. He was suicidal many times, self admitted to the psych ward, begged for my help and support in ‘recovering’ his fucked up life. All he did was get worse, crazier, violent. He took off after bashing our 8 year old daughter’s face in – like jumped in the car leaving ALL of his shit. Told me he was getting help, treatment, going to ‘intensives.’ One day he sent me an email that just completely upended the script. He told me I was an ‘abuser’ and to ‘get help immediately’ then stopped communicating completely. We were in the middle of a disaster recovery. I had to move 3 times with our children and rebuild our house. It was a nightmare. When I was court ordered to take delivery of a POD of our household contents, he had sold(?) the vast majority of our decades worth of stuff and family heirlooms. But there were stacks and stacks of ALL of his letters, pictures, service records – every piece of paper from his entire life (except for his vintage Playboys.)
    I got a letter from a lawyer out of the blue in the middle of this. He then proceeded to accuse me of ‘parental alienation’ despite having not answered a phone call for almost a year. He actually told the court I was a ‘mentally ill, abusive sex addict’ after having abandoned his daughters with me, his utterly faithful wife. Apparently, they never picked up on that. His settlement offers were delusional – truly. In every one, he demanded we pay (thousands$$) to go to mediation over his – get this – BINOCULARS.
    It freaks me out that I truly loved this man and would’ve done anything for him. I honestly believed he adored us. It’s chilling really. But CL is right – he knew the jig was up (even with super chumpy me!) and it was better that he walked away. I hope my kids figure that out eventually too.

  • When I first found out about the affair, ex was out of town working(with ho-worker) we had a text exchange where he confessed to having an affair with someone who he later described as a spitting image of his cousin (creepy) and nothing like the howorker (trying to put me off the scent so they wouldnt get in trouble at work) I knew pretty much immediately that howorker had written the texts on his prompting.

    My immediate reaction was that the marriage was over. A friend I confided in straight away said she’d never seen anyone so sure of the end of a relationship (cheating is a total deal breaker for me, but I softened for the kids). Of course practicalities kick in. He came home a few days later and said he wanted to make the marriage work, I felt like I needed to see if we could work things out and proceeded to do a version of the pickme for a couple of weeks.

    The thing is, he realised very early on in those weeks that I just wasnt going to drop it. He would have to do some work. It wasnt the first time I’d suspected but he knew it was the first time I had rock hard evidence and therefore couldnt be brushed off as being paranoid. As was his usual turn of phrase. So he and ho-worker lined up their ducks in those couple of weeks before I said… woah… you need to sort this or go.

    He did go and he went like CL says in the article above. He just stopped being my husband. I sorted everything including filing! (mind you I wouldnt have wanted to be free to marry her either 😉 ) Howife
    had a big role to play in any contact we had, it was obvious, she’s even more illiterate that ex 😉 Eventually he’s stopped being the kids Dad, they require too much effort and the kids think howorkernowwife resents time/attention/money spent on the kids she was happy to cheat on. So she encourages the scenario that the kids should make an effort for them.

    There’s something cold about abandoning your wife, but abandoning your kids takes a special kind of cold. Ex is pathetic in this respect – man up see your kids! Howife? Well she’s just a pathetic little child, who cant possibly imagine or doesnt want to take responsibility for the hurt she’s heaped on these kids. I do hope one day she realises whats she’s done to the kids by playing up to ex’s poor me dramas. I hope karma bites her arse, she’s not a mother and from what ex told me when he first met her, she’s unlikely to be. I’d love her to know how ‘disloyal’ to her he was by all that he told me about HER when she was ‘just a coworker’ lol.. your knight in shining armour has been sharing ALL your details and in fact did, right up until just a few months ago, if she knew what I knew about her, she’d be furious.. hahah karma baby. You mean nothing more to him than another story.

    I’m glad I issued the ultimatum and equally as glad he took it and went and never made any advances to keep me dancing. Sure he played the friendly card but think he really genuinely thought that was a possibility (thats how cold he is, not good enough for wife but I like you as a friend)

    I dont think the abandoning or the ‘kibble seekers’ are easier either way. Both have their ‘downsides’. Its not a competition. Its two sides to a crappy scenario that is cheating.

  • I’m not sure why but this suddenly made sense today. Maybe it’s because my mind is able to think without being clouded by emotions.

    The X, while he cheated with hookers for 2 months pre-“I want a divorce” and claims to have 5 unhappy years, left me for someone that he had met 3 weeks earlier. 3 weeks!!

    I’m sure he love-bombed like nobody’s business and she has been feeding him buckets of kibbles. Hell, he’s probably thrown in some triangulation just to keep the dance up. They are still together and I feel for her. She thinks he’s the best thing ever and that he’s really into her. Someday, she will find out that his needs and wants are the most important, and that she has always been in the back seat. And yes, she will ultimately be discarded like us chumps. And it starts again….

  • “Surely, you must know that the Most Important Thing Is Their Happiness? ”

    This. He openly admitted it. It’s all he would talk about. I once told him he was obsessed with his own personal happiness, and his reaction was pretty much “well, duh!” like it was a normal, understandable thing. Of course I couldn’t understand it at all, how all that mattered to him was himself, his dick, and having freedom to go do whatever. His marriage and kids just weren’t that important to him, plain and simple. As Tracy always says, perfectly acceptable collateral damage. What a goddam waste of my life, but oh well. Three years out, I don’t take it as a personal rejection anymore, because I see how he’s chosen to live his life the last three years, and it’s just so pathetic.

    Anyway, so glad he bailed after three months of torturous pick me dancing. The thought that I could still be married to him makes me shudder…

    • I hope to be where you are eventually.
      My X also made very clear that the only things he cares about are his emotions and his happiness. And he does not think there is anything wrong with that. He feels his reactions to what I say is normal; being defensive to the max, always pointing towards my flaws instead of accepting any type of criticism, seeing my role in making him happy and admiring him, demanding to be shown love and affection, while he is free not to… it is all about him. He not once understood how I am feeling in this process. He simply cannot grasp this.

  • I ghosted my ex#2 immediately after getting my ducks in a row, and squirreling away enough to leave and start my life over. It took about a year of careful planning, after he had intentionally (I kid you not) given me an incurable STD. I mailed boxes of personal items to friends out of state, I stashed stuff under the seats of my car, crammed my suitcase to overflowing for a business trip I never intended to return from.

    My ex was scary. Bi-polar, suicidal, with a gun, and with an attitude (see above) that if HE has to suffer, by God everybody else is going to as well. No contact was the absolute safest way for me to go once I made the decision. I got a PO Box and an unlisted phone number, had him served, and that was that.

    I know he would claim cruelty on my part. Poor baby man-child. That was over 30 years ago, and he still stalks me, even after several moves, and several more failed marriages on his part. It is kind of frightening how much public information is available about us.

    • You can contact those sites like spokeo and true people search and ask them to remove your information because you are being stalked and they will.

    • My ex is diagnosed bipolar and violent too. They are scary. My family said to take up the offer of a friend to find me a new place but he knew where I worked and wouldn’t have much trouble finding me. I had to face him down and so far it was ok. Then he moved back to the States so that was even better. Even so, the more miles between us the better!

  • I needed this today. It’s almost 9 months since my ex came home one night, gave me the classic ‘I’ve fallen out of love with you/I haven’t been happy for a long time’ speech and walked out of the house with little more than his toothbrush an a change of underwear. That was the last time I ever saw him.
    We had a few brief conversations in the following days where he confessed his love for schmoopie, I begged him for answers, desperately wanting to know how he could have gone from telling me he loved me at 8am, to telling me had never loved me at midnight, he unceremoniously blocked all contact.

    It took months for the shock to wear off and I still have days where I’m completely struck by it again. It still hurts that I was so disposable but I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that it’s not about me, it’s about him being a giant piece of human garbage.
    I’ve often wondered if it would have been easier if he had hung around and made me do the pick me dance.

    • I am so sorry you had to go through this.

      Not sure if any other scenario is easier. The complete lack of agency and closure is really tough.
      The only thing that helped me was to “trust that he sucks” and just accept that my life was a sham. That I have been married to a person without integrity. There is no other word for it.
      I have to accept that most of my marriage life was in my head. He lived a different one. Where I was the evil bitch who trapped him and slowly tortured him. Not kidding. He used this analogy of feeling trapped and tortured with me.

      • Omg i am sorry u had to go through this. Please deal with it like you had the real positive memories and he just couldn’t . This experience should not extinguish your life. He just could not attach

  • Ohhhhh…so this is what happened!! well it’s nice to know that i did have a heart and feelings..too bad i thought he did too and that he actually felt something for me other than “kibble giver” (my dumbass).
    He was super lazy when it came to our marriage, the kids and I and anything else we/I needed….nice….but he’s head over heels for his new fiancee and is at her beck and call…..*Major eye roll*
    Well, imma sit back like that Michael Jackson gif of him sitting down and eating a big ass bucket of buttered popcorn and watch this scenario explode when the Karma Bus pops the clutch and floors it from the top of the hill….is that revving I hear??

  • As soon as I caught him fucking the skank woman he went from my bed to hers within 24 hours and never looked back once. This from a guy who swore I was the love of his life. He had just insisted five month prior that we renew our wedding vows on our anniversary. We weren’t having any kind of problems at all in our marriage. He just found a slut that would fuck him and I found out later he absolutely cannot turn down an offer like that. No matter how ugly she is.
    Talk about a fake life and a fake marriage to a fake man. There is something so wrong with this guy. She has him now but refuses to marry him. I guess she doesn’t want to walk down the aisle with a cheater who has already been down it six times.

  • Like a couple of other people here. I think I got both. Mine announced to me ( through text) that he no longer loved me. In fact , he had no feelings towards me at all.
    Of course as this divorce has progresses, he has raged several times. He writes me letters because I refuse to take his calls, he’s blocked on my phone etc. I don’t answer his letters either. I give them to my attorney.
    The woman he is with now, I believe he has been cheating with her for several years. At least 4 that I can figure just going through the financials.
    The last year he lived in our house , he slept on the couch. His decision. I was not allowed to touch him, nor would he touch me. Yet he denied there was anyone else. He traveled extensively for work. One time while he was gone yet again. I packed his car and had the locks changed. Enough was enough.
    He offered several times to mow the lawn, fix things around the house, etc. But I finally cut that out too. He was gone over a year before he even changed his address for the mail. He took very little, except what I packed in his car. His attorney has blathered on and on about me not letting him in the house for his stuff. So I finally put the rest of it in a storage unit and mailed him the key. Done and done.

  • Our stories are so similar. I discovered that he had spent the night at his co-worker AP’s house the day following – he was moved out within 2 weeks without looking back – he moved out the weekend right before our DD turned 6. He also signed over full custody without any fight and only fought about the money. It took me a LONG time to not feel like complete crap that I wasn’t worth fighting over. In hindsight, I don’t think he ever really loved me and I’m not sure he is capable of loving anybody (including himself). He married his AP co-worker (who is a year older than me) and they just went on a 2.5 week international vacation. DD never once asked about him or mentioned him at all. Last night she told me that if he forgot to pick her up Wednesday for dinner to “please don’t remind him.” I find it incredibly sad that I could have spent my whole life with somebody who doesn’t know how to love.

  • Thank you, Tracy. I needed this today. My situation is alittle of both. As many of you remember my letter to CL on August 14th of this year, my cheater blindsided me with, “I’m not happy and I want a divorce” on 8-27-18. I discovered the cheating about a week later and performed the pick me dance until 12-30-18. He informed me on that day he was picking married coworker Schmoopie and her 3 and 5yo. However, he has continued to live with me and carry on his affair.
    My update – I found out Schmoopie filed for divorce as well. I spoke with her husband and we both feel this has been going on for quite sometime. The devalue started for both of us at least 2 years ago. They’ve been working together for 8 years, however, so who really knows.
    He closed on his 5 bedroom shitty McMansion today! Not sure when he will actually move out, as we still do not have a signed parenting plan (next court date is 10-23) and I will never agree to anything verbally with him.
    I went on our twins’ schools’ website yesterday to check their grades so far and discovered he changed their address to his new address and made himself their primary contact. You better believe I took care of that.
    Thank you, CL and CN, for all of your love and support. I wouldn’t be where I am today without ALL of u. CL is ALWAYS right I have discovered over the past year and I am SO thankful for her wisdom.
    I’m getting stronger every day and looking forward to ending my year of abuse and leading cheater-free life❤️💪

    • I forgot to add that I am now minimal contact and only speak to him about the kids. I shut him down when he tries to make small talk with me. He’ll say, “Why can’t we be friends” or “We have to get along for the kids and you’re making this more difficult for them.” I answer him in one word answers only like a robot. He thinks I’m being immature. I know I shouldn’t care as I must be minimal contact for my own healing from abuse, but what he says does weigh on me 😞
      He has hurt me so horribly and does not see it, so he doesn’t understand why we can’t just get along, “for the kids” and I’m sure goes around telling people I’m being a bitch.

      • Almosttomeh, I totally can understand exactly how you feel. Mine tried to enroll my son in a new school. I have been called immature, nutty, that the kids will eventually figure out how terrible I am. I saw a recent team parent update email and I saw howorkers email on there, cause this 20 year younger whore needs updates on the kids? I am limited contact too, it’s theonly way. And I will sit back and watch this train wreck. The kids are only 9 and 12 and they see through him. Why is he so mad he cheated, left and well tru wuv? Well consequences are a bitch.

        • Thank u for your reply and yes. I constantly remind myself of Tracy’s Law of Consequences.” Living with her 3 and 5 yo is not going to be easy!

      • I understand you fully and am going through the same in what appears to be the same timeline. My husband is still living here and ready to move out. He rented a house two months ago.
        I get the same questions on why we cannot be friends and he is treating me like I am evil. I keep things level headed and am just continuing my day putting more energy towards my job. I just today rediscovered how much I love my job.
        I talk to him with more words, but without revealing any emotions. I call him out on any mind twist and abuse. Not in these words, but with words like “Are you purposefully being difficult here?”, “Are you playing stupid right now?”, “Don’t be weird.”, “This comment was inappropriate.” I feel like I am teaching him manners. And it exhausting, but it keeps me stable for now, so I can get through the next steps. I filed for divorce and our first hearing is on Oct 2nd. I need him to move out, but I do not want to push him or cause any rage, so I am waiting for his plan. Making him take the steps. Making him feel responsible.

        I am just baffled by how much these cheaters think it is ok to replace a wife and are expecting everyone to be ok with it. Like they ordered fish instead of steak at a restaurant. Like it does not really change much, just where we live…
        Bizarre.

        And just shows how self absorbed these people are.

  • My husband kissed me goodbye as I left for an appointment. When I returned there was a note on the hall table – I love you very much but I need a different life. And he was gone with all his possessions and a packed lunch including the last piece of apple pie.

    He has really never said anything about what happened though I do get the occasional weird email. He did say he didn’t want a divorce because he thinks his pension fund will be reinvested as he will get less (me too but what does that matter)! It is all about them.

    He has had no contact with his kids despite their disabilities over the last eight years and showed little concern when his mother died earlier this year. We are simply not on his radar at all.

    So we are both getting older (mid 70’s now) and he is still involved as far as I know with the idiot woman who took him back after he jilted her just before their planned wedding back in 1969.
    I will never figure that one out.

    I no longer take it personally but he stole four decades of my life and destroyed any memories without a thought. Cold doesn’t begin to describe it.

    • I’m sorry as I had to chuckle that he took the last piece of apple pie when he left. Fucker.

      My mom used to make fun treats for me, cheater, and our 2 kids. He didn’t physically go into work much as he has a chump boss. My mom would bring the treats by the house during the day and cheater would eat every single bite most of the time. When my mom would ask me and/or the kids if we liked it, we wouldn’t have a clue what she was talking about. She had to start putting the treats in individual containers with our names on each. Such selfish, entitled fuckers these cheaters are!

    • Be sure you are getting half his pension. If you are not careful he can make it disappear. See a lawyer, cheaters are dishonest people.

  • I really think the reason the abandoners don’t take anything with them is because they are starting a new fabulous life-sparkles fly through the air!as C.L. would say. Just like they are entitled to have an affair(s), they are entitled to all brand new EVERYTHING. Lord Cheater Pants did not even take his underware-literally. I dumped the whole drawer into a garbage bag and tossed it. He took his guns and some paperwork, but everything fit into one box (this from a 5000 square foot house). He felt entitled to walk out and not even throw his stuff in the trash; that is for in-fabulous people like me… It was telling of how little attachment he had to the life we had built over 14 years. I guess the ghosted are better off, but man does that hurt. He wants to be friends now, probably as testament to what a hell of a guy he is. Nope, nope, nope…now who is doing the ghosting??? Just wish I still didn’t feel a rage about it though, hopefully with time…

    • When Schmoopy left the Twat he rented a large 3-bedroomed farmhouse. New Schmoopy comes along, seemingly over her grief after the death of her second husband 3 months previously and the Twat and Schmoopy II abandon the farmhouse plus everything in it (he didn’t even take his washing out of the washing machine) and left me and the boys to get rid of everything (including the dog he had gotten 4 months earlier) and moved back to the States. Talk about entitlement.

      • The more I read about your story, the angrier I get. I’m sorry that you had to endure all the fucked up shit. I can’t imagine how you got through it.

        • To be honest I don’t know how I got through it but one step in front of the other I guess. It definitely left scars but even they heal! Hugs to you.

  • 10 months out and this still guts me. He walked out on dday, the day before he was planning to leave. The couples therapist asked where he was on a scale of 1–10 re. the marriage and he said zero. I don’t know how you say zero after 13 years and a child.

  • By far the most horrendous mindfuck was when mine ghosted me … ice ice top of a mountain cold abandoned me & the kids … then when schmoops kicked him to the kerb came back asking me to entice him to build a relationship with him. Do not say mean things or enforce consequences… he will run away!
    Now he’s not as big a studmuffin as he first thought he’s trying to play father of the year, fighting me for custody of the very kids he abandoned and I really wish he’d disappear again!

  • I wish this had been my cheater…instead he told me to move on, (and I did-started dating,) then he dicked me around for another 2 years after that, while still married and living with her. Then I quit dating; finalized divorce and his relationship finally ran its course, (or so I thought.) After divorce, he wanted to do things ‘as a family.’ I told him I wanted to be alone for 2 years, (turned out to be 3.). He said he did too, was a changed man; and then married her when I wouldn’t take him back (cool.) Since having to re-mediate custody orders, I went grey rock/minimal contact. Two years later…things have actually been peaceful and I totally moved on. Then I started dating a wonderful man who treats me like gold! Enter ex cheater, who is telling our kid he wants to marry me again…while he’s still married to original OW. WTF? It’s been 3 years since our divorce and 5 since I split. Disordered and entitled seem to go hand in hand…shake my head… I just want him to leave me alone and quit filling our kid’s head with nonsense!

  • For those of us who were abandoned and their partner never looked back, did you try to reach out to them and contact them? I still get so angry and I text him to tell him what a POS he is and point out all of his lies. It’s like a horrible obsession.

    • I tried, no answer and no response to texts. His last words to me : I love you , see you when you get home. That was in February 2018. Police found his truck abandoned( out of gas) in a field 2 counties away. He was a recovering alcoholic/addict. Our life was stressful as he was staying at home with my mother who was on hospice, while I worked each day.
      Honestly, I do not know what happened… did he abandon me or did something happen to him? Is he alive and staying off the radar to avoid me or is he dead? Talk about lack of closure, huh?

  • I would say you are the lucky ones! I almost was! If only the soulmate had followed thru with her plan to leave! Yes, it would have hurt…. but would have saved me 4 years of hell!

  • Thanks for the rerun. I had never seen it. As I read the accounts, it gives me odd comfort to find there are others who look back at the strangeness of someone just leaving and wonder wtf just happened. Thanks to those who posted. It helps those of us who can’t find answers from anyone about any of this. When I look in a closet of clothes and a cedar chest full of childhood pics of hers left behind, I can’t even put thoughts together as to how someone just leaves it all behind. So, it’s a sociopathic mental disorder…meh. That answer doesn’t really satisfy it. Now I don’t even get to hang on to “what did I need to do better” as a husband, cause it turns out nothing about me mattered at all. What’s the point of trying to believe their gaslighting if I never really mattered? You’re taking everything I’m holding onto in order to believe I’m somehow relevant. Hmmm, I can’t tell if this helps or makes it worse. ;-). Thanks for freeing me of a bunch of stuff that I felt I “needed” to hang on to. Best free million-dollar therapy session I’ve ever had!

    • I’m two months post divorce and 4 months post D-day and completely No Contact. Even if you got answers, you can’t be certain if they are lies or truths. It’s not easy, in fact it’s damn hard. I was married 17 years (3 weeks short of 18) and he traded me in for a different model. There’s nothing about this that’s fair, loving or honest. You have to let it go in your own way. Sending vibes for days ahead.

      • //Sending vibes for days ahead.//
        Thanks! You’re way ahead of me on the road to recovery…21 years married, 5 years post-divorce, also traded in for a newer model, and just now starting to “get it.” Read to mean…”there really isn’t anything to know or understand or hope for about it.” As a follower of Christ and a believer in covenant marriage, it means standing alone….quietly. This has probably even been too much talking of it. I appreciate your heart!

        • I hear you,OFWC. I also thought we had a covenant marriage, after D-Day he told me that he didn’t care about the ‘paper’ part of the marriage, the legal side I suppose he meant. He didn’t care about the spiritual side either, obviously! Now it’s up to him to make his peace with God about that ‘forsaking all other’s line but it does leave me wondering how much of our spiritual and prayer life together was insincere too. There seemed to be just no consideration of what God might have wanted for us in any of his decisions.

          • // I also thought we had a covenant marriage,//
            //There seemed to be just no consideration of what God might have wanted for us in any of his decisions//
            Hopeful that you’re standing in covenant, and prayers for strength and courage to remain!

  • Thank you all for responding to today’s post. Didn’t know I needed this today.
    It helps to see similarities / differences in our stories – how you’ve coped, responded; where you are on the road to taking back your life.

    It doesn’t matter if you were ghosted or strung along through this shit storm – we’ve all been leveled, devastated, annihilated and the result is/was PAIN, CONFUSION, SELF-DOUBT… MORE PAIN.

    It’s wonderful to have so many people willing to lift you up, bolster your courage, help you see things from another perspective.
    You are a special, wonderful group.

  • Wow. This all happened to me, too. Reading through the comments, I’m dead positive there really is an official Cheaters Handbook.

    I’m ten years out and contact is minimal. Once I got over the excruciating pain and humiliation (about 4 years as the paperwork took a bit of time) I realized I hadn’t missed him. Oh, I missed our intact family a lot. But. Not him. And his suffocating schtick. I love being free. I have a good job, got half of everything including his pension and all of mine. Here’s one thing he used to do a lot. Pick fights with me to garner sympathy from that woman. Yeah, she had no interest in marrying again. He didn’t want her to slip away so he really leaned on her sympathies to keep her close. Two souls fighting against the wind and all that crap. One day he started clutching his pearls so I asked him was she not home and did he have absolutely no one else to fight with? So I went silent. Never responded. Drove him nuts. But I heard he’s got trouble in paradise. Fingers crossed. I still seriously despise him and her because this wasn’t her first rodeo. But it’s a cold hate. I’m a very patient person. Karma will get him soon enough

  • “THIS “ You don’t deserve an explanation because it was never about you. Surely, you must know that the Most Important Thing Is Their Happiness? THAT IS THE one true thing Mr. McCheaterpants said was After multiple D-Day’s “ IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU” NOPE ? Okay, SO I WALKED AWAY… with it all..Kids , House,cash I WIN ! HE CAN JUST KEEP TALKING TO THE WIND 💨 WE DO NOT CARE… PRICELESS

  • Mine left with a bag of clothes ,came back for the rest of them and a few personal things and then just cut me off, refuses to talk or discuss finances or settlement of properties. Just walked away like we are all nothing the houses, me , pets , furniture, tools .
    It hurts to think you meant so little to them after 10 years, that they want nothing to remind them of your life and no longer care about any of it. That is hard to get past.

  • Lawyer up chances are they won’t bother like mine.
    Here in the States in my Southern State all can be settled in a separation agreement. I got 85 % he got 15 % because he couldn’t be bothered 😕 I sold anything of value he left , don’t know if he regrets it or not he signed , I walked and , I am still Walking…

  • Fellow chumps, would you be able to tabulate some items, I am getting increasingly curious but also disturbed by some the common treads in your ( and mine ) stories. Did your previous husbands/wife/spouse display the following behaviours?

    1. staring at you with cold, intense, contemptuous eyes while you were speaking with him/her regardless of topic?
    2. Rarely smiled while at home or to any of his/her immediate family during trips/ eating?
    3. Shown interest in the children only when they were involved in competitive sports?
    4. Almost never smiled in family pictures ( trip/home etc) but display genuine congeniality in all other pics ( such as sport/activity like sailing, golf ,
    get together with friends, etc?
    5. Used the multiple of 5 when describing how long they had been unhappy… ( as in “i have been unhappy for 5, 10 , 15 or 20 years )..

    From your own experiences, it appears that most of the abandoners in essence erase their past life. They drop kids, house, spouse, personal items such as pics since such no longer reflect their new-found life. However they fight like pit-bull dogs to take as much money as possible with them to finance said new life. How this depletion of family finances impact their past family is of no concern whatsoever. They also demonstrate during the divorce that planning had been in place for 5, 10, 15, 20 years for a least financial loss to themselves.

    They follow a script, they are very predicable on all this. They do fall in love immensely ( with affair partner ) but as one whom they consider to be a twin soul, ie a mirror of themselves ( a emotional service provider who is the extension of who/ what they are). Most are malignant narcissists, either somatic, intellectual or communal ( ie the neighourhood hero). Regardless of which type, they follow the same problematic pattern, show mark of same mental disorder…

    • Yes to much of what you said. Maybe you could repost this in the forum pages where it’s less public? I certainly think there is a pattern and looking back, now after 8 months of pretty much NC there were many clues as to the planning of his departure. I’m not sure if it is ALL deliberate or whether they have shallow, careless personalities and go with the flow until there is a trigger that makes them run. Definitely some sort of disorder there though when the evidence is reviewed in the cold light of day.

    • Yep you have uncannily got all my ex crazy characteristics to a t. In fact my mum wondered why he didn’t smile in family photos. ..but yes when i found wirk photos and his facebook friends… bingo smiled from ear to ear. Fucking creepy. And so funny u say about the 5 year blocks. He wrote to the kids after he left and they didnt see or speak to him for 2 years and he actually told them he regreted the last 15 years of his life…. oh and if course when it came to telling me the never loved you story it started out at 10…went to 15 then ended up the whole marriage. ..25 so who the fuck knows … the minimal financial loss to him was practically surgical. He remortgaged the house during the last 5 years of marriage…splashed out on lavish holidays i had no say in and expense school fees….all for image management and buying off the kids…didnt work on them thanks god. Yep these types are all your worst nightmare horror show hell raiser freak show that never ends. … he keeps trying to hoover the kids with emails that dial through the channels rage pity and charm. He is fucked in the head like the rest of his nutty family.

      • And once again. ..took only 1 set of photos of the kids. In fact threw away framed pics into the skip!! He only displayed 3 individual photos of them at his place from when they were really small (they are all adults) its like he wanted to feeeze frame his memories. I have tried and failed to analyse his behaviour. I cannot bend my mind into his thought processing. Just plain evil. Dont get me started on the looks he gave me that seriously projected pure hate. I could feel it boring through me.
        We should have a post that deals with their weird sameness

  • my ex left everything except some of his music stuff guitars ets. now after 1.5yrs he is asking for all sorts of stuff but not kids pics. i realize that he was with me for the money. i was the bread winnef and he worked occasionally. when i told him i was retiring and he would need to work to pay for his insurance, he left for a tramp he met in a bar. at one point he said he would have to file to get money. now i see how it has always been about what i could provide so he could live the easy life. wow! i am such a sucket!

  • After DDay 2 I kicked cheater out – he went to OW’s flat for more sex followed by brunch. Logic? “I didn’t think you’d take me back so I went to her place instead”… Later on he told me “The best case scenario for me is we’d get back together, but if you have moved on already I need to know so I can make my own decisions”, as if I am the one who “ghosted” him (I was just maintaining my NC boundaries). He also said “there’s no point investing his time on someone who doesn’t respond” (yup he’s that lazy), and “who knows where talking will lead us? why should I give up OW we may not work out”. At the time it hurts to know I am not as “good” as an investment compared to the OW in his cost-benefit analysis, but then I thought this is not love… she’s just an easier and safer option. Makes me sad to see that he thinks so little of women.

    He left everything in the apartment but he’s still paying rent… I have to wait my 2 years separation period before divorce can happen (2 whole years!!!) He ignored all the letters from my lawyer, he said “but I don’t want to divorce”, and that my letters give him anxiety attacks and depression. Another 8 months before I can take him to court for more drama…

  • emotional black hole,
    YOUR letters give him ” anxiety and depression.” Poor baby.
    ( was his second affair with the same ow)?
    I am so sorry for all you are going through, and that it is taking so long to get a divorce.
    You know from reading the posts in CL, CN, that his shitty character is NOT your fault, it is all on him!

    My DDay was years ago. There was no CL, no CN. I confided in no one, was a sad pick me dancer.
    Cheater stayed. I felt so relieved, ( had a young child, was in early trimester pregnancy). I went on with life as best I could.
    To my knowledge cheater had no more affairs, but he does possess narc like characteristics.
    After finding CL, CN, and realizing none of what happened was really my fault, I found, eventhough I had forgiven cheater, I could NEVER forget! NEVER forget how he treated me, how he disrespected me.
    Of course, I will always have a fantasy of him actually just leaving at DDay time, or of me kicking him out, of just waving good bye to his dust as he exited my life. I cannot help but think that my life, and my children’s life would have been a hell of a lot easier.
    I know I am not the shinning example of CN, I really am a failure. But, I choose to come here to encourage new Chumps to leave a cheater, to gain a life. I have the highest respect for those Chumps who do just that. For the Chumps who are ghosted by their cheater, eventhough it is so painful, I believe in the long run, for most, it is best.
    In CN, many Chumps go on to a Tuesday, to a land called MEH.
    I wish you strength and endurance on your journey.
    YOU are Mighty!

  • For those of us affected by the “vanishing spouse”, what used to bother me (but I’m now so over it because the divorce went through) is that a “switch was flipped,” and that the other person just decided to ignore (or care less) about years or decades of a marriage.

    I almost feel like there as an “alien abduction” or “possession” somehow, and the person we thought we knew is now MIA.

    For those of you still struggling for this, just keep in mind: you were not at fault. You did nothing that caused them to do this to you. The full blame is on them. Be at peace w/yourself, brighter days are ahead.

    • My ex did the same. After I found out he was cheating on me for almost a year, he just said “Have you moved out yet? Leave the keys with the front desk”. This is after 5 years of being together and living together. No remorse at all!

  • Thank you for this post! It’s only been 3 months since D-Day and I’m still trying to stop myself from untangling this mindf*ck. She left for a work trip in love with me and returned 4 days later in love with a waitress she slept with. I could not believe how cold she was to me when she returned. I sometimes feel like she never came back from that trip. Never once asked how I was, just cold and unaffected but playing the victim.

    I just ran into the ex last week for the 1st time since she moved out – and she was with the OW, who I had only seen on social media. Once the ex spotted me, she pointed me out to the OW and then started making out with her. Trusting they suck! I know I am on my way to a better path but it’s still a little shitty some moments.

  • I had no idea why my husband was looking at me in disgust beginning of 2017. I asked if he wanted to go to couples counseling. He wasn’t interested. He wanted for us to divorce, but wait until our daughter graduated from high school in 1.5 years. So, I’ll just live day to day for over a year with my husband looking at me as if I smelled like a pile of shit?

    Little did I know, he started an affair and was discarding me, demonizing me. He was so uncomfortable when I’d joke around or compliment him. How could I be a nice person? This did not fit his narrative to justify his cheating.

    I went to that therapy appointment. My therapist knew what was going on. I could see it in her eyes. All the details I was telling her, how confused I was by his behavior. Without saying anything, she was telling me “oh sweetheart, hopefully you will find out the truth soon” Hours later I confronted my husband. And he fessed up. He was relieved because he and AP were feeling guilty, lol.

    I kicked him out that night and told him to tell his daughter what he did. My daughter was suspicious of his behavior before I was. Luckily I only had to deal with this for 3.5 months vs. years like other chumps.

    He knew I had no interest in trying to work anything out after Dday. After the shock wore off, I released years of resentment and rejected him, made fun of his piss poor choices, and told him to go “sit on someone else’s couch and do nothing”.

    I was happy to get rid of him after spackling and allowing my daughter and myself to be treated badly by him for so long. My ex had been verbally abusive and had no patience with our daughter. At the time, his most recent assh*le comment was when he called our daughter a p*ssy after she wanted to take a break from learning to parallel park.

    Months after Dday, when he told me I was part to blame for the affair (evidently I sat idly by throughout our 18 year marriage) I went off! I told him “I was in the same shitty marriage and I didn’t cheat!” He started to walk away and I said “Walk away you coward! You call your daughter a p*ssy? You’re the p*ssy! Get the f*ck out of here you p*ssy coward!”

    I do wish I would have found Chump Lady sooner, but am glad I had that moment telling him off

  • Anyone who just walks out is just shit, and a coward, probably tries to come back later, they and the idiot that wants them deserve each other. My exs friend regularly cheats on his wife, was talking about his anniversary on Tuesday, nevermind he cheats on her, drinks to excess and takes hard drugs, he expects congratulations on his anniversary, entitled or what?

  • My separation date happened after months of what I thought was depression on his part. He was drinking excessively, was so cruel, yelled constantly, was distant… after several promises to get a therapist with no result, I eventually told him to get a therapist or get out. He left (and this is true) with a bag full of underwear and scotch bottles. In the weeks following, I kept trying to talk to him and figure out what was going on. I offered to pack up things for him. He only asked for clothing and some scotch glasses, nothing sentimental. This all ended when I found out about Mistress Cok (her real last name, everyone). He never came back for any of his possessions, which included heirlooms from dead family members, photos, etc. He didn’t do anything to move the divorce forward–that was all me. He also hid from the being served the separation agreement (he refused to give his work address and he delayed the divorce by refusing to pick a time to be home to receive the papers). He also kept putting off the separation agreement by asking for ridiculous things (e.g. shared custody with a dog he just left behind, no questions asked). When he finally DID sign, I discovered that he backdated his signature to even before my lawyer had SENT the agreement. I always wondered what the point of that was… was he trying to prove to Cok that he was moving things along, and it was me who was delaying?
    In any case, official documents, supposedly important sentimental items… all left for me to clean up.
    Do they ever circle back around?

  • Oh my word, does this ever resonate with me and help me. My X left after 45 yrs. of marriage to reunite with his H.S. girlfriend after seeing her at their 50th class reunion. He took his clothes, some of his more valuable fishing equipment, his Rolex watch and diamond ring and his H.S. yearbook. He pointedly left behind every gift I’d ever given him, laid out on the dresser to make sure I saw it. He did come back and ask for one thing: his H.S. letter jacket.

    This has been eating at me for 1.5 yrs. now because it’s just so bizarre and I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one. He hasn’t spoken to me since the day I asked him and begged him and finally demanded that he tell me the truth about what he was doing. That ticked him off big time, he hung his head down and when he looked back up, he wasn’t the man I’d known for 49 years. It was almost sort of scary in the sense that I’d been so blind to his ability to be evil and cruel. I told him he had to leave, that I’m not living with a cheater. He packed his stuff and left and that night sent me a text that we should “go our separate ways.” Chicken shit couldn’t even say the word divorce. We did all the divorce stuff via email and he’s now 1100 miles away in his new life.

    Yesterday I cleaned out my front closet and there were 2 of his old flannel shirts still hanging in the back. And that’s when I really sort of got it – he has reinvented himself to be suave, debonair and sophisticated. A successful businessman with no baggage. Well, I sort of understand his need to do that because the story of his life is not a pretty one and of course he couldn’t stay with me because I knew all his secrets and his bad habits and his sort of odd things and he couldn’t pretend to be someone else with me.

    He turned 70 last week; I’m 68. I spent my whole adult life trying to make him happy, to support him through thick and thin (and believe me, there was plenty of that), cared for his parents, etc. So I guess if my life goal was to make him happy, I finally succeeded.

    Thanks for listening. Boy did it feel good to write all that. I’ve not had anyone to talk to about this so I’ve really got it all pent up.

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