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Dear Chump Lady, He’s stuck on his ‘intentions’

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Dear Chump Lady,

I caught an incoming text on my husband’s phone from a coworker. Of course, he lied and said it was nothing and that it was the only text she had ever sent. In reality, they had been texting back and forth for a month. I was able to download the messages through an online site where they are stored because this was a work phone. One point for me for being a super sleuth.

She offered him sex many times and he didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no either. It’s more like he was keeping his options open. He says he’s sorry now, but he’s saying and doing all of the things cheaters say and do and he’s very stuck on INTENTION. He says his intention was to be polite to her, just be friends, and not rock the boat with a coworker. Even though at one point, she asked him if he would like her to stop texting him, otherwise, she wanted to have an affair with him. He told her it was fine to text him. Again, he says he was trying not to rock the boat.

I feel like I was I smothering him around the time he was talking to her by asking him to spend more time with me and asking him if he wanted to have a baby with me. Both of those requests were met with anger and scoffing. He does not want a baby with me and he says that if I want more of his time I have to come and get it. I’m responsible for meeting my own needs.

Not sure what to do because I’m still reeling from all this. What are your thoughts on his “intentions?”

Sincerely,

Sad

Dear Sad,

His intentions are irrelevant. They’re unprovable. They exist inside his head, assuming they exist at all. They may not. See first point — unprovable.

Let’s say you give me a set of golf clubs, knowing that I despise golf. You could say your “intention” was to give me a generous gift and make me happy. You could say you totally forgot I hate golf, despite decades of knowing me and my passionate dislike of country clubs and lime green trousers. Or it could be that you’re passive aggressive and want to troll me with a gift I hate — I’m still stuck with unwanted golf clubs.

Whatever his “intentions”, you’re still stuck with the crappy outcome. He lies, he’s okay keeping his options open with other women, he’s not sorry. Those are your golf clubs. What do you do with them?

His “intentions” don’t really pass the sniff test. A gift can be misconstrued. Lying about hook-up texts with a coworker, not so much. It’s pretty much what it looks like. If your robbery attempt was aborted, it’s still a crime.

Secretly sexting with your coworker is still secretly sexting with your coworker. He let her keep propositioning him not out of politeness (where’s the Miss Manners etiquette guide on that?) but out of ego. That’s the best interpretation. You could also argue he kept the channels of communication open for opportunity too. I mean, if he’s going to be so polite — why’s it a secret? Hold the door open for the lady, dipshit.

Trying to focus the argument on his intentions, and off his actions, is just mindfuckery. You can’t win an argument about someone’s thoughts or feelings. It’s not solid ground — the battlefield is entirely in their head. Facts, however, are solid ground. He had a back channel with a coworker. He lied about it. You busted him, he didn’t admit it.

Back to the golf clubs — what are you going to do with it? What are you going to do with this information? Is this relationship acceptable to you?

Frankly, to me, FAR more upsetting in your letter is this:

I feel like I was I smothering him around the time he was talking to her by asking him to spend more time with me and asking him if he wanted to have a baby with me. Both of those requests were met with anger and scoffing. He does not want a baby with me and he says that if I want more of his time I have to come and get it. I’m responsible for meeting my own needs.

He is your HUSBAND. He is supposed to care about your needs — needs that are directly communicated to him.

Let’s break this down.

I feel like I was I smothering him

Do you feel that, or did he say you were smothering him? Because wanting your husband to spend time with you is totally normal. Did you feel unsafe? In need of assurance? Off-balance?

It sounds like you’re owning his mindfuckery that you’re controlling and smothery. Where did that judgement come from?

around the time he was talking to her by asking him to spend more time with me

You shouldn’t have to do the pick-me dance. Is this contest acceptable to you?

asking him if he wanted to have a baby with me

((((Hugs)))) This is heartbreaking. Wanting children or not is a legitimate issue in a marriage — it’s not a pick me dance either. This is a BIG red flag. His actions are communicating that he is NOT father material. This is a conversation you should be able to enter into without fear, and be heard. If you’re not on the same page about kids — even without the shady texts — this is a dealbreaker by itself.

Both of those requests were met with anger and scoffing.

There’s your answer. LISTEN TO IT. Connect the dots. Anger and scoffing = NOT AVAILABLE FOR A RELATIONSHIP. Except a BAD relationship.

These aren’t trivial issues. It’s the present — time spent now — and your future — time spent as a family. This is HUGE. He is rejecting you.

He does not want a baby with me and he says that if I want more of his time I have to come and get it. I’m responsible for meeting my own needs.

Great. Then I suspect you’ll just manage to get yourself pregnant all by yourself. Immaculate conception? Turkey baster? What a fucker.

Again — he gave you an answer. It wasn’t the answer you wanted, but it’s the answer you got. ACT on it. Don’t interpret his being there as him being committed and invested. They’re very, very different things.

Look at what you have, not what you wish it could be, and ask yourself if this marriage is acceptable to you?

I’d hang up my dancing shoes if I were you, and call a lawyer.

He can interpret your intentions however he likes.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Dump his ass and find someone you don’t have to feel this way with. Its hard but your clearly not getting what you deserve or want.

    • Exactly! He has shown u his true colors before u had children. Consider it a blessing. My STBXH is still living at my house AND having an affair with his coworker right in my face. He won’t leave, even though he bought a 5 bedroom house for AP, her two children and my two children because his lawyer told him not to because the D isn’t final yet. I’ve been living everyday with my abuser.

      I have finally decided that I deserve better and I don’t want to live my life with someone who could do this to me anyway. I’m better off alone and this is NOT the life I want to live! I’m going to take my power back and concentrate on me and my 12 year old twins. I plan to make the rest of their years at home as wonderful as possible given their father detonated our family.

      Question – my STBXH is a good father. He tells the twins, “I’m just leaving your mother, not you. My AP (name) makes me happy and your mother doesn’t.” The twins find this reasonable to accept and still love on their dad tremendously. I find they actually protect and defend him which is hard for me to accept after he has been having an affair with a married coworker whom he left me for. I was apparently in a pick me dance competition that I didn’t know about until the discard. Anyone have any words of advice here?

      Thank u, CN!

      • He tells the twins, “I’m just leaving your mother, not you. My AP (name) makes me happy and your mother doesn’t.” The twins find this reasonable to accept and still love on their dad tremendously. I find they actually protect and defend him

        What he is REALLY telling them is they are expendable too. They better dance because the moment they don’t, he’s going to make it clear that his support will be withdrawn. Just like he did to you.

        Get them in therapy now. They will need the support. Adolescents can smell bullshit & in a few years, they are llikely to challenge him on many different topics (possibly how he cheated & treated you) and the shit will hit the fan.

        What an asshole.

          • Family counselling will be very helpful for you to strengthen your bond with the kids. Now overdrive moral education (without directly referencing dad) with your children. Lessons of right and wrong. If you happen to have a religious affiliation, start teaching the Commandments, stories about moral decision-making, empowering girls (don’t know if the twins are boys or girls), good healthy relationships and fidelity.

            Let the twins make their own correlations to the father’s affair relationship or not, but at least you are counteracting the “normalization” of affairs in the minds of your kids so that they grow up to have a better understanding of what is a healthy marriage in future and the value of commitment, mature love, integrity and honesty.

            I though my alcoholic father was the best when I was 11/12. He was so much fun, and I could do whatever. By the time I was 15, I was looking for any excuse to get out of my weekends with him. By sixteen, I wasn’t going over to see him for months at a time. By seventeen, I wrote him off completely. Didn’t see him again until my wedding day when I was 33.

            Love them. Do not underestimate the power of possessing a moral compass and the example you will be to your kids about what enduring love ought to look like.

            • Thank u to all who took the time to reply. I feel SO much better already. The 3 of us are in therapy and we do go to church which I make a big priority in our lives. So, it sounds like I am doing all the right things?! Woo hoo! Now to just believe and trust in God and the universe. Im hoping that they will see my love and dedication to them and want to be with me more, rather than 50/50 with their father, his AP and her 3 and 5yo!
              Thank u all again. Idk where I would be without u all!😘😘❤️

              • The twins are young and one of the replies hit the nail on the head……the twins have been very subtly warned that Dad left Mum, not us, but if we don’t toe the line we could be left next. Not sure if this applies to your situation but if the twins bring up that Dad left you not us because the OW makes him happy which implies you did not make Dad happy….you could reply that Dad seemed very happy up until he met OW. So Dad just needed an excuse for failing to meet his marriage obligations. In any case you might want to apologize to the twins for having such a weak father. Let the twins know your stbx is a weak defect so when he decides to brush off the twins (and he will) they will understand their father is just an asshole and this is in no way their fault. You must do everything on your power not to let the twins resort to jumping thru hoops for Dad’s attention or “love”.

              • My first therapist told me that kids will “protect” the weaker parent or the one who might abandon them, because they other parent can “adult” and will not abandon them. So “loving on their dad,” even if he is a jackass, is par for the course. He’s leaving. They fear, unconsciously or otherwise, that he might leave THEM.

              • And let them know that it is not our responsibility to make someone else happy. That is a personal responsibility.

              • i would flat out tell my 12 year old that it is NOT ok for a husband to have a girlfriend while he is still married. i explained to my boys that the way to fix things is to talk about it. i flat out told them that their dad was making some very bad decisions and it was NOT ok for him to put the blame on me. i stressed repeatedly that we as people are only responsible for our own actions. i admit to my faults but explain that it was not MY fault nor THEIR fault that dad was making bad choices. i also explained how dad’s happiness or unhappiness had nothing to do with me or them. (or the AP)

                i talked a lot to my children about right/wrong, good/bad decisions, consequences and what i believe in. .. .. my kids are pretty good kids and understand that their bio dad is not a good man. i know they love him. and i have told them that is ok. i also told them to pay attention to dad’s actions over his words. how words are easy but if he doesnt follow thru then they are nothing but lies.

                counseling really helped and we were lucky that bio dad ghosted with his AP. if either one of my kids want to visit or call their dad, then i make it happen. but for the most part they do not care anymore.

                good luck

          • When is your divorce final? A big part of loving your children is to honour the other parent (their mother in this case). What is holding up the parenting plan? You think his AP is going to want two extra kids under foot? She does not know the experience yet.

            • My teen brought up to her cheating fuck wit father “so how do you know that you fall out of love with your new girlfriend? “…. (good question ) …him.. “I don’t know. I hope not” …. total responsibility. So yes they show themselves up that people including their own kids are disposable. There has been more proof than i ever thought.

        • Exactly! It reads as hey kids remember you thought i liked your mom. Sucka. Better keep me happy. It is all abuse.it is terrorism in its purest form.
          These fuckers should never be allowed anywhere near children in my opinion.

          • Almosttomeh my x gave our teenager the exact,word for word speech. The whole your mom doesn’t make me happy blah blah blah. It was completely terrifying to our grown child. That is when they know they have no idea who this person is. And holy shit if these freaks aren’t all completely the same. Don’t even let it affect you. Its such bullshit. And trust me in a few years when your kids loathe him and you are fine without his dumb ass and he realizes he is living with a cheating whore he will change his tune. But it will be way too late. He showed you who he is.

        • I second the therapy for the kid.

          This is pretty much the line my XW gave the kids.

          My 7-year-old had a crying-into-his-cereal breakdown a couple of months ago, saying he didn’t think mom loves him as much as AP, he’s worried she’ll go on a trip (to visit AP) and never return, and that he’s “not as important” to mom as AP is. Mind you, this is three years post-separation, 2 years post-divorce. He’s in therapy now.

          Even kids eventually recognize that their promises can’t be relied on and that their love can evaporate. It’s heartbreaking.

        • My ex said this to all of us, the day he decided to leave on a family vacation. We went for a walk with kids, said kids do you know what divorce is? I don’t love you mother anymore. I lam leaving your mom, I am not leaving yiu’ Then left, all of us. He continues to proclam those words to the kids, as a reminder. Then when they don’tgive him the respect he thinks he deserves, he proclaims how much money he sends me and how he had nothing. Great parenting for a 12 and 9 year old. He so tells me the kids will realize someday what a terrible person Their mom is (me) and it will out work out. I can’t believe they think this stuff.

      • Almosttomeh,

        That sounds so painful. I’m so sorry he has manipulated your daughters. My middle daughter who was only 16 at the time also fell for X’s and AP’s emotional mindfuckery that they “had” to cheat and break up our family unit of 25 years for xyz bullshit reasons. It hurt so bad to hear my daughter endorse this heinousness. I just kept mostly quiet (I’d already stated my values: that my marriage was a commitment to remain monogamous and honest about key facts and cheating, stealing, and lying are wrong and incredibly hurtful). It’s been nearly 4 years and my daughter is still my daughter. She doesn’t speak of whore around me. I’m her mom, the solid, stable, honest, supportive, non-lying non-cheating, non-breaking up the family for my own kicks and jollies parent. X? Who cares!

        • Thank u MC99!
          That is all I can do I guess. Be true to my values and be the more stable, sane parent without an AP’s 3 and 5 yo to also attend to. Yeah, I wish him luck with that…

          • And be ready to accept their anger. My therapist shared with me that they push against the more stable, present parent because they are confident they can and you won’t disappear. My twins were 8 when their father left for someone who breaks families up for sport. This time she hit the jackpot and found someone who picked her over his children. He hardly sees them. One of my sons was furious and broken hearted. Yelling at me. Refusing to go to school. It’s heartbreaking to be on the receiving end of all of this. There’s this feeling like you got shit on and now are taking the blame for it. For me peace came knowing I have chosen my path with heart and most of all honesty.

            • I woke up in the middle of the night last night and cried about this. My first husband (not a cheater, I don’t think) was abusive and violent towards me and our daughter blames me for it. He was her hero and could do no wrong. Her Facebook page is full of pictures of him and so is her house. She doesn’t have one picture of me anywhere because I’m the villain. I was the parent that always took care of her and made sure she had everything she needed and loved her the best I could and in the end, I got nothing for it. Exactly, DoingMyBest…I got shit on and now I’m taking the blame for it.

              • Unless she gets therapy or has her own experience with leaving an abuser, she may never get it. Kids can spackle too. And some of them prefer identifying with the abuser because that seems to them to be the power position.

            • oh my giddy aunt!!! that is my story also. wasband left me for the neighborhood crack head, who is STILL married and abandoned her own kids.. .. . ours was the 3rd or 4th marriage she broke up or as SHE puts it our marriage was over already she just helped wasband get thru the divorce (LOL). she also hit the jack pot with wasband, since he chooses her over our boys all the time. he literally only visits or calls when they are broken up which amounts to once a year. (this year has been a record as they have broken up 3 times already since january but he has only called the boys once)

              4 years now i think he has burned his bridges with our boys. after this last time in june, neither child care if he calls or visits anymore. i stopped chasing him to remind him to call or visit our kids after the second year. .. . we are all doing much better and have our peace, and happiness.

          • Your STBX was unecessarily cruel. He could have said something like “I did love your mother at one point but our marriage ended – I am sorry everyone is hurt”. But he did not. He does nto care about you as a person. As far as the 12 year olds, he is giving them the idea that marriages are expendable and are not a committment. Don’t discuss STBX with them. Just state once, that marriages are committment and involve honor, respect and work and should not be imploded lightly. Then just focus on your relationship with them. Get a tough lawyer. His staying in the house is abusive – yuck – sleeping withsomone else and staying in the house. I hope you are not cooking for him. Get your kids into seeing a good therapist.

      • Almosttomeh, I am so sorry you are having to live with your abuser and all i have to say is how fucking dare him.
        I say that a lot to myself. It is what helps me to keep on task and helped me get thru a bad divorce with a piece of filth not unlike your husband.
        Seriously how fucking dare he!

      • Almost to Meh… yeah, Mr. Sparkles tried that bullshit too with our son (who was 9 at the time). I encourage you to back the conversation up a few steps.

        In the early stages of image management by Mr. Sparkles and the OW, I kept to one simple statement: “Married people don’t get girlfriend’s while they are on their family vacation.” (He was texting and see her on the side while we were all at the beach.) It made it very easy for everyone to understand… no blame, just a simple truth. Since then, I’ve gone on to iterate other concepts like “married people don’t place personal ads on the internet to get dates”… “married people don’t hide money from their spouses”… “married people don’t tell their spouse they love them and then turn around and pick up women at the gym” (Yes, I know… married people do these things all the time, that’s why we are all here… LOL… but I’m trying to teach him how a married person SHOULD behave for his own future.)

        It is never easy co-parenting with a cheater and the OW/OM. My best counsel is to keep the focus on you and the twins… go build your amazing life with them… they’ll see their Dad’s bullshit in their own time… just like the OW’s kids will see through it.

      • @almosttomeh – Tweaker ex told our 9 yr old “your mom and I didn’t fit together anymore.” Fuck right we didn’t fit together. I don’t want a drug addict or a cheater in my marriage. Those are my boundaries and at the time I wasn’t using them because I hadn’t confirmed the full out Meth use or the cheating. I was married 14 yrs and together 21 years…I only knew what he wanted me to know. I explained to my son (before and after his father told him this statement) that cheating is wrong. I don’t bash his father at all. My 9 year old still loves his dad dearly and that is proof I have not bashed the horrible POS he has for a father. I do explain basic truths and common life principals. And yes to therapy. They need an outlet and you need the support. They are going to be in teens soon and life gets harder. Hugs and much love to you. You got this!

      • @Almosttomeh —

        I found out my husband continued the affair two days ago. I just threw him out and forced him to move to the house he rented.
        I informed my attorney who claimed there is nothing legally to be done to keep him out unless I claim abuse.

        I am hoping that my XH is coming to his senses that he needs to stay out.

        • Yep. Tried, tried and tried. He says, “I’m not going anywhere without my kids.” His attorney advised him to not leave until the parenting plan is in writing. My attorney said there is nothing I can do unless he hits me. Emotional abuse means nothing in NY unfortunately.

        • How is being forced to live with someone who is cheating on you not deemed as abuse? Our laws need to change.

          • I fully agree. It is full torture. I did this four 5months not even knowing that the affair was still going strong. It is just lucky that my cheater feels the need to punish himself… he is sleeping on an insulating mattress on the floor of an empty house.

            I wish I was legally able to change locks.

      • First of all, hugs to you for being resilient and trudging thru this with him saying that to your kids, living with you and making you endure this. I’m a year and half out and it still hits me in the heart that my kids still love him. This is my truth. It hurts but after time goes by I realize that they have realized who he really is without me saying a word. ( sometimes I did and felt so guilty) But they some how figured this “new dad” is all they have. My story is very similar to yours but my kids are older. You will ha e times that you don’t know how you can get thru this but you will. You know why, your kids love you and love them. They deserve all the love you can give them. Stay in counselling and find calmness in this storm. If I can do it, you can do. Breathe in happiness as much as you can especially during the dark phases. Xo sweet

      • Wow.. that’s just craziness. What a freaking asshole he is!
        Then getting your twins to accept his BULLSHIT excuse and siding with him.
        I too have GONE tru similar .
        My xh was having affair with his coworker,which of course he denied. It all started with her giving him a ride to and from work.. I spoke up against this. It just made him stay out after work doing God knows what who knows where.
        To make a long story short. This Bitch he is now living with along with our 19 year old son whom refuses to have anything to do with me. Cut me out of his life with much assistance and influence by dad and The C word.
        This chick was engaged and living with her fiancee for another 18 months all the while my ex sat on the sidelines waiting for sloppy seconds and her to get her shit together to come live with him…
        Mid June I came x a screenshot online of Porn website with him and her FCKNG. I was bad. I sent that screenshot via Facebook to her fiancee.
        The only response I got from him was…where did u get that?
        1 month later she was looking to buy a car and move out

        • That is seriously disgusting. These people are the dregs of humanity. They have no.business. around.children.
          I hope the legal system catches up with how damaging it is for any sane person, not to mention a vulnerable child, to be around these demented bastards.

      • I am struggling with this SAME EXACT situation. My Ex told the kids “Sometimes you fall in and out of love with people. That’s what happened here. And, I have someone that makes me happy.” (Also, an affair with a co-worker!)… I don’t want my teenaged boys to think that this is acceptable… that your 20 yr. marriage is expendable just because you decide you’re not getting enough attention…and, that it is acceptable to move in with the affair partner and gets to “play house” with our kids.

        And my 9 yr. old daughter talks about how “nice” the OW is… (insert lump in throat here!). And, all 3 of our kids still love and respect him and rally around him. It is sickening, really. I want them to have a relationship with their dad, but how is this fair?

        • If a light bulb is out do you burn the house down? No!

          If you get a flat tire do you get out and flatten the other three? No!

          Hey cheaters! What exactly were y’all PUTTING INTO the marriage that y’all have been UNHAPPY FOR YEARS in?!
          How exactly were you being PART OF THE SOLUTION?!

          My “husband” left US. I am not going to call it anything other than what it is. He only would have left ME if we had no child. My commitment to my marriage became a commitment to my FAMILY when we had a child.

      • KICK HIM OUT NOW! The whole “he is a good father” thing is just a way to put you off balance. Where’s the evidence? He’s traded you in for sparkles and now he wants the kids to adore him so he can satisfy himself that it was not a HORRIBLE thing to do. Uhhhhhhhh!!! This makes me so mad because it’s almost exactly what my ex did 6 months ago. I am not as patient as you. I’ve essentially u leashed Armageddon on him and guess what? It’s not pretty. He has told lies, been cruel, made the kids lie…. threatened to take them interstate. And this was a guy I used to RAVE about, oh he’s such a great dad…. now I feel sick. Ok sorry I got ranty. Back to you – just toss him out.

        • This is maddening to me, too. My STBXH is very much all the time managing his image. While I had not yet kicked him out on this weekend, he put a sickening extra effort into the neighborhood party. I called him out on his image management, so he gave me a long monologue on how he is always there for community and how important that is. I actually had to get to a yoga class to keep from throwing up in my mouth all the time. It is sickening. He just thinks he made one mistake.

          His mistake lasted three years so far, brought me over the Ocean, and is responsible for me not having any family support less than 10 plane-hours and $2000 away. It is sickening that he talks about this as if he stepped in dog poo by accident.

          And that he believes me.

          We had a fun text message exchange earlier. Where for at least 10 text messages I replied to everything he said with:
          – You are gaslighting right now
          – This is blameshifting
          – Gaslighting
          – Blameshifting
          – Provoking
          etc.

          He actually gave up and started talking more rationally.

          I should go No Contact. But we are still negotiating on how to tell the kids. He wants to tell them he fell out of love and was really unhappy. I am saying BS to that explanation. He needs to own up to this more.
          I want him to admit that betrayed my trust by having a girlfriend. Something like this. He now claims his “Shmoopie” (however you spell that) is not his girlfriend, they are just testing this out. He claims he is not committed. Hahaha. I am sure she does not know that.

          I gave him an ultimatum. If he goes no contact with her, I will reconsider what we are telling the kids. But I need proof. I do not want her ever meeting the kids without them knowing how she played a role in the break up. She cannot just come in playing the nice good girl.
          If he does not commit to no contact, we are telling the truth.

          I am doing this to throw him off. He will never go no contact. He will never accept my terms. He basically always does the opposite of what I want. He will lie. Since he claims he is never going to lie to me again, I want proof that he actually will lie the first possible option.

          • Don’t lie to your kids. Just tell them that Dad has a girlfriend and that means the two of you can’t stay married. Don’t let him gaslight the kids and don’t be party to it. They have to be able to trust one of you to tell the truth.

      • a good father DOES NOT tell his kids he is leaving their mother not them because AP is making him happier right now.

        a good father tells his kids that he is there for them, that he will still met their needs and make sure they are happy. he tells his kids to call them when ever they want and makes sure he spends time with them…

        wasband has ghosted my boys so many times that they no longer care if they see him or not. i stopped chasing after him to remind him to visit or call or whatever after the second year. he only see our kids once a year if they are lucky and if he is broken up with the sewer rat he left me for (she is super insecure and worries that he and i will have sex during the visitations, she does not want him talking to me even if it is about our children) which is the only time he can talk or visit without her interference or her “getting mad” at him.. ..

        you can not force a man to parent his kids. if he is not interested then let him go. take it from someone who has gone thru it. it is much better NOT having to deal with him, or schedule visitations, or listen to his complaints or demands, or watch him purposely hurt you children with stupidity, empty promises, braggary, and missed visits or phone calls.

      • ALMOSTTOMEH ,
        you know these two piles of dog shit , are going to tear each other to bits ,its just a matter of time .just reading your post “triggered”me to tears . dear God what is wrong with these cheaters , so willing to destroy their family for sex . so thick and dense that they don’t see the pain and anguish they are inflicting on their beloved , “of not so long ago” .so sorry almost , may God give you strength to get through this .
        breathlessandrepulsed

  • Dear Sad,

    You don’t say how long you’ve been married. I would guess from your letter it hasn’t been long. Cut your losses now. Please don’t make the mistake I made and spend the next thirty years trying to prove that you are worthy of your husband’s love and attention. It will never happen and the quest for worthiness will leave your soul and your self image in tatters.

    I know it’s hard to see it right now but you’ve been given a gift – a clear and unequivocal look at how little your husband values you and your marriage. Let his howorker have him. They deserve each other. Get yourself free of this relationship and find someone who knows your worth.

    • This !

      These are all red flags. I ignored them when my husband started a power dynamic in our relationship like this. I was always “not enough” or “too much”. It will tear you apart.

      Run!!!

    • And you don’t have kids with him yet. You can start over with someone who is kind and wants kids. Get out of this terrible situation.

    • I’m with Beth… my Cheater gave me clues and warnings early in our marriage and I did not heed warnings. My abuser was nicer at this stage than yours and he became assbastard-mean. The things he has said and done are severely disordered…please consider running like your hair was on fire.🏃🏻‍♀️ 🔥

    • “Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” —Andre Malraux

      All I need to understand in life. Once you find out what they’re hiding, you can pinpoint who and what they really are.

      It doesn’t matter if it’s “wrong” or “right”. It matters what matters to YOU. Is it ok with you? Then party on, Garth. If not…well there’s your answer.

      • THANK YOU FOR THAT QUOTE!!

        My long-awaited antidote to the “but he is such a Nice Guy!” mindfuck of my “husband”. Chump Lady, this belongs on a needlepoint pillow!!

        For the record, I don’t have secrets. My issues are on display, are worked on daily, and it bugs the shit out of me that I can’t ever achieve sainthood.

        • Further…to paraphrase Dr. Phil on a pre-recorded episode I watched today…about a 16yo boy that was killed by his best friend….

          “You can’t make sense out of nonsense.
          We don’t have the capacity, we don’t have the constructs in our mind, to go there. Your range of thought and emotion stops way short of evil. You can’t wrap your head around it because you can’t go there
          in your mind. You think you should have been able to see it? You can’t see it because you don’t have those receptors in your brain to see this kind of thing because it’s so foreign to who you are. Our brains have the ability to click off when something is happening around us that is so offensive to our sensibilities that we can’t process it. You just couldn’t know what was hidden inside them.”
          -Dr. Phil

          We only know someone as much as they let us. We can’t see the secrets before they are exposed.

    • Beth,
      Yes, you’re right. We have been together for 7 years but married for only one year. He had issues before (not cheating, but putting me on the backburner) but since we got married those issues have increased tenfold. Right now he seems very remorseful, but I’m betting it’s GINR, not real. I am making arrangements to financially protect myself. I’m starting to see what the only option is.

      Sad

      • Ironically, my ex and I were together for seven years before we got married. I’m glad you are protecting yourself, Sad. I’m sorry you need to do so, but you most definitely do. If he is devaluing you this early, it will never get better. Sending you strength…

        • Thank you! <3
          The worst part for me is that he was my best friend. I feel like my best friend has died. Morning the loss is overwhelming.

          • Elle, he is NOT your friend. Try to act normal, so as not to tip him off, then get out. I so wish I had run 32 years ago.

  • I’d leave a comment but I am speechless.

    Jiminy Crack Mothereffen Christmas is all that comes to my mind.

    Besides “RUN”.

    • Some words finally came to mind.

      LOVE IS…..

      Patience
      Kindness
      Generosity
      Humility
      Courtesy
      Unselfishness
      Good temper
      Guilelessness (free of deceit)
      Sincerity

      What you have, what all of us had, IS NOT LOVE.

      When you let go of what IS NOT love, and practice those principles which ARE love, you will have real love.

      Note that “perfection” is not on the list…we are all imperfect….but I think that’s where humility and sincerity and guilelessness come in….affairs are DEADLY INTENTIONAL TARGETED MISSILE STRIKES AGAINST THE VULNERABLE AND PRECIOUS HUMAN HEART. And therefore evil IMHO. They are the ANTITHESIS of love.

      • Velvet Hammer,
        I, too, was having trouble, finding the right words.
        All the things you wrote that love is are spot on.

        A Chump thinks of others, puts their partner and their children ahead of themself.
        A Chump is all the good things in life rolled into one, a kind, loving, trusting soul.
        It is when trust is broken that a Chump’s world crumbles, falls apart, completely disintegrates.
        We are left to pick up the pieces, to survive, the best that we can.
        The actions of the cheater causes the break down of that word TRUST.
        Without trust there is nothing, nothing at all.

        With all my heart, I agree, “RUN!

      • I remember at about 5 years into marriage going to a friends house and seeing a framed Bible verse…. the one they read at weddings “Love is patient, love is kind, it….” and I read it saying to myself “no, no, no on that one, oh no for that one too” and yet I Hoped
        🤦🏻‍♀️

        • I felt the same way when buying greeting cards for the X. I always took my time to find the right card. But in later years, I would think the same ‘nope, no, not him, no, no again.” I ended up buying funny card or ones with simple messages like “I love you”.

          • MissBaley,
            I am such a card person, loving to find the right card for the right person.
            Early in our relationship I would find and give a card to cheater just because I loved what the card said, I loved it’s meaning and I loved him.
            It became a chore to find the right card, the picture on front caught my attention. I picked it up and read it, and I would think, NO, NO, this is not him. He is not worthy of the words in this card. I would put the card back. I stopped looking, I stopped readying. He had killed the words by his actions, by his character.
            This makes me feel so sad. How can one go from feeling everything good to feeling nothing at all. No wonder card sales are way down!
            Just saying!

            Perhaps a good Friday challenge would be for Chumps to write the perfect card, with the perfect words, to give to their cheater!

            • Oops, for those lucky enough with having no contact, just write that perfect card and store it with your ungiven letters and journals, another feel good getting it out statement!

            • Oh my… same here… ended up with some generic stuff….
              All the beautiful cards include trust loyalty love honesty being a friend…. 😳🤮😳

          • It is sad that I did find the perfect card for our last celebrated anniversary about a month before DDay. At the time I was amazed that this card existed and that anyone would buy it, but now I know I am probably not the only one who had these sentiments. In the past I would have looked for a card that highlighted all of the wonderful things I loved about him. Those were the days when he would give me cards telling me how amazingly wonderful I was. By the time this anniversary rolled around I had endured months of his constant criticism and putdowns (while he was carrying on with Schomoopies 1.0 and 2.0). My self esteem was in the toilet but it had gotten so bad that even in that state I was starting to get pissed and this card convinced me to push back a little. On the outside the card said “I may not be perfect but…” Inside it said “…on second thought, actually I am perfect, aren’t you lucky to have me?”. I added “I realize this card is a bit arrogant, but I think you need a reminder”. Needless to say the reminder fell on deaf ears but I am glad I stuck up for myself in that moment anyway.

        • Yea – i read the book “he’s just not into you” that i bought for a friend and realized my husband was not into me. Did i run? Nope. I danced and was devalued.

      • I got the above from a little book called
        “The Greatest Thing In The World” by
        Henry Drummond. It is a talk he gave in England in 1884 at a house party on the subject of 1 Corinthians 13.

  • It looks like you had a lucky escape, even though it hurts. Your better off on your own. You in charge of your own life, he’s shown you what he’s really like. I bet she knew he wasn’t available, but then so did he.

  • Oh honey, what a pig he is to you. Pick me dancing for a pig who doesn’t even love you enough to want a child with you. And he’s your HUSBAND?

    This isn’t what marriage is supposed to feel like, or be like. This isn’t commitment or love. This is someone with his eye on the exit door.

    I am so sorry. No matter what, his time in this marriage is limited. He is lying to you already; you know that from the evidence. You can either take control of this situation now (line up your ducks at least, get copies of everything and see a lawyer about your options), or you can wait for D-Day.

    “He does not want a baby with me and he says that if I want more of his time I have to come and get it. I’m responsible for meeting my own needs.”

    Fuck that shit. Meet your own needs by divorcing his selfish, narcissistic ass, and then he can play games with all the ho-workers he wants.

    A man who speaks to HIS OWN WIFE like that will NOT HESITATE to screw her over financially and leave her destitute when the time comes. Protect yourself.

    • Plus any kids he will later claim he was “forced” to father. After he insists on a paternity test to double the humiliation factor.

    • Lola

      Is it really the worst case scenario to deal with a fucked up mind who tells you “ nope, I don’t want kids with you; no I’m not planning on taking care of you” ?

      What about gaslighting, crazy making, deceiving husband who tells you “ we are family, family comes first, we should have kids, it’s us against the world, we are best friends, etc”
      And then he goes and from the very beginning, lies, fucks hookers, dates other women, emotionally checks out inside of the house, yet plays the role of a loving husband outside?

      At least E knows what she stands on and is not gaslighted for years

      • I don’t think it’s the Pain Olympics – we aren’t competing for who has the worst story. I think Sad is in a lot of pain right now, and can’t imagine a worst case scenario beyond her own, and she shouldn’t have to.

        This is about Sad and her situation. Lots of people have had horror situations; Chump Nation is full of them. No one’s disputing that.

        But how can we best help her? By telling her that our situation was worse, or by offering some constructive advice? I’d prefer to do the latter

        • Lola

          I think there was a misunderstanding with what I wrote…

          My point was very simple- it is heartbreaking to hear that her husband does not want children with her and believes that spending time together is a waste of time … but in some painfully twisted way- AT LEAST HE IS CLEAR about it.
          She knows now.
          In a sense- it may be easier to make a decision to split.

          When you are gaslighted to the max … it is really tough to wrap your head around what is wrong what is right.

          We are here to help each other… I think people on the site are amazing… and each comment helps a bit more:)

  • You do not want to spend the rest of your life or even the next year with someone whose head turns so easy. Be grateful you have found out now that you married a weakling and no kids are involved. This “man” is neither husband nor father material. Let the skank co-worker have him. The universe is telling you (screaming actually) that there is bigger and better out there for you.

  • This is NOT how marriage should feel or be. You shouldn’t have to beg for time with a person who is supposed to love you. And if you want to go with his bullshit about intentions let’s go there. What he DID actually DO is allow a female other than his wife who obviously wants to screw him to keep texting. That alone is enough to tell you who he is. A happily married man who never allow this and would have set her straight quick, hell, she wouldn’t be coming after him with this much fervor if he wasn’t encouraging it. I wasted too many years of my life on a man just like this. THey like the attention, they are intending to step out, so if he hasn’t actually had sex with her yet it is right around the corner. Don’t wake up at 50 realizing you’ve wasted the best years of your life pick me dancing for an asshole that took vows with you. Run fast, run far.

  • ‘Intention’ is very often a word that people use to get around the fact that they’ve done wrong.

    “It was never my intention”

    “I didn’t intend to hurt you”

    “I didn’t intend for this to happen”

    “I didn’t intend for things to end like this”

    Blah, blah blah blah. (I speak from experience; it’s my ex’s favourite get-out / avoidance of responsibility)

    Once you see it, you can see through it.

    Good luck

  • Maya Angelou’s quote “when someone shows you who they are believe them the first time” sprung to my mind immediately.

    Sad, he is showing you who he is. I’m not sure how long you’ve been married but based on what you’ve written, I’m hoping it’s not long. He is waving some mighty red flags at you now. Believe him! The more time you invest, the harder it becomes and the greater potential for you to get screwed financially. Protect yourself. Get a great lawyer.

    Hugs!

  • Now is a great time to get a therapist, consult a lawyer, and make a plan to leave this marriage. (Do not discuss this with your husband until you have a firm plan.) If you want kids, then you need a partner who wants them too. No one needs a partner who scoffs at discussions about parenting. His preference not to father kids is fine; his attitude toward you is not fine. Take the warning and go meet your needs (as instructed by this jackass) with someone who will take your concerns and interests seriously.

    Everything about your letter makes it clear that he sees himself as an independent operator. You aren’t smothering him or expecting too much. He just isn’t interested in commitment–not to you, not to his sexting partner, and not to a child. There is no reason to stay unless you WANT an uncommitted partner.

    None of this will be easy, and you should be kind to yourself as you work toward a better future, but please keep remembering that you are worth more than lies and scoffing and worthless claims about “intentions.”

  • Do not get pregnant with this boy! Having babies does NOT make a relationship any more solid. It makes a shaky relationship tumble. A kid is more financial pressure, less time for him, less sex (especially if you have complications and for a few months after), your body stretches and you will get a muffin top…all of which this guy isn’t in for that type of long haul. And if you have a baby with special needs…all of this skyrockets. Just like having sex on the third date doesn’t make a man commit, babies don’t a marriage make. So just d.o.n.t.

    I’ve had guys try to flirt with me. One boss out his hand on my upper thigh. Another boss tried to tell me how ‘his wife and he didn’t get along…’. Another coworker tried to flirt with me over text. And another coworker told me I was sexy and he’d like to know me better. (I breastfeeding and skinny). I recognized it all and shut it down. ‘Get your hand off my thigh or I will tell your 8 month pregnant wife..’. ‘I’m sorry you and your wife don’t get along. Me and my (2nd husband) have fun and the most treasured relationship’. ‘I don’t appreciate this type of text. And my (2nd husband) would be hurt if he saw it…’ and ‘I’m a mother and a wife and don’t you go to church?”

    Your husband likes the attention this coworker is giving him. If he likes it in his soul. It’s juet like cheating. Isn’t there a bible verse. He who commits adultery in his heart, commits the sin.

    • Sad. I don’t know how long your married to this loser but it seems not very long. Some of us here spent decades with a cheater & found out then. Your lucky in a way to find out sooner while your still young enough to find somoelse who will love & respect you.
      I know the pain you feel now but you deserve so much better than this lying selfish man/child.
      Kick him to the curb!!

  • All you have to do is picture your sweet precious child begging Daddy for more time and being told to meet his own needs because 12 years down the line, Daddy is again engaging with another co-worker, or even still the same one. Ask me what kind of father these men make….

    It is heartbreaking.

    • This is what I wanted to say too: RUN the fuck away from this abusive loser! Protect your eggs and your future unborn children. I cannot begin to tell you the agony of seeing your beloved babes strapped down in a locked psycheward for months after a third nearly-successful suicide attempt after cheater-daddy devalues and discards THEM! ask me how I know! I’d rather have my skin carved with a rusty blade than endure the hell the X put me and my children through. Please leave ASAP. Go no contact— never ever speak to him again. Your whole life is ahead of you— go towards the light!

      • MotherChumper99,
        Standing ovation for your words.
        YOU are the light, the strength, and a shinning example!
        You will always be a hero in my eyes.
        Chumps are so modest when they are called Mighty, but if the crowns fits you must wear it.
        YOU, sweet Lady, are Mighty!
        ❤️

    • This is also exactly the first thing that came to my mind — that at first he might act like he is all in with a new baby because it would make him look good, but then it would get messy and he would consider the baby a burden, thereby setting the baby up for covert abandonment in the early days and overt abandonment as life goes on. Horrible.

      My second thought went right to the disgusting amount of entitlement he displayed by expecting you to follow him around like an unwanted dog whining for biscuits and tossing you one once in a while just to keep you in his servitude. From the outside, that is how it appeared to me.

      I support whatever you choose. It’s your life. If it’s of interest, my personal vote is that it’s time to quietly line up your ducks — sounds a lot to me like he is already doing so in his own way, which means you should, too, in a way that reflects your positive integrity — and plan your exit, then exit swiftly and without visible emotional engagement. It is likely best to manage your emotions with help on your own time.

      He’ll rage, of course, but this is the rest of your life we are talking about. As far as we can be sure, you only get one, and on your deathbed you aren’t likely to wish you had been abused more or made chumpier choices during a breakup. 💚

  • I think I would point out to this man-boy that if YOU could see his texts from his work phone so easily, his employer likely can as well. Then get as far away from him as possible. He’s a lying moron.

    • Also consider that tipping your hand has disadvantages… It all depends on your own situation. Sometimes it’s important to wait, or hang back. Lawyers can often be good at knowing what to do.

  • Yes you are Sad because you can feel in your gut that this marriage and his intentions (justifications and rationalizations of why he didn’t immediately tell her he was married, committed, and 110% unavailable) aren’t acceptable. This is who he is. The person who puts himself first and foremost. He may not have porked her yet physically but they are porking emotionally. It’s just a matter of time before you do something (in his mind) that makes it acceptable to take it to the next level.

    I wish I’d seen this early on with my now ex. I spent 20 years with him. A serial cheater. Dr. Nice Guy who had a meanie wife in his mind. He was always trying on other women looking for a better fit and never happy at home, not truly.

    Cut your losses now. He will not get better with more time or children. Oh sure, he may pick you this time over the emotional AP. But there’s always another schmoopie around every corner. That’s no way to live, always on pins and needles, waiting for the other shoe to drop, doing the marriage pick me dance until he finds someone he thinks is better than what he has at home.

    • This is really true. I know a cheater and they are in a relationship but there is another person who wants to be involved with the cheater. The cheater actually said to me ” if so-and-so f**** up I’m going to go with the other person”. To me that is already cheating because the other person doesn’t know and now they’re walking on eggshells and anything they do wrong (in cheaters mind) is going to be an impending disaster. I know it’s hard but if you read here and look at all the similarities you know what you’re being set up for. I assume you’re pretty young if you want to have a baby. A man that wants to be with you and have a family will come along. I know this might not happen overnight but the more you align with yourself and your true needs the universe will bring it all in the right timing. I think that’s what faith is about. And to be more practical, do as Chump Lady says and “fix your picker”. I hope you line up your ducks and kick this f***** into the dust. Go no contact while you still can.

      • To be honest after a while it becomes kind of fun. I see red flags and hear the script in all kinds of people. I just don’t waste my time at all anymore and I don’t regret it.

    • And I would be willing to bet that if he’s lying about text messages he’s lying when he says he hasn’t fucked her…..

      One cockroach on the kitchen floor means 40,000 hidden….

      • Truth!!! He probably already did f*** her that is correct. They lie about everything. That is what makes us so crazy is because we think we’ll why would he lie about this? Or why would she lie about that? It wouldn’t make sense for him to lie or her to lie about this or that. But yes they lie about every f****** thing.

        • And it becomes your fault for seeing it and protecting yourself LOL! Further mind f***. You’ve got to get out of the Trap. I love the cartoon of the lady running out of the house with her hair on fire and the house is on fire.

          • And they do try to financially ruin you too. It doesn’t stop at just cheating it is abuse in all forms. Be mighty! do what you need to do to gain a new life.

  • When a man tells his upset wife that she’s responsible for meeting her own needs in a context like this one, it’s a 100% guarantee that he doesn’t give a shit about her. He’s telling her that he’s not going to be making any effort because he doesn’t believe that she deserves his effort. He wants an autopilot marriage that runs in the background all by itself, suiting his needs and handling business so that he’s free to go about his days doing whatever.

    He simply doesn’t want to give anything of himself and he’s trying to convince you to feel afraid of being called needy and too embarrassed to ask for anything. Meanwhile, he almost certainly has a whole list of his own wants and needs that you better be on call for at all times.

    • Totally.

      Also, as he is clearly not meeting her needs (or the conversation wouldn’t even arise), then getting her needs met is, by definition, leaving and finding another partner who is a better match.

    • That line about “having her needs met elsewhere” floored me. What exactly did that mean?
      Fooling around with another man? Getting impregnated by him? She says he is her husband.

      • Traveling the World,
        his point was that if I want attention from him I have to come to him and ask in the moment. Otherwise, he’s basically going to act like I’m a roommate. He doesn’t want to put effort into making me feel wanted. He doesn’t ask me to spend time with him. I would often find him watching a movie in the living room without me while I’m in the bedroom folding laundry. He just starts to watch TV like he’s alone in the house. Does that make sense? I’m always the one who has to ask to do things together.

        Sad

        • Ella/Sad, that makes sense.
          I had exactly the same situation, only my ex would lock herself alone in our bedroom, usually for an entire evening. She said the same thing: you can knock on the door and come in here while I watch hours of these TV shows you don’t like.
          Obviously, cheating is much worse, but being completely ignored by your spouse, day after day, is just awful. Many nights I would think to myself “I have the worst end of this deal. I am married, but my wife won’t spend any time with me, much less show affection. Because we’re married, I can’t go out and spend time with anyone else, either.”

          • Yes, and it really comes down to them setting up a power imbalance where you have to come to them to ask/beg for attention/sex/time, etc., and they then are the powerful one who can decide to grant or deny your request. But you are supposed to know and meet all their needs automatically.

            What joy there is in being free of these evil, emotionally stunted liars.

  • Even after we get over the end of the relationship and the person, getting over how long we were lied to and cheated on torments us. The humiliation of it and the despair- how much time we wasted that could have been spent with a real, respectful, fulfilling man, or worse- having kids with someone who is trash when our kids could have been born to someone with an ounce of honor who would cherish them instead of get his kicks betraying their mom. His actions are what is truth; your emotions need to be questioned bc you will naturally want to deny and minimize and make it fit. (“How do i know that is true? Is there any evidence to the contrary? What is the worst possible reason he could have said/done that and how well does that explain what is going on?”). You dont need to wait until there is absolute proof of his penis inside of her. A lot of us learned that lesson the hard way too. Dont go with emotions and ignore the actions and wake up 30 years later to nightly nightmares unravling all the betrayal likely to come, despairing how you could have saved yourself at the beginning. Best wishes.

  • Even though at one point, she asked him if he would like her to stop texting him, otherwise, she wanted to have an affair with him. He told her it was fine to text him. Again, he says he was trying not to rock the boat.

    There should be know discussion here. If you ask an adult to stop picking his nose, he should stop immediately, be embarrassed by his faux pas and apologize.

    The fact that he argued is cause for serious concern. His reactions are not acceptable.

    • Don’t you love it how this grown, MARRIED man is afraid to rebuff advances from a co-worker? What’s she going to do? He has her on text straight up asking to have an affair! Turning her down would be the correct thing (in society’s eyes) to do, so what’s she going to do with that? Tell their boss that her married co-worker keeps turning her advances down? Lol.

  • He isn’t worth your love and time!
    Somewhere they loose their brains over a new person. He is just lashing you with cruelty, gaslighting effect, very common.
    Lift yourself up, don’t give him any advance notice, go to the lawyer, get ready and LEAVE HIM. You will be find, be aware you will go to a roller coaster of emotions for 18-28 months but it will gradually be better! Seek Medical Care and Therapy along the way too!
    Love yourself 1st, 2nd and 3rd…
    New Horizons ahead of you without a cheater!!!

  • It is a skill to read what people do as the truth as opposed to their smokescreen of vapor words. You have a chance to run, thank goodness you are not going to be a parent with this guy. I am sorry, this stuff is hard.

    Narcissists excel at using limp passive words to relieve themselves of any responsibility. “intentions”… oi vey. Think of the non-apology apologies you hear these days, “I am sorry if I offended anyone”.

  • The X bought me a nice engagement ring. But, he approached it like he had to spend the money rather than wanting to spend the money. He told me to get whatever I wanted but the unspoken words were “go cheap because I would rather spend money on my toys.” I knew 4 months into our relationship that he was very self-centered. BIG RED FLAG, and I ignored it. Eighteen years later, here I am freshly divorced.

    Don’t waste your years and life on someone that doesn’t want or need you. He will never be what you need or want, and he will never respect you enough. He’s already told you where you rate in his life. You deserve better!

  • In 2011, I found out my wife of 20 years was communicating with her ex high school bd. He was just her friend! I would say you are currently at that same crossroad. I went left. Did not set boundaries and put and end to it. This resulted in 4 years of pure abuse and hell. She smelled weakness and escalated her behaviors and attacks on my sanity. I advise you to go right ASAP! Set your boundaries and leave. Spare yourself the pain this person will inflict upon you for stating!

  • Sad, you are getting great advice. It seems like you still have your youth. Dont waste it. Negotiate more for yourself. I know 2 women that accepted not having children for their partner and when those partners cheated or just plain left they really regretted it. Motherhood is such a gift. Dont give it up for someone that is clearly showing you the signs. The universe has given you a gift. Dont ignore it

    I only had 1 child because i took things super slow with a secret addict. I always regret that i did not have the experience of being with a man that valued family and time with me. I knew nothing else at the time.

    Almostto meh, you are dealing with some scary stuff. And yes. Get your twins counselling. Read up and Look for the signs of parental alienation.

    Also make sure you choose a good therapist. There are a lot of crappy ones out there that get taken in by the narcissit.
    A lot of us work so hard to protect our kids from the truth in order to coparent because we end up thinking its best for the kids. Im not sure what way is better.

    Personally, i believe in truth. I was honest with my son. He knows me and my family are mad at his dad cause he left his family and thats not the right thing to do. I did not want him thinking thats ok. At the same time i dont bad mouth him. I just say “your dad has problems. He made bad choices but he loves you”

    • Thank u, Juju!
      Great advice😘
      Yes, that is what I say to them, too. I’m now trying to figure out how to handle Halloween. None of my neighbors and friends want to be around him and the twins know that, but he has NO shame and NO remorse and plans to come trick or treating with all of us still. He doesn’t care how it makes others around him feel, he says, “I’m being true to myself by leaving u and I still should be able to go trick or treating with my kids.”

      • Ah, let him go make a fool of himself. Sounds like your neighbours love you and they will be so thrilled to see you. Some of them may have the courage to just give him the cold shoulder so let them. If he chooses to remain oblivious to it than let him be the village idiot while he thinks he’s strutting his stuff. Joke’s on him.

        I have my kids collect cans of food each Halloween for the local food bank. They deliver a little flyer into the mailbox of the all the neighbours in advanced saying that instead of candy, they will be collecting food for the hungry. I wheel the kid’s wagon behind us for the cans. Everyone still gives them their candy, along with the food, and then commends their good deed. It’s a a worthy activity. When neighbours say something to me, my response is “It’s important for the kids to learn to think outside of themselves and their own needs.” You won’t find a sane soul who would ever argue that point.

        I think it would be an excellent exercise for your husband to pull that wagon of food while you let the neighbours know how important it is for you that your children learn to think about others first!!!

      • He’s rationalized and justified in his mind how this all works out for HIM. He gets to keep being the Nice Guy Family Man and get his ho too. I had one of those the first time he left–the kids were 2 & 4 years old. He was sitting at the house he’d moved out of every evening when I got home from work/school/daycare with the kids and pulled himself up to the table for supper. He even dressed up in a tight spider man costume and went tricker treating with us. It was such a mindfuck and I was so confused.

        Fast forward 12 years and he leaves again for a young schmoopie. I put in our separation agreement a deadline (1 month) to have his stuff moved out of the house. He tried that bull shit again of coming and going as he pleased. He was shocked I changed the locks on the deadline. I hadn’t found CL yet, so I didn’t know to be prepared for the rage channel!

    • My first husband was an alcoholic that never wanted to spend time with me, and didn’t want kids. I left him after three years, and I’m glad I did – because I can’t imagine my life without my children.

  • Oh, and one more comment:

    Do NOT allow the fear of missing out on the great guy you (think you) can convince him to be to keep you sticking around in hopes… Do not believe that these types can or will change. You won’t find clever enough ways or words to convey your pain so well that he finally gets it and stops hurting you.

  • My Therapist once gave me the best advice when I started telling him things like you are saying. On top of other issues but advice still applies.

    “Run, Run like your hair is on FIRE!!!!”

  • RUN!

    I spent a good portion of my 16 year marriage yielding self-respect to his intentions. Intentions don’t alter the product they produce, they only alter our perception.

    STBX had an extensive porn habit. He signed up for hundreds of hook-up sites because his intention was “curiosity,” not cheating.

    He invited a stripper on a date because his intention was to have “company” not to cheat. The cheating wasn’t intended, it just happened.

    Intentions without boundaries are like a house without a foundation. Eventually everything is going to crumble. Intentions don’t matter if you don’t actively do anything to implement them.

    If you get in a car drunk and kill someone, does it really matter if your intention was to kill them? It doesn’t alter the fact the that person is dead. All intention does is alter our perception of the character of the person who’s intent we are evaluating. Is this a person who just doesn’t give a shit, or is this a person who made a poor series of choices?
    As a chump I had to learn self-interest in spite of someone else’s intent.
    What are the consequences for me, regardless of this persons intent?

    We try to measure intent through a series of logical questions…
    -Is this a pattern of inconsiderate
    behavior, or is it something completely out of character?
    -Does this person often use intent to justify treating me poorly, and do I let them?

    … but intent isn’t based on logic, it’s based on emotions (something that is immeasurable). Intent plays on our emotions; that is, how we feel about the other person influences our perceptions and feelings around a transgression. That’s why you need to take intent out, and focus on the consequences to you.

    Sure, there are situations when intent factors in. It’s easiest when we can make our own observations about the intent. For example…

    If you observe me running with a pair of scissors, and I trip and fall, accidentally stabbing you, you can safely say you observe it as a accident. You calculated my intent.

    In contrast; if you have your back turned and I plunge a pair of scissors into your back, you are going to question my intent.
    Where we fighting before hand?
    Did I give any indication I would stab you?
    What was I doing when I stabbed you? Was I running? Did you hear my feet scurrying across the floor before hand? Did I tip-toe across the floor?
    What did I do when I stabbed you? Did I blame you for it?
    Did I immediately hurry you to the hospital , or dial 911?

    Did my explanation and reaction reassure you it was an accident? Or do you have a lingering feeling you need to remove all the scissors from your home? Do you harbor suspicion that maybe it wasn’t an accident? This is your intuition.

    A great book for helping me understand intuition ( it used to be illusive to me) is The Gift of Fear.

  • Another Maya Angelou quote:
    “Never make someone a priority who only treats you like an option.”

    That is how I created my screen name.

    Do not have children with this man. You have no idea how heartwrenching it is to be permanently tied to a fuckwit.

    Cut your losses. Reclaim your single self and embrace your journey. Then, you will be primed to fix your picker the next time. A break from this now isn’t easy, but you will never have a cleaner opportunity than this. Keep you sunk costs as low as they are now as it will only get harder.

  • I’ve been married 28 years and my hubby had his first affair 8 yrs ago. He broke it off and swore he would never do it again. Now he has another gf for the last 4 years. I caught them pretty much right away. I decided to try to be roommates with him rather then lose my house. We also own a business together. 4 years later and she texted me and told me they were in love and talk every day. Since then I’ve begged him to give her up. I know. Chump. I’m not doing the pick me dance at all and not making his life easier. I’m seeing a phychiatrist. He told me he doesn’t have feelings for her. She just said that to make me mad. Anyway. He told me 4 months ago he was going to let it die out without actually dumping her because she recently lost a daughter to suicide. I went away last weekend with my friends. When I got back he told me he realizes how much he would miss me blah blah blah. He said he wants to work on our marriage and go to marriage counseling. But, I found out he spent Friday night with her at her home went to work in the morning then met her 50 miles from our home for lunch. He said he’s sorry. I know I am a chump of epic proportions. I told him I want a divorce and he says he wants me. He can’t lose me. He loves me. His “ compromise” is. We can both work on our marriage and eventually he will give up his gf when and if he decides we will work out. He literally said this with a straight face and is actually mad at me because I said NO. How can I move on. I feel like my feet are stuck in cement. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t live this way but I’m so afraid to be alone. And he knows it

    • Oh Epicchump. You are already alone. You have even abandoned yourself.

      Stop this insanity. You are only going to make yourself sicker and sicker. What is your family and friend support? Start talking and getting your system around you.

      Seek some professional advice about working your way to leaving. He is manipulating you and this has become abusive. Eight years of infidelity?!? Why do you think you are not worth more? Why do you think you cannot do well on your own? My heart breaks for you.

      I hope that you feel the hug that I am sending you, followed by a quick slap. Wake up from this nightmare!!! Get legal advice along with some therapeutic counselling. Line up your ducks to leave this before you lose another year of your life to this idiot.

      Give Epicchump a chance to become Epicsurvivor!

      • I’ve been reading this sight for months. I know he won’t change. I know I will be happpier in my own. He’s 60. She’s 45. She has a 10 yr old. He keeps telling me even if I leave he won’t end up with her. She means nothing. She’s too young. He doesn’t want to do kids again. Blah blah. I know I’m waiting for him to return back to who he used to be. And I know from reading here , he doesn’t want to. Why can’t I just say fuck it and move on. I thought I was strong and independent. I have a ton of friends and 2 kids. I wouldn’t have to sit home alone on any night if I didn’t want to. I’m just so upset that he will be happier without me. I think that’s what screwing me up

        • Please check all finances and thoroughly. He had an affair 8 years ago….then had/has another OW on the side for 4 years. He’s a creep and whether he is happy or not with or without you should not be a factor in whether you stay or go. Just leave the shithead behind and split the business you buy him out or he buys you out. I get the feeling that you have more than likely been propping him up financially for years.

        • He is keeping you on the line because either 1. He doesn’t want to lose half his shit, or, 2. He is draining money and hiding assets and doesn’t want to go until he is properly set up. Then he will dump you. Run, please. I doubt he first had an affair eight years ago. That’s just when you caught him first. Then seeing that you didn’t leave he got less careful and more brazen–to the point that he flat out tells you that he just expects you to put up with his cheating that now happens openly in front of your face. Believe me: he thinks you will. He is so certain that you love him so much / are so afraid to be on your own that he believes he has total immunity from consequences. He isn’t even willing to SAY he’ll give her up and be faithful to you. He does not even care about appearances anymore. He is a monster.

        • He isn’t going to be happier with her. Seriously. He’d have left you years ago if he thought things were going to be better with the girlfriend. He knows you are the better bet. And even if he were happier, it really wouldn’t matter that much to you because you’d be too happy without him to care if he was gleeful or despondent. It takes awhile, but arriving at “meh” means no longer being invested in the other person’s emotions.

          Make choices that facilitate your own health and happiness.

          And one last word about the “pick-me” dance. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t doing it, the girlfriend is. If you left him, then she’d stop dancing too. As long as there are 3 of you in this relationship, the “pick-me” tune is playing, and he’s enjoying the show.

          Get a lawyer. Get your ducks in a row. And go have the joyful life you deserve.

          • Epic i totally get it. I recommend to think of the woman you were before you met him. Would that woman ever want the life you have now? You are still that woman. Shock the hell out of him with divorce papers. And dont look back

            • When I think back I used to be a super strong independent woman. If any woman had asked me for advice on cheating I would have just said get the hell out. It’s really strange when it happens to you. In the years before the cheating I stood up for myself in any situation. I am a shell of who I used to be. Not even sure I can get back

              • Epic- it happens to all of us…
                At the age of 20 I was dealing with my FO issues, left my family and moved across the globe.. dealing with everything on my own… after 16 years with my husbands and 2kids- I have PTSD, dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, not to mention issues with my physical health…
                RUN RUN RUN…. and don’t look back. Get into therapy, educate yourself on how to avoid narc’s in the future, heal and Tina an honest partner to share your life with. Good luck girl!!!

              • It IS different while you’re going through it. It is a complete mind-f***, gas lighting and a whole bunch of deception. It’s on the other side that you return to yourself. Take that leap of faith through the abyss and find yourself on the other side. I know it’s scary and alot of people don’t like being alone. When you learn to like yourself again and love yourself again it is a lot of fun just being alive and appreciating peace and joy. Staying with someone who is robbing you of all of that and making you second-guess yourself will make you feel lost for sure. I know I humiliated myself a lot and became a lesser version of myself during my horrible relationship. It took two years of cycling through, fear, rage, sorrow etc. but I am really at meh most of the time now. It really does happen when you focus on yourself. I noticed all kinds of new opportunities and people came into my life and I started to have fun again. That is something that was never going to happen if I kept throwing myself under the bus for someone else. I’m just here to tell you I once believed it was impossible too but there is truth in what these people on this site say. Albeit it seems to take too long but the first step is getting out of there.

        • YOU will be happier without HIM!!

          He doesn’t know what happy is. HAPPY DOES NOT LIE CHEAT AND HURT PEOPLE!! HAPPY DOESN’T BLOW PEOPLE UP FROM THE INSIDE.

          Cheating accomplices have rocks for brains. They don’t know happy either.

          REST ASSURED ON THIS.

          • Many shmoopies just think they’re special. They think they’re beautiful and intelligent and all that. They think that cheater will always love them and think they are golden Etc. They still believe all the b*******. Until the cycle happens to them like clockwork. 🤔

        • He’s 60? Oh dear woman, please, please, please see a lawyer ASAP to protect yourself from living out your later years in poverty. He is likely pulling your strings and leading you along so as to not lose any of his money or assets before retirement. He won’t stop cheating. He knows how to manipulate and confuse you. You will run out of options to protect yourself financially once he is officially retired.

          I am so sorry for your pain. Please look out for your future self.

          Hugs

    • Epic,

      I’m going to say something to you that I absolutely hated when I was stuck in chumpdome land… work on you! When I was stuck in the land of limbo I was scared! I asked myself all kinds of questions…
      What if I’m giving up too soon and he’s capable of change?
      What if I end up living in my car? (I’ve been a stay at home mom for 18 years)
      Will I ever find someone else?
      What if he ends up happier if I leave? Does that mean it was me?

      It took me being willing to endure all those things over spending one more minute being a chump. You find your worth and then, as they say, take a leap of faith! You are worth it!

      It takes a lot of self-work, therapy and reading, but you have it in you! My suggested reading list:

      Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life
      The Gaslight Effect
      The Gift of Fear
      Betrayal Bond
      Wolf in Sheeps Clothing
      When The One You Love Is A Liar

      • I’d also like to add that in my case, my ex used the years between D-day 1 and D-day 2 to ensure his financials.

        -He stopped contributing to his 401k and put that money into his companies Stock options (that are not divisible by a QDRO).
        -His brother opened custodial accounts for the kids. (Not traceable in the discovery process)
        -He moved massive amounts of money into stock trading accounts in his name only.
        -He took a lower paying position and did everything he could to make his income less (stopped filing expense reimbursements reports with his company for reimbursement, deferred his pay, changed his dependent claim for taxes, contributed the max amount of pre-tax dollars to HSA accounts, Transffered company IRA’s outside his company.) Chasing all of these things with subpoenas has cost me a fortune in attorney’s fees.)
        He stopped filing taxes after d-day 1, and left me holding half a 300k tax bill, which could have easily been paid out of the stock account he used to buy his new home as a cash purchase. He’s using the unfiled taxes as an excuse as to why he couldn’t get a mortgage and had to buy cash.

        We are getting ready to move into year 4 of divorce proceedings, and my legal fees are astronomical. In that time the the laws in my state have abolished fault divorce (which I filed under, but had to change my plea to no fault). Alimony and child support allocations have gone down.

        On paper he makes a 10th of what he traditionally made throughout the last 10.

        My point here is, keep tabs on his finances. If he brings home pay stubs photocopy them (it may save you a ton in legal fees). Don’t make any big financial decisions. Looking back, my STBX was trying to get me to move about a year after d-day. Of course I can’t prove his “intent” but I’m pretty sure that he started separating long before I ever filed. Protect yourself! Weigh actions, not words!

    • What a gem, a guy who would ghost his side dish because she is no fun anymore because she JUST LOST A CHILD TO DEATH BY SUICIDE.

      Monster.

      • (By the way, I don’t mean to miss the point, it’s just that Option+ already said the rest of it perfectly.)

    • OMG Epic, I think this guy is setting you up to leave you penniless. Please please hire a lawyer and forensic accountant, and don’t tell anyone yet (unless you want to tell your therapist). I am very suspicious of what your spouse is up to, especially because you have a business.
      Also, he loves playing you.
      Protect yourself!

    • Epic, you need to move out! This entitled arrogant fuckwit is using and abusing you. Don’t trust what he says, observe his actions and trust that he sucks. Please leave him – alone is not the same as lonely. Move out and fall in love with YOURSELF.
      Many hugs, lovely Epic xxx

    • You are alone in the marriage already. You are NOT going to be alone if you leave. Nature abhors a vacuum…you will be MAKING ROOM for people who actually love you. He is taking up that space right now.

      Use the courage of the people on this blog who have your back!!! Your “husband” does NOT have your back!!!

      Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. You will continue to feel terrible if you stay with this alien life form masquerading as a human. You will naturally feel afraid when you leave, but that is FINITE. The pain and fear if you stay with this creep is ENDLESS.

  • Sad–

    There are two big things that are going on here, and both of them are showing you that you need to divorce his sorry ass. However, don’t tell him you’re divorcing him until you line up the lawyer and serve him!

    First big thing: the emotional affair with the ho-worker. He’s clearly getting off on the attention. This woman is pursuing him and he loves it! As others have said, he could easily shut this down in seconds. Lots of us here have had colleagues who’ve shown interest. We draw the line before that interest even gets stated. We stop working late. We decline the invitation to get coffee during break. We let them know that we can’t talk now because we have a project to finish.

    Your husband doesn’t want to shut this down. That tells you that he’s at the very least open to an affair. He’s also lying and gaslighting you. As CL says, the whole “intention” thing is a bunch of bull malarky. It’s not his actions; it’s your reaction to his actions that’s the problem!

    The second big thing is the way he talked with you. He has told you straight up that he does not want to have children with you. That in and of itself is a deal breaker. If you want children, then you need to be married to someone who also wants children. Raising children as a single parent is hard, and if you had children with this man, you’d end up taking care of two children: your child and this man-child.

    Furthermore, he’s disrespectful. You’re married to him, for pete’s sake! Your desire to spend more time with him is natural. That he told you to go satisfy your own needs is downright mean and cruel–and tells you that he’s a man who’ll go satisfy HIS needs, He’s definitely got Cheater entitlement going for him, whether or not he’s actually fucked anyone at this point.

    I could go on, but I won’t. You haven’t got anything to work with here. I am afraid your best bet is to get out of THAT marriage, get some therapy to help fix your picker after living with such a mindfucker, and let yourself be open and available to people who share your values, enjoy spending time with you, and get all googly-eyed when they see babies/young children.

    Good luck!

  • I agree with everyone. Please do not procreate with this disrespectful person. You are entitled to being respected, not being gaslighted, and CHERISHED! Marriage is about cherishing and respecting. Please get a tough lawyer and get out. There are people out there who will share your values. You may have to improve your picker.

  • Run. RUN! It sounds like you’re still young and if you want kids and an actual marriage, this guy is not the right partner. Don’t be like me and go through years of “trying” to have a child with an ambivalent partner–even if he decides to be on board, it’ll be half-assed, and will most likely remain half-assed forever, amen. (Turns out I couldn’t stay pregnant, otherwise I’d be among the folks here who bred with fuckwits, and now have to deal with them being half-assed or worse toward their children as well. Read some of the stories here. Not fun.)

    Also, if he’s having a secret “friendship” with someone who’s courting him, I promise you that he will have a secret more-than-friendship eventually–either with this chick or with someone else. Ask me how I know. If he wasn’t interested in keeping that door open, he would have shut the whole thing down already. Believe it or not, it’s possible to rebuff unwanted advances politely, so “just being polite” is a load of bs. As are his “intentions.” BoyMan told me, and the two ex-gfs he had secret “friendships” with behind my back (one physical/emotional, the other emotional and possibly physical), that he never “intended” to hurt anyone (after he’d hurt everyone). Funny how that works.

    RUN!

    • You are correct NotAfraid. Mine had an emotional affair years before the physical ones that busted up our marriage. I am pretty sure that one did not go physical but I knew he was tempted at the time and even just that hurt. Years later he said he regretted that it didn’t get physical so he made sure the next one did.

      Sad, your husband will eventually have an affair if he isn’t already. All of the behaviors are there. Don’t waste any more time on this man who is clearly too stupid to realize how lucky he is to have you. It’s time for him to not have you anymore.

  • Oh, “intentions”, you trifling bitch…

    Exh2/The Evil One on discovery of my knowledge of his cheating, a week after D-Day (I had remained cooly calm that week), had stated that he had “never” done anything physical/sexual in the 13 years we’d been together, ever. when I presented him with facts of his cheating, he again denied all stating that what he said to the OW we’re “just words”, to which I said, “yes, which infers your intent!”… He argued that “intent” couldn’t be proven, and therefore invalid argument.

    Fast forward to a few months later. Our divorce had been filed, a few more weeks and we’d be divorced when I ran into an old friend of ours that was single…long story short: we started talking, never even went on a date…friendly-getting-caught-up-with-an-old-friend… Well, he ended up getting back together with his g.f., so that was that. Until the g.f. went through his phone and sent TEO copies/screenshots of our conversations. His problem?
    {Wait for it….}
    {Brace yourselves…}

    “It was your INTENT (to allegedly date him) that I have a problem with, Molly!!!!”

    Can’t. Even.

    • Long before D-Day, I knew that these types have a shit ton of rules for others that don’t apply to themselves.

  • “Don’t interpret his being there as him being committed and invested.”

    ^^This^^….this is so 100% true. I wish I had understood this 10 years ago.

    Sad – save years of your life and get out now. Your husband is not worth your effort, time or emotion. He certainly has shown you that he feels you are not worth his.

  • Please do not waste anymore of your life with this fuckwit. I was married 34 years when I found out my stbx was sneaking around with my cousin. It started out with facebook. Then texts to going out with skankella 4 nights a week. He told me he was going away with his friend Bill. When I found out he lied and said nothing was going on. Needless to say he served me with divorce papers on my birthday. His reason that I got credit cards in his name. Only to stop the divorce to work on our marriage. And chumpy me fell for it. Fast forward a year. I found out he texting an old girlfriend from high school. Lied when I confronted him. Do yourself a huge favor and get out now. Before you are married 34 years and realize that your entire marriage was a scam. These cheating fuckwits only care about their happiness.

  • When ex and I had been married about five years, shortly before we had children, I complained about his going out with coworkers on Friday nights and leaving me, his wife, alone at home. I thought it would be appropriate for him to invite me along. His response was that I needed to make more friends. I was hurt but thought he had a point. We didn’t need to be joined at the hip and maybe he should be allowed to socialize without me tagging along every time. He trained me to not mind his going off and doing things without me. When we had kids, I was the one staying home in the evenings while he went off to broker dinners, pursued his hobbies, etc. I rarely did the same. I would take one weekend a year to go on a Women’s retreat and when I got back he would be tired and grumpy and resentful for having had to deal with the kids by himself all weekend. After DDay, he complained that I wasn’t giving him enough attention and we never did anything together anymore and that’s why he had his affairs. He pushed me away and then complained that he wasn’t getting enough attention. I don’t know if he is evil or just completely clueless. Either way he sucks.

    Sad, get out now while you’re still young enough to have a baby with someone who actually cares.

    • All these similar stories. He was gone all the time. Made plans for himself to go on business dinners or out with coworkers that I was never allowed to join. Unless very rare circumstances occurred.

      I felt always so much stress to plan something for myself when the kids where young, because if I did not plan something for myself, he would have plans for himself and I was with the kids alone again.

      And I also heard we had nothing in common as a reason for his cheating.

      I am now really glad that he found someone he has something in common with: both are narcissistic, cheating, lying aholes that ruined their own families.

    • Argh. Too familiar! You made your needs smaller to accommodate him, so he encouraged you to keep on shrinking them.

  • “Look at what you have, not what you wish it could be, and ask yourself if this marriage is acceptable to you?”

    What I should have done a long time ago, long before he left me for the new girl.

    • “Look at what you have, not what you wish it could be, and ask yourself if this marriage is acceptable to you?”

      Yes, I would also say “Look at what you have, not what you wish it could be, or what you think it is going to be, and ask yourself if this marriage is acceptable to you as it is now?”

      “Growing up is the transition of seeing things as we want them to be, to seeing things as they are.”

    • Same here. I should have been honest with myself (my agency). The X was never going to be what I needed or wanted.

  • If you caught him lying about the number of texts then unfortunately he’s lying about everything else also. Except the worse case scenario as a reality- especially considering his behavior towards you and it sounds like he wants you to dance for his affections and feed his ego.

  • Sad, I read your story with tears in my eyes. I still remember the pain of being pregnant with a boy and my husband at the time was angry and resentful not only about the pregnancy but the baby’s sex. He threatened to cheat on me over it. That’s when I should have ran. Claim your self respect, stand up for yourself, and RUN! You will thank yourself later. Your future children will thank you. Pretty sure you already know it’s a dead horse or you would not have reached out. Keep coming here for strength. Hugs!

    • Thanks, I am going to run, but slowly and methodically. I’m going to protect myself financially first. Sorry that happened to you.

      Sad

  • Sad,

    What hit me with a mallet was “I’m responsible for meeting my own needs.”

    The jackass isn’t content with a low maintenance chump; he’s insisting on NO maintenance. All take, all the time. Run!

    • Excellent point. I’m pretty much the definition of low maintenance, but it took me years to understand that this quality wasn’t something he appreciated about me, but one he took advantage of (and then, of course, eventually criticized me for).

    • Eilonwy, true! He is putting a lot of effort in at the moment (moderate effort I guess) because he knows he’s on the chopping block. But that will get old quick. He’ll go back to no effort soon.

      Sad

  • Sad, no wonder you’re sad! Is this the life you dreamed of? I bet it’s not. I think the way you could be more happy, is to get yourself away from this guy. It doesn’t matter that you married each other- you made a mistake.
    If you want a child, you need a partner who feels the same, they are out there, someone who wants kids and family, too!
    Most of us here can see your life stretching out ahead of you if you stay, and it’s not fun. He is supremely selfish, callous, and ARROGENT. No bueno.
    I hope you can see this before it’s too late to do what you want, and have a life you love! Kids or no kids aren’t the main issue, it’s more that your ‘husband’ isn’t acting like one.
    Sorry, but these kind of people burn me up!

  • In all my years with the cheater until the DD2 on Monday, I learned one thing. All my instincts and gut feelings were absolutely spot on. In all instances when I thought “Nah, he is not that bad.” He actually always was that bad or worse.

    If you are uneasy about him now, it will not get any better.
    My therapist said actually, yesterday, that all the tension, mind acrobatics, and stress and anxiety I felt is not what is happening in a good relationship.

    A good relationship is easy, you feel save.

    What do they say? The way to hell is paved with good intentions. Intentions do not matter. It is the action that counts.

    The gift analogy with the golf clubs is right on the money. I always received favors and courteous moves on thing that I did not care for and then was made feel guilty for not thanking him enough. Like him making me a latte and I do not drink coffee with foamed milk. But whenever I asked him to do something that I really was bothered by, even if really minor, he would not comply. The best example is that when he went to bed, he always removed the decorative pillows from his side but not mine. I told him many times that this made me feel unwelcome, like he did not want me there, and he… just simply could not comply. This would have mattered to me so much. A nice gesture, basically no effort for him. He could not do it.

    Get out now.

    • A nice gesture, basically no effort for him. He could not do it.
      THIS

      How about fluffing the down pillows as he was the last out of bed in the morning? How about NOT hanging your socks in the master walk in closet? How about folding your sweaters and shirts (the few that I did not do) the way that I asked you to (actually bought him the cardboard contraption that Sheldon/ Big Bang Theory uses in laundry room)? Could never quite figure out if he was just incapable or just refused to do it.

      Nice gestures? NEVER

      Nice gestures? NEVER

  • Here is another story that fits the topic.

    A friend of mine confessed to me, yesterday, the following.

    A few years ago she discovered her husband had cheated. She was miserable and took the weekend off and came to visit us. That night we were drinking in the yard and I went to bed earlier, because I had to work.
    My husband and her stayed up at least until 4am or 5am. She told me he came onto her and tried to kiss her. She blocked him. She admitted to continuing to flirt with him, though, online because she wanted attention.

    Here is the thing, though:

    The next morning I found lipstick stains in my car. I do not wear lipstick. The car is only used by me and my husband. My husband does not wear lipstick either. To my knowledge.

    The text messages to my husband congratulated him on how sexy he was.

    Regardless of what happened or did not happen between them. The fact that he came onto her and she continued flirting is a big red flag to me. That was her not shutting him down, but actually inviting him to try again.

    I immediately blocked her and deleted her contact info, because she gaslighted me by stating that I was overreacting and people do dumb shit when drunk.

    • She is doing the same thing she was complaining about. Yuck. Get rid of her and figure out what to do about your husband. How is she a “friend”?

      • That is what I learned, yesterday. She can no longer call me friend. I eliminated all of her contact info and blocked her on social media. I did not even allow for a conversation on the topic after she told me “People do dumb shit when drunk” and “I flirted with him only online”.

        She is dead to me.

        • Kudos for your spine. Ugh. The nerve. Are you a person to her? I think people who start affairs discount the humanity of the chumps. Hope you figure things about the other half as well. Peace for you.

        • What about your husband? It takes 2 to tango. Any consequences for him? I mean, your gut knows what happened in that car.

          • Yep. They absolutely fucked. In HER car. At HER house. With HER mere yards away. Her husband instigated it and cared so little for her that he fucked her “friend” right under her nose. The friend should be “dead” to her. And so should the husband. This is how he is willing to treat her when she is a few feet away. What does he get up to when she is actually gone? Her whore friend probably came to her house in order to get revenge on her husband. And how is it whore knew that her place would be the place to go for some skanky random sex? Because either she as fucked him before or she knows about him fucking other other women.

  • When she asks if she should stop texting her otherwise she wants to have an affair with him and he replies that she should keep texting him–he is telling her straight out that he wants to have an affair. There isn’t even any grey area her to delude yourself with. If someone says “Do you want this piece of candy? If you say “don’t stand there holding candy” I’ll put the candy back in my pocket. If not, I am going to unwrap this candy and put it in your mouth,” and the person they are talking to says, “Oh no you don’t have to put that candy away” then they have just agreed to have candy unwrapped and put in their mouth. Same thing. The point is: His INTENTIONS are perfectly clear.

  • I hope you realize that he is going to have sex with her. He will not care if it hurts you. Unfortunately this blog shows just how many narcissists there are and how many sociopaths there are. Take your pick because he is probably one of them and they make terrible husbands and wives.
    Pack your bags and get on with the rest of your life.

  • I’m so sorry Sad that you are going through this. It really does sound like your husband is a major asswipe though and you don’t have much to work with. He should be shutting that shit down with the whore. What is with these slutfaces that go after married men anyway? I despise these women. They can’t get single men because they’re either so ugly or otherwise undesirable.

  • This miserable excuse for a husband has made it perfectly clear where he stands.
    Much better than what chumps like me got – a pretend answer.

    Dump Mr. liar and Mr. doesn’t really want to be a good husband and get on with your life.

  • Can I just add to the discussion that I don’t understand WHO these goddamn whores are who are offering sex to married co-workers. I know I should not be surprised but it does continue to stun me. Lowlife fucking selfish dirtbags.

    Sad doesn’t mention if he was serving up the “my wife doesn’t understand me” bullshit in his texts. Whatevs, this chick is a cockroach.

    I vote for you to walk away and let the pigs roll around in their slop. And DON’T take him back after he begs for forgiveness when the heat fizzles or he finds her shopping her diseased wares to others. If there is some way to inform HR about the office doorknob that would be ideal.

    • Can I just add to the discussion that I don’t understand WHO these goddamn whores are who are offering sex to married co-workers.
      Well, in Schmoopie’s case, she settled for CheaterX. She is basically a gold-digger. CheaterX had poor boundaries at work. He tends to be very paternalistic, buying his employees lunch an excessive number of times. By the way, I think buying lunch for employees is nice, but on a weekly or bi-weekly basis? Nope. You’re trying to manipulate them in some way, and he liked people to see him as caring and engaged.

      Schmoopie saw him as wealthy. I think he was flattered, but instead of cutting off the attention, he welcomed it. She may have been a gold digger, but he was happy at being dug.

      I think that’s the way with these predatory colleagues. They look around for someone whose morals are fluid.

    • My best friend had an ongoing “ thing” with a colleague at work… her husband cheated on her and dragged her through emotional hell, leaving homeless with a child… long story short- she is ok now.
      Now, the colleague comes out from the shadow. Apparently he was there for her for years, good friend, helping her on numerous occasions through the years. Fine.
      The problem is that he is married ( wife is drinking, many issues and complications, but there is clear line- he won’t divorce her) and they were sleeping with each other few times.
      You can only imagine my reaction😂

      I started gently uncovering the whole situation and what strucked me at the end- this guy is another narc!!!

      Using my friend while she was depressed ( on meds) , posing as a shoulder to cry on… more details I knew, more clear the picture was.

      I talked to my friend and tried to show her, that what she saw as a friendly behavior- was a manipulative, disgusting way of getting her in bed ( she is gorgeous btw) and basically using her.
      Cheating on wife, using my friend- all fits narc’s playbook.

      My friend is ashamed of her actions now..,, I’m sure she will never do it again.

      And yes, she knows my stand on cheating, and no- she is not aware of my experiences….

    • Now I.C.
      Sad here, that made me laugh, thank you! She is a cockroach for sure! She is also married and has four kids. I don’t understand why she initiated an affair with a man who just got married??? Either it turns her on that he’s a newlywed or he gave her a reason to come on to him. My guess is the latter. I have been tempted to send the messages to her husband.

      Sad

      • You should. Particularly egregious to target a newly married man or any married man. Of course, takes two to tango.

  • Sad,

    I think you know that you don’t have anything to work with here.

    you are entitled to your deal breakers, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • Epic, you need to move out! This entitled arrogant fuckwit is using and abusing you. Don’t trust what he says, observe his actions and trust that he sucks. Please leave him – alone is not the same as lonely. Move out and fall in love with YOURSELF.
    Many hugs, lovely Epic xxx

  • “This is heartbreaking. Wanting children or not is a legitimate issue in a marriage — it’s not a pick me dance either. This is a BIG red flag. His actions are communicating that he is NOT father material. This is a conversation you should be able to enter into without fear, and be heard. If you’re not on the same page about kids — even without the shady texts — this is a dealbreaker by itself.”

    This is so true. I was not able to get pregnant and saw my doctor about the situation. She said it was possible that I could have a baby, but would need some help. I talked to XH about it and he told me he “didn’t want to put me through that”. He also wasn’t sure about being a parent (he also said that he worried that I wouldn’t get up in the night with the baby). I thought, “Right, he doesn’t want to be a dad. We can still have a great life even without children”. When I was on the cusp of 43, he ditched me for the office skank, 10 years my junior. Divorced me and married her all under 2 years. He had known her for six years prior. He played out the clock on me, and now, the happy couple are awaiting the arrival of their 1st child this winter. Don’t be me. Five years after he left, I’m 48 and my chances of conceiving are virtually nil. Get out now and be with someone that wants to be a parent with you. You deserve so much more.

    • NoKibble4U, Sad here. I’m sorry, that sucks! I totally agree with what you are saying. I think the issue is that he doesn’t want kids with ME. He doesn’t love me enough. He and I actually both have children from our first marriages. We’re 40ish. Everyone is leaving the nest and I wanted to have a family with him because I loved him. Yes, I wanted another child, but I also wanted HIS child. Now I can see that isn’t going to happen. Breaks my heart. I am getting too old to have any more, I won’t be able to meet someone new in time to have another child. I’m grateful for the ones I have and will focus on them. They are going to be devastated over the breakup. They really like him. …sigh

      Sad

      • Sad, I’m so sorry. It sucks either way. Try not to internalize his not wanting kids as a rejection of you. He’s a jerk. Cheaters hate responsibility, I’m sure additional responsibility is what he doesn’t want. Hang in there, it gets better. Hugs to you!

  • Sad–I’m very sorry you’ve been thrust into the mindfuckery & gaslighting of your husband’s excuses and “intentions.”

    Going to throw out my own experience under the category, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” Under NO circumstances mate with, nor stay married to, a man who (a) does not want children, (b) likes sexual attention from other women. I, too, had red flags early from my serial cheater husband. After a few years of dating, my biological clock started ticking, and I was prepared to leave and have a child on my own. Instead, then-boyfriend decided he “couldn’t do any better than me,” so proposed even with the knowledge he was committing himself to having two children.

    Not only did I do the vast majority of the work with those two children (while working full-time), to the detriment of my physical and emotional healthy, he used my time commitment to the children to both justify his need for fulfillment from other women, and (since I required very little of him) to have lots of free time to have affairs. Very strongly, I do not recommend this path for your life.

    Having a father who didn’t really want children, and who was often a big man-child himself emotionally, impacted my children. They are significantly different psychologically from children who came from homes where both parents were family-oriented. Find yourself such a man after you divorce your current husband. You don’t deserve the current life (where he is lying and distancing himself from you), and you deserve even less the life he would thrust you into. Hugs.

    • This was my experience too. Staying with your selfish, lying, cheating husband dooms you to a worse loneliness than being on your own. And once you dump his deadweight, you can find someone who will truly be there for you and your future kids.

  • Mine never “intended” to hurt me. Mine never “intended” to sleep with us both at the same time. Mine never wanted to have kids with me. When i accidentally got pregnant ( which happens when a guy who wants sex every night) his first response was “Did you do this just to keep me?” For YEARS i felt guilty of having kids with him. He took that saying back they next day but really, i never forgot that was his first response.
    Now when he plays super parent, it really chaps my hide.

    You’ve been given a gift. Leave him now. He may not have crossed the full out PA line yet, but he will. The writing is on the wall.

    (((hugs)))))

  • Just a reminder – it’s perfectly polite to tell a co-worker that you are married and therefore can’t have sex with them.

    I love my wife and therefore I don’t want to have sex or romantic relationships with other women. You are a good catch and are sure to find someone else. Thank you for your flattering interest.

    Although, really, the first sentence should be enough.

    And if you’re not going to have sex with them, it is much more polite to tell them so and let them move on from texting you.

    • Just saying you are married should be enough. Or acting like you aren’t interested. I have worked with mostly men for many years and I was married. I didn’t give off vibes that I was interested in cheating or even entertaining thoughts of heavy flirting. He gave off vibes and was open. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened.

      • That!!!
        Somehow, men were not hitting on me right and left, because they could see from the beginning, that I had a strong boundaries and was not interested in flirting etc ( while staying polite, funny, nice )

        On the other side, my husband was hitting and sending signals to ANYONE… which was creepy and embarrassing to witness….

        Once , we were out together and a friend of mine Came ( guy) to greet us… I think he has a crush on me, which I always ignored, focusing on his wife instead 😉
        This time he was alone, started talking to us, completely ignoring my husband and almost drooling while talking to me. As usually- I just ignored it;
        When he left my husband was like “ oh my, that was embarrassing to witness, the guy has a crush on you”
        Me playing dummy “ oh yeah,? Why do u think so”?

        “ it was obvious… so embarrassing “

        My comment?

        Him drooling 🤤 like a puppy, was nothing in comparison to YOU 🤤 over other women. If that was distressing to watch, imagine how your creepy demeanor freaks other people.

    • It’s amazing how many cheaters use the “I was being polite” shit. I mean really. I think it is pretty fucking rude to his wife not to shut that shit down. Ridiculous. “I had to let her blow me, it would be rude to bring up my marriage.” “How could I not fuck her at the hotel after she already paid for the room? I was raised better than that!” They cannot sincerely think that any of us is fooled with this kind of baloney.

      • I was just being polite on the plane, when the strange lady was giving me a hand job under the blanket , on our 14 hours flight… yes, I was polite when we hugged and kissed at the airport… it would be rude not to do so….

        Yes, I was polite by inviting a CL hooker for dinner and then paying for hotel room. It would be rude to just go and fuck her, I wanted to know her better and maybe even help her with a job search
        ( I kid u not!!!)

        I was just polite by offering a friend-of-a-friend my jacket , while never asking if my wife, standing next to me (!!!) was cold….

        Yes I was just a nice guy, so I paid for the ho’s new cell phone , because she lost an old one – when we were leaving the park together ( after sex)

        It’s a never ending list of a nice guy demeanor…

      • Jojobee, YES! That’s what I keep asking him. “So if she came into your office and demanded to blow you, you would have to let her for fear of being rude?” It’s so ridiculous! And he tells me that he never talked to her outside of text. That’s a lie too because in the text messages she was referencing things they must have talked about. His office door locks so I’m a little worried he did fu*k her at work and he just didn’t send her the OK in text in case I ever saw the messages.

        Sad

  • If you don’t have kids, it’s time to end it now.

    No Contact will be so easy!

    If only I had left mine before kids!

  • And Sad,
    I think your future children deserve a father who is thrilled to be a dad. Is your “husband” the kind of man you would want to be their father?

  • All the advice here is fantastic, as per usual.
    I’ve recently discovered that my kids are not doing as well as I thought they were. One of them has had very dark thoughts and they’ve both developed addictions to their computer/phone. The younger one doesn’t read or show interest in soccer anymore, despite loving these things pre separation. He begged me not to try to change the court orders (50/50) even though he’s unhappy with the arrangement because “dad already makes my life hell but when a court thing is happening I don’t think I can take that again”
    I’ve spoken with their school counsellor and Child Safety (who can’t do much), and today will take him to see a GP. All the boxes are being “ticked” but the enormous anger I feel towards my ex and his flapperhead fiancé is hard to deal with. They have gotten away with so much and they’re fucking up my kids in the process. Both narcissists. They seem untouchable. Does anyone have evidence of hope for my boys?

    • I don’t know if this will help or not. My parent divorced when I was 12. A few years later and my father acted very distant and not much like a parent. My aunt, his sister, told me that it was OK to not like his behavior and maybe not even like him right now. But that doesn’t have to change my love. I could still say I love you even if hemade me mad or hurt my feelings. You can be mad at someone and still love them. It’s not betraying a parent to be angry with them or not like their actions. Just as a mother can be upset with a child’s behavior, her love doesn’t waver.

      I don’t know if there’s a way around this but reminding your X that your children are innocent pawn and should be not be made to feel guilty or sad because he’a not happy with you. My X used to spout off stuff about his ex wife in front of his kids like they were supposed to make her do something. I was constantly telling him that saying things like to them isn’t helping anything. They feel bad because parents don’t get along and they are helpless to change their mom’s behavior or actions.m, just as they can’t change his.

      • Also, please let the kid vent all he wants but do not say anything negative about the X yourself. The venting heals. Also getting the kid to see a good counselor helps. I agree with Ms. Bailey. Also, when the kids are with you spend all the time with them – get your work done when they are not with you. I used take my kid to perkins (eating place) all the time for school work. It became our routine. By the age of 14, kids have more agency in choosing who they want to stay with legally. Take care of yourself and spend time with your kids. I do not know why the ex is giving the poor kids a hard time. Shame on him.

    • My aunt “bought” her daughter from her ex in the divorce. My uncle happily gave up his custody for the vast majority of their assets. She was poor but it was the best for her kid. Not saying you should or can do the same, but it’s an idea anyway.

  • Girl, I could have written this letter 13 years ago. Reality: right now, this, is the best you will get from him. It only gets worse…more pain, more suffering, more rejection. Get out ASAP. Don’t let your notions about marriage blind you to what is actually happening. You and he do not share the same value system, and you never will, and it will slowly destroy you if you stay.

    I wish I had the wisdom 13 years ago to see these red flags for what they were. I wish I would have listened to my gut. Of course I’m so happy to have my daughter, but boy did she come at a price…that I will pay the rest of my life. You are ahead of the game, you are reaching out. You are mighty. Best of luck.

  • Also, just to be clear, this is abuse. He is emotionally abusing you. You’ve done nothing wrong. You, presumably, fell in love, married, and want to spend time and have children with your husband. This is all normal, good stuff. He’s the abnormal one. Trying to make you feel bad or weird about wanting a baby, lying about his relationship with a co-worker. This guy’s super shady. You seriously can’t want to be tied to him for the rest of your life. You deserve to be loved and cherished. We all do. This guy will never love and cherish you. He’s incapable. I know because I married this guy and wasted years of my life being made to feel the way you are. It’s terrible.

    So go and chase your awesome dream. Go be loved and cherished. Go have a baby with someone great who shares your values. Fix that picker and live a great life.

  • His only intention is to not get caught.

    I’m sorry that he’s an asshole but consider yourself lucky that you won’t spend decades co-parenting with this jerk.

    Go consult a few divorce lawyers. The more YOU consult, the fewer he can choose from. Plus I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he hasn’t already spoken to several and is hiding marital assets too.

    Find a good therapist – preferably one who is familiar with PTSD.

    I’m sorry he’s treated you so shabbily. Now it’s on you to do something about it. With intent!

  • You want a baby and he scoffs.
    Enough said. Get out and stop wasting your time. Once you’re out report the co-worker. You’ve got the texts, she’s pursuing a co-worker, offering and affair, he hasn’t even said yes. Report her, that’s a public service.

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