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Dear Chump Lady, How did I not know?

Dear Chump Lady,

A couple of months ago my husband got a transfer with his company and we were planning to move. He had me quit my job of 10 years to start to prepare for this move. We put our houses up for sale and we were looking for the new one in the new location.

Then a month ago we got into a bullshit argument and he told me he would talk to me the next day. The next day he came home from work to tell me “This is going to be a hard conversation and I want you to know there’s no one else involved”. He said I’m moving to the new location alone and you and the kids are going to move back to the old house. He said the majority of the money from this house you can keep and I’m not sure if I want a divorce yet.

It caught me off guard. Up until then I thought we had a great marriage. Everyone always commented on how great our marriage was too. It was a total blow. I packed a bag and decided to leave for the night. I was yelling and my teens were in the house.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later after I’ve begged him to reconsider over and over I get an anonymous note in my mailbox that says “you have the right to know your husbands been messing with a woman X at work and it’s been going on for a while. This whole thing has been planned for him to leave you. You should also know this is the third marriage she’s destroyed.

I got his phone records and traced their talk and text back to April. Heavy on the day I quit my job too. I spoke to my grown kids and one called him and lit his ass up. He came up with a bullshit story a couple days later that he just started talking to her not knowing I had his phone records. She told him to stop fucking lying and just own it. He said “I don’t have to justify myself to anyone I just started sleeping with her I never cheated on mom”. Up until this point he blamed it on me leaving the night he told me what his plan was moving forward.

Am I the biggest Chump of all? How the hell did I not know??? He would still do everything he’s always done the entire time and treated me great. I bent over backwards for this shitbag for years! He left me for a woman 5 years older and who has a young child from the last marriage she destroyed. He moved in with her. My shitbag has seen our kids once in almost 5 weeks and texted twice. WTF



Dear Big,

First off, no, you’re the not the biggest chump of all. We vie for the crown here and from where I sit, you’re a totally normal chump married to a typical dumbass. Nobody’s fucking goats, or impregnating their cousin, or gifting half-eaten boxes of Wheatena cereal — so if it’s the freak factor you’re worrying about — RELAX.

Now for the softball question:

How the hell did I not know???

Because you have a moral compass. Because you see the world through your own values, and you could not imagine a world in which your husband is conducting a double life — and performing a high-wire act of getting you to quit your life of 10 years, only to abandon you.

NO, that does NOT skip through the average person’s mind. Gee, I wonder what nefarious plot my spouse is up to today? Embezzlement? Identity theft? Caging immigrant children?

You could not conceive of it, because you aren’t that person. But now you MUST shift your thinking and accept it  immediately — because further disbelief is jeapordizing your safety. You need to get your head OUT of “How could he do that?” and “How did I not know he was doing that?!” space to “How do I find a good lawyer to shut this shit down now?”

THAT’s the game your head needs to be in — protecting your finances, your children, finding a job (perhaps getting the old one back?) — or not finding a job (talk to your lawyer — perhaps he should now pay alimony as he’s impoverished you, plus a sum towards your insurance.)

How many marriages the OW has ruined isn’t relevant here. It’s one of those How Many Fuckwits Can Dance on the Head of a Pin existential questions. She clearly sucks, but your husband is demonstrably the sort of person who’s A-Okay with a workplace affair and abandoning his family. She didn’t seduce him into becoming a shitheel. He IS a shitheel. (And really, if you ask me, the shitheels deserve each other.)

This isn’t her first rodeo and she has a small child? And yours are grown? And now the fleeting office romance is out in the open and they’re living together? (Whoever tipped off you I hope has tipped off Human Resources.) This isn’t going to end well. Get a settlement while the buffoon still has a job.

No more skein untangling — this isn’t your fault. Just lawyer up and no contact. ((Hugs)))

Ask Chump Lady

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  • There’s a familiar pattern here. I’ve seen it over and over on this site: the Great Life Change that – unbeknownst to the spouse – also involves throwing out the marriage. It starts with something else (a new job, a new house, a new hobby, moving to a new location) but quickly moves on to a new spouse. The cheater is unhappy with something in his life and is casting around for a solution. Rather than confronting whatever inner demons are tormenting him, he turns his attention to successive aspects of his life and demolishes them one after another. Now your turn has come.

    So why didn’t you notice it? He’s in charge of himself, and *he* doesn’t understand what the hell he’s doing. If he can’t articulate it to himself, how are *you* supposed to know it’s going on? Even when he has stumbled on a supposed solution (the OW) he *still* can’t be honest with you or the kids – so why would you ever expect to have gotten an honest heads-up before it all crashed down?

    I’m sorry that you’re here with us. It is frustrating and infuriating. It’s particularly frustrating and infuriating because destroying his marriage is so obviously (to us) not a solution to his life’s problems. But *you* can’t convince him of that. *You* can’t fix him. Your job now is to get on with your own life while he does whatever it is he’s doing with his. I know it’s not a lot of comfort right now, but at least you found out before you moved. He is literally removing himself from your life, which is really for the best in the long run.

    I guess this doesn’t come across as particularly sympathetic, but I’ve seen this pattern – he’s unhappy so he’ll go through uprooting parts of his life, including the unsuspecting spouse – so often that I’m getting outrage fatigue. You didn’t expect it because your reaction to your own unhappiness would have been to look within yourself for a cause and a solution: not cast around for an external source of blame that you can nuke with prejudice. Because you’re not like him, which is your strength and your weakness.

    • Perhaps not all cheaters fit this mold, but there certainly is the cheater who just can’t seem to fill the hole that is the emptiness of their soul. Some may have all the external characteristics of “success”. Indeed, they may be the proverbial king of the hill. The minute something slips, though, the minute they begin to see their own mortality, they rush to fill that gaping hole with whatever shiny object is available.

      There is also a certain type of person who seeks out this type of cheater, usually for financial gain. So the aging narcissistic meets the manipulative climber. Each has something the other wants. For the narcissist, it is the false sun of adulation and worship. For the OP, it is the opportunity to catch a big fish. What a match made in heaven. Not.

      Who gets hurt in this ugly mash-up? The cheater’s spouse and family, of course. Often the spouse is completely blindsided because, as bad as the marriage may have been (narcissists do NOT make good mates), there may not have been flagrant cheating in the marriage. What is so hurtful is that while the unsuspecting spouse has been going about the business of being married and raising a family, the cheater has been plotting and planning ways in which to financially screw his or her spouse!

      That is why it is so important for BC to get the best lawyer she can find. It sounds like she still has kids to support and now, she is without a job. Many states do not require parents to pay for their children’s college expenses, but the parties can agree to do so. There is also the house that he claims he wants BC to keep, but why should she believe anything he says?

      The OW sounds like quite the conniving person, and there will quickly come a time when she begins complaining about how “their” money is going to “his grown kids”. Any verbal agreement to honor his financial commitments will quickly become a distant memory and his feigned largess will disappear. That is why is is critical for BC to quickly find her footing and get the best legal/financial award she can.

      I know I sound cold, but I have lived through this very situation. As much as I grieved, I also had enough foresight to get a financial agreement in place as soon as I learned of X’s cheating. Had I not done so, I am quite sure that the money we had saved for my kids’ college education would have disappeared. The best thing I ever did was act quickly. Thing1 and Thing2 have shown BC who they are. She should believe them and protect herself and her children immediately.

      • Totally agree with this. It hurts like crazy but the time to get the most is now while he feels some guilt. The guilt disappears after a few months and then he will become more selfish…yes that is possible. Protect your assets. Often a separation agreement will freeze them. You can also freeze credit on the 3 credit agencies online so he cant take out loans until divorce is final. This is the time when he will start grabbing money, he may already have hidden money with secrets accounts. Hard to believe but he must be considered an untrustworthy thief. You will cry floods of tears for along time but at least you will have protected yourself financially. We are the victims of a robbery. New locks everywhere..doors, accounts. Credit. Hugs and power to you. We are here to listen and empathize.

      • Agreed! When my 19-year-old son found his dads little fuck phone and realized he was cheating on his mom, my son freaked out and was hospitalized for over 2 weeks. Because he was 19, the hospital bill was my son’s responsibility…. $5000.00. The kid was 19 and going to school – he couldn’t afford that and now it was going to affect my son’s credit. In the divorce papers I was adamant that Judas pay his hospital bill because it was assholes fault he even had a hospital bill. It was agreed upon and written up and I let my son know that his asswipe father was responsible for the bill. I don’t know if dickhead paid it or not or what ever happened. I have never asked my son. But as long as he was aware that jackass was responsible for it, then it tells my son that I was the one looking out for him but his responsibility to make sure dumbass paid it.

      • violet – This… “So the aging narcissistic meets the manipulative climber. Each has something the other wants. For the narcissist, it is the false sun of adulation and worship. For the OP, it is the opportunity to catch a big fish. What a match made in heaven. Not.” My thoughts exactly.

    • Best explanation ever, Involuntary Georgian!

      Like others, I thought we were happy. I’d just moved to Colorado for him when I learned of his supposed retroactive unhappiness. I’d sold my car, left all my friends and family, paid 5k to move all we owned there while 7 months pregnant. Just so he could take a job on the road, meet Shmoopie the stripper with the heart of gold, and toss me and our 2 babies under 3 and everything he’d ever owned to the curb a year later. He left with a suitcase, indifferent to absolutely all of it. A total blindside with lots of fury at myself for not seeing. Until I found Chump Nation. That is when my healing began.

      The 9/11 Commission described the security gaps in our nation as stemming from a ‘failure of imagination’. We’d failed to imagine an attack from within, because we had been lulled into a false sense of security (also known as normality bias). Chumps who suffer the same in their marriage are not ‘stupid’ for not seeing it in advance. It was designed to be unseen. But now that we’ve all had our eyes opened, painfully, we will be better prepared to spot the signs so that we’re never blindsided in that horrible way again.

      • Hi! Tell me more about the stripper schmoopie. What were the results of that? My ex took up with one, and I think paid for a phone for her…what ended up happening? What did you have put in the parenting plan?

    • Hello Chump Nation. It’s been a while. Capricorn back for a top up!
      Involuntary Georgian & Honey are spot on for me. My ex (so nice to write that rather than STBX) had three long term girlfriends over five years while working abroad. I used to castigate myself all the time for being so stupid and not noticing anything at all, but I do believe that it was just not something I could imagine doing myself and so assumed he was the same. He was happy enough to encourage me to believe this too in all the conversations we had about our 24 year marriage and dealing with these extended periods abroad. So while I was at home doing all the heavy lifting of actually raising a family he was out there living a bachelor life. For five years he led a double life and in quiet moments I am convinced that this level of stone cold self interest didn’t start there and that he was probably doing this years before he went abroad too as he travelled a lot even before this. But it doesn’t matter. I knew eventually and got out. Could have been much worse.

      The divorce was last year, and I noticed I hesitated writing that so I know I’m getting better as I’m not measuring my new life by how much time has passed since the divorce, and I have reached several conclusions. One is that I couldn’t know. He didn’t slip up, didn’t change, never was honest but showed no sign of the massive edifice of lies he was building. I also know that I don’t think I will ever understand this kind of behaviour. It just won’t compute. So I know that I just accept it and deal with it as it. Can’t spend precious hours of my life trying to figure it out. I know I am responsible for my own happiness and am careful about setting boundaries all over the place. I don’t envisage a new relationship as I am still raising boys and actually getting quite a kick out of doing my own thing. But I’m not ruling it out either.

      I’m not that far out past my ddays (2.5 years or so) but my life is calmer and more secure and clearer than it has ever been. Not exactly smoother but the more responsibility I take for my own life and wellbeing, the more focus I put on what I need and like, the more I accept that I have zero control over others then the better everything goes in all sorts of ways. Everything Chump Lady said to do I did.
      It works.

      So I too just could not figure out how I didn’t know and I’m sure part of that trying to figure it out is a desire to not have that ever happen again. Now I have let that go. I was and still am a kind, trusting, honest, reliable kind of person and these are my values. They were not his I just assumed they were and he gave every impression they were. Now I know different.
      It might happen to me again in the future even with all my new shiny boundaries but it won’t break me then either because I know I can recover and rebuild and I know the blame and shame don’t attach to me if someone chooses to act that way.

      I remain open to life and love and it’s a lot to do with this site where I used to post like a maniac but now just lurk and comment occasionally. Can’t leave the place that saved my life ????

      Love to all. ❤️❤️

      • Welcome back to the conversation, Capricorn. Glad to hear you’re doing well.

      • Capricorn… wow. Eerily close to my situation, although I’m only a couple months into this nightmare. The work travel and bachelor lifestyle (while I stayed home and raised our kids) a five year affair with the same partner, just shy of 20 year marriage. Really, a double life all built on thousands of lies. I now suspect, as you do that his cheating began well before that. In the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter and I don’t care to waste my time and energy trying to figure that out.

        It’s great for us newbies to hear from those who have come out on the other side, healthier and happier. Just have a lot of shit to wade through first.

        • mylabrador,

          It certainly does shock the system to find yourself in this situation.
          Instead of wading through shit, it might help to think of the next phase as ‘detoxifying your brand’ as one of my friends put it and starting to build a new life for yourself.
          No question it was the most painful thing I have ever been through and there were plenty of times I doubted I would ever feel whole again but trust me that if you follow chump lady’s advice you will absolutely recover and find an even better life.
          Trust here and yourself and you will definitely reap vast rewards. ❤️

    • Well, you’ve certainly described my ex and the end of our marriage pretty well. I do think ex
      (and many of the other cheaters described here) was having a mid life crisis. I don’t say that is an excuse. He chose a pretty shitty way to deal with the distress he was feeling. It isn’t ok to hurt others in order to make yourself feel better. It’s also pretty stupid as it generally doesn’t work anyway. Ex, of course, would never admit to having a mid life crisis as that would imply that there was something wrong with him. He wants to believe that it was just “years of dissatisfaction in the marriage” that caused it to end. Never mind that first he bought the airplane (stand in for the red sports car convertible or a boat), then he quit his high paying job, then he moved us across the country. Then he finally got around to discarding the wife in favor of a new and shiny replacement. He still seems pretty disgruntled every time I see him so I don’t think that really worked either. Too bad he has nothing left to give up.

      I got lucky though. Instead of quitting my job for him, I am the one who got the new job in order to accommodate his whim of moving back to his home state (because that was supposed to make him happy). The new job turned out to be a good fit for me and I am happier with this new job than I ever have been with my previous ones so I guess something good came out of the hurricane that was my life (and the kids too) for the last few years of our marriage.

      Hopefully the letter writer will find a kick ass lawyer, divorce her idiot cheater and either get her old job back (proving that sensible people are happy to have her) or find an even better one. She doesn’t need someone stupid enough to fall for a woman who already has a history of tearing families apart dragging her down.

      • My XH actually said he was having a “midlife crisis”. He left and divorced me and in no time was engaged to and married to 9 year younger schmoopie. He replicated our life for her – house down the road from former marital home, same trips, hotels, restaurants. Five years later…he is now 47 and awaiting their first child. I doubt any of his actions are resulting in a happy life for him (or her). And like the original poster’s situations, the OW was skilled at this – mine was the 2nd marriage she helped destroy. These people are toxic. Best to remove yourself from their orbit and let them destroy each other.

        • How can people be okay with themselves when they are havign a pattern of destroying marriages? I am not saying destroying one is okay – I am saying after seeing the fall out of destroying one – they should really want to never repeat that behavior again. Also the ex – does he not know her history?

          • I worked with a woman like that. She told herself – and genuinely believed! – that she was so attractive, so magnetic, so magically compelling that men could not help but leave their wives and girlfriends to screw her. The fact she would (I’m not kidding) massage her breasts while chatting to men in the office cafeteria, or (also not kidding) insert little moans and gasps into conversations with men about summer holidays or a myriad other highly sexualized behaviours had nothing to do with it, I’m sure!

            By the way, genuine question, in case I work with someone like this in the future (please, G*d, no!!!): can I talk about her to HR? I mean, will it just make me look like a bitter old divorced office gossip if I go to HR and say, there’s a woman who will swear to high heaven that she’s not flirting but is being super sexy with the men in the office and from past experience I know this kind of thing put pressure on (or worse) marriages, and it makes me very deeply uncomfortable? We all know that if a man was absent-mindedly rubbing his —, moaning and gasping while talking to women in the workplace, HR would nip that sh*t in the bud. But I’m not sure how it would be perceived if I were to report this behaviour in another woman.

            • I think you should. I can’t see any reason to massage one’s breasts or moan while talking to someone at work. Weird.

    • My X asshat said that “I had to tear some things down to hopefully find a happier place for myself.” This was texted to the younger DD23 as he lied and justified his horrible behavior of abandoning me by e-mail to chase a 25YO schmoopie co-worker and move to her European country permanently. He absolutely believes that he gets to destroy his family on a *hope* of finding something “happier.” Entitlement. Our pain is worth it to him as he sells us for magic beans and a search for his lost youth. Right up until the spectacular discard he was future-faking and lying. No, there was no way to know what an incredible coward they are until they make their big move.

      I and my 2 adult daughters just see a pile of torn down shit where he used to be, and we are moving forward.

    • Yup, a major move with narcissists always seems to entail a discard as well. Why they just can’t up and leave themselves without disrupting family and home I can only guess, but you can be sure it benefits them and their plan. The hell with everyone else.

    • Involuntary Georgian, you wrote “Because you’re not like him, which is your strength and your weakness.” That’s only a weakness when you are in the marriage and unwittingly being chumped. It’s not a weakness when you are living in the world, having developed good judgment about character and a fixed picker.

  • Holy crap. He’s going to get fired soon, so get that chainsaw divorce lawyer on retainer NOW. While he is still employed and his current salary (plus historical) can be taken into account.

    Stop talking to him. It sounds as though your kids are old enough to handle their social calendars.

    Nah – he’s nothing special in the Dirtbag Department. But when your sample size is 1 and your marriage is the sample, it doesn’t much matter.

    Be good to yourself. Shut that shit down.

    • This^^^
      As soon as things sour, she will report him for sexual harassment and he will be fired. The names may change but the story stays the same. I bet dollars to doughnuts she’s done it before.
      My cheating douchebag had an affair with his co-worker, who incidentally had a kid with another man from a marriage she destroyed.
      I was pregnant at the time.
      He convinced me that I was just a horrible person and there was no affair.
      Eventually he returned and soon after I discovered his dirty little secret.
      He works for the state and at the time, a high ranking position.
      Well, about 6 months after the affair was revealed to me, he got fired from his job. He told me some bullshit story about the position being eliminated. I lied and told him his friend/co-worker (male) told me it was because the ho-worker filed a sexual harassment case against him. He got that blank stare these fuckwits get when you catch them off guard. “Well, that’s not the ONLY reason” he said.
      So. Sadly we all suffered the consequence of his affair.
      He had reversion rights but his salary took a considerable hit.
      This woman apparently has a habit of blowing up marriages and breaking up families. Co-workers are easy targets. It’s a shame that there are people so broken, they have no incentive to respect in tact families. It boils down to the need to create the misery in others that has consumed their own hearts, and blurred their moral compass.

      • “He got that blank stare these fuckwits get when you catch them off guard.” I know that stare- big fat babies.

      • FedUpChump, those were some life-changing, lightbulb-brightening words, ” It boils down to the need to create the misery in others that has consumed their own hearts, & blurred their moral compass.” BINGO. I’ve been on my healing quest about 7 years, read many things & sidled up to CN about 4 years. This is in the top 10 comments so far. Thank you!

      • ugh. Sometimes I think they have no idea the misery they cause. They can’t because they have no empathy and are inherently ridiculously self-focused.

        I think they simply want what someone else has. And feel no compunction about co-opting it from someone else. “If I could steel him/her from you, you never really had him/her. See? I’m Justified.”

        • This is just so messed up. I’m hoping karma would steal from them everything they thought they deserved. Oh wait. I’m here on the other side now, surviving. Karma already did.

      • Serial Affair Partners . . . the craziest of them all! To not learn from it? I think they get pleasure in breaking up marriages. It’s a contest of their “womanhood,” to see if they can get a man’s attention long enough to break him from his wife and kids.

        • An AP can also be a disordered person. They can love the chase. They can love the triangle. They can love the deliciousness of being in a secret competition for the attention of someone else’s spouse. And that secret is delicious for the inverse of the reason Chumps torture themselves about the AP being somehow “better.” These APs love to “win” in a competition that the chump doesn’t even know about.

          When I first got involved with Jackass, he told me about 3 relationships he had with married women, at least one of which might have gotten him fired from a job. And of course, there was the MOW that I got discarded for. Turns out he liked the kibbles from the chase better than a stable relationship.

  • Big, your letter actually left me dizzy, like being seasick. I couldn’t tell if I was reading my story or another chump’s. The thing that differs from your story is that cheater happily helped ME move MY job… I felt soooo supported. hahaha.

    Then we sold our house because “it will be a better financial deal” (turns out he needed to pay debts made for flatterfucks).

    Take care. You are not alone. There is not enough gold on the Earth to make crowns for all The Greatest Chumps.

  • It was April 17 2005 I got a version this particular talk too.

    “I want a divorce because you are such a bad wife….” ::::insert 2 hour list of every mistake I had made in the 21 years we had known each other:::: “there is no one else, this is between you and I, can I stay until ______ ?” then he took his sweet time and didnt go anywhere and seemed oddly contented with his new circumstances of wife pretzelling the hell out of everything to save the family.

    It was about a month before I figured out that his work buddy was too much of a “friend” and 2 months after that before I found real proof.

    So here is my big mistake…

    For years…YEARS…I spun around trying to figure that speech out:
    – if I was SO BAD that he wanted a divorce, why did he stick around after he have that speech?
    – If I were a good enough wife to hang around with, why did he excoriate me from the inside out with that horrid, soul killing monologue?

    The reason it took me SO LONG is that I was unwilling to admit to myself just how mean, selfish and cruel a person would have to be for all of that to be a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

    This type of divorce speech is not just meant to open the door so they can leave, it is meant to cause so much pain that the victim is left rolling on the floor in abject misery which frees them up to do whatever they like…this is chapters past “we grew apart, my bag is packed”.

    And yet I begged for wreckonciliation which in this sitch is akin to self flagellation. Once they get THIS MEAN and then BLAME US for it, its time to cut bait. Only I didnt.

    • Unicornnomore, I’ve said it so many times but for the benefit of our newcomers, i’ll Say it again: were we married to the same guy? Exactly, chillingly the same. There really is a cheater playbook as all of the similarities are eerie. I’d never heard of these anti-social disordered types before I found ChumpLady. Now that I’m educated I trust they suck, this is ALL in them, and the only path to truth and justice is no contact. I can’t change that motherfucker but I can do no contact and the longer I do it, the better I get at it and the better my life gets. Thank God for you unicornnomore and CL! I love you!

      • I really appreciate a place that understands. I have a wonderful life, but I cannot forget that I spent 26+ years in gaslit abuse. My mind goes to it and I cant help it, it was all I knew for SO long.

        I wish at some point, he would have told me that he didnt love me no matter how hard he tried. I could have at least had a chance to make an informed decision, but he loved cake…stringing me along with microkibble and whoever-he-was-fucking on the side was ideal.

        Looking back, he did give little clues as to how disconnected he was from me and the kids, but I would have never imagined in my worst nightmares how bad it really was.

    • unicornomore – this too is my similar story. “– if I was SO BAD that he wanted a divorce, why did he stick around after he have that speech? – If I were a good enough wife to hang around with, why did he excoriate me from the inside out with that horrid, soul killing monologue?” So helpful! Thank you and others for sharing.

      • Yup, I got the same list when I gently confronted him about his 2nd affair. Yet he dragged his feet on moving out, and w/in 6 months was hoovering, which lasted, off and on, another 18 months.

        Fortunately, by then I had made a good start on figuring out who he really was, so it wasn’t as hurtful. But really? My wifely awfulness caused you to cheat twice, then leave, and yet you want me back???

    • UnicornNoMore, I think cheaters all have some standard instruction manual in their brains.
      I also, got the “here are all the reasons you suck, and I’m leaving” speech. It also lasted 2 hours. A key component of this was “it has nothing to do with the AP, I’m just leaving you because you’re so awful.”

      (Not that it matters, but her parents actually believed that whole bag of crap, much as they did when her sister did the same stunt a few years before.)

      • Similar story here, he wanted a divorce with a long list of reasons I failed.
        He also stuck around for another six months. I picked me danced and begged for his forgiveness.
        It took me far too long to admit that he’s incredibly cruel and I wasn’t to blame.

        Chump Lady and CN saved my sanity.

        • Brit, I was “lucky” that my cheater left right away…but then not-so-lucky when she tried to come back a month later once the AP had ditched her. She said “Maybe I gave up on you too soon.” Ah, maybe the backup plan isn’t such a bad choice; the Princess will be stoop down and deign to grant the miserable serf another shot at her wonderfulness.
          She tried to come back several more times. Thank goodness for CL, I had the strength to say “no” each time.

          • God! Why can’t they stay gone? They are like recurrent yeast infections.

            I do think they feel that they are awesome especially when they know they were able to have two persons ( unknowingly) compete for their affection ( which isn’t there to give in the first place, but I digress). Mine would leave messages about coming back. I took great delight in ignoring the messages. As if I’d ever want someone like that back!

          • Ttw
            Dude. I paid for x’s bypass surgery. So my concubine bolts 3 months later to live with camperboy beer salesman. Sent a text…”I done you wrong. Would you take me back?” Pffft.
            Bwahaha. Sure Babe, in my next life!!

            Anyroad, as Princess weight loss began her trim down I got busy working out in martial arts again. Today? 222.2# next year I should be pretty ripped. If I keep doing my self care that is.

            Now plan B is planning future endeavors. The cosmos has deposited me in a place I know I belong. I’m not sure what’s ahead but know I’ve gotta keep going till the wheels fall off. That’s how we Badasses Roll.

            And lastly, I told mine not to come back to my house.
            My point. I’m Hot. LOL. I like other women. They seem to warm up to me quickly because I’m one of those likable, trustworthy kind of critters. Now granted, I’m dialing back on any relationship for now. Let’s see if MEH fits the 2-5 year (suggested) profile for healing. But Yeah There appears to be a few of the opposite species that are vastly different from from my head-blender.

        • I wish i had a list of “misdemeanors” to go on. Instead i had the ice cold psycho stare and “i have no feelings for you whatsoever ” (since the kids were born 20 years ago) then making a swift exit. Really dont know which one is worse but like everyone says this website saved my sanity that this shit is all out of a playbook of self entitled cheaters who cant face up to being mid life losers.

          • Also …just to gage opinion. ..the latest stunt the tight fuckwad is playing on one of our kids is that he will only “reimburse” son for his purchase of a LIFESAVING epipen if he produces a god dam dated receipt…. holy shit. I had to tell my son that said more about dad than feeling like son was untrustworthy. …more like thats what he was thinking. It actually never ends. Every new low gives me a thumping headache of ways to stop him being such an enormous dick to his kids.

    • God my cheating ex wife’s exit to the tee. All my fault, wasn’t happy for years, never felt right in 24 years..but can she stay several months? I didn’t know about the cheating yet but 3 weeks of her leaving every Friday and coming home drunk Sunday night (her behavior the last several months but she was “with friends”)…I still didn’t suspect cheating but told her to move out. She used that as her story to everyone how I kicked her out blah was a couple months later I learned the truth while I stayed in contact and tried to “reason” with her, I’m sure she and her AP got a good laugh over my emotional state.

      • One of my reasons that I dug my heels in is that he was SOOOO waiting for the “She kicked me out, what else was I supposed to do?”….he turned ass-bastard mean on top of his garden-variety mean, but I refused. I could not see that the prize was no prize at all.

        • Yeah I didn’t see that one coming, she immediately went into victim mode, poor her booted out into the streets ..even our daughter didn’t buy that story and reminded her she was leaving anyways and was never there on the weekends as it was. She moved into her mothers place that was only a mile or 2 away and now resides happily with her AP in a shitty apartment on the busiest street in town. Good riddance.

      • Mine said I put him out too. Nevermind he had already started paying rent for an apartment. From the 1st of January. We were half way through January and he was still there. I said aren’t you going to leave? You’ve told the children and I that you are going, you are paying rent for a place you are not occupying so maybe you should go. He moved out on the 19th of January. Months later he bleats that I put him out. I was like whatever. Whether you jumped ship or were pushed, I’m just glad you’re gone buddy!
        You know what his biggest fear was? That I would be happy. They want to believe that you are unhappy and miserable without them. Jokes on them.

    • UnicornNoMore, I also got that 3+ hour speech one night after the kids went to bed. He had a long laundry list of my faults, along with his declaration that he’s been unhappy for quite some time (too bad he never shared that piece of information with me). I felt like I was sucker-punched and I felt sick to my stomach….I literally didn’t know if I was gonna throw up or lose control of my bowels. I told him we needed to go to counseling, he declined…I said, “we have kids, we NEED to go to counseling to work this out; I refuse to end my marriage without trying EVERYTHING!” He looked at me with a blank stare and said,”The kids (aged 5 & 11 at the time) are old enough, they’ll be fine.” He went upstairs to go to bed, while I sat on the couch in a daze. I didn’t sleep or eat that night and many more nights after until I finally said, “f_ck this isht!” I had to snap out of it and lawyer up because he already had. It was like he was on a mission to seek and destroy…forget letting me down easy. My loving husband turned into a cold robot right before my eyes! He didn’t move out until 9 months later, but I had to watch him go out and not come home until the next day 2-3 nights a week and play Brady bunch with my kids and schmoopie’s kids. My divorce was finally finalized in January; stamped on a Tuesday! Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    • This nearly identical to my husband to me. But yet he won’t leave, won’t file, won’t be kind and tells me he has even stronger feelings for the emotional affair person. I really took all that blame to heart until I found proof of his new lady pal.

  • You did not know because you trusted him. You trusted that he would have your back and always be by your side. That doesn’t make you the biggest Chump in the world. He is the one that lied and tricked you into a sense of security. Go to a lawyer and find out your rights. And do not care about his feelings, his finances etc. He sure did not give a crap when he had you quit your job. Think of yourself and your children because he the sure doesn’t.

    I have been where you are. I too did not know that my husband was screwing my cousin. To today he still denies sleeping with her. When I found out I was blindsided. How could I not know???? How could I be such a ass?? My STBX used my trust, love and loyalty to his advantage.

  • Because deception is your most needed “quality” when you’re going behind someone’s back. They all have balls the size of church bells when they’re behind your back. Face to face? Everyone’s a coward. Deny, deny, deny. They live their other lives in the dark, behind the bushes, in hotel rooms, in the back seats of cars in parking lots, secret email addresses, etc.

    The entire intention with affairs is to keep it a secret and that’s why you didn’t know. You were busy being a wife, not a detective. He was busy being a cheater behind your back. Plus it sounds like he had help from an expert in the field if he’s really the third married man she’s colluded with. But what that also tells me it’s that it won’t last with them. He’ll lose you and eventually lose her, too. All while alienating and losing the respect of his kids.

  • Sorry for your trouble. It really isn’t you, it is him. There is no way to overlay our normal moral compass on a handpump. Lawyer up fast. Go hard. Show no mercy ever. Don’t talk crup (it’s ok to be honest about what is actually happening but try to take some of the emotion out of it) about him in front of your kids preferably because this is between you two but feel ready to validate the kids feelings about how awful this is so their radar and picker stays in pristine condition.

  • Your not the biggest chump. I actually started trusting mine again after possible Dday #1. Never should have. She even lamented “You gave me soooo much freedom. You were trusting me again, weren’t you? ” As if it was my fault. Ugh, glad I got out of that.

    • “You trusted me again.” My mistake too.

      I read the Ahirkey Glass book “Not Just Friends” and made him read it too.

      She advocates 100% transparency — phone records, text messages, emails, everything.

      I didn’t go there because I didn’t want to be the marriage police. And I wanted to trust my husband. Of course I didn’t realize he was lying to my face in marriage counseling. (Later when I called him in it he actually said “of course I lied. You were there.” Ouch!)

      In hindsight I should have followed her advice. Not that it would have changed the outcome. I think it would have made him so uncomfortable that he would have pulled the plug and I would have gotten out 5 years earlier. (And too bad DD#1 didn’t happen 20 years ago instead of 7…)

      Aside from the hurt and betrayal, these creeps think nothing about the opportunity time they waste, no steal, from their spouses.

      • We can want to trust people.

        But trust must be earned, not given away without reason.

  • The thought,“I had a good marriage and we were happy.”really messes with your head,too. I thought that and my friends and family thought that – but now that a number of years have past I don’t think it’s an issue of chumpiness that I believed that. I think I was happy because I’m a happy sort of person. My happy colored my viewpoint and influenced everyone around me. Dirtbag – a great liar- image managed around others but behind doors he’s always been a sad sack. Someone coined the term “sunshine stealer” and I think it applies well to him.
    Now I see that I didn’t have a happy marriage. It was really pretty one sided. But I was happy because generally (although for about 18 months during the divorce I grieved like hell) I am. That’s what I hope you realize about yourself eventually. Your feelings always matter and when you remember feeling happy and content that was real regardless of what you didn’t know. It kind of makes me feel pity for Dirtbag because he won’t ever get it. He will struggle on and on seeking pleasure at any price and miss out on joy which I believe can only thrive in a loving heart – not a selfish one.

    • You sound just like me. I was happy because I was generally a happy person. Only in retrospect can I see that maybe I should not have been, should have expected more, should have not settled for so little. I did not know and has he HAS NEVER told me. If not for my investigative skills I would still not know. Like the above letter, his was a coworker and she broke up two marriages in the same company. And everyone thought that we had such a strong marriage!

    • Gosh yes this, except I wasnt really happy. I tried so hard to be, but the life was fair being sucked out of me.

      Now, I scare myself somedays as I get this huge feeling welling up in me of happiness and contentment. I think.. this cant be true/real. i cant be THIS happy when nothing special is happening. But yep, you’ve just made me see that I can indeed be THIS happy. Everyday life is good, when you arent tying yourself up in knots trying to please someone else.

      Spackling is exhausting and unrewarding at best.

      I AM HAPPY!

    • I don’t know if “happy” is the right word for me but I was generally “content”. I know how to count my blessings and I am usually pretty easy going. Ex kept accusing me of being unhappy, however, when I didn’t realize I was unhappy. He did that to the point where I feared that my chronic “unhappiness” was what was causing his unhappiness. Now I am pretty sure it is the other way around. I am still struggling somewhat with the fallout of his betrayal and my broken marriage, but I am generally moving in the right directions and mostly back to content with my life. Ex on the other hand still seems tense and irritable whenever he comes to get the kids. I don’t think leaving me has improved his mood any.

      • Wow, did you somehow manage to get inside my head? Maybe our cheaters are related??? They really are all the same!

      • ChumpIR….I wish we could talk in person….so many similarities!

    • NoRainNoFlowers You put into words what I’ve been puzzling over. I am a happy person in general and like to make the best of things. I like to laugh and see the fun in life. I’m generally grateful for things. He was never happy with things. My kids even say “Dad is never happy.” He would give complements with a “but” at the end that negated the compliment.

      He was nothing but a energy/happiness vampire. I guess I failed to fill his bottomless pit. Lately I’ve been feeling so much lighter. No Donnie downer in my ear. It was exhausting. I’m a little lonely and would like a companion but I can do whatever I want, when I want which is awesome. And you know when I feel unhappy and down my first thought is not to go have an affair. It’s not even on the list.

    • @NRNF,
      I was greatly helped by “Murderer of Blue Skies” by Chris Cornell. I hope it helps you in some small way, too.

      • I love Chris Cornell and boy, do I love this truth-filled, meh-inspired song!

    • For sure…what kind of people can enjoy going out on dates after they put their family in the emotional ICU? Cheaters.

      My “free time” is when my daughter is at school or wants to be with her friends. Otherwise she is with me. Her dad, the one who put her in crisis and traumatized her with his affair and moved to the next town north? He is on Tinder trolling for hookups. She was on his phone last Tuesday when Tinder messages came through. She called me to tell me “dad is getting messages from someone named Amanda on Tinder….did you know?” (It was his task to facilitate the conversation with all of us to reveal the divorce to her….he had not gotten around to it….) So we all got slimed again….more damage….thanks Dad. So she and I had the divorce conversation….I stuck to the facts and later figured it was best that she heard the truth from someone who has been telling it (me).

      His life is on obviously planned around his sex life and I could not be more glad my life is organized around the precious little girl he shattered. The last thing I can imagine myself doing is enjoying myself on a date while she is on emotional life support in the emotional ICU.

  • He probably planned this, all along, and thinks he’s really clever. The ow has proven what she’s like, she will see him as a cash cow, (useful to her), and is telling him a pack of lies, conveniently he will believe it, don’t do him any favours, always put yourself and kids first, terribly he will expect you to feel sorry for him. He has to pay for what he’s done, expect he’s says he’s depressed, suicidal, all a load of crap. Even expect crap from ow

  • Welcome to Chump Nation….I am so sorry you have to be here, but glad that you are. I must be psychic…October is going to be rough for me…
    1) anniversary of best friend dying
    2) anniversary of my dad dying
    3) STBXH birthday this weekend…first since DDay, and last year I I found out he had the Craigslist ho in a motel a block from our business the entire week….Happy Birthday To Him!!
    4) first post DDay wedding anniversary
    5) anniversary of ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME SPEECH YOU GOT, WORD FOR ALMOST EFFEN WORD, which was my 20th wedding anniversary present last year….Happy Anniversary!!!
    6) capped off by Halloween….and I found out after DDay he was at the Craigslist ho’s house while I was carving pumpkins with my daughter
    (WAY better choice….I win!)

    His world revolves around his secret sex life…my world revolves around my daughter and things that don’t have to hide in the dark. Con artists CON….expert liars are experts at fooling others. Just this morning at 2:30 am, and then when I woke up again at 4:30, I was wondering what the hell was wrong with ME that I didn’t know. Chump Lady, once again you wrote exactly what I needed to be reminded of….we are not the biggest chumps of all…..THEY are the biggest ASSHOLES.

    • PS…I was not alone when I was blindsided….every single person I have talked to that knew us, even the therapist we have seen monthly since 2006, was completely effen gobsmacked…NOT ONE PERSON said “oh, I saw that coming!”…..proof of what a good con artist he is…a lot of people who knew us were CRYING. He hurt so many…I CANNOT stay with the polar opposite of love….

      • Same here. People were blown away. Then I started being approached by women he made passes at. Now looking back…. geez…. I feel like such an idiot.

        October was when I married Mr. Twatwaffles. We have our custody trial the day after what used to be our anniversary.


      • Mine left just after Christmas to be with the OW and everyone is still in a state of shock, never having expected this from him. Never, never, never. Although I don’t try to skein it so much as a did for the longest time (including most of 2017 when I was doing the pick me dance after DDay), I still have to admit that I never would have expected this.

        That’s why so many are prone to the argument of a mid-life crisis, and it likely is, except that no one should buy in to the argument that they will come out of the MLC and come to their senses.

        I hope that he snaps out of this idiocy some time. Get rid of the trash OW and start life anew. Figure out who the hell he is and be that person. Find a nice woman and start from scratch. I can accept that, and at least I feel that a new woman could be a good person to have around my kids.

        A part of me hangs onto the idea that there might be a shred of decency left in him (not that I’m hoping for reconciliation, just a half-decent person who can be somewhat redeemed). He’s kept the OW away from the kids in continuing to live a double life. He says nothing about her to his family as they have made it clear they will never accept her. He’s being responsible with the kids (albeit lazy dad). And, he looks like he’s trying to be nicer to me after I’ve called him out a couple of times of being very discourteous to me and I don’t deserve it.

        But who knows? He’s likely just biding his time to bring this relationship out in the open, hoping that time will get everyone to forget that this has been an affair. Good luck with that buddy! Everyone knows because I have the proof of it.

  • I didn’t see it either. Because I viewed behaviour thru my eyes. My bestie didn’t see it either when she discovered hookers were a part of her entire marriage. You were honest and true in your marriage, which makes you the prize. You didn’t squander years with duplicity and phoniness and lies, you were loving and present. You are the winner here.

    I also had to deal with the ow who fucks coworkers. Her consequences were losing her job and having to be her for the rest of her life. These women cross a line in regards to age where the behaviour goes from alluring (to some dopes) to loose dirty and pathetic. Flatterfucking is a bad strategy because it involves flattering douchebags so one is left with “winning” a douchbag who becomes really hard to flatter, long term.

    I’m sorry for your pain. You will recover and thrive, I promise.

  • Some of us (raises chumpy hand) hung in there through long periods of increasing awfulness, knowing something was terribly wrong, but never having the whole picture. For me, dday was painful, but also a relief. The truth at last.

    Hanging in there, being faithful, finding new depths of patience—those are the things people who honor marriage do.

    Forgive yourself for not miraculously discerning the depth of the lies.

    The trick now is to be wiser without being paralyzed by fear or tossing your own values. It’s quite a journey. Be kind to yourself.

    • It is hard to figure out. Even when they are begin dicks, it doesn’t cross your mind that they are cheating. I didn’t know at the time that finding fault with and incessantly criticizing your spouse and kids is a cheating red flag. It turns out they need excuses to get frustrated enough to yell out “I need to go for a drive to get away from the chaos for a bit” never mind that they are the ones creating the chaos in the first place. Meanwhile, even through the devalue, they are still sending you cards and notes telling you how wonderful you are and how lucky they are to have you so that you think you must be lucky to have them when they love you in spite of all of your terrible faults and inadequacies. Then when you are around them in person expecting the same loving tone that was expressed in the notes you are disappointed when it is back to feeling like you are an embarrassment to him (or her) you are so messed up. It keeps you miserable and yet unwilling to walk away because you still think there must be something there (otherwise, why the tender notes and cards and the cuddling up and spooning behind you in bed every night as if you are his teddy bear). It’s all so confusing until you realize that they are the ones that are messed up in the head.

      • Oh, Chumpinrecovery, you are describing my 40+ year relationship. The only thing missing was the cuddling. Sad that I put up with so much and so little for all those years.

  • Don’t feel bad about not knowing about your husband’s secret life. He used your morals and integrity to manipulate you. x carried on a ten year affair with our best friends wife blind siding both spouses. He used my trust..he never had a lock on his phone and left his Facebook open all the time knowing I would never look. He would leave work to “run errands “ knowing I would never question him. They put a lot of effort into deceiving us. We do what you’re supposed to do. Trust the one person we vowed to trust. The fact that x was able to do this to me proves I was holding up my end of our vows.

    • Nicely put. This is the reaction we all should aspire to: disappointment in the particular person who betrayed us, but pride in ourselves that we were true to our own values.

    • Yes. All of that exactly. I was completely 100% clueless about Schmoopie 1.0. I never would have found out about that one if she hadn’t been the one I unknowingly confided to regarding Schmoopie 2.0. By the time he started up with Schmoopie 2.0 it was harder not to suspect that something was up and I had to dig real deep to bury my head in the sand. Even so, I didn’t suspect it was her he was banging as he was playing best buds to her husband and she was pretending to make friends with me. We are clueless because they take advantage of our trusting natures and the fact that we would never act that way so we don’t know how it’s done and we don’t know the signs.

  • I don’t know if you are in this position, but I was watching what was happening and didn’t want to acknowledge it. I had one friend say to me, “Do you see what is happening?” Two other friends tried to talk to her about her relationship with a married man and she denied it.

    Denial is not just a river in Egypt,

    • Sadly, I did this, too. Because who has time with small children and extracurricular sports and everything.

      Cheaters find the time.

  • The wondering how in the world… wasted so much time. CL is oh so wise. Your direction (after the lawyer) is to reclaim your grace and excitement for life. Buy expense creams. Believe in karma. Believe in Tuesdays – they really do exist! I didn’t believe and suddenly like a breeze it was there. I have young children so I still must talk with the idiot. He still is lying. He only comes to his kids soccer game when it’s his weekend and he came once when it wasn’t. When I said Oh, I wasn’t expecting you – He said – Of course, I would be here… and I smiled. There it was. meh. no need to establish the truth. Yep. Of course.
    Be kind to yourself. Find out who you are.

  • In my situation, OW was also a Ho-worker. Also 5 years older than him. I also didn’t see it coming. And never suspected a thing. It’s not so much OUR ability to detect, but the Cheater’s ability to conceal.

    In your case, as with many in the CN, the Cheater went to great lengths to concoct believable and mundane stories about where they were and what they were doing.
    Working late…
    Ugh another long meeting…
    I hate that I have to go on this boring business trip…
    (Saturday morning) …ummm I have to head back to the office, I need to work I that project….

    Even after I uncovered the truth about the affair (it involved hotel rooms with reservations! So, not the spontaneous oops I was drunk! story he tried to give me.) I don’t believe, looking back, that I missed any signs. He was good at covering his tracks. Not so good at covering other parts of himself though…I got confirmation of the affair from my doctor. STI.

    Take care of yourself. Protect yourself, and your financial assets. Protect your health. Go get a full STI screen. The OW is not that careful, with a child from one of her affairs, she obvious isn’t a safety-first kind of whore.

    • I always fell for the working late, flight lesson or have to go to that PTO meeting excuses because sometimes I had to work late or go to volunteer meetings too. When I did those things I really was where I said I was so it didn’t occur to me that he would lie about those things. Of course he was only partially lying. He and Schmoopie 2.0 met working on the committee for a middle school event. Schmoopie 1.0 was another boy scout volunteer. Schmoopie 0.0 (emotional only I think) was one of his flight instructors. He just turned them up wherever he was so he didn’t have to lie about where he was, just what he was doing while he was there.

  • Wow. Biggest chump. So sorry to hear youve joined this group. Your husband sounds like garbage. And you know what we do with garbage? We bag it up, tie it in a knot so nothing is left behind, and throw that shit out !!

    There’s great advice in this forum. Take care of you and your kids. Lawyer up and dont let him ruin any more of your life. Stay strong

  • After finding out of the OWHORE I knew then of the double life my husband of 34 years was having. The pain & humiliation is something we have to accept.
    But when the shock turns to anger-take action & lawyer up to protect yourself. He is a disgusting sociopath who has no love for anyone but himself.
    Let the whore/affair partner have him! Eventually he will find out that he got what he wanted .. but lost what he needed!

    Good luck & stay strong ????????????

  • I wish they all lost their jobs for cheating at work! That would just karma!
    Mine cheated w a 911 dispatcher and they both kept their jobs and even transferred to the same shift/days off EVERYTHING!
    Their ‘love’ is celebrated!!!
    Find yourself a kick ass attorney, talk to your old boss tonsee if you can get your job back and go scorched earth.
    I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. Theyball have the same cheaters handbook…I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t feeling the love, I don’t know what I want anymore…barf.

  • Whenever a hear a chump start this type of self questioning, I point out that the issue isn’t the lack of some intrinsic quality in you.

    Beating yourself up with statements such as

    “I’m too trusting, I can’t believe I trusted my spouse to be honest. Im such an idiot! ”

    “I’m so naive. I don’t understand how I let myself be duped.”

    “I’m so gullible. What a fool I’ve been. How did I let this happen?”

    “What kind of jerk would let their spouse treat them this way. I must be really pathetic.”

    “If only I had know what was going on. I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming. I’m a real moron.”

    “What is it about me that caused my spouse to cheat?”

    This line of self-berating questioning makes the problem about a defect in you; your lack of some quality that you should have possessed to avoid the betrayal. You ask yourself what it is you missed, what quality are you lacking that would have stopped your spouse from cheating. When you shame and belittle yourself for trusting, loving, hoping, and caring. The on-slot of self-blame undermines your self-esteem. You don’t control a cheaters cheating, and no quality or lack there of in you caused it or kept it going.

    The one and only problem here is the cheaters behavior!

    • Yep, been through saying everyone on of these to myself, including…

      “You shouldn’t have complained so much about the housework when the kids were younger because you just drove him away.”

      “You must be such a bitch if he can no longer stand to be around you. You need to fix X, Y, Z.”

      “How terrible you must be if he finds the aethetician who rides a Harley, has a drinking problem and does not have custody of her kids, to be a better catch than you.” (Not that there is anything wrong with aesthetics for a living or having a Harley – it’s just when your mid-40s straight-laced accountant husband thinks he has more in common with that).

      “This is all your fault for not listening more…being more fun…relaxing more…etc., etc., etc.”

      “If only I had……………”

  • The thing to me is how these people are so comfortable with using you and letting you set yourself up for failure (quit your job, sell your house), while they know what’s coming. Mine had me pay for all of her stuff (car payments, plastic surgeries, etc.) and assume all of her student loans. Once that was all done — blam! I got the ILYBINILWY speech. I’d be so ashamed, but not her. It was just a part of the road to happiness.

    They’re all total sociopaths.

  • If it’s any consolation, my now ex came home with the same line over two years ago. He wanted a divorce and there were no one else. Of course, it was all a lie. He was sleeping with his boss. And had been for months. Exactly how long, I’ll never know, and really, it’s not important. It came out of the left field for me and I had a total breakdown. I hyperventilated for hours. I just did not see it coming. I thought his boss was a family friend. Heck, she was the first person I texted when it went down, because I needed to talk. Yes, really.

    The good thing? It gets better. I’m nearly two years post divorce, and life is good without them in my life. My kids and I have our own little world, which I’m more than happy to live in.

    • That is what really sucks, when they tell you they aren’t happy in the marriage but withhold the part about fucking someone else as if it isn’t relevant. That leaves us wondering what is wrong with us that made them want to leave when it really has nothing to do with us at all. We are just bystanders. When the truth comes out they will claim that they didn’t tell us because they didn’t want us to be hurt. It actually hurts slightly less when you find out that the real reason why they no longer want you. It does increase the anger and sense of betrayal, however, which can be leveraged once the shock wears off.

      • I have never seen a marriage end yet that when someone felt the need to ANNOUNCE “there isn’t anyone else” actually meant there wasn’t anyone else. Whenever I have heard that someone felt the need to add that to their “I am leaving you” speech, I later hear that indeed there was someone else. Now, I think it is a red flag. Why bother to say it at all. That should be a given. It’s like when an abuser is dating someone and out of the blue announces “I’d never hit a woman.” Uuuuh okay.

        • So true! I have stated this before but when a man up and leaves suddenly you can guarantee there is someone else.

          • Ha …along with the unnecessary lines including…. “I’m not a mysogenist”…. “kids I dont hate your mother” (while simultaneously threatening me with defamation and restraining order for NO reason) and of course “I swear on the kids lives Im not leaving for someone else”….i really think they believe their own bullshit. If you break down …I’m not leaving you for someone else they can make it true in their heads by convincing themselves they were going to leave you anyway and they just happened to find a fuckbuddy at the convenient time of leaving. Magical thinking!

    • Two fucking assholes.
      Sorry this happened to you
      Rear. View mirror sister!

  • The classic run-away husband. Mine came home from a “business trip” on a Saturday night and informed that he was moving out there and then. His apartment was rented and furnished well beforehand and schmoopie was of course waiting with open arms – I was the last to know. I struggled for a long, long time ( and still do) with ” How did I not know” and “what have I done wrong”. It is clear that you were not supposed to know, and if you have a decent value system and if you believe you can trust your spouse, you would not have expected this. Good people just do not do these things – no consideration for the feelings and wellbeing of their families, no empathy with the havoc and pain they cause. Just selfish entitlement.

    • “schmoopie was of course waiting with open arms”

      You mean open legs, right? It amazes me how many people won’t leave their “horrible terrible abusive” (take your pick) spouse until someone is waiting for them. Naked.

      • That’s pretty much it. If our cheaters were really so miserable in their marriages they had a right to divorce us, but they had no right to go looking for our replacements first.

        • Exactly!

          It’s amazing to me how they just. can’t. end a marriage without someone waiting for them first.

          It’s like they’re liars and cowards, or something. 😉

        • They weren’t really miserable until they found someone else. This is why when they cheat the first time (physical or emotional) they should never receive a second chance. These are people that are keeping their options open and have one foot out the door. You of course have no idea as all seems so normal.

          • I agree. They were happy until they met this person
            Twu Suva
            Then he dropped her and came me, he was so afraid I would walk
            Still would not answer any questions, no accountability
            It went downhill from there
            I walked
            So glad he’s gone on to the next one!
            2 marriages, cheating on both
            Ugh gross
            Good luck

    • Yes, the classic Run Away husband. What a turd.

      When I was a little girl, my father used to call our excuses PFAs….Plucked From Air. Example : “I asked your mother to send out that check yesterday but she couldn’t because PFA so I will mail it to you today.”

      When the affair is discovered, or your time is up, all their “truths” read: PFAs come out about how abusive you were, how controlling you were, how exhausting you were, how your PPD was too much, how fat you were blah blah blah. PFAs. These always come out afterwards. Never before in an honest and open conversation.

      My cheater did this to me (Read Emotional Affairs, Exit Affairs and Ghosts posted in early July). Same thing. I was shocked. BLINDSIDED. All our friends and family. Shocked.

      I often wonder, did I just miss it? Were *we* truly miserable as he said? I did a little exercise the other day and went through the previous 6 months of texts up until he ghosted us for bible-thumping blonde with big tits. NOT ONE MEAN ANNOYING DEMANDING THING. It was all “hey baby, how’s your day?” “Thanks for grabbing the takeout I’ll see you home in an hour, love you” “I’m so proud of you, you totally nailed that test, you’re the best”. “I miss you so much I can’t wait to see my family when I get home”. Not a clue for how “totally miserable our marriage was.” Not. one. clue.

      HOW THE FUCK WAS I TO KNOW? you say. You weren’t. They are incredible actors and con artists. So good that I sometimes think they believe their own lies. Pathetic people that they are.

      You are not the biggest chump. You’re just the newest member of a club that has a variety of shitty entry criteria.

      Time helps. Attorneys help. CN helps.

      Big hugs to you.

      • In hindsight I was able to come up with all kinds of things that I thought should have been red flags and maybe he was trying to communicate and I just wasn’t getting it. Then I started to run across all of the sweet cards/letter/notes he gave me during the same time frame and realized that I wasn’t crazy for thinking I had a good marriage even if it wasn’t picture perfect all of the time, although it certainly looked perfect to the outside world. I wasn’t the only one who was blindsided.

        • Chumpinrecovery,

          Yes, I know exactly that feeling of “did I just not see it?”. AFTER the fact, I could see little red flags of his “unhappiness”, but his perfect self was always unhappy about some silly little thing or another that I didn’t do perfectly so it didn’t strike me as odd. The pantry was too full, the dishes weren’t done, we had too many toys. The regular gripes about random shit. But in the meantime, was hugs, kisses, sex, sweet gifts, cards, a vacation, family bbqs, attempt to get a job “here” instead of making us move, purchasing a new house, doing things as a family, conversations of our future. I thought we were a TEAM slogging through this life together, raising our young kids, making shit happen, getting raises at work, backing each other up. I thought we were there to support each other’s failures and that I was a great wife to overlook some of his passive aggressive behavior because that’s how he always was. I also thought I would be allowed some of that same understanding for the extra 10 lbs and often having a messy desk and kitchen. I thought he respected me for being as awesome as I was (not perfect) and for backing up his career by always caring for the kids and by bringing in an extra 70k a year part time. I thought he thought I was great, that I was an asset, that he was proud of me despite my imperfections. We rarely argued. I helped propel us forward and allow us to live as great of a life as you can while you have young kids and you’re busting your ass on two careers and a third college degree. Or at least that’s what he led me to believe.

          I remember I asked him to have date nights with me on Wednesday night and we could go to dinner and then go to a class on bettering our communication so we could keep growing as a couple. After 6 or 8 date nights/communication classes he said “I don’t think these classes are really that worthwhile, but I do them because you like them and at least I get to have dinner with my beautiful wife”.

          What I heard was: “I’m not super into this but I value you and what you think is important so I show up and carve time out of my busy ass day to support you and us. And I enjoy our special time together without the kids and I still think you’re beautiful despite the 10 extra lbs after baby #2 was born”.

          APPARENTLY what he was really saying was: “I’m not interested at all in improving our communication because I’m planning on abandoning you soon so this is just a big waste of my time but I need to look like I’m doing the “right thing” so I show up anyways. And I’m throwing out that little “beautiful wife” compliment so you don’t give me a hard time while still thinking I’m a good dude and a caring husband and you are totally in the dark about where you stand and how I feel about you.”

          He left our marriage mid our communication class. They called to see why we had missed class the next Wednesday and get us rescheduled to come in…I told them not to bother.

          So I had to do the same thing. Did I just not see the red flags? Sure, there were little ones, but nothing bigger than any of the previous years we were together. There was nothing “off” necessarily. I also had to realize that no marriage is perfect and that some months are just tougher months than others and that our marriage vows didn’t say “until I get bored, until I deem that you’re not good enough, or until a fresher version of you comes along.”

          The other thing I had to figure out was “was it me?” Maybe I just wasn’t organized enough? Or skinny enough? Or fun enough? Or or or….? I really thought it was me and that I sucked. But as I continued to live my life after being abandoned for all my “failures” I started to see instances of committed husband and wives who DIDN’T leave. I would go to to the gym and see my friend who gained 20 lbs. Well, his wife didn’t leave him. And then I saw my friend who was cranky and grumpy, her husband didn’t leave her. And then I saw my friend’s family going though a hard time financially, her husband didn’t leave her. And then looked at my sister and how she’s very germaphobic and her finance didn’t leave her. And I had to realize I’m a person, not perfection. He promised to love me the way I was, DESPITE me not being perfection. And you know what, as sparkly as that turd was, he wasn’t perfection either and I was sticking around like the awesome committed chump that I am to make it all happen. Fuck him and his excuses.

          After untangling the skein in a thousand different ways, it comes down to the fact that he is an entitled selfish asshole that is phenomenal at impression management.

          • “his perfect self was always unhappy about some silly little thing or another that I didn’t do perfectly so it didn’t strike me as odd.”

            I remember telling someone during the first few weeks after DDay when I was still trying to make sense of it all “I knew he was unhappy but he was always unhappy about thing or another. I had no idea how much of his unhappiness he was attributing to me…this time.” I guess he had just run out of other things to blame.

            I think our ex’s must have been clones. Heck, you and I might be clones too as you just described my marriage and our various roles in it pretty well except for the communication classes. I didn’t think of that. When he finally got around to telling me he was unhappy with our marriage about a month before DDay and about a month after he started banging Schmoopie 2.0, he said we didn’t communicate well. Of course I blamed myself for that. It is nice to know that if I had tried to do something about that it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway as my ex is so similar to yours. They cheated because they just wanted too and then they were stupid enough to fall for someone just because she was in the right place at the right time and willing to fuck somebody else’s husband. Truly pathetic.

            • CIR,

              I actually think the communication classes put the nail in my coffin even sooner because he realized that I did, in fact, want some changes in our communication and to improve our marriage. (I guess I wanted our marriage to become less one-sided and I wanted the appreciation that I used to have in the beginning back so I figured if we could communication better, then it could get better, right? Wrong. It just meant it was time for him to bail faster because his wife was starting to set some boundaries and had stopped making her needs so small and was finally making him do something about it.)

              In the end, he just wanted out. He wanted to fuck new women. He wanted to offload me and my son (his step-son) financially. He wanted to lighten his debt load. He wanted a really sparkly wife who didn’t have needs and who adored him and put his career first. He wanted to move away to chase the big bucks and I was “holding him back”. He wanted the status of a family man without actually having to put the work into being a family man. He didn’t realize how good he had it. Maybe I needed a little spit shine but I sure didn’t need to be sent to the scrap pile. It was always about him. His career, his sparkliness, his money, but all in the most humble image-managed way (“for his family”, “trying to do the right thing”).

              Let’s see how long next wife-y pooh lasts for. (He’s 34 and would be on wife #3) And if she does last, let’s see how “happy” they really are.

              P.S. He already left the woman he left me for. After her big FB announcement of their relationship, he walked out on her two weeks later because “they just weren’t on the same path”. Good image management for “I just didn’t want to make that relationship work either because she wanted equality.”

              • My x took every attempt of mine to improve as an attack against him. I read so many books on communication and went to therapy. I once read „the emotional unavailable man“ and he just today claimed that I only looked for faults in him. Not true. I read even more self evaluation books, but those he did not comment on.

                They just find justification for their behavior. And my special nut just does not want to be accountable for anything. So, according to him I was false accusing him by reading books and going to therapy. Like therapy is a session to further plot against him.


            • “I knew he was unhappy but he was always unhappy about thing or another. I had no idea how much of his unhappiness he was attributing to me…this time.” I guess he had just run out of other things to blame.

              Chumpinrecovery……trust me on this one. Your ex will never be happy….ever. He will always look at things to pick at or blame for his unhappiness. The OW will not make him happy either but he may stick it out for some time so you and others can think it was you not him. Impression management. Of course now the OW will have to deal with trying to make him happy. That is a black hole impossible to fill. I really believe you’ve been given a second chance to be genuinely happy as it never would have happened had you stayed married to the miserable cheater.

          • unexpectedchumpiness- It was hard to keep track of all the things they were unhappy about. It was impossible to tell whether something was a minor irritation he felt the need to express or something really import. Kinda like the boy who cried wolf. He was not satisfied with anything so we (me and the kids) stopped paying much attention to the gripes. We had to- it was ridiculous ( I say this in hindsight). When he finally did leave he said it was a few big things and a thousand little things that I would think were petty. I told him that if he thought that then maybe they were petty. I also told him that I don’t live a life of a thousand things wrong.

            I wonder who listens to his shit now…the current GF/victim? Maybe the dog.

            • My daughter did once comment (prior to DDay not sure if he was cheating yet) “there is no point in trying to please Dad because he is never satisfied anyway”. What I was thinking was “I know how you feel” but to her I Spackled “He just loves you so much he wants you to be as perfect as you can be so your life will be easier”. I now wish I had just said what I was thinking. Sigh.

              • CIR,

                My 6yo saw me scrambling frantically to get us all out of the house one day and he said “Mommy why do you always have to do everything that daddy wants when he wants it?” I spackled. I had tears in my eyes and on the verge of spilling down my cheeks. I looked at my Pokemon obsessed unobservant little kid who could clearly see what I couldn’t. I was working so hard to be perfect. The unattainable moving goal post.

            • Spoonriver,

              Half of the things my cheater was unhappy about were stupid things like having a pantry that was too full or too many toys in the garage which he made it a point to drop his little passive aggressive comments about. But apparently the other half of things that he was unhappy about (the things that mattered) he never let leave his lips…and after the cheating and abandonment, he could miraculous speak about them. At first it was my post partum depression and he lost all his “respect for me”, then 6 months later in a very recent conversation it was my religion (the same religion I’ve been the WHOLE time we were together and I never heard one peep about it) and that I was exhausting to be around. I also “needed so much love he needed to set alarms in his phone to remind him to tell me how he loved me”. Bahahahahahaha, if you were going to go so far as to set alarms in your phone, you should have at least sent the fucking I-love-you text after your reminders went off because clearly AT&T sucks at delivering text messages between our phones! Or maybe it was because you were SO FUCKING CHECKED OUT OF OUR MARRIAGE but you had to keep my HEAD SO MIND FUCKED thinking you loved me that it got really “exhausting” to have to remember your wife. Pheeeewf, having to remember your wife exists just SOUNDS exhausting. Thank god you left so you’re not “exhausted” anymore. Poor exhausted sausage.

            • Mine was always muttering about “death by a thousand cuts” like he was the beleaguered sad sack of shit that was under constant tyrany by his horrible family ( 3 perfect gorgeous teen kids never any trouble) and a wife appliance managing the whole show plus income. We all adapted to several international moves career house and schools until we were worn to a frazzle. Then he moved on without us. No soul.

          • We all go back and look for signs because we were married to people who don’t talk straight. I tried to figure out why he had the affair because he STILL doesn’t talk straight. He’s now lying on his Tinder profile, so he is actually on his way to Divorce 2.0 and we haven’t even completed Divorce 1.0….good luck buddy!

  • Dear Biggest Chump, I second what Chump Lady said about getting a lawyer ASAP, before your husband gets fired from his job!

    This happened to me way back in 2000 when I was pregnant with our second born. I’m now 100% convinced my ex was having an affair with a ho-worker. All the signs were there and at one point he said to me, “You and the kids will be financially fine without me.”, so he was thinking of leaving us for the ho. Well, my ex got blindsided himself and got fired from his job! He wouldn’t talk to me about it, but the next day I caught him on the phone sobbing to his female “friend”. My ex was pretty high up in the finance department, so yes, people get fired for having affairs with ho-workers! Lawyer up!!

    I sure wish some nice soul from that job would have left a note in my mailbox too. I cried every single day throughout my pregnancy and now I can look back and see I was clinically depressed even after my daughter was born. I was so confused for such a long time and didn’t know what was going on with him and finding out that he was actually having an affair would have been my ticket to freedom with my kids. Instead I ate the shit sandwich and tried harder to be the best wife and mom I possibly could be, only to be cheated and lied to I don’t know how many more times in the following 14 years.

    So many of us can related to what you wrote about thinking you had a happy marriage. I did too. I struggled a lot with wondering what was real and what was a lie. And now I have peace as I WAS REAL AND I WAS NEVER LYING. I was honest. I was faithful. I was trustworthy. I showed up and put a ton of effort into our marriage and our family. I did all that! I’m not perfect and I made mistakes just like everyone else that is human does. But I was a great wife and mom, and no one can ever take that away from me no matter what lies my ex has said about me and no matter how much he’s rewritten the history of our marriage life. My girlfriend said she asks herself this question: Would I date me? And she says, “Hell, yes!!!” Well, have asked myself that question tons of times about marriage. “Would I want to be married to me?” HELL, YES! I was a super delicious cake supply for him, but he’s a pathological liar and serial cheater. He wanted his delicious cake, but being who he is, he wants his tons of ho-workers too. He’s been like that since we first met in 1988 and I highly doubt that he’ll ever change.

    • Good one. I like your self approval. At one point in the hurricane that was the devastation of our marriage, my asshole who’d never paid a bill or managed an account said to me, this is not easy. I said yes, building a life, a career, retirement savings, buying and selling houses, paying for schools, sports and nice vacations takes time energy and commitment. I gave him a great life he’d never dreamed possible for 30 yrs that he admits to..but you know.. not enough sex. She made him feel young. Well, less than a year later she cheated on him and he is heart broken. So sad!!

      • Good. I hope his black little heart stings and races with fear everytime she picks up her phone or leaves the house.

  • Another tragic yet sadly predictable chump story. 2 years since D day and I’m still reminded of my monumental chumpiness. 2 weeks ago I found a photo in our photo album of my stbx and a woman sitting closely in a cafe. The photo was taken when he decided to go to Europe for 40 days when I was 7 months pregnant and had a 2 year old to look after. I let him go!!! The photo he told me was of an ‘annoying American’ he had met along the way. She wrote to him when he came back I trusted there was nothing in it. Fast forward 22 years and I’m contacted by a woman who tells me she had an affair with my husband. Things started unraveling and I contact the ‘annoying American’ who happens to be not so annoying and very kind. Turns out she had been chumped by my stbx cause he told her he was single. I found out about 4 affairs but let’s face it how could I know it all.

  • Big, every one here is giving great advice. I suggest you get a kick-ass lawyer. I used the X’s because our finances were not that complicated. However, I learned yet again to not trust the X.

    I made the mistake of signing the divorce agreement which stipulated that I would pay half of the attorney fees. The X said before and after the divorce that I would not have to pay. We signed as to not drag it out past the 60 days from filing.

    At our house closing, one month after the divorce, I discovered that the X had worked with the closing to take out my half of the divorce fees. He claims he had no choice – I say complete fucking bullshit!!!! He knew what he was doing the entire time. Even when I offered to pay $200 a couple of weeks before the closing.

    Your STBX has already proved that you can’t and shouldn’t trust him. Don’t let your defenses down!! Think of this part as a business transaction because I guarantee that he is.

    Hugs to you!!

  • My scumbag sociopath ex had me turn down job opportunities while I was unemployed so I could move to be with him. Unbeknownst to me, he was fucking half his town – married, divorced, and he had a woman in every port as well as married “business associates” and supposedly “ex-girlfriends.” He is very successful and can fly women all over the place. I had no clue what I was getting myself into, I just believed the fairy tale that I was special. He is the center of his universe and didn’t think twice about the financial ramifications for me. He then went on to prove what a fucking sociopath he is once I got his phone records. When I say I was duped, I can wholeheartedly say I was duped big time!

    Entitlement, narcissistic, lie to your face, mental abuse, gas-lighting – it all goes hand in hand with a cheater. You were blindsided by a scumbag and a skank-whore, neither of whom have any morals.

    May you always believe in better days ahead and know none of this was ever your fault. Not even one iota your fault.

    • The only truth the X told me was that I was not to blame. He’s damn right! He was not a great husband and is not even a good person. I still tried to find fault with myself because, otherwise, why would he be leaving? He’s right – I was not at fault and I’m not to blame.

  • Ramani Durvasula Phd wrote a book about Narcissism. She has been interviewed so can be found on YouTube. The interview I watched also explained psychopaths and sociopaths. Very eye opening.

  • I am so sorry that anyone has to go thru this but i am so thankful this blog is here.
    You do have to look out for yourself right now. It is hard as hell but it is worth it after you get divorced from that fucker.
    He is a piece of shit. Period.
    He is a chip off the ole piece of shit just like they all are.
    Mean, twisted and rotten to the core.
    It is the worst mindfuck you will ever experience.
    You never deserved any of it. Focus on kicking his ass.

  • Seriously, there is such a profound pattern with these monsters convincing women to quit their jobs and move only to be abandoned.
    My x tried it too.
    It is definitely intentional. Weird fucking robots. These fuckers need to have legal consequences for their actions that are meant to be financially devastating.

    • Weird fucking robots is right! My ex got me to move 650 miles away from my family (long distance letter writing romance — before email) because he told me a ton of times in letters and in person when we met — “You are the love of my life.” “You are the woman of my dreams.” “You are my soulmate.” “You are the woman I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with.” “We are going to grow old and gray together.” “One day we’ll sit together when we are old and we can read out love letters to each other.”

      So I moved away from my family, because I truly believed everything he said and I really thought we had something special going on. Our relationship seemed worth the it! Well………for sure he was writing love letters of some sort to his female “friend” that joined the Army and got stationed in England. She moved to England right before I moved to NY and nine months after I moved to NY, he went to visit her in England. She was “just a friend”. One of many female “friends” that I had to put up with, because he convinced me that this was all 100% normal behavior for a 21 year old college guy. When he was in England visiting her, I read letters that she sent to him and she wrote, “If you come visit me, we can spend the whole night together and have sex.” I was devastated!!! He came back from his trip, but I was too ashamed that I invaded his privacy and read his personal letters (he still lived at home with his folks), so I just asked him about her and if anything was going on. He of course LIED and said, “She’s just a friend” and other stuff to convince me that nothing was going on. Stupid me believed him. Fast forward to 2014 and after D day and I told him I read her letters. His face went white as a ghost, but of course he lied again and said, “She probably wrote that because she was lonely.” Ugh, no! She wrote that because you were writing love letters to her!!!

      So yes, they are fucking robots that will say and do anything to get their needs met. He wanted me, but he wanted everyone else too! You don’t say all this “we are going to get married” stuff and then write love letters to another woman! His character sucks and he sucks epically!

    • Leavingalyingloser – You are so right! Didn’t Shania Twain’s husband do the same to her?! Made her move to Europe and put her up in this castle, isolating her further and then cheated on her with her best friend. What a nice way to thank the woman for making all these sacrifices and compromises for her husband. Scumbag.

  • Raising her hand, could have been my story.

    Mine started having problems at work and I found out later was in big ethics trouble. told me he was caught working on his mothers estate and they thought he was working under the table elsewhere, the real problem was He (a Director) was banging his clerk and he fired an HR lady who was going to fire lady love for too many missed days. So he had to leave after 18 years of being there. So because these people seem to walk on top of the muck when all this first happens, he finds a dream job in another state. doubles his salary and world travel. Starts to be a real jerk to me and we are fighting all the time, I think it is because he is nervous about the new job. But the night before he leaves he tells me he is over our arguing and needs to think, but I should come to him in two days and celebrate our anniversary, well before I could go there I found the emails to other woman. He was planning on getting me to sell the house and then tell me I am not coming.

    The worse part of all this was what he was doing to his Sons (14 & 16 at the time) He was running a dialog with them about how horrible I was as a wife for the last 2 years during the affair. Every time he got them alone he lectured them on how terrible I was and how they did not have to listen to me, they could do what they wanted or what he said. He was preparing them for when he left and setting it up so they would go with him. He sold my paid off car already and of course he was going to get me another one when we moved. His plan was to leave me penniless, car-less, homeless and kid-less with my Cancer and my very sick mother. (those where his exact words)

    If I had not found that email by accident that morning…. he would have succeeded in destroying me. The evil and deception behind that plan still floors me, but after 3 years I have learned I was deceived but I did not have any control over his actions and all I can do is be true to myself and pray my kids and I are safe. I was fooled be cause I believed in our marriage and our family to the extent of harming myself to keep it together. Lesson learned not to believe in a relationship but myself. When it feels wrong listen!!

    He dumped OW not long after and she lost her job, but she married her live in boyfriend and moved on. No consequences but just being a whore. Ex dated 3 other women during divorce and married on less than a year later. They are facebook selfie experts so me and sons blocked him years ago. No consequences but losing his Sons.

    Yep my Sons stayed with me, and we have worked out so many things. I survived the cancer, work full time and things get hard sometimes but we are happy, thriving and still growing. We have a long way to go but NC was the first stepping stone to peace.

    Get a lawyer and keep moving forward it will hurt like hell but it really is the only way to get thru it.

    • That is unbelievable… I guess they have to paint you as the villian to try to justify their vile, inexcusable behavior…but that’s really next level diabolical. Im glad you found that email and for all the things you were able to save- esp your boys. I truly hope you get to see karma knock his worthless ass into the gutter soon.

    • Why can’t they just leave? Why do they have to destroy things in the most deliberate, strategic, hurtful way? Just go..get the fuck out.

  • How could you know when your husband did everything to keep things hidden and made sure with all his might to keep you in the dark? Anyone would not have known. He plotted and lied to your face every day. He wasn’t playing fair or being trustworthy, he was playing under the radar. He made sure you didn’t know. It’s not your fault. He’s a total piece of shit, a vile human being, a low life. The Truth came out and now you can protect yourself from this coward.

  • Hi Biggest Chump–

    As Tracy and others have said, you’re not the Biggest Chump. We all of us pretty much miss the signs until the affair asserts itself front and center. All those little signs? We see them in retrospect, but we don’t see them as they occur because we view our spouses through the lens of trust, and they take advantage of that fact.

    So don’t beat yourself up about missing the signs or being too trusting. And don’t blame the OW. Sure, she’s a horrible person, but she’s also one of those people who like fucking other people’s husbands. My CheaterX also had an affair with one of those. Yes, she too was a ho-worker.

    But it’s not her fault, not really. Back in the early days after Dday, I used to think that CheaterX was basically a nice, but weak guy who was under stress. Then Schmoopie presented herself as a Damsel in Distress–a single mom with a medically fragile daughter just about ready to turn 18. Schmoopie had had a track record of hooking up with rotten men, and CheaterX was the first decent guy she’d met.

    I was about ready to say all of this to one of the attorneys I interviewed when I realized that I was dead wrong. CheaterX wasn’t the first decent guy she met; Schmoopie had a track record of hooking up with rotten men and that is exactly why she made a play for CheaterX.

    Decent men would have told her no. Even more decent men would have come home and told their wives that Staffer was making inappropriate overtures at work that made them uncomfortable.

    Anyway, as much as possible, try to stop thinking about THEM and think about YOU.

    Get that lawyer yesterday. It sounds as if your husband makes a good living. You need a lawyer to help you protect yourself against financial abuse. Sure, he may say that you can keep the money and the house today, but if he decides against it tomorrow, he could clean out the bank accounts and put the house up for sale. And if you have children who still are at home, it would be nice to use his income to send them to college.

    Talk with a divorce financial planner. I noticed you talked about “our houses,” as in more than one house. Again, this speaks to a higher income level. You need to find out how best to divide the property so that you aren’t stuck with merely real estate. You want to have some of those investments as well as the liquid holdings. And since he told you to quit your job so that you could be with him in the move, well, talk with that financial planner and the lawyer about whether you can get temporary support, and if so, for how long.

    Get therapy. You’ve been metaphorically punched in the gut. You need to talk with someone who can help you stay focused on the tasks in front of you and to start healing.

    Unfortunately, as much as you may feel you want to do so, you can’t afford to delay. Your husband has been fucking around at work, and that could get him fired if it comes to light. You absolutely need to take steps to protect yourself now.

  • Hand up for also quit job, moved all possessions of value far away for his shiny new job oblivious to his duplicity and deceit. And to berating self for being so trusting and spackling various flags.
    Big – disbelief is an early part of the grief cycle later comes anger etc before finally acceptance. As well as strongly agreeing with all the get a lawyer advice recommend. CN forum, Therapy and forgiving yourself for not knowing. As others have said we trust because of our own values. Disengage from him and how his train wreck pans out (we all think we know how it’s going to end). Your job is sane parent and extreme self care as you figure out getting a lawyer and your future. It will get better!

  • Chumps don’t get into a relationship with suspicions about the significant other. We don’t have any way to know, until the evidence presents itself. We tend to believe that other people have the same moral beliefs we do, and while that may be naive, it is also true that it is hard to think like a sociopath when you are not one. You are educated when you discover the truth, and you learn to deal with the horrifying reality.

    Other people can and will be fooled, too. These entitled cons count on this vulnerability. All you can do is learn to protect yourself, to the best of your ability, after you learn the truth.

    Just an aside to my comments yesterday. They were not meant to be political, I do not know who is telling the truth. I was just pointing out that somewhere along the way, when you are looking at two very different stories, either in a public case or in a very private one, you have to weigh the evidence you have and come to some conclusion YOU can live with. We may never know the entire truth, I have learned, through experience, that Tracy offers great advice. Don’t try to untangle the skein. Instead, spend your time and resources on setting boundaries you can live with and taking care of yourself and your children. That is the only priority that matters. You cannot change the past, you can not change others. Whatever you did or did not do is done. Try to concentrate on having the resources you need to live and shelter yourself and your children, if you have them. Don’t berate yourself, even if you did make mistakes, who hasn’t? None of us is perfect, just try to do the best you can and move forward. Good luck in your journey to MEH.

  • Mine sent me love notes and texts and emails, keeping a steady supply of cake while he was banging the OW (and other OW) all over Europe and the Caribbean. “I love you!” “I miss you!” “I can’t wait to see you again and have SEX!!” Which we had 2-3 times a week, EVERY week.

    His revisionist history is that he was so utterly miserable, I was a sexless harpy, and FAT. Yes, I gained weight, I don’t deny it. But he had, too, and somehow it didn’t bother ME. I look at life with a realistic view of the future. I knew we wouldn’t have our 20 year-old bodies when we were 50, just like I know the body I have now (age 59) won’t be the one I have at age 70.

    At any rate, I have managed to lose most of the weight I had gained, but will never be able to lose the memory of what he did.

        • Good for you, kiddo. (Although I would have given him his marching orders for cheating AND calling me a sexless harpy AND fat.)

          Trust your gut on this one – and remember that for it to be real reconciliation, he has to stay cheater-free for the rest of your marriage/life.

          If you have the slightest doubt that he is capable of doing this, you need to leave now. Otherwise you WILL be chumped again, as soon as he thinks the heat has died down and the Marriage Police have taken a lunch break.

          I know that you are a pragmatic person, and perhaps that’s really what’s keeping you in the marriage. “Better the devil you know. We keep the house and the money that way. He’s not so bad in the big picture.” And thousands of women do make this decision to stay and put up with it, perhaps because they confuse pragmatism with secretly thinking they don’t deserve to be really happy after all.

          Keep going. Keep thinking. WE believe you deserve to be really happy, and not living in a hostage situation.

  • BC,

    I can’t add much to what’s already been said. You’d be wise to follow the advise given here. You’re not alone, keep coming back here for support and you’ll soon come to recognize that you’re one of many, and moreso that the direction you seek has already been defined for you.

    It really does help to get mad rather than feel self-pity or be hopeful your cheater will come back to you chastened. Serial cheaters are all the same.
    The injustice is what we wallow in.

    Get into FIERCE ACTION MODE. I should have gone scorched earth on xw but didn’t. What I did do was act IMMEDIATELY and I protected myself.

    It doesn’t matter now what she does or does not do. Our bond was broken by her many covert betrayals discovered Way too Late. When they show you who they really are, BELIEVE THEM. Flee for your life because- in reality, there never was a bond to you to begin with.

    I was a hard working husband, father and grandfather. I showed true love, sacrifice and commitment to MY VOWS despite being in the dark for years. So now when I see xw/concubine (the frequency of her appearances is decreasing with time and continued NC) intense DISLIKE and MISTRUST possesses me. She will triangulate and deceive for the rest of her days. As much as I’d love some Karmic justice and Schadenfreude, I hope I get to the point where I don’t want to know about it. I want to know about ME and what I’m doing (oh so gradually) to get me to Tuesday.

    • Agree Marcus. Totally agree. I am getting better at stopping myself from going there. But sometimes the strangest thought or memory wells up and I’m back feeling the hurt like it just happened. The good news is I am through the divorce so it is mostly emotion. I do see him at family functions which can trigger a slide into the emotional abyss. And I still have a lot of his crap in the house which I have to get through. That is the last of it-I hope. Be well. Hugs

  • I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I did wrong and what I could have done differently. Without the cooperation of the other party I will never be able to improve or modify my behavior. But given the character of the person I would try to please, it is a useless exercise. This process is miserable and I have not been a kind person through it, in fact I have never experienced such rage before and it made me want to do mean things. But even on my worst days, I didn’t lie or cheat. In fact I have probably been more honest about my feelings than I have ever been. That socially acceptable filter came right off when dealing with him. I tried to act fairly towards fuckwit for my family and for me. And now 1.5 yrs out (can it only be that long-seems an eternity I have been going through this), I am recovering and not suffering from guilt about anything rotten thing I did. So that’s something..not much but something. And my family and friends stayed with me. That speaks to my character and theirs. Cheating on your spouse is not acceptable and people don’t like it. If you can do that, you can’t be trusted. When I know that about someone, I don’t want to be around him/her. They aren’t trustworthy.

  • Run, do not walk to an attorney immediately. Protect yourself and your adult children financially! Implement NO CONTACT. Since your children are grown it should be easier than if they were small and you had to co-parent (silver lining) with the fuckwit. He is a mess. She is a mess. Together they will be a mess. Don’t waste time thinking about them. Try not to focus on what they are doing. Schadenfruede feels great no lie. However, the Karma Bus you are waiting on to run them over will not get you to MEH and believe me keeping tabs on him will only keep you stuck and drag you back when something goes well for them. You must keep focused on how YOU will get through this. God, I know you don’t know it yet but life will feel normal again. You will be happy, strong and “normal” again. Please get a good lawyer, lean on your friends and family and once the crisis stage of being a chump subsides start to live YOUR life. My d-day was in September 2016 and my divorce was final in July. I had one D-day (luck me!). He was meeting women on Tinder. He found one who would finally sleep with him and I by the grace of god found out after their first week together. When I kicked him out he had no where else to go. She took him in immediately. You are not a freak and unfortunately/fortunately you are not alone. CL and CN have been invaluable in my recovery. Good luck and stay strong

  • My ex was a liar. And he loves money. He was a cheap bastard and always tucked money away for himself. So when my DDay came and I was going through that torment, I never took my eye off the money and negotiated cold heartedly on everything. Oh, he tried to cheat me but I got a fair settlement. Although he lives much better than me. He didn’t want any stuff from the house so I sold off much of it and stored the rest. Now he wants his family antiques and I love saying. No. Nope not yours. He is good to his kids and our grands. And spends his money on them. The other woman has tried to worm into their lives but after ten years she’s starting to uncouple him. Financially. Ex is having a meltdown about it because he’s afraid she’s dumping him. He also doesn’t want me to know. But my kids told me and I admit to gloating in private. Karma karma karma.

  • I’m almost five years out from this nightmare and have definitely reached a level of peace. This is one of the few places I tell my deeper stories. Reading today I see several pieces of advice in regards to moving quickly. I cannot stress enough that no moves should be taken without legal advice. I remember my outrage that my ex did not have to move out of the marital home and that I could not ‘force’ him out or change the locks when he did move out until the Divorce Decree was signed by all parties. Just as I remember being super pissed that he was hiding funds, fake credit card accounts etc. To that, my lawyer advised hiring a forensic accountant and with each piece of the puzzle that was reviewed, the legal advice was the same, “keep a low profile, don’t poke the information”. The stance that my lawyer took was straight forward, ‘yes he’s dishonest’, but he needs to make money in order to pay you money he will owe. So, my experience, is take the long view, you want your STBX to continue to have gainful employment so that you will get your fair share.

    • Yes, legal advice is well worth the money.
      I did change the locks to the house I was living in, after consulting with my lawyer. Lock was broken… It was a security measure, as it showed my xh was attempting to enter the house.

  • “She didn’t seduce him into becoming a shitheel. He IS a shitheel.”

    Here here!

    For better or for worse, I think OWs get a lot more blame than OMs do. My XW destroyed my marriage; not her OM (he was busy destroying his).

    APs can’t seduce unwilling cheaters.

    • This, so very much this!

      My sister shared an apartment with a woman who liked fucking married men. This woman bragged about an affair she was having with a married co-worker, a man with four children. My sister demanded to know how this woman could ruin the lives of the wife and the four children.

      The answer?

      “He could have said no.”

      • Blameshifting the cheater? Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions. They all make me sick.

      • How can people be okay with themselves when they are havign a pattern of destroying marriages? I am not saying destroying one is okay – I am saying after seeing the fall out of destroying one – they should really want to never repeat that behavior again. Also the ex – does he not know her history?

  • Everyone of us will tell you to go no contact immediately. Everyone of us will tell you that he will not ever actually feel remorse, or sorry or empathy. Every single one of us will tell you To never look back. To never hold hopium. You will… because like us you are a chump. His narrative will soon change into all the ways you failed him. This moment is your moment of opportunity! He doesn’t believe you will be strong enough to get a lawyer, a settlement and go no contact! Do it now! Treat this as the biggest business do you have your life. You will hurt The deepest most profound pain you’ve ever imagined. That pain will finally lead you to anger and that anger will propel you forward. You didn’t do this. He is broken. He will try to break you in the process. Be strong ! You are mighty!

    • Get lots of evidence. Get at the emails, the phone bills. Do not keep mum about this hoping that it gets better. Let people know what he’s done before he gets out there and starts slandering you. Have no doubt that he is currently piecing together a narrative in which he will try to paint you in the poorest light to justify what he has done. He’ll say how he felt the marriage was over a long time ago because of all of these terrible things you said and did to him. He’ll say that there was never an affair, that they were only friends because she was such a good listener during his time of need. He’ll say he was getting sick by staying in the marriage. He’ll also claim that he tried everything to save the marriage but it all just made it worse because there was nothing worth saving.

      Own the narrative now. He cheated. You better believe that this is not the first woman.

      Shut him down and suit up. Follow all the advice given here to arm yourself. This is just the beginning to the show.

  • You gotta cut that immediately! It might sound egotistical, but your well beings should be more important to you than the well being of others. Don’t be a chump!

  • Biggest Chump-
    This was eerily my story, too. I am so sorry for you. But CL and CN are correct in saying that it’s all him, not you. You will recover and you will prevail.
    x told me over the phone he was divorcing me after I quit my job of 10 years. x said “we were going to be ok” i was super excited to finally be spending quality mom and toddler time with our youngest! During this time i found a little part time job and was super happy. x was stationed in Okinawa, Japan but getting ready to come home. Little did I know he had a Japanese gf. And guess what?? I also bought her a car and I didn’t even know it!!! Bwahahahahaha!!! Stupid me!!!!
    DDay was over the phone on 21OCT16 at approx 1930 hours. Before x got off phone with me I asked him why he was leaving and his answer was:
    “I don’t love you anymore.
    I don’t want to be with you anymore.
    I don’t want to work things out with you.
    Its time for me to finally be happy.”

    Biggest. Suckerpunch. Ever.
    It’s ok. She can have him.

    #notmypig #thanksryan #hesallyourssweetheart #imfreenow #nomoremindfuckery #chumpbusisrevvingitengine #cuidadochiquito

  • And don’t forget that some really well-to-do guys just HATE giving up any money. They will lie, cheat, steal, and do their best to f**k you over, never mind the kids.

    Get a good attorney and fight like hell.

    • Oh yes…the well off cheaters ..they are the worst! Never mind spending the last couple of years before d day screwing me financially. sack of shit decided to raid the kids personal savings too !! What is even more entitled and insane is that he not only admits to it…he tells them he doesn’t owe it back because “it probably got spent on their education ” hahahsh. Absolutely shocking and there is nothing they can do about it. Whats even more diabolical is that he insists that “it wasnt that much anyway”… maybe not to him and his 6 fig salary but to penniless students on welfare its the difference between a start in life and a constant battle to stay afloat!
      What a bastard.

  • It’s a minefield big. And by the time you figure it out it’s devastating to believe the lengths They will go to deliberately harm.

    Who thinks like this? Sociopath. That’s what you’re dealing with in my opinion. Best thing you can do it’s document everything and get the best settlement you can. Hire a Foencis Account because he had a giant Headstart in fucking you over. Took me a while to figure out that everything he did was calculated and Planned. These are in fact selfish entitled Disordered Pathological liars as evidenced by their behavior.

    There is no moral compass with them.

  • I have to add an important piece of advice. Years ago, my DD Day blindsided me. No kids, thank God, but I was shocked. A couple of years later once I regained my footing, I started to think that it was simply a matter of picking the wrong guy. Surely, the right man would appreciate my love, loyalty and affection. That led me right into two more questionable relationships with questionable men. In my opinion, it is a mistake to believe that the chump scenario would never have happened if we had not picked an isolated bad man. My opinion is that many of us fail to do the work necessary before diving head long into subsequent relationships, convinced that “the rest of the world”is happy, sane and trustworthy, and if we just find the next man, surely he will be worthy of us. While there are many wonderful people in this world, there are also lots of very not nice people. Many of trust much too easily. You don’t trust someone just because their lips are moving. People say a lot of things, that does not make them so. Learning to rely on that uneasy gut feeling is the first step. “But he said so” is not the best way to rely on yourself. If the pieces don’t fit together, and something seems off, it is. It took me many years to realize that a people pleasing person with poor boundaries desperate for love and affection is not the place to be. I believe that the cheater type of personality sniffs out those people… US..with radar like accuracy. As my grandmother used to say, when in doubt… don’t!!

  • QueenBee – yes.

    “My opinion is that many of us fail to do the work necessary before diving head long into subsequent relationships, convinced that “the rest of the world”is happy, sane and trustworthy, and if we just find the next man, surely he will be worthy of us.”

    “It took me many years to realize that a people pleasing person with poor boundaries desperate for love and affection is not the place to be. I believe that the cheater type of personality sniffs out those people… US..with radar like accuracy. ”

    Yes and yes again. It took me years as well. I don’t date any more, and I am so relieved. That’s not the solution for everyone, but oh, it is such a relief to have the time to do the work I need to do, both on myself and on my future.

    Men and women both do this – and we’re encouraged into rebound relationships by so many people around us. I have noticed that single people have a way of making many couples feel uncomfortable – either because they are treated as likely predators, or because they are slightly envied by people who are unhappy in their marriage.

    I have some wonderful married friends who DON’T treat me this way, and I am so grateful for them. But most of my real friends – the sustaining friendships – are with other single people, who get it. Really get it.

  • The people who tell even anonymously are saints.

    I lived in serious mental torment for 2 years because nobody tipped me off. That vicious cruelty of his unloving behaviour being explained as a reaction to my faults, was the hardest thing to get over.

    When I finally found what it was really about and that there was a logical explanation, I was euphoric. Imagine being ecstatic to find out betrayal. Because betrayal as a reality is better than unrelenting emotional abuse.

    • YES – exactly. That’s why lighting a candle – or a bonfire, in the case of ChumpLady – is so important, because it helps the real victim to stop cursing the darkness.

      Anyone who can lift these burdens off victims is doing a good deed.

  • You didn’t know because he didn’t tell you. You had no reason to distrust him and he made certain to keep it that way until HE was ready to blow up your life without warning.

    It means he trusted you to trust him and that = HIS shitty CHARACTER.

    He used you entirely to his benefit and when he got really comfortable and bored, he chose to act upon his entitlement and shitty character.

    None of that was in your control. Finding a kick-ass divorce lawyer is in your control. I hope you’ve done so.

  • . You should also know this is the third marriage she’s destroyed.

    Lol as if OW are so powerful! It is HIM that destroyed 3 marriages. He marries and marries again while already involved with someone.

  • Dear The biggest Chump of All,
    I’m sending you hugs. Your kids are grown and you will stay put. You’ll be fine after you lawyer up. Imagine going through this with a 2 years old and the only way out is having to change country? Change job, change house, change everything. That was me. I didn’t get spousal support. Just glad I’ m out and healthy. Everything else is up to me, it’s doable.
    I am fine and so will you. The pain is finite.
    Hugs and be strong!

  • Thank you all for this! I just got back from a 7 day cruise to take my life break! Now it’s fucking game on! The two of these shitbags just helped me sit nice in life! Lawyer is ready to go! I will wear this chump crown with fucking pride!

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