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Dear Chump Lady, Please kill my hope

Dear Chump Lady,

Three years ago, I found out that my husband had had a three-year affair. When I found out, he told me I was the “love of his life” and he’d made “the worst mistake of his life” and he wanted to stay married. At that time, we’d been married 15 years and had two children ages 8 and 6.

We went to counseling for a little bit. I thought he had stopped seeing her immediately. We stayed married.

Last summer, I found out that he had had an Ashley Madison and match.com accounts during his 3-year affair—neither one had activity on it because, I think, men have to pay but he had set up his profiles (what a fun read). When I questioned him on why he had these accounts, he told me, “He wanted to see what else was out there.” Nice.

Last Sunday, I found out that he had been seeing the same woman for the past 6 months (Did it ever stop from 3 years ago? I’m not sure). They’ve been meeting at an Embassy Suites near his office (that she pays for) because he thought I might have hired a private investigator (paranoid much?). When I asked why he had re-started the affair, he told me it was because I “never got over the affair from three years ago.” He said I never gave him the forgiveness he needed. He said that he felt our marriage was doomed and that I would eventually leave him. I thought we were moving forward.

Admittedly, I was not perfect and was still hurt by his 3-year affair and then finding out during the Ashley Madison hack that he’d been on that too — maybe I’m slow to heal (maybe I need some bloodwork done to see why I don’t heal faster from being repeatedly stabbed in the back…)

He’s never going to change is he? No matter how much I want to believe that and continue to drink the Koolaid, he’s never going to be different.

But, it is so hard to give up hope in the face of all his promises.

Please talk some sense to me and take away my hope.

MissedRedFlags

Dear Missed,

Let’s just make a list, okay?

  1. A three-year affair. Which is really a SIX-year affair because it never ended.
  2. An Ashley Madison account.
  3. A match.com account.
  4. Openly admits to wanting to date while married “to see what else is out there.”
  5. When busted, he blameshifts this mess on to YOU for not “forgiving him.”

Let’s take this point by point.

1.) A three-year six-year affair is not a “mistake” singular. It’s thousands upon thousands of willful decisions to deceive you. It’s sociopathic. Normal people don’t have double lives nor can they maintain them. To do that you either have to have zero empathy (as in your synapses don’t fire), huge reserves of entitlement, and super powers of manipulation.

Try to imagine being him for a DAY, doing the shit he’s been doing behind your back. You’d break out in stress rashes, wouldn’t you? You’d being dying to have a heartfelt conversation and spill your guts. You’d grind your teeth and suffer constant anxiety and second guessing. You would not CONTINUE UNBOTHERED FOR SIX YEARS.

To behave as he has behaved is deeply fucked up. And it’s who he is. He’s got a lousy character and he’s really okay with being a total fraud. Not much to work with here.

2.) Ashley Madison? Oh great, he wants to hang out with other fuckwits like himself.

3.) Match.com? Oh great, he wants to deceive single people into thinking he’s single.

4.) He wants to see what else is out there? Oh, and he’d also like to stay married to you? That’s known as CAKE. He’s openly telling you he has absolutely no interest in fidelity. He’d prefer to shop. Indefinitely. (By the way, that’s your cue to do the Pick Me Dance and compete for the awesomeness of his indecision.)

5.) This is all YOUR fault? Really, you couldn’t forgive him? What does he think staying married to his sorry ass and raising his two kids is? A death sentence?

You never GAVE him forgiveness? What exactly did he do to earn it?

And let’s say that’s true. He believes you’ll never get past it. Then the honorable, sensible thing to do is END IT honestly and divorce you with a fair settlement. He didn’t do that. Because the point is CAKE.

Now, let’s look at his promises.

When I found out, he told me I was the “love of his life” and he’d made “the worst mistake of his life” and he wanted to stay married. 

Apparently being the love of his life entails tolerating his constant quests for other loves of his life. Is that okay with you?

He made the worst mistake (singular) of his life? So… what? Is he going for the gold here on catastrophic, clusterfucky, super mistakes? He just thought he’d compound those mistakes? Mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake… Until the whole mistake collapses in on itself like a black hole, sucking everything into its gravitation pull? And we’re all pulled into his wormhole of fuckupedness and spit out into an alternative mistake universe?

Worst mistake? No. The only mistake here is staying with him.

And now you’re writing to me to kill your hope. To stop believing his lame promises. Listen, Missed, you better kill your hope before your hope kills you. Think of it as a showdown at the Not-Okay Corral. Only one of us is getting out of here alive, Hope! 

Let that someone be you. If you stay with him, you stay with the knowledge of exactly who he is — a serial cheater. You’ll have a marriage with a man who looks elsewhere and blames you for it. Who subverts “forgiveness” as “free pass to do whatever the fuck I want to.” And if you object? You’re not being forgiving enough.

That’s soul death. Don’t choose it. Call a lawyer instead.

This one ran previously. Hey, all you UK chumps! Tonight at 9PM GMT I’m going to be on “After The Watershed” — a weekly radio show on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey. Tune in!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Good thing she wrote to YOU instead of one of the more sheeple-driven infidelity message boards where they would have given her a tall glass of Kool-Aid and convinced her that reconciliation is possible if he reads self help books, shows ‘remorse,’ and goes to therapy. Oh, and they’d likely also tell her that he’s a sex addict, a porn addict, and has “FOO” issues and that’s why he screwed around. LOL. Idiots.

    Thank God someone has the balls to tell it like it IS – and that’s Chump Lady.

    • And they’d mind-f her into submission with HER family of origin issues, HER responsibility for THEIR marriage problems and HER inability to move on.

      Thank heavens for Chumplady. No Kool-Aid served here. RIC = Idiot$.

  • I’m afraid it is all summed in the fact that he said you are the love if his life AND that he wasn’t using dating sites to see what was out there. The best he can offer, even to the love if his life, is that he will always think he can do better than you. Flee. This is not love.

    • Typos sorry – * at the same time he was saying you were the love OF his life, and he WAS using dating sites to see what he was out there.
      These cheaters fry my brain!!

  • I am so sorry you are going though this. It is a kick in the stomach when you realize you where chumped twice. I too believed my STBX that he wanted to make the marriage work after his long-term affair with my cousin AKA Skankella. He still denies having sex with her. My husband also said that he made a mistake. That he only went away with her because she liked to have fun. He make a 4 or 5 year mistake. Since I did not want to throw away a 34 year marriage I agreed to work things out. Only to find out he was secretly texting an old girlfriend from high school. Messaging women on Facebook. And he always had an innocent explanation.
    These fuckwits only give a dam about themselves. Do yourself and children a favor and put him out on the curb like the garbage he is. Get tested for STDs. Get your life together. You will realize that your life and children’s life will be so much better with out the cheater in it.

    • What is it with these idiots who “want to have fun”? I got the same crap. She’s fun. They just talk about fun stuff. They drink wine and watch movies. She likes music. Fun, fun fun! You’re 44 years old and you want to hang out with a girl, drink, watch tv, listen to music and have FUN?!?

      Basically, the man I met 15 years ago, at age 29, is more mature than the “real” you that you feel you are finally being now? That guy could do those things stated above but was also willing to own and care for a house, engage in a marriage with vows of sickness/health and good/bad times, raise children, invest in family, and ADULT.

      But no more?!?

      House? GONE! I’ve got it and care for it on my own. He’s bragged to his family how awesome it is now to rent because he doesn’t have to do anything – just call a landlord (“Home ownership is for suckers!”).

      Marriage? GONE! I’m too strong, too demanding, too much. She’s fun! Doesn’t even have custody of her kids so lots of free time for FUN and non-adulting.

      Children? PART-TIME! Only need to parent 35% of the time, basically watch lots of tv and play video games as he doesn’t have money to do things with the kids because it’s being spent having FUN with the OW. I’ll take the kids to family counselling, arrange our son’s therapy for autism, buy everything (haven’t seen a dime from dad yet), set up the play dates – you know – PARENT.

      Family? PULEESE!! Sure go to the parents for dinner when invited, but in 10 months have them over to the new place once because mom forced it. Almost no contact with siblings except for holidays. Forget the 10 nieces and nephews – 2 of whom are godchildren. I set up playdates with the cousins and go camping with his brother and wife, take the kids to visit grandparents for their birthdays. And, that’s HIS family.

      You know? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring it on – I love my house, my kids, my family (and his family). I make enough money to support them. His babysitting services are much appreciated so that I can have some free time to myself and get things done to be a better mom, daughter, friend and professional. Of course, I wish that things could be different, that my husband had been a man of honour and integrity, but he’s not. I got sold a bad bill of sale, a cheap product that appeared to work initially, started to show signs of strain within a couple of years, didn’t improve much with repairs, and then completely broke down, all despite a lifetime guarantee.

      Hey! Life’s a party, so pour another drink!

      • Yes, they gotta have fun. My STBX said that old Skankella loved to drink and play pool. She was happy all the time. Yup, one can be happy all the time when you have a married man spending all kinds of money on you. While the wife is at home paying the bills and keeping care of the house and children. She liked to have fun so much that she had financial troubles and could not even afford to pay to get her car fixed. My oh so nice Hubby would fix it for her. My STBX dumped her sorry ass when we were going to make things work. She would tell everyone she knew that I was a nut job and only stayed with him because of the money. funny, I always earned at $10.00 more an hour than him and I used my bonus to pay off the house. I did not nor do need his money.
        I got the house I paid for and I sure do not need his money. The only one depending on his money was Skankella. What do you expect from a women who screws around with her cousin’s husband? I hope the fun he had was worth it????

        • ONM, our stories are so similar. I’ll be 46 years old in a few weeks and our 15 year anniversary is tomorrow. Instead of celebrating we are going back and forth with our attorneys on a divorce settlement.

          He is SO happy with his 35yo married coworker, who will soon be divorced as well and got her 3 and 5yo part time. They have it worked out so that they don’t have kids on the same weekends so they can have fun and do whatever they want.

          He finally moved out Saturday, 14 months to the day after Dday. I have never felt better and as the fog is lifting, I’m seeing just how much abuse I have suffered over the past 14months.

          I was in love with the man I thought he was. Committed and trustworthy. I projected my values onto him. Looking back, he never “had my back” or cherished me AT ALL. My patients yesterday were a newly married couple and the husband was saying about how got his wife a 4 wheel drive car for our horrible winters as he was worried about her driving. I never once heard my “husband” say he was worried about me, and it all clicked to me about what a husband should be.

          It was all a scam, a fake marriage. It is hard to accept and I will never understand it. However, I feel amazing since he has been gone. He was constantly miserable (particularly on weekends when we had errands to do around the house) which he blamed on me and now I don’t have to jump through hoops anymore to make him happy.

          New chumps I can’t stress this enough. Put your emotions aside and protect yourself financially. They will rape u. Mine is still saying he doesn’t owe me child support as I have the “potential” to make more. They don’t give one fuck about u like u do them. Like me, u I am sure can not comprehend doing this to someone, but they can.
          PROTECT YOURSELF! They will try to leave u destitute! Don’t think they won’t do it to u, too!

          • Putting the finishing touches on the separation agreement with the lawyer, and he should get it in about two weeks. Hoping he signs it as is. My only anxiety now is over how difficult he might make this. I am the money (earn almost double), but I also have the kids 65% of the time because we have a son with autism who needs stability and structure. I also put STBXH through a university degree that he completed spring of 2016 (affairs began that last year of university – you know…because I did nothing buy emasculate him and make him feel worthless).

            I’m not out to get him at all. I just want what we have going on right now, but in writing. But our division of access with the kids puts him in a child support paying position (about $750 a month) which will absolutely bankrupt him. I don’t want it, but the law demands it. So, I’m working with the lawyer for loopholes (including trading off the part of my pension that he’s entitled too in exchange for a five year moratorium on child support because he has income earning potential). My concern is that he’ll fight back for 50-50 or 60-40 access to get out of child support. I’ve spent 2018 trying to stabilize my son after he derailed from the separation and the interruption in sleep patterns between households. I will fight him. My hope is that he’ll be too cheap to fight back.

            Then, I can file for divorce with everything already worked out. Nov. 30 marks one year mandatory separation. I’ll probably wait until January to get the expense of Christmas out of the way. After divorce, it’s an annulment in the Catholic Church I’ll be after. There is no way this man presented himself to me honestly when we married. And now that he says that he realizes that he never loved me. He married me because he couldn’t believe he got a girl like me, but realized how hard it is to be married to someone like me (you know…hard-working, well-educated, moral, busy). Please God, just let me be free and grant me this much. I will continue to live my life out with grace and integrity and ensure that my children do too.

            • I didn’t go to court, but my attorney told me the judge will rule in the best interest of the child.

              Make youself a book documenting all the appointments/ meetings you went to for your child since DDay. All the doctor appointments he had and who took him. All the school functions and who went. Did he take him on all the agreed to times? Don’t communicate with him unless it’s email — brief polite and to the point. I bet you have enough to show the judge what’s in his best interest. If he has councilors they can be called.

              Good luck

          • Yes. Our stories are so similar. These cheaters really do not care about us, just their money. We are the same age, same length of marriage, same kid age, Even the OW is kind of the same age.

            I also am in shock when I see with how much coldness and preparation he has led this double life. Completely cold hearted.
            Now, he claims all the money is his and he does not owe me anything. Just the kids. And he plans on being a 50% parent despite the fact that he has not done anything remotely close to 50%.

            He sneaked himself back into the house and I cannot get him out legally unless there is abuse.

            I am getting better. The hardest part is really understanding that they are disordered and that their entire facade is just a charade. They are not real. They just role play in front of people. And that you need to protect yourself.

        • My ex was the original party animal too. Actually he met his skank in the local “throw em out the windows” bar. And then that became an every night thing. The locals all loved him – who wouldn’t – paying rounds of drinks for everyone on his nice salary (actually I was paying for them – sadly we had a joint account and he used to spend both our salaries in that whore house).

          Recently I met one of his “friends” from the bar. I was all dressed up coming home from work so didn’t look too bad. He just looked at me and said “YOUR’RE Ps wife”! I found out later that he had been telling all his drunk friends that I beat him up when he came home from work! I just burst out laughing. It was so funny.

          The Skank is younger than me but looks very very rough – a bottle of whiskey a day will do that for you! I just saw a picture of the ex on FB (yeah, I enjoy stalking) and he looks dreadful. I told my sister he looked like Albert Steptoe (that’s one for the Brits) but my sister said that was an insult to Albert! Thank God I have sisters!!!!

      • Yep. They had FUN together. It’s FUN to send people to the emotional ICU? It’s FUN to commit EMOTIONAL HOMICIDE of an entire family? It’s FUN to hurt people? Children?

        FUN is an acronym for FUCKED UP NARCISSISM.

        • I have a new code name for my STBHX

          CLIFF

          Cheater Liar Is a Fucking Fucker

          “Hey, Cliff! How ya doin’?”

          “Wow! Cliff is on match.com!”

          “Cliff is out on a date with somebody!”
          (Glad it’s not me….)

          And my apologies to any chumps here who are actually named Cliff…it’s just for use in my head to help me let go….you guys can be Chumps Like Integrity not Fake Feelings…..

          • Good one, VelvetHammer!
            I call mine by a few, depending on my mood: Boss Hogg (bought MOW/schmoopie lingerie, “Daisy Dukes” cutoffs, vibrator…she also worked for him & called him “BossMan”), Capt Cheaterpants (his ID in my contacts, so a great laugh every time he sends a text), but fuckwit works well. Frankly, on my Journey to Meh, I don’t want to think that much about him at all…naming it gives the covert narc some level of importance that he just ceases to have in my life.
            Aaah! THAT. Feels. Good!

        • It was such well-deserved FUN that they didn’t send us the memo to go have FUN too. Please. Narcissistic entitlement is spot on VH.

          I like Cliff. So much shorter to say and write than douchecanoe. Mind if I borrow?

          • Please borrow. I have a child with him and have to call him something. And I can say it in front of my daughter without being ugly like him and the cheating accomplice.

  • The moment everything changed was when the fog lifted, and there was no more of walking on the eggshells around the topic( not to stir the shit soup) and making impression that it’s me, who does something wrong by asking questions and demanding changes….
    when the fog lifted, few things Came to light:

    “ I knew you were never leave me because family means everything to you”
    Yes, that was my mistake to make you believe that- it’s over now.

    “ I made a mistake of cheating on you the whole time we were together”

    – No, it was no mistake. It was calculated, it was one conscious decision after another, one lie at a time, sprinkled with a lot of gaslighting and blameshifting”

    – but…. it was wasn’t intentional
    -right. You were planning on shopping for a gift for your wife, but somehow you ended up browsing for a hooker, then driving to met her, having unprotected sex and coming back home
    – I didn’t see it that way
    – oh… that makes a big difference. Your point of view. You decided on deceiving and hurting the person who stood by you whenever you needed it, while stabbing her in her back and denying it. No more BS , not buying it.
    Etc.

    • ANOTHER hooker fucker? Good God, until I joined this site I had no idea so many men were as sick as my EX. Is every guy out there buying sex and dealing in these trafficked women? It is disheartening to see the mentality pervading our culture.

      • Im still having a hard time with that. That was never a real thing to me before- something only gross, obvious losers did. Or gangsters. Or bored, rich, coked out celebs.
        Now, I struggle to believe any guy who says he wouldn’t/hasn’t, esp when it seems society seems to want to normalize every degrading thing. And then there’s the articles and comments all over the internet- UGH.
        I am very jaded, but when I let myself daydream past that, I like to imagine a guy much like myself, sick of all the nonsense and just staying away from all of it- and thats why I dont see that put there. Bc awesome guys with an ounce of integrity arent screaming all over the place about how its cool to be faithful. They’re just out there doing it. Its just the disordered freaks seeking more spotlight we hear about.
        I hope.

      • Jojo

        Mine was a gentleman… you know, selecting and inviting a CL or backpage hooker for a dinner, listening to her problems… fucking her… or just ducking in the car, or in hotel…. or going on a business trip and having a high class “ escorts” provided and paid for his company ( no joke)

        I was so “ innocent” before uncovering the whole dark world out there… and by innocent – I mean, not knowing the ways, names of the “ types” of women, services offered etc.
        My h was always preaching how disgusting it is to hook up with a street walking prostitute… right, because selecting them online like a piece of meat was much more sofisticated…
        Watch a movie “ zipper”
        We watched it together ( before knowing about the scale of his double life) and H was cool as cucumber… WTF!?!

        When I asked him in front of our therapist, if he even realized, that he was using another human being, person who most probably wasn’t dreaming about being a hooker, but ended up bein one…. he was genuinely SURPRISED 😮

        What? He was helping them
        WTF?!?
        No, he was not meeting a hooker to give her 200$ because he felt sorry for her… he was booking a person, using her for sex to feel good…

        Sorry I’m all over the place…. tough time on this side of the road 😕 today

      • I don’t have definitive proof that he ever screwed a hooker but with near constant sexting he was doing with them all the time with them I don’t doubt that something has happened.
        Makes me sick to my stomach.

        • Sunflower

          That’s what I thought… it was info here and there… nothing in stone, not even lots of sexting texting ( he was using emails instead)
          If there are visiting CL or other fuck buddy pages- it’s just a matter of time before they engage in physical stuff… hard truth to swallow…

      • I have never been to a hooker and none of my friends (that I know of) have either. It’s gross and I am to cheap to PAY for sex. I much rather be in a committed relationship. I have to have feelings for the woman first.

        • “none of my friends (that I know of) have either”

          Disturbing part of this is none of my exes’s friends even find out about his cheating

      • I work in Switzerland where prostitution is legal or just tolerated (not sure which). Every day on my bus trip I go though the local prostitutes area (I used to live there and was taken for a prostitute once – ha ha, thank God I was young and naïve). And I always thought these women out plying their wares were doing it voluntarily. But when you see some of the scummy men approaching them it makes me barf. How could any self-loving woman do it for that! Sadly a lot of them are African so I wonder how “voluntary” it is! I guess they get hardened to it but that is no life.

  • MissedRedFlags,

    I did the pick me polka for 3 years post dday. I got out and I hope you had the courage to get out too since this article is a re-run. If you’re still hanging around, let us know if you won the fight at the Not Okay Corral. It’s way better on the other side!

    • PS…Re:Not-Okay Corral
      In the throes of my immediate post Dday (#3!) angst, the My Chemical Romance song “I’m Not Okay” was my validation anthem, cranked up to 11 in the car, especially the last chorus that includes, “I’M NOT O-FUCKING-KAY!”
      I think this comment probably belongson resources forum, but for newer chumps…a good playlist is invaluable. And when I was new. it was all I could do to read CL’s blog, much less dig into the forums. There’s great stuff in there, chumps, when you’re ready.
      Love, CD

  • Man, once again I feel lucky that I didnt get hopium pellets thrown my way for very long. Being abandoned after you out the affair really fucks you up, down to your core, but it forces you to accept that theyre gone and you cant do a goddamn thing about it. The emotional shutdown is creepy, but Ill take that over the continuous deception.

    • I never viewed it this way before. You’re right, I guess it is much better than continuous deception. Hard to view it as that because you are right, the coldness of the abandonment really hurts you to the core.

  • Congratulations on your “After The Watershed” appearance and spreading your wisdom.
    CL continues to conquer the world with the truth.
    💪🏼
    Please post a link afterwards for those of us not in the UK?

      • You can access an online stream of all BBC Radio anywhere in the world (only TV is restricted) and here is the one for BBC Radio Sussex:

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcsussex

        Looks like you can listen again to the programme too afterwards

        …wonder if any cheaters will dare to phone in 😉

          • Thank you for sharing the link!

            Tracy – You were brilliant! Your vocabulary and candor always leave me inspired. You are not only a gift from the universe to all of us chumps, but you are so, so, so, smart!

            That guy, Andrew, who followed after you….ugh, not so much!!! Oh my goodness, I couldn’t stand to listen to him. He is an idiot times infinity. The fact he could say there is no blame on the cheater is absoulutely f*cking absurd. Ugh, that’s just what a cheater would throw in our faces. Again, he is a world class idiot.

            xxoo

            • yes he came out with the “we’ve all made mistakes” bullshit. Thank you Tracey, I live in the sussex/surrey area of the UK, it was great to hear you on local radio.

  • Good luck on the radio, he’s telling you what he really wants, the hook ups etc. It not just cheating it everything else, emotional, stress, domestic abuse, financial, where is he getting the money to afford the rooms, is he lying about salary. By 2018 you would have thought people would evolve, but they haven’t. I don’t know if you have kids, how would it affect them.

  • Missed,

    You just described my marriage (minus the porn, hookers, and strippers) down to the, “I’m curious about what else is out there!”

    I put a voice recorder in my bedroom (I’ll be damned if he was going to bring some slut in my bed). This was after I filed for divorce and while he was living in the basement.

    It picked up a phone conversation he was having with the guy who’s plowed our driveway for years. He said, “unfortunately got-a-brain and I are getting a divorce because she’s unwilling to work on our marriage.”

    Bahaha! He omitted the part where “I” (singular) had been working on our marriage while he worked on his dating site profiles and strippers! Then, I worked on our marriage after I found out he had an affair with a stripper. The revelation of spending thousands on hookers, well that was my end! So no, it was not me who decided not to work on the marriage, it was him!

    The end of our marriage was the response to his behavior of serial cheating and douchebaggery!

    I really hope the person who sent this letter left that dirtbag. It’s amazing how easy the mindfuck is to see once you are out from under it.

    • Yes I heard similar. After X tormented me in the home for a solid year, after I was so worn down I had stopped eating and had lost 30 pounds, after he left with no notice and filed for divorce 3 days later (had to wait for the weekend to be over) he complained to his family when I responded to his petition for divorce by initiating proceedings that I didn’t want to work on the marriage. It’s all bullshit. They set out to destroy us personally and destroy our good names. They can rot.

  • This letter shows how fucked uo the cheater is…and not worth an ounce of attention from any woman. He’s gold medal sociopath. And the affair partner gets the silver medal. Not only did he cheat on her with his wife and othere, she paid for the hotel rooms and was in on Deceiving the wife and kids.

    There are chumps who put up with this shit for years. Both the wife and affair partner did. And that’s who cheaters like to latch onto. That’s why cheaters troll on dating sites. They have to date a lot of women to find a few, good chumps.

    Come out of the fog, carry yourself with a backbone and leave or go grey contact or no contact. You can’t fix a sociopath without driving yourself crazy. Hope she left. Rerun

  • My advice to any newbies or chumps sitting on the fence out there, read CL’s Point No. 1 again and again. Then think about it for a while. I’ve got to say this is one of the things that I constantly thought about that finally convinced me that I needed to get divorced.

    How in god’s name did my ex pull off the shit she pulled ON A DAILY BASIS for years? Her affair was at least 3-4 years long as far as I could tell (I finally gave up digging to see if it went any further). And she used to bring the guy (and his wife) around us and the kids all the time. I would have had a nervous breakdown over any one of these single episodes. My ex? She laughed and had a good old time with it.

    That’s when I figured out that we were just completely different people, with different values, personalities, and totally different outlooks on life. There was no way in the world I was going to try to stay married to someone like that. And so I moved on — but again, along with many other things that CL has pointed out over time, that Point No. 1 was a big concept (and help) for me personally in letting go.

  • Have you cheated on him? No? Can’t bring yourself to do it? You love him too much to hurt him? You can’t imagine betraying him? You could not live with yourself if you did.
    There is your answer. Yet there is three man who calls you the love if his life looking for another love of his life? Really? This works for you? I know…#whataboutthekids.
    I know too many children who later resent the actions of the parent who stayed in the situation and are actually not grateful for the stayed for the children sentiment.
    Line up your ducks if you intend to stay a bit longer. In due course you may be able to sound off on the children how they wish the three of you to proceed.
    And no, fidelity is not the domain of women. Men are not born to spread seed around to multiple women.
    Shut all that shit down!

    • as proved by the fact that there are cheaters/liars who don’t even engage in sex (some even physically cannot), so the evolutionary drive to reproduce is out the window there. It’s power they are after, and although power and sex do overlap, they’ll happily take the first without the latter, and not the other way around. Cheaters wouldn’t stand for being played, sometimes they end up that way, but only because they mistakenly enter a trap set up by someone much like themselves. They would never willingly participate in a lopsided situation, if roles were reversed. And that’s the biggest affront to sexual power there is: to misuse its power.

  • Oh come on. His affair partner didn’t pay for a hotel. He has a secret credit card. Probably hides income from his wife. Part of their hard on is getting over on others. He probably chronically lied to his mommy when he was a kid. His father probably lied to mommy too. Bet all his friends are cheaters. Water always finds its own level.

    • Ummm….the OW did pay for my cheating XH’s hotel rooms. I know it’s hard to believe that anyone could be THAT desperate to get laid but that is the truth Trudy. OW is one ugly desperate skank.and she definitely paid for the rooms. Ick. She even refinanced her house and paid off all of our bills when he left me. Seriously. If you saw a picture of you, you’d know why.

  • Hi – it is a bit hard to be objective when you are living with the person. But there are at least two things which have to line up for a relationship to work well. The other person has to genuinely love you and vice versa. They have to be of good character that lines up with your character/values/morals. Just love is not enough. Character/values and behavior matter. So does this person’s values and behavior seem acceptable to you? How would you react if your daughter or son or good friend are treated like you are being treated. Of course, this is a rerun so these are rhetorical questions.

    • “Just love is not enough.”

      Exactly @Kale! And to take it a step further, what they mean when they say “I love you,” or “You’re the love of my life!” is not what we mean when we say it. Even if they do feel some kind of emotion in that moment, it’s still absolutely not what we understand to be love–mainly because it doesn’t go anywhere. There is no honesty or fidelity to back it up, and it can just as easily be transferred to any random schmoopie who makes them feel good.

      “So, uh, Cheaters? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • My take away from this is what kind of woman PAYS to fuck some dude in the Embassy Suites? The EMBASSY SUITES! This more than anything demonstrates that OW always settle for less and that men who cheat are under achieving losers who have to trade down. I hope they ended up together as they certainly deserve each other.

      • Mine moved in with his skank – one bedroom apartment, right next to the fire station. So you can imagine the “eeehh orrrr eeeeh orrrr” half the night. And then they had the cattle fair in the parking lot just outside and he complained to me that he couldn’t sleep – I live way out in the country and the only “hassle” I get is cow bells! Ha bloody ha!

  • Wow… I feel your pain. I’ve been there and had those feelings of “what if I was really to blame?”. Uggg… and the dating sites to see what is out there. My fucktard’s comment exactly. Hang in there… it will be get better but it will take time. Go no contact because he will continue to blame you and give you incredibly pathetic excuses for why he did what he did…. over and over and over… just to mess with your mind. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN! Remember… you are in control of yourself. Do not feed him cake! Good luck sweetie!

    • CL dedicated an article to this, but I’d like to add that chumps are not to blame for one very specific reason: the cheaters could have done literally anything in response to their discomfort in the relationship. Anything, ranging from cleanly asking for a divorce to staring at the wall. It does not then follow that they enter an affair. How will fucking someone else fix your spouse’s messiness (or whatever the claim there is)? It simply isn’t logical.

      So when they fuck someone else, it’s because they want to. And then rummage for some lame excuse that “made them do it”.

      • Quetzal, this is so true.

        I can’t remember where I read it, probably CL, but the phrase “decision tree of choices” really stuck with me.

        And the image presented, was: get a whack of sticky notes and on each one write a decision or choice you could make regarding said conflict. Now start sticking them up on a wall in front of you. And soon they will spread out like a tree.

        This visual is so powerful. I do this with my children. Heck, I do this for myself!

        There are always at least two decisions for every conflict: Right or wrong. Good or bad.

        Healthy people will think of more than two. Their tree will be full.
        Cheaters will have one: how does it benefit ME?

      • Agree Quetzal. In addition to your point about there being many options besides fucking around that an unhappy spouse could have chosen, newbie chumps should also remember that their cheaters choose to lie and break their vows OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. It still boggles my mind that the RIC just glosses over this part as if “an” affair was a single lapse in judgement.

      • The REAL issue is their desire to have what they want, when they want, no matter what. We are just big meanies getting in the way of their epic life/love story.

        • Yes! If there is really one commonality to the variety of cheater “flavors,” it is an all encompassing infantilism that demands that their wants be satisfied immediately without any thought for others.

          • Jojo

            What this site thought me was the most important part of waking up-

            Not issues, problems, past or presence causes them to cheat of fuck hookers or date while married.

            They want to do that. Simple, right?

            My H cried while watching movies on many occasions, but walked past me, with a disgust in – otherwise- cold eyes ( 5 months pregnant mess on the floor crying my eyes out and asking for the truth )went to our bedroom and was asleep within next 10 minutes.

            It was so inhumanly bizzare, that I wrote it down, just to be sure it actually happened.

  • Reminds me of my own rose coloured glasses phase. He had an affair with a friend which I caught him at about 4 months in. many tears and promises and I let him stay Then it went on for the rest of that year( which i didn’t know until the end of the year), then more tears and promises, I STILL let him stay. We even got re-married in Central Park on our 30th anniversary. 4 years of pick me dancing while he spent the time blowing off our entire retirement fund, not working full time leading up to not working at all in the last year of our marriage, and finally stealing jewelry, our assets and stalking me during the separation( while living with another schmoopie). He still fought for half of the little that was left–total wackjob. I wish someone had killed my hope it would have saved me a lot of money and abuse.

    • Me too. If I only knew in 2012 (when I thought it was a “midlife crisis), what I found out in 2015— THE AFFAIR, I could have walked away with more money and much more sanity. The fact that THEY cheat and then cause so much trouble during the divorce process is mind boggling! Yes, and we thought that they loved us.

    • Oh new lady that is appalling. I’m lucky that I have a job and could afford to buy the asshole out, He is on an invalidity pension that makes my eyes water but I know him – Schmoopie had to go back to work because they weren’t making it. I will be on half of what he has when I retire at Christmas but I can make it and live well – him – never.

  • Hopium’s a bitch. It’s really like smoking crack, because the high is so intense and so addictive, so quickly.

    Chumps have a special gene for it, too, which makes them even more susceptible to addiction.

    This is trauma bonding, folks. I know many of us hate Patrick Carnes, but he wrote a good book on trauma bonding that helped me a great deal – ‘The Betrayal Bond’. This helped me to come to terms with my druglike state of stupor and idolatry in the face of appalling and continuous mistreatment.

    • Exactly Lola Granola. I was totally traumatized, the words of my counsellor, not me. I concluded after some research that I had a pretty good case of cptsd, and she tested me very high in depression and anxiety. No wonder with the massive abuse he heaped on me even after he left to move in with schmoopie. Well rid of the toxic sludge, but he still manipulates daughter( his “favored’ child). Son and daughter both have anxiety issues, leftover from living with their toxic father and the toxic relationship we had for years, something I also put blinders on about. They leave a lot of damage long after they are gone.

  • MissedRedFlags

    My heart goes out to you. We have all been there. Mine left just after Christmas after almost a year of the worst Pick Me dance to save my marriage. What I gained was PTS – a lot of trauma to sift through. Be careful!

    Put your oxygen mask first as how you have been treated in this marriage has deprived you. Your commitment and generosity has been abused. You can’t believe that it’s come to this, that he is this way, and you can’t understand why what you have done hasn’t made a difference. Why? Because he doesn’t care about you in a normal way.

    Never make someone a priority who only treats you like an option. This needs to become your mantra and start the process of detachment. It’s going to hurt, a lot. After hanging on for dear life to something that is unhealthy, it takes a lot of strength to let go and move towards yourself – YOUR REAL SELF.

    Your real self is a person with dignity – you have value. You know your value and demand that you be treated accordingly. You cut off those who do not respect your worth as you deserve.

    Your real self is a person with grace – you have strength and courage and loyalty and compassion. However, you will know who is truly deserving of it and shine it in their direction. And, you will know who is only a taker for only his own gain. And that grace you possess will walk away.

    Your real self has gifts. Gifts that you wield in service of others. But, you first have to service yourself. Care for yourself, love yourself, respect yourself. As you become mightier, you will be a better mother. You will be a more authentic you, and it will become clearer that he is not deserving. You will give to only those who deserve you.

    DISENGAGE. Find someone to help you do it if you must, counselling is the best way to go, along with a good lawyer.

  • The first time I ever used the word “Sociopath” was on my ex-boyfriend of 3.5 years. Unbeknownst to me he, too, had a hidden match.com account. I can’t even begin to count the number of lies this man told me to my face to explain his absences. I overlooked so many red flags and spent so many nights, weekends and holidays by myself and he couldn’t have given a rats ass about it. When I actually had concrete proof of his account he still continued to lie to me and deny it (WTF?!?!), but this time, with anger unlike anything I have ever seen before and then low and behold, all of his deception was my fault!

    I left him and couldn’t keep my shit together. I was isolated and lonely and I could barely function. He would write me sad love letters saying how sorry he was. I wanted anything to relieve my despair and pain, so I took him back, only to discover, his lying cheating ways didn’t stop. He never ended his relationships he had been pursuing with other women. (No surprise, right?) This was the first time I realized people like this not only exist in the world, but they come across as the average joe’s (professionally he is an investment banker). It was also the first time I had experienced women cheaters. Some of these women knew I existed. (Maybe he had an ashleymadison account, too?).

    I realize I’m telling my story rather choppily, but honestly, I just don’t want to go back there mentally and remember all the details. I just want to convey to MissRedFlags, your husband is mentally abusing you. You likely don’t want to believe the truth even though it is painfully obvious and most of us on CL understand this. You can take advice from everyone on here and maybe you will follow it, or some of it, or maybe you will pick me dance, or maybe you won’t, I don’t know. I do know you will want to stop hurting the fastest route possible. but it just doesn’t work that way and I’m sorry. You are dealing with a sociopath. The aftermath is excruciatingly painful and one big mindfuck. Reading books on sociopaths and finding a therapist who understands PTSD will help you from a non-legal standpoint.

    Hugs and love…

    • Hugs and love to you. You can’t unknow. You can’t unsee. You seem a pretty rational person who is trying to make sense of an irrational event. Save your brain the burnout. The guy’s an ass.

  • Oh how that sounds familiar… the anger and a personality I’ve never seen before after I found out. It was mental abuse… and he was a sociopath. And yes, the average guy can hide it well. My therapist said it was PTSD. I lost 60 lbs in 3 months, broke 4 ribs just by people hugging me and lost my hair. It’s not only mental abuse… but it ends up being physical abuse as well. After 3 years, I am finally on the road to recovery with the help of my friends and a good therapist. Thank God for Chump Lady. This has been the best therapy I’ve ever received.

  • Funny how these Narcs are all the same. They do the same things, hide secret lives, come up with ridiculous answers for when they are caught. Mine had multiple affair specific dating sites one being Ashley Madison. Had a secret email and who knows what else. When I confronted him he said he was just “curious” WTF does that mean?? Fast forward, yeah I stayed with him for 2 more years after finding out.. then I wake up to him M-bating and recording it next to me in bed!!! Yuck. You would think after getting caught doing that along with all the other stuff I found out he would give me a divorce peacefully … It took 1.5 years and 68k dollars to finally get rid of his ass. And I can’t even fully get rid of him because we have a child together.
    To all reading… if you haven’t left yet.. leave now because a leapord can’t change his spots. Its who they are and they will not change. Save yourselves. Find peace. You’ll wish you had done it sooner!

  • Sounds like my ex asswipe. He had a three year affair, and when I found out, it was the same, worst mistake of his life, give him a second chance, he would never hurt me again if I would give him a second chance, blah, blah, blah. I was in love, hurt, blindsided, all the things everyone on this site has felt and will understand, so I gave him a second chance. He stopped seeing her, pretty sure, I feel like she would have rubbed it in my face if he hadn’t, but he was still texting a different woman, on Adult Friend Finder, Find a Local F%$ck, Booty Call, POF, Horny Wives, there were so many but you all get the picture. All the while I was taking care of his kids. Not mine, his. Finally threw him out. Best decision I made, just wish I had made it a lot sooner. This man has showed you what he is, believe him. It will be a grief process, you hurt, you are angry, but in the end you will be a stronger person and you will be happier.

  • Here is what I noticed as I slowly getting away from the trauma bonding.
    They feel completely entitled to their behavior and will not change.
    They see you as something lesser. Something that you occasionally need to treat nice, so it continues working properly. Like maintenance.

    I am one of the lucky ones that was immediately discarded, because the OW was already lined up. He still did not move out and made it purposefully hard for me. Because he felt entitled to all the good things like house, family time, etc. All over sudden he remembered what a great guy he was and how much he loved family and community. He had just forgotten who he was. Apparently.

    No.

    He actually just believes now that the cat is out of the bag, I will help him make the divorce as comfortable and nice for him as possible. Not asking for anything and not demanding anything. He literally throws a rage whenever I want something that he is not aligned with.
    For example he just believes we can do 50% / 50% parenting time. When I showed him that he is doing far less today, he freaked out on me and accused me of taking the kids away from him “I know what you are doing”. I do most of the kid activities and he is traveling 30% of the year. He hardly is ever home before 7pm.
    I will not compromise so he can maintain his image.

    The ridiculous answers are the ones getting to me the most.
    – I had no choice
    – You were so mean to me that I could not talk to you
    – You and I were over already
    – I did not think you would be so upset
    – I hated my life
    – I cannot stop doing the wrong thing
    – You make me crazy
    – I felt so bad
    – This is not easy for me either
    – You wanted me to be this skinny gay guy
    – I thought you were a lesbian

    Blablabla

    Just run.

    • WTF? He actually said “You want me to be a skinny gay guy” ?!?!? I am laughing so hard right now. In what strange parallel universe would any woman want her husband to be skinny and gay? What “evidence” does he present to support this absurd hypothesis? What twisted reasoning creates that as an excuse to fucking other women? This kind of logic trail must look like a plate of spaghetti!

      • His evidence: I have a skinny gay guy friend that I run with and train with.
        That is all the evidence he needed.

    • He sounds just like my ass!
      It’s not you. It’s him . Always was. Hold your ground.
      I actually think mine is closeted gay.

        • I love gay men. Hell it’s like having another sister! And they know how to dress. If my ex had been gay we probably would have got along better. I just told my gay friend if he ever turned straight I would marry him!

  • You got great advice here. I’m going to be blunt. If through this you were still having sex with him he endangered your life. Ashley Madison? Sex with strangers could have been deadly for you. Imagine he got you sick. Deathly sick. What would have become of your babies? What piece of Tinder Trash would he have brought around to raise them? What if you both got sick? Perhaps he gets involved with a psycho who decides she wants to confront you. Maybe in front of the children? What then? I know this is painful. All of us on here do. Keep coming here for sound advice and comfort. If I had time I could tell you a tale of his debauchery and my woe. Bottom line for me was my then husband was having sex with strangers in NYC while i took care of the two humans we mutually agreed to create. The day the horror of what could have become of them had his whoring around hurt me in a way that made prevented me from being a part of my children’s live hit me I was gone. He will not change. You gave him every opportunity, more than I gave mine. Please get help from a lawyer and a therapist and protect yourself. Your soul will die if you stay. Good luck

  • This:

    “He made the worst mistake (singular) of his life? So… what? Is he going for the gold here on catastrophic, clusterfucky, super mistakes? He just thought he’d compound those mistakes? Mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake… Until the whole mistake collapses in on itself like a black hole, sucking everything into its gravitation pull? And we’re all pulled into his wormhole of fuckupedness and spit out into an alternative mistake universe?”

    This is the same rationale my ex used. It’s bullshit. “You’ll never forgive me so why should I even try!!!! 😩😩”

    That’s some sad sausage shit right there. Never mind that you are working to forgive him for NOT TRYING.

    Apply that to other parts of your life…

    “I’ll never get hired so what’s the point in trying!!”…um, food? Shelter?

    Also, just get out. It’s way better out here. The pain will end and you will see him for what he is. Yes, it will hurt for a time but then you will move past it.

    Hold onto that hope.

    • They do not like to put in effort. This is why my entire relationship was very one sided. Either I conformed to whatever standards he set that day or I was being punished. Of course I was not to hold him accountable for anything he did. His standard answer “I just made a simple mistake, no need to get angry…” Yes, right, you forgot you were going drinking with a friend and found out after the third round. Yes, right, you forgot to pick up the kid on time, because you could not be bothered to leave your AP on time. Yes, right, you made a simple mistake by working in the yard and wearing the dirt crusted shoes through the entire just cleaned house. And here is my favorite… He needed to go somewhere and was in a hurry. On the way out (of course he gets the garage and I park in the driveway) he hit my car in the driveway and shattered the right headlamp. He did not bother stopping and telling me. I received a phone call from him and then he dared to get mad at me for being upset. “It was just a simple mistake”.
      That I needed to be somewhere, too, that day and had to deal with all the repair and insurance annoyances did not bother him. He did not even help.

      Always my reaction. Never his actions.

      • The Twat offered to pick a neighbour up from the airport. I get a phone call to say where the hell was he. Guess who got to drive out to the airport to pick her up.

    • My kids are awesome, and I love them, but they are teens. And good at it. Often they will work hard, but just as often I get, “I’ll just fail anyway so why bother turning it in?” Um… to learn from the mistakes? Maybe you won’t fail? Because the points you get from turning it in keep you from having to take summer school?
      So this type of logic is what my middle schoolers give me about homework, if anyone wants a benchmark on the maturity level for this kind of thinking.

  • I know this column ran previously, but it’s always a timely topic for discussion.

    Why?

    Because cheaters operate from the same playbook. They trot out the same old responses, and we Chumps often go along with their narrative.

    MissedRedFlags is missing another big red flag: his blameshifting and her response:

    When I asked why he had re-started the affair, he told me it was because I “never got over the affair from three years ago.” He said I never gave him the forgiveness he needed. He said that he felt our marriage was doomed and that I would eventually leave him. I thought we were moving forward.

    Admittedly, I was not perfect and was still hurt by his 3-year affair and then finding out during the Ashley Madison hack that he’d been on that too — maybe I’m slow to heal (maybe I need some bloodwork done to see why I don’t heal faster from being repeatedly stabbed in the back…)

    The above is classic blameshifting. Notice how the cheater says it’s not HIS fault! It’s the Chump’s fault because the Chump didn’t dispense enough Forgiveness Kibble on demand. I mean, Cheater ASKED for Forgiveness Kibble. Cheater is ENTITLED to Forgiveness Kibble.

    My Cheater asked for forgiveness, too, in a long, rambling voice memo he emailed to my work email. Did he apologize? Nope! Did he ever try to make amends? Nope! But he’s entitled to forgiveness because he asked.

    Forgiveness is a gift, but it is a gift with strings attached. One of those strings it that the wrongdoer needs to own up to their actions. Another of those strings is that the wrongdoer must be truly sorry for committing the wrong. There shouldn’t be excuses. “I’m sorry I cheated, but I felt as if you were mad at me” is not really an apology. It’s merely a justification. If you are angry at Cheater, Cheater is entitled to an affair–at least in Cheater logic.

    The other example of Cheater logic is this really weird chain: 1) In my opinion, our marriage is doomed.–> 2) I believe you will leave me because in my opinion, our marriage is doomed–>3)
    I am entitled to an affair because I believe you will leave me.

    That doesn’t make sense in real world logic. It is rational only in Cheater Logic.

    On a subconscious level, the Chump gets all this, which is great, BUT the Chump misses the real red flag: “Admittedly I was not perfect and was still hurt by his 3-year affair…”

    Here is where the Chump buys into the Cheater’s narrative.

    Fidelity isn’t contingent upon a spouse’s ability to be perfect. If that were the case, then everyone would be cheating on everyone else. Actually, there wouldn’t be any cheating because hey! fucking other people is a natural consequence of having a spouse who forgot to sort the socks before doing the laundry!

    And it’s okay to be hurt by an affair. In fact, it’s natural. What’s unnatural is the expectation that you’ll revert to a state of mind wherein no affair happened. Even if you were to reconcile successfully, you (both) will have to deal with the fact that your spouse had an affair. You can’t go back to the way things were.

    Cheaters do operate from the same playbook, and cheating is psychological abuse. They blameshift their actions on the poor Chump, and the poor Chump agrees that the Chump’s inadequacies were the real causes.

    I call bullshit.

    Cheating is all on the Cheater.

  • ‘Sociopath’ is a good word to describe cheaters. Sociopaths DO NOT change EVER. There is no relationship to be had with these people, thus no reason to stay in the marriage because of ridiculous promises that are completely worthless, because they are nothing but lies and manipulation maneuvers.

    • It’s taken me a few months to wrap my head around this and accept what is the truth. For 19 years, the X couldn’t make me a friend (oh wait, he doesn’t know how to be a friend to anyone), didn’t want to make anyone a priorit (his needs and wants were always #1) and had no compassion for anyone. The only one that truly gets him is his sinister sister and she is just like him. They are all toxic. Come this Friday, it will be 7 days since I shed a tear for him. That’s the longest I’ve gone since this shit started at the end of April. He’s not worth one for tear and barely any of my emotional time.

      • Atta girl, Miss B. It’s seriously one day at a time here in Chump Nation.

        But you will get the point where you stop counting the days. Maybe not just yet, but it WILL come, with time, No Contact, a lot of journalling, walking, talking it out with safe people, and self-care.

        Leave him to his fucked up family, where he belongs, and get your life back.

  • CL’s point #1 was what finally made me put down the “I have lost the love of my life” hopium pipe.

    At first all my attention was on the affair. (He really didn’t want to reconcile because he had found everlasting love with the ho-worker.) But what finally hit me was that the affair had lasted for at least a year before I discovered.

    365+ days of…thousands of lies, planning his exit, talking to OW about me, baiting me with items/comments that didn’t make sense at the time, talking to a realtor, researching on-line divorce, buying a new vehicle, lining up a new apartment, talking about her/introducing her in the context of his work, and the list could go on and on.

    All the while he was doing those things while still easily living “our” life and convincing me that he loved me more ever. I think he enjoyed “the game” and was proud of himself for getting away with it for awhile. Forgiveness for the affair might have been an option, but living in the marriage while still able to do all those things sends chills up my spine. He is not someone I want to be friends with much less married to. He is someone who can not be trusted ever again.

  • Dr. Phil once said that some cheaters/disordered people will not respond to therapy because someone might inadvertently coach them to “act normal,” further helping them to up their manipulative game. That’s why I love his shows–he doesn’t sell false hope.

  • He’s still seeing his lover. They beg the wife to stay and continue to see the lover. Same old story. They just get better at hiding it from the wife.

  • Time for a quick primer from ‘The Betrayal Bond’, for those who have joined us later. You can score yourself on these, by the way. I did it a couple years ago, and then again about a year later, and all the scores had gone done dramatically after I woke up to the existence of trauma bonding and the effect it was having on me. You can’t fix it til you call it by its right name.

    So review the Great Eight here and see how many boxes you tick as a Chump.

    1)Trauma reaction: Where a person struggles with a series of PTSD reactions. Perhaps they are triggered by similar events, or they avoid or self-sabotage in order to avoid being hurt again.

    2) Trauma arousal: where stimulation and pleasure compensate for pain and emptiness.

    3) Trauma blocking: where a person tries to do anything to escape uncomfortable feeling. Usually some form of numbing, comforting, relaxing, anesthetizing. This could be done by using drugs, alcohol, TV, sex, food, spending, sleeping.

    4) Trauma splitting: this is where a person dissociates from the experience and creating another reality or fantasy. There is the “real person” and then there is the Mr.Hyde, the alcoholic or abuser who destroys everything the Dr. Jekyll cares for. Daydreaming, being preoccupied with something else that needs to be attended to, living in a fantasy world when things get tough, losing yourself in fantasies or drugs/alcohol. We get lost in a fantasy world and want to stay there.

    5) Trauma abstinence: feeling the need to be in control and to go without. Depravation. Crumbs. Feeling of unworthiness. Where a person denies themselves basic needs like groceries, shoes, books, medical care, rent or heat, avoids sexual pleasure, hoards money and avoids spending it on legit needs, performs underachieving jobs, makes extreme or unwarranted sacrifices for work, spoils success opportunities, has periods of no interest in eating or attempts diets repeatedly, sees comfort, luxuries, and play as frivolous, skips vacations because of a dedication to an unrewarding task, has difficulty having fun, is underemployed, eating disorders. Common in families that have neglected children. Neglectful families teach lessons about self-care and self-esteem. The antidote to being out of control is to be in control. Where ever there is addiction (or extremes) there is deprivation. Deprivation can become its own addiction and its own solution to trauma.

    6) Trauma shame. Feeling unworthy and having shame due to the trauma experience.

    7) Trauma repetition. Recreating the same traumatic experiences over and over. It can be repeatedly doing something self-destructive, usually something that took place in childhood and started with a trauma; reliving a story from the past; engaging in abusive relationships repeatedly; repeating painful experiences, scenes, or doing something to others that you experiences as an early life trauma.

    8) Trauma bonds: destructive bonds formed by betrayal and hurt.

  • Is it worth it to snoop through a phone for hidden apps? Is it illegal – is there a good chance one could end up in jail?

    My h is definitely lying, but I don’t have the whole story. And I feel like I need it, I need to prove to myself he really is a liar, before I move ahead.

    I found very dirty sexual texts and jokes between he and two women. He claims it was just joking, just friends. Meanwhile he is increasingly mean to me, not affectionate, drinking too much, and telling these women how much his marriage sucks. He has an app well known for cheating on his phone. I know we are done, I just want the final nail in the coffin. Is it worth it?

    • I don’t know the laws where you live, but I tend to doubt it’s illegal. You are married so there is no presumption of privacy. By all means, snoop for apps. Also, it’s imperative to check his timeline on google maps to see where he has been. Go back as far as you can in the timeline. You can get an address and track it to a mistress and the places he took her on dates when he was claiming to be somewhere else. It’s how I caught my jerk in the many lies that nailed his coffin. Also check his my activity on google and his browsing history for dating sites, porn sites, etc. Be sure to check the cache on his browser to find browsing history he has erased. The cache keeps erased history for 90 days. It even catches some of the incognito browsing. I found a sick porn site in my stbx’s cache and it terrified him that I might tell his family. I was able to use that to get him to comply with my wishes. Transfer all the data to your computer and you have ironclad proof. You can find instructions on how to do this online. Failing that, write everything down and investigate the sites he visited and places he’s been on the maps timeline. You can also install a hidden app on his phone yourself which will keep track of where he goes, his browsing, texting, etc. There are lots of them out there. Just do a search for hidden phone spy apps.
      Is it worth it? Hell yes! Give no quarter to cheating scum.

      • Thank you! I looked. He didnt have hidden apps, he had uninstalled them all. But I got pics that the apps were in his library – Viber, snapchat, whatsapp, instagram, etc.

        I also retrieved photos and videos from the “trash.” Unfortunately, he has been filming videos of himself masturbating for a year now. I dont know who the lucky recipient was; probably a woman on one of the messaging apps. It wasn’t me!

        So between the other sexual text messages I saw previously (which he deleted), the videos of his penis, constant smiling selfies lying in bed that weren’t sent to me, the deleted cheating type apps, and him lying that anything hinky has ever happened, I think I can rest easier knowing we need to be done. Also the heavy drinking, and treating me like a complete asshole. Yet he is lying in bed next to me, and I just want to reach out, I want a hug, comfort. It’s rough watching a 14 year marriage implode. =[

  • Just saw this and thought it’s an excellent guide for chumps to live by;

    Put a frog in a pot, full of water and start warming up the water. As the water temperature begins to rise, the frog adjusts its body temperature accordingly. The Frog continues to adjust its body temperature with the increasing temperature of water. Just when the water is about to reach the boiling point, the frog can’t adjust anymore. Right now, the frog decides to jump.

    The Frog tries to jump, but is not able to do so because he has lost all his strength by adjusting with the temperature of the rising water. Very soon the frog dies.

    What killed the frog?

    Think about it!

    I know many of us are going to say boiling water. But the truth about what killed the frog was his own inability to decide when to jump.

    We all have to adjust to people and situations, but we have to be safe when we have to adjust and when we have to move on.
    If we let people exploit us #physically, #emotionally, #financially, #spiritually or #mentally, they will keep doing it.

    Let’s decide when to jump!
    Let’s jump while we still have the strength.

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