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When Entitlement Meets Vulnerability

This blog promotes a radical idea — that cheating is about entitlement and lousy character.

Not unmet needs, not the baby weight, or your children, not the impossibility of monogamy, or the 53 ways you’re appallingly inadequate. NO. Entitlement.

We don’t make people abuse us. They have agency. And we have agency in how we will respond. (Get away, rebuild, reinvent.)

Before I started Chump Lady, 99.9 percent of all the infidelity resources blamed victims — what did you do to make them cheat, and how can you improve yourself to win them back? The Reconciliation Industrial Complex (aka “send me $399 and I’ll affair-proof your marriage”) was THE voice. And I’ve spent a good six years trying with Chump Nation to drown out that voice in favor of commonsense and compassion.

Calling out entitlement is having a cultural moment — #MeToo, #WhyIDidntReport — and I’m all for it. Everyone can drop that soggy bag of shame garbage and put it at the curb where it belongs — with abusers.

But I have to say, I’m shocked at the shear magnitude of abuse out there. (Yes, even me and you should see my mail!) Anyone see the grand jury report from Pennsylvania on pedophile priests?

The investigation, one of the broadest inquiries into church sex abuse in U.S. history, identified 1,000 children who were victims, but reported that there probably are thousands more.

THOUSANDS more? That’s a lot of bags of shame garbage out there. I wonder WTF is wrong with people to make them abuse and rape and shame others? And what is wrong with their enablers who laugh at the victims, and spackle, and hide the abuser’s crimes?

I know it’s too simplistic to say there are two kinds of people — abusers and their victims.  Because not everyone abuses and not everyone has the misfortune to be a victim. Most of us are bystanders. But I do believe in another kind of divide — those who can be present with vulnerability and those who cannot. And THAT is the mark of your character.

Will you protect the vulnerable? Or will you exploit them? Can you comfort them or will you blame them? Will you be a steward, or will you abandon?

Who are you around:


People who trust you?

Sick people?

Incapacitated people?

The smaller and weaker?

When I try to untangle the skein of pedophile priests (a fucktangle if ever there was one), I wonder what is it about a child that they see as a sexual opportunity?

To cheaters: What is it about the trust and safety of a committed relationship that you see as a sexual opportunity?

To date rape-y frat boy douches — what is it about a passed-out girl that you see as a sexual opportunity?

Are the orgasms that great? Or is it the power high? And WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

To be a terrible person, the entitlement has to intersect with another’s vulnerability. To be a predator, you go in search of others’ vulnerabilities. And if you’re super enterprising, you create some.

But for every freak, there’s a superhero. Remember, Chumps, you’re the strong ones. You have the empathy synapses. You know the correct answers to the human quiz. (Key: protect children, be worthy of other’s trust, care for the sick, help the incapacitated, shelter the weak.)

That’s what makes you MIGHTY.

Us vs. them? I’m glad we’re us.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • You just made me cry, standing here making breakfast and packing kids’ lunches for school. Bless you.

  • Thanks Tracy, Wow, what powerful words…

    Will you protect the vulnerable? Or will you exploit them? Can you comfort them or will you blame them? Will you be a steward, or will you abandon?
    Who are you around:
    People who trust you?
    Sick people?
    Incapacitated people?
    The smaller and weaker?

    That pretty much says it all.

    I’m glad we are US too.

    • OmiGoddess! I cannot tell you how many mornings you have picked me up and shaken me awake, and reminded me of my innate power and strength. This article, a masterpiece! I haven’t taken the time to thank you..but Dammit, THANK YOU! You are the voice for the vulnerable who are finding their power.
      With Gratitide,

  • Thank you Chumplady!

    In the 4 months after my d-day December 28, I went down the rabbit hole. The awful book “After the Affair” and Esther Perel YouTube, (which my STBXH loved to quote from and throw it in my face and it made me doubt myself and what part, if any, I played in HIM having an affair!! He had all the lines perfecting the RIC…its because I was unhappy …YOU made me feel neglected….I was sure you had an affair so I needed to have one too…she made me feel alive…I could talk to her, about you…I didn’t feel loved…

    I struggled against the RIC messages and thought there must be something wrong with me, because every counsellor recommended these resources, and every ounce of my being was screaming “that book is bullsh!t”

    You nailed it: the cheater’s lack of character and strong sense of entitlement.

    • “(s)he made me feel alive” oh good grief I had that one too @Melissa along with “it woke me up” (from what exactly? honesty? commitment?)

      I also swallowed the RIC lines, threw money into that pit and got both Esther Perel books too.

      I’m about to interview a couple of child psychologists for D9 as she knows all about our divorce and STBXW’s affair (and has also met OM) and I’m waiting to see how they will approach the whole affair thing (but I’m not hopeful, especially as I live in Esther-Perel-land)

      • An intake question I like to use is, “Do you consider cheating to be abuse?”. It cuts right through any word salad.

        • When I threw the abuse term at my cheater, he visibly recoiled. He called his affair various things, all from the cheater playbook. Then, when I told him I was going to tell the OW about all the additional OW’s out there, he told me he would consider it an act of violence towards him. WTF??? So I asked him what the hell was the difference? Was he admitting violence towards ME?

          Oh, it is abuse alright. Physical, emotional. I have the positive HPV test to prove it.

          • I’m so sorry you were assaulted (giving someone a STD is a felony in many jurisdictions) and that he domestic violenced you????????????

          • Me too. Plus the result of hpv; pre-cancerous cervical lesions, as of last year. Waiting to hear from latest tests if they are cancerous yet. The Asshole is still trying to hoover. Incredible.
            Emotional vampires don’t stop abusing and exploiting unless you drive a stake in their hearts. The problem there is that they don’t have hearts.

          • Btw, he’s lucky you’re such a peaceful person and he didn’t get real violence. Be proud of your restraint.
            I admit I punched The Asshole when I found out he’d possibly caused me to develop cancer from hpv. I strike back when somebody tries to kill me. I’m no pacifist, but good on you for being the better person in the face of extreme provocation.

        • // “Do you consider cheating to be abuse?”//
          What % answers yes vs no? The religious marriage industry would never consider cheating or divorce to be a category of abuse, nor would the legal system. I’d like to see someone take a poll and do a study of how divorce judges would answer that question.

          • Maybe marriage needs to have a noncompete clause. In employment contracts, you are allowed to prevent someone from providing services within a certain radius even after they leave your employment. I was just expecting that no services be provided to other women for the duration of our marital contract. Since I live in a no fault state, you can break a marital contract without penalty. It’s sad that other contracts have more legal protection.

            • //Since I live in a no fault state//
              I, too, live in a no-fault state. It is the only court of law that the defendant is automatically considered guilty the moment they enter the room, and no evidence is required by the plaintiff to secure a judgment…anti-American in every way.

            • Karmamamma,

              “noncompete clause”…. YES! I’m trying to divorce a narcissistic sociopath. He was forced out of his company last year, and had to sign a non-compete clause for the next 10 years. To this day still maintains that the affairs with multiple secretaries (his direct subordinates) had nothing to do with his being forced out.

              He came into the relationship with an incurable STD, never disclosed it to me until D-day, had multiple affairs, was looking into hotel windows trying to see someone naked or having sex, lied and gaslighted and blameshifted for years when I was suspicious and asked questions, and none of that will matter to the judge.

              Divorce courts in no-fault states are a joke.

              • @heartinflight Your asshat sounds similar to mine. My therapist called him a pathological narcissist.

                And I too live in a no-fault state. Settlement sucks.

                Yet, I stayed at home for 26 years. He has three degrees including a law degree. I moved with the kids around the country so he could progress in his career.

                And courts could give a shit.

                I’m still glad to be free of him (for the most part). We’re reviewing our final decree now.

            • Love it. How about the law simply allowing an annulment if there’s infidelity and other forms of abuse? Plus mandatory financial compensation for pain and suffering.

        • Thank you @NoMoreNarcs that’s a really good question to pose and I’ll be using that tomorrow morning in the first interview. It will be interesting to see their answer. I highly expect lots of waffle and an attempt to not really answer in a definitive yes/no way.

        • LYING IS ABUSE
          No more need be said, Esther Perel.
          (PEREL is an acronym for Person Explaining Relationships Espouses Lunacy)

      • Sorry about your daughter. How is she taking it. It is brutal on children – not divorce per se but infidelity and disrespect of one parent by another. Sorry again.

        • Exactly Kale! My youngest knew we were heading to divorce, she even told me not to stay married for her sake. It was the introduction of the other woman into our lives within two weeks of deciding to divorce, and the horrible disrespect he showed me before divorce was final – only 4 months start to finish – that landed her in therapy for a year. In hindsight it was brutal.

  • You really shared some excellent points. I am so encouraged by this site and you truly helped me weather my tortuously horrible divorce. I have tried to rationalize why someone would do the things my ex has done, is doing, and will continue to do and came up empty handed. Yes…Entitlement. He does because he thinks he just can. But, I refuse to allow him to ruin my life or the lives of my children. Thank you, Chump Lady, your advice and thoughts are invaluable.

  • True that.

    I am a Catholic but I believe that anyone of our leadership who abused a child or hid those who did committed crimes and should have been hauled away in a police car, tried and sent to prison.

    Teachers who abuse (including the really odd spate of pretty young female teachers) should be treated like the criminals they are.

    We ARE called to protect the vulnerable – even when they are us.

    I appreciate the starkness of CLs quiestion “are the orgasms that great?” selfish people are willing to hurt for them which is a sad testament to humanity.

    My daughter was drugged in a bar in DC 2 weeks ago. A guy she didn’t know was leading her very-impaired self out the door to God-knows-what victimization he had planned but her …but her superhero friend (22 year old girl in a Kim Kardashianesque dress) literally pulled my daughter from his grasp with a lot of screaming and tug-of-war with her physical self. More friends need to be that committed.

    Daughter collapsed and 911 called…they ambulance EMT victim-blamed my daughter and let her vomit on herself as a punishment for her bad decisions then didnt tell the ER he took her to that she was drugged and no tox screens were drawn. Daughter is a PR exec and wrote a scathing letter to his employer.

    • That’s terrifying, unicornnomore. Thank God for your daughter’s superhero friend! We have to stick up for each other, both physically and emotionally/mentally. Everyone should both have and be a friend like that.

      But wtaf with that EMT person? What kind of jackass does that? This is exactly the same attitude of entitlement, just played out in a different forum. His attitude of victim blaming just enables and supports the rapists and would-be rapists to keep doing what they do. Good for her for writing to his employer. I hope he loses his job!

      • Oh, geez. I am so glad your daughter is OK, and thank God for her friend. EMTs see a lot of things most of us never do. I suffer from a rare condition which sends me into anaphylaxis from time to time. No known cause. I’ve been hauled off to the ER via ambulance three times, and each time the EMT asked if I had been drinking. Sadly, that is the most common cause for the weaving, unsteady behavior I exhibit after having been injected with the contents of an epi-pen.

      • WTF is right. Glad she wrote that letter. EMT’s often forget that they are NOT R.N.’s or M.D.’s and there are a lot of other reasons someone could need their help.

        Not everyone who is 21 is an idiot about alcohol. Not every car crash is caused by drugs or a cell phone.

        Find some humility, EMT’s.

    • If his employer has any integrity, they will report it to the police, because that WMT sounds like a predator (at a minimum). Who else would blame the drugged instead of the drugger?

      The hospital staff should do the same. In some places, it’s required of them once they are notified.


    • I am so grateful your daughter escaped relatively unscathed and that she truly had a superhero with her that night.

      As for the EMT, how unprofessional! I hope that his employer takes the appropriate action, but my current cynical self believes that when the EMT is reprimanded/fired, he’ll still blame the woman, not his own entitlement. Clearly he’s cut from the same cloth as the rest of the entitled assholes.

      • Oh, I’m sure he’ll undoubtedly still victim blame, but at least he can’t work as an EMT anymore and hurt other people. Let her vomit on herself and didn’t even tell the ER what happened to her! My God! This guy needs to never work with the public again.

    • Wow. Very scary. About 27 years ago I went to an Octoberfest event and was meeting my then fiancee at the event. A girlfriend and I went to grab two draft beers from the volunteer bartenders that coordinated the event. I had a sip (wasn’t too fond of beer back then) and when my boyfriend arrived I gave it to him. He became extremely disoriented and very sick, right away. This was guy that never got drunk or even tipsy. I had to drive him home and he passed out cold. We kinda figured out what had happened days later. The spiked beer was meant for me and I often wonder how many other girls received a spiked beer that evening.

    • PLEASE contact that EMT’s employer. That was absolutely unprofessional. My sister is an ER nurse and says if an EMT at her hospital did that, they’d get flayed alive.

        • @VSERN

          Oops, not quite, 27 years ago was *KB22’s* experience. The bad EMT experience was Unicornnomore’s daughter, *2 weeks* ago. EMT is almost certainly still working for same outfit, unless they acted very promptly upon receipt of daughter’s formal complaint.

          Thread nesting isn’t always easy to follow.

    • A married lawyer friend was also given a roofie in a bar on Saturday. Thx god hubby was there! He took her to ER and those fuckers REFUSED to do a tox screen for roofies!!!!!! This HAS to change! Roofie screening should be standard protocol whenever indicated or requested!

      Dear unicorn, you’ll get more traction if you tweet about this and tag the corporate owner of the ambulance company and hospital name.

      • Ok. So just to be clear. Because you don’t understand what you just said.

        “Roofie screening” is literally….BENZODIAZIPINE SCREENING.

        Which, by the way, is STANDARD on ALL blood and urine tox screens in ALL ERs.

        If he/she were acting in any way tipsy or there was any type of suspected abuse by either the pt or someone towards the pt, it the legal obligation of the ER Physician to do a tox screen.

        Which includes…”roofie screening”.

        • Oh now, this was uncalled for.

          A tox screen might be legally mandated but that’s no guarantee it will be performed; you know that. This is especially true now, when our healthcare climate is such that EMTs feel free to abuse patients they’re transporting, as Unicornnomore described.

          And there is nothing wrong with a layman referring to benzos by a street name, particularly in the heat of emotion.

        • OMG, totally! She was on Daily Show and I about puked. When can we get ChumpLady on Daily Show? That would be amazing. 🙂

          • I want to see ChumpLady and Perel go head-to-head.

            My money is on Tracy!

            Bonus points if Mr. Chump were there too, to address some of the legal points.

            *rubs hands with glee*

            • Omg if Tracy went up against Perel. That would be one of the greatest things that ever existed!

              Perel is like my ex— they have a bunch of really “good sounding reasons why”. But when you cut through the bullshit and entitlement, it’s truly just bad and lame excuses.

              Tracy would win hands down!

  • “What the F is wrong with you”! This is what non abusers, chumps go over and over in our heads. Abusers don’t need a time out, education or the midlife crisis fog to lift. They know what they are doing. So what is wrong with them, a lot, a whole lot. This is why we have to speak our truth loudly, trust that they suck and go no contact. Put all your efforts into yourself.

  • Well it’s easy to judge and easier still if you’re able to focus on the black and white but the truth is actually muddled. My own mother should have protected my sister and I but she was weak and brushed abuse under the rug.

    But she’s not a bad person and she could actually be categorized a chump.

    It’s confusing and took decades for me to heal or at least get to where I am in the process. I have gotten pretty good at letting other people own their skeins.

    You can only do so much for others before your empathy becomes an impediment.

    • NoMo that’s exactly it: “You can only do so much for others before your empathy becomes an impediment”. In the Book of Chump, that’s Genesis pretty much – our empathy handicap. And then there’s the Cheater lack-of-empathy freakdom. The match that bore a lot of pain.

      A thought on vulnerability: predators are about power. They are absolutely terrified of any hint of their own vulnerability. Speak to a chump about trouble in the relationship? Seek help as a sexually confused priest with inappropriate urges? That would require handing power to someone else, and becoming vulnerable. THAT’S wtf is wrong with them. Just. Can’t. Do. It.

      • Absolutely. And i think these people get high off the power. They get high off the sadism. They have to up it like any drug.
        Depravity breeds evil.
        Evil is always waiting for the truly weak.

      • Ex is terrified of vulnerability and it should have been easy with me. I never betrayed him or gave him any reason to think that I would but that doesn’t matter to the insecure and paranoid. I don’t think it is his intent to hurt others, but he is so focused on avoiding his own pain he is blind to the pain he causes.

    • I’m so sorry for what you, your sister and mother had to go through, NoMo. Since I work with adults who were victims of sexual abuse as children or teens and their families, I know that many times those who were supposed to protect them were direct or indirect victims of the abuser themselves, so there was very little they could do.
      Thank you for sharing your painful experience; you’re MIGHTY and you’re helping others who are just starting to heal. Warm hugs.

  • This is…WOW. Thank you for this, Tracy.

    In a feminist literary theory class a million years ago we talked about the two manifestations of power among people: power OVER and power TO (i.e., empowerment). It’s so true that the social/political abuses being revealed now have everything to do with the first running amok–just like the cheating and lying that brought us all here.

    I’m glad we’re us too. And I like the idea of our being the superheros against “their” freaks/supervillains.

  • I watched an interesting show with Morgan Freeman the other day. He talked about this study

    The conclusion being “This is an interesting example of an audience effect and the drive to preserve our reputation,”

    IMO the entitled are so sure that their impression management is all they need to preserve reputation that there is no desire or incentive to do the right thing. Why? Because the entitled know the cultural norm is to defend those with power and discredit the weak. It’s like a safety in numbers phenomenon. The “be nice and do not speak of uncomfortable topics” group seems to be the majority.

    I think our society is slowly changing that with people who are willing to protect the vulnerable. #nomorebullshit #chumplady

    • Hmm interesting idea.

      A good recent example from the UK is the (machiavellian) politician Boris Johnson who has finally been outed for his serial cheating, yet defended by so many as “what goes on in his private life has no bearing on his ability to hold public office”. I strongly believe it’s the opposite. If he can do that to his family, goodness knows what he can get up to in public office.

      Yep, we just need to have a zero-tolerance policy on cheaters & abusers, and it’s up to us to speak up whenever we can

      • I vote for CHARACTER, as much as I am able, which is what INFORMS DECISIONS…sounds like you agree, OFTS…..

    • “The “be nice and do not speak of uncomfortable topics” group seems to be the majority.”

      Yes. And when they are made uncomfortable they blame the person who made them uncomfortable by speaking instead of the person whose actions are in fact the real source of the discomfort.

      • ????????????????????
        Well said Trying for Mighty!
        They blame the other person – Us instead of themselves!!
        A wonderful read #Chumplady – needed to read just this today!

      • This basically sums up my whole marriage. Ex felt bad because I complained about his lack of priority of me and his lack of courtesy. Rather than thinking about how his actions affect others, he instead blamed me for making him feel bad.

        It also happened at my work. I was going through a divorce and cancer. I was literally not allowed to talk about my personal life because it was bringing the team down.

  • A story of vulnerability that this chump here helped.

    Last week I testified at the divorce trial of the ex-wife of a colleague, a powerful guy in my professional area. This asshole did not want to: 1) pay alimony (the ex-wife is 58 years, lost her job because of him, works with tourism and the market in my country is terrible at the moment, she has the chance of a snowflake in hell of getting a new job); 2) divide assets. Ex-wife is living with her parents.

    Ex-wife left the cheater when she found nude photos of a post-doc on his iPad (he has all the paraphernalia but does not know to synchronize them, hahaha). She used to host this girl in their home when she was in town. Asshole actually tried to dump this girl on me: all the responsibility and none of the fun…. The post-doc has a son who looks a LOT like this colleague. BTW, she just landed a green card by marrying an unsuspecting guy from Virginia, who knows he may show up here at Chump Nation. I was a witness to her dedication to cheater and his family and her humiliation.

    result of the trial is like that old master Card advertisement:
    – Sauna in the waiting room for witnesses at the courthouse (no working AC): free
    – Parking at the courthouse parking lot: 10 bucks
    – The ass-with-a-cramp look on cheater’s face and on his fancy, famous peacock lawyer’s face as they left totally defeated: PRICELESS.

    This chump used the same lawyer as I did, a young woman, very smart. By chance Peacock-lawyer arrived at parking in front of me (in a Mercedes, only for the very wealthy in my country) and, without knowing who he was, I was struck by his body language of vanity.

    This colleague once threw a coffee cup at me, I did not take it to authorities because I was in a vulnerable position (I was a guest in his team). So I swallowed the shit and it was worth every shard of glass.

  • Mr. Sparkles is a predator. I don’t say that lightly. But, he is. He seeks out a woman for a specific purpose – to provide a mask of normalcy to the outside world. He has no intention of being faithful to anyone. He will break you financially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually… INTENTIONALLY. He will push you to the point of madness and then blame you for it as he walks away to his fresh new doe-eyed victim.

    This is his PATTERN. 5 “female fronts” over 26 years. Who knows how many in hotel rooms, cars, bars, etc.

    And yet… because women are conditioned to believe we are worthless without a relationship… without a man… without a “provider”… we do accept the unacceptable… after all, it’s better than being alone (or so we were taught.) Friggin’ Disney… shit, even Netflix does it (watch the Kissing Booth and see how the young girl is portrayed).

    That is why, for me, Chump Nation is SOOOO IMPORTANT. We are changing that narrative. We are (hopefully) raising a generation of kids that will not accept this entitlement behavior… nor become predators themselves.

    Thanks for showing up every day CL and CN. #changetakestime #bemightytoday

    • I would just add that a lot of that conditioning comes from the Cheater themself. “No one else would ever put up with you/want you/marry you/[insert cutting phrase here]. This sort of demeaning treatment is a very powerful tool in killing the spirit of a formerly confident and accomplished Chump. Installing vulnerability where vulnerability did not exist previously.

  • To be a terrible person, the entitlement has to intersect with another’s vulnerability. To be a predator, you go in search of others’ vulnerabilities. And if you’re super enterprising, you create some.”

    ^^ THIS. This sums up perfectly how people abuse and prey on others for their own selfish reasons.
    And this is why they’re disordered. Once they think this way it’s almost impossible for them to change, because they’ve internalised and acted out their entitlement and was rewarded with kibbles for it.

    • My ex told me last night, “you’re generous to a fault”. I realized what he was implying, and was stunned he’d admit such a thing (he had been drinking). In those five words, he basically admitted to using me generosity for his gain for roughly eight years. So hurtful. Lesson learned, the hard way 🙁

    • It has taken me 3 years after being with my STBX to learn that I was in a emotionally and mentality abusive relationship. He took every insecurity that I had and used it against me to keep me attached to him and confused to what was going on. The little chubby girl inside of me who struggled with if I was lovable enough, pretty enough, strong enough…etc. He made me believe it was me and not him. He would build me up only to rip me down whenever I questioned where our money was going, what he was doing or needed help from him. I was scared to break up my family because of the kids and guess what? It happened anyway because once I found out that he cheated on me, it literally broke the last bit of me. I will NEVER put myself in another relationship that doesn’t serve me. Life is too damn short. Trust me when I say..CL is correct it will take 2-5 years to get to this point and don’t rush your healing. I will never truly be “over it” but I am proud of how far I have come.

  • I think it is power, the reason people think they can abuse others is power, they feel so worthless inside the power gives them a little of what they are missing.

      • They do. It’s just that they consider their victims not just worthless, but actually subhuman. There’s no requirement to be kind to subhuman entities. That’s how they rationalize their behaviour. You are a THING, not a person.

  • My STBXH tried to pull the “it was a mistake! You’re just as capable of cheating as I am!” nonsense last night. Um… no. Because I have character and integrity and I’m not a loser. I don’t buy this “we’re all just one opportunity away from abuse” mentality. Every one of us is faced with opportunity to be a fuckwit every single day. Some of us (cheaters) feel entitled to take it and the rest of us have the empathy and foresight to realize that it is *wrong.*

    Cheater moves out today (in house separation is torture) so I can start going no contact, save for kid logistics. Divorce hearing is in two weeks. THANK GOD.

    • That lovely piece of rhetoric “You’re just as capable of cheating as I am!” is a staple of the RIC too. They try to make all chumps believe that they are capable of doing the same thing. It’s just one more thing they use against chumps to take their focus off the cheater. After all, they can’t sell you their snake oil if you insist that the cheater be responsible for his/her actions.

      • Mine tried to get me to join in the party. He wanted me to take another lover. First he tried the open marriage concept “You could take a lover too” as if it would be that simple for me. Then he tried to convince me to go on a dating website. All of this while he was still living at home and I was still in shock and the idea of letting anybody else touch me was still foreign and unappealing to me. How on earth is it so easy for them?

        • OMG – it would have relieved his guilt or whatever he was feeling if you were doing the same as him. That would have a “who the fuck are you?” moment, after getting over your initial shock.

          • During that period I thought he had truly lost his mind. Everything he said and did seemed so out of character. I think that is why I held out hope for so long. I thought he might find his mind again. Nope. It’s gone for good.

            • I know that you mean. The X became so cold, distant, and sometimes cruel. I had never seen that side of him. Maybe in little glimpses toward others but nothing that was completely mask-off and permanent towards me. Scary shit.

              • Yup mine said to me after 26 years ‘I stay with you because it’s economically good for me.” That still makes me cry. And the kids think he’s wonderful to add to the kick in the gut

        • Ah, yes, the “now that I’ve cheated on you, how about an open marriage?”. Mine tried this too. Umm…no. That is not what marriage means to me.
          And even if it was…an open marriage requires TRUST in a huge way. How would that even be possible with a cheater?

    • Hugs. My STBXH moved out 2 days ago. In house separation hell for the past 9 months. He refused to leave because “it’s my house too”, he thought he would actually get his equity out, take his cheque, go buy a new property, and THEN move out.
      His first night out of house, 2 nights ago, he sends me a text that evening “I’ve been thinking about it, and maybe we just needed some time apart”
      As in…he thinks we can just take a break.
      Nope! Chump no more.

      • Ugh, Melissa. My sympathies you had to endure that hell for nine months. You are a badass! You survived!

        Mine also throws out lines that attempt to keep me as an option. Just needs to heal and work on himself and be a good partner. Uh huh. Sure. UBT: just wants to fuck other women and being made to feel guilty about it ruins some of the buzz.

        • OMG, when I told my cheater that I wasn’t going to be Plan B if it didn’t work out I was told:

          “You wouldn’t just be Plan B. After all, there are a lot of single moms out there – and I’ve discovered that I’m charming.”


          Of course, this is the [putatively male hominid life form] who told me “You’re looking great! I’ll bet you could go out and find yourself a sugar daddy!” because he knew he was going to leave my disabled arse on food stamps and Medicaid.

          Great, dude. I look forward to spending my last few years before social security as a prostitute. No, really. Absolutely.

          Bonus round: he prides himself on his extraordinary empathy.

          I couldn’t make this shit up.

    • After 19 years, I was still in love with my husband. I had and still have no desire for another man. I only wanted to kiss HIS lips and to feel HIS body. That entitlement and probably some form of narcissism and/or sociopathy stunted his emotional intimacy. I don’t think he ever felt the same way about me.

      I was in love and gave my everything to someone that played me. Shame on him, not shame on me.

      • Exactly so. They don’t respect you for loving them because deep down, they know they are scum and they think love is weakness.

  • My Mr. Sparklepants is a police officer in a major city. He does not see anyone as anything other than lower than himself. He does not obey the laws he has sworn to protect and uphold. He finds a way to slither away from even a parking ticket. He has been found in contempt more than 8 times in as many months. Yet….finds a way to purge and slithers away again. He gives all good cops and fathers a horrible name. We go back to court this week to continue a trial because he can not seem to follow rules or do the right thing.
    I am a teacher….I tell my kids every day that my number one job is “to keep them safe” and I mean it. They know it too. My own children know that I follow the rules and tell the truth and expect the same from them.
    Cheaters, abusers, entitled brats? They will someday have to answer for their behavior and that day can not com soon enough.

  • I can only hope that people find this book and site faster than I did. I had been conned into two months of marriage counseling which was just her lying about stuff and trying to delay, delay, delay. While she was eating Cake like crazy. I danced and danced with desperation while putting myself through unneeded misery reading rec books.

    To those of you that are new- free yourself as soon as possible !

  • I think cheaters take advantage of chumps good nature and use it against them. My ex certainly did, cheating has a ripple affect, your mental state, finances, family, blame shifting. My ex still states my having a stillborn made him, have a affair, take drugs, party with prostitutes. If you don’t remember the past your condemned to repeat it.

  • I’m not commenting on pedo-priests. A can of #whoop-ass comes to mind. Working for the creator must really give them a sense of Entitlement and Privilege. The proverbial sheep in wolves clothing.

    What is it about the trust and safety of a committed relationship that you see as a sexual opportunity?
    Are the orgasms that great? Or is it the power high? And WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

    When it boils down to my experience, I pretty much ONLY wanted answers to these questions from my xw. Watching the expression on her expression-less face was like watching a computer go into the BSOD- the blue screen of death. She only perked up when I was about to disclose intell on things I knew. Immediately filed in the “Tips on How to NOT GET CAUGHT next time” file.

    The last question was also a byproduct of my CL/CN/LACGAL/SI understanding and education in the cheater faulty-emotional-driven-mentality where emotional bonding was concerned. No matter Now. It’s Over, yet the clean up continues on my end. Serial cheaters have broken so many spiritual bonds that they cannot form a bond with another human being. They truly do SUCK.

    Here’s my new theme song regarding my recovery from infidelity…I hope the words will ring true for the male chumps in CN.

    Hey you!! What you trying to prove I won’t play your game and I won’t play your fool Hey you!! Best be makin’ your move Play your last hand Better understand Chorus: Now it’s time to surrender, yeah!! Cause my love don’t live here anymore Oooo babe, time to surrender There’s nothing left to fight for There’s nothing left to save Oh! she cries so tough It’s too hard to let go of The lies inside the shadow Of her tears and of her pain And I denied when she was Playing the heartbreaker

  • To be a “them” is not an option for me.

    The X spent 8 months in a custody battle with his ex-wife only to realize that his teenagers came with baggage. He wanted to be there for the fun stuff but he didn’t want to participate in the the hard stuff. I was the one that run them to their appointments, the one who made dinner and helped with homework because the X wasn’t around.

    I helped my mother during the last 5 years of her life – got her groceries, tidied up her house, picked up and paid for her prescriptions, saw her at least 2 week for the last 3 years she was in assisted living. The X had to be reminded to call his mother.

    When my stepson was in the mental hospital for bipolar, the X would be there for each visiting day. Once J was home, the X ignored him because J was too anxious and wanted to talk. All about image managment until J got home. I tried to fill in but the X’s overt snubbing was too much.

    Yep, I was the answer to all his problems until he didn’t need me anymore. When I needed him? Poof, he was gone for good.

  • “Are the orgasms that great?”

    I used to think that all the time, when ex-Cheater was screwing around and I would follow each D-day with an ultimatum — until I FINALLY followed through and left the sad sack of shit.

    Was it worth it? That ten seconds of ejaculatory bliss? Worth it to lose a good woman/wife/mother to your kids/really kind and decent person/the respect of your daughters/50 percent of their time. Was that TEN SECONDS of sexual glory *worth* it?!

    Even multiplied over (likely) a THOUSAND affairs, do the math: ten seconds times a thousand fucks equals ten thousand seconds equals 166 minutes equals 2.76 hours of ejaculation.

    Two hours, forty five minutes of orgasms traded for an amazing marriage with a great wife and our amazing kids.

    WAS IT FUCKING WORTH IT?! (pun intended)

    Disgusting. What a perfect picture of the piss poor cost analysis my ex was capable of.

    Come to think of it, that was just the beginning of his poor cost analysis.

    He traded down in EVERY REGARD.

    Fuck him!

    • I guess it was worth it to my first XW. One night she came home and treated me to a detailed description of the physique of the guy she had been with that night ( this was at 3 am, woke me up to tell me). How’s that for sadistic?
      In retrospect, I now know that this was an effort to make me go off, maybe do something foolish which she could point to as abuse, thus justifying her cheating. I stayed calm.
      Later, about a year or so after the divorce. I was picking up my boys to take them to school, as I did each morning, and , for some reason I mentioned how hurtful that had been to me. This set her off and her response was” well it was not just his physique that was so impressive”. I am virtually certain that this was a reference to penis size. Nice, eh?

      • What a total bitch, Arnold. I’m happy you’re free of her!

        And here I will add that a kind, trustworthy partner is a MILLION TIMES better in the sack than a cheater, no matter WHAT their physique or size!

      • Of course that comment was meant to make you feel small, literally and metaphorically. I hope you didn’t let it.
        She’s a waste of DNA, a sadist and an abuser.

    • Great math and what a dipshit.
      Mine only got two drunken orgasms in the first few months of the five years with his fugly trashbag who emotionally abused her own kids. He stayed hoping for more, for years, would have stayed longer if not caught. Meawhile, I was innocently providing far better sex and many more orgasms, and he was planning to spring a surprise divorce on me after over 10 years of cake-gobbling.
      So a trade-off of 20 seconds he can barely remember to lose his family and everything else good in his life, including thousands of future orgasms.
      Btw, he has a math degree. ????

  • I kept quiet about what happened to me as an 11 year old. Still remember it vividly and how I was told that I would get cancer if I did not do as I was told. I was told what was happening to me was the only way I could prevent getting cancer. I was a smart little kid, but I believed the guy. Needed three “cancer treatments”. I mentioned it to my mom, in a roundabout way, I think. But, never had any therapy. I will say that I remember, and always have, what happened. But, I tried not to think about it , throughout the years. Maybe this is part of the reason that I seem to have been inordinately affected by the cheating. Thought I had found someone I was safe with. Guess not.

    • (reaching out to hold your hand) someone should have listened to you, and someone else should have treated with you respect and honesty. You did nothing to deserve any of this.

    • I’m sorry, Arnold. You endured something no child should have to endure (only to endure cheating marriages no one should have had to endure, either).

    • Arnold,

      Thank you for trusting us enough to tell us your story. I am so sorry that happened to you. You were forever changed by that and no child should experience that level of cruelty and deception. (((HUGS)))

    • I’m sorry you had to go through that, Arnold.

      I was molested at 10 years old by a man who broke into our house. My cheater moves out on Saturday, and I’ll be alone in my house…something I don’t feel comfortable with due to my childhood experience. But, this is a fear I now must face…and conquer!

      Wishing the best for you : )

  • Will you protect the vulnerable? Or will you exploit them? Can you comfort them or will you blame them? Will you be a steward, or will you abandon?

    I was thinking about this this weekend, with regard to how so many people respond to people in pain; I was watching the scene in the first season of “The Unforgotten” where Cassie’s father reveals her (now dead) mother’s infidelity. And how does Cassie respond? Some variation of “Oh she probably didn’t mean it / it was just a one-time thing / you’re the one she came back to.”

    I’m so tired of people making excuses for perps. Couldn’t we just say, “Wow, that must have really hurt.” or “I can see that you are really upset about that.” Justification and rationalization and minimizing don’t make people feel better. Being seen and heard makes people feel better.

      • Arnold, it took me 16 years to tell my mom about being raped when I was 10. Like any child, I was terrified of not being believed, so just bore it. I was raised in an era of “purity teaching”, which devalued any woman who wasn’t a virgin (“what nice man would want HER?”), and was afraid of boys finding out, then viewing me as an easy target. Yes, I believe it had a serious impact on my poor choices of men later…what nice guy would want me?

        My rapist wasn’t a priest, merely an employee of a relative who caught me by myself one day. I made certain I was never, ever alone with him again. There are people who have endured far, far worse than what I went through.

        The good news is that not only did my mom believe me, but I think she would have killed him had he not already been dead. Still, she asked that I not tell anybody until after my grandmother’s death, which I respected.

        My older sister was the shocker. Her response was that the rapist was a “great employee”! I can’t even.

  • I believe that generations of cultural conditioning has lead us to believe what we prefer to believe over the truth, as a society. My own mother does not want to admit she was abused, because it would “make her look weak” and besides, “he didn’t hit me.” Imagine her response when I told her I didn’t believe the “conspiracy theory” of the current supreme court candidate. I don’t know whether or not all of his accusers are truthful, but I do know the statistics I’ve heard are that 1 of every 3 women has been abused in some way, AND that it is typically the most unreported crime, for a variety of reasons. If that stat is correct, and many more crimes are unreported, then what is the truth? How would you feel if someone who abused you was going to be appointed to the highest position in the legal system? And just what does she gain by speaking up? What would be worth death threats? I also have personally experienced discrimination and inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. I believe most women have, and don’t report it because they won’t be believed, and it will cost them professional opportunities. It is sad to me that the truth still slides like a ghost behind the front stage of life as it goes on in this world. Maybe the truth is unpleasant, and maybe we don’t have as many worthy people as we would like to believe. I love this site because it lets me know there are some good folks out there who do know the truth, and won’t let the entitled ones “pretend” to be worthy of all the rewards in the world. When we speak up, we may not be able to “prove it” to court of law standards, but the preponderance of the testimony, and the similarities described causes reasonable doubt. Can you think of a single predator offender who ever started out by saying proudly, “Yes I took advantage of that person.” No, they are always proclaimed innocent, and the accuser always has an ulterior motive. Does that seem likely to you?

    • Can we please not do politics?

      But to answer your question, she has about a million dollars (at last count) in Go Fund Me money to gain.

      Also, that “second front door” was done in 2008, four years before the marriage counseling, and was apparently linked to an unauthorized rental unit rather than any psychological needs – which makes sense, since otherwise wouldn’t an additional back/side door have been sufficient?

  • I don’t think there’s anything deep to find out about cheaters and abusers at all anyway. They’re about a centimeter deep and just do whatever they want to do. Opportunists. Smug. Arrogant. Entitled to have everything and then some at all times. Use the fact that you’re not perfect 24/7 as a justification to step out. They get to have everyone fawning all over them, begging for their attention and approval, begging for their forgiveness because they failed to meet their expectations of and entitlement to perfection.

    Those bubble heads don’t even deserve the attention they get. They’re not a bunch of geniuses or mysterious enigmas. They’re just shallow and full of hot air. The only things these bird brains seem to be good at is finding nice people to console their fragile egos while finding others just like themselves to fuck around with in the dark but they can’t even do that right because they can’t stop getting busted. Dumbasses. End of story.

  • I’m a “put yourself in someone else’s shoes, try to see it from their perspective” kind of person. I imagined I was my ex, doing the things he was doing. What it would be like to lie constantly, sneak around to screw his friend, spending money like mad, ignore our kids, treat him like shit etc etc. I could barely fathom it let alone live it. I have about as much a chance of being like him as he has being like me. It won’t happen. He’s long gone and deep into himself. Thank God for Chump lady and Chump nation. So glad I’m free.

  • I have been having this conversation with certain people, particularly my children, lately. This is why I love Chump Lady. There’s that joke by Richard Pryor when his wife comes home and finds him in bed with another woman and he is trying to tell her it’s not what she thinks and he asks her, “Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?” I am so tired of people saying that someone can do all manner of bad things and still be a good person. How does that work exactly? Where does that belief even come from? I was watching an old Dateline episode about a wife who conspired with her son (from a previous relationship) to hire someone to murder her husband because he had gotten terribly ill and his medical care would ultimately deplete their savings. During the first trial, at which the hired killer testified against her, the jury voted 11 to 1 for conviction. One of the jurors felt sorry for the wife because the juror felt it was reasonable for her to be concerned about the depleted savings (and I guess to murder her husband so in order to keep the money). It was a hung jury. I’m sure the juror’s friends believe she is a fine person, except she thinks there is a good reason to have someone murdered.

    I wish people would stop conflating flaws and character defects. A flaw might be chewing with your mouth open or snoring – it is not cheating on your spouse or raping children. And can we stop mitigating and attempting to explain away consistently bad behavior? Raping one woman or one child is one too many. How many people do you have to kill to be a murderer? How many things and times do you need to steal before people are willing to admit you’re a thief? How many times does a person have to cheat before people realize THEY have/are a problem, not the spouse?

    Chump Lady is an oasis of sanity in what seems like a sea of nonsense and absolute crazy and I am glad this place and all of you people exist.

    • Every word is this but especially “how many times does a person have cheat before people realize THEY have /are the problem, not their spouses?”

      I know the X cheated on me, cheated on my first wife (claims she cheated first) and I’m pretty certain that he cheated at other times in our marriage. I’m also pretty certain that his sinister sister knows but, yep, his cheating and leaving me was for the best because he was very unhappy. Hard to be happy if you have no fucking morals and treat your wife like a piece of shit!!!!

      He was and will always be the problem.

  • CL is the voice of common sense! Kick.Them.To.The. Curb.

    They never know what hit them till we turn the tables …. 🙂

  • I’m posting this in my classroom and on FB (check it out in poetry format… reminds me of Maya Angelou):

    Will you protect the vulnerable?
    Or will you exploit them?
    Can you comfort them
    or will you blame them?
    Will you be a steward,
    or will you abandon?

    Who are you around:
    People who trust you?
    Sick people?
    Incapacitated people?
    The smaller and weaker?

    THAT is the mark of your character.

    –Tracy Schorn

  • America has a shifting moral beacon. Except for you Tracy. Keep this good fight going. My husband of 36 years abandoned our marriage and ghosted me 7 years ago this fall. In the spring of 2012, I found this site. In it’s infancy, your insight and wisdom, courage and fortitude kept me going, and going. Keep your convictions, keep your strength for all those who sadly come after me with the same shock and horror through which they must now pass. Keep telling the truth. It’s what keeps us on top.

  • THIS – “To be a predator, you go in search of others’ vulnerabilities. And if you’re super enterprising, you create some.” As a sexual assault survivor, a target of workplace harassment, a chump twice over in my intimate relationships, and a trained social scientist, I COULD. NOT. AGREE. MORE. No matter how you try to deflect and spin the abusive person’s behavior, this simple but profound statement sums it all up. A burglar CASES houses to choose ones that pose the least risk (no security system, no dogs) and so does a rapist and a cheater and a batterer. THANK YOU, Tracy, for all you do to TELL THE TRUTH AND CHANGE THE NARRATIVE.

  • So my husband asked me for a divorce 8/10. Moving to Missouri to live with the woman he had an affair with 25 years ago. Leaving our 14 year old son here(thank God).

    He has been living here as he goes through his stuff and cleans up some messes of his own making. There is still much to do after he leaves but at least his filled two 30 yard dumpsters. Yes you read that right….

    So my reason for posting is I have been trying not to talk to him while he’s here. As little as possible. Today I had to call him about a money question and for the second time in four days he didn’t take my call. I’ve called him all of two times.

    When he did call me back the conversation went where you’ve all told me not to go. I served him a full size industrial cake. He told me how he told me when asked before we were married 31 years ago that the two deal breakers for him was if I made him a farmer and if I got a belly / got fat. I did both. How I never do anything romantic, never suggest we go out for pizza as a family or out just the two of us romantically.

    I turned into a bawling woman outside of the bank hiding behind a pillar. Telling him how much I loved him, how much this was killing me, and that a part of me wants him to come back. He had a long list of the things I’ve done wrong. Got careless and admitted a hook up I didn’t know about…a location and a date. Told him in breaks my heart when he spends the night texting her when I’m sitting in the living room with him.

    I have not been romantic — at first it was because he had multiple health issues that put him out of service for months and months at a time. During this time I waited table 5 or 6 nights a week and worked 50 hours a week as a Finance Manager. Then he had a major heart attack 8 years ago….no more little blue pills. Not that he had touched me in years. I just accepted it. I made all the money paid all the bills made the dinners, took care of our son if I was home (stopped the second job when we adopted him) and did any meaningful cleaning…and the groceries and laundry were my job too. Even when he did work he kept all his money…at one point i caught him putting things on our credit cards for others and pocketing the money they gave him. Can’t tell you how many prepaid credit cards he purchased with my credit cards. One month $1,700 from Lowe’s alone. No idea what he spent it on as I didn’t catch it for months as my mother almost died. Went to help her.

    A few years ago he called me a “fat fuck” in anger. I decided at that point if he wanted some romance he would need to court me a bit. He did not.

    He tells me how much he is giving up by leaving our son with me ‘for the moment’. That the school and special help he is getting is important. I wish I had the wherewithal to tell him divorcing me is one thing, but moving 1,000 miles away from his son I don’t understand. He acts like he’s sacrificing for his son..

    He’s never forgiven me for things that happened 25 to 30 years ago.

    What is wrong with me that I’ve been in tears all afternoon and seriously dropped the ball at work. I never drop the ball, I’m a serious over achiever.

    Why can’t my heart realize he’s lied to me and his family. I’m sure more than I know. His slip was that he met up with her on 7/10 in Liverpool. He actually took our son to his parents for the day so he could go to Syracuse (next to Liverpool) to talk with a guy about a part he needed for one of his antique clocks. Talked about how this guy might have other stuff he would be interested in….it was a detailed story before and after the trip.

    How am I going to get through this? Tell me I can…I can’t even make it through a week much less the rest of my life. I have 4 more years before Our son is 18….when he is 16 my MIL thinks he will try to get him to live with him. That will kill me….and be awful for our son. He does nothing with him.

    Please help me tonight.

    • This is still very new and very raw – don’t beat yourself up for serving him cake. We’ve all done it and I was still doing it for up to 2 months afterwards. It’s OK to feel, to be sad, to be mad and to be numb. I felt a lot of rage. A coworker offered to take out his knee caps. I was tempted.

      Your STBX and my X sound a lot alike -entitled, unhappy with their lives, looking for something that they will never find. You were there, you tried and you did not fail. He failed you.

      Once he’s out, take the suggestion of others and go as No Contact as possible. Use a parenting software if possible. Block him on social media and try to force him to use email for contact. This will be hard and painful but it’s better for you!

      For your son, stay with him. Build a life for the two of you Be the sane parent whom he can count on. But don’t apologize for the father!!! Be honest with him. If my father had moved 1000 miles to be with another woman, I have wondered how important I really was to him. I’m sure your son is having the same thoughts.

      I wish I was there to sit beside you and offer a shoulder to cry on. You will get through this, one day at a time. And once he leaves (and that will be painful), the added stress of being around him will disappear. Believe me, it will be easier to breathe and rest..

      • Thanks. I think it will be painful— I realized last Wednesday after I got some not as good as I would like information from my sons neurologist (issues with his sciatic— no feeling from the ankle down) that I’ve been hoping deep inside that he would change his mind. That he would come back to us. Pathetic I know but it’s the truth.

        I think I will fall apart when he leaves and that scares me..I can’t because of my son and work. I need a job, and my son will need me even more than he already does.

        I wish you were here too, I want to meet someone or talk to someone who has gone through this. I feel scared and alone. My therapist says I’m codependent…guessing she’s right. Who in there right mind would wish he was coming back? On the up side the part of me that goes to work would kick my ass if I even tried it. That part just wasn’t ‘in charge’ today….so I baked a cake.

        • Silver, please look up Trauma Bonding.

          It is a recognised psychological effect of emotional and/or physical abuse. His lies etc were a form of abuse. His put downs were abuse. His deliberate texting of his side-piece in front of you is abuse. When he moves to a new honeymoon stage in the abuse process, the ups and downs create an addiction-like state, also a bit similar to Stockholm syndrome.

          You can get through this and come out the other side of the end of the trauma bond. Many of us will tell you: go no contact or use the grey rock method (be boring, concise and factual if you have to have contact, eg about your son or sorting out finances). It will be hard until he moves out. Maybe leave the room if you can. No contact/grey rock help to make you uninteresting to him (so he doesn’t mess with you) and helps you detox from the addictive trauma bond.

          Many of us have been there. I left my ex over 2 years ago. I was a mess at first, but now have much better boundaries and rarely give a thought to the ex, other than when we have to communicate about the kids or the just-finished property settlement. Time and no contact will help.

          Sending internet hugs if you want them.

    • Dear Silver,
      You’re swimming in a pond full of toxic waste. Ive been there. After a while your brain is so poisoned by the abuse that it starts to work against you. You really need a detox, and the first step is to remove yourself from that murk. You can change locks and never let him near your space, get an eviction order to keep him out etc (if you feel safe doing this). Take a vacation to care for you. Find a good therapist. Travel far away to your family. In my case I left everything behind and moved abroad, because my own family was toxic. It worked.

      • Thanks, by our separation agreement I have to buy him out of the house and live in it with our son for two years. My MIL thinks he will try to get him to live with him then. Just in time for High School.

        I am changing the locks when he leaves. He’s moved his date three times. Now he’s waiting for his controlled medication to be refilled. When he asked for the divorce he wanted to keep all the credit cards and keep everything the same — I would still do his laundry. Neither of those things happened with one exception— left him the gas card in case he needed to take things to recycle or do something with our son. Had to give him $4K to move with, cover 1st, last and security etc. on his first trip out (after he had the $4K) he used the card for gas to go back and forth. So I took it away. Couldn’t understand why I thought it was ethically wrong.

        Anyways, both our names are on the deed to the house so I can’t kick him out until the judge signs the divorce papers. My lawyer tells me it can be two weeks to three months. It’s been three weeks…I have a long wait ahead of me.

        I even told him how painful it was to watch him text her all night with me in the same room today. Guess what he did tonigh…yep, nice long texting conversation with the cunt. I know it’s a bad word but I hate her, she’s broken up my marriage twice. You can’t write shit like that,

        • One up side to getting the separation papers and divorce paperwork filed so quickly — got it done before he made his 1st trip out with stuff. (Second trip -real 1st on when I took our son to see my father as his cancer is back)…I’m not going to pay him alimony. It’s why I’m nervous about divorce, worry somehow he will be able to back on what he signed. New York State is a no fault state, and I can’t find anything online to tell me if he could or cannot stop it now.

          I think your description of him being toxic it true. He’s all angry tonight because I cried earlier. I think he knows what he is doing is wrong, he just wants to get on with his new life…that’s a quote from him. Doesn’t seem to get it that his new life doesn’t include his son on a day to day basis.

  • Be glad he is moving so far away. You are the strong one whether you know it or not. How dare he call you names. He is nothing but a windbag. If he has health issues she gets to deal with them. You and your son will find life is not nearly as stressful as it is now. Tell him not to let the door hit him in the ass.
    Is he a hoarder? Sounds like it.

    • He was getting close to hoarding. He kept the credit cards jacked up to the max. He likes antiques and Disney stuff. Sad thing is he doesn’t take care of the antiques or restore them. He has the skill, just doesn’t do it. He’s made four trips out there with his things – Huallaga and oversized vans. More to go. What he’s not taking he’s burning. Makes me cry in a way. These things had history and were beautiful or could have been before he met up with them.

      His health issues are stable – no damage at all from heart attack, and his IBS well under control. He says he has crones but was not diagnosed that way. He’s 5’8” and has less than 10 percent body fat. I’m 5’6” and 237. Hense the fat fuck comment.

      • Silver, I can’t wait for you to get far, FAR away from that abhorrent abuser. The farther out you are, the more TRUTH you will see. You are a STRONG and beautiful, courageous woman. Take good care of YOU and your son. I know you’re in the swamp right now, BUT YOU JUST WAIT. No contact is the path to solid ground!

        I would also be concerned about the possibility of him one day taking your son. But it sounds like this ABUSER and psychological BATTERER only thinks of himself, so there’s a good chance he wouldn’t put forth the EFFORT. My heart goes out to you. YES, it will get better. NO CONTACT is the medicine.

        • Thanks, everyone’s support tonight means the world to me. I had thought I had hit as low as I could go, failed to realize I didn’t hit bottom yet. I think when he leaves I will fall even lower. I know from ready posts there is a life after this, I just don’t see it or feel it yet. I’m going to take MissBailys advice at try to stay in the now, just worry about the next thing I need to do.

          I love everyone on this sight and thank God above for CL – I’m also glad I found this sight only a few weeks in.

          • He is a parasite, a cruel, abusing parasite. He is moving on to a new, more solvent host because he knows he has just about sucked you dry and you know what he really is. In time you will come to see him and his floozie really did you a favor. You will be free to live your life without his daily round of torture. You have strength you didn’t realize you had, and you are the strong, smart one, not him. You will heal and come back better because you have what it takes to walk that walk.

            Him, he is just a parasite doing what they do. Don’t be surprised if he comes sniffing around in the future to see if he can extract any more value from you.

            Once you have your freedom, ignore his sorry ass and keep on stepping.

            I know you feel weak right now, but you are in the early days yet, and it will get so much better with time and space away from his abuse and lies. You’ve got this.

          • You might find Lundy Bancroft’s ‘Why does he do that?’ to be useful reading.

            It is about abusive people, written by someone who works with abusers. It helped me to understand my emotionally abusive relationship and how my ex really wouldn’t change. It helped ne shed the hope he was a unicorn, in CL parlance.

  • What’s wrong with these fuckers is that they’re EVIL.

    I can’t believe some chumps still buy into the popular BS that predators just ‘feel worthless’ or ‘afraid of vulnerability’.

    Really, they cheat and abuse because they’re evil, nasty entitled shits. They love to cause pain and chaos, just as an alcoholic loves vodka. It’s how their disordered brains are wired.

    The fact that they hide their abuse shows that they know very well that it’s wrong, but still do it. As M. Scott Peck said of the People of the Lie:

    “While they seem to lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good.”

    There’s really nothing more we need to untangle about them. We just need to avoid, resist and expose them.

  • ““While they seem to lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good.”” Exhibit A: Theodore McCarrick.

    I am disgusted by the priest abuse thing happening in my Church. I am struggling with it on a daily basis. But it’s like just another extension of the mindfuckery I experienced already. A few years back I got gaslighted by a Sinister Minister, so none of this surprises me.

  • Such an amazing article – thank you!! My ex was stalking the kids and I several weekends ago. Sitting on the corner of our street (2 houses down), then following us when we left. And he has a concealed carry permit, so 1,000% chance that he had a gun in his car. Scared the crap out of the kids & I. He also made various phone calls to the police, alleging total bs claims. I went to court last week & got a protective order for the kids & I. We have a full hearing later this week & the magistrate wants the kids there so he can talk to them about it. I ah e dealt with years of stupid attempts to intimidate me (which worked) and have lived with anxiety for a very long time. But this shit has got to stop. Not the common reaction though (apparently) because I’m getting mixed support from people. It’s frustrating & interesting at the same time. This is MY life, and I’m taking the necessary steps to keep my kids & I safe. “But did he really MEAN to do that?” Ummmmm, yes. Yes he did. And it’s illegal. “But aren’t you taking this a bit far?” Did I mention that it’s ILLEGAL?? There’s a reason that these laws are on the books for stalking & menacing. So I say no more … and I’m pretty terrified about it!!

  • Please stay safe—don’t hesitate to call 911. He sounds scary and dangerous……it also sounds like you know hit number and are taking appropriate steps. Just don’t hesitate to call for help.

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