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Best No Contact Strategies

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Anyone wobbly on Trust That They Suck? Today’s fun Friday challenge is to tell CN your best no contact strategies. Oh, I know it’s simple to delete a phone number or unfriend someone on social media — I’m talking about the mental discipline that keeps your itchy trigger finger from hitting “send” on that 14-page, single-spaced diatribe on their narcissism you’ve written.

How did you talk yourself down off the cliff of “Maybe she still cares?” Do you have an insulting name on your contact list? Ring-tone fuck-off sampler mix? Who’s your dial-a-friend when you get weak?

For those of us chumps who bred with a fuckwit, I know pure no contact is not possible yet, so how do you minimize interactions? What’s your criteria for “do I really need to deal with your shit?”

Help all the newbies out who might be struggling with the no contact basics. We can always use a primer on that grey rock thing. Or some spray…

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • HA HA HA HA HA HA – reading this site!

    I just thought about what was I thinking I would achieve by making contact? What response would I be likely to get? and once I realised that there was no way I could make contact by either looking crazy or sounding like a scolding mother, or a victim with a sad or could be interpreted as “pick me” dancing – there just wasn’t a way to do it …. so I didn’t bother

    I paid a lot of money to a psychologist to help with my anger management and burning sense of injustice
    She went scuba diving in the Maldives for Christmas holidays

    • Wow this really resonates with me – I will sound crazy, scolding, a victim etc.

      I am also working through it in therapy. Much more helpful and conducive to healing.

      • And another very angry one!

        If you haven’t got money for therapy, the co dependent groups (Al Anon, Co dependents Anonymous, Adult children of Alcoholics etc) are FREE THERAPY. The 12 steps programme teaches techniques to self calm, and keep the focus and investment in SELF.

        It really is important that you don’t show them anything other than courtesy and respect, even when they don’t deserve any of it.
        Why?

        1. its the high road and you are better than them. Always.
        2. you aren’t wrestling with pigs. You get dirty and the pigs love it.
        3. If you do try and get into a power struggle? YOU LOSE 100% of the time, guaranteed.
        4. Lower lawyers bills
        5. You cannot shame a narcissist.

          • You cannot shame a narcissist – truer words have never been spoken and you will never the power struggle. I never could get the upper hand. I just stopped trying. Held my integrity in place and backed out of the fight. It’s just not worth it.

            • CANNOT SHAME A NARCISSIST (AMEN)

              That is a truth it took me a decade to learn – which was much harder, thanks to the RIC telling me that is why Dr. Narkles the Clown wouldn’t choose me/our family, because he was “TOO ASHAMED!! In the FOG”, BLAH BLAH BLAH…

              Sadly, the 3 reasons it’s fruitless to wonder OR reach out-

              because the truth about what they feel or felt or might someday feel is: A) unknowable, B) Irrelevant because if he ever felt true remorse – the unicorn kind- I WOULD KNOW – because he’d reach out & communicate and behave consistent with someone who DOES feel empathy and shame, and

              finally, C) the reason it’s pointless is because my wasband is literally shameless. Meaning, he is utterly lacking in self awareness, which is actually worse than being purposely cruel because intentional cruelty can – in theory – be changed.

              But someone missing the empathy chip?? I think it’s hopeless. After a 35 year marriage and separation, I learned of Schmoopie. Then 3 weeks after that, the DOCTOR sent me a note about taxes, but added in that he hoped I had MOVED ON with my life….WTF??

              Clueless. I recall HOURS/DAYS of trying to untangle his skein and wondering how I should respond…(God what a waste of brain cells).

              BOTTOM LINE –

              Every single time I have reached out to him – even for the kids and without A word of blame – it has caused ME a loss of power, self esteem and usually worse. Sometimes, it actually harms the kids, too.

              Never once has my position, situation, finances or mood been improved by contact with Dr. Narkles.

              So consider me someone who has learned her lessons in the HARDEST way possible…

              **“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”**

              — CS Lewis

              • ^^^^This has been my experience, ^^^ex is shameless, his responses are condescending, arrogant, and demeaning. I too learned the hard way. No matter what the conversation was about, it never ended good. Ex has no remorse, no empathy, our years together mean nothing.
                I also received a message from ex saying he hoped I’d gone on with my life because he has.

            • You can’t shame a narcissist. I finally get it! I’ve been trying to do this for the past 10 years and the only one feeling the shame was me. Shame and frustration. I have up the shame last year. He’s proven over and over that he’s a liar and cheat. But now I’ll go a step further and give up trying to get him to see the light.

              What a relief! Thank you CN and. Happy 2019!

        • Number 1. All day long. They are beneath us. Period. My time is better spent building a new life for me than giving the cheater any form of attention. And my cheater hates being denied a stage on which to perform his sad sausage act. In some ways, it really gives me perverse pleasure to deny him contact because it drives him nuts. Double win for me!

          • That is true for me as well….my ex tries to worm his way over to pick up adult kids who still live at home…he tries to get to talk to me if he can …i avoid him …drives him nuts trying

            • A friend calls this tactic ‘the camel trying to get his nose in the tent.

              Before you know it you will have a camel sitting on your lap.’

              A great visual for me which helps keep me vigilant as well as nailing his behavior of boundary barging on the proverbial head.

    • ‘I realised that there was no way I could make contact by either looking crazy or sounding like a scolding mother, or a victim with a sad there wasn’t a way to do it …. so I didn’t bother.’ Yes!! My ex likes to just stop paying child support with no explanation. For months…even a year and a half at a stretch once. I tried my words but all asking did was somehow prove to he and Homewrecker that I was the evil money-grubbing villain trying to thwart their ability to buy food or have heat. Because of CL’s advice, I went NC and let the court do all my talking. He’s in arrears for almost 40k, so his wages are now garnished pretty much for eternity. I even got their entire tax return. Twice.

      In 2018, he was actually paying CS fairly steadily (garnishment, not voluntarily) when it stopped and has never restarted. He would never stoop to explain to the devil (me) that he’s been laid off, or when he may work again so I can know how I’ll be paying for our children’s daily needs. This year, he didn’t even send a Christmas gift for our 5 or 7 year old. Not even a card.

      My boss asked my yesterday ‘ why don’t you just text him and ask him when he is going to be working again and why he didn’t send anything to his kids at Christmas?’ I couldn’t verbalize it very well, but it’s this. Exactly this. I’m either crazy or a scolding mother or a victim with a sad. It’s a no-win. I’ve finally learned not to engage with someone who sees life through a funhouse mirror. A person who could do what he did and ignores his own children at Christmas doesn’t possess the empathy wiring needed to engage with. I romanticize at times, because he’s just so full of charm and ‘nice’ when he Skypes the kids…but I repeat my ‘trust that he sucks’ mantra and that helps.

      Trust Chump Lady. That should be a tattoo, or embroidered on a lovely throw pillow.

      • This is what is wrong with our culture! Everyone assumes that if we would just be reasonable and nice that these assholes would do what they are supposed to do. That assumption is so wrong–and it leads to the victim blaming: “If he’s doing that she really must have done something terrible to deserve that. No one would act like that otherwise.” Oh yes some assholes will act like that apropos of nothing. Some people really are that shitty and talking to them nicely is the most ineffective strategy on the planet. Do they really assume that we didn’t think of that? “Oh, he owes me 40K, I’ll just ask for it and he’ll send it right over. Why didn’t I think of that?”

        • Yeah and yet they never look at reverse…for her/him to be so annoyed the cheater must have been a real asshole.

        • Word!
          Over three years out and really close to meh but this still gets to me. Some folks in my life right now who weren’t three years ago do this on occasion, but they are learning. My son needed to pick up something for school the other night and one of those friends was coming over. she circled the block when she saw Narkles the Clown’s vehicle in the drive way. She told me she wasn’t in the mood to talk to him and pretend to be nice. It turns out after watching a couple years of our fun being postponed or ended early when Narkles couldn’t manage to Parent or heard me talking about his letting son do stupid dangerous things while in his care she kind of started to Understand how selfish he just might be. She went from just call and ask to not even wanting to say hi to him.

        • I have to chime in with my recent realization of our low expectations of fathers (NOTE I AM VERY AWARE of the many good men out there, including my 5 brothers who never shirked their duties as fathers and to my knowledge none of them cheated either).

          Anyhow, lately I have heard several stories in the media of “single moms” in the news, some are missing, or were killed in terrible crimes or accidents, some are admired for what they achieved as moms and how grateful their kids are…

          No one even bothers to ask “Where is the FATHER??”

          Same for the lunatics who shoot up dance halls and schools. Last fall a veteran shot people in the Borderline dance hall. His mom had called authorities in April asking for help.

          People discussed the mom and HER role in the killer’s life and whether the mental health folks should have done more, but again, not one mention of the absentee father was made.

          Remember Sandyhook? The press made a lot about the mom’s having a gun in the home and a lot of attention was placed on guns.

          Leaving aside the gun issue for now, think about how telling it is that nothing was said about the absentee father who left his crazy dangerous hard to place son with his ex wife, while he took the “good son” with him to NYC.

          I actually think there are more single moms raising kids in America than women with partners.

          WTF is happening? What can we do to change this? (Maybe stop ignoring it? Stop accepting it as par for the course??)

          • It’s called The Patriarchy. God forbid we should call out men for not stepping up.

            I don’t see a ton of single moms out there, but I DO see a ton of women who are really married in name only. Wives who work full time, but really do 99.9% of parenting and household chores and school assistance. I used to be one of these women, and my life got better after I got rid of my Cheater. But, I know many, many women who are married, I don’t think their husbands are Cheaters, but the husbands really do nothing around the house or with the kids.

            • same here! i was the bread winner, did most of the chilcare, cooking and household work. i did the most hours and still i was treated like a nagging moaning woman making his life miresable when i asked him to do housework or clean up after himself.

              when he left us to move in with his co worker ‘friend’ because he didnt love me anymore and i treated him like dirt, it only took a couple of weeks to realise how little he did around the house. my house is mostly tidier and the only thing i miss is having an extra pair of hands around with a baby and 6 year old.

          • I agree wholeheartedly with this….to a point.

            There are PLENTY of these women who leave and are given custody weather they deserve it or not. It’s just assumed the man is some type of mope if the woman leaves but there’s an epidemic of “I’m not happy…” going on. Cheating and leaving is WRONG no matter who does it but look up the term “hypergamny”, it’s certainly not a majority of men breaking up families with cheating.

            • Hypergamy is defined as ‘the action of marrying someone of a superior caste or class’. Not sure what you mean by this?

      • Laid off? In this economy? Not buying it. He was either canned or he left because he has “idontwanttoworkitis”. One of the posters stated he may be working for cash under the table, that may be very true.

      • ” why don’t you just ”

        I loathe that sentence…in nearly all circumstances.

        It infers that they thought up a solution in the 0.3 seconds before they spoke that you could not come up with in months. I have unreasonable cluster B parents who do crazy shit I never imagined. My Cheater did crazy stuff I never imagined. When people gave/give me this trite answer, I want to smack them

    • The worst thing you can do to a dog is WITHDRAW ATTENTION.

      Ergo, the worst thing you can do to TWO (or more!) dogs is WITHDRAW ATTENTION.

      Case closed.

      (I apologize to any dogs I have insulted)

      • I cannot go total NC as I have a child and own a company with him, and the most powerful response is BE SCARCE and MOUTH SHUT (as much as possible).

        Unleashing hell makes me look at feel like a lunatic, but mostly gives him an opportunity to shift the focus onto me instead of letting him enjoy the smell of the s**t he created.

        35 years earning my various 12 Step black belts are saving my sanity, my self, and my soul.

        • Yep these 12 step slogans are awesome too:
          W.A.I.T – Why Am I Talking?

          D.E.T.A.C.H. – Don’t Even Thimk About Changing Him/Her

          • Or W.A.I.S.T.

            Why am I still talking for those of us that forget and get carried away at times.

            Practice makes perfect and we all know we will get more practice at some point!

            I should mention Q.T.I.P.

            Quit Taking It Personally

            as a reminder that all the shit being thrown your ways is theirs. Masters at projection!

            • Forgot one more:

              ‘It is easier to resist the bait than it is to struggle with the hook.’

      • That being said…..I am friendly without being friends. That means I keep my side of the street clean.
        My communication is polite and civil and respectful. I set limits and boundaries and am not a doormat. I do not act or speak in inflammatory ways that will escalate, worsen, and cause more damage. I attempt to conduct myself in a dignified and gracious manner. I vent to my friends. I write out my rage at him in emails to myself. I express my anger in a non-violent, non-abusive way to my former husband when appropriate. It serves no one, especially my daughter, if I am an asshole too. She needs a parent she can trust and a positive role model, and if I am going to claim I am more emotionally mature I need to walk that talk. I don’t want to validate any smack he talked about me. I go to 12 step
        meetings, therapy, and work out to continue improving myself and get support. I pray, meditate, read, write. I cry. I get paralyzed. I clean up. I don’t clean up. I yell “at him” when I am alone driving. All these things and more help me
        stay in neutral with the contact I have to have. He did massive nuclear damage, for generations to come, and I am determined that further damage and BS stays off my rap sheet. How we behave toward each other directly affects my daughter and I attempt to stay high road no matter what. I am so deeply hurt and angry and afraid and sad and shattered that I don’t know if I will ever get out of the burn unit. But I know that putting gasoline on this life fire kills all of us. I took his derogatory nickname off my phone (daughter…model respect….). Privately his new nickname is “Madoff”. I am not going to gain anything with vinegar. I am
        in this for a very long time to come and I need to be able to be proud to look in the mirror and see the grownup I am accusing him of not being.

        • “Nuclear damage, for generations to come.” Yes. Same with my cheater. Breaks my heart for my children and their future descendants.

        • Dear Velvet
          I really like your posts. I am in a similar situation to you except my children are now adults. I also own a company and run a business with him. I am incredibly careful to not derogate him in front of our children however ironically I share the high road with them. I don’t need to say anything- they express my sentiments but are loudly cynical! He has descended the slippery dip of hero to zero without an iota of self reflection. In fact his emotional range is so limited I think he would find it difficult to miss what he can’t feel. I keep my contact to work matters and never respond to his constant offers of help. I try never to attend family social events that he will be at. It simply ruins my enjoyment of the day. I work constantly on me – building a better life!

          • How do you guys do it that run a company with him? I am in that position, running I company as well, I hate to break apart the company which employees a people that have worked for us for a long time, but I just can’t deal with him. But I Hate to see the company the we built over a decade go down if I am not there. It is not just my life he blew up, but potentially everyone that works for us. Also the idea of starting another company after building this one just sounds exhausting. Sorry if this is off topic.

        • Wow Velvet, you rock.

          I did much of that but for all the wrong reasons…I was trying to control the uncontrollable and didnt have the sense to realize it.

          In the end, to him, I did look like a gracious decent person which likely made it worse for him in the VERY brief moments of clarity when he may have looked in the mirror realistically even if those moments lasted milliseconds

          Now I cant light off any bombs of truth because I will look like an asshole even though he did it all and I resent that decision being made for me. Maybe I can borrow some of your Zen and talk myself into choosing this path for myself for real.

          • It’s a daily practice and major learning experience and will continue to be. It is the hardest thing I have ever done and fortunately for me it happened when I had a 32 year foundation of therapy and 12 step recovery. Otherwise I might have been Betty Broderick’s cellmate.
            One moment at a time….do the next right thing….just for today….

            • It is a bit of a tightrope though! Trying to be civil and polite sometimes feels like minimising all the pain and damage he caused. I am glad when I have opportunities to enforce boundaries, as recently when our daughter was ill at home and he called up the house and arranged with her to visit without making sure of my permission. I was happy for him to visit her, but he had to have my permission first. A bit like a vampire having to be invited in!

        • ^^^ This.
          I nee to read this any time I’m feeling weak re communication with the Ex. It’s just hard to fathom that someone who’s supposed to care so much for you, then doesn’t.
          The thing is, that since there were so many lies, you just can’t trust anything they say.

  • Her number is not in my contacts. I have to manually type in her number if I need to tell her something(kids). It’s always a factual text that is short and to the point, yes or no type questions. This makes no contact easy and I have always been great about cutting shitty people out of my life! After her not respecting my opinion the last month we lived together and the gaslighting that followed whenever i would ask questions, I have nothing more to speak to her about, ranting and contact would just lead to more shit placed on a bun and would give her ammo to support her “story” . I also know she saves everything based on her interactions with her oldest sons dad. My privacy and knowledge of the power of words to shape opinion keeps me in check.

  • When I wobble, I read and read this blog. It helps remind me why I kicked him out and filed.

    No contact strategies…write the text or email, rewrite then delete it. Wait 24 hrs to respond to anything regarding children finances. Responses are brief and firm. I ignore him when I have to be in the same location for school events. Honestly, I just pretend he doesn’t exist and let my lawyer handle things.

    I’m 10 months out. And I see Tuesday, it’s close by. It’s get better everyday. Stay the course.

    I will end with saying that when I really have a weak moment I just remind myself that my self respect and dignity are what matters to me.

  • He is in my phone as Lying Cheater as a reminder to not believe anything he says. Once I sent an email to him and it accidentally included my contact name for him. He demanded that I change it. That was funny.

    I also have learned to either not respond at all or vey minimally to any accusations that do not involve our child, although there is a lot of room for improvement. All social media is blocked. I unfriended his entire family.

    • to CC-he is on my phone as ‘The Narcissist’ and blocked. My phone allows me to see if he called but he receives a recorded message that says, “Calls are not being accepted at this phone number”. He cannot leave a message, he doesn’t know that I know he has called and it is satisfying that I know he is ungreyrocking-haha.

    • I’m going to have to adopt that “Lying Cheater” for my ex on my phone. But the image I show for him is “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. One time my son was using my phone to find out his dad’s number and saw the picture. He just smiled.

      • Dorian Gray – haha! I have the worst photo ever taken of the Python in my phone: hair’s a mess, dopey look on his face.

        I do change it up for my own amusement. I used to have a photo of a Hello My Name is badge:
        Hello My Name is Dick.

        When tempted to talk to him, I remind myself that he has lied about big things and small things so whatever comes out of his mouth is 78% likely to be false. No point in attempting a discussion with a pathological liar.

        • Yes! I have a very unflattering pic of my ex wife in my photos too..whenever I’m feeling nostalgic I just bring that one up and chuckle

          • I hate to ruin our fun comic run we have going here but after he died, I found some files on an old computer belonging to my cheater and he had a few photos of me saved that were horrible. I was still in my 30s then and photos taken of me in my 50s are better than those. I was horrified to see how he chose to think of me…Im virtually certain it was so he could reinforce his “nasty battle ax shrew” narrative. God he probably showed those photos to people…gah.

      • Mine was dorian gray too. Mueson saw as the phone was ringing and asked with his father on the line who is dorian gray. I’ve since changed it to his first initial

    • I did a similar thing. I changed my cell unlock password to reflect the fact he was a cheater. Every time I unlocked my phone (this was a few years back prior to fingerprint unlock), I reminded myself that he was a POS cheater.

            • Mine is Assclown. Made me laugh every time he tried contact. Funny thing was, he tried again after 5 years, and I was so surprised that I almost answered it. Then I figured he was probably calling by mistake! Thank goodness for the discipline instilled in me by CN.

              • Mine is “Alien” with a Sci-Fi ring tone, and Alien pic. Thank God its been 3 years post divorce so I don’t have to put up with POS anymore! The ringtone was so distinct I always LOL. NO CONTACT is great!

              • My NX butt dialed me from his phone. (long distance too) The connection was wide open and I could hear him rummaging around. He didn’t know his phone was on. So I just left the connection on for a while. I’ve got tons of free minutes to use on my cell – him probably not so much.

              • Marci,

                😂🤣 Mine was “Assclown” too, hence my user name 😉
                Once divorced, I finally deleted him completely – NO CONTACT 100% (he’s DEAD to me).

        • I need to be careful because the kids see pic when her texts pop up on my phone, so my XW is the “Danger Will Robinson” robot from Lost in Space.

    • Ha! CC- I call my X Lying Cheater in my phone too! It reminds me of who/what he is. I wanted to go with something worse, but my kids have access to my phone, and no matter how big a fucktard he is, they shouldn’t see me call him bad names.

      • I use Stacey’s clip-art of the “ass face cartoon” for his contact photo. Love the little pimply touches on the butt cheeks!
        I have labeled him “Jetsam” in contacts. “Jetsam = unwanted material or goods that have been thrown overboard from a ship and washed ashore, especially material that has been discarded to lighten the vessel”. I’ve thrown his ass off the boat to lighten my journey.

        He is blocked and receives a special message that this number cannot receive calls, etc. I doubt he would ever call as he is so very distracted by his new supply. Good news for me.

    • I have XXXX I need front of his name in my contacts. His siblings are blocked and have placed Xin front of their names. That way I don’t accidentally call any of them or have to scroll past their names looking for another contacts.

    • Hahaha STBXH was The Toad for a while then we had to exchange emails for a few legal things…I caught the outgoing email on preview and changed his name back. Part of me really wishes I’d not been so vigilant and he’d seen what I thought of him, but it probably wouldn’t have been productive…

      • Yeah, I can confirm it wouldn’t have been productive. When my ex saw “Lying Cheater” he was outraged! How dare I have him as that in my phone. He DEMANDED that I change it. I told him it was my phone and I could have his contact as anything I wanted and there was nothing untrue about the label I gave him. He brought it up intermittently for a few months, every time he wanted to try to prove I was a terrible person.

    • “When my ex saw “Lying Cheater” he was outraged! How dare I have him as that in my phone. He DEMANDED that I change it.”

      So that would make it “Humorless Lying Cheater”

  • In my co-parenting communications with my ex-wife, my goal was to compress all communications down to one sentence. In cases of extreme emergency, I permitted myself a second sentence; however, I found that a little thought usually allowed me to handle even these situations with a dependent clause.

    In addition to limiting the chatter, this strategy gave my brain a puzzle to chew on, which left less energy for emotional slam dancing.

    • Yes, this! I do this with my ex MIL too and it helps me keep chill and doesn’t give her fuel for her perpetual bonfire of anger.

    • I do this too, but now XW complains that I “only communicate in monosyllables”. There’s no way to win if you’re forced to communicate b/c of kids, etc: the best you can hope for is to minimize the stress of the interaction. Less is better, but even so you will get blowback. After a nastygram from the XW, I try to remind myself that I didn’t make a mistake in how I communicated with her: I did the best I could in a no-win scenario. The only true solution is no contact. If you can’t achieve that, unfortunately there’s no right way to communicate – only more and less wrong ways.

      • ‘now XW complains that I “only communicate in monosyllables”.’

        She wants more attention and communication from you? Well, you wanted a wife that didn’t cheat – funny how sometimes we don’t get what we want, isn’t it? You’re her ex – if she wants to have long conversations with someone, she can chat with Shmoopie.

    • Nomar,

      I always enjoy your posts. Great advice. I’ll try to achieve the one sentence rule w/the STBXW if at all possible. Just curious, as I can’t remember if you’ve said this before, but do you share children w/your XW, or did you when you separated? That’s the hardest part for me about NC; having to still talk to her about the kids (especially our son, the 13 yo minor we share). It also sucks that to keep our son in the same school system & disrupt his life as little as possible, I’m not only staying in our town but in the house she left our son & I in when she went traipsing a half mile down the street to a new, expensive apartment complex to live w/her new sugar daddy; her rich, soon to be ex-boss (soon to be when she left me. Now definitely ex-boss as their workplace made it clear that she would take the fall for their shitty, inappropriate, mutually adulterous relationship) . Now coming up on almost two years since D-day and her moving out (April), she relocated after a year to an eighth of a mile behind our former house, now solely mine. She’s a local politician, and can’t move if she wants to retain her positions in local government (yes, she has more than one, sad to say. Sparkly turd, you see). So I’m stuck w/her not only because of our shared interest in our son (and older daughters), but with her and her worthless partner being close by. That makes my NC a little bit more challenging at times. Anyway, thanks again for the great advice, and may the Red Sox have another great year! And of course, stay strong CN. Sending out lots of love to everyone here trying to survive their own private hells thanks to their awful, unfaithful partners. We’re going to make it, thanks to each other and CL. Every year it’s getting better.

  • 1. Speak to a friend/send the email to friend. I once wrote a terrible email to my ex’s mother complaining about him. My friend called as I was about to hit send, he talked me out of it. Looking back, I’m so pleased.

    2. Write it down. The emotional stuff, the poetry, the dispair, the pain and darkness
    If it’s 3am and even your international friends have had enough, just write it down. Some people call it “journaling” but mine wasn’t that fancy, mainly scrawlings of a very hurt person. If they are of any use later it will be to remind you of what an ass they are and to remind you how much you have healed. I finally threw mine away the other day after 3 years.

    3. Don’t get drawn in.
    You can’t change them and one if the oldest tricks in the book for getting a reaction out of someone is to say something false about them. In that moment you just really really reeeeeelly want to set the record straight. Forget it. Setting the record straight is not the game. Keeping your cool is the game and you just lost

    4. If you’ve got kids – Document it all (not the same as 2. This is for the dodgy parent behaviour) as CL says, do it for legal reasons but it also acts as a release, you want to rage at them but it’s best not to and it wouldn’t achieve anything, so you write it down knowing that if this escalated, it’s here for your lawyer, a judge, someone in your familly or maybe even your adult children once all this has passed.

    5. Act disinterested most of the time. My favourite of all the tactics, this is like advanced level and 1,2,3&4 are emergency measures that you need to get by. Mastering the art of boredom is the next step. Channel your inner “Mean girl” even if you’re a guy, “who are you again? What did you want? I forgot. Sorry, are you still talking?” I personally like to talk really enthusiastically about some really petty boring shit, like lost toys, homework, something that’s funny, I laugh at my own jokes a lot, it’s kind of a monologue I forget they are there

    6. Master the pause. Park it. Don’t reply straight away, think about it first, for a whole day maybe. This is how to stop text conversations that are dragging on a bit much. Wait… reply, make the reply shorter than last time and the wait longer, sign off, it’s done, even if it’s not.

    Good luck, lovely people, learn some new (anti-) social skills

  • My STBX is listed in my contacts as “Pinocchio.” I do not initiate any contact with him unless absolutely necessary regarding my children. I rarely have the urge to reach out to him any more for any other reason — no contact gets easier and easier with time. But when I occasionally have the urge to remind him of his narcissism, etc., I send my proposed communication to one of several of my friends. They laugh with me and then forbid me from sending it. No Contact is THE BEST.

  • I went almost No Contact after throwing him out. Over the next three months, I caved once to thank him for the deluge of roses and to tell him to stop (they were not from him oh hahaha) and once when a favorite dog died (no reaction, just attack).

    That taught me. I blocked, cut off, changed everything and never heard directly from him again except through the lawyers.

    Except, oh joy! We got a major snitty letter from his lawyer asking why we kept asking questions, when “Mr. Asshole is communicating with Dianne about these matters. Don’t you talk to your client?”

    It seems for seven months he had been sending emails and voicemails, all of which were 100% blocked. And he never knew it. What was he thinking about no response? To his huge ego, he thought there was no way I was not “listening”.

    The letter following our response was the angriest ever.

    He really believed I would stay a pud even after DDay and its sordid revelations.

    No Contact is heaven.

  • I could not go no contact until our house sold as I still lived in it with my daughter (thankfully she is not his, so no visitation needed). I changed his contact to the wineglass emoji (he was a big whiner) so there was no way I could butt dial him.
    Soon as I got my money, deleted his contact and blocked it.

    In the days of wreckonciliation, I sent those long emails to a gmail account I set up specifically. Then when I saw the light, I deleted the messages from my sent mail, removed the contact info, logged into the other account, changed password to gibberish (just randomly typed into notepad, then cut and pasted into password box), logged out, deleted the notepad and voila. No way to see them!

  • We have kids so we have to discuss things, but I only ever discuss the kids, and only that. Never ask him about anything, unfortunately damaged my foot quite badly, he said he burnt his back, on the radiator, did he ask how I was, f… No!, its only swollen 3 times the size.
    Sad bastard!

    • I do the same. Keep it business about the kids. He’s taken that cue and then some, as in for the last year he rarely replies to my emails or texts about the kids.

      Three times I broke grey to call him on that. Asked him what I had done to offend him that my texts or emails about the children didn’t merit the courtesy of a reply that would even be extended to a stranger. The first time he sputtered and gave the excuse that his job doesn’t allow him to text or email (which is true because he works for the government), but that doesn’t account for the evenings and weekends. The second time was a sad tale about how he’s struggling with communication and always has. The third time was that he knows he needs to improve his responses and that he doesn’t know why he doesn’t answer me. He’s recently been making an effort to minimally respond.

      Communication is still one sided with him. It’s me informing him of something as I look after pretty much all things regarding the kids. He rarely initiates me; if he does, it’s usually about something that got forgotten at one house or the other. Nope, I’m doing the parenting, he does the babysitting. Last night I forwarded the email from our son’s teacher regarding my son’s behaviour that led to the teacher evacuating the students from the classroom so that the principal could deal with him (He’s ten and has Aspergers). This is pretty serious, but the kids are with their dad now until Sunday. His response: “Thanks for the update.” I’m left wondering if he’s going to have a discussion with our son at all, get at the root cause of the behaviour, communicate it with the ABA therapist, get our son to write a note to his teacher, then parent reply to the teacher? OR will I be the one to do it all Sunday evening when the kids return? Then, I’ll send him an email of what I did, and I’ll get at “Thanks for the update.” I think that might be more infuriating than being ignored.

      However, despite grey rock and keeping it business, I always ensure that I do it kindly and with a smile of my face. I’m always asking myself, “How would you approach a stranger?” I would be pleasant, but I wouldn’t engage beyond basic pleasantries and a moving on. I do that for the sake of the kids.

      • My ex is in my phone as “FirstName Fucktard LastName”, with the Fucktard included in the first name field. When I have to text him regarding the kids, “FirstName Fucktard” displays at the top. Its childish, but therapeutic too.

        I only text him regarding the kids and only in regard to items outlined in our parenting plan. Such as the logistics around purchasing a vehicle for DD this past summer. Or to notify him of reimbursement that he owes me for medical, school, or extra curricular activities for the kids. The kids themselves are old enough to handle all communication with him in regard to his parenting time.

        And like @OptionNoMore, mine never responds back to me. For the last 6 months, he has not forwarded any reimbursements either. I have never made a fuss about this to the Ex. I don’t know his motivation for why he does not respond nor forward reimbursement and I do not want to give him any satisfaction if he is doing it to upset me. He now owes me several thousand dollars. I talked with my counselor about it and he suggested it was one of the ways Ex was still trying to control me. With the last reimbursement request that I sent, I simply advised that if the full amount was not paid in full to me within 30 days, I would forward this matter to my attorney.

        • Well done.

          Of course, it would be my preference to have a normal co-parenting relationship. And, I’m sure that if I had not gone grey rock with him last January, he would have happily obliged with pretending to be my “friend” because it would make him look good and feel like he had achieved all he wanted (Like, wow, I left her for the OW and she still wants to be my friend…awesome!).

          But, I had a huge wake-up call when I discovered his secret email account when he left last year, after Christmas, and the scales fell from my eyes. The emails revealed the futility of the pick me dance that he had me going on for most of 2017. How the OW was always in the picture during our marriage sessions, our couple’s therapy weekend. At one point, he even mocks me to the OW for all my apologies for things in the relationship I was taking ownership for because I was pursuing my own counselling to work on myself. The lies, lies, lies. NO MORE!

          He’s completely confused why I shut him down, especially when I was soooo amicable when he chose to leave. He doesn’t know that I know the truth. I’ve never revealed that I have these emails. Sure I would love to have a friendship with my children’s father, but that is not who he is. As soon as I grey rocked him, his true colours emerged.

          On My Way – I hope you get your money. For as long as you can afford it on your own, I guess his payment in arrears is a form of forced savings for you. You’ll get that lump sum and that will be awesome for you.

          • OMG, OptionNoMore. I too discovered his secret email account! That was about 3 weeks after my DDay back in 10/2017. Just after the DDay, he told me he broke it off with her and wanted to fix our marriage. I was a scared chump and would have done anything to save my marriage. But after a couple weeks, he “wasn’t sure if he wanted me or something different”. We’d been married 20 years. The state of limbo was excruciating for me. I scoured every electronic device looking for information. To this day, he has no idea that I found his secret email account and know the truth. It never had to come out in the divorce. But without it, I never would know that he was posting and responding to ads on Craigslist and that he met his AP because she responded to one of his ads. I saw enough to trust that he sucks…and she does too! I stopped trying to save my marriage after this discovery. I immediately hired a lawyer, filed, and pushed that divorce through as fast as I could. While in the divorce process, I discovered a few other nuggets of truth that he was trying to hide. I would casually ask him a question to see if he would answer with the truth or lie. He would lie every single time. I quickly realized there was no reason to communicate with him. I started looking more at his actions…or lack there of. Next month will be 1 year since the divorce was final. He’s had some major brushes with karma and he married the Craigslist AP a few months ago, so likely he’ll continue to have some fun with karma.

            I too wish I could have a normal co-parenting relationship. Since I don’t have any divorced friends in real life, I asked my counselor if what I’m experiencing with my Ex is normal. Ha! Of course not. Counselor advised that my Ex has some special characteristics. That’s one way to put it. The “Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist” by Debbie Mirza was a real eye opener for me. It explained so much of my marriage.

            • So similar.

              Thanks for the book recombination.

              I still debate with myself if I should reveal to him that I know the truth, just as a final smack down before walking away. But, I find myself caring less and less.

              Recently, a friend of mine who is the wife of one of my exes best friends (I’m friends with all the wives) said to me that it doesn’t matter if everyone knows the truth. She wanted me to know that everyone knows I’m a good person and love me, and so just let him continue to be up to no good. She confirmed that in the last year we’ve been separated. He has yet to bring the OW to any function and no one even speaks of this relationship.

              The OW is still like a dirty secret and he’s still living with a double life.

          • you need to save up those emails and wait for the perfect time to let him or others know what you have. Let him really dig himself into a hole, railing against your inexplicable meanness, then respond ”well, as you emailed to FuckWhore way back in 2016, I AM x y z, so there’s that”.

  • You must be strong, NOT answering any of your “ex-other” emails, calls, text, social media messages,etc… I know it is very hard to do but is Best for you not to listen to his/her gaslighting, the effect is it is awful!
    Take a trip, go out with friends, movies, workout sessions, Pilates, etc… get a support group system so anytime he/she contacts you share it with them to stop you from answering back!
    I know how hard it is, stay strong! Your are first on your self being 🙌🏼

  • Unfortunately I had to learn the hard way, after more then a decade of numerous affairs. Me playing the pick me dance, allowing her to blame me for other men’s dicks to penetrate her. Loosing jobs due to depression. I finally had enough when her latest episode involved banging a thug from the ghetto, banging my sons wrestling coach, and hiding a second wrestling coach in her room when my son caught her. This wasn’t the first time my son caught her, several years before he caught her with his friends father. All this while I was trying to be loving, forgiving, and caring husband. When I saw how unapologetic she was to my son and heard from other people that she said I was this terrible horrible monster with one lie after another on how I abused her. Not only was I devastated more then ever. But that inner man inside me was calling me a pussy and told me to get some self respect! At that point I put that weak man in the trash and started rebuilding my life. After years of my self esteem being destroyed by this woman. I finally went no contact and made new friends. I realized just how unhealthy my relationship was and there are genuinely good people out there. As a Christian I just pray that my kids don’t pick up their mothers horrible relationship behaviors. So far they seem to be on the straight and narrow. So I can’t ask for anything more. Was it easy …no…but any thoughts about her, I just remind myself of all of the thugs she has banged while I was a loving devoted husband and that I need to show clear boundaries to my kids that this is not acceptable. Plus I’m really happy with the new me without her in my life..it took awhile, so be patient and do the work. Make it a goal and you will get there. Reading the Chump Lady blog reminds me how pathetic I used to be and helps me stay on course in my new life

  • Best way to send a message to your cheater:

    Jimmy Buffet’s song~~”If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, it’s Me.”

    • I love that song!!!
      My mom had the cassette tape (I’m old, LOL) of that album Last Mango in Paris and we would listen to it all the time!!!
      That cassette and Carly Simon’s album with the “Coming Around Again” song on it we’re both wore out within months.
      As I write this, I am singing “If the Phone doesn’t ring…” in my head. ❤️😁

      • I found the record in an antique shop last summer and bought it! There is something about listening to music “old school style”

        • I love “old school” music.
          I can’t bear current music.
          “Gypsies in the Palace” is another fun song!

  • He’s in my phone as CIRCUS CLOWNS MONKEY to remind me that all he does is dance, dance, dance for the CIRCUS CLOWN OW.

    His ringtone is from 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY – In specific, Hal saying… I’m sorry Dave ~ I can’t let you do that.

    LOL

  • Douchebag McGee was in my phone as Do Not Respond. I also wrote down dates of every time he was with homeslice, things he said (sex with her is fun and energetic, but I can’t finish because I’m thinking of you…so poetic).
    I realized that the sooner I stayed NC, the sooner I would heal. That was really important to me, to not sacrifice my well-being for his lies.
    Love yourself more than getting some quick fix.

    • I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed your ex Douchebag isn’t listed in your phone as “220lb Deadweight” since yours is one of my favorite alias’ in Chump Nation. 😀

  • When WW calls, I have stored a really unflattering photo to come up for her profile on my phone. Very unflattering.

  • He is in my phone as GUY (that’s how my 15 year old refers to him) but I’d really like to call him FUCKING ASSHOLE. He’s only in my phone because we have kids. One word responses if possible and I don’t text him unless it has to do with the kids. I prefer to let him be the one to send the text and I reply with Yep or No. Got nothing to say to him. When my little one turns 18 I will delete his number for good.

  • I was slooow to get to no contact. Newbies- some advise- get there as quick as you can. My ex was texting vile things (cussing, name calling, etc) , and since we had to co parent, I thought I had to keep him in my phone by law.

    Once my attorney saw what he was emailing and texting me, she told me to block him and she showed his attorney (who was appalled). That stopped a lot becuase it was expensive to write to my attorney to change a pick up time. LOL. He also refused parenting software (cuz nobody tells him what to do!) and my attorney said she could not get that enforced. If you have a long road of coparenting, I would have that written into my agreement. I should have pushed for it, but I only had 1 year to get to youngest being 18, so I let it go.

    I am a proud graduate of and card carrying member of the no contact school and club who did undergrad at the school of Grey Rock first. This does not make me a bitter bunny just because he tells the kids I am since I won’t talk to him. But I am a wiser, gentler, happier, saner, calmer, and stronger woman for it. I don’t care what he thinks anyway. It is the BEST and only way to reclaim your life and sanity.

    PS. How do I know I was successful at no contact? He cried to the kids 2 years into my no contact that I would not even talk to him or look at him so he noticed LOL. Then, 2.5 years into no contact he mailed me an apology letter (faux apology- need to get it to the UBT!)- and told the kids (manipulator that he is) it was a beautiful letter and mom would not even respond because I am ….unforgiving and whatever else he said I am. The offer in the letter was for counseling together (that I would pay for lol) and a goal of holidays together again as a family unit. What can I say? Entitled, delusional people write letters that prove they are entitled, delusional people.

      • Well said. I just chalked it up to super sized entitlement. 🤔 who thinks they deserve holidays for image projection? See- she still likes me… This is not Humpty Dumpty family.

    • Free2bme, it is posts like yours that are so helpful to the newbies. I am 2 years out from separation, 7 months since divorce finalised. Like you I thought I should leave my email and text open for communication about our youngest (16 years old), as we share 50-50 custody. In between civil businesslike communications he would fire off a nasty abusive text. So I blocked him on phone/text but left email open. An abusive email duly arrived. I finally realised – I divorced him because of the abuse. why do I have to apprehensive every time I see an email pop up from him and keep myself open to abuse? So I blocked him on email, arranged for child support to be collected by the government agency and forwarded to me, set up a shared calendar between him, me and my son, told them both the passwords and that because of abusive communications, this was the channel of communcation my ex-husband now had with me. I put everything in it that concerned custody from my end. Well, that set the cat among the pigeons. My poor son has had a couple of goes at me, telling me how hard it was for him that his dad couldn’t communicate with me – so I told him that his dad could communicate with me through the calendar, there was plenty of room for information about custody arrangements and messages and it was very straightforward. If his dad chose not to use the method of communication that was there, that was up to him and I was very sorry that his dad was using this to make my son’s life uncomfortable. If his dad’s first priority was to make his son’s life as comfortable as possible, then he would use the calendar. I also told him that the calendar was an arrangement I made for my son’s benefit so that – even though I was no longer willing to put up with abuse by email or text – there could still be communication about my son when necessary. I was sorry that his dad was making him unhappy about something that wasn’t a problem, as there was in fact a channel of communication open. That was a hard conversation, especially this bit: If my son was seriously ill or injured when he was with my ex-husband, I would expect that his first priority as parent would be to get my son appropriately cared for and then he could get the hospital, or his parents, or one of our adult children, to call me. The same as I would do if it happened when my son was with me. Not sure what he made of it all, but I was very clear. It sucks for the kids sometimes to be confronted with the realities. My husband is a boundary trampler and I am enforcing a boundary that works best for me, and my son didn’t ever see that when we were still married. Hopefully he can get his head around it. I am certainly about a thousand percent happier since I don’t have to dread texts and emails, I do all the pick up and drop offs for custody so don’t have to see hide nor hair of the ex-husband at any time. Being a chump you feel like a hard-hearted killer sometimes, especially when ex haz a sad or a rage at the kids because he can’t get to you. But it is so worth it when you look at it rationally and realise its just bullshit.

      • I’m glad it was helpful to you NewChump. The physical anxiety I had to endure while being the only sane parent and working full time was dreading the emails and texts (from him and my attorney too since he used the courts to play games) I so wanted to do the right thing that I was allowing him to trample on me and he didn’t care one bit.

        Mine started writing diatribes to our kids and even twice to my attorney when I went no contact. Anger and impulse control issues are a recipe for his disaster.

        Even 2.5 years out to see his handwriting on a letter to me (with my maiden name after 27 years of having his) was upsetting. I filed it unopened until I could process if I should open it or burn it.

        I’m getting stronger. Now if he dares to write me I will likely burn it or have a trusted friend open it and decide if I’m better off burning g it.

        Here is why. He got in my head. His dumb request and seeing his handwriting and reading how he is so sorry he was deplorable and blah blah blah but for the sake of the kids….please find it In your heart to ….
        Mindfuckery still. I see it now and I’m just mad that I had a few steps back in my Meh
        Since he told the kids about it making me look unforgiving. We should all enjoy holidays… but your mom won’t lwt it happen.

        I held my boundaries and had a very tough conversation and backlash from 1 daughter in particular.

        Stay strong. You need your boundaries to care for your son well even IF it’s hard on your son. He can’t tell what’s in your best interest (keeping an abuser from abusing you) is really #1. Try to minimize the impact to him and love him extra hard and well. His dad’s bs will be seen for what it is in time. Even if not you keep making adult decisions that guard your sanity and level the playing field. They are masters of chaos and it requires firm boundaries to co parent. You’re going to be just fine!!!

    • I really, really like this paragraph you wrote: Thank you.
      I am a proud graduate of and card carrying member of the no contact school and club who did undergrad at the school of Grey Rock first. This does not make me a bitter bunny just because he tells the kids I am since I won’t talk to him. But I am a wiser, gentler, happier, saner, calmer, and stronger woman for it. I don’t care what he thinks anyway. It is the BEST and only way to reclaim your life and sanity.

  • I’m co parenting too. I have a few neutral responses for when he txts.
    1. No response. This is the default.
    2. 👍. For those rare occasions that no.1 might not cut it, like a direct question regarding the kids, or “ happy Mother’s Day “
    3. At a stretch…”Cool” or “no worries”
    To respond to things like, “ we’ll be an hour late”, “ me and Ow got engaged “.
    4. “ No/Yes”
    These aren’t for everyone, but work for me.
    Good luck CN.

  • His name in my phone is SBTX and his picture is a mask. I’m civil but only communicate about kids, financial stuff and what is necessary to discuss for divorce. He texted thank with a smiley face because of visit for our son. Your a cheater, no smiley face back…

  • Skankboy is in the phone as “Do Not Call This Piece of Shit.” with a picture of a pile of poop and a red circle with a line through it!

  • Cheatinheimer

    We made this name up when the kids were little and tried to show them rules matter, such as you can’t roll again, you have to play that card, etc. don’t be a Cheatinheimer!

    Another name was Studebaker, to show the kids name calling is not ok, and names such as stupid, weird, etc are hurtful but the word doesn’t matter as much as the meaning behind it.

  • As a parent with a cheater ex husband, the way I maintain minimal to no contact is first a shared calendar so that any scheduling can be done through that without any other contact.

    I also use that same calendar to note when he cancels custody dinners moments before they’re to begin when he’s late picking up children for custodial weekends and when he has arrived intoxicated and I had to turn him away. I want him to know I have evidence of all his infractions of the custody agreement. It is my hope one day he will and his affair partner will go public and begin their life together that they were planning but can’t do now because my children drew a line in the sand as far as they don’t want to meet her, they don’t want to be forced into a blended family and they’re not going to her home for custodial visit. Other reasons for them not being together is the fact that he was fired from his job because she is a client of the firm he worked for and he does not want his friends and family to know about this affair because oh my goodness how would he look to them all.

    My very wise 12 year old daughter at the time reminded me, he didn’t just do this to me, he did it to them too. I question what contact they’ll have with him once they are no longer court-ordered.

    As far as any other correspondence I keep it very to the point with no pleasantries at the beginning or the end. When he sends me any information if it requires a response I do so otherwise I just note it.

    I have everything saved in case it ever has to come up in a custodial hearing and I save his responses.

    Fortunately I live in a state where child support and alimony are done through a Family Services Unit and everything is electronic whereby deducted from his paycheck sent to the unit and then forwarded it to my bank so don’t have to worry about him not paying on time. As part of the unit, if he does fail to pay they will automatically issue a warrant for his arrest.

    Since I implemented the no contact policy with him it’s been interesting to see how unnerving it is to him. We actually attend school functions and sporting events and do not sit together nor do I speak to him or acknowledge
    him.

    When I think of the Betrayal and the lies and the STDs that he gave me as a result of his affair and how he tore apart our family, it’s very easy not to speak to him. There is a greater sense of Peace since I began the no contact aspect of the wonderful book that you’ve written.

    The issue I have is wanting to reach out to his affair partner and tell her you won, claim your prize, I have mine. I really want him out of my children’s lives. I’ve said to him over and over again, do you want your son to grow up to be like you and do you want your daughter to marry a man like you?

    Stay strong and be true to yourself.

  • I sent my share of gut-wringing texts tor the Dickhead. He only responded to one of my them, and it would have been fodder the UBT. No Contact is the way to less stress. Although, in my situation, it’s pretty easy as the Dickhead just wanted me to go silently away and let him manage his image and start a new life with OW.

    Out off all the woman that’s been in his life and one that’s been in the longest, I will be the one that he will never hear from again.

  • In the first month after I moved out we still had contact because we hadn’t been to court yet. I thought that was normal. On the day of our appearance in court, ex told me he was planning his travel this up coming football season to watch our favorite home team play in a different venue and maybe if I wasn’t seeing anyone we could go together. I didn’t think that was normal and asked him if he understood how divorce works.

    After we went to court he still called me at work, still asked me to edit things for him and then asked me out for dinner on our old wedding anniversary date?? I pretty much snapped after that and sent him a ‘no contact’ email. Wayyyyyyyy too much drama.

    Do you know what the best message is that you’re no contact? No actual contact! You don’t need to tell them! During the course of the next 9 months even though we were no contact I hadn’t removed his number from my phone. Then he butt dialed me and left a 3 minute ‘butt conversation’ with the OW. That was fun. Later he sent me a happy birthday text and facetimed me. Even though I ignored both contacts, I was rather unsettled by them so I decided that since our kids were grown I would block him from my individual cell phone. Best. Decision. Ever!!!!!

    I also blocked all his family on social media and all the people I was friends with in the old neighborhood! Also a really great decision. The longer I went without ever hearing from him, the better I felt. It’s been almost 5 years since our divorce and more than 4 years of absolutely no contact.

    If I ever felt myself wavering I remembered the infamous quote from AOOK: “No contact is the path to the truth and the light.” Truer words have never been spoken!

  • It was rather easy for me…I just keep thinking of one of the last things he said to me before I had him removed from my house: “I no longer care what you think or how you feel about what I do.” Ditto, asshole! Done, so done with him!

    • Nomorecouchslug,
      Sorry for the lateness of this, but I had to respond to what you said about your cheater. “I no longer care what you think or how you feel about what I do.” I’m right there w/you on that. My STBXW said something similar to me the day she physically left the house to be w/her POS fellow cheater, her now former boss. I was sobbing, playing the pick-me dance after 24 1/2 years of marriage, asking her to please rethink what she was doing to me and our family. What I got was, “You’re going to have to learn how to live without me.” Well, shit. I realized about 6-7 months later, she’s SO RIGHT. Why would I want to be w/a woman who thinks so little of me and our family that she was willing to totally betray me, our love (assuming she ever had that for me), and our family. Leaving me behind w/our then 11 yo son & moving in a 1/2 mile down the street w/her fellow cheater. Recently I got an unasked for email from her telling me I am a good man and a good father. This was two months or so after trying to gaslight me by telling me I was the untrustworthy one. I ignored the impulse to respond. I’m in greyrock as much as I can be w/her, email & text only, and as little as possible then. If we didn’t have a minor to coparent, it would be total exclusion or damn close (still have two adult daughters). NC is wonderful. The less I have to interact w/her, the better. Stay strong, and thanks for telling more of your story. Best wishes to you and your family in this new year.

  • I went scorched earth when I dumped the cheater. I deleted all contact information, changed my phone number, deleted or locked down my social media, deleted email addresses, deleted all photos, discarded all material items linked to him. Dumped his family, and dumped all our mutual friends. I eventually dumped all my casual acquaintances who were linked to him in any way. I dumped all the groups we had in common, stopped going places he likes to go, and avoid his neighborhood as much as possible to prevent running into anybody who might recognize me.

  • In my phone the ex is known as simply “Donor.” His ringtone is “The Asshole Song” by Jimmy Buffett.

    No contact has been relatively easy for me because mine is perpetually stuck on the rage channel. It has been 9 years since last D-day. The last time I broke no contact was 2 1/2 years ago when the parental alienation took affect and the boys left. I tried to call and discuss this and he told me, “I did this because you got remarried.” and threatened to sue me for child support. I really hope one of the kids overheard this conversation.

    Some people are a special kind of messed up.

  • Mine was stored in my contacts as LLCM (Lily-Livered Cunt Muffin) during the 2 1/2 months of grinding my teeth to keep being civil to get him to buy me out of the house.
    I felt the name captured the puny pathetic nature of him and his actions. I didn’t want to give him a really nasty name as that would imply he had some power over me.
    Within 24 hours of the money for half our joint house transferring to me and my purchase of my lovely new home, he was barred from calling me, text, whatsapp, email (both work and personal accounts), Facebook, linked in, strava. OW is also barred from cyberstalking me on Facebook, strava, Linked in etc. From our previously joint iPad (now mine as part of the separation) which he foolishly had not wiped the link to his phone or Facebook before he gave it back to me, I deleted all my friends phone numbers remotely from his phone and unfriended them from his Facebook account
    I fought the deliciously tempting urge to write a Facebook post as if from him, saying what a worthless cheating lowlife he was!
    I also removed my number from his emergency contact details. Delighted though I would be if he was in a horrible car accident, I don’t want to be the first person the ambulance calls!
    Needless to say, he doesn’t have my new address.

  • I use a simple litmus test. If it is related to the children’s well being or dictated as part of our divorce settlement, I will discuss it. Otherwise, I ignore it. My favorites are when I mix the two in the same interaction. Respond to one remark, ignore the next.

    I just remind myself that it is no longer my responsibility to fix things for him. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

  • I got a very nasty message on Valentine’s Day. The sort of cry-in-you-yoga-map message. I read it over and over. The sting of that wound lasted a long time. I told myself I would never have any interaction with him again. He has said he would pick up the crap he left behind in the spring, and I pictured myself slamming the door in his face, without a word. I slammed that door in my mind, over and over.

    He never did pick up his crap. I never did contact him again. And I never will.
    Obviously I blocked him everywhere, but also put “DO NOT CALL OR TEXT” on his contact list, just to make sure I had to get past that to contact him. If he were on fire, I wouldn’t pee on his to put it out.

    Since D-Day, I’ve identified 2 people in my acquaintance circle whom I see as toxic and morally repugnant. And it’s encouraging that I’ve learned how my actions can say “you’re dead to me” without me having to do anything overt. It’s just—they’re dead to me. I feel nothing, even if I must interact professionally. They just don’t register in my world. And I think that’s very smart and healthy.

    • I also think naming him “Jackass” here was super helpful. Imagine how many times I typed that name. Jackass. Jackass. Jackass. Every time reminded me that he is a jackass. And I’m worth more than that.

      • Reading your posts here, I have been inspired to named my EX Jackass. In my case it’s especially fitting as the word contains his name.

    • Nice! I wonder if I should change my relatively new renaming of the STBXW in my Contacts from “NC” (No Contact/No Class) to “SL” (Scarlet Letter)? It could also be short for slut! Again, I abbreviate the full nickname to avoid the kids seeing it should they use my phone. I think I’ll just rotate them as I think of them and as I see fit. It’s so therapeutic. Best wishes & happy New Year to you and yours.

  • The 4th anniversary of D-Day is in a couple of months, and as I recall, no contact was easier than I thought because I was so angry I didn’t want to talk to him…
    Back in high school, when my boyfriend of three years and I broke up, I wallowed in grief and despair for months, constantly writing him letters, calling him, etc., and I grew up from that…when exh1 left, it took a few months, but I went no contact and ignored him after except at exchanges.
    Being a Star Wars/Harry Potter geek, nicknames like Sith Lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, etc. didn’t seem to fit as well as The Evil One, so from early on that was and is still now his name in my phone. His caller ID picture has been a flaming middle finger, a black circle, a man dressed as a unicorn with the caption, “It’s Sparkles McGee, bitches!” Google it, you’re welcome 🤣😂…these days it’s just the letter T. His ringtone is the Purge siren, but he never calls, ever.
    It took time to master grey rock more than no contact.
    I did just about all the same things listed above my post for no contact, but grey rock took time.
    For example, back when we were married, when he was upset I would do anything I could to comfort him or “fix it”…a couple months after he left, his grandfather died. He texted me the news, and I immediately called him, “are you OK?… What happened?…etc.”
    He responded with, “within the next five years, I’m not going to have any family left”
    I immediately told him that he would always have his true family- me and DD. (Facepalm)
    His answer? “I gotta go” click.
    After that, anything else he told me regarding his poor sad sausage self has been met with a flat-tone, no acknowledgement, no care or concern, ever.
    😂🤣😂🤣 There have been a couple times he’s tried to get sympathy or concern from me which was met with grey rock.
    TEO: “I have pinched nerve in my back, so we’re not doing much this weekend”
    Me: “here’s her sleep meds. Bye, DD!!! Love you!” Got back in my car and left without a backwards glance
    TEO: “see these (tiny) scratches? They’re from me rolling my 18-wheeler ( and causing major damage on I-10 backing up traffic for hours, took weeks to repair…)”
    Me: “k. Bye DD, have fun at daddy’s! Love you!” Got in my car and rolled off
    Once in a while, we actually have conversations, but they are always about DD.
    Almost four years now, never once has he ever asked me how am I doing, how’s it going, nothing.
    It takes time and practice, but it makes life so much better!

    • have kind of the opposite problem. My cheater is pretty much solidly on charm channel most of the time, at least to people’s faces (should have known he was being two faced with me too). This is why those moments of open devalue during our marriage were so shocking when they occurred. It did get worse the last couple of years and his mask totally slipped when he was busy fucking strange. After DDay he was saying such terrible things to me. I thought he had completely lost his mind.

      Things have stabilized now and he is back to charm any time we interact. He doesn’t try to tell me about his day but he will enquire about my day and offer encouragement or congratulations where it seems appropriate. I don’t talk to him about what is going on in my life, but he often finds out anyway from the kids. He thanks me when I have to parent solo for a few weeks due to his work travel. He often includes my name in his texts (“Thanks Chumpinrecovery”). It may sound silly but this one really gets to me in that it implies a certain level of intimacy that just doesn’t exist between us anymore. I don’t include his name in my responses. It took months before he would stop wanting to help out with things around the house in which he no longer lives. I can’t say that I want him to be stuck on rage or self-pity. I am glad I don’t have to deal with all of the crap that so many others have to deal with. Dealing with him really is much easier when he is stuck on charm, but it is disconcerting sometimes because it is easy to feel like maybe he does still care. He may even still care on some level, but he doesn’t care enough. He didn’t care enough to not go seeking strange when the opportunity arose. He didn’t care enough to reconcile and not run off with Slutface. He didn’t care enough to focus on our family and make us a priority. He didn’t care if he broke my heart. He still doesn’t care about any of those things. Whenever I imagine that I might have lost something, I have to remember what it was like when he didn’t have his channels under control. I need to remember all of the horrible things he said to me post DDay. I have to remember the devalue I was experiencing before that. I have to remember what he really thinks of me so that I will not pine for him. If he treats me better now that we are divorced then that is as good a reason as any to be divorced. Meanwhile I am civil back as I am the conflict avoidant type. If he can fake charm then so can I, but I try to avoid doing or saying anything that could be construed as sign of affection. I want him to know that even if I have my own rage channel under control these days, he has still lost the love I used to have for him even if he doesn’t care.

      • I can relate to so much of what you have written here. I have to keep telling myself that the “charm” and “nice things” have no substance to them. They are hollow empty gestures from a hollow empty man. I projected so much of my own goodness and kindness on to him because I simply could not imagine he was capable of so much deliberate destruction and devaluation. I look forward to the day when our youngest graduates HS so that I can go truly no contact. In the meantime, I really need to work on my grey rock skills. I take so much inspiration from those who post here who have found their way to Meh. Can’t wait to get to the promised land!

      • The stbx is also stuck on charm and his mask is excellent – my dear friend seemed quite pleased he’d called her ‘love’ when he went to collect something, even though she heard the whole devalue blow by blow from me…and I get your ‘level of intimacy’ point. So much so I never say ‘my ex’ but always ‘the ex’, removing all ownership, in the same way I’d not now say ‘her rapist’ or ‘his cancer’.

      • Yes, exactly, I get it
        The last year or so, he and Mrs. Dumbass have been quite chatty and cordial with me, like we’re all “good” now, we’re pals.
        It’s mind boggling to me that they act like it’s all water under the bridge now, it’s alright.
        He’s never been on charm-channel with me, he’s never acknowledged or recognized anything I’ve done, how I took the shit-pile he left behind and grew a garden. Me. All by myself.
        One of these days I will clear the air once and for all with them, but for now, it’s calm and quiet, so I’m biding my time

        • UnsinkableMollyX,
          Yes, the water-under-the bridge expectation is mind-boggling & hurtful. The STBXW frequently tries to act as if we’re still intimate, as if she still cares. That really hurts, as it’s still very unexpected to my heart & mind. But I’m achieving greyrock better & better as time goes on. Letting her no I no longer want her sitting next to me for our sons coparenting events will definitely help. The best was when my now 13 yo son said, w/out any prompting from me, that the scumbag former boss now partner to the STBXW keeps telling him over & over again that “wait & see, in a short time we’ll all be friends and act as if this never happened.” My son says he doesn’t laugh out loud every time he hears this from him, but close to it. He said he’s always laughing at it, either outwardly or on the inside. That made my day. Sending good vibes your way, and hopefully peace of mind as well.

          • Exactly!!! They think they are modeling “what co-parenting looks like” or “how adults should be have, for the children” ick.
            I had to do a lot of ballpark sitting with exh1 and his OWife, nope. Not interested this time around.
            Sending you good vibes back to you!!!
            I’ve got a peaceful easy feeling now, thanks!!!! 🙌👍

  • I recite the Maya Angelou quote to myself (may not be word for word, but this is the gist of it):

    “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

    • “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” That resonates strongly!
      I should’ve run for the hills as far back as 1999

      Her best friend: “Dave, she’s been seeing somebody else behind your back”
      Cheater: “Oh for gods sake, I just kissed a bloke when I was drunk”

  • Take Advantage of Your Anger

    I had moved out & filed for divorce but we still spoke. I did something different to my hair and he saw it the first time we signed papers. He said I looked “shocking”. Mind you, I flat ironed my hair-didn’t dye it or do anything adventurous – (effin’ dweeb!).

    As we left, for the umpteenth time he told me how unreasonable his mother thought I was being and how he was a valiant knight who defended me. (I yawned at this-didn’t give 2 shits)

    We hugged goodbye and his jacket tugged my hair a bit. I jokingly said, “Watch the hair-do!” and his reply was, “Yeah, that’s why I don’t like straight hair.”

    This was amusing, given that I’d seen the photos of the hookers he contacted & knew exactly what he ‘liked’. I told him that, and he said “Well, I like the idea of straight hair, but it’s pretty impractical.”

    Something snapped in me at that moment. Though he did all this shit to me, he still had the balls to stand there and low-key insult me. I said, “You’re making me nauseous” and walked away. For the next few days I ignored his texts asking about recipes and shopping lists (which I still intended to help him out with!)

    Honestly, the fact that our last interaction was bad is what helped with NC. But really, the NC/LC is a choice you have to make. I CHOSE to not explain why I wasn’t speaking to him – all that does is open the door for “apologies” and mind fucks. That benefits these walking crabs – not us chumps.

    It’s HARD, but worth it. My head space has been so much more pleasant ever since. The first few days are the worst but please know, you CAN do it. Put yourself first – these hyenas never will.

  • Mine is Mr. Cheater Cheatson from Cheatsville. I thought it seemed like a nice way of putting it? “Sociopathic serial cheating alcoholic who pretended to be a church leader while messing around with underage prostitutes and having abortions with co-workers” was too long of a title.

    On a practical note…ANYTIME I need to communicate something regarding the kids I write an email, wait a few days and filter filter filter it until it is dry, factual and void of any emotion. When he becomes really douchey about not letting the kids do an extra curricular they want/need to do because it’s “his” weekend and “his” time, I send my email to two other divorced mom friends and ask them to red line anything non-factual/pertinent. It helps keep my emotions in check because what I of course what i really want to write is: Go choke on sperm you deluded sicko.

  • Experience.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I finally figured that out.

  • I knew he would enjoy it (contact from me), therefore I did not. Its been 242 days now.

    I got the last word in when I kicked him out. I told him everything I thought about him while he laid there speechless that I had the balls to speak so loudly and sternly…and honestly that i think he sucks and we hated him.

    I told him to get out and walked away. Ive never engaged with him siince, total no contact except through divorce lawyer. I figure it kills him that he doesnt get to respond to that, doesnt get a rise out of me and cannot touch me in any sense anymore, so staying no contact is a pleasure. Its the best way to get even!.

    Side note, hes stalked me and now has 3 felony charges for it LOLOL. Dumbass.

    • meandmytruck, I’m so sorry you went through this! May I ask how you went about pursuing the 3 felony charges for stalking? My ex is just starting to go the stalker route and I’m curious how others have successfully pursued legal action like this.

  • I have a rule to never respond right away. Even if I type up a text response, I do not hit send until I’ve let some time go by. At first, when no contact was much harder I set a two hour wait period.

    The other thing I do is to ask myself the question “ If I respond to this, will it make any difference?” If he answer is no, then I close the message thread.

    After a while, you begin to realize when you do slip up and nothing productive comes from the conversation and you’re left feeling queasy, that not responding is a much better option.

  • For just these occasions I saved a picture of Fuckup and the OW mugging for the camera on the tropical charter tour getaway they took during OUR supposed wreckonciliation. His pale, shirtless torso, her sagging bosom ensconced in a smocked floral romper. The backpacks. The cameras on straps around their necks. They are precisely the “tacky charter tourists” that he made massive fun of the entire time I knew him. (Projection much?)

    When I find myself pining for him and wanting to reach out, that picture reminds me that there’s not enough nope in the world.

  • Ashamed to admit I contacted. My ex bf last night after he was all sad sausage that he went for counselling( a couple of times—smdh). I told him he needs more than that.. then went on about getting toxic and disordered people out of my life. Ughhhh!

  • For anyone that’s new to this NC thing….one thing that helped me, in the beginning when this was all coming about was that I definitely didn’t go no contact immediately. I communicated my thoughts, my heart, my anger, my devastation. I let him know. I put it all out there and then, I let it go. It took me months and months, for sure (would have been less if I’d discovered CL sooner). But I knew I had to say my piece so I could eventually close that chapter of my life and move on for good. SO if you’re in that spot too, where it’s new and you’re NEEDING to get it out, write it an email, give him your words until you’ve got none left and then close that damn book, burn it and move the hell on. CL Nation, I couldn’t be more grateful for you and I’ll fly your flag any day.

    • @Manna, you are so right! During the last phases of attempted reconciliation we emailed back and forth for a period of time at my insistence. In those emails, I said everything I had to say, and asked all the questions I had to ask. So I have written evidence, both of what I said and his responses.

      I went NC at the end of June 2018. Now any time I think “Ugh! I should have told him this! I should have asked about that!” I can go back to the emails and realize “been there, said that, got a lame word salad response,” and lay it to rest again.

    • Better idea: write it out and don’t give it to the Cheater. It simply feeds the beast.

      It’s also dangerous, because with many Chumps, keeping the line of communication open has been the royal road to wreckonciliation, marriage police, and multiple D-days.

      Cheaters can play us like experts. The pursuit of ‘closure’ that depends on the Cheater finally giving us what we want is also a very unhappy and dangerous path.

      There are always exceptions, and you may be one of them. But for rapid pain relief, lasting results, and greater strength and healing in a shorter time, I would recommend strict No Contact. It really does deliver the results.

  • I call mine Welfare Wayne (WW) because he wanted child support and spousal support from me while we were still living in the same house and I was already paying all the bills. He continued to fight for anything and everything in court. 7 times in court and a trial and he was then finally ready to settle. Now I have our child more (thankfully) and do No contact as much as possible.

    I don’t respond to emails or texts unless they are strictly about our child. And he’ll send nonsense ones and try to make things into an issue when they are not just to have something to text me about. He still tries to demand that we meet in person to discuss things about the child. I continually refuse and tell him to let me know in writing so we can reference back and that usually puts an end to the topic.

    I will talk on the phone if I have to but if he goes off topic of our child I hang up. Thankfully he doesn’t show up to any of child’s extra curriculars so at least I don’t have to deal with him there.
    I’ve gone though a few names for him. WW is used the most. Sometimes Spanky because he loves to spank it while looking at the spanktop I mean laptop. Deadbeat wasn’t original enough so WW it is.

  • His name in my contact list is Edgar Suit (“Men in Black” reference). Since I am completely NC at this point he no longer has a ringtone but when he did it was the theme song from the movie “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”. 🎶 Wah Waaaaaaah Wah 🎶 😂

      • Love it! My ex MIL is very judgmental. In 20 years of marriage, any time we went out to a restaurant, the ex MIL always had to find something to complain about. Every. Single. Time.

        She harps on choices that my kids make, the fact that I wash my hands with dish liquid at the kitchen sink rather than scented hand soap, and so on. She’s exhausting.

        Anyway, around the holidays, ex MIL and ex FIL spent some time with the kids. Afterwards, my almost teen son, who never speaks ill of anyone, says to me “Grandma was awful!!”. I just smiled. And definitely on the inside, I was thinking “Yipee, not my problem anymore!!”

        • My ex MIL was the same way at restaurants..ALWAYS had to complain and send stuff back to the kitchen. So glad to be rid of that whole crazy family

  • I occasionally look at the 110 photographs of texts that my ex (aka The Rev. Raunch-Dog / Mr. Chik-Fil-A prayer-posal) sent to OW #1 (“let’s go ring shopping next week”), OW#2 (simultaneous with OW#1 “thanks for the picture of your tits”), and the other women from hookup sites that he was trying to meet. Not to dwell on the pain/past, but to remind myself how fucked up he is and that I am 100% better to be out of that relationship, not matter how much his betrayal & rejection hurt at the time.

    In the beginning, I would actually try to gaslight myself (“maybe I just didn’t understand what was going on”) even though he admitted it when confronted, so it was good to have tangible proof, sort of a touchstone of reality that I wasn’t crazy or imagining things because I had had no idea that he was cheating.

  • Fucktard X moved out a week after Dday because I was growing more and more angry…that whole ILY crap and rewritten history and Narc tendencies…and he was on another planet. My rose colored glasses were off (that devalue phase that Cheaters go through had me reeling and had pretty much up to this point destroyed our marriage). When I realized x was fucking someone else that was it. I deleted his phone number and went directly to communicating by email. Kept me honest, and to the point. We had older children, one in college and two just finishing high school, so I walked away from enabling that, ,he now had to parent but he was running from his life. No surprises there. I took over all my finances, took care of our children, let the house foreclose(he walked out on mortgage), and never looked back. Like…Who the fuck does this?!?!? I was careful though, listened to my gut because I knew it mattered, and called for help when I had to.

  • Instead of emailing about kid-related business right away as it pops up, or whenever it occurs to me, I make a queue of non-urgent communications. Then, I send the list on Wednesdays—or together with any truly urgent issue.

    Also, I generally wait 24-48 hours before responding to any of the X’s communications.

    I find that if I reach out less often, so does the X.

    Also, I keep a kids’ google calendar going, which X usually forgets to check… and thus, sometimes forgets to show up at school-related events. Which is nice for me. And I don’t feel guilty about that at all because I did my part—more than my part, really, because the X could keep up with school bulletins just as well as anyone else.

    • Yup. I send exactly one written notice of Dr appointments and none at all of school events. He can sign up for school bulletins same as I do. If he forgets something that is not my problem. I am not his wife appliance any more.

      • At the advice of a therapist, I used to write a long quarterly important dates for the kids, he thanked me and then failed to show to anything. Now I do nothing. He can google everything just like I do. He loves to bitch about it in June when there’s three weeks left of the school year. Sticks his nose in, contacts admin, teachers etc. I even used to have the school photocopy report cards but when he didn’t look at it and left it at my house on pick up. I was like fuck it. My DS will plead ex’s case about how unfair I am. Grates my nerves but I try like hell with grey rock.

  • For the last and final time, no contact now since June. Divorce final in Oct.after 2.5 years of him stalling and financially abusing the process. I’ve learned valuable things. NEVER try and “reason” with them. It’s impossible and anything you say will be used against you. Let your attny do the talking, be your gatekeeper, and be the bad guy. He stops paying spousal? My attny will handle it. He doesn’t comply with the court orders? Attny is handling it. For a guy that detonated a 28 year marriage so he could pursue a “soulmate” he knew for a handful of weeks, demand I become polyamory, and then abandon me, you’d think he would leave me alone and continue exploring new holes. Right? WRONG. He got zero response with his many hoovering attempts so he devised a clever one. He sent me a FedEx that I had to sign for. I didn’t know it was from him until I had already signed for it. Inside was a card with sparkles and animals (which I love) reminding me of a special time in our marriage. They will stop at nothing to manipulate and control. Too bad he didn’t have a spark of memory or conscience or character or integrity before he cheated, but now I keep those thoughts to myself.

  • I don’t have a particular name for my x. The divorce was finalized in November. I have not spoken to him in over a year. I had not physically seen him in a year and a half. I packed his car and changed the locks shortly after the ” I no longer love you text”. Yes, you read that right. I got a text. He is blocked from my phone and I changed the number. All of the kids are adults, so there is that. I thought I had blocked him from email. But recently learned that is not so. As his attorney quit when he became in contempt of the divorce decree. He has been emailing me , including MY attorney in those emails. He writes me letters raging at me. He writes me a lot actually. I never respond. The latest was informing me that he is not the one that I got my lifelong STD from. He included literature, and concluded I must have had it from childhood!!lol. The fact that I gave birth, no c-sections to children is of no importance. I reach out very frequently to another chump from this site/ “Jeep Tess”. This woman has been my 2×4, strength, and a new friend when I was very low. I am fortunate to have found her. I hope we can remain friends always. I am saddened that it took being here to find her and people like her. But I am very close to Meh, and believe things happen for a reason. Unfortunately, I have had to cut my daughter off as she is as disordered as the x. She tries to bully, control and manipulate me. The x would use her to get to me in the early stages . Cutting her off, finally cut off any remaining access he had to my life. Maybe someday, we can be ok.

  • I’m not NC yet, as we are still living together (same house/ different rooms) and trying to work out financials. It truly sucks but I’m doing my best to keep minimal contact. It’s all about the kids and the house/ bills. I am very civil as I don’t want to stress the kids and I want more than anything for him to leave, but realizing given our financials that I might be the one to leave. Doesn’t matter either way at this point. It will be resolved soon.
    I keep several screenshots of our phone bills containing a fraction of the tens of thousands of texts he sent to OW#2 to remind me of his lies. I keep a list of “Stupid Things He Said” on my phone with classics such as, “we were practically divorced, ” and “she made a pass at me.” My name for him now is Littlefinger because he is such a skilled and manipulative gaslighter and liar.
    One day I will be NC and I know it will be so liberating.

  • Everything felt so painful after my split that I couldn’t laugh anymore. I had to stay in our house for 6 months after she left and did the standard things like changing the linens, etc. But LadyLiar was still PRESENT. It was so hard not to text or call her for little things, esp that she took care of for us, like where is that thing for the car when it does xyz? One day I was spritzing my plants and had a vision of being a child on the playground “air spraying” the boys who would taunt us to get rid of their “cooties.” I filled the spray bottle with citrus oil – a smell she hates – and went all over the house doing “decontamination”! If I felt the urge to contact her, I inhaled the scent. And I laughed SO HARD that day.

  • 1- Never respond to anything unless there is a question mark at the end of it.

    2- I put Dickhead as ‘D H’ in my phone contacts to remind me who and what he was… my son still thinks this means “Dad’s House.” 😂

    3- Almost 7 years of litigation later, and I finally have my wonderful life back, and feel only very mild recognition if our paths cross around our now-almost-adult child. A total state of meh, which I never thought possible.

  • The cruelty & humiliation of how my ex treated me after I found out about the Owhore was enough to send me into complete No Contact. He moved into the basement for 9 months until I could legally throw him out. But he continued to slander & torment me verbally which when he was gone made No Contact easy. I was sick, heartbroken & unable to eat with the knowledge of them together. 34 years of marriage that I thought was a good marriage was a lie.

  • Before I would make contact, I would run the whole interaction down in my head. I knew exactly how he was going to act if I initiated contact – which was with contempt – and so I could go from there. I would ask questions and get one word answers. If I tried to have a conversation, he made sure that it ended unpleasantly. This exercise talked me out of contacting him ever again to be honest. He was so awful to deal with and ran your mind and reality in circles that it was just easier to dump it.

    I also asked myself certain questions, like “What can he really help me with?” Nothing. He didn’t help me when we were married. There was nothing to help with in divorce. “Do I really want his dysfunction back in my life?” Nope. Life is tons easier without the crazy he brings to the table of life.

    Once you keep going and going with the No Contact thing, it gets easier and easier, day by day. I have absolutely no contact with my ex now. It’s the best gift you can give yourself after divorce or separation. Don’t let that person take up anymore of your head space.

    • “what can he really help me with?” Good point. I tell my friends the only 3 things I miss about him are the fact he could cook, his babysitting ability (but not when he’d take my baby round to the other women’s (plural) places or go to the park with them and play happy families with my child coz apparently he was a single dad and I’d left them!!). And sex.
      That’s it. Everything else I can do myself and always had. And there’s always restaurants…. 😉 And tinder….! 😉 😂

      • My therapist said you have to think of him as dead – dead to you, dead in the relationship. “What would you do if he was dead?” That ended all the reaching out for help (him preferring to play pool than come help with DS when his DD had been admitted to the hospital was the punch in the gut/eye opener I needed) I paved new paths and figured stuff out with others. I never contact him except pick ups/drop offs and even then, only by email.

  • After being dumped (for the thousandth time) by my abusive exBF, for his latest OW, I finally went NC. But soon after, I started receiving random once a month communications from him. So I blocked him on social media, then email, and phone.

    Six months after I went NC, he started to randomly show up (about once a month) to a public event I volunteered at. So I broke NC – to send him a cease-and-desist letter by registered mail, signature required. I also filed a police report.

    Six months later (and still these monthly run-ins, where he would lurk from across the room at me) I filed a second police report, and the police went to speak with him. The stalking didn’t stop.

    He moved in with the OW recently (lucky lady!!) and I moved away from our small town, to an undisclosed location. I have spent thousands on therapy and relocating, but it was worth every penny to be free of my cheating abusive stalker ex.

  • Since we have children together, I still have to deal with fuckwit. His ringtone is Darth Vader’s theme song. The little thing that sits on Jabba the Hut’s shoulder is his picture. I like Stars Wars but just coincidental. So, I am warned before I look at my phone that he is calling. It gives me a little chuckle.

    It’s been four years since our divorce. He really doesn’t bother me anymore, thank GOD!

    Our oldest is going to college in June. She opened a checking account. My college money is going into her account and she will pay all her expenses and deal with her dad when he doesn’t deposit his half in there. I am done!!!!!

    Every once in a while, I think about the injustice of his actions. How the fuck can he look in the mirror!?! Not my problem. I am good! My reflection looks great!

  • have all communication via email (Block texts /phone calls until they get the message) so you have a record of communications. Resist the temptation to respond to emails immediately. If it has triggered you let rip a reply in a word document, then close the document and go and do something else for a awhile. decide if you even need to respond. If you do edit out all the swearing etc. and send calm matter of fact response. Repeat process if cheater replies but only if absolutely necessary. Learning to walk away from a pointless argument is the route to a peaceful life. Useful phases include ” I refer you to the court order, No and that doesn’t work for me”. I freely admit that I have fallen off my grey rock a few times over the past two years but my life is beginning to look a whole lot better without Kaa in it.

  • What a timely thread. Just had a very unpleasant encounter yesterday that caused me to detour off the road to Meh. I can’t go fully no-contact because we have kids — one is struggling with anxiety/school (but of course, according to the ex, his blowing up the family had “very little” to do with these issues). I will reading- and re-reading this post for inspiration to go mighty grey rock.

  • Cheater was in my phone as xhole…not even granted a capital letter to his “name”.

    The children are grown so thankfully there is no shared parenting. But to be honest, there were times when I wanted to revert back to old habits and share/discuss information about them.

    What helped me in the beginning was anger and stubbornness. I knew he wanted to be “friends forever.” There was no way I would give him the satisfaction. Later, it was easier not to even consider contact because I had discovered CL and read all the wonderful advice about the effectiveness of no contact.

    I blocked him everywhere in the beginning except for my phone. He did have to contact me about something involving the sell of the house. I responded with a one word answer. His next text was “thank you…I didn’t know if you would respond since you blocked me from all other communication” which translates into “how could you block the Wonderful Me?” The passive aggressive sad little sausage was blocked as soon as the house sold.

    Stay strong everyone. No contact (or limited contact involving children) is the only path to healing.

  • Unfortunately he went no contact on me. Which completely messed me up as we communicated about everything, until The Cumpster entered our lives. He attempted to make nice and joke around via text after he left me but that ended as soon as he saw that I straight up had enough of his crap and lies. So he called my entire Family, called me crazy, aired our marriages dirty laundry and essentially tried to assassinate my character.
    From then on out he cut me off, even when it concerned our child. He won’t speak to me and will not effectively communicate regarding co-parenting, he claims I always make it about me. He just doesn’t like to be reminded that he has unfinished business regarding parenting and finances. He also doesn’t want to hear the truth because then he might have to grapple with it.
    He left 4 1/2 months ago, he now lives with the Cumpster and is setting up happy home to include our child. I will have none of it. You don’t break your child’s home and then try to replace it with an inferior situation. Particularly when you have not properly and legally separated from me.
    I am attempting to go no contact and have successfully made it 3 weeks.
    I have to get it through my thick skull that my expectations of this man need to be significantly lowered. The man I married no longer exists and I now have to deal with this stranger. I didn’t sign up for this, I had a partner and now I have an adversary. I would of never married and had a child if I thought that this would be the deal. My parents divorced and even though they had their problems they always made it about us kids and were able to set aside their differences to set a good example. I can’t even effectively communicate with this man, let alone expect to successfully co parent.
    He won’t talk to me because in his mind this is all my fault and I just won’t take responsibility for it. And my child will suffer as a result of his delusion.

    • Worthless, I have had to deal and live with the same bullshit. Never once did I ever lay a angry or abusive finger on my ex wife. She has also spun things and commits parental alienation to this day. Our son is now 18. It wont end. To make it end the abuser has to admit they lied and lied for a very long time about a lot of shit. What these abusers do is find birds of a feather. People who will drink the kool aid. But they also know you cant lie and hide the truth forever. I sought 2 attys to help me with this. Son was 14 at the time of settlement. Both said to me that on paper I have everything I could get. But no judge is going to force a 14yr old and older to legal visitation. So I have waited and waited. I don’t know if he will come around per say. But he has to see and remember things as they really are and were. Shes brought some real winners in his life. Drugs, drinking, their kids and all their problems. I don’t go looking but stories always drift back to me. The AP is a drug addict along with the ex. They broke up and he went downhill into his drug use and eventually adding to his arrests and probation violations a Domestic Violence arrest this passed March. The newest guy drugged her, live streamed them having sex and commenced to beating her while she went to visit him out of state. All this and people will still believe whatever bullshit she can spew about me. Most who have met me. Know I’m a standup guy that doesn’t do drugs, drinks socially and has had the same job for 22 years next month. 40% of her income is what I pay in child support. Her disabled mother who lived with us lives off that same child support. She lost the house and took a big ass hit on the sale because she fell behind in payments. Point is people will believe anything because they are the same type of people.

      • I’m so sorry Leonidis. Fortunately our child resides with me as they have gone to school in our district since kindergarten and I will be keeping primary custody as the residential parent. The Ex keeps telling our child that he will be buying a house in the district soon but as with all things he says it’s a gross exaggeration/lie. The Ex also doesn’t think he should have to pay child support either and that he will be receiving 50/50 visitation. I would of had no problem with that had he been honest and worked with me. I would have never kept our child away from him, but with his recent move in with The Cumpster and then not informing me that our child would be spending overnights there, I have had enough. He hasn’t even been gone 5 months.
        The gas-lighting is just the icing on the cake. His constant insistence that he left because of “insert vague reason/action/justification here” perpetrated by me is absolutely delusional. The stories he shops around are laughable and I actually pity him. Nobody that knows either of us actually believe him, not even his own family yet he continues to propagate these outlandish tales. But that doesn’t stop the immense hurt and betrayal I feel about all of this. How does one do this to someone they love? My husband did love me, and though he could be a dick at times he wasn’t abusive. Not until now.

        • Yes, they like to go with the 50/50 as to not pay CS but somehow that arrangement never quite works out. I’m not being mean but his type doesn’t really love. They are fine being with you and going through the motions, till someone else comes along. It’s scary how they can act so normal for so long.

          • KB22 thank you for this comment. It’s really resonated, the whole ‘fine being with you’ ie a passenger in their relationship basically getting a free ride, but happy to step off if they spot what they consider a flasher deal. No commitment, no passion, a beige partner.

          • @KB22 This resonated for me too, and finally put words to what he did/does. Fuckup was happy to cruise along with me while things suited him. It wasn’t so much about being with ME, but about enjoying the life HE was able to have with me in it. Once the life HE wanted changed, there was no longer room for me in it, so I had to go. To paraphrase Michael Corleone: It wasn’t personal; it was strictly business.

            It doesn’t make sense to those of us who actually bond with others, but it’s the only way these sad excuses roll.

    • Worthless

      You are not alone. As soon as I found out what had actually being going on the nice guy/can we be friends and still be great ‘co-parents’ changed. Thankfully I learned about Grey Rock but he treats emails from me like a afterthought. Bearing in mind I’m not chatting to him about the weather, just important stuff to do with our daughter, he makes sure to respond after days (sometimes too late) just generally make like difficult. It’s so flaming tiring and boring but perhaps that’s the game. I don’t know, I don’t care. Yeah I think he’s pissed because “I won’t face up to the issues’ (er, mate you are the cheating low life) and I think anything to do with me is a reminder of the man he does not project to be. Not the Instagram worthy arty deep thinker creative. It sickens me how after that he just can’t be civil. I mean I don’t want to talk him. When he pulls up with my daughter and the OW on my drive (heaven forfend) I never engage. I keep away as much as I can which is not as much as I would like. It’s incredibly wearing I hear you. You just cannot believe people can act like that. I am very much of the mind you have no recourse, you have to be yourself. I am sure they are doing a number on my daughter to get her to live with them down the line. Out of my control. What is in my control is to keep my distance and when I do have to write necessary emails in an effort to communicate and co-parent about our daughter I will just bring them up a NORMAL way. Not angry, not talking about past recriminations but yeah, just addressing things that parents need to address. The only time I brought up some issues with my daughter I felt we all needed to on the same page about – that was my fault too. What a surprise. Tedious shits, the lot of them. I wonder now if black holes are actually narcissists disappearing up their own arse 🙂

      • “Face up to the issues” LMAO you mean the ones they created in their heads to justify betraying us.
        So yeah it looks as if I am going to have to deal with a delusional half wit that has thoroughly convinced himself that I am the narcissist, and that I am abusive. He seriously believes that BTW. My actual D-Day occurred in Feb. 2018, I just didn’t know it was D-Day. The Cumpster, I’m sorry his “friend” was having a birthday party for her son, my EX wanted to attend and take our daughter and asked me not to attend. As you can expect I did not take this well. Two weeks previous my EX had gone through my phone and manufactured some outrage and walked out on me for the first time in 12 years. I lost my shit, told my EX that under no circumstances is he to take our daughter to see that woman. I threw a cell phone at him. He went anyway and took our daughter. I was absolutely blindsided. When he came home he treated me like crap, froze me out and when I insisted that he explain his actions he told me that he was going to file domestic abuse charges against me, for throwing the phone. I still have no idea how my life came to that, I am still baffled that the man I gave everything to was able to so easily dehumanize me.
        I should have kicked him out then. Because what proceeded over the next 6 months was nothing short of torture. It is still torture, just of a different nature. Before it was “you’re crazy, we’re just friends” now it’s “you’re crazy and that’s why I left”. Either way, I will not be able to win, because you can’t fight crazy or irrational. The above story is actually not the worst nor most demeaning thing he did to me in those 6 months either, it was just the start. But I’m the bad guy, a wothless CNT.

  • I only have to communicate with the X occasionally, and by text.

    What works for me, and I love doing this, is to use the least words humanly possible in each text communication.

    I even use the lease number of letters humanly possible, while still being polite and to the point

    ok, YW, TY

    Or, even the thumbs up icon to show confirmation.

    Absolutely works!

  • I have written a ton of letters to my stbx but don’t ever give them to him because I know he would share them with his ap and both of them would get off on their narcissism and entitlement. Not feeding those pieces of shit anymore. It’s great starving them.

  • It wasn’t hard to stop contacting my ex. I did change his name in my phone to WTF, mostly because it made me laugh.

    I did have to find a way to go cold turkey on checking up on him and his mistress on Twitter and other social media. I approached this as a recovering addict: one day at a time. Not concerning myself with their behavior freed up so much mental space and helped me get my life back.

  • If you didn’t have kids with your cheater, the best strategy is to get through the divorce ASAP.

    We all have different financial situations, but consider a “back of the envelope” value of getting this person OUT of your life.

    In other words, is it really worth haggling over $500 (or $5000…or whatever!) if that means delaying a settlement agreement for 6 months?

    Or, can you swallow the financial pill in exchange for finishing the process and getting this person and his/her manipulative bullshit out of your life?

    No, it’s not fair. The cheater shouldn’t get any money, let alone half of all community assets. But they will get something, and haggling over small potatoes just takes time.

    Ask yourself: how much are you willing to (unfairly) pay to get started on the rest of your life?

  • I had a couple main strategies.

    I wrote out a bullet point list of all the ways serial cheater was a predator to myself and others and all of the illegal acts and atrocities she had committed. (Sexual violence against several people, including several minors, threats of physical violence against many people, etc.) This list also included all the repercussions I would endure across all areas of my life should I go back to her. I printed it out and carried it with me in my bag everywhere. If I felt tempted, I’d pull it out and read it.

    Currently I also go to my close friends to talk about it should she manage to somehow get around my various barriers and blockings to still contact with me. I forward them photos of the messages or other varied creepy items.

    I talk to my therapist about all of it and read lots of material on narcissist abuse. I post here asking for advice and support, which this community so generously gives. (Thank you!)

    And let’s not forget the police report I filed when she left “gifts” outside my front door after many many months of no contact.

    • Girl, you got this. I am so sorry this monster has hurt you. I am so glad you’re fighting back. Non heteronormative Chumps can have a really tough time because the community sometimes is our own worst enemy. I am so glad you have a strong support network.

  • I just decided one day last May ( after I found out he took his GF on vacation) that I wouldn’t look at any social media any more. period. Before this – it was easy to look at his FB and Instagram and hers as well. He accused me of stalking and hacking accounts but it was allnpublic for everyone to see. I decided No More. I haven’t looked since and it had freed up my life.

    I also go no contact as much as possible – we have 4 kids. If I ask for money or engage in any way – I never hear the end of his rant – mocking me – telling me what to do – making fun of me and my workouts or my jobs. I don’t bother – I don’t engage unless I have to. It’s just not worth it.

    Since he had sent less and less money- I have picked up a job at a grocery store as a personal shopper and I also substitute teach. I am busy. I don’t have time for his crap.

    I work out whenever I can. I take Body Combat every chance I get and his face is what I picture punching every time. Therapy for sure.

    I know when we mediate in the next couple of months – I’ll get what I deserve with the help of my lawyer and I won’t have to ask him for anything anymore! He’ll, I probably won’t even have to work anymore – then I’ll truly be on the path to Meh!

    Trust that they suck! Trust that their lives suck. They are shitty people and will not change and are worth no effort from us!

  • I use the “no complaining, no explaining” filter when dealing with Mr. Sparkles via email or text (we share a son, to say we co-parent would be a lie). I NEVER speak to him by phone or interact with him and his GF in school social settings.

    On my phone, he is “Bisexual Lying Whore”… cuz… he is… just like someone else is “Dog Sitter”… the anger is gone (4 years now)… but I keep the reminder lest I forget the monster I once married.

  • I Rock No Contact, and I think the biggest single reason is Pride. I left both exH & bf (Yay! 2 cheaters :-/ )strategically- shock & awe style- and had the last word before slamming the door. Any contact re-opens that door & invites them in. I already know there’s nothing they can say that would make any difference. And worse- what if THEY choose No Contact ?
    No apology, No F-You, just crickets. You’re not worthy of a response. No thanks. Keep that door closed.
    I maintained minimal email contact with exH over kids & finances, but completely ignored anything personal. I called it DNE – do not engage. It drove him nuts. Win-win.

  • Lol…I was watching Mad Men during my divorce so I named the XH Don Draper in my phone. Didn’t realize that was appearing on emails until his attorney contacted mine, thinking I was forwarding communications with someone else.

  • His contact name on my cell was CHEATING SOB, second was ASSWIPE (w/pic of donkey), next was SPERM DONOR. I downloaded a ring tone that said something like, “OH NO, it’s the ex! DONT ANSWER! He’s an ex for a reason!” His text notification sound was a beer bottle being opened. Very appropriate for his alcoholic ass.

    I struggled for years with contact with him (in my defence, before I found CN). At first, I needed answers to try to understand what happened. (Never got real answers or closure. Finally learned there’s no such thing as closure with a fuckwit & that I’ll never understand. You can’t make sense of the senseless).

    Next, in my contacts I tried to get him to man up & do the right things by me & our kids. Never happened. I also attempted to parent & co-parent decent. Never happened. I also felt the need to explain & defend often. Only gave him more ammo to use against me.

    In all my contact attempts, he usually didn’t answer what I asked (even regarding anything concerning our kids). Instead, he would somehow twist & use anything I said against me somehow, even of it didn’t make sense. He always took the opportunity to throw another low blow at me (which would often go through my mind for days or weeks). Of course my contact was fantastic kibble for him to use to triangulate with me & ow. Any & all contact was used by him as proof of how crazy, demanding, & angry I was = proof I was horrible & deserved to be cheated on, left, & emotionally & financially tortured.

    When I finally gave up hope of getting him to get it & decided to just play nice in hopes of getting the divorce over & done with (didn’t ask him to explain, didn’t call him out for crap he did or didn’t do with kids or for all the visitations he cancelled at the last minute, etc & texted something like I really hoped he had a nice christmas) what happened is he apparently saw me as having more kibble for him to use. When the ow threw him out, he immediately wanted to come home (after over 1.5 years later). Ugh! After blowing up our lives & then doing all possible to my life as much hell as possible (w/help from ow) he actually thought I would consider taking him back? And after I found out about the years of cheating with numerous people including men? Really?! I was stunned at his nerve! Funny he didn’t have the nerve or balls to talk about anything during the marriage or say he wasn’t happy or wanted a divorce. Hm.

    So it took me YEARS to realize that I could never win with any kind of contact with him whatsoever. I finally got to go total NC when a NC Order was issued against him for me & our kids when he was charged with felony child endangernment. Unfortunately, that order has now expired & I’m sure he’ll begin harassing us again soon. However, now I know that no matter what I say or how I say it, he WILL NEVER GET IT! He will never be rational or think like a normal person. He will always feel entitled and only act in purely self serving was. In short, he’s a nasty horrible person with a black soul, no matter how many sparkles he tries to sprinkle on!

  • He was listed as asshole on my phone. This summer I changed my phone number. The crazed whore approached me in a store and manvoiced me while I was getting milk. I ignored and finished my shopping.

    A month later I recieved a call from the police stating they wanted a no trespassing order on me because I shop in the town I’ve been shopping in for thirty years.

    I let the officer know I had no interest in either of them, have been seeing the same guy for three years and that I’d hire an attorney as she has a long history of harsssimg me in public. It’s documented with state and local police.

    This is why no contact is very important. As my good friend says, they can say whatever they want.

    Plus, I told the officer that I was the one who filed.

    They will use anyone or anything to maintain centrality. I’ve attended a wedding with both present. Never once spoke to either of them. Then recently a funeral, I looked through him. Looks like shit. Don’t care. He couldn’t stay after the funeral because he had no one to sit with and the skank is too volitile to go out in public. Haha.

    It makes my daughter uncomfortable, don’t care.

    And you bet your ass they want you to maintain their image. I’m social and have maintained relationships with those who know my character, his uncle and cousins know I was a good person and mother.

    They have no respect for the Limited and the pig.

    It took me a lifetime to set and maintain clear boundaries because my go to place for abuse used to be forgiveness. My normal now excludes abuse. I no longer see my aging father and my oldest brother. I let go of my oldest daughter after years of being her greatest supporter (enabler). This was after months of using my vulnerabilities against me.

    It’s important to examine what you’ve tolerated, knowing you can’t change others and maintaining strong boundaries even when it’s painful.

    It’s then when you’ve built a new and solid foundation that you’ve developed strength in your new identity and feel comfortable in your own skin.

  • I rocked no contact from the beginning. The day I got her out of the house I had a locksmith change the locks and told her to never contact me again. It’s been almost 3.5 years since the divorce and she still hoovers. I’ve received various emails, (my Aunt died…I dropped my license in a parking lot, it still has “our” address will you forward it to me?) In addition to constant “drive-bys”, which I’ve ignored. Last year her sister contacted me to let me know their Mom had passed away. I sent flowers addressed to the family. Next thing you know I get a text about how much she misses me and the dogs. Too bad you lunatic. I had to break no contact last summer when she had the nerve to stop at my house and try to engage my new partner in conversation. I told her I would contact the police and get things in motion to file harassment or stalking charges if she ever dares to contact me again. Hope that does it. I feel for you folks who have kids. No contact was relatively easy for me. It was a relief to be free of the abuse. The hardest part was losing 20 year friendships of the Switzerland variety. It was a shock to my soul.

  • I have learned to go gray rock. His open ended questions of “how is your day going” are answered by “good”. I use to say how is yours and it would be a few text or “great”. I have learned it is all to his benefit. He is able to pretend he is not a jerk who betrayed his family because he is still a “ nice guy who cares”

    Also not looking at social media which caused my temper to shoot up.

    I do fight between trying to make him understand why oldest doesn’t forgive him or letting him work it out himself. The conflict I have is that there is a change of behavior in his financial support while she is going to grad school. I assume that is coming from the slut who thinks she has all the answers.
    But 9 out of 10 times it is a battle to reason with him.

  • Wow. This seems to have hit the motherload of mutual interest! Reading CL on a regular basis helps remind me of how necessary it is to stay in a state of greyrock and as close to NC as possible with the STBXW (we have 3 children and only one is a minor, our 13 year old son that we share). It’s essential for maintaining my own self-respect and mental health. For 99% of the time, I only communicate w/her via text and email, and I try to keep both the length of my responses and my emotions in check when I do those (24 hour wait or more is great for that). I got a real kick out of many of the replies here. They inspired me to add a nickname on my phone for her. What is it? NC, for No Contact, which is what I’ll tell the kids it stands for if they ask, but to me it will ultimately mean No Class! I told her a while back that I will be civil to her; however, I will not be cordial, as she doesn’t deserve that. And I’m not going to act like I feel differently for the kids; I feel that would be dishonest on my part, and not help any of us long term. I simply do my best to be civil when I deal w/her and when I have to talk about her with the kids. Three days ago I had to go to a meeting for my son’s middle school musical for an overview and to get parental volunteers to help out. My son asked both of us to go, but stayed home himself. I got there first, and when the STBXW showed up, she chose to come to my cafeteria table and ask if she could sit near me. I wasn’t prepared for her to ask that (I’ve told her I want to see her only if it’s essential for our kids well-being), so I murmured assent. Early after D-Day, she expressed that she hoped we could still be friends, so that’s what I’m guessing she’s still hoping to achieve. She took the opportunity to ask me personal questions, to which I gave monosyllabic replies, all while she faced me and I faced perpendicularly away from her towards the speakers. This really annoyed me that she would try to pull this kind of closeness w/me, and I talked about it w/a friend who has been divorced for over 20 years. He suggested I act preemptively in cases like this, and text or email her ahead of these types of events and tell her I would prefer she doesn’t sit near me. I’ll try it out the next time something like this occurs. Lastly, I would ask anyone who is farther out surviving chumpdom than me (coming up on two years) as to what their strategy is for handling big events like the kids school functions, graduations, weddings, etc. I’ll most likely be dealing w/her and her fellow cheater partner at these, and I could use all possible help to best negotiate them. I apologize for asking if someone already covered that. Thank you CL, and CN! We’re getting better all the time.

  • The VERY BEST advice i got very early on from a friend who had been there (not with a cheater but a BPD) was *be the better person*

    It still anchors me when he kicks off or tries to draw me in with raging or love bombing.

    I know being the better person does not include allowing him into my life.

  • Stalker/prostitute boy has been writing me for over 4 years. Started with letters then cards cards to me and my adult children. Lovey dovey – I miss you – I hope you are doing well – forgive me – I love you: BULLSHIT CRAP.

    Said the same things the entire time he was with me -17 years – while fucking prostitutes.

    After DD, I did read the letters. I did read the cards. There was no depth. All word salad. Superficial fluff. It actually kept me in check recognizing the lack of meaningful dialog for true remorse. How much I transferred my own beliefs onto him. I had great pleasure throwing them in the trash.

    Last year the fucker attends the funeral of a person who was related to me, but her attorney at one time. He felt ENTITLED to attend. I did not want to cause a scene at the funeral. Her family and all my children were in attendance.

    He followed me to my car as I was leaving begging to “at least” be friends. Claiming he is attending church, seeing a counselor, a better man, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    I asked him, “Have you told your sister the REAL reason we are no longer together?”

    Answer, “No.” It wasn’t a small “no”. It was a NEVER no! A NO-WAY no. A YOU MUST BE CRAZY no.

    Me – “You are still working for the other side, prostitute boy, gotta go.”

    Him – He stared at me increduosly with a serpent’s eye. Like, how did I know he was still a lying sack of shit 4+ years later with all the “so sorry” letters and cards?!?

    As he quickly left, I turned and looked at him running away. I swear I saw a man/boy completely owned lock, stock and barrel by the devil himself.

    I have been NO CONTACT since 3 months after DD.

    Trust that they suck. Best thing I ever allowed myself to finally believe.

    • Thank you so much for this CalamityJane. It’s like walking through a mine field of disorder.

      When I think of the day he dare speak of the evil that embodies the words he migh spew I’m silenced by the thought of wasting my energy. My voice was silenced for so long I’m afraid I’ll smack the motherfucker in the face. Cause we kmoe actions are what matter. One fucking punch. That’s all.

  • We were court-ordered to communicate only on OFW. X’s emails were vile, hateful screeds. I would open the email in the presence of my attorney father. My father would advise me to ignore it or help me to compose a brief, rational response. I never pressed the send key without parental/legal approval.

    This strategy paid off handsomely when I forwarded some of the deranged ramblings to X’s mother, lol. T

  • Tell the fuckwit absolutely nothing. If you bred with the fuckwit, and the children are now adults, tell the fuckwit nothing. I mean NOTHING. The fuckwit will take the smallest bit of info, twist it, embellish it and use it as a weapon against you. The first few years after D Day and my enlightment, I would periodically think I could share a bit of info about the children we created. Every time I did this, the fuckwit launched an attack on me. Once again: If you have to talk to the fuckwit, tell him nothing.

    • Agreed. My X asshat has only a thread of a relationship with our adult daughters, if you can call it that. he doesn’t know what they have done post-college and doesn’t even know in what city the younger daughter lives.

      He doesn’t live in this country anymore and I have no way to contact him, but it doesn’t matter. If one of our girls was tragically killed I would not even bother to inform him. I doubt the other daughter would tell him about it either– possibly, but no guarantee, but especially if the younger one was the one left she would not say a peep.

      Yep, it has come to that. I will never reveal anything about our kids to the man I was married to for three decades.

  • I interviewed many attorneys. I found an attorney who would charge me a flat-fee per month to initiate and receive all calls and emails to my ex. It was a version of “talk to the hand,” except it had a punch that was 100 times more powerful.

    My ex knew nothing about law and he didn’t attempt the games with the attorney. The attorney also knew about how to keep calls under 5 minutes and correspondence to several sentences. I also got a restraining order.

    Caveat: We did NOT have children…only a house and bank accounts. I blocked his email and phone number. On the late nights when I was crying and being sentimental I would call one of my girlfriends and she would say, “Stop being lame. Put on your high heels and lipstick and we are going to the bar to talk to new guys.” (I don’t drink due to a genetic illness; I cannot metabolize alcohol and a small amount sends me to the ER.) So we would go to the bar and I would get a virgin margarita and talk to guys. I never dated anyone I met in a bar, but I was nice to know that my ex was not the only man left on the planet. And knowing that helped heal because it reminded me if I desired love in the future, there were many single men to choose from.

    Can’t afford an attorney who will play the legal version of “talk to the hand?”

    Neither could I. So, I kept looking for someone who was willing to charge me a flat fee per month to talk to the ex. This attorney I found had a daughter my age, was already wealthy, and charged me around $75 a month to talk to the ex about every aspect of separating assets and anything else. No, the attorney was not a creep. He was actually a good Christian (really), close to retirement, a family man, and I think it was Divine Intervention.

    Your strategy:

    -Get a kind attorney who will charge you very little to play “talk to the hand” with your ex.

    -Find a sassy friend of the same gender who will drag you out to meet new people when you are crying. And this sassy friend must also tell you to cut out the crying and stop wasting time over a loser. You need a tough love friend who truly has YOUR best interests in mind.

    -Close all social media accounts or suspend them- please close them. If you don’t, you will be tempted to look at what Sir Ex-Alot and the Milk Maid who Lost her Chasity Belt are up to in their barfy kingdom built on the sand.

    -Journal, journal, journal.

    -Scream into a pillow.

    -Get into a howling contest with the neighbor dog at 2am. You are allowed to this this… for a small period of time at least. Being chumped is hard.

    -Tell your life story to the wild rat who you have just found helping itself to crackers in your kitchen. Note, wild rats are nice little creatures and greatly misunderstood.

    -If you like cats, buy 10 of them and create a canon that vaults cats. If your ex comes near, vault a cat into the air and it will land squarely on your exes face. Those claws are sharp. (By the way, this is a JOKE. And it’s a joke my 10-year-old autistic son came up with. He and I both LOVE all animals. He just thought it would be funny to vault cats at people who are cruel to him. Of course he made it clear the cat would NEVER get hurt. Just the enemy would get hurt. And he knows this could never happen in real life. It’s a funny image he thinks of to get him through times he is bullied.) And you know what? Cheaters are a type of bully. Aren’t they? They just use sex with others to bully their spouse/life partner.

    Peace,
    Sarah

  • Thankfully, I have felt no desire to contact my adulterous ex-husband for years. He abused whatever love for him I had right out of me. I’m not quite emotionally there yet with dishonest. cruel boyfriend, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, who left me for his work subordinate 1.5 years ago. He blocked me after he got serious about her (and moved in with her). I did not know he had blocked me on everything until my sister, who was his classmate in undergrad, informed me that he was no longer showing up in her list of friends in Facebook. Guess he has done himself a favor and in doing so has also done me a favor. When I start missing him, I take out my list of two dozen lies and other cruel, hurtful things he has said/done to me. After reading the list, I think, ‘Even if he came back, which he won’t as he never truly loved me (even as a friend, as he claimed), how could I ever want someone like that back in my life in ANY capacity? Do I really love myself so little?’ Doing this helps me miss him a bit less. I AM lonely as I haven’t had even one date in over a year and I am about to become unemployed, which is scary as I am in my fifties but still have fairly young children and a highly volatile, sometimes violent ex-husband who I cannot count on for financial support and do not own a home, but I am trying to embrace the single (celibate) life as it is an authentic, self-honoring life.

    • RSW hugs to you, I am in a similar boat, the Ex does send money but very little and he is incapable of a full time job. I have a job but with not enough hours – emotional problems at school with 15 year old twins mean I very much doubt I could hold down a job which means I have to leave before them in the mornings – plus I love my job which has given back an awful lot of self-confidence and self-esteem. Benefits will soon start to reduce because of ages of kids, and I am also at present reliant on friends to top up every month. I wish my kids could have everything, it’s hard for them to be without because of their parent’s bad choices.

  • My didn’t was first Gollum in my phone, then switched to Ramsay Bolton after he died on GoT. It made answering his calls and texts much more enjoyable for me.

  • I found a beautiful picture through a web search, of a woman holding up her hand with the word ‘LIAR’ written across it in black ink. I changed his contact photos on all his accounts to this photo. As soon as the kids are grown, I will be blocking him completely. Here’s the photo : https://bit.ly/2FxrJFq

    • KayBee,

      Lol. The French say “revenge is a dish best served cold.” When he finds that picture, he might see it as revenge.

      But, tell him what you did was actually an unselfish act. It was a public service announcement for the continued stability and good of humanity.

      It was like a black box warning label. “If you consume this product (him- the male liar) you may experience fits of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Please stop using this product if you experience these side affects.”

      I am all for betrayed spouses letting the world know the true nature of a cheater. In fact, if you have the money, it’s slways a good idea to hire an airplane that flies one of those paper banners with an announcement: “(insert full name) is a liar and a cheater. Run away. ”

      • No revenge, as I’m the only one who can see these profile / contact pictures. It’s was just a personal reminder for me that if I seen it come up, what came after was likely not to be trusted.

  • For me, it was learning to start thinking of her as my enemy. It sounds dramatic, but it’s really pretty true – I’m trying to recover from her lying, cheating and cruelty, and get on living my life, and she’s trying to prevent me from doing so.

    Then, when any contact is happening (we have a kid, so full no-contact is only a dream), I use this to censor myself. When she’s trying to get emotional hooks into me in any of the numerous ways narcissistic cheaters try, I filter my reply through “is this something I would say to a person who was my enemy?” Would I appeal to kindness or generosity? Would I show them how bad they made me feel? Would you randomly contact them some night when you were feeling sad? Would you respond kindly to your enemy wishing you happy new year? Would you respond favorably to your enemy, who has betrayed you repeatedly, suggesting you try harder to be friends?

    No, of course not! I find my censoring nearly always has some version of “grey rock” as the answer. It also has the added benefit of being an easy thing to remind yourself of repeatedly. There doesn’t need to be anything complex about your relationship.

    It has really helped even me out when I talk to her. Get off the roller coaster.

  • Cannot wait for the day when my children turn 18 because that will be the day I’ll delete and block his number for good!

  • I had to get an order for a stop to all electronic communication. It was the only way. The baiting, insults and threats just were not stopping after 4 years.

    • Wow. The partner who cheats and then continues to harrass. Never could understand this part. Why harrass? They could either apologize and leave as best as they can both physically and legally or just leave without apologizing and work out the legal details. Only explanation is mental illness and/or personality disorder.

  • After many years of NC my cheating ex requested to be my “friend” on Facebook. I hit the “Deny” button immediately and also blocked her. That felt good. Worked like a champ for this former chump.

  • I haven’t read all the posts. I don’t post any longer and return randomly to this place that once was my lifeline. I am five years out (divorced him as quickly as I could make it happen). It was a long term marriage…46 years. I am completely no contact (excepting 4 phone calls filled with rage in the beginning months) and have been from Dday and throwing him out that very day. My question is how do you all do NC in your mind??!! This is the last door for me that I desperately want sealed shut. Please share how you manage this final piece of No Contact!!

    • In my mind, I convinced myself that my former spouse was dead. His likeness was still there, but a new person who I did not know was now residing in his body. This person was callous and cold, and lied to everyone and everything to get what he wanted, so in a way it really was true. I accepted and went through all the grief that would have been necessary in death; grief for the person, but also the grief for the past of lies and the future that was no longer going to happen as planned.

    • I found the expression ‘You are dead to me’, or ‘He is dead to me’, as hugely effective.

      It acknowledges that he’s not actually dead, and you haven’t killed him or want to kill him (which may not be entirely true), but that he is DEAD to YOU.

      You, on the other hand, are among the living.

  • i have to be in contact with fuckwit because my son is getting married. pisses me off that he is being very grown up about everything which is not his usual self. I gave him a nice settlement (all the money was mine) so now he is mr big shot – paying for this and that! of course i am still paying the lions share. he is also planning to bring his schmoopie (new) to the wedding according to my son. i am including him in decisions that he is contributing to. oh well just another POS issue i have to deal with. am comitted to enjoying this celebration with my son and his beautiful soon to be wife

  • I have a list of all the worst things he did or said. When I’m tempted to make contact I read that. And then I think “yeah.. nah.. why the fuck do I care about this loser who did this to me and said that to me. He doesn’t give a fuck about me. He’s a fuckwit who doesn’t deserve my attention.” Every time it gets easier. I haven’t read the list since July and hardly ever think about him anymore. Just don’t care. I finally got it and let go.

    • I do this too…I think of the awful things he’s done. And that he tells OW everything I do and say. And that both are dangerous people. I’ve not communicated with him in a month now, since right before our court hearing for the divorce. My life is already more peaceful.

  • First time poster here. Wish I discovered CL from the beginning and listened to my gut and all the wise advice on here and went NC day one. It has been 6 months since the first D-Day, one week before I gave birth to my second child. My HoHusband is your garden variety turd, financial ruin from gambling, prostitutes, massage parlours, affair with Ho Worker. Yep, double life before we got married.

    I kicked him out a month later but was sniffing Hopium. He promised he was going to go to therapy, change and become a better man. He swore to my mother he will take care of us for the rest of his life. Ha! I made all the rookie Chump mistakes. Sending him 2am long emails after breastfeeding, articles about various disorders I thought he had and then giving him contact details for therapists. We went to MC 3 times then he stopped because the counsellor saw through his BS. He told her he was in love with 2 women and couldn’t decide. She told him he had FOMO and to pull his big boy socks up. He cried wah wah and refused to go.

    All the while telling me “I’m working on myself and will be a better man and return to our family”, he was building house with his new friend (his words) a “masseuse” on a student visa. I found texts where he promised to give her 50K to further her stay in our country. He told her he would get a higher paying job so she didn’t have to massage mens genetalia again. He called me crazy stalker wife to the masseuse on the same day he said he was committed to changing. You cannot make this stuff up.

    After confronted, his mask fell off, stoned face and unapologetic. Because he felt I would never forgive him, he had no choice but to move on. I only feel today is the first day I can commit to NC. I hope my meh day comes soon.

    • The first step towards sanity, peace and light. Well done.

      There’s a good book available called ‘Don’t Call That Man’. I always recommend it to No Contact beginners – it’s got really good advice and it’s cheap on Kindle.

  • No contact for years, then only when our sons got married, but that is another story. Out of the blue I get an email, all sparkly and glittery phoney chit chat, like she is 13 years old and writing from summer camp. I can just see her “i” dotted with a tiny heart. She wants my birth certificate so she can file for social security from my account. I flash back to her scheming with her banker girlfriend to cheat me out of our house. “Nope, I am not comfortable giving you that document.”
    Two weeks later I get a call from our oldest son asking me to reconsider giving his mom the birth certificate. Offers to personally take care of it himself. It turns out she visited my 93 year old parents and tried to get it from them. Nope, sorry cannot provide it to your mom. Email his mom: “We agreed in our divorce settlement not to involve our kids in our business. You ignored my very clear answer to your request and entangled our son and my aged parents in your problems. Do not contact me about this again.”
    It is one of those times you really would like to tell you kids what a POS their mother is. I guess they still need the illusion, although most figure it out in time.

  • I viewed/view NC as operant conditioning. Intermittent reinforcement simply makes unwanted behavior that much harder to extinguish. I’ve been modified No Contact (because we have kids) for nearly 2 1/2 years. Best thing I have ever done for my mental health. When I’m tempted to give in and respond to his texts trying to engage me, I remind myself that I don’t want to set the clock way back on my operant conditioning program to extinguish his unwanted behavior. I don’t want to lose my streak.

    I believe it’s The Gift of Fear that says if someone calls you thirty times, and you finally pick up on the thirty-first ring, you have simply trained that person that thirty-one attempts is what it takes to get you to respond. For some reason that vivid formulation helps me stay strong in moments of weakness.

    It also really helped when I first went NC and a friend told me it took her three years of disciplined NC before her ex finally left her alone. That made me realize it could be a long haul and to plan on having to ignore him for months and years.

    Finally it’s been hugely helpful to me to immediately delete texts bidding for engagement from my phone. I take 24 hours to respond to his texts and emails about the kids to make sure I’m calm, polite and reasonable but also not caving to his requests for schedule changes if I don’t genuinely feel good about what he’s proposing.

    But I immediately delete his off-topic texts trying to explain what a good, upstanding solid citizen and all-around good guy his and how the divorce was my fault too (“we both made mistakes,” etc.). That way I don’t obsess nearly as much. Swift delete from phone and mind and move on. I know in some cases it’s important to save all texts and document everything, but the swift delete has really worked for me.

  • I took a super close up of my toilet so you can’t tell what it is. (in case my son sees it). That is his picture to this day :-). I am so used to it now I forget to think that is what it still is 🙂

  • So my 3d Dday with my ex-husband of 37 yrs was in May of 2014. The divorce was finalized just before Christmas. I can’t tell you how much I forgave over the years and how hard I worked to “salvage” my marriage and see/rescue the “underlying good” in my ex.

    We have 3 grown children, and just recently they have begun to spend much more time with my ex and OW#3, who appears to be in it for the long haul. This is so very hard for me, even after all this time. I have to admit that I viscerally want my kids to hate their father, although – intellectually – I know this is wrong.

    This past weekend I was across the country for my (pregnant) daughter-in-law’s father’s funeral. My ex went as well. He is trying so hard to be my friend these days, seemingly wanting bygones to be bygones. He wants to talk about the pregnancy, the births of my our own kids, etc. And this is something that my kids want to happen … for all of us to be friends and talk fondly of family history, etc. They express frustration with me that I can’t do this. I mean … I was perfectly civil this past weekend. I did not go out of my way to encourage interactions, but I was careful not to add to an already stressful and emotional situation.

    Bit I just can’t go beyond the bare minimum, even though I have been in a wonderful new relationship for 2 1/2 years. Finding new happiness does not erase the past. I’m not about to thank my ex for allowing me to experience this new relationship. Especially since my new relationship has thrived despite my considerable struggles with trust and confidence … despite my irrational episodes of wanting to flee, before I’m hurt again! Only with the help of a therapist and the patience and understanding of my new partner have I been able to separate past experience from my present situation.

    This afternoon my daughter told me that her father has recently told her that he is miserably unhappy. That he regrets his actions and choices. That he understands how I had to give up on him. AND … get this! … thank goodness he at least has the OW!

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t listen to this and keep quiet. I read my daughter the riot act. NO, he is not allowed to blame this train wreck on my being unwilling to forgive him. NO, he is not allowed to make any of us feel sorry for him. NO, he is not allowed to rewrite history. NO, he is not allowed to paint me as the unforgiving bitch. NO, he is not allowed to characterize the OW as his saving grace.

    I know — or at least suspect — that I should have kept my mouth shut. I even told my daughter that her father’s protestations of unhappiness are likely merely manipulative … that she and her siblings are being manipulated into feeling sorry for him and into being sympathetic to the “OW with a heart of gold”
    … that this is exactly the shit he used with me again and again … “I love you and so regret how I have hurt you” … within literally minutes of sleeping with the OW.

    How can I stop engaging with my children about my feelings and opinions? Was it really wrong to attempt to set the record straight? Help!

    • I share your pain Lilian.
      20+ year marriage shattered by her request for divorce and discovery of several sexual relationships with co-workers and who knows who else. Never an expression of remorse, just blame shifting, projection and other forms of mindfuckery. Oh, but she wanted to remain friends.
      I got some good advice from an elder at my church, believe it or not: You owe it to your teenage sons to tell them that your mother’s adultery ended the marriage. Don’t elaborate with all the details, but make it clear that the consequences of her adultery was divorce. They will have marriage relationships and this lesson needs to be clear. Tell them more if they ask, but this is the minimum. She of course blew a gasket, but by that point I was not concerned.
      I married another Chump in a few years and we started leading divorce recovery groups in churches. Yep, Reconcilliation Industrial Complex I am sorry to say. We taught some dumb stuff, but also some good. Like tell your kids what they ask about, but at the level they can understand. So don’t tell your 4 year old mom likes sex with 2 men at time and Daddy doesn’t. They cannot process that, but an 18 year could.
      My DDay was 19 years ago and my sons rarely brought up our split. They did not really want to know. But I related earlier how the fuckwit used my adult son to try to get my birth certificate from me. When I declined, he said, “That is so long ago, why can’t you let it go?” When I asked if he really wanted to know, I told him because your mother and her friend tried to cheat me out of the house and lied to me about many, many things. And to this day she never accepted responsibility and continued to blame me. That does not go away with time.
      Clunk. Suddenly the world looks different to the grown-up kids in marriages of their own. They can see themselves as victims of this same shit and it gives them the willy’s. Some lessons are painfull to learn and you are wise to learn them from other’s experiences instead of your own. Do them a favor. If they want to know, tell them.

    • Lillian, I agree with Bruno. My then 13yo DD guessed the truth when the ex tried to tell me he and the OW were just good friends, and we split. My two boys, then 13 and 15, didn’t. I still haven’t told the boys, and I’m not entirely sure why. Partly because I don’t want them to have to wade through more shit, partly fear on my part, I suspect. My divorce will soon be final and once the kids have their important exams over this summer, maybe.

      When children are adult I think we Chumps MUST tell the whole truth. We have learned so many life lessons through this and I feel that it’s unfair to deprive them of learning about people and life. Some people may say why subject them to more pain, but life is painful and the better informed we are the better we can live.
      Secondly and very importantly, you, Lillian, have a perfect right to explain yourself so no-one gets the wrong impression about you, and to express your continuing hurt. Your children need to know the full impact of his behaviour on your life, to fully understand your position. I’m glad you have a loving, supportive partner to help you through this. Your adult childrens’ reactions are their own affair and it is scary, but continuing silent about your real feelings is continuing the emotional abuse your ex inflicted on you. It’s well known that these kind of hurts repeat themselves generation after generation in families. By talking to your adult children you are offering them a better toolkit to negotiate their own relationships, but it’s up to them whether they use it or not.
      Hugs <3

      • Thank you for your responses. My children do know all the gory details … at least since my ex’s and my final split in May of 2014. The kids were 100% supportive of me and maintained minimal contact with their father (and zero with the OW) until recently. Now there has been a shift. While I know I should expect (and want) my kids to have a relationship with their father, I feel like he is manipulating them into feeling sorry for him by expressing great remorse and regret for his past behavior. By telling them how sad and depressed he is. And NOW the OW is resurrected/recast as the one good thing in his life. And the kids seem to be buying it! Suddenly she is OK, cuz she makes Dad happier. Otherwise he’d have NOTHING. And I’m suddenly heartless for being so unforgiving. I mean … just how much punishment can I be expected to take?

  • The parent/child bond is as strong and tight as a piano string, especially when plucked by an expert. You will have to let it go and eat that shit sandwich. They will have their own relationship with Dad, based on their own experiences. Don’t overtly intrude. If they want to talk to you about it let them know that your your feelings are based on painful experience of him being an emotional manipulator and keep it short. This belongs to them.

    • Again heartily agree with Bruno!! I am civil to but not friends with the ex, his OW turned out not to want him after he left us, so different situation, but I guess any woman he meets might well be his saviour in the same way your ex talks about his OW. Perhaps we are the same in just wanting our kids to be able to see him without rose-tinted specs; they have to learn by experience though, just as we did. As kids though they by nature will believe he’s a hero – wait and watch as they mature.

  • No contact became a survival imperative. During the first months, any time we interacted about anything felt like fresh rejection and betrayal and sent me into a spiral. I would analyze every word, every inflection, every comma of every text, etc. I realized that I was spending enormous amounts of energy analyzing him to no benefit. I am not over it, barely even surviving, and staying in contact in any way would send me over the edge.

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