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Dear Chump Lady, I’d divorce her, but she wants that

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Dear Chump Lady:

I’ve read your advice and I want to divorce her. But that’s what she wants and she is manipulating me into being the one to do it. We’ve been separated for 6 months with essentially No Contact and I’m fairly certain she is committed to Smoochy Poo. The RIC has convinced me to just let it ride.

I really want to tell her to go fuck herself and divorce me herself if that’s what she wants. But then I am stuck being married to someone who doesn’t give a shit about me. It would feel great to torch the whole thing, but then she ends up getting what she wants, at the expense of my self-worth. And I’m tired of that shit. (For the record, she’s the Ice Cold type.)

What makes me a worse Chump, giving in to her demands, or not freeing myself from this nonsense?

Sincerely,

Growing Me Some Balls

Dear Balls,

So, you’re suggesting staying married to her just to spite her? Or because the Reconciliation Industrial Complex told you to?

Dude, where is your agency? Do you want a divorce? If so, quit framing this as What Other People Want.

You’re presenting me with two really shitty ideas — “standing” for your marriage while your wife is boinking Schmoochy Poo — or being an obstructionist to your own best interests.

Let’s game this out.

Shitty Idea #1.

Did you want to be a silent partner in their threesome? Or do you hope after 6 months of separation (cake) she’ll come back to you as Plan B? (or Plan Z… who knows how many plans she has…) Which would be awesome, winning that pick me dance, twitching with hyper-vigilance, until the moment she gets bored/annoyed/has a snag in her favorite sweater… and you’re suddenly the Obstacle to Her Happiness again. Exit stage right. Dance. Repeat.

Is that your idea of a marriage? Oh, right, I left out the RIC part where she emerges from The Affair Fog and your Relationship Is Stronger for It.

That won’t happen. But if it did, your relationship would only be “stronger” because you managed to consume the entire all-you-can-eat shit sandwich buffet.

Shitty Idea #2.

Deny her a divorce, because this is her mess and she should clean it up.

I get the injustice. Every chump gets it. She fucked up, she’s moved on, why the hell won’t she initiate divorce? Why must you bear the emotional weight of the decision and the expense? And if you have kids, why do YOU, the chump, get the Bad Guy optics?

Because you’re dealing with a fuckwit, that’s why. Cake and zero consequences are the cheaters’ preferred nirvanic state.

Trust me, the divorce shit sandwich is much easier to swallow than the Plan B shit sandwich buffet. If you want a divorce — and it’s absolutely understandable why you would! — GET ONE. Stop giving her centrality. Whether that’s thwarting her, or considering her feelings. (She clearly didn’t consider yours.)

You’re not holding her back. She could absolutely file for divorce and doesn’t need your permission. It’s probably a mindfuck. “I want a divorce!” thinking that will keep you in your chumpy place. And then she doesn’t divorce…. It’s all skein untangling. And who cares?

The legal types can weigh in on the benefits of filing first — and you certainly should be monitoring your finances and shutting down credit cards in common — but the reason to call a divorce lawyer is that you are SICK OF THIS SHIT.

Are you sick of this shit, Balls?

The heart of chumpdom is making your needs (and your balls) so small to “win” someone who “doesn’t give a shit” about you.

You said “shit” a lot there, Tracy.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.

It’s unfair! Be mad! But while you’re railing against injustice and holding your breaking heart together with baling twine — call a lawyer. Do something in your best interest. Have boundaries. Cancel the credit cards. Shop for apartments. Consider a new life without her.

Walk in the direction of that new future. Free yourself from the nonsense.

(I hear it stimulates ball growth.)

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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.
  • “‘Aint no use getting into a pissing match on a windy day.” – Magneto.
    Edited to add: “Even if you are the dude.”

    Balls, you are in the phase of predicating your actions trying to predict yo’ old scuzzwonkers reaction to it.
    Nyet. Nyet. Nyet.

    You have to start thinking about what is best for you (and your kids if there are any)

    • Huzzah!

      But, it is true that it is hard to avoid trying to predict the actions of a STBX in the context of the negotiating process. Still–an excellent reminder that spite won’t get you as far as self care.

  • Dude, you initiate the divorce because you have to get away from this person.

    You’re neck-deep in it right now, so you don’t see how ridiculous your letter to CL is. (I’m not judging; I was there, too.)

    But if/when you get away from your tramp wife, you’ll see that her crazy made you crazy. We chumps get so wrapped up in the minutiae of the affair that we forget the larger picture–that NONE of this should be happening in a stable, loving relationship.

    Your mind needs to heal. You can’t do that when you’re with her.

    • This — you nailed it @JC just like Tracy did (as always)

      Yep, I was one of those ones a year ago, ‘standing’ for my marriage; though really, just like you said, wrapped up in her crazy.

      But Balls, you really should just go ahead and file for divorce — don’t wait for her to do it — if things are still good for her with Smoochy Poo then she might just let you get it all done quickly (and who cares if she wants to play victim in the future) — if you wait then you might end up where I am now, when your cheater has been dumped by the OM (a.k.a. bye bye Plan A) and they come back all sad-sausage-hoovering and will do whatever they can to delay the divorce (‘cos right now they need Plan Z for a bit longer)

      • Ahh yes, the victim. He so desperately wanted out to be with Schmoopie that he agreed to a whole shitload of things no same person would agree to (in fact, he proposed them). When he failed on his promise of filing, I took charge and did the damn thing myself. Now, 18 month later, we’re back in court because he’s failed to follow the divorce decree and GUESS WHAT! He’s the victim! He actually had the balls to tell the court that I took advantage of him and he didn’t understand what he was agreeing to! Aside from proving that he’s hiding assets with wifetress, he’s also doing everything he can to drag this shit out. We’re going after lawyer’s fees too. Ruling on February 4th. I’m taking this shit all the way, baby!

        • Oh wow! Amazing how they are always the victim. I hope Feb 4th goes entirely your way as is deserved. I half expect this same thing in my case at some point. He offered several things and I included others that he signed off on. I was still fair and took my share of debt, etc. However when it is all about the narc nothing ever surprises me.

      • I filed after my XW’s affairs came out into the open. Yes, the Evil One is playing the victim telling everyone that it wasn’t her that caused the divorce. It was me because I didn’t forgive her. That I was bitter and playing the victim card. But there is a sort of revenge that you know that you left them. They know it. If she is a disordered person she is hoping you won’t divorce her so that she can come back to you. I was Plan B,C,D… Yes, she will use the kids against you. Just be prepared… I do not regret one bit divorcing her. I am healing now.

        • It absolutely does feel good in the long run to be the one that refused to take any more shit, and was willing to use the law to carve them out of your life. Yes, she will absolutely play the victim. Yes, she will absolutely smear your name. But she’s doing that already, she’s been doing it and she will always be doing it. The exact lyrics of her lament will be slightly different depending on your choices, but it will always be sung to the tune of Victim. Yes, it’s absolutely wrong and it fucking burns. It sucks. However, it sounds like you are very trauma-bonded, you are first and foremost thinking of how your choices will make HER feel. I know that reaction, it took me a long, long time (and lots of therapy and distance) before I weaned off of always thinking of how he would feel/react/think about my choices. It helped me a lot to consciously reaffirm to myself that this person, who purposefully made these shitty choices, is not someone who’s opinion I can value AT ALL anymore. His priorities are all screwed up, so I cannot take his feelings/thoughts/reactions into account for my decision making (except for what’s relevant in regards to our children). Honestly, three years out I just think all that crazy talk is part of the pathology. I give it as much weight as I would the talk of a raving schizophrenic. The shit end of that is they don’t come off as crazy to others, which is something you will just have to learn how to deal with and accept. There’s a lot of good advice here on how to do that. Logistically it doesn’t always work, I’m headed to have a nice chat with my daycare’s director right now to deal with some issues, but you’ll figure it all out IF you give yourself the time and space you need to heal and regain your sanity. Leave her, regain your life.

          • Something New – THANK YOU – you have just articulated the stage I have found myself arriving at. That point were I feel with certainty that I am doing something to uphold myself, rather than just being reactive to lunkhead. You have given me the words for a sensation I noticed for the first time 2 days back. THANK YOU

          • Yep, there has to be some satisfaction in the knowledge that these entitled twats are probably thinking, ‘Oh, chumpy’s still so enamoured with my splendid self that they wouldn’t dare file. I’,m sure if I need them sometime, I can just loop round and they’ll be there, waiting, holding that great big flaming torch and I can do whatever suits my needs at that moment, and I’ll be forgiven.’ And then you dare. It’s a nice way of pricking their balloon and sending them a nice message that they messed with and took the wrong person for granted. Good luck Balls, may they morph into orbs of steel.

    • “But if/when you get away from your tramp wife, you’ll see that her crazy made you crazy. We chumps get so wrapped up in the minutiae of the affair that we forget the larger picture–that NONE of this should be happening in a stable, loving relationship.”

      This. A thousand times over. Ex blamed my depression as part of the reason he wanted to have the affair. “You were never happy.” Well he never paid any attention to me unless he wanted something, so yeah, I’d say that was a somewhat accurate assessment. It was shitty having a third party in the marriage, whether it was Sony/Nintendo and then eventually Misty, and I felt more like a wife appliance more and more every year which was not a good feeling.

      So if I was a bit crazy, it was because he made me that way. It may be really difficult, scary and lonely now, but at least I have agency and know where I stand.

      • So, true, Cakeless. You can’t fall into a toxic waste dump of craziness and not swallow some PCBs.

        Although I divorced Hannibal Lecher on the basis of an affair he’d had 8 years prior (the affair I found out about on D-day), I later learned he’d been having another affair the year leading up to D-day. I had been having inexplainable panic attacks and even self-harming because of how subtly cruel he was being. I’m pretty certain the hypothyroidism I developed was linked to the stress of Hannibsl’s devalue.

        Do not underestimate the mental health benefits of Agency. I strongly advocate chumps be the ones to file (after taking proper precautions to collect financial data and protect yourself).

        • I herniated a disk in my back that exploded the week after DDay last February. He weaseled his way back in the house because I couldn’t walk and needed round the clock care. He did what he does best– act like the knight in shining armor……when it suits him.
          I now have to very, very careful and constantly aware that my heart is in my lower back and I have to manage my stress levels with precision otherwise the hernia explodes again and I lose the ability to care for myself.
          It’s a scary feeling to be so helpless and it all happened because of the stress he put me under last year.

        • Let me echo the chump should file. If you wait for the abuser to file it won’t happen. Also it will spur you to feel the power of your agency.

          Find a great lawyer. Work WITH that person. Push that divorce through like it is a second job. Untangle yourself from this nightmare and gain a life. It will be difficult. It will hurt. It will make you feel your mighty!

      • “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”

      • Hey Cakeless, welcome back,haven’t seen you post for awhile. I hope you’re in a stronger place and still healing steadily. Hugs to you.

    • Balls, many of us were in exactly your situation. It sucks. Your ability to think this through is weak because the mindfuck has shorted your logic circuits. But we have your back. And this is what we say:

      Get.The.Fuck.Out. Start by reading up on going gray rock, then do it. She don’t get to be the boss of you no more.

    • Agreed. Escape this lunatic NOW while she’s distracted elsewhere!

      Balls, save yourself before it gets worse. Imagine you’re married to an ax murderer. You don’t argue with a person like that, you start calling divorce lawyers and flee. Save the emotional stuff for your therapist. Get out of there before she siphons your 401k for her flatter fucks, gives you an STD, or gets pregnant.

      Don’t tell her you’re filing either. She won’t change, she’ll just use the heads up to get one step ahead of her and empty bank accounts, get her own lawyer, or tell the police you hit her. Keep it secret and close to the chest until your lawyer says to drop the hammer.

    • JC, I could put your entire reply in quotes! Balls it will be ok. Take the leap off faith. Free yourself and your mind will clear. I am “almost” divorced. STBX walked out 3/30/17. Since that day life has gotten infinitely better, yours will too!

  • Even if divorcing her is what “she wants,” it sounds what you want out of the bad options you have left. Do what you want! That is what is important here. You don’t have to believe the narrative that you are the loser in this scenario. You choose your own beliefs!

    How about reframing it as having the strength to set a healthy boundary and not tolerate the cheating abuse anymore?! That says you’re a winner with power. A survivor. I think that is more true than any narrative cheater puts up.

    • I believe if you were out of the picture her boyfriend would dump her. Why can’t you divorce and start over. A fresh start. Make a simple life for yourself while you heal and you will move forward in so many healthy ways and rediscover yourself. We all made a mistake marrying our partner. Get counseling and you will recover faster.

      The ex. Well, she will always be prowling and losing. When you get out in 5 years and look back you will see what I’m saying it true and you will be glad to be rid of her and all the trouble she has brought into your life. A nice peaceful life with no drama and find a new love and continue your dreams and make new ones. File and smile. New dreams are ahead!

      • Yet another one of those WTF moments. If I leave and she is free to be with him, he leaves her? Confused. Can’t trust anything she said after DDay but she did say that HE was the one pushing HER to commit to him.

        Who knows, who cares.

        • That’s what happened with my serial cheater. Once I was out of the picture, affair partner no longer wanted her. It was only fun for affair partner if it meant destroying another relationship to feel central and “better than me.” Shitty people with shitty values are shitty people with shitty values. Affair partner was only in it to win the pick me dance.

        • In my situation, OM is a single, never married dude. I think he got off on winning the pick me dance, but he also told her he was ‘ready to settle down’. That’s when the full blown PA started. They had plans to celebrate their togetherness when our divorce was final, but I threw a wrench in those plans because I was celebrating my new life without a shitty cheater instead. (She still lived with me, so she had to stay home with the kids.) The point is, sometimes they’re dumped immediately, sometimes they go on to marry and stay with AP for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t matter if they are good partners for each other or not. What matters is that she isn’t a good spouse to you.

        • It could very well be that they will part after you divorce and move on, because it’s not as much fun if you aren’t screwing somebody else over. The point is, why even care if they break up or stick together? She’s not filing for divorce herself because you are a back-up plan in case her and the OM don’t work out. In that case, she would probably hoover her way back into your life, only to ruin it again later. Don’t give her the opportunity.

          The Asshole (my stbx) kept me as plan B by staying married when he was, in reality, done with the marriage. He did it for about seven years and was planning to keep me for 10 more. This was because his mistress, Kitty Kunt, wasn’t by any means a sure thing for the future and the fun wasn’t even about being with her, it was about duping and humiliating me.
          Cheaters often need a back-up bitch in case the current obsession with the OM/OW gets old, and it almost always does. Are you okay with being somebody’s back-up bitch? I sure as hell am not. Put your balls to good use, lawyer up, and burn her little playhouse down.

        • GMSB–Affairs are sadly so common that they run to type. In a lot of cases, part of the appeal of the affair is that it’s secret. Now, you know about your wife’s affair, but presumably the rest of the world doesn’t know officially. Once you file, everyone knows it. It’s not secret and delicious. As long as it’s secret, you get the recurring role of Bad Guy in the marriage. Your hopefully STBXW and SP will bond in their common blaming of you because you’re the reason they can’t be together.

          Once you’re divorced, they can’t really look at you as the Bad Guy who’s kept them apart from each other so they’re left with…drum roll please…each other. This is when things tend to go south.

          This doesn’t happen in every case, but it did happen in my case. It turned out that Schmoopie had been cheating on CheaterX through pretty much the entire time he was cheating on me–say about 2.5 years.

          During that time, he paid for her COBRA insurance, co-signed a car loan for her, paid her taxes, and paid her mortgage for a few months.In fact, at one time she was livid because our income tax refund wasn’t as large as it had been in previous years (the tax cuts had expired). Apparently CheaterX was going to give her that refund to pay for her property taxes. I still remember the text she wrote to him, about how she needed “her” money because she had to pay her taxes and bills.

          In the mean time, she’s sleeping with some other guy as well. He owns his own business (a tavern).

          Anyway, Schmoopie and CheaterX got married about 3 months after I moved out. It was a big wedding at a Knights Templar hall because CheaterX is a Mason. Within 6 months after that, Schmoopie had moved out to live with the guy she’d been sleeping with while going after Cheater X.

          Moral of the story: Don’t underestimate the dysfunctional dynamics of cheater relationships.

  • Actually if she wanted a divorce she would have filed for it already; thereby you are not “giving her what she wants.” Your inaction is showing her that YOU don’t want the divorce which makes her central and therefore in her tiny, pterodactyl brain that makes her quite splendid.

    Or, you could just do what you want; divorce her because she is a cheating fuckwit who treats you like shit and make her a permanent gift to ole Smoochy Poo.

    That is by far the best thing you could do for yourself. Forget the RIC, forget what you think she wants and focus on YOU. Get a pitbull attorney and make sure all your joint accounts are severed. Come join us in the land of no cheating fuckwits, won’t you?

    • Agreed 100%. If she wanted a divorce, she’d have filed already. This woman obviously has no qualms doing whatever the hell she wants. You want a divorce? File.

      • Actually some if not most cheaters are super lazy. it takes effort and thinking and planning to get a divorce which all means WORK. why would she want to do anything that takes work to do. had she wanted to work she would have worked on her marriage. .. .. it is so much easier to run off with OM and make her husband do the work.. she is perfectly fine just getting what she wants without having anyone hold her responsible for anything.. . just like the responsible thing for her to do is get the divorce BEFORE she started fucking strange men.. .. it is beyond her thinking.

        i agree that the OP needs to file for divorce to be free of her toxin. he is sitting there thinking, worrying, wondering and waiting for 6 months. will she divorce him? will she come back? what does she want? is he the problem? the bad guy? a bad husband? a bad man? And the same 6 months she is getting her rocks off, laying on her back and being worshipped by a NEW man. she is having fun and the time of her life. she is NOT thinking about Growing some balls. She is thinking about her new outfit or what she wants for dinner.

        thing is it will NOT get better and he needs to free himself from a person who does not care for or love him. it will be to his advantage to hit her with a divorce while she is in New Love Bliss.. . she is so happy and carefree with the new guy that she will not argue and fight with him over little things. .. . her new man makes her so happy. but if he waits until the New Love Bliss wares off then she is going to fight the divorce and argue over the toaster, just to make Growing some balls life miserable. Because she can and she will.. ..

        Hit her hard and while she is so distracted with her new sparkly thing. After you are divorced and her shiny thing gets dull, it will be too late for her to say or do anything. Take your balls to a divorce lawyer as soon as possible. its the New Year,.. . New YOU!!! free yourself from the chains that holds you back… …Good Luck.

      • Same thought here. She’s happy just the way things are right now. No consequences. No accountability. She likes having all the benefits of a divorce and none of the costs. Are YOU happy with that? I hope not.

        What she’s hoping for is that if there’s a divorce, you’ll pay for it. No consequences again.

        It’s time you consulted a lawyer to find out the real deal. You may be quite pleased to find out that there will be consequences for her after all.

  • And while it’s not true everywhere, it may be true where you are — where I am, you can shut down all.the joint accounts you want, but as long as the marriage is intact, separated or not, all assets are joint assets in the eyes of the court. This means every debt your spouse incurs is also yours and everything you purchase is also your spouse’s regardless of to whom it is approved, titled, deeded, etc.

    Let that sink in. It would mean you would be responsible for every one of the other person’s shitty monetary decisions and owe the person half of everything.

    Further, marriage in some places can give the spouse control over your healthcare.

    If you go see a lawyer, you’ll find out what your specifics are and you can get whatever POAs filed you need to protect yourself and get the ball rolling on the rest. Cheaters in the throes of new passion will often trade shiny things for the pesky responsibility of custodial rights. If you have kids to consider, speed could give you some huge advantages there.

    Simply practically speaking, letting her feel like she won is a small price to pay — and might even be leveraged to your advantage — compared to the risk you incur by playing this doomed game with her.

    • Amiisfree, awesome advice !!

      Everyone gets hung up on the relationship side of the marriage and forgets the legal side.
      A marriage license is more than a piece of paper, it is a LEGAL document and what Amiisfree wrote is totally true. I would ask GMSB who wrote CL how long he’s been married to the cheater. In almost all states alimony and the division of property are affected by how long you were married.
      In my case I know for a fact that my Ex waited until after the 15 year mark to start openly cheating because she was guaranteed 5 years of alimony and at least 50% of assets.

      GMSB needs to see this as a business and legal matter and stop screwing around and file ASAP !!

      • You remind me… there’s some time limit related to social security, like if you are married at least 10 years you get benefits when the person dies or something. Lawyers know about this. Sometimes people want to stay married long enough to get that. I know it seems petty, but this is totally a thing.

      • Gator,

        Waiting 15 years… what clever little whore your ex was, wasn’t she?

        By the way, are you in Florida? You know, with the gator 🐊 in the name?

    • I agree, the “appear to lose” strategy can be turned very effectively against narcissists (think Kung Fu Master – using their energy against them). They love “winning” the battle, and will lower their guard/attention/aggression if they think they have won. Use that inattention to get your ducks in a row, gather evidence, and prepare for war.
      She thinks you’re a sucker, give her reason to believe you have accepted your lot in life as her bitch. Make a concession to her demands that makes her look good. It will feel shitty, but cheaters have two disadvantages: their belief in their own superiority makes them underestimate us; and their need to manage their image makes them manipulable. They do not know you or really understand you because they can never experience what a “real” person feels. That means you can say and do things that seem insincere or incongruous to your character and they will believe you if it fits their immediate needs. Use those to your advantage. Focus on your long term strategy for getting out, not your hopium that they will ever see the error of their ways. Ask me how I know.

  • You need to read this advice twice and heed it once! I would add that when you know and find your worth you will ask the better questions and not worry what she gets out of it. Try these out: What do I want? What’s acceptable to me? What’s in the best interest of my kids and me?

    I feel for you and the injustice and shit sandwich but you have a community here who walked it and you will too!

    I spent so much money and time and energy to get a divorce I would never have wanted or dreamed would be in my future. It was epically unfair. Now I frame it as the cost of my freedom and self worth and as the commercial says…that’s priceless.
    It’s not about her anymore. It’s about you! Good luck. You can do this!!

  • She wants you to initiate the divorce.

    So?

    I mean, YOU want a divorce too so why does it matter?

    I think she’s not initiating herself because she’s probably convinced you won’t actually do it. It’s something she is probably using against you in her fucked up narrative. Poor put upon her can’t get on with schmoop life because her terrible ex won’t divorce her she waaaah she is forced to go cold!

    Dude just do it. You’ll be done with that shit and she’ll be surprised you actually did it. A win-win.

  • While I was never stuck in RIC, I can tell you this – all that she done for herself and to you – she did it because she wanted to. She did it because she doesn’t care about you, your feelings, your love. She did it because she’s selfish, she feels entitled and I repeat, she doesn’t fucking care about you or the sad you sitting at home waiting on her. She has moved on and so should you.

    This will be one of the most painful, difficult, gut-wrenching choices you must make – but make it you should. Do it for you, do it because you should love yourself, do it if you have kids, do it because you’ve been chumped and you need to make a decision about how the rest of your life will look like.

    Don’t let her take anymore advantage of you or your marriage. Don’t let her stay for the money, or the health insurance, or because if her plan doesn’t work out, she still has a home to go back to. You don’t want to be Plan B or Plan Shit Sandwich. Do you really want to be the Marriage Police for the rest of your life? That’s a horrible way to live!! Live a life you can be proud of, live a life that makes you hold your head up high.

    • Also, if you are a true chump, listen to the RIC baloney, and will accept her back when her AP dumps her, be sure to get a postnup as minimum condition for her return. I’d also throw in NC with AP and several other conditions, but the postnup will determine if she is actually willing to turn the thing around. I am certainly not recommending going that route, but, being a chump, I know it can be tempting to reconcile.

    • Miss Bailey, thank you for putting it that way. I smoked way to much hopium!! He didn’t give a fuck about me, and even after the divorce was final he hung around while I played the pick me dance. CL and CN truly has saved my life. I look forward to coming here everyday.

  • Huh. I have to admit, this is something that never crossed my mind before I filed for divorce. Did my filing mean that my ex “won” because he was cheating on me and had a fuck buddy and I eventually had enough and filed for divorce? Never even considered that question. Filing for divorce from a cheating spouse is all about taking control of your life and your power. It’s about finding your voice and saying for the world to hear: I have value and I deserve to be treated as such. Your cheater wife won’t be winning if you file for you divorce – YOU will be winning. You are leaving a cheater and gaining a life. She gets to live with herself and her actions and that is no prize. Go get the cheater-free life you deserve, Balls, and leave her to the shitty life she she has earned.

  • Actually the reconciliation industrial complex told me to divorce my ex wife as quickly as possible, while she is still under the “affair fog”. Because cheaters think life is fun and exciting with their new partner and most of the time they are willing to divorce on your terms so they can enjoy their “great new life”. It was the best advice given to me, since I was able to get custody of the kids, pay no child support/alimony, got the house back, and so much more. In addition I restored my self esteem because I put the hardest boundaries a couple could put on their relationship. A divorce is a clear message that their behavior is not acceptable in a marriage. Was it easy, …Hell no!!! But as time moves on, I realize I should have left after the second affair was discovered. Maybe even the first. Because that pain your feeling, is your soul being raped by your cheating spouse. It’s one of the most painful experiences a human can go through. Yet the victim tries to win back their perpetrators when violated. It’s really not a healthy situation at all.

    • This is an excellent point. The window to get everything you want because of twu wuv shmoopie induced fog is shockingly narrow. If you act when the cheater is high on the affair you almost always do better. Once the fog clears they turn into raging narcs and make divorce way more complicated than it needs to be.

      Actually I’m a little surprised the RIC would dole out this advice but it’s golden no matter the source!

      • I was shocked too, but when I went on their forums. I learned three hard hitting truths with the real world people trying to save their marriage 1. The RIC program rarely works and there are very very few testimonies that it does 2. The fewcouples that do reconcile, the cheating spouse was truly sorry. Did 100% of the chasing, and all the work required 3. Divorce quickly, when the real world hits them, they start fighting for everything they have.

        • That’s the difference between RIC advice (“stand” for the marriage, do the 180) and the forums where you can see those manipulations don’t work.

          • Agreed, I was dumbfounded that the author of these reconciliation programs have very few success stories. I spent months studying their materials and executing their plans at 110% of everything I got. But it wasn’t working. Then you go to the authors forums and it was a dark world. So much pain among members with so little, if any success. But at least one of the moderators kept stressing the importance of a quick divorce. I think the turnout would be much different if I waited

      • This is so true CS. The Limited had booked a vacation to Florida within a month of DDay. What we sometimes overlook is the desperation of the OW to seal the deal.

        He wanted a divorce yet booked a vacation instead of filing. He was flying on high until he was served. It threw him off balance. The power shifted.

        Suddenly, it was no longer fun and games. I’m thinking she showed her colors wanting my pension as she raged at his attorney. The result was that his attorney withdrew and he represented himself.

        Best outcome ever.

    • So very true. This is what happened to me although i unintentionally did it. i was so worried that wasband would get a loan or get in a drunken accident and leave me hanging with the financial debt that after i found out he had a girlfriend i filed divorce the next day. (in truth, i should have known he had a girlfriend when i kicked him out for not coming home on new years day but i am a little slow and a little too trusting/naive so i did not find out about her until a 5 weeks later). i was in shock. i actually could not believe he was cheating on me (AGAIN!!!).. .. my heart was breaking and i was crying every single day but i filed those damn papers anyway.

      in truth, he just wanted me to leave him alone and stop bothering him.. .. (you know, with decisions, responsibilities, accountability and forcing to play daddy to our boys).. .. i actually went out of my way to ask him several times what he wanted from the divorce. what did he want in the house, yard, and garage. i asked him repeatedly to come over so we could fill out the divorce papers. (ours was a fill out yourself packet i got from the court house for 20 dollars). he was too “Busy” to do anything. (too busy fucking his new troll).. .. so i filled it out myself. i cant say WHY i asked for sole custody and zero visitation. i never intended to keep the children away from him but in my heart i just wanted to protect my children from his bad and poor decisions. (i still hadnt known about the girlfriend yet, but maybe my heart did) .. .. .

      anyway the day we went to go notarize the divorce papers (a week after i kicked him out on New Years Day), he signed without reading anything. he was too busy checking his phone and was in a hurry (i am sure she was waiting in the car for him and texting him what was taking so long. She was so worried that he would come back to me and she thought that i was going to rape him as soon as he walked in the door).. .. so he just signed the papers and ran out the door.. .. promising me that we will talk and that he is not sure he wanted a divorce. he pulled my chain for another month before i found out about his girlfriend. i filed the papers the next day and won everything i asked for which was everything. i got the house, everything in the yard, all the vehicles, boats, jet skis, 4 wheelers, everything in the garage, tools, welders, etc. i got full and sole custody of the boys, and full discretion on visitations.

      even thou it broke my heart and i felt like i was dying. it was the best thing i ever did. Divorce quickly while they are distracted with their new shiny thing. it is the hardest thing you will ever have to do, having to divorce while watching the man you love fall in love with someone else. but in the end it is better for you this way.. .. . think of it like this, they screwed you over, betrayed you, took advantage of you love and kindness for them every day while cheating on you behind your back. .. . divorcing them while they are distracted is the least thing you could do. the way i see it is it is his own damn fault. if he had not been cheating and sticking his dick into some strange, maybe he could have paid more attention to his wife and children. AND at the very least the divorce papers he was signing.

        • i dont know. it has been 5 years and we only see him once a year, usually when my youngest son begged me to contact his dad so he can talk and visit his dad. .. . i would spend 3 days of disrespect and hate from him and his troll just so my son could talk to his dad for 5 minutes on the phone. it was ridiculous. last june (2018) wasband call me during one of their many break up and he talked to me, asked me if i could take the boys to visit him 90 miles away as the poor little sad sausage did not have a home or a car. so i did and the boys spend roughly 5 hours with dad. but then he got back together with the troll and he stopped talking to us. apparently they were breaking up every other month at this point, they broke up for real in october. but he has not tried to contact us or the boys since thou.

          i am done chasing him.

      • so he just signed the papers and ran out the door.. .. promising me that we will talk and that he is not sure he wanted a divorce.

        WOW! He wasn’t sure he wanted a divorce? Did he even realize he was signing divorce papers??

        How did he react when he realized you guys were now divorced and you got everything?

        • yes, he did know that he was signing divorce papers he just thought that i was trying to get attention. he never believed that i would actually file those papers. he knew i was so in love with him. and he used my love for him against me all the time.. ..

          the only thing he reacted on was my getting sole custody and zero visitation. he was hurt that i was taking his boys away from him. i explained that i was not and he could visit the boys whenever he wanted. but he never really listened to me. plus it was probably just another excuse for him to drink. .. .. . for 2 years after our divorce i went over and beyond trying to schedule visitation visits and put up with so much hate and disrespect (most from his girlfriend who enjoyed my pain and was worried that he would come back to me).. . i think i tried super hard because of his initial pain and i was trying to prove i wasnt taking the boys away. .. . i am not sure why he pretended to care because after i stopped chasing him down and putting up with his girlfriend yelling at me every time i called to ask if he wants to see or talk to his sons, and him blaming me for everything under the sun.. .. he just stopped. we havent seen him since june of 2018, before that was feb 2017, before that was oct, nov, dec 2016.. .

          he did ask for some of the vehicles we had. i told him that he could not have them .. . he did not argue after that. he did come and steal some things that he wanted out of the yard. *shrugs* which is fine with me because i did not want them anyways.

          but all in all, i dont think he ever missed us or regretted anything. he is super shallow so his feelings dont run that deep. he dumped us and replace us with his girlfriend and her kids. .. . now he is on his own and still doesnt care too much even about his own 2 sons..

          he is always the victim you see.. .. it is NEVER his fault.. he has already changed our history. he told me last summer that our divorce was mutual and we both just fell out of love. it wasnt his fault. it wasnt my fault. we just drifted apart. .. . i told him that wasnt true and reminded him of the time i found out he had a girlfriend (he took her to met with me at the city park, had her in the truck while i was asking him what he wanted and if he intended on coming home or if he was truely done with our marriage, he had a hickye on his neck and when i saw it, i lost my breathe and asked him who was in the truck. i originally thought it was a dude. he told me it was none of my business who i had in the truck so i went to the truck and opened the drivers door and there she was) .. .. i reminded him that we had been talking about going to counselling and getting back together up to that point and how i demanded money from him to file the divorce papers the next day… .. so he got upset and said oh right. …

          *shrugs* i dont think he feels much about anything really

      • Boy I bet that you faced full on RAGE channel when he realized later what he had signed and that you got all of his toys. I’ll also bet a million dollars that Shmoopie was very angry indeed that she didn’t get all of your stuff. 😀

        • yes, i did get rage. but only about my getting sole custody and zero visitation. (see comment above)… but when ever he got mad i reminded him the numerous times i begged him to come over to do the divorce papers and how he told me he did not want anything.. .. i was pretty generous in giving him everything he asked for and pretended to want after the divorce. if he said i had his ____ i packed it up and delivered it to him. the only thing i told him no was on the 2 trucks he had bought (neither one worked) that i had put in the divorce papers as mine. i have 2 teenage boys now that are working to fix those trucks up. and it is not like he is paying child support (which i knew he would not). so when he asked for the vehicles i told him no.

          i am sure that his troll was most upset. she was living with one of our neighbors for a few months (which is where he met her). i am sure she saw everything we had. the trucks, the cars, the 4 wheelers, the boats, the jet skis, the pool, the nice yard and big house. And i am sure she thought he provided all that for me. And she wanted him for herself.. .. .. stupid ass did not know that i paid for all that stuff with the exception of the 2 trucks and 1 car that he bought (and none of them worked)

          well she learned the hard way that wasband doesnt do anything without being told and then he resents being told. he cant save money and spends money on stupid shit (like broken non running vehicles). from what i hear he cant keep a job (nothing new there, he had 6 jobs in the 15 years) they cant keep an apartment or a house, they cant keep a phone or vehicle. he bought a new 2017 nissan versa in nov 2016, made one payment and lost it in feb 2018. she saw what we had and wanted it for herself and then found out that wasband was not what she thought he was.. . .. so she dumped him last oct. now he is homeless.

        • oh right, i forgot. the day after i filed the papers, his girlfriend called me and demanded to see the divorce papers. i explained that i already filed them and she could take her happy ass to the court house to get a copy if she wanted. she yelled at me more saying it was my responsibility to get wasband the copies. i just laught at her and hung up on her. (she hated that… … .. i refused to talk to her ever. for the most part as soon as i heard her voice on the phone i would simply hang up. his phone would call, i would answer hello, if it was her, i would say, i refuse to talk to you, have wasband call and hang up again. .. .. ) anyhow to later that day, wasband called (at first he was really good at calling the boys and visiting every other weekend and paying child support) .. . so i explained that if he wanted a copy of the divorce he would have to go to the court house. and gave him instructions. he tells me “i dont want a copy” .. . so i laughed and said “your girlfriend does” he said “she dont need it” (all was not well from the very beginning with her).. .. i said “not my problem and here is the boy”.. ..

          so ya, that is one of the reasons that i am convinced that she saw what we had and wanted it for herself… .. .. it did not work for her in the end.

    • Yep I moved quickly too while he was on a ho high. I had been through this experience many years earlier in our marriage and recognized the signs of betrayal: no longer wearing his wedding ring, cold and distant, giving me the nasty look like I was the bad one, sneaking around, etc… Our iClouds were joined with my phone upgrade so seeing his texts and emails confirmed him chasing another schmoopie and planning to keep me and the kids on the back burner to see if the replacement would line up and pan out.

      I called him out on it, told him he should move out if this is how he chose to behave as a married man, I called the kids high school to report him and he and his schmoopie were banned from volunteering/working there, I saw a lawyer less than a week from discovery. While he was going out on Saturday nights as ‘dates’, I was getting all my ducks lined up.

      He was in such a hurry to run off into the sunset, he gave up the house, the contents of it other than a few items and his clothes, suggested liberal visitation with the kids cause he just knew they’d choose him and young schmoops, gave 1/2 of his retirement. I just had to give him a little equity from the house. He moved out in May and our divorce was final in September.

      Since then he’s circled back around trying to weasel more custody time, stuff from the house, triangulation with me but no contact is my friend!! I had to fake it til I made it though. In the back of my mind, I was waiting for him to come to his senses but meanwhile I came to mine!

      • Glad to hear others had success with a quick divorce.

        For those feeling guilty. Don’t!!!

        I felt really bad asking for custody of the kids. To the point, I gave her unlimited visitation rights and no need to pay for child support. Because she WAS a good mom and I didn’t want to keep the kids away from her. Fast forward almost two years, my kids rarely if ever see her. I guess the “good mom” was a phony act too! Her other boyfriends must have magical penises to make her throwaway a pretty decent life living by the beach without having to work a real job, to living in a Winnebago like a whore.

        I thank God that I am able to give my kids some normalcy. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m so grateful for my time with them

    • agree with this. the sooner you file (after ducks are lined up) the better. it is now your advantage to leverage her guilt and her desire to be with cheater. she is clearly too lazy to make the move so with stealth get it done and surprise her. hugs – this sucks!

  • Be sensible. You’re still obligated to her legally. She still has the ability to mess up your future self. Why would you risk that over some idea that she would get her way if you divorce her? Just do it. Have the divorce petition state the real cause of her infidelity, not some “irreconcilable differences” bs. That little nugget will live on for future sparkle dicks to learn about her. Man up and throw out the trash.

  • Pulling the pin and walking away is not easy, and yes, ultimately it’s probably what many cheaters want so “caving in” and giving them what they want feels unpleasant. But you’re divorcing for yourself and your kids if you have any, not for her. Sure, they may fuck to celebrate her new found freedom. But they’ve been fucking for a while now, will continue to do so after you file and will keep right on doing so until their relationship blows up if it ever does. Not a pretty picture but just plain fact.

    Do what feels best for you and what will ultimately make you happy. Being part of the pick me dance doesn’t feel good and doesn’t make you happy.

    I’m sorry you’ve got to do this, but you’re in good company here.

  • Dear GMSB

    Not the same situation for me but felt the same thing, after we split and he went off with Mrs Shiny I realised it was I who came up with a template for and initiated the settlement agreement, it is I who is contacting him when necessary about joint financial affairs/child related/outstanding affairs.

    Dealing with this stuff is beneath him because it’s boring and mundane. He can get the little people (me) to do it and just send me condescending response to very reasonable requests to sort things out. He is in love, all that matters now is him and his fantastic new relationship, him being a totally re-born person now he is away from my evil (yawn).

    And it will always be thus, I picked up the pieces, the daily routine stuff before and I can’t believe how grey rock I can be and still needing to be the one to instigate all this. It’s horrendously unfair and believe me it really really gets my goat and makes me so angry after what I’ve been through but yeah you’ll be the one to have to initiate all this because they are probably incapable. Like they are incapable of telling the truth.

    It is just one of the additional slaps in the face that all this brings, of which there are many I am finding.

    Hang in there x

  • Every dude (and dudette) reading this is like,
    “Duuuudddeee”

    Its not only going to grow balls, it’ll grow hearts and minds.

    I didn’t want a divorce and fought like hell against one.

    But…I like myself SO much better. I am more authentic, nicer, MORE loving, more careful.

    I always believed in myself, even on the nights i could barely breath. But I now have proof; I survived.

    So dude..go get your bigger balls.

    • Here’s a funny thought I had while driving to work;

      You know in Star Wars, when Obi One raises his lightsaber and lets Darth Vader strike him down?
      He becomes more powerful, Luke and Han can escape the death star and everything turns out awesome.

      Be Obi One; raise your lightsaber.

  • My lawyer said it best, “oh, he just wanted YOU to pay for the filing fees.”

    DING! DING! DING!

    • Best investment ever to pay the filing fees to get away from a cheater. And you can rope in the cost to the divorce settlement so cheater has to pay half (I dId).

      • EXACTLY!! The improvement in my physical and emotional health post divorce was priceless. Filing fee? Pfffft. Totally worth that and more. And yes, you can get many of the divorce costs back in the settlement. What you can’t get back? The heavy price staying with a cheater costs you in terms of your self worth and health.

        • My biggest wonder is why we chumps sometime thinks (not always) cheaters “deserve” (throw up, vomit) second chances?

          What the hell do we take into consideration that fucking someone else allows any possibility of reconciliation or has a reason on their part other than pure selfishness.

          End it. Immediately. If there is any chance for change it will come down the road in another time and place. Even though I believe the odds of THAT happening are next to zero.

          I believe in redemption.

          I do!

          Mine.

          Gosh darn I hate it when we add members. But, thank God CL is here for them.

  • I am having a hard time reading your logic, but it sounds like you want to punish her by not giving her what you BOTH want (a divorce)?
    If you give her a divorce, “she will get away with it”? She will “win”?

    Please read and re-read Chump Lady’s response and all the comments that are going to show up today countering your faulty logic. Contrary to what you said, STAYING with her is what is costing you your self-worth. Initiating divorce, telling her to fuck herself, and torching the whole thing is what will RESTORE it.

    You are holding YOURSELF hostage at this point. Losers (your “wife”) don’t become winners because we walk away.

    • PS…l taught my daughter very early on that if she is playing with a child who is cheating, the best response is to tell them you don’t play with cheaters and walk away.

      I am backing up what I said by divorcing her father. In order to keep her trust I have to walk my talk. I want to play with people who don’t cheat.

      • “I don’t play with cheaters” LOVE this, Velvet Hammer! I’m going to share this wisdom with my grade-school aged son immediately when I get home. Thanks for that.

  • Take care of you first! You want away from this craziness. Call a lawyer ASAP and get moving towards your life free from from this shit. You deserve to be happy.

  • In the end it really doesn’t matter who files for divorce. She’s a cheater just like my STBX. When it got so bad and I realized I needed to protect myself emotionally and financially I was the one who filed. Sad part is he has been using that against me making himself look like the victim. But then again I realize he’s a manipulator and if he filed he still would have spun some story and made me look like the bad guy. Cheaters suck!!

  • The whole question of what a cheater wants is just another version of power-struggling with a cheater. You don’t want to “give her what she wants” because you think that means she WINS.

    Au contraire. Filing for divorce and following through on that calls her cheater bluff. A divorce takes you out of both the power struggle (the “you aren’t the boss of me” aspect of dealing with a cheater) and the triangle with her Schmoopie. File for divorce and suddenly “You aren’t the boss of me” is meaningless. Not only are you the boss, so is the court. And don’t underestimate how key your chumping is to the fun of the affair. Cheaters love sneaking around. They love talking smack about the spouse to the AP and vice versa. The love being central to two people, also known as the pick-me dance. So long as you aren’t filing, you are still available for the pick-me dance. Get off the dance floor.

    Figure out what you want in your life and then go get it. Gain a life without a cheater and her AP as the focus of your attention.

  • Wow. I discovered this place less than a week ago and already I’ve read the book (also In Sheep’s Clothing) and got a letter published. That’s an ego boost for lil’ ol’ me. I posted here a couple times last week under John Q. Public but now I’m “GrowedMeSomeBalls.” It’s a name I gave myself in anticipation of the truth. 😛

    No kids, thankfully. We already agree on all of the particulars regarding assets. All that’s waiting is for one of us to pull the trigger.

    She has been super “nice” about all this, at least verbally. She even accepted my lowball asset division offer. But in terms of actions, she clearly moved on long ago. She already divided all of our stuff, down to any little thing that would remind her of me. She changed the locks on the house (not allowed but whatever) and even around DDay she already was talking about “I don’t regret our marriage” and “It would be nice to have my old name” and all that stuff.

    I assume she’s still with Smoochy Poo but I have no way of knowing. I’m one of those “But I Sucked Too” because I really did, at least in her mind. I know how this will sound, but she really was a neat person. So now I can’t wrap my head around what’s worse, the cheating or the leaving, the total rejection, the way she is trying to erase me. She tries to make it seem like one isn’t connected to the other. If she’s telling the truth (I doubt it) that she isn’t still with SP, then in her mind this is an issue of divorcing a bad marriage, not leaving me for a new boyfriend.

    Last night I woke up thinking about the little things she would do for me that really seemed genuinely loving. The whole notion that she is a covert-aggressive narc, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. The minute I get the righteous anger, I start thinking, “Yeah, but so did I.” Did I ever love her as much as I thought I did?

    After reading posts here I’m getting motivated to pull the trigger. But it still makes me sick to think that we ended up here. I really thought we had a good thing.

    Hey, anyway, thanks for the feedback. You have no idea how encouraging you all are. (Sorry I’m so wordy.)

    • She SEEMED like a neat person.

      If she’s a cheat
      She isn’t neat.

      Neat people don’t lie.

      Neat people don’t emotionally abuse or soul-murder or mindfuck others.

      Bernie Madoff’s friends thought he was neat too.
      For decades. Until one day when they checked their bank accounts after watching the news.

      Your wife SEEMED like a neat person.

      • “The whole notion that she is a covert-aggressive narc, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.”

        ^ This.
        It’s the most difficult part. It’s a legit grieving process. We are all still here for this exact reason.
        “I’ll show you, narc! Fuck me! (emotional self-harm ensues)”
        There’s no debate here- it’s filing time.
        This crew (CL-CN) has a map on how to find your way out of Dante’s inferno.

      • “If she’s a cheat, she isn’t neat.” That would make a good bumper sticker!!! lol 🙂 Nice one, Velvet Hammer.

    • GMSB, consider the fact that she might also just be a coward. Don’t get me wrong, cheating is an abuse. Cheating is a terrible way to end a marriage and shows that she has character flaws. But it also doesn’t always equal narcissist. It is a narcissistic act but that is not the same thing. I speak from experience since I have been that terrible person. I make no excuses. I was definitely a coward and thought all kinds of stupid shit about breaking up my first marriage. I wish I had just recognized when it had gotten bad and cut out then. I, instead, decided to act selfishly and it is a regret I will live with for the rest of my life. I learned a lesson and received the righteous karma as my AP became my new spouse and he cheated on me two decades later. I had been faithful to him. I had done the work I needed to do to not be that person anymore and I got a taste of my own medicine. The only thing I can do at this point is to not let this experience throw me backwards. I was better. I remain better. I still will never cheat on a person I love ever again. I will be the kind of person who speaks to issues and if it cannot be worked out, will do my best to end ethically. You deserved better from her. Don’t let her cowardice dictate you taking your life back. Either way you are the winner. She has much work to do.

      • Make that selfish coward. My ex was a coward who couldn’t leave me without first finding someone else to latch onto and yet he was perfectly willing to thrust me into the very positon he didn’t have the balls to face himself. Being a coward doesn’t absolve anyone for being a jerk.

        I am glad you made an effort to change and be a better person but it probably makes your first husband hurt that much more to know that you were willing to improve yourself for others but not for him. Hopefully he reached meh ages ago.

        • I actually texted that to the Dickhead. How he quipped when he told that he wanted a divorce, that he was ready to be alone for awhile. But that was a fucking lie! He had someone lined up. He broke my heart and our marriage into a thousand pieces and turned around to walk to her. Who was left alone? Me with some many feelings and questions that he never had the courtesy or respect to answer. He was a coward, he’s a selfish bastard, and he doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself.

        • I used both coward and selfish. I am not shying away from that terminology. And yes, I believe he has reached meh. Has quite a lovely life that I do not intrude on. I agree that it could cause him pain that I worked on myself after the fact. But I cannot change the fact that I worked it out in that order. I also cannot stay terrible just to help him feel better about dumping me. I fixed me for me. I wanted to be better. Not for my second husband, but for myself. I refuse to regret my own growth (I regret that I did not have this growth before I cheated) or associate it with either man. That is a path that leads to justifying bad behavior. I am a better person because I am a better person who created standards for my own behavior and for how I would like to be treated. I made terrible choices decades ago. I have not repeated them.

          • What is bothersome is that you improved for the man who conspired with you to tear your first marriage apart. He was a shitty person for participating in such a thing and he didn’t deserve the better you. Maybe the next guy will. I feel that dropping the person who helped bring out the worst in you would be a good first step in improving yourself. I guess you managed it anyway but it seems it would be easier without continuing to hang around with a bad influence.

            • Again, I did not improve for either man. I improved for myself. My standards were out of whack and I fixed it. Lots of things would have been easier had I understood how his narcissism affected my situation. Just understanding lovebombing would have been helpful. I fell for that and thought it meant he loved me in a way I had never been loved before. I’ve been chumped and it is okay if you think I deserved it. I won’t dispute it.

      • My husband has blown up our relationship and his only option at 54 is to attempt to do the work and not cheat on a future partner like you have written about. Only the beginning of amends, however. To be honest, I don’t know what making amends for cheating looks like but I feel I am owed some kind of restitution for all the life altering pain and suffering he caused when he essentially enlisted help pouring gasoline all over my daughter and I and throwing a lighted match on us. It’s an amends I never want to have to figure out how to make.
        I’d like to hear how you have made amends to your former husband in addition to becoming someone who doesn’t cheat on partners anymore.

        • Honestly, my amends were to apologize and leave him alone. He now has a wife and a child. We were married for less than a year (and didn’t live together in that time). We didn’t even share bank accounts or household goods. We were young, stupid, and had no business being married in the first place. But he still deserved me ending it properly and not like a coward.

          I’ve apologized for being a shit human. He has accepted it and I do not interfere with his better life. And trust me when I say that I ended up punishing myself for years. The guilt was so very heavy. I didn’t just hurt him, I hurt myself. I wish I had known what narcissists looked like because it is only now I see STBX is the only one who enjoyed the triangulation.

          • Thank you for sharing. Amends means
            “to change” and I hope you are firmly planted on the non-cheating side of the street. Cheating is not on my rap sheet but like every other person I have done and said things I wished I could take back in my 55 years. Not everyone can admit it and do the work of change, that’s for sure.

            • I’m so committed to the not cheating, I am waiting for the divorce to be final before I even start dating. Just because he screwed around doesn’t mean I have to join him. I am, unfortunately, still married. I have to model for my children what integrity looks like since I failed to have some earlier in life.

    • They ALL pull the “you sucked” card as a post hoc explanation for why they cheated. Most of us probably broke up with someone at some point in our lives with whom we were no longer enamored. But we didn’t cheat on them.

    • She is still with SP. I thought things had cooled with ex and Schmoopie at the point where I finally initiated the divorce and thought that ok, if he isn’t with her and still doesn’t want to reconcile, maybe it really wasn’t about the affair and he really was miserable in his marriage. I found out later that they were still an item when I was going through the finances for the divorce and found the charge for the flowers on Valentines day. I didn’t get flowers for valentines day. 🙁 That’s how DD found out about Schmoopie when she heard me yelling at ex “I want back every penny you spent on other women!”.

      And no, you didn’t suck, she did. We keep saying it here and I will say it again “Trust that she sucks and trust that you don’t”. All of those sweet things she did for you? That was image management meant to keep you from leaving her until she could find your replacement. She tricked you and then betrayed you. I doubt anything you might have done falls to that level of vileness towards someone you promised to “love honor and cherish” until death do you part.

    • GMSB

      It doesn’t (more like: it “won’t”) matter how she is/was. It will become something of a messy memory. And you’ll pick out the things that matter.

      I wasn’t a great husband either. I had sucky moments. I’m understanding why now. I’m so much better now and I’ll be such a better partner now.

      Let her truth be her truth – who cares really.., figure out YOUR truth. It takes time, but the wrinkles iron out.

      First, get through the task at hand…

    • I commented to you last week and my stance has not changed. Yes, I, like many others here know that we caused some toxicity too-it’s never one persons fault. However, in a relationship that is real, meaning both are vested, you accept this and after you cool down you talk. You don’t go behind someone’s back and exact your petty revenge. 27 years of marriage, doing for the other person with very little return, taking the blame bombs, being shamed into the if you loved me narrative…..what this is- is deceitful. Get all the evidence you have and look at it. Take yourself back to D-day and how that ping in your stomach made you flush and shake. Everything at that very moment became surreal. Everything you knew to be true is not true at all. If you will be honest with yourself, it’s not the first time. Everything in life is a Sales pitch and you bought it. She is not the person she sold you on. Think of it this way, you have given her everything she wants until now, give her this too! Remember, you love someone else, someone who doesn’t exist. We here at CN know how this feels. File and go to a Junk yard or to a open field somewhere. Take a buddy, sledgehammer and cinder blocks. Get it out and bust it to hell and back all the while screaming!!!!! It works, and is fun too!

    • Marriages can be messy and yes, we even hurt the ones that we love. As a wife, I know I made mistakes. We all do – but that does’t that we cheated. We didn’t stoop to their levels just to make ourselves feel better or get back at our spouses.

      It’s been almost 9 months since my shit show started (divorce was final back in month 3) and I’m just now getting some clarity about events and moments in my marriage to the Dickhead. I can start to see how he manipulated, how he gaslighted me (and yes, I was willing to accept his behavior because he was my husband and how could I not believe him).

      But for me, my truth is he never made me a priority, he never made our marriage a priority and he was never my friend (maybe a a few months in our 19-year span). I thought he would protect me and love me forsaking all others. I was very, very wrong.

      I’ve said this before too – you don’t cheat on people you love…period. If your wife truly loved you, you wouldn’t be here.

    • She changed the locks???

      Dude, you NEED to talk to a lawyer like YESTERDAY to ensure you don’t get hosed in the asset split, or her locking you out isn’t construed as you abandoning the marital home. Never trust a cheater to play fair. Get a lawyer before you negotiate anything else with her.

    • GMSB, my Ex’s “public face” is Ms Sweetie Pie and most people think that she is this wonderful soccer mom and if I tried to tell them terrible things that she did to me, they would NEVER believe me.
      Your Ex has her public face on even to you and it sounds like you have been badly gas lighted. Ask yourself, how could this “neat and wonderful” person treat the man that she loves and vowed to spend the rest of her life with like that ?? Hint.. that “well I did some bad things too I guess” that you said is PURE gas lighting coming from her–most of us on here have experienced that BS.

      I strongly recommend that you read the book “the Sociopath Next Door” by Dr Martha Stout, I’ll bet that you will understand you Ex better. Remember that Narcs are excellent actors and they excel at image management and control. They will use apparent nice acts, sexy fun times, gas lighting, whatever to control you. Someone I think CL said that without trust you cannot have any relationship. If you were in business with her and she stole $50,000 from you, could you stay in business with her or ever trust her again ? Ditto with a marriage, once the trust is gone so is the marriage.

      Go the lawyer and file, I’m sorry but your marriage is over. She is also NOT and probably never has been the person you thought she was. This is one of the hardest things that you’ll have to face because you’ll feel that you lived a lie for years. Still, realize that there are some really good women out there who aren’t narcs and could really love you. I know because 5 years after my divorce I met a lady who had been chumped by her Ex, we fell in love, got married and I’ve never been happier. So can you but for now, do what you know that you need to do. Good Luck !!

    • I agree. Coward. Hard to face up to what they have done. They sure believe ‘they aren’t those kind of people’. It’s cowardice and guilt. It’s bloody horrible though so don’t blame yourself for feeling like you’ve just been slapped in the face repeatedly with a wet kipper and don’t know where the hell to turn next. When you don’t see it coming boy it knocks you sideways. They just don’t really want to face it. A little word of warning what is ‘I don’t regret our marriage’ very quickly turns to ‘I never loved you anyway’ and the usual little outburst of bile if you don’t completely play ball so be ready for it and again don’t be shocked, it’s not you, it’s her. Hang out here for the real low-down on what’s playing out and it will help you stay sane x

  • Yes; it’s a common sentiment! When the hand grenade gets lobbed into your life, there is no justice to be found. It’s infuriating to be the only adult in the room. I felt like I didn’t care about divorce as I don’t plan to repartner. Then my youngest daughter started to say she was noticing cognitive changes in my husband and OMG I was ready to pull on my big girl pants and organise this divorce! It’s about agency and about choice! Exercise choice for you and make that the decision that represents what you stand for. I am not leaving the room with ends not tied off!

  • Dude I don’t know you. You could be a crappy partner for all I do know. So what?

    There is nothing so egregious in a marriage that makes it okay for someone to cheat and lie and potentially expose you to STDs. Not one thing.

    If you’re with a crappy partner you have some difficult conversations and maybe try out marriage counseling and if all else fails you honestly ask for a divorce and fairly divide the assets. You don’t practice escapism by having an affair. Stop blaming yourself!!

    • This is so very true. I wasn’t willing to do this work because I was afraid of my own failure. I wasn’t recognizing that cheating was already a failure on my part. My first and I were not a good fit, but that doesn’t mean he deserved my cowardice. You did NOTHING to deserve someone cheating on you. You deserve someone who honors their vows and makes an effort to fix issues. If those issues cannot be worked out, you deserve a fair parting.

  • Cheaters have a couple of common life attitudes:
    1. You aren’t the boss of me.
    2. Nothing is better than a triangle.
    3. Cheating is way better with Plan B or C out there, pick-me dancing.
    4. Sneaking and lying and pillow-talk about your marriage with a Schmoopie makes life more exciting.

    Filing for divorce ends all that fun. When you file, you are the boss of your own life but you are also imposing what is right for you on your STBX. When you file, you are ending the triangle. When you file, you take away the safety net that makes risky behavior like affairs comfortable for a disordered cheater. If you are fighting to get the cheater back or seeming to wait patiently for the “affair fog” to life, you provide the cheater with a safety net if things go south with Schmoopie or if she gets bored with the affair. You end the pick-me dance, period. And the cheater can’t pillow-talk about your pain and agony to Schmoopie, because –whoops–you’re moving on.

    Stop listening to what cheaters say. Look at what they do. She isn’t filing because–wait for it–she doesn’t want a divorce. She wants you as Plan B or E or whatever and a Schmoopie or two on the side. She wants her home, intact, your paycheck at her disposal, and the status of marriage. And she prefers sneaking and lying and gaslighting. So by NOT filing, you are just keeping yourself stuck in this triangle. Set yourself free.

    • THIS. “She doesn’t want a divorce.” She’s already working on changing her name, she has ERASED me from the house which we are selling anyway, I have been almost completely No Contact for 4 months. She is completely in love with SP (I assume) and hey, she was in love with me when we met and that lasted a good 10 years (we’re in our early 30s now). Not sure if SP has left his wife yet.

      My main problem is I read about all these NUTS, mostly men who leave and come back and have been doing that the whole time. Mine doesn’t seem that way. She seems cool, calm, collected. Why does she have me convinced that she is just dumping me?

      And if she’s dumping me then WHY can’t I get it through my head?

      Be patient with me, I’m super dense. I’ll get the hang of this. Rationally it all makes sense. Emotionally apparently I’m a complete hostage.

      • To clarify, “she doesn’t want a divorce” but clearly she wants me to be OUT of her life?

        And, since I’ve been No Contact and the house is devoid of me, she’s not really abusing me or anything. We are just separated. There is no relationship left to abuse me with. Or am I so deep in it that I can’t see the reality?

        • You need clarity? Here:

          She’s fucking another man and rubbing your face in her dirty sheets. WTF??

          You’re still legally tied to her which means you still have potential legal issues that could WRECK YOUR LIFE. GET OUT.

          Cut the bitch off. Going to a lawyer and going No Contact is the very thing she thinks you will not do. Surprise her and GO GET A REAL LIFE. Meanwhile, sparkle dick will have to decide if he wants to marry a cheater…and he might not. Ta da!

            • DON’T tell her that you’re filing, seeing lawyers, none of it. Keep it secret until you’ve got your ducks lined up and your lawyer says go. If she gets a whiff of you leaving, she’ll sabotage your escape or find other ways to make your life hell.

              Or lovebomb/guilt/mindfuck you some more so you don’t leave. Then as soon as you decide to stay, she’ll clear out your bank accounts.

              Get a lawyer … SECRETLY.

        • Growed—her motives don’t matter. The inside of a cheater’s mind is an ugly place; you don’t want to go there. But I understand you need an answer and here is my best guess—she’s in no hurry for a divorce because she is waiting for schmoopie to leave his wife and have it appear they later just “happened to find each other” after she had been separated from you for a respectable amount of time. It’s image management.

        • She’s not going to pursue the divorce till SM files. When SM files, she’ll file in a NY second. Go ahead and file, who cares if she gets what she wants you will at least start to move forward and moving forward is crucial to get beyond this mess. Also, when you file she’ll start panicking and be on SM’s ass to file. Life will not be pleasant for SM or your stbx…that’s just a plus.

        • Balls – Cheaters are notoriously lazy about tying up lose ends. Many here can attest to their ex’s never making a move to divorce, or even picking up their stuff after years. It’s as if they skipped off to lala land and never looked back.

          That hurts. It’s another means of how callously they treat us, and boy does that hit below the belt.

          You need to reframe filing for a divorce. It’s not about giving in to what she wants. I’m finally doing it. It’s my clear message that I am having the final say. I finally get to make a decision – and that is that I will not tolerate my ex for another second again. I will never be suckered again. He will get nothing more from me again. I am DONE!

          Do it swiftly. Do it completely through your lawyer. Completely shut her down. Do it for yourself.

          I don’t know if my ex will care what I do one way or the other. But, I recently read a stat that stated that more than half of people who leave a marriage end up having regrets later on in life. Chances are good that my ex will regret this one day, and I have every plan to not care.

          The best revenge is a life well-lived. Clean up the last remnants of this marriage, close the book and stick it up in the attic of your mind.

          Start writing your new book. The amazing life to come. The life where you work on yourself to be the best you. Where you find an honest and moral person who appreciates that you know how precious honour and integrity in a marriage is. In time, your ex will become a faded memory, your hurt will dissipate into wisdom, and she’ll just be someone that you used to know.

          Whatever your real or perceived short-comings, know that in the end you were the one that stuck it out in good times and bad. You remained committed. You sought self-improvement. You tried to be understanding. You extended forgiveness. You were loyal. You maintained the integrity of the marriage. She failed to do any of this for you, choosing the cowardly way of abandonment.

          If I were to ever seek a new life mate, I would want one who demonstrates the relationship qualities listed above. That’s a person of high value, good character. Whatever your other relationship shortcomings might be, your foundation is rock solid. Your personal journey of healing in your new life will involve enough self-reflection to work on further developing your life skills.

          You are worthy. Nothing you did deserved what she did to you. Some good counselling can help you gain some coping strategies for restoring your sense of self-worth and neutralizing any anxieties that may have emerged frim this trauma. But, true healing will only come from drawing your own boundaries and taking back your own power. And, nothing send a clearer message that you are moving on then being delivered divorce papers.

          • OptionNoMore

            ^❤️THIS!!!

            I havent posted in quite some time but your message awakened my spirit 2day & describes exactly how I FINALLY said “ENOUGH – I’M DONE” & pulled the trigger after struggling for a very long time.

            Thank you for sharing such positve and encouraging words. Your message further confirmed for me that despite the awful devastation I endured at the hands of my exh, & my maintaining all the qualities you listed above, especially honor & integrity in my marriage, that someday those same values will be embraced and appreciated by someone who also possesses high morals and good character. My foundation is definitely rock solid.

            I am newly divorced and as you suggested, have started to create and live the book of my new & amazing life to come 😘

            {{{BIG HUGS}}}

      • I knew a fellow who was husband number 3 to a wife whose marriages all lasted 10 years. He was close to the 10 year mark with her when her ‘feelings changed.’ It bites and it stings. But some people can interchange mates. It is in their character to do this. You deserve better.

        • yeah. I think she’s with my ex. He ran off with her. She appears to have a kid by every husband. by the way, she also cheated on all of them.

      • She is a selfish coward. She is also lazy. She wants you to file and do the work because she has better things to do with her time (Screw SP). You can use this to your advantage to get a good settlement that is to your advantage. With any luck, she will be to preoccupied to scrutinize it and will just sign away.

      • Your cheater sounds a lot like mine. From many of the posts here, I do kinda think that it’s more common for male cheaters to be the narcissistic type that love the ego boost they get from multiple fuckbuddies with a chump at home who is good for their image management. Women cheaters, on the other hand, more often seems to be the selfish cowardly type who are tired of their boring, reliable spouse but only move on once they have someone new who gives them the tingly feelings between their legs. Of course there are exceptions on both sides, but it’s just a trend I notice. Case in point, my XW told me by text message that she wanted a divorce. I turned into Chief of Marriage Police and confronted her with cheating within 3 weeks. Nearly 5 months later, she still hadn’t filed but was perfectly happy to sleep in the marital bed until I kicked her out and let me support her after we worked for a decade to get to the point where she could be a SAHM. Like you, I didn’t want to at first because I was smoking hopium which then turned into the idea that I didn’t want to do all the work for something she wanted, YET AGAIN in the marriage. So, that starts my list of the reasons women like this want a divorce but don’t actually file. All of them are a different display of her entitlement:

        1. She is LAZY. She wants you to do the work and spend the money to get this done for her. In her mind, she’s lived in a crappy marriage for years and holding out a little longer until you do it for her is worth it.
        2. She wants to milk the cow for all it’s worth. The longer she holds out, the longer you believe there’s a chance to reconcile.
        3. She likes the power trip. Rubbing her semen-encrusted underwear in your face (yes, my XW purposely left these on the TOP of the hamper so I would see them) makes her feel powerful and destroys your self esteem. Great music for pick me dancing, don’t ya know.

        Since you are physically separated, not filing is the only control over you she has left. What everyone here is trying to do is jump start taking back your own life. Wrest your balls away from her. Yes, you will have to eat the shit sandwich that is doing the actual work, but it’s the only way. Eventually, you will see it as the best decision you could have made for yourself.

      • you can not logic with crazy.. .. the thing you need to get thru your head is that “IT DOES NOT MATTER”.. .. all the questions that you are driving yourself crazy with .. .. the answer is IT DOES NOT MATTER.. .. why is she doing this? because she can.

        You are still thinking that there is something to work with there and refuse to believe that she is just a horrible person. Trust that she sucks… .. that is why she is doing this.

        Who cares what SHE is, why she does it and how she does it. Do YOU really want to be married to someone who can so causally and carelessly walk away from you like this. Do you really want to live like this SHARING YOUR WIFE with another man?

        Who cares if she wants the divorce. Who cares if she doesnt want the divorce. Why are you even bothering to waste time and energy on that question anymore. Look at the comments here, everyone is telling you that it is in your best interest to DIVORCE her. . and yet you dont want to accept it. i remember feeling that way, i would ask questions but never really listened to the answers because i did not want to face the inevitable which was the man i choice to fall in love with was really just a loser, piece of shit liar and cheater.. .. plus in a way i was hoping that i could FIX my marriage somehow. even thou he was fucking someone else, i thought it was fixable. or in the very least it was some kind of “MISTAKE”.. .. seriously dude, fucking someone is never a MISTAKE.. . she is doing that on purpose because whatever her reasons are she just DOES NOT LOVE OR CARE for YOU ANYMORE.. ..

        let her go. DIVORCE HER and find your own peace.
        this is NO WAY to live.

  • I’d like to add that someday after the dust has cleared, it’s Tuesday and your heart is healed, you may meet a wonderful lady. The last thing you will want is to be tethered to a lunatic when that time comes. My divorce lasted a year and a half. It could take longer if she fights it.

  • “you’ll see that her crazy made you crazy. We chumps get so wrapped up in the minutiae of the affair that we forget the larger picture–that NONE of this should be happening in a stable, loving relationship.”

    THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

    Its amazing how your crazy dies down the further you are away from them. Then? Room opens up for you to see that other people quite like you, and don’t treat you like they treated you.

    I never believed people who said ‘its better off without them’ until I lived it. So I am going to repeat: despite the hurt and the pain?

    Life really is better off without them in it.

    • sounds like she is STILL fucking him over.. .. from what he commented, she already got his name off the marital house. i am willing to bet she is sucking his finances dry also. .. he needs to rush his ass to a lawyer before she writes his name out of anything else.. .. the longer he waits the more she FUCKs him over.

      • Ding ding ding…… He is dancing to HER tune and that equals getting screwed.

        Also have you already hit 10 years married or is it in “a few months” and she’s stringing you along until that date ?
        In most states 10 years can mean more alimony, assets and some of your Social Security down the road. Until you file and LAWYERS knock out paperwork and it’s signed, any “agreements” you have with the cheater aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

        GO TO A LAWYER THIS WEEK AND FILE !!!

        It really sounds like she’s setting you up to get screwed.

  • Growing Me Some Balls – When I was in the thick of it, I proudly stated, “If he wants a divorce then he will have to file for it, he will have to own it since this is his mess”. After a year of living apart and an email (yes an email, I was not even givien the courtesy of a phone call) announcing his decision that ‘we could no longer be married’ and ‘I am moving to another state next month’……guess who filed? Cheaters don’t want to be the bad guy, they don’t do the heavy lifting. My only regret was that I waited so long. Thank goodness that I already had an attorney lined up by the time he decided that the divorce should move forward and I filed before he moved.

  • (For the record, she’s the Ice Cold type.)

    Could be I’m still fresh from my divorce, it’s been less than a year, but this part of the letter put up a red flag. A blame shifting troll or real chump?

    • What do you mean here? That maybe I am shifting the blame? I know I’m a real chump and she is a CHAMPION at blameshifting. In fact she has ME thinking I’M the one doing all of the manipulation. I’m losing my mind. I don’t know what’s real anymore.

      • “Ice Cold” is not compatible with “really neat” in an emotional partner. You deserve someone warm, who does not blameshift her character deficiency into you.

        • She wasn’t like this before. She was always warm and affectionate. I was the distant one. The Ice Cold is post-false reconciliation, just “I’m done, this is over, I’m not willing to work on this marriage anymore.” So maybe it’s my own projection.

          • You may have sucked as a spouse, but she’s worse for cheating on you instead of divorcing you. Don’t entertain for one moment that she “had to” cheat on you or that you “made her” do it.

            You might also find http://www.mustbethistalltoride.com useful to some tiny degree. The open letter to shitty husbands is a good read. It applies to shitty wives too, but the web site is Matt’s and it’s his take on the matter.

            I hope you can bring this to an end very soon.

            • Wow that hurts to read. Very hard to balance “Trust that they suck” with this. I suck.

              If I had known sooner we wouldn’t be in this mess. And now I know and I’ll spend the rest of my life doing better…but it can’t be with her.

              • Okay. You sucked, and if in your mind you think it justified her cheating (which it didn’t) then you still need to grow some balls and file. You love her? I get it.

                But isn’t real love being loving enough to let them go? So yea, I don’t think it’s the “you love her” that is keeping you stuck. I just think it’s the mindfuck she has created.

                There are exactly excuses for what she did. Okay?!

              • We ALL suck – it’s what we do when we realize that we suck or are in a sucky relationship. NO relationship or person is perfect, or the be-all end-all answer to one’s dreams. None of us. We fart. We have weird laughs. We lick the plate when we think no one is looking. We don’t move everything on the counter when we wipe it down. Whatever.

                Improving oneself for oneself or even for your spouse is one thing.

                CHEATING is another and is NEVER justified. I don’t care how badly you suck and in what manner.

                CHEATING is entirely on her. Not you.

                I’m sorry she treated you so shabbily. While saying, “I can’t do this anymore and I want a divorce” hurts, it’s not the salted earth policy of adultery.

              • My ex always would point out my faults as the reason he wanted out. I believed ever single one of them, what an ogre i was, who wouldn’t want to leave me? I also do not think he regrets leaving me for an instant. That would be admitting fault, and lets face it, he has no faults. (sarcasm)
                I did a whole lot of reading and Brene Brown said it best – and i paraphrase because i can’t remember the actual quote – “you dont have to be perfect to be WORTHY of love and respect. you are worthy just as you are, right now”
                Wow.
                And as i was digesting this i got his next excuse for not coming home to me ” you let the plants die in the storm” That’s when it finally hit me he’d grasp at ANYTHING to not be at fault.
                Oh and he made me file too and happily told his mommy “she wanted the divorce”
                TOTALLY WORTH IT.
                He married the HS sweetie he was seeing behind my back. May they have all the happiness they deserve.

          • If you were distant it is probably because she was distant and you were reacting to that. Ex was the distant one who seemed to not want me around. This caused me to retreat and leave him alone. I was also avoiding him in order to avoid hearing him express his frustration about every little thing that the kids and I were failing to do to his satisfaction. Then he later accused me of being “emotionally unavailable”. She probably played an active role in whatever behavior she complained about later. Even if you are “distant”, maybe that is just the way you are and she should have done a better job of understanding that and not just assumed the worst of you so that she could have an excuse to go chase strange. She wasn’t following through on her vows. You don’t suck, she does.

            • This is more how I see it and how a lot of the other “older” and wiser people in my life have described it.

              I WILL own my side of the street, though. I MUST. I hope someday the regrets subside.

            • That’s it exactly Chumpinrecovery.
              NO ONE is perfect!! We ALL make mistakes.
              I retreated from him because he treated me like I was full of frustration to him.
              The difference is that I thought he was better than his actions. BIG, GIGANTIC red flag. I blamed myself when he screamed and yelled about any minor inconvenience. All I wanted was peace, unity, comfort and love so I tried harder.
              He used my mistakes to justify treating me like shit instead of just talking it out.
              He chose to manipulate, lie and verbally abuse me because he was in discard phase so I could do nothing right in his eyes.

            • wasband was like this.. .. he was not coming home at night every single weekend for 4 months. when he was was home, he would stay as far away from me as possible, not talking to me or the kids, not watching tv with us, not eating with us. we would sleep in the same bed and he would make sure he was as far away from me as he could get.. .. and he would tell me that i was treating HIM bad.. .. so there i was falling all over myself trying to treat HIM better.. . trying to show him how much i LOVED him and needed and appreciated him.. .. and all of that never meant anything to him at all.. .. the thing is he KNEW he wasnt treating me good and was trying to project HIS adequateness onto me.. ..

              looking back i could see all the times he blamed me when it was actually HIM doing it.
              –he would randomly start accusing me of having a boyfriend. (he would be cheating on me)
              –he would randomly accuse me of stealing money from him. (he was taking out loans and money from our joint bank account)
              –he would tell me that i was embarrassed of him and that i did not want to take him anywhere with me. (he was embarrassed of me)
              –he would tell me that he thought i did not love him anymore or that he thought i got tired of him. (he fell out of love with me and he was tired of me)
              –he would accuse me of never listening to him. (he actually never listened to me)

              i could go on, but i think you get the idea… ..

              the point is TRUST THAT THEY SUCK.. .. yes, i know i wasnt perfect but i kept trying and i believed we had a good thing. i loved him and tried so hard to make him happy and feel loved. all he had to do was say that i did this or that and i would fall all over myself to make it better.. .. and it still wasnt enough. it took me over a year after my divorce to finally accept that he never really loved me. he loved what i did for him, but he never loved me. everything i did for him, all the sacrifices, all the time, effort, love, forgiveness, support, care i gave to him MEANT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to him.

              the day he left me, he was still saying that i did not treat HIM good.. .. i was so drained, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. i had nothing left to give him. so he left for the neighborhood meth whore who left her own husband and abandoned her 4 kids… ..

              now i have peace. i am still working and doing all that i was doing before he left. but i dont have the worry, or wondering where he is at and who he is doing. i dont have him blaming me and making me feel bad. i dont have him dragging me down to his level.. .. . i have peace. i have happiness and joy. he is STILL miserable.

              • After DDay I remember thinking I must be the most incompetent person in the world if I could have been making him feel so bad when I had been trying so hard to make him happy. I wasn’t the one making him feel bad, however, he did that to himself and needed someone to blame.

          • She was warm when she was getting something from you. Truly warm people are not ice cold once you are no longer of use to them. Do you turn dismissive of a waiter or a service person once you’ve paid your bill? No. Chumps continue to be kind to people (sometimes, sadly, even cheaters) because that’s their nature.

            True warmth is not instrumental.

            • Good Point Tempest..

              wasband was always nice, charming and oh so sweet whenever i was doing what he wanted. when i wasnt holding him accountible for all his bad/toxic behavior. when i was MAKING HIM look good, or feel good at being a husband and daddy.. .. in the meantime, i was falling all over myself, disregarding my own wants and desires, just to make sure he got what he needed.. .. and i was rewarded with mr nice guy..even now if i know he wants something when he is super nice and sweet to me. as soon as i say no or question what he is asking from me, i get the rage

          • OK, stop it. Right now. Don’t take on the job of blaming yourself. You didn’t cheat. You didn’t walk away from the marriage. You aren’t “ice cold.”

            Marriage is a relationship. The quality of the relationship is determined by the character of the people in the marriage, their capacity for commitment, and how hard they work at it. You married a woman of poor character and minimal capacity for commitment. Her lack of work ethic in this area is obvious. If your STBXW is character disordered, you had almost no chance of having a truly happy marriage. That takes two committed adults.

            You still love her. You are trying to keep options open because the RIC tells you if you divorce, your shot at reconciliation is over. So wait if you need to. But we all know what it is to love someone who is no good. Sparkly narcissistic types are often “neat” and very attractive. That’s their M.O. They get people hooked on them and then they start the devaluation. They make you doubt yourself, your sanity, your decency. In other words, you can’t be a good husband to someone who can’t love, as you understand the term. The goalposts keep moving.
            http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/cycle-of-a-narcissistic-relationship/

          • I know exactly how you feel. My now-ex-wife was 100% “my love”, “I love you,” etc. Right up until I found out. Then the ice-queen of grievances came out.

            I can’t explain it. And I certainly can’t tell you that it is going to stop bothering you. But I can tell you that other women will treat you better.

  • I remember thinking that way. “He is the one who doesn’t want to be married so let him be the one to file and do all of the work.” I left it that way for several months after he moved out and beyond. When he made the decision to move out in August (didn’t actually move out until November), we had a discussion in which we decided that we would start the divorce process in January. Well, January came along and he made no move in that direction. He also wasn’t showing any interest in reconciliation. He gave me a book for Christmas with what was essentially a break up letter hidden in the pages that just reiterated everything he had already told me on numerous occasions. I was still going to wait for him to file but half way through January I realized that I was an emotional mess waiting in limbo as I was and as much as I didn’t want to get divorced, limbo needed to end. He was leaving me but he was doing it in slow motion so he probably would have gotten around to filing eventually (the pattern was two steps away, one step back), but there was no telling when and I knew that if I waited I would just be waiting for the next thing to happen to me. Divorce was inevitable, the only thing I had control over was the timing. At that point I told him we needed to just get divorced and get it over with. In my case he didn’t resist but I had to do all of the work. It sucked and I resented it but I did get a good settlement and I got out of limbo. It still hurts, I am still sad a lot, but I feel good about having stuck up for myself and ended a situation that was keeping me from moving on and healing. I am not yet at meh over a year since the divorce and 2.5 years since DDay, but I am on my way. I can see it on the horizon. I never would have gotten to this point without getting divorced. Yes, it isn’t fair that you are the one who has to pull the trigger, but it is the only way for you to take back your power, get over her, and move on. She might try to use that to paint you as the bad guy and blame you for the divorce, but if she has moved out and is “devoted” to Coochie Poo then no sane person will try and put the blame on you for the demise of your marriage and you can drop the insane ones right along with your wife. Don’t be afraid to let anyone who will listen know exactly why you are divorcing if it isn’t already obvious. You aren’t giving her what she wants, you are taking back your power and your sense of self worth and letting go of something toxic. You are doing what you need to do to save yourself from a monster. Most normal rational people are going to get that.

    I will leave you with this link that I have posted on numerous occasions. It is funny because it isn’t. It is geared towards “Mid Life Crisis” but really, I think it applies to cheaters in general. It highlights the absurdity of our cheaters and their behavior in a way that emphasizes that they are the ones who are messed up and it isn’t us. http://www.2-in-2-1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3324

    • PS. You also need to do it before she bleeds away all marital assets. Yes you will probably lose a lot in the divorce settlement, but you would likely lose even more in the long run by staying married. That was my experience anyway. Now his debt is his and it’s his net worth he is pissing away, not mine. I have no doubt your wife is net worth pisser. At least in divorce, there will be a limit on how much of your net worth she can squander.

  • Chump Lady’s no nonsense straight talk always gets me thinking clearly! How about a desk calendar with a thought of the day? I need this no bullshit advice every day as I emerge as my newly divorced, stronger self. It’s like daily affirmations, but completely different!! And better. Thank you Chump Lady.

  • The answer to this is very simple: when you house is on fire you exit as quickly as possible. You don’t worry about who set it on fire or whether or not they want you to get out or die in the fire, you just leave.

    In a way it’s not any of our business what cheaters thinks about anything, and thinking we know their thoughts is just a lot of projection.

  • I feel like this falls under “you might suck, but that’s still no reason to cheat on you.”

    You’ve been choosing to NOT divorce her solely because that’s what she wants? I’m trying to think of how this works well in any relationship, much less a marriage.

    File, work on yourself, and move on. She didn’t have any good reason to cheat you – no one does – but maybe she had reason to leave you and get divorced. It’s over; call the time of death. She’s left the marriage; it’s about time you do too. Move on and find peace and a better life. Or don’t- but the only one it will hurt is you.

    • Feel like I should clarify here. I’ve been choosing not to divorce her because I don’t want it. I still love her. That’s on me. It’s not an issue of “I’ll show her.” It’s an issue from the RIC telling me that if I do it I won’t ever get a chance to reconcile.

      I sucked. That’s on me. She cheated. That’s on her. But I think you’re right, the power dynamic is so twisted, the damage done is so severe, that there’s really no way out. The difficulty is that because of the additional layer of “I’m leaving this marriage,” not just, “I cheated and want cake,” it’s harder for me to channel that righteous anger. Meaning it still hurts to lose her.

      That’s on me.

      • If she was unhappy in her marriage she had a right to divorce you but she didn’t have a right to go looking for your replacement first. There is nothing that justifies that. The fact that you aren’t already divorced means that she is and always has been looking for some form of cake even if it doesn’t involve affection. No matter the situation, she betrayed your trust. she never did diddly to try and improve your marriage so that she could be happier in it. Instead she chose to go behind your back to fulfil her needs with no thought or care to your feelings. She pretended to love you when she didn’t and then just cut you loose without a care in the world once she found someone she liked better (for now). You were just an object to her. Let that fuel your anger.

        • Thank you. I will be copying and pasting a lot of these responses so that when I wake up at 3 AM thinking “Why me, I love her,” I can re-read them and stay rational.

          For the record, she did SAY a lot of these things but she never said “I will leave you if you don’t fix them.” BUT THAT IS ON ME for not listening carefully enough. Yes, I was a shitty husband. Also she ONCE mentioned counseling and I downplayed it. She didn’t follow up on that, but THAT’S ON ME and if anything that will be my greatest regret in life.

          • Sounds like a game. My husband said the same things to me. Like I said, you love someone who doesn’t exist. Never did exist. You have to look at this from a 3rd perspective. I get your heart here. I get your despair on if I had only….something my Mom always said, “If a frog had a glass ass he would’ve broke it along time ago.” You can’t live your life on what if’s. Reverse the narrative- What if she’d sat me down and told me the truth? What if she’d told me that if I don’t listen to her she would leave? No sir, no. She CHOSE to use it as an excuse to go and have dirty sex with someone who is not you. The awesome high she got from it, oh and not to mention she chose another married so and so….really?

          • She may have already been fucking SP (or some other one you don’t know about) by the time she brought up counseling. My ex suggested that and I was all for it. Alas, he was already balls deep in Schmoopie 2.0 by then. I found out about Schmoopie a few days before our first scheduled session. I was still all for the counseling thinking that it was all a misunderstanding and we could turn things around but it was already too late. Why do the work of fixing your marriage when you have the option of just running away.

            • That is what happened to me. The Evil One said that if I didn’t go to MC with her she would leave me. So MC turned into one big bashing of me. All the changes that I had to make for her to stay. She failed to bring up that she was in the 2nd year of a 2 year long affair. That she loved this married OM. It is crazy how they are.

          • The Dickhead suggested MC as way to throw me off track. He later said that there were things that he would never discuss with me or things he would never tell me. How’s MC supposed to work if we aren’t honest? He really didn’t want to go – he wanted to give me false hope so he could go on doing what he was doing (fucking whores) and I would be too busy in my little corner to see what the hell was really going on my marriage.

            Does that sound like a kind, caring or loving husband? I was not that shitty of a wife and you probably weren’t that shitty of a husband. Sounds like your wife was throwing you a few kibbles to keep you in line. She needed cake and she’s not going to get it if she’s pissed off the supply.

            It will take time but at some point in your journey, you will stop and really see her. You will see that she didn’t love you, that she didn’t value you, that she didn’t respect you. She’s already shown you in fact – you just have to believe what you see.

          • How can you possibly say you “love” someone that treats you like shit???

            That’s not love, that’s being a complete idiot.

            Forgive my roughness, but you’re just making excuses.

            DTMFA

          • she gave you a list of shit you were doing wrong and you did not fix it.. .. bullshit!!! more like she kept looking for shit you were doing wrong to ease her mind about cheating on you..

            look. i was that person who did fix it. every time wasband gave me a list of shit i did wrong. i fixed it. i changed. i made it better. i worked at what he wanted. .. ..AND HE STILL LEFT ME

            if you suck, then work on the things you dont like about yourself. BUT PLEASE do not believe her laundry list of thing you needed to fix.. .. . you had those things when she married you. all of a sudden she cant live with them!?!?! probably around the same time she was hooking up with some new man. .. .

            and even if the things she wanted you to change made sense, well then she still pulled the trigger on your marriage by opening her legs for another man. nothing you did or did not do ended your marriage. she ended your marriage the day she fucked her boyfriend.. .. nothing left for you to work with here.

            sometimes love is not enough. believe me i know. i loved my husband. i never wanted a divorce. i actually believed that we could fix it but he did not want to fix it. he did not want to be married. he did not love me.. .. . it was the hardest thing i ever had to do… divorce the man i was head over heals in love with. and watch him fall in love with another woman.. ..

            it wasnt until i was divorced that i started to realize just how badly he treated me. it wasnt until i was away from him that my mind and my thinking started to clear up because he wasnt feeding me bullshit lies that clouded my thinking. it wasnt until i read the stories on this site and another site, that i realized that i had a similar story. it wasnt until i started writing all those stories down when i realized my marriage was not as good as i thought it was and my husband was only using me. he treated me badly throughout the whole 15 years i was with him. i just could never see it. i forgave and forgot. i kept trying to make HIM happy. i kept putting out one fire after another that i did not see that the whole house was a blazing inferno.. ..

            but i loved him.. .. only my love did not matter to him
            she doesnt want you. time to let her go and find your peace.

          • GMSB, I feel like you need a hug right now. D-Day was 6 years ago for me, but reading through the your posts brought me back to the time when my head was spinning and I couldn’t make sense of anything. Before you start judging yourself and deciding that you were a shitty husband, take a moment and breathe. Whether or not you were a shitty husband is irrelevant right now. You’re in the thick of it trying to deal with rejection and the life you thought you were going to have falling apart to see things clearly. There will be time for self reflection later. Right now, all you need to focus on is getting a lawyer and protecting yourself legally and financially as she may not decide to be so nice if AP dumps her later.

            Later on when you’ve had some distance from this emotional vortex, you can take the time to figure out how you got into this situation to begin with and what you’ve learned. You’re human and although you’ve made mistakes (we all do) you did not deserve to be treated this way. Get her out of the picture completely by divorcing her and then work on yourself without judgement. Get yourself a therapist that is experienced in dealing with abuse (yes, cheating is abuse). A therapist can help support you through the divorce process and then help you figure out what exactly you should own in your situation and what you shouldn’t. My therapist was immensely helpful is making the decision to leave and then figuring it all out later.

            Also, FWIW, you probably weren’t a shitty husband. If you ask my ex-hole he would tell you I was a shitty wife. As many others here said, they ignored their spouse because they were being ignored or because they didn’t want to be abused. The same thing happened in my relationship. Either way, please stop judging yourself and show yourself compassion by divorcing her and getting yourself out of this situation. Whatever she decides to do is no longer your problem. You deserve better.

            :::HUGS:::

      • <3

        But there IS a way out. You divorce her. You call a time of death. You leave the drama of HER behind and move forward, to a new, better life.

        Just begin! 😀 You can make her irrelevance to your future OFFICIAL.

      • Screw the RIC nonsense. Listen, when someone treats you like dog doo or some disgusting thing stuck to their shoe, rarely and I’m betting never, do they ever have an epiphany and say oh yeah I really love my husband/wife, I must have been insane, yadda yadda. No they get back with you and say what you want to hear because for some reason it suits their needs. AP dumped their ass, refused to leave their spouse, was actually insane, a jobless bum, etc. They’ll have even less respect for you if you take them back and someone else will come along and they’ll dump your ass again. Why would you want to stay one second with someone that thinks you’re a joke?

      • File first buddy. If it goes to court—and it often does with these types—in America at least it’s better to be petitioner. Your attorney gets to talk first and set the tone and story in motion.

        And, be warned—“agreeable” can turn nasty real quick with a cheater scorn. Maybe it goes smoothly, but prepare for her to behave very very badly during the process. I know from experience. I toohad an agreeable soon-to-be-ex who became a monster. Best of luck!

  • If she is giving you the silent treatment take it as a gift. Don’t wait for revenge Karma, or whatever else. She’s moved on so you move on. Your anger and your desire for revenge are not gonna get you anywhere. What will get you some peace of mind is just moving on. Get the divorce and get out of there. There is still a ton of life left to be lived, and a lot of fun, and a lot of friends just waiting on the other side of the door. You be the silent one. Silence is golden.

  • Go see an attorney because while you wait for your balls to reinflate, she could be doing a lot of things that are going to hurt you financially for a long time. While you’re married, she has the power to have you removed from life support if something should happen to you. If you wouldn’t trust her with your money or your life – see an attorney.

    Bonus: interviewing attorneys will increase your testes size by 25% or more!

    • Balls, I really think you should interview some attorney’s asap. Maybe they will scare the crap out of you with what she could really do, easily do, while still married to you, that would fuck up your life for a very long time. You say you are both in your 30’s. Dear god I hope she doesn’t get pregnant! You, being still married, are automatically assumed to be the father, with all the responsibilities$$ that go with that, forever.
      Think about that scenario? Still feeling love for her? That should scare the shit out of you. That should make you plenty angry. Use that anger to propel you forward. You’ve got a whole life to live ahead of you. Go find someone who will make you a much better partner on this journey of life.
      Sorry you’re here, but welcome anyway! There is so much good advice and support.

  • You need to file trust me. My STBXW tried pulling the same shit by not wanting to file. The thing that pushed me over the edge 2 months ago was her parading fuckface around my kids like he’s their dad even though they’re “just friends.” We are no backup plan. After I filed the relief I felt and the Karma which I totally believe in, has arrived in full force. Had my ex-girlfriend walk back into my life (only broke up due to her moving to Florida when she was 16) and now STBXW and fuckface both got fired from their job. And now she has to pay child support & spousal support. So get that bulldog lawyer like I did it’s worth it! Get your life back my brother!

  • Balls,
    I was stuck just like you but decided there is no better “FU!” than leaving and divorcing a cheater immediately. It hurt me to finally accept that I spent 17 years with an undercover fuckwit. This was my second marriage, first one ended after 7 years for the same reason. I really need to fine tune my meter. D-Day 8-23-18, Divorce will be final 1-30-19. Hang in there my friend it WILL get better. May the”CN Force”be with you.

  • OH! She’s waiting on SP to divorce his wife – so it’s in her best financial interests to not file. She’s foot-dragging because it’s to HER advantage.

    Turn things to YOUR advantage. Get a great attorney and file for the divorce.

    Your marriage is over. Now minimize the financial damage she can continue to do to you.

  • I think many cheaters don’t file for divorce because of pure laziness. That nasty ol’ paper-work? Can’t be bothered. Plus it is a reminder of how icky they had been to their spouse, which flies in the face of their own over-valued opinion of themselves.

    When I look back at my marriage, I realize that I was the one doing all the adulting. I took care of our finances, I took care of our special-needs child, I worked and put all I earned into our joint account, while he insisted on his own “allowance” to spend as he wanted without judgement from me. Oh, and hey, it would be OK if I did the same! So generous. In the meantime, if our house needed a new roof, guess who had the savings to cover it? Certainly not him. I saved for all the adult stuff. He always blew his money on toys, both human and mechanical.

  • im in the exact siristion it almost sounds like you married my wife lol.
    i had to do it all. she did nothing and even said she saw no point 6 months after d-day and was onto plan J already.
    she went so far as to say she’d sign but would never file to a tgird party but when i filed and she got served it got ignored
    it sucks now and does seem unfair, unreasobable and could not be any more confusing……at first. but after awhile of her still being a idiot and you having your 7th lawyer meeting you’ll begin to roll your eyes at her immature avoudance of any responsability and a blatent showing how little you actually mran to her you’ll be happy to have it done and be well over it.
    let her sit over there in victim land that poor her is being divorced(im sure she’s found a way to play it like that) and keep cutting ties. the divorce will happen without her input let it for your sake

  • I filed for divorce after my cheater left me for the OW. I didn’t want to, my preference was for him to see the error in his ways and come back to me and realign the universe the way it’s supposed to be.

    I was heartbroken and still in love with him but I did NOT want to be vulnerable financially to someone who not longer had my best interest at heart, and that’s the situation you’re in right now. The longer you fail to file, the more time your cheater has to drain your accounts, spend on Schmoopy Poo, and rack up credit card debt.

    In my state (and probably yours as well), filing for divorce automatically includes a financial restraining order on both parties prohibiting the dissipation of assets. At that point, that was the sole reason I filed. I would go on to eventually desire the divorce as well, but filing in itself is the first essential move to protect yourself.

    After I filed, my ex still stonewalled and dragged his feet, but I was able to relax a little. I just kept his life insurance premiums paid up and hoped he would be hit by the karma bus (he wasn’t). It took over two more years for us to finalise the divorce (which picked up a lot of momentum when my ex suddenly decided he wanted to buy a vacation shack in Mexico).

    So to me the most important self-protective move you can make is at least to FILE.

    • This is so true and also the reason I filed. Thank God I listened to the lawyer I consulted (and who eventually represented me throughout the divorce). At the time a divorce was the last thing I wanted, but if I couldn’t trust him to be a faithful husband, how in the world could I trust that he wasn’t spending our money on his affair? Or worse?

      Protect yourself. There are so many astounding similarities in our cheaters and our situations on this website. They suck and they don’t give a shit if your credit score is irreparably destroyed.

  • Mr. GSB,
    Your name says it all. You’re going to need to finish growing that pair, and get the divorce done. There is no “good,” ideal outcome here. Just different sizes of shit sandwiches. Pick the much smaller one and divorce her skanky butt.

    I can empathize. My now-ex wife also carefully arranged things so that, though she left me for Prince Sparklemonkeybutt, I would look like the bad guy. No matter what she was doing in private, I had to look like the jerk publicly. Well, there are worse fates in life, ok? In the end, most people will figure things out and sympathize with you, but if not, to heck with them.

    Call the lawyer, today. From a dude who’s been the same boat, it will get better the minute you do it.

  • I’m convinced that there is this weird psychological thing that happens to you on D-day. You are disgusted and angry and heartbroken but you also become desperate and cling on to this no good cheater that has devastated you. I was stuck in that loop of clinging to the memories of the beginning of the relationship with XW, getting a house, having a baby, etc… My brain couldn’t fully accept the reality of the situation. I couldn’t accept who she REALLY was. You must work to break free of this.

    @balls…. cheaters don’t like consequences. she won’t divorce you, you must do the heavy lifting and it is actually beneficial for you to do so. Get a lawyer and file. Have her served with papers. You and your lawyer write up a decree and force it upon her. Be in the drivers seat on this while you have the moral high ground.

  • I will never forget crying one day about my new life and being left and my youngest son at 16 (a wise beyond his years boy) look me straight in the eye and say but Mom you kicked his ass to the curb, you filed and left. My boys think I am strong and wise, they know I was a mess but that I choose Me and Us in the end.

    Just that small victory of filing for the divorce, to end the madness of 7 months of pick me dance, has a whole different meaning after the divorce.

    This whole journey starts in Hell, just keep moving forward you will get out of it.

  • I’m not convinced this wife really wants a divorce. Most narcissists love having their options open. Sure, they talk a good game about how they want a divorce. But do you see them filing? Not so much. There are some exceptions, but rare, and only when you have made things uncomfortable enough for them to decide that it is easier to move on than to keep dealing with you.

    This isn’t to say that the Cheater wife wants reconciliation either. If she’s like most cheaters, she loves limbo and drama. She wants her husband pining for her, heartbroken and unable to move on… she wants her new exciting lover… She just basically wants the whole world to be about her.

    If that wasn’t the case, she’d file. People who want a divorce have options to get one.

  • I played this game too, way back when. My wife was flagrantly adulterous, but she wanted me to file. She was brought up in a very conservative Christian family, so by her perverse thinking, if I filed that got her off the hook for ending the marriage. (schlepping off to be banged in cheap motels by her boyfriend who was abandoning his wife and small children was OK?) For me it was all about denial. I am a enneagram 9. I dislike conflict and work towards everybody getting along. So this worked for me too.
    For a while.
    Until her behavior violently escalated and I had to get a restraining order to protect myself, my kids and property. That got her attention and she filed for divorce. “He made me do it!”
    I am not suggesting this.
    What I am saying is that this could well spin out of control for you and others. The best likely outcome for you is to cut it off now. Do not let this go on. Get an attorney, get your finances together and get gone.

  • I think that you are afraid that if you file for divorce, she’ll be able to spin the narrative to her advantage.

    All of us here can tell you that it doesn’t matter if you divorce her or not, she’ll still spin the narrative to her advantage.

    Nothing you do will make her more truthful to you or the rest of the world. Focus on your needs and actions, not hers, and be prepared for the fact that no matter what ridiculous lies you are imagining she’ll tell about you, you’ve underestimated her ability to deceive.

    • Wholeheartedly agree with every word. I’m sure Dickhead is spouting the whole “the marriage failed” crap like it was a flower that lived and died. I know the truth of what happened, I know what I lived each and every day, I know what a failure he is, I know he’s deceitful and manipulative.

      I don’t worry about what he’s telling other, even his own family. I will never see them again and their opinions, even his, do not affect my life or my worth. Those days are done.

  • Bottom line is: You are married to a cheater.

    Bottom line answer is: Divorce her and get on living your cheater free life.

    Every day with her as “your wife” is costing you something. Have you asked yourself lately what you are worth?

    • Totally agree with you on this. My ex told people we “grew apart”. Nope, he cheated. Now he’s smearing me to anyone who will listen, including my step kids, saying I’m crazy and an alcoholic. I’m neither. He’s both.

      I can’t change what he says or what people believe, so I go on, living my best life with my head held high. My actions will eventually speak louder than his words, especially since he’s ALL about words and never backs them up with actions.

  • Balls,

    I can’t tell you what to do…but I can speak from my experience.

    The xhole was ready to throw me away and marry schmoopie when I discovered. But, he also drug his feet and had no plan to file in sight…image control, lazy, cake, hiding money, enjoying my suffering, wanted quick easy divorce on internet and we would be friends forever, or whatever!?!

    I gathered my courage (30 years married…it had been a long time since I had done anything on my own) and filed the paperwork. I would have loved to have seen his face when he was received the divorce decree and financial restraining order. I know he was blindsided and I am sure he thought OneStep is not here to play.

    But this is really not about him. It is about me…and you. The power and control I felt when I was the one to file gave me strength throughout the rest of the process. I can proudly say “I divorced him” since I filed. It may not seem like much, but it still makes my feel like a bad ass to this day.

    Best wishes and (((hugs))). I hope you find the balls you are looking for.

  • Balls, I was in the same boat as you. Married to a cheater who wanted a divorce (told me so in a letter), but didn’t/wouldn’t file for divorce. Thankfully I have a great family and good friends who told me to file ASAP to financially protect myself. I did all of this before finding Chump Lady. I made copies of every single important financial paper and got it out of the house. I canceled all the credit cards except for the one we used to buy groceries, gas, etc. I did all the crappy, hard stuff that CL and CN tells everyone to do. I filed for divorce less than two months after he told me he wanted one, because he wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised that he wouldn’t file, because it wouldn’t fit into whatever lies/stories he was telling behind my back. He somehow managed to make himself for the victim and sadly a lot of people believe his narrative. I don’t care anymore. I know the truth and so does God, and that’s all that matters to me.

    I slowly but surely was taking my power back after handing it over to him for 23 years. Take your power back. Blind-side at work while she gets served divorce papers. Pull the rug out from her like she did to you. Get the job done. It’s going to take a long time until it sinks in that she truly sucks. Yes, I saw what you wrote above that she was “neat” in the past. I don’t doubt that one bit. My ex was nice or neat or whatever at times, but he also was/is a pathological liar and serial cheater and much more bad stuff. My brain was a mass of scrambled eggs for way over a year, because I just couldn’t figure out how my nice husband turned into a cold, calculating, lying jerk. Well………he was that person all along, but I failed to see it under his Mr. Nice Guy persona. And no I don’t believe he’s a 100% bad person, but he’s not good for me and will no longer have one more minute of my time. He never deserved me and all that I gave and had to offer. I trust that he sucks and he deserves to be with someone who sucks. And that’s not me. And that’s not you! No husband or wife is perfect. We all make mistakes and do hurtful things at times. But if we are a good person, we learn from our mistakes and try to be a better person not only for our spouse, but for ourself. You could have been the best spouse in the world, but she still would have cheated. Because cheating is a character problem.
    Get your big balls to all the best lawyers in town for free consults. Chump Nation is here for you!!!

  • I think when you break up and go to therapy, you need to think of it as not a way to fix the broken relationship, but how to do better in the NEXT relationship. Just file for the divorce. Drop whatever it is you are gripping so hard. Nothing tastes as good as being free feels. And I’m telling you this as someone who didn’t want to quit on my marriage. I made it so much harder on myself. And once I did and got over the depressive fear of being alone and having to recreate a new life, I laughed to myself because dang! I really loved being free of that gorilla of a marriage on my back. It wasn’t about him. It was about me waiting for the buzzer to ring before I took off – like the Wright Brothers. Or Down Hill Racer. – Perfectly understandable. Embrace that freedom and take a leap of faith on yourself. My favorite cliche is when the going gets tough – keep going.

  • I am jumping on from the outer reaches in the world – here are a few things to think about:
    – Divorce is more about you, what you find acceptable and what you will tolerate. What she wants just simply doesn’t matter at this point, so make the choice for you.
    – Your heart is not seeing reality, but your mind is. This is normal. It happened to me and it happened to many people going through the same thing. This is a situation where you need to let the logical side of your brain do the work, the heart will come in time with work and guidance. Make the list of the tasks that you need to do and faithfully execute them and you will get through this.
    – She won’t initiate – it happened to me. For me, x didn’t care and wasn’t going to do much to get divorced, it wasn’t her problem and didn’t fit her narriative. Eventually, x stopped paying for her debts during the divorce process and I then decided to file. I was too hurt to do it initially and I really couldn’t do much at the time.
    – I sucked as a husband/partner. Here is some hard advice for right now – drop this BS. So what. You job is to get divorced, get that job completed and sort out the rest of the bodies later. You are going to learn a lot about yourself in this process, but right now, that kind of thinking is actually counterproductive, you do not have the distance from your marriage to be at all objective and this will only further the destruction of your self-esteem. Drop the I sucked part for now, when you are ready, you can tackle some of these items. Don’t kick yourself when you are down.

    So, what to do? Don’t worry about the optics, as another poster put up here, they will always manipulate situations to their best advantage and their version of events. It is OK to be the bad guy in this situation, so break out the Snidely Whiplash mustache and get to it. This is the secret – in the end, their optics will be their undoing. You are only the bad guy for a short time and then their terrible behavior will cause their downfall, so do not worry about it, just do what you need to do.

  • I was in the same position a few years ago, Balls, and I have to say that in addition to all the earlier great advice, now, I get great satisfaction from saying “ I found out he was cheating, so I divorced him” it makes you the bad-ass that wouldn’t stand for that crap. Divorce her and gain a life!

  • Here’s the thing – should you meet someone who is a good person (and maybe someone who has been chumped as well) they won’t date you without that divorce. Good single people who have been working on themselves and have their shit together (and know it) don’t date people who haven’t put their past behind them. Get it done so you can move on in life with someone better.

    • Yes ! And get therapy-don’t vent your spleen about your bitch of an ex-wife to any women you date. Surest way for women to run in the other direction.

  • Nothing made me feel better than to see my name as the “Plaintiff” and his as the “Defendant.” And also to have his cheating ass served AT WORK (I gladly paid extra for that!) in front of all is coworkers whom I assume knew way before I did about the affair with his much younger howorker.

    He asked for the divorce, but wouldn’t file. I did every single bit of work involved. So unfair, but boy does it feel good when you are in court and the judge refers to you as the Plaintiff. I took my power back and showed I wasn’t going accept this bullshit any longer.

    Take your power back GMSB and love yourself than to tolerate this abuse!!!!

  • I would just chime in that there’s a lot to be said about being the Plaintiff in a divorce. Not necessarily any real legal advantage, but it’s more psychological. You are the driver of the case, you call the shots. And it’s pretty unnerving to be on the receiving end of a divorce complaint – along with all the documents that go along with it (restraining orders, discovery requests, etc.). I don’t care if she’s expecting it or not.

    I can tell you this, my ex-wife knew the filing was coming and she still was pretty upset about being on the receiving end.

      • Nice! We must have been on the same wavelength at that moment. I wanted my ex served at work too (given it was a workplace affair), but the lawyer forgot and had her served at home. Alas…..

  • We all make mistakes as spouses. Every one of us. But there is no gain in flogging a dead horse. The grieving process is a long one. And you have to go through it to get through it. It takes at least a few years to stabilize.

  • Dear Balls, I was reasoning the same way you are: this is sparkledick’s mess, why do I have to clean it up?

    Sparkles actually did end up filing, but only because I declared war on him in the following way: our son needed us to co-sign his rent contract for him using our house as collateral. I said “Son, I’m sorry, but I’m NOT signing ANYTHING with you father.”

    Sparkles was FURIOUS and the next thing I know I was served with papers (where he stated that he was obliged to go to court because I refused to admit to divorce… they lie about E.VE.RY.THING to look good and powerful). So I got a lawyer.

    THEN Sparkles pleaded and begged to reconcile (he did the math). I played deaf. I am much better off.

    File, Balls, file! Take the plunge!

  • It took me a long time to feel like I deserved better than to stay with an asshole who didn’t care about me. I also heard CL talk about the pain being finite but I didn’t get it. I had never been through something so traumatic and life defining as discovering the person I trusted 100%, was cheating on me with a friend of mine. As a chump, it took me way too long to get my head around it and longer to overcome and leave the situation. Well, I’m here to say that the pain does end and my life is so much better without my ex in it. I was single for almost two years. Recently I met someone who isn’t nearly as sparkly as my ex but he’s so normal, nice, funny and genuinely interested in my wellbeing. It’s so refreshing. I am so thankful for CL & CN. My bf thinks he’s the lucky one, but it’s really me. Gaining a life and returning to the happy, healthy person I used to be is the best feeling in the world. Today, my anxiety is gone, I sleep throughout the night, I have a great job and interesting hobbies. My situation only changed when I changed the situation. Everything got better when I left my cheater once and for all and didn’t look back. Everything.

    • Ugh! The friend betrayal is the worst bit it sounds like there is hope. Because I am not at meh – I will say hope the cheater and the non-friend got what they deserved. But since you are at meh and beyond it is probably irrelevant.

  • Okay so you love her. Thats nice. Love isn’t a bad feeling. You feel bad about yourself – how you acted while married- that doesn’t feel so hot but your owning your shit and accepting that feeling so that’s cool. You’re being totally rejected so you feel horrible -or maybe since this news hasn’t quite set in you know your ego is getting ready to be demolished so you are actually feeling numb until you can process the blow. That’s also a mainstream experience. The grief that follows- feelings. One commonality here – they’re all feelings you’re having.

    Feelings don’t last. They just don’t. You know what really lasts? Principles. The decisions you make about what you stand for. You make your best decisions from that place- not the feelings place. Maybe you haven’t figured your principles out yet. It takes some work to suss those out sometimes- I know it took the breakup of my marriage and the process of my divorce to find my solid ground. But once I knew- I couldn’t un-know. So during my divorce I made my principles my guide and when my feelings rose up, if they weren’t in line I’d tell myself “well this feeling sucks” and stay the course.

    So what are your principles? Mine are courage, loyality, strength, honesty and kindness. I try to live from that place. I fall down sometimes but I’m finding that my decisions are much healthier, the people around me are whole and solid and I have very few regrets. As a wise man once said ”Fuck Feelings.” Decide how to live your life and get started. None of us are promised tomorrow.

  • Oh shit! It stimulates ball growth. Boom!

    But seriously, dude I understand the vitriol. No guarantees how we will handle chronic deception and betrayal but I offer you a branch of reason in light of your situation: save yourself. Take your jabs otherwise. But save yourself. Less you become just as twisted as she is. Right now the staying to spite her… It is twisted. (no harsh judgement. I too thought about it but refrained. I didn’t hate myself that much)

  • I think all of us chumps are just in a tizzy because you seem to want to take on so much of the blame here. You may well have flaws and there is nothing wrong with wanting to fix them and improve as a person. Both you and the next woman will benefit from that but they have nothing to do with the end of your marriage. So many of us believed that we deserved to lose our spouses to a poacher due to the inadequacies that we failed to fix to our spouses’ satisfaction. I know it took several months of therapy and 3rd party validation from people who knew us both before I was really able to see that, although I do have flaws, he was the reason our marriage fell apart, not me. I want you to understand that, whatever your flaws, it was your wife’s flaws that destroyed your marriage and not yours. You may be as much as 50% responsible for whatever misunderstandings or mismatch in personality that put a strain on your marriage, but she is the one who deliberately chose to blow it up in the most painful way possible. Also keep in mind that if she is a married woman who is fucking a married man and she is actively trying to get him to leave his wife for her and he is even considering that, then clearly character issues are not a priority for her. She and her AP both have shitty character as evidenced by their deliberate actions. They both hurt others to make themselves feel good. This indicates that whatever you were doing wrong it wasn’t poor character that bothered her. Most likely you were simply not making her the center of your universe and attempting to have a life and identity of your own beyond her and she couldn’t handle that. It is also possible that there may have been a few cosmetic issues (how you dress, how you load the dishwasher etc.) that may have been bothersome to her but should not be the kind of thing worth breaking marriage vows over. It wasn’t flaws in your character that caused her to blow up your marriage. It was flaws in her character. Many of us have dealt with this kind of blameshift in our own situations and it hurts us to see it happening to someone else. By all means, work on your flaws if it makes you feel better about yourself, but don’t think for one minute that you could have prevented the end of your marriage if you had focused on them sooner. She would have come up with some excuse for seeking out strange no matter what you did or who you were because that’s just who she is and it has nothing to do with you at all.

  • GSMB, Your story and situation is not unique. I know I sat around stewing about all the tiny details that I did wrong in my marriage. You’ve described her as warm and affectionate and how she is now cold. I get it. I said the same things to myself and other people. But let me drill this in to your head. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE PEOPLE THAT WAY!!! NO ONE DOES!!! Who do you think you are? Lol. I know if I could control people in that way I cetainly wouldn’t be doing what I do for a living. Lol. I certainly wouldn’t be divorced. Hell, I would have changed her back if 5hats the case. We are not wizards. I know I didn’t attend Hogwartz. She didn’t change my man. She is exactly who she is. I was married for 17 yrs, together for 20. Through any argument we had, any disagreements it never entered my head to go out and sleep with other women. Do yourself a huge favor. File for divorce. It’s not going to surprise her. She isn’t going to be hurt and rethink all this bullshit. Now this is just me, if you don’t know who the guy is? Find out!! Let this guy’s wife and family and whoever else know what kind of POS he really is. Do this for a number of reasons. It gives his CHUMP a number of choices and the ability to protect her own health and finances. CHUMPS do not owe their cheaters and AP discretion. Fuck them!!! Plus it’s a little revenge and Karma for you. Blow that shit up and let them deal with it.

    • Here’s the deal Growing: as a chump I love to cling to the idea that if I fix myself I can control the people around me. My cheater fed that idea whenever possible because it really worked for him.

      —Ask yourself, what do you think you will make happen with your wife if you don’t file for divorce?
      Honestly, search your heart. Your brain will skitter away because it feels uncomfortable with this thought process but keep with it.
      Now, whatever you think you are making happen: YOU AREN’T. You can NOT control your wife’s choices. You couldn’t control them when she decided to cheat and you can’t control them now. I know that as a chump, your heart says that maybe you can. She might also make comments that lead you to believe this.
      You only have two options Growing. The devil you know and the devil you don’t. Divorcing her is to step into the Great Unknown and your heart tells you that you will be even more miserable than where you are now. We all fear the unknown.
      While I was busy trying to be the perfect spouse (and failing hard because it is an impossible standard) I was missing out on some huge once in a lifetime opportunities, but I had no idea because I was terrified of the unknown. So instead, with all the best intentions, I was trying to force my wrong wrong Wrong marriage to work (and now with hindsight I know that these were my precious last years to be physically healthy on this earth because a year after we divorced a latent health problem disabled me. The thing I most regret in life: that I threw away those precious years on a guy who didn’t love me- I could have been going on amazing adventures around the world with my soul mate!?! Now I am too sick to, but at least I have my soul mate)
      So, LET GO of your wife and see what things the world has to offer you when you aren’t preoccupied with a relationship that was never very compatible in the best of times (Growing you said that first you were distant and cold and then she was- is that what you had wanted in a marriage? I seriously doubt it).
      You need to stop settling.
      When I decided to let go of my husband I made a list of all the things I wanted in a relationship- the major obvious list of dealbreakers such as “faithful, not abusive, prioritizing his kids over casual relationships etc” and also the small things “will enjoy listening to the Cure with me, will love to read books with me and discuss them after”- hey- a girl can dream, right???
      I figured it was a ridiculous fantasy list and that I would never find all those things in one person. I promised myself I would not get into a serious relationship with anyone that had less than everything on the dealbreaker list and all but one on the small things list.
      When I reconnected with my child hood best friend, after 20 years, I was amazed to find out how compatible we were. He met everything on my list. He treats me wonderfully. I could have been living my life with him years sooner had I not been terrified of the Unknown and stubbornly settling for a relationship that was actually incompatible and harmful for me.
      And Growing, I had to put my faith in Chump Nation four years ago and believe in all the chumps who had crossed to the other side, to the terrifyingly lonely Unknown. And all the chumps who had braved it and gone to the other side of the mountain were all calling and waving back to us chumps stuck in the limbo (settling for what love we thought we did have).
      Now that four years has passed since I filed for divorce, I am on the other side of the mountain. And I promise you, it is a hundred times better than you can imagine. This is where all the love and happiness is.
      So take a leap into the Unknown and join us over here, Growing.

  • Dude, the Chump is often the one to file for divorce. Even when the cheater blows up the marriage and announces that he/she wants to end it. It’s all part of the entitlement package.

    If the cheater-person was a grown-ass adult they would have decided the marriage wasn’t working for whatever reason, and filed before looking for the next relationship. Instead, they act like a toddler and assume they can have whatever they want whenever they want it…all the way up to, and including, multiple sexual partners without letting their spouse know. If they get caught, they announce that they were NEVER happy and want a divorce.

    Actually, many of them want exactly what they have–both a spouse and a little something extra on the side. Since they ARE happy with that arrangement, of course they’re not going to file for divorce. They’ll stay married as long as the cheated-on spouse will put up with it. In fact, many of them PREFER that version of status quo.

    My ex is/was a drama-addicted cheater asshole. Life feels the most comfortable to him when everything is a little crazy. He traveled a lot for work and I finally figured out that I was only happy when he was gone. And that was before I knew about the cheating.

    Anyway, all of that is to say that cheaters rarely file for divorce because they aren’t grown ups. They are spoiled toddlers who are too busy pitching a fit to do any adulting.

  • You can love your cheating spouse. That doesn’t mean you have to stay married.

    Love yourself a little bit more. Cherish your own life. Don’t waste it chasing someone incapable of giving what you can give.

  • This place is fun! How long do these conversations go on, before people move on to the next blog post? It doesn’t really look like a “forum” but it acts like one.

  • I can understand where you’re coming from. X is very good about finding ways to portray himself as the victim. He wanted me to divorce him so he could appear as the victim of divorce. I moved away & legally separated from him instead.
    In my case, the legal seperstion was the right way to go. I spent 30 years under his narcissistic abuse. I was tired of his lies, gaslighting, & blame shifting. I made sure that it was documented on the divorce decree that he committed adultery & wanted the divorce. I would not sign it if those truths were removed. He was not pleased & tried multiple time & ways to get those statements removed without me noticing. I know there won’t be many people who read it, but at least I know that part of the truth is documented somewhere. He is no innocent victim!

  • GMSB really glad you decided to send the letter. You’ve helped quite a few of us sitting on that hard fence.

    After DD, I filed 2 days later and like a Chump, cancelled it.

    Fast forward a year and a half later. I threw him out after DD and we have been living apart and nobody has filed. I have the papers filled out in a file.

    So why haven’t I pulled the plug?

    First reason is being stubborn thinking he blew up our marriage, he should file and pay and clean up the mess.

    Second reason smoking that old hopium pipe.

    Regardless of who files, he has got the narrative spinned to make him look good either way.
    Right now I’m the lunatic stalking ex who refuses to let him go be with his twu luv.
    If I file, then I am the brutal bitch who gave up on on marriage.

    So it comes down to. Who gives a shite what he thinks or what he is telling other people. I already know it is all lies anyway.

    Your post and CL answer as well as the other fine folks of CN made me realize that ending this myself closes the door on this chapter of my life and puts me in charge of my own life not spending another moment tied down to the anchor of a fuckwit.

  • I’m having a flash back!!! Bottom line…she has to be the victim once again…same song 20th verse, little bit louder….you get the picture! After the kids and I moved to another town and I realized it was the same old song…only he was having a great time telling our friends,”we get along a lot better when we are living apart” WE meaning his wife and two children so he can go off and live his secret life…which I am still learning about! He was certain we would hire a mediator and work out a fair plan inspired by his lies and manipulation?. That way we could save money to help the kids with their college education….isn’t that sweet? Well, fuck that! I contacted an attorney, snuck back into the house, gathered all his financial information (that I am sure he would lie about) We had been gone for a year when my attorney served him the papers…that very same day I invited him to meet with my lawyer, he contacted a woman whom he had an affair with!!! I know this because I was scheduled to have lunch with her that same day! She wanted to offer me an apology. So she contacts me about my ex contacting her and was surprised because she thought the legal stuff was over!!!FUCKER! Papers were served..you should have seen the look on his face…he was trapped. Then he turned around and told our friends that I blindsided him with the divorce. He told our children that he may not be able to help them with college now….what a fucking shit show. Be gone Satan! That is no way to live. I am so happy! The kids are doing great and he found a rich widow to prey on…and he is already complaining about her and how controlling she is. I saw her at a party last week. I told her I found his Speedo in my belongings and asked her if she wanted it😂🤣 Sne declined! Being divorced is really fun! Wish I would have done sooner!

  • I think it is worth separating the various strands:

    1. You are concerned that you were a shitty husband. Maybe you have a lot to learn to become a better husband in the future. It is incredibly honest of you and healthy to acknowledge this and it is definitely something to explore in therapy so that you recognize your patterns and make better choices in future. This is for you.

    2. Your wife is having an affair and has left the marriage. Your feelings about wanting the marriage to be salvaged are perfectly understandable because this is one of the most devastating traumas imaginable. I think almost all of us endured the insomnia, weight loss, crying jags, despair, hope of reconciliation that you are experiencing. It is brutal. Hopium is the drug that says that if we can just get back together this pain will be gone. But she is not coming back and although that seems like the worst thing in the world right now (and I, having been abandoned, did not believe it either), she is saving you from a humiliating pick me dance. So there is no marriage. It is over and you have to grieve it. Grieve the love you had, the dreams of the future. All of it. It’s a death but instead of casseroles and compassion you get society’s suspicion that “you drove her to it” and other drivel. Mourn it. Cry. Write about it. Get a great therapist. Lean on your friends. Lean even more on your friends. You just have to survive a few months of absolute agony and then the light starts to come through the clouds again, initially just for a moment, then for longer. But…this healing only starts to happen with avoiding contact. Go no contact immediately.

    3. Filing for divorce. Why isn’t she filing? You would love to convince yourself that it is because she still hopes it might work out. Sorry. She is too busy being in crazy limerence to give one thought to boring old things like divorces and paperwork. Major buzzkill. Plus, what upside is there for her to take time out of her sparkly twu luv life right now to meet with lawyers and deal with all that crap? No upside for her at all. But you have to believe this: of all the reasons she is not filing, none of them have to do with lingering love for you or second thoughts. Sorry to extinguish the hopium pipe, dude.

    4. Should you file? Yes. Why? because it freezes the assets, because you need to accept reality (ie the marriage is over) and because divorces can drag out and out and out. Best to get started before she turns into a raging vengeful maniac. But she would never…. Ummm, many of us learned the hard way that things we thought our partners would never be capable of are in fact their superpower: vengefulness, vindictiveness, deceit. They say you don’t know a person until you divorce them. And you can be decent and fair.

    5. You do not have to resolve all your issues and understand your marriage and her character before you get divorced. Those two things run on parallel tracks. It takes a long time to see our partners clearly and understand the reality of the relationship we were in. It gets better. Slowly. But it does.

  • When I busted my XW cheating she immediately went to the open marriage channel (found on the tv dial between the mindfuck and charm channels). Told me I should go fuck other women and maybe we would both learn new tricks between the sheets. No thanks!

    She wanted to ” not divorce and see where this leads”. I responded ” let’s get divorced and see where that leads”. Told her if we are meant to be we can always get remarried. (Not happening). I had to file, compile financial data, tell the kids, the whole thing. She just walked off and left me with the house, kids, and all the cleanup of the shit that hit the fan.

    Strike while the iron is hot my friend.

  • Cake. Cake cake cakeity cake. She’s eating it, and you’re providing it. It’s angry cake, but it’s still cake. And she doesn’t care two hoots about your state of mind when you make the cake; she just eats it and goes back to LoverBoy.

    Have you ever heard the expression ‘Cutting off your nose to spite your face’? Staying just to spite someone who doesn’t love you is EXACTLY like pissing in the wind, as pointed out at the top of this thread.

    Run like your hair is on fire.

    That is all.

  • Regarding the whole, I sucked as a husband issue.

    Mine once told me my sometimes habit of smoking was a “dealbreaker” for him. I laughed it off and told him he’s known about it since we got together.

    Lo and behold his schmoopie was a sometime smoker too!! Not to mention the drug use of the stripper he dated!

    Yet for me, his wife with a JOB and shared children and finances, it was a “dealbreaker.”

  • I filed for divorce when I found out the NARC was cheating on me for 9 months with his 23 year old honeybun (she has serious dady issues, hes 50!)

    I decided though I still loved him, (cause guess what I’m not a NARC and nope I can’t turn those feelings off that quick), that I would never entertain a cheater in my life. He even lied about his half marathon time which to me is nearly as bad as the cheating, almost but not quite….

    He didn’t respond for ages and almost missed the filing dates, but he didn’t contest my decision to go for unreasonable behaviour as he was an utterly loveless crap husband.

    What I try to tell my heart is that if I was hearing this about a loved ones partner I would wholeheartedly advise filing for divorce.

    NO ONE should behave like that, you are still suffering from ‘feelings’ whereas she has NONE. Put your feelings in a box and march on with the divorce, your best days are yet to come.
    Best of luck though, its very hard, and painful and you are totally normal going through all this.

  • Anyone still reading these comments? I failed to mention that I already had all my ducks in a row. I was waiting to see what STBX would do. Today I talked to my lawyer and asked her to finalize the paperwork. STBX can sign it today and I will bring it to court tomorrow. We should be divorced by the end of the week.

    I told STBX this. She acted like it was perfectly fine and asked me if I wanted any of the furniture. Stone cold.

    Shit sandwich. Is “finite” really 3 years? Shit.

    • Oh, wow! So sorry. I guess the only thing I can think to say is be glad there’s not going to be a long, drawn-out fight. I have to keep reminding myself “he didn’t love me” even one year out – she’s showing you how much you mean to her. It hurts so much. It will take a while to heal. Things will get better.

  • Ok so I was in same situation my ex and his ow kept harassing me bout getting a divorce. The ow woman sent me messages saying he wanted the divorce, hell sign on and on and he wouldn’t file. So I did it because I was tired of all the bs and it bit me in the butt but time, first because of the cheating and lies and then all the harassment I was so emotional and should not have rushed it, I was not clearly thinking and in the meantime he got a awesome lawyer who mopped the floor with me and my lawyer didnt help and I was a mess in my head. He got what he wanted and they married her not long after.

  • Dude divorce her straight away. Protect yourself in case she gets pregnant.

    You might live in one of those places that no matter if you are the father or not, if you are married you are responsible for the kid. Wouldn’t be the first time. Drop her to the curb asap

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