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Dear Chump Lady, Do I owe him an explanation?

Dear Chump Lady,

I was married 6 years. No kids. Three years ago was D-Day. Got the usual “I love you but…” A month later he gets off our phone plan, gets an apartment, of course I think affair, but no, he says he’s just depressed. Needs weren’t met, etc. But he does want to date during the separation!

For the next year I was in an unbeknownst to me “pick me” dance. After a year of this, he files, gets job in another state. Wants to end “on a positive note.” I finally call him out on this bullshit, he tells me not to contact him ever again.

A month ago, after all this no contact — he needs to talk, wants to come clean. Tells me yes, he had an affair before, and all the way through our separation, moved her in with him and they lived for a year, and then broke up.

So 3 years later I learn the truth! All ye old timers can guess where this is going — he wants to be friends! I haven’t seen him. I gathered the story on the phone. Oh, and he made a mistake and is so sorry! Hoovered me right in. (I JUST learned all of this stuff in the last month! Argh!) I did not tell him I forgave him, I said I’d think about it.

Now, after grokking the news and doing the really unproductive time-lining — I am indeed the biggest Chump?  I want a word for a chump who didn’t know she was a chump — does that exist? HOW to rid myself of this dumpster fire? Do I just block him on chat and run with no explanation? Because for the last month we’ve been in touch a lot. (Ugh, now I understand it must stop.) Tell him a bit of explanation and run? I don’t want to activate him.

Cali24

Dear Cali24,

You extinguish a dumpster fire. Douse it with a hose. Smother it. Point is, you don’t throw another log on and wonder why the flames grow higher. YOU STOP FEEDING IT.

Why are you encouraging this toxic mess?

The Universal Bullshit Translator is heady from its weekend of praise and would like a crack at this. Ordinarily, I have to coax it from its slumber, but its positively zippity-do-dah today.

(Yes, the UBT works on chumps and their spackle too. We are also purveyors of bullshit. The worst sort — the kind that deludes ourselves.)

I did not tell him I forgave him, I said I’d think about it.

I didn’t utter curses and hang up — there still may be something to analyze and discuss here! This person devalued me, asked me to compete for my wife job (we can date!), only to abandon me. I see friend potential!

His actions towards me don’t matter. I won’t make a judgement on those. What matters is that HE VALUES ME AGAIN!

 I want a word for a chump who didn’t know she was a chump — does that exist?

The word is chump.

Do I just block him on chat and run with no explanation?

A guy who mysteriously vanishes from my life, and offers no explanation, deserves an explanation.

HOW to rid myself of this dumpster fire?

The UBT suggests rolling it over to the OW’s house and letting it burn over there.

Me again. (The UBT has turned over and is demanding toast. After songs of praise, its love language is carbohydrates…)

Cali24, this guy can’t heal you. There isn’t a single explanation (evil twin? alien abduction? peanut allergy?) that makes what he did acceptable.

And YET you are accepting it with your behavior. That’s what failing to stick with no contact says — I’m open to being used. My self-worth is easily bought with lame-ass, zero-action apologies. I value your centrality (I GOT A PRECIOUS KIBBLE!) far more than I value myself.

But, but… what if he’s really sorry! 

Who cares? What can he do about it? Are you telling me there isn’t a single other person on the planet you could better invest your energies in? Who hasn’t shat on your gifts?

But, but… what if he’s changed!

He has the nerve to circle back for kibbles? HE HASN’T CHANGED. He’s just lining up Plan B (K, Z…) supply. His feeling totally entitled to your time, your ear, your fucking FRIENDSHIP?! (hey, I cheated and lied, but I’m awesome brunch company!) means he’s the same fuckwit he’s always been.

Block him.

He doesn’t need an explanation. But you need one — you’re doing this for your self-worth.

Buh-bye.

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.
  • Here are the scenarios in my mind. She broke up with him. He needs money. He needs someone who will accept him as he is and you, being the chump, are the perfect candidate.
    This is the guy who told you NEVER CONTACT HIM AGAIN. So don’t.

      • THIS THIS THIS.

        He needs a place to live, a pity fuck, an ego stroke, a chump to pay the bills. They only care about themselves so the only time they hoover is when they need something.

        • I’ve been thinking about this all day since a bunch of you pointed it out- that he wants something. He ran off an bought a house so it probably hit him pretty hard that mortgage and stuff are pretty expensive when you dumped primary breadwinner and ended up with a Schmoopie who didn’t work. My situation has Plan B and triangulation written all over it.

  • Tracy’s suggestion of block and move on is always best. For those that cannot resist a parting comment mine was “When I was your wife I had to listen to your sorry shit and lame ass non apologies. Now I don’t have to. ”

    Did it solve anything? nope. Make me feel better? meh – for half a second maybe. Give him ego kibble? I get to her – I still matter – Probably – oh who gives a fuck.

    See – stick with Tracy – no contact.

    • TooSmartForThisShit — Amen to what you said! You reminded me so vividly of a crystalizing moment when my previous husband came back at me with some of his bullshit while he was picking up our daughter for visitation. I astonished myself and him by saying, “Just hush. I don’t have to listen to your bullshit anymore. That’s why I divorced you, remember?” It felt GREAT!

    • This has got to be a universal feeling that is often unknown or ignored by cheaters. I too said to my ex: “I don’t have to deal with this crap anymore, that’s what divorce means!”

  • Further to UBT – what kind of explanation is LW supposed to owe the guy who pulled a major disappearing trick on her, without one single honest word, only a few measly years into their marriage? I’m confused here.

    • Cali,

      Cali, please hold onto your vision
      Cali, you owe him N. O. T. H. I. N. G. Yes, you’re still hurting from being chumped. Yes, you still hold onto the dream of what you expected marriage to be, what you expected life to be with him, her Chosen One. But the bitter pill is that he didn’t have the same expectations… and he still doesn’t.

      Cali, you expected a lifetime of fidelity. He vision of marriage was completely different. It never occurred to him that marriage and continued dating of other women were mutually incompatible. Instead, he saw marriage as being a locked-in Plan B sex source that he could always count on when he was between girlfriends.

      There’s one reason why he’s circled back to “be friends.” He’s between girlfriends. Also, he doesn’t want to pay rent if he can pay 1/2 rent or none at all.

      Cali, please hold onto your vision of marriage and find someone else who shares that vision. You always did have the right idea. You just unfortunately fell for a liar who was hiding behind a charm mask. He’s still a liar, and he still wears the mask. Underneath is still evil. Take your dreams and fidelity, and gift them to someone else who is both charming and doesn’t need to wear a mask.

    • Narcissists are delusional. I particularly laughed at Tracey’s comment here:

      A guy who mysteriously vanishes from my life, and offers no explanation, deserves an explanation.

      One horrible abusive ex disappeared from my life with no explanation (in hindsight, this was a blessing) and married someone else, then returned years later demanding explanations and was outraged when I blocked him without replying. I only know that because he spent the next year harassing me and trying to force contact. You know what shows you’re a better person now and you respect my boundaries? Harassment and refusing to accept I don’t want to hear from you!

      Here’s another vote to worldlessly blocking him. The delusion with these entitled dipshits is real. Even insulting them just makes them feel powerful. Explanations make them feel powerful, because it means you care about justifying your decisions to a stranger who fired themselves from your life.

      Letter writer, you know what really hurts an asshole like this? Ejecting him from your life without explanation. He fired himself years ago. You don’t owe him anything. Get rid of him.

  • He made his choice. Let him wallow in it. He doesn’t need an explanation. He left. This isn’t a high school breakup. Divorce has consequences. This is one. He already made his choice (poorly).

    • Yeah….I know it’s easy to say, but why the hell is she even talking to this fool in the first place?
      He left.
      He ghosted.
      He lived with another woman for a year.
      That imploded (shocker)
      Now he’s back.

      No thank you, keep it moving.
      No good can come from speaking to him.

      “Is there a word for a chump that didn’t know they were a chump?”

      Yes….two words.
      Everybody Here.

        • lemme explain my chumpitude. He said he was depressed, moved out. A year passed of every time we spoke how depressed he was. Got job, moved away. Cried when he told me he was filing. Divorced. I exploded at the end and said you never even tried to work things out. He said not to contact him and moved away. A year and a half goes by and I get this crying person who wants to talk to me. So so sorry, I was the only one who ever understood him. Morbidly curious, I listened, learned about the affair. Processing this new info now– it’s been really hard. My instinct was to resume NC– found CN, got a truckload of great comments. I won’t speak to him again. I really thought he was just severely depressed, I got chumped.

    • Yeah, I mean, what possible explanation is there? The guy cheated and abandoned her – does she need to explain that it was upsetting or something?

  • You’re fortunate not to have kids with him. You have the luxury of never seeing or speaking to him again. All you have to do is cut all your ties with him, block him from being able to contact you, and then strictly enforce it.

    Of course they come back trying to re-establish contact. But you have to be diligent.

    My ex finally got through my defenses and attempted to message me through an app I rarely use. THREE years after I dumped him and went total no contact.

    I dismissed the message notification and blocked private messages on that app. There was a crack in the wall so I had to patch it up.

    You have to think about it like a wall around a fort or something.

    These fuckwits will never go away for good. They always come back grubbing
    around looking for a way in. Like rats. They know you have something they can use, it worked in the past, so you’re always a potential source to them.

    They count on time passing to soften your heart and weaken your defenses.

    You have to stay strong, maintain no contact, total no contact if you’re able to. And be prepared for them to find a crack in the wall. Because they’re out there sniffing and grubbing around.

    • Exactly my point, no children with the scum so no contact ever! I have to be cordial but he mistakes that for caring sometimes and wants to be “friends” No thank you, I don’t need a shitty friend that lies and betrays me. I even thought of moving to another country so I wouldn’t have contact with him and no contact for my child. He’s no good for my child either but too young to know the truth. But then I realize why should I change my life for a worthless POS and also bc my child is still young to know the truth

    • Chump, isn’t that the truth. Skankboy was able to find his way into my humble, peaceful abode via electronic communication. He emailed me to an old email just last week. I had to open the old email account to retrieve a password. Lo and behold the weasel left an email asking how I was doing? (didn’t ask how I was doing for 3 years before Dday…but let me get back on track.) Again…”I’m sooooooooo sorry,” and other crap referring to if we were still together we would __________ (fill in the blank.) Delete! Found my password, though!

    • You’re fortunate not to have kids with him.

      I shrieked like a pterodactyl when I saw the letter writer doesn’t have kids with this guy. Giiiiiiiiirl, take that blessing for what it is and run.

    • I look at it this way….the “if not for rule”…”if not for” him breaking up with OW, you wouldn’t even be on his radar. If you get back together, you will be lonely together, that would be your future.

  • Block the idiot. He was dumped by the OW now he needs his back up to clean up his mess. He has already shown you what he thinks of you. He discarded you for another women. Told you to never contact him again. He is not a person who wants to be your friend. He needs something from you and will only use you until he gets it. Block his number and give him what he wanted to never contact his sorry ass again. He is not your problem anymore.

  • A chump is still a chump. My ex never admitted to an affair. I never heard about an OW until maybe 11 months after he left me – my son told me he went with daddy to a cheese shop and met daddy’s friend who worked there with purple hair. Technically She might not have been an official OW as we were separated (side note…my ex told me I wasn’t ambitious enough for him cause I went down to part time to take care of our toddler. I have a doctorate in my profession) but my point is that I never had proof- still don’t but always suspected. I’m drawn to these types of blogs for a reason.

    Prior to leaving, he was picking fights and not coming home and gaslighting. To this day, the only tangible proof I have is his bank statements that showed me he was secretly withdrawing 700 a week plus 100 a day from his private bank account for a minimum of 3 years… while we had nothing and I was being criticized for only working part time to care for our 3 year old.

    Chump Lady is one of the few good resources for people like us out there.

    • The gaslighting effect is cruel and awful! I am still struggling after 2 years, trying my best to get better!
      No Contact is Best! I agree with you 100%

      • The excuses cheaters make. My STBX said he went away with(still denies an affair) my cousin because she liked to have fun. While I was paying all the bills. He gave me an average of $150.00 a week towards bills. He was stashing cash in his parents safe. Was spending who knows how much on Skankella. Then he used the credit cards that I opened(was forced to use them to pay the taxes etc.) as an excuse to file for divorce. Nice of him. My mistake was taking him back and trying to work on the marriage. It ate away at my soul on a daily basis. No contact is the only way to go.

    • My ex did those big, secret withdrawals from his bank account too. Turned out he had a nasty stripper habit. All those late nights when he was working so hard? Not so much. Someone was working hard for his money but it wasn’t him.

      • Yeah strippers and prostitutes are expensive! Doesn’t it feel great to know that while you were working like a dog to keep a roof over the family’s head (including his!), that some other woman was getting thousands for shaking her ass and lying to him about what a stud he was? I have to admit that this still eats away at me years later…

        • I hear ya! I’m 7 months from Dday and the disgusting facts keep trickling in…cocaine, hookers, gambling, sleeping with his friend’s wife for over a decade… I don’t go looking for this information, I’ve been no contact for 5 months, mutual friends pass it along in conversation.

          I’m totally repulsed by the perverted secret life he was living behind my back, and the salt in the wound is that I financed it!

    • And as you’ll find on this blog, that type of shitty treatment is enough to divorce someone who is selfish, entitled, and not providing a reciprocal relationship in your marriage. And as chumps all know too well, where there’s smoke, there’s fire (a schmoopie ho).

  • No Contact — the best medicine. It doesn’t work overnight, but day by day, and every day of No Contact is better.

    • This!! Day by day, week by week. The fog slowly starts to lift, the clarity begins to crystalize and your inner sane voice becomes louder. You realize how insane the situation was and how your basic primal instincts were so, so right. Trust in no contact. It works.

  • This is timely in a way for me. My 53 year old baby brother died quite suddenly two weeks ago. My beloved sister went off the rails—full blown psychosis after 3 years of increasingly strange behaviour. When her daughter and I attempted an intervention to get her to a hospital for assessment she walked out and ran to my ex—described their relationship as “close”. Stick that knife in and twist… I am full no contact with him. He also called both of my sisters to say he “still cares”. This sister told me I should call him and I should “get over it”. I not so gently informed her that I would not be breaking no contact no matter what bullshit he is spewing and she could choose him or me. I am truthfully very torn between helping my mentally ill sister and being no contact with both of them. I do not feel I can trust her after this and feel my peace of mind cracking. Comments are more than welcome.

    • It looks to me like the reason why your sister has lost her damn mind is her contact with your toxic ex. (Goodness.) You’ve done what you cn for this pathetic sister. It looks like she needs No Contact too.

    • You can’t help people who don’t want the help.

      You’ll end up destroyed if you try to help a person who actively takes steps that are harmful to you, like involving your ex.

      It’s time to start internalizing these ideas and get some help with boundaries.

    • You tried to get her help and she doesn’t want it. She ran to your toxic ex. That is a statement and also one you should honor.

      Squeegee her from your life.

      Also, I’m so sorry. But you don’t need people like this dragging you down and kicking you around. Sibling or not.

    • My sister is mentally ill as well. She and I have been close on and off over the years. Her choices are so toxic that I have to back away sometimes). She was there for me after dday. But then a few months later her husband told me she contacted my ex asking him questions in a loving way. Not an angry defending your sister kind of way. Then she wrote a blog teasing about the blog she planned to write about my divorce (he cheated with men and women. Strangers. Gave me several Stds. And extortion from a transgender prostitute). I haven’t talked to her in over a year. And don’t plant to ever again.

      • Thank you everyone. I guess I knew the answer already. It’s breaking my heart. They were the two most important people in my life other than my kids..

        • You don’t have to cut her out for good. I also have a mentally ill sister, and sometimes I just have to step back until she’s worn out her crazy. Just take a break from her – in a few weeks or months maybe she’ll be better again.

      • I really don’t get family that would do this to you. I have a sister like this. Thank goodness for her husband’s honesty so you know what you’re dealing with and don’t give the bitch any more ‘entertainment.’

    • The same thing happened to me with first husband. He didn’t cheat but he was abusive, and my drug addict sister threw me under the bus and moved in with him.

      I cut her off completely and she harassed me for years until I had the sheriff visit her with lots of recordings of her harassment.

      Didn’t speak to her for 12 years.

      Just started speaking to her again because our mom is sick, and even then only because she has since cleaned up and owned up to her shitty behavior.

      And my ex? He threw hew out a long time ago so she didn’t even have anything to show for losing her sister. Ironically ex and I now get along fine.

      My advice is don’t engage your sisted. I’d she wants to choose your ex that’s up to her, but you get to make choices too. I’m sorry that my sister and I lost 12 years but I don’t regret cutting her off. If I can’t trust that you’re on my side you don’t need to be in my life.

      A relationship with her under those conditions wasn’t worth it to me.

    • Very sorry about your baby brother. And it’s sad and difficult for you to have a mentally ill sister. But she’s an adult. She doesn’t get to take you down with her.

      You need boundaries of steel right now–no one in your close circle other than those who will respect your grief. If she’s in contact with your X, let him help her. You’ve already said what you had to say, so the worst is behind you. No contact. For now. Later on you can re-evaluate, maybe with the help of a therapist, where your sister fits in your life. It was a huge help to me when my therapist said that under no conditions should I bring my narcissistic abusive mother with dementia to live with me. Sometimes I think I still do therapy because my default is set to “codependent” and I just need to be reminded when things are either insane or destructive to me.

      Your life and well being matters.

    • I am sorry for your loss NewLady. I too lost a baby brother unepectedly last month. I have been no contact with my ex for almost 3 years (our kids are grown so it’s possible). I was pretty upset to find out that my oldest brother was getting texts and calls from my cheater’s brother and cousin…all trying to express what on the surface seemed liked “civil behavior”. I was actually questioning myself- thinking I overreacted when I told my 25 year old that my brother’s health was not her dad’s business, and I did not want her telling him any information or a play by play. She said he was texting her and her siblings to check in. ( A dad “concerned” that his kids were experiencing the possible death of an uncle.) I told her that it was my fault for not being clear before with her, but that I did not want him to know ANYTHING about my life- not my health, my friends, my family, what I do, where I go, job promotions- nothing! I also told her that my younger brother was never someone her dad had nice things to say about in life, in fact he said some very negative things, so his comments now ring hollow and seem insincere.

      As time went on, and he did pass away, my oldest brother who was ignoring the messages or just gave a “thanks” then got a text from ex’s brother saying that life is too short, let the past go, and come out and golf with us again like the old days. How incredible! First, my brother had just died- and you are moving into “Hey, want to be in our next golf trip?” Second, why would my brother, after experiencing the way I was treated in the divorce and seeing my Ex for the “yellow bellied cheater” and liar that he is want to golf with them, including my ex?

      That’s when I realized I was NOT being over sensitive. Here is the summary from my view.
      1. Mirage: I still care means I am still a great person and here is proof. I am HERE for you all in your time of grief! (that works ok for mutually agreed upon divorces with no cheating)
      Reality: No contact means you don’t contact me or my family. My family is not your family after your disgraceful behavior that lead to the divorce. We uncoupled…consciously. I cut you out of my life…consciously. I do not call or hang out with your family. I sadly won’t be a the weddings of my 20 nieces and nephews that I knew for 30 years. We all have consequences from YOUR actions, Cheater. If I have to live with them by being a victim, you sure as hell have to live with them since you were the perpetrator.

      2. Mirage: I can show everyone that I am still central (especially for your ex, NewLady- he may have encouraged that relationship with your sister).
      Reality: You are not central, needed or wanted, but you forge in anyway.

      3. Mirage: I am just being a good person here, why are you still so bitter?! Why can’t you let the past go? If it were not for your continued no contact stance, we could be civil, and even spend holidays together, but you seem to be so unforgiving!
      Reality: Forgiveness is none of your business, and it sure is not a step toward reconcilitation of a relationship. I don’t spend my time with you anymore.

      4. Mirage: Knock. Knock. I am still here!
      Reality. They are seeing if there is a back door around no contact…always the opportunits looking for a way in for impression management. I am not so bad! I come bearing condolences…why are you so hateful that you won’t let me give you this?

      5. Mirage: If her oldest brother golfs with me (or your sister likes me still, NewLady) then I can plant the flag of “See, it was not really such a terrible thing I did…time heals, and we rebuild…like old times. My kids will see that I am a bridgebuilder, peacemaker, good guy and that SHE is the bitter one and grudge holder and evil one. Even her brother (sister, or whomever is in your family) likes me.
      Reality: Thank God my brother ignored the text. He has my back. He said I will NEVER see that man (my ex)! Certainly nobody should invite me to spend time with that %$#* when I am holding a metal golf club. It is not going to happen.

      You need to enforce boundaries with her- mentally ill or not! Wish you had my situation. It felt good and right. Not mean, hateful and bitter. But right, and in synch with reality! Chump Lady right- unvarnished truth. It’s not what I wanted my journey to be, but that’s where I landed when I left a cheater. I am not still holding this with anger against anyone. I am moved on and in a whole new life that doesn’t include him ever (except my own kids’ weddings- so 4 days max!).

    • Newlady15, please take everyone’s advice here regarding no contact with both your Sister and your ex. It’s the best advice you’ll get for you’re own well being.
      That being said, I (and I’m sure everyone else here) am so sorry for the tragic loss of your Brother and the simultaneous loss of your Sister from your life. The grief you are feeling must be overwhelming. While you are navigating your way through these drastic new and uninvited changes in your life please remember to be gentle with yourself. You didn’t bring about this situation and certainly don’t deserve the fallout.
      Sending (((huge hugs))) 💜

    • Hi Newlady15
      I have a sister who has a diagnosed “personality disorder” dating back over thirty years. She was always doing manipulative things and causing trouble for me and other family members. She called old boyfriends to hash over reasons for a break-up, called employers to cause trouble and hospitals to nose into medical issues of family members, frequently caused trouble at family gatherings by saying completely hurtful and inappropriate things etc. I cut her cold in 1988 and have never looked back. She has created enormous difficulties, stress and financial hardship for other family members and especially my mother in the past three decades. My mother is the only family member that will even speak to her anymore. My mother has been cautioned to not repeat one word about my life to my sister or it would be all over Facebook. It should not have to be this way but for my own sanity and self-respect, it has been necessary. I am so glad to have had the courage to take a stand all those years ago. She always portrayed herself as helpless but she manages to get along fine and still manipulates people into managing her life for her because she won’t do it herself. You have been through a terrible time with your ex. Look after yourself as a priority. There must be someone else in the family who can look after your sister.

  • Cali24, I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. My two cents is that you don’t owe him any explanation. He knows what he did and all the reasons why you wouldn’t want to talk to him. But if you need to say something, here’s what I told Fuckup when he wanted to stay in contact: “I don’t keep in touch with exes.” As in, exes are exes for a reason–and if you don’t have kids, there’s not a single thing you need to be in contact about once the divorce is final.

    • ❤️❤️ “I don’t keep in touch with exes”……..lol. TY, more strength therapy for today.

  • Good bye! NO Contact!
    He Abused You, He will do it again!
    He is trying to make you feel guilty for his mistakes!
    He is a Narcissist, He lacked of empathy, He is Selfish!
    Bottom line: Do NOT go back to him.
    You have a better further of your own! Go rock yourself, travel, be Awesome!!!

  • I am curious about what “activate him” (at the end of Cali24’s letter) means. For the sake of conversation, I am going to assume it doesn’t mean he poses a legitimate threat to the safety of our writer (but if it does, then the answer is do whatever you must to separate completely in the safest possible way).

    Also, maybe I missed something, but is the divorce final? For the sake of conversation I will assume the answer is yes, but if it isn’t, that changes what you can do until divorce is final.

    I recommend using technology as much as possible to block contact. This dude has no boundaries, so you’ll have to be ruthless about it. It’s not foolproof, but if you don’t even see what he’s attempting to send, it helps keep the drama low and helps you stay away from any guilt trips for not coughing up his desired kibbles.

    It seems clear that Thai situation fits the bill of “once he isn’t around, the greatness of not having him around will become obvious”, which is a common piece of advice on this forum.

  • If you block him and go no contact, that will need no explanation. He will get the message quiet and clear.

  • Dear Cali24,

    HE needs to talk. HE wants to come clean (after 3 years of lies and after you’ve moved on). HE wants to be friends. So this is ALL about what he wants. That’s centrality, Cali. It’s ALL about him. You do not indicate at any point that he was concerned about your needs, your feelings or what you want from him. You owe him nothing. He doesn’t give a shit about you, you’re just a bit player in his drama. Maybe the OW got tired of him and moved on and he’s looking for another kibble factory to make him feel important. In any case, he is never going to care about you more than he cares about himself. His needs are covered, he will always make sure of that so you must take care of YOU. You are your priority, he is nothing but a cautionary tale from your past.

  • “… he tells me not to contact him ever again.”

    Do this, for yourself. You didn’t breed with him, you owe him nothing. He wants something from you and he’s not worth it.

    Block him from every social site you have, block his phone number, set up your spam folder so anything he sends you goes straight into it.

    Go fix your picker, it’s still willing to wallow in effluent.

  • I had a close female friend in my life ghost me when I was 8n my early 40s. I was hurt, confused etc, but I honoured it and moved on. Wouldn’t you know it, that’s not what I supposed to do. I was supposed to grovel and beg. She needed that drama to validate herself. Nope, I didn’t play, so she told people that I’d ghosted her and how mean that was. Seriously, like middle school. And the people who believe her side are easy enough to get nc from me. No explanation, no story, just nc. Seriously, at 50, I need quality not quantity. And I’ve found those people so they get my time. It’s bliss. The best thing about nc is you don’t have to react, Rsvp, feel guilt or shame, just stay away. It’s remarkably empowering.

  • Explanation?! This is classic chump. So used to making your needs mircoscopic and never saying no.

    My ex husband and I still spoke frequently after dday even though I’d moved out. The bastard only ever talked about how depressed he was and felt the need to confess he was still screwing around. Oh, and i wss still making him grocery lists because I felt bad for him (I did all the food shopping/preparation during our marriage). Chump City!!

    He had the nerve to insult my hair the day we notarozed the divorce papers (had never seen me w/ straight hair) & because I’m petty, I decided to capitalize on my anger and initiate no contact. I saw right through his basic bitch attempt to make me feel insecure. “You’ve been eating out hookers in my bed, try harder, fuck face!” A huge part of me wanted to tell him why I suddenly stopped speaking, but I knew he’d just start crying and whining & the cycle would continue. I don’t even hate the guy, but someone that crappy doesn’t belong around goodness.

    What purpose would this individual serve in your life? There’s nothing to think about here. No shade towards you at all but he only showed up again because she dumped him… Remember that.
    I didn’t have kids with mine either-count your blessings and cut ties.

    • I’ve been still speaking to my cheater because I need his help sometimes due to chronic pain and other health problems. But yesterday he hit me for the first time. Right in my neck, one of my most painful areas.
      He now has a black eye to show for it. As we both found out, dealing with them for any reason after you break up can be dangerous, whether emotionally or physically, because they have nothing to lose so they just keep being assholes. I’ll have to find a way to manage without his help. Fuckwit help is off the table.

      • Oh my gosh. I am sooooooo sorry. Just reading this makes my eyes tear up. These people are vile.

        I’m putting some good energy out there for you Chumperella. I’m proud of you for putting your foot (and fist) down. He’s an animal. I assume you were accepting his help as it was the best option at the time – I hope that something else will come through and if by chance is doesn’t, you’re strong as hell.

        ::hugs::

      • Oh dear me! Big hugs for you! What he is offering is not help, it is keeping you in pain and by the sounds of it it’s making it worse. You’d get better help from the neighborhood stray cat. Break the cycle of abuse and find an alternative. My abuser tried to keep me trapped in “needing his help” too. Find the strength & courage to break free. You can do it! I’m so sorry it got to this for you, but you deserve proper real and genuine support here. Not more abuse. More hugs!!!

      • I’m damn proud of you Chumperella! Unfortunately sometimes this is the only way to handle these troglydytes! You’re giving others on CN strength! Thanks

  • So Cali24 tells us that after a 6-year marriage, the jackass leaves her and announces he is going to date. She writes: “For the next year I was in an unbeknownst to me ‘pick me’ dance.”

    The UBT quite accurately notes that a chump who doesn’t know she’s a chump is a chump.
    Is. A. Chump.

    But holy Jesus on a cracker, how do you not know there’s another woman if he’s DATING? For a YEAR? What worries me about you, Cali24, is that you are big on sparkling for your belief in this guy’s bullshit. And I think you are maybe in the victory phase of the pick-me dance–after 3 years, he gets dumped and he comes back to you. So you “win.”

    Why in the world would the guy have had access to texting and phone calls to you? He should have been blocked years ago, like the day he moved out. So 3 years. And if he used a new phone number, that should have been blocked a nano-second after he contacted you. Block him. Then put “DO NOT CALL, TEXT OR PICK UP” as his contact name. Just so you remember.

    So to answer your question, you stop by stopping. You block him on phone, text, and social media. Everywhere. If he mails you a letter, you shred it. Unopened. You close the door on him for good. If he shows up at your place, you close the door on him literally. As in, you see his face, you shut the door.

    Finally, what have you done to “gain a life,” in terms of your own self-worth? Because being willing to have any contact with this jackass suggests that’s where you should put your energy.

    • It can definitely happen (not knowing he was dating for a year) because it happened to me too. Stbx moved out 1/18 saying he was having emotional problems, no ow. i believed him as he had been depressed and was starting to drink heavily (unlike him). wanted to work on the marriage, went to therapy, came over every friday and saturday night, sometimes spent the night, had sex, finally moved back in 12/18-so happy! i asked him point blank “was there anyone else at all during this time, we have to be totally honest with each other”. “no, no one else, nothing, just him working through personal issues, thats it, and dammit we need trust for this to work!”. i trusted. he bought me a new engagement ring, going to continue therapy etc etc. moved out 12/30/18 AGAIN with no warning, left one day never came back. mid march 2019 i found a secret fb of his, went back all the way through our separation-their flirting, their outings together, cutsey names etc. people had seen them together and told me and he swore up and down he didnt know who that was, or “i was out with people from work?!”. he lied about her the entire time, while i was doing a pick me dance i didnt even know about. i havent heard a word from him since and yes i blocked him on fb. so its possible, unfortunately.

      • OMG, jennifer– I got the old “I need some time alone to figure things out” trick too. So, yep, I was a clueless chump while he was dating (for over a year) as well. Turns out his “depression” entailed going on trips and to concerts, and to family events, and having lots of laughs and fun sexy times with the OW (for whom he also had cutesy nicknames.)

        Even more humiliatingly chumpy: I was also still “loaning” him money during this time. You see, part of his “depression” was about not earning enough to make ends meet and having trouble finding a better job in order to get his debts paid off and build up some savings before moving to my country. What a trusting idiot I was.

        • Oh, I see. I misread it to mean that during his time alone he wanted to “date” (i.e., see occasionally) Cali–not other people.

          • Notafraid, yeah I wasn’t too clear, in my attempts to be terse. I meant to say suddenly, boom! DDay.
            He moved out and said we were separated (his decision). And told me he wanted to date people “to better understand why women treat him the way they do”. I said I did not agree to this type of separation. And so he just pulled way back and “dated” Schmoopie for years. I am divorced btw. Forgot to mention that in my original post. I thought writing “filed” was enough, but of course it isn’t…

  • Text or email him one sentence. “Please do not contact me again.”

    And then block him.

    That one sentence will probably be pretty “triggery” for him–it leaves so many possibilities open to his imagination. You might be mad again. You might be feeling romancy feelings again. You might have found out an ugly detail he had not anticipated. You might be vengeful. You might have a new partner who has encouraged you to go NC. He will continue to pester you.

    Don’t respond to anything that slips through unanticipated channels–threats, false worries (“I am fearful for your safety, please let me know you are okay.”), pleading, insults, apologies, blame shifting (“I called to apologize but now you are the one who owes me an apology.”), etc.

    Find a friend to talk to when ever the urge strikes to respond to him or listen to him. We at CN count as friends–you can tell us what nonsense he’s saying, but don’t engage with him!

  • Sometimes I just.cannot.believe the effin nerve of some people. They can lie, cheat, steal and slither all over, but then they ‘need’ to tell you the ‘truth’ and wanna be friends!!! Dear lady, don’t even consider it. No thinking about it!! Stop it!! He’s trash. My ex did this same dance of leaving with no other woman, only there was and he moved in with her. I just never believed him that there wasn’t anyone. You dodged zeee bullet. Your guardian angel was watching over you. Trust what happened to be for the best. Block and delete.

  • Is this the kind of person you would invite into your life if you didn’t have a history with him?

    Only question you need to answer.

    • Great question, Tempest! I’d like to answer this. Let’s see……”you’re a liar, cheater, selfish, male whore, disease incubator, cheap, disrespecting low life.” May I have more time to make my decision? Decisions, decisions?!?

  • Don’t engage in any form with him. Silence and block. I’m sorry about your mentality ill sister but it’s best to leave her alone also. My toxic ex sided up with my sister too. Just beware and aware of the situation. They both ganged up on my father and he helped her steal and take away my fathers money and house. She threw him in a nursing home where he was mistreated and ended up starving to death because he had bedsores that turned toxic.
    One of my daughters committed suicide after he cut her off of money and support for school.
    He is trying to exploit your family. They are the sickest f*s you will ever find. They also exploit the law as to not be arrested.

    These seemingly “nice” guys are so undercover f*ded up its unreal. Turns out my nice guy was into child porn and taking pictures of our children. I accidentally found pictures after divorce.

    They are all criminals who know how to skirt the law.

    • My God! This supports my theory that most cheaters are diabolical pyschopaths and should never be trusted again! If you look up the definition of ‘freind’ – lying, backstabbing and screwing aren’t in there for a reason!
      Cut ALL ties to this shit for brains NOW!

    • You really need to turn everything you found over to the police. You found photos of your kids, imagine what he has been doing since. PLUS, if he gets caught now and tells them about this stash and they find out you knew, you are also in trouble.

      Turn it over to the police. Or go to the county prosecutor first. Whatever you do – TELL. DO NOT be his legal meat shield!

      • I had called ICE and they couldn’t make it out for about a month and I had been angry and said on FB I had found that. He got wind of it and had my daughters show up out of the blue and want to go to dinner with them.
        I had no idea that when ICE did show up and take my computer he had wiped it clean. I had my computer from my marriage and it died on me so I had taken it in to Best Buy’s to have pictures of my children from vacations and all saved.
        The guy made files and subsections. I was looking at pictures one night and I saw a video. It was of neighbors kid. Some teenager/large guy had spent the night and it showed it giving him a bj. Secretly recorded. I freaked out. He also had filed that were encrypted. I thought it was strange that he had those. I never used that computer. It was upstairs.
        So, ICE brings back my computer and leaves. They said they couldn’t find anything. The bj movie.

        I told her I had pictures but she left.

        Another time a dectative called and I sent him the pictures of my daughter and he was making a case. I had a freak out moment and called 911 and it ruined the case and they won’t touch it now. I had a lot of problems I was dealing with and the stress of that child porn was too much for me to bare and be normal.
        I think about that now. He would have been busted before my daughter killed herself and I wonder how it would have maybe been different outcome had I not freaked out. It’s something I have to live with.

        • Oh Beetle – I’m so terribly sorry. What a nightmare. I hope that he is on their radar now and eventually he gets busted.

          • I was going to my garage and it was like my daughter was talking to me and it was she was happy in Heaven. I’ve been having a rough time this past month or so. I went to counseling with therapist I’ve had and I just got tired of it.

            I’m thinking of going to a church where parent of child has died and listen to others how they cope.

            This really is something you can never understand unless it happens to you. There are so many confusing feelings I can’t explain. I worried about her being happy. I’ve never doubted before anyone’s time in Heaven but I did hers. I feared she missed life here. Her friends and all. I know she really loved me.

            • Thank you for comments and I’m glad to have a home here with friends who understand what all we have been through here. Losing a child is a lot like a bad divorce. I thought I understood divorce till I got one and seen all the ways pain comes in.
              I’m really glad I can speak my piece(peace) of it all. I just want to get my happy back. I know we will all find it and help out someone else.

              It’s the strangest thing also. I contacted someone to hypnotize me and she just got back in touch. Her son has just committed suicide also. We are more and more connected than we realize. But in the good ways we are of help to someone suffering.

        • Dear Beetle, I’ve been thinking of you and your sufferings all day. I am so sorry. One of my sons is vulnerable like your daughter. I can only ardently hope your precious daughter’s sacrifice can help inspire me to help my son. Thinking of you always

              • BEETLE,

                Your story terrifies and saddens me. My youngest daughter has been hospitalized twice since her dad/the DOCTOR, cut her off of college funding, telling her I can pay for it since I “took the vast majority” of our savings. That’s the kind of lie that makes you crazy because you the documentation that he earns literally 12 times what I earn.

                He has seen her once for a few hours, in 30 months. He has no contact with our other children at all.

                That type of rejection is damn hard, but suicide is a permanent “fix” to a temporary problem.

                I’ve had many talks with my youngest because I am chronically worried about her taking her life.

                Looking back, it’s unlikely my marriage could have been saved no matter what I did. So my biggest regret is staying as long as I did.

                I thought it was best for the kids, but that would only be true if the marriage was solid. It was not solid, so I was wrong to spackle .

                There’s a fine line between forgiveness and enabling, and I crossed it many times.

                One word of advice – some regrets are useless, & some are actually harmful to dwell on.

                I’m going “No Contact” with counter productive regrets and found it helps.
                Maybe you can try that.

                Be well, be at peace.

  • Cali24… nothing says “Leave me alone you twisted fuckwit.” like No Contact.

    Mr. Sparkles abandoned me and our family for his final OW (translate = you have no idea how many times your X cheated on you, you only know about the one he left you for).

    Mr. Sparkles got a new GF after the OW dumped (translate = the OW wasn’t “special”, he was cheating on her too).

    Mr. Sparkles is cheating on the GF and she has seen the proof of his personal ads on Ashley Madison (translate = willing chump).

    You got out. You had minimum collateral damage. There is nothing for you in him except dating a man you KNOW will cheat on his wife. Surely you have a better “friend pool” to swim in… let alone date.

    Know your worth 🙂 Block him today – NO EXPLANATION.

  • Isn’t it sad when those triangles fall apart? It’s no fun when chumps don’t play.

    “The UBT suggests rolling it over to the OW’s house and letting it burn over there.”

    I love the dumpster fire visual!

    Cali24, with no contact and time, you will realize you escaped a cheater dumpster fire.

  • NEVER EVER agree to be somebody’s fallback position after the bitch he was screwing around on you with dumps him. How humiliating is that? He doesn’t want *you*, as an individual. He just wants somebody to use and you’re handy. My dickhead tried a similar ploy on me. He realized his AP was never going to polish his knob again so he agreed to stop seeing her when he was caught and tried to use me as Plan B. You are not Brand X and neither am I. Block him, but not before texting him that he’s a worthless, abusive scumbag, you will never be his Plan B, and to go fuck himself with a rusty pipe wrench. Then go no contact. Don’t even give him the chance to respond.
    Sheesh, what an appalling asshole this guy is!

  • He deserves nothing from you – no phone call, no good-bye, no ‘you hurt me”, no ‘I forgive you’, nothing. Ghost his ass and never look back.

    • Agreed 100%

      Personally – telling him off or explaining anything to him does absolutely nothing. It’s still kibbles and an ego boost because A. It makes Cali still seem like she’s salty about him leaving her. And B. it’s another victim card he can queefe out his ass because “she was soooo mean and aggressive when all I did was innocently ask if we could be friends.

      NO CONTACT!

  • Cali24,
    In response to:
    “I want a word for a chump who didn’t know she was a chump — does that exist?”
    I’m not a she, but a he, but yes, there are plenty of us chumps who were chumped for long periods of time, and dealt with all kinds of strange “marital issues” and behaviors that were really fallout from the cheating. When my own ex broke up with AP #1 (there were several), she went through this bizarre depression where everything was suddenly wrong with our marriage and her life. We had only been married a few months, so I couldn’t understand why she suddenly was so unhappy and seemed obsessed with living in her own apartment while staying married. That was but the first of several AP’s I never knew about till years later; looking back now, I can’t believe all the hogwash I bought because I trusted her.

    • Trusting, loyal, loving, hopeful, helpful, supportive – those are words for chumps that are still in the dark.

    • She wants a word for a chump that didn’t know she was a chump? Welcome to the club. For someone who found out only six years into her marriage and has no kids so she never has to communicate with the jackass ever again…how about Lucky Chump?

      • patsy,
        I’ll take Lucky Chump. I do feel fortunate that I made it out relatively unscathed. Just wasted some years there. And gained some grey hairs.

        • Cali24,

          I was married for 35 years to the DOCTOR and raised our 3 kids almost single handedly. I stayed far too long, based on sunk costs and my ex’s POTENTIAL as a spouse, not the reality. My needs were unmet for so long that I lost sight of what they were.

          Here’s the thing.
          A man who cheated, “dated” while separated and so early on in the marriage, then ghosted and told YOU not to contact him, (WOW) — well he has used up far more of your life’s energy than he’s worth. He’s such a terrible investment.

          Take his apology as a victorious form of closure if that feels better. Okay, so be it. I truly understand that.

          However, you have nagging thoughts about winning the pick me dance and seeing if all can be great again and maybe you have not dated anyone as cute yet or whatever….

          Still, you cannot be involved with him again because even if he miraculously “commits” and miraculously stays monogamous – so what?

          The best you could hope for is he meets the minimal expectation of marriage AND you become the marriage police, and believe me, that sucks out your soul.

          You cannot un know what you know now, his misdeeds were huge and show massive defects in character, which are irreparable.

          There is NO chance it ends well. FAR more likely that he will repeat the behaviors and again hurt you, but with even more years of your life invested/wasted.

          You are younger than most of us, and without children, you are freer than all of us.

          LIFE HAS GIVEN YOU A SECOND CHANCE. Don’t blow it by going backwards. Make the most of it.

  • If you don’t have kids with him why even talk to him? Thank God he’s out of your life and showed his true colors. You should be very glad to have no ties with him. There are lots of women and men who still have to be cordial for the sake of their children.

  • Cali24, think of someone you love dearly and would do anything for. It could be your mom,sister, niece, best friend, co-worker, etc. Now imagine her coming to you and telling you the story you wrote to Chump Lady about. This person lied to, cheated on and ghosted someone you love and now wants to be “friends” with them again. What advice would you give this person that you love? I’m hoping you would get mad and say, “This person sucks and doesn’t deserve one second more of your time, let alone be friends with you! This person doesn’t deserve you at all. This person will never ever be a good friend to you. Look at their character. This person is a liar, cheater, gaslighter and is highly entitled. He had no problem breaking his wedding vows. This is someone you DO NOT want to be in any friendship or contact with!”

    Dr. Phil: “The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior.” He’s going to screw you over again if you let him.

    Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the FIRST TIME.” He’s already shown you who he is. Believe him! He has not changed at all.

    Block. Delete. No contact. Trust he sucks. Get a life. Be your own best friend and treat yourself how you’d treat your best friend. He’s no good for you and you deserve 100% better than this turd.

    This is way over 45 years ago, but my cheating dad came back and got my moms hopes up that they’d get back together. Guess what? He ghosted her the next day and never came back. THEY DON’T CHANGE!

  • Blocking him is an explanation enough, no need to explain anything else or he will try to reel yo back in. Blockblockblock should be your mantra.

  • No Contact is the path to the truth and the light. There is peace in the light. Go into the light.

    Don’t line up to be used, abused and manipulated again. Let him Hoover OW into getting back together, she deserves it. You don’t.

  • I get you, Cali24. After all those years, he finally comes back and comes clean.

    However, this is right out of the Cheater’s Playbook. His affair blew up. Probably his next relationship also blew up (Cheaters aren’t good at being by themselves). Now he is falling back on Plan B: good ol’ Cali24. If he sweet-talks you long enough, he’ll woo you back!

    Don’t give him an explanation. An explanation is a “reason.” He’ll only respond by arguing with your reason, and that just gets him closer to you. Don’t go there. It just makes him central.

    If you feel you absolutely must say something, you can respond with “Please do not contact me further.” Then block him on your phone and on social media.

    • The best response is no response at all. I got a long love letter out of the blue a couple of years after my scorched earth divorce was final. By then, I understood that cheaters are inherently lazy entitled creatures who will pick through the destruction they’ve left behind to see if there is anything of value left there before making the effort to groom a new victim.

      Odds are good that they are Hoovering everyone on their mental Rolodex simultaneously, hoping to get a bite.

      • I got a long letter too! It arrived years later … and he was no engaged to someone else. They have no shame.

      • I totally agree! The more you communicate with them, the harder they try to engage with you.

        When my CheaterX tried to reconnect a little over a year after the divorce finalized and 6 months after he married Schmoopie, I simply didn’t respond. He had teh Sadz after she told him she was filing for divorce and he discovered she’d been cheating on him the whole time.

        I wasn’t about to be anyone’s Plan B.

  • Oh you are soooooo fortunate to have NOT bred with a fuckwit! Count your blessing in that. You don’t have to co-parent with him. You get to tell him to fuck off in thousands of different ways without having to answer to the court! But don’t do that. While it would feel really good in the short term, your biggest win comes in GOING NO CONTACT swiftly and completely. Not only do you come out healthier and stronger, but you get to him the in the most profound way possible (i know this isn’t the goal, but it does feel good). We all want answers and “closure” (you don’t get it there is only moving on…) and to know we still somehow meant something to them (we did not). Please, please, please don’t entertain this.

  • I’m about two months out from Dday. Filed for divorce immediately–his lying, lack of remorse, abusive behavior– it’s all too much. Having a hard day today for some reason, so this post was helpful. I just cant stop re-living things over and over and over again– and feeling so incredibly inadequate. Does this go away? How do I make myself feel more confident that this is about HIM and nothing do to with me? Some days I can hack it, but lots of days I’m left feeling like I’m useless, unlovable, ugly, and never will be deserving of love. Please help, fellow chumps!

    • 2months, it’s very early. You are only two months post Dday. Give yourself a big break and a big hug, because you are super mighty for filing for divorce right away! I seriously wish I would have kicked him out and did that instead of “working on our marriage” aka The Pick Me Dance. You should be very proud of yourself for what you’ve done so far!!

      I did a lot of things wrong, but I think it’s only normal to relive things in your mind over and over and over again. I was so confused, because I couldn’t make sense of what happened as I thought we had a great marriage and he was also happy. What I was experiencing was something called “cognitive dissonance”.

      “In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person.”

      My brain was highly confused, so I had to make sense of everything and that took replaying things over in my mind again and again. I think this is what Chump Lady calls “Untangling the Skein” and she advises not to do it. But I had to for awhile and eventually I didn’t care to figure out anymore. I knew enough about him that I trusted he sucks! The answer to your question about whether it goes away is, yes, this will go away. It’s going to take time. Be gentle with yourself. It will get better. The pain will stop. Trust all of us that have gone before you and are a few years out. Once in awhile something will trigger me like a song or a memory of somewhere we went with the kids. And I’ll feel sad for a few minutes, but it goes away. I don’t beat myself up for it. I’m a human being who can actually love and attach to someone. My ex narcopath cannot and only uses people for “supply” and to get them to do things for him.

      If you haven’t already, I’d read Chump Lady’s book and read this entire blog from the beginning. And all the comments by Chump Nation. This gave my mind something to work on and it also help deprogram my mind from 23 years of lying and gaslighting. And while you are reading, jot down ideas of what other chumps have said or done. I have a whole folder of Chump Wisdom that I can look at whenever I need a boost. There is also the forum where you can usually talk to someone right away for topics not cover here at Chump Nation.

      And yes, it’s him! NOT YOU! It’s his disordered character that makes him a cheater. I guarantee you are not any of the ways you are describing yourself. I’d put money on that you are just the opposite of what you said. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on the profile of a chump from Chump Lady’s Facebook page that left a comment. Many, many attractive and educated men and women who got cheated on. You could have been a model making a million dollars a year and he still would have cheated on you. It’s not you, it’s him!!!! ((((HUGS))) to you, 2month. We are cheering you on and keep posting so we can offer support.

      • Thank you so much for this comment, Martha. I’m having a particular day today (and past three days lol), so your input has helped me a lot.

        • You’re welcome, Anna. It’ going to be alright. I know it’s hard to believe it, but it will. Keep moving forward each day. Even if it’s a baby step. And it’s also okay to move backwards at times. Chump Lady and Chump Nation has kept me sane and alive, so if I can do it, I know you can too! (((HUGS))) to you too. 🙂

        • Anna,

          I was married for 35 years and needed to hear this too. I can say it IS better than before but I still have days where I shake my head and wonder how the hell he could have done this to our family.

          Based on his over the top facebook posts (which I have never once looked at) I can only assume he saw ME as the problem. That hurts even now, 30 months out. though I’m fairly sure he’s an asshole, but I’m quite positive he’s a liar.

          And in truth, for him to do what he did means he’s not a good person. That’s a fact.

          Some days that has to be enough for me to trust that he sucks. But yeah there are still hard days. About 3-4 a month, down from 3-4 a week.

    • Two months is so fresh. It’s a very long grieving process. You have to go through it to get through it.

      Remember that you were the loyal one. You were the honest partner.

      Some days it takes a lot of will power to stop the ‘loop’ of thoughts from taking over. Talking to a therapist helps. And coming here. And reading/watching videos about healing after betrayal. Give it time, it does get better. Try to occupy your mind on the bad days. WE are all worthy as human beings. His behaviour speaks to his character, not yours.

    • 2Months
      Big hugs! Yes it gets better. Yes it takes time. You will have good days and bad days. None of us got married thinking our spouse would intentionally hurt us, alter us to our very core. We got married because we believed. Grief is difficult, understanding something intellectually and having to override our emotions as we go through the process seems impossible. In reality, it’s normal. Stay strong in public. Nourish your soul in private. Cry, scream get your emotions out. Each day it gets easier.

    • 2months,
      I’m 2 years out from the filing, and 2 months from this latest news. The first 2 months period after D-Day was pure shock, panicking, suffering. This time around it was a punch to the gut as well, but I caught myself and somehow ended up here. Be good to yourself, 2months.

    • Read everything you can get your hands on about character disordered people (see Dr. George Simon), and Cluster B personality disorder, especially narcissism, and psychopathy. Chances are your cheater is somewhere on that spectrum. Read about alcoholism and substance abuse, if that applies. What helped me is learning not to think about Jackass as a separate person I had known for years but to think of him as a TYPE of person who goes through predictable relationship cycles based on lack of empathy and integrity, among other important missing aspects of good character. Once I could see Jackass as disordered, it was a lot easier to let go of who I thought he was.

      • Thanks for this. I need to do this reading because I do think he has to be on this spectrum. I’m just so sad I wasted 8 years on such a sham. And now i feel like I’m just going to be alone. Which I know I’m supposed to want to be alone and powerful and love myself, but I’m only 32 and seems like a long life ahead of me on my own :/

  • He wants to feel all right about himself, what he did. Remember it’s not what he did, it’s your reaction to it that’s the problem.

    Don’t waste your energy as he sure will sap some more in finding other ways to play you. It’s literally not worth listening to sadly except really only the absolute barefaced cheek of some people. They find a way to hurt you if you listen that’s the problem.

    Run for the hills and don’t look back.

  • My Narc X strung me along as I defended myself from his accusations for years – all the while he was screwing around, defaming my character, destroying friendships, and laughing at me behind my back. When I finally wised up and said “enough” he was floored. When he tried to circle back around (without EVER ONCE asking me to not leave, apologize to me for his mistakes and lies, to try to save our marriage), I didn’t beg, I didn’t plead, I didn’t ask him for explanations. I just looked at him with all the knowledge in my eyes of what he did to me. And he fled. He knew that nothing he could say or do would erase the memory of his behavior. And he sure wasn’t going to stick around to see the truth reflected back at him.

    • We do have a teenage son together. I got the kid his own phone and only communicate with XAss by email or text. Otherwise if I have to speak to him, its total single short sentences of only need to know info. NO responding to anything emotional. Drive him nuts.

  • My ex has a woman he always goes back to whenever his he feels lonely or life gets hard when his new flavor of the month starts to sense he is a scumbag. My ex’s friend who knows her calls this woman “recycled” because he just recycles her time and time again and she allows it. I think she is partially clueless, suffers from low self-esteem and is constantly holding onto the fact “this time will be different” with him because he always goes back to her – this has been going on for years. “Recycled” is literally one of many women he is using and fucking at any given time. She is just merely an option and someone he uses. I don’t say that to be mean, but I have his phone records. I can see how he makes her feel special because he texts her early every morning and right at bedtime so she believes she is the first and last thing on his mind. His phone records reveal he is doing this to 3-8 other women at any given time. Can you imagine?

    I think many of us chumps can understand the desire to want to feel special and believe things are different now. Many of us took a cheater back and suffered enormously for it. Experience taught us we weren’t special. We were just someone being recycled until another new shiny penny comes along.

    And my ex still reaches out to me via email with “I think of you all the time” bullshit. He can’t phone me because he is blocked. I’m no contact. I can’t fuck up my life any more than I already have by allowing him into my life again.

    • “His phone records reveal he is doing this to 3-8 other women at any given time. Can you imagine?”

      Apparently there are apps for that.

  • I’m not so sure I wouldn’t be tempted to lead him on for awhile and then ghost him with no explanation.

  • Cheater o’Mine wanted us to just be friends which carried the expectation that he and my ex-friend and I would happily pose for pictures during our kids’ milestones and maybe I’d have them over on Christmas Eve. NO. He is not the kind of person I would want as a friend in the regular course of life. Why on earth would I allow him to be a ‘friend’ after all his back-stabbing and betrayal and what was that other thing–oh yes, screwing Miss Plastic Parts in my bed? That’s right–I WOULD NOT!

    You owe him no explanation whatsoever. Simply block him on your phone, social media, e-mail, and shoot any carrier pigeon that taps on your window. You’re not mad, just done.

  • Your actions tell him that is was ok to hurt you. It wasn’t

    Decent guys don’t dump their wife then tell her she is permitted to ‘date’ him.

    He is a screw up and he lacks empathy. You are well rid.

    You could send a final text/email and say that he lied, deceived and played you, and on due consideration you want no further contact.

  • The Twat was just stunned that I didn’t want to be friends with him after the divorce. Seriously stunned! And no I didn’t want to go out for a drink with him when he came over here for our oldest son’s wedding. I (finally) learned that you don’t give them a reason “why” (or why not in this case) because they can argue with it. As they say “no” is a complete sentence. And seriously, why would I want to be friends with someone who beat the shit out of me, cheated on me, almost spent me into bankruptcy and talked down to me like I was a piece of dog doodoo on his shoes! Nah, I’ll leave that “special” treatment to Schmoopie!

    • I will never forget the Dickhead saying all the right words about wanting to divorce and still be on good terms. I looked at him and told him that how we would be after all this shit was the last thing on my mind. Taking care of me was #1. And the whole fucking time he knew exactly what he had done and what he is. To me, he was cruel and mean. You don’t get to hurt me and still keep me in your life.

      • Yeah, good terms, in what possible version of reality? Monster said, you can still be my best friend. The three of us – we’ll hang out every day! I was like, um, how’s that going to work. I despise the whore you’re making central to your life. Hadn’t yet gotten to despising him, but oh so there now.

  • 2monthspostdday, you do it be being outraged rather than just sad. I don’t get any sense from your post that you feel anything but the sadness and lack of self worth. Well, you should be outraged on your own behalf. You were terribly wronged. Thinking that you are inadequate or unlovable means that deep down you believe he was justified in doing what he did because you didn’t meet his (unrealistic) expectations. He was NOT justified! He married you, so he must have felt you met his expectations then. What they do is move the goalposts on those expectations so that you can never measure up. That way they can rationalize their cheating and abuse. This is 100% about him being an asshole and zero reflection on you. They all do it because that’s who they are.
    You filed on him right away so you are one kick ass, mighty person. You didn’t pick me dance or try wreckonciliation. You didn’t humiliate yourself by giving him another chance to hurt you. Good for you! You have plenty to be proud of. He has nothing. You are head and shoulders above that dick and don’t you ever forget it. We all have those days where we feel so sad and hopeless it doesn’t seem like we can carry on. They will pass in time. Take care of you. Do what makes you feel good and helps speed your healing. You deserve to love yourself. ❤

  • As others here have experienced, it’s pretty standard for narcissists to circle back to an old source of kibble when a new one is starting to get stale–often years or decades later. Before I knew about narcissism, I was contacted out of the blue by my old college boyfriend, whom I now recognize as a textbook case. He happened to be composing an opera–yes, an opera–on an obscure topic I’d published a book about, and he was interested to hear my take on his interpretation.

    Chumpy me thought, how nice that he finally recognizes my intellectual achievements and capabilities after years of belittling them during the entire time we were together. I spent hours sharing my research, analysis, and insight into the topic–some of which had not been included in my book. Meanwhile he, who had been “studying” the subject for all of a month, came back with, “Nah, I think you have it all wrong.” He then sent me his interpretation, which had literally zero basis in the evidence . . . the entire exercise was just one big kibble-fest–lure me into thinking he valued my expertise, get me to spend hours contributing said expertise to the composition of his grand opera, then knock me back off the pedestal and declare himself the true expert who has no need to rely on my research or opinion.

    I should have known better as this was the man who had threatened to kill himself decades before, after I finally broke up with him once and for all–or so I thought. He spent weeks begging me to give him another chance and a renewed will to live, and ended up pulling connections to get me a fancy job in NYC, where we would live and work together to build our post-college future. It was all of two weeks before he broke up with me, kicked me out of the apartment, tried to get me fired from my job, and sent me a bill for a lamp he accused me of breaking. These people DO. NOT. CHANGE.

    Oh, and just to remind anyone who might still be waiting for the karma bus–don’t hold your breath. Turns out Mozart eventually managed to get his opera funded and staged at a respectable theater in a mid-sized city with an up-and-coming arts scene. A friend of mine sent me the review that was published by the city’s local theater critic, who happened to be–I wish I was making this up–a bit of an enthusiast on the obscure subject of both the opera and my book. He actually highlighted Amadeus’s “unorthodox,” utterly-lacking-in-evidence but nonetheless “visionary,” interpretation of the subject as an example of “artistic license that works.”

    You simply can’t win with these folks. And only way not to lose is to stop playing the game.

  • Know your worth. Know your worth.
    You know you owe him nothing.
    We spend too much time confusing mercy and grace with enabling. Sometimes we show mercy by leaving the person to their own devices.
    You are/were his wife and he made you his back up plan. That’s not the role of a wife.
    I wish you healing fellow chump

    • Oh wow, so much to digest in this thread! Thank you all. I’ll comment more anon, but Mandie101, i need to print out your comment and staple it to my forehead.

  • Yes, I responded to his reach out because I wanted to understand what really happened. Now that I know…sheesh it was worse than I thought. But I found this place and am ready to do what is right for me.

    I’ll provide a bit more explanation, and certainly it won’t change the advice; just good to get it out there, splay out the newb Chump! I know I should have heard the words “I want to date” and ran! But I didn’t, I waited around…So. 6 years I thought we had a good marriage, disillusioned now so won’t dwell on the so-called good times. DDay then “needs space”. Tells me we are separated and he’s depressed and wants to date (he’s awkward and not a player, made zero sense). Moves into apartment. I’m crushed and scrambling. Worried about him. Says he’s so unhappy, needs space but maybe we can work things out. Gets a therapist. Here’s how I had no idea about OW: We lived in a big city. Neither of us are on FB. When he left, he told me “space” meant not contacting his friends or family. Any shared friends didn’t tell me/ didn’t know- still don’t know, doesn’t matter. I see his place, no evidence of a woman. He looks terrible, sweaty and unhappy. Says he works and stays at home and drinks too much. Me, I’m all in worried-mode. 6 months in brings up D. Cries, says he took job in another state. Wants to see me before he leaves to say goodbye “maybe we can get back together someday”. Papers filed. I lose it and unleash on him, he says don’t ever talk to me again. Here’s the whopper: he was in a LDR with her! They’d skype all day, she’d come to see him occasionally. Met his family, all of it 6 mo separated. Told me the other day they didn’t like her, thought she was a homewrecker, he was ashamed, feels bad. So I have the story, now must wash that man out of my hair.

    • Yea, delete this guy. I get why you didn’t know–he presented the whole “victim falling apart narrative” to you. Common covert narcissist behavior. But you know now! I suspect he’s coming clean to you at this point because he wants back into your life in some way as he’s screwed up his and figures you’ll find out the truth pretty quickly this go-round. Otherwise he would never have told you. Don not believe his “guilt” narrative.

      Us chumps all seem to be hard wired to want to explain ourselves to our cheaters. Suspect it comes from a place of just being good, thoughtful people. But, we all need to learn to be thoughtful to ourselves too.

      One more second you give to this guy is a second you can never get back. And any words you give this guy will only be used against you. Ask me know I know? lol

      Best of luck.

      • This seems spot on, although, I’m learning a lot and now need to look up covert narcissist which I am not familiar with. Heck, I learned all about depression because that was all I heard was how depressed he was. I’d love to know how you know–this is all new to me. I do think he’s lonely or bored and bringing me back in his life I’d for sure find out. I did get the creepy feeling all that I said would be used against me somehow- I think it triggered me to google, and find this place!

        • For me, the eye opener was reading the book Psychopath Free by Jackson MacKenzie. The book made all the extremely oddball puzzle pieces fit nicely together.

          • I read it too. Really helped me figure out who he is and why he does these horrible things. I have his new book, Whole Again, but haven’t read it yet.

        • A covert narcissist is just a cowardly narc who operates under the radar. They are passive-agressive instead of in-your-face nasty, though they can certainly get overtly nasty when you call them out on their shit and their “nice guy” mask slips. My cheater is one of those. Ghosting would be typical of a chickenhearted covert narc.

          • Covert narcs are also experts at constructing the “aw shucks I’m just a nice, unassuming guy” persona, which they rarely let slip to the outside world. They’re also the masters of mirroring, figuring out your ideals and values and pretending to both share and embody them, typically laying it on pretty thick during the lovebombing phase. And when the inevitable discard and devalue happens, they love to play the victim and blame you for their woes. I made my X lose his sense of smell, LOL.

          • That’s exactly the Dickhead. He had his family rallying around yet he’s the one that cheated and had someone he was already screwing. I was treated like I had been the big bad bully and yet I was the one left standing there shaking my head not grasping what the hell had just happened with my life.

  • This post came at a good time: I’ve been struggling for the last couple of days. Last Saturday, a dear friend of mine told me she had seen my ex walking down the street, holding hands with a random woman. Since I broke up with him, my ex has been trying to contact me and usually tells me he’s homeless/sick. Last time, he had someone else call me and tell me he was a nurse, and my ex was in a hospital very sick after eating food from garbage bins. I refused to help him, gave this person my ex’s mother’s phone, and finally had the courage to change phone numbers.

    Of course, I was incredibly sad to know these things were a lie. He was just fine, seeing someone else already. Then, that same day, like 2 hours after my friend tells me that… My ex sends me a huge bouquet and a handwritten love letter to my job! Something he didn’t even do when we were together. I was distraught at his sheer selfishness, entitlement and manipulative ways.

    I’m still so sad about what happened, this completely broke me. I had to take the day off because I couldn’t even breathe. I read the letter, broke my heart again, cried so hard… I didn’t accept the bouquet, and since it was at my job, a friend helped me get rid of it. I reinforced NC.

    So thank you for this, because I can see my ex is just trying to win me back and have his cake: my loyalty, my love, the financial security I gave him, the support, having me to look after him and his useless self, coming home to a loving partner.

    This is way too painful 🙁

    • Also, it’s okay to tell your friends your’d rather not hear about what/how ex-bag is doing. It’s like a re-exposure even when you didn’t actually see anything. My ex-husband and I never cross paths and live far apart, so I don’t go through this but even though I’m pretty meh-I can imagine it would be difficult info to process.

      “Ya know, if you happen to see him or hear anything about him, would you mind not telling me? I’m trying to avoid him taking up any more mental real estate, and besides, he’s not my problem anymore. Could ya do that for me?”

      No charge for the script = )

  • Stay strong and keep the NC!! Those sick, disordered POS don’t care how much they have hurt the ones who love them – because it was never about you, and it’s always about them. Block him on all social media, block his email and block his phone if there is absolutely no reason to ever be in contact with him again. Don’t leave a channel open for him to worm through. Big hugs.

  • Peanut allergy *snerk* For me, it was Asperger’s syndrome or Cushing’s disease. Some days, it was both. Must have diagnosed that man with everything I could think of, before I finally accepted that he had poor character and was not capable of commitment.

    No Contact is the path to the truth and the light.

    Cali, follow the money. When they hoover, it’s often financial, and they fear being burned in the divorce.

    Get yourself a very good lawyer and make sure you get EVERYTHING you are entitled to.

  • Believe the power of No Contact. No explanation needed. The guy’s a proven liar, cheater, manipulator and when you called him on it he said don’t ever contact me again and he divorced you. Go back to No Contact and block every possible avenue of contact. If he visits, call the cops. As Kiminator so wisely says, don’t trip over something that’s behind you. Lots of sympathy, hugs and love from one who has gained a lot of strength from this wonderful Chump Nation.

  • Oh boy, I am in a similar situation. He left because he was “depressed”, turns out he was banging the secretary and had gotten her pregnant (she kept it, in spite of his desperation that she wouldn’t). The pregnancy and math is the only reason I found out. We have a young daughter together. I completely went NC for 6 months, other than child stuff. In the last month I fell into a pattern of hour-long calls each week that he initiated (he fucked up, he misses me, etc…). In spite of the devastation he left behind, I can’t bring myself to cut him off and hate him. He is still with very pregnant Schmoopie while I recently ended my rebound relationship. I’m finally happy alone, but I can’t hate the buttmunch.

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