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Dear Chump Lady, How did he turn into a douche?

Agape douchebagDear Chump Lady,

First time chump and I would have bet my life on the fact I’d never be in this position. I had a genuinely lovely husband, together 14 years, married 8 years. My best friend and partner and a nicer man you would have struggled to meet. We got through 7 recurrent miscarriages and 2 rounds of IVF to finally have my son (now 3) and life was pretty much perfect. A little after my son’s second birthday he took a job, with my blessing, which involved working away from home a couple of night a week and well I’m sure you can guess the rest…

Very quickly he became obsessed with his work, the status (he’s a younger guy in an older guys industry so kind of stands out) and obsessed with earning money and impressing the old, thrice married guys he works with. Six months in to being away he starts to pick fights, become snarky and pretty unpleasant, never a feature of his personality in the past. He comes home later from work and starts to completely disengage from my son and me. All the time, repeatedly swearing on my son’s life he wasn’t sleeping with anyone else although I would have never believed him capable of it, I did ask, as his behaviour was baffling.

Six weeks ago, after more bizarre behaviour, he announces he loves me but no longer finds me sexually attractive and knows for a fact he never will again. I asked him to leave immediately and told him I’d eventually find someone who would (this was a lie, I was dying inside) and lo and behold a few days later I find over 200 messages to and from a married secretary in his work.

I delve deeper and discover it’s been going on for at least 8 months, he contracted an STD and spent £1000s on her on our credit card. On it all coming out, he claims that he told me he didn’t find me attractive so he could move into our spare room, clear his head from all the guilt he was feeling then resurface a month or so later, telling me it had all been a mistake and he really loved me, he would have never told me about the affair had I not found the messages on his watch. He appeared once with an ultimatum dressed up as an apology (“either you let me back in the house and we try again or we sell the house and I get a clean break”) but other than that, has now started to act really indignantly as if it was me that cheated!!

I am following your advice, I don’t call, text and respond to emails when there is a need with a basic response. When he comes round for our son I don’t make eye contact and don’t talk directly to him. He’s now changed passwords on our shared phone/tv accounts so I can’t access anything and has told me to go through him if I want anything changed.

What I want to know is how can someone so kick ass and brilliant turn into such a massive douche?? Everyone around me in shock too, no one can quite believe the change in him.

Please help

NewestScotsChump

Dear NewestScotsChump,

This is a Skein Untangling question. How did the love of my life turn into such a flaming turd? Was he always horrible and I was too clueless to notice? Or did a bite from a poisonous apple render him a fuckwit?

No one knows the ways of douchebags. Nature, nurture, bro culture. It doesn’t matter. What mattes is the creature that stands before you now — and that guy sucks. I hope you’ve informed your lawyer about the thousands of pounds spent on Ms. Thing. I also hope you’ve informed her husband, a fellow chump. (Or maybe save that disclosure for after you secure a divorce settlement. Which better come quickly before these two are fired for a workplace affair.)

I know you want me to make sense of this, and untangle a bit with you. So I’ve asked the UBT to explain.

he announces he loves me but no longer finds me sexually attractive

Consolation prize! He loves you! He’ll be fucking around elsewhere, but do maintain the shrine. Halt those consequences. You wouldn’t want to sully the warm regard with which he holds you.

and knows for a fact he never will again

There is a Great Buffet of Pussy in his new life. You will NEVER be attractive to him EVER. Even if you morphed into 15 porn stars named Amber. Even if your orifices had orifices. No. Sorry, ScotsChump, it’s over. You fail to enchant.

On it all coming out, he claims that he told me he didn’t find me attractive so he could move into our spare room

Saying “I’m moving into our spare room” just seemed too hurtful and sudden. So, he thought he’d critique your fuckability instead. He’s considerate like that.

clear his head from all the guilt he was feeling

The kind of guilt that is only revealed after you hack his device and discover his affair. And is strangely absent from any of his actions.

resurface a month or so later, telling me it had all been a mistake and he really loved me,

HR has sniffed out the affair. He’s calculated child support. Ms. Thing is having an off day at the Pussy Buffet. He loves you after all!

he would have never told me about the affair had I not found the messages on his watch

Because this is how we express our Love — with secret STD testing.

He would never have told you about his lack of interest in you (but everlasting love!) had you not had the utter gaul to determine reality.

He appeared once with an ultimatum dressed up as an apology (“either you let me back in the house and we try again or we sell the house and I get a clean break”)

Either you let me back in the house, or I sleep on a sofa at OW’s and tell her husband I’m a drifter she picked up on the docks.

Either you let me back in the house, or I fluff the pillows in my car.

Either you let me back in the house, or I’m never attracted to houses again. Ever. And haven’t been for a long time.

We try again or you’re homeless! You change the locks, and I’m homeless! This is unacceptable.

I get a clean break

Which I declare retroactive after fucking my secretary for 8 months.

***

ScotsChump — Of course he’s blaming you. That’s what they do. You’ve served your purpose as child vessel, and now there’s new shiny.

I don’t know what kind of great guy you were married to previously, but this guy doesn’t seem that deep. Maybe you projected decency on to him that never existed? Maybe life was okay until his head got turned by the douche culture at work? Whatever the story, he’s not that capable of intimacy. That’s what his actions say. That he was A-Okay with betraying you, lying to you for 8 months, upsetting your son’s intact family for some strange, and demonizing you for his shit behavior.

Trust that he sucks. And trust that you don’t. The only hideously unattractive person in this story is HIM.

Rock on.

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.
  • This has nothing related to the subject but I think that cartoon is now officially my second favourite cartoon (after the middle aged guy in his tighty whities! But it’s a contender for best. I love it!

    • That’s my favorite cartoon, too! lol 🙂 The guy could be my ex for sure and his schmoopie is short. I met her once before I knew she was one of his ho-workers and I had to look way down to see her eyes and I’m short myself at 5’4″, so I think she clocks in at five feet. That’s how I picture them. She’s all giddy with luv after finally meeting her soulmate. Nope! He’s a scum bag that would fxck anyone who was willing.

    • I cannot figure out how to post…in a rush.

      I posted here, another thread, as the OW. Yes. You can be mad at me. If you do find my other post, feel free to say whatever you need (or even here).

      Dear wife – there is NOTHING wrong with you. “Mine” told me he was separated. Long story. See other post. Doesn’t matter. I still blame myself for not asking to see divorce papers. No getting around the fact that I helped hurt his wife/family.

      So, whatever I can do to help wives heal, I will do: YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.

      He is a liar. A cheat. A fraud. And, a child.

      You can do better. You will do better. He was always a douche, he just didn’t let you see that sucky side until it was convenient for HIM.

      “Mine” blamed me for not wanting him back, AFTER HE DUMPED ME AND I REALIZED ALL HE SAID WAS A LIE.

      I spent years thinking I was the problem…truth to tell, I have to work on self-esteem issues and aim higher when it comes to men (have NEVER dated anyone not truly single until him…).

      But, I had to post this and I hope you read this.

      Get a lawyer. Get what is rightfully yours. Get a support circle. Own your worth.

      LOVE yourself the way you loved him. It is amazing how much better you will feel when you give yourself the compassion and care you gave him.

      And do not DARE think you owe him a damn thing.

    • That’s EXACTLY what i was thinking! There are many woman who have been through this and they are survived coming out better than they were.

      You got this!

      • And that was EXACTLY what I was thinking: just the address changes. As I read ScotsChump’s letter my jaw kept dropping. Exactly the same words, excuses, threats, demands.

        But not even in a million years would I think that sparkledick was cheating on me. I thought all the criticism was me and/or his frustration with work. By the way, filled with thrice married jerks as well.

        ScotsChump, I have asked myself a million times how and why sparkles turned into an asshole. I knew Tracy was going to remind us about the futility of untangling the skein of fuckedupness and what really matters. I agree with her and this strategy makes a huge difference in my life. I also understand why I stuck around abuse for so many years (you are luckier and/or smarter).

        But ii has become clearer to me me that my douche bag had always been a douche bag. He and his entire family we learn how to treat people respectfully, fairly and honestly, but we do not learn how to demand to total reciprocity. Douche bags give just enough reciprocity to fool us.

        • Exactly. He faked being Mr. Wonderful long enough to get a kid out of the deal and establish his false identity as a “family man”, then let his true douchey nature out. Mine faked it for 25 years, then suddenly (as he dishonestly put it) “fell out of love” with me, conveniently around the time some younger skank at work was sniffing around him. He was, at the time, hanging out with a guy who was a cheater and commuting with him every day. This guy was regaling him with tales of all the women he’d had sex with and how great it was. Narcissistic douchbags have no authentic identity of their own, so they are easily influenced by other narcissistic douchebags. Scotschump’s husband is clearly a pod person from Planet Narc, like almost all cheaters. He thought the thrice married guys (translation: serial cheaters) at work were cool, and wanted to be cool too. He’s an inch deep and a mile wide, and that mile is littered with horse manure and clown suits.

          • That is exactly my story. My X surrounded himself with these douchebags. One of them would pick him up for a night out and bring me wine. I thought: “How nice”, but it was all a mask to visit strip clubs and whatever else…

            • That’s disgusting, and all too sadly predictable and typical of so many stories. Strip clubs lead to massage parlors, then prostitutes. It’s all about misogyny- women as objects, not people. My jerk ex, AFAIK, didn’t do strip clubs or paid sex (he has to be able to convince himself that the woman worships him), but he had a cheating, misogynistic drinking buddy and an utterly wretched best friend who constantly puts down his wife. This cretin also put me down as my creep husband laughed along. Apparently, they had some kind of running gag about how I responded to my cheater’s drinking problem (they laughed at my distress) and what a drag I was because I’m not a party-hearty, adolescent drunk like them. This “friend” was even disrespectful about our daughter and my scumbag ex let him get away with it.
              There’s no way that hanging out with these assholes for years didn’t influence him because he didn’t always behave like that. I told both of those guys what I thought of them and they responded like the candy-assed cowards they are. I think these little tinpot dictator woman-haters get scared when women actually stand up to them. They should be. I’d kick both of them in the balls for the things I found out they said about me if I ever saw them again. Luckily, I won’t see them.

              • Mine came home from working claiming that all the single guys at work were having more sex than he was. I laughed as I held one of the products of our sex in my hand and said to him “do you actually believe that? It’s the oldest guy lie in the book. You probably have more sex than they do.”
                Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed… 😕 Nah! 😁

              • “It’s all about misogyny- women as objects, not people.”

                Close! You are right at what’s going on.

                Not misogyny. Actual people who hate women can mimic the abusive behavior of the narcissist, but for the narcissist, It is ALL OTHER HUMANS.

                Oh, I believe without exception they hate themselves, but all other people are beneath them, to the point that, for the narcissist, we all are merely characters in the them-centered diorama that they see the world to be.

                You’re on the Them Show, only you weren’t aware.

                Characters that trouble the lead character don’t get good scripts or growth story arcs. Did you stop The Protagonist from enjoying life as they wished? Are YOU, a mere NPC (non-player character, which is run by the Story) in Their living virtual-world game, messing up the story?

                You, for a narc, are to fill the role they cast you in, and then you are to fill their wants, directly by actions and indirectly by permissions and the overlooking of what you can’t excuse.

                The comment referring to seeming other-planetary origin is very apropos.

                My ex cheater-wife had various skewed thinking, to the point where I, knowing some of her personal story then, would with her that, “I know you were “raised by wolves” and all, but can we stop this other negative stuff from happening, babe?”

                And my currently-current cheater-wife? I swear, in many neutral Or negative ways, it has been a several year journey of finding all the ways that she doesn’t get what being a human person is like.

                Most people would think that I was one of those defamation and gaslighting spouses, who is sure to be exaggerating things, were I to tell them that stuff, but I swear, it has been as though she IS an alien, in her mind.

                A child’s, in some ways I think even a baby’s, mind and worldview is what we may be witnessing, left over in adulthood.

                A harmless example was an ex gf of mine who, for the life of her straight-A self, could Not grasp how, from other sides of town, we were looking at the same Moon. No, I’m being serious.

                No analogy or even simplified speech would help. Smart girl, otherwise, at least I and her report card thought so at the time.That was so baffling, I just had to practically interview her about it. Of course, I was in love with her too, but that didn’t skew the results. ; )

                What obvious, or even scary, realities are WE missing, which others might think were plainly obvious?

                Sorry. I got sad as I said it too. Our missing this was artificially guided, however, so it doesn’t count as a basic mental perception oversight or section of mental computer code missing.

                We have to get this, for our own sake. I am determined to be unappetizing for narc women, instead of their magnet. To be watching me as I guide my thinking and life, so I know and stop the bit by bit control tentacles and mind control strategies.

                Their worldview seems to be combined functionality, with leftover baby-level “What about ME?” thinking, and possibly other worldview development that is just barely past where, if they cover their eyes, they think they are hidden.

                No more. One good woman next and, assuredly This time, not just a good pretender. Got eyes open for em now and some knowledge to put them.I

                Also, with us having a heightened awareness of these vampire people, fore-warned is fore-armed.

                OMG. A guy, who I thought of as a friend, told me about being a letch who groomed affair partners for throughout the future.

                He thought I was going to tell him how cool he was, I suppose. I think I scared him.

          • Very similar story Chumperella…..25 years and then “he changed his mind” and “decided to go in a different direction.”

            Co-parenting with him is torture….grey rock is not really working, but not sure how I can go no contact while child is still in school.

            • Ugh! Mehbe, my profoundest sympathies on the endless turdwich that is co-parenting with one of these cretins.

              Mandie; you definitely were right to laugh at the asshole trying to guilt trip you. No matter how much you give, they always feel entitled to more.

        • In a horrible way it gives me so much comfort that so many of you guys have experienced exactly the same thing. I wish you hadn’t but it makes me feel less stupid for refusing to believe he could possibly be cheating.

          Amen to the family thing, the whole thing has been furiously swept under the carpet!!

      • They all think they’re so special for attracting a new garbage Schmoopie, but really they are all the same. The housing ultimatum really caught my eye. My ex told me i could move out, since I wanted the divorce over the affair and he wanted to stay married, or I could pay him all the money in my 401K. I faked wreckonciliation while lawyering up behind the scenes–kept the 401K, the house, and everything in it. Meanwhile the fuckwit cried about how mean and vindictive I was to go behind his back and get a lawyer. My response, “You do realize how mean it was to go behind my back and carry on with your ho-worker. Bad choices have unhappy consequences.”

  • Listen to Chump Lady, ScotsChump, and lawyer up.

    Don’t waste any more time on untangling the skein.

    You can be a terrific mother to your child, but you also need to show your child that his mother won’t be treated like shit.

    DNA is overrated.

    • Lawyer up yes! Seek out a way to keep the house I don’t know how the laws work there, child support and alimony and the house for you and child, let him figure what to do now that he tossed you to the side like refuse.

  • Ok, now on to the serious stuff. Scotschump you are amazing! You kicked that asshole out and hopefully left a boot print on his backside, all while dealing with a small child. Don’t let him threaten you. Hold your head up high and keep taking one step after the other – you’ve got this even if you’re breaking inside!

    • This! The threats will come, so will the blame – all because he is petrified of dealing with the shit storm he created. He has nothing else except threats. Know that you have power. Lawyer up. Fight for what you deserve and don’t back down.

  • NSC, Friend, you have been through so much already. You have so much grief piled on so much more new grief. My heart goes out to you deeply. More than words can express.

    I am remarried. My divorce is many years in my past. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that there is nothing in this world that would make me say or do any of the things that this man has said and done to you.

    If I met the sexiest person in the world and that person flat out offered me sex that includes everything I like best, I would not cheat. If I was facing a devastating loss and immeasurable grief, I would not sneak around behind his back to distract myself from the pain. If I wasn’t attracted to him anymore, and I needed to tell him so, it would be with a heavy heart and deep compassion and it would break my heart to know I was hurting him.

    How do I know all of this? Because I know my character. I am betting you are like me, and you know it, because you, too, know your character. You never would do what he has done. You never could. That’s my guess.

    The fact that he could, and did, and any part of him thinks it is justifiable, is your clear message that he could do it again. And would. In fact, he already is doing it again, by beimg anything less than destroyed over doing it in the first place.

    Your son is the focus now. His dad is his dad only, not your trusted partner. CL’s advice is spot on here.

    Peace to you.

    • Exactly. Sorry, he’s never been a nice person, he’s just been a nice actor. Nice people do have lapses in behaviour, we all do. But nice people don’t cheat behind your back for months, spend thousands on their mistress, expose you to STD,
      blame you for their behaviour and now threaten you!! He’s not remorseful and he doesn’t feel guilty. That’s your explanation. He’s not a nice person, what you see now is his true nature.

      • I had the abandoner in the end. But in between what NSC describes. No intimacy, covert threats, amidst lots of “niceness” — gaslighting, trauma bonding.
        He made sure he would attain the highest results/damage ratio.
        He picked someone from another continent-support network already inexistent. Used this person for respectability/status vis-a-vis family, employer, acquaintances, neighbors.
        From withing the marriage started looking for new supplies, and replacement.
        Once replacement was love bombed and secured, abandonment.

        Oh, such a sensitive man. So sensitive that he sees slights real and perceived, and cannot forget them, so sensitive is he. Such a kind soul. The world is so cruel. And everybody is after him.

        Spouse abandoned in her early 50’s after 14 years. She has to go back to place of origin -place in which she once had job security- to elderly mother and sibling in difficult financial circumstances owing to prior abuse (back then there was hardly any information on this stuff).

        No fault divorce culture and no overall societal sanctioning is the perfect setting for these individuals to operate in.

        Wheras chumps have no protection whatsoever, these individuals enjoy special protection by the law and by society.

        • Agreed. Can you imagine if “no fault” applied to other legal contracts?
          Oh , jerry embezzled 50k? He thought it would make him happy, and you do want jerry to be happy, don’t you (bitter)? Just don’t do business with him anymore and move on, let it go…

          I thought marriage was a real contract. So bogus. Courts and lawyers seem almost annoyed and disinterested. I had not 1 bit 3(!) lawyers tell me to not take it so hard, that this stuff (cheating) just happens all the time.

          So does cancer, but you don’t tell a sick person to just get over it and move along.

          No justice.

          • No fault divorce…. whoever invented that must have been a cheater, because no sane person would ever bring legislation that would allow a betrayal of this magnitude to go unpunished

          • Agreed. The solution to no fault is that everybody should get a pre-nup with infidelity and abuse clauses. If you cheat or abuse your spouse, you should have to pay a material penalty. That’s a legally binding contract, but marriage itself is not.
            I made my cheater pay a huge material penalty by other means, but if I was ever to marry again, I would insist on that pre-nup.

            • It’s the corpus of shared values that makes the norms of a society.

              The fact that pre-nuptials have become even a concept indicates precisely that that society does not hold sanctioning adultery as a shared value.

              • Well said. I have noticed the eloquent way you word your posts and enjoy them immensely.

        • No fault is the worst.
          My county also prioritized “for the kids”. It was a nightmare for me to get my point across.
          It is like eating a shit sandwich over and over throughout the entire process.

    • Great post and great comments. The lying cheater is so sensitive and so full of emotions that you would be cruel not to accept their justifications. But then they will blame you right to your face, along with disgusting verbal assaults, that chumps would never utter to our worst enemies in this world under any circumstances. When you put 2 and 2 together the lying cheat is capable of anything. They were good actors until caught. I learned not to discuss why I’m suffering with the cheater or anyone in her orbit, it’s just providing ammo for manipulation.

    • Thank you, you are absolutely correct. I assumed that our shared trials and trauma bonded us closer, I certainly did over the years. As soon as life got a bit mundane, he was off. Believe me, life on my own, looking after a toddler whilst he worked away, was no picnic but I loved us, our family & everything we fought for.

  • This types of situations make my eye twitch. Sounds so familiar.

    Basically this dude needed a “wife appliance” to raise his kids, keep up the house and in general make him look like a upstanding “family man”. Who the heck knows what gets into their heads?

    Trust Chump Lady when she says, “Trust they suck.” You did nothing to cause HIS poor behavior.

  • I believe he was always a douche and just hid it well. I think true nature will win out, they can not keep the charade going on forever. My ex even said “I was a great husband for 26 years. Don’t base and destroy our whole marriage on the last 2 years.” His affair had been ongoing for 2 years. 🙂 Now that needs to go through the UBT… lol

    • WTF! What did he he think his cheating did to the marriage. Wow…the reasoning never ceases to floor me.

    • My XW said the samething. Don’t throw out the whole marriage because I was unfaithful for 4-5 years in the middle of our marriage. I have been faithful for the last 12 years. One of her affairs lasted 2 years also…

      • I am still in the shock stage of all of this so have never posted but this link is to an essay on lying and it put words to a large part of the fuckedupness that was thrown at me and helped me see what had been done to me. Helped me to realize that FW had lied from the beginning so our relationship never had a chance. Intimacy cannot live in the shadow cast by lies – EVER!
        I can tell you already know this but thought you might like this too.

        http://www.spectacle.org/0500/lies.html

    • Add me to the list of being asked to remember how great a person he was before I found out about the affair.

      Um, NO.

  • 1. ILYBNILWY, check.
    2. Overnight workplace affair, check.
    3. Technology bust, check.
    4. Ultimatum (dance harder or I dance off), check.
    5. Separate sleeping area to “clear head”, check.
    6. Disinterested in child (children), check.
    Do they ever do anything origional?

    • No. They do not. If they ever had an original thought in their head it would perish from loneliness.

      • After D-day and the last few months, I’ve often said that the ex is boring AF and there is nothing original about him. Me, the ex and my stepson visited Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota back in 2014. We went to Devil’s Tower and I was amazed at the formation. Well, and the fact that I witnessed a pair of Peregrine Falcons doing a mid-air food transfer (I can still see it in my head). The ex was like wow, let’s keep moving. No excitement, no wonderment, no awe – nothing.

        They are shallow bodies that take up space.

        • THIS.

          A person needs to be able to have gratitude to be happy. Cheaters lack this ability. That’s why they siphon from others. Then if they aren’t “happy” anymore, it’s your fault

        • Interesting insight. I had the same experience on the Niagra Falls hurricane deck. Ex fumed while the kids and I stood with awe and abandon under the water until we were soaked to our skin. He refused to take our picture and tried to berate us back at the car showing us how dry he was under his poncho. Never mind that we had suitcases full of dry clothes and it was a hot July day. I’m glad he didn’t end up ruining it completely for us. My outdoorsy adult son still says it was one of the best experiences he’s ever had.

          If they don’t enjoy something they try to make it so no one else can. Centrality.

    • This is my ex’s story too. Really nice guy gets new job with toxic sexist work environment, big status and money. Begins his affairs, and as newest and nicest member of the “old boys club”, gets to keep his self-image as a “nice” guy while abandoning his family, cheating on his wife, and spending money on women. When wife finds out, she’s the unattractive b**** who caused the problem because he has to still be “nice” that’s who he is; it has to be her fault. Look up covert narcissist. It’s all about image management, to both the world and to themselves. Now my ex is mad at my 16 year old son for not wanting to spend time with him. He’s an “angry teen” not a kid who was abandoned by his father at age 12 (he moved in with Schoompie right before the divorce and sees the kids every couple of weeks for about 2 hours). Trust that he sucks. Trust that he’s broken. Untangling the skein is impossible when viewed through eyes that are capable of love and commitment. He was always broken. He has no internal moral compass. For the first part of your marriage, he lived by society’s rules of commitment. The minute he found a society that had rules that allowed him to be a douche, he chose those rules. He’s not your tribe. But I hear you. The mind f*** is intense. And there will be Switzerland friends who will give the “nice” guy the benefit of the doubt. It’s taken me 4 years to end some friendships with people who tried to be both of our friends. I get that they are loyal people, and that they are giving him the benefit of the doubt, but it’s too painful. If you are friends with someone who hurt me this badly, you are not my friend.

      • And there will be Switzerland friends who will give the “nice” guy the benefit of the doubt.

        Great point GettingThereSlowly. I’ve had to severe ties with some friends as well. Ties in with the no contact rule. Eventually there will be some get together, that they think it’s okay to invite both of you too. RIC in full force. Nothing wrong with doing what’s right for you and your recovery!

    • Yep, Magneto! My ex did all of those things, too! And for all the FOUR times I questioned him on emails and Facebook Messenger texts — very flirtatious and sent to FOUR different women; they were “just friends”. Nope, snake! The predatory snake was casting a line out to see if someone would take the bait. The whore he’s with now took the bait and the jokes on her as she thinks she with a Boy Scout-type, Christian man with upstanding character.

    • Yup. Check check check check check check on 1 and 3-6, plus the general ‘I’m acting horrible to you even though I’m the one who cheated’. I only missed #2 because the affair wasn’t at work. The more I read ChumpLady, the more I see their highly unoriginal patterns.

    • LMAO! Is there a book they’ve read that has this list in it? I went through it and checked off all the boxes too.

      • dont forget that if they are dishonest in one area of life, they are in multiple. Shore up the finances! they will funnel money off. Mine did. Never found it all, but got some great leverage in the search. Leverage is our currency, what can we do to crack the ‘nice guy exterior’? That is currency for Chumps.

        • “Leverage,” I love the word! That’s what my lawyer called the love poems my ex was writing to Schmoopie. It was leverage because the ex read terrified of Schmoopie’s husband finding out, and it helped my divorce settlement and custody arrangements go through the legal system quickly and without challenge. Leverage is a beautiful thing!

          • Leverage is the golden ticket. It comes in various shapes. I picture it like a Harry Potter Patronis springing from a closet at them. And they stand there with their usual spells trying to put it back in the closet. The mask is off.

            For some it is fear of losing status in the community, loss of money, possible job loss, cover blown, illegal assets, drug use. Whatever it is it behooves chumps to discover it and use it strategically. The key is to not reveal our knowledge. Stealth.

            It worked for me. Took awhile to find it. In 2027 I will send a text to my ex with the last tidbit.

    • I am always amazed when someone posts this list or a similar one. There really has to be a cheater manual somewhere with this list or something very close. The similarities can’t be a coincidence.

  • NewestScotsChump,

    First let me tell you how mighty you are! As someone who was too scared to kick the ex out on my dday, I must say that I envy chumps that lay down the law upon discovery; even if they are dying inside. You know your worth and that is something to celebrate. Trying to figure out why cheaters do what they do is an exercise in futility. With time and very limited contact as you have already implemented you will probably realize that you projected whatever good qualities you thought he had. Most of us are guilty of the same.

    After more than two decades of marriage I had my dday and had a very similar discussion with my ex. (“I love with you but I’m not in love with you; our marriage has been over for years”) Of course the year prior was a year of him devaluing me. I thought aliens invaded his body and when I finally suspected he might be cheating, I checked his phone. I didn’t bother asking him. From what I can gather he was perfectly happy until someone told him he wasn’t and piled on the kibble to feed his needy ego. The OW sussed out his shitty character and turned on the charm and viola, she eventually won the turd. None of that is possible without him being open to it, however.

    It all seems very clear to me now but it wasn’t when I first found out. I really did think he was a pod person or had a brain tumor. Looking back I see the signs I missed, ignored or spackled over. That kind of clarity has come with no contact which is why no or low contact is the only path to the truth and the light.

    Keep being mighty!

    • If aliens are going to steal their brains couldn’t they have the decency to at least take the bodies too?

    • Count me in here, another chump who thought, at first, that cheater had gone through drastic personality change. He’d been through a serious illness so I blamed it on that. Many people who knew him were also very surprised, just as you said, NSC. In the months and years that followed, I began to remember douchy things from the past. At first, I felt they were isolated incidents of douchiness. But eventually I realized he had always been a douche. He just hadn’t always been a douche to me. I didn’t have the skills at a young age to evaluate character like I do now.

      Anyway NSC, hats off to you for not PickMeDancing. And Tracy is absolutely right, stop untangling the skein. Put your mental time and energy into yourself and your son

      • Mine had been through a horrible time in his own life as well, and I thought he was just depressed…except that I kept getting this creepy vibe. I asked him, a diagnosed sex addict, if he was keeping his bottom lines. After a couple of years, I thought to asked if he still had the same ones. Sure enough, he had “changed his bottom lines because he could handle things better now” (what things? don’t ask) andwas back into his total obsession with porn and himself.

        He had a couple of years of trying to be a human who could connect with another human when he was in recovery, and I had hopes, but now the recovery-free revised edition is out and I hear that that was a terrible time for him, he was afraid of sex too (I was afraid because he hurt me; he was apparently afraid because I wanted actual intimacy) and I was “trying to control his sexuality.” Fine, you twisted timid woodland creature, go somewhere else and run freeeee with the sunshine bouncing off your shiny bald head. I refuse to be harmed and treated like a piece of meat anymore. See how many porn stars show up to visit you in the nursing home.

        One of our pets died recently. His observation a couple of days later was, “I don’t think it was as hard for me as it was for you.” No. Because I care.

        I’m staying in the house until I find a job because I don’t want to be homeless, but my lawyer has papers ready to serve.

      • I had several people tell me he must have a brain tumor, or some other ailment, to explain what he did. My experiences and the extent of his abuse have been discounted by well meaning people who cannot – or will not – grapple with the truth of how disordered he is, and who keep telling me he is going to “realize” what he did and regret what’s he lost.

        • I had a physician friend of his tell me, I hope we aren’t missing something organic….but get a lawyer and protect yourself.

    • I ditto too that NewestScotsChump is SUPER MIGHTY! Oh, how I wish I would have told him to leave the night I caught him out on a drinks date with a just days divorced whore/former ho-worker. I was angry enough to have done it and I remember taking off my wedding rings and putting them in his hand, telling him I was done. I had all the power at the time, but chumpy me made the biggest mistake the next day; went to the lying pastor for help and it all went down from there. I gave my power away. I will never do that again!

    • You wouldn’t believe the number of people who have suggested he has a brain tumour. Nope, he’s just a sh*t.

      You are completely right with the not being happy claim, he was switched on, content and immersed in our life till the option of getting a bit of strange became a real possibility.

  • Contracting an STD is a significant sign that married office schmoopie is not the only OW. My ex had many affairs and visited prostitutes and only picked up an STD once-when he forgot to take a condom with him on his weekly massage parlor visit.
    NSC, protect yourself legally and give no place for Mr. Always Been a Douchebag to return to you.

    • Yes. And here’s the thing. The real psychos really are that good at acting. My first cheater there were red flags ( or at least pink to orange) that I knew later I had spackled over. But my second cheater? I had no idea. I had no reason to doubt him ever. In fact, I had a mountain of reasons to think he was the greatest guy ever. If the universe hadn’t just dropped irrefutable evidence into my unsuspecting lap–I’d be married to him right now. And he too was a complete double lifer with prostitutes and the most despicable things. He was home at five every night. Attentive, loving, considerate. You can truly not know how demented they are.

      • Very good actors! The ex once stole money from a church to pay off a mistress who could have exposed him (he was a Reverend). When he got caught he managed to convince a room full of grown men, who knew the woman was a mistress, that he wasn’t paying her off to keep her quiet. He was just “so compassionate” and saw her family’s need and was compelled to care for her.

        • Maybe the prostitutes are an indicator they’re super dysfunctional and farther down the Cluster B spectrum. My second Ex seemed to be a much better guy than my first. But he was just a better actor. Just after a year, I found out he would f’ anyone, was dishonest in business, pathological liar, compulsive spender and abusive too.

  • I’m sure Chump Lady is right that my ex was probably a bit of a douche right from the beginning, and I couldn’t see it but…
    He did actually change as he grew older, in clearly definable ways. For instance, one of the reasons I married him was that he was so very kind. He used to break horses for a living, and never lost his temper with them. I used to watch him in the field with them. and day after day he’d be endlessly patient, and so gentle. Twenty years later he was swearing at them and using a whip. Maybe screwing around behind your wife’s back sours your character slowly but steadily?

      • OK so I admit I’m going to do a little untangling. (But ultimately, even though it’s natural to wonder how this wonderful person we thought we knew so well could change into such a douche, it doesn’t matter how they got there because TRUST THAT THEY SUCK.)

        I too was certain I’d never be cheated on. Because the Python told me HE’D been cheated on by his ex-wife. (I later did detective work and confirmed with a friend of ex-wife that she did indeed cheat on him). I was also love-bombed during the early years we were together. So I was knocked almost breathless on D-Day #1. He had been so loving!

        In this situation, two things were going on.

        Through detective work I found that many of the good works he’d claimed to have done were bogus: he was a liar from the start, albeit an astoundingly good one (narcissists lie so much, they become masters at it). He played the part of a super nice, good guy. Great acting/lying.

        But hygiene changes and echolalia (repeating the last words of ads on TV – so bizarre) and a significant increase in both weight and impulsive buying (hoarder level, with one of the extra bedrooms, most of the basement, and most of the garage being filled with his crap) helped me to realize he also has frontotemporal dementia – FTD. This kind of dementia usually strikes young, most often in 50-somethings, but it can start even younger than that. Memory loss doesn’t come until later; the weird behavior changes occur first.

        Here’s more on FTD:
        https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1201/p1372.html

        Even though he’s a demented narcissist, the Python is not legally incompetent. People with both conditions (even people with FTD, in the early years) KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG. But they don’t feel troubled by doing things they know are wrong. To put it scientifically, their brains ain’t right. Nothing to work with here. It took me awhile (like a second D-Day) but I get it now.

        • Oh and knittedrobin, the Python had what I thought was the sunniest disposition for many years but he started to get crabby around the time he started the first affair (at least, I think it was the first!). Maybe it was the typical narc devalue phase, or maybe an early sign of FTD. But it doesn’t matter why. I trust that he sucks.

        • Interesting information about FTD. I’ve long thought that there was a psychological component to my EX’s issues. I think he was a liar from the day I met him, but I think he also kept a lot of behaviors in check for the first 6-8 years I knew him–not just because he wanted to con me but because he genuinely imagined himself as the sort of man who’d be happily married But over time his sense of entitlement blossomed and his interest in doing the hard work of adulting declined–some of it just felt like he was giving in to all kinds of selfishness, but some of it was pointless and so damaging to himself that it was baffling. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he suffers from this kind of dementia (some aspects of it–like the hoarding and hygiene issues are exact matches to his behavior). However, he is not my problem to solve any longer.

  • First of all, you need a serious lawyer on this. He cannot change at a whim things that are jointly held in the marriage, like locks or passwords. Your lawyer needs to disabuse him of this notion and ideally serve him at work with divorce papers. Don’t play his game at all. Simply do not. Document literally everything he says or does, especially if it’s remotely ”threatening” and let your lawyer make hay.

    He will not want to be humiliated at work, you could make that happen. You wouldn’t, but you could.

  • Your not alone Newest, they are all the same. Been there done that, not just once. Must be a book of most hurtful things to say to chumps, cause they all say the same crap. He will threaten u with what he’s gonna do and what’s gonna happen. He’s an idiot, don’t believe him. Sell the house? No you and your son will need a place to live, oh and he’s gonna pay for it. Get a lawyer, go for the gusto.
    Oh, and he’s gonna change his mind. Comes out of the fog, finds out he’s not gonna walk away clean. Want to come home, remembers he loves you, your not so bad, will even say need to save fmly for ur son. Be prepared, ready and know your worth cause the cards are in your hand to make the call. Your stronger than you think, you may be broken now. But ur a mom, and u will find unknown strength to overcome.

    • Oh yes! The beg back… For the kids. For old time sake.
      He has shown you who he is.. Just believe him.

    • Thank you. Unfortunately and in some ways fortunately I have screenshots of over 200 creepy messages they sent each other. Lots of it sexual which destroys my soul but a lot of it bathing in self pity about how I have abandoned him to go to the football (twice a month!) and how “the Mrs just has no interest in me, sad but I guess that’s how life goes.”

      If I ever felt like getting back with him (never gonna happen) a quick flick through the screenshots would sort me out.

  • NSC,

    I feel your pain. I thought I had a perfect marriage as well. Was the caretaker for my wife while she battled bladder cancer over three years. Was there with her for all four surgeries (sleeping on the chair in the hospital room), all of the other endless doctor appointments and treatments (sacrificing promotions and moving up the corporate ladder).

    Several years after her recovery I started my own business and she took a job to provide healthcare. She had been a stay at home Mom and had a pretty good life. Yoga classes, coffee with friends, yes raising the kids is hard, but I was super involved with the kids, provided a good income, we had great vacations, I was a Scoutmaster, we were involved at church, I thought we had a great life. Three months into her new job, as near as I can tell, she was in an emotional affair which quickly escalated to a full blown affair.

    Anyway, I’ll spare you the whole story, but I spent years trying to figure it out and reconcile and analyze. I posted yesterday on all of this being a circular equation. You cannot solve for X. You will drive yourself crazy. Sad part is your NC revels in this. It gives them kibbles to stoke their ego. They simply do not care at a level you do. Maybe at one point they did or maybe they didn’t – more analyzing to try and solve the circular equation……. CL always has the best advice. Rule # 1 – No contact, Rule # 2 – See rule # 1. You will only get better by focusing on your future and having more passion for what is to come than what damage has been done to you. I have to say as well, don’t hold out hope for a lawyer that will somehow make this better. From my experience it is a money making machine that could care less about what is right or wrong. Oh, you’re hurt and feel like you should get more. Tell me more about that……. Translation – billable hours. The lawyers and judges don’t care because they hear this all the time and most of them are certified narcissists as well.

    In the end it’s a big shit sandwich that you have to eat. Don’t listen to ANY well meaning friends or family that haven’t been where you are and try to tell you how great it will be if you can work it out somehow. The RIC is an illusion and you will lose valuable time and give up space in your mind that is better spent on YOUR recovery. Not trying to figure out what piece of the whole shit sandwich was your part in it – Again circular equation and more kibbles for your NC.

    Come to this site and read the collective experiences of us all and the great advice from Chump Lady. You hit the mother load by finding this site early on. I wish I had and I know many here feel the same way. Stay strong and – “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” — Ayn Rand

    • Oh, my gosh! I love that Ayn Rand quote!!!! I’ writing that one down as it’s so powerful!!!

    • Your post motivated and inspired me to schedule another consultation. I’m scared the attorneys will eat me up for lunch and force a crippling contested divorce. It’s not the retainer I’m worried about, it’s lawyers having an easy mark to drag this out for billable hours. With our assets we could keep the sharks busy for a year or two.
      I’m getting a coach to try to help me get an uncontested divorce settlement. I’ve accepted getting a shit sandwich deal regardless, but I hope to keep the sharks out of the feeding frenzy too. Anyway it has to be worth a try before this gets ugly because the outcome I cannot live with is lose everything and go into debt.

      • Also a far-right nutjob and a bigot who disowned her son because he was gay. What a total hypocrite with all her veneration of individual liberty. Apparently that doesn’t include the freedom to be gay. That’s always the way with the alleged individual liberty worshippers, in my experience. They really mean it’s for them as individuals, not for all individuals. It’s freedom for ME and people like ME. That explains the cheating, too. The rationalization is; “I get to cheat for the sake of MY freedom. You, you pathetic chump, don’t, because you are inferior and don’t deserve freedom.”

    • I know it’s been said here, many times, by other women chumps but it bears repeating: I am wildly grateful for all the male chumps who post here. You guys add so much to the forum and remind me daily that it’s cheating is not the domain of one sex. Thank you.

  • Wow! That brings back memories. Ex’s version of ILYBINILWY was “I love you but I’m just not ‘passionate’ about you”. This came after DDay. I was pick me dancing so I didn’t say what I was thinking but my thought was “of course you aren’t you idiot, you went and ruined it by fucking strange”.

    I also thought we had a generally good marriage until the last couple of years before DDay when he just wasn’t treating me or the kids very well. The bottom really dropped out about a year before DDay to the point where I was wondering what I should do about it. Would he agree to marriage counseling? Should I look into divorce? But I loved him and thought he was just going through a stressful time in his life. It certainly never occurred to me to go off chasing strange dick to solve my problems. I now know that Schmoopie 1.0 (the one before the DDay Schmoopie) coincided almost exactly with when the bottom first seemed to have dropped out. Before that I suspect an emotional affair with a woman who did not live nearby so it probably didn’t go physical although there is a possibility that it might have once. I doubt I will ever know, but I now know that when the person you thought loved you suddenly starts acting like a jerk that’s a huge red flag for infidelity. It isn’t their discontentedness that causes the affairs, it’s the affairs that cause their discontentedness with the spouse. Same old, same old just isn’t satisfying when new and shiny is available. Never mind what filth is under that shine.

    As for why it happens? Weak character. They don’t really have a strong sense of self and so are easily influenced by others. He thinks his narc trice married bosses are great and wants to fit in. He thinks fucking his married coworker makes him more likely to be accepted by the old farts he is trying to impress. These people are sad and pathetic. It’s like they never left middle school.

    Finally I will parrot what others have said. Find a good lawyer and get out ASAP before he has a chance to organize his shittiness.

    • This>>>>”They don’t really have a strong sense of self and so are easily influenced by others.” That is my ex to a T! A few months after D-day, I was so confused as the person who was standing in front of me (the cheater) was a totally different person then he was a few months before. I remember asking him, “Who are you?” And he replied, “I don’t know.” My ex can fit easily into any social situation; he’s a chameleon like that. He’s played many, many acting roles over the years, so of course he doesn’t know who he is. Well, I know who he is. I know he’s a pathological lying, serial cheating, porn addicted masturbator/Canadian strippers fxcker, wife slanderer and he sucks. He’s also one of the greatest actors in the world and deserves many Academy Awards.

      • Martha, were we married to the same guy?? Mine was a self-described “chameleon”, and considered it an asset. Perhaps it is. The only difference is that he was in the USA. The ONLY difference.

        • Oh, my ex-cheater lives in the USA too! We live in a city close to the Canadian border, so he’d cross the border to Canada, because in Canada the strippers are 100% naked. He went by himself and at the time I was pregnant and we had a one year old son. I never knew he was doing this until years later. Oh, and in Canada you can get lap dances (he did), blow jobs and have sex with the strippers for the right price. I have no doubt in my mind that he did all of the above, because one day years after this, I asked him, “If someone offered to have sex with you, would you say yes?” And his exact words were, “HELL, YES!” and he said that with a big, gigantic smile on his face. I was stunned when he said that, but of course there weren’t women out there wanting to have sex with married me (heavy sarcasm). Stupid me! I should have run for my life so many times!

          • To be clear, paying for sex is illegal in Canada. Being a prostitute in and of itself is not, but paying for it and pimping are. The law is just not being enforced in those border stripclubs, probably because U.S. tourist $$$ are so important. It’s sickening. They do regular john sweeps in big cities but the provincial police tend to leave those more isolated border clubs alone. I’ve often wondered if they have been bribed. The worst of them are in Quebec, and the SDQ (Quebec provincial cops) don’t have a great reputation.

            • Yeah, I know it’s illegal to pay for sex in Canada and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised that bribery to the cops, etc was involved. My exes “Christian” best friend/best man said to me after I told him all my ex had been up to — “strip clubs are just entertainment.” No. Going to strip clubs and getting lap dances, bj’s and sex with strippers is not just entertainment. It’s adultery. I was in shock when he said that to me and I didn’t have a good comeback. Now I wish I would have said to his “Christian” friend, “Would you take Jesus to a strip club?” And recently I watched a documentary about human trafficking and lots of those strippers are being trafficked. That’s what those perverts are supporting. Modern day slavery for sex.

              • Oh, my cheater insists these women are doing sex work because they want to. Really, he didn’t contribute at ALL to the problem of sex trafficking. Oh, and all those sex workers who insist THEY make their Johns use condoms? According to STBX, he was able to convince all the hookers he paid to do it without a condom. Money can convince those who are hungry and/or needing to pay their rent. Hello, HPV.

                He is also a really good guy. Or at least that is what he tells himself. And he was faithful to me for “17 whole years!” out of our 26 year marriage. Somebody further up said it best: he became discontented with our marriage when he started having the affair, not the other way around.

              • Totally! It’s a vile industry. The girls that aren’t trafficked are often doing it to pay for a drug habit and I’ve heard some have track marks visible all over them. The creeps who patronize these clubs couldn’t care less. Men who go to these places are disgusting misogynists who like having women sexually enslaved. No genuine follower of the teachings of Christ would ever go to such an evil place. “Entertainment” my ass. If it’s “entertaining”, then so is a slave auction.

      • Yeah! My ex would not only change to fit different social situations, but he also had the ability to change his voice and regional accent. He moved us all over the Eastern us b/c of his scams and affairs. He could talk and act like whoever he was with where ever he was. He just had to change rooms and could go from one guy to a different guy. It really is disturbing now that I look back on it.
        They’re all snakes.

      • I said to my ex: “your capacity to lie is truly terrifying”

        He replied (without looking up from his tablet): “I know”.

  • NewestScotsChump, you are amazing and making the right moves. I know my douchebag stayed in my spare room for much too Long while he contentemplates the easiest way out

    But he was such a great guy…

    You are pretty fresh in all of this. You will start to see things and discover things as you go along. I think CL says it best: ‘Maybe you projected decency on to him that never existed?’… sounds very familiar. Take away the decent half of the equation and the scum starts to surface… I think I protected the rest of the world from my ex-douchebag… at the time I didn’t realise I was doing all the heavy lifting by ensuring he looked like a considerate, funny, great all-round guy.

  • His new job probably exposed him to cheater town and it was way too easy to like it or resist it. My husband’s circle of friends were all exposed to me as cheaters, eventually. After my DD I actually was afraid of him. He’d become a nasty stranger. I told him I wanted my real husband back. Alas, once they shed the skin, an ugly sneaky cheater is all that is left. Like snakes.

    • Yep! After he read me The Divorce Letter, I was afraid of him. I remember talking on the phone with my sister, and telling her I was afraid of him. She asked me why and I said I didn’t know. He just scared me. When the mask drops for good and the skin is shed, you are right! All that’s left is an ugly, sneaky cheater.

      One of my favorite memories is when my sister called him a snake; she saw him for who he is before I did. Later when he left for the day, he sneered at my sister and said to her something like, “I’m a snake.” He didn’t like being called out on who he is, since he truly believes that he’s this awesome, great catch that has the “perfect personality to be in a relationship with”.

      • I slept with my pepper spray for a few months after he was gone and I realized just how evil he was.

    • Same! It was scary to see what lay under the skin and trying to reconcile for that 6 months, after being separated and gaining my sanity back for 6 months before that, really messed with me. I thought nothing could mess with me more than the devaluation/discard that happened when his affair was going on. But seeing it meant I could never unsee it. It’s like that song. He’s now just somebody that I used to know. *chills*

  • They are all the same. I could have just been reading my own story. It never fails to shock my how unoriginal they all are.

    This is something that I’ve struggled with too. I still have very regular nightmares about how he changed as soon as I found out and how much he changed. I think it’s what I’ve struggled to cope with the most, the loss of the person I thought I knew.

    My ex has just this weekend announced he’s left his OW 15 months after abandoning me and my kids, and spent how whole 3 day visit to the kids (he moved 5 hours away) begging me to take him back. Not a chance in hell.

    • Whoa. It’s funny how I carried the fantasy for a while that he would just come crawling back. Now, the idea that he would ever do this to me as was done to you just makes me feel nauseous.

      I want that relationship to crash and burn, so that I can feel vindicated and know that my kids never need to be around her, but I don’t want him back.

      I want him to be very much alone for a good long time so that he can feel what it’s like to tolerate himself and know what a challenge that truly is.

      • Optionnomore, I’ve had literal nightmare that he’s moved back and won’t leave. It actually feels so fantastic to not want him. The things you want for your ex is the future I too want my ex to suffer. I’m sure my ex will live happily ever after with her – but who knows? Even if they are miserable with the AP, I bet they often don’t leave them for the fear of being alone or ‘having done it for nothing’. I won’t wait for the Karma Bus.

        • Sugar Clit left me for a Partner Predator. She even knew all about Sparkle Dick 3 years prior. But she’s special and so great and believes she’s the one. Oh Sparkle Dick has 5 kids with 3 women and we have 4 kids. So picture that house. Lol. Once our divorce is final in a few weeks it will be only a matter of time before he leaves her. He’s done this 5 times now according to his ex wife. I really hope it happens soon for the safety of my 10 year old son & 7 year old daughter. I’ve prepared myself for that moment and can’t wait to tell her to go fuck herself. It should be epic and then she’ll know what it’s like to be alone like us Chumps.

  • I can just add, me too.
    It still shocks me the someone can go from bring s good partner, friend and parent to a cheating, lying ass. But it seems all too common.

    I keep trying to trust he sucks. 5 months out it’s apparent he’s just not the person I thought he was and he’s not worth my time.

  • First, it’s his disgusting character oozing out and second, you’ve already guessed that his peers are dirtbags. We tend to behave like the people we associate with and if I had to guess my bet would be he swims with sharks in suits. Chumplady is right- he’s probably very shallow and likes to place value on superficial things and compare women like they’re commodities or tools to suit him (or not). If he’s in sales he’s probably been trained to tell people (you) what they want to hear, too, which might be why you thought he was great before. He sold you until he decided he wanted to be the buyer. Maybe if he verbally beats you up you’ll lower your price? Or maybe if he sweet talks you you’ll cut him a deal?
    You aren’t for sale, but you know what is? A divorce lawyer’s advice. Hire the best one you can, consider it an investment in your future (which is going to be much brighter once you ditch the dirtbag), know your worth and focus on creating a joyful life for yourself and your precious son.

  • When cheating was easily available to him, his true nature won out. I’m sorry that you need to deal with him for the sake of your son. Continue to demonstrate honesty, integrity and dignity for his sake. Carry on with the divorce with your head held high. You didn’t seek strange and he would love it if you did because he could say, “See! You are no better than me!”

    So carry on with your mighty self. Better days lay ahead without a cheater and his flavor of the week harming you and your child.

  • Holy shit that’s my story just no kids. Blindsided…17 years and I felt the same way about him. When this happened I found this site and read it for days. I thought now way I belong here, my husband isn’t like these other cheaters! He made a mistake, he’s sorry begged my forgiveness. Surely we can go to counseling and work on our marriage and make it stronger than before. After all he was the love of my life.
    Well it’s been just over a year now and look where I am… here on what has been my SAVING GRACE! Believe it when they say TRUST THAT HE SUCKS! Turns out he is just like all the other cheaters.
    Cheater free since August… I’m not saying anything new here, it’s the toughest battle I’ve been through And nowhere near meh but with all the support here and all around me it’s getting better. Fake it till you make it.

    • Bo, I am longing for the day when I get to your stage. Hearing your progress gives me hope!

      • You might make a list of the things you love and hate about him. The things he did that were loving, those that were not. You might find yourself struggling to remember the last time he did anything that made you happy or showed you his love. That’s what I found when I made a list. Almost everything that was good about him; I had not experienced in a looong time. It will help you detach

  • People with Avoidant Attachment styles are great as long as a relationship is ideal. But their actual bonds to another person are shallow, and thus easily broken if (a) too much is demanded of them, such as after a new baby; (b) the relationship becomes inconvenient; or (c) they find a More Ideal relationship (ideal in their cataract-ridden eyes).

    That is as much untangling the skein as you may get. Hang in there, ScotsChump, you are awesome (but in for a roller coaster ride, so line up your social support). Hugs&

      • This is perfect.

        Once a relationship is an inconvenience, they need to rid themselves of one.

        My father never stopped trying to murder us.

    • Thanks Tempest, this makes so much sense. Assholio was a lovely human being while we were a dual-income household and he was getting all his needs met. However, throw in a SAHM, a colicky baby, building a house, and my mom having cancer, and he couldn’t deal. I just couldn’t understand why our family meant so little to him, but this helps explain it. “When the going gets tough, the fucktards run away”

    • Oh wow Tempest. Thank you – that about sums it up. The rest is trying to make sense of the disorder, which will never make sense to those of us who are loyal, loving, bonded, etc.

  • ScotsChump…Believe me that I feel your pain. I too was married to a really nice guy who seemed so logical, possessed quiet strength, etc. He left me to be with the OW sixteen months ago, and everyone is still reeling from what he’s done with his life. There isn’t a single member of either of our families or any of his friends don’t think he has lost his mind because what he has done appears so out of character..

    Except that maybe it isn’t.

    I wish I could say that he’ll get better eventually. Mine still often treats me as if I am the one who did the cheating, as if something is really wrong with me (and that messes with my head royally). Just yesterday, I sent him a text inquiring about our son’s missing school project at about 1:00 in the afternoon, and he has yet to bother with a reply. I’ll take that as a no to the project being at his house then.

    There is more coming your way because it doesn’t yet sound like he’s poured out the revisionist history yet. That’s a special brand of evil. If you haven’t yet, you are soon going to become the worst possible wife in existence. He’ll flounder between saying that you are a great mother and good person in general to then completely slandering your good name. How controlling you were. How self-centred you are. How you paid no attention to him. How demanding you were around the fertility issues and treated him like he was just donated sperm. How you never had anything in common. How you forced him into a life he never wanted. Etc.

    What I have come to realize is that I think my ex always had these selfish (almost narcissistic tendencies); he just didn’t turn it on me while he believed himself in love with me. Oh no. When he thought he loved me, I was lovebombed just as much as the OW he just left me for. As my ex’s professional life took him in new directions, he decided that his whole life needed a new direction that absolved him of as much mundane responsibility as possible in order for him to pursue his greatness (and “happiness”). It was always in him, but now simply magnified because he is a grown man with a mess of adulting that he is reneging on so his actions are far more epic.

    But, you are doing way better that I was at the stage you are in now. Keep on your course and shut him down. There is no redemption at this point. It’s is so very sad. I still hold out hope that my ex will one day turn himself around, not to be with me but to just be a decent person again for the sake of the kids. However, that is not the focus of my life as I’ve got ME to be doing and my kids need me.

    Hang in there. Hugs.

    • Yes mine sat and whinging about how much more money he would have and how much more awesome,he would be if he didnt have the children and I.
      Maybe he has more money. I do t know but I sure do!
      He’s definitely not awesome. In fact he’s miserable and every time I’m cursed to have to speak to him. It’s patently clear.

  • This post reminds me of how exh2/The Evil One would look me in the eye, swear on our wedding vows, our Autistic daughter’s life, his deceased great-grandmother’s grave, his recently-deceased grandmother’s grave that he loved only me, he wasn’t cheating, there wasn’t anyone else, he just “wasn’t happy”.
    Meanwhile, he had blocked me on all social media accounts, some I didn’t even know he had, posting pics of him and schmoopie and her two kids in the throes of Tru Wuv.
    Even during wreckconciliation this was going on, GTFO-day was a few weeks later.

    • I meant to add that TEO was then and forever shall be a douchebag. I just spackled like a boss all those years.

    • They LOVE to swear on their closest friends and family bodies don’t they?! Mine did the same thing. Further proof that they ONLY LOVE THEMSELVES and everyone else is just in the way. Pieces of shit. I wouldn’t swear on the body of my worst enemy if I was lying- let alone my parents, children, etc.

      • Not me either!!! I’ve always been the one to say, “I swear to God…” but my preacher-wife friend has corrected me enough to now say, “I *promise*…”
        Used to be our word was good enough without the extra

  • Yes, he was always a douche. It’s early days now, but in the months and years to follow you will have flashes of insight, remember missing time, strange credit card balances, someone you met with him that set off your spidey-sense. He didn’t become suddenly an unprincipled git, he always was, but the combination of their acting abilities and our projection abilities they can keep acts up for a very long time.

  • So many stories here are so similar. I was married for 34 years thinking that we were connected living a good life together but I was wrong. After he met the Owhore then everything changed. I was in denial ignoring red flags but when I caught them together I was done.
    No matter how long or short our marriages were we have to love ourselves & leave the terrible person they really are. Let the Owhore have him. They deserve each other.
    Bless everyone here at CN for are mighty 💪🏼

  • Wow!! This story is deja vu. Takes the job traveling, finds Mr. Schmoopie the serial man whore, blames Chumpman. They really aren’t that different.

  • You guys are utterly amazing! Thank you so much for providing me with a space to work this sh*t out and get some much needed clarity.

    I managed to get in touch with her husband and filled him in. They had separated at Christmas as a result of all the time she was spending at work!! Like me he had no idea and confronted her, prepare yourselves for this chumps…such is her guilt about her affair she’s had to seek counselling!! She comes from a broken family and is no worried she’s helped to break up another family. Complete BS.

    She also boasted on her LinkedIn account that she was nominated for an award as secretary of the year. An email to the organisers with regard to the fraud & financial mismanagement (paying for hotels on company credit cards/booking my ex on to courses he didn’t need to be on to get him down to her work) has hopefully put an end to that!

    Schmoopie owes me nothing, he broke his vows to me; however one of the messages she sent him said she particularly enjoyed how wrong the whole situation was. A true lady.

    I’ve got a lawyer and despite almost daily attempts to get me to meet with him, i’m Keeping all contact to email, except pick up and drop off for my son.

    All your thoughts, comments & experiences are greatly appreciated x

    • You are mighty!! Such clarity and decision – I’m in awe. I was a blubbering mess for few months.

      This is the truth and says exactly what they are, “she particularly enjoyed how wrong the whole situation was.” Counseling, tears, broken family mean nothing. I hope the OW”s husband realizes that she knew exactly what she was doing, every step of the way. None of this was by accident or problems due to FOO.

    • My ex told me that OW “cried all the time at how guilty she felt.” As though this was evidence of what a sensitive, conscientious person she is. It just left me completely agog that he bought that.

      OW is now Whore Wife to my ex. I don’t know how it happened, I really don’t. I am glad to be rid of both of them, though.

      • Oh, I got one. When OW and her Chump husband were searching info about me via ICloud (and ICloud promptly sent me notifications), I complained to my now XH.

        His reply??? “I KNOW it is not the OW checking up on you… … I know the high caliber of woman she is!”

      • Liz, I got the same damn line. Yep, see what a great person she is, she feels such guilt.

    • “An email to the organisers with regard to the fraud & financial mismanagement (paying for hotels on company credit cards/booking my ex on to courses he didn’t need to be on to get him down to her work) has hopefully put an end to that!”

      I really hope they call the cops on her for that too. Getting charged for fraud and possibly a fine/jail time also looks great on LinkedIn.

      “Schmoopie owes me nothing, he broke his vows to me; however one of the messages she sent him said she particularly enjoyed how wrong the whole situation was. A true lady.”

      Wow. She’s truly slug slime, but not as useful. At least she is shiny!

      “I’ve got a lawyer and despite almost daily attempts to get me to meet with him, i’m Keeping all contact to email, except pick up and drop off for my son.”

      Stick to that. If you haven’t done so already, seriously consider making the pick-up/drop-off at a public place where DumbAss is less likely to cause a scene. The local police station, for instance. Or if it takes place at home, it’s great to have a friend, neighbor or family member witnessing the exchange. That way you can rock the mighty and he has less of an opportunity to try and test your resolve.

      • Sorry, I think I was a bit vague and I didn’t mean to be. I hope the company that employs her has her charged.

        I want him to face consequences too, but mostly I want you and your son to be provided for as well as financially possible.

    • NSC, Good job! Use that lawyer. Your stbx is surely being coached by one to get you to cave.

  • Scotschump, you are describing almost exactly what happened to me. So sorry for your shock, and I am not going to lie, it hurts and hurts.

    Let me tell you what happens if you don’t believe ChumpLady, don’t do what she says and try to understand him and love him better, because you had that bond!

    You do what I did. You waste the next 7 years of your life being abused, because he really IS what CL says: uninvested, unattached, contemptuous, blaming, deceitful and he just wants you OFF HIS CASE (but dont impose consequences and carry on doing the nannying and house stuff. And shut up).

    Secretary might go, but there will be another one in the next 7 years, probably overlapping secretary, and some sex workers, and another one (p overlapping).

    Don’t waste your time. This heartbreak is real and this is OVER. He isn’t who you thought he was. He is not going to examine himself and change. File.

  • “No one knows the ways of douchebags. Nature, nurture, bro culture. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the creature that stands before you now — and that guy sucks.”

    My gawd, YES! Don’t untangle the skein. You can clearly see the turd before you. Act on the reality that has now been presented. My divorce will be finalized next month. D-Day was in November, and I acted fast thanks to the Chump Lady and the Chump Nation community. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders the day I filed for divorce and then again when he moved out.

    Trust that he sucks. The only regrets I’ve seen from fellow chumps is that they didn’t act sooner. You went through IVF, which tells me you are a planning and dedicated individual. Get a lawyer, get a plan, and GET OUT of this marriage. You deserve so much better. ❤

  • My STBXH has never once contacted me .
    No fake apology no ILYBINILWY absolutely nothing . ( well except when he thought I was at work and he came round for a snoop then he just started calling me a fucking bitch cause I wound not let him in the house )
    As soon as I found out he packed and went to live with her .
    You are strong just keep telling yourself that that’s what I tell myself every day ( I am 7 weeks since DDay )

  • I lived this story. Never could woulda shoulda ever suspected my ex to turn into a person like this. But he did, and he has remained that way. I think success and prestige goes to their head…both of them.

  • Scotschump, you are one MIGHTY LADY! You are doing everything right so far. I sure wish I would have found Chump Lady right away as I would have avoided so many mistakes. But live and learn I guess. And I ditto what so many others have said — he’s always been a douche. You just didn’t see it as he hid this side of him from you. I can now look back at my 23 years with the cheater and I can now see many, many times when he was a douche, cheater, scumbag, etc. That’s where the spackling, denial and pick me dancing came into play for me. I tried my best to not untangle the skein of fxckupedness, but in the early days I would get hit with a memory and it was like, “Oh, my gosh! That’s what that meant!” or “He was cheating then!” Maybe you’ll have those moments too and you’ll see he was a douche all along. Oh, and my ex took a job that he told me that he “had to work late two nights a week (7:00am to midnight) to impress the boss and keep his job”. Nope! I don’t believe it anymore. He got fired from one job, because he was having an affair with a co-worker. Took the new crap job, because no one wanted to hire him. And then told me he “had to work late”. Nope! He was still seeing the whore/soulmate from the job he got fired from and those late nights he was with her. I can’t prove any of this and I know he will deny this all until his dying day. But the signs were all there. These cheaters are all the same and I’m rarely shocked anymore what I read on CL and CN.

  • “On it all coming out, he claims that he told me he didn’t find me attractive so he could move into our spare room

    Saying “I’m moving into our spare room” just seemed too hurtful and sudden. So, he thought he’d critique your fuckability instead. He’s considerate like that.”

    This…this part of my story…the part where he is doing horrible things and deals with the guilt by saying horrible soul raping horrible things to me because something about that is supposed to help something?

    It took me YEARS of skein-untangling to grasp the real …that he hurt me unmercifully to spare himself the discomfort of telling me the truth. I am years out and oddly past the point where I care who he fucked when he was alive (my reticence is likely fueled by the fact that he is dead) but that particular moment of mean is something I will never understand.

    • It’s just cowardice. I mean how weak are you that after being found out for what is clearly a profoundly horrible thing you have done to attack and twist the knife and be so awfully vile. Those things haunt me way way beyond the affair and then trying to feign ‘nice’ on the rare occasions I see him. But he is terrified all the same seeing me is holding a mirror up to his actions. It’s sickening. We are here cause we cannot imagine that behaviour. When backed into a comer people lash out but this stuff is dark. I have never experienced anything so traumatic in my life.

      • I am with you. Although I am meh about him, I may NEVER be meh about what he did, why he did it and how he did it.

        • THIS.

          We were the living mirror to my father’s treacherous actions.
          And he never stopped trying to murder us.

          And now my ex did his own treacherous thing.

          People should only do the deeds whose weight they are able to carry.

  • I am always amazed when someone posts this list or a similar one. There really has to be a cheater manual somewhere with this list or something very close. The similarities can’t be a coincidence.

    • The underlying theme is that all of our cheaters are exceptional liars and actors. Beyond that I’m untangling skein but they appear to have a need for themselves and others to believe their actions were justifiable. To convince others, they must lie and they do so shamelessly.

    • You are SO RIGHT. They are all legit carbon copies of each other. It’s SICK. I’m SICK thinking about how VILE a human being can be.

  • NewScotsChump,
    You have come to the perfect place for advice, CL, CN!
    You sound pretty mighty to me already.
    Keep going toward the light.

    I understand the heartache in all you have been through!
    Big giant hugs to you and your precious little one!

    Always remember it was NEVER anything you did, or anything you didn’t do.
    It was always him!

    Xxxxxxxxx
    peacekeeper

  • CN-CL: it’s a real survival kit.
    You’re doing it, NSC.
    Welcome to the pack.
    None of us wanted to be here, but what’s going down on this site- it’s as real as it gets.
    Years of experience. Wisdom. Lots of humor.
    Compassion.
    Self-care>mental noise about him
    You’re going to heal from this.

  • This is perhaps what hurts the most for me. My ex hates me. He hates me because I decided to no longer be a chump and he hates the consequences of his actions therefore hates me. I can say honestly. I don’t hate him. I feel sorry for him because I know he’s disordered and he won’t get any help. I try not to internalize his hate of me- something I work with my therapist on- because us normal folks feel, you know. I hurt that the man I loved and had a child with is in such bad shape and can’t see it. But I can’t let that affect anymore. It’s hard because he is absolutely a horrific human being right now- everyone tells me give him space and time- it’s only been a few months since the divorce is final you have to get into your grooves and maybe co-parenting will become manageable once he comes to terms. But I don’t think he’ll ever come to terms. He still puts blame on me and doesn’t feel it was all that bad and he was somewhat justified because of prior issues in our marriage. Basically he considers us even! You broke my financial trust and fixed it all but it’s ok that I cheated on you for 5 years – it’s the same – nothing to complain about here. It’s the skein that cant be untangled- the what happened to him- where did he go- looking back – asshat husband was there the whole time- I was just too busy being mom and wife to do anything about it. So I have no hope that it’ll get better – so all I can do I accept that the good is gone and accept what is and be the bigger person.

    • Keep the contact as minimal as you can. You share a child – do you use a shared online calendar? Grey rock with emails – just bare facts.

      The less contact you have with him, the less mental real estate he will take up in your head. And the more you invest in yourself and gaining a life, the less he will matter.

    • Mine too. So angry, with ME. And that is so maddening. All the little snippets my daughter comes home saying that are right out of his mouth. It is just so disordered how he has rewritten this script and is wandering around in mega love with Schmoopie making sure it’s known to everyone. Douche o rama though right, not the actions of a sane 45 year old man who has just left his family. He is a joke. I am also aware he will continue to hurt me when it suits and I literally trust him with nothing. The lies came easy I wonder how many lies I was never aware of. She is welcome to him, they make a good team frankly. Co-parenting (well it’s not it’s passive aggressive parenting) is hell even using the grey rock technique. You have to contact them and boy I wish I didn’t although the new schedule I have devised for our daughter arrangements is designed so I never have to see him again. Yippppeee.

      • “I am also aware he will continue to hurt me when it suits ”

        THIS. I’ve learned to never ever let my guard down around my ex…even when he’s on on eof his prolonged charm offensives. They will try to hurt you again when it benefits them…that train is never late.

  • My ex cheating narc a twice married jerk. He marries – or rather gets engaged, both long 5 year engagements I was number 2 – to keep us invested. It’s an added bonus for his habit of breaking up and disappearing for hours (long enough for some schmoopie time and twu wuv) when the slightest sniff of a confrontation about his lying, cheating, financial abuse (thousands spent on multiple schmoopies) or general anger management issues arises.

    So I’m sure current schmoopie will be getting a ring soon enough. He’s already talked her into swinging with guys after she found him cheating when the other girlfriend found out he was cheating by talking to me!) which he tried with me when his cheating first came out.

    I look forward to the day I can call him a thrice married jerk. For now I’ll stick with twice married fuckwit.

  • i felt gutted when this happened to me. i’m sorry to hear that this has happened to you, too.

    i think the answer is that his good character wasn’t particularly deeply-rooted. like, it wasn’t strong enough for him to survive a few tests. this is how i feel about my ex.

    you can’t do anything about it and, in my view, staying with him (no matter what he says and does to try and convince you this was a temporary glitch in your relationship) will hurt you. even if he never does something like this again (he will), you’re always going to be living with a knot of mistrust in your stomach. when you tell people about how you’ve both moved on from this issue, it will only be partly true.

    i think that if someone punches you in the eye, you don’t offer them your other eye just in case they feel like getting punchy again.

    take care.

    • Yes, it is hard to see a seemingly good guy suddenly turn into a monster. Wondering about it is natural, but this activity is staring at the skein. I’m a few years down the line, and I’ve given this topic a fair share of my brain power. Here’s what I’ve concluded: my X had just gotten a good job, suddenly was very attractive to all the schmoops out there, and his entitlement kicked in and hard! It was just a matter of time, really, to find a side trick. And blame me. And tell everyone how so very unhappy he was because his needs weren’t being met. Needed “space” to “clear his head.” ILYBNILWY. “Depressed”. Then, later: “needs to see other people to understand how women treat him” So now I see the sweet guy I used to know as the facade that he could barely hold together before sending me a one way ticket to the Land of Chump. At present he’s tearing his way through schmoopville, drunk all the time, and screwing up his job! I don’t wonder how/why he became a D-bag. He just IS a D-Bag. (trust me, he sucks)

      • “i think the answer is that his good character wasn’t particularly deeply-rooted. like, it wasn’t strong enough for him to survive a few tests.”

        AND “…his entitlement kicked in…”

        Both of these statements work so well together. Today as I made idle chit chat with the ex during our kid’s game, I was reminded how charming and funny and “nice” he can be and how easy it is to assume he has good character. And yet, that good character really only lives on the surface…but the moment his sense of entitlement kicks in, it becomes obsolete.

        Demonizing him hasn’t been overly helpful to me, but to see him as a deeply flawed and entitled person who can be charming and nice but also vindictive and cruel has allowed me to make relative peace with all of this stuff and get pretty darned close to meh.

      • Similar story. Schmoopie is a former ho-worker. I have been left with his aging parents: he just walked out on us all to be with her. He is always angry with me. I do not know this guy.

  • Oh dear God! He sounds exactly like my cheat! Argh! How is it possible. The new job. The focus on image and status. The std! The ultimatum. The flipped script. Geesh.

    Only difference was that anytime he was out of sight his mask would come off and he was not the sheep he ptetended to be with me.

    You did the right thing.. Show no weakness… In front of him. He is probably the sort to want to see you break. Look perpetually happy. It pisses them off.

  • Asshat’s best friend dies of pancreatic cancer, leaves asshat with his job and client list: check
    Asshat takes over deceased best friends “book”, starts to make over a quarter million a year: check
    Asshat begins talking to young office worker in a “bad relationship”: check
    Asshat spends hours in “the shower”: check
    Asshat spends 800 minutes a month on the phone with office worker:check (found out after he left)
    Asshat cries and says he just needs “someone who wants to jump his bones when he walks in the door”:check
    Asshat moves out
    Asshat will have to pay a shit ton of alimony : check

  • I find, the further away from DDay one gets, the more you recognize they were not so great, the marriage was not so great. I am pretty sure the manipulation always existed and I over time became to believe I was the ongoing issue. Looking back I actually start remembering things that I had forgotten that were clear signs I was just stability and a paycheck. I was never as she told others what she wanted. I was the poor sap who got her out of a bad relationship. 20 years later, kids were older, she went back for what she wanted. Ex boyfriend and party time. Mostly we have been duped and used and wasted a whole lot of years on a damn lie!

    • So true DavidB!! I was a useful wife appliance until my children reached the age of majority and he didn’t have to pay child support. Then I wasn’t so useful anymore. I didn’t get that in the beginning. I do now.

  • Hmmm… he picked up an STD from a married secretary he’s f*cking at work? Methinks he is dipping his pen in a variety of places.

    Count your blessings and get a kick ass lawyer now. You can bet he’s hiding assets.

  • Thought about this very same thing about cheater XW. In time I realized she was always this way- she just found it convenient/beneficial to conceal at the beginning of the relationship.

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