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Dear Chump Lady, I’m pregnant and pick me dancing

Ooh, pick me!Dear Chump Lady,

My husband and I met at 19. We were super toxic in the way we communicated, he shut down and I always pushed for him to talk, he’d shift blame to me and I’d beg and cry on how I could make it better. We got married at 24 and things got better, but we still weren’t good at resolving conflict and I was still the one that wanted to find solutions as he shut down.

Looking back we should have gotten counseling for communication and resentment when we got married, but instead we decided to try and have a baby. We found out we were both infertile and went through three years of infertility before I became pregnant with our daughter.

I thought things were continuing to get better between us, but it turns out he was just avoiding communication and conflict and started slowly distancing himself from our marriage and me.
I found out he had an affair. It started when I was 20 weeks pregnant and I found out at 28 weeks pregnant.

She was a stay at home mom, 12 years older than him with a husband and kids. He was meeting her on his lunch breaks instead of coming to doctors appointments with me. I sensed his distance and questioned him and he comforted me saying he’d never do anything against us all while he’s sending dick pics and I’m having morning sickness.

We tried to reconcile in counseling, but he went to one appointment before he wanted a divorce. He moved in with his grandparents as I did the pick me dance for another month. I found out he was continuing to see this woman and they were saying I love you to each other and being physical. He didn’t see it as continuing to cheat because we weren’t living together and he said he wanted a divorce but when took steps to proceed with it.. I finally found the husband and told him. The husband said his wife and my husband are over, but who really knows.

I’m having trouble with a few things.

1. There are some days I still beg for answers and to know he loves me because I can’t let go of the life I thought we had and why you would go against our vows and the family we went through so much to create? Why can’t I see he sucks and I deserve better and my daughter deserves better? I have a lot of guilt from our toxic communication and how if maybe I did a few things differently or got us help he wouldn’t have cheated and I wouldn’t have lost my companion and family unit.

2. I still feel responsible for his well being. Like I want to make sure he has things to take care of our daughter during his time since I know child support and other finances will leave him dry. He won’t have insurance through work when we are divorced and I think about making sure he has contacts before that happens. But why? He didn’t have any concern for me so why do I for him?

3. I worry about when I have to see him be with someone else. I think I’ll be hurt that he loves her and is committed to her the way I wanted him to love me and be committed to me. And I worry about the example of a woman he would bring around our daughter.

Help!

Kayley

Dear Kayley,

(((Big hugs))) Your communication style didn’t make him cheat, okay? His being an asshole did that. You’re pick-me dancing because you’re in the bargaining stage of grief — trying to control the terrifying uncontrollable. And there’s nothing so vulnerable as a pregnant or recently postpartum woman.

Your fear is natural and deeply wired. Think about it — what kind of freak abandons his offspring?   By wandering off to go fuck Ms. SAHM, he left you alone in the forest, the weak antelope and baby antelope, prey for the wolf pack. No wonder you’re wailing and scared. I hate him for you.

I know, I sound mad and you’re not there yet. You’re in the weepy, grief-vomiting state of disbelief. Thinking you need/love this abandoning man-child creep. When really you just need protection and help. We’ll get to that. Let’s work through your questions.

1. There are some days I still beg for answers and to know he loves me because I can’t let go of the life I thought we had.

That’s normal. You’re not wrong to wonder. He invested in a life with you. And even though he dragged his feet and was a withholding, stonewalling dick, he went right ahead and married you and made a baby with you. And let you believe you had a shared, committed life together. He let you invest. No one held a gun to his head. Of course you’re wondering WTF went wrong.

We call the why-why-why stage Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness.

Why you would go against our vows and the family we went through so much to create?

Because commitment doesn’t mean to him what it means to you. He’s a shallow as a puddle of piss. Some people are.

Some will excuse what he did as being young and unsure about his future and fatherhood. There’s a whole sad, misogynist sausage narrative out there about how we can’t expect adulting from young men and they often wobble, or get distracted by new pussy and wander off, the poor benighted waywards.

Fuck that shit. You’re there. You showed up. There are good people — men and women — who show up and then there are those who don’t. He’s in Camp Fuckwit.

Why can’t I see he sucks and I deserve better and my daughter deserves better?

You’ll get there.

It’s hard to turn your heart around. You’re a loving person capable of deep connection and intimacy. It’s heartbreaking to un-bond. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Look at things lucidly. I’m alone in this forest with a baby. The fuckwit is not coming back. I better deal with those wolves myself.

Does that situation suck? Yes. But you’re far more likely to survive it if you don’t helplessly wait for fuckwits.

I have a lot of guilt from our toxic communication and how if maybe I did a few things differently or got us help he wouldn’t have cheated and I wouldn’t have lost my companion and family unit.

Whoa! Stop blaming yourself. You didn’t make him cheat. That’s magic voodoo thinking, that if you did X, he wouldn’t have done Y. We don’t compel people to cheat and abandon. That’s entirely on him.

While it’s laudable to examine our faults, correlation is not causation. Plenty of people have arguments and lousy communication styles and don’t cheat on their pregnant wives. This is like saying, I wish I hadn’t yelled at my employee and then he wouldn’t have embezzled the pension funds. Don’t yell at employees — good takeaway. But it has ZERO to do with embezzlement.

2. I still feel responsible for his well being. Like I want to make sure he has things to take care of our daughter during his time since I know child support and other finances will leave him dry.

Oh boo fucking hoo.

Methinks that gem comes from him. Make the motherfucker pay child support and you dock that shit from his paycheck and never mention it again, except in court to get that shit raised.

This isn’t alms for the poor, this is SUPPORT FOR YOUR CHILD.

A real man would be tripping over himself to provide. This isn’t feeling responsible for his well-being — this is excusing his non-being.

He won’t have insurance through work when we are divorced and I think about making sure he has contacts before that happens. But why?

Because you’re a chump. Leave the adulting to him. You know he won’t adult, so you’re stepping into that space. But he fired you from the job of caring. So STOP it. Also, only hang with fellow adults. Fuckwits are exhausting.

He didn’t have any concern for me so why do I for him?

Excellent question. Now that you know he has no concern for you, change your behavior accordingly.

3. I worry about when I have to see him be with someone else. I think I’ll be hurt that he loves her and is committed to her the way I wanted him to love me and be committed to me.

It hurts now. It won’t hurt forever.

Look at his actions — he’s capable of cheating on his pregnant wife. NOTHING about that says love and commitment. You’re projecting that. You’re believing the stupid lie he sold you, and you miss the lie.

Is he going to try his Love And Commitment Lie on some other poor woman? Yes, of course he will. The proper response is pity her.

And I worry about the example of a woman he would bring around our daughter.

You don’t control who he dates. Now, if it rises to the level of imminent harm to your daughter? You bring that up ASAP to your lawyer and the court. (We’re talking abuse, drugs, criminal wrongdoing). But I Don’t Like HIs Girlfriend is just a shit sandwich flavor we’re all familiar with her at Chump Nation. It’s survivable.

You focus on being the sane parent. On raising your little girl to be a mighty wolf fighter like her mama.

You got this, Kayley.

 

Ask Chump Lady

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  • This is definitely a case where documentation will be your friend, Kayley. Its gonna be a long childhood for your daughter and for both her sake and yours, you want to get a running report going of her dad’s financial support. I’m echoing what CL has said many times, but its because it’s TRUE. Hang in there.

    • Sage advice.

      And a great tackling of this by Chumplady. I don’t think she missed an aspect of anything, and damn, so… well and directly put, I guess I’d say.

  • My STBX did that exact same thing to me and we divorced. Two years later he came back and we remarried. I thought he had learned his lesson. WRONG!! 31 years later I’m divorcing him again. He never missed a cheating beat. Probably hundreds of women over the years. Always a main girlfriend and some side chicks (he was a pilot). Now he’s riding off into the sunset to the Philippines with a domestic worker. To buy a coconut plantation and support her family. You’ve been given a gift! RUN and count your blessings. Don’t be me.

    • Fuckn’ pilots. I lived in a remote area only accessible by plane. While I was in the middle of my marriage imploding and trying to keep my head above water economically and emotionally, a pilot that I thought I knew well, a married man with 2 small kids at home, a retired AF Lt. Col., a pastor of his church, under the guise of being a friend and trying to help me also tried to instigate an affair with me. The whole time all I could think of was what his poor wife must be going through. And how many other woman did this guy have strung around the state if not the country? And how his image of Super Sexy Pilot Hero Compassionate Man was completely and utterly false from what he actually was. And I thank Goddess I didn’t fall for his shit!

    • A coconut plantation? 😄 Good grief, what a tool. What does a pilot know about growing and harvesting coconuts? He’ll fall right on his ass and deservedly so.
      My cheater is hoping I’ll give him another chance some day. Thanks to all these stories, there’s no way he’ll get it. He was not a serial cheater (yet), but I suspect he would have become one if I’d stayed and would be if I took him back. Once they start, they don’t usually stop.

    • OMG! Investing in a Coconut Plantation in a foreign country with a (presumably) young woman and supporting her family. What could go wrong? These younger foreign women go after older stupid men for one reason. Your idiot ex is about to be fleeced, big time.

      • I can only HOPE he will be fleeced! He’s pretty street smart but this gal (30 years younger than him and about our daughter’s age) has him by the short hairs. He was forced to retire from flying at 65 and doesn’t know what to do with himself I guess. She’s a domestic worker in Hong Kong. Left her kids with her mom and only sees them two weeks a year. Big time Zumba instructor in the streets of Hong Kong on her day off complete with twerking. Now that I’m past the shock it’s kind of comical. Creepy old American dude can’t get a woman here so he turns to the desperate 3rd world uneducated bimbo. I guess the only way he could even get her was to make those promises. And, he cheats on her. Go figure!

        • Gross. She’s clearly a disgusting creature, too.
          Of course he cheats on her and she on him. She doesn’t want sex with a guy old enough to be her grandpa. He’s being used for his money and he totally deserves it. As soon as the money’s gone, and that shouldn’t take too long, she’ll be gone. What a prize idiot that guy is.

          • As someone living in HK, I know these women well. HK is known as the divorce capital of the world. However, I dont blame the women, they offer devotion and sex in exchange for an opportunity out of poverty. The responsibility is on the men who leave everything that should matter to them to be treated as a “king” and have unlimited sex with a young woman. Nothing deep or complex, just the most simplistic exchange between the sexes. For me, I feel that if that is the relationship a man wants, he not the man for me. Unfortunately, many women dont know how shallow their husband is until they move to Asia.

    • Yes! Absolutely a gift! One day Sweet Kayley will realize it. Run! Run! And never ever go back, Sweet Kayley!!!

  • Oh my… I’m so sorry that you have to go through that.
    Pregnancy 🤰 supposed to be the best time for a woman and a baby- filled with love, care and commitment. We should feel it the whole 9 months, since it’s on us to carry the baby and to pay the price with our bodies….
    Some people have it…. but chumps, don’t….
    I’m sending you hugs and kisses…. you will be fine… you will come to realization one day, that it’s the lowest of low to cheat and abandon pregnant wife…. ok maybe not the lowest, but pretty low.
    Sweetie, instead of worry about his well being- schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN and make sure that you have a clear STD card… some stuff can be transferred to the baby during pregnancy, some during the birth- it’s SERIOUS.
    While you are at the office- let the embarrassment, hurt, pain and anger work in your favor- ITS about you and your baby…. fuck your husband and his screwed up ways…
    I was feeling guilty for: gaining weight, not cleaning enough, not taking care of the house and child enough, feeling sick ( thanks to my h’s narrative) – all that, while my h was dating (?!) , fucking hookers and God knows what else….
    The fact that got me over the fence of feeling compassion for him ?

    He not only endangered my LIFE, but he was playing with a LIFE of our child!!!

    Mommy bear was awaken….

    Sweetie, scream, cry, do whatever it takes… but find supporting people around, yoga class, mommy to be class- anything, that will help you at this point.

    You deserved it! Your baby is worth dropping your h’s needs and taking care of you two….

    Hugs..

    • There is something truly detestable and perverse about abandoning a woman who is pregnant or just had babies. You are at your most vulnerable you will ever be. I look back now and if I ever try to romanticize what I had with my ex-husband, I just remember that he is the kind of man who would abandon his wife and his one and two-year-old babies with no warning and no notice and no marital strife for a stripper he met in a bar. There’s no wondering what I could’ve done differently because that’s a CHARACTER issue, and that is something I could never fix for him no matter how much adulting I thought I had to do on his behalf. I now let the natural consequences befall him and think nothing of it. You will get there too, I promise. Coming here and reading every day helps, too. Stay strong, mama!

  • Kayley,
    I’ve been cheated on during pregnancy with OW showing up at the hospital after the delivery and everything. I went through the pick-me dance and thought I had won only to find out that keeping the dog was my loss and behind the scenes the OW was still part of his life.
    That first few months after delivery I was in the bargaining stage of grief and so overwhelmed that I lost to much weight and couldn’t breast feed anymore.

    Please, love yourself and your little one. You are worth it and Fuckwit is not.

    And as far as your manchild not being prepared to care for your daughter, use a lawyer and the legal system to be sure he has the skills, equipment, and time to watch her during visitation. If he doesn’t care enough to take those steps then seek supervised visitation arrangements. Take no chances. These men are usually as horrible at parenting as they are at being a faithful and decent husband. I know well.

    • let me also mention that if he is not interested in parenting then DONT FORCE HIM.. .. you might think your child needs her dad. But take it from someone who has been there, she dont. Guys that cheat on their pregnant wife and divorce before or right after baby is born, has no concern, care or love for his child. it is hard for us to understand because we dont think that way. we would give our life for our child, our babies are our top priority and we would do anything to make their life better. our love is strong for our children. unfortunately we project those feelings to our STBX or ex. So let me be the first to tell you, he does not feel the same kind of love for you baby as you do. DO NOT FORCE HIM TO TAKE CARE OF OR SPEND TIME WITH HER if he doesnt want to. it sucks. i know. it hurts so much to watch your child want her dad and dad not want to visit, call or pick her up. .. .. but it is NOT your JOB to police and assure their relationship works. in fact, anything you try to do will be seen as an attack by your baby daddy. he will not appreciate and will actually resent you for making him do something he doesnt want to. Besides it is soOOooo much easier to parent without a fuckwit. if i were you i would go for sole custody and zero visitation (which is exactly what i asked for and he signed) that way you make all the parenting decision without having to get his approval. take it from me he will purposely say no just to make your life miserable. he has no interest in the child.

      if you havent started filing for divorce, i suggest you start immediately. get a bull dog lawyer, hit him fast and hard, especially while he is still in the blissful finding true love and distracted with his new flavor. it was the ONE thing i did right after finding out my wasband of 15.5 years was fucking the married neighborhood crack whore. i was devastated plus still grieving my childs death 2 years before that. my head and my heart was so messed up, i was crying every single day and just could not believe this was happening. i was so sure it was just a BIG misunderstanding. .. .. but somehow, even with my heart breaking, i was lucid enough to protect my children. i actually was not even thinking that protection would include wasband, i was only thinking to protect them from the woman i knew he would be hooking up with. so the day after i found out about his cheating (it was the second time in 3 years that i KNEW of, probably more that i did not know of), i filled out the divorce papers at 3:00 in the morning and got an appointment with the notary the very next day to get them signed. (in our state, you can get divorce papers (with children) at the courthouse for 25.00. get them signed by a notary and file for 180.00. of course only if he agrees and just signs without fighting like mine did).. .. . my ex was too distracted with his new flavor. she was so much fun. he just wanted me to disappear and leave him alone. and as much as it killed me watching the man i love fall in love with someone else, i filled out the papers with tears in my eyes, asking for everything, the house, the yard, the cars, sole custody of the children. he left with his clothes and few tools he already took. he was in such a hurry to get back into her arms that he signed all the paperwork without even really reading it. even thou being the chump i am i told him what was in it. he gave me 200 to file it so i was 20.00 ahead of the game and in a month we were divorced. .. .. and then the shit hit the fan but as much as he yelled and hated me and talked shit, he really wasnt interested in fighting me for anything.

      anyhow, sorry about the long story. my point is to hit him hard while he is distracted and it might work out in your favor. ask for the world, and force him to fight for what he wants. he will either let it go because it is too much effort and work or he will make your life miserable fighting you about ever stupid little thing. either way asking for sole custody and zero visitation will not hurt. (in my state, custody and child support are completely separate. so i have sole custody and he still has to pay child support, not that he actually does pay) .. .. . and please dont chase him or try to force him to enforce his visitation days. if he doesnt show up to pick her up, dont call to remind him either. just document it. get a year calendar and note the days he doesnt show up.

      i know your pain. it will pass. but right now just breathing is your main focus. look up the stages of grief because that is what you are going thru. congratulations on your baby. regardless of her sperm donor she is a precious little miracle for you. stop wondering and worrying about him and spend all your energy on your little blessing. .. . good luck to you

      • I second Mrs. Vain’s advice. If he does not want to parent, you and your child will be better off. She will not have to know a crappy dad that ALWAYS puts his needs first. You and your daughter will not have to have a relationship with the affair partner forced upon your daughter. You will both not have the constant mind fuck that automatically comes with a cheater and affair partners wonderful personalities. I pray EVERYDAY for an alien abduction & my cheater Ex to never be seen again, because he never changes and it never ends. I do no contact as much as possible, but that does not stop him from putting his affair partner on FaceTime with my daughter (just last night) and me overhearing it from the other room☹️and triggering the shit out of me. If he wants to disappear, let him and thank your lucky stars because he is not going to magically start giving a shit about your feelings or your daughter’s. Life with a cheater is all about them-period.

        • I’m in the same boat. Found out 8 weeks into our PLANNED third pregnancy that my husband of nearly a decade was having an affair with his 24 year old coworker. I’m now 32 weeks pregnant, single parenting our 6 year old and 22 month old while he up and moved to Phoenix to be with this other girl. He STILL denies the affair and claims he HAD to move back to Az for work (false. We had just moved to Kansas last year for his job). She’s in Phoenix. Against my better judgement I allowed the kids to go visit him for a week. Before I agreed to it I asked that he please respect me enough to not introduce our children to the other woman as we’re still legally married, I’m pregnant, and we’ve just told our 6 year old daughter the month before we were divorcing. My daughter announces yesterday on FaceTime that they all went to the movies with “daddy’s new friend”. He is a monster. Not someone I recognize or someone I ever would have willingly had children with, let alone marry or date. I don’t feel bad for him at all though. He makes a substantial amount of money and I’m going for as much of it as I can to secure a future for my children and myself. I still wake up and wonder how this is my life. 7 more weeks until I get to deliver this baby and start a new life.

      • Mrs. Vain,
        I am sorry about the death of your child followed by horrible treatment by your ‘partner.’ Thank you for supporting others.

      • Yeah, if he selects not to see his child then don’t push it. You will be happier in the end.

      • Thank you for sharing your story and the advice. I have definitely started the divorce process it’s just so hard to sell the house and start the divorce process all while waiting for the arrival of your child and trying to figure out where you’re going to be living to care for her because if the shitty timing he’s chosen to do this.

        • if you can, do NOT put his name on the birth certificate. if he wants anything to do with her, he will take you to court. divorce without mentioning the baby, if he signs then he has no rights to her. if he is not on the birth certificate he has no rights to her. believe me it is easier. i have one that i did not put her dad on the birth certificate. oh he yelled and talked shit about me. he threatened and bitched but he never took me to court so he never had any say in her life. i allowed him to see her at first with me there. oh he talked a lot of shit to me, which i just let go in one ear and out the other. oh, he made me cry a few times too with his hate and anger.. .. but after a year, his visit got less and less by 3 years he was gone and i was able to raise my child the way i wanted to without having to fight or share her with a fuckwit.

          my daughter did not put her husband on the birth certificate. he kicked her out when she was 6 month pregnant. they were going thru the divorce (took her 2 years and 10,000 to finish). so at first he wanted nothing to do with the baby, then he decided (or his mommy decided) he wanted his daughter, so he took her to court and demanded a dna test (he believed she cheated on him and the baby was not his) .. . she was forced to follow thru with a dna test which of course proved he was the father. and then he decided he wanted visitations and custody. so he took her to court for that too. he nows gets visitations and has 50/50 custody. which sucks.. .. but it took a year and my daughter had her baby for a full year before having to hand her over for visitations.

          like i said, if he wants in the babys life he will do it anyway. no reason for you to make it easy on him. i wish i was closer to you, and you could live with me. i have room. haha good luck

  • As chump lady said. He fired you as his wife. It is no longer your job to worry if he has healthcare or if he can afford child support. He did not give you or your child one thought when he cheated. He put you and your child at risk for an STD. It is time for him to fend for himself. And time for you to focus on you and your child. Do not waste your life on a manchild. I know it hurts now. And I know you are scared. But, it will get better. You will come out of this relieved that you are cheater free.

    • I agree with Cuzchump. After the Twat left (and Schmoopie later dumped him) initially I tried to sort things out for him, sort out the bank, sort out his insurance etc. because he “couldn’t do that kind of thing”. Well fuck him, it took planning to meet up with his skank and drain our bank accounts – I think he can wipe his own arse from now on (although not very well apparently)! Hugs to you honey. Stay strong and don’t take him back when he comes crawling back!

      • yep, it is hard to just stop what you have always been doing. unlike him you have a good heart and you actually loved and cared for him. you took time and effort and energy to make sure he was happy for the past 8 years. unlike him, you cant just stop caring for him at the drop of a hat. .. ..

        you just got literally dumped by him. he sees you as an appliance. you were just the wife appliance that took care of him. it hurts to find out that he never cared or loved you. and all he sees you as is someone who took care of him.. .. .

        what got me thru that, what stopped me from wanting to “help” him was reminding myself that he fired me from that job and his new flavor can do it for him now. .. .

  • Phew! A lot of what you write is so similar to my ex and myself, and what I went through. I’m a few years out now. Yes, it’s hard single parenting. Yes, it’s hard recovering from the trauma of being betrayed, and while at your most vulnerable. But believe me, you are better out of it, and away from him. Just consider (briefly) the continued toxicity, and agony of remaining in a relationship with him. You probably know deep down he isn’t going to change – not permanently, not consistently. Imagine that continuing for the rest of your life – and worse – bringing up your daughter in it. It’s horrible, isn’t it? Don’t you and your daughter deserve better than that?

    You’re still in early days, but perhaps what you should work on is some kind of emotional detachment from him. He can’t heal the hurt he has caused you. Look to your close friends, your family, a therapist. Start mentally detaching yourself from him. It may seem unthinkable right now, but start working on it.

    Eventually, you won’t care who he dates. You won’t need his validation. He’ll be your daughter’s father, and not much else to you. You can and will get there. Focus on you, your daughter and building a healthier, happier new life.

    “We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except the memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes waterered.”

    Burn the bridges and leave the pain behind. Good luck.

    • Watered, even. Time improves many things, but not my ability to spell after a 5:30 am start.

    • Off the Crazy Train,

      Any words of wisdom on HOW the detach? Personally I’m having the most difficult time doing this

      • Absolutely, no/minimal contact. Don’t write or talk to him about you as a couple – only your daughter, your divorce & the practical matters of your separation.

        It comes down to the amount of space he & your relationship occupies in your head. You can’t help your thoughts, so I think it’s about two things: 1 – removing the things that trigger thoughts about him (and not beating yourself up when you do think about him) and 2 – replacing the space with other things.

        It’s the time-old ways of getting over a break-up, don’t you think? No contact, getting rid of any possessions that cause painful memories, while also filling your life up with positive things – seeing your friends more, joining new playgroups with your child, taking up a new holiday. And not expecting it to happen quickly & being gentle with yourself as you ride the rollercoaster of grieving. As much as there will be downs along the way, this is a new beginning.

        • I’m hopeful no contact will help, but I can’t even get close to that now since I am in the purgatory of divorce known as in house separation.

          His “girlfriend” dumped him and he’s taking it out on me. He makes 3x as much as I do, weshare a minor child, he won’t leave till the divorce is final because “it would be a waste of money”. He says he he wants to leave, but yet he won’t go. Classic.

          While keeping the house would be financially advantageous for me, that cost is now including what little is left of my sanity. Plus, everything in the house will just remind me of him anyway.

          I can’t even rent right now though because my name is on the mortgage and I make too little to be approved for the additional debt. No family to speak of either. I’m trapped.

          I have to keep hope that once physically removed from him I will get better. But I’m so tired.

          • Fearful&loathing, I’d speak with your attorney about moving out. My attorney said I absolutely could move out and I did! I lived in hell with him for nine months and his presence was driving me insane. And since we were still married, I could use his income to prove that I could pay my rent. I took the joint checking account and paid for the rent. Don’t give up hope! There might be other options for you. I’m sorry you have no family around to help you. 🙁 Also, keeping the house might not be your best financial option. My XH offered for me to keep the house too. I wanted nothing of it as it would be a constant reminder of the asshole and all the dreams that he promised that turned into a nightmare. Hang in there and stick with us here at CN! (((Hugs))) to you.

            • Thank you, Martha. CN really is my lifeline right now.

              That’s a good point. Anyone else “get” the house but have difficulty living in it with all the reminders? I keep thinking I need to maintan home for my son.

              • A house is just that. A house. Home is where love is and you made the house into a home with your love. You can do this again anywhere you live! My kids moved out with me. They were living in the toxic home with their fuckwit dad. It was not a good environment for them either.

                I have no doubt it was very hard for them to leave our beautiful home. After building it and moving into it in 2002, I finally felt like it was “finished” in 2013, because it took me years to frugally get it to the finish line. I bawled my eyes out the day the movers came to get the big items. And after everything was out, I walked from room to room saying goodbye to the home that I lovingly took care of for over ten years.

                But I set-up a new home in a tiny apartment. I made it as nice as I could for my kids. And now we are in a very nice condo. I am so thankful that I didn’t take his offer for the house, but I’m sure there are tons of Chumps out there that are living in the marital home and don’t have a problem with it. I’m a very sentimental person and could never have lived in that house. Way too many memories. And now that house is just that. A house, because we don’t live there anymore.

              • I did. I painted. Changed it around. Put up different pictures. He ended up losing his job so I got a second job. It’s my house now. He’s been out for a year and half now. Our divorce is a couple weeks away. After that the locks will be changed bc he has horrible boundaries. No contact except for kids. His crisis are not my problem anymore.

                It still hurts especially when my kids cry for him but not as bad or often. We all are still in therapy.

          • Fearfulandloathing,

            I am sorry to hear you are living in separation hell with him (me too and it has almost killed me). There are 10 days until we leave our house which has sold and he still continues to play games. He does almost no work but has been helping himself to many items in the house (they just magically disappear).

            The live in separation is horrible but my STBX refused to leave and my son is in Grade 12 and about to graduate. Uprooting him from everything didn’t seem like a good idea when this first started. It has made everything so much more difficult living with a selfish asshole who just wants to Disney Dad and rubs my face in his awesome trips. I really did it for my kids but it has taken a huge toll on me as I am sure it has on you.

            Do what you can to get out. My STBX has taken advantage of me trying to take the high road for my kids. My kids get it though. These assholes think they don’t betray the children but they do and the kids feel it.

            Best of luck Fearfulandloathing.

            • My XH did the same thing — taking things out of the house/magically disappearing. He’d empty an entire box, but leave the box there so that I wouldn’t suspect anything. Photo albums went missing. I said to him, “What happen to the photos?” And he paused a few seconds so he could think up yet another lie. He was “I didn’t take pictures off the walls.” He knew exactly what I was talking about! The crazy-making!!!! I said, “No, the photo albums.” Another pause to think up another lie. He said, “I took them, so the kids wouldn’t be upset seeing me move out.” Hey, Fuckwit! Your children are upset, because you’ve been fucking with their minds, their history and blowing up our family!! God, I do not miss that evil, fucking liar! I will never forgive him for hurting our kids.

              • Hi Martha,

                I am so with you. I will never forgive my STBX for hurting our kids or treating me like a piece of worthless trash. The only time my STBX gets touchy is when I mention that he betrayed/hurt his kids. He truly believes that he didn’t do anything to the kids. As for me – somehow he has convinced himself that I have deserved everything (after I loved him and supported him through countless bullshit — often of his own creation). He is delusional.

                He cannot have an honest conversation with my kids and he continues to act like an idiot. He feels he is an amazing father yet he bought a 563 square foot party condo with no space for them – he has some song and dance about how he could rent if they want to live with him. My one son is pretty pissed with him but STBX just pretends everything is hunky dory.

                I am grieving leaving my neighborhood, neighbors, and the house my children grew up in (and planted trees in kindergarten) but I am not grieving STBX anymore. I wouldn’t take him back if you paid me. I do wish I had picked someone with character so I could have the intact family that I have so heavily invested in but as my son said we will be a family of 3. GFY – is what I have to say to STBX.

                Hugs Martha!!

              • Awwe, Deee. You so touched my heart by you saying you’ll be leaving your house where trees were planted in kindergarten. My cockatiel that I had for about 20 years is buried in the backyard of the house I chose to leave. A few months ago, my daughter who was about four years old at the time when she died said to me, “I remember when we buried Tweeter. You said we couldn’t look in the box, because she’d fly away.” And then the flood of memories came. I know it’s tough having to leave the house your kids grew up in; I had to do it too. It broke my heart leaving my home and my great neighbors. I’m so sorry you are going through this, but me and CN are here for you. You are not alone. And like you, if someone paid me a million dollars to be married to my XH and conceive his children, I wouldn’t do it. He disgusts me. I only thought he was good looking, because of his boy-next-door innocence and charm. I said to him months after D-day, “I always thought you were handsome, but you are ugly to me now.” When you see behind the mask and charm– yuk! Stay away from me!!

                Hugs to you, Deee. You got this. You will move out and build a new life for you and your two kids. 🙂

          • It took me 18 months from the moment he announced wanting to end our marriage (before I found out about OW) until I moved out into a rental, September last year. When it began I had no job, no savings, no access to money without him giving me an allowance, and 3 dependent children.

            During the first 12 months he actively went on dates every other weekend, with at least 3 different women one of which turned put to have been there in the side wings all along. He bounced and grinned and skipped about whilst I writhed in pain. He loved me being sad and in pain. I was pitifully dancing on hopium.

            Then I got mad! I got work, and I saved every dollar. I calculated what I needed to pay first rent/bond, I started packing the essentials of mine & the kids. He continued his smarmy ways, not believing I could or would leave. It gave me more determination.

            As I got closer to my financial escaping goal I started looking at houses. I made a list of what we needed, close to the kids school, easy access to transport, cheap but not run down, cosy and a quietish area. I started realising I was doing this, despite every obstacle and attempt on his part to keep me crippled or make me homeless or dependent on him. I increased my earning capacity over the last 12 months before moving, and invested in being great at work & stable at home.

            I ignored him as much as possible. In the last 6 months I set it up with him for shared care. Split any financial ties (bills in my name, school fees/communications etc). I worked on detangling myself so when we moved it would be easier. It was.

            I’ve been out for 9 months now. It is so much more peaceful. I’m not yet formally divorced, but that will come soon. I am free from the chaos. I’m grey rock. The kids are stable & actually express their gratitude for my efforts to remove us from the toxic house. I pay my bills in advance as much as possible. We gave a little left over each month. He still tries to engage me in his petty mind fucks, but I’m in a space where I rarely bite. He hates that I’m no longer driven by him and his wants.

            F & L, start somewhere. Start to gather stability, a firm footing, work, your resources, get boxes & pack – if if you don’t know where or when you’re going, get mad and use it to give you fuel, get a bank account and start to save, tell those you trust that you want out, separate your entanglements, take down all family photos, put all your “us” sentimental things in a box (this was my fist step), do it crying or with rage if you have to.

            Do One Thing Every Day to set yourself free. Every little bit counts. It adds up. It build your strength and your courage. You can do this!

      • Absolutely no contact or grey rock.

        Lots of reading this website.

        Counselling to help better understand how abusive cheating actually is, managing PTS symptoms and managing the parenting relationship.

        You will likely never co-parent with your cheater. This was another hard pill for me to swallow because I went on to transfer my “hopium” into a belief that we could have a genuinely friends co-parenting relationship and share our joy in our children. Not so.

        Read about parallel parenting, as that’s likely the best you could wish for. Do not expect him to care about you in any authentic way, which is awful to finally accept.

        Big hugs. I hope you are surrounded by good family and friends to build a more stable support system. Get a lawyer.

      • I will echo what’s been said: the ONLY way to break the trauma bonds is through no contact. Make it a game in your mind and with your Chump friends here – count the ways you can craft no-Contact and count the days. It takes time to break these bonds but works!

      • Agreed–detachment has been difficult for me as well (not surprising, since my ex is a manipulative addict–among other things–and I’m a codependent trying to recover). Having two minor kids rules out complete no contact, but aside from communication around visitation I still struggle with things that would probably be no brainers to anyone who wasn’t stuck in this mode of feeling responsible for a fuckwit (the codependent in me relies on logic like “it’s better for the kids if I make sure that he [fill in the blank: has a car; hangs around the house; keeps boxes of his shit in my basement; etc; etc].” I’m at least getting to a place where I can recognize when I need to set better boundaries (pre-chumping and divorce I never got there unless I was led by a friend or therapist), but it’s the actual setting and enforcing where I tend to get hung up.

        Any recovered codependents out there have advice you’d like to share?

        • It’s never “better for the kids” to model codependency for them. Let them learn that addiction and cheating and other destructive choices have big consequences. If you KNOW you are hooked on fixing his life (i.e., codependent), think of it like your addiction. If you were an alcoholic and knew that, would it be OK for you to go to a bar and order a double martini? Then it’s not OK for you to “take care of” and “fix” the alcoholic.

          Ask yourself, “Whose job is this? Whose responsibility is this? Who needs to learn from this situation?” And for sure, there ought to be a physical boundary that starts at your front door. Sit down and make a list of the ways you enable him as an addict. Then treat those things like you want him to treat drinking. You didn’t cause his addiction and dysfunction. You can’t control it. And you can’t cure it.

        • Im in Al-Anon and dealing with unhealthy attachment/detachment there. I have a minor child (14) and have achieved no contact. It’s easy if you are committed to healing your abused brain from their poison.

      • no contact will clear up your mind. But for me, i wrote it all down. every time i read someones story on chumplady and another site i was on, i would remember a time that i went thru something similar. so i started writing all the bad things down. we tend to forget the bad things and focus on the good times. but when you are dumped and left standing alone.. you need to focus on all the bad things he did to you. .. i ended up with 3 notebooks full of times i forgot.

        i had convinced myself that my 15.5 years with him was happy. that our 12.5 marriage was a good marriage. that he was a good man.. … 3 notebooks full of shit sandwiches proved me wrong.

        • I did this plus I wrote a list of all the reasons why I was grateful he was gone, from the small things like not having to wash his underwear to the big things like not having to worry about what mood he was going to be in when he got home and how I was going to manage it. There is a real power in seeing it written down. Sometimes I tend to rationalise or downplay things in my mind but once I re-read my lists, I can’t argue with the cold hard facts staring up at me from the page.

      • I had a hard time as well, but unlikr most chumps, what helped me was not going no contact. It was actually untangling the skein. It does help for some people. I had to understand in order to process it so I could detach. It takes a long time, a ton of research, and talking to the fuckwit about it a lot. If the fuckwit is willing to talk frankly about it, it’s possible. But most fuckwits won’t. They’ll just use conversation to manipulate you or refuse to talk at all. That’s why NC is best in most cases. If the fuckwit left you for an AP and/or is abusive in any way, definitely go NC.

        • Chumperella

          I hear you. Same with me- I had to know certain stuff, I had to know until the point , when 20+ hookers and encounters would not make any difference
          I needed “ few reconciliation “ sessions after dday… to see, that he hadn’t changed, that after few weeks of “I will do anything” I was facing the same anger, resentment and outbursts…. it helped me a lot…. I don’t suggest anyone to go that road, but for me it worked well…
          NC was not an option( yes, sometimes that’s the case) and I needed to have it black and white, allow my heart to grieve and suffer, and finally allow my brain to take over.

      • Fearful&loathing:

        As others have stated, going 100% Zero Contact is the optimal way to heal and move forward.

        On the advice of chumps who’d gone before me, I went ZC ~15 months into our 3-year separation (I should have done it way earlier, but I was too busy believing his lies about wreckonciliation, Pick-Me dancing, and smoking the Hopium pipe). After I drew that boundary, every iota of communication went through my attorney. I did not respond to any of XH’s phone calls, emails, text messages, Messenger posts or cards/letters. XH was very unhappy about my decision and thought I was being controlling and petty, but then again, he never did understand the depth of devastation he and “Married-Howorker-turned-Wife-2.0” had caused by blowing up both our and her 40-year marriages.

        I’m now 4 years post-divorce; about 6 months ago, a residual divorce-related issue unexpectedly came up. XH wrote me a long letter with the details of what was going on, and asked me to contact him directly so we could discuss it. My first thought was, “Oh hell, no way”; I immediately scanned his letter and the accompanying documents, emailed them to my attorney, and asked him to contact XH on my behalf. Attorney knew I was ZC and thought XH was a pathetic man/child, so he was happy to step in. Suffice it to say, XH was surprised to hear from someone other than me; I’m not sorry to have disappointed him.

        On the rare occasion that I must be in the same place at the same time as XH and “2.0” (i.e. milestone events with children and/or grandchildren), I very successfully use the Gray Rock Technique (https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/6158/gray-rock-method-dealing-narcissist/); I never initiate a greeting/comment/question on my own, and if spoken to by either one of them, I respond with a flat, colorless, monosyllabic answer and give no eye contact. This is in stark contrast to the light-hearted, engaging, and curious banter I’m clearly having with everyone else at the same event.

        Bottom line: I know that in order to maintain my mental and emotional health, I must keep as much distance between me and XH/2.0 as possible; engaging in any sort of interaction or conversation exposes me to potential manipulation, and with as far as I’ve come on this journey, that is wholly unacceptable. If they think I’m being bitchy, anti-social, rude or bitter, I don’t care. And if the way in which I choose to protect myself doesn’t meet with their expectations, that is not my problem. I know what I need and I cannot compromise.

        • MyRedSandals: you are a master class in trauma bond recovery! ❤️😘❤️👏👏👏👏👏

  • Oh my. Reading this made my stomach twist. And – as usual – it’s Chump Lady to the rescue. I’m 5 yrs post-D day and it’s still an every day struggle. She’s right, Kayley – you’ll get there. After I threw my husband (of 35 yrs!) out after discovering he had a 5 yr relationship with a white trash alcoholic moron – I STILL was making sure he went to his doctor appointments, making sure he watched what he ate, took his medications, etc. Like – SERIOUSLY? While he was with her, he had 2 bouts of alcoholic pancreatitis and guess who he called? NOT HER! ME. It’s because we’re good people. It’s because we made a commitment and we stick by it. THAT’s why we still think about their well-being. Thing is – he didn’t give 2 shits about mine while he was fucking a bag of garbage forcing me to have TRIPLE the GYN issues during that 5 yrs. Yeah – I’m well past the why, why, why stage and ass deep in the anger phase. And you’ll get there. However – what you have to keep telling yourself is – who would cheat on and leave a pregnant woman? This is a man with no character, no integrity, no respect, no ethics. Thing is – if you wanna “blame” yourself for something it’s that you (like ME) fashioned a life that you THOUGHT you had, that you WISHED you had but it was an illusion. Not to mention, you were the only one who thought that. I walked around for nearly 40 yrs believing that no matter what that my husband would never EVER EVER cheat on me, not even once let alone a 5 yr relationship, meeting and fraternizing with her family – all out in public! NEVER EVER. But deep down, once I got out of the back of the closet in the fetal position – I realized that that was a delusion I told MYSELF because that’s how I wanted it to be.

    The most important take away you should have is your new mantra – IT WASN’T MY FAULT. Say it loud and proud. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with HIM. Hang in there. It’ll get easier. Promise.

    • LeeLou
      35 years married ignoring red flags for few years, I confronted my cheating cruel ex & the whore at her home. After a humiliating torturous 9 months while him living in the basement I finally divorced him. He immediately went to live with the Owhore.
      Karma hit him last year the whore died , so he immediately moved into another woman’s home.
      Unlike you I never spoke or bothered with him again.
      He’s dead to me after the betrayal & cruelty that was done to me. He’s not my problem anymore & the new ow can take care of him now. He doesn’t deserve any kindness or care from me. I hope your fine now &
      living a cheater free life. Good luck to you 🍀

  • Kayley, from the sound of it, your whole marriage was a case of avoidance-pursue (with him avoiding and you pursuing). This is the most toxic emotional pattern of relationship, and the hardest to break because of the intermittent reinforcement. This youtube video explains the pattern of interaction pretty well (even if specifics may differ in your situation). I hope it will allow you to see his cycle of abuse for what it is and break free from those emotional ties that still bind him to you. Hugs!

    P.S. What the video doesn’t fully do is warn people away from Avoidant Attachment partners, who will undercut even the most stable of us.

    • I watched the video and the dynamic was very similar if you add the fact that reconnecting was fake because he was a cheater and never wanted me close enough to be able to figure that out, so all our rekindling moments were fake.

    • This was the very first realization I had after abandonment. I didn’t know there was an OW yet (2nd one in our marriage) so I was desperately looking for reasons why he was so screwed up. Untangling the skein. This article is the one I found, on Pursuer-Distancer relationships.

      https://www.sowhatireallymeant.com/articles/intimacy/pursuit-and-distancing/

      It is all FOO and how-they-grew-up crap. I, of course, tried to find a way to fix everything and make the poor wittle sad sausage all better. How can I be smaller and not demand anything of him? Maybe if I just never speak when he is around he won’t see me as clingy and needy?

      It was all bullshit. I couldn’t compete with a 25YO European sparkletwat that would make that 50YO asshat forget that he was getting older. I could not paint character on him.

      All I can do is pick better. I will NEVER be with a Silent Sam, passive aggressive covert narc who treats me like an annoying gnat as I tend his home, cook from scratch, do his laundry, be available for sex constantly, and raise his adoring children. I will NEVER allow someone to shove me away because they are “afraid of being engulfed in love” and “afraid of being vulnerable.” What a crock of shit.

      My advice is if you have found yourself with a Distancer is to GTFO. They will eventually cheat on you because they don’t give a crap about you.

      GTFO.

      • Oh, I have to add how much I have realized since all this happened. He abandoned me while I was away on a business trip, sending an e-mail as my only notice that my 28 year marriage was over.

        For the prior 9 years (since right after OW#1), he had been working away from home constantly and for months at a time, often overseas to the Middle East. And yet, in my desperate co-dependent mind I was thinking that I WAS SMOTHERING HIM. I was obviously pursuing too much. Too needy, too clingy. I was IGNORED by him for three decades and I still was trying to figure out how to MAKE MYSELF SMALLER.

        I had maintained our home and our finances and helped our daughters go through college without him around. I kept our radiators from freezing when the power was out for 8 days during the winter of 2015. I did all the home repair and remodeling. I took care of the pets, including strays he brought home from the Middle East. And yet I was still obviously just too, too needy. He had no choice but to abandon me after future-faking me right up to the morning of my departure for that work trip, right? My bad, right?

        Now I see what a completely inadequate man he is. How he was never, ever there. Even when he was home he loathed us all and ignored us and stomped around like a petulant and selfish child. At the time I just couldn’t see it and thought I could fix it.

        Again, Pursuers, GTFO! Save yourselves.

        • Your post, Now I.C., and Tempest’s is one reason why I still read here every day. There is still more to learn. Thanks.

          • LAJ,
            I could not agree more, their posts and all your inspiring posts – the reason to read here every day.
            The heart and soul of CN, found here every single day!
            Kayley, there was no luck in becoming a Chump, but there is great great fortune is finding CL, CN.

            Like.A.ROCK

        • It really doesn’t matter if you pursue or not. Ex certainly pursued me in the beginning which was a bit smothering but I thought I should be appreciating it. A few years into our marriage, however he became more distant. He started going out with friends on Friday nights and leaving me behind. When I complained his response was “you need to make more friends”. This hurt but I thought that maybe he just didn’t want to be smothered and that perhaps we didn’t need to be joined at the hip and he should be allowed time away from me when he felt the need. Then when we had kids, I had them to occupy my time whenever he was off at parties or broker dinners or his flying hobby without me. They got my attention. He trained me to not pursue him and be constantly demanding of his attention. Fast forward fifteen years or so and we got into a big argument that started with “I can’t believe you are reading to the kids when there are dishes to be done”. When I eventually got to the bottom of the real meaning of that outburst (after hours of silent treatment from him and me having to track him down at work and demand answers), he said he just wanted more of my attention. I tried to give it to him but he blew me off and went back to ignoring me so I gave up. Another few years later when DDay came around I asked him “Why the cheating?” he said I didn’t give him enough attention. He trained me not to pursue him. I thought he didn’t want me to smother him. In the end he used my not pursuing him and giving him his space as an excuse to have two affairs and run off with another woman because I didn’t love him enough to pursue him hard enough. You can’t win. Whatever you do it is going to be wrong. I pursued and left him alone at various times in our marriage and I was wrong every time.

          • Oh yes and I was also a needy child who he had to do everything for although I never actually asked him to do anything for me and I also mothered him (basically anything I did for him or to show him that I cared). How does that work? One time I asked him “when do you want to be needed and when do you not want to be needed?” He didn’t have an answer. The only thing that was consistent about him was his tendency towards self contradiction in word and deed. Interesting that one of his complaints about me was that I was too predictable. I wish had had been more so.

          • Yep, I’ve been there. Mine did the same. He pushed me away for decades to avoid getting too close and feeling smothered, then had the gall to use “not enough attention” as an excuse for cheating. They make sure you can’t possibly win with them. The only thing you can do with people like that is leave and stay gone forever. My ex idiot is in therapy, supposedly to try to overcome his avoidant attachment disorder, insecurity, immaturity, emotional abuse, narcissism and compulsive lying, but I have no belief that he’s genuinely working on it and don’t particularly care. His bullshit won’t affect me or my kids because we won’t deal with him.

            • The gall to use that excuse indeed…

              I did backflips trying to connect with Cheater then when he was discovered he said
              “you had left my heart untended in the middle of the street, all OW did was pick it up”

          • The truth is that nothing you could have done would have been “right.” That’s how they roll.

        • Now I.C.,

          Your story sounds very similar to my stories (with my ex-husband and my post-separation now ex-boyfriend). From last boyfriend, I heard when we were last ‘together,’ ‘Being vulnerable is scary.’ I guess that it wasn’t all that scary as a couple days later (?), he was in bed with his work subordinate. Not long after, they were married (second marriage for both). Some people in the world just view other living beings as inanimate disposable items to be tossed aside when they (abusive, callous, lying users) think that their (living beings’, e.g., chumps’) utility is gone.

          Now I.C., like you, I will never again be with a covert narc, but sadly not because I choose to avoid guys like this (and I have the pick of the litter), but because I can’t get a date. I feel bad about me.

          I feel sad for Kayley but believe that after the dust settles she will realize that the trash took itself out. Sadly, her husband is no prize. Once she realizes this, I think that her anxiety about jealousy will greatly subside. (Five years after my husband left, I feel mainly pity for anyone my now ex-husband ‘dates.’ Nearly two years after my last boyfriend left, I am still trying to get over jealousy and envy—work in progress. Got to remind myself that he often covertly and sometimes overtly treated me and some of the partners that preceded me very badly.)

          I understand Kayley beating herself up but think that she is undeservedly flogging herself. (I am an expert 10th degree Master Black Belt Pick Me Dancer who has done the same for many years.) It is not that our partners don’t see (understand us due to poor communication on our part), it’s that they don’t agree (care about/value us). I used to wonder why my last boyfriend would choose to talk to his ex-wife and even consider meeting his ex-wife, who he divorced because she repeatedly cheated on him, for dinner without me but shut me out although I would have done anything, including sacrificing my life, for him. He valued her, an adulteress who supposedly emotionally abused him, but didn’t value me enough to ever in decades mention me or put my photo anywhere on social media. At the end; he told me that he was embarrassed to be seen with me, although I am a loving slim, fit (I think decent-looking), well-educated, middle-aged woman. I was a sucker in self-denial. I didn’t realize what a low price tag, Free?, I had put on my life. The lower your price, the less you are valued. Sounds as though Kayley’s been doing all the adulting, which is a pain, but on the bright side, shows that she is a competent, caring partner and parent, a fact that bodes well for her and her daughter’s future. I really hope that Kayley will fully value herself. Kayley, sending you a virtual hug.

            • Hi LAJ,
              Not sure exactly what you mean. I realize more and more as time goes by that I hung around my now exes, serving as a punching bag (mostly emotional although my ex-husband twice hit me without provocation/permission and I, a very innocent (naive) 17-year-old, was sexually assaulted, fortunately defended myself from being raped, by my first quasi-boyfriend, a 24-year-old military enlisted guy who I met through a summer college course and later dumped ME by letter. Through Internet, discovered that this criminal is still kicking and a major A—hole narc—feel sorry for his wife, who probably has no idea what he did to me.)

              • “Not sure exactly what you mean.”

                Doesn’t that pretty much say it all? Yeah it absolutely does!!!!

          • RockStarWife,
            I think I am a lot like you.
            I am older and I should be wiser.
            Reading here has helped me a lot in the last few years.
            Others in my life have not changed, but the way I react to them has changed for me and made me much stronger.
            My children are also older than your’s but I will always struggle helping them as I continually strive to help myself.
            I don’t want to blame my childhood family or anyone specifically for my weaknesses, yet CN has taught me it was never my fault, the cheating, all the bad shit, never my fault, never your, fault.

            I see you as a very strong, loving, supportive voice on CN RockStarWife.
            I am so thankful for the many many Chumps who have reached out to me, like Jeep Tess,Tempest, LAJ, so so many others.
            At times their words to me have stopped me in my tracks and made me very very thankful that my life stumbled upon them.
            I love and respect you RockStarWife
            ( and I want to bitch slap both your exes)

            ( a sense of humour shared in so many posts and potty mouth being allowed also endures CL, CN to me)!

            Stay strong!

          • I too think you’re a strong women and look forward to reading you posts. I also made myself small in my marriage. I would ignore ex’s abusive behavior tor remarks to avoid
            a confrontation or argument. There were a few incidents when his disrespect was so obvious when were out in public strangers would step in to my defense. I let myself and my needs become so small I couldn’t see the abuse which what was obvious to strangers. I’d tell myself that they don’t know ex like I did, more spackle.
            With time and distance I see my life with ex not as wonderful as I once believed it to be.

            I read where you say you would have given your life for ex. I would have probably done the same. That was our problem we didn’t value ourselves enough to set boundaries. We gave them permission to abuse us by not setting boundaries.
            I’m going to end this post now as I think I’m about to be shut down

          • RockStarWife, did you ever consider that your ex who would still go out for dinner with his XW, was actually the adulterer and not his XW? And the XW was a chump who wasn’t able to detach from him? It does happen! At my former job, my boss told me a sad sausage story about how his wife cheated on him. He told the story in front of someone who knew the truth. This person kept quiet while he told his story. I later found out that he was the cheater and not her. Cheaters love to lie and be the victim!

            While we were dating, my XH would go to lunch, etc with ex-girlfriend. I was not allowed to be jealous or upset. She was even invited to our wedding! Now I realize that he got off on the triangulation he did with me and his harem of “healthy female friends”. One thing is for sure. I will never tolerate this again!

            My XH wouldn’t post pictures of me either on social media. Well, he did post some one’s from family vacations. But. One day he changed his Facebook profile picture to a beautiful photo of the both of us. THE NEXT DAY he switched it back to the one of him with our son. It really bothered me, but I didn’t say anything. After D-day, I realized his whore was one of his friends on Facebook. I have no doubt a lot of his harem are his Facebook friends. He didn’t want anyone to get the impression that he was happily married. He WAS happily married, until he wasn’t (got caught cheating).

            • Martha,
              Since discovering that my last boyfriend as well as my ex-husband lie about a lot of things and are very (disturbingly) comfortable lying, I have thought about claims about ex-wives cheating on my now former partners. My ex-husband cheated on his first wife with men and women (hired and not). I suspect that my last boyfriend might not have been great to his ex-wife but feeling neglected and who knows what else she cheated on him. However, he valued her (the pursued and esteemed by him) much more than he valued me (the pursuer, no matter how hard I tried to please him). And why would he entertain his first wife’s (ex-wife’s) invitations to dinner while attached to me if he cheated on her (first wife) and did not want her? He even told people, our friends, that I pursued and followed HIM. In sum, to him, I was an ego stroke after him being cheated on by his wife and divorcing her. I probably for years pumped up his low self-esteem/confidence, giving him confidence to pursue his young, highly desirable work subordinate love interest, now second wife. Him—Covert Narc much? Me—Doormat much? (For once on my over fifty year long life, I would like to be the Girl who gets the (desirable, decent) Guy as opposed to the Girl who trains her partner for his True Love and then gets dumped as he rides off into the sunset with new amazing young woman.) Most people consciously or unconsciously rank others on a totem pole. I hate this, but I think it’s true. I even see people on- and off-line talk about rankings of Sexual Market Value of people on a scale of 1 to 10. The more enlightened and compassionate of us try not to do this but probably do this at least unconsciously.

              Martha, I am sorry that your ex treated you so disrespectfully and hope that your life will improve dramatically without him dragging you down.

              • I hope the same for you, RockStarWife!

                It’s good that you can now see your past behaviors of being a doormat and pursuer. I was the same way too. Not in all relationships, but definitely in some. I can now *see* some of the behaviors and I can make a conscience effort not to every do those things again.

                Part of unchumping myself is allowing/pushing myself to have a voice in the world. It’s a very painful process, because I’m so used to being pushed down or away. A few times at work I’ve had to stick up for myself and even raise my voice. In the past I never would have stuck up for myself. Change is so very hard, but we are doing it!

                I will never pursue a man again. In the past when I guy broke up with me, I was like, “goodbye” and that was it. My XH was so hot and cold with his feelings, I sometimes didn’t know where I stood. So, now I know this isn’t normal behavior, so now I know I will do better in the future. This is why I’m so thankful for CL and CN!! All the wisdom that is here and everyone sharing their stories. It’s all so helpful in the unchumping of myself. Best to you, RockStarWife!!!

      • Having now actually taken the time to read the article you posted I am more convinced than ever that my ex and I were both distancers who subconsciously wanted the other to be a pursuer. Ex didn’t want to give me his attention but felt neglected when I left him alone. I suppose I felt the same to some extent, but I accepted his distancing and trusted that he loved me anyway and didn’t cheat over it. Ex wanted me to draw him out and force him to give me his attention and I failed to do that. He especially hated it when he was forced into the role of pursuer when his natural inclination was towards distancer. When he was successful he would punish me by distancing again as soon as he had my attention. I guess Schmoopie is better at demanding attention all of the time and he enjoys grudgingly giving it to her when it suits him. More untangling the skein I guess but at this point it is more fascinating than heartbreaking. Even though my ex is messed up in the same ways as so many others and says and does many of the same things, he puts his own unique twist on it.

      • THIS! Thank you so much. His avoidance, passiveness, all of it. It hurts to reflect, but it helps to be reminded that “quiet” will always mean the obvious now that the blinders are off. You are so right in every way.

      • Avoidants often employ the silent treatment or ostracism, which triggers activation in the anterior cingulate gyrus–the area of the brain responsible for detecting physical pain.

        Suffering through that avoidance often motivates us to reach out more, and the relief if the Avoidant person responds is so great that it keeps the toxic dynamic going. Even knowing about the dynamic doesn’t prevent us from wanting to do ANYthing to stop feeling isolated. But as we often say here, the only way to win is not to play the game. Walk away.

        • Oh, he is a master of the silent treatment. It was indeed physically painful–but a pain I was accustomed to from childhood. The things we learn here!

          • I refer to the silent treatment as the Master Tune Out. His ability to sit quietly and read when somebody in the house was upset and needed emotional support was chilling, bordering on psychopathic.

            • There must be truth in this Sucker Punched by a Saffa,
              In the first five years of our marriage and I was heavily pregnant with our first child, we had a terrible argument. I had to get out of the house, I was so upset. He was sitting in his chair reading.
              I had no access to a vehicle at the time, so I set out on foot and walked at least ten blocks. I sat in the entrance to the hospital where I was employed, hoping no one I knew would see me. Hours later, at dark, I walked back home. He was still sitting in the same chair, reading. He never acknowledged me, he never said one word, no apology, ever.
              I will never understand how a human being can detach from another person they are supposed to care about.
              I guess, sadly, it comes down to they constantly put themselves ahead of anyone else, ( even their innocent children).
              There I go again, there is no figuring it out, ever.
              Hugs to you.

            • My ex actually did that when our dangerously mentally ill and suicidal daughter ran out of the house to try to kill herself. He just sat there reading as I dashed out after her.

          • This was the same pattern in my relationship with the Limited. With him there wasn’t fighting followed by the silent treatment. He rarely had a conversation. He was a collector of hurts and always brought up his collection of wrongs.

            Final Dday, still talking about my disinterest in something that happened 10 years previous.

            By far toxic.

        • Thank you, Tempest.
          This is fascinating and added to my knowledge of “how it all happened”.
          Mine was a total avoidant.
          Sigh…

        • Totally. My avoidant ex would refuse to respond verbally or even look at me when I tried to get close and he felt smothered. I didn’t even try that often. But when I gave him what he wanted and stopped trying to connect at all after decades of rejection, he used it as an excuse to cheat. “Not enough attention”, he whined.
          Fuck a bunch of that. These assholes deliberately live by their insane double standards so you can’t possibly satisfy them. That way, being unsatisfied gives them the excuse they want to be emotionally abusive and cheat.

    • I agree with you that there needs to be more discussion about how difficult it is to love someone with avoidant attachment. (I tried my best for 20 years and failed). People with anxious attachment are VERY capable of love with someone who reciprocates. Can the same be said of someone with avoidant attachment? Because avoidants (distancers) are quiet and drama free (letting their partners “drama” for them both), people often blame the anxious (pursuing) individual, or at best take the “one never knows what goes on inside a marriage” stance. This way of thinking goes hand in hand with the whole “blame the chump” narrative. Chump lady has so much wisdom, but her best advice of all is to trust that they suck and to fix our pickers. A healthy marriage starts with who you marry, not how you are while married. If I ever get to be in a committed relationship again, this time with someone capable of love, it’s going to be a love story. It takes 2 people to make a marriage work, but only one to destroy a marriage. In all the relationship advice books I’ve read, only CL gets the most important point. If you married a fuckwit, there’s nothing to work with. If they don’t fully meet me, it’s not going to happen with me.

      • Gettingthereslowly, I don’t know really but I felt absolutely smothered in my marriage to the point that I felt I couldn’t come up for air. Maybe I am avoidant! He just sucked the life blood out of me – it was like being with a physical and emotional octopus. After my divorce I dated a lovely Dutchman for 6 years (and we are still friends, although no longer a couple) and he is more like me. No smothering, no clinging – we are more like a pair of old slippers and that’s great by both of us. Not sure if that makes me avoidant but I sure as hell didn’t cheat nor walk out (although I wish to hell I had done years ago)!

        • Attie, each person has their own balance point, but for a HEALTHY relationship that balance has to be somewhere in the middle, between ‘completely independent’ and ‘completely dependent’, between ‘spends almost no time/energy/emotion w/partner’ and ‘spends all time/energy/emotion on partner’. It sounds like you and the Dutchman found a balance that worked FOR YOU.

          And there has to be reciprocity! If you do the reciprocity, both giving and receiving in your relationships, then you’re not avoidant.

          Avoidant people either avoid entirely (don’t have close relationships or never connect emotionally in their relationships), or seek the anxious types, so that they can get their emotional needs sort-of met without ever having to do the reaching out, or having to reciprocate.

          I could shoot whoever it is that taught women that ‘strong silent types’ are really all warm and melty inside, and dying to communicate freely, if we can just love them enough. True avoidants look strong because they are cold and unfeeling, are silent because they really don’t want to communicate in a reciprocal way, and will not be ‘melted’ by our love. Sigh.
          Too soon old, too late smart, that’s me!

          • Thanks for that explanation Karen. I didn’t think I was a zombie as I love to spoil people but I have to have my space and peace and am very self-contained too. Now there’s a relief!

          • I loved reading an interview with Gloria Steinem regarding her late in life marriage-she was striving for interdependence. She found it but unfortunately her husband died of cancer.

  • “While it’s laudable to examine our faults, correlation is not causation.”

    CL hits the nail on the head – again. This would make a great bumper sticker.

  • Dear Kayley,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through.

    As my husband and I were both recovering alcoholics/addicts and both came from super troubled families, I asked for counseling from the very beginning of our relationship. Relationships are a SKILL and I wanted to learn, and I wanted a partner who was willing to learn so we would not repeat what we grew up with. He agreed.

    For 27 years, once a week, twice a month, outside help was part of our lives. I thought we were both following the maintenance and repair schedule, creating a strong and healthy marriage.

    In October 2017, I found out he was cheating. I have since realized he has probably had side pieces the entire time. What was he doing in those therapy sessions? maybe watching the clock or counting the carpet fibers.

    There is no greater proof than my story that getting counseling is no guarantee of fixing what I now think is unfixable. What I accomplished is wasting 27 years of my life and I don’t even know how much money building an elaborate phony front just like those Western movie sets.

    Another friend of mine just spent a year in therapy with her oh-so-remorseful repentant cheater, only to discover he had been lying the whole time and had not one but TWO side pieces.
    And there could be more.

    I no longer wish to try to make a Ferrari out of junkyard parts. It’s either already a Ferrari or it isn’t.

  • Oh my, my 24ish year old self could have written most of this letter. The difference is that even though mine was cheating then, I didnt learn of it until MUCH later. Our communication was toxic though…I tried and tried to pull anything I could get from him and he was extremely avoidant and when I made an actually valid point that he couldnt argue around, he suggested we get divorced then I would cry and beg him not to do such a thing, that we loved each other and had a family. I was SO scarred from each episode and deeply relieved to reconcile after a fight that I couldnt see the pattern and it repeated itself.

    “I still beg for answers and to know he loves me because I can’t let go of the life I thought we had and why you would go against our vows and the family we went through so much to create?”

    So this is so close to the pattern I was in. I wanted an answer and I tried to explain the depths of pain he caused and I kept trying over and over because I thought it was an “understanding” problem…and that (my dear Chumps especially Kayley) was the pivotal part of my error. He did what he did because he was enough of an asshole that doing what he did was exactly him and he DID NOT LOVE enough not to…no misunderstood twist with any of it. The life I thought we had was not what I was living, turns out, in the long game, it never was.

    I often wonder what it would have all looked like if I had known of the cheating back when our kids were little. My Cheater was enamored with pregnancy and having babies, so he was decent during the pregnancies, but the fatherhood stuff left him resentful (as did most of life).

    Like Kayley, I projected my values, goals, love and other goodness onto him…I saw goodness no matter how awful he got….and I did it to the very bitter end. I was so stubborn that I loved him despite moving away and dreadful wreckinsillyation. After his death, I learned he cheated over and over…my abandonment was quite ongoing, I just told myself it wasnt.

    You have nothing to work with here and Im so deeply sorry because it hurts. I was too scared to leave and I lost many many years to this I will never get back.

    • Cheaters have a way of interpreting everything their spouses do in the most negative possible light. At first I thought ex just misunderstood and that we could fix it if we communicated better. Now I know that he had just randomly stopped loving me years ago (probably just bored) and all of that misinterpretation was just him looking for excuses as to why he didn’t love me. It really didn’t matter what I did or said, it was always going to be wrong because it had to be to fit his narrative of being “stuck” in a bad marriage to a wife who just didn’t care about him and his needs.

      • CIR, yes, very much so. He HAD to fit life into his narrative because if he didnt then he was an a villain for how he acted and THAT was never going to happen.

        You may have read my tale about finding the document (after he died) where he wrote “I never loved my wife” well in that same folder were some photos of me…taken when I was in my 30s and should have looked good but sometimes a camera hits a person in an awkward angle or moment and even a pretty person can look awful…well, he had saved a small cache of photos of me all of which were awful…really terrible. I think he kept them in that spot where (if his narrative needed reinforcing) he could just look at the Quasimoto he was married to and feel better about his actions.

        I looked at those awful photos and was horrified to realize that that is how he saw me. I am not a bad looking woman and I have a good heart. I never deserved to be so harshly judged or treated by anyone.

    • yes, that is my story also. i also kept trying up to the bitter end. i was so sure that it was just a misunderstanding. if only i could explain it to him how much his actions was hurting me and the kids. if only i could use the right tone, the right sentence, tell him the right time, the right moment in the right way. i never understood that it wasnt that he didnt understand, it was because he didnt care. it killed me to find out that i never meant anything to him. i was nothing to him but someone who took care of him. the only misunderstanding was mine thinking that he actually loved me the way i did him.

      • oooh, mrsvain, this was SO me! 14 years trying to EXPLAIN it just right, trying to find a way that he would UNDERSTAND. Because surely if he understood, he would ‘get it’, he would see how he was hurting the kids and I and HIMSELF. He would ‘get it’ and WANT to change his behaviour towards us. I bought and read books, asked him to read them. I begged to go to counselling together – lasted 5 or 6 sessions after his first affair, then he refused to continue. I pushed him to go to therapy himself, since he was clearly very unhappy and doing lots of self-sabotaging things. When leveraged into it by my threats of leaving, he attended 5 or 6 sessions, then quit, lying that the therapist said he was fine now.

        I explained, I fought, I cried, I was so DAMNED COMPASSIONATE TO HIM and his difficulties. To me, it was unimaginable that a smart person would not WANT to do things in such a way as to maximize the happiness of their kids, their spouse who they supposedly loved, and of themselves too!

        It was quite liberating when I read Bancroft and Dr. Simon, and finally gradually understood; it wasn’t that he didn’t understand, it’s that he didn’t give a fuck.

        Then a couple of things really made sense; the ONLY times he had made positive changes were the two or three times I was completely totally ready to leave him. He didn’t want THAT, so he’d change. Then of course, he’d drift gradually back to his old behaviours, but w/a more careful calibration around what he knew I really, really would no longer put up with. Because he truly didn’t give a fuck how I felt, or the kids, and took zero responsibility for his own unhappiness, only a direct threat to remove something he still wanted could bring about any change. Very eye opening, in the end.

        • Mrs Vain, Karen E, CIR…your responses were amazing. Word for word my experience. and like KE said, with each cycle, he could more closely calculate exactly how much latitude he had and when to throw a crumb.

          Realizing things like that since his death have been shocking to me…to learn that fixing what was wrong was NEVER a possibility. Never. My optimism and hope were very misplaced.

  • Kayley – I’m so sorry you’re in this nightmare. You need to understand that a man who sees a newborn in the arms of his wife and is not overwhelmed with love is NOT a real man ( I know I sure was)! It’s giant sign to take your baby and leave NOW because he never will be the man you envision – or the man you and your daughter deserve and you have no choice!
    I believe you will find a man (probably a chump) that knows the value of a good wife and mother and I hope you’ll be rid of this ‘problem child’ long enough by then to recognize this man – but be careful – remember you’re vulnerable!

    • Absolutely. Kayley, right now you need to focus on raising your daughter. Pour you loving heart into her for the next few years. When your life has stabilized and some sense of normalcy returns, there will be plenty of opportunity to find a good life partner later. You are capable of getting through this because you are strong, competent and loving. You got this.

    • Thank you for your words, it’s nice to hear this from a man as well and know that there is better out there and I deserve better.

  • Whatever energy you are currently putting into caring about fuckwit and his future you need to redirect that caring towards you daughter. She is what matters now. He is no longer your problem. You are now free to put 100% of your energy and priorities into loving and raising her without fuckwit there to drag you down. The only thing you need from him is that child support. If paying child support leaves him strapped, tough luck on him. Same for health care. He made his bed, he can lie in it. Use the law to make sure he follows through on his obligations to his offspring. As for being capable of looking after your daughter when she is with him, with any luck, that won’t be much because having her around would seriously crimp his lifestyle so you may get lucky there. If not, just make sure she isn’t being put in danger. Document everything and if you think she is in harm’s way, talk to a lawyer ASAP. Otherwise you may just have to eat that shit sandwich, but like I said, that time may be less than you think. That means more work for you but also one less thing to worry about.

    Eventually you will come to realize that he sucks. Harness that anger when it shows up to protect you and your daughter and make sure he gives you your due in terms of the financial split and child support. Good luck.

    • Kayley,
      You have CL, CN, family members and friends who will help you through this shit storm and betrayal.

      Kayley, I had a just turned 3 year old and was in first trimester pregnancy at DDay time.
      I confided in no one, pick me danced and cheater ended up staying.
      ( the reason he stayed, I figured out years later- I was so naive) is because he lacked the courage to tell the ow that the wife appliance was pregnant. Heck she already felt bad taking him away from his 3 year old child).

      In your story, you are always last, you and your precious daughter. He always puts himself first. He will NEVER change. This is just who he is.

      Kayley,
      Experienced Chumps here ( and in the forums), will tell you what to do. They will reach out, not only with knowledge, but with compassion and understanding. They will guide you toward the light. Your cheater is darkness. Please, please go in the other direction, go toward the light.
      Do not waste your precious time and your loving emotions on him.
      My greatest desire is to help other Chumps to NOT make the same mistakes I did.
      Kayley, you have so much love and empathy in your heart and soul. Do not waste it on him. Please.

      Xxxxxxxx
      peacekeeper

    • i was just going to suggest that if the child support leaves him strapped maybe she could suggest that she drop the child support if he gives her sole custody. as a single mother of 5, i would rather have sole custody then the meagerly amount the court ordered for child support. in my daughters case, her ex was not interested in the children at all, he did not enforce his visitation. did not bother her with medical, religious or school decision UNTIL she went after him (per the suggestion of her lawyer, although i tried to tell her differently) for child support. as soon as the child support went thru the court, he all of sudden wanted custody of the children. he started fighting for full custody, and ended up with 50/50. after a full year of not seeing his dad, and the baby never seeing her dad, they are now forced to go 7 days with him. the court decided that 7 days with mom and 7 days with dad is “fair”.. .. the children are miserable and confused and frustrated. dads rules are stricter and so different then moms rules. he still has no interest in the children and has told my daughter that they spend all day watching tv inside the house, he hardly takes them outside, he doesnt take them to the park. he ignores them most of the time. .. . he just doesnt want her to have them. he also will deny ANY request my daughter makes of him. he refuses to take the babies to the doctors, has fought in court to prevent the kids from getting their shots (he doesnt believe in them), he will not give them prescription medicine and will never allow changes in visitation. he will not let my daughter baptise the kids just because it is something she wants to do, not because he is against being catolic and he has no religious beliefs at all.. he is fighting the day care and has already told her he wants the kids to go to school in his home town which is 3 hours away from where my daughter lives.. … .. his most recent attempt to hurt my daughter is forcing the now 2.5 year old boy and 18 month old girl to call his brand new girlfriend of 1 month “mommy”.. .. he made a point to tell the boy ‘say hi to your other mommy’ in front of my daughter during the weekly sunday exchange. needless to say this is the 4th new mommy my grandson has had in the past year. .. .. but oh what a stink he has that my daughter has a boyfriend. .. .

      needless to say, my daughter wishes she never went after him for child support.

  • Kayley, I pick me danced for over a year. I’ve got 4 kids. Had to try. The whole time I got counseling, fixed MY inner problems, and made sure his needs were met because poor him, supporting 5 people he had kicked out left him with “not enough to survive” as he put it. I was a SAHM unable to work because of health at the time.
    Well, that was convenient for him. The kids and I did without and went in debt while he “scraped by” oh- excuse me, he bought a mustang, moved with smoopie, and racked up credit debt. Then he took out of his 401 k to pay it off.
    When I lawyered up, and found he should be paying me Hundreds more a month more than he was, the rage came out. He fought it a year. I got it anyway. But he’s ok because he has a smoopie for money and sex.

    Hon, you have a daughter now. HER needs have to come first. Take what the court says you should have. He will figure something out.

  • It strikes me that maybe there should be a class in how to recognize someone who loves you. Because, trust me, after dating assholes and marrying one, when you meet that person the difference in behavior is unbelievable.
    There is reciprocity from the very beginning and I’m not sure this is typical but we have been together now for over two years, married for nine months, and haven’t had one fight. Disagreements yes, discussions yes, no yelling and no fighting.

    • Hopefully you don’t fight because you are able to air your grievances in a respectful way and you both work at resolving those grievances. My ex and I rarely fought. Sometimes I think we were both avoidants and the result was that complaints on both sides got left unresolved because nobody ever brought them up or pursued any meaningful resolution. In my case, I just told myself that whatever was upsetting me wasn’t that bad and I shouldn’t be bothered by it and I could live with it. In his case he just built up resentments until he could hardly stand me anymore because I wasn’t reading his mind and resolving his issues on my own.

      • Oh absolutely. I feel very comfortable discussing anything with him. In my previous marriage, I felt like I couldn’t discuss my feelings at all. They were dismissed. I always felt like I had to hide things. I don’t feel that way anymore.
        The best thing of all is, when a I talk to him about something, I fell better. The issue is resolved.

    • Wormfree,
      I am very happy for you!
      I thought that after my abusive ex-husband left and I started dating guy I thought was an old friend who never argued with me, that all was well and life was beautiful. He was just emotionally avoiding/withholding from me, hiding many of his thoughts and feelings from me and holding in all his loathing/lack of caring about me in—until he discarded me. I went from an overt narc to a covert narc to nobody.

      • Nobody is better. Nobody is way better than what you had or thought you had. You are enough.

        • To clarify, I meant that my husband was an overt narc, my last boyfriend was a covert narc, and now, for nearly two years, unwillingly, I have had no partner, no ‘real’ dates. Wish that I were one of the people who LOVED being permanently single (celibate), but I still really dislike it. As frightening as it was to be abused by my husband (now ex-husband) and unpleasant as it was to be insulted and lied to by my last boyfriend, I don’t find life better now. It’s harder in a lot of ways; I don’t feel any mightier. If anything, my self-esteem, my bank balance, and my kids’ grades have plummeted. I am still ‘stuck’ with my ex-husband as we have young kids together and moving will very likely mean losing some or most custody of our kids. I even considered letting my abusive ex-husband move in with kids and me, in spite of restraining order, so that he would stop the attack on me through the legal system and so that I would have money to raise our kids. I don’t really see any upside to this new divorced lifestyle. And being single does not mean more dates. Actually, I had more ‘attractive’ offers, which I turned down, while I was married. I am glad that a lot of respondents on this board are not like me in terms of going into a multi-year long downward spiral. Going to try to be strong for my kids, keep looking for (long-term full-time) employment.

          • I think that I now get what you are saying, LAJ. I get the gist of what you are saying. Just hard to believe that nobody is way better than a bad partner when you are not earning enough income to feed and shelter your kids (and you are super lonely and wish that you had a close ally (invested, loving partner)). I am NOT enough if I cannot feed and shelter my kids and me. Pride and self-esteem don’t feed and shelter families. I have been buying planes and tuition to private schools for my attorneys’ families, not mine, for five years. Can’t I, and people like me, at least get a plaque on a wall of Family Court, for our six-figure donations to the legal profession? LOL.

            • See, I get what you are feeling because I spent years thinking that a partner was necessary for economic survival. And like I you I longed for an “invested, loving partner.” I finally got the courage to let all that go and figure out how to take care of myself. I don’t have kids and certainly that would make things more difficult. But I absolutely think having no one is better than being married to XH the substance abuser or living with Jackass the Cheater.

              As I think about this, I wonder if you have really worked at fixing your picker. If you peg your economic survival on having a relationship, then it’s tough to fix the picker, as I learned from many years of more or less unconsciously looking for an economic partner rather than a person of character. I still think finding another mom in your situation and seeing if you can join forces makes more sense that either struggling alone or settling for an abuser. I like Elizabeth Warren’s story about her aunt who moved in to help her care for her kids. And when my cousin was widowed, her mother moved in for a few years to get her and her kids (including a newborn) on their feet. YOu can’t be the only woman in your high-cost area to be struggling.

              • In her case it sounds like she just needs her ex to leave her alone and stop bleeding her dry more than she needs a man to support her. Her family doesn’t sound all that supportive either. Perhaps if there are other woman in that high cost area who are struggling that would be a solution. They could help each other out. The question is, how do you go about finding that other struggling person and how do you check them out to determine that they are at least safe for you and your kids to be around and convince the other person the same of you?

              • Hi LAJ and Chumpinrecovery,

                You bring up good points. I have tried to find other people, including single parents, for roommates. I have had five sets of roommates since my ex-husband left. Some of the good ones moved back to their home countries within a year or moved for work; some of the irresponsible, damaging ones, including the young single dad of the toddler, had to be asked to leave. I feel as though I have a revolving door of roommates. I need to be careful selecting roommates and thus spend a lot of time interviewing people, with limited success in finding good roommates. Most responsible, considerate people don’t want to share a home with another family for more than a few months, if ever.
                I really need to get out of my emotional funk and work hard working hard and finding a permanent family-sustaining job. ‘Crying’ over spilled milk (relationships gone wrong) is not going to turn bad ex-partners and bad former relationships into good ones for me nor pay the bills. Going to try to settle with ex-spouse to get that monster off my back at minimal additional financial damage. I wish that the Court would officially label him a vexatious litigant as, although he cheated on and left me, he, over years, continues to harass and try to con me and others, costing of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now his siblings shun ME. They want to believe his lies about me, even if those lies have been disproven. Some people cling to the notion that the world is flat and act accordingly. They tell me that my kids can attend their parties and I can drive my kids an hour one way to drop off my kids st their homes, as my ex is usually out of state/country, but I cannot enter!

      • Hey, Rockstarwife! From the beginning, my current husband told me everything.
        The thing that surprised me most was him telling me about mistakes he had made and how he solved problems. He answered all my questions without getting annoyed.
        At one point I said that I wish I had met him earlier and he said he would not have been worthy.
        He lets me sleep late while he makes my breakfast every single morning. He walks me to the car and opens the door for me when I go to work. I could go on and on.
        Bottom line is, I have no doubt in my mind that he is completely in love with me. My friends and family have noticed it too.
        The Worm made me uneasy from the beginning…..
        Reading all the articles here in Chumplady land definitely helped me recognize a gem!
        Like I said, we need a class….

        • Wormfree,
          I hope that your partner continues on this path. At first, my last boyfriend did all these things you mentioned for me, too, which made me love him even more…I, too, thought I had a gem. it took awhile for things to noticeably change for the worse.

          • Ditto. Makes it hard to trust. Any red flags are only visible in hindsight and were subtle and late in coming. I don’t think he really was a jerk back then he just had personality traits that eventually lead to it.

          • I’m wondering how we tell the gem from the asshole when the asshole is so good at being a chameleon.
            How long does the behavior last before the mask slides off?
            I think it’s our duty to figure this out for our fellow chumps who are dating again!

    • @Wormfree… sign me up for that class! This topic is hitting home right now. 3 years with a functioning alcoholic (which took me several months to see) and he is gifted at blaming me for any fights/disagreements and then comes the IGNORE game. I see the pattern that I keep reaching out and he ignores. Why is the right thing to do the hardest thing to do. I know I need to RUN FAST . Sigh

      • Yep! Run away! You don’t deserve to be treated like a piece of furniture or an emotional scapegoat!

  • Gosh, Kayley! Your STBX is a POS.

    One of my great good friends recently retired. He counts among the joys of his life his wife, his daughter, and his grandchildren. He was reminiscing with me and another one of our friends about the day his daughter was born. He was fine having a child, but it wasn’t until he held his daughter and she wrapped her little hand around his finger that he was completely and absolutely blown away by his love for her, his profound sense of obligation to her, and his deep desire to keep the trust that she–as a newborn–had bestowed upon him.

    That’s what real fathers do.

    You are grieving for the life you dreamed that you had, but if you read your own letter, you’ll see that you already knew that the life you actually had was nowhere near the dream. He always shut down. You had to push for communication. You’re afraid that he can’t take care of himself. He needs to learn how to adult.

    Fuck that shit!

    You go get yourself a decent lawyer, get the child support that he owes you (and be prepared to go back for more if his income improves), and set up the visitation schedule. Get Our Family Wizard or other scheduling software and use it to set up the schedule for when your Cheater STBX has child care duties. Initially, it’ll probably be for an afternoon or one day on the weekend (if the child is still an infant), and later for an overnight or two before transitioning to a 50-50 split.

    Also get yourself some therapy. You’ve been in a toxic relationship for about a decade. You don’t just get rid of that overnight. Find someone experienced with trauma bonding and emotional abuse. Therapy will help you see your own value and learn how to set and maintain good boundaries. You’ll be fixing your picker and modeling the kind of behavior and expectations for your child that will help your child also learn to set and maintain boundaries.

    Good luck!

  • Kayley, you did not have a toxic communication style. What he did to you, the stonewalling, the pushing you away to be punitive so that you begged and cried, is textbook emotional abuse. Your dramatic response to it was due to trauma. You are now trauma bonded to him. He sounds like he has a severe case of avoidant attachment disorder. He can’t love. He will never really bond to anybody, including your daughter or any other woman. He cheated because he was not attached to you and is terrified of intimacy. Having a baby together naturally brings a couple closer, and he wanted to avoid that at all costs, so he ran away like the coward he is. Also, and more importantly, he cheated because he’s an asshole. My cheater also has avoidant attachment disorder (and is also an asshole), so I recognize the signs. It is very difficult to treat even if he would get treatment, which he won’t. You have nothing to work with here. Get therapy yourself to help break the trauma bond and recover from the abuse this scumbag has inflicted on you. As CL says, it’s totally normal to be scared. He left you and the baby to fend for yourselves. Your hormones make you desperate to keep that bond. But you will need to find a way to tell both him and your hormones to fuck off, and prepare for life as a single mom. I’m so sorry. There’s nothing else you can do.

    Oh yeah, and don’t help this bastard. Get the child support. Of course he is lying. He can and will pay. If he doesn’t even bother to get the baby supplies needed for visitation, he shouldn’t get visitation. Hand all this over to your lawyer so you have as little contact with him as possible. Look up the Grey Rock method of handling abusers or use a third party to negotiate visitation and go no contact. This is a terrible time, but I promise you that it gets better. Hang in there and keep coming here for support.

    • Chumperella,
      With all due respect to you (I love reading your posts), how do we, with little information, having never met Kayley’s husband, know whether Kayley’s husband is ‘terrified of intimacy’ and has an Avoidant Attachment style? Maybe he’s like my last boyfriend—he’s ‘just not that into her (his partner)’ and is a plain A—hole to her but will be great to someone else (a new partner)?

      • Her description of how he would deliberately withdraw from any attempt by her to talk to him her fits it perfectly. If a guy is just not into you, he doesn’t show that by pulling the silent treatment or stonewalling you half to death while you cry and beg. A guy who’s not into you just seems bored. This guy’s behavior is way beyond that.
        But of course I don’t know it for a fact and I didn’t intend to convey that I did. It’s just an impression I got from what she said. Others have made the same observation.
        There’s no need to preface what you want to say to me like that, btw. Feel free to disagree with me anytime, love. I enjoy your posts as well.😉
        I don’t believe somebody who is mean, supposedly just because he’s not into you, will ever be great with somebody else. That’s a mean person, period. I doubt your ex really is good to his new victim, or if he is, he certainly won’t be for long. A-holes are a-holes whoever they are with. Once the honeymoon period is over, out comes the selfishness and nastiness. Yes, Kayley’s husband is definitely an a-hole. As I told her, that’s his more important cheating motive. Whatever else is going on with them, they all suck, and they won’t suck less with somebody else.

  • A man who would cheat on and abandon a pregnant wife is no prize. Consider yourself lucky that the mask came off before you had even more time, and possibly children invested in him. Again, this is the sort of man who will abandon a pregnant wife and unborn child. He’s the exact opposite of what you need and deserve.

  • One more thing Kayley, I struggled with trying stop taking care of my cheater at first too. This is something another chump wrote on chump nation and it spoke to me so much I copied & pasted it and read it whenever my chumpy ole’ past self tries to resurface. I hope it helps you as much as it has me:
    As a good and caring person, I can imagine withholding empathy and support for someone you used to love feels counter intuitive. BUT IT ISN’T. When he announced he was blowing up the family you built together for another woman and her magical vagina, did he pause to consider your pain… your suffering… your aloneness? NOPE. He skipped off and didn’t look back. I suggest you do the same here.

    Also want to send cyber hugs & advice to be super kind to yourself because this is probably one of the worst pains a person can deal with. It gets better I promise.

  • Dear Kayley,

    It happened to me just last year. The baby just turned one so it’s still pretty fresh. Here are some tips that got me through it.

    1. While pregnant, take care of yourself and baby. Eat I know it’s hard but it’s important and stay hydrated. That baby needs the water! Relax when you can but stay busy, do puzzles, take up knitting. I caution against watching birth videos on youtube, it can be triggering with the seemingly happy couples. You can’t change him or what he’s doing so don’t even worry your beautiful head over it. Shit people do shitty things, it’s who they are.

    2. When baby comes, it’s ok not to have him in the delivery room, your the only patient until the baby arrives, exercise your patients rights if needed. If he doesn’t want to be there anyway, it’s a win-win for you.

    3. Build your support system. Family and friends are crucial right now more than ever. A trusted/supportive family member should be with you in the delivery room. It will make all the difference, believe me.

    3. Lawyer up and file for CS.

    4. Create a loving and supportive environment for that baby that you worked so hard for.

    5. Grey rock the shit out of that asshole. And get mad Kay, get big mad. Be the mamma bear tour baby needs. She’s going to need someone to fight for her.

    6. This is a sad truth, and I’m sorry to say this but I had to accept this as well…he doesn’t give a shit about you and he may not give a shit about the baby. Shit people only care about themselves.

    7. Listen to CL and visit here often

    8. Remember and this is important…
    Fuck that guy, he’s a choad juggler.

    • Most hospitals will allow being a “no information patient” as an option. Your name will not even come up on a list if someone calls. Don’t post on social media about being in labor and make sure your friends do the same. Talk the the birth registrar about your state laws with regard to husbands name on birth certificate

  • As others have said RUN. I was young with 2 small children when I first learned he had cheated. We did the counseling route and I thought all was well and good. Well and good for him in that his extracurricular activities went deeper underground and didn’t resurface for 30 years…he had been cheating all along and now I have myself and 3 grown children all devastated by his behavior which has destroyed our pasts and put a huge blemish on their futures.

    Now you see the truth. You can raise your daughter in that truth. I have a very good friend who left when her daughter was 18 months old. They slept in her car – anything to stay away and now she is a mighty woman and her daughter is so wise for her age because of the wisdom her mother taught her through her wise behavior and honesty – a lot of which was gleaned in Al-Anon – a lot of these guys are alcoholic/drug addicts.

    My situation is different. I was a chump and didn’t know it for 30 years. Now I know and the way out is getting more clear daily thanks to CL and CN. I have learned a lot about myself here and the qualities I have that draw me to these types of personalities….Work for me to do on myself.

    I did a lot of chumping during the bargaining stage of grief too although, at the time, I had no clue that is what I was doing.

    Stay strong. You are not alone. My heart goes out to you. These FW do not change….more clever and devious yes, but not a change for the better. The lying is a way of life for them.

  • Oh girl, I’m so sorry. There’s a special place in hell for men who leave or cheat on pregnant wives.

    RE the attachment piece…I too was dysfunctionally attached to my ex, even went so far as to reach out to his parents and friends during discard to implore them to look out for him cause I was so worried about his mental and emotional state. LOL. Dude went on to drag me through the mud and tried to stop me from getting my share of our stuff. I had many legal bills because of this guy. So, turns out he wasn’t such a victim after all.

    This is a product of pairing with a sad sausage victim type. It’s years of them playing on our good nature to see them as a victim. It’s a kind of covert narcissism. And it took me a while to recover from it. Even now, I can backslide if I happen to see him at a kid exchange and catch a sad look on his face. BUT THEN I go back and reread all the emails he’s sent me, and all the journal entries I made. He was a monster to me. So, whenever you start to feel care-takery towards this guy, write down a list of all the terrible things he has done or reread emails or have a close friend or family member remind you, loudly, what he did to you and your child. He abandoned and betrayed you in your most vulnerable state. This is not a victim, he’s a con man.

    • Those damn sad sausages. Always with the victimhood. Smh. My former sad sausage sat on my sofa this past summer with a tale of being 10k in credit card debt and 200k in student loans in an effort to stop me from filling for CS. He now smirks at kid exchange because he’s found someone to pay his bills. Maybe she’ll pay his CS since she so complicit in fucking guys with pregnant partners.

      In the words of Mr T. “I pity the fool who gets involved with him and pays his bills.” Or something like that. Lol

    • NotANiceChump,
      Me too….Reached out for the exact same reasons to my in-laws and got slammed both by them and then by him – what a mind fuck that was but it showed me a side of him I hadn’t seen and that how the in-laws twisting it is very common in these cases. Lost them in the process too – so much denial.

      My friends are the ones that keep me straight and reading here and anything else I can get my hands on about covert passive aggressive narcissists does the rest.

      I recently watched a video, Holy Hell, that chronicles a cult in California back in the 80’s. The effect one person had and how horrific it was to really see what was happening to them. Conclusion the author had was that in breaking away from a relationship with a cheater/covert narcissist we, their victims, benefit more from deprogramming that from regular therapy unless you have a therapist who knows about these types.

      Despite the fact that I was fooled for over 3 decades I am ever so grateful that I have 3 remarkable children. Don’t know how I would have gotten through all of this without them. My witnesses so to speak,

  • BTW I could have written your email about the communication style (and the struggles with infertility too). What I’ve learned over time and lots of therapy and consideration is that HE is a toxic person with a toxic communication style. He is broken. You are describing a young woman who loved a young man and tried ever so hard to garner his love and consideration in return. You wanted to love and be loved and to start a family. You are normal with good intentions. He is not.

    I mean, it’s always good to have some constructive takeaways from toxic relationships, but please be kind to yourself and realistic about what actually happened, not what you’ve been programmed to believe happened. Sounds like you wanted some pretty normal, reasonable, and lovely things. You deserve to be cherished and loved. A guy like this can never do that.

  • Sweet Kayley, my XH cheated when I was pregnant too. Well, he’ll deny it of course, but all the signs were there, including him smirking while saying to me, “You and the kids will be financially fine without me.” This was way back in 2000. Our son was one years old and I was pregnant with our daughter. I 100% understand your pain and I just want to give you a big (((hug))) and tell you that you are not alone.

    I *won* the Pick Me dance, only to be cheated on I don’t know how many times and finally discarded in 2014 when I caught him out on a date with a newly divorced whore.

    I’m not the first person to say this, but any man that can cheat on his wife when she is pregnant is the SCUM OF THE EARTH.

    My blinders are 100% off now and I can see my XH for who he truly is and not who I thought he was. One day you will get to this point too and you will realize it was a blessing to get this worm out of your life. I wasted another 14 years with this scumbag; time I’ll never get back!

    Take all the great advice you are getting today and run with it! Read as many past CL blog posts as you can. This will help you unchump yourself. You deserve way better then this manchild. One day you will believe it!

    • My husband said to me about a week before my son was born “what will we do if he comes out with red hair?”

      I thought this was bizarre, and challenged him on it. We can’t send him back wtf do you mean??? He gave some bullshit about son needing a strong name.

      Turns out OW was still on the scene, and continued to be on the scene all the way through another year and a half including when we got married. If there’s one thing worse than a man who cheats while his partner is pregnant, it’s a man cheating while he gets married. In fact both as bad as each other and I got both rolled into one.

      I call that OW Ginger Rogering. Yep, red hair. It was only recently I realised the source of his concern for a red haired baby.

      But what she has to do with my sons hair colour I’ll never know. And yes, my son came out with beautiful red hair, of which neither of us have (recessive genes). It blows my mind whenever I think of it. In fact still the only thing that really triggers me. That she was somehow playing the part of his parent in this truly messed up skein.

      • That sucks. Cheating during pregnancy, when you have a newborn, when getting married, or when the spouse or a child has an illness all signify a super disordered, truly horrible person. Mine was the last type.

      • I hope any kids Schmoopie has come out with boring hair and give her nothing but trouble for the rest of her life. I am glad your son has nice hair and that you recognize him for the beautiful and spacial child that he is. Your son.

  • No contact Sweet Kayley. Try to get some custody and no or supervised visitation. It’s three years out for me and some times I still think wistfully about the intact family I had imagined. I was never going to have that because my ex was never the man I thought he was. So when ever nostalgia and hopium try to cloud my mind to reality I remember the part you are going through right now, the god awful soul crushing pain and stomp on them just like I would a roach trying to get in my house.
    My ex likes to Hoover when ever he is between schmoopies. It’s finally gotten to the point where it is more annoying than tempting. You will get there too.

  • You’re used to looking after him because it’s so hard for him. He’s used to being the centre of all that. There is no end to how entitled he feels to that.

    My counsellor calls it persecuting from the position of a victim. So that’s what you need to look for, when he’s claiming to be a victim but somehow it’s you who ends up responsible for his life, for giving things up to satisfy him.

    It took a lot for me to finally realise that no matter how much he insisted I was responsible for him that I wasn’t responsible for him.

  • This was me, knowingly, for 7 years. Longer unknowingly. I even got pregnant after 3 years of trying after discovering his affairs, the block unblocked, so the pick me dance saved me a fortune in fertility treatment.

    While I don’t wish I didn’t have my son who came of that toxic pick me sex, I wish I’d left him then anyway and kept my dignity intact. Dignity I got back in part due to discarding my entire social network who just thought boys will be boys and continue to enable him.

    My kids are doomed to turn out like him, especially being born into that level of fucked upness. It’s all I can do to save them from that fate, which is a damn sight more meaningful than trying to save him from his toxic disordered lying entitled misogynistic woman hating mind. He’s not worth it, but your kids are. He’ll never change, even for them.

  • Kayley – I hope you’ve received some comfort from all these wise women. Because of their responses to you, I’ve been able to write a letter of self-empowerment to my husband. I’ll read it in “our” therapist’s office whether he shows up or not. Wish I had this knowledge at your age. Your daughter has a strong mother.

  • Same,same, same, same, same.

    You can do this. I done it. I now love being single after 21 years with a man child. I can parent the way I want (thanks to abandonment of our then 11 and 1 and a half year old).
    I am better off financially – he signed both houses over to me. Yet conned me out of thousands due to his setting up what was meant to be our family business with his first other woman, who was also our tenant in our old house, and an ex colleague of his, whilst also shagging a current colleague, all since our baby was born,or before,I’ll never know.i now don’t need to know.

    Use the anger to propel you forward. Fight for what’s right. Get friends you trust to look after the baby to give you time to rage and fight this shit. Be mighty, put him to shame.

    I now use the second OW to triangulate him with, play him at his own game and I can now shame him in front of her (via email), hoping that she has some decent set of values deep in her entitled, slutty heart to persuade him to pay the correct amount for his children.

    Yes, I’m still livid but it is now mixed with pity and you can’t really club someone you feel sorry for.

    I wrote a blog to get it out me, to spill onto the page, to cleanse myself of his betrayal and document the arsehole that he was (anonymously).

    Dig deep, get counselling, focus on you, it can be done. Read past issues on here, it helps a lot. x

  • Kayley – I hope that you have reached out to your family and friends for support and help. He is a huge jerk and with any luck, he will be a decent part-time parent and pay his child support on time without squawking.

    And nailing jelly to the wall will be an easy thing to do.

    In the meantime, you are a great big battleship moving slowly. It takes time to turn one of them around when they are moving slowly, but when you speed up, do a 180 degree turn and those 16-inch naval guns (chainsaw divorce lawyer) are pointed at the fuckwit who abandoned you, he will respect you.

    The Missouri class. Awesome ships. It’s a shame they’re decommissioned. The can throw a 16 inch, 2500 pound armored piercing round (AP shell) two miles and they only cost $1000/each. Unlike the modern ship that only has two guns, can’t fire as fast and thanks to the price of the “bullet”, isn’t price-effective to use. Plus it gets swamped and will sink fast.

    Be a battleship. Be the USS New Jersey (19 battle stars)! You can turn him into legal red mist.

    https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/5-legendary-battleships-us-history

  • No relationships are without their problems. You had even looked at yours and decided something needed doing. You were keen to invest in a solution. Your ex sounds like not so much (sounds like mine ex btw). It concerned you that there were things to fix. You voices your concerns.

    Roll on them having an affair and anything you have ever done wrong from poor communication to putting the toilet roll on the holder the wrong way round will get thrown at you because it would be just great if they can shift at least part of the blame onto you. We could all have done things better, differently but we weren’t given the truth. It’s all just a smokescreen to take the heat off them and their shitty behaviour. Awful to hear what has happened but do not look back. Get any child support you can and think about yourself and your child. He will find someone else to do his adulting, until he dumps them too.

    It’s very sad for your child of course and leaves you in such a vulnerable position but listen to the words of those that gave them a second chance and now regret it hugely. This guy is a self serving narc with no moral compass. He is so weak and you don’t sound at all like you are xx

  • Hugs to you Kaylee. I read your letter and nothing you relay indicates that cheating was what you deserved (it never is). If both of you sucked mutually at communication, how come you didn’t cheat as well? If you were also frustrated by his lack of communication how come you didn’t cheat as well?
    If you felt neglected, how come you didn’t cheat as well?
    The problem wasn’t and isn’t you.
    Look to the future.

  • if you can, do NOT put his name on the birth certificate. if he wants anything to do with her, he will take you to court. divorce without mentioning the baby, if he signs then he has no rights to her. if he is not on the birth certificate he has no rights to her. believe me it is easier. i have one that i did not put her dad on the birth certificate. oh he yelled and talked shit about me. he threatened and bitched but he never took me to court so he never had any say in her life. i allowed him to see her at first with me there. oh he talked a lot of shit to me, which i just let go in one ear and out the other. oh, he made me cry a few times too with his hate and anger.. .. but after a year, his visit got less and less by 3 years he was gone and i was able to raise my child the way i wanted to without having to fight or share her with a fuckwit.

    my daughter did not put her husband on the birth certificate. he kicked her out when she was 6 month pregnant. they were going thru the divorce (took her 2 years and 10,000 to finish). so at first he wanted nothing to do with the baby, then he decided (or his mommy decided) he wanted his daughter, so he took her to court and demanded a dna test (he believed she cheated on him and the baby was not his) .. . she was forced to follow thru with a dna test which of course proved he was the father. and then he decided he wanted visitations and custody. so he took her to court for that too. he nows gets visitations and has 50/50 custody. which sucks.. .. but it took a year and my daughter had her baby for a full year before having to hand her over for visitations.

    like i said, if he wants in the babys life he will do it anyway. no reason for you to make it easy on him. i wish i was closer to you, and you could live with me. i have room. haha good luck

  • You got this! I had a very similar situation. 12 years together ..also married young. I was 5 weeks pregnant on DDay.I had intermittent feelings that something was off while he was working a “temporary job” out of town as a pilot . Well he lied and manipulated very well. We also tried almost 3 years for a baby so the betrayal was even more heart wrenching. As i finally thought we were going to have all we worked so hard for. Two great jobs.. soon to be buying a house and finally baby (after two pregnancy loss prior). I was wrong….

    Long story short i filed for divorce after sitting back and looking at the reality… he and the jersey WH wouldn’t stop talking and continuing the affair even though both lied to me directly. My son is now almost three. I went through all of it alone… he abandoned us and never showed until my son was 4 months old. Saw him 3 times . He and Jersey WH ended up with a toxic relationship (obviously) that eventually ended. He then chose to continue his new found bachelor life with the exciting partying, women and drugs all to have it eventually end in a life ending accident bc of his lifestyle choices.

    My point is … i feel your pain. You will survive this. You deserve more and so does your daughter. A man that will show up and be present and trustworthy and as devoted as you. You deserve an equal. Sit back and look at the actions not the words. Feel free to contact me , I completely understand your position. It’s hard enough …but even harder when pregnant. I look back and say damn… what a bad ass i was ..i survived that and i’m going to make the life i deserve

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