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The Plan B Offer

notplanB

If things don’t work out with her, perhaps you and I could work things out.

This was submitted to my “Universal Bullshit Translator” inbox. It’s so cake-y and so common. Yeah, right, I want to be Plan B! Thanks for being so bold and out there with it, Cheaterpants.

How many in CN have gotten this “offer”? Or its twin: “I have to keep an OW/OM because, hey, it might not work out with us!” Followed by the inevitable blameshifting: “Because I don’t know if you can forgive me.”

It’s a keen look into the rancid oatmeal that is Cheater Brain.

People are commodities. You hold on to them, trade, or sell them off like stock. Hmmm, this one is performing well today, but according to my kibble index, the stock may drop, so let’s pick up a couple shares of Stacey.

From the chump’s perspective, the Plan B offer is baffling. Uh, hey, you committed to me. It was that marriage ceremony thingy. You know, in front of all our assembled family and friends? See those children over there with half your DNA? They’ve been operating under the assumption that they were the Only Plan.

Oh chumps, you just don’t understand CAKE do you? How delicious, sustaining, and full of kibbles it is. Narcissists require multiple sources of ego kibbles. Cheating is simply maximizing kibble production by trading one low-performing source of kibbles (you there too focused on your job or children) for higher-performing source (an affair partner unencumbered by reality). Of course, kibbles being the precious commodity that they are, a cheater doesn’t want to shut the kibble mines — so they offer you the awesome opportunity to be auxiliary kibbles! And compete for the chance someday, if you can improve production, to be primary kibbles again.

“If things don’t work out with her, perhaps you and I could work things out” is also illustrative of a narcissistic worldview. They really do think they are AWESOME. Don’t you want to get in on this? Of course you want them! Of course you’re pining! Of course you’ll wait!

Because you don’t have any needs, do you? You’re not really a thing are you, beyond kibble producer? I mean, God forbid, you might want the full attentions of a partner. Perish the thought. A 50-50 split on the kibbles? NEVER! And those sticky-fingered, grubby little children of yours? Kibble thieves!

Look, if you could address those issues (get rid of the kids and their needs, sublimate your ego), maybe it could work out again!

Let’s everyone pass on that offer, thanks.

This column ran previously. It’s second string. Unlike you. Don’t be Plan B, okay? 

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Thank you, Chump Lady! I was offered the glorious chance when it did not work out with the main AP (which I later learned was from the beginning of our marriage). He simply “had to go through that experience with her and understand for himself what he needed in life,” which was followed by fake reconciliation and me busting him again with somebody else.

    Now 3 years separated and he is dragging the divorce. Last week we had a call scheduled to go over some points of the separation agreement and he started screaming that I promised (during reconciliation) to return to the country he is living in now and I still should. I reminded him why we were divorcing. He said, “I don’t understand what one’s love life has to do with one’s family life! Different things!”

    Time and no (minimum) contact put so much in perspective. Three years ago I would be on hopium again after hearing that I should go back. Maybe he’s changed? Maybe there is hope? Now I chuckle and thank the providence for all those heart-breaking discoveries that led me to where I am.

    Thank you!

    • ” He said, “I don’t understand what one’s love life has to do with one’s family life! Different things!”

      Please tell me one or both attorneys stifled chuckles or at least had to clamp their eyebrows down before they shot up to their hairlines.

      • The call was between him and me after my attorney drafted and redrafted many times. Hoping to get there soon.

    • I don’t understand what one’s love life has to do with one’s family life! Different things!” 😬😬. Wow this line of thinking!!!! Scary

      • My ex used the same logic. He could separate the two, he told me! Why couldn’t I see that he could have this totally separate life with men, and STILL be a devoted husband and father? Well…. because he wasn’t, he treated me like some friendly aunt who took care of the kids and house and arranged all our social things, he ignored the kids, put my health in danger ( having sex with men without using protection…), put our financial status in danger ( spent our money, took out a credt card in both our names ( most likely forged my signature and ran that to the max), used his company computer for hookups, used his company car for sex, charged travel mileage to the company when he was really driving to see his boyfriends, let the company pay for hotels for business trips when he really was staying with boyfriends, charged the company for many overnight trips to a state he had work when he could have driven back that day (it was so he could organize gang bangs for his buddies, you would be SHOCKED to find out what the firemen in a certain New England state are up to when they go away for weekends). Gosh… when was he actually doing his job that he was being paid for? Like NEVER. So he got fired.
        Yep- he was totally being a devoted husband and father, that is absolutely the definition of that concept.

        • Wow…like an East Coast Fireman Brokeback Mountain?

          (I have no trouble with the gay thing, its the lying/cheating/health risk without consent part)

        • Gee did we marry the same guy? Mine was at it with women as well. He hadn’t a thing for wearing their underwear which guys weren’t into. Last time I caught him cheating (sharing girl on girl porn in a message) he even tried to tell me it was a guy like that was ok!

          Let’s just say they can have him.

    • “had to go through that experience with her and understand for himself what he needed in life” ?
      “I don’t understand what one’s love life has to do with one’s family life! Different things!”?

      I CAN’T. I JUST CAN’T.

      Holy shit.

      • “Clean-up in aisle seven! Mounds of sociopathic mouth dung blocking the blood flow to Chump brains! Bring a 50 gallon drum of brain bleach and a pressure washer!”

    • After reading this and looking back I realized that I must of been a Super Chump. I was desperate to fix things. I actually told XH “I will wait for you to decide what you want to do”. I told him “I will always be here for you because I will love you no matter what”. I see now that I was addicted to Hopium. I scheduled the therapy appointment, I bought the books, I went to the church for advise. I did everything. He allowed me to totally feed him kibbles

      When we did try and reconcile he told me “I almost took you up on that offer to get divorce and marry OW and if it did not work out and ended up getting divorced from OW… we could try again”.

      I should of seen through the sparkles then… but it has taken 3 years and a divorce to smell the turd.

      I wanted it so bad to work but I see now that during the affair I knew about he was eating soooo much cake. I hung on his every word. Then that day when I confronted OW and OW called him to say how “mean” I was being WOW. We were both shouting (literally shouting) pick me pick me! He had it all until OW had her fill and literally was having an affair with another man at the same time!

      Pass the cake around! I was the only one not having kibbles thrown at me.

      Any other chumps offer plan B to their sparkly turds?

      • I, too, temporarily played the part and said I’d wait. He told me he wanted me to fight for him…so I did exactly that for several months. Finally I couldn’t emotionally take it. I was suicidal and knew I needed to step back or I was going to die, literally. With space came clarity. I did the work…. I journaled, I went NC and went to a badass therapist who helped me navigate the shitshow.

        We divorced, 3 months later Douchebag McGee married homeslice. And 1 1/2 years later, they are separated. He’s emailed me (my response time for returning emails requesting pics of our old life and kids together) is about 3 months. Going to get the pics together so I won’t be bothered anymore. I used to have a visceral response when I got emails. Now I’m pretty much meh. Guess the promise of happily ever after didn’t turn out to be true for him.

        It WILL get better… just do the work. You can have an amazing life on the other side if you allow it to be.

      • I was super chump too. Didn’t know it had a name back then and it took some time to sink in. Actually I didn’t know that what I was being was a chump until I found CL’s book somehow after almost a year of chumping. I was in a Divorce Care class when I ‘saw the light’. (I had 2 great MALE leaders both of whom had been chumped decades before and were very supportive. One leader has been doing D.Care groups for over 20 Years so I KNOW THERE ARE GOOD MEN OUT THERE!!! and good supportive DC groups too.)

        Anyway, I digress, One thing led to another which led me here and an education that has been life changing. The X can’t understand why we can’t be friends like other divorced couples – he still has no clue to the destruction he left in his wake and I now know that is due to his being a disordered person and that I didn’t see that before because I was projecting ‘goodness’ onto his behavior with heavy doses of hopium supported with a very patient personality – I would have waited ‘forever’.

        No contact did make the difference in being able to separate out all the confusing stuff going on. My head saying on thing – trying to hold onto my beliefs and commitment, until death do we part, while my heart was screaming at me in agony every time I saw him etc. I still do get triggered (I never knew what that meant either until I came here….) when I even see his name or something of his around here. Weird stuff our psyches are and that seemingly long distance between our heads and our hearts.

        I still read daily as part of my de-programming in order to lay waste to the lingering lies that I was telling myself. I thought he was the one who had to wake up….Now I know it was me who had to wake up but back then I didn’t even know there was a different me apart from me and the role I was playing in his life as a piece of cake. Crumbs keep crumpling away.

        Thanks to ALL who post here.

        • You put that together nicely. Cheating totally reprograms everybody within an 1/2″ of a nuclear bomb site, if you ask me. So many people, family and friends are (often shocked) and affected by it. A cheater never seems to think of the awful wave of real consequences until they can’t figure out how to get rid of that ever-present Cheater Scent (Like Peanuts cartoon of Pig-Pen), lingering over everybody that know them..Guess it’s hard to get rid of.

          I wanted to say I’ve been here just over 6 years now and I faithfully read C/L every day, first reading of the day…and as many comments as I can. I’ll probably always be here. I’m grateful Tracy is reposting ones that really resonates with a lot of people.

          She(C/N) made all my life completely Crumb Free!

        • This resonates so much for me.

          I asked my husband to leave in December. He ran straight into the arms of the 34 year old (he is 62).

          3months in and he emails me, to test the water. Subject heading of the email ‘The mess I made’.

          6 months in, a series of emails saying what a fool he has been, he has so many regrets. He misses me, he loves me – blah, blah.

          Those emails knock me off centre. Is there hopedium?

          I come to this blog to remind myself that they all work from the same script.

          I think he might be unraveling however. Has anyone’s cheater actually had a nervous breakdown?

          • Sunshineafterrain,

            Did you read June 24ths blog? It addresses an email similar to what you have written above about emails you have gotten from your X.

            I keep coming here to remind myself of who he really is not who I thought he was or who he wants me to think he is – image management.

            Friends remind me his continuing to contact me despite the fact that I set a boundary is what they call ‘the camel sticking his nose into the tent.’ They remind me that if I engage in any way pretty soon the camel will be inside the tent and sitting on my lap.

            “Those emails knock me off centre. Is there hopeium?” I would call your thinking that he is really remorseful is you projecting goodness onto him, and by what I understand of the word hopeium, that is indeed hopeium. I do not respond to emails he sends anymore and it has made a huge difference in my being able to see more clearly and to move on into my new life. A friend lent me a book on sex addiction and one of the chapters is on withdrawal symptoms…..that place of vulnerability and how we want to step back in – our brains working against us. Hold on, withdrawal passes!

            ‘Has anyone’s cheater actually had a nervous breakdown?” I can only speak for myself – I don’t let myself think along those lines anymore because he is over 18 and an adult, therefore NOT my problem. I imagine there are many who do have breakdowns – all part of the consequences of their choices and NOT our problem.

      • OMG – I ate the cake. I gobbled it down with gluttonous fervor and in between swallowing mouthfuls uttered that I still love her and that her brain is confusing her and I’ll wait for her and I’ll “ride this affair” out, all the while high as a kite on hopium. As far as chumps go, I was the poster child. Because we were “different”. What we had was “special”. And all the while, there I was – begging and pleading to a turd on a pedestal. But I see it now.

        • I still wonder how it is that so many of us believe we are ‘special’.

          I really thought that and it kept me in the dark for a long time doing the pick me dance. Boy was I shocked when I read ‘my’ story in Leave A Cheater Gain A life.

          I was so naive.

          I have a friend who was married 40 years and then discovered her wasband was cheating on her. She didn’t spend any time feeling special….Her first action was to kick him out. Her words were clear and concise, ‘that is a deal breaker and we are done’! Thoughts like that never even occurred to me. Clearly I am a True Chump. Feels wonderful to be amongst other chumps 🙂

    • Neither was i. No matter how much i did for him, cared for him, supported and loved him. .. .. i was no where on his priority list. Everyone and anything came before me, and was more important the i was..

      I never fugured out until 2 years after my divorce that i was just the wife appliance. It was my job to cook, ckean, take care of the kids/bills/everything. To love honor and be faithful. He worked.

      • Same.
        I was to be the submissive wife–just shut up & take the abuse because being his wife was the ultimate prize.
        It couldn’t be “that bad” since I was still with him.
        So now I’m gone since it was that bad!
        I’m learning reciprocity is the first thing to look for in all kinds of relationships & doing all & being all for someone gets you taken for granted.

      • I would not believe it if i had not seen it with my own eyes how fast he wanted out of the marriage and be with her . He was practically giddy to pack and leave never to be seen or heard from ever again . I defiantly had a run away husband just vanished and i still have no idea where he is .
        The only communication is through lawyers – which i guess is better than today’s topic of Plan B

        • Ex was also giddy about moving out, practically skipping as he loaded his truck with his crap.
          Then he comes back the following day to wash his truck in the drive way and bring me a divorce handbook.

          He said he just wanted someone different.., being a super Chump, I couldn’t see through this and ask him if he’d found someone else. Ex says, no, of course not, he would never…, and I believed him.
          I needed a two by four, I hadn’t found CN at this point.
          Instead I give him the option of coming back, thinking he just needed some time to regroup and that he’d miss me and our family once he was alone in his new apartment, because he would never cheat.., he just needed some time, a mid life crisis maybe.. I was gong to prove to him what a great wife I am by being patient and understanding.
          I feel sick thinking about it, almost didn’t post in embarrassment but maybe a new Chump will read and learn from my mistakes.

          • No need to be embarrassed. He should be but we know they don’t feel anything for anybody but themselves.

            Mine did the same thing…Had a couple of friends helping him like a group of teenage boys heading out to college. I will never forget him standing on the lawn laughing with them while I stood in the window in complete shock – it all happened so fast.
            They drove away in a caravan….really like kids heading out for high adventure.

            Yes, I was a chump and reminded one for quite sometime until I found LACGAL and CL and CN. Now I am arming myself with all the knowledge I can to understand what in me led me to live the lie I was living without even suspecting a thing….He was a serial cheater and had been at it for our entire relationship – over 3 decades so don’t feel embarrassed…..You are not alone!

            I could make a list several miles long of all the stuff I did….at least now it has a purpose – I am a warning to others that it can happen to them!

            I remember in the early days when I was reading RIC stuff and one of the books was a couple’s story of how love conquered all. Wife wrote one chapter and cheater wrote the next….OMG I am embarrassed now to remember how much that book filled me with hopium. Now I see it through Tracy’s UBT and it has taken on an entirely new meaning.
            I can’t help wonder if that poor woman has ever woken up or if she is still playing the chump…

  • About 3 months before I found out about skankella. My ex said to me at the time.”if we would ever get a divorce we still would be friends.” I told him if we ever would divorce I would never be friends. I thought that was an odd thing to say. Looking back this was his cowardly way of letting me know a divorce was pending.

    • My ex also had a weird comment about divorce shortly before I found out. She said “It wasn’t that bad.” Well it’s taken a far great toll then she imagined. Over two years since I filed. Almost 1.5 since divorce and now I think she’s finally trying no contact, I’ve been grey contact for over a year.

      • Predictable cheaterspeak. They love to downplay it so as to rationalize their abandonment of you. Mine proclaimed; “People divorce all the time. It’s no big deal.” when I found out he’d been secretly planning to divorce me. Who doesn’t know divorce is always a very big deal? If it was no big deal, why didn’t he do it right away? Why did he plan and strategize the sneakiest way to go about it, willing to wait as much as 15 years until “the time was right”? Lying jackasses, the lot of them. They know being dumped is indeed a big deal to *you* and they know they don’t really want to be friends after divorce, they just want to keep you around as a alternate supply when schmoopie’s kibbles lose their lustre.

        • This reminds me my stbxh, we are in our early 30s and most of our friends are recently and / or getting married. In conversation one day he mentioned about how none of our friends have divorced and all seemed happy, etc.. and I mentioned that you never really know how people’s lives are behind closed doors. Little did I know what he was hiding behind his doors…

          • Whores behind doors. I hear ya. Mine didn’t even hide his. He was blatant with his cheating at their workplace, at the gym and other public places every day. He was even with her in front of my own brother. That’s how the shameless mofo got caught.

        • Your comment about being abandoned made me think of an incident last year wherein I was filling out a questionnaire at a dentist appointment. The usual marriage status question. I looked past all of the usual options, married, divorced, single….and wrote in ‘abandoned’. I did not want a divorce and did not want whoever read my response to wonder why I was divorced – that stigma thing.

          I haven’t had to fill out another form like that since but I would write ‘abandoned’ in again and might even might add ‘betrayed’ for good measure!. Not for pity but to state a truth and maybe reach someone else in my situation. A bit of public service never hurt anyone. 🙂

    • My stbx said about the same to me. “If we ever divorce I won’t ever get married again. If we ever divorce I won’t date or have a girlfriend. I just don’t think I’ll ever be with someone again. What about you, would you get married again?”

      I was in shock with no real response other than “I don’t know”. I was so focused on this off the wall question. I could not even formulate a response. My mind was reeling. And he followed this line of reasoning for a while. Said it several times over many months. Why didn’t I ever just say “why are you asking me this? Are you planning on leaving me?”

      I’m in the process of having him served. He made an appointment with the process server for this Thursday after 4 pm at his address. LOL I gave the process server his and AP address and they went to both to find him. Lol I really wanted him served at her house. Seriously I am LOLLLZZZZZ

      Anyway I have a meeting with lawyer today to go over details. should move along and guessing I should be divorced from him soon. This is all quite a shock from January 26 DDAY to June 18 today to be on the road to a divorce. And with a 25 year marriage to this man.

      I guess it’s just the price of freedom and a new life ahead of me. If only I can look at it in a positive way I’ll make it through. I’ll have my life again. I’ll find a kind supportive mate one day I hope. Because in answer to stbx question—- YES, I will marry again. Because I’m a great loving kind giving person that someone would be happy to have.

      • My divorce was final but I had to see my ex one last time to do taxes. He said he was surprised when saw my profile on a dating site, that it was “much too soon” for him to be dating again; it just felt “icky”. I laughed. “If being newly married didn’t keep you from dating, I don’t see why being recently divorced should slow you down.” I never did ask why he’d be on there if he wasn’t looking for a date. Maybe okCupid has book clubs and lawn services?

      • My ex also said those things to me during a road trip conversation, apropos of nothing: “If you die or you divorce me, I will never remarry. I’ll just be alone forever. I’ll never be able to be with anyone else. Would you? Would you remarry if I died right now?” At the time, I thought these were odd statements, and given we were only in our late 30s, I couldn’t honestly say I would never remarry if he died right then.

        This is one of many conversations that got retranslated after DDay and finally made sense. It happened during one of his high cheating periods. Gaslighting, manipulation, and justification at its finest. I tell her how devoted I am so she doesn’t suspect a thing. Oh, AND clearly she’s not nearly as devoted to me. She just said she’d remarry. That’s horrific. No wonder I have to cheat on her.

        And what’s even more messed up is I think he has possibly even stayed true to his word and STOPPED dating other people when I filed for divorce (3 years ago, has been final for 6 months). He had no trouble dating almost the entire 15 years we were married before DDay, but is now trying to convince himself and the world how devastated he is to have lost me.

    • I don’t think that comment was just a heads-up that a divorce was coming. I think it was his slightly less sociopathic way of gauging your cake potential rather than talking outright about you being Plan B. I got that comment about staying friends, too, which really pissed me off in hindsight because not two months prior he sat in marriage counseling (dick deep in an affair but not yet found out) boo-hooing about how mean I was to him and telling the counselor that if he was acting strange it was only because he was so distraught over how I treated him. Grrrr. He used the counselor to attack me and my response to his unchecked abuse/gaslighting with gems like “we should be best friends in our marriage” and “a friend just wouldn’t treat me this way” and my all-time fave “if you were really my friend you’d understand that I just need some space from you.” So then his random, just walked in the door after work comment asking if I would “stay friends if we ever divorced” was a real mindfuck. I wish I could go back in time and translate that cheater-speak to my naive past self so that I could wise up and tell him on the spot just how “friendly” I’m capable of being!

      • Omg all of this!! I wish I was able to translate to my very in love and committed self all the bs. Things would be very different.

    • A slightly different perspective on this. When we were first going out he was moving way too fast (lovebombing, etc…), and I was trying to tell him he didn’t need to go overboard and that we should just let things proceed organically. I said to him that no matter what happened we would always be friends because I was the kind of person that once you were in my inner circle you were in for life. (I’d of course never met someone capable of lying to me for a decade though, so the friends thing didn’t exactly pan out.) His response way back then was that if things didn’t work out with us, he couldn’t be friends with me because it would be too painful. I remember wondering if this was manipulative or legit. My head told me that it’s hard to be friends with someone post-relationship, but my gut told me that what he was saying was that unless I gave him everything he wanted, I couldn’t have even a sliver of what I wanted, which was just connection.

      When D-Day first went down, he followed the script with shocking transparency. Yesterday you were my partner of 10 years, today I have a surprise new gf. We’re going out drinking tonight with her friends. You can come if you want! (Uh, I declined.) Fast forward 6 months and now AP’s husband has moved out so he’s moving into her place. He’s being SO mean to me. I’m saying, I don’t understand why you’re acting like this! Why would you want to burn a bridge with your best friend?

      I was always after connection and bonding and intimacy. And the integrity of that. I still have no idea what the fuck he was after. Sometimes I think he just wanted a trophy wife, wanted to look like he had finally become a real man by attaching me to him. This actually makes me laugh, because as trophy wives go, I am terrible. Can’t cook, am not that neat, still don’t know how to wear makeup, would wear his boxer shorts as lingerie, and was always in my head and wanting to talk about things like math.

      Anyway, this is just my recollection of how we said the reverse sentiments to each other about divorce, so it’s not a universal.

    • Mine used to say for years before he divorced me for his whore, that if I ever “left him”, he wondered if I would cook for him and sell meals to him. He also wondered if my family would still allow him to come over for dinner on the holidays. I always got a chuckle over those things, taking it as a compliment that he loved our cooking. In reality, I think he was serious – and the answer was “No.” When he moved out, he stole his favorite pumpkin cake recipe.

      • Cook and sell him meals? 😂 Somebody should start a catering service for divorced fuckwits. It should be a gold mine.

        Ad:
        Newly divorced and feeling blue? Do you ever miss the comfort of home cooking? Meals for Heels is the only choice for when you just have to have the home-made cake you’re missing out on. We have all your favourites; sex cake, mommy or daddy cake, blind trust cake, one-sided loyalty cake, and undeserved forgiveness cake. Plus many more!

        Please note; our delivery drivers do not supply kibbles and are burly, unfriendly types with anger management problems even worse than yours. Repeat; we have no kibbles.

        • Chumperella, you are on a roll today! Lol, this looks like a great Friday challenge. What spoof new business catering to the cheater market could you come up with?

          • Fantastic idea! What about a laundry that specializes in getting lipstick out of collars and semen stains off underpants? Air fresheners designed to cover the smell of ass, unwashed pussy and rancid ball sweat?
            I got a million of ’em, each grosser than the other. 😁

          • I’m glad to bring some laughs to my chump sisters and brothers. I always find the most satisfying humor comes from using it to ease your pain.

    • Yeah, I had a number of odd things too, like if we have a kid, we’re in each other’s lives forever.” And “geeze, I’ve been with you more than 1/2 my life now.”

      I remember saying, many, many, many years ago “you say the meanest things in the nicest ways.” I can still remember the intersection of where we were in the car when I said that. But I can’t remember if we were married or just living together.

      Many years later, (when I had been in the hospital for what COULD have been a heart issue, but ended up just being ulcers,) thinking “I wonder if he’d stick around if I was disabled in some way.” (The answer is yes, with the caveat that he’s had a GF — that way he could keep up the image of the perfect husband, and not have to split assets.)

      Anyway, hindsight tells you that you should have trusted that inner voice. Oh how I’d love to impart that wisdom to my daughter, but know it will fall on deaf ears. It’s not a cronyism of her, but of the ignorance of youth and how we hear what we want to hear when we’re in love. I’ll still say it though, in case somehow it reverberates when she thinks something similar.

  • I always assumed that being married, having three children, and investing years of my life in a relationship meant something.

    It never did. He used our family, our home as a cover for his double life until I had enough.

    Each time I took him back I had to give up something. CL you saved my life with the whole concept of being plan B. Thank you.

    • Yep — they really do suck. I feel like mine sucked all the fun and energy out of me. He is a vampire. Even now I have been left doing all the work. I wish I had never met him.

      • Did you also get the twist in that? He sucks all the fun and energy out of you, then says you are not fun to be with? Grrrrrr.

  • I don’t think that I will ever forget the look of despair and desperation on his face when he left, as he said, “I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, but I just know that I have to do this. I have to find out for myself what there is out there for me. I may be wrong about it all, but I have to do it.”

    Oh, the anskt. Life is so hard when you have never been your true self. You’ve sacrificed so much of yourself for others and now you must do something for yourself. Go birdie! Fly! Go be your true self with the adulteress of your dreams.

    Feed the obsession of this unhealthy relationship. The one that you now prioritize over the kids if ever any of us dare to impede on the time that you have with the OW to continue being your real self. Simply “parent” on those days you have the kids by doing the minimum possible with your limited resources, as you choose to spend you money on your “fun” involving the OW.

    And the very fact that you stated you didn’t know what the right thing to do was. Really? You didn’t think that was a problem in the first place?

    As for his wanting to come back when it doesn’t all work out? I think that grey rock and virtual no contact has made it very clear to him where I stand on that.

    • That was mine too. D-Day #4. I kicked him out. Told him I wanted a divorce. He was just quiet. I asked him “What do you want?”. His reply, “That’s the problem, I don’t know what I want. I just know that I feel like I need to explore this other relationship.” Explore away. Also I got, “If our relationship wasn’t so great and if you weren’t such an amazing person, my decision would be easy.”. No more problems, let me make that decision for you. I’m not a consolation prize.

      • He also knows that plan B is no longer an option. D-Day #3 was his last chance. I did get “I would like you to be friendlier to me. It would be better for all of us if you were.”. Seriously?

    • ironically, a old friend of mine recently spoke with wasband. she knew he was my ex. HE did not know she knew me. .. .. .. so she is talking to him and he is complaining about the troll he left me for because all was not well with them (surprise!).. .. .she asks him why did he get a divorce and he minimizes it by saying “we were having issues” and “we both fell out of love” like it was some mutual agreement we had. (it wasnt, i was blindsided by his cheating)

      but she also asked him how he hooked up with the troll. .. his story was that he knew her before he got married and then ran across her again at his cousins house (drinking) and he thought they were “meant to be”.. … . apparently his wife who supported, cared for and loved him for 15.5 years was not “meant to be” .. .. . nope. the married meth head alcoholic that bailed on her own husband and abandoned her own 4 children was “meant to be” .. .. the fact that she was married to another man and he was married to me was of no importance.

    • mine decided he wanted to be with the OW instead of his daughter for father’s day. (Because her kids were with their dad.)

      He said he “cleared” it with our daughter. Uh huh. Like she won’t file that under “reason dad sucks” in her memory.

  • Mine told me after I discovered the cheating with the Circus Clown ~ When this is done if we get back together, then so be it… Um when what is done? I didn’t ask.

    I am not plan B, C, D or Z ever. I signed on to be plan A. That is what the vows meant asshole!

    • I got “I’ll stay with you if you let me do what I want” – translated into let me have viagra fuelled orgies with my colleague while smoking weed and don’t forget to pass the strawberry lube. No thanks!

    • Lights came on ever so slowly for me. I remember when I realized that OW had been promoted to his top priority but my outrage wasn’t felt for what he was doing to me – it was felt for my children. The though that ran through my head was ‘they are not second place’.

      Took a long time for me to realize that I wasn’t really on his radar at all. It was like I was a ‘non-entity’ – the kind that is always there AKA taken for granted, AKA an object. Such a weird, weird feeling. One of many ‘is this a dream?’ experience for me as more of what I thought of as my life unfolded before my eyes.
      Unfolding of my life and unraveling of my past simultaneously taking place as I floundered to remain sane during those ‘early’ months….yes it took me quite awhile to register what was transpiring before my eyes. Lots of hopium flowing freely through my veins.

  • I got:if the kids don’t take it (his leaving) well, I’ll come back.
    I also got :you were right. I needed to get out more. (at this time he was without the use of my car and was having to take the bus everywhere). I’ll end the lease on the apartment and come back.

    I considered these to be threats. All exits are final

    • I got the ultimate consolation prize! I got the: I don’t want to be married to you anymore but let’s still be FWB! I still love you but in a different way! Oh hey, btw! I want to buy a house for you and the kids to ease my guilt and look good and oh in about 12 years once the kids are grown and you’re done raising them as a single Mom, maybe we can get back together. Huh? Where in the forest of cheaterville did you bump your head? (Pun intended) You’re so full of your own bull-shit you think anyone would believe what you spew? No thank you! My give a damn is broken.

      I feel like he should have seriously considered moving to Hollywood and pursuing a career in acting. He did an awesome job of faking it for 21 years and has everyone fooled! Except Moi!! Kick Rocks!!

      • At one point the offer I got was kind of like that. He said he thought we would divorce and then get back together at some point later. He would buy me a house, car “set me up” so he wouldn’t look bad or feel guilty. Trouble was, he wanted to buy me a house that was a maintenance nightmare that no single parent would want on their best day.

        He was apparently going to do the 2 family thing… trouble was the plan would require about $300,000 a year and he made less than half that.

        I don’t remember what my thought process was when he told me we would remarry later, it was mixed up with so much other crazy talk, I couldn’t parse one moment of insanity from the next.

      • Did you at least take the house? I sure did, but refused him. A house is a house and fuckwit money is just as green as any other. Get what you can from them, since they took everything from you. My fuckwit is now working hard renovating said house to my specifications, and he’s normally a lazy lump. Image management sure is a great motivator. Hey, whatever works.

        • I didn’t but his credit was in the shits anyway so I knew he was blowing smoke and couldn’t offer me anything substantial.

  • He told me that I WAS plan B.

    He thought SHE (a high school girlfriend) could never be his. But twu luv prevailed!

    So what… our twins and I were a way to pass time until the world righted and they were romanticly reunited?!?

    I’ve never been so ‘honored’, or more nauseous.

    On DDay he told me the “SHE” was always ‘THE ONE’.

    Those words reframed and crushed every memory, every moment between us in my mind. He showed me that I was a crumbling peice of coal and she the diamond he always wanted.

    I felt shame. I feel so much shame.

    • I feel for you deeply. It took me a long time to shake the horrendous feelings of shame because I had nobody — no Chump Nation, no friends or family who understood, no money for therapy — many years ago when I was going through it all.

      But you? You have us, and hopefully good people in your life on top of that. I know it is hard to feel any reality in this right now — but I will say this. With support and strong messaging around how 0% of a cheater’s shitty, manipulative, deceptive, cruel behavior is your fault, and how you are neither stupid nor broken for not knowing how bad this con artist’s heart really was, the shame truly does diminish.

      Stick with us and keep soaking it in.

      What’s been done to you is a horror. You didn’t deserve it and it is not your fault.

      💚

      • Yes, nothing you did, or did not do, drive him into her arms. He is flawed. And you have to forgive yourself for falling for his lies. We all do. And yet I believe we’d all do it again because we know how to love and trust. Let’s just hope our picker is better next time.

    • One sparrow does not summer make.
      One idiot does not your worth make.
      It sucks when you love them and they never loved you. How people fake it is still beyond me.

    • On D-Day, I asked how long the affair with his ho-worker had been going on & the STBX responded with, “since the beginning of time”. I almost barfed. I had to bring him out of his fantasy state of mind to get a real timeline of 5 of our 22 years.

      When I asked if he was going to end the relationship, he said, “I would like to see where it goes”.

      That was enough for me. I didn’t bother to ask what happened or why. He is free to follow his path of twuuu wuv with the Skankasaurus. No Plan B to be found with me.

    • SSC–Why do you feel shame?!? Did you lead a double life, lacking in honesty and integrity? No!!

      Put down your shame; it belongs to your cheating X who, as CL says, used people (you, kids) as commodities. Who the fuck does that? Disordered people.

      Pain, yes; some embarrassment that we got fooled, yes; shame for chumps? NO

      Sending hugs.

      • If you weren’t “the one,” if there is such a thing, then he was at fault for marrying you. The shame is his.

    • There’s no shame in loving someone with all your heart and starting a family in that love. In fact, there is dignity and honor there. But I get what you’re saying, I felt shame that I couldn’t make my marriage work. Shame that I had been duped. Ya chumps have a way of taking responsibility for ALL the things.

      • Me too. And I felt shame for staying as long as I did and even shame just for having a failed marriage. I felt shame because I felt ugly and undesirable. I felt shame because I felt so exposed because he aired all kinds of dirty laundry (mostly untrue but people believed it) online. I felt shame because I gave him something pure in me and he defiled it with treachery and deceit.

        It is good to be past those days, but I will never forget the despair of being deluged in shame. It was the root of every bad choice I made at that time.

        So, yes, I feel ya for sure.

        Thank the skies for Brene Brown, who finally spoke in a way I could hear.

        • Us chumps are placed in these terrible positions where we feel guilt and shame whether we stay or go…because we are good people with good values and want to make things work out. We are so hard on ourselves. Even your use of the phrase “bad choice” tells me you haven’t let yourself off the hook. Neither have I, but recognizing my worth has been transformative. As CL says–my stock trades high.

          • Well, thank you! I did make some pretty destructive choices immediately post-divorce. I was going through a lot more than a divorce and I imploded and engaged in a lot of escapist behaviors. I eventually came back to myself, but it took time. I have to own my part in it, and I accepted the consequences of my choices. That time will always be part of my history.

            It’s also true that I no longer feel I have to own anyone else’s part in any of it, and it’s also true that none of that time defines me going forward.

            Your supportive words are a treasure. Thank you for that. ⭐

    • I understand the feeling of shame that comes with being chumped.

      It comes when people ask you what you did to push him away (nothing).

      Or when people say how they are so happy that their spouse would never do that which implies that it was my fault that I chose poorly (no, I didn’t know he was lying when he said he loved me).

      Or when “friends” continue to hang out with him because it’s best to forgive and forget, implying that you are bitter for not being over it already. (forgiveness doesn’t mean accepting the behavior)

      It took me a long time to get past the shame. I’m sure it can be easier for some people, but it wasn’t easy for me. It took two years of therapy and the right medication to move past the PTSD-like symptoms and pull myself above the shame.

      Hang in there, Shell-Shocked-Chump. This hill can be a bitch to climb but YOU CAN DO IT!!

      • I get that. I can see how you would feel that way what with all those awful people shaming you.
        It was never shame for me. I went straight to rage, not just at at the cheater, but at his family and friends who actually felt concerned and sorry for him because I would not reconcile, while never once asking about my well-being or that of our children. We no longer exist to them. There were some members of my own family (even my mother) who were all too willing to overlook what he had done and told me I was “too sensitive” because that bothered me, though they know I have PTSD. Okay, so I now know who has my back and who does not. Those who do not can fuck right off. I hurts, but I look at it as a cleansing of toxins from my life. That helps.

        Btw, the “I’m so happy my spouse would never do that” reaction is classic passive aggression. Whoever said that is no friend of yours. I didn’t get anybody but the cheater trying to shift the blame onto me. I suspect they wanted to, but they know about my low tolerance for bullshit. Cheater seemed to have somehow forgotten it in the confusion of his “affair fog”. He has “post-affair fog”, too. In fact, like all cheaters, what he really has is life fog. It’s otherwise known as being a few bananas short of a fruit salad.

      • “What did you do to push him away?”

        “I objected to hims spending time and money sneaking around with his mistress and lying about it.”

    • You have no need to be ashamed. It’s all on him.

      In my case he didn’t love who I was he loved who he thought he could turn me into. I guess he married me for my potential and I didn’t live up to it. I was unaware of this when we got married.

    • The shame is all on him.

      Apparently my ex married me for my potential and I didn’t live up to it. I was not aware of this when we got married. I thought he loved me for who I was. When I didn’t measure up he went looking for my replacement but didn’t bother to divorce me first because I guess I was better than nothing and he wanted to be sure he could do better before leaving me.

      When things are going down it is all such a shock we assume they must have just suddenly lost their minds, but really we were just part of a plan all along that we knew nothing about.

      • That’s a horrible thing to do to someone—marry them with the intent of changing them. First, you can’t “change” people. And we chumps know how horrible it is for someone to control what we think, say, eat, and wear.

    • The shame is his. He married and had kids with you under false pretences. Get angry, my friend. You were conned by an emotionally abusive creep. How DARE he refer to you as plan B! What a bastard.

    • @Shell-Shocked, I say (and I am sure CN will agree) that you were ‘The One’ but keep in mind that for the disordered, their feelings ‘of the moment’ is their only reality…whatever they feel now is and always was. That is until that feeling in them is replaced with a new one, and this in turn creates in their mind an entirely new reality. That girl from his past life is no diamond and you are no piece of coal. She may have rejected him and slept with his best friend back then in school, but he always wanted her and today she is smiling at him – so poof, she is perfect and she is his life-long heart’s desire. You get viscously devalued and she is on a pedestal.

      Mine always found a new “The One” and I was always always Plan B. I was too wounded to pick myself up at first (DD-1 knocked me to the brink of sanity and 2-5+ I believed I was worthless), then when I started to break away and build my strength he could sense it and he would come back around to make sure I got another dose – while love bombing the ever new Tinder A (I started to refer to as “Purse and Pussy”.

    • You should feel no shame — it is not yours to wear – it is his. I am now open about my STBX’s cheating and say it loud and proud with the disclaimer that it is his shame to wear (he actually doesn’t think the cheating was wrong and actually thinks he is now a better person lol the delusions). Hugs to you and don’t ever feel ashamed – you didn’t do anything wrong!

  • After 35 years of marriage, I got three post-it notes” “It’s about us”, “Let’s make this work” and “Maybe we can date”. Almost three years divorced, and I still have not been TOLD (kissed good bye, apologized to or even given the offer of being Plan B). Just last week on CL, someone called this experience soul crushing…I cannot think of a better description.

    • It’s soul crushing until you figure out what these sub human soulless are. You escaped with your soul intact. Recognize that you survived their predation and now you are free to be who you are without their oppression.

  • Omg. Great post! I heard this (I love you deeply but have real feelings for her…. I need time and space to think… I’m not a cheater so if this does not work with her I f’ed everything up….AND MORE!) and remember standing there looking at him appalled. In shock. Not knowing who he is.
    I now know who he is. I still can’t believe I didn’t see it before. I do now… And when he sends me texts like “we have the three best kids ever or your the best mother ever and deserve happiness or send me pics of him” I see he’s starving for cake. I did not know my worth and thought cake was love!

    • “I need time to think” was also something my ex said. SMH. You actually have to think if you want to discard your family or not? And me…. I waited. Thinking he was in some type of fog. We had already been discarded and had no clue.

      • My Xa-hole of 25 years did the exact same thing to me and our 4 kids:
        “I need time to think” was also something my ex said. SMH. You actually have to think if you want to discard your family or not? I begged and pleaded and pointed out all of our values, memories past and future that would be lost… I waited. I also thought he had a brain tumor because it was such a radical shift from the mask he had worn (he’s a master con artist and I had no idea) or I too thought he was in some type of fog. We had already been discarded also…. probably little by little since the very beginning…. so much fraud perpetrated on me… it’s bewildering and leaves me feeling disorientated in my own life: what was real? Every memory subject to question and doubt. No wonder I feel numb and exhausted so much of the time now.

        • Same….. and I now can see that was able to discard me so quickly because he never actually valued me or truly invested in our life together, although he certainly went out of his way to deceive me into thinking he cared.

          The whole marriage was a lie, and every memory is tainted.

          • I also got the “time to think” crap. 27 years together and 21 married. MehBeSoon, that’s how I feel about our whole time together now. Lied to, deceived, tainted, played.

            • Yep me too. My teenage son said ” I feel like my life was a lie” and I said “yep, sorry but I hear what you are saying.” Fuckwit keeps insisting he didn’t hurt the kids at all – what a delusional asshole.

      • Mine needed space. And time to think if he wanted to be with me or not. He said he was conflicted. Why? Conflicted on whether he wanted to be with me or not. Just didn’t think about me that way any more. Well if you can’t decide if you want to be with me, then you don’t!!!! No shit Sherlock. I still loved him and wanted to be with him no questions asked. I wasn’t conflicted. But I do think I was delusional to make that choice to want him back. I now know it’s a bad choice. And he can move on with his big bad self.

        I went ahead and solved his riddle for him. He does NOT want to be with me. It can’t be any more clear. His actions speak louder than his words and his words were painful enough. No more.

  • Early on my ex suggested that we would not be together. He said “no matter what happens I will always take care of you”. In his mind financial provision justified the affair. “Well I’m still taking care of things” (I thought that’s what husbands do…but ok). 6 months after the divorce they were married & so no need to continue to justify the cheating… so the financial agreement stopped. He told me and the kids “I didn’t think you/your mother would ever forgive me”. 🤔 Wow not my husband anymore and still gaslighting and blame shifting. REALLY! So now he does not remember any of the conversations that I initiated about getting back together? Move on .

    He wanted out a long time ago. But he also wanted the flexibility to have access to his “family life” at his leisure. Now that everyone is on to his game and no longer willing to play. He’s mad and speaks as if he’s been betrayed. 👀

    • OMG betterdays
      He wanted out a long time ago. But he also wanted the flexibility to have access to his “family life” at his leisure. Now that everyone is on to his game and no longer willing to play. He’s mad and speaks as if he’s been betrayed. 👀

      This is exactly what mine did – he wanted the family image but the party boy lifestyle. 52 and acting like a teenager – both my teen boys are way more mature than him – pathetic.

        • Yes mine 52 acting like teenager too, wants to party party like the old days. All he ever talks about is the old days so he never grows into the present.

          I’m sober 9 years so after being married for 25 years mine just chose someone who drinks so he can party and have “fun”. Because I’m “ not fun anymore”. He chose alcohol over me. And for a sober person that is hard to stomach from my “husband”

    • The DRAVO dance. (Deny.Attack.Reverse.Victim.Offender. Falls neatly under the self-pity umbrella and their deep seated abandonment issues – that is if said cheater is also a sex addict, alcoholic, drug addict or a…….fill in the blank.

  • My ex asked me “to share him”. I said no, apparently ow/prostitutes were always happy, said he, you mean, drunk and stoned. Prostitutes/ow couldn’t stop taking their clothes off in front of him. Why did you go there then, I received no reply.he said they said don’t take your clothes her in front of him, he’s not interested. His medical records stated he had a sore penis, received anti biotic.
    I had minor surgery, unfortunately heart stopped due to allergy to anaesthetic, next two weeks he fucked off to crackhouse and the above. I wasn’t supposed to do anything for 2 weeks, I had to do everything.

  • My ex never confirmed his affair (10 years later still nothing!). Google and the AP told me otherwise.
    During the l o n g divorce process, he had to come to my apartment for something. Our youngest son was there so I was trying to be civil.
    The ex asked me if I would help him pick out a new rug…for the 2 million dollar apt. He shared with AP. I almost said yes (OK, I’m a chump). Then I realized he was using me as a plan B over a rug!!!
    Nope. Not happening then or ever.
    I’m NO ONES plan B.

  • Where do they come from? How does a supposedly rational adult walk back into the marital home after screwing one of your ‘freinds’ in a cheap hotel all afternoon and just pretend to be mom or dad again? Doesn’t this sound irrational? Unbalanced? Borderline psychopathic? My ‘therapist’ said ‘they’re just wired differently’ ! Really? When did they get ‘ wired differently’ ? Aren’t serial killers and pedofiles also ‘ wired differently’ ? I now realize (partially) how I never suspected – because I’m not ‘ wired’ to be capable of picturimg myself walking back in our family home after screwing my friends wife all afternoon! What happened? This has got to be a form of mental illness because it is so irrational. My theory – it requires a form of schiziod behavior ( a different person at home, a different person when cheating ) which the not ‘ wired differently’ just can’t be.

    • Jax, I wonder this ALLTHE TIME.

      He would “go to work” (really her house to screw) then be home in time for dinner. He would sit across the table from us and act like every thing was normal. For nearly a YEAR.

      I’ll never figure out how to compartmentalize love le that because my brain and heart don’t work that way. I don’t see the value. I just don’t understand the point of not being honest and real about who you are.

      I think that may be the answer though; there I should NO real person. They are only roles they play.

      They lie to everyone, but especially to themselves.

      • Mine coerced my son to chose a particular vacation destination and then snuck out at night to meet up with AP – makes me want to vomit when I think about it. I told him that he was a POS for that move.

    • I don’t think it works that way for all of them. My ex was not able to compartmentalize and it was tearing him apart. He wanted cake as much as the next guy but couldn’t actually rationalize it with his brain or his world view. He was a mess. That is why he was so critical of me and the kids. He had to have a reason for his behavior so I had to be the horrible wife who drove him to it. This also gave him an excuse to avoid us and avoid facing his double life. It was the only way he could live with himself. Of course he was still too big a coward to tell me what was really going on. When I found out, he ran away but still didn’t take concrete action to end the marriage. I had to do that months later when I finally threw in the towel.

      • My ex became hypercritical of everything I did. It started when he got an apartment in a city he was working in before we moved there. Every time he came home I dreaded it because all he did was bitch. I realize now that it was his way of rationalizing his behavior, but at the time I was bending over backward to please him, which must have made it all the more delicious for him. I’m sorry you had to go through that!

        • Same here. He became horribly verbally and emotionally abusive after he started cheating. But I didn’t bend over backwards to please him because it, I practiced verbal kung fu on him. I had done that all through the marriage. If he was verbally abusive, he’d get it right back, and unlike him, my insults would be on target, often intentionally funny and delivered either in deadpan or an equally vicious tone to his. He hated me for besting him at anything, especially that. The fragile little bawlbabies can dish it out, but can’t take it. He’d start fights just so he could tell himself I “deserved” to be betrayed because I wouldn’t back down.

      • That was me too. When I started to question the odd behavior, the devaluing, disregard and disrespect, he started to blame shift to me. I clearly stated our marriage was on rocky ground. I outlined my boundaries. I asked him to step up. He failed spectacularly. He never acknowledged his affair(s), and he waited around for me to initiate proceedings even as he was making plans to move the AP and her kid into the house I left. And even tried the sad sausage with me “we had good times in our marriage didn’t we?” He would have cheerfully dragged it out as long as possible to save himself money while draining what little I had. I’ve have accepted the fact that he will never admit his failures.

        3 years later he’s alone in the house I left. And I have a life again.

        • Mine also was a mess (and still is) leading up to the cheating and throughout. I became a monster of a woman in his eyes. Lots of cognitive dissonance on his part.

          He also started to take on more of the persona of the other woman. How I have heard her described by others is exactly the kind of guy he was becoming in those last years.

          I realize now that he’s an accommodator, becomes whomever he is with. All the year’s I complained about his lack of initiative, it’s now so clear how lazy/minimal he is in his efforts. I was calling it right, and he hated that I was seeing it. He wasn’t getting away with just being adored for breathing. He gets that now from the OW.

          And the legal separation agreement? He hasn’t done anything about it at all. I’m sure that if I hadn’t gotten a lawyer to draft the agreement, he still would have done nothing about it at all. This stumps me. Doesn’t he want his equity?

          Who cares.

  • Two years prior to my troubles with KK, my same-age cousin was out to dinner with his wife when she sprung the “I haven’t been happy in a long time, I need a lover and you can’t give me everything I need, yadda yadda yadda, no counseling or anything like that, I want to separate and see other people.” She went off and began her exciting single life, my cousin moved out.

    9 months later, just prior to divorce mediation, my cousin met a woman and began a serious relationship. His STBXW was flabbergasted: ” . . . but . . . but . . . I said I just wanted to TRY it!”

    This year my cousin gave his new girl a ring; I have no idea what his ex is up to other than that she’s still single, but there was a rumor going around that she was having an inappropriate relationship with the mayor of the city in which she teaches.

    (I used to wonder if this episode, along with KK’s own sister’s cheating, provided the spark that made her think, “Yeah, I gotta get me some of that too.”)

  • ” Maybe we should separate for a while I can see other people and perhaps a year or so from now we can try again ” Sorry not shopping on the clearance rack anymore . .got no use for damaged goods .

  • The last time STBX stopped by to sign some papers, he suggested that I put a birdfeeder in the yard because he likes birds.

    I guess he imagines me hopefully putting in a birdfeeder and keeping it full of birdseed hoping for the day he will come back. An eternal shrine, if you will, to the hope that he might someday come by again.

    • Oh, but I didn’t even mention his previous Plan B offer. His initial plan was that we divorce but continue living together. He said he was fine living with me and we were great as roommates, and then the church would never know.

      So basically he wanted full rights to fuck around while I still washed his underwear and kept up appearances at church. He was astounded that I didn’t jump at that offer.

  • I got “my life coach says I have never lived alone…… so I need my own apartment to have this experience.” He lasted one night in the apartment. Because he thought our son would trot along with him and he didn’t. Narco cried and claimed to have angina till I let him back. Stupid, stupid me.

    He later said that he wanted to continue our marriage because I was economically good for him. We were in marriage counseling and he was secretly seeing lawyers to find out how much he would lose in a divorce. Good times!

    • Yeah, mine gave me some crap about having missed out on “differentiation” or some such because he had never lived alone and that explained everything.

  • From one who has played 5th fiddle in her orchestra, I can say that I was in “standby mode” while she was out fucking & sucking other men. She moved out for a few months, but would drop by occasionally to give me a pity fuck. I own my own stupidity for allowing my dignity as a human being to be shit on like that.
    BB

    • BB–we’ve all done things we now regret in our ability to make sense of the betrayer’s behavior. Sometimes forcing them to hurt us one more time is the impetus we need to get away; if you run headlong into a wall, you’re going to retreat with equal force.

      • This is bringing up memories of 2.5 years ago when my still husband wanted to move back to his home state. He had reconnected with his high school acquaintances after his mother’s funeral. He told me “I want to decide whether I want to stay married.” It shocked me, and I was financially unprepared: 3 kids in college, 1 ( 22 yrs old) disabled & at home dependent on our help for so much. My reaction was to say “no, you’re not, how would the money be controlled?” He didn’t answer & he backed off. That was about a year before I found CL
        I suspect he just got better at covering up his sexual acting out. I have done grey rock to get my thoughts clearer. Reading CL everyday & going back to the archives has helped me recapture my self respect. I still haven’t had the courage to change my living situation.
        Since things have been so quiet on the infidelity front (no proof of anything over the last 2 years) I’ve been lulled into not changing my life. We live together, with separate bedrooms, & look to outsiders as if we are satisfactorily married. My adult kids know that’s not the truth; they all know their dad has been unfaithful, but not the extent of the last 35 years. My husband & I coexist in our home. He avoids meaningful conversations at all costs & grey rock works well for me. I’m sure I’m still providing plenty of cake , in that I have stopped requesting him to do things. (We never got to a point in our marriage/family where he did much without my asking- always a sore point for me). I do as much as I can myself, to prepare for eventual independence from him, and also because he’s so undependable. It’s not worth it to me to spend energy to “get” him to do anything.
        I struggle with feelings of guilt & shame for NOT divorcing him. And I cringe at knowing that financially I can’t make it on my own. I know this because I have gone over the numbers with a divorce financial advisor & also my dad. A divorce, without financial help from someone, it would put me & my disabled son at risk for homelessness, inadequate medical car, losing a car & then my transportation to work. So either way I feel screwed.
        I am 59 & so is my husband. He just found out a week ago that he “was let go, but will be eligible for unemployment.” I am still in shock. I suspect various reasons, the worst of which could be misuse of company funds while traveling, risky behaviors witnessed by coworkers, or to the least awful, it could be just laziness & poor job performance. The company could just be cutting out slack while their assets are down. I will never know, as I can’t ask anyone from his company & I won’t bother asking him since I would not be able to tell if he’s telling me the truth.
        I can understand needing impetus to get away. I know I don’t NEED proof of anything to justify a divorce. He’s one of those mentioned above, that can come home from f**king on a business trip, kiss me hello, talk with the kids, for the first 25 years of our marriage, until I “caught” him 10 years ago. I feel like I’ve lived like this for so long that the damage has been done & is part of me now. I accept that I was duped, thatI pick me danced, that I On an intellectual level I know I should leave him. It just doesn’t feel like an emergency. My radar for emergency must have been shut off years ago while I put up with all his crap, just like that poor frog who puts up with the water temperature slowly rising!
        I seriously would not be able to live with myself if things got worse after a divorce. I hope the next few months will give me answers: I don’t want to take on all the financial burden of a cheater even if he isn’t cheating now.

        • I think what makes me a responsible person also holds me back from making what feels like an irresponsible financial decision. That was when he made 2x my salary.

          • Ah LimboChump you have to do what you feel is in the best interest of you and your family (not a cheater). They are shitty people in all aspects of their life but many are able to hide it for image management.

            One of my best friends hasn’t worked outside the home since before she had kids and has been totally reliant on her cheating doctor husband. He has screwed around at every location they’ve lived and was fired from his last job. She has lived through fighting legal battles over his hideous behavior. He almost didn’t get another job.

            She thinks she can’t make it on her own as she’s 60 years old now. She has no desire for a ‘real’ marriage with him anymore. She travels when she wants and does what she wants. She says she’d never remarry anyway.

            Who am I to judge her or her choices? I hope this all works out for you. It’s not sounding so good and like you may be supporting him now?

            • I can picture your friend making it on her own. It gives me courage. And then I get scared that it’s all in my imagination, another illusion just like my marriage was. The slow erosion of my confidence in myself is just another consequence of the abuse. To be able to do what you want & travel where you want IS valuable. I had reached some of that. Now his job loss changes things. Down to 1/3 of our usual income. Unsure if he will be able to get work. Not ready to jump ship right this minute.

  • My STBX actually blamed our children for why he was unhappy in life. That he loved me and wished we could’ve just been married with no children because I was his “best friend”. He told me that he needed to go out and experience what it was like to be “a single free man” because he had gotten married and had children so young he never got to truly live life. His plan was to run around having fun and sex with as many women as possible until we were 45 and the kids were grown and out of the house. THEN he would come back to me and we could have the marriage we were SUPPOSED to have. I just stared at him like the idiot he is and said nothing. Because if he actually expected me to raise three children on my own and wait around 12 years for him to be done screwing everything that walked, he must have some kind of brain damage. But once I filed for divorce and met someone new he was suddenly ready to commit to me again because the single life wasnt all he thought it would be. Sorry suckah! I’m not plan B or your retirement plan. I waited 10 years for you to be the man you told me you were. I’ve wasted enough life.

    • Yuck! Blaming the kids is nasty. Mine made a similar claim; that he had been married and had kids too young, wanted to experience the single life and would have stopped cheating after he retired. Presto! The cheater is magically reformed upon the day he retires or the kids leave home. That’s 24 karat bullshit. I asked him why retirement would change things and his lame response was; “It would be a different phase of life from what I was in.” Gee, I never knew cheating was a “phase of life”. What a moron.

      • Yes, right now he has a new girlfriend who also has children and wants him to be more involved with his own (good luck!) And he swears that he has reformed because hes “seen what’s out there and doesnt want that life”. When I asked how he planned to ensure it wouldnt happen with this woman, he told me “change starts with believing in yourself, so that’s enough.” *eye roll* Cheaters always seem to think the cheating is just a phase they’ll grow out of or that stopping and changing will happen in the snap of a finger. It’s a much deeper issue and they almost never change.

    • I’m sorry BB, that sucks… not that it’s a contest, but I will never know which letter I was.

  • Yes, they are the prize that one must always be fighting for in perpetuity lest someone else steal the crown. If you think the win is permanent just because your spouse said a few vows, jokes on you. Dance baby dance. Don’t ever get tired or slacken the pace or a fresher (or previous) contestant will take all. That ok, you just need to rest a bit and then you can have the joyous opportunity to steal back the prize if you fight hard enough, at least until the next fresher contestant comes along.

    One evening when the kids came back from Dad night my daughter seemed particularly disturbed. My guess is that she had been chewing him out for his actions and he probably felt he was just defending himself when he said “she didn’t fight hard enough for me” and she was disturbed because she was wondering if he had a valid point. Apparently he didn’t mean after DDay he meant throughout our entire marriage. Say what!? I was not aware that being married meant “fighting for your spouse” for the rest of your life. Love your spouse yes. Be there for them during difficult times, yes. Show them love and affection, yes. Don’t abuse them, yes. Be grateful for them, yes. But fight for them? That’s not how I view marriage. If you feel like you have to fight for your spouse ever moment of every day or you will lose them then what kind of marriage is that? If you can’t feel secure enough in your relationship that you can focus on other things when need be (job, kids – you know those less important things) then you don’t have a good relationship. Did he really think he was so central that I should be spending my entire life focused on “fighting” to keep him to the exclusion of all else? Apparently so. Never mind that he wasn’t “fighting” for me. He sure as heck had other priorities but that’s ok because he was the special one. I was just an accessory to his life, or at least I was supposed to be. I wasn’t very good at I though. How dare I have other priorities? I guess Schmoopie is better at “fighting” for him. She has nothing better to do. Oh, those five children of hers? No they don’t need her. They are just there to do all of the chores so that she has time to focus on ex. Never mind that he is gone 4 days a week for his job. He’s allowed to have other priorities. It’s just us lesser people who aren’t. What a way to live.

    • I texted my husband (who is using me as supply since his sparkly plan A ended) this recently:
      “In 1996, you married a girl you didn’t love. You said many times it was a mistake and you regretted it. Your actions coincide with this statement. Love does not do what you did to me. In 1996, I married a man who didn’t love me. I have been trying to change it. It has never worked. Love doesn’t have to beg to exist. We have both paid for that mistake long enough. I am not going to make the same mistake anymore. I know you don’t love me. It is the only truth I know about you. I am sorry I tried to get you to stay now and then. You were right all along. It’s going to be okay.”
      His reply: “That is the first time you have ever said something that made me feel compassion toward you in a long time. That’s a great place to start a conversation.”
      My reply: “It was closure.”

      Every day I get more clarity. I know I am his back-up plan. I am his sure thing. I keep re-reading that text. He love-bombed me (poorly) over the next few weeks and I stupidly regained hope (briefly) that his eyes had been opened by my magical words. (So chumpy!!!) He is back to his typical devaluing and I am so tired of being his back-up plan.

      • This is the email I should have sent my Cheater in 2005. He didn’t love me when we married and still didn’t in 2005. (He said he loved me when a crumb was needed to get me to run his world efficiently.

        I prayed to God offering Him anything except the suffering/death of my kids for my (then) husband to love me. Then came a terrible 7 year disaster-storm with me praying for love/salvation for him. I thought God would make him a better man but instead, he dropped dead. The irony is that I now think he (in purgatory) loves me…and I no longer care. 7 is the number of completion. I later married a sweet man. How my story went surprised me a lot. I now look back and cannot understand why I refused to see the impossibility of my situation.

  • Oh well, I had the pleasure of knowing that I wasn’t Plan B, or any plan for that matter. Even though according to now XH, who said on the BD that I was his ” best friend, great wife and we have a wonderful relationship” I just couldn’t compete with his fantasy soul mate. He didn’t even pretend to lead me on that there was a chance. Don’t you know I had a Jesus Cheater too, yep, I was just the thing to bide time until God introduced his soul mate to him. Thanks for giving me such great purpose, shall I bow down now?

    • Because clearly Jesus would want that…. these Jesus cheaters make themselves into God and it’s sick on so many levels.

  • Be aware that often this is all designed to keep you worn down and confused so they can manage their image (“I tried, but he/she is cold, bitter, and unforgiving, and rejected me!”) and get the AP and the legal situation all squared away to their advantage.

    They might appear to relish the cake, but the real goal is for you to be weak and compliant enough to accept agreements that benefit them and harm you. It’s strictly a matter of keeping you hooked long enough to be efficiently manipulated one more time.

    So, even if it is all you can do to scrape yourself off the floor and get a shower, be aware that the cheater has less than zero concern for your wellbeing, and tap your heretofore hidden inner resources, the ones that say, “Nope. No way.”

    Refuse to be compliant. Truth is you are not in the plan at all. Neither is the AP, really. The cheater cares about one person and one person only, and that is himself or herself.

    Just say no to serving them any longer. Be your own plan A.

  • My sneaky ex always had a plan b. I guess I was better than nothing but he was always looking for an improved model with money. Whenever he had something going, he treated me crappy. I’m thinking he’s under work pressure or whatever. Then if they broke up he’d be sad and a different kind of miserable and retreat to his room. Finally, this one said yes but still he waited to ensure he had plausible deniability. I honestly didn’t think he was cheating. He’s way overweight, unhealthy and not good looking. But he could still nail old tramps. What an ego. I really do hate him. And he would never be my plan b. But if he could figure a way for me to be his plan b without losing the upper hand and if he got dumped, he would. He just pays me my money (which burns his ass but he does it). And his skankie doesn’t want to marry him anymore because she doesn’t want him touching her money. Oh, I laugh. Men with plan b ideas are whores. They don’t want to be alone. Or they want money. But they want it their way.

  • My STBXW told me “well maybe in 2 years we can give it another try” & “can’t we just be friends”. I responded with “friends??? I don’t even want to be within 500 miles of you.”
    She’s currently living with her boyfriend in our house and 3 months ago she convinced my FIL to buy her a house 4 doors down from where I stay now for when things are final. She said “at least the kids can just walk down by you now when they want.” Fucking cunt! No contact and gray rock as much as I can with 4 kids.

    • CT–can you move, or did you already buy the house you’re in? It prevents healing to see cheater on a regular basis.

      • For now I had to move back in with my parents which is still the same town. She got the house per the temporary order as I did not want to stay in the house where she was banging him. She was the breadwinner and I am pursuing child support & maintenance. She has since resigned from her full time position into a casual part time position. So my guess is she can not afford the house on her own now. And of course with all the houses for sale in the area she has chosen one that is 75 yards away.
        I’m guessing She is under the impression that the less she works then she will not have to pay. I have since hired a vocational expert to determine what she will actually have to pay.
        I do want to move (far away) and am trying to figure out how to make it work for my 2 youngest kids as they are 10 & 7. I need to protect them from her predator boyfriend and his 4 boys. She just uses them for image management.
        Any ideas & tips are appreciated?? I have gone as far as to offer dropping the pursuit of child support & maintenance if she just lets me have them full time.
        I do know that this will most likely go to trial because she’s a narcissistic sociopath. I am hoping when she loses and has to pony up she will just let me have them and leave us alone. That way she can go pursue her life with sparkle dick and I can be the sane parent.

        • then it kind of works in your favor that she moved so close to you. the 2 youngest can run over to your house whenever they need to. or want to. the more they are with you, the less they are with toxic momma and prevert boyfriend.. .. .. ..some times it works out to keep your ememies close.

          it really is not that bad to have your ex living so close to you. wasband and his troll moved in a block over. i could see the back of their rent house from my front porch. .. .i could see his troll walking down the street. it wasnt so bad.

          • She may not let them come over even with them 75 yards away. That’s just how she is. It just sucks because I was the primary provider for all my kids and now that I filed she’s trying to be that hands on mom. Even though she spends zero alone time with them due to needing her boyfriend and his 4 boys around 24/7 on her time. They set their schedules up so that they have 7 kids together at once. And it scares me also with the house the FIL bought her it’s only 3 bedrooms and my 7 year old daughter is the only girl.
            Thanks for the input!

        • Be careful of negotiating with cheaters–if you agree to a lower settlement in order to have full custody, cheater may (probably will) pull a last-minute maneuver to get more custody while leaving the lower settlement in place. They are not people who can be counted on (eye roll).

          See what your lawyer thinks; possibly keep the high settlement and over time, you will end up with much time with the children anyway, ‘cuz that’s how cheaters roll.

          • Oh yeah she’s tried to get me to back down from what I’m asking for and threatening me by saying it’s going to get messy now.
            But I’m not backing down anymore. It took me about 6 months to realize I can’t give into her anymore because cheaters don’t give 2 shits about anyone else.
            I do think my kids will see soon as well. For example a few weeks ago my youngest son who is 10 had a baseball tourney. Well “he” forgot his bag at home so she had to scramble to figure out how to get his bag there when it was 1 hour away. She took zero blame for it and criticized him in front of people for “him” leaving his bag at home. I thought to myself he’s 10 and you’re 38, you’re the parent who needs to make sure he is prepared. I just documented it and pulled him aside and told him it wasn’t his fault or responsibility to make sure he has it.
            Thanks for the input!

        • Please do everything you can to prove all those men are predatory. I agree…not healthy for your young impressionable children to spend majority time there.
          You will win!

    • At least my ex had the decency to say “I hope we can be friends someday” and didn’t take it as a given. Of course I was still pick me dancing at the time so that was his way of letting me know I had been eliminated from the competition. What a think to say to your wife. Ouch.

  • Oh, I think I was plan A. The point is, though, that there should be NO other plans. All the eggs in the marriage basket. No safety net. You row that boat TOGETHER towards a common goal of making your marriage stronger, not sabotaging it by dropping your oar and watching your chump row in circles and wondering why she/he isn’t getting anywhere. Sorry for all the mixed metaphors. Not enough coffee, yet.

    His plan B lived in another country. His plan C, D, E, F, G lived in other states. The hookers were in another city. Oh, he called them “data collecting”. Classy. Bu having all these other “options”, he diluted the value of our marriage, and eventually wound up assigning me the oh-so-exalted status of “decent maintenance sex” aka wife appliance. Not having to sneak around just makes things so hum-drum.

    I had a single plan, which involved only two people (plus our daughter). No other options allowed, in my chumpy world. Still, that is the world in which I want to live.

    • Bingo.

      It’s a little more complicated picture, but I’ve always loved this section of “My Dinner with Andre” that talks about this problem:

      “I mean, you know, when you’re young,
      you go out on dates all the time.
      You go dancing or something.
      You’re floating free.
      And then one day suddenly
      you find yourself in a relationship…
      …and suddenly everything freezes.
      And this can be true
      in your work as well.
      And I mean, of course,
      if you’re really alive inside…
      …then of course there’s no problem.
      I mean, if you’re living with somebody
      in one little room…
      …and there’s a life going on between you
      and the person you’re living with…
      …well, then a whole adventure
      can be going on right in that room.
      But there’s always the danger
      that things can go dead.
      Then I really do think you have to kind of
      become a hobo or something, you know…
      …like Kerouac,
      and go out on the road.
      I really believe that.
      You know, it’s not that wonderful
      to spend your life on the road.
      My own overwhelming preference
      is to stay in that room if you can.”

      • Sorry, follow up–it connects to this last part at the end, which is really the one I think I was thinking of when I read your post, Ivyleaguechump:

        “You see, that’s why I think
        that people have affairs.
        I mean, you know, in the theater,
        if you get good reviews…
        …you feel for a moment
        that you’ve got your hands on something.
        You know what I mean?
        I mean, it’s a good feeling.
        But then that feeling goes quite quickly.
        And once again you don’t know
        quite what you should do next.
        What’ll happen?
        Well, have an affair,
        and up to a certain point…
        …you can really feel
        that you’re on firm ground, you know.
        There’s a sexual conquest to be made.
        There are different questions.
        Does she enjoy the ears being nibbled?
        How intensely can you talk about Schopenhauer
        at some elegant French restaurant?
        Whatever nonsense it is.
        It’s all, I think, to give you the semblance
        that there’s firm earth.
        Well, have a real relationship
        with a person that goes on for years…
        That’s completely unpredictable.
        Then you’ve cut off all your ties to the land,
        and you’re sailing into the unknown…
        …into uncharted seas.”

        Then the ending I feel I really need to take to heart these days:

        “I mean, you know, people hold on to these
        images of father, mother, husband, wife…
        …again for the same reason…
        ’cause they seem to provide
        some firm ground.
        But there’s no wife there.
        What does that mean?
        A wife.
        A husband. A son.
        A baby holds your hands…
        …and then suddenly there’s this huge man
        lifting you off the ground…
        …and then he’s gone.
        Where’s that son?

        All the other customers
        seemed to have left hours ago.
        We got the bill,
        and Andre paid for our dinner.”

          • Yeah, I’m going to need to soon, too, I can tell. My little brother “stole” my copy of the script, I’m realizing now … borrowed, and hasn’t yet returned… 🙂 Thank goodness for PDFs on the interwebs.

  • I was PlanA until I wasn’t. I didn’t have the information that he was searching for a new plan. After discovery and the 5 months that I danced, I was discarded without a thought for Schmoopie.

    He assured me many times that he would always love me and we would be friends forever especially for the sake of the children (who were early 20s). No, no thank you. I’m good.

    • same, or at least i was good enough until i wasnt.. .

      he told me he loved me up until the day i found out about his girlfriend. we had been separated 6 weeks and i thought we were “working” on fixing our marriage. apparently he had been looking for an apartment he and SHE could afford, as they were being kicked out of 4 different houses after shacking up with any of her/his relatives that could put up with them sponging off them. ..i was clueless to all that and he called or texted every night.. .. saying he did love me but ____ (the blank never explained he had a girlfriend either)

    • There really must be a cheater script out there somewhere. Mine also told me that he would always love me or sometimes it was alternated with the famous “You’ll never understand how much I love you.” He was certain we would be bffs forever and of course he finished off with “I know someday we’ll be back together.”

      This was all said our last week of living together and more importantly before our divorce was final. I played the long game, skirted the drama and nodded my head in agreement during everyone of his loony toon utterances. Divorce in nici granted; settlement monies settled and safely in my bank account and that was it. I dropped him like a bad a habit. Blocked him on every electronic venue and social media and I haven’t seen or heard from him since.

      Thanks for the offer coyote ugly, but I’m good!

  • At some point during the six months we were living together post D-day, I found some writings of his. Full of “Adaira is so hung up on me, poor Adaira.” “She’ll never get over me as long as I’m alive.” (His sad sausage was next level – including a weekend stay in the psych ward, during which he cheated on me – IN THE PSYCH WARD). Anyway, it was obvious he thought he was some sort of amazing prize and I was always going to be hanging out, available as his back up plan. Then after the divorce, I started dating again. As one can do. When one is SINGLE. And he lost his ever-loving mind, even told me off in front of the kids. I think he was shocked that I wasn’t so hung up on him after all. You know, it was okay for him to have a wife and a girlfriend, but not okay for me to date when I was single. It’s insane when you begin to see behind the mask and witness how seriously disordered their thinking is.

    • Absolutely Adaira, my ex couldn’t get over it when I started dating one of the top guys in my organization – as compared to him and his bar room whore! I too was supposed to worship at the altar of his wonderfulness!

    • I can laugh now but it wasn’t so funny at the time… Once I started dating a guy and when XH found out about it he vented to my friend “well she moved on fast, that didn’t take long”. My friend said it sounded like he was surprised that I wasn’t still on the ground broken hearted waiting faithfully for him. However, I just LOVE her response to him “I think she was very patient, at least SHE didn’t start dating while she was married.”

  • We had this great conversation on D-Day:

    Me: “If there’s something wrong with out relationship, don’t you think we should try to work on it?”
    Him: “I know I should be working on the relationship with you in case the one with her doesn’t work out.”

    hahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha

  • “I have to keep an OW/OM because, hey, it might not work out with us!” Followed by the inevitable blameshifting: “Because I don’t know if you can forgive me.”
    Oh, this was presented to me. I can have a certain thing with OM, or take a chance on you, and you might not get over this.
    Total bullshit.
    She didn’t realize it, but she did me a favor by running off. Good riddance, Cheaterpants.

  • I was never a plan B. He wanted out. While the marriage was terrible and needed to end, the cheating was a selfish, cowardly act that was meant to hurt me, (he left pictures and texts on his phone that i found. Unmistakably for me to find, vulgar and cruel). He wanted to stay in the house, live downstairs and commute to the city 3 hours away to work and see schmoopie. I in turn could still wash his clothes, pick him up from the bus station on the weekends at midnight and date other men if i wanted to. He “gave” me 6 months to “get my shit together”. I later found he feared an at fault divorce (dumbass is a lawyer and couldn’t figure out that it wasn’t even an option) I didn’t need 6 minutes let alone 6 months. I kicked him out in
    Sept of 2016 and my divorce was final in July of 2018. I was told “don’t worry you have anchor babies we will always be bonded”. Ugh. The 16 year old “anchor” won’t go to visit him, his involvement is limited in the other “anchor” is limited. I am thankful I was never Plan B. It would have killed me. In January i made a decision to go into this July (the 1st anniversary of my divorce) better than I was last July. I’ve lost 40lbs, gotten a promotion at my first “real job” in 13 years (i was a SAHM with a part time retail job). I purchased my own car and have gotten the “anchors” to every scout meeting, drama class,soccer practice, birthday party and every other activity they had. I was at every parent teacher conference, awards banquet and honor society inductions, 8th grade graduations and elementary moving up ceremony. I am creating a new life. Yes it’s hard. Unfortunately growth and grief often times go hand in hand. This is survivable. Stay strong and never be Plan B. CL and CN were vital in me keeping my shit together until i could find really good therapy. We are mighty!!!

  • My ex also told me that he wouldn’t be able to stand feeling guilty all the time if we stayed together. I guess actually leaving me for his AP alleviated all that guilt.

    I also found a journal in which my ex was tallying all the pros and cons of being with me (“L”) versus the AP (“A”). Hey! At least I scored a few points! And to think that I actually took some solace from that at the time! As time goes by (already 5 years) I continue to be amazed by how little I valued myself and how low I had fallen. Although I try not to beat myself up over it now, it is hard. How could I have been so blind and not known that I deserved so much better? I just have to hope that I have learned something and that I never fall victim to that mindset again!

  • “And those sticky-fingered, grubby little children of yours? Kibble thieves!”

    Anyone else raising their #metoo hands with this sentence?

    After our first child was born, The Disordered One, acted really weird. If only I knew how he was acting were gigantic red flags! I could tell lots of stories, but I won’t. In front of me, he acted like he was jealous of our son and all the attention he was getting from me. I tried my best to include The Disordered One in as much care of DS as I could. He even seemed jealous of me nursing him. After one really bizarre episode that my mom and sister witnessed. I purposely expressed milk to make a bottle so The Disordered One could feed DS. I gave the bottle to him to feed DS and what did he say to me? “Take a picture of me.” It was always about him. All the time!! For years I watched him covertly undermine our son. It was the type of undermining that if I would have said something about it, he’d have some type of excuse or say “I can’t do anything right!” The last time I saw him undermine DS was just after D-day. DS was doing a card trick for us and his grandparents. The Disordered One purposely picked on the cards with his fingers to expose the trick. DS was so humiliated and ran off into the other room. The Disordered One was like, “What? I didn’t mean to do that!” Yes, he did!! He didn’t like ANY attention given to anyone else besides him. But now he’s Disney Dad and of course our kids have no clue at all of what a crappy dad he was when they were little. I spackled so much for him, so of course he looks like Father of the Year to everyone, including his whore. A man being jealous of his kids is a major red flag! If only I knew 20 years ago!!!

    • Mine wasn’t that way when they were younger. But when our youngest was a teenager with serious mental health problems, he began to resent the amount of care I provided her, which took attention off him. He had assumed that when the kids were older, all my caring would be lavished on poor widdle him, because entitlement. She was suicidal, and I was desperately trying to keep her alive, and. here’s this asshole thinking “But what about ME?”. 😦 Now that’s some kooky narc bullshit right there. He even resented me caring for my own health problems when it conflicted with what he wanted from me.

      • ^^^THIS. Same! She was in the hospital, and it was still all about him. Micro-aggressions about the causes- because you know it’s the “All Your Fault” greatest hits, KFUK Radio.

        Chumprella- It’s National Splurge Day. I’m raising my fancy coffee to you, hoping that shit never returns.

        • Back at ya with a cuppa Early Grey.

          KFUK radio natirally has only three stations; rage, charm and self pity.

    • Btw, being jealous of nursing and deliberately humiliating his own son?
      I’ll take deeply disordered fuckwits for 400, Alex.

    • My ex wanted to have lots of kids. He is still upset with me for only giving him three instead of the four or more he wanted. I think, however, that he mistakenly thought they would be little kibble dispensers and not much else. He imagined himself as the grand patriarch with and adoring wife and children who revered him and were forever grateful to him for begin such a good provider and father. Then he discovered that they don’t come out of the womb as perfect little adults. They are a lot of work, they make a mess of the house so he was too embarrassed to have friends over, they don’t do what they are told, they take up a lot of Mom’s time and some of them (daughter in particular even as a baby) seem to favor Mom over him. Reality just didn’t fit his fantasy. This, of course, was all my fault. He complained that I gave them too much of my attention but he also complained about only having the three. Huh? So he thought having that fourth one would have given me more time for him? How does that work?

  • This is a subject I know all too well. After dday I was assured repeatedly, as if I should be flattered, that he decided to settle for me, his plan B. Plan A wouldn’t have sex with him or even kiss him anymore and had never wanted to leave her husband. Yet he still preferred her. He claimed that several months before dday he decided to stay with me (and still keep what was now a strictly emotional affair going with plan A, naturally) rather than divorce me as he had been planning for years, because, as he put it, he had no future with her. Translation; “I finally get, after five dry years, that she’ll never fuck me again. I’d rather have her, even without sex, but the ego kibbles are also drying up. At least you give me sex often enough to be of some value (albeit value that is limited to just using your body), so I’ll keep you until I find somebody fuckable whom I value more highly, which is basically just about anyone. In the meantime, conning and using you is still a ton of fun, so duper’s delight is plan A.” Lucky me! I was going to get to be abused, manipulated and lied to for as long as it took for him to be finished with her and find somebody with a “future” (otherwise known as having open legs and being NotMe), at which point I was to be callously dumped with no explanation. NotMe is always preferable, no matter how foul the person and how stingy they are with kibbles. Because old kibbles= low value, even at high volume. New kibbles = high value, even at low volume. They are perceived as higher volume to the self-deluded cheater.

    Well, I was far from flattered, I was grievously insulted, hurt and horrified that he actually thought seeing me as a commodity, and a low value one at that, was a point in his favour. On a particular occasion he said it one time too many, after being told it triggered my PTSD, which caused me to get out of the car and run away towards a wooded area that was up a steep hill. He then chased me, yelling “But I decided to stay!” over and over as I ran in a panic. When I went back down to escape him, he followed, fell and slid all the way down the hill on his ass. Even in my traumatized state, I couldn’t help but snicker at what a buffoon he was. Narcs be crazy. He was so sure I’d see how lucky I was that he decided to keep using and abusing me.

  • “I just need to see where this thing goes.”
    “She is a human, and has feelings, too.”
    “It’s not like I’m out there, running around with some sort of levity or carelessness. I am, and feel, truly awful.”
    “It’s like I have three halves, and no whole.”
    There was never a plan. Just a game.

    • Bah. If they felt “truly awful” about it, they’d STOP. The truth is they feel great when they’re duping and abusing you. It’s the biggest high they’ve ever had, and they only know highs, not real happiness. Of course they won’t give that up.

      • Chumperella EXACTLY! The high.

        I’m convinced every cheater has some addict tendencies. They can’t feel unless chemically induced. Hence needing the butterflies and not having the ability to value or build something real.

        • You are right on that. If their behaviour is not outright addictive, it’s certainly compulsive.
          They are empty inside and seek to fill themselves up with shallow and often destructive pleasures.

      • Yes, each “half” needs to have a meeting with the others. The new appliance can take notes and provide refreshments.

        That statement from him was the Hindenburg sized red flag-to go No Contact stat.

        Puttin’ the dope in dopamine…

  • “I don’t even know what I want. Besides, we’ll always be a family.”
    “I just need some time to figure things out.”

    Nope!

    The AP is a coworker of his who cheated with someone else in the company before she turned her sites on my now-XH. She and her then-husband wreckonciled after her first affair, but her husband left her when he found out she was having an affair with my now-XH.

    While she was married, she referred to her husband as her “first husband”. Such trash!

  • Got an offer almost verbatim to the Plan B offer in the subject above. X-fiancee wrote and wanted us to get together if my new GF and I ever broke up. I never answered her letter and went ahead with the marriage to my GF (which has been going on nearly 50 years now). X is single and alone after several failed marriages. That darn character flaw just kept popping up!

  • I worked in HR for 20 years before I retired. I will never forget a colleague coming to me with her divorce papers and telling me that when he left her her (ex)husband said “so if this doesn’t work with her I can come back right?” I think my jaw hit the desk I was so stunned.

  • Let’s imagine you start a business with a friend. You agree to share the profits 50/50 and for each of you to work 50 hours per week. You put in place other rules designed to make the business successful and to make sure both partners are equally invested. You manage the operations; your partner manages the finances.

    Then one day you look at the books and discover that Partner is taking 90% of the profits. He’s moving those assets into a new business he’s started up with someone else. You have been getting 10%. You would break up that partnership is a nanosecond. You’d sue to get your money back. Marriage is not just a romantic tradition and a religious ceremony; it’s a legal partnership where you have equal rights to finances

  • Didn’t hear that offer, did hear the one about how “lots of people still live together and instead of divorcing”. You know, cos he wanted a free place to stay, his OW couldn’t keep him in the lifestyle to which he’d become accustomed.

  • X: If we get a divorce can we get back together later on in the future?

    Me: Absolutely not and we’re getting a divorce no matter what.

  • Mine offered me an open marriage post D-Day. She said, as a woman, she needed an “emotional factor” in relationships so required a full-on alternative relationship, with the all the romantic, soul-mate beels and whistles. As a man, she said I could have the occasional, purely physical one-night stand in return. Because, you know, men don’t need “emotional factors” so much. We’re happy to just sleep with a hot body or whatever *roll eyes*.

    When I mentioned that if – hypothetically, since there was no way I *was* interested – I did agree, I’d want to have just as heavily emotional relationship with someone else in return, she became confused and, thereafter, somewhat reluctant.

    It was all a load of bollards anyway. She was only looking for an excuse to continue the affair but with rules loosened enough that she wouldn’t feel so bad breaking them.

    • My XH told me that I was having “an affair with my job” when I discovered he was having an affair with a woman. Sounds equal to me! Not sure how to **** a job but I guess I was.

  • Gollum’s last words to me over the phone 14 months ago (last time I saw him was at BD in 2017) was “I guess you will never speak to me again”. Fucker got that one right! 34 yrs gone….surprisingly my life’s great. I’m no mans Plan B.

  • Oh yeah- when I found him out he automatically wanted a divorce – easier than coming clean. Then he changed his mind and offered- I’ll stay with you but only if you’re the only one who needs to make changes and if you don’t change to my satisfaction I’m outta here and yeah I won’t be accountable to you as far as where I am and who I’m with! I let my brain take over and grew a spine and said I want a divorce and fought for what was rightfully mine (he thinks the law doesn’t apply to him)! Well 6 months after our divorce he is back with the OW and shoving her down our son’s throat! But I laugh because at least I have enough self worth to not have allowed him to play me. The ow actually took him back after knowing he lied to her about sleeping with both of us the whole 5 years and after knowing he was trying to make it work with his wife and when she said nope- she took him right back. She can have the almost geriatric – multiple physical issues, rogaine and cialis using passive agreeing ocd controlling narcissist. I’m free!

  • “I’ll stay with you but only if you’re the only one who needs to make changes and if you don’t change to my satisfaction I’m outta here and yeah I won’t be accountable to you as far as where I am and who I’m with!”

    These were the only goals my husband articulated in the two marriage counseing opportunities I arranged. I am nauseous as I write this We are separated but I am still doing the pick me dance. He denies an affair but also can’t commit to our marriage. By the way, I left first. Last shred of dignity, I guess.

  • My stbxh told me that for two years he and OW would passionately cry and yell and fight over and over because they could never be together due to the fact that she was only 20 and he was 44, married with two kids and not able to have any more! He relayed this star-crossed lovers story to me not long after after D-Day.

    They lasted 3 months after D-Day and now he has emailed me asking to reconcile, writing ‘Is there any hope for us to be together again in any capacity. Any capacity? Your terms!.’

    I have taken up the role of being his Plan B once before but I will never do it again.

    • You are both brave and smart in my eyes.

      Wasband cheated in the early days of our marriage and told me. Thought we had worked it out and all was well.

      Fast forward 25 years. All wasn’t well. He had just learned how to be more devious and I NEVER suspected a thing!!!!

      Talk about trusting and naive. If I could buy stock in me for those 2 qualities I would!

      We are now divorced and I have peace of mind for the first time is decades. In fact I didn’t even know what it was because if felt so foreign.

      Thanks for posting.

  • Mine wanted and open marriage, and for sex to be different. Right, as if that wasn’t the red flag that he was already fucking someone else. He actually had the nerve to come back after the divorce and flaunting the OW/AF. My youngest asked him why he came back ( he claimed he hated where we lived, we got stationed there after he failed miserably on US embassy duty)? His response? Things change. He even had the balls to ask me if I really meant that “no contact, except concerning the kids” clause in the divorce decree. I stayed NC. Needlessly to say, he went back to the AD, and has been with her ever since. NO plan B here, just peace happiness and a new, better life.

  • A year post-discard and we still hadn’t filed, Mr. Sparkles came over to begin discussing the divorce but brought two bottles of wine with him and after finishing the second remarked to me, “Wouldn’t it be romantic if we ended up getting remarried some day down the road?”

    It was THAT MOMENT that I came to believe that I was dealing with a sociopath/personality disordered fuckwit. Two months later, I filed pro se… two months after that (when he didn’t respond to the filing) I hired my lawyer. I am no ones Plan B.

  • “I kind of hope it doesn’t work out with her, because I miss home and the kids”.

    This PlanB sentence was the pivotal moment where I finally recognized I was in an animal snap-trap, not a committed marriage, and it was time to stop saving it and start the excruciating process of chewing off my own paw to escape.

    Doubly painful because there wasn’t even a mention of ME in there. My name would more accurately be “NotYourPlanC”….

    • NotYourPlanB
      Your pivotal moment, I like how you used that word so effectively, is much like mine – actually there were more pivotal moments to come but the first was when he told me he would have more time to spend with the kids because she was going on vacation…..no ‘me’ in there either yet there I stood right in front of him while my heart shattering into smithereens and my mind leapt into shock and the pick-me-dance took on a new dimension….

      Wish I could say that I started ‘chewing’ but I started reading books on how to ‘fix’ us….Not until I stumbled across LAC,GAL months later, did I realize there wasn’t an ‘us’ anymore. Only a me and now I spend my time reading about why I was so naive and I am having an amazing time discovering who I am without all that mindfuchery going on. Hope you are too.

  • My ex told me, whilst stood in the porch of his house with OW (around the corner from my house where I live with our children after I had received missed calls from him and yet again went running to see if he was ok like a good chump) that he didn’t “particularly want a divorce” (hushed tone so OW wouldn’t hear) and why did I say we would remarry in six months. I told him I’m not anyone’s back up option, we are never getting back together and I didn’t say we would remarry I said you will be asking me to marry you again and I will be saying no…

    He’s now moved out of that house and they continue to be miserably fighting and dragging me into their fights because they are all my fault because he will “always prioritise” me 🤣. Unbelievable when he was sleeping with OW when our youngest child was 10 months old… narc

  • I got “Lots of people remarry their first spouse later in life. Maybe we’ll grow old together in the end after all”. This was the morning after D Day. Ugh. I’ve never seen anyone be as terrible at anything as my ex wife was at wifing.

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