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Dear Chump Lady, She changed him

Dear Chump Lady,

I want to first say that I am SERIOUSLY thankful for your blog. I found it a little too late, and pick-me danced too long, but once I found it, I suddenly found the courage to stay strong and give up on the ‘perfect family’ dream. When I found you, it was because I was 100% an Amazon chump and was searching for answers.

I often read your pages asking myself ‘can there REALLY be THIS many narcissists out there?’. I have never even used that word until my husband lost his mind last year. I first diagnosed him (thanks to my chump research) with a mid-life crisis, and I followed all of the advice for such. I even told my college age children that we were going to ‘love him through it’. We tried so hard. It didn’t work.

Then, I diagnosed him as bipolar. I dragged him to a two marriage counselors AND a psychiatrist. It didn’t work.

Then, I found your blog and realized that OMG, he fits narcissist to a TEE. I stopped my pick-me dance and cried in my pillow every night wondering where he could be. I am doing much better now because I am a few months in, BUT……this week, I had a new Amazon chump thought.

My situation is the same as everyone else’s, but in every way it could be bad and go wrong — it did. After a 23 year marriage and wonderful family memories, my husband began a secret life with a 6-foot blonde tramp with fake boobs who is 15 years younger than us. She has two small children and works for the same company he does.

As they were playing house, I was battling breast cancer — I had chemo, radiation — the whole gambit. They were KIND enough to wait until my treatments were over to announce their love and wreck my life, but I fought. I pushed her away as many times as I could, but then he waited until I was on a girl’s beach trip to call me and let me know he would be gone when I returned home.

WHAT happened to this guy?!?!?! WHO calls their wife like that and RUINS her girls ‘finally breast cancer free’ trip like that?? THIS person is NOT who my husband was??? He was a nice, normal guy and I never felt unloved. He was selfish with his time, but he took care of us in every way. It blindsided me and the pain was almost unbearable.

I have now read all of the archives that pertain to my situation, and even though you say that it doesn’t matter what flavor the cake is — it’s STILL CAKE (best advice ever BTW), I can’t help but bring a new flavor to your attention….. STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. Seriously. He has lost his friends, lost most of his family, lost the respect of his children, lost his job, walked away from his home…..all for this girl???

This girl was AGGRESSIVE in every way. She set her sights on the life she wanted, and went for him relentlessly. He was a dumbass and gave in, but I SWEAR, she has brainwashed him. She is like a CULT leader and she always found her way back in. I SWEAR I am not defending him. I do NOT want him back. The things he has done to me over the last year are the meanest things anyone has ever done to me. I am one signature away from a final divorce. I am just putting it out there that some of these home wreckers are evil poachers with serious skills. My husband died the day he met her, and someone new is walking around in his body. My job is now to stay off Dateline.

Please make sense of this and tell me you think he’s been kidnapped and now suffers from Stockholm Syndrome so that I can sleep at night and not obsess over the nightmare ending to my marriage.

Much love to YOU and my fellow chumps. You have SAVED MY LIFE!

neversawitcoming33

Dear Neversawitcoming33,

He’s not brainwashed, he’s an asshole. He chose this. If he’s in a cult, it’s the Cult of Stupid.

You’ve really been through hell, and it’s normal to untangle the Skein of Fuckupedness, but you must stop diagnosing him. It’s not helping.

If we go with your Devil Made Him Do It defense, then if we remove the Devil — what next? You think he’s all better? Reformed? You want him back?

No, he’s still a man who could cheat and abandon his wife during her cancer.

If diagnosing him as a narcissist (not a leap, he’s behaving narcissistically) helps you leave him and get yourself to safety, okay. But as I say here often, what kind of fucked up it is doesn’t matter. HE IS FUCKED UP. This behavior (cheating, abandonment, cruelty) is either okay with you, or it’s not.

By giving the Other Woman all the power in this narrative, you are defending him. You’re taking a last toke on the hopium pipe — This Isn’t the Real Him. You didn’t invest in a fraud, a bad, bad woman corrupted him.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s an asshole too (stay cancer free, Sparkletwat!) — but she doesn’t have super powers of seduction. He chose to do this. And his volition in the matter is way more painful than thinking he suffers under an evil spell.

He’s not like you. You may share history, but you don’t share values.

How do I know? He’s afflicted with stupidity and look what you did — you threw yourself at saving him. You stood by him. You suffered.

Did he stand by you as you suffered? No. He looked for an escape hatch. He doesn’t love the way you love.

Maybe he loved okay for awhile. You know, like one of those friends you can go to movies with, but are nowhere to be found when life sucker punches you with cancer or divorce. They flit at the superficial level, but they don’t do substance. That’s fine if you need a movie date. It’s not fine when you need a life partner.

You had a movie date husband. He wasn’t tested. There are show-up people and there are cowards. And I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but you invested deeply in a coward. It happens.

I just ran this scenario past Mr. CL.

“Okay, let’s say I have breast cancer and I lose all my hair and boobs and some tall young blonde with big tits throws herself at you at work. Would you cheat?”

(Totally not a fair question. I’m perfectly healthy and could throw a mean punch. Answer at your peril.)

He says, “I could never do that. And if you got sick, I would never leave you. I’m a Catholic. Life is suffering. It’s the deepest expression of love to take care of someone when they’re suffering. I would want to be there for you.”

(This then devolved in a discussion of how his mother cared for his father who just died, to the point of noble insane sacrifice — she’s a nurse AND a Catholic. Whereas the preferred mode of death in my family is to retire to south Florida, hire Cuban caregivers, and shoo your family away as a point of honor. We agreed a middle path would be best.)

Speaking of Good Catholic Men, we just lost one. I learned yesterday that an old co-worker of mine, a devoted husband and father of three took his kids to the pool last week, and had an aneurysm. He suffered severe brain damage, held on for a few days, and passed away, surrounded by his family.

He was a good man and I am certain between all the prayer requests and MRI updates and convulsing grief, his wife wasn’t cruising for boyfriends.

Because that would be obscene.

Anyone who loves deeply could not hurt you this way. What you suffered was an obscenity. That’s my diagnosis. Think of him as a cancer and cut him out. Save yourself.

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.
  • “Because that would be obscene” – I feel like that summarizes this while scenario perfectly. Some acts are so far out of the range of decency that even if the Devil is involved, the human actor must still be either completely reconciled to God or shunned.

    • Or completely reconciled to God and still shunned because the scars are too deep.

      I left Horace. He went straight into a Found God, Found The Twelve Steps phase. He has had these phases before. They have been brief and followed by a return to his previous behavior. After the decades of lies, I will never again be able to believe anything he says. I’ve also realized I should have left long before his previous FGFTTS phase, because CPTSD doesn’t settle down when you are living with the person who hurt you. If he seemed to become exactly what I wanted, I still wouldn’t be able to trust him.

      • Yep. Because even if their change WERE permanent, you would have no way to verify a change to someone’s internal heart and soul–so you would always be hypervigilante. Their change might be permanent under such conditions–but so would your PTSD.

  • I can relate to your story, neversawitcoming33. We had a happy, normal family and the OW’s was a trainwreck with an abusive husband. I very much felt that she “stole” my husband but at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter since he allowed it. Of all the “better” and “worse” forms of awful, yeah, maybe she’s slightly worse but they’re both awful. Sex is a powerful drug and makes people crazy, but getting from here all the way to there is on him as much as her. I wish you a happy, cancer-free and asshole-free life!

    • Same for me. Wasband was … IS weak. I thought he would never cheat because he would never make the first move. Turns out he didn’t need to. The troll he left me for did it for him. She saw my life and my house and yard and errorously believed (or was led to believe) that he provided all it for me. She pursued wasband super aggressively. She sank her claws in his back and never let go. She is a professional homewrecker. Ours was not the first, second or third marriage she wrecked. She knows all the tricks and was one step ahead of me at all times. She made sure he never talked to me without or alone. She kept him busy and focused on her, so he never looked back. She pretended to love and care about his boys even thou she never met them and had 4 kids of her own she abandoned. She was stuck to his side like glue (ride or die). And she is good at twisting everything I said to him. .. . .. I call her a demon. She is the most hateful evil self centered person I ever met.. .. .. she clearly manipulated and was controlling him from day one.. .. .. .. BUT HE LET HER. I used to think he just didn’t know, he didn’t see .. but he did and allowed it.

      The sentence that saved me was It’s not that he doesn’t know, it’s that he doesn’t care. It’s not that he doesn’t see, it’s that it goes against what he want. .. or something like that. I still have it written down at work. (I am writing this from home right now,).

      Thing is he knew exactly what he was doing to me, it just didn’t matter to him.

      • It’s not that he doesn’t know, it’s that he doesn’t care. It’s not that he doesn’t see, it’s that he disagrees.

        • Another good one from Lundy Bancroft is that “ He doesn’t have a problem with his anger; he has a problem with your anger”.

      • Same here. She also aggressively pursued. None of this makes sense. To me, to friends, to my adult kid, to anyone. My therapist and I were talking about this today. She doesn’t think he’s a narcissist but that he’s clueless, emotionally immature. The OW has some serious issues and apparently open marriage so she can do and destroy anything she wants. I started reading “Healing from Hidden Abuse” (thanks CN for the suggestion) and it’s eye opening. I do not know if he is a Narcissist. All I know is the psychological abuse I endured was real – whether intentional or not.

        My take aways: He kept going back. Period. End of story. Whether he was manipulated, brainwashed whatever, He kept going back. He made the decision to continue to lie to me. He made the decision to tell me such hurtful things. Him. Yes their correspondence to me looked similar and used the same phrasing. Yes I’m sure she was leading him. BUT he continued to follow and THIS is the reason that whatever happened to the loving, kind man I shared a life with no longer matters. His choices, his actions, his consequences.

        At some point, he might realize what he lost. BUT it would be way too late – already is. I no longer see him as the same person. I’m sure he could never look at me the same. It’s time to disconnect and move forward, as difficult as that is.

        Neversawitcoming33 – I know the sucker punching pain you have endured and the need to understand wtf happened. I’m right there with you – 27 years together and just a year out from D-day. It doesn’t make sense but so many things in life don’t. Take your second chance at life (congrats on being cancer free!) and enjoy it with your friends and family. I’m sure your life will be filled with love and joy. I know mine eventually will. Our STBXH’s not so much. If they can be led astray so easily I’m sure they will never truly be happy. Cheers.

        • Oh wow, my STBX’s OWhore apparently has an open marriage too. Even was over at my house for a work BBQ when they were cheating and was wearing a wedding ring and calling her husband as husband. He found out about their 6mth (or longer) affair two weeks before I did. Not really that Open was it.
          She’s a predator, possibly with BPD, and serious esteem issues. My STBX was/is her boss, so big kibbles for her. But again, he still gave in. He still lied to me day in, day out. They both suck. And so does her H, who defended her to me, and who’s still with her 7mth after DDay! Now my STBX is the bit on the side (said he felt diminished in our marriage – ha!) of a woman who won’t even divorce her separated (under one roof) husband. A circus I’m glad to be almost clear from. Just sucks that I have to see them all at school (their kid started at my daughter’s school) and that my kids don’t have a choice to be around them.

          • She apparently told her husband on my D-day but who the fuck knows. I think it’s all lies. All of it. My STBXH is now also the bit on the side, has lost everything for what? At one point during wreckinciliation, he brought up how the OW’s marriage and relationship was different than ours, how close they were and how they talked about everything. I shut that down quick. Their relationship is sooooo good that they f*ck other people at will? It was sooooo good that she felt she needed to seek out a married man? I’m pretty sure he was going to bring up “open marriage” but he’s a spineless coward who could see that that topic would end cake immediately so he continued to play me until I kicked him out.

            I’m sorry that you have to see them and your kids are exposed. I feel so sorry for all the kids for having such messed up parents. I’m lucky in that they live in a town a ways from me and I should hopefully never have to cross paths. I’m guessing that she’ll lose interest in my STBXH and move on to the next poor defenseless fuckwit and continue the cycle.

            Agreed. Not a circus I ever wanted to be included in. Can I get a refund? So happy to be almost out and be the only sane adult in the room. What’s wrong with these people?

    • The movie French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline comes to mind when I think about the idea of the homewrecker that swoops in and ruins our seemingly happy marriages. There’s a scene where Kate (Meg Ryan) has pick-me danced her way across the Atlantic Ocean and France to get her fiancé back and finally confronts him and Juliette, the “goddess” took him.

      Kate: Let me take a good look at the woman who stole my Charlie’s little heart.

      Juliette: I did not steal anything that didn’t want to be stolen.

      That little exchange sums it all up to me. The OW/OM was able to “steal” them because they were open to being “stolen”. No boundaries. No deep commitment. No concern for anyone but themselves.

    • Neversawitcoming33, same thing with my husband. We were married 17 years, 2 children…he became so mean. He used to be the nicest man on earth. The influence of his AP, who is also his employee, 20 years his junior, immigrant from central america, she has had a horrible effect on his personality. It’s almost like he’s possessed. She got him with sex. For some people, they are motivated by sex, especially new sex. I dont understand it.

  • This could be my story too. Minus the hideous cancer you had to suffer. I’m so sorry.

    My husband is 62. His AP is 34 (2 years older than my son). On discovery about the affair I counselled him! Wtf. Told him she was only after his money and the lifestyle he could facilitate for her and her two children.

    My son and his wife are expecting a baby. I would say, “you are going to blow our family up – for nothing. You will regret it”. He claimed to have finished it, but hadn’t. I thought I was going mad. I threw him out 6 months ago.

    Fast forward. He rented a house and moved her and the kids in. My son and daughter are devastated.

    I now get texts and emails full of self pity and regret.

    I come to this site to remind myself of the handbook they all appear to use.

    Latest lament. “I’m so afraid of the future without you”. Translation anyone?

    • “Latest lament. “I’m so afraid of the future without you”. Translation anyone?”

      Several!

      It’s hard raising children and I didn’t do it the first time around and I for damn sure don’t want to do it at my age.

      She’s leaning on me to earn more money and never retire and I can’t do that because I owe you money and I’m tired. Save me!

      I can’t get it up and I think she’s looking for someone else. I will be selling matches in the snow unless you open your heart and home to me (but don’t expect me to be there for YOU – we’ve been over this dammit!). Save me!

      Holy shit, there are consequences to abandoning my family. They include my son cutting me out of his life and these new kids…well…they’re not mine and I wanted to be worshipped as grandpa and that’s not going to happen without you. Save me!

      Screw that noise. Block his number and emails. Point and laugh! Anonymously send him a bad toupee or a box of gummy dicks? Yeah, there really are sites that will anonymously send snarky gifts. Not that he’s worth the time or money, but it might cheer you up to envision his ire after opening it up.

      • He figured out she won’t take care of him when he’s old and sick. She isn’t a good “wife appliance.”

        • Yup. “Oh gee, life was great with Wife Appliance doing all the work and Ho Appliance providing all the fun while asking nothing in return. But now Wife Appliance no longer works for me and Ho Appliance is requiring that I put in work as Husband/Father Appliance! I hate work! Save me, Wife Appliance! Without you doing all my work for me and also providing a reason why I can’t be Husband/Father Appliance to the Ho, things are looking grim!”

      • Very good interpretation of what Sunshineaftertherain’s ex husband really means. It’s all about him. Now he has a Narc woman, he deserves her!

      • Excellent interpretation of what Sunshineaftertherain’s ex husband really means when he says he regrets. It’s all about HIM.

    • Oh Sunshine I’m so sorry. Deep down, you know what he means; it’s just too disgusting to wrap your mind around.

      “I’m afraid of a future without you to wipe my ass, if I need it, when I’m old. Who will take care of me? This woman is not a chump, she’s a narc and now I realize that she will not take of me when she is middle aged and I’m in diapers. And raising the children of someone else is not fun. And they take the attention off me. And do we really need to split all the assets? And who is going to take care of everything?”

      You have a lot of life in you still Sunshine, don’t let this dark cloud dim your light.

    • Besides the obvious (money), what do these younger women get out of being with these much-older men? It’s just sick. Mine is 48 and with a 24 year old. There’s no way in hell he’s keeping up with her sexually!

      • It is a security thing. I truly think that is about the depth of it – and yeah sure at that age the older guy has accomplished things that are admirable and may still be handsome too…so maybe she also sees other qualities to convince herself it is true love but I think security is the key.

        I know someone who was a single mom and poached a way older guy away from his wife and adult kids. I met her when she was in the thick of the marriage and had another kid with old guy and didn’t know the full history. Fast forward years later – Once she got to middle age she cheated on him and dumped old guy for a younger one. She is stable now and has a good job and her kids are out of the house. She no longer had a use for him. And her new guy is basically at her beck and call and keeps her house while she earns and keeps things stable for him.

        It is weird because she is – or I thought of her as -a really nice woman in so many other ways, and is very ethical about other things. I don’t get it. I had to depend on her at a point in my life and so I really bonded with her. Now that I know all this about her it is hard to reconcile all the good in her with this severe character flaw.

        Also – not totally related but kind of in terms of predatory-type women: I know of a woman who calculated who she would pursue to date based on names and what she knew of their wealth due to her work in fundraising. Luckily she only went after single guys but she eventually married one and you have to wonder how much true devotion is present with such self serving calculations. Wonder if her philanthropic hubby will be on this site as a chump one day, looking for advice. There are so many flavors of predator it is sad and scary. When my kids grow up I am going to advise a prenup no matter what.

        • I know nasty women too. One claimed sexual harassment at her law office (she was an administrator single mom) and they paid her off quickly, a lawyer lost his job, it was cheaper than defending themselves. It was well known that he had not stepped out of line. This was before email, texts etc. She did that twice before she changed careers – left law practices since her reputation was known in our city. Every office she worked in, she cried harassment, really fucking things up for the real victims. It was very sad, she had no problem ruining lives and was selfish enough to give her child up to her alcoholic mother because free time.. Train wreck with daddy issues.

          I knew girls in college whose mothers sent them salaries of pro sports players and bars they hung out in when in town. They were taught to go after money only. Huge daddy issues passed down from their moms, who had made bad choices in marriage due to daddy issues. They also all fucked anything that stood still long enough.

          I had a friend who cheated and I dumped her as a result 10 years before I was chumped. I knew her well enoguh to know that she had spent her life seeking sexual attention from men, and trying to be the prettiest skinniest girl in the world for her ice cold, distant, arrogant, vain, remarried with a new family, dad. It was horrifying to watch her drive her life into the ground. She lost a great husband, who has since gotten a great new life.

          Cheater told me that his train wreck ow was easy because girls (she was married and 52) with daddy issues tend to act out sexually and make bad choices for male attention. I pointed out to him that men with mommy issues were fucking assholes too who will wet their dicks any way they can in any hole they find. He did not argue.

          • I don’t know if there are statistics on OW that had been abandoned by their fathers but it does seem the majority of OW as well as strippers all have “Daddy” issues. Narcs can spot them a mile away.

        • So I always questioned my STBX choices in the OW. First one ( that I knew of) 5 kids 5 years younger than him athletic skinny fit (unlike me) married to a surgeon
          Second one 2 years younger never married at age of 50 no kids- fit makes 6 figures and allows anal sex…..
          Of course I accept he made the choice to cheat- he deserved better than me fit skinny etc…. everything I’m not. But really these two women wanting a married man with kids????? They suck just as much as he does…..
          Just wish I could get over the hurt pain betrayal
          Meh seems like it’s not in my near future
          Karma bus – don’t see it rounding the corner
          He’s dragging divorce out won’t produce financials court system is allowing him to continue his abuse
          Could really use some words of wisdom…. tired of this consuming my life

          • Same here. Wish I could get over the pain and hurt. I’m a breast cancer survivor too. Mine happened two years after my diagnosis. I wish we could form some kind of groups were we live so we can be support for one another. Sometimes you feel so alone in all of this. Is there anyone in the Nashville TN area?

            • The hardest part is lonliness. I wish here in America, we were closer to extended family and that there was a stronger sense of community, then we wouldn’t take these breakups as bad. Many people only have the closeness of their spouses and that isn’t good because our society as a whole, no longer supports the institute of marriage. Spouses can get up and leave on a whim and often do.

              Any regret the cheating spouse may feel at a later time is inconsequential the damage is done and the relationship dead.

          • Mighty Miss – please sign up at the Forums, if you haven’t already. General discussion will get the most replies and we’d love to help you there. Easy to sign up!

      • daddy issues

        fear that they can’t compete with women their own age, but stand a chance against older women/assume that a much older man will feel less of a need to cheat on them

    • There could a variety of translations.

      Life is not as fun as I though it would be.
      What the bell was I thinking? Little brats!
      Could I have an affair with you? Would you take me back?
      I don’t like the consequences of my actions!
      Can I have my wife and play toy?

    • Sunshine, don’t fall for the trap! He doesn’t miss you and the family. He misses the delicious cake you provided. And also you and the kids are Plan B. DON’T BE PLAN B! For whatever reasons, things are not going well with AP and her kids.

      Chump Lady’s Plan B post:

      https://www.chumplady.com/2019/06/the-plan-b-offer/

      My kids and I were Plan B way back in 2000, but I didn’t know it! Well, I think I was always Plan B. Block him! No or minimal contact. That sad sausage doesn’t deserve one more second of your life.

      • I was Plan B. Didn’t know it at the time. But my XW went so far as to get pregnant with the OM’s child to try to get him to leave his wife. When he didn’t, I was plan B. DO NOT take him back or even untangle their skein. You will regret it!

        • Geez! I heard my STBXW may be pregnant. Her boyfriend has 5 kids with 3 women. He’ll leave her soon that’s how he operates. Thanks to everyone in CN I will not be plan B. I will laugh at her when she does try coming back.

          • My ex wife left me for some clown who has 4 kids with 4 different women. At one time 2 of them were at the hospital giving birth at the same time..this after we were together 24 years. I mean WHAT THE FUCK EVER. Good riddance.

    • ” afraid of a future without you” means that he’s having major regrets and the affair fog is starting to lift. Life with schoopy isn’t so great after all and he wants to mage sure he still has cake. Whike sparkletwat is thinking she’s won the glittery turd, said turd is behinf her back messaging another woman…the same woman he just chumped with her.

      Notice how he didn’t say he wanted to be with you (why would anyone accept that offer anyway)….he just wants you to stands by for his cake supply.

      After he shacked up with happy tits, he just picked up right where he left of with you because this IS him! It always was.

      Don’t be cake. Don’t did it. Love yourself.

    • Errr … How come you didn’t block him? Then you wouldn’t need to be on a receiving side of his sadz. And why are you untangling the skein?

    • I told my husband all the same things, which were BLATANTLY the case. She was using him and wanting what she could get. It never mattered because true important thing to HIM was getting his dick wet. She could have had a knife to his back ready to plunge it in the second he got off. It never mattered.

      When a man decides (and as Tracy said it’s his decision that matters) that his dick makes the decisions, there’s absolutely nothing we can do. It’s not that he doesn’t get it, he’s very determined to not get it. He doesn’t care.

      • Honestly, I don’t even think it’s about their dicks. Or, at least, not always. From what I’ve seen, men who cheat do so because ego stroking is even more important than dick stroking.

        • If they can turn their backs on their families, they are hollow. There’s nothing there. They think other people are just characters in THEIR lives.

        • I agree toronto Chump. I just dumped my a-sexual boyfriend for sexting another woman while cuddling with me on my sofa. He preferred to play with her on the phone( she’s in NL) than the real live woman he was with. Ego stroking

    • “I’m so afraid of the future without you”.
      Translation: I’m so afraid OW is about to dump me as she only seems to care about what I can give her, which never seems like enough….if that happens I need to have you as a back up plan. So I’m planting the seeds right now to make you think that I deeply regret leaving you (I really don’t & I’ll stay with OW for as long as she’ll have me) and made a big mistake.

      Block this asswipe and be glad to know his life his life sucks right now and is about to get worse.

    • I’m afraid of myself without you
      You were always my guiding light I grew up with, ugh
      They are so afraid of abandonment, but care less about… you!
      Xo

  • Never saw it coming. You make me worried. In a way you are blaming her and making excuses. He called you on your trip to end it but he had obviously been telling you or whatever else it was over. You say you don’t want him back but if it doesn’t work out with this woman he is with and he comes crawlin back will you still feel the same way? No one can dictate how you feel but I hope you truly see who this guy is. If things do not work out between him and this woman please be on your guard. I would not put it past him to try to come back.

    • Yes, it would appear Never saw it coming is really seeking the “he must have gone insane” excuse and therefore he was susceptible to this wanton OW. OW may be a train wreck, they usually are, but that is not the problem. The problem is her cheating scumbag husband. An opportunity presented itself and he jumped on board without giving any thought to his wife and family. Opportunities will always be out there so even if it doesn’t work out with OW, cheater will find another opportunity. He’s shown you who and what he is, please block him and move on with your life.

    • Yes. Thank you! You’re BOTH right. I DO see the terrible things he has done to me and our family. I will admit that it is HARD to conceive that he would CHOOSE to do these things, but the bottom line is HE DID. And that’s it. No matter what my heart tells me, or how forgiving my nature is, it is over and has been. It’s just sad to me now is all. I’m not the kind of person that can turn on hate – I haven’t had a reason until now to do so, but I have done it and I promise that I will NEVER let my guard down again. Thanks for the support! I am glad we all can look out for each other!

      • I get your hurt – sadly, most all of us do. You’re right about the compounded shock of reading how many of us seem to have lived the same nightmare. Me? 24 years, no clue, and eventually learned of 7+ prostitute/paid hookups. There were probably more… But you can’t help missing the man who he used to be – even if you now know it was all an illusion. You are right : “My husband died the day he met her, and someone new is walking around in his body.” I tell others I am a widow forced to deal with my husband’s killer, because the guy he is now murdered the man I loved. I grieve my loss, but reconciliation? THAT would be like Stockholm syndrome-you /we’d be falling for our torturers. Stay strong, stay sane.

        • Heather,

          I like how you have turned your situation around to being a widow. Part of me still finds it so entirely ungraspable to look at the man who was my husband for 30 years and yet he is a complete stranger now.

          I have come to realize that when we take our wedding vows a bond is indeed created between us and some kind of intelligence in this vast universe of ours – some call it God but I am not a religious person and have too many negative reactions to that word to use it here – and that bond is tangible but never more so then when it is smashed to pieces by a spouses breaking his/her vows. Haunting experience. Left with an image – a body vacant of who I thought he had been. The man I married is missing in action and that does still hurt and is terrifying at the same time to know I will NEVER see him again coupled with the knowledge that who I thought he was wasn’t him either since he was one of the ones leading a double life. And here I thought I was your average suburban housewife! Boy what a tangled twist my life took. Only those here can really grasp all of this crapola.

          I remember when my father abandoned us and now I know why that felt so disorienting to me as a child. The man looked like my father when we spent weekends with him but there was no bond there anymore. He had moved on and why he continued to take us every other weekend and in the summers for a month still puzzles me but I suspect it was all about image management. I certainly felt no genuine love from him – or that he cared. He was incapable of caring for anything other than himself and his work and the next woman on his horizon.

          Thanks for your words! I will probably steal them when asked by someone what happened to me and my children.

          Back to original poster – thank you for bringing up such a timely topic for consideration. I have learned a lot here today. And always, CL for sharing your wisdom so clearly.

  • I’m so sorry about your co-worker. Two months ago I had a similar experience–heard about the unexpected loss of a former co-worker of mine from years ago. This was really the only guy I know who, in his early 20s, was totally unafraid to make the case to his more footloose and fancy free friends that commitment and trust were the key to a great sex life. He died of a heart attack in the middle of the night at 51–a heartbreaking loss for his many friends and his great family. I hate losing the good ones young.

      • I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, Chump Lady. Yeah, it seems like the jerks live forever, but some of the good guys die young. One of my friends Good Guy husband died a few years ago while he was out on a run – heart attack. He was in his 30’s. It never makes sense. 🙁

      • Just guessing here but I think its because he is the ULTIMATE TROLL!!! Seriously, it takes a special kinda fucked up to be this way. Given the typical Narc is a Sociopath, knowing what is wrong but yet still do, there is still conviction and its TRUTH. Cuts like a 2 edged sword which is why they always go on defense mode when you call them out. Always blame-shifting. It burns them up, in that private, secret place. Make no mistake, they feel it and there will come a day that they will no longer be able to run. You reap what you sow and consequence is a bitch. Not that they’d ever admit it!

        • Living a Nightmare live,

          Yep about them getting defensive when we call them out with the TRUTH! My XH would always get so defensive when I brought something up. I remember saying to him many times, “Why are you so defensive?” Now I know that getting defensive when they fear they will be exposed for liars and cheaters they are! If only I knew this years ago!

  • @neversawitcoming33 She did not change him, she REVEALED him!! He was this person, and you give her too much credit. She is not a witch, she is person. He was a surface person with no substance.
    I doubt this was a first and only, I too believed my ex was “bewitched” by a spider woman. But as I have now been free for over 2 years I see things more clearly. I see that this was probably a pattern. I believed he as a good, honest, trustworthy man; I think I was wrong. My whole vision of him is different. I think as you move further away from this asshole your opinion will change of your past.

    • So true !! when my Cheater had what I thought was His Affair (as in his Only Affair) it turned out that it was far from the first but it was the one which broke the camels back…the song lyrics would tell you he “fooled around and fell in love” but that sort of “love” is not love to me, its just intense selfishness.

      This is CLs line that stuck out for me:
      “He chose to do this. And his volition in the matter is way more painful than thinking he suffers under an evil spell.”
      At one point, my Cheater wrote me a note about how he had fallen under the spell of manipulative women. I was so fucking stupid, I didnt even see he spoke in the plural. You would think if he were decent and that happened before, he wouldnt do it AGAIN.

      IT IS THEM…not the women they get to help destroy their families.

      And I love the added narrative with Mr CL…that is dear. Im remarried to someone that dear. He is silly and buys too much Tide detergent and boots, but he is good.

      • On point, Chumptastic! She revealed him. He’s a liar and a cheater. He’s not the person she thought he was.

        Almost five years out from D-day; now I can look back and see a lot of the times there was glitches in the matrix. Something was off at times. Strange comments. Acting inappropriate for the circumstances. Strange, fake, over-the-top laughing. The smirk. Chameleon behavior.

        All the times he was either cheating or having EA’s, he turned into his real self. The mask dropped and I got to see him for who he really is. The mask is back on for his whore, family and friends. But the glitches are still there. His whore just hasn’t figured it out yet.

        • Well said, you saw the glitches, inappropriate actions , things not adding up. Maybe Omissions in truth, bold lies, flirting with married women, or all women, often in front of you? Something I have not read, is the point when they are being discovered and if anyone was fearful of them. I saw a glaze in my X eyes, his manner was becoming creamy and threatening. He knew I was catching on to the truth of catching him in a 2nd affair and cheat.He would sneak up behind me , even put his hands around my neck at times. In the news we read of men in affairs who dispose of wives even children. This thought has crossed my mind for what my X could have done and looking back, the weird behavior was there. They get caught and they don’t like being caught in lies and games.

      • The frequent defence of people who sexually assualt tiny little girls?
        “She seduced me.”
        Just like child molestors, adulterers do their thing because they are predisposed. Their excuses are just self deception.

        • Thanks to Sigmund Freud and his moral cowardice in formulating his seduction theory, in effect blaming mostly female victims for being abused

    • I agree Chumptastic

      The OW, whilst bad, is actually no way near as bad as your husband. He took the vows. He had children with you. He knew you yet he was okay with breaking your heart. Let’s put the bulk of the blame where it belong-to your soon to be ex husband. Hooray!

      A man with character and integrity is NEVER okay with hurting his wife – no matter how good of a job the surgeon did on the blonde’s fake boobs, it wouldn’t matter. Your STBex just has no values.

      You on the other hand do. Start using your awesome qualities to help drive you forward. Trust me, no good comes from driving yourself insane from analysing the situation. See him for what he is – a characterless jerk. I’m glad you won’t spend the rest of your life with someone so lame and shallow.

      Congratulations on being cancer free. Take that trip again and really celebrate it. Big hugs. It will get easier. I promise.

    • Yes, Chumptastic, exactly this … Revealed. OWhore may have been relentless and manipulative pursuing my stbx but, truth is, I can only blame him. He allowed it. That was so very hard to accept. Although we still call her the Demon Whore… old habits die hard 🤣

  • To heal you have to stop romanticizing the person who destroyed you. When memories of who they pretended to be creep in, put reality on repeat and remember good hearts don’t cannibalize their kindred.

    I had that quote up in my house for a long time. I, too, made it about home slice. I gave her so much power when in fact he is an adult and has the ability to make decisions for himself. He chose to have an affair and leave his family (they got married and are now separated less than two years later).

    In the words of Tupac, “you can spend minutes, hours, weeks or even months over-analyzing a situation trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened…or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on”.

    Here’s to you living your best life! It’ll be different, trust me, it can be amazing if you allow it to be so.

    • Love those quotes, “moving the fuck on” is the best advice ever. Despite our 28 years together, I see now that x was empty. When he was present physically he was disengaged, I always felt the absence even when our life together was going well.

  • “He’s not like you. You may share a history, but you don’t share values”. This. is. brilliant.

    For 31 years I also wanted to believe that there was some outside force that was causing him to be an asshole. Truth is, he was and is an unhappy, narcissistic asshole; I was just standing beside him!

  • I am so sorry that you are going through this. You deserved a husband that would stand by you and take care of you. What you got was a low life man-child who only cared about his own needs. Be thankful you are rid of him. You need calm in your life to keep yourself healthy. I know it is hard and you want to blame the OW. Yes, she is at fault. But, he wanted to cheat. And if it would not have been with her it would be with some other low moral self centered women.
    I was not diagnosed with cancer. I went through early menopause that kicked my ass. Came with depression anxiety attacks. Painful intercourse. Instead of a husband that comforted me and took care of me in my time of need. He decided to cheat on me with my cousin. I blamed her for the affair. I realized that she could have said no. Yes, she is a POS for screwing her cousin’s husband. But, my husband wanted to cheat. As per my husband she was fun. You will see that be cheater free will be the best thing you can do for yourself. Hugs to you, And wishing you cancer free.

  • I labeled mine as going through a midlife crisis and the now a narcissist but I realized that he’s an asshole. Most narcissist are. I had a stand in “husband” and my daughter has a stand in “daddy”. I like to call him uncle daddy..lol. I went through some hard times and I realized that he would never be there for me. When my daughter was born he didn’t help with her either. It’s all superficial and he’s an asshole. Period. Done 🙂 Trying to be a stronger person bc I need to be for my 5yo girl.

    • Yup…my nightmare started pre-Chumplady and I had nowhere to go with it all and Midlife Crisis fit the best of what drivel was out there at the time. I was a devotee for years. I actually came here once or twice while he was alive and almost posted a RIC sort of “you can save your marriage!” (maybe I actually DID post something, you can all line up and smack me for that). Later learned I was wrong wrong wrong.

      • Me too. I was buying every Amazon book on the terrible midlife crisis problem & reading websites about what to do. RIC got me hooked & then one day I saw the chumplady link in 2012 and that was it. The curtain fell away & I saw the truth. Thank you CL for saving my life! Reading these posts today I still feel that old feeling of anguish over the realization that my cheating ex chose to do everything he did. His penis didn’t accidentally fall into a manhole/vagina. He put it there.

        • My XW said it “was a mistake”. I had enough courage shortly after D-Day to say it “was not a mistake, but a CHOICE”. It doesn’t accidentally happen, they choose to do it.

  • “He’s not like you. You may share history, but you don’t share values.”

    “He doesn’t love the way you love.”

    “I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but you invested deeply in a coward.”

    “Anyone who loves deeply could not hurt you this way.”

    A thousand times yes to all of the above. Thank you CL for answering Neversawitcoming’s letter in your brilliant ‘truth is universal’ sort of way that also gave me a much-needed slap back into reality.

    • “Anyone who loves deeply could not hurt you this way.”

      I would like to add that anyone who loves deeply could not hurt THEIR CHILDREN this way.

      My XH is now Disney Dad. But before D-day he was 100% full of himself and selfish as hell. He not only handed out crumbs of his time to me, but also to our kids. I could tell story after story how he put his job, “friends” and hobbies before his family

      He emotionlessly watched both of our kids bawl their eyes out many times over their dad wanting a divorce. I watched the snake rewrite their life history. I watched him lie over and over to them. My kids had to watch their dad emotionally and mentally destroy their mom.

      Years ago, my XH and I read the book “Wild at Heart”; it talks about The Father Wound. Well, after telling our kids that dad wanted a divorce. The XH laughed and smirked while saying to me, “Well, I guess I just gave the kids The Father Wound. He laughed about inflicting pain onto his own children! This is not a man who loves deeply. He’s all surfacey and so is his brand of love.

  • I used to be really interested in diagnosing my ex husband. After some years of no contact I find that I don’t particularly find it interesting. He no longer had any power in my life and I no longer look to him for anything. Time is a great healer in that way.

    • Pecan, I think a lot of us chumps and people who have been in close relationships with fuckwits spend a lot of time in the early days trying to diagnose and understand them. The first time my XH was called a possible narcissist was by my first counselor, way back in 2014. Then two months later my sister blurted out the word “sociopath” when I told her how he used to lick the tears off my face when I cried; he had no clue how to empathize with me, so he either would tell a joke when I was crying or lick the tears off my face.

      After reading tons of books, blogs and watching one too many Youtube videos, I’m finally at meh with studying about the disordered. Chump Lady I still come back to every single day, because I still need the wisdom and also trying to pay it back, because so many chumps were there for me during my really dark days. It’s taken a very long time to shift the focus onto me and my kids. I’m not at 100% yet, but I know Meh Day will come one day! 🙂

  • I feel for you. I know about jumping from diagnosis to diagnosis trying to unskein their fuckupedness. Been there. Spent wayyy too much money on Amazon too. Ugh what they must think of me.

    In fact no he does not have Stockholm Syndrome. It is we who have it. We sparkle and make excuses for their behavior because we “know”. We’ve read about it. It’s them not us.

    Instead of working to figure them out time and resources are better spent trying to figure our own selves out and why this behavior is somehow acceptable for us.

    You’re trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. It won’t fit. Quit diagnosing him and focus on you. He wasn’t that great. You know it. Your kids know it. Let him drown in his own shit

  • (Music by The Spinners, lyrics by NSIC33’s Fuckwit Ex)

    Oil down my hairy back
    Fumigate my pubes
    Gonna ditch my sufferin’ wife
    For a blonde with plastic boobs

    She and I, we’re steppin’ out
    Forgive the fast discard
    I’m latching on to fantasy
    Cuz real life’s much too hard

    Hey ya’ll, prepare yourself for the movie date man
    You’ll want to run and hide
    From the movie date man
    You’ll be much better off
    When the movie date abdicates…

    • Rubberband Man! Always loved this song!
      Thank you, UXworld.
      You’re the Chump version of Weird Al. I’ll download your album when it’s ready!

  • Neversaw, if anybody has Stockholm Syndrome, it’s you. You make excuses for your torturer. You desperately try to “save” somebody who discarded you when you had *cancer*, FFS.
    He is not brainwashed. His mind (such as it is) functions well, it’s just that it functions primarily to serve his own selfish and childish whims. He’s an emotional infant. You want him to be a man. He won’t be. Sorry. Yes, there are mate poachers out there. My husband got targeted by one as well. But mates have to consent to being poached. She didn’t kidnap and rape him. He was only too thrilled to be hit on by some skank, then use that as an excuse to dump you. Experienced mate poachers are experts at knowing which people are casting their eyes about, looking for an affair partner.

    • You are so right chumpupthevolume. When you diagnose you make excuses!! We don’t want to think we picked wrong, that we were duped into believing this person was good. We want to think that THEY changed, not that we were so naïve. In the end it really doesn’t matter why or when, they did it!! They are that person.

      • People do change sometimes but they choose to change and not always for the better. When someone chooses to turn into an asshole it is best to avoid that person. Like it or not, that is who they are now and they aren’t going back. If they wanted to go back to being who they were they wouldn’t have changed in the first place.

        • Interesting you say this Chumpinrecovery – when I discovered the “tip of the iceberg” and realized my STBX was doing some nasty shit I said to him that “he had really changed” and he agreed. He believes he has changed into this super amazing person who is a “better friend”, a “better person” and a “better father”. IMO better fathers don’t tell kids on a family vacation that they can’t come with him on his drives and then meet up with a married colleague and do the nasty on the beach. Better people don’t steal, lie, cheat, manipulate, and deceive friends and family for their own benefit. He did change into a pretty horrible person but having said that looking back he had some big red flags – he had always been a selfish person but seemed to treat me well in the beginning. Doesn’t really matter whether he changed or not as he is a pretty horrible person (with a sparkly topcoat of course).

    • This, right here: “If anybody has Stockholm Syndrome, it’s you. You make excuses for your torturer.”

      • Stockholm Syndrome requires emotional bonding with your abuser and I’d a survival strategy for victims. It puts the abuser in a position of control and power.

        The victim has positive feelings for the abuser and has an inability to release themselves in detachment.

        • The victim loved their abuser; this sums it up nicely.

          “Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller
          Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release
          Support of the abuser’s reasons and behaviors
          Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim
          Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser
          Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment

          It has been found that four situations or conditions are present that serve as a foundation for the development of Stockholm Syndrome. These four situations can be found in hostage, severe abuse, and abusive relationships:

          The presence of a perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the abuser would carry out the threat.
          The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim
          Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser
          The perceived inability to detach”.

          • 33, my abuser was a self proclaimed ‘good guy’. Repeatedly he stated that he was a simple guy, no one has a problem with me but you, and that he loved me.

            The gaslighting was present from the beginning. He explained away getting crabs the first year. He repeatedly told me over the years of him customers wanted to fix him up with their daughters, sisters, and friends. He was always looking and cheating. He played the victim of emotional abuse for decades all the while maintaining his image. I helped my abuser maintain that image believing.

            The crumbs I settled for were in fact disturbing. Yes, I had Stockholm Syndrome. I had to ASK crying how to stop loving my abuser after 41 years of toxic abuse.

            A man who leaves you with cancer or for that matter detaches with ease never attached from the get go. The Limited is a covert narcissist and quite possibly a sociopath. When there’s no logic behind their actions you can bet your ass they are personality disordered. No matter, sign the settlement. Be sure you get whatever you have coming to you regardless.

  • Neversawitcoming,
    I’m sorry for the horror you have endured. You are a warrior. I hope you continue to recover.

    A few observations:
    All of the things you thought (MLC, bipolar / depression, illness, etc) I too ascribed to my cheating husband when he became someone I didn’t know overnight. This is a common theme here. The OW in my case was in another country, and he was totally under the spell of this OW. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, felt sorry for him and I felt the same as you initially, that he had been “taken over” by her. It went from 0 to 100 in a week for the TwuWuvs. That’s how radical it was in acceleration. Limerance, infatuation, love addiction. Whatever. I was the skein untangler champion. Now I know better. Whatever happened to him and whatever influence he allowed her to have or that she asserted, it simply doesn’t matter. I am VERY stubbornly loyal so it took me a long time to understand that the only thing that matters is the reality of who he is and what that new reality meant for me, and for my future. I cannot diagnose him to my benefit.

    CL is on point when she writes “Did he stand by you as you suffered? No. He looked for an escape hatch. He doesn’t love the way you love.” In other words, he sucks beyond. That is the correct diagnosis.

    Wishing you the best x

  • “My goal now is to stay off Dateline.”
    I hear that! It’s also mine.

    Side note…. my parents have a Dateline inductee living next door to them. No lie. He shot and killed a guy in a property dispute and got a mistrial. The county attorney declined to prosecute a second time.

    • Haha, Kintsugi! Me too about Dateline! And The Ted Bundy Tapes, Scott Peterson, Chris Watts, etc, etc.

      Six months before D-day, we went on a trip to Jamaica to celebrate our upcoming 20th wedding anniversary. We took what looks like a two person catamaran out to sea; XH got a short lesson on how to work it. Long story short. XH couldn’t get it to turn around to take us back to the shore. He kept getting us farther and farther away. I honestly thought we were done for. I was shaking, crying, screaming for help and praying. Thankfully he got it turned around!

      A few years after D-day and quite possibly while I was reading Chump Lady. I remembered what happened on this trip and I got chills down my spine. He could have so easily pushed me overboard. He’s a “nice, Christian guy!” It was an “accident”. Or “she was suicidal”. I only feel comfortable sharing these thought here at CN, because people would think I was “crazy” for ever thinking so a thing.

      For years I thought he was trying to hurt me. He purposely would take a left turn into very close to incoming traffic. I told him he was scaring me and he kept doing it and never ever stopped.

      Long story, but he purposely took us on a hike that a bear was just spotted on the trail only minutes before at Glacier National Park. And yes, we saw the bear on the trail and had to slowly get out of there while the fuckwit videotaped the bear coming towards him.

      I have many other stories where he just didn’t seem to care about my safety. So I think that’s why the Datelines and shows like that are so appealing.

      • Narcissistic people seem to absolutely adore drama, and all the extreme highs and lows and adrenaline dumps. Love to shake things up when they get bored. So I absolutely believe he did all this on purpose to at least get a rise out of you, and at most to play head games with you and to turn you into the quivering wreck of a female he apparently wants.

        Thank God you got out alive!!!

        • Yes, Beans, I totally agree with you. It’s all intentional behavior to push buttons and make one confused.

          On Facebook I follow Shannon Thomas who wrote the book “Healing from Hidden Abuse”. Once in awhile she posts a question for her followers. The question had to do with driving in a car with a narc, sociopath, or psychopath. Over a hundred people responded to the question; the most responses I ever saw for one of her questions!

          My ex did little things in the car that would never look like abuse if I told someone the story. But it was all intentional and only I would know what he was doing to push my buttons. Well over 20 years ago I asked him nicely if he could turn on the windshield wipers, because I couldn’t see out the window. He said and I quote, “You don’t need to see.” So from then on, for the rest of our marriage, he wouldn’t turn on the windshield wipers until he could barely see. I never said anything, because I knew he was trying to get a rise out of me; I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction!

          Another time I made a comment on why he always had to back into a parking space. I wasn’t being mean. It was an honest question. So from then on, he always announced to me, “I’m backing up.” I got made fun of or yelled at when he’d follow so close to the car in front of us and then when they stopped fast, I’d put my pretend break on and make a noise. He had already hit at least two cars from behind, so it was a natural reflex to make a noise. He purposely drove 85 mph in Michigan during a blizzard. Cars all over the place in ditches. We had a infant and two year old in the car. I asked him to please slow down. He said, “If you don’t like my driving. Then you drive home.” So I did! 500+ miles drive home in a blizzard. Sometimes I wonder why I put up with all the abuse and crazy-making. And only an abuser would take pleasure in hurting someone and making them feel unsafe.

          Yes, thank God I got out alive. I know it sounds crazy to even think someone might want you dead. But I’m sure Laci Peterson and Shannan Watts had no clue they were married to someone who wanted them dead.

          • The dangerous rage-driving I tolerated…I am so deeply ashamed for not moving out and leaving him immediately after any of the dozens of episodes. He drove (with me and the kids in the car) so dangerously it seemed that he truly wanted us dead.

            When I think of myself in the passenger seat simply terrified and without any options praying to God we didnt kill someone…I cant believe I refused to see how abusive it was.

            • Oh god, me too. I’d feel the adrenaline surge thinking we were going to rear end other cars and I’d gasp and close my eyes. The fear we would run over kids/animals when he floored it around the neighborhood. Ugh

          • I too dealt with dangerous rage driving. Like your ex, mine would go faster and tail gate more if I gave him any indication that his driving was scaring me. The year of the discard preceding dday was the worst! I had to take dramamine, not for the motion sickness but for the sleep/drowsiness it induced so I could stay mellow. It also helped me be able to look at my phone without vomiting which was a welcome distraction. Toward the end, I ascertained that paying attention to the phone and ignoring his driving was rather annoying to him so that was just an added bonus. Mostly I was just happy to reach my destination in one piece.

            To this day, it’s really hard for me to be a passenger without getting flash backs of those days. My therapist said it was unequivocal abuse; just the kind you couldn’t see on my body.

          • Wow! I just followed Shannon Thomas and looked up that post! I had NO IDEA that was a thing, but my narcissist SO did that too! WHY did we put up with that?? I really just didn’t know any different I guess? WOW. I don’t know when I will stop being shocked by these things……

            • Yeah, Neversawitcoming33, I was shocked when I saw the question posted and then all the tons of responses. I have heard it described as they are in total control in the car when they are driving and we can’t get away. It was just great validation that he really was toying/abusing me.

              And to try to answer the question as to why we put up with it? Yes, we didn’t know better. And we didn’t know about hidden abuse. And it’s gradual like the story about if you put a frog in a pot of hot water it will jump out. But if you put a frog in cold water and slowly get it to boiling, it will boil to death. That’s what this abuse is like. We just can’t imagine that what they are doing is abusive. My XH would do things outside of the car too. I knew he was trying to get a rise out of me or covertly make a point out of something that happened years ago. I knew what he was doing on purpose, but I never knew it was abuse.

              Neversawitcoming33, you will be shocked for a long time. Especially if you stay with us at CL and CN. I’ve been here for over three years and I still get shocked or have a #metoo moment. (((Hugs))) to you.

      • The Tail of the Dragon is a road in the Smokey Mountains with 318 curves, famous for being “scenic” and a great ride for motorcyclists. Fuckwit was driving us in my car, over the speed limit at midnight, lost, trying to get to our hotel before it closed. He weaved in and out of the oncoming lane because “it’s actually safer to drive in straight lines whenever you can”, never mind that a car may be stalled without its lights on, or a deer may run out in front of us. He found it thrilling, and laughed while frequently taking his eyes off the road to turn to look at my stoic reaction. I sat there just waiting to die. I hated him for that about as much as I hated him for the motion sickness I had, exacerbated by an empty stomach because he refused to stop for dinner. He wasn’t hungry after lunch, so how could I possibly be hungry… I wish I had projectile vomited all over him.

        • That is so disgusting and abusive. He took delight in your agony. 🙁 I’m so sorry that happened to you.

          I am continually thinking about what my deal breakers in a relationship would be and now I’m realizing that the whole crazy making car behavior will most certainly be one of them. Someone who takes pleasure in my fear will most certainly be a deal breaker for me. If I say, “Please stop driving crazy. You are scaring me.” and then they continue too. I’m done. Someone who doesn’t care that I don’t feel safe isn’t the person for me. If one of my kids asked me to stop doing something that scared them, I’d stop right away because I love them and don’t want them to be afraid. People who really love you don’t want you to be afraid. To me, this type of behavior points to someone with a lack of empathy and is probably doing other abusive things in the relationship and it’s usually covert, so we don’t recognize it for what it is.

          • That’s a wise observation, Martha. I have many, many things on that dealbreaker list, thanks to this blog. What time and trouble I could have saved, had I made a list back then that had more substance than what it did.

    • Kintsugi just remember karma’s a bitch. He won’t get away with it. My daughter’s father-in-law, a farmer, was killed by one of his hired hands in 2011. Everybody knew he did it because he had motive, opportunity, and he was a druggie too, but the DA wouldn’t prosecute……not enough “hard” evidence. Two years went by before they found that same guy on the side of a country road beaten to death. He apparently made somebody in the drug-world angry. Justice had been served.

  • Hey neversawitcoming hurry up and sign that divorce decree before sparkletwat dumps him – and she will. Some brainless body builder with the IQ of a turnip will come along and she’ll toss him like a fast-food wrapper. He’ll then get a taste of your misery – minus the cancer – and MAYBE feel a modicum of conscious that REAL people have. He’ll also try and get you back – he’ll miss the doormat he called a wife. Remember how you felt after vomiting air after the chemo/radiation – you were in a war and he was AWOL – do not fall for his con – you deserve better than this fecal filled cranium wearing an new asshat! You’re a new (and we all hope cured) mighty chump/knight that will find someone who will feel so lucky to have you. You’re very powerful now – don’t blow it!
    Please keep us posted on your cancer war – I’m always awed by cancer survivors ( it got 3 in our family) – you should feel your power – and keep it – you earned it!

  • So happy you are cancer-free! I also have a similar story (without the cancer), and will share a bit of it- just to explain how I finally started moving forward.

    I was a problem-solving mental health expert – Over the course of 2 years, starting after the first D-day until he moved out, I was convinced that the cheater had any one of these diagnoses: work burn-out, depression/anxiety, bi-polar disorder, borderline PD, narcissistic PD. WHAT THE FUCK EVER. In the end, turns out he is a completely evil and selfish NPD asshole.

    As CL says in the book (I think) – they are only good to us because we are good – they know how to mirror us very well. Their goodness is actually our goodness reflected back.

    Chumps waste time (in my case 20 years) with spouses who are INCAPABLE of true love. We are worthy of it, they are just not able to give it to us. Things were good for you early on because you are a good person, you believed it was good. There is no shame in that. But when given the opportunity, your ex showed his true colors. Wishing you the best

    • I love that phrase, ” their goodness is actually our goodness reflected back.” I really thought my stbxh was a stand-up, good guy, we were together 37 years. He was kind, helpful, solid, reliable, etc. I haven’t seen that guy for 2-1/2 years since he started cheating with 20 year-old paid girls. It took me 11 of them to call it a pattern, it seemed like there was always an explanation, and I’m soooo embarrased not to have called this earlier. However, if I had called it earlier, I wouldn’t be as certain. This blog and all of you in CL nation are my salvation, thank you for reinforcing what I already knew but couldn’t admit.

  • He isn’t suffering from Stockholm Syndrome from an abusing OW. He chose to be with her. He is a narcissist who thinks that kind of thing is okay to do, because that’s what narcissists do.

    She didn’t change him. She didn’t brainwash him, she didn’t hold a gun to his head and say “fuck me and leave your wife or I’ll shoot!” He chose it. That’s the hardest part of being chumped. Accepting that this is who he is. A lot of us have been there, including me. You’re so hurt you’re desperate to find an explanation for why anyone would do this. Something, anything, anyone, to tell you WHY. Anything other than “he’s an asshole and he chose it.” The simplest answer is the right one, and it’s the hardest to accept. He is an asshole, and he chose it.

    This was him, as he always was. This is him as he always will be. The thing about narcissists is they like to cycle through people like spare parts. They keep people around who are of use, until they are no longer of use. You got cancer, therefore you stopped being of good use to him. You couldn’t serve him if you have cancer. He would have to take care of you and taking care of others is an affront to the senses of narcissists. So once he realized he’d actually have to do something for you, he dropped you and found someone else who will now be of use. Until she needs something and then he will drop her too.

    Narcissists rarely hold down meaningful relationships. Even marriages with them are transactional. If you’re going to be an Amazon Chump, I recommend looking for books on healing from a relationship with a narcissist. Don’t worry about diagnosing him. Worry about healing yourself.

  • I still can feel the gut wrenching sorrow I felt when I realized that my ex was just an evil, very, very bad person. When I started to count the number of other women and had to get STD testing I thought a might throw up for days on end. When I realized that not only had he been evil to me, but he had treated at least one of the OW so bad that she ended up medicated I was stunned. When I realized that I had chosen to believe lies, that the truth was there all along the way I wanted to die.
    Narc, psychopath, con-artist???
    Doesn’t really matter. He is a fuckwit. I was married to the devil and after three years no contact with Satan my life is a beautiful thing.

    • Yeah that’s the thing: Narcissists are equal-opportunity assholes. They treat everyone they come across like this. My first cheater treated me horribly and I was in therapy for a good seven months, dealing with severe depression and suicidal ideation. He had multiple APs, treated them all like shit. He got one of them pregnant and she miscarried because of stress caused by shit he did.

      This was a long time ago, but a couple years after it happened, I found out she hates him as much as I do now. At the time he was with her she thought the sun shone out his ass. That’s how I felt when I met him too.

      Narcissists do that. They come into your life all shiny and chrome, but in reality they’re selfish pieces of shit who truly do not care, but they treat everyone the same so you can find some solace in the fact that it really is not you.

      • Hi Kara,
        I am sorry that you were treated so badly.
        Although I imagine that some narcissists treat all people badly, I am not sure that all narcissists do this. I am sure that my last boyfriend emotionally abused me (and, based on what he said, others) and am fairly certain that he is a very sparkly covert narcissist. I imagine that he treats his current wife like royalty as he greatly admires her—she is young and amazing—they probably have a baby together now or will soon, which will bond him to her, and he is a coward, afraid of people who he considers more valuable:desirable than him and afraid of people like me who he considers less valuable and desirable but is too afraid to tell them (me) that he wants to leave them but is keeping them around until the greener grass on the other side of the fence becomes available.

  • When my ex had the emotional affair I put most of the blame on the OW. She came after him hard and was practically begging him to sleep with her. She was constantly texting him and sending him gifts, etc. I am pretty sure he resisted that time although tempted. Perhaps she did change him as she was the one who got him addicted to that level of attention and admiration and she is also the one who put it in his head that if I failed to satisfy him he had other options. Still, it was his own insecurities that made him crave and be vulnerable to that attention in the first place. Years later on DDay my first instinct was to blame Schmoopie for coming after him as well. The reality is that he was already looking to cheat and as I found out later had already cheated with another Schmoopie. Before that Schmoopie he was apparently regretting that he hadn’t physically cheated with emotional Schmoopie. Certainly the Schmoopie he left me for was also aggressive, had been looking to cheat herself and pick me danced to win a “prize” she really had no right too. I can’t really claim, however, that she changed him. She was just in the right place at the right time and willing to fuck somebody else’s husband. My husband is to blame. I will say, however, that even if she didn’t cause my husband to turn into an asshole she’s still a selfish self-centered home wrecking slut with no morals, no compassion and no sense of decency.

    • PS. I also thought it was a md life crisis and I just needed to wait it out. I still think that might have played a part in all of this as he had other patterns and behaviors that fit as well, but I also now realize that it is completely irrelevant. It he as having a mid life crisis, he chose to try and make himself feel better by hurting the people he was supposed to love and that is not ok no matter how unhappy you are.

      • Mid-life crisis isn’t actually a thing. Mental health practicioners and researchers don’t recognize it, it’s just not real.

        The reality is, assholes will be assholes, at any time of life. Aging and responsibilities and boredom are particularly hard for narcs, so they often freak out and let their asshole flag fly in late middle age, but the non-disordered population doesn’t go through this. We may sometimes question some of our life choices and want to make changes, but we do that in ways that don’t turn other people’s lives dramatically upside down, while blaming those other people.

        • Your comment reminds me of something my mother said years ago that stuck with me. Old people (senior citizens) that are nasty, mean & cruel were also nasty mean & cruel when they were younger. Age has nothing to do with it.

  • “He was selfish with his time.”

    This was a clue to what lurked behind his mask of respectability. He was selfish with his time. You say “he took care of [you and the kids] in every way.” But that’s not true. He may have gone to work and produced the income for a nice lifestyle. He may have made it possible to buy a nice home, go on nice vacations, wear nice clothes, drive nice cars. But he was selfish with the most precious commodity of all—his time. Only you, right now, know what you mean by that statement. What you are missing is that for a long while, your X was willing to play at being a family man, with the wife, kids, house, car, vacations.

    You have grown and college-age children. So he completed his checklist. “Marry a chumpy woman and have kids.” Now he’s hit the reset button. He doesn’t have to pay child support. The kids are grown. He stuck around long enough for the doctors to cure your cancer, so you can go to work and take care of yourself. Meanwhile, he hits the reset button and gets to experience the limerence, the infatuation, the high of the first stage of the narcissistic relationship, where everything is the best ever and nobody loves like they love. It’s an illusion, but it’s all he’s capable of. This time, he picked one who already has kids so he won’t have to support them. Someone else is paying child support. And the AP has a job. It’s light duty.

    My grandfather in the course of his lifetime abandoned 3 wives, 7 children, and 2 step children as the kids hit adolescence. He was entirely predictable. He loved them and doted on them and (by the last one, the wife had the paying job and he stayed home and did whatever). None of these women seduced him or kidnapped him or held his hostage. It was HIM. He could “fall in love” and pretend to be a husband and father. But he was a hollow man who didn’t loved as I understand that term. Your husband is the same guy, only with more money and more polish. The fact that the he ended the marriage while you were on a trip says what a terrible coward he is, and how empty at the core. You were married to that. You just didn’t see that what was on the surface was his social mask.

    • You are so right LAJ! The Dickhead was selfish with his time. I just realized that. For our marriage, I was so grateful for the times that I realized that he “had come back” to me. I don’t know what he was doing or what he did when he would act so standoffish or be emotionally distant but I knew he would cycle back to me. His sinister sister, his so-called friends, work, even his son – they all rated higher than me. They were used to triangulate me but I didn’t know what it meant then. I do now. Sometime the realizations of what happened are like tiny stabs to the heart.

    • You are SO RIGHT! I didn’t even realize that I had put that sentence in the letter?!?! It was the BIGGEST red flag ever and I thought that was ‘just how he was’. Great response! Thank you! <3

  • This is one of the worst letters and best responses on this blog after “how to fix my picker.” I hear these stories on the dating circuit all the time and it blows me away how cruel people can be. Best of luck neversawitcoming33. I hope your next chapter ends with “happily ever after.”

  • As I dealt with the fallout of my divorce, I found it very difficult to accept that my ex is really a very shallow asshole because then I’d have no choice but to admit I picked him twice. I was abused and then I took back my abuser. I did the whole untangling business, took him back after an affair, marriage counseling etc…I had to work very hard to accept the truth about him. He is abusive. He hurts people for his own selfish pleasures. He doesn’t care. I had to work even harder to forgive myself for being so willfully stupid, self sacrificing and gullible. I think it’s hard, but very necessary, to forgive yourself and let go of the stories about why and accept what is. I had to face facts and reality without the rose colored glasses and that’s rough when you’ve created a fantasy world where you believed things seemed great for a long time and wanted the investment of your love and loyalty to matter.

    Self forgiveness was the path back to peace for me. Why they cheat doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change anything. What changes is you when you accept the truth, move on and forgive yourself for being a chump. That’s freedom.

    • Yes, I am still working on the self-forgiveness. Especially as I have a brother and sister in law who couldn’t stand my ex. My SIL claims to have seen right through him and while I appreciate their support it is hard to listen as it makes it sound like if I were more perceptive or intelligent or whatever that I wouldn’t have been with a fuckwit who did this. I do tell everyone now though that after reading this site it seems almost anyone can be a cheating asshole.

      • Deee! I am with you! I am amazed at how many people say to me now that they never liked my husband. WHAT?? Why didn’t they tell me that BEFORE?!?!? Best of luck to you!

    • NoRainNoFlowers, this is very insightful. Thank you. I also created a fantasy world that was perfect, and you are right. It’s hard to let that go and admit that it was indeed just a fantasy. Good advice!

      • NSIC,

        I also have a hard time admitting that my last relationship was really just a fantasy. I was the only one who was emotionally invested. To him, I was just a disposable item that provided him some perks. If he had been able to buy a blow up doll that blew up his ego and he would have felt comfortable taking to company functions, he would never have dated me. Heck, toward the end, he even told me that he was uncomfortable being seen with me—yet he didn’t abandon me then/right away. He waited until he was sure that he could ‘secure’ the young woman he became his current (second) wife.

    • You nailed it. “You believed things seemed great for a long time and wanted the investment of your love and loyalty to matter.” 37 years of love and loyalty was hard to break free from. Has my whole adult life been a lie? Sure seemed like it but I’m starting to figure it out. Thank you!

      • Hi – I like your name. That is how I feel although I know that I trust too easily (except sales people). But what I will never do is put myself in a super vulnerable position. I can’t ever imagine living with someone again – to me is would be risking too much.

  • Neversawitcoming………………It takes a while, a few years after the divorce, to finally come to realize that the person you wished him to be (imagined him to be) was only in your mind. So many people, including me, thought my ex-husband was a wonderful person. After discovering that he was leading a double life, I too diagnosed him with a midlife crisis, among other things. I think it is very normal for chumps to do. You try to figure out just how this happened. It’s unimaginable. Unfortunately, there is no real explanation to be found and there is no changing who they are. It’s really rather simple. An opportunity for a roll in the sack presents itself and they take it! Period! This is who they always were and they could not keep the mask on any longer.

    So very sorry he did this to you. You don’t deserve it. He’s not a good person. Mourn your pain and move on. You are strong and you deserve better than what he offered. Peace!

  • She didn’t change him, she REVEALED him. Like “The Portait of Dorian Grey”.

    She can keep him, right?

  • Don’t they always pick the worst times to reveal their true nature? I found out I am pregnant on the day of my Grandmother’s funeral (which I was unable logistically to attend). So going through a wide range of very big emotions. I needed my partner more and more, but was unable to talk about a lot of what I was feeling because of how deep it all was. 10 weeks in to my pregnancy, while I am at work, over a text message he tells me he is leaving me for the ho-worker. Can we say asshole?
    The only thing we can do is grieve the loss of what we thought we had. She didn’t kill the man I married, he never existed. They can only keep the facade going for so long.
    And yes, I still hold animosity for them both. He for walking out on his child and supportive loving wife, and her for happily moving in on a married man and helping him to walk out on his family. Keeping myself off of Dateline is definitely still a priority.

    • The “worst time” is when they have to step up and be adults, be partners, and be focused on the needs of someone else. And they are 0 for 3 on those metrics of character, maturity and capacity for love.

  • Oh snap @neversawitcoming33. On my second recurrence of endometrial cancer (2010, 2013, 2014) when I was advised to start palliative radiotherapy to ‘buy more time’, the Cockroach exited the oncology office with me, no hug or consolation and told me ‘You’ll have to plan your own funeral; I don’t know what you want’. The Vulture (the receptionist in the large church where he was a facility manager, whose husband had left her for another woman) threw herself at him (‘I don’t want you to walk this dark path alone’) and they commenced a four year affair. We separated at 2 years, went to counselling, and I naively believed (and was rigorously gaslighted to believe) the affair was over for the following 2 years – which of course it wasn’t. In two days I celebrate my 4 month Splitaversary.

    I was raging at The Vulture for years – how could she do this to me when her husband had done it to her? (all the while claiming the affair was ‘what God wanted’) How could the Cockroach do this to me? It wasn’t until I found an excellent therapist to help me navigate my resultant PTSD and listened to some podcasts by Relational Harm Reduction Radio that not only the four year affair but my entire 26 year marriage start to make sense. I had married a covert narcissist incapable of love and empathy and only capable of meeting his own needs but manipulating those around him. To everyone he ever met he seemed the greatest guy in the world and he’s still scrambling to make people believe we parted ways amicably and that their relationship only started after we mutually decided to go our separate ways (so untrue – I kicked him out on his lying, deceiving, gas lighting ass with evidence he could not longer deny, refute or gaslight me past).

    Bottom line is this. I am so glad that I now understand that he is defective and genuinely on the psychopathy spectrum. It helps me to move past the torture of ‘how and why could he do this to me??’ Because he’s genuinely not capable of better. But that’s not a free pass. He made horrible choices ever step of the way. Yes the Vulture targeted him proactively the minute she learned about my prognosis (I have truckloads of evidence). But HE was the pathetic and defective fucktard who held me hostage in my marriage, put the same lips, hands and whatever else all over his wife who he love bombed, lied and promised ‘many more years to’ (and told me he was NEVER going to leave me despite telling his best friend / soul mate / Pet Vulture he was in love with her but then telling me he had ‘no idea what that means’). The truth is he has NEVER been the ‘world’s greatest guy’ his narcissistic needs led him to believe everyone he was. He has always been defective and he doesn’t have any clue about his position on that psychopathy spectrum but he won’t get any free passes from me on that.

    He did this to me and our marriage, he can’t be fixed and I’m so glad he’s her problem now. But honestly I also take responsibility for letting him stay in my life for so long when my instincts told me the truth despite the constant manipulation. I am recovering from the gas lighting now and moving forward. She is an opportunisitic Vulture, he is a lowlife Cockroach and I am finally freeing myself of them both.

    • I hope your cancer is gone or in remission so that you have many years to enjoy your new and improved life without that turd in it.

      • @Chumpinrecovery Alas life is rarely so neat and tidy, but my condition is ‘stable’ and I’m living my best life. In truth, he was just another tumour and one that I could cut out more easily than the one that remains

    • Bless you, Teacupstorm! Your story is HORRIFIC. Nobody deserves to go through the hell you have been through. I am proud of you for kicking him out and taking care of yourself and I am glad you have been able to find some answers through your therapist. Best of luck to you and I pray you continue to kick cancer’s ass too! <3

      • @neversawitcoming33 Thank you so much for the kindness and compassion of your response. I am so glad I figured out that evicting this creep was my ONLY way forward. The revelations about his character disorder have made it all that much easier for me to let go and move into a better future without him. So grateful for your kind words. Every blessing for your journey x

  • I think that a lot of us can sing harmony on this song. Especially those of us like me who spent a lot of time over in the RIC world trying to untangle the skein.

    Was Mme YogaPants tempted away by Senor Moneybags and his seasons tickets to junior hockey and discount priced yogurt? I’ll never know.

    What I do know is that she knowingly, repeatedly made the choice to pick him over the man who had devoted more than half of his life to her.

    Was she suffering from MLC / peri-menopause or was she just a selfish asshole? Current money is on the latter because lots of people get through the others without cheating.

    BT

    • Well said, CL.

      However, I am piqued by the idea of Stockholm Syndrome. I wouldnt have applied it to the cheater but perhaps to the chump. I feel that I may have been caught up in defending and sympathizing with my own cheating husband despite my own devastation and loss of freedom. Something to think about.

      • Rebe – definitely this too! Actually, my therapist showed me that DENIAL is a real thing and that your mind will only let you absorb what your body can handle at the time. I was in DENIAL for a long time and tried to explain all of his behavior away. CLASSIC spackle! Stockholm syndrome all around! lol

        • This is what happened to me. I call it my ‘shock and stupid’ phase. Took over a year to move out of that one. I blamed the OW and God because that, to me, meant that he and I were the victims and could face this and come out of it together and stronger than ever. Kept the pain at bay and let me feel like we were still a ‘team’ only thing puzzling to me at the time was why he kept leaving – for her. I can laugh at it now.

          I had studied and talked about denial for years as well as the stages of grieving, I was a trained therapist prior to becoming a wife and mother, but now that the real thing had hit me, it is anything but textbook. What a wild ride! I still find it fascinating on some level though to know how our own minds can fool us and I can feel the difference between my intellectual mind that is in control and my emotional mind that is all about feelings and is the one that finally got me to see the light due to the pain I couldn’t stop with my intellect which was trying with all of its might to rationalize all of his crazy, crazy behavior.

  • Good Lord, except for the cancer, your letter reads word for word like my story. He lost his mind, she’s an evil sociopath who fought tooth and nail to steal him, I’ll love him through it, he ruined a special event when he told me (taking our oldest to college for the first time), all of it. These cheaters are all the same. My story is four years old. Nothing like tons of time to make you see things the way they really are: he’s an asshole, he’s always been an asshole, the red flags were there. Do yourself a favor: Any time you remember something shitty he said or did, at any time during your marriage or dating, write it down. Make a list. When you remember some buried asshole memory, add it to your list. My list is pages long, took me a few months to make, and makes for hilarious reading these days. What in the world did I ever see in that guy? I have no earthly idea. For the rest of my life, I’ll never see him as anything but the monster that he really is. You already dropped a hint as to your cheater having always been an asshole in your letter here, “selfish with his time”. So write down an example of that to start, and let it blossom from there.

    Part of your letter caught my attention: “He has lost his friends, lost most of his family, lost the respect of his children, lost his job, walked away from his home…..all for this girl???” For the girl? No: for his ego…. and for what he prizes above all else in his life: his immediate personal happiness that he feels entitled to. Think about that: he doesn’t give a shit about you, about commitment, about family, about your kids, just His Own Happiness. He has spent months/years plotting your doom, because he doesn’t love you, and doesn’t share your values. Trust me, he’s very pleased with himself right now

    So sorry for what you’re going through. It gets better, I promise. You can get down the road out of this hell faster if you stop deluding yourself about who he really is… a selfish asshole

  • I recall shaking my head in wondrous confusion and telling him I wanted my ‘real’ husband back. And it was me! Me! He was doing this to, not some stranger! But you know what? He knew exactly what he was doing. And yeah, she was definitely on a man with wallet hunt. But he owns all the shit that came tumbling down. But soon enough when you chill a bit that selfish with his time thought will open up to the many and myriad ways he was selfish. Yes, we can nurse them through heart surgery and job troubles and mid life depression but oh honey don’t you dare get sick and need any of that ‘sickness and health’ backatcha caring. Because you will never understand his level of selfish. And worse it’s so banal. There is no compelling backstory to the why. They work with the mindlessness of a shark approaching a normal day’s feeding. There just aren’t real deep thoughts involved here. And you realize how little ownership was involved in the marriage and family you practically created all by yourself. Water finds its own level. He’s found it with the right skank ass who he is certain to feel secretly superior to because his family with you wasn’t even as close to screwed up as hers. So all has ended up as it should. Doesn’t make it less painful but sometimes it just is what it is. He’ll get his Willy waltz eventually.

    • trudy, what is a willy waltz? i learn so many interesting terms from CN. it is so true that fuckwit chose an OW who he could feel superior to – even told me she “needed” him. she since dumped him for another middle-aged needy man and he moved on to another single-mom who likes to party. good luck to her.

    • Trudy! I love this response! ‘Water finds its own level’! PERFECT! ‘Sickness and health backatcha’ is ALSO perfect!
      You’re right. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. I hate that this has happened to so many of us, but it’s nice not to feel alone in the battle. Thank you <3

  • Oh I so relate to this. I was there too – look at all we have! All we’ve built together as a family, as partners! How could he throw all of this away? Mid-life crisis!

    Nope. What I finally realized is that I was just projecting my values, the things in life that matter to me, on to him. He did not value those same things – honesty, family, togetherness, kids. And I assumed we shared those values our whole marriage – turned out to be a wrong assumption.

    You think – how can he give all of this up? Because he doesn’t value those things like you do.

    Hang in there. It gets better. He is a fake. But what you invested and what you felt were real. Now you have a new chance to surround yourself with people who value the same things you do. Hugs.

    • This is exactly right, ChumpNeedsSunlight! My XH actually said in The Divorce Letter, “…..we don’t share the same values”. I remember reading it and saying to myself, “WHAT?!!!!”

      I lived out my true values every single day — honesty, family, togetherness, kids, faithfulness, faith in God. He lived out his true values behind my back in his second life.

      • Yes exactly! Me too.

        I think the saddest realization was that the kids only mattered for their adoration of him and for how they improved his image. Not as individual people with their own thoughts and feelings and desires. Now he’s constantly trying to get our daughter (9 year old) to be what he wants (so he can brag about her skills and show everyone what a good dad he is?) and not asking/listening to what she wants. 😕

        They truly are so selfish it is hard for us to comprehend.

        • Yes, they are hard to understand, because we thankfully don’t think and operate like them.

          Yep, the kids are for image management too. Years ago my daughter got “crowned” for a little girls group she belong to. It was all very sweet. Well as her parents we had to give a speech about her. The XH has a better way with words then I do, so I said it was fine if he wrote the speech and also read it aloud. I remember reading it after he was done. He naturally embellished a story to make himself out to be this great dad. They way he worded the story, he made it sound like he put our daughter to bed every single night for just about her entire life and whispered something sweet in her ear. The TRUTH was that he probably only put her to bed at the most five times her entire life. I didn’t say anything about the speech not being 100% true, because I’d get the “I can’t do anything right!” comment or something else that would turn it back on me. So, I let him spew yet another lie and I’m sure he got lots of narcissistic supply/attention/adoration when I’m sure lots of people were thinking and probably saying what a great dad he is. Barf! It’s disgusting someone would use their own children for image management. 🙁

      • Mine said the same: and that he and the AP shared the same values- lols! At the time I was pick me dancing and felt so hurt, desperate even to prove that I shared values until, finally, I realised he was in part correct!

        Of course he and I didn’t share values because he doesn’t have any, neither does she! Lols! I’m sure that will never come back to bite them 😂

  • Yes, the OW made the first moves….but my STBX jumped in with both feet. He can’t see three feet in front of his dick and has NO impulse control. And he can be VERY charming.

    Still, the revelation of his main affair and other side-pieces stripped away the charm and showed me the true person. I won’t call him a man. The men I admire are strong in every sense of the word.

  • Neversawitcoming33,

    When Chump Lady says, “They flit at the superficial level, but they don’t do substance”, please believe her!

    Two sessions with our last ditch effort marriage counselor and he already knew my XH’s true character… that there was literally nothing below his epidermis. No substance. No depth. No integrity. Superficial in every way. Just someone posing as a respectable family man. And I realized in a terribly painful moment that I’d been making excuses for him for 40 years. He was content to see me disappear by fractions, day after day, year after year, until I was reduced to a one-dimensional, colorless, odorless and tasteless version of the person I used to be… someone like the character Julia Roberts played in “The Runaway Bride”, who didn’t even know what kind of eggs she liked to eat… or like the poor froggy in the pan of water; he didn’t see what was happening in time to escape and ended up on someone’s dinner plate. My lack of insight, my bottomless bucket of second chances, my steadfast refusal to toss in the towel… that’s all on me, but I won’t ever make that mistake again.

    I’ve been in your shoes, trying to untangle the skein, to figure out how this mess could’ve possibly happened. But there’s simply no way to convert illogical and irrational into logical and rational. It just is what it is. Remember, they’ll never be able to provide a satisfactory answer to the questions of “Why?” or “How?”… that would require depth, integrity, and a moral code, something that’s sorely lacking in the perpetrators to whom we were married.

    • @MyRedSandals I so relate to this. I understood it so much better when I figured out he was a covert narcissist with major character defects and zero depth. That’s the how and why right there. I stopped beating myself up. I chose the wrong guy and let him manipulate me and pretend to love me not just for the 4 years of the affair but for the 26 years of the marriage. So liberating to make that realisation that he’s just not capable of substance, depth, integrity, bonding, commitment or love. Toodles Motherfucker – you’re a narcissistic cardboard cutout of a man. I now feel sorry for you that you don’t understand yourself or the fact that your lying, cheating brain is broken and that you’ll never have a relationship that is anything deeper than an ego-stroke.

    • MRS,
      I think that the behavior of many of the jerks described here is logical and rational. These jerks will do whatever it takes to get what they want and feel no remorse for going after it. Ethical and considerate is another story.

    • MyRedSandals – YES to the froggie in the boiling water! That’s exactly what I was. Wow. I also relate to your marriage counselor experience. We saw two different counselors and they BOTH saw him for what he was within minutes. In the car on the way home from the first one, he actually said to me, ‘I’m not listening to that guy – he doesn’t know US’. He knew that guy had seen right through him and I fell for it and we went to a different counselor. Jeesh. #suchachump

  • If you truly love someone, you would not cheat on that person and hurt that person. The cheaters love themselves more than anyone else including their AP.

    • @Chumpnomore99 This! They are not capable of love at all. All ‘relationships’ they have are just started and sustained to meet whatever they they perceive as their greatest need at the time. They make attachments but do not have the capacity to reciprocate any deep emotional bonds or to have empathy. Narcissists are all about themselves. I’d love to see some sort of study that determines what percentage of men who cheat are legit narcissists (often who look like ‘the best guy on the planet’ by their own design to meet their primary needs of adoration and approval) on the psychopathy spectrum. Mine was. I used to thank him after D-Day 1 for ‘choosing to put our marriage first’ and he replied with ‘I will always do my best’ (same guy who had to put post-it notes around his car saying ‘I will honour my marriage’ to remind him not to cheat …) The question of ‘how and why could he do this to me’ was eating me alive until I realised he was never capable of better. His best turned out to be keeping his affair hidden better than he did last time so as not to lose me or my cake or kibbles. Not good enough and I finally figured out living in hope that he could do better was like wishing for a totally different husband beyond who this person could ever be. He’s broken and can’t be fixed. I’m damaged but can now repair and move forwards.

  • Stockholm Syndrome?

    No, darling.

    Have you seen Tracy’s cartoon of the shark with a human mask? That’s what he is, that’s what he was.

    But it’s good advice to write down all the shitty things he did and said, it will help you internalise the fact he was *never* who you thought he was, just a shark with a mask. 🦈

    I’m so sorry. Hugs to you. ❤️xx

  • I completely relate to this story as my husband too cheated on me and left me while I was going through treatment for breast cancer. He even started a new family while I was going through treatment and almost single handedly taking care of our daughter. The woman he is now with, by all accounts was desperate to have children and she saw an opportunity. She was so desperate she clung to a person with shitty character and defended him because I was so awful why should he have to stay with me during cancer? He didn’t deserve to be punished forever for his mistakes (actual words she said to me). I guess that means she has shitty character too. Anyway, she now has 2 kids with a guy who over-drafted his checking by $300 last month. He’s behind $1000 in reimbursements to me. He spends $400/mo in bars. I’m sure she knows nothing of this. Someday it will blow up in her face. Who cares? I used to but then I realized that she’s not better than me, just more desperate.

  • I, too, initially blamed the OM for casting his evil spell on her, corrupting a naive young woman into despicable things.
    I later found out there were other OM, going back to a few months after we were married.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it any more. Not even a little bit. People have agency. Somehow, I faced temptation, and no one “corrupted” me.

    I think a hard truth, that we chumps don’t like to hear, is that the people we thought were good and wholesome just weren’t. Good and wholesome people know that these things are wrong. I think modern life makes it very easy for someone who is actually bad or shallow to appear moral and deep. If someone can be that easily swayed into say, cheating and then abandoning a spouse who has cancer, that person was never really that good to begin with.

    • “I think a hard truth, that we chumps don’t like to hear, is that the people we thought were good and wholesome just weren’t.”

      This is the crux. It’s soul shifting to realize this. My eyes were really opened about the power of projection–how we can project our values on to others so much that we can mask another’s true identity. It’s a tough habit to break, and once you realize you’ve done this your ability to trust others just really goes down the toilet, because you can no longer trust your judgement of others. It’s been years for me and I still can’t trust my judgement of others. My inner circle has gotten very small as a result.

  • I had the slow reveal, rather than the shocking sudden appearance of the selfish, entitled asshole. Over the years I just kept lowering the bar, spackling, telling myself he was immature, he had a messed-up upbringing, he was kind of aspberger-y and bad at reading people, he didn’t understand that giving as well as receiving is a HUGE source of happiness, etc etc etc.

    By the time of Affair #2 and my kicking him out, my expectations of him were pretty damned low. But I did still believe he loved his kids and would be there for them.

    You can guess how that worked out.

    It was only while having an argument w/him, during one of his many hoover attempts, that I realised that we really, truly did not share the same values. AND NEVER HAD. His morals and values were ALL relative and contingent on his entitlement. He did NOT value the kids, even, never mind me or the lovely life we had built together. Honesty? Family? Friendship? He SHOWED, clearly and repeatedly, that he did not give a single fuck about any of that.

    I eventually realized that he has no values, goals, or convictions of his own, other than his own selfish feel-good in the moment. He is hollow, empty, and desperate to fill that emptiness. Except of course he is like a child that is hungry and keeps eating candy floss, while there is real, nutritious food right beside him. He takes on the colours of whoever he’s with; their values, life goals, projects, preferences. Unless ‘crabby’ is a personality, he doesn’t much have one.

    So while he was with me, despite being negative, critical and moody, and quite self-centered, he did manage to look like he was invested in what we had. He looked like a reasonable, responsible, honest guy who loved his kids and his wife, cared for his family and friends, etc.

    I was propping him up and providing the guidance and spackling, so he could look like that. None of it came from him, and none of it was actually that important to him.

    Neversawitcoming, I’m betting your Ex is like that. Empty, hollow. YOU and your life made him look pretty normal.

    And ya know what one of the biggest signs of that is? You are blaming someone else for HIS CHOICES, you are saying this ‘wasn’t reeeaaalllllly him’. THAT IS WHAT NARCS DO. They ALWAYS blame others for anything that makes them look bad or doesn’t turn out the way they like or damages something or hurts someone. It’s always someone else’s fault. He’s taught you to DO THAT FOR HIM.

    Step back, open your eyes. That was really him. And since he was capable of doing that, especially at such a terrible time for you, then the only logical conclusion is that HE WAS ALWAYS LIKE THAT.

    • ALL THIS. Perfectly said. I often say my ex was a Pinnochio–but he never really could become a real boy.

    • KarenE – AMEN! He was EXACTLY like that, and I was a good person, like you. Thank God we have seen the light! I just hate it had to be in such a heart-wrenching way. Best of luck to you! <3

    • Your first paragraph is SPOT ON what I’m coming to terms with myself. Now during the devalue/discard. Yes he did seem to take a dive off the deep end. But it was like the crescendo to the weirdly horrific symphony he has been working on for years. The slow build up finally had the blow up.

      I attributed it to immaturity and our having children as bringing up bad feelings about his horrible childhood and the strained relationship he has with his dad. Ha. Now he’s even worse than his own father.

  • How can you say he’s NOT “brainwashed” while simultaneously offering support to us for having been “brainwashed/chumped” ??

    • brainwashing requires getting someone to adopt radically different beliefs through coercion. Chumps don’t do this. We end up being hurt because we have NOT adopted new beliefs and our reliable old values get trampled on.

      I think what CL asserts is that cheaters do not adopt new values through coercion—they in fact have flawed values that they manage to hide (or get ignored) for years…decades even. It’s just that they can’t suppress these shitty values anymore, so they do stuff like cheat and lie. Which many of us come to figure out they’d been doing some version of all along.

      Brainwashing requires a FORCED SHIFT but you can’t force someone to shift something they’ve been all along.

      I suspect as time goes by this writer will come to see all the red flags she missed earlier that showed her husband’s true character.

    • I guess a shorter way to put this is that, generally, chumps get duped, not brainwashed. The cheater in this story was not brainwashed, he is acting out his true character traits that he chose to no longer suppress…for any number of reasons (and likely was exercising all along in some way or another that went undetected by his loyal wife).

  • I have no desire to be a “shit disturber” on “YOUR SITE” but I can no longer “ignore” ALL the “mixed messages(advice)” that are being widely AND freely communicated by “highly educated professionals” AND highly respected people like you with “popular” blogs…

  • I could have written this letter but instead of cancer, i was getting ready to retire. he just didn’t want to be with me. he wanted to party, aka, drink and fuck around. i don’t drink but i still loved to go out. a younger ebola (from yesterday-love that) was more fun – she made him feel young. its a tough realization that he was probably along for the ride and what i could give him. i always supported the family – stupid me. just read ” healing from hidden abuse” by shannon thomas. going through another round of despair with these insights. oh fuck! be well my friends – we shall over come.

    • It truly is a painful pill to swallow when you realize they were there for what you could GIVE them but not for who you are.

      • after obviously having all our entire relationship shot down in flames as they do to justify things I said. Well really if it has all been so bad what the eff were you actually doing then for 14 odd years? ‘I knew what we could have.’ was his reply. Exactly that what I could give him. Used, discredited then dumped. Lovely work there.

    • thrive – yup. I was told I was ‘no fun’. WHAT?!?!? I always thought I was fun??!! I just didn’t party the way SHE did. Well…..good luck with that in the future, asshole! I feel like the karma bus may be coming around on that one! And yes, WE SHALL OVER COME!

  • Yea, all this. “Selfish with his time” is a pretty decent red flag IMO. That describes my ex. If one feels like pursuing a child-free, low responsibility parallel life with someone, time selfish people might work out for you. But in my experience, to have anything resembling a “full life” ya gotta pair with someone who is generous—with time and all else.

    Stinginess is a poor character trait.

  • NeverSaw
    I’m so sorry you had to go through that for I too had breast cancer right before I caught him with the whore.
    He really wasn’t there for me after losing a breast to cancer. I ignored red flags for 2 years thinking it was a “phase” but he said he loved her & wanted to be with her. They were both verbally cruel to me after I had him sleep in the basement. He tormented me by parading her in front of me in public. Karma hit them. Last year the whore died & month later he moved into another woman’s house.
    After my 34 year marriage how did this happen? I realize now that is was HIS decision to pursue her even though she threw herself at him. It was his choice to destroy our family, our life & savagely break my heart.
    I’m 3 years divorced pushing 70 but I’m kind of ok now. I take one day at a time. Financially strapped but at least I’m not being cheated lied to & abused I’m better off today. You will be fine when your heart starts to heal. You sound like a great woman & you deserve to live a honest life. God bless you & your family.
    Keep coming here to CN for support & care. 👍🏻♥️

    • Kathleen – you sound like a great woman too! I am sorry for your unfortunate trials and I am glad you are better now and without a jerk husband! Thank you for the support and God Bless you as well!

  • Intimate betrayal is devastating, “life altering”, and many times leads people to commit suicide.

    I was merely conveying that “mixed messages” compound already inherent “confusion”… aka “cognitive dissonance”…

    I’ve visited this blog daily for several years now…. and it saddens me that it has evolved into nothing more than a “bitch blog”…

      • I wonder if you’d feel the same if you later learned that I committed suicide because of your comment ??

        • Suicide is a choice. Feel free.

          Now piss off, TrollsRus have put out an APB on you. 😈😂

          • Kathleen/chumpnomore6 – You’re comments are incredibly callous… but unfortunately affirms my “bitch blog” assessment…

            I genuinely hope that nobody ever commits suicide as a result of the “hatred” that is spewed from this site….

            It’s incredibly disheartening to be treated so callously by people who profess to also be “victims”of abuse..

            • Leslie, you say you have visited this site daily for years. Have you been chumped or is this just entertainment for you?

        • My brother committed suicide and your threat of suicide is not funny or appreciated. It’s childish and immature. We don’t control other people.

      • Kathleen – You’re reply was incredibly callous… but unfortunately affirms my “bitch blog” assessment…

        I genuinely hope that nobody ever commits suicide as a result of the “patrons” on this site….

        It’s incredibly disheartening to be treated so callously by people who profess to have been treated so callously.

        • Not only a troll, but a ‘reading challenged’ one!

          It wasn’t Kathleen who said that to, it was me.

          Now fuck off. 😈😜

          • I am definitely a real person with real feelings… and you’re expressed hatred towards me says more about you than it does about me.

            • You know what Leslie your first comment wasn’t support for the original poster, or another person, or even telling us your story, which is perfectly okay. Venting/bitching about our lives and what happened is not sin. Nowhere does it say that it’s not allowed.

              No, your first comment was ” I have no desire to be a “shit disturber” on “YOUR SITE” but I can no longer “ignore” ALL the “mixed messages(advice)” that are being widely AND freely communicated by “highly educated professionals” AND highly respected people like you with “popular” blogs…”

              If you have a problem with someone, then speak to that. If you have a problem with advice that was given to you, then let’s hear it. If you have an issue and would like some advice, tell us what it is. Otherwise, we cannot help you.

    • Leslie, you’ve visited a blog you don’t like and don’t agree with, every day for years? One that’s populated by nasty people and full of confusing ‘advice’? Wow. You really do need to gain a life!

      I’ve been here for years, as well, and the main ideas and the support for Chumps hasn’t changed a bit. We’ve gotten better and better at recognizing the patterns, and accumulated more wisdom, collectively, over the years, that’s all.

      And we have the right to be angry, and even to hate people who have lied to us persistently, upended our lives, taken advantage financially, and harmed our children.

      • I was definitely “”conned/chumped”.

        Thanks for all your “feigned” sympathy and compassion.

        You’re probably no better a person than the narcissist/psychopath that you were married too.

    • Leslie

      Can I ask what you are looking for? Is this a place for chumps to vent – of course it is. That is the whole idea is for people to vent and ask for advice and to lean on each other. Fellow chumps get it in a way that others can’t.

      • I truly thought this was a “safe” place…

        Cognitive Dissonance is HUGE in the aftermath… Today’s article “triggered” me… and my rare comment received nothing but hateful comments telling me to leave.

        I have always appreciated and respected the “raw” feelings expressed on here, I apologize for believing/feeling that I was welcomed here.

        • Leslie,

          This is a *mostly* safe place. But I have noticed it’s not safe when an Other Woman/Man posts on here. Or politics come up. Or when people come across as trolls and pick on Chump Lady, her blog or Chump Nation members. I recognize your name, so I know you are not a troll.

          I did not understand your comment and it came across as you attacking CL and CN. I did not respond, because I figured one of the moderators would intervene.

          If you are truly suicidal. Please seek help. Call someone. Go to the ER. I’m disgusted that people would tell you to kill yourself and you are not welcome here. I just want you to understand that your one post came across as attacking all of us. Yes, I know we bitch here. We have a lot of crap in our heads and hearts to work out. A lot of us don’t have anyone to talk to in real life about this anymore. This is the safest place I’ve found to vent. It’s not perfect, but CL and CN saved me from killing myself. And not killing myself over the cheater. Killing myself, because life was so dark and there didn’t seem any reason to go on living. So we vent our stories to try to understand what happened to us and we listen to other stories to see if we can relate and also to help.

          I’m sorry you got triggered today. It happens sometimes. Maybe you could explain in another way your cognitive dissonance in today’s.

          I’ve been attacked only once here at CN and I just nicely stood up for myself and moved on. Chump Lady does not like when any of us gets mean with he each and I would not be the least bit surprised if her or Tempest posts a follow-up comment to all the mean things said. Chump Lady runs this blog for us and she can stop it at anytime. Peace.

        • If you had said that something specific “triggered” you, then we might have understood (or could still understand) why you are upset. The difficulty I am having is that you are attacking specific people because you read something that triggered you–but we don’t know what that was.

          It makes sense that if you assumed an internet blog is a “safe space,” you would be angry if you read something that triggers you. I’m sorry that happened. But remember–it’s not that someone wanted to trigger you or anyone else. Whether it was CL or another poster, the person writing was expressing an opinion, with which you and the rest of us are free to disagree. But “triggering” is an overreaction to something in the present because of unfinished business from the past. You might find it useful, once you get back your equilibrium, to ask yourself what the underlying issue is, rather than berating other people for unknowingly “triggering” you. Remember that everyone here has experienced trauma and abuse, including you, including CL, and the others who responded to you.

          I have a hard time even writing that word “trigger,” because, as someone diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, I have found that it’s my work to deal with the underlying issue and (to the extent) possible, consciously acknowledge that a trigger is just me falling into a whole in time. The question, then, is how to address the pain of the past, how to clear that up. The word “trigger” conjures up something that is uncontrollable. And I just don’t believe that is necessarily true for most people who get good therapy. Please call a therapist skilled in PTSD recovery and/or a suicide hotline if you feel suicidal for any reason. Your life is valuable.

    • Leslie,
      Are you and I reading the same blog ?!

      One of the things I admire about Tracy and her blog is her posts (usually a TGIF one) where she opens it up for people to share their stories of strength and mightiness. Sure there is a lot of venting in the comments but I only know of one other blog dedicated to getting over betrayal from this kind of abuse (Lovefraud) though I’m sure there are a few others. Not many places to go where people understand how life altering cheating is.

  • AKA… We are soooo sympathetic to you on this “site” UNLESS or UNTIL you say something that we don’t agree with.. at that point – we attack and tell you to hit the road…

    Talk about “red flags”….

    • Frankly, lady, you haven’t even made a coherent point with which people could disagree with.

    • You just insinuated/inferred/hinted at (joked?) about committing suicide because of stuff said on this blog. This is manipulative and destructive behavior, and wildly passive aggressive. You might wanna look into that…do a little ‘mirror check.’ If this blog no longer serves you as it once was, perhaps it is not for you anymore.

      I don’t read cnn.com anymore because they’re Trump obsessed and its annoying. So, we all change and have different needs and are responsible for filling those needs…so, do that.

  • I remember in the first few weeks trying to untangle the skein, thinking what caused this, midlife crisis, did ho worker (whom he ran away to suddenly) sink her claws in while he was vunerable? no. he CHOSE this. he chose to leave our practically perfect family life. we were not rich by any means, but we had everything. two healthy children, a house, a caravan, two cars, holidays regular, etc etc. I thought life was going well, untill his behaviour started changing a few months before he left one day. suddenly said he didnt love me anymore. i gav him space thinking he had had a nervous breakdown. never even considered infedeliy! i trusted him 100% then i found the evidence of him texting and secetrly calling his howorker at rediculously high amounts (like, 4 times his normal phone calls before howorker). he never admitted to it, still wont. its just an unspoken truth now.
    this man has done things in the last year that i never thought possible from him. i thought i knew him well after 15 years, but i obviously had rose tinted glasses. i now look back and see things differently. i can get over and forgive the betryal of me in time, but i cannot forgive how he treats and disregards his kids welfare and needs above his own.

  • Cult of Stupid!! Love it. So, funny. Made my afternoon. My stbx is part of that cult too! Stbxfil always said he popped stupid pills as a kid. Guess he just went a step further and joined the cult of stupid 🤣 The trumpets are calling the narcs and eventually they all heed the call and we end up narc free.

    Ur stbx is a cancer. Just keep living a cancer free life!! Sucks but every day gets better. Practice no contact.

  • Chump Lady,

    That was a beautiful response to your question by your significant other. Thank you for sharing that.

    Quick Question (about ME, so sorry!:)

    I know some of you out there have contacted the other woman to ask questions. My friends are telling me I should do that. I haven’t considered it before, as 1) it feels low, 2) it’s stuff for them to talk about, 3) it’s drama and I’m working to be over it, 4) she might lie, so what would I gain? 5) I’m shy, 6) I’d obsess over the meeting, and 7) she’d get to talk to me and I’d rather remain a mystery.

    Quick Overview:

    Dated 1 year 1 month
    Broken up NOW for 3 weeks
    At the 6th month, I broke up with him (he smokes too much pot) We got back together in 3 days.
    At the 7th month, I broke up with him. We got back together in 1 day.
    D-Day – I find out about Other Woman (Later he said he needed a shoulder to cry on during those 4 days of breakup)
    AFTER I found out about her, and was upset, I wrote him an email to say we should date other people.
    He went over to her house for dinner two nights in a row.
    He got with me the next day and said he didn’t like her AT ALL. That he was MY man.
    (I think I was so shocked that I did nothing and six months passed. Then I saw Rocketman and because Bernie Taupin was so brave, to leave Elton, (see the lyrics to Yellow Brick Road,) I thought I should be brave, too.)
    He saved up $2,000 (no small thing) for an engagement ring and was asking me to go look at rings with him. He was ready to get married.

    Now my friends think I should have a talk with her and ask her exactly what happened between them. How long, what did they do, did they have sex, etc.

    But to me, I think that none of that is really important. We had an exclusivity agreement (or an implied one, after we got back together again,) and he broke it.

    End of story. (AND he smokes to much pot.)

    Right?

    • Don’t contact the OW! Nothing good will come of it. You have no idea at all what he’s been saying about you to her all these months. No doubt lots of lies. You will be labeled as the “crazy ex”. Have nothing to do with her or him. There is nothing she can say to you to make it “all better” or have it all make sense. Close the door on them. Lock it. Nail it shut. Don’t go down that path. Look to your future. There’s no future with a person who smokes pot all the time and “checks out” of life high on dope. Would you really want to have kids with someone like that? (((Hugs)))

      • Thank you Martha!

        I already have kids; he never had any (that he knows of…) We’re too old for kids. Thank you for your reply!You’re right; I don’t want to be the crazy ex. He probably did say awful things about me. I should close the door. And there’s no future with someone who checks out of life, high on dope. You’re right, you’re right.

        Why am I so blind? Why did these things register and then get forgotten? He is not for me; it’s clear to see. But if he called, I’d want to go running… and be embraced by him, and hear the sweet nothings in my ear, and feel his warm lips on my face… and see him laugh, and watch as those dimples appeared, then disappeared, then appeared again…

        Oh goodness.

        • Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were both in your 20’s, because of the pot. 🙂 Okay, do you want your children to grow-up around a man who’s high on pot? I know some people use pot recreationally like people have a beer or two. But you are already saying he smokes too much pot FOR YOUR LIKING! That should be one of your deal breakers. Just like a deal breaker should be — I won’t date or marry someone who is actively addicted to something and not in recovery.

          There are tons of us women here at CN (I don’t think guys are ever called crazy. They are usually called abusive) that were called crazy and now are the “crazy ex”. You don’t want that label!

          You are very lucky to have found Chump Lady! A lot of us wished the Internet and Chump Lady was around when we met our cheater. We were flying blind and weren’t able to do a Google search when some odd behavior or circumstance showed up pre-Internet. I’m guessing everyone here at CN would give you some variation of my advice. Take it as wisdom from people who had to learn all these lessons the very hard way and had to read tons of books and blog posts to figure out what’s going on with our cheater and why they do what they do. If a man has to run right away to a woman for comfort and support during a short breakup, then he’s a cheater. She’s backup “supply”. At least that’s the way I see it.

          You seem to be very much in lust/love with this guy. I get it. I’ve been there! The attraction is a big pull. I get it. But is he the guy you really want to marry? Lust and physical attraction can only take you so far. You have seen some really big red flags already and trust me, the red flags you see in the beginning are the same red flags that end the relationship. You might want to check-out the book “How to Spot a Dangerous Man” by Sandra L. Brown. Dangerous doesn’t just mean he will be abusive. Dangerous as in not good for you. I got my copy at the local library, so you might be able to also. Read as much of Chump Lady and Chump Nation posts as you have time for. You will start to see unhealthy and destructive red flags all of us chumps overlooked in the beginning of our relationship and also spackled over after we got married. You might see yourself in some of our stories. You deserve better than a pothead grown man. 🙂 Good luck to you!

          • Thank you Martha! You’re right, I deserve better than a pothead grown man! I think that next time around I need to just be friends for a very long time, until I can be sure that the guy is a good guy! It’s so easy to get carried away. That masculine/ feminine coupling is powerful.

            We weren’t even having sex. Trying to wait for marriage, and he was being great about it. He said that when he went to her house, and they were having dinner, she said, “you can stay over tonight, if that’s what you were thinking.” He said it was kind of shocking, especially after being with me for so long. And he said the he didn’t have sex with her, because he liked what we were doing; putting sex in a sacred place and waiting…

            I believe him. But he let me suffer. And I don’t see that as a loving gesture… If he was just trying to prove a point (if you break up with me, I can find someone else…,) he proved it, but at what expense? And was he not capable of calculating that before doing it? Hmmmmm… it still blows my mind that he did that, and it was six months ago!

            Maybe I am the crazy ex… Anyway, thank you again!

            • No, you are not the crazy ex. He’s just making you feel confused and confused is not crazy!

              “Consistent confusion in a relationship is usually a sign of manipulation.”~ Patrick Doyle

              Take away the possible OW. Is being married to a pothead acceptable to you? Do you want to live with someone like that? If I’m remembering correctly, you broke up with him two times for this reason. People don’t change and go into recovery until they are ready and they do it FOR THEMSELVES, because they are sick of being a pothead, alcoholic, porn addict, etc. Him quitting pot for you is not going to last. I know someone who married an active alcoholic and he said he would change and he would most certainly change after they got married. Well, he didn’t. And they got divorced a few years later, because of the alcohol problem.

              I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe he didn’t have sex with her. I’m not trying to hurt you, but his behavior points to cheating. Cheaters will tell us whatever we want to hear in order not to get caught. They don’t want to lose us, so they lie in order to keep us on the line. I lived this for 23 years until I finally caught him out on a date with a newly divorced whore. He couldn’t lie his way out of being caught, but he did his best to downplay it and then turn it back on me a”trust issues” made him do all this stuff behind my back. And I fell for it until I found CL and CN.

              You and me, just like the rest of CN needs to fix our pickers! Have boundaries and enforce them! Know our relationship deal breakers and enforce them! Stay with us Light Heart and learn, learn, learn. You do deserve better then this guy! (((HUGS))) to you. 🙂

    • I have to agree with Martha. Nothing good will come out it. You dated for a year and you saw the light. Run, run fast and don’t look back.

      • Okay! I broke up with him and I’m running. It’s 21 days and he will call me soon. I can feel it. But I saw the light and I’m not gonna get sucked back in…

        • If you don’t want to be sucked in, block his number and block on social media. Otherwise, you are leaving the door open.

          • I understand… that’s good advice!

            Last time I had a persistent suitor (post breakup,) I answered his calls, but in a formulaic way… you know? a) I said it was nice to talk to him, b) I told him a little about me and what I was up to, c) I reminisced about a fond memory, and talked in the past tense, and d) I wished him well and hoped that he would find someone he could really click with.

            That really worked for me. It took longer, but it seemed clear and it also seemed kind… it’s the idea that he can reach me by just picking up the phone…

            Maybe I’ll do that again. Or maybe he won’t even call!

    • You’very been with him for a short time yet you already split up with him several times.

      He cheated on you within four days.

      He smokes too much pot.

      Read your own post and see if all events sound fine to you. They don’t and you know it. Don’t be blinded by that ring – keep it, it’s yours and do something with it.

      A good question to ask yourself – if (s)he really loved me and was afraid of losing me, would (s)he do [×YZ]?

      • Hi Persephone,

        Thanks for commenting and helping me today. I read the post, as if I was someone else…and what gets me is that AFTER I found out that he had been texting and calling this beautiful redhead that he met in the parking lot, (who lived in his apartment building,) he still went over to her house and had dinner with her.

        No. If he really loved me, I don’t think he would have done that.

        Thank you!

        (It helps to put this in writing in front of witnesses.)

        • He went over to her house and had sex with her.

          Dinner is a nice way of putting it.

          Not that it should matter to you, because you need to get the hell away from this flake. I don’t care how nice the feelz are when he’s around – he’s killing you.

    • “D-Day – I find out about Other Woman (Later he said he needed a shoulder to cry on during those 4 days of breakup)”

      Love it when cheaters turn it around and make their cheating YOUR fault. He’s a loser. Dump his ass.

      • I know. Those were my first thoughts… “It’s MY fault? Because I broke up with you about marijuana?” It made so much sense to him, and he kept repeating it, and I got seriously tripped up on it. My mind whirled around with this, as if it was true, but it couldn’t be true, no it was true, no it couldn’t be true… You’re right. He was just turning it around to confuse me! (It worked.)

        Thank you.

    • He was shut down by the OW. He’s not boyfriend or husband material.

      Calling her to validate the fact he’s a loser isn’t necessary. A ring means nothing to a cheater.

    • Good grief. You’ve broken up 3 times in a year, all for good reasons. Don’t fight the intuition you have that’s saying “get out of this relationship.” The worst mistake many of us make is taking back someone who is not capable of deep and lasting relationship. A pothead is in a relationship with pot. Not another person.

      Make it stick. No contact. Heal and fix your picker. You can do better than a cheating pothead.

      • A cheating pothead!

        I love it.

        (I hate it.)

        He contacted me after a week and told me he was in Recovery. But the cheating is even a bigger factor for me than the addiction.

        Cheating is the worst. (And they probably didn’t even have sex.) My heart goes out to everyone on this blog! Thank you for your wisdom today.

        • It takes much longer than a week for someone to kick a drug habit. And pot is pretty much a lifestyle.

        • They had sex.

          Growups fuck. They don’t just have dinner and then he leaves with a chaste peck on the cheek at a reasonable hour.

          He has not told you the truth, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise right now.

    • Right. Your instinct is great–go with that. It really doesn’t matter EXACTLY what he did or didn’t do, just the answer to the question “is is behavior acceptable to you?” I think your friends are working off another set of assumption–more “mainstream” ideas that sex is required for cheating and cheating is just one “mistake.” We don’t believe in that here. Betrayal, by and large, happens with a series of conscious lies and choices, made every day, over a prolonged period of time (month, week, year, day…does it matter?). Is that acceptable to you?

      Best of luck.

  • It does take two. My ex got together with a widow we both knew. Now, if this ‘grieving widow’ had told my ex to fuck off, because he was married with children, our lives may have been different today. But she encouraged his attentions. Both were assholes.

    Truth is that he was capable of it. Most of us have had people come on strong with us even when we were married. Yet we had no trouble saying no thank you.

    It is a character flaw on their part that allows them to participate in deceit and fool themselves into thinking it is their last chance for romance. Sad. The grass is no greener.

  • Heart, if you haven’t already, sign up for the Forums. There’s one just for Chump MeetUps. You can find one near you, or start one looking for other Chumps nearby. It’s great to get that IRL support, and Chumps tend to be great people and lots of fun!

    • How do you sign up for the forums? I was looking for them and I asked about them yesterday and someone said to go ahead and just ask questions here.

      I would very much like to know about the forums. Thank you!

      • Look at the top of the Chump Lady page where it says “log in”. Click on that and follow the directions. It shouldn’t take long to sign-up. And use the same name as in Chump Nation or no one will know who you are. 🙂

  • Leslie it seems to me ( as I have been reading and posting for almost 4 years here) that the messages are pretty consistent( leave, gain a life, it was them not us, go no contact for healing, for example). If you consider people’s awful experiences with sociopaths, psychopaths and the disordered “bitching”, well I guess you are entitled to that opinion. This site is about supporting each other. If you can’t do that then please leave. If you have solid examples of what you mean by “mixed messages” I for one would read. Otherwise, fuck off thank you very much.

  • My narc father (Harlow the philandering philatelist) promptly started the discard phase of wife 2.0 once she was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. It was the weekend my uncle introduced his fiancee/my aunt to my grandparents at their summer home in the Poconos. Harlow was there with sick wife, my uncle, my aunt, my grandparents and my aunt’s brother and sister-in-law visiting from Italy. Harlow was playing sad sausage in the kitchen (Poor me ! My wife has cancer !) with his brother’s fiancee, crocodile tears flowing,hugging her and rubbing his groin against her. Aunt was repulsed by his gross behavior and pretended to ignore it. Meanwhile,the Italians were crying in the dining room over 2.0’s diagnosis, a woman they had just met. Aunt shared this with me just a couple of years ago like it was some great revelation. I turned to her and said “I know my father pretty well, I grew up with him. He’s a narcissist and he uses people.” She wasn’t part of the family during my parents marriage and divorce and never met my mother.

    Sure enough when he moved onto Hell (wife 3.0) Harlow was dating another woman Ann. (I suspect he started an affair when wife 2.0 was dying. He left her alone to manage her chemo treatments while he traveled) During a stamp collecting trip, Harlow and Ann had a huge fight. I think Ann realized that his stamp collection (worth $$$) is the most important to my father;I don’t know if she realized he was dating Hell at the same time. She dumped him and he picked Hell as the new wife appliance;Hell thinks she won. My aunt told me that Hell was not first choice but we all know how narcs need hosts to latch onto like the parasites they are. I know that Hell targeted my father for money that he would inherit. She worked at my grandfather’s law firm as a paralegal and was also a member of the philately club where my grandfather and father were members. She was one of the few female members, sat on the board as secretary and encouraged an unmarried niece to join “These men have MONEY”. She’s the perfect wife and daughter-in-law and worships him on his narcissistic pedestal.

    And guess who gets treated like sh*t now ? Before I cut off contact with these two, I was present at a holiday gathering where Harlow gave Hell a mean greeting card depicting fat reindeer, a jab at Hell for her to lose weight. My brother and one of his friends joined H&H for a weekend on Cape Cod. Friend turned to brother and said “Your dad does a great job of tuning out his wife,doesn’t he ?” But hey, it’s all rosy-they’ve been married for
    over thirty years and she’s siphoning off as much money as she can. Private mortgages for her son and another family member, annual gift checks, college fund for her older granddaughter and monies to pay for the other granddaughter’s (severely autistic) therapies. She’s his Flying Monkey and plans on cutting me out of their wills. Oh well-some money is too expensive.

  • People with character can not be changed. How many chumps have been approached by another man or woman? Most of us I would say. What did we do? Jump into bed with pants off? Nope we turned around and exited those situations. Just shows we married people who are self serving, low character, narcissistic abusers who never loved us!

    • I don’t think people are ever “changed” by other people. We can have experiences that change our ideas, our priorities, our goals, or the direction we are going. But people don’t “change” other people. If that were possible, XH the substance abuser would have stopped drinking 30 years ago.

  • You were OF USE to him. The Disordered can hold the mask up for a long, long time of being loving and caring, as long as you are OF USE to them. It doesn’t mean they really loved or cared about you, you were the Wife Appliance that worked.

  • This>>>”He was selfish with his time, but he took care of us in every way.”

    Neversawitcoming33,

    Given time, one day you will realize that him being selfish with his time was him showing you with his actions that you and the kids were not his priority. He’s his #1 priority and whatever he does when he’s not spending time with you and the kids.

    And congratulations for beating cancer! And doing it while getting chumped!! Besides Chump Lady’s book, you might like to also read “Runaway Husbands”. It was one of the first books I read and it was very helpful. (((HUGS))) to you.

  • Neversawitcoming33,
    I feel your struggle.
    Thirteen years with exh2, I was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis, hemorrhaging cysts on my ovaries, and a hernia. I was scheduled to have an abdominal hysterectomy– they had to go in “old school” because I was so gunked up inside. For a few years prior, I suffered in silence because he “couldn’t deal” with my complaints of pains monthly, digestion problems, etc. I went to doctor after doctor for my various ailments and after two CT scans, they found the issues and scheduled me for surgeries to be done on the same day.
    Three weeks before my surgeries, D-Day.
    Two weeks after my surgeries, he moved out.
    Within a few weeks after moving out, I found out about OW.
    He is a classic, vindictive narcissistic jack-ass with no shame or remorse.
    I hope you many years of health and happiness in the future cheater-free! ♥️😁🙏
    I’m four years out and I’ve grown and healed and am living such a better life whereas he’s still a narcissistic jack-ass with his 10-year-younger OWife 🙄🙄🙄 they deserve each other.

  • Neversawitcoming33.

    My story is similar to yours in many ways. I did all the diagnosing and even told him I would stick by him due to our wedding vows and I said this despite the fact that he kept leaving. I was so in denial and so in the bargaining stage and so in shock I am still recovering and it has now been over 2 years. Took me until I found LACFAW to catch on to what was happening before I began to see the light but I was still in too much terror and pain to see clearly what I see now.

    I remember a 90+ year old woman, who has been divorced for over 50 years telling me that she is STILL learning about things from her grown children that still shock her about her X so the stage was set for to understand that this will never go away – only change overtime.

    I still remember when I woke up a bit to take a good look at what I was chasing and I realized I didn’t want him back. I wanted what I thought was my life back but he took care of that by smashing that to smithereens long ago. Via trickle truth, yes I have master an entirely new language thanks to being chumped, I found out that he NEVER was faithful to me. His head was hung low as he told me – feeling oh so sorry for his sorry old self – never a word of how awful that news felt to me or our grown children. We were married 3 decades!!!!

    Thanks to CL and CN I don’t feel alone. I keep learning and seeing how disordered he is and I am not as worried about a ‘diagnosis’ anymore – that he is someone I want to stay far away from is what is important to me now because I still get triggered by him. I hear his voice and I think of the man I loved but then the reality hits which is that, that man NEVER existed. I was married to a man who led a double life and still wants me to be ‘friends’ with him!

    In other words he wants me and our children to be Plan B. I am ashamed to say that in the beginning I was willing to be Plan B in hopes of winning him back but when he made the fatal flaw of suggesting that our children were Plan B – that is when I got it. All my mama bear instincts came out and I was ready to rip him apart.

    And he threw us all away for a woman he had known for less than a year. A predator type who dumped him once we were out of her way. He wasn’t any fun anymore without his family attached. Who wants an available person when so many unavailable ones are walking around unsuspecting of what is heading their way? She has broken up 3 marriages now.

    He had stayed in our marriage all of these years because he hadn’t found THE ONE yet. All the rest were women he was trying on for size and none fit the bill so he would dump them. All of this was news to me. I had never suspected a thing since he was the ‘pillar of the community’ type.

    Now he wants me as a friend? Again, thanks to CL and CN I know exactly how to respond to that and to his accusations that it is all ‘my fault’ and I even have the appropriate vocabulary to go along with my responses when needed.:)

    It does get easier in some ways and harder in some ways too. My children have all taken different approaches to this and that is hard. One gets it. Two are on the fence but mostly because they are battling with the pain of how gross their father’s behavior has been. How humiliating for a young man to find out his father is a slut. Painful for me because I can’t fix it.

    Hang in here. You are wide eyed and on the right track.

    • Ugh, Elderly Chump, I am so sorry. We truly do have similar stories. My children are like yours – handling it differently. Any you’re right. That makes it harder. My daughter is done with him for the time being and says he needs to make some changes before she will let him back in. My son is trying to be the peacemaker, but is stressing himself out in the process. It’s heartbreaking. I think my soon to be xh thought we would all get along swimmingly and he doesn’t understand why I don’t want to be friends. Whatever. I told him I have plenty of friends. I needed a HUSBAND. Best of luck to you and your children. I know it’s hard. <3

      • Yes, my kids are handling it differently. One still sees his father when his father insists on taking him out but he lives with me (my son’s choice) and has been as supportive as a 17 year old teenage boy could be. My 19 year old moved out with his girlfriend and seems to be doing more triangulating. He doesn’t approve of what his Dad did but he seems to want his Dad’s approval and doesn’t “want to choose between us”. He is their Dad so I get trying to have some sort of relationship but he did lie and gaslight them as well so I don’t believe he deserves their trust but my kids have to make up their own mind (but I am never going to pretend like what he did was in the slightest bit okay- it wasn’t – he was a mean callous cold asshole during the discard).

      • neversawitcoming33,

        The more I learn the more I see that all of our behavior is so ‘textbook’. My daughter got it long before I did and was shocked that I would even consider having anything to do with FW once the news hit her ears. She has not seen or talked to him since Dday and I don’t blame her. Last time she had a chance to see him he only spent about an hour with her on her last day of her visit home. He made up elaborate lies about being busy with work – well, we all know that wasn’t true now but I am ashamed to say I did believed it then.

        The cruelest twist to this is that FW was mad at our daughter for expressing her rage and hurt towards him and the OW – in other words, her father was defending a complete stranger and making our daughter into the bad guy!

        I now know that is called blame shifting but in my book it is totally unthinkable and horrifying that a man can hurl such an accusation at his own daughter who has only showered him with complete love and devotion her entire life. What a completely shitty human being. In one fell swoop he ruined her past, her present and her future without batting an eye.

        Needless to I am profoundly proud of my mighty daughter. My heart also breaks for her because of the pain beneath her anger and the effects this will have on the rest of her life. So terribly painful to witness. She worshiped the ground he walked on. He was her hero. I assume you know what I am talking about because of your own daughter.

  • Elderly Chump,

    Don’t be ashamed about being willing to be Plan B. You were in shock and terror. We do things we normally wouldn’t do when our world gets upended. The day after I caught my XH out on a date with a newly divorced whore. I invited a girlfriend over to talk and she brought me flowers. My XH came home from work and said to me, “I wish someone would buy ME flowers.” The next day I had flowers sent to him at work. Am I a super chump or what?! Days after he told me he wanted a divorce. He rambled off the names of three women he “gave up” for me while we were married. Even after that I was willing to try to understand why he needed to have all these women he was so emotionally close to. I still cannot believe I didn’t kick him to the curb right away like my first instinct told me to. Oh, well.

    And that’s so interesting about your 90 year old friend still finding out about her cheater after 50 years! Shows they don’t change. I’ve read most narc’s get worse with age.

  • Thanks Martha. All we have done in ignorance. If I hadn’t found this site I would still feel ashamed etc. now I feel like I amongst friends who ‘get it’ and we can lament over the really stupid things we did when still in shock/bargaining stage of denial.

    One of the most important things I have learned is how powerful our brains are in trying to protect us from the ‘unimaginable’. I see now that my behavior was driven from within and were attempts from my brain to ‘take care of me’ via hiding all the hideous truth/reality from me so it could slowly be revealed to me over time. If I knew that what I know now I don’t think I could have survived the blow. I have learned to have respect for myself in a way I never knew existed.

    Thanks again for chiming in with your chump moment.

  • I used to believe ‘she changed him too’, but after thinking back. She wasn’t our first go around She is just the one who he willingly admitted to cheating with. For the longest, I thought that she was manipulating him (and while I still believe that she is manipulating)- I came to accept that is what he wanted. I also believed that his family contributed to our failed marriage (and while I know they played a part) HE ALLOWED it, because she is what he wanted. As someone posted, our brains have a way to ‘shield us’ from reality thus softening the blows to handle the truth. I process things better when I can make sense or understand the situation. There has to be a “reason” behind every action. Well, no more excuses for him. He only cares about himself and was willing to lie and cheat to get his way; therefore our marriage came to an end.

  • My goodness, that’s a powerful ending comparative statement Tracy. It really would be obscene to troll for D while your husband is on his deathbed. But poor neversawitcoming33 husband sure trolled for twat while she was battling, then winning her battle, with breast cancer.

    It really drives home the fact that these cheaters SUCK! At our lowest points, when we need our loving spouse the most, they are nowhere to be seen. Gotta get some new sparkly strange. You’re (pick one or a multiple of the following) depressed, sick, invalid, temporarily taking chemo, had your wisdom teeth pulled, need a hysterectomy, had a baby, got too fat, got too skinny, wrecked your car, overdrew your checking account, got fired, got a bad haircut, stopped shaving your legs, in menopause, I’m lost in south Dallas help!. And what do they do? Oh well, gotta go. You don’t seem to sufficiently love me any more. You no longer interest me. On to greener pastures because frankly dear you bore me with your problems. Those problems, They’ve gone on too long.

    Sarcasm meter is off the scale but I’m not quite at meh yet. I read that meh means you don’t care if they live and don’t care if they die. I actually would like it if the Weasel died, so I consider myself not at meh yet. But I’m getting there. He’s been served with divorce papers and I’m getting to the negotiation phase. If the Weasel can reign in his narcissistic selfishness there I hope to make it out with some assets and dignity.

    • Oh wait I found some more things! (Pick one or a multiple). You started to knit and that’s what old people do, the dog stinks and you won’t fix it, you sew and that’s what old people do, you watch TV that’s boring, you can’t cook, you cook too much, you use the blow dryer, you have gray hair, you dye your hair, you won’t get laser eye surgery, you won’t go out at midnight to drink, you stop drinking, you drink too much.

      So they basically just get sick of you. They just no longer care about you any longer. Become selfish and inconsiderate and all of the marital vows fly out the window. I thought mine had midlife crisis but now I don’t know what’s wrong with him just leave his wife and children for someone he’s started a romantic relationship with a few months ago? Says the marriage is a charade? I’m just floored. Literally laying on the floor crying.

    • Iwantmyfairytale, I totally get the wanting out with some dignity part and not caring if he died! I’m trying so hard to be true to myself through this process and stay on the high road, but OH wouldn’t it be nice to jump down there in the gutter with them just ONCE and bitch slap them all?!?!? I want to send family pictures to her and tell her how happy we were until she came along. I want to take out a billboard telling everyone that they are lying cheaters. I want to call her boss and tell him what she is! I want all of those things, but I know my kids are watching and in the end, I want him to know that he left class for trash. Keep your eye on the prize! We got this! CHEATERS SUCK!

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