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The Ones Who Just Leave

Hi CL,

I was wondering if you could write a post dedicated to people who got abandoned. Sometimes I read your blog and feel like a lot of the “pick me” dancing, implementing No Contact and such are things I can’t do because he just picked up and left after I discovered he was cheating and confronted him about it. I realize there are benefits to this, but could you perhaps discuss the layers that make this so hard and how to deal specifically with the abandonment?

Love,

In light of grief

Dear In light of grief,

I’m sorry, that’s a suckitude of a different kind. This column rerun goes out to you.

***

 

A lot of the advice I give here is on no contact, or gauging the sincerity of a cheater’s remorse, or of decoding the mindfuckery of a cheater after discovery. But what about the ones who just go without a fight? Who just abandon? Who never come back?

There’s no need to go no contact because they never contact you. Instead, you live with another kind of mindfuck — you weren’t even worth fighting for. One day you’re living in what you thought was a secure reality with this person, the next day they’re gone without explanation. Without remorse.

Maybe you got a blank stare. A vague excuse. A lawyer’s letter.

As someone who got operatic remorse, crocodile tears, and a stalking freakazoid who wouldn’t leave me alone, I want to be flippant and tell you guys you got the better end of the deal — the cheater who just left. The cheater who didn’t play you for more D-Days, who didn’t toy with your heart, and get a kibble contact high off your grief. Nope, you got a tidy little sociopath who recognized that the jig was up and it was time to move on.

Which is worse, really? Hard to say and this isn’t the pain Olympics. But I do have some thoughts on the abandoning cheaters who just go poof.

1. Take it as a perverse compliment. Seriously, all you people who were abandoned, I want you to reframe this. Your cheater knew they couldn’t keep chumping you. They sensed your strength, and being the lazy, cheating fucks that they are, they needed an easier source of kibbles. You weren’t going to be that person. You were going to put up some resistance. They anticipated that and took the path of least resistance — a cowardly exit.

I can see how you would take it as you didn’t mean anything to them. You weren’t worth so much as a goodbye, but that’s not it. Disordered people don’t connect. You never meant to them what they meant to you.

They knew that they couldn’t keep extracting value from you with the same ease. And that’s because you’re not as chumpy as your average chump. Manipulators suss you well — they assessed your moxie, and they scampered away.

2. These people are really lazy. Cake is so nice when cake is undiscovered. All the control! All the perks! But once that nice situation is blown to pieces by the truth… fuck. They need to do some mental calculus. Work really, really hard at mindfucking you back into complacency, do the “sorry” kabuki theater of long emotional talks and therapy, give you some kibbles for a change to win you back… or… they could just exit for their soul mate schmoopie, find another hypotenuse, and have the joys of undiscovered cake again.

Which is easier?

3. These people are really entitled. You don’t deserve an explanation because it was never about you. Surely, you must know that the Most Important Thing Is Their Happiness? They’re happier over here in this new place. You? You have a mess to clean up? You’re heart broken? God, that’s a buzz kill. They don’t have to listen to you whinge. They’ll just set your volume to “mute.”

4. These people are really cold. Not that the operatic remorse, crocodile tear cheaters aren’t cold too, but the abandoning cheaters are polar-vortex-Lake-Michigan-in-February-ice-ice-baby COLD. I know you see this walking out with no remorse as a big fuck you, a huge rejection of the wonderfulness that is you, but that would be assuming that they give a shit. They do not. It’s not personal. These people are COLD. You mistook this ice cube for a human being. It happens. Maybe you bred with the ice cube. I’m sorry.

But they seem so warm and human for other people!

Yes, of course they do. See item #2. They need new undiscovered sources of cake. They will appear all nice and human-like until their cake situation is restored. Then what does the new person get? Laziness, entitlement, and ice ice cold baby.

What do you get?

A new, improved cheater-free life.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • This is Soooooo me .
    I never even got to try on my dance shoes to do the pick me dance !

    I never got fake remorse , a tear , lets try and save our marriage .

    I got Shark eyes just totally black and told he could not breath without his ho worker he missed her every second of every day he was not with her .

    Packed and left never seen or heard from him since . ( Well one day he tried to come back to house to collect some of his clothes as he thought i was at work but i wasn’t . And he did come in one day when i was at work and left me a note calling me a bitch )

    I have no idea where he is either he has put his work address on the divorce papers .

    So yeah i totally feel i was not worth a look back , I was not worth a fake apology i was worth nothing to him or his family who i have also never heard a word from .
    I was there one day and gone the next and not worth a second thought .

    So yes i do feel slightly jealous in a weird way of them that even got to do the pick me dance got to even try fake reconciliation . To me its slightly better than you meant nothing at all

    • The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. That’s why it hurts so much more. At least with arguing and the Pick Me Dance there’s a reaction.

      There is no more inhuman way to treat someone than as if they are nothing.

      • Actually they can treat you like nothing, with a smile, while using character assassination to delete you from all of society.

        • Absolutely this! You weren’t even worth fighting for… I wasn’t even worth being TOLD. Just pack a duffle bag and leave. Not so much as a kiss goodbye…after 36 years. And, let’s not forget the “surprise” divorce papers. Yes, my ex was a special kind of evil (but, oh, the lies he told)!

          • I hear you. My ex and I were married 33 years when he left for work and didn’t come home and I never saw him again ever. He sent me an email that day explaining his intentions. 33 years of my life and I got an email.

            • Me too. Was with my ex for 16 years. He sends me a fucking email to tell me we should stay separated. An EMAIL? Doesn’t even have the fuckin backbone to tell me to my face. He abandoned me too. Everything she said in this was true about my ex. Everything…

        • My ex is now abandoned me that since I called my ex sister-in-law to say good bye. She had been very kind to me through the years, and I doubt I will ever see her again. She asked the reason for the divorce, and I let her know the truth. My ex had just visited his brother in his home town. He told them of the divorce, but “was very vague” as to the reason. His brother is a devout bishop in the LDS church and just celebrated his 50 year anniversary; I am sure he gave my ex some stern advice on infidelity. I am also sure that my ex was planning as passing his AP off as a new, post divorce relationship. I guess I screwed up his Thanksgiving plans.

        • Yes. yes yes yes this. Mine actually said, “I wanted to be as mean to you as I could to try and force you to leave,” (proving Tracy point about lazy–also cowardly). Eventually, it worked. Meantime, he told strategic friends that I was off kilter, or something like that, and word got around. So my Switzerland friends were more like Lichtenstein–hard to find on a map! And then the ex hopped on a plane to twu wuv and lots of money courtesy of Narcissa.

          S’ ok. I’m grown up, and EMDR is a terrific therapy for trauma.

    • I’m sorry, Karen. Yes, feeling you mean nothing to them is heart-stoppingly awful. The thing to remember is that is true even of chumps whose cheaters stuck around in faux wreckonciliation. None of had a true connection; people who can betray a person they claim to love are not fully capable of love or empathy.

    • Karenb6702, He left you a note calling YOU a bitch??? That’s so sick it’s [almost] funny! What a freak!

      • I know I mean there are a few things in theSe awful situations that are so awful you almost have to laugh. I mean what?? What was the point of that? Defies any explanation. Weirdo’s. For me the only good thing out of not having them run off without a word for s they say so many nonsense things you can pick so many holes in their case but they truly mentally abuse you at the same time so neither scenario is great right. I cannot believe he did that and called you a bitch. This site and what happened to y’all always fills me with wonder (not pleasant wonder). ?!!!

      • Yes
        My friend ( who’s male that he knows very very well ) came over to sit with my and watch TV . He left his sweatshirt on the kitchen table when he went home .
        Ex came in a week later as I say when I was at work to pick up some things and he left a post it note saying “ that didn’t take you long BITCH “
        He knows Al very very well he knows we have been only friends for over 20 years we sat with him when he got divorced !! That’s the some of my contact since D day when he left me in a foreign country

        • Notice the hypocrisy here.

          It was ok for him to cheat and walk out without so much as a glance over his shoulder, but calls you a bitch for merely thinking that you’d dared to take even one step toward moving on.

          Just…wow.

          • I sort of laughed when I came home and scanned it to my lawyer .

            He knows I’m not interested in another man and he knows who’s sweatshirt it is he played golf with Al for years ( met through me )
            But I do think he thought I’d lock myself away and never talk to anyone ever again that’s not female !
            I have lots of make friends and acquaintances and all of them are disgusted by him .

            • That’s the way these creeps operate. They’re allowed to do whatever, and whoever, they want, but you have to wait until they’re dead. It’s the rules. XD

        • First they say they’re not in love with you, then they say they’ve Never been in love with you. But they certainly show jealousy the minute they think you have someone else to replace them, even if it’s not factually true. My husband had already gone to his mistress country and spent month with her and family.

          When he came back to get some stuff I was at work and did tell him he could come in to use the bathroom and get something to drink. Apparently my friend told me he was quite upset that “it didn’t take long” for me to find someone else. Not knowing what the hell he was talking about at the time, but then it dawned on me few weeks later a male friend had come to hang out and help me with bunch of stuff husband left me with and he drink tea and coffee. So apparently when husband was in the fridge he saw the left overs and since I nor husband drink tea or coffee he made the quick assumption someone else was there.

          My friend was in disbelief that my husband was upset about it, she told him that at least I waited until the divorce had been filed to have someone over, haha, she knew there wasn’t anything going on but she let him wonder!

          • My last partner isn’t even jealous. He’s Just glad to be rid of me, the woman who loved him more than any other man in the world. Trying hard to embrace the single (partnetrless, dateless) life. I would like to think that after two years on my own, I’d be used to this, but I’m not—I’m just exhausted and struggling on all fronts, exhausted by contract work, earning very little money, due to fatigue, having a hard time maintaining decent quality of work, no job lined up after next month but still have children to support. Special needs child on the verge of failing out of school. Ideally, ex-husband will drop spousal support case that is scheduled for next month. I am going to work on keeping a smile on my face and not care about how life turns out (for me at least). Trying not to feel down about how my former partners have treated me and discarded me and have decided not to date anyone, especially guys I have met online who tell me that I am the Woman They Have Been Searching for All Their Lives and then ghost me shortly before we first go out or shortly after we go out. Such flaky guys!

    • I’m so sorry Karenb. Unjustly calling you a bitch is his pathetic effort to justify his actions. There is no justifying his actions.

      CL is right. It has nothing to do with you. Hard to believe but very true. Believe it.

    • Yes! All of this…..those shark eyes..what is with that? It’s like they have been inhabited by an alien.
      Being treated as nothing is soul destroying. I was married for 30 years and had no clue anything was wrong, then he left and other than what was necessary there was nothing.
      I was deeply, deeply traumatised and 5 years later am starting to feel a bit normal again.

      • I am fairly new here and am surprised to see that so many of us have been married for 3 decades or more. (It is comforting too to know that I am not the only ‘older’ one here.)

        I have entered a world I knew existed for some ‘unfortunate’ people but never in my wildest dreams had I imagined it would become MY live! I am only 2 years out so I am still like a deer standing in head lights with the whole thing but I can’t help but wonder what our children feel about the prospects of marriage when they see their own parents who had appeared to be very happy blow up in such a horrific way. I used to think there was some security due to our years together with all of the challenges we had faced together and gone through. I thought we had been a good example to our children of what marriage was and the importance of family and how cooperation and sacrifice were at the center of it all – for the greater good…

        Silly me. I imagine that mine are living with the sense of complete uncertainty – no security if the sanctity of your own home isn’t safe due to one of your parents being a total fake.

        Ours was a family in which, from all outward appearances, looked like the model family. No fighting. Steady employment. SAHM – a hard working husband….the ‘team’ thing. Now they know that the hard working father was a sham. I have fewer years ahead of me so I can live with that. They have their whole adult lives ahead of them – where does that leave them in terms of looking for a spouse to spend the rest of their lives with. No longer able to believe that myth, I imagine.

        • This is my first post/response on this site. I just found it a few nights ago and have been reading a little each night. Elderly Chump: I’m 54, husband just left me a few months ago and ran off with a friend of mine. My child’s best friends mother! We weren’t doing well, headed toward divorce anyway probably but we were supposed to be working on things.

          I had wanted my child to see love and set examples for him, but that didn’t happen. Mine with held ANY AND ALL affection from me for years. We played our parts well, were nice and had perfectly normal days, but everything was surface level only. He was a runner/ostrich at the first inkling of a problem, disagreement, anything. Lazy, coward. He would say he would never win anyway but that’s not so. He wouldn’t get up and run upstairs over the tiniest little thing!

          I worry about the example to my child and have always taught/told him all I can about things. He’s only 13. but when you were talking about your children, I understand where you were coming from. In your case though, I think they’ll garner what they needed to and with you probably being the main role model, they’ll be fine.

          Mine left, moved in the same neighborhood, she lives 2 streets over from me and I have to see them all the time, ugh. Together 24 years and for at least the past 10, I knew he wasn’t for me but I stayed, I worked at it bc of my faith and belief that I was MARRIED and somehow it would all work. I caught them in my house, then a few days later at her house and he moved out March 9th. He has also let me know that he BARELY has cared about me, hasn’t loved me in years and has wanted out for a long time. And even with all of this, WHY have I felt so like nothing, with the rug pulled out from under me? I didn’t feel this way and was totally blindsided by them.

          Anyway, your post got my attention and I just wanted to write a little something bc I too, feel that even tho only 54, what is going to happen for me in the future I have left?

          • Dear WTH Happened…. I understand and I also feel your pain. I was 53 when my husband of 33 years went to work and did not come home. I loved my husband I was happily married we were best friends we did everything together and yes it is like having a rug pulled out from underneath you. You are left with tons of questions and 0 answers. The Heartbreak is pretty devastating but remember you were broken but not destroyed you say you stayed because of your faith I understand that commitment to biblical principles of marriage and Covenant I understand but some of these mates though they read the Bible they pick and choose which verses to obey and then pretty much just do what they want to do. It’s very hard to understand and there is no closure as they say. However I can personally testify that God for those who believe is very close to those who are heartbroken and it is amazing The Nearness of the Lord to me in those first few years when life was totally turned upside down because of my husbands choices. He’s been gone twelve years now and is married to The Other Woman and she is older than him and he is her fifth husband I dare say that perhaps theirs is a special match? But it does take a lot of time to heal from betrayal and abandonment be kind to yourself and give yourself the time to go through it to learn and to heal and draw close to God.

          • Barbara I just saw your post. My situation is so similar. I should have left too but hung on hoping for change … sigh. But mine told me out of the blue and that he wanted to be alone and do what he wanted. Then shows up with the OW at a function for my daughter. It was horrible. He still claims he didn’t cheat. I found out she was a coworker and he had been hiding money and bought a business with her before our divorce. It has been 2 years and I still have bad days. My biggest struggle now is the loneliness. I don’t miss him but the dream of having someone.

            • I am so sorry that you are having to go through that …I totally understand what it feels like. It is a lengthy process to heal from betrayal and abandonment so give yourself enough time to do that …there will be good days and there will be not good days but fortunately over time there is less weeping you go through less Kleenex and things start to get better …yes I miss the dreams too… I do miss him too to a degree I mean we were together for 33 years how could I not miss him we had a good marriage or so I thought… something went wrong and I know part of what it was he got involved in things he should not have for one pornography I don’t know if he ever physically cheated but I do know that he emotionally cheated… and it’s a very sad thing when women end up marrying boys that are wearing men’s clothing. If you are a Believer and a Praying Woman wear your carpet out on your knees because for me my relationship with the Lord was the only way I got through this.

    • I too experienced him leaving and not looking back. He barely took anything. He’s become obsessed with scuba diving. Left with all the financial information. I had to serve him because he wouldn’t give me the financial information. After divorce discovery I now can see what he was hiding. Thank goodness for my lawyer. Lots of debt.
      He’s very angry and telling people lies about me.
      I bumped into him at a park. The coldness and meanness was scary.
      I too have wished that we went through little steps like therapy, even if it was fake. It would have given me an opportunity to get my head around things. The sudden departure and the extraction from everything from our shared life leaves me feeling discarded. Everywhere I look are reminders of us. I’m now making these items about me. I’m sort of envious of his apartment and fresh start even though I know he’s running away and not dealing.

      • Nina…. after marriage of 33 years my husband left for work and he did not come home and I never saw him again. That morning he had already secreted in his car what he was going to take with him because premeditated he knew he wasn’t coming home. He took the clothes on his back his medication because he had epilepsy his Bible and his laptop and he left his home and never looked back. I cannot even begin to Fathom what goes on inside a person that is able to do something like this.

  • Thank you.
    I felt strangely sorrowful that he didn’t repent or try at all.
    This makes sense.
    Thanks, Missus. x

  • Thanks for posting this again CL. My cheater ran away before I found out about the cheating. No explanation. Just walked out the door. No contact is important for us abandoned chumps too. It takes a while for our hearts to catch up to events so in the beginning I kept contacting him to let him know how he’d left me broken hearted and devastated. He didn’t want to know. Cold cold as ice. 2 years later I appreciate the finality of his walking away without looking back. I don’t look back either and am enjoying my new single life.

  • The last time you posted this, I was still an emotional puddle and didn’t understand any of this.

    To this abandoned chumps – print this post out and save it somewhere prominent. It is all true.

    My ex was too pitiful to even try to stand up to me, too afraid of my strength (which I didn’t know I had), too self-centered to think of anyone besides himself, too cold, had zero empathy, is a sociopath (as pointed out to me by the Judge) and knew I had the ability to decimate him.

    Borrowing a line from Paul Simon, he tried to “slip out the back, Jack”. He succeeded and never admitted anything.

    But those same shitty traits also landed him a huge payout to me and a lovely, comfortable maintenance payment that allowed me years to get back on my feet and find my mighty. He also lost his children.

    Does it suck to have given the majority of my life to a cold-blooded snake? Yes. But my new life doesn’t suck and I am on top of the rock that he slithers underneath!

    • Rebecca— ditto. The judge at the end of the trial where X tried to take everything we worked 26 years for said that although he gave me everything (community property state nonetheless!) he wished he could have given me more because X still comes out way ahead with his earning power and my lower income potential with history of 8 years as a SAHM —and X walked from custody to avoid parenting and psych evaluation.

      Fast forward 2.5 years and I’m doing great rebuilding my life. I’m still wounded and will never forget the literal hell he put me through though. Not one shred of remorse from X who is also a sociopath.

      Karma bus seekers… UPDATE! AP, the young goldigging whore, is getting her comeuppance— my darling daughter tells me that X is pursuing a new victim and rubbing it in AP’s face! Ha! She really did “win” a sparkly and now nasty repulsive turd. I’m free! I win my life back.

      • Oops I forgot to add: cheaters cheat and liars lie…. they NEVER change! Not my monkey, not my circus thank God and CL!

    • Rebecca, I go to Mediation next week and I”m nervous. Can you tell me HOW you got the payout, kids, etc…..
      My STBX was stingy with money. We lived off my paycheck while he hoarded all his and I need to show this somehow.
      Do you have any tips, info, encouragement anything you can share with me on how/what to do. 24 years, married 21. JackAss.
      Thank you.

  • I got a taste of both what fun! The first d-day with our friend as schmoopie was followed by an 8 month pick me dance of epic proportions and a gag worthy Re-wedding in Central Park,4 years later, after he managed to blow our entire life savings in his business and then stop working, he walked out as soon as he managed to get schmoopie #2( that I knew of) to let him move in. 34 years and all I got was “ well you were good for making money”. I really don’t know what was worse I just know I wish I ended it the first time at least I would still be able to retire instead of working until I drop or having to sell my house to be able to retire.

    • I was a Chump of epic proportions. But, I stayed after my wife’s affair and we made it work. At one point she suggested renewing our vows. I told her mine were still intact; she could stand up in front of family and friends and swear this time she meant it. Haven’t renewed them yet!

      • I think * you* try to make it work, but you are on this site.

        What’s the upshot of staying with a woman you can’t trust?

        • There are more of us than you know. D -Day for me was 8 years ago. We spent years in therapy, plus a bipolar diagnosis, medication and lots more therapy for him. Actual remorse and reparations. Forgiven but not forgotten. I visit this site regularly for two reasons: to give support to fellow chumps and provide a reality check on what real work the cheater must do to stay, and to keep my boundaries strong. Think of it as a tune-up.

          I agree with the chump above who says he didn’t need to renew his vows. Same here.

          • I visit sited this site a lot too during my 2+ years of pick me dancing, trying to convince myself it was working and he was truly changed/changing and that I could live with all of it. I would go to great mental lengths to compare my cheater with the ones discussed here—grasping onto any straw that set him apart. But, yea, not so much. Turns out he was garden variety.

            The red flag in Turbo’s comment is what sounds like animosity toward his cheater. IMO ongoing animosity is a death blow to a relationship.

          • There are more of us than you know? No, there are many chumps who win the pick me dance, staying….forgiving…until the NEXT.

            It’s clear that you know you kept your vows. In hindsight I see the benefits the cheater received. What benefits are you getting by staying?

          • He wanted to renew our vows. I went along because—pick me dance! That’s why I now call that ceremony gag-worthy. Because I meant it and he never did—not the first time and especially not the second time.

            • New Lady,

              Thanks for this. I dreamily thought of renewing our vows when he decided to come back. Luckily I didn’t have to go through what you did since he exited about a week later. I realized that my ‘dream’ of vow renewal was actually an hallucination 🙂 I was totally awake and believing the utterly impossible as I know it now thanks to CL and CN.

              I was also extremely fortunate to friends, almost life long and I am no spring chicken, who warned me not to take him back because the chances of him repeating his exit at a later date had high probability. These ladies knew of what they spoke. They were right and it didn’t take me long to see him do just that

              I found out after one of his re-entries that once he had left the first time it was that much easier for him to leave again. The path and his ‘pad’ were there waiting for him.

              Its done and over and I certainly am relieved because I could see myself in the same financial mess that you found yourself in because he was as un-disciplined with money as he was with his dick. See it, want it, buy it/fuck it.

              Still hurts like hell though but I am glad things did turn out the way that they did. I just wish I could get to other people who are in what my situation used to be so that I could warn them but, alas, that is not my job. We each have to come to our senses via doing all the wacky things we do. At least I know I had to do what I did before I finally saw the light. That happened after I somehow found CL’s book.
              Huge wake up call.

              Thanks for sharing here.

          • How old are the kids? I have known cheaters who convinced the chump they wanted to work on the marriage, stay for the kids, etc. When what they really meant was ” I am only staying until our youngest is 18, because I don’t want to have to pay child support and schmoopie won’t stick around and help me with the kids when I have them.” As soon as the youngest is 18, they either start a new affair or *poof* they disappear. My suggestion for any fellow chump who wants to try to reconcile is to follow chump lady’s advice to a T, especially about a post nup and finances. It doesn’t undermine your efforts to rebuild your relationship, it is just being prepared.

            • Neverachumpagain,

              When all the heavy shit settled down to a dull roar I began to think along these lines too since the X was a serial cheater and had been at it our entire marriage. It dawned on me that he did the math = not enough money to live the life he imagined for himself coupled with the terror of having to deal with the children on his own. When they were young he rarely if ever did anything with them together on his own unless it was going to a movie or out to eat. Usually took one at a time.

              Hard to discern which terrified him the most – single parenting or no money. I guess he figured out he could cheat and he never did get caught – he did the Dday stuff under duress due to one of his sluts who was threatening to blow the whistle on him because she didn’t like being dumped which he was in the middle of doing ignorer to move on to the next one he had in line. Took me awhile to realize he probably never would had told me had it not been for her. Showed me that he is indeed a chicken shit just as CL states above.

              I am still in shock that I was so naive.

              I am eternally grateful to all who post here because you help me sort all of this stuff out.

      • Turbo, I hope you get a partnership with a woman of value and integrity someday soon. The difference is night and day. Sending supportive thoughts— I can only imagine what it must be like to be with a cheater in the aftermath of discovery 😭😭😭😭😭😭

        • I had an original Dday which I forgave as I thought it was a one time expression of a midlife crisis (had been told it was one night). You would have thought it would have made me more onguard against further cheating. It was the opposite – he just got a lot smarter and stealthier and I got more committed to the relationship (yep chump through and through). I wish I had known about chump lady back then. I didn’t understand the dynamics of infidelity and I didn’t go for counselling (my mistake). I hope I have learned since then. All of you have been excellent teachers. My new mantra is one and done baby!

          • Deee,
            Me too. He got stealthier and I got dumber. So gullible. I am ashamed to say that I had no clue, put him on a pedestal and I held him there for over 20 more years before the truth came out a couple years ago. Hindsight, hindsight, hindsight. Red flags all over the place. He had everyone fooled – me, kids, neighbors, co-workers, his family…he was ‘so’ nice!

            Mindfuck..

            Not dumb anymore and learning more every day.

            Thanks.

            • Dear Elderly, Me too! Took the jerk back and 20 years later after we are happily
              retired and enjoying life, he’s unhappy and wants a divorce. He’s fallen in love with a drama queen at the bridge club?????? what you say the bridge club the jerk is 68 years old. Well 2 months later he’s diagnosed with a brain tumour and dead 12 months after that. Tore are family apart, destroyed my relationship with one daughter and left the whore all his money. Thank God I had the presence of mind to get everything settled and half of everything beforehand. On a brighter note I am happier than I have ever been living alone and concentrate on the people who want me in their lives. Hugs to all the Chumps!

              • SilverQueen,

                Wow. The shit these FW leave in there wake in mind-blowing. What is worse is that they don’t care. Good for your smart thinking.

                I was infuriated that I couldn’t change anything, will, beneficiaries etc until divorce was final which meant I spent more than a few sleepless nights worrying about that. I discovered that in my state, there aren’t any laws in place to defend SAHMs – no breaks in the divorce settlement 50/50 no fault – well excuse me!!! I was shocked when I discovered all of this. I couldn’t even get him on abandonment! Very terrifying place to be in.

                Luckily none of what I feared happened. Once the divorce was final I changed everything I could as quickly as I could because I know from past personal experience – my parent’s divorce years ago as well as older friends of mine whose parents divorced late too – that these guys do give all to their new partners without a second thought. Shame on them. I can handle him abandoning me but NOT MY CHILDREN for some bimbo. GRRRRR.

    • Good point, NewLady–chumps who appear to win the pick-me dance still have a high probability of abandonment in the future, once the cheater finds yet another new supply.

      • Yup. Ex picked me over his emotional affair. I continued to dance for eight more years until he left me for Schmoopie 2.0 (I didn’t find out about PA Schmoopie 1.0 until later, but he didn’t leave me for that one either). It was just a matter of time. It was over the moment he first got it in his head that maybe he could do better and maybe he should go find out.

        • Same. I forgave after an EA (which I still think was an actual affair); in any case he discarded me 5 years later for another affair…with other betrayals (prostitutes, porn, etc.) in between for good measure.

      • Yes, Tempest, my last partners and possibly some others, seemed to think that if I crawled back to them after each discard by them, they could keep me around as a placeholder until the more appealing, permanent option appeared.

    • WOW! I did the dance for 3 years after D Day #1. I begged, pleaded and dance all around and he choose me! Yeah?

      Three years later….Lets go out to dinner and then BAM I am leaving on Tuesday. I did take me about 24 hours to pull phone records and discover yes there was a #2. He he had looked me in the eye and said there was nobody and he was just unhappy and needed to find happiness then I asked whose phone number is this….that you have been calling and texting for 2-3 hours per day for the last 6 weeks?

      I got the “Oh S***” I been caught look. I sometimes I can’t believe how dumb he thinks I am. Phone records were how I found out who AP #1 was when he was previously looking for happiness.

      I HATE FB because even though he and tru wuv home wrecking whore are blocked I sometimes get a reminder that he exists.

      How can you post on FB how much you love your soul mate when you kids see it? But best of all she posts “This is the man, I always loved, and should of been the father of my kids” Puke Vomit….you can have each other!

      • Those are some immature people who would say such a terrible thing. Her poor kids, how must they feel realizing that their own mother regrets them.

        Gosh I made so many mistakes after Dday and during divorce, but one thing I did right was to never denigrate my kids dad to or around her. She is half him! What a way to mindfuck your kids into self worth issues.

        • Hi notanicechump,
          I agree with you that the kids are half of each parent but I believe you chose your own behaviour. My teens are angry with their Dad (rightly so as he lied to them many times) and we have had some discussions about it. I try hard to condemn the behaviour and the choices he made instead of the person (however I am not perfect). His actions have demonstrated his character. I think that kids need to realize that your DNA doesn’t dictate your behaviour as the stats on children of infidelity becoming cheaters or chumps is depressing.

          • Dee,
            Thanks for the reminder that my decision to not discuss their father and all that entails, he is a serial cheater, unless they bring the topic up for discussion.

            At the moment I have one furious older child and that anger appears to be directed at me. He will not, can not, talk about any of what has happened or how it makes him feel.

            Mine all know basically that he cheated and that it went on throughout all of their lives. They were around watching ‘The End’ as adults so I am sure each has their own opinion. They were growing up during the lies that none of us knew about except the liar and I have no idea how they are dealing with how they are handling the re-writing of their history. I can only imagine that knowing that your father is a slut is a mighty heavy blow especially since he always showed up as Mr. Good Guy. I know it is hard on me and I am a grown and aging woman!

            I get lots of good support from Al-Anon since so many in AA do the sex thing even when sober. The spouses ‘get it’ and without judgment.

          • Agreed. Devil’s in the details though…and it’s a fine line to walk. I chose to err more on the side of “well, I don’t agree with our father on that” OR “Your father made some poor choices…”instead of “Your father’s an asshole.” The latter they shall find out on their own eventually.

      • My brother-in-law’s wife left him a few years back for another man. They divorced and she moved in with OM. The FB posts were sickening. How much they loved each other, soul mates, always liking/commenting on each other’s posts. “I love you”, no I love you more”, “best thing that ever happened to me” nonsense. Really just “I’m gonna blow lunch” crap. So this past April all of a sudden her posts were along the lines of passive aggressive memes of how people hurt you, abuse you, aren’t worth your time, I’m going to get through this hell, etc. Yup. She caught him cheating and she has been dumped. Had to move to her mother & stepfather’s house at 53 years of age. What I’m getting at is these relationships don’t last. You have two dysfunctional human beings advertising their “love” on the internet not only for attention but to blatantly hurt particular people. One of these individuals is going to be dumped and not in a nice way. Count on it.

      • I blocked ex on FB and made account private after he had done ludicrously complex (it seemed to me) set up so I was his friend but could only see posts relating to the two of us. Just block you fool stop being a coward on ever level. It’s only bloody social media but I suppose the tools of the trade for a narc. But of course his profile pic shows if he comments on a mutual friends post. And it’s him snogging the face off her. This within months of abandoning his family. A 45 year old man. So it’s a good reminder for me when I see it if what a total arse he has truly become.

      • UPDATE..
        I don’t follow him but my family MIGHT keep an eye on his social media. But today I got to giggle. I guess they must of gotten in a fight because he took “their” loving picture of his profile and “un-relationshiped” her. But within of hours “tru luv” again.
        Is this 53 year old man in High School? I know my/our kids are friend on social media. They don’t share with my hardly anything about their Dad’s Social media and I don’t ask. But I guess today they could not contain it…”Dad is acting like a teenager”.

      • innocentsgone,

        I’m very sorry you had to deal w/such a FW, and I hope you’re healing as much as possible. We’re here for you. But I think you’re acting pretty Mighty on your own.😊

        That last part in your note sounded familiar (sorry I’m late to the discussion). My FW XW told my brother in an email that her former boss, now FW partner, is the “one.” Also told ME soon after D-day that the passion was incredible between them. Good God: puke puke and more puke.

        Funny, I was the “one” when we started out, and I remember us being extremely passionate! But then, when you’re screwed up mentally and spiritually (personality disorder, narcissism, bad character, or all of the above), I guess that type of behavior is to be expected.

        She left me w/in two weeks of D-day, and nothing I said could change her mind. It’s been full speed ahead w/her AP ever since, and I don’t seem to warrant much thought in terms of a love she left behind. Well, fuck her. My two older kids told me recently they can’t stand her FW partner and that she accuses them of not wanting her to be happy. What a wonderful mother.

        I’m trying to work on being a better person, and be there for our three kids (aka the sane parent). I doubt she is. But she’s getting coverage in the local paper and on the local news stations for being a local politician in the chairperson’s position for our municipality. That makes everything she’s done to destroy our family acceptable, I guess. NOT.

  • While I could make a case for having been abandoned, I now think I was pick me dancing throughout the relationship and marriage and that he Hoovered before I knew the truth. Now, his Hoovers seem to be periodic contacts made solely with the intent of inflicting more pain and do not require any reconciliation. He has a new cake supply and I am sure she is pick me dancing with vigor.

  • I suspect the only reason he didn’t completely abandon me was because he was so determined to get money out of the house. He was willing to stay there, I moved out first and, for once in our marriage, he did the adulting to find the realtor and prepare the house for sale for maximum profit. That was it. That was his only concern.

    This same man that couldn’t even bothered to come up from the depths of the basement to comfort me when my mom died. Not a word, not a hug, nothing.

    He’s a miserable, fucked up excuse of a human being.

    • Yes, this is something I finally saw about my ex, too, when I stopped spackling. Although he never did a blessed thing for “us” or me or for the house, when there was something to be done that benefited him, he was on it lickety-split. Then I realized that was true, too, for all the things he didn’t do.

      • If we were visiting the Dickhead’s family or going somewhere for him, he would speed and not stop to get there. If we were going to my family functions, he would dwaddle and stop for gas and a drink. It was always about them.

    • yep. after fuckwit got his money-gone except for rare family events. pick-me lasted 1 week then showing up for negotiation – always early and on time for that. have had a couple interactions the past couple years where he didn’t get what he wanted and he threw nasty name calling fits. these fits included him telling me how “unfair” i or someone is. clueless. hugs fellow chumps.

  • Thankfully fake reconciliation only lasted two months. I have always believed it better that he has not wanted to reconcile; it would only serve to confuse me and that’s the last thing I need.

    He moved out, telling me he was living at our business (we own the buildings) when he was really living with his Craigslist “sole mate”, the fantasy racial demographic blow-up doll. And while that charade was going on, our daughter caught him on Tinder and he was still going to the massage parlors, featuring the same fantasy racial demographic as his “sole mate.” And yes, she is dumb as a bag of hammers because you have to be to be part of an affair.

    I didn’t cause him to be a liar, cheater, thief, or traitor. He came that way and because he is so skilled at that it took years for me to find out. I believed the story I wrote about him because I so badly wanted to. So he really did do me a favor by not begging me to stay. I wanted a nice guy in recovery who would go to relationship school with me; Higher Power had to pry him out of my clutches and weld the door shut so I can have it, OR be on my own, like I am now, and very happy to be so. ALONE IS BETTER THAN BEING IN A BAD RELATIONSHIP.

    Thanks for leaving, Mofo. I am being sincere.

    • Yes I agree. Mine was addicted to porn and our marriage and my self esteem suffered. I have been divorced 6 yrs. I have no contact. I am finally happy with myself and actually like myself. Things happen for a reason and even though I went thru hell after he walked out, I am in a much better place than if I stayed married.

    • Hi Velvet! As a class of ‘88 sober sister I always love your posts — wish I knew you IRL😘. I totally relate to: “didn’t cause him to be a liar, cheater, thief, or traitor. He came that way and because he is so skilled at that it took years for me to find out. I believed the story I wrote about him because I so badly wanted to. So he really did do me a favor by not begging me to stay. I wanted a nice guy in recovery who would go to relationship school with me; Higher Power had to pry him out of my clutches and weld the door shut so I can have it, OR be on my own, like I am now, and very happy to be so. ALONE IS BETTER THAN BEING IN A BAD RELATIONSHIP.”

    • VH.

      I remember clearly an audible voice in my head saying, “Leave him to me. This is TOO BIG fo you.”

      ‘It’ was right and I did follow directions for once without arguing my point.

      I have come to believe that the owner of that voice knows of what She speaks and that She knew/knows far more that I care to know about the X and all of his shenanigans.

      Still hurt to let go after so many years together. Step 0 for sure in the twelve step continuum.

    • Amen! Those words, ALONE IS BETTER THAN BEING IN A BAD RELATIONSHIP should be written in letters a foot high everywhere (apologies to John Mortimer).

  • I would also like to say that i read on here a lot about consequences .
    As far as i can see in my case my STBXH has no consequences at all for just abandoning me . We have no children

    I am buying him out of the house – so he is going to get a fair bit of money
    He kept the car and emptied the savings ( the car is old and never had that much savings ) so it would cost me more in legal fees than it would to get back .
    He is out of the marriage that he wanted out of
    He moved straight in with her so only paying half of the bills
    He is in love – I am crying my eyes out
    He just gets every single thing he wants
    So no there are no consequences for committing adultery

    • I don’t agree. He has to live with himself. Sure, he gets a warm body to sleep next to at night but he doesn’t get to be an ethical human being.
      I am not 100% sure about this because I don’t know what it feels like but would you rather be you or be him? I’d rather be me because I finally like myself and he would never be able to honestly say the same

      • I’d would rather be me than him or his whore any day of the week & twice on a Sunday . They are a pair of low life dogs .

        I am every single thing good that neither of them are .

        • My Stbx also left and went to his girlfriend. He did pretend not to, but he has.

          I’m left with everything. House, kids, all our stuff.

          He didn’t even fight for his half of the house. He just signed it all over.

          25 years….

          • Bravo, Marge! Beware, as my therapist said, they always circle back. Just the thought of this made me cringe.

            Having fine the pick me dance numerous times I was abandoned after 36 years. Poof! Gone, without a care in the world.

            I prayed he’d suffer the pain he caused. Given time I had clarity. To me the best consequences I have control over are delivered and maintained through no contact. Fucker, doesn’t have ACCESS to me. Therein lies the power he LOST over my life.

            Cowards fight for no one they’ll use others, the OW and adult children to play the victim down the road. I firmly believe these types WILL test your boundaries (indirectly) through triangulation. It will be subtle at first.

            Remember always, HE wanted nothing. HE didn’t want contact. When tested on a later date. Honor THAT. Stay strong.

          • He left me everything in the house he wants nothing at all
            he just wants the money for the equity .

          • That’s great. It works out for you (monetarily) while they are totally enthralled with the other person. He is going to regret his decision to just walk away from it all but it’ll be too late. Even better if OW throws him out!

    • Karenb6702, I know the feeling that there are no consequences for adultery. Try to reframe the thoughts that his life is all sparkly. He sucks. You don’t. He is the liar and cheater. You are not. He has a severe character fault; not you. His punishment is being a devious, lying, adulterous man of no character. His punishment is his new “love”. She deserves his lying cheater ways; you don’t. Quit looking at him and look in your own mirror. Dry those tears, he isn’t worth one. You have a new love and she is Karenb6702.

    • Yet. Sometimes consequences take a while. That is what is so perverse about the whole thing. By the time they happen, you have moved on and don’t really care anymore. Of course it is possible the consequences will happen to Schmoopie rather than to him, but if so, then he is his own consequence because he will never really be able to connect to anyone and will never really be content with his life. Now that he is gone, you have a shot at that someday.

    • It does seem that way, doesn’t it? I felt this way for a good long time but there are consequences. X got what she wanted with me, she wanted out and was for too much of a coward to leave properly. She got want she wanted – new home, new pets, cruises, sympathy and adoration of others around her for being so strong. She got engaged just after the ink was dry on the divorce and married later in the year. She got no financial consequences, she got most of her things through the divorce. For all purposes, she got what she wanted.

      It doesn’t really work like this. They do not get what they want but your job is to not be around to see the consequences. It hurts, I know. Know this – you will not be around when the dust settles. Let me tell you what I see for x – She is married to a man who cannot hold a job, drinks heavily, pays child support (not for much longer), has default judgements against him with her employer, and has a history of some domestic violence. He cannot get credit, so she bought his parent’s home (his name is not on the deed). Neither can adult all that well. I am guessing that trust between them only goes as far as her paycheck does. Does this sound like she won? She went from a husband that supported her through both of her graduate degrees, who had been there for everything, to her current life.

      She didn’t win at all and neither did your ex. When you can have a bit more perspective, you will be able to see the same thing as well as create a world for yourself where this will not matter. That is one of the tasks that is before you and you will be able to tackle. For now, it is just fine to hurt but know that reality is not what it feels right now – you will eventually be aware of what the consequences of shitty character is and you will no longer have to deal with it.

      • BSOD, I completely agree! I found chump lady almost two years ago and I remember a few of your posts back then, your pain was extremely raw. I related to your feelings as I had just discovered my life as I knew for the last 15 years was over. I too had this anger about injustice, exhole and schmoopie living it up, riding off into the sunset in bliss. It took a little over a year but the consequences have showed up big time for exhole. I’m not sad about it but I’m also not laughing like I thought I would. I guess I’m detached from it all now. In that first year I had a lot to do, finalize divorce, buy a car, find a job, buy a house….Before you know it that all consuming revenge is not as consuming and you’ve accomplished a lot. My advice is this, anyone that is less than a year out from their life imploding due to a cheating spouse/partner, stay busy doing things, anything for yourself. Consequences will come eventually, some will be more obvious than others. The biggest consequence of all is the cheater trying building any kind of life without you.

        Side note: BSOD, it’s great to hear the difference in your response today! It’s reassuring that you’re not going to be stuck with consuming anger or thoughts of revenge.

    • Life often eventually catches up with them; you can’t treat people like useful objects for long before someone detects your true nature.

      DixieChump alerted me to this very good video that may help you:

      • @Tempest

        This video was interesting, although I think it almost implies that a Cluster B is capable of self-reflection. My XH will never understand that his wake of destruction is all of his own doing. In his eyes, everything is everyone else’s fault, period.

        At a certain point in our marriage, he told me “people are always trying to get over on you.” And, he would ridicule me for not having street smarts. Only now am I realizing that this is exactly how he has always seen the world and other people, and how awful that must be. How awful it must be to feel like everything is a fight to get over on someone else before they get over on you. Talk about living in fear. What a horrible, dismal world view that is. And, that’s what he lives with, every single day.

        At age 60, with a PhD, rather than resting on the laurels of a successful career, XH has had 6 jobs in the past 10 years. He blows them up every year or two because he truly believes he’s entitled to an equity share in a company that he did nothing to start or build. And, if you ask him why he left (after it was made clear that there was no future path for advancement) he’ll gladly tell you how the boss lied to him (about his salary, job title, insert whatever here). Always, always, always someone else’s fault. He is incapable of understanding that his abusive temper doesn’t get him anywhere. He is now virtually unemployable, and can only find work with start-ups because of his reputation in the industry. Is that not Karma? Is it not Karma to see people you hired years ago, now outrank you in terms of salary, title, position? Is that not the worst narcissistic insult?

        More Karma: XH is living with his AP. She’s a piece of work. She never lets him out of her sight; her jealousy is uncontrollable. Actually, she seems incapable of any type of self-control. XH doesn’t do a short leash very well, so we’ll see how long that lasts. He may tolerate it for a while, because she is, after all, an income stream; she is useful to him for now (transactional relationship). But, their inner chaos is going to spontaneously combust at some point. It’s just a matter of time.

        Most mind-blowing to me is the realization of how weak his character was/is. After hooking up with AP he gave up every interest and hobby he had, and became fully involved in the activities that she liked. He even switched political parties to hers, and denies ever belonging to the other. Ironically, AP did the same thing, changing all her interests over to what his were when they first met. Good grief. Two completely empty, vacuous people. Now that they’ve completely revamped their images, do they have to switch back? How on earth will they decide which are the activities and interests they should be involved in? LOL, what a circus.

        More Karma: our daughter sees all this. She hears him lie. She sees the image management. She knows the truth. He has lost her now, and in the future when he is old and infirm.

        The day he walked out the door, and I ran upstairs and found all his clothes gone from the closet, I thought it was the worst day of my life. Quite the opposite. It’s been over two years now and I’m finally beginning to see how truly free I am.

        • Mehny Rivers to Cross,
          Interesting to read what you wrote about the 6 jobs in 10 years.
          My ex and the AP change law firms every 3 years. Think they are at the 10th firm together. Their own firm tanked. They sell a prospective firm on their clients and business, get brought in as partners, don’t produce as expected for two years, compensation drops and the third year they look for a new firm to move to.
          Im always surprised that big law firms hire them knowing how many other firms they were previously with.
          But, then again, I bought their bullshit too for many years!

            • I never saw his constant job switching as part of a personality B disorder until right now!
              We have moved 9 times in 27 years to accommodate his need for new challenges, OR that his boss didn’t appreciate him, OR that the Board didn’t see his genius.
              He is extremely intelligent and hard working and gets things done, but eventually, his inability to think that anyone else is as smart or capable gets him in trouble with peers or bosses.
              This is an eye-opener!

        • Mehny Rivers to Cross
          Interesting description of how you ex has changed to accommodate his AP. I’m sure if you reflect back on the start of your relationship with him and talk to others who knew him then, you’ll learn about how he changed to accommodate you. That’s the exercise that I have engaged in recently, as I will be seeking an annulment with the Catholic Church in which I have present information that the person I married was not fully transparent about who he is and did not fully understand what mature, sacramental love actually entailed.

          In the secret emails I discovered, I was amazed how my ex appeared to be a virtual stranger in how he presented himself to this woman. I even drew up a list of things that he expresses to her that are completely different than the man I knew for almost 15 years before he left the marriage in pursuit of the OW. The lovebombing is surreal. That’s what prompted me to start recognizing how he did the same with me, became what he thought I wanted him to be, which he now holds as his rationalization for the affair, as he “could finally be his real self with her”.

          I’ve never met the OW, but in my fact-finding missions, I have now met five different people who know her or knew her and her ex-husband when they were married. Every person has said that she’s crazy. It would appear that she’s derailed in her own marriage, cheated, ran off to “have fun,” discarded her children, has anger management issues (arrested for assaulting her husband) and a drinking problem. How does my ex, a mid-40s accountant, feel he has more in common with that?

          Because they both display narcissistic tendencies and are now validating each other in their selfishness. At some point, one of them is going to outlive their purpose to the other.

          Recently the OW ex-husband let me know that she’s been dragging my ex to the kids’ hockey games. He coaches his kids’ teams and knows that she doing this to be a pain as she normally didn’t bother attending the kids’ games. When one kid is playing and the other kids are watching, they won’t even go sit with their mother but will sit with the parents of the other kids. She also has never had a conversation with the kids about this relationship with my ex in order to properly introduce him or prepare the kids. The kids don’t like him.

          So, there is my ex, going to watch games for kids that aren’t his own, where he sits with her off to the side because she isn’t friends with any of the other parents, being ignored by her own children who don’t like him. WTF? He can’t possibly be enjoying this. How does he not see that he’s being used as a pawn by her in front of her ex? Doesn’t he care about how inappropriate this is for the kids? But, hey, what are his options now? To be alone? Well, he wouldn’t be able to handle that.

      • Thanks for sharing this, Tempest. I’ve been struggling with feeling that I am bearing the consequences of my cheating ex’s behaviors. He left the country owing me a lot of spousal support. He cashed out our son’s college fund, our retirement, left me with financial obligations he was court-ordered to pay, and appears to be living the life in tropical paradise. I don’t have the money to find him to file a contempt charge. I just finished graduate school, which after being a SAHM for 26 years, was not easy. I am starting a new career in helping others who have experienced the type of betrayal that those of us in CN have. The truth is that he has no relationship with our 22 and 26 year old, which I would not trade for anything. Also, as this video reminded me, he is incapable of love and connection and has to wake up being his terrible self every day for the rest of his life. I’d rather start over with all of the stress and fear and get to wake up being me.

        • What a great attitude, my.walls.will.sing. He stole so many things from your family, yet you are the ome with the true success story. Good for you getting trained to help others! You sound like an amazingly strong woman. Congratulations on gaining such a meaningful life.

        • I’ve been worried my soon to be ex will do the same thing and move to another country to avoid spousal support. He has the ability to live in another country for work. My lawyer tells me that this is unlikely because it keeps them from being able to come back to this country without legal troubles upon re-entry. I’d look into this too. Do you think he’s left the country for good?

    • Karen,
      I also have a difficult time with there seeming to be no consequences. It’s all very unfair. If anyone has any guidance on navigating that level of anger and particular circle of hell please illuminate.

      • I have that same difficult time. From my perspective, it looks like it’s all been no consequences for my ex, and all shit sandwiches for me. When I am in situations, places, or with people that remind me of this fact, the result later when I’m alone is resentment and anger of volcanic force.

        So what I’ve discovered is that for me, the best solution is no contact. At any level. Exterior and interior. Exterior, meaning encounters or places or people that will remind me that he’s getting away with his deception and manipulation of others. Interior, thinking about him. There’s been some great advice here on re-directing one’s thoughts by distracting yourself, or re-framing them. Mantras like “trust that they suck” help me, too. Also reminding myself that this is just one way life can hand out an unfairness–as someone wrote in the comments or forum recently, they were told by a friend diagnosed with a progressive medical condition, “there are a lot of ways for dreams to die.” (I’m sure I misquoted this somewhat, for which I apologize.)

        Mostly, what I hope for is that as I get farther away and down the road, and rebuild my life, and that life becomes what I am able to make of it (despite the financial limitations), that he and his disorder and his disordered way of life will simply become irrelevant.

        • I would love to have zero contact but we share a very minor child. I have to see and hear of his exploits through my kid.

          I’m Having difficulty just functioning daily, and he’s on trips and spending and dating women 20 years younger.

          I’m one or two lost paychecks away from homelessness because I was loyal, true, a decent person. He gets to live well, doesn’t care he has a shitty character (and neither does the world) and his life is grand.

          • I know I am late to this post. Mine also had the appearance of the life you describe. He told me several times “it’s not like you think”. He had a great facade for the outside world. When we were together, he told everyone we had a beautiful life but yet was devious with money and secret cell phones. So, what he told everyone about how happy he was with me, was a complete lie. And it’s likely a complete lie now. Really, the life we had was as perfect as it will ever get for him. And still wasn’t content. He had another chance with the next woman who was providing him an easy life in a nice house. He can’t buy one on his own. And his name is not on the deed. But it’s not really in a location he wants to be in. At all. He made a really big move that appears bigger and better than me, but it’s not at all what he wanted. I am sure he felt like a caged animal there. And they fight all the time. Well, now he has left/been banished after less than a year. I have my own ideas of what may have transpired. She found out something or he confessed something to get ahead of the game. And of course, I had been told repeatedly how she is so much better than me. I don’t know what to tell you except one day things will crystallize in your heart and mind. It took me almost 4 years of fighting to live every minute of every day. Literally. I could not reconcile my beliefs about him with reality and facts. So, when things went downhill for him, he violently came to my door to bully me and blame me for his troubles. I did not open the door, rather I called the police. What did he think would happen? He had 2 great chances for a great life and he blew it. Even if he goes back to her, it is for financial reasons and life will be hell. I have always been so about JUSTICE and yes, this is so unfair for us. I never believed anybody here when they told me he would never be happy because those type of people just can’t be. When he came to my home like that, everything fell into place for me and I finally realized I lost nothing. Every minute will no longer be a fight for my very life. I know we are supposed to worry about taking care of ourselves and not care what is going on with them, but really, hard to do.

    • I can relate to the feeling “they always get every single thing they want”.
      Before forcing myself to leave, I looked at this life and I looked at mine.
      His would not change one bit when I left. I would have nothing left of mine, and I mean nothing, when I left.

      How did I let things get that way? How did he let things get that way?
      With the energy they suck from us, is how.
      Stop giving it. Give it to yourself.

      • Though the topic is “the one who just leaves..” sometimes its the chump who has to leave for whatever reason. I had already pick me danced for years.

        We lived in a very remote community. I wanted better educational and social opportunities for our son. We talked about me doing 6 months remote, 6 months in a community that was less than a hours plane flight away. (We lived off the road system). I needed better social/economic advantages too. So I made those plans, he agreed. He even helped me find a used car to purchase from a friend of his. The week the kid and I were to leave for our first 6 months in the other community the NX decided to take a “work” trip and not come back before we left.

        Soon after I discovered incontrovertible proof that he had been having an affair (among other things). I called him on it. Told him I was done, I wanted a divorce. No arguments from him. No defending our marriage. No defending himself. Only accusations from him – that I was the one having affairs, lying, cheating and doing him wrong… and then I found out he told everyone that I had taken his son and abandoned him. That he didn’t know I was leaving.

        He left me emotionally, financially, physically for YEARs before I finally had no choice but to leave everything we had built over 17 years together. I got next to nothing in the divorce. He got everything, including split custody. And his image management remains intact. The only thing I got was the satisfaction of knowing his girlfriend who he moved in 3 months after I left, dumped him and fled within 8 months of moving in. 4 years later, he’s still single.

        I’m single too, but at least I have my integrity. And personal peace. And a son who is rocking it in school and making good solid friendships.

    • Karen, a month after our divorce (just 3 months from where he filed) he changed his FB status to “in a relationship” with the OW. The same woman he denied he was with, the same women he hid from Switzerland friend until almost 6 months after the divorce. I become NC in September of 2018 so I have no idea if they are together or not.

      I remember seeing people congratulate on his new status like it was a great thing. I mean he’s happy now (rolling eyes). The truth is he’s an awful person – I know this, he knows this and those immediately close to him know this. I know what he is and what he is capable of doing. I used to feel sorry for him but not anymore.

      It’s not to Meh yet and I haven’t seen my Tuesday but it’s getting there. Yours will too! Keeping putting one foot in front of the other and start seeing what’s ahead, not what you left behind. Your future is front of you, not behind.

    • Karen,
      It sure seems like it huh?

      Mine left the very day I confronted her about her affair. Just up and walked out. Already had a “gym bag” packed. Left me with the house and kids all her shit and a big giant adulting mess to clean up. All while I’m busy trying to stop the bleeding from the hole where my heart used to reside. She left all her responsibilities at the door. Seems like she got what she wanted – to be a teenager again at 50.

      BUT after cycling through a dozen losers like a hooker on Valentines Day, She now sortof lives with a childless never-married man who fucks married women (her) while he had a fiance. He knows shes a cheater & liar. She knows hes a cheater & liar. It must be exhausting for both of them to jump every time a phone message dings in. To sleep with one eye open for fear they are being cheated on. I sleep like a baby.

      • Absolutely right. It sucks to be them, knowing that they suck and their “partner” also sucks.

      • Sounds like the best possible outcome. My OW has finally stopped harassing me now that she’s moved on to a new relationship. But I feel bad for the new guy. I know some negative things about him, but nothing to indicate that he’s fundamentally a bad person. I feel bad for him thinking he’s got this great new thing happening in his life when in reality he’s just holding a ticking time bomb of narcissism. I can only hope he’s as much a piece of trash as she is.

    • Karenb6702– sending a huge hug to you my dear. Be patient. The consequences for him will come: he will never have any authentic relationships, never love deeply, never appreciate anyone or anything, never feel a deep sense of personal satisfaction and joy that comes from being of service to another. Those qualities are what matter to me in life…. not the material. However, I find that there is more than enough money in the world and I’m tapping into enough of it for my needs.

    • revenge – i too so wanted the rat to suffer. i was rewarded when his tramp cheated on him and he found out. then he immediately met, fell in love and moved in with a new target. i am finally at a point that i don’t care about revenge because it keeps me in a mindset where he is central. this process of recovery from betrayal is so different from recovery from a “normal” divorce where two sane adults work to manage through a divorce – even though it still sucks, we weren’t allowed the opportunity to prepare for the exit – we didn’t know things were bad. we were coldcocked. so the five stages of grief are there but have a couple more.- adapted here below from somewhere on the internet.
      SHOCK & DENIAL
      emotional and physical PAIN
      ANGER & Revenge
      “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS- …
      adaptation to different living situation
      emotional healing
      ACCEPTANCE & HOPE- meh

      • I personally doubt “normal” divorces are that common of an occurrence. Generally speaking when people divorce under supposedly amicable, mutually agreed-upon terms, I have to assume that one of them had an affair and the other one is chumpily going along with their impression management. Don’t beat yourself up for not having a nice polite divorce. Seems like a unicorn situation to me.

        • Upon the advice of my attorney, I filed under “irreconcilable differences”. I would file under Adultery (still illegal in my state) if my husband fought the terms of the divorce. This was written into the initial petition. It worked; he stipulated and agreed to very favorable terms to me. We never even had to go to court. We were divorced 21 days later when the judge signed the order. I am sure our divorce would be considered an “amicable” divorce.

    • The consequence is going to be you not giving a damn about him and his life. You know his thirsty ego wants you to pine away for him, so you don’t. His life will eventually blow up in his face because he is a fraud and does not love anyone. You will not be there to rescue him because, as others have said, you will no longer care. The best revenge is living your best life, and you will. After all, you have all the might of CN behind you and you are a good and worthy person who loves. What does he have? Some idiotic schmoopie he will cheat on and who will cheat on him. Remember, he cheated because cheating is his thing, not because of anything you did or didn’t do. He will cheat again and you will have moved on by then to a much better life.

    • Karen, it does seem so unfair when they have no consequences. But life is long and I will bet that eventually he will have consequences. For starters – he will NEVER get to experience a warm and loving relationship because he is NOT capable of connecting to another human in that way. He will always be chasing some new person in order to try to get that connection – and he will always be disappointed.

      Best wishes – hoping the Karma bus runs him over soon!

    • Oh there are consequences. Absolutely. Whatever got him to the point he was interested in another woman, lied, cheated and pursued that fucked up and doomed relationship has not been addressed or resolved. He has not had a character transplant and he will do the same to her not far down the road. Rest assured he will get what he deserves and so will that twat. No happily ever after.

  • Thanks for running this, CL! I thought I had looked at all your archived articles but I hadn’t read this one before.
    Your three points are really helpful. Knowing he’s probably off starting the cycle with different people confirms it’s not my problem.
    I’m sad he was so lazy, entitled and cold but oh well, it doesn’t touch my life anymore

  • I remember this post from before & thank you for posting it. Myself, after 34 years he just left without a
    apology or looking back. 2 years after he left the Owhore died & he quickly moved into another woman’s house. It’s been 3 years I’m divorced but
    the memory still cuts like a knife.
    Not a meh yet don’t know if I ever will. 😞

    • Maybe some therapy would help? If your trauma has never been dealt with, you probably can’t get to meh.

  • There is a book I swear saved me after my ex walked away from our 31 yr marriage, hs sweethearts. Runaway Husbands by Vickie Shark.

    • Barbara
      I just ordered Runaway Husbands on Amazon.
      Thank You for recommending it. I did have therapy but still somewhat not there yet. The cruel, torturous way he treated me after I found out about the 2 year affair still keeps me in pain. I’m trying hard though to get to Tuesday. 😊
      Good luck to you.

  • Good assessment. I was told after our ten year marriage, “I never really loved you.” No attempt at reconciliation, just ready to sign divorce papers and be gone. The pain was so fast and unexpected. Compared to my friends who suffered the never ending emotional games, I do think it was better for my mental health. Now my life is super fun and I have wonderful love.

  • To In Light of Grief,

    Mine was an abandoner too, the classic Runaway Husband. He left one night after a blowup that he created over nothing. At 15 and a half years together I was absolutely mystified, not to mention in disbelief, but the emergence of his secret relationship a few weeks later made everything flip on its head.

    Leaving the way he did gave my cheater a head start. I was left reeling. I now understand he needed that advantage as he had no way of besting me without pulling a fast one through deceit and betrayal — in boxing terms he needed to knock me out hard and fast in the first round so to speak. By up and leaving just for the shock factor alone, in his mind this was how he would win, because (in order of CL’s list):

    1. I was a challenge to him. I am smarter than him. I intimidate him.
    2. He is a lazy person as evidenced by the fact he couldn’t even be bothered making up a reason as to why he was leaving me. And he certainly didn’t want the playing field to be level. He might lose.
    3. He is an entitled little fuck. And I bake lovely cake.
    4. He has ice running through his veins (along with a ton of alcohol — those always work well together). He went cold as a brass monkey’s balls when I confronted him about his affair. Did. Not. Even. Flinch.

    Tracy is dead right! None of this is personal to them. It’s personal to us. So our perspective needs to shift. On my better days I try to consider myself liberated. I hope you get to that viewpoint soon too.

  • I couldn’t find a lawyer that would take my case. I was told that it was because he has visited many lawyers for free consultations while he was still with me, while we were in marriage counseling. One senior lawyer actually told me that he remembered the consult with my ex. He said he was unnerved by how cold blooded he was. Ex wanted to know the bottom line of what it was worth to get rid of me. After 26 years of marriage. What his loss and gain would be.

    Sadly his wealthy Shmoopie dumped him and then…… he wanted save the marriage. What a nightmare.

    You learn so much after the fact….

  • This is a million times true. Take it from who was left just like this. Oh I stayed 2 and a half months doing the pick me dance but he never planned on staying with me. His mind was already made up as it had left the marriage years before. It’s now almost 2 years later and he still plays the victim. He still only knows his version of our rewritten history. It’s not worth your time and effort to figure out why. Just leave him in your rear view mirror and move on…one day at a time but it gets way better when you don’t have someone mindfucking you.

  • I have one who is both. He circles around every so often to make another try at getting me back. I’ve come to understand that those are the times he’s under pressure in his life and his gf is expecting him to do unreasonable things, like holding down a job.

    I’m 100% NC now but before he’d be in my face all the time trying to “win” me back, then he’d just disappear with no explanation after all these desperate, tearful proclamations that he’d changed and he’d made a huge mistake. If only I’d give him another chance.

    The disappearing version of him is so much easier to handle. I really wish he’d stay disappeared.

    I think what everyone of us here battle with is accepting that they simply do not give a fuck. They don’t mean what they say, they never did, however sincere and contrite they come across. They simply were never in the same relationship we were. Everything we thought we had was spackling and projecting on our part. They all disappear, some of them just remain physically present.

    I have also come to see that my exes walking away is a sign that he sees that I’m no longer a big Chump and it’s just not worth his effort when there are so many much easier marks out there.

    It sucks to realize our entire marriage was a lie. Having them simply walk away gives us space to unfuck ourselves and to heal.

  • As Tracy said there is no pain olympics but I truly wish my STBX had left. He did leave emotionally just not physically. Originally I only found out he had “been planning to take a trip with someone” as he was busted on what’sapp. After that he completely froze me out – wouldn’t discuss anything, gave me the stare down, and pretty much pretended I didn’t exist. Yet he wouldn’t leave even when asked. He put me through hell as everyday I had to see him but it was like I was a non-entity. At least if he had just abandoned I could have grieved and been comfortable in my own space. There was no remorse towards me or the children who had to live in this fucked up situation with us. STBX has ice in his veins.

    I completely understand that those who are abandoned really get no answers. I have found out tiny bits of info here and there but none of it was shared with me. I also read “Runaway Husbands” and found it interesting.

    Just remember everyone the cheating and the abandonment says everything about the cheater not about the chump. They are the fucked up ones. We are the ones left to pick up the pieces of our lives and move on. We grieve because we loved and invested in our cheaters and families. Hugs to all of you.

  • April 2017: I left on a business trip on a Monday morning with warm hugs and kisses goodbye and landed back home Thursday to an e-mail toodle loo from him and an empty house. Married 28 years. 6 weeks prior, while shopping for a retirement home in Phoenix he declared he wanted to be with me the rest of his life. He future-faked me right up until the moment he left, we didn’t even have a fight.

    A couple days after he poofed he came back to scream at me so he could get the blamed shifted squarely onto my shoulders. When challenged about why he was future faking me with the “rest of his life” bullshit he said he just wanted to see how it sounded. He screamed that he never ever loved me. He said I was the worst person ever and was so Controlling and Judgmental. That I was an angry person. That our adult daughters hated me. That I was “just a guy” because I was competent at fixing things around the house. He crushed me.

    He denied there was an OW again, that would have been OW#2 in our relationship after I took him back after OW#1 nine years prior. Spoiler, there is an OW#2 and she is half his age, same age as our daughters.

    I was abandoned. I was left to liquidate 3 decades of material possessions, fix up the massive house and sell it, while he skipped off to the bed of a 25YO sparkletwat. I had to be the grownup and do all things related to the divorce. He signed off on my proposed settlement which left me with about 55% of our estate including a lot of cash. Bought my own home and a new car debt free. Retired at 50 this spring, but recently decided to go back to a low stress analyst job so I can remain social and possibly find a new partner.

    As for him? He text-war fought with the younger daughter that “I had to tear down some things in order to find a happier place for myself” as his justification for blowing up his life. He missed both daughters college graduations last year. He moved to Europe to be with he foreign chick schmoopie permanently. His daughters put him on ice. All we can see is shit that is torn down. He recently declared by one-way text to our daughter that he has anxiety and depression and is having nightmares. Gee, I guess I wasn’t the cause of his desperate unhappiness after all, and pervertishly young pussy was not the cure.

    DD26 is going to see him in person this week for the first time in 15 months. She is prepared for the mindfuck channels and is prepared to walk out the moment he starts to pull his bullshit. DD24 does not respond to his texts and has zero interest in talking to him. Neither can block him entirely because he keeps changing cell phone numbers from foreign to US phones so he pops up often. Both daughters plan that he will just get an e-mail to announce weddings and grand babies. That is all he deserves since it is the exact treatment he gave me.

    I will be OK. I don’t miss him, I miss the dream I thought I had. I may never find another dude to hang with, but it is better than that cowardly lying cheating piece of shit. And I tell everyone, I refuse to do impression management. This is my story.

    • Yes – angry and judgmental. That’s what I got just before he told me about the affair. That my anger and his sensitivity were just a bad match. (Well, first I found her earrings in the dryer, but I’m sure he really was going to tell me anyway, right?!) Then you’re trapped — if you’re angry or — god forbid — judgmental about the affair it’s like, SEE?!?! — but how else could you feel about an affair!!!!

    • I have read your story I.C in the archives , my heart literally breaks every time i read it a fucking e-mail ! What a cowardly fucker your Ex truly is & I think mine is bad least he told me to my face before he skipped off in to the Sunset .

  • Having lived through two breakups within 4 years–the divorce from Hannibal Lecher, which I initiated, + a more recent abandonment from a long-term boyfriend, I agree that abandonment is worse. Why? (1) we cope better when we have a cognitive framework with which to interpret someone’s behavior, and (2) agency–tons of research supports it is psychologically better to feel we are in charge.

    I knew D-day was also Divorce Initiation day, though it occurred in steps–encouraging Hannibal to leave the house so I could “think,” and then never letting him back in. I got a smidgeon of faux remorse from him, but mostly blameshifting, which solidified my desire for him to GTFO of my life. Knowing I had been betrayed was certainly a gut punch and the extreme emotions I experienced until the divorce was final–extraordinary pain, burning hot anger, grief at the loss of a family I”d had for 19 years (24 years together)–were hard to deal with.

    Two years later, I met someone with whom I volunteered at the shelter, and we entered into a seemingly warm, loving, healthy relationship. After 18 months together, I caught him in two medium-sized lies. We worked things out on a Saturday, during which he told me I was the love of his life; we talked about the paint colors for the house we would move in together in a few months time. Two days later, I was still unsettled about parts of his explanation, and thought one more conversation would clear things up. Instead, BF refused to talk to me and broke up by email two days later.

    Not even his complimentary email letter to me could negate the mindfuck of that abandonment. It took him 10 days to talk to me in person, and another month for me to find out the full truth–he broke up because the gig was up–there were 4 more HUGE lies he was hiding (including high-functioning alcoholism, which he had hidden admirably, and that he had cheated while married numerous times (not merely the one single night he admitted early on). While it helped, not even that explanation could erase the emotional whirlwind of having been so abruptly abandoned (even if the abandonment was not due to cheating).

    Thus, I feel for the people who were abandoned by cheaters–to combine betrayal with having the ground ripped from under your feet, with no sense of agency, is gut-wrenching. As Tracy says, there are some disordered people who, once the mask drops, realize the gig is up and all they can do is cut and run.

    But remember this–other people’s behavior is more about THEM than about US. Your cheaters would have abandoned anybody they married under similar circumstances. Some of them constructed an elaborate facade of caring, but that is a false self. Once they realize you see behind the curtain, you are of no further use to them. Being in a relationship requires that their partner see them as idealized and wonderful. Once you detected their cheating, they cannot maintain the ideal image, and are off to the next person who seems them in that star-gazing way. It’s not personal (though it feels intensely so).

    Reclaim your agency in every way you can–be the one to file for divorce (if possible). Write a letter rejecting your cheater and all the reasons you don’t want them back (but don’t send it)–there is therapeutic value in convincing your own mind that this was partly your choice.

    • Tempest…..after I was married to him for a while he laughingly told me that he had once taken a young lady out to the movies. Half way through he decided she wasn’t attractive enough for him. So he said he was going to the rest room, and he left her at the theater, without a word. I knew then that obviously something was very wrong with him. But we had married, and he played the ‘my father beat me and verbally destroyed me’ card every time I would hold him accountable. Plus I was young (19) and unwordly when we married.

    • It is a mindfuck how quickly some men and boys can flip on a dime. My daughter had her first boyfriend experience shortly after starting college. They dated for about three weeks. One week he was sending her texts “You are the most amazing girl I have ever known” “you are perfect in every way” “I don’t ever want to be without you”. A week later she was at his place watching a movie when he suddenly said “I am having flashbacks to a situation that reminds me of my last girlfriend, I think you need to leave”. The next day he broke up with her via text saying they just weren’t a good fit with no more explanation than that. They were only together three weeks and it only took her about three days to get over him but for those three days she was devastated and confused and wondering “WTF happened”. There is no explanation. Some people just aren’t wired right.

      • What immaturity ! I never liked Dr. Drew Pinsky’s explanation that people in their twenties tend to treat each other like sh*t. I listened to his radio show “Loveline” because my kids were quoting him. He’s not a therapist or psychiatrist but his explanation of an addict’s behavior was very informative.

        I’m glad your daughter didn’t stick around to be jerked around.

      • I don’t mean to sound insensitive about that guy hurting your daughter, but man do I wish my awful college boyfriend had done that to me instead of dragging me along for 4 years and spoiling my time in college! Sure, that guy could learn a lesson in how to speak compassionately with people, but at least he was honest about what was happening on his end.

        • She got over it pretty quick and it was a good lesson in love bombing. I actually had warned her when she was telling me about those texts not to be surprised or disapointed if that didn’t last.

      • I saw a hilarious cartoon thing in France, a guy looking longingly into the eyes of a woman and the translation of the text was ‘No one knows how to listen to a woman like a man who wants to f**k her’. They are so weird it’s what scares me about internet dating the stories I hear about literally being number one on Saturday and totally dumped by Tuesday. When did it get so mental?

    • Tempest,
      I always love reading your posts and appreciate your support over the years. However, in response to your statement, ‘Write a letter rejecting your cheater and all the reasons you don’t want them back (but don’t send it)–there is therapeutic value in convincing your own mind that this was partly your choice.’ Isn’t that just lying to yourself? I didn’t walk away from my last partner–I begged him back multiple times, even after he severely hurt me. I won’t lie to others; I won’t con others. How is me lying to me a good idea?

      • RSW—you will always know the truth, but the letter is a way to emotionally reject and distance yourself from him. Thus, you’re not lying to yourself because you are not obliterating the truth, merely taking your emotions by the horns and deciding that ex-BF is not worth taking up your headspace.

  • In Light Of Grief,
    I understand your pain and confusion. My STBX wrote ONE email about how he would do anything to save our marriage, then nothing–Zilch. When I asked him to leave (about a month after DDAY) he didn’t walk, he RAN. When I looked at him, those shark eyes, I realized he abandoned the marriage a long time ago, he just forgot to tell me. Sure he still picks up the kids on weekends, but my pain, my suffering, he wanted no part of. After months of heartbreak, the biggest of all was the feeling of being discarded. CL is correct– they are cold, lazy, and entitled. Deep down I knew it would never work, but what I couldn’t rationalize was the loving and kind man I married would turn so cold-blooded. It was the saddest of all discoveries (and I married a jeffrey epstein with a hooker habit). The lack of remorse or consequences for his actions says more about him than me. You see, with the entitlement comes a deep-seated sense of shame. Once I realized that I represented his shame, I understood that he would only run. Brene Brown wrote “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
    And I love me some Brene Brown! It’s hard to understand when you are left alone with all that pain that the abandonment is a gift of sorts. It made me responsible for everything including my happiness. While enduring immeasurable loss and pain, doing it alone became my greatest strength and prepared me for the Divorce. In light of grief, you will surprise yourself when you get to the other side. Until then, the wonderful people of CN will serve as extended friends and support, who really understand.

    • “It’s hard to understand when you are left alone with all that pain that the abandonment is a gift of sorts.”

      Well said, girl! Discovering that I can live alone happily and with great efficacy has been the most exhilarating experience of my life (and something I now feel as if I should have done a long time ago were it not for a fateful encounter with a narcissistic predator back in my 20’s).

      As for representing your ex’s shame, my ex is the same way. He hates me because I found out who he really is. He can’t stand to be around anyone who knows who he is, not just me. After I discovered what he he had done and told my closest friends, he wanted nothing to do with them either.

      If they limit their interaction only to those who either have no idea who they are, or know but are willing to ignore it (i.e., other cheaters), they can maintain the illusion of being normal, nice people. They can also forget who they really are themselves.

      The shame must be so painful for them, they go through such lengths to avoid looking at it directly.

      • This makes complete sense. The ex abandoned not just me but most of our friends too. The ones he kept were the fellow drinkers that still gather at his (new) shop to drink every afternoon. He still drinks and drives im sure. And has new friends that don’t know all of his evil deeds. Even schmoopie doesn’t know all of it I’m sure.

    • Being abandoned also meant you were off the hook for figuring out how to continue to love and be supportive and a good wife to “Jeffrey Epstein with a hooker habit”. When they leave and show no inclination to reconcile we get an out.

  • Well, mine did both.
    The very first D-Days (about inappropriate contact) were all tears and rebuilding our relationship stronger.
    The later D-Days (similar subject) were all about him being sick so let’s go to couple’s therapy.
    The final D-Days (no recurrent behavior discovered, but recurrent lies about the same subjects) were me upping and leaving and him offering very little resistance. He demanded me back, but did zero effort to show anything I was asking for. In time, he stopped caring and now I don’t feel he would want a relationship even I offered one (ultimate pleasure in rejecting me, I believe).

    Yeah, lazy is spelled out all across the board here.
    Meh.

  • The main takeaway from all our stories is, they would have left eventually anyway.
    Heck, they were never even there.

    • Bingo. Within the first week of the abandonment I had a dream that I was re-living my marriage over and over, like that movie “Edge of Tomorrow” where I was trying different things to ‘get it right’ and not do the things I must have done that made him leave. Rapid fire over and over with him leaving every single time. I woke up sweaty and frantic but with a crystal clear thought: he would have left anyone he was married to, it was not me. Still it has been 2+ years working on convincing myself. I think I have it in my head now, especially with him such a mess.

      Dreams are so powerful at showing us things we can’t grasp during the daylight.

      • So true about dreams!
        I used to record mine daily, but never looked through them. A year after leaving, I was going through my notes and noticed how I’d been having for years a recurrent dream of cheating on him with a specific ex (triggering my guilt/shame/codependency) and then around the same time he was escalating his double life, I started also having dreams of him cheating on me!

        I know for a fact my brain was picking up on something, I was just so dissociated from reality because of his gaslighting. Had intrusive thoughts about killing him, causing me soooo much pain because I loooooved this guy. Almost got me on meds. I couldn’t make peace with my brain for coming up with so much mess, and it was all pointed at him. This is a part of abuse that rarely gets any recognition, how it impacts us MOST when we DON’T know that it’s going on.

        It stands against standard sociopathic excuses of “what you don’t know, can’t hurt you”.
        Oh, it can and it will, and moron it will hurt you too, if you let it go on long enough!

    • Quetzal,

      I add my Bingo here too. When I realized that it hurt a lot but also brought huge relief.
      I have found this entire process to be full of unexpected paradoxes.

      Want to add that if they do stay, it is my opinion only, it is because they want the security or something else that the relationship was giving them. Not because they ‘really’ love their spouses.

      I know someone who cheated on her husband. One time only and she chose to stay with her husband despite the fact that she does not love him but because she has ‘abandonment/security’ issues.

      I didn’t like hearing that but, paradox here, I did because it allowed me to let go of more of my pick-me dancing tactics which were my insane belief that he really did love me, I was special and he just was having a mid-life crisis. That train of thought was loaded with expectations of everything I HAD TO DO in order to win him back – ie I had to be perfect. Alas, I am not a spring chicken anymore and I couldn’t figure out how to disguise my beautiful aging body for an anorexic looking younger woman’s body.

      So now I am cultivating a loving relationship with myself. Someone I abandoned over 30 years ago in order to be the perfect wife and mother. I am liking the woman I am discovering. Yeah me 🙂

  • My STBXH did the cold hard abandon. Notified me via text message while I was at work. And once life got too hard for him he tried to weasel his way back into my life. All through our marriage I was the bread winner, the one who handled all our finances and the one to take care of all the little details. But once I got pregnant, he was no longer the center of my world and couldn’t deal with it.
    Once he left I secured myself, changed the locks and moved to a new place. He still tries to get me into conversation, but this is where no contact/grey rock comes in so handy.
    I am currently making him pay for his bills, including his half of the prenatal care. Other than the financial side we have no other discussion. He wants to invite me to a family dinner with his mother and brothers? My only response is “where’s my money for this month?” Sometimes they try to force you into dancing for them again, but I’m too tired, too pregnant and too fed up with the bullshit for that nonsense.
    And what I have learned from this so far is that I will be just fine without him. My baby is going to have all of that love and care I used to put into him while being taught what real morals and values are. Letting him go is the best gift I can give her.

      • NoKibble4U, thank you!! I really do try to keep that in mind. Some days are easier than others!

    • This is also my story. I was the breadwinner who supported him for 5 years when he went back to college for a degree and masters.
      My STBXH started an affair when I was 6 months pregnant. I found out about it when DD was 3 months old. He claims he cheated because didn’t feel appreciated (when I was pregnant with our child!) and the ‘spark’ was gone. He pretended to want to reconcile while he was secretly still seeing the OW and had no intention of sticking around. It also coincided with him getting a good job/ promotion so I guess I was no longer of use to him.
      He still sees DD and I am NC except for her. Those days are tough though, to have to see him when I know he never really cared deeply for me and when I loved him much.
      It gets easier though, I am nearly 1 year out from D-Day and closer to meh every day. CL and CN saved me from falling apart. You sound mighty ChumpedPunk, and you and your baby will be so much better off without having someone as cold and disordered as him in your life. Hugs

  • I wanted to chime in on this.

    This in some ways also relates to the “timid forest creature” narrative.
    https://www.chumplady.com/2019/03/beware-the-timid-forest-creatures/

    Over on the RIC side of the wall some actually refer to them as timid squirrels.

    I think that when Mme left “to escape the noise and think” that she honestly felt that I would stay safely on the shelf she’d put me on. And I did until one event was just too much for me.

    But when she left she never called, wrote, nothing. My pick-me dance was bad white guy solo dancing 😉

    I was afraid of confronting her for fear of scaring her even further away.

    I’ve not heard from her since either to speak of. A thank you note when I sent a card and donation when her parents passed is it.

    Was it the arrogance that CL talks about? Undoubted some of it. But it was also the fear I think of a timid forest creature who didn’t want to wake the sleeping bear. She is at her core lazy and a coward and probably will always be.

    BT

    • I believe this theory. I was devastated when my ex left without any remorse after 20 years of marriage. He was so callous in his abandonment and basically walked away from my life without a glance back. The divorce was easy and we did it ourselves. (Actually, I did it; he just signed.)

      Because of the lack of closure, and the process of untangling the skein, I took a lot of time to recover. I didn’t try to date, I didn’t make any major changes. I needed time to reflect and understand myself so that I didn’t end up repeating the cycle again with someone new.

      Fast forward to now, it’s about 2 years since the divorce. I’m ready to date and leave our town. I have a new job and am leaving the house I thought I’d grow old in. AND HERE COMES THE EX!

      I found a loophole in my do-it-yourself divorce. He’s lawyered up and is looking to keep me from making any moves professionally or with my residence. The messy court battle I avoided—may be coming after all.

      Everything was well and fine when I dutifully stayed on my shelf. I was free to sit there and rot. I may have been his discard, but I was still his. Now he sees me claiming agency, and the hoovering I lamented not getting has arrived with fury.

      The good news is that I’ve had time to become strong, confident, and mighty. I know I’m going to be fine. The legal fees suck, but any cost to get him permanently out of my life is worth it. My life is still moving forward with joy and hope.

        • What kind of loophole? Hard to have this type of retroactive re-visit of agreement thing unless kids are involved. Sorry hard to stomach when he walks away and then wants to control you. crazy.

          • When he realized I was making changes in my life, he decided he didn’t like our divorce agreement. He lawyered up and the lawyer cited that the divorce decree didn’t include any clauses that stated that the divorce could never be revised or modified. He wants to revisit the division of debt and support payments.
            Honestly, what ring of hell is this?

            • I am not a lawyer but would suggest to get a tough lawyer even if they cost more. Get the adultery into the picture if you can. Get abuse into the picture if you can. Depose the AP if you can and if it would be useful. CIte abandonment if that would help. Just hang tough and if you are into it a regimen of physical activity can help. But most important get a lawyer known for being a hard ass. Good Luck. You will come up tougher and more confident for this challenge

              • Kale,
                Everyone’s experience is different. In my experience, five legal teams, five judges, 20 hearings on abuse of many types, perjury, adultery at the hands of my now ex-husband, five years, I have hired several very expensive, experienced attorneys to defend me from him. What have I gotten? Wiped out. Wish that I had just let him ‘win’ at the outset.

            • Holy Poop!

              Mine is doing the same thing right now. Because I have picked up a second job and just bought a house he says he is taking me back to court for less CS and my retirement. He says “full disclosure”. What was I suppose to do? Not pay the bills and not find somewhere to live? My house I was renting was foreclosed on, another story for another day of land lord scum, I had to move…. why not buy when it was cheaper then renting …

              I trust more each day that he sucks. Take me to court…we still have 6 kiddos and you still left had an affair and moved in with AP. I am still taking care of the kids, cleaning up your mess and making the bills.

              I hope I get judge Judy…. maybe she will tell him he sucks too!

  • This is exactly what my ex-hole did. I was fortunate not to have married him. Just one day I never heard from him again. The only sign thing I got from him was the stuff he had of mine that he sent back after I made a very vague, nebulous threat to fuck up his whole life if he didn’t. I told him he wouldn’t want to find out what I was willing to do, if I didn’t get it back. I didn’t get everything back, but I got everything that mattered.

    I realized in retrospect from the things he said that he was trying to triangulate and get me to pick me dance. I was just a source of entertainment while he secured a more permanent arrangement. He got married pretty damn quick to what I’m sure will one day be the new ex-Mrs. Ex-hole. I was a great source of kibbles until I wasn’t. I started being difficult when I started calling him out on lies. At first I was humiliated and enraged. Now I’m glad to have gotten off as easy as I did. I wasn’t married to him. I didn’t live with him, and because I let him know in no uncertain terms that I would not have sex with him unless he married me, I did not bear his spawn. That might have had something to do with his deciding that I wasn’t worth it, because in spite of all his religious posturing and carrying on about how much he loved Jesus and wanted a Christian woman, he was a total hypocrite in every possible way. It made me glad I had that personal policy in place. My husband, who is terribly imperfect in many ways, was willing to wait. In the end, I realized how much better off I was being ghosted the way I was. It was a shitty, awful experience, but now I can spot disordered freaks from a mile away.

    • “My husband, who is terribly imperfect in many ways, was willing to wait” ”

      Hold on, what the fuck?!

      So you were having an affair whilst married, and now have the fucking *nerve* to come here and comment on *this* thread???

      Fuck off you piece of shit!

      • Excuse me??? NO. I did NOT have an affair. And you clearly did not read my paragraph. I was cheated on by a piece of shit who ghosted ME. My point is that my husband, who is far from a perfect person, unlike the ex-hole who acted like we were soulmates, was willing to wait till we were married to have sex. I did NOT have an affair and I did NOT have sex till I married my husband…the ONLY man I’ve ever been with. And you have the nerve to call ME a piece of shit??? And you tell ME to fuck off??? Brush up on your reading comprehension skills and then fuck off yourself, dumbass!

        • If you think I was married at the time I was dating ex-hole, I most assuredly was NOT. I got married two years after I was CHEATED ON. Go piss up a rope.

        • Communication 101: If something someone says is unclear to you, exercise some due diligence and ask for clarification before you just attack people.

          • Shit. Hanging my head in shame. Jennifer, I ‘m really sorry, I totally misread your post.

            Mea culpa. 😞😞

            • Apology accepted. 🙂 Also I should have responded more rationally, but I was in the moment and pissed as hell and it got the better of me, so sorry about that.

              • No, you had every right to be pissed as hell, it was my fault for not reading more carefully. ❤️

  • Adultry and divorce is like cancer.
    It is all bad.
    Whether abandonement or strung out with faux reconciliaton.
    I got the later. What a mind fuck. Maybe why I am here after 19 years?
    From my perspective I wish she had just walked out the door instead of jerking me around.
    Left a card on the counter with her lawyers number.
    A quick aggressive surgery to cut out the tumor.
    Done!
    Instead it was chemo, relapse, radiation, relapse and finally a disfiguring surgery.
    Every few years a funny mole pops up when she sends an email or a child gets married and I have to see her carcenogenic face again. Back to the dermotologist who tells me “It’s just a mole. Forget about it, but remember sunscreen and a hat!”

  • After 38 years of marriage, 7 1/2 years ago my Ex “went to the grocery store”….he called 5 minutes later with “there is a note on the desk. I am not coming home”……an thus began my journey of abandonment to hell and back!!!!!

    He was Mr’ Church Man, head elder, sunday school teacher, give you the shirt off his back, Mr. Nice Guy, the HIGHEST of morals. “NO!!!! There is no other woman”….but 6 months later he was living with his MUCH younger co-worker. I can’t begin to tell the stories of his stupidness!!!! But it was a mess, I was a mess.

    Fortunately, I had a great tribe…..and a wonderful lawyer. AND CN!!!! Looking back, I have survived….. and this young chickie that was willing to put on Red Lipstick and do her thing, this stupid little girl put him on a pedestal and turned him into an idol, this little chickie that THOUGHT he had money, married him and rescued me from him. They blew through all of his money and then for whatever reason, they are now divorced.

    Karma is the most patient gangster!!!!!

    There were picture on social media of chickie and her new younger man…..I kind of did the happy dance knowing that he was having to see and feel the same things that I had had to see and feel …..but at the same time sad that someone had to experience the horrible pain that I had experienced. Fortunately, that only lasted a couple of minutes before I slappped myself and came to my senses.

    I had been a stay at home mom for our marriage, so was really worried about what I was going to do to “pay the bills”……not many people will hire a 60 year old and pay them much. And we were not wealthy by any means. There certainly was NOT going to be money for me to survive with out finding something to do to supplement what little I received in the way of spousal support ( THAT is a whole other story in itself!!!) ….but I figured it out ( to take a phrase from HIS lawyer)….I work 3 jobs ( which I really love), get a little in spousal support, collect SS ( as my ex “retired early” ) and draw a little from retirement accounts. But I own my house ( and the mortgage), my car, my timeshare, have wonderful friends, and great relationships with my kids and grandkids (none of which see or talk with him).

    It was a horrible road to travel, but I have come out on the other side and am grateful.

  • It took a long time for me to feel like my ex had any repercussions or didn’t get exactly what he wanted. My ex didn’t totally abandon me but he never asked for me to come back (i moved out of the home) never tried to reconcile. Never reached out to apaologize or hoover etc, absolute silence. Was texting and going out with other women that very same day i left.

    His only concern was the kids. Which i realize is a good thing for them, but ultimately left me feeling like “he can put all that effort into them but not a single ounce for me after 15 years together”, it was a mind fuck. So i was left dealing with seeing him all the time but having 0 effort or showing that i was valued even slightly it was a hard one to swallow.

    A year later i look at him and realize he is the opposite of “winning” i have heard through the grape vine that him and AP#2 argue all of the time and break up and get back together regularly. She’s apparently extremely high maint and he complains to anyone who will listen about not having money (while i have a savings account, can take care of my kids, have traveled to some amazing places, and am looking to buy a house next year). He’s also apparently already cheated on her. My kids tell me heart breaking statements such as “daddy is mean now that he’s dating AP” and “daddy doesn’t tell me he loves me anymore but says it to AP all the time”. I know i am the sane parent and the one my kids come to when they need healing in their hearts. He apparently still blames me for his home being a mess even though i moved out a year ago and left nothing of mine in the home for him to take care of. While my place is neat, orderly and has become my and my kids safe haven.

    By all accounts i know i’ve won despite his opinion that i wan’t worth an iota of an effort. I try to just remind myself that its ok a man like him doesn’t want me and didn’t try to get me back. It was a blessing in disguise for sure. Anyone still in the heartbreak side of never being pursued, never having a closure conversation (which don’t exist), never had their ex hoover. Just know while its not “better” or “worse” then the other ways our cheaters can leave us, we all end up on the better end of it. We’re the ones moving forward and onward with ourselves in tack and our lives blossoming. Their lives stay right in the dirt where they want them.

    • My situation was similar to yours. My ex left me for Schmoopie but he did it in slow motion. He showed no real interest or enthusiasm for reconciliation post DDay but he didn’t just walk out either. We did go to a few MC sessions that were set up before DDay but then bailed when he realized it wasn’t all about fixing me and that he would have to improve too. He also made a feeble suggestion regarding open marriage which I shut down immediately but that was about it. He took a few months to move out and then still came over for dinner a few times a week (yes I allowed this because I was still pick me dancing and smoking the hopium) but he made it clear that he had no intention of giving up Schmoopie and offered no apologies for what he had done. He did nothing about divorce until I finally pulled the trigger on that. At that point he didn’t fight it although I had to do all of the work. He also cared about the kids and was willing to do much more to keep those relationships going than he was ever willing to do to work things out with me. I was both relieved and jealous at the same time. I was glad for the kids and have always done my best to accommodate their relationship in whatever ways I can control (being flexible on when he gets his time with them, etc.) but it did make me feel somewhat alone in my abandonment. I was the only one he didn’t care about and that hurts.

      • This is my story too. It wasn’t an abupt abandon like just a text (so sorry for you chumps who had that), but I got the devaluing and rewriting history before DDay and then a graded discard. When I found his schmoopie messages (conveniently left open on his phone, and the phone unlocked) the morning after mu 40th, from the evening before, I got a bit of guilt and regret and tears, but it was clear very early on that there was not a hint of fight. After a few days of trickle-truthing and pushing for info, I found out it was at least a 6-month long secret life with his ho-worker. This is from a conservative academic type, who I always thought I would be able to tell he was lying. He held ethics quite highly, or so I thought. From the outset he started staying a his parents’ place in the evenings, as it was the week or so before Christmas and both kids birthdays too, so I was trying to keep it all under wraps through this time. I found messages on Christmas day, when he said it was over between them and all strictly work. Such a lying POS. I ended up being the one to call it, and throw him out of the house (that he wasn’t really staying in anyway). And at 7 months post DDay now, I have been the one to do all the work to untangle the marriage – the paperwork, parenting plan, selling the house, the asset division (he took the stereo, BBQ etc, and champagne glasses for schmoopie). And this is after I asked him to come get his stuff. It’s like he wants to do whatever suits him and take no responsibility for it. Like CL said, he’s entitled and lazy and cold. He has her and his new apartment that she part-time stays in as her love nest away from her family. Why would he want to do any work to untangle? He wants to have the kids for some of the time, and fortunately hasn’t fought for more custody than 30% time. But as time has gone on, he has gotten more and more callous and ice cold towards me. Has been the one, early on, to go pretty much no contact – just occasionally responding to me, but ignoring me most of the time. And then trying to make out that I am crazy or unreasonable. He is deluded about the impact on the children and the potential harm in being around his still-married AP, who is apparently in an open marriage (he tried that one on me before DDay too). It hurts like a mofo being discarded and ignored so quickly after being together for 20yr and married for almost 16. he has left our relationship many months (years?) before I was aware and it’s so hard to play catch-up. But I do recognise that at least it was clearly pretty quickly that he didn’t care and wasn’t interested in me and there was no way I was going to stick around for someone who doesn’t want me. No way that I could tolerate knowing he was with her and then not even try to have our family. And I’m glad that he hasn’t wasted more years of my life. I’m so determined to get to meh so he doesn’t take any more time from me.

  • I think this article is sweet and well intentioned but to me it’s mostly wrong.

    I was abandoned after 32 years and two kids together, after having spent our youth and planning for our old age together. I was not a particularly strong or smart chump, and he did not fear me. I had merely become expendable, an exhausted and therefore no longer useful source of narcissistic supply.

    The silent treatment and hostility that followed the abandonment made me long for a little genuine Naugahyde remorse and crocodile tears. The ability to see my husband in the flesh and get to the point where I was disgusted and wanted him gone would have seemed like an absolutely unimaginable luxury.

    I was abandoned months before I found out about the cheating. That was a weird kind of relief, which explained a lot of strange behavior. The cheating was hurtful, but it was nothing compared to the pain of the abandonment.

    The worst thing about abandonment is that you’re left with nothing but your own speculation as to why it happened, and that’s it’s own special torture. You don’t get a chance to work anything out with the cheating partner, however awful and uncooperative they may be. At least they’re there in the flesh and you have the chance to say things and hear things and maybe even to start seeing them for who they really are.

    This article is right that abandoners are ice cold. They’re true sociopaths. Not necessarily lazy or cowardly—those would be human traits—but pathological. I will never understand my ex’s choices or behavior, and I won’t be able to understand it by ascribing human traits or emotions to him.

    The only thing that has truly helped heal from abandonment is not to think of it. To accept the fact that this is my life and make the most of it.

    • “You don’t get a chance to work anything out with the cheating partner, however awful and uncooperative they may be.”

      I hear you. As a “talk it out” person this would kill me. If it makes you feel any better, I had this chance with my cheater. And all the “work it out” conversations actually sent me into such a deep pit of despair and self doubt that’s i nearly disappeared. The rabid mindfuck from these folks is grand—you couple that with the RIC mindfuck and it’s the perfect recipe for depression. Only after no contact did the storm pass.

      I guess what I’m saying is the ability to talk it out with my cheater did far more damage than abandonment would have. Hell, if he had just walked away at least I woulda got the sympathy card from the outside world—empirical proof that he was an asshole. Instead, I got lots of side eyes and insinuations about being the one who couldn’t work it out.

      It’s all a bag of dicks, frankly

    • Hugs – the mental torture is hell. I remember it well.

      I had a 5-minute “I want a divorce’ speech and that’s it. I found out about D-day about 3 weeks later. I would try to talk to him and get nothing even before D-Day. To this day, I still don’t have any idea about what happened other than he turned into this non-human before my eyes.

      No hoovering, no fakee RIC, nothing. Without a doubt, I know he’s somewhere between narcissist and sociopath.

      • Same Miss Bailey
        I’ve not had a text , a call an email just nothing .

        No flying monkeys , no hoover just nothing at all .

        Mine turned to ice before my eyes same as you
        My thinking is the grass really must be greener on the other side and that really really hurts .

        • The grass isn’t greener. Not in the way that you and I think. They are empty black holes. They search for anything to fill it up and it will never happen. Love doesn’t save these soulless pods – nothing does.

  • A friend of my BFF only found out her husband was cheating on her when he was arrested for soliciting a hitman. He committed suicide in jail, prior to his hearing. I don’t think he planned in having their kid whacked too, but I don’t know. Kids put a real damper on fucking hundreds of hookers after all.

    Anyway, one of the prostitutes he had been fucking regularly for years got wind of it and turned him in. Maybe she was truly horrified, maybe she simply didn’t want to be charged as an accessory after the fact.

    So his widow is both grieving, infuriated and enriched by the life inaurance, sale of his business and Social Security.

    He was very involved in their church and wasn’t far removed from the Fundigelical side of the ledger.

    So…I think his wife got the worst of both DDay and abandonment. At least she doesn’t have to co-parent with a Fuckwit. She cut off his family too when she found out they knew he was stealing money and sleeping around. Despite being evangelicals, his happiness was all that mattered. Adultery and theft? Whatever.

    Cheaters suck, no matter how they appear at first!

    • JWH,

      Wow. I started telling people six months plus after FW XW left me that the only thing she could have done worse than blindsiding me w/her affair w/her boss and abandoning me w/our 11 yo son was if she and AP had tried to kill me.

      That poor woman actually had the FW that was trying to do it. My heart goes out to her.

  • The X abandoned me as soon as I found out he was cheating with a married woman.
    BUT TODAY I FEEL SO STRONG!
    Physical activity is amazingly transformative!
    When I’m out there listening to music concentrating on keeping form, it’s effing uplifting!
    If my 51 year old body would let me, I’d never stop.
    Music rallies me when I’m so tired I feel like a wet noodle. It can somehow make me fell taller, stronger and happier.
    I wish this feeling could be shared with those who need it most or stored up for when I am feeling low.
    It sucks when your reality is shattered, smashed and obliterated. In one small moment your life can upend and change so drastically your brain can’t cope.
    I was married to a liar. I was married to a man who tried to suck the very soul from me because he couldn’t find happiness from within.
    I don’t have that problem, I am more than a mother, more than a daughter, sister or friend. I am unique, I am powerful and I am fucking free!
    I still have bad days but I’ve been brought to the point of absolute broken dispare and have clawed my way out.
    If I can do this, so can you.
    I love you Chump Nation!
    (Damn, I wish we could bottle this feeling and store it up for later!! LOL!)

    • I’ll have a bottle please because most days it takes me all my time to scrape myself off the floor

      • Oh Karen, I was there too. I still get low, I’m still on an antidepressant.
        The sucky thing is it takes time, lots of it.
        You need to celebrate the good moments they will come, and they will be beautiful and more meaningful.
        Hugs to you.
        I am rooting for you.
        If you need to talk, Tempest can give you my email.

      • Hey Karenb6702 you responded to me once, hugs from Scotland! I’m traveling there for New Years. I’ll be on the hill New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh. Will you be there? Let’s have something to look forward to together. We can carry something to recognize each other. A red rose. Chumps United.

        We both got this girl. I know we can make it through this hell. The stories of so many here that got through this disaster show me that we can do it too.

        Hugs from the USA!!!

  • CL……this is my situation to a ‘T’!

    Sick sick monster….

    I have to say that I definitely graduated from CL.com! CL & EVERYONE’s words of wisdom inspired me, made the MOST sense to me, and helped me to see sooooo clearly! Thanks to everyone!

    I now feel like I’m a human X-ray machine; I can see through it all!

    Much, much gratitude to all here that not even a therapist could give me.

  • Mine was cold as liquid nitrogen. She calculated the optimum exit strategy and started an affair the moment we dropped our kids off at college. No guilt, no remorse, no attempt to fix it, only interested in her cut of my assets. A 50 year old whore who fucked 5 guys in 12 months (that I know of). Walked out and left me blindsided, suicidal with all the mess to clean up.

    So I had to do the adulting, filing, try to maintain a familiar home base while kids are in college. Got final judgment and attempt no contact to the extent possible.

    So 4 years later…….. she is suddenly on a PR campaign to make this all my fault somehow. She suddenly is trying to win the kids back, convince anyone who will listen it wasn’t her fault. Blaming me for “not fighting for her”. For not “giving her time and space”. For not agreeing to an open marriage (you know, where I keep paying for everything while she fucks other guys). Its my fault because, of course, I filed the papers.

    WTF?? She got the life she wanted, no hubby, no kids, no house, no responsibility. Why all the revisionist history? The blame shifting? These psychopaths get weirder every day.

    • My take is she has nothing left. All her fucking around didn’t fill the hole in her soul and she’s miserable. So now she wants to use the kids to fill the hole. She’s smearing you to get them on her side. Surely they aren’t going to swallow the “your dad was a lousy husband because he wouldn’t let me fuck other guys” line. That’s insane.

    • Sorry, QuantumChump,

      She’s coming round to see if there’s another pound of flesh she can carve out. They are so disordered, they don’t make sense. Hopefully she’ll dig a hole so deep with her lies, an ever growing number of people will see the truth.

      Hugs. She’s never been worthy.

  • During D-day #2 my ex-boyfriend melted into a puddle while whimpering about trying to find happiness. Then silence. No calls begging me to come back, no tearful apologies, no standing outside my window holding a boombox overhead. As much as I dislike drama, I would have welcomed some in this case. It would have made me feel I was worth something and that our relationship was worth fighting for. I often wondered if it’s easier to heal when there is a least some drama rather than stone cold silence.

    There is one benefit to a partner unilaterally ending a relationship that it leaves no room for ambiguity – the thing is done. They took the “L” out of lover and it’s over. You aren’t left wondering if things can work out nor is there time wasted time shopping for Pick Me dance outfits. You are free and clear to nurse the pain without any added distractions or faint hints of hope that he/she will come running back with bouquets of roses. The challenge is here is addressing that pain because it is significant.

    I realized that wanting my ex to fight for me was the equivalent of my needing kibbles. Had he stalked me or sent me remorseful texts it would have validated that our relationship was worth fighting for. It would have soothed my broken heart that I did in fact mean something to him. But the false satisfaction those kibbles provided would have dissolved as quickly as butter in a frying pan and I’d be back to feeling empty again. Ultimately I had to provide my own sense of worth. The relationship was worthwhile because I valued it.

    Being abandoned makes it more acute there is no closure. How I longed for the opportunity to discuss what happened, why it happened; not so I could worm my way back in but for my own need tie up this part of my life with a nice, clean bow. Again, that need landed squarely in my camp. No matter how many discussions we or therapists we visited there would be nothing he could say (or a professional could offer) that would satisfy that “Why” that was howling in my brain. Here’s a great TED talk by Guy Winch that addresses this need for closure and why it’s an itch that never feels like it’s properly scratched:
    https://www.ted.com/talks/guy_winch_how_to_fix_a_broken_heart/transcript?language=en

    People who abandon relationships are at their core cowards. They are unable to articulate their needs and avoid confrontation. Jumping into another relationship distracts them from all the crummy thoughts they have about themselves. They have no capacity or headspace to worry about the ramifications of their actions because they are too wrapped up in avoiding their mind chatter.

    It’s a false illusion to think that the runaway is finally happy. They’ve only moved their crummy coping mechanisms to another house. It’s only a matter of time before they stink up that joint too.

    My advice for those who have been abandoned is to feel that pain and grieve it because there is no way around it, you have to go through it. However, recognize in no way is it your fault or that you could have done anything to avoid or change it. Rather than being held up at gunpoint, you had someone slide their hand in your pocket and steal your wallet.

    • Great post. I wasn’t physically abandoned (he couldn’t afford to divorce yet), but I was certainly emotionally abandoned. The same principles apply to both; cowardice, mindlessness and running away from themselves. These people are *never* happy.

    • Thanks for your post. Cowardice and selfishness is definitely at their core.

      I think the other thing to remember, that I have to keep telling myself, is that even if the cheater gives some remorse or says things about caring – it’s all lies. You just can’t trust a single thing they say. You can only go on actions. And for mine, those actions have been (after DDay) discard, disrespect, ambivalence, delaying legal processes, lying, defending his selfish actions, and ice-cold responses when he does reply.

  • I did breed with this ice cube. Thankfully my kids are awesome and must have gotten more from my side than the cesspool gene pool she was floating in. But I’m floored by the manner in which she just left. Because, no – she didn’t just leave. She tried to kill herself first. “Out of guilt?” you say? No – because she “felt trapped”. What? Who? When? How? I’ve been trying to unravel the skein ever since and I’ve given up. It’s the ball of Christmas lights from hell – I will never untangle it. Happy marriage of 15 years – absolutely no signs of dissatisfaction. I (chump of chumps) think we’re still in love. First comes the “I will always love you….” line, followed shortly thereafter by discover of affair with married ho-worker. Followed by suicide attempt. Followed by walking out the door. Followed by divorce papers. Followed by divorce settlement torpedoes (she wanted an amicable divorce, but amicable apparently means getting everything). Never showed remorse. Never spoke about us again. Wiped from memory. Currently playing the role of devoted mother half the time – the other half spent shacking up with married ho-worker in his new bachelor pad of unholy matrimony. When she plays devoted mother, he goes home to his wife and attempts to play devoted father, which he can’t, because he’s the grimy filth you scrape off the bottom of your shoe after walking through a compost heap. So I’ve moved on and for the two of them I only have three words – DEAD . TO . ME

  • It is understandable that you think the way you do. Part of no contact/gray rock is not just outward ambivalence but inward ambivalence too. Like, try shining that spotlight on you not him. What did you get: a house, freedom, a chance at a new beginning, your in-tact values and morals.

    It’s tough to refocus. My ex is sitting pretty right now, and I was upset for quite a while about it. But slowly I forced my attention away from him and into personal gratitude. Then, I saw him the other day. I got a good look at his eyes and they were vacant. And I actually felt a little bad for him, cause he’s gotta live in that prison of a mind.

    Anyways, best of luck redirecting your spot light!

    • Uh, this was in response to karenb6702 comment about her ex getting everything he wanted. Not sure what happened to post the reply here

  • #2 These.People.ARE.Really.LAZY

    31 yrs of being Chumped — I definitely was on the bottom of his totem pole when he bought a 5th wheel and disappeared! I filed for divorce and changed the locks. In the divorce he only asked for his tools and accomplishment plaques hanging in the office. WOW!! Afterthought a year later he texted me to see when a “good time” was for him to come and go through the family photos. OH HELL NO! He’s done a lot of image management and has weaseled his way into adult kids lives. Its baffling to see his shit show!

    Thank God and CL …. I got away!

    • My x asshat took a bunch of framed pictures of our daughters as toddlers during his great escape. DD24 told him hell no you can’t take those, and thank God he brought them back to me with the understanding I would make copies. After he stood and screamed at me I determined I would not make one single copy.

      My daughters and I marvel at his entitlement that he would take the very best pictures— ones I took, developed, and framed—and that he didn’t take any of them beyond about age 5. As children grow they become terrible kibble dispensers and he didn’t want that at all, just the cutest stuff he could charm chicks with. Disgusting.

      He doesn’t have anything from their childhoods, no pix, ornaments, crafts, locks of hair or baby booties. He chose his Peter Pan sexual escape from aging instead of anything that actually matters to decent people.

      I will never allow him to have any of those pictures.

  • Dear In Light of Grief, My heart goes out to you sincerely, totally, and with true understanding. I have gained so very much from Tracy and CN I can never repay. I did find a video that helped me dig out of this hell, to finally learn ” he really just does not care about anyone but himself. ” Hopefully it may help you friend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNxWewDtP70

  • you know, i feel like im a half abandoned chump. My ex suddenly proclaimed he didnt love me anymore and didnt want to live with me. he was gone within hours. 2 weeks later i disciovered the truth. i spent the next few months loosing my shit at him as he went around adimant that;

    1- he didnt cheat
    2 – ho worker is just a friend
    3- that he coincidently moved in with within a week after leaving us
    4 – continues to lie, manipulate, theaten, blackmail and abuse me upto this day

    Im happy to say I found chumplady and my life was turned around as everything was made clear to me. I grey rocked his ass and its becoming a lot easier.

    the reason we are even in contact still is because of children of course. he moved out, but decided he wasnt responsible for paying for us anymore (he left a week after I resigned to become a sahm. I havent been unemployed since i was 14!!) and wanted us out of HIS house. he took both cars for himself (both in his name).

    things have calmed down a lot now though. he mostly has the kids twice a week during the daytime. I have noticed a routine now though that every week or two he will fire up on some tiny issue that will upset me and try to get a reaction out of me (like try to put the house up for sale before out mediation agreement has been finalised)

    i dont want to wish my life away, but i look forward to the day the house issue is sorted so all i have to worry about then is him trying to screw my kids lives up

  • OK, tough admission here. A few years ago, I could have been the one writing this post and probably did write a similar post. Because my husband of 35 years…just…disappeared. This was after finding out he was leading a double life with his Schmoopie. They kept breaking up and getting back together because he ‘wanted to be a good guy’ and stay with his family but the tru luv was so great. This went on and off for years until I finally said enough and divorced him. Because I am good at keeping records and he is not, I documented how much money he was still making in his business even though he claimed to be broke. I got nothing except the debt he helped me amass. (Where there is physical infidelity there is ALWAYS financial infidelity). I assumed the mortgage and the joint debt. He was still driving the car in my name that I was still paying for when he totaled in an accident. Through ez pass I could see each time he went to the airport to go to Schmoopie, who had moved from NY to FL. I could see how long he kept the car parked there so I knew how long he stayed each time- weeks, months, while I dragged myself to work everyday despite my broken heart and my empty bank account. Our 21 year cat died. Then the 22 year old cat died. My best friends, really (actually, I have a great group of human friends). But he didn’t answer me when I texted for money to put our cats to sleep. I finally filed in 2016 and am now just three years divorced. Where is he? Back in NY because they finally broke up. What is he trying to do? Come back to me. The (terrible) therapist said at least one smart thing (the rest of the time she blamed me for everything): an affair is a three legged stool. When one person drops out (the wife!), the stool collapses. So now he has no friends left, he lives in his shop (he has no home), he has a tenuous relationship with our son, he appears to have no money (that could be another game) and Schmoopie is long gone. Moral of the story: Count your blessings. Although it really hurt and tortured me, no contact is a gift. It’s when they come back that the trouble starts.

  • Unrelated to today’s post but…

    “So, do you have a special someone in your life since the divorce ?”
    “Yes, me. I’m awesome. I think I’m the one !”

  • Yup. This is me. When I caught the cheater he was gone in a flash. No looking back, nothing. I’d come home from work with more of his stuff gone. He never shed one tear. I met absolutely nothing to this disordered freak. After nursing him through two years of cancer where he called me his ‘Nurse Angel’ and insisted we renew our wedding vows, FIVE months later I caught him in a motel fucking schmoopie. I never heard a word from his family, you know the ones, that told me how much they Loved me. Hahaha

    I did see him after that and he was strutting around town like he was banging Pamela Anderson. When in fact, she was/is as ugly as a sack of assholes. She didn’t even know how to drive (she was 50) but she bought a snazzy little convertible mustang that I’d see them whizzing around town in. It was like he couldn’t rub my nose in shit hard enough. Ugh. I hate them both. He knows I would have never forgiven him in a million years so CL is right, they’re a special kind of disordered fuck and just nance off to the next kibble source.

  • A man I went on a couple dates with told me a few days ago that he cheated on his ex-wife “left and right” because he was “never attracted to her.” (They were married for 20 years.) But he bragged that he NEVER would have abandoned/left her – he just would have kept cheating on her. And he was injured by the fact that she had the gall to divorce him after what sounded like a few years of pick-me dancing.

    It’s so nice to be able to call bullshit on these idiots and just stop talking/responding to them. But in a follow-up message, he wondered if I was using “reverse psychology” – by ignoring him, was I was trying to get him to chase me?

    I’m still at a loss for words on that one. But it just reinforces how delusional they are. Somebody’s always playing somebody in their world.

  • I don’t know if anyone will read this as I am late to the party.
    In the case of my last partner, now ex-boyfriend who left me to marry his young work subordinate, I would like to believe all the positive things like, ‘He left because you’re too good form him, jerks always trade down, he will regret his decision, you’re better off, you’ll find somebody better, etc.’ However, (1) my last partner did not leave me because he knew that I was strong and would not tolerate abuse (he thought that I was weak, incompetent, needy); (2) the saying, ‘It wasn’t you; it was him’ doesn’t hold true in my case (he left me because he didn’t love/like/respect me (as hard as I tried) and found much greener grass on the other side of the fence); (3) he traded up (I hate to admit it, but it’s true–his new wife is amazing and I could never attain her level no matter how hard I tried); (4) even two years later, he does not regret leaving me–I doubt that he even thinks about me; (5) he is not ‘being punished by being him’ (he does not feel bad about treating me or any of his previous partners like garbage); (6) he will not suffer negative consequences of his behavior (the Western definition of Karma is not scientifically supported by any empirical evidence–any case where somebody experienced Karma by this definition is anectdotal); (6) ‘You’ll find somebody else’ doesn’t ring true in my case and ‘You never know who’ll you meet’ rings hollow–a bit like saying, ‘You never know–you might win the lottery’ (Yeah, there’s a 0.000000000001 percent chance I’ll win, but I shouldn’t count on it); (7) I do not feel better off now (still struggling to survive–soon to be unemployed again–I am falling apart at work, family is falling apart, etc.). As much as emotional abuse sucks, being emotionally abused on occasion was better than this. At least I thought that I mattered at least a little as he was willing to tolerate me in his air space before he left the last time. Physically, emotionally, and financially I was better off when I was with him. He wins; I lose. Life is not fair.

    All most of us can do is just try to keep going with whatever resources we have. I often look forward to never waking up again. I wish all of you an improved life.

    • rock star wife. it sounds like you have hit a very low point in your life right now and im worried about you.

      all those points you mentioned about how he treated you and you perceieve yourself is not true. that is how they gain power over us, making us feel small and unwanted. you seem to focus in your post a lot about what he thinks and what he wants. FUCK HIM. who gives a shit what this asshole thinks or wants. he teeated you like discarded garbage. this man deserves no more time in your head space.

      i want you to start thinking about what YOU deserve and what YOU want. now that he is gone, the world is your oyster. you can do or not do whatever you want. I know its hard and at first there are many highs and lows, but it will get easier. YOU ARE MIGHTY. YOU CAN DO THIS.

      If you are feeling suicidal, please go seek medical help, a therpist etc. talking to someone or just getting things off your chest really does help.

      Stay strong

      • Chump of Two,
        Thank you for the pep talk. I do think a disturbing amount about my last partner although he probably never thinks about me. I will try to think about useful ways to use whatever resources (time, energy, etc.) I have. I am not sure what I want aside from what I really wanted but can never have (my last partner, completion of unfinished PhD at this late stage in life, special needs child years behind in school ever ‘catching up, etc.) I have talked to various therapists, but nobody seems able to really help. Some of them have given up on me and suggested I find a life coach, although I am not sure how a life coach will really help me and have not found a life coach that seemed helpful. Furthermore, unemployed/underemployed as a parent, I cannot afford appointments. I have been trying to ‘get stuff off my chest’ for years now and people understandably are tired of hearing about my situation, thinking ‘Just get over it already.’

        • Guess what? I’m not gonna give a pep talk. Therapists had no idea what to do with me either. I know how you feel about your life being better with him and I can and will never think less of you for saying that. I understand totally. It took me almost 4 years to get anywhere close to mighty. I also have not gotten where I want to be and feel like other people can get things that I cannot. I’m sad for you. I never had anyone since this happened be genuinely sad for what happened to me. I don’t mean here, but IRL. It’s hard. But others have gotten through in way less time than it took me so listen to them.

    • RSW,

      It does sound like you’ve hit a low point. Don’t succumb to it; find a friend, family, therapist to talk to. You have a family and friends, and they love you, they want the best for you.
      You’re right; life is not fair. (How do I know…?!) But it’s still SO worth it! Me, I’m 18 months out from DDay. Like you, I’ve found this to be a rough-as-hell road to travel, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. But it gets better the further down the road you get…I promise!

      You’re right; your EX didn’t love/like/respect you, and he probably did look at you as weak/incompotent/needy, but all that kinda goes hand-in-hand with his (and every other cheaters) selfish, entitled perspective. My XW treated me the same way; she didn’t love/like/respect me, and she treated me like a lesser person, not worthy of her consideration or courtesy. It was heartbreaking and soul-crushing. But you know what? Screw them!! Opinions are like assholes; everybody’s got one, and they can keep theirs! They’re hairy, covered in pimples and stink! His opinion doesn’t define you (unles, of course, you’re hairy, covered in pimples and stink), anymore than my Ex’s opinion of me defines me. I am who I am. You are who you are. Don’t rest your identity in that loser. You are your own person, AND YOU ARE MIGHTY! You may not realize it at this low point; life throws ya curve balls, but you are mighty!! You are the same person you’ve always been. The fact that he came into your life and subsequently left doesn’t change the fact that you are who you are, RockStarWife, a chump just like us! And just like us, you’ll get through this.

      You may not believe in karma, and I understand why, but I guarantee you that he will one day reap what he sews. The type of personality traits he exhibits will eventually catch up with him. It may not be any time soon, but mark my words, IT WILL!…eventually!

      Work on detaching from him, mentally and emotionally. Focus on you, not him! Don’t concern yourself with what he is doing. Don’t snoop around on social media for him. Start taking steps forward FOR YOU. Eat right. Exercise. Get sleep (as best you can). Build a routine and stick to it daily, and trust in the healing hand of time.

      At this juncture, it may seem better to have stayed in the relationship (if you want to call it that) with him. But the day will come when you’ll look back on it and realize that him leaving was a blessing in disguise. The land of “Meh” is out there; go look for it!

      <>

      • Captain Chumpy,

        Thanks for making me laugh. I’m not sure how long it will take me to ‘realize that him leaving was a blessing in disguise.’ It took me nearly 25 years to somewhat ‘get over’ my first partner leaving. In another 25 years, I will probably be dead. The people around me are sick of hearing me talk about my exes. I don’t want to burden them any more. Quite likely my distress over abuse by my ex-husband contributed to my last partner leaving–I wasn’t ‘fun’ or impressive enough for him. I suspect, though, that he would have left me no matter what I did/didn’t do. I sometimes wonder how much of my distress while I was with my last partner was caused by the way he treated me and my ‘sub-conscious’ awareness that he was emotionally abusing me and emotionally unavailable to me.

        You mentioned that I am the same person I have always been. That possibility worries me as me being the person I always have been might indicate that I am a loser and a jerk. I have a low (anonymous) rating on My Life, which worries me, especially as I am looking for employment to support my family. I try hard to do right by others and treat others with compassion, yet I have a low rating!

        I need to focus on my children more–I am so consumed by my (temporary) work and my depression that I feel disconnected from my children, who would benefit from having at least one present parent. My ex-husband is usually out of state/country and, as an extremely disordered, abusive human being, not a good role model in many ways.

        You are right that I have some caring relatives, friends, clients, etc. Every once in awhile I meet a kind stranger. So I guess very slowly, in some ways, my faith in humanity has been somewhat restored. (My faith in humanity died oddly not when my monstrous husband left me but when my last boyfriend, the guy I thought had been my friend for 30 years, left me the last time. As my last boyfriend is quite popular and successful and he completely, abruptly, coldly blocked me from his life, I felt horrible, thinking that I must have done something wrong to the guy I loved more than anything and been a loser while at the same time being very angry that he treated me the way he did. In the two years since my last boyfriend left, though, I have started realizing that, as time goes on, I think more often, ‘What a jerk he was. I deserved way better than that treatment,’ and feeling angry at me for tolerating such horrendous treatment. I was in denial the whole dating relationship, wanting to believe that there was hope for us as a couple, that finally in my fifties, maybe I had ‘finally gotten a relationship right.’ Now I realize that the relationship was based on a fantasy that my last boyfriend viewed me as something more than a cheap, disposable ‘place holder’ to keep him warm until he met the woman who is now his current (second) wife. I am also starting to think that people can think/believe whatever they want to think/believe. I KNOW that he emotionally abused me and the fact remains whether everyone else thinks that he’s a ‘Great Guy.’ I sometimes try to comfort myself with the fact that he manipulated and discarded other women, some of whom I knew and considered impressive.

        Regarding Karma (the Western definition), lots of famous dictators who directly or indirectly have harmed others, even torturing and killing others, have peacefully died in their sleep at advanced ages. Apparently, Karma did not catch up with them.

        Captain Chumpy, I am sorry that you were mistreated by your ex. I wish you a much better future.

        • RSW, I too worry for the amount of focus you place on both your ex bf and your ex husband. It concerns me that you give them so much power and attention.

          Most of us can fully relate to the fear around being able to be financially viable, especially those of us with kids. I picked myself up from nothing when my ex abandoned us. No job, no savings, no home, basic furniture. He tried to kick me and the kids out 3 times in the first year after “I dont like you, no there isnt anyone else, when are you leaving”. We were living in a house owned by his parents and he felt very entitled to remove me despite my attempts to rapidly get work, savings and a rental to move into.

          These fuckers will try and destroy us. On purpose. They will do their best to make us feel lower than dirt, and show how sparkly they are in comparison. They intentionally got into our heads so we focus on them. Don’t let them.

          Please find a way to change the topic in your head. Promise yourself to try and stop talking about either of them. Change the topic to how you are going to get free from them. Keep bringing the focus back to you and your kids. Mentally hold a stop sign when you find yourself thinking or talking about either of them. It will take a lot of effort in the beginning. Pat yourself on the back when you succeed in thinking only of you or your kids or mundane things like the weather or housework. Take small steps toward your own stability, new work, healthy thought processes, gentle routine, joy with your kids…

          And do seek help if you’re feeling suicidal. We care for you!! CN loves you! Sorry this is so late, hopefully you read it! Xxx

  • My wasband came home from work one day and told me, he had keys to his apartment and could move out right then or wait until the weekend. I was totally caught off guard since there was no indication he/ we had any sort of issues. We were on year 33 and I was thinking how good life was for us as we cruised towards retirement. The only other woman I knew of was named Harley and she was sitting in our garage. Because the three of us had spent many wonderful travels together I never considered her a threat. Besides counseling I did a lot of reading. The book that really opened my eyes was Run Away Husbands by Vicki Stark. I had no idea this sort of thing happened to other people. It has been 11 years now I have healed and grown much with still more to go. The narcissistic triggers are getting weaker and the ptsd so much better. Good article ChumpLady…thank you!

  • It’s been almost 5 years since I was pushed off the cliff. I felt the push then. It still fits the bill today as I look back on it. 25 years, two amazing kids…pushed off the cliff. Disposed of, like an oily rag, a can of empty paint, weeds from the garden, Mufasa. Me, our dog, our 3 cats (two of which he hated, so yeah, maybe just one cat). And maybe just the dog and one cat, because apparently, I wasn’t so special either. Bye, bye. Two weeks after the day of my”fuckening,” he’s ready to split up the assets. Stops by the house to talk about dividing the stuff. I’m still reeling from the shock, looking for answers. He gets impatient with me. We’ve been over this, you know. He’s not in love with me. Great. I get it. You literally owe me more than a two-week notice. I gave birth to our kids. I gave up a career for your career. I was a fantastic mother. I put heart and soul into our family. And honestly, no matter what you and her think, I don’t suck. In fact, I’m better than her. I would never cheat on my husband with someone else’s husband.

  • I’m still baffled. Two weeks ago I was “happily” married with a three month old baby. I had found the love of my life and an amazing role model to my eight year old son. Somehow by some miraculous gut feelings I figured out his affair with the neighbor. This involved me pretending I knew more than I did and he fell for it and lied and lied and lied.

    One day after our fight I realized he was calling divorce lawyers. He went to one therapy appointment but realized he couldn’t keep the lies straight and instead decided to file for divorce. This all happened incredibly quickly. We have to live in the same house until the divorce is final and we sell the place. He’s acting like everything is perfectly fine and he’s an amazing dad to our baby.

    All I can say is I am currently that popular Larry David gif where he’s looking all confused.

    Ok. Divorce me. Weird.

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