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Why No Contact Works

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What’s the secret sauce to getting a fuckwit out your life? No Contact.

I thought today I’d do a refresher course on why no contact is so effective.

First a caveat about what no contact is NOT. It’s not the 180. It’s not some passive-aggressive silent treatment to get your wingnut to behave. Fine! Harrumph! I’m not going to speak to you! Just watch me not care! Are you watching? Are you? Huh?

No. No contact is willing yourself to not engage with crazy.

Your unhappiness is not my responsibility.

I am not going to try and convince you.

I am not going to appease you.

I am not going to try and achieve consensus with you.

I am not going to be vulnerable with you.

No contact means being DONE. Even if you don’t feel done, it’s practicing the self-discipline of done until your heart catches up with your head. It’s realizing that no good can come from engaging.

When you go no contact, some powerful things start to happen.

1. Your head clears. The longer you stay away from the mindfuck, the weaker it becomes. The spell is broken. Not right away, but gradually and often very painfully. Almost like kicking a drug, you give up the drama, the futility, the hopium highs. Instead you start settling into peace and quiet. You get out of the crouching, cowering defensive posture and regain your sense of agency and self. You remember who you are, and given enough time and distance — you wonder WTF you ever saw in that idiot.

2. Your cheater works harder to exert control. No contact is cutting your freak off cold from kibbles. And that cannot be tolerated. So they will up their game to gain control and centrality again. They might make some “charming” Hail Mary plays. (Bootie call, anyone?) More likely, they’ll punish and rage. Anything to open that shut door.

Why do they do this? Why is no contact so essential?

Because it deprives disordered people of their ability to manipulate you. They need a portal into your head, and when you go no contact, you deprive them of that portal.

When you sob and grieve and implore them to Do the Right Things, and express your litany of hurts? They take notes. Ah, there’s the button to push! There’s a vulnerability to exploit! There’s a fear I must capitalize on!

You’re not a freak, so you don’t think like this. But they’re unencumbered by empathy. They’re detached from you. They just want what they want, and are strategizing how to get it.

If a narc wants your kibbles, you’re still of use to them. Some of them just walk — they abandon. You don’t have to go NC on them, because they did it to you first. That’s a blessing. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but it is. They’re not going to toy with you, they’ve either sized you up as too much of a challenge to be worth the bother, or they’ve focused on a new kibble source/victim and can’t trifle with you. Good.

But most of them are sloppier, pathetic users who need many kibble sources. They will test your resolve, see how much you still “care.” They will punish you for your disobedience and their narcissistic injury.

Don’t take it. Don’t engage. If they fuck with you, forward it to your lawyer. If they really fuck with you, get a protection order. Even if you have children with them, you can reduce your contact to the barest minimum. Do it. Your sanity will thank you.

Part of this ran once, time for a re-do. Always a good reminder to back away from the wing nuts…

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  • I find no contact easy as pie

    Mainly because i was just abandoned without a look back in my direction . Just packed and left and has never once tried to contact me .

    • Me too Karenb, isn’t it great? Last thing he said was I suppose you won’t ever speak to me again? Boy, he got that right after 34 years…don’t let that damn door slam your ass, idiot!

        • Me too (kept EVERYTHING we had) but he paid handsomely to be ‘free’. Can’t say it’s been easy but on my way to “meh”….I don’t want to see said idiot ever again, yes NC is only way to go!

      • My lawyer pushed no contact on me and I wasn’t sure it was a good idea, I knew my husband would get angry. Whoa, boy, did he get angry. I was able to get a protective order after one outburst and I had quite a few of the most peaceful, healing months while that was in place. I was able to really let go of who I thought he was and what I thought our marriage was. The minute the order expired, he was back to his old crap, trying to get me to react, trying to push my boundaries, but I am stronger on the other side. No contact works.

    • I’m NC but I also knew that the ex will never contact me. He walked away without ever taking a last glance.

      • Same Miss Bailey

        I know he will never contact me either . He is a liar a cheat and a coward.

        Doesn’t half suck though knowing that i meant not a thing to him after 19 years .

        • Same here. She met Mr Kibbles and just left. I was still yelling “pick me” as she went off into the distance, chasing rainbows and unicorns and “twu wuv”. Guess I meant a great deal to her after 18 years. Took me a while to realize what a toxic person she is and how I’m better off without her.

          • You really are. Don’t be surprised if she comes back one day though.

            My X left quite happily despite 18 years and 2 kids. No interest in working it out or even explaining himself.

            A year later…then two…crickets, and then…year three and four and seldom does a month go by that he doesn’t let me know in some sad sausage way that he is so sorry and couldn’t I please take him back? Kids make the contact necessary, and I”m to the point where I just huff a laugh that he understands quite well and change the subject. Usually to the kids or the $ he owes me. That shuts that down.

            I’m just saying that some ghosts never lie still, so keep your guard up 🙂

            • Mine wasn’t that interested in pick me. Working a few days of DDay I figured out he didn’t want to try and was still lying about being with OW and kicked his ass out. He was pretty quick to then just move on and went pretty much NC with me. Think he has too much pride to ever come back.

          • breakingUpbad,

            I had a similar experience. She “fell almost immediately in love” w/her now former boss. Had the affair for at least 3-4 months, I confronted her, and then she was out the door w/in two weeks. 24.5 years of marriage blown to hell, and he left a 40 yr marriage (he’d had previous “difficulties” in his marriage. No shit, he’s a certified fuckwit. A rich fuckwit, but a fuckwit none the less).

            I have now reduced her in my iPhone contacts to NC, to remind me she’s No Contact for me and that she’s probably something else (hint: Narcissistic is the first part, then rhymes w/ hunt). I had to totally remove her name as sometimes our 13 yr old son is w/her, and we talk every night we can, and sometimes he forgets to charge his phone when he’s w/his mother. So I’ll see her name pop up on a call as he’s borrowed her phone, and I don’t react well to seeing her name calling me. So, remove the name, and presto magnifico! All that comes up now is NC. I love it!

            I’m so sorry you were chumped as well by your wife. I’m sure like me you never claimed to be a perfect husband, but did your best, loved her, and were totally blindsided by her treachery. Moving forward, that’s the ticket. Forget about those faithless former wives. We’re not perfect, but we should have been treated better than we were.

            I would have settled for trying to work it out (pre-affair, if she had told me how unhappy she was), and if I still wasn’t working out to her satisfaction, then we could have gone our separate ways (not crazy about it, but it would’ve been better than what she did). But that would require some character. And my XW has little when it comes to stuff like that.

            CarryOnMyWaywardNerdGirl, I hope I don’t have to deal w/her coming back to me, trying to reconcile. I told her early on when I WAS trying to reconcile w/her that I was still open to reconciliation, but that it would have to start w/HER (this was after at least two months of SERIOUSLY trying to change her mind about reconciliation, but w/her pushing any attempt I made away. Twu wuv, of course, overruled everything). And I told her I hoped she didn’t wait too long. As in, I was beginning to realize that for me, that offer was not going to last forever.

            I want to also tell you I love your user name, as I’ve been a longtime Kansas fan. Very nice. As w/breakingUpbad, I’m really sorry you’re here w/us other chumps, but we’re all here for you. Your XH obviously realized what a fool he was by trying to reconcile w/you now, but good for you for laughing at his attempts. Best wishes to you in continuing to move forward.

              • It’s kinda fun to use a picture of Pinocchio, a burning dumpster fire, a trainwreck, a pile of trash, a box of douche, etc. as their photo icon, until you can block them entirely.

            • I love changing th3 name to Nac. I dont know why but the NC rule is so very hard for me. I’m new to this and only 3 months by myself. He still plays games with me tries to say he loves me etc. So I see the point in NC
              Any other advice?

              • Chumpingail-
                What an awesome name!
                Block him if you have to. Just don’t talk to him at all. He’s still LYING, right?
                Reconciliation rarely lasts after cheating. The cheater keeps lying. The chump is uneasy and distrustful even when things appear okay.
                Then they usually cheat again (that’s if they ever stopped).
                It sounds like he is trying to pull you back in.

            • @thelongrun,

              I’m mostly NC but we have a 13 yr old together and at times we have to chat about something. I try to use text, emails now more so than conversations.

              24 years. We were headed for divorce, many problems, he hated me, punished me with 0 affection but I stayed for years to keep an eye on him with my child. Turns out I didn’t know, he’s been a pot smoker for a while, had been going to therapy and recently left with a friend of mine who I had been helping while she went thru her own divorce. It’s been quite the whirlwind since March 2019.

              He will NEVER acknowledge he’s done anything and I highly DOUBT he will ever try to come back. He was done years ago but I kept trucking along for many reasons. He’s easy to unattach, shows little emotion and certainly doesn’t seem to care about the pain he has caused.

              I don’t know if I can change him in the phone to anything mentioned bc my child may see it. But I feel better NOT talking with him in any manner. We tried 1 session of Mediation last week but he’s not being honest. He’s hidden money (he has a good amount of it that he never shared) and is being very stubborn about things. Next round in September.

              Anybody got any tips for me, about anything, I’ll take them! Thanks for posting your story. So many of us in the same situation with the abandonment and moving on like we never even existed. It hurt so bad in the beginning but that has finally let up. Now I’m in business mode and moving on without the wreck in my life.

        • Mine took off. And I didn’t know to go no contact. I bet he would have except I kept contacting him. Begging and pleading for his return. He acted like we’d see each other every once in a while. And we did. But then I realized that I had already lost the pick me dance. I was already written off the dance card. So I served his happy cheater ass with the divorce and now he’s contacting me all the time. Trying to work this divorce without spending a lot of money. He’s also tormenting my daughter and I think that’s to get me to reply. When I finally replied to him. He stopped tormenting my daughter. He sure does know what to do to hurt me. My Achilles heel. As it were, my children. Mess with them to get my attention.

        • Mine took off. And I didn’t know to go no contact. I bet he would have except I kept contacting him. Begging and pleading for his return. He acted like we’d see each other every once in a while. And we did. But then I realized that I had already lost the pick me dance. I was already written off the dance card. So I served his happy cheater ass with the divorce and now he’s contacting me all the time. Trying to work this divorce without spending a lot of money. He’s also tormenting my daughter and I think that’s to get me to reply. When I finally replied to him. He stopped tormenting my daughter. He sure does know what to do to hurt me. My Achilles heel. As it were, my children. Mess with them to get my attention.

      • I’m divorced as of yesterday. My cheater also walked away without a backward glance or one millisecond’s worth of thought. Two little kids and a happy (or so I thought) marriage. We had just bought a home. The morning he walked out on me he texted me he loved me and couldn’t wait to be home to see us. That night the ILYBINILWY speech, the next day I was an absolutely manipulative waste of space. And his feelings haven’t changed a year later. Getting divorced yesterday was hard. It sucks to be abandoned. I know CL says it’s not the pain Olympics and being cheated on and betrayed in every variation hurts. But the abandonment it’s own special kind of mindfuck. It rocks you to your core.

        I can’t wait to not have feelings for that cheating, lying, kibble-chasing piece of garbage and be pleasantly sitting on top of the Mountain Of Meh.

        • Congratulations on your divorce 🙂

          Pretty much same as me . We were on vacation made love in the morning went out to go sight seeing . He was never off his phone the entire trip . I came back from bathroom seen his phone . I love you blah blah . Told me he was in love with his ho worker and he could not breath he missed her every second he was not with her .
          He left me on holiday alone in a foreign country !
          We had to fly home together he packed as soon as we got home moved straight in with her and i have never once heard a word from him or his family . 19 years together 15 married and 5 weeks after he left me was his mum’s 70th Birthday . His niece posted on her FB all of them ( including whore ) in a hot tub drinking cocktails . Its like i never even existed total mind fuck

          • Also as a side note i have been reading through the achieves religiously and as far as i have discovered so far there has been 2 threads on the ones that just leave ( Exit affairs)

            Maybe this is more unusual than the cake eater types of cheater ?
            I am not sure but i know i have read and reread these 2 threads at least 5 times each .
            So it is nice ( you know what i mean ) to know that i was not the only one that was just abandoned like a bit of crap on his shoe .

              • Thank You , yes i have this book & LACGAL – both of which are never far away from my side 🙂

              • I wished there was one regarding Runaway Wives.
                I’ve heard a lot of good things about Stark’s book, so maybe I should get it and simply flip the script.

              • Yes, it’s not just husbands. That’s short-sighted. It’s people w/little to no character that do it. And I believe that we’re starting to see more wives doing it, if the marriage counselor I saw w/the XW is any indicator. She made sure to tell the XW that she was seeing this type of behavior a lot w/women her age (49 at the time).

              • Captain Chumpy Chumperton, the book easily applies to women, too. I recommend it.

            • I’m a 2x Chump. With my 1st idiot, he left as soon as we were to move into our new home. So I had to move in alone with my daughter – 2yrs old at the time. His family had to help me move because he was too busy with his Fembot. He left and never looked back…..even seem annoyed every time I would have to contact him about the house or his daughter (who, I should add, he hardly saw and left her waiting many times by my front door with her little suitcase in hand – never showing up as he promised. To say she is still suffering from this mindfuck 22 years later is an understatement). It’s harsh and not fair but it’s a lot quicker to move on when they go No Contact first. It’s truly a blessing in disguise. I can’t imagine going back and forth doing the “Pick Me Dance” for years. Schmoopie won her sparkly turd and now they live miserably ever after – without trust, fake happy family image and cheating on each other.

          • That’s a total mindfuck and absolutely horrible. Mine came home after 10 days and were supposed to get some sexy time. He kept making excuses (he was being faithful to new whore, you know, because he’s not a cheater 🤦🏻‍♀️). He left a few days later, never admitted anything, no counseling, I was so terrible, he’s been so unhappy and been trying to leave me for six months blah blah blah. Announcement photos of his new romance surface 8 weeks later. He has my two year old daughter sleeping in bed between the two of them!! She comes home to tell me that she got to sleep in the middle at daddy’s house (her favorite spot) between daddy and new whore. Makes my stomach turn just writing it.

            Mine was the same dog shit flavor but served in a cup instead of a cone.

            I’m so sorry 😞

              • Karen,

                I’ve also felt like the odd one out because mine was such an abandoning asshole; no begging, no hovering, I felt so worthless. And it also makes me feel a bit better (and yes I know what you mean) to hear of others who are in the same boat as me.

                But honestly, they’re all different flavors of the same shit.

                P.S. one of those entries was written by me about the exit affairs. I actually think more people do it but their chump doesn’t know and they play it off like their marriage just fell apart. Exhole tried to do that to me. Yeah, no. I figured him out.

            • Ya mine left with no remorse. But lied really well saying he needed time. Right now I have no idea why he lied about the time when he knew he was already gone. Just gone. Maybe it was keeping the kibble option open. Or too slow to figure out how to end it easily, or figure out how to hide his money. But I told him I’m not going from wife to side piece. He’s just gone. When I gave him love, forgiveness, a family, a home. I begged him to come home multiple times telling him I forgave him. I should have just said F off. I wish I had. But I spent 5 months on the pick me dance.

              Nope he doesn’t want it. He wants new woman with no kids, no responsibilities to provide for anyone, in a bigger fancier house with a pool on a green belt in a golf course neighborhood. New sparkle twat has boat loads of money he’s sucking her dry of. I’m seeing the truth about my stbx, hes a gold digger. Always was bragging and trying to be Mr.big shot.

              I get so raging angry when I think of it. I pulled him out of the gutter and spit polished him when we were just dirty punk rockers. 28 years later he’s good enough for sparkle twat and she can show him off like he’s always been successful and clean.

          • I was done the same way by xh and his family! Married 22 yrs. And abandoned by cheater. The only time anyone acknowledged my children in this entire mess was when new ho started harassing my oldest daughter and she put the bitch in her place… (she got the backbone from me 🤓) a few family members reached out to let daughter know how disappointed they were in her for disrespecting
            New whore and cheater dad! 🤦‍♀️
            My daughters decided to go NC with entire family….
            The only good thing that came from this mess was all the love I still had for XH is dead and gone now. You can do whatever you want to me but when you do it to my children my claws come out and my feelings die! My girls and I mentally had a funeral for him and put him in the ground, complete with tombstone. They now refer to him as their late father!
            This thing walking around in my late husbands body is not the man I married and shared children with!
            I say find what works to be happy and live in peace!

            • This would have been mine – walkout with no lookback except married howorker hasn’t left her husband yet!

              Soon, I am sure.

            • Tammy,

              I like the idea of a funeral because the truth is that the man to whom I was married is gone. Makes sense to create a ceremony to help move along this winding road of betrayal and all it entails. Very sticky stuff.

              What really caught my attention were your comments about your daughter. Mine has somehow been made the scapegoat for her father’s behavior. She went NC instantly and has kept firm boundaries ever since Dday. She did not learn that from me. It took me 18 months to come to that place after flunking out of the RIC strategies and then, one day I woke up and questioned wether or not I wanted to succeed knowing what I had discovered along the way about FW. (He was/is a serial cheater and had been at it for our entire decades long marriage.)

              I came to my senses and realized I couldn’t play God nor did I want to anymore. In fact, I recall that once after I had come to that conclusion he hinted that he would like to reconcile and I panicked – outwardly appearing calm as a cucumber, inwardly running like my hair was on fire. I knew then I was on to something and ending it was indeed the appropriate thing to do. Dismantle and detach.

              These young women know so much more than I did when I was her age.

              Thanks for sharing your story here.

              I see a mock funeral in the near future. 🙂

          • What you went thru sounds very painful. And I think what added to the hurt was the family and friends who act like they also haven’t missed a beat bc he didn’t seem to. I don’t understand that at all. It’s like, didn’t they care I was here? Was I Nothing to them all these years, just totally replaceable?! I get it, am going thru it now. His family has been good, not happy with his behavior for the most part. But some of our friends? Like, who were these people? I wasn’t just a tag a long, we were ALL friends, so why am I being the one pushed out when HE was the one who cheated?

            I’m working on the working on me part and over the past 4 months have slowly been entering into the not caring so much and actually, feel kind of nothing at all when I see him now.

            I like the NC thing, but we have a child and are going to have to co parent so there’s never going to be an actual NC thing happening. Mediation is in 10 days, I’m nervous yet I want to be Done. I’m super happy I found this page though!

          • I’m so sorry that is terribly hurtful. I deleted a lot of our mutual friends so I wouldn’t see that kind of mind fuck , but its hard. Huge hugs to you.

        • Please know these hurtful feelings lessen with the passing of time. I sought the help of a counselor and also antidepressants for several months but I am now free of both. I tried to work through the pain and look forward, not analyze a 26 year long relationship and 20 year marriage in which I was also (mostly) happy in.

          My divorce was on Valentine’s Day 2019. Closure helps. Focus on your kids and on yourself. You will be amazed by your strength and ability to live a full and very happy life without a cheater in it.

        • Some day you will realize this was a gift.
          My stbx and I have been separated since d day. I knew I didn’t want to reconcile, but he never even tried….it is hurtful, but I constantly remind myself it’s only good for me. I might have been sucked in by the fake charm and lived a life of pain and regret back with him…

          We should be divorced soon. He has left me everything and moved away to live with his young AP. our teenagers and I are flourishing. It seems he truly was dead weight.

          Hug. This is so screwed up. Some days I feel like I’m trapped in a crappy movie. But I know it will have a happy ending for me.

          • Marge,
            I am so happy for you that he decided to leave you everything. Mine totally became deadweight but was defiant about splitting assets and child support. We have older teens so child support is minimal and I had already saved money for post-secondary but what kind of sleazebag says his main goal “is to limit the amount and time for child support”. He insisted on taking only quality items from our house so I got the junk he got the fine china. The priceless thing for me is that my son came with me so I get to spend way more time with him.

            You are right – it is a crappy movie — but you can see your happy ending and I hope mine is around the corner too.

            Hugs to you and your kids Marge!!

              • Definitely! My kids may love their Dad but they realize who will do the actual parenting and provide unconditional love.

            • Dee,
              Mine waited for all the kids to be grown before exiting once he found the ‘right one’ to do the exit thing with. I shudder to think how long he had been planning and now wonder about all the times he would ask when I would be eligible for Medicare. Like he was weighing the odds with whomever he was with at the time, being a serial cheater that is what he was doing, on wether or not it was financially viable for him to leave. He didn’t make a lot of money so having to pay child support and maintenance would have left him with very little for his little old self and what woman would want an older man with baggage and no cash.

              I’m wandering here when the point I wanted to make was that FW left the kids behind too and then whined that he was abandoned. How sick is that! I now know that is part of DARVO so I know its ‘natural’ for these TFC.

        • We’ve both found no contact works best for us. He used our contact to create a triangle that made it him and the ow vs, mean ol me. Til I laughed and called him out on it. Once she had to deal with him without me being blamed for ruining their utopia, it got real difficult for him because he actually had to work on ‘feelings’. She seems to get him good. And she’s smart enough not to legally marry him. Any contact now between us is just business. Nothing personal. Except he still blames me for him getting caught by the IRS. Oops. Lol. I still despise him, though.

          • As usual, the problem is not that he did something wrong, but that he got caught. And even that is someone else’s fault. As usual, they are who they are, in every context.

    • “No contact means being DONE. Even if you don’t feel done, it’s practicing the self-discipline of done until your heart catches up with your head.”

      Pardon me while I embroider this on a tea towel.

      • I can’t see well enough to embroider anymore so maybe, for us older chumps – so maybe a tattoo is an option 🙂

        So aptly put about the head and heart and so easily forgotten when the shit hits the fan.

        PRACTICING is the key word. I always hated practicing but I now know one can’t get good at something without it.

        Thanks for pulling these words out of body of the larger text.

    • For me no contact was fairly easy because he left and never turned back. For me the hardest part was the mindfuck of the rejection and lack of closure. Keeping quiet and taking the high road is very hard. Hoping for meh very soon.

      • The fact that they can be so shallow is difficult to accept. We ascribed qualities to them that weren’t there.

      • Ironbutterfly,

        Take it from one whose FW did come back around again and again. It only gets crazier and to my understanding there will never be any closure. These people are constitutionally incapable of telling the truth.

        Rejection hurts like hell as we all know. Waking up from the illusion that any explanation will help lessen the pain made a big difference for me in terms of moving on. Time heals.

        Keeping quiet is bitch but does pay oof in the long run so hang in there. You are the high road so enjoy the view. You are one of the ‘good ones’ and nobody can ever rob you of that.

    • Same here and now that I’m a few year out, it was a blessing in disguise. I have seen him with the OW at the grocery store from time to time and I just look the other way!

      • A year after the divorce he sent me a sympathy card when a relative of mine passed away. I sent him an email stating he is to stay out of my life. It worked as that was already many years ago. What nerve – run away from everything but then send a card.

    • yes – mine was a disappearing runaway too. I have spoken with a couple of his friends more over the past 2 years – he quite literally walked off into the night and I have no idea where he is.

  • Ya, I’m another chump with a raptured cheater, as in, one day he wanted to work on the relationship and the next I never heard from him again.

    Any advice on how to digest that someone just flat out abandoned you? As in, he didn’t even try…

    • Same here….let it go. Mine never looked back. But I don’t try to digest it, and as time goes on I can see myself as a strong woman who won’t put up with second best. My life just gets better as time goes on, but that means I have to get out and make things happen. That’s what Tracey gives us back…..our sense of worth. Not their’s.

    • @in.light-
      Because he wanted to make is easier for him. It was about him. That’s what selfish people do. It probably doesn’t seem like it, but consider it a gift that you escaped the mindfuck. The mindfuck can literally make you feel like you are going crazy.

      • Hi Lost
        You are right – the mindfuck is horrific. My STBX abandoned emotionally (he refused to speak to me, he refused to work on marriage, and he refused counselling) but wouldn’t leave physically (so I got to eat multiple shit sandwiches as his presence was stressful on my children and I- but he happily twinkled off many weekends and spring break on vacations with his married colleague girlfriend and his pot and viagra stash). I trust that he is a pos and I really believe he was trying to break me (after 25 years where I loved and supported him). Hugs to anyone in a live-in separation – do your best to have it end as quickly as possible – it damages your health.

        • It really is a shit sandwich when your husband refuses to even engage in conversation, let alone tell you anything about what just happened, and you still have to share a space and be ignored in the process. He left every weekend so he could have some peace and tranquility as he put it. No, he was meeting the OW at his sinister’s trailer and spending the weekend popping viagra. They really are POS.

    • You’ve got this. It may take time, but eventually you’ll see that as a blessing in disguise. Right now it might feel like, “he or she abandoned me,” but eventually you’ll see it as “I’m free from that asshole!”

      • It seems as though a lot of us were just plain abandoned. I am another person who was abandoned by my last partner, who never looked back. He made sure that any sign of me having ANY relationship to his family was scrubbed from the Internet–like I never existed to him. (He went ‘No Contact’ on me the last time he left (for the work subordinate he married in his second marriage). I sometimes wish that he circled around for kibble as then I would feel as though I mattered to him somehow. I feel like a loser because he wanted to and did run away from me.) He was a Runaway Boyfriend (even told me both times he, a middle-aged executive who sounded like a kindergartner, abandoned me, ‘I want to run away from you,’ much like a Runaway Husband–wish that my ‘Runaway Husband,’ who left five years ago, would stay ‘disappeared.’ The fact that we have kids together and he often takes me to court for some trumped up ‘reason’ makes him a thorn in my side. The loneliness of being single and the depression related to life not going well (e.g, one of my kids failing courses year after year, my unemployment/underemployment, legal issues, lack of love life) is making me notice a married man, a supervisor, at my current workplace, which will no longer be my workplace in one month as the contract will end then. I wouldn’t engage in anything other than a professional relationship with him (not that he’s asking for anything other than that) as I don’t want to be a jerk–too many of them on this planet as it is!

        I would love to attend Vikki Stark’s retreat in Montreal, Canada for chumps who were abandoned by partners but cannot afford it, but I thought that I would pass on the information for chumps who might be interested.

        • What an asshole!! Mine literally erased every single picture of me in it with my kids and everything else. He did it within days of walking out. Hundreds of photos. Then he uploaded everything else to our family photo sharing plan sans unexpectedchumpiness. Every photo ever taken. He also erased every photo on social media with me in it and and every time we were tagged together. As you said, scrubbed his life free of me so fast. He erased all my family’s phone numbers from his phone lol. And that’s only what I know of. What a dickbag.

        • Hugs. I sense your despair. It’s hard when you look at things not to feel that being good and doing the right thing is a waste of time.
          Stay true to yourself. Get counselling if you must.
          Look into the light!
          If all fails watch Golden Girls.
          Hugs.
          Ps. Stay away from the married Co worker. You will end up feeling worse than you already do.

          • Hi Mandie and SPS,

            I am not trying to start anything with my married supervisor, and he is not trying to start anything with me. I don’t get the sense that he is the cheating type. I’m just lonely and with that I could get a desirable guy like him. If he were willing to commit adultery, then my high opinion of him would change.

      • I have to parallel parent with my narcissist/BPD XW. My XW rubbed in my face her affairs and abuse. It is a blessing that they just disappear. Mine tries to mess with me all the time. To torture me. Actively tries Parental Alienation. If I never saw her again would be a blessing!

        • Sirchumpalot, sounds like my STBXW. She would bring her boyfriend over and they would work from home while I sat there with our kids. It was disgusting watching them giggle and look at each other. I never had the balls to say anything to him. But I definitely made the right decision not to. She knew how I used to be and I’m guessing she was hoping I would throw him a beating that way I’d be tossed in jail. I have been NC with her for 3 months now and only correspond through emails with her. I have blocked her from my phone. She is pissed about it because “what if there is an emergency?” But I know she just wants those kibbles.
          She has succeeded at the parental alienation from my 20 & 17 year old kids. They are working hard to do the same to our 10 & 7 year olds now. He totally neglects his own 4 boys in favor of them. Now His exes call me bitching to me about how my kids get treated so good and theirs get shit on.
          Any suggestions on how to deal with the alienation? I tell my kids I love them everyday. But I get no response from them. She has abandoned me and so have my older boys. It sucks because I was the primary caretaker of them for their whole life so far. It’s like I don’t even exist to them. I have my 10 year old on my phone plan so I look through his phone and they respond to Sparkle Dicks messages about him loving them. I don’t know what else to do but to keep letting them know how much I love them.

          • ChumpTight, I think you’re doing all you can. I’m so sorry, I can’t imagine how hard that must be. I know my Step Dad (who I consider my dad) had a similar situation with his biological kids. The relationship with his daughter has never gotten better (I believe she is BPD with a mix of something else) but he does have a really good relationship with his son now (33 years old). It took a long time, but all he could ever do was be the sane parent, tell them that he loved them and support them. The only advice I would give with that is don’t enable them to treat you badly just because you don’t want to lose them. I grew up watching his kids treat my step dad badly and take advantage of him, and he was such a good dad to them. His XW cheated and manipulated and mindfucked him for years. There’s only so much you can do. Hopefully in time they will come around. Sending hugs!

          • Argh! I hate these manipulative shits.
            If they had us as adults deceived it’s that much easier to trick kids. Which is why I tells it as it is.
            I don’t even know what to advise.
            Maybe live your life and do you. Let the kids come aroud when they are ready but know that they will return to you infected.
            That’s also why I don’t believe that kids always need to spend time with both parents. Some parents are just not fit.
            I fecking hate hate cheaters.

        • I was in the same situation. I agree parallel parenting is far better than trying to co-parent. I can’t co-parent with someone I no longer trust. My cheating ex-wife would often times try to pull me into a conversation and request me to respond to things that just are not worth responding too. My kids are all at least 18 now. I keep reminding them that if they need something from me, to contact me directly rather than go through their mother. Doesn’t always work but it’s getting better.

          My goal is total NC and to never have to speak to her again.

          • Chumptight and Bud:
            That makes 3 of us! I can relate to much of what you both said. Attempts to alienate kids no matter what their age is very real and I doubt it ever stops. Mine are in their twenties and he (still) would wipe me out of existence if he could. You mentioned “ parallel parenting “: BINGO!! Sometimes that & No Contact is the only way you can go. If you’re implementing that, you’re operating from a place of power and probably doing better than you think (*including denying Kibbles – guaranteed to drive that kind crazy)!
            Keep coming back to Chumplady— read everything you can and especially the Comments; everyone here is so wise, courageous, and I’ve literally used their experiences/responses in my own situations. Interesting how predictable THEY & their antics become.
            It’s been a long & tough road for all of us but I believe that goodness, integrity, honesty, and authenticity will eventually prevail. Even if you do nothing but keep being you: the sane, loving, faithful ROCK of a parent—>their little core comprised of “50% you”, will eventually peek & seek out what they really want/need. I have a feeling this illuminates naturally from you. It’s hard but keep going, hold your head high and never give up!

        • I am living this too. Actively parallel parenting with whatever label he is(psychopath would be mine). The kids have been his weapon of choice. Followed by the Facebook Whore.Then my in-laws of 15 years. He threw us out of house to move whore in. I had no job and no where to live. (I hid with the kids) Police recommended it because his threats and violence. After 18 month battle. He got standard visitation. I have all of the abuse and threats in writing and no one cared. Now it is just constant verbal abuse and insults on “Our Family Wizard”. I was 100% care taker of children before divorce. He makes sure he takes them every time he can by our orders. Just to keep them in the cycle of brainwashing tactics against me (his words). Him vanishing would be the biggest blessing. I feel like me and the kids are chained to his abuse by court orders. Only 10.5 Years to Freedom.

          • What do the courts say? The more I read here and elsewhere the more it seems that society favours the villain and continues to oppress the victim.
            He sounds like a demon.
            The cursing via text. Is there o law against that?

    • After Dickhead filed for divorce, we lived in the same house for 2.5 months – he in basement and I stayed on the first floor and master bedroom. He basically ghosted me in our home. That was probably the worst 2 months of life – seeing him and yet realizing that he didn’t give a shit about me. My mother passed away in the 2nd month and he didn’t say a word to me.

      We tend to think of it as them not fighting for us. We’ve always had worth if only we fight for ourselves. Really, it’s them who’s not worth the fight. Being selfish, mentally abusive, withholding sex as a weapon, gaslighting, cheating – none of it is worth having. We need to flip the script. You want to take all your shitty character and leave? Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

      • I couldn’t understand the cheater’s behavior either. To cope, I viewed his narcissism as an untreatable illness. Having that viewpoint allowed me to feel less discarded. It didn’t erase the time I lost but it does help you to regain some self-esteem. After going no contact, as much as humanly possible for years, I have some strength back and I really don’t give a shit about him and his antics anymore! He’s laughable. What freedom :)! Just in time too because after 4 or 5 “relationships” that he’s gone through, in less than a few years, he’s circling back with rage. Using our daughter as a pawn 🙁 Enjoy the no contact while it lasts and heal while you can.

      • MissBailey – I can totally relate!
        After my XW announced her discard of me and our marriage (and refused counseling), we stayed together for 3 months, sustaining the charade, to keep the matter from our daughter until she graduated high school.
        The last year (divorce official June 2018) has been rough for me, but those 3 months, specifically, were the worst of my life! I was heartbroken, devastated, and seeing her everyday, acting “married”, while knowing that, after 17 years together, she didn’t give a shit about me….it was absolutely awful!

    • In Light of Grief… Definitely don’t try and decipher it.

      It was honestly nothing to do with you or what you might be lacking. You weren’t lacking a damn thing except fresh kibbles and being able to see through his bullshit.

      He didn’t do a damn thing because he has no character, no integrity and he is a coward.

      Mine still contacts me through a new email or a different phone number (my letter was published just the other day called Dear Chump Lady, she has abs of steel) and it actually messes with your mind more. It’s never genuine even when it’s disguised in genuine and heartfelt sounding words – it’s always about them. The way they act whether it be looking for kibbles or disappearing off the face of the earth – is always about what they perceive to make them feel good about themselves. His new floozy is just a “fresh start” who seeks him through untainted eyes and has no bullshit to call him out on (yet). Trust me, him going NC is what you want.

    • @in.light.of.grief,

      No, no, no. We’ve got it all wrong! My FW XW told me not to accuse her of abandoning her family shortly after D-day. She only moved in initially w/her FW AP a half mile down the block from our former home, now mine. And she still had the kids over and paid for things. So it’s not really abandonment, don’t you see?🙄 I wish I could tell her that she fucking blew OUR family apart, despite her protesting differently. That I was her family, too, and she DEFINITELY abandoned me (and the two cats she brought home unannounced a couple of years before D-day as kittens. Her AP doesn’t like animals, it seems. Telling, eh?).

      But why bother? She won’t understand it and even if she did, she won’t admit it. That’s why no contact is bliss. I’m no longer dealing w/her FW ways. And the cats give me and our kids all the love.

    • P.S. Hang in there. You are worth so much more than him. He is a POS. You have WORTH. You are important. He is not. Sending you lots of empathy through the ether. You’re going to come out better in the end. Don’t doubt it.

  • I broke the number 1 rule of grey rock club, and told my ex fuckwit about grey rock 😫 he was hassling me about how we needed to be *civil* (you should hear the recordings i have of this very same theme on repeat – no clues on who was the civil one 😂 toxic AF one way diatribes those convo’s).

    Anyway, this is a guy who was at the extreme end of grammar naziness. Easy devalue and self elevate for anyone who dared drop a wrong vowel or misplace an apostrophe. Cheap home brand kibble basically. Makes him feel strong 🤠🤡🤠

    So the grey rock convo. He uses all caps in a text and screams *AND ITS GRAY ROCK NOT GREY ROCK YOU IDIOT*

    We are in the southern hemisphere and dont use these silly American spellings, even the non grammar nazi types like me think American spelling is wierd. Totally out of place here anyway. Apologies to those who spell this way but its just how the rest of the world rolls with words. No American spelling 😉.

    But it was so bizarre. This guy knows that grey is grey and gray as well and few people here would actually call out foreign spelling (we might chuckle in private but not at grey/gray, more like color or cilantro but not grey or gray.

    But i spelled it right! I spelled it how my entire country spells it. He thinks he’s the worlds greatest speller and he balked at me spelling it right! It was truly wierd.

    Pleased to say we’re pretty much no contact now. My mistake in mentioning grEy rock inspired me to take it to the next level. If he’s going to pick on that shit in such a crazy making word salad way, im done, really I’m done. Life is good on the very nearly 100% NC (pending court order going official this month we’ll be fully NC except when we hand over the kids each week. A diary travels with them for necessary comm’s. My idea. Works for me.

    • School playground rule no 2648:

      Can’t get a person to react?
      Make up something untrue to get them to react!

      In your case, it’s slightly unusual spelling, it’s still the same thing, don’t take the bait in order to set him straight about spelling ok?

      Also if he has issues about grammar in future, let it slide a few times then casually mention that you weren’t paying that much attention.

    • I think I’d be tempted to use that traveling diary for fucking with him, deliberately misspelling words.

    • I want to know why yours (and mine and others) are so obsessed with ‘IT HAS TO BE CIVIL!!!’ Says who??? Their mistresses? What’s it about? Fuckwits.

      • Civil means I get my way all the time. They’re not talking about discourse in any sense of the word.

      • Ahh the civil request. It rates right up there with “don’t cause any drama”.

        Right. Because lying, cheating, and narc raging are true examples of behavior my civil and drama free.

        It’s like preemptive blameshifting

      • Yeah, in my Ex’s mind, civil meant I would be his friend, still listen and provide support for all his work stress, would play ‘happy divorced family’ w/him and the kids whenever he wanted, would continue to spackle for him w/kids, friends, family etc. And a boottie call once in a while would be great, too! After all, that wouldn’t be cheating on the OW, since I was his wife!!!

        There was a thread a while back in the forums about how they don’t define words the same way we do. This is definitely one of them!

        I explained to the kids that ‘civil’ meant polite, the way I would be polite to the tax auditor. Polite, but providing no information that is not actually required, and certainly not chatting and pretending to be friends.

      • OMG same here!!! He brings up how necessary it is for us to be civil ALL THE TIME. “It’s best for the children”.

        What my ex means when he says it: it’s best to pretend that we’re friends and buddies and it’s all good. It’s all about image management. If I’m friendly, what he did must not be a big deal. (Instead I got it written into the court judgement that we only communicate in written form. He HATES that I won’t talk to him, tries to engage me when at kid functions – and I’m he one not being “civil”. Because not talking to him makes him look bad. 🙄

        From Princess Bride: I don’t think that word means what you think it means. 🤣

        • Karen and chump needs sunlight,

          I third what you have written and love the turn around with words on civil = polite.

          All so confusing like he thought that he could divorce me but our relationship would continue on his terms. Fuck around with OW and then run ‘home’ when he needed his ego stroked, because apparently she wasn’t the ego stroking type. I think he also wanted someone to run home to if any other new woman dumped him or if was just having a bawd day 🙁

          I didn’t like the terms so NC has made my life much easier to navigate. Having a boundary – something put into place and defend – makes a world of difference.

    • Try randOm capiTalizations if you can’t bare to mispel werdz. I would deliberately misspell diphthong just to set him off too. 😉

      But on a more serious note – no contact is the truth and light. Embrace it!

      • Ah ! Fcku it with the civil talk!

        Just like everything else out of these cheaters traps it’s said for their own benefit. Not for the chump and not for the kids.
        Be civil for the kids? Where was the decency when the cheaters were fucking around or when they were conning us, stealing money from the family home, stealing time from the family? Where was the civility when they were cussing at us, belittling us, accusing us of things we did not do?
        Fcku them.

        Who the hell wants to be civil with a thief/rapist/slanderer/liar/cheat/abuser/psycho? Who the hell want to be civil with a traitor? I pray for the day when these frauds are made to pay.
        People are jailed for betraying country, for betraying emoloyer. They are even fined or jailed for betraying public trust. But cheaters can embezzle, steal and defraud people, leaving carnage in their wake and are not held accountable.
        Look at our kids! Look at our kids! Damaged goods before they are grown. Conflicted, depressed and torn. Pretending to be okay with shit. What the hell is the purpose of cheaters?

        Next we’ll be begging rape victims to be civil to their rapists. Or victims of theft to be civil to thieves. Cause it makes everyone else uncomfortable to see the real pain cheating causes?
        Shove it all up their cheating asses.
        I will not play nice. I will not be civil.
        I compromise by not actively fukcing my cheater over and deleting him out of my life.

  • No contact also includes blocking them across all medias – no Facebook, Twitter and most recently added his family to those I blocked on social media – they always tried to include me and the kids separately in a few things but now they are posting pictures of Ex and his new Ho Wife – so blocked all his family too.

    Such a shit sandwich – divorce. No contact is so important too. And my idea of me being civil too him is that he gets – no handshakes, no niceties, nothing when our paths cross. Maybe a head bob. Not sure.

    We share a couple of darling grandkids that “love” grandpa, so our paths will cross.

    Onward.

  • As I have several small children with Peter Pan, “grey rock” has been my only option. I will say with some pride that I’ve gotten pretty darn good at remaining as boring and non responsive as drying paint… but also, the less I interact with him, the less he bothers to interact at all with me *or our kids. He has no true loyalty to his own children, which I knew all along, but is becoming obvious for those on the outside looking in as well.

    (And my favorite? Part of all of this is that most lately, I’ve gotten lots of comments from concerned others about his behaviors or lack of care etc. I don’t talk badly about him out right. Folks can figure it out without me saying a word.)

    • Ya know what? I think I did grey rock before he even left me. I did it so that he wouldn’t explode when he was drunk. Just agreed with everything. Then oops gotta go to the bathroom. And oh yes honey you’re right. Then oh look at the time gotta go to bed good night. I kind of think it’s what made him leave me. He said I was boring He haha. Well I realize now the lengths I went to to be safe from an angry drunk.

  • Good timing. In the last couple of days, I’ve been doing my own refresher on No Contact, reading articles around the internet – including this one (from the CL archives).

    It’s been over 3 years, and I don’t foresee ever making contact with him again. Lucky for me, he hasn’t hoovered. Well, maybe just a short-lived mini-hoover at the very beginning of my going NC. Suddenly he was calling more frequently and actually being nice to me … but I shut him down quick. Haven’t heard from him since.

  • No contact is such a beautiful thing and I have been enjoying the heck out of it for 5 years now. Not one peep. I not only blocked him and Owife on phone but also on all social media to include linkedin. It was hard in the beginning since I was so used to sharing everything with the ex (good and bad) but the longer I went, the easier it became. He was resistant at first but once I made it clear that I would be of absolutely NO use to him, he stopped trying too, or at least I think he did.

    For all the newbies out there, this is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you have to parallel parent, then gray rock is the next best way to deal with them. The longer you keep your head out of the mindfuck blender, the better life gets.

  • Total no contact is the best thing you can do for yourself. And execute it as swiftly and thoroughly as possible.

    I had the ability to dump the cheater via text one night, send him a no contact notice email first thing the next morning, and then completely remove him from my life and block all avenues of his contacting me before noon.

    In time, I ended up dumping all our mutual friends, leaving all the groups and organizations we both participated in, locking down or deleting social media accounts he knew of, and finding new places to go that kept me away from his stomping grounds.

    And you know what? It still wasn’t enough. 3 years after dumping him and going total no contact, he found me on a social app and attempted to contact me. He said “This is (cheater ex), I hope you have been well”.

    So I closed the message notification, locked down that account and went back through all my other social media accounts, apps with messaging features, internet forum accounts, etc… and did some housekeeping. Removing “friends” I couldn’t remember how I knew them, turning off direct messaging, and making sure that I was as anonymous as possible.

    Be aware that they don’t go away because you want them to. They always lurk and stalk, and will attempt to push unwanted contact onto you. Even years later.

    • @CSBB— I have one minor child with X (others are grown) and she’s a teen now but when she was younger and having her twice a month dinner with X (he walked from residential time!) I would unblock him on text — he invariably would start sending those exact same messages: “how are you? I hope you are doing well.” Blah blah fuckity blah. He must be sending them 24/7 and they go into the black hole of blocked texts. FREAK!
      It’s been 4 years since GTFO day and 2.5 since divorce. He’s been with this AP (young goldigging homewrecker) 5 years. Whenever these messages break through I can’t help but chuckle to myself that these are proof he’s still the same old kibble and cake seeking cheater! Good riddance!

      • OMG that’s crazy. While we were still in live in separation my kids told me he set up a camera in his room (pointed at the door). That was his crazy paranoid mind (not sure what he thought I would do or find). He was the one who deceived not me. It served it’s purpose to freak me out though as then I started wondering if he was monitoring my email or recording me or all sorts of other crazy stuff.

      • Somebody’s cray cray…Is that even legal in your state ? Maybe time to take up skeet shooting

    • I dated an abusive psychopath in college. I literally needed years of therapy after he abandoned me, and many more years before I could even look at a man again.

      10 years after we dated, I suddenly got an email from him one day demanding to know how I was doing. He stalked me for another 2 years, even though I never responded and blocked him on every new avenue he tried. Eventually, he fucked off and returned to whatever hellmouth spawned him. I haven’t heard from him since. Scariest part is, he married someone since we dated. Poor woman.

      No Contact is the only way forward. It saved my sanity and my life.

  • No contact is the only way to freedom. It is the only thing that finally breaks the cycle. Looking back, going no contact was so damn mighty. And at the time, you feel so weak. The sheer volume of conversations you have to have with yourself to get through it is enormous. And getting over the guilt, when you slip up was awful. But no contact is the turning point. Trust they suck and internalize the fact that you will never succeed in having an honest conversation with them.

  • AN AFFAIR IS LIKE A FOREST FIRE. It destroys EVERYTHING in its path. I am
    not a firefighter qualified to put it out. My job is to get my daughter and our animals and some
    valuables in a car and get away. I am going to have to leave a lot behind.

    If I don’t evacuate (AKA no/minimal contact) I will die.

    Further, a chump is a VERY IMPORTANT, although unwitting, member of an affair. CHEATERS NEED A CHUMP TO ENJOY THEIR GAME. Like a three-legged stool, take one leg away and it collapses. Remember that the ultimate Chump superpower is to go no contact, to walk away, thereby totally upsetting the apple cart. My STBX moved in with the Craigslist Ho…and then was caught on Tinder, and was still
    going to the massage parlors featuring his fantasy racial demographic females.

    New game, but I don’t want to play with cheaters so he had to find a new Chump.

    • The Chump Superpower is No/Minimal Contact!

      A Chump is the VIP of the affair! The dynamics of an affair REQUIRE an unwitting participant. Like a three legged stool. Take one leg away and the stool destabilizes. Want to upset the apple cart and mess with the cheaters royally? Grey rock. No Contact. Minimal Contact.

      My own STBX after 27 years together had an apartment lined up with the Craigslist Ho before he moved out. Lied about it for a year. When the lies came out (they always do) it was also revealed that he had been on Tinder and still a customer of the massage parlors featuring his favorite fantasy female racial demographic (the same demographic he was living with). Same game, new faces and names. Revenge on a cold platter.
      🤣

      I don’t cheat. I don’t play with people who cheat. My daughter was taught her whole life to walk away if she is playing with children who cheat. I need to keep modeling that in adulthood here, unfortunately.

      I am NAME RANK AND SERIAL NUMBER with him. Keeps me sane, out of the game, and most importantly, allows me to heal. I can’t heal if I hang around the person/situation that hurt me.

      • Sorry for the repetition…I was kicked off and thought my post was vaporized!

        • Also 27 years married (now divorced) – he is also with his Craigslist whore. Ha! They all may have crossed paths! Fuckwits are drawn to other fuckwits!

          I finally finally did no contact/grey rock last weekend after he married the whore. I emailed him (he’s in another state) and told him the last of his stuff was now all in storage and here’s the storage unit number. He gave me the sad sausage response of “you’re my best friend and I’m devastated at being purged from your life” and “this can just be a change in our relationship not an ending” and “we can be as close as you allow” and blah blah blah. I politely responded:

          “This can’t be done the way you want, but has to be done the way I need.”

          He wrote back, “I understand.”
          (Translation: This is bad for the kids, but you’re making the relationship toxic, not me… and I’m such a great guy that if that’s what you need, I will be wonderful and give it to you.)

          (Then he went and sobbed to his mom on the phone who then turned around and promptly told me that I needed to be more understanding of how sad he was. She also told me that the whore was “so nice” and that any negative feelings I have about her I should keep to myself because to do otherwise was parental alienation… Yeah, right. I have 4 adult children and a 12 year old. Believe me. They have all formed their opinions of him and the whore with zero help from me.)

          • Jesus the NERVE. And his mother. I had to cut the entire family off, after 24 years. Blood is thicker than water and I learned the hard way I was discarded by the whole lot of them. But my kids were older too and they knew their mother was the nut. She BEGGED them to go on a trip with her and AP this past Fourth of July and they refused. 5 years later they won’t have anything to do with her “happiness”. Their both adults now so I just pop the popcorn

          • Sometimes I think that infidelity is the only form of abuse in which the victim is pressured to be ‘nice’ to her abuser. If someone was raped would we tell them that they have to be friends with the rapist? It’s so sick.

            • THIS

              The larger world just doesn’t see it as abuse. People seem to disregard the emotional abuse inflicted in carrying on an affair (and the aftermath), and almost NO ONE talks about the sexual abuse component of the lack of consent the chump has when cheater is having sex with multiple partners, using our bodies and exposing us to STD’s.

              The cheaters don’t even see it as abuse. I told mine I felt physically violated and he said that couldn’t be true because I was agreeing to sleep with him. Umm yeah, because I had no idea you were a lying cheating bastard having sex with anyone else and thought the whole marriage hubs and wife thing was still valid.

              • I use the words abuse when I speak about it and many people are startled by that word (and many probably don’t agree). Gaslighting, stonewalling, lying, deceiving, manipulating, defrauding, thievery, etc. is all abuse. Most of us on this site are not talking about a lapse of judgement one night stand (still cheating) but a whole secret life developed with layers of deceit for all members of the immediate family. They lie to their kids and I am sure they lie to themselves to live with the shit they have done. The whole threat to our physical self through STD’s is a whole other level of abuse.

                My STBX scoffed when I used the word traumatized.

                The larger world doesn’t want to admit the impact of infidelity because there are a lot of shitty cheaters out there. It is easier to pretend it doesn’t exist if you haven’t been impacted by it (yet).

              • I described the cheating as abuse and domestic violence in a coed CoDA meeting. The men who visibly flinched or started blinking their eyes until I finished my share ? Cheaters. Each and every one of them.

          • Good for you, Cloud, for going No Contact! Peace and freedom is yours now.
            “you’re my best friend and I’m devastated at being purged from your life”
            I actually love the word purge! Yes, sucker you were purged, and stay out! And Mommy can’t help you, because you really purged yourself, by deciding to be unfaithful.
            Gawd, they are so clueless!
            What they are actually crying about, is the loss of their centrality. You have a better life without them playing f-ing stupid games, and they can’t stand it!

          • Cloud,

            This is exactly what I needed to read right now.

            I finally did NC and the response was so similar to yours I know what CL says IS gospel truth.

            Feels wonderful to be free of the ups and downs contact did have – I love your line “This isn’t what you want but it is what I need” (not exactly but close enough)

            I am really seeing and feeling all the pressure I did live with for 30+ years to be there for everyone else but myself emotionally. I tend to interpret this as a ‘mom thing’. The unspoken words all directed at me to keep the peace etc. I had no clue what was beneath all the emotional emptiness and physical unavailability at the time, The X is a serial cheater which I didn’t know until 1st DDay a couple of years ago.

            My children are all grown too but now I am being slammed via one of them, who happens to still be at home and who is angry as hell and blames this everyone else except on the shoulders of his dad who set the whole ball of fuckedupness rolling in the first place. He is also uncommunicative and has put walls in place that I have allowed him to do knowing that I have done my part in trying to listen to his hurt and anger.

            I know he may never see the truth because I have a family member who is in his 70’s and still puts his cheating father on a pedestal add-nausea.

            I luckily have lots of support via mighty friends and family members plus Al-Anon so I keep trudging one day at a time one issue at a time.

            Anyway I am off topic.

            I wanted to thank you for your words! I have taken note.

  • Boy do I wish I would have gone no contact when I first found out of skankella. We/He decided to work on our marriage. He stopped the divorce. He refused to talk about the affair. All he could say is he made a mistake and he was sorry. But, talking about it wouldn’t help the healing. Coward. I would have days where I cried and yelled at him to please tell me why he cheated? Why did he pick her? What did she have that I did not have? I needed to know. He would just say must we talk about this it is a Sunday. It took me awhile to realize that when I was crying and yelling at him he was video taping on his phone. I asked him why he would do that. His response was if things do not work out I want to show people how crazy you are. That was the day I showed him the door. The POS cheats on me and he video tapes me at my worst. I realize that he most likely was setting me up. He needed to prove to people that I truly was a nut job(my cousin called me this) and he deserved to cheat.

    • Mine wanted to work on our marriage, we even did the counseling thing (major abuse heaped on the chump) and he trickle truth’ed me to death. He had moved out of town for work and we were talking on the phone and I was quietly falling apart during the 7 months of “working on us”, I had cancer, my mother had cancer, my sons were destroyed and acting out and I was scared financially because I was a SAHM. He on the other had had a new job several hours away, living in an apartment furnished by his new employer and was happier than I had seen him in years. I later found pages and pages of NOTES with dates and times on everything I said during the conversations with underlined passages like “TheBestMe called about Moms treatments, we talked 1/2 hours with her crying and sounding crazy we then spent 20 mins talking about the affair, she was hostile and upset AGAIN” “talked to TheBestMe for 1 hour, she was quiet during the conversation, sulking???” I was so disgusted with him and his lack of humane caring for the damage he was doing. I made such fun of him and called out his manhood that the councilor felt I may be abusive… LOL

      I came out of that 7 months a lot worse off, once I went no contact, I was finally able to heal. Of course I was crying, I am human and I feel. Nothing to be ashamed about.

    • Hello Cuzchump,

      Wow.

      I’m the one who was only in a relationship for a little over a year, and my boyfriend went over to another woman’s house for dinner for two nights.

      I felt the same way you did! I wanted to know EVERYthing. I had a zillion questions. He told me to quit interrogating him and ruining our time together. He shut me down and made me feel like I was an insecure, pathetic woman for bringing up the subject of her.

      Anyone would want to know what happened!

      Your husband took it to another level when he started videotaping you, so he could show it to other people! It makes me feel so mad to read about that!

      I’m so sorry that happened to you.

  • Since he walked on me, but continues to try to mindfuck me with the baby on the way I have discovered an amazing talent that the military gave me (we are both veterans). It’s a form of grey rock, called Military Bearing, and it is a lot more than the way you walk and present your outward appearance. It’s an entire demeanor where you are separated from your emotions. Nothing gets through. He forgot his Bearing, I did not. And behind closed doors I have a lot of fun watching him chase his own tail trying to get me to take the bait. His inability to get a reaction from me has been the biggest key to my survival of this. Knowing I am depriving him of his kibbles and he is starving since AP ran for the hills and his own family has turned their backs on him makes it almost karmic for me.

    • Thank you Chumped Punk…my new mantra!

      “Military Bearing…..Military Bearing….”

      I Googled some articles/essays on it already.

      AWESOME TOOLKIT ADDITION!!

      ❤️ to you and that precious baby.

      • You’re welcome! Once mastered you can answer the question ” Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” Without shouting or giggling. But in all seriousness it helps to compartmentalize what you are actually thinking and feeling with an outer protective shell.
        Another trick I’ve picked up was the “Name, Rank, Serial Number” response tactic. He tries to dig for more info (trap me into a conversation) and I just repeat the valid information emotionless. For every follow up question.

    • @ChumpedPunk—I love the term Military Bearing and the concept! I’m in a mostly alpha-male dominated field and this is my default when I am in a charger environment with them.

    • My cheater was a Marine Corps Officer. I’m sure he used military bearing on my unsuspecting self. I need to learn it too so I can coparent with that asshat for the next 14 long years.

  • I need help with kids and no contact. I worked my ass off after DDay to “make it work” because I actually like being married and having a family. Movie night and family vacations were enough for me. After being used up for two years after DDay and I was rock bottom she left anyway. After more pick me dance I was able to see things as they were and not how I hoped they’d be and I filed for divorce. 15 months post separation and 3 months divorced. No contact works and I have no problem with the optics of it but it is a “180” from what my kids have seen from me their whole lives. My daughter asked me last week “can you and mom be friends?” And when I said “not right now” she said “well, mom said she could be friends with you…”. I didn’t have an answer. What does no contact look like when kids are involved??? I can barely stand to look at her but I know there’s a place in there to work on forgiveness and getting to meh. I just don’t know what I “should” be doing.

      • This. You need to tell them in an age appropriate way exactly what marriage is and why yours had to end.

      • No they don’t. I was still so wrapped up in the “pick me dance” when we told them we were separated(she left, but “not for another guy”) that I allowed the narrative of mom and dad aren’t nice to each other. I don’t know how to undo that. I’m still hurting, it’s just the way it is.

        • My daughter knows her dad cheated. No other unnecessary details. Chumplady advocates telling…in an age appropriate way…so do I…my therapist agrees.

          My daughter learned early on the concept of “you can be friendly (civil) without being friends”. This was a tool for her entry into preschool. Now I am backing that lesson up in this situation.

          Friends don’t stab you in the back. And of course the guilty cheaters, knowing nothing about loyalty, boundaries, trust, safety, kindness, commitment, or integrity, want to be “friends”.

          NOPE. I am not going to teach my daughter that this is how friends act and send her Mixed Message Central with a broken picker. Unfortunate consequence, Cheaters! Deal with it!

        • BBM I told all 4 of my kids in front of her why we were getting divorced in G rated terms. They needed to know why mom had a new man and his 4 boys living with them. I told them I’m not going to lie & deceive them like mom has/is doing to you all.
          She asked to be friends yet and I told her straight out fuck no! I don’t even want to be within 500 miles of you. 4 weeks ago also she was nagging to me and I told her to leave me alone.
          Stay strong brother!

        • Definitely raising my hand in support of age appropriate telling. My stepdaughter and daughter were told when I tossed him on D-Day – he told them. They were almost 12 and almost 14. My boys, were younger so were not told. They had a terrible time recovering and wanted the fam back together and were angry at me because they could not see their dad often enough. Seemingly perfect fam but he had nasty double life I uncovered and tossed him out on D.Day. He promptly started a relationship with a new chump (not an AP) and married quickly – they were all one happy family with her son. Great lady but chump, and he worked so hard for us all to just get along and me to be civil for the sake of the kids. I was polite to her at kids games and such but never spoke a word to him. All communication via email with him re kids was a businesslike and grey rock as possible. He would tell the kids he didn’t know why I was so bitter and angry and couldn’t let things go. All the while I knew he hadn’t stopped the behaviors and the recreated family was image management. Fast forward a couple years and she found out nasty double life and tossed him. Quite a story there for another day. Myy boys love their stepmom and brother and now are part of our family. He is the outsider and they now know that dad cheated on three wives (I was 2nd). His insistence and pressure to return to regular schedule when now none of the kids want anything to do with him has pushed them further and further away. They haven’t quite gone no contact (kids are now 14, 16, 19, 21) but pretty much. He constantly is saying how family supports one another and stays together through hard times and it will take work from them all…..etc etc. And they truly were making progress but not fast enough for his image so he cut off support for phones/cars/college (which is not in legal document but he had been contributing to). Punishment for them not going back to “the way it was before, how much fun they used to have”, Now they choose not to see him or answer texts. He has ramped it up big time last several weeks as he has new gf (they are seen around our town- it is embarassing to my kids how they look/behave in our small town and friends report back to them, plus we’ve seen it first hand. He’s also tried to follow them on their Instagram when all his posts are him and new gf. Problem is he needs them to support what he’s told the new gf but the kids have him figured out. So then he threatens to stop paying child support which I replied with legal consequences and he at least continues that much. How do you think that went over with the kids. They eventually see it – be the good constant, non trash talking parent and honest with them when they ask. It will shake out in the end – it was a painful 7+ year wait and hard to see my kids go through it now but we are all better off – even if stressed financially!

        • BBM, I agree that it’s best to tell them in an age appropriate way. My XH gaslit them from the start and said, “Mom and I haven’t been happy in a looooong time.” Luckily I was there when he said it and I put a stop to that right away and said, “That’s not the truth. I guess your dad was faking that he hasn’t been happy in the last ten years.” XH didn’t “like” being calling out on his fake story in front of the kids; he told me so! I refused to be a part of lying to our kids. XH didn’t think I’d tell them as he said in The Divorce Letter that “he’d never say anything bad about you and you won’t say anything bad about me.” Controlling much?!

          You can correct what you did by telling your kids the truth of the state you were in when you went along with the lie of your XW narrative. You can apologize for lying to them. An apology from a parent is a big deal and my kids have always appreciated my apologies when I’ve screwed up. You don’t have to badmouth your XW. Just say the real reason why the marriage ended.

          My kids saw a very happy and what looked like in love parents all their lives. I didn’t want them to believe that just one day when everything is fine, that a parent can all of a sudden be “unhappy”. Well, we all know that parents do this, but they are disordered in some way! My XH was messing with my kids life history and reality; gaslighting them. I wanted them to know that when someone does an abrupt change in personality, there is usually cheating going on. It’s a life lesson that I hope they never need to use!

          • Agree. Mine started his narrative while accusing me of trying to turn the children against him.
            Let the children know why THEIR family is breaking up. It’s the not knowing that will drive them nuts.
            The truth is not bad talking.
            And rest assured that while you refrain from telling them, thinking that you are standing on principle, your unprincipled cheater is getting her side of things in.
            Why we keep thinking they will play nice with the kids, I don’t know?

        • Well, prepare a few simple phrases for next time she brings it up and then just say it flatly. “Your mom cheated on me for X years before the divorce, so I’m not friends with her any more. She’s still your mom, because that’s between you and her – but she’s not my wife because of all of the cheating, so that’s a different story.”

          You’re not doing your kids any favors by gaslighting them.

      • Yes, please, don’t gaslight them and make them think that Daddy just suddenly isn’t friends with Mommy anymore and such things happen out of the blue. Then you can also say that Mommy can be friends with Daddy but Daddy doesn’t want to be a friend because it wasn’t Daddy who did anything wrong. Or you can say that you wish Mommy all the best from the bottom of your heart but you won’t be her friend.

        • Just say that mommy had a boyfriend and that ended the marriage. No judgement words, no defending yourself. Say that in time things may change but for now this is the way it is. jmo

    • BBM, it is hard. The ex comes into our house two nights a week to cook for kids and talk ( I leave and visit friends) because I doubt they’d see much of him otherwise. He wanted to be friends but I told him I couldn’t, tho I refuse to be enemies with anyone, even him. Just don’t let her nicey nicey make you out to be the bad guy. Tell the kids age appropriately why you can’t be friends – maybe she did something horrible to you and everytime you see her it makes you feel very sad. All the best!

      • I’d rethink letting him in the house. There are just many things that can go wrong. He can take the kids out to eat and talk.

        • He couldn’t afford it!! LAJ I’ve posted in the forums about this and am still thinking about when to make the change but when I’m ready I will.I know all the arguments, at the moment the situation is acceptable to me a la Chumplady.

    • Maybe an age appropriate conversation about boundaries? It almost sounds like she has been trying to get at you through your daughter, but could have also been a conversation that your daughter started out of concern since her world has changed. The only advice I was given about how to handle the baby when she grows up and starts asking questions is to keep it simple and not open ended so I dont have a good example for you without knowing more.

    • First, forget the idea that you need to “forgive” this woman. Work on healing yourself. I hope you are seeing a therapist who is not urging “forgiveness,” someone who can help you rebuild your life with strong boundaries. What you most need is to heal from abuse and to develop boundaries that keep toxic people out of your life.

      What you tell your kids: “Your mother had a boyfriend. She left me and ended the marriage. When someone hurts you deeply, it’s not always good or even possible to be friends, because friendship requires trust and respect. What I can do understand that you love both of us and want us to be friends. I will always respect that you love your mother. And I want you to know that I will always love you and be there for you.”

    • I feel you on this and I had to shut that crap dad….which is hard on my 5 year old daughter. I’ve maintained the following from the beginning: daddy decided that he didnt love mommy anymore and wanted to live in his own house. Mommy didnt want that but mommy had no choice. Mommy was very hurt by Daddys decisions, including having a girlfriend when he promised not to do that when we got married. So, mommy is not ok being friends with daddy. Daddy is a good daddy but he was not nice to mommy and so mommy needs to not be friends with him.
      Yes, I get shit for it. Yes people have told my child that it is inappropriate for me to have told her that. I tell her the truth is never inappropriate.
      My daughter can already see that a person can treat one friend different that another so she is grasping the idea that daddy is nice to her but that doesn’t mean he is always that way w everyone.
      Yeah it sucks, but the consistency of my truthful rational for why we are not “amicable” as my ex claims he could be is going to win out in the long run.

      • Ragingmeh I had the same discussion with my grandson regarding his grandfather. He will soon be 5 and has some vague memory of us together. He seemed relieved that I gave him a clear answer to questions he wasn’t sure how to ask.

    • BBM,
      I totally get it. You’re forced to re-write “family” and what that means to your heart. My XW would really like to make “friends” and co-parent “better”. She throws emails over that suggest we could communicate better.

      I spot the criticism faster, I spot her trap to connect. So, F* that…, she had 24-or so years of my attention, love and friendship. Done and done.

      The chump in me wants to reach out, respond in some manner, but I remain lazer-focus on the kids and say, “What are we not communicating about the kids that we should be?” haven’t heard a thing back.

      I focus on the long-game; they’ll be adults longer than kids and I can build a relationship with them aiming for that. I can help build their skills on independence, all that.

      This isn’t what I thought it would become. This isn’t where I wanted to be. But I’m well on my way on my life journey and seeing some amazing transformations and miracles.

    • “My daughter asked me last week “can you and mom be friends?” And when I said “not right now” she said “well, mom said she could be friends with you…”.

      Here is my offering if she is old enough to hear it.

      “Honey, I won’t be friends with someone who lies and cheats on me. I deserve honesty.”

      If she is too young for it, tell her that you won’t be friends with someone who had a boyfriend/girlfriend behind your back while you were married.

      It’s a tough situation but a lot of kids are doubly angry when they find out one or both parents have LIED to them about why they got divorced. It can destroy decades of trust for them too. So put it out there in some manner.

    • Hi BBM

      I am not sure how old your kids are. Mine are older teens. My STBX were still living together in a very tense situation so they knew something was up. My therapist said to tell them only if they asked (and teen boys don’t do intimate conversations often). They didn’t ask for a long time so I didn’t tell. When I finally mentioned something my one son went on an exploration and found his Dad’s party kit (complete with pot, viagra, phone number, and of course strawberry flavored lube). The biggest thing after all of this was revealed is that my kids felt insulted that they “were not told the truth”. I became pretty honest with them (which they appreciated) and my STBX refused to really own anything (although he did admit to the “cheating” but only because he hadn’t “wanted to be in a cookie-cutter marriage for the last 12 years”). You might want to consult a counselor with experience in infidelity how to best broach the subject. The last thing you want is for your kids to think they were lied to – that could backfire with you. Good luck!

    • She is playing the game through your daughter. You (naturally) have difficulty thinking friendship while she informs your daughter that she is big enough to consider friendship. The effect is that you look petty. Your cheater is already creating the narrative to paint herself in a good light.
      Tell your kids the truth.

  • I’m no co tact/grey rock – he uses the court system to keep me engaged. 9/15 will be 2 years post divorce. It hasn’t stopped yet.

    • Yup! Seems to be a pretty common way for the truly disordered to punish us for having the gumption to leave them and cut ties.

    • Check with your lawyer whether you can start asking for your court and lawyer’s fees to be paid by your Ex. The courts have to accept any possibly reasonable claim from the fuckwits and run it through the system, but when judges see that one person is using the law to harass the other, they’ll often rule that the harasser has to pay.

      It doesn’t reduce the hassle and time wasted, but at least it hurts less, financially, and can discourage the fuckwit.

  • I am really struggling with the NO Contact part having two young children and my 5 yr old has Autism and moderate on the Spectrum. He left before my son was one years old. He married the OW he left for – one month after we divorced. It’s so hard to communicate about the kids. He Is a crappy parent ( it was worse but slowly getting better w my eldest). We have been in court fir about three years after our divorce and he finally went to jail for not honoring financial agreement but his parents sowers help him. Yes it makes me sad about the money I owe the lawyer and all the crap they put my kids through. I feel depressed about it lately, like I am never going to be rid of those two adults!! No Contact is hard

    • Sane, I’m sorry you’re going through this crap because of him! I hope he gradually withdraws from significant involvement in your children’s lives (and there are ways to encourage this, eh?). If he’s just a Disney Dad who spends short and fun times with them not too often, that can actually be easier than dealing with the outcomes of his crap parenting and the changes in routine, so hard for kids on the spectrum!

      Let us know how you’re doing, and there’s lots of great support and advice available on the forums.

  • Jackass did a slow motion walkaway, culminating in his outrage and blame shifting when I confronted him about the cheating. And that was the end of all contact.

    In the beginning, it was super painful because like so many others, I wanted explanations, confessions, understanding, and a chance to get him back. His silence and absence and rejection was so painful–until I realized that no contact with him was allowing me to see him for what he was. It’s truly the path to the truth and the light.

  • How can I do grey rock with 4 kids? Especially since 1 kid is struggling with thoughts of suicide and depression?

    Help!

    • Name, rank, serial number. No communication about anything other than kids, money, business, divorce. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell about anything else. Be all business. Civil (I am in Polite Hatred mode now myself). I say as little as possible.

    • You communicate only about kid related matters and only in a factual, non-emotional way. As much as possible keep communications to email and/or texts so that there is documentation that the communication was made. If your kid who is struggling doesn’t have professional help, find him/her some. Chances are your ex will make things worse, not better for you AND your kid since they are not equipped to deal with their own problems much less anyone else’s. I learned this lesson the hard way. When ex and I were separated but still married and “working” on getting back together (well, one of us was) my oldest had a crisis. I called his dad, explained the situation, told ex I was very concerned that son was depressed and spiraling down and that I thought son could use some guidance and encouragement from his father. There was a long pause and then ex asked if he should call son that night or sometime…. I was flabbergasted. I just said your son is in crisis and you don’t know if you need to call him right away or just delay it indefinitely?? That was the last time I asked help from my ex on anything. Lesson learned. My kids were adults so I had no need to involve him in our lives so that was an easy choice for me but the outcome would have been the same if they were still minors. Tell him what you must but don’t expect much of anything in the way of support. They just don’t have anything to give.

      • Beth,

        Reading your line,

        ‘they are not equipped to handle their own problems much less anyone else’s’

        set off a red flag. The X gets paid to fix other people’s lives. People pay him big bucks to hear his pearls of wisdom in regards to their problems but when one of our children had issues – his solution was to get him put onto drugs w/out any counseling to go along with it and he didn’t find it necessary to tell me what he had done. I was the one left dealing with a kid curled up on my floor in agony due to a bad reaction to one of the drugs. No shit Sherlock!

        Moral of the story. Beware of the professional whose advice you solicit. There are a lot of FWs out there only too happy to tell you how you can fix your life and take big bucks from you in the process whose personal lives are in a shambles. One doesn’t have to look far to see many examples of this in the guise of personal coaches, therapists and motivational speakers. Buyer beware!

        Since my children are older, I have no control over them if they choose to reach out to their dad. I too do not go there as I know it is futile. It was futile before the shit hit the fan and even more so now and it is yours truly who is left holding down the fort – every time.

        By the way, I loved the clarity of your line. Put perfect words to what I have experienced for years but I have always been challenged by attaching minimal words to a simple enough concept 🙂

    • SSSF, do check out the Bill Eddy approach to Gray Rock, BIFF communication. His book ‘It’s All Your Fault’ is great. This was what helped me to not get hooked into the drama from the Ex.

      And do inform the Ex of anything that you are required to, by law, OR in any situation where you are pretty sure the Ex will actually be useful/helpful. Otherwise, NOTHING. DO NOT treat your Ex like they are a reasonable person – because they’re not.

    • I am polite and say ‘hello how’s it going’ when I have to see the ex. My kids will not have to witness me fighting with him or any ugly scenes. I assured my kids that I don’t hate their father (he does everything imaginable to alienate them from me and tells them I hate him). Setting the example of detached, polite interaction is best. No contact unless it is necessary for the kids.

    • SSF– been there: 4 kids, two were suicidal after they discovered dad’s secret serial cheating on Christmas and he blamed and threatened them and then abandoned. I am as close to no-contact as possible. Believe me, if you want to minimize contact, you can. Have lawyer get court order that all contact is through OFW. Then, only send the most minimal of information. Make it a game how few words you can use to say anything. E.g., “no” “yes” “maybe” are all complete sentences. “I will consider,” “I will get back to you,” “thank you,” etc. etc. etc.

    • Short sentences, business-like and professional. Nothing in any email that personal, emotional or “social filler.”

  • I am sad and sorry for all of you, ha! all of US, who’ve been abandoned. Families, lives, children, jobs, homes, marriages, communities; the cruelty and apathy and character traits that are required to behave this way are breathtaking. My no contact skills mature a bit more every day. I live in a state that requires a year’s separation before divorce–it’s own kind of state-sponsored oppression but I digress–so amidst selling a home, fast-tracking a career change, caring for teenage children and all the other administrative minutiae of this life-explosion, I still have to communicate with STBXH. I needed this No Contact 101 today; was perfectly timed, as CL almost always is for me.

  • Looking at the devastation my sil left behind I think the best fact to keep in mind is……….wherever they go, there they are.

  • Yes no contact but what if that includes being alienated from your children as well? Mine lives with another woman and it’s destroyed our life!😡

  • The timing of this post is perfect.

    My first foray into getting involved with someone after D-Day (3 years ago) and I’m seeing the mind games, the intermittent reward, and some possible pre-abusive behavior with this new dude.

    My plan to to go no contact starting today.
    Best case scenario he moves on and I never hear from him.
    Likely scenario- he comes back looking for kibbles.

    Why do they use the information we share to manipulate us?? It seems like he admires me and wants to tear it down?

    Wish me luck.

    • He sounds quite disordered, so yes, you are normal and have a strong sense of your identity and self worth. The disordered ones envy that. They want to bring you down to feel power over you, as they have no personal power, as in the power to self-improve and learn to be happy. They are *never* happy. Don’t be misled by the happy crappy social media bullshit they put out. They’re a mass of hostility, resentment and discontent. The best revenge is being happy.

    • DeL, if you’d like to untangle that skein just a little (I find it helps me A LOT to understand what’s going on), there’s a theory that the disordered want someone they can respect and admire, then as they become attached, start to feel dependent and HATE that feeling of vulnerability. So they then start hating us for the very qualities that attracted them, and want to tear us down, so they can detach or at least feel they are superior to us, and therefore somehow ‘safe’. Many of the disorderd go round and round on this merry-go-round for a LONG time, and it messes with our minds so much, because we have no idea what’s going on, and as good chumps, tend to believe the good stuff and spackle over the bad, until we can’t anymore.

      The thing that helped me, about learning this, was the confirmation that HE ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE. There’s nothing I could do that would help him out of this no-win bind, therefore nothing that would help our relationship or our kids. Believe me, I tried loving and supporting him out of this, tried setting reasonable expectations … Nothing works.

      They also hate us if we stand up to them, and despise us if we don’t. So yeah, no win for everybody. No Contact is the only solution.

      • Thank you for your replies CUTV and Karen E. It helps to talk about it so I can try to stay accountable. You both are so right. I even asked him if he had feelings, like happy, sad, etc. He said he never feels content. And he does have rage. Classic NPD perhaps?

        I thought about the whole thing more today. In the span of one meeting and 4 dates, I went from the lady who initiated conversation with a stranger while waiting in line – a person with her shit together generally, to a sniveling pile of confused emotions repeating “I’m crazy. I’m so empty inside”. He must have felt powerful.

        Still no word from the Mr Crazy-Making. I know he won’t change and the best thing to do is stay far, far away.

        Thanks for your replies.
        CL and CN are the best

  • https://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/gaslighting-and-writing-villains
    I tried to post this on Facebook for all my chump family. Tracy has done a great job of explaining gaslighting I find it more than coincidental that this arrived in my inbox the same day as Tracy’s post on no contact. As she promised, only by leaving did I begin to regain my sanity. Although this article is intended to help writers create believable villains, it so completely describes the gaslighting narcissistic husband or wife, it may give you chills. Be your own hero, and recognize what you deserve and what reality can and should look like. Love to all of us.

  • No contact, or zero contact if possible, is key to breaking the bonds. Like CL has often mentioned, NC is not about being passive-aggressive or giving the silent treatment. It’s about distance, healing, and living a life free of the fuckwits.

    Shortly after D-Day (May 2018), I blocked the Dickhead, his sinister sister and the OW on all social media. By the time the ink was dry on the divorce agreement (July 2018), I had blocked all of his family and social media. The last step was blocking his cell phone number which I did after our house was sold. Our business was concluded. The only avenue left open is email because we still jointly own two vehicles.

    Not having him or the flying monkeys in my orbit has been good and soothing for the soul. I can think, relax and participate in life without worrying about the circus. Plus, he lost the right to know anything about me or my life when he gave up on the marriage. I will not give up NC.

  • The Dick poofed after 26 years. Shock and despair. 2 months of “word salad” emails and texts from the MOW house( was “living on the boat”) telling me what I should be doing and what he “would give me”…. No Contact felt like the only way to stay sane. Others told me I was being bitter and needed to “think of the children”(21,23,26 at the time). Then I found CL and CN and began to trust that I wasn’t the one who had lost it. The early days of NC are when he really showed ( in writing no less!) what he truly was. I was in shock…. the man I had loved all those years existed only in my imagination. And then we found his hoard in the garage. This MOW was just a number( though they are now married). I am no longer his #1 image manager. I fantasize about posting it all on FB or in a book….the next level of no contact I am working on….

    • A book is a great idea. I’m working on a murder mystery based on my jerk’s affair. Guess who gets killed? 😄
      Whether anything comes of it or not, I find it cathartic.

      • Go for it ! Where I think my fantasy might be unhealthy is my book would be nonfiction with one of those photo sections in the middle…..true crime. All the coworkers that are either involved or enable🤢

        • Ooh. That would be juicy. I hate those enabling, look the other way cowardly coworkers too. Even his boss knew and did nothing about them using work time to go off together every single day for over five years. I’ll be sure to include a few of those assholes in the story.

  • I am NC as much as possible with two young kids with my ex. Boy does he rage. Often. Tries so hard to get me to engage emotionally. And yes he knows my buttons – I get angry or sad sometimes and vent to my family or my boyfriend. But I get over it much quicker than I used to.

    The biggest and for me the hardest part of NC for me to master was letting go of what my ex thinks about me. Letting him think whatever he wants. Not defending myself to him – it’s like hitting my head against a brick wall anyway. No matter what I say or do, he will think what he thinks. And this is hard for me – I care what other people think of me! And I loved and supported and prioritized this man for 15 years – and now he’s “you never did anything, I did it all because I earned more money”. I had to face the fact that he will never appreciate all I did to support him and take good care of our kids – because he doesn’t value those things. In my case, my ex only values image and money. Therefore child support and spousal support are me being greedy and trying to make him poor. 🙄

    Anyway – big picture – I had to realize I cannot control or influence what my ex thinks of me. Not my job, not worth it, nothing I can do or say to change it.

    • Yup, no matter what you say or do it is in his best interest for him to demonize you. So he will. And any contact is a chance for him to abuse you further.

    • All of this. After years of co-dependence on someone, it’s hard to stop caring what they think and wanting to please them. It’s difficult, but not impossible.

      I too shall go down in his history as the selfish greedy woman who dared to request and get child support and her equal share of our assets. HOW DARE I!?! I’m sure his circle of family and friends share in his disgust of me too. oh well

    • And what he SAYS he thinks may not even be what he really thinks. Remember what manipulation and gaslighting are all able–presenting a false reality. Just know your own worth. And figure that any opinion he expresses is about manipulating you.

  • I first came across Chump Lady over 2 years after my D day and almost one year post separation. I thoughts your posts were fun and inspirational, your community cool. I didn’t think I really needed you. Although I wish I’d found you earlier. And yet. I was hurting so bad and going loco with the harassment, promises, booty calls, incessant texting. He didn’t want me but he didn’t want to let me go either. Going no contact was the best thing I ever did. I broke the cycle. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard, I was sad, he got angry. Really angry. But 10months down the track, I have peace. I have tranquility. I have Meh. Thank you Chump Lady!!!!! xx

    • Glad to hear that No Contact has helped you get out of that craziness, and that you’re feeling better, Gee!

  • I finally began the practice of solid no contact after months of yo-yoing between constant arguing, name calling, getting belittled incessantly, to blowing up and going off on him. I would get off the phone completely drained and feeling like shit and I finally got tired of it. I went full no contact about six weeks ago after he demanded that I respond to his texts and phone calls. I am starting to believe in myself probably for the first time ever and I know I DO NOT need him for ANYTHING no matter how hard/tough life gets. It hasn’t been easy at all, but as each day passes and I learn something new about myself, it does. NC has been the hardest and the greatest thing I’ve ever done. This blog has gave me the support, encouragement and empowerment that I have so desperately needed and I didn’t have to pay $4,000 to get it. Thank You.

  • I needed this badly today. Had a horrible exchange with ex fuckface cheater that’s been brewing around in my head since Monday. The details don’t matter except to say that it was just more of the usual lying, gaslighting, denial bullshit and it had to do with our kids and his new ho. He is dragging his feet through our divorce as well and that is making NC so challenging. I’m now 3 months out of the house and still struggle emotionally to make sense of my life now but I know better days will come. I’m having small moments of meh. I know it will take time. But I do believe firmly in NC. Now I just need to get the fucker out of my head!

  • Don’t feel crazy if YOU act all weird when you start doing No Contact/Gray Rock! I had SOOOOOO many long conversations and arguments with me Ex – in my head. And yes, sometimes semi-out-loud, while walking and gesturing and making annoyed noises! I wrote LONG, complete, thorough e-mails, explaining why he was mistaken, in the wrong, making things worse, etc – that I never sent. (I made myself a rule that I couldn’t reply to anything from him until 24 hs had passed. By then I could do BIFF communication.) I called friends or family and RANTED about what he was saying/texting/e-mailing, before writing my BIFF response, or in order to not respond at all.

    I must have seemed like a nut. BUT that was the only way I managed to STOP him making me crazy. I love the image of getting my head out of the mindfuck blender.

    It really helped to understand that my Ex is like a toddler; if he can’t get your positive attention, he’ll go for the negative. He’d rather I REACT to him in ANY way, than that I ignore him, or treat him like he’s not that interesting or important. So my anger, hurt, confusion, outrage, attempts to get him to treat the kids better … these were ALL super rewarding to him. And gained me NOTHING. So hiding my reactions from him, until I truly could not care or react, was very helpful in gradually training him not to look to me for his dose of drama.

  • No contact is very stressful to the cheater. Mine went bananas when I moved out and told him I was cutting him from all social media, and would only correspond via e-mail as necessary, through my attorney, until the divorce was finalized. Of course it bothered him! He was SO certain I would bash his splendid image behind his back. Nah, man. I have better things to do.

    #DramaFreeIsTheWayToBe

  • NC is truly the best, especially when your attorney is more than willing to write a nice letter for you. At $220 per hour, what attorney isn’t?

    STBXW sent me a letter recently detailing all of the medical costs she incurred last year. $850 here. $600 there. I pulled up the EOBs on them and it turned out that the $850 charge actually cost her $20. The $600 bill was actually $15. I sent the list of things that she wanted paid for along with the EOBs to my lawyer. Lawyer broke it down and calculated that of the $2,500 STBX wanted, she was actually entitled to $56. My attorney sent a lovely letter explaining this to my wife’s attorney and then advised me to send a money order for the amount to STBXW. I followed her advice and STBXW never even bothered to pick it up. All she wanted to do was put me through some stress.

    Settlement conference is at the end of next month. I can’t wait.

  • NC as much as possible. Even when I was living in the house and he was calling me names and making up things I just sat there. Or I’d busy myself with putting makeup on or curling my hair and he just go on and on and when I wouldn’t pay attention to him he’d get angry and grab the back of my neck or my arm and yell at me to listen to him. Proof right there that Grey rock and NC work. When I moved out because the Physical abuse was increasing daily I continued NC and grey rock and I got really good at it. A lot of “send it to my lawyer” Which cost me an arm and a leg but not having to deal with him save me my sanity!

    Now I’m a year past my official divorce date, I only have to see him at our childs special functions. (He stopped showing up to the sports stuff so I don’t even have to see him then) Exchanges are done through the school. He’ll drop off morning and I’ll pick up afternoon or vice versa. Only holidays when school is closed will I have to do exchange in person. I’m telling you it is the way to go. If you can avoid in person exchanges I say do it! That will save you sanity!

    He has a new victim. 🙂 I hope she sticks around for a long time! I rarely have any “issues” of late with him. Well except his refusal to pay for some medical/dental bills. But I’ll now turn it over to the county to handle that I tried and that is enough for me.

    Do everything you can to go NC. I won’t even talk to my ex on the phone. Its all emails. If we are somewhere in person and he tries to talk to me about something that is a “touchy” subject that I know we won’t/don’t agree on I just simply tell him to send me an email so its in writing. Of course he never does and I never hear about it again. HA!

    Best advice given to me is NC/Grey rock and DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! And I mean EVERYTHING.. From the times he’s facetimed my child to events he could have attended and didn’t show up etc. DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT.

  • Hi chunpnation, unrelated to NC but would appreciate your feedback kicking off the divorce. I’m 4 months from Dday and a dad to our 2 year old.
    Paid my lawyer’s retainer and sent in the financials today. Haven’t told wife. Still living together and usually sleeping in the same bed. I can’t sleep and I’m a wreck. She is “trying” to repair the marriage but it is far too little and far too late. It’s the standard ‘cheater wants to keep the cake without actually doing anything’ scenario.
    Well thanks to CN and CL I’m not going to be her doormat and I’m getting the divorce.
    Current status is generally civil as we both work full time. Any talk of the 4 month affair with the ex-con under the guise of girls nights while I stayed home with our daughter is futile and leads to arguing. It comes up once or twice a week.
    She is capable of financial, emotional, and physical abuse but not even in the ballpark of the nightmares we usually see here on any of those counts.
    Marriage counseling this afternoon. My hope is to have an LMFT backing me up when I bring up the divorce at a later session. I hope the counselor helps her see divorce is the only option and helps us collaborate to raise our daughter. I’m dreaming of course but the counselors office is clearly the place I want to spring the news that she will be getting served. I believe she would call the cops and make a false accusation if I mention the imminent divorce at home. If she gets served without warning I would assume war is in store.
    Since the the paperwork won’t be served for another week or so, my plan for counseling today is to simply say the affair broke the relationship and it looks irreparable without mentioning divorce.
    Then, continue in the same living conditions, and bring up the divorce when the paperwork is in route next week at the counselors.
    Based on her reaction, move on from there. I’ve resigned I won’t get primary custody. Daughter is very young and wife is a social worker for youth and families. All 6 consultations said we can fight but you won’t win due to those factors (age of child and sympathy for social worker). Therefore my primary goal is to get 50/50 time share, develop a long term functional co-parenting relationship out of the ashes of this toxic dysfunctional relationship, and retain some of my income and assets.
    My income is 3x wife’s so she really has me by the balls.
    I don’t think fighting for custody will benefit me as it will just be an extremely expensive loss according to the lawyers.
    Thoughts, feedback, and PRAYERS appreciated.

    • Sympathy as a social worker outweighs affair with an ex-con? Huh.

      I’m not a lawyer, JMO, but a) I’d play hard ball in settlement about that ex-con and her judgement. I’d start at custody and “negotiate” to 50/50. Talk to your lawyer about deposing her affair partner if settlement talks stall. Again, I’m not a lawyer. I’m for using what leverage you have as a chump.

      b) In home separation sucks. And if you think she’ll falsely accuse you of abuse, this is a BAD idea.

      c) Is there anyway you can move out and serve her? Or discuss divorce in front of therapist third party and state your intention to move out? Again, get legal advice on this, as moving out can sometimes be construed as abandonment. Personally I’d move heaven and earth to not do in-house separation. Some money is too expensive.

      d) Don’t expect her to be fair. She’s not your friend. Just have a clean exit strategy and go as grey rock as possible. She should WANT to co-parent responsibly with you because she cares about her child and SHE WRONGED YOU and she’s “sorry” — divorcing her should have ZERO to do with her level of remorse or how she co-parents.

      I’m guessing the “sorry” won’t be that deep when the consequences come.

      Stay strong. Use your lawyer as a firewall as much as you can. It’s survivable, and so much better on the other side.

      • In house separation just about killed me – they stress of it caused so much physical and emotional exhaustion. Do your best to avoid it or minimize it. I did it for 12 months and I am still recovering from that stress. As Tracy says – “some money is too expensive”. I did it because I had a son in Grade 12 and my STBX defiantly refused to leave (I didn’t want to add any more turmoil to my son’s life by uprooting him in his final year but if I had to do it again I might change my mind on that).

      • In-house separation can be really dangerous, if you think your STBX is capable of false accusations of abuse – which you clearly believe is a possibility.

        Talk to your lawyer about this. See if you can move out, take your daughter as often as possible, and get temporary orders as quickly as possible as well.

        You need to protect yourself. You might be able to fight false accusations of abuse, but there would be a LOT of time and hassle and stress before that was all over.

        I don’t understand why you’re attending counselling sessions in the meantime. How about getting ‘sick’ or ‘super busy’ and cancelling until you can announce in session that she’ll be served? You don’t want this to slip out of control. Good idea to do that announcement w/a third party present. After that, never have a discussion w/her without somebody else there, or at least have any discussions in public places with others around. (I did this because I was afraid my Ex would be violent (again), but it works to protect in your situation, as well.)

        And while we would ALL have LOVED to be reasonable and cooperative co-parents, it really really doesn’t work with the disordered. If your STBX has narcissistic or Borderline traits, parallel parenting is the most realistic, and because it’ll help keep you sane and your home peaceful, the best for your daughter as well. See how it goes, but keep this in mind.

      • I agree with CL. Start with custody, citing the ex-con boyfriend, and negotiate from there to no less than 50-50.

        You might reconsider sharing a bed.

    • I think you are right that it would be futile to fight for more than 50/50 at this time but just don’t give up the 50% you are entitled to. It sucks, but that may be the best you can do. Then just be the best Dad you can be when she is with you. Also try and get right of first refusal so that if “mom” can’t be with her during her allotted time for any reason, she has to call you first and give you the option of taking her during that time before she looks for somebody else to look after your daughter (the exception might be regular child care while she is at work). You are not obligated to take her, but do whenever you are able. Financially it sucks, you will owe child support but if you have your daughter 50% of the time, the assumption is that you are already paying half of the cost of raising her and shouldn’t need to contribute more than the other 50% of the cost in the form of child support. You will be hurt financially, but if your lawyer is any good, her standard of living shouldn’t end up any better than yours. I would aim to sell the house and split the equity (which sucks I know). That at least puts you on even ground as far as finding new accommodation. There is no way to avoid giving up half of your wealth which isn’t fair but try to avoid having to give up more than that. If you have your daughter 50% of the time it is in her best interests for your standard of living to be as high as her mother’s. I am not a lawyer and I know the judges are not always fair, but if you don’t try to retain more than 50% of your combined wealth (even though you are earning more than that), you should not be perceived poorly by the judge for wanting to keep your half so that you can adequately care for your daughter when she is with you. Your lawyer may be able to help you determine the best way to present yourself so that people see you as a caring father who wants what is best for his daughter rather than as a bitter ex husband who is trying to screw his STBXW financially. Maybe expressing an interest in parenting classes and family counseling with the aim of peacefully coparenting will help. You can’t make her go along with it but if you are the one who expresses an interest in that and she is the one refusing, that my help you look better in the eyes of the court. Anyway, good luck on all counts. It sucks, but eventually you will come out ahead. Play the long game.

    • Mac1234
      I’d follow CL lead on the challenge your stbxw decision making skills and safety of your very young child. I’d also advise adding a CPA to your legal team during mediation. The way you structure a settlement in some states can be creative and protecting yourself and future income post alimony or property settlement is important. It’s more difficult to protect child support but creating education accounts etc are some ideas to ensure monies go to children long term. My CPA worked with my lawyer to craft an unusual financial settlement that protects me financially. Although it was my ex who cheated and owes me. …

  • No contact is great cause it not only fortifies against attacks from them but also helps us chumps manage our own behavior. Under the umbrella of “you can only control your reactions to others and not their their actions”…it can be very difficult to NOT yell, scream, cry, and generally act crazy when engaging with a cheater ex. As a chump, I’d feel terrible about my behavior afterward because I’m hard wired to be kind, thoughtful, tempered. No-contact creates far fewer situations in which I end up feeling bad about myself.

  • I am moving forward with the mindset my wonderful husband of 20 years is DEAD! Because he essentially is and it makes no contact easier. You can’t communicate with a dead man. However I am grieving hard for the loss and the wonderful life I had. I just have to push through it. I used to be so happy now I feel my life is something I have to survive.

    • PW,
      I can relate. I was married to a man I dearly loved and admired. I felt fortunate to have met him and always told our children what a remarkable man he was compared to other fathers in our neighborhood and how I felt so fortunate to have never felt like I had made a wrong decision when choosing to marry him.

      Fast forward to Dday and all of my words came crashing down around my head. Over the next few months I found out their father was a serial cheater and had been for their entire lives – I have children all in their 20’s and I had been married of 30 years at the time of Dday.

      I had loved my life and suddenly that life was taken away and reordered whilst I stood by and watched it unravel before my very own eyes. It was as thought the ground had opened up beneath me and gobbled up the person I had been, the person the X had been and our lives in one fell swoop. All gone and the nightmare began.

      All of my close friends have been fabulous but they all are married to good men and have been for decades. Suddenly I am not one of them anymore and I have a hard time showing up when asked over to get togethers. I get filled with envy when I see how they get to live – still with unlimited resources to do as they please while I pinch every penny just to buy groceries hoping I will have enough money to last out my life. I panic when something breaks or I have to do routine maintenance on the house. All new feelings for me so I feel ashamed as well as afraid and then I feel guilty because I too feel like I am just surviving when, in fact, I have a roof over my head, my dignity and I do have food in my refrigerator and lots of emotional support from really, really good friends. Lots of new and mixed feelings mingle together but I can see that things are getting easier as time passes so I keep trudging on hoping for meh and Tuesday. I get very sad though when I realize I will never have another intimate relationship for 2 reasons. One is that I am older and am not anywhere near being ready to even contemplate dating while the other reason cancels out the first because I can’t ever imagine letting myself fall in love again when I was so completely wrong with the X. I can’t imagine letting myself ever being that vulnerable again – at least not in this life time!

  • I had a cheater ex who despite my NC kept trying to contact me in any way possible since 2012. I had tried to disappear from obvious social media just to avoid him. I must admit I have felt some degree of fear that he might try to cross paths with me. He went oddly silent in early 2019. I found his obituary on google in May. He had died suddenly in February. Really shocked me since he was very fit. I have gradually realised it was what he had coming and thank heaven he won’t hurt anyone else.

  • Mine went full force in wanting a divorce when I found out the last straw of indiscretions. Then stupid me wanted to wait until I was used to my new job, but of course that just dragged it all out. He contacts me for kid stuff or bills etc but his Schtick ranges from courteous, to a little jokey thinking he may crack my wall and perhaps we could just be more friendly because he wants to get on with it. I’m sure he will continue acting that way until it seems like I have a problem and can’t get over it. No, sorry we don’t just have irreconcilable differences, you majorly messed up and ruined our family, and I’m not your friend and I don’t have to play nice.

  • When I got divorced I created two new email addresses. One of them was for contact with the narc about our minor children. The other one was for my contact with everyone else. I blocked him from my old email and also blocked him from the new email. I only contacted him via the email to deal with the kids.

    When the youngest child graduated from high school and child support ended, I blocked him on his special email address and eventually stopped checking it.

    For a long time I had him listed in my phone as “Himself – Don’t answer”. I rarely/never answered the phone when he called and I never, ever replied to a text from him.

    Back when I still communicated with the ex via email, I made a game out of using as few words as possible in an email. I also made it a practice to wait at least 12 hours, and usually 24 hours before responding to an email unless it was urgent. It was rarely urgent. Just because he demanded an instant answer doesn’t mean that it was urgent.

    No contact is hard work at first. Then it gets easier, and finally it becomes a habit. It’s the best thing I did to break his hold over me.

  • Excellent writing today! Divorced in 2017. I needed this since recently Mr. Fab sent me a text message about missing what we had 🙆🏻‍♀️ Texting ex-wife with the case of “THE SADZ” . He just realized he did a big mistake and he “cries” when kid takes a plane back to me. He is so crazy. I will send his text one day to CL. Also he interviewed my kid since I do not talk about my life at all and he found out I am “alone” / still single by choice. He encourage me to live my life and find someone that I can love!!! He wants to make “peace”. He states he will always will love me! 🙆🏻‍♀️. That for my information he is not “so happy”. I never talk to him. He kept saying he remembers how we met … blah, blah , blah. ME: NO REPLY! THANKS FOR MY CHUMP FRIEND HERE I WAS ABLE TO VENT ABOUT HIS TEXT IN A PRIVATE CONVERSATION. HE IS STILL WAITING FOR REPLY I GUESS 🙊🙉🙈

  • My husband cheated on me on our 41 anniversary weekend He knew it was then but chose who he wanted to be with , which wasn’t me , I’m glad I read the No contact , because I didn’t know all it meant I do now But I’m no where near Divorced we are separated , and still living in our family house for financial reasons I do have my own room , I ignore him as much as I can , I try not to be there when he’s there But for now that’s all I’m doing , Working on getting my own place or getting him out But he won’t go unless he really wants or needs to be He broke up with his cheating partner so he doesn’t feel a need to leave But soon hopefully soon divorce will be our next step thanks for the knowledge of what No contacts meant .

    • Lynn
      I did in house separation for 11 months with two children. I still remember the look of amazement when I quit cooking and doing his laundry. I broke NC twice. I did not speak to him. It was horrible. My lawyer advised me to stay in my home. It’s possible. Very difficult. Ask your lawyer before you do anything.

  • I couldn’t be happier where he landed. You’d think the OW would just enjoy the serial cheater, right? Especially since it’s been five years with number 19.

    Year two she wanted to make peace. Year three she ran me off the road after my granddaughters show. Year four she wanted reported me to the police because I drive in HER town; a town I’ve frequented for decades. Year five the Limited says he’d be willing to talk to me according to my daughter. Why? WTF?

    I have clear boundaries; no contact for LIFE. They will never have access to me, ever. It’s not my job to make small talk or pretend . Yet they continue with their attempts. Like I said, “I like where he landed.”

    No contact. No drama. No chaos.
    Peace. Gained a life.

  • I had hoped that my abusive, cheating who repeatedly falsely accused me of committing crimes and tried to stop me from seeing our kids would pay my legal fees. Five judges, five legal teams, five years, 20 hearings, and $100K later, I still haven’t recovered a cent in legal fees from the guy who travels the world in style and pays virtually nothing to live near the beach. As I lost almost everything (except kids) and will be unemployed again next month, I am devastated.

    • Rockstar, it’s not fair. The lack of protection,equity,and JUSTICE from the LEGAL system is infuriating. There just seems to be no protection or aid from the one system that really should have our backs but instead seem designed to protect the cheater.

  • I’ve been in No Contact since March of this year. It was very hard at first because I felt like I needed closure and was secretly holding out hope that he would say he was sorry.

    What helped was that I immediately changed his contact name on my phone to ‘LYING, CHEATING EX’ as we sorted out the paperwork and tried to break the lease. This really helped me to remember what he did to me, because when he would text me asking for forgiveness or that he missed me, I found it difficult reconcile – the person that I was deeply in love with the cheater’s actions and what I KNEW he did (even if he still denies it).

    I communicated with him only briefly to confirm when he would be moving out but 4 days before he left, I stayed with friends elsewhere until he retrieved all of his belongings from the apartment we shared.

    I never provided him with an opportunity to say goodbye or say anything more to me. I then deleted him from Facebook.

    Since March, he has messaged me every month saying that he misses me and if I can reply but I refuse to reply.

    It was only last month that rather than waiting for his next message at the end of June (he always messages at the end of the month) and then thinking about it for a few days, that I decided that I would just block him completely on every platform.

    I let go of my hope at the same time that I blocked him. Even if I were to receive an apology now, I couldn’t even believe a single word he said.

    I should’ve blocked him sooner.

  • Thank you CL for running this again. I am new here and hadn’t found this in the archives yet so you made my search easier.

    I love your ability to be explicit. I have borrowed lots of books from my local library on this topic and on narcissism etc so my brain is flooded with information yet your words are the ones I come back to the most often because you cut to the chase with such eloquence. By using a few words you manage to say it all in a way that I can grasp what I need and remember it when needed. I so appreciate what you do here for people lie me and I wanted you to know that.

  • But I’m not able to go NC now. My a-hole xbf withheld sex from me, strung me along with empty promises of commitment, cheated on me, and even impregnated one of those girls during our relationship. Kid was born a few months after we broke up, and he’s been there every step of the way for his kid, now in a live-in relationship with the baby mama. However, I now owe money every month for the next number of years because he fast talked me into cosigning a student loan for him back when we were still together, then claimed during our first breakup he would be withdrawing from school (before the loan would have processed), but never did. At that point, probably the WORST thing I did for myself and my finances was to go 100% NC after our first breakup instead of contacting him to insist on proof that he formally withdrew his enrollment during the initial full-refund period. Now I’m stuck with a 90day delinquency on my credit for his student loan, and having to pay this loan every month just to avoid further damage to my otherwise spotlessly rebuilt credit. I am beyond upset. Worse, people are telling me I have no grounds to go after him for this loan I’m paying on. The credit hit is hurting me more than him, esp since he splits housing costs with his baby mama and 2 roommates, and has some inheritance money left in savings, while I live all alone in an expensive city (it’s where my city govt job is) and haven’t had a raise in several years. At this point, I can’t afford to just pay off the loan, so NC is out of the question, esp if I am able to take him to court once I pay off the loan. How can we do NC when we still have ties esp financial ones?

  • No Contact sounds good right now I wish I could do it We are still living together cause we can’t afford to separate into our own places , We are trying a trial separation Having a very hard time getting over the hurt and pain he’s caused me , He’s still seeing the OW He’s moving on , I can’t , All I do is cry , I’m making myself sick , married, separated, he’s moving on , I’m stuck in Limbo , I wish he would just leave , No contact sounds like heaven to me

    • Same here Limbo,
      I’d love to do NC but can’t as we are doing the same “trial separation” in the same home since he won’t leave and find somewhere else. He has family and friends all around us and still won’t leave! I’m from the other side of the country so I have no where else to go. Found my husband on Tinder recently (a friend screenshot his account to me) and he cheated last year!! I want him out of my life! I can’t heal until he’s gone. Luckily our lease is up soon so I’ll be able to move out!

  • I’m in the middle of my divorce. My ex husband cheated on me 12 years ago with a married woman-then found out in 2017 he was pursuing a friend of mine (ex friend). I moved out, bought a house and share custody of our 3 teenagers. I would LOVE no contact-but how can he have control over me when he can’t talk to me whenever he wants?? 🙄 I’ve finally got him to back off-but just today-he had to tell me how he thinks our 17 year old is “playing us” because he wouldn’t eat the dinner he made for him last night and preferred to grab some take out. Um-WTF?? Playing us? Because he’s a teen that has a car and his own money and wants to get his own dinner? Nope-that’s that kick in the control teeth that the cheater just can’t stand….

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