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Word Salad or Word Wisdom?

After parsing a lot of word salad through the Universal Bullshit Translator yesterday, I thought today’s Fun Friday challenge would be to share the succinct, commonsense advice someone gave you.

Maybe it was encouragement (“You’re mighty!”), or an observation (“What an asshole.”), or a new way of looking at things (“Some money is too expensive.”) What clear, declarative sentence cut through the crap?

Instead of the shiny-haired garble-mouthed quacks out there, what ordinary person gave you sensible talk?

Your mom? The plumber? Random lady in the grocery line?

Tell CN and TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Marriage counselor- “you’re being abused.”
    Individual counselor- “what MORE would he have to do at this point for you to leave?”

    • My counselor also said “how much more abuse are you going to put up with for you to leave,” along with “you need to grow a set.”

      • I went to a counselor for about half a second. I was DEEP DEEP DEEP in marriage rescue mode and she leapt into “Its over, you must leave” in the first 30 seconds of interacting with me and scared my chumpy version of a timid forest creature so badly I never re-emerged.

        I wonder what might have happened is she had sensed my hesitancy and worked me towards seeing this truth and not dumped it on me when I was SO NOT READY to consider that.

      • I asked that of myself. Upon discovering the condoms and sexual harassment notes in Hannibal’s computer bag, a voice inside asked, “How much more self-respect are you going to give up to stay in this marriage?” Another voice answered strongly, “No More.”

  • “He stabbed you in the back. If you go back, you are just handing him more knives.”

      • Every Wednesday morning my friend would text me these three words to remind me to imagine saying to him: “Move along, loser!” She kept it up every Wednesday until I was able to answer, “Who?”

        • An friend of ours, stbx’s old friend really, was incredulous when I told him and his wife the news (I got the blindsiding, abandoning, cheater type). His sister experienced the same thing 25 years before with a very young family…she only had recently starting living without that black cloud making her miserable.

          He told me that I was “clotheslined” in life and that I can’t live like his sister had for so long. He said I was “thrown into the trenches and I had to claw my way out”. He really meant it. His conviction based on seeing it ruin his sister for far too many years really stuck with me.

  • I was extremely lucky and had a GREAT therapist right after D-Day and the aftermath. After the 2nd session, she frankly said to me, “Your ex-husband is abusive.” Nobody had used that word to me and it started to click. She NEVER spit out RIC salad. She worked on helping me to protect myself from him and him further abusing me.

    I found her through my work’s EAP. If you work for a larger company, you may have that FREE access. Best phone call I made for that appointment.

        • Thank you so much for these 2 sites. Just last night I asked god to please help me strengthen my faith- to learn to let go and let god. And this morning I come across these posts and these sites. Some much needed things on both these sites! The day I decided to leave my ex my church posted a verse on their facebook page- look I am making a new path for you in the desert! I knew that was good telling me I was don for be right thing- but it’s hard to keep that faith going sometimes when you have those down days.

          • <3 <3 Glad I could help! This is something I have struggled with for years; the biblical issue of infidelity and how he and his family claim to be "Christian" and act the way they do.

            • One thing I struggle is that one of his best friends and his family who we’ve vacationed with fancy themselves to be devout Christians- don’t miss a Saturday evening church function- yet as soon as I told them that he had cheated- they cut me off- blocked me- and said it’s between me and him- and obviously they chose to block me and embrace the adulterer. I just love the hypocrisy!

        • NEMO,

          Thanks for this link. Your posting it couldn’t have struck me at a better time.

          One of the biggest challenges I am facing is the blow to my faith which was so tied up in my marriage to FW. Yes, I know I was carried through the really touch early days but now, dealing with the fall-out I stumble and get confused because the X is one of those really scary ones who looks good on the outside yet is so rotten on the inside – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Even my grown children were fooled and remain so still and therefore their anger gets displaced onto me. I am living the reality of how the DARVO strategy plays out. The victim made to look like the offender.

          There are times I question things and struggle with trying to sift out the true from the false. ( I spent 30 years being made to feel like it- ‘it’ meaning everything! – was my fault so only now am I slowly realizing that NONE of it was my fault – I get it intellectually but my heart still questions on some days with I am triggered by one of my grown children.

          Anyway, I immediately checked out Unholy Charade and somehow found his sermons on the Psychology of Sin and WOW. He sure does a magnificent job of nailing the behavior on the head as well as being ever so compassionate for us victims.

          Yes, from what I have gleened from the sermons I have been able to listen to, he is saying the same things that CL and CN share here so, in one sense, I am not learning anything new BUT hearing it stated – a voice vs typed words on my computer screen, has had huge impact in me being able to absorb so much of what I have read – not just here but in books etc. Its like he has summed it up just like CL does here daily – specific behaviors, their intentions, the results of the shit they do.

          If anyone else here needs extra encouragement I highly recommend his site and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really consider myself a religious person.

      • For any newbies, Divorce Minister is a long time chump and contributor here is Chump nation.

    • I had a great therapist for the first two years. I was dealing with a pretty much runaway husband situation. At one point about 3 months in she said, “Honey, he’s never coming back.” It was a slap in the face, a bucket of cold water & a lightning bolt all at once. It opened up a floodgate of emotions so unbearable I attempted suicide that night. Yet it was her words & eventually Chump Lady & Chump Nation that forced me to start the healing journey & realize that not only does he suck but that I guess I really never knew who he was – I had lived a 26 year illusion.

      • So glad you made it past that and are still here. I understand. ❤️

      • I had a similar comment from our one and only marriage counseling session: “Hope is not your friend.” I didn’t take this advice well – had a major breakdown that night. But the therapist was right, and that was the turning point for me to hire a killer divorce lawyer and get my ducks in a row.

        I don’t miss my sociopath ex one bit.

        • My therapist said that too! Hope is not your friend. Helped me move past the crippling pick me dance.

          • I would add “Hope is not a plan” Make a plan, don’t tell them you’re making a plan and then escape.

            • Several of my friends immediate responses to ‘the news’ was, “protect yourself financially.” Their words added to my already shocked self because I had never seen the X as an enemy from whom I had to protect myself. I was almost completely in denial and couldn’t bring myself to do it until the day he actually took action and left. That shock was my wake up call. Felt like I was walking around in a fucking dream and I kept waiting to wake up.

              I remember my first response to their words was incredulity – ‘they don’t really know him and the ‘special’ relationship we have’. I really believed that sanity would prevail and he would snap out of it. I actually felt relieved when he would show up and I could pretend that all would work out in the end and we would go on our way as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened. For a long time – can’t remember exactly how long, 9 months maybe, I indoctrinated myself in RIC literature since that is all I could find on the internet. I had no clue about Tracy until about a year into it. Her book was a game changer.

              The rest is history complete with battles, heartache and rebirth.

              Took me about a year to realize it was me who needed to wake up. Ouch.

              • Me too Elderly Chump, took me a little over a year and it was only a realisation of how badly it was affecting my kids that shocked me into telling him to leave. I think he’d been hoping I’d settle for him just as a house-mate and him being around would be enough for me. It was only when he’d gone (and his big grumble was that his caravan wasn’t ready for him to move into yet) that I began to realise that I’d been Plan B most of our married life.

      • Me too dear I know exactly how you feel mine was a “NARCISSIST” horrible DDAY and ZERO help except from strangers it’s been hell. Very slow journey back to health! In Canada the system doesn’t recognize NPD disorder it’s almost impossible to access help!????????????

        • Hah! that explains my in laws – who are in the therapy business, to boot!

        • Canada’s mental health systems use the same DSM that the States does, so of course NPD is recognized. If you are looking for help specifically for recovery from ‘narcissistic abuse’ (which is not an accepted diagnostic term anywhere in the world), then no, you won’t find that within the usual health systems, although there are private therapists who deal with this, as is usual everywhere else as well.

          But recovery from psychological abuse, which is what narcs DO? Yes, that is available, although as for every psychological problem, not as easily or quickly as it should be.

          Check with local Domestic Violence services; their mandate also includes psychological abuse, so they can often provide or direct you towards appropriate services.

        • Of course you can get help. Your GP can give you antidepressants and sedatives to deal with the anxiety. Psychologists don’t work under the health plan, but psychiatrists do. You can get referred, but very few of them do in depth psychotherapy anymore. Most just dispense drugs and give you a brief talk session. You might have to pay out of pocket for more specific abuse trauma therapy, or it may be available through your municipal health department. They usually have counsellors for abuse survivors. They are social workers, not psychotherapists, but they can help.

          Yes, NPD is recognized, but you don’t have that, your abuser does, so why does that matter? Trauma is treated the same way if it’s caused by a narc or something else.

          • Trauma or personality disorders do not seemed to be recognized by courts in Canada. Everything is no fault and an avenue for the abuser to abuse you more.

            Getting help is not so easy, trying to get into seeing a psychiatrist could take over a year where I am in BC and sure you could pay for your own psychologist but who has endless money while going through this when then cost $150 an hour at least. Most people in this situation are trying to keep the kids fed, clothed and be the sane parent while many fighting for child support and an fair equal divorce. Even getting into counselling through domestic abuse centers there is a waiting list. I am not in a small town but a city of approx 100,000. The mental health help and system here sucks and the courts ignore what is going on or are untrained to see what is actually going on.

            • I am on The East coast, and its worse here. The Drs prescribe and tell you to see a therapist but then you get in line and wait years because ” your need is NOT critical”. Then you get ur shit together & go to a lawyer, only to be told : there’s no $ here only debt, so save ur $, let it go & move on. The kindest lawyer told me that a judge would order me to pay support even in 50/50 custody because he lacks income on paper and I have a reg job.
              The system is protective of offenders not victims!

      • Aw, honey. I’m so sorry you went through that, but happy you made it and are with us.

        • Some of these names crack me up so much – but chumpupthevolume is the winner for me!

      • Hurt1, I’m so sorry you felt pushed to attempt suicide. I know how you must have felt, as the POS cheater makes you wonder if you really are at fault. And of course the short answer is, you’re not. Yes, we are all very flawed. But we took our commitments seriously to our partners. We tried our best. WE LOVED THEM. The least they could have done was try to discuss things w/us, try to work it out, and if we couldn’t make that happen, separate civilly (who knows, maybe even amicably? Unicorn, anyone?).

        Instead they fed us shit sandwich after shit sandwich. And after being together that long and having a such love for them in our hearts, their betrayal fucking hurts like hell. I’m so glad you were unsuccessful in your attempt. Be strong, know that all of us here in CN love you & understand your story all too well. Live the best life you can, and let that be your revenge on that fucker to whom you pledged and honored your love. He’s living a shittier life now, w/out you. Even if he doesn’t realize it yet, or never does. We know it.

        • thelongone,

          Thank you for your kind words. It was such a horrible time time in my life – my parents were deceased & my much loved in-laws turned their back on me (of course they probably believed their son’s concocted narrative). My best-est girlfriends all lived far away & my co-workers were just as bewildered. Having the person in your life who always made things better turn out to be a sham was more than my brain & heart could handle.

          On a side note, ex’s affair with subordinate OWhore co-worker quickly fizzled out in the light of day. A few years later he went on to marry a homely girl who wasn’t even born when we got married.

          • I hear you. D-day was a mere 18 days after my beloved mother died in my home very suddenly. Married 25 years to my soul-mate – or so I though. And my best friends and siblings were thousands of miles away. It was a dark, dark time and although I didn’t want to die, because my kids need me, I almost wished I could get some heroin or something to block the pain for a while. Rest assured, I wouldn’t have done heroin, but that’s how painful and crazy it was. I felt like I couldn’t live inside my own body and mind.

      • Me too I had the runaway husband and I am still shocked to discover I lived with a stranger. I even suspect that he hated for quite some time in silence to behave so roughlessly. He tried to destroy me on the way out

    • “It’s about time.” From very close friends of us both after telling them I was leaving. 13 months out and the moving truck left today!! Divorce almost final. Thanks CN and CL. Could not have done it without you. Still no questions answers. Even my to daughters are excited for me. Wow! To newbies, please develop support people. Good luck. It’s a horribly hard road but if I can do it, you can too! TRUST THAT THEY SUCK.

    • I am blessed with an amazing counsellor. She often talks about the cyclical nature of stbx’s behaviour. It goes hand and hand with abuse. Never physical, just the silent treatment, rejecting, manage down your expectations, insidious type of abuse.

  • A friend’s husband.

    He told me that people with demons like my ex have don’t go away, that I’m wasting my goodness on someone who will always be bad to me and he explained the term “negging” to me and helped me understand how I’ve been manipulated and gaslighted.

    • The comedian Greg Behrendt would give this advice to women whose men were “just not that into them”-don’t waste the pretty !

  • My friend:”men suck”. This yesterday after I explained to her mind was caught sexting while cuddling with me on my sofa. I don’t agree by the way. Not all men suck. This one does. Bye Felicia.

      • Mere weeks after what I thought was our “trial separation” from a 35 year marriage, my now ex posted on FB that he had met the “love of his life.” I am still embarrassed to admit that he shocked me.

        2 comments most cut through to me.

        Our 30 y/o son said “Mom, you are bound for so much more happiness now. GOOD RIDDANCE TO LUNACY.”

        And my God sent therapist echoed my son’s sentiments.

        He was right.

      • I’m sorry that happened to you on the couch! Ohhhhh… that must have hurt so much…

  • Everyone: “He did all that to his first two wives and he’ll do it to his next two wives.”

    • TitsAndAssAndAllThat,

      Jesus. That’s fucking pathetic behavior. I want to ask, “Where do all these assholes come from?” But unfortunately, I know where they come from. Any one of us could be an asshole like them. We just make regular conscious choices not to be assholes like them. Maybe we’re not wired the way they are, or maybe we just have better character than them. Or both. All I know is, I never would have treated the cheater the way the cheater treated me.

      I would guess it’s the same for you, TAAAAT. You didn’t deserve the shit sandwich your cheater served you. Probably his first two wives, either. But at least you’re out of the FW’s clutches now. Best wishes to you and to your much better future, and Happy Welcome to the Rest of Your Life Day. You deserve to enjoy yourself w/out FW around. We all do.

  • “HE’s a narcissist. RUN!”

    Nice lady in the laundry room initiated a conversation with me about toxic men and toxic relationships. As the conversation evolved, I realized she was docked two boats over from me, had chatted with Mr. Sparkly Pants on several occasions, and had witnessed his tantrums (heard them, really) from her home. (Voices carry over water, and Mr. SP was never particularly discreet.) At the end of the conversation, she gave me her card. Nationally known founder of several Domestic Violence shelters.

    It was a couple of weeks after my D-Day, and I was pondering the distinction between an emotional affair (which he admitted may have been the case but he thought I was just overreacting) and a physical affair which he swears up and down didn’t happen, although he also denied SEEING her within the past forty years, which was a lie so I had difficulty believing him. In the end, I decided it didn’t matter whether/how much he was lying to me about — this relationship was unacceptable to me. I ran.

  • ‘You don’t own his issues’

    From my mom—- ‘don’t let him take up your head space’

  • A neighbor. He told me after the ex left that it had always bothered him how my ex talked to me. He said even the tone of my ex’s voice when he spoke to me bothered him because it sounded so dismissive and disrespectful and not how a man should speak to his wife. A lightbulb went off in my head…if a neighbor who only saw us casually at the occasional get-together saw this…why didn’t I? Why was I still trying to figure out how “I” could have been a better wife? It was a defining moment in my healing and moving forward and I will always be grateful.

    • When my cheater spoke the word “wife”, he said it like he was saying “disease”

        • Mine would call be “Princess.” At first I thought it was cute, then I realized it was a slur. I am by no means a diva, but I like to have pretty clothes, shoes, makeup, etc.

          The women in his family didn’t do any of that, and the wifetress is plain, plain, plain and just plain ugly.

      • “It’s about time.” From very close friends of us both after telling them I was leaving. 13 months out and the moving truck left today!! Divorce almost final. Thanks CN and CL. Could not have done it without you. Still no questions answers. Even my to daughters are excited for me. Wow! To newbies, please develop support people. Good luck. It’s a horribly hard road but if I can do it, you can too! TRUST THAT THEY SUCK.

      • unicornnomore & SkunkCabbage,

        That’s fucked up. No husband should talk of or to his wife the way your cheaters did. I loved my cheater wife right up until I confronted her. And then spent six months trying to reconcile (more misplaced love) before I only STARTED to realize that maybe I was better off w/out her (not long after, I found CL & CN).

        I thought I had a great, understanding partner willing to put up w/me. Stupid, full of flaws me. Not that she didn’t have plenty of her own flaws. I just realized at around the midway point in our marriage that I could hold all the flaws I saw in her & dealt w/against her, or I could admit that I was full of just as many flaws. Just different ones. That realization made me love her even more. Unfortunately, she never had that realization, it seems, regarding me. And I would guess the same goes for your former husbands. Well, fuck them all. They lost out on some good partners.

        May all our futures be so much brighter w/out them. FW-free, as much as possible. Hugs to you both, and hellfire to your cheaters.

    • I had a lot of people tell me how my XW was so disrespectful to me. How it made them uncomfortable. But only a few said anything before my divorce. It made me sad for a couple of reasons. One, that I allowed that and two, that so many people didn’t like her. It also helped me on the road to healing.

      • Sirchumpalot,

        I’m so sorry that you, too, had a faithless XW. However, remember, it can always be worse. My cheater XW is the sparkly-turd extrovert to my boring introverted self. She is charismatic, intelligent, and very pretty. She has many friends; I have few. She’s a local politician, and a pretty good gaslighter. So most people in our local circles are probably buying her bullshit.

        Be glad you had some friends that didn’t like her, and told you. I’m dealing w/the “I can’t believe cheater would do that” reaction for the most part. Add to that I’ve weeded out a considerable amount of mutual acquaintances (her friends) that wanted to play Switzerland in the aftermath. I’m working on building up my group of friends. Real friends.

        I’m very sorry you got the shit sandwich. But I’m glad you’re moving on. Best wishes.

    • Oh my gosh, I thought I was reading something I wrote, but I’ve never written anything on Chump Lady. I had the same experience. Long time friends, and newer ones have said to me how disrespectfully I was talked to–dismissed, interrupted…My ex (we just had our first court appearance), is a woman, and as she likes to remind everyone, “I am an ivy league graduate.” Whatever. She is an ivy league bully and always angry, and had me walking on eggshells with constant criticism, and then she’d shower me with love and laughs. She wrote in her ‘manifesto’ 😉 on her position to leave that I was unable to love given my past, and that I was a “daunting task.” Interesting only a few months before she met sparkletwat (a wholistic kinesiologist that I refer to as a, “jumping jacks expert”) at an out-of-town seminar on our 10th wedding anniversary I was the love of her life that she would never leave. It has been a mind fk. BTW, I was her longest relationship. She didn’t even have long term friendships.

  • 30 yo male colleague on yet another bizarre tale about soon to be ex blame shifting and not owning his actions.

    “Making mistakes is human… To blame the other person is scientifically known as a dick move”

  • A year before D-day a favorite co-worker identified my wife’s emotional abuse after hearing me talk about how it was at my house. This got the “I gotta change my life ” ball rolling. Her words were “That’s not how that works.”

  • “The only thing you can control in life is how you behave.” -my father to me at age 13. Still the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Also the gems on this site, particularly “Trust that they suck.”

  • Eldest daughter; now 23, but 18 at the point that she (and her brother and sister) discovered that their mother was cheating.

    “You do realise that Mum’s a narcissist don’t you?”

    • My daughter loved her dad and his death broke her heart, but she also knew he acted badly and she doesnt know the half of it. She gets zero benefit from parsing his horribleness now yet one day she summed it up with “He had mental illness”.

      There you go.

  • My daughter, “Mom please remember, he didn’t just do this to you, it did it to us too.” That made me step back, look at the whole picture of what infidelity and divorce does to a family and become the sane parent and stop feeling sorry for myself. It was a very healing moment.

      • This…^^^^

        and “Mom, he replaced ALL of us.” Which is true and even now, baffling to me.

        Ouch. He never knew what he had so he may never know what he’s lost.

        But it is indeed his loss and our gain. Because so far every family event has been much more relaxed without him there.

        Why didn’t I see that sooner? Because I was “all in” and I loved him better than he loved anyone. But I’m awake now and I say, better late than never.

  • “You need to do what you have to do to find out the actual truth, because I think you’ve learned by now you’re not going to get any truth from her.”

    From my dear friend and fellow chump 4am 4ever, who was also the one who told me about CL and LACGAL

  • “Let the wicked slay themselves.” It constantly reminded me that their dysfunction was no longer my problem.

    • The best comment I heard was about forgiveness. She asked me if I was forgiving the wrong person. Maybe I should forgive myself for believing I deserved to be treated so poorly.

  • For me, it was a simple question, posed to me in the middle of D-Day-2 by my best friend:

    “What do you want to do?”

    I felt like I was melting from the adrenaline rush, but that question stopped the melting and redirected all that energy up and out of my body. I answered, and out of my mouth popped a fully-formed plan–the plan I’ve followed from that day right on up to the present and that still guides me forward.

    Thank you, M, for giving me the opportunity to say what I wanted for myself.

  • Ahhhhh. That sweet moment of clarity, upon reading the words to Chumplady’s cartoon, “Fooled ya!” It was shark-man, dressed in a suit, with a man-mask, sweet-faced and kind. “A picture is worth a thousand words”

  • After I found out about my husband’s affair with my cousin. I reconnected with another cousin after 35 years. She too was cheated on by both of her ex husbands, I asked her how why did my husband decide to cheat on me with our cousin? And how could our cousin go behind my back and cheat with my husband and not care that she was hurting me. Her response was that my husband was looking to cheat. There are not many women out there that would knowingly cheat with a married man. He just found someone that was desperate enough to be the side chick. And if it would not have been with her he would have cheated with some other willing women. His affair had nothing to do with me.
    I do think that skankella got off on playing the pick me dance. And she was looking for the gold under the rainbow. Note: she was struggling paying her bills. And I think that she thought if she could land a married man she could benefit. I still to today do not understand her mindset.

    • Girl that’s probably absolutely the truth. I have YET to see an OW who doesn’t think that she is really landing a catch by latching onto a married man. They see the house, the cars, the “lifestyle” and think that they are really going to gain stability and have dat life and trade up. And since you treat him oh so terribly why not just sliiiiiide into your slot? While he’s telling her all this crap to slide into her slot. Heh.

      I mean some women are just in it only for the sex but this isn’t HALF as common as men hope and think it is. The vast majority of them are the chick who wants the house in the burbs and a steady paycheck so she can use him to raise another dude’s kids.

      • Yes, skankella wanted the money. When I spoke with her daughter. She told me that they discussed having my house and barn. That way they did not have to pay board for their horses. She also kept asking if our house was really paid off. What scumbags. Not only did they want me out f my house so they could move in. They wanted my barn and make my horses homeless. They never got the house. I did. ANd skankella was thrown to the curb by my ex.

      • My Cheater and Schmoopie broke up during a time when I thought we were in wreckonsilliation (they just took it deeper underground). She had a good income for a single woman (~$100K a year) but she was looking to have babies and probs not work full time too. I think she thought he was going to able to provide her level of expectation but might have done the math at some point before they split. My alimony/CS plus half his retirement would have taken a huge chunk. I wonder what her excuse was since “you dont have enough money” might have revealed too much about her.

      • Generalizations don’t always work.

        In my case it is just the opposite.

        They were law partners and, since she wasn’t married and had no kids, she was able to save so much more money.

        Even during the divorce settlement, she knew she would be the one doing more of the supporting as he was suppose for me.

        If they’re married, it isn’t public. She dedicated her book to “the man of my dreams” and his Facebook status is divorced so she wasn’t lookin for married status.

        Personal security?

        I don’t know.

        But that’s untangling the skein and who the fuck cares?

      • This is where I can’t figure out my STBX’s relationship with OW. The OW is a married colleague the same age as me and my STBX and she has a lot more money than us. The words “alternative lifestyle” were uttered to one son one day. I really would like to be a fly on the wall because my STBX is really wanting to completely change his life. From suburban to urban, from Dad to fun party guy, from have dinner with friends to smoke joints, pop viagra, eat fancy food, drink fancy wine and bang all night. He mentioned primary and secondary partners to a friend one day. I don’t even know if STBX really knows what he wants. My kids originally thought he was gay due to some interesting behaviours and he hangs out with one guy a lot but now quite frankly who knows what’s up. While I don’t really care as we are over – I am curious to what exactly his alternative lifestyle involves.

        • He’s not taking just Viagra. He’s likely doing inhalants too.

          But it will be up to her to deal with that mess if he finally dies in the midst of a scene.

          Eh – his best friend may be gay but that doesn’t mean he is too. One of my very best friends is gay and while I love her to pieces, I am not interested in her sexually.

  • My best mate, after the shitbag ex came over to tell me his texts to his mate boasting about fucking the rat faced whore was just “lad’s banter”. I really, really wanted to believe it.

    “he’s a fucktard from Planet Fucktard. He’s just trying to reel you in, it worked last time, why shouldn’t it work now ?”

    Plus trenchant advice from CL herself in reply to my email asking her if she thought it could be true; “No. He’s gaslighting you. Get onto the forums and get some support”.

    Knocked that hopium pipe right out of my mouth. Bless you, CL!

    • My ex tried that one too. “that’s just how guys talk to eachother” I call BS.

      • And if that IS how he talks to his buddies then I question his views on women as people.

      • He’s not far wrong, but the full quote is:

        “that’s just how douchebag asshole misogynist guys talk to each other, ….”

        All the guys I hang out with are respectful to women, whether wives, girlfriends, sisters, other people’s wives, single women, whoever. The idea that boasting about having sex with other women is just a guy thing that guys do whether it’s true or not is, in of itself, a red flag (as well as the stupid boast).

  • “It doesn’t get any easier…”

    “Is this acceptable to you??” (credit: CL)

    And then just the general validation that comes from others reacting horrified when you describe what this person has done.

    • Knowing what you know now, would you still choose to get married to him?

      • My middle adult child asked me this question shortly after their father’s adultery was revealed.
        All 3 adult children were in the kitchen watching my response.
        I replied that not marrying cheater would mean not having my 3 healthy, loving children.
        My reply was “ I would gladly marry him again for my children “.
        Then I watched the silent, subtle nod of each head and 3 tiny smiles appeared.
        Just for a moment, our universe stopped and then began moving again.
        Their father abandoned us, but I was there for the long game.

          • “Get a lawyer and protect yourself.” The pastor at my church after I came for guidance when my husband abandoned me for another woman while I was 5 months pregnant. I was shocked that he didn’t tell me to work on our marriage, and it really was the kick in the pants I needed to do what I needed to do even though I was a pregnant emotional mess. God has been so good to me in my journey through this. For all you religious chumps, don’t forget how God uses our fertile valleys of despair to draw ourselves closer to Him. Infinity begins today, and the sooner we realize and utilize our need/trust in Him, the more blessed, mindful, and joyous our lives will be. People will let you down time and time again, but God is a constant source of strength even when you don’t feel it (His strength is made perfect in my weakness.) He allows our hearts to break in this world to let His light in. It’s all so very beautiful. I would not trade one minute of my time with my abuser, because it has allowed me to grow in ways that I could have never imagined. Onward to the future, fellow chumps!

            • Clever, this is beautiful. My relationship with God grew so much stronger and deeper through all this and in ways I didn’t expect – plus although we had been active believers there was no mention of our shared faith from ex at all apart from him criticising high church and then saying he wanted to look for the ‘Lords of the Mountain’. I do wonder how much of his faith was also a mirroring thing. God helped me not hate but gave me back my self-respect in very suprising ways! Bless you Sis ❤

        • Helen,

          I envy the support all of your children have shown you. I have 3 grown children too and only one ‘gets it’ and went NC instantly.

          One minimizes what his father has done and is mad at me because I eventually went NC too because the pain of seeing him was just too much. We can’t talk about it at all without him going into a rage at me so I don’t bring it up with him. Part of me thinks that he is reacting this way because he is so hurt and simply wants his family back the way it was and that he thinks on some level that I can do that – I tried for well over a year before I woke up and somehow found LACFAL.

          My other child is in pretty heavy denial too but not as angry. I have learned not to bring the subject up unless they do. They don’t so I don’t. I am still too raw at this point to remain calm when I am talking to my 2 resistant children so I don’t push it. I figure they will ask if need be and they have to process it on their own too – each in their own way.

          I just hate that I still react in fear when the X is mentioned despite the fact that our divorce has been final for over a year. Intellectually I know he can’t do anything to me but the emotional component of all of this has taken its toll. Yuck. Sucks big time but I do know this too shall pass.

          Luckily I have very supportive friends and Al-anon meetings really help in dealing with all the dysfunctional relationship stuff. Keeps me ‘clean’.

          I am so glad you have support from all 3 of yours. You are very lucky.

        • Ding-ding-ding! You win the prize. I liked how you described your kids smiling. You’re a good person. Unlike the FW you thankfully are now distanced from. Be well, and keep showing those kids that wonderful heart.

  • ALSO — from Chump Lady:

    “They cheat because they want to, because they have (or create) the opportunity, and because they don’t care how it affects anyone but themselves.”

    Best answer to “why…?” you’ll ever find

  • ”you are not responsible for his actions, only your own” something like that. i think its from chump lady

    ”dont stress over what you cant control. stay the sane parent” chump lady again.

    these two really hit me the most and i repeat them like a prayer in hard times. my ex walked out and didnt look back, although he still tries to control my life through the house and seeing the children. i keep telling myself ”when all this is sorted, i will be free” but then i remind myself that he will always be around where the kids are concerned so i must learn to grey rock the F”£$ out of him and focus on my life.

  • New friend on the PTA: “Know your worth.”

    It changed everything. I pay that one forward every chance I get.

    • That was (remains) one of my favorites too!


      “She never loved you”

      I didn’t get it at the time. Totally do now.

      The two sentiments are my map for a new, real love! And this understanding changed everything!

  • “Honey, he’s fundamentally broken.”


    “Your suffering is now, but his is forever.”

  • “Don’t get mad, get gone.” (course, I got mad, reeeeeaaalllly mad – which helped me get gone)

    “Feelings aren’t facts.” (when I felt the depths of despair, knowing that this was temporary helped – although, it still sucked!)

    “No contact is the path to the truth and the light.” (thanks AOoK)

    “Stare that mother fucker down.” (classic CL – my mantra throughout the divorce – though I was no contact, I was fighting his lame ass and this saying helped me feel empowered)

    • Love, love, love, the “Don’t get mad, get gone.” (and get mad later)

  • Oh, and CL’s little tutorial on narcissism. Changed everything . . .

  • My youngest child (who is 29) said “Mom, he is a narcissist. Don’t let him bully you.” My older child who is 31 said “You are not a fucking wizard mom. You are not in charge of what other people do”.

    It’s been a year since Asshat told me he “wasn’t happy” and moved out. He wanted someone that would “light up when he walks into a room and couldn’t wait to jump his bones when he came home from work”. Classic narcissist lines, in retrospect. Turns out, the phone bills say he was having an affair for about 6 months before he moved out because he “wasn’t happy”. He told me that I deserved better, but I believe that he was going to say HE deserved better, just changed it to me right before it came out of his mouth…

    I trust that he sucks.

    • Adult children are the best. My daughters (21, 25 & 25) have been my support in the nightmare. They are the ones who got me to realize Cheater is a narcissist. They have recommended books (Redefining Narcissssm, Why does he do That?), sat with me while I cried, called every day and let me vent and supported my every move so far.
      In the end, they will be the best thing to have come out of my 27 year marriage.

  • Friend and fellow Chump: “He’s a knob.”

    And the words from my son’s teacher that galvanised me into kicking the ex out the same day: “I think our Child Protection Officer needs to be involved.”

  • My best friend told me “Girl you are too smart for this shit.” Hit me like a ton of bricks and I stopped letting my heart lead and started using the brain God gave me.

  • ‘One day you are going to realise you have been the victim and survivor of domestic abuse. I will listen to you forever but until you realise that I worry that you won’t protect yourself from him and what he is capable of, please protect yourself for me.’ My very best friend who saw things they way they were way before I could. Her husband who is a police officer was much more blunt, on DDay 2 when I rang sobbing he said ‘He is a disordered f%#k, there is something very wrong with him, you are better off without him’.

    Hilariously 1 year 5 months after DDay1 and 1 year 2 months after DDay2 my girlfriend who is my life line and calls me everyday on the way to work and we talk about the struggles of our day to day life, a habit we got into post DDay 1 when only she knew, we have since been through DDay2 and her Moms death from a long Cancer battle, we have long talks about grief, loss and our changing world views, we give each other whatever words of comfort and sanctimonious free wisdom we can. Her Husbands brand of support is still beautifully supportive and blunt ‘She just needs to sleep with another guy, is she going to let that f#@k be the last thing that touches her’ and ‘For gods sake she could be married in a year if that’s what she wants, she not going to die alone’.

  • All Chumps ask, a million times, over and over, in our mind, “Why does he/she act this way?”( WHY did he cheat?)
    WORD WISDOM:( found in a book a few years ago)

    Personal Favourite words, that have comforted me a lot:

  • My mom. She was the first person I told when I found out he was pursuing another known schmoopie during our 20 year marriage (no one but me knew about the first schmoopie and that’s why we almost divorced twelve years earlier). And I had spackled him as a great husband and father for those 12 years to keep the peace.

    As I sat in my mom’s living room and devastated, she quoted ‘when someone shows you who they are, you need to believe them’.

    After I found CL & CN and this gets translated into watch someone’s actions, don’t just listen to their words, trust that they suck, and seeing info about narcissist which never crossed my mind but damn well fits him.

    It’s a jigsaw puzzle of pieces of information when you first realize they’re a cheater but it does get better with no contact. It helps the chump put the puzzle pieces together and although you can never fully understand the why’s, you come to realize you don’t have to as you can see enough of the picture. It can never make sense to a chump. We are givers in life and cheaters are takers in life. And the bucket of need from them is hollow like a black hole.

    Those first few times of hearing a snippet of this isn’t you, it’s them. It’s not because you were a bad spouse or they found someone better. You’ve made your needs smaller and smaller. Those snippets were much needed for me to start to understand and start to heal.

  • This was a cold bucket of reality.

    My brother, who’d been pretty good friends with husband of 22 years, when I had the first opportunity alone with him to ask how he felt about the D Day bomb, (was worried he might feel ‘torn’), said:
    “Relieved. That finally you can be rid of him … because I’ve stood on the sidelines watching him treat you like shit for so long, and it’s been painful to watch.”

    He hasn’t been in contact with cheating ex, and doesn’t miss him one bit.

    Another thing my bro said early on, when I was trying to Untangle the Skein, was that I had to cut the “wishful thinking”. As a lifelong people-pleasing chump, (in many relationships beside my marriage), I’ve now realised I’ve invested WAY too deeply in people about whom I wishfully imagined were also invested in me. Yes, folks, that’s projection. No more chumpy projection, no more wishful thinking. Clear-eyed and better boundaried.

    • I too was a lifetime wishful thinker. I waited WAY TOO LONG to start accepting reality that was right in front of me.

      • Unicornnomore, I was just thinking the same, I waited much too long before I accepted the reality that was glaringly obvious to even outsiders.
        I couldn’t let go of the mindset that I was married to my best friend when in reality I was married to my worst enemy.

  • My dad when I was a child, “If a partner ever says to you that they don’t love you anymore let them go.”
    I listened to this advice and asked him to leave immediately. In hindsight, it may have saved me from physical abuse.

    George Simon’s, “It’s not that they don’t see it, it is that they don’t agree with you.”

    My therapist’s, “I wish you had never met this individual.”

  • Chump coworker looking at my bruises and cuts after I was assaulted:

    “There are so many narratives; why would you choose the lead in your own a Lifetime Movie?”

  • My best friend showed up the morning after DDay and GTFO day and said, “well, this is a total shitshow and who knows how this will turn out but in the meantime we have things to do to protect you and your daughter.

    I remember her actions and that I could barely function that day.

    She got my joint checkbook, drove me to my daughters school and made me write the check for the following year tuition.
    She drove me to an appointment she made with the toughest litigating SOB attorney in the city and had me write him a HUGE retainer check from our joint account. All I remember thinking is but I don’t want a divorce.
    She took me to the bank and had me open a separate account and transfer half the remaining balance from our joint account.
    She had me transfer my direct deposit to my new account.
    She ran my credit report and then had me call and remove myself from every single joint credit card we had together. She literally dialed the numbers and handed me the phone.
    She had me call every utility company and switch the account to my name.
    She had me change every single password to every single account and my personal email account.
    She called a locksmith and had the locks changed that day.
    She made a doctor appointment and drove me to get tested for STDs. All clear, thank god!
    She made a list of everything I needed to find to prepare for divorce…and then spent days compiling the information with me. 7 yrs of tax returns, every credit card bill for 5 years, 5 years of checking account history etc.
    She sat with me as we cross referenced and summarized everything for days.

    Within 8 hours of ILYBINILWY and I don’t want to work on our marriage…I had paid my daughters tuition for the following year, retained an attorney and completely separated myself financially, and physically, from my ex.

    Her clear headedness and swiftness on financially protecting myself, and my daughter, enabled me to be fully prepared and clear headed as I went through the divorce process.

    That night we drank a few bottles of wine. Cried. Laughed. Cried some more. I stopped crying the next day and said to myself hat no matter what happens my focus has to be on my daughter and myself. Three weeks later I found out about his double life and mistress. I filed for divorce…and named his mistress in the motion. Game on!

    Her actions that day helped ensure when I finally got divorced (June 7, 2019) that I kicked his ass financially. Oh, and I did…on an epic scale.

    Was I mighty then? Nope, I was an emotional mess trying to figure out what in the hell happened to what I thought was a great marriage and the love of my life for 22 years.

    But I became mighty because my best friend carried me until I could carry myself.

    If I can offer any words of wisdom to my fellow chumps its this…

    Most of us smoke the hopium pipe after DDay and I think thats normal. I sure did. But I also knew in my gut that regardless of what happened to my marriage that I needed to plan for a future without him. It was the hardest thing I ever did but it was also the smartest thing I have ever done.

    Oh, and if you can…focus on a custody agreement first and quickly. I refused to discuss anything financial until we ironed out a custody agreement. By having the custody agreement in place I didn’t have to worry about him trying to use custody to have power over me when we worked on the property settlement.

    I hope my experience is helpful to anyone who is just starting this shitshow.

    • You have one amazing friend! Seriously, you owe her so much.
      Most people in your situation wouldn’t have let her. I know that from experience.
      Listening to her and trusting her very wise instructions was probably the mightiest thing you could have done!
      Lesson to all new chumps – print out the above and do the same.

      • When you know you are emotionally compromised it’s really important to listen to anyone you trust to guide you until you get your sea legs back. I trusted that she knew better than I at that time.

    • Everyone needs THAT best friend, Soccermom. I loved hearing your story of mightiness! Good for her for being there when you needed her and good for you for listening and putting it into motion. She is best friend gold. Hang on to her.

      • That times 100. For those of us without that person, we need to figure out how to do that for ourselves

        • If you don’t have someone who shows up for you when in need then show up for yourself. That sounds simple, I know. But we all know it’s not. It’s a change in thinking. Takes some practice but eventually you remember to include yourself in all the emotional decisions that we all make everyday. Hope this helps.

    • Your friend is your Angel. My co-worker helped me in ways I will never ever be able to repay her. Why she did it I have no idea. Yes we are friends but not like best friends. I think some people are just put in your life to help you make it through the things that you can’t get through on your own. I still too this day think of her as my Angel. Without her I don’t know if I would have even gone through the divorce!

      I hope everyone who has gone through this goes on to help the next person get through it!

      You have an awesome friend and God is looking out for you

    • Just want to point out that you must be one awesome friend to have made such an awesome friend who wanted to help you like that.

      • Thanks much. Very nice of you to say. I’ve been silently reading this blog for a year. Everyday. I believe the community of chumps that engage on this blog are of the same character as my BFF. Isn’t it amazing to witness the kindness and compassion of virtual strangers all supporting and listening to each other? We are all brought together by horrendous acts of betrayal but through one woman’s determination to help other women (thanks CL) a virtual nation of compassionate support was built. So really…it’s an online community of BFFs…with the added bonus of great snark! Pretty damn awesome!

      • “Wow” was just my reaction too! Your friend did absolutely the right thing by taking control with immediate action. All future chumps should have that as a D-Day checklist of what to do in the first 24 hours.

    • Oh my gosh-your friend rocks!! You are Truly blessed to have such amazing friend!

    • I’d anything to have a friend like that. You are so blessed in that relationship.

    • Soccermom,
      Hug this friend for CN.
      She must be related to CL!

    • I’m in awe!!! Wish I had known to do half of what your friend suggested in my early weeks of discard. I reacted like a fainting goat, a crippled fainting goat at that.

      • Me too. I just sent a copy of soccer mom’s story to my email address with the subject line “great wisdom” so I can have it handy if I need to help someone else in the future. My family and friends loved and cared for me through 3 years of wreckonciliation but none of us really knew what the right thing to do was, because we could not comprehend we were dealing with a covert narc/psychopath. I can see now how the steps that Soccer mom took would have been just as painful for me in the end, as staying and being abandoned later was, but it would have protected me and the kids from the harm/risk he has inflicted on us since. I also see that now that none of the actions Soccer mom’s friend made her take would have prevented my ex from realizing the error of his ways, being truly remorseful, and working on himself to win us back later. The truth was I knew he would never do that, so I made sure I never required it and I settled for ‘fake family’ until he blew it up again. Live and motherfucking learn I guess. Thanks CL/CN for opening my eyes with tough love.

    • Wow, Soccermom! What an awesome friend you have. You are very blessed. 🙂

  • From the Judge in chambers with me, his lawyer and mine:
    “In my 39 years on the bench, your husband is the worst sociopath I have ever seen”.
    From CL:
    Hire the best toughest lawyer you can find and then figure out how to pay for it.
    From our original mediator (that I met with ex’s permission; stupid decision on his part):
    “Go back to NYC and find the toughest barracuda you can. He’s a serious pathological liar who’s one of the best liars I’ve ever seen”

    • Gosh, when the experienced professionals are impressed, the cheater must be the absolute worst! I’m glad these people warned you; a lot of professionals wouldn’t, thinking they’re supposed to somehow be neutral or just stay out of it. I’m always happy when people do the right thing!

      I’m glad their words helped you protect yourself.

      • Our mediator had my lawyer and I leave before the XH and his lawyer. His hate and resentment were seeping from his pores. Some professionals are there to keep people safe. It was incredibly validating.

  • “Loyalty is everything. Loyalty is the most valuable asset ever. Never offer it just anyone. More valuable than all the money in the world.”

    ~~The Godfather

    • “Loyalty above all else.” – my XW’s hypocritical mantra as she carried on an affair with Sgt. Sugardick.

      • “Semper Fidelis” Always Faithful…the motto of the US Marine Corps…trouble it they dont mention what/who it is they are being faithful to.

    • Take away all the violence and murder….and The Godfather has the greatest lessons ever. “Sadly, betrayal never comes from your enemy.”

  • My best friend gave me a book called “Brave Enough” by Cheryl Strayed. It’s a book of quotes. The one that touched my soul and gives me hope reads as follows:
    “You let time pass. That’s the cure. You survive the days. You float like a rabid ghost through the weeks. You cry and wallow and lament and scratch you way back up through the months. And then one day you find yourself alone on a bench in the sun and you close your eyes and lean your head back and realize you’re okay.”

    I’m not on the bench yet…… still in the throws of a very difficult divorce…… still finding it hard to believe and accept all the abuse- physical financial emotional- not to mention the affairs……but I have my eye on the bench. May we all get to bench in the sun!

    • Right there with you, MM. Here’s to reaching the bench one day…cheers!

    • I just hope I get to that bench before I AMA bloody plaque with my name on on a park bench with the quote ‘Her life was considerably more rosy in the early years than at the end’. I wanna sit on that bench with face turned to the sun.

    • I will meet you on the bench along with all the other chumps. We will get there and that sun will shine on our faces. God didn’t bring us down this path for something worse….. He has great plans for us. We must continue to help and support each other so we all make it to the bench! Don’t let the mother fucker win! He might have broken your heart but he can’t take your soul- that belongs to you!!! Keep strong!

    • Oh, how I love this! Eye on the bench in the sun! I’m popping in “Forrest Gump” tonight now that you mentioned the bench. One of my favorite movies and always uplifts me. 🙂

  • “Not making a decision is still making a decision.”
    -If a cheater is “stuck” and “can’t choose,” they’ve chosen. They have made the choice to eat cake. If they wanted to be with someone else so much that they fucked that person behind your back, then let them go be with their schmoopie. Do not waste your time with that.

    “If a detail that big doesn’t come up in conversation, it’s because they didn’t want you to know.”
    -When it comes to really big details and major pieces of information, if someone doesn’t mention it to you it’s because they don’t want you to know. If a cheater tells you SOME of what happened, but leaves out major things like money spent, sex, or more than one AP, it’s not an accident. They don’t want you to know. Omitting major chunks of the story is as bad as directly lying about them.

    “Don’t be defined by other people.”
    -Do not let a shitty partner create the basis for your self-esteem. Don’t let an abuser, a cheater, or manipulator define who you are and your sense of self-worth. It will always be less than what you deserve. If a cheater has a history of infidelity (and most of them do, I rarely, if ever, have heard of a cheater who was one and done. That’s why we call them Unicorns) then you can be assured the problem IS NOT YOU.

    And, as always…this diamond of wisdom:

    “If he will cheat with you, he will cheat ON you.”
    This. IS. TRUE. If someone will cheat with you, they will have no qualms cheating ON you. That’s all you need to know about that person. It’s right there upfront: Cheating is an acceptable act to them. APs don’t seem to get that (probably because they’re ok with being APs so sleeping with married/taken people is acceptable to them, as is being huge hypocrites because apparently cheating is only okay as long as it’s with and not on, them.) I have not ever in my life seen an exception to this rule.

    A lot of us in CN feel the pain and fear that They’ll Be Better For The AP because cheater married schmoopie or they moved in or what have you, but something that helped me (besides Trust They Suck) was this. “If he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you.” Doesn’t matter if they got married, moved in, had kids, still together 12 years later. Because cheaters, being cheaters, are reeaalllly good at impression management. They sparkle to the public, but are piles of shit behind closed doors. So you have no idea that they’re “happy.” Chances are very, very, very likely that they’re not, they just don’t want you to know…(see what I did there?)

    • Yup, cheaters are bored easily. A horrible trait to have. Always chasing rainbows, never appreciate what they have for very long.

    • Kara, as Chump Lady says, they don’t magically get a personality transplant when they move in with their true love.
      They change temporarily for the love bombing stage but we all know from experience that doesn’t last.

      • Nope. People only change if they want to. And cheaters prove, time and again, they don’t want to. Some of them outright say to your face they don’t want to. So believe them. They don’t change for you, they didn’t change for Schmoops.

        Plus it’s not all fun and games anymore when the fantasy wears off and they don’t have their spouse taking care of all their everyday responsibilities while they go have fun with the AP. Oops, it’s a regular relationship now. Where’s that glitter pot? Gotta sprinkle some more on…

  • After my ex bought me out of the house (at a steal because I’d run out of money to keep fighting for a better price in the divorce) my parents’ 70 year old neighbor lady said to me, “Well that’s not very manly. To live in that house that you built for your family, after deciding not to be a family anymore?”

    That gave me self awareness on how other people see the situation.

    • Yes. My ex kept the house (after he made me so sick I fled with my daughter, who later returned to live with him). My father asked what kind of man cheats on a woman, makes her sick, then lives in their house? He said that a real man would have left and told his wife to come back to her house. Cheaters are not real men.

  • When we were still wreckonciling I had coffee with a guy that I was close to, telling him about my close to 18 mos of weekly marriage therapy, with no obvious positive effect.

    And he said “Sounds like you have tried enough, and harder than most people would.”

    And I had permission to throw in the towel and start protecting myself!

    Of course, he turned out later to be a flying monkey, but I am grateful nonetheless.

  • The best knowledge came from a friend who was in the same group as ex, me and Schmoopie, who was there when I met him 17 years ago. She is in the “healing profession”. Seventeen 17 years after I met him, 4 years after D-day, she told me what she had known all along about him, that he is a misogynist, a narcissist, and “you know he’s splitting, eh?” No, I knew he had a dual personality but I thought that was him being cute (until it wasn’t cute).

    So she then described him to a T, and told me what all those terms meant, and the floodgates opened for me. Everything that had happened in those 13 years, and going back to my childhood, got re-examined, and another friend, who was fed up with me always talking about him, finally recognized PTSD in me.

    So that was extremely helpful, although about 17 years too late. Would I have listened to her when I was smitten with him? Yes, I would have if she had presented clinical evidence like she did 17 years later.

    Another helpful thing was when his mother, also at the 17-year mark, revealed that she had subjected him to bullying repeatedly when he was 2-4 years old … no one knows this, not even him (although he may recall it … I haven’t asked him), and she was lacking in accountability as to how this might have shaped him, and showing no remorse, just this vapid, “But they were the only playfriends he had in the neighbourhood” so she kept sending him out to these 2 little girls and he’d come home crying. I was bullied, and never learned how to stand up to them, my mother being an alcoholic and not very present in the advice department.

    In my opinion, this bullying, and his selfish, unaware mother, helped to shape who he was … so when a relationship became normal, or even a bit “nagging”, he’d bolt. Run away from the bullies. Until he met Schmoopie, a bully herself, who I also didn’t know how to stand up to. Of course, even with the shit he pulled on me, when his mother told me what had happened to him, I wanted to fix it, make it better for him, 60 years later.

    So that information really helped. Nothing from the therapist helped, in fact, she saw us together as a couple, then I kept going back, but she saw him once in the interim, and that set up triangulation, in my mind because she knew his secrets, and I didn’t. That was really detrimental to me.

    And, of course, all the input on CL has helped greatly, and a few anecdotes from friends and relatives.

  • Great friend and fellow chump’s response to my STBXH’s many instances of crappy behaviour since leaving:

    “The bottom of the barrel is infinitely low” and “You’re dealing with a toddler”

    I remind myself of these things often and they make me laugh, which takes the sting out of each new dastardly deed he cooks up.

    Another wonderful friend and fellow chump in response to STBXH’s self pity:

    “Well boo bloody hoo. So it’s not working out as he hoped?”

    This one is perfect when I find myself getting sucked into his poor me narrative.

    And of course, CL’s “is this relationship acceptable to you?”

    Pure gold

    • The word “toddler” helped me a lot … I got that word from the news articles I was reading on someone else, and that really fit my ex. Peter Pan was another expression that helped.

  • “He is a leaky bucket” – Luziana

    That phrase crystallized what I had put up with for 31 years. No matter what good happened to my X Asshat and no matter the huge number of blessings in his life, he was going to become dissatisfied and constantly be seeking something else.

    He brutally discarded an objectively wonderful life and destroyed his family because he was bored.

    There is nothing I can do about that.

    • My new neighbor; a former navy wife who was chumped many years ago….”instead of praying that something bad happens to them, pray something wonderful happens for you”….thanks Pat

  • I was in a divorcecare despite my atheism because I was desperate for help. After I shared how scared I was about money after working part time for 5 years and before that staying home for 10, another divorcee said to me. “You can always make more money”. Idk why. But that hit me so hard. I could work more and get a better paying job. And within a few months I did!

  • I had a really weird experience about 2 weeks before I had my ex removed from my home. I had been slowly trying to extricate myself from the marriage (I realized on some level he was emotionally abusive and screwing with my head). I had been separating any shared property slowly over the previous two years and documenting things, but still not sure what and when I was going to do this. On our final vacation together, I got my answer from an unlikely source…..

    I am a scientist, and usually not a believer in psychics and such, but I always have my cards read when in NOLA, for entertainment. There is a shop there where I had went in the past and there was one very “flamboyant” gentleman that I went to for this, because he was so funny, and I enjoyed his take on this. He was not available when I was there, so I scheduled an appointment with a lady who was a native american. There was something different about her, that I picked up on immediately, that I cannot explain. Well to make a long story shorter, before i could ask any questions, she informed me that I was married to a boy, not a man, and that things were not going to get any better for me until I left him. She warned that he would probably come back around if/when he thought I was with some one else (which he did for a minute last year). The other useful gem: She said “remember sometimes a woman’s power is in her silence.” She was describing NC! This weird encounter (there was much more to it, but this post would go on too long….) was the final jerk back to reality that I needed to realize that it was time to get free of the ex. Don’t know if she was really psychic, or maybe she just picked up on my distress at the time…..

  • On a particularly sorrowful morning, after my ex had accused me of sinking to a new low because I’d shared the news about his 5 year affair with my family, I was sitting at the kitchen table of a wise and trusted friend. Feeling less than honorable, I apologetically made my case for disclosing his secret. My friend was incredulous that my ex would say that I sunk to a low. She looked me in the eye and said “then he will fear you when you rise!”

    As I got in my car, after that life changing cup of tea, Eddie Vedder’s song Rise came onto the radio.

    It was that moment that I realized my power. It is then I knew that my ex had yet to see my warrior side. And to this day, my kind friend’s words remain my moto – he will fear you when you rise.

  • On Quora I found the explanations I needed to help me let go. Of course everything here helped me, also, but I couldn’t really get that he sucked until I had the explanation (yo, narcissist!). It’s a complicated web, & in my situation with his kid staying with me after he left, I needed the “untangling the skein,” as his kid turned out just like his dad despite all I did.

    As for the word that helped me, eventually I understood & agreed that, “It could be worse,” which a now former friend kept telling me. She eventually turned on me & sided with the kid, but she was right at the time.

    • Paigeup – My daughter (step, technically) lives with me as well. Her Mom (my Ex) left, she stayed…and remains. Point being, I see so much of my Ex in her. I pray she doesn’t grow up to be the shallow, selfish, manipulative narcissist that her mother is. I guess it’s the old nature-vs-nurture argument…

  • I came across this recently and it really spoke to me:

    When someone shows you their true colors, believe them. – Maya Angelou

    • That Maya Angelou quote is the one of the best quotes, ever. Absolute truth.

  • After learning of yet one MORE of his transgressions, my friend texted back solely the word


    That was the perfect summation.

    • Only slightly connected, but many years ago a French friend was explaining to us that since there was no, or very little, iodine in the mountains where we live in Frace, many mountain villages had lots of cretins (said in French). My ex chimed in “oh, I thought they came from Crete”! Yeah, why don’t you show how thick you are dickhead! It was so funny!

  • Well, when I found CL and CN, I realised ex had been telling me for years who he is. It’s very succinct!
    All the times I’d ring him when he was out whoring and touring ( asking when he’d be home) and his voicemail said in a deadpan voice, “Not Available!”
    He still has the same voicemail!
    And he got married last week.

    • Well, when I found CL and CN, I realised ex had been telling me for years who he is. It’s very succinct!
      All the times I’d ring him when he was out whoring and touring ( asking when he’d be home) and his voicemail said in a deadpan voice, “Not Available!”
      He still has the same voicemail!
      And he got married last week.

  • A friend to me, when I was still busy trying to untangle the skein of fuckedupness:

    “You need to focus on your own life.”

    I’d been stuck in learned helplessness and focusing on him for decades. When I started focusing on my own life and taking daily, doable steps to make it better, I was out in less than a year.

  • My Auntie lives in Australia I live in Scotland

    I called her to tell her he left me and I’d lost him to her . She said you didn’t loose him he lost you and you will always be my girl .

    I love my auntie

  • “Run like your hair is on fire” – counselor

    “Sit back and watch the show” – Co-worker talking about how he will unfold in court and telling me to just keep quiet and watch

    “Just wait for it, he’ll hang himself” – Co-worker. Obviously she meant figuratively. She was 100% right. During Custody eval he denied having alcohol problem and kept saying how much he just want 50/50 custody. Then on his weekend he dropped our child off and went out to party and got a DWI 3X OVER the legal limit! -Talk about a Godsend with the evaluation. He was such a good liar and so charming that before this I don’t think the evaluator believed a word I said.

    “Karma” – Everyone!

  • One of the first things my dad told me after I told my parents about DDay: “This affects you but this isn’t about you.”

    I hadn’t found CL yet to fully understand how completely correct he was.

    • My dad kept telling me “ it’s not about what he does when them (AP’s) that matters, it’s what he does with you”

      I was so hyper focused on everything that was going in with him and them, that I’d drive by houses in the middle of the night take pictures, check everything I could, fantasize about their life and what they were doing and what they might do in the future. This quote from my dad brought me back to earth. What is he doing with ME? The answer was nothing. The answer was lying, betraying and abandoning.

  • Family doctor: “You need to decide if you want to stay in this marriage or not.”

    He was the only one who ever said, ‘you can go.’ Then, I got a great therapist and she supported me to understand that my ex did not love me, that loving people don’t do what he did, that I wasn’t crazy, and that he was a full on asshole. (not her exact words, but you get the drift.)

    And, of course, Chump Lady. Without her advice, I would have suffered even longer.

  • My therapist when I questioned my sanity, said you are not crazy, you’re surrounded by crazy people.
    My brother, after I busted my ass paying off my house, said obviously that coward was holding you back.
    My brother when I told him evil things x was doing said now everyone can see you were the only one holding your family together. You were the rudder and his boat is sinking without you.

  • I know I’ve shared these two gems before from my priest who I believe (not hyperbolically) saved my life:

    There is no abuse in sacramental marriage; God did not make you to be abused.

    He cannot be absolved of a sin he will not admit and is not sorry about. That’s not on you–that’s God’s rule; he can take it up with him someday.

    • Luv this! I have struggled with my decision to divorce as I am a devout catholic. Abused physically emotionally financially……multiple affairs…STBX denies and says he is happy with all his decisions….. he is PURE! You set my soul free……thank you!

    • Wow…these are big things to me.

      My Cheater told me that his internal refusal to actually consent made our vows invalid. He was cake eating because he had figured ways of manipulating me into staying while still throwing only occasional crumbs my way. I deeply yearned for a sacramental union. He promised “if we live” until our 25th anniversary (odd words for someone in his 40s) we would renew our vows. I waited 5 years then he refused.

      I am pretty sure that he told various Priests his sins in Confession but he did not make amends to me or tell me the full truth. I prayed and prayed. Cheater dropped dead. I later married a Lutheran who was annulled from his runaway wife so we got our marriage blessed in the Church. He is a good husband.

      It feels really really really weird for me to know that Im still here living normal mortal human life and he is in the “take it up with God” phase. Im very curious about what that all looks like but for the most part, its none of my business.

      • Oh to be clear…I didn’t pray for him to drop dead, I prayed for him to be nicer and love me.

        Gods answer was rather sobering.

        • I guess God did the best he could. Even God can’t make an asshole be nice or love someone.

    • This does give me solace because as a Catholic, I had trouble believing that HE would be forgiven. Admit what he’s done? He’s never even admitted to me, his wife of 37 years.

  • I said something snarky about him in passing to an old friend and she said, “I just realized what a relief it is to talk about him now that I can just say he’s an asshole. You used to tell me things he did and I wouldn’t know how to respond.”

  • My contractor: “He’s an idiot”. My trainer at the gym: “He’s a putz”. My friend: “this doesn’t make sense. My husband always thought that your husband was the lucky one. Moron”. Another friend: “Good for you. I admire your courage to do what was needed to be done”. A male friend in my friend group: “I’m sorry that he did this. Out of all the ladies in our circle, you are the one with the strength to get through this.”

    After being in this relationship for my entire adult life, ending it was so hard (and yet easy – no other choice), so to hear that reinforcement that I did the right thing helps. I still miss the “pretend him” and know logically that we’re done. Having that reinforcement helps the emotions catch up to the logic. Well that, time and NC.

    • Our neighbour ” I feel sorry for him he is sick.” Our realtor “he is the client from hell.” My priest “he mistreats you, separate from him.” Our family doctor “I don’t think he is abusive, I know it, and “I hate to see you this way.”

    • I’m in awe!!! Wish I had known to do half of what your friend suggested in my early weeks of discard. I reacted like a fainting goat, a crippled fainting goat at that.

  • While I was still crying and in denial, my lawyer friend L said loudly and succinctly, “It is to your advantage to get divorced as quickly as possible.”

    Even though she usually charges $500 an hour, she gave me lots of other advice for free. As divorce goes, it was an easy one because we had no children and no shared financial assets. I moved quickly on to my new life while ex still mopes around (I hear) full of self-pity.

    I can’t thank L enough! She was right. It was like an operation – cutting the cancer out and moving on to healing and freedom.

  • My therapist said, “He’s a narcissist; it will kill you if you stay.”

    “You need to divorce him.”

    First hour….

    Silly me, I told the Limited thinking he’d get help.

    That opened the sadistic rage.

    Opened his health statement and saw HIV testing from a clinic; it wasn’t our physician. There were two follow up treatments.

    He gave me s treatable STD and when I asked the results of his testing he said he was clear and laughed.

    Therapist believes he’s a sociopath. Check.

  • My therapist: “Run and don’t look back !”

    Chumplady LACGAL book: “I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, I don’t control it.” (p.117)

    “When someone is constantly disrespecting you with lies and harming your health, you need to love yourself more and escape the abuse cycle.” (p.118)

    • “I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, I don’t control it.” This! Great quote.

  • My friend, years before I finally kicked my Cheater out: “You need to execute and get him the f#€% out of your house.”

  • An uncle, who is a sarcastic sage told me, “Bruno, let her go. You have so much more life ahead of you. Do you want it to be with HER?”
    Hell no!
    Happily remarried for 15 years…

  • The day after D day. I told my neighbor what happened. She jumped out of her car, hugged me tight, teared up and said…no one deserves what happened to you, always remember that especially when he is attacking you and what happened in your marriage. Not your fault.

    I will always remember that tight hug and mantra!

  • My shit…………………………His shit

    Worked on my own issues and refused to work on his. His shit is NOT my priority and I didn’t “owe” it to him, even if it was possible for me to fix His Shit (it isn’t).

    • Plus I didn’t feel so inclined – which pissed him off. I told him to quit being lazy about everything BUT his job.

  • My attorney: “You don’t ‘wife’ for him anymore”, explaining that it was no longer my job to make life easy for him or deal with problems he didn’t want to deal with.

    My ex in a letter he wrote in the immediate aftermath of DDay #2 before he settled into minimizing and blame shifting mode: “This is 100% my fault. I hurt the one person who always been there for me. Who always loved me”. Having this in writing made it so easy to see what an asshole he was as he progressively shifted the blame onto me. By the time we were nearing the end of the divorce I have another email saying that the blame might not be 50-50 but it wasn’t all his fault. Nope asshole, you got it right the first time.

  • My good friend comforted me through the worst of the abandonment. Above and beyond. Came over every night and sat with me while I cried at the kitchen table. Made me eat when I was despondent. I was in terrible shape.

    Then, when I was ready to start pulling myself together, she revealed she had been recently diagnosed with a chronic, progressive disease that would limit her life in significant ways. And she said “Remember, dreams die in lots of different ways”. It was a real wake up call for me – but more so the kindness she displayed in waiting to share her suffering and the timing of those words to push me toward recovery was perfect. I am so grateful for her.

  • A few weeks after DDay, I stopped by to visit friends of the family with the kids. This was a couple we had been friends with for years. The husband had been friends with ex since grade school. When he got married we all hit it off as couples. We had kids the same ages who also hit it off. We had traveled together on multiple occasions. They knew us pretty well. Anyway, while the kids were off playing I told them that ex and I were in marriage counselling, it wasn’t going well and he was probably going to leave me because of all of my inadequacies as a wife. I listed out everything he said was wrong with me and probably even some things I made up myself. I was a mess. The wife got right in front of my face, looked me in the eye and said “you were a good wife”. That was so validating to me. It was coming from someone who would know and I really needed to hear it.

    Six months later, after she had figure out there was a Schmoopie involved (she suspected and finally got it out of me) she told me that I needed to get divorced because he really wasn’t in his right mind and I needed to protect myself and the kids. This couple was very religious and very pro family/marriage. I figured that if even she was recommending divorce then maybe that really was the only option. The next day I told ex we needed to get divorced (he had been out of the house for several months by that point and had shown no interest in reconciling but also hadn’t filed).

  • I tried going to a therapist for a while and I wasn’t feeling it especially after I told her he apologized but it was devoid of any emotion, she was said well as least he said he was sorry.
    The best advice I’ve gotten is from my bestie: First off: Fuck Him!!! Second: allow myself to feel every emotion and not focus on him or being nice with him. Focus on me and my kids. He is a non-factor when it comes to rebuilding my life. Most days that’s easier said than done, but the less I focus on him and what he did and more on me and the kids future, it sure keeps me motivated.

  • “Kids need one sane parent.” CL… and it is true… my son is thriving in spite of having a fuckwit Uncle Dad. I’m honest, age appropriate, and I always do what I say.

    “Don’t trust words. Sometimes doubt actions. But patterns… patterns never lie.” Mr. Sparkles cheated on every woman he has been with before and after me. He is pathological and will never change.

    “You are stronger than you realize.” and “Fake it until you make it.” Going No Contact while co-parenting and filing for divorce and working full-time and raising a third grader with the OW being thrown in your face after living through 9 years of cheating, lies and abuse… that is what I faced when my world blew up… so I pretended I was a No Contact Boss until it became ingrained in me (as it is now).

    • I am about to have to contend with the next level of OW thrown in your face. I had an email around some complex summer hols childcare arrangement where EX referred to her as a guardian this on the basis she now of course lives with her 50% of the time. The Von bloody trapps at their house the wonderful new family unit. Too soon, too much, no boundaries. And now she is a guardian is she? I will have to drop her off soon to her for the first time. I have had her stupid dumb ass face sat in the car on the drive but this. Can’t say it hasn’t set me back, suppose I drop say nothing, look her right in the eye. Leave. Ugh. Suck it up buttercup. Awful having them stuffed down your throat.

      • DGC… over time, I have adopted this way of thinking… if it isn’t “HER”, it is going to be someone else ‘cuz Mr. Sparkles can’t be alone. On paper… she was single mom with 2 kids around the age of my son… so I told myself that at least my son had some kids to play with while all 3 of them suffered through the shit show. She worked full-time, went to church, played Bunko. Who knew if the next woman would be as “normal”… of course, I found out because my X cheated on his OW and she found out and dumped him. So, my son has had to endure two “twu ‘wuvs” over a 5 year span. This next one is normal enough, but no kids… just dogs.

        I guess what I’m saying in a very rambling way is that for your sanity and for your kids not to have to live feeling guilty about liking the OW (which they may)… you have to let go. Trust that you are instilling your values in your kid(s) and time away with X and his Schmoopie is a good chance for you to recharge your batteries and be ready for when they come home. If they are clean, fed, and safe… be grateful… no matter how angry and sad you feel.

    • there was so many wonderful helpers. regarding my progress to divorce, a lawyer i saw for advice said, there is an expiration date on guilt which is about 3 months. chances are the marriage will end. it is best to act now. hugs to all

  • From the cheater himself- “She’s good enough to fu&*, but not good enough to marry.” It finally sank in what kind of person he truly was. Did I really want to spend the rest of my life with someone who willingly blows up their family for a fu&$?

    From oldest son who lived out of town when I found then H’s romantic getaway itinerary with jay jay-he said to his father “Don’t make me come down there and kick your ass out of the house.” Made me realize my boys had my back!

  • I would always say “I just want my old life back” in my head, to family, friends… cheater.
    Until one day I said it to my therapist. She look at me and said FORGET IT that life is over and for the first time I finally realized it.

  • The best piece of advice I got didn’t relate directly to the Dickhead but it’s good and sage.

    My momma always said “you can’t fix what you didn’t break.” I didn’t cause his problems, and as much as I wanted to help him and left him feel my love, it was never enough.

    My uncle, who lost his first wife to breast cancer when she was 27, had me over for a drinks one evening after my brother killed himself. Suicide is hard on those left behind holding a bag of questions, grief and guilt. He said that we have to accept that some questions will never answered. We have to move on from them.

    After the Dickhead refused to answer questions or even explain what happened, I had to accept that he is and always has been a dickhead. I supported him in everything he ever did or tried and I wasn’t even worth a 5-minute conservation.

  • We went to marriage counseling. He said it would be about a year’s process but in about four months counselor said he thought we were done with the process. Along the way, the counselor had loaned ex a book — “Fighting For Your Marriage.” He loaned the book because I said that ex seemed unable to listen with empathy and I thought something about active listening would be helpful.

    I went back to a session to talk about best ways to discuss with the young children (Ex decided he didn’t need to go).

    I brought the book to return it, and as I did, I said that it has gone to the top of the dresser and ex hadn’t touched it even once. The counselor looked down at it in his hands, the he looked up at me and said, “this book has a self-limiting title.”

    Ex hadn’t fooled the counselor after all.

    My auto reconciled with her husband years ago. I was talking with her and she said, “the trust never comes back.” And scene.

    All the rest of the best stuff…ex said himself. This all went down as I was recovering from cancer treatment. One that stuck to me and helped me not cry much at all: “productivity is a very important value of mine, and you haven’t been as productive since you’ve had cancer.” You can’t cry much about a passion who would say that! Thanks for releasing my soul, ex.

    • Yup, my ex told me once ” I stay with you because you are economically good for me.” After close to 30 years of marriage. Go figure. They lack some vital human trait.

  • Oh yes, and the marriage counselor who said to me in our one on one: “You want to save your marriage and I want to save your marriage but don’t settle for just anything to make that happen”.

  • From my Dad: “Honey, he is no longer your friend. He’s shown himself to be your enemy, treat him accordingly.”

    From my therapist:
    “Run. He’s fucked up. It would take him YEARS in therapy to be a healthy partner for anyone. He’s an emotionally enmeshed sociopath having a midlife crisis. He has the emotional intelligence of a 16 year-old boy.”

    From my college boyfriend that I reconnected with after the divorce and a year after XH ran away:
    “What made you think that your life would never be better after being married to THAT?”
    In regards to single, 10 year younger OW: “Only YOUR husband was going to maker HER happy? Do you see how messed up that is?”

  • My oldest Son when I told him after 7 months of pick me dancing that I was done in the marriage. (I had just found out OW was still in the picture) “Mom you have had 20 years of abuse, now it is just self abuse”

    That was an eye opener on modeling behavior I want my kids to be proud of.

    The sad thing is that I did not realize I was NOT the only one being abused. Many things were hidden from me by my sons. 4 years later we are in a happier and healthier home, not perfect but working on it. If I had not found the latest affair, my sons would never have had the chance to heal, I was blessed.

    • Very insightful on the part of your son; once we realize we are victims it is incumbent on us to get out of the situation otherwise we become complicit in the abuse.

    • My then 14 year old son wrote his mother a scathing letter about how she treated me. She wanted me to punish him for it.
      Nope. It was all true.
      He was foreshadowing.
      She as already cheating and projecting her shittyness onto me…

  • Some things that helped me when I was still reeling and uncertain about what I would do:

    A young woman I know said the words that unlocked for me the secret of to his manipulative behavior: “He’s topping from the bottom.”

    My doctor, whom I’d told about what was going on in response to a question she asked about my mood, and who, when I saw her next, greeted me, and then asked: “Have you divorced him yet?”

    One understood his behavior; the other knew how to respond.

  • I’ve been lucky to have an incredible support system, with lots of friends and family offering advice, shoulders to cry on, legal help, etc.

    My close friend of 20 years provided my single favorite piece of wisdom, after learning about my ex’s affair and betrayal…

    “Keep your head up and your heart open.”

  • “When you get along for a conversation, it’s only because he allows it”. It’s so true. The only time we can have a productive talk about the kids is when HE decides not to name call, belittle or insult me.

  • My therapist said, not to label myself and place blame on me when all I expected from him was what he promised and what is expected by any wife.

    That hit me, I thought maybe I was codependent but then I thought I was never like this until him. She made me realize that his manipulation and abuse were 100% not my fault.

    Basically it was Trust That He Sucks.

  • In order to file a police report for domestic violence I had to go to the emergency room to be seen by a doctor. The doctor looked at me and said “What are you waiting for? For him to put you in a coffin?” That REALLY hit home, I can tell you.

    With all the abuse I had started drinking heavily. I got a lot of support and explained to my therapist that one day after he had left me and I was not drinking he showed up at the house with a bottle of rosé, took one glass of it and told me he’d leave the rest for me. He NEVER had one glass of wine, he would always finish AT LEAST one bottle, but this day he only had one glass. My therapist said “do you REALLY think that was an accident?” She hit the nail on the head. He could only handle me if I was drinking and he was going to make pretty damn sure that I kept on doing just that!

  • My childhood female friend :I never liked him. You were always too good for him.

    My male friend : you know I never liked him. The ass!

    My whoring uncle: he will meet his match.

    A childhood male friend : well he freed you up for someone else!

    A school friend : mandie101, you are not depressed. A bad thing happened to you so you will feel bad. That is all.

    Me: cut him off like a gangrene leg.

  • My best friend (who had already lived through her own nightmare of an abuser) said to me,”I will be here for your emotional outpouring…Later. Right now you call that asshole up and ask for what you want out of the divorce. He might feel just guilty enough to give it to you. But in a week he will be over you and not give a shit.” That drove a knife thru my already mangled heart. But I did. I told him in my most simpering voice that the least he could do was leave me my house. After a long excruciating pause he said “ok”. I rushed to get the deed of the house signed over to me that day. Best move I made. I kept the house and everything in it.

  • Daughter 1: “Mom, he’s a sociopath.”

    Daughter 2: “I don’t think his cheating had anything to do with you.”

  • The guy who pressure washed my house the week my divorce was final said “One day you will meet someone who will be really glad that you are divorced.” It was very kind and encouraging.

    • Fireball, love that truth. Haha, she texts my daughter from his phone pretending to be the limited. He can’t BREATH!

      His favorite exit saying was, “I found someone; don’t ruin it for me.” After Dday I spoke with her passing the torch and filled her in on how he cycles, the months he shops for new supply.

      • A quote from Shirley Glass sticks with me and always brings a laugh when I share it.
        “ If your husband abandons you for another woman, wait 4 years and then send her a
        Thank You card “.
        Many times after 4 years I have had to restrain myself from doing exactly this every month
        with a $50 bill enclosed. You’ve earned this. So glad he’s gone! No returns!

  • So many friends told me they always thought I was a saint for putting up with him.
    It forced me to seriously look at what our relationship truly had become.

    And I closed the chapter on that book.

  • It’s OK to be emotional/mental/revengeful/ devastated by what has happened.

    It’s also OK to not know what feels right for you but don’t feel you have to go along with any plan or commit to anything right now.

    Some of the first words from my lovely therapist after mass blameshifting and horrific bullying from ex and of course I was taking it all in and feeling responsible as though I MUST have deserved it and needed to be adult and take it all on board. She allowed me to admit I was broken, furious, bitter, revengeful and unforgiving. Helped a lot.

  • My best friend: He’s always been an asshole, he was just YOUR asshole, so we put up with him.

    My sister: You need to go South-side on his ass – cry later.

    Him (ironically enough, this kind of woke me up, even though he was “begging” for another chance): You deserve better.

    • Ha that’s a good point!
      Him: You didn’t deserve any of this.

      Damn right I don’t.

      • Yup, I got that … you don’t deserve me (so please find someone else). But if you don’t find someone else so your ex can feel less guilty and be “off the hook” to live his happy life with Schmoopie, he says, “You know, life is easier with a partner.” My, hasn’t he grown up … what insight!!!

        I don’t know whether that was him being oblivious, or he was taunting me on purpose … I do know that he would describe it as, “I just want you to be happy”. He will always be the good guy, not wanting to hurt anyone, sticking it out with me all those years. What a saint, eh? And now he’s an amateur therapist.

  • Three years out, some words of wisdom still remain….

    From my pastoral counselor in his kindest, wisest, voice with a thick Indian accent: “You realize the marriage is over.” I thank God for him.

    From my therapist: “His choices are HIS. They are not yours. This is not your fault” repeated over and over again.

    From my other therapist: “The things that have happened up until now you have no control over. But you CAN control your choices from here on out.”

    From my sister: “You didn’t realize the void in the relationship because you were giving 90% and he was giving 10%”

    From a dear friend and fellow chump (and possibly the best advice of all) : “Hey you need to check out”

  • From mom, during wreckonciliation: This is the best it’s going to get, and it’ll only get worse.

    From a new friend at work: He was one way. Something happened. And now he’s not.

    Which I know isn’t exactly how it pans out, turns out he was always this way, his mask just fell off. BUT to explain it to people who don’t understand this world we find ourselves in, this is a nice short statement they do understand and that helped me tremendously in stopping the skein untangling.

  • I hate to be envious, but I am. I envy those whose family had wonderful words of wisdom to share. I am at meh Re: ex and the shit show, but it is the responses from my mother and sister that still hurt.

    Mother- “he was nothing but nice to your father and I, and we still want to have a relationship with him.” And they did, and would even get him gift certificates to ex and vajayjay,s favorite expensive restaurant when ex gave them medical advice.

    Sister- she claimed it was the worst thing that ever happened to her. Not because her sister was gutted, but because ex would no longer be writing her prescriptions.

    My mother has now been diagnosed with dementia, and I have become her main caretaker. I now frequently hear from my mother that “you are so fat, ugly and stupid, no wonder he left you.”

    I obviously need to get back to my therapist!

    • Oh gosh Ruggerman. Your mother primed you for abuse. So sad. Your family sucks! It’s all about them.

      • Thanks Mitz. I never really saw it until the ex traded me in. Thought I had a great family, but I now look at their actions and have distanced myself from several
        Family members.

        • Thanks chumpinrecovery. My sister does do her share, but strictly for financial reasons. She charges for her time and mileage. I charge for money spent ie medications, hospital and doctors copay. Ex caretaker? Haha. He wouldnt even take care of his own dad the last year of his life. But who stepped up to the plate? Chumpy old me (before discard)

    • Your mother obviously needs to find a new caretaker. Let your sister and your ex look after her.

    • “Stop being to go-to person for people you can’t go to!” (see also “You don’t have to light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm”)

      Everyone loves to have a Chump around because they are so responsible. They keep the bills paid, the chores done, the asses wiped. They can call you a fat stupid cow that DESERVES to be abandoned and abused, to your face, and you’ll come back for more because “faaaaaamily”. Oh, it’s okay because now she has dementia.

      When you needed your family they didn’t want to choose sides, and “he was always of use to ME so I’ll keep him in my life.”

      Your mom has other family, including your sis and your ex, and friends. They can look into hospice, adult services, and other resources. She has insurance and assets. And if she doesn’t? How is any of that your fault, any of your responsibility? Nobody is looking into those options because you’re there, eating the shit sandwiches, and taking the abuse. Just like you’ve always done.

      They don’t value you or what you give. Why not spend that energy on people that do?

      • 2nd Gen, your so right. I have always been the sensible, responsible one. Even taking care of moms mom nights in an ICU for 5 weeks while trying to study for
        Nursing boards. Because family and I was told to.

        Maybe that’s one of the reasons I chumped it out for 3 very long years when ex was hoovering. Trying to keep the family happy at a huge detriment to me.

        A good friend calls me the caboose
        Of the family-the last of importance while picking up the pieces of those in front of me

        Thanks for the eye opener. Hard to hear for sure, but very necessary.

    • Therapy can’t help you when you’re still volunteering to be used and abused by your family. Let the other family members take care of her or put her in a care home. You can’t heal while being abused.

      I took care of my dad when he had a neuromuscular disease that killed him. He was appreciative and it brought us close. I was glad I had that time with him before he died.
      Your mom, on the other hand, isn’t appreciative, she treats you like crap and she betrayed you when you needed her most. You owe her nothing, IMO. You’ve done enough already and she’s hurting you. Please take care of you!

      • Thanks chumpup. Taking care of me is one of the things I’ve always struggled with. Realistically I totally understand it. Putting it into practice is another story. I am the one that is always there to take care of the problems. It’s starting to hit home how that has negatively affected me

        I am glad you were able to have that closeness with your father. I am sure that is a huge blessing.

    • Ruggerman I am so sorry you had this experience. Know that you are loved by the chump nation!!!

      You are perfect in every way. A kind loving human who gave their best.

    • You are halfway there. You got rid of your ex. Now, you just need to find some nice friends to take the place of your toxic family. I have been gradually learning to stand up for myself. I don’t try to control the behavior of others, but I do question them about it to clarify whether they are intentionally hurting me. For example, I asked my daughter whether she heard her dad walk by me and call me a b**** at my granddaughters birthday party. She said yes. I then stated that I wasn’t sure since she and her husband then sat with him and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. If you ask your family whether they are aware that it hurts you when they have a friendly relationship with your ex, it may help clarify where you stand with them and whether you should continue to have a relationship or distance yourself from toxic people.

  • I was DEEP into pick me dancing and rabid one sided wreckinconcilliation maneuvers when one of my extremely mild mannered friends, I mean MILD mannered friends began to yell at me through the phone lines “HE IS FUCKING ANOTHER WOMAN” She repeated it over and over again. She followed her outburst with a shuddering sigh and the word jeez came out as the ending of her rampage.

    Something in me did wake up. I would like to say I woke up all the way but I didn’t although my focus did change. Have to say it was a wake up call but also very sad to really get what he was actually doing and how it was effecting me. I still struggle with the enormity of his ‘crimes’ since he was fucking other women throughout our entire 30+ years of marriage.

    Wading through the wreckage of all of that and the impact on our grown children who have to grapple with the harrowing truth that their beloved (He was the good guy, charmer type – TFC) father is slut and a liar and a person with no backbone, integrity or anything else of value is overwhelming at times especially when they aim their anger at me.

    I am ever so grateful for everyone here since you all know how this feels. I am grateful to those who continue to post despite the fact that they have reached Meh…gives me hope on my bad days.

    Oh, I almost forgot. In another conversation with the same woman she said, in a calm voice, “you have to let go or he will take you down with him.” That is when my Wonder Woman costume slipped off of my shoulders.

    • My then 11 year old daughter cut off contact with her father after a few visits and said, “A person like him doesn’t deserve to know a person like me.” I am still in awe of her boundaries and strength.

      • Yeah for your daughter!

        My daughter, on hearing the ‘news’ went NC instantly. I am so proud of her and it gives me great comfort to know she can and does stand up for herself. Might young woman.

        Took me longer to get to the same point….but I did get there. She is one of my main supporters and I tell her that whenever we get a chance to talk these days

  • My mom told me:

    You are trying to control this situation and you cannot control him.

    She was so right.

  • Best advice came to me through close relative ” you don’t have to know everything, you already know enough “

  • From my therapist: He is disordered. He is incapable of humility. Remember he was a jerk before you discovered the affair, the affair set you free.

    From my sister after i told ow’s husband in front of the ow and got to witness her frozen face as she realized the jig was up with her husband: “You are a bad-ass!”

    From one of my best friends when i question my parenting when trying to parent with a narcissist remorseful pos who is trying to shove the ow down my son’s throat: “You are his rock. You are too hard on yourself.”

    From my 12 year old son: “He does not deserve you, he is not worthy of you, mom. You are a good person and the best mom!”

    And what i tell myself multiple times a day: “TRUST THAT THEY SUCK!”

    CL- thanks for asking us to do this- i am printing this out and putting it on my bathroom mirror- to remind myself of all of this!

  • From the (wonderful) MC, who recognized her for what she is:
    “She has a hole in her soul, that you can’t fill. Give her up, and go find things that make YOU happy.”

  • This, from my best friend and roommate from college:

    “Don’t fight with another woman on a dirty rag! Let her wipe her ass with that fucking dirty rag. Fuck that motherfucker. Fuck that dirty rag. Fuck him.”


  • This, from my best friend and roommate from college:

    “Don’t fight with another woman over a dirty rag! Let her wipe her ass with that fucking dirty rag. Fuck that motherfucker. Fuck that dirty rag. Fuck him.”


  • My friend of 30 years was with me through multiple D-days. On the 4th d-day I called her and said I was done. She told me her husband said, nothing is going to change in that house. That forced me to face life and leave!! Thank you for doubting me, it was a huge motivator.

  • My third therapist: “What more do you need to be done….a third affair?”

    • Sadly, that was almost a year ago. I FINALLY got the message.

  • A friend said “How will understanding why this happened change anything?” That helped me to move towards ending the constant analyses I was doing in my mind. Still took me time, but definitely a help in the right direction.

  • My dad -a mild mannered retired teacher – literally backed me against the wall one day after a hellacious fight with captain dumbass and said, “I didn’t raise a p***y… get your shit together and get angry… you’re done with him”. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I put my crown back on …. and got pissed . Best. Dad. Ever.

  • Holy crap – would others care to join me writing to Carolyn Hax live today? She needs a swift kick in the frontal lobes for this steaming heap of “blame the chump” and “forgiveness – NOW!”

    Q: Grief doesn’t redeem a cheater
    Last year I found out that my husband of five years was cheating on me. He knew that this is an absolutely deal-breaker for me so he shouldn’t have been surprised when I kicked him to the curb and want nothing to do with him. His parents died recently in a car accident and I’m very sorry since they were kind, wonderful people. I sent my ex’s sister a Mass card and a condolence note. She’s now contacted me several times to ask me to see my soon to be ex-husband (divorce isn’t final yet) since he’s lost, falling apart, and could really use my support. I’m stunned at her nerve. Isn’t this a huge ask on her part? I don’t want to tell off a grieving woman but she’s trying to help my ex use his parents’ death to emotionally manipulate me. I just responded that I’d rather not see him and she responded back that it would mean so much to the whole family who still loves me. I’m trying not to reveal my white-hot anger but it’s time to get blunt with her – isn’t it?

    A: Carolyn Hax
    Wait, what?

    I understand your anger at your cheating husband. I;m stunned, though, that the sudden deaths of your mother- and father-in-law haven’t even dented the wall of anger you’ve put up. “Tell off a grieving woman”? I know you’re saying you don’t want to, but that’s even an option? That you think “she’s trying to help my ex use his parents’ death to emotionally manipulate me” is also just so dark.

    I am sorry I got to this so late in the chat–but in a way, maybe it’s better I can’t give a fuller answer: I urge you to find a good therapist, and get some counseling for this anger. You are of course entitled to choose not to talk to your ex, but I find it striking that you don’t seem to to feel any sympathy at all, just rage.

    • Horrible advice. Cheating is a very traumatic experience. I feel people either don’t understand or are dismissive of the pain of being cheated on.

    • Hax really gave horrible advice on that one! She clearly does not understand that cheating is a very horrible, fundamental, devastating betrayal. The LW had a right to be angry — and now she has a right to be angry at HAX!

      I hope the Chump lady runs “advice” through the UBT! And I hope the LW finds us here!

      • It no longer surprises me abou Hax. Getting pregnant by your AP while caring for your mother (ALS) and showing up for your divorce hugely gravid with twins tells you how she views chumps.

        With disdain, from her lofty perch of smug superiority.

        I hope her husband cheats on her. Bonus points if he impregnates the OW.

        • But isn’t it Carolyn Hax’s ex-husband who does a brilliant job of illustrating her column? I’ve saved quite a few of his pointed snarky cartoons. And he’s the chump!

  • “cheaters cheat and liars lie. You can take THAT to the bank.”

    “Hire the best damn divorce lawyer and do exactly what he says. They don’t drive BMWs and wear Rolexs because they suck at their job.”

    “Keep moving forward and stop thinking about his wet spot – she’s not his last rodeo.”

    All said by my dad.

  • also The therapist where I used a box of tissues at DD2 who broke not directing mode to say urgently at the end “and get yourself to a lawyer”. pre finding CL, terrified of how to go forward, (So much better than DD1 therapist years earlier who advised me to ask for an explanation.) this time borrowed $, turned off phone (cheater X was insistent about location tracking for ‘safety’), and went to a lawyer.

  • Me: Do you think he loved me?
    Therapist: Yes, but not in a way that did you any good.

  • My predecessor (the first Mrs. Asshat, who has become a very good friend over time)- “Brace yourself, he will say all the terrible things about you that he said about me, and then some. Give him ten minutes, and he’ll believe his own lies as well”.

    My best friend, since I was 3 yrs old- “Change is good. Just not while it’s happening”.

    I am blessed with some wise, understanding people in my life.

  • A dear friend I’ve known since I was 12 years old, said the following when I told him I was getting divorced, “I never liked that guy, he’s a loser. Glad you’re finally dropping the dead weight!”

  • My Dad after learning about the cheating and what not: “There’s nothing to save here, your marriage is over. Let’s get you on the other side of this thing.” I will forever be grateful. I think I needed his permission to move forward, and he gave me that and his help.

  • When I told a coworker what happened…he plainly said.
    “I’m sorry so one deserves that.”
    It was the affirmation I needed.

  • From my infidelity support group and echoed by my awesome therapist: “His actions are telling you who he is. Believe him.”

    Once I stopped listening to words and only looked at actions – it was eye opening.

  • We were together 27 years and I thought we had a great marriage. When everything fell apart, I told my therapist I felt like a failure. I felt embarrassed that I was going to be divorced– something I never dreamed could happen to me. She very wisely said, “Yes, divorce is terrible. But it’s a lot worse to stay in a marriage where you are not treated with respect.”

  • “When you are married to a liar your entire marriage is a lie” from “Too Good to Leave/Too bad to Stay” book that I read shortly before finding Chumplady 2.5 years ago. Chumplady finished slapping me into reality and I was divorced and free from the idiot after 46 years of marriage within 8 months from Dday. Thank all of CN and CL for all you do!

  • My mom after X had done me wrong – “Never let ’em see you sweat”. Sage advice, indeed!

  • My daughter, in 2017; “Mom, that’s emotional abuse.” I was shocked as I hadn’t even considered it as such, but knew immediately she was right. I then confronted the abuser about that and it at least shut down the most overt, obvious abuse. The covert, sneaky stuff stayed.
    Just a few nights ago she said; “He’ll always do it again. It’s a cycle that never ends.”
    Smart, brave, wonderful girl.

  • It was the sound of laughter by him and his AP as I raged into the phone about how much he hurt me. Although it sucked, it was exactly what I needed to know who he is. A solid log of shit.

    • Those sick, disgusting pigs! Cheating scum and their cretin APs are crazy.

  • An incredibly wise hairdresser who sized up the situation with almost no information; “He’s an abusive narcissist. I know how much this hurts, but you are beautiful and kind so you will find someone who really loves you.”

  • From my Dad when I was apologising for bringing a liar into our family, “He duped me too.” Something about my father being lied to woke me up.

  • From my lawyer: “There is a shelf life on guilt.”

    Separation signed in five days (14 from DD), divorce filed 3 days later.


  • “Nothing to work with.”
    “Broken/severed wiring.”
    My brother: “It’s not about you. It’s about him. And probably his mother.”
    “No contact. Hurts like hell at first, but your future self will thank you for it.”
    “It’s a Falklands War situation- you and the OW. Like two bald men fighting over a comb.”

  • I had lots of uplifting comments from family and friends that made me laugh along the lines of “He’s a @#$%&!” One I liked from an old friend who remembered the ow from where we all used to go dancing said “He left YOU for HER!!!” while laughing. I like black humour so a laugh amid devastation is a little breath of fresh air.

  • After the cheater abandoned me for, as I later found out, his latest side piece, my therapist said, “Do you know anything about narcissism? You need to read about narcissism.” That statement got me started on weeks and months of reading and listening to everything I could find about narcissism. For the first time in my life, I began to understand what I had been dealing with for 43 years.

    I can’t say it made sense, because none of it makes any sense, Cheater must have read all the narcissism rules because he followed every single one of them for a covert narcissist. All that I read made me realize that he wasn’t just having a late life crisis (too old for a mid life crisis), and that nothing will get things between us to be the way they should have been but never were.

    The second comment was recent. I am attending a Bible study this summer led by my pastor. We were asked to acquire a particular commentary about the book we are studying. I told the pastor that we used to have the complete set of these commentaries, but I sold them at the estate sale when I had to get rid of 43 years of married life that cheater left me to clean out. The set was a graduation gift from some friends to cheater when he finished medical school.

    My pastor looked at me and said, “Well, he should have read them more!”

  • An old lady walking into bvb an AA meeting said,
    ‘Why do us woman put up with so much for so long?’

  • Leave a cheater gain a life. We all have agency, don’t have same morals or values, conspired against, three channels, narcissist, and no contact.

    Book Healing from a narcissist relationship. Case study on a chump trying to get his narc wife to understand the hurt she caused him with her narcissistic choices and she just couldn’t because she is wired differently in the empathy department. I asked my husband a couple times why he was so cold, cruel and angry and he couldn’t say why but now I know why because he’s not wired like me. My stbx has been faking and mirroring my morals and values for 15 years. Wtf?? Weird to know their really are a lot of really cruel people out there

  • My sister-in-law is a doctor and she said she had taken enough psychology classes to know my soon-to-be ex was a compulsive liar and narcissist. She told me to not only let him go, but run the other direction. She and my brother were especially glad to have him out of our lives.

  • “How ungentlemanly.” A response from an aunt…

  • Our first marriage counselling session the female counsellor said ” The days of rape and pillage are over “, and that he would ” have to change 50% for the marriage to work” ! Also my rock of a sister who simply told me, ” he is not your friend “. 3 years out, very happy but still not got the old me back.

  • “I think you’ll feel much better when you realize how truly sick he is”

    This said to me by the MFC post separation while I was still mourning the lost relationship I thought I had. My blood ran cold. Therapists don’t call someone “sick” and she emphasized “truly sick”. That was after he had individual sessions with her for 1 1/2 years while we were also doing joint sessions.

    It made me wonder what he had said in the private sessions that I could never know about because she was bound to privacy. And made me wonder even more given that in the end she is the one who advised me to get a divorce for my own safety and sanity.

  • Not advice but a random google search i made after discovering him cheating for about the 5th but definitely final time. Toxic relationship. Oddly I’d been reading about *narcopaths* for about 2 years and never connected it to NPD. Toxic relationship did. By the time he got home 5 hours later (after disappearing when i saw a girl on girl porn gif in a message on his phone and reply coming in from unknown number as i googled something on it) we were done. Id been trying to leave for 2 years. Never connected the dots. Toxic relationship was the key to my freedom.

  • Oh and a few weeks later in a rare moment of truth (grand hoover more like) as i realised the extent of his double lives, he told me how he can box tbings up and not let each of his worlds collide. My jaw literally dropped. That night i googled narcissists compartmentalising. Just wow. Truly explained it all. The extent of deception and deprioritising of our kids and me was frightening

  • When I mentioned to my therapist that I think my XW was a narcissist, she said “It’s about time you see that she is a narcissist!!!” A close friend (whose XW is a narcissist) asked if she has mental health issues. Opened my eyes.

    • Oh, yes I did. I don’t know how far his deep quiet rage about feelings trapped in marriage with someone who kept forgiving him would have gone. But I have an idea…

      About six months post divorce he gave my son a used phone and didn’t completely clean it off. I was sexual fantasy communications with his new barely old enough to drink girfriend. Mixed in with the BDSM was him describing pinching off her nose during oral sex and watching the viens pop in her neck while she struggled to breath.

      I was advised that nothing could be done about it legally or related to custody because it was just a “fantasy” between two consenting adults. So instead I politely emailed him explaining what was on the phone and requesting our kids not use his electronic devices while at his house. He apologized and then “accidentally” posted a raunchy video to facebook with two girls around the same age in the underwear dancing to a music video shaking their ass in the camera, licking their teeth etc. No skin Showing so its not considered porn. It was visible by Our neighbors, all.the friend parents from my kids school and our extended families. I had to beg him to take it down.

      He is very polite on the surface and we co-parenting well which can be disarming, but after that I never let my guard down again!

  • Quotes from youngest son:

    The Tuesday after dday, we drove together to work. He learned about the cheating over the weekend and I (while still in shock) told him what I did to make his father cheat. He said simply: “You think this is your fault? It’s not!” I couldn’t speak for the rest of the car ride.

    That was during wreckconciliation. A few years later, after our divorce, I took my youngest out to dinner because his boss thought that my son was a little crankier than usual. He told me that even though he was an adult, I should check in with him and find out how he was feeling about his parents’ divorce. So that’s what I did. He told me there was something bothering him so I asked him what and this is what he told me:

    “Dad told me that you still didn’t trust him even though he chose you over AP and that’s why you wanted the divorce.” I told him that it was truth that I didn’t think I’d ever trust his father again and that I didn’t feel obligated to reconcile even if he did “choose” me over AP. I said: “He chose me 27 years ago when we got married. There is no bitch cookie for doing it again after cheating.” My son laughed and then said. “Dad also told me something that left me slack jawed. He said that this is the way he ended all his relationships, even before he was married. He would cheat so they would find out and break up with him.”

    This wasn’t a news flash to me as he said the same thing to me and our marriage councilor. But then my son said:” I guess I can see him doing that when he was a teenager but why does dad think that it was okay to do it to the mother of his children and wife of over 2 decades? ” I told him I didn’t know. He just shook his head and mumbled “coward” just loud enough for me to hear.

    It was then that I knew I absolutely made the right decision. I had also come to realize that the cheating was in no way my fault. All gems from a wise young man!

  • On a narcissism website before I knew he was cheating: Don’t love someone who can’t or won’t love you back.

  • “Don’t make any big decisions for twelve months.” I thought that was a bit of an overkill at the time, but best advice ever. Maybe twelve months is a bit on the long side, but I’m so glad I didn’t act on some of my first thoughts.

  • I have to refinance the house to remove cheater’s name from the mortgage. When the loan officer found out about the situation, and then I had to tell him my income (much more than cheater$), the loan officer said, “He cheated on THAT? Wow – he messed UP! Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

  • We owned a townhouse, and across the courtyard there was a high-rise condominium, and we owned one of the penthouses there. When we split up, he moved his new girlfriend into the penthouse. It had floor-to-ceiling glass, and every night I could see them at the kitchen table, from head to toe, eating, talking and gesturing, and then that light would go off. The living room light would go off, and she would come to the bedroom window to flick the switch that sent the blinds cascading down. She always looked my direction when she did that, but of course I was behind the blinds with the lights off, wearing black.

    I told my brother. I said, “I can’t take myself away from the window.”

    He said. “Good. You need to watch.”

    I said, “Whaaaaaat?”

    He said, “Yes. Keep watching. Otherwise you’ll never believe something as horrible as that is happening. The sooner you believe it, the sooner you’ll get bored with it, and the sooner you’ll get over it.”

    He was right.

    That window was difficult. Every night when I came home, I’d look up and check it out. Were they home? What were they doing up there? I’d look to see if I could see anything.

    Then I started to try to play tricks on myself. “Pretend that I don’t even know those people up there. They’re just random people and that window means nothing to me.”

    I thought that worked until years later, when they moved out, and there really were random people up there! It was TOTALLY different. No effort involved at all. (It’s not easy to lie to yourself and believe it.)

    Eventually I got tired of it. I’d wait and wait for hours to see something, and then I’d blink my eyes and miss it! (It’s really no fun being on a stake-out.)

    So I gave up the game.

    Interesting while it lasted! Excruciating. But I had to do it…

    And this while I was making extreme efforts to get on with my life in every other direction!

    And when he did move across town… just driving by his house to see if his car was there! I’d do it, and I knew it meant nothing. Okay, he’s there. So what?

    So I just wanted to know where he was, that’s what.


    And I’m so tempted right now – Sunday evening – to drive by the church, where my boyfriend and I would go to the 6pm service, to see if he’s there! My therapist told me not to! I wish I didn’t care! But I do care… I love him so…

    I entertain thoughts all day of getting back with him. What to do with those thoughts? I don’t know!

    I’m not as down on him as the women on this blog are down on their cheaters… I’m not sure he had sex with her (he had dinner twice, and he hid the relationship from me for a few months…) Maybe I should be! I don’t know how to keep the anger alive…

    I like this post! Things that helped others! That’s good…

    I’m gonna read it again now…

  • And the reason I’m not so down on him is that our relationship was only a year old. No kids together. Not a lot of lies built up. Etc., etc. Oh goodness! This hurts like hell and I can’t imagine what all of you have been through! So sorry… 🙁

  • “He has always put himself first”
    In the early days of discovery, made a list of all the times during our 20+ year relationship that he was selfish. I hung the list on a door. I kept adding and adding. It became a long list.

    This really helped me get over the shock of betrayal.
    Why should I be surprised by his selfish behavior?
    After all, he had betrayed me and our daughter for years, always putting his own needs first.

    Next step was fixing myself… looking at that list and seeing how high my tolerance level became. Why did I not feel highly of myself (and my daughter) to have put up with his selfish, narcissistic behavior for so many years?

  • “Perhaps there’s a better life out there for you too”.

    Said by my brother as I was crying telling him that ExH told me he felt there was a better life out there for him. I felt I had a good life before. Not perfect but good. I still feel that way even now. Even after the bullshit. And yes, my life is still good. I like that that is how I live my life.

  • It is not really advice, but after asshole had told me he didn’t want to be married, was dating a whore, etc. I had left and had been up so night crying and telling everyone I knew what an asshole he was.

    I had not seen anyone till I went to work the next day. I got there early, and was crying. My team lead took me to a conference room, and asked what was wrong. When I told her, she just screamed “Fucker!!!!”. I think that way my favorite response, ever. Thank you, Simone!