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Chump Lady Answers Her Google Search Queries

Google-SearchI have a perverse interest in Google analytics. I’m always curious to see how people wash up on the shores of Chump Lady. Just what exactly did you Google to find me?

The site has pretty good SEO (search engine optimization, for the less geeky among you). I’ve hit the first Google page for several infidelity terms.

But some people must use Google like their own personal Magic 8 ball. “When is he coming back?” “Why won’t she speak to me?” Google as life oracle.

So today I thought I would answer my search term questions. Not fully formed or perhaps just succinct, hey, they deserve an answer too, right?

If a guy lies do you give him another chance

Depends on what he lied about. Does my ass look fat in these jeans? “No honey, you have the lithe hips of a sylvan goddess.” I’d let that one pass. But if he lies habitually, if he lies reflexively about small things, if you catch him in a giant whopper — these are indications of his character. And no, I probably would not give him another chance. Because you said GUY, not husband — and you aren’t that invested now, and do you really want to shackle yourself to a person with lousy character for a lifetime? Cut your losses.

misogynist NPD husband

Misogynist? NPD? Why isn’t he your EX-husband?

what happens to the narcissist after divorce?

They dissolve into mist, get absorbed into topsoil, fertilize the grass, are eaten by cows, and expelled as the flatulence contributing to global warming.

No. I wish. No really, they stay narcissistic. And if they have children with you, they’ll probably keep trying to torture you with their bullshit as long as they can. If you don’t have children with a narcissist, then stop wondering what happens to them and count your blessings that they’re gone.

narcissist says he misses me

I’m sure he does. All kibbles are good kibbles. Stop being kibbles.

bf loves me but won’t commit says I’m a time bomb

People who love you don’t call you “time bomb.” Dump him.

cheating husband always crying

Poor sausage. Kleenex, visine, and then — no contact. Much harder to hear his crying when he’s somewhere else.

should I ask husband for proof that he ended emotional affair

As opposed to what? Just taking his word for it? That it was only emotional? That it ended? Google “voice activated recorder.”

would you forgive your wife if she was a sex addict in the past?

By sex addict do you mean cheater? Or do you mean someone who was very promiscuous before they met you? If she’s copping to “sex addiction” (a made-up affliction), I’m guessing she means “serial cheater” (the less PC term for it). It’s fine if you want to forgive her. I just wouldn’t stay married to her.

girls are cheating pieces of shit

No, cheaters are pieces of shit. No gender has the market cornered on being a piece of shit. Stop being bitter. It’s an unfortunate stage to distrust an entire gender after you’ve been chumped — move through it quickly please.

your capacity to trust when you grow up in the aftermath of your fathers affair because when you were a child and your mother never got over it because your parents never dealt with the pain from the afair so it was taken out on the kids.

Wow. Thank you for the public service reminder not to stay together for the kids.

trust a traveling cheater

No. Change the locks.

what do you call a person that thinks everyone has to abide by him

God? Sir? Don’t call this person.

skinny hollom hooker cream when fucking a huge monster cock

Uh. I think you have the wrong site. I can’t help you with your “hollom” kink, whatever that is.

not guilty for making mistress pregnant

Paternity test? But just a hunch… I think you’re guilty.

my husband made his prostitute power of attorney

Just wow. I’m sorry.

gaslighting is the dumbest thing ever just retarded stupidity

I totally agree with you.

wife says I love you but I’m not in love with you

She’s cheating. Welcome to Chump Lady. Glad you found us.

This column ran previously. A bit under the weather today. 

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.
  • CL a re-run but I still love reading this. A new one would be amazing too.

  • I’m struggling now with having to see my ex husband and his mistress for the first time in 2 years at our daughter’s wedding. He left and never looked back and I never contacted him. My struggle how he has hurt our daughter because he is all about the ow and she hardly sees him. He can’t even take time off of work to attend the upcoming rehearsal dinner but he took her on a Vegas vacation for a week. I also get to see all his family who ghosted me after and my other daughter (his step daughter) after he left. We were married for 23 years. The hardest thing is not saying what I think of them and having to be cordial.

    • Surround yourself with YOUR people. Stay zen (at least outwardly) and laugh like crazy with your friends (for no good reason – it will drive him nuts). I’ve done it through 2 weddings and it was ok. Good luck!

        • Oh Peacekeeper, it was a hoot. But I give credit to my ex-MIL – they used the “hysterical laughing” technique during a family bust up and even if there is no reason to be laughing at the beginning you all end up doubled over because it’s just so stupid!

    • Iron
      I’m still struggling after 3 years divorced from a 34 year marriage. Ex narcissist husband had a serious 2 year affair which when I discovered it he left without looking back or an apology. I just recently ran into him at a wake with the second ow. (Original Owhore died last year & he immediately moved into this woman home) My son will be getting married soon & he will be there with his recent “ victim” which she is.
      I understand how painful it is to deal with this but when I saw him I stood my ground, didn’t speak to him or
      acknowledge his presence. Never received an apology or ask how I am doing? He is an older cruel narcissist that will never change. For my sanity I’m trying to remember the cruelty & humiliation of how it ended so my heart won’t continue to ache.
      Good luck to you .. stay strong ???????? You are not alone.❤️

      • ((((Kathleen))))
        Every time I see your name I think of strength.
        And I feel such anger toward your ex. He lost a gem in you!

        • Peacekeeper
          Your reply is so encouraging to me especially after what you went through. Here at CN I know we’re all connected in one way or another &
          your compassion makes me feel not so alone.
          Thank you my friend ❤️????

    • Ironbutterfly,
      Stand tall, stand with integrity, dignity and grace, because that is what you have been, what you are now, and what you will always be.
      You will always be the present, sane, loving, parent to your children, one day to your grandchildren. Even when they leave your home, they never leave your heart. YOU will always be the one they come to with all their every day life happenings.
      He, on the other hand, has never been there for his daughter. He is just another invited guest to the wedding, and a very, very, insignificant one at that!
      Imagine CN there beside you, all the way, on this beautiful day! We got your back.
      Stay strong!

    • Weddings are tough, but you’ve got this. Go be your fabulous self and concentrate on this being your daughter’s day. I agonized for months about my daughter’s wedding. X’s family was there in force (a free fancy meal with free drinks, free accommodations, and a free flight to the venue will do that). Most of my family is dead and the ones remaining ones couldn’t be bothered, including my NBPD mother.

      I have a few very close friends, but let’s just say things did not look good in terms of there being safety in numbers for me. My X BIL is a severe alcoholic who, for decades, has hijacked every family event in awful, awful ways. Think drunken fist fights and overturned tables, like some stupid reality TV show. And the man is a surgeon, for God’s sake!

      X is very ill, and is living his karma, so it wasn’t even X who was the actual problem, although it was very, very tough to be in his presence. It was what I THOUGHT was going to happen to ruin the event, though, was the thought of how I was going to react to Dr. Shithead’s certain misbehavior. I decided to “give myself a good talking-to” and I focused my entire attention on the couple and the wonderful journey they were going to undertake together.

      That focus helped me keep my fears and anxieties in check. Even X BIL trying to walk my daughter down the aisle instead of me did not throw me off my game. I just laughed and elbowed him as hard as I could with a huge smile on my face.

      I think remembering who should be the day’s focus will help you filter out the bullshit. Go and rock being a proud mama of a beautiful bride! Do not let asshole X rob you of yet another loving family memory. Do not give him that power! I apologize for the lecture, but having been there, I promise you that you have this covered.

      I worried so much about being embarrassed and I never was, although X BIL would have been if he could have even remembered the event. At one point he was seen drunkenly wandering around the reception, hitting on women 35 years younger. Someone actually asked me if he was a wedding crasher! That is an HILARIOUS memory my kids and I laugh about to this day. We did not allow X BIL’s misbehavior to mar her day, and because of this, nothing he did mattered.

      I did not do any stupid shit some chumps think they should do, like lose a bunch of weight, get a face-lift, buy an expensive outfit or otherwise attempt to change a single thing to “make X see what he is missing.” The fucker knows what he lost; when he lost me, he lost the best damn wife he could have hoped to find. Same with YOU. You were the prize in the Cracker Jack box (sorry to date myself) and your stupid X settled for the wrapper His loss!

    • Smile and pretend to be having a good time for the sake of your daughter, she will love your even more for it! Focus on relatives that are the good people.

      At my child’s wedding I gave myself a pep talk beforehand. I told myself ‘it’s only going to be 5 or 6 hours, I can do those hours, and be done with it’.

    • What I struggle with is, if the children are adults and they realize what a piece of shit their cheating parent is, why do they continue contact? If they know the cheating parent can take AP on vacation but have no time for their(kids) special event, why does cheating parent still get an invite? Chumps are told to go NC and maintain strict boundaries, but our children shouldn’t? Being a parent doesn’t give you a free pass to behave as you choose towards your children. I still have a few years before my children reach milestone events like graduations and marriage but I don’t think I’ll change my stance on this, at least not today.

      • Hi Chumpfor12,

        I completely understand what you are saying and I struggle with this too. My kids are older teens and they still have contact – one more than the other. My one son has been pretty awesome – he chose to live 100% with me and when he saw that his Dad sat with me and his brother at his Commencement (against my wishes) he strode up to me in his gown and said “I saw you had company – let’s get the f*** out of here “- didn’t even say hi to Dad – but we still lived together so had to speak to him after).
        My STBX really made both the grad dinner and the commencement very uncomfortable for me and it was very upsetting but I was there for my kid and I would walk through fire for him and he knows that.

        Other son says the right things but really doesn’t want to upset Dad and sees him more (this son chose to move out with his girlfriend when the shit hit the fan). I do find it upsetting but the further out I get the more I am trying to say I need to live my own life.

        I think we have to remember that our X’s are often complete POS. They manipulate and deceive and bully their kids as well as their spouses. Often kids feel angry and can feel guilty so they are targets for manipulation (my one son is pick me dancing – his Dad is really trying hard to win over the son who lives with me and I think my other son is a little jealous (sigh)). We also picked the spouse, the children didn’t pick their parent. As people here say all around it is a shit sandwich. I don’t think we can expect kids to fully understand the magnitude of the betrayal we suffered (most of society can’t).

        In the future, if I need to see my X at a wedding or anything I plan to treat him as a stranger. Although knowing him he will pretend as if everything is fine. It sucks to know that someone that has abused us in many ways can still have access to our lives through our children but I really hope my children have learned from my situation that you shouldn’t give up too much for your spouse because hey shit happens.

        • I feel like when the time comes and they’re age appropriate, I will encourage them to make their own choice for their own reasons. To choose what will make them feel ok. One thing that I’ve stressed with them is, you didn’t get a choice in what happened but you do get a choice in how you feel. No one can tell you how to feel.

        • What you said about how they treat kids is so true the manipulation and mind games!! My Ex has our oldest daughter spackling for him. He picks the kids up for his week day night visit and doesn’t feed them. If you ask if she needs something to eat she says “no, I am good”. Later she’s rummaging the fridge for food. My youngest before she leaves eats anything she can find cause she knows. Sadly the court system expects us to spackle too! I send my kids clothes I purchased on weekend visits because they kept coming home in same clothing with rashes. I tell myself they shouldn’t have to suffer that bad because there dad is a fuckwit. My ex is late to pick them up from school alot, my oldest never says anything (more spackling). The school told me. Us chumps endure a shit sandwich, so do the kids! From other chumps on here I believe the kids know who loved them and was the rock to lean on. Stay strong!

    • It’s your kid’s wedding. It’s about her. But that doesn’t mean you have to spackle. It’s her special day, but you still don’t have to spackle.

      Consider what is acceptable to you. Consider what you will have to look at forever in photos. And don’t apologize for your boundaries. You don’t have to sit by him or pose in any photos you don’t want to.

      • Yes. My XW said out loud, actually said to me, I am happy that I am done trying to figure out what to make for supper, doing laundry, cleaning the house…..etc.

        She was and chose to be a stay at home mom for 24 year and then just quit one day. The OM does nothing, like a sloth and this is what she wanted for herself also. I prefer to be productive.

        My daughter was old enough and chose to live with me because her mom refuses to help her with anything anymore. She would turn sloth too if she lived there. My son is still being forced to stay there because of a court order. He has tried to get out several times and it is difficult. he is 16 1/2 now and should be able to make that call, but she just keep lying to him, he keeps believing her and it all keeps pushing the court date out.

  • So this one was great! But the sex addict portion struck me. I’m wondering because even before my ex-husband started physically cheating, he constantly wanted sex. He wanted it so often that it became painful. And his mother’s only marital advice ever spoken was fix his plates and the solution to every problem is just have lots and lots of sex. She cheated on her husband too. My ex-husband said he wanted sex so much because it kept him out of porn, but eventually he got into porn anyway.
    Do these people cheat because they’re addicted to sex or themselves? I’m not quite sure how to phrase what I’m asking. Maybe… what makes a person cross the line where they start to think that those shallow kibbles are actually worth more than a substantial relationship? My X admitted he wanted out because he couldn’t handle the pressures of family.
    Just some musings…
    I guess I really want to be with someone that has what it takes to live up to those wedding vows, but so many people just up and flip that switch off, and then they’re gone.

    • I had the same question of my stbx. I found that he answered it himself. He said he just wanted to focus on himself. He was tired of giving everything to his family. I told him that sounds selfish. His response was “yes, I am being selfish”

      Then after he was gone for about 4 or 5 days he called to say this was a way for him to have a new life. A different life.

      So end game is they are selfish, want to focus on themselves, want to shirk their family responsibilities and have a new and different life. These guys really should never have signed up for their family life to begin with. Mine was 25 years in our family life. Seriously, how is that 50 year old single life treating you. Dummy? I know I’m not looking forward to it. Nothing makes you feel older and less attractive than

      • My Cheater bemoaned that he was born in the wrong century…he used to think he would have been happier on the Lewis & Clark Expedition than 21st century suburbia (actually I think he would have killed the expeditioners with his complaining).


        I think that my Cheater was never cut out for monogamy or marriage and in earlier times, marriage was socially forced (in many ways).

        More recently, not marrying or being openly gay or trans or poly (not for me but if others want it, I wont stop them) have found acceptance and as a person who suffered from having a spouse who felt forced to live in a box, I think more freedoms are good.

        Like many here though, I stop short of wishing away my whole relationship as it created my amazing kids.

        • I agree there. I love my kids. And I have found a better stronger version of myself as a parent and as a person because of this too. I did what I felt was right at the time, and I live with no regrets.

        • I also bless the relationship because of my 2 children. And I think my spouse did appreciate that as well. My son was graduating college and daughter starting college when he left. I think he felt his job was done. I believe he began to hate me, or at least the life our marriage represents, and left.

          I would like to say that I could have liked the option to create a new life as well. To create one with him. I also was waiting for our kids to grow up. Then I wanted that post kids at home life. My spouse just took it and ran. I guess he just was not interested in doing that life with me. It was a real jolt. I am grateful he at least gave us the years that he did and helped raise the kids in an intact home. If he cheated throughout our marriage, I do not know it. I’m in the situation where I only found out about one relationship. One is enough to kill the marriage.

          • Actually I am not grateful that my POS STBX gave us the years that he did – both my children and I feel like our life was a lie – as he told my kids he “hadn’t wanted his cookie cutter marriage for 12 years” – which was 2/3’s of my kids lives – what a dick. He was good when they were younger but became a complete selfish asshole – just didn’t realize he had developed himself a secret life. To me he stole a huge part of my life and basically used me to raise the kids – I have nothing but contempt for him – yes I know not a meh yet).

            • I agree with you Deee, I am not grateful at all. As I read once on this site, by cheating for years and lying about it to your face, your spouse has withheld important information from you that you needed in order to make critical decisions about your life, your health and about the relationship. In any other contractual relationship that could be characterized as fraud. As far as the Google search, on D-Day (the day after daughter’s high-school graduation so I guess I too had outlived my usefulness), I left the house a shattered woman, barely able to drive, went to McDonald’s and got a coffee, plugged in my laptop and googled, “What do you do when your husband cheats on you” and up popped CL and CN. Who put me on the path to MIGHTY!! I started to order her book on Amazon and decided I needed it immediately so drove to a bookstore and bought it.

              • Good for you!! Yes, to me what hurts so much (when I let it) is that I was clearly used and not really ever loved (because who could do this to someone they ever loved). The fraud takes away our choice for our life – my entire life map was altered (as with all other chumps)- I am trying to use this experience to springboard to an even better life but that is a slow process. You are mighty Intothelight and I am mighty too. This process reminds me of a song I used to hear where she sings about all the amazing places she’s been to but “I’ve never been to me”. I feel like I am trying to get to me – I gave up way too much of myself for him and for my kids. I will always be there for my kids but I need to find me as well. Hugs!!

          • In my more perverse moments looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I wish that I could have banished him from the family 1 minute after he gave me the genetic material needed to create my daughter (youngest of 3)…but she loved him and only had him for 16 years.

            He did steal from me the full knowledge I needed to make fully informed decisions on how I would live my life. I am, however super fortunate that my round 2 is especially good. My newhub and I married in our 50s and have made up for lost time…we have made such wonderful memories just 6 years into this relationship – we can already say “wow, remember that? That was fabulous!” Im exhibit A of “go get a life!”

          • I have a kind of theory about this type of cheater. They want the traditional family, 2 or 3 kids, devoted spouse, nice home. That’s a huge impression management tool in the business world, being married with a family.

            Then, when the kids are grown, they’ve used up that “identity” of “married with kids” and need something new to fill the emptiness. I don’t think these people either love or hate. I think they see people as gas pumps, something to fill them up.

            • I can see that. Mine certain did act like he loved our family. For a while. But kids are grown. He even yelled st me come August I’m done! August is when my son graduated from college.

              • What else did you get on that? My X’s OW was a single mom. I guess I figured she was desperate for security and a relationship. But now I don’t know. He seems financially dependent on her now because child support for 4 and alimony ain’t cheap.

        • I hear you fairytale,

          My thought is that I could have created my wonderful children with a father who deserves them but there are no do over’s in life.

          • I’m with you Dee. Wish I’d never met him. And to all those people who say “he gave you your beautiful children” I respond that I could have made those same beautiful children with a real man who would have also been a real father to them.

            • I thought the same, Attie, “I could have made those same beautiful children with a real man…” And then I thought, hmmm…, as naïve as I was back then when I met the dick (I was 22), if it wasn’t him, it could have been someone worse. I was not a confident person. I honestly didn’t know that I deserved better. My father figure was abusive. I did not see anything ‘wrong’ with the dick because he didn’t hit me and that physical abuse was what I knew. I knew nothing of emotional abuse. I did not know that I deserved to be treated with respect. I just knew that I’d never let a man hit me and get away with it, or allow a man to beat my children. So…, maybe I got off easy. Physical abuse is horrible. I know emotional abuse is as well, but I know personally how hard it is to leave a physical abuser. I have three healthy sons, my dick-ex provided for us, we did have good times, and I’m alive. We don’t know what our lives would have turned out like if we could go back and make different choices. They could have turned out much worse.

          • Well I certainly was Waxing nostalgic when I said I was grateful for time he gave for my children. But I do love my children and I appreciate the fact that I had them with him. I sure do wish I had known then what I know now. That he’d up and leave me when they were grown. Severing that feeling of family like sawing off his own limb without anesthesia.

            I wish I had an intact family. Not necessary that intact family but an intact family. He’s not the one. I know it. But I’m in love with my children and they are suffering too from this emotional abuse.

            I feel like I might start rambling off the deep end. I’m pissed off as hell at my stbx. But I love what he gave us when he appeared decent. What he is now and has been the last several years truly sucks. It’s the push and pull on my psyche that really gives me the mindfuck. I’m not at meh at all and I know it. I’m 7 months out. Shock has worn off and now I’m in a state of hyper vigilance with amped up frayed synapses. Sometimes I want what I had. Sometimes I want to forget it all. I want what I thought I had. My illusion. My delusion. I guess I’ll accept reality sooner or later.

            • You are making real progress. It’s a long road but you will get there.

            • Iwantmyfairytale.

              As a good friend keeps telling me, “You are in early days.” I am 2 years out after 30+ years in. Wasband is a serial cheater so whole marriage/relationship was a lie as others have said which is mind boggling


              Something has indeed shifted because just the other night I found myself feeling wonderful – like I haven’t felt in ages and I realized that I am hugely relieved to be single. I NEVER imagined I would have thoughts like that because I truly loved the x and was one who was committed for life.

              I do know this is a process. My feelings have gone all over the board and in no particular order. What I think has saved my soul is having found LACFIL and CL and CN because I now know so much more which has freed me from the fairy tale I was telling myself could be again. Now I know it can’t ever be.

              I know not that the x is a disordered person and always has been. I see it more and more now that I am NC. My eyes have opened and life with him, if he had chosen to stay, would have been hell filled with gaslighting and blame shifting. I know because he is doing that now when we do have to have contact and I do get triggered despite knowing what is happening. Every time there has had to be contact it takes me several days to get back on track with my life.

              Like others, I was naive so while out marriage wasn’t a bed of roses, whose is?, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. He was never around so that made things easier in some respects and harder in others in that I was left with all the family responsibilities to manage on my own. That served to make me stronger and I am very capable and independent as a result. That made it easier when he left. I was already doing it all on my own anyway so all I lost was the anger/resentment I felt at having to do it all alone. Great way to loose 200 pounds without doing a thing.

              Like others have said, I have 3 remarkable children who would not exist as they do without him. Yes, I could have had others but not these and they are my reason for living. He walked away and left us all behind. In my eyes he is the looser.

              I gained a life free from him and his lies and a ‘me’ that I am discovering something new about daily. Just yesterday I treated myself to a pedicure! I am in my late 60’s and have NEVER had polish on my toenails. Well, today I am sporting 10 deep dark rich red toe nails and it feels wonderful. My son even commented on how nice they look and I didn’t even mention it to him HE NOTICED ON HIS OWN!

              As a chump I totally ignored myself so I have a new person to discover and shower with attention like I did with the x who never appreciated anything that I did for him – if he even noticed what I did which he probably didn’t.

              Hang in there but keep moving. I read, read and read some more all the while it felt like my eyes were going to drop out and my head explode but I pushed on and I still do because, for me, this stuff takes a long time to really sink in.

              Yes, it is hard. But life is hard. I have me and my kids and a wonderful dog – great neighbors and a peaceful life most days. What more could a woman my age hope for? Really does help me to focus on the good vs the bad. A practice that I insist on for myself because I want the quality of life I want at my age. Way fewer years ahead than behind me – life is too short. The past is past and mine never was what I thought I was anyway so onward I march.

              Less baggage. Freedom. Which is what the x wanted but I don’t think that is what he has found. I never though what he did would bring me freedom but it has. Karma bus is honking outside my door 🙂

              Hug yourself a lot. Be gentle with yourself a lot. This too shall pass.

              • ???????????????????????? I love this so so much. Get on with yourself and your toes, that is exactly what it’s all about. I love the way you put it. I have a new person to shower with love and attention. I’m also taking this thought process. Hey Played, time to meet and fall in love with yourself! This made my day TY

        • So funny. My ex also wanted to live in a different era. I remember thinking at the time that there was no way he’d be able to put up with the daily hardships aka lack of creature comforts. Fuckwit.

        • Sacagawea would have fragged him. That needs to be on her dollar coin. She was mighty!

      • My husband is all about him to He’s very selfish , as is the girl that he was seeing that’s why he thought they got along so perfect , I thought they were just two idiots , we have been married 40 years Hopefully I can start over to

    • I love you but I’m not in love with you . . These words are emblazoned on my psyche forever , but I’ve allowed myself to have some fun with the statement . Yes replaying the contextual introduction of that phrase she uttered so long ago painfully assaults my ego and heart but now it seems kind of funny hearing it from others’ shit shows . I mean the RIC is loaded with books tapes seminars quacks and hosts of spiritual voodoo , so where is the books articles coaches and such for these preposterous deflection statements ? Is there a bullshitter’s guide to “get -out -of -the -fact -you -got – caught – cheating ” euphemisms? Are there mail order courses and podcasts for gaslight speak ? And could there be a commune that has formed the “Church of the Most Holy Gullible ” with Sunday school taught by the “Sisters of Perpetual Narcissism “? Painfully ILYBINILWY is only a fragment of the bullshit spewed by these defective assholes

        • I got “I love you, just not romantically”, which is exactly the same thing as ILYBINILWY. I also got “I love you, just not like a wife.” Since I was his wife, that can only mean “I actually don’t love you.”
          That is how I took it.

          • Mine said “I love you as a person”. So I asked does this mean ” you love me but aren’t in love with me” – he stared me down and said “it means what it means”. What an asshole! Of course this was early days when my head was in the blender trying to figure out WTF had just happened to my life :).

      • ILYBINILWY was my first inkling that anything was wrong with my marriage. XW is not a native English speaker, so I’m sure she got the phrase from somewhere else – either her therapist or the AP.

        I interpret ILYBINILWY as “I acknowledge you’re a good spouse, but our stable, dependable marriage no longer gives me that weak-in-the-knees feeling that I’m getting from my affair.” There’s really no answer to that – no decades-old relationship is going to compete with limerence and forbidden trysts. Once your spouse decides to judge you against the affair partner purely based on your respective abilities to deliver hits of norepinephrine and dopamine, you’ve already lost.

        • Which really means they don’t love you, they’re just using you for stability and security. Otherwise they would be happy with the calm and contentment of mature love and would have no need for the high of an affair. They are incapable of deep, mature love and can only do shallow, adolescent infatuation.

          • Yes and I got that too. Mine said there wasn’t a spark anymore. How can we make a spark come back? He wants the feeling of the spark and he gets it with her and not with me. Limerence, or we can term it New Pussy.

            Fairly recently before he left I sucked his d@&k in a car wash and we did it in the woods. I tried to do it in the garage, the shed, the kitchen. The shower. Anywhere. I thought it was exciting for him and me. But that wasn’t exciting enough for him? No spark? He was using porn too much. Nothing was going to be new and different. Also. Right before he left me he said he wanted me to get him 2 lesbians to do it with. Can I get him2 lesbians? Well lesbians like chicks not dudes. So probably not. And does he like butch lesbians? Anyway. Maybe this new chick brings lesbians home for him. That’s hard to compete with. (My mind makes up things lol)

        • I got I love you but not in that way. I love you like a friend. I love you like a sister. I can’t decide if I want to be with you. Can’t decide if I love you that way.

          I said to him. Hold on you told me you live OW like a sister and you made it seem like that was a good thing and you want to be with her. But you’re with her now. Do you love me like you love OW?

          What a mindfuck.

      • I got a very sensitive “I do not want to pursue this any further.” Wait…are we talking about a real estate deal or our 15 years and two kids together? These were the best words he could muster to dump me.

      • I think they issue the Cheater’s Almanac w/handydandy thesaurus for “Cheater Speak” at the bachelor parties. Or maybe at frat houses. Or while they’re sneaking their first cigarettes out behind the school.

    • They are emotionally immature. Egocentric, like a very young child is. They don’t ‘adult’ very well and there is no cure for them.

    • Happily Free, the sex addict counseling industry would have us believe it’s a real disorder. B.S.!

      My stbx started buying plastic model kits by the hundreds. Is he a plastic model kit addict? No.

      Is he immature and acting like a toddler who has little to no impulse control? Yes.

      They may be in need of intense and prolonged psychotherapy but not because they are “addicts.”

    • I’m pretty sure he was lying to you and was always into porn. They want sex so often in order to do the things they see in porn and because of their obsession with porn type sexual fantasies. They believe women are put on this earth to service men sexually and porn reinforces this belief, which is why they like it. It’s about power and dominance, not the sex itself. If he was causing you pain, there’s probably sexual sadism in the mix as well.
      He’s a deviant, not an addict. I’m so glad you’re free of that sick bastard.

      • That is an enlightening article. At the end of it is a link to a follow up article. How to keep peace with a narcissist. Visual techniques.

        Basically there is no trust in a relationship with a narcissist. They don’t treat you and you don’t trust them. They were damaged in childhood and have to subjugate you in their relationship with you. They will have no intimacy or empathy in your relationship. Because they see us, and must keep us, below them in order to feel good about themselves.

        • It’s sad, really. I remember losing a bunch of weight. He cried and said I was getting too sexy, and that I was gonna leave him. so I stopped working so hard and ended up putting a bunch of weight back on- especially after our fourth child. Then he started working out and losing a bunch, and I wasn’t sexy enough.
          I don’t hate him or his now wife. They’re newlyweds right now, and the world is shiny, but I wouldn’t want what their life was built on. That shiny will fade. Bills will come in. The dog will get old and annoying to him again (theirs is a puppy now, and I took our two with me. He couldn’t stand them. He wanted a previous dog gone when she was 4).
          I miss friendship, or what seemed like it. I miss cuddling up on the couch, drinking a 10pm coffee run, and watching movies or playing games. I miss cooking together. We were friends more than spouses. Ours was the last one on earth anyone thought would ever end. We sang in church together.
          He lost, not me.
          I hold on to the hope that I’ll have that again some day. I’m sure I will. But he never will.

          • Happily Free,

            I am still shocked that these POS can walk away from such perfect set ups – spouses that love them and many of us considered them our best friends – Poof then toss it all aside as though it means nothing.

            I remember telling my then husband how lucky we were to still get along so well and like each other compared to so many other long term married people. That meant zero to him. Little did I know he was already out the door and into ‘new and shiny’ by then. I was so totally stupid/naive. I never believed that he would actually leave. That is what he did and couldn’t do it fast enough. Had us divorced within 6 months of Dday too.

            What I am beginning to see now is that he was out the door a long time ago and I just didn’t see it. All a lie.

            I consider myself the lucky one now too because I am free of him and I am happy too – something I couldn’t imagine being a year ago. So much has changed as I have learned more. I am so grateful to CL and CN because of all that I have gleaned by reading here daily. I know I am far, far from being alone and that makes a huge difference. So many of us here were married forever and thought we would always be only to have it all shattered in ways that are all so similar. Nothing unique about me anymore and that is a good thing 🙂

            He, on the other hand, has to live with the bad, bad choices he has made and the consequences of his behavior forever. I am so glad I am not in his shoes – he is a serial cheater so has a long history of crapola in his past that he can never erase no matter how hard he tries. What a shallow existence – hopping from one woman/bed to another – never being satisfied. Pure hell but I guess that is his idea of heaven.

          • HappilyFree, how weird how much is similar for me too. I also lost a bunch of weight and he told me that I was trying to leave him too! I never stopped working hard at it though, and he eventually came around and lost a lot of weight too. Then wouldn’t you know it? Who’s the one who couldn’t handle the extra attention without being able to keep his dick in his pants?! I miss the friendship stuff more too. I think we were also better friends than we were spouses for 16 years. I am in the process of divorce and have gained all my weight back and lost all my strength since Dday May of last year.

            I think is improving ourselves is just TOO MUCH for a narc. They can’t handle us self loving because then…why would we need their shiny?

            You did it once. You can do it again! I’m telling myself that right now. We got this.

      • happily free – thanks so much for sharing the link to this article – one of the absolute best that I have read on the subject of narcissism. It does a deep dive on the subject and helps to explain SO much!
        Completely validates the time-worn adage – you don’t just marry the person, you marry their entire family – and all of the baggage that goes along with it!

  • My husband asked for time and space and left me. Is he ever coming back?

    Ah google the Magic 8 ball. Where are my answers google? Google? Where the heck is my husband? Gone. Gone you say? Never coming back you say? Chumplady has the answers you say?

    Thank you google.

    • Mine has said he wants a trial in-home separation. He says this 1day after I had a friend who found him on Tinder!! I wish he would leave our home and take his separation with him! I consider you lucky. I can’t leave our home because I have no family or friends remotely close to me. Luckily our lease is up in 4.5weeks and then I can be free of him. He won’t know what he has till it’s gone and I can’t even be gone right now, it’s so frustrating!

      • I guess that I could be lucky. I think an In Home separation would be hell. I asked him for that at first begging him not to leave but to try it out and just stay in the extra bedroom. He scoffed and said no. I think I’m lucky now because I would not be able to handle the tension.

  • “They dissolve into mist, get absorbed into topsoil, fertilize the grass, are eaten by cows, and expelled as the flatulence contributing to global warming.”

    What a great way to start the day.

  • I think i found CL because i googled something like
    Husband left me for affair partner

    I am so Glad i found this site and fellow Chumps .

    If you read google like i did like a maniac it says they never leave for AP
    The affair will be over in 6-9 months
    It’s balls and not true at all.

    From now on i won’t bother with Google i am just getting a tattoo of WWCLD
    What would Chump Lady Do !

    • I don’t know how I found CL, and like you, I don’t believe that ‘the affair will be over in 6-9 months’. My cheater married his skank. And that’s OKAY!! However, what I’d really like Google to generate in reply is ‘They’ll stay together when your marriage is over; however, in time, you’ll be very, very grateful and realize they did you the biggest favor of your life. Be patient and kind to yourself while you wait.”

      • I agree, AC. D-day, as gut-wrenching and anxiety-producing as it was (for months!) was a damn gift wrapped up with a huge bow. Excuse to leave a narcissist and craft a new life.

    • I am pretty sure that I googled “sex addict or entitled asshole” to find Chump Lady. Spoiler alert: he’s an entitled asshole.

  • Questions that I wished I had googled are all versions of, “why can’t i just leave?” During the discard phase(s). Painful to look back.

  • I always wondered why I couldn’t stop drinking. It’s an addiction. Research, “trama Bonds”. Take the first 3 of the 12 steps. Later, take the rest
    It works.

    • Oh yeah, I know exactly what that is. When the POS ex treated me like crap during the big R (after I “won” the pick me dance); then he’d keep me off-balance by being nice for 2 days. And I scarfed that up. How pathetic to look back now and realize how sick I was.
      Trauma bonding is insidious, methodical and a lot like Stockholm syndrome. Pretty evil shit.
      He cheated again, of course. It was all over then. Took me a year to heal my mind, spirit, soul and emotions. I gained a wonderful life!

      • It’s embarrassing now but my adult son actually told me a month after my stbx left me that he thought I had Stockholm syndrome. I checked in on that, trauma bonds, and I’m pretty sure it fit the bill. Just this week my son told me he bought a book for me. And it’s a book on narcissists. I love that kid!!!! What a great guy. Loves his mom

  • Yesterday would have been my 30th anniversary. Would have been, but was not, because 2 years ago my cowardly, lying, cheating X Asshat dumped me for the second known OW in our marriage. He abandoned me. He moved out of the house while I was on a business trip and sent me an e-mail that my marriage was over. The current OW is 26 to his 50. Our adult daughters, one the OW’s age, do not speak to him.

    Yesterday I woke up thinking of many things but did not remember what day it was for a good bit of time. I had 2 wonderful kitties with me laying there, one under each arm trying to cuddle close on a chilly morning with the windows open. I reflected that they were better friends to me than my X had ever been. We smelled the early morning darkness of a slowly changing season and listened to automatic sprinklers hum.

    I decided to leave my job and will be done as of next week, resuming my early retirement after spending this summer in a mini encore career looking to transition from a high power boss lady job to a simpler existence with some social buoyancy. Mission accomplished and now I am ready to do other things that don’t consume so many hours of my day. It felt great to be able to quit.

    I played a round of golf on my weekly league and we were joined by a very nice lady whose hubby died of cancer not long ago and who was trying to get out into the world again. We welcomed her to our tribe. We had beers and french fries and talked about boys and grand babies (hers present, mine future).

    My daughters are coming to my home for the Labor Day weekend and we will visit my folks one of the days and play board games and see live music and talk about boys and enjoy each other’s company thoroughly.

    I only thought of the Asshat briefly and shed no tears. He made incredibly stupid decisions because he got bored and as a result he ruined his family. What he does not know is that the best part of his family – my daughters and me – are carrying on and living truly better lives without him. We are the family now.

    Life is good.

    • Many Congratulations on your Retirement .
      I wish you a long and healthy one

    • Wonderful! Congratulations on retiring. I won’t be able to retire for 6 more years. The dick retired last year. Oh well! I’m much happier without him and though I have to wait, It’s 6 years of dick-free living!

    • Congratulations on retirement! I cannot for another 6 years, but the best part is that while I wait, I’m happier than ever without the dick in it. Peace!

    • You have a beautiful life filled with family, friends, and kitties. You’re going to love being retired.

    • Enjoy your retirement. I too took early retirement because I could not longer hack the 3-4 hour daily commute. The Twat’s pension is more than double mine BUT, 1) Schmoopie had to go back to work about 18 months ago and 2) he’s now training to become a school bus driver because they ain’t making it financially! Ha bloody Ha. I think I’ll set my alarm for 5 am. one snowy winter’s morning just for the pleasure of turning it off and going back to sleep – all the while thinking about him trudging through the Pennsylvania snow with a bunch of screaming school kids in the back of his bus! Enjoy!

  • Hope you feel better soon, Tracy!
    I am thankful my google search brought me to your site eventually. The RIC got me first. While I’ve met some incredibly supportive people in the RIC group, it’s mind boggling how they reason away horrible choices and behaviors of their spouses.

  • When my d-day happened, I was too mortified to tell anyone I knew.

    Google became my companion. I searched all the things like “should I stay with my cheater?” and “how do I get him to love me again?” that I was too humiliated to ask a real person.

    Google searches are a very important part of this process, for some of us. And, it led me to CN.

  • This one never gets old!

    Chump Lady, maybe you can do a wee bit of an update to this sometime soon? I’d love to see any update and hear your thoughts on whether the top search terms change over time according to trends, or whether they stay mostly the same (analytics nerd here, too!).

  • I found my tribe on the shelf at Barnes & Noble in the self help section just before Christmas 2016, “Leave a Cheater Gain a Life” I haven’t looked back. Chump Nation ROCKS!!

  • I found CL in middle of separation process when I had proof of latest (active) affair, told her she had to move out, and she said not to tell our daughters the real reasons our family was being destroyed because “that info is private btw the couple.” I googled, “Should I tell the kids she cheated?”

  • That was so funny.

    CL, I hope you get to feeling better. There is a bad cold going around.

  • God only knows what I googled. “Will he cheat again?” “Can a marriage be repaired after infidelity?” “Am I stupid to stay?”

    I got a LOT of RIC hits, complete with “save your marriage” workshop$$$$. I was a true Amazon queen, and have a shelf full of books which tacitly (and overtly) blamed ME for his behavior. Somewhere on Amazon I read a review from somebody who blasted whatever book it was and suggested “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life”. I clicked over to check out the book, bought it, and found this website, which has really helped restore my sanity.

    THANK YOU to the reviewer, and thank you to CL and CN. I may not comment every day, but I read your posts.

    • I too was googling obsessively trying to untangle the skein and find comforting answers. I remember one night after final d-day, I decided to drink a whole bottle of wine by myself and just surf the net looking up (bad) relationship advice. I actually got a big kick out of it indulging myself with it. My favorite advice was, if he wants an open relationship so he can explore BDSM, hire a professional dominatrix to service him! Aha, I actually thought for a full 30 seconds that might just be the answer to all my problems, and my severe anxiety lifted for a moment. Then I laughed so hard at the absurdity of paying a marriage counselor and a dominatrix just so my husband might not leave me. I decided that instead I should hire the dominatrix to beat the shit out of him, knowing he would never go to the police. That little revenge fantasy kept me chuckling for a while, but I’m proud to say I never did it, I just kicked him out of the house.

  • Now I.C.
    This is only my second time posting but I read CLN every day. Your post resonated with me, as do so many others. My husband left me on March 2, admitting to a 5 month affair with a woman he knew in high school (he knew her son had seen them together and was about to expose them) I was devastated, did the pick me dance for months while putting myself into intensive therapy twice weekly. I soon found out my husband is her 4th, possibly 5th, affair…..she likes to travel, etc….and is always looking for her next high and chump. Her husband threw her out a couple of times over the years but always welcomed her back….chumps galore. She did file for divorce in December and my Husband was the only AP stupid enough to file–he did so this past July. We have 2 daughters…ages 29 and 25…both teachers and live away. This mess exploded 3 months before our older daughter’s wedding…He attended as a “guest only”…both daughters have “disowned him”…their level of anger and hurt and pain is so deep and profound…like mine. Our 30th wedding anniversary would have been August 5th—3 weeks after he filed. I have gotten myself a family law attorney who specializes in womens divorces and look forward to spending my remaining years…I am 61…with my 2 daughters…younger daughter just told me my XMas present this year from her is a trip to Jamaica over the holidays. I know I have their unconditional love, support, and respect…despite the 5 month pick me dance. We will not grandparent together when the time comes…but he will NEVER know his grandchildren, be cal led Pops or Papa or Grandpa…..he has NO IDEA yet what his losses are and will be….and I am not referring to finances. Wait until that becomes a reality. NOTHING …NO ONE…is more important than my children. As my therapist said yesterday..his life is, and will be, very sad. I get SO much strength from this site. Thank You Everyone.

    • PennStater. You’re going to really, really appreciate his abandonment in about 4 years. Believe me! I was married 1 month shy of 30 years. Unlike you, my sons still love and call their dick of a dad. But it doesn’t bother me anymore. I know they love me. I know they know that what their dad did was not cool. They know he’s a cheater and that he blew up the marriage. If he can still be a decent father to them, fine. However, I also know that they cannot trust their dad. How sad when your own child cannot trust you. The dick doesn’t even care. He told me a long time ago, “My kids are going to love me anyway.” And he was right. They still love him. But love is a choice, and though they’ve chosen to love him anyway, their respect for him is long gone. I also know that they tolerate the skank. I joke at times and say, ‘Your stepmother…’ and they cringe and say, “Mom, please don’t say that.” You’re going to be so happy, but in the meantime be kind to yourself. Get to know who you are, why you allowed a fuckwit into your life, and forgive yourself. Then go out and love life. It’s wonderful!

      • Hi Amazon Chump

        I am in a similar situation – it seems from reading these posts that the daughters seem to “disown” the cheaters more than the sons?? My 2 boys still have contact with their Dad and I have never asked them not too (I believe he doesn’t deserve them but they have to be comfortable with their choice) but they definitely don’t respect their Dad. He deserves to live a lonely life for the shit he’s done but somehow I don’t think that will happen (he is so delusional he acts like what he did was okay and some people don’t question that). I am trying to move on with my life – being away from him has definitely started the healing process but I am very aware that I live in a different world than before (not only in terms of locations and finances etc. but in terms of what I believe – I don’t see the world through the rose colored glasses I had on.)

      • Thank You for the encouragement… you think gender has anything to do with it? The reason I ask is my husband’s AP has 2 grown sons who have disowned her as well because of her serial history…..from what I understand they are supportive of their Dad and resent the hell she has put their family through. And, your sons maintain a relationship with their Dad. My husband is of the mindset that “he wants his daughters but they have to want him”…no. He has not spoken to either of them for 4 months, wedding and all. NC whatsoever. At one point my younger daughter was in a car accident and I called him to tell him —he never asked what happened or how she was and yelled into the phone that I was just trying to make him feel guilty. Thankfully she was fine. Many books I read about infidelity and divorce say it takes 3-4 years to get total peace of mind and acceptance…..I cannot wait for that wonderful life. TY again

      • Thank you so much for this comment Amazon Chump!
        My military ex was everything that you all have experienced. 20 years with him being dragged around the country every few years for his career.
        15 years into retirement ex-LtCol decides to finally go to a high school reunion while I was out of town – without telling me of course.
        I’m certain that he knew his unrequited high school crush was going to be there – fairly fresh off of her 3rd divorce. So very pathetic.
        Well, yes, you guessed it – she ended up snagging herself a 4th husband – mine. So ex’s highschool boy fantasy of being with a big fake boobed, fake blonde came true. My daughter calls her BBB – Big Booby Bimbo. Ex wasn’t good enough for her in high school – but I guess that she was starting to feel desperate as she neared 60.
        The reunion was 6 years ago this October – they married 4 years ago this October. If it had been up to ex-Captain America – he would have married Homecoming Queen (of course she was) immediately.
        A mere five months after the “chance” meeting, ex couldn’t live in his “oppressive” new reality any longer – he needed his “joy”. This was during Valentine’s Day weekend of all things, and a mere four months before our son was due to be married in a much-anticipted wedding that June. He had been treating me like shit ever since the HS reunion, and I was completely in the dark as to what the hell was going on.
        Mr. But I Am So Unhappy! used a cartrip to return our barely over 1-year-old granddaughter to her parents to commence a huge fight that gave him the out – in his tiny brain – to end the marriage.
        On the car ride home, after the manufactured “fight”, he went into his absolute favorite form of torture – the stoniest, cold stone silent treatment known to man. This guy was (and I’m certain, still is) a complete master at this form of abuse – days, weeks, months, the total time that I was pregnant with our second child – didn’t matter.
        The next morning he left on a business trip for 3 days, thank the Lord. He was supposed to return on Friday evening – he didn’t show. I ended up driving around at 4 am Saturday morning trying to find him. Nada.
        Went home, got a few more hours sleep to prepare for Stonehenge to finally make an appearance. No, he was too cowardly for that. Instead I opened up my email at 10 am that same morning to be “greeted” with an email titled “Temporary Living Arrangements”. The content of the email was a link to an apartment complex and this dismissal, “I guess that our 35 year conversation has come to an end…”
        Could have knocked me over with a feather! Mind you, I was still totally in the dark about BBB at this time.
        That was of course the beginning of the end.
        Ex-LtCol behaved abhorrently for the following solid year – basically until our divorce was finalized. At that point I went completely no-contact – so I have no clue as to his true behavior now. Of course there are the myriad self-serving fake FB posts – very sad stuff.
        As you might imagine, my son’s wedding was a challenge to get through. Capt. High and Mighty went completely mute when I tried to say anything to him – just plain psycho!
        That whole summer after the wedding he continued to barrage me with all sorts of nasty missives and thinly-veiled threats through email – this coward was apparently afraid of having a face to face conversation with me. Big Man.
        The way I found out that Mr. Scaredy-Pants filed for divorce? When I saw his attorney’s retainer on the credit card statement. Really?! Yes – 100% fact. And this guy is an attorney himself!
        Anyway, I am in what seems to be the very common dynamic of daughter “he is dead to me” and son “in very minimal contact, just barely tolerating him, but still in contact” scenario.
        It is, unfortunately, causing a rift between them. Daughter can’t for the life of her understand why her brother would want anything to do with their “sperm donor”, as she puts it.
        My two kids live on opposite coasts – so it isn’t as explosive as it might be if they lived in closer proximity to each other.
        However, Daughter, granddaughter and I went out to visit son, his wife and my other granddaughter just a month ago. They did end up screaming at each other in the backyard on our second night there with me trying to unsuccessfully referee. Daughter was on the phone trying to get an immediate flight out of there -luckily I was able to stop that. This fight had nothing to do with their father – but the whole speaking or not speaking to Dad thing is always simmering right below the surface and is just a powder keg waiting to explode. Hence the fighting over seemingly unrelated issues.
        Thank you for this Mr. I Am So Far Superior to You Minions. Yes, thank you so very much…

        • I’m so sorry JeSuisLibre. It sucks! My ex was a Lt.Col. as well. Once he retired, I contributed all his crap to the fact that the military didn’t properly prepare officers for retirement. Officers are used to people standing at attention when they walk into a room, or hearing “Yes, Sir.” or “No, Sir” when they are being addressed. My ex was on flying status when he was in the military which made things worse. This meant that though there would be a line of people waiting their turn to see the doctor at the flight surgeon’s office, my ex would walk in and immediately get bumped to the front of the line. After he retired I remember him coming home from the doctor complaining that he had to wait 2 hours before he was seen. I was unsympathetic and just said, “Well welcome to the real world. I’ve been doing that for years.” He would get frustrated when he was put on hold when he’d make a phone call. He got frustrated when he didn’t get preferential service. I chalked up his dickish behavior to a midlife crisis or not getting real-life-expectation training prior to retirement. Fortunately I found Chumplady, bought her book, and found some wonderful counselors that have first-hand experience with narcissists. I took the name “Amazon Chump” because I recognized myself in CL’s book, i.e., the chump that bought every book available to figure out what was going wrong in the marriage. I had made excuses for his bad behavior and I believed his gaslighting doubting what I saw and heard. He made me doubt myself. CL made me realize that it was not me. I finally came to believe ‘Trust that they suck’. Though I was never able to untangle the skein of fuckedupness, I was able to glean more about their suckyness by reading lots of great articles “MIDLIFE for Dummies”, “A Narcissist’s Love Letter”, “How to grow from your pain”, et. al. I’m so sorry for the conflict your children are having. I think there really is a Mars/Venus thing going on. Men seem to compartmentalize issues and are able to separate emotions from the acts, whereas women tend to associate emotions with the acts. I don’t have daughters, but I am female and I get outraged on behalf of another when I hear ugly things and I tend to disassociate myself from the offenders. I couldn’t understand why my sons could carry on a relationship with their dick dad. When I stepped back and realized that men and women do think differently, then I could let it go. You may have to enlighten your daughter on the differences in the way men and women think. It may not help her understand her brother any better, but she may be able to ‘just agree to disagree’. Good luck!

          • OMG Amazon Chump – I had no idea that we had quite a bit in common.
            My ex too was a pilot – cargo – C-141s. Thank the Lord that he wasn’t a fighter pilot – his ego was enough out of control without adding that into the mix!
            He’s an attorney now because he went to law school at night during our last assignment. Said that he didn’t want to be a “glorified bus driver” for the rest of his life. I honestly think that he just wanted to get another degree. He already had two master’s degrees. Then when we moved after retirement from the service – he decided he needed to get an MBA. Give me a break! Of course he got that MBA – I just could not deal with the pouting if I put up any – well reasoned, mind you – opposition.
            I did some serious financial maneuvers and made sure that he graduated 100% debt free from ALL of these degrees. His usual reply to my efforts was that I was just moving money around in circles – after all, HE was the one who had an MBA with a specialty in finance! I seriously cannot roll my eyes enough with this one!
            I hope that you ended up with your TriCare for Life intact. I was not so fortunate. When we married back in ’79 the rule was 20-20-15. Service member had to serve 20 years, the marriage must have lasted 20 years, and 15 of those years had to have been during active duty service.
            Well, unbeknownst to anybody – expect those who shamefully passed this through in Congress at the time – in 1984, the law changed to 20-20-20 – meaning that everything had to overlap exactly. I was short by 4 months of this 20-20-20. Mr. Superiority had no idea that this was the case. During one of our collaborative divorce meetings – what a joke those where btw – he smugly informed me that I would get to keep my military ID. When I informed him that was not the case I was, for some harebrained reason, thinking that he would at least show some remorse over this most unfortunate revelation. What WAS I thinking – of course not! He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well – you never liked it anyway.” Meaning that I didn’t like being dragged around the country by a brut of a spouse who only cared about HIMSELF, HIS career and HIS happiness. Gee – why didn’t I just shape up and get with the program? More eye-rolling here. He loved to repeat one of those stupid military sayings that are just plain misogynistic: “If the Air Force wanted you to have a wife – they would have issued you one.” Or – “Your wife can’t help your career, but she sure can hurt it.” Yes, he was a true gem of a man – of course NOT.
            Thanks for your words of encouragement about my kiddos. I know for certain that underneath all of this surface crap that they love each other very much, and always have – from the moment I brought my son home from the military hospital. Wasn’t it just so much fun giving birth in those military hospitals back in the day with no epidurals, no anesthesia, no nothing? Yep – just bite the bullet ladies, and no screaming either! But that’s a conversation for another day.
            Just knowing that we are all out there in Chump Nation supporting and validating each other is truly a daily blessing.
            Amazon Chump, I hope that you continue to add your words of wisdom to the Chump Commentdom for a long time to come!

          • Thanks for the support Iwantmyfairytale!
            I don’t know why you see your future in my post. This is the stuff of nightmares. Praying that you don’t have to walk this path. Take care of yourself girl!

    • PennStater,

      You found CL and CN much sooner than I did and I did the pick me dance for well over a year.

      What you write is similar to what I went through but friends provided the intensive support for hours on end on the phone and in person throughout the entire debacle.

      Daughter ‘got it’ right away and immediately went NC. X never saw it coming and still is floored by ‘her behavior’. Sons put up with him which I have read is pretty common despite the fact that he was never really around for them. I am convinced that it is a strong biological pull that keeps them in the dark and may do so forever since I have a brother who is still in the dark 50 years after our father discarded my mother and all of us when we were kids – he still idolizes him despite the fact that he had been dead for well over 40 years now!!!

      I went NC after about a year and just passed the 2 year dday mark a couple of months ago. The bomb was also dropped on me just prior to our 30th anniversary. which meant nothing to him. He couldn’t contain himself once he made up his mind and ran away as fast as his skinny little legs would carry him. I was devastated and the kids still at home watched me play out the pick-me- dance for months until I finally found LACFAL and began to wake up to who the x really is.

      He was oblivious to any consequences that would come down the pike because he was so totally in wuv with the OW who, by the way, was also a serial cheater. I have heard through the grapevine that ours was the 3rd marriage that she has destroyed – seems to be her hobby. Loves ’em, ruins ’em and then leaves ’em.

      All turbulent water under the bridge now and I wind my way towards Tuesday and meh.

      Hearts do heal with time. Ironically I am the one who is free now and my life is rich and full while his is far from what he expected and he shall have to live out the remainder of his days haunted by what he has done to the people who loved and cared for him the most in this world. He gets the scrapings of the pot – if he even gets that….and the sad part is that I don’t think he even really cares about what he has lost out on.

  • I found Chump Lady via Google – was searching “ILYBINILWY” and “wife midlife crisis”. Finding CL and CN was close to divine intervention for me!

    • I will raise you a chumpy effort @Captain. I actually found a book called “ILYVINILWY – Seven Steps to saving your relationship” by Andrew G. Marshall.

      What Mr. Marshall fails to mention is the HIGH probability that your partner is cheating. You can’t save the relationship by yourself but at the time it seemed so simple. I’m the problem, I can fix it! I’m great at fixing all sorts of things in our lives.

      I went on for almost 3 months before I realized that the crazy making and sudden departure was because of an affair partner who was rich.

      After this book I became entangled in the “affair fog” description but it just didn’t seem to fit UNTIL I read Chump Lady. THAT book was the 2 x 4 to my head that I needed…everything started to make sense. I’ve told my therapist in hopes that she gives it to another chump in need.

      • Yeah, Marshall is a quack, taking advantage of folks who are confused and desperately trying to save a marriage that, in most cases, isn’t savable…and I think Marshall knows it! Hence the reason he doesn’t disclose the fact that their spouse is likely already well into an affair when they offer the ILYBINILWY drivel. If he did, his “business” model (and money stream) would likely tank.
        Admittedly, I started to get sucked into his line of BS at he beginning, but quickly smelled a rat and, as I mentioned before, found CL.

      • I bought a book called “When One Spouse Wants Out” and it it was the story of a woman who waited 7 years and I thought “Oh no, I will never do that!!!” Well, he lured me into a very manipulative “Wreckonsillyation” which lasted 7 years

        …the first 2 years were with him being in his affair underground and the next 5 years being a cranky bitter jerk under my roof…so in a perverse way, I DID wait 7 years…I just didnt realie it until it was over.

  • Found Chump Lady through an Amazon search. Kept hitting all the RIC stuff through Google. I did a lot of midlife crisis searches, as I thought that is what led the 48-year-old to chase a 23-year-old and leave and 26-year marriage and abandon his elderly parents. Turns out, he’s just a Fuckwit–and a covert narcissist. Long live the Chump Lady for helping us chumps get to MEH!

  • I had read the book “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay”, and started entering variations of those words in to Google in an attempt to find a more succinct answer to whether I should stay or leave. At that point in time I had walked out on x, but was waffling about actually filing and went to a few crap marriage counseling sessions in an effort to see if we could work out our issues. Thank goodness ChumpLady popped up on the results at some point!

    • I read that one too. Felt guilty becuase 70% of the days I said leave but the rest I said stay. Took me too long to just say – I dont love you any more. I want a divorce.
      Felt more guilt becuase he kept telling me he would change and I didnt want a divorce. Finally belived me becuase his counceller did!!

  • I did the Google search too! “How can I save my marriage”, “Will he leave me for the affair partner “, “How long do affairs last?” I cringe typing those questions, but thinking back to those memories now, I’m laughing at myself. What the hell was I thinking? I honestly felt that I needed to do anything and everything to fix it. I could change him! He’ll be mine once again! She won’t have him, I’ll win the prize. I bought the books off of Amazon, even the workbooks that the therapist suggested. I shudder at the intensity of my desire to keep my husband and our marriage.

    That was 4 years ago, Chump Lady didn’t come up in the first few pages of Google. But luckily I was in the “desperate” phase. She popped up as I was delving deeper and deeper into “why is he still talking to her?”

    Thank you Chump Lady for all you have done! So many of us read your site, then your book and realized what we truly were, a tribe of chumps. I would never have gotten where I am today without you. Who knows, I could still be with that moron. I was able to pull my head out of my ass and truly stand up and say fuck you, I’ve had enough. A life changing moment, and I’ll be eternally grateful to CL and every single chump on here.

    For all the newbies, all I can say is read everything you can on this site. The other chumps stories were what helped me in seeing that he will never be who I thought he was. It was what he had done that had forever changed our lives. And even if he was the unicorn, I would never want to spend the rest of my life with someone like him. The chump stories made it more real, not that Chump Lady’s daily columns and book weren’t the best, but reading actual people’s stories of it happening to them, over and over 15, 25, 35 years. That was the slap in the face, the wake up call I needed. She could have him, my piece of shit had to go. I needed a life. I gained a life!! ❤❤❤ to every chump and to Chump Lady!!

    • I googled a shit ton, can even begin to list the things I typed in the search bar. All day every day for way too long. If I would have found chump lady sooner I would have come out of this much better in every way imaginable. Turns out the OM has been in contact with or cheated with several other women since he and my x have been living together. They were married three months ago and another woman just appeared a few days ago. She married and chose to trust this POS and it is biting her right in the ass. Its like this is a game to him. There are so many stories of him doing this to other married couples but this is the first that resulted in marriage. I think he is after a chunk of the settlement….lol.

      Good riddance……. people who know me know that I love her very much, but would never step back into a relationship with her. It would be impossible and frankly disgusting.

  • I seem to recall I found CL because I was gawking at some pathetic masochists whining on some RIC support forum and somebody said something negative about this site. So I immediately figured that if they disliked it, it had to be pretty kick ass, and it is.

  • I Google’d “cheating early in a relationship.” Don’t remember the first site I ran across, but it was full of excuse-making B.S. I didn’t find Chump Lady until after cheater-ex and I had broken up, and after I’d spent a year in total misery. (I didn’t find out he had hooked up with his ex-girlfriend while overseas until two years after it happened, and then I stuck around for another year.)

    But Google led me to CL almost immediately after we broke up – I went no contact and have stayed no contact ever since. And CL/CN has made me a much smarter participant in the dating world. (Sexless marriage? Separated? Living like roommates? Hahahaha…fuck off.)

    • Sexless marriage? Separated? Living like roommates? Hahahaha…fuck off.

      That’s for sure! Go peddle that garbage on some other gullible person. I’ll never date someone who says thats why they are currently single and ready to mingle.

      Can you imagine? That’s what my husband is telling that AP. AND SHES BUYING IT.

  • Thank you all for the support and great advice. You all are wonderful ❤️❤️

  • I googled “narcissist”. And chump lady and chump nation proceeded to save my sanity!

    Something else that I never got the answer to….(and have googled it). I would find pens that had been taken apart every now and then. Clicky pens, regular ball point pens etc. They weren’t burnt like he was smoking crack or anything, just taken apart. What in the hell was he doing with them? I know he had a weed issue… but what is with the pens?

      • That’s possible. He makes shit ton of money and feel entitled to whatever he feels like doing at the moment. He had tried coke 35 years ago and always said that was the one drug that he missed doing….. maybe he wasn’t missing it!

  • I’m pretty sure I hopped over here from Jenny’s wonderful blog, the Happy Hausfrau! Thank you Jenny!

  • I found CL after it was mentioned on a RICish site that I used to visit (it wasnt hard core RIC but did promote the idea that midlifecrisis caused cheating…it promoted the “protect yourself” mode which is good).

    The first time I visited here, I was a smug unicorn who wanted to explain how people could save their marriages if they did more like me (hanging my head in shame and humiliation). I maybe posted one little thing so I didnt make too much a fool of myself.

    After he died and I started finding proof of his cheating (which came in small waves then one big tsunami) this was the only place I knew to come to. Hence Unicorn no more.

  • I found ChumpLady mentioned in a post I read on Reddit. I was reading the divorce subreddit. Even though ex and I weren’t married, it sure did feel like a divorce after 25 years together. Finding Chump Lady and all the other Chumps was a miracle. My brain is finally starting to accept the fact that the ex is extremely damaged goods. He wasn’t faithful to me, and he won’t be faithful to OW3. In fact, I’ve got some intel that suggests he has the feelers out for a side piece – OW2 in fact. I know I shouldn’t care, but it helps me to accept that there was nothing I could have done to stop him from cheating once, twice, three times and more. Cheaters are going to cheat. He used the internet to cheat on me. I’m using it to heal myself.

    Thank you to all the citizens of Chump Nation. Your stories give me hope for the future.

  • I found ChumpLady cause I brought her book Leave a Cheater Gain a life Which I love And now I am apart of CN I have asked Google things , But they don’t seem to like what I ask , or something Because I don’t get the answers I need from them Cn. And ChumpLady have helped me out Which I say thank u

  • I can’t recall the exact search phrase; it was most likely something like “how to recover from infidelity,” or “what to do after you catch your partner cheating.”

  • I was introduced to CL through a shared post on Facebook by a counselor named Jen Grice, whose Xhusband was a serial cheater. I read s lot of her material, and it has been helpful.
    On April 3, 2019, she shared the post (UBT) when the OW doesn’t trust her boyfriend. I needed the laugh that day, but the article also serves as a good reminder of just how shaky their relationships are from within.
    I’ve been hooked ever since. Thank you Tracy, for giving us a place to be raw and real, to vent, and to help each other.
    Hope you feel better soon.

  • About 6 years ago, I think I Googled something about, when the ex and A.P. marry.
    Don’t know what exact answer or solace I was looking to find, but the 5th-ish one down had a visual writing sample with the word ‘fuck’ in it, among others. I clicked. Been known to curse like a trucker, and often reminded it’s not “lady-like.”
    After reading the article, as a person who likes to research, I thought that this ChumpLady was not what I had been looking for…but it actually was.
    Thank you for this. This blog has gotten me through a great deal and happily toward Mehs-ville. I still read it because I enjoy the writing, the support of everyone who comments, the snark, humor and the vocabulary!

  • When I first found this site I too wasn’t ready. Don’t know what I googled but after reading just a bit I decided people here were all a bunch of angry vindictive people using this as a platform to bitch….

    Well, was I wrong.

    Once my blatant and miserable attempts in the RIC camp thoroughly failed, and I mean FAILED – I found LECFAL and my life changed. I found my way back here and have never left. I now use words I never imagined I would use in public and I love it.

    Yes I am angry and I vent here. I am hurt and I vent that here too. I am amazed and I vent that here too. I come here to vent just about anything and you all put up with me as I am slowly finding out who I am now that the shit storm has settled down a bit 🙂

    Never thought I would ever be thankful that my RIC maneuvers would fail me. Never has failure felt so damn good!

  • I found CL back in 2014 after googling “hysterical bonding.” Trying to figure out why the fuck I felt compelled to have sex with the cheater just four days after I confronted him about his affair and he agreed to end it. I had been wallowing in the RIC sites for help, but something felt off. Once I found CL, it was like the clouds parted, and the sun shone through for the first times in months. Pick-me Dance, Affair Fog, Timid Forest Creature, it all made sense!! Thank you CL for all you do and the clarity you bring!

  • I could easily be a few of these entries. I asked him to leave a few days ago. He left. It was ugly. He whipped out every trick in the book and I checked them off mentally, adding a little ding with each. It was so textbook I’m embarrassed to be married to this dumbass another second, utterly lacking in any creativity. What a chump I am for getting taken by a dipshit! We get one life, and I wasted 20 years on this clown.

    Can I just say what a relief it is to find this site. Reading article after article supporting a patriarchal system that normalizes infidelity, I was sickened. Apologists in the mental health community, gross. Excuse after excuse. Poor Dipshit. Poor OW. They’re all just misunderstood? No, these are persons of extremely flawed character. I feel sorry for anyone buying into the marriage “takes two to tango”, the “both sides” fallacy. It only takes one to cheat.

    I suppose Dipshit needed comforting after my child’s death. I read statistics on marriage survival after child loss. It didn’t look good. He never really showed much interest in his step-child because they were “too much trouble” and “the ex’s problem.”

    I guess I couldn’t snap out of my grief fast enough, he said a month was long enough for him and I needed to “move on” too. I spent too much time feeling guilty vs sorry for myself at failing my kid, trying to keep it together for our other kids, help them through grief, school, while I held my job down and kept house, you know Trying to Keep it Together, that his dick found it’s way into a co-worker for several years solace. OW knew me, knew my family, other children. Had the audacity to offer her “condolences”. Pathological. I was offered the we’re “just friends” excuse for years. What a horrible wife I would be to keep him from his friend while he was grieving! Pathological, the both of them. Grief goggles are real, or maybe depression shielded me from things, but its all so clear now. Every little tell.

    I survived losing a kid (if you can call this surviving). I suppose I’ll survive kicking his ass to the curb, too. I have absolutely zero empathy for Dipshit or OW. Trash People. I have to put that kind of thing on the curb where it belongs.

    I’m isolated, currently very salty without family or a large friend/support group, so I ordered your book. Apologies, I’m not onto all the abbreviations yet, I just needed to get this off my chest somewhere. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to say any of this out loud without breaking.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. My ex is currently trying to take custody, and since he lives 800 miles away, I grieve and feel pain at the thought. I cannot imagine one passing.
      These people have no compassion, no empathy, it is all about them. We were having financial problems; I had medical issues and couldn’t work. Our fourth child had severe colic and allergy issues. He could only nurse for a YEAR. Everything else he threw up. He cried constantly. I basically sat in a recliner nursing him that whole time. It was exhausting, isolating.
      Eventually he was gone more and more. The kids missed him, but even if he was home, he hid in the basement or in our room. He went out often.
      Long story short, he started doing many things that red flagged me. (Even way after the whole colic thing ended.) I would call him out on it. He would usually try to gaslight me. His saying was always, “don’t you know me st all, do you really think I’d intentionally do something wrong?” …stuff like that.
      One day I said, “when you stack … and … and … all up, you establish a pattern of character, and this is not acceptable.”
      He told me to take the kids and leave not long after that.
      And here I sit 800 miles away. For nearly 5 years. He marries a few Schmoopies later and is just trying to get out of paying child support to pay for their lifestyle.

      Journal or vent it here. I wrote a lot down. It’s like putting pictures from your phone on the hard drive. You’ll be cleaned out, ready for new memories and experiences.
      Give yourself time. You’ll find you can handle things a lot better without him in the mix. And eventually you will be able to talk about it without breaking.

      And the colicky son is now one of my biggest blessings.
      He frequently hugs me and tells me he loves me. He is kind and thoughtful. He is talented and full of laughter and love.

      I really feel God is turning my sorrows to joys. And in time, my life will be full and beautiful again. Sometimes it takes the worst moments of our lives to birth better ones. The best is yet to come!

    • Noob Chump-you’re mighty as they come. I’m so sorry you lost your child. These chumps are pathological in their lies, blaming, and gaslighting. Many hugs!

  • I found you after searching topics about recovering from a narcissistic relationship. I am the adult daughter of a cluster B narcissist. I found many, many relevant discussions here and reading this blog has been very helpful to me. I tune in a couple times a week.

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