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Dear Chump Lady, I built my whole life around her

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Dear Chump Lady,

I’m feeling so lost right now after getting chumped…

She left me May 19th saying she didn’t know if she loved me anymore and it’s not my fault, she’s not angry, I did nothing wrong, she just doesn’t know if she wants to be in a relationship right now, she just needed space, and that she would always cherish our memories together.

After she left, she moved in with her mom and made all these posts about taking her life back, and going back to school. We barely spoke or texted after that. I begged her to tell me if she wanted a divorce or not so I could start trying to move on. No response.

Then a month later on our anniversary (I sent her flowers at work) I went to Facebook and her account was still logged in. She’d fucked a guy whose age she didn’t know the day before. Then I started digging and discovered she’d been cheating since January with people she met online playing video games. So to me it seems that she left me to be in an open relationship with a long distance lover.

I confronted her with screenshots and she denied everything, then told me to never contact her again. I filed right away, but I still feel so lost. We’re both 27, were married for 7 years, together for 8. I’ve known her for 15 years. She worked full-time to pay most of the bills while I was in Clinical Laboratory Science school. She was supposed to go to school once I was done, instead she piddled around with crappy jobs. She’s working at PetSmart now while I do gene sequencing…

Can’t understand what caused her to do it either. New Year’s Eve a friend asked her how she was and she said she had never been happier…

My going theory is that it may be bipolar disorder with hypersexuality. It was one of her searches, and she had come to me several times weeping saying I had married a broken person and that she needed therapy, but wouldn’t say why. I got her set up with numbers to call, even got her in the primary care doctors office who gave her a list of numbers to call, but she never did. Her behavior is highly abnormal as she hated cheaters, super promiscuous women, and open relationships at least when we first got together. Cut people out of her life for good over that kind of stuff. Her coldness and callousness is so unreal it’s hard to imagine that she ever loved me at all.

I’m restarting my entire adult life after having built it around her…. No clue what I want or where I’m going. All of my goals were to provide for a life for us and make her happy.

UnluckyCline

Dear UnluckyCline,

Well, good news is you’ve got a lot of adult life left to invest in people far more worthy of you.

It’s totally normal to feel rudderless after crushing betrayal. You thought your future was secure, that you’d made some adult decisions about life partner and careers. You invested deeply, because that’s what good people do — and she’s shot it all to hell like a white supremacist with an assault rifle in a Sunday school.

Now all you’re left with is theories.

Theories that she might be bipolar, hypersexual, or sorry. UnluckyCline, that’s Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness. Please stop.

The only thing you need to know here is that she’s a person capable of casual betrayal. (Hi, goblin smiter! You look nice! Let’s fuck!) Video game hook-ups, really? Put down the DSM manual. All you need to know is she did this. Repeatedly. That’s either acceptable to you, or it’s not. You can either stay married to that, or you can’t.

You wisely chose to divorce her.  As painful as that is, theories of Why She’s a Terrible Person will not help you. Take all that energy and devote it to gene sequencing, or organizing your sock drawer, or lining the rat cages at work with fresh newspaper. Pretty much anywhere that’s not the frozen puddle of her character.

She did it because she could. That’s not acceptable. Next thought.

she didn’t know if she loved me anymore and it’s not my fault, she’s not angry, I did nothing wrong, she just doesn’t know if she wants to be in a relationship right now, 

UBT translation — she’s in another relationship now. (Several.)

she just needed space,

So you can’t see.

and that she would always cherish our memories together.

Cherish, as in, find you utterly forgettable as compared to shiny pixelated goblins.

Are we forgetting her yet? Let’s do another!

I begged her to tell me if she wanted a divorce or not so I could start trying to move on.

She enjoys the begging (kibbles!). Don’t EVER ask a fuckwit for a divorce — take the lead and DO IT. It’s not their decision, it’s YOUR decision.

So to me it seems that she left me to be in an open relationship with a long distance lover.

Open relationships require knowing that you’re in an open relationship. You were being duped. Ergo you weren’t in an open relationship. She may have “wanted” an “open relationship” — her actions say she wanted control over her multiple kibble sources. I’m sure she was no more honest with the goblins than she was with you. (Not that goblins care, horny little creatures.)

She was supposed to go to school once I was done, instead she piddled around with crappy jobs. She’s working at PetSmart now while I do gene sequencing

Then you don’t share the same values or ambitions. Feel zero guilt that she worked while you went to school. Couples support each other. She could’ve gone to school while you went to school, or pursued a vocation.

My going theory is that it may be bipolar disorder with hypersexuality.

My going theory is that she’s a crap person with lousy character.

she had come to me several times weeping saying I had married a broken person and that she needed therapy, but wouldn’t say why. I got her set up with numbers to call, even got her in the primary care doctors office who gave her a list of numbers to call, but she never did.

Then she’s not that troubled by her “brokenness,” then is she?

Funny how she’s got all the executive functioning in the world to hook up with randos and create online avatars, but lacks all ability to dial a number.

Her behavior is highly abnormal

Only because you didn’t know what her behavior was. The shock is abnormal. The contrast to who she projected herself to be is abnormal. But by all reports, she doesn’t seem very troubled by her behavior. “Never been happier.” I think being a crap person with lousy character feels pretty normal to her.

UnluckyCline — you weren’t a good match. You know how to commit and love deeply and work towards a common future, and she’s callous and not all that deep. A hundred chumps will comment today that they wish they got out at 27 with their lives still intact. No kids, no mortgage.

I’m sorry she wasn’t worthy of you. There’s a good life out there — and pretty soon your new improved life is going to eclipse your old life. She’ll be a bad memory, a ghost, and it won’t hurt. I promise.

((Hugs))

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • You are very lucky to find out now that she sucks. You basically won the lottery. 27 is so young, take your time a find a good partner.

    • Agreed, take it as a blessing in disguise. I was invested over 20 years with two children. Ten of those years I went through the cycle of betrayal and reconciliation several times. The pain got worse with each betrayal. When she finally filed for divorce to be with her lovers (yes, she had more then one at the same time), she tried to bang me with several thousand dollars in child support and alimony every month. Luckily the kids wanted to live with me and I walked away scot free. But the emotional pain was the worst thing I ever experienced. But almost two years later. I’m loving life again. Hang in there buddy! You got this! It does get better, if you want it to

  • Lucky lesson: It was the reverse in my case — I did all the sacrificing for my ex-wife’s career; when there were no more sacrifices that I could make to her benefit, she blew up the marriage by finding a man who COULD.

    So, as CL said, at 27, yes, you’re practically a kid, and you’re in very good shape, so you WILL rally. She has given you some great advice for moving on. You might have a peak at Rational Male before you start your next relationship.

  • UnluckyCline you should change your name to LuckyCline. I think you are lucky to be away from her. I tried to understand why my ex cheated, did all the research etc. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHY… they cheated, trust they suck and move on. It is not easy but, you are so much better off without a lying deceitful person in your life . So LuckyCline you now have the ability to find your life; and it will be great!! Good Luck!!

      • 35 years and 3 children invested in the DOCTOR who abandoned & discarded all of us for schmoopie in Alaska where he can finally “breathe freely.”

        Hand to God, my biggest regret in life is staying far too long with someone who I came to see as selfish and dishonest, but my sunk costs and the few scraps he threw my way (and the income I helped him secure for HIS career) kept me trapped.

        It may sound harsh and it’s probably way too soon for you to hear this, but I envy you.

        You found out who your spouse really was, before you turned 30 or had children or moved 17 times for their career at the expense of your own.

        I promise you one thing. There will be a day when you realize that

        You are LUCKY CLINE!

  • UGH!!! why do they always say “they don’t know what they want” and “need space right now”?!?! my husband uses this on me all the time, says he loves me and doesn’t want a divorce but isn’t sure of his feelings right now. he cheated on me last summer and confessed and now he’s playing the “i don’t know if i’ll ever be good to you again” game, so i’ve setup a mediation meeting. i just can’t keep living in limbo like this, it’s so painful! i wish i was 27yrs old (going to be 34 soon). i’m so worried i’ll never be able to have kids at my age with starting over. TRUST ME unluckyCline, she is NOT worth your heart. you are 27 and have a really cool sounding career. many women would love to find a loyal, educated man like yourself! if i was 27 shoot i’d give you my number. be strong and consider it as dodging a bullet.

    • Alice please take your own advice! you CANNOT negotiate/mediate with the narcissist. Hes just prolonging his kibble dispenser(you). If you want to have kids, have them with someone who will be a worthy partner in parenting. I love my kids and wish I could have given them a decent father but I chose to breed with a fuckwit instead. Trust me, leave NOW and cut your losses. It may be scary but it’s totally worth it in the long run! BTW I had my youngest at 43 and she’s amazing!

    • I left my first cheater in my thirties. There was life after that: degrees, children new loves. Thirty four is young. Now in my fifties I can see how much time there was and how many options in my thirties. The option of being cheater free always opens your life; it does not close it down!

    • You are STILL super young!! 33! Gosh girl, listen you yourself and be strong. You have an entire life ahead of you. Focus on healing yourself and don’t worry about having kids. Why? Because if that’s your focus, you’ll likely settle for another dick. You deserve better.

    • You are 34 and still young. When a partner says they don’t know what they want…..this is exactly what they mean:
      1. I’m waiting to see if a certain person (possible AP) is really interested in me before I cut you loose
      2. Something better may come along and I’ll will leave you..but hey I told you I wasn’t sure about us
      3. I’m waiting to see if the person I’m seeing is worth giving up half of the house, savings. etc.
      It comes down to you being nothing, not a priority, not worthy and they will dump you when they have all THEIR ducks in a row. Don’t hang on waiting to get dumped.

      • Exactly. They are only undecided because they do not have a sure thing with the current AP or can’t afford to divorce yet. They will string you along and continue to extract value from you until they have a replacement firmly in place and their financials sorted. Mine planned to string me for 15 years until our house was paid off and he could afford to dump me.

        • I think she was stringing me along for the last few weeks. April 16th she told me she didn’t know how to be happy in our marriage, then later apologized when she saw how deeply that hurt me and said she needed therapy. Suddenly in May she started making appointments she had been putting off forever like going to the dentist, dermatologist, eye doctor etc. Weird thing is the last fight we had she at first told me she didn’t know if she loved me until she got therapy. I was so upset I went to my Dad’s and she said she called to set up a therapy appointment the next day. Then when I came home after a few days she says she doesn’t know if she loves me anymore and that she had no anxiety the whole time I’d been gone. Makes sense if you’re cheating on your husband….

          She certainly played me for a fool. There were loads of signs, increased cell phone usage, private discord servers I wasn’t allowed into, gaming friends I couldn’t meet, lots of “girls nights”. I certainly felt her pulling away from me and tried to do more fun date days….

          Hard pill to swallow that your wife is a piece of shit, but I really don’t have a choice.

          • Yeah, when cheaters play the “I’m not sure” game it signifies cake eating is going on.
            Love is no small, intangible thing. People are usually quite sure if it’s there. Uncertainty would indicate the absence of love IMO.
            Needing to see a shrink to figure it out is laughable. She didn’t need a shrink to be sure she wanted strange dick, so she shouldn’t need one to know if she wants you.

            Sorry about that bitch, Cline. For whatever it’s worth, I’d date you and she’s an idiot to throw you away. You should come on over to the chump lady nation reddit to talk more privately.

        • Wow thank you all for so much support!! I really need to hear these things as i’m still trying to get away from him. i’m literally living my life 5mins at a time right now. he is draining me and i’m slowly working my way away from him. he doesn’t want to use lawyers so i’ve moved forward with mediation/separation agreement to discuss assets. this is so difficult, i feel like i’m going to cry during the whole meeting.

          • Alice,

            You’re 33, LuckyCline is 27. That’s not that big a deal. Feel free to give him your number (figuratively).

            Realistically, both of you have some healing to do before you’re ready to commit to another person, so don’t be so hasty. But for the future, be open to small age differences, don’t be open to narcissists, mean people, etc.

            Hugs. Strength. Peace.
            aeronaut

          • Alice,

            DO NOT sign anything when you are not crystal clear about what it means.

            You can hire a lawyer to help you out – go ahead to mediation and don’t commit but say you want time to think things over. Go to your lawyer (Do not tell STBX about your lawyer!!!)

            Proceed ONLY when you know you are receiving exactly what is yours.

            YOU will be living with the results for the rest of your life.

            I know it is tempting to just get it over with so you can get on with your life but that is dangerous thinking when bills start piling up and you can’t undo what has been done when you are so vulnerable.

            Also, if your STBX has any conscience at all, early days are a good time to get an upper hand via playing on their guilt. If he has any guilt at all that will soon turn to anger.

            Good Luck

          • Lawyer up. HE doesn’t want lawyers because he knows he won’t be able to get away with crap if you lawyer up. Why are you so concerned with what the cheater wants? He doesn’t care about you, and if he gets the chance he will screw you over. He has shown you who he really is. Believe him.

      • I know a woman who had her 2 children when she was 39 and 40 years old. Just keep focussing on you and your happiness and the rest will come along. It is not too late for you.

    • I agree with what everyone has posted above, and wanted to add it’s not a good idea to go to therapy with your abuser. He will only use what you say against you in the future.

      Go to therapy by yourself.

      Cheating and keeping you in limbo is abuse. Is this okay with you? Is this the kind of life you want to expose children to?

      Go to therapy by yourself, work on fixing your childhood wounds and picker. You have plenty of time to get what you want out of life.

      • Whenever I see someone talk about the picker I smile because that is exactly how I wound up on this site! Mr. Cline, you need to start working on your picker now and CL has a great article on it:

        https://www.chumplady.com/2018/08/how-do-i-fix-my-picker/

        At 27 you have plenty of time to work on yourself and be aware of who your people are and are not. Otherwise, as you will see on this site, you are liable to wind up right back in a similar situation. There isn’t anything wrong with you. Being able to pick a person or people to be with is a skill and takes practice. Now is a great time to start and it is much better to think about this than why your ex is a fuckwit. Good luck!

        • Lucky Cline, I self partner now. I am radically honest with myself and others and I fill my own cup first. I have been accused of being selfish but when you are radically honest with yourself and others you know who to cut out more quickly. It becomes very clear who is being nonsensical. It’s always a little bit mystifying because I am a chump and a people pleaser but once I started to take care of myself and my own needs in life it became clear who is a manipulative user. You are 27 years young? Give it a bit of time and you will be super grateful that you learned this now.

    • You see Cline? How lucky you are? Quality chicks like Alice talking about giving u her number lol

      Trust me, you’re going to lick ass going forward.

        • OMG…I am laughing so hard right now. This comment made my day. Too freaking funny!! And you know what – he will move on and KICK (or lick if that’s his thing) ASS. I wish I was 27 and starting over.

            • “Trust me, you’re going to lick ass going forward.”

              Well, maybe not there exactly, but perhaps somewhere near there, on somebody worthy, ….

              You got this. You’re doing the right things, listening to your brain, and managing the heart stuff. The irony of all of it is that she put you through school, and now that you have a cool career, and are willing to help her get one, she stepped out. So often it’s the other way round, where the chump was supposed to return to school, but the marriage falls apart as soon as the cheater got their sheepskin/certification/whatever.

              So not only did you get your cool job, you got a practical education on what a bad partner looks like. Chump win!

              Hugs. Strength. Peace.
              aeronaut

    • Alice – my ex-wife said the same thing: “I don’t know what I want”, “I feel very restless”, “I’m in a very selfish place”, “I just need some space”.
      As CL pointed out to UnluckyCline above, unbeknown to me, she was already having an affair with a married coworker.
      And, as KB22 said, they’re just buying time until they get their ducks in a row. Case in point, we danced for 5 months; her playing me like a fiddle, until she abruptly left.
      We were together 17 years. And now, at 52 yrs old, I’m having to start over.

      • In a selfish place. Good grief! That place is the exclusive address of a selfish *person*. They are utterly shameless with their bullshit.

        • Oh god my cheating ex wife gave me that same shit, “ I’ve always been a wife” “I’ve always been a mother” “I need time to be me and find myself”..by then she was already heels behind the head fucking Mr Wonderful every weekend on her “getaways with the girls”..what still pisses me off is I bought that bullshit excuse every weekend.

      • captainchumpychemperton,

        A question off topic but my inquisitiveness is begging me to ask this:

        As a male who has been cheated on, do you have any desire to remain ‘friends’ with your x?

        I ask because the x still doesn’t get why I won’t be his ‘friend’.

        I was with him for over 30 years and he cheated on me for most of that time but I didn’t know it until Dday a couple of years ago.

        Needles to say I am still is shock and have NO desire to maintain a friendship of any kind with him and often think if I were to ask him if the tables were turned and I had been the cheating one would he feel inclined to forgive and forget.

        Glad you only danced for 5 months. I did it for a year and a bit more….Lesson learned when I found LACFAL, CL and CN

        • as a male chump, “nope”

          XW had the opportunity to be a friend… no THE friend of mine for 25 years. And she went off and … well, we know.

          So no. She had her chance. If I had to cut out Switzerland friends; she has a higher bar than them.

          • Tall One,

            Thanks for chiming in here with your response. Makes me feel like I am not being unreasonable despite his attempts to make me fell that way.

            I know from past blogs here that the women all have said NO WAY either but I wasn’t sure if that was a female thing and can’t tell who the men are by names yet.

            This stuff just never ends.

          • No contact is the magic elixir to get her out of your head, LuckyCline. Give that a shot. No calls, no texts, no social media stalking, no asking or listening to mutual friends about what’s going on with her. No pain shopping. She forfeited the privilege of your concern, traded it for fucking strange. Not a thought about you. All the positive traits you assumed she had were an act to keep her getting her supply from you. When she got bored or distracted or whatever these creatures turn on, you lost your shine. To her. Not to actual caring people!

            ElderlyChump -you, too – this self-pity nonsense is another way to blameshift and try to make us feel guilty. Remember the fuckwits’ 3 channels: charm, rage, self-pity. They are each employed to try to manipulate our feelings and consciences – because we HAVE them. Our love, loyalty, honesty, commitment, devotion are all values that we must cling to and hold out for someone who truly appreciates them. There are such people…so many of them are right here.

            It gets better, friends. I am 2 years out. And although I turned 55 the day before my FINAL D-Day, I have gotten younger, lighter, brighter, happier, friendlier and better every day since I kicked his sorry ass to the curb.
            You will, too. Trust CL & CN. Leave a Cheater – Gain YOUR Life!!

            • ChumpDiva,

              Thanks for this. I am about 2 years out and have turned a corner too feeling as you do in regards to my freedom – something I thought impossible.

              When I was still smoking the hopium pipe, and before I found LACFAL, CL and CN, I did think I could be friends with him but once I read LACFAL the smoke screen fell and that illusion evaporated before the smoke did.

              When I implemented NC after I learned about that as a option I was amazed at how my outlook changed too. I began to see what I hadn’t been able to see prior to my new education that wasn’t RIC contaminated.

              Learning that he was a serial cheater and had been ‘at it’ for our entire 30+ years helped me drop any guilt I had in regards to feeling at all responsible for his cheating ways – the RIC had only intensified that sense of guilt in me and I didn’t realize that either until I dropped that shit too.

              I sense more freedom daily but I was curious about the male perspective on the friendship deal.

              By the way, the 3 channels did begin to rear their predictable heads once I did instigate NC and when I began to experience that it further confirmed my decision to remain NC despite his trying to stick his nose back into my life.

              Thanks again for chiming in.

      • this is just insane that there are so many people who have to go through this heartache. i still don’t understand how a spouse can do this to another. it makes me so sad. i hurt for you Captain Chumpy & kbchump. it is so unfair to people who truly are good people to be hurt by those they gave everything to. i can’t even fathom hurting someone like my husband has hurt me, it tears me up. i wish i could fast forward 2yrs and be done with all this.

    • Do not have children with this man. He is using you. He will keep stalling until you can no longer have kids and then he will divorce you, marry a younger woman and have kids with her. Divorce him, now. You have options. You can be a single mom, either through adoption or in vitro, or have your eggs frozen.

      You are young, and you can do this. He is selfish and will continue to stall, until you do something about it. File divorce papers and you will see who he really is.

      Do you really want to have kids with a man like this? Imagine trying to raise a child with a disordered, wishy washy person. And what if he does stay long enough to have kids with you, and then cheats again? He will hurt them as well as you.

  • Let me start. I do wish I’d gotten out at 27 with no kids. Because he hurt them too. His betrayal didn’t just devastate just me, it hit the kids too.

    Unlucky Cline, you are lucky you just can’t see it yet. You are getting out before decades pass. I think you must be a very smart person. You have a valuable career. You are young. You will have years to rebuild a life. You will rebuild your life.

    I don’t want to minimize the pain you are experiencing. I know you are suffering. The pain of betrayal is agonizing. I wanted to die. Chump Lady, Chump Nation and a kick-ass therapist saved my life. It is only right and good to grieve. Go ahead and mourn. Experience all the hurt and pain, feel your emotions and work through that. You are entitled to your grief.

    You are also entitled to a fuck-wit free life. You can’t fix your STBX wife. You can only fix you. You didn’t do anything to deserve this. She tricked you. “It is the easiest thing in the world to trick someone who loves you.”

    Please file, go NO Contact and get free of her madness. If you stay she will only become a more adept liar and cheater. I wish I had left the first time he cheated. Then there would have never been thirty three years of lies and betrayal. Get out now.

    I am so sorry she cheated on you. It wasn’t you. It was never you. You deserve so much better.

    • 100% exactly what Thirtythreeyearsachump says! I was a chump for 29 years – married for 25 years when my stbx pulled the same crap. I’m not mad at you; you didn’t do anything wrong; I just need space; need to find myself; thanks for the memories, yada yada yada. At first I was devastated. I was turning 50 – gave my 20s, 30s, 40s to this guy – stood by while he was depressed – watched his parents battle and die from Alzheimers while their health decline eroded our marriage. Enough was enough! Our children’s lives were shattered when stbx announced he’d rather live in his dead parents house with his hunting friend than with us. Almost two years later (unfortunately the divorce is still dragging on) the kids and are I doing pretty okay. I know I will find someone again someday. My youngest son has told me I need to remarry because I have “too much love to give to not be married”. He feels stbx will never remarry because “he doesn’t love”… You sound like a great man. You have morals and a heart. You will find happiness again. Good luck to you.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m continuing the divorce, and we are no contact at her request (she was really pissed I got her search history). Some days I feel freed, others I feel crushed. She was my best friend, my partner through life so I thought. My main friend as my old friend group scattered. I’ve spent most of my adult life with her. Hard to learn how to be alone.

      • No contact is a blessing, even if it comes in the abusive form of “the silent treatment” your stbx is giving you.
        It is hard to learn to be alone, but you are at a prime time of life to strike out and learn to make new friends and develop interests of your own that you might have opted not to develop because you were married.
        As many of us older chumps can tell you, learning how to be alone now is far, far better than being alone and lonely while married. And from what you say about your stbx, thad you stayed married hat would have surely been your fate.

      • Unlucky – my ex husband of almost 7 years found someone on video games whom he preferred over me too. He was my best friend, partner of a decade, and he felt like home – until he started being abusive to me because he had her and devalued me. It’s hard, but accept that your life as you know it is over, and realize the future can be even better. I am happily divorced and with a loving partner who doesn’t live in fantasy land avoiding responsibilities all day every day. Life 2.5 years later is awesome!! 😊

      • You’re not only mourning the end of a relationship, you’re also mourning the loss of the future you thought you had, the loss of the person you thought your wife was. It’s hard, I’ve been there. The thing is, in actuality, you never had the wife and future you thought you had. Your wife deceived you into believing she was the person you wanted. Her mask has now fallen off, and you’re able to see her for who she is. It’s a blessing, really, and you’re lucky to have this happen at a young age.

        Work on you. Fix your childhood wounds that got you into this mess. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll have a brand new picker…one that will quickly eliminate the bad people, and identify the good ones.

        You got this! And we’re here to support you : )

      • Unluckycline, I have found great comfort from caring for myself. I imagine Little Thirtythreeyearsachump as a vulnerable child and I advocate for her. I am a fierce Mama Bear for any child. I won’t let anyone hurt Little Thirtythreeyearsachump.

        You can give this some thought and figure out what works for you. I’m not alone because I have myself. I spend a lot of time alone. I get lonely. But none of this is a awful as being with a person who can’t love you.

        You are going to get through this. You will survive the abuse of adultery. You got this. You really do.

      • Hi Cline,
        If it helps, your story sounds like mine most of all. I’m 26 and had been with my ex husband for about 8 or 9 years. He attended every point of my growing up.
        It’s completely shattering to lose them and also humiliating to be left…well it’s also a million more feelings but generally it sucks.
        I get sort of annoyed at people telling me they lost 20 years and comparing their story to mine, calling me lucky and generally expecting me to rally. My point is, being betrayed is the worst. I’m so sorry.

        • I say here a lot, it’s not the Pain Olympics. Betrayal hurts like a motherfucker no matter how old you are.

          That said, perspective doesn’t hurt. I didn’t have kids with my cheater — it’s a blessing I’m very grateful for. And I don’t mind conceding that other people had deeper sunk costs.

          If you’re young, you’ve got a lot more years to reinvent and bounce back. That’s just a fact. And when you’re my wizened old age, you’ll get it. Ha.

        • On the days I can see Tuesday at the end of the tunnel I know she left me at about the best possible time she could. It is hard though as you said. I grew up with this person, faced all the trials and tribulations of being on our own for the first time together. I thought she was my partner for life, my team mate, we built our lives from 19 and poor to 27 and middle class. So much history gone to waste. I was so excited to live out the fruits of our success together. Now I get to enjoy them for myself and eventually share them with a girl who will hopefully see my value.

      • “Hard to learn how to be alone.”

        You didn’t know it, but when she started cheating, you were alone. You’ve been doing it for a while. Now that you’re in a more cognizant and honest place, that’s probably the thing you’re focused on, how things with her filled the minutes when you weren’t working or sleeping.

        And as Sisu said, you’re mourning the loss of the future you worked to secure with a loving partner. The thing you aren’t seeing right now is that that future with a loving partner is still out there for you, you never lost that, primarily because you’re the kind of person who can love and work for that future. What you don’t know now is who that loving partner will be. Take some time for you, heal, recover, and then find someone awesome to share your awesome life with. That future was never lost, it’s still yours, the question is who is your partner in it.

        Hugs. Strength. Peace.
        aeronaut

    • Two and a half years ago, my husband was grooming and tried to begin an affair right in front of me at one of my relative’s wedding. He said I was wrong, that he didn’t want to have an affair. Fast forward a few days when I found all kinds of texts from the previous 3 days. The first thing he said was that I invaded his privacy by going into his phone. I didn’t. I simply looked at the phone log which I’d never done previously so it took a while. Anyway, turned out he DID want to have an affair. That was the least of my issues after finding out everything else, well, as much as he’d admit to after sleuthing for a few months. He’d been trying to hook up with old flames on FB, etc. What I truly struggle with is the fact that he was sooooo subtly verbally and psychologically abusing our son and I for years so he could be the man of the house, so we could fit into HIS world. I’ve figured out that it began about the time I was 43 and our son was 2. He waited until our son had graduated high school and was entering college. His plan was to leave as soon as the college graduation happened, cuz happiness, but I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I was 43 then, now I’m 61, not as many options as I would have had 18 years ago, so I am in limbo until I find my courage. I wish I had known back then. UnluckyCline, find your courage. Age is on your side. You deserve SO much better!

      • Weddingbelle, you ain’t dead yet! There is still time for a redo. You deserve the peace that comes with being free of your cheater.

        I’m alone, strapped for cash, living in a little shack and my dog died. I’m still better off than when I lived with my STBX. I’m still happier than when I lived in misery knowing he was cheating on me. I’m nearly free of his abuse.

        I didn’t even know how bad it was until I was away from him. You can find your courage.

        Don’t tell him. Do your homework, gather your documents and get out. You will be ok. You might even be better off. I am.

        • 33, thanks for the pep talk. I’m sad/happy for your situation. Seems like you’ve got things covered and have discovered who you are, or found the person left in the crappy rubble. I’ll get there!

          • Weddingbelle, sad/happy perfectly describes my situation. From the outside looking in my life probably looks sad yet I’m happier than I have been in years.

            Leaving was hard but I know staying was going to kill me. I’m glad I left. I only wish I’d left sooner.

            Do your research. Get your documentation together. Interview multiple lawyers. Save money where he can’t access it. Make your escape and don’t look back.

            You will get there.

        • 33yearsachump

          I remember my sister telling me I would be much better off without him when I couldn’t imagine being apart from him.

          She has lived on ‘air’ since divorcing the x over 20 years ago. She has raised 3 children on her own – x was/is a dead beat dad.

          Although she has struggled financially for years and years and years she still asserts that she is far happier being poor than she ever was with him.

          I couldn’t understand that 2 years ago. It was literally inconceivable to me.

          Now I know!

          Like you I couldn’t see how bad it was while in the thick of it. Now, due to NC, the full blown mess that things were is becoming abundantly clear and boy am I glad he is the one who did walk out and the one who did want the divorce so he could be with the love of his life/soul mate.

          My worst days now are still better than my best days back then.

          • Elderly Chump, “My worst days are still better than my best days back then.” really resonates with me. I keep a journal and I’ve been able to go back and see the truths I denied for years. I truly am better off even though I live in a shack, am financially strapped and mourning my beloved dog.

            My STBX makes bank. Retired military officer, currently a GS 15 and he has moved all monies from any account I can access. He has changed the locks on the house. My lawyer strongly recommends I have zero contact with him; to stay away from the house unless police were present.

            My STBX seems to think I should get nothing. He demanded I sign away my rights to his pensions. He is keeping me from my personal belongings. He keeps me from having any money. Not one of my former in-laws has contacted me. Not one of our family friends has reached out to me. It is still better without his constant gaslighting, stonewalling and lies.

            I’ve resolved to never speak to him again. Every day I am away from him is a better day. I see now he never loved me. I was a convenience to him. I was the housekeeper. I will never have to throw away his dirty underwear again.

            Things aren’t easy for me. I’ve lost three pant sizes in four months. I’ve lost a good dog. I’m helping care for my old Mother. But I’d rather live alone in my little shack than live with his abuse.

            Having the support, love and encouragement from other chumps here keeps me going. I am not alone. Thank You Elderly Chump, your Ex is a fool.

            • 33yearsachump,

              Wow, good for you getting a good lawyer to protect you with wise advice that is also practical.

              Hopefully your lawyer will be able to get what you deserve for all of your ‘years of service’.

              Good Luck to you and I hope your divorce comes through quickly so you can truly be rid of the fuckwit.

              I think of these cowards as raw Id material – immature to the max and totally self-centered like a new born baby except they have none of the love that oozes out of a newborn.

  • Im sorry it happened at all, but the chips fell on the side of you getting an education before Cheater ran…it doesn’t often happen that way.

    I spent a huge chunk of lifetime waiting for a person I believed to be capable of proper adult functioning to rise to the level I hoped/needed/expected only to learn that he was not willing or able. It is a suckfest. You gave her every change and she chose what she chose. The WHYs dont matter now…finish the divorce and find a person who values you.

  • LuckyCline, you’ve dodged a massive bullet. Trust all of us here. Not being tied to her with kids or a mortgage is a FANTASTIC way to be chumped. It doesn’t feel like it now but fairly soon you’re not going to be in the shithole you’re currently in, wondering why and how etc. You’ll simply be living your life. I promise

  • Hey, Gene Sequencer! Why waste your life on genes with mutations that make the empathy, honesty, and courage enzymes defective and cause diseases?!!! These mutations are NOT recessive, they are co-dominant.

    You have got your whole life ahead of you. In a couple of years you will be wondering what you ever saw in such a shallow person. If you remember her at all…

    I know another gene sequencer who has a story like yours. He found a wonderful wife (and fellow gene sequencer) and has a great family.

    Keep up the gene sequencing. Take care

  • Unlucky,
    💙 I know that it feels that way now, but the day will come when you will realize just how lucky you are! And so far you are making all of the right choices.

    Can I suggest a couple of things?
    1. Keep building your career.
    2. Enjoy life just the way you like it for a bit. Really do your thing and learn to love your life completely.

    You will never regret it and it will set you up in a much better position for the day when a great person comes along and wants to share the rest of your life with you. You got this!

  • I think that her telling you she’s a “broken” person was her way of laying the groundwork for the betrayal. After all, when the cheating was exposed, and it always eventually is, she can say “well I told you back then that I was broken, what did you expect to happen?” And it’s a cheap excuse. Why did you lie? Broken. Why did you cheat? Broken. Why did you blow off therapy? Broken.

    She wants to be “broken” because “broken” lets her live the dumpster fire of a life she wants to live. “Broken” is tragic, fragile, and pitiable. How can you be mad at a “broken” person? Aren’t they suffering enough?

    If she didn’t want to be “broken” she would have jumped at your offer to help get therapy. Some people avoid therapy because they’re afraid of confronting their issues. But it looks like that’s not what happened here.

    And for what it’s worth, I think “broken” is bullshit. Anybody who goes around referring to themselves as “broken” has an agenda with it. And it’s usually laying groundwork to excuse bad behavior. “Broken” is their identity because it allows them to be okay with being a bad person. It’s not that they choose to hurt people, there’s something wrong with them that causes it to happen.

    If you ever encounter someone who refers to themselves as “broken”, run like the wind. Because they’re telling you they’re unstable and unaccountable.

    • SO. TRUE. My ex tried to pull that and the clergy and a therapist bought into the “broken” lie. All it did was gain him more sympathy (despite his ongoing “brokenness” to cheat) and demonize me for taking such a hard line stand (requiring 100% faithfulness is a hard line stand?!).

    • Ha, my ex uses that ALL THE TIME. And you are 100 percent correct. It is to dodge accountability for his actions.

      • My ex and his schmoopie’s song was “Broken” by lovelytheband. Can’t make this stuff up. “I like that you’re broken, broken like me…” Anytime it was on the radio during the time he was cheating on me, he was singing along to it.

        • Funny, every time I heard that song when everything was going down I thought of ex and his Schmoopie and thought “no wonder he’s so hung up on her”. Water seeks it’s own level as they say here often.

    • Hmmm… re “broken” who wrote the line about when someone tells you who they are, believe them. I agree. Broken was probably the substitute for cheating.

    • My first X was a diagnosed bi-polar with hypersexuality. He grabbed on to that diagnosis as an excuse for ALL his sucky character flaws, most of which had nothing to do with BPS. It became his go to excuse AND appeared to give him full license to continue with his appalling behavior. He refused to take meds, I had nothing to work with.

      I recognized that he was messed up, but I also knew I absolutely couldn’t help him untangle a skein he didn’t want untangled. Thankfully that marriage was only 4 years in duration.

      I do have a skein to untangle, but it is mine…and why I seem to be attracted to narcissists and cheaters.

    • “And for what it’s worth, I think “broken” is bullshit. Anybody who goes around referring to themselves as “broken” has an agenda with it. And it’s usually laying groundwork to excuse bad behavior. “Broken” is their identity because it allows them to be okay with being a bad person. It’s not that they choose to hurt people, there’s something wrong with them that causes it to happen.”

      I’m going to print this out……SO TRUE!!!

    • 100% right. The “broken” cheater is stuck on the self pity channel. The use self pity to give them license to abuse you. “It’s just my brokeness. It’s not that I’m a bad person.” Bullshit. The cheater might well have mental health issues but that’s not why they cheat. You can be super screwed up *and* be a bad person.

  • To find out at age 27. Ohhh if only. I tolerated the abuse and lies throughout a 30-yr. marriage. I had to start all over again – with no education in anything except my own wits – at age 50.

    UnluckyCline, I know the pain is bad. But you got this. Thank God you are finding out now, as painful as it us.

  • I was 52 not 27 when I got more or less the same lines. I also tried furiously to untangle the skein in hopes that she could be “fixed”.

    I thought menopause, mid-life crisis (spent a lot of time down that rabbit hole), FOO issues but it all came down to as Tracy put it “she’s a crap person with lousy character” or as I once described it here “selfish asshole”.

    It will take some time and perspective for you to see that. And to stop wanting to “fix” someone who at their core, doesn’t want to be fixed.

    I’m 55 now, have a decent life as a single guy with 2 cats. My ex is still chasing after her elusive “happiness” somewhere out there as far as I know. I do still worry about her a bit from time to time – we were married for as long as you’ve been alive – you’re the same age as my daughter – but know that her life choices and the attendant consequences – and hoo boy have there been some – are not mine to deal with.

    The next while will be tough – any chump here will confirm that – but the fact that you are looking for the exit door rather than pick-me dancing means you are well on your way to meh and a better life.

    BT

    • Hugs BowTie

      I too thought mid-life crisis until I realized that my STBX had been cheating and lying for probably at least a decade. He seems to be frenetically chasing something that doesn’t exist and chucked his family away for that. Now, strange sex, pills, and booze seem to be his core values.

      UnluckyCline — while you are devastated you have the gift of time. Many of us here have spent decades thinking we had good marriages and woke up one day to realize our lives were based on a lie. Use this time to make yourself an amazing life. It may not seem like it now but this hard lesson will give you the opportunity to ask yourself what is really important. Good luck on that journey!

    • BT, your comments always give me hope. I am around your age, and I’m more or less resigned to staying single forever after what happened to me …. but honestly, “single forever” doesn’t sound so bad, compared to what I had before. Truthfully, the “dating scene” of 2019 seems foreign to me (from what I read and hear), and the chances of my trusting someone — or even trusting my own judgement — are pretty low right now. We talk here about “fixing your picker” and I have learned a lot in the past years about facing red flags when I see them — but some people are sooooooooo good at figuring out what you want, and then pretending to be that person…. or at just flat-out lying. I may not be able to fix my chumpiness enough to feel comfortable dating someone — but at last I’m beginning to feel that I can achieve happiness on my own, and not feel panic at the thought of being alone. Your posts are among those that have helped me, and I thank you.

      • Exactly. To me, part of fixing the picker is becoming an all around more self aware person who combats self-destructive thoughts and habits and replaces them with a healthier sense of self able to set self-protective boundaries. Whether I end up with another partner or not is not the main object–if I end up with another partner I’ll see that as a bonus.

    • Bowtie – you and I appear to have traveled much the same road. Your experience and mine have many parallels. I’m 18 months out and, while I’m doing better, figure I’ve got another 18 months to go until I start achieving MEH.

  • Cline, the more you read here at Chumplady, the more you will realize how normal her behavior actually is for a cheater.
    It’s like they all have a guidebook and rule #1 is always speak vaguely to keep your chump off balance and confused but also so you can claim down the road different meanings for said statement.

  • UnluckyCline – a dear friend’s wife took off for parts unknown a couple of years into their marriage. He blamed her ‘wildness’ on the sudden freedom their marriage gave her from her ultra-religious parents (no TV, makeup or dancing). She apologized after a few months and asked to come back – he welcomed her and did all he could to make her happy. Refurnish the entire house for a “fresh start”? Sure! A new car for her? Sure! Without his knowledge she also charged a new wardrobe to his credit card. Pretty much as soon as the improvements had been made he came home from work to find no wife and an empty house. He found a lawn chair, a TV tray with a plate, knife, fork and spoon – and a note that said, “In case you want to eat.” The police could do nothing, as it was her home and her belongings too. He was left with massive debt, no wife and a couple of years of working two jobs to pay down the debt. My point is, even if she did want to try again, someone who has treated you so badly isn’t likely to manifest a complete character change. You may not feel young right now, but you are. You will find someone to cherish you and share your life – especially since you now know some of what to avoid. People change drastically in their 20s – give it a while and then find an adult to share the adventure of life with. Wishing you all the best.

  • YEP! You are a lotto winner….CONGRATS!!!! 27 and a whole life ahead of you to choose a worthy partner who appreciates you while there is a plethora of people your age to choose from who aren’t in committed relationships. Try doing this dance when you are older and the dating pool is much smaller…..it blows! Learn the lessons, FIX your picker (because you don’t want to waste your time with another one of these blood suckers) and choose your next mate wisely friend.

  • Yeah, I agree with CL . . . It doesn’t really matter WHY she did what she did. Lots of people have “issues” and lots of people don’t blow up their marriages to go seek strange by fucking “larpers” on the internet. The point is, she did it and whatever you had before, you can’t get back.

    I know you’re probably sick of hearing this, but you really do have a clean slate. Imagine having children with this asshole? Imagine having to deal with that for 18 years?

    You watch, eventually you’ll get a text from her crying because she made a mistake. Block. Done. You’re going to be just fine. 💖

  • My cousin married a man and within a year she found out he was a cheater. Two years later they divorced, no kids, no mortgage. I felt bad for her at the time. A few years later she remarried another man. They have three children and are still happily married 20+ years later. She won.

    I married a man who played at being a sensible mature man, good husband, father and provider for ~ 20 years until he started acting in irrational ways and then started to be a real jerk to me and the kids. Then I found out about Schmoopie and later discovered there had been at least one other Schmoopie. Once the cat was out of the bag he left for the woman who “means the world to me”. After having been married and fully invested for 22 years I feel used up. I don’t think I can ever be fully invested in a romantic relationship ever again.

    Your wife chose to go nuts at a relatively young age. Seven/eight years is still a long time and it is going to hurt for a long time, but you are sill young enough that you can turn this around and get it right the next time if you are careful. You have a lot to offer and there are many worthy women out there who will appreciate you. Don’t let this experience destroy you, but rather use it to make yourself stronger. Hopefully, when you find yourself in a reciprocal relationship with a worthy woman you will appreciate her that much more and she will appreciate you. Good luck.

    Oh yes, and if your wife comes crawling back to you begging for another chance when she gets tired of fucking around with randos, the answer is “no”. She told you never to contact her again so don’t and don’t let her contact you either. Get yourself free and stay free.

  • I am so sorry that you are going through this. You sound like a smart upstanding guy. You are young and have a bright future. I wish I would have gotten out of my marriage decades ago. I was married 33 years when I found out about my husband’s 4 year affair with my cousin. Just another form of abuse. For most of our marriage I was verbally abused, ignored and blamed for everything that went on. I paid all the bills(he only gave me $100 to $200 a week). When I lost my job and asked him to please pay more towards the bills. I was told. “It was not his problem.” I opened a credit card in both our names to pay the taxes etc. He then used that against me and filed for divorce. He never told his lawyer that he was cheating with my cousin. Nor did he tell her that he was hiding thousands of dollars in his parents safe. His parents were told that he had to file because I was stealing money from him. He never told him about Skankella. I was so broken and a shell of a person that I agreed to work on the marriage. I could not continue to live with a man that had so little regard for our marriage. I decided to divorce him on my terms.

    Even though it hurts like a SOB right now. Someday you will realize that you were blessed to find out when you did.

  • I know that you feel like you have invested so much in her and that you are no longer a kid, but take it from most of us! You are SO YOUNG!! You are lucky to have this information now — and pre-children (I assume?). Tell her you hope she figures things out for herself, but move on!! A wonderful relationship and life await you!! Please do not invest any more time (and heartbreak)! I spent so many years hoping for things to get better — and long time periods of assuming my ex had “come around” and conquered his demons — only now to feel like he made a mockery of my life and love. Please don’t believe that you can fix her. You always would be looking over your shoulder and wondering …

  • I would echo everything that has been said, and also add ….take yourself to a doctor to be tested for STIs. Visit the bank to cancel all lines of credit or put them solely in your name. Run a credit check on both of you to make sure she isn’t financially scamming you. Cheating and financial abuse often go hand in hand. Protect yourself, because she has proven undeniably she won’t.

    I know this all hurts like heck, but you will come out of it better than OK. Sending you hugs.

    • Finances have been separated already. I do need to freeze my credit. My part time job is in a hospital stat lab as a generalist. My profession can do Gene sequencing and all the testing on blood, urine, etc in hospitals. On DDay I tested myself for EVERYTHING. All clean.

  • You found out early that your partner is a crap one. Consider yourself lucky.
    I’m rather jealous. Took me 25 years to realize I had a crap partner.
    Go now & seize the day. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Take it a day at a time. It gets better with time. Don’t try to figure her out. Your mind doesn’t work like theirs does. Be strong & move on.

  • UnluckyCline, I am sorry that you are hurting. Many of us here understand also the shift in personality from who they made us think they were to who they actually are. Think of it as a mask you have now seen behind. You can’t unsee, you have to keep recognizing her for what she is. A liar and a cheater. You are in a prime position to gain a much better life without her keeping you back. Please, start the proceedings for your divorce while she is on her affair fog high. This will make the process so much easier and leave you free to work on that new life as well as yourself. You’ve got a great community here ready to help you along the way as well.

    • I always knew this side of her existed at least a little, just thought it could be handled. Divorce is proceeding slowly. She wants alimony and I live in a no fault state. Good chance it will turn into a battle.

  • If I’m doing the math correctly, you’ve known each other since you were both thirteen. That’s amazing! You probably really worked together as a team to thrive. And you’ve never thought of going through life without your partner so I can imagine how devastating this whole situation is now. I was about your age when I found out my hub cheated. I had a little babe and I was pretty scared. The one thing I did right was to let go of my end of the rope. I had to save myself and my child. I ended up with a great job and created a good support system. Sometimes I had to fake it til I made it, but I did it. So, as hard as this might be, my advice is to let her go, let her go. where the wind takes her. Wish her well and say goodbye. Your journey path is now turning right. Open your arms and let the good vibes of the universe in. It’s going to be hard and lonely and boring sometimes, all the best to you. Run. Go. Be free now.

    • Yea we worked together to get me through school and both of us out of poverty. Always said everything would be ok as long as she was there next to me. It is a hard thing suddenly not having my teammate anymore. I worry for her and the risky behavior she’s partaking in. I can’t save her, and the only thing I can do is to let her go and find a better partner. My biggest goals in life was to have a partner to share my life with, someone to love and care for, always having a best friend to come home to every night.

      Guess I can look at this as an opportunity to find a better match.

      • yes, fix your picker and find a better match, one who can reciprocate and be honest.
        Take the time to figure out what inside you that was attracted to her, stayed with her and didn’t see the red flags that should have warned you. For me this was the hardest part, to face myself in therapy, to figure out what in the way I was brought up didn’t allow me to see the red flags that I can look back now and see so clearly. Once that happens the way you interact with everyone will change. I now that sounds weird now but its true, you will see people more clearly than you did before, and thats a good thing. Your future is bright. Please embrace it and keep moving forward.

      • “the only thing I can do is to let her go and find a better partner.”

        Umm, no. She won’t find a better partner. Much like water, she will seek her own level, and find a partner that is objectively worse than you are. It’s one of the axioms here, ‘they always trade down.’

        My objection here is that you need to stop thinking that you weren’t good enough. The problem is that you were too good, and she couldn’t/didn’t see it, and didn’t try to be good enough to deserve you. (Yes, I know that’s harsh to say about someone you loved/love, but it’s the truth. I wouldn’t spell it out if I didn’t feel you needed to hear it.)

        You, on the other hand, can certainly find a better partner.

        Oh, this might be a language thing. Perhaps what you meant to say was “the only thing I can do is to let her go, and find a better partner (for yourself).” One little comma. If that’s what you meant, power to you.

        Hugs. Strength. Peace.
        aeronaut

  • “A hundred chumps will comment today that they wish they got out at 27 with their lives still intact. No kids, no mortgage.” Chump number 26 chiming in with a “hell yeah”. Mine was a shit person at 27 and he’s a shit person today at 50. I dream of having a time machine and stopping my 27-year-old-self from wasting the next 20 years. My ex hasn’t matured or improved his character at all. He thinks he’s perfectly splendid just the way he is. (Btw he also couldn’t stand people who cheated)

    Unluckycline, you sound like you care very deeply about this person, and that you pity her. (classic chump move). The sooner you see her for who she really is and stop doing this, the better. She doesn’t need your caring, nor want it, nor deserve it, nor appreciate it. She’s perfectly happy being an asshole, and your attention flatters her ego. Hurting you makes her feel great, trust me.

    So, Mr. 27-year-old-gene-sequencer, let me tell you something: You’re a fucking catch. The world is full of quality women looking for a great guy just like you. Unfortunately the world is also full of opportunistic assholes. THIS is the greatest danger you are in: picking badly all over again. Please don’t make the same mistake twice. It doesn’t seem like it now, but you’ve been given a gift: a second chance at a young age. Take your time, learn to believe in your own worth, and what you have to offer a worthy partner.

    • Yes please be careful right now because you are in a very fragile position, a vulnerable period of transition that you didn’t expect. Heal your broken heart before you get involved with another woman. Counseling maybe ?

        • Great! Don’t be discouraged if your therapist isn’t a good fit. Could be a good therapist for someone else, just not for you. Some don’t know enough about the personality disordered. (Not saying you’re PD; I mean your STBX.)

        • Interview a few of them. Most important question to ask them is “In your professional opinion, what causes somebody to cheat on their spouse ?” If they answer something half-assed like “Well that person’s needs weren’t being met” or try in any way to blame your wife’s behavior on you and your “failings”, exit their office and find somebody else. Ask them what they think of Esther Perel and her books. Are they a fan and can understand where she’s coming from ? Dump and run.

  • You built your whole life TO DATE around her.

    You will build a better life without her.

    In the meantime, it HURTS. I am so sorry. I am also glad that you are 27 without children raise with a fuckwit.

  • Here’s the problem. She was able to keep her mask on for 7 years. Then she wasn’t. It slipped and broke into smithereens. You’re still processing that the Real Person is the person who casually dumped you to fuck people she met in videogames. You thought that the Real Person was the mask. We all were there. It’s tough.

    It’s natural to look for causes, but ultimately, you can’t know why a person chose to cheat. Trying to figure this out is untangling the skein of fuckedupness. At the end of the day, a person cheats because they can. It’s a tool in their toolbox. When the circumstances feel right, they’ll feel entitled to pull it out and use it.

    A person with good character who feels “broken” would go into therapy. A person who values her husband will not go fuck random gnomes on the Internet. In the old days, she’d be sleeping with the man who bought her drinks in the bar–a common love of appletinis is the sure foundation of a one-night stand!

    Divorce her and get some therapy for yourself. You’ll make it to “meh” some wonderful Tuesday. Take the time to invest in yourself. You will get through this. It does get better. And you’ll find someone with whom you can build an authentic life with.

  • The year was 1992 when I first thought he was cheating. I was 26 years old. The next time I thought he was cheating, I was 34 years old, married with a DS and pregnant with DD. Many times after the age of 34, I found some kind of damning evidence that he was a cheater. Flirtatious Facebook messages to more then one women. Email message to yet another woman. Strippers. Porn. Lord only knows what else he did behind my back. I was 48 years old when I caught my now XH out on a date with a newly divorced whore. If I could go back in time and kick my 26 year old firm butt, I would in a heartbeat. Lucky Cline, it may not seem like it now, but you are so lucky to find out who she truly is at the age of 27. I in no way want to minimize your pain, because I know it hurts like a hell. But you have years and years of life ahead of you. You are a well-educated man with a good job. You are faithful and honest. You are able to bond and love deeply. I’m sure you have many other good qualities. As Chump Lady has said before, “Your stock will trade high.” (((HUGS)))

    • And just make sure you follow through with the divorce and actually get out. My biggest fear for you is that she will get bored of her new toys and try to worm her way back claiming temporary insanity or some such and you will let her real you in again as so many others here did when they had the chance to leave once, twice, or more and ended up sticking around for years of more abuse instead. Don’t be that person. Be the one who got away. Good luck.

  • Thanks guys for all the support. I’m working on not trying to untangle anymore. Just doesn’t make sense that she cheated once I have something to offer.

    Some more backstory, I didn’t reenlist in the Army for her (we married when I was in) and had to figure out what to do to support us with a career once I got out. Chose MLS as it has great job prospects, good pay, and was science related. Everything I’ve done since I got out has been to build a good life for us. On top of that she left me not for another guy, but for every other guy. Just crushes my self esteem because she’s gorgeous, and I’m a tall skinny nerd.

    Really not sure how to trust again after this if I couldn’t even trust someone I’ve known since I was 12.. On top of all this, this is my first time living alone in my entire life. So much change. Sometimes I have a few hours of Tuesday, but often times I’m just miserable.

    She was my first real adult relationship too, previous was a HS girlfriend. I’m just crushed by this in so many different ways.

    • It will probably be good for you to be alone for a while and learn how to take care of yourself in every way. Once you know you can do it, you will be less afraid and will be a more complete partner for someone else. You will likely go on to marry again and have a family and fulfilling life, but there is plenty of time for that later. For now, just work on you. Get your confidence back. You have a lot to offer but the ladies will have to be patient and wait until you are ready for them.

      • Oh yes, living alone feels really weird at first, especially when self-esteem is in the crapper and the heart is bleeding all over the place. I was abandoned too, with lots of red flags leading up to it.
        I already knew cheater x was a crap person; I kept becoming chumpier and chumpier.

        Please don’t let that happen to you. Listen to Wise ChumpLady.
        You now know your stbx is a crap person with lousy character.
        The weirdness will go away. Living alone gets easier and better. It is really nice and peaceful. Do whatever you have to do to regain your confidence…..EXCEPT find a rebound chick. I agree with others…your healing is first priority. Took me a year of intense work to heal. You have plenty of time. You sound pretty awesome to me. Tons of chicks adore nerds. There will be one good one for you in time.

    • “Really not sure how to trust again after this if I couldn’t even trust someone I’ve known since I was 12.. On top of all this, this is my first time living alone in my entire life. So much change. Sometimes I have a few hours of Tuesday, but often times I’m just miserable.”

      Well, for starters – it is wise not to trust straightaway. You have a lot to sort out. Like living alone. It is HARD but it will get easier eventually.

      Her flesh mask is the stuff of wet dreams, but the person and character underneath is UGLY. Don’t focus so much on the outside.

      Hey – don’t knock tall skinny nerds. Eventually the right person will get to know you, come to love you and when they look at you – they will see Cline and their heart will flutter. With luck, you’ll love her the same way even if by your yardstick she isn’t “gorgeous”. The person within will shine through.

      Run a credit check on yourself. You may want to contact the credit bureaus and have a fraud alert issued. She has enough information to open up a line of credit in your name. Get her off of all your accounts if you haven’t done so already. Also change the beneficiary of any insurances you have obtained. You may have to split the 401K with her but at 27 you will recoup the losses.

    • Integrity is SEXY. Don’t squander it any further on her. Divorce her and go forth.

      Consider a grief counselor too. This can be tremendously hard to wrestle with and having an outside advocate may help.

    • You’ll be fine. You really did luck out that your cheating wife decided to act out and leave at a young age. If you had children with her you would be living a long term nightmare. The disordered love to use kids to create havoc, it’s a warped control thing. Plus you would be agonizing over the kids living her crazy lifestyle. Take some time to be by yourself, get a dog if possible, they are great for the soul. Also, prepare yourself. She will come back at some point during a weak moment, hat in hand, promising the world but at the same time somehow making what she did, her actions, your fault. Completely crazy. Please, be strong and go no contact as no good will come of it and when they depart the second time around and it usually far far worse.

    • ULC,
      It’ll get better, I promise!
      Like you, my self-esteem was destroyed. You’ll get it back, but it won’t happen overnight. It takes time. But it worked for me, and it will work for you too! Be patient and remind yourself of who you are and what you have to offer.
      Make yourself a to-do list and focus on getting things done.
      First on the to-do list, get a divorce.
      Go “no contact” – this is absolutely key to your survival and overall healing.
      And, as someone else suggested, live by yourself for a while. Rediscover “you”. Look up the definition of “loneliness” versus “contentment”; strive for the latter! Once you’re there (and it will take a while to get there), then you can decide whether to bring someone into your life or not.
      Lastly, everyone on here has been where you are. When they said “it will get better”, trust them! 🙂

      • Unlucky, you describe yourself as a tall, skinny nerd like that is a bad thing! Do not buy into thinking she is the only one for you. You are someone’s Perfect Man. You will need some time to see that. Get you a good therapist, one who doesn’t blame you for your wife’s infidelities. You will need time to work through this significant blow to your self esteem. It took me several tries to find a therapist who said, “Adultery is abuse.” Working on my issues, giving myself centrality has liberated me from my STBX. You deserve so much more.

    • I too am a MLS and dude this field is filled with women!!! I too married young at 22 and meet my STBX husband when I was 18, he is the only guy I have ever been with and now at 34 with 2 young kids I have to start over. My STBX has ran off to be with his Schmoopie #4?? after 3 years of weckonciliation since D-day #2 and #3. I am slowly coming to know that I will never know why someone would do this to me and have a answer by diagnosing some type of disorder that would cause them to do this (I know as a MLS that’s what our minds do) that’s just trying to untangle the skein. I know what its like for everyone to say how young I am and that I have time to find someone else. But the hurt and frustration is still there that one of the first people that you ever gave over you heart and trust to will just throw it all away for nothing! And then having the fear of being able to trust anyone again. I’m so glad I found this website and it has really helped me the past couple months since he has ran off.

    • I sure understand. I met my Ex Husband in high school. I was 16 he was 17. I married him when I was 18 and our daughter was born the same year. We grew up together. I had my second child by 22. I adored him and thought we would grow old together. Even through the bad times I still loved him and never entertained the thought of cheating. Nor did I ever think he would cheat. Especially with my cousin.

      It takes time to be able to trust again. It takes some time to get over that the one person we loved and trusted thought so little of us. It will get better.

    • I was married to a tall, skinny nerd, and he cheated with a woman who is decidedly unattractive. I’m not going to be on any fashion magazine covers any time soon, but after we split, many people told me that they didn’t know what I saw in him and that I was much more attractive than he is!

      My point is, physical looks don’t mean a thing. Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry were both cheated on, and I think that they’re both beautiful women. And believe me, there are many folks out there who are attracted to tall, skinny nerds, so don’t put yourself down because of the actions of a selfish cheater. They reflect on her, not on you!

    • Listen to the podcast “Unravel True Crime:Snowball” about a woman who conned a Kiwi and his family. Broke his heart and scammed the parents for a million dollars.

    • “Just doesn’t make sense that she cheated once I have something to offer.” Are you talking about financial stability and no longer feeling like a burden because you’re in school while she’s working? Cline, honey, you always had a lot to offer. That’s exactly why she married you. I bet you’re kind, considerate and generous, and if you’re a nerd then you undoubtedly have great taste in books and movies 😉 I bet you’re also imperfect (gasp!), and second-guessing every little thing you think you “did wrong”. But know, really realize in your heart, that nothing you do or did could FORCE her to hurt you. She chose this path of her own volition. Accepting that the person you loved and had completely invested your past, present and future in was willing and able to betray you for kicks…well, that takes quite a bit of time to really digest. (A good therapist helps!) She also didn’t leave you for “every guy”, she left you for the giddy butterflies of attention, and she’s probably not that picky where it comes from. Turns out she values that more than a committed, invested relationship. You may have projected your healthy desire for bonding on her and are now agonizing over what’s wrong with you that makes her not want to reciprocate, when really she just doesn’t bond like you do (and was fine with hiding that from you). As CL says, some people are of the Bonding Tribe and some are of the Buffet Tribe, they just think/react differently. And here is where we come to Trust. You will be able to trust others again once you gain confidence in your own judgement. That’s right, I’m giving you permission to go ahead and judge people. Not for their looks or other born-into traits, but for their CHOICES. Good people consistently make good choices that honor themselves and others. Once you can call bs on bs and walk away without guilt, then you will be able to better pick and choose who you spend your life minutes on. Done well, this extends far past a future partner, to friends, coworkers and family. It’s good for you, and crucial to the Gaining a Life.
      I’m so sorry you’re here, betrayal sucks in innumerable ways that people who haven’t been through it simply cannot fathom. But CN has been there, we get it. Read here often, gain the combined wisdom of CN and you too can move on to a better, de-chumpified life. ((Hugs))

  • I know it sucks right now but she’s a lazy entitled piece o shit. Your not. You are normal. Keep gaining a life. 💪🏻

    • Perfect Poconochump. Simply put and straight to the point. Because it really is this simple. She is just a shitty person and he is not.

  • ((((Cline))))
    We Chumps know that falling in love can be a beautiful thing.
    Once it happens to us we cherish the feeling, we honour the commitment.
    When a Cheater betrays us our heart is broken. It takes a long long time to heal.
    FALLING OUT OF LOVE can be a very long, painful, process. We have to get past all the hurdles. Some never do.
    No one can diminish the amount of pain, the amount of soul searching, that you will do Cline.
    Everything every Chump here tells you is the truth. Each of us has learned the hard way, some much harder then others.
    Do what you have to do, others here will point you in the right direction. But, be kind to yourself. Always remember, it was never you. It was always her.
    You can do this Cline.
    CN believes in you.

  • My cheater wife also told me how she was “a broken person”. She was on various medications for depression, ADHD, insomnia at one point. Then she moved on to the other men. I snapped out of my confused pick me dancing once I realized that I couldn’t “fix her”. There is no fix, there is only ‘run and don’t look back’ as my therapist told me. There is nothing you can have done to stop what happened. Her brain is her brain.

    Bottom line. You married someone who hid her issues well at the beginning of the relationship. Her going full discard can be a positive if you train your brain to fully accept the reality of the situation and build a new life.

  • “My going theory is that it may be bipolar disorder with hypersexuality.”

    NO!!!

    She does not get to hide behind some clinical diagnosis that “explains” her behavior.

    Don’t go down that road.

    Both my ex and I played that bullshit game. She claimed massive hormonal imbalance made her desires strong…but no explanation as to why those desires had to be for other men than her husband.

    And after I left her, I claimed she “suddenly” changed and maybe she had some mental disorders. Even asked my aunt to send me the DSM!

    But I didn’t follow through. I eventually accepted that I was building a fantasy, trying to save my ego because I couldn’t accept that my STBX simply sucked as a person and didn’t care about me. Once I accepted that, everything else made sense.

    Apply Occam’s Razor here. Which is more likely: (1) our wives suddenly had here-to-fore unknown mental illnesses that caused them to treat us like shit but otherwise allowed them to be fully functional human beings, or (2) they always hid their shitty character and they simply stopped hiding when some exciting strange dick came along?

    #2

    So stop beating yourself up over it.

  • She did you a favor!

    You can now move on to someone who will be a partner, I wish I had known what you know now at 27 and instead I wasted 13 years of my life.

    Good Luck!

  • 1. Never “build your whole life” around another person. You are a separate person. You will love many people–parents, siblings, other family members, friends, kids, grandkids. But in order to love in a healthy way, you have to also love yourself. You have to see yourself as a person separate from others, and worthy of love. It’s a very good thing that you took care of the business of getting an education and establishing a career. While you think you did that for your life with your CheaterSTBX, the truth is you now have thing no one can take from you–an education, a set of skills, work experience. That’s part of your tools for living.

    2. You were 12 when you met your STBX. 19 when you got into a relationship. 20 when you got married. Right now you are concentrating on the percentage of your life that you spent with her–and it’s really all of your adult life, as you note. But. You were 12 when you met her. 19 when you choose her as a partner. That’s very young. Neither of you was a fully-formed adult. And you couldn’t be sure, at 19, what she would be like once she was 26, 27, 30, 40. You didn’t have fully formed adult judgment, and you had almost no experience in evaluating someone as a life partner. You thought you “knew” her, but it sounds like she’s still stuck at 16 or 19 while you’ve moved into adulthood. That’s a mismatch.

    It won’t seem like it for a while, but she did you a favor by leaving. To the extent that she can feel anything for other people (and that’s an open question), she is at least freeing you from being tied to a liar and a cheater. That’s what you need to wrap your head around. She is not the person you imagined she was. And she’s going nowhere. Nothing wrong with working at Petco so long as she can live with her mother and play video games. That’s not a life partner for someone with you values.

    While you are recovering from this terrible wound of infidelity and deceit, you can continue to add to your tool box. You say all you wanted was to “make her happy.” Here’s another life fact: we can’t make other people happy. We can, however, learn what adds happiness to our own lives. What makes you happy? Do you want to play flag football or join a band or get a dog or flip a house? Do you want to see a movie every week or maybe form a movie-watching group to talk about them? Do you want an advanced degree?
    What were the happy things in your life before you started dating? Learning who you are is a big tool in your “adult” box. You can spend the next year or two figuring that out and fixing your picker so that when you want to start dating again, you will be ready to look for someone who (like you) has her own life.

    • As for trust, the person you need to trust is you. Learn to trust your own judgement about people, about circumstances, about behavior.

      • Lovedajackass is giving you the best therapist advice. This is nearly word for word what my kick-ass just graduated from college therapist has told me. Lovedajackass is leading you to the Road to Meh, it is paved by the experience of fellow chumps.

      • Great advice, and thanks for picking up on the “build your whole life around someone” tack.

        I’m all for commitment — if you’re going to invest in a marriage, be all in. And I’m not certain young marriages don’t work out — IF you share the same values. Frankly, at a young age I think it’s a crap shoot.

        But yes, you’ve got to be your own person, love yourself, build your own identity and never tolerate abuse.

        • I’ve been working with a therapist a bit on this. I grew up in abuse and have always struggled with my self esteem. Apparently it’s super common for people like me to take what value they would place in themselves and place it in their partners then dedicate themselves to them. I think I certainly did that. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer trying to rebuild myself. As I said elsewhere in the comment I’d lost my main friend group in the last year/was working evenings and was relying on her primarily for social interaction. So when she left I lost my primary support system. Now I’ve made several new friends, strengthened old friendships, got a better job with better hours, and moved into an apartment on my own.

          As far as loving myself, that’s a work in progress.

  • I’d just like to add that I get where you are coming from.
    The issue is that she was “your family” and you expected her to always be there. And can’t believe that the person you grew up with has morphed into this awful human being.
    You just can’t reconcile this.
    I wish I could explain it to you. But I can’t. I’m 40, left for cold by someone who I thought was the bees knees but was quite clearly in some way, not aligned to the set of values I thought we had both set ourselves to.
    It’s vile being left outside what you thought was a relationship for eternity (marriage) and having to accept that they wish to pursue a different life path than you do.
    They’re not standing on their word – and that’s what I think is the main problem. You’re holding them to your standards….

  • It really hurts, the way she left you, not being authentic and all. We understand! I think real, deep people focus on the future they’re building, and the fakers live for the cheap thrills today. She’s not your kind! And, you’re young and going places, so there are solutions to all this.
    If I may, being a Mom of three sons, and fond of giving advice, I’d like to give you some 😉 Your job right now is to take your time, and picture the woman who would be a good, equal, life partner for you! You might make a list of her qualities, and what lifestyle she would enjoy. Dream about her, and smile. You can draw her to you, and when you meet her, you both will see each other! I believe in manifestation, and you’re in a perfect place to do this, having laid such a great groundwork with your life so far.
    Don’t worry about time passing, it’s what you need! Forget miss mistake, get your divorce, so you’ll be ready when your woman comes into your life. Hope you don’t mind the advice, I can see what a fine young man you are, and it’s just time for you to move away from the trouble, and into a great future! You can do it.

  • I don’t know if it’ll make you feel better, but…
    My serial-cheater ex started her shenanigans when I was 27, and we were still newlyweds. She apparently started to ditch me, then decided against it. From then on out, I spent years trying to please a chronically unhappy and resentful woman, who was upset that I was standing in the way of her happiness. Years (and kids) later, I finally caught her (on AP #3+), and we were done.
    It might not seem that way now, but she did you a “favor.” At least you don’t have kids. In a year or two, you will be better off emotionally, working your cool job, while she still be the lame video game addict cleaning up after customer’s dogs at Petsmart.

  • As horrible as you feel and believe me I know (24 years with wife and kids mortgage etc) it’s a GIFT to find out now. You’ve got a great education and career and most importantly TIME. I’m 55 now…honestly I’m not sure what my future holds as far as a partner if anything. You have an entire lifetime ahead of you. Leave this cheater in your rear view mirror.

  • As others have said, your are lucky to be so young. I am 67 and spent over 30 years with a cheater. The devastation has been horrific not only for me but for my grown children as well..

    Keep coming back here and read, read, read. This will make you a stronger person.

    Big hug out to you. Hearts do heal. They just take time.

  • I can’t believe how the dating pool shrinks as you get older – if there are any fortyish (35/45? I am 39) year old women out there who would like to have a family and children in a stable, loving secure environment please feel free to stop by! UK preferably 😀 Apologies for using this site as a dating board – just thought there might be someone here who wanted that same sort of thing!?!

  • Flight or Fight response.
    Some of us Chumps take 50 years or 25 or 3 to Flight. But some of us do not heed the warning signs and end up dead.

    This is not about our chances on a dating app or the next partner.This is about our life and our ability to function as a human. In any capacity.

  • I love my three children, and at 27, I didn’t have any kids yet. I will always wonder if I could have gone on to have those three children with a partner who genuinely loved all of us and wanted to be part of our family. I agree with the others– it’s great that you found out now and aren’t trapped with her in a figurative prison because you have children together. I know how much it hurts, but imagine how much more difficult it would have been if you had kids together and were 37 like I was. (And for those of you who spent even more years with your cheater, I am truly glad that you are free, and your cheaters are especially sucky.)

    I’m sorry this has happened to you, but I’m glad that you will be able to make a clean break so that she no longer drags you down.

  • “I don’t know if I love you” and “I need space” are classic lines from a cheater that’s weighing up her mating options.
    I understand you being sucked in. You wife is a “good girl” and would never do such a thing…Damn right she will!
    But you are not alone. Many men have the rug pulled under them by manipulating and calculating woman that sabotage marriages as they seek better resources. Sure you had an agreed plan, but it required time and effort on her part … she figured it was much better to get instant gratification from someone else!
    And while she ponders her options, you are left in limbo. As an option, while she lines up some other benefactor. This is a common play for woman that will monkey branch on to the next option only when they secure commitment from their new man.
    It may not feel like it now, but getting rid of a cold, heartless woman is the best thing that can happen to you.
    Focus on improving yourself and your career. Travel, bang some hot woman and in your 30s, go back and find that genuine nice girl her 20s that appreciates the man you have become.

    • “bang some hot woman” – scratch that. Don’t go around breaking other people’s hearts just because yours got broken. If you do, then you won’t be worthy of “that genuine nice girl her 20s ” because “the man you have become” will be a womanizing jerk. Also, no need to look for a girl in her 20’s when you are in your 30s, unless you want someone who is less mature and has less life experience than you. Women in their 30s can still have families and will be potentially more stable and sure of what they want than your current wife (who is in her 20s). Stay cool. Good luck.

      • OverFortySingleMan “Banging hot women” will not heal that void in your soul. It is a temporary distraction from the pain you are experiencing. What you are advocating is unfair to you and the women you attempt to “bang”. I have some bad news for you, much younger women cheat too. Also what is “monkey branch”? Your post made me very uncomfortable.

        • Monkey branching is jumping from one relationship (or person to use) to the next without stopping, reflecting on why the relationship didn’t work out and feeling secure in oneself to spend some time alone. Some people start another relationship before ending one because they can’t tolerate being alone. Not emotionally healthy and smacks of using others like interchangeable parts (narcissism). Think of women and their “bull pens” or men who refer to their “harems”.

        • OverFourty, I think I see where you’re coming from, but do realize that the language you’re using could be quite triggering for women who have been devalued (which would be all the women here, myself included). What I got from your message was to avoid PEOPLE who are always looking for someone to take care of them, with their needs ever changing (swinging from one branch to another, but not letting go of the last one before they’re sure you have a firm grip on the next). Having crap character is not restricted by gender, learning about yourself and your boundaries will help protect you from any-gendered user in the world. As for banging some hot chicks, well first you should grieve properly without self-medicating with other people, but then realize when you’re ready to stick your toes in the dating pool, you don’t have to start out looking for a serious relationship if you don’t want to. You can have (a series of) less serious relationships that teach you a lot about what you’re looking for in another person, what you like or want to improve about yourself in a relationship and just get to know new, interesting people. The key here, like every relationship, is honesty, integrity and communication. Be upfront about what you want and don’t want, and accept that the other person gets to make the choice for themselves whether that works for them or not. I also didn’t date much before marrying, and have found casual dating very edifying. (Caveat, saw your other post about what your therapist said, you need to work through that first, or you risk ending up picking the same mindfuck smoothie, slightly different flavor.)

  • Agree with kb – “Here’s the problem. She was able to keep her mask on for 7 years. Then she wasn’t. It slipped and broke into smithereens. You’re still processing that the Real Person is the person who casually dumped you to fuck people she met in videogames. You thought that the Real Person was the mask. We all were there. It’s tough.” My XH just bought a house and moved the OW in with him. My kids get to stay with them even though it is against the divorce decree (not allowed to have overnight relationship guest). Judges only care if kids are in danger. I could pursue this but be viewed as bitter and accomplish nothing. Be thankful you are young with so much going for you. You will get through this. Heads up!!!

  • Ewww-
    Over 40SingleMan-
    Go pay to play on SugarDaddy.com.

    If you can afford “that genuine nice girl her 20’s that appreciates the man”

    • LOL ! Oh good I wasn’t the only one grossed out by that attitude “go bang some hot woman…blahblahblah”

  • UC, on the learning how to be alone part:

    There are some hidden gems beyond how weird, painful and uncomfortable it feels.
    The Netflix/comfy pants and take-out phase doesn’t last.
    You’re going to surprise yourself on who you truly are.
    Reclaiming my space was a favorite part-at home and eventually everywhere.
    It gets really interesting-an experiment of sorts.
    You’re still in there.

  • “Her behavior is highly abnormal as she hated cheaters, super promiscuous women, and open relationships at least when we first got together. Cut people out of her life for good over that kind of stuff.”

    Sadly, that behavior is very normal. All of that hating, all of that cutting people off, that was her trying to cut off the part of herself that wanted to act out. “Stuffing it” usually does not work.

  • “My going theory is that it may be bipolar disorder with hypersexuality. It was one of her searches, and she had come to me several times weeping saying I had married a broken person and that she needed therapy, but wouldn’t say why. ”

    reminds me of a girlfriend i had many, many years ago. she slept with other guys while we were together, too. loved to talk about her own mysterious sexuality. loved to hold pity parties about how misunderstood she was. drove me crazy, made me angry. i acted like an asshole, but eventually got out of there.

    let her go, dude. don’t go around trying to get information about what she’s up to, or how she is, since you split. she’s giving you a very clear message that she doesn’t want any more to do with you. lucky you don’t have kids together. you never have to see her again.

  • I’ve been thinking about writing Chump Lady but now I don’t have to because this could have been written by me – all of it. Except that I’m 49 with four kids 3-12 (that I got sole physical custody of, thankfully ♥️). It’s been 18 months of me trying to fix this (well 4 years really but 18 months since the physical affair started) with me being the only one actually trying, and her making empty promises and continuing to lie and cheat. She does it because she wants to and feels she deserves whatever she wants, no matter the cost. It’s become quite clear that this is her new baseline and it will never, ever get better than this.

    My therapist, our marriage counselor, everyone I know has been telling me to move on but I’ve been struggling with it because we have had almost 12 years together and she was my best friend for so long. But while I’m her friend she’s not my friend, not anymore. Friends don’t do that. Nobody would do that to someone they love and care about but she only cares about herself.

    I can’t tell you what to do because I’m still in the thick of it – divorce day isn’t until 3/12/20 because of the kids – but stand up for yourself. Despite my anguish I’ve made it to counseling every two weeks for a year and a half, filed for and received custody of the kids, even my autistic step-son who doesn’t need to grow up in that mess, talked to the lawyer, put all of the pieces in place.

    It’s not easy. My soul aches for her still and I have moments of severe doubt and weakness but she never fails to do something to remind me of why we’re breaking up. There are a million betrayals, so many that I lose track and am blindsided again when something reminds me. My therapist told me, just two days ago during a flare up of doubt and fear “If you let her come back this will be the rest of your life”. He’s right. So talk to friends and do your best for you. Easier said than done, I absolutely know that.

    Oh, btw: our marriage counselor, who has been working with us for 18 months now says it’s BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) for her. Our marriage is not going to fix itself and she’s not interested in putting in the work to make it happen. She’d like to be with me and have me support and take care of her while she continues to do “her” thing, she’d even be happy to throw me a little sugar when she feels like it, but she’ll never be the person I need, the person I fell in love with , so ‘no thank you’.

    Good luck ♥️
    It’s gonna hurt more. Everyone promises me that it gets better but there’s no avoiding the pain – you just have to keep pushing through it. I look forward to peace, you should too!

    • Bravo for you Alx for getting full custody and great support along the way to help you see the light and get out.

      Best of luck to you discovering yourself and raising those kiddos 🙂

  • Really uncomfortable with the Red Pill bullshit (Rational Male? Seriously? “Banging hot chicks,” and sweeping generalizations about women IN GENERAL, not just cheaters? Seriously? Yeah, we don’t do that here, gtfo with that Rollo Tomasi shit).

    I love hearing from guy chumps here, truly. Their unique experiences and challenges are enlightening, heartbreaking, courageous…I love when chumped men contribute here.

    But the Red Pill stuff is nasty. I hate that this post is bringing that crap in here.

    • Little Mighty Me, I hear you . The “banging hot women” comment sounded like my STBX and his poker pals when they got liquored up. Advocating sex to fix grief seem counterintuitive. It would be safer to masturbate and see a therapist. His comments objectified women.

      • The book recommendation upthread for The Rational Male by Rollo Tomasi is a huge red flag. The book is widely credited for much of the thinking and worldviews which accompany the Red Pill men’s movement, a movement which espouses that women naturally want to be dominated by alpha males. Red Pill advocates teaching men to be “alpha males” so they can attract as many women as possible for short-lived sexual flings. It also teaches men to lie, obfuscate, gaslight, or whatever other means necessary to maintain “alpha” status. It is a tenet of Red Pill philosophy that the peraon with the power in the relationship is the person who “cares least,” and advises men stop caring about their female partners, view them as needy children, and then learn to “imitate” caring so she buys into it and gives the man what he wants. Basically the opposite of what CN espouses. It is gross.

  • While you’re working on that gene-sequencing, please see if you can eradicate that ‘cheating gene.’ (Joking.)

    I’ve seen a few guys wring their hands over whether they could ever stay faithful because it was ‘in their genes.’ No, what they really learned from their forebears (cheater and chump) is entitlement and the expectation that there would be NO consequences.

    Love CL’s eagle-eyed assessment of ‘brokenness.’ But did cringe slightly at the comparison of relationship betrayal to the mass murders by white supremacists, despite the carnage left by both.

  • On the days I can see Tuesday at the end of the tunnel I know she left me at about the best possible time she could. It is hard though as you said. I grew up with this person, faced all the trials and tribulations of being on our own for the first time together. I thought she was my partner for life, my team mate, we built our lives from 19 and poor to 27 and middle class. So much history gone to waste. I was so excited to live out the fruits of our success together. Now I get to enjoy them for myself and eventually share them with a girl who will hopefully see my value.

  • Cline-

    There actually is no best possible time for her leaving. Ever.

    Because that was never the deal. Or agreement . Or the possibility.

    And the next girl? Girls are children. Share your future with a woman. Make a history with a woman.

    Good luck.

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