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Hope versus Hopium

I wrote once that chumps need to “bludgeon hope with a fencepost and operate with total lucidity.” Which doesn’t sound exactly hope friendly.

But I wanted to set the record straight today that I’m not against hope. It’s all about where you direct it.

Are you going to bet on yourself or are you going to bet on the potential of some grifter? Are you going to put your faith in a Higher Power, or that guy with 50 hooker profiles? Do you believe in your own moxie, or the transformative power of character transplants?

Today’s Fun Friday Challenge is to differentiate between hope (the good stuff) and hopium — a hallucinagenic drug that makes you see cheater progress where it doesn’t exist. WhoaIs that a unicorn?

A recap on hopium:

Hopium is a powerful drug. You can hand a chump the most desperate set of circumstances, and goddamn it, that chump will work with it. Let’s just give it a year! I owe it to us to try! Sure, I can ionize my needs into tiny, undetectable particles! You’ll never get a whiff of my anger, no sir!

Hopium says, sure you can leap off that tall building in a single bound, and not go splat on the pavement, because UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Hopium whispers, you’ll never lose a single sunk cost. Hopium exults, OMG he went to therapy! We’re good now! The Wizard of Therapy will give him a heart and we’ll click our ruby slippers and go back to our restored marriage!

Now let’s compare that to hope.

Hope says — I don’t know the future, but let’s bet on what I do know. I am resilient. I’ve got one hell of a work ethic. I give more than I get. I’m going to put those talents in service of myself and see where it leads me.

What do you suppose leads to better outcomes?

Let’s riff on this topic today, CN.


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  • Wow! I heard the line about giving it a year, wait, then it was two years. I replied, “I won’t be here in two years.”
    I’ve kicked the hopium habit. Sometimes there’s still a craving, an itch, but I’m strictly on hope now. I let go of so much and survived! I started over and am thriving! I am strong. I am independent.
    I thank God for you, Chump Lady. I found you at just the right time to begin identifying the bullshit being fed to me and be able to say, no thank you. It was scary, it was hard, it was insomnia inducing, but I did it!!
    Much love and good wishes to all.
    H.O.P.E. – – Hold on, pain ends.

  • Hopium: she’s got those sad eyes, she was in pain, she was in midlife crisis, she understands now, the pain she caused, to me, to the kids, to herself. She’ll wake up. She’ll come back and see that I improved. Our family will be whole again.

    Hope: I’ll get over it, I’ll detoxify myself, I’ll maintain No Contact, I’ll be the sane parent, I’ll heal and then I’ll find someone worthy of my love and I’ll be the best version of myself for her, and my kids, and myself.

      • Well I’ve only been no contact for five days so you know… I think I get the theory I only need to practise.

        More seriously I’m so pissed off at my X that I can’s stand to see her face or hear her voice. I only answer texts when it’s absolutely necessary (i.e. I need to answer an actual question about kids or logistics.) When I drop the kids at her house I actually drop them a block off. I give them a big hug and I let them walk to her door. And when she drops them I just try to not look at her in her eyes. It’s probable that my kids (4 boys, from 2 to 11 years old) feel that’s something’s wrong. On the other hand she left me so I think they reckon something’s wrong 😛

        And thank you to you both for your support!

        • Francois, I feel for you…similar situation for me, just trying to find the strength to officially end my marriage. I think it’s especially hard for men to let go of their family and so we hold on to hope that it will be whole again. The truth is, the women we married are gone and they are never coming back. Stay strong, I wish you the best!!!

          • Thank you to you both! This support is invaluable.
            peacekeeper: I’m sad for my boys. They didn’t ask for any of this. But they’re lovely! And I sleep much better when they’re home than when they aren’t.
            Chumpwurst: I agree. I think I’m lucky compared to other dads, I have my kids 50/50 (for now, until my X flips out and sues me for full custody – for now our process is “amicable”.) And already I feel like my kids are stolen from me. On the other hand I’m actually proud I’m able to take care of them alone, when they’re home.

            I wish you all the best as well, strength, confidence, happiness

            • Congrats on having the courage to do detoxify, be the sane parent, and stay no contact. It’s courage, not hope. Hope would be wishing. Courage is action.

              • Thank you. Let’s say I hope I won’t run out of courage! Seriously I see what you mean. It sucks that I have to be the sane, courageous one but it’s my responsibility as a father. I never was really tested by life but now is the time. It just mightily sucks that the test comes from my wife.

        • Ah Francois,your posts melt my heart. Four sons! You are blessed there! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
          Stay strong. You already are the present, sane, loving parent.
          You are a giant of a man/father in my eyes, in CN’s eyes, and no doubt, in the eyes of your precious Children!
          (I am so sorry for all your pain).

          • Well thank you peacekeeper. I love CN. In this difficult times I feel at home, it’s comforting. If you’re here you must be in pain as well and I’m sorry for you.

        • Brother I’m sorry. I’m 18 months out from discard and 3 years from Dday. I will give some advice from what I did wrong. Don’t be afraid to tell your kids what happened. Not details but that mom left because she didn’t love me anymore. I made the mistake of letting the narrative “we just weren’t nice to each other” play out. That shit doesn’t make sense, especially when they see mom acting not the sane parent. You don’t need to bash their mother but when I finally told my kids what happened it was a HUGE relief to them because it finally made sense. This shit is hard, don’t leave it up to the person who blew it up to lay out the narrative. BTW, I’m already 6 months divorced and I still have the same feelings you have but I’m getting stronger and better. Hang in there!!!!

          • I also informed my kids that (in my situation, he left me to be with OW):
            – Daddy was no longer happy being with Mommy.
            – Daddy felt he would be happier living somewhere else.
            – Mommy is really sorry that Daddy was not happy and regretful that it did not work for Daddy to stay.
            – Daddy is always happy when he is with you and loves the time you are at his house
            – Daddy still loves you. He will always love you.
            – I love you and I will always love you.
            – Daddy and I will always work together to make sure that you have what you need.
            – It is okay to feel sad. Mommy feels sad to.
            – It is always okay to talk to Mommy about what you feel and ask Mommy any questions that you have.
            – It is okay to talk to Daddy and tell him how you feel and ask him questions.
            – When someone we love does something wrong, we cannot make them stop if they don’t want to. What we can do is pray for them so that they learn how to be people who make good choices again.
            – We always love Daddy. When we love someone, we want good things for them.
            – No, I will never stop loving you, even when you do something wrong. But, because I love you, I will always expect that you learn to do better.

            When they asked about the “other lady”:
            – Daddy felt that he would be happier with the other lady than with Mommy.
            – What Daddy does with the other lady on his own time is Daddy’s business.
            – Have lots of fun with Daddy when you are with him. Enjoy your time.
            – It is okay to ask Daddy questions and tell him how you feel.
            – It is okay to talk to Mommy if you feel you don’t want to ask Daddy, but Mommy won’t always know the answers.
            – It is not okay for husbands and wives to have inappropriate friendships with other men or woman.
            – Inappropriate friendships are ones that make you tell lies to your husband or wife, makes you keep secrets, makes you feel love for the friend that should be the love you keep only for your husband/wife.

            I think that sums it up.

            • One still told me they feared if they were not submissive to mom, she would “leave them too”. They were 18 years old. I can only imagine the fear a little one feels.

            • There is some very important advise here, thanks to both of you. I don’t talk too much to my kids about this. Actually very little. I’m concerned about this. They saw me cry, they saw me yell at their mother, punch a door, get very sick. I don’t want to disguise the truth but they are very young and it’s their mother were talking about. What do you conclude from the fact that one of your parents betrays the other? That’s necessarily fucked up. I don’t to handle that.

              • Francois–I think that despite them seeing you angry and sick, they see you rebuilding a life for them and creating stability for them. That is what REAL LOVE is.

              • Francois,
                What you said in your very first post, about HOPE. Do that, follow that Francois.
                Simple terms to say to your children when they ask, the facts, appropriate for their age, at the time.
                Read the archives of CL,CN. Follow the advice of Chumps in similar situations. Experience lives here. Healing does too.
                Make sure to talk to someone who totally understands you, who supports you. Counselling for you and for your children would be very helpful.
                Also be kind to yourself. You did nothing wrong. Always remember that.
                Life can be very difficult. Easier to face when a family consists of a loving wife/mother, husband/father, children. So many times, for one reason or another, the family unit is broken. We can still strive to do the very best we can each day.
                You are never alone. Other Chumps understand.
                You are an amazing, loving father.
                Stay strong!

            • Love most of these but not the daddy/ mummy still loves you one. That is up to the absent parent to prove to them. If the parent really loved them their actions would have been different ( working on relationship not having an affair) and would still be difficult ( not moving 4 hours away to be with ow and seeing children every couple of months).

              Francois – my children are also young ( 4 under 10). I speak to them about it in an age appropriate way. I don’t bad mouth him or tell them he didn’t want to parent but equally it isn’t my job to cover for his actions. I say we had problems in the relationship and daddy decided he loved someone else and decided he wanted to leave. I reassure them that it was not their fault and it wasn’t anything they did. I facilitate contact where possible but I don’t cover for him if eg they phone him and he’s drunk .

            • When sharing details with children, I think it is best to stick to brief statements. Keep from editorializing and definitely don’t take on the role of telling your children how the other parent feels about them. I also wouldn’t tell children how they should feel about the other parent.

              My kids were older and new about the affair and their dad leaving for the AP. I told them “your dad is no longer capable of being the husband I need him to be. I hope someday he can again be the father you need him to be.”

              I also wouldn’t hide the affair regardless of age. “When I married your dad, we agreed that meant we don’t date other people. He decided he wants to date someone else, so we can no longer be married.”

              • I hear what some are saying about not pushing the feelings of the other parent or the children’s feelings for the other parent. It was something I had to think through to arrive at a decision about how to handle.

                Given the age of my children (not yet tweens), I knew I had to be careful that I didn’t provide ammunition for my ex to claim parental alienation. I knew that if I told the kids that “Daddy still loves you” (and I do believe he does in the best way he knows how – whether that’s enough for my children is up to them to determine in the years to come), I would be able to defend myself if I were ever accused of alienation (which almost occurred this summer but was tempered). I also felt that encouraging the children to love their Daddy was my way of assuring the children that I wasn’t pressuring them not to love their Daddy. It was a means of assuring them that it’s okay to love their Daddy, I’m not expecting them to take sides.

                However, I completely understand the position that it’s not my job to assure my children their father loves them or to nurture the kids’ relationship with their father. That’s on him. I don’t anticipate that I will be doing this much longer as the kids grow older and now that the legal separation has been signed (divorce to be filed soon).

                In the meantime, I am making a real point of modelling and teaching morals and values. Topics like what is mature love, how do we show respect in relationships, how to communicate our feelings, what is lying (and keeping secrets is a form of lying), etc. I’m laying the foundation for when they are older. For now, my kids understand that their father cheated and that there was a “lady” that he had an inappropriate relationship. I expect that all the dots will align in the years to come. This is a marathon.

                Francois – I’m proud that you felt empowered to have the conversation with your children and hope that it went well for you and for them. It’s not a one off, just a starting point that you can reinforce any time they raise the topic. The real win is that it builds a more open and honest relationship between you and your children.

    • It’s amazing Francois, I think exactly the same as you on so many levels; our situation is very similar.
      Your post hit the nail on the head.

    • Francois,

      You’re way ahead of the curve, having found CL and CN so soon. I’m so sorry for what you and your kids are going through. As I’ve mentioned before, my FW XW left me at home w/our then 11 yo son (two older daughters were of college age). Explaining what their mother had done to me and our family was ugly. I wish I had had all this sage advice back then. The kids are ok (I think), but it was a VERY bumpy ride on and after D-day. All the stuff about telling the kids about what their mother did in age appropriate language is great. It just can be hard to do. But again, you’ve gotten this info early, so I really hope it helps you.

      It’s going to take you awhile if you’re like me and many of the people on this site to get that separation in your head and your heart from your STBXW. Again, I wish you better luck than me. When I thought of my then so-called wife, I always thought of that scene from “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” where they read the W.H. Auden poem “Funeral Blues” (w/gender corrections, that is). As in, “She was my North, my South, my East and West…”

      I, too, was royally pissed at my FW XW for single-handedly deciding our love and marriage was over, but w/out telling me before she embarked on an affair w/her current partner, her former boss. Then I fell into the pick-me dance. Don’t follow my example. It took me six months just to start to realize that maybe I was better off w/out her. I’d started out as friends w/her in high school. We bonded (w/embarrassment and awkwardness) over When Harry Met Sally. Two friends who become lovers, then marry. It seemed written in the stars to me. Who knew I was going to be similar to Harry when he finds out Mr. Zero the mover knew about his wife’s lack of love before he did.

      I understand about dropping the kids a block off from the the STBXW. W/me, it was the opposite. I wouldn’t let her drop off our son when her partner was w/her unless it was a block away from the house. Now, I’ve relaxed enough to allow the POS AP to drop him off at my house so long as I’m not at home. Progress, eh?

      As you go through preparing for divorce, listen to a lot of the advice here. Get a lawyer, if for no other reason than to protect yourself. Get yourself a rock-solid support group, that is there to TRULY support you, and allow you to vent. You’ll need it, as you can’t do it to your kids and coworkers (ok, if you’ve got good coworkers, maybe a little, but don’t wear out your welcome). Also, if you get to divorce stipulations w/the lawyer, make sure the holidays and schedules work to your favor as much as possible.

      That sounds obvious, but it’s only just now that I’m realizing that my lawyer never talked w/me about maximizing my holiday time w/my son for the next five years. As in, trying to make sure the alternating dates gave me the majority of time w/my son by at least one more of each holiday than his mother. I feel that would have been a good thing to go over, as well as maximizing the ability to take tax deductions through my son (I’m the one struggling to provide right now, not his mother, w/her rich AP).

      Get it into your being, as soon as you’re able, what Chumpwurst said: The women (people) we married are gone and they’re never coming back. My two daughters told me back at Easter that their mother had changed. They could tell. I will wait until they are older than 25 yo to be open to discussing w/them that actually, their mother is probably the same person she has been all along. She just has chosen to let the mask drop, again (she did it to her former boyfriend when she left him for me. I was just too blind w/love to see the red flags.

      The FW XW can’t seem to stop repeating this immature behavior throughout her life. That’s her problem, like your STBXW’s. Not ours. We may not have been perfect spouses, but those don’t exist. We loved fully. It’s up to the cheaters to work on themselves. If they can find the strength, which is doubtful.

      I also really loved CalGal1’s saying (altering it slightly): your mom/dad is no longer capable of being the wife/husband I need her/him to be. I hope someday she/he can again be the mother/father you need him to be.” This is fantastic. I may have to trot this out w/my kids in the future.

      So, Francois, I’ll be thinking of you and your boys, and I’m wishing you, your sons, and all of us on this wonderful site PEACE in dealing w/the horror of all these traitorous bastards and their acts against us. Were we all really that bad, that our relationships were so untenable that our so-called partners and spouses had to fuck us over (literally) w/these affairs in order to escape? NO. My FW XW said she “had to know if she could make the leap,” after almost 25 years of marriage. I’ve come to realize that was just bullshit on her part. It’s the easiest thing in the world to “make the leap.” It requires so much more strength to be loyal and trustworthy. The truth? She and those like her were just TOO WEAK.

      • Thank you for your post and your support. I agree with you 100%. A common friend of my X and me once told me she found courage in my X’s decision to leave me. I answered true courage would have been to stay and solve our problems.

        I have a lawyer since the beginning. Right now the process is amicable but I’m as ready as I can be if it goes south. I remember when I was disgusted to have to prepare a legal fight with the woman I love in ‘deceit’ (that’s how I felt it in the beginning). Now I know she’s been planning her exit for a long time, I feel totally ok with how I manage the separation. That is to say: extra cold.

  • Hopium:
    Waiting for him to “choose the right thing”
    Now that we have no contact, looking up court data to see if I can find any criminal activity from him so I can feel better about “leaving him”
    Imagining him walking into wherever I am and just casually catching up
    Hanging out in his area of town in hopes we will run into each other

    Moving the savings into different accounts
    Changing the passwords to certain accounts
    When I move countries next summer
    Re-branding memories or moments: going back to places or starting new habits that replace old ones with him.
    Being open to dating someone else eventually, but only once I am sure that I feel whole and if they leave me as well I will be ok again on my own
    Making sure we have no more ties

    • Inlightofgrief

      Yes, the hopium after discard is grieving the loss and their actions certainly leave us in limbo for awhile as we seek answers, closure even. I was told after 41 years that a needy drug addicted crazed bar whore with a history of multiple arrests wouldn’t like it if he spoke to me. It’s painful as hell. Thanks to the support from this mighty nation I too said NO to hopium. It saved my life. You’re on the right track fighting for yourself and taking the right steps. Indeed it’s a battle to take care of you own needs despite the pain which is finite.

      Narco, the Limited was always ‘wishing’. Paired with blame shifting he was and never will be satisfied as it was always about the thrill of the chase as he stated after I filed.

      As broken as I was that small ounce of hope led me to seeking a therapist and finding Tracy. It was here where I found hope and it grew through my actions and gave me the strength to fight for myself. Hope is trusting in something. Trusting that the Limited sucked was the first step. Trusting oneself is facing the unknown. That’s scary as hell.

      I’ve honored the cowards ‘wish’ of not speaking to him for over five years despite having three adult children and adult grandchild. His attempts have been covert through triangulation, manipulation, and as always playing the victim. Don’t care. Wish granted.

  • Hopium: “The fact that she came to me with a request for an open marriage first, before acting in a destructive way, tells me that the love and respect we promised to each other is still in place, and that’s the most important thing. As long as there’s that, we can work through anything.”

    Hope: “The fact I trusted her enough to be that vulnerable tells me that I learned the lesson of ‘how to love and honor someone’ well. Just because I was burned badly doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do It any differently, because I don’t know any other way to be ‘all in’ when I commit to someone. As long as there’s that, I know that the possibility of another relationship exists, even if it never happens.”

  • * raises hand*

    Hi, I’m Crabby Blogging Lady, and I’m a hopium addict.

    Kicked the habit 18 months ago. I still need my support group and CL therapy, but I havent turned back.


    • Hopium IS like an addiction. At least it is for me. Even today, almost a year to the day I went to court and divorced him, when I hear something about him that seems at odd with the way he was at the end of our marriage, I think, “I wonder if he’s changed.” Then I think, in rapid succession, “Nah. He hasn’t.” [they don’t change; trust that he sucks], and, “Even if he has, and even if he asked, I wouldn’t go back to that marriage.”

      For me, hopium is based on the fantasy that they’ll change, despite evidence to the contrary, while hope is based on faith that we’ll be ok, sustained by our knowledge of our qualities.m Hopium holds you back; hope propels you forward. And sinking into hopium robs you of the faith in yourself that you need to go forward.

      • So true Adelante. They don’t change. It’s important to examine our staying power as chumps. It was fueled slowly as inch my inch the goalposts moved. And to combat our doubt a breadcrumb came our way just in time to doubt ourselves.

  • I am becoming more and more OK about all of my sunken costs in 42 years of marriage. CL made me realize how addictive, destructive and just plain USELESS hopium is.

    Hope: that my sons finally get over their huge disappointment and truly understand what being a decent human being is.

    • ClearWaters,

      I’ve finally accepted the sunk costs I incurred with my 40-year marriage. Even if I’d stuck it out for 50 years, he still would not have been faithful, respectful or assigned value to me; it simply would have meant that 10 more years of my OWN life had been tossed overboard into the abyss.

      Whenever I’m tempted to think I “wasted“ 40 years of my life on him, I’m reminded to be grateful it wasn’t 40 years + 1 day.

      • MyRedSandals, that’s a good way to look at it: “grateful it wasn’t 40 years + 1 day”! I find that really helpful. Thank you.

        • Yes Attie, RedSandals’ view indeed helps.

          I shudder when I think about still being with cheater. And you know what? I KNOW it pisses him off as well as mystifies him that all of a sudden I stopped pick-me dancing. I had just read LACGAL when that happened.

      • I gave my XW 10 days short of 24 years. I like your viewpoint. I am glad it wasn’t 9 days short of 24 years!

      • I agree. That’s a really useful way to look at it. I found out at 32 years, left at 35 years, divorced, a year ago, at 36 years. When friends used to say to me that I now had the opportunity to remake my life If used to correct them and say “No, Now I have to remake my life.” But now, just under a year from the divorce, and retired, I’m beginning to see it their way. I sat on the couch last night watching the fire in the fireplace, and thinking, “I’m happy.” I am so glad I didn’t spend one more day with him than I did!

  • Hopium – I’ve supported him through an admission to a psych ward, losing his career, cheating and beating surely there is no need to lie, surely he’ll now be honest..

    Hope – that I can invest all that time, positivity and support into me now to get that great job and create an honest, fun, loving home for my boys and I!

  • When my husband asked me to leave, I was addicted to hopium for a few years. I didn’t believe in myself. I believed I was the worthless miserable creature that was to blame for everything. But it was HOPE that got me through. As more opportunities came for me to clear my head, laugh, and see my worth, I began to heal from all the abuse and see it for what it was. One day there was a tipping point, and I saw us both for who we really were. I’ve not needed or wanted hopium since.

  • Hopium: The Astros are going to win the next 4 games straight. That airplane ride will give them the coordination needed to actually connect a bat with a ball.

    Hopium: There’s always next year. I actually like college football anyway.

    • Super Duper, I watched an 18-inning Giants playoff game….bottom of the 9th, two strikes….the whole game turned around….18 innings total and the Giants went on the win the WS….hopium is necessary in baseball!!!

    • 2004 Red Sox. Down 3 games in the ALCS against the Yankees. Won four games straight and swept the Cards in the WS!! There is no place for Hopium with cheaters but sometimes its alive and well in sports.

    • How well I know. I’m a Michigan Chump, so I smoked the Hopium pipe from birth. Go Lions!!!!!

      Maybe that’s why I was such a hopeless Chump but now I ROAR!!!

      • I remember in the 80’s when Oklahoma was playing Oklahoma State. Barry Switzer told his defense that he wanted Thurman Thomas taken out of the game.

        And….they did it.

        Oklahoma State then replaced him with an unknown freshman kid named Barry Sanders…..LOL.

        • Barry was my hero, and I cried the day he retired so early!!!

          My dog (never had one before, but one of my angels told me I should get one for my son the summer of 2016 the same time my Ex began his whatever # affair, and now she’s my lifesaver) is named Hanson for my aboslute favorite Lion of all time–Janson Hanson.

          My divorce was final on my 25 wedding anniversary in May 2018, I lost my mom in November 2017 & my dad died in May 2018. It was without a doubt, the worst time of my life. At Christmas, a friend of my 22-year old daughter was over and I invited her to stay for dinner. Her mother had died of breast cancer on her 18th birthday. She told me she had a gift for me. She had been in a class at her university and was talking with a fellow student. He said his dad played professional sports but was now retired. She put two and two together, and discovered he was the son of Janson. She told him about me and he had his father autograph a photo of my dog. Reeciving that gift was the moment I knew I would have joy in my life again. And I ended up taking up crocheting and made her a scarf which she loves!!!

    • Hopium: England can beat New Zealand tomorrow in the rugby world cup semi-finals (NZ are the favourites).

      Hope: Why the hell not!

  • HOPE stands for Hold On Pain Ends. As in, when you leave a cheater and gain a life.

    HOPIUM stands for Hold On, People, I Underestimated Him! He’s Only Potentially an Infidel who’s Uninterested In Marriage!

    I am choosing the finite pain of leaving. When gambling to win, always pick the better odds. I have no more time to waste on a person to whom wedding vows mean nothing.

  • Hopium : two and 1/2 years denial and 6 months bargaining. He couldn’t hurt me this badly. He couldn’t blow up our life. A 2nd or 3rd marriagecounselor will help fix us.

    Hope: hoping to reach anger and pass through it quickly. Hoping not to need 10 years to recover from 30 year relationship. Hoping I can make a new family of some sort.

  • Hopium- We’ve been married 20 years, surely he won’t cheat on me any more. We’ve moved to a different country, I’ve taken over the bread winning and bill paying, surely he’ll be more calm, love me and stop abusing me and the kids now that all the stress is off of him.

    Hope- I can make it on my own, I have proven that over and over. I don’t need anyone to fix things for me, or protect me or take care of me since I have had to that all by myself for 20 years. I may lose half of my pension, but I will be fine without a money-sucking, cheater in my life.

    • Chumped to the Max, that’s is almost my story too. We moved so many times so that he could “be happy”. Never have to do it again and find a job (for me) so that I can make his dream happen. I’m back in France where I always wanted to be and I no longer have him sucking the life out of our finances. Yeah, he can keep living by the airport under the flight path and close to mommy in PA!

  • Hopium: Maybe the cheater is right about me and if I just make me better I will be desirable and worthy.

    Hope: I AM desirable and worthy and anyone who can’t see that, including this cheater, isn’t desirable to me or worthy of my gifts. Truth is as truth does, and a person who values me won’t deceive and
    otherwise willfully harm me. So, buh bye cheater, hello new and better life!

    • Thank you Ami. I needed so badly to read this right now. Same. Working on the hope part, but def not puffing the hopium anymore.

  • The difference between hopium and hope is like the difference between dunking someone in a vat of Drakkar Noir (hopium) and putting on ONE dab of a light fragrance (hope).

    Hopium blares and makes empty promises.

    Hope beckons and encourages.

  • First level hopium (now shattered); “I hope cheater can stop compulsive lying and blame shifting and show empathy to me.”
    – pfsht. Gone.
    Fragmented, second tier hopium: “I sure hope cheater stops his lying and blame shifting so our kids, can at some point, can actually have a dad.”

    Hopium just shifted. Hopium is shifty like that.

    • Oh! I forgot the second part:

      Hopium: Realizing that in the past I was not safe in my own home, with my words, communications, actions and general life, due to cheater cropping and pasting emails, secretly voice recording me, threatening me with about 24 diagnosis of how abusive, addicted or a bad person I was.

      I had the relationship dangled in front of me for 10 years. I was not safe in my own home. I hoped he would stop doing these oddball things. Hyper-vigilance.

      My HOPE: I have a new place to roost that is a safe, comfortable place for me to be.
      Grafting that security into my future.
      90+ year old house.. do I ever flinch being alone at night and going into the MI basement? Hell naw, any ghost I might meet down there is a joke by comparison.

      Will never hand over my emotional safety again.

        • Me too. I’m one thousand times safer living in my home on my own than I ever was with that violent dickhead living here.

          • Ahhh, feeling safe is the best part of my new life. X was a big “bad” biker dude. When we walked thru stores or other places together, the thugs would move out of the way.
            I felt safe with him. Little did I realize at the time that the threat was from within. He proved over and over HE WAS the monster.
            Now the house and property are all mine and I am truly safe all alone with my dog.

  • Ex-wife’s first AP (that I’m sure of) committed suicide when his wife was going to leave him. She didn’t have any proof, but was fed up with his erratic behavior. I didn’t have proof until she admitted to it years later.

    Hopium was there offering it’s numb and fuzzy embrace right after AP killed himself. It whispered “If there was really an affair, then you don’t have to worry about it any more. Plus that’ll teach her a lesson about how bad affairs could actually be. She’ll never try that shit again!”

    I should have listened to hope when it screamed “Get out now! You know something was going on; you’re not that stupid. A man wouldn’t kill himself just because he was flirting! You don’t have hardly any shared finances! You can make an easy clean break!”.

    Nope, I listened to hopium and was proven wrong. She did have an emotional and a physical affair later. Believe it or not, she claimed that telling me about the first affair finally unburdened her soul. This is what she says allowed her to have the other affairs.

    You read that right. Her other affairs were only possible because I insisted on knowing the truth.

    • Holy crap, Sweet Potato. If this story of how screwed up cheaters are doesn’t teach us how screwed up cheaters are, and that we should get away from them, I don’t know what would. He’s cheating, and kills himself when his wife finds out and leaves? People don’t cheat BECAUSE of marriage problems; when people cheat they ARE the marriage problem.

      I need to remember this one. This is the epitome of insanity.

      Thanks for sharing this.

      • The OM’s wife didn’t have any proof. She had plenty of suspicions; so did I. However, his wife tried to catch my wife (at the time) and her husband in the act (he was her boss).

        It all got serious when OM’s wife snuck into the office to try to catch them. She caught them flirting but zero physical contact. She then got caught trying to sneak out. Chaos ensued. His wife demanded to know the truth. Neither of them would say anything and his wife gets angry. Finally he says that all that happened was he once “forced a kiss” on my wife.

        OM’s wife leaves. OM leaves and discovers that his wife had already drained the bank account and packed her bags. She was leaving even if she didn’t have proof (I should have taken lessons from her).

        OM waits for his wife at their home (where her packed bags are). Writes his note. Kills himself when she walks in the door.

        I had got a call right before I got off work. It was right after the confrontation happened. Ex wanted me to come home because she was scared. I told her to lock the door and call the police if OM wife showed up. I came in a little bit later and several people were already at my place. They explained about the suicide.

        The thing that is truly sick to me is that my ex asked me over and over, “Do you think I had anything to do with him wanting to commit suicide?”.

        I still don’t know how to process why she wanted the chump in the dark to reassure her that she didn’t have anything to do with it, when she absolutely knew that she did. There was a formal inquiry. Ex kept her job. They determined she should have reported her bosses erratic behavior, but didn’t do anything wrong because she was “unaware of the severity of his mental state”.

        Only years later, when I discovered some other red flags, did she admit that they had an affair. She refused to give any details until a couple more years later. That was only after I discovered proof of the most recent ones.

        • Holy crap. Your XW was quite a piece of work.

          I mean…in some ways I think OM’s wife got the better end of the deal. No further mind-fucking. No chance of sharing custody.

          I hope you are as far away from her emotionally, if not physically, as possible.

          • Not far enough physically due to a child, but I’m finally in a pretty good spot emotionally. Occasionally I get proof of why she still sucks, I feel a brief wave of emotion, I label whatever the manipulation is (gaslighting, invalidation, etc), roll my eyes, document it, and let it go. It becomes one more minor blip on a long list of things that prove she sucks.

            I talked to the OM’s wife a few years after the suicide (before I had a confession). She had struggled with everything for years, but believed her husbands mental health just finally got the best of him. She thought my ex was just naive and got swept up in it without realizing it was as serious as it was.

            I still struggle with if it would be a good idea to tell her the truth after all these years. If she’s made peace with not knowing, then I’d be opening up some really traumatic old wounds. However, I’d want validation that my gut was right, no matter how long it had been.

            • That is very tough. You could reach out to her and ask if she wants more information about her husband at that time or not.

              Personally, I believe in getting accurate information. Otherwise I am stuck believing a lie. Possibly a very pretty or comforting one, but a lie nevertheless.

              She may feel differently, or maye she will want to know and it will confirm something she long suspected.

              At the very least you no longer have to lie to cover up for your wife and her public persona. If so, it may get back to his wisow anyway.

              Not a fun corner.

              Meanwhile, I hope you and the kids are doing well. I hope your ex-wife has gum disease.

        • OMG, that is some messed-up drama. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I expect I may hear someday of death being linked to X. Either his or someone he’s involved with. My daughter went so far as to warn the woman he’s currently living with.
          The pain these jerks spread is astonishing.

        • They sure do leave a trail of devastation in their wake, don’t they?

          The amazing thing isn’t even so much that she had the affair – I can almost imagine getting caught up in something like that without appreciating its seriousness – but that after she saw how much destruction it caused she went back and did it again. It’s as if the problem wasn’t that she didn’t *know* that other people would be injured by her behavior, but that she didn’t *care* that other people would be injured by her behavior…

          I’m pretty sure my XW had a starter affair while we were on sabbatical, that was eventually discovered by the other wife and caused a divorce. Not nearly as dramatic as your story, and I never got an admission so I don’t know for sure, but in retrospect all the signs are there. I think she learned from her experience that *she* could get away with it (never mind what happened to *him*), so she started casting about in earnest for her next monkey branch. I sometimes idly wonder whether her AP (now current husband) is aware of her past history and just thinks it won’t happen to him, or if she’s kept it all hidden and he thinks he’s the first person she’s cheated with.

          • I think you’re exactly right. His suicide taugh my ex-wife that she was capable of getting away with it. Plus it reenforced her drive to make sure her public persona was squeaky clean, rainbows and sunshine, always willing to help Christian. I had many co-workers and church members approach me to say, despite any rumor to the contrary, my ex simply wasn’t capable of being unfaithful.

            It all got chalked up to a stressed boss who stopped taking his medication for his mental problems. Then when his delusions of seducing his subordinate didn’t work out and his wife was going to leave, he killed himself.

            However, for me, it never added up. I saw too many inconsistencies.

          • I think your ex got off on the idea that the OM killed himself over “her”. It’s the ultimate kibble for a narc. All subsequent affairs will pale in comparison. If I were the wife who had to witness my husband’s suicide, I don’t think I could be at peace with so many unanswered questions. I would want to know my grief was caused by the actions of two people and they were not victims. But I see your moral dilemma. I am so sorry this happened to you.

            • She did tell me something along the lines of “there wasn’t a day that went by that, when I looked in the mirror, I’d hate myself for what I did”. When she told me that it made sense on one hand. However, she certainly hid it well. Plus there was years where she could have confessed to someone…anyone, about it.

              She was always into these tragic romance stories and this definitely fit that narrative. She was a bit depressed for just a couple of weeks. Then I remember her mood snapped back to rainbows and sunshine seemingly overnight.

              Reading through the lines of what she said about it, I definitely know she thought about it every day for many years. I stopped trying to untangle her skein of fuckupidness a long time ago. However, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if she truly got a power trip off of it.

  • Hopium; “If I can just get through to him how much pain he’s caused and how desperately he needs to change and develop empathy and ethics, he will.”

    Hope; “He’s aware. He just doesn’t care. I can only change ME. I must learn to give up on lost causes and forge a new life which contains only people who actually, demonstrably, do care.”

    • This is very close to the dynamic I lived for years with the exception that he never considered what I was experiencing long enough that I would ever describe him as being “aware” he spent all of his time in the “doesnt care” camp.

  • I never had any hopium he just packed and left and has ghosted me ever since . There was no point in having any i knew then as i know now i will never see or hear from him ever again .

    I HOPE though that once i am over the pain I will get some sort of life back ( i have no idea what that life will be like ) but i hope i am happy & healthy . I HOPE to meet a new partner one day as i have a lot of love and kindness to give .
    I HOPE everyone on CN lives they life they want – cheater free

  • This is Amazing! And what I did a few years back. I feel for my kids with the endless back and forth visits but in my home they see stability and peace 🙂 And they see a responsible parent!

  • Hopium: Everybody has flaws. I don’t want to be one of the characters on Seinfeld, forever alone because I’m looking for some mythically-unflawed person. I’m sure a lot of other husbands are worse. If I just swallow this bad behavior, this pressure to make bad financial choices, this never having a job, this STD uncovered during routine testing for my pregnancy, this drunk driving, these demands for luxury items, this temper tantrum, this staying out ’til 3am, he’ll truly love me, right? He’ll eventually see how much I support him and be so glad he has a Cool Wife and not one of those Nagging Wives. Oh please, I’ll do anything to be seen as a Cool Wife! This could be my last chance to be with someone.

    Hope: I have always played by the rules, and done well for myself before this, even with little resources. I have an education and a good job. I’ve got a supportive family, and I absolutely *love* alone time. I live in a country where I won’t be (very) ostracized socially or economically for being a single mom, compared to many other places in the world. I don’t have much money right now, but I feel a tinge of hope that it will grow REALLY quickly once I don’t have to cover his costs anymore. If right now I’m doing literally 100% of the breadwinning and 100% of the child care outside of daycare and 100% of the household tasks, what do I have to lose?

    [Several years later, I’m SO glad I finally listened to Hope. Things are very rosy on this side of the breach, y’all.]

    • Chumptastic, I’m right with you. It’s amazing how so many of our stories are the same and yet we think we’re the only ones going through it isn’t it. STD – check. Bad financial choices – check. Drunk driving – check – it just bloody goes on and on!

  • Pretty sure hope and hopium mostly went out the window together for me.

    To the extent that the concept of hope lingers, it’s for insignificant things, like hoping it doesn’t rain this weekend, or it’s shorthand for communicating general warmth, like hoping your birthday is glorious.

    Otherwise, nope to hope. Anything of substance that I want to have happen is going to be a matter of planning, thought, and elbow grease.

    Chance loveliness often happens, and is met with delight and gratitude, but hope is passive—a powerless yearning tinged with sadness.

    I don’t want to hope for healing, a better future, or peace. Doing the things that leads to those outcomes? Yes.

    • I get what you are saying and I agree…
      I WAY overdid the hopium when he was alive and hope went out the window when he died.

      I now live “a life of what is” much more than what “can possibly be”.

      My RIGHT NOW is the best life I have ever had and I appreciate every minute of it.

  • There’s an analogy to ice skating outdoors in the winter – you can have all the faith in the world that the ice won’t break, but it doesn’t make it true. It won’t help you at all.

    The key is: You need to have faith in the *right* thing.

    Faith in the pond that has been known to freeze over 5 inches thick every winter? Yes! Faith in the big lake with a river running through it that lots of people have fallen into while trying to ice-fish? Not so much.

  • Hopium-not much to say about it other than it kept me stuck for 3 years after dday. I picked me dance prettier on hopium and wasted my precious life.

    Hope-Being able to take the first step into the abyss of the unknown and instead of fearing it; hoping it meant that everything was wide open now. I could do whatever I wanted as long as I spent my time and energy on me instead of the coward I was wasting my time on during wreckconciliation. Hope and hard work paid out. Hopium, not so much!

  • Hopium : An intact family is the most important thing, he will see the light, he will feel true remorse for what he did to me and the children. He brings me flowers and pies, it proves he cares deep down.

    Reality: My sanity and self respect are my foundation. Without them I have zero quality of life.
    The fuckwit does not deserve to call me his wife. At all. No amount of image management on his part can ever counter the knife in my back. I am free of ever being played by him again.

  • Hopium, thinking ex will grow up, take responsibility. Stop acting like a cookie bitch.
    Hope, realised you can only make yourself happy, you can’t make another adult act decency.
    Ex asked me to feel sorry for ow, about her being abused as a child. (when in reality I was abused as a child) she lied about it.
    Reality they are both shit.
    He asked her to stop hanging around, we split up 6 years ago.
    Apparently someone got pregnant, obviously not me. I forgot about the sti’s

  • Hopium: I’ll pretend the Ativans, the pliers, the nipple numbing gel and the Adore Me lingerie (which is not my size) in his “traveling for work” bag are some kink he’s nervous about asking me about, but wants to be prepared for in case I randomly express an interest in it some day.

    Hope: There are good guys who don’t keep emergency stockpiles of Ativan, pliers, nipple numbing gel and lingerie in travel for work bags.

    • Gawd, you should have a chat with your local police office about him. The Ativan part worries me the most, he may be drugging women and assaulting them! He is sick, sick, sick.

        • Sorry, but I think it is a bit of your problem. His travel bag sounds like a torture kit – do you know all his APs knew he was married? All consented (to pliers)? Where did he get Ativan, it’s a controlled substance, only available on prescription? Coupled with alcohol, it can be lethal. I agree with Mitz.

          • No, it isn’t my problem. What, you expect me to file a police report on something I found 3 years ago?

            I don’t give a flying fuck about his APs. If they didn’t consent, they can file charges against him.

            I’m divorced, he doesn’t live with me, and I have no knowledge of his prescriptions. He kept a whole lot of his life hidden from me, and I am certainly not going to start playing Nancy Drew now.

            • I think what they’re saying is that you should have gone to the authorities 3 years ago. My gawd this guy sounds like Ted Bundy. One of us could be unknowingly dating him since he’s not in jail.

              • We cannot hold PhoenixFlame responsible for actions of the fuckwits. To place any blame, responsibility or onus on her is extremely unfair. We really have no idea how dangerous, or not, he really is.

              • We are going to take the leap that someone who has a bra and panties, a small set of pliers, a tube of nip stuff and a bottle of Ativan (which for all I know was his anxiety that he hid from me) is now the next Ted Bundy?

                Or does it seem more likely that one of his numerous APs liked it a little nasty on their getaways?

                I didn’t find rope, knives, trash bags, a shovel and lime. I found kink toys.

                Thank you, MissBailey.

                Do you hear yourselves?

              • The only thing in that bag of tricks that would concern me would be the Ativan if it wasn’t prescribed to him.

                Everything else could be a man who wanted to walk on the wild side with his wife (overlooking the lingerie in the incorrect side – that’s Hopium on the job!).

                Glad you got rid of him.

              • Relax, folks! Ativan isn’t strong enough to knock someone unconscious, except in large, nasty-tasting noticeable quantities.

                He probably had fear of flying he wouldn’t admit to (narcs are all perfect, right?). Or used it to ease his own or someone else’s muscle tension, for anal sex.

                Now, if it were roofies, a knife and restraints, I, and I’m betting Phoenix Flame as well, would have been more concerned….

  • Hopium – I just couldn’t believe that my husband would do this to me. Something is horribly wrong and I can do better. Surely he will realize that I love him so very very dearly and will see me.

    Hope – No matter how much hopium I took, it was never going to change the fact that he cheated and betrayed me. My hope was to find my joy again, to feel alive and be able to let the sun shine on my face and feel its warmth. Eighteen month later, I feel like the my world is finally starting an upswing.

  • Hopium: Sure lets go to marriage counselor I feel good stringing u the chump, she was a nobody, we are at a crossroad. Nope just the cheater. I would never cheat on you but who was the person I was supposedly cheating on u with, I love u just not in that way….

    Hope: I am a strong woman and I will get through this and gain a life. I hate to see my son struggle with the dynamics of his immediate fake family but he has a great counselor and a mother who is invested and will help him over come these obstacles. I have a 4.0 and in two years I will have my graduate degree and this will benefit out single parent family. I will know my worth and eventually find someone who will love me for me.

  • Hopium: He is selfish, moody and prone to rage but there is a decent person deep inside and if he could just understand how mycu his cruel words hurt me, he would stop being mean and rededicate himself to our marriage. We arent going to just survive this, we are going to give marriage retreats at church for troubled couples and people will admire my commitment and sacrifices to keep my family together.

    Reality: My worst fear on Earth was to learn that my husband did not love me. I learned he was a serial cheater and liar and after he died, I found something he wrote to himself that said “I never loved my wife”

    Hope: I can survive the stark proof of my worst fear. I will live well even though I feel like years of my life were stolen by betrayal. I will choose to love and trust again. I will live a good life.

  • Hopium: His behavior was a result of diagnosed mental health issues. (Researches everything about typical bipolar crisis behaviors)

    Hope: I can’t accept being harmed and abused, in the name of a mental health crisis. Then there’s just plain old poor character, both can exist. Either way, I’m out. There ain’t no “WebMD”ing out of shitheel antics.

    Sometimes I struggle with the language used around mental health terminology and stigma. People of shitty character and constitution can exist without a mental health diagnosis. For those that have loved ones with mental health issues- hope is caring for ourselves and staying educated.

    A manipulative cheater does not get to self-diagnose, to escape accountability. It’s a mockery of the worst kind-especially for those who live with real challenges on the daily.

    • Chumptastic Voyage, the Twat was diagnosed bi-polar (and eventually invalided out of his job because of it). I stayed so long telling myself “it wasn’t his fault”, but you’re right, they have a responsibility for their own treatment too!

    • Chumptastic, my ex blamed his serial cheating (massage parlors, escorts, street hookers, and finally dating sites) on depression. I, like you, gave him the benefit of the doubt because his father had been a suicide. I finally realized he was just using that as an excuse for his bad choices and behavior. The last thing that truly depressed people want to do is have sex, not to mention all the planning and strategizing that goes into serial cheating. It was all lies to keep him in cake.

  • Thank You, Thank You, Thank You ClearWaters and MyRedSandals ! I do not feel so alone this morning reading that I’m not the only one who spent most of my life ( married 37 yrs but knew and dated him since I was 14) on a person that was not a decent human being. Oh, there were times that he tried , Hopium !

    My hope today is like a lot of us here, That I find peace and acceptance in the person that I am at 63. That I learn how to live alone and work on me and my relationship with my God, As apposed to another person who is so broken. I HOPE for a better tomorrow !!

  • Hopium: he just can’t cope on his own, he’s a walking disaster. Maybe if I show him the bank statements he’ll realize he can’t keep spending like he does. Maybe when he sobers up tomorrow morning and sees my bruises he’ll realize he needs to lay off the booze!

    Hope: fuck you asshole. I can make it on my own. Hell I’ve been doing it all the time we were married anyway and without you draining the bank account I can more than manage on just my salary (and I do and I did)! Now my boys get to sleep at night instead of listening to their mother getting beaten up!

  • A friend I’d sent to this page for healing last spring said she just couldn’t get past the judgment. I told her no one and no site is perfect, and I stand by that, but I do think it would be more honest to put a disclaimer that this blog is for men and women who are upper middle class or above since it’s rare to ever see a post without the advice of what to do with the mortgage. In 6 months of reading here and looking over archives I’ve never seen a post that takes into consideration that not everyone has the money to even hire a lawyer (fyi fellow poor chumps, you can try legal aide if you’ve been physically abused).

    The SWERFyness around here is also completely astounding in that it not only continues but ramps up by the week. CL is obviously concerned with “hard work” since she goes on about it ad naseum, but oh not THAT kind of work she says. CL never considers sex workers might be chumps too. It’s nice that CL has evolved to not be bigoted against gay people, but boy she has zero problem using slurs for men and women doing some of the hardest work out there. It’s probably never occurred to CL that many sex workers serve disabled clientele, or that many won’t see married men and women. I’ve been biting my tongue on this, but considering the sheer number of people CL is reaching these days I just can’t in good conscience keep quiet any longer. MEN AND WOMEN WHO CHEAT ARE THE REAL MONSTERS. The people they cheat with, unless fully knowledgeable about their marital status, are not complicit. The onus, the blame, the full weight of such lies on the cheater. A person who doesn’t know the cheater is married is yet another victim of the cheater. I don’t know why this is not only not said around here but is actually said a lot that anyone who sleeps with the cheater is to blame also. That’s not true, ya’ll. The cheater and those who are fully aware that cheating is going on are the abuses and oppressors. Anyone else is collateral damage.

    Also, courage is the word you’re looking for. Have the courage to go no contact, have the courage to still believe in love, have the courage to move on with your life after the devastation of being humiliated, abused, lied to, and discarded.

    • There are plenty of people who are aware that their person they cheat with is married.

      While I feel sorry for sex workers, I can’t say that I can get enthusiastic about these women and men putting themselves at risk of violence and disease. I wouldn’t want a relative of mine putting themselves in danger every day in this way. Plus it’s not believable that many sex workers will not have sex with married people.

      I think you are confusing something here. When the work “ho” is used it refers to a behavior. It doesn’t refer to a person who makes a living by having sex with others. It means a person of low morals and values.

      Also, in your first paragraph you confuse judgement with having a mortgage, LOL

      • Let me be even more clear if I wasn’t clear enough: people who are intimate with married people are just as bad as the cheater. They’re a cheater too. They’re all cheaters if they know what’s going on. They’re all narcopaths and they’re all terrible people.

        Sex workers don’t need anyone’s pity. They need laws changed here in the US. That’s the only thing that makes them unsafe: having to hide. Your imagined relatives don’t need your worry, they need action regarding pulling them out of the shadows and into legal work. You obviously don’t actually know any sex workers so you don’t know how they operate.

        I’m not confusing anything. The word “hooker” is plainly used in the OP. It and other disparaging words get used often around here.

        I haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re talking about when you laugh at judgment and mortgages, but let me be clearer with that as well: not everyone has a mortgage, not everyone has a bank account, not everyone was married to a doctor, pilot, salesman or business owner. Some chumps are poor, barely able to pay rent, and the last thing on their mind is a mortgage. There’s a lot of judgment based on class and money here at CN. Poor chumps aren’t recognized or seen.

        • Narco, there’re several people here who were left to fend for themselves on foodstamps after divorce, or last week a disabled lady who was left in such unhealthy house that not even her local authority wants to send somebody in to fix the problems. Most people, whether well-off or less well-off have a lot to lose in a divorce. You’re right, it might be easier for better off to ‘lawyer up’ but on other hand, many women were SAHMs who didn’t handle family finances and even have no access to them. I’m sure men have a lot to say, too.

          As to legalising prostitution, that’s another topic altogether but personally I don’t think this would considerably solve their problems. As to the cheaters, I blame 95% a cheating spouse and not AP because the spouses are the one who’s married to me in a legal contract. I don’t like APs either and I easy told by some of my friends that I’m such a ‘moralist’. I also know women who got involved with married men without knowing they’re married, or nice, kind yet gullible and naive women who believed that their partners were no longer together with their spouses but just still living with their spouses for WYZ reason (sleeping separately and no sex, of course).

        • I do know some sex workers, I volunteered with an agency that assisted them. They are ALONE with potentially predatory strangers as part of their job. In the real world this is not safe.

        • No, you are wrong. Many people who are poor in the US have heard about pensions because they are poor – not ignorant. It is well-known that cops have them, teachers, politicians federal employees, etc.

          You have NO idea what people here have experienced or their families. You assume that everyone and their relatives has lived in a bubble of economic largesse for 70 years or more. Or maybe just a bubble.

          You may think you are defending the poor and downtrodden, the misunderstood but you aren’t. You are looking at them as victims for you to rescue.

          Quit topping from the bottom. You can start a site and have it as open or private as you wish. Provide links to other sites, or not.

          Coming to a public site and complaining about people who do post is like entering someone’s home in the middle of the night, raiding their fridge, leaving milk out to curdle, taking a dump in the middle of their living room and complaining that you didn’t like the bread.

          • I’m a poor chump. Never heard of pensions until a few years ago. Teachers, cops, and politicians aren’t poor.

            I’ve read here everyday for 6 months. I have a great idea of what other chumps are going through.

            I, nor anyone else who is poor, would be able to start a site. Meeting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs trumps any ability to do so. And why reinvent the wheel when I just needs some wd40?

            I guess I’m not worthy enough to exist in this space?

            • According to you, people with more money aren’t permitted to be here because they haven’t suffered sufficiently. Or they aren’t as noble due to poverty.

              • Both of you please desist; we do not need open warfare on this site. Everyone of us has had desperate times, financially as well as maritally.

                Be kind, please.

        • Thank you for your perspective NCD! I was relieved to find an online community that shared the common experience of being cheated on. I did not reflect on if it was inclusive to all who have had this experience. I’m sure most of the CL community will take your comments as they have been intended and finds ways to more openly express their financial, parenting, working struggles. I believe sex workers do deserve rights and fill a need to our society completely separately to if a partner in a committed relationship chooses to engage deceitfully.

    • Sex worker exclusionary radical feminism (SWERF) is a subgroup of radical feminism characterized by whorephobia and hostility to the third wave of feminism. This tiny sliver of feminism promotes socially conservative attitudes toward sex and sexuality.

      LOL. So it’s totally RISK-FREE for the Chump spouse when their cheater has sex with a prostitute versus having sex with someone who isn’t a professional?

      Cheating isn’t a virtue. Unless you’re Esther Perel.

      • NSC, I’m not sure if you’re talking to me or not (surely not, since I’ve been emphatic about cheaters being terrible people, narcopaths, and monsters, which are completely the opposite of virtuous….??)

        Regardless, as to your point about sex workers being risk free, no of course not. The only way to be risk free is by only having sex with each other and no one else, therefore cheaters cause great risk to their significant others.

        Although, it is true that the overwhelming majority of sex workers use protection every single time. Affair partners, howorkers, and the like typically do not, so if we’re comparing them then yeah it’d be less risk to use a sex worker. Bottom line though is that married people in a monogamous relationship should only be having sex with each other. Sex workers should only be hired for single people or people in ethically polyamorous relationships.

    • NarcopathsCan,
      1. Lots of working poor or lower-middle class chumps have mortgages. Lots of over-65 chumps own homes with a cheater. People give advice about that because one thing chumps high on hopium or on the floor in despair need to do is protect themselves financially. Not everyone owns a home, but someone who does needs to do what they can to preserve that asset. And people here give that advice because many, many chumps know that moving out or ignoring the chance of a cheater borrowing on the home can mean ending up with nothing.
      2. You’re reading on and commenting on a blog where many posters have been abused emotionally by cheaters whose preferences are sex workers (escorts, hookers, prostitutes, call them what you will). The CDC says, “The risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is high among persons who exchange sex for money or nonmonetary items.”
      I’ve read many stories here of men and women who learned they had life-threatening STDs because their partners cheater. And as horrifying as a garden-variety AP is, it would be terrifying for a woman to find out her husband has a very expensive hooker habit and then comes home to have sex with her, exposing her to the sexual health conditions of every other guy she had sex with.
      3. I find your use of the term “howorker” interesting, given your impassioned defense of sex workers.
      4. Finally, it takes a lot of nerve to come onto a blog for victims who have been abused by domestic partners and then…abuse them by name-calling and making a lot of unfounded generalizations.

      Sorry the person you refer to found us to be a judgy lot. That’s not the most surprising thing, since the majority of people posting on the main board are still in the first weeks or months of having their lives blown up by someone who was supposed to be their rock of support. But you might look at your own hand, since while you have one finger pointing at us and four very judgy fingers pointing back at you.

      I’m done with you.

      • **exposing her to the sexual health conditions of every other guy she [the sex worker] had sex with.

        Sorry for the ambiguous pronoun.

    • Let me be clear. Being a hooker is wrong. Being a thief is wrong. Being a murderer is wrong.
      The term ‘ho’ is used because it parallels the ‘wrongness’ of cheating.
      All this liberal bullshit about how it’s empowering to use your cunt or whatever to make money. Get a grip. And not on a cock for a change.
      Go and get a moral and legal job and others will not criticise.
      I’m assuming that you are a hooker due to your defence of the ‘oldest game’….
      But on the flip side I totally agree – poor people get chumped as well and deserve sympathy.
      They just deserve less sympathy if they’re doing something immoral and illegal.
      And you just sound like you’re pissed because your snatch didn’t pull you up to ‘upper middle class’ – lots of people work menial jobs for a lot less money than you make I’m sure. Get over yourself and realise that’s its ok to look down on things that are WRONG.

      • Thieves and murderers have victims. Stealing and murdering are as abusive and oppressive as cheating.

        Ho is Norse for woman of loose morals. It’s a great word, as is howorker. I don’t have issues with ho.

        I highly doubt many liberals are in favor of sex work yet. Idk, I’m not one. Lol I love guns too much.

        It’s sad that you think people can’t defend others unless they’re experiencing it themselves.

        How is two consenting adults having sex, other than when either or both are cheating, immoral? Do you judge everything by its legality? People who hid Jews were breaking the law. Should they have not been able to eat or live because they were doing something deemed illegal at the time? 9 weeks ago selling cannabis was illegal in my state. Laws change and many times they take too long to do so. Was Gandhi immortal when he broke the law?

        I’m not going to dignify any of the terribly crass, mean-spirited things you’ve said to me. Have a nice night.

    • “It’s probably never occurred to CL that many sex workers serve disabled clientele”

      Ah, Theodore Dreiser’s “hooker with a heart of gold” trope has come to visit. It’s probably never occurred to you that this doesn’t make them noble. They have sex for money, including with the disabled. It’s not community service.

      Now, maybe you would be proud if your child became a prostitute/sex trade worker. You might want to pass out their business card, link to their web site and crow about the number of clients they served in a quarter. I would regard it as a failure that my kid did so rather than learning a trade (electrician, for example) or earned a degree. But if that is what you and your kids dream of becoming then be prepared for the cost of doing business. Getting arrested. Being judged. After all, you’re judging people who are NOT sex trade workers yourself.

      Most people aren’t married to a physician, attorney or IT professional. In fact, the most common job in the US is retail sales. Yet many still have a mortgage because both parties work. Or assets that a spouse/partner can raid or steal. Some find themselves cut off from their spouse’s pension when they do have a stake in it.

      • My intention wasn’t to paint anyone as having a pure heart, I brought up the disabled because sex work can be a service to them. Of course there’s pay. It’s a job. Sex work is work.

        I’m very happy none of my children do sex work. That doesn’t mean I have to hate the people who do sex work for a living. You’re right, sex workers where it’s illegal have to deal with the fallout from its illegality. Isn’t that sad that someone who’s made a consensual business agreement with someone else is subjected to such dire circumstances and judgment?

        I haven’t judged anyone except cheaters.

        Most poor people in the US haven’t even heard of a pension. That’s a middle class thing.

        • Prostitutes also cheat their communities (local, state and federal) by not paying taxes on their earnings. A cash only business also means they are directly and undirectly supporting money laundering and slavery.

          They either have agency. Your statement, most of them use protection and are too moral to have sex with married clientele. So you are rubbing shoulders with people who are sole proprietors rather than being forced to turn over money to their handler.

          I do not believe for one second that someone who is standing on a street hoping for a car to stop will insist upon a condom if it will cost them a customer. Nor do I believe they ask about marital status or care if it will queer the deal.

          You state it is too expensive to start your own website or blog but you have internet access. There are plenty of ways to start your own page, for free. WordPress for example. Or give out your email to sex trade workers and start a discussion group with people who earn little enough to ennoble and endear them to you. Maybe they will overlook that you wouldn’t be proud of one of your kids joining their profession.

          I can absolutely want people to be safe while selling their bodies for sex, enjoy great sex myself within my marriage and not want to see prostitution legalized.

          In the meantime, the practicioners are stealing money from the public by not declaring the income and paying taxes in it.

    • Narco, I was a roommate in a drug house in and was cheated on. I was a full-on alcoholic and an addict. I was cleaning houses because I did not want to become a sex worker, which at that time were my other employment qualifications. I wasn’t posting here when I was in those circumstances because it was 1984 and the Internet had not been invented yet.

      I got sober in October of 1985. I have been clean and sober since. Through 12 step programs and therapy, which I still participate in today, my financial, work, and living situations have radically improved. Any references in my posts about those circumstances as they relate to my story are because that’s what it’s like for me now, not because I think I am superior to anyone. Those improved circumstances all go away in a snap if I get loaded, and being cheated on is the closest I have come to wanting to get loaded in my entire life sober. I tell people I have been living with suicide-level pain since October of 2017, when I found out my husband was having affairs probably our entire relationship. I have also found that in 34 years of helping other men and women get clean and sober, I was in many cases by coincidence helping a sex worker recover too….

      The only requirement for membership here is having been cheated on (and I suspect also not being a cheater). What I see here for the most part are individual people posting their own experience, strength, and hope to help other victims of infidelity. Anyone is free to post here, regardless of their race, age, religion, sexual orientation, financial circumstances, or occupation. As a private citizen, Tracy is free to create a blog from her own point of view. Those of us who come here are free to take what we like, leave the rest, and add to the conversation what we like, hopefully while respecting others here.

      I always find it helpful to look for the similarities, rather than the differences, in what is being shared.
      I think everyone here agrees on the main idea of why anyone comes here; that infidelity hurts like a motherfucker. It’s so painful that people often commit suicide or homicide or both over it. And if this blog prevents one homicide or suicide, and I can say for certain first-hand that it has, then who am I, with my limited biased point of view, to criticize? (A Course In Miracles, Lesson 1……)

      My presence here is to help myself and maybe someone else who has been as terribly hurt as I am. This blog is an emotional ICU for me for sure. I can only speak according to my experience, and in a room full of trauma patients, I try to be kind and gentle as often as I can.

      I believe, and many here have posted, that the villains around here are people who knowingly hurt other people. That would be people masquerading as partners in committed exclusive relationships, and those who knowingly cross boundaries to be involved with them. This would not be consenting adults where no agreements are broken or boundaries crossed, no people or families or lives being blown up.

      Take what you like and leave the rest.


      • Thank you, VH. I always enjoy reading your thoughtful and caring, yet no- nonsense posts.

        I feel like I could have certainly phrased some of the concerns in my post better. Emotions are still getting the better of me at times. This really is a helpful and healing blog and I get way more positive out of it than negative. I’ve learned and applied so much about good boundaries, no contact, and discernment here. Thanks to many of you.

          • PS…’s a free one for you from my beloved trusted therapist, for whom I would take a bullet:

            “When you judge or criticize, you are seeing your own issues. Likewise, if someone is judging or criticizing you, they are not seeing you; they are seeing their own issues.”

            That’s been my criticize/judge Get Out Of Jail Free card since she taught me that… has helped me from getting crushed when criticized and helped me pause and look inward when I am inspired to point a finger…

    • I asked my now wife a copy of her divorce decree while we were dating. Not sexy, but I hear such bad stories. The “unknowing” AP can check to see if they are really single. Also, they don’t judge poor people on here. I am on disability when I had DDay #1. It is about the attitude. Even my friends told me to think of my XW as an enemy not as a friend. Most sex workers are force into it, even in Amsterdam.

      • YES. There is no way to tell if someone if being trafficked, in print, person, or in porn.
        Even if they seem willing they can be a victim of sex trafficking. I have a friend in the military who rescues trafficking victims…

    • The claim this site is only for middle class chumps is certainly news to me. I regularly correspond with non-middle class chumps, and help to collect money for people who can’t afford new stoves or clothes for their children or….I have also met more CN chumps in real life than most people on this site, and I can assure you they come in rainbow varieties.

      Also, let’s please distinguish between sex workers who are brought here through human trafficking, vs. those who choose it because it is more money than bartending (and yes, there are some of those–one woman I know has a LAW degree but chooses to be an escort/prostitute). If those who choose to be sex workers sleep with known married men, then, yes, they deserve opprobrium.

      Let this site be a healing one, rather than one used to promote your agenda, please.

    • NarcopathsCD,
      Thanks so much for your comments. I agree this site isn’t for broke people – most of us here seem to have the means to support ourselves and enough resources to actually need postnuptial agreements – it’s a lot of privilege in a shitty situation. I’ve been with a cheater when I was broke and it kept me with him, to my own detriment, for a lot more years than I would’ve liked because I couldn’t support myself.

      And I agree about the SWERF-yness. Sex work is work and whether you are a sex work or polyamorous or in any other non-traditional marriage, lying is lying and violating the terms of your marriage with other partners is cheating and it is every bit as abusive and undeserved as when it happens to a nice Christian lady who married her high school sweetheart and never had premarital sex.

      As victims of these pathological assholes, we should all no better than to ever say someone asked for it, or is less victimized because we don’t get their job or circumstances.

  • Hopium: He doesn’t mean to be this way. He is confused. I am too much for him, I intimidate him, I make too much money and am too smart. If I only try harder, never speak when I am around him and smother my needs he will stay. I can fix this!

    Hope: I will give my gifts to a better man.

    I will add— I know that I am complete without a partner. If a better man never appears I will accept that and never settle, but today this is about hope so I am honest with myself that I do wish for real monkey love to come my way.

    • “Sex worker exclusionary radical feminism (SWERF) is a subgroup of radical feminism characterized by whorephobia and hostility to the third wave of feminism. This tiny sliver of feminism promotes socially conservative attitudes toward sex and sexuality.”

      Because, you see, when you are monogamous you can’t possibly have a great sex life.

    • For clarity’s sake – I was being sarcastic when I wrote that monogamous couples can’t have great sex lives with only each other. I forgot to use the /s for sarcasm.

      I don’t want you to think that I think mating in captivity can’t possibly be interesting or fun for the couple.

  • Hopium: Prior to D-Day, refusing to see the most blatant of red flags for years and assuming I had a spouse that had an obsessive need for privacy, who had to travel nearly all the time for his job and had to depend on me to raise the child, who was unable to answer the phone when traveling, always had to call me back, who was mostly silent about where he actually was when traveling, who ignored requests from me to send pictures of wherever he was so I could show his little girl where Daddy was, who told me that I didn’t need a key to his employer-paid-for apartment in another city, who took four-hour trips to the supermarket on weekends when he was actually home, because I was sure he was trying to find just the right ingredients for dinner, who wasn’t at the office when he said he was going to be because he said he went out to get coffee, who kept his expensive pristine car locked in the garage when traveling and didn’t give me a key because I didn’t need it, I had my own car – my response was always that he was a very busy man with an important job and a great guy, I was so proud of him and I had to make sacrifices because we were always going to be a team.

    Hope: On a day that he actually was home from traveling, after secretly following spouse to an apartment at an address that was unfamiliar to me, finally after many years putting the puzzle together and seeing things clearly for the first time, getting a lawyer pronto and working with that lawyer for months to obtain the best settlement I could get so I can start to build a better life and let go of that part of my past.

  • Hopium:

    Maybe if I can make her see what a great family she’s missing out on, she’ll realize how hurtful her actions have been to all of us. If she sees how much her boys miss her, she’ll understand it’s time to be an adult. If she sees how she betrayed herself most of all, she can empathize with the betrayal I feel as her spouse


    She can’t see because she’s blind. Always has been, always will be. That’s why on Saturdays, while you were taking the boys to sports and music and doing fun amazing stuff, she was getting fucked in cheap motel rooms by different men and a backpack full of sex toys. You love watching your children play soccer, she loves being called a whore getting reamed by buttplugs. Game over.

    • ???? Yes, Yes, and yes. Today, I was at my girls’ annual school event and I sat underneath a tree, smiling and just watching them play and enjoy themselves.

      Then I went to memorie lane–last year, Cheater and I were seating at the same spot. So, I thought to myself, “boy is he missing out on seeing the girls grow and glow” but as I was finishing my thought, a more honest thought stormed in “wait a minute…last year Cheater was on his phone the entire time, he has never and will never cared about their happiness.”

      Then, I smiled again because while he is looking at porn and fantasizing about having sex with men, and proving to himself that he is man by sleeping with buck of dirty women, I’m creating great memories with my precious girls and that is all I care about.

  • “Hope” is the thing with feathers.

    Hopium was an anchor, dragging me and the children down with the abusive X. After 30 years, I severed that tie. It was excruciating and he made us pay dearly for it. Four years later, I am employed, living in a nice apartment and tight as a tick with my three kids. They are all completely NC, much to his impotent rage.

    Every time I walk in to my new place, I sing a little “I’m free! I’m free!” song.

  • Hopium: applying unconditional love, believing, tolerating, waiting, forgiving, doing all the heavy lifting, trusting words/ignoring actions.


    Hope: Fighting for yourself, setting boundaries, filing, saying NO, associating with authentic people.
    Taking care of your needs, raising the bar, gaining a life.

    • Love this! Doingme. ???? Authenticity rocks.
      When I was married we “had it all” but sometimes x just couldn’t be…present, either mentally or physically. That was a major red flag, that he needed to be away from us. It didn’t bother me, until everything he wanted seemed not to make sense. Over the years, I checked in. I was an easy wife, right up until x was spending more and more time at the racquet club, spending very little time at home, and treating me like shit. Priorities, right? A great example of hopium and hope, on our local radio station the other day, a woman called in to say that while on vacation with her family, and after arriving at their destination, her husband just… disappeared to… UBER. This, after his family were settling in after their long drive north. “Was this…okay?” she asked. One of the DJs replied and waxed on about how committed to his wife and family this guy was “to be making money, to pay for his vacation, to benefit his family…” That is hopium folks, attributing good deeds to actions when clearly something isn’t right. Like who goes on vacation and ditches their family. Here is where that boiling frog comes in….
      Hope is… WTF?!!! This man left when on a family vacation. Actions, even little ones, matter. She called in because her gut was telling her that this was NOT okay. Actions too finally clued me into x’s double life, but it was, mostly, all in looking back. Life was moving fast and I was trusting. I too spackled over his moods, his work dramas, his long hours, his extracurricular and travel committments, his needs, and the sheer lack of time he carved out for me. I held down our home, made many sacrifices over our many years together, and believed in a secure future together. Right up til Dday when his “I want a divorce” let me know he was fucking someone else. Hard to fix that????.

      • Thank you Drew. Interestingly enough the Limited was always there, never present. What I mistook for love was his ability to mirror all the qualities he lacked. He was always looking, planning and plotting while giving me just enough to stay in the game. Underneath was a monster who hated me yet needed the image management I provided for years.

  • Hopium: She will fight fair. She will consider what’s best for the children in the settlement. She doesn’t want me, but she won’t want to impoverish the father of her children. She will try to preserve the overall family wealth. She will feel guilt and be reasonable, after all she knows she destroyed my life and my kids future. She can’t be that greedy and selfish – it must be her mean lawyer making her do those evil things.

    Hope: I hope I don’t loose my house until my kids graduate college. I hope I never get sick and lose my income generating abilities. I hope I die young since she got all my retirement savings. I hope my kids appreciate the sacrifices I made and won’t let me starve in my old age.

    • This so hit home! I thought my ex would be reasonable and make sure me and the kids didn’t starve.(SAHM). But after living on my friends couches and them feeding us for 2 months; me and our children. While him and smoochie pie lived in our marital home. He threatened me out, left on police advice. I gave up any hopium of him being a decent person. Got a mean attorney. I got 1/2 our assets. I am paying on a new house, hope I can keep affording it. Hoping kids get scholarships to college; otherwise its going to be loans. I will have to work till I die cause I have no retirement and no ss because of years only working for his company with no pay. But I am determined to outlive him just out of spite; even if I am 90 as a greeter at wal-mart. May your hope get better in time!

      • Finding Peace,
        I am right there with ya (except for the house as I will never be able to buy in this super-expensive region in which I need to stay to retain custody of my kids and getting a decent shake in divorce–my ex-husband wiped me out in court when he filed)! I need to work until ‘the end’ Looks as though, due to bizarre laws, that, even though I worked most of my life, I will get no social security. Maybe we can be the Golden Girls of Walmart! And out of spite, I plan to outlive all my exes! In their late 40’s to 60, none of them have died.

      • How long were you married? Check with social security, depending on how long you were married, you can claim benefits under his number as long as you don’t get remarried.

    • Hopium 1: Tiny part of me still sometimes thinks, ‘Maybe if I do something extraordinarily impressive, my last partner (boyfriend) will come back’ although he is now married to the young work subordinate he left me for two years ago.

      Hopium 2: My abusive, adulterous ex-husband will disappear, be declared dead (maybe he won’t be dead; he’ll just be permanently stuck alone on a desert island where he can’t hurt anyone), and I (and others) will be free from his harassment. He has harassed me for over 15 years, five of which have been since he filed for separation.

      Hope: I will find a family-sustaining job in the area so that kids and I have shelter. Also, hope that I can find aforementioned job in this geographical area so that I do not lose custody of kids. In my fifties, I am constantly exhausted trying to raise kids, one of whom has special needs, take temp job after temp job when one is offered, search for permanent family-sustaining job, earn high grades in advanced accounting (for marketability) without a partner. Spousal support ends this year and social security will not be available to me due to some bizarre and unfair laws regarding social security/teachers pensions (if one lives in one of the affected states, as I do, so I MUST hustle! (Although super-frugal, I cannot live on less than $500/month in ‘retirement.’) Out of pride and dignity, I don’t want to get food from charity. Most of my friends are married professionals who earn well into six figures and live on a hill and have kids that will do the same. I feel as though I made a huge wrong turn a few decades ago in my life voyage, and now, instead of seeing palms trees of Hawaii, I see icebergs of Alaska!

      I am reading some very good book/watching some good podcasts (e.g., Switchers, Rejection Proof) to empower me to weather the decades’ long storm.

    • Luziana,

      Good Lord, that’s seriously good (sorry for the lateness of my post)! My kids are always showing their old dad a meme they like. I may have to show them this one sometime. Probably WAY in the future. But I bet that really nails the reactions many of us chumps had to being blindsided with the adultery committed by their partner. It sure did it for me.

      It summarizes most if not all of the crap I’d been fed my whole life about how to handle this type of razor sharp trauma. You know, the one all of us on this site felt, when our beloved (at least in our minds at that point) partner metaphorically reached into our chests and ripped our hearts out, then continued to squeeze them in front of us for months to years after that point And somehow, in a horrible way, we continued to feel the pain from their abuse of said removed heart. Get your abuse right here!

      Thanks for posting this. I’m so glad I’m way past this point, and I’m guessing you are, too. I hope most of us here are, or will be soon. As for the newly abused and/or abandoned, it will be a good reality check. Sarcasm can be very useful. At least, that’s how I’m taking it. Best wishes to you, and to all of us in finding peace and meh.

  • Hopium: I must have done something terrible. Surely I can fix it. [Even though I know on some level that I’m being discarded.] Maybe if I just say the right thing.

    Hope: It was him. This is what he is. I need to focus on learning to love myself.

  • Hopium: If I make myself better, he will like me more. If I loosen up, become a tigress, cook his favorite foods, do the 180 (thanks to DivorceBusters and the $$$$$ I spent on coaching), not pressure him to tell me if he’s broken things off with cuntwhore, then he will stay with me because of all we’ve been through together. He’ll stay with me and he’ll stay with the kids and we can rebuild this, yes we can. As much as I’m hurting, we can do this. As much as I’m stifling my feelings, we can do this. As much as I’m losing myself, I’ll lose more if I lose him, so I’m going to make this work, I am.

    Hope: I love myself more than any of this hopeless bullshit.

    • OMG. Can we sue DivorceBusters and get our coaching money back?

      Glad to hear I am not alone.

      • I drank the DB and Marriage Helper koolaid. 3 sessions of DB coaching ($1200) and the MH weekend intensive ($2300 plus travel). Those are hopium heavy hitters.
        Self care, alone, sans xhole, is much cheaper

    • I tried the marriage fitness boot camp! Lone Ranger tract for people whose spouses did not want to work on marriage with them lol !!!!

      They offered a money back guarantee and after 3 weeks I was just so done of trying on my own with him being unwilling that I asked for my money back and they gave it to me. Now I will tell you that I did the things they said and I actually got a bit of responses from stbx and he came to my house for dinner when I asked him during that time. (Of course I made the dinner and set it up and he brought nothing and would not spend the night afterwards. He didn’t want to. Would not talk about moving back home). But after getting on Instagram and seeing him and bitch together and all he did for and with her I was sickened to my core. He told me he was “conflicted”. I said well let me make your decision for you- take her and go.

  • Hopeium…He had bad parents, poor guy – I’ll fix him and show him what a loving family is, (like mine).
    Hope….after 25 years of mental/physical abuse he calls me a c- – t in front of my 21 year old son after celebrating son’s birthday. I became tired of his cell phone blowing up w/texts from female co-worker late that night. The “light” went off in my head & I heard my deceased mother’s voice in my head saying “I wouldn’t put up with that shit for one more second”. D.O.N.E. My 6 month leave-this-asshole-now plan kicked in. This choking rope of a marriage was unravelling! I could finally breathe . My kids encouraged me. I flushed this piece of shit down the toilet & NEVER looked back. When you are drowning in the bottom of a cesspool you’ve got nothing BUT hope. 5 -plus years later I SMILE! credit score shot up, kids stable, happy, flourishing. HOPE is the energy that fuels your survival.

  • A slightly different one, because when I realized what kind of person my ex is (after dating him for some time, most of it long distance, I learned he had a girlfriend whom he abused in a very cruel manner) my affection for him disappeared instantly with a “pshhhh” sound. His unhealthy interest for me, sadly, did not.

    Hopium: that my ex, whom I will have to meet in group settings on a weekly basis unless I want to stop studying at a learning institution I worked very hard to get into (so: NO), will simply back off and let me continue studying in peace instead of sending me moaning messages saying I am unkind since I don’t speak to him privately and shower him with affectionate attention anymore. For context, he is the exact same age as me but while I am a student he is a professor (though not my professor) as I am studying and working at the same time as a thirty-something adult.

    Hope: that his low-key harassment that he takes care of couching in clever neutral terms will become not-so-lowkey anymore so that I can go and explain the situation to the HR equivalent of the learning institution, which has a very progressive stance toward harassment and protecting women’s rights considering the country we live in. And that the mark on his file will make it more difficult for him to harass other students in the future.

    Hope or hopium?
    …that his girlfriend, who is a very good person stuck with a terrible partner, will be fine…
    Please let it be hope.

  • No, you are wrong. Many people who are poor in the US have heard about pensions because they are poor – not ignorant. It is well-known that cops have them, teachers, politicians federal employees, etc.

    You have NO idea what people here have experienced or their families. You assume that everyone and their relatives has lived in a bubble of economic largesse for 70 years or more. Or maybe just a bubble.

    You may think you are defending the poor and downtrodden, the misunderstood but you aren’t. You are looking at them as victims for you to rescue.

    Quit topping from the bottom. You can start a site and have it as open or private as you wish. Provide links to other sites, or not.

    Coming to a public site and complaining about people who do post is like entering someone’s home in the middle of the night, raiding their fridge, leaving milk out to curdle, taking a dump in the middle of their living room and complaining that you didn’t like the bread.

  • Somehow having hope through this turmoil has made me feel sad. I have fought hope all along. Hope means that I will be disappointed. Hope means I’ll lose. Because with this hope comes expectations, that things will get better or work out a certain way.

    My parents, my counselor(s), my friends All telling me it’s time to focus on my and what fairytale wants. I have fought that tooth and nail throughout this time. NO! I won’t focus on fairytale! I have to focus on fuckwit and winning him back. Even filing for divorce and finally serving him, and now through the mediated settlement agreement and finally final decree being drawn up as we speak. My only hope has been that I would somehow miraculously have him back as I wanted him. As I thought it could be. And fucking SHOULD be damnit! It’s what I was promised. But there go those expectations again. Always dashed.

    I am only now, just now, beginning to let hope into my life. I went on a women’s retreat last weekend, traveled with a group of ladies to another state. I scratched and clawed with pulling that sadness upon me, but wanted desperately to let it go and have fun. I think I achieved it on Sunday. I have possibly achieved arriving at the land of hope. I know that it will get better for me when the final decree is done. It has to.

    October 30 is our 26 anniversary I should be divorced by then or maybe the following week. At that point I will refi the mortgage into my name and I will have this house 100% with all contents. And he will go on his Merry Widow way with his Merry Widow. He says “ I’m not marrying her. I’m never going to get marrying again”. But I check the county marriage license online database weekly looking for the marriage license application. I’m not at meh and it’s not Tuesday yet for me. I guess if I had to say, I’m at Sunday. Hope is rising on the horizon for me. I’m trying to let it into my life without thinking it’s a bad thing to have. No more fighting it off like it’s a vampire coming to suck my soul. First the mind has to change. Have to wrap my head around hope being a good thing for me.

    • I stayed firmly in what I thought was The Camp of Hope for a LONG time…intensively 7 years, but when I look back, I now see that my marriage was peppered with abuse all along.

      I wanted my kids to have their father and to stay married and for him to value and love me and be nice.

      Oddly, I never willingly left Camp Hope…I was, however kicked or dragged (however you want to imagine it) when he died instead of being redeemed. Just the other day, I said that when he died, so did my hope. What I didnt realize then is that I was WAY past hope, I was truly toking hopium…the things I hoped for were well past impossible. (Oh but nothing is impossible for God…well true but He wont take away anyones Free Will…so he could technically do it but He wont).

      I am a little nervous at the thought of anything referred to as a “fairytale” …I am now married to a great guy who is kind to me and has enough resources for us to live in comfy middle class for the rest of our lives and yet people are goofy and things are annoying.

      As a person who insisted on staying in the worst all places for WAY too long, Im not in a position to tell others what to do….but you may find it feels much better to be out from under the tyranny of that sort of hope.

      • In terms of your X marrying his OW. Please believe me when I share that in 2005, I was certain with every fiber of my being that him marrying OW would be the worst thing that could happen to me. Years later when daughter graduated, I watched with my sweet new husband and I actually wished that Cheater and Susan of Seattle were there in support of kid instead of my kid suffering such terrible grief.

        No one could possibly be more surprised in the changes in that than I am.

  • Iwantmyfairytale,

    I know exactly how you feel. My divorce in May 2018 was on my 25 anniversary. I now look back and realized my hope wasn’t that I wanted him back, just the fairy tale of the future I as a SAHM had worked and sacrificed for. I’m now building my hope on a solid foundation, brick by brick, but that takes time. You seem to have a great support network, are making great steps forward, and seem to be all right financially. But this s**t is hard.

    And I completely understand about the marriage. I knew from the beginning that a never-been-married “good Catholic girl” wanted her fairy tale wedding, so I also checked the licenses. Their huge wedding happened this September. But remember their relationship is based on lies, making their foundation sand. You are able to continue to build your rock solid foundation.

    I’m making my way back into the work world in a small town where the largest employer is where Ex works and ageism is alive and well. BUT, I have a second interview with a non-profit for a law job this Friday. I’ve been on a trip to Vietnam/Cambodia by myself, and it scared the hell out of me. I struggle every day, but the good times now outweigh the bad. I refuse to let my Ex and his toddler wife bring me down. He keeps dragging me back into court (this March he wore a wedding ring when he wasn’t even married) so I now see him for who he is. Schmoopie can have all the hope in the world, but we know what she’s getting. It’s a facade.

    I almost hate to admit how shallow I am, but karma does happen, even when you don’t realize it. Everyone in our town knows about the “demoted & disgraced” doctor. He also works in another town an hour away, where they probably don’t know he’s a cheater. Well…….yesterday, my aunt called me to tell me her husband was in the hospital. And guess what? Asshat is their doctor. She barely recognized him as he’s gained a considerable amount of weight and does not look very good, but reminded him of who she was. He apparently looked down and mumbled the entire time. Then as she was leaving the ward, (think Terms of Endearment) informed the nurses that their doctor was her former nephew-in-law and that he had an affair with someone in his former business. People know the truth and they can’t hide.

    Your Ex will always be a cheater, but YOU will move forward to your fairy tale full of integrity and hope.

    What I know is true after years of lies, is that I have two great kids (still struggling) and I will always be their mom. I will always be their solid foundation. Schmoopie’s foundation is built on sand and at her age (52) she will never be a mom. It was not a fairy tale wedding, because most of the people there knew the circumstances of their marriage.

  • Late to the game, but what a great thread of responses. Especially, it seems, from the guys this time.

    I remember the high of hopium; I was hooked on that drug for 20+ years. Funny how the “high” dropped lower and lower with each passing year.

    I AM filled with HOPE now; hope for a better and stronger relationship. Hope (and excitement) for whats to come. AND, This time I’m better equip to identify who has those traits, what a real relationship will look like.

  • I’m still taking Hopium. I’ve not pulled the trigger on ending the marriage because he had a truly horrible, abusive childhood, he’s got a diagnosed (before I met him) personality disorder, he cries and produces what appear to be genuine emotions of regret and sadness, he continues to be proactive about treatment – is taking meds and seeing a therapist weekly.

    But, I’m also dabbling in hope: I’ve stopped taking responsibility, of any kind, for his actions and refuse to listen to his “resentments,” I’ve started and made significant progress getting my financial ducks in a row (postnuptial done!), I’ve stopped snooping/playing marriage police, I’ve started building myself back up with exercise and therapy.

    I don’t think I expect him to change or get it or anything that radical. I don’t know what’s keeping me from ending it. My attraction for him, enjoyment of him as gone way, way down. I don’t see the person I fell in love with. I see a man-child with a lot of charm and even more problems. I suppose I’m hoping maybe he will leave me, though I also get how that could make the grieving process even more wounding and cruel. I’m giving myself time while getting ducks in a row – that’s what I’m telling myself.

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