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Character Assassination: 6 Ways to React to a False Narrative

liesfabricationsA lot of my Chump Lady mail can be divided into two categories, “I got chumped… what are people going to think?” and “I got chumped… and my cheater is telling people terrible things about me.” Both followed with “And what can I do about that?

Nothing. Sorry, chumps. You can’t do anything about what people think of you, and what people say about you.

Look, I know it’s unjust having your cheater telling bald-faced lies about how controlling, sexless, abusive, hairy-legged, and insane you are. Worse, I know some people whom you once thought cared about you (such as your in-laws) are inclined to believe it. This infidelity crap is a one-two punch — betrayal, and then more lies.

Okay, maybe it’s more like a continuous thug-kicking by a motorcycle gang than a one-two punch. Betrayal, lies, character assassination, gaslighting, alienation, and alimony. Anyway, my point is, leave the impression management to the crazies. You just keep being your mighty self.

Some pointers:

1.) Never let what people might think of you get in the way of protecting yourself. That especially goes for what the cheater thinks. Oh, I might antagonize him if I see a lawyer/move half the money/run a credit report. Hey, your cheater didn’t worry about antagonizing you when he/she cheated on you, so just go ahead and protect yourself. Stop caring about how you’ll be perceived (i.e., bitter, vindictive, selfish, churlish, hasty, etc.) Start caring about reality (i.e., this person is fucking me over).

2.) Speak the truth, but stop at defensiveness. There’s no good way to answer set-up questions like “How long have you been beating your wife?” I don’t beat my wife. “Oh you would say that. Six months? A year? Ever since you met?” The temptation is to raise your voice and really get stroppy. I DON’T BEAT MY WIFE! Stop. You just missed an important clue — your questioner is fully invested in that narrative. You answered the question. They either believe it, or they don’t believe it. In the case of infidelity (and not fictitious wife-beating), the truth is you were chumped. That’s what happened. You don’t need to defend yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong here. Frankly, you don’t have to answer any personal question you don’t want to.

3.) Speak the truth, and realize that your cheater probably got to the narrative first. One way chumps get chumped is when they agree to the “we just grew apart” story, and keeping “private matters private,” they think the cheater is going to play by the same set of rules. You won’t talk smack about them, they won’t talk smack about you. Oh chumps, your cheater has probably been talking smack about you all along. Shaming you into being quiet ensures that their narrative stays on top. That’s why cheaters get so ugly when you do start speaking up — you’re tilting at that balance of power. Disordered people need their impression management so their manipulations (and Sad Sausage story lines) keep working on everyone.

4.) People who believe the worst about you don’t know you. Not really. This might be one of the single most awful things about life post-discovery. People who you thought knew you, really don’t. Their attachments were shallow. It’s hard enough to realize this about a spouse or partner, it’s even more gobsmacking to realize it about your social circle. Well, of course Dorothy got cheated on. She’s frigid. Unlike me. I have sex with my husband! This person doesn’t know the inner workings of your bedroom. Maybe the lie makes them feel superior. Maybe the lie gives them some weird false comfort. Who knows? What matters are the people who do know you, and have your back. Invest your energies there.

5.) People who believe the worst about you probably have a vested interest in believing that crap. You don’t control that. Your in-laws turned on you? Better you be the monster than believe their son or daughter is a lousy person. Not their special Pookykins! Maybe they’ve been believing all the crap said about you for years, and now that the affair has been revealed, they’d have to admit they were mistaken. Why be wrong? Who are you again?

6.) Character is revealed over time. Who we are is revealed every day in every little action and decision. No one is perfect, but the arc of someone’s character — how giving they are of themselves, how considerate, how reciprocal — is perceptible. The people who matter aren’t swayed by your ex’s gossip and trash talk. The shallow people who are? Please, stop caring what they think today.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I read a quote just after d day. “What other people think of you is none of your business”. At the time I cursed at it, but it is right and it makes you much happier. You do you. Let others talk about you if they want. Tomorrow there will be a new target. And you will look back and think ” why did I give a damn what they think”

    • That’s right!… This quote was very helpful in my recovery as well! What other people think of you is none of your business. Not everyone is going to like us – not everyone has to. Other people have baggage that has nothing to do with you and they often act out in ways that can be pretty mean and hurtful. As long as your actions always come from a place of integrity, then what other people say and how they act towards you should have no bearing on your wellbeing.

      • A favorite quote of mine is, “There are some people who if they thought well of me I would think less of myself.” I forget who said it, but I read long before chumpdom and it has helped me through chumpdom along with CN, CL, and more.

        • My personal quote is that I know the truth.
          I know I posted this before however, it gave me insight into the false narrative and utter disregard cheaters have (and hide) beneath the mask.

          In 2010 the Limited was dating three women and determining his best options. He was telling them we were in the process of divorcing and he had to live with me because he was supporting me financially. All lies. He landed with Sharon who owned her own home and was a victim of domestic violence. She was innocent.

          When I called a second victim who I knew. she stated that what he said about me was so bad it was unbelievable. He also brought up his penile implant. Just gross.

          In 2014 his narrative changed or was adjusted to account for the fact he had no assets at the age of 57. He claimed that I was an addict to explain his spending marital money on leading a double life.

          Accordingly, he hooked up with someone who wasn’t attractive or intelligent. She’s dumb.

          What my therapist recommended was to live better and they will inevitably hang themselves. No I’m so uninterested I’m not even popping the corn.

          • So many female chumps on here have mentioned their cheaters having erectile dysfunction. Yours a penile implant. What is with that? Do they think they have to prove how manly they still are by cheating? I would think these guys would be embarrassed about it. Can’t really figure that one out.

            • I have noticed that here as well. I suspect (and this was the problem in my X’s ED case) that these types have a tendency to be porn addicts. There is much research connecting post and erectile disfunction. .

            • No, after two years of prostate removal he got a penile implant. It failed and then had another one as a replacement. No sex for about two years. After the second implant he was looking as always. What was different was he wanted someone to support him financially.

              After putting up with years of abuse Nancy won the pickme dance as I filed.

              It had nothing to do with cheating as he led a double life for decades. It’s too bad there’s no character implants.

            • Mine did nothing about his “erectile dysfunction” until he went heavy in to the affair (2012). First Viagra, then Cialis. I guess it did not matter that he could not “perform” for me. Add that to the list of abuse.

        • My quote is “I would care more about what so-and-so thinks of me if I actually valued their opinion.”

    • There is a great book out there titled “The Lies We Tell Ourselves”. I read this right after d-day and on this particular subject it is a great read.

    • I heard that in Al Anon 34 years ago… oldie but a goodie. A companion pearl of wisdom to that one, from an Al Anon meeting as well is:

      “Just because someone says you’re a zebra doesn’t mean you’re a zebra.”

      Clued-in healthy people realize that talking smack is an indicator of the poor character of the messenger. Just last night, waiting for dinner in the Jack in the Box drive-through, I was meditating on how clueless affair accomplices are, completely blowing by the massive waving glowing highlighted neon red flags in each hand of a married/committed person talking smack about their spouse/partner.

      • “Clued-in healthy people realize that talking smack is an indicator of the poor character of the messenger. Just last night, waiting for dinner in the Jack in the Box drive-through, I was meditating on how clueless affair accomplices are, completely blowing by the massive waving glowing highlighted neon red flags in each hand of a married/committed person talking smack about their spouse/partner.”

        That’s right because if they will talk smack about the person they loved enough to marry, they will talk smack about You too, AP, when/if they marry you. Why can’t they see that these people are not loving and kind.

        I was reading about narcissistic abuse and the lady said that the love bombing phase when they are so nice to you, so giving they would give you the shirt off their back and give you jewelry and purses and clothes and flowers, that is because they must had perceived as good people. It’s image management for the narc. It’s not their real personality. it’s just to say “look how wonderful I am, now worship me”

  • My ex told skankella that I could not keep a job. That I stole money from him. I didn’t clean the house just sat around and watched tv. He also told her that I was a Nut job and would scream at him for no reason. He told his parents that I was stealing and hiding money. And had massive credit card debt. All while he was stashing cash in their safe. He forgot to tell them he was screwing my cousin.
    What he failed to tell Skankella was he verbally abused me for most of our marriage. Only gave me $400 to $800 a month towards bills. Refused to put me on his health insurance because it would cost to much. He needed to lie about me to justify his cheating.
    He asked me not to tell people that he cheated that it is no ones business. I told him it is not my job to protect his reputation.

  • I struggled with the knowledge that people thought badly of me following D’day. That the cheater was so good a lier that he was able to so convince people he was the victim of our relationship to the point people were willing to ignore that he had cheated on me with other men and buy the lie that he was the victim of a crazy angry estranged wife. One man in our circle even had the audacity to ask me if I had his confession of cheating in writing. No moron I did not get it in writing, ooops my bad.

    I so desperately wanted to prove to people I was not the bitch he was painting me to be but it was exhausting. One day my now ex sister in law / now very good friend said…… you do not have to prove yourself to anyone. Those who know the truth and accept it and you are the ones who really know you and care. Those who don’t are not worth your time. And she was right. It took some time to come to terms with and I will admit it was not easy, but 6 years on and the reality is I do not have to prove my worth and discredit his lies because my truth is shining and his reality is crumbling. I am about to graduate with a degree and he is history repeating its self with wife (victim) number two. You do not have to prove that the cheater are full of shit because those who side with them will have not choice but to acknowledge it at some point because they do not change. Hang in there do not put your energy into trying to win people over who are not worth your time and those whose opinions are drowning your thoughts stop and ask yourself will their opinon matter in 12 months 2, 4 ,6 years time. If the answer is no then you know what you have to do. Stop trying to make sense of the crazy and validating your truth, just live your life and let the crazy do its thing.

    • Thankful, I did have proof in ex’s own handwriting that he was cheating. After he left I found notes he had written with pros and cons for me and ow. It was devastating but certainly proved the affair when he later said they were “Just friends” Ha! I did show the notes to close friends but would not have shown them to anyone else. I didn’t need to show them as proof but just to unburden myself.

      • I found his emails to her. He deleted them all, but by some miracle this totally un tech savvy me undeleted 3 months of their emails! Of course he said he will tell everyone that I altered and doctored the emails if I ever show them to anyone. So I have stopped trying to defend myself. He has a vested interest in demonizing me, and that will never change.

  • I’ve told this before but my hairdresser told me, in front of a guy who knew ex, that ex was telling everyone in the ho bar that I used to beat him up when he came home from work. Problem was (1) he’d actually have to GO to work occasionally for me to beat him up when he came back and (2) my bursting into fits of laughter at that, ‘cos I was so shocked, put paid to anyone believing that lie. As did my being introduced to another “friend” from the ho bar when I went for a coffee. This guy had seen me around quite a lot and I was dressed fine because I was on the way home from work. Apparently he had been thinking about asking me out for some time – and then he found out I was the “violent wife”! His jaw dropped too when he put 2 and 2 together. He did ask me out in the end but while I politely said “no” my thought was “not if you were the last man of earth my dear, given the company you keep”!

    • I was also accused of being abusive. I think this is a go to excuse for some cheaters because folks won’t question it and it absolves the cheater of anything they’ve done.

      It’s bullshit. I wasn’t abusive, yes I yelled but that was primarily because he was CHEATING on me.

      • The lies they tell to justify their behavior! I was 120 lbs at 5′ 4″ when I left him. He’s got 4 inches and over 50 lbs on me. One day in the misty past, we were on the couch and XAss made some kind of absolutely ridiculous pronouncement. I laughed and flicked him on the shoulder for saying such a stupid thing. The way he reacted you would have thought I had come at him with a butcher knife. Over a year later he told the court that I was abusing him by repeatedly flicking him on the back of the head. I knew then that this guy would stoop to every low, and be absolutely unashamed of his lies and deceptions.

      • I was abusive too.

        I was “financially abusive” because I managed all the accounts (XW isn’t a native English speaker, and didn’t grow up in the US, so it was natural for me to setup up utilities, insurance, etc., when she first arrived). She had passwords to every account (which were all joint) so she had equal access, but she was happy to let me do all the grunt work until the day she left, announcing that I was abusive. She had her own credit credit cards that I paid out of our joint account. I never prevented her from spending money on anything in 20 years together.

        She also implied that I was physically abusive by telling people (including our daughter) that she had to leave because she was “afraid for her safety”. I never laid a hand on her (or anyone actually) in my entire life. Once – during peak discard – I yelled at her (I just repeated over and over “I can’t fucking believe you started this without thinking through the consequences”. I think that’s pretty mild, actually.) It may even be true – maybe she was afraid – but it’s not because of anything I did. I think she projected a tragically common scenario (husband assaults cheating wife) onto me, despite my actual character, because it provided a justification for her to leave me and the kids.

        • I was a *bully* –

          My personality couldn’t be any further from being a bully.

          A classic case of blame shifting, ex is the most cruel wicked, vengeful person I’ve ever known.

            • Mine has said that I’m a liar, a manipulator and that I have anger issues. Fuck yeah I have anger issues – he cheated on me with one of my own clients and now lives with her, he skimmed cash from our family money to pay for hookers and he lost his job because he’s a bully. He’s lied to our daughter and said that I’m breaking the law because I’m not providing access for visitation (not true), and he’s told everyone that we are getting separated because I neglected him. Every few days I get a text about the next fucked up thing I’ve supposedly done to wrong him yet again. I get the ‘word salad’ mix from hell that is so confusing even a top notch scientist couldn’t decipher it. Oh, and I’m also depressed and crazy apparently. And…wait for it… he’s the victim because he has to rent an apartment and I ‘get’ the family home (he stopped paying the mortgage when he left). And he said, ‘you lost this marriage and you’ll have to wear that for the rest of your life”. The blame shifting could not be any worse and it feels so searingly painful even when you know it’s all complete bullshit.

            • I was a “pathological liar” took him over 20 years before he realized he was married to a “pathological liar.”

              I was also lazy, he wanted me to work but I refused. I sacrificed my career and continued education following him around the country with an infant, so he could build his career and he didn’t like commuting. He called it “our” career and promised he would make my sacrifice worthwhile.
              Hours away from the nearest store, living in less than desirable housing, without friends and family, with an infant while he traveled the world for work to advance “our” career.
              I would have much rather been working, living near family with a career and medical benefits. I’m responsible, medical insurance and security were always a priority, I would never have sacrificed my career had I known.
              It’s inconceivable to me, how anyone can blatantly lie and slander without any remorse. No empathy, compassion or conscious. Hannibal Lechter comes to mind. I realize now that everything out of his mouth is a lie or form of manipulation. Pathological liar..,

  • I’ve told this before but my hairdresser told me, in front of a guy who knew ex, that ex was telling everyone in the ho bar that I used to beat him up when he came home from work. Problem was (1) he’d actually have to GO to work occasionally for me to beat him up when he came back and (2) my bursting into fits of laughter at that, ‘cos I was so shocked, put paid to anyone believing that lie. As did my being introduced to another “friend” from the ho bar when I went for a coffee. This guy had seen me around quite a lot and I was dressed fine because I was on the way home from work. Apparently he had been thinking about asking me out for some time – and then he found out I was the “violent wife”! His jaw dropped too when he put 2 and 2 together. He did ask me out in the end but while I politely said “no” my thought was “not if you were the last man of earth my dear, given the company you keep”!

      • I am a hairdresser/Barber. The stuff that people share with me is shocking.
        I always proclaim “what’s said in the salon, stays in the salon”.
        This applies to decent human beings. Cheating, stealing or any shenanigans get shouted from the rooftop now. Oops – my bad. Did I say that out load….yes.
        Good for her. And good for you fixing your picker.

        • Good for you. This lady knew me for years and I think she wanted to make a point to her friend (who went to the same ho bar as my husband and was saying how sorry he was for him) that ex was full of BS! I’m glad she did it too.

  • It took a bit for me to realize that there’s no need to concern myself with what my STBX says about me. Do I really care what his best friend, who’s facilitated at least two of his affairs, thinks about me? My mother-in-law wore black to our wedding, so after 25 years, there’s no love lost there. Why do I really need to agonize over what each of his mistresses has been told? There’s no need to worry about the opinions of any one who’d jump into bed with a married man. He chose his narrative to hide all of his misdeeds (I didn’t just leave because of the cheating). I’m biding my time; I’ll have my day in court. And, there is such a thing as karma.

    • Finally Free,

      My XMIL also wore black to our wedding. She was a bitch from the start and she was XH’s biggest supporter in the spread of false narrative. She told XBIL that she called our home and a “man answered the phone!” while XH was staying with “Just A Friend”. Obviously no one was in my house, and not even my dad answered our phone if he visited.

      Bottom line: When you see the mold, you understand the Jello.

  • The hardest part about this issue for me is what the EX tells the kids. I keep hoping that the truth will out, and they’ll come to their own conclusions about who is lying, but the desire kids have to love both their parents means my kids continue to be vulnerable to their father’s lies (and I continue to feel victimized by them). The fact that I have an EX who continues to foster a “your mom or me” mentality more than 8 years after the marriage ended only makes it worse (for the kids and me). I keep reminding myself that their willingness to endlessly forgive him for disappointments, excuse his anger, offer him another chance no matter how he vilifies me is not a betrayal of me but a desperate struggle to have a father. I don’t know if I’ll ever reach “meh” on this issue–probably because it is the only place where our lives still intersect. I don’t care how he spends his money, who he sleeps with, what grandiose plans he formulates and fails at, etc. I do care that he actively works to undermine my relationship with the kids by spewing all kinds of lies about me.

    • I feel the same way Eilonwy. He has been alienating my step kids for quite some time. So when we separated they couldn’t wait to get away from me and believed “I am a lesbian” narrative. Why else would I leave him. I still laugh at it but sadly i do not have a relationship with those kids anymore and I struggle with the custody issues of our young daughter in his care. She comes home and shares some of the things they talk about and it’s so over the top. It’s hard to get to meh when mama bear comes out and wants to protect the young ones. It hurts and super hard not to react and feed the kibble meter. I told my therapist yesterday this covert narcissist asshat could make Ghandi react. I got the special kind of fucked up as I think CL puts it for sharing parenting with. (Can’t wait for that book)

      • I watched my ex talk smack to his kids about their mom when he and I were together. I did not participate, of course. Being a stepmom, I assumed that was not my business. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when the ex then started talking smack about me to his kids after I discovered his affair and told him we were done. He was successful in alienating all but one. I’m grateful to still have the one stepkid in my life.

    • Eilwony, it’s important that your kids know that it is NOT NORMAL OR HEALTHY to have to struggle like that to maintain a relationship, and that it is NOT NORMAL OR HEALTHY for him to be putting you down, to the kids.

      You can’t really address this kind of thing directly unless the kids are at least over 10 or 12 years old and are asking about it. But you CAN address it indirectly. When you watch a TV show or a movie with a kid, point out manipulative or abusive behaviour. Ask them what seemed ‘off’ about a conversation in the show or a character in the movie, or in a book they’re reading.

      Have conversations about the people around them; teachers, neighbours, friends, about who is truly kind, and how you can tell (ACTIONS, not words!).

      Discuss how you can tell what people’s character is like, emphasizing consistency of behaviours and attitudes – that everyone can have a moment of selfishness, dishonesty, meanness etc, especially while young and immature, but that when people frequently act or talk a certain way, it’s revealing who they are.

      Talk to them about situations you go through w/difficult people, as they grow up. Show them how you decide you need to set a boundary, how you set it (open communication), and how you enforce it (you only control you).

      We teach our kids these things because they are important life skills – way more so than algebra or French verbs. When we have, unfortunately, raised our kids in a household where there is emotional abuse, we have to be much more persistent and careful about teaching this stuff, because that’s NOT what they learned in their family life.

      It’s the kids who will apply this wisdom to the Cheater, if the Cheater continues to treat them so badly. Then we can support them, validate their perceptions and choices and boundaries. And undo some of the harm we did, unknowingly, by giving them that selfish parent.

      • And in order not to be the downer, also talk to your kids about what you see/experience as GOOD in people, how that is shown consistently, how great it feels to be supportive or help a friend in a time of trouble …..

        And insist that your kids do the ‘non-entitled’ stuff; small household chores (NOT for pay; families do these things), being on time, respecting others including you …..

    • The justification of her cheating and abuse to the kids blows my mind. She has them convinced that it is OK to lie about her affairs. That she is the victim. They actually don’t remember all the abusive things she did, only my reaction to them. She punishes them if they say ‘hi’ to me at school events. Makes them into flying monkeys at times. Of course, the smear campaign, she went after ALL my friends but a couple who hated her anyway. I have had to rebuild my life.

      • If a person is that low in character they have no problem smearing us to the kids. They will play the victim with the kids, and often the kids buy into the fake pity stories.

    • Yes, Eilonwy, that was my first reaction to this post too: that I don’t really care about what most people think of me, but I have serious concerns about my kids. I don’t think that STBX (we are both women) will actively try to turn them against me – that must really suck, SirChump! – but I don’t trust her or her family/friends not to sustain the narrative that I’m a negative person who just couldn’t get over STBX’s two affairs and other problematic behavior over the course of our marriage.

      Of course, I will do what others have recommended here, including modeling healthy boundaries with my kids and having frequent talks about what is healthy and what is not. (Both my kids have already started following my lead in pointing out all the relational dysfunction in Top 40 pop hits. It’s become a kind of parlor game with us!) And I like the idea of making sure to point out the good in people, too.

      This is just a sore spot with me right now, because we are telling the kids this coming weekend about the divorce, and they will be devastated. And I am exhausted, trying to find an apartment in our pricey area, just feeling so stressed that I honestly don’t know whether I can keep an even keel if they start asking (totally reasonable!) questions, and we have to deflect. We have agreed (with therapists’ guidance) that STBX will tell our 17-y-o more about what’s been going on if she asks, but she may not ask. And we have also agreed that our 8-y-o shouldn’t be burdened with more info than is needed right now, but we will continue having conversations as they age. But it’s tough, because kids know when you’re not being fully honest, and I feel so bruised that I might well come off sounding harsh, though that’s not my intention. It’s been brutal, not being honest with my own kids in my own house about trauma that to me, has been at least equivalent in pain and life-disruption to the cancer treatments I have had.

      I try to be grateful that at least I can trust STBX to take decent care of the kids 50% of the time post-divorce, but tbh I can also see how it might be emotionally easier if she were an abandoner. It has already been hard for me, and will continue to be hard, to see how she uses the kids for kibbles (emotional supply), because I feel like I can’t point it out directly. STBX will always want to be close to the kids, even if she partners up with someone else, and because she has a filter problem, I think it’s just a matter of time before I will have to deal with her (and her flying monkeys’) tearing me down (even if subtly) in front of the kids to make herself look better. Co-parenting with a fuckwit always sucks!

      • Hey Lez, i can feel your anger about telling the kids & doing so whilst in a vulnerable space of trauma. Perhaps come up with a couple of clear, factual statements which you can stick to with them. Ones which honour your current state of hurt but which also reflect honesty about the situation. Something like “as you are probably aware things between your mum and I have been tense and as a result of some of her choices which have hurt me deeply, we can no longer stay married”. Speak only for yourself, and let her present her side. Do not fall into the trap of talking from a “collaborative” position. Avoid presenting a combined narrative. You are no longer a team, a cohesive unit or a family which operates from the same page. You want to be able to stand on your own feet regardless of how she chooses to spin the story in future. Having a solid stance with a few truthful statements to back it up will help you along the way.

        You say you trust her to want to care for her 50%. This waves a flag for me. Be alert to trusting her in ANY arena, with the kids especially. If, as you say, they’re kibbles to her & leverage to keep her looking shiny & decent, then she doesn’t see them as humans with genuine feelings. They’re “kid appliances”. Useful to the cheater for a purpose only, just like we were as wife appliances.

        I have two daughters, just turned 18 and 8 years old. My elder daughter knows all the major infractions (gorey detail excluded). She knows how much betrayal & lies & pain & trauma I’ve endured. She has been my number 1 cheerleader through from Dday, to moving out, to rebuilding and on to moving forward with courage. This situation, despite being horrific, has brought massive lesson for her in identifying poor character, development of resilience and how to gain a life after trauma. She’s a young adult. I treat her as such & have watched her blossom now that we a free.

        My 8 year old was given an age appropriate version. She knows her father lied to me, hurt me with his choices and that as a result I’ve chosen minimal contact with him. She knows I do not wish to be friends with him and that I will always look out for her well being. She knows her siblings don’t see her father by their own choice. She knows she can share her feelings & that she is loved dearly by our side of her family. She has the shit sandwich of the OW when she is with her dad. She will grow to hear more of the back story as she matures.

        I wish you all the best with the delivery of the message to your kids. Remember, they pick up on things far more than they’re often given credit for. This is long game stuff. As sane, stable parent, you will find yourselves at a point where there is no more drama. It will end and you will not be caught in the chaos web of your exes making forever. There is peace coming your way! Xxx hugs!

      • I hope you will talk to someone other than your STBX about what the kids should hear–get an outside perspective. I told my children very little and regret it. The EX used my integrity against me and spent a long time lying to the kids and attacking me when he had custody before I figured things out. Your STBX has a lot to gain from getting you to agree to hide information from the kids. Make sure you are doing what is best for the kids and best for you–not best for your STBX. A 17-year-old should probably hear a pretty unvarnished version, and even the younger child should hear the broad strokes of the problems.

        I know your STBX may not be as dysfunctional as mine was, but if you are stewing or steaming over what isn’t going to be said, that is a pretty good signal that you are being expected to stifle truths to protect someone else’s reputation. If I could do one thing over about my divorce, I would be much more direct and uncompromising about what I told the kids.

        • Thanks for the kind words, Onething and Eilonwy. I have thought hard (obsessed?) about what to tell the kids for a year and a half – read so much, talked to the kids’ therapists and several other professionals, really have fought hard to get STBX to realize that our kids deserve some explanations too. The professionals all acknowledge the fairness of what I’m saying, that I’m uncomfortable with further lies and secrets, but they say (and I understand) that this is a long game, and we don’t have to discuss it all up front – even with my teen, who is old enough to ask for more details if she wants to hear them. (We have agreed that STBX should reveal that there have been two affairs, if 17yo asks what we mean by “hurt.” I have already told her that I experienced an emotional trauma over a year ago, but she didn’t ask any more about it, and I didn’t discuss the cause.)

          With my younger kid, I am feeling more or less okay with just saying that it will be healthier for me not to be married to her mommy anymore, and we can talk more about that later. We have discussed the possibility that 8yo might directly ask whether STBX “dated someone else” outside the marriage – I have reason to suspect they might know that much, obliquely. (STBX ill-advisedly let 8yo “meet” the AP on FaceTime once, smh!) If that happens, we have agreed to say that we are setting a boundary around talking about adult problems. But 8yo isn’t stupid, and can put together two and two if STBX doesn’t categorically deny it. If 8yo comes back with repeated questions, we may have to revisit our understanding. I think it’s just a matter of time before I use the language of “hurt.”

          I am definitely NOT deferring to STBX on what to tell the kids – I’ve been fighting for my perspective for a long time, but also don’t have any interest in litigating things through the kids. I am concerned that if I deviate too much from what we’ve agreed to say, STBX will retaliate and attempt to defend herself (I mentioned her filter problem above). One silver lining is that this process has been going on so long, I’m already basically at meh emotionally with STBX – I hardly ever think of her outside of logistics. I’m still disappointed in her, that she couldn’t step up and deal with her sh*t and be a decent partner, but I really, really see at this point that spending any time and energy on her is a waste. So, I will try to move forward with my kids as best I can, try to make their shit sandwiches less shitty than mine have been. I think, in the short term, that will just involve a lot of distraction and maintaining space from STBX once I finally have my apartment. Thanks for being there for me! <3

      • I’d be tempted to tell the kids that she had relationships with other people while married to you, and that you don’t want that kind of relationship. Just factual, and in an non emotionally charged matter of fact way.

    • We are in the same boat. My ex has bashed me for 3 years to anyone and everyone that will listen. I probably have been bashed on every social venue he could hunt down along with every family relative of mine. Couldn’t care less! I have had to have strict boundaries our only communication is thru a court server and I have been called every name and thing under the sun. There is no communication with me when kids are with him and no communication with him when kids are with me. Strict court orders as far as times and locations and visitation schedule. I gave my daughter a phone to use to contact her friends. He got the # and was using it to contact her to bash me and my extended family while she was with me. So I was paying for him to belittle me to our children. Needless to say I took the phone -blocked him -forwarded messages to my attorney. But as we all know the legal system does nothing. My dad exchanges the kids and now has the our family wizard app on his phone, because nobody should be verbally abused even for the sake of the kids. So I am completely no contact and hope some day my children see the monster behind the man and walk away too! All you can do is be the sane parent.

      I saw this meme yesterday and I am going to use it to stay positive.
      “Stop complaining about your life. There are people out there dating your ex.”
      May we all find MEH.

  • It’s quite frustrating for sure . It’s one of the most painful parts of the mindfuck. The mind movies , the lying , the sneeking , gaslighting, etc. all add up to the gut punch . But in retrospect the idea that I was being painted on a skewed canvas , was being described in the most obscure ways and the idea that people who knew me better than that swallowed it all was the truest part of the betrayal . In any EA/PA you will be talked about , your “spouse ” will attempt to change the narrative to suit – justify their fuckupedness. Further the intimate details of your life will be discussed in not so flattering ways and will become an “inside joke ” amongst the fuckwits. That shit hurts me still . To be cheated on , laughed at, lied to, bullshitted, back stabbed , misrepresented and so much more really feels like CL described as being beat up by a biker gang. But in the bigger picture she is on husband #4 and cheated on all the ones before and now after showing her MO do people who we in her corner then tell me that I was the ” good guy “. I just smile and without comment walk away.

    • Anyone who casually mentions that they are on spouse #4 would get an immediate eyebrow raise from me. Especially if they are on the youngish side. Especially if they blame all those ex-spouses for the break up of the marriages. Especially if they remarry quickly after the previous marriage ends (think wet ink on paperwork…). That speaks volumes without be overtly said, KWIM?

      • A friend tried to set me up with a woman who was single after divorce number 8. I declined. By the time I bumped into my friend again, a couple months later, the woman had already met and married number 9. It boggles the mind.

      • I just found out tonight that cheater ex is engaged to be married in July. Our divorce was final last August (less that a year prior). Moved the girl in 3 weeks after our divorce. Cheater ex married me just six months after his previous divorce was final (pushed the issue because I was newly pregnant and he was getting deployed and wanted me on his insurance). I didn’t want to rush into it but no, had to get married right away. He married his first wife after 5 weeks of dating because he was celibate and they were so in love. Dude is 36 and will be on his 3rd wife?!! Still hurts my heart but what a fool I was and he still is.

    • New York nutbag

      (( hugs )) let them talk and slag you off behind your back . We will never know what these cheaters say but i can bet nothing is complimentary .

      But ask yourself if you met a married person and all they did was slag their spouse would you not say well you have issues to sort out in your marriage don’t involve me . These cheaters and AP are lowlife scum

      They will still be talking about you when you have a fabulous new life miles away from cheaters

    • New York, what surprised me is the number of people who I thought were “friends” believed ex’s outrageous lies about me. Ex told history with stories of him being the victim and me being the alcoholic abuser, mentally unstable and unwilling to compromise or go to therapy. Poor guy, with tears in his eyes told them he just couldn’t take it anymore
      I had a small fender bender in the school parking lot and he told everyone who would listen that I was drunk..I didn’t find that out until 6 months later. I had wondered why other parents who I was friendly with quit talking to me and began looking the other way when they’d see me.
      I kept everything to myself thinking it would be more dignified to keep our business to ourselves. I was also under the assumption that people would be able to see through his lies.
      Ex also “confided” in our son with his lies and insinuations that I was difficult to live with and had been a terrible Mother. Somehow our son began believing his version of events. It didn’t help that neighbors who I thought were my friends sided with ex.

      These “friends” laughed while he ridiculed me, before I dumped the “friends” one told me ex was so funny. Neighbors were getting together with ex and he was keeping them entertained with what he was saying about me.
      At first I was hurt and ashamed. I held my chin up,I didn’t do anything deserving of the treatment I was receiving. I have no control over them. It’s like trash taking itself out. Their behavior and his is a reflection of their character and maturity, not people I want to have in my life.
      It’s actually a form of adult bullying.
      Ex acts as if he is above everyone, he’s arrogant, and condescending, looks down on anyone who he deems is underserving of his presence.

      One of the many red flags is when I met his family and two of his sisters were getting divorce. His sifters were making fun of their husbands and alienating their kids from their Dads. I brought it to ex’s attention because at the time I was horrified. Ex assured me that he wasn’t that way… I wish I had ran

  • That is something I had to get over during the divorce, that he was telling everyone that I was a cheater too, even though I wasn’t cheating on him. I realized that he had been talking bad about me to his friends and family ever since we married as a way of justifying his cheating.

    I came to terms with this, that my truth may be the only thing I have left, but it was enough. I believe in myself and have faith that one day, the whole truth of the matter will come out. I live by my principles. I sleep soundly at night knowing who I am and what I believe.

    I’ve had two of his new GFs reach out to me over FB messenger to tell me they have learned he is a cheat and abusive. I don’t answer back. It’s up to them to learn the truth and decide what they need to do to be safe from him.

  • I really don’t give a toss what anyone is saying about me

    As CL says lets look at the source

    1- My Ex Husband a liar and a cheat who i divorced on grounds of adultery
    2- His family – well they brought him up to be who he is and i will never be in their orbit ever again
    3- His work mates – don’t know them , don’t care
    4- The OW – well her opinion of me matters not a jot ! She sleeps with married men from her work and gets knocked up and engaged to married men
    5- The OW family and friends – well i am sure they know nothing about me but even if they do refer back to point 4

    I know who i am . What anyone else thinks about me i really don’t care . I know my friends love me and that’s all i care about

    • Thanks for reminding me of this karenb6702. I still struggle with the way I was cast adrift by him and his family and Switzerland friends who are now revealing themselves.

  • It is a sad social truth that people lie, and others believe the lie, because the lie enhances a social image they want to promote, or covers up actions they do not want known to others, or for reasons known only to them, the lie is more entertaining than the truth.

    I think that some people believe lies because it makes them feel better about themselves, or how they appear to others. You do not have to go far to see lies and manipulations in action – just watch the news. It is full of stories about what someone said, and the counter story of what was really said. You have facts, and then you have alternative reality quasi facts.

    I was the new kid in school often while I grew up. My mother was a teacher, and she took her children to school in which ever district she was teaching. That way she did not leave us alone to catch the bus, or be latchkey children until she got home after school. I understand why she did it, but an unintended side effect was we had to virtually start over socially every time we started school. We upset the social hierarchy just by being there. We were not always welcome. It is amazing how many lies were told and incorrect assumptions were made by the other students, simply because we were there. Some people were friendly, some people were hostile. None of hem knew us, at all.

    The point is they believed what they wanted to believe as it suited them in their social world order. Because of this experience, I learned at a fairly early age not to care what other people think if they base their opinion on how you affect them. If they do not know you, but they are willing to believe, or manufacture, stories about you, they are not worth your consideration. You cannot control them, and it is not your job to make them like you..

    People who are friendly keep an open mind, and evaluate you based on their interactions with you. These folks are the ones who decide whether or not to be your friend based on their own observation of the evidence of your actions. These people may develop into true friends. You cannot control their decisions either, but you can control your own actions. If you want a friend, be one. Don’t worry about the others who don’t take the time to know you. You have better things to do with your time.

  • Getting free involves a series of acceptances, the first of which is that your spouse actually is the person they’ve revealed themselves to be. Getting to that acceptance and through the divorce is hard, so when you then realize you next have to accept that you can’t control other people’s ideas of what happened, it’s like a follow-up punch.
    I feel as if in addition to divorcing my husband, I had to divorce my job (we used to work together, and I couldn’t continue to do that), and not a few of my friends (because we worked with many of them). I go forward because I have to, not because I wanted to, but I’ve accepted that building a new life free of the fuckwit, his flying monkeys, and Switzerland friends is a task I’m equal to. In fact, I’ve realized how much better off I am without being locked in a marriage with a disordered person who shucked all the work of a marriage and household off onto me, was selfish and proligate with money, and who blamed me for his own unhappiness and went out looking for cures in other women and in internet porn, and am looking forward to seeing what that life I’m making can become.

    • That’s me too….. it’s slow going, but I’d rather be alone than with shallow people with a drink in their hand. Turns out there’s a whole world out there that doesn’t care what kind of car you drive. Thanks for being there.

  • Oh, #4, how I wished I had known/believed you sooner.

    I lost everyone except my own family (mostly) with the divorce. EVERYONE. He got to all of them. I was being such a “good girl” (not putting anyone in the middle, not bad mouthing him, not asking anyone to take sides…) and he systematically poisoned all of the people we both knew.

    Well, that was how I thought of it. For years, I was so angry at HIM. That was my narrative, that he “poisoned all my relationships with our mutual friends.”

    Then one day it hit me — these were people who had known me, seen me live and breathe my ethics for YEARS on end – some of them people I had helped when they were struggling with terrible pain and bad times – yet were still willing to believe completely ridiculous and out-of-character stories about me without even trying to vet the stories directly with me AT ALL.

    I don’t know if it was a harsher truth or not, but what actually turned out to be true was that none of those people was a true friend.

    I mean, I don’t just believe ugly stories about people I know and love that don’t make any sense. I talk to my person and ask questions and make my own decisions, get their side of the story, believe my own experiences.

    Why was I so damned disposable?

    The answer, of course, was that he had always controlled the narrative. It’s the only feasible explanation. Every person we both knew was a person he had carefully ensured he would “win” if there was ever a split between us. My whole life was permeated with people who were willing to lie to me and abandon me in the blink of an eye. I had slowly become isolated away from anyone who had my back and immersed in a pool of people who had his. I never saw it coming — and I paid with everything when I dared to end it with him, which was just how he arranged it.

    I still hold a lot of resentment, but at least now I resent what’s real. If any one of those people tried to re-enter my life, it would be a hard “no”. Anyone who would cut me off like that with no discussion, no explanation, no consideration of how hurtful it would be to me — I don’t want monsters like that anywhere near my heart.

    What is it they say about keeping your own counsel? I’d add that part of this is keeping your own circle of real friends. Don’t let anyone isolate you into a closed society of mutual friends. It’s a trap, and a person who loves you in a healthy light won’t ask you to love that way. I wish someone had taught me about it sooner in life.

    • I got the exact same treatment. And because the XAss is a health care worker in a small community, of course they all sided with him, he controls their medications and knows all their secrets!

      Its been over 4 years since I left. Recently I ran into someone from that community that I had considered a friend but who didn’t even say goodbye to me when I left. She says to me, “You look really good!” with some surprise. I said thank you and moved past her without further comment. And that’s about the only vindication I will ever get.

    • Amisfree, same thing happened with “our” friends. I helped these people out in hard times. I gave them baby showers, took care of them when they were ill. Was there when they needed someone to watch their kids at the last minute or in the middle of the night. Had them over when they had arguments with their husbands. Brought food when there was a crisis in their family.
      Ex rarely talked with these friends until a couple of months before he abandoned me.
      Then over night they were his best friends, stopping to chat, falling over himself waving t them when they’d drive by. At the time I thought this is a good thing, ex is finally becoming more social.
      I know now that these “friends” don’t have a moral compass. No loyalty.
      Ex was more fun, venturing out on his new life, dates, night clubs, exciting stories, funny.
      Me? abandoned, pathetic, devastated, watching my world implode.
      They are the same “friends” who told me to get over it, and move on, a month after ex left.
      It wasn’t their 20 year marriage, their income, they weren’t losing their medical insurance.
      No empathy or compassion. These aren’t people I want in my life. They can have him.
      It seems they have more in common.

      • Oh Brit. I understand. I had been there for them for 20 years through everything. When I called my friend , shattered…..she was on her way to a concert with family. She came over later. When I asked her months later why she and her husband( who was a good friend of the dick) weren’t angrier over all the lies they had been told she said”it’s not like he cheated on us”. These people won’t let their 25 year old son sleep with his fiancée at their house. But the dick and the ho before our divorce was final? No problem. This friend has picked fights with me and promoted the dicks image even seeing the proof of 15 years of lies. So…..the loss of trustworthy friends is yet another loss in all of this mess. It just seems so unfair.

    • My ex and I were friends with many of our neighbors, all married couples. And he would often hang out with them at their houses without me saying I wasn’t invited, the wife was out of town, or it was just him and the husband hanging out on the deck having a drink. He did this with at least four or five couples in our neighborhood. I thought nothing of it at the time, but now I suspect he was working on his “Sisu is crazy/abusive/alcoholic/whatever narrative” the whole time! It’s mind boggling! And then you said, “The answer, of course, was that he had always controlled the narrative. It’s the only feasible explanation. Every person we both knew was a person he had carefully ensured he would “win” if there was ever a split between us.” Yes! It was this exactly because it wasn’t ALL neighbors, just a handful. I’m guessing the ones he didn’t do this with were people he knew he couldn’t control. Thank you for this insight, Amiisfree. I always enjoy reading your posts as you have wise things to say.

      • Sisu, sounds our neighborhood, ex suddenly started going to the neighbors for a beer or to talk with the husband. Something he never did before.
        I find out later that he was confiding in them listing all my faults.
        Mentally unstable, alcoholic, Bi-polar, uncooperative, unwilling to compromise or go to MC, difficult to live with, go into unprovoked rages. He was a victim to my abuse and tried everything to please me but I was always unhappy no matter what he did..
        Pretending to wipe tears from his eyes, he told them he loved me but didn’t know how much longer he could put up with me..
        If someone you love and care for is mentally ill, do you abandon them?? cheat? empty the bank acct? ridicule them? I must have missed that chapter in my psychology class.

  • Meh to what he tells his friends. I could care less because they are just like him. But it’s the kids and not necessarily what he says, but the part he leaves out. He tells them half truths trying to paint me as greedy. It’s been 10 years and I finally gave up defending myself. But I have begun to point out the inaccuracies of his half truths and it is beginning to make a difference. In time, like is stated here, the truth will prevail. And yes, the kids just want a relationship with their Dad even though he shows them over and over who he really is. He isn’t a father, he’s a manipulator. They just don’t want to believe it. Ugh.

    • Hi Melissa, I feel so strongly about this topic of the kids and their relationship w/a manipulator! Please see what I posted above, and see if anything there will be helpful.

      It’s one thing not to poison a kid’s relationship with their other parent. It’s another to let them believe they are dealing with a good and loving parent, when that is not the truth.

      I always told my kids, when there were discrepancies between what I was saying and what their Cheater Dad was, that they should observe each of us carefully and think about their relationships with each of us, as well as observing any factual info that might support one viewpoint or another. Then THEY can decide what to believe, with their own wise minds.

      BTW, my kids tried very hard to maintain a relationship w/their father, but didn’t put up with a lot of bullshit after they figured out he had essentially abandoned them. We live in a default 50-50 custody jurisdiction; he not only never asked for that, but within less than a year, was taking them for a day-and-a-half, twice a month, only. Later our daughter figured out, on her own, that he’d cheated, and had been lying to them about a bunch of stuff. They even went to family therapy with him, to give him a chance to repair. But they ended up cutting him off entirely, after several years. It was just too painful for them to deal with his selfish, negative, critical attitudes. This was super hard on them, but his reactions every step of the way just confirmed their choice.

    • Yep. I wrestle with this all the time. The blows come in waves. My EX has played my kids one way at age 10 and another way when they are 16. I can see the strategies they try to have a relationship with him–appeasing him, ignoring him, putting him on a pedestal, holding him at arm’s length, making him a hero. All of it kills me–mostly because no matter how they treat him, he tells them I am a horrible person who ruined his life and will ruin theirs if they don’t “get away” from me. Maybe they only believe him 1 day in 10 (because they are teenagers and my insistence on things like curfews and homework sometimes infuriates them), but playing against his narratives has been the shittiest part of parenting. Now he is on the verge of having a boatload of money (from his parents), and I fear we are about to move into the next phase of manipulation–buying their affection, which will be especially bitter as he has never paid a penny of support (due to his decision to remain unemployed and live with his parents). If he would use his inheritance to contribute to their college education, that would be great, but it will be offers to spend holidays in exciting places to entice them from spending them with me.

      I hope the Karma Bus driver gets just a bit tipsy one day and runs him flat.

  • One of my favorite sayings is attributed by Betty White to her mother,”What other people think of you is none of your business.” I decided when my marriage very publicly imploded that I was not going to give a damn about what complete strangers, and even passing acquaintances, thought of me. The people who loved me never wavered in their support. Yes, I shed a lot of so-called friends. Gotta shed that weight if you want to fly.

    • Love this Violet!???? “Know your worth.” Most of us were living our lives and rocking them! right up until we discovered our lover’s nasty little secrets. The day I realized x was cheating was the day I knew he no longer deserved to be a part of my life.

  • I read something the other day about society needs to stop “normalizing” cheating and start celebrating “honesty.” It is so true. People listen to the cheaters narrative and believe it because they love drama. They love to know the dirty details….true or not. They love gossip and think that life is a reality tv show. To question what the cheater is saying, means incurring the wrath of the cheater (HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME) and then they are discarded. That takes guts that many do not have. Why take the moral high ground when wallowing in the swill is easier? Why risk losing friends and social status? Many are too weak.
    It took me too long to figure all that out and once I did? Life suddenly got better.

    • You must know that a lot of people cheat themselves and so believe cheaters. I was around some people when one cheater pulled Sad Sausage, fishing for a next fuck routine my-wife-and-I-don’t -get-along. I just asked “Does she know that she’s unhappily married to you?” Everybody laughed (except him, of course).

    • WhoCareWhatTheySay, You’re right, people are normalize and glorify Cheating.
      Entertainment Tonight doesn’t focus on celebrities who are in long term marriages, loyal, family values, time spent as a family or couple.
      Instead you’ll see an older actor who recently split with their wife out with a young girl. No one bats an eye, instead it’s celebrated as if who or what they left behind didn’t matter. It’s the same mentality as well, they just weren’t getting along. The truth is the older actor left his wife and family for something new and society shouldn’t be so accepting. It’s another example of lack of empathy or compassion.
      No one cares about the wife and family left behind or the aftermath.. As long as older actor is happy, usually he’s never been happier according to him.

  • The longer it’s been since Dday the less I care what people think about what XH did— time heals!

    This resonated with me: “ People who believe the worst about you probably have a vested interest in believing that crap. You don’t control that. Your in-laws turned on you? Better you be the monster than believe their son or daughter is a lousy person. Not their special Pookykins! Maybe they’ve been believing all the crap said about you for years, and now that the affair has been revealed, they’d have to admit they were mistaken. Why be wrong? Who are you again?

    6.) Character is revealed over time. Who we are is revealed every day in every little action and decision. No one is perfect, but the arc of someone’s character — how giving they are of themselves, how considerate, how reciprocal — is perceptible. The people who matter aren’t swayed by your ex’s gossip and trash talk. The shallow people who are? Please, stop caring what they think today.”

    My ex-in laws produced XH. I don’t try to untangle the skein of fuckedupedness, but…. there are some who theorize that narcissist BPD-sociopath character traits are either genetic or caused by abuse/neglect by parents in early formative years — either way means that in-laws has a role or are this way themselves …. I reconsidered how they treated me for 26 years I was a loyal family member ….they are not good people. It still hurts that they utterly discarded me and their 4 grandkids without a single word but that itself speaks volumes about them!

    None of them were who I thought they were or hoped they would be.

  • I have always liked this concentric circle intimacy diagram which helps illustrate and define levels of intimacy with the people in our lives.

    In truth, we don’t have time for as many friends as we think we do, at any level of intimacy.

    I only want to associate with people who are loyal to me, so the self-sorting that comes with his character assassination is another one of the backhanded favors he is doing me. Like I said above, character assassination indicates the poor character of the messenger and if you’re not hip to that I don’t want you in my circle.

    There was an old man named Fred from my morning AA meeting who used to say “I don’t say anything about someone unless I am going to say it to ‘em.” It’s a simple phrase, easy to remember, that will keep you out of a world of problems. If you watch any episode of Real Housewives, you will see pretty quickly that most of the drama comes from drinking and talking about people instead of to them. I have taught my daughter this since she was born. She is the middle schooler that models that to her friends.

    The cheater is a con artist who has to character assassinate you to get a dumb mark to join him in his con game. Remember that at the end of the day.

  • My cheater was so good at controlling the narrative that not only did he keep many of MY friends from childhood, he convinced my family that I was the problem and they chose him as well. They spent holidays together with my kids and splashed their new traditions all over Facebook, while I was home alone. My mind was completely blown that his family and my family (and most of our social community) saw me as the problem, not that he was boinking some girl at the office and lying his face off (And they are all big time Jesus lovers!). There were Switzerlands everywhere and I literally just had to surrender and remove myself from just about every social circle. However, what I did learn….is that when your life is swiped clean, you are leveling up to a new version of yourself and those people served their purpose for your life, now it’s time to move on. I’m way stronger for it and while it hurt at the time, I’m free to be a better version of myself and I’m loving it. I would have never gotten to this point if I hadn’t been cheated on and left by everyone. Bye, bye cheater lovers, time for me to live free of the toxicity and the truth will eventually come out in the puddin!

  • This really hits home for me because of the way KK and the Chlorine Special have become ‘involved’ in the local storytelling community (months after I did, of course).

    I saw telling as a way to ‘find a new tribe,’ get back into the world in a new way, sharing new ideas and skills, etc. That well has effectively been poisoned. Seems like every time I make a new acquaintance in that space, I get word that he/she has also become acquainted with the Toxicity Twins, and the dynamic changes in subtle ways.

    And then there’s KK’s confirmation of this in comments via OFW, such as: “Storytelling people say to me, “[UXworld] is your ex? He’s an angry bitter person.’ You need help.”

    CL is correct — there is NOTHING I can do about it. I accepted that truth a long time ago.

    All 6 of her pointers are gold by themselves, but collectively point to: Be true to the goodness and decency that made you a chump in the first place, and accept that you cannot control what happens as a result.

    • Get that. When women say “you are a bitter angry person” people believe it. Men are easily smeared. I went through it also.

    • They would rather believe “you are angry and bitter” as an excuse for their fascination with people of low character and morals. I think they are like the cheaters themselves. On some level they feel guilty so they must make it your fault. Sad.

    • To be clear — its less and 50/50 that anything KK says to me represents objective reality.

      So while I don’t doubt the well has been poisoned to a certain degree by KK (and probably by CS as well), I don’t believe for a second that anyone actually said those words to either of them about me. This is her attempt to get me to believe the world thinks like she does.

  • My goal:
    Is to just keep showing up and be me, in my children’s lives, in my friends’ lives.
    Actions speak louder than words.
    Be there for those you love, everyday, so that will naturally include bad days as well as the good days.
    It really is simple.
    Cheaters suck, they only think about themself, and that keeps them so busy they have no time to be there for any other human being let alone their own flesh and blood, or someone who once loved them with all their heart and soul.

    Big sigh……


    • Words to live by Peace. I’m looking forward to the day when I’m gaining friends instead of losing them. I’m trying to BE a good friend, but feeling shut out.

      • I am sorry Hope Springs. You sound like a lovely person. I would be proud to be your friend.
        Perhaps those who make you feel left out are not worthy of your friendship.
        Just be you, true friends will appreciate you, and in return, will reach out in true friendship to you.

  • I have no idea what CheaterX told people about me. I know that he was hiding the affair as he had worked on an image of an upright, religious man. Adultery would have torpedoed that image, and according to one of his former colleagues, there were rumors about CheaterX and Schmoopie flying around at work, which a lot of people dismissed out of hand because CheaterX was seen as too moral and also too smart to get involved with Schmoopie, who had a track record of affairs and tended to hit on every man whose paygrade was above hers.

    I did not stay silent about the affair. Since CheaterX and I never moved in the same social circles, I let the former colleague know, as she is the single biggest gossip I know, and I figured she’d spread the word for me among those he knows.

    The same former colleague reached out to me to say that CheaterX and Schmoopie were getting divorced, and that Schmoopie claimed that CheaterX was cheating on her….with me! I laughed and laughed, which I am sure helped dispel any notion that Schmoopie was telling the truth.

    I did get a couple of messages from CheaterX while all the drama with Schmoopie was going on, but I didn’t respond to them at all. His circus, his monkeys.

    • My favorite mantra – “not my circus, not my monkees.” I got it from someone who posted it on another post on this site. I find it easy to walk away from people when I figure out who I am talking to.

  • My Ex discovered a really excellent way to manage the narrative; the geographical solution!

    I met him when he was quite new in town, as was I. So I had no info to counter his narrative about how bad his previous 10 year relationship had become before it ended. And of course I didn’t know that one of the reasons it got bad was his cheating!

    Shmoopie #2 (the one I kicked him out for) lived in another city, he’d met her while working 4 days a week there for a few months. (Probably thought I’d never find out. Idiot. Just like #1, I knew what was going on before he was even sleeping with her.) He moved to live with her, then moved back when she dumped him, then moved again to live with her, then stayed there when she dumped him again. (Both times for another man, because Shmoopies are such quality people, of course). Big advantage; no one there knew him or anything about him. He could tell his new workmates and ‘friends’ and dates anything he wanted. Including, I’m sure, how I’ve alienated his children from him, pooooooor thing. Love bombing goes even better when the narc shows vulnerability …

    Once I confronted him about the 2nd affair, he NEVER spoke to any of our friends (read; mine extended to him) or my family again, didn’t speak to his family about what was happening (although really, the only person in his family who likes him is his narc mom). He even dumped the two people who were his friends, rather than ours, which I found out much later when they contacted me to find out how to reach him. One had been his friend for almost 20 years, and he just ghosted!

    I’m sure he’ll do the same as often as needed, although he now lives in a city big enough (and works in an industry where changing jobs is super common) that he can completely change to a place where no one knows him, easily. And Match allows him to meet women who have no prior info about him.

    I’m sure he tells them all what an awful person I am. Whatevs! The people who KNOW me mostly like me, and respect me, and enjoy being with me, and count on me. THEIR opinion matters.

  • It’s the hardest part. Even 8 years later, while I try and revive my creative career, I stumble across evidence of the OW (my colleague and friend, who holds a lot of power), wishing I’d just go away so her narrative can be that of a good person, who fell in love with her best friends partner. She has to be the most loved. I’m sure she wishes I’d just die.
    But….hello! I’m still here, making you look bad by just being alive.
    It’s very very difficult, and I’d never imagined just how bad it is for my health letting disordered exciting characters in my life. After another failed relationship with a non starter I’m at rock bottom again. In Alanon and spending this year sober, growing up and on my own. Finally. No more man-crack or emocoasters!

  • Oh and by the way.
    Thank you CL and CN.
    You have saved my sanity and raised my confidence and pride 100%.
    I only wish I’d found you in 2012.
    Loads of love to you all.

    • Dday sent me back to Al-Anon also. I’ve been going on and off since I was 17 (mom is a narcissist alcoholic serial cheater).

      I’ve been sober in A.A. and continuously engaged in that program for 31 years.

      Thank goodness for 12 steps, community, HP, and CL-CN!

  • “6.) Character is revealed over time. Who we are is revealed every day in every little action and decision. No one is perfect, but the arc of someone’s character — how giving they are of themselves, how considerate, how reciprocal — is perceptible.”
    This is beautiful and reflects the beauty of Chump Nation

  • The false narrative: my last hurdle to meh. I told people the truth about what happened to me. He told people lies and bullshit about what happened. Both stories are not pretty. The cultural narrative of “two sides to every story” gets strengthened because people hear both sides and see how different they are, therefore, according to the casual listener, the truth must be somewhere in the middle. Ugh. No, that is a false equivalency. And my story is my story – it is not gossip! It’s my story to tell if I want to. His new tactic is to tell people he now takes the high road and won’t talk about me anymore. But he shakes his head slowly and looks down as he says sadly, “but she’s just so angry.” He is a master manipulator. I’ll get there, but I do struggle with this still.

    • Oh Kathleen, I definitely understand this. There are 2 sides ……the truth and his lies. Of course the dick takes the high road of silence….in my Cheater’s case his charisma keeps him popular. CL posted a response once that I keep in the back of my mind….” I guess you’ll just have to read the book”…..I have a fantasy of publishing all the souvenirs, maybe a slide show? Hang in there….NC.

  • My ex moved hours away to be with the skank and told all his friends that I was supposed to move back near him (because that is what he told me I should do) but changed my mind to keep his daughter away from him. Umm….no I was settled and had a job and his 3 year old daughter was settled in preschool. He decided to move and gave me a few days notice of his departure. He’s lost so many friends because he walked out on his child.

    I just didn’t do what he wanted me to do and everyone found out he cheated. He couldn’t control the narrative anymore. Oh well.

  • Haters gonna hate. And cheaters are haters at their core, since they don’t know how to love.

    The good people will know who you really are and stick around. Those who sidle away out ignorance, embarrassment, or fear? Fuck ‘em and feed ‘em Froot Loops.

  • I wouldn’t assume that everyone buys their bullshit.

    My ex prided himself on being a nice guy….image matters above all else to him. He’d be mortified if he thought anyone knew about his dalliances with his 5 times married skank ex gf.

    And while he plasters a phony smile on his face and showers everyone with surface pleasantries, he’s really a nasty passive aggressive snarky coward who then plays dumb to he doesn’t have to own being a dick.

    You know what I found out after I left him? A lot more people then I realized had his number….people came out of the woodwork to tell me that something didn’t seem quite right about him and they’d never understood why I married him. They just kept their mouths shut while we were married out of respect.

    I’m sure there are some who buy his bullshit and that’s fine. Everyone in my life knows who and what he is. And guess what? A lot of people know about his skank. I’ve shared with my friends and these things have a way of getting around.

    Knowing him as I do I’m sure he’s frequently wondering what people know…because….image. It gives me a chuckle.

    • Sounds like my story, Kim. Like you, I found out afterwards that people had his number more than I realized. And since he thinks most people are assholes, I got the friends. He has peripheral friends that he sees during college football season and that is pretty much it.

      The therapist he is cheating with can have him. Wait til she realizes it is his picture in the DSM under narcism.

  • Remember that game where you add
    “….in bed….”
    to the end of any fortune in a fortune cookie?

    The infidelity version is to add
    “……said the liar, traitor, cheater, thief…..”
    to the end of any sentence that comes out of their mouth or anything you hear they say about you.

  • I don’t know how you snuck past the filters/moderators, but you can go get fucked in the ass with nettles that were first soaked in ghost peppers.

  • I let everyone within my circle know ALL the details of xw’s infidelity(s). Unsurprisingly, her sister and daughter sided with her. No big loss for me. The people that rally to us are the wheat separated from the chaff.

    As chumps we learn that our characters are assassinated with their co-adulterers very early on in the affair(s).

    We must be minimized or demonized as a requisite for their deceit to take root and establish the basis for their justifications and rationalizations. (See yesterday’s post).

    Social media is not the place to editorialize or air our shock, anger or hurt. Regardless of if the cheater does to paint their narratives for image control. No contact Rules.

    I edited my FB page and deleted All traces of xw. Closure came when my status changed to divorced. It was very tempting to lash out at her but I didn’t. Blocked, deleted and silent said all there was to say. She lived to elicit any response from me positive or negative so thuie best response was none at all. My side of the street was swept clean of any tinder she might use for a fire ????

    It matters little what she said about me to anyone. If I’m ever asked about her, my answer is “I divorced her adultery”. Nothing else follows.

    • I totally get the no contact, and not airing things on social media. I do have my fantasies though. It can be really hard feeling discarded for the younger model all the time. Such a cliche. And he imposes himself and the now OWife on every occasion since over a year before the divorce was final. He acts as if nothing happened….and people hate conflict ,so….. I have retreated from that life. I go only to events for my kids, and try as hard as I can not to let the “happy couple”s presence totally ruin things. Hate that I still give him that power.

  • This is something I struggled with, and it was a big source of fear of my last abuser. I’ve come a very long way since that relationship ended, and I’ve worked very hard on the Gain a Life part of CL’s mantra.

    I had this horrible (irrational) fear that my ex would come and blow up everything I’ve created and built for myself. Like somehow he would get news that I’m happy and doing well and he’d come and destroy it all by telling everyone that I’m a slutty, manipulative, freeloading liar and everyone would believe him and I’d lose all the friends and love that I have in my life now and I’d be left struggling and destitute and depressed like I was at the end of our relationship.

    But one thing that’s helping me get through the fear is that the people in my life now know me. Why would they believe the word of some random jerk saying bad things about me vs. their actual experiences knowing me? They’re not dumb, my social circle can judge well for themselves the difference between the horrible things that my ex could say and how I actually treat them and how I actually am.

    And if anyone did believe him even after knowing me, then they probably aren’t worth my time.

    I know this fear is pretty irrational. It’s part of the ptsd I’ve been dealing with and working through in therapy. But still, character reveals itself in time.

    • Amiisfree writes above about all the couple friends……this happened to me. All my “friends” were the wives of his “friends”. The dick is cool, charismatic, athletic ,etc……He’s convenient for the guys to have around, and the wives have crushes on him. I watched these women’s kids at my house when they were sick, carpooled, etc….they have seen the proof, read the emails, but are Switzerland. He has the boat, and goes on the ski trips that I used to…lesson learned. I am growing and getting a life of value. I try not to hope this blows up in their faces, but am still hurt. It’s a hard thing to accept that your friends are only in it for the fun and material gain.

  • Hi All,

    I’m not sure if this posted before. I couldn’t even tell I was posting on the right forum, so please forgive me if this ends up being a duplicate. This is the first time I’ve typed out my situation, so here goes:

    (TLDR for those who don’t want to read my essay; First day of no contact with slightly racist? emotionally and financially abusive cheater)

    I discovered your site last night, and I have spent the last 24 hours reading through the archives.

    I want to start by telling you that before I searched “am I an idiot for texting my cheating ex,” I simply wanted to just die from humiliation, loneliness and chumpdom. Finding this website has saved my sanity in this moment, and I would go so far as to say it’s saved my life.

    My story: I am a 33 year old black (important for later) female who was cheated on by my 31 year old white male (also important for later) partner.

    Why are the things above important? We both met in our Sociology PhD program and immediately bonded over discussions of race. He was soooooo interested to hear my perspective. I was like, “wow, this guy gets it.” He had a girlfriend at the time, and we all only hung out casually as a group.

    Fast forward to 2 years later, he starts to pop up at the 24 hour coffee shop I like to frequent, and we would sit together and do homework. He still had a girlfriend. During smoke breaks, he would start to tell me tales of how horrible his girlfriend was treating him (they were long distance). I listened, I empathized, and I even took up for HER. I told her she was probably just missing him.

    Soon after, he told me they had broken up. And very soon after that, he started asking me to go for drinks after studying. I KNOW I KNOW. AS I TYPE THIS. I FEEL FUCKING DUMB. But I digress. Eventually, we started going on dates, and I thought I had finally found someone that understood me. He was my first real relationship, and I was smitten. And then one weekend, a text from a random number pops up. Very cheery in nature. I asked who it was from, and he said it was from his roommate. I quickly googled the area code (because in my mind, I was very smart and very vigilant). And I said, that area code is the same area code as your ex. He responds with a yada yada, she won’t stop texting me. Blah blah. I understood. She was obsesses with him. She had been abusive. I pitied him. LOL

    6 months later, he was on a plane to visit her. I cut contact with him over the summer, but as our 3rd year of grad school rolled around, he was back in town. I went no contact, and HE CAME TO MY PART-TIME RETAIL JOB WITH A GUITAR AND FLOWERS AND SANG “I WANT YOU BACK” BY THE JACKSON 5. I Shit you not. I was humiliated. But I was also incredibly flattered. It was just like the movies. And I love myself some sappy romance moments. I took him back, obviously.

    A year later, he is still “helping her through the breakup.” I looked at his messages and one day saw that she had called me his “Sociology Project” and that “she felt sorry for me.” I was floored. He didn’t even defend me. He said she was hurting and she didn’t mean it. She did. But still, why didn’t he defend me?

    He talked at length about how insecure he was. He was a self-described hipster and had dreams to move to a big city. After MY graduation (he failed to graduate on-time, despite every opportunity to do so), I landed a job in the city he had dreamed about. We moved, and I thought we were off on a great adventure.

    He never found a job. He barely even put in effort into finishing his dissertation. I paid our rent, bought our groceries, paid for transportation, etc. I thought to myself, “in 10 years, maybe I’ll decide to be a stay at home mom, and he’ll be the one working.” I thought it was for the greater good of our relationship. Boy, was I wrong.

    I started getting irritated because instead of even trying to keep the same schedule as me (9-5, when he should’ve been working on his dissertation), he would go out, often by himself, “make new friends” at whatever bar, come home drunk, and sleep in late. I expressed my disappointment, and he always blamed his “depression.” I now think he wasn’t depressed.

    AND, he would be hot one day, and cold the next. I knew something was up, so I went to my old “abusive, privacy invading ways” and read his texts. Yep, he was talking to his ex again.

    He said, why wouldn’t they talk? They’re friends. Friends? I thought she was terrible to you?

    I think you know what comes next. Constantly degrading me for not wanting to go out after working all day. Deciding to go out by himself because I was “boring.” I continued to pay for everything.

    Finally, 5+ years into our relationship, and almost 2 years to the date of being in the new city, he tried to ghost me. THIS MOTHERFUCKER TRIED TO GHOST ME WHEN WE LIVED TOGETHER. He had been acting so distant, that I sent him an apology email AND cooked him dinner. You can guess where he was. Out with another woman.

    When he finally came back, he told me he met someone 2 weeks ago, and that they just had “a connection.” At first, he said it was just an emotional connection. I. was. floored. But, he trickle truth e over the span of two weeks until I found out it was a full physical affair. I frankly, still am in shock. I can’t remember a day without a panic attack. This happened in August of 2019. (BTW, I don’t think Ill ever get the full story on this. I don’t believe him that it was two weeks. He also invented a weird pregnancy/abortion drama that I’m not sue even happened. How does all of that occur within 2 weeks? Idk if it was meant to rile me up or what)

    I immediately packed a bag and went to an air bnb. Over the next few weeks, I stayed in an airbnb, while he stayed in the apartment I paid for. During those few weeks, he attended a wedding, and posted a picture with his ex. I was hysterical. Who was this person? Who IS this person?

    I quit my job and asked my parents if I could move home. They said yes, and I moved home in September. I told him he could figure out how to pay rent, since he already owed me anyways. He wept. Like, ugly cried. I believed his sorrow at first. I even cried with that ho.

    But then, he turned cruel. He was my only close friend, and really my only contact in that city. He was prepared to leave me high and dry. At a certain point when he was over my crying, he said “what did you think was gonna happen?” I told him I thought we were going to get engaged soon, and he laughed. I couldn’t believe this sweet man had turned into this cruel person.

    I moved in with my parents and threw all my energy into finding a new job. I found one! But, I kept in contact with him. He continued to be cruel. Remember when I said our races would come into play again? He said that his family would’ve never accepted me because I was black and happily spent Christmas with his racist grandpa, who his mom refused to introduce me to. Wtf? Why even tell me that.

    Today is my first day of NC, but after spending virtual time with the community here, I know I am better than what he gave me. I know now that I am good enough. He is the messed up one. I just need a reminder because often I feel so desperate and alone. Especially when he’s living rent free on my dime and probably whoring it up. It makes me so mad. But, today was the first day that it didn’t make me envious. That counts for something, right?

    • Hi BB,

      I am so sorry this is happening to you. You just joined the club that none of ever thought we would be in. Fortunately you have found ChumpLady and you are taking that step to start your new life. YOU ARE MIGHTY! And he did not deserve you!

      I too supported my XH – for many years. I thought we were a team and I was dumb-founded and devastated when I realized that it was all a lie. He was a lie.

      Continue building your new life. Keep up the No Contact. I know it hurts (really bad) but it will get better – I promise.

      Take care – sending you cyber hugs {{}}
      New Beginnings

    • He is a broken, manipulative person. You didn’t deserve what happened, but it’s his fault. You can take the energy you were wasting on him and build a wonderful life. Glad you found CN

    • Congrats on your first day of NC. There are going to be a lot of hard steps in front of you, but if you keep walking away from your EX, you will find yourself in a much better place. A lot of us have put up with ridiculous amounts of crap–and your lying, cheating, freeloading EX sounds all too familiar. The longer you maintain NC, the less attractive he’ll look.

    • BB, welcome to the club that no one wants to join, from another academic in her early 30s! I am so sorry you are here but glad you found Chump Nation. I’m about to hit two months of No Contact/ Gray Rock (just basic communication about taxes and divorce blah blah blah) and it is so painful at times but I know it is better than the alternative. There is such a wonderful community here to support you every step of the way—this site has helped me through some of my darkest days. Keep posting and we are here whenever you need support! Sending you lots of love and strength.

      • The book Women Who Love too Much has really shed a light on my problem of being addicted to idiot men children.
        I hope you find some peace, and quickly.

    • Dear BB, I’ll spell it out for you. Your ex is an immature (ab)using LOSER who can’t and won’t adult. Sorry if this hurts you, but he’s been cheating on you the whole time. Why is this person deteermining the course of your life?? Why do you leave jobs, cities and apartments for and because of him?? Why are you dimming the light of your excellence so the loser won’t feel bad about himself?

      There’s so much confusion here, undoubtedly to keep you confused and not thinking straight. He’s depressed? If so, is he in some kind of treatment or just manipulating you?

      You’re 33 years old. Right now you have to seriously think about if you want children and if so, finding yourself a nice guy. But first and foremost, you need a circle of friends and hobbies. Jog, play chess whatever, go out and meet people. Go online on chat rooms. Don’t be in a situation that abusive user and loser is your only friend. Seriously?

      You never stood a chance. You did nothing wrong. Do you know why these losers often chose something that cannot be changed (like your race)? So that they always have an excuse as to why ultimately they can’t be with you. I was also told by my ex that it wouldn’t work out between us because I’m white. Well, I’d been white when he met me and I was also white when he pursued me. Duh dude, I’ve always been so pale that I practically glow in the dark! Just a pathetic excuse of a comittmentphobe.

      He’s not your friend. You’re way, way out of his league. NO CONTACT!

    • BB, you’re in the right place. Keep marching forward! You’ve navigated through to this point with grace & so much mightiness. No Contact is your friend, it allows you the head space to start planning how to end this mess once & for all.

      He gets nasty because you’re holding him accountable. No Contact releases you from that abuse. Look to finding a way off the lease and so you no longer financially contribute to his lifestyle. In no way should you feel any need to continue to pay for him to screw you over. He’s a leech. Cut yourself free from any ties that still remain.

      Make new friends, ones who value you in their lives. Keep reading here. There is enormous wisdom in the archives! Big hugs xxx

    • BB – Sorry for all of the crap he put you through. Know that he was love bombing you from the start just to get you into the position you’re now in. Sounds cruel but that’s what narcissists do. Join us on the private group on Reddit and consider looking into the FDS subreddit (Female Dating Strategy) as there are a lot of women like us on the site. Kick him to the curb and out of that apartment. Don’t change your life for him. Good luck and No Contact is the key.

  • BB, I’m glad you found ChumpLady and hope you find solace here. Your ex sounds like a horrible person and in time you will be glad you are rid of him. I love to hear how young you are – you could have 60 happy years ahead of you! Stay strong, keep reading – you are not alone.

  • Character assassin has been the hardest part of this for me. I can handle my in-laws thinking terrible things, and even some mutual friends, but my kids?!
    They are 25 & 23 and Asshat has twisted the narrative so I am the one they blame. I couldnt forgive him for such a little thing like having a 10 month online affair and lying to me over and over again. They both live and work with him (and my in-laws…talj about influence) so his truth is all they know. He has successfully isolated them from me. My daughter has blocked my calls. I am now “the terrible mom who never was there for her”. I am the cause. Asshat provokes and provokes and when I finally speak out he says… “See what your mother is doing!”.
    The kicker is, I was a great mom! Always put my kids first. Gave them unconditional love, was there to support and help them . He did n.o.t.h.i.n.g!
    It almost feels like I’m being Punked. How in the world did this happen? I finally had to tell them that I loved them and was here if they ever needed me but I was not going to beg to be in their lives. I said goodbye and if they decided they wanted a Mom I’d he here. Broke my heart but don’t know what else to do. Has anyone else gone through this?

    • Hey IMarriedAnAsshat.
      I bet you were a great mom! I feel your pain. Hang in there one day your kids will realize what he is doing. Just give them time.
      There are days when I feel like I’m all alone in this world. My ex has isolated me from everyone by all the lies he tells but I no longer care. You know the Jesus cheaters who has to live for the sake of appearances. I am ok being alone. He even cries to my mom. And she listens to him! They have a way with all that crocodile tears!
      Don’t worry time is a great healer. The truth will eventually come out and if it doesn’t know in your heart you did your best. Just continue to love your kids anyway. Hang in there. Much love and hugs.

    • Yes, my kids live with the ex as well. And he interferes with every contact I have with them. They are young adults, and he allows them to have a free ride. Some days I believe that they are just like him, those aren’t good days. He is highly skilled at manipulation. I have moved on and have a new relationship. Of course he done all he can to smear me and my new partner. He proves that he sucks constantly.

      • I think “Why can’t they see that he sucks”?!! Then I realize I was with him 28 years…..why didn’t I? Master manipulators are good that way. Waiting on Karma to do it’s thing!

  • I can’t believe this was today’s post! I thought I had been doing better until I was brought down by a double whammy of discovery last night. First I discovered that my STBXH spent a bunch of money using our joint accounts at a sex shop (he has his own bank account. Really, wtf). Then I ran into a co-worker of his who told me that X and Schmoopie have been telling everyone that I’m the one who ended the marriage, and also that I have a history of cheating which explains why he left (I do not. I find cheating morally abhorrent). Like pouring acid into an open wound. It’s been a really hard day but reading all these comments has started to lift my spirits again!

  • The evidence I have leads me to believe he didn’t do any major narrative re-writing, and that was because he DIDN’T NEED TO, which is fucked up in a different way.

    He just had to tell people he “was found having inappropriate contact with other women” and no one blinked. Not our shared friends (ex-friends, thank you!), not his parents. No one even so much as frowned upon what happened. If anything, people whispered about me leaving, not my reasons for leaving (painfully and with great difficulty).

    I was perceived as the rebellious, discontent woman, I’m sure, and was left by everyone to my own devices. No one really reached out or gave signs that they were morally capable of reacting to the circumstance.

    And that’s why I am PEACEFULLY ALONE.

    The suckers can all have each other. I am in no way afraid to burn trails behind me.

  • newlywedchump, Lioness, I Married An Asshat,
    I feel the pain in all of your posts. I understand.
    From your writings it is clear that each one of you is in a different time frame for your sad life events, ( DDays and put downs by a cheater).
    I do see strength in each one of your posts.
    There is always some good, or even a silver lining, and for each of you, that is that you are no longer with such a horrible person who would treat someone who genuinely loved them, in this manner. It is hard to put my thoughts in words,but I so want to say, to each one of you, keep going forward, toward the light. YOU have done nothing wrong.
    The way others react toward you, sadly, you have no control of. But, keep on being YOU. You are a person of truth, integrity and human kindness.
    I am so sorry for how your heart has been broken by your precious Children siding with their Asshat dad. He is the one who provides jobs for them and probably material things, but YOU were the one who was always there for them. I truly do get what you are saying. ( you may have read some of my posts in the past-my Cheater stayed, but I still continued to be the sane preasent loving parent. He was never there for them when they were younger and through to this day, never never there for them. There has been heartbreak and tragedy in their young lives and he has not provided support).
    You are doing the right thing, with telling them you are there for them, but you won’t put up with abuse from them.
    There will come a day, when they will realize which parent was there for them when they truly needed someone, which parent was real and had their back.
    Please try to be kind to yourself in the meantime. Remember, where there is life there is hope. Do things just for you now,mend your broken heart. You are a very very strong Mother, and they will never find anyone who genuinely loves them like you do!

    ( you are in my thoughts)

  • This thread has been a real comfort to me. I suffered so much in shame and disbelief at things that were said (and believed) about me. Supposedly I stole (wearing a shirt she gave him before he meeting and she was married and they were just friends – I say he gave me the shirt, he told her I ripped it off); I was no fun in bed (he had so many chances to test that out..) that I was on the other hand a whore who would sleep with anybody on two legs (so many men who never thought of asking me out approached after this story was told, it was funny, in a sad way..) oh, lots and lots of things.

    It was a whole second heartbreak to find folks I’d known and worked with looking at me strangely, or just turning away like they never knew me. Which I guess they didn’t, really.

    My X and his OW really talked me down to anyone who would listen for a long time, since they had so many problems that needed a reason. It took me YEARS to realize the person they were talking about was not me, even if they used my name. That the people who believed this without checking in were never my friends, as someone said above “the trash takes itself out.” And that all the good I did and was and am and do is still there, and they could never touch it.

    Later, when he died making a left hand turn into oncoming traffic, with her in the passenger seat; she put out the word that they were “rear-ended.” I still think of that other driver with right-of-way and just going on, being blamed for what amounts to a murder. Luckily the police blotter and photographs said otherwise.

    Everything bad that ever happened to them was somebody else’s fault. I was just in their range for a while. But now this is a big ‘whatever’ and consider the source. They can say I have three eyes in my face at this time. Not about me, and never was.

  • I worry that all the lies my ex-husband frequently tells the public and the Court and our kids about me may have significantly damaged me, making it even harder to get a job as many employers search people online and people are numerically rated on some easy-to-find websites. Sadly, the bad-mouthing of me and women in general has probably ‘poisoned’ my kids and will negatively affect their love lives. My last boyfriend, the only boyfriend I have had since my now ex-husband left me over five years ago, who used to lie to me and insult me, has probably also told our friends and others bad things about me–and he is a ‘Golden Child’ executive, who virtually everyone considers Mr. Nice Guy. As I am always searching for employment as, I have been out of a permanent full-time job for a year, in my fifties, on welfare, in some ways, yeah, I DO care what my exes say about me.

  • I’m not likely to have any future contact with his friends and family, so I can’t set the record straight. Something that has been surprisingly helpful is imagining the worst case scenario (that he’s told them all kinds of awful things about me and destroyed my reputation with them), letting myself be angry and sad about that, then accepting it and getting over it (still working on this part but it’s getting easier).

  • I spent hours reading many of the comments in here, it’s got me thinking: Isn’t it “funny” how easy it is to ignore true evil and for society to pass it off as a personaly disorder?

    Narcs are evil to the core, end.

    My weeks anger: My ex won’t send my child’s clothing back home (again) so I had to call his school and beg for help. they sent a shirt, socks and underware.

    I’m calling social services for help tomorrow.

    My ex (fuckwad) expects me to go buy more clothing with his child support money.

    1. bought all yhe clothing with my own money.

    2. He’s hurting my son buy nit letting him have enough clothing!

    3. I’m pissed that he does this to my son. And will take legal action if need.

    The last time I had to do this was when he tried to not allow our son to see a therapist. Like what are you hiding? Is my first thought.

    But other then thise things I meh about him, hus life, his curent gf. I don’t care and don’t want to know. Only mild pity for the (current) girl he’s got tangled in his lies. :/

    Also you all kneed to know that in many states at age 15 a teen can legaly ask the court to stay with only one parent until they become an adult. 🙂 A goid thing for a suffering child to know. Knowledge is power baby! So my timer is set for 5 years not 8 (my son is 10.)

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