Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

How Did You Overcome the Financial Blows AND the Cheating?

Dear Chump Lady,

I found your site in 2017. I was pregnant with my fourth child. My husband and I had been together for 12 years, since we were 18 years old. The beginning of our relationship was rocky and I ignored some red flags but I try to be gentle with myself as I was young, naive and believed in true love.

We became parents at age 23 and his shady behaviour seemed to come to a complete stop. He was a doting father and was good to me. So we got married and had three more kids.

During my last pregnancy, his behaviour became extremely erratic. He had no empathy for me. He became very sexually coersive. Said he needed to have sex twice a day and that we needed to have more sexual variety. Then I looked at our phone records and discovered thousands of text messages to another woman.

I kicked him out of the house but that didn’t last for long. He ended up back to help with the kids after I gave birth. He confessed to having cheated on me early in our relationship and to having a current emotional affair. I registered for school and started to take steps towards financial independence from him. I read your blog every day. BUT I DIDN’T LEAVE. Your voice in the back of my head said I should but I didn’t listen. I didn’t want my kids to be destitute. I didn’t want to see them half as much.

Two months ago, he left ME, saying that I didn’t clean the house enough and that he needed more from me. We had barely enough money to support one household and I am a full-time nursing student. This caused me to have to go on social support. I thought this was the worst it could possibly be.

I was wrong. I received an anonymous facebook message last week. Turns out that back in 2017, my husband was on a dating site posing as single and got another woman pregnant at the same time as me. My kids have a two year old sibling that’s only 2 months younger than my youngest. He has not supported or met this child. When I confronted him, he admitted it was true but tried to comfort me by saying the baby’s mother was less attractive than me and that he had only used her for sex because he was stressed at work.

I am so disgusted by him and I am writing to you in the middle of the night because I cannot sleep thinking about the long-term consequences of this for everyone involved. Thanks to your blog, I have 100% confidence that this is not my fault at all and it is keeping me strong. I can see now all the abuse that went hand in hand with his infidelity.

Someday, I hope to start a scholarship fund for chumps like me. Finances played such a huge role in my decision to stay. Maybe other chumps can share some of their strategies to overcome the financial blows that came with their partner’s infidelity.



Dear Blanketlamp,

What an utter piece of shit your husband is. Please do whatever it takes to make him your EX husband. First order of business is to visit your local county child support office and get signed up. There may be some who-gets-there-first repercussions with the baby mama. Also, if you’re on social services in the U.S., my understanding is that you go to the first in line on collecting child support. I’m sure CN can weigh in on that.

When I confronted him, he admitted it was true but tried to comfort me by saying the baby’s mother was less attractive than me and that he had only used her for sex because he was stressed at work.

That’s “comfort”? What’s kicking puppies? A balm in Gilead?

He took this discovery as an opportunity for further misogyny? It’s okay to “use” the less attractive? Nice little blameshift he’d got going there. If you feel abused, hey, just blame yourself for not being pretty enough. And bringing a new human being into the world, unsupported, is completely excusable if you had a Bad Day at work? What horrors unfold if the copier machine jams?

This isn’t a man, this is walking dick dribble. You don’t need him, and you certainly don’t need his toxic bullshit around your children. The only thing he brings to this relationship (marginally) is a paycheck, and you, my friend, can get one of those. Keep rocking nursing school. Whatever you do, do NOT quit nursing school. March yourself to the dean of that nursing school and tell her you got left with four children and you NEED to complete this degree, and what financial aid is available to someone in your situation? Tell, tell, TELL. Reach out.

This caused me to have to go on social support. I thought this was the worst it could possibly be.

Do not feel ONE BIT bad about being on social support. That’s why we pay taxes. Exactly for these sorts of situations. I only wish there were MORE help out there for single parents and children.

The important thing now is navigating yourself out of this abusive marriage and finishing your degree. Eyes on the prize. I’ve read enough of these stories and I swear to God these motherfuckers wait and leave when you’re at your most vulnerable. Yes, it could also be that they’re so narcissistic they’re oblivious, but I also believe they do it intentionally as a form of control. That way they always have auxiliary kibble supply (ooh! They’re so powerful and you’re so weak!)

Rise UP! You finish that degree! You will know financial independence, because the world needs nurses and pays them good wages. You are far too good for second-hand dick dribble. He can fuck right off.

I cannot sleep thinking about the long-term consequences of this for everyone involved.

Long-term will be FINE. It’s the short-term you have to survive. And Blanketlamp, you have survived multiple D-Days and years with an abusive fuckwit. What lies ahead is FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE. The respect of your children. Mightiness. Peace and tranquility. He’s mindfucked you into fearing the future. INVEST in YOUR future. There is nothing to fear, except more wasted years with a fuckwit.

Someday, I hope to start a scholarship fund for chumps like me. Finances played such a huge role in my decision to stay.

You’ll be free some day soon and I have no doubt you’ll pay it forward as a compassionate nurse, a sane mom, and a kick-ass taxpayer. Just focus on getting through this now.

CN, how did you overcome the financial blows of divorcing a cheater? Got some practical strategies or pep talks?

Also, good tips here in this guest post from financial advisor Vickie Adams.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Also for financial abuse — which is what abandoning a mother and four children is —

    Also figure out what the low-bono and pro-bono legal services are in your area for family law, call your state Bar association. has all the divorce laws by state to help navigate this stuff pro se (unrepresented).

  • Not a strategy, but some personal resolve. I’m half way through 10 sessions with a personal trainer and just realized he recently left his wife and young children for his new business co-owner. And she (OW) is offering strong women (personal boundaries, self-defense) classes. Yuck. So they’ve betrayed his wife and children and are jeopardizing their financial future.

    I feel like I just found out my dog walker sponsers dog fights at night. Should I ask for my money back? Fuck them!

    • Honestly, yes. Tell them you are also a chump and that you don’t align yourself with what they do. Plenty of PTs out there, you however need someone you respect. I couldn’t do that with them

    • So cliched, ditching the wife for the work side piece.

      Suggest giving notice, clawing what money you can get back and explaining why.

    • My ex “was/is “fucking a skank who tries to be a national figure head for women who are physically abused because she was a victim domestic violence. She is such a hypocrite!

      • My XH’s howorker AP and another women who cheated on her husband run a women empowerment group for their industry. Both cheated at work with married men. Both are not good people and honestly are mostly in the society to advance themselves and not to empower other women. I wish there was a way to call them out on that. Ugh. Never a karma-bus, huh?

      • Ugh, the hypocrisy runs deep with these cheaters. My ex’s AP is now pursuing a degree in mental health counseling.

        • Ex’s AP is an elementary school counselor. Obsessed with her appearance. AP and Cheater joined the same running clubs in nearby towns rather than local running clubs. Almost every weekend they ran marathons which were out of town requiring an overnight stay.
          Coincidently they entered the same marathons…, sometimes bad weather would require tan additional night.
          Yes, multiple running clubs, as in more than one, can’t join too many when you’re stealing moments together.
          Didn’t leave much time for family activities.
          Last week there was an article in the newspaper profiling her 23 year old daughter on her struggle with Bulimia and rehab. I wonder why..

    • F yeah!

      I don’t take fitness advice from the emotionally unfit.

      Hear that, Rodney Yee and Cheater Wife?

    • “…he recently left his wife and young children for his new business co-owner. And she (OW) is offering strong women (personal boundaries, self-defense) classes.”

      Oh good God, what the cruel hipocrisy!

    • My ex and the wifetress were both cheating on their marriages when they got together. They now host life coaching weekend retreats and weekly life coaching and martial counseling sessions through their church. On each alimony payment, she leaves a little blessing… it’s like she’s sprinkling herpes on everything she touches. Barf.

    • I’m sorry the “church going “ “Bible Belt” hypocrites are the worst …covert narcs standing behind “the Lord” how disgraceful

    • I don’t frequent businesses run by cheaters.
      Case in point, I stopped going to my favorite lunch spot when I realized the owner runs around on her husband. She had lost a lot of weight and admitted to liking her men “dirty” as she scurried off to the fire house next door. She’s always been very self-centered, coming over to me, interrupting me to show off an image of her in the middle of a fire crew the last time she went home to Australia. Her fried chicken place provides her with lots of ego kibbles, a stream of people for her to hug and talk to. Besides, my doc told me my cholesterol is getting a little too high.

      • I got a new hairdresser after mine cheated on her husband just months after the prenup-stated amount of time for her to get half of her late FILs estate. Disgusting.

    • My ex’s OW trademarked a stress relief strategy for people going through breakup trauma, because of the trauma of her parents’ bitter (aka cheating) divorce, before she met us and snuck off with him. All her zen, back bending posts on the interwebs can’t make up for the hypocrisy of that. You can’t make this S#t up!

  • Dear Lamp (shining with mightiness). My blood boils.

    I hope you have lots of good friends and family to help you graduate. Everyone needs a nurse sooner or later, so your professional choice was wise. A good example of mightiness for your four children you already are.

    Go after child support ASAP.
    Oh, why do so many good people end up wasting precious years with assholes?!!!!!

    Praying for you!

  • No matter where you live, be the FIRST to file for child support. You are his wife and have FOUR children, so hopefully you will be the priority. I don’t write that because I want to see the other child get screwed over – but you have FOUR children to support.

    Dean, financial aid, family for help (whatever they can offer that is useful), talk to the kids’ school(s) to see what resources they have to offer (free breakfast and lunch?, school counselor, let the teachers know your kids are going through the mill and may act out – please be kind but firm with them teacher and let me know too).

    How many more semesters before you take your licensing exam? If you are gunning for an RN, is it worth getting your LPN now and later persuading your employer to pay for the RN? Or getting it later? It may not be worth doing it and sticking with the RN program, of course.

    Does he have a 401K? As his wife, you are entitled to a portion of that and if that is necessary to use to finish your degree without becoming homeless – DO IT.

    You and your kids are going to be SO much better off without him. Right now you are in crisis. You are in training to be a nurse. Think of this as triage.

    Also, may his dick melt off!

    All my best.

    • Yes, check the laws in your state and weigh the importance of filing for divorce ASAP. In some states that instigates a bunch of procedures, such as locking down all of the joint accounts so he can’t drain them.

      Make a record of your current accounts, run a credit check, and do what you can to protect yourself. You may be able to run one on him as well while you are still married and have the right to his financial information, but best to check with a local lawyer on that one.

      Also, start recording all of your household and child-related expenses. You can use Mint, which is free, to do that so you’ll know what to request and report to child support and within the divorce.

  • Oh – don’t forget to negotiate that YOU keep the life insurance policy going on him, that YOU are the beneficiary. Do not trust him to make those payments. I have my fingers crossed that you both already have life insurance policies. Also that you get to be the one who writes off the children on the taxes. At least for a few years.

    Anything you can do to minimize the financial hits to you and your kids, the better.

    I bet the dean of the nursing school can direct you to a good lawyer. One who will make your STBXH pay the tab as part of the settlement.

    • Doesn’t federal law state that person with physical custody gets to write off kids every year? I thought it was just when shairingn50/50 that you alternate

      • You’re most likely correct – but if there is any way to ensure it happening rather than having to deal with the mess afterwards if he continues to be a turd and files first…

        I don’t know how it works in Canada though.

        • The judge in my settlement allowed my ex to get to claim one child as a dependent each year, despite my being the custodial parent 100% for our daughter and 71% for our now 6-yo son. This was on the grounds that he will continue to pay private school tuition for the duration of our son’s schooling.

      • J.
        Not necessarily. When our divorce was final I had Physical Custody & he had visitation every other weekend. I had full say over school & medical matters. However, since I was on Social Security Disability & thus wouldn’t be filing taxes single, he got to claim both kids. He was ordered to pay me $1000 a year though (partial amount he got back for claiming kids).

        No surprise that he has not paid me even one year as ordered. I had told my divorce attorney that he would never pay me (wouldn’t pay any child support until checks garnished & siphoned all he possibly could of our funds before & after discard. Plus, my entire savings went to my attorney fees for the divorce.) Attorney told me to wait until he owned me 5k because that’s how much it would cost to hire an attorney to take him back to court. So ya.

        Also, even though attorney proved during the divorce trial that now ex had been in contempt of court orders a minimum of 5 times, guess what happened to him? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It cost me at least $2500 in attorney fees to take him to court for contempt of orders the times I did. Each time, the Judge just said he was in contempt & ordered him to follow the court orders from then on. He had zip consequences, other then showing up in court = cost him zip as he represented himself. Guess what? He still didn’t follow them! So in my experience, many court orders aren’t worth squat! This is one of the many reasons my belief now is that our Justice System is UNJUST!

        • OMG! I understand exactly what you mean, unfortunately! Even though I am in Canada, results of going to court only benefit the lawyers. My lawyer at least gave me good advice in telling me not to even bother trying as I’d only end up paying him support! SO unjust! I feel punished for being a single Mom with a middle income compared to him – on paper. As he goes on trips with AP, buys new vehicles and shows up in the best new clothes. I am happy with my life with my kids but no, the justice system is an oxymoron!

  • Sorry, this is a bit long.

    If I had my time again I would have insisted on complete separation of finances the moment that my cheating Ex-Wife said that she wanted a divorce. She left me and our 3 children after hooking back up with an old boyfriend …. but she always ran our finances and refused point blank to discuss them with me (which in hindsight should have been a red flag) and lied to our mediator (another red flag) before she left.

    As a result, it was only later on that I found out that: she’d emptied the joint account (she didn’t even leave enough to cover the mortgage, school fees or support our eldest at university); taken out an unsecured personal loan for £15K (I still don’t know what that was spent on) and; that all of the money we’d saved in the last 10 years of our marriage (that she’d assured me was saved in joint names) had been saved in her name only.

    It took me a while, but I closed the joint account, transferred our liabilities to an account that only I could access and made sure that I could cover them all while I initiated and then forced through divorce proceedings. Things were really tight for about 18 to 24 months, but the kids and I got there in the end.

    Her behaviour during our separation did not help her when our divorce went to court; she had to swallow the £15K loan and I managed to force through the sale of our house (she wanted to keep it in both of our names but with me solely responsible for the mortgage). I was also able to use her financial information (which she had to share as part of the divorce proceedings) against her; she lied to her legal team and the Judge about there being no affair and no relationship with the AP. My ability to prove that she spent over 50% of her net income on credit and debit cards within 10 miles of her AP’s house (which was 70 miles from where she said that she lived) (and the small matter of some ill advised postings that she’d made on her public FB profile) made sure that I got a settlement that was very much in my and our kids favour, and a clean break into the bargain.

    So in short, don’t trust them to behave like decent human beings, separate finances as soon as you can, work on the assumption that they will tell all and sundry that you are a terrible person for calling them out and holding them to account (Ex-Wife will tell anyone who will listen that I scr*wed her in court; she scr*wed herself) and go full-on “Sherlock Mode” when they share their financial information.

    Who knew I’d be so grateful that my first degree is in Economics?

    • Lookingforwards : go you.

      Don’t trust them to behave like decent human beings.

      Nutshell comment.

      • MM; you are too kind!

        I’d also add to expect them to try and circumvent the divorce agreement once its signed and they’ve cashed their cheque; the f*ckers always want more (or at least never tire of trying to take from you). So make sure that the agreement leaves no loose ends, make sure you know its contents backwards and be ready for the attack when it comes.

        Our divorce agreement explicitly stated that the contents of the house became mine as soon as she had signed. She signed, cashed her cheque, got her portion of my pension and only then demanded to come to the house to divide up the contents. I didn’t think she was so stupid as to think that she’d get away with it; I guess that her capacity to disappoint is the gift that will always keep giving.

        She raged at me (I still have the emails), threatened to take me to court (in retrospect I would have almost liked to have seen her try) and lied to anyone who would listen (and some who would rather not – like our kids) about how unfair my behaviour was.

        She really is a dumpster fire and I’m glad the kids and I got out when we did.

        • Wow – talk about unhinged and stupid to boot!

          I’m also glad you and the kids escaped her. I’m sorry it ever happened, of course. The cheating – not the divorce. The divorce was absolutely necessary.

          • I guess that the divorce was inevitable; Ex-Wife has depression, is an alcoholic and is probably a narcissist as well.

            But you really have no idea just how much stupid I had to put up with.

            Her lawyer to Judge – “There is no relationship between STBXW and AP; he is merely a gentleman friend who takes her out to dinner on occasions.”

            My lawyer to Judge – “Here is a screenshot from her public FB profile – dated within days of her walking out on her family – saying that she is in a relationship with AP and here is a screenshot of a text sent to her eldest daughter informing her that STBXW is in a relationship with AP and asking her not to judge STBXW.”

            Her (and her lawyer): both do Goldfish impressions.

            I could go on.

            • “Her (and her lawyer): both do Goldfish impressions.”

              I suspect the judge did the same – but internally. Hopefully her attorney gave her stink eye then and there, plus holy hell later.

              Yeah – you definitely had to put up with far too much stupidity.

              • By the time that we had reached an agreement she was barely on speaking terms with her legal team. I guess that her lies (and the way that she reacts when people realise that she is lying) caught up with her.

                I almost felt sorry for her lawyer; at least I knew who/what I was dealing with from the outset. He had to find out the hard way, and in front of a Judge as well!

            • Just a note that marriage to an active alcoholic or drug abuser is in itself a dangerous thing. Too many people stay with an addicted partner instead of protecting themselves emotionally and financially.

              • Unfortunately I took the vow about “in sickness and in health” seriously. I spent much longer than I should have trying to get her to see that she really need to seek help; I spent a lot of time trying to protect her from herself and the kids from her, but neglected to protect myself.

                She, meanwhile, was very focused on the “for richer or poorer bit” and wanted more than 50% of what she hadn’t got around to stealing already.

                Which I guess is a lesson of sorts.

            • Sure wish I had your attorney &/or lived in your state where their infidelity made a difference. Xh fully admitted to affair & had been living with ow for the full 2 years by divorce trial. Didn’t make any difference legally what-so-ever.

              No-fault state just means victims not only get personally abused but then get legally abused as well. The horrid legal experience just made me (& my 2 kids) feel re-victimised by the system (emotional, financial, & legal RAPE describes it better imo.)

              • I am in the UK.

                While she was unfaithful, the grounds I divorced my Ex-Wife on related to her excessive spending, her secrecy about our finances and that she had left the family home and started a new relationship. I was advised that divorcing her on the grounds of her infidelity would have been very difficult to prove and unlikely to achieve anything.

                What I was able to do was to prove that she was a liar, that she was deliberately dragging things out and that her financial demands were delusional; she was demanding a settlement much bigger than she’d have been entitled to if the kids had gone with her, but her price kept changing upwards. I think that the Judge realised that she was confusing “wants” with “needs” and trying to damage me (and the kids) financially without me having to say it in Court.

                As for my lawyers (UK so a Solicitor and a Barrister), they were just awesome.

                My Solicitor gave me excellent advice. “Just because the law entitles you to act like a dick, it doesn’t mean that you should act like a dick” was priceless. It meant that I was very careful never to act vindictively (and believe me I had reason to); I kept the moral high ground throughout, which means that I can look my children (and myself) in the eye.

                My Barrister was simply kickass good; she tore my Ex’s team apart and made sure that the Divorce Agreement was watertight. She cost me what felt at the time like a small fortune to retain, but she was worth every penny and then some.

                If they are reading this, just …. thanks.

        • A lot of good advice and happy to hear you and your kids are safe now and on the way to meh.

    • I’d reverse that statement based on my experience: Expect them to try to destroy you financially and lie at every possible opporunity, including under oath.

  • I have always worked (even part time when the kids were young ) & so maintained a degree of financial independence. This was taught to me by my mother (R.I.P). I have alot to thank her for. The wasband was crap with money a previous bankrupt who blasted credit cards to the limit & sat on his fat lardy ass for years and did not provide. ( Yes I was a real financial chump) I know where the money went now – marital funds spent on whores, skanks, travelling miles to have sex with couples (men/women cuckolding) and a porn habit. Not my problem now – he is a dead loss – good riddance to bad rubbish

  • Ex had a job making over 250k a year . We weren’t married long but long enough that when I sold my small home that was paid for and used the proceeds to Reno the home we bought together I was pretty much fucked .
    I’m also disabled . While I did get the home in the divorce , I now have a 2,000 dollar a month mortgage and the home I put on market last year as I simply want out of here .
    Selling on Poshmark , eBay and Etsy along with running an Airbnb out of this home has enabled me to make the payments the past 3 years but it’s tough .
    Tough , but worth it to have gotten away from him . Oddly enough I’ve been physically healthier since I divorced him

    • Probably not odd at all.

      There’s a book called “The body keeps the score” by Bessel van der Kolk. Trauma is a language spoken about by the body. Often the mind is busy convincing itself that everything’s fine!

    • Debbie Mirza’s book on Covert Narcissists talks about how the narc drains the life energy from their targets. The targets suffer depression, lethargy, health issues, and so on. She mentions the body book, too. My own health and mental health improved when the narc left.

  • See is you can get several free consultations from a few family lawyers. Ask if it is best to get a separation or a divorce. Where I live it turned out for a number of reasons that I should have stayed legally separated, and not done the final divorce so quickly. It would have made a big difference in a number of key ways for me and my kids. I am angry that my lawyer did not explain this to me.

    • That free initial consultation doesn’t always work, especially in smaller communities. I went to an initial consultation with an attorney I drew out of the yellow pages. A few days later, I was able to get a recommendation from a neighbor to a different one. When I called to schedule an initial consultation w/him, he said no since I had already had a consultation w/an attorney in a nearby town but in the same county. My xh hadn’t even seen him. This attorney ended up becoming the County Attorney a few years later. Idk if he just didn’t want to step on toes on his way up or what.

      Also, when I had to fire my attorney for being a male chauvinist jerk & not protecting me or my kids from my she’s abuse, I wanted to go to consultations with several attorneys to be sure I made the right choice the second time. I decided to go to a bigger city an hour+ away in hopes of having access to more & better attorneys. Ended up being another mistake I made. I went to 2 initial consultations. I requested free initial consult (verbally over phone). Whe. I hired second one I went to the first billed me. He said he didn’t know I was consulting with another attorney too. (Hadnt told him because of the attorney refusing consultation when knew I had seen another the first time). I had gone to a bigger city partially for theirs reason. The new attorney being further away from my county just added thousands onto my legal bill due to travel time & mileage.

      Maybe I should stop commenting about my legal experiencea as, they’re mostly all bad. This doesn’t seem to be most other people’s experiences. Unless those who went thru legal hell & feel like they were totally screwed over by the system aren’t commenting here.

      • Rose Thorns,

        You are not alone. I was wiped out by my now ex-husband who left five years ago after spending a bunch of what was supposed to be our kids’ college money on prostitutes. He couldn’t just leave–he felt compelled to repeatedly destroy me (and indirectly, our kids) in court in over 20 hearings and five very experienced and expensive legal teams ‘for’ me, defending me. I have multiple (undergraduate and graduate degrees in ‘practical’ fields) and now work three to four jobs–and am still on welfare. Ex-husband easily earns a quarter million dollars a year, lives with his mother at the beach, takes exotic vacations (not for work) a few times a year and drives nice cars and has a very nice wardrobe–guess to impress his harem. He will not help our kids with college, even a public one, beyond the few thousand he put away when our kids were babies. He still harasses me even though I try hard to steer clear of him. (He is dead to me. When I see him at child exchanges, I feel as though I see someone I don’t know at all.) Trying to get stronger and tougher to get off welfare. As my husband destroyed me and my post-separation pseudo-friend from undergrad turned boyfriend lied to and insulted me until he left me for his second wife, and I have had no luck finding a real date, much less a decent life partner since, I plan to work (probably at low-paying, stressful jobs, until I drop dead or become incapacitated and then die shortly after becoming incapacitated. Well, I funded planes, wonderful trips, and lots of mani pedis for my legal teams and their families.

        I wish Blanket Lamp and her kids strength and good luck!

      • My post was a bit confusing (as most legal matters are to me). The second time I went for initial consults with 2 attorneys, I verified with the secretary/receptionist that the attorney offered a free initial consult before I scheduled an appointment. When I went to the consults (less then half an hour each) I didn’t outright say that I was consulting with 2 different attorney’s before I would hire one. The one I didn’t hire billed me $250 for that half hour saying the free consult didn’t apply since I saw someone else too.

  • I was financially stable with money, unfortunately ex, was useless but took advantage with my good nature, chump more like. He has the financial skills of a 4 year old, in a sweet shop, whilst I have to be reliable, the downfall of this, is being boring said his ow (alcoholic, drug addicted ow). We weren’t married, but I would have hated to be married to him, ow who hangs around him would probably love to be married to him. We split up nearly 7 years ago.
    Its astonishing they have money for the ow, but not the kids.
    I have a feeling the ow is on this website if you are reading this, you know the kids went without, or I did and you didn’t give a fuck, yes its the dads fault but it didn’t stop you spending money that should have been on the kids, or on me.
    You used to laugh when he stole money from me what heartless bitch are you.

  • You were going to school before he left you- way to go! You were following a plan! One foot in front of the other- but I agree with Chump Lady- tell others about your situation, they may know of local resources- here in Georgia we have a charity that helps single mothers with clothing, housing, and of course knows all the local government resources.

    Hugs from a Mother of five who had d-day when my youngest was 4 months old. I have one year left in my Master’s degree, so I am getting close to that financial independence myself!

  • Cut every expense. Have the kids adjust to the new life without Dads income. Get real about everything. Don’t worry you will be able to provide it for them in the future. My ex left me with 4 kids. Ages 2-12 years old. Almost 3 years ago to today. Today I am sitting in an airport waiting for a flight to a new job that is 3x the amount I was making when I was married. I kept telling myself it would take 3 years & guess what… it did. So pick your number & when things fall apart during the hard part focus on how long you are giving yourself to rebuild. It is a small mental shift but it helps. Because rebuilding is the most lonely & gut wrenching thing I ever did but I’m so proud of myself every day. My kids are proud of me. Since you are working on a degree I would say 6 years. I set my life up to be an independent as possible. My kids can walk to all schools. They take care of each other. I don’t do homework & put that in their hands and luckily they can handle. Keep doing what you are doing to earn the most money as possible. Even if it means less time with kids. This short investment of few years will pay off for their lifetime. Sign up for child support but know it is such a small percentage of his pay. My ex gives me 18%. It doesn’t even cover my daycare costs. The sooner that you wrap your mind around that you are solely responsible for your kids the better off you will be. I thought I could get my ex to give his fair share but he was able to work the courts. It takes so much energy to get blood from a stone. As my lawyer told me to just work my hardest & focus on my job because my boss will always pay on time. Not to say you shouldn’t submit the forms, get a fair settlement & move on & pretend he died. Because your ex will lose interest in your kids real soon so don’t set your kids up to think he will be around. He only cares about himself & no matter how much you and kids struggle it won’t change his behavior.

    • ???? This is solid advice, and it sounds like you had a great lawyer who told it to you straight like CL does! Awesome way to Gain A Life!

    • I loved this! So positive! I like the idea of picking a time frame to work with. I am actually better off financially than I ever was with my idiot husband. He’s not draining the coffers. But I need reminders that I need a time frame for healing in all areas, not just financial.

  • Mr. Sparkles was so eager to keep me on the hook while he pursued the OW that he signed a little piece of paper I wrote up that line by line indicated his “share” of on-going expenses while we worked out the divorce. It came to a nice tidy monthly lump sum. It included 1/2 of everything like mortgage, utilities, credit card bills, and child care. I know he only did it because he was hedging his bets on the OW (who had money) taking him on but wanting a way back in to our marriage in case she didn’t and I played to his ego. When I subsequently filed for divorce, he stopped paying on the agreement (which I had us both sign at the bank in front of a notary). Too bad, too sad for him because the Judge mandated that he honor the agreement and the back payment of it became part of our financial settlement.

    Talking to a lawyer and getting the finances sorted will give you more peace of mind than the divorce itself… make that your priority. And get all your communications with your fuckwit in writing via email or text… courts love things in writing!

  • I LOVE the idea of a scholarship for chumps. I’m lucky that I finished school before I got married and that I worked part time since the first was born.

    I know far too many who have no training, no formal post-high school education, and no work experience, being chumped.

    Chumps are precisely the people who need scholarship support! I want to steal this idea.

  • When ex and I met, I was the breadwinner and had the bank roll – fast forward 20 years, I had no source of income – he forced me to step away from my career so he could grow his – and he drained money my money.
    I had been out of work too long and was too old to step back in with any ability to earn a living wage. He withheld finances from me – would not even let me see our tax returns… would not let me know how much he made… dribbled money to me, but never enough, then yelled at me when I couldn’t pay bills. The abuse (financial, verbal, emotional, sexual, cheating) got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore – 53 years old, no money, no career and had to get myself and our children out. I went to the courthouse and was able to file and have him served for free – I agreed to mediation and accepted less than I should have in the divorce in the interest in expediting and keeping things smooth for our children (he always used “what’s best for our children” to manipulate me)…The divorce was over in 6 months and I was enrolled to begin nursing school! (It’s hard as hell! I know, sister ????)
    For the next two years, he continued to file motion after motion, repeatedly dragging me to court in any effort he could to reduce his support payments, along with other tactics of intimidation and attempts of maintaining control. (That has recently quieted after his most recent defeat. ???????? Fingers crossed it stays that way.)
    I receive state health insurance for myself and our children (he was supposed to carry their insurance, but 5 weeks after our divorce finalized and after he bought his new BMW (to replace his previous BMW), he quit his 6-figure salaried job with benefits and went 1099 (financial advisor)… but I digress.
    All this to say – I’m on social services, and receive financial aid where I, essentially, am going to school for free, at a local community college for nursing. At one point, when his abuse and intimidation were heightened, I was on the verge of breaking and didn’t think I could handle classes – didn’t think I could do it. I told my story – didn’t intend to, but broke down in the Dean of Academics office when I went to talk to him about dropping algebra and the effect it would have as far as me repaying financial aid. He encouraged me to not drop – told me I needed that class and dropping would set me back a year. He set me up with the head of the math department for tutoring. Listened to my story and supported me while I sat there balling – I am forever grateful… I filed “special situation” in financial aid because, on paper, it looked like I had money that I did not – they listened to my story.
    I’ll be 56 when I finish, May of 2021. As Chump Lady says, above all, DO NOT QUIT NURSING SCHOOL! As far as I’m concerned, that bastard took so much from me, he’s not taking this! Bonus, it’s a giant Fuck You! to him.
    Stay strong. ????????

  • I am heart broken reading this
    What an absolute POS he is – i am mad thinking about it !

    Not that i am much help ( no children to care for ) but what i did is write a list of all my incoming / out goings and if i didn’t need it i binned it .
    Example i need to pay mortgage but i don’t need cable TV – so Cable TV went
    I need gas and electric – i don’t need a house phone i have mobile ( Cell in USA ) so home phone went

    I did the same with grocery shopping do i need it or would i just like it ? If i needed it is there a cheaper alternative ? I lived on a lot of cereal , rice , lentils etc

    I don’t know where you live but look up if you have a food bank ( i think you maybe get food stamps in USA ) Ask around charity shops a lot of people throw away perfectly good shoes and clothes especially children’s items as they grow so fast .
    Can you and your children downsize your home ? This may save on utility bills

    Good luck with nursing school – you will be an amazing nurse and you and your children will be better than fine .

    Just as a side note i am almost a year out and once i finished paying my divorce i now have more money than i did when i was with that Fat mess i was married to . I have half the income but i am managing to save a little every month i bet you will to as cheating costs money
    (( Hugs to you ))

  • Hi chump nation. I am blanketlamp. I made sure my log in worked before writing to CL but now the site keeps logging me in under my gmail.

    I am in Canada. It is my first year of nursing school. I have three more years to go. Despite ex telling me he was leaving in november, I still ended my first semester with a 3.81 gpa. I’m still on track to do well this semester too.

    I have a test on the nervous system in one hour. I did manage to study but not as much as I would have liked.

    I am very fortunate to have several close friends and also my nursing classmates (it’s a small school, only 22 students in my year) are the loveliest most supportive people. I’ve told one instructor and I’m going to talk to my senior instructor today.

    I only slept 3 hours last night. I’m in fight or flight mode. My heart is pounding, I’m shaking and I cant relax. I haven’t cried once though.

    Thanks for all the love and support!

    • You and the kids are going to be BETTER than okay. Eventually. Is there any way to save housing costs somehow? A roommate (classmate?)? Move in with your family? Gather your support system. It will change composition as time goes by. Right now you are in crisis – sound the alarm!

      Tell ALL the instructors. Speak with the dean of nursing. Whatever social services you can get for yourself and the kids – do so. Don’t think of it as a handout. Think of it as investing in yourself and your kids. Stability while you earn that degree and land a kick-ass job.

      Hugs to you and the youngsters.

      I still hope your STBXH’s dick melts off.

      • I am 1800 km from my family. In 2016, he convinced me to move across the country to where he is from, which is very far North.

        • Well, crap.

          Gather your tribe anyway. There have to be others in your community, if not in your class, who have some firsthand experience. Or are going through it themselves. Is there any way your family can help you out in some manner? A giftcard to your local grocery store? Passing the hat around to get you through this month?

          I am dating myself. Did you ever watch the show “Kate & Allie”? It ran from 1984 – 1989. I enjoyed. I may not have gotten all the subtleties (being a minor at the time), but I recall the two women having each other’s backs. Maybe the rosy tint of nostalgia is there but I still hope you can find help nearby.

          Cut out as many extras as possible. If there is credit card debt – go through it carefully. Don’t saddle yourself with HIS debt if at all possible. Particularly if you can find evidence of him spending it on various and sundry Schmoopies. One is bad enough, but he has had two or more. I’m betting on more…the asshole.

        • Fight or flight is how I got this far in nursing school as well – head down, blinders on and get it done – many times stayed up all night studying for a test, because it was the only time I had to do so. You’ve got this! Keep going… I know it’s hard ???? just keep swimming. ????

        • That’s a typical cheater abusive move. Isolate you. Keep you away from support. But you found the right place and the right program to help you make your new life. Good for you.

    • BlanketLamp; you can do this.

      Take care to look after yourself (both physically and mentally), gather those that you trust to support you around you and never think “I can’t do this.” Decide what needs to be done and then just ask yourself “How do I make this happen?”

      This will sound trite, but you will surprise yourself with what you are capable of.

    • (((((Toni))))
      A nurse here too.
      Fellow class mates have your back, CL, CN has your back.
      YOU are all heart, a wonderful Mother, the present, sane, loving, parent.
      You are studying in the most caring, the most amazing,profession ever.
      Just do your best. Above all,be kind to yourself.
      YOU will survive! YOU will make it, because you really want this.
      YOU have got what it takes. Stay strong!
      You already are MIGHTY!


      Also, I agree with everyone else when they say, reach out, let those who can help you, help you.
      Caring souls can recognize others in need, and nothing feels better than reaching out to help a deserving person!
      So many hugs to you & your precious children!❤️

      • Peacekeeper, you are such a sweetie. Hugs for being your own sweet self!

        And Toni, retired nurse here. I went to nursing school, lining up my ducks while working full time nights, often operating on 3 hours of sleep. Somehow I made it through, was second in my class and passed my boards. Desperation was a great motivator, I can tell you that. The best part was being able the support my kids afterwards, and relishing the fact that it was a great big f/u to cheater ex as he did his best to make me fail. I went on to enjoy many years as a psych nurse, and then switched to post partum and neonatal nursing, in the last half of my career.

        Nursing is a wonderful choice for a career. The pay is good, and while the hours can suck, there is a lot of satisfaction in truly helping people.

        Bravo, Girlfriend!

    • Blanket Lamp…I work in disability and support services at a community college and I have many nursing students. Does your school have a disability office? If a doctor diagnoses my students with anxiety (and who wouldn’t have it going to nursing school and going through what you are dealing with?) I can write accommodations for time and a half for testing. That might take some stress off of you. Good luck dear. You are mighty and can do this.

  • I’m in Canada so things may be a bit different – it’s no fault here in my province. You have some great advice here on finding free legal counsel, going to the Dean, etc. A few tips from my experience:

    – if you’re selling the house and splitting the proceeds, make sure he pays for any selling, transfer and bank costs, or at least half of them. Include costs for getting the house ready for sale. Also try to get your moving expenses in there as you wouldn’t be moving if not for him.

    – Make the end date for spousal/child support as far in to the future as possible.

    – Allow for increases in spousal/child support based on inflation or increase in income.

    – See if there are any grants or scholarships you can apply for. Some of these can be random and not related to your studies. My friend’s son got a scholarship from the Tall Person society!

    – Use the flipp app to price match at stores like walmart that allow it. I’ve brought my grocery bills down over $100 per month by doing that.

    – This sounds obvious, but track your expenses. I’ve caught things like insurance renewals or cable going up and was able to phone and get them brought down somewhat. Every little bit helps.

    I’m glad you’re on your way and with your degree, you’ll be able to provide for yourself and your family. He’s not worth another thought.

    • Oh and also on the life insurance, have the lawyer cost out the required amount so you’re covered. And have it irrevocably in your name if he agrees.

  • This part rings true. I’ve read enough of these stories and I swear to God these motherfuckers wait and leave when you’re at your most vulnerable. Yes, it could also be that they’re so narcissistic they’re oblivious, ….That way they always have auxiliary kibble supply (ooh! They’re so powerful and you’re so weak!)

    Be calm, march forward and remember you are not his victim anymore. If he sees you angry, he will use it against you. Just smile and look ahead to better days and get a good support system. You will be fine. hugs.

  • I got played financially together with my sister by our vulnerable narcissists/borderline parents, when we were respectively 12 and 10 years old. All the resources were lost, our only protectors in the family, the two grandfathers and one uncle, died. Killed off by the conduct of the narcs. We were kept hostage for years through lies, blame-shifting, gas-lighting, DARVO, etc., etc. My parents, ever the victims. They tried to sabotage high-school for us. They needed hostages for supply. On the surface and to the outside world everything had to look fine. Both my sister and I developed severe depression. My parents were suicide instigators. Subtle. Insidious. My father secretly had another family, with children, and, as it were, my mother had procured his mistress. There were holidays together. Narcissistic boredom, I suppose, or ennui, or whatever one wants to call it. In any event they succeeded in locking in the situation in a triangle. And this woman was imposed on me as school teacher. Things got a bit out of hand, I suppose, as all resources were lost. My sister and I had the function of being the receptacles of all the darkness, of all the the projecting, not just of my parents, but of all those acquaintances who could beautifully shed their shadow side into us, and there were quite some who would not resist the temptation. After all, it is easy to pour one’s dark side into children or adolescents made ready by their her own parents. Then, later, ever the hostages, we had the pleasure of dealing with my father as collapsed narcissist. In the end, it must be that somebody took pity on us because he died.
    I got played again by a vulnerable narcissist, now-ex husband, marriage of less than 15 years.
    I suppose I have an education now in matters narcissism/borderline. It is not though that in one’s early 50’s one can greatly recoup from such a life.

    • Malignant Narc Grandmother who controlled my co-dependent mother. A covert narcissist father. Uncles all either narcs or co-dependents. Aunts all co-dependent and/or clueless. Us 4 kids all screwed up. Sister, chronic depression and BP disorder. One brother co-dependent to a selfish, shallow wife. But me and my other brother have escaped the circle of disfunction.

      I got out at 50, 4 years ago. And though I still have daily triggers, I have been working on those and its slowly getting better. While I may never have another relationship with someone – that’s o.k. I’ve decided relationship with myself is worth more. My life while at a lower financial situation than is comfortable to me, I have opportunity to advance a bit, and my life, my mental outlook, my daily existence, is now better personally than its ever been before. YES WE CAN REGROUP.

    • You can’t fix the past, but you can fix the present and the future. You can face the trauma, work through it, and understand your past as a painful education in how not to live. I was in my 60s before I put the past in the past.

      • LAJ,
        Hope you are doing well.
        I would love to put the (bad parts of the) past in the past, but being on welfare and partnerless for years makes the present (several years) quite rough and does not provide hope for the future. I am constantly exhausted working multiple part-time and temporary jobs in stressful situations with no chance for advancement in compensation. (All I can get in my fifties.) Hard to think clearly when you are constantly fatigued and worried. I feel like a train wreck. I keep trying so that my kids won’t be homeless.

        • RockStarWife,
          You have had a tough road and I know you work hard and do the best you can. Your story has touched me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Lots of people are pulling for you – keep going!

          • Thanks, Kathleen. I hope that readers don’t think that I am whining about my lot in life. I just don’t want my kids and other innocents to suffer. Hope you are doing well!

  • First thing is first. Get your child support and any social services locked in. Get your degree and start work. You CAN do this. I know from my friends and family in the nursing profession, get your starting certs first (CNA, RN, on up) and start to work. Don’t worry, they are lower paying positions, but while you continue to work you will still qualify for your assistance. Get your family involved as much as you can, they are valuable for child care while you work and do your schooling. You’ve got this.

  • You are doing great. Keep going, one foot in front of the other. The lack of sleep just about took me out immediately after DDay. I went 3 nights/4 days with NO sleep, and was a walking bundle of raw nerves. I finally went to my doctor and asked for a short-term sleep aid. It was one of the best things I did for myself.

    Wishing you the best on your exam. Your cheater is a POS who doesn’t deserve you or your kids.

    • Those first few months were terrible. I remember just not being able to get those thoughts out of my mind. I went to the Dr. and got some pills too. It was the only thing that helped initially. Switched to Nyquill after a few months and now I just listened to TV. Even two years later it’s still hard to listen to the silence.
      My nerves were like having a fire in your body or electrical current running to every hair follicle.
      The good news is that fades away. Just get through it however you need. Over time you will start to regain your body and mind.

  • Hi Blanketlamp:

    You are definitely MIGHTY!

    First, get the lawyer, line up child support (he should be paying you even now), and file for divorce.

    Second, if at all possible, stay the course on your degree. Nurses are in high demand and you will be financially very stable once you do complete your degree. Talk with your lawyer about getting temporary spousal support for the remainder of the degree plus a bit longer in order for you to find a good position and stabilize your situation for your children. Your lawyer should be able to tell you how long the courts in your province are likely to approve. Ask for a bit more than you need and be prepared to “compromise” for fewer years.

    Check with your lawyer about moving once you’ve completed your degree. Would the fact that your POS Cheater left you to be with OW be something that you could use to persuade the courts that you should be allowed to move yourself and the children to wherever you can get the best job?

    Anyway, you completely have this. The best way to overcome the financial blows is to line up your ducks so that you don’t have to depend on your cheater’s income. Finishing your degree is part of that process.

    Good luck!

    • Kb,
      Based on my years of experience in family court (to defend kids and me from abusive ex-husband), I don’t think that the vast majority of judges care who left who/who cheated on whom–what’s ‘best for the kids’ is, at least purportedly, the primary factor in deciding whether one can move with the kids. I feel stuck in an extremely expensive part of the world because my ex-husband, the leaving spouse, sometimes lives in this part of the world. If I move more than approx. 25 miles north of here to find work or a place that I can afford, I will likely lose a large chunk of custody to my abusive, law-breaking ex-husband.

  • My wonderful wife’s first marriage was at 15! She had 3 kids by 19 and was totally dependent on a husband she was too young to see as abusive. She held her family together by scrimping and denial. When the youngest started school, so did she. She earned a GED and began a nursing program while working with 3 kids and a husband of little help. She found a job upon graduating and established a career as a highly respected critical care nurse.
    At 45, her XH’s affairs became overt. She threw him out! She had NO use for that POS anymore.
    The lesson is instill on your kids, especially daughters the need to have a good career. Financial dependence is the antidote to a bad marriage.

  • Male chump here. Counseling helped immensely. Recovering from the affair took 10 months (it was a 7 year marriage). The switch flipped the first night I was in my new apartment. Once I resolved I’m no longer a victim, I began to experience this wonderful sense of gratitude for everything. I pray out loud thanking God for the roof over my head and other basic necessities. It feels wonderful. The lesson I’m learning is the bad things aren’t as bad as we imagine and the good aren’t as good as we imagine. My prediction is once you get out of the infidelity environment, your problems will resolve one by one. My counselor said he knew I would feel this way eventually even though he didn’t encourage me to stay or leave. Again, once I got out of the environment, my whole attitude changed in every facet without conscious effort. Waking up crying to popping out of bed type of thing. Not being able to concentrate at work to loving my job. This change in attitude made me no longer embittered about the financial fallout. In fact I have more gratitude for what I do have than ever before. This type of reframing feels fake until you’re ready for it. Once you feel freedom you will be grateful and the change in attitude is wonderful. I’m only 3 weeks removed so maybe another shoe will drop but it has honestly been the best 3 weeks of my entire life. Good luck CN!

  • Have a support network. Friends, family, people that will make space for you, both literally, and emotionally. I left my husband, quit my job, and took our youngest with me to a new state. The financial aspect is tougher for most women, as we sacrifice our careers ( either completely or pass up opportunities to maintain stability in our family). I had an “okay” job teaching at a college. I earned about half what my ex-husband did, but I took the job over a much better paying 12 month position so I could spend time with my kids during the summers. I worked my ass off those first years, hustling 3 jobs and trying to start my own business. It was hell. I ran my checkbook to the penny most months, and I had to ask my parents for help on a few occasions for legal fees. Friends let me live rent free for an entire year ( I helped them out in other ways ). The first year I made 17K, my daughter got free breakfasts and lunches at school. The second year I made 27K, got my daughter off public assistance for breakfasts and lunches at school, and took a job as a high school teacher, not because I was dying to be a high school teacher, but because I needed benefits ( dipshit got fired and neglected to inform us that we had no benefits…) The next three years were really rough, I was earning more, but I had to learn a new career, I now had to pay rent, and my car lease was up, so I had to buy a new car ( lease deals weren’t so good then), and I had to take night classes to get my certification. I suffered through some very negative job evals, but I turned it around big time. Now I am in a different school, teaching in a program I love, have all my certifications and have additional certifications for a national program, I’m making more money than my last job, and my business is also taking off. I bought a new car, bought my son a car, and will be buying my daughter a car this summer. I have so much to be grateful for, but I put off the emotional work that I needed to do to recover because I needed to get my kids taken care of ( both now on scholarship in college!). I’ve been doing that this past year, reading CL, lots of other reading and journaling. I am pretty much at MEH most of the time, because I have worked hard on MY life, and I stopped thinking about the “why and how”. I can’t change the past, and I won’t have the future I envisioned originally, but that was fiction, it was never going to happen. Now I get to write the narrative for my future, I get to choose who I spend it with and what I will be doing. It’s a wonderful feeling.

    • GrandeDameChump,
      May I ask what you teach and what type of business you run? You sound incredibly energetic.

  • Sorry to hear your terrible story Blanketlamp. I’ll tell you mine. I discovered my partner had been having an affair with a very good friend of mine, and she basically wanted my life. So I gave it to her. I had no family, he and my son were my family, but I had a strong network of friends. I died and came back to life eventually to reinvent, because had to give up my lovely career, and the people that were intertwined with my betraying ex and friend.
    I negotiated a good child support settlement (we weren’t married, blessing and curse) and made every effort not to destroy my then 7 year old. He has a great relationship with his father and her, thanks to my graciousness.
    I started a business, saved up, bought a property on my own, renovated it, started a pension, and now have more money and freedom. I’m claiming back my original career in my ample spare time.
    I’m still learning with men, but had some great travel and romantic times and nearly found Mr Right but still have FOO picker problems. My bible is Women Who Love Too Much. I’m ready to surrender finally.
    I only recently discovered CN but I wish wish wish I’d had it before because I wasted a lot of mental energy being ‘not good enough’ and being self destructive. I suffered ostracism and been the object of fear and projection. It’s been pretty awful. Thanks to therapy and culling my social circle I’m in a good place.
    Best of luck and hope you find yourself amongst the rubble and rise up like a Phoenix.

  • I just want to say never feel bad about accepting public support in a crisis, whether it is money to keep a roof over your head or food support or medical insurance (in the U.S., since other countries seem to realize that all people need health insurance). Ignore the stigma placed on getting help by those who believe that everyone is born with the advantages that they have had. (Born on third base, think they hit a triple.

    In the U.S. people wailed about the “bailout” of the auto industry, but that government help saved an industry and the jobs that many families relied on. Soon enough, the auto companies paid back the bailout. Take whatever help you can. Over your lifetime, you will pay that forward many times over.

  • I was a pregnant chump. A trying to get pregnant for three years before that chump. And a bride chump. It really is a mindfuck. Especially when they cry about how much they love the kids. Yeah, whatever fuckwit.

    I worked on my career through the whole thing. But my own needing to be rescued issues and social programming from my dad that I needed a man to be financially secure made me stay.

    When I finally realised he never stopped cheating, and I never stopped pick me dancing through it all, I made the break. During one heated argument after we split where he wouldn’t let me in the house, and I got police involved (we were bird nesting) I screamed at him I’d be buying him out of our home.

    Fuck! How the fuck was I going to do that? Did the numbers, not ideal but turns out I totally can double my mortgage and get him out,

    Although weirdly 2 years later he’s refusing to finish discovery (already finished 2 times). I’m in the house, I’m paying the relatively low mortgage, but I’m also paying my kick ass lawyer and we’re not making progress. So I’m skint! Further financial abuse to make me believe I can’t handle doubling the mortgage. Further financial abuse as it’s in trust so he’s gambling on property value increasing, while he runs the business I have no say over, in same trust, into the ground.

    These clowns will do everything to destroy us to feel better about the fact they’ve destroyed themselves.

    So I’m calling his bluff, waiting and saving so I can pay lawyer upfront when it goes to court instead of putting it all on the credit card.

    Look at every foul move as a gift. Reframe that shit. To beat a narc, think like a narc. They make everything a win win for them, you make everything a win win for you. It’s a long game. Unfortunately that means we have to keep playing. It truly sucks, but reframing and some DBT helps for sure. See what free therapy you can get through your medical school.

  • Only advice I have to give is work your @$$ off and keep moving forward.

    When things got really hard financially because he refused to help or find a full time job (when I found out how much debt we were really in), I took the first job I could get into to keep a roof over our heads.

    I kept my eye out for the next level job that paid enough so I could move out. This was “promotion” number one.

    When I got that job, I moved out and focused 85% of my energy on it. I was absolutely exhausted between work and the living nightmare that was my life outside of work.

    Kept trying for the next level job. Turns out the forces of nature in the work place work against you sometimes (horrible boss who wanted to keep me doing her dirty work). Finally got the next level job. “Promotion” number two.

    I will continue to work to get my next level job. I expect to get this in the next year or so. I’ve had to scrimp and save to just get by, but I’ve earned everything I’ve got. I did that.

    I lived without support because he wouldn’t have paid up to save his life – financial order or not. It wasn’t going to happen. He just didn’t want to pay.

    In his own words, he’s just “too selfish”.

    Only thing you can do is just keep pushing forward. Keep reminding yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing. There will be bleak days, but there will be great days too, especially when you know you’ve provided for yourself and not relied on anyone except you to make it happen.

  • I have thought about our culture for a long time, and I believe the only way to stop the financial abuse is to change the cultural narrative. Just like Chump Lady decided to change the narrative about cheating, I think we must change the narrative about transactional entitlement when it comes to sex and money. It won’t be fast — It may not happen in my grandchildren’s generation — but eventually it will happen.

    Knowledge is power. That is the reason every oppressor wants to keep the oppressed uneducated, and unable to support themselves or their family with substandard wages. If you don’t have the education, or the job skills, you cannot get the paying job. If you don’t have the job, you don’t have choices. You live in a world where the other person is entitled to do whatever they want to do, and you only have transactional power. It is like barter, I will do this for you, and you will do that for me.

    Imagine being the one to pick the berries, mix the ingredients, cook the pie, and then serve it up to the one who owns the kitchen, and bought the groceries for the ingredients, and be told your work only provided you with a small sliver of the pie, because the owner was feeling gracious enough to let you have a bite. But he owned the pie. That is the legal system of our culture.

    I watched a comedy routine last night where the male comedian was complaining that he did not get enough sex, or the type of sex he wanted, because he had been married for a long time, and his wife did not feel thankful for all he provided. He said he knew she worked in the house, and took care of the children, and cleaned and cooked, and that had value,, but he earned the money. He was entitled to sex when he wanted it and how he wanted it, because he had a job outside the home that earned the money. He said when they were young and she wanted to get married, she provided sex whenever he wanted it then, but after she got the ring she slacked off. He is telling the truth from his entitled perspective — I am the breadwinner, I should get my way. She may have been raised to believe that when she was young.

    However — and this is important to understand — we humans are not like other animals with a biological imperative coded into our DNA to merely propagate the species. We can enjoy sex for the fun of it, and it is not fun to feel obligated to have it with someone who feels entitled to have it with you at any time or any way he desires it. Just because he has the power and the money does not mean he owns the wife.

    I know that male chumps can point out that some females exploit them by using sex. I understand. That is wrong, too. Sex should be engaged in by two people who care about each other, and want to please each other. Any other motivation to use or to be used is an entitled transaction.

    It was not so long ago that a wife was a man’s property, like chattel. Women could not vote, they could not own property, they rarely had a chance to become educated. They had no freedom to go where they pleased, or worship as they pleased, or to choose whether or not to have children.

    Personally, I am thrilled to have grown up at a time where I was educated, could vote, and could have a job and earn my own money. I may have been underemployed, paid less for doing the same work as male employees, male supervisors may have taken credit for my ideas, may have made inappropriate remarks, or created an uncomfortable work environment. But I had the means to pay for my own housing and groceries, and take care of my children. I didn’t have to continue to provide sex for a husband who cheated on me. He may have felt I was not grateful for his contributions to the household expenses, but I did not feel he was entitled to take his pleasure with me. The cost of enduring oppression is too great.

    My narrative is forever changed. I will never look back.

    • Your observations are spot on. My father completely felt this way. Regardless of how he neglected his children, neglected his wife, he felt because he earned the money to pay the bills he was entitled to whatever, whenever, and we all better not complain. My X also thought this way, he was just more circumspect about saying it out loud so as not to receive my derisive laughter.

  • Take any financial help you qualify for. You got this finish school. I discovered so many strong chumps that came out of the woodwork to help. Take help share your story. It is just a shitty chapter you didn’t ask for. Taking help is hard but it pulled me through

    I am routiing for you

  • @DoItYourselfFamilyLawTM on Facebook is another incredible legal resource. Beth is an actual lawyer and very experienced in the challenges faced by cash-strapped moms in a courtroom. Great source of advice and counseling (and research) for pro se litigants.

  • I’m in my 60 Still married , was a stay at home mom most of our 35 years together , My job was taking care of my house the children and husband , which I did do a great job at I didn’t get paid money wise , I got love and care , had a roof over my head , Was very dependent on my husband for money , The little he would give me each week to pay the bills, We own a home together ,where we both live together with one of our sons, I have been told by my husband if I want to leave he’ll give me 1000 $ dollars each month , that I can put it with my social security , and I have to get a job , Too I have no problem getting a job The problem I have is How he thinks that he gets to stay in our family home with No mortgage , he has higher social security then me , , and he still works He has it all When he’s the one that cheated , I didn’t do anything wrong, that he expects me to roll over and go along with what he wants That’s not going to happen , Not sure if I want to go back to school , But I hope u finish , and start a new life , , I’m trying to figure out the best possibles for me Right now it’s just making it though to the next day , With all that I’ve read here though Chump lady and chump nation , You will make it though Good luck.

    • Still Married,
      Please talk to a lawyer – oftentimes they will give you an hour consult for free. Your husband does not get to decide the terms of your divorce. He is not the omnipotent one! Sounds like you are struggling and just trying to make it through the day. I know it’s hard. Sometimes talking to a lawyer, even if you aren’t ready to do anything about it, will give you a feeling of power that you didn’t realize you could have. (((Hugs)))

  • See if you can live on campus in family housing…..its no utilities and always a great supportive community…..there are often community gardens and places to work out…..high quality of life.

  • >