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‘I Turned the Tables’

Dear Chump Lady,

Married 31 years, chumped the last 2 (that I know of), 2 kids early 20s. I did it all, untangling the skein of fuckedupness, rode the unicorn for a while, smoked a lot of hopium, dined at the buffet of grief, anger, etc. and went back for seconds and thirds.

Moved out to a city I love 4 hours a way in a luxury apartment. Loving life. Getting more perks than I would with a divorce. So much so, I’m turning the tables. I keep giving him a glimpse of the unicorn, keeping him on hopium, throwing kibbles now and again and that gravy train is on the tracks.

It hit me hard when I finally figured out he never intended to end it with the OW. She got sick of his bullshit and figured out he was never leaving and dumped him. This sad sausage has been flipping through the channels mostly over the anger of getting dumped and losing his cake… except for this cupcake.

So I am biding my time, playing with him, while enjoying life. I have no intention of ever getting married again and want to do my thing. I must say it is a power trip turning the tables.

Dare I ask Chump Lady her take?

Dare to Ask

Dear Dare to Ask,

I think this is a completely moronic strategy.

If you had presented me with a situation in which you were impoverished, financially dependent on your cheater, or had a disability that made you vulnerable, I might understand your hesitancy to divorce. (Still I’d advise legal aid, post-nups, credit report, protect yourself).

But you live in a luxury apartment. You can afford a divorce. You either work, or can afford not to. In which case staying in your marriage is about material comforts and some perceived power trip.

I will now disembowel both of those arguments.

Consider these “perks”:

He could run up debts you are liable for. He’s already checked out on your relationship. Don’t kid yourself that he hasn’t checked out financially as well, or won’t do so in the future. Especially as you aren’t there as kibble dispenser/wife appliance.

He could leave YOU. Don’t assume you have a marriage to fall back on. It hasn’t stopped with the OW? Oh, but she dumped him? Oh but you thought that for two years and she was still there? Yeah, that’s a good sign. (I wrote that in my sarcasm font.)

He gets to make medical decisions about you. Imagine your future infirmities. You want this guy making life or death decisions about your welfare? You think he’s changing bedpans or administering meds? You want to nurse him in old age? It takes a lot of love and stoicism to be a caregiver. Where’s the bedrock foundation in your marriage that gets you through that? There are worse things than being alone. Try neglect.

If you perform the pick-me dance naked, or take auditions, he could expose you to disease. In ordinary times that’s STDs. Now we have a pandemic. Now re-read “he gets to make medical decisions about you.”

He wastes your precious time with his centrality. He may live 4 hours away, but you are legally bound to him. Your shadow husband. You think “perks” don’t cast shadows?

Consider your power trip:

“Playing with him” is not meh. You CARE. You are deeply invested in fucking with him as he fucked with you. This is just another kind of hopium — that he’ll feel all the feelz and realize what he lost. He’ll pick me dance! He’ll choke on the humiliation! He’ll cry and mourn and want you back!

What? As Plan B?

You think he CARES? He just had a two-year affair and is mourning his Schmoopie. You’re deluding yourself if you think there is “power” in pick me dancing.

Yes, YOU are dancing. The jig is called “Now the Turd Dances for Me.” GET OFF THE DANCE FLOOR.

I have no intention of ever getting married again and want to do my thing.

Divorce isn’t about marrying again. (Unless you’re a Schmoopie.) Divorce is about walking away when the relationship is dead. It’s about self-respect and not tolerating abuse.

You just want cake — all the perks of marriage and none of the commitment. You want what he had. Are those your values? Really? A cushy apartment and a fuckwit on a string?

So I am biding my time, playing with him, while enjoying life.

I don’t think Fuckwit Puppet Theater is bringing out your best self.

If this is your best self, I can’t help you.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • I’m beginning to see that. I am far from authentic at the moment. CN is a reality check. Thank you.

    • Me Too.
      Power trips are tasty but lead to cavities.
      I would not consider for a nanosecond dating a woman with these obvious control issues

    • I had some great advice when I first went through my situation due to cheating,
      I was told my future happiness would be the greatest source of revenge( I suppose that is MEH)
      Not that I am happy for that purpose( revenge)
      But it seems moving on and not making your ex the centre of the universe in a lot of cases really irritates them.

      • I think it is in my case just because my stbx expected me to fall apart. Their egos are so big that anything less than pining away for them irritates them.

  • What a waste of time and energy. You do realise, he is worth none of this. Watching him suffer a bit of karma is all our dream, but do with put our real selves on hold to bask in his squirming? Does he still have that much power over your thoughts and actions? I think you need to cut free.

    • Honestly, I’m getting off on the revenge aspect and seeing how much my fuckwit is willing to do. Not that I think for one minute there’s any sincerity there. You’re right. Cut loose. Enough games.

      • Dare to ask:

        I sense there was more going on than cheating?

        Isn’t there always? At the very least cheating comes with emotional abuse (gaslighting) and physical abuse (exposure to STDs). The “very least” in cheating is severe physical and emotional endangerment.

        But maybe it’s a matter of what it takes to crush the life out of different individuals.

        In any case, I sense you’re genuinely afraid of this guy if you’ve been driven to enjoy his (temporarily) toothless state but yet hesitate to pull all the way out. Now you might be having an interlude to sharpen your teeth and nails to claw and gnaw and gallows-humor the rest of your way out of the Stockholm Syndrome trap in stages.

        Living with a dangerous person– even if it’s just a sneaking, intangible sense of how dangerous or dangerously callous they could be given certain circumstance (like CL mentioned)– causes a kind of stress exhaustion and the sort of ego collapse seen in POWs.

        If you went and got some lab tests, I might guess your cortisol level is off the charts. It sounds like you’ve taken your first mini vacation from the stress and have had your first laugh in years and years. There’s no sound more wonderful than of a person who has been long subjugated suddenly being able to snicker at the forces that repressed them. Let the healing begin! But then let it also continue onto the next stage before that window closes and he rises back up into full military mode. That might take some real grit and stealth and a really good attorney. If it’s true that your husband has given you cause to be afraid, watch your back and don’t give away your intentions.

        I agree with others here that whatever strength you manage to build during this time could be put towards gaining full freedom from abuse, whatever that entails.

        • Absolutely love this She Devil!! ???????????????????????? You knocked it out of the park!

        • I believe that CL’s response is valid and likely the 2×4 across the head that Dare invited when she wrote, there is also room for this response which I really like.

          No, Dare’s plan is not a good long term strategy and realizing that now is not a bad idea. I work in end-of-life care and there is a fuckedupness to the power her legal husband could have in her medical care (or lack thereof).

          But She Devil explains how this (while not a good long term plan) may be a helpful rest-stop on the road to freedom and meh. Maybe Dare needs a moment to catch her breath. Being abused is exhausting…escaping is exhausting …if Dare wants this detour along the way, Im not going to rain on her parade but I will cheer her on when she pulls the trigger and hires a lawyer.

          • It also begs the question of who gets her financial assets should she pass away while still married. After I divorced my ex-husband, I realized that my assets will now go where I want them to. It’s not always easy to disinherit your lawful spouse.

            • My lawyer explained to me that here where I live you can’t disinherit them fully. Only 50%.

  • Dare to Ask

    I know you say you don’t want to get married again , but say in a few years you do ?

    Say you meet someone and he asks how long you’ve been divorced and you say oh no I’m still married but have been separated for 5 years !

    Would you date a man who was still married and only separated for that length of time ?
    Only speaking for myself but I’d run a mile !

    • Good question. And come to think of it, why would I entertain seeing someone with attachments. I wouldn’t.

      • I definitely identify with your personal observation. It takes us 2-5 years to surgically remove all “the buttons” these malformed creatures installed in us.

        You’re not alone when it comes to feeling ???? authentic. But. We’re. Getting. There.
        One day At a time. ????❤️????

    • I met a man (after my divorce) who seems to be a pretty decent fellow. We only associated as friends. After the second time meeting at a bar, he told me he was still married but separated for 7 years. His wife lives about 7 states away and he’s in his late 60s. I didn’t ask why he was still married, I just figured that whatever the reason, “He’s still married.” Whatever the reason, maybe he doesn’t want to give up half of his retirement, maybe he doesn’t want to pay alimony, maybe his wife is sick and needs medical insurance…, whatever the reason, I’m not going to dive into that triangle. He also said in reference to his wife, “We just grew apart.” That may be so, but he’s got some reason he decided to stay married and I don’t care what it is. He may have his reason and it could be a perfectly valid reason, but whatever the reason, he’s not free to make any commitment to anybody else. I don’t want someone with ties.

      • We are definitely not staying married. My dd was December. Since I left, the sky seems to be the limit (I’m testing this theory). The shit will hit the fan. Just not yet. My ducks are getting more in line…didn’t think about medical aspect! When that big spat of shit on fan comes, I will be ready.

        • Lining your ducks better include consulting with a lawyer and forensic accountant. For all you know your husband’s hiding assets and racking up debt in your name. You think he wouldn’t? You think you’d know if he did? He managed to cheat on you and you didn’t see that coming, so you need to accept that you really don’t know what he’s up to and what he’s capable of.

        • In Canada we get a legal separation, not everyone does the final divorce step if there are pensions or health care insurance considerations. But after the legal separation you aren’t responsible for debt the other party runs up. And if you buy a house or car they have no claim on it. It would feel good to hurt someone that has voluntarily hurt you. But the thrill of that would fade after some time.

        • Please listen to yourself. If shit’s gonna hit the fan, you need to get ahead of this. See a divorce lawyer immediately.

          And do it SECRETLY. Don’t tell your husband.

    • I was separated from my first husband for 5 years before he filed for divorce. Never lacked for dates during that time, NC was firmly in place.

  • I get the desire. Revenge in a way. But it is like chumplady says, not your best self. Nothing hurts like this mindfuck, but as hard as it is to let go… we all have to get there. It’s taken me years, just now starting to loosen the grip. Hugs. You are stronger than that. ❤️ You will see.

    • I hope so Lori. Right now it’s a power trip and revenge. Like CL says, get off the dance floor.

  • I had a hard time understanding this letter. So confusing.
    They say “I never intend to get married again”, so…wouldn’t that mean they are divorced?
    I don’t get it.

    Anyway, that doesn’t sound like meh, just a narcissistic power play reversed. It never ends pretty.

  • This is a game and one I have no interest in playing.

    Revenge of any kind is a moldy cupcake that denies my access to the ultimate smorgasbord of life.


    I can’t wait to talk to my therapist this afternoon.

    • I’m thinking of a corpse tied around the neck of our letter writer, following her everywhere she goes, as she “enjoys life”….cement shoes as she swims in a tank with human-eating sharks….

      NO. THANK. YOU.

      Ma’am, I am so sorry he cheated on you. That is major league awful. But please go get a damn good therapist, STAT.


    • Dare I Ask, all I got from your letter is that the Piece of Shit OW had the good sense to dump his ass, but you haven’t.

      • You are right. At the moment I’m just fucking with my fuckwit to see how much I can get. Almost like a weird social experiment of sorts with revenge thrown in.

        • I think you’re being dishonest with yourself. You don’t want to let him go and want him to win you back, but you’re justifying it as a game.

        • DTA
          What I gleaned from your text says to me that you’re financially adept, separate and able to support yourself. Either that, or your STBX is payday and footing your current sitrep. (God I hope not!!)

          If by chance you’re sitting on a safe deposit box in a bank stuffed with Benjamins in another trustworthy persons name, then I could see having a cavalier attitude about it all. But Is this really who You are?

          Life is not about money. If anything this Fucking pandemic has shown us all, it’s That real, authentic people matter more.

          I’m learning that reciprocity is the KEY INDICATOR of a healthy relationship.
          You’re here because You’re not all here.

          How many rotations do you have left?
          Don’t waste one more second on something that inevitably will turn to ashes in your mouth.

        • The best revenge is living well. If you need to play these games to see what you can get from him, at least work towards getting a fair settlement in the divorce. At least that way you will actually be free to live well. Just because you are divorced doesnt mean you have to get into another relationship or get married again. While I don’t know you personally I would like to believe you to be a better person than this particular game.

        • Sandra Brown, a great therapist for victims of pathological love relationships told me this: “He is sicker than you are smart Geode. You’ll never win.”

          Occasional power trips will come during the divorce process. But unless you’re more disordered than him, you’ll lose in the long run playing this game. Right now, as he dangles YOU along, you just can’t see that. I get what you’re doing Dare. I’ve been there. But I truly started winning the prize of my own authentic self when I stopped playing.

        • The best revenge you can get is moving on from him and making your life about yourself again.

          Right now, you are 100% focused on him. How are you the winner here?

  • I do agree with Tracy! You feel power because you think he does care. No, he was dumped by OW and he wants his wife appliance back for a while (until next “love of his life” comes). He is lying that he is so devastated as he was lying he loved you and cared about your feelings before…He does NOT care. As soon as you realize that and get out of the dance floor – you will be free. Only then. Fingers crosses.
    Don’t you think it is better to put time and energy into new, meaningful life?

    • Oh no, he definitely doesn’t care. He REALLY does suck! I’m just fucking with him when the mood strikes. He thinks that this cake is coming back but nooooooo. This cake wants to see what fuckwit will come through with. But I have gotten through so far with the honesty of CN. Huge support and I take all these comments to heart because they come from a place of concern and support. ❤️

  • First response: Urgh. Second cut: When they go low, you go high. Please don’t play with someone’s emotions, even if they wrecked your life, it just shows they’re central to your existence. Cut them loose, let them make a mess of it on their own, and don’t wait for that outcome. You think you’re having fun but you’re entangling and dirtying yourself. Get that divorce and be kind to yourself.

  • Dare to Ask, I understand wanting to one up the OW. She got frustrated and left, you feel you have won. Maybe you think while there may be more OW down the road, they also won’t win, but I wouldn’t be so sure. I think it is far more important to divvy up the finances/properties and get your money now. Remember affairs cost money and that is your money being spent on the OW. Let your asswipe cheater go…….let him marry some gold digger that will only care for his money, maybe cheat on him with some toy boy. Divorce him and do it on your terms.

  • Oh, wow, this is just. Sad.

    DAR, living in a luxury pad is worthless when he is still occupying all your space.

    I repeat. Sad

    • I know you are right. I am astounded at the lengths my fuckwit is going to. And I’m stringing him along. Part of it is because I was fooled. Now it’s his turn to be strung along and fooled. I have to examine my revenge issues.

      • I had ‘revenge issues’ at one point, as well……unknowingly.

        I was having a really tough time (I was trying to ‘reconcile’ with cheaterpants at that point) and just could not identify what was causing my intense distress. (a distress that was different than the distress of the cheating)

        So, I prayed about it & did some research (in the scriptures) Once I identified the issue, I was able to look it straight in the face and rid myself of it. Was causing me so much grief and damage. Yes, it was a process, but so important.

        In my case, the primary reason I wished to divest myself of ‘revenge issues’ is this: Rom 12:17-19 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

        Verse 19, especially. What that means is that if we try to take revenge, we are trying to do what rightly belongs only to God. It is His place to mete out vengeance, not ours. What a relief when I gave up any need for revenge!!

        I hope that for you soon, DTA. This is slowly killing you, like death by a thousand cuts. This can be worse than the pain of the betrayal, if you do not turn it loose. “Let go or be dragged”

        You came to the right place for help.

        Love to all as we ForgeOn! as a great Nation of Chumps!

        • Amen to that! Well quoted, ForgeOn!
          DTA seems quite smug playing in her Fuckwit Puppet Theatre. (Good one, CL)
          I think it is in very poor taste to brag about being deceptive and duplicitous for revenge jollies and material things. It says to everyone that the deceiver in this case is still tangled up in her marriage. And likes it that way.

      • To be fair, having revenge issues probably means you are not a masochist who unconsciously feels she deserves to be ‘less than’ or have divested yourself of any masochism. So that’s good.

        But the sadistic instinct inherent in revenge isn’t good long term either, although it might have helped you out of a deep hole.

        I don’t think you are ‘sad’ – just badly hurt. Why shouldn’t you be? You devoted your life to your marriage and family and were treated appallingly. It’s normal to take a long time to recover.

        There may be some security issues at play too or an all too understandable need to be considered good enough. Which is about self esteem and thinking you are ‘sad’ Won’t help either that.

        The luxury flat and lifestyle also go along with self esteem issues. (I know because I’ve been in all the places you’ve been).

        I think the answer is to get some quiet time and night quality therapy (only some therapists are worth the money) if you can afford it. And think about what will really give you peace and meaning into the future. According to Erikson’s ‘stages of life’, at our age we need to be giving something to the younger generation in order to feel
        Fulfilled and satisfied with life. That could just be your children and grandchildren, but could mean something broader. It doesn’t have to be big or impressive.

        I’d guess, (without knowing anything about you so ignore if wrong) some of your excitement and fun is displacement activity. Grow your inner strength and build meaning in your life and his meaning in your life will fade away. It takes time though and serious thought.

        • Just to be clear, I stated the situation is sad, not that DAR is.

          Back to the situation. DAR, All that energy, all the focus is being directed to the cheater. You need to examine that.

          YMMV, but life’s too short to be wasted playing mind games with anyone, particularly a cheater. If this were your last day, would you really want to have wasted it on him?

      • You don’t have to work so hard to exact revenge. Karma itself will do a great job at that when the time is right. I have learned this. Instead of working on revenge, work on yourself. Do the things you need to do to make YOUR life a good one. Forget him! Who cares about him! Move on from the madness and enjoy the sanity on the other side of the fence. Join us – the view is lovely!

  • To me, divorce allows a chump to create that new life. I would not want to be connected in any way to a cheater. Free yourself because karma is being who your cheater is.

  • Hey, Dare to Ask, read this:

    I just found out, I mean THIS WEEK, how damn good my lawyers were.

    A former employee, entirely sparkledick’s responsibility, came around to ME looking for her social security that he owes her, 3 years worth. She is sick and needs to retires on disability, all this in the middle of a pandemic where her husband can’t find a job.

    Guess who is responsible for any debts of the former couple???? (I NEVER made stupid debts). Well, I figured out that if sparkles sells his fancy car he can pay what he owes her. No one dies if they have to ride the bus, just use a mask and carry your hand disinfectant.

    I just don’t get what pleasure you derive from sticking around a piece of shit.

    In my country we have a saying: the more you poke into the bullshit, the more it stinks. I’d get divorced tomorrow.

    Be wise!

    • We have a very similar proverb! Don’t stir the shit, it only smells worse.

  • Dare
    I am amazed how you can be satisfied and enjoying life
    while still having this cheater in your life? Why would you bother to “turn the tables” on such a waste of a man?
    After 35 years married then finding out about his Owhore for 2 years I immediately divorced him. I was in denial for few years but my health and mental state was at risk.
    I suggest that you free yourself and gain your self respect by letting go of this man-child. You have nothing to work with here. Life is better on the other side. Continue reading here on CN and find the strength to move forward like so many of us. Good luck ????????

    • Thank you. Having physical distance from my fuckwit helps. I actually did not expect him to start splashing out. Fixed budget? What fixed budget? I am basically seeing what I can get out of him. Like a weird experiment. I know the advice of CN comes from a place of concern and has definitely given me some serious thinking to do.

      • Dear Dare, I think I know what you are doing. Still a serious pick me dance but you don’t want him to know the real reason. He and his ow broke up because she got tired of waiting. You don’t want him to know he could have been available. You like this because he is thinking he probably has a chance to get back together with you because the more time that goes by the greater chance is that OW will move on and possibly meet someone else. Had you not been playing this game as you say he could have been back with her by now. You do care and like CL you can afford to do this for now. She makes a good point regarding the legal aspects of this. He is your next of kin. Is that what you want? How much time are you going to waste? Quit worrying about whether he and her will get back together. If not her it will be someone else. Go on and live your best life.

        • The ow moved on. My fuckwit is a consummate cake eater. He could have divorced me anytime in that 2 year fuckfest he had going on. I know I was the obstacle (excuse) he needed not to commit to the ow. I did ask him why he didn’t divorce me and the chump I am got the standard cheater reply “ because I love you”. He’s a fucking asshole that hurt me to the core of my being as chumps here know all too well. I just find myself in this unexpected situation of “generosity “ lol. We are blessed with all being financially secure so this is just weird and I hate to say, I’m taking advantage for the time being.

          • Dear DTA,
            (Let me get to your dark side and revenge later). I still don’t get how you can be financially secure for the future if he messes around with marital assets or may run debts. Isn’t the least thing you should have a post-nup for split assets, debts, liability and him not being allowed to make medical decisions or to host your funeral one day? Is this even legally possible?

            You say, you want to see how much he will give, how much you can get for holding (sexual, romantic) power over him. Well, you could see by putting any ‘perk’ he spits into a settlement during no contact and there’s your sorry or twu-wuv. I don’t see this being any different to the other situations where a post-nup is priority advise.

            All this said, I don’t see why you would want to continue your power game. You got one up over the OW. You moved and feel the hype of a cheater-free home. You are financially well off and no kids to share.

            I get your desire for revenge. I really do. I went on quite a trip, of course because it felt good initially. I poisoned my delicately blooming life with reading up on the dark psychology of narcs and portioned out a taste of his own medicine in order to get my kid out his sick triangle. In his case there was substance abuse with the OW which I couldn’t prove by legal methods. Plus all the perks and fair settlement he was offering or factually leaving to me and our kid while hoping he could lure me back in, he refused to put into a legally binding agreement. I only got that by a walk on the dark side.

            I wonder what you’d be able to garner from him if you were to put every little material thing (dinners, cocktails, clothes) into a contract? Maybe his reverse-chumpiness that you believe you manipulated would blast and turn into rage. You are not in a safe place there and you are not the master manipulator in this game. You need to understand, with narcissists there is no significant other. He doesn’t care about the depth of your romantic antics, he may even see right through them. He lets you do this as long as he sees an advantage (wife appliance,image management). He’s financially secured so it’s cheap for him to give some perks to you for a few years to still fulfill that role. He will find a cheaper supply that is less trouble. And then what? You will up your game on the dark side? You’ll just step away from this dynamic you call a fun game? I don’t think so.

            Please find a therapist. My therapist at least knew about my (short) walk on the dark side (never encouraged). She held the balance for me during that time. You’ve lost your balance.

      • Anyone who treats other people like a “weird experiment” is flying major red flags. If you’re just angry, I get that. But you are running the risk of being as manipulative as your cheater husband.

  • Pretend kibble and cake are still kibble and cake to the narc so they are still winning.

    If you think you are getting one over on a cheater by covert control, I would challenge you that you have co dependency issues or you are a manipulator as well.

    Healthy people control their own behavior and set firm boundaries with others, particularly people who abuse them.

    • I’m a manipulator for sure, part and parcel of revenge. I didn’t think fw would get sucked in. And here he is. I know it’s not the sane thing to do, but holey sh*t I did not expect this. And the dark side wants to see how far I can take this. But as my fellow chumps have said, get on with my life.

      • There was a period when my exH tried to return where I thought it would be great revenge to string him along and then cheat or dump him coldly. But the thing is, it’s not in my character to be able to do those things. And if it were, it doesn’t matter if I’m cheating on a cheater. I’d have to go through my life knowing I’m shitty as well. What more often happens is YOU are going to get hurt again. You are on a high with him chasing you right now. When he finds a new shiny toy and throws you away again, you’ll be more mad because you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. The first time you got chumped, you didn’t know. Now you know what you are toying with. Is harming yourself more worth it in the end? I know you hated being chumped, played, and conned. But you are never going to win a game against someone who did that to you heartlessly.

        • Yes. This.^

          I understand where you are coming from. I hate to admit it but I might do the same thing if I were in your shoes.

          However, Hard Way is right. It feels good now but likely you’ll be hurt much worse the second time around. It’s fun to be on top of the mountain but you WILL fall off and that’s gonna hurt like a muthaf*cker.

          Another thing: If he hires a slimy narc atty, the atty will twist the tiniest facts and spin you as a terrible person to the judge.

          You’ll be sitting there in the courtroom, completely powerless to say anything. Your only choice is to sit back and watch your life crumble down around your ears.

          That’s why you need to keep your nose sparklingly clean.

          Ask me how I know. :/

  • My first reaction to this letter was “way to go, good for you” I have to admit. Rub that bastard’s face in it. Reading Tracy’s response gave me second thoughts, but only in respect that he would be able to make medical decisions for you AND might be able to drop you into big financial troubles potentially. My ex was an inveterate, spendthrift drunk with many DUIs and I was terrified that his next DUI would involve someone getting maimed or killed and I would be partly financially responsible for his crap, so I’m so glad those ties are cut. But I get where you’re coming from and if it gives you a buzz go for it – but not for too long.

    • My thoughts too, Attie. However in my case I moved to take advantage of cheater xh #2’s state of euphoria soon after Dday #1 to protect myself legally and drew up a ‘separation agreement’ (aka what I used as a post nup) that gave him no rights to my pension, 401k, alimony for him, and gave me the marital home, that legally survives regardless if we ever reconciled or not. No mention of any cheating and I ‘sold’ it as a quick, cheap, no conflict solution to bail on our 15 yr marriage so he could go be with his TWU WUV ASAP. Did this with no lawyers do in his mind I was merely letting him go be free, be happy without a fight. So when sad sausage asked to stay a couple months later after dday#1 and I took him back, I quietly tucked my insurance policy away in a safe place. I think cheater xh must have assumed our separation agreement was void since we got back together. NOT. ????

      Fast forward almost 2 years to the day, dday#2 with different OW. Yup! You betcha… I promptly lawyered up and confirmed our notarized separation/property settlement agreement from before was in fact still VALID and enforceable. For once this chump’s brain overrode it’s over-trusting, empathetic, sappy heart with a backup plan. I had successfully and covertly turned his impulsivity, impatient and entitled narc tendancies against him without him even realizing it.

      So when dday #2 comes around newbie chumps: It. Always. Comes. Around. Always.) Protect yourselves!

      • Hell Yasss. Seasoned!!
        That was my exact EXIT strategy as well.
        To the detail.

        After xw bolted and moved in with campground boy, she was so into ‘limerence’ (⬅️ RIC term), she lost All sense of reality. OrgasmO brain disconnect? Semen overload? Don’t Care. Let me The Fuck Out!

        The separation agreement I penned was signed and notarized quickly. I put myself first and excised that tramp out of my life in every way feasible. ZERO ATTACHMENTS. Moving quickly resulted in a 10 month divorce. Clean ????

        I did have a D lawyer (a Pit Bull bitch in heat) and a second one- to make sure 4.2 paid-for acres of heaven I live on were duly surveyed & recorded in my name.

        I had irrefutable adultery evidence documented which served as a GREAT 2×4 for leverage (having learned HERE about their bondage to their image). They are predictable in their Borg behaviors.

        So Yes!!! Run Little snowflake!! Go and be Free!! Live. Love. Laugh.

    • I’m looking into the medical aspects for sure! Tracey is the voice of healing and this has been a wake up call. But the power I have over my fuckwit is crazy. Or it’s part of the twisted game. New furniture, new car, no fixed budget…wtf. I really am seeing how far I can take this. It is intoxicating and it is taking energy. But it is fun. I have to get over the need to do more damage.

      • And who owns the luxury apartment, the car (payments?), the furniture? If they’re all in his name, then he’s still in control of the puppet strings.

        • The lease on the apartment is in his name and coming out of his account. Everything else is in my name. I am quite happy to live in a modest apartment and that was my intent when I started to look for an apartment and then mr “Generosity “ kicked in and heck, get whatever I want. I am shocked but what the heck. We are blessed with being financially secure in our own right, so ( pardon the pun) icing on the cake. Really chumps, I know I’m getting revenge. I’m hurt and this is my way of getting back. My healing will continue albeit slowly and someday I will get to the land of meh.

          • “The lease on the apartment is in his name and coming out of his account.”

            You do realize that he could stop paying at any time and you could find yourself homeless, right? The bills would go to HIS address and you wouldn’t be any the wiser until the day your stuff is on the curb.

            You are trusting him not to hurt himself in the short run (credit getting dinged) while you could find yourself suffering in the long run.

            Getting to Meh means doing it for yourself, not at the mercy of a Fuckwit and his/her wallet and largesse. His guilt could evaporate *snaps* like that and then what will you do?

          • You do realize he can evict you any time he wants to right? Even all the junk you are buying, he isn’t doing anything he doesn’t want or can’t afford. That is not revenge, OP, that’s just you screwing yourself and not even realizing it. He is very much in control here. Heck, he can use your spending against you in the divorce.

            You are living the life of Riley…..while he is plotting your demise. You are over confident in your ideas that you understand pathological people. You don’t. In generalized ways, sure, they fall into certain common patterns, but that’s where it stops. Individuals are still individuals. You have no idea what he is really thinking.

            At the end of the day you are still the chumpy chump passively waiting on cheating fuckwit to make decisions, switch to rage, whatever. You are STILL handing control of your life and even the security of the roof over your head to a man who has proven to be unreliable.

            You want real revenge? Get off your arse and take action. Get that pitbull lawyer, file for divorce, go for the jugular. Don’t posture how you are so all that when in reality you are afraid to pull that trigger and take real action. Stop living like a scared little girl being pacified with shiny toys. He is literally manipulating you with that and that’s not revenge or anything to be proud of.

            • This is just love bombing, again.
              My ex did this after being found out.
              Everything he gave me I made him take or send back, yuck.
              I knew that nothing would ever make me see him the same, I lost all respect!!
              Respect yourself and break free, even though it’s tough.
              You can do it!

      • You’re playing a dangerous game. I don’t think you realize it.

        You will never beat a narcissist at revenge. They’re sadists with no moral compass whatsoever. You can either sacrifice your own moral compass in a race to the bottom, or suffer when he lashes out in retaliation. A cornered narcissist is a dangerous animal.

        You need to cut legal and financial ties with this guy ASAP. Leave the desire for revenge to your therapist.

  • Oh wow, what a doozy!
    Trust me, you are totally deluding yourself. I fully agree with Tracy, this is so far from MEH as you can get.
    Please talk to a therapist, take up a time consuming hobby, join a health club, anything but using any form of energy on a man that should be exorcised out of your life completely.
    That tactic will fall back on you, and hard.
    Heed the words of chump nation, we’ve all been there and done that. Save yourself more anguish and find out what life really has to offer you❤️

  • (music my Huey Lewis and the News, lyrics by Dare to Ask)

    I’m having fun, making sure the table’s turned
    Biding my own sweet time, and there you are, getting burned
    I think about splitting but, I rather like the power trip
    I think about shunning but, I find I like the gamesmanship

    I could vow to separate
    But I like the mindfuck
    All the same shit
    And the same disorder

    Yes, it’s true, I’m happy to just fuck with you
    Yes, it’s true, I’m so happy to just fuck with you
    But I can’t see (I can’t see) it’s the same as when you fuck with me

      • But what you can’t see is you fucking with him is the same as when *he* fucked with you.

        I understand the desire for revenge, but this isn”t revenge, it’s a deeply twisted pick me dance.

        Do you *really* think, when (if!) you bring down the hammer, this pos is going to feel the same anguish and hurt you felt? No. They are not normal people, they don’t feel and process the way we do.

        The best revenge is living well. You are not living well because all your energies are twizzled around a *dead* relationship.

        Plus, as CL points out, you are basically cutting off your nose to spite your face – this pos could do all sorts of things that you could be liable for, because you are still married. He could be fucking you over right now, whilst you delusional lay think you are “turning the tables”.

        Get a fucking grip woman.

        • I agree chumpnomore. Alarm bells are ringing in my head. Once he knows he’s being flucked with, the Voldemorte aspect of his character could really hurt you. And they LIKE to trick people. Be very careful in where you derive your enjoyment. Ex liked to see me in pain

      • I think you’re fucking with him but underestimating how devious people can be. You’re still thinking with your chump brain- “haha, I’m taken care of! Have my own money and own place.” But, from what I see here, the place is in HIS name.

        You are also telling yourself that he’s a chump now because he’s giving. You are projecting intentions onto him. You *think* he’s doing these things so you’ll get back together with him. And then you’ll have your triumphant, eff you asshole moment.

        That moment will surely not come. Remember that nothing he has done or said has been true, at least for the past 2 years. And probably longer.

        You keep saying “he says this (the OW left). He says that (he’s sorry. Here’s a luxury apartment in his name). But, you KNOW that this is not an honest man. You cannot take him at his word. You need to question why he’s so assertive in having the luxurious control over your lifestyle.

        You have no idea why he’s doing this, but you have somehow convinced yourself it’s because he wants to get back together. And then you took another leap in assuming that you would be victorious.

        This man is plotting something. Please don’t chump yourself.

  • The longer one waits to divorce, the more time one’s marriage partner has to line up their own ducks.

    I went for the most rapid, loss-cutting, finance-separating divorce I could get. Totally worth every loss I cut.

    YMMV, as life is a case-by-case deal, not a prescriptive one. Still, our writer seemed to already know that “daring” to share this with CL was risky, so perhaps our writer already questions the choice and was, perhaps subconsciously, reaching out for the 2×4 from our CL whose BS meter is so well honed.

    Bottom line, if you don’t want to be treated badly by a partner who is treating you badly and you stay in the partnership, you’re choosing risk. CN folks tend to be tired of the inevitable outcomes, so we aren’t a receptive audience for stories that include volunteering for them.

  • Dare To Ask, the fact that you’re still financially connected to this cheater AND he’s still you’re closest living relative spells nothing but trouble and continued heartache. Not a win in my opinion.

  • This is why it is said that when you seek revenge first dig two graves.

  • My first thought is that the family’s finances may be in jeopardy. While you are sitting pretty who is minding the money? In the lull (waiting period to file) and then during the 2+ years it took our county to grant me a divorce, x wasted and hid many assets. Second biggest asset was that newly built dream home on 20 acres, the one we lived in (me, three kids, and a menagerie of critters) and he walked out on a mortgage he could pay five times over. Second thought, You owe it to your kids to show them how worthy you are. Nothing is better than an authentic life. You show them you are worth more than a man who cheats in a marriage.

    • This is true. I wouldn’t be fucking with him if my finances and the kid’s finances were in jeopardy but all that was taken care of years ago. I can live well on a budget. I am stringing him along 4 hours away enjoying the moment. Seeing how far I can take it. Not healthy I know. But strangely entertaining.

      • Is this really the person you want your kid to see? I don’t know but I think this is not the sort of thing a sane parent does – even if the kids are grown and out of the house. I would be beyond concerned if one of my adult kids was playing the game that you are right now.

  • So what’s the current thinking on divorce in the United States?

    Wait to see when the courts and professional (real estate, accountants, title companies, etc) offices open? Or push the lawyer to work remotely for filing ASAP?

    • I’m a lawyer in the US- courts are open for family and criminal law matters and other emergency orders and lawyers are working harder than ever. I just “appeared” in court via zoom.

      No reason to delay.

      • Mother
        I’m Curious. Is there a huge increase in divorce filings these days?
        What is your assessment?

  • Actually, I like this lady. She’s doing what is best for her right now and enjoying it. You go!!

    • Thanks! I know it’s not healthy. But heck I had no idea how “generous” lol he is willing to go. This will not last, no intention of reconciliation but if he wants to keep doling out, be my guest fuckwit. I know in my heart of hearts that this chump needs to get to meh and be free, and I will get there.

      • You need to do whats best for you. Heck take the money and run! Play your hand carefully, get everything you can by being nice, then strike when the iron is hot. But always have your long term game in mind. Since you got cheated on, be the better smarter person. He owes you. Take all you can get and move on for you. Protect yourself and move forward for you. I totally get the tables are turned. It would feel great for anyone. CN is correct yes. They want the best for you. But only you know this cyclops and you know what to do. It sounds like your on your game. Play your hand carefully and be smart. Money is important yes, so take it all and run.

  • If you don’t have a legal separation with your assets divided up, you could be screwing yourself over in the long term. Obviously he doesn’t want to divide things up. You give him a lot of trust that he’s not going to eff you over when the next honey pot comes along. That apartment is a bargain for him. It might even be a write off for him. Hon, even if you stay married in name only, you’ve got to get it properly done – legally. You’ve realized you enjoy life without him. He’s not around bugging you. But he can still strike a mortal blow. Be careful. Men are dumb but they aren’t stupid, if you know what I mean.

  • Dear Dare I Ask:

    You say “I’m biding my time”; but biding your time for what? Before you decide he’s suffered enough and you extend an olive branch? Before you decide you’re ready to forego the high life of revenge and are willing to live a less luxurious life and divorce him?

    I understand the delicious taste of sweet revenge. I exacted a bit of my own on my ex in the divorce process, without his knowing the reason for my late demand. But I think you are deluding yourself that you are holding all the cards here. Your position, in which you are the one doling out revenge, is a precarious one, one that he could topple at any time. (You should also consider that he may not even see it as revenge.)

    He could find another schmoopie, and file for divorce, exacting some cruel revenge of his own. He could mismanage or manipulate or secretly squirrel away your assets. He could get sick, and you’d be on the hook for his medical expenses. All those things Chump Lady says.

    The best revenge is to cut him loose and cut him out of your life. The adage “the best revenge is living well” doesn’t mean living in a luxury apartment. A better wording would be “the best revenge is a life well lived.”

  • The anger will consume you until there is nothing left. Leave the mental games to the cheaters. Gain your life.

  • So … You’re using him … And we are supposed to think that’s ok?

  • Do you really want to play such a risky game? You are still pick me dancing in your own way by trying to keep him on the hook even if you have no plans to reel him in. Sounds exhausting to me.

    • It’s actually not exhausting. Probably because I left to another city that I love and detached and just shocked over this unsolicited “generosity.” I had every intention of living well because we are both financially secure in our own right but lo and behold I’m offered all this sh*t! I take it all knowing he’s a fuckwitt and guessing at the possible motives but what the heck. I’ll let him knock himself out until he doesn’t.

      • I guarantee you the “generosity” comes with strings. And he will yank them HARD.
        Like someone said upthread, you may be playing a part in HIS sick manipulation game right now and not even know it.
        Danger, Will Robinson!

  • I am a veteran of both the marriage police and the marriage wars. Being a veteran, I have experienced the battle wounds, and endured the peace talks. When my divorces were final, I walked away a different person, hurt by some of the brutalities of life, but stronger from my experience, and I learned many things I never even thought of when I first married, and was full of hope and naive as hell.

    You don’t have to stay married to see karma. You are better off in the long run to accept your losses, gather your assets from the war, and move forward. If you have children, you have to maintain diplomatic relations with your former spouse. Here is the thing to remember, cheaters have a character disorder, and there is no cure. They may express faux remorse, but they live in the moment and look at everyone as an asset for them to use and abuse. At times, they may appear to be successful, but they will find a way to ruin that success. My first ex made a lot more money than I ever did, but he never figured out how to manage it. We were married for 20 years, and started off with almost nothing. When we divorced, he left with good credit and some good assets. He lost both over the years. He lives a sad life now, he is ill and unable to do many things he would like to do. He got there by his own choices. I am so grateful that I am not responsible for any of his financial situation, and that our children are grown men, and independent. My second ex had many wives and lovers, but he died alone and nearly penniless. He chose his lifestyle. He had several opportunities for happiness, but he could not change his ways. I had nothing to do with him after our divorce, but he would periodically call me and express faux remorse and want to “try again.” I declined his generous offers.

    I live alone now, and enjoy my freedom and the peace in my life. I have a few regrets, of course, but over the years I have figured out many things, and come to terms with my FOO issues. I look at my marriages as some good times, and some very bad times, but at least I was able to survive and live life on my terms. I am not responsible for the way other people choose to live their lives. Meh, for me, is being content with who I am, and what I have. I do not spend time worrying about who other people are or what they have. That is not my business. You choose the life you live through many decisions you make every day. You are true to your values, or you are empty. There is no real joy in watching others suffer. There will always be people who make poor choices in life, you cannot change that.

    Find joy in the life you choose to live .

    • I love this! And oh man am I kicking that skunk! I think because I made the first step of leaving and being safe and secure in another city that I feel I can now fuck with him and string him along. Kicking a skunk. That speaks to me.

      • Wishing you strength to make the break. You deserve so much better.

      • When you kick the skunk the stink gets all over you. Be careful – if your skunk is a narc/sociopath like mine was you can be putting yourself in danger in the long-run – eventually he will see what you are doing and hell hath no furry like a spurned narc.

        • AMEN to that.

          “Hell hath no fury like a spurned narc.”

          Mr. Waste-of-Skin (wasband) has left nothing in his wake. Scorched earth policy. He’s swatting a mosquito with a sledge hammer because Wife Appliance (me) got uppity and refused to be abused.

          I have never seen anything like it.

  • I don’t read separation into this— the writer may be divorced and may be low contact.

    The best revenge is living a good life.

    Because I have kids (all but one adult) X is aware of my wonderful life and his infrequent Hoovering messages asking me (how are you?), which I usually leave unread, tell me all I need to know about how he still sucks.

  • If you want to turn the tables divorce them. Free yourself and remove their power over you so that they can’t make life decisions, run up debts, make unilateral commitments that impact on you (or your kids, regardless of age).

    Then get on with your life; go be fabulous somewhere else. Sooner or later they will work out what they threw away, but your aim should be not to care if they do.

  • Dare to Ask,
    If you are playing the revenge/manipulation game, at least get a post nup! In my state, a post nup drafted by a good lawyer will take precedence over a divorce decree. I get how you feel empowered by screwing with him; hopefully you will find a good therapist, get your power back in other ways, get divorced, and gain that cheater-free life. Take seriously the saying “before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” You are playing with fire, Dare. I hope you finish up with it quickly and stay safe!

  • You are still anchored to him and he could be doing any number of things that could destroy you now or later.

    Get out of your dead marriage. You can’t smell it because you’re accustomed to the stench, but other people can and do. This isn’t healthy for you.

  • Oh my….DTA, you are operating on a deeply flawed premise that cheaters are capable of caring. No, they do not care (except for themselves and their comfort and convenience). What cheaters excel at is pretense and I mean Oscar winning performances galore. Heck, narc fuckwits make professional actors look like amateurs. Especially the covert and malignant ones.

    My point is that if this man is playing sad sausage while you are far away living the high life, you better be watching your back and checking your finances because whatever he is up to, has NOTHING to do with caring about you or winning you back or any kind of pick me dancing on his part. He is up to something and you have no idea what that is. One thing I can guarantee you is that you will get stabbed in the back yet again. Cheaters operate strictly on self interest. A cheater appearing to pick me dance is like a poisonous snake wanting to cuddle with you – you will get harmed.

    DTA, put aside your ego and start taking better care of yourself and your life. Lawyer up and get that divorce settlement while funds are still there….if they are still there…..

    • Definitely doesn’t care. I see all his moves through the cheater play book. Let me tell you—all cheaters work from this book. I know why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s so predictable. I’m 4 hours away living the life of Riley and he wants to fund this that and the next thing, be my guest. Cake anyone? I’m also aware that there are some of my ducks missing. The medical directive ????. And I know la la land will not last and the channel will flip to rage and I will get down to serious business.

      • Medical AND financial directives (what we call powers of attorney).


        What if you get injured today and you’re in a coma?

        Guess who gets to make not just medical but financial decisions for you? YOUR HUSBAND.

        Everybody thinks these things won’t happen to them. You can fall, you can be in an auto accident. It CAN happen to ANYONE.

  • UX world,
    Very well pointed out how this lowers her to his level minus the affair. It is unbecoming of ones character to emulate the behavior she distains.

    Though it is true time spans centuries of wives who turned the other way to a man’s improprieties and affairs to keep her social standing but this was in the days when women had little alternatives if any.

    One other note is there are women, like myself, that have been a stay at home mom with very real financial fears and fears in general that keep me and other such chumps in a neutral nowhere position.

    Though the writer of the comment seems she would not be deeply financially harmed if she permanently ended the marriage being in a luxury apartment.

    To relish in revenge is not mighty even if she was wronged first. The old saying, two wrongs dont make a right is a very wise saying.

  • Dear Dare to Ask — I get it. Really, I do. I’m sure it’s felt great to make him suffer even if only a tiny fraction of how much he made you suffer. I certainly don’t judge you for it and won’t call you names. I will, however, say that now is the time to get your financial ducks in a row, hire a pitbull lawyer and put an end to all of this. Although your current situation might feel like sweet Karma, I join others here in worrying that each day you’re legally linked to this loser, the more you endanger yourself. We’re here, on the other side, assuring you it will be different but also that it can be way, way better than where you find yourself, now.

  • There are no real perks to being married to an asshole. And there are alot of very real risks. As Tracy points out, this very disordered and selfish person would be able to make medical decisions for you if you were unable to communicate. Think about that. It took a long time to divorce my narcissist ex after he left because he got his lawyer girlfriend to spend almost 100K to push for a completely ridiculous custody agreement. I had a great lawyer and got the schedule that worked best for my daughter in the end, but it was a good 18 months of misery. The entire time I was still legally married I was SO worried that if something happened to me he would be in charge. I had to sit my older kids down and talk with them about my wishes so we could have something on paper in my medical chart and filed with my parents and my lawyer. Even though I was mostly healthy, if anything happened to me my worst nightmare was that my ex would be able to keep me in a coma while he had my organs harvested and sold for beer money.
    Protect yourself from this jerk, Dare to Ask. He isn’t going to become a good person at any point.

    • Ya he’s definitely a grade A asshole. I’m looking into the medical directive! Good call Tracey and CN.

  • This letter gave me an explanation of why revenge behavior didn’t work for me.
    “Oh, you want a girlfriend and and side sex?” “Okay, so do I.”
    “Oh, you want to stay out all night with no explanation?” “Okay, so do I.”
    “Oh, you’re spending significant money on something you refuse to talk about?”
    I tried it. This didn’t work for me — it wasn’t my authentic self.

    Also the medical one was very sobering. I was laid up and he deliberately ate the foods I froze ahead of time for me (Type 2 diabetic here, so food is important). I had to hire my own medical aide to shop and microwave food for me. “Forgot” that leaving a rug around with someone on crutches is dangerous. Refused to call 9-1-1 when I fell down the stairs. I had to drag myself up 21 steps to get my cell phone. He was using the house phone and refused to get off the line.

    I was gone when the crutches went. And if it weren’t for a decent lawyer, 50% of my life time of assets would have been gone. Turns out that I was the only one with marital assets. We married when he was retired, so none of his assets were marital. I was still working, so pension, 401K, etc were splitable.

    • Emma—- omg! You are luck to have survived! He sounds like a killer…. you could be on Dateline ????????????

  • I get it that chumps want revenge, what the apology, want cheaters to see what they lost. But I don’t see how playing a manipulative game is any way to a happy life.

    If Dare is playing with her husband, making him pick-me dance, she is making him central to her life. It looks like a “power trip” but she’s actually giving away her authentic power, which is about living an authentic life based on values like kindness and honesty.

    My own thought was that this is a troll letter. But then I spend too much time on Twitter.

    • Honestly, there have been a lot of letters lately that either sound trolly or pretty well made up, complete with the letter writer chiming in on the comments with what also seem like contrived responses and thoughts. They all seem to have the same cadence and style to them, use similar language. It’s recently gotten me wondering if someone has been inauthentically making content for the site. Either way, the site is awesome and necessary, but does have me wondering.

      • It’s real. I didn’t think I’d get cl kind of response. I’m a chump since my dd back in December. I’m a disciple of this site because it has helped me through dispair and confusion and now into taking back my power through revenge of sorts ( although I acknowledge not healthy). Tracey did condense my email to her but definitely got the gist of the matter. It’s familiar because cheaters have their playbook and now we chumps have ours.

        • This site doesn’t advocate for revenge. It advocates for “gaining a life” by losing a cheater. Revenge, such as it is, involves living well and authentically, not using others, no matter how despicable they are. Maybe your combined affluence makes you blind to this, Dare, makes this all seems like a game about who can get the most stuff. Chumps who have real-world problems like feeding and housing their kids when a cheater walks away understand that playing these games can backfire in court and will set a terrible example for the kids.

      • I agree. This letter sounds fake, and if it isn’t, the entire premise is ridiculous. I’m not going to dole out advice to someone who plays silly ass games like this.

        Get a divorce and grow the fuck up.

        • And if you read all Dare’s replies, the whole thing looks super troll-y. But then you and I have been around awhile, Rumblekitty.

    • Not a troll letter. I’ve been reading this site religiously since my dd in December. Leaving was step 1. From reading this site I started to understand the cheater playbook and tactics. To my shock, my fuckwit turned to the charm/generosity channel and subscribed. Of coarse he’s playing me. That is what he does except it’s costing him. He wants to sign and pay for a lease on expensive apartment let him. No fixed budget? Why not? Let the fuckwit spend his money. The kids and I are financially secure. That was taken care of years ago. I’m living 4 hours away and basically carefree… until the shit hits the fan and it will. What I will do is get that medical directive changed!!!! Didn’t think of that CN.

  • Chumplady made some great points, as usual, on caregiving and spouses being able to make medical decisions for each other. I watched my mom take care of my ill father for years – it helped me make the decision to divorce. I knew I could NEVER care for my serial cheating, sociopathic (now ex) husband if he were to get ill. While the divorce was pending I literally prayed he wouldn’t have a stroke or come down with some debilitating disease so I wouldn’t be expected to step up as his caregiver (in sickness and in health, right?!) While I didn’t wish death on him (the kids would have been sad) that would have been better for me than him falling seriously ill.

    Bottom line, separate yourself legally from a cheating spouse as soon as possible.

  • Just because someone has been abusive to us, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be abusive to them. Abusing an abuser doesn’t make it right, it makes you an abuser.

  • Wouldn’t we all love to have had a year to get ourselves in a better position if we had known?
    True to a cheaters disordered actions they make unilateral decisions moving us out of our comfort zones, taking on debt, hiding money and moving assets. It’s all about power and control.

    • There are a few good reasons a chump may wait before divorcing. These are about self preservation. The first one is to reach the ten year mark to be eligible to collect on his/her SS or pension. The second is to relocate to a safe location closer to a support system.

      If we look at a cheaters motivation in staying it’s often for financial gain and use.

      Living well isn’t contingent on staying to exact revenge. Your control of others is an illusion. Severing your ties allows you to live cheater free. That’s your super power.

  • You didn’t turn the tables you became him. Don’t let that dick dribble become your standard. Evil is done by cowards. “MARRIAGE IS THE MOST LEGALLY SIGNIFICANT THING YOU WILL DO, OTHER THAN DYING” The legal consequences of marriage are lifelong. Get some peace for yourself, detach. I repeat this every day. ” I accept it. I see it for what it is. And I stop giving it the power to hurt me. I trust the Universe, or God, or whatever will sort it out through the natural laws of consequences. I have better things to do with my life than throw centrality at this person who hurt me. I own my choices and my values. I will not share my life with a cheater because we’re incompatible. I cannot hope and pray for a compatibility that demonstrably doesn’t exist. This person has shown me through his actions what his values are. I accept the reality of that. I wish to disengage. I want peace in my life. That is forgiveness to me and by my definition I have forgiven. “

  • This just sounds to me like a toxic,poisonous ,energy draining and potentially dangerous interaction with a huge serving of self delusion thrown in.
    He must be getting a huge high from knowing he still has Dare around in some capacity despite what he has done to her. No amount of money or stuff he is bank rolling is worth your dignity and self respect. Selling your soul to the devil never ends well. Excise from new life and move on is my advice.

    • Also, having her sink to his level is satisfying for him. Cluster Bs love to destroy good humans or at least turn them into bad humans.

    • In fairness, if this is a real letter, the LW is only 4-5 months post-D-Day. Most of us weren’t in our right minds at that point. What makes me double this letter is the lack of pain. That’s something writers can’t fake without sounding fake. Actual pain and desperation.

    • You got that right! She is the voice of sanity. She has given me homework!

  • It just sounds overly complicated and a huge waste of energy that could go elsewhere. You’d be better off spending all that time and energy on almost anything else, literally–it’d be better used watching reruns of the Price is Right.

    I mean, we’ve all fantasized about some version of revenge, and I’m sure many of us have gotten some of it too. I don’t begrudge you that. But there is a lot of personal power in moving on. If you are the architect of your future, do you really want it to entail large swaths of revenge living?

  • My take on this is nothing in life is free. He has proven to be a cheating liar and thief. Spending marital assets on the OW was theft. I think he has already seen a lawyer and was told to be as generous as possible so when divorce happens he can say I’ve given more than my fair share and in the long-term after the divorce you will be screwed.

    There is also a part of me that thinks Dare is a fake and messing with all of us. I “dare” say, Dare is an OW getting a sick thrill or kibble from us true Chumps.

    • Bingo. There’s the motive. I agree. Fuckwits never do anything that they don’t first see a cost benefit. He may be paying now, but I bet lawyer has said it is pittance compared to what you could get in the longrun. And guaranteed he’s gone underground with any new side pieces. The played trying to outplay the player, likely still getting played.

      If you want to know for sure, get him to document his profession of love and newly found generosity by signing a a property settlement agreement. You can sell it as a good faith jesture on hos part that he is serious about wanting to reconcile. Make sure there is a clause that the agreement survives regardless of the marital outcome.

      • YES! They play mindfuckery on the Olympic Games level. They’ve been playing in FOO for a lifetime. You just started. You think you have him under control. You don’t. It’s an illusion. Quit kicking the skunk or shit or whatever. This is all just more ammo for his lawyer. Quit giving him free leverage to use against you.

      • Every dollar he’s spending on you will come out of the divorce settlement. You’d be better off hiring a private investigator to determine what is really going, a good divorce attorney to explain your options, and a divorce financial consultant.

  • The reality is we’re all going to be impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic. You may not be as financially sound as you once were. And if Cheater loses his job, you may be on the hook to support him when you divorce. That means much less $$$ for your kids, so please think about making a move sooner rather than later.

  • 100% this behaviour is still dancing to his tune. You think you’re in control and you are stringing him along. You’re not. You’re still hoping that he will pick you and apologise and come crawling back.

    Many people have been there and can recognise someone who thinks they are in control…but they’re not in the slightest – he is still pulling your strings.

    You’re in denial about your true reasons for this Behaviour because it’s embarrassing. But it’s ok. You will get over this and escape eventually

  • Dare to Ask:

    I have no right to tell you that the path you’ve chosen is awesome, or is a total waste of time. This is YOUR life, YOUR choice.

    What I can say is this: I simply don’t understand why you would voluntarily spend whatever time you have left on this earth staying tethered to a man who disrespected, devalued and dumped you for another woman. You’ve already said it’s not for the companionship or the money, so it must be for the sense of power you have in giving him a dose of his own medicine. But I assure you, that “power” you think you have is made of nothing but papier-mâché; it looks all pretty on the outside, but it’s totally void on the inside.

    This reminds me of the 2000 Presidential election in the USA… the state of Florida totally bungled their election process, so many of the electronic ballots were covered in “hanging chads“. You know, those little tiny cardboard protrusions that mess up the machinery of voting machines. As a result, that election was completely tainted, and it remains the most hotly contested election in history. Anyway, when I read your story, it felt to me like the current state of your marriage is nothing but a hanging chad… unfinished business… a relationship so unproductive that it has tainted your present and potentially, your future. Please rethink your strategy.

    • It is a hanging chad. My marriage ended on dd. No intention of ever reconciling. I am struck by authenticity. I am not living an authentic life and my good hearted chumps have pointed this out. Maybe it is time to get onto the next phase. Finding my authentic self.

  • If u really want to fuck him over divorce his ass and step over that sad sack of shit and gain a life.

    I’m glad I’m divorced and not quarantined with a character disordered freak! Not my job anymore it’s the whores job now.???? Dance bitch dance!

    No meh here. I’m working on it. I’m gaining a life though and it feels really good. That’s right I’m doing me!!

  • Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater
    Had a wife and couldn’t keep her
    Put her in a pumpkin shell
    And there he kept her
    Very well.

    I’m curious about this pumpkin four hours away from him. Is it near to her family? Friends? Community? Career? All of us chumps need to make tough decisions about gaining a whole new life. I don’t think a rental alone is gonna do it.

    • It’s a city I love and lived in before fuckwitt. Still have friends here and making new ones. For me it’s a return to my pre-fuckwitt days…although as chumps have pointed out… not pre-fuckwitt until I truly get rid of him.

      • No reason you can’t stay where you are but get on with your life (assuming your are a real chump). It’s not where you are living, it’s how you are living that makes you like your abuser.

  • DTA,
    Why stoop to his level of fuckwittery? Raise yourself above that kind of crap. Just rest assured that you are worthy of much better than him. His cockroach fornication are not to be emulated. Move on. That’s taking control.

  • This letter is sad, but not because I feel any sort of sympathy for the writer or her situation. It’s the bravado that is pathetic.

    If you want to stay married to enjoy your lifestyle, that’s great. I won’t judge you. That’s your prerogative.

    But it’s the fact that you came to this website that is so rebarbative. Statistically speaking, most women lose about 41 percent of their income after divorce. This website has no dearth of material about the hardships men and women face when dealing with infidelity and divorce, which includes financial consequences, child custody, abuse, and so on. Yet, you insist on how great your life is and this is “just to fuck with him.” So what are you here for exactly?

    That is, why keep reiterating how great your situation is and how you are so far above it? Is it for affirmation? Congratulations, you’ve found the secret sauce. Most of us couldn’t have tapped into that formula. Is it for attention? You said yourself in a previous reply you are a manipulator.

    I had a relative who used to do this. His wife deserted him and we all gathered around to support him. Yet, years later, he still engaged with this woman via email and text as if he was getting some sort of upper hand, and then would sit there and talk in circles trying to convince us of that. Eventually, I figured out he just liked the attention.

    I don’t begrudge you for having a financial situation most of us couldn’t even fathom in our worst moments. I’m sure you’re a nice lady. I’m sorry your husband had an affair because that sucks and no one deserves that sort of treatment. But own your decisions. You got this.

  • I don’t comment much anymore but this one spoke to me. It reeks of reverse manipulation. The kind that the reconciliation industrial complex touts when telling everyone to “do the 180 on their ass” because that will make them see what they’re really missing. What a load of horseshit. I hate it when it comes from so called professionals, I hate it more when it comes from militant unicorn chasers on RIC sites but I absolutely loathe it when it’s coming from another chump.

    The only difference between Dare to ask and the former fuckwit dad from Houston is that she isn’t telling everyone to do the same thing. I have no patience for this kind of crap. Listen to CL’s advice since she gave you the patience that I am sorely lacking. It could be that I’m far enough out from being with a cheater that I just can’t understand this or maybe my tolerance for people who bring on their own misery is at an all time low.

    Consider this a two by four and if you’re not feeling the love, that’s cuz it ain’t there. Wake up, get a divorce and move on.

    • I have a friend who found her fuckwit cheating about the same time i kicked my fuckwit out. She drew up a nice settlement for herself got him to sign it all while pretending reconciliation then kicked him out. But he continues to Hoover & she continues to answer his emails. He comes over to do odd jobs on the house. I keep telling her she need to go no contact for her own sake, that he’s hoovering but she won’t listen. Says why should she pay a handyman when she’s got one on tap? I think she’s crazy. How can you look forward when you’ve still got a fuckwit on tap? Sometimes I think some chumps also need kibbles.

  • In defense of Dare, there’s something to be said for regaining our sense of power and agency. We were made into fools by our cheaters and this is showing that we’re not helpless victims. We can bite back. As long as we don’t stay there for too long… a few bites and growls to demonstrate demonstrate to him and everyone else we’re not to be messed with. And onto our better life. Worth it if it gets us to meh faster and discourages the next fuckwit narcissist.

    • She’s not regaining her power and agency. What she is doing is turning herself into an entitled fuckwit.

      She’s also fooling herself big time. Like the lady who rode on the tiger.

      • Definitely entitled after 31 years of marriage and raising kids, working and sacrificing along the way.

  • One thing makes sense here. The very rich address property division in many ways (a prenup, settlement agreement, trust fund, etc). Infidelity may be excusable to peers but fucking over family, especially a spouse who bore children, is not. Reputation is key. Big money, and the families that have it, are often in the news…and nobody her wants bad press. The rich, in my experience, divorce well. They don’t waste money.

  • Dare to ask , I can relate to where you are and what you are doing. Every relationship dynamic is unique. I guess it depends on your motives and what you stand to win or lose.

    I split with my ex 10 years ago. It took 3 years to pin him down to mediation and settle/divide our assets.
    In that time he paid all my bills and I lived with our 2 children in a another cottage we owned . It was a win win for me, I had time to heal, my bills were paid and the money I made from the 3 jobs I had I quietly invested out of sight.

    His head in the sand attitude cost him a lot of $$$. I think he thought I’d be the doormat I’d always been and accept whatever he suggested he thought I deserved……DID NOT happen! in those 3 years I found me again, a fabulous lawyer and grew a backbone. My settlement ended up being very generous Indeed. We also signed all the appropriate paperwork so we are no longer financially linked.

    Part of my settlement was to start the Divorce paper work which I dutifully did and passed to him to complete. 10 years down the track we are still not divorced. It doesn’t bother me at present as I doubt I will ever remarry. If I ever need to it’s a simple thing to fix And I wouldn’t need his input to do it.
    But if I was the girlfriend/AP it would irritate the bejezzers out of me so Iv not done anything about it.

    Dare to ask, be careful, line up your ducks and guard your heart.

    • Dare to ask, he has you right where he wants you.

    • “If I ever need to it’s a simple thing to fix And I wouldn’t need his input to do it.”

      So why don’t you? I don’t get it. ????

  • I feel compelled to say how much I stressed reading this. As a chump myself, (25 yrs together, 22 yrs married/11 yrs double life with 6 different men). I have zero desire to inflict pain, except in fantastical distractions.

    I applaud you CL for answering in the manner in which you did. As for Dare, I agree that what you SO did was horrific, I also believe that how we respond to this treatment shows our character in it’s full glory. I think all of us want to take our pound of flesh, and you were right to feel this way. However, if you could restrain yourself you may find that there is time in your life to improve your life and overall happiness.

    Good luck

  • Hi Dare to Ask,

    Your story made me incredibly worried for you. I think you understand that you’re dealing with a cheater, but you have yet to connect that to the character disorder that it is.

    Please disconnect yourself from this person ASAP.

    I wasn’t married, but I had similar feelings/musings whenever my ex did nice things. It’s not for you, and it’s not because he feels guilty. He’s financing your luxury apartment because it makes HIM feel good. And there might also be more sinister reasons.

    IMO, cheaters are often narcissists. And narcissists do not have morality. If you believe you are getting one over on him, you are dead wrong.

    And frankly, my spidey senses tingle because he’s being so kind. This man has not shown you that he is a kind person. He has upped his evil game, and I pray that you cut him out of your life. Right now. And for good. For your own well-being.

  • I think you are right. It makes him feel better especially for his image. Placating me, probably. I’m just surprised that he’s “spoiling” me after nuking our lives. The majority of chumps, and rightly so, think there is something sinister brewing. Has given me cause to rethink my tactics.

  • What a strange post! I am getting visions of the type of slasher/horror film once popular where the bogey man is apparently slain and the surviving heroine cannot see what the audience can see…he is not dead at all and about to rear up and finish her off.
    We only have so many years on this earth…and who knows how many good years?
    If this pandemic has taught us one thing it is that life rarely goes according to plan and the big curve ball often comes from the most unexpected place.
    Even if it doesn’t then what you are doing is surely an own goal…punishing him could come bite you in so many ways. Who knows what he will do next? If OW is really gone for good…or at all..
    or what sort of dance he will lead you.
    Cause you are still dancing and who knows what will happen next time the music changes.

  • Dare to Ask,

    I keep reading that you’re doing this as some sort of experiment. That’s the same thing my X told me when he said he should stick with the OW – because he wanted to experiment and to “go through” his infatuation with her and to make sure that he won’t cheat on me again. Suffice to say, I believe he’s wired wrong, because no healthy, loving person would ever want to do such a horrible thing.

    Instead of experimenting with him, I’d suggest you experiment with yourself instead. Divorce the idiot, make your life into what you want it to be, and reap the sweet rewards along the way (internal and external). Don’t waste any more of your time on him.

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