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He Cheated… Everyone Feels Sorry for Him

Dear Chump Lady,

It has been 9 months since D-Day #2 and today would have been our 9th anniversary. A few days ago my STBXH made a public social media post about his mental health — admitting contemplating suicide, being in counseling and on meds — even (and this made me sick) making a vague reference to being sorry to those that he has hurt.

His struggles are well known to me, but I have been extremely careful not to tell our mutual friends about his fuckedupness and the role it played in destroying our marriage because it didn’t seem fair. I spackled for years and tried to support him with his problems. He was never cruel or abusive, but frequently checked out from me and our life together. He had two online affairs that he has admitted to, but I have good reason to suspect something happened IRL too — he was a champion breadcrumb-er. I learned early on that he needed frequent ego kibbles and would not tell me when something had happened, but go straight on social media for attention instead. He finally left me to the tune of I’m-unhappy-and-you-deserve-so-much-more — I do deserve better, but I still loved him and would have tried anything to make it work (classic chump).

So what has got me so frustrated is that this public post has had the desired effect and gathered him a lot of sympathy — including from our mutual friends. My problem is, in grade-A chump style, I was very sparing with the truth when I told our friends about the split — I know he won’t have told anyone the whole truth either. So here are our mutual friends knowing we have separated, but not that ‘separated’ actually means: he cheated on then dumped me when I dared to be upset, quit his job (essential making me homeless), and has been pretending I don’t exist for the past 6 months! I am worried that what they see is “oh poor him what a thing to go through alone, I bet the separation has done this to him!”

I was sooo very tempted to address this narrative on social media today (being our wedding anniversary), but at the same time, I don’t want to go around trying to destroy his friendships or just as bad destroy my own by seeming spiteful. Do I trust that friends will see through the woe-is-me victimhood or am I going to look like the heartless bitch who left him at his lowest? By keeping quiet am I still trying to protect him in other people’s eyes or just trying to avoid my own shame that I was a chump for so long?

Your blog and the stories you share have been a lifeline for me, I am working hard to stop trying to untangle that skein and finally reach ‘meh’ and that wouldn’t have been possible without your wisdom that there was nothing I could do to make things play out any differently since Cluster-B will be Cluster-B.

Thank you, best wishes in this weird time,

Dumped’n’Dilemma’d

Dear Dumped’n’Dilemma’d,

The truth is not “spiteful,” it’s just the truth. He cheated on you and dumped you. That’s the truth.

Who you choose to tell the truth to is YOUR choice. There are a few good reasons not to emotionally vomit raw honesty over everyone after discovery (although I’m convinced this part of chumpdom is pretty inevitable). Those reasons are: your own dignity; discretion that could favor you in a divorce settlement (if he were screwing a co-worker for example, and you needed a settlement before he got fired for it); your children’s feelings.

Out of those three examples, I’m still in favor of telling the truth. It’s all in how you deliver it. Example 1 — you can tell your story without embellishment. “Why are we divorcing? I didn’t like his girlfriend.” Or whatever pithy one-liner you’ve got. Example 2. Divorce settlement? Lower the boom when you’ve got one. (Tell the other chumps.) Example 3. Tell children in age-appropriate ways without editorializing so they’re not gaslighted, lest they think people just “fall out of love” and break up families for no reason.

Not a single of these examples is the truth being delivered “spiteful.” (And when it comes to infidelity, I’d still take spiteful truth over no truth. I learned I was a chump from the OW — and she wasn’t nice about it. I’m still glad I found out.)

Your ex fired you from the job of keeping his good opinion alive when he cheated on and abandoned you. You’re not his PR agent. Please tell the people closest to you what happened, so you can have their support. Outer rings of social media “friends” are not something I would worry myself about now.

I have been extremely careful not to tell our mutual friends about his fuckedupness and the role it played in destroying our marriage because it didn’t seem fair.

Being cheated on and abandoned is not fair. I don’t see your STBX tripping over himself concerning himself with a fair narrative.

You’re divorcing and there will be no “mutual friends”. I’m sorry. There are the people who know what he did and are okay with it. And those who know and are repulsed and support you. People who are okay with your abuse, being defrauded and abandoned, are not your friends. At most they are former social acquaintances.

I don’t know how close you are to these people, but if you can’t tell at least one of them about the most significant, awful thing that ever happened to you, I don’t think you’re that intimate.

The problem is, you’ve unwittingly abetted the campaign against you by staying silent. Fuckwits abhor a vacuum. So, he’s filling in his own self-serving narrative.

this public post has had the desired effect and gathered him a lot of sympathy

He cheated his way into this mess, and would like sympathy for his nebulous crisis? Poor sausage. Do you see the manipulation here? Misfortune has just mysteriously descended on him, like a bummer cloud. He suffers. He hints. Maybe he’s hurt someone? People jump on that grenade. “Oh no! I’m sure you’re okay. Staunch the flow of suffering at once!” He is absolved.

Much different than the TRUTH. I left my wife after she asked too many questions about my cheating. Then I quit my job to voluntarily impoverish myself before a divorce.

Much less sympathetic. See how that works?

Do I trust that friends will see through the woe-is-me victimhood or am I going to look like the heartless bitch who left him at his lowest?

You know what’s worse than being perceived as “heartless bitch”? Being fucked over in a divorce settlement. He’s already quit his job and abandoned you. Reach out and GET HELP. To a lawyer, to your family, to a legal aid society. Build a support team. Who cares what his friends think?

I wonder if you feel like you can’t speak of what happened because you think you can “nice” him into a fair divorce. You cannot. Forget HIS feelings — he didn’t consider yours! — forget his friends’ feelings — and PROTECT yourself.

He was never cruel or abusive, but frequently checked out from me and our life together. He had two online affairs that he has admitted to, but I have good reason to suspect something happened IRL too

Cheating is abuse. It’s risking your health and well-being. It’s financial abuse. He quit his job before the divorce. That’s all abuse.

By keeping quiet am I still trying to protect him in other people’s eyes or just trying to avoid my own shame that I was a chump for so long?

You have NOTHING to be ashamed about. He treated you appallingly. You’re divorcing. Be mad, grieve, cross-stitch “fuck” on to throw pillows — do anything, but don’t carry HIS shame.

Freedom begins with telling people what happened. You told us. Now tell the people who can support you (family, lawyer, those closest) and liberate yourself from Mr. Sadz today.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “He was never cruel or abusive”. Im with CL…as time goes on and you are less afraid of the end of the marriage (because it happened no matter your spackling) you may come to see this differently.

    The things they do in order to cheat (in any form) are cruel and abusive.

    • agree unicornomore, I didn’t believe I was being abused while I was with Xhole. My therapist suggested I start keeping a journal. Looking back over what I had written and what he had done to me was a horror story. I was being abused mentally, physically, emotionally and my kids the whole time!

      • I thought the Alcoholic wasn’t abusing me because he wasn’t hitting me, screaming and breaking things. I was wrong.

        The Alcoholic stole my valuables and collectibles; he pawned some and sold others on eBay. That was abuse. He told cruel jokes then told me I needed to learn to laugh at myself. That was abuse. He made promises to get my approval, but had no intention of keeping them. That was abuse. He borrowed money in my name without telling me, then defaulted in the debts and destroyed my credit. That was abuse. He cheated on our taxes, got audited, then refused to pay, so the IRS garnished my wages. That was abuse.

        I almost wish he had hit me instead. That would have gotten my attention. A bruise heals in a week. Bad debts stay on your credit report for 7 or 10 years, and show up on preemployment background checks the whole time.

        • AC- I know, at least with bruises you have proof. Bruises heal, but internal emotional damage takes years to overcome!

          • Physical violence also generates internal emotional damage.

            We don’t need to hierarchize abuse. And I hasten to add I believe AC was saying a bruise would have allowed her to recognize the abuse as abuse, not that non-physical abuse is “worse.”

            • Adelante- didn’t mean to imply that physical abuse isn’t bad, but having suffered both, I can see that emotional abuse is just as bad, but not recognized by most people as abuse and sometimes you don’t even know you’re being abused.

            • Adelante, you got it right. If he’d hit me I would have taken action quickly. But because his abuse was emotional and financial abuse, and involved sneaking, I thought we could work things out.

              Turns out that he never respected me, he only respected himself and what he could get by taking advantage of me. There was nothing to work with. And the consequences of my spackling followed me around for another decade.

        • My ex was a fiscal abuser. I filed Innocent Spousal Relief with the IRS and won. They went after him and gave me back the money I paid. The state went after taxes as well accepting the IRS decision.

    • He wasn’t cruel or abusive? Isn’t that setting the bar really low on the requirement to have a relationship? He didn’t hit your or mock your hobbies, but was he there for you in any meaningful way? Did he support you and have your best interests at heart? Could you count on him to be there for you in sickness and health? Was he open and honest about his own struggles, or did he hide himself with image management?

  • I kept my X’s abuse and affairs secret for 20 years, always afraid I would ruin his reputation while he slowly killed me inside. When I finally admitted what was going on to a close friend, it was like a giant weight fell off me. I was able to see the truth of who he really was. Keeping silent is a tool only for the abuser. Your truth will set you free.

    • I kept my ex’s violence to myself because he needed a permit to live in France and I was afraid they would kick him out. In the end I had to admit que sera. That’s on you asshole!

  • I have honestly never understood this desire to protect these assholes.

    I told all of my friends what was going on and they were all awesome and supportive. I didn’t post anything on social media because I don’t feel like that’s the place, and I’m sure his friends and family have no idea and think I dumped him because he got old. Fortunately I don’t give a shit what his people think.

    I know for a fact he’s posted sad sausage stuff but I also know the sympathy he gets is limited….I’ve told enough people for things to get around.

    None of the consideration these pricks get is returned. None of the understanding or empathy I had towards my ex was returned….he turned his back on me plenty yet I was supposed to feel bad for him when he was hurting.

    Fuck this guy and start by telling your friends what happened.

    • I agree, i loved telling people, maybe a bit too much, it was one of the only joys from that time in my life, I started (honest truth) with the gossipy vicars wife while I was in the supermarket and boy, did it feel good, after that it was like a torrent to anyone who knew us.

      • Great idea….use the local gossip to your advantage!

        I ran into the neighborhood gossip in my old neighborhood (where ex lives) but didn’t tell her anything at the time because the divorce wasn’t final and i was using his obsession with his nice guy image to get the divorce done amicably. I know for a fact he went out of his way to tell the neighbors that no cheating was involved…I hear they assumed it was our age difference (that was part of it).

        If I see her again (we’re in the same general housing division but a few miles apart) I’ll unload everything and let her take over.

      • Teehee! High five! I told EVERYBODY! and I mean everybody! I was completely blind sighted! I had no idea his fuckery! He had a complete double life and treated me well while he stuck his dick in his ugly project manager. And flew her to France on vacation. Its all abusive. All of it! Im 9 month post d day. Plenty of mindfuckery has been done. I told the grocer, the drive thru lady, all my friends, (massive support) the neighbors, common and distant friends, His mother who told the rest of the family, (we still talk and are friends and is very angry at her son! Her ex husband did the same thing!), I tell everyone and anyone I want. I confronted the Penis faces office manager about her fucking my boyfriend, and said she can now have him with my blessing. I apologize in advance that he is a 2 pump chump, a liar and a cheater. Congratulations on ruining yet another serious relationship (she was the reason his other gf before me dumped him). She being the pussy she is, never responded to me like a real woman, and instead whined to him about my contact with her. As long as he was lying to me and everyone else his dumb narrative of “we didn’t talk”, and “well technically we didn’t REALLY have a relationship for the last 10 months of living together, we were just living under one roof”. Sorry I didn’t get the memo you were unhappy for so long. I’m glad you stuck your penis in your co-worker to make yourself feel better. And yes I did blast him and her by name on facebook to the entire universe just recently. I mentioned her by name and her job title, and they both work for the city of San Diego, and they both fucked around behind my back without telling me while I was dealing with a major medical crisis. And I seriously don’t even care. I would do it again! I am not a pleasant person to be cheated on!!! I thought he was a mature, wonderful 54 year old, turns out a total fraud, liar, projectionist, narc, entitlement, sociopath and they BOTH enjoyed the deceit of their lame office affair. When I first found out I hit him in the face and left permanently, albeit my mothers house. I had over 10 panic attacks and got a psychiatrist and a therapist. Blindsighted. Totally duped. Yep I have zero trust in men now. Oh and the Facebook thing. I had blocked him months ago but I unblocked and wrote on his wall so everyone knew the truth. I got an hour and a half bereavement phonemail about how everyone at his work could have seen my post!! I said yep!. Well you shouldn’t have fucked your co worker and constantly lied about it then right? I got called a fucking bitchabout 30xand fuck you, etc, never going to talk to you ever again, blah blah blah. You know, all he had to dosas be a man, own up to it, tell the truth to everybody how and why he badly fucked up, and get some fucking therapy. But he would rather throw me and our life away for his own ego and damage control. What a looser. Next guy who cheats on me…. oooh boy, I don’t screw around! I tell the truth. Maybe it’s because I have something called integrity.

        • I feel your frustration and energy and sometimes spreading the “news” is healthy because it allows you to take the trash out and leave it by the curb. I’m in a different circumstance with DDay May 2020, married 26 years and BAM he just blurted out that he had been with more than 20 prostitutes throughout our marriage and even wrote about how great they are on The Erotic Review. I have zero support. Couple dear lady friends and a sister thousands of miles away. He’s a big fancy Beverly Hills doctor the town loves…. I’m a lawyer but always took second place to his career, used my money to help all the Eldercare parents who are all gone now. I’m trying in these pandemic days to get my finances separate, houses are in my name, etc. He didn’t confess to me out of love, he did so because the last whore extorted money and is continuing to do so. It’s a frightening, heartbreaking mess, I married a fraud, move forward, you have your whole life ahead of you but yes I don’t think I could ever trust another man again – and the bad women that sleep with married men carry blame too. Prostitutes for hire are in the pay to play category and should stay in their self proclaimed box but they are all whores.

    • You guys are right, I haven’t really felt brave enough to be totally honest with our friends but I will start – it’s the only way I’ll find out if they’re Switzerland friends or proper friends!

      • You should already know who are “proper friends.” Who has been there since your separate? Who came to you to see if you are OK? I wasn’t even married to Jackass and my BFF flew 2,000 miles and spent 3 weeks living with me when all I could do was cry and vent about my pain.

        1. Tell your family, if they are likely to be supportive.
        2. Tell YOUR friends, the ones that always have your back.
        3. Tell your support network–therapist, doctor, anyone else who needs to know.
        4. Tell those “mutual” friends you are interested in keeping the basics but not the details. “We separated because STBX was involved with other women.”

        One of the old things I learned from living with substance abusers was “we are only as sick as our secrets.” There is a difference between SECRECY and PRIVACY. Some things should be private. I won’t share details of my sex life or things my XH or Jackass told me in confidence. I wouldn’t use what I knew from our time together to wound them (as they wounded me). But I won’t keep secrets that impact my own life. I won’t lie about the drinking & drugs, the verbal abuse or in Jackass’s case, the future-faking, gaslighting and lying.

        Keep your private things private. In this social media age, people sometimes don’t think about what should be private. Know where your own boundaries are and you won’t have trouble sorting this out. But don’t keep SECRETS about your own abuse and betrayal. Choose who you tell wisely–stay away from gossips and people who are shallow.

        Finally, every human on the planet would benefit from not worrying about what people on the fringes of their lives think and say about them. Concern yourself with what you think about your behavior–and if you are in a court battle over custody–how you will look to the judge in your case.

  • Don’t unload on social media. Your life struggle is not prurient entertainment for your acquaintances.

    People who give a shit about you will reach out to you in real life and ask how you’re feeling and coping. What you need is genuine support not validation.

    So what if people are buying his poor me drivel? It takes no effort to post an affirming comment or teary-eyed emoji. How many of those people do you think are shouldering his emotional burdens, as you have? None.

    • I’m with Lulu here. Support is not validation, and worth so much more than validation.

      That idea—there are no Mutual friends—is also resonating. If the former friends aren’t reaching out, they either never were friends or have gone to the other side. Typically it seems Swiss friends want the advantages of being connected to both parties, under the pretense of seeming nice, and which describes them and their values. Real choices, it seems, require real choices: those who want it both ways are trying to manipulate others. Anybody who wants to hang with a cheater is not someone I want to hang with. Let ‘em go.

      • Honest to god some people stay Swiss because of the lack of education around cheating.
        I stayed Swiss when I was 20 when one best friend had an affair with another best friend’s boyfriend. I made excuses for the cheater – gray areas-
        I really wanted to keep them both as friends.
        The cheater got married 10 yrs later….and guess what- she cheated on her husband.
        I’m no longer friends with either of them – Chump dumped me and I dumped the cheater friend.
        Society has not caught up with the abuse part

    • Lulu’s post is excellent.

      Social media isn’t the place to tell all. It is a place that fuckwits like to use to show their neediness. My Facebook posts don’t have anything about my divorce or CheaterX’s cheating. The only thing I did with FB was to use the Messenger function to let some of my friends in different parts of the country know that I was divorcing CheaterX because he cheated on me.

      In contrast, Schmoopie’s posts pretty much showed a blow-by-blow account of her affair with CheaterX. Every time they had a fight, she’d post one of those “if you love something” memes. Sheesh!

      It’s important to get your truth out there, but social media broadcasts to people who may know you only through being a friend of a friend. Go tell your truth to your real friends.

      • This is so true, I had written a letter to chump lady wanting to blast my husband and his side piece on face book and thank God I never did. You only wind up looking like a crazy person and they totally feed off of it.

    • Very true. I’m on FB and when I see posts that are inappropriate such as the passive aggressive “tease” (feeling really angry/upset/ fill in the blank right now), insulting political posts or the back and forth between separated dysfunctional couples calling each other out, I ignore. The posts are for attention and the people that respond/indulge really don’t care, they just want to hear more about the posters train wreck of a life.
      DnD should just ignore her stbx’s FB posts but feel free to let the truth be known when you see friends in person. Let them know stbx had some troubling mental issues but the reason for the break up was his cheating.

    • Thanks, will definitely stick to telling friends in person and leave FB out of it. I suppose fighting fire with fire just burns your house down faster.

      • Just remember that when you roll around in the mud with a pig you both get dirty and the pig likes it.

        Speak your truth but remember that fb is a mud bath.

          • And please block STBX on your social media. You don’t need to see what he’s posting.

            • This!

              I was never fb friends with my ex so I have no idea what kind of stupid crap he posts.

              I hear about some of the sad sausage posts from my friends who are still on with him, but they know he’s full of shit so they tell me and we laugh.

      • I had to deactivate my FB account and take a break. The anxiety that social media played in my life needed to be CUT OUT!

    • Most well adjusted people won’t buy a social media posted emotional word vomit post of the type you described. They will find it and your ex very, very odd. If you return with a word vomit post of your own to “set the record straight”, most well adjusted people will find you odd as well.

      Call two close friends and tell them what happened. Stay off the internet.

      Secondly, most major life changes involve a shedding of the friends. You may think you have lots of friends, but as soon as you lose a parent, lose a job, get a divorce, experience a business failure, or have a major falling out within family, you will find out who you friends are. This effect is amplified if you go through multiple of these experiences at the same time. It’s easy being friends when it’s sunshine and roses. Few people stick around when it starts raining fire.

    • I’ve actually had mutual friends reach out to check on me after d-day and abandonment. Their first reaction was being concerned about me, their second was to make excuses for the cheater’s actions (you weren’t compatible, a selfish decision is necessary for everyone’s sake).

      So be careful to protect yourself from well-meaning friends who don’t understand the impact of your and cheaters actions. Those comments made me think it was my fault, for the longest time.

      Frankly, anyone who can make excuses for the cheater, no matter how much they care about you, is NO friend of yours.

      • the worst for me was the well-meaning friends who, unbeknownst to me, had previously cheated. I believe they projected their own behaviors/rationalizations and their own justifications to the behaviors of my ex. “yes it’s very hard to leave a relationship, the longer it lasts, the harder it is to leave. which is why he didn’t leave until he had someone lined up.”
        one friend said “I had this wonderful long distance bf, that was crazy about me and I was meh about him. I remember breaking up with him the weekend after me and my (current) ex got together. sometimes it’s just like that. and I am a good person. so you know, these things sometimes happen, don’t overthink it.”

        the guy she cheated with, they ended up being together for 3 years and he broke her heart in the most spectacular way. she was clinically depressed for 2 years afterwards.

        the Lord takes his own time.

        • No truly good person I’ve ever known calls themself a good person.

          I very much agree with your observation about cheater friends projecting/ rationalizing. Unfortunately these same friends could be the ones encouraging or enabling your cheater.

          In any case, now we know who our real friends are!

  • I remember this being the hardest step; to acknowledge the truth of the situation and then to act on it.

    Coming to terms with the reality of the situation and seeing it for what it really is hurts so bad. Then taking that first step is like stepping into the fire that surrounds you.

    It has to happen.

    After a few steps, you can look back and see your life for what it truly was. And soon after that, you realize youre better in the fire than behind it.

    I told everyone. I’m sure I lost support and made people feel weird. I jettisoned Switzerland friends. I trusted myself along the way. I had good days and really bad days. But I became more and more alive as myself. Not as the shmuck husband of cheater-x.

    The truth will set you free.

    • It’s true that you do not totally comprehend in the beginning. It takes time to reaally comprehend what has happenede, and only if you go NC.
      I even felt I wouldn’t tell anyone in the beginning and we were still under the same roof. That gives the cheater the head start for controlling the narrative.
      In hindsight my life is better, like you say, but I still feel sorry for the kids.

    • “I had good days and really bad days. But I became more and more alive as myself. ” thanks Tall One. To add to that- first off, THE TRUTH HURTS — and THEN it sets you free…. And it’s great to be free

    • The truth is important to me. Telling the people important to me was a release and their support cocooned me at the worst time in my life.
      Don’t look at the ex’s social media. Go no contact. It is not easy but the only way to truly disconnect. The truth will also show you who your real friends are. Take care.

  • Cheating is cruel AND abusive.

    Cheating is cruel AND abusive.

    Cheating is cruel AND abusive.

    More later. Online Zoom meeting beckons…

  • You are still very focused on him. CL is, appropriately, trying the volume down on him and turning the volume up on you. It’s tough to do, but so worth it.

    Here’s a shit sandwich most of us chumps have to eat sooner or later: cheaters are deceptive with everyone, all the time, and ensuring they always come out the hero image-wise is job 1. Whether they have to use charm, rage, or self-pity, they make sure they always look righteous, vindicated, shiny.

    You can’t “win” that game because the game is rigged in ways you can’t even imagine. You can’t conceive of what it’s like to be that big of a calculating asshole. (If you could, you’d be a cheater too, in one way or another.)

    If you can get yourself to eat this shit sandwich and get the hard part over with, the gift in it is that you get to your own freedom sooner. You stop living for what’s going on with him (and any mutuals who know you both) and you get on with living with YOU (and any mutuals, if any, who aren’t interested in being mutuals after all — because anyone who still believes in him will become like a spy, however unwittingly.)

    There’s a line in one of my favorite movies, The Holiday. The chump goes off on her own and the recently surprise-engaged cheater follows, telling her “it’s always been you” kind of stuff. She asks him if he’s still engaged and he reluctantly says yes and asks her to be his side piece, essentially. As she’s throwing him out, she says something to the effect of “I’m going to make have a new life, and you’re not going to be in it.”

    I don’t have the line perfectly memorized, but the sentiment is crystal clear: You get to build a new life, and
    you don’t have to let calculating assholes be in it. ⭐

  • Chump and a family law attorney here (my cheating Husband was super dumb). Whatever you do, DO NOT POST on social media!!!! You do not want any of that shit used against you in custody litigation.

    • I’d also recommend setting your Facebook privacy settings so that only your friends can read your posts. Consider unfollowing or unfriending your STBX, and do the same for your “mutual friends.” You can be 100% certain your husband’s attorney will be looking at your wall to glean evidence. It doesn’t matter if you think you have nothing to hide–you don’t know what conclusions can be drawn from even innocent posts. Don’t make it easy for just anyone to snoop through your life.

      • Absolutely. All social media should be private and block anyone that could feed information to your husband. Lawyers always check social media so also go through it and make sure you erase or delete anything that could be used against you. Once you are in family court litigation, your entire life is under a microscope. Everything you have ever said or done will be scrutinized.

        Also make sure that you update/change your passwords. He might know them or be able to guess them. It is also helpful to set up a new email account that he does not know to communicate exclusively with your lawyer.

  • You can’t really worry about friends if you told nobody what is going on. It’s not friends’ fault if they don’t have full picture.

    Is it that you don’t want to tell because you don’t want to reveal you were chumped? If so, why should you be ashamed of being a loving, trusting wife who didn’t keep control of his balls, phone, social media and life? Also, you don’t control others, just yourself.

    I’d use CL’s suggestion for his social media (unless it’s not in your interest) but would add something: “I left my wife after she asked too many questions about my cheating. Then I quit my job to voluntarily impoverish myself before a divorce and to make my soon-to-be ex essentially homeless.”

    “I don’t want to go around trying to destroy his friendships.” You worry about his friendships?? Seriously? You were fired from the job of his PR service. You were thrown out of the office, too.

    • OK, ShePersisted who’s an expert said no posting. So no posting. But do tell your friends.

  • CL is spot on. To summarize:

    1. Tell people the truth.
    2. Jettison anyone who isn’t outraged on your behalf.
    3. Fill up the empty space with better people.

    It’s not easy or pain free, but it isn’t complicated.

    As a meme I saw over the weekend put it, “Lord, give me patience and the ability to disengage from hurtful people, because if you just send me strength I might beat these assholes to death.”

    • ^^^^^please Lord don’t just send strength. I will undoubtedly hurt someone. TRUTH! The rage is still very strong in me.

      • Or if you just send me strength I might just take out loan for a few billboards in his parents hometown and paint the screenshots (that show date/time) of his tinder profile he used while we were married…ya know the pics he cropped me out of? You can see my hand w/ my wedding ring on his waist in one of them, he’s so dumb!!! Add big bold letters that say “this is what a cheater looks like”

  • “I have been extremely careful not to tell our mutual friends about his fuckedupness and the role it played in destroying our marriage because it didn’t seem fair”

    You are carrying a heavy burden with this. I like CL’s point that telling others sets you free. Remember, if you tell certain people, they will get the word out, whether you want them to or not, which may be better than social media for that, or not. I will never forget the feeling after I told the first person. The utter wave of relief. Definitely not social media though. There is something about making personal announcements that way that comes across inappropriate to me. May be bad legally as well.

    Meanwhile, it wouldn’t hurt to not look at social media for awhile. You won’t be missing anything.

    • “I’m sorry you’re depressed because your cheating had consequences. I hope you and the who*e’s bedroom activity hasn’t suffered too much from the meds.”

  • I’ve commented up thread, but want to toss in something else. Take a look at what you wrote:

    His struggles are well known to me, but I have been extremely careful not to tell our mutual friends about his fuckedupness and the role it played in destroying our marriage because it didn’t seem fair. I spackled for years and tried to support him with his problems. He was never cruel or abusive, but frequently checked out from me and our life together.

    You know what’s not fair? His manipulation of his mental state in order to leave you holding the bag for the majority of the marital assets. I have no idea of whether or not you have children, but if you do, the fact that he has no income means that you’re going to owe him child support because he decided to quit his job.

    I hope your lawyer is kick-ass, and if you don’t have a lawyer, I think you need a good one that can help you navigate the BS your Cheater is going to sling your way.

    The other thing is this, you claim that he wasn’t cruel or abusive, but “checked out” from you and your marriage. Uh, that’s actually abusive. Of course, cheating is abuse, but what you’re describing is emotional neglect, and that’s abusive. You’re spackling over it because you see him as struggling with his mental problems, so the neglect isn’t really his fault. But really, it is. In that time, he also had at least 2 online affairs and had at least one real life hookup.

    Dollars to doughnuts every time he became emotionally distant, he was having–at the very minimum–an emotional affair. Heck, I’d bet you money this was the case if, after he became quite attentive immediately after having checked out on you for a while. For a lot of cheaters, relationships are very transactional. They’re nice while they see you as valuable, but then when they are seeing someone else, they dismiss you. When the affair breaks up, they start being nice again.

    So, go for the kick-ass lawyer, and also find yourself a good therapist. Therapy will help you process what’s happened to you and give you support in case you discover that your friends are all Switzerland friends.

    And don’t be shy about telling your real friends the truth. You deserve to have your story out there and they deserve to have the opportunity to support you.

    • KB is right.
      Emotional neglect is abuse too and I found that it does coincide with exhole starting a new affair (emotional or otherwise). I don’t align with all of his work but I found that John Gottmans work around Stonewalling gives some insight into the emotional abandonment that many Chumps experience.

      Bah, what a bunch of hypocritical pieces they are! Right now you’re in the thick of it but you will come Out the other side feeling like Andy Dufrense as he washes himself clean in the river. X

  • So, this fuckwit posts on *public social media* that he’s feeling ‘suicidal’, blah, blah, blah.

    This is not the action of someone who is truly in pain, this is the action of someone who wants drama, attention, and kibbles.

    People who are feeling true emotional pain don’t advertise it to an audience of thousands they don’t actually know in real life.

    Stop protecting him, he’s a pathetic drama queen, and he doesn’t deserve one second of your attention.

    Like everyone advises, tell your real friends what really happened, and ignore the rest. xx

  • So true the comments about spilling your guts as a revenge tactic on social media. Anyone I know worth their salt knows what a crock of shite it all is anyway.

    It’s funny a guy who was in our friend gang a long time ago so your typical social media but not close friend acquaintance last year publicly put out he was going to commit suicide, talks openly about his clearly severe depression and then in the last year thanked all for the support that got him through, stopped drinking and is running and fitter than ever. But I know all about it, I mean all about it.

    What I noticed (as we would in our camp) is the ‘love of his life’ and ‘supportive through everything’ wife is never mentioned, he made a tiny reference to their not getting on which a friend quickly told him to take down immediately./. He has (inevitably got a younger girl in tow who is now the ‘love of his life’ that he posts regularly about. He has a teenage son and I can’t help but think, literally shut the fuck up because your son can see ALL OF THIS and of course it was the first thing that I picked up on. One side of the story here mate.

    I know it’s the age to spill your whole guts about everything but how gauche.

    That said my daughter is getting the full on ‘mummy is a controlling horrible bitch’ from the loved up pair and I am thinking carefully about how to counter that without entering into badmouthing about the other parent territory. Some things you need to defend yourself against. Not the public attempts and garnering sympathy and attention.

    • My 16 yr old son isn’t that into FB, other than IM’ing…I didn’t think much about it other than I’m glad he’s not spending a lot of time on social media. But then I realized from your above remark, my son can see all the posts that his father does. From the time I left 5 years ago when he posted all about me abandoning him and taking his son from him – to posts immediately before and after those all about his wonderful girl friend and moving her and her daughter into the house. That relationship blew up in less than a year (go figure) but the X is still posting to and about women he’s trying to schmooze. I’m sure the X doesn’t see anything wrong at all about his large and expansive social media posts.

      Can’t imagine how that makes my son feel. No wonder he doesn’t like FB.

      • Why do people care about social media anyway? For me, it’s a tool to inform people about events and to keep in touch easily with scattered friends and family. I like seeing the baby pictures when my former students start their families. And it’s a fun place for me to put up some of my photos. But that’s it for FB. It’s just a convenience, not “the story of my life.”

        • Yes, that’s how I use it too.

          But for narcissists, social media is a gift from Heaven. I honestly don’t know how he survived pre-internet for his kibbles. When we got high speed internet and he discovered chat rooms and Facebook – boy was he hooked. Now I think its like air to him – necessary for his survival in how others see him – FB is all about impression management and controlling narrative.

  • I’m not sure I understand when someone talks about their ex posting on social media. I have a handful of friends that I “know” and that “know” me. If anything got posted about me on the Internet they would be on the phone, or at my door immediately. None of them would believe anything about me that someone posted. I am curious who you are concerned about. Do you have a large church family? Do you have a homeowners association? Do you belong to a group of some sort that interacts with him? People like to gossip but I promise you he’s a seven day wonder. Something else will come along to interest all these people and his pitiful little story will be on the last page. If someone ask you be truthful, but otherwise leave it alone. You’ve got better things to do with your life.

  • When I was going through this (5 years ago), I was afraid to share things he was doing or had done, but my therapist said it best “You are no longer his secret keeper.” He loved to control his story and I was so trained to keep my mouth shut for him, I was relieved to finally be able to speak my truth. So I was open and honest with my friends and family. And when his family had questions, I answered them. He was gaslighting everyone. Making up an alternate universe where apparently he did nothing wrong: I threw him out, and just in the nick of time his coworker and he started dating after he moved out because I was soooo mean and wanted a divorce — woe is me! << talk about making me feel crazy, especially when I heard that back from his parents and when I tried to tell them my side, they called me a liar. Here's my truth: I had no idea he was cheating with his cowroker and planning to leave me. Things started not connecting…she was showing up unexpectedly, she'd be rude to me, he was always on his phone, he stopped talking to me, he was out ridiculously late "for work," he'd go on work travel with her. I confronted him and he left me and my son immediately and moved directly in with her and her 2 kids. Then I got to see the texts and all the back story. She even told him it was time to leave me. And I went through serious trauma and so did my child. Even though it may feel too late, share your story. Try to keep it abbreviated and state the facts. And some people still won't care or listen. But the ones that matter will see your side. I never posted on social media. If random people you don't really care about think his story is real, eh let them go. But you are no longer his secret keeper. Be free little bird 🙂

    • Exactly! You’re no longer his protector anymore since he stepped out of the marriage.

      My ex-mother-in-law didn’t believe me either. He painted me as a villain to justify his cheating tendencies (all three D-Day’s if we’re counting). I pity anyone who has to deal with his family, they are a fun bunch of stupid.

  • What’s with the social media pity play posts?? My ex did that hardcore. Ex was an abusive AF serial rapist but would blast other people on social media constantly for supposedly abusing her (one in particular was abused and sexually assaulted by ex for about 20 years). Ex would implore everyone who read it to abandon the target and feel sorry for ex. And it worked. In droves. Ex destroyed so many lives this way and continues to do this to this day.

    I have found no other way of dealing except to cut off ex and all the flying monkeys who believe the posts. I have spoken with several other victims of ex and I’ll offer them support, but otherwise no contact. I once tried to tell a flying monkey how ex is a serial rapist and serial statutory rapist, but flying monkey did not care. Ex is that good at manipulating people. It’s not worth the expended effort because flying monkeys don’t care, even if you have evidence and loads of victims willing to speak about it.

    • After months of trying to keep the affair quiet so to keep her honor in tact, I was dogged , maligned , talked about , shunned , uninvited , blamed and host of other nonsense . I, for the sake of my children , kept taking the falls for the demise . My self righteous in laws looked at me with disgust every time I showed up for a sporting event or school function . Her mom especially looked at me as if I smelled funny, talked shit about me to her siblings and friends , made sure her church group thought low of me as well. Then , not being able to carry on the act any longer I went to her parents house and showed the irrefutable truth. They still didn’t believe their sweet little cherub could do such a thing unprovoked and for such a sustained amount of time . They confronted her after I had left and believe it or not the bitch came clean and admitted everything . Three days later I get a call from her sobbing apologetic mom begging me to not make her daughter suffer . Bitch Please! You haven’t noticed my bloodshot eyes or the 50 pounds I lost without needing to or the zombie like state I’d been in, ostracized from my one time circle of “friends “, the countless days I spent in church and talking with priests and councilors . You don’t want me to make that malignant spawn of yours look like what she is or feel at least as bad as I did?! Holy Shit ! Enable much?!

  • Thank you for all the good advice, I’ve realised that I have still been doing his PR for free even though I’ve been sacked! I will take a holiday from FB and give friends chance to hear the truth rather than the ‘amicable’ lie!

    • On my FB page (limited to friends only),I discreetly and occasionally re-post Chump Lady blogposts as a “public service” – “for anyone who might be in this situation”. Kind of like asking a pointed question and claiming that you are only “asking for a friend”. People can figure it out if they want to, and this is such an amazing forum! with so many brilliant people on it, that it makes for great reading no matter who you are.

    • I think it’s fair not to air what you know about any mental health diagnosis or his being suicidal. That’ about him. Stick to 1) he was checked out; 2) he cheated multiple times: 3) he quit his job.

  • I don’t know but I’d think about posting some passive-aggressive shit on my own account about people who cheat and lie and then wonder why other people hold them accountable.

  • Don’t post anything on line that he can use against you . Feel free to vent to your friends and family though and anyone else that will listen .

    I don’t have Facebook nor did my ex but once I found the OW I was obsessed by looking at it .
    It actually helped me a great deal as she was posting pictures of their house ( the one he stole money for )
    Posting pictures of their baby scans
    Posting pictures of her engagement ring
    Posting pictures of save the date for their wedding
    Pictures of her wedding hair / dress / cake topping
    He was still married to me , we had only been separated 20 weeks at this point and divorce not filed for . She won the pick me dance and didn’t care who knew it .
    I don’t look at all now and I hope you don’t either

      • Yes I got divorced on grounds of adultery so never had to wait the 1 year minimum separation time .
        They got married 14 weeks after divorce so not even a year after D Day they married

        • Yikes! She may have won the pick me dance but that’s nothing to be proud of.

          It makes me shiver in disgust when I think about the OW who my ex cheated on me with. I bet she thought “wow he’s such a catch and he is choosing me! Just wow”. Ummmm no sweetheart, he was just using you. All he does is use people for his own selfish needs.

          At least I will be getting paid by him for years to come due to his actions. The OW on the other hand learned a hard lesson, don’t sleep w/ married men!

  • You get to talk about this the same as any other assault you’ve experienced. This is massive trauma intentionally inflicted on YOU. It is YOUR story. It is up to YOU to make whatever rules work for YOU in regards to talking about this.

    That being said, I want to also chime in against posting on social media. Broadcasting implies malicious and manipulative intent, as others have said, and can come back to bite you. I try to keep my social media presence True Kind Helpful Necessary. I belong to two private infidelity support groups where I speak more freely; I still limit posting in those groups to things I am OK with migrating outside the group.

    Whatever he says and does, YOU DIDN’T CAUSE IT, YOU CAN’T CONTROL IT, AND YOU CAN’T CURE IT.

    You CAN drive yourself CRAZY trying to!

    The world is full of screwed up people surrounded by enablers, willing or in denial. Exhibit A Jeffrey Epstein, et. al. My response is to keep my side of the street clean and shoo everyone off of it who is littering, speak the truth when the opportunity presents itself, and not be part of the problem.

  • Dumped’n’Dilemma’d…

    Go forth and tell the truth. If you need added proof that he was and is still an abuser, just look at the timing of his pity-me post…days before your anniversary.

    It smacks of a ruthless attorney tactic– serving papers on special occasions., like special anniversaries, Valentine’s day, the target’s or their children’s birthdays, etc. It’s a well known psy-op to destroy the wellbeing of the target.

    It was no accident and he’s playing hardball to socially isolate you further. It also hints at another type of abuse he may have engaged in along with the obvious sexual, emotional and financial abuse he committed according to what you wrote: think back hard on whether he systematically socially isolated you or just ground down your self esteem to the point that you isolated yourself. That is also severe abuse, categorized as “relational violence” by some experts on domestic violence (as is infidelity, particularly when exposure to STDs is involved). There’s even a vignette about this kind of isolation scenario in a seminal book on domestic battering, The Batterer, by Canadian criminologist donald Dutton. Worth a read as you navigate single life and dating again and also as you look back over what has been done to you. I think you’ll find the description of battering mentality– including the sad sausage tack of playing victim to their victims– is parallel to cheater mentality and tactics.

    I can second the other commenters who stated that this kind of psychological abuse is worse in some ways than violent assault. I was stalked by a psychopathic coworker and physically attacked. It would have ended as sexual assault had the nice lesbian couple neighbors (one of whom had survived DV in a previous relationship) not called the police.

    Though I had to deal with flying monkeys and Swiss bystanders even in that cut-and-dried situation, at least the perp’s supporters were put to shame when the perp was criminally prosecuted. In cheating/mindfucking/STD-exposing/systematic-psychological-destruction circumstances there aren’t usually such dramatic “You picked the WRONG side, assholes” messages to the Swiss contingency.

    If you want a measure of how destructive it is when a perp’s narrative “wins,” my supporters– all nice, psychotically healthy peiple– cheered and laughed with delight after perp was led out of court in shackles. Why? Of course because a dangerous person had been deactivated but largely because it put the shame to the flying monkeys and enablers and crashed the perp’s narrative for good.

    I can attest that justice is healing and harder to get for invisible injuries.

    I hope this provides a bit of a measure of how truly serious invisible injuries are. You were abused and he is an abuser, full stop. Even the perp in my sitch loudly and continuously played victim, as ludicrous as that was when I came back to work with a black eye, limp and taped ribs. I agree with the professional recommendation to strategically avoid social media exposès if your settlement hasn’t yet come through, but we should never, ever rob anyone of their consequences by keeping their filthy secrets.

    • I seem to have coined a new phrase “psychotically healthy” lol. I suppose that could mean energetically extra-super psychological health. I really did have great, brave friends at the time. 😉

    • Hell of a Chump, Exhole used special occasions to target me, and the sad sausage tactic to rope me back in when I’d shown signs of disentangling myself.
      I realised on one special occasion that he was doing this deliberately to inflict maximum damage. I physically felt a protective wall go up inside me on that day and understood that I had projected so much of my own empathy and kindness onto him. It was a massive turning point that helped me lock down on no contact (the path to truth and the light @ DDW).

      I’ll be checking Out the resources you suggested. Thanks

      • AD– the “protective wall” is true strength rising up.

        In a better world, nurturing instincts wouldn’t be used like a visible control panel on our backs for narcs to punch in the “sadz” code to manipulate us. But in this world, those instincts can be a liability. Disgusting to use the best parts of ourselves against us. I guess the trick is to pull the baby out of the poison bathwater– preserve the instincts and ditch the abusers of them.

  • I can’t for the life of me figure out why some people use social media as their diary. It just SCREAMS, “validate me”, “give me attention”, and the biggest one of all “I’m INSECURE”.

    So he posted a sob story to get validation. Let him post all he wants. He probably does the whole sappy pointless meme posts too that just spam up social media timelines too.

    Tell the people closest to you if you haven’t already, the people how know the truth and love/care about you will support you. If they don’t then in the spirit of 2020, Cancel them!

    I never posted about my divorce, or my ex’s cheating on social media. I told those closest to me and that was enough for me. I even told HIS aunt who adores me and thinks he’s a piece of sh*t (his aunt and I always had a special bond since we married into the family). She saw the cheating evidence first hand and knows the truth, even recommended a few lawyers to me. I sleep well at night knowing he will forever have someone in relation to him who knows he’s a cheating pig, since his own parents will claim their son can do no wrong for eternity.

    Cheaters never change, I really believe mine will end up with a miserable life and try to find me on social media and see how well I’m doing. My silent wishes to him will be “Eat Your Heart Out, You Loser!”.

  • Dear Dumped, Please don’t think of yourself as dumped or discarded. Think of yourself as lucky that the person who didn’t deserve you, the person who couldn’t hold his mask up any longer decided to exit stage left with a unilateral decision. You are free. You are lucky. You were not dumped – as Chumps we were all ‘duped’ that’s for sure – we fell for the ‘creepy guy’ whose mask was pretty good – his mastery at deception duped us – shocked us – surprised us – and may have shattered us. But they are the ones that got dumped. I learned the hard way that there is still a 1950’s housewife mentality out there no matter how accomplished or successful professionally as wives we may be. When I learned about my horrible doctor-husband’s first affair (after 20 years of marriage) I told a few friends and colleagues who were “well, you worked too much” “you were gone too much” “he was lonely”…….AHHHH!!!! and I blamed myself for the next several years. Did the ‘better together’ forgiveness dance. Then on our 26th year of marriage the crack in his mask began to get bigger – the ‘one’ affair was really decades of 20 plus prostitutes. The great doctor was running through money faster than a race horse. When discovery day came this past May 2020 about the 20 plus whores, I was making a beautiful Halibut fish dinner…..”What? 20 plus prostitutes?” “Are you kidding” He was not kidding – he came clean because the last whore was threatening (again ) for money or she’d send me all his e-mails….she did anyhow – that was painful – nonetheless he thought he was a hero by telling me first. Like you…..he presented the pathetic, sorrowful, forgive me, baloney. Whether the current pandemic is a curse or a blessing I don’t know – but it’s making it difficult for me to sell our houses, grab my dogs and flee. I’ve thrown him out so I don’t have to look at him – the tremor in my hands is memory enough of him. Betrayal Trauma is real. Stay strong, my advice is to “let the patient define himself” – you don’t need to tell anybody anything – I find that most people don’t want to hear it – a good percentage relish in the news and are simply thankful it’s not them – other’s will use it against you……….BUT your colleagues on Chump Nation have empathy and will be there for you. Beware of bankers, lawyers (and I’m a lawyer!), beware of therapists (most aren’t very good and if there are children they’re looking at you with ‘is she capableof parenting or a crying mess” eye; ( I also have a master’s in clinical psych); don’t talk to much to neighbors, teachers, etc. – demonstrate grace under pressure, put your best foot forward. Once I broke down in tears in front of a colleague detailing his whoring for decades and what a shock it was only to later hear…..’well, why wouldn’t he whore around, she cries a lot….” And that was from a FEMALE physician!!!!

      • Anita, you’re right, that’s incredibly insightful, thank you. There are whores who don’t charge money but nonetheless are still whores. Stay single or stay faithful – if a married man ever approached me he’d need an ice pack for between his knees. Women can be very mean to other women. But Chumps support sister Chumps.

      • I am 73 years old and recently filed for divorce from my 76 years husband who betrayed me with a 56 years old woman. The D-day was one year ago. I will not allow myself to live my remaining years with soul-crushing sadness and unbearable pain that I endured last year. I am too old to fight for justice and I want peace and calmness now. Tracy’s book helped me to gain clarity and resolutions. We all are trying to move on. If I can do it at 73, you will definitely will be fine.

        • Cheering you on, Chumpfan! Being betrayed hurts at any age, but the opportunity costs get heavier the older the chumped. That you chose peace and regained your life is inspiring. Fact is, we don’t know how long we have left in this world. If i died tomorrow i would much rather it happen with me being in peace than struggling for justice.

          The truth hurts so much but it can set us free.

    • Dumped, it’s painful not to be able to control the narrative. I agree with all of CN who have endorsed confiding in close friends but not broadcasting on FB. On FB, you think you gain control of the narrative, but I don’t think you do. It’s tough to get the language just right, and misinterpretations are too easy. Let the old-fashioned grapevine work in your favor. I had a gossipy friend say she would keep what I’d told her in confidence. I replied, “Oh, that’s not necessary. Thanks anyway. I don’t mind if you tell people.”

      A word to Jo: I could relate to so much of what you wrote, especially this: “…nonetheless he thought he was a hero by telling me first. Like you…..he presented the pathetic, sorrowful, forgive me, baloney.”

      Mine felt like a hero for confessing, like some religious martyr self-flagellating to expiate his sins: “Look at me. I’m confessing to my infidelity. I’m owning up to it. This makes me an honorable guy. Forget those years of cheating.” This followed immediately by, “Omg, look how you’re reacting! Your bad reaction is worse than my cheating for 2 1/2 years.”

      And perhaps it’s no coincidence that mine, too, is a doctor. I believe that doctors have such a good cover for cheating. The profession provides an instant mask of respectability. Top that with a loving wife and successful kids (narcissistic supply), and the cheater can whore away without people suspecting.

      Add to all that an endless supply of adoring patients and nurses. My ex ate that shit up. The I’m-on-call and I-had-to-work-late excuses work like a charm, too. And they probably can justify all the unfaithfulness because they work SO HARD taking care of sick people. He said that he and the much-younger nurse “bonded over taking care of sick patients.”

      And now (as of last month) we are divorced after 35 years of marriage. He’s living with the OW. His adult children have estranged themselves from him, claiming years of emotional abuse, for which I feel responsible in part because I didn’t protect them enough. He hasn’t seen his grandchild in 9 months. My kids wish I’d left him years ago.

      Anyway, his rendition of things is that he didn’t expect the venom to flow to this degree, that I’m at fault for “poisoning” the kids, that he’s sad all the time, that he’s the VICTIM, and that I’m “sitting pretty.”

      This ordeal (DDay in Oct) has been painful as hell, but he might be right about the “sitting-pretty” part. I mean, I AM better off without him. I just wish I didn’t have to go through such trauma to get here.

      Some days I even think that I can even spot Tuesday on the horizon.
      .

      .

  • Cross stitch “fuck” onto pillows ahhahahahahaha yessssss!!!! Also, you could do what I did, and change your phone password to a very rude insulting word that referred to the ex and the OW. Every time I punched it in I thought YEEEEEAAAAAAAH!!! THAT’S RIGHT!! Sooo petty. But weirdly cathartic. And also now i’m so “meh” about them that I don’t even notice when I type it in, and I guess that means I’ve come a long way. Probably time to change it. Might do it today.

  • When in the throes of anger at how unfair it all is, my therapist asked me: “Do you want peace or do you want justice?”

    Peace is letting go, shedding your life off of fuckwit and co., and moving on. Justice is letting those other people know your truth about him, getting what’s rightfully yours in the divorce settlement, making him suffer/ hurt / pay in court / among friends / at work etc.

    The thing is, chumps, if you want justice you’ll have to forego peace for a good long while. And maybe you won’t even get it at the end, because you can’t control how others react and what they choose to believe.

    Peace or justice. Neither option are wrong or right. But don’t bet on getting both.

    • Hmmm. Your peace v justice distinction is interesting, but I”m not sure I agree that you can’t have both. I think you can and should!

      If you don’t get justice in the divorce settlement and if you let the cheater’s lies hang in the air like some COVID cloud, you’ll add resentment to your list of grievances.

      This isn’t to say that you should use social media to harm your ex or that you can control his COVID cloud. He’ll spew it out regardless. I just think that you can gain peace by confiding in supportive friends, eliminating the Switzerland non-friends, and fighting like hell to get a good divorce settlement.

      Then move on!

  • Totally agree with you Spinach, my point is that if moving on (peace) depends on justice, chumps could expect to wait a while to gain it, if ever. It’s very possible with effort and luck to get both.

    The thing about peace is it’s mostly internal, a gift you can give yourself, like by getting the support the right friends as you said. But justice is mostly external. Waiting on that karma bus, the judges decision, the lawyers negotiation, the friends and family to finally come round, and so on.

    I guess it’s about finding a balance between the peace you can gain for yourself now vs a justice you may or may not get later.

  • Dear Come To Meh, I opted for peace in the immediate short term of discovery day. But I have justice in play holding on the back burner. As soon as the time is right, my Mr, Perfect Pants doctor who banged 20 plus whores throughout our 26 year marriage and reviewed each prostitute encounter on-line on The Erotic Review like it was a restaurant is going to get a big surprise when all 25 who’re serving get an e-mail from his office saying to come on in for a free prescription for Chalmydia and the clap. The idiot gave the last whore his real name so Mr. I’m a Beverly Hills surgeon is going to face them all. These fkwits always get off with no penalty other than tossing a few coins to the ex wife. He can stick his money up his dirty white lab coat. He stole 26 years of my life. Let him face his whores….and the newspapers.

    • Dear Jo, that sounds like a dreadful mess and i hope you’re safely out of it!

      I too kept ‘justice’ like a trump card, waiting for the right moment to unleash the incriminating photos, PI reports (yes, i went there) and emails.

      But Jo, i couldn’t have peace with this ‘coming soon’ justice hovering around. It haunted me, thoughts of vengeance and fantasies of vindication became like intrusive thoughts.

      When i realised that giving so much power to what happens to him (consequences, punishment, karma,etc) is just as bad as giving him power over me, i knew i had to reevaluate how i was dealing with this.

      I hope and pray that we’ll all find our best ways of moving on.

      • You make a very good point. I am feeding the beast by even thinking about eventual justice. It’s just so incredibly unfair to see this fraud of a man be so beloved by his co-dependent patients, adored by the swooning nurses, praised by celebrities and peers wearing his fancy suits and in reality he’s dropping his drawers in cheap hotels, dungeons, apartments right here in our neighborhood. I’m all of 100 pounds sopping wet ( my twin sister lives in England) and I can feel my heart just start to shake thinking about it all – it’s all so outrageous, I’ve never even had a parking ticket! It’s as though I’m in a made for TV movie or bad dream. But you’re right, let him trip himself up – another USC Carmen Pulifito Case.

  • The hard truth is, most people won’t care that he’s a cheater. It doesn’t hurt them. It’s not a crime. The law only cares about fair division of assets, not how many prostitutes he hired.

    Yes, it feels tremendously unfair, i know. My cheater gets to have his affair partner, his high paying job, his status and wealth. But guess what? He no longer has YOU. And that’s absolutely his loss, whether he knows it or not.

    Our jobs aren’t to right the wrongs in an unjust world. Our jobs are to do right by us, and the people who care for us and need us. The ones who betrayed us? Whom we now see the truth about?

    Let them go. They don’t deserve a single neuron in your mental real estate.

  • I don’t like how people who haven’t had it happen to them make excuses, like the cheater is well-meaning but a bit hapless, and didn’t anything on purpose to be malicious, they were just looking for happiness. My ass.

    Just a quick shout-out, has anyone seen/talked to RockStarWife lately, just realised havent seen her in comments for a little while?

    • Stig — They don’t know any better. As you said, it hasn’t happened to them. Most of us here in Chump Nation used to not know any better.

    • RockStarWife’s story is memorable, and I worry about her. So I’ve been looking for her too. The last time she commented during 2020 was the April 3rd Cake Speak post. I hope the community has a way to reach her since Covid isolation is getting to people. I wonder what it is like to be quarantined with special needs children. Fingers crossed. Peace out.

      • Hi Chumpkins, thanks for the feedback, it has been a while since she last posted. She is an amazing person beset by very difficult circumstances who also seemed to underrate how much of a badass she has been. Yes, if anyone is able to check in on, please let her know we miss her around here and are asking after her. Thanks again Chumpkins and peace to you.

  • Great CL advice as always. I’ll add that you should NOT address any of this on social media. Unfriend him and any Switzerland people and speak your truth in real conversations in one-on-one interactions. I’ve found that a benefit of going through something like this is that you actually get to see who your true friends and supporters are. My circle of friends got a lot smaller after my divorce, and I’m so glad it did. So much better having true authentic and invested friendships.

  • You should have screenshot his post, post it to your own wall and said “that’s how I felt when you fucked another woman and abandoned me”. Nothing more

  • We’re separated, about to get divorced. The narrative my soon to be cheater ex (emotional affair) is going with is that he is not for reconciliation because he has hurt me and won’t be able to love me like before.

    His family went silent on me, saying I chose to leave (of course, I did, he wanted cake) and they’re proud of him and singing praises for the OW for the good advice she gave him. His family keeps going on about how I would ask him to sleep separately at times in our 12 years of marriage to avoid conflict. I did individual counseling and resolved it BEFORE he took his affair to the next level. MC told him he cannot use it as an excuse and it was not ok to go the OW.

    So, trying not to eat shit sandwiches and feel guilty for what he did. Been in NC with him past month, but hearing this from my family makes me mad. Trying to move on.

    • Think about Lady Di. He drive her crazy. That’s their goal. To show the world “See, See her cry? Who wouldn’t want to leave a crying crazy woman like this!?” I’m a lawyer, my horrific Cheater is a Beverly Hills doctor. He may have humiliated me personally, and shattered my heart, and I’m still in post D-Day (May 2020) shock and cry in the shower- waking up every morning like it was a bad dream but no….it’s real, my husband of 26 years slept with 20 + whores. He robbed me of time, he stole the best years of my life, but he Will Not steal anymore of my time and he will never, never, never impact my integrity, honesty, and dignity. The best things in life are free. Step over poop, not in it. The in-laws will always side with their cheater because it’s their seed and no one wants to admit there’s a bad apple in the barrel. I’m not an actress but you can bet I cry alone and I cry those blood tears, but in public I’d never give him or his dirty nurses ( who joke about fat women patients – oh yes) . Put you best foot forward – protect youse,f like you would protect a puppy and when this shit storm passes you’ll have your sanity. Do no let him drive you crazy. Love and hugs a support to you – grab this shit sandwich by the balks with grace and a smirk, let them guess what you are really thinking and walk tall.

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