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Breaking No Contact: How’d That Go?

The fastest path to healing after being chumped is no contact. We say that here a lot, and yet, when you’re in the early stages of this suckfest, it’s hard to do it.

Surely you are the exception. Why, that’s not hopium you’re toking, that’s a reasonable request for closure!

Perhaps she’ll explain her two decades of deceit in a way that makes sense this time? And return your grandmother’s salt and pepper shaker collection? Couldn’t hurt to ask…

Oh hey! He sent you a text! He CARES! Oh wait… maybe that was a booty call. Well, you need to set him straight! About your hurt!

Incoming… she has a very demanding email with elaborate schedule change requests that you don’t have to legally accommodate, but she insists on having a long further conversation in person with you about…. IT’S JUST COFFEE, MORTIMER! WHAT? ARE YOU AFRAID OF ME?


It’s a trap, Mortimer.

So today’s Fun Friday Challenge is to tell CN about the times you slipped off the No Contact wagon and what happened next?

I’m going to guess it wasn’t peace, love and understanding.

Help the newbies out on the No Contact thing.




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 tried to tell the EX that our daughter needed braces. I received back a note that began, “You are evil.” And ended with a demand for money. Sigh.

      • Just had to email him out of anger that my pap was abnormal. Yep the gift that just keeps giving. Told him I really hoped his dick would fall off. No response from him but I sure felt better. Had to laugh that now he has to worry about stds and where he got it from. Otherwise it’s been no contact since he picked his crap up. And omg I almost forgot our anniversary was coming up. That is progress!

        • So many dittos! I had some necessary communication with Ex, and I mentioned (each time) that I had something funky on my mammo and I needed a biopsy. Crickets… (fortunately it is benign, but at my age..) what a jerk! Evidently he sends long moaning emails to daughter about his rich GF’s health issues and how wonderful he is (see the halo?). It makes her hate him more, but of course he is too stupid and self-centered to get it.

        • I’m so sorry to hear about the abnormal test.

          Info you probably already have but other readers may not: A lawyer can file suit if you contracted an STD from exhole.

          Most abnormal paps are from HPV and the cancerous kind can be a silent infection.

          If you were together with ex and married for 15-20 years or longer and never cheated yourself, it’s impossible that the HPV infection was contracted prior to relationship with ex.

          Plus the HPV vaccine is only a few of the hundred or so strains that exist (it does not cover all strains most linked to cancer) and would not have been available prior to 2006. Anyone in a committed relationship at the time probably would not have gotten the shot. Also its not a cancer preventive following exposure and there are contraindications against getting it for some individuals.

          There are no antibody tests for HPV that I know of which really sucks. I think there are antibody tests for the other stds (herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia) that can in rare cases lead to abnormal paps.

          Every chump lives under that sword of Damocles. :'(

          • From NIH website:
            However, with the advent of the ability to test for HPV, cervical cancer screening now includes three approaches: HPV testing, which looks for the presence of high-risk HPV types in cervical cells; Pap testing; and HPV/Pap cotesting, which checks the same cell sample for both high-risk HPV types and cervical cell changes.

            There’s a way to test. Ask your provider!

            • Chickenchump– great news at least in terms of knowing what caused cell changes.

              What concerns me is that, from what I understand, it’s necessary to wait for the abnormal pap test to diagnose.

              Cheater tried to assure me he’d been tested for STDs twice during the affair and had had the AP tested (yikes, like livestock) but admitted he had never seen her test results. I was gobsmacked that he thought a check for active HPV lesions meant no HPV.

              As far as I know, the worst strains can be totally asymptomatic until a cell test comes back iffy years later.

            • Very Google-able but it would be a great subject for lawyers here to weigh in on.

              Potential causes are sxual battery, STD negligence or intentional infliction of an STD as far as I understand.

              The burden of proof is obviously on the plaintiff but I think the standard is that the accused “should have known” they could infect the victim. In New Jersey it can be part of a Tevis claim for domestic violence but has to be filed in conjunction with the divorce.

    • I sent ex the first account for our son’s very modest school fees, of which we agreed to pay half each every year. Received it back with a query – what am I supposed to do with this and why send it on my f*cking birthday? Many replies sprang to mind of course, but I let it go and paid it out of the child support. There is no point engaging if you can afford not to. I don’t need constant reminders/confirmation that he is a selfish, greedy dipsh*t who doesn’t care about his son.

      • NewChump, I also paid for virtually everything through the years, but I kept meticulous records of those things for which he did not pay. Just before child support ended (when my youngest graduated from high school and neither I nor my children would have to see him regularly), I filed a petition and the Court awarded me that amount plus compound interest. (I had no idea that would be added, but was delighted.)

        I say all that to say–even when you decide not to fight that battle now, keep excellent records and perhaps a better time to fight will come one day.

  • He sent maybe a dozen of emails over a yearlong period (maybe more), all of them seemingly nice and innocuous which was a surprise as at the end of the relationship all he did was scream at me telling me how terrible I was.

    I finally responded to him after a year and half.

    Guess what he did?

    Scream at me and tell me how awful I was.

    Don’t break no contact. They are the exact same people they were the last time you spoke to them. They just temporarily shove it down and hide it from you in an attempt to lure you back in.

  • I only communicate about child drop offs and pick ups. My ex ghosted me completely so I’ve had the horrible problem of no engagement by him including for property separation, etc. However, on the rare occasion he texts or emails me some bizarre word salad thing that I just ignore completely. Then, a few days or weeks later I get a follow up lecture that goes something like this: I suppose you think you’re trying to achieve something by ignoring me but you must do ….. whatever, blah blah trying to control me. And then he has the nerve to ghost me completely If I need something . It’s amazingly annoying and I find it hard to ignore but I do now. In the past I would have made a comment and then he would ghost me. He loves this fun game but I simply don’t play it anymore. No contact is really key to stopping their BS but it’s hard. Limit to the absolute basics of child care and let your lawyer do the rest.

    • FormerlyKnownAs,

      Is it at all possible for you to transition that last bit of communication to a court-approved and court-monitored app such as “Our Family Wizard“ or something similar? That way, all details about the children’s pick up/drop off will be done digitally and you can spare yourself direct contact.

      • I second this. In my case, it eliminated the mean emails from my ex as the judge and attorneys could look right in to OFW, and he had an image to manage. OFW has been a lifesaver. HIGHLY recommend.

        Because our visitation is laid out by the court, and we no longer make any adjustments to the schedule (because I quickly learned he wouldn’t uphold his end of the deal), we don’t even communicate there about visitation. He did try to drop in there to say he wouldn’t be picking up kids from school during one of his periods of possession, and that I needed to, and I responded with “I’m out of town (I wasn’t), and if the school calls me to notify me that you’ve abandoned your children there during your court-ordered period of possession, I’ll have them notify the police and process this matter through the court system. I suggest you hire a babysitter, because I’m not your babysitter.” I never heard another word on the matter (because he’s a money-grubber, and I’m confident he quickly calculated the legal costs), but he magically picked up his own kids from school, had them for his entire period of possession, and returned them to the school a few days later, as ordered. One other time, “a work emergency” came up, and he was pleading with me in OFW to collect the kids, but I didn’t see his pleading because I keep OFW notifications off, and only check in as my PTSD following his narc abuse allows. Still, I wouldn’t have helped him as, again, I am not his babysitter or his backup plan, and he lost that privilege when he ran his family into the ground. He was able to make other arrangements that didn’t involve me, just as I have to make other arrangements that don’t involve him (like periodic surgeries or trips to the ER).

        OFW has SIGNIFICANTLY reduced the amount of contact I’ve had to have with that man, and the tiny things he’d do by text or by private email to torture me. It’s provided me with such peace, has really helped me be grey rock and very close to no contact (even with 6 kids), and has helped me get to Meh much faster than I think I would have otherwise.

        • Our Family Wizard has done nothing for me. I still get the abusive rants, blame shifting, cussing me out, trying to discuss the past, insulting me and everyone I know, trying to change the visitation schedule, etc. Every attorney I have talked to says I will spend over $5000 to take him to court for enforcement and he will get a small fine. If he sends a message saying he is not picking up the kids; I just say OK and enjoy the fact that he is not verbally abusing the children during that time frame. I am grey rock and minimal contact. Very generic statements and no responses

          • Hey Finding Peace,

            Boys Dad and I were Court-ordered to use OFW. Its GREAT because when they go on a rant you have proof. Then as ChumpLady says Document, Document, Document. You can print them out and have them in a binder to take with you if you ever need to show proof he is verbally abusive. I personally as an extra layer of protection and peace of mind video record myself on the computer reading his letters and my response.

          • One strategy (check with a lawyer), send this –

            “We are court ordered to use OFW to communicate about the children. However, you are consistently using OFW to harass and abuse me, which is in violation of our court order. Therefore, if I receive 3 more abusive messages through OFW, I will stop using OFW. After that happens, you can communicate with me through a 3rd party. You can text xxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx and they will relay any important information to me.

            I hate the idea of having to go against our court order, but if you continue to use OFW to abuse me, I will have no choice. The purpose of our court order was not to allow you to continually harass and abuse me, and I feel like you are taking advantage of a loophole, which was never legally intended.
            Please use OFW for important communication about the children without any abuse or harassment in the messages.”

            Then if he keeps sending abusive messages, you stop using the app. Then he would have to initiate the court process if he wanted to try to find you in contempt of court. But if you send a very clear message about what is going on and have documentation of everything he did, I think you could easily defend yourself in court.

      • I second this. In my case, it eliminated the mean emails from my ex as the judge and attorneys could look right in to OFW, and he had an image to manage. OFW has been a lifesaver. HIGHLY recommend.

        Because our visitation is laid out by the court, and we no longer make any adjustments to the schedule (because I quickly learned he wouldn’t uphold his end of the deal), we don’t even communicate there about visitation. He did try to drop in there to say he wouldn’t be picking up kids from school during one of his periods of possession, and that I needed to, and I responded with “I’m out of town (I wasn’t), and if the school calls me to notify me that you’ve abandoned your children there during your court-ordered period of possession, I’ll have them notify the police and process this matter through the court system. I suggest you hire a babysitter, because I’m not your babysitter.” I never heard another word on the matter (because he’s a money-grubber, and I’m confident he quickly calculated the legal costs), but he magically picked up his own kids from school, had them for his entire period of possession, and returned them to the school a few days later, as ordered. One other time, “a work emergency” came up, and he was pleading with me in OFW to collect the kids, but I didn’t see his pleading because I keep OFW notifications off, and only check in as my PTSD following his narc abuse allows. Still, I wouldn’t have helped him as, again, I am not his babysitter or his backup plan, and he lost that privilege when he ran his family into the ground. He was able to make other arrangements that didn’t involve me, just as I have to make other arrangements that don’t involve him (like during periodic surgeries or trips to the ER, as I have a couple of chronic medical things).

        OFW has SIGNIFICANTLY reduced the amount of contact I’ve had to have with that man, and really, has eliminated the tiny things he’d do by text or by private email to torture me. It’s provided me with such peace, has really helped me be grey rock and very close to no contact (even with 6 kids), and has helped me get to Meh much faster than I think I would have otherwise.

      • Yes I’ve signed up for WeParent and just trying like hell to get him to accept the invitation! It’s power and control. I even paid for it myself. Maybe I can force it through the lawyer somehow. He said he didn’t want to do it because he didn’t agree with the parenting arrangements. He’s impossible to deal with.

    • Formerly:

      Impressive on your part! It’s rich that he’ll go from lecturing you for ignoring him (the I-know-the-games-your-playing argument) following by basically ignoring you! Ah, irony and mindfuckery in one package! Just know that he is SO pissed that he can no longer control you.

      Glad you’re free!

  • Ex telling people what his oldest daughter has accomplished, but pays minimal maintenance. She spends time with him, but no real bonding.
    He says I’ll pay for this or that, you know, he wont.
    He talks but you don’t really listen.
    Turns up late, his time is always more precious.
    People think he’s nice, he should have won a Oscar for his acting.
    Women say he’s nice, he was a drug taking alcoholic, fondness for ow, with addiction who never want their kids, but will get pregnant.

  • I had the kind of cheater that wanted to be friends after what he did. No thanks, buddy.

    I’ve maintained very minimal contact for the last 18 months. He told me he was trying to figure out a way to “interact” without things going poorly. The few times I’ve initiated contact were for mundane business aspects of our current situation. Those times where there was extended contact were destabilizing emotionally for me. Like if you stood next to radiation, you’d get slowly poisoned and feel worse and worse. I choose to stay away from the poison.

    I’ve actually found no contact to be easy because having any contact is deeply painful. Like being buddies with your rapist. It’s just extremely sad that the marriage I treasured and the man I loved turned into this. That part is hard.

      • Ditto – it’s a tragic waste. When I’ve had to communicate via email re settling affairs I do however have constant urges to send scathing emails (in my mind witty and scathing) re OW etc – that’s a challenge- the anger sometimes keeps me up at night

        • Funnily enough some cheaters try to be friends with discarded schmoopies & affair partners as well.

          Because God forbid anyone call out a cheater on his or her wrongness & shun (or go No Contact) with them.

          With the narcissists, I get it’s about maintaining (unlikely) supply or fuel, with the other disordered types, who knows?

          It’s just easier to not deal with them at all if possible or absolutely minimally if you have to (like if you have children with them).

    • Magically… I feel the same. Nearly 6 years out I can see that he never “turned” into anything— he was always this way, I just didn’t know it. What I feel sad about is the lost illusion of who he was. I know that’s not rational, but it’s there at times.

        • Yeah. It’s so painful. I’m haunted by memories. As CL puts it, “What was real?”

          • Spinach, I’m haunted as well. Like literally haunted, I can’t even rest right. I dream about XH and wake up in sweats. It’s awful.

            • Alice if it helps – The only way I have sometimes been able to stop dreaming about exH every single night is to think about high school or university sweethearts or crushes before bed. If they were on Facebook I’d look at their Facebook pictures. I think even focussing on an actor and their picture before bed would help. Anything to not go to sleep thinking about the shit show of loss. The first time I dreamt about a boy from 25 years ago (even though I really wasn’t that interested in him then and certainly not now) it was a victory.

              • Zip, thank you for this advice!! I will try it out. I keep telling myself it’s due to the pandemic and I don’t have enough distractions right now so I’m dreaming of XH (i’m trying to rationalize it).

                Maybe I’ll buy a book about a famous actor or athlete I find attractive, like their bibliography or something and read it before bedtime. Thank you!

              • I watched a lot of Blue Bloods and allowed myself a crush on Donnie Wahlberg, of all people. I still have a photo of him in a towel on a Pinterest board. Great abs. I look back at that and I’m puzzled but whatever works.

              • Haha. For me it’s Richard Engel (the foreign correspondent). Go figure!???? ???? ????

    • I feel the exact same. I also find if there is contact then I end up sending a stupid text asking for some honesty. He has never told me the truth about how frequent and prolonged his booker habit was. FINALLY It’d him we can’t have contact now. Boy what a difference it has made!

    • I relate to this wholeheartedly. Ex said we could still be “friends” and keep the relationship we had since we were in Jr. High (never dated him until I was 23 or so, married him, and now all those years of friendship are gone – when you think you know someone). We can keep things civil and work things out. I could even come to his family events. We could do the kids birthday’s together. Maybe we could even work things out later!

      Yeah, okay, asshole. I *enjoy* so thoroughly being friends with someone who likes to fuck other women on the side, especially one who doesn’t give a shit about me or the kids. You keep talking to your schmoopie on the phone at night. Good luck with that.

      • That’s the one thing that Jackass said that still stands out to me. Because I confronted him about his relationship with MOW, he said, “Thirty years of friendship and now it’s over.”

        Not really, Jackass. Thirty years of imagined friendship are now revealed.

    • Yes!!!! I got a rant the other day because I wouldn’t coach one of our kids teams WITH him. Insanity!!! Four years of abuse. It’s laughable.
      I am trying so hard to go no contact 99% of time except absolutely totally necessary because of kids.

      • What???? That’s ridiculous, Susie! He’s clueless.

        Glad you held your ground.

      • Close the portal where the ranting happens. No phone, no texting. Move his ranting butt to email and some messaging app where he’s the only person you talk to. Ignore all rants.

    • So much this. I was trying to think of the right analogy today. You nailed it. Buddies with your rapist. 🙁

      • “Like being buddies with your rapist.”

        Yes, that’s what it is. I’ve been into a dark dark hole because I just can’t come to terms I MARRIED this monster. Had kids with him. I literaly feel like he raped my soul but then I started to be fixated on that all this time, I now keep on thinking I had sex all these years with someone that if I knew was like that I would never do.

  • After ignoring red flags for some time, then catching them together at her home I knew what I had to do .
    When I served him divorce papers which he received at her home ( was never home) he lived in our basement until I legally bought him out of house. Once he was gone I never broke No Contact to this day. Evil sociopath ????

  • I went deep on Gray Rock (we have daughters, I can’t do full-on No Contact) even before I really knew it was a thing. And my fuckwit ex HATES HATES HATES it.

    The separation agreement calls for us to communicate via OFW, and she HATES HATES HATES it.

    I always wait at least 12 hours before opening a OFW message or reply from her, and she HATES HATES HATES it.

    The fact that Gray Rock brings a real sense of peace and contentedness to my life makes it easy for me to not slip off the wagon.

    The fact that she HATES HATES HATES it makes it fun.

    • THIS! We go No Contact or Gray Rock for self-protection. The fact it is TORTURE for narcs to be ignored or treated like they’re not that important is just gravy.

      Yummy yummy gravy!

      • ???????????????????????? … it’s the thrill of taking our own life back.

      • Yes! It’s like drowning in toxic waste. You may think you can handle it, that you’re just dipping your toe in, and the next thing you know, you’ve been sucked into the nightmare all over again.

        Case in point – I was total no contact for about a year until my daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition. She needed all kinds of tests done and the medical bills were piling up because I was having trouble finding work. So my best friend reached out to him to ask if he would help out. His first response was to insinuate that I was crazy and ask her if she thought I was fit to be a mother. She kept her cool and said, “absolutely.” Then he sends me a 5 page document, indicating the rules I would need to abide by and the circumstances under which he may or may not contribute up to 50%.

        After a week of alternately raging and sobbing, I decided to just pay the bills myself. I will never deal with him again. My mental health is more important.

      • My problem is that my ex ghosted me pretty much completely. At first, if he sent me a very rate message I went nuts trying to correct all the wrong shit in his emails or texts then he wouldn’t respond. It was absolutely crazy making. Now I ignore him but I also realize that this pattern existed during our whole marriage – he would keep himself scarce. It’s so annoying!! I also don’t get anywhere trying to ask for help or money or support for anything. His responses (if any) are simply too cruel.

    • I aim for this but everything is still very fresh and painful. It’s all just a portal to more pain. Mandatory interaction via parenting app, overstepping boundaries, lawyers who won’t help you enforce them………????‍♀️

      • CC…. get a new lawyer who will ask a judge to impose boundaries.

        • Ive already shopped for advice. 2 opinions both the same. Can’t revisit custody for at least a year without pissing of the local courts. Most I can get I is a stern letter to cease and desist. ????can’t make this nonsense up.

          • My Sweetheart David gave me some great advice ChikChump. Even to this day seven years later dealing with UnHusband on OFW can still give me anxiety. I personally just started reading the letters and video recording myself to show a record and how ridiculous “These People” are!!
            #1. USE as few words as possible
            #2. Be a ROBOT…don’t use “You, I, We, Our” words if possible.
            #3 IGNORE ANYTHING that is not specified in court order.
            #4. If Court Order does not specify that you HAVE to reply or acknowledge receipt of letters in OFW, by email, or text message. Then DON’T!!

            I got the most amazing ringtone for my UnHusband that I use instead of a Nasty Name.

            – That last one is the way I laugh about the entire situation I am in right now.

          • My Sweetheart David gave me some great advice ChikChump. Even to this day seven years later dealing with UnHusband on OFW can still give me anxiety. I personally just started reading the letters and video recording myself to show a record and how ridiculous “These People” are!!
            #1. USE as few words as possible
            #2. Be a ROBOT…don’t use “You, I, We, Our” words if possible.
            #3 IGNORE ANYTHING that is not specified in court order.
            #4. If Court Order does not specify that you HAVE to reply or acknowledge receipt of letters in OFW, by email, or text message. Then DON’T!!

            I got the most amazing ringtone for my UnHusband that I use instead of a Nasty Name.

            – That last one is the way I laugh about the entire situation I am in right now.

          • I wish I had a solution. I have been dealing with the same nonsense. Going on 3 years. Past the year period and I have talked to three attorneys. We can revisit custody but he won’t get any less than he has unless I can prove he is physically abusing the children. Verbal abuse counts for nothing. He will probably get less child support if we revisit Custody. I can file an enforcement cost me $5000 and he will get a fine smaller than what it cost me. I have sent several cease and desist letters- he stops cursing and ranting for about a month or two and then he is back at it. My latest solution I have a relative read his messages and They only tell things That needs a response and nothing else. I also have a relative swap the kids; so I never see him and he never sees me. This has made my life easier.

    • I am NC for three months today 🙂 I keep thinking about all the triangulation he did. Talking about ALL his exes throughout the three year relationship and then the sick, sick triangulation with the Married Skank Whore. I know FOR SURE he is still using me in some sort of triangulation. I also know FOR SURE he absolutely HATES HATES HATES ( 😉 to UXworld) the fact I am able to get along very VERY well on my own.

      • “I know FOR SURE he is still using me in some sort of triangulation. I also know FOR SURE he absolutely HATES HATES HATES ( ???? to UXworld) the fact I am able to get along very VERY well on my own.”

        So much this! I’m totally sure XH uses me against OW or has done it at some point, because she was stalking me. I also know he HATES HATES HATES that I can take care of myself and not give him the time of day lol oh it’s so great!

    • I only check OFW on Monday and Friday at 9 a.m.
      I refuse to even open emails where I know douchebag is simply being an asshole bc my previous email warped everything up and there is nothing more to say.

      When we first started using OFW he went ballistic that I didnt use the notification ls and respond promptly .
      I gave him my business response for my definition of prompt response.

      He hates that I havent opened at least 10 emails bc it isnt worth it.

      He hates I will leave money on the rather that comm about his pettiness.

      3 years out today and I feel a little bad for him. Yeah he has howorker and my former friends but the man can barely look at me, much less look me in the eye.

      I can look everyone on the eye, most importantly myself and my daughter.

      I win.

  • Ex asked me to bring out sons retainer he’d forgotten to his apartment. I walk up to his front door with the retainer expecting a cordial conversation. Instead he berated me with insults and left in tears.

    Another time I received a notice that our once A student son was suddenly in danger of not graduating high school. Our sons grades plummeted after ex moved out, I was concerned and thought ex would be as well. Silly me, I assumed ex, being his father, would be as concerned. The response I got was ridicule, and laughter, he said I should back off and leave our son alone, that I was looking for trouble. He went on to tell me he’s just being a kid.
    I was talking to a disinterested stranger who couldn’t care less.
    More evidence that our marriage and claiming to be a responsible father all those years was fake and he was an imposter.

    • What the hell is in their minds? How exhausting must be living this existence. I CURSE the day I met him

  • I like to think I am a No Contact Master… six years out, only communicate regarding our son and only via email and text. BUT, with Covid-19 and “visitation”… I’ll admit I had a slip. Mr. Sparkles had agreed to put a hold on visitation in March/April because he was an “essential worker” and in the public (though masked and gloved at work). In April, out of the blue, he decided he was ready to start having our 14yo son for weekend visitation. I admit… I lost it a bit… I agreed, but then couldn’t stop myself from adding this editorializing: “I know your GF is ok with you cheating on her, but please don’t expose SON to Covid-19 because of your habits.”

    He responded almost 24 hours later, around 1:00am so likely after polishing off a bottle of wine, that he and his GF are very happy and he doesn’t need to cheat… in fact, he is the victim of phishing and someone has taken his identity and created these profiles on dating sites (my note: very sophisticated phishers to know that he changes location relative to the office location he is working from, but I digress)… and that he was happy to know that I was on dating sites and hoped I would meet someone… followed by emojis.

    I. Can’t. Even.

    I quickly deleted the message with trembling hands and jumped in the shower to wash off all the disgusting feelings I was having about breaking no contact. And then I got back on track with NC.

    Lesson learned. He hasn’t changed. He is still as sick, manipulative, and piously disgusting as ever.

    • Oh God. That’s awful.

      None of these freaks change. By the way, your alcohol comment hit me. Mine is a heavy drinker, too. I would say he’s a functional alcoholic. Anyone else have a cheater who drinks too much?

      I would guess this is common. I think they try to dull their pain because deep down they know that they are total shits.

      In all honesty, I was hitting the sauce myself to dull the pain of betrayal. By hitting the sauce, I mean one or two glasses of wine too many. I never got drunk but there’s something about drinking alone that scared me. I decided to quit entirely. 90 days today!

      • Mine was diagnosed with “episodic alcoholic disorder” (?!) years before I met him, but of course it was my fault he drank, because I stressed him into being triggered to do so.

        • Yikes, what is an episodic alcoholic? Maybe that describes cheater.

          People may develop addictions due to trauma or despair or a range of reasons. But I tend to think abusers drink so they can abuse, not the other way around.

          The only red flag I had for the drinking is that I never liked him when he drank (he’d become uncharacteristically loud, would make mean jokes, sudden cynical demeanor) but we rarely drank throughout the marriage. His parents and grandparents didn’t drink. Later it came out that his parents had let him get stinking drunk with friends from age 14 on so there was a hidden history of addiction and neglect there but it didn’t explode until his 40s.

          Prior to that he would get too drunk at work events once in a blue moon over the years. In his DARVO phase, he screamed out all his resentment over my having suggested a few times that he not drink quite so much in front of bosses and that he wasn’t as suave as he thought. In hindsight his drinking may have gotten him fired from one job. But still there was no drinking at home so I wasn’t on alert.

          Leading up to and especially during the affair, cheater secretly began drowning himself in bourbon starting from 11AM on. He began drinking his lunches and keeping a bottle in his desk like all the other pervy old drunks in that field. He’d switch to vodka before coming home, then would be an impossible grumpy prick as he’d go into evening withdrawal.

          My reaction to his alcoholic cascade and prickishness then became his excuse to have an affair. Because he wasn’t an alcoholic, see. And other people thought he was “nice” (when he paid the tab).

          Though he expertly hid the drinking from me and the kids, I can see roughly when it started in family photos– the sudden rapid graying and hair loss, blousy expression, squinty, evil looking eyes, swollen parotid glands on each side of his face, and a gut that suddenly jutted out over his belt buckle.

          At first I thought it was depression and stress and sent him to specialists. He was crying all the time and chumpy me was worried. Later as his personality disintegrated, I wondered if he had a brain tumor or was developing early onset dementia.

          AP/work underling (she was a direct report to cheater’s team member– walking lawsuit) was apparently an ACoA and had been an alcoholic and pothead since middle school. She had that special yellow pallor even in winter, the same chipmunk cheeks from parotid swelling and puffy eyes to prove it.

          I think the affair was partly about getting a drinking buddy so cheater could tell himself he wasn’t an alcoholic because “only alcoholics drink alone.” Curiously, cheater’s male friends at the time weren’t big drinkers. Since these friends were all professional peer contacts (as opposed to underlings) cheater probably didn’t want them to know that side of him.

          In any case, the bar tabs from the affair were staggering, far beyond what AP could have afforded on her crap salary. I have mixed feelings about family funds going towards the further destruction of her liver.

          Speaking of which, aside from AP, he had a kibble-dealing lesbian “work wife” and affair beard who drank herself into clinical IBS, largely on on my family’s dime.

          Kibble, fawning and suckuppery have a pricetag and alcoholics require extra kibble on top of cheating kibble to make them feel less like family-wrecking fuckwits. The need for kibble grows with each ugly transgression and shameful descent in a vicious kibble cycle. Conveniently for fuckwits, kibble can be bought. Maybe it’s not so delicious if it needs to be washed down with gallons of booze.

          • Right here is a sign of a problem drinker: ” Prior to that he would get too drunk at work events once in a blue moon over the years.” Two other huge signs of alcoholism is that you were concerned (sign #1) and he got angry and defensive if you tried talking about it (sign #2).

            The only thing you need to know is that alcoholics will continue to deteriorate emotionally, psychologically, and across other aspects of adult functioning. So at some point, you would either have to continue to enable and finance his addiction (including tolerate drinking buddy affairs) or you would have to leave, yourself. Addicts need like-minded people around them, although they will often keep sober enablers in their lives to pay bills, clean stuff up, make excuses, raise the kids, and do adult stuff.

            Alcoholics may have other psychological problems, but the addiction should be a deal-breaker non matter what else is going on. Their thinking is so screwed up that there is zero point in untangling the skein of their fuckedupedness. Your X is a drunk. His primary relationship is to his substance.

            • Yeah. Here’s a silver lining. Those of us who have cheaters who are heavy drinkers and/or are full-blown alcoholics don’t have to take care of them as their addictions worsen. I watched my mother do that. No thanks.

            • Loved–

              Yes, defensiveness would be a definite red flag but he knew better than to display that early on. He knew better because he knew I knew “red flags” and addict MOs from the addict-laden industry I’d worked in for years. I’d gone as a supporter to a lot of AA and other meetings for friends who’d long been in recovery. These friends were canny and critical of the “recovery” industry and knew the limitations of 12 Steps. I knew about “dry” addicts who’d quit their substances but would remain dicks to their families and how AA often failed to address this dichotomy and rampant violence against women from supposedly “recovering” addicts. I was heavily involved with victim advocacy for rape and battering survivors for a number of years. We used to joke that there’s no such thing as “Assaholics Anonymous” for those desperately addicted to being assholes.

              Personally I think cheater married me because of his unconscious illusion that someone like me would keep him safe from his own latent demons. Like an omnipotent mommy I was supposed to be somehow all-knowing. Part of his rage at me seemed to be over the fact that he outwitted me and I didn’t keep him safe from himself. They want to get caught. Problem is, I ain’t his mama.

              The “red flag” I detected years earlier was really about genetic sensitivity to alcohol, a known issue with cheater’s ethnic heritage. To me that was of abstract interest since one of our sons inherited a particular susceptibility to oxidative stress that led to serious illness. Cheater didn’t disagree to my face over the issue of sensitivity, said he’d stick to seltzer, even made some intelligent observations about susceptibility. He might even have tried to keep clean for awhile but ultimately lied and kept the drinking completely covert from then on. It went from drinks with colleagues a few times a week to full blown alcoholism. I knew of none of it. I never saw him drunk otherwise, never smelled alcohol on his breath. We didn’t so much as serve wine with dinner at home. He was incredibly compartmentalized.

              It was only in the midst of the affair that cheater offered up problem drinking as a decoy to get me off the affair scent. He DARVOed and said he kept the drinking secret because he thought I’d leave him for it. I said I’d leave him if he continued so he pretended to join AA and got a therapist (whom he never told about the drinking and then used the malignant old misogynist shrink to triangulate against me to justify the affair). Though his career is notoriously stressful and involves working at all hours, I wasn’t buying that stress caused his drinking problem.

              D-Day was many months later. Once I knew he was capable of deception about alcohol abuse, I eventually figured out the rest. The big clue was that he continued to hang out with the alcoholic lesbian “work wife.” He denied she was an alcoholic but my gut said otherwise. My gut was right.

              Leading up to D-day, I started having dreams about infidelity so my manner of putting two and two together from scant evidence was almost completely intuitive. It was pretty amazing how I literally knew everything before I had any reason to know once that seemingly unrelated penny dropped. From there I consulted with wise friends and got my ducks in a row. Cheater isn’t the only Oscar-worthy actor in the family. It took some time to gather evidence on him and secure the financials but he had no clue what I was up to, even in his vigilant alcoholic paranoia.

              But before that penny drops, I’m not sure how we can “enable” what we know nothing about. Once he admitted the problem drinking, he pretended to address it. He stayed on good behavior for awhile, improved his attitude at home. It must have taken a huge amount of effort.

              Most of us have more important things requiring our attention than treating adult partners like wayward teens and staying on the lookout for “red flags.” It’s like a full time job or keeping a pet ferret. According to codependency credo, you’re sort of damned if you do pay attention to a spouse’s descent into hell (and try to “fix” them) and damned if you don’t notice (“ignoring red flags and enabling”). My attitude now is “Fuck it. I was busy.”

              In my case, I worked until my middle child became catastrophically ill as a toddler and learned that full time parenting is way harder an more consuming than keeping a job-job. I ended up in a firefight trying to keep the school in compliance with ed law, could not succeed in that battle and had to home school, and then had to travel far and wide on a budget on a regular basis with the children to find cutting edge treatment for my chronically sick kid. I got involved with advocacy for my son’s illness and kicked ass.

              Recommending cheater see specialists and suspecting neurological problems was sort of an extension of what I was already doing for my son, which involved thousands of hours of research, consulting with heads of departments, joining communities of scientists and advocates, etc. I was so busy with that “hammer” of focusing on physiological health issues that all problems seemed like “nails.” Cheater had me over a barrel in that sense– my time and attention completely taken up by this frantic endeavor.

              Proof of why I didn’t have time to hunt for more “red flags” in the buildup to spousal alcoholism is that my son is now largely recovered from an “incurable” condition and all the kids are thriving. Dad was supposed to take care of his damned self and kids come first. That’s the kids’ attitude too. Each of them told him off after D-Day when my oldest hacked an email account and found out about everything. Hell hath no fury like kids raised to be simple and direct.

              After D-Day when I confronted cheater with the concrete evidence of the drunken affair, he immediately dumped the AP, joined AA for real, SLAA, every “A” you could imagine, saw three specialized therapists, sent hour by hour proof of his activities to a family thread as per some sex addiction book, etc. But I retained a lawyer anyway. My son’s improvement made me freer to move on, thank God. Prior to that it would have been much, much harder.

              Let cheater stay on the wagon for the sake of the kids or face the kids’ contempt. Let him stay clean to maintain his liver, keep his wits and career. He’s not fooling anyone who matters anymore.

      • Spinach, mine drank a lot too and I followed suit. I believe he and I were both numbing pain he caused with alcohol. Like you, I quit drinking. I also quit smoking. The past almost two years of no contact have been wonderful. I won’t break it.

        • Sisu, You quit both smoking and drinking? Wow! Congrats!!! That’s really impressive.????

          • Thank you : )
            To be fair, I did start eating ice cream every day. Have to make up for the alcohol calories somewhere…LOL

        • Trifecta. Omg. Both funny and terrible.

          Does a fly fishing addiction count? That’s my ex’s drug of choice, besides the drinking and porn. It sounds wholesome, I know. But he’s truly addicted. It’s a problem.

          He needs AA (Anglers Anonymous).????

      • He has become a heavy drinker and I’ve been told has added recreational substances to keep up with his AP/fiancé who is 3 decades younger. Sounds a little desperate and a lot self-destructive to me.

        • A grown-ass man trying to feel young (or fit in?) by doing recreational drugs with his AP who is 3 decades younger (!!) is beyond pathetic.

          Btw, I don’t understand how older men feel young and virile when they are with much-younger women. If I were dating a much-younger man (thought experiment), I would feel SO much older by comparison. I would feel ridiculous.

          • I don’t know, but many do.

            I think that many times men don’t see themselves as realistically as women do.

            Also, if they are spending money on the young women, the young women will tell them what they want to hear. Older women tend to be more honest. We grow the hell up.

            • Yeah. As I’ve said before, I swear my ex sees Brad Pitt in the mirror.

              Note: He looks older than his 62 years.???? Closer in age to schmoopie’s dad. Haha. He somehow was taken aback when they met. Didn’t expect it. What a high-IQ moron!

              • When my cheating asshat finally was pushed to discovery day because his hooker habit in Beverly Hills was surfacing and the whores were banding together calling him for money……he began telling me about them (25 prostitutes he could remember From City Source Escorts and The Erotic Review) — I stood there literally frozen in disbelief with a spatula in my hand making dinner…he said the Koreans were beautiful, the Russian Nicole Page drank and pushed the Vodka too much, the one called Jane Lane Reloaded the champagne champion was arrested a lot and kept asking for more money and one called Ashley Kelly Richards was great but she began shouting “Fk ME DADEE” during sex and it bothered him. He actually was expecting me to sympathize with him!!! All I said was perhaps she called you Daddee because you’re 65 and she’s 25. My asshat is a physician pig, I am horrified, I was fooled for 26 years. Yes, these creepy men look in the mirror and see Brad Pitt. If I were revengeful, my asshat would be looking through a jail cell at his roomie Harvey – but the police don’t care- they all get free tricks from the whores.

              • Spinach, my XH is a beer drinker (has the belly to prove it), smoker and porn addict. To be fair, his drinking never bothered me unless he was with his friends, then he’d just be a d*ck to me.

                When he was cheating he was trying to get in crazy shape, which should have been a red flag for me. However, months and months later right before I moved out of our home I noticed he’d gained it all back and then some. Seems like he was drinking heavily again.

                My XH’s last OW was 2yrs older than me. I might be out of the ordinary but I just can’t date younger men, so I found it odd OW wanted to date him. I just don’t like feeling older than who I’m with.

          • Spinach, I totally agree. My ex looks so fucking bad next to his pierced and tattooed spiky hair funky girlfriend. He looks old and grey and tired next to her and looks like her grandfather. He’s started wearing bracelets and other stupid shit to look cool. It’s so funny! On top of it all, his whore is a druggie. She’s actually quite pretty but when people that I know see them they always call me and say the same exact thing “she doesn’t look healthy.” Well, being cheating assholes probably doesn’t make you look nice along with your drug use. They deserve each other.

            • Mine fucked the bartender if that tells you anything about his drinking.
              He said he “had to drink to go home because I was so awful”.
              He’s still a drunk despite me not being there to blame it on. Weird

              • Fucked the bartender! OMG. That does say something.

                Glad you removed yourself as a blame target, although I suppose he could do some sort of mental gymnastics and blame the memory of you. These people are disordered.

              • Drunks and druggine always have an excuse. We call that denial of the actual problem, which is their addiction.

            • Do you think it is the money flow she is after. I mean honestly these guys are old, and lets face it once the excitement is over, they can’t keep us with a woman 20 years younger.

              In my ex’s case she was only five years younger, but there is absolutely no doubt that a part of his charm to her was that paycheck. She struggled to pay her bills. Not sure why, I mean she wasn’t rich, none of us were; but she made a decent city salary. Not as much as he did, but still decent.


              • To Susie Lee, yes it’s most definitely about the money. The first time my Cheater age 65 called his 25 year old to break it off she extorted him for $10,000 claiming she’d fk him up, have men break his hands, charge into his medical office and home. ( he’s a surgeon) I knew nothing about it – the pathetic idiot paid her- she has returned every 6 months for the past three years wanting money with the same threats – she’s a long time prostitute (Jane Lane still on line) with many restraining orders against her – including the criminal protective order I had to get. These jealous psychopathic women are all looking for a wallet. I took my sanity and my own independent earning power and ran. If there’s one thing among the many important lessons Chump Nation teaches us it’s that chumps must always have a portable Independent income.

      • My cheater was downing 7-8 mixed drinks each night, plus putting vodka in his coffee before work every morning. Guilty much?

  • As I was on the phone with her desperately, in tears, pleading with her not to sign the papers from our mediation she forced us into, to give us another chance and try counseling together, I heard her refresh her Facebook page on her phone. It was the final act of humiliation I endured. We never spoke again after that. She started her affair a year after our honeymoon, said it ended after DDay #1 only to discover another text with DDay #2 coming 10 months later. And I was the one begging her…..probably my lowest point in my life.

    • I relate, Justin. I did the same thing…. the pick me dance and devastation it creates is beyond anything I could have envisioned. It’s a result of the psychological abuse, imo.

      Thank God it was temporary and I came to my senses.

      • Justin and Motherchumper:

        You’re in good company!

        LACGAL helped me come to my senses.

      • It’s definitely the psychological abuse but also the complete disorientation that occurs from the pure shock as the person you loved becomes a stranger and a monster.

        • Yep, this Justin! I had this for 25 years. I thought he loved me, I thought he was a certain guy, but he wasn’t. He had led a completely double life for two and a half decades. It’s unreal and very, very disorienting. I often ask my mother, “did this really happen?”

          • I agree that Justin nails it. That’s exaactly how I feel. It is disorienting, and I would add that it’s also scary to learn that you allowed yourself to be so vulnerable to a stranger/monster.

    • Justin, you are not the only guy who has done this. It just shows that you cared deeply about your marriage. It takes time and usually some help to make the transition from doting husband to “You can’t fool me again.”
      I did the same thing, but I got better! I am now happily remarried to another Chump for 16 years. Take some time to heal and go live your best life!

    • Justin, everyone of us go through that phase – its part of rehabbing from being coldcocked. but we get our feet underneath us again, learn some tools to deal with abusers like NC from our compatriots (CN) and carry on. like any recovery it is not a straight line and regression happens. soldier on my friend.

      • Thrive is right. Living well is the best revenge. Don’t feed the beast. I’m dying inside, truly dying but I’ll get the Oscar for an Academy Award on the outside – do not let the Cheater know they have power or control over you. Fake it until you make it (reach meh….) Tuesday is coming. It’s baby steps for me but I can’t cry anymore – Botox is too expensive and I think my Cheater might actually enjoy the sound of my tears – a new twist on his S&M fetish – emotional thrills. And as a physician they are really sick because they get kudos and thank you and patient worship all day long to feed their ego’s. When someone doesn’t have empathy for you – they don’t love you. It’s a painful realization but it’s not your fault – take peace in knowing you did not cause the pain.

    • I know what you mean. My wife started her affair just 3months after honeymoon. Said she was unhappy for the last 12y. Can’t go no contact since I can’t throw her out despite the fact that the apartment is my (law), but luckly she is antoher person, immposible to talk to her 🙂

        • I did, but it takes time. Worse case she’ll stay in the app. til end of April 🙁 too bad I lost a month pick me dancing, then found CL

    • Justin, I’ve been there. We all have. Your story breaks my heart because I can relate to it so much. I know we call it the pick-me-dance on this site but, if I’m guilty of fighting for my marriage when I die someday so be it. I don’t want to stand before our creator and say I didn’t try like XH will have to do. I gave my marriage everything I could. I’m not ashamed of that.

      • Yep. No need to regret it.

        I didn’t do it long, but I did it. I even let my cheater come back once, and he gutted me again. At the end of the week, I told him to leave, and gave him a week to decide if he wanted to go to our preacher and get refereed for counseling. I told him to call me the following Sunday. Honestly I was sure he wouldn’t call, and I was also sure by then it would have never worked anyway.

        He didn’t call, so I called him and said you were supposed to call me. He said “I can’t decide” “I said you don’t get to make any more decisions, we are done” Called my lawyer the next am and said divorce going forward, just make sure I get my full six months temp maintenance. I actually ended up with over a year. So, at least I recouped some of the money back that he spent on “dating”. “dating” ha, I guess that is what the kids are calling it now days.

        But, bad as it was, I gave him a chance.

        Any lame lying efforts he made after that day were rebuffed.

  • The bottom lines is this-
    Cheaters care about the dollars. Why split up the assets and pay alimony and child support? AND pay attorneys?
    When you get smart is when things get REALLY dicey.

    Be smart. I was so stupid .
    I was the ultimate stupid bitch.

      • Thrive is right. Splinter was not stupid. Splinter was faithful, trusting, honest, loyal, and fair. The fact that a Cheater took advantage of those good qualities makes the Cheater the stupid pathetic self-entitled prick. Marriage is a contract – when there is infidelity the contract was made under false pretense; a fraud; all the money spent on whores is part of the marital assets – there’s no free lunch and karma will come knocking on the door of these cheaters – Tuesday.

        • As a teacher and a learner, I will say that as long as you want to learn (and not hide in denial), you will learn what you need to know. Don’t worry abut how long it takes. I was over 60 when I wised up. The last 6 years have been awesome–and I’m STILL learning.

          • ^^^ This. Anyone who thinks they know it all is a real jackass. But once we learn something truthful and healthy, and that supports our worth as humans, we should retain it: Trust That They Suck.

  • There were a few, another incident was when I went into a coffee shop and he was sitting in a booth and I noticed him sitting there. I picked up my coffee and left.
    Later I heard from mutual Switzerland friends, that I needed to watch my behavior, and no wonder ex says I’m crazy. I asked them to explain, ex told them a dramatic story, his version, I made a scene in the coffee shop, I went hysterical, screaming and calling him names, people in the coffee shop were frightened watching me throwing a tantrum that he almost called the police to have me arrested.

    No contact at all times. Don’t acknowledge them.

    • I get this kind of thing too. I hear stories of my “bad” behaviour at various events that we attend together with the children ALL THE TIME. Apparently I create scenes all over town! Guys like this can’t handle the fact that things can be awkward after divorce, especially for the kids. A little bit of awkwardness – any little hint you or the kids are not robots devoid of emotion after something terrible like infidelity — is inexcusable and MUST be a big deal and MUST be your fault. How dare you leave the coffee shop without saying a cheerful hello to reassure him he’s still a good guy? How dare I not say hello to the young mistress who helped him destroy the life I built and threw my kids into chaos? That’s the real crime – our reactions — not the cheating.

      • “That’s the real crime – our reactions — not the cheating.”

        A thousand times yes to this!

        p.a. Quick anecdote: Early in this divorce process, my cheater/narc said that his lawyer was “excited” when she saw his net worth. What an idiot! I wouldn’t brag that my lawyer was excited by my $$; I would worry! Anyway, I gave a deadpan, snarky reply: “Your mistress must be excited, too.” He blasted me with this: “You need to apologize to her.” hahahaha. NOPE.

        And, oh, the irony! It’s so rich that he would think I need to apologize to the woman who slept with my husband in our bed.. Not changing the damn sheets just made it all grosser????.

      • Mine apparently told everyone in the ho bar which was virtually his second home (after the slut’s ho apartment) that I used to beat him up when he got home from work. When my hairdresser told me that was what he was saying I just roared laughing and said he was just a c…t!!! Another time I stopped in at my friend’s café for a drink after work on a Friday night. There was some guy there talking a mile a minute who was a real pain. He must have been discussing my ex and “his terrible wife” before I walked in so my friend introduced me to him as P’s wife! I was all made up and smartly dressed as I had just come home from work. The guy’s face was a picture and he said “YOU’RE P’s wife? – er how is he?” So I just said “still an asshole”. The eejit asked me out a couple of weeks later (to which I said, as politely as I could – er no thanks)!

      • Now that you mention Switzerland friends, I have a question for CN.

        What do you do if one of your couple friends splits: the wife hops on your team and the husband (who says he still care *so much* about you) still meets with the ex for fishing trips and beers.

        Also, this particular male (who is conflict averse) says he, too, feels betrayed because my ex lied to him too. I don’t get it. Isn’t lying a deal breaker in a relationship?

        I’m having trouble with this because I want to stay friends with them both, but I’m really angry with the husband. And his most recent decision to go on a fishiing trip with my ex, which he said he “regrets,” (yeah right) pisses me off. If he really regretted it, he would cancel.

        In true Swiss fashion, he claims he doesn’t want to do anything that will “upset Spinach.” He’s straddling the fence. Not a good look.

        In keeping with the subject of this post, I will add that NC should extend to info about the ex from friends. I told the wife of this couple that I really don’t want to hear about fishing trips or anything else about my ex (except if he looks like shit and is doing poorly????). It’s not good for my mental health. Best to know nothing.

        • This may not be helpful or what you want to hear, but I left behind all Switzerland friends, including the women. In my experience, the wives who claimed to support me stuck with their husbands – who would not “abandon a brother no matter how badly he behaved” – when it came down to their husbands wanting to socialize with AH and mistress. It was very sad. Four years later, though, I know I have friends who I can trust – friends who cut off AH – and those friendships are that much more precious.

          • MaisyL is right. Aside from the pain the Cheater causes you, the fair-weather Switzerland friends will ultimately cause you additional pain and I learned this the hard way. My cheater is a horrifically self-entitled prick physician – he hide a 26 year hooker habit and only came clean about it May 2020 because the last whore was extorting him and he was afraid he’d end up in a cell next to Harvey. Only a very few people know and those that do gave me the ‘oh, so sorry’ lip service only to keep seeing him as their physician, inviting him to play golf, etc. I wouldn’t want the hands that were up a whore’s ass or pussy touching me – but they all love their White Coat doctors – these Switzerland friends are as co-dependent as he is a whore master.

            • Ugh. This *is* upsetting. This woman is my closest friend and refuses to see my ex, so she’s really on Team Spinach. She’s very badass. But, you two think that she’ll side with her husband in the end? Dammit. It really isn’t what I wanted to hear, but I appreciate hard truths. So thanks.

              Does it matter that the husband isn’t reaching out to my ex? He’s just passively accepting the occasional invitation. Think wimp. That’s no excuse, I know.

              This woman calls the shots in that relaionship. I guess I’m holding out hope that she’ll prevail, and he’ll cease contact. Ugh. Hopium of a different sort perhaps.

              By the way, my ex considers this guy his best friend (so much so that I thought my ex–a homophobe–was having an affair with *him*). Omg! Anyway, even if this averse-conflict guy passively stops returning emails and calls or makes excuses for not wanting to get together, my ex will not pick up on the social cues. He’ll invite himself over. He’ll bug this guy until he gives in. That’s the dynamic. So the relationship will probably continue. Ugh.

              • I’m certainly hoping that your friend is the badass you deserve in a friend! Hopefully the husband’s passivity will allow his friendship with your ex to taper off and you’ll get to continue being supported by her. What you described sounds more promising than what I experienced even early on from my female friends in one particular social group.

              • As they say in medicine, law, and science – as well as in frankly every walk of life: “let the patient define himself” Give people a lot of rope and they’ll either weave a beautiful basket or hang themselves. Collect data. Don’t waste your time trying to predict or analyze what other people may or may not do – short of drilling a hole in someone’s head it’s impossible to know what someone is thinking – these Switzerland people probably don’t even know what they are thinking themselves other than that they will always think of themselves first….they’ll do whatever is best for them. In cases of infidelity…..let the dice fall where they may; let the rats jump ship; just stay calm; be a scientist…..collect data. Don’t stress out about these people, if you have to question someone’s loyalty or second guess where their friendship lays – they are not your friends – they are acquaintances….KEEP YOUR GUARD up – have your shield up – whether it’s religion or spirituality or simply plain hope – whatever works for you j- but take the high road – do your best job taking care of you – never show blood in the water. I write this advice to you and I write it as a reminder to myself – it would be so easy to cave in; it would be so easy to call every whore he laid with; it would be so easy to give up…..but I was once a little girl with hopes and dreams and I’ll not let a Beverly Hills physician arrogant whoring prick hurt that girl/me.

              • Spinach35, I would keep my distance from your friend. Sounds like there’s excuse making to pacify you. Her husband is an adult and can refuse ex’s invitations.
                If your ex invites himself over, your friends shouldn’t have any problem telling your ex how they feel about his infidelity and explain their loyalty to you. If your ex tried to destroy their lives would they still go fishing with him and allow him in their home?
                From my experience she will side with her husband, also from my experience she sounds more like a Switzerland friend.
                Loyal friends wouldn’t hesitate to come to your defense and let the cheater suffer the consequences.

            • Spinach – my 2cents- It’s not fishing guys pain – he was happy to have a guy to go fishing with. They don’t care – not their life. They have their own issues.
              So all consuming for us- a blip for them. A lot of people just honestly don’t give it a lot of thought. And as we keep saying, society does not think of this as abuse -they think of it as things that go on between married people – not their business.

              • Zip,

                Sadly, I think you’re right. Indeed, according to the wife, this guy’s initial reaction was, “This happens all the time.” But my friend said she set him straight. Guess not that straight.

                It’s strange to think that such an earth-shattering event is just a blip on someone else’s screen.

                So, I guess I need to decide if I want to have contact with a guy who thinks of this betrayal/lying/cheating as “no big deal” but pays lip service to Spinach’s feelings.

                And then I have to consider whether to continue my relationship with the wife. We go back nearly 40 years! Ugh.

                People say to move on and make new friends. But that’s easier said than done, especially during a pandemic.

              • Spinach, if you had showed up with bruises all over your body he would not be fishing with your ex. I just think for a lot of people, cheating gets filed under ‘stuff that happens in other peoples marriages.’
                If he’s a sane person, of course he knows it’s wrong.
                But as it is right now, society does not get involved in this type of wrong and people just think of themselves and their own problems.
                It’s because the word is not out yet that cheating is abuse. This guy does not know how much you have suffered.
                And really we don’t want to wear our suffering on our sleeve / we want to be mighty.
                People just do not know the depths of our despair when our life is turned upside down by betrayal.

              • Spinach, I agree with the others that your friend will ultimately side with her husband. Technically she already has since he has gone on the fishing trip with your ex and she didn’t forbid him from going.

                Here are my thoughts, what if your friend is telling her husband all the things you two talk about and he is reporting it all back to your ex? I just worry your ex could know details about your emotional state that he should’t know, if you’re sharing these things with your friend.

                At the end of the day, people will always choose their spouse over friendships and like others have said, many people don’t care about cheating. They see it as part of life.

                I know it’s tough but perhaps you should distance yourself from your friend. If she asks where you’ve been just be honest. Tell her it’s hard for you to maintain a friendship when you ex is still present in their lives. If she’s a true friend she will understand.

                I’ve lost some friends too due to the divorce. It has been really tough because of covid, but I hold on to my friendships that I still have and I also know I will be here for those friends who I no longer talk to should they ever reach out to me with the same circumstances.

        • In my case it’s just time. The Switzerland friends now see what an asshole he is, including the guys who initially stuck by him. It’s been an interesting process to watch. My friend’s husband recently told me that he can’t stand playing cards with him anymore because he’s too controlling. While that sounds minor, it just goes to show that his asshole behaviour leaks out into everything. If they truly suck, which they do, people will figure it out. If not, they don’t share your values anyway.

          • Also, likely at some point at least one of the women friends, maybe even one of the man friends will find themselves in the same mess. Then you may get a call from a old friend.

            It happened to me. My closest friend went through it her entire marriage until the final exit affair. Neither of us knew at the time what my ex was doing. He was taking her side as was I. Then boom he detonated our marriage.

            I called her after I decided to quit being quiet, she was amazing to me. Of course I had not ever taken her H’s side. But, still just stats alone will tell you one of the friends is going to get blindsided.

            Funny thing is, my husband helped her husband get on the PD. I have to assume they both knew exactly what the other one was. We were couples friends for several years before he started dogging around constantly. He never really tried to hid it much.

            Good news is both of us ended up with sweethearts for husbands after the first marriages ended. At least so far; Twenty four years for me, longer for her.

          • Formerly,
            I hope this will happen. I like to think his assholerly will spill over into every encounter. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking on my part.

            What I neglected to say earlier is that my ex tried to get this guy to cheat, thus dragging him down to his level. My ex even complained that this guy is “too respectable.” I think he wanted to show him how it’s done. Disgusting on so many levels! What kind of friend encourages another friend to cheat so that he doesn’t feel alone in his shittiness?

            Your right that if these people still want to be with my ex, we don’t share the same values. These are hard pills to swallow. I feel I’ve already swallowed them whole and they are lodged in my stomach. I can feel the pit.

            • I think even those who stick by the cheater, see the inconsistencies way better than they did before. Assuming, they are not a cheater themselves. I know my ex pretty much tried to keep involved in the activities that we were involved ink, but he and schmoopie fairly quickly made themselves scarce.

              I don’t know if it was because they didn’t want to do it anymore, or they didn’t get the welcoming reception they thought they would. I think the latter. He loved his place in the community, I think if he could have waltzed back in with her as my replacement, and gone on as if nothing happened he would have.

              His problem was those folks knew me and well as him, and well she was an OW. And he was outed as no longer the great guy he was pretending to be.

              Our circle was full of midlife married women, who did a lot of the heavy lifting in volunteer work. They don’t like tramps who take up with married men. Their husbands have to live with them, so…

              • Susie Lee, this gives me hope! Thanks.

                I did hear from both my ex (pre-NC) and the wife of this guy that “It’s not the same.” I don’t think they are getting, as you put it, the welcoming reception that my ex had expected.

                I’m hoping that he and the OW will move far, far away. My ex gave as an excuse for the affair that I wouldn’t move to Montana. Montana! That’s the first he’d ever mentioned wanting to move there.

                So, I hope he and his OW relocate to this dream state and leave me and my friends the hell alone.

                (Apologies in advance to the residents of Montana.????)

              • Spinach, I learned from a couple close friends how it was for them to try and just waltz back in as if she was me.

                I myself, didn’t sign up for any volunteer work that year. For one reason, I assumed they would be there, and another I was working on my own healing, and I was also working as much as I could to save money.

                Then my facility closed a few years later and I moved out of state.

                My ex recently moved out of that state too, as he blew up his relationship with his son, and per my daughter in law, also with the folks at the church they (my ex and schmoopie) were going to. It appears they can’t get along with anyone.

                My ex also told our preacher that he wanted to try and help schmoopies sons to be decent people. (they weren’t) He thought he could do this because our son was so great. (and he is) Preacher told him, he can’t do that because half of who raised his son is gone. He seemed to be trying to recreate our marriage, but just with a different woman.


        • If they’re caring stories TO you, they’re carrying stories ABOUT you.

          I’d take a look at why you want to stay in contact with these people. But then, I don’t believe in “couple friends.” Usually those are just social acquaintances with whom you enjoy social activities as couples. The man I date has an extensive family/friends network that gets together for game nights, etc. I really like them all and enjoy spending time with them, but they are not my “friends.” My friends are the people who have my back, no question, 100%. Most of us have very few of those real friends.

          So the first question is why these people matter to you. You already know that the husband is not going to end contact with your STBX/XH.

          Here’s an example: I’m part of a large network of people involved in a sport. One of the major people in this network was found to be having a relationship with an underage person. His wife took the kids and filed for divorce while he faced criminal charges. She’s not my “friend,” in the sense that she’s of a younger generation and not someone I would turn to for comfort, help, and companionship. But when this happened the husband contacted me to try to solidify my support. He even asked an intermediary to set up a discussion. No. Nope. Nopety nope. I was on Team Wife and Kids. Then and now.

          People show you who they are by their choices, including whom they allow in their lives. I don’t hang out with vermin or jackasses or sociopaths.

          • “People show you who they are by their choices, including whom they allow in their lives. I don’t hang out with vermin or jackasses or sociopaths.”

            Exactly. I don’t have a huge circle anymore, but the ones I allow in my life are to the best of my knowledge good folks.

        • Al do I will probably will lose most of comen friends to the my ex.

          I don’t think I would be friends with just halve a couple. You want to be able to rant with your friends. I don’t think you can talk freely to your friend. There going to be huge eliphant in the room

    • He must have heard all of the things you were thinking in your head but didn’t say out loud. Now that’s a scary thought.

    • One of our first child custody switch offs (about 5 years ago now) occurred at an airport parking lot. He had just flown into town to pick up his 10 year old son. We were parked next to each other. I’m in my car and the kid is getting into Dad’s car. I note kid is loading in the front passenger seat – NOPE Illegal and Unsafe. I try to get XAss’s attention. He ignores me. I get out of the car and tap my ring on his window. He finally acknowledges my presence but refuses to roll down the window. I state loudly, kid can’t ride in that seat, he needs to be in the back. Kid goes to back seat. XAss throws a fit. Pounds his fists on the steering wheel and screams at the top of his lungs for me to “Fuck off. Just Fuck off!” and he peels away.

      Cut scene to almost a year later and we are in court. XAss is on the stand with tears in his eyes he tells me how I freaked out in the parking lot, almost broke his window, and cussed at him in front of the kid. Scared the kid.

      Its really pathological how they twist reality and put their shit on your head.

      • I am so sympathetic Skunkcabbage. Same type of experience in court. With me it was our son’s confirmation – I arrived early to check out the seating arrangements because there were a lot of kids being confirmed, it would be the first time my family and his family had been at the same event and the first time his mistress and their love child would be at an event with my family and the kids. The church had tried to give us a very small pew to share. I asked to be moved to the last row of families so we could have adjacent pews across the aisle – one for my family and one for his. The church didn’t want to switch the seating but I insisted-politely but firmly-and they finally agreed. My sons were with me that day (although not during my discussion with the church organizers) so they sat with me and my family. It was awkward and tense — and also a million degrees and the service ran long, but we all survived. As you say, cut scene to two years later in court, and apparently I had a screaming fit in front of the children and the church ladies and tried to make them force my ex-FIL to stand alone in the back of the church (?) and also refused to allow the children to speak to or take pictures with anyone in AH’s family AND various other “inappropriate” behaviours which remain vague but “everyone” noticed. WTF? Was he smoking crack that day?

        • My ex tried outright lying and all the exaggerating when we were in court for my DV complaint against him. When he started lying I just started at him non-stop, no blinking. He wouldn’t dare look at me, and you know that “look” you get from the back of their neck or the side of their face when you know they don’t DARE look at you. He flushed bright red and stood there like he was made of stone. I just thought “screw you buddy, I’m not backing down”. The judge saw through it and him, thankfully, and he was convicted!

          • THANK YOU for advocating for your rights and the rights of all those who are abused 🙂

            • I have no regrets for doing it – I just wanted him to STOP! But I got no pleasure either. Still, if I had to I would do it again – only much sooner!

    • They are just so used to lying about everything. It is unbelievable people actually believe anything they say at all.

      • The kids and I use a variation of the lawyer joke… when can you tell that your father is lying? Whenever his mouth is open.

        Which we find hilarious because STBX became a mouth breather over the years. So even if he is just sitting there, his mouth is open, and he is dreaming up new lies.

        It’s so bad that he will lie when the truth sounds better. The annoying thing about cheaters is they assume everyone else is lying as much as them. Sad!

    • If you go no contact they will resort to impression management. They can’t manipulate you any longer so they tell ridiculous stories about you. My ex met a woman after dday, and I subsequently met her at a later date. She said she was speechless when she met me because I was nothing like the overweight hausfra he painted me out to be. That’s when she started believing what a Dickhead he was.

  • After all the dust settled I started getting mysterious calls at my office asking if she could speak to “my husband” I would decline the calls every time. My office mates knew the whole story and tried to shield me. My good friend Donna answered the call one day and said ” whoever he is he doesn’t work here and slammed the phone down. About and hour latter she called again and I answered before I could begin the conversation Donna grabbed the phone out of my hand yelled “stop calling him!” and threw the phone across the room. She then looked at me and said if you ever talk to that ( see you next Tuesday) again I fucking punch you. I called Donna’s husband and told him to be careful tonight she’s wound up. Love that lady

    • I love Donna, too! When we are in the middle of trauma and abuse, we can’t always see it and it is a coping mechanism to “make it okay” so it is so incredibly important to have a support group that gets MAD FOR YOU sometimes.

  • Don’t get within 5 miles of them.
    Do not engage in any Possible voice recorded conversations.

    Do not engage. Do not be poked or prodded into any response.
    Do NOT become the crazy spouse.

    Full stop.

  • Oh…I’ll give y’all the “less mighty” version of the I break up.
    Here’s how it went:
    He told me he was leaving me ( 17 yes married) but neglected to tell me he had been dating the mistress he was leaving me for and that they had been together over 2 years.
    I had already “forgiven” several other affairs.
    He leaves ( after 6 weeks living in our office)
    I pick me dance my ass off. In between the uncontrollable sobbing and spontaneous vomiting I would throw on some lipstick and sleep with my ex in a pathetic attempt to get him back. The fact that he would lay next to me after and try to negotiate our divorce should of been a clue I was being used.????‍♀️ You name it, I did it….calling, texting, begging, pleading….ugh.

    That was the super chumpy part.
    Then you slowly find yourself….you learn you gotta get your head in the game to survive. You forgive yourself for being that person.
    You get the kick ass atty, let the whore who knew he was married with kids and perused him anyway have his ass and start cashing those alimony checks and getting a life.

    As for the no contact, mine was in reverse.
    I had the ex that completely replaced us with the new schmoopie and her kids, our kids went no contact with him when that happened, and there has been no breaking no contact because he hasn’t tried.
    Please don’t misunderstand, I love my life now and know EXACTLY who he is. That being said it’s a whole other mind fuck to have somebody that you committed your whole life to just replace you in an instant and never look back. Like he flipped off a light switch.
    I have not physically seen him in 5 years, not spoken to him in 2. I have a great life now but that damaged me, you wonder how you couldn’t of known and it makes you question every other relationship you have.

    These people are just truly messed up. If they stalk you or ghost you, either way they leave you broken.

    • Mine did the same. The flashbacks of him looking like an alien while he was gleefully telling me about fantastic married OW and her kids (after adamantly denying an affair) still haunt me. I was incredulous. I was positive he was having a breakdown. He swapped us all out one for one. This is the sick stuff you might hear about from a friend of a friend. You never think it’s going to be your life.

    • I really feel for you. It is that sense of being completely dismissed and replaced that I abhor. I sometimes think of jokes we shared, places we went, and wonder if he ever regrets what he did or remembers me fondly, but I know 1) he absolutely doesn’t and 2) it doesn’t matter either way.

      I’m looking forward to getting to where you are!

      • I have wondered the same thing. He may or may not, but I am guessing in my case, he doesn’t because he can’t allow it. It would mean he was not absolutely right in what he did.

        I hope you get to replace a lot of those memories, if you haven’t already. It is rough.

        I finally deleted most of the old memories, except of me and my son. I even deleted the young memories of our romantic pre marriage sessions.

        When I want to think of my youth, I replaced my memories of him with memories of another young boyfriend before I met him.

        Mostly I just remember the early days of the courtship between me and my now H. Those were really romantic. He really wooed me in a way no 18 year old could.

        Cheaters suck, and they will always suck.

      • My divorce was 18 years ago. I hear through the grapevine that X-cheater is still angry with me for taking half “his” retirement, which amounted to about $90k. It’s all about the money, of course.

        Newbies…believe me, life is so much better in the “after.” None of us deserved this BS.

    • You read about how Narcs idealize, devalue, discard… And ok, it hurts, it sucks, but it’s easier to look at that behavior through that lense and realize it wasn’t about you. But the replacement. That f’ing hurts. The replacement feels like being erased. It hurts even more when you have kids. Not only are you erasing all the emotional support I gave you during our marriage as a partner, but trying to erase my roll as their mother? Fuck them for that. Again, the narc replacing you isn’t about you, it’s about their character issues, but I really struggle to reframe that last part. Granted, do I want to be the new victim? No, and they’re getting what’s coming to them.

      • It hurts too that they are discarding someone of value for somebody with no soul. That part really shocked me and still makes me question everything. Obviously they don’t care about the values of the person they are choosing. It’s mind-boggling to me. I even said to him
        ‘What kind of a married woman with kids would think that a married man with a family who is cheating on his wife and dumping his family -is a good catch – she must have really low self-esteem”?
        I got the blank stare back. I was honestly shocked that he would want to be with such a person even though he was doing the exact same thing. Delusional.

        • I told him “The absolute only thing, the ONLY thing, you two know about each other with complete certainty is that you both will deliberately manipulate, betray, hurt and tell a breathtaking number of lies to people you supposedly ‘love’ to get whatever it is you want. Good Luck with that”. I also told him one day he’ll be there in perfect world on a perfect morning and he’ll look over at perfect whore and have a moment of clarity that will be something like “I gave up my family, my ‘best friend’, my KIDS forever for THIS?” Like @Susie Lee said above he’ll never come out and admit it because that would mean he wasn’t right in what he did. But I hope it happens and I do hope it eats him from the inside out. Yeah, I’m not at ‘meh’ yet.

          • 26 years married and he slept with “25 whores he could remember” that was DDay. Yes, he picked the last whore to be his – quote “soulmate” not knowing she had an arrest record, previous restraining orders, evictions, etc – he picked a whore 30 years younger who will slit his throat rather than wipe it when he’s old and feeble. Karma wins. Love suffers.

          • Thursday, One day, the lack of respect they feel for themselves will be a deep pit in their empty soul. Maybe not for the pure narcissist, but most of them (I think?) are not pure sociopaths or pure narcissist. They will feel ashamed and pitiful and very lost. Remorse will suck the true joy out of their life.

            • I agree. And if you happen to be around them any, you will likely be able to see it in their looks and mannerisms. Hopefully though none of us will have to be around them.

              • I might like to see him at that point just to take a peek at that. =-) But he’s living in Whoreville which is halfway across the globe from my NC kids and I so it is highly unlikely I’ll ever have to see his cheating face again. Which is why I feed off of the karma stories here since I’ll more than likely never have one to tell, but that’s ok. I’m guessing once the dust settles I won’t care.

          • ThursdaysChild, I have this exact same fantasy!

            My ex really did lose everything for the whore. Early on I said, “I hope she was worth it.” He didn’t detect the snark and instead replied earnestly, as if he was confiding in his best friend not his wife, “I hope so, too. Untested love.”


            • UUUGGGHHH!!! I got a few of those ‘talking to his best friend’ comments too! Whole conversations actually, and I tolerated it because I thought we were ‘working it out’. Mine didn’t have any close friends and only maybe 2 non-close friends and I had been his best friend for decades so I guess he felt he could tell me things–I heard a whole lot before I shut that down.

              I hope your cheaters ‘untested love’ (untested love–who says that??) gets tested every single day over and over and s/he fails miserably.

            • I also remember asking ‘is she worth all of this’? Even though it wasn’t that long ago I honestly can’t remember if he actually said yes or if he remained quiet and I knew he was thinking « yes ».
              It hurts like a motherfucker and at the same time you know they’ve lost all sense of reality, because no one person is worth all that loss. It was so clear to me he had built her up into fantasy woman that was going to cure all his own woes. Sometimes I imagine actually calculating how much each date or phone call etc. with the OW cost him in our settlement and then I think that is one seriously high priced whore. No interaction was worth thousands of dollars a shot. I also despised being spoken to like I was a friend who would obviously care.
              But sadly I was a friend and I did care about him. They are fucked up.

    • Years from now, when the schmoopie & her kids thing gets old, he’ll contact your kids. He’ll act like he was the one that was dumped and he stayed away because of you. I hope your kids hang up on him, but more than likely they will be curious. You might want to prepare your kids.

    • Ain’t that the truth. It hurts like a mother f**ker to be discarded like last year’s iPhone.

      We chumps can move on. We should move on and “gain a life.” Still, I suspect that the pain of being so easily discarded and replaced will linger forever.

      • It likely will.

        I have been remarried for 24 years to a wonderful loving man. My ex is not at all attractive to me, I can barely remember even the good times anymore. but, still I remember the pain.

        Not always. It resurged due to his recent actions against our son. It caused me to tell my brother and best friend about how I was treated in the last year of our marriage. I had previously not told anyone (except my now husband) because I was so ashamed.

        I think that was the only good thing to come of the blow up between ex and son. It allowed me to release that secret.

        And also in my research I discovered CL. That was when I found out how alike all these cheaters are.

        It is like old scars, sometimes they get irritated; but you deal with it and the irritation goes away.

  • My idiot died before I could divorce him. I get frustrated with myself for often breaking no contact. I have arguments with him in my head constantly. Asking him why he was such a beast, liar, lazy etc. every time a memory comes up, I realize what I put up with, how I spakeld, how cruel he was. I then start again trying to reason with his actions. After 45 years he is in every memory. I can tell newbies even just breaking contact in my head never, never never do I feel better or find answers.

    • The answer is that we were married to the emotional equivalent of a Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer. They are defective in character and spirit. Can you figure out why Ted Bundy killed innocent girls? No. It’s enough that he is dead.

      • Agreed! Sometimes the explanation that they are “character disordered” just doesn’t get to the pure evil, do you know what I mean? I don’t have a better term than “character disordered,” but it just doesn’t go far enough, like “serial killer” does.

        • Absolutely, it’s beyond character disorder and closer to Ted Bundy.
          Devious, cunning, careful planning, pure evil, manipulative and charming.
          Masters of deceit without any remorse or regret..

    • Hcard-

      I strongly suggest you find a professional that deals with PTSD that you suffer from BECAUSE of your 45 years of abuse.
      For sure- cheating was just one example of total disrespect and disregard.

      I can’t explain the night terrors. I dread going to sleep.

      • Splinter, I hate going to sleep too. I just can’t escape XH. It’s very painful and I wake up emotionally exhausted. I just keep telling myself eventually they have to stop and I’ll get a peaceful nights rest, at least I hope.

  • I texted him to give my condolences after his mother died. He texted back very gruesome details about her death, and emphasized what a hero he was in the turmoil.

    ALL contact did was give him a chance to assault my mind with what was probably a pack of lies about her death, and brag about his role.

    Contact is just another opportunity for more abuse.

    • Mitz, quick question. Did you go to the funeral? I ask in part because my MIL is very old, and I can see having to face this soon.

      • Spinach, you are under no obligation to support the grieving family.
        If you want to go for yourself that’s different
        But you are under no obligation to show your care for the deceased publicly.
        I will absolutely NOT be going to funerals on my end – watching him grieve with whore comforting him. No way.

        • Thanks, Zip! You are so right. I needed this. It would absolutely devastate me to go. Perhaps it’s irrelevant, but I don’t even like this woman!

            • And I hate to say it, but I don’t think we are even wanted there. We are yesterday’s news and it just makes others uncomfortable. If they don’t care about us. We should move on as well.

              • Haha. Good point. I didn’t even consider that I wouldn’t be wanted. That’s too funny. ????

                Seriously, though, I think it’s just hard to shut off that part of my life completely. I mean, for better or for worse (mostly worse), I knew that woman (she-devil) for 38 years.

                I’m still friends with my ex’s sister (although I’m wary of her these day because she remains in contact with my ex. Note: this sister, who apologized for introducing me to her brother, is also a chump, so she’s navigating some tough emotional waters herself. He’s her only sibling because the other two committed suicide. While I don’t blame the mother for the suicides, I will say that she’s a cold, invalidating, narcissistic bitch–not exactly mother of the year.

                Anyway, I wonder if I can or should keep up a relationship with the sister.

                If I don’t, it’s yet another loss. I hate my ex. The ripple effect of his selfish actions continues.

              • Spinach, my XH’s sister wanted to stay friends with me. F That!!!

                I want nothing to do with XH’s immediate family at all! Who knows the lies he told them about me and also I wouldn’t trust any of them to not tell him things about my life.

                I do talk to two of his aunts and two of his uncles (the uncles are XH’s dad’s brothers). These aunts and uncles do not talk to or see XH’s immediate family though, they all think XH is an idiot and his immediate family are evil so it works out for me well haha

                PS. I also agree you should not feel obligated to be there for any of your X’s family stuff, which includes when someone passes. If my XH loses his parents or a friend or whoever someday and he reaches out to tell me, I’m just going to ignore him. He didn’t want me as his wife when he decided to cheat so he can’t have me as a friend either.

        • My father just passed. I asked my big burly nephew (a cop) to escort him out of the funeral home if he showed up. He told people he had just planned to come, but he got word he wouldn’t be welcome. He didn’t show but I am so happy he now gets the message I’m calling the shots in this relationship. I did all the pick me dancing, sparkling, etc. after he asked for the divorce but finally woke up and went no contact. The last word I said to him was “no.” That was after I got more of our assets than he did and an extra $100 in alimony. Man was he pissed. Walking out of court he caught up with me and said “Can I talk to you?” I turned my nose up in the air, started walking the other way and said “no.” The last word I ever said to him and the last word I will ever say to him, no matter what.

          • My mom passed away last year. We’d been divorced 3 ys at that point. I’d been NC since 17 when we had to go to court for him being in contempt and I didn’t speak to him then.
            He showed up to my mom’s funeral after being verbally abusive to her after we left. Thankfully, I didn’t see him but am plenty pissed he signed her memory book. My friends were ready to block him.
            Within a month following that he filed to discontinue alimony. Go figure. I guess he got angry not being part of a family he discarded. DD is completely NC and changed her name. Covid has played with court dates so almost a year and a half will have passed before our four day trial.
            We actually just had virtual motion to compel last week because even though he filed, he couldn’t provide all the needed info for my attorney to prepare for trial. The judge just let it go because his attorney said he’s just a shitty record keeper and isn’t intentionally withholding info. I didn’t have everything they requested but put the money and energy into getting it. Trust they suck.

            • “Within a month following that he filed to discontinue alimony. Go figure. I guess he got angry not being part of a family he discarded.”

              Poor little abused cheaters. They have no issue with you funding their whores for years, but God forbid they have to pay out any money.

              My cheater didn’t have to pay alimony (our state doesn’t have it) but he had to pay temp maintenance for a little over a year in terms of the house payment and the car.

              After a few months I got my own small car and released the big car back to him. I hated driving that car. Also, likely he and schmoopie defiled it. He had a thing for doing it in cars. Or quite frankly any place else that he deemed risky.

              Ticks me off that I always went along with his escapades. But, I did love the turd.

        • One of the fucktard’s flying monkeys texted me when fucktard’s mother died. (she was horrible).

          I replied, “not sure why you’re telling *me*, not my circus, not my monkeys anymore. Of course if you and Dave (his brother) are sad, then I’m very sorry”.

          She immediately blocked me, which I was glad of; she was always trying to find out where I was living, and I’m convinced fucktard put her up to it, hoping I would contact him. He couldn’t contact me, because he was blocked. ????

          • Good for you Chumnomore!

            If XH’s last OW ever contacts me, I’m going to say “who is this?” and then ghost. I don’t have time for whores.

      • I went to the visitation only, for about 15 mintues. I could not have sat through the funeral.

      • Grief therapy is a wonderful thing, you can grieve someone’s loss without going to the funeral etc.

        Many hospice programs have low or no cost programs in their communities (support groups, special programs on how to handle grief during the holidays, libraries of good books on grief you can borrow for free etc) so ask around if you want or need to grieve a loss in a ‘complicated’ situation which is of course what happens when a cheater breaks up a family.

  • Paintwidow-

    What is broken can be rebuilt?

    I’m trying! Sounds like you are as well.

    I still cannot figure out who was in my foxhole for 35 years.

    • “I still cannot figure out who was in my foxhole for 35 years.”

      Well put, and I feel the same way. Also 35 years. It’s so disorienting and upsetting. What the hell WAS that? My mind lingers on past events. I can’t stop the flashbacks. I ruminate. Ugh. Where’s my meh?

      And I think we can all agree that COVID makes it harder to move on.

      • I’m in the same situation. May 2020 was DDay. The discovery of a 26 year marriage being under a veil of fraud- he admitted he had a hooker habit throughout the marriage….I look at photos, trips, holiday cards, and I could rip them all in half knowing that only 1/2 of my marriage was real- my half. But it’s also more than just the marriage- it’s my life- he stole time from me- time I can never get back. I would rather have been alone than with a deceptive man living a secret life. He’s such a fool that he reviewed all his whores on-line through The Erotic Review like he was reviewing a restaurant. They are there for anyone to read and the web site saves them as far back as 2007. The very same whores are still up and in business right in our neighborhood in Beverly Hills – no one cares. The system is corrupt, I’ve had zero support. Thank goodness for Chump Nation, otherwise what few people who know tell me all doctors fk around, my fault for working so much.

        • Yes I can’t think of a worse time to have suffered a betrayal. I had to sell our home during Covid, move during Covid, cry into a mask while signing papers during Covid.
          And you can’t even go to the gym!

          I just want to say, for those of you whose children despise their cheating parent, although I wouldn’t wish that on anybody… that is your karma right there.
          When the cheater gets older and has nobody around them, it will be the biggest regret of their life.

          • Zip,
            Our adult children broke off all contact on D-Day. So, I guess that’s karma (or, in this case, reaping what you sow).

            Frankly, I don’t know how my ex can live with himself. As much as I feel devastated by the betrayal, he’s lost his kids and grandchild (and also the respect of so many people). I have my kids! We are extremely close. My ex was always annoyed that I was so close to the kids. Imagine that!

            He’s moody and unstable. For years, I was his emotional keel, even, of course, during the multi-year affair. But now I’m completely out of the picture. I just wonder how he’s functioning now. Maybe the OW regulates him, but I doubt it. She seems disordered, too. I can’t imagine they are doing well (I hope they are not, of course). I mean, there’s only so much viagra can do!

            • Spinach, I really feel for you and your children. It’s not normal behavior, so how can we even begin to make sense of it? But clearly he is eating shit if he has lost his children and grandchild. Like all the advice giver’s say -worry about yourself now. Chumps seem to be compassionate people. We have to learn to turn that compassion towards ourselves. Don’t drown with him. Of course I’m trying to take my own advice!

            • And in my opinion anyone who takes a spouse who is discarding his or her family, is clearly messed up. So yeah, it’s probably not great over there.

  • It went TERRIBLY.

    I made the mistake of violating grey rock (need to communicate to coordinate the kids’ schedules and shared purchases) a couple of years ago. I had emailed a bullet point list of winter gear I had bought (3 pairs of boots and one new winter jacket) and gear I was asking him to purchase to share the costs (2 pair of ski gloves, one winter jacket and one pair snow pants) or reimburse me for if I did the shopping. Keep in mind, he makes 10x what I make and does pay child support, but we have 50% custody – he seems to forget that 50% custody means child support is for 50% expenses not 100% of expenses.

    Any way, he responded with his typical 1000+ word vomit about how much he pays in support and how this should cover all expenses and included the sentence “Given our respective very fortunate circumstances, it is frankly unseemly for either of us to be asking the other to buy or chip in for gloves or any other item of clothing.”

    Very fortunate circumstance? I wasn’t feeling very fortunate after being dropped like a hot potato with 3 kids at 40 in a foreign country because his intern turned out to be twu wuv. I am fine, I have a good job, but I DO NOT have the lifestyle that he has after I spent 15 years barely working in order to take care of the children so he could focus on his fabulous career (that was supposed to be for US) and mistress (who was not part of the shared plan).

    This was about one year after our divorce and I lost it. I responded with my own lengthy email, part of which was “And indeed there will be costs we have to share. The child support does not mean I have to pay for everything. And the spousal is to compensate for the financial security that I built that you stole through your siphoning from my income (paying business expenses from our joint account and reimbursing yourself into the affair slush fund!) and your betrayal of your marriage vows. I suggest you try some co-parenting and cover your fair share of annual expenses like winter gear.”

    Honestly, it just opened the door for him to spew patronizing bull crap at me. My satisfaction was short lived. I got back:

    “Your accusations of alleged theft, siphoning from accounts and the existence of an “affair slush fund” are completely detached from reality or any semblance of reality. Child support equalizes our ability to pay for routine expenses for the children, including clothing. As a side note, I suspect that the very high amount of the child support that I pay you plus the fact that I pay 100% of a very long list is special expenses plus the fact that I directly pay for at least as many routine expenses as you do mean that the child support that you receive from me exceeds by a very large margin the portion of the children’s expenses that you bear. Yet you continue to ask me piecemeal to effectively pay you even more child support, even though the child support that you receive is significantly more that the child-related expenses normally tied to it. As I said below, it’s unseemly. And completely unnecessary. But, most importantly, your last email is helpful because it demonstrates that all of this really is not about gloves. Yes, I broke my marriage vows to you, and that is one of the reasons why our marriage dissolved. I own up to that, as I always have. I am truly sorry for cheating. I have apologized to you before, but, if it helps you to hear it again, I apologize again. Your email and so many other actions make it clear that you are still so very angry with me for the affair and unfortunately your anger still consumes you many years later. It explains why you still refuse to work together with me to co-parent in the boys’ best interest. For their sake, I hope that you will start to move on from the past soon and to let go of your anger.”

    ONE OF THE REASONS our marriage “dissolved”. Not, yes, I threw a hand grenade into our marriage and blew it up out of nowhere. At the time, his complete inability to take responsibility for his behaviour and blame me for everything (anger “CONSUMES” me apparently) still upset me tremendously.

    This was pretty long. TLDR VERSION: DO NOT BREAK NO CONTACT OR GRAY ROCK. It doesn’t get your kids snow pants; it just opens the door to more gas lighting, pomposity and abuse.

    • What does the divorce agreement say? If the agreement says he pays half then reference that section saying “the divorce agreement that you signed says you pay half”. If it isn’t specific enough then you may need to consult with your lawyer.

      • Both my lawyer and his told him repeatedly that he had to share these kinds of expenses — actually my lawyer said it should be proportionate to our incomes. But this was two years ago and I’ve since learned not even to bother. I had to realize it was more expensive emotionally to deal with him myself and more expensive financially to try to insist on cost sharing via the lawyer, so I just get the kids what I think they need. It will be worth it in the end when they’re older and they can look back and realize who was there for them.

    • Holy shit Maisy — your ex and mine cut and pasted from the exact same set of blameshifting, apology-not-apology, ‘it’s-not-what-I-did-its-your-reaction-to-it set’ Cliff Notes.

      From “Yes, I broke my marriage vows to you . . .” all the way to the end, it’s virtually word for word what I’ve gotten fairly regularly since 2016.

      • Maisy and UX:

        Looks like I’m in your club, too. That’s straight from my ex’s mouth—some of the same sentences even!!

        Mine did add that I “showed my true colors” because I used joint money to rent an apartment after our house sold, and I had to move. He had used joint money to rent his apartment. A life of double standards!

        Granted, my apartment was a bit more expensive than his short-term place, but that’s because I moved to a more expensive city to be near our kids (same kids that have gone NC with him. Oh, that’s my fault, too. I poisoned them.)

      • It’s amazing, they think we should be ‘grateful.’
        I remember saying that I wanted every penny back that he spent on the 0W while we were married. His response was that the kids and I were fine it didn’t affect our lifestyle.

        • Totally. They do mental gymnastics to get themselves to the point where everything — everything you built together — is all theirs to do wish as they want and you were just some parasite living off of their largess.

          • Yep. Mine spent £26,000 of marital assets on himself and his whore. Boy, was he pissed off when the Court awarded me the full proceeds from the sale of our home.

            My solicitor came back into the room where my brother and I were waiting while she negotiated with his *barrister* (the barrister cost him £800) and said “he’s getting really cross now.”

            I laughed, and said I’ll bet. ????

            • Well played, Chumpnomore!

              Isn’t it great to have the power of the law on your side?

              During early negotiations, my chumpy heart lept when my lawyer said, “He doesn’t get to call the shots anymore.” That lawyer wasn’t cheap, but, boy, was he good.

              Advice to newbies: Get the best lawyer you can afford. Interview a handful to assess them as potential representatives and to conflict out the pit bulls so your spouse can’t use them. Get smart. Get tough. Document, document, document! Force yourself to eat to keep your wits about you. Your anger can propel you forward. Keep your eye on the prize (a good settlement). Maintian NC. Forward all emails to your lawyer. This strategy worked for me. It wasn’t cheap, but I made out financially in the end.

          • Mine certainly felt like this, even though over the 35 years of our marriage I put in more money to the relationship (an inheritance) than he ever did, and we had the exact same degree and the exact same job (literally: we were a joint appointment). One time he told me that if I wanted to go visit my sister I should pay for it out of my money (not joint money). I said, look, I earn $50 thousand dollars a year, and this trip cost 1% of what I earn ($500). He looked like he’d caught me out and said, “It’s 10%!” When I said, No, 1%; 10% would be $5 thousand, he looked stunned and shut right up. But he’d convinced himself that he was being hard done by. Meanwhile, for years and years and years, he bought himself a Starbucks and went out to lunch every single day, while I took a thermos and brown-bagged it. I actually figured it out once; he was spending $300 a month just eating out–but yeah, my once a year $500 trip was not ok.

            • Of course! Entitled to lunch at Starbucks every day. Entitled to a side fuck. Entitled to…everything. That’s how they roll.

              When we were working on our financial plan (during the affair that I didn’t know about!), the planner asked if we would be buying new cars in the future. EX said, “Yes, I’ll buy one in the 50K range, and Spinach will get one in the $30k range.” The planner laughed. Then husband didn’t see the problem or the humor.

              • Adelante: My bad. I re-read your post. It wasn’t lunch at Starbucks but Starbucks plus lunch somewhere else. Even worse. Entitled bastard!

        • Except that it did affect you. At the very least you could have had more in your savings, gone out to dinner a few more times, or even a vacation.

          Most important he could have used that money to date you, instead of schmoopie.

          The cheater and the co-conspirator both are low life’s

    • Wow. This guy is a grade A blame shifter and abuser. I am similarly pissed off at the discrepancies in our incomes and the greater proportional expense I have to bear as a result. He demanded I take a step back in my career (where I was making double him) to do more childcare and he immediately started an affair when I did. Now he makes $500k plus because he used the extra time and my support to get himself a cushy job and I have this crap one now.

      • He’s a grade A blame shifter, abuser and all around a-hole. I’m sorry you have to deal with the same unfairness Wreck.

      • STBXH wanted me to take it easy with my career, asked me to quit and chumpy me did. This was during our 13 year infertility struggle. After I left, one of the reasons of the breakdown of the marriage listed in his email was that he had to constantly encourage me to get a job. I do recall pep talks before my interviews. But seriously? I’m so ready for my Tuesday. Mornings are hard right now. 2 months post walking out of my home.

  • I usually only break contact for financial reason and usually have to get a letter from
    Lawyer apparently as an educated professional I do not write clearly enough.
    I did a rant not long ago after getting accused of falsely billing dental money which as we know something a narc would do has done. I hate his emails I hate … below is my response not sure what you would call it. Ugh. No contact is best

    So very interesting… not sure where the hell all of that came from… but sure, if you say so…

    I was questioning your Benefits… never in your life, have you, or would you allow me or our children, to spend that kind of money on anything… so it really made me feel like you were getting money from your benefits to help cover your portion… sorry I probably could have worded that more appropriately…

  • Had been NC for 2/3 months following painful split at the beginning of year. Messaged saying he’d put money (he owed me) in my account once or twice: my app confirms this, I don’t need an email, I didn’t reply.

    Then he emailed about a £1.89 monthly direct he still received for printer ink, did I want to transfer the debit to my name and address. The guy on a 6 figure salary worrying about two quid for ink which he knew full well neither of us even needed.

    I caved and made a sarcastic comment, argument ensued and he said, once this is all over (exchanging items of each other’s we still have that I can’t sort til I graduate in few weeks, etc) he wants to go full no contact and that we shouldn’t speak again.


    I think he just wanted to feel he had the control, or so he could tell everyone I was crazy and he had to cut me off. So sad to think of everything we had together and he just doesn’t give a single shit about me now.

    • Yeah, but think of his point of view. If they weren’t debiting his account £1.89 he could be buying himself half a hamburger every month. I think you’re being very unreasonable!

  • Ignore every email. 1.89 for ink?

    He just wants you to implode. Send a nasty and sarcastic and crazy email.
    Do not take the bait. Ignore.

    Ignore. And Ignore again.


  • We are in the process of finalizing our home sale and divorce. Karma came early for my STBX, and he just spent five days in the hospital after surgery to remove a staph infection. I do still love him, and being worried and as I am still his wife (he has little family and no friends), I offered to come to be with him (which I later realized he didnt need bc OW was with him). He called me when he got home from the hospital, very shaken, several weeks of intervenous antibiotics to look forward to. And then the tears of how hard it was without me and he misses me all the time and that I was right and he may have made the biggest mistake of his life. I didn’t want to pile on him because he was feeling vulnerable. But later I reminded myself of all of the pain, the intense pain, and tears and hurt that I went through for the last six months and a year prior to that before D-Day when he was rejecting me and I couldnt reach him. He was not there for me then. It’s very sad that he threw away a person who truly loved him in a world where he doesn’t have many people.

    Ps. Lucky for him he is still on my excellent insurance as he is self employed.

    • Wait – so you went to support him in the hospital and the OW was there?! And he let you? This is not OK.

      You don’t need to “pile on” when he is vulnerable – you’re better than that – but he is SO not your problem any more. Let it go to voicemail or better yet (if you don’t have kids and can get away with it) block his number and tell him to email if he needs to tell you something. He is now one of the 6 billion people in the world whose emergencies are not your responsibility to solve.

    • Well-
      Isn’t that a ????

      Dump his health insurance.

      I’m sick to death of spouses- who Work their asses off for health benefits- to have their self employed spouse remora off those benefits.

      How much you wanna bet that self employed spouse is going to eff you on the worth of the business if you file. And why can’t a sole business owner buy their own health insurance?

      Do you pay the mortgage and property taxes and groceries and house repairs and firewood?

    • ‘But later I reminded myself of all of the pain, the intense pain, and tears and hurt that I went through for the last six months and a year prior to that before D-Day when he was rejecting me and I couldnt reach him. He was not there for me then. It’s very sad that he threw away a person who truly loved him’
      Same 🙁 What a waste

      • Same here. I keep reminding myself he was not there for me and I was ALWAYS there for him. He was with that nasty nasty woman when I was at a very low point and he said “I can’t help you. You need a therapist.” I know now he was 2,000 miles away visiting her in Florida. I know now that she coached him on what to say to me and she dictated the paragraphs long text messages to me that day and the next. I didn’t know then that he was with her, but I knew it was over. I read one of those texts and deleted the rest. Now I know it was her – maybe she even wrote them because he can’t put two sentences together in a text, but she would send him pages and PAGES of texts. Word salad, all of it. And him, he is so desperate for her attention and approval. He turned into who he really is: a man with no spine and no imagination. He is an abuser and he was never really there for me, but that last time hurt like hell. I ACTUALLY APOLOGIZED to him for making him upset! What a spineless man. One thing that came out of it, I am not afraid to be on my own anymore and I do not tolerate abuse anymore.

  • I think I followed a typical pattern post D-Day.

    Lots of texts–emotional, toxic, hurtful. I was still in the mode of feeling I had to respond to his every utterance because, hey, I had 35 years of practice. My adult son looked me in the eye and said, “Block him. He doesn’t love you. He’s abusing you. He’s bullying you.”

    So, I gave my ex fair warning (chumpy of me, I know): “I’m going to block you from texting because our exchanges are too upsetting to me. We will communicate only by email.” Then I blocked him. So easy. He jumped on email and sent 30 in an hour. He basically lost his shit!!!

    But it was the best thing I ever did.

    Still, we had real estate to sell and so had to continue communicating. I went grey rock as much as possible and that seemed to work.

    But CL has asked for slip-up here. Yes, I fell off the NC wagon, and it didn’t’ go well. I called about (actually called!) about a very important matter (an offer on our house). I could hear that he was in a restaurant (pre-pandemic). I started to seethe, imagining him having a romantic dinner with his schmoopie (using marital assets). He said he couldn’t talk. My blood pressure rose.

    Me: “Well, it’s urgent.”

    Him: “I’ll call in 15 minutes.”

    30 minutes later he calls. Blood pressure at a boil by then. I know he’s in his car and ask is she’s with him because I don’t want to be on bluetooth. He tells me he’s alone and that he had dinner with a mutual friend (male).

    We talk. We’re on the same team re the sale of the house, trying to figure out a counteroffer. For a moment it all feels so…normal.

    Then, despite my intentions to keep it about business, one of us (could’ve been me!) said something emotional. We went back and forth. The conversation escalated. He hung up on me. How dare he?

    I try to call back. I tried 8 times. And, get this CN, I actually was calling back to ask him if he wanted to try again and call off the divorce. I know. I know. I know. It’s hard to believe.

    In this instance, I’m glad he never answered.

    By the way, I play out what would have happened. I think he would have gotten a hard on while driving (can’t be safe) because I would have started playing the pick-me dance. He would have had me where he wanted me. I would have weaked my position in our divorce. Thank God he’s so passive agressive that he didn’t’ answer.

    NC and grey rock (if communication is absolutely necessary) ever since.

    • Spinach, I had an almost moment like this the night before I moved out of our home. XH came home that night and “wanted to talk” so I said “sure” when I should have said “no”.

      Luckily, it was him being all vulnerable and sad and I just stayed quiet. I didn’t really know what to say. Then when he said, “I don’t know how to be happy” basically saying the cheating wasn’t making him happy, it took me a while to respond because I wanted to say “no shit XH!” but instead I said, “XH you wanted this, I’m letting you go”. I was very close though to saying how I didn’t want us to divorce but I remembered in a split second how he abandoned me and neglected me for so long that I gave the response I did.

      I’m being very honest here, I miss my XH all the time. I still cry here and there. I just use these moments to remind myself he wasn’t good to me and I need to let that person I thought he was go. It’s a process. It’s very hard to let someone go when you loved them with every part of you. I don’t think he’ll ever understand how much I truly loved him. It’s a kind of love I can only hope someone feels for me someday.

  • Typical (though not particularly dramatic):

    1. XW texts me that she needs to change custody for a month because she’s going on a big trip to India with AP-now-husband, complete with itinerary.

    2. I text back OK but – and here’s my mistake – that she doesn’t need to supply details of why she’s out of town, that they won’t affect my decision and that I prefer not to know about her private life.

    3. XW responds: You are wrong to feel that way. I will tell you whatever details I think are important for co-parenting. I will not be silenced.

    In essence, XW turns my admission of vulnerability (that it pains me to hear about her fabulous life with AP) into an opportunity to imply that I am bullying her. With a dollop of “your feelings are not valid” thrown on top for good measure. I think in the history of abuse, I must be the only bully who tries to get his victim to leave him alone.

    • Oh yeah-
      Look how fab my life is and since it is community funds until final divorce judgement-
      You- IG – you dumbshit – is paying half of my vacay with my lover. In India!
      Dinner and hotel suites on you! Gem Palace on you!

      See what they do? They eviscerate you and then back the bus over the spilled guts.
      They live for that. They LOVE it.

      • In our case it wasn’t about money (we’re divorced, and anyway her work pays for all her travel) but about time with kids. She was demanding that I swap 2 weeks’ custody time to enable her to travel.

        Of course these are the kinds of fabulous trips that I could never take while we were married (because I work, and anyway someone had to take care of the kids while XW was flying around the world). XW got AP to dump his wife and family, and AP’s XW takes the kids whenever he needs her to, so basically each of them has free, on-demand childcare that allows them to travel at will. It also helps that my XW is pretty much his boss, so he doesn’t have any work constraints.

        • InvoluntaryG: She’s a monster. You certainly don’t need all those details. She’s rubbing it in your face. Ugh.

    • Yes – YOU ARE WRONG – is a typical answer from an abusive asshole.

    • @Involuntary Georgian,

      I’ll tell you how to handle this moving fwd.

      First, she’s clearly sending you the details because she wants to rub it in your face…this makes her a cu*t. Also, her “won’t be silenced” comment is offensive to real issues in the world right now (ex. BLM) and she needs to grow up, her vacations are nothing so important that a comment like “won’t be silenced” is remotely applicable (but you knew that).

      Here is my advice, you need to start saying no when she wants custody changes to fit her vacation needs w/ AP. I know that might sound spiteful but it’s really not. I grew up with divorced parents and the custody was very strict because my parents couldn’t agree on these types of things.

      Also, you wont’ be losing any time with your children if you’re just swapping time to fit her schedule so technically there is no harm in saying no. You are NOT their babysitter who is available 24/7. If she says you are not flexible just say you prefer the schedule the way it is and she will need to learn to work around it to fit her life.

      This protects you from ever having to hear of her an AP’s plans because they will have to make them around the custody schedule as it stands. You have to stand up for your mental health and silence her ridiculous bragging about plans w/ AP.

      Getting a divorce does not give her the luxury to use you as back-up whenever she wants so she can vacation w/ AP at will. She needs to grow up and learn to live life to the custody schedule. Let her complain and be angry if you won’t budge, you don’t HAVE TO BUDGE. Her and AP need to learn to live life the way it is now, with two separate families and custody schedules, that’s what THEY signed up for. Please trust me on this.

      • Also, by saying a short “no” when she sends these kinds of requests will make her lose her shit (which will be funny). You don’t need to explain to her why you’re saying “no” and if she keeps hounding you to change just tell her “no, that’s the final answer”.

        These people cannot be rewarded by you and AP’s x-wife by making switching custody schedules so easy. If your X-wife doesn’t want to be silenced with her vacation plans fine, she wont be but you won’t be saying “yes” either. She needs to grow up and learn this is her new norm.

        • Good points – she should absolutely grow up and not re-arrange her kids’ lives (which she already did once, by blowing up the family) to fit her global travel schedule.

          I.G., does your custody agreement allow her to let the kids stay with someone else if you ‘decline’ to take them first? Mine does, and that’s the hard part – if I say no, then my ex can choose another babysitter/caretaker that we both agree on. It’s such a cluster, no matter what. Luckily, we’ve both been pretty good at compromising without feeling ‘entitled’ to flexibility. Six years post divorce, I’m still sad about only having access to ‘half’ of my daughter’s life.

    • I f don’t think she would have read it as you were pained, merely disinterested, and that is unacceptable to a narcissist.

  • The Cowardly Liar showed back up by email years later wanting to see if there was some way we could be friends. I did try, but we were only about 4-5 emails in when he wanted to start whining about marriage number 4 or whatever (I was the first in line on that little clown rodeo) and tell me how great I had been compared to her.

    Such. An. Asshat.

    Haven’t had a moment’s contact since I told him he needs to talk to his wife and nobody else about his marriage problems and that’s exactly why we divorced, and that’s why being friends with him can never work, and that I never wanted to hear even one small peep from him of any sort again including a response to that email.

    Of course, he responded, to act respectful. Had to have the last word to feel a sense of nobility and control, dontchyaknow.

    They really never change. You have to lack moral conscience in your deepest heart to cheat on a person who trusts you, and that trait isn’t something a person just outgrows. Any changes are only achieved through intentional pursuance of significant help and total release of the past.

    (This means not trying to revisit old relationships with anyone you have abused because you have come to realize how cruel it is to even ask or show your face.)

  • I’m so glad you posted this today. I had to stop following the CL infidelity page in FB because of all the newbies who would not stop contacting their perpetrator and then posting the hell that ensued afterward. It became and energy suck and triggering for people to reach out again and again asking for help but couldn’t accept what they had to do to get better and I had to set boundaries. I get it! It’s hard and we’ve all been in the washing machine of the hovering suck you back in stage but geez….accept what is and what isn’t and set yourself free! My experience of the the hovering suck the life out of you stage was I allowed him back over 10 times????. Each time, it was “I love you, I want you, I can’t stand her, I want us to be together, blah blah blah…” within a days I would find out he would still be talking to her or he would call me and say “I still love her”, “she loves me because she is going to kill herself if she doesn’t have me”… was like a gut punch EVERY SINGLE TIME! Then one of the last times I allowed him back he sucked my kids into the mix telling them how much he loved them, he loved me, how he wanted to be a family and marry me (even proposing to me). In less than 4 days I found out that he was still talking to her and proposed to her as well (under my nose) and he discarded us…..just like that we were trash to him. It fucked my son up worse than his own father choosing the next door hoe neighbor! So, for all you who are having a hard time accepting, please know you are doing so much more damaging clinging on to a toxic person than you are doing good. As hard as it is to accept, its best to get that shit out of your life!

    • I cringe at it. I cringe at how I texted my ex in the first few months post D-Day. The anecdote for getting over these clowns and getting on with your life is NO CONTACT! These people’s inability to refrain from responding is what keeps them in constant turmoil. You’re getting your brain scrambled and giving them attention and showing you don’t value yourself.

      They absolutely take notice when you go no contact and they can’t stand it. Like a washed up celeb who can’t stand it that fans no longer care, your ex can’t stand that you’re not hung up on them or entertain them with drama.

      • Amen SheSucks!!!!

        Side note to everyone else: sorry everyone for the misspellings and typos. My phone would refresh and delete everything so I could have to quickly put in what I was trying to say and forget trying to correct auto spell….it would kick me out and I would have to start my reply all over again…ugh????. So, y’all got a post with what I could get in there. Hope y’all have a chumpy great Friday!

    • I get it would be hard to hear newer victims but we are all where we are and at some point you needed patience. I mean, you took the guy back a ton of times, you needed support to get where you are.

      • Agreed! I’ve been there for many many chumps. And, at some point it’s ok to say I need to step away and regain my strength when it’s become too overwhelming. The healthier you get you become the more you understand it’s ok and a good thing to set boundaries. It’s also good to talk about it especially on here so chumps can gain perspective. I was toxic because I kept being toxic by continuing contact and allowing toxicity in my life. When I gained the perspective by hearing from others that I was being overwhelming and toxic, it helped me to stop the cycle because I didn’t want to be draining anymore. You may think that I’m being harsh but I hope you can understand that I’m not….I’m only being truthful and I hope it helps another.

  • I only broke NC once after Dday.

    The rat faced whore sent me a *vile* letter, describing their sex life in detail, and complaining he sometimes couldn’t get it up because he was thinking of me, and I wouldn’t ‘let him go’. (Before Dday, he said he had Ed, complaining to me he ‘wasn’t a man anymore’, buying weird ‘cures’ off the Internet, and apparently going to the doctor, who “offered me a penile implant, but I don’t want to walk around with a hard-on all day) . How much of that was true, God knows, since he lies like he breathes, but I digress.

    Getting back to rat faced whore’s letter. I shouldn’t have reacted, of course, but I was gutted and sickened. I sent him a text, telling him if his rat faced whore ever contacted me again, I woul report her to the police for stalking.

    He replied, “my *lodger* says she hasn’t contacted you. Send me a copy of this letter. (then he went into a long explanation of how to do it – typical narc). The fucktard *always* referred to the skank as his ‘lodger’, even to my solicitor. ????????

    I texted back I’d used it to wipe my arse after I’d had a shit. He replied,” please stop this foolishness”. It really hurt that he’d believed that whore over me, when he himself described her as a pathological liar. We chumps!

    So never, never break NC. No good ever comes of it, all it does is give the fucktard’s another excuse to hurt and humiliate us.

    The fucktard sent me lots of texts after that, just before I went on holiday, reminding me about my passport, asking if I wanted a wake up call, etc, etc. I ignored them all.

    No, just once more I broke NC, when we were in the middle of the divorce – it was winter, and his excuse was he needed to prop up the veranda roof in case of snow. He’d already been told by my solicitor he had to arrange a time through them to do it. If course he ignored this, turning up at 9om, shouting my name, demanding to prop up the roof. Unfortunately I lost it, screamed insults at him and his whore etc.

    My solicitor sent him *another* cease and desist letter, which again he ignored, texting me it was snowing and if the roof collapsed it would be my fault, and what was he supposed to do? (you’d think we lived in fucking Siberia ????)

    I texted back what he was supposed to do was to follow the directives in my solicitor’s letter, then ignored all the subsequent rants and calls, and finally blocked him, which of course I should have done from the start.

    It’s like someone here said, you can ignore them, but if you respond just *once* they immediately ramp up the harassment. Block, use your lawyer.

    So newbies, NC, NC, NC. The path to the truth and the light, as alloutofkibbles always says.

    • I can tell you with certainty there is no such thing as a penile implant that would make him walk around with a boner all day.

      The most a doctor could do for ED is prescribe either testosterone injections or some variety of the little blue pill.

      Your ex is utterly full of shit.

      • No, there are several different types of penile implants offered. One has a pump and reservoir placed in the scrotum (Two-piece Inflatable Penile Implant, Three-Piece (Multi-Component) Inflatable Penile Implant). One is an erection all day long (Non-Inflatable Penile Implant). Each has risks and benefits based upon multiple factors

        Kara, You are incorrect. Try an easy search for further details and information. Stop spreading incorrect information as facts please.

        • Wow okay.

          So because I didn’t know about penile implants I’m wrong about testosterone injections and ed meds?

          Okay then.

          Her ex is still full of shit.

          • Yes, he is!

            Penile, shmeenile, who cares? He’s still a piece of shit. ????????

          • Kara, this is your post:
            “I can tell you with certainty there is no such thing as a penile implant that would make him walk around with a boner all day.
            The most a doctor could do for ED is prescribe either testosterone injections or some variety of the little blue pill.
            Your ex is utterly full of shit.”

            I’m sorry I was trying to point out your facts were incorrect. I even referred you to an easy search for more information.

            You have expanded your argument. Want to talk about herbal medicine? Androgels? Snake oil from the GNC or other pharmaceutical companies? I’m familiar with this tactic. STBXH used this as one of his many favorite go to methods of DARVO.

            WANT. TO. PLAY. A. GAME? I know more than you might think.

  • Just slipped off once, let him come back. It lasted a week. He tried several more times, but I said thanks but no thanks.

  • My ex—it’s been 3 years TODAY since I discovered the whole sordid double life–just texted me to say he heard that our youngest daughter was excited about starting college and that it was great I was helping her move in and thanked me for everything I’m doing for them. If you read any of these texts, you’d think he was such a polite and thoughtful man. Except that he’s thanking the mother of his children for doing what we were both supposed to do together, while he is shacked up with schmoopie and their 9 month old baby, an ocean away, and hasn’t seen his daughters since February. I mean COVID is a convenient excuse but he set up this situation where he hopped across the ocean and started Family 2.0 pre-COVID. There is no such thing as an innocuous text from someone who betrayed your deepest trust. If it isn’t a sincere apology and evidence of true remorse (the means for measuring said remorse remain unknown as of yet), it isn’t innocuous. I can say this—I now remember why I was in love with him and have decided he was at one point that person but the person he is now, I do not value. So I have my fond memories back.

    • madkatie63, He told me he appreciated me getting the house ready for sale, thanked me for working with him on our separation agreement etc. thanked me for my compassion in the early days when I was actually worried about him / these lovely manners when really they’ve given you a big shit sandwich to eat, make my blood boil.
      The only thing that would really speak remorse to me, is dropping the cheating partner and going to live in a cave, suffering and reflecting the rest of his life.
      Betraying the trust of someone who gave you their heart and soul, leaving them in the wreckage and moving on right away with a new person is completely unforgivable in my books.

      • The politeness makes my blood boil, too. Honesty and commitment are harder to do than being superficially polite and yet society seems to value this superficial politeness. He appreciated you getting the house you bought together– and didn’t plan to sell– ready to sell? You mean he appreciated you cleaning up his mess? Argh.

        • Thx Hell,
          Much to my disbelief I don’t think I’ve ever seen this movie? Or I‘ve forgotten about it. Can’t wait till I kind of ‘forget’ about this betrayal.

  • It still makes no sense to me why my ex insists on talking in person or on the phone. Well…other than her having the opportunity to manipulate me (or maybe to just unsettle me).
    I have been pretty good about restricting communication to text and email. Strictly business. No chit-chat. Usually “yes” or “no.” And yet I’m still lured in occasionally.
    Something I have screwed up on more than once is when she has said something like “It would mean a lot to (one of our kids) if he could see us talking nicely to each other and making decisions about him amicably.” Usually about financial matters such as our contributions to college funds or something like that. We meet in a coffee shop, she hasn’t even brought the kid, and the whole “discussion” is a lecture about how I should be nicer to her (Why?) and that me being angry is hurting the kids (It’s not; in fact despite never badmouthing her to my kids, one of them decided to live with me full time since the time she hit him). I just say “I have said repeatedly that if you have any matters concerning the kids, you know you can email me and I will assess the concern.” And, of course, after the “discussion” about not treating her with the “respect she deserves,” I’m an emotional wreck for the rest of the week and am deriding myself for falling for it. Did I mention that she was sceewing with dads of at least two of my school-age kids’ friends? With old flames? With hockey parents? Why should I be angry? Divorce was finalized last week.
    By the way, kudos to my lawyer for getting a divorce processed during a pandemic.

    • “It would mean a lot to (one of our kids) if he could see us talking nicely to each other and making decisions about him amicably.”

      They always use this line, knowing our kids are a key Chump value. If the cheaters actually cared about the welfare of the children and everything being pleasant they wouldn’t have broken the family in the first place. Total manipulation.

      Congrats on the divorce!

    • Ugh – “She was screwing with dads of at least two of my school-age kids’ friends? With old flames? With hockey parents?”
      Those poor kids – it is such a complete embarrassment.
      Congratulation on your divorce!

  • I swore to no contact and preached no contact. At times I was successful. Then I would get an email. My heart would race. Maybe he was remorseful? Maybe he was finally realizing I was special? Maybe he wanted me back? Nope to all of the above. He is a POS. He got kicks when I would respond and then he would reply back to my email with nothing to say. After awhile, I just got tired of him lifting me up to only find myself crashing back down. What a waste. Now I know better. I know he will never leave me alone – at least not for a few years. He is a classic narc. He will always hover. I just don’t respond anymore but it surely doesn’t stop him. He does not want me back. It’s just a sick little game he plays. He is a bad person.

    No contact hurts at first, but it is the right thing to do. It stops expectations and drama.

    • I should also add, each time he contacted me, he was still with the women he was fucking (yes, plural) when he cheated on me. I don’t think any of them realize he still tries to stay in touch with me. I don’t feel bad for these women – they know who he is and keep up their pipe dreams and more or less sign up for contracting venereal diseases or worse.

      Not me, though. I left a cheater and gained a life.

  • My ex has sent hundreds of texts to me despite my request to only email me. I only respond to some emails that require a matter-of-fact response regarding things like kids/school. She contacts me all the time when her AP now BF blocks her/dumps her for a week or two, always hoovering back. I never respond.

    I never respond to the revisionist history. I never respond to the baiting things she sends about our kids and claims of what they said or their “behavioral issues.” It’s all bullshit. I even bought a pay as you go phone for the kids so she wouldn’t contact my phone when they were in my custody. Not to toot my own horn but my circle is always impressed with my ability to refrain from her texts.

    My motto with the cheating narc is “STARVE THE BEAST!”

  • Just last week, I observed the 5th anniversary of my divorce being finalized. I look back on my separation/divorce process and I’m still amazed at how far I’ve come since D-Day. It all started on October 10, 2012, an unremarkable Wednesday night. After a nice dinner together, XH suddenly said, “We have to talk”. He took a piece of paper out of his pocket, unfolded it, pushed it across the dining room table toward me, and told me to read it. The opening line said that our 40-year marriage was over, and he was moving out on Saturday. That statement was followed by 6 distinct “rules of conduct” he expected me to follow as we happily skipped through a separation (I still refer to that asinine letter as “Bob’s 6-Point Plan”). I was in complete shock. Never. Saw. It. Coming.

    To my great disadvantage, I’d never heard of Chump Lady, ILYBINILWY, Pick Me Dancing, LACGAL, Grey Rock, No Contact, the UBT, etc., so over the next 15 months, as a totally uninformed and overwhelmingly emotional chump, I did Every Single Thing Wrong. In a fruitless effort to convince him to change his mind, I embarrassed and humiliated myself in too many sad ways to count. I still lament that I wasn’t yet educated in Chump Lady’s masterful and wise ways because if I had been, I would’ve done ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING differently.

    So what drove me to hang on like a leech? Simple… abject fear and panic! We met at age 19 and got married while still in college. We’d spent almost 42 years together which equated to exactly 69.6% of my entire existence as a sentient being. We’d raised triplet sons together. We went through every possible degree of financial, emotional, physical, medical, and spiritual feast and famine together. But there I was, closing in on age 60, on the cusp of a volcanic change. I honestly didn’t know what would become of me. I mistakenly thought that if I could just keep the conversation with him going, that he would snap out of it, and realize what a horrendous mistake he was making. But in reality, what I needed was less conversation, not more.

    But in reality, what I needed was LESS conversation, not more. I finally figured out that when my contact with him was limited, I actually felt better; I was more relaxed, less upset, had less brain fog, and was finally able to eat and sleep. My body was clearly telling me what I needed to do. So I narrowed the bandwidth to absolutely essential, divorce-related, email communication only. That went very well (at least for me; he claimed he was confused and saddened by my “sudden lack of interaction”), so a few months later, I informed him that all future communication must be directed to my attorney. That decision is ultimately what kicked my healing into high gear; I hit the ground running and through trial and error, I’ve created an authentic, happy, optimistic, kickass life for myself. I’ve now been No Contact for over 6 years, and I can’t foresee a time when I will ever reverse my decision.

    When in doubt, go NC!

    • ” That statement was followed by 6 distinct “rules of conduct” he expected me to follow as we happily skipped through a separation (I still refer to that asinine letter as “Bob’s 6-Point Plan”). I was in complete shock. Never. Saw. It. Coming.”

      Isn’t it astounding that these demented dicks drop kick us and, still expect to have control over our reactions? They spend months or years getting themselves all lines up, the tell us to move on and don’t cause them any hassle.

      I remember on one phone call my ex wanted us to use the same lawyer, you know so we could both save money, (and together he and his lawyer could screw me in to poverty) and of course it would be his. I said no. He said don’t make this any harder on me than it already is. I said, my lawyers job is not to make this easy for you, it is to take care of me. Of course by that time I had already done a couple months of pickme dancing, and groveling, so I was done by then.

      There are no names evil enough to call them.

      • ” That statement was followed by 6 distinct “rules of conduct” he expected me to follow—Say what????

        Hard to get more pompous and controlling than that! You can’t make this stuff up.

        • Spinach@35:

          You’re absolutely right! It took a hell of a lot of chutzpah to unilaterally decide how our “joint” separation was going to proceed.

          One of the 6 “points“ outlined in his brilliant separation plan was that he and I would tell our 3 grown sons TOGETHER that we were separating. He wanted to tell them (and everyone else) we were “on different life paths“, but I made it clear he wasn’t going to lie to our children and they would be told the real reason he was leaving me (to be with Married Howorker).

          Then, XH refused to be nailed down to a date and time when this difficult conversation would take place. He moved out that weekend as planned, but after about a week of getting no commitment from him, I decided to call our children myself and break the news.

          Son #1 remained calm, asked no questions, and said he was there to support me.

          Son #2 did exactly the same thing! Now I’m scratching my head, wondering what’s going on? Could my children truly be this insensitive?

          Son #3 completely freaked out, broke into tears, and asked a million questions.

          So what did I do?

          I called Son #1 back, explained his brother’s emotional response, and asked why he (#1) had taken the news so calmly. That’s when he said, “Oh, Dad called me last weekend and told me he’d just moved out. He said you’d both decided he’d be the one to break the news to us“. WTF???

          So I called Son #2 and got the same story. I realized Son #3 had been out of town on a business trip and XH wasn’t able to get in touch with him. So when I told him the news, he was completely blindsided.

          So, yes, this is how these opportunistic fuckwits operate. This was 1,000% about XH getting his own despicable narrative out there in circulation before I had a chance to say anything or defend myself. But let it be known that all 3 of my sons now have the truth about how and why their father left. I couldn’t go to my grave knowing that my children had been unknowingly victimized by their father’s lies.

          Trust. That. They. Suck.

          • That kind of sucks that your two sons knew for a least a week and never even reached out to you and see if you were okay? That’s sad.

      • Susie Lee: Oh yeah, my XH tried the “Let’s use my attorney to save money“ line on me. My response was, “No way“. What XH didn’t know is that I’d already retained a different attorney to represent me, and he informed me that if we used XH’s attorney, that would create a conflict of interest, so XH’s attorney would have to make a choice about whom he represents. Naturally, he would choose XH to be “the Client“, and I would be the one left flapping in the wind without representation.

        • Yep, I had already hired a lawyer before he said that too. My lawyer just rolled his eyes, and said pretty much the same thing yours did.

          My lawyer was a godsend. He got me six months of maintenance with my ex paying the house and car payments. I paid the utilities. My ex thought it would be two months, which our state mandated as the waiting period. His lawyer was a sad sack who was so successful he was living in a rented trailer. (no offense to trailer living) But just to set the scene.

          I went outside of our city to hire a lawyer so that none of them would know my husband. (ex was a well known police officer and he was also into politics) My lawyer said he could get me three years once my ex signed on for the original 6 months. By the time 6 months was done, I said go ahead. But, then my ex started stalling for another six months.

          Sometimes I wish I had gone for the whole 3 years. But, I likely did the right thing for me.

          • Susie Lee:

            I, too, ended up with a fantastic attorney! He had no agenda other than to support me, and get me the best possible deal he could. I always feel so terrible when I read stories about people who ended up with attorneys who are ineffective, uncommunicative, and dismissive. They are only in it for the money

            Sadly, one of my sisters had her husband unexpectedly pick up and leave her just a month after their 30th wedding anniversary. She never saw it coming either. And she’s one of those people who ended up with a horrible attorney… she finally ended up firing that person and going pro se. My former brother-in-law is an extremely successful attorney, so my sister fortunately ended up with a great financial settlement.

            • Yep, they don’t all graduate at the top of the class. I am glad my ex got the one he got though. Made it easier for my guy. My ex chose him for one reason, cheap. I can only imagine how they had it set up to screw me over. My ex was a controller, and he always thought he had control over everything.

              I paid for my own and I went for the best I could find for my particular situation. A woman was the senior partner and she was actually the one recommended to me. I called and I couldn’t get in to her for a couple months. She said if I needed one right away, she of course recommended one of her group. I went for it, and am so glad I did. He was a younger guy, about 35 (I was 40) and he really took care of me.

              • Susie Lee:

                You made so many great decisions along the way, I’m proud of you!

                I chose an attorney who came very highly recommended by two divorced friends, as well as having a top rating on I paid for a 1-hour consultation in cash so XH wouldn’t catch on to my plan (he didn’t). The attorney had been practicing family law for 40+ years, and online reviews were very strong. He did not disappoint. I paid all of his fees out of our joint checking account; my logic was that I wouldn’t be in this shitty position without XH’s shenanigans, so he deserved to share the cost with me. Meanwhile, El Cheapo XH went with an unknown ambulance chaser because he was swayed by a $1500 “flat fee“ deal. Jump forward 3 years until our divorce was finalized; I’d bet anything that the $1500 deal went right down the drain and XH ended up paying waaaay more than that. Boo fucking hoo.

      • Red Sandles. Your ex absolutely deserved to help you pay for it. He should have paid it all.

        Like my lawyer said, my ex helped pay for my legal fees. He just paid for it in the form of our temporary maintenance agreement. For about 100 dollars a month, I had my house payment and the car payment (for a Cadillac) paid for, for about 13 months. So, I was fine with it. About a month before the divorce became final, I bought my own little Corolla and turned the Caddie over to him. He wanted that dang tank anyway.

        As soon as I found out my ex was cheating, which was about 2 months before our legal separation, I opened up my own checking account and diverted my check to it. I let him keep the other one, as he was paying everything at the time. I also changed my insurance policies and my retirement accounts beneficiary to my son. I got copies of all our bank business and account, in case he tried to hide money. I doubt he hid much, as he was spending money on schmoopie hand over fist. (gotta keep the tail flowing)

        Wouldn’t surprise me if he hadn’t changed his insurance and benefits to his schmoopie long before we divorced. He was that awful.

        • Susie Lee, the financials always make things more complicated, don’t they? But you made a lot of great decisions along the way, from going with a reliable and economical car to diverting your paycheck into an account to which he had no access to. My XH held everything in joint name, and even though we were both working full-time with good jobs, I could never figure out why we had no excess cash. I look back now, and I am completely convinced that any discretionary funds were siphoned off by him to finance his various APs. Now that he’s history, and I manage my own money, I am in way better financial shape than I ever was with him.

          • Oh for the years I was single after we divorced, I made likely about half what he did, yet I had more money after bills. One thing I had fewer bills, because I wasn’t always buying a boat, or big car. But, yes I believe he spent plenty of money on his women through the years. I mean they may be whores, but I guess you gotta buy them a spaghetti dinner to grease the… Well you know.

            Schmoopie likely got more than the rest because she was his employee and basically had his nuts in a vice.

  • So I made the mistake of breaking NO Contact to ask “Why?” Why did you sleep with 25 prostitutes throughout our 26 year marriage??? DDay was just this past May 2020. My cheating doctor husband replied in the most narcistic way, he said; “read the letter from my psychiatrist…..” “read the letter, Dr. Neborsky explains why I did what I did…” I said ‘read the letter??????” I’m asking you, not your psychiatrist. And he replied, “I spent a lot of money figuring it out with the psychiatrist….read the letter” I said I’d send the letter to the UBT for translation and that’s the only time I got a somewhat human reply, he said “NO! please don’t send it to her!!” He saw me reading LACGAL and he immediately bought and read a copy – he sheepishly told me the book was excellent (he’s not stupid just an ass/cheater). He even gave a copy to his psychiatrist who tossed it aside saying ‘Never heard of the author” (arrogant prick). The psychiatrists letter says my cheater had a moral hole; arrested development; an over-bearing mother; the Androgel steroid he was taking for ‘bone’ health contributed to his sexual drive and of course a lot of Freudian mother blaming to sum it up. Two idiot doctors blaming their mothers. The only bone health the Androgel helped was between his legs. Arrogant, hurtful, narcistic doctors…..Oh was I fooled…..really fooled. Breaking no contact just gave me another face punch.

    • Jo-
      I just want you to know that – whatever you want to call him- is a really, really bad person.
      Really horrible. As in evil.
      Are you strong? You bet you are.

      Just baby steps each day. Just one little baby step every day.

      • Thanks for reaching out. It’s a dreadfully tough time. I keep having that “I lost my car keys” gripping feeling in my chest. I’m a lawyer, I saved every dime, I was so loyal and faithful to him and this psychiatrist Neborsky in San Diego was ‘sweater man’ to the tee. He told my cheater that I was gone too much for work (putting money in our bank to pay the mortgage) he said men have needs and because the prostitutes were soooo good my cheater got addicted to the ejaculations; and he blamed the mother for coddling him too much as an infant; and this one was the kicker…..they blamed Playboy Magazine for publishing the article in 2007 that described how to have an affair via The Erotic Review on-line and not get caught. They blamed the magazine!! What surprises me the most however it what little (zero) support I have – parents are long dead; LA is a machine where you go to work/not make close friends; family would probably enjoy the news honestly because aside from this we had no problems. It’s hell.

        • Oh fuck this guy! Fuck them Both! I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with abuse with a heaping side of more abuse–I can’t even imagine that shit. I think I’m more angry reading this than I currently am at my sucky situation. I mean…Seriously fuck this bullshit how do people get away with this shit??? UGH! (Sorry for the language I can get sweary but try not to but SHIT this enrages me).

          I also have the ‘lost my car keys’ feeling–what a great descriptor. Again, sorry for the swears – I’m sending you heaps of good vibes.

          • Honest to goodness if it weren’t for Chump Nation I think I would have lost my mind. I came across LACGAL on my I-Pad literally after reading 3 other infidelity books – I started reading it and had the first, the very first smile cross my face at the Sweater Man cartoon – aside from that I cried those blood tears every night. I even wrote to the Beverly Hills police dept to say that there were 1000’s literally of City Source Escorts right in the neighborhood – advertising freely – not just selling time – they list their services – and on the Erotic Review they detail their sexual services. The reply from the Police Chief was “there’s nothing illegal about selling time….” !@#$ That police chief was subsequently fired – I continued my investigation and found out that the cops get ‘tricks for free’ from the hookers and the hotel bars think it’s good for business. So, I’m running to put a coin in my parking meter so as not to get a ticket; a tourist gets a J-walking ticket; but the whores turn tricks and can call me at all hours to say “I fucked your husband sweetie” then she was at the foot of our driveway screaming “I fked your husband” I have endured countless cruel phone calls and abuse not only from the whore but the heartache of realizing my marriage wa s a fraud – I got a Criminal Protective Order against the prostitute “Jane Lane” which is good for three years – the cost……$30,000. Yes…..thirty thousand dollars. So whether the whore is extorting the john; or harassing me the innocent spouse; trust me the Criminal Justice system is just as corrupt. The cops and judges protect the ‘poor whores’ and see them as the victim. These whores on City Source and The Erotic Review are NOT victims – this is not sex trafficking or street walkers – these are self-indulgent independent psychopathic sex maniacs who like to fuck and get paid for it – and believe me the cops protect them. When your heart is broken and the system is broken, there seems no hope…and then I found Chump Nation. God bless you Chump lady for writing this book and forming this network. There are good women out there that support good women. I’m an identical twin and you can be pro women without being anti-men. The whores and the cheaters deserve each other. If a married man ever approached me he’d need an ice pack for between his knees – it’s a shame all women don’t adhere to that principal. Home wrecking whores – there’s those that charge money and then again those that are the secretary/nanny – shame on them all.

            • wow. just wow. This is fucking horrible. I am so glad you are out of it. He is such a douche and he found the perfect psychiatrist for him to cosign his shit. That “doctor” is laughing all the way to the bank. Wow. just wow.

            • Jo! That is terrible! My heart breaks for you! I agree, “the lost car keys” feeling is terrible.

              BUT!!! Now I REALLY want the UBT to get his letter! Totally laughing that he knew what it was! Hilarious!

              And, yes, it’s ridiculous what these losers are willing to blame for their cheating, like a magazine article. The Stupid One told me that it was God’s fault that he cheated. HA! I’m pretty sure God did NOT give his stamp of approval on anything STBX has done in the last 5 years.

        • Jo– I hate LA and only lived there for work, escaped when I could. Depressingly many other cities are becoming similarly dehumanizing though there are still places with a different vibe. I always think of what Truman Capote said about LA, that it’s “so mausoleum.” I had no idea that word could be an adjective!

          Cheater in my case also had a therapist who got all Freudian/Lecanian about cheating and actually instructed cheater not to tell me about the affair. I think it’s criminal.

          The therapist is old, a professor emeritus of a state U. I have a fantasy that, when he dies, I’ll casually stand outside his memorial service in a red dress. If I still even think about it which I probably won’t.

          Actually because I now live in an amazing city that’s the reverse of LA in many ways, I could probably launch a red dress movement among the very energetic feminist and human rights activists here for when grossly misogynist or otherwise politically horrible prominent academics and public figures croak.

          My own therapist, who’s also a prominent academic but in an opposing intellectual camp from Dr. Vicarious Enabling Old Prick as well as a nonviolent activist for various important causes (who’s been pepper sprayed several times) would probably love the idea. She’s a badass in silk scarves, perfume and heels.

          • I’ll buy and wear a red dress and be the first in line at your rally. Thanks for responding to my post. You know the LA scene – and it’s really just a wax museum at best. I often think of e-mailing all 25 of the prostitutes he can remember (he posted reviews of them on-line like restaurant review) and invite them to come to his Beverly Hills medical office for free STD prescriptions. And I will probably do it in the near future as soon as I have my separation/divorce settled. For now it will only hurt me to destroy him. But once the divorce is final – the horses will be let out of the barn -it will probably make the news. Oh….the White Coated thinks he’s a god doctor who led a double life and then blamed everyone except himself will have his roosters coming back to roost – literally. I’m all of 100 pounds, hard working – was so incredibly loyal – shopped discount at Loehmanns while he squandered money on whores…. I never suspected anything because I trusted him as he could trust me. oh..and therapists….I have my master’s in clinical psych as well as a law degree, and I remember a lecture in psych where the professor said for every one good therapist there are 10 bad….. it’s an industry fraught with mental cases. And in law school, oh…there are so many cases where the distraught wife/mother confided in the therapist that she often felt suicidal (who doesn’t once in awhile!!) and the cheating XH and OW used those therapy records to obtain custody of the kids. The courts no longer lean toward the mother. They lean toward whoever has the money. The courts sympathize with the prostitutes – they combine them with sex trafficking victims and street walkers and they are simply neither – they are independent willing escorts who advertise on-line of their own free will and can extort the johns when ever it suits them – and they give free tricks to our tax-supporting dirty police. The “Me Too” movement unfortunately benefited the dirty whores – too many bad homewreckers jumped on the ‘me too’ movement leaving the real victims who are raped in the fields and factories in the shadows. Hollywood starlets who made their millions first and remembered their assault of 2006 in 2020 have no sympathy for me. The Red Dress movement is a great idea – maybe we’ll be able to start an “ol gals network’ the same way there’s been an ‘ol boys network’ for generations – only the Red dress movement is made up of women of quality, integrity, honesty, decency, professionalism, and trust – not homewrecking whores, secretaries and nannys’ who banged their boss.

            • “Hollywood starlets who made their millions first and remembered their assault of 2006 in 2020 have no sympathy for me. ”

              Same here. Maddening beyond belief. So many actual victims and these Barbie Dolls stand there screaming, look at me, look at me.

            • Jo–

              Hah, can you imagine men showing up in red suits too? Oh, and remember Elvis Costello’s song Tramp the Dirt Down (sorry for Thatcher fans– Costello is of Irish heritage, par for the course)? The “Red Dress Movement” could use an anthem along those lines. 😀

              What you say resonates a lot. I am very jaundiced towards abuse of power of any kind. I’m sort of a biological anarchist and judge people on their humanity, not their CVs or bank accounts.. I respect expertise but don’t think experts are a transcendent caste. I think they’re susceptible to corruption like everyone else. I respect experts who remind of this fact and call out abusers in their own fields like your professor and my therapist.

              I’m also not black and white about feminism because it’s not a novel or exotic thing to me. My dad was a spokesmen for NOW from before I was born. He fought for Title IX in sports programs. I met Bella Abzug when I was four and was interviewed on the news at age 7 about women in public office. I raised money for domestic violence and rape survivors as an adult, worked for an advocacy network for five years, protected myself and other women from workplace harassment and sued my own (requisite) LA stalker for a quarter million and won. I have feminist creds up the yin-yang.

              But I also worked with women who cried harassment after courting it. God knows why the fakes always get more sympathy than real victims. I think the fakes cry more prettily while the real victims ugly-cry alone in the office bathroom or off in some corner terrified they’ll lose their jobs and afraid they’ll get blacklisted if they report it.

              I worked with one of the famous Weinstein whistleblowers and thought she was destructive, nuts and not exactly a friend to other women. I still think she was genuinely raped but what may be eating away at her soul is that she also “put it out there” and this has left her with complicated emotions about the situation. I believe that predators can be victims of bigger predators. Not being a predator isn’t a magic shield against sexual abuse either but it may simply be less confusing in the aftermath.

              I read a study reporting that sex workers usually aren’t straight about the abuses in the field until after they age out and the trauma catches up with them. Until that happens, many are just selling and covering up for one of the richest mafias in the world. Some start out victims and end up perpetrators. So many Ghislaine Maxwells around.

              I’ve also been pretty grossed out by the commercialization of women’s rights lately. That women of color were marginalized in the last women’s rights march seemed typical. Just look at the hypocritical corporate sponsorship– companies that exploit women in third world factories playing entryism to control the message and keep the movement from lapping up against their blood stained corporate doors. Yuck. So it’s no surprise that third wave feminists are treating people like serial poacher Monica Lewinsky as if she’s some paragon of sex positive feminism. It’s all watered down and corrupted now. They can blow me.

              Where are the real leaders these days?

              • Also I think your idea for eventual revenge is creative, humorous and– dare I say it– constructive. It seems in line with the Nordic model of criminalizing johns and decriminalizing hooking rather than legalizing prostitution.

                I wouldn’t stop there either. You could get a lot of publicity for a coup like that and use it for bigger targets and causes as well as using your stellar creds to write op-eds. Wearing glam red dresses for events could be catchy. 😉

              • Jo– one last note on the sanctions against admitting to suicidal ideation– absolutely tragic. It’s now not safe to seek help for normal traumatic response. It’s terrifying that this can be used against chumps to hijack custody, as well as chumps and victims temporarily going on medications. I read about the latter in the comments to an article about legal abuses of survivors of domestic violence.

                These are the same drugs that family doctors used to push like candy or even foisted by court order in the very recent past. I remember having to shield my medically ill son against the school nurse’s campaign to sedate him just because he didn’t feel well on many school days and had trouble concentrating. But since the whole opioid epidemic blowout, the medical field has jujitsued blame for prescription addiction solely onto patients. Anyone who once took doc-recommended sedatives or meds is cast as a drug seeking junkie.

    • Hey Jo, if the psychiatrist is licensed, there’s such a thing as a state medical ethics board with which you can file a complaint. That’s my Pro Tip for you.

    • “…read the letter from my psychiatrist…..”–what a coward!

      Mine, too, is a physician. Geezus those docs! They are treated like damn gods, have power, access, and opportunity. It’s too easy. And they protect each other.

  • Also, if anyone can find Esquire volume 99, published in 1983 – there may be mention of Sue Barlach/Dershowitz in an article written by William S. Burroughs.

    She got the shit end of the stick in marriage and in life.

  • Control your emotions. Do not let them push your buttons to cause you to react. What I do is use my best friend and a family member as a soundboard regarding the texts. That way I show them what’s said and put what I’d like to respond with while ignoring my cheating ex. You get the release and the power of controlling your own life.

    • SheSucks! Yes to using friends as a soundboard (and god bless these sainted friends).

  • He texted me an apology and asked how I was. I was feeling hopeful so I responded. We had a good back and forth and then he hit me with the real reason he contacted me. He was in town at a hotel and wondered if I’d come to his hotel room “for old time’s sake.” He wanted a free hooker basically and apparently I fit that bill! Lucky me! He was blocked after that I was so disgusted.

  • Ewwww!!

    That is so gross, and utterly shameless. What a fucking pig.

    Thank God you blocked him. These fuckers and their entitlement makes the mind boggle.


  • I get all of the physical manifestations of a panic attack just thinking about communicating with him. He is so mean and really cruel that I could never hope to come out of a conversation unscathed . Once before the divorce was final, my son noticed that an expensive jacket of his was missing. I realized that I must have packed it in with ex’s clothes. I texted ex. He had been aware that he had it but did not contact son or me ( he was clearly waiting for one of us to ask for it). It took me two hours of begging and along with a barrage verbal and texted abuse to get the jacket back, he knew that I would do anything for the kids especially in the circumstances that he had created. When he finally agreed to give it back, he demanded that I meet him at a place of his choosing at his convenience. It was in a Starbucks parking lot. He then continued to hold the jacket hostage until I got into the passenger seat of his car and “heard him out”. After he went so far as to say he left for schmoopie because he was no longer feeling love from me or the kids (for the final few months before dday he was so miserable, we were all furiously pick me dancing to keep him happy although we were not even aware of the affair)…..I grabbed the jacket and got out of the car. I still can’t believe capitulated to all of this just for a jacket. I should have just bought a new one. About a week later, my daughter realized that he a couple of her school club tee shirts. We decided to let him keep them. He never bothered to let on that he had them let alone give them back.

    I wish I would have found CL and known about NC much sooner. Fortunately, my kids are adults and we are all NC. I cannot come up with a reason to ever communicate with him again and hope I never end up in a situation were I have to.

  • Go grey rock and no contact. If you have to respond be brief and to the point; no emotions.
    My ex was texting me family pictures, etc. on a phone designated for emergency contact only by court orders. After several weekend of this I finally responded.
    Me -“Stop sending messages on this phone that are not an emergency it is a violation of court orders”
    Him- “Long list of all the things I am doing wrong”
    Me-“Screen shot of overdue bills and ” why don’t you worry about your own life”
    Him-“Was this an emergency?”
    Me- “Yes, it is 6 months past due. I am not the one contacting you. You are a loser who needs to find a life.”
    Him-24hours later ” I am blocking you”
    Me- Dancing around house singing Miley Cyrus – Its a party in the USA.

  • Any time I say something she doesn’t like (e.g., please reimburse me for the kids’ health insurance premiums), I am accused of “abuse”.

    • Please tell me she writes that on OFW for the attorneys and judge to see.

    • My ex wife likes to talk to herself. Trying to craft a false narrative via text which I never respond to. She really likes to talk about “my anger” despite me having no interaction with her. She continues to try and paint this BS narrative that I’m “scary” and “angry.” Keep in mind, I don’t call her, I don’t text her, I only see her when I pick up the kids on my day and she’s tried to come back to me multiple times but in her desperate need to be a victim, she acted like my reaction from discovering her affair and the lies makes me “scary.”

      Anyone who could look at her messages to me (and me not replying) would see this is an absolute lie

  • About 5 years ago my ex sent me an email at work (sent in the middle of the night US time – he was probably up all night drinking) saying he was working with a new shrink and could I take 10 minutes, or 10 hours (or 10 years????) to put together a timeline of how he abused me and when it started and when did I stop loving him. Now I have a list a mile long that I could have sent to him, then I thought, nope, you don’t want him committing suicide (we have kids together) so I don’t want to push him over the edge. So I started putting together a gentle list of my “complaints” – until I thought, I’m working full-time, I have 100% custody, you pay nothing and just slithered back to the States with latest schmoopie, are fully retired on a massive pension and I’m supposed to take time out of my fun-filled days to draft something thoughtful and not hurtful to help you better understand yourself. Screw you. So I did (not literally of course). I just never responded!

    • Atta girl. You don’t get anything out of that. It’s nonsense.

      A few months ago while in the thick of NC, my ex wife texts me, “There is nothing that would make you talk? You aren’t curious at all about anything?” This was in reference to me no longer speaking to her or asking questions about her affair.

      Not going to get my attention, witch. I already know so much and I trust that she sucks and know that she sucks.

      • Attie and SheSucks, bravo!!! Gold-medal-level NC!

        It drives them nuts when we deprive them of attention.

        Oh, and my therapist tells me that (at least in the case of my ex), once he’s deprived of me as the person he uses to unload all his bad feelings that he can’t tolerate, he’ll choose someone else. Please let it be schmoopie!

        • Thank you Spinach, your therapists comment about how we’re used as recepticals for them to project all of their bad feelings is super insightful.

          • Stig, you stated it better. They do project all of their bad feelings onto us. And it was because we were acting as useful receptacles during their affairs that they could be their better selves with the AP.

            Without us, I would guess they are seeking new receptacles and/or completely losing their shit. I’ll go with the latter. It helps me sleep at night.

  • Wow this is the second article/post this week that is timely for me. The other was the dead bedroom one; I’ve been so ashamed by that all this time thinking it was me, my fault. Then I read some of the similar stories and how it’s used as a power play. I’ve been marinating in that for a couple days. I’m truly scared of dating again feeling like I’m not (fill in the blank) enough. I still feel massively unattractive and generally hideous (I mean, if the sweet guy who was supposed to love you forever doesn’t want you who will?) but it has given me food for thought.

    Now today. I’ve been thinking about breaking NC for a couple of days now, because looks like I’m going to get screwed over quite a bit in the divorce settlement. He had texted me out of the blue after months of no texts a couple of weeks ago (and the very few texts we did exchange earlier in the year were impersonal) with some random bs “Hope you guys are ok etc Hamilton in on tv if you want to use my disney account”. Then I got his settlement proposal yada yada I’ve written about 8 letters/texts to him since then. So far I haven’t sent anything and since my kids are NC as well and with him living in Whoreville with his…well…whore, there isn’t any chance we’ll see each other or bump into each other ever so it’s…idk…I just have some things to SAY! lol. I understand logically that NC is the best idea but damn it’s hard sometimes.

    • Like CL says, “If it feels good, don’t do it.” There’s not a single time that I didn’t regret speaking to my ex the months following D-Day before implementing NC.

    • Here’s something I learned from my divorce: the time when you’re working out the settlement is the most important time for you not to break no contact (or grey rock). You can rest assured any contact or expression of concern or of “wanting to work together for an amicable divorce” is their way of trying to manipulate you into accepting what they’ve decided is what they want. Especially if you’ve been trained to defer to their wishes, they will attempt to manipulate you in this way. See it for what it is: manipulation and self-interest.

      • Thank you. I know that in my noggin, I do. But I’m just so hurt and angry for the last couple of weeks that I feel like lashing out at him. Through this whole shitshow I never yelled or name called or just unloaded on him and for all my restraint I’m still getting screwed over. I know it in my head that anything I have to say is better said to the trees or wall or shower door. But I am just incensed that these nasty awful betraying infested boils seem to get away with everything, no consequences just skip along into a new life don’t bother about the destruction left behind don’t want to dampen their mood do we? I just hate it.

        • Thursday’schild–

          You just made me realize that part of the exit nastiness of cheaters is about rewiring victims’ neurofeedback systems in the hopes (whether conscious or unconscious o the part of the abuser) that the trauma will forever block victims’ “bonding” chemicals.

          I was reading how dopamine and oxytocin are released in early stages of relationship bonding as a way to overcome our natural fight or flight reactions to being vulnerable towards a new person. Nature tries to fix the deal a bit to perpetuate the species I guess. If you think about romance in caveman era, there were a lot of reasons for trepidation.

          But PTSD can be too much “fight or flight” for that chemical bonding mechanism to overcome. I’ve heard more than one divorced person with an abusive ex joke that they’d been “inoculated” against future relationships.

          I suspected that DARVO strategies are not simply self defense, guilt reduction and blowing smoke on the part of cheaters but also a basic caveman mate guarding strategy. The cheater wants their freedom but would prefer the victim remain inert in a paralyzed bleeding heap, unable to move on and that this is either to allay cheater’s territoriality/jealousy or just in case cheater wants a fallback plan B.

          The verbal abuse is also a clear threat that the cheater can repeat the defamation to others to make their victims socially untouchable.

          This is well understood in domestic violence (abuse as intentional hobbling/paralyzing) and I really think it would help chumps to understand that much of the abuse from cheaters is from hypocritical possessiveness– like hobbling a slave so they can’t run away. It at least puts the abuse into perspective (i.e., the abuser devalues the victim and tries to make the victim feel unattractive precisely to the degree the abuser fears future suitors will find the victim attractive and valuable).

          That’s not to say chumps shouldn’t be cautious about subsequent relationships (we can’t afford to leave those choices to neurochemical reactions) or can’t consciously choose to remain single but it shouldn’t be the abusers making the choice because they hacked the nervous systems of their victims

    • ThursdaysChild if you ever do get to a place where you think you might want to date again look into a dating coach and/or therapist who understands trauma (PTSD / C-PTSD) & betrayal before you dip so much as a toenail into the dating pool. One I know of is Debi Silber / Post Betrayal Institute , another is Riana Milne (she has books on Amazon), they are both online, there are others. Talk to them or someone you are certain is on your side, not the STBXH.

      As far as divorce is concerned, run all stuff through the lawyers, period.

      • Yeah I hear ya. I had a couple of fellas interested over the past couple years and just the thought, the idea of being vulnerable in any way with a possible romantic partner sent me running. I can’t even fathom someone touching me, and it’s not because of ex because if he ever tries to touch me again I’ll throat punch him. But I’ve got a LOT of mental work to do that’s for sure. I’m older too, so I’m kind of at the point where I’m accepting that I’ll be single the rest of my days. Thanks for the advice/names I’ll check them out right now.

    • Sorry you are having a rough time. I know it will get better.

      You may be already, but are you doing all settlement issues lawyer to lawyer. I wouldn’t accept a proposal from him unless it was acceptable. What they want and what the law says is two different things.

      My ex learned that.

      • HA! I love that last line. =-) And thanks, I really hope it does. Feels a long way off still.

        I live in a no fault state and it is biting me in the arse something awful. My lawyer…idk. I don’t think she’s wrong or giving me wrong information but it is all business and numbers. These local attorneys see each other all the time so even thought they’re adversarial in theory it just seems like they’re more interested in being cordial to each other and keeping that professional relationship intact rather than fighting it out for their clients. Or maybe that’s just the way it seems. In any case, stbx usually gets his way with things idk why it should surprise me that he’ll do so in this case. It’s why I thirst for some yummy karma to smack him upside his pighead; it just doesn’t feel right that these punks get away with what they do with zero repercussions.

        • Oh, yeah, we were in a no fault state (50/50) too, but my lawyer was able to get me a temp maintenance agreement. He got it pretty quick, as he said we needed to use his guilt. So the cheater signed thinking what the heck it is only for two months. Nope, guess again big boy.

          I hired a lawyer from a really good firm in another city, but same county. I didn’t want any lawyers from my city who knew the local police officers.

          He did get most of the property in our settlement, but I couldn’t pay them off, and also in return for him getting most of the property, I got a small house that was paid off, and he took on all debt.

          We waived each others retirement accounts. I was at the beginning of my career, and I didn’t want him measly hands on any of my savings.

          None of it mattered in his case. Within a couple years he and schmoopie had literally gambled it all away. He had to sell everything and eventually file bankruptcy. Just another act I couldn’t believe he would do, but he did. He was pretty responsible with money all the years we were married. Well except for the money he spent on schmoopie at the end.