I found your site 4 months ago, my husband’s been having affairs for 7 years (that I know of). I was irate about not finding anything online about self-preservation and actually taking care of yourself. Eventually, I googled “leave a cheater”, and Chump Lady was found.
It was exactly what I was looking for. Proof that my adulterous (and alcoholic) husband would never change, was indeed a disordered prick, and didn’t give a shit about me, our 5 kids, or a 17 year marriage. He was hanging around for cake, and believe me, I gave him lots of cake.
The worst of it is — my husband is a predator. The other women, most of whom he met through online dating were never aware of his real name, occupation, marital status, children, birthdate, address, or immediate or extended family. He literally hooked these women with a fabricated life. There are dozens of other women, but there were 8 longer term affairs over this time.
He’s been a nurse, nurse practitioner, stock trader, financial advisor, oil field management, and who knows what else. He has had NONE of these careers, and because of poor life choices has been fired from EVERY job (15 now?) that he’s had in the last 11 years.
He will claim to be (depending on the deception mood that month, I suppose): never married, divorced, separated, have no children, have 2 children, have 3 children, have full custody of his kids (yeah, ok… but not all five because some of them don’t exist in this alternate universe. He denies the existence of his own children!!!!)
These poor women believe that (when he claims having children) he’s such a wonderful dad. They think he’s got a great career, money, is 5-7 years younger than he is, has a good relationship with his family (they’ve cut him out/off), and is a “nice” guy.
The reality is, he’s an addict who refuses recovery, uses a fake name, is unemployed more often than employed, has five kids he WANTED but doesn’t take care of, is 40, and is a pathological liar. He will send pictures of himself and our kids to these women claiming they’re nieces and nephews, or only sends pictures with “selected” children when he’s decided h does have kids. He sends pictures of my beautiful home, to make himself look prosperous, when that’s false too. He barely works and I’m barely hanging on financially. I had to get a second job because of his terrible work history and spending. Drinking and affairs cost money damn it!
I found out about his latest “serious” affair on December 27th. She didn’t know anything. She felt terrible and stupid that she let this liar and manipulator into her life and her home. She was a single mother with 2 young kids. “How fucked up do you have to be to meet someone’s kids and say you don’t have any?” (her words).
When confronted he told me he’s just going to keep doing it. He said there are so many sad, desperate, lonely, damaged women that he will have an endless supply of these warped relationships. I want to protect them from him. I feel bad for them. All of these women, except one, felt terrible and ended the relationship immediately, apologized to me, and wrote him some nasty truth-filled messages.
How do women protect themselves against this type of predator? I think he’s a psychopath. I feel a responsibility to stop him from conning more women. He’s an amazing manipulator and deceiver. I’ve been sucked back in repeatedly. He’s had a lot of practice. I worry about other people getting sucked in and hurt.
He left by my request on New Year’s Eve. I would have had him leave sooner, but he was too intoxicated to walk, and it was difficult to get him the fuck out of my house.
How and why do these women fall for his shit? How can we protect ourselves in the future? It sickens me to think this will happen to someone else, or to me again. How can I ever trust my own judgement after believing a proven liar for 19 years?
Thank you Chump Lady, your site has saved my sanity over these last few months,
Save Them From a Predator
Dear Save Them,
Right now there is one woman I want to save from a predator and that’s you.
You have a big, chumpy heart, and that’s beautiful, but saving womankind from a sleazy sociopath’s dating profiles needs to be taken off your to-do list. You informed them, awesome. Now, back to you.
How and why do these women fall for his shit?
Why does anyone get conned? Because they want to believe. And trust is the social glue that holds us all together. And decent people see the world through their own moral lens — they lack the imagination to believe another person would do something so recklessly dishonest.
That’s why believing evidence is so important. It’s why we should operate in lucidity and not imagine ourselves as special characters swept up in some Grand Romance. Wanting to believe someone in defiance of reality leads to a lot of heartbreak and painful consequences.
Your ex projected a nice hologram of a boyfriend. He gets off on the deceit. These monsters walk among us.
How can we protect ourselves in the future?
Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I created a blog to decode mindfuckery pretty much from the same impulse you’re feeling — maybe I can save the next one.
Essentially there are about 2,000 blog posts here on how to protect yourself. Boiled down to its essence we’ve got: Is this relationship ACCEPTABLE to you? As it exists right now, not the potential you imagine. As it IS.
It’s one thing not to know. But once you know? How you react to abuse is entirely up to you. I get up every day and write this column to IMPLORE people to LEAVE.
It sickens me to think this will happen to someone else, or to me again.
It does NOT have to happen to you again. YOU control that. YOU control what you will model to your children. YOU!
You were really strong throwing that motherfucker out on New Year’s Eve. (I hope he wandered into a snow bank and froze to death. But I’m sensing his loser ass is still around, probably penning dating profiles as I type.) Now, KEEP HIM OUT.
You work two jobs and have 5 kids? Woman, YOU ARE STRONG. Losing this loser is going to be so liberating! You’re going to have so much more money and time and energy! Lay that burden DOWN!
No one tells you this, but your killer work ethic is going to save you. You’ve just been misdirecting that killer work ethic towards a fuckwit. Everything you do after you get this man out of your life is going to EASIER. I’m not saying it will always be a bed of roses, but that work ethic will never leave you.
You are so used to dragging this anchor, this man-child fuckwit, bailing him out of everything — when you let go — you will now have all that energy to lavish on your children and YOURSELF! And anything you set your mind to!
I have a bit of a killer work ethic myself. I keep this blog going, and I work a straight job. And just for an extra dash of madness, I’ll do more writing assignments, or take art classes or whatever. Sometimes I get the feeling people think I’m insane. But chumps get it — every day of my life now is a gazillion times easier than when I was trudging through the drama of an abusive relationship. Every day of my life as an empty nester, working stiff is a gazillion times easier than one day as a working single mother.
You have a gift, Save Them, a gift for hard work. Please, I implore you, to direct your talents and energies to yourself and stop wasting them on a fuckwit. The liberation struggle is FINITE. And the rest of your life is YOURS.
How can I ever trust my own judgement after believing a proven liar for 19 years?
Stop believing him. Save Them, you know he’s a liar and you know what you need to do — leave him finally, for once and for all. You’re nobly misdirecting your energies again away from yourself — and what you need to do (LEAVE HIM, with a lawyer, legal-like) — to the other poor women he’s used.
He used YOU. Now, fight like hell to get away from this monster. When you do, circle back to me, and join CN in encouraging the next crop of Save Thems to save themselves.