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Gain a Life Version 2021

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Every year I run this on New Year’s Day. Happy New Beginnings, CN!

***

Get over it.

The three words chumps hate to hear. “Get over it” says your remorseless cheater after a half-assed attempt at reconciliation. “Get over it” says the friend who cannot conceive of your pain, and wishes you would just go back to your pleasant, ignorant self again. “Get over it” says your boss, because the drama is effecting your productivity.

“Get over it” feels like insult to injury. A flippant response to betrayal, the worst sort of minimizing. So sorry I’m not healing at your convenience, asshole. Chumps at once see the hidden agenda. The cheater who’s not truly sorry. The friend who feels threatened by your vulnerability. The boss who doesn’t really care, just get back to your widgets. So, quite rightly, chumps dismiss “get over it.” Fuck you, I’ll “get over it” when I’m good and ready. Perhaps not ever. I may go down with this ship if I fucking feel like it. Don’t you tell ME to “get over it”!

So, from one chump to another — let me tell you — get over it.

The pain is finite. Don’t choose it. Don’t keep reliving it. Infidelity does NOT define you. It’s no measure of your soul, of your worthiness and lovability.

What keeps you in pain? Staying focused on your cheater. Their judgments of you, what makes them tick, who they’re with now, what they’re doing — and when the hell is the karma bus coming? Where is the karma timetable? I’ve been standing at this stop for YEARS waiting for that bus. I demand a schedule! Only after that bus arrives will I be able to leave this stop and get on with my life properly! Damn bus.

Note the word stop. That’s what happens when you wait for karma. Your life stops. You live a limbo of anticipation. Your focus is on the bus.

Stand on a different street corner and grab a different bus, chumps. One that’s headed in the direction of your new cheater-free life. Focus on yourself.

Hell YES your job is to get over it.  To reclaim your selfhood. Of course, it’s a battle at times, but every liberation campaign is.

Getting over it is not eating a shit sandwich. You’re not denying that this happened to you and it was abusive. You don’t have to hold on to that righteous anger to know that it was real. It WAS real. It DID happen. That person SUCKS. Getting over it means they didn’t break you.

You’re not going to get over it staying married to an remorseless cheater. You get over it when you start to protect yourself, when you stand up and say “no more.” When you draw those boundaries and enforce those boundaries. When you grieve. When you stop spackling and see the cheater for who they really are. When you let go of what you thought your life was going to be/should’ve been, and become open to the possibility of a new life.

Reconciliation is fine if you just want to survive. To limp along. To endure. I’m not convinced anyone every really gets over it when they stay married to a cheater. Seems like an endless buffet of shit sandwiches if you ask me.

At Chump Lady, I hold out a better vision for you. You’re not just going to survive this — you’re going to THRIVE. This is the painful birth to better days. This is where you discover exactly how kick ass you are. You find that job, you parent your way, you finish that degree, you fall in love again, you make new friends who get you, you get reacquainted with your creativity, you own your successes. All that energy poured into a narcissist — it’s yours now. You gift it to yourself and those deserving of you.

So, of course you’re going to get over it. What is the alternative? What are you going to miss? The betrayal? Being treated like a concession prize? The disrespect? The pick me dance? The humiliation? Oh, I’m going to hold those things close. Gee, I really want all that shit in my life. NO, of course you don’t!

Make 2021 your own. Get over it. Happy New Year, CN.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Okay, not sure how to reply to the original pair but here it goes. (First time listing on CL)

      D-day was almost 4 months ago. We are now separated and in the process of divorce. I (38m) found out she was having an affair with a woman. She originally wanted me to move out, I told her that’s not how this works. She moved out 2 months ago. She brings the kids around her “friend” all the time and in fact my son who is seven sleeps in the bed with the two of them. (And my STBXW wonders why I perceive this as an issue).

      My days are ups and downs, lately more up than down. I see two therapists (ironically enough she was seeing the same one and never told of the affair) and both say I am doing well considering.

      Some days my brain doesn’t want to let her go and others it is just pissed as fuck at her.

      She of course has said that my anger in our marriage led her to not be able to be honest with her feelings etc etc.

      I struggle from time to time as to whether or not I was a good husband/father as she does not hold me in high regard in either role, however, outside people tell me quite differently.

      Anyway, I have to cash her out of the house equity so she gets $75,000, and then $1,500/month in child support because she refuses to get a full time job so I get to eat a shit sandwich for a while and likely get a second job to make ends meat.

      • From one x-husband to you, soon-to-be.

        You will rock!
        You are going to be a catch!
        You will be a unicorn to single women b/c you care about relationship.

        It’s gonna take time.
        There’ll be rough patches.
        Some therapy. But little-by-little, step-by-step, you’ll emerge as a glorious being in a world you see in a different light.

        Trust me. It’s a gift she gave you —> wings.

      • Dear Daddybod

        I’m glad you are seeing a therapist. Your stbxw was dishonest with you. Period.

        I don’t know how old your kids are, but trust me when I say they WILL figure things out on their own. Any attempts to badmouth her (to them) will backfire on you, but my guess is she’ll badmouth YOU to justify herself.

        Kids usually see thru that, too. Keep reading this blog – you cannot control HER narrative, but it sounds as if her pathology will reveal itself in time.

        Be the best dad you can be for your kids. They need a sane parent. And when they’re both in school, my guess is you can have your wife’s income potential assessed. The DOCTOR forced me to go thru that at age 56 as if age discrimination for a SAHM with 3 kids was something I’d made up.

        I ended up changing careers and I’m glad for it — but you’re in the trenches right now.

        It’s VERY hard to hear people tell you this is a blessing in disguise at the moment. (It’s very well disguised, isn’t it??)

        But as CL says, what’s the alternative to NOT getting over it? And making the best of a shit sandwich is better than making the worst of it.

        Bottom line – you cannot UNKNOW what you know now. There’s no going back, there’s no staying married. There’s only moving forward, and accepting that you’ll get sidetracked and you’ll backslide now and then.

        But you will continue to move forward IF you choose to. It’ll take work and action on your part + time. Sounds as if you’re doing what you can. Try and see if a Divorce Care group is near you (or online).

        They can be too religious for some, but the one I found was exactly what I needed. Plus I stopped wearing out my family and married friends who I’m sure just wanted me to be done.

        You need to be with some people who GET IT and WE GET IT.

        Trust that your stbxw sucks, trust that you’ll be a better you on the other side of this

        AND that there are good women out there who will not overlook telling their spouse something so fundamental…IF you choose to date or marry again.

        Chances are you will and my semi educated guess is that your next relationship will be better, more solid, and deeper.

        • Thank you. I do want a relationship in the future. I am curious what a healthy relationship looks like… I guess I never had one.

          I spoke with her for an hour and a half today. As I drew the line of no longer coming over she panicked and needed to talk.

          Long story short she just wanted to tell me she has decided she is a lesbian and that she has formalized her relationship with her AP/girlfriend. We discussed our relationship and it went fine. She doesn’t not see things as is do, which is not surprising. She said that she cared for me and therefore was not honest in order to protect me. Blah blah blah.

          • Don’t you just love it when they claim to lie and abuse you because they didn’t want to hurt us.

            My fw’s comments as he exited after dropping the bomb of the “girl” he was in love with, was: “I have been “dating” for ten years (out of a 21 year marriage) and I never loved you.

            Then down the line when he wanted to come back and “try again” I said but you never loved me, why would you want to come back. “oh I just told you that to make you hate me”

            Like that made it a good thing to say. They have no idea what they are saying in the discard phase, they are flailing and trying to protect themselves from their own thoughts and deeds.

      • If the divorce isn’t finalized and you are the primary carer of your children, seek shared care or be the one who gets primary care of the children. Let your lawyer and (possibly) social services know about the ‘unusual sleeping arrangements’ of your son. Read and understand this book: The 10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce.

  • Happy New Year Tracy and Chump Nation!
    I wish us ALL a new year filled with good health, lots of love and endless prosperity! Add the Bleasings of healing and hope and who could ask for more? Beat wishes to you all!

  • I was married to a Narcissist and nothing ever changes or gets better, he’s now using parental alienation I’m so stuck “FOUR” years now! I had to find help from family they are also in shock what do I do chump lady how do I fight this?🥶🇨🇦

    • Hi Carol,
      I’m sorry you are hurting. If this is helpful to you, this is what I did:
      I immediately cut off verbal communication, I only use email when it’s absolutely necessary. My emails are brief, business like and don’t allow for follow up questions. I do not respond to any of his emails. If it’s a threat or an emotional garbage dump I forward to my lawyer. I let my lawyer manage it. It costs money but it saves my sanity. I do not attend anything that he could be present at…I have a teenager and that can be tough at times but it cuts off any drama. Basically, I walked away and kept my boundaries. Is it hard at times, yes but I’ve gotten used to it and my life is better.
      I follow the custody agreement so any whining or accusations from him are meritless and don’t require me to engage with him.
      The key for me was to figure out how to manage raising my teenager utterly by myself. It was daunting at first but through trial and error I did. I don’t need him, his help or his financial support, I just figure it out.
      Figure out what works for you and then just start doing it, that’s how I survived and began to feel empowered.

      • Nailed it! 🎯
        So many victims of a narcissist refuse to accept the fact that the other parent will never be the parent they “should be”. Trying to force them into it is just an exercise in futility and keeps the victim under the control of the narcissist, keeps you being frustrated and disappointed.
        No contact, is the ONLY way.
        You are doing it exactly right! Kudos!

    • I second what soccer mom said and I have taken it a step further because I don’t have a lawyer and my children are grown. If he somehow gets through my blocks I instantly forward the email onto a friend who reads it and lets me know if there is anything I need to attend to.

      Their usual response is, ‘this is a really sick man.’

      Their witnessing his shenanigans and their words reassure me that I am not crazy.

      Was with him for over 30 years and have been divorced for about 3 years now. It does get easier with time but the only way that happened for me was when I went no contact – a concept I had never heard of before finding Chump Lady.

      Hang in there and read as many of CL’s blog pieces as you can – especially when you get triggered/blind-sighted.

      By the way, an emotional wound is responded to in our brains just like a physical wound. In other words – my brain can’t tell the difference between someone physically stabbing me in the back and someone breaking my heart via infidelity and blowing up my entire life. OUCH. As with any wound, if you don’t pick at it, it will heal.

      Keep coming back.

    • Carol, if the kids are young you document and go back to court to change custody/access if that is needed.
      You act sane and rational and refuse to engage in bad mouthing; you stick to the bare facts that the other party cheated/abuses you or does not tell the truth.
      You bring these things up when the kids do, not randomly. You give your kids the right to be wrong about the other parent.
      You focus on making a new life for yourself.
      You learn to expect the FW to throw a wrench into everything you do with the kids.
      You learn to say ‘wow, cool, or bummer’ a lot.

  • Happy New Year CL and CN!! Here’s to a happier year and being more appreciative of what we are and what we have!!

  • How? I’m so broken and exhausted… Have a 20yo, 16yo, and 1yo from this cheater… 22yrs…half my life… I’m too busy and tired to gain a life… I’m sick of just trying to survive while he lives care free with his latest tinder ho and everyone in his life looks the other way from his horrible abuses to his boys and me and let’s him play his narrative of swell guy. He even started a business with this chick and literally posted ghandi quotes and hash tags #morals #ethics #values while his own sons won’t even speak to him. Makes everyone think he’s awesome… I really need that karma bus… I’m in Physical and mental pain… Cold lonely exhausted… I just want to give up. I hate my life… There is no joy anymore… Because it usually comes from my children and then I have loneliness that I have no one to share it with….
    Just how? How can you get over it when you’re just exhausted and in pain and lonely? I have no one.

    • Lostchump, you are not alone. You have Chump Lady, Chump Nation and those kids. You are getting over it. Just that you posted here is getting over it. You are in a bad place eating at the “shit buffet” at this moment. This isn’t your permanent state of being. Things change.

      Everyone doesn’t think he is awesome. I think he sucks. I think he is an abusive piece of rot. He is a cheater, liar and most likely a criminal. I hate him and his little homewrecker. His kids hate him. You hate him. He isn’t winning at life.

      You can though. You have all the ingredients for a good life. You aren’t a cheater. You aren’t a homewrecker. You wrote a good letter. You got skills. You’ve been dealt a blow. You will recuperate. Those kids will be fine. You got this.

    • I am so sorry Lostchump. Sounds like this is early days for you! Please honor your pain and feelings. They are valid and can’t be hurried through or pushed aside or medicated. Find a good lawyer and therapist who knows betrayal is not your fault and reconciliation doesn’t work. Read the messages here about how to get through and best practices. Post a lot here like a journal. Cry and fight for your freedom. Do nice things for yourself, go no contact as much as possible, only communicate through parent software-many here can help you. Collect your financial documents and get your arms around the finances so he doesn’t wipe you out. Move to divorce as quickly as possible. Maybe get a separation agreement in place if your state allows. There is a finite time he will feel guilty and you need to take advantage of that. Others can add to this list. Most important, take care of you and your children. Big huge hugs!!

    • You can do this.

      That was my mantra for an entire 18 months as I stumbled and sobbed through my life, a rhythmic chant as I forced myself to plod along.

      Then one day I noticed the birds singing and the beautiful clouds in the sky, and I started to look outward instead of remaining hunched over in my protective stance. It’s still a work in progress, but the focus is slowly shifting away from pain, betrayal, and desperation. And I have finally realized that I DID win, after all.

      You can do this, lost chump. We’re all pulling for you.

      • Absolutely. Lost Chump, right here at Chump Nation we will listen to your howls of pain and fury and we won’t say “get over it”, but we will say “you have what it takes to get over it, eventually”.

        Eirene I too was literally hunched. One day, when I’d started to move toward meh, a friend said, “You better than you were. I saw it from a distance. You’re holding yourself differently”.

        My whole body was permanently held defensively. Exhausting. That first comment was a couple of years back – now, almost 4 years post Dday, I’ve had many people tell me I walk differently, I stand differently. Nearly 54 and after a 22 year marriage where I was always off-balance and protecting myself, I feel like my body is strong and open and brave. And so am I!!

        • MamaMeh, same. First few months I couldnt make eye contact with anyone and held my purse strap against me like a shield wherever I went. I clung to it and stared at the ground. I jumped at every sound I was so anxious. I slumped forward in my chairs because my chest hurt so much.

          When I started to heal, I stood up and my breathing changed. You’ll know when you’re starting to move forward because your body will tell you.

    • Oh honey, I wish I could wrap you in the biggest hug!!!
      Believe me, we know the pain & confusion & even distrust and anger of the early days when we would read about others who were much further ahead : TIME is of the essence.

      Life finds a way. Truly put your faith in yourself and the universe, because you will pull through! All who could sustain life with an abuser have the grit to come out on the other side and flourish! Don’t ever underestimate what you have the power to do. I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but there is a HUGE transformation waiting to happen for you!
      You’ll remember these words 😉

    • Hi LostChump:

      You are in the hell part of the experience, and just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you are out of it. It sucks massively. And you are doing it in the middle of a global pandemic, with three children, one of whom is a teenager and one a toddler (!) Please know that this doesn’t last forever, and there are better days coming.

      One thing that is helpful is to pare your life down to the necessities, and just focus on you and the kids. No one ever died from eating pb&j sandwiches for dinner, or wearing a not-freshly laundered shirt. Rest when you can, take a bubble bath after the baby is asleep. Give yourself some grace and some love for doing the best you can, most days, under circumstances that try your soul.

      The karma bus is coming for your ex and his ho. It never comes when we want it to, but it always comes.
      Character is destiny, and the effects of his lack of character on his life are inescapable.

      You can do this, LostChump. Keep going and eventually things will get better. Trust that you will be happy again one day, and enjoy your life, a real life of integrity, with a foundation that lasts.

      • Lostchump,

        Many of your comments resonate with me and I’m much longer out from D-Day than you are.

        So many triggers bring me into a state of complete despair. This week, I attended TWO socially distanced weddings and was asked to impart marriage advice upon the newlyweds. In one instance, guests were supposed to write their suggestions on a block of wood. I stared at mine blankly and nearly chucked it into the fire pit when no one was looking rather than inscribing “Don’t cheat!” which probably would have led to more “Get over it!” comments &/or thoughts about me being “bitter” instead of getting “better”. Listening to the vows brought forth cynicism as well on my part to the point of my needing to stifle my snicker when promises of “forever” were made. Tears flowed violently from my eyes like a mighty river breaching a levee when parenthood was mentioned, as I gave all of my youth to my ex only to be left childless while he instantaneously created a new life with a much younger/fertile “upgrade”.

        However, something about the structure of theses events caught my attention which changed my perspective a bit. Neither event had more than 20 guests (including bridal party attendants, venue staff, etc.), and both required masks, temperature checks, exposure questionnaires, etc. The couples had been VERY selective about their guest lists and it dawned on me how significant I must be to them to have been included. Although my cheater certainly knew these people as long as I did, and had been included in other celebrations of theirs, he didn’t even qualify to be sent the Zoom streaming links now due to his infidelity and abandonment of me!

        Not exactly the karma bus steamrolling of him I have fantasized about, BUT it could be foreshadowing how he may ultimately find himself all alone due to his surface-level/fleeting connections with others.

    • I’m so sorry he’s hurt you so badly. You’re actually winning being the real genuine person. Stay true to yourself and your beautiful children. Don’t worry about his fake little life. He doesn’t know how to be real. Or how to love.
      Praying peace and joy over you. Start reading. Journaling. Take an epsom salt bath to get that negative energy off of you. Love your babies. Mines 23 and I so wish I could cuddle her again!♥️ Had her with a total narcissist also. I carried the weight of the “relationship” for 14 years until he left without a fight for a younger girl. After 5 years his little heart was crushed by her and he’s just hopped around ever since. They say they’re better and happier but the truth is they don’t know how to be truly happy

    • I hear you. There’s something about today’s post that makes me feel bad for not being “there” yet. Like the time someone said “Stop being depressed.” Gee, why didn’t I think of that? I wish it were that easy!

      I’m not sure about all this “you’ll thrive!” and “it gets so much better!” shtick. Almost feels like smoking a different flavor of hopium. Hollow words.

      Clearly, I’m not even close to meh.

      • Please don’t feel bad. It takes time. It’s a mental liberation campaign.

        I wouldn’t keep this place alive, however, if I didn’t believe you’ll thrive on the other side of abuse.

        And that’s what being cheated on is — it’s abuse.

        Your life will get better the further you get away from that shit. The particulars of how you get there are up to you. I try to provide support. That’s all. There’s no contest of when anyone is supposed to arrive. But speaking for myself, I had to kick my ass daily to get out of the worst of it. The mistakes I made I share here, as I say, trial tested results of what NOT to do. (Be a chump.) And part of chumpdom is mental.

      • Chumparoona, perhaps we need to make our own definition of what ‘thrive’ means to us based on where we’re at and our circumstances. Clearly, we were not thriving in a relationship with somebody who devalued us – even if we thought we were happy and there were benefits.
        I am connecting more emotionally with my children now. Perhaps that is ‘thriving’ for me. I am learning about myself and trying to put healthy practises into my life -perhaps that is thriving for now for me.
        I am working on finding the best therapist so that I can keep growing, that is also thriving for me.
        We may not all need to get a better job or a new degree, become award winning anything, etc – sometimes thriving for now is just excepting where we are and taking the focus off of people who don’t deserve it.

        Ultimately we will find out that this is an ok place for us even without the bells and whistles. That might be our thriving for a while.

        And although it’s killer hard when you have children… the time constraints, the money, the scheduling, dealing with their wellness all alone … the list goes on and on …it makes everything so challenging. Our kids do however give us a focus and a reason to keep moving forward and something to be really grateful for.

    • Lostchump, getting over it takes TIME. I know that answer sucks, but it’s true. I want you to know that it really does get better.

      When I was in the early days of my divorce a very dear friend told me to hold on because it will get better. She was right. I was a couple of years away from things getting better, but I made it through. You will too. Just keep breathing and take it one day at a time.

      It’s been nearly 10 years since my divorce was final and my life is good.

    • I feel very similar. Was married for 22 years to ‘the love of my life’. Together for best part of 30. Part of me still sees him this way despite him what has happened….
      He left me for his ‘soulmate’ (met at a conference) 14 years ago when our children were 5 and 3. He decided after a relatively short time and 2 weekends with her that he was making a big mistake, I forgave him, he came back (he was the love of my life don’t forget), we worked through it and I believed we were stronger and happier for it. Then this year he met a ‘Client’ at the start of lockdown whilst out walking. They swapped numbers and met up for walks on a regular basis. All of a sudden he announces to me he isn’t happy, hasn’t been for some time but has been supressing it. “Is there anyone else?” I ask. “No there isn’t, I just think I want to be on my own. “We’ve grown apart. I still love you. You’re not much fun anymore. You’re more anxious than you used to be”. So for months I do the Pick Me Dance. “Have all the time /space you need” I say. Then the day after our 22nd Wedding Anniversary he tells me he’s made up his mind, he is leaving and yes there is someone else. Despite my suspicions (and not sleeping or eating properly, I lose a stone) I feel like I have been hit by a train. We tell our kids, 18 & 20. They’re as blindsided as me. The next day he changes his mind. We do have a good marriage, he agrees with all I’ve been saying, too good to throw away. I am so happy. I’m prepared to work through it…..again. 5 weeks later he changes his mind again. (BTE we’ve been sleeping together through this, he’s been telling me he loves me). He can’t do this any more. He can’t get back on track. “I don’t want to be your husband any more”. I ask if it’s about her, he says “She might not want me anymore”. A few days later he’s moved in with her and 4 months later is still there. We have, at my request, no contact although he sends me the odd email re ” housekeeping matters”. I am bereft. I don’t want to wake up in the morning. I still love him and want him to come back but I know that is ridiculous given how he has treated me. My kids see him once a week or so. They haven’t met OW yet but I know it’s just a matter of time. It hurts that they want to see him but I guess it’s their choice. They are adults. I’m told he is amazed at the fallout (it’s not such a big deal” he told me soon after he decided to leave). All our friends and family are shocked but I know his side will all come round eventually. He is the third out of 4 siblings to do this. He acknowledged this but also noted they had toxic marriages. We did not. We were happy. He was happy. Until someone sparkly came along with no partner or children. I know I should start divorce proceedings but I don’t feel ready. I don’t want his to be happening. I’m sure he’s desperate to formalise it, as is she no doubt.

      I feel like I will never recover or stop loving him despite him being a total shit.

      So Lostchump, I get it.

      • Shaloolah, what an ass for keeping you on the hook while he decides if he wants to leave you. That is hideous and I’m so sorry. What I painfully realized with my case is that you can’t make someone love you. And walking away with your head held high is the best thing you can do. I screamed and cried for ages and wondered why he would do this to us if he loved me? The answer is, he didn’t love me. Love is a behaviour, and his actions were anything but loving. Once I realized his “love” for me was bullshit (25 year marriage), I felt I could start to detach. Narcissistic assholes can’t love-they try and get their needs met, and when they’re done, they’re done. That’s it. I suspect that’s why he’s been hedging his bets-he needed to be sure he could get what he needed before he left. Notice he didn’t care how it impacted you, and mine didn’t either. Hell, he actually wanted me to be happy for him! He did not allow my anger or pain at all. It was devastating. I know it sucks, but you are lovable and worthy and anyone who does that you is not a good person. Grieve what you wanted to have but realize what you really have now- a selfish person who doesn’t deserve you. Big hugs- it gets better, slowly but surely.

        • Formerly, ‘ an ass for keeping you on the hook while he decides if he wants to leave you. That is hideous’
          I swore if anyone ever told me they wanted to leave again I would not ask questions and just open the door.
          But, when H # 2 suddenly said he was leaving for an OW, I did beg him to reconsider (feverisly read RIC stuff ) and then he pretended to take time to think about it – kept me on the hook for a couple of days, only to discard me again.
          It’s really hitting me how much serious time I have wasted thinking about and trying to work with these dysfunctional men. They make a clean break, and I stay in it emotionally. I have lost so much energy to these fucked up people – and if you breed with one ….. there are no words. Years later, still haven’t found a workable way to do child expenses with H #1 – he doesn’t stick to any plan we come up with ever and it just causes all kinds of stress.

          • Zip.
            Don’t beat yourself up. The only reason I told mine to GTFO was because he was so hideous after DDay that it was almost impossible not to. He didn’t just leave me for another woman, he told me about the 13 years of cheating he’d done, and it was like he was quite proud of himself. I felt so shocked and hurt that I went into a deep, dark, near coma-like state. But some part of me still kicked him out. He then became very abusive. Then, I didn’t do the pick me dance, but I went through almost an entire year of wishing I had! I kept telling my therapist, friends and family that I should have tried harder, I should have begged him, and maybe I shouldn’t have kicked him out, and maybe, just maybe, he would have changed his ways and stayed. Everyone was like WTF are you talking about? My therapist would say, “what part of you thinks that? Is that the fantasy part again?” Seriously, it was so fucking hard to get it out of my mind. So, unlike a lot of chumps, I kicked out first, then actually REGRETTED not doing the pick me dance! Either way-it’s the same result. They are assholes, they can’t love, and they need to be shown the door. Zip-stay mighty! Accept what happened, and you did not cause it. You wanted an in tact family so you tried hard. Don’t blame yourself, but when you’re ready, gather up the lessons you’ve learned and consolidate what you know. You’re a saint for doing this twice. Big hugs to you out there!

            • “He didn’t just leave me for another woman, he told me about the 13 years of cheating he’d done, and it was like he was quite proud of himself. I felt so shocked and hurt that I went into a deep, dark, near coma-like state.”

              I don’t know why I am always surprised at how alike these cheaters are. That was my situation almost exactly, only for him it was he had been cheating for ten years, and of course schmoopie was an innocent young thing and he made the first move. He didn’t brag about the cheating, he did the hang dog; I was so unhappy, I was looking for happiness and I found it schtick.

              I am still appalled that through out the dumping day, he kept referring to her as a “girl” he wouldn’t tell me who she was.

              Turned out she was his employee (direct report) the dog catcher. She hadn’t seen girl in years. She had two big assed teenagers and a ten year old. she had also screwed around with many married men before him. She had been divorced twice, and she was living at the poverty line. There was speculation from my son that the ten year old is his, though he denied it.

              So he threw me out like yesterdays news paper, and handed everything I had worked for with him over to her. They didn’t keep it, but the intent was there when he did it.

              You are right it has noting to do with Zip. They are so cold because they have spent months sometimes years devaluing us. The have turned us into the enemy to save themselves.

              • ‘They have turned us into the enemy to save themselves.’
                You are so right. Very unhappy people who can’t take any responsibility for it blame other people. Some people hide their unhappiness very well until it comes out in other ways.

            • Formerly, thank you so much for your message. We chumps are so very hard on ourselves. The messages from this site have been sinking in at a snails pace but I feel I’m starting to see the light.

      • (((big hugs)))
        Yes, that back n forth head game is so torturous. You do get it.
        Thank you everyone for responding.
        💜🙏💜

      • Wow! Your experience was similar to what I dealt with my ex-wife. It’s a sickness they get and there is no cure for it.

        Hoping for better days

      • Shaloolah, I’ve been reading the hear wrenching posts for a while and your experience is the closest to what I experienced, especially if I combine H #1, and H #2. The EXACT same words and phrases were used (getting back on track etc) and both times a happy marriage or so I thought…mixed messages, they were both good involved fathers… everyone in shock… one day to the next. With H #1 it was one day to the next repeatedly for a few years.
        Me trying ferociously to hold on to both H’s because I really believe in marriage, didn’t want all the devastation and I believed deeply that they both loved me but had problems.
        H#1 was diagnosed with different mental health issues after we split up. As we coparent and he was not usually excepting any treatment – it was unbelievably challenging and anxiety provoking throughout the years. Be grateful your children are older.
        H#2, Mr Wonderful… Well, another man with serious emotional issues.
        One day to the next my life blew up because of leaving me for an OW. Like your H, he went from not being happy all of sudden to realizing he made a mistake but staying with the OW – just all kinds of really bizarre, heartbreaking and inconsistent madness. And this was from somebody who presented as the healthiest and most amazing partner and stepdad.
        I’ll just say what my adult kid said ‘ this is not normal behaviour.’

        My advice to you based on having had H #1 leave and return with big promises over and over again is to make a clean break from this very destructive behaviour to your self-esteem and soul.
        I realize you have already been put through a lot and damage has been done. Hard to believe, but there’s actually potential for much more damage if this keeps happening to you again and again.
        Perhaps if I hadn’t been so emotionally put through the ringer with H#1, I would have seen that H #2 was not an emotionally developed adult with empathy and an ability to work through uncomfortable emotions. He was a victim and deserved happiness -thus the break up of his previous marriage.
        I read that these type of men are emotionally defective. One therapist said stunted at an adolescent level.
        They usually can’t admit their contributions to their unhappiness or to any flaws in the marriage.
        Because mine were both great guys on many levels, both their families supported them … It took a few years for H#1’s family to also experience his untreated MH issues.
        The best predictor of future behaviour is past behavior… If you take him back I would bet everything that this will keep happening.
        And I will tell you, I’ve suffered more by loss of H#2, maybe because trauma is cumulative and/or I never properly dealt with the trauma from H #1.
        Being single would be better than being trapped in this cycle of abuse.

    • Lostchump, you are resilient. You’re mighty. You are gaining the life. You might not feel like it, but you ARE. You’re there mentally slugging it out every day to be a parent and survive.

      Please don’t look at his fucking Gandhi quotes and his social media. It doesn’t help.

      These are difficult, lonely pandemic abnormal times we’re living in. You have three kids who love you. Please don’t give up.

      • Yes, lostchump, do NOT look at his inspirational quotes, which are probably camouflage anyway. People who are truly giddy in love have zero time for posting how happy they are.

        Case in point: Last night an acquaintance posted on facebook a photo of her NYE lobster dinner at a swank restaurant, complete with bottle of Veuve Clicquot prominently displayed. She just now asked me for the name of a good local dentist, since she’s in excruciating pain. How much fun did she really have last night, in horrible pain, spending a fortune for probably not-so-great food, and needing to post a photo of a silly status symbol?

        Lostchump, it really, really sucks that you’re going through this now, but please don’t be fooled by silly status updates. Would you really rather be with a lying, cheating, shallow jerk? I didn’t think so. You are getting stronger by the minute, and you’ve got this.

            • No kidding. What reckless dopes. I’ve always been a slightly anti-social hermit, and now I’m absolutely thrilled that nowadays I don’t have to defend my proclivities. That neighbor has very overt political leanings, so I keep my distance for several reasons — my health and my sanity.

              • I forget the comedian who would mention Darwin taking out the garbage in regards to such idiotic, selfish behavior…

      • It cannot be emphasized enough just what a dumpster fire 2020 was, and how mighty we all are just to have (literally!) survived it.

        Hang in there, chumps. Let’s be gentle with ourselves.

    • (((Lostchump))))
      CL & CN, everyone is reaching out to you. Each one of us truly understands the pain you are in.
      Yet, there is so much encouragement, so much hope, in each response to you.
      You have taken the first step in reaching out and posting here.
      Read the archives. So many have travelled the very lonely road you find yourself travelling.
      You have three precious Children who love you as their sole, sane, caring, loving, parent.
      Try to do something nice for yourself each day, even if it is something very small.
      YOU matter. YOU are loved and cherished.
      Your cheater is a fake. He will NOT find true happiness, true contentment. He threw all that away. He does not even have the love and respect of his own flesh and blood, his Children. How can he really feel content and truly loved?
      He is only playing a useless game, which eventually will end up as a game of solitaire.
      He is not worth one single word here!
      But, you,
      YOU sweet lady, are Mighty!
      Go forward. We have your back!

      Xxxxxxxxx
      Peacekeeper

    • Here are a few of my concrete HOW’s which helped me:

      (Honestly Willingness Open Mindedness for starters!)

      1) No alcohol. It may seem like it works but it actually prevents the emotional processing and puts it all in a storeroom for someday. The pain is a now or later thing….head into it. Attempts to avoid it exacerbate it. You will NOT feel this way forever.

      2) Break your day into morning, afternoon and evening. Practice keeping your mind where your feet are, doing the next right action. Just do TODAY. The next right thing. One moment at a time.

      3) Wrap in a blanket for panic attacks. Time it. Mine last 15-20 minutes. It helps me to know they will pass and when.

      4) Call safe people to talk. I am VERY careful to discuss this ONLY with people who have been through it or people who are compassionate and helpful. NOT people who are emotionally bankrupt, dismissive, invalidating. This is major trauma, not a broken leg or the flu.

      4) A GREAT THERAPIST. I was in there getting glued back together three times a week for a long time. I am back to my usual once a week. My daughter has her own therapist now too.

      5) A great pit crew of women to talk to. I called about 12 a day for a long time. I am back to my usual two or three few. I met someone here in 2018 whose story has a lot of similarities. WE TALK DAILY STILL! She has helped save my life. We keep each other going.

      6) Prayer and meditation and breathing. Which has been HARD because the infidelity really put a dent in my faith. The evidence of the affair came after I specifically asked for it in a prayer, so remembering that has helped restore my faith. But I do believe in a Higher Power and boy was I mad at it. My head felt like a hurricane inside for a long long time so prayer and meditation was difficult but I went through the motions and acted as if.

      7) I read this blog daily. This is the lifeboat!

      8) Constantly adjusting my expectations. This is like being run down by a Mack truck and life will be overwhelming, difficult, and not feel good for a long time. That is NORMAL for what has happened, and IT IS TEMPORARY.

      9) Self care and kid care as best you can. Please respect that you are massively traumatized and grief stricken. ASK FOR HELP from trusted people. You are on life support in the emotional ICU and must maintain realistic and reasonable expectations. I have only recently begun to be able to read again.

      10) Exercise. WALKING has helped me. I haven’t been walking lately and I can feel the difference.

      11) A punching bag. The nicest one I could find. Professional quality, leather. Guess whose faces I imagine are on it? Do NOT do anything that qualifies you for jail. But the anger and rage is huge and you need a safe and legal outlet for it.

      My DDay was NOV 2017. I am not fully healed but I have come a very long way and I feel MUCH better than when this began. People here are right…you WILL feel better. “They” do not occupy my thoughts 24/7…I feel peaceful and grateful today….I am looking forward with excitement toward my future….feelings that seemed impossible when this all started.

      • Thank you, all!!
        I got out of my funk… Made a big batch of blueberry pancakes and bacon for my boys… Then we all went outside in the snow and my baby experienced snow for the first time today.
        Got nothing done on my to do lists but had a great time with my boys…. Loneliness setting in again.
        I really appreciate all the kind and understanding words.

        • Loneliness goes in waves. You have moments where you feel better, like when you share pancakes and fun times with your boys (who are with YOU not your ex) and you smile and feel good. But then the loneliness comes back over you like the damn ocean punching your legs out from under you.

          BUT

          Those moments of happiness are essential. It breaks up those loneliness waves. It gives you some time to actually breathe without the pain on your mind. It makes those waves SMALLER, less powerful. Eventually the waves are more like puddles slapping at your feet on the beach and you’re able to keep standing through them.

          The love and good times you have with your sons are real. The bs pseudo yoga guru quotes your ex posts are a façade. He has to post crap like that to literally fool people into liking him.

          You don’t have to fool your children into liking you. They do for real. Realness is something he’ll never have.

        • Lostchump, my D-day was Christmas 2016 after 18+ years together. That’s when I discovered that he’d been “miserable for ten years” and gave me the ILYBINILWY garbage. They really are walking clichés! I don’t have a toddler (and how I wish I did!), but I have a 19 and a 16 year old.

          The things that helped (and continue to help) me are:

          Gratitude for what I have – two wonderful kids who prefer me over their FW dad. A beautiful home, a sweet little sports coupe, a lovely garden, 2 adorable cats who worship me, and a handful of fantastic friends. You have a toddler! That’s a built-in salve, right there. First, he needs lots of attention (forcing you to put your FW on the shelf); second, he is all the unconditional human love you could want in this situation. He wants hugs, hot cocoa, fingerpaints and bubble baths. And that’s what you need to help your healing. Take care of yourself the way you take care of him. Do it simultaneously and soak up all the love he has to give you. Get your older ones to shoulder the dishes and laundry for a while.

          Hope for the future – I want to teach again, but if that doesn’t happen, I’m going to either write a memoir or get my MSW and start a counseling practice. Maybe I’ll do all three! This is your chance to do something you’ve always wanted. Like CL says, all the attention you gave to your FW gets to be used on you. Make some plans, girl!

          Journaling – it’s a great way to dump your grief, rage, and general misery, and it also serves as background notes for your future memoir.

          What didn’t help me was drinking, smoking, eating junk, ruminating, and self isolating. Stay away from that hole, please!

          Finally, here’s a title that can work miracles when you’re ready and if you do what he recommends: Living and Loving after Betrayal by Steven Stosny, PhD.

          It’s been 4 years, and I still get angry and resentful; sometimes I still cry and indulge in revenge fantasies. But mostly, I’m a lot happier than I was with him. Time heals. Big hugs!

          • ‘ Living and Loving after Betrayal’ by Steven Stosny, PhD.
            Thank you for recommending a book you found very helpful. I think Clady should do a post on that.

      • Reflecting on your #1 above:

        DD here was in May of 17.

        Denial. I know what true denial is now as a result of this. I could not see it.

        When I did. Ouch.

        4th column = my hang up was in my ‘expectations’ that he should be different, life should be different, feelings should be different, God should be different….the list was endless but all amounted to non- acceptance which is where CL came in – painting a clear picture of who these cheaters really are.

        Slammed my faith too because it was so tied up in him and recovery.

        More pissed at my concept of God than at him….

        Took awhile for that to turn around.

        It did and a second part of the 4th column opened up:

        ‘Acceptance’ (your ‘head into it’)

        Serenity Prayer

        Oh yeah, how did I forget that one.

        Because I do, all the time which is why I need daily reminders although I have been in 12 step recovery for well over 4 decades now….

        Thanks for spelling it out so clearly.

        Only thing I have to change is me and I can’t do that without help which is where I have to admit powerlessness AND change my behavior – which I can do. I need wisdom to see that and CL has provided that in a way I can get it through my thick skull!

    • Oh Lostchump…please know that we REALLY do understand. Those who are in Meh may not post of their past pain every day, but we really were IN IT. Please read my post below. My FW was an abusive covert narc who stole the best years of my life and I was so immobilized, I stayed for YEARS. My life sucked SO BADLY…I care for dying children for a living and it was easier to be at work than home (Im embarassed to type that even though it was true).

      It really does get better !!

    • Lostchump, I get the exhaustion having a granddaughter and son in college to support while getting through the pain. It gets better.

      One day you see your children sharing their ups and downs and realize the benefits of being the sane parent.

      You have to stop believing his fantasy life is better, it’s not. I take pictures and can scroll through each and every new cheater free picture and smile. You are doing what matters and that takes courage and strength. Your gain every single day.

      No one who matters respects him period. Make your house your home. It too a few years of surviving and slowly I began to thrive. The pain is finite. Ask others for help if you need it.

      • “No one who matters respects him period.”

        And quite frankly even a lot of those that don’t matter respect him. They are for whatever reason tied to him for their own needs or wants. Work, power etc.

        In my ex’s case he got most of our couple friends in the divorce. He had power and they liked being around the power. But, even that didn’t last, all but a couple of them drifted away. I imagine even they couldn’t take the stench. Of course he also lost rank and power after he and schmoopie were outed, so maybe that was part of the reason they drifted away too.

        Anyway clearly they were never my friends.

  • I tell myself that over and over when I get to feeling sorry for myself. Even ten years later though, when, still single, I see all my coupled acquaintances proclaiming on social media about how their year went, how they love their family, thankful for getting the promotion I was hoping for, describing how their spouse is their rock, how awesome their friendships are, how they look forward to resuming the travel I was never able to afford even in a good year, etc. I still mourn for what ought to have been.

    I remind myself how curated social media is, how their lives are probably not the wine and roses they portray, but then I just wonder if their spouses are secretly cheating on them, if they are actually deep in debt, etc, and feel bad about that too.

    I can intellectually understand how much better my life is for not having a cheater in it anymore, and I honestly love my independence, and appreciate that as an introvert with a stable teleworking job, the pandemic didn’t actually change my life that much. But I still feel the precarious limitation that is single income life, despair at my inability to make new friends to replace all the ones I lost in the divorce, miss having a partner in life to team up on problems and adventures with, all those things that ten years ago I thought I would have back by now.

    I guess it’s human nature to always lament what you haven’t got rather than appreciate what you do have, but this is a bad time of year when you see everyone around you publicly appreciating what you haven’t got.

    • HC, it’s all about reframing.

      You do have someone to go on adventures with. Yourself!

      You can make an amazing friend with yourself!

      You are your own partner!

      I guarantee that once you start choosing yourself and doing things with yourself, the other friends will show up. And those people with “partners” will be envious and in awe of your ability to be your own person and do things on your own.

    • Sadly I know more unhappily married couples than happy ones. When I was travelling in 2019 I got chatting to a lady who had lost her partner. She told me she had been out with a group of eight other women and had casually asked how many of them were happy – and no-one put their hand up! You wouldn’t believe how many women have told me they envy my single life, so please don’t believe everything you see on social media. As you say, you’re comparing your worst with their pretend best!

    • Hey Hopeful Cynic: Something that has really helped me over time was cancelling social media. I no longer see the “happy” pictures of people at gatherings, travelling, etc. (I cancelled before the pandemic). My social group now are the friends I was doing things with pre-pandemic and now we text regularly, talk on the phone and do FaceTime. We all support each other and there is no sense of competition. I don’t miss Facebook at all. It’s not easy to stop the habit of checking what others are doing, but once you disengage, I believe you will feel much better.

      • I think that’s part of my problem; I have no social life outside of social media. My local offline social group mostly fell apart in the divorce, my closest pre-marriage friends all live far away now and none of them are single, and making new friends at my age and stage of life is exceedingly difficult, I’ve learned. The fact that I’m telling you guys all this instead of having a close friend to listen to me is a perfect example.

        It just seems like I’ve never been able to catch a break since divorce. It’s not even anything to do with infidelity; just seeing opportunities I’d like go to other people who don’t need it as much as I do, learning that people I thought were friends do things without me, etc. I used to go to some friends’ New Year’s Eve party every year, and this year, it’s cancelled of course, but I learned accidentally that they had a Zoom call party and never invited me. I don’t like ‘getting over it’ by trying to convince myself their home life isn’t as great as it appears. I was in consideration for a promotion at work, which would have been such a welcome change from the job I’ve had since divorce, not to mention higher pay that would have helped me so much, and they just announced it went to a married woman who already worked at a higher level than me. I just don’t like the way I’m ‘getting over it’ by trying to convince myself that her happy marriage probably isn’t as shiny as it seems.

        It’s funny, but I feel like I need some big upheaval in my life. I’ve been on a treadmill since divorce and can’t just leap off because I’ve got kids and a mortgage, etc. Things like quitting my job and going back to school just aren’t an option. But I can’t wish for upheaval, because it’s probably going to be tragic, or a pandemic.

        My cynic just overtakes my hopeful now and then, and it seems to be happening more and more as time goes on.

        • I understand you completely. FW was a military officer so we moved a lot and I wound up in a town no where near lifelong friends. I have several IRL friends here who I made in the 2 years before D day. One is unhappily married but the rest are pretty damn happy. I envied that a bit BEFORE D day. I never curated my life on social media. I had stopped putting up any photos (and even takingn any) of FW for a few years because I had found in the past he would take any nice photos of himself that I had taken and use them on pick up sites. But I digress….

          Yes, there are couples who are actually happy. I don’t console myself by pretending that they are not or that one spouse is secretly cheating. That’s not reality. D day happened just as the pandemic hit so I don’t know if I will get the social invitations anymore. Facebook has allowed me to keep my social network alive and I luckily have 2 friends who were both chumped and are now living happy single lives. So in my case, I have examples of Getting Over It. It hadn’t occurred to me to call either of them for support until just now, actually. I never made any kind of announcement about what has been happening so my online friends don’t know. But the other happily married ones? Well, good for them.

          I guess I am so relieved to be getting rid of a narc that I don’t mind being on a work my butt off treadmill. I am also an introvert who teleworked since before the pandemic. I am so thankful to have control over how my earnings are spent instead of being ordered to put my paycheck into FW’s account. I just saw a more senior person at work get promoted. She is married with 3 kids and I feel like I could use the money more than she needs it BUT I also think she will do a great job and I have been spared a tougher work treadmill, as the promotion was to a salaried position which always requires more than 40 hours of work per week. I would rather keep earning less and have more time for my son. I know not every career advancement is as rosy as it seems and my company doesn’t really give people a choice about promotions. I am OK with the position I have so I am keeping my head down, trying not to be noticed too much so I can keep doing what I am doing.

          My father died young and my own mother just worked and took care of us kids. Maybe that is the example I have in my head. We were poor but it’s funny how looking back, I remember a lot of fun times. Oh, I remember the bill collectors calling all the time, too. But my mother was like Dory. She just kept swimming. She tried dating once after my father died but the guy was a FW and she ended it fast. She finally found someone and settled down when she was in her mid-50s. I could see myself being like that. I need a long time to fix my picker. I am in no rush. I feel like you and I are on the same work/bills/kid treadmill but we see it differently. I have such huge gratitude for having woken up and telling FW to stop threatening me and file already. I feel scared and also brave. I think when the pandemic wanes, there will be opportunities to socialize. I will invite people over myself. Or maybe I should make a Zoom call. But I can be creative and find a way to meet those needs. Those are things you can do, too. And at work when they give you more to do or some hateful project, just respond back to the higher ups saying, “Thank you for the opportunity to help out with this,” and start letting them know that you are the person they will want to promote next. Start actively inviting this good stuff into your life. Try to network through LinkedIn and see if other companies have better opportunities for you or if there are Zoom calls in your industry that you can join to learn more and meet people to help you get ahead.

        • HC – Uninstall FB and download the Meetup App. Join at least one group. Even start your own! Get involved in politics. Political groups LOVE new members. And/or volunteer in your community (my favorite is CASA, where you advocate in court for abused children). The only way to get off the treadmill is to get off the treadmill.

        • Comparison is the thief of joy as they say. But yup, I too get tired of the people who seem to have been born with a horseshoe up their butt.

          I hope once this virus buggers off you can join a MeetUp group and meet a few folks HC.

    • This is me as well minus the social media aspect. I’m 11 years out from dday single & also with limited income. I basically had a runaway husband who took with him a fabulous income. We were a good team I thought – he the steady, calm practical one to me the excitable, fun loving, spontaneous one. We traveled the world together, had wonderful regular family/ friends get togethers, participated in our community, restored our Victorian era home & were well prepared for our future retirement. I’m still angry that he took that all away. I’m afraid I’ll be one of those people where their future was never as good as their past. I spent 26+ years with a fuckwit & never knew it. Yet with a good CL education I continue to soldier on with a firm upper lip.

      Oh, and I have even ended a few “friendships” because I wasn’t healing fast enough for their timeline – none of them ever facing a personal tragedy.

    • I was one of those women that people envied. I had the handsome husband with a prestigious career who preached part-time plus a large, beautiful house and investments that were going to give us a happy retirement. Both kids were high achievers. It was all a big fat lie.

      And here I am, divorced. He picked one of the most expensive lawyers in the area, a guy who used to hang out with the rich-and-famous. I picked a superstar who gave his all and wrote off a lot of the legal work because my ex made him so angry. I got a good settlement and recovered financially after several years of near-poverty income. The college kids did great as commuter students and are headed towards responsible adulthood.

      Now when I see the glowing pictures and comments on Facebook, I know not to believe it. It might be true, or not. I focus on friends who are real about their lives, which means that I have a different circle of friends that I did before my ex left. And that’s fine.

      And frankly I’m perfectly fine being single. Truly. Most of the people I know who remarried after losing a spouse or after divorce in my age group (55-65) are unhappy. I’d rather be in control of my own time and happiness.

      • This is exactly how I feel – I am ok single! My life to live! And no social media for me other than instagram. Facebook is just well Fakebook.

        • FB is a bunch of people mourning their parents that died 10 or 20 years ago and wishing them back. Or new couples posting brag photos of their ecstatic happiness.

    • It’s been proven over and over again that the more we look at social media the more depressed we become. Stop the madness.

  • Happy New Year to all fellow chumps:) We have big hearts that deserve better in life. Hoping 2021 is a better year is so many ways.

  • Amen!

    This year was hell and high water for me as the EX was determined to destroy me. Custody battles, battles over assets… in the end, he ran out of money to pay his lawyer and he settled everything. It was STRESSFUL beyond belief and very hard financially.

    BUT this year I also finished all the coursework and tests for my teaching certification. I applied for my dream job (teaching math and science at an international school in Asia). Not only did I get the job, but I got the exact placement I was hoping for–teaching at the school I graduated from in my hometown. (I grew up in Asia.) I signed the contract right before Christmas.

    I have dreamed of this for years, and everyone always told me it was impossible–that no one would hire a single mom with kids, that I was too old (at age 45) that I didn’t have the time and money to go back to school to get my teaching certification, that I wouldn’t get a contract for enough money to support my kids… They were ALL WRONG!

    I’m so glad I’m not sitting around waiting for a Cheater to care about me. I learned that I’m not stupid for having dreams. I can plan. I can pursue goals. I can win.

    Here’s to a brighter sunrise on the other side of the world.

    • Great news, Carol…Here’s to your perseverance and all the wonderful new adventures in store for you and the kids!

    • Wonderful! I’m also doing a “start-over”.
      Asshole moved out last night. Happy New Year!!!
      I’ll be taking nursing in the fall, at 37, with full custody of 5 kids (ages 6-15) while still working a full time job in healthcare. I had been accepted into the program twice previously, but pulled out because Asshole was an alcoholic, wasn’t financially stable enough, wanted to go back to school himself, etc. I think he wanted to thwart my earning potential to keep me beholden to him. Or below him.
      But, I know I can do it now, and I’m excited to finally do the schooling I’ve been wanting to do for 12 years. All of the energy and time and money I expended on Asshole, I can now use on myself. And it helps that I have absolutely incredible, supportive, and generous children. After living with a narcissist, serial cheater and alcoholic their whole lives, I’m amazed every day by their empathy and generosity. And my parents, incredible people. I don’t know how they’ve borne watching the turmoil Asshole has put my family through. I’m extremely grateful to be starting a new year with new goals and a new outlook. Life can be wonderful again.

      • I am so happy for you, Genesis. Marriage is supposed to be for mutual help and support. It’s amazing to realize in retrospect how these assholes did the exact opposite–they drained us and held us back. Divorce feels like the end of a dream, but it can actually be the beginning of a dream. We finally get to do all those things we always wanted to do now that we aren’t drowning under the weight of someone else’s assholery.

        • It is absolutely the end of a dream, a dream that I’ve been clinging desperately to since the first D-day 7 years ago. I was a prisoner of hope. It took 7 years, and countless affairs to finally see the futility of expecting reciprocity.

    • Susie Lee,
      I’m relatively new here and haven’t commented much because I am still stumped by a couple things. You seem to post often. Could I ask you to kindly explain answers to a couple questions?
      1) How do you and others get the little avatar photo beside your username? It seems like there must be some place to sign up but I can’t find it.
      2) What does it mean when you post the word follow after someone’s comment?

      • I never chose an avatar, (that I remember) I think that is automatic.

        I post follow because in the am I get a new topic from CL and I want to get email notifications of all the posts. So I just post follow and then check the two boxes (shown below) below the user name and email.

        Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

        Notify me of new posts by email.

        I could just make a comment, and check the two boxes, but that early lord, knows what it would be. I need coffee first.

  • If you had told me back in the mess that I would ever forget the intensity of my pain, I would have become indignantly angry with you.

    The truth is that by living a good life, when I was busy planting tulips, having sex with my new/good spouse, wandering European promenades looking for coffee, getting a Masters Degree etc…I forgot the intensity of my pain…I can’t recreate it in my head if I try…it’s like labor pains that my body purged from available recall.

    Cheater dropping dead taught me that life REALLY IS SHORT. My days on this planet WILL come to an end…so I want to live the best I can. I do still need to honor my experience and that involves sometimes telling my story and thinking about it, but more often Im concerned with the paint Im going to buy for my daughters house. Last nihgt while looking for something for her, I found a picture of Cheater. He looked so handsome in the photo and yet I reacted in a way that was remarkably MEH and I kept looking for the widget.

    Happy 2021 everybody !!

    • I don’t know why your story reminded me of my first D day when I saw pics of FW with OW (there were many) and my reaction was to almost vomit. I became physically ill. Years later (because I stupidly stayed) when I found more pics of him with OW, my only reaction was to immediately save copies as evidence I could use later. My only emotion was happiness at having found fresh material I might someday use to negotiate a better settlement. My only physical response was maybe to shrug. This is who he is, I thought. I started making plans to escape but before I had things sorted out, he told me he wanted out. I think if I saw a new pic of him today I would just move on to my widgets also. Maybe I moved toward meh while still in my marriage. I wondered if maybe seeing that pic of Cheater didn’t trigger you because you know he is gone or do you think you stopped caring before he died? I would think letting go is easier when the FW no longer roams the earth. At the same time, managing your children’s grief and possible desire to remember Cheater being a saint while knowing the truth has to be a real challenge.

      • Early on, vomiting was the response I had…my emotional pain was so bad it caused physical pain I could feel in my limbs. I got own to 113 pounds, my hair was falling out and I had hives. My kids were a mess and I had to single parent them. OW was Chinese and I couldnt look at a Chinese restaurant.

        My trip from there to Meh was a LONG one.

        Yes, im endlessly horrified that my kids can probably tell that I no longer grieve for FW (and that it makes me look like an asshole in some way even though I really am not one).

        At the time of his death, I thought we were wreckonciled but it was shaky and he was making overatures to leaving again. I told God that I had come to a place of releasing him and if there was a place where he would be happy, I would be fine if he went there. I genuinely believed that to be California (so his sudden death was a HUGE surprise).

        If I could have chosen a path (for the love of my kids and inlaws) I would not have had him die but rather to divorce and later marry my now husband who would have annoyed him to no end. At daughters graduation…I wished that FW and OW were sitting there – for my daughters sake. Alas, I had no choice in it.

        • That’s sad. My father died when I was a little girl and I think I grew up remembering him being so wonderful. It wasn’t until I was much older that I was able to grasp that he was only human and remember his imperfections. I can’t imagine if FW died trying to be there for my son and yet not look like a jerk for not being in grief myself. That’s a tough road.

          I understand the physical reactions so well. I had bouts of anxiety and wound up on anxiety meds for a while. The need for medication was what starting my heart turning against FW. I mean, when someone is so bad for you that you wind up on medication, something has to change. For me, I decided to stop loving him. I decided that if I turned off feelings for him, I would no longer be a slave to his actions. I decided at first to endure and then after I realized he was a narc, I had to start wrapping my mind around escape. It never crossed my mind before then that I could leave but knowing he is a narc, I knew I had to protect my son. FW saying he has had enough was a blessing which I had been praying for. It felt like permission to do as I had hoped.

          I am glad your prayers were answered even it wasn’t in the way you wanted or expected. Praying for freedom was about all I had to work with for awhile, so I get it. Someday your kids may understand.

        • > Yes, im endlessly horrified that my kids can probably tell that I no longer grieve for FW (and that it makes me look like an asshole in some way even though I really am not one).

          You’re not an asshole. I don’t know how young your children are but honestly, I think it would be more disturbing to the kids (especially as they grow) if you WEREN’T upset and if you pretended (or actually felt!) goodwill toward their father.

          You’re modeling sane behavior for them, and that includes grief and reasonable boundaries in response to abuse.

  • A big hello and hug to fellow chumps. 😍
    I have to say that Traci and CN has been an strong inspiration to me during this difficult time. Yes, the message is spot on. It is apparent that only true chumps understand the wretched dynamics of being in these emotional relationships. Fellow chumps, do not despair because YOU are loved and respected in this special group of awesome ladies. Don’t ever forget that you ROCK!! Let’s focus on us and our future happiness in this new year.

    • Don’t forget the fellas. Chump Lady says she gets as much male as female traffic. Chumps and cheaters come in every flavor: male, female, trans, straight, gay, bi, monogamous, open, et cetera. Maybe some space aliens read Chump Nation. (Waves to the Vulcans.)

      The point is, cheating is cheating, no matter your lifestyle or what type of relationship you thought you had.

      Glad that men read here, even if they don’t comment as much. Hope they memorize Chump Lady’s book. Men tend not to talk. Think that’s why they kill themselves more often. Please don’t!

      https://www.chumplady.com/2019/12/please-dont-kill-yourself-for-a-fuckwit/

  • It takes time to internalize that I am being relieved of a gangrenous, unnecessary, counterproductive, soul sucking appendage, but it is imperative that I do.

    I do not want to be married to TLC (Traitor Liar Cheater). I wanted to be married to TLC (Truth Love Character).
    I would never want to be in an illicit relationship in either seat of the clown car.

    So, I have actually received the oddly-wrapped gift of being freed up to have in actuality what I want in life, thought I had, BUT DID NOT. And still, surgery without anesthesia hurts, as does being emotionally beaten to within an inch of my life. Denial breaking has been like hitting the deck after being thrown off the roof of a very tall building.

    The truth is that without the OW, I would never have let go of my mirage (marriage) and I needed to. I have been on my own for three years now and a LOT has been surfacing about me and the mirage (marriage) that I was in denial about. Without the affair, I would have continued clutching my husband Dorian Gray, thinking I had the downstairs version when what I really had was the portrait in the attic.

    The karma involved in this situation is MY GOOD KARMA….being relieved of a fraudulent, abusive, cruel, self-centered jerk who spends massive amounts of energy pretending to be a nice guy. Nice guys don’t lie, have affairs, abandon their little girls, and hide money from their wives for 20 years.

    If I found out I had paid millions for a forgery,,yet had the opportunity to be given the authentic original if I turned in the forgery, you can bet I would do so.

    As it turns out, that is exactly my task here.

    (I believe every day is New Year’s Day, so
    today is just the next New Year’s Day on the time continuum…have a good one and don’t worry if today doesn’t go as planned. If you wake up tomorrow you get another chance to practice. )

    • Excellent words, Velvet Hammer. The thought has also crossed my mind that had I not found out about the most recent affair, I would still be married right now. I would still be in a fog of unconsciousness living life inauthentically unaware of the mirage of a marriage in which I was in.

      Yes, there has been so much pain, hurt, and tears going through D-Day and the divorce, but I have more days than not in which I find myself feeling gratitude towards the OW. I was living in a state of horrendous cognitive dissonance, sometimes even questioning my sanity, at the extensive gaslighting from my exH when I stumbled upon the OW’s posts on social media confirming the affair. This of course started my journey of detachment from my exH and taking control of my emotions, feelings, and personal growth. THIS is my “gaining a life,” as I could not imagine going back to who I was pre D-Day.

      Your desire to be married to TLC (Truth Love Character) is spot on. I desire the same. Best of luck on your journey!

  • This is my third cheater-free New Year. The last one with Lying Cheating Loser was NYE 2017. We spent it on vacation in Mexico (a vacation that I paid for by working 7 days a week as a house painter) and even with the beach and the margaritas and the tacos and the vacay mode, it wasn’t nearly as good as the three I’ve had since then (which I’ve spent solo, in my own home, with only my cats for company).
    I could write the typical CN litany of all the ways LCL wronged me during our 4-year relationship (lies, sexting, cheating, laziness, abuse of every kind) but it’s all water under the bridge to Meh.
    Suffice to say: before LCL, I was married for 18 years and suffered low grade abuse (neglect, withholding affection, silent treatment, devaluing etc.). I left my marriage when I discovered his 18-month affair with a secretary.
    A few years after, enter the LCL, who turned out to be a sociopath. I got sucked in because after my long, cold marriage, it felt great to be love-bombed. I stayed sucked in for 4 years because bad case of codependency.
    Somewhere in there I found CL and started lurking, and learning.
    I left LCL in the spring of 2018. He couldn’t believe it when I finally got serious, terminated the lease on the home we shared (which was in my name only) and told him he had to be out in 2 weeks. Poor little sad sausage!
    I had lined up a smaller rental for myself and my cat. Less than a year after that, I bought my dream home in a new town, 100 miles away, and left all the bad memories behind.
    My business is thriving, my finances are in much better shape, and I’m in a home without an atmosphere of tension, worry, or stress. If I get still and listen, I can hear my walls sing.
    And LCL? He moved a few hours south, to his hometown, away from his two teenage children (not mine) and in with his parents. It’s been almost three years now, he’s in his late 30s, and still living at home for free. Oh, and he got a young, dumb coworker pregnant.
    Where we end up is the result of the choices we make. Leaving a cheater and gaining a life isn’t always the easiest choice. But it is the best one.

  • Happy new year CL/CN. Thank you for being here! This blog has saved my sanity. …made my experience feel validated and given me advice I could not get anywhere else. You have helped put my craziness in perspective, modify my impulses, direct my progress, and manage through the labyrinth of recovery from betrayal. It is a journey and CL/CN is a guiding light.

  • I’m here to properly celebrate conducting my own liberation campaign!!! (God, I love that phrase, CL,!)

    Almost 4 years out and I’m FINALLY springing into blossom!!!

    There is still much good work to do, but I am finally BUILDING, after years spent grieving, damage controlling and plain surviving, I have my ducks in a row and ready to THRIVE !

    I thought the day would never come for me.
    Newly-minted chumps, stick at it, don’t give up on yourselves, keep ploughing through!!!
    There really IS a life to be lived, on the other side.

    Best of years to all! Happy 2021 <3

  • Yesterday, New year’s Eve was hard for me. As an adult child of alcoholics drinking holidays are always hard. There’s a lot of negative reinforcement throughout the years.

    I ended up in a panic last night, making bad decisions and eating bad foods until 4 am.

    But that day is over and this one is fresh. I’m very happy that I left February of last year. So I’m not starting this out as a new chump. I’m an old Chump. And I’ve done a lot of work this past year. I’m stronger. I’m much happier. I’m in my own home now. It’s a rental but it’s mine.

    My kids are safe with me. 23 years of hell. He’s got someone else but that’s okay because that takes that laser focus off of me. I know he’s going to trash her, but that’s not my problem. Last night when I was deep in the rabbit hole I looked on their Facebook. He’s drinking again. It’s not going to end well. He went for somebody who drinks. He does drugs. But it’s what he wanted.

    I’m free. That’s what I wanted. God is good.

  • Happy New Year, CN.

    New Year’s is my D-Day and my abusive ex-mother’s birthday, so a dark-humored two-birds-with-one-stone milestone it is.

    On New Year’s 2019 I madly googled “cheating gaslighting liar” and ended up here, the only site where the tone and language made sense to me. Thank heavens. What a sanity-saver.

    Thank you, CL & CN. Here’s to 2021!

  • Thanks for this CL:

    “The pain is finite. Don’t choose it. Don’t keep reliving it. Infidelity does NOT define you. It’s no measure of your soul, of your worthiness and lovability.”

    Understanding this–truly believing it–is my challenge!!

    I’m not there yet.

    For chumps like me who feel down because this gaining-a-life business hasn’t been achieved, know that good is good enough and that it can take time. Here’s to an upward trajectory!!

    Thanks to CL and CN.
    Happy New Year.

  • Happy New Year to all of Chump Nation from the beautiful Land of Meh. It’s so peaceful here, and full of joy. I hope your Tuesday comes soon if you are still suffering. Peace on Earth, Good will to People!

  • Hi, CN. After seven d-days, and a year of attempted reconciliation that was not reciprocated, for the past four months I’ve read the posts and comments here every day. And I cry routinely, for two reasons: Because I’m surprised by how the actions and language of my STBXW align with other cheaters. And because of the comfort I experience here while trying to heal from the abuses of betrayal, gaslighting, and blame-shifting. Oh, you are big-hearted people! And the stories and advice you share help me immeasurably. Thank you, chump-friends

  • Happy New Year Chump Nation! I want to validate anyone who is still in the fresh hell, but also want to say how much better my life is from taking Chump Lady’s advice. After waiting that RIC made up number of 12 months to leave to make sure the “fog” didn’t lift- I left. I left with five kids- one a one year old, and having never worked to support myself. Six years later, I finished my graduate degree, got married this year to an amazing man, and am so happy for this life I would have never gotten to experience if I didn’t leave or if he wasn’t quite as big of an asshat. I don’t think about my ex all that much except to make sure he deposited the child support. No contact and reading Chump Lady was the start of that road- I was already divorced by the time I found Chump Lady, but her strong stance on boundaries and no contact is what moved me forward.

  • This is the message I was trying to convey in the threads on forgiveness and yesterdays thread about revenge. It is not that what happened to us all wasn’t important, or that our pain isn’t real, it is exactly for those reasons we have to realize we have the opportunity to put all that behind us when we choose to get over it. We choose this option for our own benefit.

    I do not believe you have to have a partner to be happy. I am happier now than I ever was married. Most people I have observed while going through my life were not happily married. There were a lucky few who appeared content. Most of them did not have a “traditional” relationship. There are some folks who have a partner or friend who is always there for them , is supportive, and communicates. They are very lucky people. They are also happy and content when they are alone. I believe if you are not happy with yourself, you cannot expect anyone else to make you happy. This is my humble opinion, and the way I live my life now that I am retired and my children are grown. I realized one day that I had always been a single mother, even when I was married. It was actually easier after I was divorced. Economically it was tricky, sometimes, but so was being economically linked to a FW.

    You have more power than you realize. Let go and appreciate it.

  • If I could rewrite this post (and I should tweak), I would remove the word “thrive” because it’s so fucking trendy and meme-ish.

    But as I wrote upthread, I fervently believe that everyone will thrive on the other side of abuse.

    And while you might miss the trappings of “security,” and intact family impressions, and finances, and sex, and stuff — you cannot untangle it from abuse. Being cheated on, defrauded, lied to, gaslighting, duped into an investment without return — it’s abuse.

    And abuse can have hooks. But it’s still abuse.

    You MUST change to get out. And it hurts like a motherfucker.

    I’m not saying you have to write a novel, or remarry, or scale a mountain. Most chumps give short shrift to their own resiliency. When you’re being mighty, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s a slog most days. But you WILL get there. The pain stops, your new life fills in. And fuckwits stop having centrality. Don’t give them another moment.

    Have a mighty new year.

    • Thank you ChumpLady. Happy NY.
      ‘Fuckwits stop having centrality. Don’t give them another moment.’
      Your message is so clear in what you wrote above. Dealing with the pain of Cheater H#2 has made me realize how central I have made both ExH’s. I didn’t realize the healing power of Gray rock and how it can apply to all kinds of problematic Ex’s not just narcissist. I feel a big learning curve coming on.

  • To Hopeful Cynic, Lost Chump and others who are struggling, I get it, especially now. We can’t always pursue the life we wanted or thought we had, particularly burdened by childcare and COIVD quarantines. .My beatercheaterpants (physically abusive) decided he was eminently qualified to pontificate on morals at Sunday services, and he and his latest schmoopie are reaching out online to share their spiritual wisdom with the lesser enlightened. I think it’s part of his narc personality; he can’t keep a job or his family, but dammit, the catfishers and golddiggers like himsmoney (cough), and he’s spiritually superior!
    I get depressed, too, particularly on weekends, I don’t work outside the home so I don’t know how or why they differ from weekdays. Maybe it’s getting fewer calls. Who’d have thought I’d miss telemarketers and bill reminders?
    One thing that helped is writing in a gratitude journal at bedtime, and keeping it up even on the most horrible nights. It hurts to hear children say they’re grateful for a roof over their heads, or for food, or their own bed, when you want so much more for them. It hurts when you can’t think of much more to say yourself, but there are many days when we have things and people who go beyond the essential necessities–which I do appreciate now, rather than take for granted.
    You clearly articulated things that are scary–being solely responsible for income, having to find companionship instead of having it right at your side, handling all of life as a single rather than a pair. In reality, that may never change, especially for older chumps with kids. It makes shared housing look very appealing, and helps me understand the urge to move back to families long abandoned, but neither of those are opinions.
    Chump Nation is a huge help. A weekly therapy call helps. Writing to myself help, and takes the pressure of friends who have heard it all before. I haven’t called one myself–yet–but COIVD concerns generated a lot of local and regional phone line services for that go beyond crisis intervention and serve
    people who are grieving and struggling,
    Big changes may seem impossible right now. That’s OK. Little steps can still get you where you want to go.

  • I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Chump Lady, I love you. And I love youse all* Chump Nation too!

    *a quote famous to all Aussies from a man known for his boxing, not his eloquence.

  • What a gift this column has been to me!! It has sped me on my way toward this joyful new life. hard for me to express my gratitude but I am so glad I found Chump Lady at the perfect time. Onward!

  • Dear Chump Lady: RE: Happy New Year “Get Over It”

    Your archives and the posts of fellow-chumps provided me with a bright light in a very dark tunnel after my Discovery Day in May 2020. Your universal bullshit translations enabled me to laugh when everything was so shockingly sad – they were written so brilliantly and succinctly and I shared them with many colleagues who agreed, “Chump Lady is brilliant.”

    I withdrew from contributing my posts after a few months as time passed for a variety of reasons. I felt terrible about sharing my fkwit’s letter from his psychiatrist without noticing his embossed name was on it; I began to see more and more new Chumps every month joining the long list of Chumps and I began to realize that Chump Nation was growing – more and more Chumps were getting the stomach punch month after month – year after year.

    It’s kind of like cancer – all the money and all the years of research have only expanded the huge cancer centers – we should be down to a drive through hut with a handful of cases – but cancer is big business. There’s no reason to find a cure. But we don’t need to accept the growing number of new Chump heartaches, there needs to be a way to protect future women- our daughters, our sisters, from becoming Chumps. And it doesn’t mean becoming hard-hearted women.

    I have spent the past 6 months researching why the fkwits get away with what they do….and why the “other women” who are truly evil and don’t care how much they hurt other women and never will and how the court system protects the fkwit and the whores. When my husband (Beverly Hills surgeon of 28 years admitted he had been with 30 or more prostitutes multiple times throughout our marriage I was needless to say shocked) but what I learned later was more shocking.

    Attorneys asking from $800 to $1250 and hour. Really? I bought a paperback book for $25, filled in the form, filed the one page divorce and did it myself. The police officers who sleep with the prostitutes and protect them. The court system that gives leniency to prostitutes with free rehab and hands the keys back to the drunk drivers… I could write a book – and will – about the injustice.

    But what’s more important is your message of “Get over it” and start over and finish that degree and get that career, etc.- well, that’s fine for the first-time Chumps who are in their 20’s and 30’s even 40’s – yes, do that, and many of us did that – myself included – I looked at my piano-playing sweet Swedish drunk husband of 2 years at the age of 30 and said I can’t live like this – and I left – and with zero help from anyone, I got that career and I got my master’s degree and I got that law degree and at the age of 34 I married a physician who purported to be a wonderful man….who secretly lived a double life whoring throughout Beverly Hills. So, what did I do wrong? And, at the risk of sounding self-serving at 60 years old now – I look better and am stronger than most 20 year olds- 60 really is the new 40 and we have the photos to prove it 😊 But your message of “get over it” is very different for those of us at 60. The goal should be to eradicate Chumps – just like we should be eradicating cancer not expanding it. How do we do that when we are by nature loving, caring, honest, trusting people? We instill in our daughters to always, always, always have your own bank accounts, always have a portable career, think twice about getting married, have a post nuptial whether you’re broke or rich; never be left with a dusty law degree and stretch marks. Sure, young gals think they can win a judgment and collect alimony (?) Not so. You can win all the judgements you want but collecting on them is another story. I spent $30,000 on Criminal Protective Orders – good for 3 years – the whores can’t come within 350 feet of my home or office – so they stand 355 feet and scream – and it’s perfectly legal.

    The fkwits can bank their money off-shore and shack up with their whores – and you’re left standing in line at Whole Foods paying with what (?) “get over it” courage? That strong sense of self? Nope….cash or credit is only accepted here, thanks. So ladies, don’t let your daughters grow up to marry cowboys…..or doctors……or anyone for that matter without knowing that kindness takes courage and first and foremost be smart and be kind to yourself. There isn’t an ‘old gals network’ like there’s an old boys network because women are terribly mean to other women….So ladies – be smart – it’s tough to be old, it’s tougher to be old and broke, it’s worse to be old, broke, & homeless, and it’s worse to be old, broke, homeless, and ill, and I know so very many wonderful Chumps who are old, broke, homeless, sick, and have grown children living in the basement….. Sixty is the new 40. Don’t “Get over it” GET ON TOP OF IT. Don’t accept the shit sandwich. Help change the system. I look forward to the day when there are no new Chumps and no new cancer diagnoses.

    • Hi Jo:

      Agree with everything you’ve written: I too want to blow up the current system and replace it with one in which there is justice for Chumps. Would love to hear what your six months of research has taught you…and I have some ideas as well.

      To me it seems like Chumps everywhere were dealt a deadly blow with no fault divorce. I understand that the courts blew up with a large number of divorces due to social changes, but it doesn’t follow that getting rid of at-fault divorces is a solution. We don’t decriminalize rape just because the caseload is increasing. There are strong social and moral reasons to support marriage and penalize infidelity and make whole the innocent partner and any children. There SHOULD be social stigma and financial repercussions when one party in a marriage breaks the marital contract. As a lawyer, what do you think it would take to have the legal system return to fault divorces?

      I don’t understand why one partner in a marriage having a secret sexual life is not automatically considered abuse…? Anyone who has ever lived through it understands that it goes along with a whole host of abusive actions: lies, gaslighting, exposure to STDs, family resources squandered, fraud, emotional abuse of the innocent partner, etc. Society used to not take domestic physical violence seriously: now that has changed, and I believe that in the future the emotional and sexual abuse of a partner will be appropriately recognized as domestic abuse as well. Do you remember how the movie “The Burning Bed” helped change the conversation and perspective on domestic violence? Many of our stories involve abuse just as horrific, but it goes un-named and unnoticed. How can we change that?

      The third leg of the stool is the Reconciliation Industrial Complex. Why isn’t the 60 minutes crew chasing Patrick Carnes or his worse daughter across the lawn with cameras in their faces, demanding to know why they are OK with building their empire and amassing a fortune on the backs of suffering women and children? Why are they not being sued to produce data supporting their contention that their 10k intensives have any impact at all on the behavior of “sex addicts?” They should be in court like the tobacco companies, answering to the damage their product inflicts…and the fact that they know it and sell it anyway.

      These questions obsess me. If you are a Chump, you are betrayed by your spouse, and that is painful and sometimes, with incurable STDs, deadly. But it is just the first betrayal. After that, Chumps AND THEIR CHILDREN are betrayed by the RIC, by society, and finally by the legal system. It is so unjust that it will have to change, but the change is long overdue. What do you think it will take to catalyze it?

      • I do agree that the “no fault” hurt a lot of women and children. There were lots of women and men during the time fighting the changes, but they were demonized mostly into silence. I know I voiced my thought on how it would hurt women, and I was pretty much insulted into silence.

        I wish we could now re group and at the very least adultery and its additional abuses in terms of emotional, physical and financial, can at least have a seat at the table in divorces. Yes there are ways around it to help the betrayed spouse, and I had a lawyer that used those options, but so many don’t. And also, nowadays legal help is so expensive that the money I got for temp maintenance during the legal separation, would likely be used up in legal expenses.

        It is a mess.

      • Oh and I was reading a site the other day about some lady who spent several years tring to win back her sparkly turd. It was about Mid Life Crisis. Which honestly I don’t deny that it happens, and it may even be the cause of some of the betrayals.

        What is horrendous is the advice given, which basically amounts to; keep eating those shit sandwich’s, but sprinkle a little sugar on them to make them more palatable and you too have a chance of winning back your sad sack suffering MLCer. After of course he had gotten all the fucking of schmoopie out of his system.

        Not sure if I can post a link, hopefully CL will get rid of it if I can’t . But I figured since she is out there and has a public blog it is ok.

        https://loveanyway.theherosspouse.com/2011/06/29/what-is-bomb-drop/

        I am not one to blame women or men for trying to salvage their marriages, I do think in those rare cases they can be saved, and if not at least extended in peace until children are grown. (but not usually when adultery is involved). But, this site horrified and amused me at the same time.

        I know the horror I dealt with, letting my FW come back for a week; I can’t even imagine letting him use me as a swinging door for when he was off and on with schmoopie. One of the most horrifying parts was the advice to still do things for them (assuming of course they will let you) Oh yeah, now there is some real equality of power. Oh FW, please let me continue to cook for you and wash your semen stained underwear.

        I really do hope this lady is happy; I just think for myself that would have taken away several more years of my life, and he would have continued to abuse me. She posted a pic of her and the MLCer, she looked quite happy to be honest, to me he looked like a FW with a shitty grin. I am sure that is just in my head, but still, it was all I could see.

      • Agree Agree Agree. Part of the trauma was that people don’t get the extent of the pain and damage caused.
        The amount of insensitive comments, or triggering things sent my way to make me laugh have been mind-boggling.
        NY’s eve, I’m all alone and a friend text me that she doesn’t have time for a FaceTime (lots of great stuff going on with her family), but she hopes I crack open some wine and celebrate! And this is my good childhood friend! I’m not trying to have a pity party, but the insensitivity of people around cheating is truly unbelievable.

        There are very few consequences. People make excuses for the cheater. The betrayed is really left alone in their suffering and often covertly or overtly blamed. Good therapists for healing this type of abuse are few and far between. Sad sausage stories everywhere. Cheating partners are not held accountable as they didn’t make vows to us. Families are dropped and new ones started in seconds.
        People give their best years and are dumped like trash. It’s crazy. And being dumped for a younger model – crap… but many people still turn a blind eye – because you never know what goes on inside a marriage! Cheating is what went on.
        We don’t just need shows showing psychopathic cheaters. We need to shed light on the run of the mill cheater who is entitled, had the sadz and fucked over the lives of many people for an equally shitty OW or OM.
        Society needs to shed light on the ‘Karen’s’ of marriage.

        • My name is Karen so it would be real awesome if you didn’t use it as a euphemism for entitled cheater behavior, thanks.

          • I understand, it must be really annoying that the name Karen is being used to represent people who have a sense of entitlement. I was just trying to make a point – no offence to any Karen’s.

          • I agree, Kara. There’s a lot of sensitivity now to terms we’ve used for decades, so I cannot understand how the term “Karen” came to pass. I cringe whenever I hear it, and my name is completely different and has nothing to do with it.

    • I love everything you say here and have spent a good bit of time thinking similarly and discussing with friends. In addition to your observations and the very good ones regarding the legal system, RIC, etc, I think part of the issue is related to education on character and character disorders (George Simon).

      What my friends and I have all observed is that “cheating,” affairs, what have you, get a pass as though it is a one off thing with romance and sex and love entertwined. Society passes it off as though you can have a double life and still be a good person because, well, no one’s perfect.

      What we at CN know is that the affair is only the tip of the iceberg. Look beneath the surface and there is a whole host of shitty actions and behaviors beyond just the scope of marriage. We, as a society, need to view affairs as a red flag for character overall and stop giving passes to people as if this is a one off thing. It’s not. It’s who they are and they should be held accountable or at least held up to greater scrutiny – in court, personal relationships, jobs and careers and the voting booth.

      • ” Look beneath the surface and there is a whole host of shitty actions and behaviors beyond just the scope of marriage. ”

        That is where the true evil lies and most of the pain, below the surface. The lies, the hostility; the gaslighting, the health risks, theft of marital assets.

        In Cheating situations overwhelmingly one party is committed and investing their time and capital into the marriage, they are also making decisions based on what they think is a intact marriage. The cheater uses all this to their advantage. No one wants to look at that because it scares the hell out of them, or if they do they can’t suck up thousand of dollars in counseling fees aimed at making the betrayed spouse responsible for fixing the mess the cheater made.

        While my ex was fucking his whore and telling her how awful I was, I was home and bed exhausted from working full time, doing all the house stuff and working all his volunteer jobs that he signed me up for. All in an effort to support his career, and I did it to invest in our future. By the way I was successful, he got promoted to Captain, had an office job with all the perks, and had an attractive wife that loved him, and that got on well with the community. He didn’t hang on to it for long, thanks to him and schmoopie; but for one bright shining moment he had it all. Then he threw it away.

        Meanwhile all schmoopie had to do was sit in his office every day whining about her woes, then lay there and fuck my husband at night when he sneaked out of the house. I imagine it was a glorious exciting time for them both.

      • And a lot of otherwise intelligent and good people actually justify some affairs because they believe in love at first sight or true intense love that comes out of nowhere. They believe the hype shown in Hollywood films – the ones that depict true love in the first two weeks of the relationship. I’ve had more than one person including a family member say that to me. Leaving your spouse for twu wuv is definitely justified by some people who have not been through it.
        I mean did Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie suffer any consequences? They were glamourized for it.

        • The worst of them all is that evil female phycologist twit that says “Affairs can be, invigorating, and tell you if you need to make a change” Yeah screw the devastation and destruction of the betrayed spouse, sucks to be them..

      • Susie Lee, Zip and WrecktheRIC:

        Loved all your comments. Yes, the really scary thing that no one can tell you about Dday, is that the secret sex life isn’t even the thing that will ultimately cause you the most pain. It is the dropping of the mask of normalcy, and that where you thought an honorable man stood there is a pathological lying coward who never loved you, doesn’t really love the kids, a master of pretense who used all of you, the whole time snickering and sneering at you behind the mask. That you were not loved but hated, resented and used. For years, often for decades. I believe the emotional abuse of being married to a narcissist needs to be acknowledged legally and recognized in custody and property division.

        Not narcissist in the common definition, where people at work who use up all the creamer are called narcissists, but the real narcissists out there, who will happily gut their spouse and children like a fish.

        I have no idea how to change the law. I suspect it will be by some stories of horrendous emotional abuse by a spouse, followed by RIC and legal rape…and this will sink into the social consciousness as something that requires legal and social change.

        • Yes, right on. I’m so many ways this is fraud and theft. Unfortunately, those that make the laws likely want to preserve their rights to this kind of behavior either now or in the future. I think the only hope is education and an aggressive re-messaging campaign from CL and CN.

        • Yes, I remember telling relatives I felt “gutted like a fish” after Dday. I now realize my ExH is a total narc. When his mask fell off on Dday, he was nothing but rage & resentment.

          • This is a great article. Especially the part that notes that infidelity is so commonplace that it’s treated as a sociological curiosity rather than a completely morally corrupt act that reflects on broader weaknesses of character and socially-destructive entitlement and objectification of other humans.

            • WtheRIC

              Glad that you found it eyeopening too.

              Once I escaped the gravitational pull of the RIC, which happened when I discovered LACGAL, 3 things placed me on my road to ‘gaining a life’; a life that I never imagined existed because I had been married for so long.

              Until I could see. I could not.

              The 3 were:

              1 – LACGAL – ripped my eyes open to dance I had been participating in for over 30 years

              2 – The article above.

              3 – And a book titled The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist by Debbie Merza

              ….

            • Oh, and I forgot to add my most recent find, I am gradually waking up here,

              4 – a description of borderline personality disorder in males – although his was covered up and didn’t fully bloom until Dday.

  • I’ve spent one full year trying to untangle and figure out what kind of person I’ve been married to. I officially quit. He is a liar, cheater, abuser, and just all around shitty person. The depth of fuckedupness I’ll never fully know, although I have a clue. I get that it’s time to stop pouring time and energy into this, and it’s time to invest that energy into myself and children. First off I need to get him out of the house, bc I literally feel like I’m dying a slow death with him near me. Then I’ll work on thriving.

    • Hang in there. I know that feeling of dying a slow death being in the same home with him – it was the door closing to that relationship and my eyes opening to who he is and also to who I AM. The end of that relationship was the beginning of my spiritual awakening. Sending love and good vibes to you. He sucks, we all know that – but you, YOU ROCK.

      • Agreed.

        I think one of the few things my FW did that helped me, (though I am sure it was not his intention) was that he moved out of the house soon after Dday. It took about three days (he moved while I ws working each day. I remember coming home and dying a little more each day as I saw his personal stuff disappearing.

        But, once he was out, I almost immediately starting feeling stronger. Oh I was still hurting a lot, but it was like the bleeding had stopped, and I could dare to breathe.

        • Yeah. Susie Lee, I can relate to the pain of seeing his stuff disappear from the house.

          In my case, as soon as he fessed up to the affair, I left the house. Three days later, I demanded that he leave and let me live in the house by myself. He conceded. He and the AP moved in with a mutual friend (another nurse) and then later into an apartment. My ex complained so much about this arrangement. He got the raw end of the stick. It wasn’t FAIR!

          When he needed to get things from the house, like his dresser, I’d schedule a time to be out of the house.

          The AP’s 18-year-old son helped him move the dresser out of our bedroom, the bedroom where he and the AP fucked.

          My heart sank when I returned to the house to find the dresser missing. I remember thinking, “This is really happening.”

          I asked my then-husband, “What did you say to her son as you moved stuff out of our master bedroom?” It was a stupid, pain-shopping question. He answered, “I told him that I just fell in love with your mother.” Oh brother. It’s as if vows mean nothing and we have no control–like accidentally tasting dark chocolate and realizing that you might like that better than milk chocolate. It wasn’t really a choice; it JUST HAPPENED! So innocent and pure. True love!

          I think it speaks to my ex’s depravity and poor judgment that he had the AP’s son help him. I would have hired a stranger to help because I would have felt so shitty/embarrassed about the whole thing, and I wouldn’t have wanted her kiddo to have the experience of going into our home, which was obviously the family home of a married man. Who knows what effect that had on her kid? He was only inches away from the bed where he had had sex with his mom. My ex is a sicko.

          • The AP son helped move furniture out of my house too, while I was there – He tried to introduce himself but I just told him this was really awkward.

            Not sure what his bunny boiler crazy ass mom told him. Same mom that lied to him about who his birth father was and had the wrong guy pay child support for 16 years. So I guess she cheated on her boyfriend at the time and lied about who the father was?

            Yep, major trade down there.

            • “Same mom that lied to him about who his birth father was and had the wrong guy pay child support for 16 years. ”

              These FWs sure aim high once they go to the dark side don’t they. But then, decent women don’t fuck married men. They can compete for the single ones.

          • I know that hurt Spincah.

            For all I know his whores older sons (teenagers) may have helped him move out, they would have been on Christmas break from school. (not that either of them went to school much) I believe all her kids dropped out.

            I do know they were living in her trailer along with the 10 year old while FW was sneaking out at night to screw her. But, they were used to that, she was a serial MM fucker.

            I should have set up a time too, honestly I was still in shock, and as he was moving out he was feeding me hopium.

            He only took his desk, and his clothes and personal items. His mother had bought him a king size reclyner, it wasn’t that old. Not sure why he didn’t take it. The day after he came back a week or so later to drop the bomb of being in luv with the whore, I pulled it out on the front lawn and put a free sign on it. It only took about 20 minutes or so and it was gone. Damn thing smelled like cigarette smoke anyway.

            He was a long time smoker. He quit a few years after he left, but it was too late. Now unfortunately he is suffering the late stages of emphysema. I do feel sorry for him for that. I don’t wish ill health on anyone. I am sure living with him for 21 years affected me too.

            One of the things I noticed after he left was how nasty that habit is. You don’t really notice it when you are used to it. I noticed the yellowing of my windows and curtains, but I never thought about how folks must have been able to smell it on me sometimes.

            Yep, I just don’t get the just walking away from vows, I mean I get that they had walked away long before they left; but still at some point they said to themselves “screw the vows”.

            • My Ex was both a cheating husband AND AP! A twofer! TheOW was married with younger kids (16 and 18) when the fuckfest began. Or who knows if the timeline my ex gave is even true? They slept in HER marital bed, too.

              Did they love the thrill? Did they feel at all guilty? I suspect the former. And they justified it all because they believed what they had was a love force too large and beautiful to ignore and that their spouses were bad people.

              FYI: I might have been abused for years and have “issues,” but I know I’m a good person.

              They both traded down. Hard to imagine that two people of poor character can live happily ever after, but…

              • They may live ever after, but I wouldn’t place any bets on the happily. These folks know who they are, I am sure thought given the liars that they are (and mine) they will put on a good play.

          • I felt really uncomfortable when my cheater’s young adult kids came to help him pack up stuff in our home. Thankfully I wasn’t there to witness it. I can understand his son helping him move heavy furniture ….but both his kids came over soon after I told him to leave, to help him pack up dishes and the liquor cabinet etc. They were a part of my family too and were over all the time. I know it’s their dad, but they knew what he did was atrocious so it felt like another slap in the face and zero consequences for him. It felt like ‘ yes dad, you cheated and betrayed your wife and our step-siblings, you have caused havoc and destruction in everyone’s life again, but we’ll help you pack up your things …poor dad.”

            • Ugh, I’m sure it felt like a major slap in the face. That’s terrible! No doubt he acts like the poor, poor victim. It hurts to think that they might buy his crap. But my guess is that they know what’s up, despite what lies he might peddle. Kids are perceptive.

              All in all, I think it’s abusive to involve kids. Leave them the hell out of it.

              • I think it is abusive too.

                I remember that when I was working part time a Lowes (I closed the office three nights a week). I explain that because part of my job was to check the time cards of the floor employees. This 17 year old kid came in and I was checking his hours etc. He was real quiet. He said; are you FW’s wife? (we were legally separated, but not yet divorced) I said yes. He said I am whores son. I said, oh I didn’t know. (I didn’t) he had a different last name than she.

                I talked to him a few minutes about the job and rules and such. He said, kind of burst out of his mouth: “I hate FW”. It kind of surprised me. I can’t remember what I said, something non committal. He said he keeps trying to boss us around, he’s not my dad. I said, I am sure that is hard. I then said and it almost gagged me. He likely thinks he is trying to help you.

                I talked to him a few times after that. He didn’t work there long. He was on the lazy side. I don’t know if he left of his own accord or he was fired. I just don’t remember. I do know that working the warehouse at that contractor store was fast hard work.

                But, can you imagine the horror of having to accept a guy bossing you around, who sneaked in his house in the middle of the night and screws your mother. And, my fw was not the first married man she tried to lasso. It is no wonder he was so screwed up.

              • Thank you Spinach and Susie, I think only a chump understands why I felt it was wrong that he got his kids to help him out with simple tasks needed to be done for moving out and then selling our home – after betraying his spouse. Even my mom justified it by saying he’s their dad. He also told them about his affair an hour after I found out. I’m not a psychologist, but talk about family enmeshment.

                Susie ‘He said I am whores son’ 😂😂😂

            • It’s a special shit sandwich served up to the cheater’s kids. “Come on kids, help me pack up my stuff and abandon your mum/dad. And you.” If they don’t cooperate, the dumped parent is accused of turning the children against the cheater.
              Cheaters must have a checklist to complete.

              • Zip as I was typing that I kept automatically putting in their names, so I had to read it a couple times to make sure I didn’t. Especially since her name is to my ears synonymous with whore. And since CN, I swear if I ever see FW again, I will have to really watch myself or I just might say Hi fuckwit.

  • Lonelieness is tough. These last few weeks instead of focusing on it, I’m focusing on leaning into enjoying the company of my kids. I think the suddenness of losing the partner puts us in fix it mode. I realize it really would take a special someone to help me raise these four kids at this point in their lives. So trying to enjoy the peace of single parenting if you can call it that. Something that works will come along when this is good enough.

  • I am so impressed with the support you all give!
    My Dday was 6yrs ago today, yep on New Years.
    And I finally feel like I have a future to live. “Meh” makes sense to me now. There is light at the end of this crazy, horrible time in of being a Chump. Ive now “Getten Over It” and it feels sooo good. Actually it’s a gift… Iam FREE! Thanks to you all for the help you’ve given me through the years.

  • Thanks, Tracy. Somehow, you are the only person I could hear “get over it” from and not want to punch them in the gut or stab them in the eye or stop talking to them FOREVER. Ok, I’ll move on now. You are right, I already finished a few things in my life I could not do with the abuser becuse he took up so much time and ENERGY. Lost 30 pounds and keeping it off, acquired a licensure in my profession and got a raise, made new friends these past few months, and I am looking forward to enjoying a romantic relationship when it comes my way. No hurry, no rush, just me doing me. You know what? I’m pretty cool.

  • Thanks CL for all you do. You have saved a lot of lives and continue to.

    Get over it can also mean accept it. Or, work hard to accept this new life and make the best of it.

    No Miss Havishams allowed 😉

  • My world fell apart on May 11 2020 at approximately 10pm (sad I know that I remember the time). Found out my ‘loyal’ and oh so ‘kind’ partner had been having a relationship with another. Devastated can’t even describe the feeling. I think it would have hurt less if I’d been run over by a bus. In fact there were moments where I would have preferred that. He begged forgiveness and of course I thought ‘Sure’ he really is sorry, of course he is….there are tears!!! I was also having some fertility issues so thought I must forgive him as I am not able to produce a child so hey that’s the least I can do. He said he deactivated his FB account, they only saw each other twice…over a space of 2 years!!!! Yeah right. I believed it all! Hook line and sinker. I started therapy. Continued my fertility acupuncture thinking once I conceived it would all be OK. Well wouldn’t you know it I did fall pregnant only to miscarry 10 weeks later. He left 4 weeks after the miscarriage. Said that I was taking too long to get over his mistake…he wouldn’t even acknowledge it as cheating. He was sick of talking about the OW. Wouldn’t answer any of my questions. Packed all his belongings and left in 45 minutes (after 12 years). I feel like he has ‘won’. He upgraded to a younger (more fertile) version and will no doubt have the white picket fence dream shortly whilst I am picking up the pieces of my life and trying to put myself back together again….Humpty Dumpty style. I DO trust that he sucks and I thought the new year would give me a new lease on life but nope….if anything I feel worse. My only saving grace is reading other stories and realising I am not alone. Happy New Year to all.

    • 😢I am so sorry for the loss of your little one.

      You are not alone, there are some really smart folks here, and they will hold you up. Just keep reading. The archives are great, for information and darn it even for some good old belly laughs. Start from the old articles and work your way up, when you are feeling down or lonely.

      For now just take your days in segments, and try to do what is good for you, “try to” forget (like that’s possible) anyone else.

      I don’t believe for a minute he upgraded.

    • Cheaters Never Trade Up.

      He has chosen a poor quality person who knew all about you and slept with him anyway.

      I know it’s devastating. But you can and will get your life and your heart back.

      Get a good lawyer, and go hard for a good settlement via that lawyer. Do this now, while time is on your side!

      Don’t have any other contact with your ex. This is the only path to sanity.

      And yes, read the archives here.

      • Thank you LG. We were not legally married so no issue there. Also…my mother always!! taught me to never depend on anyone financially so I have no issue with regards to maintaining the home etc. And for that I’m grateful. The OW…either he lied to her that he was single (He sucks) or she knew about me and shagged him anyway (She sucks). I don’t know why I’m so consumed by these two people. My head and my heart are not aligned yet. I look forward to reaching ‘meh’ that is outlined in the archives. I even hope to laugh about his incredulous behaviour one day….but I’m not there yet. Thanks again for the comment. I forgot that there are truly kind people in this world.

    • Hi Morrychump,

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss. In addition to the pain of miscarriage, there is the grief of betrayal and the loss of the dream we had hoped for. You are not alone. There are many chumps here who went through the same. The emotional toil through IVF and betrayals after miscarriage is something I’m still working on. It will take time, but one day things will shift inside. All of this will be in our past and you will find hope for the future. Anything to do with FW will be irrelevant. You will reach meh most days. Some days will go back to reveal more layers of grief to feel and release. Some days triggers will be manageable, some days not so much. But it will get better and better.

      • Thank you Y. You are right….the added layer of heartache over the fertility hurdles coupled with his betrayal makes me sad. Not just sad for the ‘dream’ that will never be but for the fact that this individual should have been my biggest cheerleader and have my back but instead he was twisting the knife in..why be so cruel? If you don’t want a life with me…that is fine…I’m a big girl and I’ll manage but there is no need to cheat…I just don’t get it. I really don’t. I’m sorry for the loss of your little one.

  • Thank you for the ongoing inspiration CL and CN. I’m so glad to have found you.

    I was married for 23 years. It’s been two years since the divorce was finalized, but my D-Day didn’t arrive until just a few months ago. So yeah, I’m dealing with a lot of external and internal “How did you not know?”

    He never acknowledged that there was someone else, and really, I never thought to go down that road. In fact, he insisted that his want of a divorce had nothing to do with another woman. And I believed him. My pals would ask, “Are you really sure he doesn’t have someone on the side?” I was quick to douse the suggestion. A socially awkward, emotionally inept, cheap, and deceptive man child? Not a chance.

    I didn’t have the opportunity to react to and process his infidelity while married to him. Nor did I find out during divorce proceedings. I didn’t have the chance to consider the impact of his infidelity when he tried to reconcile. I found out nearly two years later when scant pieces of information unraveled into a sudden ice cold realization. I started doing the memory math and it all fell into place. So no, he’s never acknowledged it, and he’s got the (grown) kids believing he’s only been with her since March. Um, no.The way I figure it, I was chumped for six years – and for two of those we weren’t even together anymore. WTF.

    How do you handle the emotional fallout of a post divorce D-Day during Covid? I was actually doing fine but this seems to have torn open some major wounds. If we weren’t in confinement, I’d be out and about town. Not that I’d be jumping onto Tinder looking for revenge sex, but it would be nice to have the option. This completely sucks.

  • What am I doing without my ex husband, without the abusive cheater I dated after him, and without the cheaters and shitty men who came in and out of my life since then?

    Well this year I’m starting an accelerated program to get my second bachelor’s degree and become an RN.

    So…

  • ChumpNation, I’m a slow learner.

    I’m still afraid. I’m afraid of how he might become nasty in a divorce, how I will be left with nothing. I’m afraid of losing my home because I’ve never actually bought a home or even lived on my own. I’m afraid of the effect on the kids even tho they are adult.

    I’m afraid of being 55 and making a private school teaching salary (even tho I am very thankful that I was hired five years ago don’t get me wrong!)

    I’m kinda afraid of the fallout since it turns out my husband was gay all along and I had no idea. Such an idiot.

    We’ve been married 33 years now. Now I found out right before our 25th anniversary and boy howdy I can tell you shameful stories of pick me dancing to this particular tune. How I bought into all the ways I caused him to cheat, me and my messiness and bad housekeeping and lack of interest in sex.

    Yes so I’ve been in this limbo for eight years. Stayed for multiple reasons. We’ve done everything as a family. He and I were partners in business for awhile. We do the same thing (or did) so I felt we were more connected than others. Believed we could work it out for the longest time but he kept lying about everything. Kept on seeing men he met online.

    Anyway. It’s a stupid story.

    Tell me some Fear vs Reality stories. Like how you were afraid your life was going to be awful and then it WASNT! I’d especially love some over 50 stories!

    • There are several women here who were in their fifties. I know ou will be hearing from them.

      He can’t control the law, hopefully you have some legal representation. Each state is so different. But, speak up to your lawyer with our fears and tell him/her what you need, Even if your state is 50/50 and no fault there are legal ways to change that depending on your circumstance.

      For instance in mine I got a year of legal separation with him paying for my house payment, my car payment and my utilities. I had some proof that he had spent marital money on the whore, so with that and the fact that he left me my lawyer was able to convince the judge that he and his woman planned and schemed behind my back for two years, and now I as the low wage earner needed time and support to regain some of my money and to make plans for my future. And yes we were in a 50/50 no fault state.

      It is going to suck for a while, but you will get some great tips from the women here. I recommend going into the archives of CN and read all the stories from start to finish. Also read the stories on narcissists. So many of these assholes are exactly that.

      My housekeeping was the only reason my FW gave for leaving me, oh and as he walked out the door he said he had cheated on me for ten years, and he never loved me.

      Ironically the whore he married is way worse than me. Oh I was never a spit shiner, but per my daughter in law; she is basically a hoarder, and a disorganized one at that.

      Putting all that aside, how does cheating make it all better. Maybe the money he spend on the whore could have been used to hire you some help with the house, after all you worked too.

      If you or I had been spit shiners, his excuse would have been that we were too focused on the house, and ignored him. It is all about them.

  • I often find myself having imaginary conversations in my head with my ex about the horrible things he did or about his horrible marriage to the OW or just about how horrible he is in general.

    Like half the country, I made goals about eating healthier, exercising and budgeting. But one of my other goals is to stop these conversations I have with him in my head. Literally I just say to myself: STOP.

    (Then I go eat a cookie or something- which doesn’t necessarily help with the eat healthier goal – but I see it as a win anyway!)

    • Cloud, me too. Except I’ve also had a zillion conversations in my head to the OW and I’ve never met her And I don’t know her name. I literally start counting backwards from 100 by 7 or something like that just to get my mind to stop endlessly ruminating.
      I feel like I’m very slowly starting to feel their slime and I don’t want it on me anymore or in my head.

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