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Chumped But Not Down, What You Did Right

Ex cheated I finished my masters
Rarity, showing off her graduate degree

So yesterday we opened the floor to 5 Things You Should Not Do When You Discover Cheating but for today’s Friday Challenge let’s focus on all the things you did right. No one gets a decoder ring at D-Day. Surviving chumpdom is not a skill set you ever imagine you’d need.

I like this comment FriYayChump posted:

For the record, I did some nutty shit post D-Day, BUT I totally LAUGH ABOUT IT NOW and forgive myself. In fact, forgiving myself is something I don’t even have to do, it’s just merely words to describe I did some things that in a normal mental state I never would have done.

…I made sure his co-workers knew, called/texted the OW (several), raged, ranted, sleuthed, broke things, etc. The cheating f*cker made me crazy. The stress of it all literally changed the chemicals in my body and altered my way of thinking. I have never experienced that altered state of mind ever in my life except during the intense days of discovery, discard and endless gaslighting. Today, I don’t give a sh*t.

I will not feel bad about one iota of the things I did post dealing with a sociopath and surviving severe emotional and mental trauma.

Great attitude. I hope the several gazillion stories here will prevent new chumps from making those rookie mistakes, but if you screwed up? Okay. Dust yourself off. Everything has a learning curve. Forgive yourself.

Today tell me what you’re most proud of. What did you do that you didn’t think you could?

(((Big COVID-distance-y virtual hugs))))


*** This picture is from CN member Rarity, who in 2017 wrote a great Gain a Life story you can read here

**** BONUS CONTENT! Rarity just replied. I asked for an update:

I always have all of the time in the world for you, Tracy. It’s kind of amazed me how much that graduation picture of me has gotten around.

Yup, I remarried to that great guy I was dating—and we had a baby last year! Somehow, being married to a non-f***tard (sorry, I gave up swearing for Lent, lol) made a geriatric pregnancy in the middle of a pandemic seem like a breeze. I now have a quiet job as a civilian employee for law enforcement while I work on my PhD and my writing. We live in a 5-bedroom house with a cat, a dog, and three hamsters. We’ve never even fought once in 5 years of dating/being together. Life is peaceful.

NuHusband is everything ExHusband wasn’t: faithful, quiet, industrious, and drama-free. He earns a paycheck and does his share of the housework and doesn’t constantly blame me for everything that goes wrong in his life. His affection for his new daughter is a joy to see, and funny, we somehow got through an entire pregnancy without me once having to wake up alone in tears wondering where my husband is. I don’t think I realized life could be like this.

ExHusband moved to another state a few years ago. He sees his kids once a month (most of the time). I only think about him when I have to. I’ve made it clear to him that my terms are and will ever be (1) pay your child support (2) do your visitation (3) leave me alone. He’s in a serious relationship again and the new girls seems like a good person, but I’m only half Adele about it: I don’t send my love to his new lover, but I do hope he treats her better.

I gotta say, your book was probably one of four books that was really life-changing for me. I’ll never forget devouring it on the Metro through my tears, having just discovered my then-husband’s infidelity. I felt like I was looking up from the bottom of a pit. But it showed me where the handholds and footholds were and I hope the other Chumps out there know: there is a way up out of that pit.

Here’s some pictures of NuHusband and I at our wedding (with the son I was pregnant with when XH walked out on me) and a picture of our new baby girl. Feel free to use/edit anything I’ve said here.

– Bridget Jack Jeffries / “Rarity”

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Rarity, fabulous update! It’s so true that dependability smooths out the edges.

      • Precious Rarity! Sooooo pleased you posted your update!
        I am crying tears of joy!

        (Will do my happy dance once my down-stairs neighbor is awake)

        Love to your & yours / Love to ChumpNation, as we continue to ForgeOn! together!

        • Hey! It’s good to see you commenting here, too, ForgeOn! You’ll never know how many times I get tired or discouraged and tell myself, “ForgeOn!” It’s the best mantra! Hope you are doing well!

          And Rarity, congratulations on the awesome “gain a life” job! Your kids are adorable. And you surely deserve a husband who has the big-time good character and the ability to put genuine smiles on the face of you and your kiddo! And the Ph.D. is on the way! Dr. Rarity!

          • Awwww, Loved……{{{HUGS}}}

            So humbled by your comment. Yes, it really is a good phrase to help stay on track, for sure! The positive, to the point message gets thru even the worst of the muck. So glad it has helped you…..

            I can not take credit for thinking it up. When I first heard it, it really made an impression on me.

            I read here at this Great Nation every day. I am occupied living a good life, so I rarely have time to actually comment.

            Always love to see your comments, too…..

            Take care as you ForgeOn! with this great Nation

          • Thanks so much, LAJ! Good to see you’re still around!

            Dr. Rarity does have a nice ring to it! 🙂

  • So great to see the update from Rarity. I was chumped whilst 4 months pregnant with our second child and it is so hard to imagine someone doing that to anyone.

    He still lives with her in a huge house but in December i finally moved in to my own home in a nice area with great neighbours and schools. Paid for by me and with my name on the deeds. Just me so i must have done something right!

    My baby is almost 2. 2 birthdays in 2 lockdowns (England) Post pandemic i am ready to start dating so seeing Rarity and her family is great!

    • Lockdown in the UK has been brutal! Hopefully this one was the last one, going through this during a pandemic when life is on hold and you can’t even say “oh yeah I’ll do this and this and this, keep myself busy and fight my way through it” has been well hard. I used to do weight lifting prior to the pandemic, but since gyms closed down I couldn’t even keep up with that, and my motivation to do it at home was just not there because part of what I liked was getting out and doing it *not at home*.

      But yay for your new home and thinking about dating again<3

  • Stories of people who have rebuilt are my favourite. I can’t ever imagine myself building a life with someone else again because the risk seems far too high, now that I know people can build things with you for a very long time and then abandon them as if they meant nothing, I can never unsee it. But I love to see it in other people, it gives me hope that healing might look different for many but you do get there.

    So let’s see, what did I do right? I also went back to education, and having a goal feels good.

    • Vee, I’m the same as you. I’ve built a new life on my own but am not going to risk my heart again. I’m now in my sixties so don’t feel the need for another relationship. I have plenty of friends and activities in my retirement.

  • I FOIA’ed his mugshot from when he got arrested for driving without insurance and it’s now his picture on my phone.

    Feels like that belongs on my “what I did right” list.

    • I changed my ring tone for the Ex to “No Scrubs”. It makes me chuckle every time I hear it which is not a bad way to start one of our thankfully infrequent conversations about my son.

      • I tried to change my ringtone for him to Hanson’s “MmmBop” but my kids wound up loving it and wanted to play the song ad nauseam. So, that one kind of backfired. 😀

        • I’ve changed his name in my phone to “Pooey McPooface” and the photo is the poo emoji.

          Utterly juvenile but it does make me laugh. Fessed up to my parents lately and I thought my Dad (81) would choke with giggling so much!

  • Best thing I did was write a gazillion emails I never sent. I told myself every day I might send them tomorrow. They weren’t crazy. They were right. Everything I wrote – angry, sad, despairing, indignant – was accurate, but I’m so glad I didn’t send them. I’m still annoyed I sent a few early on in the fog, trying to figure out what was happening, before I knew about the side piece and all I saw was smugness and dismissal at times and warmth and affection at other times and I didn’t understand since he told me there was no one else and why would he lie? Why do any of them? To keep the playing field uneven and in their favor.

    But everyone – Tracy, all those who comment here, and on the Facebook group – said walk away. Say nothing. Give him not one kibble. I sprinkled a few after I found out about some of the secret second life. I was still bargaining with myself that maybe it wasn’t that bad. But it was. And the more I found out, the quieter I got. He had blown hot and cold until I said “A man with integrity would have told any new woman he wasn’t quite over his wife yet and not touched her. A man with integrity would have told his wife that he had feelings for someone else and not touched her.” Thus exposed, the charm and self pity mindfuckery channels went offline entirely and all there was after that was rage. So there was nothing left to say and it was easier to say nothing. I wanted very badly to expose him. To tell the world. To blow him in for cheating on her with me and me with her. But no one really cares. There’s no making that swamp better. You just have to wade your way out of it and try really hard not to look back. I did my crying and anger and bargaining and grieving in private. In emails never sent. I held my ground legally. (Still not over. Still not backing down. It’s just more legal fees for him as he’s ending up taking essentially the deal I offered a year ago and boy is he grumpy. Wahhh.) The farther away it is the clearer it is. Hardest part is seeing it for what it was and not what I thought it was. But after that it’s a relief to be away from it.

    Strangely enough, or not at all strangely, despite my deep sense of loss, everything else immediately improved. Happier kids. Better finances. More success at work. Even the dogs relaxed. So many things that seemed like they always went wrong started going right. The contrast was undeniable. When I did hear about him or from him, it was all dire and dramatic. Gosh how hard and unfair life was for him. This life he chose. That apparently I made him choose. And I was able to separate out what was his drama and what was mine. I was far from perfect, but things weren’t all my fault. They were far less my fault than I ever knew, which is why I hadn’t been able to fix them no matter how hard I tried. I’ve become, in essence, allergic to his kind of drama. This week, about 13 months after D-Day, 12 months after our last physical contact in my one flagrant day of pick me dancing by the gaslight, I actually think meh will be mine. That Tuesday is coming for me soon. I don’t care either way about him. None of it is interesting or compelling anymore. And as hard as cutting off the kibble distribution was for me, and despite some minor slips, I’m glad I listened to those who came before me who told me “don’t send it.” “Say nothing.” “Let your lawyer handle it.”

    • Good luck to you, Delayed Chump. Did your Ex reconcile with his former wife? I would like to see Chump Lady’s analysis of when someone does not tell their SO that they are not over another person–especially a former wife. I think this happens far too often. DC: Glad you are out of it and almost to Meh!

      • I didn’t get that cheater had a former wife. I think DelayedChump meant she was the wife and her cheater wasn’t man enough or had the integrity to be straight with her or the girlfriend. I could be wrong but that was my take.

        • Yes, that’s it. I was, and sadly still am, his only wife. He’s done everything he could to delay this. He’s living with Schmoops and her poor children and is so ANGRY our kids have no interest in talking to him.

          He’s spun a big tale of how our marriage was long over. He told the kids about Schmoops months before he told me and asked them not to tell me. Meanwhile still slept with me, denied there being anyone else, wanted a divorce but was vague about why, said he still loved me, he owed me everything, I was a wonderful mother blah blah blah. Until I called him on the integrity thing. Then suddenly I’m to blame for everything. It would hurt more if it weren’t in the Cheater’s Handbook.

          • I think the commonality of all cheaters is very helpful to know. Had I known it when I was going through it, things would have made more sense. I mean I did ok handling it, but I was gobsmacked.

    • I read this DelayedChump and it could have been written by me. I am only 6 months DDay and your words give me hope and encouragement.

  • What I did right after DD2.

    – I never begged, threw myself on the floor to stop him from leaving etc.

    – I don’t ask about his life, work, health, whereabouts because I don’t give a shit.

    – I don’t text or call him (see above). The ball is in his court to call or visit the children. He rarely does because he is a lazy coward that doesn’t give a shit. I’m documenting everything.

    – I don’t interfere and don’t help him with visitation. So once again ball in his court. I’m not his scheduler or or person. He should be ashamed of how little he sees his babies, but plenty of calls/time for strange. Documenting everything.

    – I’ve been honest with my kids. After years of spackling and lying to them to keep.up his “good guy” image which is all he cares about, then I quit. My kids don’t deserve the lies and I refuse to lie to them anymore. They have been in pain, cry for him and suffer because of his rejection. Telling them the truth has spared them a lot of suffering and trauma. They feel better knowing that they deserve better than what he gives. They have accepted that he just doesn’t want to but has nothing to do with their livability or worth. They have me and they arey priority and they know that, and that love is not conditional. I told them it’s ok to love him of course but not to suffer expecting more from him

    – Getting therapy. Getting the book. Joining FB support groups.

    – Making my home happier, making a network, going out seems like getting out of prison! I have not gain a life yet, but I do feel happy that he is not here, that I have the bed for myself, that I don’t have do much laundry to do, that my house is cleaner and my kids and I are closer and having all the fun that we were not allowed to have before.

    – Focusing on me and my babies for a change! We know now that we are worth more than scraps. We know our worth.

    • ” After years of spackling and lying to them to keep up his “good guy” image which is all he cares about, then I quit. My kids don’t deserve the lies and I refuse to lie to them anymore. They have been in pain, cry for him and suffer because of his rejection.”

      A lot of chumps will create a phony good guy persona for their kids shitty father. It comes from a good place, the intention is to make their kids feel happy and loved but it does make it much harder for the kids when reality comes a knocking. They miss an illusion, they cry for good guy father created in their head. The kids need to know their father is a defect, has nothing to do with them and he will never change.

      • Exactly. My 11y/o picked me dance also, it was so sad. When he told the kids, I could not believe he was dumping them also and felt the most incredible rage. My daughter has grown rarely seeing him around and she is still young so she is less affected, but my 11 year old remembers when he was good and then changed/became cruel. I can’t stand seeing him suffering. Me being honest to him validated his feelings and helped his self esteem and self worth. He is far better now knowing the truth and seeing fw for what he really is, and figured out his game once I explained his attitude when he comes home: he pretends to be happy to see them for about 10 minutes, he brags about his trips andcsll the exiting things he dies, asks s couple of prepackaged questions since he doesn’t care to know them/is not involved, then getsvatsynets antsy to leave, starts tapping his feet, checking his phone, goes to the bathroom to text the ow, then picks a fight and storms off making us all cry and he rages and makes his dramatic exit. That is the script. He knows now, soy don no longer takes the bait or feels rejected, he saw the playbook and knows what is coming next and why. No tears last night, no Hopium, no pain. He is safe.

        • OMG, sounds exactly like my FW father! As I’m learning in middle-age what an asshat he actually is, I have done the pick-me dance. And I’m a grown-ass woman! But the thought of him going out and dating women my age or younger disgusts me and I tell him so and say that since he claimed to put me at the top of his priority list, shouldn’t he focus on therapy and our relationship versus trying to troll for whores at the local bar? It makes me mad at myself that I have (or feel that I have to) sink so low to beg my father for his love and attention at this age. And that I’m competing with whores! GAH!!!!

        • It’s one thing when they fake being a human being with feelings to their spouses and then turn out to be monsters…but to have the kids go through this as well is heart wrenching. Very important that it is drummed into them that unfortunately they got dealt a crappy hand in the father department (or mother). It’s nothing they did or nothing they can do to change who he is, a sub human.

  • I’m really proud that although I was devastated, vomiting, in pain, horrified at what I’d just learned, I told him that I wasn’t a piece of shit and to GTFO. My best friend said, “Formerly, please listen to me – you can’t heal if he’s around you. Tell him to leave.” And in my mind fucked state, I listened to her and found the strength to kick him out. At first, he was happy. It was like he was elated that at last, he and his whore could be together. But as soon as he realized that I was going to protect myself and my child at all costs, he lost his mind and became even more abusive. He hated that I paid my over due taxes as “married filed separately” when I found out he had lied to me and hadn’t done our taxes in 5 years. He was enraged that I dared to go to the tax department to get child support (that’s what you do in this country). He is angry that I won’t sell the house. Yeah, fuck that. He won’t disclose his income and assets to me so there is no basis for a negotiation. I’ve done everything my lawyer has said to try and get him to come to mediation, make a settlement offer, do anything at all to make the settlement final. But, NO. He won’t engage. I am proud that I have the hugest boundary in the world against him, even when I cry and feel completely abandoned. I have never regretted telling him to GTFO. I was not the second string, booby prize, shit on the shoe. I was his wife who loved him with my whole heart for 25 years and he cheated on me for most of that that. GTFO. I’m proud I kicked him out and refused to do the “pick me” dance.

    • >>I was not the second string, booby prize, shit on the shoe.

      I love hearing the stories on this site. (Winning against horrible odds). I’m so glad you held to GTFO.

    • Stay strong. You’re doing the right thing. Someday you’ll be divorced and then take the time to heal and love yourself. He won’t matter anymore.

  • This is just so wonderful to see. Congratulations to “Rarity”! May your future be as bright as your present.

    Your ex-husband should remain at barge pole distance.

    I dunno, would you like me to persuade him to swim across the Potomac at White’s Ferry? I bet he’d try if someone would wiggle enticingly on the opposite bank.

    • Ha-ha. He really stops at nothing when he’s fixated on a woman, so it would probably work!

  • I got a great new job, travelled (before COVID) and have a new beautiful grand baby. He got a blonde, a tattoo and a sports car. I miss him sometimes but I know where I’d rather be. He made me feel like I was an cranky nagging wife but I know better know. I am his loss.

  • Oh my heart. I’m so happy for Rarity. That Nuhusband looks like my lawyer so I’m taking that as a sign from the Universe that all is well. I look at that photo and marvel at Rarity’s bravery. She is so brave and beautiful. It takes such unfailing courage to date, remarry and choose to live that fairytale life of a five bedroom house and more babies. Rarity, I salute you!

    What did I get right? I saved money for three years, literally pocket change at times, I sold my belongings through a consignment shop to raise money, I wrote the check at the commissary for cash back every time I got groceries. I stacked cash every way I could manage. I’m glad I did because he changed the passwords in our mutual accounts and moved money from the local bank, he left $100 in there. He immediately blocked my access to any of our bank accounts. That money I saved paid for my lawyer and almost lasted until the Court ordered Temporary Spousal Maintenance.

    I took the things I valued the most when I left. I wasn’t able to remove all of my belongings as he changed the locks on the doors. But I managed to remove my darling old dog, all the photo albums, my sewing machine, artwork given to me by my Aunt, the transfer ware platter my immigrant Grandmother brought over from the UK after WW2, and all of the documents I needed to divorce. That ass still has my snow pants and the bulk of my belongings.

    I left before I anticipated leaving as his abusive behavior was escalating. When he pulled out a gun while we were arguing I knew I had to go. He claimed he was just cleaning the gun, but he didn’t pull out the cleaning kit. I got that right. I left before I became a gun cleaning “accident”.
    Leaving before I felt ready was the right thing to do.

    When I left I swore I would go no contact and never speak to him again. I deleted his contact in my phone, I blocked him and his whores on social media. I don’t talk to lying, gaslighting, stonewalling, narcissistic, abusive, cheaters. I don’t e-mail, text, or communicate in any way with that abusive man. I talk to my lawyer who talks to his lawyer. That is expensive but worth every penny. I got No Contact right.

    I’ve been in therapy since October of 2018. My beloved earthbound angel of a therapist is my guide up and out of that pit Rarity described. I’m exploring the issues that made me stay in an abusive marriage for thirty three years. I’m so much better. I sleep at night, I don’t chew my nails or pull out my hair anymore. The screaming nightmares are infrequent. I am addressing the food issues that have plagued my life. I got that right.

    I’m nearly out of the pit twenty one months later. I hope to have this divorce finalized soon. I’m so grateful for Tracy’s voice at the mouth of that pit. She hollered down “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life”. Thank you, Chump Lady for helping me out of the pit. Thank You, Chump Nation for the boosts up and the hands extended to pull me out of the pit. You crawled up and out and reached back to pull me out of hell. You all went through hell and made sure to give me a drink of water. You got that right.

    • “I’m exploring the issues that made me stay in an abusive marriage for thirty three years.”
      33YaC, good for your!
      My wife and I led divorce recovery groups for seven years and this is the toughest issue to relate. When I would ask that question I would get so much angry push-back for victim blaming. I do understand this is a common experience to be blamed for a spouses cheating, but that is not the question, is it? Ultimately, this is the key to healing and being open to a healthy relationship in the future.

    • 33Years:
      Am so glad you made it out of that terrifying situation, alive and well. You are mighty!

    • You got the things that mattered, especially the dog and your family heirlooms and your life. Snow pants you can replace.

      You are very mighty.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad things are getting better for you. Out of that pit, one toehold at a time!

    • 33 years was the length of my abusive relationship with 26 married. When we left in the middle of the night, I too took our dog and was able to clear the kids things and what my parents gave me as well as the tax records for 10 years( he’s self employed). After a couple of attempts and a couple of meals with the kids. I knew all communication was going to happen through the attorneys.
      Part of the agreement was that I could go into the house and take inventory. The ex wasn’t permitted to be there. I hired armed protection who was with me taking a video inventory as well. The ex is a huge gun lover and always has one on him. He had loaded guns laying on the bed which I took as a threat.
      The next step was that we had an agreed on date that I was able to go and remove all the other things agreed mutually through attorneys. I already took pictures prior to leaving. I hired the same armed crew and he was able to have a person we agreed on follow me around. Naturally being who he is and unable to follow any agreements, he sent someone else to observe me but I had put so much energy and resources gettin ready for it that I let it go. I knew the person. He initially wanted someone who had a large criminal past for follow me but I showed his record to my attorney and said no way. That was another way to threaten me.
      There are ways to pursue getting any items that you need/want. You have to weigh the value vs the stress.

  • Best thing I ever did that I didn’t think I was capable of…

    When high-priced lawyer #1 made a mistake and gave me some bad advice, I fired him and his firm AND refused to pay the balance due.

    Let me first say that I avoid confrontation at all costs. But I took a deep breath (several), pulled on my big girl pants and went full on confrontation. I told the lawyer my terms – not paying my balance due and his firm would sent my files to the replacement lawyer and tell ex’s lawyer they were responsible for the bad advice IN WRITING. He refused so I went on to negotiate with the department partner. I told him how public I would go with the error and that my terms were non-negotiable. I was dismissed at first until they realized the full extent of my anger! They ate a $20,000 balance, sent a written explanation to the other side and sent my files to the new lawyer. The written explanation became very important down the line; thank goodness that popped into my mind.

    It was great to take all the anger and direct it appropriately and do something great for myself. Yea me ????????

    My second lawyer was a gift from above and I will always be grateful for the deal she got me. One tough woman who hated my ex as much as I did.

    Two minor successes but also critical. I got a fabulous therapist and medication to make sure I survived my suicidality. And I modeled great parenting to my kids. We are a strong, intact family minus one fuckwit.

    • You are mighty for sure. So glad you were able to get the first lawyer to do what was right in the end!

    • This is a fantastic story. I actually had an attorney screw up a defamation lawsuit against me. I won the suit but couldn’t pursue the other side for attorney’s fees because of his mistake. Cost me $15K. Wish I’d had your fortitude to tell him he screwed up and I’m not paying all of his fees!

  • What I did right
    * immediately told him the affair with true-love equated divorce – he wanted to keep us both
    * immediately let him tell the kids – he wanted to ‘shelter’ them from the upcoming divorce
    * got a killer lawyer
    * transferred the control of the kids saving account to my hands ‘for tax purposes ‘
    * let him sign a permission slip for me taking the kids out of the country
    * initiated the divorce proceedings
    * bought the house

    This was all in the midst of a burnout-depression situation, and with help of friends and my family.
    after 15 years I can add
    * raised 2 wonderful kids
    * did professional education
    * and I started my own business

    Looking back I can see that the continuous drama and him needing to keep me and the kids small so he could look big contributed a lot to the burnout and depression, and him really holding back who I am and who the kids were.

    Good riddance, and I still wish him and true love all the worst.

    • You gave me great ideas to ask for in the settlement, such as control over the kids accounts and have permission to take the kids out of the country. You rock. Did you get your belongings?

  • Throughout the chaos of my life with a serial cheater I never wanted to depend on him financially. I learned that lesson living with a mother who was unable to escape my abusive father. Yet getting one degrees after another left little time for a career given how he sabotaged every last goal I set. Finally, after seven long years with three children I got my bachelors degree and was accepted into a competitive masters program. At 44 I graduated, degree in hand and was rewarded with him moving out of state, leaving me and my children homeless. I lost the home I’d worked years to purchase because he never got a job and didn’t send money.

    Now with a career and divorcing him I have a future depending solely on myself with a pension and a standard of living when I retire. I couldn’t have severed those ties without this great nation for support. It took me decades to get out and there’s no looking back. Regardless of the investment or your age you can leave a cheater and gain a life. My journey began at 16 and ended at 57. It was the best thing I did for myself.
    Rarity, you are amazing!

  • The biggest thing I needed to overcome was thinking no one would hire anyone who had been out of the workforce for ten years. So after moving several states, I took a test online for a census job and passed and they hired me. Turns out I’m good at getting non compliers to remit going door to door. Church dress and fake pearls. So that one month job was extended to six as they kept giving me harder cases. Anyway, I racked up top numbers in closed books. I know it sounds silly that such a small bit of work helped me turn the corner but it did. Then out of the blue. I got another job offer and that lead to another and I really did well until I moved to a beautiful new home in a resort area and love my life. And I haven’t seen my fuckhead ex in five or six years. And I’ve never missed him once after he left. I missed my beautiful old house and gardens. And friends. But never him. Huh. But getting that job really gave me the confidence to turn the corner.

    • Yours is an inspiring story about how when you make a change for your own best interest, even though it is terrifying at the time, then the doors open up for you. I’m not quite there yet (FW father issues at the moment, not husband) but I love your story!

    • I don’t understand people who don’t want to take the census. It’s critical! I love that you were tenacious and persuasive and I’m not surprised one bit that you prospered.

  • Rarity, you are an inspiration. You are beautiful inside and out, and your family is perfection! So happy for you.

    And the update on fw is histerical! Glad it’s the side note haha

    I don’t know what is next for me, but I know the worse days are behind me. Thank you for sharing your story and pictures!! You conquered !

    • Thanks. I could honestly tell so many stories about his shenanigans since the divorce, but I don’t want to dwell on him.

  • Congratulations Rarity!
    Things I did right.
    * Went back home on Dday when my friend advised me to protect my financial situation.
    * Decided I was done when he tried to get me to pick me dance. (He wasn’t sure if he was done with schmoopie.)
    * Told him to GTFO when advised by his sister that he was going to try being single for a while. To see if he liked it. After we had been married for 28 years.
    * Played along that we would separate amicably.
    * I decided what he could and couldn’t take from our home.
    * Told the truth to our large group of friends we’d had for 30+ years. Not shouting, crying etc. but the truth. He decided to be a sugar daddy to a stripper younger than our daughter. I decided to divorce him.
    * Hired an attorney while he was busy setting up his new bachelor pad.
    * Made appointments with a list of the best divorce attorneys in town to interview them. That insured he couldn’t use them.
    * Picked a badass attorney and she rocked! I listened to her and followed all of her advice.
    * Listened to my therapist and asked for EVERYTHING I wanted in the divorce. I got most of it.
    * Went no contact as much as possible from the beginning. I never begged! I never pick me danced! I didn’t contact schmoopie. I told those friends that still had contact with him to STOP telling me about him. The last time I saw him, I took the check through a slit in the car window, did not speak and drove away.
    * I made some mistakes with our daughter. I apologized for them and didn’t do it again.
    * I made myself go out and meet people (pre covid) and socialize.
    * Traveled all over the country (pre covid) to see every person that loves me. I called it my love and connections tour.
    * Said yes to dating a wonderful man once the divorce was final.
    * Started my second masters degree so that I have better career options.
    * Live on my own for the first time in my life.

    I feel like meh is coming… I hate that it is taking so long… But I know it is coming. This list helps me realize how far I have come. Thanks CL and CN. I still find it tragic how unspecial our situations are.

    • You’re amazing and inspirational! Keep living the good life and taking such good care of yourself ❤️

    • The “love and connections” tour is such a wonderful idea.

      28 years is a long time. Nobody get past that quickly. I’d say getting divorced, getting a favorable settlement, connection with those you love who love you, and working on a second master’s degree puts you well along on the road to Meh.

    • “ Traveled all over the country (pre covid) to see every person that loves me. I called it my love and connections tour.” I like this idea!

  • – Engaged an excellent legal team; expensive, but worth every penny. My barrister tore Ex-Mrs LFTT’s legal team apart for lying to the judge; a sight to see and it ensured that the judge saw her ridiculous demands for what they were. That the settlement was very favourable to me was no coincidence.

    – Ensured that I maintained the moral high ground throughout a highly contested divorce; Ex-Mrs LFTT was playing in the gutter throughout …. and I made bl**dy certain that I was not going to join her there. She still tells everyone that I scr*wed her over in court, but I know (as would she if she were a little more familiar with the truth) that this was not the case …. I mean who tells the judge that you are not in a relationship when your boyfriend is there in the Court with you?

    – Got help from a therapist for myself and my kids. It’s really hard to accept that you need help, but never see asking for help as a sign of weakness.

    – Stayed single and kept things simple.


  • I finally stepped back from being his chaos janitor (love that expression). I realized he was ALWAYS going to be following me with a box of matches as I was running round trying to put out forest fires. So I was no longer going to mommy for him – or wife for him. You got another DUI? Sort it out yourself buddy (or get your FW drinking buddies to do it for you)! You don’t pay your bills – not my problem, ask your buddies for a loan. You decide to leave the country but keep your resident’s permit – not my problem they come after your for about 3 years worth of taxes. Deal with it. If you’re a big enough boy to lead with your knuckles or follow your dick I reckon I can trust you enough to wipe the shit you just stepped in off your own shoes! And the freedom is glorious!

  • I love Rarity’s Happy Ever After story! She is awesome and kick ass and inspiring ❤️

    • Ha, thanks. I’ve actually been learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the last 18 months, so I’m starting to be kick-ass literally. But I didn’t mention it because it’s not really part of my Chump story.

  • Rarity, in my own world I call you LIGHTHOUSE.


    Mediation today. The topic is “reimbursements”. In the preliminary emails to the mediator from him, there is precise accounting of money I spent (which doesn’t even qualify for reimbursement and was never hidden from
    him. There is no mention of money he spent on affairs, illicit massage parlors, or his secret apartment and life with the cheating accomplice, which does qualify for reimbursement. Very telling.

    What I will be doing right this afternoon is listening, taking notes, asking questions, and letting the very competent mediator spell it out, while BOX BREATHING (aka “tactical breathing”. I have a friend who is a retired, decorated Navy SEAL. The gem of a new husband whom my dear friend married after being brutally chumped). I will not be going off, ranting, interrupting, acting unhinged. She who stays calm and in truth has the power and holds the winning hand.

    Tactical breathing works like cold water on hot flames of intense emotions in a way that words alone cannot. My favorite tool these days.

    I will also be keeping your grad picture front and center, Rarity. You need look where you want to go, which I was taught when learning to ride a motorcycle and a race car.

    • PS…

      I took high performance driving classes at Sonoma Raceway. The instructor asked if any of us used turn signals. I was the only one who raised my hand. “Very good!” he said, “That’s called a ‘point-by’ in racing.”

      If you want to win, use the tools the winners use. Keep your attention on where you want to go. This is another reason why No/Minimal
      Contact is so important. You can’t neutralize what you keep paying attention to, and I want to neutralize those perps.

      (Cheaters are headed for the wall. No one gets around the laws of physics or the universe).

      • This is why I think CL’s new site should have a section for inspirational sayings. I took a screenshot of the quote.

        • Velvet Hammer is an endless supply of inspirational quotes.

          VH, you have a CL-esque way with putting hard-won wisdom into words. So glad you are part of The Nation.

    • “She who stays calm and in truth has the power and holds the winning hand.”

      So true and a good reminder. They hate it when we don’t react. The only insult my ex seemed able to hurl when he realized I had gone NC was, “You’re blinded by your self-righteousness.” Why yes, I didn’t lie or cheat, so I guess that blinds me. Makes sense.

      I’ll try that breathing technique.

      You are an inspiration VH as are you, Rarity!!! Good luck!

      p.s. VH, you drove a race car? I knew you were badass but that takes it to a new level. Good luck with mediation!!! You got this!

      • The only real insult my ex hurled at me was a veiled comment about my housekeeping. He kind of swept his hand around and said “this house” in an attempt to explain his adultery. So if my worst fault was that I didn’t dust often enough, well I can’t be that bad.

        I mean I worked full time, kept all his clothes on the ready, kept the kitchen and bath clean. Kept the general living spaces free of clutter, but I guess I just didn’t make it shiney enough.

        Not sure how fucking a whore made that better, but whatever. Turned out the whore was way worse than me in house keeping, I mean bad according to my daughter in law. I got kind of a kick out of that. And, she quit work right after they married. Well she got fired, but she never went back to work, claimed back issues.

        • “He kind of swept his hand around and said “this house”

          So who broke his legs? When both spouses are working full time, it shouldn’t be up to one to keep the house up to the other ones specifications.

          • Oh I know. He would have never done any house work. That was womans work. Not that unusual for his/our age group, but he took it to extremes.

            I laughed after I found out schmoops was a mess. I could just imagine him chasing her around the house pointing out the messes. My son told me he once watched his dad chew schmoops out because the cans in the cabinet were not in order and facing the front. So evidently he got even worse about it. I worked with one of her kids at my part time job after we legally separated. He told me he hated fw, and that he would sit at the kitchen table and order everyone around to clean up the kitchen. I just said something like, oh I am sure he means well yada yada, but it was funny. I was past the initial pain by then, and had begun to realize I was sooo lucky.

            It made no sense to me that someone who was such a mess character wise and had pulled so much shit, that he could be so compulsive about things like that.

      • When I was pregnant, a punk kid (who did NOT know how to drive) ran me off the freeway with stupid high speed idiot maneuvers. Because of my training I was OK and so was my car and avoided other cars.

        It just so happened that a CHP on his motorcycle saw what happened and went after him. Instant karma, loser!

        If you have the means, take driving lessons at the track. It’s where you really learn how to drive. And send your children there too.

        I’ll be headed out there for more when COVID restrictions are lifted. It’s really fun!

    • I do tactical breathing too. It’s a great tool. I learned it from a yoga teacher who raises goats! About as far from a Navy Seal as you can get!

    • Thanks 🙂 I think gaining a life is kind of like working out. It’s a muscle you build up over time, it won’t happen in a day. Hang in there!

    • So true. I said many times after the worst passed, hey he wasn’t found floating face down in the Ohio River. I did ok.

      In real time, honestly I just never gave the whore much thought. Part of it was pride, she was so unappealing that it was embarrassing to know he left me for her, part was I was just dealing with his treatment of me. didn’t have the energy. It was only years later after finding CL that I started to make jokes about the whore.

  • Wonderful update about Rarity! Fantastic.

    What I did right was to grit my teeth after a few wreckonciliations and stay out. His OW had dumped him, and he then wanted to be a family. Nope, not happening.

    What I did right after the final split was to take a trip to Europe on a singles tour. I met some fabulous people on that trip.

    What I did right was to date, get out and have fun, but not get into any serious relationship for 3 years.

  • I made a throwaway reddit account and wrote my heart out on r/breakups and r/unsentletters. It was a way for me to let out my sad and angry feelings without contacting him. I went no contact last year on January 28th and haven’t broken it a single time. Ending it myself is the single thing I’m proud of. He told me about the affair on Monday. I went no contact on Thursday. He half-heartedly offered a reconciliation on Thursday. I think he expected me to pick me dance but in that moment, I realized my love meant very little to him. It was the hardest thing I ever did but also the thing I’m most proud of.

    • The no contact no response after just finding out it a sooo hard. Good for you for going NC right off the bat. It will feel better down the road as it is so much more powerful than arguing and all the insults in the world won’t really help as we never get complete satisfaction. Silence is a powerful tool.

  • I forced myself to leave.
    I forced myself to overhaul my life.
    I forced myself to do so through chronic illness and now a pandemic.
    I found Jesus.

    Today is one of the hard days, but I will never not be proud of following my intuition through and through. It was the voice of God and it saved me.

    • Love this.

      Same for me, I remember just walking through the haze, praying. I didn’t get my original prayers answered, but I got the right answer for me. I honestly began to understand that God did not ignore my prayers, he led me to safety.

  • First, hats off to you, rarity, for having gained a lovely life! You and nuhusband and kiddos look as if you’re doing very well. Yay!

    Second, with respect to what I did right after Dday, that was really odd.

    I discovered the affair in a weird way. CheaterX had not been intimate for a while, but he would do this semi-regularly. At the same time, he was dealing with an ex-employee, who had loads of drama in her life and was very needy. I was sitting at my computer and the thought popped into my head. I went to CheaterX and asked him, “does Schmoopie have feelings for you?” It wasn’t that he was cheating with her, but more that it seemed clear that she was pursuing him. He denied it. Okay. But then he put his phone down. It was typically locked, but that time he put it down and left the room. I picked it up and saw that he’d texted Schmoopie, “kb confronted me” and her response, “What did you SAY???”

    Chumps here know how devastating that discovery is. Rather than confront him, I went to my computer and googled “what to do husband having affair.” That led me to two sites: the truth about deception and Chump Lady. The truth site is/was a generic infidelity site, with some forums devoted to reconciliation, and others are more for the chumped. There were also some articles, and one of them addressed why people cheat. The simple answer was that they can. Another article advised against confrontation, since cheaters only tell the truth that you already know (trickle truthing) and will deny any evidence. The advice was to look for a lawyer.

    So this is what I did right.

    1. I didn’t press him and let him think he’d bamboozled me. CheaterX considered himself very good at persuading people, so I let him think I took him at his word. He would often remark that people in my family were trusting, and I suspect he loved the thought that he was pulling a fast one on me. What he didn’t realize is that I discovered the affair within about a month of it going from an emotional to a physical affair. When I finally filed, he was taken off guard.

    2. I talked to attorneys as soon as possible to learn my rights under my state’s laws. I worked out a budget and saw that I needed to earn more money than my job paid, so I started on lining up my ducks. It took 18-24 months, but during that time I lost over 50 lbs intentionally, gained a promotion, paid down over $6K in revolving debt to the point where I had less than 5% in revolving credit, saved up enough money for my attorney, and increased my credit rating so that I could buy a house.

    3. I became a champ at Gray Rock. CheaterX had all the boxes of a Borderline Personality Disorder, so he was quite capable of flying into a rage at no provocation. I learned about Gray Rock on this site, and discovered that CheaterX was capable of holding up two ends of a conversation and that his preferred audience was an echo chamber.

    4. I carefully plotted my divorce strategy. I had an ideal settlement and an acceptable settlement. I knew what I was willing to negotiate and where my boundaries were. As it turned out, I got my ideal settlement, partly because he didn’t have a lawyer who could have seen that while the estate was divided 50/50, his half included way more debt than my half.

    5. I gave up the marital home because I knew I couldn’t afford the mortgage and utilities/taxes. However, I knew he really wanted the marital home, so I let him think that he’d “won” the home. Haha! The home needed about $15K worth of repairs, including a new roof and heat pump. That’s money he didn’t have, but he wasn’t interested in looking at reality.

    6. I cut all social media ties and stayed No Contact after the divorce, even though he tried to hoover me back once it was clear that Schmoopie was cheating on him. Nope. Not taking him back. I’m too good for him.

    • This is a blueprint for any chump who can stand the thought of taking 18-24 months to line up ducks. Aside from courage and intelligent planning, such a plan requires an unwavering commitment to yourself so that you don’t get hoovered back.

      I’m in awe of what you did. His loss is incalculable.

    • Yay for you kb! You went to work stealthily & it worked! I waited about the same amount of time to do research & to plan- I had to be certain I could manage on my own financially.

    • kb, I directed some comments above at kb22 thinking that was you.

      Did you ever write your own guest post? Your story is pretty amazing!

      What was it your husband said when you finally told him you knew? “And your point is?” And you were like, “My point is I don’t want to get in the way of true love! She can have you!” Ha ha.

      I actually had something kind of similar happen with my XH and the car. He had run that thing into the ground driving OW#1 around in it and I knew it was going to need a lot of repairs, so I let him have it in the divorce. Sure enough, it died within a few months of the divorce being final. He’s on his 4th or 5th car since the divorce now, I’ve lost track.

      I’m on my second. It will be 5 years old in June. I junked the old beater I got during the separation and I’ll keep my 2016 Toyota Corolla until I run it’s 15-20 years old or 200,000K+ miles.

    • I am on this timeline. The pandemic has kept me from interviewing as many attorneys as I would like. I consulted with 2 but now that kiddo is in school from home, he would overhear any phone consult. FW also is working from home. I can’t leave the house, either. So it’s frustrating but I am being patient.

      Another issue an attorney raised was my son having a lot of strong contacts here. FW thinks he will move us 3.5 hours away to where my son and I know no one and things are MUCH more expensive and then divorce me after the pandemic dies down. He wants to move to a bigger metro area for his career. I want to stay put and keep my son here, too. I have been told that when weighing the best interests of the child, the court will look at his community ties. And because of the pandemic, he is very cut off. His best friends in the neighborhood, his swim instructor, his school… all the things that spell stability for him here are in upheaval. He hasn’t been able to be in swim lessons for a year. All these ties would have helped my argument that he should stay here with me the bulk of the time with visits to FW. So I need the damn pandemic to die down so my son can return to activities and contacts that bind him to the local community so it can’t be argued that moving far away would be best for him.

      Meanwhile, FW watches all our financials like a hawk. I have little means to put money aside but am doing all I can here and there. I need a lot for a retainer. I applied for a few major credit cards in my own name – my first in 20 years! – that I can make payments on in cash at the grocery store. That way I can start boosting my credit score to buy my own home.

      I also packed up a large box of my most treasured things and shipped it off to a trusted friend for safe keeping. I need to do another. I have also been slowly making copies of the financial documents here and there as I get a chance. At the beginning of the pandemic, I met with a certified divorce financial planner. She has been keeping the copies I make in her file for me. As I make them, I “walk the dog” and pop them in a mailbox to her to add to the file. She also gave my confidence that I can buy the house and make it work. She would be part of any mediation on my side and she is one of the best in town.

      I am also searching for a PI because I live in a fault state and want fresh evidence to give the court. A well off family member has offered to front the cost and I can pay her back later. We did the math and if I am awarded 51% of marital assets instead of 50%, the PI will have paid for itself.

      It’s all baby steps. I would be further along if not for the pandemic. I feel like I am on track to be out in 1-2 years. My biggest driver to move as fast as I can is my son. He is exposed to more of FW’s toxicity the longer this goes on. Situating us for a soft place to land is so important. Things will be rough enough as it is.

      • I am not an attorney nor do I have a child but I think it would be a big mistake to move with your STBX to another location. Can’t you just say no and then the jurisdiction would be where you live now? I think the ball would be in your court as to getting custody, etc. You would not want this to be decided in a location where you do not want to live. You will be better off to be really prepared as the pandemic restrictions are easing or getting ready to–depending on where you live. Best of luck to you.

        • Thank you. We are still married and not separated. I’m in ninja mode. I agree the idea is to NOT move with him and let him file after moving. I was lucky that he tipped his hand and told me that was what he was thinking. (His words, “I think after we move up there, you need to find your own place to live. I want to show son what a healthy relationship looks like.” I am sure he already has a schmoopie in mind.)

          Yes, my son’s community ties can be rebuilt as the pandemic eases and I have been pushing to get him back into swim and in person school. I even tried to get him in at the private school but they had no openings. Thankfully, hybrid learning will start in 2 weeks and he will have class and playground time with peers again.

          When FW announces it’s time to move, that’s when I have to say “No, you go on yourself and let’s call this the one year separation the state requires before we can divorce.” And I need my attorney ready with a separation agreement and ready for us to apply for child support through the state. FW is going to assume that our son should move with him and I need to be prepared to demonstrate why he should not. It’s not a matter of my not wanting to share my son. It’s about my not being forced to move to a very expensive area where my son and I will not have all the friends and support we do here.

          I remember FW saying we should move and then split and found myself wondering exactly how stupid he thinks I am. Staying where I am, I can afford to buy his half of the house. Moving to the big city, I could barely afford to rent a small apartment. He can F off with that idea.

      • Good luck. It is hard to get through this.

        I don’t know about your state but where I lived, I had to buy a car after we divorced, during the legal separation I kept the family car and he had to pay the payments. Anyway, I was worried about getting financing, I went to the dealer and I had found my car and told him that my brother had said he would sign, but I really wanted to get the loan on my own. He said you have the same credit as your husband, (which at the time was good credit) so there is no reason you can’t. A loan might require that you are employed, I don’t know but as for credit you might have the same credit rating as he does.

        Also, you might try for a years separation with maintenance. I had credit card statements and bank statements that showed he spent money on the whore, plus I made him file and given his actions the last couple years we were together, that helped me a lot. My state is a no fault 50/50 state, no alimony, but I was still able to get a year on a maintenance plan. (He paid for the house payment, the car payment and the electric bills, we had electric heat in a cold climate (I paid my water and phone). I could have gotten three years, but I was done after one. I had time to save money and get myself emotionally stable.

  • I think for me maintaining my calm when he was raging about his 30 years worth of unhappiness and being very matter of fact when I told him we are done were things I did right. I have no proof he has had affairs with any particular person but his obsession with 20 somethings and his obvious discard of me has been goin on for several years.
    I wound up leaving and hired an attorney, am moving into an apartment next week and have a great therapist who is good at giving me reality checks.
    Through all of this I am petrified, sad and have bouts of panic attacks. I’m moving forward barely an inch at a time. Also I’m doing this on my time. Some days I am just frozen and can’t deal with any of it.
    I’m not anywhere near meh and still working on divorce paperwork.
    Like I said it is an inch at a time.

    • You’re doing great! Right now it’s an inch, but soon it will be a mile. Keep investing in yourself. You know how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

        • An inch is progress in the right direction. Be good to yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You are already a winner in this shit show.

    • You are very mighty to know that it’s not proof of a specific affair that matters, but rather his disrespect and devaluation of you.

      Moving is a huge move and you are doing all of this in a pandemic. Having your own home will make a big difference.

    • Three years ago I was in the same place you are now (left after 35 years of marriage). Take heart. It gets SO much better. What I discovered was that although all I could imagine was how I might fail and how much I was losing, I had yet to experience how much I could discover about my resilience and capabilities, and how much I gained. The really surprising thing was the many kindnesses from others and the lucky breaks I could not have predicted.

  • Quite a few wrong things, but those are in the past and helped me learn the right things.
    -No contact. A couple missed steps here, but she is out of my head.
    -Stay connected to recovery groups to stay on the path and encourage others.
    -Give my adult sons plenty of space for their relationship with their mother.
    -Remained open to a new, healthy relationship. Married 16 years and very happy despite life’s travails.
    -Been part of a faith community and practice. This took some trial and error, and growth on my part to find a healthy church.
    -Discovered CL and preached the gospel of the Chump Nation!

  • Rarity your moxie is wonderful, and your kids are adorable.
    This goes against all the CL advice, but I told him what I thought of him and the OW – in emails and letters- and I don’t regret it. He doesn’t do self-reflection; he was all about his sad sausage story of not having the tools to express himself to me (thus the affair and discard) and I refused to not counter that narrative. It may have had zero effect on him – but I wanted him to know and maybe in some small way live with the fact that he inflicted serious trauma on my kids and I by lying, manipulating, being a complete fake and covert narc.
    I wasn’t going to help him to live guilt free by moving on quietly and making it seem that all is fine.
    OW posted the valentine’s roses (he’s a one trick pony, I always got the same roses) as her FB picture shortly after he discarded me and weeks after she left her H. I wished him good luck in Narc land and pointed out the degree of narcissism it would take for a co-conspirator in abuse to do that. I don’t care if this is kibbles for them – I hate that these people get away with abusing others and no one calls them on it. I can’t wait for abuse by cheating to be called out for what it is in mainstream society. It is infuriating to me that we are the silent victims and need to worry about our dignity rather than calling out these abusers and their partners.
    What I did right by CL standards- I kicked him out (he thought he could just live in a different room while he sorted out the details of the discard). Truthfully, I did this hoping it would wake him up and he would beg to come back – but regardless- I didn’t have to keep watching him texting and hiding his phone like a 13 year-old.
    I got a fair by my standards settlement, survived all the crap abandonment and divorce entails like selling the house etc. and have been determined to get something meaningful out of this growth wise.
    I’ve been working on healing and loving myself which has been a difficult undertaking, but I’m doing it. My relationships with my kids is even better and I’m finally meditating.
    I wanted to share a book that really helped me turn a corner and I’ve read a lot! “Living and Loving after Betrayal” by Steven Stosny. His book and CL’s were the most helpful for me.
    I still have a sense of humour and gratitude.
    I want to take this opportunity to thank CL for her wicked humour and insights.

      • Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

        The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

        The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman

        I’ll write a little bit more about why these were so helpful to me when I’m not on mobile.

  • The best thing I ever did after DDay#1 that really saved my ass financially as the primary breadwinner was get ex-FW to sign a separation agreement while he was in throws of Tru Wuv and was willing to sign anything that enabled him to be with OW ASAP. There was a reconciliation clause that stated the agreement survives whether we divorced or not. Of course he signed it because in his mind he had no intention of saving the marriage. That changed less than 2 months later when he came crawling back. Fast forward 2 years and DDay#2 with a different schmoopie. I lawyered up immediately and I moved to enforce the original separation and property settlement agreement that I’m sure he assumed it was void or thrown away after we had wreckonciled. The astonished look on his face was priceless.

    Newbie chumps, the best advise I could give is to take full advantage of Cheater’s euphoric emotional state when they are in full obsession mode with the AP. Don’t delay or wait until they try and come back to negotiate a “post-nup” that has a cheater clause. You lose leverage cause they know they will likely cheat again (i.e. entitlement) Even if you opt to ‘pick me dance’ at the same time like I did after DDay #1, the timing will give them the impression that you are merely giving them what they want, a divorce.

    • I would also add take advantage of their guilty state if they have one. Later on, when reality sets in and their new life is not soft clouds and harps – they don’t want to give you anything. Also, the OW may not say anything in the beginning because she is fronting as the angel who only wants the man not the $ (lol). He told me OW didn’t even want to live with him, haha (he moved in with her and her kids within months). Later on, OW will be digging her claws in, manipulating him and won’t want you to have anything.
      Cheaters are ultimately weak, pathetic and without common sense. And they are no longer your family; they are not looking out for you. I had to keep telling myself this because I bought into his sad sausage story and had deep compassion for my cheater. The love didn’t go away right away. He also kept coming around to help out because his good guy image is huge.
      Force yourself to care about you (not them) and get the settlement you want early on. I did this by only paying for a 1hour consultation with a lawyer. I told him I had seen a lawyer, that this was fair by law, and that this is what I wanted. We did the legal agreement ourselves based on my 1 consultation (and my own research). It wasn’t a long marriage.

      Previous to FW H#2, I was so distraught with divorce #1, I didn’t see a lawyer, I didn’t look at our accounts, I didn’t check the law….oh lala. I was just trying to function with little kids and a shattered life. I trusted him to work it all out! I got child support, but I didn’t look out for my interests, and frankly I was so fragile I didn’t have the energy. I didn’t want to stress him out, I didn’t know my worth, and I wanted him to be a good divorced dad. He even kept the house.
      H #2 knew that. I think he was surprised that I asked for what I did after the discard.

      • Good points. It’s true the OW is hell bent on appearing so nice, so understanding she won’t show her true colors till she is secure. Plus OW also wants cheater to be divorced and done so they can move on together. Quibbling over finances usually delays the divorce process and neither cheater or OW want to delay.

        • So true, they both want out ASAP. OW wants your life locked down, and cheater just doesn’t want to think about his lack of integrity. And OW is playing her cards right, gently manipulating him. Fuckwit actually said to my face – if you can believe this – that he could give me more money, but then there’d be no more goodwill between us!!!!!! This is a cheater’s delusional thinking. To actually think their shattered spouse has goodwill towards them shortly after Dday and just wants them to be ‘happy!’ Chump that I am, I didn’t ask for more money. At least I live by my values and would never want to screw anyone over.

          • “This is a cheater’s delusional thinking. To actually think their shattered spouse has goodwill towards them shortly after Dday and just wants them to be ‘happy!’ ”

            That is another version of “I hope we can be friends” Please, my ex just wanted to use my decent nature against me. That is why I hired a lawyer, and told the fw, tell it to the lawyer when he tired to talk any negotiations. If I had depended on my nature, he and his sleazebag lawyer would have screwed me into poverty.

            The biggest shock my fw encountered was the day he realized that “whoops, I no longer have any control over Susie. Shit, now what do I do.” I am sure he thought he would shit all over me, and I would continue to do his bidding.

    • “The best thing I ever did after DDay#1 that really saved my ass financially as the primary breadwinner was get ex-FW to sign a separation agreement while he was in throws of Tru Wuv and was willing to sign anything that enabled him to be with OW ASAP. ”

      Bingo, same thing I did. I don’t think cheater was so much in the throws of tru wuv so much as desperately trying to save his ass at work, but the end result is the same. I got a kick ass maintenance plan in a no fault 50/50 state. I only reque4ste4d six months, by the time that was coming up, he started delaying so I actually got a year of him footing all the bills, while I was protected legally from any of his spending.

      He was in such desperate straights that he couldn’t afford any publicity for the city. Sucks to be a lying cheater. He still got busted (they took his Captains bars), he lost his standing in the community, most of his friends looked at him with pity and disgust etc; but he was able to hold his job until he retired early with a decreased pension. He likely could have stayed to full retirement, but I am betting his work life was pure hell. He had become a laughing stock. He knew it.

  • The best thing I did was not to engage when he sent his overtures and sad sausage missives. Once I put down the hopium pipe and looked reality in the eye, I moved out. And once I did that I was done, even though it took me some time to stop second guessing myself and realize that all he was trying to do with these “phishing” emails was to get a better settlement for him. No contact is the way to Tuesday and meh.

    • My ex called and wanted me to use his lawyer, because it would save us both money. Yeah, no. I had already seen a lawyer and all we were waiting for was for him to file. He told me my problem was I couldn’t think for myself. I said, well that is why I will hire my own lawyer to think for me. He didn’t like it, but he filed.

      I would have had to go ahead and file if he refused, but I used a sob story to guilt him into filing. My sob story was true, I truly did think since he wanted the D, he should file; but that wasn’t the only reason I wanted him to file.

  • This is incredible! I love these stories. What I did right: got a life. Threw myself into law school, focused on my daughter, better fostered my oldest and dearest friendships, was brave enough to take a risk on a new partner who is amazing and loves my daughter as his own, rediscovered my joy, realized that I’m worth more than his opinion of me, stayed no contact (outside of necessary communication about our daughter). This all took focus, time, patience, willpower, and hard work. But it’s lovely and I get to enjoy a peaceful and happy life. And I wish him no ill will—working through my anger was another gift I gave myself.

    It’s so much hard work pulling yourself out of a Trainwreck, but either you wanna survive or not. You’re worth the work. We all are.

  • My divorce was almost 20 years ago (and since re-married). I grew tired of him before we separated and we were already sleeping in different rooms and emotionally disconnected. I have no proof, but feel like I *know* that he cheated on me in the end (and maybe more than that, who knows – I had a lot of dreams about him cheating on me).

    In the end I took control of my life and the situation:

    – Made plans to move into my parents’ house while separated and before divorce. He had also already been looking for a place to live and had already lined up an apartment (maybe schmoopie’s?) so he moved out right away.

    – Found a mediator and made all the appointments.

    – Found a realtor and put the house on the market. When we had a buyer they were getting a loan and their mortgage company questioned the square footage of the house because the county records showed the lower level (ground floor) as an unfinished basement and not the two additional bedrooms and bathroom that it actually had. It was in no way shape or form a basement, let alone unfinished. I called the county daily, multiple times a day, until I got the right person on the phone. I invited her over to the house to show her how wrong the records were. I was pleading with her about what she could do to help me because I’m getting divorced and selling my house and the county’s records were wrong and I was pretty desperate. She was an angel. She believed me and went into her computer and changed the information so it accurately reflected square footage, bedrooms and bathrooms, and two stories (not a basement). And just like that the problem was solved.

    – Packed up his sh!t and helped him GTFO.

    – Found a new place to live that would let me have my dogs there (friend of my parents let me rent his small house).

    – I was the bill-payer (though we kept separate accounts) so I easily had handy all of the financial records.

    – Took care of all of the moving stuff – let him take what he wanted that was his (and he took some of my stuff but I got it back), arranged for Salvation Army to pick stuff up, got the moving van, and moved into my new house after ours sold. I couldn’t afford to buy him out of the house and didn’t want to keep it up on my own.

    – During divorce was totally grey rock and after divorce was completely NC.

    While we were separated but not-yet-divorced, my girlfriends and I went out for dinner one night. I intuited that I would see him there at the restaurant and lo-and-behold there he was with schmoopie (whom he ended up marrying). I went over and introduced myself to her and said hello to him and then enjoyed my girls’ night out.

    While I was in therapy, my therapist asked me what I wanted my life to look like. I said “I never want to own property again, I’m not interested in dating, and I will never again get married.” Fast forward less than a year and I met and married my current husband, who is the best person I know and possibly in the world. Before we got married we bought a house together, and not just a house but a farmette. Never say never, I guess.

    I look back on what I went through during the divorce and can’t believe I accomplished all that (especially with the county!) and went out on my own. And my life got so much better afterward. I got the life I always wanted. It is possible.

  • I hired the female attorney in our town who has a reputation for being a bulldog in divorces. She pegged him in about three questions (quickly identifying his traits and character.) I was shocked that my whole decades of painful marriage could be summed up by her in a few sentences.

    I scanned and emailed documents for days in my home office, all the while screaming and crying in deep pain. But, I kept going as per guidance of the attorney mentioned above.

    I put an immediate freeze on our one joint credit card. I went to my banker and talked with him about my options.

    I lost my shit and called a friend to take me to the ER. I spent 5 days in a behavioral health lockup center but I came out with some good prescriptions and access to crisis lines, a safety plan and regular and intensive counseling sessions.

    I had one pick me dance instance where I broke my no contact to say I was sorry and I would agree to try counseling if he so wished. He didn’t respond ( schmoopie most likely intercepted that message or maybe he did actually read it). Either way, it was my one big mistake and luckily it resulted in nothing and I was back on track in about a week. Had I come across CL and CN before that point, I feel sure I wouldn’t have even given him that much of the pick me dance.

    I paid bills like a madwoman and diligently kept my credit score high in anticipation of having the opportunity to take full ownership of the home I love. It was a huge gamble, but it paid off in the end.

    I pivoted quickly in my career to get a position that would support the above mentioned home mortgage and also provide the health insurance benefit I would be losing in the divorce.

    I cried and screamed and ranted a lot. Mostly by myself. When I got too scary to be with myself, I called my friend per our arrangement (which was part of my safety plan). I would call and she could tell immediately that I was in a bad place because I couldn’t talk. That was her cue to start into long dialogues of what she did today, what she saw on the news, what she planned to make for supper, etc. She would keep talking until I could begin to respond with a chuckle or un-hum. When I was able to talk and respond to her in full sentences- then she knew I was back on track.

    • You are one mighty woman.

      What you did financially is important to highlight: You froze your joint credit account. And you talked to your banker. You were aware of how important your credit score it and you paid off bills. You knew what you needed to keep your home and got in a position to do that.

      I can’t stress enough how important it is for women to have a banking relationship. The actual bankers in my small branch come and go, but when I need to know my options, they’ve helped me a number of times. Get a checking and savings in a local bank. (I have one in a mega-bank, too; that’s handy for travel and I use that account for tax refunds, etc.) Open a credit union account and put even a few dollars a pay into that account. That’s a lifeline.

  • What I’m proudest of is facing and dealing with my FOO issues after DDay to the point where I can now see and love myself for who I actually am. Because of very early attachment trauma and ongoing emotional neglect by both parents, I became so ashamed of my self that I erased and replaced it with a set of ideals I could never live up to. The message I internalized from my FOO situation was that only perfect people were worthy of love. Turns out, the only thing perfect there was the set-up for choosing an abusive life partner. And sure enough, when my ex criticized and belittled and gaslighted and bullied me, I just thought he was right about me and that was all I deserved…. Now, I know that’s bullshit. Now, I fully inhabit my body for the first time in my life and love and care for it like the precious gift it is. Now, I fully express my personality because there’s no one else exactly like me on the planet and diversity is the engine of life. Now, I love myself enough that I can honestly swear myself that I will never allow anyone to abuse me again and mean it. That feels really, really good. And honestly, if it took what I went through to get to this point, I’ll take it and thank God for it.

    • Okupin. That’s exactly how I feel. The greatest thing that I did was to learn to love myself. All the other achievements, i.e., getting the house in my name, making sure I had a retirement, getting a life, though exceptional and noteworthy, are not as important as loving myself. Good for you!

  • My top five:

    1. I banished denial. Our marriage was not what it looked like from the outside. He was not who he was in public. He was who he was at home and during the nasty divorce.

    2. I had problems, but I wasn’t the one who pulled our family into a dark pit.

    3. I searched for help and understanding from coaches, therapists, and support groups until I got what I needed.

    4. I actively kept some people at a distance and focused on friends and relatives who got it.

    5. I hired an attorney that an acquaintance called “grandpa with an iron rod.” He was like a big brother to me in the office, and then hung on like a hungry bulldog for the legal part. Late in the process, we decided on a bold move based on intuition and got it signed without going to court.

    I remain very meh about dating, but who knows. I’m busy and not looking for it at this point.

  • What did I do right? I saw an attorney immediately, fought for equitable divorce, never cried in front of him when he decided he didn’t want to try reconciliation, helped him pack, had him served as soon as he returned from Afghanistan, cut off all credit cards in both names and taken off as authorized user on mine, packed his bigger shit up and handed him the keys to the storage facility right after he was served, took half the money out of the account AFTER paying 3 months worth of utilities and mortgage and before he could steal it,, canceled my life insurance (because I couldn’t legally change my beneficiary while married without his permission) without him knowing, and never let him tell his watered down BS version of why we were getting a divorce. Some of this was on the advice of my new attorney, but most of it was because I was outraged that the fuckwit would dare cheat on me after I was so great to him, his kids, and his family. Oh, and I got to mad and outraged almost immediately instead of hurt and defensive and trying to save a worthless marriage. Now, I’m in school full time again, going for another degree in nutritional science. Other than the pandemic, I’m enjoying a great life and can’t wait to be able to travel again when it’s safe. I only wish I’d found this sight before I divorced his cheating ass, I probably would have came at him harder and not wasted as much time wallowing in sadness. He never saw me cry, but I spent many days sobbing in the shower or in the fetal position in my bed at night.

  • In retrospect, I am proud of how I handled myself. I discovered my ex’s affair at the age of 63, after 42 years of marriage. We had had a dead bedroom for 10 years after my ex’s prostate surgery. He had convinced me he was impotent, and if he could not enjoy himself, he saw no need to touch me. Overhearing him talking sex to his AP and telling her he loved her and could not wait to be in bed with her… that was a gut punch on so many levels.

    I did the usual – pit bull attorney, no contact, secured my finances, rapid divorce while he was still in affair fog. But I also took the step of admitting to myself that I wanted to be sexual again. After 10 years of post menopausal neglect, I had a lot of atrophy and other conditions. I found an awesome nurse practitioner that specializes in post menopausal women and got months of treatment. I took the money from my half of the business savings account and spent it on my self. I had my eyes done, fillers and botox. Make over at the hair salon. Joined a gym and lost 40 pounds.

    After my divorce was final, I also took the step of contacting an old college boyfriend. I had been only with my ex since the age of 19 — 44 years. I truly did not know if I would even have the courage to take my clothes off in front of another man. My old boyfriend, who himself was now divorced, understood my situation. He was wonderful and it was a fantastic 4 days. I am not ashamed.

    I am alive, happy and building a new life. I have a new man in my life with happiness and passion that I never thought was possible at my age. My new boyfriend, a widower, is 67. We both laugh that we don’t tell people the extent of our relationship, since no one would believe us.

    Meh is not something that finds you on a Tuesday. Meh is a by product of a happy life that you have to actively build.

    • What a story discarded wife! I am 62 and I have that wonder after 30 years and a dead bedroom for 2. He had prostrate cancer and ED but blamed me for it.
      Anyway, your story is an inspiration to me. I am not really ready to give up on having a relationship again some day.

      • Mine was a 40 year marriage with FW and he, too, played the ED sad sausage story. When I confronted him about it after he revealed his new exciting affair – he swore he never had ED. When I followed up by telling him exactly where we were and what we were doing when he told me that……he got squirmy and then shouted, “Well, it must have just been with you!”. So ugly. They will lie about a lie if they think you’ll believe it. And now, here I am out there wondering how to go forward with a new life with intimacy. He’s proclaimed loudly to anyone who would listen that I am the broken one and that’s why he had to go get sex elsewhere. I love how discardedwife reminds us that these FWs never give a flip that their partners have been going without sex for years. When mine complained once in a fight, I responded with, “Imagine that! I’ve went EXACTLY that same amount of time since I’ve had sex! What’s the odds of that?” It’s always just about how mistreated they were. For me personally, I decided I would no longer perform on demand like an ATM machine. So his response was that I was broken and he went looking for a replacement. Wife appliance as CL calls it.

    • **raises hand** mid-50’s here. Dead bedroom for too long to remember; I always initiated and one day I got tired of it and thought “let’s see how long it takes for him to notice”. He apparently noticed when whore came into the picture, imagine that. Only then was it an issue. My theory on that is Mr. Passive Aggressive was punishing me by withholding yada yada etc. I really came to say thank you for sharing your story and giving me something to look forward to. I’m leery to even consider dating but am coming to realize that I miss being sexual and hadn’t admitted until reading this right now that that may be something I want down the line.

      • My ex was also extremely passive aggressive. I think that was part of the attraction of the affair for him — the ultimate way to stick it to me!

        If anyone is interested in hearing my medical details, PM me over on the Reddit site. it is a little personal for this blog.

      • It is so, so backwards. I’d like to say it helps to know I wasn’t alone – being on the receiving end of projection, punishment, blaming, neglect. For years! But reading all of this, I get angry thinking of all of the beautiful, desirable, genuine chumps out there who had years stolen from us by these worthless, disgusting creeps.

    • What a wonderful outcome! I’m so happy for you. After finding a doctor to help me with my issues, I also found out that life can be fun and exciting again post menopause. And I don’t tell either!

  • What I did right involved more than just the recovery from the cheating and the discard. I wasn’t married to Jackass so I didn’t have to invest big money is getting rid of him, but his future faking put me in a bad spot financially for a while.

    But for me, this episode was the moment (having just hit 62) where I finally gave up thinking a relationship with a man would fill that void from childhood which parental affection.comfort, and approval should have filled. I finally committed to life as a single person for a minimum of 2 years, no dating, no window shopping, and I stuck to it. And somewhere in Year 2 I realized that I’m a lot happier living alone.

    I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my “one wild an precious life,” since I was done conforming my life to suit the man of the moment. My goal was to recover the parts of me that got lost along the way because of relationship or just the pressures of life.

    As it happens, I probably saw Jackass today. He probably didn’t notice me because it was very early and still a bit dark. The only thought I had was “Boy, he hated that job the first two times he had it. What a waste of a life.” And then I took a detour to photograph some wild birds. It’s not even Meh, really. It’s that he’s just not interesting, in any way.

  • I went back to school and in three months will graduate from a Physical Therapist Assistant program.

  • Tracy, I’m striving to be the “Most improved Chump” I promise! Apparently, I needed Mr. Chump Lady to scream in my ear, “If it feels good, don’t do it!” LOL. Lord knows, the days/months after D-Day were the darkest days of my life.

    I did do a few things right though which worked for me:

    1) I quickly learned who were Switzerland friends and I deleted them from my life.
    2) I came to your blog everyday for strength, guidance; and support from strangers. So many family and friends just didn’t get it and/or didn’t care.
    3) I accepted what happened to me was not my fault and processed what happened to me was not normal. I knew if I didn’t want to stay depressed, I needed to pick myself up – no one was going to do it for me. I worked on myself everyday.
    4) I learned how to control my mind and deal with negative emotions (Buddhist meditation and dharma talks – > truly life changing.)

    We did not have children, thankfully.

    I eventually found a well paying job, moved to a new state and found joy again. But it surely did not happen overnight! I recently decided I’m ready to date again (3 years later) and I am having fun testing the waters.

    Rarity: You are an inspiration!!!!!

  • Rarity, it is SO good to see your update. Your mightiness story has had such a long lasting impact on me. It is wonderful to see that it continues. Congratulations on your marriage and beautiful family!

    I have to say, I did virtually nothing right after DDay #1 but fortunately for me, when DDay #2 or my final DDay happened, I realized that I had done everything he asked of me and more for 4 years after DDay #1 in order to save my marriage and it hadn’t been enough so I abruptly changed course and managed to do some things right. The most important of these:

    -I made him leave our house. It wasn’t full no contact but having a physical distance and mental space was absolutely necessary for me to process what I was going through. All contact from that point on was on my terms.

    – I stopped believing anything he said. I BELIEVED he was a liar and everything he said to me or about me was suspect for that reason. I did not believe him when he said he loved me, I did not believe him when he said I was a bad mother, bad wife, bad daughter, sister, friend, etc. I did not believe him when he said it was my fault for not making him happy enough. I did not believe him when he said it was because I was frigid, or because I was too tired to have sex that time in 1996.

    -I stopped having any sort of sexual contact with him. See bullet points one and two above. The distance was necessary for my physical and emotional healing. Since he was fucking multiple strippers I was not about to believe him when he said he always used protection. I made him get a full STD panel and had him send me the lab results and got tested myself (multiple times over the years just to be safe) and I still didn’t have sex with him. Turns out in the three years we were separated but still married he never did stop fucking strippers and five years after our divorce I’m sure he still is.

    -I gave myself all the time I needed to heal. There was no timeline and no deadline. I spent hours, sometimes days just staring at the wall and thinking. I wrote in my journal, joined a support group or two, and got myself a great therapist. It took me two years to decide to end the marriage and it was well worth that time to give myself room to heal and decide what I wanted my life to look like. It was essential that I learn to listen to ME and what I needed which can be a difficult but necessary step for someone who is used to caring for others’ needs and ignoring their own. You really do have to use the airplane analogy and learn to put your own oxygen mask on first in an emergency so you are strong enough to help others.

    • So great to hear from you Beth! I have always loved your posts down the *yikes* years. You are a beautiful kind soul, and at my worst your words were always a comfort. A big hug to you!

  • Congratulations Rarity! I remember your picture from when I read the archives from start to finish. I came across CL in 2018, having been married to STBX 33 years. So I did a lot of things wrong. But I did a lot of thing right, so, to balance myself out, here’s what I did right!
    1. Began using Grey Rock when he was home.
    2. Began treating him as a non-trustworthy acquaintance – if he could help, I accepted it. I did not share my important feelings, thoughts, or ideas with him.
    3. Began to plan for my own future, alone. Got my ducks in a row so quietly that I began to feel guilty for keeping secrets from my husband. Then realized that keeping these secrets was a way of protecting myself.
    4. Told my family & some friends what was going on. I was able to discern who was supportive.
    5. Kept my bank account with my earnings separate from his. Kept saving and never told him how much was in there. I know it is marital money but currently it’s under my control.
    6. Went on vacations & visits to family without FW. Since I had really done that for the past 10 years since DDay3, I have a lot of nice memories without FW in them!
    7. Got tested for every STI.
    8. Sought out abuse ministries. Landed with one that was exceptionally helpful.
    9. Told my adult children that I would be filing and a brief reason why (“FW had a secret life. He was unfaithful and spent money without my knowledge.”).
    10. Filed first.
    11. Moved out.
    I am continuing Grey Rock during our minimal contact to get the house ready for market. He greeted me with a huge smile the last time I was over at the old house. I felt so revolted, like how can he do that? I accept that he may hoover & my guard is up!

  • Congratulations Verity you are an inspiration. Happy for you!

    Most proud of …leaving. Doing what had to be done- lawyering up, moving, job hunting and keeping studying – busy, frugal times but so much more peaceful and pleasant than anxiously pick-me-dancing or marriage policing.

  • I needed to see this post today. It is so uplifting and hope inspiring to read Rarity’s story. I am 4.5 years out from D-Day #1, 8 months out from D-Day #2, and 4 weeks out from D-Day #3. (5 year marriage, so yes, D-Day #1 occurred at just 6 months of marriage.) I am filing divorce papers within the next few days. I wish I had left after D-Day #1. This website and the LACGAL book have been lifesavers. I discovered CN after DDay #3 (only 4 weeks ago- wish I had found it years ago!), and reading all the posts, comments, stories, and book have finally allowed me to see my STBX FW clearly for who he is. (I now “trust that he sucks.”) I feel lighter and more peaceful now that he is not living in the same place as me (he moved out 1 week after D-Day #3). I of course still have a whole bunch of emotions (daily) but I am allowing myself to feel what I feel as I feel it, and that helps. The support of loving friends and family helps too. Shining light on the truth (only to emotionally safe people) helps too, and helps ease the shame that I feel/felt that really belongs to my ex anyways. I am so, so grateful that Tracy created this corner of the interwebs. It is so needed. Thank you.

  • This update makes me so happy. Congratulations Rarity, you gained a life, go girl, love Debbie in Australia. I always wondered what happened to you, Ya!!!!!!

  • I love this original pic and follow up! Before I filed for divorce, I secretly applied to grad school in a completely different field. I got in and am now half-way done my Masters. That very first semester I was meeting with my lawyer and discovering affair number…. 3, 4, 5? , and writing my first research paper ever. Things are much calmer now and I have a grad assistantship along with 99.9% of the time with my 2 teenagers. Going back to school absolutely helped maintain my sanity. Keeping the focus on “getting a life” is holding me together right now and every year gets easier.

  • I manipulated the cheater into confessing some disgusting things which would have destroyed his reputation forever. I even got it on paper and signed by him, in the name of supposedly having a new, honest relationship and us being able to demonstrate our trust in each other. Then I leveraged his fear that I would go public with it to get a fantastic settlement out of him. After chortling with his mistress about how stupid I was to trust him, who’s stupid now?????
    Fucker screamed at me “Your feelings are boring!” He mocked me, yelled at me and threw insults as I lay in a puddle of tears. He yelled at his daughter that he never wanted to see her again. He made fun of mental illness in front of her. She is mentally ill. He refused to apologize for hurting her like that. He sneered at me that I had done nothing in my whole life. He unfavorably compared me to his sociopathic, long term alcoholic, bottom of the barrel sperm dumpster schmoopie repeatedly. He lied relentlessly and without a trace of remorse. He called me disgusting, misogynistic names. Yet he actually believed I’d take a horror show of a man like that back? He’s so stupid, I could make him believe anything I want to. But I prefer to make him believe in one thing only-my absence.
    Up yours, Attila the Nerd!

  • Congrats, Rarity. What a precious, adorable baby! It’s so good to know you have the peace you deserve.

  • One more thing I think I’m doing right. We have an adult daughter who is very upset about the breakup and does not understand why it is happening. Ive done my best not to spew my anger about her dad to her. I told her that I can’t live with someone who feels the way he does about me because it is not fair to me. I said I still love her dad but he does not feel the same. She feels he has not really had much of a relationship with her in several years. Instead of me trying to fix that, she will need to work it out with him. And I’m making sure to see her once a week. We work different hours so it can be difficult. She does not want to talk about it and I have no idea what her dad has told her. He has insulted and belittled me to her when I was there.
    I feel like all I can do is assure her I am still there for her. And she can ask me any questions she wants.
    I fear losing her more than anything. If others have advice about dealing with adult children I am all ears!

    • Ready to Move On,
      Daughter of chump/cheater couple here.
      I’ll post my thoughts later this weekend.
      A few quick questions. How old is your daughter ? Does she know her father cheated ? What is her relationship status (dating, engaged, married) ?

      • Sucker punched—She is single with a few male friends but no boyfriend. She is 25 years old lives on her own, completely financially independent. She is well aware of his obsession with young 20 somethings because he talks about them all the time. These young girls he meets through his classes. Last year he had a friend, female 30 y/o who he always talked about — how great she is and about aspects of her personal life. He certainly was obsessed with her. At one time he invited our daughter out with him and this girl to an event he said they would be going to. This was in front of me! That event did not happen due to COVID. Daughter said she would not go. This 30 year old is not front and center for him anymore. He also has made comments to our daughter about how he needs women in his life! Again in front of me. I asked him if he knew he was married? He is 58.
        I do not know how much she is aware of his online gaming and his ‘community’ there. He told me he joined something called second life and talked about meeting a big busty black woman! He is a short white guy and I am bi- racial. For what that is worth,

        • Ready to Move On, I also am the adult daughter of a cheater father. My father is 75 and he is trolling bars and over-tipping servers in order to get their phone number and go out with them. The most recent was I think 33 years old! She is young enough to be my daughter and his granddaughter. I find his behavior and obsession with younger women (his most serious AP is younger than I am and barely older than my younger brother) to be absolutely despicable, disgusting, and disturbing and it actually makes me (literally) sick to my stomach and shake violently. He does not care one bit. He acts as a sugar daddy to many women, and actually I think without their consent. They (as far as I know at this point) aren’t exchanging sex for gifts, but he obsessively buys them things, takes them out to dinner, tries to woo them.

          Years ago when his company and mine were in the same building, he actually had his executive assistant and I go out to lunch together. It was very awkward. I found out later through my mother that she was one of the office girls whom he really wanted to sleep with but she never did (though she did sleep with another partner). My father does have a way of eventually turning people off. His assistant actually moved out of town without telling him (he traveled so much and was rarely in the office and after she got married she was telecommuting most days), I think he probably made her so uncomfortable.

          Now he lives in another state and is “hiring” all sorts of young people to hang out with him and so “projects” for him. One girl he hired to be his “designer” (though she is not educated as such) and apparently hit on her all the time and so much that her husband had to tell my father to knock it off (though he didn’t). The couple went away for a little while and now my father wants to hire her back to do more work and her husband wants to meet with me next week to discuss. I want to ask, “Since I hear that my father was sexually inappropriate with your wife for a few months, I don’t understand what would make you want to work for him again.” I do know the answer, actually – MONEY. But I want him to say it to me himself.

          These FW older men are such fucking assholes and pathetic losers it makes me sick.

          • Wow! BandL, my stbx was laid off from a job when he was supposedly being supportive to a young woman who he said was being sexually harassed. I always wondered the real story about that. I know he told me he had been talking to one young woman about going rock climbing like he was asking her out! He said well you can come too. That girl he told me seemed to avoid him after that. Well I wonder why!!!

        • Don’t just be ready to move on, get a lawyer and divorce that fuckwit. Tell your daughter why you’re divorcing her dad. And start getting a life.

        • They have no compassion for their spouses even as another human being.

          My ex told me he had been dating for the last ten years of our marriage, like that was a perfectly acceptable thing to do as he hadn’t been happy for ten years. Imagine if I had been the one to do that.

          I really wish I hadn’t been in such shock and could have countered that; but I just stood there in hell until he babbled something about his “first time” with the winning whore. (I guess I was supposed to high five him) Then I made him leave.

    • RTMO,
      My adult daughter struggled with the divorce too. She idolized her dad and it was a complete shock. I kept contact and gave her love and support. She was there on Dday. She calls it the bad day. She didn’t want to talk about things for the most part. At one point she did cry and say she wanted him to quit being so much like himself so I would take him back. I told her that would never happen. The family that we were was gone. He had destroyed it. Even if we were all together again, it would never be the same. I could not make her father love and respect me. I validated that it sucked for her to get 100% of the pain but no power. I promised we would have good times again, just not the same way.
      My relationship with her is good now. There was a long stretch where I was the only one that made much effort. I finally asked her what she wanted our relationship to be going forward. That it needed to be as adults that cared for each other. That was a new idea that has grown into a new version of a loving mother daughter relationship.
      It was hard to give her LOTS of space. I cried A LOT. It felt unfair because I didn’t do it. But she needed to heal. When we were together she felt the loss and my pain added to hers. She needed to be ready to seek out time with me. I had to have a life of my own that she could join or not without feeling pressured.
      Everyone is different. Ask questions and listen. Keep making time and giving love and support.

      • Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing your experience. She has seen me cry and knows this is not what I wanted and she has said her dad acts like a misbehaved teenager. And I was wondering about giving her space too. I like the idea of the questions.

  • What I did right was to go completely no contact. I did not ask my sons how their father was doing and in fact I specifically told them that I didn’t want to hear about him, good or bad. I then analyzed my 30-year marriage and why I allowed someone to mindfuck me. After that I learned to love myself. And after that I decided that I would rather be alone the rest of my life than to ever have a fuckwit in it again. I set up boundaries for any future relationship. Those boundaries actually made it difficult when a wonderful man came into my life. I had a difficult time lowering some of them because I erected them higher than necessary. I’ve since learned to trust again and this new man loves and cherishes me just the way I am. It’s amazing. I had to learn to believe that I’m worth the love. That’s the best thing since getting fuckwit free, i.e., learning that I have value just the way I am.

  • I will never forget the faux pity (that was really a sick satisfied smugness) when he confessed the “whole” story after a few horrifying weeks of trickle truth; starting when my obgyn told me that I had 2 STIs to go along with my new pregnancy. After his “confession” he took my hands and said “and now I have destroyed you.” I ripped my hands away and said “I’m going to be fine, you’re the one who has been destroyed.”
    I still attempted to reconcile for 3 years after that, but will forever be proud of my strength, and prescience, of that moment.

    • ” I ripped my hands away and said “I’m going to be fine, you’re the one who has been destroyed.””

      I love that response.

      • I ripped my hands away and said “I’m going to be fine, you’re the one who has been destroyed.”

        Me too.

    • As in; “And now I have destroyed you….I hope.”
      It takes a deeply disturbed psychopath to get smug pleasure from infecting a pregnant woman.

  • I’m late to the party but between watching my daughters post emergency surgery pup and breaking up with my bf( who I confronted about my gut feeling that he wasn’t “in” and was using me for sex, which he basically admitted to), it’s been a rather busy day. Funny how my empath guy tells me what I need to know and I finally listen to it after mowing married to the jackass for 34 years.
    I sold our marital home for $250k more than he was paid out on thanks to a real estate bubble, bought a stuck in the 70’s bungalow and fixed it up. I’ve been here 3 years now . I guess I’ll be fine if I don’t find a partner but still want one

    • Well done. Your gut was right!

      That’s a long marriage to come out of, and it’s understandable that you’re used to being part of a couple.

      And yeah, society is organised around couples, and you can feel less-than as a result.

      As a longtime single who’s not open to coupling up, can I share what helps?

      Good same sex friendships. You need a few really good female friends (married or single), and a wider group of fellow travelers. Friends in the real world are worth more than online ones – we need real connection.

      Finding your tribe. Human beings need to belong to something. It can be church, hobby groups, politics, sports, all of the above.

      Time to heal. Your confidence has taken a hammering. Your picker also might need calibration.

      I told myself “Imagine that you’re going to be single for the rest of your life. How are you going to live your life?”

      This is a bit of a cold shower, but like a cold shower, it wakes up the sluggish yellow fat in your life. It’s a good values clarification exercise – and it can set you free from waiting around for a partner to fix everything.

  • I think I did a few things right.

    1. As soon as I discovered her sexting near 20 men and asking four if they be in the area that week then discovered her main AP. I filed for divorce the next morning and never told her.

    2. I changed everything into only my name and access. Changed passwords. Got my own Amazon account and other accounts.

    3. Walked her into the bank one morning and asked for her to be removed from joint account.

    4. Told her she can sleep on the sofa.

    5. I started buying lots of small items such as microwave and bedding etc for moving to new home.

    6. I did not hide to the kids that I was divorcing their mother for her cheating. They don’t know how much cheating as they are all under 11 years old but I told them that mummy had a boyfriend and we can’t let people treat us like that.

    I’m sure there are other aspects to what I did but all feels such a blur. I’m proud of myself for not doing the pick me dance and that I essentially dumped her and left. I know I did the right thing.

  • I left. I didn’t share my address and I didn’t let my ex “help me” move. I let go of my home and land and gardens and community. I let go of Switzerland friends and family. I moved to a new state, got a new job, found a sweet little apartment in the woods, and started taking classes. I bought a small, reliable car. I took control of my finances. I’ve finally gone NC. I found Chump Lady which, among other things, has helped me finally reclaim a first person narrative of my life. I spend a lot of time alone, but I’m taking care of myself and trying to be a good person, like I always have. I made plenty of mistakes, but I didn’t know better. I’m going to make that Maya Angelou quote my new mantra.

    I think this all boils to the first sentence: I left. That’s all that matters.

  • I’m not around much these days, having recovered and gained a life again, but I still follow you on Facebook and pop over once in a while when something catches my eye. Seeing the update on Rarity was a pleasure since we were regulars here around the same time. Back then you were the best example of leaving a cheater and gaining a life. Since then, so many of us have followed your example and gained new lives. If you ever feel so inclined, it might be nice to do a “Tuesday Files” series and invite those of us who have clawed our way from the depths of hell to provide some inspo for those who are newcomers on the chump train. I bet a lot of us would be willing to contribute to blog posts if you put out the call! Just a thought.

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