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You Might Be a Chump If…

Time for another rousing round of You Might Be a Chump If… !

In the vein of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck If “… tell me how you might be a chump. What are the signs?

Ever wonder what quirks are particular to chumps?

You might be a chump (YMBAC) if … instead of a happy marriage you have 80 perfectly tended rose bushes.

YMBAC if… you’ve bought the entire infidelity oeuvre on Amazon and underlined passages for your cheater, only to find them unread.

YMBAC if… you actually sort of believed he was sleeping in his car in Vermont in January.

YMBAC if… you received a tie-dyed license plate cover for Christmas… and that was the best present.

If your cheater has three cars, three motorcycles, four kayaks, and more boxes coming from eBay each day…. and his gift to you is a tie-dyed license plate cover? YMBAC.

If your children don’t really look anything like you… YMBAC.

YMBAC if… you book all your marriage counseling sessions… and pay for them.

Your turn chumps! I’m sure you’ve got material.

Forward without chumpiness! And TGIF!



Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • YMBAC: if you believe that sex problems are strictly related to your lack of attractiveness ( somehow before the marriage, after child nr1,2,3,4) not him being an asshole and narc.
    YMBAC: if you end up in fight every time you organize overnight “ fun time” away from kids
    YMBAC: if you believe that being “ better” in any way may actually help your marriage
    YMBAC: if you believe in sex addiction

    • YMBAC if your usual Xmas gift from the husband is jewelry or clothing you love, but on this Xmas you receive a pair of oven mits and a random coffee table book from the bargain section at Barnes and Noble.

      • OMG, I actually received oven mitts this year (I’m not even kidding).. And a paper towel holder and some sink sponge holder thingy.. Yep, true love.

    • You reminded me… YMBAC if you just start to assume that packing for family vacations is too stressful for an adult male/father in the family and that you should just make his life easier by doing it all so he won’t freak out… but he does every time anyway (and gets really mad when you laugh at him being so upset at doing nothing to get ready).

    • YMBAC if you pass off his flirting with your friends as him in touch with his feminine side.
      YMAC if he brings random women home that he met in the dog park and you laugh it off as him being socially awkward
      YMAC if you believe his story about a workmate lying about him sexually harassing her. A month before the wedding.
      YMAC if he flirts with waitresses and you blame yourself when he gets angry when you point out the inappropriateness of it.
      I have a hundred more. As I’m sure everyone else on here does.

    • YMBAC: if you believe all the stories about how his friends, coworkers are having affairs and flirt with women in parties, but he has always been the good guy

  • Ymbac If you’re saved his job multiple times by jumping in with excuses for his unexcusable behavior.

    Ymbac If you’re never able to live off of your combined income and you don’t seem to know where all of the money goes even though your budget and track your money.

    I’m now no longer making excuses for his behavior. And even though his income is gone and I’m just living on my income, I’m doing so much better. I don’t run out of money at the end of the month anymore.

    • Muthachumper, I can relate! Xhole spent money like it was on fire, but I actually made good money and kept a separate savings account from him. He would come crying needing money every time I had a nice sum saved up with stupid excuses like speeding tickets, or he’s going to jail if he doesn’t pay off his leased BMW…at least now I can save money and I know where all of it goes.

      I made plenty of excuses for him too, with the kids, family, friends to myself…but he really was just an abusive, lying jerk.

      • Our combined income was $10k per month. Our mortgage was $4k. I have no idea why we were continually broke.

        • He was making about 45 thousand a year, (back in those days, that wasn’t bad) I was working full time and making just above minimum wage. My job provided good inexpensive insurance for the times. Yet, there was never any money for anything I wanted. We had several investment properties that he was renting out. He hid a lot of his spending in those, telling me that the properties would pay off in a few years but was sucking up a lot of money now.

          After the asshole left I pulled a couple years of credit card history and bam, there it was. And that was likely just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows how much of the cash withdrawals went to her, likely most of them.

          I am thinking when they got married her life style dropped quite a bit, since I wasn’t contributing anymore, and he certainly didn’t have to keep gifting her to keep the pussy flowing and her mouth shut.

          Because of those records I was able to get a little over a year of full maintenance, in a no fault 50/50 state. Luckily my judge didn’t like lying ass police officers. (he had to pay my house payment, my car payment and the heating bill). I could have gotten three years, but after a year I was done with it, and I hated staying in that marriage house.

          So I was able to recoup a lot of the money he had stolen from me, though likely not near all of it. It enabled me to pay for a kick ass lawyer and save a lot of money in that year.

          Also, i am I guess one of the lucky ones, as I got to know he got his just deserts early on in his “marriage” as did she. They truly did deserve each other.

    • Same here. On 60% of our previous income (I made slightly more than him) and 200% more disposable income!

    • Oh my gosh, yes to the income issue! I make a third what he does but my money stress is gone. It blows my mind!

    • Can relate. When me and asshole split I got half of our savings, 10k. After I paid for the divorce and set myself up in an apartment I had about $8k. Seventeen months later I have $35k in savings….and I lost 40 percent of my household income when he left. But when you don’t have someone spending 70 percent of the money….

    • I don’t think my ex was spending money on the OWs – too cheap and self absorbed for that. However, life with him was a black hole. I spent so much of my money and time on him and his family and property, and I passed up countless opportunities. Life was always precarious thanks to his dramas, and I blindly accommodated like a chump. I didn’t look out for my own best interests.

      I’ve always been independent and hardworking, and I live simply and am happy to; I’m also educated and open-minded and highly employable. I was looking to purchase land when I was 25 and met my ex. Now he’s sitting pretty and, fifteen years later, I’m somehow worse off than I was when we met. I got nothing because we weren’t married (that’s another story) and I was incredibly naive.

      After seven months in my new life and a few months 100% NC, and even with a modest salary and paying for a new car and all expenses from a single salary, I am so much more secure and am making slow but steady gains – financially and professionally. Fortunately, I was starting from almost zero but not in debt. Doors are opening (always were, I just never walked through) and I’m starting to feel safe enough to set goals and make plans – something that felt, and was, impossible when I was in an abusive relationship. I know I have a long way to go before I have my own home and land and community, and this sometimes overwhelms me with rage, regret, hopelessness, panic or sadness. Doesn’t matter, because I know I stand a far better chance now than I ever did with an abusive cheater.

      I feel so much affection and admiration for the chumps who share their stories here. Of course you all are doing better on your own, in so many ways. Chumps aren’t failures – proof is that we can turn turds to gold. We just learned later than many that you have to invest in yourself as well as others – and entitled jerks are terrible investments.

      • Amazing how much energy we finally have when we are out of shitty situations to better ourselves.
        I cant decide what was worse.
        Was it the car loan i had to take with negative equity because of his constant car trading (just like women trading…huh!)? Or the balance he transferred to my card while driving a car in my name with *one* of the OW?
        Or my bonuses I spent on things for him?
        I have struggled but Ive slowly seen the payoffs. It never even dawned on me that I would be able to save and put myself in the right direction.
        So grateful to have control of my own finances.

  • YMBAC If you’ve laid in bed next year husband knowing that he was on the phone looking at p0rn or possibly texting other women and you try to engage him in sex to redirect him.

    YMBAC If when you find evidence electronically you excuse it away calling it boys will be boys or emotional cheating. Cheating is cheating.

    YMHBBAC (You might have been a chump) If you get into your life as a single person and suddenly some of the terror goes away, some of the feelings of insecurity and gradually bit by bit you start to feel a sense of well-being just because that infected splinter under your skin has been removed. That was me. That is me.

    • Oh yeah… YMBAC if after D-Day you start cleaning out his drawers and find about 10 pairs of your(?) silky underwear covered and stiff with disgusting man-juice.

  • YMBAC if you wanted to be his “safe space” so he would choose you while he was struggling with his emotions
    YMBAC if you were willing to be a stepmom to his affair child
    YMBAC if you believed she was just a friend
    YMBAC if you watched the other woman’s dogs while she was on vacation with her family because she had no one else and her and your husband were such good friends.
    YMBAC if you believed they weren’t cheating because she’s married and pregnant with her husbands child
    YMBAC if you took them back 3 times

    I could go on and on and on

  • Hope this inspires everyone to post . . .


    (music by Village People, lyrics by UXworld)

    Chumpy, if he groveled and cried — I said
    Chumpy, if she gaslit and lied — I said
    Chumpy, if your pleas were denied
    There’s no need to be unhappy

    Chumpy, if he thought with his cock — I said
    Chumpy, if she put you in hock – you can
    Face it, and I’m sure you will see
    Making fun is like ther-a-py

    It’s fun to play the game
    YMBA . . . a chump, a chump, a chump
    YMBA . . .
    It’s a barrel of fun, I am sure you’ll agree
    It’s like being Jeff Foxworthy

    It’s fun to play the game
    YMBA . . . a chump, a chump, a chump
    YMBA . . .
    You can make yourself laugh, you can free up your mind
    You can leave all that shit behind . . .

  • YMBAC if:

    You take his mother to her doctor’s appointment after Dday because he’s too busy. You don’t realize until later he’s on a road trip (woohoo) with the OW.

    You participate in all of his interests but he doesn’t do any of yours. Oh, and then you forget what your interests are.

    You mistake sex for love.

    You really believe he’s working from 5:30 am-8:30 pm. You don’t question this because he’s a busy doc. You sometimes wait til he returns at 9 pm to eat the meal you lovingly prepared. He eats with you. You don’t notice anything amiss. You don’t smell the other woman.

    You believe his excuses about that weird text he accidentally sent your daughter.

    You actually believe you have a good marriage because…breadcrumbs.

    You think the silent treatment is normal. You say he’s just shy.

    You google, “Loss of libido in 60-year-old men.”

    You say “sorry” a lot.

    You accept blame for things.

    You become so damn small.

      • Swapping in “professor” for doc and lawyer…

        I swear Spinach, our lives are eerily similar.

        • Add cheating “ engineer “ to the list.
          6 year affair with the office slut.

          • Add consultant to the list! You know, he had to wine and dine clients in the evening so I needed to stop complaining that he was never home.

              • And Police Officers.

                I think the pattern we are seeing is that there is no pattern in terms of occupations, there is however a huge pattern in cheater behaviors.

      • I recently came across an article pointing out red flags in a relationship and one of them is that you find yourself saying sorry and not quite knowing why. It really hit home for me just how toxic things had gotten.

      • YMBAC if you believe he’s too tired to have sex and is angry at you for “trying to KILL” him when all you wanted to do was keep HIM satisfied at home.

        – If you think his hiding the grains/pastas on the top shelf was to help you get in shape because he cared about you,

        (and was not a controlling critical asshole)

        — if you watch him START his 2nd career (to become a physician) when your first born child is 8 weeks old and he doesn’t even fucking ask you how you feel about it…(SMH)

        — if your needs become so infintesimally small, and you embrace so many of his, you lose yourself

        — you believe you have a good marriage b/c of the sacrifices YOU made which, without any supporting evidence,
        YOU inexplicably ASSUME he’d do for you…

        –you “reframe” his shitty treatment into something that feels almost acceptable and you

        KEEP HIDING FROM THE REALITY your kids see….and DEFEND HIM when they say he’s nasty and absent…

        until finally, he practically dares you to file and your chumpdom glows in the dark.

      • YMBAC if he tells you he has to work on Saturday because everyone else is showing up to meet a big deadline and if he doesn’t, he’ll look bad, and he leaves at 5 am and you feel sorry for him and get donuts and go to his work and sit out on a dark parking lot for 20 minutes looking at a completely dark building and when he comes home you say, “I tried to bring you guys donuts but there was no one there, the building was dark!” and he says, “Oh that must have been when I was out getting coffee” and you BELIEVE him.

    • So much this. Yes!!! Specially the sorry part, how do we end up apologizing for What they did? Mindfkry at its finest.

    • So many of these I could have written. Mine had so many f-ups but I missed them because I’m a chump and trusted him. I remember the “if you’re not nicer to me, I’m going to cheat on you” argument. I think I knew then he was cheating, but didn’t want to see it or was just so worn down that I was too tired to figure it out.

      The participating in his interest but he never participates in yours, that was my first red flag. I remember thinking isn’t it odd we always do his things for “dates”. He now does the same thing to the children.

    • ‘You become so damn small’ … oh man, that is so heartbreakingly true. X

    • Spinach, yes. You become so. Damn. Small.


      You believe that he “went to the bookshop” for hours after his city appointment. Or the beach etc. And turns up in time for dinner, same same. You make sure you “let him have his space”.

      You believe that the rash around his mouth has something to do with shaving (ten years of gay clubs. Ew!)

    • This is me……still trying to get up the energy to figure out what my interests are. Happy first day of Spring!

  • YMBAC, if 12 years ago, after finding the craigslist personal post, you believed all the crying, begging and lies that it would never happen again…now, finding an AFF acct, MSM, and so much more, I asked him if it ever stopped. His response, “I’d like to think so, but don’t really know”…. this chump is out the door.

    • Ten years prior for me, and it was dirty emails (they were only drafts! I didn’t actually send them!) to his ex boss. I told myself that since she lived three states away and I knew they weren’t doing anything physically it was forgivable. Never mind that he was talking shit about me to her.

      • “Never mind that he was talking shit about me to her”

        Exactly! my FW was talking shit about me to complete strangers for 10 years. I read so many emails..”she hasn’t been anywhere in awhile, I am sorry, she just called to say she is coming back today..I was so looking forward to tonight, maybe she will start going back to the beach now that the baby is born” (our 1st grandchild), and my favorite, apologizing for taking so long to respond…it was his birthday and I had prepared a great meal with cake and presents! what a dumbass chump I did I not know what was going on!?! Lying, cheating and having sex with men, I never even knew he was bisexual. some days I just want to crawl in a hole and never come out..

        • The shit talking we’ve discovered in emails and texts could be a Friday challenge – if it wasn’t so far beneath us.

          I’m not ashamed, but I refuse to dignify the mean, immature and blatantly untrue things that my ex wrote (and surely said) about me behind my back to young idiots who certainly relished in the meanness, attention and “power.” So fucked up that this was happening for years while I was going about my own chumpy little life, not the slightest bit aware of the duplicity and betrayal. These people didn’t even exist, and I never would have befriended them, yet they were intimately involved in my life.

        • That betrayal was worse than the sex. I was obviously humiliated at his words but the fact that he couldn’t even pull pussy without running me down and making himself into a sob story made me feel even worse, if that makes sense. The whole thing was so pathetic, he was so damn pathetic!

  • YMBAC if you throw him out, but give him a bag of his specialty allergen free food to take with him.

    • Mitz

      Packing Allergens free food ????
      I’m laughing ???? you are a good person:)
      Someone will appreciate your sweet heart

        • That’s funny. Old habits die hard. I made mine chocolate chip cookies when I knew he’d be coming to the house to clean out his stuff. ????

          I had filed for divorce and had post-it notes in my car about how he was the enemy, but there I was, baking cookies. ????

          • Raises hand. Mine was a roast he requested for the Sunday he got home from a “boys trip” to our cottage. He refused to eat it.,

            • I made his favorite- chicken tetrazzini – and packed a few bags of “extras” from my pantry. Ugh.

              • I cooked mine dinner when he dropped in to ‘suprise’ our child and then left the house so they could have alone time together. WTAF. ????????‍♀️

          • For myself there was this desire to remind him of all the stuff he was going to be missing out on. It’s weird to be pick-me dancing while separating and yet…

            • Oh I remember that one. I tried to remind him of our future grandchildren and how we were supposed to enjoy them together. Gahhh. He literally had no interest in his grandchildren when they did come. He was too wrapped up in gambling and trying to amass a fortune, so he could buy a bigger boast. For the record he lost his ass, and had to file bankruptcy because of over 250 grand in gambling debts. She gambled right along beside him, honestly I never get tired of that story.

        • I’m pretty sure my trainwreck of a ex-wife said the same thing after she lost everything….

        • I actually gave him a letter thanking him for some specific good things about me that came from our time together. ????

    • LOL – you packed him a bag of special food?! This takes the dairy free, nut free, gluten free CAKE! LOL

      • I am ashamed to admit that I gloriously kicked out my STBX at 1 am (clothes flying out of the front door kind of scenario), then texted him soon after that he forgot his CPAP so I will leave it on the front door for him to pick-up.

  • YMBAC if after making your needs to tiny to notice, being treated cruelly, being gaslighted, money disappearing and giving your all. You wonder why , he couldn’t just love you and have a happy life, marriage.

  • YMBAC if you’re home naively babysitting your wife’s affair partner’s child while the two “life long friends” are out in engaging in their affair.

    • You might be a chump

      If you and your sibling on vacation as children babysat a small child, while your father, unbeknownst to you, was having an affair with the mother of said small child, the woman being a family friend.

      If your father, unbeknownst to you, went stark raving mad and murderous towards you and your mother, blame-shifting, aka discharging his guilt onto you —after all, his father and brother had died broken hearted. By the way, madness, not so apparent, because he re-seduced you with kindness at every turn, and his was victim-intimidation-kindness. But kindness it was. It must have been fear, if not terror, you lived in, but you did not know.

      If, all this not being truly available to you because of secrets, you married a very kind man, and you were discarded, and you are a divorced woman now.

  • YMBAC if you develop three autoimmune diseases within the first two years of marriage.

    • YMBAC
      If you develop 3 autoimmunes in the course of your marriage, and then apologize for that (like you have any control over it ????)

      • Oh, and your husband half convinced you that the only way HE can cope with YOUR illness is to cheat. And you apologize.
        Yeah, I might be a chump…

      • I developed two auto-immune diseases within three years of the date I kicked him out.

  • YMBAC if you supported him through all his business failures and his abusive mother forover20 years only to one day become the one that needs help and poof he moves on.

  • You might be a chump if believe when he says – she is my assistant and the fiance to my best friend, I can’t believe you would think anything is going on. – Gut was right – four months Right!

    when you find a new text messaging app and he says it’s for work, but you know it isn’t because you work at the. same. damn. place.

    When you are getting ready to move to the new home in a different state because you stayed behind to finish up the old home repairs/finances/moving (and WHY was I the one to do that?) and he announces that he likes “living alone” and “there’s no one else” in the same sentence. ME: ah what? we have been married for 23 years and you what? Your living “alone” was 9 months of ME traveling everything three weeks to spend one week with you and travel back and work full-time, and do the ranch…. BTW – I was exhausted but such a chump.

    When you take him back after the first affair and then he does the above—^

    Yah, I am a big fat chump….. The BEST advice I ever heard from Tracy was….. Is this acceptable to you? Period…. no one else, just you – is it acceptable? I have said that in various dating scenarios and when it wasn’t, I was out in a heartbeat. Guess what? I really do like living alone at my beautiful ranch. It has taken me six years, but I feel so good in life and myself. I am the star in my movie not supporting wife/chump.

    Thank you to Tracy for your book, this website (and soon the new one!).

    • “Is this acceptable to you.” Wise words from CL. Thanks for the reminder.

      And kudos to you!! So glad you’re happy as the protagonist in your new life!????

    • Ms. RancHER …. I love your happy ending!!!! I am at 6 years too and life is grand! I’m thinking about buying a farm (I get up on one so it’s not just a fantasy) too!

      Another MIGHTY Chump prevails!

  • YMBAC if:

    Even though he completely cut you off sexually, you still don’t leave him.
    He treats you like you are invisible and does not speak to you when you are both in the same house and when you need to discuss something with him you apologize for speaking to him.
    You blame yourself— because he does- for everything wrong with your relationship
    You spend lots of time and money on books, advice columns and watching you tube videos trying to figure him out
    Even though he goes to counseling, you are the only one that actually does any of the homework given by the counselor to help work on your relationship
    Even though he has been laid off or fired so many times you keep supporting him.
    When he refuses to get a job,you still keep supporting him and are paying for his college tuition!
    There are so many more!

  • You might be a chump if you fell for the line “of course I’d never sleep with her – she’s too big” and didn’t realise how many different headfucks are in that one sentence.

      • Ha! I got one of each – for each special lady I knew about. I was just right. Used to think of FW as Princess and the Pea for being so “particular,” or Grumplestiltskin for being so “moody. Adding Goldilocks.

    • Did you all ever hear “so do you think I’m having an affair with x now?”
      This was a mindfuck game mine used to play. He would like to say I irrationally accused him of cheating. In truth I rarely accused him, or said much about all of his many inappropriate relationships. I’m not sure if it meant he was or wasn’t in hindsight.

      • I do remember once about 6ish months before Dday. He accused me of making him feel guilty whenever he walked in the house. I said, “but I didn’t say anything” He just huffed off. Of course I made him feel guilty, he was guilty as sin.

        I never questioned anything he did.

        I never even flinched when the asshole would come in the bedroom and tell me he was going out to ride around with one of the guys.

    • Similar… YMBAC if he says he loves your ass and wishes it were bigger, but also complains about your weight post kids and at the height of his gaslighting when you are depressed (unknowingly), but muscling through.

  • YMBAC if you believe that the attaché case in his car filled with condoms, viagra, dildo, cockrings, wine bottle opener and porn dvd are for him to use on himself when he travels. Because that was what he told you it was for. (He only travels maybe once a year)

    YMBAC if you believe he actually has work related dinners EVERY week (pre-COVID) while you are home with the kids. (As well as all the other sports, activities of his)

    YMBAC if you except the excuse that he really needs a passcode on his phone again because he needs to use Apple Pay at Whole Foods. Even though you already made the RULE of No More Passcodes.


    YMBAC if after removing sex toys, etc from his car, new ones keep appearing in hidden pockets every few weeks.

    YMBAC if you cannot connect with your spouse on anything deeper than the weather.

    YMBAC if you’ve been aware of all these things for 5 years, but thinking you could keep your family together for the kids.

    Finally leaving, filed in January. Doing my happy dance. Thank you CL and CN for all of your guidance ????

    • In hindsight, I’m amazed at how the mind does crazy things on its own. I did not truly believe that the sex toys, etc. were for my spouse to use on himself. Nothing about that excuse ever made sense for so many reasons. But when the mind really doesn’t want to believe something it can really twist itself into wanting to believe something else. Just silly that so much time was wasted for this.

      • It’s Over,

        That’s so true of my experience as well. The mind plays tricks, accepts the cognitive dissonance. In retrospect, it’s unsettling, as if I wasn’t always in control of my thoughts.

        I think my conscious mind was protecting me from what it knew subconsciously to be true.

        • I agree about the mind protecting us.

          I lament sometimes that I wish the split had come earlier, but then I think of all the things that just kind of fell in my lap after he left, to me I have to believe the timing was perfect for me to have it happen. If I back track then I miss out on some really wonderful people and events that just unfolded for me.

          Or, no matter when it happened I would have made the best of it, as most of us do. So I don’t know.

          I am just so happy that new chumps have CL and a couple other resources to help them. There are a couple things I would have done differently with more knowledge.

        • I believe my brain was doing it’s best to protect my sanity. I remember things being so obvious but my brain wouldn’t let me grasp the true depth of the betrayal or what it actually meant: he didn’t care about me.

          • “I believe my brain was doing it’s best to protect my sanity.”

            Same here. If I hadn’t notice them in real time, when it all hit the fan; I wouldn’t have been able to remember the red flags with such clarity. It all just came rushing back to me. I don’t know which way is better. Either way is a horror.

        • >>The mind plays tricks, accepts the cognitive dissonance.

          I’ve heard the “mind protecting itself” explanation, but that never rang true for me, or rather not the whole truth. I think other things add into it. Things don’t add up, but that doesn’t mean you recognize a pattern of malicious deceit or have any idea what that means. We have fire drills to recognize and know what to do when in a life threatening emergency. I dream of the day we have drills for recongizing and responding to “character disorder”.

          Also, my own experience is that the mental muscles of “being in control of your mind” are exactly what blocks creativity and the ability to hear intuition tell us the unexpected. The book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” explains most of what I mean here. A strong left-brain can block the ability to see. I’m an analytical sort, who gets stuck on theories and explanations.

          • Chumpkins,
            Thanks to your suggestion in an earlier post regarding Don Hennessy, I got his books. In “Steps to Freedom, Escaping Intimate Control”, he explains that the skilled intimate abuser is able to split the two functions in the mind of the individual he wishes to seduce, “the instant, quick thinking function, where many of us make the majority of our decisions, and the slow and reflective part of our mind, where we examine the issues and find reasons for our responses”. The intimate abuser is capable of splitting the two functions in the mind of the individual he wishes to seduce. “Once he can split the instinctive and the reflective minds, he will invade the reflective function and fill it with his own rationale. ”

            Having been under intimate control in FOO and then in my marriage I am finding this information most useful.
            For the life of me, I could not understand how these people can control you without your noticing, and Hennessy explains that one is targeted, set up, and groomed. Now in FOO this is even sadder because this is done to you as a child.

            • This said, in many instances one “does not see” because it is very dangerous to see. So one protects oneself. In any instance of domestic violence, the person is actually the expert on the situation, whether and when it is safe to do anything. Self-preservation and survival come first. And often it is about the preservation of other members of the family.

              • I didn’t see (or know) consciously, but my dreams kept warning me. Starting in our 5th year of marriage, I kept having dreams that our house was collapsing around me. Then I dreamt that I walked in on him with someone else. The month before he left, I dreamed that he replaced our kitchen oven without telling me. So I was smarter asleep than awake.

      • I think this is why so much clarity comes from the wild dreams so many of us have after the trauma. Especially in the first few weeks I had some dreams that showed me exactly what was going on and what I needed to do, and other dreams were just horrible nightmares but they cemented my feelings of disgust with him. Even now, nearly 4 years later, I will catch a dream that shows me a new detail, and the occasional nightmare reminds me to never ever let him hoover back.

        My adult daughters are going through the same. I think the conscious is exhausted but the dream state continues to do the grief processing.

        • My nightmares all focus on one thing: He’s in the same room with me but doesn’t acknowledge my presence. I try to speak to him but lose my voice, and no matter how hard I try to scream, nothing comes out. Then I wake up.

          • I would love to see a post on the dreams we have. I found out through a dream. Dreams kept warning me throughout wreckonciliation. 1 year out and I notice an indifference towards him dream and real life. Maybe I’ll post of the FB group to hear about your dreams. Very interested.

            • I’m interested in this too, Yas. I’m now well aware of chumps’ insomnia, weight loss, etc, but I haven’t read much about recurrent nightmares. I’ve woken up the past two nights now, terrified. It’s always the same kinds of nightmares – the same patterns I lived for years, repeating themselves. The good news is that in my subconscious mind, I now recognize FW as dangerous and damaging – already a stranger, even though it’s only been a handful of months and we were together for 15 years. I think now that I’m more settled and safely on my own, and a return to general post-pandemic safety is on the horizon (I had friends to my new apartment for the first time – ever!), my nervous system is finally turning the corner and calming down. I also think that CL, with her snark and UBT, is working her way into my brain and taking the edge off. When I wake up, I remember what a pathetic fool this character is. I recall other chumps’ similarly funny-not-funny stories. I wouldn’t want to go near any of the cheaters I read about here, exposed for the losers that they are. My ex is the same – just another sparkly turd to be mocked and avoided.

            • That’s so interesting. About 2 wks before DDay, I was sleeping in bed next to my Ex. All of a sudden I woke up as I was dreaming about a gigantic hand coming down from above me, and ripping my heart out. It felt so real that I sat up in bed and gasped for air. Asshole’s back was turned to me, in the bed beside me and he never even reacted, let alone ask me if I was okay. But something was telling me I was about to have my heart ripped out.

        • A few years before D-day, I started having a recurring nightmare. The nightmare was pretty much the same each time. In the dream I was all alone in the world. I would then wake-up around 1:15ish and my heart would be racing. I then wouldn’t be able to get back to bed and missed a few days of work due to those sleepless nights.

          On D-day night, I went to bed around 10:00 pm. Prior to going to bed, the adulterer texted me and said he was so sorry he was still out, but “I feel like I need to be here.” The adulterer was supposedly out with out-of-town work colleagues and coworkers for business. I woke-up from a deep sleep around midnight and I knew instantly something was wrong. My first thought is that he was at the strip clubs with the out-of-towners (X is a perv and went to 100% naked strip clubs in the past when I was at home pregnant and we had a one-year-old child). In reality, he was on a date with a newly divorced whore that he used to work with. The adulterer got home around 1:15 am., the same time I used to wake-up from my nightmares.

          I have not had any nightmares like those since D-day. Coincidence? I think not!

          I too am interested in others cheating related dreams.

          • Dream:

            I had a dream of seeing my h walking away in some hotel- like building. I was trying to reach him, I was a total mess- crying and calling him. He looked back but kept walking.
            For some reason I thought that due to his moral standards – that would be his reaction if I ever cheat on him.
            The joke was on me.
            He started fucking around before we married, cheating throughout our marriage.
            No OnE suspected or believed.
            He was an A class actor

      Yep, and you’re definitely one if every time you happen to be near his phone, he snatches it away – and eventually, you think to yourself, “Geez, I guess he’s always been pretty private, but this is verging on paranoid and controlling. I hope he’s ok.”

      Related YMBAC if: the computer is under lock and key (password-protected, in a room with a padlock!) and you aren’t suspicious – even when he refuses to let you look through his photo album to find the images of your artwork you need to upload to an application.

      • I laughed reading this, I can so relate. My loser ex also did this with his online bank accounts (which theoretically were all joint accounts). He’d need help to transfer something but then become full of rage if I dared approach him when he was looking at his accounts. Ugh- so many burning red flags.

    • It’s Over,
      His attaché case was a detach case, like a serial killer’s murder kit, to destroy the marriage.
      Good riddance to all those fuckwits !

      • Sure was Saffa . At the time I found it I had a preschooler and a toddler and was a stay at home mom. I was terrified. Now they are 7 and 9 and I’m ready for a better life. Wish I’d found Chumplady back then. I was a mess.

        • Better late than never. Tracy is slowly changing the reason/narrative cheaters cheat. It’s abuse plain and simple. Once I get my vaccination and dare to get on a plane, I’m going to pack copies of her book. Somebody in CN has a brilliant idea of leaving copies in the book exchange kiosks in front of houses. I even saw such a bin in Venice, Italy (in the park near the Arsenale) when I visited a few years ago. Here’s to spreading the word to counteract the entitlement ????!
          I will write a dedication to the unknown recipient “Your spouse/partner cheating on you is domestic violence. You do not deserve to be treated this way. Here’s your escape guide. Thinking of you from across the world.”

            • Maybe I’ll even place a copy in the self help/psychology section of library stacks when I start traveling again for work in the US. Don’t know if my donation to a branch would be approved by the local library board ????

      • I think this is like the one my has in his vehicle. I thought it was for a gun, but I found the gun in the console (that’s another issue). But I have lots of lingering questions over what in the actual hell he had in a password protected safe in his vehicle. It is smallish would fit under a seat. You are the only other person that I’ve heard mention anything like this.

        On the kid issue, the exhaustion of being the sole parent of little ones created an extra layer of fog for me. Plus extra insulated with c.d., there were so many “red flags” d-days but I couldn’t face it. At least you are leaving now!

    • These really confirm many of my suspicions and what I experienced. While I never found any toys.. not that I would even know what a cockring looks like. I did find condoms, wine opener (I didn’t travel with him and he doesn’t drink wine), extra cell phone. He kept things so locked, phone, vehicle, safe thing in his vehicle that it was enough to walk away. I did the same as you, taking care of the children while he’s away on these “work trips”.

    • YMBAC if you find a bag of sex toys in his trunk, he lies and says they are from an ex-relationship, and that he left them in his car because “you are nosy”…YMBAC if you drive your cheater to the airport to go live with his AP in order to make sure he’s really gone.

  • you believed he had cystitis when in fact sti. he pretended to commit suicide. pretended to be mugged but spent it on ow and drugs. you thought that was bad, had surgery heart stopped told not to do anything for 2 weeks he refused to help with kids, but still fucked off with ow. of course a proud moment in his life. now have heart problems left foot is 3 times the size of right foot. has he asked how I am has he fuck, he’s complaining of cystitis.
    thank you ex

  • YMBAC: if you and your kids constantly walk on eggshells to ensure that you don’t inadvertently upset cheater; if you and your kids always put cheater’s wants and needs before your own; if only your paycheck goes into the joint account and you have no visibility of what happens to the money that cheater earns; if cheater’s constant search for a grievance means that you and the kids are always in the wrong; if you find that cheater constantly sabotage any suggestion that you or the kids might make about what to do as a family tomorrow; if cheater believes and acts as if they have the right to look at your phone or the kids’ phones at any time they chooses, but their phone is private and thus off limits; if you and the kids find cheater withdrawing attention as a means of punishing any perceived slight; if cheater holds herself to a different standard of truth to the one that they hold you and the kids to.

    Yup; sad to say, I did all of that and more.

    Not now though; she left to be with her AP and the kids and I grew mighty in her absence.


    • It is as if you have lived my life. These FWs are all the same. My son having to deal with his madness is a big reason why I’m leaving and I am kicking myself for putting up with it for so long.

    • Oh, the walking on eggshells. So true. I sincerely hope it didn’t permanently damage my daughter. THAT is what I feel guilty about.

      • ILC,

        I have gone as far as apologising to our 3 kids for not doing a better job of protecting them and for not having got them out of the craziness sooner. They took it really well; eldest daughter said “But Dad, our Mother is the one person that you should never have had to protect us from ….. this is on her not you.”


        • Your oldest is very smart. She sees it so clearly. Good for you and her!

          • IO,

            I’ll be honest; it helped, but I still beat myself up about it – I can’t but help think I should have done more and sooner.



            • I hear you. I have regrets too. Regarding the things the children had to be around. It’s okay though. You got it right, the kids are with you and love you. The time it took to get here still shows the goodness of your character. It’s not easy to believe that the person you married and said vows to is an awful person. But they are and you’ve improved your family’s situation for all involved.????

            • Believe me when I say that what matters is that you saw it, admitted it, corrected, are honest with your kids now, and are making sure they can self-correct from what they experienced.

              My mother never left my cheating, violent, mentally ill father, even after I pulled him off of her when he was strangling her, and pleaded with her to leave and get us to safety, because she was worried about him. Her example surely led to my being the chump I became. I don’t let my father off the hook, but I sure wish my mother had done what you have.

            • I had a therapist who made me feel better about the whole staying so long part of things as it pertains to my kids. She asked me to think about what damage FW would have done if he had 50% custody – in my state children are treated like property – I could never have stopped it. (Several members of his family have a proven track record of destroying the kids after the divorce to prove they are “right” about what I don’t know, so staying made sense to me.) That said, I have apologized to my kids as well…fortunately they have been very understanding.

              • I’m bilingual (French) and could also do a simple translation of my words of support from American English to Italian and Spanish.
                Thanks to the internet, so many younger people are now fluent in English. It wasn’t the case when I lived abroad during my twenties decades ago. Paying forward hope and a plan for fellow chumps.

              • My mother seriously considered my father twice during their 20+ year marriage. When my father ramped up the abuse with blatant cheating, we kids were entering adolescence. But she didn’t to leave us alone with him;nothing benign about his neglect.

                Ps I meant to post the preceding comment up thread. Oops !

              • My state will give him 50% custody. It kills me to think about. I have felt like at least with me here 100% of the time I can protect and defend. FW has now twice said he will drop papers so my back is against the wall. All I can do is prepare and if I am ready before he follows through, then I’ll file. He wants to move closer to his schmoopie. I am sure he has one. When he starts looking at jobs in her area and talking seriously about selling the house and moving, that would also force my hand. I’m not making us leave for his selfish needs. And then he can decide to stay to keep 50% or go be near schmoopie and settle for less. I’m betting he will go for schmoopie. That may oddly save me from a 50/50 situation.

          • Yep, I have apologized to my older kid (DD18) for walking on eggshells, and preemptively trying to get her to do things (or not do things) before STBX had a chance to jump in her about them. Unfortunately, DD18 was not able to go away to college in fall 2020 due to Covid, and has been living full-time with STBX in the family home. I try not to worry about the eggshells she’s still walking on. I will probably make the same apology to DD9 when she’s older, but my focus for now is to work on relevant issues (screen addiction during Covid, anyone?) without making DD9 feel like they’re walking on eggshells over at this house as well as at the other one. At least now, I’m not constantly anticipating STBX’s responses and can be more present for DD9.

            The only other thing I have to say is that I once made the mistake of bringing up the eggshell issue with STBX, back when I was still doing the ultimate chumpy thing of trying to get her to understand my experience. Like probably every cheater ever, STBX just DARVOed me, saying “I felt like I was walking on eggshells, too!” Translation: she was so full of toxic shame and a crippling inability to make adult decisions, that she felt she couldn’t be honest with me about her feelings and actions, for fear that I would actually make adult decisions that might involve consequences for her. That’s NOT the same thing as walking on eggshells in constant fear of criticism. Although I think STBX has created a revised history in which I was very critical of her (newsflash: I Really Wasn’t!), because I was very circumspect in my reactions and often took time to think before I spoke. To her, my diplomatic mode of speaking felt “inauthentic,” and I think she believed (in a paranoid sort of way) that I had contempt for her all the time, or something.

            This is why having these conversations is like putting our heads in the mindfuck blender: fuckwits live in a terrifying world of funhouse mirrors, where you can’t trust anyone and have to hurt others to meet your “needs.” I would feel sorry for them, if it weren’t for the damage they cause. Needless to say, I didn’t bring up the eggshell thing again, and eventually learned that SBTX is never going to understand my perspective.

            • LezChump – same! Mine said he felt like he was walking on eggshells all the time because (and get this, now) I always demanded that he leave work on time, and he felt so anxious about staying too long and was sooo nervous driving home. He worked 6 – 7 days a week, left at 7 a.m. and often didn’t return until 8 p.m. Yeah, those are some eggshells he was walking on! Like CL says, trust that they suck.

              • Right. And of course our fuckwits never thought to tell us how very *unhappy* they were, walking on eggshells all the time. (Eye roll) Here’s the thing: I *did* try to talk to STBX about the eggshells before D-Day #2, and then I took micro-nano-changes as a sign that maybe she actually heard me, and that things might change. But I didn’t press the issue hard, because I sensed the fuckwittedness and did not have high expectations for change. Like many of us chumps, I spackled really hard.

                But ultimately, the thing that makes their DARVO about the eggshells unfair is that *they* made the choice to cheat under those conditions, not us. If they really felt so unhappy, they needed to figure that out and deal with it in a way that didn’t involve abusing and traumatizing their partners. Like therapy, boundaries, and/or divorce. Smdh

      • Don’t feel guilty, I left so my children didn’t think this is how they should be treated (daughter) or how to treat women (son) and yet the live in girlfriend is treated the same way so they see it and bring it home. I shut that shit down though but still a struggle.

    • Very true. Never saw him cry, not even for the death of his beloved grandmom. But when I asked him to break contact with ap, cried like a baby.

  • Two words: Hysterical bonding.

    Ugh. Not my proudest moment(s). Summa Cum Laude Chump here.

      • Ugh. I hold a lot of shame for that. I asked him to hit me during sex so he could release whatever anger he had. I’m sorry to myself for allowing this to happen.

    • Yup. I even knew the affair was still active. I’ve read of other couples on SI doing it after d-day but presumably after the affair had ended. My FW was the last person who deserved getting some.

  • YMBAC if you’ve confused D-days with just red flags.

    YMBAC if you married him/her AFTER they already cheated on you. Because you still believed they were a great person who just screwed up.

    YMBAC if you let a couples therapist convince you that you were not meeting his needs and that is why he cheated on you 4 WEEKS after asking you to marry him!! (Then why did he want to spend the rest of his life with me??)

    • YMBAC if you correctly identify red flags and then allow yourself to be gaslighted out of taking them at face value.

    • “You’ve confused D-days with just red flags”. I still do this!
      A discovery is made and rather than seeing it as a “discovery”, its just another little thing on my very long list of “little things”. Then I have questioned, is this enough?
      Which thanks to CL and CN I realized, yes it is more than enough!

  • YMBAC if you’r pregnant, it’s your birthday and he spends all morning at Walmart “shopping”. Upon return, he hands you a plastic bag with the receipt and your gift inside: a garden hose AND a rolling pin! Happy Birthday!

    YMBAC if he spends the whole afternoon of your child’s 6th birthday party in the garage drinking beer mourning a dead rock star and on the phone with a “friend”. He gets mad at you for making such a big fuss over the party.

    YMBAC if he declines to take you to your ultrasound appointment because he needs to make sure no one steals the claw foot tub he just hauled into the backyard.

    YMBAC if on the night of your miscarriage, he takes his friend to see Judas Priest at the Casino an hour away and is so drunk when he comes home, blames you for his “friend” going because you were not able to go.

    YMBAC if on that same night he claims that you have nothing in common and you don’t even know any of the words to his songs.

    • NMM,

      I’m so sorry about the loss of your baby. What an awful thing to go through alone. Your ex is awful. Fuckwits are insanely selfish. Sending hugs to you.

    • NMM,
      I’m so sorry to hear all of that. You are mighty to have survived it! I bet you didn’t know the words to his songs *because they suck.* All the professional and semi-professional musicians I know are narcissists. (Apologies to any musicians in CN – I’d be happy to learn if there are exceptions!)

    • NMM,
      Happy Birthday, that is so awful! Mine pulled a stunt on my birthday while pregnant and basically cancelled out date because he had a work thing, and couldn’t possibly ask ho-worker to do it. That one hurt for a long time.
      Your miscarriage night is awful, so sorry he did that. What a pos.

  • YMBAC if even though you had a sneaking suspicion you were introduced prior to d-day and made to shake hands with the varmint. Then told he was only trying to help us get our family back on track. Then the confrontation and it’s fall out made everything clear

    • Realizing your life partner put you in the position of interacting with an AP when you were completely clueless is chilling and violating. Sorry you went through that, too, NYN. Even approaching Meh, this still creeps me out because it was so cold blooded and such a personal betrayal.

      • My FW & OW were cheating together and made plans to go to dinner with the spouses. Yep, I attended several dinners out with my husband, other woman, and her husband. I wonder if it wasn’t some kind of twisted foreplay for them. How sick can you be to do that?

        • Oh yeah. Getting me to feel sorry for and donate some kitchen items to his favorite waitress who supposedly had to move out of a bad marital home situation quickly; have us all meet in the parking lot of the restaurant so I can give the stuff to her and she can hug and thank me.

          D-Day #2 was a few days later.

          Makes me want to hurl.

          • 25 years of this stuff with my father and his compartmentalized life with his affair partner and children.
            I know now this stuff seeps into you like invisible poison.
            Ongoing passive-aggressive fuel for him and affair partner turned controller in chief. We were trapped, and that was their fun. Their coercive control was the game of let’s see how long they can take it. Sooner or later they’ll die. Father died instead. Because playing such games does get to you and your heart, particularly if in the process you had your own father and brother die broken-hearted. He was a shell of a man. Oh, do I think demons exist. And they were in his narc mother who plotted vengeance against his wife and children. She who had been coercive controlling her own husband and children all their lives. How much pain, how many deaths did those demons bring about.
            Never mind that I had a coercive controlling narc grandmother on the other side as well. And causing similar damage. It is hardly to be believed.
            What is to be believed is that I married a coercive controlling man who lived on the same passive-aggressive fuel. But came across as being so so considerate.

  • YMBAC if your favourite film is The Shawshank Redemption and you find yourself inexplicably drawn to books about people who survive the Holocaust, or being imprisoned in sex dungeons.

    • HAHAHAHA My home office is in the basement in a little storage area. FW’s is on the 2nd floor with big windows overlooking the front yard. I just told my best friend that one of these days he will come into my office to find I chiseled my way out with a spoon. And I never used to care much about that movie.

  • YMBAC if they conduct most of their life in the other half of the county from where you conduct yours.

    YMBAC if they freak out thinking the motion sensor put in the master bedroom is actually a camera when you have your alarm system installed.

    YMBAC if your devices and passwords are community devices and passwords for the whole family and theirs are all private.

    YMBAC if when you unpack their suitcase after a business trip, their underwear have women’s makeup on them as well as a tiny feather and a piece of tinsel. Hmmmm

    So pathetic. The list goes on. At this point, I use it to laugh at. No sense wasting sadness on a fuckwit.

    • ^THIS!!
      “YMBAC if they conduct most of their life in the other half of the county from where you conduct yours.” Not just traveling for business, but establishing a life and ‘friends’, so many new ‘friends’.
      Ooof, I was such a Chump!

  • You might be a chump if:

    On Mother’s Day he says, “I’m not doing anything for you because you’re not my mother”–and you tell yourself he’s got a point.

    You have the same (professional) job he does, but while you leave every day early enough to get home and make dinner, he comes in two hours later (expecting dinner), and then makes you feel inadequate by saying such long hours are necessary to be good at the job (even though you are as good at the job as he is).

    When he proclaims “Some things have to change around here,” but never specifies what, exactly, you know that what he means is that you’re inadequate in some unspecified way and you begin pick-me dancing.

    So many more…sigh. So glad to leave all that behind!

    • The Mother’s Day one. That’s me. After he pulled that when my son was 3 months old, the next year my 15 month old “told” me 😉 to drive us to Tiffany’s so he could buy me a lovely “Mom” pendant and chain. FW started freaking out because then I would have little guy “buy” me things. He caved in and started buying things for me with our son because he didn’t want me spending extravagantly. He doesn’t ask my son for input and just buys me a chia pet now or something similarly dumb. My son has caught on to these weird gifts when I compare them to the nice things I help him buy for FW for Father’s Day. So I have returned to also buying stuff for myself. He can suck my toe if he doesn’t like it. I’m buying everything I ever want before I drop papers, making up for lost time. Eff him.

      • My sister takes my kids shopping for me. For Mother’s Day I take them to buy plants or flowers. Hand them the money, find a clerk to help them to make sure they don’t over spend, then stand away with my back turned. They then present me with the gifts. It is so sweet because unlike the sperm that contributed to creat them, they are super thoughtful gift givers!

        • Before my ex got to the “you’re not my mother” stage, when our son was small, he would ask what I wanted, and for three years I told him I wanted a lilac for the back yard. So he’d go to the nursery and buy one, and he and my son would bring it up the stairs to the bedroom in the morning to present it to me, but then it would be my job to get it downstairs, out the door, and dig the hole to get it into the ground.
          Talk about red flags (and repression).

    • Oh god, yeah. Same!!!

      I got “You’re not MY mother,” too. So I decided I wouldn’t get him a Father’s Day gift. He sulked. #doublestandards

      While driving home after a trip together, he would say (without irony), “What’s for dinner?” WTF?? And, chump that I am, I thought it was my job to whip something up quickly even though we were both on vacation.

      He once sat on the floor in front of the toilet, stared at a stain under the rim that was only visible from that angle, and seemed almost on the verge of tears because I hadn’t cleaned the toilet better.

      When we golfed (chumpy me doing one of his activities), and I said, “Good shot,” he would get angry because, in his mind, it wasn’t his best shot. He was a great golfer. I was a beginner. It was a good shot to me. And who the hell gets upset when someone says, “Good shot.” JFC!

      What a miserable man!! And I keep having to remind myself that he’s still a miserable FW, even with the OW. The thought comforts me.

      I wonder who’s cleaning those toilets now?

      • I did the same with Father’s Day, and yup, #doublestandards.

        My ex left terrible sh-t splashes in the toilet, rim, and seat, which got worse after D-day, almost as if he were doing it on purpose (and I think he might have been), and got angry when I complained about it. I actually took a picture of the worst one, so I could remind myself when I got nostalgic.

        • My GOD!! You took a picture! Love it.

          Mine had an issue with the splashes, we well. I finally asked him to clean after he went. He reluctantly did a half-ass job.

          Now that I’m alone, my toilet stays so clean. It’s remarkable.

          I escaped a shitty situation in more ways than one.

          • Just a comment on the toilet bowl story.

            Poopy diaper face X was perpetually displeased.

            I kept our house pretty clean with all the kids and dogs and activities and farm work and such.

            Of course it was never good enough for X.

            So during the separation stage (after 35 years of serial cheating) which I won’t go into but it took five years or more to get divorced-iamchumpiknow, I only returned to the house occasionally from working a lot of the year out of state.

            The house was so dirty and the bathroom so disgusting – the toilet was like one of those old gas station toilets in the bad part of town that hadn’t been cleaned since the last time I had visited like four months prior.

            I never cleaned the toilet again.

            I’m suure that impressed Schmoopie #18 & #19. Good times, good times.

      • “And I keep having to remind myself that he’s still a miserable FW, even with the OW. The thought comforts me.”

        I just wish more chumps would realize that. They.Do.Not.Change. Yes they do the initial love bombing of the AP; but they will revert to themselves as soon as the thrill subsides. They.Do.Not.Change.

        • I hang on to this and repeat it myself like a prayer. Especially when he’s still with the whore he left me for, who knew he was married and living with me when she started a relationship with him. Hell we had a romantic getaway with lots of sex three days before he left me for her! Bet he never told her that lmao.

          I just know they both in their secret heart-of-hearts look at each other sometimes and think “……would they? Surely not.” Oh yes, they would!

          Nothing like knowing your relationship started out with the utmost trust and fidelity, and nothing like knowing your partner is a cheater or homewrecker, huh?

          • True, but it won’t just be them not trusting each other, they will mistreat each other, they are who they are.

            Because we share a son, I know how his life played out. He likely got some enjoyment out of his life because he went on to cheat on her a lot, (evidently her magic twat wasn’t as magical as she thought) and he was extremely selfish and only spent money on what he wanted. None of this is different than when we were together, he just didn’t bother to hide it with her.

            Within the first year after he did an early retirement, they both gambled up over 250 thousand dollars of gambling debt, had to file bankruptcy. Lost their house. Blew up his relationship with his son, really the only one he had left.

            He left her in extreme debt when he died. He didn’t care, and she knew he didn’t care; he made no bones about it. When my son asked him how he was going to pay of his latest huge ass RV, he said “I won’t, I will be dead so I don’t care” He said this right in front of her. This was a year before he died.

            She is 68 now, so maybe there is an 80 year old codger in her trailer park whose wife doesn’t understand him. I doubt it though because if he has any money he can get a 30 year old in this day and age.

          • I think a lot of them are too narcissistic to think that maybe they will be cheated on too.
            They’re so special.
            But eventually the drugs wear off… and that’s when I hope they look at each other and realize the person they’re looking at was absolutely not worth all the costs. And hopefully resentment sets in. Because one poached the other, and the other went along for the ride. I’m hoping their cheating partner eventually represents the financial loss, the damage they did to families / children, how they’ve made a fool out of themselves and the respect they’ve lost. But they are not critical thinkers… so who knows.

      • I got the not my mother shit too but always celebrated Father’s Day. I would find music they chose for him unopened. Gifts that they knew were his interests that I took them shopping for or helped them make were tossed and sometimes broken. My dad actually always bought a card for me and had the kids sign it or signed their names when they couldn’t write. I miss him.
        DD is an adult and has nothing to do with him. The only time in the past year he reached out was Fathers Day that I’m aware of. Not her birthdays, Christmas etc. We know that’s his pathology. No adoration from you = nothing from me unless you are useful.

        You also may be a chump if you have to google- can you become allergic to your husbands sperm? That’s one of the craziest things I had to do. I would immediately experience burning and was in the dr office within 24 hours. I know he wasn’t consistent with condoms (stds) but now think it was either latex allergy because I have that or just my smart body yelling at me. It happened often enough I would go to walk in clinics closer to my home than my intern who didn’t question the amount of times I needed treatment. I still resent him too. I never had an issue after I stopped sleeping with him.

        • Yet, he seemed to enjoy telling me repeatedly how non sexual I was and he just had no idea how non sexual I was. I finally said I was sexual enough to catch every disease you had which only gave him pause before moving to the next thing of well you use to be pretty etc. Thank God he’s an ex.

          • Yuk! That’s horrific.

            My ex also constantly made me feel I wasn’t sexual enough, just because I wasn’t into swinging and sexually surprising him on a daily basis. Sigh.. (and the worst, I actually believed it for a while)

          • I keep breaking this down in my head and it’s been 7 ys this year. I do have a laytex allergy but never connected it to the “burning” until recently. The nurse used some after a recent procedure and it was the same sensation except vaginally. We never had to use condoms since I was chemo paused at 33. He must not have cleaned himself after using them on others then had sex with me.
            Those memories and experiences get less intense over time but puzzle pieces continue to fall into place.

            • Wow, the mess they leave chumps with just keeps on amazing me.

              I hope at some point we’ll be over it and won’t need to think of them again! Hope you’re in good health now though.

        • Oh boy, I was googling if my husband could become allergic to my vagina. He claimed I was “burning” him during sex. Sometimes he’d even have sores and super red irritated skin and we’d have to go without sex until it could heal. It was months a few times.

          Insert head smacking meme here.

          I swear I’m not stupid and I know what stds are. I made him go get tested several times and went with him, wasn’t an std. It was so weird.

          One of the women he was dating, I saw on her social media she’s “dominant” and likes to give men Bengay hand jobs. Never entered my mind he was doing screwed up things to damage his dick.

  • YMBAC if you ….
    -believe those late night phone notifications are actually news alerts.
    – believe the work trips are actually work trips
    -believed he like to man groom to hunt (even I have to laugh about that)!
    -find lipgloss in his vehicle and it’s no big deal, he and howorker “have” to work in his vehicle
    -if you believe they have to work in his vehicle
    -if you find a jewelry box and are never given the gift
    -your Mother’s Day flowers get sent to another address (not his mom’s)
    -he starts exercising just to be healthy
    -he starts sleeping on the couch
    -money disappears or the budget doesn’t make sense
    – you find unrecognizable apps on their phone
    -if they have an extra phone
    -if they lock things like a vault
    -if your children start mentioning another woman/man
    -you find changes of clothes, underwear, swimsuits in their vehicle
    -you grew up with a toxic family system that gave you a screwed up view of reality and you’re voice was silenced, also this silences your intuition. FW prey on that shit.

    • The manual of what my husband did. Are we married to the same “man”???

      Word by word. Those fws are not very creative lol!

      • Lol! Maybe so, they all work from the same manual. So thankful that I finally saw through his lies, he still denies everything! Which is laughable. Glad you saw through too!

    • Man groom to go hunting? ???? I must remember to shave my balls next time I go fishing.

  • YMBAC if you believe the bullshit that he wants to work on the marriage and actually accept his proposal to renew wedding vows in Central Park on the day of your 30th anniversary( and fail to get a post nup). Gag.

    • Why on earth do they want to renew vows when they know what they are doing.

      My fw the year before Dday suggested it for our 20th anniversary. I said no, we haven’t broken our first vows yet. (HA) He was balls deep in strange and had been at it for years.

      When I think that I gave my heart and body to that low life, I still want to vomit.

      • Susie Lee. I had to conclude it was because those vows meant nothing to him while I took mine seriously. Wackjob.

        • True, I had wondered when he went to Vegas to marry the whore if it crossed his mind that he had done this before and didn’t keep his vows. Nah, they meant nothing when he said them to me, and they meant nothing when he said them to her. He proved that less than two years later, well he got caught cheating on her less than two years later, he likely started cheating while he was in Vegas.

      • My ex tattooed my name on his arm in 1.5 inch block print the day after he spent the afternoon screwing his mistress while I was out of town. So I have questions like this myself. ????????????????

        • Cheaters are bat shit crazy.

          I don’t really buy affair fog, but sometimes I think it has to be something that is cutting off their brain usage.

  • -The “little something” you open for Christmas is not the sentimental gift you thought your partner had been secretly arranging. (That mysterious business was clandestine meetings with an OW.) It’s a safety vest and a car filter. ‘Oh, I guess he really did mean a little something.’
    -You say, “I really value how we can be so independent and also committed in our relationship. It makes me feel both free and secure.” (Several years into being cheated on and having NO CLUE.)
    -You feel guilty, jealous and controlling for requesting that he get rid of mementos and emails from APs because he’s sentimental and doesn’t want to destroy his personal history. You earnestly ask friends if it’s unreasonable for you to feel uncomfortable about this.
    -You make a list of your strengths and all of the things you have to offer as a partner.
    -You apologize in MC for being hesitant to trust your cheating, lying partner.
    -When you discover CL, you are amazed to learn how many others have heard/experienced almost the exact same things!

    The following end with, “…and you stay anyway.”:
    -Your MC says, “I’m hearing you say Chump is closer to you than anyone in the world,” to which he responds, “Yet.”
    -Your MC asks him to talk about what he wants in your future relationship, and he responds, “We argued that time eight years ago on a bike trip.”

  • You give him your appt for a massage even though you set that up for yourself after chemo because his neck hurt and he was going skiing with his “brother”. Aka as his girlfriend. While our son was in the hospital.

  • You didn’t ask for anything in the divorce you were entitled to like alimony because you wanted him to think you were sweet and come back. Thank you reconciliation industry. Just another pick me dance….

  • You buy two tickets for a cross-country flight (pre-pandemic). You can’t get seats together. One is in business class. The other is in the rear, just in front of the toilets.

    Without hesitation, I give him the good seat because he’s a man and needs more legroom. He’s only 5’9″ (if that) and small.

    He never offers to switch with me mid-flight. Only this second, as I’m typing this, do I realize how odd that it is.

    What an asshole I was married to!!

    Oh, and on that same flight, he made a pro and con list about whether to retire. We then went over that list when we reached our destination. I lovingly tried to help him sort this out. Little did I know that he was making this list in part to help him decide whether to leave me. He was already 2 years into the affair. I didn’t know.

    • Giving your partner all the good things, and them just accepting that, is so dysfunctional! I learned that shit from my Mom ????
      Never again! We need to learn to be treated with care and concern (if we never learned that from our parents!) Even though it’s such an over-used phrase, I’m practicing self care, all the time, to make up for 32 years of austerity in my marriage!

  • You are a Chump if you believe your husband sleeps on the sofa but really loves you. Is mean to you but really loves you. Doesn’t want to have sex but really loves you. Is driving you crazy, but really loves you. Doesn’t love you, but really loves you. For y.e.a.r.s!!
    Yeah, I was torturing myself. Chump…

    • I actually noticed about six month before Dday that he was staying up late. He used the excuse that he was wired from his new promotion. Sometimes he would come in the bedroom and say I am going to ride around with one of the guys (police dept). Yeah, he was riding ok, fully mounted on the whore.

      Someone had to know, and not one person let me know, not even a call without identifying themselves, which would have been easy in that time frame. That pisses me off.

      • Oh, sooo many knew. It’s disgusting. I’m glad I left that insane circus, even if it crushed all my life then and dreams.
        So many let him do that to me. They’re all bad.

  • YMBAC if your husband tells you he needs 3 hour weekly back massages for a chronic condition that never seems to ever improve, but then what kind of chump would deny their spouse treatment that they claim they need?

  • YMBAC if you get genital warts only a year after you’re married, and you buy his excuse that he must have gotten it from a patient.

    Your OB-GYN (male/military) doesn’t point out to you that this is virtually impossible unless he had sex with the patient.

    A female GYN enlightens you when you are 59 and going through a divorce. You ask her to write a letter to present to the judge/mediator. You want to cry.

    • The first obgyn should lose his medical license. That is so deceitful. I hate that male physician protecting the other male physician crap. So sorry that happened to you.

    • Oh Spinach, that sucks. All best to you, and good riddance to him and the male OBGYN!

  • YMBAC if… you actually sort of believed he was sleeping in his car in Vermont in January.

    OMG me too, except it was Iowa in January and his birthday.

    YMBAC if because you didn’t believe him and made a fuss, when he finally convinced you of the lie and said your mistrust ruined his birthday, you spent more money to make up for it. Then you find out it was a lie.

    • “YMBAC if… you actually sort of believed he was sleeping in his car in Vermont in January.”

      What is it with Vermont????

      I actually believed mine was on a solo hike in VT. In my defense, he did give me a detailed itinerary (which shelters, which trails….).

      Instead, he flew to another state to seal the deal with the OW.

      He sent me a picture of a fish he’d caught and said he caught it from a river in VT. It was from a river in that other state. So many LIES!!!

      I later came across a live photo of the AP jumping in that river with a bathing suit on. I spotted the massive salmon tattoo on her upper thigh. It matches his. They got them together. How cute! NOT!

      • Professional ballerina OW also from Vermont. During trauma of DDay and our family exploding he jets off to Vermont for weekend and has the audacity to send 16 year old daughter pics from cool record store on his trip with AP. Clueless jackass.

        • Oh, fuck that!

          And there’s a special place in hell for people who use the kiddos to normalize their sick behavior. It’s just wrong. #triangulation #boundaries

          • Oh wow, just realized that’s what my FW doing with our child at the time. I was Clueless until now, but it was just another triangulation move! OW liked to triangulate too bc she bought my kids t shirts about daddy is a superstar, or something stupid. Yet another YMBAC. Haha!

            I learn so much from you all!!

    • My ex wife made the claim of sitting in the car all night at Walmart in middle of winter in Wisconsin. Then magically I’m away in the Army and she tells me she is pregnant but of course it’s my child, despite barely even have touched her. Paternity test being done by this summer.

  • … you’ve seen your partner double tapping the big button at the bottom of the phone followed by a lighting fast flick up across the screen and instantly got dread

    • FW had his computer rigged that if he hit a certain key, it minimized everything so only the desktop wallpaper was up. He ALWAYS arranged his office so one could never see his screen. But every time I walked in and he hit that key, you would see the color and lighting from the screen change and flash. And yeah… I would get sick to my stomach. I would ask what he was up to and he would just say playing a game or reading the news. I would push, “Really?” And he would act like I was accusing him and turn it on me.

      Later in wreckonciliation counseling, he would allege that I would never communicate my “insecurities” and that is what drove him to have sex and emotional affairs with at least 30 other women. Counselor then starts working on my “communication problem” and “trust issues.” I ASKED HIM WHAT WAS GOING ON AND HE LIED. a) I communicated. b) He lied. And I spent a year being told that was my fault.

  • YMBAC: If you wish him bon voyage and help him pack for his week-long sex-cruise with his former GF. I can still remember as I stood in the door wishing him a nice trip while I stayed home working full time and taking care of two teenage boys, no week-long trip alone for me! (he lied about how he acquired the supposedly free trip and who was going with him, YMBAC if you trust your lying husband.)

    • Yep, I’m sure a lot of us chumps did similar things.

      My STBX jetted off for a week-long “research” trip to San Francisco in 2018 while I stayed with the kids at her asshole dad’s house in another state. This happened the day after STBX’s mother’s memorial service, which was the day after my birthday, which was the day after I had sudden acut abdominal pain that sent me to an ER – I still to this day don’t know why this acute pain occasionally strikes. So, I was on a liquid diet for my birthday, and while I was passing around the microphone for people to say nice things about my narc ex-MIL . After the memorial service, we spent some time with friends, several of whom knew that STBX would be flying to SF to meet her AP the next day, and of course those friends lied to my face to “support” STBX. After I helped STBX get off to the airport for her flight, I drove our kids back north to catch the ferry. I was scared that the abdominal pain might return on an island with only ferry service, while I was dealing with the kids alone (with STBX’s totally useless dad). Did STBX offer to give up her trip and help me? No, of course not. I felt that the whole thing was very strange but chalked it up to STBX’s grief for her mom, and wanting to distract herself with research and some time with friends. Nopety nope nope. And of course in lovingly picked STBX up at the airport when she returned from her week-long tryst.

      Of the whole second affair, that’s the worst part of it, the chumpiest part. I wanted to throw up every time I discovered new evidence of what she actually did in SF, and how our friends aided and abetted her. ????

      • The “friends” knowing and not telling or being honest is just another twist in the infidelity dagger in your back. I don’t think most people realize that the deception from a spouse is devastating, but the added deception and gaslighting from your community really destroys your sense of understanding and connection to the world in general. So sorry.

  • YMBAC when your oldest looks darker then the rest and you believe your (now ex) wife when she tells you she has your grandmothers olive skin.

    YMBAC when you are told you aren’t romantic or know how to give gifts and you try so hard you even ask specifically what she wants while she gives a gift card.

    • I’m having a paternity test on my little girl as she is now ten and looks nothing like me. My boys have my straight nose and other features but my little girl looks more like the person we believe she was having one of her affairs with. When she was sneaking out of the house and sneaking back in at 5am. I barely touched her at all and was away in the Army. Now I’ve divorced her it’s time to face the demon that my daughter potentially is not mine. I told my ex wife many times that she looks nothing like me and it’s all the excuse of “she looks more like me as a little girl”. Will soon find out then.

      • Ouch ! Something we female chumps don’t have to contend with. That poor little girl.

    • Geezus.

      Also, I was given this “you aren’t romantic” line, too, or something to that effect. My ex accused me of not wearing sexy lingerie enough. He bought some for me for Christmas. “Oh boy! A present for…YOU.”

      I bent over backways to please him in every way, including sexually. He watched a lot of porn so had “demands.” I’m embarrassed to admit that I accommodated most of them. The FW later gave as an excuse to leave me that he didn’t need porn with her. WTF? Also, how cruel!

      35 years of that shit! *sigh*

  • YMBAC if after he abandons you while you are away with only an e-mail notice, you carefully set aside things in the house you realize he missed.

    I am ashamed of myself for this.

    • I set aside stuff for my ex, too.

      “Oh, you want the wedding champagne flutes? I found four. Here they are.” (As I’ve mentioned here before, I did spit in them. #powerlessmove)

      And, although I did contemplate giving him the extra 2 that I subsequently found so that he would have a complete set, I didn’t do it!! I think my sister stepped in a screwed my head on straight.

      • I sent three suitcases of his stuff on to him, that he had left behind on his way to finally go live with his mistress. I should have either burned them or filled the contents with itching powder first.

  • YMBAC if you received a $2.49 can of gas station peanuts for Father’s Day as your wife leaves to the house to cheat with a family member.

  • YMBAC if your response to your boyfriend’s cheating on you is to propose an open relationship “so he can show up as who he authentically is.” And he proceeds to cheat during the open relationship phase by violating every agreed upon rule and boundary. Turns out, who he “authentically is” is a lying liar who lies out his liehole.

  • … You get home from a work trip to see she bought you flowers because she knows you like those kinds of things and find that they are obviously several days old and need to be thrown away and there’s no record in the bank account of where she said she bought them.

  • might be a Chump if your Husband is immersed in cleaning his truck for 11 hours when it is usually left to remain dirty and full of garbage bottles and other debris and cleaning his truck this thoroughly was what he did on the first discovered cheat that you tried to forgive him for , then left only to return and get cheated on again with the telltail sign he was absorbed with his cell phone all the time or spent enormous amounts of time in restrooms away from home. When you know in the pit of your stomach things aren’t right and you keep pushing thoughts away.

  • If your wife suddenly changes her behavior, gets a boob job and teeth whitening, starts taking 2-3 hour baths with her phone…in the dark…and doesn’t want to be disturbed, and sneaks into the bedroom in the wee hours of the night (when supposedly working the graveyard shift) and leaves with her make-up bag, a pair of panties and condoms, and the next day says “It’s not the way it looks”…

    …you’re might be a Chump! Duh. 🙂

    • Ahh the good old phone. My ex wife may as well have had it glued to her. In 2019 the phone was never hidden, never face down and she was not constantly on it. In 2020 that all changed and it went everywhere with her. She was taking videos and photos in the shower, sneaking sex calls via watsapp in bathroom with multiple men, sexting dozens of men every single day. Absolute slut is all she is and not a day passes were I don’t hate myself for having ever met her.

      • Don’t hate yourself for being a trusting, loving person. You are a rare treasure, and you deserve so much better!

  • YMBAC when you find a pair of ladies underwear that aren’t yours in the laundry and he says that he doesn’t know where they came from – so you let it go. We had 2 sons living at home but they did their own laundry.

    YMBAC if you never bring up hard conversations because he is so sensitive – the conversations never go well and you end up feeling guilty.

    YMBAC if you support him for 20 years while he keeps trying new occupations.

    Sooooooooo many wasted years – sigh!

    Life is so much better now!

  • YMBAC if his ‘just a friend’ ho-worker spills a mocha coffee in his car and the stain is allowed to stay for months because it is no big deal, but you are raged at for serving him toast just slightly darker than he prefers.

  • You might be a chump if your cheater tells you once you are divorced, “You did nothing to get me back!”.

  • The time between beginning of affair to discovery was relatively short for me so I didn’t ignore too many red flags, although I did do my share of pretending the evidence wasn’t pointing to the obvious. Most of my Chumpy mistakes were post-d-day.

    1) Buying affair books for the both of us to read. I asked him to read just one chapter of a book that I thought spoke to me and he got so angry because he felt it painted all cheaters with a broad brush and his affair was obviously the exception.

    2) Trying couples therapy while the affair was ongoing. We did two sessions and then the therapist said we couldn’t continue unless the affair ended.

    3) Telling him that she must be someone really special to him to risk so much for. Omg omg omg. I die thinking back on that one.

    4) Repeating his lies to his friends and family that he was “working late” when he was actually out with the ho-worker. Everyone felt so bad for all the long hours he was putting in. I didn’t want to ruin our chances of reconciliation by outing him.

    • Limbo, I really regret so much too! I regret asking if OW was really worth all this loss ….(because we know the office whore is not worth it…. they are just stuck in 12-year-old La La Land).
      As soon as it came out of my mouth I regretted it. Of course he thought she was worth it… How else could they justify all the craziness.

      • I asked sarcastically. “I hope she was worth it.”
        His earnest response, given almost wistfully? “I hope so, too.” ????He said this to me as if he were talking to some male confidante rather than to his wife of 35 years who was still suffering from Dday shock.

        CL is right!! Trust that they suck! They SUCK!

        • That is horrible Spinach. Yes you are right, they have no empathy whatsoever, all they are thinking about is “I hope my dick stays happy”

          I think I had mentioned my ex attempted to tell me about his “first time” with the whore. I stopped him mid sentence, but what a sadistic bastard.

        • Spinach, The way they cut off… dissociate…. compartmentalize…
          The lack of empathy like Susie said…. it’s inhumane. What happened to the relationship they had with us? It went poof, and there’s no awareness that it did not go poof for us. That’s the clearest way for me to see that it really is all about them.

          • Mine meditated every day without fail, and he commented that it helped him compartmentalize. I thought he meant, leaving the work stress at work. But unbeknownst to me, he was compartmentalizing me and and his mistress.

  • YMBAC if a week after D-day your husband says he changed his mind, that he loves his wife and kids, he doesn’t want to destroy your family for the 24 yo OW, and he will cut off all contact with her – and you actually believed him. Then you find out after 8 months of renewed marriage and family bliss that he “only sent the OW a few notes” (i.e. continued contact with her the whole time) and moved quite a bit of money out of the joint bank accounts.

  • YMBAC if –
    You go back to marriage counseling after 14 yr old daughter discovers inappropriate texts which he claims is an emotional affair (takeaway for newbies – no such thing as emotional affair – it’s a big lie)
    You do the Gottman workbook homework listing everything you love about FW while he is doing the assignment with OW (found pages of workbook scanned in email to her)
    You find viagra samples and buy his excuse of just trying to enhance things even though you never experienced a problem in this department
    You see a weird charge for a few hundred every month and accept vague excuse that it’s something related to healthcare savings when in fact it’s for ED injections
    You find cheap lip gloss On floor board of his car and buy excuse that he had to drive drunk colleague home after work thing
    You keep replacing the wedding ring he’s lost twice at the tanning salon (seriously if that didn’t tip me off – what a chump!)
    You stuck up for him to all your friends, family and even his bosses over the years propping him up as a great guy inside you just has struggled with toxic shame from FOO issues – truth is he’s a covert narcissist with no shame whatsoever.
    A year and a half out and I’m still reeling from the years of abuse and who I became over 25 years that I was willing to put up with this monster.

    • I am so sorry— I can’t believe he was doing the Gottman with AP! WHAT AN A-HOLE

      I found Gottman too- even did the couples retreat, only to have to listen to him list all the things I did wrong, meanwhile he had been cheating with bar hoes, massage hoes, rig hoes pretty much anything. Ugggh!!!

    • What I became…yeah, still recovering my happy, geeky, lovely, funny self. I’m a coolass.

      How I made him look good even to my kids, who still are in the disconnect since “no more fuckwit” day, divorce 2020. Great year for it.
      No worries, they’ll figure out sad sausage.

      I may even win the all time chump award. Or runner-up. So no feeling bad, people.

      It’s been more than 3 months no contact and after 40 years, it’s like he doesn’t exist. Life is good for this long time chump. Like a dear friend said, “better late than dead.”

      • One more note:
        His birthday was this week. DS isn’t in touch w X. DD1 remembered 4 days later snd called to wish hb. DD2 called me like 8pm and asked is it X birthday today?
        Fuckwit Karma.

        • Indeed! Karma’s a bitch.

          My adult kids didn’t recognize their dad’s birthday at all. And this grown man always cares so much about his own birthday; he is like a young child that way. He must have been devastated.

          Emotional abuse has its consequences.

  • YMBAC if when he disappears all day and doesn’t answer his phone you believe his crazy excuses.
    YMBAC if you spend 10 years busting your ass to bail him out of the 500,000 in debt he never told you about before marriage.
    YMBAC if you agree to build a house and you do 90% of the labor and he is never around.
    YMBAC if you make excuses for him to every one you know about his behavior.
    YMBAC if your even taking his car to get oil changes.
    YMBAC if your doing all the household chore, childcare and paying all bills.
    YMBAC if your responsible for everything.
    YMBAC if you say sorry all the time.
    YMBAC if you are killing yourself trying to keep up with crazy demands.
    YMBAC if after leaving being a single parent is a walk in the park.
    YMBAC if after leaving you feel like you escaped a nightmare.
    YMBAC if you tell the appraisal after leaving “oh he told you he works all the time, apparently he’s only been working his dick, because he ain’t been bringing home money, but he brought home a hoe. I bought he works all the time way to long.
    YMBAC if you leave and have more money than when you were with him.
    YMBAC if you always made excuses to your kids about the other parent.
    YMBAC if you took the verbal abuse because you wanted an intact family.
    YMBAC when 4 year out your kids tell you they are glad you left.

  • YMBAC if your spouse spends hours in the bathroom and you feel sorry for him thinking he has such a hard time pooping and spend 20 years buying him stool softeners and fiber supplements.

    YMBAC if during the divorce your husband announces he’s taking the big screen TV because it was his Father’s Day present and you realize the most expensive Mother’s Day present you ever got was breakfast at IHOP.

    YMBAC if you invite his lesbian best friend from childhood to fly to your home for a surprise visit and then find out she’s actually his ex and while she’s usually into women she makes an exception for men in committed relationships because that really gets her off. And you lose your shit and demand he has no contact with her and think that’s over and 20 years later you find out they’re friends on Facebook. I should’ve packed my shit and left right then. If I hadn’t been recovering from just have a brutal delivery and caring for a newborn, I probably would have. They knew how vulnerable I was then, sick fucks.

    • Yes!
      My Knave-man’s AP was also attracted to women. He was her heterosexual exception, which gave him extra-magical kibbles. Plus every straight aging male fuckwit’s dream of watching two women, then initing him to join in. I was deemed unsophisticated because I did not appreciate his enlightenment.

    • I’m sorry but the stool softeners… I can’t help but giggle. I hope you baked some into cookies for him since he was so full of $hit.

      • I heard of a mama bear lacing some homemade cookies with milk of magnesia to stop the boy from stealing her son’s lunch every day “Sweetie, don’t eat the cookies in your lunch box today, okay ? I’m going to take care of that bully for you.” ❤️

    If you put him in the center of the world but still, it was not good enough for him.

    If you gave all your attention to him yet he needed more.

    If you questioned yourself and asked him if you did something wrong, but he couldn’t come up with one bad thing you did.

    If he was unhappy and he never discussed his unhappiness with you. On the contrary, he keep texting you love messages and looked quite happy.

    If you did everything to make his parents happy but he hardly appreciated it. He even told you not to worry about their family problems.

    If you minimized your needs and didn’t complain.

    If he was out drinking after work every night and you didn’t complain because you were a cool wife who didn’t nag.

    If you had a full time job while doing every single thing at home. You didn’t complain about it and loved him so much, but still, he was “unhappy”.

    • NFV

      All of the above for me exactly!!!!

      Adding a few more: Undergoing fertility tests and not once being asked how I was coping. Falling pregnant, miscarrying and him leaving 4 weeks later.

      Having a routine follow up appt at the hospital. Someone seeing me and telling him I was at the hospital. He assumes I ‘lied about the miscarriage and am still pregnant hence the hospital appt.

      I tell him there is only one liar in this conversation and it’s not me, followed by telling him to leave me the fuck alone and hanging up.

  • YMBAC if you find the IPAD with stepsister porn on it, and yet believe that he is just “helping” his stepsister move, going to visit his dad while she lives there to take care of him, goes to pick up his dad’s mail at her house, only sent text message joke pictures back and forth, and on and on for 7yrs. Recently discloses sexual and emotional affair with stepsister when lie detector test is a deal breaker.

  • YMBAC if

    You make excuses when your mom dies and he doesn’t make the wake.

    He buys a home for his buddy that costs 5x what yours does

    You sweep under the rug that he said to people at a party at your home–it sucks when you wake up next to someone you hate

    You laugh off his comment that he’s taking your son to Vegas to buy him a hooker for his upcoming 21st birthday

    You play marriage police for even one. single. minute.

    You believe most (any) lies told to you

    You allow him to coerce you into inviting a woman, who wanted to connect from his dating site that he forgot to get rid of before you married, to an 80 person 4th of July party you were hosting

  • YMBAC if he has an ‘EA’ and you try harder.
    YMBAC if it takes years later for the penny to drop why you could still the smell strong perfume that night when you went to bed after he and ‘colleagues’ had held a meeting at your house one afternoon when you and the kids were out.
    YMBAC if you buy Tracy’s book, read it from cover to cover in one sitting, exclaiming out loud and returning to it for inspiration then recommend it whenever you find other chumps.

  • YMBAC if you believed-

    when they told you 10 yrs ago during a pretty typical low of the marriage there isn’t love and you work on it and continue to grow, heal and live happily planning the future and then one day walks out and never looks back and refers to that one time 10 yrs ago saying but I told you and that they faked it since.

    they worked all the time and claimed it’s because you and the kids were the priority and it’s how they showed their love.

    they attend God filled events and make money off of them as a career, yet cheats, lies, and discards spouse.

    they work with someone and spend day after day “working”, texting, drinking and getting high, yet they leave their spouse a month later too and they were together even more professionally and personally and even used one of the kids to groom and cover up the lies, then miraculously end up a couple burning every bridge, using and destroying everyone and everything around them. But nothing happened and is coincidence. or if they called that person the sister/brother they never had.

    their impotence prescription refills doubled for no reason when they left.

    they haven’t hid money yet all of sudden are spending like crazy and income doubled.

    they often breakdown drunk and physically disappear from places and events or become confrontational and say odd things. You confront them the next day and they say it was on purpose to hurt you and is a cry for help for their alcohol abuse, and ADHD & they constantly can’t remember things, and have daddy and mommy issues so you feel bad and believe they’re sorry because they do that to all their friends and family – it wasn’t just you.

    everyone else was the problem every time there was a problem or relationship ended (work or personal).

    they aren’t an alcoholic when everything is created to involve partying and drinking from lunch to work to home and the amount of money spent is outrageous.

    and for the other person…
    if you are ignoring all the red flags or what anyone else offers as advice.
    if you think anyone admires you or is happy for you.
    if you think you are finally “the one”.
    if you think they will change.
    if you believe it won’t happen to you too.
    if you think you are the first person they cheated with.
    if you think they aren’t doing everything the same exact way, even moving in with you so fast and acting like extended/immediate family is important – but you will see, and probably already are, it isn’t.
    if you can’t allow them to be alone or unaccounted for. you know why.
    if you think you aren’t being used and manipulated and won’t be tossed once their goal is reached and your source runs dry.
    if you think you will ever lose the title of cheaters and liars.
    if you think people aren’t constantly pointing, snickering, and talking about you both while rolling eyes and questioning everything you do and say.
    if you think we won’t live rent free in your guilty heads.
    if you think anyoe thinks you are good parents.
    if you think sex gets any better.

    YMBAC if you believe this list could be never ending…

  • YMBAC if there’s a still small voice in your head that tells you that you cannot age, gain weight, or get out of shape because he’ll discard you. You don’t examine the feeling. Instead, you go to the gym, do yoga, run, eat well, maintain a low weight…. He still says things like, “Maybe if you lost 5 pounds this hill wouldn’t be so hard to run up.” You’re a size 2.

    You vow to get in better shape when he looks at you in sexy lingerie that you bought especially for a trip and says, “You disgust me.” [In reality, he is just upset that you have a great relationship with your kids, which is painfully obvious on the trip. He feels left out and jealous, so he attacks you in the most painful way.]

    YMBAC if you buy him protein powder and encourage a gym membership, complete with a personal trainer. You accept that he doesn’t get a family membership. You realize later that he’s trying to get in shape for the OW.

    You don’t understand why he’s suddenly going for runs when only months before he said his leg hurt too much to walk with you.

    You think he gets Viagra so that sex is better for you and him.

    You don’t think it’s odd that he has a separate room in the house dedicated to his fly fishing obsession. You spend tons of money on this.

    You bat an eye when you go to the Apple store and he gets a new iPhone, but you don’t. METAPHOR ALERT! (After dday, only weeks later, I marched into that Apple store and bought one with joint funds, dammit!)

    You think it’s good when he suddenly doesn’t seem to mind that you take a trip to visit a friend. (He wanted me out of the house.)

    You believe him when he says he’s going to visit one of his male friends. You don’t check. He takes a picture of a flower and says it from that guy’s property. You think it’s weird that he’s sending you a picture of a flower but decide he’s suddenly interested in nature.

    You accept that he’s fly fishing for hours on end….

    You see him clean his massive Jeep (huge cargo area) and put a blanket in it. You assume the blanket is for the dog.

    I could go on…

    • Oh Spinach… I can’t believe one human being would tell another human being that they disgust them – let alone saying that to the mother of your children. I got those messages from H #1 but it was never said directly. I remember after kid #2 his saying that I should wear looser tops because the T-shirt I was wearing showed my stomach, or that I shouldn’t wear a belt on my dress because it looked like it was holding my stomach up. I was 5- 10 pounds overweight at most after the second kid.
      As a strong woman, I never thought I would end up with men who devalued me and judged me so harshly for not being perfect.
      I’m sorry you had to hear that. What a motherfucker.

      • Thanks, Zip. And I’m sorry you had to hear those cruel comments from your ex. What a jerk!

        By the way, mine went with me to hear Gloria Steinem speak at Harvard in the early 80s before we were married. I thought he was a progressive feminist ????????‍♀️.

        I should have been concerned when I told him I’d decided to go to graduate school, and he said, “As long as you don’t lose your femininity.” What the ever-loving fuck! And I STILL married him.????????‍♀️????????‍♀️????????‍♀️

        • Mine was seemingly definitely pro strong women and generally a feminist in many ways. However, when I cut my hair short and everyone said it looked good, he told me in a disgusted tone that I looked butch. His mom told me that he was unhappy with himself which was why he was unhappy with me.
          I’ve married and divorced two men who seemed extremely happy with themselves, me and the world… only later to find out there’s something inherently wrong with them and both times it got blameshifted on me. What are the odds!

          • I’m just realizing they both had mothers who were in charge and isolated enmeshed family systems.

            • Yes!!!! Zip. This is gold.
              Same families I grew up in. And married into. See my posts above.

            • My father’s family of origin in Brooklyn Heights was called “J.H. and her three boys” That’s right my grandmother, my grandfather and their two sons. Who’s in charge ? No wonder my father turned out to be such a narcissist.

    • That’s awful, Spinach. I’m so sorry. But here’s the important thing to remember: not a thing he said or did to devalue you was a true assessment of your quality. In fact, just the opposite, Just as you recognized in the case with the lingerie, your ex was devaluing you because he felt inferior to you. He saw your beauty, discipline, compassion, moral fortitude, and loyalty and, instead of being proud of your achievements and praising you for them, he was jealous because he knew he could never achieve your level (either b/c he was incapable or simply wasn’t willing to sacrifice his personal desires for the bigger picture and greater good, as you were). So, he just tried to pull you down to his level. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Quality always shows through in the end (both his and yours).

    • I’m so sorry he did that to you. I can relate. Mine would constantly pick at my body, I always needed to tone up more or drop a few more pounds. I was a size 4 and quite physically fit. Two decades of that and I find out he’s cheating on me with women who weigh hundreds of pounds more than me. He told me I was too fat to wear thong underwear one week before I found the pictures of his girlfriends. Made the mistake of confronting him and saying “How dare you call me fat and pick at my body and try to make me feel inferior when your preferred women weigh twice what I weigh. There was no reason to do that to me, clearly my weight can’t gross you out. If anything I’m too thin for you.”

      He turned it all around on me. I’m so shallow, so disgustingly shallow. Clearly all I care about is looks. These women obviously have more to offer than my looks while all I have is my beauty “because yes KatiePig you are beautiful but you are ugly on the inside.”

      Thankfully I knew enough at that point that I just thought you crazy, abusive, sick freak but wow, how many times he devastated me with that kind of “logic.”

      They’re evil. I’m sorry you dealt with one of these types too.

      • Katie, infuriating. My heart goes out to every chump who in addition to being cheated on was told their body wasn’t good enough. So cruel and NOT TRUE.
        My cheater was usually full of compliments until the discard but still…. I got messages that felt uncomfortable and then you wonder if it’s just you and your interpretation of things. Like being called ‘tiny’ with sparkles in his eyes, but then later on being called ‘voluptuous’ after he had called somebody who would be considered a much bigger body type voluptuous. Or saying he liked a certain position because of the way my body looked in that position when I know full well it doesn’t look the same in a different position. Or I remember him saying “if you’ve got it flaunt it’ to a family member with a lovely long wild main of hair…. but I have short hair so I interpreted this as nothing to flaunt. It’s just these constant comments about looks. H#1 was intermittently directly insulting, H #2 was full of compliments, but yet… always talking about body types and the size of others … it makes you feel off balance.
        But of course he told me in a condescending voice that it wasn’t about ‘looks’ with OW. She just happens to be 15 years younger, conventionally very attractive, long hair and slim.

    • The constant criticism of weight and “fitness” not being good enough. Ugh. I gained 10 pounds back since D-day. I just this week did an analysis of how I feel and decided I want to lose most of them but for MYSELF and not because of being made to feel less than by anyone else. It was empowering to decide for myself what size I want to be. For the first time I have weight and fitness goals for myself that are not dictated by FW. I used to hate dieting and working out because I had associated those things with so many other tasks I felt forced to do to please a FW. I have such positive energy and good vibes about these things now that I get to choose for myself.

      Many years ago I joined Weight Watchers. I was one of the people there who others were looking at saying, “Why is she here?” because I had so little to lose. Anyway, the leader was fantastic. He told us a story I will never forget. One of his group members years earlier signed up and stepped on the scale the first time. She was in tears when she saw her weight and how far she had to go. She worked so hard to become thinner and fitter. It took her two years but she reached her goal. Her husband for Christmas had – without asking her – pre-paid for a few months of meetings as her present and made her feel terrible. The day she reached her weight goal, everyone in her group cheered for her so hard. She smiled and the leader gave her flowers and a certificate and asked her what her motivation was. She told everyone that her husband has bought her the meetings pass and had always belittled her. He even told her when he gave her the pass the he doubted she would actually stick with it. He had made it difficult for her the whole time. But the whole time she was losing weight. She had also started a small side business for herself and had started planning. The day she made goal, she had her husband served with papers. She said her weight had been part of the baggage of dealing with her husband. When he criticized her for whatever little slight, she turned to food to protect/comfort herself. When he gave her that “gift” she was horrified. But the meetings with a lot of positive self-talk and support from others helped her realize her worth. It was about food but so much more than food. She realized he was the source of daily criticism and pain and normal people weren’t like him. She decided she wanted out and would put aside money in her escape fund every week that she posted a weight loss.

      It kills me that I heard that story 20 years ago – before I was married to FW – and identified with it because of how he harped on my weight – and I still married him! Kicking myself!

  • YMBAC if you thought he would never again cheat on you 20yrs later, especially with or leave you for that “young”, “pregnant”, “unattractive brunette” who was “just a coworker friend”, “has babies” and is too “plain”, “sloppy”, “loud and obnoxious”, “sorta dumb”, and “kind of dirty looking” and “trashy” and is not his “type” because aferall, he was “friends” with her husband and she is closer in age to your kids than to him.

  • YMBAC If he starts talking like you’re no longer together! Like he when he says things like ‘you were really good for me you taught me blah blah blah’. Or he starts talking about making one of his children the executor of his will… when you’re the executor. Or when he comes home from a business trip and all of a sudden he’s like ice. When the monthly work dinners turn into two work dinners and one breakfast meeting in a week. When colleague OW’s name is mentioned here and there and he says ‘she’s fantastic’. When you can sense all of a sudden he doesn’t want you to use his phone to get directions in the car. When he starts eating less and leaves the room when you enter it.

    It’s like everyone says… your brain protects you. Because I was Shocked on Dday, cheating never crossed my mind. I just thought he was going through moods and couldn’t always be Mr Wonderful.

    • “It’s like everyone says… your brain protects you. Because I was Shocked on Dday, cheating never crossed my mind. I just thought he was going through moods and couldn’t always be Mr Wonderful.”

      Yes. This was my experience. *sigh*

      • Ditto – I always called him “my lovey hater” and “moody,” but in reality he was a total asshole and likely a narcissist. I always wondered why he would imply I was cheating or being a know-it-all/narcissist. It was deflection and he was knowingly doing those things.

        • Yeah, this all sounds AWFULly familiar. I’d still rather be a traumatized chump than than an asshole narcissist.

  • YMBAC if you work while he gets a Masters Degree and then won’t honor his promise to work while you get your Masters Degree.

  • YMBAC if, during dinner (discard phase), you say you would renew your vows, and he responds, “Really?” And you don’t frickin’ register it. You clear the table and do the dishes.

    During a subsequent dinner, you say, “Are we going to be ok?” And, again, you don’t register his response. You can’t remember it even now. It was something vague. But vague is a HUGE red flag!! You simply order another glass of wine.

    You think all of this is normal, except your back hurts, so your body knows something’s not right. You don’t sleep well. You become anxious. Your self-esteem is shot. You’re depressed, but you smile. You’ve completely lost touch with who you are and what you like.

    • Yet, I still wouldn’t be shocked if somebody didn’t really want to renew their vows. Am I crazy? I just think it might not be everybody’s cup of tea and once really should be enough. Although LOL, I got an indifferent response when I suggested that as well! I still think some of these signs could just be differences in personality or regular marriage / life stuff… in our case it was because we were with an emotional abuser / cheater.

      • Good point. Perhaps I did chalk it up to that. Even so, he could have explained that it’s not his “thing.” He could have said that it’s sweet of me to want to do that. He could have reacted in a number of kind ways, but he chose to be an asshole.

        I actually think vow renewals are a little odd (although no judgment if others think differently), but I wasn’t myself when I suggested it. I was some shadow of myself. I don’t recognize her.

        • I realize I suggested the vow renewal because I wanted desperately for him to say that he would renew his vows, too. I didn’t know about the affair then (months before Dday), but I guess a small part of my brain knew something wasn’t right.

          I was fishing for a “me too” from him. Of course, there was none.

          It all seems so sad when I think back on it. I’m at the place now where I am less critical of my former self. She did her best given the situation. But I do want to reach back through time and hug her. She was lonely and miserable….and didn’t even realize it.

          • “She did her best given the situation. But I do want to reach back through time and hug her. She was lonely and miserable….and didn’t even realize it.”

            I realized that about myself too. He tried to say “we stopped talking” Which te4chnically was true, but we didn’t stop talking until long after he started fucking around; by his own timeline. I withdrew because he needed “space” and I provided space for hi8m and the whore to continue on developing a deeper relationshi8p unabated by me.

            Add to that his parting comment that he never loved me, well then I never really had a chance.

            • I’m sorry he said he never loved you, Susie Lee. It adds hurt to an already painful situation.

              I think we both did the whole “give-them-space thing.” They take that space to develop feelings for the AP. And then they complain that they’d grown distant from us. Well, no kidding. That’s what happens when your love and attention go elsewhere. Circular reasoning! Frustrating AF!

              • Yeah, that was a kick in the head. Of course I realized in time, it was bullshit. He loved me when we married as much as he was capable of loving anyone. But, reality is he never loved me enough, or quite frankly anyone but himself, he lived and died putting himself first. No one was ever going to change that, not even schmoopie.

  • YMBAC if, after dinner on your 16th wedding anniversary, he says, “I don’t think I like you.” And you spend the rest of the night crying alone in your garden. And you still don’t leave.

    • That is an incredibly callous thing to say.

      I discovered that FW went out with OW on our dating anniversary and was told that it’s not like it was our wedding anniversary so he couldn’t see why I was so upset by that and I still didn’t leave either.

      Were we groomed to accept this by the FW? Did we have some FOO background that made us more accepting of this? I just look back at all of this horrified by what I thought we could overcome when he had the stupidest reasons at the ready for why we didn’t make for a good couple.

      • Limbo, so interesting. I too thought we (there was no we) could overcome emotional abuse from H#1, and that H#2 and I could turn his cheating and dumping me for 0W around to relationship growth for us (there was no longer an us).
        Both times I had compassion for them and sad sausaged them up.

    • ChumpQueen, so sorry. I can relate though. I think about all the things I went through with 1st H, as far as I know he wasn’t a cheater but…he discarded me. Eventually I married H#2, cheater who lovebombed me -and wow did it feel good (until the discard) after all those horrible statements. Anyhow
      H#1 told me he didn’t love me. I was sure that he did, but that he just couldn’t access it because he was depressed. He told his mother he didn’t love me, he told his therapist he didn’t love me, and I told them both that he did. Guess what… he didn’t! So I stayed for a more yrs of a roller coaster ride. Yikes. I can’t even make sense of my own refusal to believe what was being said and shown to me.

    • I am so sorry. Some things we just never get over.

      As horrid as that is, I am glad for you that you have the ability to feel pain, they sure as heck don’t. At least not in the sense that we do.

  • YMBAC If you believe him
    YMBAC. If he suddenly goes to hairdressers.
    YMBAC If he suddenly goes to doctor for a skin condition. He had for years.
    YMBAC If your birthday present is given to you six weeks late.

    • “YMBAC If your birthday present is given to you six weeks late.”

      YMBAC if he never remembers your birthday, and actually prides himself on it. (in a joking way of course)

      In all our years, he only remembered my birthday a couple times. The last time he remembered it a month early and sent me flowers at work. I found out later he and his whore were already fucking like rabbits. Guilt flowers. But, even then he couldn’t be bothered to put the date on his calendar and send them on my Bday, he had to send them one month early.

      • Champignon, my gifts weren’t quite 6 weeks late but my Christmas and birthday presents gradually became later and later in the 4 years between D-Day #1 and #2.

        And the gifts became dumb and dumber. Culminating in a small pink-handled knife (for “self-defense”) that had a lanyard attached so I could wear it around my neck. He kept changing hobbies/collections and knives were his main fascination that year. Knives were in his car, mounted on a peg board on a wall in the basement, and he even put a machete under our bed (in case of an “intruder”).

        Who gives their wife a knife to wear around her neck?? I mean, really?? Pink or not, are you fucking kidding me??

        • Yet the only thing you needed defending against was him.

          Most of my Christmas gifts were a robe. He got me a new sewing machine once. That was the best gift he ever got me. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the robes, as they were a special kind and I liked them. But, never any jewelry except for the last Christmas, give to me about two weeks before Christmas (dday) He took me to our River Property and gave me two necklaces. It was weird because he had never give me jewelry before, except for my wedding rings. The first set when we were married, then the year he was in Vietnam he orders a better set with a bigger diamond.

          The last two necklaces just confused me. One was a gold choker type, the other was a silver beaded necklace. Both were nice, but even though it was not Dday yet, they skeeved me out. I have often wondered if the whore picked them out, or if they were just something she had from a previous married man that he wrapped and gave to me. Why jewelry when he knew he was about to dump me on my ass.

          Right after Dday, I immediately gave them to my daughter in law.

  • YMBAC… if you see the “real” dark parts of your boyfriend the night before you get married, and yet still go through with it because “he was drunk and high, he’s never been mean like that before.”

    YMBAC… if your spouse gets laid off twice and when he leaves the last place steals the designs and then starts a business using your meager savings and not really even tweaking those designs.

    YMBAC… if you stay even after your spouse tells you that you “manipulated him into having that third child and probably intentionally got pregant.”

    YMBAC… if you try to get your spouse into therapy with you, but when he resists you end up reading self help books outloud to him and trying out the changes yourself without any of his buy-in or attention.

    YMBAC… if you book every babysitter for 12 years, plan every date night after about the 3rd year, and plan all your family vacations (with your extended family and his extended family).

    YMBAC… if you and your spouse planned a romantic vacation around his work conference, only to have him fly back 3 days earlier than you to “take care of the kids while you reconnect with a friend,” only to find out that he had his parents watch the kids and he went and got a tattoo of a day-of-the-dead, trucker-hat-wearing skeleton on a bicycle that he said was “spontaneous” only to find out years later that he had images of that on his personal computer with stolen design plans from almost a decade before. (I’m impressed if you followed that and the decade of lies that went into that deception – and bad tattoo.)

    YMBAC… if you still brought your emotionally distant husband who just got a DUI (after multiple nights out drinking without letting you know where he was for almost 2 years) to Disneyland with the kids and your entire extended family.

    YMBAC… if you sit quietly perplexed at a work Holiday party after realizing that your spouse bought their coworker the same knife that he owns as a Christmas present.

    YMBAC… if you go about building your friendships, life, and continue having adventures as your spouse continues to overpromise and never show up for kid events, couples dinners, date nights, and family outings.

    YMBAC… if your spouse brings a coworker home from a late holiday party and instead of yelling at him right there, you say it’s fine for her to sleep on the couch since she’s obviously drunk… and then you catch them 7 minutes later having drunken sex on your living room couch while you and the kids are home.

    • Downtoearth,

      “…and then you catch them 7 minutes later having drunken sex on your living room couch while you and the kids are home.”

      NO!! Just no!!! That is beyond heinous.

      I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine the pain of witnessing that.

      • It’s obviously still with me… so I’m not over it 27 months later. But it’s also so funny and I was strangely calm… like I knew right then and there that I wasn’t crazy or wrong… he was and it was obvious. The rest of the world and our community (and his friends/family) don’t care, but at least I know in my heart that all that gaslighting was just that.

        • How do people not care?!!! That’s just so egregious. Dude sounds like a train wreck you may not have left otherwise but I’m sorry you even had to be in that position.

  • YMBAC: if you ask for YEARS to get the log in information to the video surveillance system that was installed “to monitor when the kids come and go” and are denied after every request. “I forgot the password”, “I can’t remember the name of the app, I’ll look it up when I get home”, and finally “why do you need it anyways?” After DDay, I was about to move out, and I ripped the control box off the wall and tore the connecting cables out of the back. He called the cops on me but they wouldn’t do anything because it was marital property. Lol

  • You might be a chump if;

    You liquidate all of your assets and investments so the he can follow his calling from God snd go to University for 7 years, while you and the children are left homeless.

    If you are understanding about him needing his space to study and he lives in an apartment 3 hours away with a very young, party dude roommate. All the while you are paying for 2 children and working like a chump to keep it all afloat. While he relives his youth ( hence my belief it was a MLC ) in his mid 30’s.

    They are just friends. I mentor them. They see me as a Father figure. I might be God….

    If your spouse drives a very expensive vehicle while you hold yours together with duct tape and prayers.

    Your Birthday makes you very uncomfortable because it’s extremely awkward. In fact, cheater starts making a point of not coming home or working away from home so that he doesn’t need to bother. But chumpy old you understands!!!!

    Husband wants to move affair partner and her children into your home “because she’s having marital problems “!!!

    You sit through an entire sermon about how your marriage was ending because the two of you grew apart – and then help serve tea and cookies to the congregation afterwards.

    You deal with aging/dying parents while 9 months pregnant-alone. Because it’s easier than dealing with his toxic attitude and anger. When my Mother died of cancer on Mother’s Day morning – I had to drive 3 hours ( 9 months pregnant), by myself to celebrate at a big restaurant MIL’s big Mother’s Day brunch. Because “ she’s my Mother “ and that’s what she wants.
    Bitch Cookie Bouquet for that one!!!

  • YMBAC if you truly believe cheaters behavior is due to demonic possession. I really did believe it for awhile too.

  • YMBAC if your Christmas present is something a friend gave you years ago that was stored in the closet and he thinks you COMPLETELY forgot about it and puts it wrapped under the tree from him!

    YMBAC if he says he has to go out of town on business but takes the OW to the concert you gave him tickets to as a birthday gift.

    • Oh yeah. I had YMBAC when your husband bought you an ugly outlet store watch for your 50th birthday but you found out he’d bought jewelry and a dress for his girlfriend via internet search. On YOUR BIRTHDAY. He used our joint credit card as well, lied and said it was a surprise for me, but he had to return it because it wasn’t great quality. Yep I’m a super chump!

  • YMBAC if you actually believed him when he said that he slept beside her but nothing happened.

    Wow! Talk about trauma blindness.

  • UMBAC- if you find yourself for the third time this month, in his truck in the driveway counting his supply of cialis you know he keeps in there, 23, 24, 25, what was my count last week?! ( he threw you breadcrumb # 3283 , when he told you he doesn’t need the cialis with you, pick me! pick me!)
    UMBAC- when he tells you it takes his mistress 45 mins to put on her makeup and she never even has a chip in her nail polish and you chew your nails so bad they hurt.
    UMBAC -when cleaning his closet you find a crumpled doctor info form from a urologist that he has filled out with his responses, he’s checked that he’s “single” and has sex “three times a day” to get his script for cialis and you have been married to this 57 year old loser for over 30 years and have sex once or twice a week.
    UMBAC- when he tells you sadly if he didn’t have his mistress when your amazing beautiful mom was dying of metastatic breast cancer that had so painfully spread to her bones, that he just would not have survived seeing me so sad without the OW’s support. (His mistress had lost her mom to BC and she was a big comfort for him.) And you, on some incomprehensible level, were glad at least someone in the family was surviving the horrors of it all.
    UMBAC – when a pair of “ sex boots” come in the mail and they are not your size and when questioned he says it’s a joke item he bought for one of the gals at his office.
    UMBAC – when you find a Costco receipt in the kitchen drawer for a $1200 bracelet and when you ask him about it while making dinner he tells you it was a goodbye gift for his last mistress and somehow you feel relieved that he got rid of that one and you drop the whole conversation.
    UMBAC – if you and your three kids have their phone service with Verizon and their dad’s is with AT and T.
    UMBAC- when you find out at 61 that you have ‘active HPV’ from your gyn and the only man you’ve slept with for the last 35 years has been your husband and you are still building your amazing retirement beach house with him hoping he will change.
    UMBAC- when you find yourself making a numbered list of what you did for the day because he has you doubting you have any value at all. ( that was with a 3 rd, 4th, and 5th grader at home, volunteering 30 plus hours on different programs I was running at their school, all their sports and activities to drive to and getting a meal on the table every evening). Lol, I still felt the need to explain my value!
    UMBAC- when he says to you that “someday” he is going to tell you all the things he loves about you and you have been married for over 30 years and have on too numerous to count occasions enumerated the many things you loved about him, in writing and verbally. He never did tell me what he loved about me, but I clapped in his corner for all his greatness for the 38 years we were married and always wondered why he needed so much constant recognition, when I gave it to myself internally.
    UMBAC – when you cracked the code on his phone once more with your Sherlock Holmes mastery skills and discover a dozen gfs listed under bogus names and when you are so damn angry and you threaten to call every one of the bitches, he tells you about one he says is suicidal. So you don’t call any because you don’t want to add stress to anyone else’s life or God forbid, cause them to harm themselves.
    UMBAC- when he tells you that he’s so complex that one woman could never be enough for him and you listen as if it has some merit.
    UMBAC – when his most prolific times to text are when you are out to a lovely dinner and when you ask him who’s he texting he tells you it’s “ non of your business” and you don’t want to ruin a rare evening out, so you order your steak anyway and sit in pain and silence to eat it.
    I could go on with endless UMBAC examples, as I’m sure you all can too! Some of the posts were so spot on. I’ve never posted on this site, but I have read every archive there is and every comment these past few months since I’ve found the site ( after reading LACGAL, which I lost my mind over how good it was and how much it helped me see more clearly!) and this is all so game changing and supportive! The validation that it wasn’t me and I’m not crazy or incredibly flawed is so powerful. Thank you all for sharing with your hearts wide open! I feel your pain too and I grieve for your losses. It just sucks so many ways! I am shaking my head yes to soooo many posts, the commonality we all share with this is freakish! I was with this man for 44 years( 38 married) and he was a very clever and manipulative serial cheater. I thought I had a solid marriage and was loved.
    I heard from my daughter just today that he married his mistress end of last year. I am no contact for 2 years now, other than business type email. No contact or severely limited really helps the anxiety settle down, it truly is essential and the only thing that will be effective with these con artists. He called our three kids 27,29 and 30 y/o’s, three days before his wedding to inform them and then was annoyed with each because none of them congratulated him. I knew he would have to marry, that’s image management 101, he wants to stay the super guy in ppl’s eyes, that ship has left the dock long ago, unbeknownst to him I guess. Divorce was 4/18, he retired in 2016 and we were getting ready to move into our beautiful retirement beach house that has been being built the last 7 years that I thought he shared the dream with me. I guess he flipped a coin and decided at the 11th hour that he would rather retire with his 15 year younger mistress he’s been seeing the last 5 years instead. ( unknown to all of us until 2016)
    CL and CN, you are saving lives with your posts and sharing your tough tough stories. God bless you all. It really helps so many, you are all making a difference to ppl’s lives, very profoundly. I have gifted CL’s book to other chumps three times already. It’s an essential read for chumpdomhood members. Tracy, you are queen chump extraordinaire, I admire your vision and your time consuming commitment, there is no doubt it pours from your heart. Bravo!
    You are all amazing, strong and wonderful and I keep you all in my prayers as you heal. You are powerful warriors who inspire me every single day!! Thank you so very much! ????????????????( I got carried away with UMBAC’s, sorry about that!)

    • Chumpasaurus45,
      Your first post! It is so powerful & strong.
      You are so Mighty!
      You have survived so much.
      Please take good care of yourself for the remainder of your life, may that time be long and happy. You are truly so deserving .
      It is very kind of you to reach out and help other Chumps.
      You are so much better off without your ex.
      Stay strong sweet lady. You got this!

  • YMBAC if… your husband took his girlfriend for a weeklong trip to Burning Man, and had you buy the tickets because he was too busy. And he told you he was going to sell the second ticket. And you believed him.

  • “If your cheater has… three motorcycles.” He did.

    And 13 bicycles, most of them hanging like a colony of bats from the ceiling in the garage.

    And a half dozen different steering wheels for video race driving games.

    And 5 remote control helicopters.

    And a couple dozen (at least) collectible knives.

    And 15 or so paintball guns.

    And close to 300 unopened plastic model kits. Of military tanks. He maybe assembled and painted 7 in any one year.

    • Or 10 guitars at over $1,000 each and drives a $60,000 car while yours is worth $1,000!

      • My man-child liked metal military figurines from the Civil War and had arranged them in combat-ready position on a shelf.

        Also, without batting an eye, he told our financial advisor that within the next few years he would buy a new car valued at $50k and that Spinach’s new car would cost half that. Both the financial advisor and I laughed nervously at the lack of equity. “Surely you jest!” My then-husband was baffled. So deep into his entitlement was he that he couldn’t even see it. Like a fish asking, “What’s water?”

        • Yup, man-child with boxes of model train kits etc etc which the children said would go into a dumpster when he died.
          My car was falling apart. Cheater bought himself an Audi!!
          I waited 6 months for cheater to find time to go car shopping with me.
          Decided to go alone. Picked out a great car, fully loaded and paid with a check.
          I used to be a chump and then I smartened up.
          Happier days.

  • YMBAC when you get an anonymous email saying he’s having an affair and you confront and he says he would never do that, he’s not that kind of person and you, and all your friends, totally write it off because, yeah he’s not that kind of person.

    Face palm.

    • That reminds me:

      YMBAC if he comes in all excited from a political event, and says oh if you get any calls accusing me of fooling around; political enemies are trying to get back at me. Yes, I believed it.

      He really did have a blast the last year and a half or so of his cheating. He was flying high, I could see it; and because he was assuring me all along I put it off to his new promotion and his political involvement. No he was riding a nookie high; until it all crashed and burned.

      He lost his promotion, got put back out on patrol, lost his cushy office his political friends shunned him. I am sure a lot of them were no better, but they couldn’t take a chance on befriending him.

      Yes he lost me, but that never mattered; but losing his hard earned status (that I helped him gain) that had to hurt.

      • “FW also incriminated himself by criticizing an awful lot of people for being assholes/of low character – and he was worse than all of them.”

        Same with mine. he was constantly slamming the other police officers for screwing around on their wives. How, they treated them like dirt etc. And he turned out to be one of them, in fact one of the worst. It was one of the reasons I never suspected I am sure. I mean he surely wouldn’t say these things if he was guilty of it himself. I don’t think I ever thought of it like that, I think I just assumed based on his disdain for that behavior that he wasn’t one of them.

        Also, in hindsight I can remember time after time that he was telling me what this one or that one was doing, and once I went through discard, I realized he was confessing, not ratting others out.

        The skein doesn’t matter anymore, but I was just so curious when it all dawned on me, why on earth he would feel the need to confess. Weird.

      • What a pig. I know mine thought he was pretty something amazing when he pulled the OW. His ego was the size of a house. Good luck to them, good luck to them all.

        • Oh they are riding high for a while aren’t they? It is almost funny when you look back on it.

          In my fw’s case, she was clearly no prize, I mean even one of the other PO’s said, “dang, I thought the idea was to trade up, not down” He said this in a break room full of other PO’s and personnel, that is how I found out.

          You would have thought he had won a supermodel. LoL.

    • Sorry you were gaslighted like that, Dudders. Did he try to make you feel like a terrible person for asking him about this shocking claim? When you asked, did he throw the word ‘accuse’ at you to imply you were aggressive and unreasonable? Was he angry and hurt, insinuating that you were in fact the bad person for calling him a monster and thinking he was capable of such horrendous things?

      My ex did, repeatedly. So self-incriminating! Because he actually did those things he himself named as reprehensible and unforgivable. In the moment, I always felt confused and trapped and guilty. Only after the confrontation – really, abuse – would I think, ‘Wait a minute, did I ever call him a monster?’ Nope, I just asked a straightforward question about what I’d heard or commented matter-of-factly about how I felt or what he’d done.

      FW also incriminated himself by criticizing an awful lot of people for being assholes/of low character – and he was worse than all of them.

      I used to think that pointing these things out would do something – help him understand, make him stop lying and hurting me, make him want to make amends. It was so pointless. The more I could articulate what was happening, the more enraged and illogical he became. It was like I’d struck a nerve and he had to block it out and attack me (for what he’d done/his lack of character) to protect his psyche and reputation. Don’t need to worry about FW now, but understanding this has already helped me navigate other difficult relationships with manipulative people. I have boundaries and expectations, I don’t take things personally, and I don’t waste my time with disordered and selfish people.

      • You have described the classic DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim/offender). Ask a simple question, “Is there any merit to this e-mail that says you are cheating?” and receive a blistering attack that turns them into the victim. All the while they ~know~ they are in fact cheating and have no problem bashing you to a pulp to make you stop questioning it. Pure. Evil.

        Mine did that a lot. Post-abandonment and having future-faked me right to the moment he poofed, my X Asshat accused me of calling him a “sick puppy” so we got to argue about whether I said those words rather than getting to the bottom of how he could abandon his wife of 28 years with only an e-mail notice. Which only a sick puppy would do, a cowardly lying cheating sick puppy fakes and lies like that before moving out and only sending an e-mail.

        But he shall not be called a sick puppy and that got me to participate in the semantics game to avoid discussion of his obviously heinous acts.

        Mindfuck blender setting: frappe.

        • The irony – ‘sick puppy’ is too kind! Even if you did… sounds like you had every right to call him every name in the book.

      • Didn’t get told I was a horrible person. I had a big sad sausage man. So sensitive I’ve just never understood him. Just got out and out denial and like of course he wouldn’t because, as he said, that’s not the kind of guy I am.

        All of it cruel mindfuckery. They are such cowards.

  • YMBAC if you believe your husband when he said the lube you found in the car was a gift for you. Or when you find porn on your home computer, along with an open page to local escorts, and he convinces you that he wasn’t looking for hookers. Or when he said the Air BnB charges on your credit card were for a surprise anniversary trip, and you ruined the surprise. Or when on a trip to Japan, he just had to have a night to himself to play cards at an expat bar and leave you alone. Or when he said you are paranoid and insecure because you asked where he was all the time. I could go on but I’m depressing myself!

  • When this column runs it always hits me harder than any other and haunts me for days. There is so much evil perpetrated by these monstrous people with their lies and destruction and to see it all in one place is soul crushing. Despite feeling like I am dousing myself with emotional napalm by contributing my entries and reading all the others, there is enormous value in seeing all of this in one place. These cheaters are the worst of humanity.

    For me, going through this helps me confirm once again how completely and totally my X Asshat sucks. He will suck with the next person, and the next. He will never be happy. It was not my fault that he destroyed his family; he was never grateful for the gifts in his life and felt entitled to tear everything down for his own selfish delusions. He abused his family and told us we deserved it.

    He will need to reconcile that with God because no one here is listening anymore.

  • YBAC if your divorce attorney tells you that you are truly too kind, and that the law protects nice people like you so you can receive what you deserve in the divorce. That was early on when I was being way too accommodating and unwilling to let my attorney fight for me. He helped me see that it was entirely proper and recommended to have him fight for what a judge would award, at the very least. We did settle without a trial, and I got a fair settlement.

    At signing he told me that NOW I could go back to being nice because the world needs nice people. He also made me promise not to have any contact with my ex after closeout was over (I had no custody issues) because my ex is NOT nice. Along with being a bit of a pit bull, he had a great sense of humor.

  • As I read through these familiar examples of chumpdom, I realize the trauma of what I’ve been through.

    Leaving after DD#3 was like jumping overboard and swimming for two years to get to shore. Now it’s beginning to sink in. I jumped because it was too painful to stay. Not only did he not send a lifeboat, he had knowingly and deliberately been causing that pain and confusion. The person I loved and trusted more than anyone had pushed me overboard.

    • No, he didn’t push you overboard.
      You left. Big difference.
      You realized that to stay means a continual life of having your precious essence drained out of you daily until the only thing you can do is maintain an existence for the pleasure of the vampire sucking out your life blood.