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Acts of Chump Rebellion

ftsEvery liberation campaign begins with an act of rebellion. Today’s Friday challenge is to tell Chump Nation about that first moment you un-chumped.

Maybe you’re one of the quick learners and you filed immediately. Most of us, however, did not detonate the nuclear consequence right away. Instead, there were uprisings and skirmishes. Periods of lucidity where you cracked your head through the spackle and said “Fuck. This. Shit.”

What was your “I will not be your chump” awakening? When did you get uppity? How’d it feel?

What’s that song lyric? Free your mind and the rest will follow…

So tell me, Chump Nation, when did you first un-chump?

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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.
  • Oh, I’ve gnashed my teeth and done more than my fair share of feeling chumped in the year-long divorce drama. When my 19-year-old teen discovered his father’s affair, he forced the RH to confront me. RH (54 yo) waxed euphoric about his leap of faith for chasing his 28-year-old twu wuv. But a month later and the moment I found out he initially met the AP when he hired her as a prostitute, I was done. Rings off, had an attorney ready and said file.

    • Oh wow…he is one of those gross old creeps who thinks the hookers actually like him…*puke*

      Lemme guess…

      His 28-year-old “twu wuv” made a lot of money (re: your marital assets) off him?

      • Oh- and I’ll guess that the cheater also makes a pretty good salary too, am I right?? Sugar daddy alert!

    • Mine left me for a massage parlor sex worker who barely speaks English. He tells everyone he met her at Starbucks. ???? He’d liquidated one of our retirement accounts and was throwing money around like a Rockefeller. She probably thought she had landed a stupid, old, rich American with a bad heart who would keep her in the lap of luxury and probably wouldn’t live too long. Jokes on her. I unchumped by lawyering up and divorcing his cheating ass at warp speed. He foolishly did not hire a lawyer of his own. I kept the house and the majority of its contents. I got my entire 401(k) and get his pension when he dies.

      He married his massage girl before the ink was dry on our divorce. It was then that I decided to unchump further and take back my maiden name. It was a major hassle, but worth it.

      I had to go back to work, of course. I unchumped further by landing a great job with a much better work/life balance and less stress. I figure I’ll work for three more years and then will be able to retire comfortably.

      He had to go back to work too. He’s currently working odd jobs as a handyman. I have no idea if his massage girl wife is back to her “profession”. He actually had the gall to ask me for $30,000 after our divorce was final. He told me that she had left him and he wanted to buy himself a condo. I didn’t believe it. That was before I knew he’d actually married the whore. I found out later from his sister that his new wife was leaning on him hard to buy her a house. And he wanted me to finance it! Unbelievable. Apparently wifey is pissed that I got the house and she is living in a crummy apartment. I told him he needed to get Schmoopie to step up the “happy endings” to pay for his condo. He didn’t like that very much. He thinks he’s special, you see. “It’s not like that. Yes, it started out as just sex. But we fell in love.” Stupid old fool.

      Wifey is going to REALLY be pissed when she finds out she doesn’t get his pension when he dies. Would love to be a fly on the wall for that. Found out from his sister that he hasn’t told her and doesn’t intend to. A marriage born out of betrayal and based on lies. I’m sure they’ll be very happy.

      • Fantastic karmic justice and impressive mightiness. I love that he was too dumb to hire a lawyer and your response when he asked for money. ????

      • An excellent example of why chumps need to act fast while they’re stupid in love, before they come to their senses (or whatever senses they have left).

        You are so mighty!

      • I know all about that probably a Narcissist mine also begs constantly for money and our divorce was final last Feb. 20/20! He claimed to our lawyers he could handle everything he didn’t need a dime from me, ya right now suddenly my mom passes and guess who needs money from my inheritance?????

      • Wonderful Karma story! But I am sorry that this all had to happen to you. And to the rest of us here.

      • My father actually thought he deserved half of my mother’s inheritance ???? Because of said inheritance, he was only required to pay two years of alimony after a 25 year relationship and marriage. My older brother was over 18 and I turned eighteen that fall. His father was paying our uni fees (tuition, room and board and textbooks). He had to wait a couple of decades to inherit a lot of money from his parents.
        These jackasses really take the piss, don’t they ? Entitlement oozing out of their pores????

        • Difficult times reveal character…. they don’t build it. I’m sorry your father revealed such selfishness. You know who your friends are on moving day. Money issues, food issues, and difficult times will always reveal character. Put a bunch of adults on a school bus and they’ll all revert to their adolescent beings – the bullies will be loud – the back of the bus kids – the quiet kids – etc. It was a social science experiment we did in grad school – hilarious to watch. How your fkwit acts during a divorce will expose his character – they are not good men — and I so agree that infidelity is punishment – they are indeed punishing the wife/Chump. I got a small sense of satisfaction when one of my fkwit’s many prostitutes apparently dropped his dick after unsuccessful attempts ( Viagra not working) and said; ‘it’s not happening…” kept the money and left. He actually told me about this expecting me to feel sorry for him – the level of self-entitlement and grandiose is unbelievable and so many mental health care workers are just as bad. I have a collection of spouse of a doctor memories… 30 years of listening to his colleagues at dinner parties….I look so very forward to letting the horses out of the barn – for starters – as they babble on and drink they hate, absolutely hate it when people say ‘my doctor’ they hate belonging to anyone.

      • I need your attorney! Mine is no CEO but used credit cards. Now not working. 3 affairs that I know of.

      • That is funny and very fitting that she will be in for that surprise.

        My ex fw left his whore in deep debt when he died. I have not heard anything much after he died, but my son told me about a year before he died that his dad had bought an RV for over an hundred thousand dollars. When he (my son) asked him how on earth he expected to pay it off, he (fw) said I don’t care, I will be dead. My son said the look on whores face was horrible.

        To be clear my son does not call her whore, (that’s on me) and he had compassion for how that hurt her to know that he didn’t give a shit about her after he died. But, to be honest; he didn’t give a shit about her before he died and his gambling, whoring and subsequent bankruptcy and moving her into a broken down trailer proved it. Hey, she wanted my future she got it.

        What she wanted was the stability (meal ticket) that she saw in our marriage, but once I was gone, and he lost his rank, and his self respect; well…

        I wonder if she ever missed the good old days of using Susie’s money for their “dates”.

        • She will be eligible for his Social Security, so there’s that. (I am too. Just depends which is higher; his or mine.) Still, it pisses me off that she will benefit at all.

          “What she wanted was the stability (meal ticket) that she saw in our marriage, but once I was gone, and he lost his rank, and his self respect; well…
          I wonder if she ever missed the good old days of using Susie’s money for their “dates”.

          Haha! Yes!!! This! At the risk of sounding conceited, I was the “brains” in our marriage. I always managed the finances; he had zero money management skills. (Should have been a red flag when I started dating him, but I was young. Thought I could fix it.) The only account I didn’t have access to was an IRA from his previous employer. He liquidated that account without my knowledge or consent. Had been siphoning funds from it for years without me knowing. He’s apparently blown through that, since he asked me for money to buy a condo.

          I’m sure she’s realizing now that she won a poor, sparkly turd instead of the rich sugar daddy she thought she was getting. But she does get a green card and the Social Security when he dies. ???? Maybe that’s good enough for her.

          • He had a private pension, so she actually draws from her own; which gets her a bit more than his, but not a lot because she quit working at a fairly young age (about age 40). He did build some benefit in part time work, but not a lot.

            She does have a small pension from his work, but he of course chose the smallest offering for her. He cashed out all his insurance policies years before he died.

            I have my own SS, and my own retirement savings. And I had years to build that fw free fortunately.

            He always managed our money, which is how he got away with spending so much on her unknown top me. I rarely looked at the details of our credit card, though of course I kept tabs on what we owed.

            No one was as surprised as me as when he gamboled his way into bankruptcy after they were married a few years. I honestly never thought he would be so irresponsible, but there it was. I don’t know if she gambled with him or not. But dang they made a mess.

            My son bought their house at fair market value, and he rented the attached apartment to them for a small rent, until they shit all over that arrangement too and my son sold out and cut them loose. He had to, they were creating too much stress in his life.

            I just found out recently after he died, that when my son bought their (his dads) house; he tried to sneak in one of his loans for my son to pay off. Son caught it at closing and had the deal redone. My son reads everything in detail thank goodness, before he signs anything.

            • Wow. Your ex FW sounds like a real piece of work! Reminds me very much of my ex’s father who recently passed. A very similar situation with a home he was renting from my ex’s sisters. Fortunately, we weren’t involved. One of the very few wise decisions FW made, not to go in with his sisters on the purchase of that house.

              Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, although my ex isn’t quite as shrewd and conniving as his fathers as. I too never thought he would make such spectacularly foolish choices. I did spend a little while trying to untangle the skein, thinking maybe it was a mental defect, perhaps caused by his multiple heart attacks and septuple bypass surgery. But it does no good to speculate on that now. He did what he did, and now he is her problem.

              Sounds like we both landed on our feet and are living successful FW free lives. Bully for us! ????????

              • My son is nothing like his dad. He did try to have a relationship with him to the best of his ability, until he died.

                He is free of the whore. She treated them like dirt too, and once his dad was gone, he provided her with all the point of contacts and paper work she needed to make sure she got all her benefits, scant as they were.

                I doubt they will ever see her again, unless they just happen to run across each other in public.

                I am so glad I got out of that marriage before he took me down with him.

                What prevent me from spending a whole lot of time untangling, was that I had to work to survive, so I kept my full time job and also worked part time for a long while.

          • My Sister received her ex’s social security when he died; his new drinking-buddy/wifey didn’t get any of it. Social Security is paid to THE FIRST WIFE (maybe because of a 20 year marriage but I’m not sure). I had no idea and neither did my Sis. It came as a very welcomed surprise; SS automatically sent her a letter telling her of the changed amount.
            My ex’s wifey won’t get his SS either.

            • Oh, really?! Great! I hope that is the case with my ex’s new illegal alien, massage parlor girl wife.

              I know that many of those girls are sex trafficked and the blame lies mostly with ex-Fuckwit, I still have no pity for her and don’t want her profiting at all from her predatory, mercenary relationship with my ex FW.

              • I don’t know how that works with illegals.

                Be interesting to find out.

            • SS is not restricted to the first spouse. All that it takes is a certain amount of years, and the spouse can draw from the other spouses SS assuming it is more by a certain percentage than they would get on their own.

              Likely it had to do with length of marriage.

              “You must have been married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years. You must be at least 62 years old. However, if your ex-spouse is deceased and you are currently unmarried, you may collect benefits as early as age 60 as a surviving divorced spouse.”

              a second spouse collecting SS from an ex spouse does not affect the amount that either gets.

              • Ah, okay. Thanks for that clarification, Susie Lee. I highly doubt that marriage will last 10 years. And even if it does, she won’t be 62 for quite some time. I’m sure she will have moved on to another meal ticket by then. ????

      • Way to fight for yourself! I smiled reading this. I am very sorry for your pain, but way to take back yourself especially the maiden name.

  • At one point during the unbeknownst-to-me devaluation period, he started pushing me. Not violently, but a firm get-out-of-my-way can’t-be-bothered-to-ask push. He’s never done that before. The first time was in the car alone when he couldn’t see the road because my head was in the way, so he reached over and wordlessly pushed my head out of the way. He’d never done anything like that before. I was shocked and didn’t say a word.
    The second time we were loading up the car with a bunch of friends and I was in the way, so he pushed my shoulder firmly aside, without a word. I snapped ‘Don’t push me!’ and stepped away. I could see him giving me a death-stare from the corner of my eye. Nobody mentioned it for the rest of the bbq.
    This may seem tiny, but it felt to me like a huge red flag, totally uncharacteristic and very significant, a controlling gesture. He must have been mortified that I’d spoken to him that way in front of his friends. He didn’t push me again.

    • ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump,
      Good for you! It’s so creepy and weird when they never were physically abusive before, but when they are cheating and you have been devalued and discarded, the real monster under the mask is released. That shoving you experienced is a giant red flag.

      FW was never abusive physically in our marriage either, but he started the behavior while he was cheating and I didn’t know about it. It was one of the ways I figured it out. He was pushing me and acting bizarre and picking fights and getting in my face — he never did that before.

      For me, DDay and filing happened very quickly because the day I discovered him, he immediately left me and my son and moved right in with his coworker AP. I was frantic and in shock… called him that night… and he decided to call the police on me. He showed up with the police saying that I was suicidal (I was not — but I was a mess and distraught) so “for my safety” the police handcuffed me and took me for evaluation.

      He stood there coldly. He’s was happy. He was thrilled I was taken. Then he had to go get our 9 year old son out of his bed at 1am and take him to a hotel.

      So my rebellion stemmed from that one idiotic choice of his to call the police on me. That look on his face stayed with me. Fear for my son too.

      As I sat waiting in an office at a police facility for 4 hours handcuffed and sitting on a chair, I calmed down and got clarity. I had NEVER been handcuffed in my life or had to deal with the police like that. And FW went from being my husband to a complete monster. His eyes were black. He turned completely cold. And my next thoughts were “there’s no way I’m staying with that guy – I’m getting divorced no matter what.” Thankfully the police sent a doctor to check on me and he immediately recognized that I was suffering from trauma and was ok. I was driven home kindly and apologetically by 2 police officers (no cuffs).

      I wish I’d read CL and LACGAL at the time, but I acted in haste and was hanging by a thread. I went with my gut and hired an attorney and PI straight away and FW was served with his AP right in their office at work.

      Here’s the thing… once FW’s mask came off – wow. He is one angry mother f**ker. He moved that anger towards our 9 year old son and became verbally and physically abusive. My sweet boy was getting called names and shoved and hit by his dad. So my rebellion continued and I fought FW tooth and nail to protect my son too. I was able to divorce that ass in one year because I filed under adultery, but my rebellion continued for another 3 years as I fought to protect my son.

      I think some FWs are so entitled and used to treating us like appliances that they are blind-sided when we fight back. 6 years later FW remains angry, uncooperative and stays in his car for any visitation… he won’t look at me. Fuck him. Vive la France!

      • Vive la revolution!

        What I want to know is how does a batterer pretend not to be one for decades? Proves the apologists wrong: batterers don’t *lose* control or they’d be randomly beating up their bosses and armed security guards in public . They’re all about taking control. They’re not mentally ill but criminally disordered.

        • Hell of a Chump – EXACTLY! 14+ years and they can control it… and then the mask comes off and the Kraken is released. Criminally disordered is the BEST description. It’s all about control.

          And I learned about me too… when I was backed into a corner and fighting for my sanity and protecting my kid, it was an all out war. Finances be damned, I was going to get myself and my child free of that asshole.

        • In my case, I can recall being surprised at the depth of anger my EX showed toward some people while we were dating and early in our marriage. But, the people he raged about were far away (hundreds of miles). He was livid about the expectations of a former employer he was still completing an assignment for, a former girlfriend, etc. At the time, I excused the vehemence, nasty personal comments, and excess anger as a coping strategy. I told myself he didn’t want to fight with them in person, so he just let off his steam in my earshot. I thought it was a good thing that he controlled himself with people in person and had developed strategies for expressing anger outside of the situation. (An excellent example of seeing the red flags and deciding they were only marking a parade route.)

          As a decade passed the targets of his rage grew closer. First a colleague in another division who was “out to get him.” He left that job. At the next job, it was his immediate boss who was “taking advantage of me, economically raping me,” despite the fact that he was better paid than most colleagues. He left that job. Then it was me. I was the villain in his life who was stealing his opportunities and glory all while planning to ruin him (a situation his “soul mate” could sympathize with, but I was too mean to support).

          I can now also see the pattern of his developing rage in his driving behavior over a decade. Early in our marriage he would show road rage by ranting about other drivers. Then he began to take action (intentionally slowing down to punish a tailgater, etc.) In the last few months of our marriage he started grabbing the steering wheel when I was driving to swerve and “scare” a driver he thought deserved it, or reach over and start honking the horn to express his annoyance at them. I told him to stop, but he seethed with resentment at both me when I drove and everyone else who was failing to live up to his standards (which amounted to ceding him the right-of-way in all aspects of life as well as the road).

          The last few months of our marriage were filled with physical threats toward me (threats to frame me as an abuser), small amounts of hostile physical contact (things that would never look like abuse to someone outside of the situation), tons of symbolic violence (holes in walls, sets of dishes hurtled one by one against the wall, clothes slashed with an exacto knife, books with all their pages torn out, broken windows, etc.)

          When I list these things I am simply stunned how far I let things go before I left.

          Now I know that domestic abuse often works this way–bit by bit it builds as the abuser’s anger grows and the target’s boundaries become more and more flexible.

          • Elionwy, your account is chilling. I’m so glad you got away!

          • That’s so scary… same with my FW ex! To him, every boss was an idiot and out to get him… and he wouldn’t hold a job a year or two at most and be let go.

            And the road rage!! That just grew and grew until I was terrified to ride in the car with him (and I’m not angel in the car myself — but WOW — he’d end up in crazy anger situations on the road).

            Strange how all of this is mirrored with these FWs.

          • I agree. When I think of my “list” I am disgusted at how far I let it go. It is a slow but deliberate wearing away of your values, boundaries, and sense of self, until you’re only serving him and making his needs more important than your own. Shit that I would be appalled to hear it happened to someone I loved, but for some reason I couldn’t identify it was truly happening to me. I didn’t love myself anymore. Now I am learning to love myself first. Re-wiring is hard work.

            • “It is a slow but deliberate wearing away of your values, boundaries, and sense of self, until you’re only serving him and making his needs more important than your own. ”

              Yep, and the kicker is the more we do that, the less they value us.

              • Yes! Unbelievable. And the more we do, the more they expect.

              • As my Mom used to say “the more you do the more you might”. She was referring to a work situation I was complaining about, but in hindsight, also applies to relationships in general and giving too much for too little. She was so wise.

          • Damn, I’d forgotten about the road rage. I remember one instance we were coming home from work and he refused to pull over for an ambulance with flashing blue lights and sirens going. I was SO EMBARRASSED when an old guy said “you must be very proud of yourself for what you just did”!

          • These defects always need to have an “enemy” or a “target”. It’s always smart to look at not only a spouse/partner but a friend, boss, co-worker or acquaintance that seems to always have a problem with someone because sooner or later you’ll be the person they deem the enemy.

          • Lundy Bancroft talks about that in his book too. Men who express frequent rage and anger at others will eventually direct it toward you. They may not at first, and you may think you’re safe, but a man who is consistently, constantly, angry at everyone and blaming everyone for everything wrong in his life will eventually see a reason to blame you, and you will become a target. It’s the entitlement in his values. He is entitled to his way, all the time, by everyone. And that will include you.

            One of my exes was like that. At first, he was very loving and doting and sweet to me, but had a tendency to complain about everyone else. Over time, that anger circle got closer and closer. Stopped being just coworkers or strangers, and eventually became me. All the time. While his general irritation and displeasure with others didn’t stop, the rage directed at me grew increasingly loud and frequent.

            A man who is always angry at everyone will eventually be always angry at you.

            • This is so very true. I noticed this with my stbx with road rage in the beginning and he would have angry outbursts over noises. I was quickly trained to find and stop the noise that was bothersome to him to avoid his anger. Then I noticed he was generally complaining about his friends, and pointing out their flaws. Later it included his bosses, he really hated female bosses. Then it didn’t take long and it was me that he was devaluing and angry with.
              Looking back I can’t believe I even married him, what a jerk.

              • OMG – the road rage! It’s so obvious looking back and so hard to deal with in the moment. I was trained to be compliant (although I would have denied it at the time). Speaking up always came with consequences (he has a whole toolbox of ways to make you feel like crap). In one episode, he was driving with my kids in the minivan (they told me the story). Someone did something he didn’t like and he blocked him in at a signal, got out of the car and yelled in the driver’s face – he couldn’t get away until the light changed. The other driver was a high school aged boy who must have been terrified of this 6’4″ white guy shrieking at him. My kids were in about 4th and 5th grade and scared and horrified when they told me about it. It’s such a clear violation of common decency (if not illegal), but when you’re in that headspace, you explain it away – the other driver must have done something dangerous, the kids misunderstood, it was a one time deal and he just lost it. Never talk about it and it will “go away”. Until next time. 20 years of this shit 🙁

            • This is my mantra when thinking about my x——-because I overlooked how he was always mad at friends, or coworkers or subcontractors, or other drivers, or his parents or his siblings, or my siblings or my parents, or the neighbors – you get the drift.

              FIRST THEY CAME By Martin Niemöller
              First they came for the Communists And I did not speak out
              Because I was not a Communist Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out
              Because I was not a Socialist
              Then they came for the trade unionists And I did not speak out
              Because I was not a trade unionist Then they came for the Jews
              And I did not speak out
              Because I was not a Jew
              Then they came for me
              And there was no one left
              To speak out for me.

        • So true. Like Lundy Bancroft says, they don’t have a problem with their anger, they have a problem with your anger. If you defy them, or if they even suspect you might defy them, they use violence to establish control.
          So the common practice of using the anger management type of batter intervention programs doesn’t stop them.

          • “They’re not abusive because they’re angry, they’re angry because they’re abusive.”

            Bancroft is brilliant.

      • My ex did the picking fights, then he would stand there and scream at me for my latest infraction. I would try to defend my self calmly because I was too scared at that point to tell him to go to hell.

        It got worse. I wonder how close it was to the shove or some other form of physical contact just before he left. He was defiantly devaluing me, but I also suspect he was getting pressure from the whore, and he had fucked where he ate so that was in play too.

      • Wow- what a horrible and potentially traumatic experience you endured and yet you rose above.
        Only now do I recall a 20 year ago episode of x being angry for no reason- broken glass, items on the attic steps- his reaction was overboard. I also now know he was I a heavy affair at the time. Much harder to prove in the days of small children at home and no cell phones.
        I think it would have been easier this time had his anger surfaced. Instead he was Mr nice guy gaslighting al the way.
        I’m most proud that even when I didn’t feel it, I knew I had to end it. My first visit with the attorney she told me to write him a note that our marriage was over and ha e the locks changed and tell him. That officially began our required one year separation . He had moved across the street so I was fuming him out but changing the locks was scary and empowering .

    • This wasn’t my act of rebellion but we were at a 50th birthday party and FW, who intended to “serenade” us with the 3 chords he knew on the guitar and screeching the first 10 lines of a song (he never knew them all) wanted my seat and told me to “shift”. In front of everyone I said “I think the expression is excuse me, but I may be wrong”. He was embarrassed as hell but I paid for it later!

      • My EX also knew a handful of chords and thought he was an undiscovered celebrity! He loved taking his guitar places so someone would ask him to play. I hope you are enjoying better music these days!

        • Oh yes indeed. If anyone’s in the Pittsburgh area and hears someone torturing a cat don’t worry – it’ll be my ex!

          • Attie i thought I heard him out there the other day but nope it was my own pgh FW. Sitting out on the neighbors’ porch after I threw him out, like everything was cool…

            He’s actually quite good with the guitar. The singing on the other hand ????

            • Ah yes, and how the singing improves with every beer they pour down their necks!

              • Hahaha my ex knew a half dozen Neil Young songs on the guitar and felt HE was the musician in the family. When we divorced I took up playing the drums, played in an amateur pop punk cover band for five years, and also toured several times playing with a professional singer songwriter friend. Take that!

    • Shoving is typically considered a precursor to more severe acts of physical abuse. You called him out in front of others and he stopped, but there is a high likelihood he would have escalated or continued had you not, or he may have started again at a future point if the marriage hadn’t ended.

      Some abusers don’t stop, even when called out. Sometimes they take it as an act of defiance. “Oh you don’t want me to push you? Then I’ll start slapping/hitting/knocking you over.” Abusers do those kinds of mental gymnastics. And sometimes they do physical things they don’t consider abuse. “Yeah I shoved her/pushed her/knocked her into a wall, but I didn’t punch her, only abusive guys do that!” They literally think like that. They never do anything they don’t see as morally acceptable.

      So yes, him shoving you like that is definitely a GIGANTIC, HUGE, GARGANTUIN red flag.

      • The ex would come up to me when if he was there and I’d been out and sniff me as if I were a dog. I finally said that he better not do that again. His reply was- oh, that bothers you?

      • This is very interesting. The ex began shoving me, let’s say ‘firmly’, about 2 years before he left. He’d pick fights and when I left the room to get space he’d follow me. He’d block my path and grab my arms or wrists in a way that hurt. Fortunately he left (I was too cowed by then to think about leaving him). Reading here, I see how the abuse was escalating (he was under pressure from OW to ‘declare their love to the world’). He did both of us a favour: the OW, not so much!

      • Good point about the warped moral code of abusers. They have convinced themselves that they know best, they have been wronged, they deserve your time/attention/apology–and thus they see themselves as the injured or the victim even as they abuse.

      • Interesting. He is a very big man, and always said he had a lot of anger, but came across like a big teddy bear of a guy. His childhood was full of conflict with his parents yelling at each other. During wreckonciliation he also smacked a door-frame I was leaning against, and a table we were sitting at, with his fist. Again, it was uncharacteristic and seemed significant. I didn’t react. I do remember he punched a hole in the wall of our apartment when I was in hospital with our first baby, he never really explained that. He used to slap our boys round the head as a form of discipline, which I never liked and grew to hate, but he used to say it was his parenting style. I asked him to stop doing that and to stop swearing at the kids ( formerly there was no swearing in the house). I finally ended it all after he called our troubled 14 year old a fucking cunt because once more he wouldn’t get to school, and my son ran out of the house and vanished; when I finally found him he was looking at a website about why you shouldn’t kill yourself. I was so shocked by that I called the school who told me they were assigning him vulnerable child status. That verbal abuse towards a child who had been struggling with the conflict in the house was enough for me and I told ex he wasn’t coming with us in our upcoming house move. I divorced him a year later.
        He did ask me if I thought he was actually a danger to the kids, and I said not physically but maybe emotionally, but perhaps I was wrong. We may all have dodged a bullet if the pushing and swearing was likely to have escalated, as you say. I never thought he would leave or treat me with such contempt, so physical abuse may have been the next thing.

    • Mine shoved me twice when I suffered an injury and wasn’t able to work in our law firm for a brief period of time. I decided then and there we were over, and within weeks he was out the door. It still bothers me how there are some people who don’t think shoving is physical abuse. I always ask them, if you shoved your boss, would you still have your job the next day? Amazingly, I think your boss would think it was physical abuse and fire you. That usually shuts them up.

    • Omg Artist, you just gave me a memory I hadn’t thought of in years.

      Shortly before D-Day, I was fast asleep and suddenly my whore fucking ex-husband pushed me so hard I fell out of the bed.

      Of course that woke me up, I looked up at him and said “what the fuck?” And he just coldly said “you were snoring”. That’s a reason to physically, violently push your wife, in her sleep, off the bed onto the floor?

      I guess pushing your spouse is just another play from the universal cheaters handbook. Fuck them all.

      • Wow does this bring back some memories. One time I came to bed and xhole was reading. I asked him if he wanted to go to sleep or keep reading. He said he wanted to keep reading, so leave the light on. So, I did, and went to sleep while he read. Maybe an hour or two later I went flying off the bed. He’d shoved me so hard I fell off and hit my head on the night table. His excuse was that since I was the last one to bed, I should have woken up, got out of the bed, and turn the light off. Apparently he tried to wake me up but I didn’t hear him. I guess shoving me off the bed and hitting my head was acceptable because he then grabbed his pillow and went downstairs to sleep on the couch. He was so mad at me for not waking up to turn off the light and daring to get mad because he caused me a head injury that he slept on the couch for a week and gave me AND the kids the silent treatment all that week. Why was he mad at the kids? Because we ignored him and did a bunch of fun, family events (kayaking, snorkeling, surfboards he, etc) and refused to let his pettiness effect our good times.

        • I’ve remembered something I did which may have been a small act of rebellion from this drained, defeated woman. He hated it. Our sex life became non-existent 10 years before the end. His choice, not mine, and my attempts to talk about it were met with either a smirk or a sad sausage turned-away ahead. With hindsight he had by the rekindled his schoolboy ex gf long distance crush and was being ‘faithful’ to her. He was rubbish in bed too.

          I digress! When in bed, I would slap my arms down by my sides over the top of the quilt, separating myself from him and making a sort of cocoon for myself. He hated it, and would shout ‘stop doing that’. I kept doing it because, I think, it was a little bit of separation, physical safety. He kept shouting at me. I have not done it once since he left, not even in the most terrible of times. I did not do it before he started the devalue. One for therapy!

    • Wow! I hate these jackasses!

      My ex was Mr. Nice Guy to the world, quiet, unassuming, even goofy. But the deeper he went into the devalue stage, the more his mask fell. He would drive in a way to intentionally frighten me, and the rage would come out of absolutely nowhere.

      The day he told me he was leaving, he said “at least I never hit you.” Now that’s some high standard! Seriously? (I can’t wait until he feels the same about her.)

      I think the only reason he didn’t hit me was because he was secretly scared of me. I once told him that if any man ever hit me – including him – I would wait until they fell asleep and take a baseball bat to their balls.

      So, yeah, Mr. Nice Guy never hit me.

      • As in “I really, really wanted to hit you. Observe my incredible self-control as I endure your bitchery.”


      • ???????? works treat too (no baseball bat emoji)

    • Yes, I remember when the screaming in my face and throwing things started. Something in me switched. I KNEW there was no future. Still, I hung on. I was being devalued for so long and didn’t know. He introduced the OW to his children at least six months or more before I found out. I borrowed money from friends and found an apartment quickly after finding his methamphetamine smoking kit.
      I guess my biggest Un Chump moment was when I had an audience with his children and the daughter’s boyfriend alone and I told them that he put me at risk for STDs and abused me financially. I said, “So I am the Patsy. Everyone knew but me. I was here paying the bills, buying the food, taking care of the house, while your father was out of town “working” and crying poor mouth, but he was spending his money and time with her.”
      The STD conversation hit home for the kids and I made it clear that I was the only one who got tested and cared about the safety of my health.
      Oh, and I told the kids his Twu Wuv is married – they didn’t know. They had met her multiple times and were there for phone conversations and text conversations and he never mentioned she is married.
      I was good to those kids. I was the only sane adult in their lives. The daughter and her boyfriend asked to stay in touch, but I won’t ever reach out to them because, as his daughter said, “He is my dad.” And, yes, that makes her and all of her friends flying monkeys.

  • I had suspected something was going on between exhole and howorker but of course no solid proof. Exhole was so happy to drop me and the kids off at the airport on a Monday, it was my 40th birthday that week, me and the kids were going down to our other place in FL exhole was going to join us later that Friday. He called me Tuesday evening said he was going to Chicago for work and that howorker was going with him, he told me I had to be ok with that. Turns out, I wasn’t ok with it. Early Wednesday morning, I packed up the kids into the rental and drove from FL to NC to my parents. Thursday, I drove to IN to pick up my pets and documents, important things I’d need and left IN and exhole Friday morning to go back to NC. He was in Chicago enjoying the howorker and had no clue any of this was going on.

      • Dday morning he admitted the affair and I kicked him out of the house and never looked back. Met with a lawyer and therapist that week, one month later had separation agreement, divorced 7 months later

  • Small act of rebellion was after he said “multiple” when I asked him is he having an affair.I told him to get the f-out! He told me he didn’t have a place lined up or friends to go to and he stayed on the couch for exactly 4 days. I used his pillow to wipe my dog’s butt! Xo Sweet

    • Douchecanoe would set his work clothes outside the bathroom. Every day between d-day and when I kicked him out I would spit on his clothes and in his shoes while he showered. I also stapled pieces of the construction paper project I’d had the kids make for his birthday all over his favorite suit. Whenever anything has to go back to dad’s house I make sure to put as much cat hair in the box or bag as I can find. The douche is very allergic to cats.

  • We left the dance in a foul mood because I fended off his groping on the dance floor and he wouldn’t quit it. When we got home he accused me of having an affair – me, mother of two babies in diapers with no time to myself even to sleep and no help from him – and HE forced my rings off after knocking me down and dragging me around on the floor. I was a rag doll. I let him. He must’ve felt stupid when I wasn’t fighting him. Next thing I know he’s begging me to put my rings back on. I never did. I called the women’s shelter the next day and got in as soon as they got a crib for my youngest.

    • I’m so sorry. So much of what has been done to us is total crap but some stuff stands out and this scene is one of them. Glad you stayed strong.

  • Someone rang the landline at like 4am. And I heard him say “I don’t even know your wife” to whoever was on the phone. Protesting his innocence. But when I came home at 7am the morning before, I could have sworn I saw him walk someone to the back gate. Sneaking them out. He said it obviously wasn’t him. After that call though I knew. I didn’t say anything until I had my stuff packed to go and went home to my mother.

  • I found his car at the airport when I discovered his weekend getaway across the country to see OW (leaving me home with five kids under 8yo). I had his spare key, so I moved his car to an undisclosed location and awaited his phone call. It was very gratifying and still one of my favorite stories to tell!

    • Oh that’s HILARIOUS!!!!

      He thought it was stolen didn’t he? XD XD Oh man I would LOVE to have heard that call!!!

    • Supinechump, you and I think alike. After a two year saga, I found the Worm’s car parked a street from his Pookie’s house. I also had the spare key to his car so I drove it to Pookie’s house parked it in her driveway and set off the car alarm. Then I walked back to my car, drove home and moved half of our savings into my own checking account. Thank you online banking! That was the end. I moved out because he wouldn’t.

      • ????????????
        Thanks for the morning laugh! So awesome, the car alarm! ????

    • I love this so much. I called the BMW dealership and asked them how I could disable the car without damaging it. They told me how to remove a fuse. Old Sparkledick was livid when our car wouldn’t start. Oh, well.

  • FW had become progressively more violent as the years went by. Started with screaming, then pushing, then slapping, then kicking, then pinning me down with a broken bottle at my throat. But I never filed a complaint because as an American he needed a permit to live in France and I was afraid the French might kick him out. After one joyous day of yet another beating I called the social worker from work (who was on his way to the airport). He SCREAMED at me to “just do it”, so I went to the hospital to get a doctor’s report and then straight to the police station to file a complaint. Got a DV conviction against him – and FW never knew what hit him. More tellingly he couldn’t believe “I could do this to him”! Asshole!

    • Good for you Attie!

      Amazing how “innocent” these gentle lamb FWs are.

      I got a “But I’m NOT a cheater!”. And in front of a court mediator, of all places!

      • Should have done it years earlier Clearwaters, but you live and learn don’t you!

    • I think there’s typically an undercurrent of violence in cheating. It ticks all the basic dv boxes. But so often it’s more than an undercurrent. None of this is acknowledged by RIC. Marital therapists could lose their licenses for trying to reconcile a batterer with a victim, so RIC therapists and sex addiction therapists deny the violence and hijack standard dv terms like “captor bonding”– in which the existence of the crime, the designation of guilt on one party and categorization of the crime are built right into the term– and replace it with “trauma bonding,” which is floppy and unspecific, describes no crime and designates no guilt or spreads it around.

      It’s a wonder any survivor escapes but you did. Considering how the culture and therapeutic community minimizes and rewrites the experience, I think it takes some kind of revolutionary spirit, pluck, and rugged individualism to get out. It pays to be a rebel.

      • Schmoopie left him and told everyone it was because of his violence too! Which, since he’d been telling everyone in the ho bar they used to drink together in that I was the violent one, it was pretty damn gratifying, I can tell you. I don’t know how it goes with latest Schmoopie but she will definitely have seen his temper by now, if not his fists!

      • Hell of a Chump: You are one brilliant gem! I think you are spot on and hope to God you’re in the counseling or mental health field. Also, check out Dr. Omar Minwalla. He’s developed a model of the trauma caused by infidelity. I think he could learn a thing or two from you!

        • Hell of a Chump,

          Please write a book, passing on your knowledge.

  • It took far too long and I put up with far too much, but after a year of his emotional abuse as he left me for his coworker, the ex finally went one step too far for me. I was living in the jointly-owned marital home with our son and the ex lived with the OW but still had all his stuff in the house and came back most days to hang out while I was at work. We had this chumpy arrangement where I paid for everything for our son and home maintenance and gave the ex receipts so he could reimburse me. One day there was a plumbing mess and since the ex did under the table handyman repairs for friends, I called him for help. He fixed the pipe and left me receipts for it. When I looked them over, he had added a charge for his hourly rate! That was it. I called a lawyer the next day. It took me 2 more years and a lot of pain to divorce him, but it’s done. Still working on my chumpiness and why I let someone treat me like crap for so long!

    • What a dick. The FW would do work for his family, stay at their home, eat their food, complain about the lodgings and food the entire time and CHARGE HIS FAMILY PREMIUM RATES for the work he did. Oh, and he would take his sweet time doing the work, too. I pieced it together that he was on the phone all the time with the OW and other future female meal tickets. He could never keep a steady job and was always getting canned. Suprise suprise.
      red flags everywhere

  • In the month after she left (and she’d refused to discuss anything about our finances with me and had repeatedly lied to our mediator about our finances) I learned that Ex-Mrs LFTT had been taking out unsecured personal loans (£15K+) unknown to me and had the money transferred into her personal account, but had the loans repaid from the joint account. She had also withdrawn (without my knowledge) £4K+ from our joint account.

    Given that only my pay went into the joint account, and that is where all of our key outgoings (mortgage, school fees, car insurance and supporting our eldest daughter at university etc) were paid from this account, this was a massive issue; it was also (I understand now) a form of financial abuse. She was clearly trying to drive a default on these payments and then pin the blame on me.

    My act of rebellion was a simple one; since she refused to explain what was going on and refused to relinquish access to the joint account unless I agreed to pay her maintenance (we had already agreed to a clean break, so why would I?), I set up a meeting just between myself and the Bank Manager. With her help, I transferred all of the Standing Orders and Direct Debits to a new account, transferred my pay to the new account, cancelled the overdraft on the joint account, cancelled her card and closed the account as soon as the balance was zero. This meant that she couldn’t drive me into default during the divorce process. It also (I like to think) sent a message to her and her legal team that I wasn’t going to put up with her sh*t any more.

    When she found out, she screamed blue murder, accused me of all sorts of illegal and underhand activity and threatened all sorts of legal repercussions. Funny old thing though, her threats came to nothing ……. and when she raised it at a Court Hearing later on in our divorce, the Judge made it pretty clear that, in similar circumstances, he’d have done the same thing. I never did get the £4K+ back, but it was very satisfying to see her have to take responsibility for the £15K+ loan.


    • Similarly LFTT — 2 weeks after the final blowup, I told KK that I would no longer be depositing my paycheck into our joint account, that I’d contacted all of our utilities to put them in my name, and that I’d be taking care of all household payments until the legalities were worked out. She responded: “well, I must tell you that I feel pretty blind-sided.” (Baby, you don’t know what blind-sided is.)

      • UXW,

        Funny old thing isn’t it? They think that they have the right to a monopoly on “Blind-Siding” and they go thermonuclear when the Chump acts to protect themselves.

        The thing that really makes me puke is that after I closed the joint account, she raided the youngest two childrens’ savings accounts (she was trustee and I wasn’t). I made sure that my son got his money back (£1K+) as soon as the divorce settlement paid out, but sadly my son had already worked out for himself what his mother had done. Youngest daughter turns 18 later this year, at which point she will legally be able to access her money. I’ll make sure that Ex-Mrs LFTT does the right thing, but I think that she’ll do what she can to obscure her actions; she’s quite happy to take liberties with other peoples’ money, but she hates being called to account.


      • UX, can you hear me shrieking from the other side of the world?

        KK was BLINDSIDED?!!!!!
        OMG. When you think you have seen all the cynicism Humankind is capable of…. along comes KK….

      • I got that too. XW had controlled every step of the separation (engineering a confrontation; telling me the marriage was over; leaving me and the kids for a rental, all without any admission – still to this day – that she was having an affair), but I finally did ONE thing on my own: I contacted a lawyer and filed for divorce. My lawyer wanted to have her served in person at work, but I said we could email her a copy of the filing, and I even sent XW a warning email a day or so ahead of time so she would be prepared. Sometimes I look back on it and am amazed at how polite I was.

        XW still called me crying, accused me of “ambushing” her. I don’t know why she was so upset – she was the person who wanted the divorce, and she knew it was coming. Probably because it was the first time in the process that she didn’t control the timing and she was experiencing just a tiny hint of what it’s like to not be in control of your own life.

        XW has thrown it in my face several times since then, as if I should be ashamed that I filed for a divorce that *she* wanted without consulting with her first. It’s just one of many interactions that convinced me that her sense of right and wrong is totally out of alignment with mine; now I just do whatever I think is right and ignore her commentary.

        • IG, similar here. He left, I found out about the affair, which is still denied (in spite of the emails I found, which were explicit). Took legal advice (I am a lawyer in the UK but family law isn’t my bag). I wrote a ‘without prejudice’ email headed ‘moving on with our respective lives’ 1 month later. After a further month he responded, accusing me of aggression by use of the words ‘without prejudice’. He would agree to a divorce as long as he could review and approve the ‘unreasonable behaviour’ allegations first. Time went by, while I got through my 60th birthday and Valentine’s. And had therapy and let the anti-depressants kick in. We arranged to meet to discuss the way forward. At a pub we had never been to, of my choice. I refused to allow him to spread his largesse by buying me lunch. I rejected his attempts to hug and touch me. The meeting was difficult. There came a point when he asked ‘what happens next’. I smiled sweetly and said ‘I started divorce proceedings on the grounds of your UB online last night. The court will serve them on you in the next week’. His face ????. There have been times of huge trial because he made the divorce as difficult as he could. I had no idea that, when on a trip to NY for Fashion Week (he’s in that trade), NY had no email facilities ????‍♀️. Huge sadness, much weeping, wonderful friends, a beautiful dog, keeping my home, working 6 days a week, plus divorce admin. However, that few seconds, based on a hard-headed strategy, showed him just how strong and mighty I am. More importantly I got my power back. I will never give it away again.

  • Three words: “I’ll consider it.”

    Each time she insisted I act or behave a certain way to put on a happy smiley face ‘for our children,” each time she requested copies of some photos or videos I’d taken during private time with them “because I want to share in their lives,” each time she expected some form of deference to her preferred way of doing things (to which she’d become accustomed over 20 years), I uttered these words of defiance.

    Drove her fucking crazy.

    • I love this! It has been so liberating to me too to realize I can say no!

      I realize now that I got so bulldozed by him. Any time I would raise concerns about something, he’d just ramble on endlessly until I gave up and agreed.

      My power words were, “I already said no. Stop asking me.”

      He could NOT BELIEVE he couldn’t break through my ‘no’ to get what he wanted. He raged and screamed and threatened. But that only served to show me who he really was.

      Boundaries are awesome!

  • It took me awhile to figure out he was cheating. Gradually he became more critical of me. He would say things like” only a person like you would think that.” He would pick on how I parked my car in the garage. Would call me names. If he needed to get around me he would just walk right into me. There were several times that he did not even wait for me to be seated in the car he would just drive off as I was getting in. Then pretend he thought I was already seated. And of course blamed me that I was to slow. He would get out of the car and walk into buildings and never waited for me. As his affair went on his he got more verbally abusive and hostile. Then his nastiness turned on our son. He was living with us until he could save money for his own place. The last year before I found out about my cousin. He would yell at my because he parked his car in the wrong spot in the driveway. Then when he parked where he told him. He would yell at him for being stupid and parking in the wrong spot. He made our son feel so unwanted and uncomfortable living with us. He moved out. I later found out that he told my cousin that he could not leave me because of our son.
    After I found out about Skankella we decided we would work on our marriage. He agreed never to see her or speak to her again. And he actually did. About one year after I signed into Facebook. I did not realize that it was his account(we shared a computer). I noticed a friends request from his high school girlfriend He did not accept it. But, I noticed that he messaged her his phone number. On our cell phone records I noticed a odd number. He was talking to her and texting her daily. I called her and asked her what was going on. She said that yes they were talking. That it was innocent and she knew he was still married. I told her about his affair with my cousin and told her if she wants him she could have him I was done. He of course denied talking to her. Said he thought it was me trying fool him. I packed his cloths in garbage bags and threw them in the driveway.

    • Cuzchump,
      Good for you! I had similar devaluing behaviour towards the end. Such as, my STBX hated mornings and I usually made him a coffee as he was struggling to awake. But during the affair stage, he would get annoyed with me and say, “I’m not ready for coffee”, or “Just put it over there.” In the morning drive on our way to work, I would be chatting away to him and he barked at me, “Your incessant talking rattles me and I can’t focus. You know I have an important job and you are fucking up my day.” I like to go for walks and hikes. It was really hit and miss if he would go with me. One day I asked him and he said, “Quit asking me to go for walks with you. I don’t want to go with you and I will never, ever walk with you so stop asking me.”
      The cruel behaviour like that ramped up and up until the end where, quite abusively, he started love bombing me again.

  • My suburban sat with a flat tire for two weeks. I had AAA but thought he should deal with it. I finally got the spare on but don’t remember how or who did this and I borrowed the money from my dad and bought a much needed new set. He didn’t ask how I paid for them but only commented that they were not as good as the previous ones ( had to go cheaper) and seriously whined that it looks like I didn’t need him anymore. I didn’t say a word.

    When the ex said the only connection he had to the house were his clothes in the closet while the kids were looking out the door to make sure I was okay because they knew he was angry- I no longer washed or folded his clothes. They were his to deal with from that point on. Plus why do the work when he was dropping them for others.

    I began cooking what the kids and I enjoyed as opposed to his dislikes. I left nothing out for him to loudly eat and rattle whenever he decided to come home with me getting up and having to clean again in the morning. He eventually sadz that I didn’t cook for him anymore.
    Sad but funny thing was once I saw him in the grocery store as I was buying ice cream for the kids one summer evening. He never in the history of our relationship shopped for us or asked if we needed anything. It was so awkward for both of us. He had nice steaks with all the trimmings that did not come into our home. Many months later he whined that I didn’t speak to him in the grocery. I swear he left me speechless quite a bit.

    Our court date a couple of months back that he initiated was that I was addressed by the court by my maiden name- yes fuck you. You don’t own me. Also I said testified to things he ever thought I would. That was a huge rebellion! I did it and he knows I know so much more and if he keeps going it’ll all come out on public records. He was literally on the edge of his seat hunched towards the stand.I hope his asshole never loosens thinking that anyone has access to those records.

  • Mine took a few years. AP was at on her porch during child exchange. I smiled and asked him how it was going. He said great how are you? I said great and smiled! Tiny but amazing. Civility is its own form of power

  • Two incidents. At the time of the first one, I was still clueless chump, I just knew things weren’t good. To try to find things we could go together, we used to rollerblade. He never like it that much because I was better than him. But, two tones come to mind. One was when he grabbed me and tugged so I would fall. Yowza! I thought I broke my arm.
    The second was when he crushed over a cross street before me right before a car and then told me it was clear and to ‘come on’. Looking back—-what kind of spouse would do that?
    The final straw was years later after a 3 year attempt at reconciliation, out of the clear blue, I asked to see his phone. He went berserk. Our two grown sons were home. It was right after Christmas.
    I started laughing and said ‘I’m DONE!’
    Honestly, I was relieved. It needed to be done. He could never call it. I’m glad and proud I had the balls to call it quits.
    Here’s to all the chumps who have the courage to say ‘no more!’

    • These things are so frightening.

      When I think of the last couple times we went out on our boat, alone on the Ohio River, I cringe.

      Years after we D’d, I remember seeing the Lacy Peterson story and my blood ran cold.

      • My blood still runs cold thinking about my ex and what he was capable of. I do think he contemplated murdering me (over my wedding china). He stuck his Grampa’s shotgun in my face after my conversation with his twu wuv. I told him if he pulled the trigger it was going to be an awful mess trying to clean blood and brains out of the wool wall-to-wall carpet on the sly. After he left, I called the sheriff to take me to my parents after consulting my attorney. The only thing he was really scared of was Federal prison.

    • The inability to hand over the cell phone at any time, is guilt. As soon as mine did that I knew he was cheating, nothing more to really know.

  • I had spent my whole marriage with Cheater being very accommodating and compliant…he was Latin, a US Marine and Catholic…all very patriarchal. HE chose what city we live in, what house we bought, what cars we drove. I worked a job to pay the difference between his salary and his overly expensive tastes.

    After years of blithely accepting him telling me where we would move and when, after Day, he was accustomed to me complying, I knew, however, that an ill-advised move could screw me and the kids.

    Part of his version of crazy was to always want a geographical solution to everything (here is bad, there is better so we will move). The kids finally had friends and I had a good job. I was unfortunately doing quite a pick-me dance but I firmly decided that it DID NOT INCLUDE MOVING.

    I live on the east coast of the US and OW was in Seattle. Cheater got a job in Calif and moved there for 1.5 years (claiming he was not with ow at the time but simply working there). I never did and never will untangle the skein of lies from that time but he tried to get us to move to CA (with a plan to divorce me or not, I don’t know) – but I refused.

    He eventually moved home (I think he and OW broke up but I don’t know) and bought a bigger house 3 miles from our old house in the same school district but he never stopped saying “were moving here, were moving there”.

    I am not positive but I may have coined the term “wreckonciliation” and surely it was one. He droned on about moving here or there every damn day of his life. My emotions were everywhere, but my physical heels were firmly planted in the dirt of the town where my kids were going to high school.

    Our house and lot cost more than we should have ever borrowed, but they are lovely. Once day in his 5000th rant about moving, he said “this place is a hell hole of horror”. I calmly responded that “the hell hole of horror is between your ears”.

    I had been cajoling him to act like a decent father and husband too long and I was done. I was ready for him to go do whatever it was his sorry ass wanted to do. I knew he had been applying for jobs in Calif. I was trudging up the stairs at work saying a quiet prayer “God, if there is a place he can be happy, I release him to go there” and I readied myself for him to leave for Calif. Apparently God knew him better than I did because he did not leave for CA, he suddenly dropped dead.

    At one point in the whole thing, in 2006, he wanted to sell everything, move to San Francisco and buy a $900,000 house (way more than we could afford with the tiny ant of home quite we had accumulated). I refused despite his vicious insistence. In 2008, the floor fell out of real estate and we would have lost everything.

    My uncharacteristic stubborn refusal to do what he said saved us.

    • and by “us” I mean me and the kids…and in an odd sort of way, him.

      • “I was trudging up the stairs at work saying a quiet prayer “G-d, if there is a place he can be happy, I release him to go there” and I readied myself for him to leave for Calif. Apparently G-d knew him better than I did because he did not leave for CA, he suddenly dropped dead.”

        Wow. Just wow. It’s interesting how prayer works. Through all the evil, I willed myself to not wish ill on him or OW. I just kept praying for strength. I kept praying for the safety and protection of me and my son. You prayed for your ex to be released to wherever he’d be happy. Nothing wrong with that! 🙂

        Sounds like he was wound up pretty tight.

  • I was paying the cell phone bill ( hell I was paying ALL the bills) so I dropped his phone line and changed the wifi password to FU_x’s name. It was small and petty but years later I still don’t regret it a bit. He was using the phone and wifi I paid for to communicate w the OW. The least he could do was pay for his own means of cheating.

    • Yes! I love that, who does he think he is?! Use my money for your selfish lifestyle. Xo

    • Lol! I dropped his cheating phone in the toilet. He kept all his passwords and pin numbers for every account her had anywhere in his phone, so he had to sort all that out. Damn, was he ever pissed off. I had control of the money by then so he couldn’t even buy a new phone. He had to use his work phone to look at porn, which I think was what bothered him the most. He was afraid management would find out because the workplace was the ISP.
      This was also petty, but it sure was fun.

      • My pettiness was “testing” the house alarm remotely in the middle of the night since the account was in my name. I left him and the house that represented so much hope but in the end only represented nothing but heart ache. Pretty sure he shat himself a few times because that alarm was loud! I laugh out loud about it even writing this 8 years later!

        • Whoopsie Daisy! If home alarm systems were a thing (it was the mid ’80s so they were non-existent) during my “separation” (where he wouldn’t leave) I can imagine myself doing this!

          OMG, I love this so much!

    • The shit they do with cell phones just pisses me off. Nothing wrong with making him pay for his own crap. My ex husband was paying the cell phone bill during our marriage and just a few weeks before D day he had upgraded me to a new phone. It was with sprint and they merged with t mobile and I wanted to try to get it transferred to my new account but I couldn’t. I was willing to pay whatever it took. And the t mobile guy was a prick who told me I was just going to need to pay my husband and hope he didn’t shut it off on me and I didn’t have any authority on the account and he didn’t even have to speak to me. I was begging them for help. He seemed to get off on my distress while the other guy in the store looked like he felt terrible for me but seemed scared of the asshole guy. Asshole told me it was my problem.

      I was in the store immediately after finding my ex husband’s ejaculate hardened in my bathtub and on my shower door. He had come to the house while I was away and beat off in my shower. It was a very hard day for me.

      So I said “no it’s actually his fucking problem. I can throw this phone at him and tell him to go fuck himself and go get my own and I’m not responsible for this piece of shit at all, right? It’s only in his name, right? I’m fucking nobody, right? I’m not even on the account, you don’t even know me. I can smash the shit out of it right now and it’s not my fucking problem, right? You can’t charge me for a damn thing, can you?”

      Asshole started making a gasping fish face at me and turned bright red and I swear the quiet guy smiled at me a little and I walked out of the store.

      Factory reset on the phone, gave it to our son. “Grats, you got a brand new, latest model, expensive phone!” Went out and got my own phone. Found out later the ex had another phone on our plan, (for his girlfriend) which is probably why he had it locked down from me so I couldn’t access anything, and probably why the guy in the store was being a shit. He probably knew because my ex is a loudmouth who would brag about that. Boy they sure showed me though. LOL I had to pay… nothing. And got completely free of him.

      • Crusty semen in your bathroom ? ???? Like a monkey at the zoo that flings his ????

        • Yes, it had been about a week when I found it so I had to scrape it off with a razor blade and at first I was thinking, what is this? It’s like glue… Then it hit me and I was pissed. He actually came by the day I found it right after I’d scraped it out and I confronted him in front of our garage completely enraged. He said he couldn’t have done it because he didn’t take a shower and I could ask our son, he wasn’t wet.

          Our adult son looked disgusted and said you don’t have to get wet or take a shower to do that. When he left my son told me he was trying to play it like I was crazy, he told him, “I’m worried about your mom, look out for her.” And son was offended, as if he wouldn’t protect his mother. And he had seen how his father discarded me and delighted in my breaking down, he knew he wasn’t worried about me.

      • I had been inadvertently paying my husband’s burner phone. He had this word salad reason that he kept another phone for work. He always told me that his work was actually paying a stipend to him for keeping that phone for business and it was in his pay packet so technically, he said, we were getting reimbursed for it so not to worry. After he left, he wouldn’t take that fucking number off my account – I was paying for my phone, my daughter’s phone and the burner phone. It took a year to solve with me yelling and ranting like a lunatic at the managers at my mobile provider. When I finally got the big boss on the phone I said, “By not removing this phone you are abusing me because I’m paying for the phone my husband used to buy whores and cheat on me. If you don’t remove this phone from my account I’m going to the media with a story of how you are abusing me.” Well, lo and behold! They finally removed that phone from my account. But, that also meant $1200 I didn’t ever need to pay.

        • Good for you! It astounds me how they help them abuse with the phone crap. Like a disgusting boys’ club supporting each other.

  • My first moment of liberation began when I decided I didn’t have to live with an alcoholic. That was a huge un-chumping step. But then I took a thousand steps back and got involved with Jackass. The only good part of that is that as a result, I found Chump Lady and started to figure things out—like “I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy” and “live in the present” and “feelings don’t last forever.”

    Clearly, I’m a slow learner in some areas, but the struggle has been worth it.

  • I had several of these moments before I gained full lucidity. But one that really stands out what when I realized we were losing our home. I had discovered that he had not been paying the mortgage in more than six months. I also found evidence of cheating, so even though he denied, I strongly suspected where the money had mysteriously vanished to.

    I remember that we were sitting in the car outside the house, having just returned from church. I was trying to sort through how to get out of the foreclosure, and I was also worried about how much work the house needed–plumbing issues, repainting, etc. The EX had started painting the exterior a couple of years before, but he had left it, and now it had only one wall painted, and the rest still the same.

    I pointed that out to him and asked him when he could get to it. (He had a construction business, so it’s not like he didn’t know how to do it.) He went into a long ramble about how he would get to it someday, but his real goal was to put an addition on the house. He wanted a swimming pool for the yard and a bigger master bedroom with another bathroom, etc, etc. I looked at him, and I suddenly realized just how far from reality his brain was. Here we were living in a dump that he had totally failed to do even basic maintenance on, and it was six months behind in the bills because of his whoring around, and he was telling me he was putting off doing anything about it because he wanted to put in a swimming pool.

    I started crying and said, “How can you talk like that? We’re behind in the bills. We can’t even fix the plumbing in the bathroom right now.”

    He said, “I guess I just have more faith in God than you do.”

    I stared at him and said, “I want a divorce.”

    I sort of backtracked a few minutes later when he started raging at me for using the D-word. But I knew in my heart right at that moment that I had said exactly what I wanted. It took me another four years to get free of him. But that was the turning point.

    • They shouldn’t make our lives so hard. For real!
      I live by myself now (well, with my two cats)???? ????‍⬛ and it’s nice to be in charge of everything! We chumps are so competent.

    • Looking back on like with Cheater, much of it was crazy but there were times (likely during times of specific affairs) that were more crazy but after I learned of Susan of Seattle, that era oflife with him was off the charts gaslighting, shape shifting insanity.

      In that time (the worst was about 5 months long) he acted like a loon but told me I needed to respect him and any questioning was met with wild hostility. During those 5 months, it was common for him to start a day discussing (in detail) how we would remodel our house, halfway through the day he was repeating his intent to divorce me and by evening, he wanted “us” to purchase a new big home together.

      He would get furious if I didn’t take each and every one of these schemes VERY seriously.

      The scary ideas are when he would suggest that we buy an expensive house but I realized he was still planning to divorce me. The less expensive house we loved in at the time would have been better for me and the kids.

      On the weekend of Dday, we looked at a house I thought we were considering together but I realized after I learned of OW that he wanted to “set me and the kids up” so that people couldn’t fault him for how he left us. Trouble was, the plan he was hatching (which eventually had him marrying OW) would only have worked if he made about $300,000 a year and he only made half that.

      I will forever wonder if OW broke up with him after she did the math. The fiance she would have had to dump for my cheater was apparently wealthy.

      If someone came to me telling the story I was living at that point, I would tell them to run like hell, divorce him and be the sane parent. I was spoking hopium and refused. I did not go for the generous settlement he had offered early on. No one should do what I did.

      • After we looked at an expensive house (a Saturday) , he made an appt with a mortgage broker for Monday but on Sunday I learned of OW. I went to the mortgage meeting with him just so I would hear what he said so I could sabotage the deal. He presented himself to the mortgage guy as a married guy with stable finances. If he had tried to sell our house and but the big one, I was going to call the mortgage guy and tell him we were divorcing.

      • “The scary ideas are when he would suggest that we buy an expensive house but I realized he was still planning to divorce me. The less expensive house we loved in at the time would have been better for me and the kids.”

        This is what happened to my best friend who was also married to a police officer. He showered her with reconciliation shit and moved them from their small starter house to a more expensive one, sent her flowers at work, etc.

        within weeks of the day they moved in the new house he abandoned her for his whore.

        She came out with nothing, as he had spent the money from their starter house. Had she stayed put, she could have managed to stay in her house, with her job and child support.

        After the D he also quit paying child support. He owed her over three thousand dollars, and this was back in the late eighties, so that was a lot of money. She asked me if I thought it was worth taking him to court. I said yep, he owes it and whether he pays it to a lawyer or to you he needs to pay it.

        She did get her back support. He had to borrow the money from his mom (so he said) but that wasn’t her problem.

      • They really are out of their frickin’ minds aren’t they! I had a great job in Switzerland when I met my FW. I felt I owed it to him to give it a shot in the US even though I loved being in Switzerland, so we moved to D.C. because he was going to “walk straight into a job with the Secret Service” (didn’t happen). After 6 months working at a law firm I got a job at the World Bank but he was schlepping around from one stupid job to another until he got a job at the Postal Service, sorting mail, night shift. After 2 years of that he was DESPERATE to move back to Pittsburgh. I argued and argued because – hell, and with all due respect to Pittsburgh – I didn’t leave Birmingham, England to end up in Pittsburgh. But apparently I did because he requested a transfer and I gave up another good job so he could live near mommy and 10 million other relatives (who were nice people but they weren’t gonna buy me a house were they), so I started working for myself while looking after my baby typing up court transcripts and proof reading French. I missed Switzerland but loved being able to stay home with my baby. After 2 more years and him HATING being still on the night shift sorting mail, I was offered a job back in Switzerland and we BOTH jumped at it. I had all the expat benefits – great medical and pension benefits, education grant, home leave, relocation and so on and he managed to get a decent-ish job too after a while. We bought a home in the French alps just across the border and were set. Just the usual crazy schedule of both parents working full-time with 2 kids. So somewhere around year 15 he decided he “wanted to move to Montana and build a log cabin”???? We were living in the French alps with good jobs – why not build a bleedin’ log cabin here? Are you out of your frickin’ mind? I’m sure Montana is lovely but neither of us had ever been there and he wanted me YET AGAIN to give up a great job with all the benefits to go out on a limb and start over so he could play the big shot in Montana. Well I finally put my foot down because (a) I didn’t want to leave Europe AGAIN and (b) because I knew if anybody was going to make that happen it was gonna have to be ME! So I told him to fly out there, get a good job with a great salary ‘cos I wasn’t going to be working any more. Oh, and he’d need great medical, a pension scheme and education benefits for the kids – and THEN we’d MAYBE fly out and join him. Well that took the shine off that idea because it was all on him – and we all know that when THEY have to make things work, well it just don’t get done does it!

        • You’re whip smart so you know what rhymes with Pittsburgh… ???? Montana is called Big Sky country. Lots of wide, open spaces. The perfect place to build a cabin in a remote place, off your spouse, and dispose of the body. Your closest neighbor could live a few miles away. Lots of gun owners in that state so IF somebody hears shotgun blasts, they wouldn’t think anything of it and call the sheriff.
          The French alps wins????❄️????????‍♀️????????

          • Ironically I’m now retired and still in the alps, and he gave up his residency to chase after latest schmoopie and lives under the flight path (beautiful home though) in Pittsburgh and hates it. They tried to get schmoopie a “green card” for France and it was refused and all I can say is THANK GOD FOR THAT! He can stay there!

            • Amuse-toi bien/have fun Attie ! My only time skiing ⛷ in France was in Alpe d’Huez.

  • My ex devalued me for three years without my knowing the cause. I explained it as depression and anxiety brought on by the death of our nephew in Afghanistan, as my ex and his sister are (un)naturally close. Once he let me in on his secret life, I went from “I’m leaving” to, after I fell for his “sad sausage” routine, naked pick-me dancing, and, as for a while he “picked me,” I danced to his tune for about a year and a half, during which the devaluing started up again.
    At a year-and-a-half, I made arrangements to housesit for a friend for a long weekend, mostly to get some time away to think. The night before I was to go over to her house, my ex said to me, “While you’re gone,” I’ll think about what I want from you.” Not “think about what we might do” but what he wanted from me. At that point, I knew where he stood, and that I was going to have to divorce him, but I was trying to get my financial ducks in a row, and thought my future financial health would be best served by continuing to live with him for several more years (yes, hopium was also at work).
    A few months later, I finally signed up for electronic banking (after my husband threw a fit early in our marriage I relinquished money management to him), and started looking through years worth of the bank records. That’s when I discovered how much more money he’d been spending than I had, despite our earning exactly the same amount. I’d been penny pinching, taking my lunch every day, wearing our son’s hand me down outerwear (I didn’t buy a new coat for at least a decade), etc., while my then-husband had been spending like a drunken sailor. At that moment, I knew my plan of staying for another year or two “for the finances” had to change.
    After that, I secretly started looking for a place to live, and I started equalizing the spending. I also secretly visited a lawyer.
    The night my now-ex told me that he “didn’t see any alternative than a divorce,” it felt supremely satisfying to say to him, “Good. Because that’s what I want, and I’ve already seen a lawyer.” The look on his face was priceless. Secrets were fine when he was keeping them, but he couldn’t conceive of my keeping anything from him.

  • I used the two months while he was living it up in Paris on his long service leave to take a very generous voluntary redundancy from my job, secure a lawyer, separate our finances, lease/equip/furnish a nice home unit near my son’s high school, pack up and move everything I wanted, and have a lovely f*ckwit-free Christmas.

    Gave a nice welcome home the night he arrived. Then at 2pm the next afternoon when he woke up I said: “I’m glad you’ve had a lovely holiday. Now I am leaving you. Good bye.” And ran out the door, jumped into my idling car and drove away very fast.

    Boom. Thank you LACGAL playbook.

      • Thank you! An unchumping moment was 18 months earlier when we started planning the trip. When I suggested I’d like to see more of Europe while we were there he went ballistic and said no its my dream trip and my long service and i’ll do what I want . He also said we can’t afford for you to come the whole three months and anyway you have to stay and look after our schoolkid. I was eventually allowed to come along with the schoolkid for a month – and we did have a lightning 12 day bus trip of a bit more of europe.
        However, even me, superchump, detected the massive entitlement there and thought that after 25 years of marriage i deserved better treatment than that. Also it was a bit obvious that living his dream didnt include me.

  • In the splitting of assets we each kept a vehicle. Because the Asshat always used his mommy-wife-appliance to manage his administrative and financial life, he assumed he needed my signature to release interest in his truck (whereas I simply had gone down to the DMV with the decree in hand and $25 and got mine changed over on my own). On the last day at my temporary apartment I received a FedEx with his original truck title and a sticky note attached saying “sign this.” No please, no thank you, no warning it was coming, just his typical cold instruction to me on how I shall perform as his appliance even post-divorce.

    For the first time in 31 years, I ignored him.

    He asked after the title days later and I simply said I didn’t live at that apartment any more. He told me that the “decent thing to do” was to go track down his FedEx envelope.

    Huh. I assert that 50 YO Asshats that abandon their wife of 3 decades with an e-mail, moving out while I was on a business trip and future faking-me up to the last moment so he could go chase a 25YO foreign twat ho-worker, do NOT get to speak to me of DECENCY.

    Gee, that original document may have fallen into my shredder, I just can’t be sure.

    • I love this! I am about 15 months out from D-Day and the divorce was five months ago. FW got married to schmoopie a couple of months ago. I also kept all the finances during our entire marriage of 40 years. In fact, he enjoyed criticizing me because I spent time keeping files and documentation. He was too important to be wasting time on such things.

      Last week, I was at the county courthouse for an hour and a half getting my vehicle titles straightened out. I have to go back next week to finish up. I HOPE, HOPE, HOPE I am finally at the end of all this “wife appliance” work! It’s been never-ending since D-Day. He would just call down and say “I need to change my address” (to schmoopie’s love shack) and then I would spend hours in detective mode trying to figure out who he had contacted and what was missing from my mailbox. Then I would have to make the effort to contact them and say, “No, this is a divorce. If you would like to be paid, you will need to work with me as I am the one paying this.” Then I would have to submit all the documentation to prove it was a divorce and separate out whose was whose……..hundreds of times. 40 years of joint EVERYTHING. Week by week by week this was my activity when I was barely able to get myself out of bed.

      I think this is one of the things I am most angry about. He packed up his clothes and his weight bench and marched himself out on D-Day all pleased with himself – leaving me with all the mess to clean up. Like a defiant teenager. I hope life slaps him upside the head every day for the rest of his life. He certainly doesn’t know what it means to be an adult. And he may or may not be receiving an ugly final billing from the one place that worked out that way. He ended up with several paper checks when I closed out our accounts which I didn’t see a dime from. Turns out there was one that will be a balance due and it makes me smile!

  • I spent 17 years after the first DDay (of compulsive, job-threatening, porn use) trying wreckonciliation and pick me dancing…slowly I got better at understanding when something was “off” so there were multiple D-days of acting out and him always forcing me to confront him, despite all our marriage counselors and me telling him the coverup was an added betrayal. I believed his lies and his promises and stuffed down my unhappiness. I lived with multiple birthdays and other holidays ruined, I lived with no wedding ring after mine didn’t fit and I begged him for help with a new one. I lived with him losing 2 high paying excellent jobs in 5 years. On Christmas Eve 2020 (oh the freaking holidays they love to ruin!) I confirmed my suspicions that he was smoking a lot of pot (I don’t care who smokes it, but it’s a dealbreaker for me, in our house, with a kid!) and went into stealth mode. I had been reading Chumplady for years but didn’t really know why… as far as I knew he wasn’t having an affair… although I had my suspicions about something, but he denied like it was going out of style…but something about the badass boundary setting and the advice about getting ducks lined up was getting me ready… I just didn’t know it. He didn’t realize that his phone messages synced with his computer (really OUR family computer that he took over for work when he lost his last job) and when he would leave each night for an hour to walk the dog I started going through his messages. To find that my suspicions about a “friend” were right… he was talking to her every night for an hour or more, plus sweet messages and texts all through the day, plus talking about their shared love of pot and alcohol. Then all kinds of confusing things started to make total sense. I called lawyers the next week day and started my escape. It’s been really hard, but my kid and I have a nice little rental now, where he has never been, and we are getting our lives together. Divorce should be final in July. I recently confirmed his affair, despite him denying it for months, because he also didn’t realize his calendar is still shared with me: every other weekend all summer long staring on Father’s day weekend, he has blocked out with her name. I had to beg to get him to take me away for a weekend our entire relationship. He sucks, and I will trust that forever now. He’s still doing crappy shit to me, but the house will be sold soon and I can take that money and build my life. Thank you to CL and everyone in CN; you set me up for success. Oh, and I’m telling him to unshare the freaking calendar today! (It was helpful for a while to catch him in multiple lies, but I need it out of my sight now for my own safety and sanity.)

    • I wouldn’t have him unshared anything until after the divorce. Keep it all for documentation cause you may need it.

      • I’ve got screenshots of a lot more than that!!! And right now my safety is worth more. It has been helpful over these last 6 months, but now it’s just harming me.

        • I agree. I had access to my husband’s email and it was more harm than good. I didn’t even get what I needed out of seeing it because we live in a no fault divorce country. But it was good for my own sanity to confirm things. Then at some point it was just really hurtful to me to look at it.

  • I left when he confessed. Ring off. Out the door. Lawyers interviewed. Papers served.

    I think my biggest un-chump move, however, was blocking him from texting a few weeks after DDay. My kids advised this act of rebellion. It may seem minor, but it was huge for me. I was so accustomed to responding and reacting to his every word and attending to his needs that ignoring him seemed almost impossible. I was truly emotionally shackled to that man.

    I gave him a warning and pressed “block contact.” He immediately hopped over to email and treated that medium like a messaging app. I received dozens of emails within that hour. I didn’t respond and felt powerful and non-chumpy!

    Yes, I still remain in email contact, but it’s all business all the time.

    For Chumps, NC remains one of our most powerful anti-venoms.

    • Once he left the one thing I did like you was to not go after him. I did tell him he wanted the D, he needed to file as that was what was best for me.

      I let him come back once on his request, and it was a horrible mistake, but I never once called him, checked up on him and whore, or make any attempt to get him back. Now before he left I did some frantic pickme dancing, but once he moved out nope. It wasn’t a big plan on my part, it was just that it took all my energy to stand up straight and go to work. Also, I think it was a little bit of pride on my part. I just wasn’t going to give either of them any satisfaction. It worked for me, and I am glad it went down that way.

      Part of me wishes I had kicked him out and filed. But, I know that him filing was best for me financially, and emotionally. Also, it put him in a crimp because I know he wanted to tell folks that we were having problems and I kicked him out; but he tried. But I am glad others got to do that.

      • Susie Lee,

        Woulda, coulda, shoulda. There’s no one right way. You did what you had to do for you.


        • I had an old flip phone and if my ex started spewing at me during our divorce I would snap that thing shut with a satisfying crack. If he called back I’d let it go to voicemail and text him later that I must have driven through a cell phone hole. Eventually trained him to only email me.

          • Generations that won’t know the satisfaction of slamming down the phone ☎️ receiver ????

  • When I had to be around the OW for an entire day at an event for our shared hobby, and he gave me the silent treatment afterwards for being “rude” to her when I was trying so hard to be nice that it was giving me an anxiety attack. I realized that he would rather make the OW feel comfortable than to worry about my well-being and it didn’t last for more than a week or two after that.

  • I insisted FW leave the house the very day I found the evidence that explained his awful behavior for the last two years.

    He had returned from a multi day hunting trip on a Sunday. He quickly showered and rushed out the door to go to “his brother’s.” While he was gone I started digging, found the worst, fell to the floor and seriously contemplated suicide. Instead I called my bestie.

    She helped me breathe through that first awful hour after discovery. And we made a plan.

    I called FW and told him I needed him home. When he arrived I simply said, “I know everything, and if you think you’re staying one more night in this house you’re sadly mistaken.”

    He slinked into the bedroom and packed a bag. I gave him 2 days to get the rest of his stuff out of the house.

    My FW is a conflict avoidant coward. So this strategy worked for me, and helped me regain a tiny bit of sanity by taking back my power.

    The sweet irony is his AP was also married so he actually had to go stay at his brother’s!

    • Reminds me of a true legend/hunting trip story: Deer hunting trip, wife packed for her husband, but put all of his under ware inside his gun case. After 3 days, husband came back FURIOUS that wife failed to pack his “tighty whities” for such a long weekend at deer camp.
      Now he is XH.
      *I hope he had dirty, holy under ware on the first day.

  • I didn’t yet know I was a chump then, but just before D-Day, I was cooking while sparkledick was ranting about how I was messing up our finances and disqualifying me in general.

    He was pissed off that I didn’t want to help pay for his brother’s MIL’s funeral (the guy actually is a bigamist. He has always been mean to me because one day I happened to run into unofficial family #2).

    I will never forget the look on sparkles’ face when I put down my knife and looked into his eyes and said: “Listen, sparkles, I am NOT afraid of you. Shut the fuck up”.

    • The temptation to put that knife somewhere the sun don’t shine must have been great. It happened to me just one time and I scared myself, but well done you!

  • It was when, during a brief period of false wreckonciliation after discovery, I came down the stairs lugging a laundry basket and my ex said “I’ve got to go somewhere for a minute” and simply left the house.

    I was stunned that he would think it was okay to sketchily peace out with no explanation during the delicate period we were in, and stood there just looking confused for a minute. Finally I turned my attention back to the laundry basket I had dropped, and noticed that he had left his laptop and email open right above it on the kitchen bar.

    I hit “Sent” and saw that he had recently (over the past several days, and once directly after an *encounter* we had—cringe) been emailing emotional missives to the OW. At this point there had been a lot of “trickle truth,” and I wasn’t even surprised. I had passed the ability to be surprised anymore. I was just grossed out.

    I realized I had done everything in my power to accommodate him, and that NOTHING was ever going to keep him satisfied…that he was the kind of person who was born and would always be grasping, clutching, clawing for more more more. And suddenly I felt free.

    I forwarded the emails to myself. I picked my laundry back up and started folding it. When he came back in, I said “Hey, we’re separating. I saw the emails. I’m just done. I would never want her [gesturing to the baby] to grow up thinking this kind of treatment is okay in a relationship. And children don’t do what they’re told, they do what they see. So I have to live that out in front of her and hope she grows up to be someone who respects herself.”

    I have never once regretted it. One of the worst but best days ever, it turned out.

  • Just thought of another one.

    In the first days after the divorce was final I ran around to all of the financial entities in our lives and split everything, decree in hand. The Asshat had already blown out of town to so dealing with the actual splitting of money was on me (of course). I made absolutely sure that every nickel he was owed, half of every account, was collected up in checks and sent to him. Most were cashiers checks but I did write one personal check from our joint account that included his entire last paycheck and a business expense reimbursement he had auto-deposited the Friday before. Even though the deposits showed up officially pre-divorce it felt ethical to me that those really belonged to him since we were mere days from done, and those alone were about $8K. On the advice of the bank I then closed that account, leaving that final money to clear when he presented the check.

    Bizarrely, he never cashed that $8K check. All the cashier’s checks cleared but the personal account one didn’t come through. After several months I checked with my bank to find out what might have happened and they were absolutely sure that it was not presented and rejected, etc. They advised me that after 6 months I could consider it void and didn’t even need to stop payment. I wondered if they were wrong and he had tried to cash it but it came back rejected on a closed account and in his cheater’s guilt he never called me to ask for a new one, but they were quite sure.

    Having heard no complaint from him (he didn’t even mention it during the truck title conversion 2 months later) old chumpy me would have contacted him to find out what the problem was with the $8K check, did he need me to write a new one, how could I fix this for him? New, wiser me simply let the clock run out and at 6 months and 1 day I added the $8K back to my account.

    I am never going to be his appliance again.

  • I filed the day before my son was born and felt ready to move on after so much word Salad. 2 weeks later he hovered me back in and he moved back in the home. If I wasn’t such a hormonal mess, I’d have stuck with my decision to divorce and regret daily I didn’t stick with my gut about him. Assholes are always assholes. For all the ones thinking they’ve learned and changed, they haven’t. And they’ll never treat you with respect or kindness if you ever need to make sense of their stupidity, it won’t happen because they have no remorse. They want what suits themselves, not you, not their kids, not even the new supply. They care about themselves only. I’ve learned this the hard way. 20 years in when I could have been free after 6 and started a new life with my 3 kids. And now at at a loss what to do with 19, 15, 11 and a really shitty “marriage”. Get out if you can and never look back, you’re making the right decision. Trust issues with always haunt if you stay and change the rest of your life.

    • My story closely reflects yours. I discovered he was cheating on me with a client I worked with when I was 3 months pregnant. I made him move out. Separated for about 2 months while he continued to cheat with that woman. The same, he hoovered me back in with broken promises and telling me he would change. Countless cheating since. I never had proof it was physical but always suspected. This last year he disclosed countless physical cheating. Ultimately the deal breaker was the 7 years he spent in a sexual and emotional affair with his stepsister- when he disclosed this in Feb. I was done. 15 years of my life wasted in a shitty “marriage”. Getting out now- regret every time I stayed with him. Absolutely trust issues will always haunt you and being betrayed changes your life!
      I’m a chump, but determined to do better. I really haven’t had rebellion but I did make him move out. I’m going to hold him to his promise to leave me everything since he cheated repeatedly after he made that promise.

  • I put one moment of Chump Rebellion already on this thread, but I wanted to add another: Reading Chump Lady blog. I found it whilst still married to the EX, and I showed it to him (because that is what chumps do) and talked about how I related to some things CL said. He talked about how judgmental and harsh she was and how it didn’t apply to him.

    I agreed with what he said… but in my heart, I wasn’t so sure. I kept reading it.

    • I had not given much thought to the fw and the whore for many years. Then they blew up their relationship with my son and sons family (long story). It pissed me off and I searched for narcissistic men and wham up came CL. Out of curiosity I pulled it up and I was gob smacked at the commonality of my cheater and the others.

      I had buried some anger at myself early on, because he had treated me like shit and I internalized it and buried it. I realized then that the anger I had was at myself for letting him treat me as a doormat. Reading CLs stuff freed me of a lot of it and I finally told my bother all that had happened.

      My husband already knew a lot of it, but I opened up more. It was good for me. I was able to forgive myself and understand that I did the very best I could given the era and my own situation.

      My son did the best he could to mend the situation, and as his dad got sicker, he was able to have some calm times with him. The minute his dads ashes were taken care of he hopped on a plane back home and has not spoken to the whore, nor has his wife or kids since. In fact he said when he walked in the door his wife said. We have taken a lot to give you some time with your dad, are we now through with those people?

      My daughter in law told our granddaughter that if she wanted to maintain a relationship with her step grandmother, it was totally up to her and she would not interfere with it. Granddaughter said nope. Whore said horrible things to and about the granddaughter, guess that ship sailed.

      Then my brother and his wife died on the same day and since then he (my son) has been focused on taking care of their estate. He was really close to my brother and they had such great plans for this summer. Those plans are gone, but he and his wife will most likely buy out my brothers house and truck and they will stay there.

      I am so glad I got to open up to my brother, he helped me a lot.

  • My “I’m done” moment was hundreds of humiliations after I should have reached the point. I was trauma bonded and invested in our 27 years together.

    Divorced and free now—- that’s all that matters.

  • My un-chump moment came when I offered Mr. Sparkles a settlement to expedite the divorce and he balked – said it wasn’t enough for all the “sweat equity” he contributed to our life/house. Given that I had about $100K in sunk costs from absorbing 5 stepchildren ages 6-13 in to our life for 11 years (camps, airfares, school supplies, holidays, etc.)… I felt I was actually being generous… but not in the eyes of his entitlement-oriented mind.

    So, I dusted off the pre-nup that he signed before we married (as well as an amendment he signed after we married)… submitted that to the court with my divorce petition… hired a lawyer (I had originally file pro se) without telling him… our first time in front of the judge and the his motion to set aside the pre-nup was DENIED. I knew from that moment on I could do this and see it through with courage I didn’t know I possessed… that is how you beat these fuckwits… one win at a time… one step forward at a time… don’t try to tackle in all at once… get some victories early on and they will inspire you to carry on!

    Rock on Chump Nation! You’ve got this!

  • I THOUGHT of a good one! XH will never even know about….
    For decades, I had a brand new “wife car” every 2 years, based on XH position at this company.
    He was slightly superior in his attitude about them, complained and moaned about it.

    Recently, due to a series of “oops”, I wound up buying a temporary 14 year old mini van I was supposed to drive a few weeks and give to a family member. Rusted out sides, but great interior and excellent mechanical care had been taken of this van. Currently still driving van until — well, until I decide not to. Got a great new work contract, I can afford anything I want, really. Currently, I want to drive this van. I have helped move SO much stuff with it….

    *Even though we have been NC for years, every time I drive it to work, I get a smug smile on my face knowing exactly how goofy I look, and how little I actually care about “car envy”, how much better life is making my own decisions. New world, people.

  • As soon as he fessed up, I immediately left, tossed my ring, hired a lawyer, served him with papers. Then I became laser focussed on the finances, selling homes, getting rid of years of stuff, and securing a good divorce agreement. Typically I’m not the best at compartmentalizing, but in this case (when it really counted), I led, what some might call, oddly enough, a double life. Business by day. Tears at night.

    But probably the un-chumpiest thing I did was block him from texting.

    He had a tantrum via email (dozens of texts in an hour). And it’s no wonder. I’d been responding and, yes, catering to that man for 35 years. It was as if I’d cut the umbilical cord. He flailed.

    And in that moment, I realized the awesome power of NC!

    I also felt powerful when my lawyer said, “He doesn’t get to call the shots anymore.” Amen to that!

    Rock on, fellow chumps!! I’m inspired by you.

    • Apologies for my nearly identical comments. It’s a mystery to me why my first one didn’t appear at first but then later did.????????‍♀️Oh well!

  • I will always cherish telling LTC FuckFace in front of his All Black Motorcycle Club, “It doesn’t matter if you fuck young, beautiful women, you will still be fat and old.” The stunned looks on those cheater’s faces was my sweet uppity fuck you. They were all old retired army vets, all fat and all cheating with much younger whores. That dumbass really thought he could ride around with that whore wearing my helmet and I’d just sweetly comply. I will always hate him for betraying me like that. If I’d joined an All White Anything he would have imploded.

    It makes me happy just to remember the incredulous expressions on all of their fuckfaces. I am a nice Lady, introverted, quiet and a homebody. I was a good wife. I don’t think they knew I had a voice. I sacrificed so much for his military career. He repaid me with public humiliation and betrayal. Fuck him and his All Black Motorcycle Club. They have no honor.

    I cannot wait to be divorced. I will receive 50% of his Military Pension, 50% of his TSP as a GS employee, 33 1/3% of his income. I pray to all the gods that he is ordered to pay my legal fees over the past two years. That is my grand Fuck You, receiving what the state says is mine. I can not wait.

    • Major Cheaterpants was a Fred Flintstone sort of guy…Folgers coffee and Head & Shoulders shampoo. OW got him drinking tea with rosebuds in it, using fancy shampoo and skin cream. One day I told him that he looked like something out of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and she wouldn’t be done with him until she had turned him into a SF metrosexual.

      It was one of the few times I ever made fun of him to his face in all the years. He couldn’t deny that she wasn’t OK with who he was but was trying to change him. He got mad as hell and raged, but it was totally worth it.

    • Yes, Thirtythreeyearsachump! I am always grateful for the sacrifices our military families make! I can only imagine how hard it is. Thank you for YOUR service. And I’m glad you dumped his sorry ass!

  • My final act of chump rebellion: the abusive cheating drunk told me he would be going to a summer party on a chartered boat with his company. They always drink. A LOT. Booze not allowed at that state park. Company gave people parking passes (not Uber passes) which meant a bunch of drunk drivers woozing their way through the canyon with families going up to the lake. After FW sent me pics of him drinking DIRECTLY FROM A BOX OF WINE, took said pics and forwarded to the county sheriff and reported along with names, descriptions, plate numbers. Called my attorney (who I’d been setting up for action). Got me, kid, and pets out temporarily. Waited. No surprise when I got a drunk text meant for sleazy married schmoopie, and a call from sheriff telling me he’d been arrested for DUI and I needed to collect the car. When I did that jail call my response was (as he so often had lectured me) I’M NOT YOUR FUCKING MOMMY.

    • I wish I’d told him let whoever his current fuck was to get him out when he called me. He may have tried others first idk. He told me where his money was and to meet him there. 150 mph trying to beat a hwy patrol that was getting ready call in helicopters to stop him on a motorcycle. He was already pulled then took off.
      He was thrilled the patrolman noted he thought he would have been stopping a younger person. Zero remorse of the danger he put others in. Like a lot of wealthy antisocials he pretty much got away with it. Lost his license temporarily but paid people to drive him.
      Then had the balls to make sure I replaced what wasn’t needed for bail because ya know he has no trust because he’s untrustworthy.

  • I received a text message at 12:30PM on a Friday while I was at work, from his AP. After a year of lies, gaslighting, uncertainty and feeling like I “knew” something was wrong but could not figure it out, everything became instantly clear.

    Within one hour of that first text, the locks were changed at the house, I scheduled an appointment with a pitbull lawyer, and made arrangements to move my muscle car out of the storage garage (that was in his name) and to a safe location. I filed for divorce 5 days later.

    My rebellion began when I refused to speak to him on the phone for those first 2 weeks and would only communicate through text. It was the first time in our marriage where I didn’t try to compromise or “make peace” with him. I put a boundary in place and he tried to bully me into a phone call. I was not having it and told him, “You do not get to dictate our communication. I don’t want to speak with you. Period.”

    As everyone here knows, this experience rips your heart out. It’s been the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I will forever be proud of myself for the strength that I found that day and the resilience that got me through it all with grace and dignity. Two years out from dday and I am happier than I ever dreamed I could be. Everything got better when I removed his toxic presence from my life.

  • I got left. Agency after abandonment for me comes from understanding its meaning, without minimizing.

    Abandonment in my case was nothing other than punishment.

    In Lundy Bancroft’s “Why does he do that?”, pp. 224-225, there is the following: “My clients sometimes leave a woman to punish her. Women in this position can experience the abuser’s departure as one final slap in the face […] that leaves her feeling even more humiliated and unlovable. Therefore it does not help an abused woman when people say to her: “What are you upset about? You are lucky to be rid of him.” Anyone who wants to support an abused woman’s recovery and empowerment needs to have room for both her sadness and her outrage about being left and to understand that his exit was just one more way she was walked on.
    Abusers who take off often leave other damage in their wake […] Communities that want to support abused women need to recognize that the abuser can create difficulties that endure long beyond his departure.”

    And futher, since somebody here kindly mentioned “Predators” by Anna C. Salter,
    under the chapter “Sadists” I found
    “Getting the person to trust me first. Then I knew I could do whatever I wanted. I wanted to see the pain I could cause them, the bringing them down. It was the ultimate rush. […]
    Strongest at the end when I know I’m going to let them down in some way… […]
    What I felt is when you hurt somebody physically, that goes away. When you hurt somebody emotionally, that’s never going to go away. That was the thrill.
    Vampires seem merely a metaphor for this most dangerous and harmful of human beings. The kind who emotionally drinks in the suffering of others.”

    In my case it was already the FOO.

    • Yes! I read both of those books and they both spoke to me. In Lundy’s book he said if he is intimidating during fights, blocking doorways and backing you into corners, you don’t have to ask yourself if he’ll become physical abusive, he already is. And I had to put the book down and cry. He didn’t hit me but he did those things.

      And in the sadist chapter in Anna’s book she said the sadist will pick a sexual activity the girlfriend or wife doesn’t like and that’s what they’ll demand. It’s about it not being liked. I’m not a fan of blowjobs. I did them because I loved him but I don’t really enjoy it. He became obsessed with that. How dare I not want cum in my mouth?! I couldn’t understand it. I do it, I act enthusiastic about it, why is it a problem that it’s not an activity I love? Now I get it. He would tell me he felt rejected but I was doing it! He’d tell me other women love it and what was wrong with me that I didn’t? Well, he had ED so a blowjob usually meant he went soft after 30 minutes or so, so no sex for me then, and my jaw would hurt. And if he did finish, no sex for me for awhile. So why would I love it? It just meant I didn’t have any of my needs met. But now it makes sense. He wanted me miserable.

  • Previously, we had always traveled together, so I went to India for a month without him.

  • My chump liberation campaign started in the middle of the night with one whispered word….”Okay”.
    It was said in response to him saying to me for the millionth time “If you don’t do XYZ (usually he was demanding daily sex), I’ll file for divorce!!!
    I don’t know why that night was different…I guess I was just done. So I said Okay.
    It took close to 2 years from that night for the divorce to be final (he dragged it out in every possible way), but I’m so happy I finally stood up for myself.

    • Good for you! The divorce threats they make are despicable. Mine was making those threats to try to get his way while planning to divorce me no matter what I did. POS! He didn’t get his way with those threats, but he kept trying. One day I had just had enough and told him he was bullying me. I said; “I never thought you were the kind of guy who bullies women. You do realize coercive threats are a form of spousal abuse, don’t you?” His face went white. He knew I was right and the threats stopped after that.
      He had also been threatening divorce every time we had a fight (all started by him), and my response was usually; “Have at it. I hope you like eating Ramen noodles, because I will clean you out.” Or something similar. He would fly into a rage because he knew I meant it and could totally pull it off. I did indeed pull it off. I think he’s eating beans these days. Ramen noodles aren’t allowed on his low carb diet. ????

      • Yes. I remember in the spring of the last year he wanted to buy this river front property. We went to look at it and I was not sold on it. I said I just think right now we have too much on our plate, and it would make money real right, which it already was (unknown to me why).

        He said “FINE, I will just sit home and do nothing maybe that will make you happy. He had never sat home and done nothing and unknown to me, he was furiously fucking the whore every chance he got.

        I gave in, I actually even apologized to the ass hole. We bought the property, I worked my ass off by his side getting it set up, building a deck for the trailer we put on the property, cleaned the trailer, washed and mended the curtains etc. I never once got to use that trailer, it became their get away for the summer and up until he left the day after New Years day.

        By fall, I noticed something was horribly wrong. The first thing I noticed was he was avoiding saying I love you. He said it until he got my signature on the property of course.

        I am surprised he didn’t forge my name on the papers, he had forged my name on lessor documents in the past. Then talked his way out of it. I suspect he didn’t because he knew he would be discarding me, and he did not want the legal battle of a forgery on his hands.

        I drove down there once with his mother because she wanted her vacuum back, and we caught them there. I pretty much knew we would, by then of course all the hindsight had kicked in and I knew he had been at it for several years.

        I remember once when we went down there to work, I found a bottle of “Red” perfume in the top of the medicine cabinet in the bath room. I was suspicious by then anyway. I was honestly frozen in shock for the last couple months. If I had it to do over I would have dumped that bottle and refilled it with water. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not. If I did he likely just excused it away. I am guessing that was her calling card.

  • When prodigal FW returned from his preplanned disappearance – alcoholic dirty weekend with the online bunny boiler (his family and I actually reported him as a missing person to LE, because his disappearance was that inexplicable) I was able to gain access to his phone and read all of the abuse that he and bunny boiler had discussed about inflicting upon me, as well as bunny boiler’s disturbing ‘fantasies’ about torturing and murdering women that she had shared with FW. It’s frightening how quickly the ‘nice’ facade drops when they pair up with someone as toxic and disordered as they are.

    Those exchanges were the final impetus I needed – my house locks were changed ASAP, I donated all of the possessions he had left in my home to Goodwill and his parents were notified that any attempt of his to visit my house or contact my family would result in my contacting LE.

    A few months later, FW was arrested for DUI, received a jail sentence and is banned from driving for nearly a decade; meanwhile, bunny boiler was fired from her job and discarded FW (likely a pattern of hers). I’m glad they both received the accolades that they richly deserved, and I’m even happier to have a calm, contented life – I wish I had done it sooner!

    • How were you able to get his messages from the phone company. I am trying to find messages shared between my cheating husband and his whore that have been going on for possibly two years!


      • If you have iphones, you can share location and download spy apps. I hope you get the answers and make the best decision for yourself, but I’ve come to realize that no app can give you the security that you need and deserve.

        FW had a secret phone, which none of us knew about until his return. He was also stupid enough to conceal this secret phone in his bag – I snooped through his things, found the phone and read enough that I took the phone and GTFO.

        In hindsight, I reconsidered the wisdom of taking the phone, due to safety concerns – exposure is kryptonite to someone like FW – but it provided me the information and evidence that I needed.

        • I was unaware of these secret phones – my fkwit kept his in the trunk of his car and at his office. After D-day he actually told me he had a ‘burner phone’ for years – I said ‘what’s a burner phone?” he said he’d go to any (any….) cell phone place and sign up for a phone – he’d make up a name and no one ever asked for ID. I thought that was so strange….anytime I’ve purchased a phone I had to show ID, fillout a contract, etc. pick a plan, etc, etc, so the dumb lawyer in me decided to do some ground work – I went to many many places to get a phone – every place I went asked for ID and pick a plan, etc. I have learned that wink wink – men buying from men is a very different ball game with different rules. A few years have gone by now and tech changes daily so things may be different now but it’s still an ol’boys network. Aside from wonderful Chump women……. the masses of OW’s out there have zero integrity or dignity and will chase and screw married men- shame on these ‘sisters’ – and they wonder why we still make cents to the dollar as a man….women are so mean to other women. However, you’ll never see another man approach LeBron James’s wife……so funny how men generally respect other men… although it happens, mem generally don’t run after another man’s wife……it’s usually the OW’s starting the dirty work. Ahh.. let them win….let the OW’s have all the fkwits they want – take the trash out and let someone else pick it up.

          • I didn’t even consider people using burner phones for their infidelities until this happened, which illustrates how naive and trusting I was. That’s what still bothers me – I’ll probably never trust a partner in the same way that I did.

            And I agree about OWs – they’re deeply disordered individuals on their own merits, but there’s only so much love bombing before the trainwreck crashes into the station.

            • My fkwit honestly thought he was the master manipulator, he considered himself the ultimate narcissist even during his SA drink the Kool Aide Tiger Woods school – he seemed to relish in being so smug about living a double life for so long…. until I spoke the truth with words that were like an icy garden hose watering him down. I told him the truth – that he wasn’t any master manipulator…..he was married to me…. a trusting, partner wife, me…a professional…..I’m not a ‘mother wife’ – if he said a patient paged him and left I believed it – he could have been sleeping with German Shepard’s (poor dog) and have gotten away with it….it was EASY EASY EASY for him to be a Cheater because I gave him the gift of trust and he shit on it. Now he’s in the shuttering age 65 scared to death stage that he’ll end up as Harvey Weinstein’s roommate. The lawyer who helped me get the restraining order said ALL the prostitutes are psychopaths…. I said Really? all of them? He said ALL OF THEM….. if they weren’t they’d be married to some short fat guy ….. they are psychopaths and dangerous. Poor doctor boy is academically brilliant but has zero street smarts – he not only broke my heart; shocked my soul; he brought dangerous people into our lives by giving the whores his real name….Mr. Big Man bragged and it came back to bite him in his pimply ass. So long sailor.

            • You can purchase one at any store, paying cash and use cash to add minutes and nobody is the wiser. No record on the credit card or bank statements. Drug dealers use them. Just sayin’.

  • Good insight above “They’re not abusive because they’re angry, they’re angry because they’re abusive.” (Bancroft) Breaking plates, anger at so many things, small physical abuses – being shoved awake ‘you snored’, touch in ways to make me start, grabbing ‘you bruise easily’, hindsight shows an escalating pattern.
    Telling a distant relative in confidence about DD1 was the first real progress in rebellion. it took me way too long to act and get out but her concern and validation it was not ok helped.
    The big act of rebellion after DD2 was booking to see a) counsellor and on their advice b) lawyer.
    Then many brave steps to freedom. Mghtily supporting kids, healing, and ongoing reading and recovery.

  • My Rebellion was three fold: (1) I played the Harvey Weinstein card which scared my fkwit to pieces ; (2) I remained calm on D-Day although I was dying inside – with the words from a law school professor ringing in my head “get smart people, don’t get mad…..if you don’t like something…..get smart and change it…don’t get mad….” and (3) I agree with Carol39 who posted that Chump Lady’s blog helped so much – Chump Lady truly is a magnificent, brilliant, insightful author and God bless her she can do it with the wit and comic sense that any writer on Sat Night Live would give their eye teeth for. Reading her articles gave me incredible strength and a giggle (sweater man) – I was dying inside D-Day…. it truly came out of the blue universe. I thought he was the nerdy, good doctor….never dreampt he was a life-long whore master with a hooker habit that long preceeded me and lasted throughout our 30 marriage. But here’s the catch…..he expected me to crumble/cry on D-Day…I didn’t….I saved those blood tears for alone at night….I gave him the unexpected response that threw him off his game….I stayed calm, collected, reasonable, acted like an Oscar winner….I listened to him talk about how he found his soulmate, his chance at happiness, his OW 20 years younger….I calmly asked her name – he knew her only as his prostitute but claimed she was a girlfriend….I found her decades long arrest records, etc. He was so thrown off by my calm demeanor that he called the OW to tell her he needed to think more about leaving his wife and reconsider his plan to leave. It threw the whore into an instant rage….her mask fell….her head began to spin with screams (I knew nothing about this- he was on the phone with her) she screamed that she’d have his surgeon hands broken, she extorted him for thousands and thousands (I didn’t know anything about this)…..she gathered her co-whores and they ganged up on him….he was shitting himself in his fancy doctor’s white coat…I knew nothing – he got off the phone and said “she took it well but I hurt a wonderful girl like her….” I knew I had to act quickly while I had him in pause mode….my heart was broken and I was scared to death but I wasn’t going to let one man’s decision to whore around ruin my life….I cleaned houses in high school and sold sweet corn as a kid and found my way out of the corn fields and put myself through college. and grad school… I was not about to let this narcisstic prick destroy me. I knew that he’s deathly afraid of what happened to Harvey Weinstein….so when the whores came out swinging (I had to get restraining orders) I calmly cracked open the pension plan (didn’t care about paying the high tax for early withdraw), I wrote my own 15 page post-nuptual (thank you Chump Lady), I drew up Quit Claims for our two houses deeding them all over to me – in a calm voice over the early days post-Discovery when his ass cheeks were tight in fear of the whores and losing his medical license and reputation – I lovingly convinced him that he needed to protect ‘our’ assets by deeding things to me…..he did…..he signed and notarized everything. I bought a house and moved out of state. Yes, I handled it myself because after the first 5 calls to divorce lawyers – 4 out of 5 said he was ‘their doctor’ and had a conflict and the 5th wanted $1200 an hour – even wanted a credit card first for the fee before the consultation. I don’t think so…..not from me, that’s an outrageous fee. I haven’t seen him in a year now…I’m financially sound and still cry at night….but I got smart…….the whores continue to send pictures of him, copies of his e-mails, his voice mails, all his reviews on The Erotic Review….. oh….these lovely psychopaths think they’ve tormented me when all they did was help me build a big file of Tarzan in the dungeon with his pants at his ankles. Life is good – you catch more flies with honey….get smart people, don’t get mad. I’ve since sent him many, many of Chump Lady’s articles to read….he always responds with “My God Jo….she’s describing me…..I’m such an ass…..” He’s smart – he recognizes himself in her articles – he’s scared now – he went to Sex Addiction school….he says he’s found God…..he drank the Kool-Aid of SA….but it’s a tiny bandage on a big ugly hole in his heart.

    • I don’t know how to did it but bravo.

      Is the D over yet? If not really keep an eye on your money.

      • Thank you Susie Lee. You are right. No matter what you always need to keep your eye on the pie and keep the shields up. I worry about his many prostitutes – they have continued to torment me with e-mails and phone calls – the lawyer says there’s really nothing I can do – they have dozens of burner phones, they create dozens of escort names and e-mails and the fact that my fkwit had so many dozens of prostitutes a judge would say it’s impossible to know who is who. I was able to get one 3 year restraining order for one prostitute because she showed up on our home cameras. Such needless adolescent heartache…. people are fighting for their lives with cancer and these clowns are out playing at life. Sending you cyber wishes of happiness in spite of the dreadful men who impacted our lives…. “living well is the best revenge”

        • Hi Jo,
          Your story was interesting to me as I thought this was where my life was heading to – the Prostitutes would blackmail us.
          They really have no idea who they are dealing with when they randomly contact escorts for nsa sex (no strings attached) and a regular GM (general maintenance bj ) time slot.
          Such high risk behaviour.

  • Engineered a two week long work trip to Europe (2 months after D Day, we’d been bird nesting week on week off all that time). As far away from home as I could get (30 hour flight). I knew being so far away he’d be “entertaining” someone in our home. I was still none the wiser who it was (but should have known it was the bitch I’d found out about a year prior).

    So I knew what days our kids were staying with his parents while I was away (because working so hard single parenting while I traveled business class around the world). So I knew what days to tell my sister to pop by (something she often did).

    Needless to say I found out who the AP was (1 of 2 it turned out, this one was the decoy, and they’re still together 3 years later, so it’s a 7 year relationship, and STILL he hasn’t introduced her to our kids (he’s smoking the Hopium I’ll take him back still ????‍♀️)

    1. Sister comes over on my return (he’s at work and staying at “his parents” for the week back to birdnesting

    2. Sister reports car in driveway night before (with photo) in the afternoon when she visited and he wouldn’t let her in, and still at 2am when she drove by again

    3. Sister demands we check trash

    4. Find 4 bottles of champagne in trash – 2 at $50 a pop and 2 at about $10 a pop

    5. Find record shop bag with receipt dated 6 months prior with her name and phone number on it (the one I’d found out about a year prior he was still denying

    6. Look at her Instagram – she’s wearing my hat, 2 days prior

    7. Said hat I haven’t worn for two years left out in living room

    8. Scroll through her Instagram – my bra (!!!!!) 2 years prior!! (Don’t panic, he’d just buy me underwear as his live bomb move and buy her a matching set as well. With my credit card. Cue forensic accounting. Yes thousands of dollars spent on these women.

    9. Sit on it. It comes up. I find out he’s gone into house (my week so not allowed) hacked my emails and located mail to my lawyer asking how can I kick him out I feel unsafe (she’s wearing my shit in my house). Cue massive drama.

    10. Cue 2 day intense negotiation to not allow him back. Lawyer says “sweeten the deal, pay the bills or something”. As soon as I do that (always my intention to as well) he’s gone. Just like that.

    Honestly, they say you shouldn’t go digging on a cheater. But it was so good to have the knowledge (read as the power) that he had lied about this woman for over 4 years (I asked questions right from the start), how much gaslighting I endured, how far he’d go to cover his tracks.

    The best part though was having her number. And having him know I had her number. Got a few texts meant for her (“has she contacted you yet?” “Any contact?”) I had no desire to contact her. She’s welcome to him (still is).

  • I hung on way too long, hoping he’d change. But 3 things I did that made me feel stronger were:
    1. I stopped doing his laundry. Why would I do this for someone who played around on his business trips? The fucker could wash his own underwear!
    2. I stopped going to every event with him that I wouldn’t have gone to alone. I wanted to stop having to pretend we were happily, or willingly, married and since I wasn’t ready to divorce, I controlled what I could – me. I went to events that I enjoyed or thought appropriate, like school functions, neighborhood parties, and weddings either by myself, or I tolerated his presence with me if I had to go with him.
    3. I started going out of town to visit relatives and on vacations with my kids without him. I even told him why, but he didn’t make any effort to make our marriage better.
    This was before I found CL. I had at least a little energy for self preservation.

    • UpAndOut: Same. I stopped cooking and cleaning up his shit. He complained, but I was like, “don’t expect me to be your wife if you’re not gonna be my husband.”
      Mic drop.

  • I feel like my story is complicated. Ex cheater abused me the entire relationship that lasted just under a decade as well as the period of almost a decade prior to the official relationship. I have no idea why I thought any of this was acceptable. All told, cheater abused me emotionally, verbally, sexually, and physically; cheated on me with at least ten other people that I know of; raped me, two of my friends, and several others including minors; stalked me and continually harassed one friend; destroyed the reputations of countless others; threatened to kill more people than I can count; and so so much more.

    The story of the end starts a few years into the “relationship” when I discovered cheater had been telling everyone except me that we were in a polyamorous relationship. Upon discovery, cheater came at me with “surprise! We have a girlfriend!” Said girlfriend was almost 20 years younger and I would have never in my wildest dreams wanted anything to do with her because she was so awful. From that point, it all spiraled out of control and I was having new D-Days near daily for the next 5 years while I struggled to stay and make it work.

    Cheater of course blamed me. Told me and everyone who would listen that I was controlling (I only didn’t want the cheating), I was sexless (cheater coerced me into sex near daily), and that it was my fault because I was so abusive as to force cheater into monogamy. After years and years of being abused so heavily and told that it would all be okay if only I would be officially polyamorous with cheater, I finally gave in and we mutually decided to start a relationship with the person cheater had been pushing on to me for years.

    Once that happened, the abuse exploded. Cheater realized it was actually not okay to share me with others, amped up all the abuse a billion fold, destroyed this other person’s reputation, and demanded I end it with that person. At this point, I had been pimped out, twisted myself into someone I was not to fit an impossible mold, and abused much much more when that was not good enough. Cheater would scream at me constantly, keep me from sleeping, force me into more sex, cheated EVEN more with more people, and so many other atrocities. And I was DONE. I was no longer going to give every ounce of my soul and twist myself into something I was not and give over my body in every conceivable way. I concocted an elaborate escape with the help of friends and a great therapist and I ran. I was so lucky that there were no children and we had not actually gotten legally married so I could make a clean break. I refused to see cheater when the hoovering and begging commenced, I cut off all contact, and I filed a police report when cheater proceeded to stalk me. The police did nothing by the way.

    Now, over 3 years later, it is finally over. Cheater finally no longer contacts me and I have moved on. The trauma remains but the healing is happening. My life is calm and without arbitrary chaos. I am learning to trust, love, and hold people to real boundaries again.

    • ((Hugs)) I am so so sorry you lived through such horrible abuse. But you have a whole new life ahead of you without abuse, and you’re strong as hell!

    • I’m so sorry. I can relate to so much of this. I was also called abusive and controlling for just wanting honesty. I agreed to the polyamory too thinking at least the lies would stop. Oh no, that was a big mistake for me. It just ramped it all up even more.

      I’m glad you’re free and healing! I wish you all the best.

      • KatiePig, The abuse amped up for you too when you finally also gave in to “polyamory?” I am so sorry you also experienced this!! I have heard that from others too! Yikes. They are all full of lies and I think they just like the power of making us go against our own boundaries…

        ChumpQueen and Flower, Thank you!!! <3

    • Marrissachump,
      So sorry for what you endured.

      To your life in calmness, trust, and love, by way of boundaries.

  • When for the third time after I found out about the affair she said “you want to be married and I don’t.” So I told her I would front her some of the child support and alimony money to get her her own place.

    I lined everything up for her to love out and agreed it was an advance on the child support I would owe. Then drafted up a separation contract by a lawyer and she signed it. Then everyone who asked how her and I were doing I told them the truth: wife had an affair with a woman, is now a lesbian, abandoned her family, abandoned her friends, and is head over heals with sparkle shit.”

    After she signed the quit claim on the house “please don’t come in my house any more, not even when you are picking up the kids.”

    When she asked for more things from the house after the separation contract was finalized I simply replied “no.”

    When my kids found out about the new girlfriend of my wife’s from a neighbor kid I told them to ask their mother about it. When she lied and said she was her “special friend” I then told them “your mother lied to you, that is her girlfriend.”

    When she is nice to me and appears kind, there is an agenda at play and I don’t trust it.

  • I confess that I did a lot of chumpy things, but I’ve also been quite mighty. I never pick-me danced, even though he clearly wanted me to. And when he gave me several chances to show him how much I wanted him back, I didn’t take the bait. I still grieve, but I grieve for everything except him. He’s a nasty person with a bad character, and I’m glad to be free of his narcissism.

    When we were married, he used the silent treatment to “punish” me for saying things he didn’t like, so he trained me in that way to be careful with my words.

    I know that CL preaches NC and Gray Rock, but I take advantage of the fact that he still uses the silent treatment. Since it doesn’t have the same effect on me, when we have to communicate about the kids, I stay on point but drip with funny bits of sarcasm. Nothing mean or crazy, just straight up honesty. Sort of like CL herself. He, of course, never responds, which is precisely how I know it bothers him. ????

    I figure, why be cordial to an abusive asswipe when you can laugh at him instead?

    • “I still grieve, but I grieve for everything except him. He’s a nasty person with a bad character, and I’m glad to be free of his narcissism.”

      Same! And I’m turn, I’m gradually coming to grieve what I lost less because it was so wrapped up in that nastiness. My life is mine now.

  • Your pounding heart was not a sign of chumpiness.

    It was the adrenaline rush you got from being mighty. ???? Stay strong!

  • My white trash trailer wife walked away from everything and everyone to fullfill her truwuv dreams. She knew I had the goods on her and assembled 4 data cd’s showing who she really was. One for each kid. She signed over real estate, vehicles an RV. Then rented the marital home out after I’d moved next door into my cottage. All these signed legal documents were hand delivered to my lawyer the next day and reviewed for legal acceptability

    She waivered ALL attachments to any future revenues of mine. Limmerence? Who GAF. I got everthing I wanted. I recall her strutting into the house in her new hoe-clothes and picking up the LACGAL audiobook cd i’d been scouring over, then with some quip i’ve since forgotten. She held my game plan in her hand.
    Any road,.. My rebellion was one of stealth and warp speed Divorce management. She put up hardly any resistance through it all while I tended to the lawyers directed signature collecting tasks. Usually publicly at a bank her her job.
    10 months from D day and it was over. I’d got an e-mail on my phone with attached copy of the divorce from my lawyers para-legal. I didn’t bother letting xw know it was done either. Let her dig if she really wanted to know.

    She was counting on rental $$ from “her house” after I’d moved out, which she got for a little while until the deadbeat renters stopped sending her checks and negotiating rent for repairs. I left All her shit there after going through every single item that might indicate more affairs than what i knew of. The renters had to move all her crap to a wood storage building on her property before they could move in. Her dd took what she wanted and the rest stayed. Fast forward xw sells her land for 30% assessed value…just Last year. Real estate taxes were delinquent and county govt was garnishing her wages. Her mailbox overflowed with credit card collection notifications , collection agencies hounding her. All pointing to her current state of affairs. Then the sherriff starts dropping off warrants-in-debt, summons, etc. etc. That told me all i needed to know in a shadenfreud sorta way.
    Recently her dd was seen raiding the storage building.again. She left a few tubbies outside in the elements for whatever reason. The new property owners must have put a removal deadline on her to get her 4 years in storage stuff out of their building. Dont know. Dont care.
    I told the new folks to bring me a road flare and permission to host a bonfire and their problem was solved.
    As the deadbeats were moving in next door , xw wondered over and knocked on my door. With a ziplock bag of colored printer cartridges i’d forgotten to take.without a word I took them from her & put them inside the cottage and didnt allow her in. When i came back outside I told her very calmly not to ever set foot on my property or show her face here again. I said, “You’re Not Wanted. Here. You’re Not Welcome Here Ever Again. If I see you I will have you arrested on the spot for tresspassing.” I posted signage on my cottage front. To this day I’ve not had to endure her face. She is and will always be Anathema to me. If she gets the cosmic justice she deserves there’s nothing I could premeditatively do to equal it. She digs her own fox hole.

  • I did everything wrong for a long time. I seriously thought our issues started because he was involved in the clean up of the pentagon after 9-11. I thought he was traumatized. It was just a sadistic narcissist beginning to devalue me but the timing was perfect. I had so much empathy for him.

    I was one who eventually agreed to an open marriage. I just wanted honesty. I never got it. Even with him able to sleep with others it was still constant lies. I had a full nervous breakdown, was diagnosed schizophrenic, heavily medicated, it ruined my life. Nearly everyone in my life was in on it. Friends knew, most were sleeping with him behind my back. I’m pretty sure my mom slept with him too. Even in our “open” relationship they were all hiding it from me and felt fine about that. I was sick and mentally ill and couldn’t perform as a wife should and I was also completely convinced of that. Any time I had an objection I was attacked by his co conspirators. He would pretend to be on my side when the attacks got really brazen and cut those people off. He just hid them from me, he is still friends on facebook with all of them, it was just hidden from my account. I was completely beaten down. Even his work friends were not friends, they are cuckolds. He’s fucking their wives and maybe them too. It was an entire network of perverts toying with my mind for fun.

    For perspective, I was a diagnosed schizophrenic on medication that made me sick and exhausted all the time and I was working a full time job and lots of overtime yet I was convinced by him and “friends” that I would be homeless without his support. I look back and realize people I worked with supported entire families on the same income I was making. But they all had me so sure I’d be homeless or committed without my now ex husband.

    My plan was to get my son through college and settled in adult life and then kill myself since I was such a useless person and such a drain on society and my family. Working full time and on no assistance I saw myself as more of a drain to society than a homeless drug addicted criminal. It blows my mind now but that’s really where I was mentally.

    For me, I found out I had an auto immune disease. Started treatment, started getting healthy, my mind started working correctly again. It wasn’t just the abuse that beat me down, I was also literally dying of undiagnosed pernicious anemia. I had had symptoms for 30 years when I began treatment.

    We were divorced less than 9 months after I began treatment. That’s how fast it ended once I started to get healthy. I was catching multiple lies a day at times. He was enraged by that. I was no longer easy to fool. It took a year for me to be fully recovered and get my health back completely but I made it, I’m healthy.

    He sat at our kitchen table and smirked while he told me how things would be and how he’d “help me” a little. I informed him in our state he could be ordered to pay me alimony for life since we had been married 20 years and his mouth dropped. He choked when I told him the alimony calculator said that would be $1400 dollars a month. He said we’d split my inheritance. I informed him that according to state law he could not touch my inheritance and it was all mine. To get him out of the house and my life faster I “settled” for 10 years of alimony at $1400 a month and I kept all of my inheritance which was our entire savings.

    At some point he was crunching divorce numbers in a notebook and drew a picture of a pig and wrote my name above it. So now I am KatiePig. I’m building a brand off that. I’ll wear it proud. Remember KatiePig, you will hear of her again.

    Since the divorce I’ve found out he’s a sadistic pedophile. Can’t find any victims but I have proof he is sexually attracted to children and really wants to hurt people. I will bring him down eventually. One of his little girlfriends, whom I actually thought was my friend, I’ve discovered has over a dozen aliases and she had hacked into all of my accounts to spy on me. She is also a pedophile, but again I can’t prove she’s acted on it. But with as screwed up as she is, she may just take him down for me when he eventually pisses her off. Which is so funny.

    I’m going back to school. Starting the process to get my bachelor’s in psychology. Eventually I’ll be a psychiatrist. I don’t care how old I am when I get it. I will use what I know and what I learn to help others identify, escape and heal from these monsters. They made a mistake with me. They knew me sick, they don’t realize what an unstoppable force I am healthy. They will learn.

    • KatiePig,

      I can totally relate with the conspiracy thing. FOO, and ring of friends/acquaintances when I was growing up. A ring of sadists.

      And I married into a nest of sadistic narcissists.

      • Katie congratulations on your diagnosis of pernicious anemia, so sorry it was missed for so long. I highly recommend the book Could It Be B12? By Pacholok so that you can make sure you are being adequately treated.

    • Furthermore, yes, my and my sibling’s treatment, when we were children, by the couple from hell, who also had their own little children, permitted and pushed by my parents, had a sexual connotation. That of domination. Sadistic and sexual. The woman of the couple from hell became the OW and from then on it was a ring from hell we live in, with plenty of other people involved in the perverted atmosphere.
      Pedophiles sounds about right. I was not able to utter it. But I must have been carrying with me since childhood.

      Thanks for posting your story. It is the nature of things, that when one sees something somewhere that one has lived oneself, one is able to recognize it in the unconscious, and it can be brought to consciousness.

  • I cut him off 4 months after he moved out and I hadn’t even had my d-day yet. 3 months later the kids reported that his hair had turned gray, he looked like death and was drinking heavily. Coincidence? I think not.

    • My ex retired early, which I guess was a big cut in his pension. (my son still can’t figure out why he did that) though I am pretty sure I know.

      He immediately upon retirement gained a lot of weight and started hitting the casinos and gambling big time. Ran up huge gambling debts and they had to file bankruptcy, had to sell their house as they could no longer afford it. All they could keep was their car. He could have kept the house if he could make payments, but he couldn’t.

      I actually didn’t know he retired early until just recently when my son and I were talking after his dads death.

      I think he retired early because he had lost his rank, and was out on the street on patrol. He was not well liked by the rank and file because on his rise to Captain he had evidently shit on a few folks besides me. I imagine working was uncomfortable to say the least. He had also thrown away his good standing in the community, he had been thought of as a Christian family man, but that cat was out of the bag, so…

      To quote someone on CL, he paid way above market value for his whore.

  • I wish I had a specific moment of victory. Instead, it was auto-pilot work.

    Pack boxes, close joint accounts, pack boxes, hire lawyer, pack boxes, offer marriage counseling (chumpy), pack boxes, change beneficiary, move, file for divorce. I did every. single. thing.

    Cheaters are liars, cowards and thieves.

    • This resembles me. My whole life….put your head down and get it done…while the cheater parties. I may not be setting the world on fire, but peace is priceless. Now if only lightning would strike.

    • I have to laugh! I was packing boxes, being asked why I needed so much money – wasn’t I just buying groceries and keeping the house up? – while he was internationally traveling with women, spending our money for restaurants, travel, sex clubs! And then I packed more boxes. And listening to his “I’m so sad” crap in between! Do you know what he said he needed a month for groceries and sundries – $6000!!!!! He was going to be able to eke out $2,000 a month for me……Nice. I packed those boxes and like you, he didn’t do a thing.

  • Good question. I was basically abandoned. No attempts to win me back. Just shock that my best friend and partner was no longer that – overnight. I had already decided I couldn’t keep moving with him – moved 13 times in 17 years for the job. He seemed on board with that and ready to retire. So when I finally got a conversation I asked for – he was away and acting very strange – I understood he wanted to end the marriage. I gave a little tiny pick me dance, but then I found out (I call it the Gift) that he had a secret life for over a decade. In one instance he was manipulating a young woman (albeit she seemed willing) to do things I really don’t want to write about. That did it for me. No room for doubt. This was not who I thought I married. I filed and didn’t wait for the discussion saying it was over. It was over for me reading what he asked that young woman to do. Over the top.

  • Even those few battles I “won,” I never got what I was looking for – love, honesty, remorse, equality, validation, amends, closure, etc. I lost countless more. Engaging with a cheater means losing. I finally understood that I couldn’t fight for my relationship and the life I built while being true to myself. I owned this and left, and yet it wasn’t until I went NC that I stopped being a chump. Everything else was part of the cycle of abuse. Letting go of Switzerland without guilt was another rebellion. Same with naming cheating as abuse.

    I think recognizing that we are not rebelling against cheaters is important. Abusers don’t earn power – they abuse it. Cheaters aren’t authority figures for us to submit to or rebel against, and we shouldn’t give them that centrality. I think we are rebelling against abuse. The patriarchy. We are rebelling against parts of ourselves – including that fear and shame around going after what we want; we are as worthy as everyone else on this planet. We are rebelling against a culture that condones abuse. We are deciding to stop being complicit in devaluation of our selves.

    • I hear what you are saying but as I see it, abusers are oppressors. Throughout history, humans have rebelled against oppression and those who inflicted the suffering that limits and damages us. There often must be an uprising – whatever that looks like. This does not confer authority or superiority of the abuser/oppressor but rather recognizes that individuals have lost their freedom and autonomy as a direct result of the abuser’s decisions.

    • >>Cheaters aren’t authority figures for us to submit to or rebel against, and we shouldn’t give them that centrality. I think we are rebelling against abuse. The patriarchy. We are rebelling against parts of ourselves – including that fear and shame around going after what we want; we are as worthy as everyone else on this planet.

      Standing ovation!!

  • Picture this- at work. I bring up the map view for the address for one of our new home health patients. ( I always click the map view in the program to make sure I got it right and I visually know where we are going). It was very near schmoopies house. Like one block away. The BRAND NEW GOOGLE MAP VIEW of schmoopies house has his truck parked in the driveway! That broke me and after pick me dancing my little heart out for 5 months I pulled the trigger, called my lawyer I already had on retainer, And had him served- at schmoopies house.

  • Back in 2015 after being cheated on repeatedly, I asked God to help me forgive him one more time. But I also asked God to show me if he did it again and that in my heart that would be my permission to leave.

    At that point I started planning. I got a full-time job and a second part-time job. I put most of my income into a separate account. I started with counseling. I went once a month to see a counselor. Now I go once a week.

    In January of 2020 he set me down on the couch and told me he wanted a divorce. I agreed immediately and he immediately said he was just kidding. Yah.

    At that point my eyes opened up to other things that were going on. I started watching him. It didn’t take too long for something to happen to clue me in. He told me about a post that he made in Reddit at a certain time and I was able to find it and I found his whole profile. It was so disgusting what he was saying to other women. And then I found his tinder. It was happening again. This time I found so much evidence and I just started making screenshots. I printed them out. I made copies of all of the important papers and I put the originals in a file that I kept under the spare tire in the back of my car hidden. I knew that there was a day coming when I was leaving. But I was wrong. I wasn’t leaving. He was.

    It was about 6 weeks before I was able to file. He got himself locked up in a suicide ward. While he was there I got a protective order against him. I changed the locks in the house. I was granted possession of the house for a year. I hired an attorney and filed for divorce immediately. He was served the day after he got out of the mental hospital.

    I never went back with him. He asked several times. His typical MO was to send love related music videos to me by text. I blocked him, unblocked him and then blocked him again. This went on and has been going on for 16 months.

    One of the most badass things that I did was to do a canvas painting of a river. It has stepping stones in it. Each one is just a blank circle. I put in it things that need to be accomplished and things that I want to do. Each circle has an item. The first one was “change the locks”, others were things like, child support hearing, hire an attorney, protection from abuse hearing, go on a boat ride, go see Niagara falls… These were things, positive steps forward that I needed to do to finish this and to make my life what I wanted it to be. As I colored in these rocks and started labeling more rocks I eventually ended up with three paintings which show the river evolving over this long period of time. This has been my to-do list and also my river of life as I’m living it right now.

    I went through two attorneys. My second attorney was much better than the first. I’ve had to pay two retainers and well over $10,000 in legal fees for a no-fault divorce. I’m near the end. I have ended up with half of his pension which is rightfully mine because it’s the same as a savings account. It was earned during the 24 years that we were married. I found out about so much when I read the chump lady book, leave a cheater gain of life.

    I’ve taken back my maiden name. I’m paying off all of my debt. It’s slow but my total debt is under $6,000 now. I am happy. I moved out of the marital house and sold it. I still haven’t gotten the money from that because it’s stuck in escrow. It’s not going to be a lot of money but it’ll be a down payment on a house for myself and my adult handicapped son.

    I live in a beautiful cabin type house in the woods. It’s heated entirely by wood with gas for backup and I have learned how to chop it by hand. I also have a guy who delivers wood to me. My kids are happy. One has become independent in the 16 months and lives on his own. Two more live with me and the youngest is 17 and a half. She’s a performer and now when I go to her performances I sit there and I smile and I clap. He would never clap. He always felt that whatever the kids did was never up to his musical standards and instead he would look at me frowning whenever they would miss a note or a beat. Because clearly he’s such a better musician than any of these kids could be. He used to play the tuba in high school but hasn’t touched an instrument in almost 40 years. It was as if their musical performance offended his perfect pitch and high musical standards.

    I no longer have to ask permission to go to church. I no longer have to ask permission for anything. I do what I wish. I’m happy. I have a golden retriever. If you ask me a golden retriever is the standard of happiness. If you want to be happy get yourself a dog.

    I’ve reestablished friendships that died while he and I were together. He was so possessive he wouldn’t let me have friends and he had secretly told my sisters to stay away. I thought they just didn’t like me anymore. But now we’ve cleared that up.

    Every week he would go out with his gaming friends and I knew that he cheating. He was cheating while he said he was out with his gaming friends.

    Since the divorce started he’s been living with someone else. I did look at her Facebook stuff and most of her pictures involve cigarettes and beer cans. That was what he wanted. He was an alcoholic/addict and he wanted to get back down that road. I was invested in keeping him sober. I’ll never do that again. I’ll never spend my time trying to save somebody else.

    So that’s my story. Thank you. I feel like a badass because I’m free. And I’m never going back no matter how many music videos he sends me

    • You were amazing, all you did to get yourself out, Im so happy you’re free!

    • Muthachumper, this is one of the most badass and inspiring stories I’ve ever read here. I love the idea of painting rivers and labeling the stepping stones. Thank you for sharing ALL of this.

  • My ex picked a fight with me before I left on a business trip. After my trip he told me he wanted a divorce. I was completely undone. My father was golfing buddies with a hellcat divorce attorney here in town and got me an appointment within hours. This lawyer made me give a written synopsis of our marriage. He read it, looked at me and said, “Honey, as good lookin’ as you are, if he ain’t lovin’ you, he’s a lovin’ somebody else!” (Southern lawyers. You gotta love ’em!) I wouldn’t believe that. He couldn’t be that stupid, could he? My attorney said, ” Let’s make a deal. I’ll hire a private investigator. If he’s not fucking someone, I’ll pay for the PI. If he is, you pay.” Well, we all know what happened. And that’s when I unchumped. I went from unconditional love to complete and utter indifference. And I went balls to the wall after that SOB. I have more stories about all of this, but meh.

  • Put up with too much for too long……one of my sweetest memories was telling him he wasn’t a good person! Doesn’t sound like much but rather than being gaslit as he lied about every bit of evidence I had. Was satisfied that I just called him for what he is, strangely he didn’t try to defend himself against this comment

  • My AH HA moment came as we walked out the door of the building where he had his mental health evaluation and he ripped up all the paperwork and threw it in the garbage before getting in the car. The paperwork officially diagnosed him with serious clinical depression, had several ASAP treatment referrals and a prescription.

    My story leading up to that moment echoes pretty much everyone else’s here: Double life, burner phone, porn addict, years of gaslighting, cheating, serial lying, devalue and verbal abuse. I saw all the red flags, but I ignored most of them because in our 38 year marriage, we ‘always bounced back’ in times of big trouble. And, because this time he finally agreed to being evaluated (I knew he was depressed, I didn’t know how seriously until the eval), I thought there was hope.

    When I saw him rip up that paperwork while tossing me a defiant smirk, that was THE moment I went from concerned hopiate, to ‘fake it till I make it’ girl. A switch went off and I went clandestine in overdrive to get all my ducks in a row. Outwardly, I was calm, nice and together, inwardly I wanted to die. And I stayed that way under the same roof, convincing him I wasn’t fully in the know and acting quite agreeable, for over a year until all those complicated ducks were finally lined up. It took another year–after tying up assets, getting him to agree to selling the marital home, and a cross country relocate for me in which I had his help–before I DID finally feel what I’d only been pretending to feel…and I promptly tossed his ass to the curb.

    I am now 3 years out, not yet divorced, but feeling better than I’ve felt in over 3 decades. Most of my nagging issues like sleep problems, weight problems, skin and hair problems are gone. And I will be filing early next year (complicated reasons for waiting) and can’t hardly wait. Because of all the work I quietly did while under the same roof, things are legally tied up and there isn’t anything significant left to fight over. I also still have a few stellar aces in the hole if he tries to get squirrely on me, or drag it out.

    Life is mostly good on the other side.

  • March 31, 2017 between 9:15 and 9:25pm
    A brief conversation with one (unknowing) OW of the past.
    “That’s what he’s capable of”, going through my mind, like a chant. I drew the line.

    I was out the next day, after 2 years of wreckonciliation where he would fiercely trickle-truth and string me along. Even tried to hook me with a marriage proposal. But I’m glad we were engaged, that oddly propelled me. Because if you’re committing further to me, I expect you to step up to that. By raising the bar, I was more able to see what was missing.

  • Right after DDay, I saw an email to FW from an apartment management company. FW had signed paperwork to be financial guarantor for her new apartment (OWhore had THREE professional degrees, including an MD, but was too crazy to hold a job longer than about 6 months.) Email was to finalize some detail or other.

    I contacted the management company, told them that in our state, his salary was community property; I did NOT give permission for it to be used in that way, and would sue them if they ever tried to get money from him.

    Oooooops! No guarantor. No new apartment for OWhore. And Sad Sausage moping from FW.

  • Dear Chchchump – I’m so very glad I’m not alone yet I’m so very sorry you had to experience what you, and so many of the wonderful Chumps have experienced…. YES – it was a disconcerting lesson for me to learn that doctors……….these White Coated intellectual giants with an MD degree… that the general public respect can be bat-shit crazy and yet they hold on to these professional positions, at least for awhile. I began dating my fkwit when he was a young doctor – there was a female physician in his practice – she wandered from hypnotist to therapist and was afraid to be alone and yet was the head of an oncology department…..she called my fkwit countless times asking him to make a list of people she could date and wanted to know what I wore and ordered to eat in restaurants…very strange, yet she was head of a big department in a big city. Oh….and God give me strength to let all the horses out of the barn someday now that so many of the bad doctors, after decades, have been exposed and have had their masks torn off. There are so many educated psychopaths that are practicing physicians…..that’s something no one teaches you in school…..whether a priest or a doctor or a boy scout leader – there’s no boundary to where a psychopath exists – being an intellect does not mean they are a good person or emotionally stable as you know first hand – and in my experience the female doctors are the most bat- shit crazy. I hope you have found all the good things in life- no one gets out alive – we’re all here for such a short time – live your best life and step over, not in, the manure they leave.

  • We were together 28 years. About 10 years ago he decided he was “polyamorous” and he was going to date. It lasted a short time. I was not into it and they always said you need to go as slow as the person struggling but he steamrolled me. The abuse went on and on after that and he loved to target my oldest son who is autistic who struggles with behavioral issues. He screamed a ton, drove like a maniac, when he was home he was locked in the basement with his hoarded stuff, stayed up till 3 am and got up at 7 am for work, left me with all the parenting, blamed me for the lack of sex, slept on the edge of the bed, more gaslighting than you could shake a stick at. I could go on and on and on. My son did two inpatient stays back to back 2 years ago August. During the 2nd inpatient stay we used the time to car shop because his car had died. On the way back he was telling me how he wanted to date again because I had gained quite a bit of weight and I was limping because I needed a knee replacement but with the son with mental health issues there was little room for me to even see a doctor. I decided that day NO MORE that was Labor Day. I played along. Got into therapy immediately. Worked hard with our family based team for my son. On MLK day I had a meeting with the well off entrepreneur I work for. Told him the story as my husband was accusing me of poisoning him the whole weekend. He said what do you need. I said money I don’t have enough. He said find an apt today. I did. I left that day, another friend got me a hotel till the apt was ready. I remember he called at midnight and asked where are you guys. REALLY your family is gone on a Monday night and you call at midnight. After that night I WAS IN CHARGE. I moved into my apt 2 days later. It’s perfect. I will finally be divorced this year. He sees the kids little, my son still struggles but I have a team of people to help him. My younger son is thriving. Me, well I still need a knee replacement but I am doing EMDR for a lifetime of abuse from my narc mom and covert narc ex. I WILL HAVE A GRAND LIFE OF MY MAKING.

    • You do count ! ????????????????????????????????

    • Well done, I Count. That’s a wonderful, inspiring account of some really hard times.

  • Hi there, thanks for this! If anyone could give me some advice on my current situation I’d really appreciate it. Right at the beginning of the relationship, my boyfriend slept with someone else. He claimed he hadn’t considered it cheating because we weren’t using ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’, although he certainly did use the latter at that time, we’d been dating for 6 months and had a conversation about being sexually exclusive. He lied that he’d gone on a date with her but nothing else and asked me to be the g-word one week later, to which I naively said yes.

    On many occasions throughout the relationship he gave me the indirect and sometimes painfully explicit impression that he wanted to sleep with other women just for the novelty of it, but always assured me that he loved me. My confidence was low and I put up with this, although later forbade it. I got the indication there was more to this girl and asked to see his correspondence with her, but he refused and deleted the messages.

    A year later, the truth finally came out when I snooped on his laptop and saw he’d been talking about how attractive she was (still) to a male friend. I demanded to see some of the messages and in them he had made it clear that I was a girlfriend. He also admitted to talking to her while we were together.

    After a messy breakup and long stage of limbo, I got pregnant and needed to have a termination. He was very supportive and I have come to appreciate him a great deal. I have forgiven him for all of this as I genuinely believe that he regrets his actions massively and that we can have a good future together.

    How to I manage reminders of this and not go into a spiral everytime I think of it?

    • I’m so very sorry you’ve experienced such sorrow. Your question is one that probably everyone has asked themselves many times…. Do people ever really change? Can you paint a Zebra? Do Unicorns exist? Once a Cheater – always a Cheater? Only you can reach down inside and listen to your both your emotional/forgiving side and the pragmatic/reality side. We only get one life to live… (at least as far as we know)…. this life is no dress rehearsal and the older you get the less “do-over’s” you get to make. Can I do it over? – is a statement kids use and yes they can as they grow and learn. But as women who have been bitterly betrayed the ‘doing over’ ‘starting over’ gets harder and harder. My advice…………run……….run now as fast as you can and don’t look back – if you are in your 20’s or 30’s or 40’s you have your whole life ahead of you with a lot more opportunities still open to you than 50’s or 60’s. If he really is a good guy, if he really has changed and Unicorns do exist – he’ll pursue you with kindness and show his true colors….if he decides ‘heck with her….she left’ thank your lucky stars you left..Good luck.

    • Julia:

      Why manage your emotions at all? They are trying to tell you something very, very important: that this man can’t be trusted to tell you the truth and be an adult partner. Ignore that at your own peril and end up like me: much older than you and married to a man who lies and can’t be trusted. Little sister, from my perspective, something that will hurt you but I feel is likely true: he supported the termination because he didn’t want the responsibilities of a child or to have to marry or commit to you. He sucks as a partner. I hope you run like hell: I wish I had.

  • No!!! Don’t stay!!! Think of it this way – it’s not just a risk you are taking, it’s a risk you are taking for your future children who will be devastated when they discover their father cheating when they’re 12-15 years old ( like mine were!).

    Hhes shown you he can’t be satisfied without thinking the grass is greener. He likely can’t be counted on when life gets tough and real. Find someone better.

  • If she even conceive after being cheated on.
    Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring a woman’s fallopian tubes. Say hello to expensive fertility treatments.
    I knew a woman at uni who was Captain Tim’s side piece. Bmoc-big man on campus. Lacrosse and football star. His girlfriend was Marilyn. Elizabeth ended up in the hospital with this disease. I’m guessing Tim had other fuckbuddies.

  • Julia,
    Here’s an edit of what you wrote.
    “Right at the beginning of our relationship, after we had the conversation about being exclusive, my boyfriend cheated”
    “He lied.”
    “He’s emotionally abusing me by telling me he wants to use other women.” We all look and admire but when you’re committed you don’t tell your partner/spouse.
    “He refused to be honest with me.”
    What is a long stage of limbo ? Did he impregnate you ? If so, why isn’t he using a condom and bearing some of the responsibility for birth control ? The AIDS crisis blew up when I was a young adult. The youngsters didn’t live through this. I’m only guessing that you’re in your twenties.

    Why waste one more minute of your precious time with somebody that lies to you, cheats on you and “puts you in a spiral” ?

  • Try posting your scenario during the week Julia. Maybe more people read and comment then versus the weekend. Chump Nation is Chumps Without Borders, a international crowd from different time zones. Good luck and ???? to you.

  • A couple of weeks after the FW XW left me for her boss, aka her new sugar daddy (I was the old, until I burnt out in my job as a pharmacist), and broke up two marriages for their own selfish reasons, she moved in w/him a HALF MILE DOWN THE STREET FROM OUR HOUSE. However, she didn’t have any help to move her bigger shit at the time (and she ignored my pick me dance offer to help her. God, how embarrassing).

    So when she got her friend, our former electrician, to help her move out her dresser and other big items, it started to really hit me that this was FOR REAL. Which started to get me really angry at her. I also noticed that the wedding and engagement rings I had to borrow money from my grandmother to afford all those almost 25 years ago we’re still sitting on top of her dresser. She hadn’t worn them for probably 10 years, claiming after our son and third child was born that they didn’t fit anymore.

    No, it was just that she was passive-aggressively angry w/me for getting her pregnant w/him. I just didn’t realize that. Stupid me. So, I decided since they were given in love from me to her, and since that love was no longer returned (if it ever truly was), she no longer got them. She didn’t like that, once I helped her notice they were missing. Tough shit, I thought. And still do. That was the start of my defiance to her “plan” for how things were going to roll after exit-affairing me. Yeah, fuck her eternally. And her POS partner, the former boss, too. Who she’s now going to marry. Have a shitty journey, ya fuckwits. I’m headed for better seas.

  • I made one fb post that without saying explicitly that she brutally fucking cheated on and manipulated me with our newborn daughter said that I had put up with unbelievable abuse from her and had tried to be a good husband the whole time. She was already living with the other man by this point.
    She called me less than a half hour later in absolute conniptions. Guess she felt betrayed by me not keeping that secret for her, and she’s completely oblivious to the cosmic irony of that lol

    • Oh also I said in the post that it was over and that in my mind we’re already divorced and can’t wait for it to be official. That especially stuck in her craw, that I not only didn’t want amazing sparkly her anymore but would be happier emancipated. She really turned on all three of the rage charm and self pity in that call lol

  • I had a girlfriend before I was married and while I was married, the former girlfriend became famous in the late 90’s and early 2000’s as a singer. The former girlfriend and I were childhood friends and stayed friends after we split up. My ex got caught cheating and I filed.

    My ex girlfriend got cheated on as well and she reached out to me for advise (not knowing about my situation). Our relationship started back up. My ex wife was furious that I was happy, and super jealous. My kids were very happy for me and have become close to the old/new girlfriend.

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