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He Took the OW on Vacation

Dear Chump Lady

My husband, a school principal, cheated on me with his secretary, we are trying to work things out.

He took his lover to Santa Barbara because “she wanted to go there.” I like traveling and he gives me a hard time about when and where we go and how much everything cost.

Why did he take her to travel, use our Marriott points to pay for their hotel and the little money we had to impress her?

Why do I feel like I need to go to Santa Barbara now to “erase” the memory of her and make new memories with him?

Thank you,

Cecilia

P.S. I’m listening to your book on Audible.

Dear Cecilia,

These questions are Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness. You’re trying to understand his motivations, why he did what he did, and you’re searching for clues like Santa Barbara.

This is a pointless exercise (although we chumps do it, bargaining stage of grief). The Reconciliation Industrial Complex is happy to take your money and offer theories, most of them blame-shifting. Because his needs weren’t met! (You can’t be a smorgasbord of pussy.) Because he has toxic shame! (That expresses itself through Marriott points.) Because she waved a travel brochure at him and sent subliminal messages through her tits.

That will be $399. However, for another $7K, you can go on a Skein of Fuckupedness ranch retreat to affair proof your marriage. Just download my ebook for more details. We’ll roast marshmallows and do Santa Barbara visualization exercises for your triggers.

I’m joking. That ranch retreat is $10K.

Cecilia, clearly I take a dim view of reconciliation. My answers are blunt and unsatisfying. Why? Because he’s a fuckwit. Because it didn’t hurt him to hurt you. Because he’s okay devaluing you. Because, to him, she was worth impressing and that’s the price of getting his dick wet. You’re there doing the wife appliance thing, and require no further investment. Because he did the cost-benefit analysis of fucking his secretary and decided his dick was worth more than your mental and physical well-being. (Get an STD test, okay?)

If this were a Jeopardy contest, every answer would be “What is Entitlement?”

Why did he take her to travel, use our Marriott points to pay for their hotel and the little money we had to impress her?

Because he didn’t have Hilton points.

Affairs are escapism and escapism costs money. Whether it’s Marriott hotels or drugs or funnel cakes at the circus. He wants his hit, he’ll pay whatever it costs to be the star in the porn film of his mind.

All that money he’s spent on affairs — be your own forensic accountant and run a credit check on him (hidden bank accounts and credit cards) — is known as “theft of marital resources” and can be asked back for in a divorce settlement.

Fact is, he was quite okay to financially abuse you as well as risk your mental and physical health with an affair. You cannot un-know that. You can, however, try to get your money back.

Why do I feel like I need to go to Santa Barbara now to “erase” the memory of her and make new memories with him?

Because you’re abusing yourself with reconciliation, doing the Pick Me Dance to win him back. Take ME to Santa Barbara! Make ME central in your life! I want to win a cheater!

This “make new memories with him” is some unicorn hopium RIC bullshit. You go to Santa Barbara right now, you’re going to puke from the mind movies. You’re going to compare yourself, your hotel, your sex, your seafood dinner, to his affair.

What exactly are you erasing? Her from the narrative? You can’t bend time, Cecilia.

My advice to you is — go to Santa Barbara after the divorce and only if you want to, because you’re either taking it back or because it’s a place that interests you. Do Santa Barbara on YOUR terms. Not to compete with a pair of fuckwits.

Maybe take a trip to California and serve your husband with divorce papers.

If he wonders why, you say: “Because I wanted to go there.”

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • This reads exactly like how I felt when I first found out about the intern/AP and their multi-day excursions (aka “work trips”). I pled to be taken away for a weekend away when we were “working things out”. We went. I cried. The whole time. And he didn’t give a crap. He told me he was the one who should be crying because he was giving up the love of his life for me. The trip just compounded the pain and my own suffering.

    Do not go with him to Santa Barbara, Cecilia. Go anywhere that he is not.

    • Number one sign that someone is need of being dumped (whether a cheater or just a dating partner)? They do not give a damn about your feelings, and will not alter their behavior one iota to make you feel better. Bye, Felicia

      • I set this boundary with a potential friend as well. She stated her boundaries clearly and I respected them. Mine were ignored.
        She’s training to be a therapist 😜

    • Before I even read CL’s fantastic response, I was thinking “Take him to Santa Barbara and hand him his divorce papers right there in the Marriot lobby. F@ck You, Good bye.”

  • “Maybe take a trip to California and serve your husband with divorce papers. If he wonders why, you say: “Because I wanted to go there.” THIS IS ABSOLUTE QUEEN SHIT!

    I am so sorry you are going through this but everything CL says is SO true. You don’t need someone in your life that doesn’t value your heart, mind, body, money, etc! You deserve so much more. Take a trip for yourself with the hotel points! And remember this has NOTHING to do with you and your character, it has everything to do with his and what he lacks (self esteem, integrity, respect, etc.)

    I know you have the strength to get through this, believe in yourself!

    • Serve him papers in Santa Barbara. Brutal. I love it. When he asks why say this is one of the places he decided to destroy your marriage, only suitable to finish is there.

      *mic drop*

      Do it, Cecilia!

      • That sounds like wonderful revenge. Thing about chumps is, yeah he might seem devastated at the time if you actually did do this, but the fact of the matter is that he really doesn’t care. This would suck more energy from you than it’s worth. You might feel great about it at the time, but next week he’ll be banging schmoopie again and telling everyone how horrible, crazy, and spiteful you are for doing that to him. The high road is move his shit out to the lawn or move out yourself out and have the lawyer serve the papers. I know these scenarios are fun to play out, but ultimately do nothing for you, and that’s all that matters right now.

  • My X took his GF on a romantic cruise, in the midst of me planning a romantic getaway for our 20 yr anniversary. They stopped in Key West (where he and I met) and went scuba diving together (I bought him his scuba diving license as a BDay present, but we never went together.)

    I finally found a romantic picture of them on a beach on his secret facebook page. He then proceeded to laugh at me as he had told me he was on the cruise with a male friend and was only emotionally attached to the GF when I found out about her. Anyway, he basically told me I was a fool for believing him. And did I file for divorce? No. I hung on for four more years of abuse and living in a house with someone who I didn’t trust or love anymore.

    I never want to go on a cruise or Key West again. It’s like it was all spoiled for me. I find it interesting that someone would want to go and reclaim a beloved vacation spot. I say go for it. Just wait until after the divorce. I wish I had left him sooner and been more stealth about it. Good luck getting your life back!

      • Agree! No one can cause someone they really love so much pain, then laugh at them for trusting the person who has vowed to love and be faithful to them. Crazy.

      • The day XAss laughed in my face when I confronted him to ask why he was being so mean to me, and in front of a house guest too. He laughed in my face. It took me another year to get out – but that was the day I realized he didn’t love me and I had nothing to work with.

    • The things FWs make up to try and maintain the utilitarian part of their marriages:
      “he was on the cruise with a male friend and was only emotionally attached to the GF”

    • “I find it interesting that someone would want to go and reclaim a beloved vacation spot.”

      I think this is common. Whether it’s what they cook, where they travel, what museums they go to–anything really–it’s all copied from their life with a chump. They have no originality or imagination, that’s all. Just another point of: ‘how pathetic is this? Very!’

      • Yes, my X still travels to the same cabin I used to book our family for ski vacations. He invited our son to go. My son thought it was weird and didn’t want to stay in the same cabin with Xhole and his new GF. I will never go to that cabin again. All painful memories now. Like while we were at said cabin, trying to reconcile at Christmas after I found out about his GF, he was still writing her and telling her he loved her. This was when we (I) were trying to save the marriage and he had supposedly broken up with her. He was also being verbally abusive to me and my son during this Christmas holiday. How could I ever go there again?

        • I know exactly what this is like. There were multiple prostitutes that he brought back to the house, the favourite was earmarked as my replacement. It’s really stressful living in a house that was contamined by the cheater, not knowing where things were done. Wondering if things that are missing were stolen. Who was sitting on my couch naked etc. Was a good day when I sold that house and moved out, slept like a log the first night in a rental house. Also got rid of a lot of furniture. I completely recommend not going back to your cabin! At least you won’t get that creepy feeling from the cabin and can just remember it as it was.

    • We owned a holiday home together. We bought the section when we couldn’t really afford it, paying a deposit, and hoping title wouldn’t be issued for a while. It took four years, and we were able to afford the balance by then. Then we built a beautiful home on it, on a shoestring budget, digging footings, painting, gibstopping, etc, ourselves, to save on tradies. We camped under the stars, making beautiful family memories, three little kids in tow.

      Guess where he started both of the long term affairs I know about, some years later??? In wreckonciliation, I was determined to reclaim MY SPACE. I cried, I fought hard to make it the space I first imagined it was.

      Eight years after the “first” affair (that I know of) after thirty what-I-thought were mostly wonderful years together, he took an online hookup there. He left me for her, and I tried to hang onto that place “for our children” for another three years, “sharing” the place. I went there twice, and couldn’t sleep in “our” bed, ewwww.

      My new partner didn’t know any of the history, but said he didn’t want to go there again after visiting once with me, “it’s got a weird vibe.” When I told him the deal, he said what I had been long thinking. “Why are you paying for them to have a gorgeous holiday home???”

      The separation agreement stated if one of us wanted out, to offer it to the other. I did. He got super pissed and called me names, I was stealing from our children!

      (Hmmm, who sold up our business and home, to go to the OW to be unemployed, while I moved up the corporate ladder, and started property investments for our kids’ futures, with a broken heart???)

      We sold it last November. I’ve never felt better about a decision in my life. The taint was too strong.

    • We went on a Disney Cruise with our daughter to the Bahamas, Bahamas is ruined as well, he was picking up fights for every little stupid thing, he was frustrated because he didn’t have cellphone reception, I had no idea what was I doing wrong. Now I know why he was treating me so poorly.

  • The ex took the ex girlfriend (from school – he was 53, she 52), on holiday during the week when he went to get ‘headspace’ ‘ON MY OWN’. I thought he was going to hurt himself! I was worried. We were together 26 years, married 18 years. He took her where we had been on special weekends, just before our wedding and for a special Valentine’s trip. He has never admitted this or the affair. I expect they ‘met up’ after he left me. That’s the usual story isn’t it.

    I was devastated when I found out and, 2 years later, I hold a lot of sadness. As human beings though, they are ridiculous. Childish, spoilt, petulant brats. Both professionals, her with a PhD in psychology and a ‘life coach (a rubbish one it seems), and him a lawyer. I can laugh at who they are. Third time lucky for them. For her, I expect she will be dumped when he finds a younger model. Although he is so dull that a younger model is unlikely to find him enticing. They truly deserve each other.

    • MW – Same here. Except he insisted on driving me to the train station for my week away to get my ‘headspace’. Then he used our car to take her to our place. Fortunately, is was the time-stamped photo I found in his deleted/trash phone photos which let me know the truth. He still claims they got together only after we separated, though other evidence suggests it was going on for months or years.

      I will never go back there.

      • Oh I got the insistence on driving me to the station too, when I was escaping to my sister’s so he could move his stuff out (not that he did that properly either). As he put it, so elegantly, ‘it’s the least I can do’. I didn’t know about the schoolboy/girl fumblings then. He certainly isn’t much cop, so more power to her elbow – she’ll need it.

    • I’ve had such a hard time finding a therapist who takes a stand on cheating. The fact that there are FW’s out there life coaching and proving therapy is so disheartening.
      I just tried out another therapist, and I asked her what her views are on cheating and she said ‘she can’t judge.’
      So the session was wasted talking about all the things in society that we do judge. I felt like I had to sell her on the concept that it’s OK to judge betrayal.
      Then she said that people could judge me for not seeing the signs, so what’s the point of judging!
      I’m truly gob smacked by how hard it is to find an empathetic therapist who will at least give me the courtesy of saying what Fuckwit did was shitty.
      Has anyone had a therapist who can at least call the behaviour of their FW wrong, abusive, selfish or anything along those lines?

      • Where would this dimwit stand on your spouse punching you in the face ?! “I can not judge”
        I understand that therapists ideally are supposed to withhold judgement and be empathetic. But they’re also supposed to help people have emotionally healthy relationships with themselves and others.
        Somebody suggested contacting a domestic violence shelter for therapist recommendations.
        I wasted time and money in group therapy led by a man who asked what I did to make some men in my life so (violently) angry. Family of origin stuff in addition to male partners. Projection much ? He told us how he once balled up a receipt and threw it at a female cashier, and then apologized a day later.
        The cast of characters in the group-a former therapist getting “Tantric massages” aka cheating;an emotionally labile woman who was an other woman; another former therapist who was punching walls and throwing stuff at his Japanese girlfriend; plus the other non cheaters.
        I had the sense to leave the group and then found Tracy’s blog. This “therapist” teaches at a local uni, training future therapists 🤦‍♀️

        • I asked her re judging physical violence – she said she would refer it on – not her area of expertise. I get that she feels her job is to help me and not to judge others. But I feel like I never know who I’m talking to – like maybe she’s an OW? And I get that the focus needs to be on me…..but I still want to be talking to someone who frames what happens as shitty. And non of them seem to have heard of covert narcs etc.
          And the fact that she said that someone could judge me for not seeing the signs – as her argument re the ineffectiveness of judging – is convoluted to me.
          The easy going and sad sausage thinking re cheating is alive and well with therapists.

          • The idea, from a therapist, that others would judge you for not seeing the signs strikes me as is lacking in empathy.
            I would expect a therapist to have taken as least one course on personality disorders (narc, borderline, antisocial, histrionic, paranoid) in grad school. Ask to see their transcript and quiz them on the traits. The characteristics are listed in the DSM. Since these types tend to wreck havoc in chumps’ lives and the chumps need counseling to recover from the abuse, a good therapist would know how to help recover from narcissistic abuse.

          • Zip, Have you heard of Dr. Elinor Greenberg? She is a clinical psychologist in New York who specialises in Narcissism, Borderline, Schizoid personality disorders etc. She writes a lot on Quora has a blog on Psychology Today. She is clear in her position that NPD and cluster Bs are abusive. Might be worth a few sessions with her for some validation…

            https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/contributors/elinor-greenberg-phd

            https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understanding-narcissism

          • The idea that you should be judged for “not seeing the signs” is ridiculous. If you were with a partner who made you feel you had to play marriage police, and be on the lookout for signs – aka someone who you don’t think is trustworthy – I’d hope a therapist would ask “why are you even with this person if you can’t trust him/her?” That therapist’s judgement seems to completely miss the point. Why would you be looking for signs in the first place?

          • And if you had seen the signs and been suspicious through out your marriage, I am betting her stance would be; well you never trusted him, so he is reacting to that. Or some other such victim blaming pile of shit.

      • My therapist also says she doesn’t judge. As she says, she doesn’t know him. I was reassured by the fact that she called him an arsehole!

        • At least she called him what he is ! I know a therapist or clinician can’t ethically diagnose a person they’re not seeing.

        • I get that they don’t know the other person- but if you’re talking about the act of betrayal – I want to know they at least judge the act. And what difference does knowing someone make? If the have this or that, cheating not ok, but if they have that and this cheating understandable?

      • The closest I came was when our preacher told me one day that he didn’t understand why I was not mad yet. He said I think you need to get to the anger stage. But to be fair, i was not being honest about how he had treated me (too humiliating) I should have been totally honest about the last year we spent together.

        Note: I did get to the very angry stage, but it took a while as I was walking around in a daze just existing and I didn’t even know it.

      • Do “life coaches” have degrees, licenses, or certifications of some sort? Because, if not, then those of us who are struggling with finding employment should become infidelity life coaches and go into business for ourselves.

        I have no problem judging cheaters and beaters. They are entitled, self-absorbed, and lack character. Their childhood traumas and other pitiful stories are no excuse for their destructive behavior. They have a general deficit of empathy, which is evidence that they are inferior and dangerous members of the human race. For this reason, they ought to be exposed and shunned by civil society.

        • Life coaches do not require any licensing, training or diploma, just a certificate. Therapists (MFT and LCSW) in my state have to complete 3,000 hours of supervised training within two years and pass two written exams.
          Sounds like a great career choice for an unemployed chump. A coach is supposed to push somebody to reach their potential, without abusing the client or causing them harm. I’m thinking of sports but it should apply to a relationship or career coach as well.

          • Jennair Gerardot was working with a divorce coach after she moved to accommodate her husband Mark’s job and discovered his affair. She murdered his mistress Meredith Chapman and then committed suicide. The divorce coach knew nothing of Jennair’s plans.
            Anybody who wants to work as a coach needs to post a disclaimer to avoid legal problems, in my opinion.

      • I hear you Zip…

        After trying several therapists and a lot of reading I have the impression therapists often go horribly wrong in their advice, because they take fuckwits for normal, reasonable human beings. The tricky thing is, they usually look an awful lot like human beings, and often the abuse is so subtle that from the outside you may indeed seem like the over sensitive one.

        On top of that, we live in an era where it is really uncool to judge, as we should be “open-minded”. And then the first issue is hardly ever connected to the other. By not judging, we are actually saying it’s okay to cheat.

        If I’d get a therapist now, I’d question him/her about emotional abuse and take it from there.

        I hope you’ll find the right person Zip! They must be out there ..

        • Thanks- I’m feeling judged by the fact that I’ve had such a hard time and they don’t seem to get it! This last one went on about maybe he did love me …..( I didn’t give her a chance to explain love and the cheating…..after the last therapist mentioned hormones)! And I think she was shocked by my mention of cheating being abuse.

            • Thx/ I’m not going to see her again. But this is a huge problem in the industry…the not judging part.
              I’ve hear ‘I don’t know him so I can’t say’ …’what would your friends say because I can’t offer an opinion,’ ‘people cheat for all kinds of reasons’
              It’s truly unbelievable… I’ve even heard that ‘people would be surprised what at what they would do in certain situations’… Or something along those lines.
              All from different therapists.

        • Mr. X is a therapist.

          He is also a serial cheater.

          He is also a covert passive aggressive narcissist

          and

          they fool everyone for decades.

          I got fooled.

          My children got fooled.

          His clients got fooled and some of them probably had sessions on his couch too…..

          for they know exactly how to play people for their personal gain and most of us don’t even know we have been had. They are that smooth.

          Beware.

          Get references.

          A lot of them.

          Good Luck.

          • All of the men in my parents’ therapy group in the groovy sixties and seventies were abusing their wives (emotional abuse and cheating). I found mug shots of this therapist’s son online for shoplifting and assault. Son, an only child, was born to them in their forties.
            Just because somebody is a therapist doesn’t mean they’re emotionally healthy. Google what Susan Polk did to her therapist whom she married.

            I’m sorry for you EC

            • Chilling story….

              I consider myself lucky. Getting out before any of the women filed suits against him.

              NC has worked wonders and I do not have to have any contact at all because all of my children are adults and were at the time of our divorce.

              Little did I know.

              I am so much wiser now and enjoying my freedom immensely.

          • “They fool everyone for decades.”

            Yep, Elderly Chump, I had one like that. He wasn’t a therapist but he could pretend he was a good listener. I was blindsided on D-Day. Never saw it coming.

            “They are that smooth.”

          • Thanks, elderly chump.

            To be honest, I have less and less expectations from therapy. Even if they are good people, if they have never understood what it really means to have lived with an abuser or narcissist, they have no real means to help you.

            And I’ve had a pretty toxic psychologist ex too ..

      • a really goodbook of evidence to show the therapist / and read for yourself is Cheating, In A Nutshell: what cheating does to the victim. Its all the” proof” anyone needs in order to judge. It is validating on every page.

      • LOL, first marriage counselor/sex therapist, or so say her credentials had me sitting across from STBXW, Me hadn’t slept in days, tears in my eyes. Her sitting across from me with that cheshire cat grin. Therapist says to me, SO…..what do you think you did to contribute to you’re wife cheating. End of therapy session. Thankfully, I did manage to find a good one FOR ME, after that. They’re out there, just listen to what they say very carefully. Good luck

        • Unfortunately there are far too many therapists out there with mental issues and they have no business counseling anyone. There are good ones you just have to be careful and go with your gut.

      • I really wanted/needed help, but I had the same problem, Zip. I took several months away from therapy and recently tried again. I only reached out to therapists who didn’t list couples counseling, and I looked for female counselors (my personal comfort zone) who listed domestic abuse, trauma and “women’s issues” as areas of focus. It took awhile to find someone but things do seem to be opening up a bit now, especially if you’re willing/able to be flexible and fill in schedule gaps until something regular opens up. I understand your frustration and hope you find a good match soon.

      • My therapist is amazing!
        Will not treat anyone who cheats on their significant others.
        She calls infidelity out as the cruel abuse that it is.
        Thank goodness for this woman who has walked thru hell by my side. It is her voice (and Tracy’s) that I hear in my head on the rough days and her praise I take to heart when I am mighty.

        Good therapists are out there! Don’t give up searching.

    • Yep headspace. Mine was showing me the photos of the flash place he was going to stay at for a week for a spiritual Kung fu retreat. We cuddled in bed together and looked at the photos. We had sex that night and I was so proud of him for being so spiritual and caring for himself. Well it turns out that was where he took the OW. It cost $3k for that trip. They are sick, cruel fuckwits.

      • Oh, and to add to the fuckwittery, he laughed at me later after I broke down in tears upon this discovery and said, “what did you think I was doing? did you actually think I was going to a beautiful place like that alone?” Yes, fuck them.

    • He was texting her in the bathroom while we were at the restaurant celebrating Valentine’s Day, now I hate that restaurant and it was one of my favorites. I feel like an idiot wearing that beautiful red dress for Valentine’s I still like that dress, I still want to wear it again and reclaim my dress.

    • 2 years after the divorce is final and I will never set foot east of the Mississippi let alone Georgia Tennessee or NCarolina because that’s where he was living his other life with skank ho. He even bought her a truck while he was driving my diseased father’s truck that was given to me. They were living in the 5th wheel I paid for. There truly is not limit to what hat they will do and never feel bad or guilty about. I may go see the New England states at some point but for now I will take west of the Mississippi as my own.

      • I saw her sitting in the dining room I bought at a Church’s charity. I loved that dining table. Now is tainted, sitting in the garage along with the mattress where he fucked her.

    • AMEN —- I don’t know if Cecilia is reading but simply this.

      In my state loyalty points have financial value, so he stole from you to do this.

      CL’s strongest line for me; “Is this relationship acceptable to you?”
      Would you date/be friends/hang-out a person who dipped into your purse to take another on holiday?

      Dump him.

      • I’m stunned my ex didn’t get it. Orgy parties, craigslist hookups and swingers clubs throughout the entire pandemic. It sure drove home he didn’t care about his family at all when I found out about all that.

        • If he never got tested you wouldn’t know if he had Covid or not. And if he did get tested and lied about the results you still wouldn’t know. Liars lie.

          • Cheaters don’t entertain the idea of catching a communicable disease. They’re special and immune, don’t ya know?

              • There’s a link between untreated trich in men and prostate cancer.
                This std spreads even with use of a condom. Skin to skin contact, like herpes and hpv.

          • That’s true. I got Covid. But he never got tested that I know of so he could have just had no symptoms.

  • Trying to work things out ??!!

    STOP. Read everything in CL archives.

    You have a very, very brief opportunity to use your knowledge of your husband’s cheating to get the best post nuptial or divorce settlement possible. A lawyer will advise you if/when to make this an Human Resources issue. In the meantime, quietly get your ducks in a row.

    If you want evidence of his willingness to work on your marriage, see if he shows the same sort of initiative in making amends as he did in planning vacation. YUCK.

  • You do realize that was your money he spent? Make him give you the exact amount of everything he spent on her and go to Bali……but wait until covid is gone. Then, if you are not going to divorce him, get control of the finances and dole out a pittance to him. Or…..you could get the money he spent and hire a really good attorney.

  • Your husband is behaving this way (this way meaning like a complete childish, self-serving arse) because you have taught him how to treat you. Your boundaries aren’t strong enough. You found out about the affair and the trip to Santa Barbara. “Uh oh!” he must have thought. Instead of kicking him out of the house and cutting up his clothes, you stayed and are considering going on vacation with him. No consequences for him at all!

    I am so sorry that he has done this to you and that he isn’t the man you thought he was. However, this isn’t acceptable behaviour. You’re being walked all over here, I’m sad to say. It took me a long time to see that my ex FW was a complete piece of shit. Along with CL’s advice and the advice of CN members, the one thing that helped me see through the lies, nonsense, gaslighting and blame shifting was to focus on his actions, not his words. People can and do say absolutely anything without consequence. Words can easily be forgotten, altered, denied and morphed into something completely different. People lie to cover up their true motivations and desires. People’s actions though have much more weight. Focus less on your FWs words and more on how you KNOW he has behaved. The cheating, the lies, the lack of consideration for your feelings. By his deeds shall ye know him.

    My ex FW was also controlling when it came to money. If he hadn’t been my fiancé I would have called him tight-fisted, but I loved him so I chose to view him as “careful” with money instead. This attitude toward money would result in him chastising me for things like buying nice clothes or eating lunch out at work. He would buy the same cheap T-shirts online and very rarely spent money. Except when he decided he wanted a £2500 bicycle! That was fine! Now he’s with Schmoopie, I see him wearing expensive T-shirts in his WhatsApp profile picture. Why is he spending all this money now? Because he wants to impress Norbert, he wants to suck Norbert into his little vortex of narcissistic twattery. Pretty soon, Norbert will assume the role of brow-beaten, emotionally abused chump and the cycle will repeat itself. The rules don’t apply to him because he’s perfect and better than everyone, he is therefore entitled to behave as he wishes while placing stricter rules on everyone else’s behaviour.

    This may be how FWs view the world but fortunately, the law does not have any such notions about human behaviour. Get spending that cash (on the best divorce lawyer you can afford).

    • “This attitude toward money would result in him chastising me for things like buying nice clothes or eating lunch out at work.”

      I spent 17 years receiving the silent treatment and withdrawal of affection for buying basic, essential things for our kids and home: sheets, towels, curtains, school supplies. Many of these purchases were bought on sale or at discount stores. Since FW gets his clothes and shoes for free from his employer, any time I bought clothes and shoes for myself and the kids, I was punished.

      Early in our marriage, I bought myself 3 pairs of work shoes on clearance. The total came to less than $100. Excited with my “find,” I showed them to FW. He immediately admonished me and began telling me that I needed to return them when the doorbell rang. It was a package delivery for him. When he opened the box, there were 2 new pairs of shoes for him from his employer. The sheer irony of it shut him up. But I had learned my lesson.

      After 15 years of this bullshit, I stopped caring. He was making six figures by then and was rarely home. 🤔 That’s when I started some serious shopping. My kids were psyched, and so was I! Now I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to stop caring.

    • No! Your husband is behaving this way because he IS an ass, NOT because you taught him how to treat you! Cecilia don’t buy into that guilt trip that he is that way because of you. Yes, you need new boundaries. Bt he didn’t follow the boundaries set by marriage! He won’t follow new boundaries no matter what you set because he is an entitled ass and your marriage is an illusion he wants to continue. That knowledge may come to you slowly, or faster with more evidence of marital money used without your knowledge and an STD check with your GYNE.
      The boundary at this point has to be legal. He may even try to weasel out of that!
      Your husband will not be held accountable because he doesn’t want to be held accountable. Tearing up his clothes really won’t help. It has nothing to do with you.
      I hate that guilt shit of “you taught him.”

      • ^^TRUTH^^

        “I hate that guilt shit of “you taught him”.

        That’s the first I have seen someone put it this way and it really resonates with me. Thank you.

        • I hear you. It sounds like victim blaming. But perhaps what the chump meant was that maybe there were boundary issues before, devaluing before and the rejection button left deactivated.
          Still, FW is responsible for FW’s actions.
          I’m thinking the comment is a reflection of the comment writers
          realization that he didn’t know his own worth and put up with too much.

          • You’re all absolutely right! That was poorly phrased and in no way do I think any of this is Cecilia’s fault. Sorry Cecilia if you’re reading and anyone else that was triggered by that. As Zip said, I had a realisation on my part that I was putting up with too much of my fuckwit’s nonsense and I sensed that Cecilia has put up with a lot already and should stop.

            His behaviour is the problem here and not yours. Apologies again.

            • Thank you all for your support. BTW I did cut up his clothes, in turn, he cut up my favorite dress. I did way more than that… I can’t say much because I went Ape-sh*t crazy and the whore put a restraining order on me. I was never violent, I never threatened to hurt her either, but let’s just say I started a “Marketing campaign” that was so big, it became “locally” viral, which exposed their affair and it got all the way to the BBB, the school was a charter school so they need a squeaky clean track record in order to get their license renewed. She didn’t get her contract renewed and he quit that job to find one near home and “try to fix things”
              I appreciate all of the advice, kudos, hugs, etc. I know is all well intended. I

  • He doesn’t care about hurting you. He doesn’t care about hurting you. He doesn’t care about hurting you.
    Is this really what you think you can fix or erase? He cares if you give him grief about hurting you. Is this worth keeping? If you choose to move on, you will look back, shocked at what you went through to try and make a relationship with a narcissist. Hugs

    • I can attest to the whole truth of this comment. It is shocking to me now and so very painful to really look full on at how little I believed I was worth. He doesn’t care about hurting anyone, and that really is the bedrock of my new life.

  • “Because he didn’t have Hilton points.”
    Almost peed in my pants.

    But, really, Cecilia, this is no joke. On the contrary, it is a nightmare and I feel for you!

    It’s not just having certain places you loved or were interested in wiped off the map. Our lives implode. I hope you are young!

    I now know sparkledick took OW to a place I used to love while I was travelling for work. I have replaced it with an even better place.

    I now understand why sparkledick was constantly rude to me during a trip to Russia, my dream to know (he even slapped my hand hard in front of a horrified taxi driver…): I ruined his plans to take OW (the same age as my oldest son) and parade her in front of his international colleagues.

    Cecilia, I have been divorced for 4 years this coming week. I don’t stalk FW, but I have 3 sons with him so every now and then I get a whiff of what he is up to. Please, please believe CN and CL: these people are assholes, they DO NOT change, but only get worse, especially if you devalue yourself.
    Get a divorce and THEN you can go to Santa Barbara.

  • (music by Tony Bennett, lyrics by Cecelia’s cheating husband)

    I banged my clerk in Santa Barbara
    I used our points to get the room
    A great locale for an affair, she wanted to go there
    I hope Cecelia won’t find out, I’m a lout
    My dick got wet in Santa Barbara
    It’s worth the price I’ll have to pay
    I’ll have to move to you, Santa Barbara
    When I get fired and sent away

    • This is too funny. I value dark humor. He didn’t get fired, but she did (well, they didn’t renew her contract). I guess that taught her a lesson that she was disposable in more ways than one. He quit at the end of the school year and found a job closer to home. (the job was at another city 3 hrs from home)

  • My ex-husband took the mistress on a church retreat entitled “Winning People to Christ”. I didn’t even know he was cheating at the time. He told me he was going to do a volunteer weekend with the Masons. Luckily she documented the entire weekend on Facebook, so my daughter found it later after I had exposed the affair.

    The two of them married right after the divorce was final. He’s 59, she’s 32. She was also married when they started up. I am well rid of him. We were married 25 years. My son is 24, he didn’t see or speak to his father for 4 years after we split. He recently agreed to meet up with him. He says he looks ridiculous, has got earrings and a bunch of new tattoos, and looks like he is desperately trying to look young. My son said he felt sorry for him because he was pathetic.

    I wonder how many people they brought to Jesus?

    • Interesting… the secretary was Christian too… when I was gaslighted and trying to find out if I was being cheated on I called her and asked her if he was being inappropriate and she denied everything and told me she was a Christian and went to church every weekend and how she talked often with her Pastor… and I bought it. I feel so stupid.

      • Please don’t feel stupid. The old “I’m a Christian !” impression management schtick has been used as part of the con job against many chumps. Read the posts about Jesus Cheaters in the archives.

  • Love the Jeopardy reference. I often find myself answering why I don’t speak with XW anymore with a Jeopardy reference:
    This is a woman who sleeps with married men in a cheap hotel room while at work.
    Question: What is a who&* Alex?

  • “I’m joking. That ranch retreat is $10K.” << LOL!!!!!!!!!!

    OK — now that I'm done laughing at CL's brilliant snark… please Cecilia, read what she's really saying. Cecilia… you're breaking my heart (sorry – had to)… you're in the right place but not paying attention to what's in the room. This is the place to break free from your cheater, not make excuses to stay and take more abuse.

    No number of vacations to Santa Barbara will right his wrongs or erase the ick or stop him from abusing you further. ONLY YOU CAN DO THAT — WITHOUT HIM.

    When FW left me, I didn't get the option to reconcile. But that didn't stop the pain from learning that he was taking OW to Paris! To San Francisco! To OBX (Outer Banks NC)!

    But then I remembered… OW is a francophile (French major at an Ivy league school) and FW HATES THE FRENCH (he has a horrific ignorant mocking accent he loves to share)! So he HAD to got to Paris for her. And I am absolutely certain that was NOT a fun trip. I got a laugh out of that.

    He went to San Francisco? Oh yes… where we met and I showed him around. And we had our honeymoon there. I'm certain he literally took her to everywhere introduced him to. Made me laugh some more! If she enjoyed it — he was literally wooing her by trying to be me! Those idiots.

    OBX? FW hates OBX — and would always complain about it.

    So…. in the end I found my peace. Because FW is a loser. He's a boring nothing and everywhere he goes, there he is. No reason to be jealous.

    And if there's some place we used to go together — I no longer feel the sadness that this "used to be our place." FUCK THAT. If I loved a place, it's still MINE. I go to my favorite places and have eradicated him as any part of that.

    Take back your power Cecilia. But you can't do that while you stay with him and chase his ghosts.

    • “If I loved a place, it’s still MINE. I go to my favorite places and have eradicated him as any part of that.”

      This reminds me of the masterpiece of manipulation that KK sent me 5 days after the divorce was finalized. Within it was this gem:

      “…Do you hear our wedding song on your phone now and skip ahead hurriedly, or do you sit for just a minute and remember practicing our wedding dance in the kitchen of our first apartment? Or did you delete that song once and for all–afraid that hearing it would only take you back to a page in a book you closed forever?”

      Fuck that shit. The wedding song to which she refers was a song I loved for years before I mentioned it to her. I still love it, as I do every favorite song, book, movie, TV show, or vacation spot that I either brought into the relationship myself, or discovered with her during the marriage.

      To me, holding on to the things that bring you joy, even though they became intermixed with a fuckwit’s toxicity, is one of the strongest statements of mighty a chump can make.

      • They love the idea of contaminating places and memories, don’t they ? Centrality !

      • UXworld – ABSOLUTELY! That song and everything else you loved is all still yours to love. Fuck her. And now you know that when SHE hears it — she thinks of YOU LOL!! They truly are idiots.

        Funny you bring that up too. FW is obsessed with Frank Sinatra. My son still complains that even now, his dad has to play Sinatra all the time (in the car, at home…).

        Last weekend my boyfriend (we’ve been together 5 years now) and I were at a dinner with friends. They were playing Sinatra. They asked if we liked it — my bf told one of the friends that ex FW played it all the time. The friends look at me and apologized. I shrugged and said “I don’t mind. He doesn’t own Sinatra” and laughed.

      • Lord how I loathe KK. Not that you should step back in the polluted puddle that surrounds her, but if you find an opportunity please laugh and tell her you liked that song long before she arrived, and you like it now. So much so that when you have orgasms with other, better women now you often do it to that song. Let her replace her Hallmark memories with that.

        Guess I’m not to Tuesday yet. I still want vengeance and fault divorce with an automatic 60/40 split in favor of the partner who honored the marital contract.

        • “So much so that when you have orgasms with other, better women now you often do it to that song. Let her replace her Hallmark memories with that.”

          Don’t apologize. That’s f*cking awesome, and I highly recommend saying such things to FW’s. We chumps deserve to have some fun too, don’t we?

      • Dear God, they really do think everything revolves around them, don’t they?

        I never thought about it before but my ex probably thinks he ruined all kinds of songs for me. No, he hasn’t. I still sing in the shower and in the car. I still get other people singing with me. He didn’t break that part of me.

        But they want to break us in that way. That’s what’s so gross about it and that comment your ex sent you. They WANT to damage us and ruin things for us. They anticipate it, they think about it, and apparently sometimes they even rub their little hands together and ask us if they did a good enough job ruining it. It’s so gross.

        • Yes, they not only discard but they want to destroy as well.
          When I was going to school down in Miami, I worked PT as a bartender and waitress. There was a bartender from Iran, nice, good looking guy. We actually had a lot of laughs. There was a waitress that was cute but clearly had mental issues, lot of lying and sneaky behavior. Well they dated for about 2 weeks and got married. His first, her second. A very short time later she dumped him and he was blown away at how she thought nothing of dumping him and couldn’t understand why she had wanted to get married in the first place. He was a little upset and sad. However, one night (a matter of days after getting discarded) when we were all working, he was actually laughing and having a good time and not in a forced way, very genuine. She looked at me and said I can’t believe how happy he is, what is wrong with him? She was totally thrown for a loop that he was not sulking or depressed. She went from cold and dismissive to angry and nasty in seconds. I can’t remember exactly but I think they got the marriage annulled.

          • (Who gets married after only dating for two weeks ? Was he looking for a green card ?)

            • Yeah that was pretty stupid…they were older than me but still young. I think he was all set with his green card as he held two jobs, so don’t believe that was the reason.

    • “And if there’s some place we used to go together — I no longer feel the sadness that this “used to be our place.” FUCK THAT. If I loved a place, it’s still MINE.”

      ⬆️ THIS!!!

      Klootzak fornicated all over the world so one day I woke up and realized he isn’t a cat who gets to claim territory by pissing on everything. Those places, songs, etc. are al mine

      One of the things that horrified me after my first D-day was all the emails from OW asking him for recipes for the dishes he made them. They were MY recipes. I’m an excellent cook and these recipes are pretty unique so I knew exactly the dishes they were raving about. At first I wouldn’t cook them at all. But I really love them, so I started only making them for friends when he was out of town. He didn’t deserve my delicious home cooking any more. If he could cook it himself all that time, he could have been cooking that for his family instead of the latest sparklytwat that came along. But he doesn’t get to keep places and things I love. EVER.

      • Yes, if I’m lucky enough to go to any of the great places I shared with FW – alone or with another, I will rejoice in that. As it was a second marriage for both of us, we wanted things we did, every place we ate etc. to be new to the both of us. But now I don’t care at all. I’m hoping this means I am moving along because although I will feel a twinge at first, I know I’ll get over it… as I did with some places I have already reclaimed as mine. I find the more often I can go back, like if it’s a coffee shop… the better.
        I do find it very telling that the FW’s don’t sweat this at all. I know my FW took OW to the same spots right away.
        Their ability to erase and move on is amazing!

    • At least your ex’s French accent is intentionally dreadful. My ex made Pepe Le Pew sound good. I had to walk away when he asked a guide: ou est le chapeau? when seeking the local historic ecclesiastical edifice.

    • Thank you, I like that. I’m reclaiming MY PLACES, MY SONGS, MY FOODS they’re still mine. Facebook mocks me showing me Santa Barbara ads every week. WTF. But I keep clicking on them 🙁

  • Yesterday a column about money and independence, today with vacations (exhole took his AP to Europe!), comments about never “having time,” the malleability of words, “the cheating, the lies, the lack of consideration for your feelings.” Hah! It’s like we’re going through my marriage, one point after the other non-stop! (And the marriages of many readers here, I suspect.)

    So glad I now see him for the laughable, ridiculous individual he is. He and his behavior are for the AP to deal with now. I wish her much fun!

    Still disappointed in myself for lowering my standards, tho. LESSON LEARNED!! 🙂

  • After 35 years married I found about his serious two year affair which I then filed divorce papers. I bought him half out of our home so I could remove him from my life.
    With all that money he proceeded to take owhore to international travel. Europe, cruises around the world,
    etc. while I was left financially broken. He even bought her a $10,000 engagement ring. Karma showed up Owhore died and he quickly moved into a 84 year old woman’s home where he is now. He’s had cancer and open heart surgery. She takes care of him. I take care of myself without the cruel sickly narcissist. What goes around becomes around. Just wish I could’ve know years ago and not wasted precious time. 😢

    • Similar story, Kathleen, and similar wish: sometimes I spend a lot of (too much?) energy on thinking “if only I had paid attention to the red flags sooner”.

      • Unfortunately, they are only red flags once you become enlightened. We all saw and felt things throughout our relationships, but ignored them for our love and commitment to our family and our vows. Also never realized that they were all signs of Sociopathy… now I know, lucky me.

    • You got to witness his karma! That sounds great to me. My FW has gotten nothing but enormous rewards for cheating on me and abandoning his family: First-class vacay to Australia. Luxurious new resort home. No responsibilities. Much higher rung on the social ladder. Hired help – no chores. Dinners out several times a week. Early retirement. And a trust-fund sparkletwat who seems to adore him. Meanwhile, my standard of living has plummeted. And I gave up my job, family, friends, and home so he could accept the job where they met. Yeah, I feel your pain, but I’m jealous too.

  • How original-porking his secretary. And doesn’t require much effort. The f*cketary is just a few feet away.

    • Yep. My fw I am sure fucked his direct report in his office, and at the dog kennel. He also fucked her in the back of his squad car before he got his promotion. To say they deserved each other is an understatement.

        • I know right? Now granted I don’t know if he did at the kennel or not, (she was the animal control officer) but I do know they hit the back seat of his squad car, because the asshole when he confessed told me. I stopped him in his tracks and said “do you realize I am your wife, you don’t tell me about sex with your whore” Not exactly those words but the words wife and whore were in there. He did NOT like the whore being called a whore, but he kept his stupid mouth shut.

          As for his office, he told me long before Dday that one of the guys screwed his gf in his office. (the other guys own office, not fws) I figured out after Dday, he was actually confessing to what he had done, not what the “other guy” had done.

      • Voldemort banged the HR manager so as to avoid any future sexual harassment claims with regards to all the employees with which there’d been any other sexual contact/activity.
        #clever
        #tactical
        #strategy
        #appalling
        #amoral
        #whatafuckingasshole

    • The lazy cheaters ideal- why not just get it on with the employee assigned to you? They’re right there, just close the door! And you can write off the manipulation lunches, too! God, they are sick puppies.
      X also got her pregnant, and cuckholded her husband, who raised a son who resembles my X exactly. Why do these people make their lives so complicated, I ask you? Anyway, according to X, this never happened, so they just go stick their heads in the sand.

        • My ex used our joint credit card. He knew I would never look at it as, he paid the bills, and I used a different account for my spending.

          Well he assumed I would never look at it, when he left for whore, I made a call to the cc company ordered a three year history, had it mailed to my friends house and found thousands of dollars of money for dinners, clothing, toys etc none of which were for me. Judge didn’t like that shit.

          Theft of marital assets is a thing, regardless of no fault 50/50 status. He actually found out I wasn’t near as stupid as he thought I was on several different fronts. I was definitely trusting, but not stupid.

          I bet that whore missed my paycheck after they got married. Especially when he gambled everything he had away.

    • That one always cracks me up. Because you have the stupid secretary going, “He REALLY loves me!”

      And it’s like, do they ever realize they were the most convenient woman in the world for him to fuck behind his wife’s back? LOL Oh no though, must be true love. Can’t just be that she was so incredibly convenient and conveniently also had no morals.

      • “And it’s like, do they ever realize they were the most convenient woman in the world for him to fuck behind his wife’s back? ”

        Right and in fws case she did it for several years. Stayed hidden for at least six fucking years. Now of course she was getting compensated handsomely, but still…

        Oh and just in case anyone is wondering, I obviously know in hindsight he didn’t have any real regard for me, he needed me to help him climb the ladder. Once he attained it, he was done with me. But, I didn’t know it, she knew she was being hidden.

        Her gamble “paid off” if you consider marrying a cheater (yes he cheated on her) and a fw who gambled himself and her into almost three hundred thousand dollars of debt, and left her in over a hundred thousand dollars of new debt when he died, “paid off” then yeah.

        He dragged her out of the trailer park, and deposited her right back in it. Good times.

          • It really is and I know I am fortunate that I am aware of it. It doesn’t matter much now, but back in those days I would be lying if I said it didn’t put a smile on my face. Hey whore you wanted my future, you got it; enjoy.

            If we didn’t share a son and daughter in law; I may never have known, as I moved out of state not too long after we divorced.

            My son and his wife talked to me mainly about it out of frustration because fw and whore were causing them all sorts of grief.

            I am sorry that my ex passed; but now they don’t have any contact with the whore at all, and that is on her. She could have treated them decently, but she either chose not to; or she didn’t have the ability to act like a decent human being.

      • 😂😂😂” the most convenient woman in the world for him to fuck behind his wife’s back”! That’s great!

        I should have known, one of my X’s favorite saying was “why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?”!

      • “And it’s like, do they ever realize they were the most convenient woman in the world for him to fuck behind his wife’s back? LOL Oh no though, must be true love. Can’t just be that she was so incredibly convenient and conveniently also had no morals.”

        THIS! Exactly!!

        I’ve been lurking here for about 9 months. 325 days ago was my D-day #1. I’ve been through absolute hell these past several months, trying to “overcome” and “get over it”.
        D-day #2 was 21 days ago. Same OW. The same one that he said he’d delete her number if it bothered me so much – while laughing in my face as he said it. This time he confessed on his own and admitted how all of it was just “friendly” yet admitted he’d obsessed over her while we were “working things out”.

        I won’t get into the whole story now – my lunch break is almost over- but I did want to comment on the whole convenience aspect. That’s what I finally realized in these past few weeks of renewed torture. She was convenient, not special. He and I were having problems when this all started last year and his MO is to get a new hook up before the other one walks out the door. And so, he went to work and got his co-worker’s number. The rest is history. Oh, wait. Except for that “nothing sexual ever happened! I need you know that!” Yeah. Sure. You lied your ass for at LEAST the past year and hid everything from me while I contemplated moving to a different state with you – all the while you were working on your contingency whore.
        She’s not special. She was simply there and she simply has zero morals. Turns out her ex husband (who ended up molesting her daughter from a previous relationship) left his wife for her and then they got married. He did what he did to her poor kid and went to jail. She moved on to another married coworker that she fucked for years before he dumped her. And, for the past almost-year? She’s been sooooooo super “friendly” with my husband. Who also, in the past, liked to fuck with married women because, according to his other friend’s logic, it’s not your marriage and you’re not the one cheating so who gives a f$&@?
        Don’t I wish I’d known that prior to saying vows with him! Jesus!
        And yes – he told me aaallllll about her.

        They’re a match made in heaven and I’m getting TF out as soon as I can. My problem is that I’m not a fake person like he is and I don’t lie so pretending like I’m “cool” with the situation isn’t working and the explosion is going to happen before I get everything in order. This whole acting bit is exhausting. How do these f$&@ faces donut day in and day out for years?

        I regret ever even speaking to him.

        • Hang tight and all the best. I know that you want to lay into the cheating bastard and call him everything in the book but trust me it will never be enough. Plus he won’t be bothered with getting called names and more than likely will see your aggression as being still passionately in love with him. It will be an ego boost and he’ll regale his friends & OW with how you went bat shit crazy. The biggest gut punch will be to quietly get your ducks in a row, get an attorney, file and leave his ass without a word. Never let him see it coming. Oh and go no contact immediately.

        • How do they manage to lie day in and day out ? As CN citizen Kar Marie wrote, they’re pod people.

        • What KB22 said.

          If you’re the type who wears her heart on her sleeve, like me, it may feel impossible not to lose it. If you consider it, keep telling yourself that it’s a trap.

          They betray and abuse you, but if you react to the trauma at all, *you* are labeled crazy. And that could cost you in court, so go “crazy” on close friends, family members, and therapists. Not him.

          Keep acting. Retain that lawyer to protect yourself, and start making plans. Don’t let him know a thing. Play sad wife. Send him sad emails from work asking for details or explanations because you want to process things so you can repair the marriage. Say stuff like “I don’t understand why you would have an affair. Didn’t I meet your needs?” Hopefully, he’ll take the bait and you’ll have evidence. Get your financial records. Make copies of everything for your lawyer.

          Above all, keep yourself together around him. Fall apart elsewhere.

          It seems impossible now, but the pain will go away. You’ll survive this and, ultimately, you will feel much better without him.

          (((hugs))) 💪

    • A Fucketary Story

      Sara and Richard are married with four children, three daughters and a son. Richard is making good bank in finance plus he has family money. His beautiful secretary Ninie moves in on him. Affair and divorce ! Richard balks at paying for his kids. He marries Nincompoop and Sara eventually remarries. Ninie births three sons. Her twins launch a beachy fashion brand with Richard’s money.
      Of the four kids R. had with S. one daughter is on her second marriage. Another daughter is a therapist and calls Nitwit her “other mother”.
      R. and Ninie split. He dies and his obit is only a few sentences long. The end.
      (Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent)

  • Ex took the 24 hrs younger suicidal nanny sidepiece on a weekend getaway and then the Millionaire Match rando he found online a business trip getaway a couple of weeks later. I found the text where he told rando after their trip that he “reconciled” with his ex and he truly loved her but she was an “amazing” woman and he hopes she finds “the one”. Looking at the dates and the communication between he and the other sidepiece (suicidal nanny), I realized he had gotten back with her and apparently I was just a speck of shit. I kept it to myself for weeks/months and just kept gathering evidence….even catfishing him. Come to find out, he has an online thing about picking up randos from expensive dating sites like Luxy, Millionaire Match, etc. on top of finding real time sidepieces at work. I walked away 2.5 yrs ago. We never married (thank God). I can see now that was such a blessing.

  • Ouch, I winced reading this. We all here seem to share similar experiences, the FW taking the AP out on some sort of vacation being one of them.

    Places that my X and the Wifetress have made special for them are places that feel tainted, sad, and uncomfortable for me. I’m still in the process of regaining my own power back over these places. Just two years ago, I finally took a drive through X’s childhood hometown and didn’t feel melancholy; I felt nostalgic because I was remembering my time and memories I made in that town without him. It took me years to get to that point.

    I still can’t go to a comic con. X met the Wifetress at an entertainment con (with me in tow as his then-current wife); X proposed to her in public at a con; X married her in a televised public event at a con; X and Wifetress attend each local con annually (within a reasonable day’s driving distance) and are local celebrities/well known within these circles, etc etc.

    The final severing with my former in-laws was constructed around one of these entertainment cons. After H moved into GF#3’S (now Wifetress) home, we naturally signed separation papers. Once we were separated, I found out that my in-laws rented a motorhome and planned a big family vacation for them, H, my kids with H, GF#3, and her son to road trip out to a big, fancy con that I had never been to before but had always dreamed about going to.

    That hurt me so much. Everyone (extramarital GF included!) but me was going on vacation together to a really great place. The ink on the separation agreement was barely dry, H and I were still technically married, I was still falling apart because I didn’t want my marriage to end, and my STBX and his parents took everyone out on a vacation but just replaced me with GF#3 instead.

    I was really devastated by that but it was the proof I needed to see that my MIL and FIL were, naturally, in their son’s corner and not mine. I lost the last connection I had to my married last name that very day. I went back to my maiden name and I took the steps to give my then-young children my last name as well. As the legal custodial parent I had the right to and it was no problem at all.

    These cons used to be a special place for us both when we were married. Now I can’t think about putting myself in that space without feeling sick. I haven’t attended any sort of con since 2010. Not only do I never want to run into them, the whole space and experience just feels sad and tainted. Like a formerly beloved vacation spot that’s ruined now.

    Next year might be my year of reckoning on that front. I have a book coming out and my publisher is pretty much insisting that I attend these cons for promotional purposes. I will finally face those demons. Here’s hoping for some “meh” when I get there. I really don’t want to go but life is pushing me to finally stand up for myself and enter back into these spaces.

    Clearly, the theme of “vacation spots and special places that were ruined for us by the FW” resonates with many of us chumps.

    • Also, Cecilia, it’s been said here and there many times but if you are the kind of chump I was, you’ll need to hear it said again and again. I did too, back then.

      I’m so sorry, Cecilia, but he’s a FW who took his affair partner on a vacation. You need to start centering your actions around you, your kids if you have them, and how you are going to protect yourself from someone who takes secret girlfriends out on vacation using martial money.

      Start small and work your way up: If you don’t have your own income or bank account (I didn’t when my H left; I was a SAHM), then get that.
      Your ability to be independent is SO important.

      And get yourself to a doctor for some STD tests. Take it from me; my H gave me a pretty nasty surprise that I was able to catch early before it did too much damage.

      Everyone currently doing the pick-me dance… get yourself to the doctor ASAP. Your health is no joke.

      • I second that. HPV and cancer (and everything in between) are real and they progress even if you are waffling on a divorce/separation/whatever. Get tested for EVERYTHING.

    • Ugh Fourleaf! You have time to plan and make sure your return to the Con is supported. Start thinking of the friend or family member who is most likely able to be make sure you have a blast and reclaim that environment! Best of luck!

      • Comic comes and comic book stores make me very uncomfortable I’ve avoided both for over ten years now. But life is changing, I’m doing more awesome things than I ever thought possible, and life (or “the universe,” or God, however you want to think of it) is letting me know that it’s time to enter these spaces again.

        I know exactly who to invite to sit next to me; I have a pal who’s offered to support me and keep an eye out for possible troublemakers like am emotional bodyguard. I think I’ll invite them along.

    • You’re going to a con as a published author. They go to cons as cons, dressed up in fancy costumes but there is nothing of value underneath. You’ll be on a dais, they will be wandering around trying to impress people with their false faces. Take back your cons, you have nothing to fear, Fourleaf!

  • As you know, Chump Nation is not about reconciliation, but since you came here to ask about why your (hopefully) STBX took his Schmoopie to Santa Barbara, you’re not buying 100% into the reconciliation.

    So let me ask you the big question. Is this marriage acceptable to you? If you are okay with being married to a man who fucks his secretary (which, by the way, could be construed as sexual harassment because he’s the principal and she’s staff so the power imbalance would mean that no matter how consensual he claims it was, if she decided to go after him, he’s completely out of luck), then you don’t need to “make new memories.” What you really want is bleach. You know he cheated. You will always know he cheated. You will always know that he is capable of cheating whenever he feels that he is justified in cheating. Nothing can erase that knowledge.

    Look, we all get that it is really, really hard to wrap your head around the fact that this person whom you trusted above all others has betrayed that trust. We search for a reason (untangling the skein of fuckedupness), and we think that maybe if we knew the reason, we could fix things.

    Uh, no.

    It’s not on us to do the fixing. Our cheaters are grown adults. They don’t accidentally fall into bed with their dick in someone (or someone else’s dick in them–cheating isn’t restricted to gender or sexuality). Cheating is a deliberate choice. Cheaters know it’s wrong, which is why they keep their activities secret. If they asked you, “hey, Cecilia, you don’t mind if I go fuck my secretary, do you?”, they know you’d tell them they can’t fuck her. So they don’t. They do it anyway because they want to, because they feel entitled to, because they can.

    And that’s the real reason cheaters cheat: they can.

    Why did he take her to Santa Barbara? Because he can. Why did he use your Marriott points to pay for it? Because he can.

    This is such a foreign concept for Chumps to understand. You probably went through your entire marriage without any thought of cheating. It isn’t who you are. It isn’t what you do. So you look for reasons.

    The only reason is that he cheats because he can, and he can because he sucks.

    Go talk with an attorney. Leave a cheater, gain a life.

    • “What you really want is bleach.”

      I love this. It got me thinking that what I really need is a big ol’ Tide stick to blot out the stains my ex made on the fabric of my life–a great metaphor for when I’m taking things back for myself.

    • kb—You nailed it. Gosh, I hope Cecilia reads your post over and over and over in the coming days and weeks..So much insight and truth….So spot on.

  • I hope I do not offend people who watch fantasy “reality” tv here — that is not my intent. Fantasy is fine IF you know it is fantasy. I am retired now, so I have lived a long time and seen a lot of things. Reality is never what your fantasy is. Do not internalize the fantasy, or you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Fantasy TV, movies, and literature make you think you are missing out on something, and you are not sufficient, or entitled to live that life. It sets an impossible standard. Don’t internalize this message, or worry about what you “did wrong.” You are perfectly good enough to enjoy your own (realistic) standard of life. Invest in yourself!

    This does not mean you cannot have dreams. I love to travel, and I would like to see more destinations than I will ever have the money, time or health to see. But I have been able to go to some wonderful places. I went to Paris when I was newly pregnant with my first son. Paris was wonderful My FW spouse was an ass. He insisted on over indulging in alcohol and other types of food to the point he was sick, and our limited time was reduced by his “slow starts” due to his binges. Was it his vacation, too? Yes, of course. Looking back I wish he had gone with another self indulgent, childish, selfish FW so they could enjoy each other’s hangovers and lack of romantic instinct. I wish I had had a better travel companion. But I didn’t, and I spackled, and I did see quite a bit of Paris. I would love to go back with someone who understands romance, reciprocal behavior, and making memories, but I probably won’t.

    The point is, you cannot change the past, and you know what you know when you know it. You cannot replace another person, like a casting change in a movie. Things that mean a lot to you do not necessarily mean a lot to your SO. Figure out what is acceptable and important to you, and live your life accordingly. If you find you have made a bad choice of partner, don’t waste time berating yourself, or trying to fix the partner. Be proactive and constructive, and get out of that bad relationship. You only have so much time to live, spend it wisely. Don’t let a FW waste you.

    Unfortunately chumps internalize messages about being less than, having to step up our game, and believing the pick me dance will result in our “winning” the “Dancing with the Sparkly Turd” contest.. That is not a win. We are more likely to suffer a bad break, because our partner is a FW. We just think we can “deserve” to win. We deserve to give ourselves a break, and we deserve to enjoy the benefits of being a good person. The FW does NOT deserve our kindness.

    Once you deprogram from all the negative messaging of your FOO and culture, you will find a MEH culture of peace and happiness. Not perfection. Definitely not putting up with FW behavior and abuse. Reality and dreams are compatible. It just takes time and experience to get there.

    • Well said Portia. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I too am an old timer- married 38 years, in the relationship for 40 plus and divorced 4 years. I wish I had had all the wisdom of this site immediately after DDay. That was the worst time of my life and I am now in the best time of life. This site could have shortened the agony and given me a possibly better outcome but no way of knowing if I would have believed it.

  • Why did he take her there? Because she probably wouldn’t have wanted to ‘staycation’ at your house and help you clean the kids rooms and put up a new fence.

    • OMG, How do you know we need a new fence?
      No, he didn’t bring her home, but he took her to our apartment in the city that he was working, the mattress where they had sex is still in my garage. He didn’t want to get rid of it because it was a new matress and I didn’t want to be wasteful, but it bothers me seeing it there every day.

      • It will likely before long be infested with mice, raccoons and/or opossums. Critters love stuff like that and they will find it.

        Personally, I would have it dumped.

        Keeping that is not good for you.

    • That they do.

      He went to a co-worker’s wedding IN SECRET (on the rarest of occasions that I was out of town).

      He even dry-cleaned his suit and put it back in our closet without me noticing a thing.

      When confronted, he said he was sorry because “weddings were our thing”. We used to watch wedding shows religiously on Friday nights. He still did it. That to me is taking “all your spots”, too.

      Nothing is sacred or off-limits with them. They have no morals.

    • Here is a song I linked above this morning that fits with the one you linked. A bit more graphic and harsh in terms of what happens if you don’t see what is happening and act early on:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frNpdG4F9mw&list=RD5lTwmK__TDo&index=14

      I didn’t see it and I did get cancer and it did almost take my life because I didn’t know and ‘they’ sent me away as though what I was saying was crazy and they told me not to worry…..

      So grateful I am here and that CL and CN are too.

      • Read my comment from last week’s post “I Made a Mistake”. A classmate died a horrible, lonely death from hpv, which started as a lump on one of his tonsils. Not a friend but I think he was a cheater.

      • I’m glad you’re doing well, Elderly Chump. Stage IV here, which all started with cheater-imparted, hpv-caused cancer that had moved and was growing in my lungs. It was treated erroneously with an inhaler for a while, and it did almost take my life. While I’m sorry to see that this is a larger group than one membership, I’m glad that I’m not the only one to eat this very big and serious shit sandwich. ((((hugs))))

  • Hey Cecilia, I was introduced by my Dutch grandchildren to Kikker (Frog), a wonderful character by author Max Velthuijs. I liked the Kikker stories so much I just googled the author. Check this out: from Velthuijs’ Wikipedia profile:

    “The stories of Kikker, or Frog, and his diverse group of friends are miniature morality plays for our age, demonstrating in framed vignettes—as if on a stage—that life can be hard but is, in the end, good, that there will be comfort: do not give up, do not lose faith, for you are stronger than you think, and you are not alone.”
    This is Chump Nation.

  • AP’s wife found out that he sent thousands of dollars worth of gifts to my wife during the affair. She was trying to get that money back during the settlement negotiations, based on those not being legitimate marital expenses (technically, “dissipation of marital assets”). AP didn’t deny that he’d spent the money, but formally argued that the costs associated with his adultery *were* legitimate marital expenses, because the affair had revealed to him that he hated his marriage. AP has tons of money, so this wasn’t about the actual cash involved: it was purely a “fuck you” to his wife.

    I have plenty of issues with my XW, but her AP (now husband) is a whole ‘nother level of asshole.

  • I think these FW is take their APs to places they know so they can appear knowledgeable and worldly. My FW did the same thing. It was really painful but I think really it’s because he wanted to be The Man. it would’ve been so much easier if he had just died rather than going through this betrayal. If he had died and I didn’t know about his AP I could have remembered the good times and reminisced with my sons about our family times. But now I just see him as this really pathetic person who did his family dirt without a whim of consciousness for those who loved him. what a pathetic ridiculous stupid mean way to live. I can’t even talk to my sons about him because I still carry a lot of resentment which I really would like to get rid of but there’s nothing about my past with him that is joyful relative to this horrible thing that he did to my family. hugs to the newbies. Set yourself free.

    • “ I think these FW is take their APs to places they know so they can appear knowledgeable and worldly… to be The Man.”

      You’re so right! I never thought of this! Love how they switch between the sobbing sadz and needing to be pitied to needing to feel manly and in control and admired. Fuckwit courting moves.

        • Mr. X said he wanted attention….

          Hummmm

          So why didn’t he ever come home to his family who LOVED HIM and showered him with attention IF and WHEN he did show up?

          Now I know why thanks to CL and CN

          but back then

          my response was to order and read as many RIC books as I could get my hands on.

          Some I even had practically memorized.

          I am a high achiever especially when motivated. 🙂

          My reward for excellence in how to fix a cheater.

          I failed.

          He left.

          The PERECT reward but I didn’t know it then as I hadn’t found LACGAL yet. Not sure why my earlier searches didn’t bring it up.

          I haven’t memorized a thing since then. I am gaining a life that does not include him at all and that is my REAL REWARD!!!!!

    • Exactly this. The same reason my 52YO Abandoning Asshat chose a 25YO foreign twat was because he wanted to be the big show off know-it-all. He needed to be far, far ahead of her financially and career-wise so he could reach down and be sure his balls were there.

      It is not in them to find internal happiness and peace or to appreciate their partner; they must always make sure their supply-people appliances are reflecting new glory back to them. As KatiePig put it earlier, they are their Service Animals.

      • How much do you want to bet the 25 year old has a more age appropriate side piece whilst she uses Mr. Middleaged for money ?

        • Yep. One day the little girl twat will wake up from hearing his freight train snoring as he blasts his dragon breath at her, and will walk into the polluted bathroom to spy the drift of back hair covering the toilet and she will realize it is time to go looking for her own AP.

          The thing is, as physically disgusting as he could be with the back hair that I dutifully shaved for him or the shit streaks in his tighty whities that I faithfully cleaned without a word, I still loved him completely and would have served him as his wife until death. I did not mind the gross parts of him because he was my husband and I was committed. None of us are perfect, and I would accept all of that cringey stuff and more from a truly decent and moral fellow. I will take ugly toes from a guy who is faithful.

          The fact that these aging asshats start working out, get new underwear, do teeth whitening and start carefully cultivating their goatees is a prime indicator that they know at some level they don’t measure up for their stupid young twat daddy-issue APs and that it is their thick wallet that keeps them in the bed of the morons, not a thick willy. The chance the young chick is getting hammered by some stud on the side is highly likely.

          Wouldn’t that be nice, for him to have to endure the righteous karma of being replaced. He still would not miss me, the Appliance, but it would be rich schadenfreude to know he suffers.

          • Here’s to a skid mark free life ! Just burning rubber in my European sports car

            • It’s one thing to clean up after little ones or scoop the dog’s or cat’s poop.
              Best line ever from the tv show Modern Family while they visit Phil’s elderly aunt. “Can I help you with something that’s not disgusting ?”

        • Absolutely, I think it is rare for this to not be the case for these May December gigs.

          Even if the relationships are not born of cheating, I think that is the case.

  • Cheating is kind of like being at a toll both where you notice the sign “ do not back up” ( or your tires will be punctured). There is no way out and you can’t unfix it.
    Your husband is devaluing you Cecilia, he’s already done the mental shift and he does not care at all what effect his actions have on your life. He will gaslight you into believing you are somehow responsible for his lack of fulfillments in his own life, the confusion is mind blowing. It is all a BS move to continue the game and if you don’t act, the game will only go deeper into the sewer and you can convince yourself for literally decades that you are “doing fine” some incomprehensible way. It is not you!! It’s all part of the con to get what he wants.
    CL spelled it out beautifully as always, with buckets of wit and wisdom. Your husband is unfortunately one of the morally corrupt losers of this world. Sorry you’ve been hurt so badly, it’s a pain only a fellow chump can fully grasp. It truly sucks.
    I once had the opportunity to go on a cruise to islands in Greece through my husband’s employment.He did not ask me to go with him however, which I assumed was because he’d be involved in business and wanted to do the trip alone to concentrate on that. At least that’s what I told myself then, but when I found out years later that most of the other company wives went and the reason I wasn’t invited was because he was trying to keep his current mistress of six years happy and if he wasn’t taking her, than by God, he’d better not be taking me! That was all going on simultaneously to renewing our 30 year vows with our three adult kids on the beach of our dream retirement house we had just purchased together. ( which when the mistress got wind of the house purchase, she blew up and fully realized he would never leave his wife and dumped him for another). It was another 10 years ( why am I still in it?!?) past that affair ( with plenty of others in between unknown to me) that he found another pretty young thing, divorced me and married her quickly before we ever got to move into that beach house.
    The fog is very dense with all the drama that becomes our lives, you can’t even see your hand in front of your face any longer. My hope is that people believe what they are actually seeing a lot sooner than I let myself see it. You are in the right place to get that clarity, good luck to you.

    • Exactly.

      I so wonder if Cecilia had run off the Tahiti to screw the office copier boy, would her hubby think that was peachy keen too?

      I’m thinking not.

    • Thank you for your words.
      Yes, he took the lover to Sacramento for work, this was before the affair started but it was already prepping the standard for “work trips” I thought it was weird that he didn’t invite me and I begged for him to take me because I’ve already felt him distant from me. He made up all kinds of excuses on why he couldn’t take me, it was team-building, it would look weird for him to take his wife, he was going to room with another male co-worker etc. etc. He wasn’t answering calls and kept making up excuses on why he wasn’t checking in with me.

      • C, from what you’ve written here, what I’ve read on this site and what I’ve experienced personally … your husband was already having an affair with his secretary when he went to Sacramento. Why do you believe he wasn’t? Because he told you? I’m afraid you still can’t fathom what he’s capable of and have no idea about the real story; I don’t think there’s a chump out there who ever does. Nor do we want to, once we’re out.

        Unasked for excuse details like “I’m rooming with a male coworker”? Classic cheater tell. Use your detective skills to look into the facts around that work trip, because it could provide more evidence. (Tempted as you are, don’t ask him about it or let on you’re suspicious.) There’s also a good chance there were others, and way before you can imagine. That’s what happened to me. Our couples counselor was shocked. Everyone we knew was shocked. They are con artists.

        • Yes, hotels are not the beginning of an affair….the groundwork was laid for that to happen. She was being treated like his GF even if they hadn’t yet sealed the deal.
          As they say / the damage is done before that 1st kiss

          • I might even amend your last sentence to

            “Most of the damage has already been done before the first kiss.

            • I was going to say ‘most’ but I thought of the poor souls who suffered STI’s.
              But most of the emotional damage was already done – yes/ sadly.

        • Yep. I remember the three day weekend where my ex went for a seminar that he and the dog catcher had to attend for work. They had to leave Friday after work, and the siminar was over Sat and Sunday morning and they would drive home from Layfette Indiana to Indy later on Sunday.

          I bought it hook line and sinker. Of course had I been suspicious all I would have had to do is call the mayors office and ask the secretary what the name of the hotel was that fw and whore were staying at for the “animal control seminar”. I am sure the stunned silence would have answered the suspicion. But, no; I was still in believe whatever he said mode. By the time I realized what it really was, which was just him and whore going on a two day holiday somewhere, well it didn’t matter anymore. Probably didn’t even matter then.

          Honestly in the last three months of the year of discard, I was in a figurative fetal position until the end. I just went to work, went to my classes and lay awake most of the nights crying. Then did it all over again until he walked out. I really should have talked to someone, but I was frozen for some reason.

          He likely knew that and used it to his advantage.

  • I spent 20 years building a business with the traitor. I found out that he took the one I found out about on business trips. When I had suggested going on business trips (for the business I helped build) he said, “Oh, I don’t know what you’d do. I’m in the shows all day.” He didn’t travel for business very often, and when he did (allegedly, because who the hell knows) he called me numerous times all day every day he was gone.

    We can safely assume there is a God of some kind because when I found out he had taken her on business trips (allegedly) for the company I helped build, I did not do anything that would earn me a permanent room at the hotel that taxpayers pay for.

    If you can live without trust or safety or peace of mind or security or love (because someone who truly loves you would not do any of this) by all means stay.

    Yelling at a sparkly turd to be a unicorn has never turned a sparkly turd into a unicorn.

    • Same. He used the company I helped him build to pay for his dream trips with his twu wuv, to grow his “business” abroad. Fine, now he has to buy me out of my half and sure I’ll save some of it for my kids’ college and my retirement but I am calling the fist check “Hawaii”, the second “Norway”, the third “Japan”, … I’ll let him deal with the tax audits and the investors when the time comes.

    • Trade shows were the site of most of the fucking that my FW did with Susan of Seattle.

      Tampa, Salt Lake City, Vancouver BC, Quantico, VA, Seattle, San Francisco

      During wreckonciliation, we went to SLC and I nearly had panic attacks around every corner. Tampa is a place that I reclaimed and my only hope is that someday I run into her in the airport there. If I do, I will say “I told he to go, I wish he had…I realize now that you were his true love – it is a shame that he died”. I want her to spend every last day grieving over her “lost love”

  • Betraying your spouse speaks to their mindset. But screwing your secretary in this day and age is beyond stupid. This will get around the school … when you are thinking clearly you will realize you don’t want to be associated with him.
    Get a good lawyer to make sure you get half his pension and that he can’t ask you for money once he’s lost his job. I think we project the bond we feel onto them. So in our mind we say « why did FW do this or that – we have such a bond? »
    There’s no healthy bond.
    Don’t be his doormat.

  • These entitled pricks are so all the same. I used to dream of going to Hawaii on a family vacation, but of course we couldn’t afford it or FW was too busy, there was always a good excuse. Guess who is going to Hawaii every year, on my birthday? Yes that’s right. And it started while we were still married. Real classy. I am counting the days until my divorce goes through, and once I have a little money saved up (well someone had to pay for all these fantastic trips with shmoopie), I’ll take the kids all around the world whenever I want.

    Dump his ass, he’s not worth it and he needs to hear it.

  • Cecilia – you are here in Chump Nation so you are in a safe place. Keep listening to LACGAL. Also read “Cheating in a Nutshell”.

    You are here because this is where chumps are understood, not blamed. The RIC tells the FWs that we “all have to accept responsibility”. Do we? Do you? NO. No matter what you do, or don’t do, THEY didn’t make a mistake, they made a decision, many decisions, that hurt us for their benefit.

    The future you thought you had is now changed, but your spouse is also a different person than you thought. You are also changed by the trauma. Those are three big concepts that you have to wrap your head around, through no fault of your own.

    It is time for you to make new good memories in spite of him. Imo – Santa Barbara will cause pain.

    Last year my then-fiance and I went on a wonderful vacation to one of my bucket list places. A month later I found out about his year-long affair. He had fucked her shortly after we returned from vacation. The memory of that vacation causes me distress – I had a lovely time, yet he was a fraud. I am trying to reframe that as MY vacation, not our vacation. I am considering going back alone, to reclaim that area for myself.

    Please please keep reaching out to CN. Yes we will tell you to leave. But we also understand the best.

  • This man is cheap with his wife yet splashes out on a vacation with his ho-worker?

    He is no prize to be fighting over. He is a turd. Accepting the fact that a good man would never, ever, do such things is the posters soul work.

    She can take the same trips they did, eat in the same restaurants they did, have sex in the same positions that they did, and it will make not a speck of difference. He stabbed her in the back. The knife doesn’t come out.

    • “Accepting the fact that a good man would never, ever, do such things is the posters soul work.”

      And that is the hardest part isn’t it? It gets so much better when we do, but it takes a while.

  • “ He wants his hit, he’ll pay whatever it costs to be the star in the porn film of his mind.”

    Even if the cost is his own integrity.

    “ This “make new memories with him” is some unicorn hopium RIC bullshit.”

    Cecilia: The RIC is not on your team. This will not end well with your cheating husband. Whether it ends now because you leave, in one year because he discards you, or in ten years when it happens again… Any memories you make from here on out that include him will be traumatic. Just like memories you once cherished likely already are, because you now know what was really happening. (A friend showed me a sweet photo from last summer this morning; I was in a good mood, not sentimental, focused on the work day ahead, and just the thought of last summer triggered a shiver down my spine.) Start filling the void your husband has left with good things, just for you. Every little bit counts, because you have a really hard road ahead. You can at least be in a better financial position to face it if you take control now, and you will also be able to remember how badass you were. (I cannot look back and say the same.)

    • “You can at least be in a better financial position to face it if you take control now, and you will also be able to remember how badass you were. (I cannot look back and say the same.)”

      Cecelia, take this ⬆️ in. Your marriage is broken. You can spackle and break, then spackle and break some more, but eventually the final break will come.

      It will come because it takes 2 to marry, but it only takes 1 to divorce, and your husband fucks strange. Someday, he’ll believe he’s “in love with” strange and leave you for her. There’s nothing you’ll be able to do about that. If you spackle and twist yourself into pretzel to please him all the way up to that day, you will always regret that you betrayed yourself.

  • Same story here. My X traveled a lot for work. During discovery I found proof he had been flying his “Friend” ho worker out to him at various customer sites. Plus extending his trips to her city for work. They all lie the same. Nothing to work with here.

  • The overhead to secure compliance from a cheating accomplice is cheaper than paying a prostitute, as Chump Lady has astutely observed.

    Nowhere is “you get what you pay for”
    more true than in an illegitimate relationship. The very qualities that mitigate the risk of putting your heart on the line in a love relationship (honesty, loyalty, security, intimacy, etc) are missing entirely. The adrenaline and dopamine from fucking around are easily gotten by other means, and are not my idea of a wise basis on which to make major life decisions or choose a romantic partner.

  • New word discovery!

    ADULTERINE

    I love my WordWeb app.

    The OW has a new name…

    ADULTERINA

    😜

  • I am sorry Cecilia. I used to be stuck like you, wanting to know why. I used to want to believe that the OW was just a work friend for FW. Then I got the “it’s not you it’s me” talk, after 11 years of marriage and 2 beautiful children. One night while bracing for the separation I couldn’t sleep. I was browsing the internet for something that would help with the intense pain I was living with then. That’s when I found CL, and it didn’t dull the pain but it gave it a name. What I read here reassured me I wasn’t crazy. You may not be ready to call a divorce attorney but you’re close. It’ll be painful for a while but it gets much better on the other side. You have nothing to gain staying with him, he told you so, you should believe him.

  • IMO, this sort of thing can serve as a single data point for a narcissism diagnosis; a person has to be at the very top of the pyramid in terms of current kibble production to be treated with a modicum of consideration and respect and lesser kibble producers don’t rate being treated with basic human decency.

    He took her there, and not you, because of that, Cecilia. She was producing the most kibbles. He also got off on taking her to places you loved because he’s cruel. Dump him. He’s incapable of love.

    • ^^^^ the only answer you need Cecilia

      Why: he is entitled and derives pleasure from hurting you, I am sorry.

      Serve him with his deserved consequences, take your half of the Marriott points and go make new memories without him in it. You still have plenty of time, don’t waste any more of it on him.

    • So sad when the inadequate ones are their kids, tossed away for new shiny kibble producers. Especially when the last AP was their age.

      What a mind fuck to grow up being his precious adorable little girls and #1 Daddy Fans only to be discarded as they approached their teens. The constant and hurtful long devalue culminated when they were college-aged with his destruction of the family and his determination that they were completely malfunctioning appliances that deserved his abuse and abandonment. His pursuit of happiness pointedly did NOT include his daughters, and they had the gall to notice.

      It has been a long road of recovery for them to realize not all men do this and to risk trusting again. So much damage was inflicted.

      Now he wonders why they are NC with him and wish him dead. It’s a mystery.

      • “He wonders why they’re NC. It’s a mystery” Picture him standing there scratching his head, looking bewildered I tell you.
        I’ll edit Dr George Simon’s “It’s not that they don’t see, they disagree “ quote. They really DO NOT SEE anything past their navel.

        • To me the more accurate statement should be: “its not that they don’t see, it is that they don’t care”

    • Yes, I agree. They do that because they can and because you matter very little by the time it happens. If they truly cared, they wouldn’t cheat/lie/gaslight.abandon and all the rest.

      Once I got that about a year into a long-distance separation, the sky got blue again and later the ups-and-downs of the divorce process and closeout didn’t bother me as much. Yes, I got upset at times, but I was fine a few hours later. It no longer derailed me. I decided that as long as I got a fair settlement, he was free to do whatever with his money with whomever he chose. Thankfully I had an excellent attorney and did indeed get a good settlement, and he went his way and I went mine.

  • Oh Cecelia, I’m sorry. The special places we build together with our spouses often end up locales for their meet-ups and affairs. But you can reclaim them once you reach the other side of this mess — that’s the hope I’m holding on to.

    Please read in the archives (2017) about how CL reclaimed Paris, for herself and for love.

    Like CL, I was also chumped in city of romance. Because I could speak a little French, on our first trip to Paris I ordered for Knave-man in restaurants, paid the tabs, dealt with taxi drivers, translated in museums and shops, checked into the hotels — all the little ordinary things, which allowed him to totally relax and enjoy the fabulous city. He loved it. Paris became so special to us that we moved there for a while.

    A few years later, I found out about his affairs in part due to Paris. He was scheduled to go there — I had a previous commitment and would skip this trip. When his affair partner found out that I wasn’t going, she pressured him so thoroughly to take her also that they both became sloppy in their social media communication –and voilà ! — he was caught when all our accounts were temporarily and mistakenly linked.

    It was only later that I learned that the reason he did not take her was that ANOTHER AP was waiting for him in Paris. Quel connard.

    Knave-man has suggested a trip there for us to get our mojo back – like that is even a possibility – NON ! Be alert for your partner to use this tactic to reel you back into your role of wife appliance.

    When the separation is complete, I am free, and the time is right, I will take back Pairs on my own terms, too. I can’t wait.
    I hope you experience the satisfaction putting yourself first, meh, and Santa Barbara very soon.

    • Ha! I went to Paris multiple times with X, on my way to visit my family. He can go as many times as he wants he can’t “take” it. I’m French, my kids are French, he is not. I know it bothers his fragile ego, for some reason. Well he can take that baguette and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, it won’t change a thing. Paris is mine motherfucker, and the rest of France too

  • Cecelia,

    Retain a lawyer, get educated on your options, make a plan, start counseling. Don’t tell your husband any of this.

    The trigger has already been pulled. All you can do now is dodge the bullet. Prioritize yourself, not your marriage, and not him. If you don’t, you will lose much more than you’ve already lost.

    I recommend Big Sur and Carmel over Santa Barbara. Rent a car (if you don’t live near Cali), and drive the coast. A convertible would be killer. Take a camera and a journal. Hike into the redwoods. Lose him. Find you.

  • Damn the pick me dance makes us do stupid shit. Mine took tens of women to hotels and restaurants. When I told him that was money spent that could’ve been saved. His response was the rooms were cheap (like him and the women) except when it’s 15 times a year times God knows how long – it added up.

    He took his last scmoopie to two restaurants that were ‘our’ places. When I asked why – he said it’s ok because she didn’t eat (face palm).

    Bottom line Cecilia, they do what they do because they are selfish, entitled and don’t give a rat’s ass about us. Instead of taking him to Santa Barbara – take him to the cleaners

  • If this were a Jeopardy contest, every answer would be “What is Entitlement?” 😂😂😂
    This kind priceless humor was my first sign that I was in the right place when I began reading CL years ago. I found myself laughing, when I had been sobbing for weeks.

    You can get through this, dear chumps! The pain is finite.

  • “I want to win a cheater!”

    If I’d realized that was what I was trying to do, I would not have wasted a dollar or a minute on the RIC.

    • That’s cutting through the crap! Way to go, Madge!

      “I want to win a cheater!”

      I told him “I don’t want to be married to a liar and a cheater.”

      He was deeply offended by that and called me later to tell me so. “That’s all I am now?!”

      Yep.

  • Wanna hear REALLY stupid shit they do? Exfuckwit took AP to same hotel, same city, as our honeymoon. Then, took similar pics and sent them to me. Wish there was a real Dexter.

  • This is the most accurate thing I’ve read on the internet this week:

    “He wants his hit, he’ll pay whatever it costs to be the star in the porn film of his mind.”

    When I first met my ex, he used to talk about the mind movies he was making when we had sex. 🚩 🚩 🚩 turns out he was a porn addled autogynophile with mummy issues (liked to abuse women like his dad had done to his mum throughout his life). It was ultimately the porn that shaped his life, his affairs, his perdition. It’s way more pathological than most people realise.

    • I thought “Bingo” at this line, too. Definitely a big part of my ex’s issues, though there were many other contributing factors. I had no idea until the very end. Glad it’s not my skein!

      I am sad for young generations who are growing up on all of this. And I’m also worried about ever finding a new partner who hasn’t been brainwashed.

  • 1) “We are trying to work things out.” Yeah, let me guess…that’s working for him, and not for you.
    2) Be sure to keep fuckwit in the dark while you lawyer up and line up your ducks, and be as secretive, phony, sneaky, and self-focused as he is/was. You couldn’t believe a word he said all the time he was/is cheating, and you can’t believe a word he will be saying going forward. Especially, once he sees “his” money, assets, reputation, career?, and wife appliance heading out the door.

  • 💡 Reading this post, I realize I took back Cape Cod with and for my mother.

    My father used one of his aunts for a free place to stay for our summer holiday. Parasite. Not much of a break for my mother-still cooking, cleaning etc in an ill equipped house in Truro. Dad liked to catch up on his reading, ignoring all of us.
    They divorced and he brought wife 2.0 to the Cape, just one town over in Wellfleet. The entire eastern seaboard and he picked the same place where he spent summers with his first wife and two children. Second wife died of cancer. My brother and one of his friends met up with Harlow and wife 3.0 on, where else,the Cape, shortly after their wedding. Friend said jokingly to my brother “Your father does a great job of tuning out his wife” My brother responded “Wouldn’t you ? She never shuts up !”This wife put the kibbosh on ever vacationing on the Cape again.

    My mother loved the ocean and the two of us took back the Cape one Thanksging, during my college years, staying in Chatham.

    When she died, I drove up from New Jersey and spread half her cremains in the Cape Cod National Seashore, along the water’s edge.

    Take back whatever you want fellow chumps.

  • I saw this on Quora:

    Believe our patterns not apologies

    Believe all red flags

    Know your worth

    Don’t lower your standards

    Don’t fall in love with probability

  • Celia, I align with the other chumps. Going to places he went with OW will only hurt you NOT him. I had a lovely massage therapist I adored. Unfortunately exFW went to see her and although I really tried not to let the intrusive thoughts come (he disclosed massage happy endings, bar women, co-workers, and lastly his 7yr sexual/emotional affair with stepsister) BUT they did. I cried almost the entire massage. I had to find a new one. I live in a small town and the idea seemed daunting. But not only did I find a new one she is wonderful too, just in a different way. You can’t undo the memories. They are there for him and for you. I tried for 8 months to do RIC. It’s exactly what Chump Lady says it is. Just one more way for them to blameshift onto you. The very same with counseling or counselors who stay “Neutral”.

  • I am going to Bar Harbor, Maine this September. Meeting a girlfriend and doing some quality vacation time. Bar Harbor – happens to be the place the ex took my would be replacement on vacation – planned for right after coming “home” and giving me the “sad” news he could no longer stay married to me. At least that is the way I think it was scripted. He had already flown her to London, gone to sex clubs, wined and dined. Well, I watched it all real time. Filed for divorce. Very sorry it turned out this way, but accepted it. Two years later, I’m going to Bar Harbor. His connection to it is meaningless. By the way, the BH gal didn’t work out…..Leave him and start the healing.

  • the ow would have treated him as if he was wonderful. in the real world cheaters aren’t wonderful, are they? My exs ow, gave up her kids for him. I think she’s bitter. He lives on his own, im surprised he didn’t move in together. He’s a heartless bastard sometimes.

  • As a former Unicorn who lived through a 7 year wreckonciliation, I will attest to the fact that once the do as the posters Cheater did, any possible return to a normal life is somewhere between “unlikely” and “impossible”. They tip their cards with this behavior…that they REALLY do suck, THIS MUCH.

    Cecelia…please know that I wasted about 8 years ruminating over “why, why?” when the answer was “because he sucked” …I was just not willing to admit it.

    Im mad about the Marriott points…in marriage we seemingly work to accrue goods together to use together. In my time with Cheater, we both made HUGE sacrifices in his military career so that when he retired, he could leverage the goodwill he had built into a successful career that we would both benefit from…like the Marriott points of life.

    He was a purchasing officer for the Federal govt and fucked the sales rep. Her company got wind of it and had to fire her or risk HUGE fallout from the govt and total loss of the account. Because he felt responsible for her job loss, he contacted a colleague and asked them to hire her and they did. At Dday, I learned that the company had a $300,000 a year job open but it would make her a direct report to him and I said that “all the money in the world would not get me to agree to that”. (I should have divorced his ass and taken $100,000 of that and ran like Hell but alas I was a proud Unicorn.)

    He squandered 20 years of goodwill for his fuckbuddy.

    • “ He squandered 20 years of goodwill for his fuckbuddy.”

      Mine too. He sacrificed our comfortable retirement, our nice home in an upper middle-class neighborhood, our adult daughter and our adorable 7 year old grandson. And a faithful, loving wife of 29 years who bent over backwards for years to try to make him happy. Who always felt like a failure because she never could. Such a relief to no longer feel like such a disappointment.

      What did he give it all up for? A massage parlor sex worker and her 10 year old son. To live in a crummy apartment and had to go back to work as a handyman to support her & so she no longer has to suck dicks for a living.

      He whines and cries to whoever will listen about how hard-hearted our daughter is to keep our grandson from him. While we were still married and he was retired and I wasn’t, he was coaching massage momma’s kid’s little league team. He told me he needed something to do to fill his time during retirement. Meanwhile, he refused our daughter’s requests to babysit and to spend time with his own grandson, who is such a cool little guy. And he wonders why our daughter wants nothing to do with him and doesn’t want him around our grandson?

      Also, I recently found out from VERY reliable sources that my ex is even more of a low life than I thought. Turns out not only did he frequent illicit massage parlors, he also regularly cruised a notorious red-light district, picking hookers up off the street. And he may even be involved in other criminal activities. I fully support my daughter not allowing my grandson anywhere near that lowlife motherfucker.

      He’s actually married to massage girl momma now. Now that she’s got the green card in the works, I’m sure the daily sex he said he was getting has slowed considerably. Probably back to picking up ho’s off the street. At least now he’s not using MY money to do it!

  • “He squandered 20 years of goodwill for his fuckbuddy.”

    Same with my fw. Not just my goodwill, and the respect of his son; but his job situation and his standing in the community. On the day he got busted (from Captain back to patrolman) I wonder if it flicked across his mind that he had sacrificed it all for the town whore. Those Captains bars and the cushy office was what he had worked and dreamed about. I in no small part helped him get there, no doubt about it, and he knew it.

    His life pretty much continued to deteriorate physically and financially until he died. I only know the big events as told by my daughter in law or son, but dang surely even the most selfish bastard would have to have a moment of… But, who knows?

    • Heck no, these guys have a false narrative that they cling to in the face of opposing facts.

      What’s important is that you know the truth.

      • Yep, and he knew I knew. But, I still think in his inner mind, there were times he looked at her and thought “what the hell”.

        And make no mistake I don’t mean because he lost me, he didn’t give two shits about me or he wouldn’t have treated me like he did. But, that promotion that cushy office, out ranking folks who he had to take shit from for years. That hurt. He had no idea that when he trashed me, (the woman who helped him get there) his other goodies would go right into the can with me.

        The plan was for her to walk seamlessly into my spot in his life and he would continue on, and of course folks would accept her because they accepted me. Never occurred to the self important asshole that folks like me because of me, not him.

  • Thank you all for sharing your insight, your experiences, your thoughts, your advice.
    There’s a lot that I left out from my post, but anyone here can fill in the blanks.
    As I read everyone’s responses it feels like I’m reading my own thoughts, my own feelings, I just didn’t know how to put them in order or make sense of them.
    The affair started back in January 2020, lasted 3 months, then D-Day happened thanks to our Tesla’s account. He removed me from the Tesla app so I wouldn’t see where he was or where he was charging the car, he told me he was going to the Charter school headquaters in Phoenix, AZ. I remember we created an account in the computer when we first purchased the car at the “Dealership” so I logged in to the computer and voilá, all charging stations heading to Santa Barbara, then I saw the last charge was at the Marriot and just out of curiosity, I checked our points and there it was, in zeroes with the last Reservation in Santa Barbara. I called all weekend and he wasn’t answering, it was too far for me to drive and I wasn’t even sure he was going to be there, I only had 100 Dlls and it would be one trip in gas with no money to come back… but I did go to our apartment when he was supposed to be back from Phoenix, he was there with the whore sitting together in the kitchen’s table, I saw them through the window and I didn’t have a key to the apartment because he always made excuses not to give me one. But, I signed the application and I went to the manager and told her to open the door for me, she did and the closed the door in my face, I put my leg in before they could close it and it all went downhill from there. She hid and my husband held me. There’s a lot more after that. But I’ve never felt that bad in my life, I was suicidal, I had a plan, I had a letter, I had the means… I ordered a Carbon Monoxide meter from Amazon to make sure it will be lethal, I had already ordered it and paid for it on prime, turns out I got an email from Amazon apologizing but my order couldn’t be fulfilled because they were not shipping non-essential items (this was in April 2020) I’ve been going to couples’ AND individual therapy, my individual therapist is great, and she’s not rooting for reconciliation. I’m at a much better place emotionally, I’m not the same person I was a year ago, but I’m still living my process. I’m reading a lot about narcissists and he checks all of the boxes, honestly, I don’t know what am I waiting for, I just know I feel sad and scared for the future. After years of being a stay-at-home mom and working from home baking, decorating weddings I finally have a full-time job that pays ok. Not enough to emancipate me completely from him, we have no equity in our house, and a lot of shared debt and it’s scary and sad.

    • I’m sorry that you were abused like this by a person you thought you could trust.
      Now you know he is not trustworthy and there is no reason to continue.

      Being away from such a destructive energy allowed me to see clearly and to experience life in a much better way.

    • Cecilia, we are rooting for you!

      It is scary to face the unknown, and know there’s a lot to do between where you’re at and freedom/peace/happiness. When you wrote that you couldn’t make the trip because you only had $100, I was struck: you mean this guy’s got enough financial freedom to scamper about, he can afford a Tesla, and you can’t go where you want when you urgently want to, because of needing another $100? Does that mean you don’t even have access to joint credit cards and accounts? That’s a huge power imbalance he is exploiting.

      You also wrote that he wouldn’t “give you” a key to your shared marital property. Again, sounds like a lot of his power and control over you has been normalized.

      They tried to shut the door on you and you had to stick your foot in the jam? Like do they believe that if they pull a blankey up over their heads that they are so clever and mommy doesn’t know where they are? I’m sorry you were put in the position to have to use your body and physical struggle to learn the truth of their abuse.

      That is a lot of careful planning you put into ending your pain, and I’m so glad you didn’t choose that self-harming route. Clearly you are very resourceful and flinty-minded, and you are willing to overcome resistance and do very difficult things to get your pain to end. Instead of gritting your teeth through your husband’s entitlement and control, please prepare to grit your teeth through some uncertainty and self-doubt. Instead of thinking of destroying yourself in order for this humiliation and sadness to end, consider using all that bravery and clarity of purpose to destroy the situation that allows the humiliator to have access to you: destroy the belief in this marriage, in his “love.” On the other side is a clear emotional field for real love for you to grow.

      I’m with all the people advising you to carefully prepare, without alerting him, by consulting lawyers and making a plan. I’m so glad you wrote in!! Hope you keep coming back here for support and update us on how you’re doing.

      • Cecelia, I second everything Magnolia said.

        I will add that there were times when married to Cheater that I wished I would die…I remember once begging God to let me die in my sleep and I was SO mad when I woke up.

        Now Im living a great life …sometimes I even dance in my yard Im so happy to be alive.

        The first step towards thrive is to survive…join me

    • I am so sorry that you had to go through all this. It’s is terrible. One year is not that long to process all that and flip things around in your head. It’s terribly painful. One thing that helps us is to get away from the FW to gain clarity. It may seem like too much but I am going to tell you what a good friend who’d gone through a divorce before me told me: you have more power that you think. Talk to an attorney. Take it one step at a time. You already have a job, open a bank account if you haven’t already, and move away from him.

      Good luck. You are mighty, you deserve better and it’s right around the corner.

      • You are right that it is hard to really understand while you are in it. Towards the end of the wreckonciliation, I thought that I understood, but really, I didn’t. I was so swayed by the primitive need to survive that I ignored SO MUCH dysfunction and abuse…he could walk into a room and say something so godawful horrible that a normal person would pack their bags and leave and I didn’t even respond.

        It was about 3 months after he was gone that I really started to gain clarity. One super hard thing about doing that as a widow is that there are not a lot of reliable people to whom I can say “wow, life is easier with him gone” …it goes against all social norms. I didnt want him dead but I had to be away from him and this is just the way it unfolded.

        One of the worst parts of processing this particular experience is that the people who loved him and were either not abused or were less abused by him mostly need to keep their narrative to help them on their grief journey and in that, I am cast adrift from many I love in what I need to work through. I forever risk them thinking me an asshole or having to stuff it all down. That is why Im here…nearly the only safe place where I can be real.

        • Late to comment, but I just saw what you wrote here, Unicornomore. Would respond just to you, if I could.

          A friend of mine, now in her mid-seventies, spent over forty years of her life in an abusive relationship with a narcissist. She was deeply unhappy for many years. Her husband committed suicide a few years ago, leaving her alone with a big farmstead, piles upon piles of dilapidated tools and equipment and neglected rental properties and finances. He left her with and a huge mess to take care of, and one that he’d kept hidden. At first, I was worried she would take her own life, too. I recall trying to comfort her by saying I could see he loved her deeply, even if he couldn’t show it in “normal” ways. I believed this back then, before I understood personality disorders. (I think of this now when people offer the same to me about my very much alive-and-thriving ex.)

          Something remarkable has happened – karma, I’d say, if I believed in it: my friend has found herself, found true love (for the first time in her entire life), done amazing things with the home and property (as the man of the house, it had been his domain), traveled and made new friends after decades of isolation, supported her adult children, fixed up old tractors and bought a new one she uses to hay her fields and plow her driveway. She had this in her all along, and she was always resilient, resourceful, smart, creative and nurturing, but she couldn’t see through the fog to claim her agency and equality.

          While her husband was alive, my friend was always struggling to identify and solve her problems with him. He was a barrier and a weight, and he kept her small. She saw everything, yet she felt she couldn’t do anything. Part of coming to terms with the abuse (and trauma of the suicide) and its consequences, for my friend and her sons, has been allowing herself to feel and express her anger at him and her regret at the years she wasted like that. Most people who live around us are horrified that she’s angry and gossip about it. They gossip about an isolated, 75-year old widow who’s not hurting a soul and is managing a farm, on her own, in a pandemic. They have no clue, as she’s kept most of it to herself. Just last week, a mutual friend of ours commented to me that she’d been pretty surprised at my widow friend’s anger at her deceased husband. Out of respect for her privacy, I did not share what I know (about the abuse and the cause of death). I did not share that I, too, am angry with her dead husband and that I know he didn’t love her (because he can’t love anyone). Instead I said I know how hard it’s been. I care about my friend, and I admire what she has accomplished. She went through something unimaginably traumatic, and at a difficult and isolating time for us all. She had to retreat to nurse her wounds and needed time and space (from nosy, judgemental, prying eyes!), and she had a massive hole to dig herself out of. Her process of mourning was unfathomably complicated (as yours must have been, Unicornomore). Now she is happier than she’s ever been, in spite of that. Shouldn’t that tell us something about what her marriage must have been like? If she’s angry, not sad – why??? And if she’s found unprecedented joy and peace – great!!!

          I’m sorry you are facing these same ridiculous expectations and judgements, Unicornomore. It’s not the same, but I think we all have to keep our stories and feelings about cheaters to ourselves, to a certain degree. We are all expected to move on graciously, be happy for our ex’s happiness (or sad for their losses) and be the bigger person – a/k/a good little chumps. I can relate to what you wrote about the survival instinct that leads to numbing and spackling – and the shocking clarity about the egregious abuse that can come just a few short months after leaving. I understood how wrong my ex’s words and behaviors were – heck, even before I met him. I just couldn’t accept or internalize what was happening. If I allow myself to dwell, I still feel violated and disgusted and angry about the years of cheating and abuse I endured; yet it’s the dynamics post-DDay(s) I remain particularly queasy about. DDay brought an instant shift that made it even worse. During reconciliation, I knowingly betrayed my values and felt weak and pathetic. I felt kept, like a hostage. I was agreeing to something I did not believe in and being someone I wasn’t, and it was so clear that my ex was in control and I was helpless.

          I, too, am incredibly grateful for CL and this community of recovering chumps.

          • B&Roses,

            Late here too. Only when I get a bit of time do I browse and your words are what I have just had time to read today.

            Thus prompting this response.

            In the event you haven’t already run across this book, but I think you have when I posted it before, my memory and soooo many names and reply’s I forget easily so forgive me if this is a repeat.

            This book has come at just the right time for me as it addresses so much of what has been commented on above; what happens to those of us who do fall into the RIC camps, those of us who soldier on because society, family, church, state etc expect us too never considering the cost to us. Why we are so blind-sighted etc.

            https://www.amazon.com/Cheating-Nutshell-What-Infidelity-Victim/dp/1948158000/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=cheating+in+a+nutshell&qid=1627853042&sr=8-2

            By the way, I love the story about your friend. Reminds me of a good friend of mine who rejoiced when, “the son-of-a bitch died” – her exact words, not mine.

            Glad she doesn’t let others’ opinions of her get to her.

            I have to shake my head because people’s reactions are so confounding sometime.

            Mr. X is a covert, passive aggressive narcissist. He was the preverbial Mr. Nice Guy thus his abuse was not obvious yet when he left I got nothing but support from everyone I know and all my neighbors too while your poor friend suffered a the hands of an overt narc. yet people judge her anger…..WOW. Go figure that one out!!!

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